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  • Black Furies and Transgender Individuals

    So I searched the forums and saw there was a conversation about this awhile back, about a year ago. I didn't want to necro it, but for the sake of reference here's the link: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...gender-identiy

    I'm making a new thread for it because I think it got a bit derailed at the end, and there's plenty of things I'd like to add to the discussion, and would also like to hear any new points of view that might not have existed on the board at that time.

    My first point of confusion is how the Black Furies and their reverence for the Wyld never seems to come up in these discussions where I find them. This seems pretty important if you're going to have a discussion about how they would feel regarding the issue, especially when it comes to gender variance and individuals who don't feel they belong to one gender or the other, or who seem to alternate in their own minds. Would the Black Furies consider this a win? Would it warrant further inspection? The Black Furies in their Revised Tribebook are painted with a fairly conservative brush (by today's standards) in contrast to their reverence for a force that represents explosive volatile change.

    Another factor that might influence their treatment of children with the condition is the fact that, especially in the World of Darkness, there are tangible culprits to blame. A Black Fury wouldn't really have the traditional TERF response of men simply trying to steal the last sacred bastion of femininity, when you consider things like Endocrine Disruptors. These are chemicals that are put in pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and plastics, or just as byproducts of industry and agriculture. Bisphenol A being present in baby bottles would be just another reason for them to hate anything other than traditional breastfeeding, up there with the properties of the formula in the game's setting. Bisphenol A can leech from the plastic and into the milk or formula, thus affecting their bodies and brains at critical points in development, to say nothing of the effect it might have on pregnant women. The whole situation is very 'Pentex' in general, and I imagine that they'd make a habit of confronting that, especially since - in setting - you could make an argument for it drastically affecting women and their unborn children. The question becomes whether or not they'd support these children, or would they insist on testing and the like to see how they 'would have been' without chemical tampering? That strikes me as a pretty Weaver course of action and I can't see them doing it, maybe they'd just have a Ritual? Or they could just take the child's word for it, or possibly all of the above depending on which faction you ask.

    I'm trying to approach this concept from a general standpoint, instead of focusing on things like how they would view transgender 'werewolves'. I feel like the former would greatly influence the later anyway; and besides that, it likely wouldn't concern them that much so long as more werewolves are being made, WTF simplified that approach with one of the least expensive gifts you can get, so I can't imagine it being that much more difficult in WTA. I would imagine any Garou who has carried and birthed a child would carry some respect/status as a woman as far as the general tribe is concerned.

    This being said, it's a pretty controversial issue still, for lots of people, and my own viewpoint may be biased. Before I take the time to run a game for my friends with these themes, I'd like to get as many viewpoints as possible, and would love to see what other people think.
    Last edited by Solana; 09-28-2016, 06:17 PM.

  • #2
    When you're fighting an apocalyptic war and only accept women into your Tribe, I imagine any woman is welcome. While I'm sure there's an older or more conservative faction with TERF ideology (you see a lot of transohobia in some Wicca communities, for instance), I can't imagine it's more than a minority.


    Remi. she/her. game designer.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't think you'll get very far trying to establish any kind of etiology for being trans, as there is no known etiology. Establishing one in game would almost certainly be a matter of driving an agenda, and trans people pre-existed the factors you bring up. The stuff about endocrine disruptors and other similar issues tends to be more of an MRA talking point than one picked up by women, with the concern that it is "emasculating" men and boys. While I can certainly see the Black Furies concerned about such things I don't see them adopting similar stances to MRAs.

      Comment


      • #4
        It was discussed in wolves and whiskey, the only woman Developer there was pretty heated on the issue.

        Richt Says he's gotten DEATH THREATS for stating he will do that in the new Werewolf LARP.

        If you want my opinion?

        I think its a little TOO Hellbent on saying "Hey! Look how progressive we are!!!"

        things CAN get too preachy, believe it or not.


        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Resplendent Fire View Post
          I don't think you'll get very far trying to establish any kind of etiology for being trans, as there is no known etiology. Establishing one in game would almost certainly be a matter of driving an agenda, and trans people pre-existed the factors you bring up. The stuff about endocrine disruptors and other similar issues tends to be more of an MRA talking point than one picked up by women, with the concern that it is "emasculating" men and boys. While I can certainly see the Black Furies concerned about such things I don't see them adopting similar stances to MRAs.
          I think there are plenty of disciplines that have found reasonable etiologies for the phenomena. It's only an issue when someone tries to find the single prevailing etiology, and I'm not trying to invalidate any ideas or anyone, the example I gave was just that - an example of how, in the setting of Apocalypse, the Wyrm and the Weaver might be involved in promoting dysphoria in human beings.

