Archive for the 'Links' Category
A few weeks ago, I posted a roundup of a few articles of interested I’d found online, two of which came from Border House: an excellent website that deals with the intersection of feminism, activism and gaming.
A little while after that, I dropped the people at Border House an email, and I’m very happy to say that I’ve recently been accepted onto their list of regular contributors.
My first article, Shooting Fish in a Barrel – Part One, is about the atrocities reaped upon feminism by the new Castelvania game, Lords of Shadow.
I’ll be reposting the article here shortly, but in the meantime you should all be sure to go and check out Border House. It is one of the most excellent websites that I have seen in a very long time, and a place that I’m really honoured to get the chance to be a part of.
So, something I’ve noticed more and more over the last few months is that a lot of awesome people that I know quite often send me links to really cool articles that they think I might be interested in (like most of the things in the last post here).
So far, I’ve not really had any way of sharing these articles besides this blog. This means that I have to write a post about them, which means that I manage to put off and put off until I’ve forgotten all about them.
To try and fix that, I’ve now set myself up with a Tumblr account where I can share some of the awesome stuff that falls into my path. Most of what I post will be along similar lines to the things that I post here–so there’ll be a strong focus on articles that cross feminist, anti-racist, political and critical interpretation with popular culture, literature and gaming.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, then you can find me on Tumblr at:
I’ve also updated the links from this page to places like Facebook and Twitter so that they… you know… work, and stuff.
For a while now I’ve wanted to write posts about a few things that I’ve found online, and have been solidly and soundly failing to do so.
So now I’m finally going to give up, and just post everything together in one great big linkspam with a few disjointed thoughts and comments attached. Don’t let my uselessness put you off, most of these are well worth a look.
Border House is a bit of a new discovery for me–a website for feminist gamers, gamers of colour, and gamers other marginalised groups to apply critical interpretation to video games.
After not touching a computer game in more or less a decade, this year I finally picked up one of the new generation consoles and decided to give it a go. It was a hell of a surprise to see how far the video game industry has moved on while I’ve been away, but it was definitely a nice surprise. It’s something I’m hopefully going to be posting about a little bit more in the future, however for the time being it’s led me into a whole new sphere of activism that I never even knew existed.
The post above is something especially close to my heart, as it talks about how sexualised women and BDSM are twisted and misrepresented by the gaming industry as a way of projecting male nightmares about empowered women onto characters who–predominantly–are still there to satisfy the male gaze.
This Ain’t Livin’
I’ll be honest with you: I don’t watch Glee. The fact that I keep seeing articles like this is kinda the reason why I don’t watch Glee.
This is a really enlightening article about the treatment of characters with disabilities–both on Glee specifically, and on television (and in movies) generally.
This is Hysteria
Something that a friend of mine sent me a couple of months back about how gendered toilets (and the signs thereof) enforce both the gender binary and a culture of sexual discrimination.
This article was a real lightbulb moment for me, as not long before I’d had a very close, transgendered friend of mine talk to me about how gendered bathrooms were a source of pain and discomfort for them. It was something I’d had a little bit of trouble getting my head around until I read this piece.
And, speaking of trans issues…
While I’m broadly cis-gendered myself (it’s great to make the odd exception here and there to keep people on their toes and support the idea that our lives don’t have to be so explicitly gendered, but that’s another conversation) a lot of dear friends are transgendered. On top of this, anything that supports the de-construction of the gender binary (in favour of a sliding scale of awesome clothing that anyone can wear) is good news in my books.
This is why Genderplayful is such a fantastic idea.
The basic concept, is that Sarah Dopp would like to create a community like Etsy or Ebay specifically for transgender and genderqueer clothing, where people can buy or sell clothes that are specially tailored to fit all different kinds of body shapes.
Being an enthusiastic amateur in the world of clothes-making, and having just had my first foray into making trans clothing (more on this one very shortly), I’m totally in favour of things like Genderplayful. The world absolutely needs this project, and many, many others like it.
I thoroughly encourage you go to and check it out, and offer Genderplayful your support.
And so we’re back at Border House, and the news that computer games Barbie doll Lara Croft is being re-re-designed for the upcoming Tomb Raider game, and that the company tasked with the re-development look like they may actually make her a more real and interesting character.
They certainly appear to be making all of the right noises: Talking about how they don’t want Lara to be a sex object; how they want her to be a person with dirt on her skin and tears in her clothing; how they want her to look… you know… kinda like a real woman.
However, there are a couple of things in these statements that bother me.
The bone structure was important, but we also didn’t want to get a model that was too sculpted. We wanted a little bit of that baby fat – just a little bit of roundness on the face to give her that more youthful look.
Ultimately, what I think is going to be compelling about this – and what our version of sexy is – is the toughness through adverse conditions. Seeing her survive through these moments. Her skin is still bare on the arms and there are going to be rips and tears on her clothes, but it won’t be about being revealing. It’s a way of saying that through these tough situations, there is a beauty and vulnerability coming through. I think that is sexy in its own way.
Both of these statements are potentially troubling.
So… in order for her to be ‘real’ but still ‘sexy’, they’re giving her ‘baby fat’ and want her to look ‘vulnerable’? Is there any reason we couldn’t see a version of Lara (or of any female video game character) that looks tough and muscular enough to perform some of Tomb Raider’s signature acrobatics, or who can go through tough situations without needing to be ‘vulnerable’?
Is there any reason that we couldn’t have a female video game character who is multi-faceted and sexy without her having to be susceptible and infantalised?
Just a quick post to share a fantastic article, Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements, which discusses how the often-invisible sexism, racism and homophobia compromises the sense of community and the work done by radical and activist groups.
I discovered the article through Jha’s excellent Tumblr feed. If you’re interested in activism of any kind, then you could do a lot worse than check out both of those sites.