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Women in Glorantha


HeartQuintessence

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17 minutes ago, simonh said:

Rather than active/passive maybe another way to look at the traditional masculine and feminine roles in Orlanthi society is external facing and internal facing. Men largely take responsibility for activities outside the stead and dealings with strangers, including war; women take responsibility for internal affairs and organisation, and relations with friendly communities. Obviously there's a lot of crossover.

We need scenarios that explore exactly this. Your humaktis, babester goris, orlanth adventurous and storm bullies will be of almost no use, and the ernaldans, chalana arroys and issaries will take the lead.

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9 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

We need scenarios that explore exactly this. Your humaktis, babester goris, orlanth adventurous and storm bullies will be of almost no use, and the ernaldans, chalana arroys and issaries will take the lead.

Exactly.

I feel like I'll need to try and write both mythos and stories for this.

My tribe has this going for it: the girl-woman(?) who leads them to their Tula is (most likely going to be an intiate of Ernalda.

Though this does make me wonder if  Ernaldans, Chalana Arroys,  Issaries, Dendara(?) those types of societal roles are just as important.

 

Holding the community together, binding and trying to keep people for doing violence There is always another way."  for a reason.

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15 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

As long as concepts of masculinity and femininity exist, there are going to be archetypical/stereotypical qualities associated with them, but I think we should steer clear of prescribing some kind of essentialism.

I know Greg surrendered some fairly big hostages to fortune on this.  I had a moan about "active" and "passive" earlier, but rereading the Book of Heortling Mythology there's a "Greg sez" that puts the 'duality' in almost exactly those terms.  D'oh!  And I recall him once standing in the Burg Stahleck porch declaiming that "this stuff is hardwired".  (Albeit unclear what stuff was in the scope of this statement, or precisely what he meant by "hardwired".)

But for me, Glorantha itself is the counterexample to this.  Or whole series of arguments.  Now, quite possibly none of the gender models presented are to a given person's liking.  To which I'd say first, we're gaming or telling stories there, not adopting a new declaration of human rights.  And second of course, VYG.  But the sheer range of models in evidence -- even just in humans, never mind whether these dualities are not merely genetic but cosmic -- surely argues against any particular 'pink jobs and blue jobs' narrow essentialism.

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On 10/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

I thought I'd bring up this gem that the great creator of Six Seasons in Sartar brought up most recently : as is it pertinent to our discussion: https://andrewloganmontgomery.blogspot.com/2021/10/sex-gender-and-orlanthi-running-riddle.html

Thanks for the link, I enjoyed, and very largely nodded along with.  (And likewise when rereading Greg Sezzing.)

On 10/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

It was done partly because I got be a very very 'sassy' ernalda

There's another sort? 🙂

 

On 10/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

I also tried to step out of line a bit  while "She sleeps she is not dead" is central to being like ernalda, a girl shouldn't have to be passive ( and no gloranthan woman is just waiting for stuff to happen to them- that's boring).

It's a pretty key part of the mythology.  Suppose someone complained that being Alone in Hell, utterly dependent on being rescued by their community from offstage, deprived the characters of agency and rendered them passive.  LBQ is boring, let's skip that bit!

OTOH, if you're going to roleplay a heroquest (and these would both quality), it's essential to have meaningful choices, not just Hobson's Choice stages, and preferably not just a series of lost-in-the-god-time screens until you make the "correct" choice, either.

Off the top of my head, maybe this works (as I suggested elsewhere with my idea of HQs as being like walking around the coastline one weekend at a time) by deferring this part of the myth?  Then a normcore Ernaldan encounters it again in her cultic initiatory rites.  Or if she goes 1/7 rogue and ends up having an Elmali or a Risgali initiatory experience, she permanently takes another path.  (Must.  Stay.  Awake.  Pass.  Matchsticks.)  Or more commonly an Orlanthoid one.

 

On 10/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

The girl-rituals in my clan always start with the words "Who Calls to you?"- always even boys start with those words, and unlike the very gendered rituals [...]

