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Jumping Jill, mysogyny, and so forth
#1
Ok, I am starting up a thread here for those that want to discuss the political issues behind renaming Jumping Jill that originated here:

http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.ph...#msg784553

The discussion over there is starting to violate some of the forum rules so please redirect here, but keep it civil or we will shut it down as well.  I will post in a bit more detail on why I think changing the name is the right thing to do.
#2
Personally, I think its ridiculous. It was clearly done without malice, its origins are clearly a pun on Jack and Jill, ala the children's rhyme, and I could make the equally ridiculous argument that its also sexist/mysognist to change it, because now none of the SPAs are named after women.

It would be misogynist if the skill were automatically applied to female pilots when you tried to set "Jumping Jack" on them. or if it appeared in place of Jumping Jack when a pilot had a female name. Then I'd say we'd have a case for clear negative bias
#3
Eh, seems like a simple change and changing it shouldn't offend anyone or break their game.  While it's not a big deal to me, I see no compelling reason not to change it. 

That combined with less chance of making even 1 person feel excluded/offended and I vote to go ahead and change it.
#4
Well, it offends me... BUT, I'm not so selfish as to demand that the official release do x or y because of that. I'm perfectly willing to modify the .jar to reassert "Jumping Jill" on my own.
#5
The fact that it's done without malice is exactly why I brought it up.  The problem here isn't that I think Taharqa is out to offend people.  It's not that "Jumping Jill" isn't a good name for an ability.  It's not even that I'm personally offended by it (though I am).

The problem is that it's casual.  It's careless.  It's entirely thoughtless, and that makes it dangerous.  That kind of casual misogyny plagues American culture in specific (I don't live anywhere else, so I can't exactly claim it true of anywhere else) to a ridiculous extent, and I hate that my friends have to put up with that bullshit on a daily basis.

The day the "Women in the kitchen" stereotype and joke set dies, the day that "A woman driving" is no longer considered a joke, and the day I don't have to hear someone tell a friend to her face that women can't be as good at what they do as men in a serious sense, I won't bring it up.

But until then, every time I see it, I'm going to mention it.  I don't catch all of it.  I'm just as guilty as the next person to not thinking now and again.  But if I can change one tiny thing in my BattleTech to remove that cancerous filth, I will.
#6
Well, this sort of approach will never win me over to your cause. This just feels petty to me.

Fortunately, I can revert the change on my own. Just complicates my customization process a little more.
#7
I feel like I might be miscommunicating.

It is petty.  That's the entire point.  It's petty enough that people don't think about it unless it's specifically mentioned that this isn't okay, and that's what lets the entire culture of institutional sexism survive and thrive.
#8
Change the name to "Jumping Xenon".

I give permission for you to use my name on this project.
#9
The thing that bothers me about this is that sexism is perceived where none exists, and someone considers it their personal mission to stamp it out.  They make themselves police on what we say and what we think, and our outlook has to passed through THEIR perception of right and wrong, given a stamp of approval if its okay, and turned back for "re-education" if it isn't.

Horse hockey.

It's the kind of thinking that writers have been cautioning against for ages, the idea that "bad thoughts" need to be identified and changed to "protect the people."

Even worse, by calling attention to something perceived as sexist and misogynistic, it actually reinforces sexist stereotyping instead of undoing them.  It's pointing out your token minority character, saying "aren't you proud of us for being so forward-thinking, and aren't you so proud of our token minority for doing SO WELL and coming SO FAR even though they're female/black/latino/gay?"  It's a far more subtle, but in my view even more dangerous kind of -ism.  In the case of this character, which can be seen in many kinds of fiction out right now, a character is created specifically to fill a given minority niche, and this becomes effectively the character's ONLY personality trait.  They are defined as being "the female character," "the black character," "the gay character," instead of being defined as the character who HAPPENS to be female, or black, or gay.  Many other fictions do this quite well.  Tara was never "the lesbian" on Buffy, she was a character who happened to be a lesbian.  Jinx isn't "the gay guy" on Warehouse 13, he's a character who happens to be gay.  Uhura wasn't "the black lady" on Star Trek, she was the communications officer who happened to be a woman of African descent.  In the case of game rules, I think it's flat-out dangerous thinking to say that any particular rule that might be named in such a way as to reflect poorly on any minority (never mind the dangerous thinking in categorizing "women" as a minorty, when on average the population is 52% female to 48% male) has be scrutinized and unfolded and turned inside out to make sure that it's just as effective and capable as any rule that caters to the "majority."  Or, as someone mentioned in the other thread. . . if Jumping Jack (the "majority) and Jumping Jill (the "minority") were reversed, so that Jumping Jack was suddenly the inferior. . . well, who would have a problem with that?  Who would raise the voice clamoring for the equality of men in the arena of Skill Modifiers to BattleMech's using Jumping Movement?  It's now suddenly okay to put the "majority" in the inferior slot because. . . what?  Because we've been doing the discriminating so long, now it's our turn to be discriminated against?  Again, I say Horse Hockey.

