Tag Archives: gender

Prometheus sucked

12 Jul

*Spoilers*

I know I’m a bit late on posting this review, but I need to get this off my chest. Prometheus made no sense. The more I think about the movie, the more things I realize made no sense.

I went into it thinking it would be a prequel to the iconic feminist film of the 80’s. Instead I got a disjointed, poorly thought-out anti-science movie.

Throughout the film there is this strong faith vs science undercurrent, with the filmmakers falling firmly on the side of faith.

So a group of archaeologists find a similar painting that has been found on several locations all over the planet depicting a constellation. Somehow, from this, they come to the conclusion that this points the way to a planet where aliens exist, and that these aliens created us. Quite a jump from a couple of stick figures in a cave. Not to mention the fact that we already have an explanation for how life developed on the planet. Furthermore, it takes more than one star to be in a constellation. Stars can be in a constellation together, but in reality exist millions of light years apart. How did they know which star? How did they know which planet around that star? But whatever, moving on.

A dying multi-trillionare builds a spaceship solely for the purpose of going to this planet. He then staffs the spaceship with various costume scientists. I say costume scientists because none of them actually do any science, nor know any science as made evidenced by the token “biologist.”

Before they land on the planet there is an exchange between the “biologist” and Elizabeth Shaw, the archaeologist. Elizabeth Shaw explains her stick figure idea and the “biologist” laughs and asks her why she thinks that. “It is what I choose to believe.” is her reply. This line comes up more than once. The way it is used, and the way so much else in the film rests upon the concept it conveys, it’s as if the screenwriters thought this was some brilliant rebuttle to skeptics.

News flash: Choosing to believe something has no impact on whether or not it is true. None what so ever. It does not strengthen your claim. It only shows that you have nothing other than your own delusion with which to support your views. I can stand in front of a train and “choose to believe” that it won’t hit me. I could believe as hard as I possibly could, but it would be nowhere near as hard as when the train does actually hit me. Reality doesn’t give a shit what you “choose to believe.” Here in the real world, facts matter.

But back to Never-never land. After Elizabeth gives her lack luster response the “biologist” responds with “Yeah, like you’re going to disprove 300 years of Darwinism…”

This one line shows just how little of an actual biologist this “biologist” is. Darwinism? Who the hell calls evolution “Darwinism?” You know who? People who don’t understand evolution and attack it. Creationists in the US use the term “Darwinism.” The fact that this character used that term instead of evolution instantly showed the screenwriter’s hand. Secondly, the ignorance of the screenwriter is further revealed by having the character rhetorically ask if she was going to disprove “Darwinism” by showing that life was created by aliens.

Newsflash #2: Evolution has nothing to do with how life began. That’s the field of abiogenesis. Evolution deals with how life (surprise!) evolved. The fact that “biologist” doesn’t understand this shows that he really isn’t actually a biologist. Lastly, even if somehow you could prove that life was started on the planet by aliens, that wouldn’t disprove evolution. See Newsflash #2.

If I remember correctly, someone asks Elizabeth something to the effect of “Well if the aliens made us, then what does that do to god?” To which she replied “Well who made them [the aliens]?” Again the screenwriter shows that he’s an idiot. This is just an infinite regress. I could just as validly say “well who made god?” To which most theists just arbitrarily decide to break the cycle by choosing to suspend the rules of “everything must have a cause” and declaring their god above the rules that govern everyone else.

Throughout the film people keep trying to take Elizabeth’s cross necklace of her neck, but she keeps putting it back. One character even says to her “Even after all this, you still believe?” Elizabeth just brushes off their criticism and continues to believe in the iron age god of the desert. I say that for a reason.

The symbol of the cross is not just  some amorphous symbol for a higher power. It is the symbol for a very specific deity with specific attributes. It is the symbol for the Christian god. Here is Elizabeth: on a planet in another solar system, after having discovered that aliens created life on earth, that those aliens then were going to destroy that life, and was recently attacked by said aliens. Despite all this she still feels that the story of a deity impregnating a virgin girl 2000+ years ago in the desert and then sacrificing himself to himself in order to forgive mankind for being the way he created them, she feels that all this is still reasonable and valid.

