Isle Of Anango

The Isle of Anango is located on Gor. Gor is a fictional Counter-Earth based on the books by John Norman. This island is Sovereign and Ruled by a Tatrix (female ruler). This community is representative of the Three Pillars, Homestone: Anango, Caste: Ini
 
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 Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor

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Tatrix Lady Aasiyah
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PostSubject: Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor   Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:04 pm

Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor

Certain women may wear garb other than robes, dependent on the situation. For example, wealthy free women who own orchards, fields, ranches, vineyards or such may wear different clothes when they are supervising or inspecting their properties. One type of such outfit includes a full skirt, its hem about six inches off the ground, a blouse, a belted jacket that falls to the thighs, a hood attached to the jacket by hooks, leather boots, and an opaque veil. The height of the skirt hem is to protect it from dirt, water or mud. Interestingly enough, it also functions as a slave control device for kajiri. The sight of a Mistress' ankle, even booted, is very alluring to a kajirus. He will want to stare at it but understands he can be punished for doing so. This will make him a bit tense and wary around his Mistress and this can be used to control the kajirus. Women who go hunting may also wear different garb such as hunting leathers or a tunic, long hose, a cape and boots.

Most free women rarely wear cosmetics or perfume, believing they are only for slaves. But in certain cities, such as Ar, many free women do commonly use them. There are even stores that cater specifically to free women. Those stores do not commonly stock products for slaves, only free women. It is interesting though that many perfumers, hairdressers and cosmeticians treat their free women clients almost like slaves. This does not stop the free women from patronizing their establishments. Free women may wear upswept hairdos, something generally not permitted to slaves who must often wear their hair long. Some free women even may purchase wigs or falls though they only want items made from the hair of free women. Women's hair is a common trade item and is especially prized for catapult ropes. During times of war, some free women will give their hair to the city to use for catapults.

TREATMENT OF FREE WOMEN

Free women are commonly treated with respect, courtesy and honor, especially free women of high station or Caste. Free women on Gor would be considered to possess a greater status than a typical Earth women. Free women, especially those of high station, are often referred to as "Lady." On the other hand, men are not referred to as "Lord" in the books. Free women may often say what they wish, without anyone's permission, and many men will listen to what they have to say. Part of the key is that those free men and women who share a Home Stone have much in common. Thus, they are more apt to listen to the thoughts and feelings of one another. Free women may often be bold, within certain limits. "A free woman is inordinately precious. She is a thousand times, and more, above a mere slave." (Players of Gor, p.92) "For example, there is no higher person, nor one more respected, than the Gorean free woman." (Hunters of Gor, p.311) Free women are rarely raped unless it is leading to their direct enslavement. Even a Slaver who enslaves a free woman will treat her with courtesy until she has been branded.

But, many men find free women boring, preferring the company of slave girls. Free women are seen to be ignorant, arrogant and frigid. Yet, free man often will take no action against a free woman who annoys them. "A free woman may often make a man angry with impunity, she being lofty and free, this latitude is seldom extended to the slave." (Blood Brothers of Gor, p.221) A male relative or a Free Companion of a free woman does have some options to discipline her. The punishment will fit the woman's status and dignity. The books do contradict themselves as to whether free woman may be whipped or not. If so, they are whipped differently from a slave, much easier. A Free Companion might chain his woman to his couch, like a slave. This may occur even though a free woman is muchly loved. Some men do take risks to get back at a free women who they feel requires punishment. This is a risk because their actions are generally illegal. One extreme example is that sometimes free women are captured, bound and gagged and then made to work in a brothel for a night.

One key to the treatment of free women is their station and Caste. The higher a woman's station or Caste, then the more likely she will be treated with courtesy and deference. Her wealth and position are powerful factors that must be considered. A man ignores these factors at his peril. A second key is whether or not one shares a Home Stone with a woman. Those who share Home Stones generally respect and protect each other. Men do not willingly let men of other Home Stones enslave their women. They do not let their women come to harm if they can intervene and protect them. A third key is simply tolerance for the actions of free women. I think Tarl Cabot said it best, "It is not difficult, of course, to take insolence from a woman." (Mercenaries of Gor, p.7) Many Gorean men will just laugh off a woman's insults.

FREE WOMEN ROLES

Free women on Gor fulfill a number of different roles, roles that essentially cannot be filled by kajirae. These are important roles, ones that contribute significantly to the effective functioning of Gorean society. These roles include positions of power, Caste membership, Free Companions and mothers. These roles are far more important than the role of a slave. Slaves, in general, contribute little to the operation of Gorean society. Though there are work slaves, the primary purpose of the majority of slaves is for the pleasure of men, a type of luxury. A city could exist without slaves but not without free women.

POSITIONDS OF POWER

In general, Gorean do not prefer to place women in positions of power. "Women, …, seldom release the following instinct in men. Men, accordingly, do not on the whole, care to follow them. In doing so they generally feel uncomfortable. It makes them uneasy. They sense the absurdity, the unnaturalness, of the relationship. It is thus that normal men commonly follow women only unwillingly, and only with reservations, usually also only within an artificial context or within the confines of a misguided, choiceless or naïve institution, where their discipline may be relied upon. Their compliance with orders in such a situation cannot help but be more critical, more skeptical. Their activities tend then to be performed with less confidence, and more hesitantly. This often produces serious consequences to the efficiency of their actions. It is interesting to note that even women seldom care to follow women, particularly in critical situations. The male, biologically, for better or for worse, appears to be the natural leader. In the perversion of nature, of course, anything may occur." (Players of Gor, p.288) But, this is a generality for which there are a number of exceptions. A free woman of superior ability can achieve much, including ruling a city. That is fully supported by the philosophies of Gor.

