BLONDE AND BRUNETTE

The Aristasian Sexes

There are two sexes in this world, Alice Clarke Marshall, blonde and brunette. Brunettes are like me, dashing, adventurous, strong and all that sort of thing. Blondes are like you, beautiful, delicate, weak, nervous and simply adorable. Hair colour, in case you are confused about that point, has absolutely nothing to do with it.

THE SLAVE-GIRL

Lehnya was young. As a matter of fact, she had never taken a blonde to the cinema before. She knew very little about blondes, except that they were a wholly different order of humanity; so frail, some said, that one might break their bones by holding them too roughly. Certainly frail of heart and delicate of limb; swept by unpredictable moods and tempestuous passions; beautiful, sensitive, thrilling, mysterious and utterly, utterly different from oneself.

CHILDREN OF THE VOID

IN ARISTASIA there are no men. All the inhabitants are feminine. There are nevertheless two sexes in Aristasia: blondes and brunettes.

  Aristasian brunettes are about as feminine as a normal human woman—that is to say, about twice as feminine as a human woman in the last quarter of the 20th century. Aristasian blondes, on the other hand, are ultra-feminine.

  On the question of blondes and brunettes, it should be understood that, as with men and women, the two sexes are mentally, physically, emotionally and psychologically different. And, as with men and women, the differences are greater rather than less than they superficially appear to be. Brunettes are very much stronger physically than blondes (the difference is rather more marked than that between men and women). They are in many respects more practical and more "steady". The emotions of a blonde are a surging torrent, her perspective often quite unworldly.

  To say, however, that brunettes are the "dominant sex" is a considerable oversimplification. Blondes are regarded with the highest respect, and are often considered to be the custodians of a higher wisdom. They are often Princesses and sovereign rulers of nations and principalities; they are often priestesses and philosophers (philosophy in Aristasia being far from a dry academic discipline). In the practical affairs of life they usually (but not always) take second place—but practicalities, utilitarian matters, work, money and material are not nearly so highly regarded in Aristasia as they have long been in your world. In many ways brunettes can be regarded as the more useful but less important sex. If this last statement is a shade unfair, it is certainly no less incorrect than the assumption that blondes are the "inferior sex"—it is probably on the side of blonde rather than brunette superiority that Aristasia is prone to err.

  Nevertheless a blonde will tend to be submissive to her own brunette, and perhaps submissive in general. In Aristasia submission is considered a spiritual quality. At the same time Brunettes will pay respect to blondes, standing, for example, when one enters a room. There is a delicate and charming interplay of respect and submission between the two sexes.

  It is partly because of their sacredness that blondes are treated more strictly than brunettes under many circumstances (though as with many generalisations one may make about Aristasia there is also a converse side: a brunette may often receive severer punishment as the party who ought to have been more responsible. Much can be forgiven blonde frailty and the highly emotional nature of blonde psychology). We will encounter throughout this book the idea that frequent chastening is a necessary part of the upbringing of a blonde and helps her to develop gentleness, purity and a delicate ætherial sensibility.

  Those unfamiliar with the Aristasian mind might fancy that they detect here a trace of the dogma of "social conditioning" so dear to the doctrinaire masculinists of your post-Eclipse.—The dogma, that is, that there are no real mental or psychological differencesbetween the sexes (women being but men in differently-shaped bodies) and that everything we know by the name of femininity is only "social conditioning" forced upon women by men. It is a curious dogma, especially in view of the fact that the copious scientific research conducted in recent years in your world shows incontestably that the mental and psychological differences between men and women are inborn, ineradicable and if anything more wide-ranging than even the Victorians imagined. However, your post-Eclipse world never allows scientific facts to interfere with its official social mythologies.

  The truth is that femininity is a natural and vitally important aspect of human existence which has been undervalued and undermined in your world for millennia, and the ultimate consummation of this process is the extirpation of femininity from its last refuge: the heart of woman herself—a process which is only possible because woman has been tricked by the subtly twisted arguments of a false "feminism" into collaborating with her own de-feminisation.

   Since Aristasia knows nothing of these matters, it goes without saying for an Aristasian that the upbringing of a blonde—however it may vary in different places—is not a question of inculcating an artificial consciousness, but of coöperating with nature, of developing her inborn sensibility, of creating a perfect blondeness; an image of the Archetype of femininity; a marriage of nature and art.

THE DISTRICT GOVERNESS