Dear Prudentia: How Do I Find Motivation as a Female?

Dear Prudentia: How Do I Find Motivation as a Female?

Cinderella the Barbarian-small


I find I’m really unmotivated. Like, I want to pick up a sword and maybe learn to fight like my brothers did, but I don’t really have the motivation to do anything except look pretty and wash dishes. But I’m single, and I hear quests can be a great way to meet men. So, can you help me find a reason to be as badass as my male relatives? Everyone knows that self-motivation and ambition in a woman is both tiring and unattractive, two things that can make it harder to secure a man. I’m hoping you know ways around that.


Wanna GripASword


I completely understand you. And yes, questing is a great way to meet men, but you must first find the right motivation. I’m here to offer you great motivation that relies on no personal strength or ambition, to spare you looking indeed tired and unattractive. BUT, I do so only with the promise that, when you find your eventual mate, you’ll settle down and raise multiple children while waiting for your man to return home from his long quest abroad so that you may wash his feet and tend to his needs, as a proper woman should. Now, onward to motivation!

1 – Get Your Family Slaughtered

I know. This sounds pretty horrible, but hear me out. As a woman is first and foremost family oriented (hormones and all), it only makes sense that you could only slaughter enemies after witnessing the slaughter of your loved ones. These ideas don’t just simply pop into the fairer sex’s mind, after all. So, go on. Don’t be shy. It’s easier to get your family in the path of a warring barbarian tribe than you might think.

Harley Quinn and Joker2 – Have Daddy Issues

Fathers are complicated figures for a young woman and, more importantly, they’re male. Was he not attentive enough? Too attentive? Absent? Present? It doesn’t matter. Daddy issues are universally recognized as a good reason to become a female warrior.

3 – Be Apprenticed to a Badass

This could be your father, too, but it could be an uncle, cousin, grandfather, king, lord, sheep herder, distant acquaintance… it really doesn’t matter as long as they’re male. Think about it. Why are so many books are called “The <male figure>’s daughter” or “wife?” Because the daughters or wives are the least interesting part of that story, of course! It’s easier to be understood based on your male affiliation, and apprenticing to someone who’s a badass explains why such feminine grace and beauty would pick up the sword.

4 – Get Taken Against Your Will

As you are a withering flower, I don’t want to use strong language, but you understand my meaning. Countless women have found their fighting spirit through being used by conquering invaders and tossed aside. Take heart, dear child. The song of your blade slicing your enemy’s heads off will make you feel better.

5 – Get Humiliated

No need to go as far as the last one. Really, just any old humiliation will do. Are you the daughter of a rich lord who’s just been invaded, and now you’re made to serve the enemy lords and dance to their poorly tuned bard’s mandolin for their viewng pleasure? Humiliation by men is also a good reason to seek revenge.

Devil Girl-small6 – Be Crazy

I hesitated putting this one in, since it doesn’t directly involve a male, which would make the situation preferable, but in the interest of keeping your options open, you could also just be insane. A devil of some sort. A crazy one not seeking the comforts of home and hearth, as all sane and well-adjusted women would. But, of course, you’ll change your ways for the right man.

7 – Go for the Bad Boys

Spare yourself acting crazy by simply falling for the bad boy. Lend your sword to his campaign, and show him that, although not his equal, you are definitely interesting and pretty in armor (chain mail bikini is recommended). He’ll fall for your modest spirits of murder. Note that you probably won’t live long if you take up this particular path, but it’ll be worth the blood soaked ride!

8 – Be a Sister

And you are a sister, Wanna! This is so simple that I kept it for last, to ensure you’d keep reading. You mention that your brothers are sword-bearing killing machines. Just associate yourself with them by being their ally and protecting them. You’ll be renowned as honourable and loyal. And you’ll attract the eye of one of their allies, and then your brothers can marry you off and seal alliances. You get the best of everything this way.

Now go forth, kill and then don’t forget to procreate! Your arms won’t always be good for swinging a sword, after all. So find yourself a man and then use those arms to hold up your babies!

Cheering you on,


Need more advice? See all of Prudentia’s recent columns:

Why Should I Include a She-Babe?
How Do I Find Motivation as a Female?
How Do I Learn to Quest?
Please Help Me with Questing Etiquette
Red Sonja is Cooler Than You

Marie Bilodeau is an award-winning science-fiction and fantasy author, as well as a professional performing storyteller. She enjoys making fun of tropes. She may also be suffering from split-personality. Check out her writings and find out what the heck a storyteller is at

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Aonghus Fallon

Sterling advice, Prudentia! I just wish a former employee of mine had read your column. She took umbrage when I refused to grant her a transfer into a different department due to her lack of qualifications (healer to warrioress? Please!). She is now Witch of the Northern Wastes and mistress over a vast, undead army. If only she’d been content to do as fate intended – or had a few babies to keep her occupied!

