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Shift in Focus: Gender v. Pronouns
  • I would like to suggest that we at Zelda Wiki shift our Character Template to display a character's pronouns, rather than their gender. This thread isn't meant for a discussion on gender, but I will provide a brief rundown on why we should do this:

    It's presumptive and inaccurate. It's still relatively novel in contemporary discourse, but a person's pronouns don't have to match their gender identity. In fact, there's a precedent for that happening in the series: Sheik. Sheik is the most contended character in the series, but nevertheless goes by "he/him" pronouns throughout Ocarina of Time. Bill Trinen has confirmed that Sheik is female, but Zelda Wiki writes the article from the perspective of the persona of Sheik, who is known simply as a mysterious young man to Princess Ruto.

    To that extent, we don't know what most characters' genders are. We're technically assuming a character's gender by the pronouns that they use, or receive.

    Consider Fi: she was confirmed to not be female by Aonuma, but still goes with "she/her" pronouns. (There is an example of this in modern media, Steven Universe. The alien Gems of that show don't share our concept of gender, but use "she/her" pronouns and present in a primarily feminine manner.) Presently, we would erroneously refer to her as a female even though that's untrue.

    There are also characters with inconsistent pronouns. Ganon is referred to with "he/him" pronouns, whereas the Calamity Ganon is referred to with the "it" pronoun. Volvagia has "it" pronouns in Ocarina of Time 3D, while in Ocarina of Time on N64, he has "he/him" pronouns.

    These, and plenty of other pages, can be fixed by this shift. I've drafted two sandboxes to illustrate how these would look:
    Sheik Sandbox | Fi Sandbox

    Sure it's a nit-picky thing, but in the pursuit of accurate documentation, I think it's vital that we make this change. If you're concerned about the load of work to do it, it's simple: collaboration through retroactive game order. We pick Breath of the Wild's character listing, go through and fix those, then move to Tri Force Heroes.

    Please contribute by saying whether you support or oppose this change. If you have questions, I am available to answer them.
  • Is this really worthy of the effort? There are extremely few cases of characters in which gender is at all ambiguous, and I think you listed them all in the OP. In efforts to maintain clarity, perhaps a short section could be added to the trivia section of each page for those characters which have ambiguous gender, otherwise we might as well just leave it as it is.

    Nelsyv wrote:

    I saw that the trailer they released at the end of the Switch event stream looked like it would be a story trailer, so I immediately turned it off. I'm going dark until I've beaten BotW, I don't want any spoilers whatsoever. Wish me strength to resist the temptations.

  • Doesn't someone's preferred pronouns reflect what gender they identify with though? I mean it's rather unusual for someone to prefer she/her pronouns if the don't have a leniency towards the female end of the gender spectrum, for example. Furthermore, as my literature teacher always says, a character's life begins and ends with a work of fiction; there's nothing more to them than what is revealed in the course of the plot, and believing that there is something more is entirely incorrect. They're not living people -any interpretations of them are just that: interpretations. The truth remains exclusively in what is literally stated.
  • Nelsyv wrote:

    Is this really worthy of the effort? There are extremely few cases of characters in which gender is at all ambiguous, and I think you listed them all in the OP. In efforts to maintain clarity, perhaps a short section could be added to the trivia section of each page for those characters which have ambiguous gender, otherwise we might as well just leave it as it is.
    I'm no stranger to the "is it worth the effort?" argument and I have to admit it's such a tired cliché that doesn't truly serve as a counter argument.

    If there is someone willing to do the work, then of course it is.

    You have provided an alternative but it doesn't address the core issue.

    Ge0kinetic wrote:

    Doesn't someone's preferred pronouns reflect what gender they identify with though? I mean it's rather unusual for someone to prefer she/her pronouns if the don't have a leniency towards the female end of the gender spectrum, for example. Furthermore, as my literature teacher always says, a character's life begins and ends with a work of fiction; there's nothing more to them than what is revealed in the course of the plot, and believing that there is something more is entirely incorrect. They're not living people -any interpretations of them are just that: interpretations. The truth remains exclusively in what is literally stated.
    Re: preferred pronouns, quite evidently not. I already explained that a person's pronouns don't need to match with a male/female binary, or in this case, "end of the spectrum".

    As for the latter part, I feel as though this is meant to be an opposition, despite the leap in logic that a person's gender is congruent with their pronouns. More often than not, we do know a character's pronouns. Very rarely do we see them established as identifying as male/female or otherwise. To fill in the blanks is to impose an interpretation.
  • I oppose.

