[Ansteorra] Same-Gender Consort Proposal

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Wed Jul 18 18:38:39 PDT 2012

On Wed, 18 Jul 2012, Miles Grey <Kahn at West-Point.org> wrote:
> Our goal is to be as period as possible for modern people who aren't
> actually medieval nobility with constant income from our lands . . .

That is _one_ goal, not _our_ goal or _the_ goal.

For example, for most of the Middle Ages, any particular place and
time was likely to have an established religion (differing by time and
place, of course), with various disabilities imposed by those not of
that faith.  It would be possible to establish a religion in the SCA,
either a fake one (as I think Acre does), or one particular fixed real
church, or a spectrum of churches (Nicaean Christianity, for example),
or changing with the king and queen, or whatever.  I believe that it
would not affect our tax-exempt status, as any number of other groups
are religious or require religious belief (e.g., Boy Scouts of

It would be possible for us to be period in this respect.
We have chosen not to.  That is just the most immediate example that
has come to my mind.

> Our goal is to be as period as possible for modern people who aren't
> actually medieval nobility with constant income from our lands . . .

is one goal.

Another goal is upward compatibility with the past: most glaringly,
our structure of ranks, titles, awards, and branches.  (Personally,
SCA tradition has absolutely no appeal to me per se: I'd cheerfully
ditch any of it to achieve other goals.  But many other people tell me
that they are strongly attached to it.)

Another goal is to be attractive to modern participants: to be
acceptable, to be accepting, to be practical.  For example, allowing
temporal disparity (having Norsemen circa 1000 talking in modern
English to Elizabethans circa 1600); our lack of an established
religion; short-term royalty and landed baronage; overlooking modern
glasses, orthopedic shoes, wheelchairs, asthma inhalers; charging for
feasts; et cetera.

The SCA is tugged in various directions by these goals, and we have
not hewn anywhere near as close to being as period as possible.  For
example, I have heard that in England, most historical groups are
focused on a specific time and culture, and maybe even place.  (See
also the Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia, around Maryland and
such, which I think is focused on late pre-conquest England.)

I think this tug-of-war is useful.  I do not follow the notion of "but
it's the Society for CREATIVE Anachronism", that anything goes: pickle
barrel armor and knight=peer means that we can practice anything and
everything.  But I don't accept the notion of "period is everything",
though I would like to see more period behavior and artifacts.

In this case, I would prefer us to allow same-sex consorts: not on
period grounds, for it was little done and so far as I know not based
on romance, but because I would prefer us to be more accepting on
those grounds (the "attractive to modern participants" tug; when
saying what I want, I say I want what I want).

Danielis Lindocolina
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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