On 10/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

Greg made it clear that woman hood has few options, that undergoing female initation is being initiated into the Ernaldan religion and lasts for weeks it seems like.

Thing is, what you're covering here lasts for years.  In the usual telling, it starts with -- initiation is, after all, by definition starting something -- the weeks of the 'gendered rituals', then it rumbles on and takes as long as it takes, with womanhood having exactly the same options are manhood, in that respect.  (In both cases often taking the form of your relatives 'repeating their advice' on the lines of "are you still just a lay member?  when are you ever going to take some proper responsibility and join a cult", seamlessly transitioning into "are you still at the Vinga/Orlanth Adventurous nonsense?  when are you going to settle down are become a proper steadwife/holder?")  So in the first instance, I think you're in a way quibbling about which part happens when.

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On 10/11/2021 at 4:06 PM, simonh said:

The only one I can think of in the core rules in the Yu Kargzant cult is restricted to males.

Waha.  Very similar case.  (He says, as both of the above glare and add me to their Enemies List.)

 

On 10/11/2021 at 4:06 PM, simonh said:

Beyond that, maybe Karrg's Sons for trolls.

Not in the RQGCB, of course.  Did any of the 183 variations of the KL writeups have runelord-maleness as a formal requirement?  Clearly they're overwhelmingly male, but I think not because "it's difficult for female Uz to attain that status" as "it's difficult for that subcult to get them to slum it".

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Greg believed that religious impulses are hardwired into us, and that there are psychological forces within all of us that are parts of out biology and our mental architecture. He was very much an essentialist in that respect. However we are all individuals, and we all vary to some smaller or greater degree from the average or most common human form.

I'm a materialist so I believe our physical bodies are literally what we are, and he very much wasn't. We talked about this a  fair bit. He believed in 'strong' free will, that we aren't inevitably bound by our nature, but that our nature does bind us in many ways and breaking out of those biological, psychological and spiritual forces acting within us and that are part of us is incredibly hard and perilous. However there are some individuals who are born different, or that become different and they can achieve things others might find far more difficult or impossible. We are not slaves to our nature, but we can't easily choose to not be who we are.

 

EDIT: I should say this is entirely my recollection and personal interpretation from those conversations.

Edited by simonh
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13 hours ago, simonh said:

Greg believed that religious impulses are hardwired into us, and that there are psychological forces within all of us that are parts of out biology and our mental architecture.

i mean, he wasn't entirely wrong. You can stimulate the right part of the brain (with drugs, electric shocks, or any other method) and get "religious" experiences out of it, although an individual's interpretation of that experience might be secular (and often is, see also: club drugs).

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EDIT - Irrelevant Tangent warning

As a materialist of course I believe we are entirely our physical selves. We can't choose to be other than we are.

My brother phil, who's on this forum, put it this way. If you think you have the free will to chose what you think and choose what you believe, ok, pick something you firmly believe. Something you're absolutely convinced of. Now change that belief to something else. Exercise your free will to not believe it anymore. After all you're in charge, you get to freely choose, right?

I believe that free will, to be meaningful, means that my choices originate from me. The physical me. They come from my memories, my experiences, skills, feelings and needs, etc. If those things do not determine my actions, then my actions do not originate from me, because those things are me. So I am an essentialist in that sense, but strictly at the individual level. 

EDIT - Warning ends - I shouldn't post late at night.

That’s not necessarily how things are in Glorantha though. It seems like the mythological landscape has deep connections into the individual psyche, and this is a mechanism for all kinds of transformations at the individual, collective and cosmic scales.

Edited by simonh
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13 hours ago, simonh said:

...That’s not necessarily how things are in Glorantha though. It seems like the mythological landscape has deep connections into the individual psyche, and this is a mechanism for all kinds of transformations at the individual, collective and cosmic scales.

As far as the male/female roles topic and the Gloranthan cults go, though, I see the Gloranthan cults and their gods as archetypes as in Jung's psychology.  Possibly Greg Stafford was influenced by Jung. 

The field of psychology has moved past both Freud and Jung, and i have trouble with Jung's 'collective unconscious", but they had some great insights. 

