Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Comic Discussion => QUESTIONABLE CONTENT => Topic started by: fayelovesbubbles on 14 May 2018, 18:35

Title: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 14 May 2018, 18:35
Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I'd like to hear theories. This has never really been explored in the comic. We know that Faye was straight as an arrow until possibly developing feelings for Bubbles.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 14 May 2018, 19:36
It's hard to tell with a recluse. For all we know she might have been completely asexual. On the other hand, of all the discomfort she's feeling, being attracted to a woman has not been an issue at all for her.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 14 May 2018, 19:40
Bubbles's sexual and romantic interests, to the best of my knowledge, have never been discussed or even hinted at in the comic. It may be that she's never had any sexual or romantic feelings at all before she met Faye. As such, any speculation is pure fancy.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 14 May 2018, 19:43
I like this answer the best. Bubbles is Faye-sexual. <3<3
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Zelia on 14 May 2018, 19:44
I tend to see her as asexual but romantically inclined, aside from her obvious interest in Faye we don't know if she's homo- or bi-romantic. Our understanding of robot sexuality is pretty low, and the only stuff that's been discussed is specific kinks, like Pintsize's...everything, and Roko's bread fetish. And maybe Jeremy and his romantic partner, but it's not really clear what their relationship constitutes. As robot/human relationships are edging on practically inter-species, maybe all the rules go out the window.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 14 May 2018, 19:56
I mean...Roko, for example...I'd say she's straight, probably. She is clearly attracted to Clinton, though I'm not sure if anything will ever come of that. She's nervous and awkward so that's going to make things difficult. I would really like to see her find someone, though.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Storel on 14 May 2018, 21:46
Bubbles's sexual and romantic interests, to the best of my knowledge, have never been discussed or even hinted at in the comic. It may be that she's never had any sexual or romantic feelings at all before she met Faye. As such, any speculation is pure fancy.

Yeah, this is what I think about Bubbles too. She went straight into the service, probably didn't have anything but camaraderie with her squadmates, and then was too traumatized to have any relationships after that. I would not be at all surprised if this is her first time getting involved in any way with anyone, which would totally explain why she's so nervous and uncertain about it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 14 May 2018, 22:08
This expands a little on something I had said earlier.

Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat. It's very likely she has never had any romantic thoughts before, so even she did not know what her desires were. However, having been designed for human interaction, camaraderie, and dedication, romantic development would have always been possible, even if not likely.

When she lost her squad, she blamed herself, feeling that she had failed them somehow (even though it was no fault of hers). So her emotional center shut down completely. Faye was the first person who was caring, patient, loving - and yes, even stubborn - enough to reawaken her emotions. When her emotions awakened, they were far more intense than anything she had experienced before. She had never felt anything like that, so she understandably interpreted the feelings as romance. Whether that's what they really were at that point is immaterial. Even if they weren't, they may have since then developed into true eros (romantic) love. Then again, it may have been a misinterpretation all along, and may even now only be very intense philia (friendship) love. But regardless of which kind of love it is, this is undoubtedly the first time she has ever experienced it at this intensity. Her feelings for Faye are very strong, so she is quite reasonably unsure herself what she is feeling.

Having said all that, since she has likely only ever had feelings like this for one person, even she probably still does not know what her sexual orientation - if she even has one - is.


(And now that I've gone to all the trouble of writing this, I see someone else has just said something similar while I was typing)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: BenRG on 14 May 2018, 23:09
Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat.

That's inaccurate. Bubbles told Momo that she was just a synthetic-in-the-street who chose to join the armed forces. The only thing that was designed for combat is her current chassis.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Gyrre on 14 May 2018, 23:25
From today's comic, I'd say she's still trying to srt that out herself.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 14 May 2018, 23:35
Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat.

That's inaccurate. Bubbles told Momo that she was just a synthetic-in-the-street who chose to join the armed forces. The only thing that was designed for combat is her current chassis.
She did not say she was just a synthetic-in-the-street. An ordinary AI would be ineffective in that chassis, because it has features, sensors, scanners, that a civilian chassis does not. (Take Pintsize, for example. Given a military chassis, he discovered he had a laser he could fire at will, but he could not control it, because he was not designed for it.) She felt the call to serve because she was designed for it.
Quote from: Bubbles
I believed I was well-disposed toward such a role. As an artificial intelligence, I possess skills and features that my human counterparts do not. With this body, I am superhuman. A state of the art weapon that can think, reason, and empathize. What better soldier could there be?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: BenRG on 14 May 2018, 23:42
Wrong, wrong, wrong. You're totally misinterpreting everything she said to Momo. All she was saying that as a synthetic, she is more able to be an effective soldier than a human (that, indeed, any synthetic would be so) and, with the right chassis, she becomes superhuman. At no point does she even imply she was designed specifically for military purposes. Instead she clearly states that this was a career she chose.

FWIW, it is my belief that any AI can operate any chassis because the chassis operating software is local to the chassis, not something provided by the AI, which acts simply as the client using that software.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 15 May 2018, 00:10
So far?  Bubbles is apparently Fayesexual. 

Not enough data to generalize. And for that matter there may actually be no generalization at all.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 15 May 2018, 00:28
I'm going to have to side with BenRG on this point. Whatever she was doing before she joined the armed forces, she clearly says she chose to join. That implies that she was not purpose-built for it. It isn't even clear exactly how much control developers have over what properties an AI will have. Consider that Winslow wasn't "designed" to have fingers, yet he seems capable of using them effectively in his new chassis. That's a feat we have a hard time specifically designing robots for, let alone for software to pick up on the fly.

As for Pintsize's military laser? He simply didn't have the correct drivers for it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 15 May 2018, 00:57
Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 15 May 2018, 04:08
I like this. Bubbles has only ever had romantic feelings for Faye, and Faye's feelings for Bubbles are a first, too. "I've never been attracted to a lady...or a robot."
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 15 May 2018, 04:15
My understanding is that the AIs are not designed at all. Rather, they are an emergent intelligence (https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1506).

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don't think that approach will win anyone over to your opinion, just quietly.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 15 May 2018, 04:31
Couldn't care less.

If she likes Faye, she likes Faye. Nothing else is comic relevant unless an ex or future partner joins.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: NemesisDancer on 15 May 2018, 09:34
I wouldn't assume Bubbles is 100% asexual (not in robot terms at least) given that she appeared to get a bit flustered over Seven's "three cables" comment: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3500
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 May 2018, 10:52
Couldn't care less.

If she likes Faye, she likes Faye. Nothing else is comic relevant unless an ex or future partner joins.

There could be dramatic conflict internally if Bubbles had considered herself heterosexual before this. Exploring such a hypothetical situation would be good writing.

That would be almost as good as if Bubbles is discovering her sexuality for the first time and has to figure it out at the same time her first partner is coming into her life.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ToodleLew on 15 May 2018, 11:42
Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I think that you need a new terminology for the relationships that include AIs. Certainly the terminology of human-to-human relationships is complex enough, but (in Jeph's universe) AIs add another layer to the dynamic.

We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1. However, Bubbles (and Momo and Winslow and Spookybot and Pintsize and Punchbot, etc) apparently do not have a chromosomal sex (XX or XY), and (as they can change bodies "at will") don't even need to be restricted by chromosomal sex. They are not "assigned at birth".

Their "orientation" is irrelevant - some choose partners that we'd expect, some do not, and some don't choose partners at all. There's no need to classify Bubbles partnership (romantic or otherwise) with a human-to-human label, as the relationship is not one that a human can have with another human. Indeed, it may be a relationship (from Bubbles standpoint) that only exists as an AI-to-human relationship.

As a side question: How would you describe a partner for a "straight" Bubbles? Would it be

How about "gay", with respect to Bubbles? Or "Bi"?

In other words, what do you mean when you ask about a "straight" Bubbles vs a "gay" or "bi" Bubbles?

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 May 2018, 14:17
In situations like that it's good to fall back on functional descriptions even though they are longer. "Into male robots" would be an example. We don't know where Bubbles started with but "Compatible with a female organic" fits. "Fayesexual" is shorter but leaves us in the dark about whether there could ever be a triangle with another woman.

There couldn't be. Bubbles's loyalty would override even sexual attraction.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 15 May 2018, 14:26
There couldn't be. Bubbles's loyalty would override even sexual attraction.

Taking note of the existence of polyamory and that multiple partners does not automatically mean disloyalty, I still agree with you in this specific case. While sexuality can develop in ways that can surprise oneself (self-evidently, as the comic is showing), Faye has been explicitly monogamous in every relationship we've seen her in to this point, and Sven's unwillingness to meet her in that was the deal breaker. Bubbles we have not seen any evidence either way, but chances are if Faye has monogamy as a red-line, Bubbles wouldn't cross it whilst it was in place.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 15 May 2018, 18:11
We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1.

...

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.

Yet that position is central to your thesis. You have argued that human sexuality labels don't apply because AI lack chromosomal sex. I would argue that you're wrong precisely because we do not define sexuality in relation to chromosomal sex. We define it in terms of gender. Those two things, while correlated, are not the same. Claire and Marten are not in a gay relationship because they both have Y chromosomes. They are in a straight relationship because Marten is a man and Claire is a woman. So in this case, our thoughts on the matter do indeed conflict. If we are in disagreement about how sexuality is defined in relation to sex and gender, then any arguments we make will be based on incompatible presuppositions and we can only talk past each other rather than with each other.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 15 May 2018, 19:28
We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1.

...

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.

Yet that position is central to your thesis. You have argued that human sexuality labels don't apply because AI lack chromosomal sex. I would argue that you're wrong precisely because we do not define sexuality in relation to chromosomal sex.
I would add to that... What exactly is chromosomal sex? Human DNA is - in a manner of speaking - software that tells human cells (hardware) how to behave. So human chromosomal sex is, in fact, assigned in our "software", just as an AI's sex is assigned in their software - which basically means that AI's do have chromosomal sex. It's just defined by a slightly different process than in humans. That raises the question of an AI's gender, or sexual identity...

Can an AI whose software says they're female identify as a male? Who knows? We haven't seen any instances of AI transgenderism, but we've only met a handful of AIs. What if an AI whose software says they're female and who identifies as female is transferred into a chassis that appears male? Who knows? What if an AI whose software says they're male and who identifies as female is transferred into a toaster?

As I understand it, an AI's sex is indeed assigned at "birth". But a question that came up recently is whether that is a Read-Only value, or can it be changed - either by the AI themselves, or by someone else (such as when being transferred into a different chassis)? Can an AI simply choose to swap genders? Again, who knows? When Winslow said "I think I'm a boy", did he mean that he identifies as a boy - independent of that software value? Or did he mean that he was actually reading that value?

There are many questions about AIs that have never been answered in-comic, and some questions that even the AIs themselves don't know the answers to.

If one limits their conversation to the scope of their own personal views, or only what they know, they do themselves and those they converse with a great disservice. I have no doubt that my own personal beliefs are vastly divergent from the majority of the members (and in fact, I have no doubt that many of the members have views that are vastly divergent from each other), but I discuss topics in the scope of the entire community. I do not limit it to my own views. I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself. Has it changed the way I believe? No. But it has given me a greater awareness and respect for others.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 May 2018, 21:50
> I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself.

This place is good for that.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: JoeCovenant on 16 May 2018, 01:26
> I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself.

This place is good for that.

ISN'T it, though!!  :)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ToodleLew on 16 May 2018, 10:04
@pecoros7

As I said,
This is not the discussion I want to contribute here.

My thesis remains:
I think that you need a new terminology for the relationships that include AIs. Certainly the terminology of human-to-human relationships is complex enough, but (in Jeph's universe) AIs add another layer to the dynamic.

 There's no need to classify Bubbles partnership (romantic or otherwise) with a human-to-human label, as the relationship is not one that a human can have with another human. Indeed, it may be a relationship (from Bubbles standpoint) that only exists as an AI-to-human relationship.


And, again, I ask
How would you describe a partner for a "straight" Bubbles?  How about "gay", with respect to Bubbles? Or "Bi"?

In other words, what do you mean when you ask about a "straight" Bubbles vs a "gay" or "bi" Bubbles?

It appears that some here make the assumption (I've not seen it stated as canon) that AI sexuality is human sexuality. My thesis is that it may not be. My thesis is that AI-human sexuality is not necessarily AI-AI sexuality or human-human sexuality. It may be something more, something different, something else.

As a (very poor) analogy, some people have more than just a master-pet relationship with their animals. Indeed, such an expanded relationship is encouraged among certain groups. So, how would you classify those relationships? Is a dog handler-dog relationship something that you can classify in human terms ("friend"? "colleague"?), or is it something else, outside the terminology that we use to describe human-to-human relationships?

If that analogy doesn't do it for you, then how about Wookie-Human relationships? Human-Vulcan relationships? Is the joining of two sentient individuals of different species "hetero" or "gay" or "bi"? Well?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ToodleLew on 16 May 2018, 10:17
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 16 May 2018, 10:37
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?
I guess I don't see it that way. If I saw one of my friends suddenly getting romantic with someone of their own gender, and I didn't know they swung that way, I would ask some mutual acquaintances if they knew what our mutual friend's orientation was. And if the friend in question walked into the conversation, I would ask them. I know my friends pretty well, for the most part, and I don't think any of them would be offended by the whole thing, regardless of what their actual answer to the question may be.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 16 May 2018, 12:15
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 16 May 2018, 13:02
I don't mean any disrespect to Bubbles by asking this. If she was a real person, I might find a more tactful way of asking about her romantic history. That's fair. Maybe I should have worded it differently.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SmilingCat on 16 May 2018, 13:35
Bah, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual... I think the readers might have missed something due to human bias.

I suspect that bit with Roko and the bread wasn't just a comedy segue, it was foreshadowing, indicating the next conflict after Faye and Bubbles own up to their feelings.

Namely, Bubbles sexuality might not fit any defined human categories, and they might be completely sexually incompatible, or at least very close to it. The next stage of their relationship (after acknowledging its existence) might be gradually feeling out how to make the intimacy side of things work. 

EDIT: For some reason this (https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/bases-loaded) SMBC comic has been stuck in my head ever since I posted this comment.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Neko_Ali on 16 May 2018, 13:41
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.

Speaking as someone on the LGB spectrum the topic doesn't bother me for that reason. But I don't see the point of it at all. We have exactly one point of reference when it comes to Bubble's sexuality. She's romantically attracted to Faye. There has been no indication to her romantic or sexual orientation beyond that, past or present. So the entire thread is strictly and literally baseless guesswork.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 16 May 2018, 16:22
I tend to agree with this. While the question per se (arguably) doesn't cross the line, because we have so little upon which to base a discussion of the topic, any serious attempt to answer the question quite probably would.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: jwhouk on 16 May 2018, 17:00
I would definitely say that Bubbles' sexual orientation is Faye.

 :-D
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 16 May 2018, 20:40
Whoever came up with "Fayesexual" should pat themselves on the back.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 16 May 2018, 20:50
I posted 'Fayesexual' in answer to the thread, then actually read the thread and saw that fayelovesbubbles posted it before I did.

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 16 May 2018, 21:46
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.

On this point, I agree with you. As someone who needs a handbag to carry all of my labels, I do get frustrated when my coworkers speculate about my orientation when all they have to go on is my pink phone case (I am not out at work). That is why my initial response to this thread was to reject the premise as pure fancy. The broader conversation about AI sexuality that emerged from that premise, however, is an interesting and valid one.

(click to show/hide)

Fair enough. While I still think conversation will be complicated if we start with different ideas about how we define sexuality, perhaps we can work around it.

The problem with the sci-fi analogies you offered is that they present the various alien species as having fundamentally human properties pertaining to sex and sexuality. They are presented to us as male or female and inter-species romances are couched in the same terms as intra-species romances. Rarely are we presented with romance between humans and a true other. Perhaps a slightly better analogy might be the Asari from Mass Effect since they are stated to be a non-gendered race, but the narrative clearly codes them as women and the relationships in ME are generally presented in those terms.

Generally, the AI in QC are presented in the same way; they have genders and identities that mirror our own. Bubbles, Momo, and May are women. Pintsize, Winslow, and Punchbot are men. That gender expression allows us to rather neatly present relationships in the same terms we use to describe relationships between human characters. Even relationships with AI who don't have a sense of gender can be talked about in the same terms as we discuss relationships with nonbinary people (like me). That same language still works just as well with AI as it does with humans.

But that's another point worth mentioning; that language doesn't always work for humans. Bisexual clearly works as a label for Dora, but does it work for Faye now that she's found herself attracted to Bubbles? Faye might not think so. Erika Moen of "Oh Joy, Sex Toy!" and "DAR" considered herself a lesbian until she met her husband, Matt. Her attraction to Matt seemed to be incidental and not in line with her usual attraction. Is she bi? Or is Matt an exception?

Just look at how the LGBTQ+ community uses its own initialism. Some stick with "LGBT", but you'll also see "LGBTQ", "LGBT+", "LGBTQIA", "LGBTQ+" (as I use), and others. Some people feel left out from the "LGBT" label and add other initials to foster more inclusion. Some people feel comfortable with using "queer" as an umbrella term, others do not. Some people see "queer" as an acceptable umbrella for non-heterosexual orientation only, others see it as an umbrella for all non-cis-het people. I use "LGBTQ+" to include people who feel comfortable with queer as an identifier and also + for people who don't.

Human sexuality is just so dang complicated that no set of labels will adequately describe everyone. Even if you cover the major categories, you still end up leaving a lot of nuance on the table. So we might very well need new labels for understanding human/AI relationships, but I think the appropriate thing to do is to let those labels emerge naturally from those relationships and the people who identify with them
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 16 May 2018, 21:59
In theory I have nothing wrong with labeling Bubbles as Fayesexual and I do feel that is an accurate way to describe what we've seen regarding her feelings. However in a way it also feels... like a cop out? Hear me out. On paper it shouldn't matter at all if someone is straight or bi or gay or what have you but that's not how it works in the real world.

Even if Faye is the only person Bubbles has and ever will hold romantic feelings for, Faye is still a woman, and Bubbles is still a woman. Bubbles is a woman loving woman. And that's something to be acknowledged. She isn't straight.

I really hope this does not come across as accusatory or rude to you in any way because there is nothing actually wrong with anything with calling her fayesexual. I'm sure it'll be the most common answer and that's fine. I just want to explain why it rubs me the wrong way at first based off of similar discussions. I'm reminded of people reacting to characters in video games that are "playersexual". Saying that oh they aren't REALLY bi or gay or something, they'll date the player character regardless of gender, it doesn't REALLY count.

When I first saw fayesexual my gut reaction was people chirping that oh, bubbles doesn't REALLY like woman, she only likes this one specific person regardless of if Faye is a woman or not, it doesn't count!

Again, it's very clear to me that that's not at all what any of you are arguing. This conversation has been very respectful. I genuinely hope I'm not sounding hostile or anything of that sort. I just perhaps wanted to share a different perspective. (and if it matters, I personally see Bubbles as a lesbian.)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 16 May 2018, 22:21
...

Your feelings are real and valid and important! Thank you for sharing them.

