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Isn't that a girl thing ?

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  • Isn't that a girl thing ?


    I just saw a comment say that two out of five captains in Savage Sea are women, and the text says that both of them don't earn the position (Feria specifically sleeps her way to promotion), I also noticed that all the "Slut" character type in Exalted are women: The Lover, Erembour, Mara, Venus, that sex worker goddess,...etc, even Neomah has female features in every artworks, so if I want some hot NPC dudes to make me feel like ~Queen of the World~, I basically have to invent one from scratch. And look at how gendered the two "girly" MA are, both the arts for Black Claw and Dreaming Pearl feature women killing men using their feminine wiles, Ex3 uses female pronounce for all the MA, but SotM definitely uses female pronounce for Dreaming Pearl while other styles use he/him/his.

    Is this because most of Exalted material are written in 2001, back when things are not as progressive as today, or is Creation suppose to be this.....eh......."realistic" when it comes to gender roles ? Since I like to create male characters who are very feminine, from outrageously cute like the above, to demure like cloud and silk, and I'm not sure whether they will stand out from a crowd or not because they "Act like a bunch of women", like, if my burly Zenith compelely destroys a Wyld Hunt with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, will the DB's thoughts be "How can he be so strong, he looks like a faggot!"



  • #2
    Wyld Hunt should know better than to judge a book by it's cover....and should writers in this day and age.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jen View Post
      I'm not sure whether they will stand out from a crowd or not because they "Act like a bunch of women", like, if my burly Zenith compelely destroys a Wyld Hunt with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, will the DB's thoughts be "How can he be so strong, he looks like a faggot!"
      There is a decent chance more than half of the Wyld Hunt will be made up of women, and the socialites will be evenly split among both genders. I think the issue will be less that a dude is acting feminine and more that the Anathema is using martial arts that blend in with polite society making it even more dangerous.

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      • #4
        Well yes a LOT of the sexually liberated characters are female... First Age Ma-Ha Suchi was basically Creation's BIGGEST sex fiend, and was a dude. (Though he could change sex in order to accommodate tastes)


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jen View Post
          Since I like to create male characters who are very feminine, from outrageously cute like the above, to demure like cloud and silk, and I'm not sure whether they will stand out from a crowd or not because they "Act like a bunch of women", like, if my burly Zenith compelely destroys a Wyld Hunt with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, will the DB's thoughts be "How can he be so strong, he looks like a faggot!"
          Honestly I'm not sure where exactly you are heading with your post. Are you upset that there aren't enough dudes taking up a feminine type of role to make it common in the game or do you want to see a man in a feminine role as something noteworthy to his opponents for being so feminine that they react with shock or awe to it?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Great Cthulhu View Post

            Honestly I'm not sure where exactly you are heading with your post. Are you upset that there aren't enough dudes taking up a feminine type of role to make it common in the game or do you want to see a man in a feminine role as something noteworthy to his opponents for being so feminine that they react with shock or awe to it?
            Neither, I want to know if Creation has the same gender norm as the real world, since right now I'm sure whether my character will stand out due to their manners or not.


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            • #7
              I basically have to invent one from scratch.
              Jen said like it was a bad thing.

              Neither, I want to know if Creation has the same gender norm as the real world, since right now I'm sure whether my character will stand out due to their manners or not.
              Well, yes and no.

              I feel we know more about the sex-crazed females in Creation because a slutty woman will be more successful in her love life than a slutty man. Men are notoriously weak to pretty faces and the promise of sex, while women tend more towards what men say/do/might accomplish. Yeah it's a stereotype, but stereotypes usually exist for a reason. The idea that men are horny weaklings and women are weak in the heart doesn't need to be true all the time, just more often than not. ('course, my experience in love couldn't fill a thimble, so I could be wrong).

              That said, keep in mind that Creation is a massive place, far bigger than our own world. Every culture you could possibly imagine existing in Creation probably exists somewhere. There are fantastic sexists in the west, trans acceptance in the south, sexual liberation to the point of decadence in the center, etc etc. Whether or not your feminine males (as you put it) will be accused of "acting like a woman" will depend largely on where he is standing at the time, as well as whether or not that's a bad thing.

              Like any RPG, Exalted is in large part what you make of it. Heck, I created a Zenith male whose goal in life was to build a massive harem of waifus and have the biggest family Creation had ever seen. (He was drop-dead gorgeous)


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jen View Post

                Neither, I want to know if Creation has the same gender norm as the real world, since right now I'm sure whether my character will stand out due to their manners or not.
                Using the term "Creation" to describe anything is basically the same as using "Earth" to describe the real world.

                Are gender norms the same all across the globe?

                You are ....... going to have to be more specific, Jen.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jen View Post
                  Neither, I want to know if Creation has the same gender norm as the real world, since right now I'm sure whether my character will stand out due to their manners or not.
                  Oh...in that case no, Creation doesn't have the same gender or sexual expectations as the real world. Its always been pretty liberal by Earth standards with the caveat that being Exalted pretty much breaks any limitations anyway. Your enemies will not care that you act in a feminine manner, they will only care that you have the power to crack a castle wall with your voice.

