Less racist, sexist and homophobic world

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Astrapothereum, Sep 9, 2019 at 7:14 PM.

  1. Nyvis Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2013
    Meh, your point was a cherrypick of society so I don't feel like I need to be particularly exhaustive in my explanations.

    I don't think most of them were less problematic than today, but you only need things to start out better and keep the same trend towards improvement to get a better modern day.

    Greece was less homophobic than most antiquity societies for example. Just building up on that instead of going back on it would lead to quicker acceptance of homosexuality.

    The Iroquois had much better rules about how to treat women than western societies of the time. This article seem to suggest it could even have participated in the conception of feminist thought, though I don't know how believable that is: https://feminist.com/resources/artspeech/genwom/iroquoisinfluence.html

    A lot of multicultural empires had a much different conception of race. In fact, a lot of our racism is built on nationalism, which is fairly young. Of course colonial history also play a role. But my point is that we got worse on that track record rather than steady or better, for a time.

    So yeah, I believe there's a bunch of historical material to build a better world, as long as you accept it won't instantly be better than the modern day, just build up to it.
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  2. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018
    Let’s put it straight, my point was not to cherrypick a society but to backup whatever point you are making with the specific illustrations. As far as the Ancient Greece is involved, while they were rather tolerant of the homosexuality, they also were not into the female equality and they were extremely xenophobic (even Persians with their ancient and well-developed cultures were considered “barbarians”) so copying them would not have these parts of the agenda advanced too far. Not sure in which area we (if you are talking about the US) got “worse” comparing to what? The very fact that this thread is being alive is a proof that we are more tolerant than was the case in, say, early XX.

    How racism can be based on nationalism within a multi-ethnic nation is a little bit beyond me and nationalism, as in putting interests of your own nation above those of other nations, has nothing to do with a race and I’m not sure that it is worse than internationalism (at least in its known form promoted by the communists). BTW, racism is not something limited to the US or even to the colonial past. Neither is it young or limited to the European civilizations.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 4:46 PM
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  3. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2018
    The study in question was professional and peer-reviewed, read https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19419899.2017.1328459. Unfortunately, only the abstract is available but there is a good article regarding the study, read https://www.psypost.org/2017/06/str...e-seeing-two-men-kissing-seeing-maggots-49217. The study showed that even heterosexual men who weren't homophobic had disgust at seeing two men kissing, albeit less than the homophobic ones. Thus, it seems that, unfortunately, there's, indeed, a biological reason for that. Believe me, being bisexual, I'd prefer to believe that there isn't, but, unfortunately, it seems that there is.
  4. NotedCoyote Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2019
    To quote the article you linked. "it could be that society has socialized the notion of same-sex sexuality and affection as being ‘disgusting’ or immoral so strongly, for so long, that merely witnessing it causes a slight physiological stress response." Even the abstract seems to suggest that the authors of the article suspect a socialized disgust rather than an inbuilt biological revulsion, but regrettably we only have access to the abstract, so we can only go by that and by the way the article you linked quotes the study's authors. A cultural explanation would make sense, and when considering it it's important to remember that the great majority of men alive today in the Western hemisphere grew up in schools and communities where being called gay was the go-to insult for challenging their masculinity. In particular, note that the authors were unable to tell if the reaction of the men to the kissing images was disgust (as it was with the maggot images) or anxiety, which would be pretty predictable given cultural attitudes toward homosexual sexual expression.

    In any case the research is much too limited to actually draw a conclusion that the effect they observed would be universal across modern cultures... let alone universal across all cultures in all periods of history. It's interesting, and could tell us more when/if it gets followed up the way the authors hope it will, but on its own does little to change the fact that history is full of cultures that tolerated, accepted, or in some cases even promoted male homosexuality.
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  5. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2018

    Sorry, but what you described as the results of this research is in a contradiction with the available evidence from the country that had strict anti-homosexual laws. A kiss was not necessary associated with the sexual relations and the same goes for outsiders reaction to it.

    Here is Brezhnev kissing Honecker

    And here is Brezhnev kissing Ludvik Svoboda


    Clearly, the whole perception is cultural and the cultures are not uniform.
  6. Chungus Maximus Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2019
    No slavery in America.
  7. A Most Sovereign Lady Princess of the Kingdom of Maryland

    Jan 27, 2014
    Baltimore, MD, USA
    Which has to be preceded with no slavery in X.
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  8. Socrates Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2011
    Just because a reaction is emotional and visceral does not mean it is inherent or natural. A wealth on research on the nature of disgust shows that disgust is something that can easily be taught at a young age. Heterosexual children raised by gay couples do not have the disgust reaction to gay people because they have not been negatively primed to do so.

    Equally, people in the West were often disgusted in a similar manner to masturbation just a few generations ago. That changed with the sexual revolution and people being more open about it. The exception is children from Mormon or Catholic families who still prime negatively about how abhorrent it is.

    One related piece of research that may be interesting is that females from low socioeconomic backgrounds prefer men with higher testosterone levels and more masculine features. This a preference that reduces as you go up the income spectrum. It is like related to evolutionary needs: if resources are scarce, women prefer a mate that can fight off enemies. If resources are abundant, that becomes less of a concern and they prefer a nurturing father. Potentially the post above suggesting more rapid income growth could make people more understanding towards more feminine seeming men, including gay people.
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