Society of Iboma
Ibomian society is matriarchal i.e. dominated by women. This manifests in its political system where most political leaders are women and in economic life where women earn, on average, higher wages than men and occupy most senior corporate roles. Stemming in part from the physically larger character of women, Akronism built the idea of male impurity and aggression into the social fabric and femaleness as it’s counterbalance. Nevertheless, this society eschews many of the social values and norms displayed by other society.
In intimate relationships, four types of legal and social relationships exist that are often filled by different people, with women playing a dominant role in each. Child-raising relationships are geared towards assisting one another in raising and providing for a child. Sexual relationships are purely for mutual physical intimacy and pleasure. Birthing relationships, whereby a mate is chosen on the basis in phylogenetic traits to optimize the characteristics of the child. Living partnerships consist of people sharing resources and space – this is usually the most emotionally intimate relationship.
Ibomian society exhibits three key social values: excellence, integrity and freedom. This society values hard work, studious attention to detail and outstanding quality, unfortunately to the exhaustion and social stigma of some. It also values being honest, disciplined and true to one’s self. Above all else, it values freedom and encourages people to express their personalities. Coupled with the fluidity in sexual practices and gender norms, the majority of the population is not exclusively attracted to a single gender and people often form emotionally and physically intimate relationships with several partners. Social interactions call for respecting complex social hierarchies, kindness and courtesy, but may seem distance as people do not like small talk or talking with strangers.
People in Iboma do not have the same system of social relationships as people in other nations. This is most evident in intimate partnerships. The social norms which these relationships produce eschew typical values surrounding the notion of families, parenthood and marriage. Ibomians have four types of intimate relationships that are seldom shared by the same individual:
- Physically romantic intimate partnerships: Adults who want to remain physically intimate may form relationships exclusively for this purpose. Having a dedicated partner without emotional or economic attachment is seen as a normal part of life.
- Child-bearing partnerships: When people, usually females, want to have a child, they select a male partner on the basis of physical, emotional, intellectual and mental traits that will be most optimal for their offspring. The sole purpose of this arrangement is to produce children. This can be likened to sperm and ovum donors in other nations.
- Child-raising partnerships: These are relationships in which two individuals agree to raise a child together. They take joint responsibility for the financial, emotional and physical well-being of the child up to and sometimes during adulthood. They are the equivalent of parents, yet for a variety of relationships they may not necessarily have been romantically involved. In some cases, a birthing or living partner can occupy this role, although not always.
- Living partnerships: A living partner is someone with whom one agrees to share resources and space to optimize mutual living standards. This also includes allowing and empowering the other person to make decisions over one’s life in the case of an emergency. Partners in this relationship may be chosen because of financial acumen and desirable temperament rather than romantic or physical feelings.
Manners and etiquette
People in Iboma expect people, especially from their own country to conduct themselves in specific ways in different context as a sign of respect for those around them. There are hundreds of expected social behaviors, but the most relevant are as follows:
- Speaking to strangers in public: Unless there is some predetermined business which has brought the strangers into contact such as a business arrangement, it is unlikely that people will speak to strangers in public. Moreover, people will avoid small talk at all especially with people they do not know.
- Deep conversations: This leads to the next point of the way people interact: when people become familiar with one another, conversations become deep intimate and the questions and expositions from these encounters are highly intimate and would be perceived as invasive. This is because social relationships in Iboma are carefully orchestrated to maximize personal, communal and economic outcomes, thus when people become emotionally attached in some meaningful way, they become open and trusting enough to share intimate personal information.
- Courtesy and kindness: It is a social expectation that people will attempt as much as possible to bring as little inconvenience as possible to others. This shapes the entire life of a person and their social interactions. People will show excessive kindness and courtesy and consideration to others. For instance, it is an expectation that people will hold the door for elderly or frail people, provide people with accurate directions, help each other when their car breaks down. Unlike other cultures, this process does not arise out of conversation and is almost always thankless as it is expected that people will try their best to make others comfortable and their lives convenient.
- Intricate social hierarchies: In Iboma, a person’s place in the social hierarchy is determined by their achievements. Thus, people who occupy various meritocratic positions (positions which were achieved through competing with others) are held in high esteem. As such, different career positions are given different levels of respect. Ergo, the language one uses when addressing someone or the physical mannerisms one uses around someone will vary in formality according to the position that person occupies in the social hierarchy relative to oneself.
While value systems vary by person, there are collective values that shape the society. These values are either explicitly espoused by government policy and social institutions through a mantra, public pledge or rules, or they develop through custom and are observed in their resilience. These are as follows:
- Integrity: Ibomians strongly believe in being truthful, honest, reliable and trustworthy. They believe that being true to one’s word and carrying out one’s promises is vital to one’s nature. Thus, Ibomians have a dislike of vows and pledges and avoid them wherever possible, preferring to frankly state what they can and cannot do, will and will not accept. They believe that one’s actions must always reflect one’s thoughts and attitudes truthfully rather than concealing important and pertinent substantive qualities essential to one’s sense of self. Therefore, Ibomians have a long history of honoring contracts and obeying the law.
- Excellence: Ibomians strive for excellence almost to a fault. They are willing to work themselves to exhaustion for the sake of achieving merit. They believe in producing work of excellent quality and carrying out their work with the highest standard. This character is ameliorated by the equally weighted value of integrity which calls on people to be honest about their failures and inadequacies. This prevents the excessive competition associated with patriarchal and chauvinistic societies. Unfortunately, it does not protect them from the shame or social stigmatization from the perception of failure and ineptitude.
- Freedom: People in Iboma strongly believe that people should be allowed to live their lives and express themselves as they choose (within reason and without bringing harm to the group). More on this topic will be explored when discussing gender and sexual orientation. This manifests itself in the way people can dress, express their opinions, and share their talents without much social criticism.
Gender and sexual orientation
In Iboma, females are typically stronger and larger than males. This has been proven in studies which have found that the average height, weight and lung-capacity of females is higher than that of men. Thus, Iboma has quietly developed into a matriarchal society. In this society, gender dichotomy is more blurred and roles and characteristics are rarely associated with a particular gender. Ergo, people do not use gender as a significant determining factor when developing romantic or platonic feelings or developing physically intimate relationships. Thus, both gender and sexual orientation are highly mercurial. In this nation, most people will engage in emotionally and physically intimate relationships with people of any gender. The notion of the LGBT+ as an appellation for sexual minorities does not exist here. In fact, the notion of sexual minorities does not exist either.