I get that they're saying gay characters and not gay people, but this is still an issue. It's an issue, because it's marginalizing a real group of people based on a subjective view of the novels.
No. It's an issue for you, because you've decided to take up the mantle of... shit, I dunno what the fuck's in this post altogether. Homosexuality, sexual assault victims. You really outdid yourself.
Here's the thing. That subjective view of the novels is what the owners and admins of Hesius choose to roll with. It's not a particularly controversial view, all be it subjective, because the books verge on explicit when it comes to describing the nature of homosexuality within this entirely fictional world that we choose to make entirely fictional characters in, to play out entirely fictional stories.
Gor is misogynistic. It's full of rape and violence and survival-of-the-fittest ideology. It is not fair, it is not "just" in any real world way, and it is entirely unsurprising that it's also homophobic. But we all know that going in. We've read the source material. At the very least we've read some information on the interwebs and some quotes. Even still, with full consent, we make fictional characters and place them into that fictional world, and we do it because conflict and tension beget good stories - not because we think it's a totes rad world we'd want to live in. With respect, if your /only/ social/cultural gripe with Gor, when considering the world in terms of justice and fairness, is its homophobia, that's kinda scary.
@ Oor - "Maybe your friend is different - maybe playing his/her feminised, homosexual male slave and receiving the consequent IC homophobia that should go along with it would be fun for him to play - but I see why the risk isn't worth it for admins."
Yeah, I do see the risk, and yeah I get your point, but that's the heart of my issue with this. It's one thing to let things happen naturally through roleplay, another to ban on sight. Funny enough, when I met this character IC (who is feminine looking), I didn't think they were homosexual. At all. I was honestly surprised to find out later they were. This person gave every tavern slave a run for their money. At the time, I saw it purely as an aesthetic choice.
We're all judging in the dark here, really. We have no idea what was said to your friend, whether your friend was polite and offered to change the character, whether your friend was an asshole and deserving of a ban on those grounds. Unless we see a log of that exchange (if there was an exchange) we'll continue to be typing in the dark.
With that said, homosexuality is a little different, in terms of Gorean sims, so let me be controversial, since I haven't been for some time. If the admins of a sim, let's call it sim A, allow an openly gay character to play there, understanding that character as an anomaly, by this time next week sim A will likely receive a gaggle of GBK players playing gay men. That gaggle of GBK players will take IC homophobia as OOC homophobia, pretend to be gay men OOC, and go to bat in group chats and admin IMs at every perceived opportunity, causing a shitstorm in a teacup for no reason whatsoever. They will eventually, all of them, having spent a few weeks or months fetishizing the idea of the gay man as oppressed, and of homosexual male sex as a kink, roll out of town on a red carpet of drama, having driven away many of the players that were there when they arrived, and make not one single glance back. While there absolutely is homophobia still in the world at large (and hence SL), I would say this group in particular has made things far more difficult for our fellow players who wish to play IC gay.
I do not agree with anyone saying that any slave character should roleplay out sex and rape 100% of the time.
Nor do I. But that's not what she said. She said "[T]hey should roleplay out sex and rape. Those are very Gorean things."
Contextualised within the wider conversation, it's obvious (unless you are purposely looking for a more malevolent meaning) that Melisande's point is not that she would expect Jane Doe to sit behind her screen, quietly sobbing and trembling and all sorts of triggered and write out a rape scene. Her point was that sex and rape are very prevalent within the genre, when contrasted with open homosexuality.
For what it's worth, I've FTB'd at least 3 scenes in Hesius. No issues, any time.
There are tons of new players out there that don't realize FTB is a thing. How many of them sat through RP that was uncomfortable because they felt like they had to, or they'd lose their friends or RP home?
This is not Hesius' problem, though, is it? And not really relevant to the issue at hand, unless you're trying to dictate that Hesius should list generic RP tools in their website.
