small idea: playing against stereotypes
So as mentioned these are of course stereotypes. My initial thought was, what if you could choose any one of the benefits for your character - because after all these traits appear among women (and men) of all nationalities, not just the stereotypes - but then you'd have to deal with being mistaken for someone of that nationality? That implies some kind of penalty to social/diplomatic rolls, but perhaps bonuses to espionage/intrigue/disguise as well... but it quickly opens up actual issues of exploring racial and cultural (and gender) stereotypes and prejudices, which is tricky ground. Can these be handled in the context of a typical adventure/exploration game without overwhelming it (or cheapening the issues)? Or is it best left to a game purpose-built to explore such issues?
I know Full Light, Full Steam approaches this, with Thematic Batteries that you charge by taking a penalty at first, and then later discharge to gain a benefit. The Shadow of Yesterday could handle it with Keys, although there it'd be more of a delayed benefit as the inconveniences would earn you XP you could later spend on improving yourself. Again, even framing it as "benefits" and "penalties/inconveniences" seems like making light of real serious problems; but if Star Trek could do episodes about these issues, surely we ought to be able to at least acknowledge them in adventure games. (Of course, that does presume Star Trek handled it gracefully...)
I called this a "small idea" because really, all I've got is my initial reaction to part of Bob's post, and then some questions. Mainly I'm just curious now about ways to play with and against stereotypes in adventure games, and adding a little nuance to them that way.