DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1534 posts
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 11:29
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
I am developing a setting, and I had a dream that inspired this concept for a race, though I'm not sure what a general response to it would be, so I'm here to find out.

The concept is that a god and several demigod disciples created their own planes to escape an enemy. They recreated much, made their own alterations, and even created new stuff.

One godling however, was once human and wasn't particularly creative. She also hated men due some gender discrimination issues before her ascendancy. So what she did was to make a human population but she made all individuals look female. The only thing distinguishing men from women is under the skirts, otherwise, you can't physically tell the difference.

I figure there is some room to explore the idea, particular to question what impact that might have for a society, not to mention encounters with other humans could be interesting.

But, I'm not sure if it is too close to uncomfortable issues.

So what do you guys think? Is this interesting? Would it be controversial? Publishable, or stick to home games? Ideas and suggestions?
ShadoPrism
 member, 1258 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 12:24
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
There is an Anime with an alien race built on that concept actually. Pretty popular series from the 90's I think. Main character was called A-ko who was super strong and fast, and B-ko who was a mechanical genius. They did several different takes on the two, from being friends as adults in a sci-fi space romp to rivals as teenages in high school. But they had a race of aliens that were all female, but not. Only way to tell them apart were some were more 'manly' than others (large muscular frames).
Dream Sequence
 member, 37 posts
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 13:01
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
This question is meant not just to be snarky, I think that you're right that the subject veers precariously close to RL uncomfortable or controversial issues, but I also think that at least some of that discomfort or controversy could be lessened by keeping the motivations of the IC world creators plausible and relatable.

So in that light: If the godling hated men and had the power to create her own whole race from scratch, why would she keep around any of the trappings of maleness at all?  Why wouldn't she have just made the whole race wholly female, and given them the ability to reproduce via magic or some such?
Ski-Bird
 member, 5 posts
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 13:05
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
^^  Ditto.  Amazons for the win.
praguepride
 member, 1384 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 14:00
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
This is a central concept behind the Ancillary Justice series where a ship's ai gets put inside a human body and struggles with things like gender identity.

It is an interesting concept (although incredibly poorly done in that book) however here are some things to consider:


1) While it might confuse outsiders the species of that race should intuitively understand the differences between the sexes. While they might be subtle it should be present on some level be it visual or through pheremones or something to identify potential mates to perpetuate the species.

2) As others have said if the impetus is gender inequality making them look identical seems an odd way to go about it. If it is from an enlightened perspective then wouldn't it make sense to have no gender or have everyone present as both? In Star Wars the Hutts go through sex cycles where at one stage in their lifecyle they are male but at others they become female and can bear young. The Aasaari from Mass Effect are all "female' but that doesn't actually mean anything as they are mono-gendered and have an easier way of exchanging biological DNA for procreation that doesn't evolve different wedding tackle.

3) If the demigod harbors deep seated resentment against men then why not make them wildly different. Women can be intelligent, strong and beautiful while males are barely functional neanderthals only useful for menial labor and procreation. In nature the angler fish males are basically just a parasite that literally fuses with the female. It's only biological abilities are to find a female and fuse with it for impregnation and then die...or get absorbed...I don't really know off the top of my head but the point is that the males still exist but aren't "equal" in any sense of the word.

4) Why does this have to be a negative experience? Could you have a demigod so literally in love with their own image that they literally make all of their species in its own image. There is a great Red Dwarf episode where one of the characters accidentally clones itself into a whole race and everyone looks exactly like one another (they just had the actor change costumes a lot). Although their bodies were distinctly male or female their faces were absolutely identical.
facemaker329
 member, 7083 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 14:56
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
It would seem more logical to me (assuming that you don't want this particular demi-deity to be portrayed as some extreme misandrist) to have the race be androgynous in appearance and hermaphrodites, so there is literally no gender distinction at all as both genders exist in the same body.  It provides for the 'bad experiences with men' impetus for her creation rationale, but also takes it a step further...because even if you have no visible differences on the outside, having distinct genders, in any way, sets up the potential for gender discrimination.

If her mind was warped by her experiences to the point where she wanted emasculated men who only really existed as men for purposes of procreation, odds are good that this race's 'men' would be subject to heavy bias and discrimination...the presence of male genitalia would be seen almost as a necessary defect...depends on how much of her rationale for creating that world in that way is passed on (and does she do the same with all the animals?  Otherwise, are people going to look around and say, "Why are the genders so different in these animals, where ours are so similar?)

I don't have any particular issue with the idea from the standpoint of gender politics...it just carries a lot of baggage with it that implies (to me) potential details about the mindset of this particular Creator, and I'm not sure if you want those implications or not.  If you do, then go for it.
Gaffer
 member, 1546 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 15:15
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
quote:
One godling however, was once human and wasn't particularly creative. She also hated men due some gender discrimination issues before her ascendancy. So what she did was to make a human population but she made all individuals look female. The only thing distinguishing men from women is under the skirts, otherwise, you can't physically tell the difference.

