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Oh, Those Erebusian Women

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by loocas, May 31, 2008.

  1. loocas

    loocas Chieftain

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    Ruminating on "What is a Doviello City?" and BCalchet's musings on Sheaim society, I've been wondering what it is like for women living in different societies around Erebus. If their history is anything like ours, then women across the civilizations have probably put up with some dumb-assed things. How do you imagine the role of sex in certain societies? Where is sex not even an issue? Are there any dwarven women? I'm interested to see this explored. TheWyrm, I'm especially anxious to hear from you about the Balseraphs, being their ambassador to Real Life and all.

    I got here by thinking about Mahala, and what it must be like to be a Doviellan woman. Here's what I jotted down at work:

    Spoiler :
    An abrupt hush fell over the tundra. The warriors stood stunned, some overtaken by fear, but most by hate. They had always assumed that there were no rules on the battlefield, but now they realized that there was at least one, and it was being broken. It was something none of them had ever imagined, let alone seen. There was a woman in the ranks.

    “Are you lost, doe?” a man yelled over the silence. The air lightened as their anger turned to mockery of a similar degree of malice.

    “You’re missing some weaponry!”

    “That’s an axe, not a babe!”

    “Would you like to hold my javelin instead?”

    Mahala didn’t move. She didn’t smile or sneer, and made eye contact with no one. The men glared at her as hard as they could. They had never been so full of adrenaline and not currently killing anybody.

    “Sow, what are you doing here?!” shouted a battlemaster.

    “Maybe her fields are fallow!” The men roared with laughter after every insult, but quickly quieted up in expectation of some response from the misplaced woman. War was for men. Sometimes a woman would be allowed to scout for food, but only if she could serve no purpose in the tents.

    She turned slowly, changing the horde’s focus to the small village down the hill. The villagers had cowered into their homes as soon as the army topped the hill, and they were no doubt very confused about still being alive. One man cautiously opened his door and peered out. He walked into his yard, staring up at the stationary group. He glanced back at his home, gestured to someone, shook his head, and shrugged his shoulders.

    Mahala, with her back straight and her shoulders square, walked to the nearest javelin thrower and took his weapon from him. The man gave a stark look, but grinned when he realized that she could only embarrass herself. She faced the village, then burst into a run. With natural athleticism she launched the javelin into the sky. All heads watched as it fell, pinning the curious villager to the ground through his gut.

    She turned to her fellow marauders and with a wild leer she declared: “First blood.” Grabbing her axe, she ran down the hill to fulfill the villagers’ expectations. The men behind her did all they could to keep up.


    A simple view of women--for them, and for me to write about. Maybe it will whet your appetite for her promised entry. I can't wait to find out who she is.
     
  2. Vehem

    Vehem Modmod Monkey

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    Very nice - I like it :goodjob:
     
  3. Slvynn

    Slvynn Duke Vector fon Pixel

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    :mischief: waiting for Talia Gosam story :goodjob::crazyeye:
     
  4. reverend oats

    reverend oats Chieftain

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    There are dwarven women, with equal rights to men. They just all have beards. Most of courtship is finding out your partner's gender. My theory on with there is no Arthus Thorne 'pedia entry:
    Spoiler :
    She's a woman!
     
  5. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Chieftain

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    Bit behind on the times, huh?
     
  6. reverend oats

    reverend oats Chieftain

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    Oops, I just looked at that thread. Nice writing.
     
  7. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    That is a nice story. But Doviello society is one of the least misoginistic on Erebus. They wouldn't question a female warrior or a female leader. Its all about practical concerns and there is little, if any, propriety or cultural values driving their actions.

    The female recon units for the doviello was meant to represent this fact (that you will meet their women as well as their men on the battlefield) in a way that made that line visually recognizable.

    The most likely civs to have female equality (in order by the most equal) are:

    Svartalfar (female dominated society)
    Doviello
    Calabim (where the repression of their society is class based, not gender)
    Sidar
    Bannor
    Sheaim
    Hippus
    Amurites (in the mage line which is their primary focus)
    Luchurip (where no one wants to fight directly anyway)
    Ljosalfar (in the archer line, which is their focus)

    Most of the "enlightened" societies have some sort of misogany and a belief that women should be protected rather than do the protecting. That removes women from war which degrades their role in a society that lives under the threat of battle. So in a society lead by military concerns (as many are in erebus) they dont achieve the same level of respect since they aren't sharing their blood on the battlefield.

