The Flak over Fl4k and what it cost

You said “But I have the right to use any pronouns I want with you.”

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Well, you see, the reason for that is enough people thought your opinion sucks that you got flagged like a billion times, and when that happens, the system automatically closes it. To defend you. For having an opinion that has been disproved by word god posts in this very thread.

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on the other hand, it is safe to say claptrap is a He.

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I do, that doesn’t mean i’m going to purposely disrespect you because I know you have feelings unlike fl4k.

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“It should be easy as pie to not gender a robot.”

Except that’s not how people who speak english work, they naturally want to apply a gender when speaking about a person/character. And yes, they will attempt to make a judgement call on the correct pronouns to use for that person/character. She/He are the two options most people are going to default to and make their judgement call to use. The singular “they”, when talking about a person who isn’t unknown, is unheard of to a lot of people and can feel clumsy even to people who do know about it.

“because robots are machines they are not usually assigned a gender at birth.”

And yet people assign gender to stuff like that all the time when talking about or too them. People decide that their appliances, tech, and cars and male/female all the time and talk about them as such. Its just how people are.

“Citing things like FL4K’s appearance and voice … They intentionally look for things that they can base a gender on.”

As I said, yeah, that’s what people do. They make the guess on what would be the correct pronouns to use. And yes-

" Who’s to say they wouldn’t do that to me? Look at build and my voice and assign a gender based on that?"

-they can be incorrect. And you can then correct them. Because you’re real, having the wrong pronouns used can actually effect you. They would “do that to a machine” because they would do that to a person, because everyone does that to people. Because language is gendered and they need to guess at what words to use when referring to an object, person, or character. People naturally look for physical traits and listen for a voice to try and guess what pronouns are correct for the situation. This can be wrong at times, because just because some traits are associated one way(broad shoulders or a soft/higher pitched voice) doesn’t mean that someone can’t have those traits when they aren’t what they’re usually associated with.

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This is where the confusion comes into play. People are getting banned for repeated and intentional misuees of the pronoun…yet it’s not a misuse of the pronoun. It doesn’t have any AND it’s a robot that people are putting sentimental value on because of how human like it is. These bans do hurt people. That is exactly the damage that is being done. It shows just how much and where people place their values on things. The devs say say Fl4k stands for non gender and going against it is a violation of peoples feelings and rights more or less…yet that’s not how Fl4k feels nor what he will be doing in the game. People are speaking for Fl4k, that is the problem. Going against the people speaking for Fl4k is the problem. The devs champion their hearts out to say Fl4k doesn’t have a gender…but neither does my toaster. My toaster will make toast. My fl4k will kill people. Fl4k and the devs are not on the same page nor are they uttering the same words, slinging the same post, singing the same songs, dancing the same dances. The devs do not speak for Fl4k. Fl4k speaks for Fl4k and at the end of the day how you refer to your Fl4k is how you refer to your Fl4k. Fl4k will no doubt be a loveable character just like all the rests of them.

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Remember the first draft was called “More guy then a girl”

Just to paint a picture.

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…because flak reads as a dude for most people?

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Thank you for treating people with respect. It goes a long way.

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You’re so close to an epiphany about, like, everything.

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The first draft was “Fl4k is more a guy then a girl” act like you have never made a spelling error.

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So what you’re saying is that it’d be super helpful if GBX only used they/their in all the skill tree options for FL4K, made several announcements about their gender, and then corrected people individually when they make the mistake on the forums. Cool. Cool.

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So, you’re concerned about being banned for misgendering a robot, and then go on to do it anyway? That’s not very smart, on your part.

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This is exactly the cost. Your personal ties to the character are in jeopardy because of other people’s personal ties to the character. Your version of Fl4k comes off as some sort of “threat” to how other people, including the Devs themselves, version of Fl4k. Yet at the end of the day their Fl4k does not hold weight over your own or any one else’s. We will play the game how we’ve been playing games for years nor will it reflect some kind of unbridled untapped hatred for people who are different. The correlation to how we “treat Fl4k” being how we treat the rest of the human race is dangerous BECAUSE of the fact action is being taken over “what if’s”.

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It’s the Freudian part of the error that I find amusing.

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Fearing something isn’t a reason to shut down and lock up. The whole purpose of this is to shed light and pry open what’s really going on. To get on the same page. To set the correct meanings where they belong. I for one refuse to acknowledge treating Fl4k one way means treating an actual human being the same way. You will be treated with respect on my account and that’s that. I can only wish you the best in your endeavors. My Fl4k or anyone else Fl4k has nothing to do with you or anyone that feels related to it.

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It’s not about which pronouns people use for FL4K, it’s about WHY they’re doing it. People are assigning a gender to FL4K because they don’t believe in non-binary genders, and because they foolishly believe that a person has to be either male or female. They are positive that FL4K is a one or the other because they don’t believe that a person can be neither.

And if you tell them this, they’ll say “FL4K isn’t even a person.” Okay, so what’s the problem? They are still assigning a gender, to this character, to this robot, because they believe that everything needs to be a man or a woman.

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And the fact that the english majors come out of the woodworks on this topic.

“IT’S NOT GRAMMATICALLY SOUNNNNND”

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I comment you for still trying to reason with this guy, because when he gets confronted and can’t back it up, he’ll just tag your post for moderation.

It feels like talking to a wall at this point.

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Yes I am very concerned about the implications of being banned for referring to a robot as a him. That type of authoritarian action only leads to further censorship.

Listen, I know that you feel a particular way about this, and I totally get it. So do I. Why can’t we have an open dialogue about our ideas? Where has the tolerance gone for people that see things a little different than yourself?

For example, I would never ban anyone for calling an imaginary character a certain pronoun, but Gearbox will. This is concerning for anyone that holds expression of thought as something dear and essential.

You support the censorship because you agree with it. One day, it might turn around, and you might be banned for something that is no longer PC.

Even though we both disagree on an issue, me and you, charleychibi, can unite against authoritarian censorship. IF we stopped trying to censor each other, we might actually get somewhere.

Again, love and respect.

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