GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

The Guild

POSTED BY: SPACEANJL
UPDATED: Friday, June 9, 2006 14:33
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Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:14 AM

SPACEANJL


I'm working on a little something at the moment (well, hell, the last 'little something' racked up to nearly 40,000 words, so...) and I would like to solicit opinion on the Guild.

Is it just me, or does a 'Verse wide network of courtesans scream 'Bene Gesserit' to anyone else?

SpaceAnJL

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:19 AM

UNREGISTEREDCOMPANION


To a point....

But I don't think the guild is pushing some divine breeding program :D

~~~~~

"Funny and sexy. You have no idea. And you never will."

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:26 AM

PAGANPAUL


Nope. The Bene Gesserit order was all about keeping religious control over the population, and achieving long term schemes. The Guild is more like a Prostitutes Union, just looking out for the well-being of their members.

* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *
流口水的婊子和猴子的 笨儿子。
Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze.
"Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey."

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:30 AM

AGENTROUKA


I don't know. I don't think so.

It seems to me that the Guild already has a pretty obvious purpose in and of itself, educating and protecting its members, without adding a big (sinister?) extra-plan in the background.

It's not like prostitutes (in the most neutral sense) needing protection and representation is far-fetched. The Guild is a high-status organization for high-status prostitutes.


Anything extra is, of course, anyone's right to imagine, but I don't think it's inherent in the concept itself. *g*

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 5:30 AM

SPACEANJL


Nor me. But the political implications interest me...

For all Mal dismisses them as whores, these women are highly educated, move in the highest circles of society. They attain political and social prominence when they retire. This has to be more than just a regularizing (is that the word I want?) of human sexual urges.



SpaceAnJL

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 6:14 AM

EST120


If I remember correctly, the Bene Gesserit were not escorts like Companions. The Bene Gesserit, like Lady Jessica, seemed to be exclusive to their husbands or partners. Also, some of the Bene Gesserit functioned, as someone else said, as religious leaders like the Reverend Mother on Arrakis (I forget her name) that Lady Jessica ends up replacing. The Guild seems more like a worker's union to regulate the market for Companions. Sounds kind of demeaning, but that is the impression that I got.

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 6:21 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
They attain political and social prominence when they retire.





Is that canon or are you guessing?

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 6:23 AM

BIGWOLF18


has anyone read the terry pratchett books, the discworld series? coz it seems more like the guild of "seamstresses".

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 6:33 AM

SPACEANJL


Serenity OVC is my source. Joss' own words. Companions work like geisha, live like nuns, no man can ever run a House, political/social prominence when they retire. Incidentally they have House Priestesses, so the BG thing wasn't completely left-field. Atherton Wing attempted to contract Inara as his personal Companion, as well.

SpaceAnJL

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 6:40 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
Serenity OVC is my source. Joss' own words. Companions work like geisha, live like nuns, no man can ever run a House, political/social prominence when they retire. Incidentally they have House Priestesses, so the BG thing wasn't completely left-field. Atherton Wing attempted to contract Inara as his personal Companion, as well.

SpaceAnJL



Darn, I haven't read the OVC, so I can't comment on that. *g*

I think the House Priestess thing is due to the spiritual part of Companion life, the thing that makes it different from mere prostitution. Buddhism and a zen-attitude seem to be important parts of their lifestyle, both of which indicate a more benevolent approach to the 'verse than necessarily a secretive and sinister one.

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 7:52 AM

AGATSU


I think there's more to the Guild than that. Conspiracy Theory! AOOOOOOGA!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunoichi


Kunoichi is ninja slang for woman.

Female ninja were classified as part of the kamae of sui (water) and were cultivated to manipulate energy through preying on increased feelings of emotional satisfaction; like the ocean, they would draw out, only to come back, like a wave at riptide, in unexpected ways. These women, or kunoichi as they were called, were given special training in psychological skills and intuition. Taught to manipulate men high-up in the enemy hierarchy, they were known to conceal blades inside musical instruments and sex toys. Shimma kunoichi, ninja family members, were trained as spies who were taught not to fall in love with their targets or lose sight of their ultimate goal after successful seduction. According to Rumiko Hayes, a ninja black belt and the wife of Stephen Hayes, head female agents were sent around the country to collect young female orphans, whom they raised with care. These orphan girls were forever indebted to their agents and would do whatever they were asked in terms of seducing men.



