View Full Version : Equality Between the Sexes...
12-13-2000, 09:52 AM
Okay, I'm ready to be flamed beyond belief, but this topic has to be addressed. Today, when I informed the dining hall that I was challenging a woman to a duel for publically lying about me and my sera being unfaithful, I was flamed OOC about challenging a woman to a duel.
Now you may ask, Why does that matter? You shouldn't be challenging a woman anyway.
I disagree. In Marrach, just like in current RL, there is nearly perfect equality between the sexes. Women can do what they want, men vice-versa (Except the Gardening guild, which few men want to join anyway). What it seems like to me, is that women are willing to take equality in Marrach to the point where, THEY can do whatever they want, but men shouldn't be able to do anything. Something along the lines of, women can hit men, but men can't hit women. If there is TRUE equality, both women and men can hit each other right?
Which brings me back to this. If women can challenge men to duels, men can challenge women to duels. Especially when they have a darn good reason. I, OOC, do NOT appreciate being called weak because I belive in Equality.
Another thing this leads me to point out, Marrach is NOT RL. It is NOT true medival history. That is WHY women have equality. If it WERE like RL medivalness, all you women who play the game would have fun sitting in your room sowing while the men have fun hunting and drinking and killing each other. Because this ISN'T RL, you have to expect that certain things will be bent.
This puts me at the end of my VERY long rant. If you expect to be treated equally, you must treat equally. Do something bad and expect to get it back. That's the way it should work.
You may commence with the flaming now.
12-13-2000, 10:02 AM
I agree with you actually. Women in Marrach have the unique and beneficial position of being able to have equality whenever it helps them and being able to cry foul whenever equality doesn't help them.
Consider Angron's character. He has been playing it as a helpless and rahter pathetic academic(Not offense to Angron's player intended), yet when he denied a duel, people looked at him oddly.
12-13-2000, 10:04 AM
Actually, I HAVE heard of men who really do want to join the Gardening Society, so don't be so chauvanistic, okay?
Yes, I'm picking on you. http://www.skotos.net/ubb/wink.gif
12-13-2000, 10:10 AM
Since this is a potentially strange issue, I wanted to address it.
I have no problem with men challanging women to duels. They can always choose a champion to fight if they do not wish to defend themselves.
Now, Martel would hold any duel involving challanging a women to a higher standard to see if it was o.k. I would want to know more about why the duel was called, but thats a IC thing, not an OOC thing.
OOC - I think its fine for Duren to do this. I know nothing about the situation, and Martel might have to smack him if he doesn't agree, but things like this should be kept IC. Its not o.k. to insult anyone ooc. Tell them you have a problem with their RP - sure. But do it in a constructive way. Thats all.
-=- Matt aka. Martel
12-13-2000, 10:19 AM
Okay, I can see your point, Duren.
What it really comes down to is an IC issue.
Would Catharsis ever avoid a duel because she was female? Yeah right. But in reality, she has an aborance for actually duels and would beg out on those grounds.
So a scholarlly type who hasn't held a sword much could do the same thing ... explain it away. But there ARE female characters who are an interesting mix of feminity and steel. They fight, are good at it, but are pretty simpery (is that a word? they simper, they flirt, they'd probably faint on occasion) as well and they have 10 guys who would kill you for looking at them wrong.
Is this a badly played character? (no one specific in mind, I'm just exaggerating) I don't know, actually. Depends what the player has in mind.
But, yes, it is a good point to bring up. Those of us who play female characters should think about this and make sure that they stay consistent to whatever type they have.
As for other people's reactions ... well, we're all human and products of an imperfect society. http://www.skotos.net/ubb/smile.gif Can't be perfect you know.
12-13-2000, 10:21 AM
I have to agree with you. I don't believe that you should be flamed OOC for something you do IC. I also agree that it isn't fair to have the double standard. But there, I think you need to exercise judgement. If you challenge a woman to a duel, I believe she should be a fighter, and not someone who has never held a sword before.
I also have very strong opinions on slapping women. I believe it should not be done (but then, I'm not too keen on the woman-slapping-man thing either...) There are times when an OOC-planned slap can work wonders for the story, but those times can be few and far between. Basically if a conflict resorts to violence beyond self-defence, it's not worth the trouble.
Sorry for the vague reply. WAAAAY too little sleep last nite.
12-13-2000, 10:45 AM
If she spread lies about Duren and his Sera, then by all means challenge her. It's perfectly IC and what should happen.
12-13-2000, 12:07 PM
accidentally repeated post - forum moderator please delete http://www.skotos.net/ubb/smile.gif
12-13-2000, 01:09 PM
It was my ooc question: Was dueling frowned upon way back then or no?
Okay, skip this post if you don't want a history lesson. Putting on the boring professor hat now.
It depends on what exact time period you are talking about, as well as what country.
By the fifth century AD, in Ireland the duel was an ancestral right firmly established and subject to precise legal regulations. In fact it was so common that St. Patrick, in a council held in 456 was obliged to forbid his clergy from appealing to the sword under threat of expulsion from the church.