          I am transgender, and I know that it's something that has always existed, and is as old as dirt. To use a problematic comparison, saying that lead can cause mental disorders is not the same thing as saying that lead is the origin point for mental disorders. There's nothing flawed about being transgender, or on the surface, anything undesirable about it - though I would argue that gender dysphoria, the feeling of disconnect with one's body, can be disabling, speaking from personal experience.


          Originally posted by Resplendent Fire View Post
          The stuff about endocrine disruptors and other similar issues tends to be more of an MRA talking point than one picked up by women, with the concern that it is "emasculating" men and boys. While I can certainly see the Black Furies concerned about such things I don't see them adopting similar stances to MRAs.
          Quoting this specifically because it's personally relevant to me and I want to emphasize it, and my answer.

          I'm pretty well aware of the MRA types you specify as well, they're also the types that go around promoting testosterone cream wherever they can. The issue is that endocrine disruptors do exist, and they can have a physical and mental effect on human beings, especially at important developmental stages. Just because an MRA trope is blaming male feminists on a lack of Testosterone is a thing doesn't mean it's not an issue worth exploring.

          I sometimes encounter backlash because my dysphoria was very strong as a child, that made it 'a problem' and a painful thing, regardless of whether or not I would be accepted in my society or not. The acceptance helps, sure, but it's not going to make the constant migraines or tension go away.

          I don't think there's anything wrong with studying the effects of hormones during early human development, and how that affects gender identity or potential dysphoria later in life, as the brain has to deal with a body it simply didn't develop for. I think there's plenty of compelling evidence and it's a complicated subject that shouldn't just be dismissed because MRAs like to complain about emasculated men.

          Anyway, it was my hope to avoid making this too personal on my end, and I think I've pretty much failed on that, at this point.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
            Richt Says he's gotten DEATH THREATS for stating he will do that in the new Werewolf LARP.
            I'm entirely not surprised by that.

            Comment


            • #7
              I got both my W20 Corebook, and W20 Book of the wyrm signed by him and someone else.

              Oh one other thing.

              I asked Richt if Metis or Kinfolk were meant as allegories for racism or Sexism in real life, he said only "you can read whatever you want into it"
              Last edited by Prince of the Night; 09-28-2016, 08:35 PM.


              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                It was discussed in wolves and whiskey, the only woman Developer there was pretty heated on the issue.

                Richt Says he's gotten DEATH THREATS for stating he will do that in the new Werewolf LARP.

                If you want my opinion?

                I think its a little TOO Hellbent on saying "Hey! Look how progressive we are!!!"

                things CAN get too preachy, believe it or not.
                Accepting trans people is preachy now?


                Remi. she/her. game designer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Personally, I would have the Black Furies dislike transgender people. Werewolf culture is extremely conservative as well as bigoted. Hating things that fall outside of their world view is one of the central elements of Garou culture and the Black Furies represent this more than most Tribes do. If I were running this in a game, I'd have the BF's consider a transwoman to be an abomination, perhaps Wyrm tainted - a man who thinks that he can use Weaver shenanigans to thwart the will of Gaia and violate the sacred feminine. I feel that making WoD splats overly tolerant may be projecting one's own beliefs onto these fictional groups in contradiction to what would likely be the most thematic and realistic situation.

                  Of course, since werewolves are not real, there is no strictly right or wrong answer, but that is how I would run it. As for Tribes that would be tolerant of transgender people, I would imagine that the Children of Gaia would be as well as Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
                    Personally, I would have the Black Furies dislike transgender people. Werewolf culture is extremely conservative as well as bigoted. Hating things that fall outside of their world view is one of the central elements of Garou culture and the Black Furies represent this more than most Tribes do. If I were running this in a game, I'd have the BF's consider a transwoman to be an abomination, perhaps Wyrm tainted - a man who thinks that he can use Weaver shenanigans to thwart the will of Gaia and violate the sacred feminine. I feel that making WoD splats overly tolerant may be projecting one's own beliefs onto these fictional groups in contradiction to what would likely be the most thematic and realistic situation.

                    Of course, since werewolves are not real, there is no strictly right or wrong answer, but that is how I would run it. As for Tribes that would be tolerant of transgender people, I would imagine that the Children of Gaia would be as well as Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers.
                    On the other hand, transgender people are real people who live in the real world, unlike Black Furies. Reproducing the same oppressive systems that exist in the real world in what's supposed to be fantasy escapism strikes me as a great way to alienate those real transgender people from the game. This would also make such a decision a terrible decision and maybe a different take would be more appropriate - one that doesn't cut transgender women out of Werewolf's definition of womanhood.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Solana View Post

                      I think there are plenty of disciplines that have found reasonable etiologies for the phenomena. It's only an issue when someone tries to find the single prevailing etiology, and I'm not trying to invalidate any ideas or anyone, the example I gave was just that - an example of how, in the setting of Apocalypse, the Wyrm and the Weaver might be involved in promoting dysphoria in human beings.

