• Member Since 28th Oct, 2012
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Pineta


Particle Physics and Pony Fiction Experimentalist


E

Princess Cadance takes on the Crystal Empire patriarchy.

Written for FanOfMostEverything's Imposing Sovereigns contest in the Usurper¹ Cadance category.

¹Princesses Who Grabbed Power in a Man's World.

Princess of the Crystal Empire Checklist

- Defeat evil unicorn king [✔]
- Restore rule of law [✔]
- Get hair done [✔]
- Win chance to host Equestria Games [✔]
- Shut up those silly old colts with antiquated ideas about the role of a princess [ ]

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 67 )

Damn. This was absolutely scathing. A brilliant, beautiful, and awful parallel to the troubles of the real world. Amazing work.

Huh. I figured Commander in Chief would've been one of the titles Shining took on, based on past experience. And now I can't tell whether or not that's sexist of me. :applejackunsure:

Only a few crystal corporation CEOs or top executives are mares.

:trixieshiftright: Okay, now you're laying it on a little thick. How many corporations can there be in one crystalline city-state that's a millennium behind the times?

Mentioning Amore underlines the effort you're having to exert to make the parable work. Don't get me wrong, it's an important message, but I called out this descriptor as one people didn't have to hew to in the contest blog for a reason.

In all, again, an important message, but I'm not sure how well it works given the nature of the setting. That said, I'm probably taking that aspect of the story a wee bit too seriously. :twilightsheepish: I do like the idea of someone already on the throne finding something to usurp, and you do a great job portraying the battlefield in this slow war of ideas. Plus, the bookends were magnificently done. (Though I can't help but think how most of these crystal chauvinists would react if someone pointed out that literally all life on the planet depends on the effort of two mares...)

Thank you for this and best of luck in the judging.

Ah. Okay then, someone ran with that theme.

Well, I agree with your message. But, overt culture war material posted to a fandom community on the internet? Best of luck with that can of worms :applejackunsure:

I feel the story focuses on real world themes too much and doesn't make much sense in the setting of the show. For starters, I kept wondering ,if the Crystal Ponies really are so behind the times and bigoted then why did they accept Cadence as their ruler? Not only is she a mare, she also has virtually no credentials. She makes a deal out of trying to get them from being behind the times by doing things they tell her she can't, but what makes her qualified to really do anything? For example when they tell her she can't evaluate the guards because she's a mare, the should've actually told her she can't do it because she has no experience in training officers.

You should've given Cadence or at least some supporting character actual knowledge and experience in area's Cadence is trying to reform. Without it instead of a Princess who's trying to genuinely change a backwards society, she instead comes off as a spoiled noble that's just playing with her subjects.

8034576
Thanks

8034580
Firstly, thank you for coming up with such an awesome contest. This has been a really interesting writing exercise.

Yes, I know you made it clear that we didn't have to go along with the 'grabbed power in a man's world' thing, but that was the bit that interested me (and you didn't actually forbid it). I am an experimentalist, and the experiment I wanted to do was to see if I could directly address some of the feminist topics which affect our world through the medium of pony fiction. It's not immediately obvious how to do it, as Equestria appears more matriarchal that patriarchal. But what I ended up with seemed less contrived than I anticipated. It seems to work because Equestria is no utopia - they are not immune to the issues which affect our world, they are just better at dealing with them as they have these super powerful pony princesses to find solutions to the friendship problems.

And after reading the introduction to 'Princesses Behaving Badly', I liked the meta idea of writing a story where a pink pony princess addresses the issue of the impact pink princess culture has on young girls.

If you will do a competition with such an interesting prompt structure, you are going to get interesting experimental submissions.

Commander-in-chief is a title attached to the Queen of England, so figured why not give it to Cadance too.

There must have been quite a few corporations to have built such a big stadium. The crystal empire looked rather bigger than Ponyville.

