May 8, 2002
6:14 AM   Subscribe

Have you heard of the Feminine Empire of Aristasia? It seems to be "an alternative reality that is really lived by girls today." Whether this is fact or elaborate fiction, there is a crowd of websites out there devoted to this subject. There is a glossary, a pinup area of ideal Aristasians, even types of people. Is this Lesbian role playing? Is it real? You be the judge: Google it.
posted by ashbury (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been aware of Aristasia for many years. In some ways, it's absolutely charming, and the language of "blondes and brunettes" has found its way into my regular speech.

On the other hand, it’s a little troubling in its extreme authoritarianism. The philosophy behind it is diametrically opposed to the individualism that’s so popular in America. The inventors (inventrices?) of Aristasia have pointed out that their outlook is pretty uniquely British, so maybe it’s beyond me as an American to grasp their point entirely? I don’t know.

It’s really a fascinating little universe they have created. I find myself doubting that it can hold much interest for men though, since it’s so completely and deliberately geared toward a feminine model.
posted by Fenriss at 7:52 AM on May 8, 2002

From one of the sites, an explanation of the two "sexes" of Aristasia:
Both blondes and brunettes are entirely feminine, but blondes are ultra-feminine. Blondes are softer and more yielding, physically and psychologically. Some of them are pert and scatterbrained, while others are smart but sweet and shy. They are considered to be far more ethereal and closer to the divine. For this reason brunettes cherish and protect them -- the ideal of chivalry is very important to Aristasian brunettes. Brunettes are stronger, both physically and psychologically, and braver and more practical. One might say that brunettes are the dominant sex, but blondes the superior sex.
I think I'll pass, thanks.
posted by precocious at 8:14 AM on May 8, 2002

Well, it sounds better than Gor, at least.
posted by darukaru at 8:24 AM on May 8, 2002

Artesians and Lileks seem to share an interest - pictures of pin-ups randomly losing their panties.
posted by iconomy at 8:25 AM on May 8, 2002

also: art frahm.
aristasians sound like employees of arista records.
posted by moz at 8:26 AM on May 8, 2002

(i think it's art frahm who did the paintings of women carrying groceries who, upon greeting an ill-timed wind, would suddenly find their panties at their feet.)
posted by moz at 8:27 AM on May 8, 2002

Yes, he drew them. It wasn't the wind, it was the celery.
posted by iconomy at 8:28 AM on May 8, 2002

Ooops I typed Artesians. As in well. Oh well.
posted by iconomy at 8:31 AM on May 8, 2002

Lesbian Imperialism. I knew somewhere there had to be an antithesis to the separatist riot-grrl lesbianism that's popular in America.
posted by twitch at 8:32 AM on May 8, 2002

What a wonderfully strange corner of the Web. Thanks for sharing the link. It's always a pleasure stumbling on an alternate reality imagined in such detail.

posted by Mars Saxman at 8:59 AM on May 8, 2002

I agree with Mars. Beautifully done. I imagine we all have some world like this living in our heads.

I know this one is females only, but can I move in as like a boy friday or something. I promise I'll be good.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 AM on May 8, 2002

What's a redhead to do? (Perhaps it's in there somewhere, but I can't see it).
posted by different at 9:49 AM on May 8, 2002

From the Q&A

In Aristasia Pura redheads are either blonde or brunette (just as redheads are either male or female on earth). Dark redheads are brunette, fair ones blonde. Red hair can denote a slight hormonal ambiguity, but Aristasians are always of one sex or the other.

In Aristasia-in-Telluria, of course, the actual colour of one's hair is of no significance. Blonde or brunette is a matter of personality type.

posted by amarynth at 9:56 AM on May 8, 2002

Apparently, jonmc, no you can't.
posted by yhbc at 10:02 AM on May 8, 2002

Judging by this it looks like the whole thing was initially invented by a London dominatrix to drum up business, and must since have developed a life of its own.

It's all rather creepy actually - like a Sheri Tepper novel crossed with the musings of the tipsy wife of a Conservative MP...
posted by CatherineB at 10:10 AM on May 8, 2002

Men may only reside in Telluria, you swain. Men may not pass through the portals of Aristasia or Aristasia-in-Telluria.
posted by iconomy at 10:33 AM on May 8, 2002

so if you color or bleach your hair, does that make you a transsexual?
posted by witchstone at 10:41 AM on May 8, 2002

But he's black on the left side of his face, and I'm black on the right side!
posted by willnot at 10:42 AM on May 8, 2002

so if you color or bleach your hair, does that make you a transsexual?

Seeing as the top half of my hair is currently red and the bottom half is brunette, then according to Aristasian 1930s-inspired social norms, I'm probably sexually deviant enough to deserve to be locked up and given electroshock therapy...
posted by CatherineB at 10:47 AM on May 8, 2002

posted by jonmc at 10:59 AM on May 8, 2002


at least we men still have tanworth-on-arden. and, of course: strange meeting II.

i would propose an all-male world as a mirror to the all-female world, but to be honest, i'd rather live in the all-female world. (well, maybe not a world with millions. but, you know, like me and ten girls.)
posted by moz at 11:28 AM on May 8, 2002

OK, I looked up "swain"


1. A country lad, especially a young shepherd.
2. A beau.

Just leave my flock out of this, alright...
posted by jonmc at 1:16 PM on May 8, 2002

I think she meant "swine".

So get the flock out of here, okay?
posted by yhbc at 1:21 PM on May 8, 2002

OK: who's doing the oil changes in Aristasia, hmm? Who's mowing the lawn? Who's killing spiders? Not the brunettes, I'll tell you that. They have to have some man-slaves in there somewhere, refolding maps and stuff. Jonmc, your day will come!
posted by UncleFes at 2:41 PM on May 8, 2002

Why would you want to live with rabid sexist scum?
posted by davidgentle at 3:18 PM on May 8, 2002

I still dont understand how the little Aristasians are born. Immaculate conceptions, perhaps?

...and isn't a heirarchial power structure still very masculine?

...and what do the brunettes [the knights of the realm] need to protect the blondes from if there aren't any men? Other brunettes? Fashion faux pas? Very scary stuff indeed.

Aristasia confuses me, give me Narnia any day [but thankyou for allowing me to visit- great links]. :)
posted by elphTeq at 7:50 PM on May 8, 2002

So. A world of apparently exclusively caucasian women who measure gender with hair color. This tops my list of places Dante forgot to include in his description of hell.
posted by Poagao at 9:01 PM on May 8, 2002


Not entirely caucasian, at least not on this night. For what it's worth.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:40 AM on May 9, 2002

I still dont understand how the little Aristasians are born.

It was once theorized that it has something to do with the brunette's tongue, but such speculation is more than frowned upon.
posted by Fenriss at 7:04 AM on May 9, 2002

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