piratekitten has declared February world-building month.
Every day in February, I will answer one question about any one of my settings.
The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!
How did the parents of the first generation of Addergoole students justify signing up their daughters for forced pregnancies?
So, I posted this to Twitter in musing about it, and Sky and Cluudle had some possible justifications, which I will post below.
The short version is: It really depends on the parent.
Some of them simply didn’t care, especially some of the men. They were being well-paid to deposit a sperm and walk away after the naming ritual; some of the women were offered better compensation to do something similar after nine months.
Some of them didn’t have a choice; they were collared and had been provided to the project by their Keeper – one example in particular is Ambrus.
Aelfgar, for his case, likes grandkids, and because as far as he’s concerned all his kids are gay (he’s wrong), this seemed like a way of ensuring some grandchildren.
Some of them weren’t thinking about daughters at all, they were thinking about sons.
In a more overarching sense: this was not sold as forced pregnancy. This was sold as any number of things, depending on the target: a program for the education and betterment of half-breeds, in a world which despised them; an experiment in a more targeted form of Mentoring; the foundation blocks for the salvation of the world when the Returned Gods came back. It was easy to sell it as these things, because it was all of them.
And, as is said by one set of parents in a story I need to finish, it’s easier to think in the abstract than when you’re looking at your eleven-year-old daughter. When the child is a concept, that’s one thing. When she’s sixteen and the Director’s letter arrives, that’s something else entirely.
And then there are all the reasons Sky and Cluudle came up with, which I’m willing to agree were probably valid for at least one person each:
“I got pregnant during my Keeping.”
“Didn’t really think about it.”
“I was starving.” [Lyn: This one was rather common. Regine offered a lot of money to the mothers]
“Being pregnant is a beautiful thing.”
“The work is important.”
“I trust these people.”
“Better she have children with our kind now than fall for a human later.”
“It’s not like she needs to raise them. It’s a small price to pay for what they’re offering (money/knowledge/etc.).”
“It’s a small price to pay for years of protection. Have you heard what the Nedetakaei are doing?”
“Our race is dying.” “The apocalypse is coming, I have to do something.” “I was drunk.” “I was mind controlled.” [the latter was very rare, but it did happen, more commonly to fathers than mothers].
“People had kids at this age in my day.” [This is actually part of Regine’s argument, too.
“She’s going to have kids eventually. Better with people that can handle her powers and the children’s.”
“I was on my third kid at that age /and/ I was married.”
“It’s for science.”
“A purebreed is talking to me aaaaaaaaaaaaah I’m so flustered.”
“Maybe this way she can find a Keeper or Kept around her own age. I hate how the older fae prey on the young.”
“It’s not rape if it’s your Keeper.”
And for after-the-fact justifications:
“I can barely handle this kid now. What am I going to do when she Changes? The school can manage better.”
“There’s no other way a half breed like her will find a husband.”
“It’s a half breed, why would I care what happens to it?”
“This is the best a half breed could hope for, a good education and a chance to breed pure.”
“This is the only person who has offered to get her a Mentor.”
“Anything is better than her not Changing at all and dying of old age.”
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