8034601
Culture war material? Really the topics raised here are pretty mild compared to some stuff. Still there's no knowing how some people will react. I remember when I posted something about Emma Watson's HeForShe campaign. I had thought no one could disagree with a very simple 'end violence and discrimination against women' statement... Boy was I wrong

8034848

if the Crystal Ponies really are so behind the times and bigoted then why did they accept Cadence as their ruler? Not only is she a mare, she also has virtually no credentials

Think of Victorian England. Very patriarchal society, with a woman as head of state

8034868
Oh, there is no mention of feminism so mild that it won't outrage someone I'm afraid :unsuresweetie:

Speaking as a supposed male, YOU CANNOT PROVE IT!, I like this fic!

Should add on the checklist 'Baby Alicorn named Flurry Heart's first outing in the Crystal Empire.'

I was initially worried about reading this fic. I now realized that I worried for no reason. This is beautiful.

EDIT: I upvoted this the very instant someone else downvoted it. Weird, huh?

8034848
8034919
And to add on to what Pineta said, the Head of State isn't always the Head of Government. In countries where the two are separate, the HoS is mostly a figurehead, while the HoG runs the country. Like how England now is, with the Queen and the Prime Minister.

This story is indeed quite comical, but I suspect not in a way you intended.

So, what precisely is your justification for a patriarchy being even slightly in fashion after their last significant male sovereign was Sombra?

A brief list of stuff he did:
-violently murdered their previous benevolent and by-all-indicators-single sovereign Princess Amore (whom you paradoxically give a place of prominence in a gentlemen's club)
-put everypony in chains, so we can't even claim he was enforcing gender stereotypes
-personally ensured the temporal displacement of the empire
-then tried to eat them all

On top of all that, while you draw emphasis to Spike being hero-worshiped, you seem to forget the fact that his moment of glory also entirely lines up with Princess Cadenza flying through the air despite being massively impaired and then doing an awesome superhero landing and giving the order to engage the zappy-weapon, which one would think would fairly quickly shatter patriarchal thinking and become the new story children constantly re-enact with toys.

It's a well-written story, and it's got some decent jokes, but like pretty much any story that tries to apply real-world problems to Equestria, you have to jump through a whole heck of a lot of hoops to make it work, and nobody's actually willing to put in the effort to jump through enough hoops. And honestly, if this is what you call 'less contrived than anticipated', I'd hate to see what you consider actually contrived.

“But this is as bad as that awful supplement published after your wedding. The one where they spent eight pages talking about your dress and forgot to mention that you had just defeated Chrysalis and the changeling invasion and saved Canterlot from the biggest danger since the return of Discord!”

Er. Didn't the wedding happen before the Empire came back?
8034868

It's not immediately obvious how to do it, as Equestria appears more matriarchal that patriarchal.

Well, if you ask me, the Crystal Ponies are probably holdovers from a sexist time—against males. All the founders of Equestria are played as female, all the Alicorns are female... maybe they simply bucked the trend back then.

Pineta #15 · March 20th · · 1 ·

8036559

So, what precisely is your justification for a patriarchy being even slightly in fashion after their last significant male sovereign was Sombra?

You don't have to look too deep into human history to find examples of when patriarchy has remained in fashion after a particularly murderous male sovereign has been in power. Actually it seem that these characters serve to reinforce patriarchy.

if this is what you call 'less contrived than anticipated', I'd hate to see what you consider actually contrived.

I have written many stories where I have been reshaping Equestria to serve my purposes, such as explaining the physics of nuclear reactors or orbital mechanics or other stuff. In this story I wanted to address the issue of sexism in society. But how to do that when the show is carefully designed to show female characters in prominent and non-traditional roles?

I decided to go to the crystal empire, as we see less of it in the show, so there would be less things I would need to explain away. But I then found more than I expected which worked into this.

- Being a thousand years behind the times can explain a lot.
- The Crystal Guards are very prominent and are clearly an all male company
- The story of Spike getting the credit for returning the heart may have served another purpose in the show, but it was was very easy to reinterpret
- This story provides a natural explanation about why the Crystal Empire wanted to host the games
- Being an "empire" it was natural to model some details on the British Empire. The Imperial Club was modelled on Victorian gentlemen's club, which would have had a picture of the Queen on the wall, and professed their loyalty to her, while still being totally misogynistic.

