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six672

In my world there is a general understanding that souls are the true self and are immortal. Reincarnation is also a thing there. The concepts of gender differ from country to country and species to species, but for the most part people identify as male or female *right now*. That may be different in the next life and may have been different in the past. Souls do not have genders. Most people hold this belief as Reincarnation is known to exist. The union of two souls is required to bring another soul from the Font of Life into the world. There are also soul-mates, so there really isn't an idea of homosexual relationships. This is because your soul-mate's gender will differ from lifetime to lifetime, so there is always the chance that you will be the same gender. If you meet your soul-mate, you will (most likely) fall in love with them. The gender doesn't really matter. Same sex relationships are considered normal and therefore are not considered special or unique enough to warrant our understanding of lgbtq relationships. The Font of Life is unthinking and therefore makes mistakes. If someone doesn't identify with their gender they may appeal to The Reaper to have their body changed.


PageTheKenku

Depends on the species, but Lizardfolk are physically the same in strength and size regardless of sex. They can tell the difference themselves, though other species can't, leading to most believing they don't have sexes. Due to the similarity, they don't have roles for a particular gender. One setting I remember doing Dwarves differently was Discworld, which also had them be extremely similar regardless of sex. Interestingly, even the Dwarves couldn't tell the difference, which has implications, though I don't know them, as I haven't read the whole series.


IvanDFakkov

**Flame Phantom**: Depends on the country and culture. Most only acknowledge male and female. For example, the United Empire allows same-sex marriages. It is the only one out of 5 superpowers to legalise such thing. Men and women are seen as equal, due to its long history of practicing equality, they are allowed to go to the same schools, do the same jobs, have same amount of salary, and the same duties. That means mandatory conscription. Both genders are expected to perform their duties, first with families, then with the surrounding society, finally the Motherland. As such, husbands and wives take parts in taking care of their family. Male chauvinism and *current* feminism are both looked down upon in the UE.


tidalbeing

How does marriage work? Is polygamy accepted and if so, how does the society deal with imbalance in the effective sex ratio? If the society is strictly monogamous, the effective sex ratio is 1:1--for every male looking for a partner, there's a female looking for a partner. But with polygamy, men can produce more children than women can. A woman needs at least 9 months between producing children. A man needs about 15 minutes, so if a man has a lot of wives, he can have a lot of children. For a woman having a number of husbands doesn't increase her number of children. No matter how often she has sex she still has 9 months in between producing kids. his results in there being more men looking for wives than wives looking for husbands. Also high-status families value sons more than daughters because sons result in more grandchildren. Equality between the sexes is destroyed. What does your society do about this?


IvanDFakkov

Polygamy in the UE is banned long ago, about 70 years. The reason is exactly what you said, and they saw it no longer fits with modern ethical values. Before that, equality was enforced by laws, not by moral standards. Start with both genders have to participate in compulsory education and the military. They're taught from a young age that respecting others is an important thing, and after several thousand years of strictly supervised, this became a part of its culture. Initially, it was a matriarchal, then meritocratic society where people value the merit one gains via working more than gender. Then there are laws that limit the number of husbands/wives one can have. Max at 4, and before marrying, they must have the consent of both parties' families, including the wives/husbands. Later they must prove the financial ability to support such a family. There are so many conditions that most nobles prefered 1:1 unless it was extremely nessessary. The late Prince-Elector of U Minh, one of the most famous lords of the UE, had 4 wives. Among them, only one did he marry out of true love, The other 3 were political marriages to increase the influences of his clan over other nobles. If it hadn't been for political purpose, he would have stayed with only 1 partner.


tidalbeing

Enforcing monogamy is pretty much impossible. Men visit prostitutes or, if they are well off, have mistresses. They also divorce one wife and marry another. It doesn't take many men taking more than one sexual partner to skew the effective sex ratio. Those 4 wives of Prince-Elector represent 3 men who can't find wives, while the marriages quadruple his possibility of offspring--from about 20 to about 80, leading to possible favoritism given to male children.


IvanDFakkov

Enforcing monogamy is possible, since you only acknowledge one marriage as legal at one time. If you want to have more wives/husbands, either cheat or divorce. It's like that irl too, unless you live in certain countries. Among the 3 other wives, one can never have children. She is a living corpse and married to him to increase the bond of his family with the true ruler of the UE, who controls things from behind. This marriage was arraged by Lord Hồng Ma, the Founding Mother and Immortal Ruler herself, so not something both sides can go against. One is from the family of another Prince-Elector, while the last if from a Swedish mercenary that he recruited. So in reality only 3 can gave birth. That still doesn't solve the problem, thus monogamy was passed.


tidalbeing

Having a law doesn't make it so. I'm using "polygamy" to refer to multiple sexual partners, not necessarily to sanctioned marriage. Looked at it this way, cheating and divorce and remarriage is the same as polygamy. These have pretty much the the same effect on the effective sex ratio and on men having more children than their female partners. How do they prevent the living corpse from having children? And how do they get her to go along with it?


IvanDFakkov

They have the same effect doesn't mean they're legally recognised. The laws still protect women's rights. And with a society rooting from a matriarchy, women have more speak that one can think of, especially in the south when it originated from. Biologically, she can't. She gets along with others just fine because between her and her husband is just a friend-like relationship. Also too old to feel jealous.


tidalbeing

Even if they aren't legal recognized polygynous relationships (prostitution, concubinage, mistresses, male infidelity, and serial marriage) tilt the preference toward high-status males. They allow these men to have more offspring than anyone else. This brings in evolutionary pressure that might end matriarchy. Anyway I''m also writing about a matriachy and have been thinking a lot about this problem. It's led to some interesting plot and worldbuilding developments, and the matriarchy struggles with the infidelity and promiscuity of such men. Sex is a difficult thing to regulate. What happened biologically to the third wife?


IvanDFakkov

That is the exact problem of the United Empire which forced it to reform many laws, including marriage. The consequences are chaotic. Even after they remade the Constitution that limits the political power of nobles, there's still the problem of history and military, as they join the military as parts of the compulsory conscription. So while the laws sounds optimistic, the real situation is far from what they intended. The best thing they can do now is to make sure girls can receive the same level of education as boys, and to balance out other aspects in the society like salary, chance to be promoted and male:female ratio in government offices. The third and forth wives gave birth normally. The Prince-Elector had 6 sons and 13 daughters. Except for 1 son who became a criminal, finally sentenced to death after some extremely serious crimes and 3 daughters died at young age after a shipwreck incident, the rest live fulfilled lives.


tidalbeing

I've come at this from a different direction by setting up an environment that favors matriarchy. I don't have a lot of faith in the ability of centralized power to legislating sexually. We can see the failure of this kind of centralization in the Catholic Church--apologies to the Catholics here. ​ I think for a society to be matriarchal it has to be structured differently, not the same hierarchy with women at the top. ​ My scenario is that the world has severe tides and weather. This leads to a high number of maritime deaths. In response, a reformer prohibited women working on fishing boats and encouraged women to band together in matrilineal clans. Everyone is a member of their mother's clan and remains so for life. As a result women have a longer life expectancy and there are more women than men. Because men were more likely to die, families/clans invested in their daughters. The daughters became doctors, lawyers, and clan leaders. This is not an equal society because daughters are favored over sons. They are more highly educated and hold positions in government. The concern of activists is to increase the life expectancy and educational opportunities available to men and boys. ​ They don't engage in largescale war--lives are too valuable--and don't exactly have a military--coast guard only. Government is a federation of sovereign clans, and the clans are basically babysitting cooperatives. In conservative clans, only mothers can vote and hold office, because only mothers have a stake in what happens to their children. There's a group called the Suffragejoes who are advocating for men's suffrage. Polygamy is accepted and encouraged but it's polygamy controlled by women. There're 3 women for every man. About half of the couples are 2 women, and it's permissible for a man to father children with any of the women in his wife's clan. A Lesbian couple would make arrangements with a cousin to share her man. This brings the clan closer together because many of the children are siblings via their fathers. It's not perfect at all. I'm writing about a guy who becomes a stud for hire. He's basically a sperm donor who does it in person. He ends up with I think 8 wives/clients and 13 children. I'd have to look back at my notes. The family tree is complicated.


Prukkah

Since there is little to no difference in physical form between the different sexes, people never developed the concept of gender.


Historical-Screen-51

Man and woman. Dualistic ideas run really deep in Hanalese culture


SilverWraithh

Due to the fact that my world comes from comics where I did and still do draw most people as guys because it just happens move past it, things went pear shaped pretty soon, as one might imagine. Things are in fact so bad that some people belive that are no real women at all and all women are really just men dressed up as women or making themselves appear female just to keep up the appearances. It's not as much gender thing specifically it's a role you gotta play for the greater good - to make it seem like there's about 50/50 men/women in the world. These peopla may be considered male or female, no matter, they usually pick out a gender for themselves that may range from "<3" to "none of your goddamn business". Especially among rich people it's considered to be more of a fancy status symbol thing like /you're out there trying to pay the bills, meanwhile I can afford to buy my son fancy designer dresses and show him off in beauty pageants/ - people have heavily mixed feeling about how rich moms go about this tho 🤔


Sriber

>If there are two distinct options, there is also "both" and "neither" options. Edit: Apparently it isn't obvious I am answering OP's question and not making claim of fact, so I am clearing that now - statement above is in-universe reasoning, not statement of my actual belief.


Nephisimian

Not necessarily. Eg, if there's a red door and a blue door and both lock after being passed through, you can choose to go through either the red door, the blue door or neither door, but here the "both" option doesn't exist. This is fantasy. You can have whatever you want, which can include species or societies whose approach to sex or gender is different to America's.


Sriber

1) It is in-universe "rule", not America's approach to gender... 2) It applies to being something, not performing action.


Nephisimian

Ok then change the analogy. There's a factory that makes red and blue doors. There's one line for red and one line for blue. Which colour a door is depends on which line it ends up on. Now, a door can either be red or blue. It can't be both because it can't end up on both lines, and in this case it can't be neither either. If you have to nitpick to the level of "state of being" vs "action" you really don't have any actual counterargument.


Sriber

>There's a factory that makes red and blue doors. Door can be both red and blue. Or combination of red and blue, which is purple. Those options are impossible in your scenario because you deliberately made it so. >If you have to nitpick to the level of "state of being" vs "action" you really don't have any actual counterargument. It is specification, not nitpicking. I didn't provide it initially, because considering topic of discussion, it didn't seem necessary. You are doing "well, actually". You are one who is nitpicking.


Nephisimian

> Those options are impossible in your scenario because you deliberately made it so. Yes? That's the point. You seem to believe that all factories with red and blue paint *must* also contain a purple production line. My point is that if someone wants to build a factory that *doesn't* have a purple production line, they absolutely can. The existence of binary options does not automatically allow both and neither states.


Sriber

>You seem to believe that all factories with red and blue paint must also contain a purple production line. That is just another thing that seem to but isn't true. >My point is that if someone wants to build a factory that doesn't have a purple production line, they absolutely can Your point is irrelevant to topic of discussion. >The existence of binary options does not automatically allow both and neither states. Good thing I don't claim it does then.


Nephisimian

>Good thing I don't claim it does then. Oh, so you agree with me then? That's good, not sure why you wouldn't admit it though.


Sriber

I struggle to comprehend your thought process. I point out you are arguing against point I didn't make and what you get grom that is me agreeing with you but not admitting it. What?!


quaaaaark

I completely agree, but you realize that non-binary people aren't just an American thing, right?


Nephisimian

Yes, but Americans especially on the internet have an annoying habit of assuming everywhere is America, and this vastly exaggerates the apparent prevalence of certain kinds of things. It's essentially applying the whole colonial attitude all over again. Westerners, but Americans especially, tend to try to frame everything through a Western lens, so things like Native American Two-spirits end up getting thrown in the "non-binary" box when research has suggested that's not actually correct. It's the same as classifying Hinduism as a religion or trying to assign every culturally-bound mental disorder to a "universal" western one. This stuff is overly simplistic at best and outright offensive at worst, and I think it's important to push back against it, especially in a subreddit dedicating to worldbuilding which is supposed to care a lot about the nuances and complexities you find within diverse human populations.


Sriber

>Yes, but Americans especially on the internet have an annoying habit of assuming everywhere is America What does that have to do with me? Are you assuming I am American? >I think it's important to push back against it In my case you aren't pushing against "Western realism", but your incorrect assumption that in-universe logic is expression of Western realism.


Nephisimian

This has nothing to do with "in universe logic". It has to do with the fact that you seem to think that everyone has to obey your personal worldbuilding preferences.


Sriber

>This has nothing to do with "in universe logic" It is literally statement of in-universe logic. OP asked "How does your world see gender?" and I answered in quote. >It has to do with the fact that you seem to think that everyone has to obey your personal worldbuilding preferences. 1. "Fact that you seem to think" is nonsense. 2. From what exactly have you concluded that I think everyone has to obey my personal worldbuilding preferences? ​ You falsely accused of pushing Western perspective and thinking everyone has to obey my preferences. Maybe I should just report you.


quaaaaark

Except that, again, the non-binary experience isn't exclusively "American", and it's extremely reductive to assume everyone outside of the Western world can't identify as non-binary and must instead have a "culturally appropriate" identity. While these identities exist, non-binariness isn't an inherently Western thing either.


Nephisimian

I never made either of those claims.


tidalbeing

I might point out that gender is a social construct that is different from biological sex. On one of my worlds, biological sex is kept private and there is only one gender. Biological sex is kept private by wearing loose-fitting clothing with bold patterns, suppressing secondary sexual characteristics by administering hormones, keeping bathroom and shower activity strictly private, and by using gender-neutral singular personal pronouns.


