Don’t Leave it to Beaver

Originally published October 9, 2018. This seems a little pollyana now, looking back almost two years later. The conclusion isn’t wrong, exactly, but it’s incomplete. Sure, you can be in the SCA and never discuss modern politics, but what you can’t do is leave your biases at at Gate. They’re too ingrained. And a whole lotta people chose to insist on exposing themselves.

A post made from a slightly edited comment on another thread talking about nostalgia in the context of conservatives trying to make America “what it was”:

So here’s the thing: this kind of BS leave it to beaver father knows best nostalgia is NOT what the SCA is about. The SCA is the Middle Ages as they should have been. That means celebrating the good in anyone and leaving all the old prejudices behind. There’s no burning of witches, no stoning of polyamorous people, no torture of heathens or apostates.

There’s same sex consorts in crown tournament, Baronies run by two Baronesses, non-gendered persona titles, and women Knights.

If that’s what you’re interested (and there’s still room for cishet-presenting white dudes with wives and children like you and me) then great.

You can be in the SCA and never reveal or discuss modern politics. But you’re going to have to choose to not reveal or discuss modern politics.

Be Kind and Carry On

Originally published on October 1, 2018.

The SCA has just released two new gender neutral titles for AOA level folks: Noble (as in Noble Alex) and Armiger (as in Chris, Armiger). Both mean the same thing — that the person has received an AOA level award. Armiger is even a period term, barely, and it was brought up that even though the word itself is not gendered, the vast majority of holders of the title were men, because men (mostly, in western europe, and that’s still a broad brush) carried the weapons, thus they were the ones chosen to be armigers, so it’s not “really” gender neutral (except of course it is, so)…

Anyway, this is what I said, and I think it can be applicable to other things. Mostly in the end it boils down to “be kind and call people what they want to be called.”

The SCA is about the middle ages, but it exists in the modern day. We cannot simply set aside modern attitudes about gender and identification; we must embrace them and choose paths that allow the SCA to welcome everyone, not just people of “traditional” gender concepts. Diversity is life; monoculture is death, and I’m not just talking conceptually — the SCA needs to appeal to people of all stripes, colors and patterns in order to survive.

That means, in part, recognizing that there is a subset of people who do not feel comfortable with either Lord or Lady, and therefore, deserve our attention and care in building a title/awards structure that they fit into just as much as anyone else.

The vast majority of baseball players are male. They have been for over a century. Does that mean that baseball player doesn’t apply to females? Because if you think so, Little League would like a serious world with you.

The same goes for my commuter train — the vast majority seem to identify as male, but there are those who identify as female — should “conductor” not apply to them?

I’m glad the SCA is as forward thinking on this as it is. It’s certainly better than the alternative.