I don't think I am expecting the reader to jump through any more hoops than a lot of fanfiction. It is just that because of their prejudices, these hoops are more obvious to them. The fact that I am having to defend this does bring to mind what modern day feminists face, having to deal with "sexism doesn't exist", "women have never had it so good" comments.

8037045

Didn't the wedding happen before the Empire came back?

The supplement which Twilight refers to was published in Canterlot.

Well, if you ask me, the Crystal Ponies are probably holdovers from a sexist time—against males. All the founders of Equestria are played as female, all the Alicorns are female... maybe they simply bucked the trend back then.

That's a perfectly fine alternative interpretation. But that is going further into the realm of fantasy. What I like to do with my stories, is to use the pony world as a mirror to look at issues in our own.

“I suppose you could change the name,” suggested Shining Armour. “Call it The Revolutionary Club, or The Republican Club.”

Perfect. The humor of a prince suggesting that nearly made me lose it in the middle of the cafeteria where I'm reading this.

A bit heavy handed, and it's a bit hard to buy that Equestria and the Empire as presented in the show would have quite this degree of gender disparity, but interesting nevertheless.

8037125

- The Crystal Guards are very prominent and are clearly an all male company

Because we've ever seen female Royal Guards in Canterlot, ever.

- This story provides a natural explanation about why the Crystal Empire wanted to host the games

As opposed to the various other reasons everyone else came up with, like 'we want to show the outside world we're actually good for something', 'this would be a really good way to re-integrate the Crystal Empire', or just 'Equestria never had access to a solid crystal stadium before, and they're not passing that up'. Which all, conveniently enough, mean we don't have to try and make sexism seem natural in a world where the supreme rulers have been female for most likely even several centuries before Sombra and the two most prominent examples of patriarchy-run governments are either isolationist or collapsed the moment their shiny thing was taken away.

Just... there is a point where we have to admit that Equestria isn't the perfect backdrop to soapbox about all of our problems with the real world, precisely because it isn't the real world.

Girl power stories don't really work in Mlp. The show does a good enough job showing girls being awesome that the problem of misogyny has to be invented just so someone can point out its obvious flaws. The analogy to our world does not work because Equestria clearly does not have problems with sexism.

8037134

The supplement which Twilight refers to was published in Canterlot.

Ah, that makes more sense!

8038063

the two most prominent examples of patriarchy-run governments are either isolationist or collapsed the moment their shiny thing was taken away.

I'm guessing... Yakyakistan and Griffonstone?

“Given that the Princess of the Crystal Empire is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Crystal Imperial Armed Forces, I find that statement somewhat flawed.”

“General,” said Cadance sweetly. “You told me that the guards would not take orders for me, yet they did just as I instructed. You now say that a mare running a training exercise is not done, yet I have just done it. Are you feeling okay? Would you like a glass of water?”

“No… I just meant… This just isn’t proper.”

“You are aware that over fifty percent of the Wonderbolts are mares, including their current captain.”

“Yes… But… This is the Crystal Empire.”

“Anyway,” continued Cadance, aware that no amount of logic would change the opinion of the old fool. “We need to leave for our meeting with the Equestria Games Inspector. I’ll leave the next exercise to you.” She levitated her whistle off her neck and onto that of the general before turning to trot away. “Don’t forget to judge how well they have polished their armour.”

:rainbowlaugh:

She shook her head. “They also feel there must be a male hero behind every success. So after King Sombra was defeated, Spike is the one who got all the credit, instead of you, who did most of the work recovering the Crystal Heart. They now refer to him as the Great and Honourable Spike the Brave and Glorious, and they are planning to build an enormous crystal statue of him.”

Twilight chuckled. “He’ll like that. I’ll keep it a secret for now though. But that episode taught me that sometimes you have to let other ponies—or dragons—take the credit for things you do. The important thing is that he was able to get the Crystal Heart to you in time. Then I was just pleased that I passed my test.”