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Thursday, June 8, 2006 8:55 AM

PAGANPAUL


Hey Agatsu, why did you stop there? There was more to the definition than you posted...

Karima kunoichi were women who were not part of the clan but were temporarily hired as maids, mistresses, entertainers, fortunetellers, prostitutes, or artists. In contemporary times, female ninja often fulfill the same roles as men, working in security and law enforcement. This is the history of the kunoichi, it has changed vastly over the ages from skilled seductive assassins, to law enforcement and special ops.

Nowadays, the term kunoichi is solely used in reference to female ninja; historically who were trained to deceive men and disguise themselves as geisha. However, modern novels, manga, film, and video games generally portray kunoichi to be fully trained in ninjutsu, much like their male counterparts.


* - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *
流口水的婊子和猴子的 笨儿子。
Liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh bun ur-tze.
"Stupid son of a drooling whore and a monkey."

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 9:11 AM

AGATSU


Because I needed a sidekick, and you just volunteered, Pagan-Boy. Quick! To the Ninja-Mobile! \o/

Proud Member of the FFF.net Event Team
Department of All Things Insane

Serenity Now/Equality Now screenings / Serenity Day (unrelated):
June 23rd www.cantstoptheserenity.com www.serenityday.org
Serenity Summer Campaign:
June 23rd - Sept 30th www.FireFlyFans.net
Serenity 'Versary:
September 30th www.FireFlyFans.net
Be there or be a purple-belted poop head. (<- not the official slogan)

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 10:56 PM

SPACEANJL


Thank you. I was looking at that myself - synchronicity, weeeee!

Maybe you could both be my minons?

SpaceAnJL

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Thursday, June 8, 2006 11:54 PM

STDOUBT


"..the Spice must flow..."
Oh! THAT Guild :-)

I'd say given 7500 more years, Inaras
girls could easily morph into "the Sisterhood".
I honestly believe many of the abilities
expressed by the Bene Gesserit are actually latent
in Earth-that-is gals.
Many an Earth-man has been subject to "The Voice"!
:P

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Friday, June 9, 2006 12:27 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Quote:


Because I needed a sidekick, and you just volunteered, Pagan-Boy. Quick! To the Ninja-Mobile! \o/



Is anyone else seeing them both in Batman and Robin outfits?

On the question of the guild - I think it would be impossible for these women to move in the social cirlces they do and not have some political influence. Has anyone ever heard of Veronica Franco? She was a famous Venician Courtesan who had quite a lot of political influence in Venice, although her later life showed how fickle that influence can be and how easily demeaned a courtesan/companion's life is.


Let's face it, any organisation involved in politics usually has a secret or two. I imagine the guild is no different. I also imagine they occasionally need to make a deal with the proverbial devil to keep their influence. Maybe that's why Inara stayed so very far away? Maybe she stumbled accross a secret she hated to bear?

Another question - where are all the kids? Surely a companion must fall pregnant, or decide to be a mother, sometime. It makes me wonder if companions are sterilised. Inara did seem to be very iffy around the subject of children (snapping at Mal in "Our Mrs. Reynolds"), and it bothers me the way Early mentioned that "only woman can make a child" to her.


Desktop Hippie: at one with the 'verse

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Friday, June 9, 2006 12:57 AM

SPACEANJL


I'm a historian by training, and I have a few books on Regency London and the like; not so up on the Geisha. But I'm glad I'm not going to be too left field for people. And I, too, have been pondering the sprog issue - she really did spit in 'OMR'. Also curious about that little black syringe of hers...

SpaceAnJL

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Friday, June 9, 2006 1:15 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


On the syringe, I did hear that someone involved in the show (I think it could have been Tim M.) discuss an episode they had considered doing that may have explained it.

The rough sketch of the episode was this. Mal and Inara have a huge fight, where he mocks her for "pretending to be a lady, wanting men to go kissing her hand and such when she's nothing but a whore." Really, really nasty fight. Anyway, shortly after this Serenity gets attacked by Reavers. They just about manage to get away, but Inara is taken. Alive.

Of course the gang have to go back for her, despite the horrific danger, and they manage to track the reaver ship. When they smash their way aboard they get a bit of a shock. The ship is full of dead reavers, and Inara in very, very bad shape.