It's easy to say "Well they should know better" but let's face it, cognitive distortion in response to sexual assault is a real thing. It's our duty as members of the human fucking race to not be jerks to each other.
Jesus fucking christ. No. Stop trivialising an issue as serious as sexual assault to win fucking arguments on the interwebs.
Someone involved in a rape scene, if they're uncomfortable, can express their discomfort. It is a VERY RARE PLAYER INDEED, who, when confronted with someone saying "this rape scene is making me real uncomfortable, can we stop?" will say no. I've never seen it happen. And if it does happen? The adult who feel uncomfortable can hit the X and go read a book, or netflix and chill, or go to another sim for a bit, or another genre.
In addition, Gor as a genre has a HUGE sex-and-power component. A person with personal issues around rape and/or sexual assault really shouldn't be playing in it. SL is not the place to go for exposure therapy. Really, it's not. And expecting to RP in Gor and not encounter some sexual assault (by our 2015 non-fiction standards) of some kind is like expecting to RP in GoT and not encounter politics. But worse, because politics is (probably) not going to cause you any psychological pain.
2)And there are people who live with hearing loss who come to SL. - I had a mute slave in Gor for years. A lot of you knew her. She was a great story. Would she be banned on sight from the sim? I never once was.
This situation is different. I would posit that if your mute slave inspired a wave of mute slaves (akin to the gaggle of GBK femmeboys I mentioned earlier), your experience would have been very different.
3) "Oh, but what if they want to play a Kur and they say no. It's the same thing!"
No, it isn't. It isn't because Kurii aren't a real life group of people who have spent centuries being beaten, killed, tortured, and marginalized because they were born that way.
If you are able to aptly separate IC and OOC, it is exactly the same. Real world prejudices and happenings have precisely zero to do with what is viable within a fictional world.
4) You wouldn't allow elves as a character in gor, because it's not in the books!
No, you wouldn't. But elves aren't a real life group of people who have spent centuries being beaten, killed, tortured, and marginalized because they were born that way.
Real world prejudices and happenings have precisely zero to do with what is viable within a fictional world.
There are no albinos in the books, but I saw an albino slave girl in Hesius. Why didn't you ban her?
This is really the opposite to the case being discussed. Homosexuality was in the books. It was considered an oddity, very rare, and unnatural.
You banned the character. You didn't ask them to change. That means this avatar cannot come back with a different looking character (one that perhaps isn't homosexual if they choose to play that). You don't even give them a chance. You banned them. Banning the character rather than asking them to change is the issue. It's an issue, because banning assumes that all the characters will be gay. It makes it an OOC issue, not an IC one.
Things don't generally work this way in Gor, though, do they? It's different to other genres. People don't generally change characters all that much, if at all, so banning the avatar makes sense, in this situation. It also seems that banning is what Hesius admins do as a rule (see the prior talk here about a good player being banned because she arrived on sim in a non-Gorean avatar, and stood there camming to check the place out) - I'd imagine because it just makes their job, administrating a sim with traffic close to HUB levels, easier.
I'm sure that your friend is capable of IMing the admins if he decides he wants to play a non-gay or closeted-gay character, and asking them to unban him/her. Melisande seems to have communicated with you perfectly rationally about it, I see no reason why she'd turn into some sort of demon monster if it were your friend talking to her instead.
If it makes you feel better about yourself to hide behind an outdated set of novels that were written in a time when homosexuality was a disease to be eradicated, rather than joining every other enlightened person on the earth who realizes it isn't, it's how people are born, then sorry (not sorry).. I'm still going to call you on it.
Calling people out because you've suddenly decided that the fictional homophobia of a genre that includes fictional rape, murder, misogyny to an extreme degree and torture is today's issue du jour doesn't make you look enlightened. It makes you look mental.
It's fiction. If you want something with modern values, written in 2015 and which would stand up to rigorous checking for inclusiveness and equality, by all means go find it and play to your heart's content - but Gor is not it - not in any way, shape or form. That is precisely its appeal, for most people.