Author Topic: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?  (Read 12048 times)

Orin

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It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« on: December 14, 2016, 09:51:23 PM »
A facewrapped figure walks into the room.  You immediately pin them as female... but wait, they lower their facewrap to reveal stubble and sharp ears.  It was a breed the whole time.

Should facewrapped figures still show their gender?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 09:54:17 PM by Orin »
You notice: A war beetle squeezes out an Orin-sized ball of dung.

whitt

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 09:56:54 PM »
Why did you gender your character in the first place?
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Patuk

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 09:57:08 PM »
Who cares?
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This tastes like ordinary meat.
There is nothing left now.

BadSkeelz

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 10:00:24 PM »
Are they hot?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 10:04:24 PM by BadSkeelz »
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

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bardlyone

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 10:04:42 PM »
Until I can choose a they/their neutral gender codedly for my androgynous pc concepts (which I am not currently playing due to its lack), I am fine with things as they stand. Until you can have a neutral gender codedly, I think it is fine to assume that you can tell if it is male or female, because codedly you cannot have a pc which you cannot tell the gender of by looking in ANY fashion. If/when, a neutral gender were introduced, I would be on board to remove the male/female part from sdesc in facewraps etc.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

BadSkeelz

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 10:07:23 PM »


They don't know either
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Orin

  • Posts: 1320
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2016, 10:09:23 PM »
Facewrap != bandana

You notice: A war beetle squeezes out an Orin-sized ball of dung.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 10:10:45 PM »
While that's true, Nakki fashion (and much armor) is notoriously tight and body fitting, which would thus in theory reveal the torso shape of the wearer. Just sayin'.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Pretentious

  • Posts: 81
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 10:12:38 PM »
Why assume even if you -can- see their face, if we're going down this route?

Just because they're wearing a facewrap doesn't mean there aren't other factors that give away sex. If someone is bundled up to the point where it's impossible to tell but the code still tells you male/female, it's your responsibility to RP your PC's uncertainty.

I don't think either option perfectly works, but of the two, I'd rather keep the male/female thing for facewraps. The wraps themselves don't really obscure the figure like a closed cloak with a raised hood does, and it helps from things getting too confusing with multiple people with facewraps on. Part of why I also like the distinction between male and female voices.

Rather than do away with it altogether, if any changes are to be made, I'd say put in an optional flag at chargen. Well, two flags. Androgynous appearance/voice, that can be set if you want your PC's gender/sex to be ambiguous when wearing certain visually obscuring items that still do show male/female, or when they're talking in the dark. Rather than pretend there's never any discernible difference, I'd much prefer an option that allows ambiguity if it makes sense for that character.

BadSkeelz

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 10:13:19 PM »
While that's true, Nakki fashion (and much armor) is notoriously tight and body fitting, which would thus in theory reveal the torso shape of the wearer. Just sayin'.

hips don't lie
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2016, 10:17:02 PM »
Rather than do away with it altogether, if any changes are to be made, I'd say put in an optional flag at chargen. Well, two flags. Androgynous appearance/voice, that can be set if you want your PC's gender/sex to be ambiguous when wearing certain visually obscuring items that still do show male/female, or when they're talking in the dark. Rather than pretend there's never any discernible difference, I'd much prefer an option that allows ambiguity if it makes sense for that character.

Sorta the same as the half-elf code works now, where you pick your race (in this case gender) codedly, and then your appearance (a. male b. female c. neutral)? I could get down with that, hard.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

BadSkeelz

  • Posts: 8514
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2016, 10:24:41 PM »
Don't robes show sex too? I find that more logically objectionable to facewraps outting the sex of the wearer since they should actually be obscuring the lines of the wearer.

Also it's 2016, why the fuck do we not have helms that hide sdesc?
janeshephard: You really think BadSkeelz understands the concept of Wine In Front of me? This guy shot me as a townie when he felt threatened. The man's a neandrathal.

Miradus: He's not some weird mental abomination. He's just a guy on the internet.

Raptor_Dan

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 11:21:17 PM »
If a mdesc allows for it, and there is appropriate attire, I ignore the gender tag. I don't know if we should change it, or not, but I voted no. If the reality of the roleplayed situation is that you're so covered up, no one can tell what gender you are, you hipless, small bosomed, bony urchin, it doesn't really matter to the person who uses the coded fact that information about your gender is given to them.


