Back to the Basics

I’ve been re-reading the Mode series by Piers Anthony and I came upon an interesting stereotype I had to mention.   In Fractal Mode, the group of main characters come to a foreign land where men dominate through strong magic that none of the women possess.   They keep their reign through brute force, bullying, and ensuring a society where those with no magic are to be nothing but peons (which does also include men, by the way).   By the end of this book, one of the characters causes the men to lose their magic, and the people of this world’s children to possess magic through only females.   At least, until the women are overthrown by the men.   It’s a cycle.

In the third book, Chaos Mode, they travel to this world once again, only to find, well, chaos.   The men are still ruling, only now through physical force, since they lack magic.   What’s the solution?   To go to other worlds and grab women with magic there, of course!

So, they travel to this other world where women have magic and rule.   Only, they rule peacefully, the queen of the land keeping her rank due to calculation and a little manipulation here and there.

Yes, certainly back to the basic stereotype.   Men resolve issues through physical means, while women rely on the mental.   It rather reminds me of how women often say that there should be a woman president because she would be able to find a way to end war.


  1. sbg says

    It rather reminds me of how women often say that there should be a woman president because she would be able to find a way to end war.

    I’d think there’d just be different kinds of war. 😉

  2. scarlett says

    That’s why I wasn’t too fused on Commander-in-Chief. Not only does Geena Davis have similar proportions to a small man (she’s gotta be close to six foot and two hundred pounds) but every decision she makes, when she has a choice between A and B, she chooses the ‘womanly’ one. She choses education of the space race; it was about then that I stopped watching.
    Give us a leader who sometimes makes a ‘man’s’ choices and sometimes makes a ‘woman’s’. I’ve met plenty of women who could be just as ruthless, just as ambitious as men, some even more so, because they had to overcompensate for the whole ‘being a weak woman thing’.

  3. Ifritah says

    I’ve never seen that movie, but it doesn’t sound like my bag either.

    Yes, wouldn’t it be refreshing to see, either gender, showing a thought-process that has both stereotypes, depending on which is more appropriate for the occasion? Man or woman, I’d certainly vote for them.

  4. Lex says

    I’d heard comments about CinC being the follow on to West Wing, so I was very interested when it came to the UK. The disappointment was enormous. This wasn’t a drama, it was a soap. The constant references to the president being a woman, a female, a woman, a female president don’t you know? Drove me nuts. And then we had to deal with the husband who in no way could do the wife’s role in this play and had to have something else that no presidential spouse had had before because hey, he was a man and there was no way he was going to fit into the woman’s role. On top of all that was the nonsense with the bratty daughter and the saintly son. Oy. I tried so hard, watched half a dozen episodes, but it really was dreadful.

  5. Patrick says

    The “a woman president would find a way to end war” trope was beautifully torn down by Terry Pratchet in Monstrous Regiment (paraphrasing): “Women were no less bloodthirsty than men, really. Whenever there was a messy public execution, it was always the grannies in the front, eating snacks and struggling to get the best view of the bloodshed.”


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