Many articles have been written by feminists and feminist sympathizers on how video games are sexist, and perpetuate tropes that modern culture would find abhorrent if they were espoused in real life: things like rape culture, the damsel in distress, and so on (ad infinitum). What all of these articles fail to mention is that they aren’t the only group of people being left out. Far from it.
There are almost no main characters in video games who are lesbian, gay, transgender, or anything besides the stereotyped cliche straight male or busty romantic interest – with a side helping of busty heroine (metroid comes to mind, but I can mention a handful or two).
Of course, there are a few rare games that allow one to choose to have (unrealistic, awfully acted and poorly thought out) homosexual relationships, but they barely deserve a mention for the parenthetical reasons listed here. There is no story arc involving homosexual, bisexual, or transgender characters that is poignant, well made, or even on par with the worse examples of heteronormative relationships.
Women get realistic, well-portrayed, (yes, sexuallized and perhaps derogatory) heroines like Lara Croft. Alternative sexualities collectively get an option on the dialogue menu – and even that is limited to basically playing bizarro-world straight.
Perhaps before complaining that the characters you get are unrealistic and sexist, you might look at those who don’t have ANY characters representing them, and understand that you are not the center of the universe. You are, however, fifty to fifty-one percent of the population. Maybe stop hogging the spotlight and let some of the real minorities accomplish some change before you start moaning again about princess peach?
Okidokey. Look, I know I’m a cis-gendered white male, so I get that I have privilege issues, and I need to acknowledge that up front. If you don’t feel like listening to what I have to say, that’s your right.
On the other hand, I’m gay and atheist, and unlike the new generation, I grew up when that meant being spit on, beat up, raped or killed for being who I am – far more so than it does today.
I’ve lived in terror, learned to fight back, worked to change public opinion, been beaten, used, taken advantage of sexually; I’ve been told by people in uniform that since I was gay it probably wasn’t REALLY rape, was it, now. I’ve been shouted at by evangelicals and Phelps clones, been told I am dirty, disgusting, an offense against the creator, an abomination only worthy of death. I’ve protested against treating people Of ANY gender, genetic origin, political creed or gender preference, in a discriminatory fashion. And I agree that there are some serious issues with how women are treated – in public and in private – by cis-gendered hetero men of all origins. I also agree that as a man I am only capable of understanding a small portion of what it means to be a woman.
You can probably tell I’m leading up to a ‘but’ here, though. So here is my caveat:
The thing is that just like with the treatment of gays, lesbians, transgendered and otherwise queer individuals, the problems won’t stop unless we win hearts and minds. – ACT UP didn’t accomplish as much for gay rights as the nationwide movement to come out to parents, siblings, and friends, and put a personal, friendly, relatable face on the problem.
There are times when the hatred of an oppressor is justified – indeed, the only thing that is capable of sustaining one through a dark time. I’m not disputing that – I’ve been there in my own way.
But that hatred becomes self-defeating when it helps your oppressors create caricatures of you, and you of them; it stops dialogue and change dead.
It becomes a hindrance when it blinds you to potential allies – people who may be privileged in one way or another, but who abhor what is being done to you.
And it becomes delusional when it allows you to engage in the same hate speech against your oppressors that they would use against you in your place. I’m speaking to you, Michelle.
There are people both outside and inside the feminist movement who understand this: people like Theresa Warburton and Joshua Cerretti, who wrote an insightful article on white privilege, and also Dr. Nerdlove. – I don’t always agree with everything they say, but they aren’t vilifying me for existing, and seem interested in engaging all comers in a dialogue; that’s all I really ask of anyone.
I have lived on both sides of privilege – And I know that I can never be free of that taint, because many hardcore feminists will only see me for my gender and the color of my skin. They will name me oppressor. They will argue that I’m serving to uphold white male privilege – when I’ve spent my life (and blood – literally) working against it. It reminds me very much of how I was treated when I wore a dress or held hands with another man or marched for civil rights for alternative gender preferences. And it makes me sad that anyone part of a people oppressed would turn to oppression themselves.
Look, I know I’m biased. I’m gay, an Anglophile, and an atheist… not to mention passingly fond of good acting, tasteful and well-turned phraseology, and cunning, cutting, catty humour.
All that said, well… I adore Stephen Fry. He’s one of the few people who give me hope. Hope that intelligent people have not completely disappeared from public view. Hope that more brave and daring people like him will stand up to speak for what is right and just, against that which is hypocritical and false. Hope that I, bipolar, gay, and atheist though I am, might yet have some sort of positive effect on this wondrous world we live in.
Mr. Fry, I salute you.
To learn more about Stephen Fry, you can go to these sites, and I highly recommend that you do ^^
Hiya. Yeah, this isn’t gonna be a safe for work post. But I figure the Int0rnets is for porn, soo…
I love me sum X-Tube. it roxxors. I used to spend hours on the net, trying to find good porn, or a good personals site. I’d still orgasm, but I would regularly fail to find either.
Xtube is both.
I almost never go anywhere else for pron these days, except when I’m looking for drawn pr0ns (ychan, 99chan)…
and believe me, it’s also proof that whatever fetish you like, somebody else is making porn of it, and whatever kind of person you’re attracted to, somebody like that is looking for somebody like you. I’ve got a fairly specific fetish (chubby boys between eighteen and twenty four or so, not too hairy, but not shaved, smart and with good smiles… the list goes on, and some of the things I look for are pretty embarrassing, so….) … I have eighty-five friends on xtube, about seventy-three of whom fit my preferences, to the point of being an eight to a ten on a ten point scale of hottness. ^^
I’ve even been approached for everything from a one-night stand, all the way through a weekend orgy with four other guys, to a full on relationship. One guy wanted me to fly out to his hotel on the east coast and spend a weekend fulfilling all of our darkest and most secret desires… room and board paid for, of course. And he was hot!
I’m not used to people thinking I’m sexy. I’m twenty-eight, balding, and overweight, and I’m not exactly the cute kind of chubby.
Granted, I’m in a relationship. And it’s a good one. I’m pretty sure that he’s, you know… the one. Now I just have to make sure not to fuck it all up. *crosses fingers* wish me luck… lol.
SO of course I can’t and won’t be taking the offers up, and have changed my profile to reflect my new status. But the pron, my gods, the PR0N!!!
and it’s nice to have a social network of people who have the same interests as you, who don’t look at you funny for, I don’t know, wanting to suck on life-size inflatable rubber dolphin flippers, or whatever.
Check it out (if you aren’t at work, school, or a public setting)… become a member (it’s free, and doesn’t require any kind of credit info) … and see what kinky awesome hot little beasties we hoomanns can be!