Women have ruled on Gor as Ubara and Tatrix. Tharna was led by a female Tatrix until she chose to step down. A Ubara is a female ruler of the Warrior Caste. She may rule as the Free Companion of a Ubar or on her own. As the Free Companion of a Ubar, a Ubara possesses great power, second only to the Ubar. There is nearly nothing she cannot accomplish with her power. A Ubara, with no Ubar, can rule on her own if the city supports her. Talena was made the sole Ubara of Ar when Marlenus was thought dead and the Regent had been deposed. She would thus possess ultimate power within Ar. A Tatrix is similar to a civil Ubara. It is a female dictator who does not belong to the Warrior Caste. She remains in power only through the support of the people though she was not elected into her position. Tharna, Port Olni and Corcyrus were all ruled at one time by a Tatrix.

If a woman can attain the highest position in a city, its ruler, then there is no logical reason why a woman could not fill other positions of leadership within a city such as a member of the High Council of Castes or Caste Leader. There are no specific prohibitions in the books that prevent free women from attaining such positions. It simply takes a woman of superior ability to be found worthy of such a position. On Gor, it may be rare but it is definitely within the realm of possibility.

Women may also possess power in other ways. They may own and operate their own Houses, often Merchant Houses. Their business skills and wealth allow them to possess various degrees of power. There are a number of examples in the books of women who own Houses by themselves and wield power through their wealth and status. There are no laws prohibiting their ownership of property or real estate. It is often said that Merchants are power brokers within many cities. Female merchants enter into that equation as well as men.

CASTE

Free women belong to almost all of the Castes on Gor except the Initiates, Players and Assassins. The books specifically state that women may not belong to the Initiate Caste. Though there is no specific prohibition in the books against women belonging to the Players and Assassins Castes, the evidence supports their exclusion. Both are Castes you must actively petition to join. Mere birth does not grant one membership in those Castes. The books state that generally women do not or may not play Kaissa. The books also state that the Assassin Caste seeks men of a particular caliber. There is no indication that either Caste permits women or has female members.

When you become a member of a Caste, you will receive all of the normal benefits of that Caste such as Caste Sanctuary and charity. But, you generally cannot work in your Caste until you complete an apprenticeship or accepted training program. You may be permitted to engage in some limited Caste activities without such training but your role would always remain limited. Many women choose not to perform the work of their Caste but there are numerous exceptions. In general, women do not engage in work requiring a lot of physical strength such as working at a forge, woodcutting and such. Woman often work as Scribes and Merchants. There are even female Slavers, some who engage in field captures though the majority just manage Slave Houses within the cities.

Women also engage in work in the Physician's Caste. But, there is a common limitation on such women. They cannot engage in the full practice of medicine until they have first given birth to two children. It is likely their function before birthing the requisite children might be akin to being a nurse. In many cities, at age fifteen, a woman of the Physician's Caste will be given two bracelets to wear. She can remove one bracelet each time she has a child. When she has removed both bracelets, she may then practice medicine as a full Physician. The rationale behind this prerequisite is that professional women tend not to have children. If this were allowed to occur, it would serve over time to diminish the quality and size of the Caste. Thus, the rule helps to preserve the future of the Caste. The welfare of the Caste takes priority over the ambitions and desires of specific individuals. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Caste is vitally important to Goreans so this logic is accepted as valid and is not questioned.

Women may become members of the Warrior's Caste by birth or Free Companionship. Yet, women are never trained by the Caste to become warriors. There is no instance in any of the novels where a woman was ever trained as a warrior in the Warrior's Caste. The books do not explicitly state that women are never trained as Warriors but the evidence supporting that conclusion is very compelling. A deeper analysis of this issue is the topic of Education Scroll #15, Female Warriors. Probably the most compelling argument is the same logic used by the Physician's Caste. Female Warriors would be less likely to reproduce and their deaths in combat would also serve to decrease the birth rate. Combined, these would tend to destroy the Warrior Caste over time. And this would never be permitted to occur.

LAWS CONCERNING FREE WOMEN

Within the books, there are basically two types of laws that deal with free women. There are laws that protect free women and there are laws that state when a free woman may be legally enslaved. In addition, there are certain universal conventions that exist dealing with the enslavement of free women. Though these do not have the power of law, honor often dictates that the conventions will be followed if appropriate. An important point to consider is that it is generally illegal to collar a free woman, within the city of her Home Stone, on your own. Even if a free woman violates one of the city laws where the punishment is slavery, the legal process must still be followed. Either magistrates or a court will decide if the woman's actions warrant her judicial enslavement. Men will act to protect women of their Home Stone from being illegally enslaved.

This is probably one of the most debated and misconstrued topics related to Gor. Much of the problem comes Norman himself.
Gor is a place were women are feminine and know they might be enslaved
at most any time. Some free women happen to like that idea and so take
up risky pasttimes such as wandering the high bridges alone at night
where some passing tarnsman might swoop them off never to be seen
again, or at least in robes.
There is also the fact that just
about every free woman mentioned in the books ends up enslaved
regardless of the fact that Norman says only about 10 percent of the
population was actually slaves. This writing is my own attempt to shed
some light on this often confusing subject.


