Lit Ignorance is Bias: The Diversity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Literature' started by CooperTFN, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    star 5
    Surrre
  2. beccatoria Force Ghost

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    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Oh, I SEE HOW IT IS, I don't even get to own my own name, huh? I have to cede it to the patriarchal forces of the Imperial Throne? Well I warn you now, sir, I shall not be silenced! You may refer to me as chimney waste, but I say to you, I shall rise from my eponymous ashes and destroy all that you hold dear.

    That's right. I'm going to travel back in time, and sack Rome. And then never tell you which time it was me.

    It's fine, in this picture he's actively demonstrating his alternate sexuality.
  3. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Does this mean I have to change my avi? Cause I might look like a WHM in that pic, but underneath I'm a WHF.

    Don't judge a book by it's, uh, cover art...
  4. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Sooty, that was the most beautiful threat I've ever read.... brings a tear to mine eyes.
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Dec 13, 2012
  5. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Fun fact: Jello is actually Roman ruins come to life and given sentience.
  6. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    Salve.
    What does that make me?
  7. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Sep 8, 2004
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    Wow... I thought I was in the One Sentence Or Less thread for a second and was about to suggest we do this thread. :p
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 13, 2012
  8. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

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    Mar 27, 2005
    star 6
    I had to go to female avis myself, because people kept thinking I was a guy.

    Which is vaguely on-topic for the bias of this thread, being as people seem to assume male by default, and then get surprised when someone turns out to be female.
    Contessa likes this.
  9. Random Comments Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2012
    star 5
    I tend to assume male if someone has a male icon, and female if their icon is female. If their icon is a blob or something, I'll ask or phrase my sentences so it doesn't matter.

    Also, does anyone seriously find "the furniture was manmade" offensive and sexist?
    Last edited by Random Comments, Dec 13, 2012
  10. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Probably habit. More likely to be right than wrong, that way.
  11. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    I don't get offended, because I do understand the immediate assumption.

    Can't help being a Solo fangirl.
  12. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Sep 8, 2004
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    People think I'm a talking dog when really I'm still a Falleen...

    Does that count or not?
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 13, 2012
  13. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
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    No, I don't find the term "manmade" offensive. But I'm also not offended by the term "mankind" or "man" when referring to humans. I suppose other people might be. *shrugs*
    Last edited by krtmd, Dec 13, 2012
  14. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    I nearly got kicked out of a carpenter shop for that because the carpenter was female. Handmade is a much safer word. [face_plain] As is humanity instead of mankind (I know it has man in it as well, somehow people never seem to mind that one though)
    Last edited by Gorefiend, Dec 13, 2012
  15. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    star 6
    I don't, personally, but I can easily see why someone would.
  16. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    But it isn't handmade, just synthetic. I find that ridiculous, personally. It just means it was made by a huMAN being. I guess we have to call ourselves Earthlings, and Ladies and gentlemen, because woMAN has MAN in it...
  17. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
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    There are plenty of folks who spell it womyn for that very reason.
  18. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    That's scary. And ridiculous-looking.
  19. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    Womyn? That kinda suggests a rather condescending pronunciation, tbh.

    Obviously depends on accent, but if I called a woman a womyn I'm fairly certain I'd get slapped. :p
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Dec 13, 2012
  20. beccatoria Force Ghost

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    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Good god, woman, don't TELL THEM, they'll change your name to something ridiculous!

    My avatar was Kol for ages, though. But I have a username that's very obviously identifiable as female, so I've never had that issue.

    As to "manmade", no I don't take offense, but I do think that it's indicative of the depth to which our language is pervaded by certain gendered assumptions. I still remember the first D&D book I ever bought - second hand from a really crowded old bookshop when I was barely a teenager - an AD&D players' handbook which had a little box-out with a word on pronouns explaining why they exclusively used masculine terminology - wait, wait, google is my friend, I've actually found it -

    Published in the enlightened year of 1989, I believe.

    And you know, exactly backwards. Centuries of use didn't neuter the male pronoun, it normalised it, and made everything else an aberration. Centuries of disuse have made the female pronoun so odd as to be distracting - the assumption that the author must be calling attention to her gender. The above is nothing more than an explanation that there's nothing wrong with a world where "he" is more familiar than "she".

    When I bought that book, a mighty seven years after its publication, I already knew D&D was a boys' club. None of the awkward social encounters or even outright hostility I experienced made me feel as patronised and unwanted as that paragraph.

    My point being, if we were to explain why it's okay to use words like mankind instead of humankind, we basically end up with variations on the AD&D 2nd Ed Players' Handbook foreword. It's like trying to explain what's funny about an offensive joke; you can't do it without sounding like a jackass. When you put it into plain language, it just sounds awful.

    Like I said, these words have become ubiquitous. It's exhausting to get offended every time one is used and frankly, I'm a pretty lazy person. But let's be honest about why these words exist and what effect they have - subconsciously - on our cultural worldviews. The language we use is integral to our psychology.

    Which is why I prefer genderneutral alternatives when readily available, or at least, when I remember to use them. They usually don't cost more than an extra syllable...
  21. beccatoria Force Ghost

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    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    Why is it scary?
  22. Rilwen_Shadowflame Force Ghost

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    Mar 27, 2005
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    No, no, womyn is the plural, IIRC.:p I think 'womon' is the singular, for these people who want to take the 'man' out of it. Which is rather sad, since I seem to recall reading that 'man' was originally 'person', and both genders got a prefix to say male-person and female-person.

    Maybe, but openly expressing surprise and bewilderment when one finds out is a tad more offensive, I think.;)

    Only time I was really surprised by someone's gender in a forum, she'd been almost-flirting with me for the last few posts.
    (And I still didn't remark upon it, but I have to say I blinked a little.:p )
    Random Comments likes this.
  23. cthugha Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    Just for the record: I'm the nexu.

    Also, I can't remember ever having ascribed one gender or the other to a forum user based on his or her avatar. I choose avatars because I like the pictures, so I guess I just assumed everybody else was doing the same. If I think about the gender of people at all (hey before you started talking about it here I was mostly thinking of all of you as sexless talking heads, no offense:p) it's more the username I take the cue from... though I do know that can be so misleading.
    krtmd and Random Comments like this.
  24. Random Comments Force Ghost

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    Sep 25, 2012
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    Just for the record, I am a WHM like my profile pic (down to hair color), but I usually don't care/find out from context for users. Or ask them.
    Last edited by Random Comments, Dec 13, 2012
  25. krtmd Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 5, 2012
    star 4
    Such interesting reading. Really. I know intent can be hard to discern on the internet, so I am pointing out my sincerity, lest it be construed as sarcasm.

    My username is so boring, just my initials + the state from which I hail. But I've been using it for eons, so 'tis now mine, for better or for worse.

    My original foray into an online fandom is one dominated by women with male avatars (don't ask, don't tell policy applies here) so I find myself assuming you're all women. That's kind of a funny twist on the normal bias around these parts, isn't it?
    Random Comments likes this.