The blond male human is pictured above.

Wrap this up in sandcloth, and question your sexuality. Thankfully, the code will save you from thinking too hard.

Edited to add: You know, it might not be fair to use a Balkan angel as an example.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 11:26:02 PM by Raptor_Dan »
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

TheWanderer

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2016, 11:31:35 PM »
you tricked me into this thread
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Whatever happens, happens.

Pretentious

  • Posts: 81
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2016, 11:50:22 PM »
Sorta the same as the half-elf code works now, where you pick your race (in this case gender) codedly, and then your appearance (a. male b. female c. neutral)? I could get down with that, hard.

Not quite what I had in mind. I was thinking that if you set your voice to ambiguous/androgynous, even if you're clearly male or female visually, in the dark or in a sandstorm, your voice wouldn't give it away. Or if you set your physical build to that, then when you're wearing something like a facewrap or a veil, then you're similarly ambiguous with regards to sex. I like the idea of being able to fine tune certain things. Like, for instance, a character who is clearly male from a physical standpoint, but perhaps has a feminine or ambiguous voice? So that they could be 'the tall male in a bright orange facewrap'  (or however that shows up), but their voice doesn't give away in the dark.

(There's also the issue of  too many options making things too complicated at chargen and frustrating/confusing new players.)

As far as I know, there's nothing about the code that necessitates that your PC's sdesc and coded gender match their biological sex (IC). You could set their gender to female, have 'woman' at the end of their sdesc, and still have them be biologically male, or something less binary, and represent it through RP. I've actually seen something like that in game.

I don't think we need to have coded gender and sex. Just (apparent) gender is enough - male, female, ambiguous. And then the PC can have the appropriate sdesc for their mdesc, and then if biological sex ever becomes relevant, they can RP it out as necessary.

Don't robes show sex too? I find that more logically objectionable to facewraps outting the sex of the wearer since they should actually be obscuring the lines of the wearer.

I think robes with hoods up obscure sex. They just show 'the <something> figure in the <something> cloak/robes'.

If a mdesc allows for it, and there is appropriate attire, I ignore the gender tag. I don't know if we should change it, or not, but I voted no. If the reality of the roleplayed situation is that you're so covered up, no one can tell what gender you are, you hipless, small bosomed, bony urchin, it doesn't really matter to the person who uses the coded fact that information about your gender is given to them.

This. The code's never going to be able to perfectly represent every situation, so we're still going to have to make judgments on if  we should be able to know something about a PC even if we can codedly gather the information.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 11:54:58 PM by Pretentious »

Jingo

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2016, 12:11:34 AM »
We're actually not that good at determining sex based on physical silhouettes. We're much better at determining sex (or really gender) based on presentation, body-language, voice and clothing.
Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

bcw81

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2016, 12:12:28 AM »
You can totally submit a special application to have the gender pronouns removed for a more neutral look. I think it's fine as it currently is, however, as if you're distinctly a female, or distinctly a male, your body shape will likely give away your gender. Again, though, special application if you don't want that.

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Riev

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2016, 12:40:03 AM »
This is basically a "special app" situation that you want as a normal option.

There have been plenty of PCs in game who were androgynous, or otherwise gender neutral. Some people play along, others dont. Same with every other 1/10000 situation in the game. It's 2016, we are assuming gender because this is a 20 year old game and modern society hasn't caught up with these changes.

So. No. The game handles this as well as it can. If you play "a chick with a dick", your PC is not normal. If you are SO androgynous that people can't tell... be okay with it. Maybe Zalanthan ears can detect things RL people cant.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2016, 02:09:35 AM »

She is carrying: Nothing you can see.
You are Casey Legler, Male Model of Ford Models


He is carrying: Nothing you can see.
You are Alexander Bekker

I think it's very ironic that the first place your mind jumps is 'chick with a dick'. I can keep finding images of examples of people who are simply so different from their apparent gender it's unreal. But I would think simple androgyny where you can't tell on a glance would be much more common in Zalanthas. But yes, so long as people who look at Casey and see 'she is carrying nothing' and don't read the mdesc are still plenty able to think mistakenly that no, no, she is apparently female, because code line here, I have no interest in playing that out. Because there are a NUMBER of players who have posted to say over the years that they don't read descriptions. 
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 299
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2016, 03:00:15 AM »
When are we going to have xe as a coded pronoun?