Yours as ever,

Ageless Falcon,
Lord of the Red Deserts
(but no longer ruler of the ‘Lands Beyond’ alas, as these have fallen under the jurisdiction of the Witch of the Northern Wastes).

Wild Ape

@marie—read above comment dittos

I found some letters that you might help with.

Dear Prudentia,

My love Blackheart Bob marooned me back on my father’s estate who then locked me up again. I was Bob’s First Mate in every meaning of the title. I was competent and I think Bob would have considered making me the captain of our next prize. I loved how the men fawned over me and did enjoyed the amenities of a she-babe’s womanly touch. We had a clean ship, grooming standards, and more recruits than we could fit on board. Bob suddenly cast me off and refuses to allow me on board. The new First Mate doesn’t know good wind, only how to make his own wind. Bob complains that the crew now want to forgo the treasure hauls now and whine about coming back to port, and he has cleared the seas nearby of any prize. They just want more time with the girls. Now his voyages range further away and I don’t see him as much. He is happy that his oarsmen are back and he can now go water skiing to knock off the boredom. He comes back from a voyage and gets the blues whenever he has to go back to sea now. He says that he might have to find a new port to operate from and I fear that I may never see him again. I hired an artist to paint a portrait of me. I thought a picture of me might remind him of the times we shared and would hang nicely in his cabin. I put on my old sea gear with the short pants and green bodice that Bob gave me. I held a “bend and snap” pose that he could never resist with my cutlass in one hand and my boot on a powder keg to show him my leg. I undid my bodice to show Bob what he is missing and the artist painted me perfectly. Bob went into a fit of rage when I gave it to him. He wanted to hack off the head of the artist and burn down the town. It took a lot of rum to calm him down. He stormed off back to sea with the painting. It was good to see him in good spirits but what do I do now?

Former First Mate of the Black Flag

Dear Prudentia,

I have been the mistress of Braggar the Bandit King for a couple of years now. Just yesterday as I was combing my raven hair in the mirror I spied a gray hair. I am young still but Braggar has wandering eyes and seems smitten by a younger kitten. Truthfully the only thing I can say bad about her is that she has no sense of fashion but either does Braggar so I doubt he will see her faults. I know that she means to get between us and put an end to me.I went to see a witch who is said to be an ageless beauty. She claims to have a potion that can preserve youth and stave off aging. She wants me to sign a contract with several conditions and agreements but I can’t read (someone wrote this for me). Should I sign the contract and be done with it or seek another bad ass?

Graying Raven

Dear Prudentia,

I am male, and I was a successful book seller. I sacrificed goats and made a huge profit. I’m not sure if this letter is right for this format but I hope you can help me. If you haven’t read the papers there is an egg shortage in my country and they don’t know it yet but there is a goat shortage too. I was told a successful book selling pitch that involves the sacrifice of goats. It worked wonderfully and now I even have a groupies running from she-babe to she-uggs that follow me everywhere. I can’t go anywhere without them shrieking and tearing off my clothes. I have no privacy. They think I am a badass when I’m really just a book merchant with no badass skills whatsoever. I was wondering with the goat shortage if you might know if I could sacrifice a groupie instead? Would that work?

Top Book Salesman

Wild Ape

One more:

Dear Prudentia,

I’m the she-babe lab assistant to a mad scientist and I’m trying to muster the courage to take control of his lab. All he does is brood and sulk, sulk and brood and lament about many of his evil schemes getting scrapped.

Where is the evil genius that made the Death Ray? I miss that gleam in his eye when he made calculations for the engineering. Of course, I had to secretly work on his calculus because he a bit testy about being corrected because, “Girls can’t do math and should do something useful.” We had fun testing the Death Ray on those pesky door-to-door salesmen too but he says that that is all the ray is good for now that gun regulations and better military equipment is on the market. I didn’t dare show him that the Death Ray has many applications that would make it marketable. For instance, it works great on killing insects and spiders too. What housewife wouldn’t want to feel the firepower and energy of the Death Ray when it hums to full charge? Think of the empowerment they would have blasting to smithereens the nasty spider or cockroach! Why rely on a squeamish husband who is equally terrified when you can do it yourself. There are no Neanderthals to brutishly smite a spider with his bare hands, they all dance around with a shoe as they kill it and that isn’t sexy. What about those stupid car alarms that everyone ignores? Why not an Anti-Theft device with a Death Ray gun? That would make the key scratchers think twice and would be entertaining I’d think. How many teachers would like one aimed at their class in order to improve test scores? Wouldn’t it do well at board meetings with angry stock holders? Think what Enron could have done with a Death Ray in its customer service department! What are your thoughts?

Betty the Lab Assistant.

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