Nephisimian

An interesting idea. What caused this society to want to suppress sex to the point of body modification?


tidalbeing

They live in an enclosed habitat with limited oxygen. Survival depends on keeping the population size stable. Each person has one name and may give that name to one child. That one child receives free health care, education, and UBI. If someone has an additional unnamed child none of those things are paid for. Suppressing secondary sexual characteristics keeps male smaller so that they use less oxygen and it reduces aggression. Suppressing menstruation and ovulation acts as birth control and eliminates the problems associated with menstrual bleeding--same as how IRL women use "contraceptives." When a person wishes to produce a child, they make arrangements with someone of the appropriate gender, maybe their spouse, a sperm donor, or a surrogate mother and work with a doctor to alter hormones. People do couple up and they probably end up mostly in heterosexual marriage. I think on a public level biolgical sex could be concealed, but people are rather smart when it comes to picking partners. I think women would still have wider hips, this is where the loose-fitting clothing comes in. Although I suppose they could do cesarian birth, and so wouldn't need wide hips. Pretty much everyone nurses their own child. Lactation is easy to pull-off with use of hormones. On the whole, everyone appears to be female, small and without heavy facial hair, although usually flat chested.


Nephisimian

If oxygen is such a limiting factor, wouldn't it be more efficient to use artificial milk that can be produced by potentially even anaerobic bacteria?


tidalbeing

Tell me what you are thinking with this, and thinks for your interest. Why would artificial milk be more efficient in terms of oxygen/carbon? Within the system the trick is to keep plant growth and decomposition in balance so that plants are absorbing carbon at the same rate that decomposition is releasing carbon. Humans ride on top of this, also releasing carbon. The big oxygen user for humans is eating meat/protein. They are mostly vegetarian. I believe a human parent producing milk would be more efficient and effective than trying to synthesize milk from bacteria that break down carbon. The limiting factor isn't actual oxygen but the carbon and nitrogen cycles. Anaerobic decomposition still produces carbon dioxide and or methane. In the habitat, the methane is collected to be used as fuel, another oxygen user. The habitat is packed with plants that absorb carbon and release oxygen It also has sections devoted entirely to crops. They use a rotation system, planting first vetch (which is a nitrogen fixer) then running goat on the vetch before growing carbon fixers and food crops. Carbon waste such as tree branches and straw are stored and then composted. The oxygen/ carbon balance is maintained mostly by controlling the composting process. Humans are given oxycredits which are used as money. It gives them the right to use a particular amount of oxygen. Meat, since it uses a lot of oxygen to produce, is expensive--a luxury. Same for milk and cheese. Within this system, I think it makes more sense to nurse your own children than to purchase either synthetic milk or goat milk. It's advantageous for men to be more like women in terms of size and metabolism because women are more efficient than men in terms of food. They can do more with less food, and so with less oxygen. Everyone gets the same basic income despite their physical size. A large man would have to give up a lot in order to pay for enough calories and protein to maintain his body. Thus males choose to have smaller bodies with less muscle mass. This decision of course has to be made before puberty. Each person nurses his or her own child because it facilitates bonding. Breasts do not indicate biological sex and aren't considered sexy or erotic.


Nephisimian

Human cells do the same thing as bacteria cells (provided you give them the same genes), bacteria just do those things more efficiently since they don't have to pay the metabolic costs of things like nervous systems and muscles. Honestly, for an efficiency-focused society, the optimal situation for *anything* biological is going to be growing bacterial or algal sludges. This is even true for plants - algae and cyanobacteria will do a better job at freeing oxygen than plants, and indeed at producing nutritional value, since they don't need to spend a bunch of the sugar and oxygen they produce building cellulose and lignin and whatnot. If you've heard of trophic levels, such as in the context of why animal agriculture uses so much land, this is basically that - the bigger the organism, the more energy is spent on things other than building biomass, which means less efficient carbon, oxygen and nitrogen cycles. A real benefit you have to using single-celled organisms though is that their output is *way* easier to control. A system balanced precariously on the cycle of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen is in a really bad position if anything changes to cause imbalance. A crop blight for example doesn't just mean less food, it also means a bunch of extra composting, and therefore more methane and less oxygen for a while. With vats of algae/bacteria, you can far more easily control their conditions, nutrients and genomes, and essentially turn vats up and down. You can't do that with macroscopic organisms because they die if their cells aren't cooperating properly, and adjusting temperature breaks that cooperation. You could potentially have entire back-up freezers full of algae just waiting patiently to be turned on should they be required. Take for example insulin, which we already produce using bacteria, not pancreases, because pancreases (and the animals containing them) do way more stuff than just make insulin, and all that stuff is wasted energy from the insulin production perspective. Another interesting aspect to the breastfeeding thing in particular is the physiological cost it has on the mother. Breastfeedin' ain't free; the mother's cells literally rip her body apart to free up nutrients to give to the baby. For example, calcium depletion from the mother's bones can be severe enough to cause osteoporosis, and while this does usually recover after breastfeeding, depending on how this society recycles human waste, and exactly how material credits work, it may be more effective for the society to send that calcium to the baby directly through artificially produced milk, rather than via the intermediate of the mother's digestive tract and body. Of course, none of this is to say that what you already have *isn't* good - it does sound quite interesting - but it's not including measures that I would expect to see in a severely resource-limited environment, so depending on how the work is written and how other facets of the society operate, it could lead to a bit of a thematic clash if for example the society is starved enough it needs to use body modification to reduce consumption, but simultaneously has enough resources that it can treat meat as an expensive luxury rather than a complete waste of resources.


tidalbeing

The cellulose production is really important because it's how carbon is stored. The amount of carbon in the atmosphere is controlled through composting. If CO2 in the atmosphere is too high in relations to O2, composting is slowed down by withholding and storing lumber. I have the people using bamboo, ficus, and kapok for carbon storage. These plants absorb CO2 by converting it to cellulose and oxygen. Microbes convert it the other way by breaking down cellulose and combining it with O2 to produce CO2. To keep it in balance, you let the trees grow without composting the wood or leaf waste. The people aren't starving; they simply have too many stacks of lumber and bales of straw. They're running out of storage space. It's not clear to me how synthetic milk would improve this situation. Nursing infants with breast milk has social and psychological benefits. It helps with bonding between parent and child. Each person only has one child, so only goes through nursing once. Female people typically give birth to 2 children each, and the father nurses one of them. Anyway bringing in synthetic milk makes things even more complicated. I think you might be considering energy efficiency(maximizing calories) instead of the oxygen and carbon cycles Each person is given enough oxycreds for food and luxuries, but they're given the same amount regardless of their size so a person who needs more calories than usual would have to give up luxuries. Meat, because it requires so much oxygen and decomposition to produce, is expensive. The goat eats the vetch and microbs in the goat's gut break down some of the cellulose releasing methane and CO2. Then some of the sugars and protein are used by the goat to make muscle. Very little of the initial nitrogen and carbon is used by humans. It goes into goat and microbes. In order to produce one lb of meat, you've got also grow a whole lot of wood. I'm sorry I was unable to come up with the exact numbers. If you are a large person, you will need more calories and so might have to give up eating meat. I do show this in one of the stories. The oxycredits are also used as money so the large person might instead give up other luxuries. Or this person might have to work harder at producing value. Both of these things would make it advantageous to be small with lower requirements for calories and protein. If a person wants to be large and muscular they need to decide if it's worth what they will have to give up. In that society, they would also be considered strange if they were large, muscular, and had a lot of facial hair. I think the goats are an important part of the crop cycle. Vetch is great at fixing nitrogen but it's a nasty weed that is hard to control, and humans can't eat it. That's where the goats come in. I'm pleased that you find this interesting. I sure do. It's a fun puzzle.


Nephisimian

I think energy efficiency is important because it gives flexibility. If you're storing carbon as cellulose, you can't respond quickly to an increased need for carbon, you have to wait for bacteria to digest it (which due to the nature of cellulose is just a time consuming process). If you have too much carbon, you have to wait for new plants to grow, which is much slower than algal/bacterial growth due to structural complexity. Carbon and oxygen stored as starch for example stores the same atoms in the same ratios, but does it in a more easily divided form, meaning faster release of additional Cs and Os should they be required. Plus, since humans can eat starch too, it can be converted into food more easily than cellulose should that be required. This doesn't *strictly* require algae/bacteria vats either, so the benefits of using those are separate to the benefits of not using cellulose, but since plants happen to require cellulose, you can't use them if you intend to store carbon and oxygen as starch, whereas bacteria vats can be used for both starch and cellulose. While the molecules moved by plants and algae/bacteria are identical, the fact the latter won't be wasting materials or energy on less optimal molecules (for example, those in less-photosynthesising cells) means the use of vats gives faster and more flexible molecule conversion with fewer steps both in production and refining of the desired molecule. However, it does require a greater understanding of the society's molecular needs, including the isolation of every nutrient-coding gene, so a less scientifically developed society may still need to rely on plants and animals. Also, on an aesthetic level, I think it'd be pretty cool to have glass cylinders full of a mysterious green liquid that can be plugged into environment regulating machines as molecule batteries. Like "We're running low on oxygen, go fetch a couple of oxygen jars from the freezer". On the topic of aesthetics, this is another reason I think energy efficiency is important. Obviously, this premise is starting with the idea of "what if men basically didn't exist" and then looking for a plausible way of establishing that, and I'm not going to fault you for that - I think it's an interesting premise and explored it a few times myself - however since the option you've landed on is "limited resources make men wasteful", for the premise to work there needs to be a pervasive feeling of limited resources, and if the society can be wasteful with its energy it could be difficult to establish that feeling. The abundance of energy betrays any feeling of resource scarcity, and may bring to mind awkward questions like "If they have plenty of energy cos they're harvesting more externally such as through solar panels, why can't they harvest external materials?" Also, you mention that even having facial hair is weird in this culture. Growing hair takes very few molecules though, on the grand scale of things, so it feels really lopsided that growing facial hair is a no go, but growing entire goats (which have significantly more hair than faces do) is perfectly acceptable. Also, presumably this social prohibition on hair also extends to the scalp and body? Little disparities like this I'd assume are much more common than just this one thing too, so I'd imagine that there's a lot of weird tonal dissonance where "can't have this cos of limited resources" doesn't actually work and the underlying "can't have this cos I don't want it to exist" is visible. This is the struggle with picking "resource limitations" as your justification. You really have to rank everything by how wasteful it is and then strike off everything above the least wasteful thing you want to say they don't have. Otherwise, you go down a rabbit hole of coming up with more and more specific, less and less believable explanations, to the point where you have a society that seems to want to give everyone a decent quality of life, but also uses limited oxygen credits to say that certain kinds of people aren't allowed to exist naturally and must alter their bodies to conform to social expectations. That pretty dystopian premise just doesn't align with the "let everyone have meat" cultural attitude. >Anyway bringing in synthetic milk makes things even more complicated. It might do if your resource worldbuilding is quite disjointed, but if you combined it with other thoughts on how specific molecules are made, it doesn't need to be. Eg, this just becomes another thing on the list of things made synthetically, alongside insulin, penicillin and most importantly the hormones and hormone suppressors that are integral to this society's body modification scheme.


tidalbeing

>I think energy efficiency is important because it gives flexibility. If you're storing carbon as cellulose, you can't respond quickly to an increased need for carbon, you have to wait for bacteria to digest it (which due to the nature of cellulose is just a time consuming process). If you have too much carbon, you have to wait for new plants to grow, which is much slower than algal/bacterial growth due to structural complexity. But where do you put the carbon with such a set-up? It seems that you are just producing as fast as your can with no way to buffer. The carbon and oxygen balance would swing to far one way and then the other. ​ >While the molecules moved by plants and algae/bacteria are identical, the fact the latter won't be wasting materials or energy on less optimal molecules (for example, those in less-photosynthesising cells) means the use of vats gives faster and more flexible molecule conversion with fewer steps both in production and refining of the desired molecule. I don't think so. Life-forms are finely tuned for efficiency and can make the conversations with little human intervention. With vats you have to produce the vats and control every little detail. Use of existing biology is nearly always more effective, efficient, and cheaper. If you like the aesthetics of green tanks go for it. I like the aesthetic of being inside a tropical greenhouse chickens and goats. >Obviously, this premise is starting with the idea of "what if men basically didn't exist" You've misunderstood me. That isn't the premise at all. I'm going for a society that has a stable and sustainable population in a terrarium-like (Biosphere II) habitat without resorting to draconian measures, no telling people they can or can't have children, no telling them what they can or can't have. If they can afford it, they can do it. Each individual makes the tradeoffs, and the Oxygen Board adjusts banking, pricing, and composting in such a way that oxygen and carbon stay in balance. Secondary sexual characteristics for both men and women are suppressed, although for slightly different reasons. I do think you should build your own world and write some stories about it. It's different from mine with a different aesthetic, and different ideas about how things work. It seems to me that you might be after a society where men stay firmly in control of all biological processes, including milk production, and scarcity justifies this control. I dislike that approach but if you find it appealing, write it. You seem to be excited by the ideas we are generating with this discussion. ,