Having to identify as either gender shouldn't be forced upon a player and should be hand waved for the same reason IG sexism/skin colorism/homophobia is. I play this game to escape the real world and it's immersion breaking constantly having it's prejudices shoved down my throat.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 03:17:54 AM by Lutagar »

LauraMars

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2016, 06:32:34 AM »
Rather than do away with it altogether, if any changes are to be made, I'd say put in an optional flag at chargen. Well, two flags. Androgynous appearance/voice, that can be set if you want your PC's gender/sex to be ambiguous when wearing certain visually obscuring items that still do show male/female, or when they're talking in the dark. Rather than pretend there's never any discernible difference, I'd much prefer an option that allows ambiguity if it makes sense for that character.

Sorta the same as the half-elf code works now, where you pick your race (in this case gender) codedly, and then your appearance (a. male b. female c. neutral)? I could get down with that, hard.

This would be tight.
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A voice whispers, "Read the tales upon the walls."

Lizzie

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2016, 07:49:44 AM »
When are we going to have xe as a coded pronoun?

Having to identify as either gender shouldn't be forced upon a player and should be hand waved for the same reason IG sexism/skin colorism/homophobia is. I play this game to escape the real world and it's immersion breaking constantly having it's prejudices shoved down my throat.

By the same token, I shouldn't have to have the reality of life shoved down my throat in the game. Yes, there are gay characters. Yes, there are gender neutral characters. Yes, there are different colored characters. Just like in real life. I get that. Stop forcing it on me all the time, I play this game to escape the real world and it's immersion breaking constantly having its political correctness shoved down my throat.

(I don't actually adhere to this line of reasoning, I'm simply spitting back to you the same thing you're trying to impose on me, from the other side of things. Goose, gander, and so on.)

In addition - "they" and "their" indicate plural. If you are twins, or multiple personalities, it fits. If you are not twins, or multiple personalities, it doesn't fit. If you want to play gender neutral, then use a gender neutral pronoun: it. And possessive pronoun its. And contracted "it is" to it's.

If you're not him or her, you're it.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Akaramu

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 08:08:58 AM »
If you're not him or her, you're it.

Somehow that feels more strange than 'they'. If I saw 'it', I'd immediately assume the person is a gith or mantis in disguise.

I once read an interactive novel that used 'ze' (for gender neutral he / she) and 'hir' for gender neutral his / her. There were some other terms that I don't remember, but I remember that they were quite well done.

Then again, some players might find them annoying. I played a gender neutral character way back in the day and got player complaints for using 'they'.

bardlyone

  • Posts: 725
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 08:09:58 AM »
In addition - "they" and "their" indicate plural. If you are twins, or multiple personalities, it fits. If you are not twins, or multiple personalities, it doesn't fit. If you want to play gender neutral, then use a gender neutral pronoun: it. And possessive pronoun its. And contracted "it is" to it's.

If you're not him or her, you're it.


I'll just leave this here:

Quote
Additionally, the practical reason that people often use this form of words is if you are referring to someone of an unknown gender, to use he, him, his, etc. is nowadays considered sexist. Using them, they, or their is a way to avoid making an assumption of gender as there is no gender explicit in these pronouns. Find out more about gender-neutral language. Second, people prefer not to use he or she, him or her, etc. because they are long-winded and can be distracting, especially if they have to be repeated several times in the same sentence or paragraph.Is it grammatically correct?Despite objections, there is a trend to use ‘singular they’. In fact, it is historically long established. It goes back at least to the 16th century, and writers such as Shakespeare, Sidney, Byron, and Ruskin used it:
There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
As if I were their well-acquainted friend (Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors)
Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/grammar/using-they-and-them-in-the-singular


Not only is it not a modern phenomenon to use they/their to refer to someone whose gender you cannot readily discern (it refers to a thing, not a person), there is a centuries-long history of it. Additionally, I believe that I will take Oxford dictionary's view on grammar as the correct one, since they are also a venerable source with a respected place in helping establish both the shape of English as it evolves, and also helping lay out the meaning of the individual words in it.
Quote from: Maester Aemon Targaryen
What is honor compared to a woman’s love? ...Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.

Lutagar

  • Posts: 299
Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 08:13:43 AM »
"It" is a descriptor used for inanimate objects. If you can't see how refering to gender neutral characters as "it" is derogatory then I don't know what to say you.