Re: Aspects of Uleria

From: Frank Rafaelsen (rafael@nvg.ntnu.no)
Date: Mon 26 Jan 1998 - 16:58:23 EET


> From: Pam Carlson:
>
<removed some of my examples>
>
> My point is that these women mentioned above, whether steet walker or
> coutesan of the highest caliber, (the sort of which men write poems about),
> still exist ONLY to please men sexually. In a society where women are
> valued for their contibutions OTHER than pleasing men, (BTW ancient Greece
> and medieval India are not the best examples of such societies), I don't
> think you'd find many women leaping gleefully into the coutesan role, high
> class or not.

I might misunderstand you here but do you imply that all prostitutes are
forced into their profession? If this is the case I would answer that yes

they exist to please men, but then again a baker exists to feed people.
The popular image of the victim whore is very problematic. Neither
research or the prostitutes themself support it. Of course they do exist
but going from that to saying every prostitute is a victim is a large
generalization.
        If you look at the biblical whore they were not prostitues in the
sense that they took money for it (or at least that is not what outrages
the writers of the bible) but because they had many partners. It was in
the same way the godess Ishtar used the word when she called herself a
whore.
        Now if one accepts that women (or men) might chose this profession
because of the perks or natural promiscuity then I don't see any reason
that matrifocal cultures like the Lunar empire should have less
prostitutes than any other areas. Especially if you have a powerfull cult
to protect you from abuse at the hand of customers. Granted prostitution
is not an universal feature, but I don't see anything in Lunar Culture
that should work to limit prostitution. On the other hand they have a huge
army and centres of learning where young, unmarried men (and women of
course, but I presume that most are men) gather. These factors alone would
indicate a strong presence of prostitution. And in line with the lunar
norm of state cults I don't have any problem picturing state prostitution
in the form of the Uleria Cult.

> My idea of Uleria, the Great Goddess of Love and Life, is more far
> reaching. Ulerians might run hospices for the dying or aged, orphanages,
> even animal shelters. They might arrange & perform weddings, or oversee
> festivals for children (as in David Dunham's Ralios campaign), or even
> occasionally offer to be intimate with other people.

Of course I can easily see this happen, but those roles seem to be taken
in orlanthi culture (whatever that is) by voria & Chalana Arroy and Teelo

Nori in lunar areas.

And I'll try to look for the Harald and Maude video :)

Jane Williams on the same topic:

>The Uleria temple in Boldhome is on the Truth and Freedom roads.
>Coincidence, or planning?
>
>It has three doors: for fertility, for partnership, and for
>entertainment. We are told that the "workers" enter by the last door. It
>is not stated that these "workers" are the sacred prostitutes made famous
>by the "all roleplayers are 15-year-old males" mentality, but it seems
>likely.
>
>Question 1: why is there a general assumption that these prostitutes are
>female? This is the comparatively sane Orlanthi society we're talking
>about, not the bigotted male-dominated mess the RW is trying to recover
>from. The object of the exercise is to celebrate Uleria's gift of love:
>aa far as I'm aware, men are capable of doing this, and women appreciate
>it when they do.

Although male prostitutes was never a large part of the total
prostitution, and male prostitutes hired by women was a small part of this
group I see no reason why part of the uleria initiates in Boldhome are
men. This tradition might very well be imported, either by the Lunar Army
or Esrolians. In rome men and women who wanted to hire a male companion
went to the gladiators. Perhaps this is what those foppish Esrolian humakt
cultists do to pay the rent? Those who are in the lunar army should have
a fair chance of meeting their match within the army. But there might be a
problem of roles and manhood, and this is where local male prostitutes
might enter the picture.

>Question 2: what about those other two doors?
>"Fertility": presumably this is human fertility, rather than that of the
>crops or herds? (Since other deities have those in their care, rather
>than because Uleria isn't capable of it). So this is for barren women,
>sterile men, couples who can't quite get it together - maybe also women
>who want a kid but don't want a husband?

Perhaps they teach women the skills of love? There are historical
instances where women were taught the tricks by prostitutes. Perhaps the
liberal orlanthi women send their men to the uleria temple to have them
taught some manners? Or just the general "how to get/keep/pleasure/ your
man/woman"? Birth controll might be more up Ulerias alley than the
traditional motherhood Ernaldan. Perhaps they teach that? It would fit
well with the freedom and truth streets at least.

>"Partnership" - as distinct from fertility or entertainment? Uleria's
>dating agency? Uleria's marriage guidance?

I can very well see the need for this in freshly urbanized orlanthi who
don't have a clan to fix these things for them. I guess there are a lot of
confused bachelors walking the streets of Boldhome.

- --
Frank Rafaelsen
- -Homo Ludens-

------------------------------

End of The Glorantha Digest V5 #362
***********************************

To unsubscribe from the Glorantha Digest, send an "unsubscribe"
command to glorantha-digest-request@chaosium.com. Glorantha is a
Trademark of Issaries Inc. With the exception of previously
copyrighted material, unless specified otherwise all text in this
digest is copyright by the author or authors, with rights granted to
copy for personal use, to excerpt in reviews and replies, and to
archive unchanged for electronic retrieval.

WWW at http://rider.wharton.upenn.edu/~loren/rolegame.html


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 23:02:30 EEST