I'm beginning to have a real dislike for the Vay. I have a very Heinleinesque attitude towards slavery.
(re: a slave proctor) "I spaced the bastard! What did you expect me to do, kiss him? Right out of the airlock, that away, pissing blood".
This institution is one of the abominations that still exists in this world and should not. Poor Billy.
@Guesticus: Hmm, you'd have to give a specific example before I might agree with you. Certainly I see none such existing the USA that would be legal. Other nations especially in the Middle East and Asia certainly, including outright chattel slavery. The latter being the case with the Vay where males seem to have no rights whatsoever and may be used and abuse as the owner pleases. I kinda interested in seeing how the Vay maintain their dominance as in every slave society there is always rebel element. More so in this case as in our species the male has always been the dominant part due to hereditary evolution. There are several ways the Vay may have gotten around this from genetics to technology(although usually always a way around tech). One way is to keep the male population at such a relatively low level that revolt is almost impossible. One male can service a lot of females as procreation is concerned.
@SFCGator: How about, 9-5 office jobs, barely paying enough to live on, and certainly not enough for you to take time to look for a new job, or if that isn't enough, fast food joints or 'custodial engineer' jobs
Just because Vay 'owners' can do 'whatever they please', does not mean they are sadistic owners who beat their 'slaves' worse than the 'slaves' beat the rugs
@SFCGator: Oh yes the one where he seduces or is seduced by his mother. Think if was a mutual thing. Wrote that after his stroke an he became fixated on his mother as the object of his sexual desire.
As to slave employment, house keeping staff, grounds keepers in many "Upper Crust" homes are undocumented aliens who provide services and are not paid help, merely given food and a place to sleep with the constant fear of being turned over to ICE and deported. Yes those places do exist and are much more common than you realize.
The Vay use a form o mind control along with a form of magic to control the slaves.
@Lloyd: Love shoulder imps
@SFCGator, @Dragonrider, @Guesticus: Genetics, brainwashing from birth are a couple of factors in the Vays' control of male servants --- the Vays have different "classes" of male servants, but most have altered hormonal production (zero or minimal testosterone). Billy was not raised by the Vays, so this will pose some difficulty for whoever owns him.
I love Heinlein too. Big influence on my life (read most of his stuff as a teen).
"The Number of the Beast" completely changed how viewed pretty much everything, eventually had to stop reading books or the anger would have continued to build and would have drowned out any potential enjoyment