Nephisimian

>Life-forms are finely tuned for efficiency and can make the conversations with little human intervention. Efficiency at propagating genes within a given environment, not efficiency at producing a particular useful molecule. A mouse has evolved to be a really good mouse, not a really good insulin producer, so a big tub of mice that you squeeze to extract the diabetes juice from is nowhere near as efficient as putting the insulin gene in a plasmid, giving that plasmid to a bunch of bacteria in a jar and refining the product. >But where do you put the carbon with such a set-up? You either leave it in the vats or distil it into other containers. You control how much any given process is occurring using either temperature/acidity controls, inhibitor molecules, or substrate adjustment. The separating out of key processes to dedicated essentially bio-machines allows you the finest possible control over your carbon, oxygen and nitrogen cycles. >If they can afford it, they can do it. That's how China's one-child policy worked, and yet it still functioned like a "you can't have two kids" system in the cultural consciousness. I suspect the same will happen with your world. The seemingly arbitrary pricings given to things only serves to further reinforce the dystopian elements of what is essentially forced body modification and oxygen credits (your life is your money, which is what oxygen credits are, can only ever be a dystopian and draconian concept). >It seems to me that you might be after a society where men stay firmly in control of all biological processes, including milk production, and scarcity justifies this control. Curiously, as I was thinking about this, the image I had in my head was of a female head scientist in a big room of glass cylinders. Not sure why. Probably saw a character like that in something I watched or read recently. Also, isn't sci fi all about humanity's mastery over nature? Especially bio-punk aesthetics like this one.


electric-angel

since gender is heavily tied into post industrial era and the social movements of the later 20th century. I just use Sex=Gender. in a world without mass communication such things are far less developed. Even in my Scifi setting i just use that rule as such communities and social movements eventually move from the identifiers to quirks to so accepted there mere character quirks. When being Transgender is as easy to fix as setting broken bones it quite the diffrent and normalized idea.


tidalbeing

I think you mean "since the concept of social gender" How does your conlang work? Does it have grammatical gender?


electric-angel

I suppose i ment social gender\* i am not too sure on everything in that. Mostly i base my language around IRL language and create a lexicon so while i proably dont use grammatical gender. i proably just copy what ever from the languages. though that does also lead me to intresting where there proably are nutreal genders. however i havent hit that rock yet. maybe i should keep an eye out for that. id love to have a language clash over that


Nephisimian

I wouldn't get your hopes up. Grammatical gender doesn't actually have very much relation to the gender of humans. Eg, the fact "garten" (garden) uses the masculine form of "the" is a complete nontroversy. Where it can come up is in the form of gender-specific human descriptors, the equivalent of "fireman" and "firewoman", which is no more interesting in Spanish than it is in English.


tidalbeing

IRL languages based on Latin(French, Spanish, Italian) are heavy on grammatical gender. In those languages every noun has a gender and the gender of the adjective, pronoun, and article must match the gender of the noun. It's really a pain if you're learning one of those languages. "Le chat noir" (the black cat). "Cat" is always masculine in French. "La maison noire" (the black house) House is always feminine in French. Other languages, probably most languages lack gender. The grammar doesn't have anything to do with sex.


Jiketi

Romance languages are far from the only languages with grammatical gender; the feature is shared by many other languages, such as Arabic, German, Hausa, Hindi, Mixtec, and Russian; even English once had grammatical gender¹. In fact, [around half of the world's languages have a grammatical gender system](https://wals.info/feature/30A), and [in the majority of these (around 30% of the world's languages), sex and/or gender identity plays a role in grammatical gender assignment](https://wals.info/feature/31A). 1. Though English has abandoned its grammatical gender system, traces of the system remain intact today. For instance, *gander* (← [**ganzô*](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/ganz%C3%B4)) is the result of suffixing *goose* (← [**gans*](https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/gans)) with a masculine ending; sound change has made the relationship almost unrecognisable.


tidalbeing

The point here is that many languages lack a grammatical distinction between male and female. When crafting a conlang, you don't have to have such a distinction. That problem comes about with rendering your story in English.


chiguayante

Masculine and feminine are completely arbitrary descriptors used to talk about grammatical gender. No one using those languages thinks of cats as inherently masculine creatures or houses as feminine objects. They could be called red and blue nouns or soft and spiky nouns for all it actually relates to the grammatical structure and meaning.


tidalbeing

That's my point. Cats are grammatically male in French. That something is grammatically male or female doesn't mean they are biologically male or female, or socially male and female. In English, we think of something that is grammatically gendered as being socially gendered. I understand that this is the same for speakers of French and Spanish. There are movements within both languages to find gender-neutral alternatives, and they are getting the same sort of backlash that is occurring in English. I understand that in French "iel" has been proposed as a pronoun, and that in Spanish, plurals aren't defaulting to male. There was something else proposed, but I can't recall it at the moment.


blueberry-spy

I don't know for all my species yet, but instead of gender, sea elves (pending better name) have two alternating generations. The haploid/mobile/amphibious generation would be interpreted by other species as androgynous, and the diploid/sessile/aquatic generation might be interpreted as genderless because of how alien it is (giant jellyfish like thing) or as feminine due to reproducing by something akin to gestation So they view humanoid concepts of gender as quaint.


Mechanisedlifeform

My world has three sapient species each with multiple ethnicities. I've described how the Kaca and Nyexaj view gender based below and depressed myself too much with the Cold Mountain Nyexaj to follow on to the Wəɹesh and Wəphish who are both patriarchal to varying degrees. For the Kaca there is very little visible difference between the two sexes, the only permanent secondary sexual characteristic is the mane of male Kaca and nursing women have temporarily engorged breasts, but even then they are small by human standards. All ethnicities of the Kaca recognise that there are 2 sexes but how this relates to their understanding of gender varies from ethnicity to ethnicity. For the Settled Farmers, there are two genders which mostly line up with a person's physical sex. Women are seen as hard working, steady, practical and detail orientated while men are seen as flighty, overly emotional, up in their heads and not very practical. Variation results in people being assigned the gender role they fit best. For the Nomadic Traders, there are two genders which line up one to one with physical sex and deviation from that binary is poorly received be it physical or mental deviation. Men are the ones who take care of children in Nomadic Trader society, they are seen as nurturing, emotionally driven, not that bright, and easily lead by their balls. While women are practical, logical, and the more capable sex in general. The Nomadic Shepherds, acknowledge the realities of physical sex but they don't see why that effects who a person is. They don't have lineages, the tribe owns everything communally and children are of the entire tribe and are passed around freely to whoever has a hand free. In some Nomadic Shepherd tribes, men trim their manes from puberty because they find the explicit display of a private matter uncomfortable. Mother's choose to have procreative sex, and choose their temporary secondary sexual characteristics. For the Nyexaj, men and women are both small and slight with slim hips and little body fat, women have enlarge breasts at all ties and longer head feathers over more their heads than men. This makes knowing a person's sex fairly easy. How they understand gender differs between the ethnicities. The Cliff Home Nyexaj are hunter-gathers who have a strict delineation of roles down that dichotomy but physical sex doesn't play much part in who is what. Pregnant Nyexaj women give birth very early, barely show and a hunter Cliff Home woman won't take on nursing the child, it will survive dependent on a gatherer woman choosing to adopt the child. Similarly Cliff Home men can choose to be gatherers and as gathers spend more time at camp they focus on the majority of the crafts that the Cliff Home do - weaving, tool making, etc. The Deep Forest Nyexaj are garden agriculturists, they have a stricter understanding of gender than the Cliff Home Nyexaj do. Men and women are split on sex lines and while they do much the same work for most of the year, men work with the oxen and women breed the guineapigs. Socially, men are flashy, flighty and aggressive compared women, who are calm and dependable. Men are the faces of the community but women are the back bone. To enforce this, girls stay with the household they were born in for life while teenage boys are ejected from their home farm and sent to find a new farm. This results in bands of lawless teenage boys living in the forests doing increasingly stupid stunts to impress the nearby girls and boys who have far more knowledge of the world outside the home range. The Cold Mountain Nyexaj are polygamous and deeply patriarchal. Women cook, clean, farm mushrooms and gather plants within half a days radius of their homes. Men hunt, mine, work metal, weave quality cloth, etc. In Cold Mountain society, anything that is seen to have worth is done by men, even if it was done by women before the worth was seen, and that transfers to seeing women as worthless. For example, when used to prepare the fibres and all the cloth but woven cloth was seen as having value so the weaving moved to men, but the process of spinning the yarn doesn't have value to them so that is still a woman's task. A Cold Mountain man wants as few daughters as possible, for he will have to pay their husbands to take the worthless dead weight from him.


Stacked__

It actually depends on the government. It’s not as bad as it sounds, my world has bug people, and those bug people have a queen. If the queen is ruthless, practical, and simply disregards emotion as a function, the subjects will imitate that. Only females will take place in an active role in society, and males born into this would only serve the purpose of mating. If a Queen has a knack for compassion and empathy, however, her subjects will again reflect. Males born will be given the opportunity to be active members of society, however due to their biological programming the males will still without hesitation fall beneath females. And all of whatever in between.


OghmaInfinium4E201

I mostly just use our Earth binary but there are different levels of gender equality within the various fantasy species of my world. Dwarves : Dwarves live in city state theocracies, primarily worshipping one of three godesses in their city-states although there are lesser temples dedicated to the others. There are no monarchies but Dwarves can become priests and priestesses and spend their lives in service to the godesses doing religious ceremonies, rituals, offerings and pilgrimages. The godesses themselves choose the ruler through tests of faith, will, mind and body and those who prevail are rewarded with the title of Priestess-Queen/Priest-King and essentially rule all the other city-states, as is their divine right. Dwarves are pretty much equal in all fields except Dwarven women are excluded from the military as they are not as easily disposable as men and in the choirs, as they do not have lungs big enough and voices deep enough to throat-sing as good as the males. Elves : Elves live in a religious, oppressive, matriarchal parliamentary 'democracy'. Elven men are seen as lesser, they cannot vote, own much property or hold positions of power. They are still expected to work for their wives and take care of their children when they come home. Women practically have no involvement in the upbringing of their chidren as they see child-rearing as beneath them. Elven legions are majority male (because male lives are practically worthless) with female centurions, legates and so on. As a result, it is not uncommon for Elven soldiers to desert and flee to countries where they are seen as equals. Orcs, Hobgoblins and Goblins : There is little dimorphism between both sexes of Orcs, Hobgoblins and Goblins, so both men and women do manual work, fight wars and have jobs. Their culture revolves around war, trade and invention, so the concept of family is pretty much non-existent. A female will be impregnated and after the birth of the child, it will be in one of the several boarding schools from birth to be raised and educated by teachers. Love is practically unheard of and any who display love are 'removed from the gene pool' shall we say, to weed out feelings, which are seen as a sign of weakness. Orcs, Hobgoblins and Goblins have around 100% gender-equality as gender is not important for anything apart from reproduction.


Loria187

Riadora has a gender quaternary (quinary in a sense). Rather than being based in sex/role in childrearing, gender focuses on the dynamics of intimate relationships, and how partners complement each other in an emotional sense. One’s preference for a particular gender has less to do with biological sex (though in some relationships, it can) and more to do with what personality or type of connection one is looking for in a partner. The four genders are raula, eitha, vansa, and tomra, and while there’s a fair amount of nuance to the way their roles are perceived societally, at a very simplified level it boils down to: raulai lead by providing, eithai follow by receiving, vansai follow by providing, and tomrai lead by receiving. The gregarious and indulging caretaker, the charmingly free-spirited muse, the observant shoulder to rest on, and the ambitious but grounding force (these are majorly archetypal/stereotypical, of course, but in a society where gender is chosen, usually not *wildly* far off). Relationships between each potential combination, including same-gender ones, are common and accepted, with each having its own unique potential characteristics. In some areas of Riadora households almost always consist of a spouse of each gender, to balance out the environment in which any children are raised. Changing one’s gender later in life is well-accepted, but most consider gender to be practically inherent. It’s expected that the average Riadoran will figure out their gender around or soon after reaching puberty; I know the whole “feminine urge to ___” thing is a bit of a meme right now but it’s kinda very much like that lol. And while most don’t feel romantic attraction to all genders, it’s generally understood that romantic attraction to one gender takes on a different quality depending on your own; an eitha and a tomra are going to relate to vansai differently, for example, so for an individual figuring out their own gender, figuring out how they feel towards people of other genders is often a major part of the process. There’s also the term immala, which isn’t strictly a gender. Presenting as immala conveys that one is either not interested in an intimate relationship, doesn’t want to disclose their actual gender for whatever reason, or considers their gender to be outside the quaternary. Though almost universally accepted by other Riadorans, immalai can confront a number of challenges operating in society; within the very large bubble of “people who accept immalai period,” there’s a slightly smaller “people who accept immala as its own gender identity and not just a presentation adopted by other genders,” and within that a yet-smaller “people who fully understand and accept immalai that want romantic relationships,” and a small overlapping “people who are attracted to immalai.” Because most find out their gender as it coincides and interacts with their attraction to others, many assume that identifying as immala without any other gender underneath carries an aromanticism with it, when in reality many identifying immalai do want such relationships. Some of them take issue with those who present as immalai simply to signal an avoidance of such relationships, others don’t, and as one might expect it can get rather complicated.


Beneficial_Skill537

I don't think I understand everything 😅 but I like this. It seems like you realy thought this through. What inpired you to make your genders based on romantic dynamic?


