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What kind of story to tell in a matriarchal world?

24 Feb 2022 08:59 #73353 by Thefirstone
What kind of story would you like to see in a setting similar to the LaPorte Caves, where women being living goddesses is just a fact of life?

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25 Feb 2022 04:23 #73355 by Pepper
First, a lot depends on what sort of story it is.  Could be a fish-out-of-water story; a man, or woman from Earth finds their way to this other society, or someone from there finds her way here.  Or something else.  Lots of possibilities.

Second, how much of a power discrepancy is there between the men and women?  If it's too great, it seems like the setting stops making sense; why would a society of goddesses keep a bunch of men around?  Human beings occasionally watch ants, and some may study them, but I'm generally content to let them live their lives while I live mine.  Greek myths usually have the gods and goddesses living separate from human society on Mount Olympus, and only interacting with us on rare occasions.

The one thing I most dislike in these sorts of stories is cruelty.  There aren't a lot of people who truly take pleasure in causing suffering to others.  A whole society based on that concept wouldn't interest me.  Maybe the women are generous with their abilities and share the benefits of their world with men, or maybe they're patronizing toward men, or maybe they mostly ignore men.  What I wouldn't want to see is the women going out of their way to make the men's lives worse.
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25 Feb 2022 07:41 #73356 by Thefirstone
Replied by Thefirstone on topic What kind of story to tell in a matriarchal world?
I’m imagining that men are usually left to their own devices except that there’s always a chance of a woman showing up to conceive a child, and a chance after that of her returning to drop off a baby boy about nine months later, although there are subcultures of women who have sex with men either for the pleasure of dominating them (sometimes hundreds at a time) or very occasionally out of genuine attraction.  Some women keep men as effectively pets, but actual romance between the sexes is considered unusual.  On the other hand most (keyword “most”) women aren’t actively cruel towards men for the same reason most humans don’t specifically hunt down bugs to squash them for no reason.  I’m imagining the male settlements as being more technologically advanced, roughly modern whereas the women are so powerful they don’t see much need for complex tech at all, largely seeing male “toys” as cute.  There are a few ideas I have had about this setup, but I’m not sure how well I could do them.

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25 Feb 2022 08:58 #73357 by Swe
I think it might be intresting how a superpowerd man lives through a matiarchal world.
Beeing the only man superior to the women when fighting crime, but anything but when living in society.

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25 Feb 2022 15:46 #73361 by slim36
There could be different societies that differ on how they interact with the native population.    Some would only like some useful products of the nonsupernatives, but have little use or respect for the weak and generally inferior humans, slower, easily injured, mentally slower.

A moderate society might be possible if the supers were able to blend in with the natives, not obviously different though they are still stronger, faster and smarter, but about the same size and build.  The supers could rise through society through their abilities.   Rogue supers would need to be controlled by some kind of super secret police.

Other supers might be more sympathetic and would value the number of human followers they could build on super social media, or just a satisfied feeling from the responses they generate like the energy a performer receives from a crowd.  How could supers overcome an extreme difference in physical ability?  Could they train themselves to relax their invulnerable bodies enough to feel like a squishy human?  Could they have some extrasensory ability to perceive what nearby sensations they can creating in others?  In giving a handshake they could feel the distance between hands and adjust speed to avoid injuring the squishy human, also feel the reaction of the other and tell if their super hand was relaxed enough to feel human soft, firm, or super hard like stone or metal.   Sense like that could be useful for fighting or questioning.

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25 Feb 2022 17:56 #73365 by Rjjt456
Superwomen would likely also become the most sought after partners in society, given that their children would maybe also become super, and how it could raise ones own standing.

Overall, this whole idea reminds of a story-idea I came up with years ago but never really got into. It was about how the world would be if women could fly.

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26 Feb 2022 00:01 #73370 by Thefirstone
Replied by Thefirstone on topic What kind of story to tell in a matriarchal world?
Well the main idea that I have is a world where all women are super and the two sexes generally only come together for reproductive purposes, and the main character sets out to find/meet their opposite-gendered parent, but I’m not sure how well I could really write that.

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21 May 2022 20:01 #74307 by AUphoric
You've got a nice premise going here, firstone. Think about the classic movie trailers announced by Don Lafontaine. "IN A WORLD WHERE (the kind of world the movie shows us), ONE MAN MUST/FIGHTS TO (the hero and his challenge)." Or, ONE WOMAN or THIS FAMILY, etc.

You've got THE WORLD WHERE (at least some? all?) WOMEN ARE SUPERPOWERED.
.
Now, to make a story outline, you need THE CHACTER WHO part of the trailer. The particular people who have different ideas about how to live life in this kind of world. Their different views about right and wrong, or what society should do, or what a person should get away with, put them into conflict with one another.

Does one of them think the superpowered women should be kinder to ordinary men, whiel the other thinks they could have fun with random cruelty? Does one of them think that superwomen should be very involved with the unpowered society, while the other one wants them to go their own way and ignore ordinary politics? Does one of them crave a social media following and want to star in their own comic book, while the other thinks superpowers should be hidden? Is one of them a man the other a woman, or two of each?

