Idealism/sexism in HPIV

Ven ven at
Sun Oct 8 21:38:17 EDT 2000

Mary Ann wrote

>  I have to say, I'm
> always quite uncomfortable when a non-human fictional groups is
> characterized almost entirely by species rather than having individuals
> differ as much as we would expect human individuals to differ. And to make a
> non-human race dote on subservience seems particularly problematic--
> enslaved humans have so often been described that way by their masters (male
> and female).

I've felt this way about Mercedes Lackey's hertasi in her telepathic 
horsey books (Valdemar series). They are a small shy lizard like 
people who seem to just love to serve. They scuttle about preparing 
exquisite delicascies to be eaten in hot baths by exhausted mages 
(frequently gay). Then while the bath is being enjoyed they spirit 
away people's clothes and return them not only washed and 
mended but improved upon with embroidery and such like. 
Basically they all need to get a life. I found them icky in a way that 
made me wonder whether ML has a certain kind of Southern 

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