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Cassandra Tipton
Gamer, reader, lay-about extrordinaire.
Gamer, reader, lay-about extrordinaire.

Cassandra's posts

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So, while I've been ranting and railing about patriarchal mass media objectifying women - like in comics, or video games, or other geeky things I'm into - while I've been kvetching, I say - a certain subsection of books has decided to fight!  Fire with fire, unfortunately.  I walked past the CTN [cheap/trashy novel] rack in my local supermarket and - my word!  The poor guys don't even have faces any more!

These books have images of guys on the front - not even with unlaced tunics and impossible Fabio hair.  No, these images are just naked torsos.  A muscular man, usually shirtless, with low-slung pants, shot from collar to crotch.  That's all that matters, obviously.


[Edit: TVTropes link because I hate people to have free time.]

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So, I just finished reading the entire text of Judge Jones III's Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.  Pretty heady stuff- and quite readable, even for those of us who are not students of law or legal language.  The entire decision is available over at WikiSource, and I urge some perusal if that's the sort of thing that my esteemed reader might enjoy as well.

I found a few sections particularly damning, or, as I spoke to myself at the time, "Oh, BUUUUUURN!"  To wit:

" Finally, we will offer our conclusion on whether ID [Intelligent Design] is science not just because it is essential to our holding that an Establishment Clause violation has occurred in this case, but also in the hope that it may prevent the obvious waste of judicial and other resources which would be occasioned by a subsequent trial involving the precise question which is before us."

"The goal of the IDM [Intelligent Design Movement] is not to encourage critical thought, but to foment a revolution which would supplant evolutionary theory with ID [Intelligent Design]."

"The Board consulted no scientific materials. The Board contacted no scientists or scientific organizations. The Board failed to consider the views of the District’s science teachers. The Board relied solely on legal advice from two organizations with demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions, the Discovery Institute and the TMLC [Thomas More Law Center]. Moreover, Defendants’ asserted secular purpose of improving science education is belied by the fact that most if not all of the Board members who voted in favor of the biology curriculum change conceded that they still do not know, nor have they ever known, precisely what ID [Intelligent Design] is. To assert a secular purpose against this backdrop is ludicrous."

Bracketed explanations of acronyms added.

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Teaching that there is political debate is appropriate.  Implying or stating for fact there is scientific debate is inappropriate.  Keep fiction in literature class.

Apropos of nothing - one assumes that a "metric shit-ton" is opposed to an "imperial shit-tonne?"  

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#GoogleCrossword  So I finished it and all... but wtf is a Sagle?  Or did I get 48 across ALL WRONG?  I filled it in by the others, but it has to be Fois, A Jiff, Ergo, A'lee and Urge, doesn't it?

I think there needs to be some sort of class, so booksellers (and maybe publishers) can tell military sci-fi from sci-fi with a military protagonist... Not that one is intrinsicly better than the other, I just want to actually get the war story I expect when I pick up something labeled as military... ;-) 

And why aren't there girl space marines, Games Workshop?  Genetic engineering + powered armor = why the fuck not?!  <rumble, rage>  Are you going to try and tell me that the Sisters are equal?  As an army, with the support, or lack thereof, they've been getting in recent revisions and Codexi? Just codex, self-pluralizing?) I half expect them to go the way of the Squats any year now.

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<rabid rant warning>
I was over at my favorite gaming blog last night - Rock, Paper, Shotgun - where I (glutton for punishment) read the linked article.  Now, RPS generally has an older audience than, say, Kotaku, and the comments were a cut or two better.  I read a few that upset me, though, including one particular variation, which I am going to blather on about now.  The particular thread was about games and sexism, but I'm sure it could change the names to comics, or science fiction, and racism, or ageism, and it'd still work.  The 'arguments' (I use the term loosely) gets trotted out for any of these things.

The particular ones I'm talking about here are the variations of "It's not for you, it doesn't have to be inclusive of you, and if you don't like it, go away."  I hate these arguments.  They make me livid with anger.  Incandescent with rage.  I want to yell at my monitor: "Why do you get to say so?  Why am I the one that has to go away?"  But yelling at my monitor rarely gets one anything but hoarse, so I decided to rant on G+ instead.

The conversation (another loose term) usually goes something like this:
(Seeming Rational Male) "The big thing for me when talking about say “sexism” in video games is to always keep in mind the consumers who drive the market. Young men. As an older man (in my 30s with a family), I am constantly frustrated with the immaturity and childishness of a lot of the topics themes and gameplay of the core titles.

But are those titles “ageist”? No. That just isn't a helpful or productive framework for understanding what is going on. The sad truth is that the medium I choose to get my entertainment from have most of its products aimed at someone different from me. That isn't a tragedy, or injustice, it just is."

(Me) Yes, actually, most of them are ageist, sexist, and/or racist.  Just because that's how it is doesn't make it not "a tragedy, or injustice," but makes it moreso.  "That's just the way it is." <- this is not some sort of carte-blanche, a get-out-of-responsibility-free card...

(SRM) "If it becomes too frustrating I can spend my money elsewhere. “videogames” or “hockey” or “rock-climbing” or whatever don't have any “responsibility” to reach out to as broad a market as possible."

(Me) <increasingly agitated> Ignoring your one of these things is not like the others examples... Yes, you have a point that creators do not have to create something "for" other people.  They can, and have, historically, write, paint, or create whatever they want, even if it is for as small an audience as themselves.  However, entire mediums of entertainment may well, arguably, have a responsibility.  I would argue that there is a social responsibility to be more and not less inclusive.  That a medium basically saying "This is not for you, go do something else," is an allowance that excuses "-isms."  If it's not for anyone except young white males, then the failure to address anyone except them is just good sense, right?

One of my long standing complaints is this: why is it that, since childhood, I, as a female, have been expected to identify with the male protagonist - in my adventures, in my coming of age stories, in my tragedies, my comedies, my dramas - to the point where I don't even notice anymore, if I don't concentrate on it, as I slip once more into my male skin...  Why is that normal, but expecting a "dude like the player to kiss another dude" (while playing a female protagonist, is just crazy.  It shouldn't work this way!  This is broken, this is exclusionary, this is not right, and the fact that otherwise reasonable men - perhaps men with daughters, even - try to justify it, to create an explanation for it's rightness just makes me blind with anger.

"You," I want to say, "you are a fan, right?  You really want to explain to your daughter, your niece, your grand daughter, your best-friends'-kid, when she asks why there aren't girl space marines, 'Sorry, dear, that's just the way is is.  It's not for you.'"
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