Pure and unadulterated headcanon below! I have absolutely no grounds for this! But it was something I thought about…
This post brought to you by thoughts of freed prisoners coming out into the sunlight after the liberation of the Citadel.
Headcanon: there are also women used as bloodbags for the Breeders, the Milk Mothers, and the “wives.” They’re kept locked up and out of sight most of the time. They’re women who are healthy but who have been deemed incapable of producing sufficient children and/or milk (age, physical characteristics, &c).
But if one of the women used as a Breeder or a Milk Mother hemorrhages during a birth, it’s time to bring out a bloodbag–if the bleeding can be stopped and woman giving birth has lost enough blood to make it a concern. It’s hard enough to find sufficiently healthy women to use as Milk Mothers and “breeding stock” so it’s better to save the lives of the ones in hand. But these bloodbags aren’t used for warboys and warpups.
In hypermasculineworld-land, it’s just so grody to imagine putting a woman’s blood into a man. “Ew. What if it makes him, you know, weak?” It’s not a rational thought, no, but it’s something like contact contamination. To say nothing of women being viewed as livestock. So it would, psychologically speaking, be like using pig’s blood for a transfusion. Eeeeeeeeeew.
And male bloodbags are too useful for warboys to waste or use up on the livestock. The women used as bloodbags are like veterinary equipment.
To keep them from being so much metaphorical dead weight and a drain on resources (see: ongoing discussions of food in the Citadel), if they’re not totally feral (as the slang goes), they’re put to work in between the times they’re needed–menial work or tending to the Milk Mothers and Breeders–but they’re kept on a short leash. Nothing is wasted, nothing can be wasted.
I have zero grounds for this. I just was thinking about it.