[LMB] "Mr. Watson, come here, I want you"

Raye Johnsen raye_j at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 1 03:36:08 BST 2006

--- Jim Parish <jparish at siue.edu> wrote:

> I'm in the middle of rereading _Cetaganda_, and
> mulling over a... 
> discrepancy between it and _Ethan of Athos_.
> In the former, Miles learns a good deal about the
> innermost workings of 
> the Cetagandan Empire - in particular, the peculiar
> power-role occupied 
> by the haut women. In the latter, Elli Quinn, having
> been sent on a 
> mission of espionage (prompted by a conversation
> Miles overheard in 
> the former), encounters Ethan Urquhart; at one
> point, speaking to 
> Ethan, she describes Cetaganda as "a typical
> male-dominated 
> totalitarian state, only slightly mitigated by their
> rather artistic cultural 
> peculiarities".
> Any thoughts? Have I missed any possibilities?

I postulate d.) That just because the haut women
occupy a high position of power does not indicate that
they are automatically revered by their subordinates,
especially of the ghem and ordinary classes, where
women *are* subordinate.  Also, an individual haut
woman *is* subordinate to the decisions of her (male)
Constellation Head.

I am of the opinion that the ghemlords obey the haut
ladies not because they are ladies but because they
are *haut* and if they are caught disrespecting a
member of the haut it wouldn't matter if the haut in
question was male or female.  Within their own ranks,
females are definitely subordinate.

So actually I don't think she's wrong, Star Creche
notwithstanding.  The Star Creche certainly does not
tell the Emperor what to do, nor does it overtly make
Imperial decisions; the most the Star Creche does is
guide Imperial policy - and they don't even *make*
that.  The men do.  Certainly the Emperor could put
the kibosh on them at any time, which was half the
reason behind the events of Cetaganda.  The old
Empress was also trying to break the Star Creche *out*
of the Emperor's control.


raye_j at yahoo.com
livejournal: http://windtear.livejournal.com

"It 'went away'?  'I dwell in darkness without you'
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