2014-05-06 06:44 pm

In-character sexism

This is another roleplaying post, so, you were warned.

Fantasy roleplaying is, well, fantastical. There are usually other humanoid species, magic, dragons, whatnot. It's quite pointedly not the real world, and sometimes it's even self-consistent. Yay.

But there's this thing that irks me: the majority of settings are sexist. It's an assumed default, there's no other way to put it. If the writers haven't decided specifically to do something different (which is remarkably rare) the monarch will be a king, inheritance will be patrilineal, and hence sexism will be built into everything.

I hate IC sexism as "just part of the setting". It's not fair. I have to deal with sexism in real life, and I do not want to deal with it in my fun game times. I have no problem with IC prejudices that I've opted-in to. Like, if there's a non-human race that are at odds with humans? Then I can choose to play them or not. But the dividing line, the part where it starts being a problem, is when I can't play a self-insert character without experiencing prejudice. Because I don't mind playing "me but an elf", but "me but male" is a character I don't want to play.

IC sexism means I have to choose between playing a male character or meeting the same irritating problems IC that I do OOC, and I don't want to do either. And why should I? A) this is supposed to be my happy fun times, and B) if I were male, this wouldn't be a problem.

B is a clue here. IC sexism is sexism OOC, because it puts female players in an unpleasant bind that male players are not in.