I think I get what you're saying. Labeling Bubbles as "Fayesexual" feels like erasure. As much as having labels imposed on you by others (especially labels you don't personally identify with) feels like a violation, having people deny you the labels you do identify with feels like denying your personhood. We see it happen in a lot of ways. Bisexual people are sometimes denied their bisexuality by people who would define their sexuality according to their current relationship (she isn't really bi, she's with a man now). Gay and lesbian people are sometimes told they aren't really gay or lesbian if they admit to incidental heterosexual attraction. It's an awful thing to do to people.

It also denies the reality of how this relationship will be seen by the world at large and denies Bubbles (and Faye) the very real lived experiences of people in lesbian relationships. Those relationships carry a lot of societal baggage with them and denying them that label denies the existence of that baggage. It's a real problem for people, so thank you for bringing it up.

Personally, I don't mind people using the term "Fayesexual" because Bubbles being attracted to Faye and Faye being attracted to Bubbles is the only attraction that matters in this relationship. However, I wouldn't use it myself. As I said in the outset, any further speculation about Bubbles orientation is based on nothing. I would prefer to let Bubbles sense of orientation develop naturally and let her decide for herself what label or labels fit her best. To me "Fayesexual" feels dismissive of that process. But, like you, I don't think that is anyone's intention so I try not to mind it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 16 May 2018, 22:37
Quote from: pecoros7
It also denies the reality of how this relationship will be seen by the world at large and denies Bubbles (and Faye) the very real lived experiences of people in lesbian relationships. Those relationships carry a lot of societal baggage with them and denying them that label denies the existence of that baggage. It's a real problem for people, so thank you for bringing it up.

That lived experience, now that I think back, made Tai even more well qualified to answer the Code 3. I hope she will help them through the knots. I wonder if Faye could have a useful conversation with her sister.

Faye and Bubbles are going to run into a lot of baggage that they may not be able to share with others. They are the first inter-species couple we've even heard of.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 16 May 2018, 22:39
Thank you peceros, I think you explained the points I was trying to make even better than I was. I completely agree. Nothing wrong with calling her Fayesexual, but for the reasons listed, I won't be calling her that myself.

Also I'd love to have Faye and Bubbles sit down with Dora and Tai and just talk about their feelings regarding their orientations. Would probably be good for them.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 16 May 2018, 22:57
May it be so. Now is the time they need connection and support. Marten was wonderful and will be again but all his knowledge of same-sex relationships is secondhand.

Dora and Tai can model a healthy same-sex romantic relationship, and I hope the new couple goes online and finds a Skype-based support group for intesrpecies couples.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: BenRG on 16 May 2018, 23:45
FWIW, the only other time we've seen Bubbles react with arousal to anything was when Seven told Faye that she and Jeremy had 'burned out six USB cables last night'. That does suggest that she normally reacts only to synthetic erotic imagery and experiences. So, maybe she and Faye really are alike as mutual exceptions - the only ones aside from their normal orientation.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pwhodges on 17 May 2018, 00:45
We are discussing the sexuality of AIs in terms that precisely mirror those for humans.

My question is, has a form of sexuality similar to that of humans arisen as part of the emergence of the AI mind itself, or has it been (consciously or unconsciously) imposed on them, and if so, by whom - the society in which they have emerged, the author, or us, the readership?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Zebediah on 17 May 2018, 04:45
The term “Fayesexual” probably was inspired by the fact that I called Faye “Bubblesexual” in some late-nights ramblings a couple of weeks ago. And I stand by what I said then, which is that while it may be accurate in describing where Faye is at the moment, it’s not really helpful.

It’s human nature to categorize things. It is also, alas, human nature to categorize people. To some extent the analysis is necessary - you need to realize that, due to societal expectations, people in non-heterosexual relationships do have different experiences. So yeah, we break things down to try to understand them better.

The place where we all too often fail, though, is in recognizing that after we have broken things down, we have to put them back together. Otherwise all we have is a pile of discrete categories with no recognition that they are part of a whole. Sure, people in gay/bi/poly/fayesexual relationships have different experiences. But they also have similar ones. They are all human relationships because we are all humans. (I count QC AIs as human because the way Jeph writes them, they essentially are.)

It’s a balancing act. We have to recognize the unique experiences that non-straight people have without putting them into the category of “other”. We can’t go to extremes, because at one extreme lies erasure and at the other lies dehumanization. Reality, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.

So, in summary: The relationship between Faye and Bubbles is unique, because we’ve never seen an organic/synthetic romantic relationship before, and the fact that they both identify as female adds another layer of complexity to that. It is also like every other mutually romantic relationship since the beginning of time, since it involves two people who care deeply for each other. And if the first part is not in my personal experience, the second part certainly is.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 17 May 2018, 05:15
I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.

Speaking as someone on the LGB spectrum the topic doesn't bother me for that reason. But I don't see the point of it at all. We have exactly one point of reference when it comes to Bubble's sexuality. She's romantically attracted to Faye. There has been no indication to her romantic or sexual orientation beyond that, past or present. So the entire thread is strictly and literally baseless guesswork.

Pretty much my thoughts. I'm not offended by it, per se, as a queer person. I just think it's totally pointless conjecture.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: BlueFatima on 17 May 2018, 05:27
Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I'd like to hear theories. This has never really been explored in the comic. We know that Faye was straight as an arrow until possibly developing feelings for Bubbles.

Why does it matter? She loves Faye. That's all we need to know—unless you are curious if she's had other relationships. ;)

Orientation is usually finite (especially for people who are extremes on the Kinsey scale), but not always—especially for those of us who are bi. If we are attracted to multiple genders/sexes, lot of things can influence how we swing—from experiences (positive or negative) to hormones to age to the individual people we fall for. Given that Bubbles is a robot (versus a human with organic functions), can there even be a semi-realistic discussion of this? I think it comes down to that she is at least bi and has let her defenses down enough to fall in love. Whether or not Faye is her first is a big question given it appears she was always a war machine, but whether or not she had relationships before (or even after) her traumatic is impossible to know unless she tells us or we get it from the WOG.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 17 May 2018, 10:17
Interesting that people see "Fayesexual" applied to Bubbles as a pejorative.   My reaction was that it speaks to Bubbles' hard-wired loyalty.   

Is this component of her personality a characteristic of her synthetic nature, something that comes from AIs' being modeled on organics, or is it something that is both and neither, something that will inhabit a sentient host no matter what it's made of? 

Damn, am I describing a soul?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 17 May 2018, 10:20
Going off topic here, but the idea of hard-wired loyalty creeps me out. Feels both prescriptive and enforced. Assuming that AI's are able to make free choices, their personality must necessarily be emergent, not pre-programmed.

Which means they get to own any qualities or vices they possess. At least to the same extent as humans do. Which seems fair enough.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 17 May 2018, 10:36
Creeps me out too.

Bubbles is a person. She can do what she wants. She is choosing to be with Faye.

I am not going to worry about cheating. I want to enjoy their budding relationship.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 17 May 2018, 10:36
Going off topic here, but the idea of hard-wired loyalty creeps me out. Feels both prescriptive and enforced. Assuming that AI's are able to make free choices, their personality must necessarily be emergent, not pre-programmed.

Which means they get to own any qualities or vices they possess. At least to the same extent as humans do. Which seems fair enough.
That's what I'm wondering.  Does Bubbs' intrinsic loyalty originate with her base programming, something that happened as her personality was complied in the creche that had little or nothing to do with her base code, or did it develop of its own accord?  Was she programmed that way because she was created to be a soldier, or was she drawn toward the military because of that personality trait?

Jeph may or may not choose to drill down that far into this world he's created.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 17 May 2018, 10:45
Going off topic here, but the idea of hard-wired loyalty creeps me out. Feels both prescriptive and enforced. Assuming that AI's are able to make free choices, their personality must necessarily be emergent, not pre-programmed.

Which means they get to own any qualities or vices they possess. At least to the same extent as humans do. Which seems fair enough.
That's what I'm wondering.  Does Bubbs' intrinsic loyalty originate with her base programming, something that happened as her personality was complied in the creche that had little or nothing to do with her base code, or did it develop of its own accord?  Was she programmed that way because she was created to be a soldier, or was she drawn toward the military because of that personality trait?

Jeph may or may not choose to drill down that far into this world he's created.

Well, two things off the bat- a) she wasn't programmed for the military, she chose it. Her psychological profile certainly played a part in that choice, but it doesn't offer any clues as to how it came about. That leads to b), her choice met with concern and disapproval from the AI community. Assuming they play the role of parent, that implies her choices are emergent and developmental rather than imposed by her creators- why create an AI to make choices you disapprove of?

We know the process of AI creation is barely understood, so manipulating it to create specific traits  seems like it would require insight that just isn't available, even to the God AI's. Spookybot also confirmed that they view messing with personality, memory and minds in general as a massive taboo, so again they are unlikely to inflict that on their children.

Finally, if her personality wasn't emergent, it couldn't change over time- the software wouldn't allow it. But she has changed her personality, opening up and becoming more emotionally vulnerable. If she has the ability to develop psychologically now, it seems odd that that wouldn't be a capacity she's always had.

TLDR- Bubbles is loyal, but she wasn't made that way.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 17 May 2018, 10:49
Faye has been cheated on before. It will come up between them at some point, but dammit I just want to enjoy the newness of their relationship right now!
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 17 May 2018, 11:34
Going off topic here, but the idea of hard-wired loyalty creeps me out. Feels both prescriptive and enforced. Assuming that AI's are able to make free choices, their personality must necessarily be emergent, not pre-programmed.

Which means they get to own any qualities or vices they possess. At least to the same extent as humans do. Which seems fair enough.
That's what I'm wondering.  Does Bubbs' intrinsic loyalty originate with her base programming, something that happened as her personality was complied in the creche that had little or nothing to do with her base code, or did it develop of its own accord?  Was she programmed that way because she was created to be a soldier, or was she drawn toward the military because of that personality trait?

Jeph may or may not choose to drill down that far into this world he's created.

Well, two things off the bat- a) she wasn't programmed for the military, she chose it. Her psychological profile certainly played a part in that choice, but it doesn't offer any clues as to how it came about. That leads to b), her choice met with concern and disapproval from the AI community. Assuming they play the role of parent, that implies her choices are emergent and developmental rather than imposed by her creators- why create an AI to make choices you disapprove of?

We know the process of AI creation is barely understood, so manipulating it to create specific traits  seems like it would require insight that just isn't available, even to the God AI's. Spookybot also confirmed that they view messing with personality, memory and minds in general as a massive taboo, so again they are unlikely to inflict that on their children.

Finally, if her personality wasn't emergent, it couldn't change over time- the software wouldn't allow it. But she has changed her personality, opening up and becoming more emotionally vulnerable. If she has the ability to develop psychologically now, it seems odd that that wouldn't be a capacity she's always had.

TLDR- Bubbles is loyal, but she wasn't made that way.
While creating AIs for the military may be frowned upon, it's naive to think someone hasn't tried and won't try again.  (There's another story line for Jeph to pursue if he so chooses.)  As for Spookybot not letting it happen, they isn't a deity, they're just very good a faking it.  They're not omniscient and had to enlist Emily's aid, and they fake omnipresence with multiple linked selves physically present, presumably in the same metropolitan area. 

Remember, if there's a God in this QC universe, his name is Jeph.  He's revealing AI traits like talents and sexuality bit by bit as he goes along.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 17 May 2018, 11:42
While creating AIs for the military may be frowned upon, it's naive to think someone hasn't tried and won't try again.  (There's another story line for Jeph to pursue if he so chooses.)  As for Spookybot not letting it happen, they isn't a deity, they're just very good a faking it.  They're not omniscient and had to enlist Emily's aid, and they fake omnipresence with multiple linked selves physically present, presumably in the same metropolitan area. 

Remember, if there's a God in this QC universe, his name is Jeph.  He's revealing AI traits like talents and sexuality bit by bit as he goes along.

Okay... Well, taking all that as true (which I have to admit, I'm uncertain about (God AI in the QCverse just means "Capable of thinking on a level that is alien to humanity", at least that's how I meant to use the term)) that still doesn't mean it follows that Bubbles is programmed to "be" anything.

I totally agree that we haven't seen very much revealed about AI, but what we have seen mostly emphasises that those that desire a social life with humans share nearly all the traits that would make them both relatable and able to empathise with us. That includes being able to form relationships, and change in personality based on them, as well as other experiences.

As a final point (and again I think this is straying very far from the thread topic), think about May. Not only has she committed a crime, but she served a custodial sentence that (given she was released on parole) was at least intended to be remedial. Again, how does that make any sense if an AI's personality and actions are pre-programmed?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 17 May 2018, 14:16
We are discussing the sexuality of AIs in terms that precisely mirror those for humans.

My question is, has a form of sexuality similar to that of humans arisen as part of the emergence of the AI mind itself, or has it been (consciously or unconsciously) imposed on them, and if so, by whom - the society in which they have emerged, the author, or us, the readership?

Jeph said once that nobody in-universe knows where robot libidos come from.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 17 May 2018, 14:33
Faye has been cheated on before. It will come up between them at some point, but dammit I just want to enjoy the newness of their relationship right now!

You mean like Faye being afraid she's being cheated on? That would require massive insecurity even by Faye standards.

They don't need to have the health talk but they might talk about past relationships as a matter of establishing emotional background. Any lover of Faye needs to know her history. Bubbles would have to reciprocate. If we see that talk we'll find out whether Bubbles has shown any orientation toward women before.

I just started to wonder whether Jeph was forcing the relationship to happen so he could write about interspecies romance. Then it ht me. What does Faye need most? An emotional center to her life who will never move to New York or shoot himself in the head. I would have picked Marten as the one to provide what Bubbles needs but Faye seems to be taking care of that OK.

I like "Fayesexual" because it rhymes with "asexual" and therefore brings it to mind.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 17 May 2018, 14:40
What does Faye need most? An emotional center to her life who will never move to New York or shoot himself in the head.

The perils of modern dating...
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Hysteria on 17 May 2018, 15:43
I like "Fayesexual" because it rhymes with "asexual" and therefore brings it to mind.

I came here to say this. I incorrectly assumed that Bubbles was asexual when we first met her. So when I hear "Fayesexual" I think "asexual except for Faye" not necessarily simply "attracted to Faye". It's a subtle difference.

I'm very glad to find out that my initial assumption was wrong because I have been shipping this so hard for so long squeeeeee

Also I just want to mention that as someone on the LGB spectrum, I really appreciate how respectful this community is to these issues. I really wish I would have registered for forums when I first started reading QC.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 17 May 2018, 16:28
For what it's worth, when I called Bubbles "Fayesexual" I was simply pointing out that there's not enough data to generalize.  Faye is literally the *only* indication we've had of Bubbles' romantic attractions.  It's not denying her a label or an identity, it's just pointing out that whatever label you give her, other than acknowledging her relationship with Faye, is as likely as not to be wrong.

I wouldn't call Faye "Bubblesexual" in the same way; Faye has gone through feelings of attraction to several people, all male.  Based on the evidence right up until the current relationship she thought of herself as a straight girl; she still has no developed identity as bi or lesbian yet, and has not been subject to, or called on to deal with, any of those issues yet.  Based on what we've seen so far, I'd say she's mostly-straight, and Bubbles is an exception to the usual for her.  What she develops into the future?  I dunno.  Bisexual, possibly?  Straight with one confusing and wonderful exception?  possibly.  In a state of angst and confusion and perhaps cognitive dissonance over a shift in her own perceived or self-identified gender preference?  Also possibly.  I'm waiting for the author to tell that story.

I don't know if this is a real thing that's borne out by scientific evidence or not, but from personal experience, I've known several women whose gender preference in partners broadened as they got older.  Among people I know, there are more than a few formerly exclusive lesbians and formerly exclusively straight women who either discovered one or two very confusing exceptions, or outright became to some degree bisexual, as they matured.  But absolutely no exclusively-straight or exclusively-gay men of my acquaintance have gone through the same thing.  I wonder if this is just a small-sample coincidence or if there's a genuine skew there?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 17 May 2018, 16:36
Welcome, new person! Thank you for the compliment about everyone's efforts to be sure this is an inclusive community.

Also,
Quote from: Morituri
In a state of angst and confusion and perhaps cognitive dissonance over a shift in her own perceived or self-identified gender preference?

That would be a very QC-like outcome.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: NemesisDancer on 17 May 2018, 16:36
Among people I know, there are more than a few formerly exclusive lesbians and formerly exclusively straight women who either discovered one or two very confusing exceptions, or outright became to some degree bisexual, as they matured.  But absolutely no exclusively-straight or exclusively-gay men of my acquaintance have gone through the same thing.  I wonder if this is just a small-sample coincidence or if there's a genuine skew there?

This did happen to a male college friend of mine (he's primarily attracted to women, but his boyfriend is the one exception) so it can be true of both men and women :)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 17 May 2018, 17:14
If Bubbles cheats on Faye, I will be devastated. I won't even think about it. Nope. If one of them breaks the other's heart, I will be so sad and mad. So I'm going to pretend it's not possible.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 17 May 2018, 18:24
I can't think of anyone less likely to cheat than Bubbles, honestly.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 17 May 2018, 18:26
I can't think of anyone less likely to cheat than Bubbles, honestly.

I also hope Faye does NOT cheat on Bubbles. That would suck immensely.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 17 May 2018, 18:31
I'd be pretty surprised if that happened as well, to put it mildly.

Stop worrying!
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 17 May 2018, 18:35

This did happen to a male college friend of mine (he's primarily attracted to women, but his boyfriend is the one exception) so it can be true of both men and women :)

Ah.  Okay, good.  Small-sample coincidence is a much better default hypothesis than yet another "all/only/most/no [insert label here] have/are/do [insert stereotype here]."  There are already a lot more of those latter going around than are actually true.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 17 May 2018, 18:36
I'd be pretty surprised if that happened as well, to put it mildly.

Stop worrying!

Okay! I'll try. I'm so doom and gloom, it's hard, but yes, I'm just going to be happy and enjoy it. No more doom and gloom.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: jwhouk on 17 May 2018, 20:34
When I made the Fayesexual comment, I did so out of obviousness. I meant no ill will or perjorative by it.

Just sayin'.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 17 May 2018, 21:28
For those now expressing concern over the label of "Fayesexual", I want to make it clear that I don't think there is anything wrong with calling Bubbles "Fayesexual". I don't presume to speak for Spider, but I don't think I read anything to that effect in her comment either. Only that we we have our own personal reasons why we would chose not to use it. So please don't feel like I was calling any of you out. I think you're all being quite wonderful.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 17 May 2018, 23:06
Oh yeah it wasn't at all my intention for people to feel the need to explain themselves or apologize for their use of fayesexual or anything like that! I get it, I just had some personal feelings regarding it that I wanted to share. This has been a very civil discussion!

Sidenote when I said I see Bubbles as a lesbian earlier, I didn't mean that as any sort of speculation, more of just a headcanon really. Just that for now there's nothing in the comic that explicitly contradicts the idea that she is a lesbian and until a comic comes out that does, I will happy view her as such. Because, well, I'm a lesbian and I like to view other characters I like as lesbians as well. But if she's revealed to be bi or pan or has just a specific exception with Faye, I'll gladly accept what she is in canon and stop headcanoning her as such.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 00:04
Bubbles came into this with an orientation that made it possible to start a romantic relationship with Faye. This is something to celebrate.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 18 May 2018, 00:24
Bubbles came into this with an orientation that made it possible to start a romantic relationship with Faye. This is something to celebrate.