As regards the ability itself. . . honestly, I don't see the reason for it to even exist.  I'd rather grab the canon Jumping Jack and be done with it.  Oh, sorry, does that make me a misogynist pig for passing up the feminine-named ability?  Do I have to demonstrate my commitment to equality by buying both for every MechWarrior I run?  What if I don't run jump-capable 'Mechs at all?  Am I keeping the feminine gender down by not supporting their right to be represented in my pilot's special ability lists?

Let me ask a question, in all seriousness.  If there were NO abilities that had names reflecting on women, would you still be angry?  If not, why not?  Isn't it more offensive to exclude feminine nomenclature from abilities entirely than it is to add one?
#10
(09-27-2013, 05:30 PM)Strobe link Wrote:I feel like I might be miscommunicating.

It is petty.  That's the entire point.  It's petty enough that people don't think about it unless it's specifically mentioned that this isn't okay, and that's what lets the entire culture of institutional sexism survive and thrive.

But, it doesn't make me do that. Things like this, it doesn't make me think "Yeah, our culture is sexist" it makes me think "Jeez, these people are just terrorists, hiding behind the guise of political correctness."

Maybe it works on other people, but it just sours me to your entire line of thought.
#11
(09-27-2013, 06:04 PM)SteveRestless link Wrote:[quote author=Strobe link=topic=1386.msg8922#msg8922 date=1380317415]
I feel like I might be miscommunicating.

It is petty.  That's the entire point.  It's petty enough that people don't think about it unless it's specifically mentioned that this isn't okay, and that's what lets the entire culture of institutional sexism survive and thrive.

But, it doesn't make me do that. Things like this, it doesn't make me think "Yeah, our culture is sexist" it makes me think "Jeez, these people are just terrorists, hiding behind the guise of political correctness."

Maybe it works on other people, but it just sours me to your entire line of thought.
[/quote]

I think that's basically what I was trying to say before.  I'm a little sick right now, so I probably didn't organize my thoughts as well as I needed to.  I don't see it as sexist, I don't think it was intended to be sexist, and I don't see any need for it to be changed or removed to be not sexist.  And I see someone making such a big stink about it being sexist as keeping alive an issue the rest of us agree shouldn't even be an issue.
#12
(09-27-2013, 05:39 PM)ErikModi link Wrote:As regards the ability itself. . . honestly, I don't see the reason for it to even exist.  I'd rather grab the canon Jumping Jack and be done with it. 

Let me address this issue first. The unofficial option exists because I thought Jumping Jack was a little overpowered (its better to jump than walk) but I liked the general idea. The way it works in my campaign is that pilots have to acquire Jumping Jill first and then spend (a fairly outrageous amount of) additional XP to get Jumping Jack - sort of like a feat tree in 3E D&D if you will. I mention this because the hierarchical nature of the two options was intentional and that is relevant for the discussion.

I will admit that my knee jerk reaction to this initially was "seriously?" But after a few minutes reflection, I believe that the criticism is correct. Scotty/Strobe has mentioned "institutionalized" a couple of times, but I doubt many people really understand what he is referring to here. When sexism and racism are institutionalized it means they are so deeply embedded into our cognitive perceptions that they beome taken for granted and ignored. Thus, when such things are challenged, the first reaction of many is "seriously?" even though it is precisely these everyday actions that do the most harm, not the stereotyped imaginary bigot or mysognist who we all believe is really responsible for the problem. Much of what feminism and anti-racism attempt to do is to make visible these everyday inequalities.