Let me start by dealing with some of the misconceptions we see online about Gorean Free Women.
The
first one I want to address is one I see and hear from a number of
slaves or those proclaiming to be slaves. This would be "I dont have to
obey her, she's just a slave in robes," or also seen as "she's just a
female and no better than I am." Wrong, the books are quite clear on
this.
A slave must take whatever a Free Person, male or female, chooses to do to them, resistance is punishable by impalement.
The novels are full of quotes that back this up and can be found in almost every book.
Slaves
lived in fear of most Free Women and rightly so. Free Women had power
and station and the right to choose, yet their men might be in some
paga den with slaves.
Who can blame the Free Women then for being
a little jealous and taking it out on a slave, that's what slaves are
there for afterall. Add to this the fact that Free Women know that they
too might be collared one day and forced to serve fully like the slaves
they see and that fear merely gives them another reason to take their
anger and frustrations out on slaves.

The second fallacy I'd like to address is the one most men like to
throw about, the "It's a man's world and if you (the Free Woman) dont
shut up and be quiet, I'll collar you." This couldn't be more incorrect
if one tried to mess it up. Free Women had a loud and very prominant
voice in Gorean society.



The Gorean woman, for reasons that are
not altogether clear to me, considering the culture, rejoices in being
a woman. She is an exciting, magnificent, glorious creature, outspoken,
talkative, vital, active, spirited


Priest Kings of Gor, Pg. 67
.

There was a
reason for this as well. The average Gorean Free Woman of high castes
or the Merchant Caste would be well educated and active in the social
and political and often finacial world of their cities. Most of these
would be single still, not yet companioned and so would have the free
time to pursue investments and various causes. Examples of this include
Talena of Ar, the Silver Masks of Tharna, the Tatrix of Corcyrus, the
women of Lara who ran some of the estates in and around the city, and
others scattered thru out the books. The ones who were companioned
would be a bit more busy with helping to run her companion's house
hold, raising their children, and other daily chores.

The
Free Women of lower caste would be less active in the city running and
this is because a peasant Free Woman, or the companion of a candle
maker or a wood cutter, would have next to no money for such things and
also would be working just as hard as her companion earning their wages
to live on. A Free Woman could say what she wished, when she wished and
men let them do so. If they didn't agree with them, then they didn't
agree and it seldom went further than that.


"It is not difficult, of course, to take
insolence from a woman. Let the woman say what they will. Does a Gorean
man really get that upset over some insolent words from a woman? Is her
tongue sharper than a sword?


Mercenaries of Gor, Pg. 7
.



And if the men did disagree she could disdainfully ignore them and get away with it.


The Lady Telitsia did not deign to
respond to this suggestion. She could afford to ignore it,
disdainfully. She was not a slave, she was a free woman, and above
whipping


Players of Gor, Pg. 135.
.

There are a great number of men online who seem to think that the fact
that since Gor was a man's world that it makes women who are free
nothing more than arm candy while the truth is much different when one
reads the books.
It's almost as if the men online are worried that a woman with an
opinion and a voice will somehow expose their own mistakes and errors
and force them to be better men instead of loud ruffians running about
waving swords and botas.
Insults and such can easily be shrugged off, after all, they knew who
they were and if a woman disagreed then it was her right to say so. If
the words of a woman upset a man so much that he feels the need to
threaten her to silence, then maybe the man should be looking at
himself as to why it angered him so instead of taking it out on her.

The third misconception I'd like to address is the "I'll never submit
to a collar, I'll take my life first." This, while perhaps true in rare
circumstances, would not be the norm and not as prevalent as it seems
to be sworn to on Gor.
The average Gorean Free Woman of high caste or Merchant Caste would
have grown up around slaves, been familiar with slaves, and would have
more than a passing knowledge of what would be expected of them if one
day they did happen to be enslaved.

Add to this fact that while the statement "I'll die first" sounds all
well and good, no one really wants to die and that slavery while
offering a very slim chance of escape was much more than death offered.
The Gorean people were proud and knew who they were inside and because
of this, suicides were uncommon and rare, not to mention viewed very
unfavorably.
Consider Verna in Hunters of Gor, she wasn't even threatened with death
but a hamstringing and she begged a collar rather than be crippled for
the rest of her life.
Survival is a powerful instinct that is lessened online by the fact
that many view a character as nothing but just another screen name and
not a real person.




The fourth fact I'd like to try and set straight is the rights of a Gorean Free Woman in her own city.
In her own city a Free Woman was very protected.
There were normally a number of laws and customs dealing with the robes
of concealment, veils, about women not being allowed to roam the city
without an escort or a guard, and while they varied from city to city,
the one constant was the reason for having them.
That reason is to protect the women of that Home Stone. Women from
other cities were commonly viewed as nothing more than targets, yet any
woman who was attacked in her city would be defended by the men of her
city. Caste rights gave a free woman even more rights since no man of a
low caste would dare to raise his hand against a woman of high caste,
such a thing would get him thrown before the city magistrates and
beaten.

Due to the circles and quests Tarl Cabot was caught up in, he was
exposed to many more women who ended up enslaved than the average
Gorean would have.
This was more due to the need for literary plots and action than a true
look at a Gorean cultural cross section. This is part of the reason
that Norman inserted so many asides about what everyday Gorean life was
like or what common sayings and actions were in situations. Tarl Cabot
and others who ended up the major characters in the books were not
average Goreans, they were the heros and archvillians, the public
figures who rallied the common man and set examples to live by or
avoid.
Many peasants most likely rarely saw slaves since they would rarely
leave their free holdings. In fact, the majority of free men of lower
caste had no slaves. They couldn't afford to buy them, and a slave
couldn't produce heirs. It was also a matter of practicality and
realism.





