[sca-comments] Corpora Introduction

Maria Laine vouti at aarnimetsa.org
Thu Oct 1 06:39:55 CDT 2020


To the Directors of the Society greetings from the Finnish affiliate 
(SKA Finland).

With this letter we send you our comments regarding the Board's 
initiative to reform Corpora's Introduction.

Generally we are in agreement with the SCA's current direction of 
increasing inclusivity, and agree with you that the current Introduction 
section of the SCA Governing Documents has problems that ought to be 
addressed. We have reviewed the changes BoD proposes 
(https://www.sca.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/2020-07-19-Proposed-Change-to-Corpora-Introduction.pdf) 
and wish to provide our thoughts and concerns.

* Overall, we think that the added emphasis on the meaning of chivalric 
values and culture in Society life is praiseworthy. However, we do find 
that the BoD's current proposal seeks to fix inclusivity issues also in 
a problematic manner.

* We believe that the SCA ought to offer a framework within which 
individuals may entertain their own personal research interests in the 
manner described in the new mission statement, so that the whole world - 
not just the part that had dealings with the western feudal society - 
can serve as inspiration and source. We also agree that regardless of 
what culture one contexts one's own SCA life on, one should not be 
rendered an outsider in the SCA court. The Society should indeed be a 
home to all personas.

* Nonetheless it ought be noted that the SCA framework - the structures 
of the Society that provide the context for these personal endeavours - 
is firmly based on the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. This is so 
not only regarding our realms and their noble rulers as well as our 
courts and their orders, but also the officers of each and every SCA 
branch, and indeed the majority of our regular activities.

* Thus we find that removing from the Introduction the knowledge that 
our game's structures and fixtures are primarily based on the European 
Middle Ages and Renaissance is inaccurate. Or, if the intention is to 
reflect a future vision of the SCA framework, we argue that such 
reshaping ought not to start from the Introduction but the body of the 
Corpora.

* To clarify, we repeat that we are in no way against allowing or indeed 
acknowledging that personas and research inspired by the pre-1600 eras 
and world cultures are a present, welcome and enriching part of our 
Society. However we strongly feel that any such personal interests may 
not override the general SCA framework. For example, while Crown 
personally invested in some particular culture may enrich their reign 
for themselves and their subjects with "flavor" related to it, Crown 
ought not be allowed to force upon kingdom officers duties related to 
said culture that are not part of the officer duties as decreed by 
Corpora and kingdom law.

* That the proposal removes from the introduction so much of the 
material that describes the SCA activities is a choice we cannot 
support. Further problem is that by removing the references to the 
western feudal society, the proposed Introduction fails to provide a 
context for "the chivalric ideals of the period, unifying our events and 
activities" it emphasizes.

We are aware that there was a group effort in Drachenwald where a group 
of gentles sought to combine the best parts of the BoD's proposal with 
updated and improved material from the old Introduction. We believe that 
the Board's aims and the Society with her affiliates are better served 
by that version of the Introduction, and would support Board in adopting 
it. If Board was to seek commentary on that proposal, the occasion could 
be used to improve it further. At the very least we urge the Board to 
consider it, and reflect on how to best advance the worthwhile cause of 
inclusivity without disregarding the context of the general SCA 
framework. The proposal we support was delivered by Adam Edwards (known 
as in the SCA Guy de Dinan) on Aug 27 2020 on behalf of the group that 
worked on it.


Yours in Service,
Maria Laine (Baroness Memorantia van de Linde, OP)
chair of the board and on behalf of SKA Finland, affiliate to SCA
(Barony of Aarnimetsä in the Kingdom of Drachenwald)
vouti at aarnimetsa.org / seneschal at aarnimetsa.org


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