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    • Discussion
    Gender v. Pronouns
    • I understand that the gender information in the infoboxes is being replaced with pronouns for characters who's official gender doesn't match the pronouns used in dialogue. For example Sheik having he/him pronouns listed despite being a female. But why does it have to replace gender information, isn't the fact that Sheik is a woman important? I'd say that objective information is a lot more important than assumptions on gender taken from dialogue!

      I only found out today that this change was happening, and I'm sure there are others who oppose this change that couldn't speak their minds before the main thread was locked so I think more discussion should take place before such a massive change happens especially since in the main thread, 6 of the 10 people who got to voice their opinions in the main thread were against it so I don't understand how the minority beat out the majority in the first place.
    • The gender of Sheik is actually an interesting intersection of the politics of gender as they relate to depictions of such in media. Officially speaking, Sheik is, of course, Zelda, a girl who - through the use of magic - is disguised as male and presented as male. Given that this is a Japanese game released back in 1998 - before transgender identity became part of the mainstream cultural conversation, and in a country that prefers not to talk about such issues - it is highly unlikely that the developers of Ocarina of Time fully appreciated the complexity of the themes they were dealing with.

      I think, fundamentally, there are two axes (plural of "axis", not "ax" or "axe") through which we can consider this issue. The first is the Death of the Author trope as it relates to gender identity. A common argument in gender theory in media is that there are circumstances in which the official use of pronouns for certain characters can be ignored due to what is interpreted as the erasure of transgender identity. For example, Gwyndolin of Dark Souls is a character who is explicitly identified as a "son" and explained to have been "raised as a daughter", complete with a feminine name and a feminine form of dress. However, given that "he" is clearly presenting "himself" as female, it can perhaps be argued that Gwyndolin is, in fact, a transwoman, and that the whole "crossdressing" theme is - in Doylist terms - a depiction of transgenderism, carelessly and insensitively shoved under the Watsonian umbrella trope of "crossdressing". The argument of "he was assigned the gender of male at birth, therefore if he presents himself as female, he's merely an effeminate (and gay) man" is a common and unfortunate argument against the recognition of transgender identities. One can thus argue that - as Sheik - Zelda was presenting herself as male in every respect, and thus should be considered such.

      This is complicated, of course, by the fact that a clean comparison to the dilemma surrounding transgender persons in media is impossible, seeing how we're literally dealing with magic. We know Zelda to be a cisgender female; while Sheik is meant to be portrayed as male (cisgender or transgender or otherwise), one must ask to what extent can the identity of Sheik be considered Zelda? Moreover, what is Sheik in relation to Zelda? Or more precisely, is Sheik simply a glamour that Zelda can dispel like a mask (like a magical illusion), or is Sheik an actual biophysical change of Zelda akin to how humans may transform into a werewolf? These are interesting questions to ask in relation to gender theory in media, but they really shouldn't be considered a substitute for actual conversations on gender and pronouns, because magic does not actually exist in real life, and people cannot "magically" choose what gender they want to be.

      Personally, while I'm open to arguments otherwise and don't really mind who uses what (since I don't think this analogy is something that is really applicable for real life discussions on gender identity), I prefer to refer to Sheik by the male pronoun, since a male identity is what's being presented when Zelda in Sheik. So long as we understand what is being referred to when we talk about Zelda and Sheik, I don't think differences in gender labels here can really be construed as the erasure of transgender identity.

      Carl Sagan wrote:

      People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.
    • The official count (of people who spoke up in that thread as I asked) was 5 for/4 against. One comment was not counted due to not being distinctly for or against.

      In the event of a discrepancy or particular case, such as Sheik or Fi, it will be noted in the article body itself. The gender information, where actually applicable, isn't being removed.

      You are welcome to discuss this policy, but know that it remains.
    • It's been a while since I last logged in here. But this basically cause me to come back, so I may as well give my input.

      I think it's important to consider the fact that the Zelda series doesn't actually focus on this subject of pronouns. There are no characters that go out of their way to push the idea or tell you straight out that they're technically one gender but "identifies" as something else. So even if opinions and personal views on a real life matter change... The ideas and plans within the games are still the same. (I.E. Everyone knows Zelda is only disguised as a male to fool everyone and to make a nice reveal.) And even if there was one character that qualifies. It would still be just that character vs. everyone else, and would at most needed to be pointed out on that specific character's page somewhere. Adding it to every character, also brings up the problem with those who simply do not speak, and/or aren't even humanoid. (Demon train.) Wikis shouldn't be presumptuous.