Loria187

Thank you! The reason is namely that I didn’t want them to be based on the same things they generally are in our world, because worldbuilding, but I wanted them to be grounded in something that gender could feasibly interact with. I’d also been reading some Aristasian literature out of curiosity—my feelings on the whole Aristasia subculture are… complicated, but from a worldbuilding perspective it’s quite interesting—and the way the dynamic between the two genders, blonde and brunette (both sexes are feminine so hair color is the differentiating secondary sex characteristic, yes it’s pretty much exactly as bad as you’re thinking it is) is described had been on my mind as well. In the book in question, a brunette character Lehnya has a bit of a gender crisis in that she doesn’t manage to feel or act much like a “proper brunette,” except the way she feels towards Annalinde, a blonde, is decidedly a brunette-to-blonde feeling. Oof it feels so weird using those words in this way, but you get the idea, that sort of thing was bouncing around in my head at the time.


the_vizir

**Horror Shop** Most species in this world of ours are biological, or are derived from races who have genders and sexualities. Humans, dragons, and giants are natural, mortal creatures, while therians, reapers, angels, demons, and every single type of undead--vampires, ghouls, ghosts, mummies, and so on--are derived from mortal beings. Therefore, all of those would have the same complex gender and sexuality issues we experience as humaity. However, there are five major races here that don't necessarily have the same gender specrum as humanity: fey, jinn, horrors, spirits, and the created. Let's start with the created first because they're the easiest. For the created, their origins are relatively straightforward: they are artificial beings brought to life by magic--golems, marionettes, gargoyles, robots, and AIs. As artificial beings, they are completely asexual and unable to reproduce without the aid of magic. Most are given a gender by their creators, especially since their creators typically model them after humans, and therefore give them the physical or mental characteristics of certain human sex--crafting a golem with a masculine form, or giving an AI a feminine name and voice. The created don't have a culture of their own, and thus they tend to adopt the gender and sexual norms of the society surrounding them, trying their best to fit in. The other four races--fey, jinn, spirits, and horrors all have their own societies. The fey are living stories, and as such, they don't have a fixed or set gender. To act within the world, each fey creates an avatar to embody their story known as a character, and that character typically conforms to human genders and sexualities--but that doesn't always have to be the case. The creation of a character by a fey's story-soul is instinctive and subconscious, a fey doesn't typically choose what their next character is going to be like, they just let the character develop as per the whims of Faerie. Oftentimes, a story-soul will continue to incarnate in similar forms and bodies--one who is a gryphon is likely to come back as a gryphon in the next, or at least a hypogriff or a roc or a winged lion or an eagle or something along those lines. Yet sometimes, a story-soul might be caught up in an odd current, and create an atypical character, so that griffin might be reborn as a dwarf, or a mole-person, or a dryad--unable to fly again. The same thing can happen with genders--a typically masculine story-soul might find itself incarnated into a female body, or an asexual body, or something else entirely. For some story-souls it's even the norm, being constantly incarnated in a body that doesn't match their gender identity. And unfortunately for the fey, a character is very hard to change without letting it die--and as noted, a story-soul tends to incarnate souls in a similar pattern, so just dying without doing something to change your story-soul is a great way to end up repeating the same story over and over again. True, a fey whose character dies doesn't truly die--you'd have to destroy the story-soul, and those are much harder to break, but a new character will have a distinct personality, memories, and experiences--they are their own unique being who just so happens to be part of a greater being. Therefore, most characters instead try their best to live with the hand they've been dealt, for better or for worse. And hey, some fey view the constant shifting of genders and species as a boon--they get to experience a wide variety of life, more than any other race, over the course of their existence--spending a century as a female dwarf before becoming a male ent for a few centuries, then living as a domovoi for a few years before becoming a female wolf. It's the cycle of fey life, after all. But for every fey who feels as such, there's one who wishes their character would represent who they really were inside. After all, the fey do embody every kind of story. The jinn are sentient elementals, beings of primordial fire and water, wind and stone. In their most basic of states, they are little more than their purified elemental: a pillar of fire, or a cyclone of wind, or a rootless bush, wandering through the roiling vastness of Chaos. In the depths of chaos, entire ecosystems of elemental beings exist, following rules completely alien to mundane ecosystems, where living avalanches chase after herds of flame and streams of water battle with trundling mountains. As humanity arose, the ecosystem of Chaos responded, and so to did certain elementals arise. These were more complex than the primal elements that came before them, for they represented several aspects, such as smoke and fire, or wind and storms, or sea and sky. These elementals were complex enough they actually began attracting souls, and with those souls, free will and sentience. The wilds of Chaos were hostile for these early jinn, though--the ever-roiling nature of the Realm of Creation meant any advancement they made was wiped away days or even hours later. Over the years, many of these sentient elementals journeyed towards the most stable reaches of Chaos, where the Elemental Realm bordered upon the Mortal Realm. There, in those borderlands, the jinn created their first settlements, shaped and bounded by the Prime. As elementals, jinn were created out of the primal matter of Chaos, arising spontaneously when conditions were right. Unique among elementals, jinn for some reason possessed a gender, likely because they imitated humanity, though many jinn claim it was a gift from God or the angels. As the borderlands were much tamer, and unable to spontaneously create new jinn, the jinn engaged in sexual reproduction instead, and, as beings of creation, it worked. They were able to create new life, as odd as it seems for a humanoid-shaped cyclone and inferno to do so. But Chaos is strange, and so the jinn adopted standard human genders and sexualities, for the most part. There are still jinn born who are closer to their primordial ancestors and reject the standard sexual and gender norms, and there are still jinn who wander out of the depths of Chaos with no understanding of culture or language or genders or anything, but for the most part, jinn have become like humans, and that includes individuals born into one gender who identify with another or none at all. Some of these jinn even brave the depths of Chaos to reshape themselves into a more fitting form--and some of those even survive their trek, though they may come back incarnating a different set of elements entirely, which could be even more traumatic. See, the jinn have divided themselves into nations of elements: there's the Caliphate of Flame, the Republic of Four Winds, the Kingdom Under the Mountains, the League of Seven Seas. A jinn might journey into Chaos wishing to correct their gender, and come back an exile and traitor to their own people. Next are the horrors, the spawn of the Pit, the incarnations of terror and the children of nightmares. They are perhaps the luckiest in regards to their genders and sexuality, in that most of them are completely asexual. See, all horrors are spawned from the Pit, the great void at the heart of Shadow, not unlike the early jinn were spawned in the heart of Chaos. Unlike the jinn, the horrors are incapable of progressing beyond that state--every horror has to crawl forth from the mouth of oblivion itself at the start of their life. Thus, horrors never developed the need for sexual reproduction and remained largely an asexual race. Much like jinn and fey were shaped by the mortals, so were horrors. As horror society progressed and advanced, they began to take on a number of human characteristics, most notably gender, with many of these sentient shadows identifying with masculine or feminine traits and referring to themselves as such. Over the millennia, this became the norm among horrors, and those who remain agendered are a distinct minority. This also means horrors pick their own genders, and thus they don't have any real experience with transgendered or differently gendered individuals--a horror who feels as if their current gender expression doesn't fit can change with no public stigma, and as their forms are formed from their subconscious self-image, usually that has transitioned before they even fully realize it. Now, of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and some horrors were originally born as humans, and so they carry their human gender with them--but usually not their sex. So they have to deal with the loss of that identifying trait, and that can be rather traumatic. Another trait horrors picked up from humanity is that of family. Most horrors in the early years were spawned either naturally because of a deluge of anima--or life force--heading into the Pit to be destroyed, or because a human ended up being drawn into oblivion itself in a moment of terror. However, horrors learnt how to carve off a part of their own self and send it into the Pit to hopefully create a new horror, and over the past 800 years, that has become the norm among horrors, so most of the shadowspawn can identify at least parent, and sometimes they have several. Gender is irrelevant in these situations, and though most young spawn will choose to emulate the gender of their parent, there's nothing ever forcing them to. And also, while horrors are asexual, they absolutely are not aromantic--another trait they stole from humanity. As for spirits? Well, spirits are the incarnations of ideas of things. Most are completely agender, like horrors, though like the shadowspawn, some have adopted human genders to better interact with mortals. And some are spawned with genders. And some shift genders depending on who they're dealing with. And some embody multiple genders simultaneously. And some completely defy genders. And some... some are really weird.


EntropicLeviathan

For humans in the world of **Aestirn**, the most common cultural view of gender is a gender *quaternary* system instead of a gender binary. The genders are vemi, vena, valo, and varu. If you took a group of each and brought them to our world, they would *probably* identify as women, men, neutrois or maverique, and genderfluid or multigender, respectively. The traditional gender roles don't match up at all with our world; for example, parenthood and childrearing is not gendered, but handling money is. Gender and sex are considered independent concepts; your sex is purely defined by your reproductive capability, regardless of your hormones or physical sex characteristics. Either you can get pregnant, you can get someone else pregnant, you were infertile from birth, or you became infertile in life. Gender expression is viewed somewhat in a binary way. Instead of people's expressions and traits being viewed in relation to masculinity and femininity, they are viewed as **bold** or *mild*. **Boldness** encompasses extroversion, risk-taking, loudness, bright colors, geometric patterns, frivolity, tradition, softness, and performance. Bold people are considered exciting, unreliable, fanciful, boisterous, opulent, stubborn, and formal. *Mildness* encompasses introversion, caution, quietness, muted colors, organic patterns, practicality, innovation, hardness, and groundedness. Mild people are considered tame, independent, reserved, agreeable, rough-hewn, apathetic, and laid-back. Different cultures will vary in how much they subscribe to these ideas. Some cultures have very strict gender roles, while others don't really care. A few cultures only have three or two genders. One culture has the bold/mild dichotomy but no concept of gender!


neterlanTheSecond

**Gourmand** The Gluttonous Tribes are too hungry to give gender any deeper thought than; * Men eat, provide food, eat, sire children and eat. * Women eat, maintain the household, eat, give birth to children and eat.


tidalbeing

Seems to me that they are giving a lot of thought to gender in that they have rigid gender roles.


neterlanTheSecond

They don't bother thinking 'outside the box' when it comes to gender roles because their hunger is too strong (as conveyed by the frequency that I mention eating). Attempting to explain gender outside of the binary system to a Glutton would simply result in the Glutton losing all interest immediately after realising that the discussion is not related to eating. Then the Glutton would get hungry and try to eat the yammering meat in front of him.


tidalbeing

How do the rigid gender roles within the society support survival? I understand that in agrarian societies, women maintain the house because they can't safely care for large animals(husbandry) while also nursing toddlers. Bulls and bores tend to trample small children. What is the reason within Glutton society for assigning housework to women? They probably aren't aware of the reason, even though it's essential to their survival.


KombuchaEnema

If the women are caring for the children while the men go out and hunt, then they would naturally fall into the housekeeper role. Hunting isn’t exactly a walk in the park when you’re breastfeeding/childrearing.


tidalbeing

That's what I'm thinking. Glutton females breastfeed their children and so can't go out hunting, leaving that job to the males. But the females are able to do housekeeping while breastfeeding children.


neterlanTheSecond

Gluttons need to eat the flesh of other sapient beings to survive (there are other races besides Gluttons, by the way). This means that it's advantageous for the most able-bodied among them (which tends to be men) to go out and capture prey, who are just as intelligent as they are. Essentially, the role of hunter and warrior have melded together in the Gluttonous Tribes. This leaves Glutton women with the responsibility of looking after the home and children while their husbands, brothers and fathers are out looking for meat. As you've mentioned, the Gluttons are indeed too hungry to realise *why* things have turned out the way they have. By the way, I've enjoyed answering this question you've raised. Thank you for helping me flesh out my world :-)


tidalbeing

Why have the males evolved to be better as hunters and warriors? I think it might be that the Gluttons don't risk the lives of their women by sending them out to get meat.


neterlanTheSecond

> I think it might be that the Gluttons don't risk the lives of their women by sending them out to get meat. Pretty much. A pregnant Glutton can't contribute much to a hunt, nor can one who is nursing a newborn. It's safer to keep both mother and child at home.


SpacedGodzilla

When your first goal is survival, it’s just Sex=Gender ​ EDIT: I did not mean this to offend anyone, or target anyone, and the exact disposition can vary between race i;e, the isopterns, due to the male and females both being infertile workers, there is very little talk about gender.


tidalbeing

What about those who are intersex?


Nephisimian

Intersex people are commonly infertile, and so would not be particularly good at "survival" on the species level. The culture could treat that in many different ways depending on the exact thing they're needing to survive or what their moral values are, ranging from pushing intersex people into careers that are highly productive but give no time for raising children (which could be a highly honoured position), to leaving intersex babies out in the snow so resources aren't wasted on people who won't be able to propagate the bloodline.


tidalbeing

It's possible that intersex people do contribute to survival on the species level. Consider the survival value of post-menopausal spinsters. They're past childbearing but contribute to the survival of nieces and nephews. An intersex person might contribute the same way but would be younger and healthier while doing it. Their family is blessed.


Nephisimian

Trouble is, everyone can be old and everyone can choose to not have kids. You get the same value out of a fertile person as an infertile one in this regard.


tidalbeing

An infertile person is of more value to their siblings and nieces and nephews, because the infertile person cares for the siblings and nieces and nephews instead of for their own children. An intersex person would know they can't have their own kids so could concentrate right away on caring for their kin, no wasting time with trying to find a mate. Not everyone can be old. Only the type of people who support survival(children) in their old age become old. Otherwise evolution gets rid of them. The theory is that post-menopausal women are so valuable to survival that women have a longer life span than men, and continue to live even though they no longer can produce offspring. There is some belief that humans are partly eusocial as is demostrated by post-menopausal women. Ants are eusocial. Most of the individuals do not produce offspring, but instead support their sister's offspring. Intersex individuals and post-menopausal women form the eusocial component of human society.