Sorry, forgot. Movie on, brain off.

A subplot of the story revolves around a robot man. This robot is having problems with the question “Do I have a soul?” For some unknown reason he decides that he wants to kill all humans and proceeds to subtly fuck everything up once they’ve landed on the planet. This is ridiculous because for the entire two years that everyone else was helpless in stasis, he was alone on the ship. He could have killed them at any moment, but instead waits till they land.

Furthermore, it’s hilarious that the multi-trillionare man doesn’t realize the robot is asking the same questions he is. It is clear to everyone in the audience that the robot is self aware and capable of feelings. He displaces amusement, concern, curiosity, and malicious intent. Yet at the end of the movie Elizabeth’s character reminds him that it is impossible for him to understand some things or have a soul because he did not come out of a vagina.

Speaking of vaginas, this movie has a very strange relationship with gender. I’m not sure if it’s an anti-feminist movie as well as being anti-science, but at the very least it’s just weird when it comes to gender issues.

The multi-trillionare guy gives a speech about how the killer robot is the closest thing he’ll ever have to a son.  Yet later we find out that the person in charge of the expedition, Meredith, is his daughter. Why snub your daughter like that? Some people believe she is a robot too, but this is not the case. She had to be woken up from stasis. If she was a robot, there would have been no need. She could have stayed up for 2 years with David watching Lawrence of Arabia.

Furthermore, she goes off and has sex with the captain of the ship. Why would her father’s company make a daughter robot with functioning sexual organs? Also, nobody questions her emotions when she shows them yet they all doubt David can feel anything.

So we’ve established that there are at least two human females on the ship. Oddly enough, the movie DOES pass the Bechdel test, but barely. These women speak to each other only for a brief moment. Either way, this brings us to one of the strangest parts of the film. Elizabeth gets impregnated with an alien baby via her infected lover. She runs to the super expensive auto-surgery machine on the ship to have it cut out of her. She tells the machine what proceedure she needs and it spits back the error:

“Sorry, this machine is calibrated for male patients only.”

What the hell? Why? Why even write that bit of dialogue into the film? She gets around it and the machine cuts the alien baby out, but still, wtf? We’ve already established that there are at least two women on board the ship. Why would a surgery machine in the future be biased against them? What if something happened, like it did in the case of the movie?

Throughout the movie nobody seems to be overly excited about making first contact with another life form, nor do they seem overly concerned when people start dying. There is one point where two crew members are trapped in the alien building and the captain sees that something is moving on the scanners. He doesn’t act the least bit concerned and instead just brushes it off. The two crew members die and nobody gives a shit.

Somehow the captain figures out that this planet is a weapons facility where the aliens that made us were creating the predator aliens for use to kill us all off. He must of had some of what the archaeologists had for breakfast because he figures this all out while sitting in his chair.

This fact is completely ignored at the end of the movie when Elizabeth wants to travel to the alien’s home planet. “I want to know why the decided not to kill us” she states to David the robot. Well clearly they didn’t decided not to kill you. What was the first thing the alien did when you woke him up? He tried to kill you then tried to fly his spaceship with the weapons towards earth to kill everyone else. That was the whole reason the Prometheus ship had to suicide ram the alien spaceship.

Yet the screenwriters ignore this and Elizabeth gets on another ship to sail off into the stars armed with nothing but a bag of cheetos she looted from the escape pod…

 

What is your “better world”?

23 Feb

Everyone, be they liberal or conservative, want a better world for their children, they just disagree on how to go about achieving that. At least that’s what everyone says, but I feel there is a fundamental semantics issue here. What exactly does one mean by “a better world”? That saying assumes we both want the same thing in the end and that we just differ on the paths, but I think that is a wrong assumption to make.

