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

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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.

Nothing To Prove

Posted: July 23, 2013 in Geek Culture, Gender Bias
Tags: ,

The Doubleclicks are a couple of delightfully talented geeky ladies who travel around performing and bringing their music to nerds everywhere. But being a couple of women, they’ve been subjected to the haters who had to point out that since they lack a penis, they could not possibly be real geeks.

They had enough of that and enough of hearing the other women in our space who get treated the same way so they wrote a new song called Nothing To Prove and asked all their fans to submit pictures of themselves with a sign stating why they are just as much of a geek as anyone else.

The video they put together has me so happy and so weepy I just have no words. Thank you ladies so much for creating something so beautiful with a message that hits right at home.

Angry Game of Thrones Music Video

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Geek Culture
Tags:

http://www.collegehumor.com/embed/6879795/axis-of-awesome-you-like-got-i-read-the-fcking-books

Caught this one thanks to a quick post on The Mary Sue and it just gave me a warm smile of amusement.

This is something that lovers of geek fandom have been complaining about for some time now and I have to admit that I’m of two minds about it.

On the one hand those of us who read Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones or enjoyed any of the numerous comics over the years feel that due to our long standing love of these things before they were cool or cash cows for Hollywood we are better, smarter and somehow deeper human beings than those who just stumbled on whatever was showing at the cineplex or being hyped on tv. We suffered the years of name calling and exclusion and we turned to our books for comfort. They were things to be read, discussed and re-read for missed meaning. How dare these popular kids who refused to see the value in our bibliophilia try to hop on this bandwagon now just because someone somewhere found the right shiny package to put it in. It’s understandable when you look at it that way that those who feel that they suffered for their love would be angry that these usurpers could just come in and claim ownership.

On the other hand though without the mass excitement of those who ignored the previous incarnations of our beloved fandom, some fantastic geeky movies would never have been made. It’s unfortunate but true that if Avengers had only appealed to geeks it probably would have been nothing more than a dusty script on a shelf. And HBO wouldn’t have made GoT if they didn’t think they could sell it to people who would never have even considered reading the books previously.

One question though – what about the folks who couldn’t stomach being so uncool as to visit a comic book shop before seeing Dark Knight Returns but who now have decided maybe it’s worth while? Those who after seeing Harry Potter decide to pick up the books and give fantasy fiction a chance? Does expanding our geek population dilute us as fans? Are these people the fake geeks that everyone accuses them of being? We all had to find our way to it somehow, there was a day for all of us before we found our geek loves. Maybe we should consider giving them a chance.

This tumblr post was brought to my attention today and I have to say that it is truly beautiful. A touchingly private moment shared between two people in a public space.

“After thanking him I asked him “Besides acting, what are you most proud of that you have done in you life (that you are willing to share with us)?”. Sir Patrick told us about how he couldn’t protect his mother from abuse in his household growing up and so in her name works with an organization called Refuge for safe houses for women and children to escape from abusive house holds. Sir Patrick Stewart learned only last year that his father had actually been suffering from PTSD after he returned from the military and was never properly treated. In his father’s name he works with an organization called Combat Stress to help those soldiers who are suffering from PTSD.”

The video above was linked in a Gawker post about the same interaction.

Posted on FB by a friend today, I have to say I really enjoyed watching this particular TED talk. He talks in a very engaging manner about the differences and similarities between The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars. It is the only time I can honestly recall hearing a man talk about the Bechdel Test.

I think what impressed me the most about this talk is that though he is speaking about women’s issues he is focusing on how those issues impact or should impact not just his daughter but his son as well. I love that he makes that leap.

It is a great watch, and very thought provoking.

Damsels In Distress

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Gaming
Tags: ,

I stumbled across this video in a post on The Mary Sue today and decided I’d give it a look. The intro they gave her there on her first video very accurately sums up my feelings about who she is, what she presents and my agreement with it:

“Anita Sarkeesian runs a blog called Feminist Frequency and a long running, fascinating webseries of the same name where she examines the ways in which media and most often modern popular culture subtly and not-so-subtly support and perpetuate misogynistic ideas. I love her videos not because I necessarily agree with everything she’s ever said ever (you know, because we are not a single consciousness) but because when I do disagree with her, her detailed approach prompts me to calmly, privately examine why.”

Her video posts are thought provoking and make me stop and take a look at what is considered to be “normal”. This post in particular made me stop, step back and consider some of what is taken for granted in the video game industry in how so many of the stories are told.