I'll agree with others that this isn't logical. Why not create a race that is hermaphroditic or procreates by budding or lays eggs and can fertilize the eggs of others? Why have male and female at all? No gender, no discrimination.

If she wants them all to look mammalian female and nurse the young, then add udders.
horus
 member, 701 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 18:44
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
Well, a species created by such a creator could reproduce by parthenogenesis.  That way all the individuals in that species could be female.  There are species on Earth that reproduce in this manner, and some which can reproduce both by parthenogenesis and by sexual reproduction.  The phenomenon is not known to occur in humans or other primates, though.  Here's a primer on the subject:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis

Read, especially, the latter part of this article concerning gynogenesis and hybridogenesis.  These may stimulate some thinking about how you want to develop your concept.
Starchaser
 member, 605 posts
 GMT+0
 http://bit.ly/2NvdzWG
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 22:01
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
To me perhaps a more interesting concept would be a world where males and females exist but where society has attempted to quell all gender diferrences to the point that gender identity becomes an actual crime punishable by death. There was a Star Trek NG episode along similar lines but with less extreme consequences.

In such a society births could occur in test tubes and people designated numbers rather that gender identity names. The twist could be if a male and a female fell in love and started to question the need to hide their gender differences as a result.

If however you wanted a race that was purely all female you could do that by having them biologically compatible with males of other species. They could consider males as merely prey that could be harvested for sperm.

Edit: Wikipedia link to the Star Trek Episode - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik..._The_Next_Generation)

This message was last edited by the user at 22:05, Mon 22 Apr.

Starchaser
 member, 606 posts
 GMT+0
 http://bit.ly/2NvdzWG
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 22:07
Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
The link doesn't seem to work properly. The episode was "The Outcast" (S05, E17)
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1535 posts
Mon 22 Apr 2019
at 23:38
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
Dream Sequence:
This question is meant not just to be snarky, I think that you're right that the subject veers precariously close to RL uncomfortable or controversial issues, but I also think that at least some of that discomfort or controversy could be lessened by keeping the motivations of the IC world creators plausible and relatable.

So in that light: If the godling hated men and had the power to create her own whole race from scratch, why would she keep around any of the trappings of maleness at all?  Why wouldn't she have just made the whole race wholly female, and given them the ability to reproduce via magic or some such?


Well, this was based on a dream, but to add some detail that hindsight tells me is important here,

The godling in question (her name never came up in my dream and I haven't chosen one yet so we'll go with Fera for now), grew up being told that men were bigger, stronger, and tougher, and that is why only men got to do certain jobs and why women were more restrained. To her mind, it wasn't removing a whole gender, it was removing what she saw as the source of the problem, so she made "men" who were not bigger, not stronger, and not tougher. Her methodology was basically to c&p women and edit back reproductive ability and call it a day.

Of course, that is just how it came to be in my dream.

Aliens are aliens, so they are kind of allowed to be different in such ways, but these are simply altered humans, minimally altered really.

I don't really want to be crazy about altering the reproduction and I already have hermaphrodites.

But more importantly, what was the goal of Fera in making them? To remove the impetus for "we're tougher and stronger and therfore you do what we tell you" of which going with men being tiny small or insignificant just flips who suffers rather than supposedly making the problem go away (supposedly, cause no reason it must be a successful attempt).

A monogender works but is less simple than simply making all women, half of whom have each type of reproductive equipment.

I like all the suggestions, but I think for Fera, simplest is probably the most fitting.
Hunter
 member, 1498 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Tue 23 Apr 2019
at 10:29
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 11):

Knights of Sidonia has what they call "Bigender", which is someone who isn't biologically either male or female until they settle on a partner.   Might consider googling it just for the idea.
12th Doctor
 member, 86 posts
 Laugh Hard. Run Fast.
 Be kind.
Tue 23 Apr 2019
at 20:26
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
You might also search Storm Constantine's Wraeththu.
Dream Sequence
 member, 38 posts
Tue 23 Apr 2019
at 21:58
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
Hunter:
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 11):

Knights of Sidonia has what they call "Bigender"...

... I totally read this as big-ender and thought "well that's an odd name for a race"
soulsight
 member, 268 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 01:46
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
DarkLightHitomi:
...But more importantly, what was the goal of Fera in making them? To remove the impetus for "we're tougher and stronger and therfore you do what we tell you" of which going with men being tiny small or insignificant just flips who suffers rather than supposedly making the problem go away...


Perhaps this should be Fera's second attempt. When she eliminated males (go Amazons!) she discovered that "we're tougher and stronger and therefore you do what we tell you" had nothing to do with gender. So possibly in the second attempt the goddess amalgamated secondary sexual characteristics AND enforced a specific range of size and strength?
Just a thought.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1536 posts
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 04:18
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
There is a difference between a bully and someone who is your own family  or "friend" or community and society in general using it as a justification for institutionalized discrimination.

