1. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Do you think it is possible to create a fictional world totally free of homophobia?

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Drusilla, Mar 16, 2013.

    Architecturally, my world is a mix between medieval, present and high-tech future. The society's mentality is in many ways similar to the Western World today, although they might be both ahead and behind today's Western World when it comes to different matters. Although women and LGBT have had their rights for generations, the society is in many ways very xenophobic and they have this superiority complex.

    I have wanted to depict a society totally free of homophobia for a long time, but would it be realistic? Could it be believeable that homophobia is something of the past in my fictional society?

    If I choose to do so, could it limit character development?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think it's possible. Check out The Wanting Seed, by Anthony Burgess. It was written in the early 1960s, and depicts a future world that is extremely overpopulated, so homosexuality is actively encouraged as a way of stemming population growth. (It deals with a bunch of other things, too, in a satirical way, such as wars for no reason, cannibalism, etc. - funny but very sour as well.)
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I've heard of a small tribal culture where being gay is accepted. I'll see if I can find a name or a link. And wasn't sex with young men something the gladiators had? I could be wrong on that one.


    In the meantime, so many things are the luck of the draw in a culture. If we never had Catholics and Evangelicals shoving homophobia down people's throats in centuries past, who knows what would be acceptable today. And what makes the Western world treat women so much better than cultures like those in the MidEast?

    Egypt warns giving women some rights could destroy society.
    I know things aren't perfect for women here, but seriously, that's one horrid comment. So why is half the world so different from the other half?

    Bottom line, an awful lot of culture is based, not on biology, but on random events. I'm amazed at how just a few people or even one person can have such an incredible impact on how a society evolves.

    So I think it's perfectly plausible that with some key historical events or people it could result in a very different society than any we see today.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Here's an odd culture I've never heard of:

    Etoro people
    It so makes me wonder, how did they come to believe that? :confused:

    Then there are these guys:

    Pirates, marauders, and homos, oh my! Homosexuality amongst the Ancient Heruli

    I have a hard time seeing homosexuality as cultural, but I know it does happen. I'm convinced it's biological. But certainly acceptability is cultural and therefore a broad range of culture is possible.


    I can't find the tribe I was thinking of, but the above should do.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Why woudn't it be possible? You're the writer. Surely you can find other sources of conflict!
     
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  6. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    Thanks for all the information!

    When I am talking about "a society with no homophobia", I am not talking about a society where everyone are gay. I am talking about a society with no homophobes. A society where it is normal that straight men and gay men are friends (many heterosexual men in today's society wouldn't want to be friends with gay men, but the pattern is starting to change within the younger generation), a society where gays are not discriminated for being gay and a society where people are not getting a second thought or glance for being gay. I believe being gay is strictly biological and the fact that a society is open-minded, won't make people gay.

    One more thing about my society. It has never had an Abrahamic religion (Christianity, Judaism or Islam). Religion has decreased a lot the latest generations, but the fictional world originally had its own, unique religion, that is still being practiced by some.
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're not God, you're not actually creating a world - you're a writer - do what the hell you want!
     
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  8. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    As a writer, you create your fictional world. And not everybody (me included) believe in God.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's your answer right there. You had it in you all along. :)
     
  10. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    just wondering what your non belief has to do with the thread?
     
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  11. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    I just stated that I didn't believe in God, since you mentioned that I am not God and I cannot create a fictional world.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think that's what erebh meant. You are not creating an ACTUAL world; you are creating a FICTIONAL world. Therefore, you can do whatever you want, without having to concern yourself with the attitudes and practices of real societies. So you don't even need to ask your question in the first place. Real societies, and the religions that have influenced them for millennia, have no bearing whatsoever on your fictional society. Your answer is YES. You can create a fictional world free of homophobia. Just go ahead and do it.
     
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  13. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't say you cannot create a fictional world - I said you're not God, you're not actually creating a world - do what the hell you want!