What do I mean by a “better world” coming from my liberal atheist point of view? Well my better world would be a world where people don’t tolerate corrupt politicians who lie to them, where war truly is the last resort and not the first option. In my perfect world people’s lives would not be dictated by their neighbor’s religion. The government would not institutionalize bigotry, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, or impose religious doctrine. My perfect world would be a place where race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religious preference, etc would not matter. Sure if people wanted to take pride in some aspect of their identity that would be fine, but discriminating against someone for that identity would not be tolerated. My perfect world would be a world in which people were guaranteed the things needed to survive, like food, water, shelter, clean air, and medical attention, but where the safety net was not so comfortable as to encourage living off of it. My perfect world would be a world where people were able to speak their minds without censorship. My perfect world would be a world where the government did not try to control your body, be it what drugs you put into it, or when you decide to start a family. In my perfect world the government would work towards improving the lives of its citizens through a strong public education system and strong environmental protection. In my perfect world the rich would not be punished for being rich, but the poor would not be left to die either.

Those are some of the things I have in mind when I think of a “better world”.

Yet when I listen to conservatives, their “better world” seems so….evil to me. I know it’s not nice to paint it like that, but it just honestly does feel like the antithesis to everything I hold to be good and right.

The trickiest part is how they will often use the same words I do when trying to describe a better world, but by observing their actions and how they vote, I’ve come to understand that there is at the very best a serious semantics issue.

I will put this bluntly. Based off of my observations their “better world” appears as follows:

A place world where only landowners have the right to vote, a world where everyone is assigned strict gender roles and forced to conform to them, a world where white men dominate and control every aspect of society, a world where the power of big government is used to police your bedroom and your body. A “better world” where minorities and women know their place, serving white men; a world where the government is the tool of the rich and powerful and where the poor are left to starve off and die for lack of medical attention, shelter, food and water. A world where public education is non-existent and where all the taxpayer’s money is spent buying bigger guns with which to kill people different from the white men. A world of order, control, and conformity, not diversity, change, and uncertainty.  A world where superstition and religion reign supreme, where the existence of fact is denied. A world rife with sexual repression and discrimination. A world where the environment existed solely to be exploited for profit until it was destroyed.

I’ve acquired this impression of conservatives after having watched them fight tooth and nail against promoting equality among the sexes, races, and genders. Throughout history they have always stood against anything that gave power to people other than straight rich white protestant men. They always vote to cut funding for schools and art and to use that money to make bombs. They fight any legislation that would prevent businesses from raping the environment that we all must live in. They fight against anything that would give aid and comfort to the poor who desperately need it, yet they will die defending the richest millionaires in the country. They always seem to fight against immigrants and anyone who is not white. They fight to enforce and institutionalize discrimination, they fight to enable big government to tell you who to love, who to have sex with, when to have children, where to go to church, what to read/watch/listen to in the media, and what to put into your body. They do all this while chanting “personal liberties” with a straight face. They claim to love democracy and yet they cheer people like Joyce Kaufman when they say “If ballots don’t work, bullets will!” and people like Ann Coulter when they say “We need to put more journalists in jail!” A better world would be one where people resorted to murder if they lost an election; where freedom of speech was non-existent and journalists who disagreed with you were thrown in jail??? Sure Kaufman and Coulter are just two people, but they do not exist in a vacuum. Their ideas have sway with a large group of people in the conservative party.

It just feels evil to me, pure evil. I’m not saying that conservatives are evil, I know plenty who are honest genuinely nice people, but I’m very puzzled as to why they think this would be a “better world”. I feel like I’d end up trying to argue axioms with them like suffering is bad.

Bechdel Test for Video Games?

19 Dec

The other day I read an interesting review of the new Tron movie by Ashley F Miller. In her review Ashley mentioned the Bechdel test. What is the Bechdel test you ask? It’s simple:

This got me thinking, what about a Bechdel test for video games? I searched around but couldn’t find anything much besides this blog post by .tiff.

My question is this: how would the Behdel test apply to video games? Would it need to be modified? .tiff points out that one of the biggest ways video games differ from movies is in the player’s control of the character. Whereas in a movie we can only sit and wait for two women to talk to each other about something other than a man, in a video game it’s up to the player to make that interaction happen. This then brings up the issue of whether or not the game developers make it necessary to talk to a named woman about something other than a man in order to advance the story, or not.

Someone in the comments of .tiff’s blog post also brought up the point that many video games don’t have much talking at all, at least not by the main protagonist. How would this affect the Bechdel test when applied to video games?