Nephisimian

>The theory is that post-menopausal women are so valuable to survival that women have a longer life span than men I'd love to see a source for this "the" theory, because it is not biologically intuitive (ie the mechanisms would have to actively select *against* having elderly men, not *in favour* of having elderly women), not socially intuitive (elderly men should be just as valuable as elderly women; both can raise grandkids) and because as far as I'm aware, having not done a great deal of research, the consensus is that men have shorter lifespans due to greater risk-taking behaviour and vastly more frequent employment in dangerous jobs. if humans were truly eusocial in this regard, we would have evolved active mechanisms that support eusocial behaviour. Intersex is on a biological level an accident - it happens when some error in hormone signalling or response occurs, perhaps due to additional chromosomes or mutation. When individually disadvantageous traits are selected for in a population, it's because a partial form of the disadvantage is an advantage over having none of it. See for example sickle cell anemia - having it kills you, but carrying it doesn't and makes you resistant to malaria. However, with intersex, people who have this aren't providing a direct benefit vs people who don't (if they were, they'd be *way* more prevalent because the mutations that lead to it would propagate through relatives), rather they're occupying niches that non-intersex people can fill too. There are lots of ways to be infertile (and for the record, not all intersex people are infertile either) so there are lots of opportunities for eusocial infertility to evolve as an advantageous trait, and none of them appear to have happened. Also, you raise an interesting point in the idea of not having to waste time mate-finding. If this was of benefit, the selected trait would be "not being interested in dating", not "not being able to reproduce". I'd love to see a study on genetic components of aromanticism and any links between genetic infertility and aromanticism, but the whole "ace is a thing btw" thing happened too recently to be able to get that, I'd imagine.


tidalbeing

The idea is to look at the way things are. Women tend to live longer than men. A possible reason is that grandmothers are of greater evolutionary benefit than are grandfathers. In addition grandmothers are past menopause. If they only contributed to survival, by activily producing children, it would be beneficial to survival if they died off or continued with pregnancy to the very end, but they do not. That post-menopausal women who can't produce children contribute to survival makes human possibly eusocial. That there aren't many infertile intersex individuals suggests that it's probably not advantageous, although it could be. Although there are a lot of bachelors, spinsters, and other celibates. It might be difficult to separate intersex and ace individuals from these other groups. "Ace" is a new category but celibates have been around for as long as anyone can remember. I confess I don't entirely understand the difference between ace and celibate. If they are the same, then ace isn't new at all. I suppose the difference might be that celibacy is a sacrifice, but I doubt that is how most celibates have seen things. If they are the same, there's a long history to look at. It's also possible that male homosexuality is part of eusocial behavior. If a man forms a relationship with another man, he strengthens social bonds and is in a good position to help with the survival of nieces and nephews. This is all speculating. We can't say for sure that intersex and ace individuals do not contribute to survival. Individuals do contribute to survival without directly engaging in procreation.


Nephisimian

>A possible reason Yes, but not *the* reason. Tbh, like the vast majority of biology, there's probably a whole bunch of coinciding factors in why women live longer than men on average. Also, something to note here is that evolution really struggles to act on things that happen after the reproductive phase of life has passed. It would be difficult for a selective pressure to emerge that kills off women earlier while men, who are still able to reproduce, continue to benefit. It would need to kill by using the mechanisms unique to female bodies, such as lower levels of testosterone, but do so only after menopause. The history of celibacy is pretty interesting, but not super relevant so I won't go into a ton of detail. There were no doubt plenty of people who were celibate in an ace sense (ie has no interest in relationships, sex or children), but most celibacy was religious (ie they want these things but choose to forgo them to devote themselves to their religion). Also, interestingly, a lot of what is sometimes taken as historical examples of non-binary people are actually culturally specific terms for eunuchs or celibates. For example, some evidence has suggested that the Ancient Egyptians at one point had a category of "penis-less man", which is thought to refer to men who didn't have kids (potentially gay men, celibates, eunuchs or a combination of those three) and is probably more of a "If you don't do women you ain't a man" situation than a self-identity. Also, in the modern day, the existence of incels and femcels demonstrates that celibacy and asexuality/aromanticism are not the same thing. Also, to be clear, I was never intending to say that infertile people *don't* contribute to survival on the level of the tribe - they're as able-bodied as anyone else - simply that they cannot perform the "reproduction" part of "survival" themselves, and provide no clear advantage over a fertile person even to the larger community.


tidalbeing

My point in this is that a family that includes people who can't or don't reproduce may have an advantage over families who do not. We survive as families, not as individuals.


Fine_Lengthiness_761

People need to remember this


Rexli178

Okay this is a general trope that annoys but there is this general assumption that hunter gatherer societies are inherently more brutal, violent, and draconian than more “developed” societies just annoys me a lot. Because this assumption often implies that bigotry is logical. That various forms of bigotry are made out of the pragmatic desire for survival and that idea can fuck eight off. Bigotry is not pragmatic it is by its very nature irrational because bigotry is the irrational fear, hatred, or perception of an “other” as a threat. Homophobia is not a result of the pragmatic need for a society to propagate. It is the irrational perception of LGBT people who have existed since time immemorial as threats that need to be eradicated. Because LGBT people do not actually represent a threat to survival. Would you see societies that operate on a strict gender binary in a setting were survival is the first priority? Of course you would, but you would also see societies that don’t operate on a gender binary. And even in those societies that do there will be people like myself who do not fit into that gender binary. Because we have always been here. There are stories of non-binary and intersex people going as far back as the Akkadians. Because we have always been here.


Pitunolk

If a society doesn't have an economic system and a cultural disposition that removes the advantages of biological factors like sexual dimorphism it will follow those rules. In large-brained mammals those factors are extremely harsh. Up until the invention of affordable, safe birth control (a really really recent invention) it was extremely dangerous for a woman to have open sexual relationships because they could get pregnant without a solid partner to help care for them while heavily pregnant and the resulting child. Abortions at this time were also extremely hazardous, keep in mind. Another one is in these conditions it's never worth risking the lives of children and women. Children are not very useful now vs grown people, but they will be in the future if protected. And each additional woman increases the max possible birth rate of the population - if half the men die off in a war, that doesn't reduce the population growth cap. In the modern age where we have enough people, technology is ramping up our productivity, and people want at most 3 kids, there isn't selection pressure to keep pop growth up so society is better equipped to handle a non-binary perspective. There's a lot more examples I could get into, but these are a few origins of some of our persistent bigotry. Are these pressures fair? Hell no. Are they logically sound to follow in a context where they matter? Yes, because not following them in systems where they do matter means a more "bigoted" society taking advantage of these pressures will out compete. I think it's critical to take selection pressures into account when it comes to cultural development because it makes a more integrated setting nailing these things out. I think forcing personal sensibilities too hard can be preachy and out of place, so it's better to understand the mechanisms where these things can thrive and create situations for them to do so as a natural consequence and not just because.


Quantext609

Just because something is common doesn't mean it's logical. Humans aren't as logical of creatures as we like to think we are, especially if you go back through our history. And fear is probably the most illogical of all emotions. Why are most people more afraid of spiders and rats than getting into car crashes or getting heart problems? I don't know, but the former is significantly more common than the latter. So say you go back several thousand years to the dawn of mankind and you have nothing. There's no prior history to draw on, no structures to use, nothing but you and a bunch of other humans doing their best to survive. Well if you're going to work together you need some kind of structure to ensure your survival. So you take a look at the people in your tribe and there's two major groups. There's the typically larger and stronger men and the typically smaller and weaker women. But even though the men are better physically, the women serve a very important role in being able to make more humans who can help you in the future. You want to protect these women because they're the future of your tribe. So you give them more passive, less risky jobs like childcare and gathering. The men meanwhile should do the more active roles as they're more physically adept at it and more disposable. (one man can impregnate many women) So they're in charge of hunting down game and defending from other tribes. So far if you have absolutely nothing, gender roles are your only real form of structure. But what happens if you throw a curve ball into it? Let's say you have a certain tribes person named Nobby. Now Nobby was born with female parts and has been called a tribeswoman all their life, but they aren't really interested in the typical roles women play. They instead want to join the men in hunting and defending. Nobby hasn't done anything wrong here. But if they're born several generations into this system, then things will already be pretty set in stone. Having someone able to bear children decide to throw their life into the most dangerous parts of the world sounds preposterous. Not only are they upending the system that has worked for so long, but they're potentially sacrificing future children, the future of the tribe, they could bear. This fear that someone could destroy their traditions and neglect their own unborn children could resonate throughout the tribe. So Nobby is ridiculed and either exiled or forced into more feminine roles. This fear isn't very logical. Nobby could end up being a great hunter/defender or choose not to even have children if they were forced into feminine roles. But that doesn't mean it's impossible and to a bunch of desperate tribespeople who have literally nothing but their roles to keep them stable, it's downright heretical. Luckily we don't live in Nobby's time period anymore and gender roles are far less important. People being non binary or trans isn't a huge problem because we don't require men and women to have specific roles anymore. Children are more of a liability than an asset now, so women don't need to be solely child bearers anymore. And physical strength is rarely required so men can take on more delicate or passive jobs. But if you were in a time when gender roles were necessary for survival, someone who goes against that could be scary. Because nothing scares humans quite like the unknown and unusual.


Nephisimian

A society having never had the time to think about the complex nuances of gender is not bigotry, and suggesting that bigotry requires a certain degree of free time and ability to care about these issues is not suggesting that bigotry is logical either.


Rexli178

Again this is patently absurd. If they don’t have the time to ponder the intricacies of sex and gender they would have no time to ponder anything else than either. They would not have religion, politics, culture, language, art, or any of the other hall marks of a society. Hallmarks that can only exists if people spend time to do things other than just addressing their basic bodily needs for food, water, and shelter. And frankly such a society is unrealistic. Any society that spends all of its time without rest just surviving will not survive for long. We need rest to survive, and when people rest they interact with the world, each other, and themselves in a way beyond just basic survival.


Nephisimian

Perhaps, and the author could explore that if they wanted to. However, a component missing from this is writing. Low frequency, low impact things like non-binary don't claim much presence in culture until the culture gets big enough and connected enough to magnify them. Everyone needs to know that if you do this particular dance that'll make the crops grow (ie religion). Only Jeff needs to know how Jeff feels about their assigned gender role. It won't occur to this society to think about Jeff's gender identity - won't even occur to Jeff most likely - until there are enough people communicating with each other for Jeff to notice the same experience in other people. Even when that does happen, it doesn't necessarily result in the conception of non-binary categories if the society's gender roles are different. And remember, this thread isn't about what sexes and genders exist, it's about how the worlds perceive sex and gender. Sex = gender is a perfectly valid perception even for a world where non-binary people do exist, and would indicate that the society has not collectively addressed that yet, or is deliberately suppressing it.


ColebladeX

You got guys girls and everything in between


orcsbreath

There are many different cultures across Folcgeard, and as such, many different perceptions of gender. In Elvorr, the popular view is much the same as in modern Western culture, albeit with greater acceptance of transgender and nonbinary individuals, as Elvorr's cosmopolitan nature has made its people more open to new or different ways of being, while the region's ready access to magic has made it far easier for transgender Elvorrans to medically transition than in most other parts of the world. In Ngoiros and much of Mwarktos, members of the clergy are considered to be both male and female, regardless of their sex, and intersex people are revered as emissaries of the Gods. In Skjolland, gender roles are pretty rigidly defined. Women are leaders, hunters, and storytellers, while men are craftsmen and builders. As a general rule, Skjollfolk consider the qualities they view as feminine (creativity, strategy, emotional openness, righteous vengeance) to be those most desirable in a person, while "masculine" traits (recklessness, stubbornness, untempered vengeance) are viewed less favorably - and although few in Skjolland will *openly* claim to thinking of men as lesser, to question a Skjoll's femininity is to question the quality of their character, regardless of their actual gender. Perhaps the most unusual perception of gender is that held by the Dragons. While theirs is a strictly binary system, linked inextricably with anatomical sex and with definite gender roles, it is unlike any other in the world, due to the fact that dragons are sequential hermaphrodites. All Dragons are born sexless, and become male upon reaching their first metamorphosis. The overwhelming majority of Dragons live out the rest of their lives as male, in service of the few female dragons, the Matriarchs (of which there can only be one in a city, as not only do they naturally secrete pheromones which prevent other dragons in the vicinity from undergoing the second metamorphosis, but, by law, all new-hatched Dragons are implanted with an estrogen inhibitor which prevents metamorphosis even if they should travel outside the city). Female dragons, unlike their male counterparts, are sessile, telepathic, and gargantuan; their role is both as mother to the city's next generation, and as dictator of the city. Only an elite few dragons, chosen by the Supreme Council and confirmed by the Prime Matriarch herself, are ever permitted to remove their implants and become female. As such, to the Dragons, femininity is both nigh-unattainable and the ultimate ambition - and any Dragon who dares to attempt unsanctioned metamorphosis is swiftly hunted down and executed.


Cactus_Brenn

Oooooo the dragons in your setting sound very cool!


orcsbreath

Nah, they're honestly pretty awful. They're a bunch of imperialistic eugenicists who pretty much never stop causing trouble for all the other peoples of the world. And on top of that, they control the source of all the world's magic, so they get all the best sorcery. The only reason they don't dam the Arcane River and block the flow of magic to other nations *entirely* is because they know that as soon as they try it, *all* those other nations will unite against them.