Interesting... :duck:

“It’s Princess Crystal!” shouted the pink filly, waving the doll in front of her. “She’s the princess of the Crystal Rainbow Castle.”

“She’s the prettiest pony princess,” added the yellow filly.

“What does she do?”

“She likes singing and dancing with Prince Diamond. And she has tea parties and goes on picnics with her friends.”

“And she has a pretty dress and a tiara,” added the lilac filly, “and her wings really twinkle.”

Twilight considered this information and decided to probe further. “Does she do anything else?”

Holy references, Batman! :rainbowkiss:

“It is a clubhouse,” said Cadance. “I have been here before and I can assure you that what goes on in this institution is far more critical to the long term prosperity of the Crystal Empire than anything that happens in the Imperial Club.”

[Most interesting.]

“They will learn,” said Cadance. “They just need a bit of encouraging. Until I met them, no pony had never even suggested that their special talent could be anything other than a narrow list of Things Suitable For A Young Filly.”

[What does it mean about Cutie Marks that no one has been a blank flank their whole lives? Well, I guess even with that limited, but large? set of things, a filly could find something they enjoy enough to be their cutie mark... And then there's magical guidance as well, like Rarity and her horn pulling her.]

Typos

scroll(,) unsure

“Yes, ma’am(!)”

surprise(,) but

focussed

focused [?]

However unfortunately

Either one of these?

1. However, unfortunately,
2. However,
3. Unfortunately,

area(s) of work

Unfortunately(,) too

short(-)sighted

job(,) my

to too

too

wide(-)eyed

stunt flyers(?)

picture(s) on

focussed

focused [?]

to activity

to actively

leader, Cadance

too, Twilight.

leader, Twilight

Fun story. I love your newspapers! :pinkiehappy:

Page 10. Progress!!

Pineta #25 · March 21st · · 4 ·

8039017

Girl power stories don't really work in Mlp.

Girl power is what MLP is about. Strong smart female lead characters, following the trail of Powerpuff Girls.

The show does a good enough job showing girls being awesome that the problem of misogyny has to be invented just so someone can point out its obvious flaws.

You could just as well say that the show does a good enough job showing ponies being friends that the friendship problems have to be invented just so that they can solve them.That's how it works.

The analogy to our world does not work because Equestria clearly does not have problems with sexism.

The show is all about analogies with our world. It is stories dealing with issues that affect girls in our world. Consider Top Bolt, in which we see Vapor Trail being held back because she focusses on helping her male friend Sky Stinger, who is so confident he doesn't even realise that she is the better flyer. That is a story which could come straight out of a feminist casebook. Equestria does not have visible problems with sexism because they overcome these problems. The CMC had problems with bullying, but they sorted it out. Equestria had problems of a lack of harmony between tribes, but they overcame it. In this story, the Crystal Empire has a problem with misogyny, which Cadance is in the process of sorting out.

8040124

the friendship problems have to be invented just so that they can solve them.

And then you immediately claim the show is all about allegories to the real world. Which is it, Pineta? Is the show a flawless allegory for the real world, or is its conflict artificially manufactured because the actual world is too perfect?

Also, am I the only one who finds it odd that the example you present of a sexist situation is the show's episode about a co-dependent relationship, wherein both Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail are basically crippled in both body and mind without each other, and they both have to learn lessons and move past their respective faults in order to fix their relationship? Call me crazy, but that doesn't sound like a textbook case of discrimination and underestimation of one's ability based on gender.

The show is not just "stories dealing with issues that affect girls in our world". It's stories dealing with issues that affect people in our world. That affect friends in our world.

Equestria does enough to push a message of empowering women with
-its massively skewed gender population numbers
-two immortal un-usurpable female sovereigns
-virtually every position of power being held by a female
-the cast of heroes being overwhelmingly composed of females (and on the few occasions where a male could be argued to have saved the day, he would have definitely failed without a female's help, like Cadence superpowering Shining Armor's shield spell or Cadence preventing Spike from being eaten)
-and the overwhelming majority of named male characters having been villainized or otherwise used as the driving antagonistic force of their respective episodes.

