Hi all I just wanted to open up a discussion here on how to change this small part of the game. I know I’m not the only other person to use a character with they/them pronouns so I want others involved as well. But I did bother me/my character when I got things like “sir” or “spring king” because that’s not exactly right. So because of that I think we could look for some other form of address. With the Asain influences of Tojima we could use a gender neutral honorific like -san, but there are other options. Any ideas?
As someone who doesn’t think twice about such things, but should (sorry to any and all whose genders I may have presumed), I look forward to following this conversation immensely!
Also, “your Grace” and “your Lordship” and similar titles are, as I understand, gender neutral.
I didn’t want it to make it feel like I was shaming anyone or calling someone out. So, sorry if I caused you any stress there, But apologies for accidentals are always accepted! (Though tbh I don’t know if we interacted at all with any mistakes like that happening)
Those are good options! But I also just want an option for people that don’t have a noble title. So if people want they can use it. One reason why I like -san is that is a a form of address that does not actually inform gender. But like I said, that’s only a single option, I’d love to see what others have to say and contribute.
It didn’t come off as shaming (at least not to me). I just know that it’s a mental blind spot for me; something I need to work on, based on a few past interactions. Also based on misgendering a cabin-mate’s character
I can’t wait to see more suggestions start coming in!
My family (the Verenbergs) have been using “gendered” titles to denote inheritance. This would apply to families that are not noble as well I believe. I’m not good at explaining things like this, so I’m going to have Mike/Kleis join this thread when he has time for the specifics.
We could default to Miss for all characters who don’t specifically prefer Sir, which is what I do when addressing nobles.
So…titles and terms of address are something I could geek out about for hours…here’s my initial thoughts on this. These are literally just first impressions on the topic, not deeply held beliefs, and I’m sure I’m extremely wrong about a lot of it.
Gender neutral terminology exists in these titles to some degree already. Ultimately in the real world analogue for this time period, Gender neutral terms tended to shift to whatever the masculine noun was for the given term or item. For example, you might be a Duke or a Duchess, but you ruled over a Dukedom. You might be a King or a Queen, but you ruled over a Kingdom. Kithira shunts in the opposite direction, making Miss both the feminine and gender neutral.
My Group has been having a really good time playing with the gendered nouns because of there implications. Kleis will always insist on being referred to as a Count. In Zlota a man’s children can’t inherit, and it’s become a foible on Kleis that he won’t let someone think he’s higher in station than he is. Is social climbing brother, on the other hand, will insist people refer to him using the feminine nouns that have the implication of more power, Dame/Miss/Young Mistress
There’s a lot of baggage to the terms we’re using, largely because of their historical context. We all know what Sir/Dame, Count/Countess, Duke/Duchess mean and have a lifetime of associations with them that are called to mind, consciously and sub-consciously, because of it. Creating a new set of terms, or splicing in a different culture that the other genders aren’t using, runs the risk of coming across as cheap and pandering.
This time period is rife with trans-gendered heroes, and is actually the first time in history that their issues came to the fore front. (Charlotte Clarke, 1755; Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée Éon de Beaumont; 1777) A lot of the stories that occurred were because of the strict gender roles that exist in the time period. While I wouldn’t want anyone to be forced on a player, I also wouldn’t want a player who finds these figures to resonate with them to not have a chance to play that character as well…I’m personally super divided on that one.
These are all just first impressions and thoughts on the subject. I’m definitely not willing to preach, and I’m sure that folks will step in and point out some serious flaws in what I’m saying.
“Matey” as the gender-neutral catchall for anyone not of noble blood.
Within the SCA, we use some of the following gender neutral terms:
Baron/Count: Your Excellency
Duke: Your Grace
Prince/princess: Your Highness
King/Queen: Your Majesty
I don’t know if this helps at all, but here’s some historical options.
Since dame and countess are the common player terms we could repurpose Excellency and Grace accordingly. The trick for me is figuring out how to refer to NPCs with others, especially say, the apothecary teacher Georgette. Is Brian playing a female character, or is georgette gender neutral, or masculine and prefers feminine fashion? I just use they/them until it becomes obvious, but if I need to describe them for someone else to find I worry about saying, “the woman in the yellow hat” incase I’m getting it wrong. (plus it makes it harder to correct myself later if I entrench the wrong idea)
Conrad Krolik was another case where I stuck to they/them until another player called him “miss” and he corrected them. I think the weird part is that we don’t yet have a cultural tradition of introducing our genders; they are usually assumed and it feels weird to ask because the tradition is that it apparent, and it is awkward to get it wrong.
Usually what I do is say, “the one in such and such clothing who does this or carries around that…” For Georgette I would sometimes say, “They seems to have a bit of a resemblance to Captain Stanton…” as a bit of of a clue-in =p
Some folks on staff have been using Mx (pronounced “mix”) as a gender-neutral variant of Mr/Ms, at least in writing. Verbally it’s sort of hard to distinguish from Miss, though.
I like “Mixter” as the pronounciation for “Mx” for that reason.
I feel like that runs into the same issue for me.
I will add this. If someone has something reasonable they’d like to be referred to as, I’m happy to comply. No one should have to feel uncomfortable or disrespected just because I don’t prefer the same pronouns/titles/etc. I do.
Speaking of pronouns, was one of those “I”'s supposed to be a “they?” It kind of changes the meaning.
mostly-non-serious suggestion: pronounced as “mixture”, resolves all gendered-term-similar confusion in favor of baffling all apothecaries forever. NO GENDER, SCIENCE INSTEAD
I think #4 is a non-issue given that they’ve already explicitly said this setting doesn’t have strict gender roles. Or rather, that the issue has already been decided, and in a way that adding a standard gender-neutral common title would not contradict.
Georgette prefers “she/her” pronouns.
I don’t have a general suggestion. I like the -san option in general, but admit I often use miss or sir or whatever when I have forgotten the person’s name and don’t feel like asking again right now. My (uneducated) impression of -san is it is always used with the name, not as a separate address? Is that correct? Is there a different placeholder-when-you-forget-the-name that is gender neutral?
Or maybe I will just call everyone “my dear.”