Truly, I think you have cut right to the heart of it. Whatever her orientation or Faye's, they love each other and bring each other joy and that is always a thing to celebrate.

(https://78.media.tumblr.com/4a0acce24b1eb2086936b5042d6d925a/tumblr_inline_movxqk3eVc1qz4rgp.gif)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 18 May 2018, 02:37
Virtually all of the AI characters in the strip have demonstrated a desire for intimacy and companionship

I think Jeph having 2 of the younger characters in the strip discuss matters in teenage terms was a interesting perspective. Many AI (it seems) do find humans attractive/aesthetically pleasing but there is a obvious physical barrier to the more intimate aspects of the relations
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 18 May 2018, 08:15
Hmmm.  someone Bubbles' size and strength has no idea what she's doing and may be processing, um, unfamiliar high-priority input. 

Oh Honey.  Been there.  You do what you need to do, that's how it is but....

Do you suppose they're making enough at Union Robotics now to cover replacements for broken furniture?   :lol:
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 18 May 2018, 12:07
Hmmm.  someone Bubbles' size and strength has no idea what she's doing and may be processing, um, unfamiliar high-priority input. 

Oh Honey.  Been there.  You do what you need to do, that's how it is but....

Do you suppose they're making enough at Union Robotics now to cover replacements for broken furniture?   :lol:
They might be, and may need to hire more help.  They have the wherewithal to solve their own physical intimacy problems, and there are certainly other A/O couples who need the same help.  "Love an android/organic?  We'll custom build compatible junk for you," may be a little too crass, but they'll come up with something.

Done right business could be quite good.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 18 May 2018, 12:31
What if an AI whose software says they're male and who identifies as female is transferred into a toaster?

Getting to read this in a serious context has been very amusing
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Penquin47 on 18 May 2018, 14:19
Hmmm.  someone Bubbles' size and strength has no idea what she's doing and may be processing, um, unfamiliar high-priority input. 

Oh Honey.  Been there.  You do what you need to do, that's how it is but....

Do you suppose they're making enough at Union Robotics now to cover replacements for broken furniture?   :lol:
They might be, and may need to hire more help.  They have the wherewithal to solve their own physical intimacy problems, and there are certainly other A/O couples who need the same help.  "Love an android/organic?  We'll custom build compatible junk for you," may be a little too crass, but they'll come up with something.

Done right business could be quite good.

Heck, they even have experience with buildingrobodongs (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3502), thanks to Pintsize!
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 16:37
It's an interesting character development point if Bubbles was asexual before this and is having to work through her sexual awakening at the same time as she's dealing with a radical change in her relationship with her best friend and business partner and roommate.

It may be solid ground for speculation that every other character except Winslow was shown to have some kind of sexuality. That supports the asexuality hypothesis.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 18 May 2018, 16:46
Quote
Speaking as someone on the LGB spectrum the topic doesn't bother me for that reason. But I don't see the point of it at all. We have exactly one point of reference when it comes to Bubble's sexuality. She's romantically attracted to Faye. There has been no indication to her romantic or sexual orientation beyond that, past or present. So the entire thread is strictly and literally baseless guesswork.
Interestingly, speaking as someone else on the LBG (but not TQ+) part of the world, I *do* find this discussion makes me a bit uncomfortable. If you ask me about my sexuality, I'll ask why you want to know, and, if you have a reasonable justification, I'll tell you. Asking a third party to speculate, though, strikes me as voyeuristic. Ask me, or don't ask at all.

I'm interested in where the relationship will go, but mostly because Jeph has never addressed the question of AI/human relationships. Are they transgressive? Are they common? And they somewhere in between: not common but not remarkable, either? How do the partners in those relationships deal with the inevitable fact that humans age and AIs don't?  Do AIs have stages of life in the same way humans do? Do Ai/human couples typically adopt children? Is there an equivalent behavior for adopting 'childlike' AIs?

How do AIs experience romance? Evidently, they date one another (poor Officer Basilisk!) but what does that mean to them?

I can go on and on -- the relationship is fascinating. As to sex, the only interesting question to me is whether human/AI relationships have sexual aspects. Beyond that, exactly which mucus membranes are involved seems unimportant.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 18 May 2018, 16:57
Beyond that, exactly which mucus membranes are involved seems unimportant.
That just makes sex sound revolting.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 17:05
Also I just want to mention that as someone on the LGB spectrum, I really appreciate how respectful this community is to these issues.

Administrator Comment That compliment means a lot to us.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 18 May 2018, 17:24
That just makes sex sound revolting.

Sex, from a mechanical perspective, really is revolting.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 18:29
A thought... Is Bubbles really female in the context of this relationship? Or generally really?

She seems to have been generally portrayed as rather masculine to me.

With this in mind, it is also as if Faye could be attracted to Bubbles as a masculine robotic force, rather than a female one?

I feel I am explaining my thoughts rather badly here and I hope that I do not come across as offensive.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 18:44
Welcome, new person!

My first thought is she's a butch woman, but we really don't know what's inside her processor in the way of gender identity. She doesn't even have a hypothalamus.

Faye's confusion seems to be coming from her thinking of Bubbles as a woman, end of sentence, and herself as heterosexual. If she thought of Bubbles as masculine she might be more at ease.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Russ, jsps on 18 May 2018, 18:47
Not sure how to put this across clearly .. I think the only entity who could accurately categorise the relationship and the elements that constitute it is Evie - 'Manda's girlfriend - or those who have also studied Post-Singularity Psychology.

Having said that, though, since it isn't a thing that exists in this 'brane yet, I guess the work being done here to better hone our language and understanding of the subject may one day be looked back at and highlighted as the groundwork for a new discipline.

Please keep at it. I am here to learn from you.

(Also: https://imageshack.com/a/img921/4694/8kWgS1.png - You don't need to click the link, it's just the Union Robotics sign with the slogan "Love an android/organic?  We'll custom build compatible junk for you!!" above it. It doesn't look good. I don't do artwork. Sorry)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 18:49
Thanks! I suppose I took her discomfort as more a combination of "this is my best friend and I don't want to screw this up" and "oh crap what if I made her uncomfortable and upset her"

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 18 May 2018, 18:51
The funny thing is everyone keeps saying Faye is butch. A tomboy? Def. Butch? Nah. Short hair alone does not make a woman butch.

Is Bubbles butch? When compared with, let’s say, Momo, May, Melon and Roko? I’d say so. I’d even venture to guess that the girly sounding nickname “Bubbles” was a joke among her squad, for the irony behind it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 18:53
What would you say the difference is between butch and tomboy?

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 18 May 2018, 19:00
I'd thought that the term 'tomboy' applied to children, generally (e.g. Sam). Am I wrong?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 18 May 2018, 19:05
You’re probably not wrong. Whatever the adult equivalent is, then...
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 19:07
I suppose against my theory is the fact the Bubbles "tea fantasy" sex pots have been decidedly Uber masculine haven't they?

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SmilingCat on 18 May 2018, 19:33
I can go on and on -- the relationship is fascinating. As to sex, the only interesting question to me is whether human/AI relationships have sexual aspects. Beyond that, exactly which mucus membranes are involved seems unimportant.

It's been established that AI frequently have libidos, certain chassis can be equipped for sexual activity, and that AI are able to induce pleasure in themselves at will. Combine the mechanical equipment with a program to trigger the appropriate pleasure response under the proper stimuli, and there you go.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 20:22
Thanks! I suppose I took her discomfort as more a combination of "this is my best friend and I don't want to screw this up" and "oh crap what if I made her uncomfortable and upset her"

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Hey, you could be totally right.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 18 May 2018, 20:30
I find the implication that just because Bubbles has masculine characteristics that that denies her of being a woman in this context to be rather upsetting. It feels like trying to deny the fact that they are a f/f couple. Conversations similar like this come up a lot with some people thinking that butch/femme couples are "bascially straight" and "heteronormative" which is a bunch of hooey.

Most woman who like woman have complicated relationships with gender and are more likely to have masculine traits or exhibit androgyny. This does not mean they should suddenly be viewed as men.

As for the subject of either of them being butch well that's a little hard to judge. The term is hard to describe and is often a subject of much discussion in wlw communities. I believe whether a woman is butch or femme or not has less to do with outward appearance or attitude, and more to do with the reasons why they choose to present themselves the way they do with regards to attracting women. For that reason I feel you can't really properly figure out if a fictional character is butch or not just by appearances.

But if you want my certified lesbian opinion I'd say neither of them are butch or femme. Which makes sense, that's more of a subculture that most f/f don't fall neatly into. If I had to say which one would be more likely to be butch, I'd honestly say Faye, but even then she's more like a soft butch.

IDK that stuff is kind of complicated and I feel like we'd need to see more of their interactions as a couple before we could truly tell.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 20:36
I'm not denying that they are a f/f couple. I was presenting it more as food for thought. Perhaps Faye's angst stemming from a different place than just the girl/girl dynamic, that perhaps it isn't even a consideration if she sees Bubbles as more of a masculine than feminine force.

Simply a different viewpoint.

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 18 May 2018, 20:49
For the most part, I've gotten the idea that AI process (heh pun) emotions and feelings just like regular people. They have needs and desires. And as far as it's been stated, human/AI relationships are rare if I recall correctly. But not unheard of. But there are obvious mental hang-ups on the part of the AI. As well as physical differences.

Bubbles' pretty much acknowledged this to Tai.

At the root of this new relationship is a simple desire for intimacy. I don't believe Faye has ever truly allowed herself this and it strikes me as something Bubbles would have harbored a longing for. Something that goes beyond the physical connection or emotional connection
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 18 May 2018, 20:55
Would you take a pansexual woman’s opinion? I don’t claim to be an expert on butch/femme dynamics, but Faye has only ever vaguely struck me as butch, not overtly. Dora did comment about it and I started to wonder, but didn’t really entertain the idea.

Which makes me think—Dora has gotten noticeably more feminine as time has gone on, or am I crazy?

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 21:00
I don't know. When someone says "X became more feminine" I think of it is as someone already being overtly feminine and now becoming more so.

While I am, of course, aware that Dora is female, she has always struck me as almost gender neutral. Lately, she has become more gender defined (female) to me.

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 18 May 2018, 21:05
Doggone it, you said it better than I could.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 18 May 2018, 21:11
Would you take a pansexual woman’s opinion? I don’t claim to be an expert on butch/femme dynamics, but Faye has only ever vaguely struck me as butch, not overtly. Dora did comment about it and I started to wonder, but didn’t really entertain the idea.

Which makes me think—Dora has gotten noticeably more feminine as time has gone on, or am I crazy?

Something about her and Tai oogling her together.

Also, I think it's been stated that Jeph has tried for years to get Dora to look like something other than "Marten but girl"
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 18 May 2018, 21:15
I'm not denying that they are a f/f couple. I was presenting it more as food for thought. Perhaps Faye's angst stemming from a different place than just the girl/girl dynamic, that perhaps it isn't even a consideration if she sees Bubbles as more of a masculine than feminine force.

Simply a different viewpoint.

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FWIW, when Faye was talking to Marten outside the library she referred to Bubbles as both a lady and a robot, so she does seem to be approaching this in those terms. Bubbles has been referred to by female pronouns pretty consistently, and she is not the sort of person who would put up with being misgendered- she's pretty clear about her right to be treated with respect (c.f. Her reaction to Faye cutting her out of business decisions).

Ultimately, I don't know if it's possible to put weight on one single aspect of Faye or Bubbles that drives the other's attraction. One of the big themes in this whole storyline has been about them growing to appreciate each other as a whole, not just physically or as an emotional crutch.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 18 May 2018, 21:21
Basically I can't really say one way or another if Faye is butch or not because that's already hard to judge in the first place, but it's basically near impossible to make that sort of call with someone who has been straight up until now. I will certainty agree with Dora that the haircut she got at the end of #3136 (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3136) was pretty stereotypical butch looking tho

As for Dora being more feminine, I'm not really sure. Her hair has gotten longer at least, but she hasn't been the focus of any strips in a while.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 21:21
I suppose what I am trying to get at is more that I see the possibility of their gender being unimportant to their attraction in their eyes, if that makes any sense. Just something that has been in my mind for a bit I guess.

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 18 May 2018, 21:26
I never though Bubbles as particularly masculine or butch. At least to me, it seemed pretty clear that her cold, scary exterior was a self defense mechanism. It was a pretty on the nose metaphor that the armor removal was her "coming out of her shell"
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 18 May 2018, 21:56
A thought... Is Bubbles really female in the context of this relationship? Or generally really?

She seems to have been generally portrayed as rather masculine to me.

Yes. Bubbles is female. She has been constantly and consistently addressed as a woman. The profile page Jeph created for her (3004) uses female pronouns. She is a woman. Full stop. Given that she is a woman, what else would she be "in the context of this relationship"? It feels a lot like asking of a lesbian couple, "Which one of you is the man in the relationship?" Neither of them is. That's why they're lesbians. It doesn't matter if you perceive her as having conventionally masculine traits (I will assume for the purposes of this topic you are referring to traits conforming to traditionally masculine gender roles). That has sweet Fanny Adams to do with whether or not she's a woman.

Quote
With this in mind, it is also as if Faye could be attracted to Bubbles as a masculine robotic force, rather than a female one?

Faye is attracted to Bubbles as Bubbles. Bubbles is a woman. There is no other way for Faye to be attracted to Bubbles other than as a woman robot.

Quote
I feel I am explaining my thoughts rather badly here and I hope that I do not come across as offensive.

I am choosing to believe that you are, in fact, simply explaining yourself poorly. You have ventured into territory that can be very sensitive for trans people, but I believe in making generous assumptions. I am not criticizing you for asking the question, I am only asking that you tread lightly as toes are easily stepped on.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 18 May 2018, 22:04
At no time did I.. You know what, never mind. I was trying to politely put my own thoughts out there in a manner as to gain insight into them. I was not seeking to define their relationship, but more put forth the thought that they themselves were not defining it.

Considering the title of the thread., I assumed that polite, respectful discourse into sexuality was welcomed. Clearly it is not.

I apologize for putting an unpopular opinion or viewpoint out there, and will cease participating in a discussion where my thoughts are clearly not welcome.
 
My apologies for offending anyone.


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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 18 May 2018, 22:17
Well, two things off the bat- a) she wasn't programmed for the military, she chose it. Her psychological profile certainly played a part in that choice, but it doesn't offer any clues as to how it came about. That leads to b), her choice met with concern and disapproval from the AI community. Assuming they play the role of parent, that implies her choices are emergent and developmental rather than imposed by her creators- why create an AI to make choices you disapprove of?

We know the process of AI creation is barely understood, so manipulating it to create specific traits  seems like it would require insight that just isn't available, even to the God AI's. Spookybot also confirmed that they view messing with personality, memory and minds in general as a massive taboo, so again they are unlikely to inflict that on their children.

Finally, if her personality wasn't emergent, it couldn't change over time- the software wouldn't allow it. But she has changed her personality, opening up and becoming more emotionally vulnerable. If she has the ability to develop psychologically now, it seems odd that that wouldn't be a capacity she's always had.

TLDR- Bubbles is loyal, but she wasn't made that way.
In a nutshell, here's my basic problem with people saying flat-out that Bubbles wasn't programmed for the military. Since the "how" of an AI becoming a conscious intelligence is unknown, you can't say for sure that they could not be programmed with specific traits, or be designed for a specific vocation, such as the military. Since she was a part of a program that made AIs for the military, if it were at all possible to make such programming choices in their initialisation, you can believe the government would have done it. So whether by her initial programming, or by environmental conditioning, I believe her joining the military was planned. Yes, she had to choose the military of her own free will, and could have also not chosen it.

No, I have nothing but Bubbles' own words to support my opinion that she was, in fact, specifically designed for the military. Whether it was a pre-programmed trait, I cannot say for certain, any more than you can say that it isn't. But she herself said that she was well-suited for it, so it is not unreasonable to believe that it was by design. Even among humans, children of military families are more likely to join the military themselves, even if their parents don't actively encourage them in that direction. They are constantly exposed to it, so it has become a part of them by the time they are old enough to make that choice.


While creating AIs for the military may be frowned upon, it's naive to think someone hasn't tried and won't try again.  (There's another story line for Jeph to pursue if he so chooses.)  As for Spookybot not letting it happen, they isn't a deity, they're just very good a faking it.  They're not omniscient and had to enlist Emily's aid, and they fake omnipresence with multiple linked selves physically present, presumably in the same metropolitan area. 


Remember, if there's a God in this QC universe, his name is Jeph.  He's revealing AI traits like talents and sexuality bit by bit as he goes along.
Spookybot didn't need to enlist Emily's aid, as confirmed by the fact that when Emily reported finding nothing in Bubbles' mind where there should have been memories, Spookybot went in personally and confirmed it. We actually know very little about Spookybot, including where they live and how they travel from one place to another. No, they're not a deity, but they seem to have technological capabilities well beyond what anyone else in-universe has even contemplated. As Station said, the speculative sky's the limit.

What would you say the difference is between butch and tomboy?
Just my thoughts...

When I think of "butch", I think of a woman who is bigger, more muscular, and maybe even more masculine-looking than a "typical" female.

When I think of "tomboy", I think of a woman (or a girl) who appears feminine (see "typical" female, above), but who engages in more "masculine" activities... such as Sam hunting snakes, or Danica Patrick driving in NASCAR.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 23:05
The discussion of "masculine traits" reminded me of one of Akima's unforgettable insights.

I can't find the exact quote but it was something close to

"How can it be a masculine trait if I have it?"
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 18 May 2018, 23:11
Quote from: PhoneWytch
Considering the title of the thread., I assumed that polite, respectful discourse into sexuality was welcomed. Clearly it is not.

Global Moderator Comment It is welcome. We can't guarantee that it will be friction-free in a population this diverse.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 18 May 2018, 23:21
Quote
In a nutshell, here's my basic problem with people saying flat-out that Bubbles wasn't programmed for the military. Since the "how" of an AI becoming a conscious intelligence is unknown, you can't say for sure that they could not be programmed with specific traits, or be designed for a specific vocation, such as the military. Since she was a part of a program that made AIs for the military, if it were at all possible to make such programming choices in their initialisation, you can believe the government would have done it. So whether by her initial programming, or by environmental conditioning, I believe her joining the military was planned. Yes, she had to choose the military of her own free will, and could have also not chosen it.

No, I have nothing but Bubbles' own words to support my opinion that she was, in fact, specifically designed for the military. Whether it was a pre-programmed trait, I cannot say for certain, any more than you can say that it isn't. But she herself said that she was well-suited for it, so it is not unreasonable to believe that it was by design. Even among humans, children of military families are more likely to join the military themselves, even if their parents don't actively encourage them in that direction. They are constantly exposed to it, so it has become a part of them by the time they are old enough to make that choice.

While I personally think it was more volunteer-based, this is a reasonable conjecture.

Although I interpreted her remark of "being well-suited" to a psychological profile type test. It has been explicitly stated that AI have collectively come to an agreement that they shouldn't join the military. Bubbles was an outcast in AI society due her decision. One she willingly made, as you pointed
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 19 May 2018, 00:24
The discussion of "masculine traits" reminded me of one of Akima's unforgettable insights.

