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#1 ThenDoctor

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:22 AM

I understand that there may be a design philosophy behind this that hinders it. Maybe Games Workshop hinders it as well, but it's something that popped in my head as I've been reading the 2nd Edition rulebook.

 

Pronoun choice, generally speaking not when they're speaking about specific characters, is always male. At least from what I've seen. I don't take major issue with it, I'm not boycotting or anything, but it's a bit noninclusive.

 

I think it's an important thing to think about writing future supplements. I mean I understand the main demographic is likely teen males, but that never stopped Pathfinder from at least describing some of their classes in the female pronoun.

 

It may not matter on a fundamental level or anything, but I'm sure females do play this game.

 

Thoughts? opinions? I'd rather not have this devolve into a social justice argument or anything, it's just something I noticed as compared to other roleplaying games.


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#2 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:29 AM

Personally, having learned Latin, I cringe when people say "Adeptus Sororitas". :D


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#3 Tom Cruise

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:34 AM

One option is to just eschew any gendered pronouns and stick with they. I know the suggestion of using they as a singular pronoun is likely to draw a lot of hate, but there's a lot of precedent for it, it's not gramatically incorrect at all.

 

I'd be all for alternating between differently gendered pronouns though, as long as it doesn't create confusion in the text. Maybe do it on a per chapter basis or something?

 

I'm not too bothered by the issue though, honestly, and I'm the kind of person that half of the internet would draw weird histrionic MSpaint comics about calling me a SJW.


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#4 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:37 AM

Don't really see the point. In the interest of clarity, sticking to a single pronoun is advisable. I mean, I don't really care, you could make it female if you want, it doesn't really change anything, you're just be "noninclusive" in another way.

 

Molehill, meet mountain. Mountain, molehill.

Or something about pots and kettles and coloured people.

Hell I don't know.

 

I don't think anyone in their right mind would feel excluded due to this. But it's also one of those "Who the hell really cares?" things, so it's hard to argue against on a sensible level, often leaving the insensible and the mentally defective free to run rampant in their causes. My point being that sure, go right ahead, I guess...?


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#5 cps

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:43 AM

I think this is a product of almost all of the names on the credit page being men (there's a few that could go either way but my money's on them being men). 

 

As horrible as Pathfinder's art is, I do have to give them props for their Icons - each class has a portrait and all of that classes abilities are described in terms of that character's gender. That's a decent way to do it. Or, as TC suggests, the singular 'they' is a good way to do it.

 


It may not matter on a fundamental level or anything, but I'm sure females do play this game.

 

I think you mean "women". Referring to female human beings as "females" is just a teensy bit dehumanizing. Given the tone of the OP I'm sure this wasn't intentional on your part, but you should know it's very off-putting.

 

 

I don't think anyone in their right mind would feel excluded due to this. But it's also one of those "Who the hell really cares?" things, so it's hard to argue against on a sensible level, often leaving the insensible and the mentally defective free to run rampant in their causes. My point being that sure, go right ahead, I guess...?

 

This right here is what privilege looks like. Fdsfgsdf has never had to consider this because he's never not been represented in the media he consumes, and can't see things from the perspective of those who have to fight for representation. Women do play games, and if you do any reading at all about women in gaming you'd know people do feel excluded when they don't see themselves represented (or, as is often the case, face outright hostility for expressing interest in things they aren't represented in).



#6 ThenDoctor

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:14 AM

CPS I explicitly said I didn't want this to devolve into a social justice discussion. So politely chill your righteous anger.


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#7 cps

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:27 AM

CPS I explicitly said I didn't want this to devolve into a social justice discussion. So politely chill your righteous anger.

 

I didn't feel particularly angry when writing that post, and I'm curious which part of it you take issue with.

 

More to the point, how exactly do you intend to discuss the absence of the representation of women in the core rulebook that's not in the context of social justice? Why do you feel women should be represented, if not in the interest of social justice? Has the term "social justice" been tainted for you by frothing-at-the-mouth Tumblrites?



#8 ThenDoctor

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:05 AM

I did notice they changed the "Men must die so that man endures." Divination to "Humans must die so the humanity endures."

