Second, I hope to put up some of the usual articles I found, while wandering about in the web. But just for a while, I think: the workload at the paying job is going to get boosted, which means that once again this blog will fall silent for a while.
Sudnadja in an earlier comment recommended that I try out the ePub format. I’m actually going to fight to get the time to try it out. If it works out, I’ll probably publish in both formats: if the ePub format is substantially smaller than PDF, I’ll put the ePub file on this blog, and the PDF file at scribd.
Finally: due to the workload, it isn’t looking good for getting out a new issue this year. Even the stream-of-thought blog posts have been stomped on hard by work demands! Still, there are some timeslots that are worth a shot to use. The thing is, I need to focus to do a decent job, which means hours of straight free time, and solid blocks of free time is like gold right now!
For my fellow believers — and campaigns strongly oriented to Noble Household policies and governance — I have to point out an eye-opening article, Patriarchy and Sodomy.
I have typically depicted Vilani households as sexually egalitarian: not due to politics, but because the Vilani have enjoyed an electrical and digital-powered economy for thousands of years longer than the Solomani, which has empowered Vilani women for a long, long time. Throw in additional decades of fertility to have their culturally-required four children which reach adulthood at ~18 years, coupled with the same 200+ year lifespan as their men have, and Vilani women have had a far stronger hold on public positions than Solomani women have had.
To have something new to fight over, I typically depict Solomani households as (comparatively speaking) more patriarchal than the Vilani: a reasonable call, in my opinion.
Few Imperial ruling families care much for supernatural religions, but a few do. House Popa, depicted in Stellar Reaches #27, is one of the minority of a minority: not just religiously inclined, but Christian (as opposed to the more popular Imperial religions such as of Vilani Ritualism or Stellar Divinity). However, they follow the typical conservative policy of the strong father, and men commanding women.
Fair enough, if you want a society strongly focused on discipline, honour, and the other masculine/military virtues (highly valued virtues in many Noble circles!) but there are consequences, including
- a higher incidence of homosexuality as men are separated from women
- a lower status for women and domestic activities, “useful only for breeding and keeping house”
- a view of homosexual relationships as a ‘higher and better’ form of relationship, compared to male-female relationships
Traveller is in part inspired by the militaristic/imperialistic cultures of Rome and Greece, who certainly followed this flow of thought. (To a lesser extent, this was true of Victorian/Imperial England as well.)
And it is reasonable to assume that many Ruling Houses tolerate such behaviour, so long as 1) the population is not unnecessarily aggravated, a.k.a. ‘don’t disturb the horses’ and 2) marriages with women are required for the sake of dynastic alliances, and that children to carry on the line are generated.1
House Popa’s primary goal is not to build up military discipline: to face a life-threatening (if short-term) military situation; it is to have more children, and so insure their long-term survival!
And for that, you’ll have to ditch the patriarchy, raise up the status of your family women to be equal to (or even higher than!) the men, and focus on insuring that the wives have what they need to spend the time and give the commitment and energy to not only have more children, but to have well-adjusted, emotionally stable, creative, brave children of high character: both boys and girls.
Wives rightfully demand to be loved and valued and respected, especially in matters of homelife. This must be provided in the masculine offering of time and money and actually listened to, as opposed to condescended to.2 House Popa will have to learn that the price for long-term victory of gaining a good future for their descendants (as opposed to short-term – but still important! – victory on the military battlefield), the husbands must learn to subordinate themselves to their wives in a way that matters.
As Christians, the Popas have some chance to actually achieve their goals, but a lot of painful adjustments will have to be made: not only to ditch their patriarchal family structure, but also to ditch the Imperial clan culture they follow. Not easy!
And they have to do this when
- absorbing a massive Solomani influx of new family members (see the “Exodus” adventure in Stellar Reaches #27) and eventually
- during a major interstellar civil war, where physical survival may well be on the line: a period where the masculine military virtues will be in high demand, authority will be centralized, obedience will often be demanded (as is absolutely required in military situations) and women and children become things to be protected, not people to be listened to.
If they can get past this second massive challenge – the first being getting the new family members from Solomani to Imperial space in the first place! – then they have to demilitarize as fast as possible after the major waves of both the Rebellion warfare and the Virus-led infrastructure failures are overcome, in order to get back to building the future.
You can’t use a military framework to rebuild an economy or a population or a technological base. But it’s going to be hard to make the shift back from war to peace, when the war lasted ~20 years (1116-1036, say, if you assume the successful beating back the psychotic robots.)
That’s a tall order, for any family or nation.
1 But see the counter-example of Archduke Norris and his “true daugher” (clone) Seldrian Aledon. All her genes belong to him, and there are no hook-ups or alliances with any other family (and so allowing greater freedom of action for House Aledon)… but there is a certain level of discontent with this development from the general population.
2 Remember all those Christian demands, “that to truly lead, you must serve?” That while the wife is only expected to respect and obey her husband, her husband is expected to love and sacrifice his life for her? That power and authority are two separate things: and that while the husband has authority, the wife also has her zone of authority in the home: and it may well be that she has more real power overall – i.e. better access to the money supply, even if the husband is the moral focus of familial authority?
This often happens, by the way: the CEO make the big decisions, but it’s his subordinates – including the secretary – that decided exactly how the money is spent, who has access to him, etc.
“Choose your wife wisely.”