In this case, my intent was to play off the mother goose imagery, but given gender stereotypes, setting up a hierarchical relationship with gendered names cannot help but reinforce those stereotypes as well. Those of you who say that this is an overreaction because the intent was lacking are wrong, because we are not trying to punish intent here, but simply do the right thing. The right thing is not to create gendered names that imply a hierarchy of male > female. Doing it the other way would be equally wrong - whether thats more or less likely to elicit a reaction is irrelevant. 

Most people react strongly to such things because they feel they are being "blamed." But that is not really the point. When sexism is deeply institutionalized we are all (and when I say all I mean ALL) guilty, so there really is no purpose in pointing fingers - we all just need to help each other and be sensitive to the perceptions of others. There is even less point in getting reactionary. I find the rage over this to be very strange given that I am the one who invented the name and I have already said I agree that it is a problem.

This is not about political correctness, censorship, thought police, or any of the other libertarian paranoia that you bring up, Erik. I am one of the lead devs and I named the ability - if I didn't want to change the name, nobody is going to force me too. There certainly isn't a mob lining up behind Scotty/Strobe (at least not one he could turn his back on), so its not like I am feeling a lot of pressure here. I am changing it because its the right thing to do and because I want to. If you all want to start editing jar files in protest, more power to you, but this hardly seems worth it to me.
#13
(09-27-2013, 06:09 PM)ErikModi link Wrote:I think that's basically what I was trying to say before.

Actually, I thought you spoke quite well.
#14
(09-27-2013, 06:15 PM)Taharqa link Wrote:[quote author=ErikModi link=topic=1386.msg8924#msg8924 date=1380317963]
As regards the ability itself. . . honestly, I don't see the reason for it to even exist.  I'd rather grab the canon Jumping Jack and be done with it. 

Let me address this issue first. The unofficial option exists because I thought Jumping Jack was a little overpowered (its better to jump than walk) but I liked the general idea. The way it works in my campaign is that pilots have to acquire Jumping Jill first and then spend (a fairly outrageous amount of) additional XP to get Jumping Jack - sort of like a feat tree in 3E D&D if you will. I mention this because the hierarchical nature of the two options was intentional and that is relevant for the discussion.

I will admit that my knee jerk reaction to this initially was "seriously?" But after a few minutes reflection, I believe that the criticism is correct. Scotty/Strobe has mentioned "institutionalized" a couple of times, but I doubt many people really understand what he is referring to here. When sexism and racism are institutionalized it means they are so deeply embedded into our cognitive perceptions that they beome taken for granted and ignored. Thus, when such things are challenged, the first reaction of many is "seriously?" even though it is precisely these everyday actions that do the most harm, not the stereotyped imaginary bigot or mysognist who we all believe is really responsible for the problem. Much of what feminism and anti-racism attempt to do is to make visible these everyday inequalities.

In this case, my intent was to play off the mother goose imagery, but given gender stereotypes, setting up a hierarchical relationship with gendered names cannot help but reinforce those stereotypes as well. Those of you who say that this is an overreaction because the intent was lacking are wrong, because we are not trying to punish intent here, but simply do the right thing. The right thing is not to create gendered names that imply a hierarchy of male > female. Doing it the other way would be equally wrong - whether thats more or less likely to elicit a reaction is irrelevant. 

Most people react strongly to such things because they feel they are being "blamed." But that is not really the point. When sexism is deeply institutionalized we are all (and when I say all I mean ALL) guilty, so there really is no purpose in pointing fingers - we all just need to help each other and be sensitive to the perceptions of others. There is even less point in getting reactionary. I find the rage over this to be very strange given that I am the one who invented the name and I have already said I agree that it is a problem.

