PROJECT Gender Roles

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Minibit, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Gender roles are an important part of how any society is structured; of course this is as much to do with what is expected of men as of women.

    Gender roles define a lot of things, both consciously and unconsciously, including but not limited to

    • Hobbies (Boys like cars and Girls like sewing)

    • Jobs (Boys are better with manual labour, Girls are better with service)

    • Habits (Boys are quiet and serious, girls are giggly and chatty)

    • Body type (Boys should be tall and muscular, Girls should be thin and have large breasts/hips)
    • Fashion (Boys dress in plain clothes, Girls dress in colourful, fancier clothes)

    • Families (Dad works, Mom raises the kids)

    • Gifts (Give boys tools, give girls flowers)

    • Dating (The boy should ask the girl out)
    Whether they're grounded on facts is irrelevant, and how much people actually follow them is irrelevant, the point is that expectations are in place, and people are aware of them when making decisions, therefore, deciding the gender roles of a society will influence a lot of how characters behave.

    When forming gender roles, it can be tempting to just flip everything on it's head, but please remember that you need to consider how the gaps are filled; if you create an all-girl, fighting-amazoness type clan, you need to consider what families are like, what do the men do while the women are fighting, where do the kids come from? Who does the cooking and cleaning? etcetera.

    What are five hobbies/pasttimes that are considered decidedly feminine/masculine?

    What are some jobs that are considered decidedly feminine/masculine?

    What is a steretypical woman's life like?

    What are the views on homosexuals/transsexuals/Transvestites in regards to how they fit into their gender? (Eg: A lot of people steretype lesbians as being "Mannish")

    What is a typical family structure?

    Are boys and girls raised differently?

    Is one gender considered to be more sexually inclined than the other?


    Are there things men or women are percieved to be "Better" at than the other gender?

    Are there men percieved as feminine, or women perceived as masculine, because of facets they cannot control? (eg: a short, slight-bodied man, a tall, thick-boned woman)

    Are there fashions that are considered feminine or masculine? (eg: Wearing flowers, having long hair, having a beard, wearing flowing or colourful clothes)

    Always feel free to add more things you think of!
     
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  2. ((It's worth noting that, in my version of the Drow, the birth rate is highly skewed. Only about 20% of live births are female, and due to infighting it isn't at all uncommon for the ratio of males to increase unless there's a war. This and their religion, which is based around the worship of a single, female deity has given them a highly female-oriented culture.)



    What are five hobbies/pasttimes that are considered decidedly feminine/masculine?

    • Magic/Enchantment | Fencing/Fighting
    • Writing/Reading | Working Out
    • Fine Arts | Sewing
    • Public Speaking | Cooking
    • Intrigue/Social Drama | Tinkering & Repair
    What are some jobs that are considered decidedly feminine/masculine?
    Most political and religious jobs are reserved for women. As the Drow Matriarchy is democratic, a few representatives of their houses are men, but they are the vast minority. The One True Church of the Goddess Triumvirate only allows males to be Acolytes, in service to Priestesses but with no chance of ever becoming Priests themselves. It is, however, very unseemly for a woman to join the military, and they are formally banned from the enlisted ranks. The entire notion of a "housewife" is also considered quite ridiculous.

    What is a steretypical woman's life like?
    A woman, realistically, only has two options in life. Either she will vie for dominance and become the next matriarch of her family, or she must join the clergy and forgo having heirs that could compete with her sisters. Should she become the next matriarch, she will be the ruling force of the household, expected to be educated enough to balance the books and keep the place running smoothly, while also being politically savvy enough to increase her family's standing and strong enough to bear ten to twenty children over her approximately four hundred year lifespan (unless her daughters assassinate her first).

    What are the views on homosexuals/transsexuals/Transvestites in regards to how they fit into their gender? (Eg: A lot of people steretype lesbians as being "Mannish")
    Homosexuality is widely accepted. In women, being feminine enough to bed only other women is a sign of great strength and dominance. Most of the strongest Empresses in Drow history have taken multiple wives as a sign of power and prestige. In men, taking oneself out of the gene pool is seen as a sign of good eugenics, as those genes are clearly not meant to be passed on. Given that it is difficult for men to own property or have any real power, most male-male couples will both wed a woman and be house-husbands in return for her giving them their relative autonomy.
    Transsexuality is a very gender biased issue. A woman acting mannish is seen as weak, ridiculous, and wrong on many levels, but a man with womanish habits or dress is seen as being empowered and strong. Most of the male Matriarchs wear skirts and dresses in an attempt to seem more like their peers. Additionally, a handful of men have become feminine enough to grow small breasts and lactate. They are in very high demand for their child-rearing capabilities, and seen as the ideal man.

    What is a typical family structure?
    Almost all family units are based around the matriarch. She is the eldest female in the house (usually), and mother of most of the children. The matriarch will have several husbands (four being the traditional number) with two or three being house-husbands, who stay at home and help her raise the children, and one or more being "breeding stock", or men with good genetics that ought to be passed on (traditionally soldiers).
    The matriarch's sisters or aunts may also be a part of the family, but they are usually discouraged from having husbands and children for fear of competition among daughters.

    Are boys and girls raised differently?
    Very. A daughter is an occasion for great joy, while a son is seen as, if not a failure, than at least a minor delay before a daughter can be born. While young women are raised to one day be powerful and independent, a boy is raised with the knowledge that his main purpose in life will be serving his wife. If he is strong and brave, he will likely be a good soldier, and if he is gentle and sweet, he will be a fine house husband. If he does not clearly fit in one category or another, well, it will likely be a rough life. Gentle-spirited women will also usually be given to the Church as they are unfit to be heirs, unless they have unusual magical talent and become mages.

    Is one gender considered to be more sexually inclined than the other?
    Women are seen as beings of great sexuality and vitality, while men are little more than sperm donors. Attractiveness is greatly desired in women, but a man's looks are hardly more important than a slight consideration on what his children may look like. As a result of this view, women are encouraged to wear very revealing clothes, showing off their hips and breasts as a sign of superiority and strength, while men are discouraged from showing off their "unattractive" physiques.

    Are there things men or women are percieved to be "Better" at than the other gender?
    Men are the masters of all things physical, seen as strong and fast and coordinated. In addition, men's work also involves what might be seen as "menial" or "boring", such as housework, sewing, or small repairs, as they are considered less intelligent and therefore less likely to get tired of small tasks. A woman's domain is everything mental, magical, or spiritual.

    Are there men percieved as feminine, or women perceived as masculine, because of facets they cannot control? (eg: a short, slight-bodied man, a tall, thick-boned woman)
    Men with the ability to lactate are seen as feminine, but other than that males are seen as fairly uniform. For women, being tall is seen as positive, but failure to have wide, child-bearing hips and generous, globular breasts is very undesirable and masculine.

    Are there fashions that are considered feminine or masculine? (eg: Wearing flowers, having long hair, having a beard, wearing flowing or colourful clothes)
    Revealing clothing is typically left to women, while men wear more modest, practical garb. With that in mind, there is very little that is seen as specifically for men or women.
     
    #2 Lady Sabine, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
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