There will always be bullies, but it is much easier to avoid a social structure built around bullying than one built on easily discernable and unchangable characteristics that clearly favor one group.
facemaker329
 member, 7085 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 15:44
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 11):

If you're going for the simplest approach, you're still over-complicating things *grin* The simplest approach would be to just create the genders as they are, and as soon as a society started using gender as a rationale for excessive dominance, play the vengeful deity and smite the offenders...either wipe them out, or give the males of that particular society some kind of wasting disease that makes them small, weak, and pitiful...or just wipe out the men with an Old-Testament-Angel-of-Death visitation of some kind.

That seems a lot simpler, to me, than figuring out the logistics of figuring out the different internal anatomies of externally-identical genders...
Tileira
 member, 518 posts
Wed 24 Apr 2019
at 18:01
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
The implications for a society with very little differentiation between genders in physiology and capability is interesting.

The "wacky" concept of this race and the motivation of their goddess, not so much. Whatever your intentions and motivations, this is "girls x girls+" and I think it will be hard to get a sensible reception for that.

If this were part of a roleplay game, I think very few players would play the male characters seriously and nearly none of them would play a female of that race. Most people would be play "traps" away from home.
Gaffer
 member, 1548 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 12:07
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
DarkLightHitomi:
There is a difference between a bully and someone who is your own family  or "friend" or community and society in general using it as a justification for institutionalized discrimination.

We call it the Patriarchy.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1539 posts
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 13:19
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
After much thought, I think I like the idea of a single gender that gets pregnant simply from being in an intimite enough relationship, no physiology involved. Basically, the emotional connection triggers the process.

This could play interestingly into religion, given that they'd have plenty of normal reproductive schemes evident in the natural world around them.
soulsight
 member, 269 posts
 Reality is 10% perception
 and 90% interpretation.
Fri 26 Apr 2019
at 19:45
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
That would bring up a whole different set of reproductive dynamics depending on the individual's desire to reproduce and the intimacy threshold. After all, if a couple reaches the threshold in the absence of a secondary dynamic that indicates which of the two would conceive they should both become gravid. Would the society frown on those born without a sibling or would that be physically impossible? Assuming it's physically impossible, wouldn't two growing up together be more likely to develop an intimate relationship, perhaps at an inappopriately young age?
This is an interesting concept, but it might be a little too complicated to be introduced in a role-playing context. You'll need to be overly prepared for odd questions from the players as they settle into the roles needed to be a member of the race or interact with one.
horus
 member, 706 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 06:27
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
soulsight:
That would bring up a whole different set of reproductive dynamics depending on the individual's desire to reproduce and the intimacy threshold. After all, if a couple reaches the threshold in the absence of a secondary dynamic that indicates which of the two would conceive they should both become gravid.


This could possibly be answered mystically as a matter of yin and yang:  as intimacy progresses, one of the two partners opens her heart to the other (and to her desire for a child). The other partner provides (in some yet undefined way) the genetic spark needed to create a new individual by responding to this receptive mode.  It could even jibe well with notions of romantic love, affection, etc.

quote:
Would the society frown on those born without a sibling or would that be physically impossible? Assuming it's physically impossible, wouldn't two growing up together be more likely to develop an intimate relationship, perhaps at an inappopriately young age?


A lot of this concern about "inappropriately young age" can be answered by proper upbringing of the children.  There is no reason for a game setting involving this species to ever address this question, anyway.

I do think it should be possible for both parents to conceive simultaneously, but it needn't happen every time.  No reason for a single child to face any societal pressure or prejudice should exist as a result of a normal condition.

quote:
This is an interesting concept, but it might be a little too complicated to be introduced in a role-playing context. You'll need to be overly prepared for odd questions from the players as they settle into the roles needed to be a member of the race or interact with one.


It might also open areas which run counter to the terms of service hereabout.  It would definitely need a careful hand at the helm.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1543 posts
Sat 27 Apr 2019
at 07:35
Re: Need feedback: should I use this wacky "race" concept.
I don't think a young age is a problem as there is no reason to say that a child could possibly have this issue. They'd need to reach a certain level of physical development, just like in real life. Unlike real life, we can easily make the development long enough to eliminate the issue entirely.

When I initially had the idea, both parents bearing children was the first concept, though I certainly don't think this would need to be everytime.

As for siblings, people in the real world have very different feelings about siblings, family, friends, etc. this kinds of distinctions are emotional and therefore easy to consider as being important in activating or not activating a pregnancy.

To be honest though, I was thinking that children would physically be clones of their mother (except for genetic errors of the evolutionary type), and the only part being influenced by the mother's partner would be on a more soul/magic/personality level, and of course the environmental level.