Genders in Role-Playing

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Brovo, May 7, 2015.

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Please answer the following question. (Anonymous poll.)

  1. I am a male, and I typically play males.

  2. I am a male, and I typically play females.

  3. I am a male and I typically play both males & females equally.

  4. I am a female, and I typically play males.

  5. I am a female, and I typically play females.

  6. I am a female, and I typically play both males & females equally.

  7. I am transgender/other, and I typically play males.

  8. I am transgender/other, and I typically play females.

  9. I am a transgender/other, and I typically play males & females equally.

Results are only viewable after voting.
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  1. Now because of a couple of threads that have popped up and some reading I've been doing on related subject matter, I'm curious and want to test a theory of mine. For that, I need people who make characters. Seeing as how this is a role playing site, I'm curious to see what people normally do and feel comfortable doing. The poll is not public--so your decision is anonymous.

    If you want to add further input, here's a few more questions. Please keep in mind this isn't a debate thread and I want everyone to feel comfortable replying, so don't start telling other people how wrong they are, no matter how much you may disagree with them. Be as honest and open as you feel comfortable with. I'll ask a moderator to come in and delete posts if people attempt to debate in here. As such, I'll remain a neutral arbitrator and won't contribute anything beyond perhaps answering my own questions if this thread gets enough attention.

    Also keep in mind when answering these questions that the topic is about the genders of the characters you make. Beyond that? Answer however you genuinely feel.
    1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?
    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?
    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?
    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.
    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?
    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?
    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?
    Thanks for your time. Here, have a happy ferret to relax. :ferret:
    EDIT

    Changed the question format from bulletpoints to numbers. Now it should be nicer to format answers towards.
     
    #1 Brovo, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
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  2. I think the overall opinion I have on my own writing for genders and such is that I'm still learning. I've written many more female characters in the last 2 years than I have in the past 10 years, I may not be perfect, but I think that's the whole part of learning; see your own mistakes and try to improve on them. I honestly think of an idea, and then work around it. An example would be this; Toorg, a large, hulking tree creature who is quite naive and finds many of society's interactions and mannerisms strange and alien to itself. The last thing I think of is the gender, hence why Toorg is male, It's easier for me to write for, especially for Toorg. I'm trying to expand my writing so that I do not fall into a pattern of doing the same stuff over and over again like I used to.

    As to whether I've written LGBT characters? Sexuality is often something I don't focus on until I come up with a fitting subplot that may hit on that if need be? I''ve only ever written one who may or may not be homosexual. I don't have experience in writing LGBT Characters, so I tend to do research first and then try one. Right now? I'm preferring to write more non-human characters honestly.
     
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  3. I am sort of applying this to writing in general, because I've found myself with very little time to roleplay recently. Get ready for numerical ordering and bare bones answers.

    1. Totally. A ton.
    2. Yup, and yes, I've written non binary characters. It's a learning process, though, because I myself am not non binary and I don't want to misrepresent.
    3. The majority of characters I write are lgbt+. I think that stems both from me being queer as well as the majority of my friends being queer. Just more exposure, I guess. I also think it's important to explore many different identities.
    4. I really think that varies depending on the character I am writing.
    5. Nah. I don't write sex, and otherwise playing and writing all sorts of genders is pretty fun. I think it encourages growth in writing.
    6. I think I have a decent grasp over varying genders but there is always room for improvement.
    7. Not all the time. When a person writes a gender in what I would consider a poor manner, I think it's usually just due to ignorance and misunderstanding. Maybe they have to put a little more time into research and figure out what challenges certain genders face exclusively. That being said, as long as you're putting time into developing a character, it's pretty hard to fuck them up. Screw gender roles.
     
    #3 govangogh, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 7, 2015
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  4. At times, yes. Of course there is always going to be that ONE character that you just have to play that is so far out and extremist on the opposing field or one in which you use to get a bit more out of your own personal comfort zone. Mine just happens more often. Though to be fair they do eventually learn and evolve into my own personal philosophy or die.
    Sex, nope unless stated otherwise via race (hermaphrodite aliens). Gender? Yep since this is mostly just self identification. Have I played these? Not really. I usually just RP as either Male, Female, Hermaphrodite, or some sexless being.
    Yes. Yes. It's pretty evened out.
    Depends on the character, the RP I'm in and what I plan on doing with this character. For example, for some I don't care at all on focusing on such besides "Yep, their gender is ___." while with others I had big plans on it and mention it as something of importance to note. This usually goes for characters that are extremists and are uncomfortable about what and who they are and wishing to be 'normal' like others wish them to be. This is usually for them to learn to be more comfortable with themselves via RP after a ton of development.
    At times, mostly because of me being placed into a situation I've never been able to experience or being placed into a situation I never thought about on 'the other side' of things in. Other than that, nope.
    Big time. I know I have more than a lot to learn on being a better writer in general. Doesn't matter what I'm RPing or how well I RP it, I can always get better and I think I should always try to improve myself on such.
    Nope. I think most people usually try to play what they are most comfortable with, whether it be their own gender (which is the usual tbh) or the opposite gender, I'm more than sure there is one side or another that, if they RPed, they would feel more uncomfortable with than their usual. This makes things a bit awkward for them to RP as such and I'm also sure that the lack of experience and knowledge of such a viewpoint does show within their posts too. Not only that, but what I said above applies here as well. People can always improve and better learn to write in general, which in turn would also help them better represent and portray other genders more fairly.

