Author Topic: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?  (Read 12097 times)

LauraMars

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2016, 08:17:29 AM »
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.

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A voice whispers, "Read the tales upon the walls."

boog

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2016, 08:39:09 AM »
I love my LGBTQ, but I don't know if coding the desired amount of identities is gonna happen. There are characters in game right now that do well with their emotes and presentation without it and I'm with Dan in that if I see an androgynous character in game, I treat them as such.l until they reveal what they identify as or my character cares enough to ask.

And Lut. It is offensive in real life. It might also be offensive in game. Bring the conflict of being referred to in such a manner should someone use it in dialogue in game. Kill em.
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Lizzie

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2016, 08:44:03 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.

Because grammar. Singular personal (and possessive) pronouns: him, her, he, she, his, hers, it, its. "They" and "their"  are not singular personal (and possessive) pronouns. As the oxford dictionary states - they are USED that way - but their use doesn't make it a rule. It makes it an exception to the rule.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 08:46:08 AM by Lizzie »
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bardlyone

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2016, 08:45:13 AM »
I'm not asking for a shitload of gender identities to be put in game. I'm asking that maybe you don't see 'he/she' etc in all emotes, when they don't necessarily look male or female specifically. I'm suggesting a 3rd option which is neutral. Not for all other possible options (of which there are many). I think that a 3rd option would be a fine umbrella for all other possible nonbinary options to play under, simply by removing the he/she from all targeting and looks and assessing. I think putting in a load of other options would be extraneous and unnecessary, but that the ability to be free of the gendered pronouns for the purposes of someone who does not always readily fit with one... makes a lot of sense. That's why I thought it would be interesting if it was done the way a half-elf's stuff is, though I'd be happy to just see [Choose your gender M/F become M/F/N] and then they/their/them replace the gendered pronouns in current use. That is flexible and simple.
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Lizzie

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2016, 08:51:38 AM »
I'm not asking for a shitload of gender identities to be put in game. I'm asking that maybe you don't see 'he/she' etc in all emotes, when they don't necessarily look male or female specifically. I'm suggesting a 3rd option which is neutral. Not for all other possible options (of which there are many). I think that a 3rd option would be a fine umbrella for all other possible nonbinary options to play under, simply by removing the he/she from all targeting and looks and assessing. I think putting in a load of other options would be extraneous and unnecessary, but that the ability to be free of the gendered pronouns for the purposes of someone who does not always readily fit with one... makes a lot of sense. That's why I thought it would be interesting if it was done the way a half-elf's stuff is, though I'd be happy to just see [Choose your gender M/F become M/F/N] and then they/their/them replace the gendered pronouns in current use. That is flexible and simple.

Currently the game doesn't provide for gender neutral. You can be either male or female. In addition, I don't think "gender neutral" is even a thing. Neutral would imply the LACK of male combined with the LACK of female. Neither male nor female. If a character wants to possess features of both, then they are not neutral. They're something else. Androgynous I believe would be the term, and both him/her he/she are applicable at any time. A character could even switch off, using both male and female pronouns alternately, and it'd make more sense than "them" and "they" or "it."

In my mind, when I read these concepts in novels/games, I think:
Neutral = lack of male/female.
Androgeny = possessed of both male/female.

People who want to be neutral should be using it.
People who want to be both should use both he and she alternately to emphasize that the character possesses features of both genders.

That's just how I see it, and I never see a place for "they" or "them" unless someone is referring to a character with multiple personalities or cojoined twins.
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Raptor_Dan

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2016, 09:03:50 AM »
I truly believe the language we are currently using was crafted to be estranging, and is still being manipulated to remove the potential for deep thought and dissent from the mainstream. Kind of like how you have more avenues for spiritual or magickal conversations using Bendune, than you do using Sirihish.

In addition, the above speaker is entitled to THEIR opinion. I don't agree with THEM, but there it is.

Also, it's androgyny.
I'm just looking for a general consensus. Or Moe's opinion. Either one generally can be accepted as canon.

LauraMars

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2016, 09:07:59 AM »
As a writer, I believe that having better descriptive words is always preferable to awkward and only partially correct alternatives.
Child, child, if you come to this doomed house, what is to save you?

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Riev

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2016, 09:20:20 AM »
I feel like more than anything, this was a flimsy excuse to push for social change because the modern world isn't ready for it.

When it comes to the game, we assume sex to be male or female, based on looks and voice. "the person in a facewrap" just doesn't cut it. And if you're a male-looking female, wearing a facewrap that says "the female in a facewrap" and someone says "Ask that woman over there"... well. Maybe they know. Maybe they're assuming. They're still pointing at you so everyone knows who they are talking about.