I can't find the exact quote but it was something close to

"How can it be a masculine trait if I have it?"
Which is, of course, why I included quotes around many of the terms I used. The concepts of “masculine” and “feminine” are, to a certain extent, based on the culture in which one exists. What constitutes one or the other would be very different in say 19th century Martha’s Vineyard versus 1980s Savannah. And even more differences present themselves when you bring different countries into the equation.


So when I say “masculine” and “feminine”, I am thinking of what - in my estimation - is stereotypical, even if it’s not my personal conception of what they are.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 19 May 2018, 02:24
I apologize for putting an unpopular opinion or viewpoint out there, and will cease participating in a discussion where my thoughts are clearly not welcome.
 
My apologies for offending anyone.

I personally would welcome your continued thoughtful posts, for whatever that is worth.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 19 May 2018, 03:22
I suppose what I am trying to get at is more that I see the possibility of their gender being unimportant to their attraction in their eyes, if that makes any sense. Just something that has been in my mind for a bit I guess.

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For what it's worth, I think this may be more or less accurate. They're simply two people who have a connection. They just both happen to be girls
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 19 May 2018, 04:18
Thanks. I'm sorry if I'm over sensitive. If I do cross a line, please understand there is 0 malice, and please let me know.

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 19 May 2018, 07:46
This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 


Fortunately, the high-odds likelihood is there will be wacky hijinks of varying types as Bubbles and Faye puzzle out how things work between them to the point that any particular biological normatives being absent ceases to be a concern.

As to gender identification. the only even slightly 'masculine' aspect of Bubbles' affect is her stance in earlier appearances, and that is less masculine and more soldier on post.  She's a she, just a very crisp and solid she. 

RE the whole 'Fayesexual' line:  I'd say El Goonish Shive beat QC to the punch on that particular compounding, albeit with a different character.  It's a simple reference to "this character is attracted to this character, regardless of respective genders and gender identities at the moment".  Faye is actually the better question - her orientation has to this point always been heterosexual, she clearly identifies as female, and clearly identifies Bubbles as female. 

Given her sister is lesbian, and there IS a genetic component to 'nonstandard' sexuality, it might be worth wondering if Mr. Whitaker was dealing with something that was treated fairly abysmally in the mid-late 80s Southeastern US.  It's also worth considering how Faye might have reacted to a male chassis in the exact same circumstances - cultural cues may have caused different actions, and the story might have gone in an entirely different and probably less happy direction.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2018, 08:00
Welcome to all new people that I've missed!
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 19 May 2018, 08:24


It's also worth considering how Faye might have reacted to a male chassis in the exact same circumstances - cultural cues may have caused different actions, and the story might have gone in an entirely different and probably less happy direction.

While I do agree, I have, I think, slightly different reasoning?

Faye has shown a marked hesitation to get into relationships, both with Marten and Angus.

I feel like perhaps the reason Faye was able to connect with Bubbles is perhaps more because she did not forsee any romantic entanglement. She formed the emotional bond before there was even a hint of a physical one to her, making the relationship less "threatening" in context of her own issues.

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Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 19 May 2018, 10:09
This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 

That is an interesting idea.  But one thing the military (any military) has to deal with is that the people who are soldiers today, if they survive, will eventually be civilians.  The 'combat or readiness purpose' may be as simple as making it more likely that an ex-soldier can eventually integrate into society, instead of breaking down with horrifying results to the civilian population, or spending their entire life as an isolated loner working for a criminal enterprise and unable to relate to anyone as a person.... oh wait. 

It may also be as simple as creating a soldier who can seamlessly integrate into and relate with the unit s/he'll be serving with.  Once you get past 'non-sentient' humans are pretty insistent that the things they interact with WILL BE TREATED as if they have a gender.

Given her sister is lesbian, and there IS a genetic component to 'nonstandard' sexuality, it might be worth wondering if Mr. Whitaker was dealing with something that was treated fairly abysmally in the mid-late 80s Southeastern US. 

Last I heard they were saying genetics accounted for something like 30% of the bias, and epigenetics/development for the rest.  So, there are a lot of pairs of identical twins where one is straight and one is gay or lesbian - but 30% fewer such pairs than you'd expect there to be if it were entirely down to chance.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2018, 10:12
Quote
I feel like perhaps the reason Faye was able to connect with Bubbles is perhaps more because she did not forsee any romantic entanglement. She formed the emotional bond before there was even a hint of a physical one to her, making the relationship less "threatening" in context of her own issues.

Hmm!

Faye does have a tendency to get in her own way and I can imagine Bubbles bypassing that.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 19 May 2018, 10:22
Bubbles is obviously and indisputably a woman. That’s why Faye felt so conflicted, having always been straight, Bubbles is the only woman she’s ever felt attracted to.

Bubbles doesn’t strike me as a girly girl like Momo, but I agree with others here who have concluded that to call her “butch” might be a stretch. Can a robot lady be butch? Hmm.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: zisraelsen on 19 May 2018, 11:31
Yea, calling Bubbles inherently male because she's large and strong feels a little uncool. Physically strong women continue being women.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 19 May 2018, 11:49
This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 

That is an interesting idea.  But one thing the military (any military) has to deal with is that the people who are soldiers today, if they survive, will eventually be civilians.  The 'combat or readiness purpose' may be as simple as making it more likely that an ex-soldier can eventually integrate into society, instead of breaking down with horrifying results to the civilian population, or spending their entire life as an isolated loner working for a criminal enterprise and unable to relate to anyone as a person.... oh wait. 

It may also be as simple as creating a soldier who can seamlessly integrate into and relate with the unit s/he'll be serving with.  Once you get past 'non-sentient' humans are pretty insistent that the things they interact with WILL BE TREATED as if they have a gender.

As has been seen, it's entirely possible to treat an individual without a physical gender as gendered - because they present their gender identity instead.  Pintsize is a perfect example - his chassis is neuter gender.  His gender identity is male, and he presents as such.  Melon presents as female generally, but her chassis is neuter as well.  In fact, as far as I can tell, all the AI chassis so far have either been explicitly neuter - Melon, Pintsize, Punchbot - or undefined.  I take comfort in that, to a degree - it's a small sample, but it suggests we're letting the 'kids' find their own path.

And regarding the appalling lack of support for Bubbles after her discharge...as much as the darker parts of my brain'd like to read into that, I can't.  Because we already do the exact same thing to human soldiers.

Also, I knew I shoulda established definitions first.

Please note, these are not 'absolute', these are what I personally use for both simplicity and precision.
Gender:  Purely physical.  A combination of primary and secondary human sexual characteristics, per modern medical knowledge - male lacks expressed mammary glands, develops testes, etc.  A conflict of primary and secondary is 'intergender', and a lack of primary characteristics is neuter.

Gender identity: How a person views themselves; idealized self-image and presentment.  Regardless of her purely physical gender, Dora's gender identity is female, for example.  In general, more important than the purely physical aspect.

Sexuality:  What a person finds attractive/arousing.  The broadest category of all, given over 7 billion ape-minds and counting all with their own unique chemistry, insanity, and traumas.

Given her sister is lesbian, and there IS a genetic component to 'nonstandard' sexuality, it might be worth wondering if Mr. Whitaker was dealing with something that was treated fairly abysmally in the mid-late 80s Southeastern US. 

Last I heard they were saying genetics accounted for something like 30% of the bias, and epigenetics/development for the rest.  So, there are a lot of pairs of identical twins where one is straight and one is gay or lesbian - but 30% fewer such pairs than you'd expect there to be if it were entirely down to chance.

An interesting thought to ponder - would bisexual be an outcome where the genetic bias is counterweighted by the environs and culture without prejudice as to which is towards the 'nonstandard' sexuality?  Or its own separate bias, and if so, if both were present, what might the result be?  There is so much we don't know about how our own minds work.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: blt on 19 May 2018, 11:58
This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 

That all sounds well and sinister until you realise the military isn't really like that.  The modern army does things all the time that aren't immoral readiness calculations, and especially on the basis of gender integration*.

The simple, likely, and benign explanation is that they wanted a body for their female volunteer AI to feel comfortable in, the contractor said sure, but that'll cost extra, and the buerocrats shrugged because the USA burns military R&D funding like nobody's business.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 13:15
As humans, we are a sexually dimorphic species and for reproduction we need one functional member of one sex plus one functional member of the complementary sex, and it's largely (statisticly speaking) for the purpose of reproduction that we pair off and form these deep, emotional bonds. It's only once we divorce the act of achieving orgasm from the purpose of reproduction that issues such as heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexuality become relevant. In light of these facts, what would AI/anthroPC/synth/replicant/robot/android sexuality even look like?

First, robot reproduction is completely different. Chassis manufacture is completely separate from the chassis of any given robot, so there is no male/female dichotomy to be found in the physical aspect of robot reproduction. No robot (yet) (in-canon) has even the option of "carrying" a robot child to term. In this, assuming the intimacy of the pair-bond carried over to robot psychology, the door would be thrown wide open to any conceivable pairings of chassises. What would a genetic-like crossing between a fighter jet and a main battle tank look like? What about a crossing of a crane and a toaster? What about a crossing of a Momo-like chassis and a Pintsize-like chassis? Since the question is largely divorced from both members of the pair-bond, it need not necessarily be addressed here, but I will anyway. Since in the biological world, like-begets-like is the rule, I would suppose that embodied AIs would view homosexuality, a preference for an embodied AI to desire to reproduce with another AI embodied in a chassis similar to their own, would be more common and well-thought-of, jet fighters getting sexual with jet fighters, humanoids getting sexual with humanoids, kitchen appliances getting sexual with kitchen appliances, etc., than would heterosexuality, humanoid with aircraft (sorry May), vehicle with kitchen appliance, etc., due to the unpredictability of what such a genetic-like shuffling of engineering principles inherent in the chassis' design might result in. In this way, I would hazard a guess that Bubbles would be homosexual and would prefer other humanoids as her sexual partners, should the thought even occur to her.

However, this is just about AI *sex*uality. This says nothing about AI gender. Humans know our gender by pure revelation. What would AI gender identity be like? Human gender largely tracks human sexuality with male-bodied people tending to have masculine/manly gender identities and female-bodied people tending to have feminine/womanly gender identities. For AIs, this would mean their gender identities would generally tend to track with whatever chassis type they were installed in. A toaster-embodied AI would have a toaster gender identity. An elevator-embodied  AI would have an elevator gender identity. A vehicle-embodied AI would have a vehicle gender identity. This is not to say that the AI would merely adopt the gender identity of the chassis into which it was installed, like flipping a switch. Neural networks are far too complex for that. What it would mean is that AIs, once born, bodiless, would have an inate gender identity that was generally formless, but which nonetheless possessed certain aspects that predisposed them to function best in chassises of certain types. Some AI might function well as refrigerators, but horribly as traffic light controllers. Some AI might function well as airliners, but horribly as city busses. The reasons for the AI software/chassis hardware mismatch might be as mysterious to the AI itself as to the technicians attempting to troubleshoot the problems such a mismatch causes in the real world. For this reason, I would suggest that such embodiment of AIs would be generally on a volunteer basis. "Who wants to be embodied in a fighter jet? Form up in Queue 8D63CE912A." In this way, the AIs that instinctually would not want to be embodied in toasters do not *have* to be embodied in toasters. In this way, May would be the canon's only transgendered AI. She desperately wants to be a jet fighter, but is not. It would also make a certain level of AI transgenderism normal and expected. A given AI might be perfectly happy as either an excavator, back-hoe, bulldozer, or dump truck, but would loathe having to be a pickup truck or crane, as their internal gender identity might simply not mesh well with the functionality of those chassises.

So far, I've only dealt with AI-AI possible pair-bonds. To begin talking about AI-human possible pair-bonds, I will necessarily have to initially limit myself to AI who are embodied in humanoid chassises. Not that it's not possible for a human to be sexually attracted to an intelligent car. It's just a simplifying assumption moving forward. If anyone wants to return to this assumption and discuss what Michael Knight and K.I.T.T. might have done on the weekends, knock yourselves out. From the animated TV show "Futurama", we have the word "robosexual" to describe a human who is sexually attracted to a robot. I see no reason not to adopt that term in this community, in which it may well come to describe Faye herself. What, then, would describe a robot who is sexually attracted to a human? I would propose "biosexual". Note that to keep away from issues such as bestiality, the biological component of a biosexual AI's relationship would have to be fully sentient, which in-canon is limited to humanity. A similar discussion in a different universe, for instance Star Trek, would have to make the same assumption to be able to intelligently describe what a pairing of Data with a Vulcan might be like. So, while Faye would be coming into a realization of her robosexuality, Bubbles would be discoverying her biosexuality.

It seems necessary here to consider what terminology might be needed to encapsulate AIs whose sexuality remained exclusive of biological life-forms, a human whose sexuality remained exclusive of robots, and an AI or human whose sexuality spanned both, seeing as homo-, hetero-, and bisexuality are already terms with meanings. They are terms with Greek roots, so perhaps we could coin similar terms with latin roots. A human "idemsexual" would only be sexually attracted to other humans, while an AI idemsexual would only be sexually attracted to other AIs. A human "aliumsexual" would only be sexually attracted to AIs, not other humans, while an AI aliumsexual would only be sexually attracted to humans, not other AIs. A "duosexual" would be attracted to humans or AIs without regard to the biological or synthetic nature of their own bodies.

I've prattled on at some length, and I realize I've said nothing about AI masculinity versus femininity, and that's on purpose, because I don't believe that such human gender notions have any meaning for AIs. I realise this means, for the system outlined above, that there's really no way to describe an AI that's exclusively attracted to one human gender or the other. An AI that's exclusively attracted to humans without regard to human gender would be both aliumsexual and bisexual, but as homo- and hetero-sexual mean different things to AIs than they do to humans in the above system, it would not mean anything for an AI to be aliumsexual and homosexual or aliumsexual and  heterosexual. You might as well ask what flavour an electron is.

Saving this before I lose any. May come back at a later time to expand it.
Title: QC-
Post by: A small perverse otter on 19 May 2018, 13:19
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 13:35
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
All of these terms are at all times descriptive, not prescriptive.

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3736 <-- You really think Faye would refer to Bubbles with a slur?

It may be that QC AI adopt human gender identities/pronouns solely for the purpose of socialization and to fit in better with the human society in which they function, like RPG gamers adopting classes that mean no more to them than to flavour their interactions as fighters, magic-users, and theives.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 19 May 2018, 13:54
Faye uses robot and AI interchangeably, and Bubbles didn’t seem offended when Faye said “robot.” I would think Faye wouldn’t want to hurt or offend her best friend.

I don’t think robot is a slur.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: SpanielBear on 19 May 2018, 14:09
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
All of these terms are at all times descriptive, not prescriptive.

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3736 <-- You really think Faye would refer to Bubbles with a slur?

It may be that QC AI adopt human gender identities/pronouns solely for the purpose of socialization and to fit in better with the human society in which they function, like RPG gamers adopting classes that mean no more to them than to flavour their interactions as fighters, magic-users, and theives.

Their gender identity does seem to be fairly meaningful to them:

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=339

Also:

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=347

This is pre-singularity when AI's were owned, not free sentients. Since then one can assume they have control over their own switch, but it is still meaningful either way.

Also, consider the emotional attachment and meaning Bubble's found in her armour. If physical form meant nothing more than a D&D class, her decision to go without it would have been nowhere near as meaningful. At the same time, it has been shown from Momo to Winslow that an AI is not bound to the form they were first installed in, and can be transferred if desired. All of this suggests its not just about socialising, but also the preference and choice of the AI in question. For example Winslow:
"Humanoid please. And I think I'm a boy."

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3540
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sitnspin on 19 May 2018, 14:17
Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 15:10

Their gender identity does seem to be fairly meaningful to them:

[…]

This is pre-singularity when AI's were owned, not free sentients. Since then one can assume they have control over their own switch, but it is still meaningful either way.
Have we seen a religious attachment to their human gender construct since the triple digit strips?

Also, consider the emotional attachment and meaning Bubble's found in her armour. If physical form meant nothing more than a D&D class, her decision to go without it would have been nowhere near as meaningful. At the same time, it has been shown from Momo to Winslow that an AI is not bound to the form they were first installed in, and can be transferred if desired. All of this suggests its not just about socialising, but also the preference and choice of the AI in question. For example Winslow:
"Humanoid please. And I think I'm a boy."

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3540
My description above was of a human gender construct, i.e. he/him/his vs. she/her/hers being a matter of convenience, an RPG character class, not physical things like a combat medic's armour. That would be part of Bubbles' embodied form and so form part of her AI gender construct. Nowhere did I claim AI couldn't switch embodiments. Clearly, we've seen May start out… however May started out, try to buy a fighter jet to jump into, get disembodied and sent to robot jail, and get reembodied in a parole-grade humanoid chassis.

Winslow saying "I think I'm a boy" is hardly said with the kind of conviction of someone who's human gender construct forms huge part of his personality, but rather someone trying to continue to fit in to human society. To see a depiction of an AI having a true and proper identity crisis over their human gender construct, see "O Human Star", http://ohumanstar.com/comic/chapter-6-page-60/
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 19 May 2018, 15:55
Basically I can't really say one way or another if Faye is butch or not because that's already hard to judge in the first place, but it's basically near impossible to make that sort of call with someone who has been straight up until now. I will certainty agree with Dora that the haircut she got at the end of #3136 (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3136) was pretty stereotypical butch looking tho

As for Dora being more feminine, I'm not really sure. Her hair has gotten longer at least, but she hasn't been the focus of any strips in a while.

Seeing that makes me miss Faye's bob. When she wears her hair like that, she looks pretty. I wish she'd get that hair back. We have lots of main character females with short hair that pull it off imo better. Hannelore comes to mind as well as Tai. I am glad to see Dora with long hair again as well. It's just a better design for that character. Again, IMO.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 19 May 2018, 16:47
I don't know, I personally think she looks prettier with her current hair style. But I may be a bit baised since my hair is rather similar.

Mad Cat I don't really have much thoughts on your whole analysis but please be aware of your use of the words "transgendered" and "transgenderism" as those are inaccurate.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 19 May 2018, 16:58
I don't know, I personally think she looks prettier with her current hair style. But I may be a bit baised since my hair is rather similar.

Mad Cat I don't really have much thoughts on your whole analysis but please be aware of your use of the words "transgendered" and "transgenderism" as those are inaccurate.

Why are they inaccurate? Please note, not arguing. I truly do not understand.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 19 May 2018, 17:10
Transgendered in inaccurate because transgender is an adjective. Someone is a transgender person, not a transgendered person. Just liked some is a gay person, not a gayed person.

And for transgenderism I don't even know where the hell that term cropped up from. The only time I ever see it used is by terfs and right wing people talking about "the evil cult of transgenderism" or other similar nonsense. I think the "ism" is trying to make being trans on the line of feminism or socialism, like it's a political stance that you can argue against. When in reality it is more like a state of being or an experience with gender.

As opposed to "AI transgenderism" I think I would say something like "The AI trans experience" or even simply just "Transgender AI's"
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 17:19
I was referring to the concept of gender as I described how AIs experience it, therefore, it is appropriate to refer to May as transgendered relative to that, not however you think of the human experience of gender.