    However I'm not going to put down anyone who tries, even if it was a shit job and done terribly, at least them trying is a major plus in comparison to never trying at all. So all those who did try at one point or another... a dragon! ^^

    :dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon::dragon:
     
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  5. I hope you later tell us what conclusions you got from all this.

    1)Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?

    Maybe they do, but I try not to. I want my characters to have their own beliefs. Every character of mine shares something with me, but sometimes their beliefs will be radically different from mine, and only share a couple of personality traits. I hope I understood this question well e.e

    2)Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

    I find it hard to comprehend how there are more than two genders. I don't even consider trans people as a separate gender, for me they belong to the gender they identify with, end of story. And of course, since that's one of the most normal points of view, most of my characters think the same. A couple of them comes to mind, who'd gladly accept all those new terms as intersex, genderfluid, I'm sure there's a term for a lack of gender...

    3)Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

    Yes, and yes. LGBT characters are a majority in my case, maybe around 70-80%, but I also happen to like roleplaying MxM roleplays here in Iwaku, and since I create a new character for almost every roleplay, most of them belong in the LGBT community. For tabletop roleplays, that's evened out and I have more heterosexual male characters.

    4)How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

    Not much really. I emphasize my character's gender when it comes to culture and habits and that sort of things.

    5)Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?

    On the contrary, I feel uncomfortable playing as my own sex, either there are or aren't carnal activities involved. Roleplaying males is so much more comfortable to me.

    6) Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?

    No. I think if I felt the need to improve how to portray gender in my characters, I'd be trying to make them fit into gender stereotypes, and I despise those things. My characters can have any tastes, likes, dislikes, beliefs, sexuality, talents, etc. without their gender being relevant to them, so I don't feel the need to write them better as males.

    7)Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?

    I don't read other roleplays in Iwaku, so I don't know how people here portray gender. I've never thought someone is portraying their character's genre wrong, either in forum RP or in tabletop RP.
     
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  6. ALRIGHT CHUMS, LET'S DO THIS! LEEEEROOOOOOOY -

    1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?

      If they do, it's strictly subconscious. I'm all for equal representation and I like to sometimes poke around with non-traditional gender roles with characters, not necessarily because "It would be interesting to see a female character fill this trope or profession" but because when I'm brainstorming characters, sometimes I get an idea that I find appealing to be one gender or the other. A couple examples of female characters I've made that break the traditional gender roles that ended up being two of my favorite characters I've ever made were a female combat engineer and mechanic who is a former marine turned mercenary who has a great deal of mechanical aptitude, a bit of a drinking problem, enjoys loud metal music (partially because it makes for an excellent deterrent when she doesn't want to talk to people), plays practical jokes on her fellow team mates, has a crass sense of humour, and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but is capable of managing it most of the time, except for the nightmares or when something causes flashbacks. The other character is one of my Elder Scrolls characters who's a khajiit woman who was born from the rape of her mother, and as such she grew up raised in this family that never really accepted her because she was pretty much a visual reminder of such a traumatizing event in her family's lives, especially since she looks a lot like her biological father and their youngest son was abducted the same night by the same pirates. So from a young age, she decided her family would finally love her if she found her missing brother and brought him home, and she ended up by chance finding a man who used to be a pretty famous adventurer in the city who agreed to train her how to fight and survive as a student (he opened a dojo of sorts after retirement), and so she spent most of her youth training how to be a warrior and how to survive alone in the wilderness. She ended up spending years traveling the continent searching for a brother she was never sure was still alive and finding out her own worth as a person away from an uncaring family. While she became a hardened and untrusting woman, she discovered that her worth wasn't tied into the fate of the abducted brother she didn't know and she didn't owe her family anything. She also discovered that family didn't have to mean blood, as the man and wife who trained her how to be a warrior and an adventurer showed her a kindness and warmth she had been missing and she developed a parent-daughter like bond with them, to the point where the man, who had agreed to train her for a fee, ended up saving all of the money she gave him over the years to buy her a suit of armour and a sword for the day she decided to set out and make a name for herself. While I haven't gotten to the point where she's had to return home, I'm kind of excited for it because while it's a bit tropey, there's genuine love and affection there and I really want to have a moment where she returns to her biological family to find out that her perception of them wasn't quite what she thought it was.

      Sorry, wrote way more than I meant to. Enthusiasm does that!


