[LMB] Language drift on Barrayar

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Tue Aug 6 18:26:10 BST 2019


---- On Mon, 05 Aug 2019 23:38:37 -0700 Gwynne Powell <mailto:gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote ----

From: Joel Polowin <mailto:jpolowin at hotmail.com> 
 
Ethan's experiences on Kline Station were of pretty nasty homophobia 
-- not "you're weird, but whatever floats your boat" or "I really 
hate being solicited", but active disgust and impending violence. 
Beta would have been different, of course.  I don't think we've got data 
apart from that.  Jackson's Whole would be "whatever you can afford, 
we can supply", but that's a different thing, basically no taboos of 
any kind in certain quarters. 
Joel 
 
 
Gwynne: There's also a fairy general reaction to herms - some places more 
than others. 
 
But some forms of prejudice would probably be seen less because people have 
more choices; height, weight, hair/eye/skin colour, beauty, gender and sexuality 
are all controllable and changeable. There's a passing comment somewhere (NO 
I AM NOT GOING TO LOOK FOR IT OR I'LL END UP READING THE WHOLE SERIES 
AGAIN) that some Betans have a sex-change just to see what it's like and change 
back when they feel like it. Old ideas about the value of people of any particular 
race, gender, etc are harder to maintain when the person you're criticising could 
have been totally different last week, and will change again in a month or two. 
Once those features are a free choice and not inherited, it's even more obviously 
foolish to be biased against them. 




Beatrice Otter
I would think it would be the opposite, actually.  Because if it's something you can absolutely no argument choose, then you are CHOOSING to be $thing, whatever $thing is disfavored.  I would think there would be pressure to change whatever it was in you that society didn't like, whether that was skin or hair or sexuality or whatever.  Someone is choosing to be [fill in the blank], therefore they are choosing to do/be a bad thing, therefore it is Right and Proper and Just to treat them like hell because they are not conforming.


Beatrice


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