WELL THAT WAS AN EPISODE.
Okay. Let’s make some things really fucking clear. I know this shit is 20 years old but it has still made me incandescent with rage.
Because I can SEE what they’re trying to do.
The language they use is SO PRECISELY the language of LGBT struggles, and I wanted so badly to see this as an early attempt at advocating for equality.
But they don’t understand that they are HURTING US by defining men and women in large part by whom they are attracted to.
They are HURTING US by portraying a post-gender society as oppressive and unnatural, needing to rely on strict control in order to continue.
They are HURTING US when Worf will gladly go against captain’s orders in order to save someone from being forced into androgyny but it is explicit that he would never do the same for someone being forced into a gender binary.
And IT IS NOT OKAY to use the struggle of someone demanding to be let into the heteropatriarchy as an allegory for the struggle of those of us who are struggling to leave it behind in whole or in part, through orientation or gender identity.
Because the audience they are trying to reach is not going to get the message of “don’t judge people for their gender identity or who they love.” The message that is being sent, more clearly than any other, is that attempting to dismantle oppressive gender systems will lead to us becoming like the antagonists in this story. That humanity will thrive in the future only if equality is created and reserved for cis straight people. Because at this point in the Star Trek canon, there is no queer community in the 24th century, and that is far more powerful than any shitty metaphorical morality.
please read thsi ITS SO IMPORTANT AND GOOD
"Other retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Boots, The Entertainer and TK Maxx have agree to banish ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ signs from the aisles following intervention from Let Toys Be Toys."
this is fantastic news
"Oh, you know girls just mature faster than boys."
Hmm did you ever consider
that might be because boys’ indiscretions are excused with a simple “Boys will be boys,”
while we simultaneously force girls to grow up too fast by sexualizing them at increasingly younger ages?
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately."
The Female Perspective in Game Development
I happen to be fortunate. My team of writers on Dragon Age currently consists of nine people— most of which are female. It’s reached the point that, when we consider new hires and transfers, I tend to joke “ummm, we could use some more testosterone in here…” and give a big goofy grin. Mine is probably the only department that could get away with saying something like that.
And I’m not truly serious about it, anyhow. If having such a large number of women on my team has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t lump them into one category of preferences any more than you could the guys. Yes, there are those among my female writers who are more averse to combat and more attracted to the romance plots… but, you know what? That’s equally true for the male writers. Considering there are those among the women who would be seriously put out if a plot didn’t engage in some serious bloodletting, and who roll their eyes whenever the subject of gooey romance comes up, I think it’s pretty safe to say the stereotype of a “female gamer” doesn’t exist outside of the heads of men.
Which meant I was a little surprised when I learned something new the other day.
We were sitting down to peer review a plot— a peer review being the point where a plot has had its first writing pass completed, and whoever wrote it sits down with the other writers as well as representatives from cinematic design, editing, and level art to hear critique. We’ve all read it first, and written down our thoughts, and go around the table to relate any issues we encountered.
As it happened, most of the guys went first. Typical stuff— some stuff was good, some stuff needed work, etc. etc. Then one of the female writers went, and she brought up an issue. A big issue. It had to do with a sexual situation in the plot, which she explained could easily be interpreted as a form of rape.
It wasn’t intended that way. In fact, the writer of the plot was mortified. The intention was that it come across as creepy and subverting… but authorial intention is often irrelevant, and we must always consider how what we write will be interpreted. In this case, it was not a long trip for the person playing through the plot to see what was happening at a slightly different angle, and it was no longer good-creepy. It was bad-creepy. It was discomforting and not cool at all. And this female writer was not alone. All the other women at the table nodded their heads, and had noted the same thing in their critiques. So we discussed it, changes were made, and everything was better. Crisis averted.
All good, right? That’s what these reviews are for.
Here’s the thing: after the meeting was over, it struck me how sharply divided the reviewers were on gender lines. The guys involved, all reasonable and liberal-minded fellows I assure you (including me!) all automatically took the intended viewpoint of the author and didn’t see the issue. The girls had all taken the other side of the encounter, and saw it completely differently— all of them. As soon as it was pointed out, it was obvious… but why hadn’t we seen it?
And this thought occurred as well: if this had been a team with no female perspective present, it would have gone into the game that way. Had that female writer been the lone woman, would her view have been disregarded as an over-reaction? A lone outlier? How often does that happen on game development teams, ones made up of otherwise intelligent and liberal guys who are then shocked to find out that they inadvertently offended a group that is quickly approaching half of the gaming audience?
For the girls reading that, I imagine a bunch will roll their eyes and say “well, duh, pretty damn often.” But what about the guys? Will the idea make them uncomfortable? Will they come up with excuses, or go right to hostility? Guys, particularly in game development, are a pretty privileged bunch. That’s not meant as an insult; it’s just the way it is. The teams consist primarily of white guys and (shockingly) that’s who we assume our audience is— almost exclusively. But the gaming audience is changing, just as the nature of our games is changing, and perhaps there’s value in appreciating the fact that greater female representation in game development teams has a more practical benefit than equality for equality’s sake alone.
“Women are more likely to be attracted to personality and men are more likely to be attracted to physical appearance”
woah maybe that’s because we teach women to see men as people and we teach men to see women as objects