Cactus_Brenn

I meant cool as in the concept is very interesting, so my previous statement still stands lol. But now I just *gotta* know about this Arcane River deal- is it a physical river flowing with magic energy, or more metaphorical river?


orcsbreath

It's a literal river. A little less than 2 millennia ago, there was a *major* volcanic eruption in what is now the Draconis Mountain range; a giant chunk of a mountain got flung upwards and tore a hole in the sky, causing the Divinity outside to flood into the world. The Gods quickly patched up the damage (although not before several centuries of chaos occurred in the space of a few seconds as reality went *completely* nuts for a moment, basically reverting most of society to bronze-age-level development), but that chunk of mountain is still lodged in the sky, and a small amount of Divinity continues to leak in. The Dragons live in the mountain-shard, and they harvest and refine the Divinity to a usable magic as it flows in. The waste products of the refinement process are then dumped into the caldera-lake beneath the mountain, whence it flows northwards downriver. The people living along this Arcane River then harvest what remaining magic they can from it, although the resulting product is far less potent than what the Dragons have.


YungMidoria

There’s men. There’s Women. Diru which are small boys raised as sex slaves by the blackmarket as pleasure for the elite. They’re frowned upon in most areas, but there’s a small few areas who venerate them, but it’s compulsory, not voluntary. They arent castrated, but they still arent seen as men. In the old days it was seen as a position of honor but has long since fallen out of favor. Then heres gaija which is basically a biological male who presents as a woman or feminine characteristics in Hiyg culture. They cant take part in traditional marriages. Most of the time theyre trained as vrajit (healer/diviners), but in some areas, they arent accepted, then in others (very few lawless no mans lands) they’re quite literally hunted for sport. The majority of hiyg cultures see them as symbols and bringers of good luck. The mainstream aesteri culture largely ignores them. Many of them become varaz (warrior wizards) so theres a lot of counter culture non conforming wizards simply because most people would be too scared to step to a full blown varaz. These varaz often reject the label of gaija as varaz carries more weight and gaija are fetishized and have a lot of societal pressure. Theres spear maids which used to be hiyg women who took part in war and hunting. Its an aesteri term, and spear is supposed to be a phallic reference basically saying they’re chicks with dicks so aesteri could deny hiyg women their woman hood, but if someone is feeling extra scumy, aesteri women can catch that slur too. The term is extremely outdated and now is a derogatory term for lesbians and women who find themselves in positions of leadership, especially after men die in war. But the majority of the world’s inhabitants are just cis and because of that, there’s actually a wide range of acceptable behavior for either gender since they dont really have queer theory. Their terms for non traditional genders tend to come from struggle and strife and are highly specific


tidalbeing

Sounds like a pretty scummy society with how it forces boys into sexual slavery.


YungMidoria

Its not a very unified society so that specific area/culture is extremely scummy. Most states have death penalty for human trafficking. But yeah its a very not fun place to live


enderson_kyon

In my world no one really gives a shit about gender or sex unless within the specific nation of Lamain in which they believe genders are the same as sex this happened due to their culture forming separately from most other cultures on an island


TheIncomprehensible

Between my three worlds, only one country has a nonbinary system. Orethia is that country, and that's due to a unique race in the country called Wraithkin. Wraithkin are beings of magic, are entirely genderless, and use the gender neutral pronoun of 'it'. As a result, Orethia is also the only country with a unique nonbinary title: 'gyar', which denotes someone genderless or nonbinary as a knight, as opposed to the male 'sir' or the female 'lady'. Between my three worlds, I have a similar policy on gender roles, in only two countries have distinct roles for different genders. Fee'Rox is a matriarchal forest-dwelling society where the women hunt, forage, and serve in the military while the men stay at 'home', protecting and raising the children. However, these roles swap while the woman is pregnant and nursing. In Silverland, the men serve in combative and strategic roles in the military as well as in factories and agriculture while the women serve in medical, scientific, mathematical, and logistical roles. Silverland is historically a militant society, and this split of gender roles produced the maximum capacity to wage war.


GoodAsBacon

In the Chromavast, most races are assigned one gender or another at birth (same as with people on Earth, there's usually just two, but stuff happens). Synthetics are usually devoid of sex organs so they just are whatever they want to be. Technology is advanced, so if someone identified with another gender than their assigned one, they get surgery which biologically makes them the same as someone born of their desired gender. Transphobes don't exist cause they suck (we still have genocide and slavery though).


DaylightsStories

**Where Silver is Best** Like on earth, most human perceptions of gender got westernized. HOWEVER - Dryads complicate things. They look outwardly female so tend to get feminine pronouns from humans but inwardly are not innately social enough to understand gender. Due to quirks of plant reproductive physiology dryads are also legitimately not of any biological sex either, though they do produce hermaphrodite flowers. Some dryads use male or neutral pronouns for themselves. Dryads also have a hard time telling human sexes apart and just go with "they" or other neutral pronouns unless they know for sure. - Spirits do have concepts of gender, but do not have biological sex. For example the god Oragoth says he's a guy while Korvelian says she's a woman, yet neither is capable of sexual reproduction or indeed any biological process. - Other spirits, particularly Keepers of the Endless Beauty, do not have genders. The proper pronoun for them is "it", even if the spirit in question takes a gender coded form such as how the Bog Mother usually has a feminine silhouette. Keepers are also fairly quick to claim that gender is not an applicable concept to them any more than it is to rocks or weather and therefore all labels, including nonbinary or agender, are incorrect. Keepers tend to be pretty bad about honoring other people's pronouns, as well as names, and just call things "it" or "this creature" unless they for some reason like you enough to avoid offending you. Keepers get mad at people humanizing them by calling them the singular "they" because they aren't human or part of any such societies.


Football_Disastrous

They don't give much of a fuck as long as you can fight.


Littleman88

My world most races recognize sex=gender, largely due to basic survival of their species. With the arrival of the most recent race, which recognizes sex but couldn't care less for gender (they are robots adopting humanoid forms and customize their appearance to individual tastes,) the world is becoming more aware of an openly budding LGBTQ demographic.


tidalbeing

Echoic\_Memories, The world of Aaru appears to be both single-gender and single-sex. If everyone is the same sex, it seems to me they would simply have fashion. And this would have nothing to do with gender. I'm curious though about how biology and procreation works. Humans have a diploid(people) and haploid(sperm and ova) form. To procreate, cells in the gonads undergo miosis becoming haploid gametes (sperm or ova) If the parent is female, the gametes are ova and they're rather large and pass out of the mother's fallopian tubes and uterus rather slowly. These gametes always code for female. If the parent is male, each cell undergoing miosis produces two sperm, one coding for female, the other coding for male. The sperm are motile, meaning they can swim. If they are deposited in the right place and at the right time a sperm merges with an ovum, producing a diploid human. (most of the time. occasionally a triploid human is produced) So what is going on with Aaru biology. Does procreation still involve miosis? Do all individuals have both ovaries and testies? Do they have them all the time? Maybe they have only one set of gonads that produces both sperm and ova. Can a person impregnate themself? What are you doing about pronouns when writing about your world?


Echoic_Memories_5683

I'm not so good with biology, but my thought was that they have both ovaries and testes. Like they would have a menstrual cycle, but also produce sperm. Like two separate reproductive systems. Because of this, it is quiet likely both people involved in intercourse could become pregnant. As for pronouns, in writing I generally use the singular They pronoun. In terms of in world language, they have their own singular pronouns, Ey, Em and Eim. The Gender=Fashion thing is essentially my way of translating my thoughts, which have been thoroughly steeped in gender since birth, into a world in which gender simply doesn't exist. Thank you for the great questions Tidalbeing!


tidalbeing

I prefer Ey, Em, and Eim. I've been using E,er,ers,im, which is quite simliar to your solution. Using the "they" both singular and plural, as well as for people and objects gets extremely awkward and confusing. I would like for us as world builders and SF writer to come to a consensus on a set of singlar gender-neutral personal pronouns. "They" doesn't cut it. I'm not having much success with getting my stories published and so I'm not doing well with presenting the option. I published one of the stories in Utopia Science fiction, but the passed on publishing my most recent. I would like to get into an anthology where all the stories are using singular gender-neutral pronouns. But that's a pipe dream. You might look into hermaphrodite species such as snails for how the biology works. Although snails lay eggs. It's more complicated with a viviparous(gives birth to live young) species. With some species, individuals opportunistically become male or female. I suppose you have read *The Left Hand of Darkness* by LeGuin.


Nephisimian

There will never be a consensus on neutral pronouns because to be brutally honest, they all just sound bad. They're hard to read and hard to think, and while they could potentially be normalised through exposure, they never will be because the hill they have to climb is just too high. Realistically, we're just going to get used to "they" enough that it stops feeling weird, and probably start using names and descriptors more often to reduce ambiguity.


Echoic_Memories_5683

Agreed. They/Them is going feel funny at first, but from personal experience, you get a lot more used them after a while.


Nephisimian

Yep. For a long time I thought the reason I hated using "they" to refer to people was because it sounded plural. Now it's because it sounds impersonal (ie it's a thing you do when you know so little about a person you don't even know their gender). I have no doubt that given another few years, I'll probably stop feeling like "they" is impersonal too.


tidalbeing

I've always felt that "they" is impersonal and so rather insulting, particularly when applied to an author, whose name appears right on the cover of a book. It makes it seem like you believe a group was responsible when actually the entire book was produced by one person. "they" makes sense when talking about "everyone" or "each person." When "they" refers to a specific person on fictional character, it gets confusing.


Nephisimian

They is impersonal yeah, although how insulting that is will depend on how impersonality behaves in your society. I find it quite polite personally, and prefer impersonal language be used by people who are not personally familiar with each other. However, wouldn't assigning a generic singular pronoun be insulting too? Either way, you're not taking the time to learn about their preferred pronouns, and I bet that more people would be insulted by you using some neopronoun to refer to them than "they", which is already a natural part of English we use all the time.


tidalbeing

Use of "they" implies that there are a group of people doing something and that these people have a lot of power, power that an individual doesn't have--"They should make a law" "They should know" This can lead into bullying an individual for not doing things that are outside of their power. A singular pronoun would be more appropriate in situations where the gender of a person is unknown, irrelevant, or private. My major beef with using "he" or "she" is that it contributes to discrimination based on gender, and with immediately assigning a gender to everyone you interact with. Using preferred pronouns doesn't solve this problem; it just adds a third gender category. My use of E, er, ers, em is in fiction. If it were to catch on, it would become part of the English language, and we could use these pronouns in discussions such as this one.


Nephisimian

The power aspect of "they" is not something I've seen brought up before. It's an interesting point, but I think it's a bit flawed as it's specifically in the form of "they should" here. How is this different to "He should" or "She should"? Or indeed "Xe/E should"? Could I not say "He should know" or "She should go back where she came from" just as I could say "They should know" or "they should go back where they came from"? He and she aren't going anywhere. It's never happening. If we're thinking realistically, what we're looking for is an alternative, not a replacement. If a gender-neutral singular pronoun does ever exist (which other than "they", probably never will for reasons I've already outlined), it will exist alongside he and she, not instead of them. "They" already does the job perfectly well - this discussion would not have been improved by the existence of "E", just different - and once you know someone well enough to drop the use of "they", you know them well enough to drop the use of "E" too. Also, as for E in particular, this doesn't actually do the job you want it to do anyway - many English dialects drop the letter H at the beginning of words, so "e", "er", "ers" and "em" are phonologically identical to "he", "her", "hers" and "him" ("him" is not exactly the same but close enough that the unstressing of pronouns will make "em" and "him" sound very similar). All this will do is lead to confusion, it'll sound like you're alternating between male and female pronouns, rather than using a gender neutral set.


tidalbeing

"They" is awkward and confusing for writing fiction. If we are to normalize gender neutral singular pronouns it will be via science fiction and fantasy. That is were a lot of new words and social innovations come from. Somebody, I'd like it to be me, is going to write a great story that catches on. It's interesting that two of us are converging on similar pronouns. It's worth giving it a try with seeing how different pronoun options work within a story.


Nephisimian

>If we are to normalize gender neutral singular pronouns it will be via science fiction and fantasy You're really overestimating the power sci fi and fantasy have to normalise language. Almost half the adult population of America hasn't watched a single episode of Star Wars, and that's such a huge cultural phenomenon it's grown *well* past the normal niche of these genres. The words that these things do add to English are ones that encounter no resistance and describe largely sci-fi and fantasy concepts. Eg, people think mutations make you glow green, but that's because a) they're looking for reasons to fear science and b) they have no emotional investment in *not* thinking like that. Realistically, most people don't like the idea of gender-neutral pronouns. Hell, most people don't even like the idea of putting pronouns in twitter bios. Even amongst those who *do* support non-binary ideas and people, there's a wide range of opinions and a lot of people who are resistant to neopronouns. Any attempt to redefine pronouns by a work of fiction is doomed to fail, even if the story gets really popular. Lord of the Rings couldn't get people saying "eleventy" for 110, and that's funny and emotionally harmless. By all means though, write what you want. I'm not saying you shouldn't do this, I'm just saying don't expect me or most other people to do it, cos we won't. I don't really have any problems with "they" personally, there are plenty of ways of reducing ambiguity without having to use unfamiliar (and therefore hard to read) neopronouns, and the impersonality aspect of "they" declines through use anyway.


tidalbeing

A lot of cultural and language change originates in fiction. Much of what we consider everyday words comes from that source: quixotic, masochistic, dolly varden of the top of my head. The pirate language introduced by Stephenson in Treasure island might be more to the point. You don't have to engage in such speculation and exploration if you don't want to. But it's interesting to do, a facet of worldbuilding with a long history.


