[LMB] Betan control of pregnancy

Elizabeth Stowe estowe427 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 7 12:06:16 GMT 2015


Matt: Cordelia has occasionally suggested that Barrayarans cut their kids' tubes
and let them find their own damnation.
<snip>
There is of course the concept of 'fairness'. 

es: That's what annoys me when I reread the stories. The Betans control women in order to reach a supposedly shared societal goal just like any earthly institution does/has done. They cloak it in "we're more advanced than the rest of you" rhetoric.

The idea of innocent Kareen going off to Beta Colony to have a series of procedures which include hymen snipping, first sex with a hermaphrodite (because she wasn't comfortable with a man), and that sex with Mark watching creeps me out. I'm on Drou and Kou's side here. Cordelia pushed her into it, too.

I agree, too, with Raye's point that it's easier to sterilize men (and reverse sterilize). If that choice was conscious, it contributes to the scenario where a brilliant survey officer isn't promoted to captain because a man tricks her into stepping back from the competition -- by offering her children. It further contributes to situations where the Betans -- who claim to be galactically savvy as they provide the most technologically advanced weapons to everyone else -- can't empathize with anyone who comes from a different place.

It takes me awhile to realize that LMB intends for me to despise Betan claims of social superiority, just as she creates Barrayarans, Cetagandans, and Jacksonians as comfortable with their severally limited worlds. I must say, she does a great job. Gets me every time.


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