Monday, October 30, 2006

Pageant Hid as Revolution: Miss Video Game 2007

Looky what I came across when sifting through my bloglines for Jade Reporting:

Be Miss Video Game


1. Must have Personality

2. Must be a female? (No wigs and makeup guys)

3. Doesn't mind Video Games :P

4. Loves the beach
Here's their mission statement:

We are on a Mission

To assist in the proliferation of females in gaming genres of all types and to help raise awareness of the female gaming audience among game publishers and advertisers. To make the gaming industry take women gamers seriously and to treat them with respect as equals.

-To showcase female gaming talent and the amazing variety among female gamers.
-To create a positive role model for young girls who enjoy playing video games.
-To break the stereotype that gaming is a male dominated industry.
-To have a good time in a fair and friendly environment.

Miss Video Game was created in order to showcase female gaming talent and
marketable female gamers to gaming publishers and industry decision-makers as well as the gaming community as a whole. We're here to put female gamers on the
map and to get them taken seriously (and also to send some lucky female gamers
to Cabo ;-).

Ladies - join up now, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. This could be the start of a great career in gaming or promotions. Even if you don't know anything about video games sign up and learn - that's what this is all about, spreading gaming to women around the globe!!!

So let's see if I get this straight: an ageist, sexist, and homophobic contest created to spread the word about women and video games, omigod! While I agree with all of their goals, I can't get on board with their method--a beach-loving, conventionally beautiful babe can't be a representative for the "amazing variety among female gamers." She sure won't represent me.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Just Want to Point This Out

Piny has a must-read over at Feministe about bisexuality. An excerpt:
You know, one thing that has always struck me as unduly burdensome for
bisexuals, as well as a likely source of intimidation and a disincentive to be
out, is the idea that there’s some threshold below which one is a weekender, a
tourist, a closet case, a faker, or–worst of all–heterosexual. Blithe
ambivalence cannot coexist with scrutiny. (Exhibitionism, on the other hand,
cannot exist without it.) A bisexual who is constantly pressured to evaluate the
relative pitch and frequency of their same-sex and opposite-sex attraction is a
bisexual who has a harder time simply loving and lusting. A bisexual who must
weigh the potential joy of queer partnership against loathing and denigration
from all sides is a bisexual who is less likely to nurture any queer romantic
feelings, particularly if they seem supplemental.

Adieu, Dark Cloud 2

Last weekend, Shions_Glasses and I beat Dark Cloud 2. Though 100+ hours into it, and we still have the epilogue to go. Needless to say, we'll be taking a break from it. (Baten Kaitos: Origins, anyone?)

I adored Dark Cloud 2 and I loved seeing the similarities between it and Dragon Quest VIII: the graphics were gorgeous, the georama aspect was almost perfect, and I loved customizing the ridepod and weapons. My only complaints about it are pretty minor: why couldn't we play as Monica for spheda or fishing? Why were her monster transformations useless? At least she's the stronger fighter.

My biggest gripe was how they handled the end boss(es). Note to any aspiring (or current) game programmers: if you're gonna throw at us multiple battles at the end of the game that last about an hour, give us a save point. Especially if it's timed and you have to figure out the key to beating the end boss (i.e. no straight out ass-whupping.) I almost threw my PS2 controller against the wall when I realized that I'd have to play the last hour or so of the game again when I didn't figure out how to beat the end boss right away. Annoying. We had to wait at least another week to find the time to finish the game, and when we did, I practiced some asanas and made Shions_Glasses do the dirty work. Ahh, multitasking.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Bits & Pieces

Better late than never, please be sure to check out the 6th Feminist SF Carnival over at the Hathor Legacy.

The next edition will be on November 20, and will be hosted Racy Li over at Racy Thoughts. The deadline is November 17.

Also, Ragnell and Kalinara have declared this week to be Cheesecake/Beefcake Appreciation Week. Here's my hunk of cheddar contribution:

This makes me giggle.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rest in Peace, Gentle Blue Monster

Scene: A sunny and calm Saturday afternoon in Everytown, USA. Switch to interior of Best Buy, Customer Service desk.