Nephisimian

Well quixotic is *definitely* not an everyday word. No idea what dolly varden is either, and no one's speaking pirate normally. They do it because it's funny, and I don't think that's the reason you want people to be using a neopronoun.


tidalbeing

Those are the ones that jumped to mind. Dolly varden is a kind of fish. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly\_Varden\_trout](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolly_Varden_trout) It was given that name after a Dicken's character. I could probably come up with better examples of words entering language from fiction: drone, robot... Fiction is how we try out new things. Most of it doesn't catch on, but some of it does. Regardless, it's still interesting to speculate and try out pronouns within worldbuilding, as well as trying out different ways of thinking about gender.


xFurashux

Just male and female. I don't even get that non-binary system so it would be stupid to write something like that.


-Pop-225DONG

somehow you offended 2 people xd,i also did the same, i dont feel like i should add a non binary character,i dont think it would fit in my world because it is in medieval/dark ages era


xFurashux

Yeah, in your case it wouldn't make much sense. In mine I just think it's better to write about things you know so you would make it logical. There are always people who add something to someone else's comment. My guess is that they thought I hate non-binary people or something like that.


Beneficial_Skill537

Personally I think a setting feel way more real if there's non-conformimg people. Even with gender, in a very binary world it would make sens to me that some people would still feel likethey don't fit in the binary. That being said if you don't think you understand non-binary people it's probably best you don't write about it anyway and end up with some dumb stereotype. ( But of course, it would do you no wrong to learn what it is ;) ) I think "I don't know about non-binary people" is a better excuse and way more honnest than "I write about medieval era setting". Because even though medieval era people had different words and different norms when it comes to gender there were still a lot more nuances than our modern idea of men/women.


ebonyr

Just two


Nephisimian

Largely binary, although gender roles depend on species and society. For example, egg-laying species are more likely to be matriarchal as the lack of a gestation period means women have little to no period of reduced physical capacity and larger brood sizes reduce the need for competition between males. It is commonly believed that mermaids are entirely female and reproduce magically, although this is not correct. Rather, male mermaids are such specialised gamete-producers that they are essentially entirely vestigial, much like in angler fish, and their life cycle basically consists of hatch -> eat -> swell up with sperm -> float into egg nurseries -> explode. Mammalian species tend to form patriarchal societies for the same reasons this occurs in humans, although outliers to this do exist, particularly where a society formed from multiple species includes one or more naturally matriarchal ones that shifts the way the people perceive the roles of men and women. Elves are another exception, but for entirely cultural reasons - with their long lifespans and natural resistance to age-related decay, elves typically choose to have children very late in life. Around age 80, elves of both genders will retire to start families, as this gives them plenty of time to enjoy independence first, and also to build up a lifetime of wealth on which to raise their kids. The virtually non-existent physiological differences between male and female elves and the lack of any need for a family breadwinner means they're generally treated as equals. There's an interesting discussion to be had on whether a functionally single-sex species like that of the mermaids is actually analogous to one of the binary genders of a sexually dimorphic species at all and to be honest I'm not sure how I want to answer that question yet.


Gloriusmax

It depends. Some humanoid species evolved with both genitalia and are eighter considered their own gender or male/female, some have one gender, some don't have gender and things like that. Tho they are rare and often live in small secluded communities, which are the only ones that consider genders other than male and female. Mostly, the genders are just male and female. There were never and probably never will be trans people because it doesn't take much to use transformation magic to change your appearance or even biology down to thinking. So a wizard or someone with money can easily change their gender for whatever reason (they can also remove their gender or make up their own or transform into a completely different being) It's also why many people don't wanna date wizards. You never know, it might have been a guy or a frog at some point.


Cactus_Brenn

I'm confused on that second point- you say that there are no trans people because it's easy to switch your gender through magic. How are those two things connected? Wouldn't that increase the number of transgender people, or at least the number of trans people who successfully transition in this setting?


Gloriusmax

Yeah, technically they are trans. Should have explained it, but when someone changes gender, let's say man to woman, they are considered a woman. Trans as a gender doesn't exist, even tho they technically are. It never needed to. There is none of that long process of transition. It's almost instant and based on what the caster wants it can be a change of just appearance, biology or even chromozomes. Hope I explained it well enough


Cactus_Brenn

Ah, that does make sense! Thanks for explaining


Pandrew20

Everyone in my world use she/her pronouns but all aren't females. Most perfer the term gender-noncomforming, others perfer nonbinary. Most depends on your voice though


tidalbeing

What language do they speak? Does the language have grammatical gender? How does it work with being gender-nonconforming in a society that has only one gender?


Pandrew20

The people use voice to determine things like sex but there are multiple genders in the worlds eyes. Their language has 3 gendered pronouns but their all for feminine use. Most people go by their name as a pronoun of their not feminine. Also pronouns don't equal gender here


tidalbeing

With gender we are talking about 4 different things that are easily confused: biological sex, gender/social roles, gender identity, and grammatical gender. Grammatical gender may have nothing to do with the three others; it's simply a set of rules about how words go together.


Imaxinacion

**SoulFrame** After the mechanisation of the Human race, they had to solve the problem of reproduction since they no longer had organic bodies to do so. What followed were a series of experiments which eventually resulted in the Mind Generation Program. This program was capable of producing Human-level sentience and became the standard for all Humans built after the 35th century. The Mind Generation Program assigns all new Humans a serial number, a callsign, an initial personality as well as the gender (either male or female) attached to said personality. This gender is static and unchangeable. Knowledge of language, history and science would be directly uploaded into the newly built Human, making him/her functional and useful from day 1. The process of assigning a gender during the creation of Humans is a by-product of some pre-war research where scientists repeatedly tried and failed to create a genderless brain. Every such brain ever created eventually lost their sense of self and detracted from the human behaviour model over time. This effect was so drastic that it often ended up in psychotic and self-harming tendencies. The longest that a genderless human has survived is approximately 113 days, nearing the end of which its behaviour was erratic, violent and barely recognisable as human. After the 100-year war, all countries of the Human Federation came together and signed a unanimous treaty which banned the experimentation and development of genderless humans. Read more: https://www.reddit.com/r/worldbuilding/comments/qzhzir/soulframe_part_1/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share


Cactus_Brenn

Why does being genderless have such a negative effect? Also, you say the gender of a person is static, but how is it possible to insure that? Are gender roles just very strictly enforced? I'm also curious what culture's genders these are based on.


Imaxinacion

It is known that human males and females have different brain structures. What the scientists were trying to achieve with the genderless brain was to create a new type of brain structure that was not strictly male or female, however, none of such attempts have succeeded in producing mental stability. Gender is static not because of some government law or rule, but rather because it is physically impossible to do so. In order to change your gender, you would need to get your brain restructured; a process that will turn your memories and perception of reality into a jumbled mess; death would be a preferable alternative at this point. There aren't really any strict gender roles in modern human culture. Ever since the mechanisation of the human race (also known as The Great Transition), humans no longer form familial units and often prefer to simply live alone. However, due to the core behavioural differences between males and females, the women (whom are generally more sensitive) tend to choose more intellectually taxing jobs while the men (whom are generally more pragmatic) branch into labor-intensive or combat professions. There are of course exceptions to this, but they are in the minority.


Cactus_Brenn

Actually, there is no structural difference between the brains based on sex. the only thing that changes between them is people who are assigned male at birth tend to have slightly larger brains, due to having slightly larger bodies. The idea that men and women have fundamentally different brains is a myth based on biological essentialism, and doesn't account for transgender people, or the gender roles of non-western cultures. here's a few articles on the topic: [https://mymodernmet.com/male-and-female-brains-neurosexism/](https://mymodernmet.com/male-and-female-brains-neurosexism/) [https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210325115316.htm](https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210325115316.htm) [https://theconversation.com/you-dont-have-a-male-or-female-brain-the-more-brains-scientists-study-the-weaker-the-evidence-for-sex-differences-158005](https://theconversation.com/you-dont-have-a-male-or-female-brain-the-more-brains-scientists-study-the-weaker-the-evidence-for-sex-differences-158005) You describe women in as 'sensitive' and men as 'pragmatic' in your setting, but those are both personality traits rather than some innate feature of one's gender or even their biological sex. I could see an explanation being that the the mind generation program you described is ingraining personality traits into humans based on the stereotypes of the gender it assigns them. But if there aren't any strict gender roles or cultural notions of gender, and humans don't have any physical form anymore, I don't quite see why they would have gender at all.


Imaxinacion

In this reality, the differences between the male and female brains were either suppressed or never discovered until the late 3500s when experimentation began. It was a huge controversy when the results came through, which was revealed during the height of LGBT popularity, no less. The original scientists that made this discovery lost their jobs. Protests in the streets broke out against 'bigotry in science'. Some even thought that The Great Transition was part of a secret government program that aimed to eliminate the LGBT population. But years passed and effectively zero progress was made on this front. It was like trying to make a baby without using chromosomes. Noone was able to crack the code. The acceptance came eventually.


Flailing_snailing

About half of my races use the binary gender system with the three others having very different ways of reproduction. The Cynthraxi reproduce by either the mating of a Cynthraxi drone or a Cynthraxi humanoid with a Cynthraxi Princess/Queen/Empress. This means that most of the Cynthraxi population is temporarily infertile but with the correct pheromones can become a drone or Princess/Queen/Empress. The Cynthraxi bug drones after mating will always father bugs while it a humanoid mates it will always be a humanoid The Paragons are stone giant golems (best way to describe them) and reproduce by bringing together rocks, metals, salts, parts of the parent(s), and water to calcify together to create a new Paragon. This process can take years of hard work and dedication on the parent(s) part but it creates one of if not thee strongest race on the planet. The Riveram no longer have gender after a magic spell that was supposed to give them only immortality made them into these eldritch blood borne creatures that don’t exactly fit into the binary system of gender. How they reproduce is entirely unique to the individual and as such have as many genders as there are people.


Gamerauther

Imperatrix Gender=Sex. Technic Humans: everyone is a futa so it doesn't really apply. Drekan: 5 genders with extreme sexual dimorphism so sex must equal gender.


CursedEngine

There are three major, conflicted factions in my world. Three different believes are central to those faction and non is presented as optimal/correct. The setting is a near future. Biological sex isn't different from what we have currently and the same in proportion for each faction. Views on gender differ. When it comes to one faction (usually referred to as "Helia" - named after the sun), the majority of people (along with the state government) see gender as irrelevant. The other two faction share views regarding gender similar to the current western sphere. Which doesn't mean they aren't conflict: A bigger weight is put on economic differences.


Cactus_Brenn

The tehlorans are an alien species with one biological sex (all individuals have the ability to lay/fertilize eggs), so they don't really have a concept of gender as humans know it. They do have a few cultural norms that I would describe as " distantly gender adjacent", though. (They aren't genders, but a gendered species like humans will tend to view these norms through that lens) When a tehloran becomes an independent adult, they have the opportunity to leave their home warren. Some choose to travel to find a new warren, some stay at home and become a permanent member of the community there. Others travel their whole lives with no home warren, or regularly travel but still return to their home regularly, or a variety of other options based on personal preference and the local culture. Each of these paths in life have relatively loose cultural expectations- personality traits and occupations are the most common things to become associated with a specific life path. For example: those who travel to find a new home are expected to have practical occupations to make them useful and appealing to any warren they try to join, as well as be more social and charismatic. Those who stay home don't have much of a personality expectation, but usually have more pressure on them to carry on community traditions in their line of work, as they're the ones who carry on a warren's legacy into the next generation. Changing paths is generally accepted, though doing so repeatedly in a short amount of time is seen as a sign of immaturity. These paths have only minor influence on the reproductive roles of tehlorans, mostly due to their life cycle. It's too complicated to get into here without extending this already long comment into an essay, but long story short- aquatic larvae are kept in a communal pool, which then pupate into juveniles who are adopted and raised by any individual(s) who want to have a child. As such, the only way this intersects with life paths is a general tendency for travelling tehlorans to be less involved in raising kids. In general, they find gender to just be a very confusing thing humans and some other aliens do. Tehlorans typically use non-gendered terms when interacting with gendered species, if the language being used to communicate allows for it. If living among gendered species long term, however, some align themselves with a gender out of convenience- or out of genuine identification with the cultural role of said gender.


the_ceiling_of_sky

Most races see it similarly to how we do on earth, dwarves are the only major outlier. Ancients were much like us but now that they are no longer reproducing (at least on this plane) they've all but dropped the idea. Elves are still fairly gendered but they are very open about expression and being trans, especially because elves are magical enough to actually change biological gender if it pleases them (and can do the same for Humans). Orcs and trolls are still fairly tribal and acceptance of Trans and non-binaries varies from tribe to tribe. Non-earth humans mostly go with elven traditions but there are a few more like earth. Titans are unknown and the last 14 survivors aren't talking.


chia923

Tenji have 10 biological sexes, that all look identical, so there is no cultural importance.


-Pop-225DONG

there are only 2 genders.....at least in my world


Void_Seraph

Among most species in the galaxy, there is a binary and non-binary similar to earth, though the exact roles for those genders may differ greatly, such as how male, female, and non-binary Atreans have equal positions in their society, while Gatunka tend to be matriarchal. However, both the Neurosians and the Qu'Pali have no gender, as they are both hermaphrodites with no distinct sexes. Because of this, many Neurosians will simply pick a gender simply for convenience when interacting with species that have binary systems. The Qu'Pali on the other hand, are completely baffled at the very idea of sexes and gender, let alone there being multiple of them.