What about video games that have female main characters? How would this affect the test if you had the ability to choose to play as a female or if you were required to play as a female? RPGs like Oblivion, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age let you choose to play as a woman, whereas other games like Portal, Bayonetta, and Mirror’s Edge require you to play a woman. Should these be counted differently? Should one be weighted more heavily than the other?

I think it’s important to keep in mind that the Bechdel test is only about gauging the involvement of women, not about the portrayal of women. I’m tempted to ask questions about how the video game has women dressed, how their bodies are built (are they normal people or super sexualized?) and whether or not they need rescuing in some capacity. (sidenote, if you play as a female in the Mass Effect series, there are a lot of times you have to rescue the helpless male, which I find extremely refreshing)

I think recent RPGs have really been doing a good job as far as including women goes. Games like the ones I mentioned above have a lot of female characters in them, with a bunch of quest important named females. (Not to mention the fact that you can play as a female, and in the newer RPGs can engage in relations with NPCs without regard to the gender binary) However, this still brings us back to the question of whether or not the bar should be at different levels for different genres of games. RPGs need a good amount of women in them to create a realistic world feel. (Because, surprise, women make up half the population in the real world) Should a game like that really be weighted the same as say an FPS that has a large female presence? Should the game developers of an FPS get more credit for including women in a genre largely devoid of them? (Whereas women are standard in RGPs)

Thoughts?

Should feminism include men?

30 Nov

The other day I visited a thread on an atheist website about feminism and the role of men. It was a very interesting discussion, with most people agreeing that men can be feminists and help, but their was one particular poster who would have nothing to do with it. To her, feminism was solely about women and improving their situation, no men allowed.

At the same time another woman, who disagreed with this poster, presented a very interesting article from The Daily Kos titled: “15 aspects that must be recognized in third-wave feminism”.

The very first item on the list states:

“There must be a widespread understanding that feminism does apply to men. Therefore, men who stand up for feminist issues may, and should, be identified as feminist. It is counterproductive and hypocritical to discuss gender equality while simultaneously creating a double standard towards males who share feminist values.”

The author then goes on to say that feminists can come from any walk of life, men included, and that feminism is inclusive, not exclusive.

Back to the thread. The lady who started the thread then got into an argument with the “no men allowed” poster over the goals of feminism. To the OP, feminism, while it may have began as a movement directed at undoing the wrongs done to women, has now morphed into fighting for gender equality across the board, men included. According to the OP, the feminist should not only be concerned with fighting the strict gender roles society imposes on women, but the roles imposed on men as well.

As mentioned earlier, the “no men allowed” poster would have none of it. “If that’s what feminism has become, then I guess I’m not a feminist anymore.” Her goal seemed decidedly set on retribution as opposed to making things better for everybody.

For the longest time I was scared to say anything on feminism for fear of running into this person. For the longest time I questioned whether, as a man, I had any right to have an opinion on feminism, much less voice that opinion. I felt like when feminism was being discussed by women, I had to sit in the corner like a child and keep my mouth shut. After all, I was the enemy.

But you know what? I realized something the other day. Men do have an important role to play in feminism. If feminism is going to have any shot of changing society and gaining equality for women, it’s going to have to include men.

Now let me be crystal clear. I am not saying women are dependent on men to do anything. What I am talking about is the simple reality of how movements work.

In order for a minority to achieve something, it needs the help of the majority. It doesn’t matter who the minority and majority are. Blacks could not get the civil rights acts passed without the help of white legislators. Gays could not get anti-homosexuality laws repealed without the help of straight allies. Atheists will be unable to get the separation of church and state enforced without the help of their theist allies. This is a fact of how things get done.

Women may not be a minority population wise, but unfortunately in every other aspect of life they are. They are a minority in government, in businesses, and in churches. They will not get anywhere by alienating the majority in those spheres.

For centuries male has been considered “normal,” the default. It’s part of male privilege and the majority of men are so accustomed to this they don’t even notice. Women trying to tell them that it is not normal will only have so much of an effect because the men they are trying to talk to are living in a bubble where they see the woman as abnormal. “Of course she’s going to say that! She’s a woman!”

