“The Gates To Women?s Country” by Sheri S. Tepper was assigned to me to read. Little did I know, how much topics that were brought up into the book is relevant to today?s society.
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This book, much like others includes political and social issues. The Gate To Women?s Country is based in the future, where women live inside the country wall and men in the garrison?s outside the wall?s gate. Stavia, the main character, has her story told with flashback?s from when she was young to her adulthood. The son?s of the women are required to leave at age of 5 to get military training by the warriors until they are 15. When the boy?s are of age they have a decision if they would like to leave the garrison?s and become a servitor for the women; or stay with the men of the garrison?s and fight senseless war?s with no chance of return. Stavia?s son Dawid stays with the military with his father Chernon. Stavia has to renounce her son, meaning she declares that Dawid is no longer her son. Later in the storyline, Chernon manipulates Sativa countless times throughout the story and even ends up raping Stavia. Chernon and Stavia get kidnapped by a group called the Holylander?s who are basically Mormon fundamentalist. Stavia and Chernon get rescued, and Stavia realizes that she is impregnated by Chernon again. When she returns to the Gate of Women?s Country, she finally learns the secret?s of the women?s country council. The council has has made a selective breeding program and only uses certain servitors to give traits to the women?s egg using artificial insemination amongst select women. In the ending, MarthaTown Garrison went to battle and no survivors returned. Furthermore, Tepper?s political and social issues brought up in the book would show why equality is important in society. Tepper illustrates how toxic masculinity and societal expectations of gender roles needs to be changed in order to live in a healthier, more acceptable society.
The women in Women?s Country and the men in the Warrior?s Garrison had different societal expectations of each other. The women were mostly obedient, intelligent, and structured while the men were violent. ignorant, unruly and controlling. In other words, the expectations of the genders showed that the women had higher expectations,while the men did whatever. The women believed that personality is genetically based (nature) and that is why they strove to alter genetics to increase the number of boys choosing to come back home at age 15. The men believed that a boy must be trained (nurture), disregarding their origin. This is why in the book most boys became violent and unruly like the other men in the Garrison?s. Inside the book, there is a constant struggle between the idea of nature and nurture. Tepper says, “ The one thing you cannot and dare not absolutely guard against, for your nature must remain as it is for all your planning to come to fruition. You dare not change it. Still, it is hard when your own female nature betrays you into believing the ones who abuse you need you or love you or have some natural right to do what they do,” (290). This quote was taken from the part of the book whereas Septimus was talking with Morgot about her daughter Stavia. This quote showed the readers how the women of Women?s Country were sufferers, much like modern society women still are. The women choose to stay that way, and even when the women are betrayed, they accept it, because it is our “nature.” The women hold all of the knowledge, the men believe that their strength is better than the power of the women?s mind. Which also shows the toxic masculinity and society the characters of the book were placed with. The political and social issues written into this book, are very much alive in today?s society. But because women are taking a stand against this inequality, we hope to see a more equal and acceptable society for everyone.
Major social and political issues are brought up throughout the book. A major social issue brought up into the book was that inside the book, Tepper writes about how the council controls sexuality. The women believe that homosexuality is a genetic and hormonal disorder. The council has made it so that the disorder has been eugenically removed from the women and men of MarthaTown. That is not the only social issues brought up in the book. Stavia, the main character becomes a council women just like her mother. She find?s out about all the secrets the council holds and finally understands so much about Women?s country that she wished she known soner. Tepper writes “Stavia could not believe what she was hearing. What she was hearing was not as bad as what he was seeing, however—an expression on Chernon’s face which was frankly collusive. He understood these animals. He understood them from a place inside himself which empathized with them. In that instant she comprehended much that had been unclear to her before “(251). Stavia understands that she had to wave off her rational self, and comes to terms that Chernon is a horrible person with patriarchal views. Once Stavia understood and made sense of all that happened, she was just like her mother Morgot.
The Gate To Women?s Country is a very interesting book that covers many issues. From topics such as sexism, fantasy gun control to mormon fundalism. Although the major topics in The Gate To Women?s Country are mostly for the fact that violence was a big theme throughout this book. Tepper writes, “Either you men kill us and are honored for it, or we women kill you and are damned for it. Dead or damned” (315). Tepper wrote this quote during the Iphigenia play in regards to Hecuba explaining how she held from killing Talthybius. Hecuba was explaining how she could so easily kill Talthybius but held back because that he was somebody?s son, or even worse family. Hecuba inferred that men are sent out to just kill in senseless wars but are honored for it, yet if she was to kill him, she would be damned for it. Which is of course gender stereotypical and sexist. Although killing someone is very wrong, men are trained into wars for no reason; they are sent to wars just to fight, for no good justice. Which is a very huge political issue when you are sending out half of the population to fight with no chance of return. The Social and Political book brought into The Gate To Women?s Country shows why equality is important in society and that to make sure this does not occur in the future generation we must make sure there is no violence and that everybody must be treated equally with respect.
Taking everything into account, Tepper wrote a beautiful science fiction novel that gave the readers an abundance of topics to talk and think about. Tepper?s issues she brought up in the book range from many topics including gender stereotypes and violence issues. Due to the fact that Tepper?s political and social issues brought up in the book would show why equality is important in society; the political and social issues are relevant to today?s society. We can use the topics brought up into the book to ensure that one day or future does not have to look like this, and that we can end the violence before it becomes out of control. Tepper illustrates how toxic masculinity and societal expectations of gender roles needs to be changed in order to live in a healthier, more acceptable society. Once we live in a healthier, more acceptable society, then only will I believe there is peace.
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