And there are some Real World behaviors that are just human, while another species will do other things in the same environment.  I do believe some behaviors are "hard wired".  A live example can be seen in my dog, a golden retriever.  She is much more of a pack animal than I am.  She is hard wired to adore me, returning my affection for her fivefold.  She is intelligent (goldens are a much more intelligent breed than others), but dogs don't seem to be able to deal with ropes and leashes without entangling themselves, and never learn why they are getting entangled - that's just one thing humans are naturally good at and dogs are not.    And I observe that goldens in general are much more hard wired to be affectionate to humans, and to house train themselves, than other breeds such as dachsunds.  That doesn't mean she only does hard wired stuff: For example she opens doors that have door handles instead of knobs, which is something her predecessor (also a golden) never did. 

Anyway, I do believe some behaviors are 'hardwired', though  I don't personally believe religion is such a behavior; Instead I think it's just taught young, at ages at which children just soak up everything they are taught (and people have been taught for tens of thousands of years), therefore it's widespread.    But I am willing to roll with Greg Stafford's opinion when I play in his game, that's called suspension of disbelief, which is necessary to enjoy any fiction.

Back to the reason I mentioned Jungian archetypes:

I see Ernalda as one female archetype.  As discussed, there are many others in the game's cults.  And there is room to interpret Ernalda as not-passive. For example:  Esrolia in general appears to subscribe to a slightly different set of archetypes in which women lead - not that men can't lead, but that the Esrolian women judge men are too impulsive to make the best leaders. 

 

Edited by Squaredeal Sten
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9 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

As far as the male/female roles topic and the Gloranthan cults go, though, I see the Gloranthan cults and their gods as archetypes as in Jung's psychology.  Possibly Greg Stafford was influenced by Jung. 

Right, and runes are in there somewhere too. Greg was quite eclectic, borrowing metaphysical, mythic or psychological systems and adapting them as needed.

In terms of sex or gender Greg had biological male and female as the two main poles in the continuum of possibilities; but any given individual could fall anywhere on the spectrum, or even way out in uncharted territory. He was also a great believer in the individual’s ability to chart their own destiny, but that doing so could involve significant risks.

Edited by simonh

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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13 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Anyway, I do believe some behaviors are 'hardwired', though  I don't personally believe religion is such a behavior; Instead I think it's just taught young, at ages at which children just soak up everything they are taught (and people have been taught for tens of thousands of years), therefore it's widespread.

But the more on-the-nose question here is more whether gender-role behaviours are "hardwired", per Greg's (brief and likely needing context) comment to that effect.  My best guess would be that he wasn't saying "they're genetically determined" (transpose to whatever the Gloranthan equivalent of "genetics" might be), but that "they're strongly culturally predisposed".  Which I realize is tantamount to suggesting he was rather like one of those people who says things like "our organisational DNA", at whom I generally want to shout infuriatedly.  So I may well be unfairly representing him one way, in an attempt to avoid unfairly representing him another -- apply caveats lavishly as needed!

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24 minutes ago, Alex said:

But the more on-the-nose question here is more whether gender-role behaviours are "hardwired", per Greg's (brief and likely needing context) comment to that effect.  My best guess would be that he wasn't saying "they're genetically determined" ,,,,,,,,,,,  So I may well be unfairly representing him one way, in an attempt to avoid unfairly representing him another -- apply caveats lavishly as needed!

And he got away from us before we could ask him! 

My own guess is that he was capable of dealing with ambiguity, indeed made a game that often uses ambiguity to generate story and adventure. And if he were still around he might simply tell us to each deal with it in our own way.

Which leaves us back at the many RW examples of "female" not equal to "passive", and how those will fit into our games. 

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9 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

And he got away from us before we could ask him! 

He did, literally in mid-paragraph in the first instance, and more permanently subsequently in a way I still haven't fully processed.  But I think the best answer we'll get is in his work.

 

9 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

My own guess is that he was capable of dealing with ambiguity, indeed made a game that often uses ambiguity to generate story and adventure. And if he were still around he might simply tell us to each deal with it in our own way.

