Shock: uses genderless personal pronouns when the gender of a person - a character or a player - is unknown or irrelevant. In these cases, Shock: doesn't use "he", "his", "him", "himself", "she", "her", "herself" or "hers", using the pronouns favored by many contemporary gender theorists: "sie" "hir" "hirself", and "hirs". If this makes you uncomfortable, that's what a Shock is. If they don't, you'll feel right at home playing.It doesn't make me uncomfortable, but it does make for uncomfortable reading. Let's leave aside the question whether these gender neutral pronouns serve any worthy puprose, either in this game text or in general. What I want to say is something concerning this contemporary gender theorist: What on earth was sie thinking when sie decided that the German female pronoun "sie" was a spiffy choice for a gender-neutral English pronoun? How can anyone be supposed to read a text wherein this obviously non-English word appears and not have associations with the German word for "she"?
Monday, September 25, 2006
Shock:, gender, and "What was sie thinking?"
I am currently reading Shock: social science fiction, by Joshua Newman. I quote the book: