"Non-Binary" : Is This A Proven-Truthful, Efficient Way To Model Reality Linguistically?
STOP! Is the "non-binary" label a case of PC language smuggling in a certain ideology? If so, there should be *free respectful debate* on its particular virtues or vices *before* we allow it to pass our common border.
FIRST, A DEFENCE:
Should I be raising such concerns here?
(Honest Self-Disclosure : posting here has given me pause. I felt obliged to create an anonymous account that would not easily be hacked & tracked, compromising my freedom to debate without repercussions for my wellbeing should someone be "triggered" unreasonably by what I write, & respond with malicious intent in order to do me some sort of harm (or, more likely, subject me to unreasonable "trollish" harassment.) This isn't a desirable state of affairs for anyone.)
Well, Role-Playing Games & Dungeons & Dragons as here offers us imaginary participation in simulations of worlds. Sometimes - & at their best - these Secondary Worlds express high complexity - ***especially including "political" & military complexity*** - inspired by & often mirroring or reacting to aspects of The Real World. ***Therefore the political aspect of Reality & Secondary Worlds should *never* be necessarily precluded from a healthy & serious discussion of Dungeons & Dragons & RPG's in general.***
***And, more specifically, there is definitely a political *aspect &/or applications & implications* to the term "non-binary" - especially currently in Western countries (cf. the online & offline contention swirling around leading figures such as Prof. Jordan Peterson.)***
While personally favouring democratic socialism, I am not, in some ways, part of the "extreme" Left. So I won't argue every act is always "political" to support my assertion that this post should be allowed to be read by others. ***But certainly any civil communication (no swearing here!) should be available for evaluation by every healthily free-thinking, free-speaking adult who participates in our wonderful community, physical & online; in this sense I am totally for, & *not* against inclusion : every voice with something of apparent weight to add to a discussion should be heard.*** ***Free thought & free speech are essential to informed logical debate, & informed logical debate is essential to evaluating the more objective worthiness of changing language in D&D.***
Even 'An Honest Anyone' who would state that they identify as part of the community of the "extreme" Left would admit that the term "non-binary" is effectively an example of political language, (1) by virtue of their very belief that all acts - including linguistics acts - are political; -&/OR- (2) because they admit in the end that *part* of their push for the use of such terms & broader use of more varied personal pronouns is to effect sociopolitical change, in formal law & informal discourse. ***And how can I sufficiently discuss what I feel & think specifically about a change in language that even my hypothetically, diametrically-opposed co-debaters would agree is political, without being political?***
THE MEAT OF THE MATTER:
So, regarding the proposed "non-binary" label...
Personally : I dislike this on the basis of my interest in biological / psychological truth & its better expression in language, esp. English, as someone trained in languages / linguistics, & a quondam teacher of English as a Second Language. Honest self-disclosure : this is largely shaped by personal conviction / feeling & Christian influences, which is reasonable to the extent that I think Christianity may be true, on the basis of logical arguments & evidence. (I've suspended judgement in some ways on this one, as I'm seeking *empirically* stronger proof, if such is indeed available & "offered.")
The 24+ personal pronouns sometimes over-vigorously promoted by the *extreme* Left for the "non-binary" seems to me both (1) overcumbersome, even for those who like exploring physically-possible 'Ursula le Guinean' Secondary Worlds; -&- (2) doubtful in veracity, at least on some points, where it asserts certain important claims on the nature of physical / psychological "gender", "sex" & "sexuality." (Prof. Jordan Peterson, admittedly in my view not universally ethical / truthful, has himself sometimes been wrong on some of his important assertions, but he is correct about the *extreme* Left factually erring on these issues & the ethical undesirability of a State legally enforcing the use of these pronouns & effectively punishing genuinely "conscientious objectors.")
In contrast with the 24+ pronoun matrix, the term "non-binary" itself, while far simpler, is too ambiguous (even if I accepted the assumptions built into any ideology that seeks to promote the use of such language & the ideas / worldview / values it tacitly proclaims as true.) How does this jargon-ish label help a DM quickly describe our hypothetical shield dwarf? Is this "shield dwarf" (obscure?) "bisexual"? Well, I personally don't necessarily clap him on the back for living so, but that's clearer than "non-binary." Or is (s)he? physically a "hermaphrodite?" That is an easier aid for the storytelling DM to pick up & use off the page - perhaps they can throw in natural breasts on top of natural male pudenda as part of a physical description, where evident / pertinent.
In the context of the fantasy / science fantasy / science fiction genres predominant in D&D, "non-binary" can simple mean *too much* : anything from "he doesn't identify himself as (just) male or female" -OR- "he isn't physically, naturally or artificially - e.g. magically - (just) male or female", to "he's one of 24+ genders 'identified'" -OR- "actually naturally or artificially physically instantiated among 'shield dwarves.'" LOL! The introduction of such increasingly popular, but at times, perhaps, unwieldy AND unproven language certainly stirs up a set of questions, a multi-headed hydra requiring a careful or studied communal response, not based primarily on *any* individual or single subgroup's subjective emotion & perception (*including my own*) --- &, without disregarding any's (high & universal) value as persons, *regardless of factors such as participation in minority status, or the degree of hurt /oppression experienced or felt*; these understandably tend to strongly shape our subjective *views* of the Truth, but not *Truth, its independent, objective self.*
That is arrived at, as much as we are able as mortals, e.g. via actual empirical *testing* of theories, & *logical argument expressed in free debate.*
Terminology issues aside, as for (A) abbreviated-block vs. (B) paragraph-formatting of monster / NPC descriptions, (A) is quicker to use, it "leaps off the page", while (B) is more imaginatively evocative, fluent, involving. So with contrary pro's, I suspect individual DM preference will vary depending on individual DMing style.