This is where men can have their greatest impact. As I talk about in this post, men are able to break through that bubble and reach other men simply because they are deemed “normal.” A guy can easily dismiss a woman’s attempts to correct male privilege simply because she is a woman, but if a man stands up and says “Look buddy, these assumptions are not normal, they are people too and deserve equal treatment”, then that will bypass the other man’s defenses and stick!

So to that “women only” poster I say no. No I will not sit down and shut up like a child. Gender roles and society affect me too, and I am part of the solution. If you’re interested solely in retribution for something other men have done, then I don’t know what to tell you, but I’m interested in working to make society better for all of us, regardless of sex or gender.

Gender specific insults

22 Nov

So earlier today some lady on the road really pissed me off. Being human, I mentally shouted a slur at her as I swerved past.  Afterwards I realized that the slur I had mentally shouted had been a sexualized slur. I did it unconsciously, not actually giving any thought to this woman or her sexuality, but nonetheless I realized this after the fact.

Have you ever realized how sexualized insults are in American English? I wonder if it’s a cultural thing. I studied German back in university and I remember that a lot more of their insults revolved around cleanliness. Sure they had sexual insults, but you would never hear an American calling someone filthy swine.

It seems that in my culture when you want to insult a woman, you make some claim about her sexuality and promiscuity. When you want to insult a man, you make some comment about his manhood, usually equating him to being a woman. What gives? I know patriarchal Victorian attitudes about sex and gender roles are at the heart of it, but I’m dismayed that such attitudes have survived subconsciously in our language.

Driving in that car, I had no grounds from which to speculate as to the other driver’s sexuality or promiscuity. I’m a little ashamed that I automatically mentally spit out such an insult. At least it provided me with some food for thought. I’m going to have to work to undo the subconscious societal training and come up with more creative, gender neutral insults for idiots.

Roleplaying as a woman

14 Nov

Whenever I get the chance to roleplay, I enjoy being a female character. I’m a straight male and I’ve very comfortable in my gender and sex; I just enjoy exploring different gender dynamics. Roleplaying as a woman also gives me a chance to escape the default male privilege and experience a world through the opposite gender. I’m aware of male privilege in this world, and I recognize when something like a commercial or product is constructed in a way that assumes a male consumer, but most of the time all I can do is recognize it; playing as a woman lets me get on the other end of it.

Roleplaying as the opposite gender, while fun, can be challenging. When I first started trying this, my ex, an experienced roleplayer, warned me that she’d often seen guys try to play as the opposite gender, only to descend into very heterosexual male fantasies about lesbians. The characters they are playing are female, but the players and their actions were most definitely male. I try my best to avoid this, even creating relationships with male characters, but I’m not perfect. From time to time I’ll see an attractive female NPC and think “dang, she’s good looking, wonder if….oh wait…” I’ve also noticed that male players who play female characters often have their characters fall into one of two stereotypes: cold bitch or temptress slut. I also avoid this as I feel it is a misogynistic generalization of women, damning them to two equally unfair and unrealistic archetypes.  Trying to get inside the head of a character of another gender is really hard to do, but I feel it is a lot more interesting than just playing your normal self with all your gender specific baggage.

Currently I’m playing Fallout New Vegas. My character is an independent drifter woman named Afya. (Afya is actually a character I’ve played for a while before, but in another roleplaying game. She’s always been chaotic good)

 

Normally I don’t care much for very gender deterministic clothing like this pink dress, I just liked the contrast between the inferred domesticity and the huge fucking missile launcher.

Women belong in the kitchen!

24 Apr

Source

When Republicans use sexism to go after Democratic women, there are varying degrees of subtly. Late last year, for example, the National Republican Congressional Committee suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be “put her in her place” for disagreeing with an Army general about Afghanistan policy. The subtext seemed pretty obvious.

But in northeast Ohio this week, the Republican Executive Committee in Medina County dropped the pretense altogether while going after Rep. Betty Sutton (D).

