First let me say that I am very new to the game, having played it just twice with my wife (3rd edition, no expansions). I was so happy upon finishing our first game that I all but demanded playing it through a second time.
But a day or so later, I posed a question to her: "Do you think it should be allowed to change the gender-specific pronouns in ending cards?" It is clear that a large part of the game is making your pieces fit your particular ending card, and when one narrator wants a male to be the protagonist and the other wants a female, well, that's just part of the fun. Moreover, I didn't feel pushed in any specific direction while playing, and one should be able to craft whatever they want in the story anyway. But, it being the resolution, the end can be scripted. And maybe you don't want a pensive female marrying some clod.
I have since looked at the ending cards in my base set and determined the following:
7 cards specifically use the pronoun "she"
8 use "he"
2 use "he" AND "her" and imply a marriage
9 use "they"
25 (the rest) use a specific third party
Clearly there's no problem with the "they" and third party spread, so I took a closer look at the "he" and "she" cards.
I was worried that the "he" cards would be more valiant and adventuring and the "she" cards more being rescued and such, but it is actually pretty even. There's ample room for female questing, just as there is room for submissive males based on these cards (IMHO).
It is clear the creators had this in mind.
The only two things left for me to analyze are the "he" and "she" marriages. I should note that I there are one or two other cards that imply marriage and DO NOT specify.
For completions sake, I'm looking at,
"So he told her he was the prince and they lived happily ever after," and
"So he forgave her and they were married."
Ultimately, I think the cards are varied enough that we don't need a pronoun changing rule in future games. It stresses the mechanics unnecessarily for something that is as likely as not, which no one can argue with.
Oh. Actually that's good. Let me see how many endings could directly imply a wedding between two same-sex relationships or ones with genderless creatures.
So I see four that don't directly state that it is an non-traditional relationship but COULD BE used that way without modification.
There's one in the "he" stack and one in the "she" stack. There's one in the "they" stack. And there's also one that says they were named the king and queen which I didn't include in the original marriage count. It isn't TOO much of a stretch to use those terms to apply to whatever. Or is it. MMM. Partial credit. It think four could bes is about as good as one could expect.
In summary, it seems like the creators took equality of gender and sexuality into account when making these endings, and it is much more balanced than I gave it credit. But does anyone else want to weigh in?
I think it's super interesting you took the time to look into this. I've always felt there was some gender disparity in a few games I played, so it's interesting to see that was probably more the result of the tropes players are accustomed to rather than the game itself.
However this is doubly interesting to me as someone who has been working on their own storytelling game and has spent a lot of time worrying about gender. Do you think the game would have been improved by a more widespread use of the pronoun "they"?