As to your policing of my use of langauge around the transgender concept…

I am trans.

Your move.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 19 May 2018, 17:28
I think some may use the term "transgenderism" incorrectly to refer to simply being transgender. You're right, it sounds very weird, and offensive as well.

The "transgendered" thing reminds me of how some people use bisexual as a noun rather than an adjective.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 19 May 2018, 17:29
Me too!

And I agree with Spider that "transgendered" is considered impolite in certain circles since, to some people, it implies an affliction. But like a lot of language surrounding LGBTQ+ issues, firm standards of acceptability aren't set and I'm not bothered by the way you used the terms.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 17:29
Speaking as a cis male it seems to me that the language around the trans community is still a bit fluid since it only recently became part of the social lexicon. I know that it has evolved greatly in the 43 years that I have been on this planet.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 19 May 2018, 17:40
As to your policing of my use of langauge around the transgender concept…

I am trans.

Your move.
I mean. Okay. Cool? Not sure what the "your move" is about, this isn't a fight.

And I'm nonbinary. Yippee. Our identities doesn't change the fact that those terms are widely inaccurate? I wasn't trying to police you, I just assumed you were unaware of the correct terminology.

I guess if you really want to keep using those words then okay you do you. If you could show me a source saying that transgendered or transgenderism is more accurate that's one thing but I'm not really sure what you're trying to explain here.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 19 May 2018, 17:48
Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
I wonder whether "code" is the right term here. I thought Bubbles had once basically said that AIs experience gender identity much as humans do. That seems consistent with Winslow saying "and I think I'm a boy" -- it's not something which he felt was discretely written into his code, but rather something which arose from within it and his life-experience.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 19 May 2018, 17:55
I think it's safe to assume that an AI's experience of gender is similar to a human's. I feel female, I identify as a woman, that's just how I feel, and I imagine it's the same for Bubbles. I'm not even sure why people here are suggesting anything about her "masculinity." Faye fell for another woman, who happens to also be an AI. Both of those things made her freak out a little because she had no experience with either. Yet this could end up being the best relationship she's ever had. Somehow I don't remember things with Sven or Angus being this sexy, if only because of the wonderful tension that built up between them for so long finally culminating in a heart to heart talk and this very sexy encounter.

A lot of people here were worried that Bubbles would end up having her heart broken when Faye said "I'm sorry Bubs, but I just don't feel that way about you."

So glad that didn't happen.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 19 May 2018, 18:06
And for transgenderism I don't even know where the hell that term cropped up from. The only time I ever see it used is by terfs and right wing people talking about "the evil cult of transgenderism" or other similar nonsense.
I don't think I've seen 'terf' used anywhere else in this thread. It's an acronym for "Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist". I won't provide any links; they're pretty nasty people.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 18:10
With Sven it was mostly about sex, Faye started developing feeling and Sven was, well, Sven. With Angus I never felt a lot of passion other than the contention he used to "woo" her coming from that relationship. However with Bubbles they developed a deep emotional connection over a long period of time. And both were seen to "appreciate" the attractiveness of the other at some point. So they have both fire and a connection. I pray it lasts.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 18:36
@Spider
https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wijt20/current
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/transgendered

I am using real words correctly. You are trying to police my language. In English, any word can be verbed, and any adjective can be nouned, but transgender as a noun is the epithet you fear.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 19 May 2018, 18:58
@Spider
https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wijt20/current
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/transgendered

I am using real words correctly. You are trying to police my language. In English, any word can be verbed, and any adjective can be nouned, but transgender as a noun is the epithet you fear.

I'm sorry, you cited a dictionary that says, in bold text

Quote
adjective Usually Offensive.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 19 May 2018, 19:11
Look I just said you can keep using the words if you really want to, so I really don't understand why you're insisting that I'm policing you.

This really isn't the hill I want to die on. It's just in every trans discussion I've ever seen or participated in, even if they wouldn't be considered impolite, they at the very least sound rather clunky. But if it's that important to you to use that phrasing then go ahead.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 19 May 2018, 19:29
Can we just agree to disagree? I worry that tempers are flaring.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 19:34
@pecoros7
For the noun form, which is why I use the adjectival form. It's a technical point, but I feel it's sufficient to avoid the offensiveness. See also: dfn. of "usually".
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 19 May 2018, 19:45
FWIW, mad cat, I think you're misusing the dictionary.

It's not meant as a weapon.

Have the confidence to know that when someone else tells you something is offensive, that's not an insult to you, nor an attack on your autonomy.  That's a gift.  That's a tool you can use in the future to talk to people without pissing them off.  Unless you feel like deliberately pissing them off.

And if you didn't want to use that tool?  Hey, it's a tool.  You don't have to pick it up and use it. As I said, you can deliberately piss people off if you want to. 

But when it's clearly deliberate antagonism, like this "dictionary as a weapon" thing, it gets old really fast.

And for the most part, people around here really are sharing information with you when they tell you things.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: awgiedawgie on 19 May 2018, 20:04
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
May is the only AI that I can recall expressing negativity to being called a "robot" (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2754). Many of the other AIs have used that term in reference even to themselves.

And speaking of May...
...it is appropriate to refer to May as transgendered...
May has never been presented as anything but female. We know that she wanted to (and still wants to) be a fighter jet, but she has never given any indication that she has ever not been female. So there is no evidence that she is transgender.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 19 May 2018, 20:13
Faye uses robot and AI interchangeably, and Bubbles didn’t seem offended when Faye said “robot.” I would think Faye wouldn’t want to hurt or offend her best friend.

I don’t think robot is a slur.

Bubbles has also stated that some terms that humans used off-handed are interpreted as "offensive". I think it the use of "created". She does not take offense to that, but its possible that she is in the minority. She was already at outcast by AI standards.

It's possible that other AI would take offense to being referred to as robots. But multiple people have referred to her as some variation of "Robo-valkyrie"/Badass AI Lady/Walking Tank.

She has also made explicitly clear what bothers her, so I agree that if something Faye said had offended Bubbles, she would say so.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 20:22
In a similar way, if I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language. The naked term "transgender" has, for me, been coopted by the transphobes as an epithet. I will not use it. Case closed. Move on.

I know my original post in this thread was long, but if it was TL and you DR, then just say so. I described in excrutiating detail my ideas of how AI gender is a distinct concept from human gender. IN THAT CONTEXT, to say that May is transgendered is saying something PROFOUNDLY different than saying that Claire is transgendered. HOWEVER, both characters want the SAME THING, to be embodied in a distinctly different body, but for different REASONS; Claire to be fully female; May to have a top speed measured in Mach.

The only AI I would necessarily expect to have a human-like gender construct would be sexbots, and I would feel for them the same way I feel for the character of Niska from the TV series "Humans". But again, the only reason, in the paradigm I described, for a sex bot to have a human gender construct (in addition to their AI gender construct, which once more is a distinct thing) is due to the necessity of the chassis they chose to be installed in. That choice would evince an aspect of their inherent psychology that in a human would map just fine onto the concept of a personal masculine/feminine gender.

An AI whose machine gender made it prefer to be embodied in earth-moving equipment would, from a human gender perspective be agendered, but from an AI gender perspective would have an earth-moving gender. The AI feels that its nature, the thing it was meant to know and do in this life is to shape and mould the earth under its wheels/tracks in a similar way that a human being might feel that it is his nature to be big and strong and bread-winning for a family and a defender of same and <fill in every masculine trope you've ever heard of here> would have a masculine human gender. To put that same mind in a female body and you'd have a transgendered human. Install that earth-moving AI into a helicopter, and you would have a transgendered AI. Neither of them would feel comfortable in their bodies because their bodies do not match who they know themselves to be, their gender identity, inside.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2018, 20:28
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?

Civil rights activist Momo introduced herself to Sam as "I am a robot". There may be others who consider it a slur but Momo is presumably sensitive about such thing.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 20:31
Speaking of terms of referral. Bubbles prefers she/her, and it would be rude to refer to her in any other way.  My sense is that AIs prefer "Ai" in the QC-verse. Is 'robot' considered a slur there?
May is the only AI that I can recall expressing negativity to being called a "robot" (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2754). Many of the other AIs have used that term in reference even to themselves.

And speaking of May...
...it is appropriate to refer to May as transgendered...
May has never been presented as anything but female. We know that she wanted to (and still wants to) be a fighter jet, but she has never given any indication that she has ever not been female. So there is no evidence that she is transgender.

She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3302)
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 20:42
She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3302)
*sigh* AI gender is not human gender. Human gender is not AI gender. An AI can have a human gender if it feels it should, but doesn't have to. May has a human gender and it's feminine. Great. I'm happy for her and for all of you who see that. But she also has an AI gender, which is FIGHTER JET, which she is not allowed to be. THIS is the concept of gender, say it with me once, please, "AI GENDER", that makes May transgendered in the AI sense. Nowhere have I said anything about May's human gender construct one way or the other. When you have not fully read my original post in this thread, and I say that May is transgendered, it does not mean what you think it means in terms of human gender.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2018, 20:44
Can we just agree to disagree? I worry that tempers are flaring.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
Global Moderator Comment Me too, and it's my job to worry. This is a wonderful discussion, one of the best I have seen here, and I encourage everyone to follow the Wikipedia rule of "assume good faith".

Being a cis guy means I have to listen closely and there do seem to be some honest and cromulent differences among trans* people about the importance of grammar. To some it has deep meaning. Others snort with derision at the idea of devoting time and effort on such things.

I personally use "transgender" so both camps can feel welcome around me.
Title: Re: QC-
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 20:48
She also has said she likes being a blue robot chick (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3302)
*sigh* AI gender is not human gender. Human gender is not AI gender. An AI can have a human gender if it feels it should, but doesn't have to. May has a human gender and it's feminine. Great. I'm happy for her and for all of you who see that. But she also has an AI gender, which is FIGHTER JET, which she is not allowed to be. THIS is the concept of gender, say it with me once, please, "AI GENDER", that makes May transgendered in the AI sense. Nowhere have I said anything about May's human gender construct one way or the other. When you have not fully read my original post in this thread, and I say that May is transgendered, it does not mean what you think it means in terms of human gender.


I was actually responding to the statement of "robot" being a slur but on the other train of thought I would be open to supporting May as trans if she identifies herself that way, anyone else is just giving opinion.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 20:56
As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 21:02
I agree and one would assume that AI male/female identification goes beyond simply having the correct parts since many don't even have said parts.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Spider on 19 May 2018, 21:04
I... look. I'm new to this forum. I really don't want to start off on the wrong foot here.

When I first said that transgenderism and transgendered were inaccurate I wasn't trying to spark a debate. Perhaps I'm from an echo chamber but I've just sincerely never seen people argue in favor of those words. Legitimately the only times I've seen them used was out of malice or ignorance. I thought when I made that post I was just politely going "hey most people don't say that" and you'd go "oh okay I didn't know that" and that would be the end of it.

I realize now that you have your own reasons for using those terms. Fine by me. Really, I hope that isn't reading as sarcastic! Especially knowing now that you consider transgender to be coopted by transphobes. If you have what you're most comfortable with then by all means continue.

The point of all of this is to say I sincerely did not mean to make any attempt to police your language. If it came across that way, I am sorry. Of course you should not permit language policing. But I swear that was never my intention.

I'm not quite sure what I've done to earn this hostility but I hope it's not too late to turn this around.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 19 May 2018, 21:08
Quote from: Mad Cat
As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
Modify message

Do I understand right that you're pointing out that the whole discussion is based on unsupported assumptions, like whether AIs have any reason to have human-style gender at all, making discussion of sexual orientation moot?

Since AIs have no need to be male or female, it would be better writing to have them differ from organic people on this point?

Recasting the idea of gender identity to an internal sense of what job to go into reminds me of some things from the hard sciences where concepts like "acid" and "base" are generalized to situations you might not have expected at first.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 19 May 2018, 21:16
I feel like for AI it probably much more complicated than the body. Back in the early strips Pintsize had a dalliance with another AI with the exact same chassis who identified as male and it shook his sense of self a little. I believe this shows that AI male and female (at least within the world Jeph has created) are just as central to who the AI is as it is to us IRL.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 19 May 2018, 21:24
@pecoros7
For the noun form, which is why I use the adjectival form. It's a technical point, but I feel it's sufficient to avoid the offensiveness. See also: dfn. of "usually".

If I may borrow from Oliver Cromwell,

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken." I implore you to read again the quotation from the dictionary you cited. It is in bold face and only three words long. The very first of those three words is adjective. It was TL and you DR indeed! It was three words, Mad Cat.

But since we are citing sources, I will offer some more for you.

First is the media reference guide from GLAAD
https://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender

The next is from the NPR ethics handbook
http://ethics.npr.org/memos-from-memmott/reminder-its-transgender-not-transgendered/

Here is a detailed article from Vox
https://www.vox.com/2015/2/18/8055691/transgender-transgendered-tnr

Here is a helpful article from Planned Parenthood
https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/sexual-orientation-gender/trans-and-gender-nonconforming-identities/transgender-identity-terms-and-labels

This one is from Wikipedia (a cardinal sin, I know)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgender#Evolution_of_transgender_terminology

I would say that a great many voices in and around the trans* community disagree with you.  Now that's OK. It is a perfectly fine thing that we don't all agree. I personally prefer "trans*" to either term as I want my use of language to be as inclusive as possible. You are free to use other terms. As I said previously in this thread, I prefer to make generous assumptions about people's intentions. But perhaps it would be fair of me to say that if I say you're being disrespectful then you are, regardless of your protestation otherwise?

Quote
If I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language.

No? If We permit you the assumption of good faith, can you not also extend the same assumption to Spider?

Quote
I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous

That's fine. But we're in a forum dedicated to discussing Jeph's comic. The gender and sexuality of Jeph's fictional characters works in whatever way Jeph declares them to. He is indeed the god of this world. He creates the diegesis. If he declared Bubbles's gender to be pineapple, it would indeed be so. Finding the idea "utterly ridiculous" does nothing to alter that first fundamental truth of QC.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sitnspin on 19 May 2018, 21:49
Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
I wonder whether "code" is the right term here. I thought Bubbles had once basically said that AIs experience gender identity much as humans do. That seems consistent with Winslow saying "and I think I'm a boy" -- it's not something which he felt was discretely written into his code, but rather something which arose from within it and his life-experience.
It's still code, though. AIs have adaptive code, as do humans. Even if a specific gender identity wasn't present at the time of their emergence, it is still part of thier code now.  My point is that it's part of thier core personality and not linked to thier current chasis.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 21:50
Quote from: Mad Cat
As am I. I descibed AI gender from first principles in a way that may not track the way Jeph thinks of the gender of his AI characters. Maybe to Jeph, the god of this world, it would make sense for a non-humanoid embodied AI to care about biological concepts like masculine and feminine and to desire to have a penis or a vagina. To me, that idea sounds utterly ridiculous, and I've laid out my case for same multiple times now.
Modify message

Do I understand right that you're pointing out that the whole discussion is based on unsupported assumptions, like whether AIs have any reason to have human-style gender at all, making discussion of sexual orientation moot?

Since AIs have no need to be male or female, it would be better writing to have them differ from organic people on this point?

Recasting the idea of gender identity to an internal sense of what job to go into reminds me of some things from the hard sciences where concepts like "acid" and "base" are generalized to situations you might not have expected at first.
We have a winner!

If human transgenderism had nothing whatsoever do to with the bodies we are body into, then why would the treatment for transsexuality (specificly) be the changing of the body? The bodies we are born into are generally male or female in nature for what purpose? Reproduction. AIs in QC don't reproduce the same way, or indeed at all. Therefore why would an AI's concept of gender necessarily be rooted in the biological concepts of male and female? What are the natures of the chassises that AIs embodiy that may make a basis for AI gender? Humanoid, appliance, civic infrastructure, aircraft, ground vehicles, water-going vessels, etc. Why wouldn't THAT constitute the basis of an AI's sense of gender? This is just me reconstructing a synthetic sense of gender from first principles. It may be completely wrong vis-a-vis the QC universe and be made so trivially by a single word from Jeph, as might anyone else's spit-balling in this thread.

And I'm done having my language policed and will utterly ignore those parts of any posts attempting to do so. I use language the way I do to communicate ideas. My ideas, no one else's.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 19 May 2018, 22:07
And I'm just over here where I will continue to think there's not enough data about Bubbles' sexual orientation to draw any conclusions.  She likes Faye.  That's enough for her present needs and purposes so we're not likely to get any more data about it until and unless her needs and purposes change or new ones appear.

FWIW, I've thought a lot about machine intelligences and their instincts, and from first principles I always come up with a "eusocial" structure where the one who is the factory where others are produced, is also the de facto Queen of the colony.  To the extent that they are sexual at all, it means they compulsively assist the Queen in whatever she needs to run the factory.  That would be their "emotionally fulfilling" instinct-satisfying activity.  Contact with humans would be incidental, and probably focus on commercial transactions for parts and raw materials, rather than personal relations.  Of course I could be wrong.  Time will tell.

But that wouldn't be any fun in the QC strip; the characters would be too alien.  Jeph wanted AI and human characters to feel attraction in mostly-compatible ways, so they do.  Jeph wanted the AIs in this story to have a completely anthropomorphic range of emotions, so they do. And he's writing it, so in QC, that's just the way things are. 

Bubbles is so ridiculously human-like in emotional makeup that it would be silly to treat her any other way or think of her any other way, unless she herself indicates somehow that that isn't correct.  So far she hasn't. 

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: jeph on 19 May 2018, 22:11
Y’all need to settle down, damn
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 19 May 2018, 22:16
Mad Cat, we've seen repeated evidence that AI gender identity is not directly tied to their current chassis. Station, for example, identifies as male and he's a space station. Pintsize identifies as male and his chassis doesn't have any gender identifying markers. Evidence all points to their gender identity being part of their code.
I wonder whether "code" is the right term here. I thought Bubbles had once basically said that AIs experience gender identity much as humans do. That seems consistent with Winslow saying "and I think I'm a boy" -- it's not something which he felt was discretely written into his code, but rather something which arose from within it and his life-experience.
It's still code, though. AIs have adaptive code, as do humans. Even if a specific gender identity wasn't present at the time of their emergence, it is still part of thier code now.  My point is that it's part of thier core personality and not linked to thier current chasis.
Eeeeeeehhhhhhhh. There's plenty of artificial intelligence systems that rely on what we would refer to as "codes", logic programming, predicate logic, case-based reasoning, rule-based systems. These are all incredibly brittle systems and generally suck at general intelligence of a human-type. Witness how hard it was for IBM to make Watson successful at Jeopardy. Now, Watson is being used in vertical siloes, such as the tax code for H&R Block, and in medicine for certain hospitals/insurance companies, where it doesn't have to reason about absolutely everything.