On a peasant holding,' said Thurnock,
defensively, as though he must justify having freed Thura, 'one can get
much more work from a free woman


Raiders of Gor, Pg. 304
.

The average Gorean
Free Woman would be of lower caste. She would be hard working and
fairly intelligent. In the lowest castes such as wood carriers and
peasants, more than likely she would be working right alongside her
companion. Not to mention that most lower caste men could not afford a
slave or the upkeep of a slave.





I am only a poor fisherman, and could scarce afford the costs of a slave.
Raiders of Gor, Pg. 304
.





He looked at her. 'I am an outlaw,' said he. 'I have little use for a slave



Hunters of Gor, Pg. 303
.





So much depends on perspective and the right perspective is seldome seen online.
Understanding and knowledge are sacrificed on the alter of easiness and
expediency. Instead of investing the time to know what one has or is
seeking, people do the easiest and quickest thing that they can think
of and then complain when things don't end up perfect. If someone wants
to reap the rewards then one must invest the time sowing the seeds and
tending the tender shoots while they grow. Free women were an
important, vital, and well respected part of Gorean life.
To toss them aside online as "collar bait" or "uncollared slaves" or
"people to be seen and not heard" is a misjustice to Gorean society.

I hope this helps to clear up some of the issues dealing with Gorean
Free Women, or at least causes a few people to think more about the
issue rather than just promote the status quo which perpetuates the
myths and half truths flowing around about Free Women.


Last edited by Tatrix Lady Aasiyah on Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:54 pm

• Information for Gorean Free Women •
by Lady Nyx


• The Free Woman (FW) •

Gorean society is populated by many different types of people of different caste and social status, but of all the inhabitants of the counter-earth, few are as fascinating and complex as are those who dwell within the insulae and shops, or behind walls and guards in the secret pleasure gardens and relaxation pools of the city, performing their labors, managing their households, taking their pleasures and seeing to the birth, maintenance and correct training of the children of Gor. I am speaking of the civilized Gorean Free Woman, the veiled matriarch of the free holdings of the high cities.

It is a difficult and perilous undertaking for a Gorean Free Woman to maintain her status... in fact, a Gorean Free Woman is expected to choose the option of free and honorable death rather than accept the fate of living in slavery. In practice, however, this rarely occurs. Few women, even Gorean women of high caste and social position, will willingly choose to suffer a grisly death rather than brave the degradations of bondage. Nevertheless, occasionally they do so, and the honor of such Free Women is exalted to the skies. It is widely said of such women that they were truly free in their hearts and therefore died free, and it is the actions of such persons, which support the ancient Gorean belief that perhaps not ALL women were born to be enslaved.

• Paga Taverns •

"In most paga taverns," he said, "Free Women are not permitted. In some they are.'"
Kajira of Gor (pg 122)


"I have never been in one of these places before," she said..."I now understand why it is that Free Women never enter Paga taverns."
Elizabeth Cardwell, Assassin of Gor (pg 22)


"If you may pleasure yourself in taverns," she said, "surely so, too, may I.' "Free Women," I said, "do not come here. It is too close to the wharves. It is dangerous. This is Gor."
Rogue of Gor (pg 158)


Remember your status. A Free Woman is proud, but she does not challenge or insult. To do so is to invite a face-stripping. A tavern is typically full of Warriors, and one of the things that Warriors do is collar and enslave Free Women. To draw attention to yourself by making yourself a nuisance to such men is foolhardy to say the least. Be attractive, witty, graceful, and behave with honor, and you will be treated with the respect due to one your station.

Some Gorean males may take action to protect you from overzealous Masters in search of a slave, as long as you do not actively provoke such unwanted attention. This tendency, as well as others, depends entirely upon the customs of the particular tavern and the laws of the city you are in. The laws of the city of Ar, for instance, are quite specific regarding the disposition of Free Women who invite enslavement. Act like a slave, and you will wind up as one. Behave like the lady you are, and perhaps earn the respect and honor of Gorean males. Your choice.

It would probably not be a wise course of action to get drunk while visiting a Gorean drinking establishment. If you do allow yourself to become too inebriated to defend yourself, then all bets are off.

• Rarius' views about FW•

The pride of the Free Women of his city is very important to the typical Gorean warrior... in his mind, though the Free Women of other cities are open game to be captured for sport or profit, the Free Women who share his Home Stone are sacrosanct, aloof and virtuous creatures who are worthy of constant respect and protection. These are, after all, the mothers, daughters and sisters of both himself and his comrades, and are therefore to be treasured and respected at all costs.

The Gorean Free Woman is revered, honored and protected. After all, only a FW can bear and raise Free children, and continue the bloodlines of the Noble Rarius. The care and upbringing of this future generation of Gor also falls upon the Free Woman, and she carefully instills the values, honor code and manners which will influence the Rarius of tomorrow.

The key trait a Gorean warrior expects to find in the Free Women of his city is "virtuous." To the Gorean mind, any woman who possesses the raw lust and submissive desire openly displayed by collared slavegirls deserves to be one, and if a Free Woman's actions seem to suggest that she either secretly or openly wishes to be enslaved, sooner or later she will be called forth to disprove such accusations. Nevertheless, the honor in which a true Free Woman is held is so great that normally several such offenses must be committed before she is stripped and collared.

A Free Woman will first be warned to abstain from slave-like behavior... if she continues to behave so, then to the mind of the Gorean male, and according to the rules of Gorean society, she is actively seeking enslavement.

