I am a geek, and I love being a geek. I’d heard a lot of talk regarding the new Jessica Jones TV show that Netflix had produced and so when I was home sick for a few days I decided to binge watch all 13 episodes. It actually only took the first episode to hook me. I mean, come on – with Carrie Anne Moss and David Tennant I had to give it a shot.

The show has a dark and gritty film noir style to it that’s a bit refreshing. But when I say dark, I mean darker than anything else I’ve ever seen in a TV show with the exception of maybe Dexter. The show definitely pulls no punches and gets right under your skin and worms it’s way into your brain. I love it for two reasons that developed rather quickly:

  1. Strong female characters and people of color dominate this story.  They are all strong in different ways and for different reasons, but they are not for the most part the archetype of the strong female.
  2. Terrifyingly honest depictions of abuse and its aftermath, but not in a “oh you poor victim let me rescue you” sort of a way at all.

We are thrown into Jessica’s world, as she lives it, right now.  As the story develops we start to understand her superpowers, her past, and her problems.  It limits the amount of exposition and allows the viewer to begin feeling the reality of her world very quickly.  She is not a by the book super hero – she makes bad decisions and pushes people away for a variety of reasons.  She does the right thing sometimes, but selfish things a lot of the time.  You don’t necessarily like her.  I appreciate that this is not a bubblegum story where it’s all about falling in love or being rescued.

Tennant does a fantastic job playing a truly reprehensible excuse for a human being.  He makes it very easy to hate him and very hard to look away.  Moss also does a wonderful job of being the unscrupulous lawyer who will do whatever it takes.

The way Jessica’s PTSD is depicted is the truly amazing thing about this story in my opinion.  And the way that her abuser Kilgrave eventually discusses the previous abuse is even more so.  The gaslighting and the attempt to rewrite history so he can view himself as the hero is repulsive but so damned realistic.

In all honesty, I’m not really saying this all very well at all. But do yourself a favor and make the time to try watching it.  And if you want more compelling reasons, try these other articles written about the show:

http://www.tor.com/2015/12/01/jessica-jones-kilgrave-consent-rape-culture/

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-jessica-jones-perfectly-portrays-being-stalked/

How To Reform a Creeper – or A Woman Has a Right To Her Own Boundries

 

Stumbling across this article today, I was surprised at how much it’s message resonated with me.  As a female geek there have been many occasions where I’ve found myself in a situation where I did not feel comfortable and yet felt unsure about how to speak up about my own boundaries being crossed.  This article goes right to the heart of it being quick to point out that as a woman I am entitled to how I feel regardless of the reasoning.  It is okay to speak up and say “I’m done here and you need to step back” without being required to re-evaluate and see the other side.  I don’t have to be understanding if I’m feeling threatened.  I have a right to my own feelings.

I was actually a bit surprised to see the book The Gift of Fear referenced here, as it’s one I read roughly 15 years ago and have recommended to many friends.  It goes to the heart of the issue of the Creeper, namely that you need to trust your instincts.  I honestly believe that our instincts are the subconscious logic we all have noticing pieces of information so quickly and quietly that they are processed in the background while we’re going about the rest of our lives.  I believe they are generally a truer reaction to what is going on around us than our conscious mind is capable of since so many are attempting to persuade us one way or another.

I’m rambling at any rate but I found this to be a great read and some food for thought.

Link  —  Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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An in depth walkthrough of a title that has taken on a lot of subtext and baggage lately. Really well written.

VG Researcher

This post is written by Rachel Kowert (University of Münster). Rachel has published  articles about cultural stereotypes of online gamers and relationship between social (in)competence and online video game involvement. She can be reached via Twitter. Also cross-posted at Gamasutra.

helloamiagamerRecent events have called into question just exactly what it means to be a “gamer” today. What was once a title associated with being a member of a fun loving community now seems to have become intertwined with the promotion of misogynistic and discriminatory behavior.