                  Obviously this is a general observation as different cultures will react differently but its mostly true, particularly for those who are supremely powerful.

                  I find this to have been true of the game since 1e myself. Sure it bows to some common tropes but they don't define the game's approach to this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jen View Post
                    Feria specifically sleeps her way to promotion)
                    That does not appear to be the case anymore in 3rd Edition. She is described as very competent and deserving in her Adversaries of the Righteous write-up.

                    I also noticed that all the "Slut" character type in Exalted are women: The Lover, Erembour, Mara, Venus, that sex worker goddess,...etc, even Neomah has female features in every artworks,
                    This bothers me a lot too, and I would like to see 3rd edition expand beyond this (including by including more sexualized male "love god/demon" figures to balance it out).

                    Also, ever notice that all of the female Deathlords have titles that specifically define them by their clothing? "Clad in the Raiment of Tears" "in Unrent Veils" "with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers". In contrast the male Deathlords are not so demarcated by their clothing.

                    I guess you could argue "Mask of Winter", but it's a bit of a stretch.


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                    • #11
                      NPC demographics usually turn out shitty due to unconscious writerly biases, even if everyone is well-intentioned, because of culturally instilled and deeply internalized patriarchal misogyny. It's one thing to say "Hey, let's write a world with less terrible gender norms" and another thing to pull it off.

                      Ex3 creative team is working on it, hence Regara Feria's rewrite to not be an incompetent who slept her way to the top. We'd like to bring 3e's actual NPC demographics in line with what Creation's societal descriptions say they ought to be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HalfTangible View Post
                        Yeah it's a stereotype, but stereotypes usually exist for a reason.
                        ​They certainly do; systemizing and perpetuating narratives that reinforce normalization of oppression is a hell of a drug.

                        ​....You were trying to allude at the notion that stereotypes exist because they're true, weren't you?

                        Originally posted by Jen
                        Is this because most of Exalted material are written in 2001, back when things are not as progressive as today
                        That will probably be part of it.

                        ​The setting will contain some forms of gender issues that will be intended by writers as a... largely invented thing, while it will probably also contain some things that arise from unexamined and possibly often unrealised biases.

                        ​Hell, I assert that even some of the thinking that underlies intentional gender expressions will reflect some of those biases. It can be difficult for people to fully divest themselves of such influences, if it's even right that they should.

                        ​I think some of these character things are a lot like what I said about Kes and Szaya in the other thread; possibly wouldn't have been made if the game was brand new and by people with about the same sensibilities as who is producing content now, but having already existed and become familiar and memorable, there's a compelling reason to retain them.

                        ​I hope for more diversity of the kind you're talking about in the future, and some things that move away from stereotypes. In the meantime, I examine Exalted as I examine a lot of things; if there are problematic elements, I try to at least acknowledge them as problematic, recognise that, and acknowledge if it puts anybody off, to engender discussion that I would hope can move towards change, while still not writing the whole thing off and even enjoying it.

                        ​So with a character like Mara, acknowledging the problems with the archetype that she comes from while still finding her to be a compelling presence in the setting.

                        (And then there are some areas where the problematic ought to be divested entirely from the compelling, such as a lot of ways that Alveua has been portrayed in art)

                        ​So yes; express your concerns, Jen. Generate discussion. If nothing else, it can give those involved something to think about.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                          They certainly do; systemizing and perpetuating narratives that reinforce normalization of oppression is a hell of a drug.

                          ​....You were trying to allude at the notion that stereotypes exist because they're true, weren't you?
                          There's no need to be snide.

                          Stereotypes are a problem because they're applied too broadly or because a false causal relationship is assumed, not because they're never true.

                          "reinforce normalization of oppression"

                          It's an RPG, not Congress.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jen View Post
                            like, if my burly Zenith compelely destroys a Wyld Hunt with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan, will the DB's thoughts be "How can he be so strong, he looks like a faggot!"
                            On the basis that sounds like it would be a rubbish, homophobic internal monologue in a kung fu film, I'm thinking no.

                            (To have a punt at *good* appropriately semi-corny kung fu internal monologue would probably be like "Unbelievable! Such deception and power from one apparently so weak. What an evil style!" or something).

                            Or I don't know, maybe a Dragonblooded would think that if you're playing like a One Punch Man style comedy or something? But in a serious game where characters are not doing like, silly, funny Haado Gei things while fighting, feels like probably not.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by HalfTangible View Post
                              There's no need to be snide.

                              Stereotypes are a problem because they're applied too broadly or because a false causal relationship is assumed, not because they're never true.

                              "reinforce normalization of oppression"

                              It's an RPG, not Congress.
                              Marginalization exists outside of law. Art reflects social norms reinforcing stereotypes which can impact behavior. Even if it doesn't impact behavior, the art itself can contribute to marginalization directly. Look at the studies showing how television viewing in kids lowers self-esteem for everyone EXCEPT white boys. Nothing exists in a vacuum.


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