    I don't this information is notable or useful enough to put in infoboxes. Infoboxes are met to summarize key aspects of the subject, not to be used as a catalogue of one-word tidbits of info.

    The idea only makes sense as an alternative to "gender" field, which never should have been a thing in the first place. If that had been the case, we would not be having this conversation. The idea doesn't stand on its own merits.

    We're trying too hard to preserve something that never should have existed. IMO simply deleting the "gender" field is the best thing we can do for the character articles.
  • I don't see any point in this. Why put so much effort for only one or two characters that act as exceptions? How many characters are there in LoZ? We don't know if Calamity Ganon actually is Ganondorf or if it's something else entirely. On the subject of neuter pronouns. Volvagia is called an it because it isn't a person.

    It's also safer to just use non-gendered pronouns to avoid making assumptions. They instead of he/she. It if you have no clue about Dragon biology et cetera.
  • I am for this.

    As over-kill as it may seem to include this type of information, I believe it is the whole point for us to display any details that are given to us, as silly or insignificant as they may seem to us or any other person. It also helps clarify information that might be unknown to some users/viewers. People are also more accepting about genders and what people identify as, so I wouldn't doubt seeing more characters falling into the problem as well. I also feel that having this information in the display box would keep it tidy and quick to view, rather then squishing a one or two lined sentence at the top or in the trivia section.
  • Caffeinated Pixel wrote:

    I am for this.

    As over-kill as it may seem to include this type of information, I believe it is the whole point for us to display any details that are given to us, as silly or insignificant as they may seem to us or any other person. It also helps clarify information that might be unknown to some users/viewers. People are also more accepting about genders and what people identify as, so I wouldn't doubt seeing more characters falling into the problem as well. I also feel that having this information in the display box would keep it tidy and quick to view, rather then squishing a one or two lined sentence at the top or in the trivia section.
    Again, I fail to understand as to what this achieves? It's a lot of effort for a handful of characters... And to be perfectly honest, I don't know of any characters that identify as a gender different from their sex.

    I honestly feel it's a little hollow to put so much attention on a character's gender identity. I dunno, I wouldn't feel comfortable if people constantly fixated on my own Gender Identity. But W/E.
  • TheMorriganZW wrote:

    Again, I fail to understand as to what this achieves? It's a lot of effort for a handful of characters... And to be perfectly honest, I don't know of any characters that identify as a gender different from their sex.
    I honestly feel it's a little hollow to put so much attention on a character's gender identity. I dunno, I wouldn't feel comfortable if people constantly fixated on my own Gender Identity. But W/E.
    You're wildly misinterpreting the intent.

    It's not for just a handful of characters. It's for all of them. These handful of characters simply show how our present approach is incorrect.

    There is no focus on gender under this proposal, that's actually what's happening right now. There is, however, the factual statement of a person's pronouns. Nothing more, nothing less. All this does is pursue factuality, rather than making assumptions.

    Bottom line, we will be more accurate. Effort is not a reasonable argument against that. I've been editing the Wiki for eight years and I can tell you that this is something that can be completed within two, three days tops.
  • TheMorriganZW wrote:

    Do we at least have a format? Don't want the character templates to look tacky? Would the characters be described as Feminine/Masculine/Androgynous? These aren't criticisms, I'm just a pedantic oaf and I'd like some consistency.
    All it is is replacing the "gender" descriptor to "pronouns" and using their pronouns. It's not an analysis of their gender or their presentation.

    There's examples of this in the original post.
  • I'm late to respond, but I'm going to go on a wing here and say that I agree entirely with Hylian King.

    I'm all for gender and pronoun recognition, but adding pronouns in infoboxes just seems.... extremely redundant. The main body of the article already refers to the characters as "he", "she" or "they". That sort of thing is better suited for the main content, not info box. So I would say that it is better to just get rid of the gender field altogether and not make the infobox more complicated than it already is.

    Though I of course realize my opinion on this holds no weight.
  • Getting rid of it is an entirely different discussion altogether. I don't agree, and I've already had people come to me to tell me how useful it was for them to see this information in the infobox.

    Also ideally these examples in infoboxes will be followed by a citation. It's not solely a "one word" blurb, it's to tell readers and editors alike that this is how this character is meant to be called. It eliminates ambiguity and sets the article to come.

    Post by gideon ().

    This post was deleted by Foo: Inappropriate. Will PM. ().