    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

      Honestly, I'm expecting to get a lot of flak for this answer, but this whole numerous gender thing is new and baffling to me and I still only really think there's only male and female genders. This also includes transgendered people, because I've certainly met and known of several wonderful individuals who were born one gender but feel like they're in the wrong body. I know there's that whole gender =/= debate going on, and I largely try to steer clear of that because I'm hardly an expert or have a lot of investment with it, but I do like to think I'm pretty open minded. To answer the question a bit more directly, I only write as if there's male and female characters (and this, once again, can include transgendered people) and I honestly kind of think when people start to throw around a lot of the gender terms around I'm kind of wondering if they aren't trying to push for a social justice angle or some such in a role play.

    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

      I have not at this point, although I'm not opposed to it. Mainly I don't think I'd be very convincing at it and maybe from a personal standpoint I would be irrationally a bit uncomfortable playing a LGBT character, although I'm not opposed to the concept and am totally fine and happy when those characters exist in roleplays I'm a part of. It's something I've kind of wondered about, but usually for me sexuality for my characters is kind of a secondary trait that I don't muck around with much. If a character's a guy, he likes women. If it's a woman, she likes men. Maybe a part of the reluctance is I feel like people who attribute a non-heterosexual sexuality to a character may be using it as a reflection of their own sexuality, which is totally cool in my books, and I guess a part of me feels like that would make me come across as something other than straight in other people's eyes? It's really weird to put into words, like I've hopefully made clear at this point, I'm pretty supportive of people with LGBT sexualities and leanings, and I fully acknowledge its silly to think a character's sexuality reflects their author because that's almost like thinking a character who's a serial killer means the author might be, too. I just haven't really experimented with characters who break out of the heterosexual mold yet. Not opposed to it, far from it, I just want to get it right if I do. Thinking back, it took me a while to write female characters because I was worried about portraying a woman correctly, and I came to a realization that most of my human characters were white, so I've recently been making characters of different races and ethnicity. It's not because I'm making a social statement (although I do like to challenge the mold a bit), but because I'm trying to expand my experience writing and trying different character ideas and things.

    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

      I pretty much stick to the traditional heterosexual man or woman, as I've explained in the previous questions. I keep in mind sexual dimorphism between men and women when writing my characters (for instance, despite my khajiit woman being a heavy armour and two handed sword wielding badass, she's not quite as strong or heavy as a lot of men who occupy the same vocation and she relies a lot on magic to help even the tables when going against a physically stronger opponent), but overall I stick to my usual guns with characters and tend to focus more on challenging traditional gender roles or playing a vocation or personality I find appealing/ worth trying out.

    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?

      Not at all! I was pleasantly surprised to find writing female characters has been a lot of fun and I've gotten a lot of compliments on them before, so I imagine whenever I take the plunge and make a LGBT character it'll be a pleasantly easy surprise to jump into. I haven't written a sex scene as a female character, and that's something I don't know how I feel about yet. I've had romances with male characters playing my females, but I imagine I'll just fade to black of the opportunity to unlock the Paramour Achievement pops up.

    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?

      I'm absolutely certain I do, not because I feel I'm doing it wrong, but because I always have room for improvement. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with most of my characters, and the ones I'm not satisfied with are just ideas for characters that didn't pan out like I thought they would or weren't as fun to play as I thought, not because I worried about how I was doing their gender.

    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?

      Pretty positively for the most part, I have to say. I've run into a lot of people who play opposite gendered characters and they almost always turn out being delightful characters to read about. I don't think people make characters they plan on hating or having something despicable they want to depict for the most part (there are exceptions; I distinctly recall one of Jorick's Game of Thrones characters being a murderous pedophile which fit nicely into the setting, and I know him well enough to know that he doesn't write characters to be malicious, it's all about telling a story), people tend to play characters they like or think reflects them in some way. I myself usually put a bit of myself in each of my characters, and if I'm making an evil or generally awful person of a character, there's something I really like about writing them. But overall, I've found that roleplaying forums have pretty left-leaning values and members tend to value civil rights quite a bit, and even here on Iwaku I've noticed that the vast majority of people are vocally supportive of LGBT members and movements. It's something I both respect and admire, and I don't think I'd be able to roleplay with somebody I thought was being openly malicious towards LGBT characters, players, or ideas.
    Anyways, interesting topic! I'll go wear my raincoat and prepare for the barrage of produce that's probably going to be thrown my way.
     
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    1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?
    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?
    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?
    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.
    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?
    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?
    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?
    I try to play both genders equally if the opportunity allows.