A recent Medina GOP mailer that urges voters to “take Betty Sutton out of the House and put her back in the kitchen,” has angered the Emily’s List political action committee, which raises money for female Democratic candidates.

“They’re set on defeating Cong. Betty Sutton (OH-13), whom we helped elect in 2006, and filling her spot with a conservative loyalist. And how will they go about doing that? By sending her right where they think she (and all women) belong: the kitchen,” says a posting on the group’s website, which links to a fundraising page for Sutton. “I wish I could say I were shocked, but I can’t. I can, however, say I’m appalled, annoyed, and ready to do something about it.”

It’s not just Emily’s List that finds this offensive. It’s the 21st century, for crying out loud. For Republicans to still talk about forcing women “back in the kitchen” should be insulting to anyone who takes equality seriously.

For the record, Betty Sutton is an accomplished lawmaker and respected attorney — and does not have a background as a professional chef. In other words, there’s nothing about the congresswoman’s background that makes “back in the kitchen” appropriate. The Republicans’ rhetoric seems predicated entirely on gender.

Medina County GOP Chairman Bill Heck said the mailing was sent to roughly 15,000 Republican households in Ohio, and he “had not received any complaints.”

He might think that makes this better. It actually makes it worse — why don’t those GOP households have a problem with this blatant misogyny?

———————————————————————————————–

The sick thing is that nobody is going to raise a stink over this. The republicans can say the most insane shit and it’s normal. Undo a century of progress for women’s rights? Sure. I just can’t understand for the life of me why conservative women exist. Brainwashing from childhood is the only answer that sounds plausible. I mean, seriously, how can you be part of a party that wants to force you into servitude? A party that, if they had their way, would make you nothing more than an incubator for men’s babies. You would have no control over your body, you’d have to have as many children as your husband wanted, and you’d be stuck in the house cleaning up after his mess. Have some fucking self respect.

Men and Feminism?

19 Oct

Today I went to a talk on rhetoric and literature which turned into a very fascinating conversation on feminism and pop culture. The room had around 20-25 people in it, and I was 1 of 3-4 men present. The entire time feminism was being discussed I was very nervous and uneasy.

I felt this way for a number of reasons. For one, being a male, I felt like the historical “bad guy” for feminism. For centuries men have oppressed women all over the planet. They’ve beaten them, raped them, denied them economic and educational opportunities, barred them from political power, and treated them merely as objects that existed solely for their pleasure.

I had this all over my head; I was ashamed and disgusted by the way men have treated women in the past. While I sat there quietly, unsure of my place in this discussion, I could not help but think how I was not those men, how I wanted to help. But how? How can I as a man help feminists? Is that even a valid question to ask? I don’t want to imply that women need my help as a man.

All I know is that I want to be part of the solution. That statement, however, assumes that I even have a part. As obvious as this may sound, a lot of feminism is strictly women only. This “minority space” is just somewhere I can’t go as a white male. It’s important that women have this private space to themselves to be able to exchange ideas and experiences. So then that begs the question “what spaces within feminism are not minority spaces, and can men be apart of them?”

All of these questions and then further questions about the assumptions behind the original questions paralyzed me in that room. Here I was, a willing ally yet a member of the old enemy, but so unsure of everything that I couldn’t talk. I didn’t, I don’t, want them to look at me like the enemy. The only thing I could manage to do to try and stave off those assumptions was to raise my hand and express my lament at the video game industry being a bastion for misogyny.

I tried to convey my displeasure with the unrealistic and extremely sexist way women are portrayed in most video games. I tried feebly to mention some of the points I made in this post about sexism in games. How I can count strong, competent female main characters on one hand, how most women in games suffer from the “women and refrigerators” syndrome, or “white man saves the day” scenarios, and how millions of young boys are growing up with these twisted views of women.

After I managed to get that out without tripping over my anxiety too badly I felt a little better. At least now I hoped they would see that I was aware, and making an effort, and was not to be thought of as the enemy.

It’s only now while writing this that I realize the whole “as the enemy” thing can be misconstrued as “man hating feminist”.  I assure you that’s not what I mean. I realize that it is important to choose my words carefully. There are so many assumptions that I used to take for granted, I can easily see how other men could be intimidated.

