The Flak over Fl4k and what it cost

So, anyway, here’s GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide.

And here’s The Human Rights Campaign definitions:

Gender Identity
One’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both or neither — how individuals
perceive themselves and what they call themselves. One’s gender identity can be the same
or different from their sex assigned at birth. While most people develop a gender identity aligned with their biological sex, for some gender identity is different from their biological or assigned sex

Gender Binary
The notion that there exist only two genders, each solidly fixed, biologically based and attached to various expectations for behavior, appearance and feelings. The binary gender system, while predominant in most cultures, is not the only model of gender that exists; more nuanced, non-binary understandings of gender have existed throughout history and across cultures.

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Okay guys. For posterity. Cause I really don’t like closing threads.

If you are targeting some one’s character or giving an assessment of who they are it is called ad hominem. It is not allowed. It can get you removed from the thread or banned.

Give your opinion. WITHOUT THE ASSESSMENT. We’re adults.


I’m not offending anyone or swearing.

I’m offended that you thought I would watch a Ben Shapiro video.

Kidding. But honestly, you came in here trying to debate me and then didn’t read anything I wrote. And made a point of telling me that.

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Thread will be opened in about 10 minutes.

I’m not going to let debate get derailed because one person can’t be civil.

Sorry to everyone on both sides of the aisle for this.


I am reopening the thread after dealing with the issue.

I want to clarify something. No. No one was banned because of their opinion, their use of a pronoun or anything else. As evident by the fact that both sides have been argued with little intervention up to this point. People were given several opportunities to stop insulting other users, and opted not to do so.

As some one that really values the ability to express yourself, especially when your point of view could get you a lot of fl4k (har har), the practice of doing so with wanton hostility is, and will always be, self serving.

You are not ‘speaking truth’. You’re just waving your banner because it serves your view of the world. If you’re argument requires snide asides, it is because your argument is failing.

Debate is healthy. Actually it is healthiest when some one’s view point is something we may find offensive, or even oppressive. Only discussion allows for the exchange of ideas, and the question of our own beliefs/principles/concepts is a sign of maturity.

So this should be discussed, and some people may feel their blood pumping during the heat of the debate. But if you can’t take a step back and offer a person you disagree with a modicum of respect, regardless of how much you disagree with them, then the concept of free speech is dying within you.

You don’t want to hear, but you want to be heard. That’ll never do.

So, I apologize to each side of the debate for the cessation. Each side has the RIGHT to be heard and I will do my best to facilitate that.

Guys, please don’t make me play Dad again. I am not equipped for this.


Breaking Character…

So… I have a question… and I am genuinely serious when I ask this…
Has anyone actually asked why FL4K is a “they?”

Is it because FL4K considers the pack to be one?
Is it because of multiple core processors?
Would an individual within the pack still be referred to as a “he” or a “she” or an “it” or are they so entwined as an operating system that they are always considered one?
Is the robot portion isolated from the pack considered a “they” or is it just when the pack is together?
The pets individually have names, so would it be proper to refer to a pet alone as “they” or with a singular pronoun?
Are they all part of a collective consciousness?
Do they have free will?
To what extent are their actions controlled by FL4K?

I ask because I’ve seen debate going on for like… 4 days… with each side digging in and reiterating political mantras, and I have yet to see someone bring this up: the actual sci-fi concept behind the pronoun usage.
I genuinely want to know the conceptual philosophical and psychological reasons behind this, because I think that’s really interesting.
Has Gearbox given out any information about FL4K’s character psychology, or is it all speculation at this point?
More importantly to this thread… does anyone even know exactly why FL4K is referred to as a “they?”


I’m interested in finding this out myself. My theory was that FL4K saw other robots with genders (Claptrap, Felicity, etc) and decided gender was not for them. We know that a non-binary person was involved in their development, so it’s more likely than not that FL4K is using singular they. According to the pin, they dislike the idea of the gender binary, while also having some wordplay with the number binary.


Oh, this was actually discussed in what I lovingly refer to as Hell Thread Two. (On Cosplay Guide drop day, two threads emerged. One just kinda…angry? The other positing the theory you’re now bringing up).

And the basic consensus prelock, I think, is that while that was a valid possibility, it’s been very clearly Telegraphed that this is a Non-binary character in the sense of what we’re discussing here. Between tweets from Dev Team discussing Non-binary representation…
To the very obviously coded Non-binary Pride Flag Pin On Their Outfit.

Beyond that, not much else is known, so we’ve got what we’ve got. But the word from gearbox IT SEEMS TO ME is that Fl4k is they in the singular sense.


So… we don’t actually know the why behind FL4K’s gender pronoun for sure?
We’re just making assumptions here?


Deductions, not assumptions :slight_smile:


We know FL4K’s pronouns, not why they use them. Pronouns were confirmed, non-binary status was confirmed. The only assumption we are making is that FL4K uses singular they. And it is more of an educated guess. A deduction, as sammantixbb said.


We know they use “they/them” we know that robots have an idea of gender (claptrap-he)
we know that they are wearing a non-binary pride pin, we know that a real life non-binary person was involved in their creation.

We don’t know where they fall under the non-binary umbrella (agender, bigender, gender fluid)


I have scrubbed this of all attacks in any way I can,

But you don’t choose in many casual circumstances,

You can choose what you ANSWER TO.

For example, I refer to a classmate as “wheels” or “squeaky”

She called me “krispy” because my joints pop if I move wrong.

She didn’t pick those. I did. I didn’t bother to learn her name for three weeks because we didn’t need names. Even the nicknames were there for it we talked about each other to outside people! :laughing:

She didn’t pick those names. But she answered to them so I continued to use them to refer to her.

The example I just gave was about a person using their reaction to influence others.

That example you provided seems to be compelling others to go with what a single person may feel.

They may be an ■■■■■■■ for not respecting it,
But compelled speech is reprehensible as well. Ideologically that’s trying to tell those who don’t agree with the language use to get in the closet.

Some may celebrate that. But how can any marginalized community celebrate marginalizing others?

No, the discussion as I understood it was about compelling people to use certain pronouns at this point.

By the way i’m NOT debating, i’m Discussing to better understand other view points whether or not I agree with them.

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I think you’d like this.


Sam the lead writer discuss the development of flak in his tweets.


A lot of the time, I answer to the wrong pronouns because it is easier to deal with a one-off instance where I feel dysphoric (great discomfort) than to get into it with a stranger. They may know nothing about gender identity or pronouns and getting into it with them could lead to a debate.

A lot of the time, I tell people I am the wrong gender. So, imagine, if I was in a space where I knew my pronouns and identity would be respected. I would feel no problem correcting a person or even coming out to them myself. But if they then went ahead and misgendered me anyway, I would feel betrayed.

These forums are that space. There are rules in place that protect people from being misgendered and punish people who do so.

I cannot force people to use my correct pronouns, as you seem to think. Nobody can be “compelled.” There is no such thing as “compelled speech.” And I find it hilarious that you compared that to being in the closet.

Being in the closet means I have to deal with people gendering me, and gendering myself all the damn time. These forums are a space where I don’t have to deal with that. The moderators make sure of it.


I just started reading the complete Sherlock Holmes… i’ll Be reading that article

Yeah, I’d scroll up to find it, but we definitely know “nonbinary” , just not why (and if it’s related to a higher consciousness or the pets stored in the chassis) or what the specified offshoot of that they’d be. I’m too lazy to scroll up through the 1k or more posts though :stuck_out_tongue:

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