    No time for trivia - i have to find out what a bird wears...
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but I think that it would be more believable to assume that homophobia never existed in your society, than to assume that it's been entirely eliminated. If your society is xenophobic, it sounds like they don't have a lot of insight or willingness to question their beliefs, so completely eliminating an established belief would be difficult. But it seems completely plausible that that particular belief simply never existed in that society.
     
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  15. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Firstly; the general consensus is that you can write whatever you want. This I believe to be true, if you don't want homophobes in your world, don't put them in. The world I'm building at the moment is pretty much void of homophobia. One of the protagonists in the my stories is a pansexual, female wizard. I write the romance concerning other women as if it was as common as a heterosexual relationship. For two reasons; the first is that I don't know enough about the internal struggle a homosexual woman goes through when 'coming out'. The second is that I believe had some all knowing power not decreed homosexuality to be wrong, I don't think it would be all that confusing. I believe I can do this because it's my world.

    If you are looking for some historical evidence, well there is plenty about. Spartan boys (I am drawing on knowledge I acquired about ten years ago here, so correct me if you know better) at the ago of three began training to be soldiers. At fourteen they had a war game, which was sort of like capture the flag. A bunch of kids had whips and defended a pedestal with a rock on it, the other kids had to get the rock. The survivors of this game where then paired with fully anointed soldiers in what was essentially a mentor and apprentice type program. It was neither uncommon nor frowned upon that the two had sex. It was considered to concrete a bond between the men. The idea was that Spartans loved each other and would fight harder to save their brothers.

    Ancient Roman and Greek cultures were steeped in homosexuality. There is a wealth of artwork and imagery depicting homosexual acts between two men. I find it very difficult to believe that if homophobia was even half as inherent as it is in modern society this would have occurred. I'm pretty sure Plato had a boyfriend....

    Unfortunately I don't know anything about homosexual women in ancient history.

    Quite easily, yes. I simply wouldn't us any terms like heterosexual or homosexual; bi-sexual or pansexual. Just write them out entirely. If there are two men who are married simply say they are married. Homosexuality will only become an issue if you want it to be. Also, you could potentially make everyone in the world pansexual.
     
  16. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Yeah, it is plausible. I dont believe humans are born with a hardcoded set of values. I believe almost everything is learned as we grow up, so if your fictional society have good values and a good system of education, then homophobia should theoretically dont exist.
     
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  17. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is the writer's job to make their worlds believable.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it's possible!... anything is, when you are the writer... your world can be whatever you want it to be... all you have to do is make it believable, as trilby wisely noted...
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The evolution of morality, child development and brain sciences beg to differ. Empathy, a sense of fairness, a reluctance to kill, and other basic feelings of right and wrong have a heritable and therefore biologic basis. That doesn't mean it's all nature and no nurture. But I think if you look at the research you'll find, "almost everything is learned", to be an inaccurate description of the proportions.
     
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  20. mammamaia
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    if all children ever born were never exposed to homophobia, it wouldn't exist... it exists only due to societal/religious concepts of what is 'right' and what is not...

    for proof, look to the native tribes of the US, in which homosexual members were cherished and respected, till the european invaders/occupiers imposed their religious and cultural beliefs on them...
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    From cultural histories of many peoples and animals that form same gender partnerships, it's extremely unlikely we are going to find an inborn moral compass that creates homophobia. In other words, the evidence suggests homophobia is indeed more nurture than nature.
     
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  22. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Yes, you're the writer. Considering there were civilizations/cultures (as mentioned before in this thread) that had no problem with homosexuals, and they were in real life, it would not be a stretch that your world is totally free of homophobia.

    @ AVCortez- Sappho was said to have been born on the island of Lesbos, and she wrote poems about lady lovers, hence the term 'lesbian'. This is from what I can remember in my Greek/Roman History class a few years back.
     
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  23. TheSerpantofNar
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    "Homophobia"?
     
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  24. Drusilla
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    Drusilla Active Member

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    What?
     
  25. writingismypassion
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    Of course you could. As Link the Writer said, you're the writer, it's your story. Besides, James Cameron's AVATAR movie is like that, where in the story plot of the movie the natives on Pandora have no fear of anything. Well, almost anything they aren't afraid of.
     

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