heyy interwebz. it’s that time again. the one where i just talk about random shit and share links i like? you know the drill. i have been gone for a while, its true. not only was i taking a bit of a blogging hiatus after the mrs. fiasco (and because i sorta naturally cycle in and out of attachment to the outside/online world), but i also had a job for a bit! actually doing what i studied in college, actually doing exactly what i want to do! i got paid to teach lessons on gender diversity and trans issues to two 6th grade health classes. let me say that one more time, just so the right can hear me (and cause it makes me feel good ;)
A TRANNY WAS GIVEN YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO TEACH YOUR TWELVE-YEAR-OLDS THAT GENDER ROLES ARE CONSTRUCTED BULLSHIT AND THAT QUEER PEOPLE ARE AWESOME. AND THEY FUCKING LOVED IT.
ah. that did feel good. too bad the unit only lasted two weeks and i’m unemployed again. on the
other er, same hand, i’ve been sick for over a fucking month on and off (mostly on) which, given my previous interwebz-lite phase, has meant a chance to really explore my new found love of buffy the vampire slayer, which i somehow missed out on in the 90s (sexism and some internalized homophobia probably had a lot to do with that), as well some good ol fashion books and video games. btw, everyone should read octavia butler. seriously. she’s the shit. (i recommend starting with kindred or parable of the sower).
but those video games. what a wonderful way to ignore the sick and constant bullshit of the real world and just slash some generic baddies, find some gems, and… experience homophobia and transphobia! escape my ass… for the uninitiated, i was playing fable, a role playing game for the original xbox set in a fantastical, medieval-esque world. the game’s signature gimmick is that it allows players a relatively large amount of freedom to do what they want with their character (the notable exception being, of course, that you have to play as a white dude). you basically run around electrocutin’ goblins and collecting shit, but then you have some sims like options such as getting other characters to like you –i mean, like like you. and here’s where it gets fun (by which i mean obnoxious). This is what the official fable guide tells you about finding a partner:
isn’t that interesting?! two men — whudda thunk it?? and if you choose to flirt with and marry women, more often than not they’ll directly ask you to “go to bed,” with them, whereas if you ply the men with smiles and gifts (yeah, that’s the “process”), you just “have a nice lie down.” following either dialogue, it cuts to black and you just get audio. all the speech and sound fx are pretty over the top, so all the women’s moans sound a bit comical (your character remains oddly silent), but they’re nothing compared to the abrasive, jerky yelps that the dudes uniformly let out. it seems the developers went out of their way to make gay male sex seem as absurd as possible.
now, it’s not like this is altogether surprising given the straight male dominated world of gaming. as a group they are definitely not known for their “tolerance,” but the next tip did really throw me. if you aren’t gender-conforming, there will be actual in-game negative consequences. you’re fucked if you equip that dress or those silk gloves instead of that leather tunic. they actually wrote transphobia into the game –transmisogyny, to be specific. it’s that feminine article of clothing that marks your character as “revolting” –revolting! even the language is unabashedly reflective of the way male-assigned expressions of femininity are regarded in our culture: disgusting, perverse, the ultimate deal breaker. hell, i don’t need to play a video game for that experience.
in any case, while we’re on games (never really thought i’d be blogging about gaming…), jay smooth offers some harsh rebuke to the virulently misogynist dude gamers who fucking POUNCED on feminist frequency’s anita sarkeesian for daring to launch a kickstarter campaign to fund a (much needed) study on female representation in games entitled, “tropes vs women in video games.” see her own roundup of the sexist shitshow here. (oh and ps, that shit got funded like mad! #fuckyeahfeministgamers :)