Protagonist: Excuse me, I need to return this. [Places blue brick in box on desk.] The touch screen doesn't seem to be as responsive as it used to be and the left trigger button is sticking. Oh yeah, I have the 2-year warranty. [The protagonist shakily lifts up a wrinkled pamphlet.]

Customer Service Representative: [Takes package and pamphlet.] Hold on one moment, I'll have to check things out in the back.

P:Okay. [Stands, biting fingernails.]

Some long, awkward moments pass. The Customer Service Rep comes back to the front.

CSR: You're all set. Why don't you go get a replacement? We'll just do a switch.

P: [squeaks] Yes! [All but runs to the Nintendo section of the store and comes back gingerly carrying the box of a new shiny, shimmering DS Lite.]

CSR: You just did this so that you can get the pink one!

P: . . . No comment.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

4 Color Rebellion Links to Porn and Misses Point Entirely (or Porn is not Art)

I like blogs and I like video games. I like to look at video game blogs. I liked to visit 4 color Rebellion: Nintendo-focused, good writing, and they're respectful of their readers. So why did they link to Nerdcore's new calendar? Oh, because they love and respect women.

I was pissed (as were others.) I angrily wrote in the comments:
Long time lurker [here,] just [want] to say this: it can be really discouraging being a woman gamer, and even more discouraging trying to find a blog that publishes pertinent news about video games (re: I don't have to shift through all the sexist crap.) Porn, yeah, fine, it's out there. But really, 4cr was a safe haven for someone
like me, who likes to think that maybe one day women can be thought of as gamers
instead of just wank material.

Nick, from who the post originated, had this to say as a reply:
I knew when I posted this that some would find it offensive. But if you want to see the reasoning behind it, scroll up and read Gregs comment. Amen.

Greg's comment was along the lines of 1) Porn is part of geek culture 2) Just ignore it if it offends you 3) We at 4cr love women! We have relationships with them! 4)What we really need to be concerned about is if children see it. Okay. Well, 1) You can write about porn in geek culture, by all means, but it can be done in a respectful (non-sexist) manner. 2) I'm sick and tired of having to ignore sexist crap on video game blogs just because I'm not a heterosexual guy. 3) Having relationships with women doesn't inoculate you against being sexistst and 4) I'm glad you care more about the other demographics on your blog more than the women gamers who frequent it.

As far as women...… I love women. And I don't mean that in a sexist way. I was raised by my mom, all by herself and I have the utmost respect for women. My ex-girlfriend of 7 years was also very concerned with women's rights and their role in society. I was right there beside her and agree 100% that women deserve better. I understand the hardships women have to face. Yet do I find strippers offensive? No. I know quite a few girls who used to be strippers and these girls know very well what they are doing. Some of them are very savvy and if they can use their bodies to influence people or make a living, they will.

Oh, okay. You, with all of your male privilege in it's undying glory, understand the hardships women face. There is so much wrong with the above paragraph--I don't think I need to touch it with a ten foot pole. It speaks for itself.

That said, I also love the female figure as a work of art. As a fine art painter, all I paint is the human form. Both female and males are beautiful creatures that continually fascinate me.And then of course, I have to admit, I do like sex and sexy women. I've spent time in Italy and my view on nudity is closer to theirs than our generally uptight and overprotective stance here in the US. I believe that people just need to relax and understand the role of sex in society. That's not to say we should abuse it, but it is there and always will be. And of course, sex sells.

Note to self, as informed by Nick: If I hate seeing women objectified, I'm a prude. Also, there are no prudes in Italy. And art is free from objectification.

So, yes, I apologize if I offended anyone, but at the same time, I wont apologize for posting this.In fact, my biggest concern with posting this was that in some way it might cause 4cr to get blocked for people at work. Now that would be a real problem.
Translation: Don't get your undies in a bundle. By the way, your issue is nothing compared to inconveniencing the other straight guys when they can't check our blog at work.

My reply, and probably last comment:
Nick, I'm glad you're a heterosexual guy, I really am. I just felt sick about being reminded, yet again, that women are the sex class. Objectification is objectification.

Bodies the Size of Zero

I was scrolling through Feministing the other day when the post Doing the Unthinkable! caught my eye. While the point of the article is extremely interesting, I want to focus more on this comment made by Samhita:
Furthermore, how come nobody has mentioned the fact that a size 0 means it
doesn't exist. Zero means nothing or that it is not there, so in a way it is
like the metaphorical erasure of women, as though they don't exist or that they
don't take up any space. Just a thought.