This is not about political correctness, censorship, thought police, or any of the other libertarian paranoia that you bring up, Erik. I am one of the lead devs and I named the ability - if I didn't want to change the name, nobody is going to force me too. There certainly isn't a mob lining up behind Scotty/Strobe (at least not one he could turn his back on), so its not like I am feeling a lot of pressure here. I am changing it because its the right thing to do and because I want to. If you all want to start editing jar files in protest, more power to you, but this hardly seems worth it to me.
[/quote]

Put that way, I agree with your thought process and why it should be changed.  I'm not saying it's a complete non-issue, however, I do believe that there are greater issues at work as well, not just as relates to the these two abilities, but what the reactions are on both sides.

When it comes to institutionalized -isms, often the people trying to fight it serve only to perpetuate it.  By crying out every time anything even remotely "incorrect" might be said, they force people to think TOO hard about what they're saying.  Now, I agree, people do need to take responsibility for what they say, but it can go too far.  You don't want to create a climate where no one can say anything for fear of offending someone else.  Instead of simply saying "you know, that's not meant to be offensive, we shouldn't take it that way" people get so hung up on perceived offenses and correcting "wrongbad thinking" that. . . well, we get stuff like this.

As reflects the ability itself. . . I suggest the name Spring-Heel Jack.
#15
Quote:As reflects the ability itself. . . I suggest the name Spring-Heel Jack.

Wait, wait.

Its not fine to use a womans name because its sexist, but suddenly a mans one is fine? Double standards ahoy. At least be consistent in your sexism.
#16
(09-27-2013, 06:37 PM)Sid link Wrote:
Quote:As reflects the ability itself. . . I suggest the name Spring-Heel Jack.

Wait, wait.

Its not fine to use a womans name because its sexist, but suddenly a mans one is fine? Double standards ahoy. At least be consistent in your sexism.

??

I thought the whole point was that using a "feminine" name for an ability "less" than a "masculine" one was the issue.  Removing the feminine form from the name solves that problem, does it not?
#17
I hate quote chaining, so I'll try to remark enough in context to keep up with the discussion.

I'll start with the first sentence.  This is not a moment where sexism is perceived where none exists.  This is a moment where careless thinking created a situation in which the end result carried with it unintentional sexist undertones.  Sexism, or racism, or any other "-ism" is not based solely on intent.  If it was, institutionalized versions of any of the above would not be a problem, but they are.  In a depressing number of places, by a depressing number of people, members of a group are considered inferior simply for not being of another, and it's a thoughtless kind of discrimination.  It's a joke about how women can't drive.  It's a quip about how Asians are good at math.  It's a slur that calls black people more promiscuous.  It's the double-standard between a guy who sleeps around being a champ and a girl who sleeps around being a slut.

It's so thoroughly ingrained in the national psyche that it's entirely unnoticed by too many, including the people who make the jokes and actually think they're funny, or even worse, think they're true.  Every time the joke "Women's Rights" is uttered in jest, it's an incidence of this casual discrimination.

So was the name "Jumping Jill".

Don't get me wrong.  I've said it before, at least twice, and I'll say it again.  I have no problem with an ability being called "Jumping Jill".  None in the slightest.  It's about perception.  If the ability "Jumping Jack" did not exist, I would not protest Jumping Jill being what it was.  If the ability Jumping Jack were the same bonus, with just a different name, I would not protest.  If Jumping Jill had another part of the bonus to make it better, on par with Jumping Jack, I would not protest.

Since Jumping Jill was worse in every way, every shape, and every form, it unintentionally, but no less really, cast aspersions onto the female gender.  "Jill" was automatically worse than "Jack."  Full stop, end comparison, and you would not be wrong.  How is that not an instance of casual sexism?  The female sounding name is automatically worse, the male name is automatically better.  Nobody wants to be a Jumping Jill, because it's just not as good.  That's the problem here.

Now, regarding your next large paragraph, I'd simply like to point out that "Filling a minority role" is just as bad.  We're totally in agreement about that.  The fix in that case is to not have a token minority character.  I don't want token minority characters.  I want characters that just happen to be minorities.  Actually, no, that's still wrong.  I want characters.  Stop.  I want what a character is to be totally irrelevant.  Unfortunately, that's just not the case.

