Matriarchies

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Rick
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:19 pm

And especially if the species in question in mainly vegetarian/herbivorous.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:25 pm

Reynard wrote:Not to get way off track (again) but is that the alien or is that a very organic environment suit?

Back to the topic, what would be good reasons for matriarchal societies whether for non-humans or human populations? Biological need or a historical cause putting females in power? Not being a sociologist and/or an anthropologist, I'm not sure how male based humans have been in the past. Are there instances of females significantly controlling groups as opposed to sharing governing responsibilities such as the queen of England? Is rule by a particular merit possible to grant females near exclusive control in any know Earth society?

I notice stories featuring matriarchies are either sex fantasies or gender tales. Many though feature various disasters that move the female population into power.
Yes, I noticed when I googled "Amazon Warrior" I got a lot of pictures in nearly naked women carrying spears, not sure that would have been appropriate to post here, the best one I got is this:
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She appears to be ridding on the back of a Sauropod Dinosaur, the scant clothing might be explained by the hot tropical Venusian climate. An example of a Male Venusian would look like this:
Image
No slouch either, there needs to be an explaination for women warriors, so I invented one, the birth ratio of females to males is 3:1 instead of about 1:1 as it normally is, if the population is mostly female, then some of them will end up as warriors, family life will not be normal under these circumstances, and one male can of course get multiple females pregnant, but they all don't get pregnant at the same time. I assume the menstral cycle is about a Venusian day instead of a month.

A Venusian day is 243 Earth days long, its day is longer than the Venusian Year which is 224.7 Earth days long. Venus has very little axial tilt, so no seasons, so I figured I'd leave the Venusian day as it is, with the Sun rising in the west and setting in the east, you have 121.5 Earth days of daylight and 121.5 Earth days of night. the perpetual cloud cover is only on the day side. Venus when viewed through the telescope in optical light looks much the same as our Venus, spectroscopic analysis reveals an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere however there is plenty of water vapor in the atmosphere, but much of the cloud cover is artificial, diamond flakes, as I have described previously. Diamond is actually the backbones of these nanotech structures or molecular engines, they basically keep Venus as a life bearing planet, as opposed to what we know Venus actually is.

The nanite clouds are fairly harmless, you could fly through them, and in shadow they dissolve. Their role is to reflect half of the Sunlight reaching Venus back into space, so that Venus doesn't become a superhot house due to the greenhouse effect and its closer orbit to the Sun. The actual society on the Venusian surface is actually rather primitive, and the 1945 humans aren't aware of the nanotechnology in the clouds, if they examine each flake under a microscope, they will see a rather regular "snowflake" pattern shaped like a hexagon, they are white except for a small black spot in the center, which is the photo receptor, if the light level becomes intense, they deploy into snowflake formation, otherwise they dissolve into smaller invisible particles, these particles are everywhere, you breath them it, they get into your blood stream, they are in your food, in the soil, in the plants and animals of this world, they have no affect other than to affect the development of the Amazon females as they gestate from the womb, their are some other things they are capable of too, but only the Amazon Nobles can employ these features.

The Amazon Nobles are the ones with Social Standings of 11 or greater. this sort of evens the playing field between them and the 1945 era Earthlings that may visit their planet. These powers work only in the environment of Venus, they are planet specific, but they imitate many of the Psionic powers in the Traveller Core rulebook, but instead of using the Psi score the Social Standing score is used in its place, the Psi score is set equal to Social Standing, and the Psionic powers function for the most part normally, except they are implemented by nanotech. The nanites are everywhere in the atmosphere and the soil. Telepathy is accomplished through the nanites, they are in bodies and brains, so a "telepathic" link is established and mind reading becomes possible, Telempathy is the most common talent of the Venusian Nobility, in fact nobility is determined by these talents much as in the Zhodani worlds, although here it is exclusively a female talent. Clairvoyance is accomplished through nanotech sensors through the nanotech network on Venus, this only works on the day side of Venus, so the Noble can only see things on the day portion of this world, and it doesn't work off world either. "Telekinesis" also works, the nanites can be directed to lift and move stuff so long as its in the daylight in the Venusian atmosphere. the Awareness Talents also work, but only where the Sun is shining. Finally there is Teleportation, but you can only teleport from one part of the dayside of the planet to another, and it is not true teleportation by the way, it is more like the Star Trek transporter, the nanites encase the teleporter in a crysalis of diamond crystal in a form of temporary suspended animation, then the nanites disassemble you atom by atom, and the information gets transported along the nanite network to the desired location, then a crystal crysalis is formed again and the person is reassembled atom by atom, the crysalis dissolves and the person can move again, this process takes about a minute and the information only travels at the speed of light, it is not instantaneous, this would represent TL 17 in Traveller terms. The Venusian talent of teleportation is not limited to only self-teleportation by the way, a noble can teleport someone else other than her self, there is no penalty for changes in altitude or moving along the curvature of the planets surface any distance, usually only queens have this power, also "teleportation" can only be accomplished on the ground, as communication is established through the solid part of the planet. Some talents can produce temporary solid objects from the nanites, such as a diamond sword or diamond plate or weave armor for instance which can stop bullets, the nanites can form these objects just as they form the regular "snowflakes" which block sunlight on the dayside.