This common acceptance of the duel as a form of legal force was very common throughout Europe at that time.
The first to try to abolish it was King Luitprand of Germany. The prejudices of his people were too strong to overcome, though, and settled on putting a declaration of his contempt for it on record in the statute book.
On the other hand, Welsh history never has mention of the duel until the 12'th century, when it was introduced to the Welsh by other countries.
The English never had any form of legal duel until it was introduced to them by the Norwegians and the Danes (I'm not sure what time period that happened in.)
By the year 1000, the duel was ubiquitous. Almost every nation had some form of it mentioned in their laws. It was seen as a right, and that right was taken for granted by most people. Few people would have frowned upon any challenge that was issued for just cause and according to the law.
It wasn't until 1583 under Henry III in Normandy that the duel was abolished there. This abolition spread slowly across Europe until it was nearly unheard of by 1800.
Regarding women and dueling, there was a particularly abominable law in force for a while in the Frankish kingdoms of the East: When a woman was challenged, or when she challenged someone else, she was required to hire a champion to fight for her. If that champion lost the duel, the woman - regardless of the case or of anything else - was burned at the stake. Thus, she had an incentive to get a real good champion.
But that was extreme. In most cases, women were treated the same way as the physically infirm or the clergy: The would have champions fight, but would suffer penalties of loss themselves.
The rest of this is mostly Anglo-Saxon....
Losing a duel was considered proof of guilt or perjury. In capital cases, while the champions fought, the accused were bound with the cords that would be used to hang them of their champion lost. Or, in the case of women, the cord was replaced after the loss by the spade that would be used to bury them alive.
In non-capital cases, the loser would lose their court case and would also be accused of purjury. The penalty for purjury was to have their hand cut off. If it's their third offense, since there are no hands left, they would be put to death.
When properly and legally challenged to a duel, the person so challenged could either accept the duel or choose to be put to death. For most of the Medeival time period, the defender could choose the weapons and conditions of battle. This led to great abuse, since if a poor person challenges a rich one, the rich one could require expensive horses, carriages, and weapons which the challenger could not afford. The challenger would have to default, and therefor be put to death.
Not showing up for a duel would have a person indicated as infamous. They would lose most rights, and be treated as a criminal for the rest of their lives.
So anyway, I think I've typed for far too long, and if you are still reading this then you must be keeping your eyes open with toothpicks, so I'd better stop typing soon.
In the name of giving credit where it is due, most of this information comes from a book called "Superstition & Force: Torture, Ordeal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval Law" by Henry C. Lea.
12-13-2000, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by Powermoose:
In Marrach, just like in current RL, there is nearly perfect equality between the sexes. Women can do what they want, men vice-versa (Except the Gardening guild, which few men want to join anyway). What it seems like to me, is that women are willing to take equality in Marrach to the point where, THEY can do whatever they want, but men shouldn't be able to do anything
You may commence with the flaming now.It was my ooc question: Was dueling frowned upon way back then or no?
That started all of this. It was not meant to be an issue of gender in the first place, but quickly turned ugly. But since we are here...
I was going to go off on a tangent speaking of folkways and mores...but, I thought I would spare everyone that. Instead of writing a lengthy essay, I'll be as brief as possible.
Was hitting/fighting/dueling women unacceptable way back when (you know, way back when they had magic)? Yes. Now, while any kind of physical violence being unacceptable in today's society, which is frowned upon more, a man fighting a woman, or a man fighting a man? I think everyone would agree the former is? So in both cases a man fighting a woman violates social mores.
So, you said: In Marrach, just like in current RL, there is nearly perfect equality between the sexes.
Well, just like in current real life, there are mores. Mores aren't laws. A more is like: Guys dont paint their fingernails. Or, in this case, Guys dont hit girls.
Now, here is what is most important: What I just said doesn't mean squat.
People play the game for different reasons.
Some, like yourself, realize it is high fantasy, so why not have the sexes equal? Aren't the sexes equal in some of those dungeon and dragon games? I guess this is where this attitude stems from.
However, some people might get a kick out of playing it as close to medieval times as possible.
Who is right?
My advice? Play the way you want, and don't get angry when other people play the way they want. Just stick to you character's personality, and it will play out.
Oh, and in real life donít girls get to do things guys donít? Its called affirmative action. They get +15 points on the Air Traffic Control exams for one of many possible examples. (Boy this is going to be a fun pot to stir.)
You talk about real life in your quote. How real do you want it? http://www.skotos.net/ubb/smile.gif
In good humor,
P.S. Ack! Guess it wasnt as brief as I thought it was going to be. http://www.skotos.net/ubb/wink.gif
12-13-2000, 11:20 PM
They get +15 points on the Air Traffic Control exams for one of many possible examples. (Boy this is going to be a fun pot to stir.)
Gah!Nightmarish can of worms waiting to be opened there!
Apprentice to Ser Andrew
12-13-2000, 11:30 PM
I will say this: I have to agree with Santlar on what she said since I had put in my 2 cents in on the OOC comments. I also have to agree with Kiera since I had heard Sera Lizabeth's comments to Duren IC and understand why Duren wants to challenge her.
