Donald Whytock on 30 Jan 2002 22:39:20 -0000

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Re: spoon-discuss: Re: spoon-business: Proposal: Gender Recognition

On 1/30/02 at 3:42 PM Rob Speer wrote:

>On Wed, Jan 30, 2002 at 02:52:08AM -0500, Donald Whytock wrote:
>> Add "using an inappropriate pronoun" to the LOGAS.
>> }}
>I don't like this at ALL.
>To be perfectly honest, when I gave away the Scarf, I couldn't remember
>whether Congenital Optimist was male or female, so I used the generic
>pronoun 'eir' so that it wouldn't matter.
>Under that proposal, it seems that referring to a single person with
>'eir', unless e is Undeclared, would be worthy of a Kick. A player's
>declared gender may not even be related to eir actual gender (see that
>Congenital Optimist is now a Drone), making things even more confusing.
>Spivak pronouns are great, especially on the Internet. Your proposal
>would mandate that they are replaced with ordinary pronouns whenever
>Rob Speer

First of all, to show my age, I'm gonna give my favorite Zork quote: "That's not a bug, it's a feature!"  Gender was introduced presumably to make some functional difference to things other than the Pink Scarf. If someone is going to pick a gender, it should have some consequence.  Otherwise it simply becomes another title.

Secondly, the point of Spivak pronouns, I thought, was to be able to deal with a player base that is inherently ungendered.  Just looking at the signatures and headers of messages, I'd guess that IRL all but one of us is male, and electronic transvestitism is too prevalent for me to make even that guess with confidence.  But now we're actually going to be *declaring* genders, regardless of their relevance to reality. (Or establishing reality within the nomiverse, whichever way you want to see it.)  The establishment of a gender-specific game state seems to counter the stated need for a gender-unspecific pronoun set.

As for the penalties...What can I say?  I like giving Kicks in the Ass. :)