A relatively few Venusians have these Psionic talents, usually that are of the high nobility 11 through 16. 16 is a Venusian Queen, there are many Venusian Queens and most have some sort of power, which makes them Queens, there are many primitive nations, the Queens are effectively a lot like Sorcerers in this setting. Earth humans are often suprised to see this sort of "magic" employed by the supposed primitive natives
Last edited by Tom Kalbfus on Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reynard
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:27 pm

Could be a factor but I don't believe bovine or cervine groups are matriarchs. In the universe of Traveller, there could be worlds with supply, ecological or philosophical issues concerning meats forcing a herbivorous lifestyle on the population but it would also more than likely need a no conflict environment too.

Then there's the K'kree...
Rick
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:41 pm

You're probably right. I'd have to look at the K'kree background a bit if they diverge. The lack of competition/warfare is probably a big factor - also a low birth rate could be important, if you have a slow expansion rate, competition for territory within your own society will also be lessened..
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
GypsyComet
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:59 pm

The K'kree are strongly Patriarchal, by all accounts. The GURPS treatment of them lends a bit of wild horse (stallion challenges, etc) that prior treatments do not.
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Rick
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:19 pm

GypsyComet wrote:The K'kree are strongly Patriarchal, by all accounts. The GURPS treatment of them lends a bit of wild horse (stallion challenges, etc) that prior treatments do not.
I noticed that - the K'Kree females in the GURPS book appear to be somewhere between property and trophy of a male. An extreme Patriarchal society perhaps?
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
sideranautae
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby sideranautae » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:36 pm

Rick wrote: I noticed that - the K'Kree females in the GURPS book appear to be somewhere between property and trophy of a male. An extreme Patriarchal society perhaps?
It appears that Marc modeled them after horse or cattle herds. That would mean a VERY patriarchal system where some males had multiple "wives" while many males had no mates.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:13 am

sideranautae wrote:
Rick wrote: I noticed that - the K'Kree females in the GURPS book appear to be somewhere between property and trophy of a male. An extreme Patriarchal society perhaps?
It appears that Marc modeled them after horse or cattle herds. That would mean a VERY patriarchal system where some males had multiple "wives" while many males had no mates.
Birth ratios are not discussed, IIRC, but the PC Patriarch generation system indicates the presence of wives on a (2d6) 5+, with the proviso that the Patriarch must be married before any of his servants can be. The Patriarch has Caste-1d wives, while servants and bodyguards have Caste-2d wives each. This suggests that the male-female birth ratio (or survival ratio) is skewed.

Note that the K'kree women are *not* less intelligent, on average. Male K'kree have adjusted INT based on Caste, while females do not.
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sideranautae
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby sideranautae » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:19 am

GypsyComet wrote:The Patriarch has Caste-1d wives, while servants and bodyguards have Caste-2d wives each. This suggests that the male-female birth ratio (or survival ratio) is skewed.
Could be but not necessarily. There could be males that aren't "servants" (not part of a herd) of a Patriarch and are wifeless. Like there are males horses that are not part of a herd.
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GypsyComet
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:43 am

sideranautae wrote:
GypsyComet wrote:The Patriarch has Caste-1d wives, while servants and bodyguards have Caste-2d wives each. This suggests that the male-female birth ratio (or survival ratio) is skewed.
Could be but not necessarily. There could be males that aren't "servants" (not part of a herd) of a Patriarch and are wifeless. Like there are males horses that are not part of a herd.
That's the military. No male is married until after his first term as an adult, which is mandatory military service. The 1 in 6 patriarchs (and servants, etc) who are not married represent the "bachelor herd" component, and are represented across all patriarchal castes. I'm not sure that balances out the multiple wives of the other five, though.