At the same time, I'm not blind to casual misandry either.  A man can't be raped.  A guy who doesn't hold the door for his date is a jerk.  The more masculine the man, the dumber he is.  It's a problem that exists, but not nearly to the same scale.  I don't pretend that it doesn't exist, though.  If Jumping Jill were categorically better than Jumping Jack in the same way that the reverse was true, I would have raised the same complaint.  If I could turn around your point, though, I doubt anyone would have rose a big stink about it when I disagreed, like happened on the other thread.  The double standard is omnipresent, and it's so pervasive it's barely even visible.

All that said, I'm not one for affirmative action.  I firmly believe that while there should be equal representation (or at least potential for representation, based on ability and appropriateness), there should also be common sense.  Digging through every single instance of a masculine description for an ability and demanding a feminine counterpart is insane, and is frankly missing the point.  I don't even think, in something like the official BattleTech rules, it should be attempted.

Instead, I think that instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as it were, identifying small, institutional instances of sexism, racism, and the like, and correcting them leaves plenty of room for what currently exists to keep existing in its current form.  Changing "Jumping Jill" to something innocuous isn't difficult, and frankly I'm surprised that the idea was met with such vitriol.  Going forward, I'd like to suggest (though, obviously, I'm by no means the project lead) that gender-neutral be the goal, though in the event of a necessarily masculine title (Jumping Jack, for instance), striving for a feminine title somewhere else is a laudable goal.

I'm fairly certain your second to last paragraph was mostly sarcastic, so I'll avoid stooping to that level and joining in the sarcastic vitriol.  Reducto ad Absurdum is one of my least favorite argumentative strategies.

If there were no abilities that had names reflecting on women, I would be rather disappointed.  In a perfect world, I'd like a mix.  And regarding the difference in offense level between exclusion and subordination, I'm not going to quantify that because both are wrong.

Stamping out institutional sexism, racism, misogyny, and misandry is something that too many people are entirely disinterested in.  I'd also like to point out that the only one using the word "minority" up until about four words ago was you.  I deliberately haven't used it because the objects of much of this discrimination aren't minorities.  If there was an ability called "White Man's Burden" (for purely discussive reasons), I'd be just as pissed off.  For multiple reasons.  This isn't limited to minorities, sex, or anything at all beyond what it is, which is casual, institutionalized discrimination, against any group.

Obviously, I can't force anyone to agree with me.  But, in the same vein, I'll never agree that this isn't a problem until it actually isn't.  That doesn't look like any time soon.

Before-the-post EDIT: Wow, five seven replies.  Taharqa, thanks for being so supportive of the viewpoint.

Erik, I'm firmly of the opinion that people should think too hard about it.... for a time.  After a while, it becomes second nature, in much the same way that as we were raised to where we are now, it's become second nature among most of society to respond negatively with a phrase like "That's gay".  Homosexuality isn't something I've brought up yet, but it's another good example of things that need to be changed.  Right now, in the state I live, it is illegal for me to marry.  "That's gay" is regularly used to denote unpleasant, disgusting, or repugnant thoughts, actions, or concepts.  A derogatory term for me is one of the harshest slang insults in the American world.  If you don't see the problem there, I don't know how I can show it.

Believe me, I can understand a slip or two.  When I joined the Army, my entire basic training platoon used "That's gay" or (if you'll pardon the language) "faggot" to characterize unpleasant or disagreeable actions or people.  I made my displeasure known. It helped that I was a good shot, fairly friendly, and good in the combatives ring, but by the time my class graduated, not but one or two of them still used it in anything approaching regularity, and those that caught themselves saying it realized what they were doing.  At the beginning of my cycle, the idea that anyone in the platoon was gay terrified a quarter of the platoon, and made the other three quarters very uncomfortable.  By the end, three months later, I was actually able to discuss it in what I then considered good company and actually participate in the same capacity, albeit from a different angle.  The same thing happened in my advanced training.

Institutional discrimination can absolutely be unlearned.  It just takes motivation and willingness to change habits.  Any decent person should have at least one of those.
#18
(09-27-2013, 06:48 PM)Strobe link Wrote:I hate quote chaining, so I'll try to remark enough in context to keep up with the discussion.