                      I am transgender, and I know that it's something that has always existed, and is as old as dirt. To use a problematic comparison, saying that lead can cause mental disorders is not the same thing as saying that lead is the origin point for mental disorders. There's nothing flawed about being transgender, or on the surface, anything undesirable about it - though I would argue that gender dysphoria, the feeling of disconnect with one's body, can be disabling, speaking from personal experience.
                      Okay, that's a fair point.

                      Originally posted by Solana View Post

                      Quoting this specifically because it's personally relevant to me and I want to emphasize it, and my answer.

                      I'm pretty well aware of the MRA types you specify as well, they're also the types that go around promoting testosterone cream wherever they can. The issue is that endocrine disruptors do exist, and they can have a physical and mental effect on human beings, especially at important developmental stages. Just because an MRA trope is blaming male feminists on a lack of Testosterone is a thing doesn't mean it's not an issue worth exploring.

                      I sometimes encounter backlash because my dysphoria was very strong as a child, that made it 'a problem' and a painful thing, regardless of whether or not I would be accepted in my society or not. The acceptance helps, sure, but it's not going to make the constant migraines or tension go away.

                      I don't think there's anything wrong with studying the effects of hormones during early human development, and how that affects gender identity or potential dysphoria later in life, as the brain has to deal with a body it simply didn't develop for. I think there's plenty of compelling evidence and it's a complicated subject that shouldn't just be dismissed because MRAs like to complain about emasculated men.

                      Anyway, it was my hope to avoid making this too personal on my end, and I think I've pretty much failed on that, at this point.
                      I am not trying to say it should be dismissed, just that I would hope for a nuanced approach to the topic (which I would say MRAs fail at).

                      And I am sorry for pushing you to make this too personal. That wasn't my intent.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
                        Personally, I would have the Black Furies dislike transgender people. Werewolf culture is extremely conservative as well as bigoted. Hating things that fall outside of their world view is one of the central elements of Garou culture and the Black Furies represent this more than most Tribes do. If I were running this in a game, I'd have the BF's consider a transwoman to be an abomination, perhaps Wyrm tainted - a man who thinks that he can use Weaver shenanigans to thwart the will of Gaia and violate the sacred feminine. I feel that making WoD splats overly tolerant may be projecting one's own beliefs onto these fictional groups in contradiction to what would likely be the most thematic and realistic situation.

                        Of course, since werewolves are not real, there is no strictly right or wrong answer, but that is how I would run it. As for Tribes that would be tolerant of transgender people, I would imagine that the Children of Gaia would be as well as Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers.
                        That's fine as long as it fits the rest of the story, but often a lot of the bigotry in Apocalypse specifically doesn't make sense. Example? The Get of Fenris White Supremacist model, as well as their own issues with gender. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for werewolves to base so much of their world view on human institutions when they interact with spirits on a regular basis that prove those human models wrong. The Get of Fenris have Fenris for a tribal totem as well, not Odin. This is something that would horrify modern day Asatru types. There's plenty of reconstructionist teachings that revere the Jotuns, of whom Fenris is allegedly a descendant, and those beings were always far more tolerant of gender variance in general. It seems like that would be a lot more enticing to a human who grew up in a system where his instincts are wrong.

                        To say nothing of the fact that there are lupines and metis who are just about as removed from those systems as one can be.

                        The mention of using Weaver shenanigans is interesting, since in the regions Black Furies originally came from transgender women would remove their parts with shards of broken pottery and drink pregnant mare urine for the hormone content. That stuff was actually used in medicine up until very recently when we started just making it in a lab.

                        So while you could argue that Weaver shenanigans = a lack of support from Black Furies, I'd argue that it would likely have no effect on how they view people who feel that way, and would instead reflect their esteem for those procedures, rather than going out into the woods, cutting things off in ritualistic fashion, and getting the hormones naturally, like from flax seeds and licorice root.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post
                          Personally, I would have the Black Furies dislike transgender people. Werewolf culture is extremely conservative as well as bigoted. Hating things that fall outside of their world view is one of the central elements of Garou culture and the Black Furies represent this more than most Tribes do. If I were running this in a game, I'd have the BF's consider a transwoman to be an abomination, perhaps Wyrm tainted - a man who thinks that he can use Weaver shenanigans to thwart the will of Gaia and violate the sacred feminine. I feel that making WoD splats overly tolerant may be projecting one's own beliefs onto these fictional groups in contradiction to what would likely be the most thematic and realistic situation.

