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The Oksasa
2015-04-30 01:15:50

The Oksasa

The subject of women in Ksreskézaian society and pre-Ksreskézaian society, other than the Slokdtabasa, is something I've pretty much categorically avoided. If I have written anything, either on Memory or in passing elsewhere, it hasn't been very strong and it certainly hasn't been anything so memorable that I remember what I said, excepting perhaps a remark or two about non-plug-in-socket genitals. I think maybe it's time to set the record straight.

In the time of the Ksreskézai, the naming of houses followed the name of its patriarch—Tévopo, Chúkoto, Gazdatto—but this was not always their way. The true centrepiece of an Oksian household was once the single female, who lived much longer than the males and functioned as a matriarch. This was the way of the Oksasa for countless millennia, and was a pattern that could still be seen in other related species and in the remnants of the other Oksian civilizations on Ksreskézo. Such a household would be like an insect colony, writ small.

Then came Oksresko.

The key innovation in Oksresko's culture was androcentrism. By placing a man at the head of the household, the household's priorities changed from the female's native defensive/evasive instincts to the male's aggressive/protective instincts. Their world had always been one of violence—but it was a landscape of gradual change, of bloodlines defending themselves and vying for scarce resources, not of conquerors and empires. Gods and spirits were many, motherhood was revered (if only a little), and fortune-tellers and their consultants littered the land.

The first territory Oksresko conquered was his mate, a bulbous, slow-moving creature some three times his size, whose name was Klíto. It was she who gave birth to the first kings of both the Wemnian and Tévopían thrones, and unlike her mother and all those before her, she lived essentially in slavery. By the time of the Holocaust, the females of the Ksreskézai were noticeably smaller than males, having been selectively bred away from their roles as matriarchs over the millennia between.

Oksresko's influence spread quickly and violently across the land, overtaking those tribes and settlements where only familial loyalty bound individuals together (the large majority); and where rebellions arose to fight the Ksreskézai, their social structures were more often than not male-centric. Dozens if not hundreds of these groups arose in defiance during Oksresko's lifetime and throughout the twenty-five millennia that followed, some successful, others not.

Within the Ksreskézaian Empire, this cultural orientation had variation; Wemnians were generally (but not always) more tolerant towards females, and at some times women (mostly from distant lands, as the native Wemnian stock gradually became more supine) could and did still officially lead households. Famously, Empress Pleñdhona led the Empire of Dusk at the start of the tenth millennium ksepo, only to be raped and beheaded by the Tévopío-funded Zúkthínodzo family, marking the start of the Wemnian Interim.

For most of the history of the Ksreskézai, native women were further marginalized by the success of the Slokdtabasa as adjutants, secretaries, solicitors, and governesses. The capture of the Rotomemi—and the consequent discovery that such an advanced species could sustain such powerful institutional sexism—was heralded by Ksreskézaian clerics as undeniable proof of universal masculine superiority, and the total absence of binary gender on any of the other worlds the Ksreskézai had discovered cemented their certainty in being the chosen people, rather than calling into question the wisdom of such a broad notion. In Tévopío, and indeed most of the West, the sole talent that Oksasa could claim as their own was childbearing.

In turn, they became more and more marginalized. Sexual mores changed over the centuries; where earlier feminine ideals had emphasized the grandiosity of a ripe, fertile, pregnant queen, later mindsets saw influence from the comparatively lithe and subtle human body, and early Hogedepi scholars often postulated that the Ksreskézaian male's fetishistical fascination with the Slokdtaba body was as much of a motivation for the change in female morphology as controlling them.

Other races, including the Hogedep and Peseneyi, saw this decline as proof of the innate barbarity of the Oksians. Freedom fighters among the Pesenese would regularly attempt to liberate Ksreskézaian females when captured, as though they were subjugated aliens, although these women generally lived very lonely and unfulfilled existences isolated from their people. The Hogedep practised their own special brand of mercy—which was to kill them first.

In general, Oksasa are mentioned very scarcely in the historical record, although they do appear more prominently in the handful of plays and pageants that the Lilitai and other survivors of the Ksreskézai preserved. This fiction usually paints them in a more respectable light as equals to the men of their kind, presumably in deference to little more than long-established literary convention.
Samantics comment   8453.857 tgc / 2015.325 ce