I'll start with the first sentence.  This is not a moment where sexism is perceived where none exists.  This is a moment where careless thinking created a situation in which the end result carried with it unintentional sexist undertones.  Sexism, or racism, or any other "-ism" is not based solely on intent.  If it was, institutionalized versions of any of the above would not be a problem, but they are.  In a depressing number of places, by a depressing number of people, members of a group are considered inferior simply for not being of another, and it's a thoughtless kind of discrimination.  It's a joke about how women can't drive.  It's a quip about how Asians are good at math.  It's a slur that calls black people more promiscuous.  It's the double-standard between a guy who sleeps around being a champ and a girl who sleeps around being a slut.

It's so thoroughly ingrained in the national psyche that it's entirely unnoticed by too many, including the people who make the jokes and actually think they're funny, or even worse, think they're true.  Every time the joke "Women's Rights" is uttered in jest, it's an incidence of this casual discrimination.

So was the name "Jumping Jill".

Don't get me wrong.  I've said it before, at least twice, and I'll say it again.  I have no problem with an ability being called "Jumping Jill".  None in the slightest.  It's about perception.  If the ability "Jumping Jack" did not exist, I would not protest Jumping Jill being what it was.  If the ability Jumping Jack were the same bonus, with just a different name, I would not protest.  If Jumping Jill had another part of the bonus to make it better, on par with Jumping Jack, I would not protest.

Since Jumping Jill was worse in every way, every shape, and every form, it unintentionally, but no less really, cast aspersions onto the female gender.  "Jill" was automatically worse than "Jack."  Full stop, end comparison, and you would not be wrong.  How is that not an instance of casual sexism?  The female sounding name is automatically worse, the male name is automatically better.  Nobody wants to be a Jumping Jill, because it's just not as good.  That's the problem here.

Now, regarding your next large paragraph, I'd simply like to point out that "Filling a minority role" is just as bad.  We're totally in agreement about that.  The fix in that case is to not have a token minority character.  I don't want token minority characters.  I want characters that just happen to be minorities.  Actually, no, that's still wrong.  I want characters.  Stop.  I want what a character is to be totally irrelevant.  Unfortunately, that's just not the case.

At the same time, I'm not blind to casual misandry either.  A man can't be raped.  A guy who doesn't hold the door for his date is a jerk.  The more masculine the man, the dumber he is.  It's a problem that exists, but not nearly to the same scale.  I don't pretend that it doesn't exist, though.  If Jumping Jill were categorically better than Jumping Jack in the same way that the reverse was true, I would have raised the same complaint.  If I could turn around your point, though, I doubt anyone would have rose a big stink about it when I disagreed, like happened on the other thread.  The double standard is omnipresent, and it's so pervasive it's barely even visible.

All that said, I'm not one for affirmative action.  I firmly believe that while there should be equal representation (or at least potential for representation, based on ability and appropriateness), there should also be common sense.  Digging through every single instance of a masculine description for an ability and demanding a feminine counterpart is insane, and is frankly missing the point.  I don't even think, in something like the official BattleTech rules, it should be attempted.

Instead, I think that instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as it were, identifying small, institutional instances of sexism, racism, and the like, and correcting them leaves plenty of room for what currently exists to keep existing in its current form.  Changing "Jumping Jill" to something innocuous isn't difficult, and frankly I'm surprised that the idea was met with such vitriol.  Going forward, I'd like to suggest (though, obviously, I'm by no means the project lead) that gender-neutral be the goal, though in the event of a necessarily masculine title (Jumping Jack, for instance), striving for a feminine title somewhere else is a laudable goal.

I'm fairly certain your second to last paragraph was mostly sarcastic, so I'll avoid stooping to that level and joining in the sarcastic vitriol.  Reducto ad Absurdum is one of my least favorite argumentative strategies.

If there were no abilities that had names reflecting on women, I would be rather disappointed.  In a perfect world, I'd like a mix.  And regarding the difference in offense level between exclusion and subordination, I'm not going to quantify that because both are wrong.

Stamping out institutional sexism, racism, misogyny, and misandry is something that too many people are entirely disinterested in.  I'd also like to point out that the only one using the word "minority" up until about four words ago was you.  I deliberately haven't used it because the objects of much of this discrimination aren't minorities.  If there was an ability called "White Man's Burden" (for purely discussive reasons), I'd be just as pissed off.  For multiple reasons.  This isn't limited to minorities, sex, or anything at all beyond what it is, which is casual, institutionalized discrimination, against any group.

