Because this hash tag is SO FUN and thought-provoking.
GENDER: No one can keep up with humans and gender. There are no easy signs to tell who is what, not clothing, not body morphology, not how they paint themselves or their grooming or vestigal hair. The humans themselves argue about how many genders there are. Eventually they quit trying and refer to all humans as ‘they’. Most humans are fine with that, even compliment them on their support (?) and progressive views (??). A few humans are offended, but are shouted down by their other humans. The other beings of the galaxy officially give up.
SEX: Some humans want to have sex all the time. Others barely can stand to be touched at all, even casually. Some will have sex with their own gender, which does not produce offspring and is confusing to many. Some will have sex only with certain people, some will have sex with anyone. SOME will have sex with other species, occasionally challenging their own safety and everyone else’s. None of this is considered strange. Anyone saying it is strange is again shouted down and shamed into silence. The other beings of the galaxy officially give up.
CATS: Humans adopt small predators as pets and kiss their “widdle faces” and giggle over their clawed toes (???) and fuss and are thrilled when the predators sleep with them (isn’t that UNSAFE? IT IS FULL OF POINTY BITS) and often sport scratches and bite marks inflicted when the animal was ‘playing’. “When were these ‘cats’ domesticated?” “Oh, we never really domesticated them. We just let them move into the house with us. Aren’t they CUUUUUTE? Come here, baby.” -kissy noises- The other beings of the galaxy again give up.
RELIGION: Wars fought. Millions - probably billions, through history - killed. Crew members huffy with each other. Various holidays celebrated, none of which make sense, some of them celebrating events that are physically impossible and could not have happened. All for something that can’t be proved. The other beings of the galaxy would think this was all an elaborate prank if it wasn’t for the body count.
GERMS: Humans get INFECTED and act as if it is a personal affront, and cuss about it. They confine themselves to quarters so they don’t infect the rest of the crew - very kind, in that respect - and otherwise wrap themselves in bedding and bitch about it for three days while doing their work by remote - “It’s fine, just a cold.” followed by horrifying noises they call ‘coughing’ and ‘sneezing’ - and HOW. HOW DO THEY EVEN. The other beings of the galaxy, for whom infection is always life-threatening, boggle from a safe distance. With respirators on.
ALPHA PREDATOR…? They come from a death planet, these naked apes with no armor, no fangs, no speed. They have the ability to conquer the galaxy, if they only agreed with each other long enough that it was their goal. Instead they poke their noses into other death worlds, ‘exploring’, they call it, adopting horrifying creatures and making friends with other predatory beings, brewing poisonous beverages from whatever they can scrounge, which they then drink for fun. The rest of the galaxy is relieved. If humans had an attention span, they would truly be in trouble.
No one wants to know what a ‘shark’ is. Humans seem to be afraid of them, and if it frightens the humans, the rest of the galaxy is, to a being, terrified.
We come upon a curious fact. The pre-colonial history of African societies – and I refer to both Euro-Christian and Arab-Islamic colonization – indicates very clearly that African societies never at any time of their existence went to war with another over the issue of their religion. That is, at no time did the black race attempt to subjugate or forcibly convert others with any holier-than-thou evangelizing zeal. Economic and political motives, yes. But not religion.
Wole Soyinka, Nigerian playwrite and poet, at his Nobel Prize acceptance speech (December 1986).
Double standards are funny. People are going to talk only about ISIS terrorism (using it as an excuse to badmouth/chasing away Muslims); but I do hope that you know that other religions have extremist people or groups too!
Take KKK (CHRISTIANITY), or Muslim genocide in Myanmar by BUDDHIST MONKS, or again, Palestinians (Muslims) genocide by Israelis (JEWISH).
Whoever kills is not a follower of any religion. (This doesn’t even mean that they are atheists and, so, that’s why they are bad. They are just evil) So stop spreading hate.
Whoever kills is NOT a believer and NOT an atheist. Is just a MURDERER.
When you’re creating a race of people for your new world, you need a culture to give those people and their way of life some context. The culture helps determine how the characters act, dress, eat, solve problems, among so many other things. You can (and sometimes, should) have multiple cultures in your world, depending on how large your focus area is. Cultures affect each other, but also serve in a narrative sense to draw contrast in-world and to draw parallels to the reader’s world.
So here are some thoughts, big and small, that are meant to help inspire you as you create amazing cultures. (And remember that you’re thinking about the following questions in the context of the general population, not your main character(s).) You can simply answer these questions in short-answer form, or you can write a short story to flesh out one or two or three questions at once. If you do that, submit them to me! I’d love to feature them on the blog.
How old do people believe their race is? How old are they really?
How prevalent are religions to the common person?
What is/are the origin stories of the main religion(s)?
What do most people think should be the highest priority:
How do culturally shared priorities shape interactions?
What is the common greeting? Does it vary by age, class, rank, or sect?
How is gender viewed by the majority? Why?
What are common myths/legends of your people and how heavily do they influence the modern day?
How trustful are people of outsiders?
How welcoming are people, in general, of strangers into their homes?
How well do people of various factions (class, race, religion, etc.) get along in society?
How far has technology advanced, and how has it been implemented into their daily lives?
If magic exists, what do they believe is its origin? Its source?
If there is division between magic/non-magic, how do the two treat each other and why? How long has it been that way?
What sort of relationship do they have with their ruler?
How content is the average person?
How do people make their living and how big a part of their life is their career (if applicable)?
Do they have “weekends” and if so, what sets them apart from “weekdays”?
How do they treat their close friends?
How do they treat their enemies?
How do they handle small conflict, between individuals or small groups?
How do they handle larger conflicts?
How are they prepared for any potential war? Do they have some sort of military or militia in place?
How many wars have they, as a society, fought over the course of their lives/history? How much of an impact does that have on their cultural identity? (i.e. WW2′s impact on patriotism in America, and how it’s yet to go away.)
What virtues do they value in individuals? What virtues do they say they value? If those are different, why?
How do they dress? Does it vary greatly by gender, or not? Is their focus on clothing very practical, religious, sentimental, or simply driven by the latest arbitrary fashion? How do the above answers reflect on the culture on a deeper level?
How do they treat their elderly?
How do they treat their children?
At what age does a baby become a child, a child a young adult, a young adult an adult, an adult an elder?
How much regulation does the day-to-day life of the average citizen entail? Or, how involved is the government in micro affairs?
How are these people seen throughout their known world? How do other cultures view this culture?