    1. Sometimes it does, like Dervish stated above it often happens subconsciously that my political and philosophical beliefs influence my characters to a degree.
    2. I only know two genders, don't know about these other genders you speak of.
    3. No and never will. Deal with it.
    4. As much as required and what and when it is necessary to the RP. If I must go into detail how big a certain anatomy is then I am in the wrong RP. I do not libertine RP.
    5. I have a slight apprehension of playing females for the simple reason that I may allow stereotypes start to creep into character subconsciously.
    6. There is always room for improvement no matter the skill of the roleplayer including yours truly.
    7. Some people portray them well some portray them poorly and it is mostly out of ignorance and naivety. Some may not portray them well at all purely out of malevolence. It takes all kinds I suppose.
     
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  7. Right on
    Yes. Even if I make a conscious effort otherwise, I feel that that would be a thing that would happen anyway. I can taper but I don't think I can remove my own biases completely.
    I don't know. I'm transgender as I know some of you are aware, and I dunno. Maybe? I kinda feel gender is more of a gradient, I guess, a grab bag, maybe, I dunno. I plead the 5th. But there's definitely grey. So... I guess more yes than no.

    Yeah, I don't consider transgender really its own gender, just a mismatch of person and ugly (at least in my case) attached sack of meat.

    Man, I can't even answer if there are any, I don't know if I play it. Maybe I do. Honestly, gender's not been a big factor in my characters, personality is and whatever gender that personality is, that's great.
    Yes.

    Technically I have one in your RP, but it's of so little consideration that it will likely never come up.

    Well, depends. In my clean RP it's more of an even mix. In dirty RP? That shifts heavily to predominantly LGBT. Because it's what I am, and if I'm gonna do the kinky times, may as well make it something I can masturbate to something that I can enjoy something that I something that fuck it.
    I'll answer this in a CLEAN / DIRTY way.

    Meh / Yes
    Meh / Meh
    Meh / Yes
    Well, as my biological sex is the opposite of my gender because yay trans, I suppose this makes me answer this backwards. No, I don't feel awkward writing opposite biological sex characters. I do feel awkward writing same biological sex characters, but that's primarily when it comes to carnal activities. I could write someone of my biological sex in a clean RP competently and not feel weird doing it... although I think I'm out of practice on that.
    Write the genders in my characters? Nah, I think I do that fine enough. Personality, temperament, quirks, flaws, hopes, desires, fears... all more important to me than writing based around a gender. That said, gender issues can fall into those other things, but I feel I'd be competent at writing that. So, I could improve, but I don't think I need to.
    I think on average people give genders the old college try and at best do it well and at worse bumble due to ignorance, naivety, and discomfort. Yes, at best do it well. I honestly can't think of a situation where you can do it 'great' in an RP, because it feels that there would never be a reasonable situation where it'd be so the crux of things to get enough exploration, time, skill, effort, etc put into it to make it shine as great. Maybe in non-RP writing you guys could do it, but I don't see it happening as a thing in RP.

    And yes, there's the small percentage of assholes who are assholes, but fuggedaboutit.
     
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    • Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?
    Probably. Since I largely just prefer making a character and not letting the gender play much a role on said characters personality I probably pay less attention to typical gender traits and quirks that others might try adopting.
    • Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?
    I know other Gender's exist. But I have yet to attempt a character that isn't either male or female.
    I generally don't express it in writing though because it honestly just isn't a big deal to me, people of other Gender's are still people.
    If my characters run into another gendered character they'll be conscious of it and respect it accordingly, but they won't make a big deal of it.

    Nor will they have any random need to go "I respect other genders!" if it's not relevant to what's going on. That would just seem odd as if I randomly blurted "I'm not homophobic!".
    Ok... You're not a discriminating prick. Thanks?
    • Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?
    Not for a few years.

    Though it should be noted that 2-3 years ago I took a long break from forum RPs, and only in the past half year have I picked it up again.
    And since picking it up again I've only made a total of 4 characters (5 if you count one not being used yet) for 3 different RPs.
    However, none of those said CS's really even had a sexuality section... So for all intents and purposes those characters (other than one) sexuality are simply unknown for the moment, and could change depending on where the RP goes.

    Estimated total percentage of LGBT characters (at least those with an established sexuality) I would have to assume to be around 10%
    It's not something I shy away from, but it's not something I go out of my way to create either.
    • How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.
    Physically: Not too much. Most of my characters tend to posses rather average builds, and is usually based around whatever character image I tend to like/use.

    Identity: Not really. I know I made a transgender Fire Emblem character before. Didn't make it past the 1st post though, the RP died early.
    Other than that characters have just naturally ended up being cisgendered, and in that Fire Emblem characters case the biggest give away was honestly that they were a (Biologically) male Pegasus Knight.