Obviously, I can't force anyone to agree with me.  But, in the same vein, I'll never agree that this isn't a problem until it actually isn't.  That doesn't look like any time soon.

Before-the-post EDIT: Wow, five seven replies.  Taharqa, thanks for being so supportive of the viewpoint.

Erik, I'm firmly of the opinion that people should think too hard about it.... for a time.  After a while, it becomes second nature, in much the same way that as we were raised to where we are now, it's become second nature among most of society to respond negatively with a phrase like "That's gay".  Homosexuality isn't something I've brought up yet, but it's another good example of things that need to be changed.  Right now, in the state I live, it is illegal for me to marry.  "That's gay" is regularly used to denote unpleasant, disgusting, or repugnant thoughts, actions, or concepts.  A derogatory term for me is one of the harshest slang insults in the American world.  If you don't see the problem there, I don't know how I can show it.

Believe me, I can understand a slip or two.  When I joined the Army, my entire basic training platoon used "That's gay" or (if you'll pardon the language) "faggot" to characterize unpleasant or disagreeable actions or people.  I made my displeasure known. It helped that I was a good shot, fairly friendly, and good in the combatives ring, but by the time my class graduated, not but one or two of them still used it in anything approaching regularity, and those that caught themselves saying it realized what they were doing.  At the beginning of my cycle, the idea that anyone in the platoon was gay terrified a quarter of the platoon, and made the other three quarters very uncomfortable.  By the end, three months later, I was actually able to discuss it in what I then considered good company and actually participate in the same capacity, albeit from a different angle.  The same thing happened in my advanced training.

Institutional discrimination can absolutely be unlearned.  It just takes motivation and willingness to change habits.  Any decent person should have at least one of those.


Just a quick question: Could you shorten this into something more digestible?

Thanks in advance.
#19
"That's gay" and the f-word are COMPLETELY different, honestly.  I know well the hurtfulness caused by casually tossing around "that's gay" to mean "that sucks/is awful/is stupid."  Likewise, the f-word is, at least in American culture, pretty much used solely as a perjorative term against homosexuals to dehumanize them.

MY point is that harping on an ability named Jill instead of Jack as inferior and therefore sexist CLOSES doors of equality rather than opening them.

Say Jumping Jack and Jumping Jill were both officially printed abilities that did totally different things both related to jumping.  Say that Jumping Jack reduces to-hit penalties (as it does officially, if I recall) while Jumping Jill affects Piloting rolls made while jumping.  Is Jumping Jill sexist because "women can't shoot?"  Is Jumping Jack sexist because "Men can't drive?"  Is Jumping Jill inferior because to-hit penalty mitigation is more important than Piloting skill bonuses?  Is Jumping Jack inferior to Jumping Jill because Piloting skill bonuses are better to have than to-hit penalty reductions?  Screw it, axe BOTH abilities. . . don't want to risk offending anyone.
#20
We really need to be more inclusive all around in our gaming.  I propose the following changes to reduce the culture of bigotry inherent in this hobby:
  • Hot Dog - Must be renamed to something that won't be offensive to Muslims or Jews, something both Kosher and Halal is required for this.  I don't understand how we can be so bigoted against people based on their religious dietary constraints.
  • Pain Resistance - This discriminates against masochists.  They may not be resistant to pain, they might simply choose to enjoy it instead, and we should give them the option, instead of dictating Judeo-Christian morality at them and making them feel bad from their lifestyle choices.
  • Tactical Genius - Do I really need to spell it out?  It's at least not as obviously offensive as calling everyone that doesn't have this a "Tactical R-word" but it's pretty close.  Maybe "Guy That Likes Tactical" stuff so it looks like an opinion instead of being exclusionary based on genetic and social factors, it's too close to "White Patriarchal Male From The South" like this.
  • Iron Man - Do I really have to spell it out?  It should be Iron Woman, because of all the pain they have to put up with in their lives, from childbirth to having to deal with the constant brutal assault of misogyny in their every waking moment.


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