the mermaid is a bit confused over some recent landfolk coastal interactions. apparently, there is a conflict over appropriate body decorations of females. the mermaid understands that this conflict is the result of a long and troubled history between different cultures and between landfolk males and females.
having heard various tales about this, the mermaid feels that landfolk can generally learn a lot from merfolk where such conflicts don’t exist. not only do merfolk express a greater variety of gender roles, but we find it unnecessary to intervene in others’ territory or culture to impose our respective norms. we think that if someone finds another culture a good model, they will eventually experiment with it. if they don’t find it a good model, their own culture obviously gives them something that the other culture does not. also, imposition shows a severe lack of respect, which is unacceptable by merfolk standards.
for the mermaid, it seems that imposing various standards of body decoration is an odd way of mediating inequality. it seems like just another way of subordinating females to males, if the desire is to not to this. obviously, for landfolk, bodily differences seem to matter a lot, but what about experimenting with bodies differently, for instance, by paying attention to mind and spirit as part of the body?
merfolk recognise that body, mind, spirit and environment all have to be negotiated with one another. one is not just a body, and not one type of body has a particular path to follow. merfolk females have a mind, a spirit and a particular environment to respond to, wherever they are located culturally and geographically. each female will make choices as to how to respond, and she should be left to make these choices. merfolk are happy to talk more about this and are looking forward to more joyful coastal interactions.