    The Illians are also fairly misoginistic, but it has less to do with propiety and more to do with the threat of extinction and trying to keep the "breeders" alive.
     
  8. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    @ loocas: As long as i know wolf packs are even rather a bit matriarchal (even though the alpha males are also very important.) and a clear divide in the hirarchy (i belive they have two hirarchies. One for male and one for female wolves.). So if they go after the wolves that should answer which way they are leaning (if any). Kael has allready stated his stance.

    Don't belive any tales which are projected on animals, without double-checking. ;) Dovioello are men leaning to wolves (albeit a much darker representation of wolves as it fits the dark background.) in behavior not the other way around.

    I whould picture Mahla as a dominant alpha-female leading the pack. (And chosing falamar ("alpha-male of " a "pack") if the occasion arrises as it would be a wolfs nature. ;))

    Oh and you won't want to speak up against the alpha will you?
    No matter if you are part of the pack or not.
    You may very well end up cast out in the cold wastes alone, or end up as the packs next meal...
    Unless of course you aim beeing the alpha after an hard battle (and the alpha has most experience in these fights since he / she is used to defending her stature in possibly even mortal combat. So expect a hard trial) in which case ceremonial rules for change of leadership are to be followed.
    (in case of whichs loss you probably are even left alive and more or less unharmed. And as a new alpha you whould be rather dumb to finish off one of the most able members of then "your" pack. Those deaths are rather "accidental". At least if doviello are really imitating the behavior of wolves. If a member of the pack dies the pack as a whole gets weaker.)
    But thats not some random spout of disorder like the one depicted above.

    Another possibility of change of leadership whould be the going of the old leader. (which whould be challenged as time goes by and age takes its toll. If wolves grow really old without dying prematurely they leave the pack to die alone. Alphas as well i think.). Don't know how the pack behaves about leadership then.
     
  9. loocas

    loocas Chieftain

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    Thanks for explaining. That makes sense. I like it your way much better :)

    Svartalfar are female dominated, yet also the most equal? I can understand that, but want to make sure that's what you meant. Are men equal to the women there?

    Well put. Another speck of gray in what it means to be good or evil. It all depends on what the society's highest values are, and as you said with most its war. With ours it's success, which is along the same lines. I wonder what those "enlightened" men really think the women need protection from: the actual threat of death and harm, or straying from what they believe makes them feminine.

    I know the Bannor women are explained quite a bit, and they're more exempt from the above, as your list suggests. They've had some special circumstances anyway, and wouldn't be around if the women didn't pick up swords. The first thing I noticed from the list was the number of evil ("evil") civs, and make note on who's missing. Malakim for one; what do their women do, and is it Varn's view of them or the society's? Could it be Varn's attitude towards women that led Talia away? For me the larger question is, What the hell does anyone do in the desert?
     
  10. Sofista

    Sofista card-carrying

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    Sand castles man, sand castles.

    And what about the Elohim? They may not send their women on the battlefield (as do many countries), but I thought Ethne was their leader, which means that they're ready to let them into the buttons room.
     
  11. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    I put them first because the women recieve the most power in that soceity, more traditional gender roles are reversed. It isn't like the Drow in D&D where its a complete matriarchy, but they do carry most of the power in the civilization.

    So in typical "gender equality" terms they are okay but not great. They are just backwards of the normal prejudices.

    @Sofista- the Elohim are more traditional in their distinctions between men and women. Meaning there are certain roles that women are expected to fulfill and those for men. Ethne's pedia entry alludes to the barrier between her and the realities of the world as maintained by her civilization. Its good that they would accept a female leader, but she is a queen during a peaceful time focused on philosophy and enlightenment. She is loved by her people, much like the queen of england, but that doesnt mean her people are all that good at gender equality.

    Hannah is another exception of a powerful female leader in a gender biased civilization. She gets her way through force of personality and a well earned reputation of brutality and almost superhuman ability. The seas favor Hannah, and the Lanun aren't stupid enough to question that.
     
  12. Fenboy

    Fenboy Chieftain

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    Remember that in our own world, in the present-day there are still many countries where women are still legally second-class citizens. Indeed the idea of gender equality is a very recent one to catch on, on any sort of large scale, even in the West.
     
  13. Kael

    Kael Chieftain

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    Not nessesarily. Their were ancient civilizations that were more gendar equal than the ones we have today. It isn't an area we make strict advancement on, but one that differs with time and individual cultures.
     