 

I took issue with it when you were taking a blatant shot at Fgdsfg. Including major trigger words that other members may take issue with.


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#9 Covered in Weasels

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:07 AM

I remember reading the World of Darkness rules and noting that they almost always used "she" as their pronoun of choice.

 

I noticed the changes in phrasing to the Divination tables and congratulate FFG for that.


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#10 Brother Praetus

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:29 AM

We could always go back to using the old gender neutral dialectal pronouns of Ou and A, which date back to middle-English of the 14th century or so.

 

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#11 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:39 AM

Social Justice does not exist in 40k.

 

Social Injustice hits everyone. Man, woman, child - the imperium does not care. Obey, fulfill your duty, be glad you can die for the emperor.

 

In other words, I see no reason why the imperium would bother even touching gender, aside from hairsplitting to avoid unwelcome legislature (Hello, ecclesiarchy! I'm looking at you!) and not simply use a singular pronoun for simplicity's sake. On the other hand, it is perfeclty plausible the administratum has learned from the ecclesiarchy's little gambit and instituted gender neutral pronouns. To each their own canon, it only matters in so far as it provides a plotpoint.


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#12 ThenDoctor

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 11:58 AM

I wasn't asking in terms of the universe...I mean the actual text of the roleplaying game.


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#13 DeathByGrotz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:19 PM

I sort of see the two a bit entwined. In a fairly patriarchal IC system like the imperium (literally, with the emperor as the father figure), WoD's "she" would seem odd to me and out of place. In a book primarily about female-centric portions of canon (the few that there are), "he" would irritate me conversely as well. Meaning, I like rules and tone to reflect fluff, ideally, so going for a more politically correct stance in 40k seems rather odd to me. It wouldn't read as well according to my own personal tastes, and if I were new to the universe and just read the rules, I wouldn't be in the right mindset to play either, than if I was confronted with a grimdark tone from the get go and throughout the book.

 

Now before anyone takes this the wrong way, I'm all for equality. I just think if you're going to advocate it, do it to your government, where it matters :)


Edited by DeathByGrotz, 22 August 2014 - 12:20 PM.


#14 Kainus

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 12:23 PM

The talent cards I made use gender neutral pronouns. That should tell you my stance on it.


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#15 Lynata

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:41 PM

Personally, having learned Latin, I cringe when people say "Adeptus Sororitas". :D

 

The German localisation for 40k actually uses this as an officially registered trademark. :P

 

Personally, I'm interpreting "Adepta Sororitas" as referring to the different sub-groups that make up the greater whole. The Orders Hospitaller are one Adeptus Sororitas, as are the Orders Militant and the Orders Sabine, and all the others. But all types of Orders together they are the Adepta Sororitas. There, contradiction avoided, it's now consistent with the rest of the Imperium. :D

 

As horrible as Pathfinder's art is, I do have to give them props for their Icons - each class has a portrait and all of that classes abilities are described in terms of that character's gender. That's a decent way to do it.

 

I noticed this in Battletech and Shadowrun as well. Personally, I think it's a nice change, though I mostly stick to "they" when I'm writing something - be it here or in my job.

 

I did notice they changed the "Men must die so that man endures." Divination to "Humans must die so the humanity endures."

 

This is interesting, although I feel it doesn't read as fluid or catchy as the original version. If they wanted to start balancing gender focuses, perhaps they should have done so elsewhere.

 

I'm also ... not really sure what to make of FFG showing off artworks of female Imperials - but then giving them high heels, for professions where they'd be an obvious hindrance such as an Arbites street cop. Kind of feels like one step forward, two steps back.

 

In a fairly patriarchal IC system like the imperium (literally, with the emperor as the father figure), WoD's "she" would seem odd to me and out of place.

 

I don't think you could actually call the Imperium patriarchal, just because its boss happens to be a guy. That'd be like calling Germany matriarchal just because the Chancellor is a woman.

 

The important thing to me is that the High Lords - the people who actually rule the Imperium in the Emperor's place - include both men and women. Planetary lords and Inquisitors can be men or women. Men and women are Imperial Saints. The Imperial Guard includes both men and women. Yes, there's the Space Marines as an exclusively male elite force, but they're balanced by the Sororitas as an exclusively female one (the only problem here is how FFG keeps describing the former as way better than the latter, whereas GW described them as "equals").