      To sum it up; I think taking it upon yourselves to make this kind of addition, is closer to pushing ideologies where they (currently) don't belong to yet. Simply due to the fact that it's not even a real subject in the games.

      It's much simpler if you just leave it as it was.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Sypher ().

    • Kei wrote:

      The gender of Sheik is actually an interesting intersection of the politics of gender as they relate to depictions of such in media. Officially speaking, Sheik is, of course, Zelda, a girl who - through the use of magic - is disguised as male and presented as male. Given that this is a Japanese game released back in 1998 - before transgender identity became part of the mainstream cultural conversation, and in a country that prefers not to talk about such issues - it is highly unlikely that the developers of Ocarina of Time fully appreciated the complexity of the themes they were dealing with.
      I've heard before that in Japan, the concept of gender neutrality, and possibly differing genders, does not exist there. It's an unheard of concept there. So the whole debate over Sheik's own gender is likely very much a moot point there. But of course, this is also an English wiki, and one that takes the North American releases as canon. So I guess whatever perception Japan and Nintendo of Japan has over Sheik do not apply to us.

      I will say though, that for a policy change as big as this one, it certainly was not very inclusive. All it did was take the opinions and votes of people on the forums. If we want wiki-goers to use the forums, then there should be on-wiki notifications announcing potential policy changes. Bring it to their attention and let them have their say too. It is only fair, and a way to bring them here.
    • Midoro wrote:

      I will say though, that for a policy change as big as this one, it certainly was not very inclusive. All it did was take the opinions and votes of people on the forums. If we want wiki-goers to use the forums, then there should be on-wiki notifications announcing potential policy changes. Bring it to their attention and let them have their say too. It is only fair, and a way to bring them here.
      Now that you bring it up, I'm surprised there isn't a notification for the change on the wiki at all for something that impacts a good chunk of high-traffic pages. I imagine there's a lot of people confused over a staff bot changing a bit of every character's bio and immediately turning over any revisions back to Gender, since if you aren't aware of the vote that all of ten people responded to (and which deadlocked but passed anyways at 5 for/5 against if you count Tony as for and exclude JustAZeldaFan's late response) then it looks like one of the site's staff forcing identity politics into articles where it doesn't belong.
    • To be clear, I was the one who brought it up on a talk page, and I'm still really confused as to why this is a thing.

      The controversy of characters like Sheik or Fi doesn't really justify it, since those are just two characters on a wiki where almost every character in the series as a pointless, blatant, sloppy-looking "Pronouns" section in their infobox. It's awkward for me to look at, and even for the two characters where it's even an issue, that issue is addressed elsewhere in their articles.

      I just don't see the point of it. At all.
    • I see people complaining about "forcing gender identity politics" or whatever but as far as I can see that hasn't happened.

      There are a range of people/creatures/monsters/robots in the series for which knowing "he" or "it" is more useful than a gender field which doesn't always make sense in the context of a fantasy world. That seems to be what it is being used for rather than any kind of politics.
    • I was one of the people who voiced their opinion that pronouns in the infobox is redundant when it can just be stated in the main body, but even I do not think that the pronoun field looks sloppy. It doesn't at all.

      You know what actually looks sloppy? Characters with infoboxes who have like a dozen or so non-canon games listed in the non-canon media field. That seriously needs an option to collapse, and by default, and it certainly is possible.
    • Cody wrote:

      I see people complaining about "forcing gender identity politics" or whatever but as far as I can see that hasn't happened.

      There are a range of people/creatures/monsters/robots in the series for which knowing "he" or "it" is more useful than a gender field which doesn't always make sense in the context of a fantasy world. That seems to be what it is being used for rather than any kind of politics.
      I myself claimed earlier in the thread that to an outside observer totally unaware of the thought processes behind the initial vote, it looks like the forcing of identity politics onto the wiki. While not an actual move on this part from what I've observed, it nonetheless appears as such explicitly due to changing Gender to a field about personal pronouns, as well as the sheer redundancy behind the change (one can infer if listed as "Male" they are a "he", or that if they are an unknown or non-gendered character such as a robot the gender-neutral "he" or "it" will be used) sheerly for the sake of a handful of characters with little actual ambiguity on the subject that would have been solved in any case by simply listing them as "Unknown", "N/A", or "See Below".