12-13-2000, 11:32 PM
It's my understanding that anyone can challenge anyone else. In the social circles where dueling is accepted (or even considered proper form for handling problems, such as in the Duelists), a man challenging a woman is completely acceptable whether she knows how to hold a sword or not, because the rules of dueling allow her to call upon a champion to defend her. The same is true for timid, scholarly men, they too can call upon champions. Heck, anybody can call on a champion.
12-13-2000, 11:59 PM
What an interesting topic! Here's my take...
The builders of Marrach have gone to great pains to divorce gender issues from the Castle's generic medieval backdrop. There is no difference between ser and sera in social structure or mores. If the players of men choose to be mincing and delicate and do crossstitch, it should not matter OOC to anyone. Nor should it raise even one OOC eyebrow if a woman character chews tobacco, swears and likes swordplay. There is nothing to stop a woman from wearing men's clothes nor a man from wearing women's clothes in Marrach (though even I'll admit there that it would be kind of strange, I'd defend a well played character to the end http://www.skotos.net/ubb/smile.gif).
No historical precedents exist here, except for the preconceptions we bring to the medieval fantasy setting. I have heard many OOC character conversations about how one thing or another wouldn't fly in a medieval society, but we're not really dealing with historical detail except insofar as the Marrach creators have chosen to adopt its feel and insofar as players choose to play their characters as if they came from an historical (read the-sexes-are-less-than-equal) period.
However, it is one thing for someone to spout strictly historical, medieval crap about being unchivalrous towards women IC and quite another for an OOC comment to condemn another player.
12-14-2000, 09:17 AM
Just a few thoughts since I have one charactor who would willingly duel anyone that challanged her (for a justifiable reason) and one who would faint and simper at the mere suggestion and really thinks such matters are more appropriate to the men. I am still under the impression that a duel is a very SERIOUS matter, subject to all sorts of formalities and the approval of the Lord Chamberlain. Other sorts of methods could be used to deal with things like slander. Resorting to a duel should be something the opponents in question agree to OOC and then figure if they will duel themselves or have a champion. Off the subject a bit now... here's an idea that might be fun for someone looking for a profession; Herald. Not a messenger but someone who could announce important information and refute or encourage rumours and gossip. Just a thought....
Cassandra / Judith
12-14-2000, 09:25 AM
I'm glad the Duelists in Marrach are more humane than all that.
And I'd also like to say, along with (practically) everyone else, go ahead. She insulted you and your Sera, you had a right.
Now, for my little rant. As a very strong (closet) feminist (I am a feminist, but I don't think anyone knows this), I must say:
There is no equality between the sexes. Rubbish. Women have been treated badly for the duration of their exsistance. It's getting better, it is, because now there are laws against beating women, but, there are laws that apply to children and animals. And besides, it's one thing to make a law, it's quite another to enforce it.
Anyway, yes, women are allowed to work outside the home, and in professions other than nurses, ballerinas and schoolteachers. Yes, women are allowed to vote, to fight in the Army, to wear pants, to marry whom they will or not maryy at all, if that is their choice. Yes, women get paid the same as men who have the same job.
However, women are still under-appreciated. I heard a joke once: 'Why do women not need a drivers license?' (sorry, I butchered the question) 'Because there's no road between the kitchen and the bedroom.' Yes, ha ha ha. The point is, this world is still male-dominated.
During the summer, the only shorts available are short-shorts and capris. I don't mind capris, but, a few summers ago, I had shorts that reached mid-thigh, which is a really nice length. My main question is, why are these clothes so revealing? It's because men are making women's clothing. It is a male-dominated world. I won't go into it too much, but, one more thing:
I was talking to my sister once, and she said that she wanted to marry someone rich and famous, and so be famous herself. I told her, if she marries some famous, she won't be famous, her husband will. She couldn't understand this.
The whole reason I became a feminist was because of a song in my church choir. It was for Mother's Day. It spoke of famous women from the Bible. Eve, some other people whose names I can't remember, were talked about.
Now, the thing that got me . . . Eve was mentioned because she's mother of all creation. There was another woman, Abraham's wife. I remember her because the song went: 'revered as Abraham's wife.' I don't remember it all, but the main drift of this song was that women are only important because of their husbands and sons. It really got me. It showed me that women are not really equal to men.
I'm sorry for this extremely long, and perhaps boring, rant. I apologize. But, I had to say it all. Thanks for reading it all.
12-14-2000, 10:49 AM
Aeriale, you bring up some really good points that indicate why I think we as players may sometimes evince highly gendered attitudes when we're playing in the Castle. As I said before, it's all what you bring into the Castle. We do not live in an egalitarian society, though I cannot count the number of times I taught classes where college-level students insisted that women's rights movements are an unneeded leftover from the 60's and 70's since everything is bright as sunshine for our culture. Right.
As far as I can tell, the creators of this wonderful RP environment took pains to make Marrach just as welcoming to either sex. And that's saying something considering how male-centric most role playing games are.
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