A Gorean Free Woman does not draw a weapon against another individual unless she is under attack. Beware! According to his codes, to draw a weapon against a member of the Warrior Caste is to place yourself within his capture rights. This includes drawing weapons and placing them on a table or displaying such objects in a threatening manner to others in the room, without suitable provocation.

• Free Companionship•

It is commonly believed that the goal of every Free Woman upon Gor is to arrange and maintain a lasting free companionship with a freeman of her choice, to dwell with him in honor and dignity, to bear his children and propagate their combined family line. A free companionship is typically contracted only after much legal wrangling and dedicated pursuit on the part of the male, after which a simple ceremony is held in which both parties interlink arms and drink the wine of free companionship from the same chalice, signifying that they pledge themselves solely to one another for the period of one year. Every year this ceremony must be repeated, and the companionship repledged by both parties; otherwise it is considered to have lapsed. This seems a wise practice when one considers that due to the stabilization serums, the typical Gorean lifespan can last several centuries or more. During the period of this companionship, neither party may willingly engage in sexual activity with another free person who is not their sworn free companion. This monogomy, however, does not preclude the sexual use of slaves by either party, provided of course such things are acceptable to both parties. Gorean free companionship is therefore a rather practical institution. A free companionship is immediately considered legally dissolved if either party is enslaved.

• Bride Price •

In order to assure the continuance of the family line as well as the financial security and well-being of her household, every Gorean Free Woman is expected to be willing to subject herself to the rigors of a politically motivated free companionship. In such a case, the family of the would-be female companion is typically presented with a pre-arranged "bride price" upon conclusion of such a union. Often the dowries of such wealthy females can be quite high, and the bride price which is required to attain such a companionship reflects that fact: before her enslavement, Talena, the daughter of the Ubar Marlenus of Ar, was said to be worth a thousand tarns... many high-born ladies can expect to bring as much as even one hundred tarns, which is a substantial addition to any city's tarn cavalry.

• Enslavement •

Enslavement can occur for several reasons, not the least of which is "slave-like" behavior. Typical examples of such behavior are openly admiring the bodies of male freemen, commenting upon such things in a sexually suggestive way, flirting lewdly or lasciviously, or repeatedly seeking sexual union with another who is not one's free companion. A Gorean Free Woman is expected to behave in a ladylike fashion at all times... she is an object to be admired and pursued, not the pursuer in such relationships (at least not openly). The Free Woman is graceful, mysterious and untouchable. The very right to look upon the delicate expressions and soft features of her face is a goal to be much sought after by others of her caste and social class. Any Free Woman who willingly face-strips herself before the eyes of men who are not her personal servants or close relatives is immediately castigated by Gorean society as behaving in a "sluttish" fashion. Upon Gor, such "sluts" are immediately collared for the use and service of males. Therefore, the term "slut" and the term "Free Woman" must be considered mutually exclusive of one another at all times.

Similarly a Free Woman who willingly places herself into a perilous situation in which enslavement might be the outcome is assumed by most Gorean males to be "courting the collar." In such instances it is generally accepted practice to bestow upon the Free Woman the very thing which she so seems to want, a brand and collar of her very own. If at any time a Free Woman loses all means of self-protection and falls prey to a Warrior or one who is stronger than she, she is said to be within the boundaries of "capture rites." If she is to be held for ransom, then she retains her free status... she is not branded or collared, though depending upon the whim of her captor she might be facestripped or put to sexual use. During the period of her captivity she does not refer to freemen as Master, but rather as "Captor." In some cases she is simply chained in the holding of her captor and ignored until she can be exchanged for ransom. Since Free Women of high caste typically fetch a ransom equal to or in excess of their bride price, the richer and more powerful her family the greater her chance of being ransomed. For a poor Free Woman, perhaps of the peasants or a similar low caste, she can usually not expect such treatment. In such a case the Free Woman in question typically may expect nothing better than either her enslavement, if she proves to be pleasing, or her execution if she is not. It is important to remember that when a Gorean city or settlement is conquered, typically all male survivors of that city are immediately put to death... in short, Goreans rarely take prisoners of war. When all things are considered, therefore, if her Home Stone is conquered, at least a Free Woman has a better chance of surviving, even as a slave, than do the freemen of her city.

• Face Stripping •

Perhaps the worse offense which can be performed against a Free Woman is that of public facestripping, i.e. when the veils of a Free Woman are removed from her by force. This is the equivalent of stripping her naked, though even the loss of her robes of concealment is not as great an insult as the loss of her veils. It is regarded as the right, duty and privilege of Gorean Free Women of the high cities to remain veiled... even when captured by the Warriors of an enemy city, the Free Woman will commonly be allowed to retain her veils at least until her final fate has been decided. The friends, bodyguards, and male relatives of a facestripped woman are quite willing to slay any offender who so degrades one of the ladies of their city... unless, of course, through her own actions she has indicated that she is, in the depths of her belly, a slave. In such a case she may expect her veils to be taken from her at once, and if she is fortunate she will be allowed to keep her life, though forevermore she will be a slave. The penalty for any slave caught impersonating a Freeperson varies from city to city, though it is typically death. Not death by execution with the sword or impaling spear... such a death is considered an honorable one, reserved for Freepersons only. When a slave is caught impersonating a Freeperson he or she is typically subjected to the lowly "garbage death," wherein the offending slave is bound hand and foot and cast amongst the city carnarii (trash pits) to be devoured by urts and other carrion feeders at their leisure. Needless to say, a public facestripping is too be avoided by a Gorean Free Woman at all costs.

