[Reign] Why does the "no men on horse" thing bug people?

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StanTheMan

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#1
So, I'm prepping for a Reign game using the included setting (though I'm using the flat map for it - easier to wrap my head around) and I've got a player for whom the idea that men ride, by custom and tradition, side-saddle, bugs the crap out of him. In general, I am loathe to change things, and at least one other player has said it doesn't bug him or he doesn't care. Waiting to hear from the other players.

For me, it matters not - another silly thing humans do. Also, it sets the setting apart from so many others, and I like that, to be honest. Otherwise, you've got worlds were, for some reason, knights ride around on horses with heavy armor adn yet don't dominate the battlefield. For some reason (and so PCs don't all have to be knights, natch).

So, I'd like to know from others, why does it bug so much? He can't be the only one it bugs.

And for others - how did you deal with this in your game? Just drop it (and thereby take women mostly out of armies), or what?
 

Fruitbat

social justice witch
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#2
Something uncanny valley-esque, maybe - Reign's cultures are all very human, but not quite as we'd think?
 

2trick

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#3
It doesn't bother me, so I can't contribute to the thread much.

But is it so bad for that player to just play a eunuch? Or he could be somebody who doesn't give a rat's ass about his virility-- for whatever reason, he NEEDS to be good on a horse, which could lead to some interesting characterization. He also doesn't need to ride a horse.

Or he could just play a woman. But I'm probably telling you things you know already.
 

SamLL

My religion is kindness.
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#5
No offense to your friend intended, but the uncharitable explanation is an uncomfortable reaction from latent patriarchal influence: men aren't supposed to have explicit restrictions on their behavior, that's for women.

That's one of the things I like about Reign, actually, is giving players the opportunity to examine their unconscious sexist and racist assumptions (in Reign, the default knight is female, and the default person is black). That makes it sound painful and preachy, which it isn't, though.
 

ResplendentScorpion

neither glitter, nor substance
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#6
No offense to your friend intended, but the uncharitable explanation is an uncomfortable reaction from latent patriarchal influence: men aren't supposed to have explicit restrictions on their behavior, that's for women.
Or maybe it just doesn't make sense.
It doesn't register so high on my scale as to say it bugs me, but it has always seemed rather implausible in that it assumes certain things about early societal development that I find unlikely in the extreme. "No men as warriors" is a little less bothersome. "No man can hold property" is equally interesting, presents us with more role playing opportunities and seems a lot more plausible. A classical matriarchy could also work, due to it, you know... both making a lot of sense once you think about it, and being something we know has existed in our past.
I guess that's my main problem with Reign. At places it seems to try and be weird for the sake of it. I prefer my weird milder.

To the OP - if you decide to drop it(of which I advise against, because it's an integral part of the setting's feel), that doesn't mean women should be out of the armies...
Now that it's mentioned, doesn't it seem a wee bit sexist that the setting and the OP imply the only way women are going to play a major part in warfare is if a niche is reserved for them by a silly superstition?
;)
 
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The Last Conformist

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#7
No offense to your friend intended, but the uncharitable explanation is an uncomfortable reaction from latent patriarchal influence: men aren't supposed to have explicit restrictions on their behavior, that's for women.
I don't think that flies - there are plenty of behaviours that the Patriarchy (tm) deems unmanly. Encountering a different set of such may cause cultural shock, but the existence of such restrictions in itself ought be familiar enough.
 

Riggswolfe

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#8
No offense to your friend intended, but the uncharitable explanation is an uncomfortable reaction from latent patriarchal influence: men aren't supposed to have explicit restrictions on their behavior, that's for women.

That's one of the things I like about Reign, actually, is giving players the opportunity to examine their unconscious sexist and racist assumptions (in Reign, the default knight is female, and the default person is black). That makes it sound painful and preachy, which it isn't, though.
So is this a roleplaying game or some guy's thesis on racism and sexism? You just totally turned me off on Reign from your reply.

It bugs him because riding side saddle is implicitly an old-fashioned feminine way to ride. It was silly when they made women do it and I'm sure in his mind it's even more silly to make a man do it. And it's probably emasculating in his mind.

It is emasculating and I think from CmdrSam's reply that it must be done intentionally as this game is all about pushing back against the "patriarchy" from the way he makes it sound. Default knights are women? Sounds like a cool twist. Default race is back? Sounds interesting too. Emasculating men? Ok, now we've gone from game to a rulebook that is more about scoring points against the "enemy" (AKA men.) I'm not sure who wrote the rulebook but wow...just wow.

Edit: I should make clear. The reason I say it is emasculating is because it is saying that men in that world must take on a tradition that is very closely associated with old school feminine behavior. It'd be akin to the game saying that men only wear dresses or something else that historically is something that is associated with "womanly" behavior. As I said earlier in my reply, the whole side saddle thing is stupid no matter which gender does it but for a man to do it has one purpose only in the game. To drive home the point that men are the 2nd class citizens that women were back in the 19th century and earlier. The problem is that it sounds like it has already been done through other ways (no land ownership, etc) so this side saddle thing? If I played my character would just never get near a horse, though this setting sounds entirely too preachy for me to be able to enjoy in the first place.
 
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Caldorian

Dhammaṭṭho
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#9
For me, it's a weird and needless bit of setting restriction.
I never even played a game where women weren't culturally allowed to ride normally. It's just... who cares?
 

The Wyzard

An overwhelming surplus of diggity
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#10
So is this a roleplaying game or some guy's thesis on racism and sexism? You just totally turned me off on Reign from your reply.

It bugs him because riding side saddle is implicitly an old-fashioned feminine way to ride. It was silly when they made women do it and I'm sure in his mind it's even more silly to make a man do it. And it's probably emasculating in his mind.

It is emasculating and I think from CmdrSam's reply that it must be done intentionally as this game is all about pushing back against the "patriarchy" from the way he makes it sound. Default knights are women? Sounds like a cool twist. Default race is back? Sounds interesting too. Emasculating men? Ok, now we've gone from game to a rulebook that is more about scoring points against the "enemy" (AKA men.) I'm not sure who wrote the rulebook but wow...just wow.

Edit: I should make clear. The reason I say it is emasculating is because it is saying that men in that world must take on a tradition that is very closely associated with old school feminine behavior. It'd be akin to the game saying that men only wear dresses or something else that historically is something that is associated with "womanly" behavior. As I said earlier in my reply, the whole side saddle thing is stupid no matter which gender does it but for a man to do it has one purpose only in the game. To drive home the point that men are the 2nd class citizens that women were back in the 19th century and earlier. The problem is that it sounds like it has already been done through other ways (no land ownership, etc) so this side saddle thing? If I played my character would just never get near a horse, though this setting sounds entirely too preachy for me to be able to enjoy in the first place.
This is a very small piece of a fairly large setting, which is filled fair to bursting with ass-whipping of every flavor. It's not a big screed, it's mostly about chopping dudes in half with an axe and conquering entire kingdoms.
 
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