Matriarchies

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
tzunder
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Matriarchies

Postby tzunder » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:55 am

Just finishing off Traveller Sword Worlds and the very patriarchal tone made me pause. Does the OTU have any matriarchal societies at all? I really can't think of any that aren't fundamentally patriarchal or non gender based (Hiver come to mind).

Given the broad range of societies in SF, this seems a bit of a curious omission.
8)
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:43 pm

tzunder wrote:Just finishing off Traveller Sword Worlds and the very patriarchal tone made me pause. Does the OTU have any matriarchal societies at all? I really can't think of any that aren't fundamentally patriarchal or non gender based (Hiver come to mind).

Given the broad range of societies in SF, this seems a bit of a curious omission.
Interesting that you say this, because I'm working on such a world, see my thread Triplanetary: Venus. The Venusian subspecies of humans has the women with the average adult height of 1.98 meters, while the males stand at 1.59 meters. The Triplanetary setting also has a "backdoor" to charted space in the form of a wormhole in Saturn.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:54 pm

Not really the OTU, though, is it Tom?
Can't think of any in the OTU - Aslan maybe comes closest as a female dominant society, but even that is organised along strong patrilineal lines.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:21 pm

tzunder wrote:Just finishing off Traveller Sword Worlds and the very patriarchal tone made me pause. Does the OTU have any matriarchal societies at all? I really can't think of any that aren't fundamentally patriarchal or non gender based (Hiver come to mind).

Given the broad range of societies in SF, this seems a bit of a curious omission.
Doesn't seem to come up that often. http://wiki.travellerrpg.com/Ebokin
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:08 pm

The government generation system doesn't disqualify any government type from being a matriarchy. A referee only need create a background and justification for a particular world being a matriarchy. Then, of course, someone will complain it's just for an amazon fantasy.

You gave one and only one example of a patriarchal government which means that particular gender influenced government is intentional to game flavor yet there are 11,000 worlds not labeled patriarch. The odds that there could be more is as likely there could be matriarchs too but I feel the top of the bell curve tends towards non-gender in Traveller.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:22 pm

OTU means published game setting.
tzunder
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby tzunder » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:32 pm

I agree that any society could be matriarchal, the game system doesn't militate against it.

However.. Aslan society is patriarchal, women may run everything but males are clearly in charge and set policy and aims as well as fighting. Zhodani society might be gender neutral, but it's clearly not matriarchal, and most Zho illustrations have been of men. Vargr society is neither on thing or another, it's pack and charisma based. Imperial and Solomani society is not explicitly patriarchal although there are more Emperors than Empresses so that suggests male primogeniture, and most figures in the OTU history appear to be male. Then again Admiral This and Field Marshall That could easily be female as male. There are not many Duchesses compared to Dukes, so let's assume that the Empire is patriarchal.
K'kree seem to be patriarchal from the sources, and the Droyne are happily weird caste based anyway. Hiver, as said, are effectively gender-less.

Darrians are explicitly non sexist and meritocratic.

I suspect the OTU reflects our society, or at least the 1970s people that wrote the settings.

Not a problem, as has been said, building some matriarchies isn't difficult to do. It's just struck me how much Traveller is a product of a certain strand of SF and not all. As said, easily adjusted!
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby tzunder » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:33 pm

ShawnDriscoll wrote:OTU means published game setting.
Actually it means Official Traveller Universe, so not all Mongoose Traveller publications are OTU..

but you knew that didn't you Shawn? :wink:
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:49 pm