  14. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    To start, it was very hard to write about Balseraph women specificly without going into detail about their society in whole, but I have tried to stay on topic. Also, I have limited myself to discussing Balseraph citizens and not slaves who have a much, much worse go of it in this society than any other.

    The Balseraph live by the philosophy of Hedonism and self indulgent decadence wich states that pleasure is the highest good, or the source of moral values. Or to break it down to it's most simple aspect "if it feels good, do it."

    Just like any society, Balseraph people run the entire spectrum, even if their spectrum is full of colors no one else can see. The average man will have been raised in a society where he recieves no recompense whatsover for simply having his way with any female he is able to seduce, con, or overpower into his bed.

    Also, Balseraph women are raised in a society where their "virtue" is meaningless. Why hold off on intercourse? It feels good. Their entire existence is predicated upon this concept. A Balseraph female would no more resist having sex with an atractive man (or woman) as she would refuse a well cooked steak by a master chef.

    Now, let's take a closer look at the reasons a Balseraph woman will think this way.

    Single Parents: It is so rare as to be almost unheard of that any Balseraph citizen would know who their father is short of some kind of magic or because you were born to a harem girl kept locked in a dungeon. So while this means no stigma is placed on being a bastard, it also means children are raised by whoever decide to care for them. An entire society who have no clue what the concept of "family" is would produce strange offspring indeed.

    Abuse: Most girls lose their virginity at a shockingly early age. The desires for the flesh are just too strong and too prevalent here for them to last any longer than age 12 before someone decides to take them. Patterns of sexual/physical/mental abuse will take their toll on her psyche until she comes to either accept she must use her body as a weapon or go mad. Or both. Often, so very often, it's both.

    Pleasure: Ever notice how in our society a man who engages in endless acts of sexuality is a "player" but a girl who does it is a "slut?" Yeah the Balseraph make no distinctions. Here they are all players, and the game is called "what feels good today?" Pleasure is a game to them. It is because of this "game" type attitude that I fully believe that when it comes to adults, rape is actually much less common in Balseraph lands than you would imagine. Most Balseraph men would find a lot more pleasure in managing to out-seduce all the other men to sleep with the prettiest girls. Why take by force what you can get with good old fashioned cunning?

    All of these things put together show us that the average female in Balseraph lands could actually have a "better" life than some of their contemporaries. Think about it, no familial ties to things like land or title means that EVERYONE makes it on their own. If a woman proves cunning enough there is nothing to stop her from amassing enough wealth and slaves to be able to dictate her pleasures upon whomever she pleases. It may not be the norm, but it is far from being rare. After all, the second most powerful person in their society is a woman.

    I've said a mouthful, and I am afraid I may be rambling at this point so I think I'll stop. Man we could go on and on over this stuff for days!

    I'm totally accepting your title of Balseraph "Ambassador to Real Life" Loocas! That was awesome.
     
  15. Farmer Bobathan

    Farmer Bobathan Sanity is for the weak

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    Can't you consider perp a man and a woman because he has a copy of the mind of everyone he met? And since he changes bodies when the current one runs out of juice, who's to say he won't take a female body?
     
  16. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

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    I don't doubt this to be true. However, I get the feeling that even while in the body of a female the unmistakable "maleness" of Perpentach would be unmissable. He has a force of magnitism that would be difficult to mistake. Also, having so many female minds inside him gives him a unique perspective when it comes to the battle of the sexes.
     
  17. Milosrdenstvi

    Milosrdenstvi Chieftain

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    I imagine he's probably had more dealings with men than women...in his pedia entry the only woman there is his mother...this would probably just be a natural consequence of the presence of women in Erebus's society.
     
  18. loocas

    loocas Chieftain

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    Thanks thewyrm. If I may add something: Sex and gender would be nonexistent during the revelries, which could very well be all the time. My guess is that the Balseraph people tend to reduce themselves down to archetypes, as all masqueraders do. I think, for the sake of this discussion, it's hard to tell what's societal tradition and what's just revelry.

    One of the most infuriating things in our culture is how women are blamed for men's lust. It happens in movies and in the courts. I really like these last two paragraphs.
     
  19. Vehem

    Vehem Modmod Monkey

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    The wording actually reminds me of an Orwell quote...

    It's a deliberate play on the words - you can't be "more equal" than the thing you're equal to - it implies that the "equality"... isn't.
     
  20. Sofista

    Sofista card-carrying

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    Loocas obviously meant to say egalitarian.
     

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