    Sexuality: There was one RP a few years back where there was a sub-arc of a School being very anti-LGBT and sending one of my characters girlfriends (they were both Lesbian in this RP) to a correctional facility.
    And how later my character had to try to fix the damage that facility had done, but other than that there's never been a big focus or emphasis on sexuality.
    • Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?
    I'm fine with playing female characters. In fact my first ever D&D character was female.
    I might play males more often however, (My roleplay resume might say otherwise, but that's only cause the only other option seemed to suggested I had a strong male preference, which I don't).
    • Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?
    Considering it's never something I never really bothered to address much I would say so.
    I always made characters from the perspective of people are people, and simply try to make an interesting human being.
    But as a result there are elements such as Cultural pressures which have gotten relatively little attention in the past.
    • Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?
    I've never seen anyone really make that sexist or exaggerated a character so I would say I've seen others portray gender fairly.
    Some men might be more feminine in nature, and some women more Masculine, but I know enough people like that IRL and Online that I don't see those as a an issue with an RP character.
     
    #9 Mistake, May 7, 2015
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  8. 1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?

    Maybe not my political or philosophical beliefs, but kind of my understanding of societal gender roles, though I suppose that could be considered to be philosophical beliefs. But my beliefs on gender roles DO affect the way my own characters behave, and affect the way I perceive other characters.

    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

    I do believe there are more than two, but I've never played a cisgender / multigender character.

    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

    My females are almost always bisexual/pansexual. My males are typically hetero.

    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

    In terms of physical/biological appearance, I don't play it up. Seems superficial to me. But I will make the characters' preferences known if the situation arises where they can flirt or make advances.

    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?

    Not at all.

    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?

    I feel I need to improve the way I write in general, and am always seeking to do so. Genders, certainly so, since a lot of my characters tend to fall into certain gender archetypes, and I have a certain aversion to playing certain other archetypes. I'm looking to break free of that.

    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?

    On average, I actually think most characters are fairly portrayed, at least in terms of the RPs I have participated in (again, ONLY in RPs I have participated in). IN ROLEPLAY IN GENERAL, I might agree, maybe, that genders aren't fairly portrayed. I think it's a combination of ignorance and naivety, personally. A lot of people know how reasonable people act on a day-to-day basis, but they don't realize that the way they are portraying a character sometimes may not line up with that.

     
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  9. I try to align my characters stance on things with ideology that would be common in the setting but I try to avoid giving my characters my own beliefs. I enjoy making flawed characters, whether they be racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc, but none of those traits are direct manifestations of my own beleifs. In fact, if I modeled my characters off myself too closely I imagine things would get boring.

    No, I don't believe there are more than two genders. I think people can identify with one gender or the other, or both, but I don't believe there to be more than Male and Female.

    Interestingly enough I was just thinking about this very question. I've never played a LGBT character and I think it's about time that I do, if for no other reason than to get myself acclimated to writing one. Also because I'm a bit hesitant to play one. While I see nothing wrong with it, I'd be lying if I said it was something I was personally comfortable doing. Being a male, writing a LGBT male would probably feel very awkward and I refuse to write a LGBT female until i've written one that was male, simply because to me writing a Female attracted to Females would just feel like a cheap gimmick to say that i've written a LGBT character before. Because if we are perfectly honest here writing a female attracted to females just feels far easier to digest for me. Not easier to write, mind you, just easier to digest. Yet somehow putting myself in the shoes of a Man attracted to men, imagining myself in my characters shoes and being attracted to men, is such a weird area. I think that's one sign that I haven't separated myself from my characters enough and a sign that I still have a lot of development to go as a writer. With all that said I think i'm going to give writing a LGBT man a try now. Great question.

    Honestly I struggle with this sometimes, mostly when writing women. I think I have the tendency to write masculine females. Its really a tricky area because if you write a female who enjoys 'female things' too much it feels like your being sexist, yet when you write females who completely ignore those things it feels like your not portraying the gender properly. For example, writing a badass woman who takes no interest in men or 'girly things' isn't empowering your character, it's weakening them. Part of writing a character is recognizing the tendencies of that gender, so for example you could still write a badass female but acknowledge their feminine qualities (if they have them. Afterall you could still have characters who completely and utterly defy their gender roles.) I'm not saying the character should be defined by their gender, that should never happen, but at the same time you can't write characters who completely ignore it because that's not portraying a person realistically.

    It doesn't make me feel uncomfortable at all. Despite what I said earlier about LGBT characters, writing a female attracted to men is as easy to me as writing a man attracted to women.

    Yes, for reasons mentioned in question 4 and 3. While it's a habit i'm working on breaking, I think I have the tendency to write masculine females because I used to think it meant I was empowering my female character by doing so. The opposite is true in fact, I don't feel I need to explain why thinking a female needs to have masculine qualities to be a good character is poor writing.

    Yes actually. I think at the end of the day if you're just trying to write a strong character then it's hard to go wrong. I just tend to be far more critical of myself.
     
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  10. As a male who plays males -


    Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?

    • Of course they do. My characters are never honest reflections of myself, but they are usually very honest overall and I avoid magic users typically. I may occasionally play a thief or an illusionist if the situation calls for one, but that is not the norm.

    Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

    • Hmm... On a basic anatomical level, no. I never play transgendered or other gender characters so I suppose so.

    Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

    • No. Not because I have anything against LGBT, but because I like keeping my characters very simple. I've never seen a need to make my character homosexual, and I don't know how comfortable I'd be RPing as one.

    How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

    • None. Gender is not an issue. If the most remarkable thing about your character is their gender, that tells me they must be awfully boring.

    Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?


    • I'm fine with RPing as another gender, but I avoid doing it because of the reason listed above. If another PC made advances on my character I'd feel uncomfortable, though I don't play Libertine RPs as any gender. The day I start playing Libertine is when I'll start reevaluating my hobbies.

    Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?

    • Yes. Using less words but having more detail is always the goal. Also, having believable flaws is always key.

    Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?

    • I think most people do a pretty okay job, though sometimes player reactions are a tad overdramatic.
     
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  11. I will. So far it's conforming to my theory, but I'll wait for a few more votes.
     
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  12. 1. I don’t think so. It’s not like my beliefs really stop me from roleplaying anything in particular. My characters are not myself, after all.

    2. I do believe there are more than two genders, however, I wouldn’t say it comes up in my writing or roleplaying much — mostly because I acknowledge that gender is a complicated subject, and that two genders alone are already a crazy can of worms. :P Trying to represent non-binary characters would be fairly difficult, I feel like, so it isn’t something that comes up often. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll shy away from it if I have a good idea for a character, though. It just isn’t something I typically aim for.

    3. Hmm… I feel like it’s hard to pin down what percentage of LGBT characters I typically play since I don’t normally do romance roleplays, so, since romance isn’t always a possibility, I guess I don’t have to think about it too often. That said, playing an LGBT character generally doesn’t feel very different from playing any other character, even if I don’t think to do it super often, so the percentage of them that I have tends to fluctuate quite a bit with whatever characters I happen to have at any given time. I’d say it could be anywhere between 10-40%.

    4. Eh, not much, I suppose. I really don’t think too much about a character’s gender or gender performance while I’m playing them. I just sort of… go with whatever feels natural, I guess? I don’t know; it’s hard to put into words. Sorry.

    5. Not at all. Never had any problems playing male characters, in any situation.

    6. Hmmm… now that you mention it, I don’t know. I used to think that I could play both male and female characters without a problem, but, realizing that I don’t really think about gender much when playing them… Hard to say. Maybe I should pay more attention to such things? Or maybe I’m just good enough at playing both genders that I don’t even need to give it much conscious thought? Bah, you’ve got me second-guessing myself. XD Simpler answer: I never feel that playing the opposite gender is difficult, though I’ve never had to try too hard to play the opposite gender in the first place. Not sure if that last bit is a good thing or a bad thing in terms of skill.

    7. I’ve never really seen anyone struggle with writing a particular gender well, though I know there are plenty of people who never play the opposite gender because they feel they wouldn’t be able to accurately portray that gender, so, I guess those are the people who would struggle with it. In which case, I think it’s just a matter of people not knowing how to play a certain gender due to lack of experience. For example, a male roleplayer might not want to play female characters because he doesn’t know what it’s like to have a female body or mind, so he might not know how to go about playing a female character. That’s just my guess as to the reasoning, anyway. On a related note, though, it seems to me that male RPers tend to be more reluctant to play females than female RPers are to play males. I have no idea why this is; it just seems that I run into a lot more female RPers who are comfortable playing the opposite gender than males. And this seems to also apply to other things, too, like cosplay. Females cosplaying males seem to be a lot more common than males cosplaying females. Again, I have no idea why this is. It’s just a trend I’ve noticed.
     
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    1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting? At times I can/do make characters with my beliefs, but I do like to try and go outside of my norm and what I may believe and try and make a character that has nothing similar to me at all. Just to see how I can roleplay that.
    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing? Yes. I have never expressed it in writing before, kinda complicated to do it but meh. Whatever.
    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT? I have played an LGBT character before. I'm not sure what percentage...possibly 5-10%
    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality. Errr...Not much? I don't really roleplay any of that kind of stuff unless the roleplay is calling for it or if it fits in the scene? Kind of hard to answer this one.
    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether? Yes and no. I am willing to play female roles, but if it involves Romance in the story and you want me to play the Female character and the other character is a Male. It just makes me uncomfortable and I will have to decline.
    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not? I'm not really sure. I mean, there is always room for improvement so. Yes?
    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else? So far, everyone I have seen roleplay has done a pretty good job with roleplaying whatever gender they decided to have their character be.
     
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    • Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?
    Probably, yes. A Philosophy colors one's entire outlook on a lot of things, and writing is just vial of the writer's thoughts. It would be impossible for it not to. That, and I like characters to have a similar outlook to myself. If only because they're not super common anymore.
    • Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?
    No and At least not in humans. However, it's more of a "never came up" problem than anything.
    • Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?
    No.
    • How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.
    I don't intentionally try to emphasize it. I like my characters to be gentlemenly, simply because I consider that "cool" and "manly", but other than that, nothing serious.
    • Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?
    I typically play males as my primary role. This is again, I kind of relate to rather WASP-Male characters a bit more.
    • Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?
    I don't see why I Would.
    • Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?
    Yes, because I don't think it's that difficult to do.
     