Californian hippy Arkati Trickster shamans and ambiguity?  I'm shocked, shocked!  </Claude Rains>

 

9 minutes ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Which leaves us back at the many RW examples of "female" not equal to "passive", and how those will fit into our games. 

And the many Gloranthan examples!  Which isn't to say that more yet aren't helpful, and indeed needed.  But the precedents are there, just do it until, and adapt as needed.

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Ok

Content Warning: for talk of biological female anatomy and magic.

 

https://www.thewhoresofyore.com/sex-history/powerful-women-and-magical-vaginas-by-heini-sofia-alavuo

 

I now cannot un see the idea of an Ernalda n woman climbing attoping the barn where winter cattle are  completely nude just before the end of sacred time and the men of the town shooting the cattle out...

 

Bad ass..

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Slight tangent.

IMG men and women are the same size. No sexual dimorphism as far as body mass, height and strength goes. 

I never like the RQ3 idea that PC women were man sized but NPCs women were smaller. 

And dimorphism has helped the kind of societies we’ve seen here on round world. I don’t want Ancient Greek, Babylonian or Assyrian misogyny influencing my bronze-ish world.

Canon Glorantha has gone to some lengths to make a female character unlimited by such nonsense but to me dropping in the not dimorphic thing explains the why. 

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No sexual dimorphism? So they're all a standard height and weight?
No curvy little inn-keeper matron ladies, or taller  slender more Gal Gadot esque ladies?

No middle sized women with round mid-sections, and arms that can potentially lift stuck calves and  herd onry goats?

None of that variety and diversity? I don't know what I'd do if my character's biological sister wasn't her visual polar opposite . Where as Elham is tall (like nearly 5'7), and very brown skinned with dark black very very curly (like afro hair), with green eyes. Her sister  is a little less intense looking and sports more typical orlanthi brown hair, longer,  and more broad shouldered.

Interesting.
 

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20 minutes ago, HeartQuintessence said:

No sexual dimorphism? So they're all a standard height and weight?

😊 I do specify height, weight and strength.

Everything else is as the gods intended. 

So you have short, average, tall, slim, buff etc., it’s just men and women are both about 170-175cm and 70-80kg on average.  

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Monty Lovering said:

Page 26 from Book 4 (Creatures Book) of the boxed set. In case you have a different version I add a screenshot. 

I vaguely recalled this too, but forgot about the 2d6+2 STR, too!

Ironically meaning that the lowest possible female "NPC human" STR is 4, but for males is 3...

Edited by Alex
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1 minute ago, AndreJarosch said:

The minimus STR of a man is 3, and the minimum STR of a woman is 4. 🙂

Sounds about right. Quite why they couldn’t say 2d8 for 2-16 av. 9, I don’t know, if they wanted to go that way. 

But then one could make DEX and CON 2d6 + 1d8 if you want that tripe of realism.

I prefer my idea. If we can have dragons we can have men and women the same size. 

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On 10/31/2021 at 6:57 AM, HeartQuintessence said:

No sexual dimorphism? So they're all a standard height and weight?
No curvy little inn-keeper matron ladies, or taller  slender more Gal Gadot esque ladies?

No middle sized women with round mid-sections, and arms that can potentially lift stuck calves and  herd onry goats?

None of that variety and diversity? I don't know what I'd do if my character's biological sister wasn't her visual polar opposite . Where as Elham is tall (like nearly 5'7), and very brown skinned with dark black very very curly (like afro hair), with green eyes. Her sister  is a little less intense looking and sports more typical orlanthi brown hair, longer,  and more broad shouldered.

Interesting.
 

Of course there are "curvy little inn-keeper matron ladies" & "taller slender more Gal Gadot esque ladies"
Just like there's "round little inn-keeper men" &  "taller slender more Ben Affleck esque guys"

etc.

"No sexual dimorphism" (for height and weight) doesn't mean "none of that variety and diversity" -- it just means same mean/mode/median and extreme ranges, i.e. same STR and SIZ rolls for men & women and "other."

Edited by g33k
By "other" I mean not only bio-hermaphrodite's but ALL the variations
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