The K'kree are so Herd oriented that a lone K'kree risks dying of loneliness. They can be trained out of this, but don't like to admit it.
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Epicenter
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Epicenter » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:48 am

I suppose an important point about the definition of Matriarchy / Patriarchy is what someone's definition is of those terms.

The easiest one is: "One where women/men are in charge."

But, how about the Aslan than? Would they be considered either? Or is there some sort of weird gender equality going on there, despite the fact that there are strict gender roles?
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:54 am

THe Aslan don't quite fit either mold. Being aliens, this is acceptable.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:44 pm

Aslans divide work roles by gender but males are definitely in control. Males own the land and control the starships that are managed by females. Power for females is gained through family and marriage without falling to a form of slavery but they can never rise to a position of political control.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Tom Kalbfus » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:48 pm

Any insectoid races in Traveller? Insect races are Matriarchies, that would be a good excuse for having bug-eyes aliens.
Rick
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:04 pm

I always thought the Aslan division of power/control between the males and females was a combination of nature and nurture - that is, that Aslan were reared in gender-specific roles that reinforced their own natural inclinations. It would be curious to see a female that had a male mentality that tried to break out of her role and adopt a more masculine role, or vice versa. Given the Aslan conservatism, it'd be difficult, I'd assume.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:36 pm

That would be my character Traikhetouh but then she had been forced to leave home due to 'family issues' then years later left her homeworld for human company. Aslans have, in the right circumstance, taken on skills not designated gender specific so much seems to be nurture though the need for acquiring land could be an ancestral drive maybe even instinct which originally drove males towards skills of warfare while females carried on the domestic side of society. All this makes me wonder, especially with the 3 to 1 female/ male ratio, if aslans under the right circumstances such as a world with plentiful resources and ample land could have females, by their population and functions, come to dominate society while the males become pampered drones.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby GypsyComet » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:47 pm

Reynard wrote: All this makes me wonder, especially with the 3 to 1 female/ male ratio, if aslans under the right circumstances such as a world with plentiful resources and ample land could have females, by their population and functions, come to dominate society while the males become pampered drones.
Some Aslan will recognize that this has already occurred and is more widespread than the more conservative elements of Aslan society will admit. Calling too much attention to it is not wise, however. The PWR* elements of Aslan society have no tolerance for social drift.

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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Nathan Brazil » Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:28 pm

Rick wrote:I always thought the Aslan division of power/control between the males and females was a combination of nature and nurture - that is, that Aslan were reared in gender-specific roles that reinforced their own natural inclinations. It would be curious to see a female that had a male mentality that tried to break out of her role and adopt a more masculine role, or vice versa. Given the Aslan conservatism, it'd be difficult, I'd assume.
In the source material, only the male instinct for land/territory is unalterable. It can be set aside or suppressed by concentrating on "other things", but it is always there. If taken lterally perhaps the 3:1 female/male ratio is not set in stone. Though not all duels are deadly, does deuling weed out males significantly to alter the ratio? Dueling is a cultural thing not a biological thing for the Aslan.
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Rick
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Rick » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:16 pm

I would suggest that the males instincts for land/territory would be channeled rather than set aside, for a landholder it would be the defence of his hold, for landless males it might be exploration or working for an offer of land, among other things. Dueling among Aslan has rarely been fatal - so that wouldn't alter the ratio much. Dueling appears to be as much biological (or biochemical) thing as cultural, but adding layers of formality and ritual have definitely made it much less of a biological imperative.
"Understanding is a 3-edged sword" bit like a toblerone, really.
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Re: Matriarchies

Postby Reynard » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:31 pm

Makes me wonder if most aslan societies could be secret matriarchies with females actually ruling from behind the throne.

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