Auros (auros) wrote,

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Jokka rule.

So, probably most of you haven't heard of MCA Hogarth's jokka stories... I think I mentioned them in a comment on klgaffney's journal. Basically, the jokka are a race of tri-gendered aliens (male, female, neuter), who go through two "changes" -- puberty like periods in which their gender can switch. Under extreme stress, a male or female will tend to suffer brain damage; they're built so that their bodies will route blood away from the brain in favor of muscles. If you're a breeder, and you have some nice neuters at home to take care of you, you don't need to be smart, right? Of course, this creates a great deal of tension; a lot of jokka don't want to end up as female adults, because many females eventually end up losing their sentience in childbirth.

I've gotten to be somewhat friendly with Ms Hogarth; after her work was published in Strange Horizons, I wrote her a note expressing my appreciation, and she wrote back, and eventually I ended up discussing lingustics issues with her... Apparently that conversation provided some of the material for "Unspeakable", the third Jokka story, and winner of 3rd place in the SH Readers' Choice Awards. So, yay.

The stories about the jokka have thus far been set in various periods of their history, ranging from barely-post-stone-age, up through early urbanization (with trade routes and metal working becoming established). The overall feel of the stories has been compared by quite a few reviewers to the work of Ursula K. LeGuin, and I think that's quite apt. She has the ability to take profound sex and gender issues and use them to portray convincing characters in a truly alien society, shaped by having a totally different biology from our own; and yet still get at very deep truths about our own societies and sexualities.

Anyways... She's just done a very nifty quiz, which includes some pretty art for the results.

You are currently male and you were born neuter.

Your Jokku female gender score is: 23.
Your Jokku neuter gender score is: 38.
Your Jokku male gender score is: 40.

Take the Jokku Gender Test!

Note that "jokku" is the adjective form, so one would speak of a "jokku language" or "jokku features"; also, "jokka" is plural; the singular form is "jokkad". And while I'm on a linguistics kick... I think the initial 'j' is not the "dzh" sound in "jump"; it's more a pure "zh" sound like in "treasure". I might be wrong on that, though.

Fairly good results for me, I think. Jokka males are not masculine in the sense we think of that word -- good adjectives for them are clever, creative, and nimble. Neuters are the big tough ones who do the heavy work, get "wanderlust" and go off to find other tribes and bring back new breeders, etc. The females are largely concerned with family, and with trying to stay as healthy as possible so that their contribution to the family doesn't kill them (or at least their minds, which is the part that matters).


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