It turns out Inara has a serum that she can inject herself with that kills anyone who has sex with her. When they were attacked she took it, figuring it was their only chance at surviving the reaver attack.

The episode ends with Simon trying to keep Mal out of the infirmary while he treats Inara. Mal pushes his way past him, kneels by Inara's bedside and kisses her hand.

Of course this is in no way canon, and was discussed at a time the show was supposed to go in a very dark direction, but it does come from an actual Firefly writer so I for one tend to take it seriously. I imagine Inara would have been a very different person after that particular episode though.

Desktop Hippie: at one with the 'verse

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Friday, June 9, 2006 2:39 AM

SPACEANJL


Gaaah. Oh, that is so nasty. Fits the whole dirty bio-bomb aspect of the Alliance,mind. Don't think my angst-wielding skills are up to that kind of fic, though.

SpaceAnJL

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:14 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by DesktopHippie:
Another question - where are all the kids? Surely a companion must fall pregnant, or decide to be a mother, sometime. It makes me wonder if companions are sterilised. Inara did seem to be very iffy around the subject of children (snapping at Mal in "Our Mrs. Reynolds"), and it bothers me the way Early mentioned that "only woman can make a child" to her.



We haven't exactly seen much of the Companion life, have we? We have seen nobody's kids, except for Simon and River and Petaline's baby. The show just hasn't focused on them.

That's no real basis for speculation of that sort.

Even Sheydra, who had the least unusual lifestyle was a teacher on a border planet. Not exactly the standard.


Sure, they dropped some hints about Inara and kids that I find fascinating, but the idea that Companions are sterilized is pretty unlikely. These are educated and smart women in a profession they won't be able to engage in when their youth and beauty fades. They'll have a whole lot of life left to live when they retire and eliminating the choice of kids is would be rather short-sighted.
I doubt they'd all agree to such a procedure as a standard, not in an age that probably has vastly superior birth control - or not protest if such a decision is taken out of their hands.

I mean, that's just pretending that all these women are stupid, which is a lazy choice.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:24 AM

SPACEANJL


I could imagine that you don't get kids AND a career in the Guild, though.



SpaceAnJL

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:29 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
I could imagine that you don't get kids AND a career in the Guild, though.

SpaceAnJL



Maybe not at the same time, maybe in succession. ;)

Really, I don't doubt that for many Companions their career is something they choose over having kids. I just don't agree with the idea that it's compulsory for them to get sterilized. Or that any Companion with half a brain would freely choose to get that procedure done without being fully aware of the consequences and accepting them without regret.

My point is, if Inara has issues with kids, I don't think it should be the automatic response to blame the Guild or Companioning for it.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:39 AM

SPACEANJL


Lifestyle choice is what I was trying to get at. And do you mean 'succession'? It would be a definite trade-off, I imagine. One or the other. And possibly Inara would have the same views as Wash about raising kids in the Black. This is a whole new thread, though...


SpaceAnJL

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:42 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Quote:

We haven't exactly seen much of the Companion life, have we? We have seen nobody's kids, except for Simon and River and Petaline's baby. The show just hasn't focused on them.

That's no real basis for speculation of that sort.

Even Sheydra, who had the least unusual lifestyle was a teacher on a border planet. Not exactly the standard.


Sure, they dropped some hints about Inara and kids that I find fascinating, but the idea that Companions are sterilized is pretty unlikely. These are educated and smart women in a profession they won't be able to engage in when their youth and beauty fades. They'll have a whole lot of life left to live when they retire and eliminating the choice of kids is would be rather short-sighted.
I doubt they'd all agree to such a procedure as a standard, not in an age that probably has vastly superior birth control - or not protest if such a decision is taken out of their hands.

I mean, that's just pretending that all these women are stupid, which is a lazy choice.



I take your point on us not having seen much of companion life. And I certainly don't think the companions are stupid. I'm just speculating based on the hints the writers dropped during the show. It's not like there were very many episodes, so Inara snapping at Mal in 'Our Mrs. Reynolds', Early mentioning a woman's ability to bear children (especially when he zoned in on every character's weaknesses) and the fact that Pedaline, who is not in the guild, is the only prostitute we've seen who has a child leads me to believe that the writers were trying to tell us something.