      Paraphrased from Nelsyv in the vote thread, any gender ambiguity or conflicts are better off left as a footnote or explained in the article itself, or as with the example of Volvagia being a "he" in Ocarina of Time for the N64 and then an "it" for Ocarina of Time 3D, use of the most recent reference to their gender is in order. A change into the "Pronouns" field presents uncertainty as to their actual gender- one could go by "he" but be a female- and could down the line present wild claims on the part of people actually interested in hawking their identity politics, for example claiming that Linkle is a physiological male but identifies as female despite all signs otherwise simply because there's nothing stating Linkle isn't a physiological male. The whole ordeal strikes me as an edit-war headache waiting to happen- indeed has already happened between the TheGroosenator bot and confused editors changing it back to the Gender field, or ones taking advantage of the new field for their entertainment by listing Malladus' pronouns as "choo/choo"- all for the sake of eliminating gender ambiguity that doesn't exist or could very easily be solved without changes to the pre-existing setup.

      This is coupled with that the wiki at large is unaware of the change having taken place due to the vote's obscurity, and that the vote tied at best or failed to pass at worst depending on who you include or exclude, and yet it was put into effect anyways as I've mentioned previously, which ends up making the vote thread look like more of a notification to the forum that it's going to happen and is a foregone conclusion rather than an actual vote on the matter.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by BZ98 ().

    • So I guess Tony is going to blatantly ignore any contradictions people will point out, because "votes over"?

      Cody wrote:

      There are a range of people/creatures/monsters/robots in the series for which knowing "he" or "it" is more useful than a gender field which doesn't always make sense in the context of a fantasy world. That seems to be what it is being used for rather than any kind of politics.
      To be honest, I don't see how it's more useful. No extra information is gained from it. And as bz98 said; pronouns are immediately inferred by their gender, they go hand in hand together. To be frank, it only becomes more complicated if you try to prop it up as it's own separate thing. In a series where this is not even an issue.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Sypher ().

    • From a scientific perspective, I think what you are having trouble with is that sex is different than gender. Sex is what everyone is born and is based on the anatomy that they started with. Gender is based on self identification and is determined by the individual themselves. Both are important to recognize, but when outside the scientific realm, gender should be used over sex, because that is how the individual identifies.

      From my basic understanding, the switch from gender to pronouns here is similar to the transition from acknowledging individuals by sex to acknowledging them by gender in general society.
    • Teeler wrote:

      From a scientific perspective, I think what you are having trouble with is that sex is different than gender. Sex is what everyone is born and is based on the anatomy that they started with. Gender is based on self identification and is determined by the individual themselves. Both are important to recognize, but when outside the scientific realm, gender should be used over sex, because that is how the individual identifies.

      From my basic understanding, the switch from gender to pronouns here is similar to the transition from acknowledging individuals by sex to acknowledging them by gender in general society.
      Sex versus gender was never the problem. Before it was always gender > sex, and there were conflicts over that before as I can recall. What happened here is pronoun preference over gender, which itself is a different ballpark.

      Calamity Ganon seems to have been the main push for this consideration. But if you want my honest opinion, it is too early to make any call on Calamity Ganon. We do not know what exactly Calamity is. Is it an actual being with a conscious, self-aware mind? Is it actually Ganon or Demise reincarnated or a new entity? Is it merely a manifestation of evilness? We do not know yet.
    • Sypher wrote:

      So I guess Tony is going to blatantly ignore any contradictions people will point out, because "votes over"?
      I assume so, I was told by Tony I counted incorrectly but no matter which way I slice it the vote didn't actually pass, hence my referral to the vote itself as a foregone conclusion and more a notice that it was happening, especially since he also says the vote's result is binding and will not be changed or reverted.

      Tony wrote:

      Your counting is erroneous, most glaringly because you're including someone who commented after the voting was closed.