Rick wrote:Not really the OTU, though, is it Tom?
Can't think of any in the OTU - Aslan maybe comes closest as a female dominant society, but even that is organised along strong patrilineal lines.
Didn't say it was, That's why I included the backdoor, the Saturn Wormhole connecting to beyond the mapped regions of Charted Space, that way if the Referee wanted to add it to his version of the OTU, he could. The thing is you don't need multiple Prime Material Planes or parallel Universe, you could just add new worlds beyond the borders of Charted Space in the OTU. I already have a map connecting my wormhole to offical charted spce and I generated some random star systems between the edge of the OTU map and my wormhole, none of it is official OTU of course, but I have established a way to get to the OTU, and a few characters from the OTU get the ball rolling in my Triplanetary setting, just three smallcraft really some competition with the Third Reich which has two of them and the Allied Mission to stop them with their remaining one, and in all of this I present an inhabited Venus and an inhabited Mars, and no jump drives to get them out of the system, there is one Jump drive that needs repair, but so long as it isn't repaired this system is effectively isolated and its own setting, I just want to leave open the option of connecting them later on either the Jump Drive in the Lab Ship gets repaired or some other OTU explorers stumble onto the Wormhole system with the wormhole that leads to Triplanetary.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:09 pm

tzunder wrote:I agree that any society could be matriarchal, the game system doesn't militate against it.

However.. Aslan society is patriarchal, women may run everything but males are clearly in charge and set policy and aims as well as fighting. Zhodani society might be gender neutral, but it's clearly not matriarchal, and most Zho illustrations have been of men. Vargr society is neither on thing or another, it's pack and charisma based. Imperial and Solomani society is not explicitly patriarchal although there are more Emperors than Empresses so that suggests male primogeniture, and most figures in the OTU history appear to be male. Then again Admiral This and Field Marshall That could easily be female as male. There are not many Duchesses compared to Dukes, so let's assume that the Empire is patriarchal.
K'kree seem to be patriarchal from the sources, and the Droyne are happily weird caste based anyway. Hiver, as said, are effectively gender-less.

Darrians are explicitly non sexist and meritocratic.

I suspect the OTU reflects our society, or at least the 1970s people that wrote the settings.

Not a problem, as has been said, building some matriarchies isn't difficult to do. It's just struck me how much Traveller is a product of a certain strand of SF and not all. As said, easily adjusted!
If there was an insect race, that society would be matriarchal. Most members of a beehive for instance are female, the only purpose of male insects to to transfer DNA from one queen to another, their entire purpose in life is to impregnate a female and then it dies.

I've designed an Amazon sub-race of Humans for my Triplanetary planet Venus, the thing is this society is primitive, Tech Level 2, and its female members tend to be physically larger, almost 2 meters tall on average while the males are closer to Earth human males in size, also the birth ratio is 3 females to 1 male, this tends to produce a female dominated society, the females who are not pregnant go out and hunt, the males help with the child rearing and do agriculture. Want to know something else, this planet Venus doesn't spin any faster than the real planet Venus, so basically it has a short year. (Spring = Dawn, Summer = Midday, Autumn = evening, winter = night, though it really doesn't snow much except at the tops of high mountains near the polar regions) Winters are dark, the skies are mostly clear at night, so their is starlight to see by, and you get a nice blue "star" called Earth in that night sky sometimes.

There are about 120 Earth days of constant sunlight, that means the crops have effectively 240 Earth days of Sunlight, because they get twice as much sunlight as Earth crops do because Earth plants have to deal with a 24 hour day/night cycle so don't get any sunlight during night. the 120 Earth days of continuous sunlight are followed by 120 days of continuous dark, the plants go dormant during this period, also the global cloud cover only covers the day period of the planet. The clouds are artificial and are made of diamond "snowflakes" the flakes are actually nanotech devices that form during periods of full sunlight and disintegrate into smaller dust particles when natural water clouds shade them, or they get behind a mountain (a few mountains rise above this artificial cloud layer) or night falls, in which case the cloud flakes disintegrate into invisible dust particles, the stars of the night sky are visible on the night side of Venus as is Earth and the other planets on a clear night. Night last 120 Earth days, and then you have a new dawn. the Sun rises in the west very slowly an while this happens a rainbow of diamond particles form in the eastern sky, as the Sun slowly rises the nano-particles form new diamond snowflakes and the sky gets hazy once again obscuring the disk of the Sun and a new day begins and so to does another growing season on Venus. These nano-particles might have had some effect on the way humans developed on this planet, as they are artificial, they may do other things besides block sunlight. (hint hint)
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:47 pm

Mora, the oldest duchy in the Spinward Marches, is held at both the planetary and Ducal level by the matriarchy that runs the planet. There are many female Imperial nobles, up to and including one Archduke (if you follow the GURPS path). The current Imperial line was begun with an Empress.