I'm not saying the process is irreversable, it may be some advanced form of birth control as you say. But we did learn from Inara that the guild regulates a companion's relationships (she referred to the "complicated" rules to Kaylee in 'Ariel'), so is it such a stretch to believe that they regulate a companion's ability to have a family?

Desktop Hippie: at one with the 'verse

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:46 AM

AGENTROUKA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
Lifestyle choice is what I was trying to get at. And do you mean 'succession'? It would be a definite trade-off, I imagine. One or the other. And possibly Inara would have the same views as Wash about raising kids in the Black. This is a whole new thread, though...


SpaceAnJL




Yes, I meant succession! *facepalm* I'm vocabulary-challenged today... *g*

I think whether it's a trade-off would definitely depend on when Companions retire, under what circumstances and how far medicine and technology have advanced. Even today women around 40 *can* have children (although with greater medical risks to mother and child) and 500 years along it might be a whole new world of possibilities.
I imagine some Companions have a very carefully thought-out plan for their lives and the time after their career. Planning a child in there somewhere... why shouldn't it be possible? :)

We really just don't know.

As for Wash's and Inara's view... could be, could be... But then, Mal could have the same. He grew up on a ranch! With horsies! *G*

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:48 AM

DESKTOPHIPPIE


Quote:

My point is, if Inara has issues with kids, I don't think it should be the automatic response to blame the Guild or Companioning for it.


Good point. So much of what we know about Inara comes from her job that it can be hard to seperate the role from the woman. It's actually something I'd love to see explored post-Serenity. After all, if Inara and Mal do start a relationship I don't think he'd be keen on her continuing her current line of work. I'd really love to see her doing something else, at least for a while. I want to see more of the woman hiding behind that fancy companion clothing. And I don't mean in a sponge bathing scene way.

Desktop Hippie: at one with the 'verse

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Friday, June 9, 2006 3:51 AM

AGENTROUKA


But if it's an easily reversible procedure, then why would Inara angst about it? And if she wants children rather than her job, why wouldn't she leave the Guild? She always speaks of her profession and the Guild with fondness (except for that one time with Nandi). If they were oppressing her in some way, I don't think she would.


I just think that the hints you refer to are too circumstantial to be deliberately pointing at the Guild.

Petaline is the only *character* we have seen with a child. Period. For all we know, we could draw on that to speculate that only whores have children, but that would be nonsensical. It just lends no weight to either argument.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 4:57 AM

WILDBILL


I always thought the companions were more Honored Matre than BG; "combining exctasy and worhip" (I think) and having gonzo seduction skills. Has anyone else read this far into the Dune series?

By the way, what's with that guy in the training house, do the companions practice on him, how do you get a job like that?

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Friday, June 9, 2006 4:59 AM

WILDBILL


Geez, I really need a typing refresher.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 5:37 AM

SPACEANJL


Read a few of the later Dune books - sandtrout Emperor just got too damn weird Shrieked at Matrix III, of course.

Male Companions are few and far between, but they exist (novel) - ties in with the slash thread running. In 500 years, are people, especially the Core planets, going to be more metrosexual?

So glad people are getting into this thread.

I think where I'm going with what I'm doing is going to please a few people. So all is shiny.

SpaceAnJL

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Friday, June 9, 2006 1:45 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


I agree that the Guild started as a protective union for Companions but I think the reason that the Guild has the power that it does is that Companions inevitabley learn secrets either by a slip of the tongue in the bedroom or secrets given by freely the men to the Companion they "love".

Those could range from the personal secrets of powerful men, political secrets or even financial secrets that allowed the Guild to amass money (either by blackmail by the Guild or individual Companions or savvy investments either legitimate or using what we now call "insider information")and of course money is power.




One day.
One plan.
One army of Browncoats.

On June 23rd, we aim to misbehave.

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Friday, June 9, 2006 2:33 PM

UNREGISTEREDCOMPANION


Exactly NC....

You are bound to learn things in that kind of a situation. I am sure the guild would have all kinds of protocol on what to do with that information as well.

~~~~~

"Funny and sexy. You have no idea. And you never will."

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