• Rite of Submission •

If at any time, or for any reason, a Free Woman decides that it is in her best interests either to become a slave or to openly submit herself to a male for his protection and use, this is accomplished by the performance of a formal gesture of submission by which she invokes the ancient Gorean "rite of submission." Many Free Women would rather die than perform such a subservient act. It is important that a Free Woman understand that when this rite is invoked, there is no going back. Typically there are only two possible outcomes when a Free Woman submits so; either she is enslaved and becomes the personal chattel of the male, his to do with as he sees fit, or she is found lacking in desirability by the male in question and is driven from him in disgrace. In the case of a Warrior, the consequences are even more dire, since a Warrior is not permitted by his codes to abandon the female while she is still alive. Therefore, most Warriors have no qualms whatsoever against putting the submitting female to death on the spot. Indeed, to a Warrior's mind, it is better by far to take the supplicant's life than to abandon her to be randomly enslaved by the first person who comes along. Believe it or not, in such a situation a Warrior is acting to preserve the honor of the former Free Woman and her caste and family.

The way the rite is invoked is this: the Free Woman typically facestrips herself, publicly announces that she willingly submits to the individual she has chosen, and then assumes "the Position of Female Submission," wherein the Free Woman kneels at her captor's feet and leans her body back, sitting upon her heels, with her arms extended upward, crossed at the wrists, and her head beneath them lowered in supplication. If the male accepts her, she becomes his slave and forfeits all titles, rank and property immediately. If he does not, she accepts the consequences of her actions, even if it means her death.

It should be obvious that a Free Woman does not invoke the Rite of Submission hastily or without much consideration, as the very act can cost her her life.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:55 pm

• FW & slavegirls •

For some reason, many Free Women actively seem to dislike slavegirls, even going so far as to torment them when their Masters are not around, or to behave toward them in a rather cold and callous manner. This is of course their right as free persons, and they may in effect behave toward slaves in any manner that they see fit. Understand, though, that not only is such behavior perceived as mere jealousy on the part of the Free Woman involved, it is also thought to suggest that the Free Woman herself envies the position of the slave in question. As long as such behavior does not insult a Freeperson free Gorean males will grudgingly tolerate it, unless any damage or long-term harm is inflicted upon the slavegirl so treated. Apart from that, slavegirls are expected to treat Free Women humbly at all times, as they would any other Freeperson.

• FW & silk slave (male slaves)•

Many Gorean Free Women possess kajiri, or male slaves. These serve many purposes... often they are servants and retainers, they may be utilized as pack bearers or manual laborers. Often a Free Woman will be borne through the streets of her city in a curtained palanquin carried upon the backs of such male slaves. In addition, the wealthier and more free-thinking Gorean Free Woman will also have within her household one or more "silk slaves," male slaves chosen for their handsomeness and sexual vigor, who have been trained to serve a Mistress sexually. This is quite acceptable, unless there is a law on the city scrolls which prohibits such sexual congress by free females. At the present time there is such a law in the city codes of Ar, though most wealthy women in the city act in secret and circumvent it fairly easily.

A Gorean Free Woman may own and use slaves, both male and female, as she sees fit. However, at the present time there is a city ordinance in Ar which prohibits the sexual use of male slaves by Free Women of that city, on penalty of enslavement. Of course, if you are not of Ar, then you are perhaps exempt from this particular law. Remember however that those Free Women not of Ar might fall prey to chain luck while visiting that city if they are not careful. Extreme caution is advised.

• Chain Luck •

"Chain Luck" is the terror of every Free Woman upon Gor. It is a practice whereby Warriors (typically young men in search of a thrill or some sport) will decide on a whim to attack a city not their own, hopefully evading the Warriors and guardsmen of that place, and capture one or more Free Women to add to their chain as slaves. The name "chain luck" refers to the fact that due to the veils and robes of concealment worn by such Free Women, it is usually impossible for the Warrior in question to ascertain the personal attractiveness of his would-be target before he makes his strike. Therefore he must trust in his luck, hoping that his new acquisition is young and beautiful beneath her robes. Many a warrior has risked his life to skillfully lasso a Free Woman from the high bridges of an enemy city only to discover that his catch has a face like a tharlarion and a temperament to match. It is not entirely unknown for Warriors to be foolish enough, or drunk enough, to practice Chain Luck within the environs of their own city, though typically in such cases either they already have a target in mind or are seeking a slave not for personal use but to sell her out of the city for a quick profit. The Warriors and bodyguards of a Free Woman's household are constantly on the lookout for such attempts on the persons of their ladies. Woe be it to one who is caught practicing chain luck in his own city... if the lady in question is discovered by the magistrates to be free and not a slave, yet is taken and collared by a warrior of her own city, then it is considered an offense against one's Home Stone, typically punishable by death. The Free Women of an enemy city, however, are considered fair game for such activity.

• Robes of Concealment •

While in the privacy of her own home, in the company of those of her family, a Free Woman will often affect a fairly relaxed and comfortable mode of clothing herself; indeed, under such conditions and behind the closed doors of her household it would be not only difficult for a Free Woman to wear the strictly moderated and highly ornate garments of her caste, it would be simply ludicrous. She is, after all, a Gorean woman, well accustomed to the scanty fashions and brief garments worn by both the men and women of that savage planet. In the pleasure gardens of her home a Free Woman dresses for attractiveness, comfort and functionality, and some of her outfits can be revealing to say the least. However, once beyond the safety and protection of her house walls she wisely dons garments which are more suited for platonic interaction with the dangerous men of the cities: the infamous Gorean Robes of Concealment.

