Wow…Two in one day. Who knew my reader(s) would get so lucky. This one was an article that was actually submitted to me by my boyfriend (Gasp, a blogger who has a boyfriend? What? I also have a career, a masters and two bachelors…internet stereotypes beware!) I really enjoyed reading this article for two reasons: 1. I’m not a gamer so if provided me with interesting insight to the gamer community and gave me a greater appreciation for the men and women behind it. 2. While my strain for education is Social Justice, I am about as far from being a feminist as you can get, which leads me to look at this article from a very different point of view.
To outline, the article is about the male privilege of geekdom for gamers and comic nerds. The author is exceedingly well informed and first and foremost I must tip my hat to his glorious eloquence. (No sarcasm intended.) His well-written argument informs the reader that there is an unfair dichotomy for women in fandom wherein women are overly sexualized and treated as inferior creatures to the male protagonists. In his article, he describes that even the action heroines (pronounced hear-oin, not heroin) are required to dress in sexually fantasized outfits that would be really hard to kick ass in even if she wasn’t a size negative 4.
The author describes something called male-privilege, which can be loosely translated as the same thing as White privilege but with females and males as opposed to majority-minority race relations (See Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh.) This assumes that men are afforded certain privileges based solely upon their gender and that women are treated as only women first and as anything else second. He describes an incident involving a girlfriend who entered a comic store with him and was instantly accosted with the leering comicboy who stared at her chest. Said comicboy is later admonished for driving the young woman out of the store by his inappropriate behavior ; comicboy says the girl doesn’t get it because she’s not a gamer and doesn’t understand that girls can be sexy and bad-ass.
(The article can, as always be read in its entirety here: http://kotaku.com/5868595/nerds-and-male-privilege)
Here is where the author begins his argument that the gaming industry is slated towards male gamers and creates a counter-culture of girlgeeks who feel left out unless they get boobjobs and start dressing in the scraps leftover on their mother’s sewing table. To which I have to respond with “NO FUCKING DUH!”
This is the pitfall of every media outlet to ever exist. Do you think they offered Kate the job for Underworld they also said “You can either wear a pair of pants that breath and move well so you can fight or you can wear a skintight leather catsuit and a fucking cape?” Do you think she would ever turn down a fucking cape? Hell no. This all goes back to the singular major statement of modern economics:
And not just to men. Sex sells to women too, in fact, it sells better to women than men because men are primarily visual thinkers and see a skin tight outfit and like it whereas women see a skin tight outfit, like it and want to BUY IT! Of course gamer culture buys into this because otherwise the industry would die a pathetic and stuttering death. Not to mention that while the comic/gamer industry is majority male, the publishing industry, ie. Those people who produce the comics and related material, is majority female. That’s right, a man might have created ass-cheeks McGee for the Bomb Girl comics, but most likely a female publicist said “This is the shit! Put it on the shelves!” Bottom line, sex sells, especially to women. Just look at Cosmo magazine, retailed towards women, and covers the front with scantily clad celebrities and catchphrases about sex and vaginas.
Here is where the author and I differ on opinions: I like that I get treated differently because I’m a girl. In fact, a lot of girls do. We strive to be treated unequally, we secretly love that you notice our breasts and our asses, that you compliment the skanky outfit I wore to the bar last weekend. I love that I am treated differently because I’m a woman because you recognize me for what I am: THE MOTHER-FUCKING CREATOR OF LIFE!
(Don’t give me that shit about it taking two to tango, because thanks to science your sperm is no more sentimental to me then when I borrow my roommate’s Nutella to make a sandwich.)
This blog is about fighting off Trolls and I think this post has gone the long way around that. So, onto the comments section. Surprisingly the comments I read were relatively well informed, and mostly dominated by a user named Shinta used eloquence equal to the original author to counter argue the point. This is what good writing does people, it inspires conversation. Most of the comments were exceedingly long winded and slightly repetitive, fighting the good fight back and forth without any forward motion (WWI trench warfare anyone?) At one point, Shinta writes:
Wow, called it, huh? That and some idiot called OtakuMan24 keeps trying to reinforce his point with dumbass pictures he found on google.
Back and forth, back and forth, walls of text and no real answers. Also, no suitable fodder for a blog about Trolls (why do I have this article again?) So I thought, what should we do to solve this problem and possibly end what was once a stimulating but now a repetitive argument? Easy, give them a solution to talk about.
When I was a freshman in high school, I started attending an all-girls Catholic high school. When I tell this to my friends, peers, colleagues, students etc, I noticed that girls only get to the all-girls point in the name and run away screaming and crying because they would miss boys too much (trust me, I did) and guys hear Catholic school girl and dive off into fantasy land where I’m wearing a short plaid skirt, engaging in a raging lesbian pillow fight and being spanked. My freshman year we didn’t really have a dress code except that we couldn’t wear jeans to school. By my senior year they had implemented a dress code that was both rigorous, wordy and just south of being a uniform. This experience helped me form the following response:
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Ani Wuman I am the chairman of the board of Stupid Crap Men Come Up With. Given the extensive list of complaints we have received on both sides of the argument from this article, the board and I have come up with the following compromise:
Beginning Spring of 2012, all video games and comics with be subjected to a regulation dress code, as follows:
· Girls will not wear skirts that are fewer than four inches above the knees.
· All tops must be have a collar and the hem must touch the top of the pants/skirt
· Any boobs that achieve a size previously unavailable by science will be forcibly deflated
· Any and all weapons, according to state law, will be made viewable on the body and may not be tucked into obtrusive places such as the thigh, boobs or vagina (Concealed weapons permits may be obtained from your local law enforcement department)
· All hair is now subject to gravity
· Shoes will be logical for the situation, this mean no stripper heels for anyone jumping from the second story
· Men will wear non-descript loose clothing appropriate to their role in the video game
· Massive muscles will now be prohibited unless the game properly delegates time for the gym by which men may gain their muscles
· Guns will have responsive kick-back, bruises and soreness will be applied liberally
· Your penis may not have proportions the size of your ego
· There will be a weapons limit based upon the standard rules of physics and what objects may fit securely in a backpack
· All conversations with voluptuous women will conducted in the presence of an unbiased third party and with mentally implied censor bars over breast and buttocks
· Your devil-may-care attitude is now subject to the laws of physics as well as the laws afforded by the state in which you conduct your business as well as the federal for any actions that require a class action felony or the crossing of state boundaries. Breaking any of these laws will result in death, fines, arrest and prison
This new rules have been submitted for review by the board of People Who Make Money off this Stuff and are currently being processed for immediate implementation. Thank you for your input and patience on the matter.
For anyone who missed the point, I’m simply pointing out that the argument, while interesting, is somewhat invalid on both sides and therefor requires more action, research and compromise before it can be fully overturned. Also, I like it when guys hold open the door and buy me drinks at the bar, so sue me.
Faithfully hating my gender, until next time.