Fertility Control

From: Greg Stafford <greg_at_glorantha.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 14:21:52 -0800

We do not have to assume that fertility or conception are dependant upon a cult.

>> Vinga, the
>>specialist/minor version, keeps some links to control of fertility:
>>probably enough to also make male worship at least very difficult, if not
>>impossible. (Would someone with some medical knowledge like to
>>comment on the effect of a man taking a female contraceptive pill?)
>I haven't a clue, but the obvious layman's assumption is that a man
>who takes such a concentrated dose of female hormones every day will
>become feminised, developing various female secondary sexual
>By analogy, a man who somehow manages to be accepted as a worshipper
>of a "women-only" goddess

This is by definition a woman, not a man. Deities don't make these choices, they are immutable forces.
Also, any Heortling man can join most Ernalda (ie-female) cults, but he has to join Nandan.
Anyone who "somehow managed" would simply be proving himself to be Nandan.

>might well find himself physically changing
>over time (becoming more closely identified with his goddess) -
In fact, people become broos by being rapists, become ogres by being cannibals and so on.

>although I'd think that an actual change of sex would need Hero-level
>intervention, or the kind of surgery favoured by Gorgorma worshippers.

radical anyway.

>Another thought regarding contraception: on Earth, a strong mythical
>connection was often drawn between the Moon's 28-day cycle and that of
>women. Does anything similar exist on Glorantha?
Certainly a 28 day menstrual cycle is important among women members of the Red Moon.

>It'd be nice to
>think that the rhythm method will *always* work for female initiates
>of Lunar cults, since their fertility has become intimately linked to
>the cycles of the Red Moon.

I don't think this would necessarily be so. While the menstrual cycle certainly has to do with conception it is not an absolute. Possibilities exist to impregnate anytime in the cycle, albeit statistically rare at some points. The point is, the links are not absolute. I CAN imagine a subcult that does utterly link its initiates to this cycle, mind you. I just do not think it is a characteristic of all lunar cults.

>That could help explain why the Lunar
>religion was initially so popular among women: giving them control
>over their fertility without having to join a cult like Babs G that
>denies their femininity.

I think it is possible for women to biologically (ie- not with modern medicine) control their fertility even now to an extent far greater than we are led to think in this world where "the curse," debilitating cramps, and pms make more money than taking care of one's self does. I can't cite a study but certainly anecdotal evidence indicates women can know exactly when they begin to ovulate, etc. Furthermore, contraceptives and abortifacts have been known since we started noting down what we know. Perhaps we can get some women to volunteer experience instead of my second hand information.
My point on this: control of even Gloranthans' fertility is not entirely under the control of goddesses.
- --------
Greg Stafford
Issaries, Inc. 900 Murmansk St., Suite 5; Oakland, CA 94607 Phone: (510) 452 1648 Fax: (510) 302 0385 Publisher of Hero Wars, Roleplaying in Glorantha See our site at: <www.glorantha.com>

Powered by hypermail