The Robes of Concealment worn by Free Women in the high cities are elaborate affairs, and are subject to the dictates of the current fashion in her city. They can be highly personal modes of garb, cut and fashioned in countless ways and in numerous styles, according to the whims and desires of the wearer and the restrictions imposed by local sumptuary laws. Nevertheless, they universally have these things in common: They consist of several layers of thick, opaque cloth. Normally opaque hose are worn beneath them, and gloves, to insure that no part of the wearer's body is visible. The typical garments worn by a Free Woman of the high cities includes a shaped and fitted brocade gown with an ankle-length hem and a high collar which reaches to just below the chin. Atop that is worn a loose fitting robe to further conceal the lines and shape of her body. A quilted or brocade headpiece, similar to the Arab kafiyeh, is worn pinned or buttoned in place to cover her head, and drapes to the shoulders. The various veils are then attached over the wearer's face through the use of pins and ties, completing the ensemble. A Free Woman may wear slippers or even close-fitting boots beneath her robes, and it is also the custom for women of extremely high rank to wear ornate platform shoes which increase her height by as much as ten inches. Such adornments as those are normally worn only within doors, however, since they are exceedingly difficult to walk in over uneven surfaces. A wealthy Free Woman typically wears much jewelry, consisting of brooches, medallions and chains of office and rank, rings and armlets. Many Free Women are very careful about wearing wristlets and bangles of precious metal, however, or even close fitting necklaces and especially ornamental "chokers." Such jewelry is thought by many to be an ornamental derivative of the collar and slave-bracelets of a kajira, therefore it is almost never worn by the suitably cautious Free Woman, and under no circumstances will a Free Woman wear any sort of jewelry or even a tied scarf about her left ankle, since the left ankle is universally acknowledged by Goreans as the "slave ankle," and any sort of adornment there by a Free Woman is unthinkable. Her avoidance of such jewelry is part of her ongoing effort to distance herself from women who have fallen to bondage.

• The Veils •

A Free Woman will, depending upon the customs of her household and city, wear up to five separate veils simultaneously, each with a different purpose of concealment. These veils range in function from thin, gauzy ones worn close to the skin, all the way up to the heavily brocaded street veils worn by Free Women upon the streets and in the public gathering places of her city. The five basic veils worn by Free Women are, in the order they are donned: the last veil, the veil of the citizeness, the pride veil, the house veil, and the street veil.

The Last Veil
the innermost of the five veils worn by Free Women; it is worn under the veil of the citizeness, and is often very sheer. Also known as the "privacy veil" or "modesty veil," it is worn in all places except within the private chambers of the Free Woman.

The Veil of the Citizeness
the second of the veils worn by Free Women; worn under the pride veil and over the last veil; it is worn by a Free Woman when she leaves her chambers for any reason. The right to wear this veil at all times is guaranteed to all Free Women upon attaining their majority and pledging citizenship. To strip this veil from a citizen of your own Home Stone is considered a violation of basic Gorean law.

The Pride Veil
the third veil worn by Free Women; worn under the house veil and over the veil of the citizeness, it is worn when a Free Woman is in her house. Unlike the last veil and veil of the citizeness, this veil is completely opaque, and provides true concealment of her features.

The House Veil
the next-to-last veil worn by Free Women, especially when in the company of men not of her own family; worn over the pride veil, and under the street veil upon leaving the house; when guests are within the walls of her house or when the Free Woman is in the company of anyone who is not of her household, she wears this veil at all times.

The Street Veil
the outermost veil worn by Free Women; worn over the house veil when leaving the house; typically a heavy, fitted face-covering of thick brocaded or quilted cloth, equipped with numerous pins and fastening devices.

• Use of Weaponry •

There are no restrictions upon the weaponry owned and used by Free Women, apart from the general prohibition of technological items sanctioned by the Priest Kings. Nevertheless, the Free Women of the larger and more civilized cities of Gor seldom carry weaponry which cannot easily be concealed. The two primary weapons in use by such women are the dagger and the poisoned needle, both of which can be secreted among the many folds of her robes and drawn forth for use at a moment's notice. In fact, most Gorean Free Women spend many hours practicing such movements, knowing that a moment's hesitation may one day make the difference for them between a life of ease and honor or a life of imbonditude. Bladed hair combs and the long, razor sharp pins which hold her many veils in place are often used by the Free Woman in such an instance. In general, the typical Gorean Free Woman doesn't carry a weapon large enough to be perceived beneath her robes... she knows that there is little chance she will prevail in open combat against a trained Warrior. Her weapons are of stealth and surprise, combined with the desperate desire to remain free at all costs.
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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:55 pm

• FW & the Caste of Warriors•

The Free Women born into the Caste of Warriors on Gor are quite similar in most respects to those of other castes, except perhaps they are fiercer and more handy with their weapons. This is an understandable by-product caused by residing in a house that is constantly full of warriors in training. It should be remembered that in order for a Warrior to actually don the scarlet of his caste, the high council of his city must first affirm him. Few, if any, women are ever accorded that honor, though that circumstance is possibly caused more by tradition that by lack of potential or ability. Female combatants are not unknown upon Gor, especially among the more open-minded denizens of the southern hemisphere, but they are still rare enough to be considered a social aberration when they do come into being. In general, Gorean females can do pretty much anything male Goreans can, though most Gorean women don't bother. The sheer difficulty of maintaining her freedom amidst a clashing army of warriors is more than enough incentive for most Gorean women to abandon any such personal thoughts of bloodlust and single combat and retreat within the walls of her home city, where her precarious social status is more easily safeguarded. The Free Women of the Wagon Peoples and Red Savages are occasionally known to take up arms and fight beside their male brethren; there have been recorded instances of Turian women who have fought in combat upon kaillaback, and of course if severely pressed every Free Woman is expected to pitch in to defend her Home Stone. Nevertheless, the concept of an actual female Warrior wearing the scarlet in one of the major city-states of Gor (Ar, Ko-ro-ba, Tharna, Thentis, Treve, Port Kar, Cos, Tyros, Lydius, Laura) is almost completely unknown.