If you want to be gender neutral, I still say its a special application. Its not an option we need out of chargen, or some function of code we need because "I, as the player, believe that nobody can tell me what sex I look like", then it feels like you're asking for code to be a special snowflake. There have been "androgynous" PCs and NPCs before. One was written so well I STILL don't know which it was, and I was afraid of them all the more for it.

There are ways to achieve this without forcing the social agenda in a 20 year old text based game in a desert alien world. Codedly. You can be "the figure in a" instead of "the female wearing a".
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Malken

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2016, 09:27:32 AM »
Special app or gtfo.
“When I was a fighting man, the kettle-drums they beat;
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.”

Nergal

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2016, 09:30:13 AM »
In character creation, you do not pick gender or sexuality - you pick your character's sex. Sex choice refers specifically to the biological status of your character - i.e., what reproductive organs your character has. Intersex conditions (again, specifically referring to the character's biological status) would be lumped under the broader category of mutations by Zalanthans. They would be considered minor cosmetic mutations (no special application required).

Gender refers to attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a culture associates with a person's sex. In Zalanthas, there is no gender-normative behavior (where gender matches with sex, according to culture) or gender-nonconformity (where gender does not match with sex, according to culture) because no cultures in Zalanthas associate gender roles with a person's biological sex.

With that in mind, gender is not even a concept in Zalanthas - only sex (biological status) and sexuality (sexual orientation). The former is chosen at chargen - intersex characters could choose the sex that they are closer to and use the background to describe their intersex status. The latter is roleplayed and perhaps mentioned in the background.

This is a complicated subject, but one that can be discussed civilly. With that in mind, players are more than welcome to portray any character they like.
  

bardlyone

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2016, 10:17:20 AM »
I really appreciate the open mind and level head you are using to respond here, Nergal. We don't always agree, but you do try and be fair and level headed. And I appreciate that.

I am referring (if you look at the above post I made with the two pictures) to people who are biologically of female sex, and male sex respectively. They are not transgender (as Andrej(a) Pejic) in Raptor_Dan's post is. Casey Legler works exclusively as a male model and is female. Alexander Bekker has more fluid presentation.

I'm not asking for (or suggesting) the ability to pick a neutral gender role, but instead to be able to pick an option that does not gender all targeted emotes, assess -v, wear, and many, many other commands, to something that should not necessarily be he/she. The people in the pictures are not biologically intersex or even transgender. They are a woman who legitimately looks like a man, and a man who legitimately looks like a woman. Not necessarily all of the time. At many junctures, you are able to tell their sex is one or the other.

As a question/aside: If I was to want to play Casey Legler from the above pictured - she is biologically female and for all apparent appearances is male, should I choose male or female in character creation? Bearing in mind in the answer: all coded echoes, emote targeting, assess -v, look, and dozens and dozens of other commands will tell you that Casey is a woman, even though she looks entirely male. Could you choose male instead, even though you are not biologically a male, so that the hundreds of thousands of times (over a few years, granted) that these coded things will be a part of your character's experience reflect their male appearance?

What about someone who looks female all over but is 95% genetically male on a chromosomal level, and is not technically intersex because their genitalia is not ambiguous and they only present the sex characteristics of one sex? Should I choose female even though they are not a female via their biological sex?

I am not asking this because I want to stir up problems or be difficult, but because there are thousands and thousands of little ways that the game genders your character based on your decision of 'sex', and there are a lot more grey areas and places where this is not 100% obvious on a glance, than a lot of people might think.

I'll grant that I am a mite bit obsessed with such things. (I don't know how many people realize the difference and similarity in the cowper's/skene's gland, or that both males and females have a prostate that can be stimulated but the female prostate is actually what is commonly referred to as the 'g-spot'. I don't know how many people understand that you can be perfectly female physically and genetically 95% male. There is a lot about sex and biology that many people are not aware of.)

Should I pick a female gender with Casey and a male gender with Alexander? If so, does it not seem more strange and jarring that someone who looks female or looks male consistently and constantly be misgendered (mis-sexed?) in every emote or time that code comes into play? What would be considered the best solution and way to broach it (again, bearing in mind that neither is intersex, they just look different than their biological sex)?

Especially in light of hearing from Akaramu about player complaints for trying to convey someone that does not have the binary appearance of X or Y gender, how can we better reflect this in the game? Because it seems like it is a problem if trying to convey this lack of physically apparent sex results in player complaints to be fielded.