This perceived shift in gamer culture has been spurred by a series of recent events: the influx of threats directed towards Anita Sarkeesian following her Tropes vs. Women YouTube Series, the scriptedunscripted interaction presented at Microsoft’s E3 event that seemed to condone “rape culture”, and the transphobic comments by one of the hosts of the Video Game Awards, just…

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Why blame the aggressor when you can blame the victim?

In an effort to protect a boy in elementary school from bullying, the school administration has banned him from carrying his My Little Pony lunchbox to school.

While you can read the story here: School Bans Boy From Wearing My Little Pony Backpack, Claims It’s ‘A Trigger For Bullying’, I’d like to talk about what is inherently wrong with this approach to ending harassment.  Namely, it’s that you have shamed the victim.  The administration here has pointed the finger at Grayson and told him that so long as he adheres to guidelines his bullies prefer, he won’t have any issues.  Why in the hell are we pointing at a child and telling them they have to change reasonable behavior instead of going after the real issue here?  Why aren’t the bullies being punished?  How does it make any sense to have *this* as the response from the administration?

I honestly have no words for my anger and frustration at this particular type of response to violence and my very impotence at expressing myself only escalates this feeling.  I can only imagine how poor Grayson feels.

Image  —  Posted: March 17, 2014 in Harassment

Yes – I’m posting this again because it needs to be said…again. Why are there so many folks who feel the need to focus on style and looks and completely overlook the focus of what someone is doing when it comes to a female presenting the information. Why are we as a society willing to listen to men but focus more on how a woman looks?

Emily Graslie makes some extremely good points in this episode of her YouTube Channel, The Brain Scoop. With so few visible women in that ecosystem presenting STEM subjects she definitely stands out. Unfortunately this apparently also makes her a target for completely unrelated criticisms. No, this is not unique in the YouTube world. No, this is not news in and of itself. But seriously?

Followed from NPR’s article: Science Reporter Emily Graslie Reads Her Mail — And It’s Not So Nice

Video  —  Posted: December 2, 2013 in Geek Culture, Gender Bias

I finished up playing Beyond Two Souls this weekend and while I was disappointed by how quickly the gameplay slipped by I was elated to play a game with such a solid story and a strong, immersive gaming experience.

I found it sucked me in quickly and kept my focus. I found myself caring about my decisions and the outcomes and wondering how things might have worked differently if I’d made other choices. I cared not just about the main character, but the interactions with the secondary characters as well.

Did I mention the main character happens to be female? I didn’t start with that because it actually doesn’t really matter to the storyline. She could have been male. None of the actions or story sequences focussed on her being raped or having a child killed or any of the other myriad tropes used in many gameplay situations to justify the use of a female character. The main character in this game could have been male but I’m not entirely sure people would have bought the emotional interactions and vulnerability that were brought to the role here – society doesn’t really seem to support those types of story lines for men unfortunately.

Don’t get me wrong – she was kick ass, defending herself and others in fights and the real world. She was in no way a victim in this story and that is probably why I enjoyed it so much. She was a woman I could relate to from childhood to adult.

Thank you David Cage for writing such a strong, beautiful and complex character. Thank you Quantic Dream for making the experience so seamless. And thank you Ellen Page for breathing life into her and giving a performance that would have been impressive for any movie, let alone a video game.

Video  —  Posted: November 5, 2013 in Gaming, Gender Bias

Women with swords...without the chainmail bikini.

For everyone out there who says that a woman cannot compete on equal footing with a man, please take a look here. At the Harcourt Park World Invitational Jousting Tournament in New Zealand, Sarah Hay was 1st in jousting and 2nd overall by points. This was not in the ladies jousting competition – there was no his and hers jousting. Sarah competed at something that takes skill and courage and training.

I’d say she deserves respect. What do you think?

Feel free to check out more via Fashionably Geek: http://fashionablygeek.com/videos-2/this-armored-lady-won-the-longsword-competition-at-a-world-invitational-tournament/

Image  —  Posted: August 26, 2013 in Geek Culture, Gender Bias
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