“ The engineers at NASA, in their infinite wisdom, decided that woman astronauts would want makeup - so they designed a makeup kit. A makeup kit brought to you by NASA engineers. You can just imagine the discussions amongst the predominantly male engineers about what should go in a makeup kit. ”
I transitioned from female to male a while ago, and genes-wise, I lucked out in that my appearance is such that I can decide whether I want that history known or not. I’m endlessly floored by the differences in how I’m treated.
Guys now feel perfectly at ease saying the most offensive things about women, grinning at me and expecting agreement. People respect my personal space in buses (at least more than before). If I’m angry, depressed, or irritated, people don’t write it off as PMS. During group projects or discussions, people listen when I speak up and I’m rarely interrupted. I’m ‘knowledgeable’, not ‘knowledgeable for a girl’. If I talk about my ambivalence regarding raising kids, I’m not told ‘You’ll change your mind when you’re older. Pregnancy is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever go through.’
Really though, the most striking part is that now, I’m assumed competent until proven otherwise, as opposed to incompetent until (repeatedly) proven otherwise.
An incredible article about the myths of women’s role in history, our biases from patriarchal education and media, and how not addressing those biases creates a feedback loop in fiction that perpetuates sexism.
A must read!
We forget what the story’s about. We erase women in our stories who, in our own lives, are powerful, forthright, intelligent, terrifying people. Women stab and maim and kill and lead and manage and own and run. We know that. We experience it every day. We see it.
[T]he trouble is, it’s often hard to sort out what we actually experienced from what we’re told we experienced, or what we should have experienced. We’re social creatures, and fallible.
This year at E3 during the Xbox panel during a scripted “trash talk” bit someone made a scripted rape joke (male gamer to girl gamer who sucks at a game: “just wait, it’ll all be over soon.”) and then they acted like it wasn’t a big deal and then they released an expensive, anti-consumer (DRM on physical games) piece of hardware. And then Sony just released the PS4 which is just the PS3 but better graphics and $100 cheaper than the Xbox. So THAT happened.
But then Nintendo just quietly released a bunch of great looking sequels for all of it’s major franchises (Mario, Pikmin, Donkey Kong, and Smash Bros.) and every single one of those games interestingly features playable female characters who haven’t been seen in decades like Dixie Kong and Princess Peach - and Pikmin now has a new female hero.
One of my favorite things about Peach in the new Mario game is that one of the power ups is a literal “cat suit” and Peach’s “cat suit” doesn’t sexualize her at ALL. You can’t even see her boobs. She just looks like she’s wearing over-sized footie pajamas it’s so cute. Also they added a pink letter to the Mario logo just to accommodate Peach’s re-inclusion into the franchise as a character with actual agency!
So at the end of the presentation they tell you to go to the Smash Bros website to find out about new characters. And then they announced this character, Wii Fit Trainer, on the site. And in an interview the director said he gets thousands of requests for almost every video game character under the sun and he’s gotten absolutely zero requests for this character and he put her in the game to be funny and defy fan expectation. This character is literally “hey fuck you we’re the ones making the games around here, and we’ll be goofy and funny if we want to and also check it out another female character in Smash.”
Also the inclusion of the Animal Crossing villager is interesting because Animal Crossing is VERY popular with girls and even though the villager is male I’m 100% certain his alternate costumes will include the girl default villager character. So that’s neat. The three Smash characters they announced were two girl(ish) characters from two girl(ish) games and then Mega Man.
Also in the new Animal Crossing game boys are allowed to cross dress and all of the animals are explicitly genderqueer in the dialog. Characters say stuff like “Boys can ware make up if they want to, I mean, it’s 2013, who cares?” and just today a jock rhino was looking deeply into my eyes and asking me to hike a football and I asked him if he loved me (which was one of the option out of other options about sports) and he was like “Oh I guess a lot can happen when you look into someone else’s eyes like that, huh?” He didn’t even care that we’re both guys. Also in the new Pokemon game you can be black.
Basically what I’m saying is Nintendo is quietly and systematically making their games more socially progressive and Microsoft made a rape joke and then said “what? it was a joke.”
I saw the video and honestly didn’t think the “rape joke” was that bad, it would have been hilarious if a man said it to another man or a woman to a woman. It was just weird cause a man said it to a woman, so I get it. But this other stuff made me SO SO HAPPY.
I don’t get it, how can someone say that games with female protagonists don’t sell well when I’ve had guys tell me to my face that they prefer to play female characters in MMOs because they like looking at them?