IF YOU are to understand Femmeworld, you must also understand our Mother Country, Aristasia. Aristasia, exists on another plane of being, accessible only through certain magical doorways and through the magico-electronic "shimmer-field" through which Cyberspace passes into Elektraspace.
Aristasia is a vast Empire of seven Provinces. each province is a nation in its own right, ruled over by its own Queen; and each of these Queens owes allegiance to the High Empress herself who lives in Ladyton, the capital of the Empire. Far in the East are ancient lands, some with their own Empresses, who owe but doubtful allegiance or none to the High Empress Celestia, but of these lands we need say little, for they are hard to reach, being outside the range of technics. No aeroplane can fly there nor motor carriage run there, and many are the ancient mysteries hidden in those lands.
From Quirinelle in the West, and the curious Isle of Infraquirinelle in the Golden Sea beyond, to the Holy city of Rayapurh, far in the East whence but few travellers have returned; from the silver Art-Neo light-planes of Novaria (ruled over by young brunette Viktoria) to the horse-carriages of Arcadia (ruled over by the mature blonde Victoria); from the bustling streets and the bright lights of Ladyton to the gentle rural serenity of Marywater or the intelectual fervour of the ancient University of Milchford, Aristasia is a land of many moods and many changes; far greater than those of your world, for it is rather as if modern New York, Pericleian Athens and ancient Byzantium were all on the same globe at the same time.Yet for all the vast distances of the Empire and for all the many varieties of civilisation found therein; certain things, when compared to the world of Telluria, unite all its peoples and places. To speak simply, there are three great differences that divide the lands and peoples of Aristasia from the world you, dear reader, may know.
The first difference is that 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. Those who incline to the belief that "feminine" is merely a synonym for "weak" will, we trust, learn in the course of her sojourn in Femmeworld to amend that notion.
What exactly constitutes the magical quality of femininity is too great and too mysterious a matter for us to enter into here. Suffice it to say that much of what makes Aristasia what it is--that gives it its special character and flavour--lies in its nature as an all-feminine world.
As we have said, however, there are three qualities which distinguishAristasia from the world with which we imagine our reader to be more familiar. The second of these is that many of the qualities that, in your world, belong to the dimension of time belong in Aristasia to the dimensions of space. Thus the seven Provinces of Aristasia shown on our map have many of the properties which, in your world, belong to historical periods. The Province of Quirinelle, for example, is in many respects equivalent to your 1950s, the Province of Trent to your 1930s, the Province of Arcadia (in its more Westerly parts) to your Victorian and Edwardian eras, and the province of Amazonia to the pre-historic matriarchal civilisations of your world. The Province of Novaria corresponds to the 2020s and 2030s which in your world (atthe time of writing) we do not believe to have come about yet.
If a disproportionate number of the provinces cluster moderately close to what your world terms "the present", that is because Aristasia is not wholly independent of time, and those tendencies represented by the smaller provinces west of Arcadia and Amazonia are very much to the fore in the present Aristasian century. Many of them have indeed only come into existence relatively recently, though not in a chronological order that relates directly to your eras (Vintesse, for example, corresponding somewhat to your 1920s is much more "modern" than Kadoria, which has much in common with your 1940s).
You will notice also that, while both your past and your future havecorrespondences among the Aristasian provinces, your present does not. This brings us to the third and perhaps the most important distinction between Aristasia and your world.
Aristasia is still sane. It did not suffer any equivalent to the culturalEclipse which took place in your 1960s, leaving all values inverted, replacing the love of beauty with the love of ugliness, the love of order with the love of chaos and giving over all normal human loyalties, decencies and truths to vilification or to mockery. This is why there is not and could not be any Province which bears any relation to the decades of darkness following your Eclipse.
This third distinction is, as we have said, the most significant between your world and Aristasia. The all-feminine constitution of Aristasia and thetransposition of time and space are great differences, to be sure; but compared to this third matter they are relatively minor. They are such distinctions as may exist in the boundless universe between sane and normal worlds, made up of people fundamentally human, and sharing the affections and sensibilities of rational creatures everywhere. Only in this last particular are the two peoples set apart one from another as complete aliens.
The first and third of the three distinctions are more closely related than may initially be apparent. The fundamental symptom of your Eclipse was the almost complete annihilation of the feminine principle in your world brought about by a number of causes but led by the extreme masculinist movement (sometimes misknown by the outlandishly inverted name of "feminism", although there is another and higher feminism which seeks to serve and restore the feminine rather than destroy it) whose aim was to annihilate the feminine in its last place of refuge--the hearts of women themselves. While to your materialist philosophy, this may seem like a mere incidental, can you not see that the elements of form and beauty, of harmony (and therefore of order and right relations with nature), of homeliness (and therefore of loyalty) belong to the feminine pole of existence: that all the things you have lost, all the diseases that corrode your world, are but symptoms of your primary rejection of the feminine. The problem did not begin with your Eclipse, but there it reached its dark consummation: there it turned from a congenital weakness to a dark, consuming fever.
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