The Tetramazones (Hellene reformed: τέττʀαμαζόɴες; "four Amazons") refers to a group of four Gylian women with a significant behind-the-scenes role in the Mathilde Vieira government.
The women of the group played an important role in shaping and carrying out the Mathilde Vieira government's policy agenda. They were compared to ferroses of the 1990s, and had similar traits, including urbane lifestyles, well-defined public images, and a high profile in the media.
The Tetramazones as a distinctive group only formed when the Mathilde Vieira government assumed office. Some of its members had already worked for Mathilde Vieira when she had first become the foresitter of the Liberal Union.
In contrast to the ferroses, who were spread in diverse roles adjacent to the cabinet, the Tetramazones were all employed in the Cabinet Office.
Gertrude Karagianes (Hellene reformed: Γεʀτʀυδ Καʀαγιάɴες; Gylic transcription: Gertyrud Karagianes) served as the Chief of Staff of the Cabinet Office and Press Secretary for the Prime Minister.
Born on 12 May 1960, she is of mixed German and Hellene ancestry. She graduated from the Regional University of Kanedras with a degree in journalism, and worked as a reporter for The National Observer.
She resigned from The National Observer in 1985 and took up a job as Mathilde Vieira's press secretary and spokesperson. This gave her the oldest association with Mathilde out of the entire group.
A physically imposing and self-assured woman, Gertrude was nicknamed the "Iron Lady" of the group. It was a nickname she enjoyed and was careful to cultivate an intimidating reputation, finding that it made it easier to persuade people. Mathilde enjoyed observing that Gertrude was "more bark than bite" — despite carefully maintaining her "Iron Lady" reputation, she was always polite and courteous to others, and was in fact very popular among her staff because she was attentive to their well-being.
Fusako Fuwa (Miranian: 房子 不破) served as the Director of Policy of the Cabinet Office.
Born on 24 May 1958, she is of Miranian Gylian descent. She graduated from the University of Mişeyáke with a degree in labour economics. She worked for the Mişeyáke City Council, and left in 1988 to take up a new job as Mathilde's policy adviser.
A trans woman, Fusako was easily recognised for her Kaede Nakano business suits and large breasts, which earned her comparisons to Frauke Stark. The two became good friends, and appeared in some public information films together, playing up the similarity.
Hélène Daucourt (Gylic transcription: Elén Dokúr) served as the Principal Secretary for the Prime Minister.
Born on 7 April 1959 in the Venetian Principality, she is distantly related to the Venetian royal family. Her parents moved to Gylias in her childhood, and she was educated there. She graduated from Anca Déuréy University with a degree in political science, and went on to work in the civil service.
Hélène first met Mathilde when they were both students at Anca Déuréy University, and began working as her secretary when she was elected foresitter of the Liberal Union. Those who worked with her remarked on her elegant demeanour and appearance, reflecting her nobility-influenced upbringing at home.
Ragnhild Bjørklund (Gylic transcription: Ragynhid Biörkylun) served as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs of the Cabinet Office.
Born on 7 January 1957 in Æþurheim, she grew up there and served in the Æþurian Armed Forces. Dissatisfied, she deserted in the mid-1980s and fled to Gylias. She became involved in politics, thus meeting Mathilde, and was the last of the Tetramazones to be hired as an assistant before she became Prime Minister.
A low-key and somewhat withdrawn woman, Ragnhild generally shunned the spotlight and preferred to work behind the scenes. The role of Director of Intergovernmental Affairs proved an excellent fit for her disciplined and analytical personality.
The Tetramazones were Mathilde's closest advisors, and functioned as a kitchen cabinet with great influence over policymaking.
Mathilde insisted that the Tetramazones attend all cabinet meetings, to make sure the cabinet did not feel marginalised or disrespected. They were successful in ingratiating themselves with the rest of the cabinet.
Gertrude concerned herself with creating an environment that allowed the government to work harmoniously. She reorganised the Cabinet Office, creating a system of different-coloured grey literature folders, depending on whether matters concerned the entire cabinet or a specific minister. She was also Mathilde's "enforcer", relying on her "Iron Lady" reputation to ensure ministers worked together regardless of personal opinions and having difficult discussions in private if necessary.
Fusako and Hélène played a major role in shaping Mathilde's domestic policy, to the point that Fusako and finance minister Mireille Boulanger received the most credit for the transformation of the Gylian economy in the 1990s.
The Tetramazones shared Mathilde's liberal reformist vision, and some ministers joked that they were more eloquent advocates of it than Mathilde herself.
Another reason for Mathilde to insist that they attend cabinet meetings was to obscure the fact that they played a substantial role in policy formation. By having cordial relations with ministers and regular discussions, flaws in policy ideas could be addressed before they were formally introduced at cabinet meetings, and the ambiguity whether one of the Tetramazones or the respective minister had a greater contribution to the suggestion suited both sides.
Fusako and Hélène were essential to economic policies, due to their focus on harnessing the digital revolution to revitalise the Gylian consensus. Fusako's background in labour economics led her to concentrate on reducing working time and made her a staunch champion of Gylian practices.
Out of the group, Gertrude, Fusako, and Hélène had the highest media profile, and were themselves charismatic and enjoyed the limelight. Ragnhild was sometimes dubbed the "forgotten" or "silent" member because she was the opposite, disliking attention and preferring to work in relative anonymity.
Gertrude, Fusako, and Hélène were also attentive to the way that elegant appearance and political radicalism could be complementary, a lesson they drew from the ferroses. All three possessed distinctive appearances and wardrobes that earned them a status of style icons during the 1990s.
The three had different approaches to the media. Gertrude had to appear most often at press conferences, in her capacity as Mathilde's spokesperson. Her courteous personality and dry sense of humour endeared her to journalists, and earned her another nickname: "Dísos" (Δίςος), Hellene for "Miss Maybe".
Fusako and Hélène made themselves freely available for interviews and wrote editorials explaining and supporting the government's policies. They showed a streak of self-deprecating humour in some of their media appearances, making cameos as themselves, confident that humour would make an audience more receptive to their message.
They were also known for their eccentricities. Fusako was famously hypersexual, and known for regularly patronising sex workers — a trait that helped endear her to the Gylian public. Hélène was a passionate outdoor enthusiast, and was frequently seen going on vacations in national parks and nature reserves, easily recognisable by her white sundress and hat.
Hélène was noted by acquaintances to sometimes be unexpectedly concentrated or focused on her duties, something that came from her upbringing. She would play up this aspect sometimes for humour, and was fond of saying, "Fun is the only thing in this world worth being serious about."
The Tetramazones retired from their posts at the end of Mathilde's term. Mathilde's successor Kaori Kawashima instituted several reforms of the Cabinet Office that reduced the odds of a similar group wielding as much influence. In response, Gertrude quipped, "I was so good they actually changed the rules to prevent anyone from being as good as me."
Gertrude retired from politics. She published her autobiography, Whatever It Takes, in 2010, and launched a new career as a political commentator.
Fusako works as a policy advisor at the Economic Research Office, and has also been a member of the Public Advisory Council and served a term in the Gylian Senate, nominated by President Laura Varnaþ.
Hélène returned to the civil service after Mathilde's retirement. She was a candidate in the 2019 presidential election, finishing third in first preference votes and being eliminated before the final round.
Ragnhild later returned to the Cabinet Office to advise Prime Minister Toni Vallas on Gylias-Æþurheim relations.