It doesn't need an entire empire of overt misogynists cast as the ineffectual and very stupid villains to help with that.

8034952

Lewis's Law, anyone?

Honestly, speaking as someone who just read a fanfic about Emperor Palpatine literally fucking the dark side of the force into Fluttershy, I'm kinda shocked that "the crystal empire has old-fashioned, patriarchal gender norms" is a leap too far for some people. What fanfics do these purists enjoy? Non-ship slice of life fics based exclusively on accurate representations of things we already know about established characters? Nothing wrong with that particular proclivity, but you'd think a fic with the subtitle of "Princess Cadance takes on the Crystal Empire patriarchy" would be the kind of thing they'd recognize as outside of their wheelhouse; much like I don't bother to go downvote bizarre crossovers like "Tirek is Doomed" because it's clearly not something I'm interested in.

FWIW I really liked this story. It was a funny little roast of real-world patriarchal cultural institutions, and one that hit the mark quite well. Yes, it is a bit odd that, in a universe with so little gender bias, you would find something like this, but certainly no more odd than, say, a story involving Octavia being a shark. :derpytongue2:

Pineta #28 · March 21st · · 1 ·

8040192

the friendship problems have to be invented just so that they can solve them.

And then you immediately claim the show is all about allegories to the real world. Which is it, Pineta? Is the show a flawless allegory for the real world, or is its conflict artificially manufactured because the actual world is too perfect?

I have explained that Equestria is not a perfect word, it is a world where they find ways to overcome real problems. Introducing sexism into Equestria is no more artifical than introducing other friendship problems.

Also, am I the only one who finds it odd that the example you present of a sexist situation is the show's episode about a co-dependent relationship, wherein both Sky Stinger and Vapor Trail are basically crippled in both body and mind without each other, and they both have to learn lessons and move past their respective faults in order to fix their relationship? Call me crazy, but that doesn't sound like a textbook case of discrimination and underestimation of one's ability based on gender.

The story is very similar to cases discussed as examples of the problems facing women in our world. For example Sheryl Sandberg tells a similar story in her TED talk. I did not claim that as an example of sexism but as an example of a real world scenario which affects women and girls. To me that episode reinforced that the show was dealing with issues of human (especially young female) interest in our society.

The show is not just "stories dealing with issues that affect girls in our world". It's stories dealing with issues that affect people in our world. That affect friends in our world.

Err... yes... It has always been made very clear, by both Hasbro and Lauren Faust that this is a show aimed at girls.

It doesn't need an entire empire of overt misogynists cast as the ineffectual and very stupid villains to help with that.

There are a great many things which are explored in fanfiction which Equestria doesn't need, but I don't see why this should be off-limits. Given that MLP is such a feminist show, it seems to me to be rather more in keeping with the underlying message to write a fic which directly addresses the issue of sexism in society than many other issues which we choose to write about.

8040238

I'm kinda shocked that "the crystal empire has old-fashioned, patriarchal gender norms" is a leap too far for some people.

This is what I am finding frustrating about the reactions to this story. Can't say I'm all that shocked though.

8040238 Speaking as a person who wrote a story involving Octavia being a shark, I'm mostly just puzzled that this story occupies a strange middle ground of trying just hard enough that it's obvious effort is being put into making this look like a serious endeavor (this is as opposed to just saying Equestria's got some man-supremacist elements in it, telling you not to question it, and using that as setup for some jokes), but not enough effort has been put in to really sell it as plausible for several people. If that makes any sense.

Also, I must confess to quite enjoying some good-natured banter and challenging of the author's points as a fun bit of sport.

8040270

Also, I must confess to quite enjoying some good-natured banter and challenging of the author's points as a fun bit of sport.

I was just thinking we were doing well to keep it civil... No down votes in the comments yet... Then the first one appeared.

8040263

There are a great many things which are explored in fanfiction which Equestria doesn't need, but I don't see why this should be off-limits.