For the best stories, the part that the hero and villian both want to manipulate, is actually the cornerstone of society the way it is so far. In the original Star Wars, maybe there were many farm kids who wanted to hurt the Empire, but only one had a destiny to go to the Death Star. Do your superwomen have an ambassador to normal people? Do they make decisions as a group? Do they use their powers to get very wealthy? Are there people who think they should, or they shouldn's?

Who are their buddies and allies who stand with them?
Who doesn't actively help them, but watches to hope they succeed?
Who else wants to bring them down?

As you start to imagine your characters acting in your setting, you'll discover how that drives the plot. If she wants to make sure that there isn't one of these, then that means he has to react by outwitting her to make sure there is one of those. Soon you'll have some scenes and plot ideas.
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21 May 2022 23:15 #74320 by shadar
I still lean toward the premises that were introduced with the Superman mythos. Specifically, that living among ordinary people as a most ordinary man or woman (Clark Kent and Linda Danvers leaned toward wimpy, not terribly smart or social adept, and easily intimidated. People nobody noticed or were drawn to them. Kara had trouble getting a date.) 

Plus Clark was an excellent disguise for Superman, given he seemed like a a lesser man, the extreme opposite of a superman, and it let him experience human life devoid of any form of power or prestige. It was how he became human. A way to stay humble and and avoid the otherwise inevitable effects of corrupting power. His parents taught him that if he wanted to truly know humans, it meant living as one of them. Even the least of them. Which was easier for given he had no idea what it was like to be a Kryptonian before he came to Earth.

Kara had a much harder time as she was a mid-teen by the time she came to Earth (a mid-teen with Kryptonian powers could be a scary thing), and she was fully a Kryptonian (and an upper class one at that), both in a cultural and social sense. So she had to work to fake it, where Clark took to being human from the time he was a baby. 

Karen/Powergirl has by far the strongest Kryptonian cultural upbringing, even if it was mostly simulated. She handles power like a Kryptonian, and her human disguise is very thin and porous. She's CEO and owner of a large high-tech firm, but the people who work for her know she's also Powergirl. You can imagine how that would work, knowing your boss was Powergirl. But then, there isn't much humility in the Tech CEO ranks to begin with. She was kind of a female Elon Musk in some ways.

Kara followed Clark's model (mostly), and it kind of worked for her too. But she's prone to using her powers more readily than Superman, including sometimes when she's doing her Linda Danvers thing. She doesn't hold back as well as he does. And she really misses life back on Krypton, and always will. 

I personally do not believe that anyone whose mind works like a human (which Kryptonians presumably do) is capable of being treated like a god without losing perspective entirely. Absolute power absolutely corrupts. Nobody can resist it for long. That's so obvious for everyone in our world, assuming you aren't a Buddist monk or something. Even then.

Case in point... look what happens to Superman or Supergirl after the super-job is done... they disappear completely. No fans, no worship, no adulation, and in our time, absolutely no social media presence and a general avoidance of all media (other than maybe what Lois writes for an old-fashioned newspaper). Even making an appearance to help a charitable cause is risky. Heads can swell awfully easy. 

From my viewpoint, any other route ultimately leads to narcissism and abuse of power. 

The key difference I made in the AU was to allow Velorians to come across as beautiful and desirable women when they are "blending in". That was pushing the boundary of narcissism, but I assumed Velorians are raised from birth to eschew narcissism and other displays of superiority. They have a cultural background of service and protection toward other humans. So my superwoman often have a disguise that is bit more along the line of a supermodel.  But they still don't reveal who or what they really are except to a small handful of people who help them in their quest to find and eliminate Arions. 

And then there are Arions, who are drunk on power and conquest and want to be gods. 

Net, net, the old mid-20th century comics books almost got it right when it comes to human nature and the nature of power.

Shadar

 

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22 May 2022 22:15 #74337 by AUphoric
I agree with all that.

In parts 5 and 6 of Zukenov, we see that even Annabeth has her limits for adulation and followers.

"anyone whose mind works like a human (which Kryptonians presumably do)"
I think they've shown that to be the case, in the story telling through the years, in comics, film and TV.

"From my viewpoint, any other route ultimately leads to narcissism and abuse of power."
The comic and TV series The Boys shows that horrific dark potential. Too much grim and gory for me. But they do follow that story thread as far as it can go. Not the only time some comics have gone down that dark path. I prefer the ultimate optimism of the AU.

"The key difference I made in the AU was to allow Velorians to come across as beautiful and desirable women when they are "blending in"."
This has sometimes been done before, such as Alexander Key's Witch Mountain stories and the film adaptations. Which in turn drew on some esoteric UFO lore, conflating humanoid alien visitors with attractive ancient gods. And that can be traced back further to the "channeling" presentations that inspired Gene Roddenberry's new premise for sci-fi TV in the 60's.

"They have a cultural background of service and protection toward other humans."
And of course, still see themselves as humans. Since they know  their ancestors were brought from Earth to Velor.

"And then there are Arions, who are drunk on power and conquest and want to be gods."

