Gender and Gender Roles of the OnKitabie

  • Baron

    The OnKitabie broadly recognize three genders: masculine (lisal), feminine (dhibal), and neutral (nijal). Despite this, gender does not factor in much with the OnKitabie culture at large, as reflected in the complete lack of gendered language in Anmaqish. For example, pronouns are genderless, and everyone is referred to as “ibn” in the 1st person, “jan” in the 2nd person, and “fie” in the 3rd. Furthermore, when speaking about people, gendered words are generally less used. If you were referring to your sibling, you could say that they were a woman (dhabal), but far more likely you would simply say that they were a person (bakal).

    Gender is not marked on most censuses or official records, though a handful do keep track. Manner of dress is largely similar between the genders, with all keeping their hair short and wearing long, loose robes, and jewelry is worn by all assuming they have the means of affording it.

    Biological sex is the same as humans, with male, female, and intersex people all present, however this has less bearing on OnKitabie gender than might be expected. Occasionally when people become adults they will request that they be considered a different gender than what corresponds with their biological sex, and this is not seen as very unusual, because of the cultural distance placed between gender and sex.

    Gender Roles

    OnKitabie society has a set of traditional gender roles, though they have grown far less prevalent throughout Tiemaqil Shike in recent centuries. Gender roles are also highly determinate on the family's social situation and economic activity. In a traditional farming estate, the general rule would be that the men would manage the property as it exists (working the fields, repairing damages, tending to animals, raising the children, preparing food) while the women would seek to develop and enhance the property (managing sales and finances, negotiating deals, representing the family abroad, organizing social gatherings) and the third gender (who could be referred to as the najalas) would take part in day to day management, aiding both other groups with particular emphasis on raising the children and serving as mediators of disputes.

    However, in more urban settings, these traditional roles could take countless different forms. Economics and finance are generally seen as an art for women or najalas, but plenty of men operate as successful merchants, especially travelling ones. Scholarship and leadership, both virtuous aspects of society, are open equally for all genders. Men generally serve as soldiers, due to being seen as protectors of property, however the command of armies is seen as a scholarly discipline, and therefore open to any scholar of any gender. The arts, of which poetry and theater are the dominant forms, are often practiced by najalas, though any gender may participate if their talent is great. Religion is also largely the purview of the najalas, who are generally seen as somewhat mystical, and religion and the arts are very often closely related.

    The overall result is a very egalitarian society in terms of gender, as the Mikat philosophy, that all people have the power to make their own story, works antithetical to the idea that people should be confined to a certain area of society. Sexist attitudes still exist, especially outside of the Miktaban, but there does not exist a major power imbalance between any of the genders.

    Association With Yongit's Court

    As the scripture teaches, Yongit's court was occupied by three types of spirits: the Divine Poets, the Sublime Retinue, and the Old Things. In the Enlightened Age when Yongit still walked the surface, these three types of spirits were sometimes conflated with the three genders of society. The Divine Poets, for their leadership and scholarliness, were seen as feminine. The Sublime Retinue, who taught the OnKitabie the ways of construction and warfare, were seen as masculine. Finally, the Old Things, whose relationship to the mystical was strongest and who served as child-rears to the earliest OnKitabie, were seen as nijal (of the third gender).

    Needless to say, after the revolt of the Old Things, these cultural comparisons were largely abandoned. It would be in poor taste today to make such statements, as comparing the najalas to the Old Things, who instigated the Deep Magic Rebellion against Yongit's authority, would be gravely insulting and rude.

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