A lot of the commenters, who are size 0 themselves, took offense to this. They thought Samhita was saying that they don't exist, or thought that she was bashing them to be size 0.

I hadn't noticed until fairly recently that clothing stores have been changing their sizes so that a larger size is size zero. Some of my friends were happy about this, telling me how they now could feel better about their bodies when trying to find a pair of pants. I don't see it this way. I feel that the sizing of clothes is arbitrary: I never know from store to store what size to look for, it's always grab at least three different sizes and head to the changing room. The new move for size zero, I'm sure, is a way for clothing stores to boost the self-esteem of their clientele so that they buy more clothes--the beauty of capitalism. I can't help thinking, and what Samhita was hitting on in her post, is that in our patriarchal society, being thin is best because when you're small you don't take up space or impose. We are taught to want to be small, petite, skinny because it's beautiful and healthy. There's a lot of different facts out there that can be conjured up that say that bodies that aren't thin are unhealthy and lazy. Our ideas of what is thin and what is obese has become dangerously skewed, for bodies that are perfectly healthy yet larger than what is acceptable have been called obese.

I've struggled particularly with that. My body isn't the same as it was when I was 18: I've put on weight, there's mounds where there were angles. I eat healthy, I exercise every day, and damnit, I should be happy with my body, because it's at place where it wants to be. Yet, that's hardly ever the case, I've internalized the beauty myth, and it's come to the point where I wonder if the yoga I do is for the health of my body or if it's to slim down, tone, or decrease in size. I want to be petite, I want to look like Buffy.

The new size zero wasn't implemented so that women are easier on our bodies, it was put into to place so that we buy new clothes. Whatever. The fashion industry will always be our friend and enemy. Samhita wasn't criticizing anyone for being a size 0, she was just trying to talk about the societal baggage that comes with the size. What I hope to do is to accept my body as it wants to be, and to accept all the different sizes that women are: it's not easy when anyone is seen as too skinny or too overweight.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The 5th Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans

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Welcome to the fifth edition of the Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans! We have a full plate to offer you: from G4 to Wizard, and from princesses to perverts.


First up, Jenn revisits an old debate between Ragnell and Scipio in her post Sexual Dimorphism and Feminism and looks at the scientific position on sexual dimorphism in the human brain. She notes

Fundamentally, I and other feminists must adapt our philosophy to incorporate the findings of science, and vocalize the fact that science cannot and should not be used to justify unequal treatment.

Over at Snap Judgements , Carla laments Joss Whedon’s impending run on Runaways by bringing up examples of his treatment of Kitty and Emma in Astonishing X-Men. In Unscrewing the Inscrutable, Marionette makes someone at Marvel take a moment to think. Jeremy versus the X-Men and finds a link between comics and being a stay-at-home-dad. And jlg1 looks closely at Pantha in Nobody helped me. Nobody cared.

Soyoerika discusses breast physics, bras and Arisia over at Zamaron:

Brothers and Sisters, I invite you to join me in a round of boggling at this
so-called character design. While I can buy the impracticality of the eighties
outfit, I simply cannot wrap my brain around the current outfit at all.

To go along with this, Kalinara offers up her analysis of Manly Men and Buxom Babes. Meanwhile, Ragnell studies Black Panther and Storm’s first fight as a married couple. She also covers for us the sexist trainwreck known as Wizard Magazine’s “How to Draw” series and the reactions from the female superhero fan community found on livejournal.

We’re all holding our breaths waiting to see who’s going to be cast as Wonder Woman, and Amy Reads over at Arrogant Self-Reliance is no exception. While many of us have an inkling of who we’d maybe want to see, Amy’s main concern is that the actress cast demonstrates the wonder of her namesake.

Web Comics

Though she’s been a fan of Scott’s Kurtz’s PvP for awhile, Robyn discusses her hesitation of remaining a regular reader in her post In Which I am Annoyed by PvP.

Also, make sure to check out how to draw comics the Planet Karen way.


