Eat your crumbs, damnit 8 April 2006Posted by Kat in Women Gamers, Male Privilege. trackback
Addendum: Since this bloody thing won’t die, let me make something clear–I love Oblivion. I agree it’s less sexist than most games, but like most games, it’s still sexist. I’m going to review the whole game and point out both the good and bad once I finish the main quest. However, the artwork was my only issue in this post, artwork which led me to surmise Bethesda didn’t consider women gamers. Though their response unfortunately removed all doubt, I’m not going to stop playing or call for a boycott. I’m just pointing out something that made me feel marginalised. Now I’m closing comments and going on holiday.
Apparently some gamers (men, of course) are up in arms because Guilded Lily and I don’t like certain aspects of Oblivion. Their defence of the game is rabid and inane. Some claim women are weaker than men in real life so a fantasy game should abide by that rule. Others admit we have a point but are quick to mention parts of the game that aren’t sexist, implying we should be grateful for our crumbs. The rest can’t even be bothered to form a coherent response and simply spout childish insults.
I find it interesting that these men dismiss our concerns when they’re directly benefitting from the sexism we described. Specifically, the game’s base attributes give male characters a power design edge and the male-only illustrations make it easier for men to decide which race and class to play. How would they react if the situation were reversed? If the subjects in the illustrations were all women, female was the gender to pick for powergaming, women were the default?
Probably the same way men reacted when the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons came out–ranting and raving about feminists and the PC police. Not that Wizards of the Coast made female the default. All they did was use equal numbers of male and female subjects for the illustrations and alternate between male and female pronouns. Yet to hear those men whinge, you’d think Andrea Dworkin wrote the Player’s Handbook.
Men feel so entitled to their privilege that even a slight decrease is seen as an assault on manhood. Women who threaten male hegemony by daring to bring their own marginalisation to light must be silenced at all costs. No, we can’t have equality! That would mean men wouldn’t always be the centre of attention. Men would have to get by on their skill and merit, rather than on not being a woman. Men would even have to acknowledge that women are human. But worst of all, there wouldn’t be Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball!
Sorry boys, I’m afraid I won’t be eating my crumbs. I’m going to continue speaking out on sexism wherever I see it–your privilege be damned.