I'm not trying to say it should be off limits, and I do sincerely apologize if that impression came across. I'm trying to say it's rather absurd and non-plausible within the show's universe and logic. This is a criticism which I level against largely any story that lazily tacks a real-world issue onto Equestria with little to no effort of localization, and not this story or this topic exclusively.

8040281 I'd argue there are lots of places in Equestria that at the very least lack evidence against a patriarchy, and may even have some evidence in favor of it. Griffinstone had nothing but Kings for 19 years. After Gilda and Gabby teach other ponies the way of friendship and help revitalize it, who's running Griffonstone now? According to the comics, some generic portly Griffon King. The Dragons have been ruled by a macho male ruler for probably longer than Celestia has been alive, even if they now have a female ruler. This particular story would fit really well with Ember. Yakyakistan, the Buffalo, maybe even the Diamond Dogs can't be ruled out as patriarchal societies. About the only societies that can are ponies and changlings.

Heck, over the course of the show, the evidence of a matriarchy has actually weakened. The Equestrian Games give us a view of who the elite are, and beneath the Princesses they are at least half stallions. From Princess Spike, we know the makeup of the representatives of each city in the Grand Pony Council are half stallion, including the representatives of Canterlot and Manehatten. Stallions are most of the examples of really successful businessponies, from Filthy Rich to Oat Street Traders to Gladmane. And of course, Star Swirl.

8041147 You make a lot of really good points, and I rescind to many of them. I would like to point out that many of these patriarchal societies are viewed as barbaric, primitive or just plain rude by the ponies, whom this story is largely concerned about, but otherwise your point does stand. Certainly enough that I will admit the concept of a partiarchal Crystal Empire is perhaps more plausible than I originally gave it credit for, if only because I did forget there's a lot of male success models in the show these days.

As a piece of feminist fiction, this is pretty good. It covers most of the broad issues; a little heavy-handedly, perhaps, but some anvils need dropping, and it was written for a contest, which necessarily means it can't go through the many drafts of editing necessary for deft subtlety in all things.

As a piece of MLP fiction, I don't think it fits so well. Equestria, and by extension the Crystal Empire, are so innately skewed towards girl power from the base principles, that trying to map them to real-world patriarchal society is kind of a kludgy, awkward fit. It's so counter to the expected vision of Equestria that it seems out of place. Equestria is a great setting for girl power stories, but it better suits, I think, girl power stories in the form of women going out and doing awesome things in a world that doesn't get in their way. If anything, I think Equestria lends itself most naturally towards stories that approach real-world sexism sideways, or through inversion; Stallions On Strike comes to mind.

Note, however, that I say Equestria. As howard305 points out, this concept would work really well in Griffonstone; just off the top of my head I think there's something worthwhile to explore in how Gilda, the outspoken, rough-and-tumble girl, left Griffonstone to form links with Equestria, while Gabby, the relatively demure and conventionally feminine character, stayed at home.

In essence, I think the problem is not that this is a bad story to tell, or even a bad story to tell in MLP, but it's trying to tell a very good story in the wrong part of MLP.

8041169 Thanks!

Certainly enough that I will admit the concept of a patriarchal Crystal Empire is perhaps more plausible than I originally gave it credit for, if only because I did forget there's a lot of male success models in the show these days.

Ehhhh. I'd argue that the evidence is pretty strong that ponies everywhere, including in the Crystal Empire, have more of an egalitarian model than patriarchal or matriarchal model. There are still the alicorn princesses and the Mane 6, after all. I'll assume this version ignores the comics, since they have the Crystal Empire founded and led mostly by Princess Amore, with Radiant Hope as her likely successor. Even in the show the Crystal Empire was founded by a "First Queen," and the only male leader we ever see around is the Prince Consort, whose role includes leading the local guards and acting as a coach. Maybe if Sombra had actually seized power for decades and brainwashed the population into believing only stallions could rule, and that brainwashing somehow never went away? :rainbowhuh:

8041464 This version does not ignore Princess Amore. Her portrait has a place of prominence in the gentlemen's club where mares are not allowed to tread.