I had all these questions but I didn’t want to ask anyone at the talk. Not only was I not sure if it was the right time to ask, but I wasn’t sure if I could ask in the first place. I do know that it’s bad for men to go on feminist forums and post “I don’t understand X, so teach me!” It’s not the job of the women on those sites to take the time out of their day to teach you when you should go do the research yourself. My problem is not on the concepts and theories, but where I fit into it all. To add to my confusion there is controversy on both sides of this question as well. Some want men out all together, others want to include them on some things.

I would imagine that if feminism’s goals are going to stick, then the behaviors and assumptions of the men perpetuating the problems are going to have to be addressed. That will require women to engage with men on some level to try and deal with these problems. I just don’t know what part I can play in that engagement, or in engagement with other men on the issues.

Sexism in games

17 May

I’m very aware of gender roles and stereotypes, and when I find one it irritates me. I think this is a problem that plagues the video game industry a lot more than it does role playing. There are very few main female characters in video games, and slightly more secondary female characters. A lot of the games with secondary female characters suffer from “white male syndrome” as my girlfriend puts it. AKA, the other female/minority characters need you, the white male to come and save them in some capacity. (This irritates the hell out of me too)

When a game does have a main female character, the majority of the time she is simply a sex object. Here are a few examples:

Lara CroftXbladesHeavenly Sword

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit, being a white male, I enjoy these characters aesthetically, but come on, can’t we have a few normal female main characters? What about Faith from Mirror’s Edge?

mirrors edge

See, now that’s better. It’s like my girlfriend if I skip on following the directions when making her Mac & Cheese. That’s a character I can relate to! (The guard that is ~_^)

Admittedly, I’ve never played Mirror’s edge, so I don’t know what Faith is like as a character, but aesthetically she’s nice. The other problem a lot of video games have is that the women in them are either incompetent, or cold hostile bitches.

Alyx Vance from Half-life is an exception.

She’s competent, able to handle her self, intelligent, and emotionally mature. I wish more female characters were like her. Unfortunately, she’s a secondary character to Gordon Freeman, a white male (albeit, one of my favorite characters)

So what brought all this on? Well currently I’m having a lot of fun playing “Overlord”. You play as this huge well…..overlord:

overlord

Obviously a white male. The problem is, one of the missions was for me to find a “mistress” for the tower. (Come to think of it, that sounds dirty) Anyways, I had to rescue this one sorceress woman, Rose.

RoseOk, obviously she is supposed to be a sex symbol, but what REALLY got to me was when I “rescued” her and brought her back to my destroyed tower, she said that she would clean up a bit and put a kettle on. No! You take that huge fucking axe (the overlord has a huge axe btw) and you go out and kick ass! Tell him to fucking go to the grocery store and cook dinner for once!

I know I might sound crazy, but shit like this drives me mad! A woman should damn well be able to go out and lead a horde of minions pillaging through the country side while her husband stays home and cooks! Gah!

The idea of the soulmate is ridiculous

7 Jan

This is not about atheism as much as my other posts, but it does have a connection.  There is no evidence for the existence of the soul. Yes, we have consciousness, but that is explainable via neurons firing in the brain, and everyday science comes closer to better understanding that organ.

So since we don’t have “souls”, i.e. magical separate entities created at the time of our birth, we don’t have “soul mates” either. I’m not saying there isn’t a person out there that you can feel an extremely close connection to, it’s obvious that there is, but what there isn’t is one person that a magical higher power has designated as your “other half”.

It’s extremely romantic, but upon closer inspection is absurd. I’d imagine when most westerners think of their soulmate, they abstractly think of them somewhere in the western world, yet all one has to do to see that this concept is absurd is to look outside the western world.

China is a perfect example of why not everyone has a soulmate. China is facing a demographic crisis. Their “one child policy” implemented in the 1980s has led to the abortion and mistreatment of millions of women.

By 2012 China will have about 40 to 60 MILLION more men than women. source This proves that there is not a single “soulmate” for every person on the planet. That is, unless you want to make the unwarranted claim that happy endings only exist for western couples….

imbalance