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  13. 1. My political/philosophical views on gender are largely laissez faire, so while they're technically in effect, they don't really behoove me to do anything in particular. Frankly, I don't think gender issues have ever really come up in an RP I've been in.

    As for my characters, it would only be if they had a strong opinion about it (like a deliberately sexist character).

    2. Again, I'm laissez faire about this. I don't really want to wade into the wide world of gender politics, given it would just confuse me and probably offend someone, but I have no qualms about other people making non-binary characters or what have you.

    3. I may have created a character or two that was LGBT, at least on their character sheet, but I can't say I play many of them. But for most characters I play, their sexual orientation is largely irrelevant due to the fact the whole RP falls to pieces before anything substantial happens :D

    4.
    - I figure I would acknowledge the physical/biological differences between men and women if it was necessary to do so. I'm not sure how to figure just how much "emphasis" that would be putting on it.
    - Gender identity is irrelevant unless the character actually has a real need to question their gender identity. I've never written a character that struggled with such issues (I would probably fail to grasp the concept properly). I generally try to think of my characters as who they are, not what gender they happen to be.
    - I don't think gender is relevant to sexuality at all. I wouldn't think that either men or women would have a stronger inclination towards a particular sexuality (perhaps there's some scientific study that claims there's a trend, but I really don't care).

    5. Sometimes it weighs on me if I find myself playing nothing but women (which was true until recently), but it's mostly just a slight tick in the back of my mind. I try to achieve a balance between genders with my characters. As for sexual stuff, I did that a grand total of once and felt stupid :D (not judging though, it's just not for me)

    6. I'm not certain. I see some people claim they're "bad" at playing the opposite sex, but I don't really understand that. Maybe people have perceptions of how certain sexes should be, and feel they can't live up to that? All I know is I try to RP them according to their personality more than anything else.

    7. I've never really seen anyone "poorly" portray another gender. Of course, I would argue a character should be judged based on it's own merits, not as to whether it's a "good example" of a girl or guy. I can't even fathom why someone would take the time to make some malicious stereotype of a certain gender in an RP anyway.

    As a final note, I'll just stress that I've never really had to deal with gender issues in an RP I've been in.
     
    #17 Saito Hajime, May 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2015
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  14. On a subconscious level, probably, but not at a level I can quantify.

    No, I only believe in two genders, male and female. There is a lot of variety, however, in how this manifests.

    In addition, it is to me more of a gradient—but not one with male on one side and female on the other. Instead, I see it as two side-by-side scales, somewhat independent of each-other. A person can be both significantly feminine and significantly masculine at the same time, or have almost none of both. To better illustrate this, some very simplified examples:
    • Android agendered: 0% male, 0% female.
    • Traditional depiction agendered: 20% male, 20% female.
    • Macho man: 100% male, 0% female.
    • Tomboy: 70% male, 50% female.
    I do not believe anything exists outside of these two scales in terms of gender.

    Yes, I have. So far, they've all been either lesbians, female bisexuals, or asexuals of either gender. I'm not playing any currently, and overall I'd estimate about 20% of my total characters have been "LGBT".

    However, I should like to note that to me, these characters do not feel LGBT. This may relate in part to what Atlas Child had said—that playing lesbians sorta feels like cheating. This is because as I myself am attracted to females, I find it easier to relate to being attracted to females in general. In addition, to me, LGBT carries a connotation that is not held by my characters. That connotation is that there is something unique about my characters, that this sexuality defines to some level. None of my characters ever went through struggles due to their sexuality, and so it does not quite feel worthy of me to label them LGBT.

    Each of my characters is largely defined by their gender. There are personality archetypes as well as mannerisms and attitudes that I would never use in a male character but would in a female character. These are traits I observed in real people, and adapted to my characters—so I have difficulty arbitrarily creating a character that breaks these molds. It feel unnatural.

    This also likely plays a large part into why I mostly play female characters. Amidst the archetypes I've assigned each gender, I find the female ones more interesting for interactive roleplaying.

    Nope. I feel far more comfortable playing female characters than male.

    When I was younger, I thought this must be some sort of sign that I was transgendered. However, at this point in my life, I am quite certain that my gender is masculine, and I am very comfortable being male. As such, I don't really know why it is I feel more comfortable playing females. It might have something to do with me growing up believing that men were by nature predisposed to being bad people?

    Nope. Maybe my portrayals are totally horrendous and sexist, I don't know. But I don't really like to think about how I should portray a gender—that is never my focus. I only ever think of how I should portray the character as an individual. Gender may play a role in that, but I just go with whatever feels natural.

    Again, I avoid thinking on it. Gender matters little to me, characters do.