Cassiphone, at Velvet Threads writes of the camaraderie and literary experience that she encountered after sending in a story to Fantasy and Science Fiction for the Slushbomb. Racy Li wonders why there isn’t and makes her case for there to be more of a connection between science fiction and erotic romance in Erotic Romance: Science fiction’s forgotten stepsister. Malachi explores the relationship between fiction and feminism by looking at the “princess syndrome” in fantasy. In the post On Cartography and Dissection, little light writes beautifully about being the Other.

Video games

Baring all about her love for video games, Blitzgal interprets the implications and frustrations about being a woman gamer, and gives a few helpful suggestions on how games could be better in her post But why do her boobs have to jiggle like that? And at her blog, Wonderland, Alice gives a run-down of Games for the Ladies. Lake Desire points us over to Fiona Cherbak’s piece, the Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women and also directs attention to some of the misogynistic elements in the ever-popular Katamari Damacy.

On the feminist gamer livejournal community, tekanji asks for input on how to measure feminist elements in video games. At Old Grandma Hardcore, Tim writes about Grandma’s semi-disastrous appearance for a discussion on women gamers for G4’s Attack of the Show. Bonnie Ruberg asks if there is there a gender divide in the narratology vs. ludology debate.


In Life on Mars: Isn’t that where men come, BetaCandy gives us the goods on BBCAmerica’s show, Life on Mars. Good (as in feminist), it ain’t:

The minute a young woman with stereotypical prettiness gets a closeup, I know
she’s either going to get hurt or get laid.

Mickle, over at The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller identifies the Women in Refrigerator syndrome in the Season 2 of Lost. Beware the spoilers! Desdenova takes NBC’s new show Heroes to task for the poor treatment of its two token female characters. Sageness posts her thoughts and discussion with thete1’s about gender and race in Stargate Atlantis.

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We only have one anime-related post for this edition of the carnival, and it’s about a subject that’s near and dear to my own heart: Cattygurl discusses some of the Kick-ass Women of Anime.


Martin guides us through Ursula K. LeGuin's young adult novel Voices. Sleestak informs us about Shanna the She-Devil by Tony DeZuniga at Lady, That’s My Skull. Cassiphone looks at the female protagonists of Kylie Chan’s White Tiger and Tim Pratt’s True Adventures of Ranger Girl. And Heidi Meely gushes about Virgin Comics’ Devi.

Megatrouble rebuts Thomas Disch’s claim “that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly and Ursula K. Le Guin’s contributions to science fiction are overrated” in her post Shelly, Russ, and Le Guin: How to Hide the Canons; Or, What Could Have Been a Really Fun Party if Not for Thomas Disch.

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The Harlan Ellison Incident

The feminist SF fan community acted in outrage when Harlan Ellison groped Connie Willis at the Hugo Awards. In response to the incident, Kadymae writes her manifesta Nice Girls Don’t… in which she states

if it had been me up there on the stage at the Hugos and Harlan Ellison put a hand where it didn't belong, at the very least he would've been shoved away and asked, "What do you think you're doing, asshole?"
Yonmei points out that Harlan Ellison has always been a sexist creep. Lis Riba reported on the whole incident herself and asks, “What does a woman have to do to get a little respect in this industry?"


Peaseblossom, in her post How Much XP for a Blow Job? discusses the sexism that some women have to endure just to play a game:
Telling someone (or implying it, or complaining about it to a third party) that
she gets special treatment from the gm because they're romantically involved is
as adolescent as it is sexist.

Becky encounters in her post Hey, didn’t I used to write for a website called GeekGirls? Time Out New York’s idea of nerd girl, or rather, the NILF.

Melody Kitty loves being a fangirl, but she’s sick and tired of the objectification and depowering of superhero women. In another post, she challenges the geek fan community as a whole to stop stereotyping and be more observant of women within the community. Similarily, Willow wonders how we could open up dialogue with fanboys away from stereotypes to prove that we care about female characters in If The Fanboys Think We're Jealous, How Do We Win?

And last but not least, make sure you swing by Ladyjax’s blog, she’s holding a call of submissions for Boom Tube: a zine about Race, Culture and Fandom. Issue one’s theme will be dedicated to fans of color focusing on their experiences.

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Thanks for reading! Mark your calendars; Revena at The Hathor Legacy will be hosting the next carnival on October 16.