Agnes Charrel-Berthillier agnes at charrel.net
Tue Jan 11 20:26:32 GMT 2011

On 1/11/11 12:06 PM, Paula Lieberman wrote:
>Miles likes -women- as
> -people-, it's not clear that -Aral- does, and not clear that the
> typical Barrayaran male even can. "Women, they're women, women can't be
> pilots" said a dyed-in-the-wool Southern male misogynist bigot to me, to
> whom it was -unthinkable- to consider women as being pilots, and
> particularly military pilots. The concept was not allowed in his
> worldview--and the culture that inculcated him with that, was much like
> the Barryaran culture which produced Aral.

Counterpoint: Drou and the little scene around her participation in the 
armsmen training/tournament in Barrayar. Not only does he not protest 
against her presence, he gets her in, encourages her, and provides the 
final pep talk that gets her to fully express her potential.

I don't think we would see this in a man who cannot imagine women as 
being competent in traditionally male fields except for his own 
exceptional and how so masculine (?) wife. Aral certainly rose above his 
upbringing and his culture, in this and many other things.

And I notice that even Piotr doesn't protest too much about that hand to 
hand combat thing. There is the knee jerk reaction about women in 
combat, yes, but a man with a Betan for a mother in law and a half-Betan 
brought up in a very progressive (and very privileged) household wife 
cannot have been that surprised by feminist outbursts.

As for Aral... he seemed happy enough with his first wife. Infatuated, 
he says. He drew her, naked and smiling. What he couldn't take, and what 
probably motivated his later decision not to remarry I would guess to 
have more to do with moderate fear of being betrayed again, larger fear 
of what his temper would drive him to do in that situation, niggling 
worry about what his father might have done, and the bitter taste left 
by guilt what he had felt to be his loss of honor when his involvement 
in the duels was ignored. Rather than a yearning for any man.


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