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May 23rd 2015 at 2:06:46 AM •••

I remember the description of the trope used to focus more on male elves being androgynous, and also said that, "strangely" or something, female elves aren't usually androgynous. I think I changed that "strangely" bit with the explanation about how it's about elves being feminine.

As it is now, the definition starts right off with the "elves are feminine" thing:

With the rest of Five Races set this may vary, but there's a distinctive trend to portray all elves (male and female) as particularly feminine, males in particular being rather androgynous, in range from Pretty Boy or Bishounen to Ambiguously Gay. Often used to cause dumbfounded confusion on reveal.

I think I'd also made the edit at some point to point out that some elves are androgynous on both sides, but that's not there any more. Presumably someone removed it on the basis that this is about feminine elves.

But if it's about elves of both genders being feminine, then it puts to question having examples like The Order of the Stick there, where all elves are androgynous. So I was wondering whether the edit(s) making the definition the way it is now took it too far in that direction. I looked at the archived YKTTW discussion, and it simply didn't take female elves into account at all — it said "elves are effeminate," but in a way that clearly referred to male elves.

So, this is why I'm making an adjustment on the description now. It's not changing the definition any more than the previous edits that made the description the way it is now.

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May 23rd 2015 at 2:14:57 AM •••

New version:

Male elves are often portrayed as feminine or androgynous, in range from Pretty Boy or Bishounen to Ambiguously Gay. This is often used to cause dumbfounded confusion on reveal.

Occasionally, elves of both genders will be portrayed as androgynous, but usually the male androgyny part of a broader tendency to portray all elves as particularly feminine, making the female elves anything but androgynous.

Edited by VVK
Apr 13th 2011 at 4:54:48 PM •••

I've temporarily cut these examples because bisexual and effeminate are not at all the same thing, and the trope as currently named/described seems to be about elven males being seen as feminine.

  • Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei — there's a known tendency of elves' descendants to be bisexual... though it's supposedly because their brains are wired in such a way that they just don't think in dichotomies (unless actively trying to).
  • In Tales Of MU, elves seem to be near universally bisexual by cultural norm. This extends to half and quarter-elf characters.

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