    I can see when a person is portraying an extremely sexist character, but in my head, I do not blame them for portraying the gender incorrectly, but rather for portraying the character itself poorly.
     
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  15. Also keep in mind when answering these questions that the topic is about the genders of the characters you make. Beyond that? Answer however you genuinely feel.
    • Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?
    At times. Usually not. I am a very left leaning person, even for my countries standards, but I have played a whole bunch of right leaning people.

    • Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

    A tricky question. I do not consider gender a straight up binary, set in stone thing, but I have a bit trouble identifying a third gender. Maybe? Let's go with Maybe. I've played a few genderfluid or trans charachters before.
    • Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

    I am bisexual myself so I think it has made me quite comfortable to play LGBT characters in general.

    • How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

    Most settings I don't unless there are some previsuly established social norms that might make it a more defining thing. Such as a modern day setting and the character is from Russia. Then being a gay man might have immediate consequences for his upbringing.
    • Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?

    I do not, BUT, I feel I generally have to tread a bit more carefully around it. For someone who do not identify with the gender, you kinda have to approach it with a little more care then your own. I've seen far to many people play straight up stereotypes. That and it is oh so very easy to put a bunch of your ideal traits into a character. And well. Then you might end up looking like a wierdo who wants to bone his character. Know what I'm saying?
    • Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?
    There is always room for improvement.

    • Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?
    I have a hard time imagining anyone portraying the opposite gender poorly out of malevolence. It would be to obvious if nothing else. No, in general I have seen a pretty good representation of either gender from, you guessed it, either gender.
     
    #19 Hellis, May 8, 2015
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  16. 1. Do you believe that your political or philosophical beliefs influence your characters and your perception of genders in a fictional setting?

    To a degree, yes. You won't see me playing many racist or sexist characters in any modern setting. However I'm also perfectly capable of creating a period/setting appropriate character. Philosophically, I don't really think so. I sometimes make characters who think like I do but I don't think it's a habit.


    2. Do you believe there are more than two genders (male, female), and do you express this in writing?

    I'm not sure. I know people who claim to have no gender, but that isn't a gender soo...I'm not sure. I've had intersex characters but they typically pick a gender to identify as or are gender fluid. Multigender is apparently a thing but I've never met anyone who claimed to be that. No saying it doesn't exist, but I'm not sure.

    3. Have you ever played an LGBT character? Do you currently play any LGBT characters? Can you estimate, roughly, what percentage of characters you play that are LGBT?

    Yes! Yes! For my males, I'd say only 10% are heterosexual. My women are probably 50/50.


    4. How much emphasis do you place on your character's gender in the following areas: Physically/Biologically, gender identity, sexuality.

    Ummmm. I do a lot of Libertine so the physical aspect is pretty important. I'm a very descriptive writer. As far as identity, I typically play characters who identify as biological sex. When I do play intersex characters they usually identify based on whether or not they have breasts so again physicality. Sexuality is again pretty important. Usually romance means something to me in roleplays so what my characters like the bedroom is important.

    5. Do you feel uncomfortable playing/writing as the opposite biological sex? (IE: If you are a male, do you feel uncomfortable playing females, and vice versa.) Is this restricted solely to carnal activities (ex: sex), or is it simply general discomfort altogether?

    Not at all! As a female I play males likely more often than females. I play males and females for sexy time and non sexy time happily.

    6. Do you feel you still need to improve the way you write genders in your characters? Why, or why not?

    Personally? I think I do a pretty good job with genders. I don't believe there is a "certain way" to play either gender. Gender roles don't mean a whole lot to me so I'm not worried about properly portraying either gender. Like, there isn't a standard I need to meet. I'm more concerned with playing them to the personalities I've given them and appropriate to their pasts and settings and such.

    7. Do you believe that other people fairly portray genders in their characters on average? Why, or why not? If not: Is it out of a sense of ignorance, malevolence, naivety, or something else?

    Hmmmm. Personally, I think there's a lot of issues out there. Even though I don't believe in a standard, I think there are some raging gender stereotypes out there. The "tragic past emotionally damaged female", the "relentlessly nice guy with no flaws", the "I'm constantly rude without ever letting up and you have to crack my hard shell girl", The "I have no feminine qualities not even one and I'm a total badass woman but I only do submissive in bedroom scenes" oh and we can't forget the "my male character has no emotional weaknesses despite his harrowing experiences and is only there to rescue/support the other characters in the roleplay without actually having to emotionally experience anything myself man" etc. Oddly enough these stereotypes are usually portrayed by roleplayers who play characters of their same gender. As for the reason, I think roleplaying is ultimately a fantasy. People sometimes play their ideals or their ideal versions of themselves. Or they play something that seems appealing. I think it's lazy to play things like that. Most of the problems I have with isn't wrong portrayal of gender so much as just non creative characters and how boring such characters are. It's easy to play a trope, it's a hell of lot harder to play a character akin to an actual person.
     
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