The Woman Question
Captain’s Log, stardate 17 October 2012: Now, I must venture onto some risky territory: the woman question. So far, I have tried to sketch some of the defining traits of the Cuadrillian Klingon: fierce loyalty to their lifelong companions, a marked suspicion of strangers, a strong disinclination to leave the place of their birth, and a shocking contempt for profit and economic growth.
Now, I must venture with some trepidation onto the woman question. If a Cuadrillian woman gets a hold of these comments, this may be the last log I live to record… But in my opening log, I did promise to “boldly go where no man has gone before,” so here goes… Cuadrilla is governed by a domestic matriarchy. Whereas some readers may be familiar with the idea of a full-scale matriarchy – “above-ground,” so to speak, where women have essentially taken over all leadership roles in society, that is not the sort of matriarchy that reigns among the Cuadrillians. To all intents and purposes, this would appear to be a traditional society with a modern edge to it: women tend to household affairs proportionately more than men, and often both men and women work outside the home (undoubtedly driven in part by economic necessity).
But if you take a closer look, you will find that within the sphere of the home, women have near-exclusive jurisdiction (how do I know this, you may ask? I have my sources). Young men, at least until recent times, were practically exempted from household chores by their mothers, and the bond between mothers and children – and especially sons – remains a powerful one to this day. Women may continue shopping for clothes for their husbands and sons into adulthood, and since people tend to marry into their respective tribes, the influence of the mother-in-law on the family of her son or daughter is even more notorious here in Cuadrilla than in other cultures.
On the surface, a visitor to this place might not notice much of a difference, but if you spend a little time here, you will see that the dominance of women over the hearth is actually matched by their extraordinary self-confidence and assertiveness in other social and professional contexts, which are quite marked even by feminist standards. This can be seen in their decisive and unambiguous bearing as they go about their business, in the determined and unwavering expression of fortitude etched into their faces, and in their ability to almost effortlessly maintain their course in the face of competing pedestrians. Most Cuadrillian women have more or less the same haircut, roughly shoulder-length or a little shorter, and while they are certainly not fat, they are generally substantial (and I use the term in its strict sense, not as a euphemism for fat). They are blissfully untouched by the obsession with thinness that has taken over the Land of Opportunity – there is very little fear of anorexia reaching this country anytime soon. I include this detail, which may seem insignificant to some, because I suspect that the not insubstantial presence of a Cuadrillian woman lends an element of gravitas and enhanced credibility to her power and influence in this area of the Klingon region.
- Captain Thunder
Leave a Reply.
David Thunder is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, a humanities and social science research center at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
visitors since 7 Oct 2012