• Panther Girls •

Panther Girls are the fabled wild girls of the northern forests, such bands being comprised of runaway slaves and the occasional Free Woman who has fled from the dictates of Gorean society and taken up residence amidst the primitive camps of the unexplored woodlands. The Panther Girls are fierce fighters when encountered, since they can expect only enslavement or death upon capture. Their weapons of choice are slim spears, short bows and hunting knives, and they make do by trading with outlaws and the inhabitants of certain outlying settlements for metal and other difficult to obtain supplies, and by hunting and trapping game in the wild. They are free-women in the technical sense of the term, since they are not enslaved and have little or no discourse with civilized Gorean society. They are a rare breed and are cautious about accepting newcomers to their ranks... those who seek them out and are found lacking in necessary survival skills are commonly captured by them and sold as slaves in trade for civilized foodstuffs and items of equipment. In the jungle regions of the far south they also exist, living in amidst the jungle rainforests much as their sisters do in the Northern Forests. Members of this southern version are referred to as "Talunas." There are no Panther Girls or Talunas in any of the major city-states, including Ar. If a Panther Girl ventured that far into civilized territory, she would undoubtedly be enslaved upon sight.

There are no panther girls or talunas in the High Cities of Gor, which include Ar, Ko-ro-ba, Tharna, Thentis, Turia, Treve, and many other major settlements. All Free Women in these cities are expected to wear the robes of concealment and veil themselves in public at all times. The only exceptions to this practice tend to be in Tharna, where few if any Free Women are allowed, and in Ko-ro-ba, where the customs regarding Free Women's fashion are somewhat lax.

Lady Nyx's FW Training Modules

• The Northern Free Woman •
The following are quotes from Marauders of Gor, in which certain differences are explained between the Free Women of the South, and the Free Women of Torvaldsland.

• Authority •

"Bera, his woman, rose to her feet. I could see that her mind was moving with rapidity. "Come tonight to our hall, Champion," said she. The Blue Tooth did not gainsay her. The woman of the Jarl had spoken. Free Women in the north have much power. The Jarl's Woman, in the Kaissa of the north, is a more powerful piece than the Ubara in the Kaissa of the south. This is not to deny that the Ubara in the south, in fact, exercises as much or more power than her northern counterpart. It is only to recognize that her power in the south is less explicitly acknowledged."
Marauders of Gor (pg 191)


• Veils •

"The women of the north, commonly, do not veil themselves."
Marauders of Gor (pg 199)


• Fashion •

"Her hair was hung in a snood of scarlet yarn, bound with filaments of golden wire. She wore, over her shoulder, a cape of white fur of the northern sea sleen. She had a scarlet vest, embroidered in gold, worn over a long-sleeved blouse of white wool, from distant Ar. She wore, too, a long woolen skirt, dyed red, which was belted with black, with a buckle of gold, wrought in Cos. She wore shoes of black, polished leather, which folded about her ankles, laced twice, once across the instep, once about the ankles."
Marauders of Gor (pg 25)


"She was richly dressed. The cape of white fur was a splendid fur. The scarlet vest, the blouse of white wool, the long woolen skirt, red, were fine goods. The buckle from Cos was expensive. Even the shoes of black leather were finely tooled."
Marauders of Gor (pg 34)


"She wore black and silver, a full, ankle-length gown of rich, black velvet, with silver belts, or straps, that crossed over her breasts, and tied about her waist. From it, by strings, hung a silver purse, that seemed weighty. Her blond hair was lifted from the sides and back of her head by a comb of bone and leather, like an inverted isoceles triangle, the comb fastened by a tiny black ribbon about her neck and another such ribbon about her forehead. Her cloak, of black fur, from the black sea sleen, glossy and deep, swirled to her ankles. It was fastened at the left shoulder by a large circular brooch of silver, probably from Tharna. She was doubtless the daughter of a very rich man. She would have many suitors."
Marauders of Gor (pg 35)


"She wore rich green velvet, closed high about her neck, trimmed with gold."
Marauders of Gor (pg 112)


"Her hair, long, was braided. It was tied with golden string."
Marauders of Gor (pg 112)


"Her hands wore many rings. About her neck she wore, looped, four chains of gold, with pendants. On her wrists were bracelets of silver and gold."
Marauders of Gor (pg 114)


"Ivar Forkbeard then bent to the girl´s feet and pulled away her golden shoes, and, his hands at her legs, she, her eyes closed, removed from her, too, her scarlet, silken hose, She stood, her arm held by my hand, in the fetters, in the dress of green velvet, it torn open at the collar to reveal her throat; she had been stripped of her rings, the bracelets, the chains; her hair was loose; her hose and shoes had been removed."
Marauders of Gor (pg 117)


• Weapons •

"At her waist she wore a jeweled scabbard, protruding from which I saw the ornamented, twisted black of a Turian dagger; Free Women in Torvaldsland commonly carry a knife..."
Marauders of Gor (pg 156)
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Thoughts on the Free Women of Gor

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