I am asking because you are not just choosing their sex. You are choosing the gender pronouns that will be enforced on you by code during every interaction that you will ever have for the life of a character. I would honestly prefer it if coded gender pronouns were all changed to they/their/them, and let players show through emotes on the part of their own pc what the pronoun appropriate for their appearance is, without the game enforcing it based on biological sex, when biological sex can be at total odds with actual apparent sex, even when you are not clinically intersex. But I doubt that will ever happen. Which is why (and I'm not seemingly alone in this) it would be nice to have an option to choose that for yourself, rather than having the game pick a biological sex for pronouns, that may be 100% at odds with what people are seeing in your description.
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In Dreams

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2016, 11:45:46 AM »
Much's I want to be sensitive to this issue, because it's a very sensitive subject to many people, having grammatically incorrect "their/they" would make emotes in general harder to read, harder for me to interact with, and frankly just distract me heavily. It would very much break my immersion.  "Xe/ze" or other terms that aren't widely recognized and used would do this also. It would probably also look like the game had typos or that the code was broken, especially to new players that have enough to swallow with adjusting to our gameworld already.

I'm all for social change but this one kind of feels like it's trying to impose that on a medium that's already trying to its very limits to be accommodating.

Like others have said, "it" isn't appropriate either. I don't think there's a good answer or change to this that isn't going to cause more problems than it solves.

whitt

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2016, 11:55:27 AM »
having grammatically incorrect "their/they" would make emotes in general harder to read, harder for me to interact with, and frankly just distract me heavily.

This is interesting to me, is it just a grammar OCDish thing?  I'm not sure how...

Quote
The very tall figure in a sandcloth dustcloak waves their bone shortsword threateningly in your direction.

As they approach, the very tall figure in a sandcloth dustcloak waves their hand and says, in sirihish, "Dude."

You slash the very tall figure in a sandcloth dustcloak, delivering a grievous wound.  They reel from the blow.

... are contextually confusing.  I would choose they/their over (s)he, his/her, Xe/ze jarring nonsense every time.  I suppose - To each their own? 
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Malken

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2016, 12:04:01 PM »
Also realize that not everyone is a native English speaker. I know it might be hard to understand for native speakers but the use of "it" and "their" or other neutral gender terms can really confuse non-native speakers, especially if you use it to refer to a person.

Looking at the other examples, it's even more confusing for me because it makes it sound like many people are approaching or waving their bone shortswords threateningly.

Maybe it's just a French thing, I dunno.

“When I was a fighting man, the kettle-drums they beat;
The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.”

In Dreams

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2016, 12:04:24 PM »
For the example you used, whitt:

Often when you're somewhere with a "figure in a hooded blahblah cloak", there's all too likely to be more, or many many more, figures in similar or exactly the same hooded cloaks that you absolutely cannot tell a difference between. And you're reading what for me is already-barely-readable interspersions of code garble that may have split-second life or death consequences for PCs involved because this is Armageddon. Often the only thing that's giving me any hint to who or what people are doing anything is how they're writing or what pronouns are coming out. Making them more vague for all hooded/masked figures will make this problem, for me personally, much much worse.

Dar

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2016, 12:06:11 PM »
Periodically in movies there are attempts to "surprise" the viewers about the gender. Like some bike helmet covered figure that kicks everyone's ass and then takes the helmet off and "whoosh" goes the long hair swiveling with fine features of a female. Or some detective flick, where some covered up criminal does whatever and later on, "gasp" the criminal was actually female! Then there are the gritty attempts like in deadwood.  Not once has it taken me any longer then a heart beat to identify the person as having a female physiology.

When I'd see a covered up figure. I wouldnt know it's sexual orientation, sexual identity, it's preferences, or it's life story. All I would see is a body, covered up in material. And from experience IRL, I'd say it'd take me seconds of watching the figure move to know it's gender.

Riev

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2016, 12:08:44 PM »
Periodically in movies there are attempts to "surprise" the viewers about the gender. Like some bike helmet covered figure that kicks everyone's ass and then takes the helmet off and "whoosh" goes the long hair swiveling with fine features of a female. Or some detective flick, where some covered up criminal does whatever and later on, "gasp" the criminal was actually female! Then there are the gritty attempts like in deadwood.  Not once has it taken me any longer then a heart beat to identify the person as having a female physiology.

When I'd see a covered up figure. I wouldnt know it's sexual orientation, sexual identity, it's preferences, or it's life story. All I would see is a body, covered up in material. And from experience IRL, I'd say it'd take me seconds of watching the figure move to know it's gender.