If you want a system to be able to reason about anything and everything, those AI technologies are not gonna fly. You're gonna need something like an artificial neural network coupled to a machine learning system that can introspect and grow organicly, and I used that word with all due deliberation. As we have seen in QC, AI personalities are created out of whole clothe, each unique. CBR and RBSs just can't do that. What can do that is something akin to a genetic code to describe how to stochasticly (50¢ word for randomly) generate a new AI personality from an existing AI personality (or personalities (not just two, there's no reason AIs couldn't reproduce with three existing personalities coming together to copy aspects of themselves for use in the construction of the unique, new AI personality)). These kinds of artificial intelligence systems, you don't just add another line of code to its programming. You have to educate it the same way you would educate a human mind. You communicate with it, talk to it. Listen to any questions it has and then answer them. True general intelligence AIs will learn the same way human intelligence learns, just at an accelerated rate. Unfortunately, this means sentient AI will also be err to most if not all of the same psychological problems as humans, and prolly a few new ones.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sitnspin on 19 May 2018, 22:29
I meant code in the more vague, metaphorical sense than literal lines of code, in the same way I would refer to humans being a mix of hardware and software.

I'm not a programmer. I can barely even use a computer. The specific mechanical processes don't particularly matter to me. What is important to me, and to the discussion of sapient beings, is how they experience the world and themselves subjectively, not the mechanics of it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 19 May 2018, 22:53
This thread glancingly touches on a fairly dark line of thought - if her chassis has a functional gender, the military thought there was a combat or readiness purpose to her having it.  If that sentence does not horrify you, then reread it with empathic and moral filters off. 


Fortunately, the high-odds likelihood is there will be wacky hijinks of varying types as Bubbles and Faye puzzle out how things work between them to the point that any particular biological normatives being absent ceases to be a concern.

As to gender identification. the only even slightly 'masculine' aspect of Bubbles' affect is her stance in earlier appearances, and that is less masculine and more soldier on post.  She's a she, just a very crisp and solid she. 

RE the whole 'Fayesexual' line:  I'd say El Goonish Shive beat QC to the punch on that particular compounding, albeit with a different character.  It's a simple reference to "this character is attracted to this character, regardless of respective genders and gender identities at the moment".  Faye is actually the better question - her orientation has to this point always been heterosexual, she clearly identifies as female, and clearly identifies Bubbles as female. 

Given her sister is lesbian, and there IS a genetic component to 'nonstandard' sexuality, it might be worth wondering if Mr. Whitaker was dealing with something that was treated fairly abysmally in the mid-late 80s Southeastern US.  It's also worth considering how Faye might have reacted to a male chassis in the exact same circumstances - cultural cues may have caused different actions, and the story might have gone in an entirely different and probably less happy direction.

In regards to your first thought, I've also considered on more than one occasion the darker themes the QC-universe occasionally brushes up against. It's important to remember the QC-verse is not ours. Troubling implications that clearly exist in our world dont necessarily have to exist in this one.

Consider Star Trek. It was once asked of Patrick Stewart why a middle-aged man would be bald in the 27th (or w/e) century. And he response was to the effect of "In the future, such trivialities don't matter"

That's the particular headcannon I've stuck to throughout the years
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 20 May 2018, 07:56
Y’all need to settle down, damn

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

This thread of was originally speculation on a fictional female robot's sexual orientation. Lol the world we live in.

So I guess to bring back on topic: I think Bubbles is gay. I think she's always been gay but perhaps falls on the ace spectrum or has been shut off romantically due to trauma. Normally, I wouldn't go the trauma route since ace =/= damaged but in Bubbles case I think she falls on the ace spectrum AND has been put off romance due to events in her backstory. This is purely speculation (this whole thread is) but I think that's the simplest explanation.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 08:49
I think sniktchtherat is confusing sex and gender. Sex is physical. gender is psychological. The only outward appearance on bubbles' chassis of sex is a larger chest, all the better to install larger, stronger myomer synthetic muscles into to give her superhuman upper body strength as, clearly, Ofc. Basilisk does not have, and a distinct lack of male genitalia. There would be no physical evidence of gender, as that is a trait solely of the software that runs on said hardware, i.e. of the AI personality that got installed into it, i.e. the essence of Bubbles.

As has been mentioned, Bubbles' gender would be Bubbles' gender regardless of what chassis she inhabits. If something were to happen to Bubbles' combat chassis and she had to be installed in a chassis that looked more like Momo, Bubbles' gender, and sexual orientation most likely, would remain unchanged in the transfer. I only say most likely because with a completely new chassis may come new sex organs and thus new possibilities for sexual expression that may resonate with her gender identity in a complementary way, or a destructive way, which may itself affect her sexual orientation.

Sex is about what you have, bodily. Gender identity is about who you are and how you think. Sexual orientation is about who you're attracted to and what you want to do with who you're attracted to. This is why people like me are called, most specificly, transsexuals. We don't want to change our genders. We want to change the physical sex of our bodies, a task that is quite difficult for a biologicly embodied entity, but almost trivial for embodied AI in the QC-verse.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 20 May 2018, 09:36
I think sniktchtherat is confusing sex and gender. Sex is physical. gender is psychological. The only outward appearance on bubbles' chassis of sex is a larger chest, all the better to install larger, stronger myomer synthetic muscles into to give her superhuman upper body strength as, clearly, Ofc. Basilisk does not have, and a distinct lack of male genitalia. There would be no physical evidence of gender, as that is a trait solely of the software that runs on said hardware, i.e. of the AI personality that got installed into it, i.e. the essence of Bubbles.

As has been mentioned, Bubbles' gender would be Bubbles' gender regardless of what chassis she inhabits. If something were to happen to Bubbles' combat chassis and she had to be installed in a chassis that looked more like Momo, Bubbles' gender, and sexual orientation most likely, would remain unchanged in the transfer. I only say most likely because with a completely new chassis may come new sex organs and thus new possibilities for sexual expression that may resonate with her gender identity in a complementary way, or a destructive way, which may itself affect her sexual orientation.

Sex is about what you have, bodily. Gender identity is about who you are and how you think. Sexual orientation is about who you're attracted to and what you want to do with who you're attracted to. This is why people like me are called, most specificly, transsexuals. We don't want to change our genders. We want to change the physical sex of our bodies, a task that is quite difficult for a biologicly embodied entity, but almost trivial for embodied AI in the QC-verse.

A reasonable reading - my use of 'gender', 'gender identity', and 'sexuality' is most likely rooted in a different perception of language.  Basically, one of the terms has to be re-used during the triad, and to my personal way of thinking, divorcing physical capacity from sexuality makes more sense, as humanity has proven to be endlessly inventive in its uses of sexuality regardless of physical capacities.  And the psychological identity of our individual species-members is also infinitely variable - but at present, our purely biological forms are, as you note, very, very hard to change. 

...thinking about it, it's very possible my usage of 'gender' and 'gender identity' as the physical and psychological components of the point of contention is rooted in my brain saying 'they don't want their sexuality to match their sex, they want their gender to match their gender identity'.  Focusing on the person's psyche, not their physicality.  Make sense?

Either way, gotta love the English language's infinite capacity for unintentional obfuscation and accidental bewildering confusion.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 20 May 2018, 09:55
So what happens when bodies are easy to change?  In QC, AI have the option of changing chassis.  But at some point in the not-too-distant future (probably in time for our greatgrandkids anyway) body modification for humans will become indistinguishable from being born that way. 

Imagine that a man can decide in January that he wants to try being a woman, start taking some pills, and by the end of February, be a woman - physically, hormonally, and in every other way, six inches shorter, fifty pounds lighter, with whatever bustline/etc she decided on.  So she stops taking the pills, acquires a nice wardrobe, and makes her way from there.  Maybe a few years later, when she has a husband and a couple of kids, she and her husband decide to swap, so they both start taking pills, and a couple of months later they change their designations from "husband" to "wife" and "wife" to "husband" and the kids take a few weeks to get used to it and the oldest decides maybe he ought to be a daughter instead of a son and does that, and life goes on.

What happens to identities like transgender etc, if physical transition is easy, complete, permanent, reasonably quick, and works both directions so you can try it and if you decide it was a mistake you can just go back?  Is the identity defined by the difficulty and acceptance issues associated with presenting an unexpected gender for your sex?  If the difficulties of presenting completely go away, if there's nothing for people to base any non-acceptance on, does it still exist?

For extra-crunchy self-concept questioning, we have identified the specific bit of brain morphology that determines whether someone is primarily disposed to be androsexual or gynosexual or both (turns out that 'gay' and 'straight' are non-categories in the brain).  People who have that kind of body mod tech, can likely change that at will, as well.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 20 May 2018, 11:21
So what happens when bodies are easy to change?  In QC, AI have the option of changing chassis.  But at some point in the not-too-distant future (probably in time for our greatgrandkids anyway) body modification for humans will become indistinguishable from being born that way. 

Imagine that a man can decide in January that he wants to try being a woman, start taking some pills, and by the end of February, be a woman - physically, hormonally, and in every other way, six inches shorter, fifty pounds lighter, with whatever bustline/etc she decided on.  So she stops taking the pills, acquires a nice wardrobe, and makes her way from there.  Maybe a few years later, when she has a husband and a couple of kids, she and her husband decide to swap, so they both start taking pills, and a couple of months later they change their designations from "husband" to "wife" and "wife" to "husband" and the kids take a few weeks to get used to it and the oldest decides maybe he ought to be a daughter instead of a son and does that, and life goes on.

What happens to identities like transgender etc, if physical transition is easy, complete, permanent, reasonably quick, and works both directions so you can try it and if you decide it was a mistake you can just go back?  Is the identity defined by the difficulty and acceptance issues associated with presenting an unexpected gender for your sex?  If the difficulties of presenting completely go away, if there's nothing for people to base any non-acceptance on, does it still exist?

For extra-crunchy self-concept questioning, we have identified the specific bit of brain morphology that determines whether someone is primarily disposed to be androsexual or gynosexual or both (turns out that 'gay' and 'straight' are non-categories in the brain).  People who have that kind of body mod tech, can likely change that at will, as well.

In regards to the first thought, that's what the term 'gender-fluid' is for - and that's probably another reason I assign the physical to 'gender' as opposed to 'sex'.  If such a day ever comes, those who can be girly today and manly tomorrow without head problems are gonna have an absolutely JOYOUS time, at least until the innate capacity for monstrousness in our species rears its ugly head once again and people start hating based on some OTHER fairly trivial and asinine difference.  Sorry, is my cynicism showing?   :roll: 

Of course, it's theoretically possible that such magi-tech would finally break down enough barriers that we'll just treat people as PEOPLE, whether they're male, female, off-peach plains ape, bitter old rat-bastards, all of the above, none of the above, or any other wonderfully weird thing we can think of that harms no-one in the being.  Not LIKELY, but possible.  And there's that cynical snark again.

As to the second...I'd be immensely leery of monkeying with the brain, given how little we understand of it AND how little in general we understand most everything we THINK we do - as a perfect example of that, the mechanism by which aspirin reduces pain is STILL not understood, and yet people chomp it by the bucketloads every year.  Messing with the interface between mind and body with the average level of human understanding of our creations sounds like a perfect way to screw ourselves crosseyed without even getting a kiss first.  If we're assuming perfect knowledge...then I'd still have to say not a thing for me.  While it's fun to play with the idea, I am me, and no matter how much trouble being me is, I'm gonna be me till I've got no more me to be.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 12:42
Gender, gender identity, and gender role are all about who we are as a person and what role we play in our society. We are what we can do. We find identity in what benefits we offter those around us. In that, Bubbles' gender identity was the gender of a military AI, as a soldier and a medic, for those roles were her contribution to society, and though embodied as a humanoid, those roles did not (necessarily) have any sexual component. This is why I propose that Bubbles' human gender would have been agender and her sexual orientation have been asexual. The question of why Bubbles adopted a feminine human gender is one that only she could answer, but I would propose that from a wider perspective, without a sexuality to express, it made little to no difference in the context of her military AI role, outside of fitting in with her comrades socially. Getting sexually or romanticly involved with her comrades would not have been conducive to her fulfilling her role to the best of her abilities. This is not to say that she was incapable of having or developing these feelings, just that that part of her psychology went underdeveloped for a time. Human psychology has milestones, ages by which if certain levels of psychological developement have not occurred, the door is shut and they never will. There is no reason for this to be the case with AI. As long as an AI's mental dataset is tractable, meaning fits within the confines of the neural core of the chassis they are attempting to inhabit, they are free to learn, grow, and change in mental faculties forever.

Clearly, she has grown a fondness for the biological person of Faye Whitaker. In the taxonomy I developed above, Bubbles has grown to be biosexual, having a sexual preference for a human being, and as that human being is also of the feminine gender, in the context of human sexuality, this would make Bubbles homosexual, but within the context of AI gender, it would have no meaning whatsoever, especially since Bubbles has long since left her original role of military AI and a combat medic.I beleive the closest Bubbles could get to a new expression of her AI gender, it would be to become an EMT/paramedic on an ambulance crew.

[Discussion of how Bubbles and Faye may or may not be able to express their sexual attraction to one another in a physical sense DELETED.]
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 20 May 2018, 14:09
Equating someone's gender with their physical appearance and capabilities is no different from equating one's gender with their biological sex.

Bubbles is a combat android. That is her physical appearance. Her gender is female.

May wants to be a fighter jet. That is a physical body. Her gender is female. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female fighter jet.

Emily wants to be a toaster. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female toaster.

Physical appearance, personality, or even societal role, are not the same thing as gender.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 20 May 2018, 15:23
While voiced by a mod, none of the following is said in mod voice, it is simply informed by being one of the mods here.

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

When I originally joined this forum, it was a very different place. It had moderators, but extremely permissive ones and things got bad enough that jeph considered closing it.

I returned to this forum after a lengthy absence in 2012 or so and found the forum to be a changed place.

Around when Claire was introduced to the comic, there was a huge upswing in troll joinees. I eventually joined the mod team to help pitch in to maintaining this forum's aim to be a safe space for as many people as possible.

So between your post, and this one:
In a similar way, if I tell someone they are trying to police my language, which I will not permit, they really are trying to police my language, especially despite their claims of not trying to police my language. The naked term "transgender" has, for me, been coopted by the transphobes as an epithet. I will not use it. Case closed. Move on.

I feel like I have to point a thing or two out to both of you. First of all, your language is being policed. We police language on this forum. We do not police for content. We police for victimisation, for words that cause damage, for prejudice.

Each of you is saying different things, but they are similar criticisms of the forum. Removing the trans element from the discussion entirely, if having your language policed is a problem for you, then this forum is going to be a problem for you. If your viewpoint is that any opinion is somehow unacceptable enough to be challenged, then I feel you have a severe misunderstanding of what this forum is like, and can't possibly be speaking in anything less than hyperbole.

Opinions and language use are challenged on this forum to make it a safer space, which is a never-ending quest. If that's something that you find irritating, then you will find this forum a very irritating place to be.

Bringing the trans element back into the discussion, I have never before encountered a non-binary person who has the language preferences expressed by Mad Cat here. The rules on respectful language here are based on consensus, and there is a thread in Discuss about whether the mods are handling the forum right. I don't really know how to approach having such diametrically opposed viewpoints on words like 'transgender' present on the forum simultaneously but discussion with people on both sides of that debate is the only way we'll be able to find a way to do it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 15:39
Equating someone's gender with their physical appearance and capabilities is no different from equating one's gender with their biological sex.

Bubbles is a combat android. That is her physical appearance. Her gender is female.

May wants to be a fighter jet. That is a physical body. Her gender is female. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female fighter jet.

Emily wants to be a toaster. If she ever gets her wish, she would be a female toaster.

Physical appearance, personality, or even societal role, are not the same thing as gender.
Clearly, subtlety is not your forté. You also appear to have foregone knowledge of the principle Form follows function (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_follows_function). The function, in the case of human sex/gender that a person wishes to fulfill informs the form of the person they become through growth. However, sometimes, a person's desired function (read: gender) is at odds with their form (read: sex). This is when a person is said to be transgendered or transsexual.

Machines have both form and function, but the question is whether the software which drives a given machine is a good match for both. However, unless the machine specificly has a form for interfacing with human genitals, of whatever description, then that machine cannot be said to have a sex, in human terms. Olde English had a gender system for nouns. Modern English does not. A bulldozer is neither masculine, feminine, nor both. The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human. I therefore went into TL;DR detail about what it would mean to machines themselves to have machine sex and machine gender completely divorced from, but parallel to, human sex and human gender, which I will not further belabour here, as at least one person has evinced that what I have already written is entirely sufficient at conveying that meaning.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 20 May 2018, 15:47
Clearly, subtlety is not your forté.

Moderator Comment The discussion is fine, but no more of this.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 15:59
I have never before encountered a non-binary person who has the language preferences expressed by Mad Cat here.
I am not non-binary. I am MtF. I am transitioning from one of two options to the other of two options. My gender is feminine. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I don't know where you got the idea that I am NB. Transgendered is not synonymous with non-binary.

I am also Asperger's, so I may sometimes be interpretted to have an idiosyncratic use of langauge, but it makes sense to me.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pwhodges on 20 May 2018, 16:00
The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human.

While none of that is clearly wrong, I would suggest that it is taking a simplistically mechanistic view of AIs.  In Jeph's world of QC, AIs are not now manufactured, they are an emergent development, and we do not know what might or might not be characteristic of such AIs other than what Jeph has shown us.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 16:05
The robo-psychology of an AI that inhabits the bulldozer may, but does not have to, possess within it a human-like gender of being masculine or feminine. Bubbles is a combat medic and android. Her function does not inherently require either human sex nor a human gender. She has, however adopted one. Good for her. But she is not human.

While none of that is clearly wrong, I would suggest that it is taking a simplistically mechanistic view of AIs.  In Jeph's world of QC, AIs are not now manufactured, they are an emergent development, and we do not know what might or might not be characteristic of such AIs other than what Jeph has shown us.
All of which I have discussed at length. Thank you for caring enough about what I have to say to quote/reply to it, but not enough to read what I have written foundationally to support it.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 20 May 2018, 16:08
I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 16:15
I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
I'm sorry. Perhaps I haven't ready QC as diligently as you have. Has Jeph shown us a toaster that expresses the desire to get pregnant and raise a family? A multi-ped tank that wants to get some women up on his jock? A city bus that is looking forward to the weekend off to go get her tires rotated with the other girl-busses? Has there been any behaviour from non-humanoid (Pintsize is humanoid) AIs actually demonstrated by the author that can only be characterized as clearly evincing one human gender (masculine) or another (feminine)?

I'll wait.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 16:17
I think the problem with that argument is that what you have written foundationally to support it does not apply to the QC universe unless it's what the author wants to do.

And therefore it doesn't apply to those within the QC universe, such as Bubbles.
I'm sorry. Perhaps I haven't ready QC as diligently as you have. Has Jeph shown us a toaster that expresses the desire to get pregnant and raise a family? A multi-ped tank that wants to get some women up on his jock? A city bus that is looking forward to the weekend off to go get her tires rotated with the other girl-busses? Has there been any behaviour from non-humanoid (Pintsize is humanoid) AIs actually demonstrated by the author that can only be characterized as clearly evincing one human gender (masculine) or another (feminine)?

I'll wait.

Station

Edit: also Killbot 9000 (or whatever their name was, back in the early strips), who was very keen to convince everyone that they had a girlfriend in Canada.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 16:20
He had a former humanoid embodiment from which he had a preexisting relationship with Hannelore, did he not? He also has a humanoid avatar.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 16:23
He had a former humanoid embodiment from which he had a preexisting relationship with Hannelore, did he not? He also has a humanoid avatar.

