By this ratio, there are hugely more male mages than female mages
"Hugely"? By my count, the ratio is close to 6/5. This is, of course, a larger ratio than male/female births, I'll grant. See below.
I would argue that there isn't necessarily a biased ratio overall.
Argue away. In your game, you'll be right. In mine, perhaps the characters can investigate the seeming inequality. Perhaps they would suspect (or discover) that oppression does indeed keep a person from realizing their potential.
Consider the huge number of female heroes, activists, and writers and artists history has produced and you will see that the lack of opportunities for women has in no way reduced their capacity for strong will and powerful belief.
Hard to prove. The lack of opportunities certainly has kept them out of history (compared to males). And if they're out of history, good luck with demonstrating such an assertion to your players.
I'm not saying you aren't (or are) correct when it comes to real life. I work under the hypothesis, in game, that subjegation breaks wills and crushes imagination. That is the evil of subjugation.
Despite their name, the Sons of Ether have always been aggressively utopian.
Granted. They are also spawned from a mixture of Victorian mores and 1930-1950's Western ideals. My female Etherians, and there have been some definitively notable ones, are almost uniformly patronized in the name of "utopian ideals."
In addition, the ratio of male/female in US Congress was roughly 5/1 in 2007, which is also the gender ratio of CEO's today. If not utopian, my Sons of Ether are still ahead of the damn curve.
You wouldn't get more than a handful of my Etherians to admit to closing any doors in the collective face of female Scientists, even to themselves. Faced with the outmoded ideals (by today's Technocratic standards) of the Sons, I simply could not fault the choice of a strong-willed, intelligent woman if she wanted to steer clear of that morass from the beginning.
Similarly, I think the ratios for the Verbena are completely out of whack. A slight female bias, sure. They certainly have a female-focused paradigm, but 1:4? Really?
Yup, really. A "paradigm" is not a "philosophy", a "mission statement" or a "set of guidelines". So, to me, a "female-focused paradigm" (and you are exactly correct with this phrase, in my opinion) is an extraordinarily profound filter for Awakened acceptance in the Tradition. Your mileage may vary.
The Cult of Ecstacy and Celestial Chorus are similarly weird. Even though traditional religions are often pretty down on femaleness, consider that huge numbers of women have dedicated themselves to these religions throughout history.
Then consider the staggeringly larger number of men that have dedicated themselves to marginalizing these women by being "pretty down on femaleness," an ungodly understatement of the patriarchal powers if ever there was one. For goodness' sake, the ratio is 2/1! That is enormously better than ANY non-tribal Sleeper cultural/religious hierarchy. Those Celestials must be pretty enlightened, considering their source pool.
Having said that, I could certainly see an argument for what in real life would amount to a mythical Unitarian equality. Have at it.
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(Continued from Part 1)
I also have no idea why there are so many chicks in the Cult of Ecstacy. Seriously... is there a female bias in drug and club culture that I'm not aware of?
This was pretty arbitrary, based very loosely on the idea of them picking up the disenfranchised with their powerful "cultural boundary breaking" paradigm. The ratio is fairly slim. The number of Awakened CoX in my WoD is around 350, which amounts to 150 males to 200 females. Notable? Yes. A stunner? Hardly.
Finally, the Technocracy is aggressively egalitarian.
They're also the protectors of humanity. Odd how ideals get bent.
More seriously, though, look again at the ratios: compared to Sleepers, all but the New World Order is egalitarian. Even the NWO does somewhat better than the society in which they have to draw their Awakened from.
In my mind, all their ratios should all be 1:1.
In their minds, too!
Go for it. Your Technocrats would be the champions of gender blindness, bar none. They must have a rock solid system firmly in place for chewing up all those insidious biases and prejudices.
Maybe - maybe - you'll get a few more men in the space marines (and that's a pretty big maybe, given that in Mage magical power matters a lot more than upper body strength, especially when you can manipulate your body with magic and cybernetic implants), but that would be balanced out by more women in command and research positions.
Why, because a woman who didn't pass the Marine physical would obviously be suited to command or research? Sounds like one of them insidious biases... ;)
To underline what is pretty apparently the crux of our different approaches, I state once more that, as I realize my WoD game universe, oppression can ruin a person (and their Avatar) from realizing their potential for any given lifetime. Horrific, systemic abuse can crush that potential for several lifetimes. It won't always; rarely, such atrocity can actually spur an Awakening (shudder). And females are the greater subject of oppression in patriarchal societies, i.e. the majority of humanity.
Create your own themes as you will.