Re: Examples of the feminine side of the Lunar Empire?

From: Greg Stafford <glorantha1_at_JHSZ7qBNyAlV_MWIn3VV_JHE4KNf9HUcpwQ5su5BE1AcIgfy-D8coe_9G51mjVJ7->
Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 14:59:15 -0700

YGWV On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 10:02 AM, valkoharja <> wrote:

> There was recently talk about the gender balance in Glorantha and
> especially the gaming material.
> Technically it shouldn't be a problem, since the only superpower of
> the third age is the Lunar Empire, who is famously feminine in it's
> nature (if I write feminist, it will sound wrong I think).

I think "feiminist" would not only sound wrong, but be incorrect.

> Even still, when my fiancée Suvi just now asked "so how _does_ the
> feminine power manifest itself in the Empire?" I found myself a bit lost.

First, let me make i clear that the empire was not designed to be a plce where women replace all men, and men replace all women. Such would not only be silly, but (to me) stupid and unoriginal. Nor do I feel that they need to be equal in all things.

Consider first where their most recent roots are: Dara Happa, which follows really strict and hard traditions of giving all active power to men, and all passive power to women in a kind of absolutist interpretation that feminine = passive = women, masculine = active = men. So ANY change from that would be breaking the mold.

But the Goddess is not interested in simply breaking the mold with a few token women here and there, but neither is the agenda to divide things evenly between men and women. The fact is that there is a difference between men and women, and each gender has certain hard-wired capabilities that tend to determine what the individual does. Such tendencies do not always determine preferences, of course, and therein lies the execution of the alternatives in the Empire.

That is, the purpose of Sedenya is to allow people to do what they do best, or even what they prefer to do if they don't do it well, as long as it fits. So there is no compulsion for people to fit one mold or another, but the effort is to create opportunity and freedom to allow people to rise to meet their destiny, and indeed, even to create it if they can.

At the same time, there is always tradition to resist such change. The Dara Happans do not go willingly towards this new light, in part through policy, part through institutions and in part through sheer laziness.

Nonetheless, large numbers of people in the empire have embraced the Lunar Way, so that women can be warriors and leaders, push plows and be lumberjacks, and so on.

I intend to have a clear majority of important cult leaders, magicians
> and administrators (yes, satraps too) be female in my own game, but I
> don't really know if that is true in the offiscial Glorantha.

In my Glorantha, the most progressive of the leagues and associations willfully embrace the Lunar Way, with women in positions of power and prestige who are, in their turn, selected for political authority, military leadership and so on.
Nonetheless, I do not think that even half of the positions of leadership across the empire are in female hands, and in no way is half the military made up of women. Women are often leaders in the Lunar cults, but not in the old traditional cults. Often a new cult forms to actually replace the old ones, rather than trying to infiltrate the old boy's club to "take it over," such as Etyries replacing Lokarnos.

> I do
> remember that most Lunar's I've seen written up in the offiscial
> material seem to have been male.

This may well be so, though I've never sat down and counted the various NPCs to check.

One thing more: to me the most mundane, crass and physical part of the empire may be headed by the Emperor, a male figure who incorporates much femininity into himself, but significant parts of the empire are run by women. Furthermore, the Great Sister is the equal of the Emperor, but works through means other than armies, bureaucracies and the obvious artifacts of State.

> Maybe you guys can help clear this up for me?

That is my start on this.

I conclude by saying that I sincerely and dearly hope this discussion does not degenerate into the hostility and frantic expressions of dismay and disillusionment that other gender discussions have engendered.

Greg Stafford
Game Designer

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