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  1. Rick n Morty

    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Gender and race for my protagonists

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Rick n Morty, Mar 10, 2016.

    So, I recently came up with an idea involving humanity leaving Earth to colonize Mars. Millions of years later, a race of sapient crows evolve and form a society on Earth. The story involves some astronauts (I picture two to four) coming down from Mars to see how the earth has evolved, and encountering a tribe of these intelligent birds, which they dub Corvus sapiens.

    The corvids' society was pretty fun to come up with. I had a field day imagining what their clothing, buildings, and religion would be like, as well as what animals they would domesticate.

    But what I'm having trouble with is what the gender and races of our human astronaut protagonists should be, especially since this takes place in the future, where both gender and racial equality will be stronger.

    I feel like no matter which combination I would come up with, people would get offended and call me racist or sexist. (Two Asian men? A white woman, two black men, and a Hispanic man? Three black women?) Anyone know which combination would offend people the least?
     
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  2. Judahml

    Judahml Member

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    Well, if you are saying this takes place millions of years in our future, after the colonizing of Mars, then you may not have to worry so much about race. That or you could make your own, it wouldn't need to be very complicated. One great example of this is the show Firefly, where there is just the massive futuristic race soup for lack of a better image. Where the lines of culture and race get pretty blurry the farther along the timeline you go. You could have fun with making up a new thing for people to be racist against in the future. Considering the ones we have today don't make any sense there is no real reason for ones in the future to make sense.
    I mean those free ear lobe people are just plain incapable of doing anything ugh.
    Also I don't think it is possible to offend people least, 75% of the population is in a constant state of offense. I mean just this post itself has probably offered at least 67 people.
     
  3. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Make them all white guys with shaved brown hair and stern brown eyes. :p :D Name them Alex Cimber, Larry Kelvin, and Peter Ross. :p But seriously, don't worry about it. You're gonna offend someone no matter what you do. Just write the story.
     
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  4. edamame

    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    Considering more people are being born race-mixed, I don't think you need to put any of your characters in a category unless you want to. But, I'd go with some men and women just to have that contrast. It'd also be nice to see minorities represented that normally aren't. *Thinks of Star Trek*
     
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  5. Feo Takahari

    Feo Takahari Active Member

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    If it's been millions of years, who's to say they even have two genders at this point? You can go as crazy as you want with new distinctions and new ways of viewing things. (Maybe discrimination now is between Martians and Neptunians, or maybe the folks from the far side of Mars follow a different religion than near-siders.)
     
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  6. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    If we still have recognizable Earth races after millions of years off-planet, it would be pretty surreal. Consider that the first humans left Africa about 60K years ago - our Earth 'races', such as they are, evolved in a miniscule time frame compared to the one you're talking about. If we look millions of years ago on Earth, we're looking at common ancestors with chimps and gorillas only maybe 10 million years ago, going through all the variations of human evolution, winding up with homo sapiens maybe 600K years ago.

    I see why you need the long time-frame to give the crows time to evolve, but it's going to mean humans are likely evolving, as well. I'd say we'd certainly have moved beyond anything resembling current Earth races.
     
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  7. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    You have a good point. Millions of years into the future, the 'humans' as we know it would look totally different, they'd have to in order to adapt and survive the various atmospheres of the planets they inhabit. Earth may not even be around then, and if it were, the continents would be in much different places thanks to plate tectonics. North America probably would've smashed into what's now Siberia long ago, with South America swinging off at an angle, or maybe snapping off to form its own continent.


    For an example, this is a video to show what the Earth may look like 100 million years from now.
     
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  8. Rick n Morty

    Rick n Morty Active Member

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    Sorry for not replying to all these replies...my email didn't notify me even though I checked and I DID set it that way. Anyways...

    I read that the idea of us being one race in the future is unlikely, since skin color genetics don't work that way (see this TV Tropes page). So, my idea was that skin colors aren't any more of a big deal in this future than hair or eye colors.

    I guess the point of this story is that we've gotten over the prejudice towards our own species...but now there's ANOTHER sapient species that we have to deal with. (Usually when people do this kind of theme, it's with aliens, not evolved Earth animals.)
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you understand the time scale issue? The TV Tropes article uses Brazilians as an example - Brazil was first settled by Europeans about 600 years ago. Over that 600 years, their genes have melded to the point that "wildly varied looks often within the same family" - which doesn't really fit with race-based prejudice. And you're talking about way, way more time of mixing (like, thousands of times more), and even the TV Tropes article (I can't believe we're citing TV Tropes in a discussion of human genetics...) says "over a long enough time scale the trope can happen".

    Over the last millions of years, our ancestors evolved from being chimp-linked primates. Over the next millions of years? I can pretty much guarantee that we'll have lost any racial characteristics that are similar to what we're seeing today.

    It's your story, so obviously you can do what you want. But... yikes.
     
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  10. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

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    So I went looking around online and this was the best answer I could find:
    Basically if we lived on Mars, our skin would darken. Add in the fact if we became basically a cohesive melting pot of couples, the populace would eventually have a consistent skin color, barring throw-backs, skin conditions, etc.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/biology/comments/1ccjoh/people_who_will_eventually_live_on_mars_what/
    http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064866?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
     
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