I think the issue of the OP, is that they want to play an androgynous person. Not an "OMG SURPRISE" type, but a "You know that could probably be a guy... excuse me... Sir?" ... "MA'AM"... "Yup you're right time to go".
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nauta

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2016, 12:10:41 PM »
I think the wording (which I assume was tongue-in-cheek, but maybe not) of the poll has distracted us into -- I think a good -- discussion of gender/sex/pronouns.   But isn't the point of the poll something like this:

Raising a hood on a cloak you are wearing masks your sex in a certain way;  so why shouldn't facewraps (and perhaps other items, like some barbute helmets) do the same thing?

So, just as:
Code: [Select]
raise hood
turns you into:
Code: [Select]
the figure in the big blue cloak.
so too:
Code: [Select]
wear facewrap
should turn you into:
Code: [Select]
the figure wearing a big blue facewrap

Or am I wrong about the poll?

I voted 'no' -- that is, I think wearing a facewrap should do the same thing as raising your hood.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 12:14:43 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Dar

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #43 on: December 15, 2016, 12:11:36 PM »
that's not what I'm talking about. All I'm saying is that clothes and face coverings do not hide people's gender. Which is what I thought the OP was talking about.

Lizzie

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #44 on: December 15, 2016, 04:26:00 PM »
I truly believe the language we are currently using was crafted to be estranging, and is still being manipulated to remove the potential for deep thought and dissent from the mainstream. Kind of like how you have more avenues for spiritual or magickal conversations using Bendune, than you do using Sirihish.

In addition, the above speaker is entitled to THEIR opinion. I don't agree with THEM, but there it is.

Also, it's androgyny.

Thanks - I knew I spelled it wrong but had a brain-fart and didn't look it up to see how it should have been. And - I'm a she. Or her. Though my account is truly gender-neutral and "it" would apply just fine.
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Reiloth

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #45 on: December 15, 2016, 04:33:32 PM »
I dunno, I think your 'gender' you pick at chargen is just what you are born as. Whatever you identify as is up to you (the player) and also you (the PC).

I've had male characters that wear female clothing and identify with being more of a woman in certain environments.

I guess I don't see the big deal? I think Nergal just gave carte blanche to pick whatever gender you are born as, and then choose whatever gender you want to be.
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boog

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #46 on: December 15, 2016, 04:55:39 PM »
That's what I read Nergal's response as, too.

 :o
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LauraMars

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #47 on: December 15, 2016, 05:12:33 PM »
It's a display thing.

Yeah, you can be a character who was born female who prefers to present as a man, but no matter what she wears, the code will make her "look" female - when she wears a hood or facewrap, when she speaks in a sandstorm, when people assess her.

To get around this, if you have a female character who wants to present as male (or vice versa), I'd suggest picking the "male" option at chargen. That way the gender you would prefer to present as will display correctly. You can state that your character is actually female in the bio, and roleplay them as having female genitals. I am sure staff would be fine with that.
Child, child, if you come to this doomed house, what is to save you?

A voice whispers, "Read the tales upon the walls."

bardlyone

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Re: It's 2016, why are we assuming gender?
« Reply #48 on: December 15, 2016, 05:23:44 PM »
It's a display thing.

Yeah, you can be a character who was born female who prefers to present as a man, but no matter what she wears, the code will make her "look" female - when she wears a hood or facewrap, when she speaks in a sandstorm, when people assess her.

To get around this, if you have a female character who wants to present as male (or vice versa), I'd suggest picking the "male" option at chargen. That way the gender you would prefer to present as will display correctly. You can state that your character is actually female in the bio, and roleplay them as having female genitals. I am sure staff would be fine with that.

So long as there's not some sort of policy limiting this, that seems like a fine workaround, but you're right on with what I'm talking about there. It's the display aspect/thing. That and frankly I don't want to be playing a male pc that looks and presents as female (and thus chose female at char gen for the sake of what all the pronouns will show up as), and have to worry about people lodging complaints about it, as seems has happened to someone else. That's why I asked even after Nergal's post. Because I basically just want to grok thoroughly what direction is up with that I guess. Bleh, just got off an hour long call @ work, and my brain is dead.
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 #49 on: December 15, 2016, 05:28:14 PM »
If people lodge complaints about something that's not against policy, the target of the complaint shouldn't hear anything.

Personally I just chalk anything physically weird up to "mutations", the rest to Zalanthas' particular gender roles (or lack thereof) and roll with it. This doesn't need to be a big deal. Don't worry how others play, just worry how about how your character ought to react.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 05:31:09 PM by BadSkeelz »
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