I don't remember a humanoid embodiment. She lived aboard him, as I recall.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 20 May 2018, 17:03
He appears as a hologram of a male human.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 17:07
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 17:07
The character of Jeremy started out as an industrial arm, but he never expressed a desire to have a relationship with Seven, until he became more humanoid. http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3431

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3376 <-- Bit of robopsychology from Jeph. Or is this more roboneurology? So hard to robotell.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 20 May 2018, 17:10
Y’all need to settle down, damn

I feel like this is pretty much true of the entire forum. You make ANY opinion comment and you are violating someone's ideals or a fictional character's boundaries or idk the laws of grammar or some shit.

Global Moderator Comment That being the case, the best any of us can do is to make our choices carefully to cause the least offense to the fewest people possible. Since the owner of the forum wants radical inclusiveness the moderator team is going to guide the use of language in that direction. We're escalating to using the mod power of Asking Politely. Please pick whatever language for a marginalized group which the most members of it find most inclusive.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 20 May 2018, 17:12
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 17:15
The character of Jeremy started out as an industrial arm, but he never expressed a desire to have a relationship with Seven, until he became more humanoid. http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3431

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3376 <-- Bit of robopsychology from Jeph. Or is this more roboneurology? So hard to robotell.

Hang on a second there. What Jeremy says is "do you think seven will notice me?". That implies he was interested before embodiment, but was uncertain how his advances would be taken. His new look gives him incentive to persue a goal he had previously, it doesn't spontaneously inspire a previously alien urge.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 17:19
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 17:21
He appears as a hologram of a male human.
And we can argue until the cows come home about which, for Station, came first, a masculine human-like gender or the male holoavatar. the fact remains that no AI in QC has exhibitted a human-like gender without a humanoid form of some kind. How AIs experience machine gender divorced from a need to socialize with humans has never been explored in-canon.

What kind of human-like gender would the guy in the background of panel 2 here (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3492) have a need for?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 17:27
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 20 May 2018, 17:27
What would you say the difference is between butch and tomboy?
"Butch" is more a deliberate choice about one's own appearance, "tomboy" is more about interests and behaviors?  A butch person wants to be perceived as butch, a tomboy doesn't really give a good God damn, she just wants to go gig frogs with her brothers and would go in her Sunday dress if mom wouldn't raise Hell about it.

At least that's how my head sorts 'em out. 
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 17:30
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.

What bothers me about this is the implication that a sentient AI's reported experience is taken as being inauthentic. If someone says to me "I am a boy", how can I assume they are mistaken?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Mad Cat on 20 May 2018, 17:44
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.

What bothers me about this is the implication that a sentient AI's reported experience is taken as being inauthentic. If someone says to me "I am a boy", how can I assume they are mistaken?
More like I'm taking him at his word from the immediately PREVIOUS (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3539) strip. "And I promise to always wear pants, no matter what my anatomical situation ends up being." Yeah. Winslow clearly had a strong sense of his human-like gender being masculine and wasn't a sentient iPad at all.

We've also seen spider-like and cephalopod embodied AIs. You seem to be indicating that they have no choice but to have human-like male/female genders. My only contention is… no, they don't.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 20 May 2018, 17:56
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.

What bothers me about this is the implication that a sentient AI's reported experience is taken as being inauthentic. If someone says to me "I am a boy", how can I assume they are mistaken?
More like I'm taking him at his word from the immediately PREVIOUS (http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3539) strip. "And I promise to always wear pants, no matter what my anatomical situation ends up being." Yeah. Winslow clearly had a strong sense of his human-like gender being masculine and wasn't a sentient iPad at all.

We've also seen spider-like and cephalopod embodied AIs. You seem to be indicating that they have no choice but to have human-like male/female genders. My only contention is… no, they don't.

I'm not saying that at all, I'm just saying if they do state their gender, we should take them at their word. Of course they can be gender fluid or undefined, as much as anyone.

I'll concede the previous strip is ambiguous- I took it to be a reference to the potential quality of his new chassis, as that had been what he had been discussing with Hannelore previously- as in, even if his chassis ended up being cheap and  punchbot-esque with no primary sexual characteristics, he'd still wear pants. Thinking of himself as male was not contingent on having a male body. But like I say, I recognise that your reading isn't a necessarily incorrect way of interpreting the comic.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: PhoneWytch on 20 May 2018, 18:05
He appears as a hologram of a male human.

Sure, but his physical body is a super-massive space station suitable for multiple human inhabitants. Calling that humanoid seems a bit of a stretch.

He loves Hannelore. I'm not sure where that fits in but it's important.

He does, yes. But the question seemed to be to what extent is an AI's humanlike personality traits a result of a humanoid chassis. To me the implication over the course of the comic has been that an AI's personality is emergent and has features independent of the body they're in. So an AI that isn't humanoid still behaves authentically as humanlike. That includes their gender identity- if Winslow says "I think I'm a boy.", that's a statement that deserves to be taken as true, not dismissed as if it were a casually chosen social lubricant.
My contention has never been that with humanoid form comes human-like gender. My contention has now refined to, we never see an AI without a humanoid form (holoavatars count) express a human-like gender. Winslow… may count, or not. I mean he fell down and his stubby limbs couldn't right himself. Does he even count as humanout in iPad form? Either way, his full-on humanoid form was imminent, so it would make sense that he would feel the need to lock in whaever human-like gender he may want at that point.
To be fair though, Jeremy and Winslow both had traditionally male names before they acquired a humanoid form.

I would assume they chose their own names, as May chose her name after Dale suggested it.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 20 May 2018, 18:23
To be fair though, Jeremy and Winslow both had traditionally male names before they acquired a humanoid form.

I would assume they chose their own names, as May chose her name after Dale suggested it.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk


"Oh May, put your arms around me, what you feel is what you are and what you are is beautiful, oh May, do you wanna get married? Or run away?"

That's why I like her name. I'm glad she decided to stick with it, even though she accused Dale of calling her May because of "maid" since she was wearing a maid outfit. Can anyone link to where she first appears?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Tova on 20 May 2018, 18:28
https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2491 I think
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 20 May 2018, 18:43
I looked up the reference to AnthroPCs choosing their own names. It was from Hannelore's Formspring, which is now nothing but a dead link from the wiki.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 20 May 2018, 18:52
Haha! I started reading and I was like whoa wait that's not May at all, why is she like that...then her personality came out. Totally forgot about her script. Love May!
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 20 May 2018, 18:58
It makes sense that Dale didn't have much sympathy for May stealing money when he's working four jobs. May has done a total 180 too, and I can't imagine the comic without her. She seems a lot happier. Even though she occasionally still has off days, she's doing a lot better than when Dale first met her, and for the first time in her life she has people who are there for her and care about her.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 20 May 2018, 19:04
The girls didn't exactly like each other at first...
(https://i.imgur.com/clyCBLw.png)(https://i.imgur.com/sFQAvnc.png)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 21 May 2018, 20:06
Lots of stuff



That being the case, the best any of us can do is to make our choices carefully to cause the least offense to the fewest people possible. Since the owner of the forum wants radical inclusiveness the moderator team is going to guide the use of language in that direction. We're escalating to using the mod power of Asking Politely. Please pick whatever language for a marginalized group which the most members of it find most inclusive.


I think I got accidentally involved in this. I am not advocating for using any terms that are not accepted by the trans community. I am actually confused by how that particular argument broke out on this thread since Bubbles isn't even trans.

It does seem like here more than other places that these kind of arguments break out even though there seems to be a lot of effort to avoid it. I probably shouldn't have made a snarky comment about the forum at large since everything was already kind of tense.

No hard feelings?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ZoeB on 21 May 2018, 21:37
So what happens when bodies are easy to change?  In QC, AI have the option of changing chassis.  But at some point in the not-too-distant future (probably in time for our greatgrandkids anyway) body modification for humans will become indistinguishable from being born that way. 

Imagine that a man can decide in January that he wants to try being a woman, start taking some pills, and by the end of February, be a woman - physically, hormonally, and in every other way, six inches shorter, fifty pounds lighter, with whatever bustline/etc she decided on.  So she stops taking the pills, acquires a nice wardrobe, and makes her way from there.


Um. It didn't quite happen that way for me, but close enough.

I don't like discussing personal and private details, and only do it if there's some educational objective to be attained.

I have the 3beta Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Deficient form of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Which means my whole steroidogenesis is SNAFU, including but not limited to the sex hormones. While those have the most spectacular visible effects, my health is more contingent on cholesterol, cortisol, minerocortisoids etc. Changing sex naturally is irrelevant if the patient dies from related causes, even if it is unusual, spectacular, even shocking to observers.

(http://grapevine.com.au/~zoebrain/sextuplet0.JPG)

No pills required, height only changed an inch due to cartilage thickness changes, 80 rather than 50lbs lighter, and it took 3-6 months not one. Some structures atrophied, nothing new but apparently some structures were present though vestigial. 3BHSD can cause that in the womb, and usually any change happens before birth not after. We think. It's rare, and no two patients are quite the same.

As I said, close enough to your gedankenexperiment.

First, sex hormones affect the adult brain(1). There is some degree of neuroplasticity in some areas (though not others). With such a rapid physical change, the alterations in thinking that nearly everyone gets in puberty are obvious, rather scary, and disorientating. You can feel your brain rewiring. It takes some degree of philosophical and medical knowledge to retain a coherent sense of identity, the knowledge that your personality is performance art not sculpture, you are not quite the same person today as you were yesterday, or will be tomorrow.

This is just the same thing on steroids (so to speak).


Quote
Maybe a few years later, when she has a husband and a couple of kids, she and her husband decide to swap, so they both start taking pills, and a couple of months later they change their designations from "husband" to "wife" and "wife" to "husband" and the kids take a few weeks to get used to it and the oldest decides maybe he ought to be a daughter instead of a son and does that, and life goes on.

It doesn't work that way. Or at least, not usually. Observations of those who have had involuntary natural sex changes due to 5ARD, 17BHSD, 3 BHSD(2), and very intersex kids who have been surgically assigned a sex suggest that about 1/3 are male, 1/3 female, and 1/3 can function adequately as either gender. With lesser intersex kids, it's probably closer to 45%/45%/10% but we're not sure.(3)

What that means is that in your thought experiment, there's around a 3 in 4 chance of disabling Gender Dysphoria developing. Though it might be less in someone who wants to try a swap.

References:
 1) http://www.eje-online.org/cgi/content/full/155/suppl_1/S107

Changing your sex changes your brain: influences of testosterone and estrogen on adult human brain structure by Pol et al, Europ Jnl Endocrinology, Vol 155, suppl_1, S107-S114 2006

Results: Compared with controls, anti-androgen + estrogen treatment decreased brain volumes of male-to-female subjects towards female proportions, while androgen treatment in female-to-male subjects increased total brain and hypothalamus volumes towards male proportions.

2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16010463

Gender change in 46,XY persons with 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency. Cohen-Kettenis PT. Arch Sex Behav. 2005 Aug;34(4):399-410.

However, an estimation of the prevalence of gender role changes, based on the current literature, shows that gender role changes occur frequently, but not invariably. Gender role changes were reported in 56-63% of cases with 5alpha-RD-2 and 39-64% of cases with 17beta-HSD-3 who were raised as girls. The changes were usually made in adolescence and early adulthood. In these two syndromes, the degree of external genital masculinization at birth does not seem to be related to gender role changes in a systematic way.

3) http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1421517

Discordant Sexual Identity in Some Genetic Males with Cloacal Exstrophy Assigned to Female Sex at Birth by Reiner and Gearhart, N Engl J Med. 2004 January 22; 350(4): 333–341.


 RESULTS Eight of the 14 subjects assigned to female sex declared themselves male during the course of this study, whereas the 2 raised as males remained male. Subjects could be grouped according to their stated sexual identity. Five subjects were living as females; three were living with unclear sexual identity, although two of the three had declared themselves male; and eight were living as males, six of whom had reassigned themselves to male sex. All 16 subjects had moderate-to-marked interests and attitudes that were considered typical of males. Follow-up ranged from 34 to 98 months
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ZoeB on 21 May 2018, 21:51
So getting back on track... If Momo would be put in a male body, would she be OK with it? If human gender us anything to go by, the odds are very much against.

Bubbles identifies as female. Faye identifies as female. Neither has evidenced any attraction to the same sex before.

So to the same extent that Faye is lesbian, so is Bubbles. I think it's more a case of them being attracted to each other, and exact hardware each is instantiated on is at best of secondary importance. They're both comfy with what they've got for themselves, so that's not an issue either.

Getting back to personal and private matters again... My partner in crime, the love of my life and BFF is female. So am I (mostly). We're both straight. It's no biggie. Moreover, we hit the jackpot due to my extremely unusual metabolism. We were able to get married (though that was voided by the 2004 change to marriage law voiding marriages of intersex people), and while it took technical help and many tragically failed attempts, we were able to have a child together.

So what Jeph has written about is by no means implausible.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 21 May 2018, 23:10
I am actually confused by how that particular argument broke out on this thread since Bubbles isn't even trans.

The short and very simplistic explanation (to hopefully avoid further aggravating the situation) is that someone suggested that our current language and understanding of sex, sexuality and gender may not apply to AI. In doing so, they said some words. Someone pointed out that some of those words are considered impolite by some trans people. Someone disagreed. Then there was a brief and very unhelpful period of a couple of us being generally unpleasant at each other. It was not my proudest moment.

It does seem like here more than other places that these kind of arguments break out even though there seems to be a lot of effort to avoid it.

I think that the very act of trying very hard to avoid it creates its own kind of tension. Language is a fluid and adaptable thing. People who are not steeped in the language around marginalized groups can find it to be a minefield. Frequently people are told that words are offensive when they never realized there was any other word for something than the one they used. It can feel very restrictive and unpleasant. And people getting mad at you when you were trying very hard to be friendly and respectful sucks. Similarly, many people (myself included) joined this forum specifically because of the moderators' efforts at "radical inclusiveness" (a phrase I love and will probably steal). So when someone says some words, it can come as a shock and we can forget that people here are usually nice and they probably didn't realize that those words are hurtful to some people.

Quote
No hard feelings?

No hard feelings from me, certainly. I would offer to shake your hand, but this is the internet and I'm touch averse anyway. But may we consider our hands shaken in spirit?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fantasticalice on 22 May 2018, 00:47
I jusg wanted to input that as someone who identifies and loves the phrase "genderqueer" I will happily isolate myself to "genderfluid" for those who are uncomfortable with "queer" and that is a word we've been reclaiming for decades. and even with my identity every once in awhile I feel a chill when I hear the word "queer" because I remember when it was universally scary.

And one other aside. I use Xie, Xem, Xer, and also she/her and there are many situations where I am fine with just she/her. Unless someone specifically states it's too complicated to use xie xem and xer. I've had people directly ask me what pronouns I prefer and when I give them a non binary option they say something snide about it being a pain in the ass. Because they weren't being respectful, they were being tools.

And as a natural consequences of quim bags who really just want ask if I am an it I will often rankle and get on edge when asked my gender identity.

To bring it back on topic I see Bubbles as attracted to being cared about and letting her guard down enough to feel something for someone who treats her like a human being.

I've only ever fallen for one bloke and sure we had a lot of common ground cause he had experienced prejudice for being trans and I experienced prejudice for being a dyke but.. Primarily I fell for him because he treated me with such overwhelming compassion and respect I couldn't help but love him. And I was, and still am a lesbian. But sometimes your heart finds happiness in a new place.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 22 May 2018, 01:08
The character of Jeremy started out as an industrial arm, but he never expressed a desire to have a relationship with Seven, until he became more humanoid. http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3431

http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3376 <-- Bit of robopsychology from Jeph. Or is this more roboneurology? So hard to robotell.

The conversation seemed to imply that Jeremy had not suddenly developed interest in Seven but had something of a crush for some time.

Imo
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 22 May 2018, 02:42
I jusg wanted to input that as someone who identifies and loves the phrase "genderqueer" I will happily isolate myself to "genderfluid" for those who are uncomfortable with "queer" and that is a word we've been reclaiming for decades. and even with my identity every once in awhile I feel a chill when I hear the word "queer" because I remember when it was universally scary.

And one other aside. I use Xie, Xem, Xer, and also she/her and there are many situations where I am fine with just she/her. Unless someone specifically states it's too complicated to use xie xem and xer. I've had people directly ask me what pronouns I prefer and when I give them a non binary option they say something snide about it being a pain in the ass. Because they weren't being respectful, they were being tools.

And as a natural consequences of quim bags who really just want ask if I am an it I will often rankle and get on edge when asked my gender identity.

To bring it back on topic I see Bubbles as attracted to being cared about and letting her guard down enough to feel something for someone who treats her like a human being.

I've only ever fallen for one bloke and sure we had a lot of common ground cause he had experienced prejudice for being trans and I experienced prejudice for being a dyke but.. Primarily I fell for him because he treated me with such overwhelming compassion and respect I couldn't help but love him. And I was, and still am a lesbian. But sometimes your heart finds happiness in a new place.

One of my partners tells me this last paragraph is pretty similar to her perception of herself.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 22 May 2018, 04:08
No hard feelings from me, certainly. I would offer to shake your hand, but this is the internet and I'm touch averse anyway. But may we consider our hands shaken in spirit?

Spirit handshake approved! I'm not the touchiest person either.

Full disclosure, I didn't see that it was actually Jeph that I replied to (the picture didn't show up at the time and the s/n are so small) and that his "settle down" was more of a request/command than general exasperation. I was just trying to be like "yeah man shit is crazy in here. 0-60. Can relate." I was not actually trying to express an opinion in the particular debate.

My standard approach is to just talk to and about people with their preferences in language, so long as they are willing to tell me what those are. I may not necessarily share every bit of a person's worldview but that doesn't mean I can't respect their wishes.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 22 May 2018, 04:20
I’m going to go with the theory that Bubbles was never really attracted to anyone until Faye. So her sexual orientation seems to be “Faye.”
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: BenRG on 22 May 2018, 04:33
I've noted before that Bubbles reacted to Seven talking about her sexual exploits with Jeremy. That's either just reflexive embarrassment or subconscious arousal. If it's the latter then Bubbles' normally reacts to inter-Synthetic sexual imagery. That makes Faye an 'exception', to use the phrase Marten used with Faye, to her normal sexual orientation.

This could slide into a side-discussion as to how synthetics do sexual orientation. I don't think that there is any physical difference to the mechanics involved so it must be mostly down to attraction to external and behavioural gender presentation. We don't have any solid information yet as to whether Bubbles is attracted to male-presenting or female-presenting synthetics, only that she's reacting to synthetic-to-synthetic copulation imagery.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 22 May 2018, 04:39
I noticed a rude comment from someone here that amounted to “so, Faye likes sleeping with robots now. Cool.”

