Category Archives: Feminism

Reader, I didn’t marry him.

I had a very weird moment recently which completely threw me for a loop. My extremely left-wing liberal family asked me why I didn’t want to get married, and just weren’t able to understand or accept that for me marriage seems pointless and ridiculous and that I feel like the term ‘wife’ has negative connotations. I did make it clear that I wasn’t imposing my views on them and I understood that for most people ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ were perfectly neutral terms. Continue reading

Sexism in The Big Bang Theory

I’ve really tried to like this show. I’ve had it recommended to me so many times by so many different people. But I just don’t get how anything so lazy and tired and boring can be funny, and my goodness I find the sexism really offensive.

Maybe it’s because I’m into fantasy books, sci fi shows, video games and I’m a programmer in my day job. I am fed up to the back teeth of women being portrayed as bimbo airheads who are only interested in clothes and guys and who would never get nerdy computer/maths/physics references. TV is FULL of these stupid stereotypes which are harming our society (yes, yes they are). Do we really need another show with them? I surely can’t be the only person who’s bored of them?

I’m not of course (this is a really good article) but in all the universal acclaim it feels like I am. Even the Guardian, my favourite newspaper, seem to like the show. And well, you know, possibly it does get better later on, but I couldn’t force myself to watch any more than the first 3 episodes it was so painful.

On the other hand there is a silver lining. Shows like this are why I still find programmes poking fun at blind, backward, sexist men – like the 90s Irish “Father Ted” for example – absolutely hilarious. Hurrah!

Compulsion games’ Contrast

I have no idea why this game seems to have got so little attention and praise. It is excellent, the concept is incredibly cool (you are a little girl’s imaginary friend who can slip into shadows), the dialogue and writing is awesome and hilarious and the voice acting is great. Even the plot is pretty cool. The gameplay is a bit iffy at times but it’s so original and so clever that I can certainly forgive that.

One of my favourite scenes in the game is where you end up having to play as a cut-out paper character in a little theatre (games within games, people). You play as the princess, and there’s a handsome prince who has come along to win your hand in marriage from your father. But the prince turns out to be absolutely useless, and you as the princess end up having to go off on adventures and kill dragons and whatnot to save him. It’s really well done, really funny, and the way bouncing up animation of the prince whenever he gets rescued is hilarious and endearing. And so the princess decides to give this useless prince a try, although the narrator lets us know that in another story the princess says “screw this” and goes off adventuring on her own. It is so rare to find that kind of approach to female characters in games, I cannot tell you.

I really loved the characters too, the little girl (Didi), who is very solid and real feeling, as well as the mother. Johnny was a bit more of a caricature, but Vincenzo was super as well. The relationships were realistic, maybe a little overly dramatic but that added to the fun. The noir atmosphere and jazzy bits of the soundtrack were sooooooo cool as well. The gameplay sometimes made the puzzles a little frustrating, but apart from that it was top-notch! And yet critics only scored it 59% on metacritic. The world is inexplicable.

I don’t want to go all conspiracy theorist, but I kind of feel as if it’s been dismissed a bit because you play as a female character, and the other lead character is a little girl. Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe I just have a completely different taste in games to the rest of the world, maybe I’m being extra kind to it because I enjoyed playing a game with strong female characters. But check this out: “Feminist/lesbian agenda – Does this game contain feminist or LGBT agenda? This will affect my buying decision. The game looks very promising though.” http://steamcommunity.com/app/224460/discussions/0/810938810495435947/ YUCK.

Dorothy L Sayers on feminism

Probably no man has ever troubled to imagine how strange his life would appear to himself if it were unrelentingly assessed in terms of his maleness; if everything he wore, said, or did had to be justified by reference to female approval; if he were compelled to regard himself, day in day out, not as a member of society, but merely (salva reverentia) as a virile member of society. If the centre of his dress-consciousness were his cod-piece, his education directed to making him a spirited lover and meek paterfamilias; his interests held to be natural only in so far as they were sexual. If from school and lecture-room, Press and pulpit, he heard the persistent outpouring of a shrill and scolding voice, bidding him remember his biological function. If he were vexed by continual advice how to add a rough male touch to his typing, how to be learned without losing his masculine appeal, how to combine chemical research with seduction, how to play bridge without incurring the suspicion of impotence. If, instead of allowing with a smile that “women prefer cavemen,” he felt the unrelenting pressure of a while social structure forcing him to order all his goings in conformity with that pronouncement.

He would hear (and would he like hearing?) the female counterpart of Dr. P*** informing him: “I am no supporter of the Horseback Hall doctrine of ‘gun-tail, plough-tail and stud’ as the only spheres for masculine action; but we do need a more definite conception of the nature and scope of man’s life.” In any book on sociology he would find, after the main portion dealing with human needs and rights, a supplementary chapter devoted to “The Position of the Male in the Perfect State.” His newspaper would assist him with a “Men’s Corner,” telling him how, by the expenditure of a good deal of money and a couple of hours a day, he could attract the girls and retain his wife’s affection; and when he had succeeded in capturing a mate, his name would be taken from him, and society would present him with a special title to proclaim his achievement. People would write books called, “History of the Male,” or “Males of the Bible,” or “The Psychology of the Male,” and he would be regaled daily with headlines, such as “Gentleman-Doctor’s Discovery,” “Male-Secretary Wins Calcutta Sweep,” “Men-Artists at the Academy.” If he gave an interview to a reporter, or performed any unusual exploit, he would find it recorded in such terms as these: “Professor Bract, although a distinguished botanist, is not in any way an unmanly man. He has, in fact, a wife and seven children. Tall and burly, the hands with which he handles his delicate specimens are as gnarled and powerful as those of a Canadian lumberjack, and when I swilled beer with him in his laboratory, he bawled his conclusions at me in a strong, gruff voice that implemented the promise of his swaggering moustache.” […]

He would be edified by solemn discussions about “Should Men Serve in Drapery Establishments?” and acrimonious ones about “Tea-Drinking Men”; by cross-shots of public affairs “from the masculine angle,” and by irritable correspondence about men who expose their anatomy on beaches (so masculine of them), conceal it in dressing-gowns (too feminine of them), think about nothing but women, pretend an unnatural indifference to women, exploit their sex to get jobs, lower the tone of the office by their sexless appearance, and generally fail to please a public opinion which demands the incompatible. And at dinner-parties he would hear the wheedling, unctuous, predatory female voice demand: “And why should you trouble your handsome little head about politics?”

If, after a few centuries of this kind of treatment, the male was a little self-conscious, a little on the defensive, and a little bewildered about what was required of him, I should not blame him. If he presented the world with a major social problem, I should scarcely be surprised. It would be more surprising if he retained any rag of sanity and self-respect.

From here: http://seanan-mcguire.livejournal.com/513901.html?thread=25402221#t25402221

It makes me think about how for roughly every 10 published papers that I’m reading now in my research there is on average only 1 or 2 female authors. In my course I’ve been taught by one woman so far, and 9 men. This makes me feel rather sad :(

….

(Why yes, I should be writing my 20 page essay due in 2 days time which I’ve not started yet, why do you ask?)