                          Of course, since werewolves are not real, there is no strictly right or wrong answer, but that is how I would run it. As for Tribes that would be tolerant of transgender people, I would imagine that the Children of Gaia would be as well as Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers.
                          As a counterpoint, the Greek mythology background of the Black Furies does sometimes suggest that Achilles was raised as a woman, if you're looking for precedent, and Cybele's priesthood consisted almost entirely of self-castrating individuals argued as trans or third-gender. "Conservative" does not have to mean intolerance of subverting the gender binary, as a great deal of non-Western cultures tells you. You're also gonna have a real hard time telling me the staunch young feminists who make up many of the modern Furies aren't going to be the intersectional sort, who are all for transwomen.

                          But hey, I guess I'm just projecting.
                          Last edited by atamajakki; 09-28-2016, 09:07 PM.


                          Remi. she/her. game designer.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Originally posted by Solana View Post

                            That's fine as long as it fits the rest of the story, but often a lot of the bigotry in Apocalypse specifically doesn't make sense. Example? The Get of Fenris White Supremacist model, as well as their own issues with gender. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense for werewolves to base so much of their world view on human institutions when they interact with spirits on a regular basis that prove those human models wrong. The Get of Fenris have Fenris for a tribal totem as well, not Odin. This is something that would horrify modern day Asatru types. There's plenty of reconstructionist teachings that revere the Jotuns, of whom Fenris is allegedly a descendant, and those beings were always far more tolerant of gender variance in general. It seems like that would be a lot more enticing to a human who grew up in a system where his instincts are wrong.

                            To say nothing of the fact that there are lupines and metis who are just about as removed from those systems as one can be.

                            The mention of using Weaver shenanigans is interesting, since in the regions Black Furies originally came from transgender women would remove their parts with shards of broken pottery and drink pregnant mare urine for the hormone content. That stuff was actually used in medicine up until very recently when we started just making it in a lab.

                            So while you could argue that Weaver shenanigans = a lack of support from Black Furies, I'd argue that it would likely have no effect on how they view people who feel that way, and would instead reflect their esteem for those procedures, rather than going out into the woods, cutting things off in ritualistic fashion, and getting the hormones naturally, like from flax seeds and licorice root.
                            I'm torn about the racism thing. It seems like werewolves wouldn't really object to racism, but the form depicted as being a part of the GoF does seem like an extremely modern variant that would strike most werewolves as more silly than evil. One issue regarding the Get of Fenris is that they are more anti-Asatru than Asatru really, so it seems like appeals to Norse ancestors may not be appealing to them, since the Norse worshiped the bad guys essentially.

                            I do think it would possible to come up with a somewhat reasonable thematic explanation for the BF tolerating transgender people, it's just not the way I would handle it in game.

                            Originally posted by Resplendent Fire View Post

                            On the other hand, transgender people are real people who live in the real world, unlike Black Furies. Reproducing the same oppressive systems that exist in the real world in what's supposed to be fantasy escapism strikes me as a great way to alienate those real transgender people from the game. This would also make such a decision a terrible decision and maybe a different take would be more appropriate - one that doesn't cut transgender women out of Werewolf's definition of womanhood.
                            I think that the conclusion you draw here is going to make for a ridiculous game. If that is your logic, then no in-game group should have any problems at all. All groups should be tolerant of everything and the world would be bright and shiny and the game would be about groups holding hands and singing Kumbaya. Werewolf Tribes aren't nice, they aren't tolerant. by most humans' standards, they are evil. I think trying to shoehorn tolerance onto them isn't appropriate. To a large extent, White Wolf games are about being an outsider, about not being tolerant. I would say that is a player wants his or her character to be tolerated by a Tribe, make a character from one of the Tribes which is explicitly supposed to be tolerant - like the Children of Gaia - not one of the least tolerant Tribes.

                            Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                            As a counterpoint, the Greek mythology background of the Black Furies does sometimes suggest that Achilles was raised as a woman, if you're looking for precedent, and Cybele's priesthood consisted almost entirely of self-castrating individuals argued as trans or third-gender. "Conservative" does not have to mean intolerance of subverting the gender binary, as a great deal of non-Western cultures tells you. You're also gonna have a real hard time telling me the staunch young feminists who make up many of the modern Furies aren't going to bthe intersectional sort, who are all for transwomen.

                            But hey, I guess I'm just projecting.
                            Yes, you probably are. I don't discount the possibility of non-binary gender ideas existing among ancient Greeks, but even if that was the case, I don't foresee that being accepted by such a sex/gender obsessed group as the BF. Staunch young feminists, assuming that you mean the kind of feminists that you might find on a college campus, are going to be outsiders, even heretics of sorts, among the BF. Any women with such belief systems as that are likely going to have to heavily readjust their worldview to fit into a group like the BF.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post

                              things CAN get too preachy, believe it or not.
                              E.g., what you're doing right here, complaining about this change being "too progressive".

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