TDoMarmalade

K’ithra have very little sexual dimorphism, and so define gender as man and woman in the most functional, biological sense of ‘can or cannot lay eggs’. Non binary genders don’t really happen, since K’ithra don’t place much significance towards gender until the question of breeding comes up, so defining whether or not you are is unnecessary. In fact, discussion of sex, gender and sexuality tends to either be altogether avoided or matter-of-fact and blunt, and is considered pretty strange and unsavoury outside of educational, research or mating purposes.


careful_storyteller

!remind me 1 hour


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JunFerra

**Neo-Earth:** There's a lot of countries in this world, some of them (Like Brurman) are very conservative and transphobic but overall, most countries accept transgenderism and a non binary conception of gender. In fact some of the main characters in this story are trans themselves like Maat (who is a trans woman) or Thaumat (who is gender-fluid) **Anul** Although lepidoms where dominated for a long time by a conservative dictatorship, they still keep a positive view on gender issues. Male and female lepidoms have the same rights, and there isn't many role distinctions between the two. Trans lepidoms have an easy access to hormones and treatment and there's even some important trans figures in Anul's history like Hress Vinn. Intersexuality is very common in lepidoms (about 3 percent of larvae are born with both genitals) but since reproduction isn't the main objective of this society, there isn't a big stigma about it. However, although LGBTQ lepidoms are protected against discrimination, there's still rampant homophobia and transphobia in some Anular regions. **Planitt** For planittarrs, sex=gender. Planitarrs have four sexes each of them are separated by a big sexual dimorphism and have very rigid gender roles and stereotypes, although that didn't stop some planittarrs to work in jobs that are "not suited for" their gender. Transgenderism, same sex attraction and intersexuality are seen as disgusting perversions, and individuals with this characteristics tend to be stigmatized by the society and eventually attacked by their, friends or relatives . Even if there isn't any laws that strictly discriminate against LGBTQ planittarrs (except for sex same marriage being ilegal, and the "no-promo homo" laws), the government tends to not do anything or even be an accomplice of these hate crimes. **Magis Terra** It depends a lot on the race, country, and region. There's some very homophobic races (like angels or mermaids), other that are very liberal (like elves and satyrs) and some other races that their perception of gender depends on theit region, kingdom or religion (like humans). However I could say that in general, the large majority of Magis Terra accepts transgender and intersex folks, because it is thought that the gods in general transcend the binary conception of gender AND sex, and some transgender individuals have been described as the avatars of some of these gods. Finally, the three most important deities of the multiverse, Arumei, Lui and Ar, have always been described as non-binary. Arumei can change both their sex and their gender. Meanwhile, Lui and Ar, although mostly described using masculine pronouns, are a pair of beings so powerful, indescribable, and complex that they practically transcend everything we know of, including gender.


Varkalandar

I never dived deeply into this. Usually doing sci-fi stuff, and besides adding some unisex species which reproduce in non-sexual ways (so they have no disctint sexes or genders) I never specified. Even having aliens with 3 sexes seemed to be too hard to explain in a believable way - for humans it is often hard enough to find one good partner, how hard will it be to have offspring if you must find two, and even have these two like each other as well? Evolution optimizes for reproduction. So, I did't do that, and the view if binary species on gener are not typically part of my stories, I focus on science and technology.


The_Voidbringer

Well, in my world (dark fantasy) it all depends of the culture really. In most languages there are no concrete terms for "gender" as we on Earth see it, it's depends mostly of what people identify with and so on. It's not really too deep of a system, since most people in the world (and especially in the Conjoined Empire) don't really care about this stuff as we do - one can say they are pretty open-minded. In universe, though, no one is really sure if this is the same with the Faedrell (or The Lost Ones) since they are long-extinct and no one really knows much about them. The only exception in the human view of gender is the Emperor, but in this case it's for a specific reason - once the Emperor takes their place on the Cold Throne, they are referred to as "it" (or something similar) or just the Emperor, becoming therefore faceless, un-human, as close to godhood as they can (which is why the Emperor is always masked).


Sevim88

In my world I hadn't thought about this but I would answer hy saying male and female are seen purely by physical characteristics and assumed. My world has a big emphasis on exploration so I would also say most people think a lot more about "what's out there" rather than "who am I" or "who are we"


CDRFeral

It depends on the culture, the Sulrans only recognize male and female genders however, their society is built more on the concept of capability rather than fixed roles, meaning there is no such thing as "Mans work" or "Women's work" outside of a few exceptions like breastfeeding and childbirth. Men are not only capable of weaving, sewing and so on, it is expected of them. Likewise, if a woman wants to be a blacksmith, miner or smelter than she only has to prove that she can physically do the work and do it well in order to get the job. The only real job that women are banned by most nations is Combat, women are not allowed to be in combat roles in most nations (some will make exceptions in times of great need though)


Finish-Holiday

Domini have 2 genders similar to male and female, Trio have 2 genders, male and female and same with humans obviously. Women and men are treated as equals at this point, unless you are a domini Inwich you are deemed not fit enough to be on your own.


Kamica

Hoo boy! Gender's a tad complicated in the Myriad Skies world! I haven't made the cultural stuff yet to go along with it, but it's likely for many cultures to develop a four gender system. This is because reproduction and nursing are separated biologically. Simply put, those with female bits aren't guaranteed to be the one to nurse the child. Physically, the four genders would align with: Masculine physicality/bits without breasts, Feminine physicality/bits without breasts, Masculine physicelity/bits with breasts, Feminine physicality/bits with breasts. This makes gender roles a lot more complicated I am sure!


Inflatable_Bridge

In Riada, this depends on where you live. If you live in the cold north, on the Third Continent, they could not care less about your gender. If you can work, you can work. If you're strong enough to do heavy lifting, you will, and you better like it. If you live on the First or Second Continents however, gender roles are much more common, especially in the Continental Union. The other races in Riada, like the Araen and Herunds, have much less of this. The Araen are generally pretty progressive people, and the Herunds value strength, no matter where it comes from. The Earthmen are genderless, reproduce asexually and therefor the more isolated individuals in their communities fail to even grasp the concept of genders.


DarthNadoma

Kingdom of Rimmat recognizes three genders, tied to biological sex. Male, Female and Ersta. The erstas are Zahuri aliens without any sex organs. All three genders are drafted into the Royal army. But only Males can wear the crown or serve as priests. Males and females are allowed to marry each other, but same-sex marriages are illegal. Also erstas can’t get married or be heads of households. Which means they can’t get housing on their own. Many schools and colleges are gender segregated. The heretic rebels of Galen swamps have exclusively female clergy and leadership. They recognize non-binary gender and offer refuge to persecuted LGBTQA people from the Kingdom. They also give erstas marriage rights and separate huts.


Gorrium

In my current project they have a matriarchal society. Males while on average physically stronger are seen as so incompetent that they aren't even considered for war or any skilled labor, though things have improved drastically over time. Ps they are gopher people


squidsrule47

With humans in my world it is more or less the same as Earth, though non-binary gender identities are not stigmatized as much due to them being basically unknown. The key distinction is with the elves, who are androgynous. The elves of my world did not reproduce through sex, as they were a part of a reincarnation cycle. However, eventually the elves did break the cycle when they helped the giants kill God. As a result, some elves were able to produce children (after years of researching magic to change their biology). The only elves that remain are androgynous elves that witnessed the fall of God and half elvescthat descended from the elves that gave up immortality.


Minecraft_Warrior

Yeah actually there was a case where a woman raped a child but cause she was female and the child was male everyone turned a blind eye


isacabbage

Y-yes? It depends on what nation you are in.


HotSearingTeens

Wouldn't that mean we westerners have a tertiary gender system that being male, female and none of the above


deathismysanity

Depends if you can shapeshift or your normal like take Zephos they are known to shapeshift to attract people but they think gender is anything as there are species and people who don’t look or act like any gender


Megahunter291

I have exactly one species, mermaids. They reproduce asexually. But then again, no human has tried copulating yet...


ImaginationGamer24

Vulpins have two genders. Yin and Yang. Yes, I know, that's not very creative. Yin are females. Yang are males. They are alike in terms of strength, size, and everything else. They don't even see Yins as the fairer sex or Yangs as masculine. As far as they're concerned, those Vulpins are just Vulpins who happen to be that gender. They see the human concept of gender as weird and overly complicated. Their reproductive organs are both on the inside. Even the male's testicles are on the inside. The male's genitals only come out when they're mating. The only time they look at each other differently is during what they call the Mating Moon. It always occurs just after the Dreaded Star a.k.a winter. Females are constantly in heat and looking for males worth mating with. Males become incredibly aggressive when looking for a mate and possessive of their mates. This mating drive doesn't happen to all of them, but it happens a lot to the mateless ones. When the two mate, it's forever in the physical and spiritual sense. If either one dies, the other always follows. The idea of losing their other half is too devastating for them to bear. They will be together forever in their version of heaven called Vulpesen. The only way to tell the two apart is their coloring. Yangs always have eye markings and are always tri-colored. Yins do not have eye markings and are either bi-colored or a solid color. They come in black, white, red, yellow, orange, brown, and grey. The most common being orange/white, brown/black, and red/white. The rarest being pure black and pure white. The only exception to this rule is their Archprophet. He's completely white and twice the size of the average Vulpin. He's also able to resist the instinct to follow his mate into the afterlife. It doesn't make losing his mate any easier though.


lettucehater

In 2885, while both sexes still exist, there is no perceived difference between males and females, and both are culturally expected to be very feminine. This came about for a rather counter intuitive reason, the early Empire is highly misogynistic, and thought women were inferior, so decided to forcibly feminize the people of the occupied territories to keep them weak. This worked too well and became standard fashion for the entire empire, to the point even the elite have adopted the style. By the present people have forgotten the origin of the style entirely, and just think it looks nice.


ScarredAutisticChild

Despite being medieval, they’ve a rather modern understanding of gender, if someone born a man identifies as a man, no one cares, if someone born a man identifies as a woman, no one cares, if someone identifies as non-binary, no one cares, it doesn’t affect them, why should they? And in the case of Changelings they don’t even recognise transgender people, because Changelings biology will forcibly change to be how they truly believe they should be, so if a Changeling man feels like a woman, he’ll become a biological woman. Though in the case of non-binary Changelings it gets very...complicated.


StormTheHatPerson

Traditionally, there were three genders, which i will capitalise to distinguish them from our world’s genders: Female, Male, and Third. Female and Male were historically very rigid categories, usually only including what we would call straight cisgender people who lived up to cultural expectations of their birth gender. Third, then, contained everyone not in those two categories. A lot of people we might call gay, who were fine with their gender identified as Third, since homosexuality was frowned upon. There were of course also Female-Female and Male-Male couples, but they were often secret.


LadyVague

My world is mostly populated by humans, so working with more or less the same biology and psychology. There is some history of sexism, as can be expected of medieval society, though when understanding and use of magic, butchering and crafting or otherwise drawing on the power of magical creatures, became more widespread that leveled things out fairly well. Not a great idea to be shitty to half the population when everyone is just as capable of making and using magical weapons or tools, and any disadvantages or limitations in athletic capabilities from sexual dimorphism can be worked around without much trouble. As far as transgender and nonbinary people, it's possible to view souls and gender would be visible in that, not much room to deny that they exist. And as long as things are kept within reasonable human limits, biological alterations aren't impossibly inaccessible for most people, so physical transition, reconfiguring a few organs and juggling some fat and bone around, or whatever else fits the individuals needs, isn't unheard of. Probably some transgender monster hunters going after monsters to gather the materials or money for materials to make magic stuff for transition. Also helps that fey, and other magical beings to some degree, are more than happy to take advantage of human bigotry. The fey are more or less living stories, stirring up drama and such is pretty vital to their power and sustenance. So having tension and conflict over gender, sexuality, and other arbitrary nonsense is just giving the fey easy stories to milk, giving misogynistic men female bodies to face the other side of their beliefs and actions, mucking around with forbidden love with gay couples, helping and/or hindering trans people on their quests to transitioning. Makes for a pretty good incentive to not be shitty, nobody wants to deal with fey shenanigans. Though I will be note that I'm a trans woman myself and do worldbuilding in large part as escapism, not really interested in messing around with gender to any significant degree. This world is also intended for a TTRPG, so having sexism and bigotry in general in my world to any signiticant degree would turn people away and possibly attract people I'd rather not deal with. This is mostly just a justification or explanation for bits of my world that I'm not likely to go into any real detail on, not really needed but an answer to questions if anyone bothers to ask them, would be surprised if I included any of this or anything similar in the final product if and when I get there.


Soggy_Memes

On the various worlds in Forgotten Dunes, gender is a *very* polarizing topic. But on the origin world for the story, Alrûn, gender is very different. The Alrûnai species, though matriarchally-leaning, has very loose ideas of gender. The reason for this has to do with Alrûnai reproductive biology as well as the ecology of Alrûn. Being a very old species who evolved very slowly, their intelligence was the last thing to evolve, so there was a very long time where they were physically identical to their present form but had less intelligence, unable to make clothes and form societies and such. They filled an evolutionary niche equivalent to seals, diving deep into the water in search of food. But Alrûnai oceans are filled with predators and very cold. Dangling extremities would be bait for a predator or succumb to the freezing temperatures. Thus, the males evolved to have their, yknow, stuff kept internally up until mating, giving them the appearance of, minus the breasts, being identical to females. Thus, for most of the time, there was minimal physical difference between the genders. From this spawned the concept that childcare is a womens job for they have the equipment up top to feed them, and that since they could be relied on to care for the next generation, they should be involved with important decisions with the less-invovled (not to mention slightly antisocial) males. Thus, the Alrûnai idea of gender as a vague thing was born.