 

Obviously, local cultures may differ massively from one another. You could have a sexist planet ruled by men - but you could just as much have one ruled by women, with at least one example being provided by GW fluff (Xenan VII, the homeworld of the all-female Xenonian Free Companies and the Last Chancers character known as Warrior Woman). But all of this is of no consequence to the Imperium at large, as the Administratum cares not for whether a freshly raised regiment of Guardsmen is made up of men or women. The only thing they care for is the number of troops.

 

As DeathByGrotz says, social injustice hits everyone equally. Which ... kind of makes it a twisted form of social justice, I guess?


Edited by Lynata, 22 August 2014 - 01:43 PM.

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#16 Snowman0147

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:02 PM

I don't get the fear of pronoun, or how it has this mystical power that stop people from playing games.  I never seen this stop anyone at all.  In fact they played whatever they want in my games without any hassle.  They even played game with a lot male pronouns without any hinderance.


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#17 Radwraith

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

I remember in ancient times (Rolemaster  ;) ) there used to be a little proviso at the beginning of each book that read: The use of male pronouns (he, Him, His) is simply is meant in the abstract and explicitely NOT to exclude the female. feel free to substitute as necessary!

 

While in the current Hyper-sensitive politically correct world this would somehow be viewed as insensitive it should be noted that it was intended exactly the opposite! I don't feel that anything ffg has written is really intended to exclude women. What people need to realize is that it is full of some hyper stereotyped images! From the Giant Uber bodybuilders of the Catachan regiments to the leather clad Assassins of the blood cults there are any number of images that could give a person body-type issues. My response to complaints of this type of thing tend to run toward: It's a fantasy game, Deal with it!

 

Inclusion is another matter: FFG has, especially in recent times, gone out of their way to include the female version of many of their character types. I noted that in RT faith and coin made very specific efforts to include a female missionary in that work! The first I recall personally seeing. This is a good thing! It's progress. And to keep the trolls of the world happy, She wasn't dressed in a spandex suit either! (Also a good thing since it wouldn't have made sense!) My point here is this: A little cheesecake in the setting (Male or female) does not bother me. But I would hope the game and the industry as a whole would be welcoming of any Gender race, or whatever!

 

Happy gaming!


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#18 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:14 PM

I don't get the fear of pronoun, or how it has this mystical power that stop people from playing games.  I never seen this stop anyone at all.  In fact they played whatever they want in my games without any hassle.  They even played game with a lot male pronouns without any hinderance.

But Snowman. Think of the privilege.


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#19 Chaplain

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:17 PM

Thoughts? opinions? I'd rather not have this devolve into a social justice argument or anything, it's just something I noticed as compared to other roleplaying games.

 

My opinion is as follows: keeping in mind every single bit of nastiness from gore-drenched critical hit and perils charts to the base idea of encouraging players to take roles of people who won't shed a tear for victims of any atrocity committed by them or according to their order as long as they believe it was lesser evil or even acceptable sacrifice, from the words "Innocence proves nothing" engraved on the book to nothing but disturbing pieces of artwork - yes, there is a lot which could offend a sensitive western reader I dare to assume you are. Pronoun choice would be at the very bottom of the list though.

 

Female players do indeed play 40K roleplay. I asked one from my group about feeling of exclusion due to pronoun choice in a tabletop game rulebook - and she laughed in my face. Is it because we hail from a (not so much, in fact) different society? Could be, but either way what FFG really needs to do to avoid alienating players is to put more effort into text quality and rules balance.


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#20 Snowman0147

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:23 PM

 

I don't get the fear of pronoun, or how it has this mystical power that stop people from playing games.  I never seen this stop anyone at all.  In fact they played whatever they want in my games without any hassle.  They even played game with a lot male pronouns without any hinderance.

But Snowman. Think of the privilege.

 

 

I am going to resist that because the thread creator didn't want this be about social justice warriors.  He was polite enough to tell cps to stop and so I feel like hold back as well.  Out of the respect for the thread creator.


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