Among the Major Races the Aslan and K'kree maintain visible gender roles determined at birth, and the Hivers have no gender in the first place. The Droyne determine gender at Casting, but are male led. The Vargr will certainly have charismatic women in charge in places, since they are poly-cultural like Humaniti.

Local Minor Races can be written to whatever cultural or biological model makes sense to the writer.
Last edited by GypsyComet on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby sideranautae » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:52 pm

In human culture (if one is using humans as models) the only matriarchal societies are to be found in primitive tribes. For the simple reason that one can always be sure of the identity of ones mother. IDing the father in such societies can be difficult.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:15 pm

sideranautae wrote:In human culture (if one is using humans as models) the only matriarchal societies are to be found in primitive tribes. For the simple reason that one can always be sure of the identity of ones mother. IDing the father in such societies can be difficult.
Patriarchy is a part of human nature, that is why my tact in creating a matriarchal society is to change human nature, I assume the nanotech particles in the atmosphere may be responsible for this, basically the female fetus develops differently in the womb. the Venusian females are larger, more aggressive and stronger on average. Any Earth humans that land on their planet have to deal with that, and if they have children there, they they may develop differently than they expect. The nanites are Solar Powered by the way and require Venusian levels of sunshine in order to operate, they won't work on Earth or Mars for example. A Venusian woman who is taken off her planet and conceives and gives birth on Earth or Mars will produce a normal human child, so this amazonian tendency is location specific, in only occurs on this Terraformed Venus. Why this happens, I'll leave you to speculate.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:33 pm

tzunder wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:OTU means published game setting.
Actually it means Official Traveller Universe, so not all Mongoose Traveller publications are OTU..

but you knew that didn't you Shawn? :wink:
Marc Miller says Mongoose is official. The yellow title books are more generic sci-fi.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby sideranautae » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:37 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
sideranautae wrote:In human culture (if one is using humans as models) the only matriarchal societies are to be found in primitive tribes. For the simple reason that one can always be sure of the identity of ones mother. IDing the father in such societies can be difficult.
Patriarchy is a part of human nature, that is why my tact in creating a matriarchal society is to change human nature,
Right. If you are not using humans as we know they exist, you can assume anything. They can be water breathing, flying, shrimp like things.

I just stated the reason why they don't exist in post stone age cultures amongst homo sapiens.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:54 pm

sideranautae wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
sideranautae wrote:In human culture (if one is using humans as models) the only matriarchal societies are to be found in primitive tribes. For the simple reason that one can always be sure of the identity of ones mother. IDing the father in such societies can be difficult.
Patriarchy is a part of human nature, that is why my tact in creating a matriarchal society is to change human nature,
Right. If you are not using humans as we know they exist, you can assume anything. They can be water breathing, flying, shrimp like things.

I just stated the reason why they don't exist in post stone age cultures amongst homo sapiens.
Why would humans only exist as we know them to exist in the Traveller setting? Aren't their several variants of humans already? We would need another to have a matriarchal society.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:07 pm

Tom Kalbfus wrote: Why would humans only exist as we know them to exist in the Traveller setting? Aren't their several variants of humans already? We would need another to have a matriarchal society.
There are well over 40 known surviving varieties of Ancient-dispersed Human in the OTU, and may be many more than that still in the "unknown" category. Many of them are just names. Have at it.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:56 pm

We need an elephantoid alien race for a natural matriarchy.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:59 pm

Reynard wrote:We need an elephantoid alien race for a natural matriarchy.
Brilliant. Combine that with the Transhuman thread - we need a race of uplifted elephants. Ever read SchlockMercenary?
Would be an exceptionally good idea, not sure if Mongoose would ever do it, but I think it should be done.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:23 pm

Mongoose/Traveller gave us the tools. We create with those tools.

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