I have more about this in my follow up story, actually prequel, Genesis of the Bih'Zah'Ro. Got two more expansionist evil empires in that second story, both with superpowered soldiers ready for conquest.

Only the Velorians stand in the way of both empires' desires to rule the galaxy. Both empires assume that after disposing of the Velorians, they will then triumph over the other empire. Things go badly for the Velorians, but help comes from an unexpected source.

It's a chance to try out a very different storytelling style. I'll post that after Zukenov finishes.
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25 May 2022 00:04 #74360 by slim36
Superman or supergirl were supposed to be the only living survivors from their planet.   If they were socialized and treated well by good foster parents they would probably want to appear human just for companionship.    A group or ship full of aliens with superior technology could probably stay undetected if they wanted.  The presence of other aliens might remove the motivation to appear human

If there was something they wanted from our planet they could probably trade with amazing trinkets that were beyond our understanding much like explorers traded with native populations.   How would the world react to a sudden arrival of a superior force upsetting the world order?  

Would there be cargo cults to worship the superior aliens?  www.scientificamerican.com/article/1959-cargo-cults-melanesia/
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

There's a wide range of what a matriarchal society could be.  But it doesn't say the women are actually superior except through social order. www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradit...chal-societies-list/  In nature it would be species where the female is larger and may decide to have the male as a snack.   It might depend how many superior females existed. 

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25 May 2022 21:21 #74377 by ballen

I’m imagining that men are usually left to their own devices except that there’s always a chance of a woman showing up to conceive a child, and a chance after that of her returning to drop off a baby boy about nine months later, although there are subcultures of women who have sex with men either for the pleasure of dominating them (sometimes hundreds at a time) or very occasionally out of genuine attraction.  Some women keep men as effectively pets, but actual romance between the sexes is considered unusual.  On the other hand most (keyword “most”) women aren’t actively cruel towards men for the same reason most humans don’t specifically hunt down bugs to squash them for no reason.  I’m imagining the male settlements as being more technologically advanced, roughly modern whereas the women are so powerful they don’t see much need for complex tech at all, largely seeing male “toys” as cute.  There are a few ideas I have had about this setup, but I’m not sure how well I could do them.
 
Sounds somewhat similar to your story "The Emissary."  I liked how that started and would love to read more.

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25 May 2022 21:24 #74378 by ballen

I think it might be intresting how a superpowerd man lives through a matiarchal world.
Beeing the only man superior to the women when fighting crime, but anything but when living in society.
 
That pretty much Marknew's story, "Superman in a New Woman World."  It is fantastic and I would love to read a continuation.

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26 May 2022 06:39 #74383 by anonxyzus
An illegal Fight Club where women enslave men to fight for their entertainment. Two men in a ring fighting until one went down, or went down and couldn't get up. The women would place bets on the men. The "owner" of the loser would then execute him in the ring.

The winner would be allowed up to a week to heal and recover before being forced to fight again.

Any man who refused to fight would be executed in the ring by his "owner".

This would be illegal under the laws of the matriarchy, but not considered a serious enough crime to put a lot of resources into rooting it out.

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26 May 2022 07:38 - 26 May 2022 07:41 #74385 by Monty
...or the highest gambler on the winner gets to keep him as her slave (good for business in the fights).
Menial chores await him at her palatial homes, but she can always throw him in the ring for another bout, on her whim.
Last edit: 26 May 2022 07:41 by Monty.

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26 May 2022 07:46 #74386 by Thefirstone
Replied by Thefirstone on topic What kind of story to tell in a matriarchal world?
There’s also a prize for the night’s best execution.

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26 May 2022 11:15 #74388 by AuGoose
I had considered a story in a setting like that with a murder mystery - a supposedly unkillable woman is killed. But how?

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26 May 2022 11:23 - 26 May 2022 14:09 #74389 by Monty

I had considered a story in a setting like that with a murder mystery - a supposedly unkillable woman is killed. But how?
A possible clone of her? She would be equally undefeatable, but over time, she becomes more enhanced with lab technology.
There was a similar plot with Wonder Woman's Lynda Carter in a WW episode, and eventually the scientist guys couldn't make out which Wonder Woman was which after they both were caught up in fighting each other.
Last edit: 26 May 2022 14:09 by Monty.

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26 May 2022 16:11 #74391 by Rjjt456

I had considered a story in a setting like that with a murder mystery - a supposedly unkillable woman is killed. But how?
For me, I would straight away begin to think about what possible vulnerabilities said superwoman had that wasn’t known:
  • Poison build only for her.
  • Super cancer, or something similar
  • Despite having super breath, she still needed air…
But I can see that idea. You need something to happen in the setting for it to stay interessant as the world alone might not be that interesting (except to people like us)

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27 May 2022 00:53 #74406 by YAGS

I had considered a story in a setting like that with a murder mystery - a supposedly unkillable woman is killed. But how?
My first thought when reading this was the first storyline in the Fables comic, when Snow White investigates the murder of her sister, Rose Red. She wasn't unkillable or anything, but the resolution was pretty memorable.

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