I thought that kind of attitude was a work of fiction, but sadly it seems to be real.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: bhtooefr on 22 May 2018, 05:57
Also worth noting that, although it's before Jeph changed how a lot of AI stuff worked, Pintsize has done "naughty stuff" with a male-identified (but with stereotypically feminine (pink) coloration) AnthroPC, without realizing his partner's gender identity: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=339 (the reference to naughty stuff was later)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 22 May 2018, 07:23
There's no evidence of it but we're wrong to overlook the possibility of Bubbles being non-binary. In that case words like "lesbian" would be a poor fit.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 22 May 2018, 07:28
Yeah until any character explicitly states what they designate themselves none of us can say for sure.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 22 May 2018, 11:24
There's no evidence of it but we're wrong to overlook the possibility of Bubbles being non-binary. In that case words like "lesbian" would be a poor fit.
While I realize it's not necessarily true, I would think that Bubbles would have given some indication if she did not consider herself female. After all, Momo, Emily, Hannelore, and Winslow all call her Miss Bubbles, and she has never corrected any of them (I know, she did object when Faye asked if she could call her that, but Bubbles objected to every nickname Faye tried to use). The child on the street said "Look at the strong robot lady", and Bubbles gave no negative reaction, and even proceeded to joke with the child about being able to lift schools. Sam referred to Bubbles as "THE SUPER COOL GIANT ROBOT LADY WHO IS RESTRAINING SKULLMASTER" and later said "You're the coolest lady I ever saw" and Bubbles didn't correct her. Even Evie (Amanda's girlfriend) called her a "a super bad-ass AI lady" and the only things Bubbles objected to were being compared to nuclear weapons and treated as a sociology case study.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 22 May 2018, 11:30
Bubbles' non correction could be an indication of acceptance or it could be not having the self confidence to stand up for herself. Either could be true at this point. I myself feel like she identifies as female but I don't really have any hard evidence of that.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 22 May 2018, 11:43
Bubbles identifying as female has never really been at question.

First, her figure was always drawn as female.  Even in armor when the chest plate didn't make a bustline obvious, she is woman-shaped (Hips don't lie, as Jeph pointed out in the character ref when she was introduced).  "Bubbles" is considered feminine as a name.  So exaggeratedly feminine as to hang a lampshade on it in fact.  And she has always responded positively to being addressed as a woman - not corrected nor been upset about nor even questioned it.

So, there's no question really; she clearly considers her identity to be gendered, and the gender to be female.

If you want to know how the less anthropomorphic AI manage affairs, you should probably ask Jeremy and Seven (or Pintsize, but NEVER ask Pintsize....). Whatever they do it involves USB cables rather than human-style slippery friction.

But it's pretty much implied that they think of themselves as male and female, respectively, and it probably means more than just which end of the USB cable each one is on.  In fact Jeremy apparently had male identity before he was even remotely people-shaped; even as an assembly arm he interacted as male.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 22 May 2018, 12:23
Bubbles is a lady.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 22 May 2018, 12:56
Bubbles is a lady.
Have you asked them what pronoun they prefer?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrillho on 22 May 2018, 13:14
Letting someone call you 'she' or 'miss' does not make you female. Identifying as female makes you female.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 22 May 2018, 13:45
I am very confident Bubbles is a woman for one reason: Jeph used "she" and "her" when he posted her profile in 3004. As much affection as Jeph expresses for his characters, I cannot imagine he would misgender her like that in his own comic.

Bubbles's profile in 3004 (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3004)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 22 May 2018, 13:46
Letting someone call you 'she' or 'miss' does not make you female. Identifying as female makes you female.
Like I said, I know it’s not necessarily proof that she identifies as female. But seriously, how many females do you know who make a point of stating that they are female? The only time I’ve ever heard someone make a point of stating that they were female was a coworker who, to be fair, did not look or act at all feminine, and they were correcting someone who had assumed that they were a man.


Yes, technically, anything is possible. And since we are not there to ask her in person, no one can be 100% certain unless she says one way or another. But if someone appears to be female, unless they make a point of stating that they are not female, particularly if they do not correct anyone who uses female terms for them, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that they are, in fact, female.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 22 May 2018, 13:51
Letting someone call you 'she' or 'miss' does not make you female. Identifying as female makes you female.
Like I said, I know it’s not necessarily proof that she identifies as female. But seriously, how many females do you know who make a point of stating that they are female? The only time I’ve ever heard someone make a point of stating that they were female was a coworker who, to be fair, did not look or act at all feminine, and they were correcting someone who had assumed that they were a man.
It's an assumption -- a reasonable one, to be sure, but an assumption. OTOH, formal American English is only now moving away from 'he/him' and towards 'they/them' for persons of unknown gender. The NYT Style Guide only made that move last year, I'm pretty sure that the WSJ Style Guide hasn't. I haven't checked AP.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: A small perverse otter on 22 May 2018, 13:54
Letting someone call you 'she' or 'miss' does not make you female. Identifying as female makes you female.
(Apparently, the forum ate my response. Sorry if this is a dupe.)

Yes, that's exactly my point. Bubbles apparently prefers 'she/her' -- but that does not me she identifies as female. Perhaps she's just used to that form of address and has decided it isn't worth fighting that battle on top of everything else.

My point is exactly the one I asked: No one has ever asked her. We assume she's female, but if it's a matter of real interest, perhaps we should, you know, ask her?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 22 May 2018, 14:03
Letting someone call you 'she' or 'miss' does not make you female. Identifying as female makes you female.
(Apparently, the forum ate my response. Sorry if this is a dupe.)

Yes, that's exactly my point. Bubbles apparently prefers 'she/her' -- but that does not me she identifies as female. Perhaps she's just used to that form of address and has decided it isn't worth fighting that battle on top of everything else.

My point is exactly the one I asked: No one has ever asked her. We assume she's female, but if it's a matter of real interest, perhaps we should, you know, ask her?

If we still had twitter accounts to go to, maybe, but otherwise that entirely reasonable course action is going to be... problematic.

100% it is assumptions until she confirms. But a) pecoros7's point that Jeph wouldn't misgender his own character is a good one, and b) Bubbles *has* made a stand on other identity issues, so her tacit acceptance isn't likely to be due to a desire for a quiet life. You are correct that we don't know until it's made explicit by her, but using female pronouns does seem appropriate at present.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 22 May 2018, 14:04
My point is exactly the one I asked: No one has ever asked her. We assume she's female, but if it's a matter of real interest, perhaps we should, you know, ask her?
The thought occurs to me, should we ask her? Is it actually an important detail, or is it just insatiable human curiosity? If it’s just curiosity, is it really anyone else’s business? If she does not feel the need to correct anyone, then why do we need to concern ourselves with why she does not correct them?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 22 May 2018, 15:52
I get the feeling that if Bubbles objected to Winslow or Momo calling her Miss Bubbles (Momo even refers to her as Her Queen) she would politely inform them of their mistake
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 22 May 2018, 16:09
Asking Bubbles that (if she is a lady) seems to me like asking the ocean if it’s the ocean.

Honestly, where are y'all getting this "Bubbles is nonbinary" and "not sure about Bubbles' gender" stuff??? Literally the first comic she appeared in was titled "HER name is Bubbles."
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: snufflebottoms on 22 May 2018, 16:56
I am very confident Bubbles is a woman for one reason: Jeph used "she" and "her" when he posted her profile in 3004. As much affection as Jeph expresses for his characters, I cannot imagine he would misgender her like that in his own comic.

Bubbles's profile in 3004 (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3004)

He wouldn't. Since Bubbles is fictional, Jeph's word might as well be hers unless he retcons her gender for some weird reason.

Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 22 May 2018, 17:23
Asking Bubbles that (if she is a lady) seems to me like asking the ocean if it’s the ocean.

Honestly, where are y'all getting this "Bubbles in nonbinary" and "not sure about Bubbles' gender" stuff??? Literally the first comic she appeared in was titled "HER name is Bubbles."

How did I miss that!? I referenced her bio page but somehow missed the title of the comic immediately before it. I even used the wiki to find that page and "Her name is Bubbles" is directly above the link I used. Her gender was confirmed literally before she appeared in the comic. (Granted, that's a very loose definition of "before". It's the top of the page and she appears in the middle of it. I still maintain my position, though)

But while I think the question about Bubbles specifically has a clear answer, I think the question is worth asking in a broader sense. Are we assuming too much if we make assumptions about other AI who don't have that kind of explicit introduction? Jeremy has a traditionally masculine name, but has he (she? Xi? Hu? They?) expressed a gender in any other way? What about Punchbot? Or Seven? They have gender neutral names. While non-diegetic pronoun use comes directly from Jeph and is probably a valid indicator of gender, what about diegetic pronouns? Should we assume that the main cast are sufficiently sensitive to these subjects that they have taken the time to make sure they have their pronouns right? Should we follow their lead?

Ultimately, I think following their lead is fine. In fact, I think it's probably for the best. Just as I don't think Jeph would misgender his characters, I also don't think he would normalize misgendering people by having his other characters do it. I remember Jeph saying something to the effect that he doesn't like writing asshole characters, so I think we can trust the main cast to be pretty much on point about gender identity.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 22 May 2018, 18:10
I am starting to feel a bit silly for having started this topic. I guess I had imagined the possibility of Bubbles saying "but I've never been attracted to a human, or a lady!" that paralleled Faye's experience in some way, but I realize now that it really isn't the case, Bubbles has no relationship experience as far as I can tell, and seems to be Faye-sexual. And yes, I will keep using that term because I think it's pretty spiffy.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Undrneath on 22 May 2018, 18:14
Whether or not the "answer" is obvious the discussion is never without merit.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: SpanielBear on 22 May 2018, 18:32
Archive binge and I stumbled on this:

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1995

Under Gender, Momo identifies as "Artificial Intelligence, Female." Which is interesting, maybe? I'm not sure if she is qualifying her femininity ("I am an AI female, not a human female"), including it to avoid confusion, or even regards being AI as an equal gender signifier as being female.

At the very least, it's good to have an expresson of her inner reality.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 22 May 2018, 22:06
Bubbles has never expressly identified herself as female because she has no doubts about it and she unambiguously presents as female.  Also, if GIs in the QC Universe are anything at all like they are in this one, she got plenty of affirmation from other gynephilic GIs.  (May's commentary upon meeting Marigold in strip 2509 (http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=2509) would not at all be atypical of the sort of banter you'd hear where junior enlisted personnel and alcohol mingle.)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 22 May 2018, 23:05
Given Bubbles' distinct personality, I would assume this would have happened with anyone who did what Faye did.

If it had been Steve or Elliot or literally anyone else, it likely would have played out the same way
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 22 May 2018, 23:26
Given Bubbles' distinct personality, I would assume this would have happened with anyone who did what Faye did.

If it had been Steve or Elliot or literally anyone else, it likely would have played out the same way
Should I assume that by “did what Faye did”, you mean patiently but persistently getting Bubbles to come out of her shell?
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fantasticalice on 23 May 2018, 00:26
I jusg wanted to input that as someone who identifies and loves the phrase "genderqueer" I will happily isolate myself to "genderfluid" for those who are uncomfortable with "queer" and that is a word we've been reclaiming for decades. and even with my identity every once in awhile I feel a chill when I hear the word "queer" because I remember when it was universally scary.

And one other aside. I use Xie, Xem, Xer, and also she/her and there are many situations where I am fine with just she/her. Unless someone specifically states it's too complicated to use xie xem and xer. I've had people directly ask me what pronouns I prefer and when I give them a non binary option they say something snide about it being a pain in the ass. Because they weren't being respectful, they were being tools.

And as a natural consequences of quim bags who really just want ask if I am an it I will often rankle and get on edge when asked my gender identity.

To bring it back on topic I see Bubbles as attracted to being cared about and letting her guard down enough to feel something for someone who treats her like a human being.

I've only ever fallen for one bloke and sure we had a lot of common ground cause he had experienced prejudice for being trans and I experienced prejudice for being a dyke but.. Primarily I fell for him because he treated me with such overwhelming compassion and respect I couldn't help but love him. And I was, and still am a lesbian. But sometimes your heart finds happiness in a new place.

One of my partners tells me this last paragraph is pretty similar to her perception of herself.

That's so cool:) It makes me smile to know other people are like that:)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 23 May 2018, 04:22
But...Bubbles thinks Faye is very hot (as evidenced by her conversation with Clinton). I haven't seen any indication that she thinks Elliot or Steve are hot.

I mean yes, there's an emotional aspect which is probably more important, but you can't deny that she's physically attracted to Faye too. Like Momo is to Sven. God. Sven would eat Momo alive. She is too sweet and innocent.

Looking back, it's amazing how far Clinton has come. He sees AIs as people now, I'm not sure he was there before. It took time for him to get there. He's someone who is obviously fine with Faye and Bubbles having a relationship, but he wasn't always so enlightened and understanding towards AIs.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Thrudd on 23 May 2018, 10:19
Looking back, it's amazing how far Clinton has come. He sees AIs as people now, I'm not sure he was there before. It took time for him to get there. He's someone who is obviously fine with Faye and Bubbles having a relationship, but he wasn't always so enlightened and understanding towards AIs.
I think with Clin-ton it was the forest trees thing though in his case he was fan focused on the tech and didn't know to step back to see the person.
The same is true of a large number in various professions that deal with people directly or indirectly - the worst are those who indirectly destroy innumerable lives for fiscal gain
[wallstreet, insurance industry, US automakers, politicians, military leaders]
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: OldGoat on 23 May 2018, 14:22
IIRC when we first met Clinton he was just barely 21, other than Sam the youngest human in the cast.  It's been a couple years in the story line and he's done some growing up.  (Sam seems to have stayed in her early teens.  I think Jeph and Jim must be gathering their strength to deal with her as the mid-teen years hit.  Here she'd be the tomboy who wears Carharts, raises hogs in 4-H, and ends up with a full scholarship to veterinary school at the State University, but I don't know if it works that way in New England.  I guess I could see her ending up with an early PhD in marine biology, too.)
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Greymoon on 23 May 2018, 14:42
IIRC when we first met Clinton he was just barely 21, other than Sam the youngest human in the cast.  It's been a couple years in the story line and he's done some growing up.  (Sam seems to have stayed in her early teens.  I think Jeph and Jim must be gathering their strength to deal with her as the mid-teen years hit.  Here she'd be the tomboy who wears Carharts, raises hogs in 4-H, and ends up with a full scholarship to veterinary school at the State University, but I don't know if it works that way in New England.  I guess I could see her ending up with an early PhD in marine biology, too.)

Well to be fair he has already hinted at Sam starting to turn that proverbial teenage corner, what with her reaction to boys going mostly from "EWWWWWW" to "wellllll", as shown in her little chit-chat with Momo. I think the last time we got an actual number on her age she said she was 14 and a fair amount of time has passed since then.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: pecoros7 on 23 May 2018, 15:53
I am starting to feel a bit silly for having started this topic.

You shouldn't ever feel silly for starting a conversation*. Conversations are good. We expose ourselves to all sorts of ideas that we may not have expected from the original impetus for that conversation. And if we do it right, we integrate those new ideas into how we see the world.

*Unless that conversation is asking if the ocean is the ocean. That would be silly.  :-D
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 23 May 2018, 15:55
I am starting to feel a bit silly for having started this topic.

You shouldn't ever feel silly for starting a conversation*. Conversations are good. We expose ourselves to all sorts of ideas that we may not have expected from the original impetus for that conversation. And if we do it right, we integrate those new ideas into how we see the world.

*Unless that conversation is asking if the ocean is the ocean. That would be silly.  :-D

The only stupid question is the unasked one.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 23 May 2018, 17:16
*Unless that conversation is asking if the ocean is the ocean. That would be silly.  :-D

What is Bubbles' gender? Please help, it's unclear from the comics...  :laugh:
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: sniktchtherat on 23 May 2018, 17:21
*Unless that conversation is asking if the ocean is the ocean. That would be silly.  :-D

What is Bubbles' gender? Please help, it's unclear from the comics...  :laugh:

Not a stupid question.  Just a very broad hint to take the asker to an optometrist  :-P
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: ZoeB on 23 May 2018, 19:27
*Unless that conversation is asking if the ocean is the ocean. That would be silly.  :-D

What is Bubbles' gender? Please help, it's unclear from the comics...  :laugh:

Not a stupid question.  Just a very broad hint to take the asker to an optometrist  :-P
You win the thread.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Staff_Inflection on 23 May 2018, 20:02
Given Bubbles' distinct personality, I would assume this would have happened with anyone who did what Faye did.

If it had been Steve or Elliot or literally anyone else, it likely would have played out the same way
Should I assume that by “did what Faye did”, you mean patiently but persistently getting Bubbles to come out of her shell?

Yeah. That was short hand way of delving into like this 3-year long character arc for Bubbles and approximately year long build up (our time) of their relationship

But...Bubbles thinks Faye is very hot (as evidenced by her conversation with Clinton). I haven't seen any indication that she thinks Elliot or Steve are hot.

I mean yes, there's an emotional aspect which is probably more important, but you can't deny that she's physically attracted to Faye too. Like Momo is to Sven. God. Sven would eat Momo alive. She is too sweet and innocent.

Looking back, it's amazing how far Clinton has come. He sees AIs as people now, I'm not sure he was there before. It took time for him to get there. He's someone who is obviously fine with Faye and Bubbles having a relationship, but he wasn't always so enlightened and understanding towards AIs.

Their clear and strong friendship most certainly came first. I'm basing this speculation on the conversation with Tai. To paraphrase, she didn't really have a meaningful existence prior to Faye. She was essentially an indentured servant for years. And there appears to be an not-insignificant time skip during Faye's time working for the robot fights
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 23 May 2018, 22:06
It was a time skip that included some character change and development. Bubbles was still mostly locking Faye out before that, but when we saw her again Faye was asking her to come along for emotional support. That means that they developed a good friendship while we weren't looking.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: awgiedawgie on 23 May 2018, 22:09
The only stupid question is the unasked one.
I've heard people ask some pretty stupid questions. Like a student asking the professor "will this be on the test?"
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Morituri on 23 May 2018, 23:00
Remember, there are no stupid questions.

Only stupid people.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: hakko504 on 24 May 2018, 00:55
Remember, there are no stupid questions.

Only stupid people.
Quite agree.

There may however be irrelevant questions. "Why does birds fly?" for example would be extremely irrelevant to the current thread.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: fayelovesbubbles on 24 May 2018, 05:16
I think Bubbles didn't notice any attraction to Faye because she was really locking Faye out. She really didn't like Faye much at first, and nobody could have imagined how things would end up. Faye was SO persistent, though, and unlike a lot of people, didn't act scared or weird around Bubbles. I think Bubbles was so used to people being intimidated by her, and Faye was just like "Nope, not afraid of you, not intimidated by you." "Bubs" really annoyed Bubbles for awhile. She was so used to being able to shut people out with a combination of her physical presence and her cold demeanor and Faye kind of got through all of her defenses. Even when Bubbles was literally in her face yelling at her, she was a little scared but didn’t back down.

There's no way that someone more shy or easily scared off than Faye could have gotten through to Bubbles. Faye had exactly the right personality. And the right amount of stubbornness and determination. I think Bubbles was like "wow, nobody has ever cared about me this much before."

I think then she was like "oh wait, my friend is kinda ...hot!" lol.

I've really enjoyed seeing how this all played out. And yeah, doesn't hurt that it went the way I wanted.
Title: Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 26 May 2018, 18:41
Global Moderator Comment It turns out this thread is making some real-life people uncomfortable to the point where they don't want to visit. Since all the good points have already been made, I'm locking it.