No, the author hasn't even tried to defend this.

8041472 Well to be fair, if there was any princess that could turn a society patriarchal, it's "torture an orphan" Amore.

8041511 ...Yeah. Who honestly thought she'd come off as a sympathetic character when she willingly allowed a child to endure great physical pain that prevents him from enjoying the thing he wants most in life, and just never bothered giving him an explanation of what he was on the assumption that that would somehow make him more likely to be on her side?

Even Tyrantlestia is horrified.

8041529 And then in the most recent annual she lectures Shining Armor that you must always put the good of one pony above the good of the Kingdom as a whole, so.....

Either she's really stupid, or just incredibly speciest, and is being very specific with that "pony" label.

8041536 Wait, they actually reused her?

That's almost as stupid as having her in the first place. The freakin' Conversion Bureau was handled with more tact than her strategy of fighting the Umbrum. Which, just so we're clear was:

Hope their sentient free-thinking superweapon that feels pain at the time of our greatest joy never turns on us. Oh, and never ever let him know what the stakes are or make any attempt to connect with him other than possibly trying to get him a girlfriend (who later turns out to have basically been a brainwashed slave of the Umbrum).

Pineta #42 · March 21st · · 1 ·

8041472

Her portrait has a place of prominence in the gentlemen's club where mares are not allowed to tread.

No, the author hasn't even tried to defend this.

Haven't I? I did say: The Imperial Club was modelled on Victorian gentlemen's club, which would have had a picture of the Queen on the wall, and professed their loyalty to her, while still being totally misogynistic..

If I'd known that this portrait would trouble everyone so much I would have just left it out. But it was intended as a reference to Victorian England to portray a patriarchal society, which treats a female monarch as a figurehead to be dressed up and put on display, but would never be considered a ruler. Maybe I am just more familiar with this imagery than my readers. But this concept is not unique to the Victorians. Think of the catholic church, which worships the image of the virgin Mary, but is entirely run by men.

8041622 Huh. My mistake. Must have genuinely missed that. My bad.

And yes, you are much more familiar with this imagery than your readers. That's kind of a given whenever an author tries to reference something: odds are, only they will get it. I, for example, am not an enthusiast of Victorian England and know basically nothing about the Catholic church, so it just struck me as a complete contradiction of terms.

8039143
Thanks for pointing those out. Finally corrected those typos.

8041549 Yup, and they tried to portray her as this great wise leader and archmage full of compassion. It's what a lot of people complained about more than anything.

In the end of the Sombra's return comic arc, Sombra and Hope embark on a quest to restore Amore to life. I really hope they succeed, and then point out that the Crystal Empire already has a princess, and given Amore's record, it's better if her new job is as junior janitor or something.

Meh debate aside I enjoyed this and will read it to my daughters.

Thanks for wrighting it.

No idea what to think of this. Personally, it seems like a giant overblown caricature more than anything else.

Lunara #48 · April 1st · · 1 ·

I absolutely love this story. It seems like so many people don't realize the struggles that women deal with every day, and nobody notices, as everyone is so used to this inequality that they don't find it important.
But, knowing that there are other people who care gives me hope. Thanks for writing this. :twilightsmile:

They just think the absence of mares doing certain jobs is a sign that mares are less suited to that work.”

I was going to say there wasn't a lot of basis for this in cannon, because quite frankly there's more than twice as many mares compared to stallions. But then this line over here happened:

Spike is the one who got all the credit, instead of you, who did most of the work recovering the Crystal Heart. They now refer to him as the Great and Honourable Spike the Brave and Glorious, and they are planning to build an enormous crystal statue of him.”

And that gave it the grounding it needed.
(My spellcheck says that honorable is misspelled)
8040266
I suppose that the setting is so idealized that people want to think that stuff like that doesn't exist.

Great story though I dont think the ponies ever had the glass cieling. I mean in both Testing Testing it showd how mares had importants tasks to do even centuries ago so i doubt they had that glass against them

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