Gender Discrimination in Geek Culture

This is an article my daughter (who just turned 13!) wrote for her school newspaper. It was published before a boy tried to tell her that girls don’t play Minecraft, so it doesn’t include her impassioned argument on that topic.

If I said I liked imagining I fight dragons, reading graphic novels, and playing with Legos, what is the image of me that goes to your head? From the info you just read, would you imagine me as a boy or a girl? I actually surveyed a bunch of people and the majority of them said they imagined boys.

But I am NOT a boy. I’m a girl. My favorite color is pink.

This is a problem. There is this ridiculous stereotype that only boys like games and adventure and interesting stuff, and that girls aren’t cool enough to participate in that kind of thing, or are too delicate to even think about playing games with swords and shields, let alone battleaxes. Unless they’re the one who is helpless and needs saving. It’s all a pile of junk.

The art for these games and graphic novels is even worse. Part of that ridiculous stereotype is that players and readers like to look at pictures of female characters that are dressed inappropriately. It makes me uncomfortable, it’s sexist, it’s biased, and it’s just not okay. I am not going to include any pictures of this, but below is an example of art that does it the right way. It’s from D&D Next.

D&D Next

The following are the art of front covers of games my parents worked on. The art there isn’t gender discriminant either.

Fate coreFAE

However, I must give DC Comics some kudos, because they tried to give Wonder Woman pants, so she was wearing something other than that ridiculous, uncomfortable-looking metal leotard. But they were beaten down on the attempt by people saying that they can’t do that, it would break tradition. Phooey on those people.

In the new video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, the slogan was “Willst thou get the girl, or willst thou play like one?” They changed it later, but that doesn’t make it okay.

And have you read The False Prince? I loved it. It’s one of the Young Reader’s Choice books this year. But on the back, it quotes the LA Times saying that it is “chock full of alluring details for adventure-loving boys.”  My mom and I loved it. Neither my brother nor my dad shows any interest in reading this book. See something wrong with the picture?

I feel uncomfortable with all of this. If I was going into battle against orcs, I would not be wearing a chainmail bikini. It’s a one-way ticket to impalement. Women need to be shown as strong people, not just another pretty face to look at. I would be perfectly fine with them just being shown as people.  We can make our own decisions, we are not just an object to make men feel good. I have spoken to many people about this, and it makes them uncomfortable, too. It is NOT okay!

Nicole Leigh Verdin from the movie The Shroud

Nicole Leigh Verdin from the movie The Shroud

I can't find attribution for this one. Anyone know where it's from?

I can’t find attribution for this one. Anyone know where it’s from?

Look at these pictures. THIS is my armor of choice!


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18 Responses to Gender Discrimination in Geek Culture

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