[LMB] Female characters (was Aral)

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Thu Aug 4 16:13:44 BST 2011

Spartan women had the legal rights to hold property, do business, etc. 
Athenian women didn't.  As for Barrayar, I don't know/don;t remember. But 
Spartan women held influence/power in their own right.  Athenian women were 
at the mercy of their male relatives....

-----Original Message----- 
From: Gwynne Powell
Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:18 AM
To: Lois Bujold List
Subject: Re: [LMB] Female characters (was Aral)

> From: Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com>
> But to say that women have no power in Barrayar is wrong.  Official
> power, perhaps not (though consider LMB's statement that civil law
> is mostly a female affair on Barrayar, rising out of Babas' role in
> property settlements for marriages).  Besides Alys' role as dowager
> and Imperial hostess that we see traces of in ACC, consider Aral's
> comment to Cordelia upon her reaction to being appointed Gregor's
> guardian.  "But [the PM] said I was to have no power!"  "Let us just
> say that he has some difficulty seeing as power things that do not
> depend on force."

An interesting comparison might be with Sparta, another warrior
culture. Spartan women were notorious among the ancient Greek
city-states, for their freedom. The men were warriors, women ran
the businesses and farms while the men were away or busy. Spartan
women took a far greater and more active part in life outside the
home, they did some weapons training, they were encouraged to
play sports and be active, physical and strong as well as to be in
control of the family business and money.

There's a lot of Barrayar we don't see. Women in universities, in
law, running businesses. As Aral points out, a warrior culture tends
to see one kind of power, while other paths to power are also
available. Civil law would be a pretty important branch, I'd assume -
criminal law wouldn't be all that exciting with fast-penta ("Did you
do it?"  "Yes." Case closed.)



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