Meanwhile in Sweden of the Day: Gender-swapped Children’s Toy Catalogue
The latest holiday catalogue released by Sweden’s toy retail chain Top Toy is making some buzz for breaking the gender-role stereotypes in its product pages, which features girls with Nerf guns and boys with doll houses and Hello Kitty. According to Jezebel, Top Toy’s gender-swapped catalogue may have been inspired in part by the widespread debate over the issue of gender equality that has been ongoing for the past few years in the Scandinavian nation. Hat tip goes to The Mary Sue.
Mass Effect 3 came with a lot of expectations, but one of the more subtle expectations to increase the diversity in the already-rich universe.
However, it wasn’t until playing through the game subsequent times however, that I noticed despite diversity in areas such as sexuality, there was still a stark lack of diversity in the realm of sex and gender.
The last time we talked about sex and gender in Mass Effect, we noted that there were still female aliens missing, but that in ME3, it seemed like with the inclusion of Palavan and a return to Tuchanka, that we would be presented with more female aliens.
However, upon returning to the galaxy of Mass Effect 3, the sex make-up of the universe has remained largely unchanged. But there were a couple of new additions. Literally a couple of new females of different races. There was one example of a salarian female, and one example of the krogan female, and that was the extent of the gender diversity in ME3.
Salarian - The delatrass:
Krogan - Urdnot Bakara (“Eve”):
Though there are no female turians in the game, there was an image of one in the comics.
However, this image received negative reception from fans, who said that they were disappointed she looked “ugly,” which of course is ridiculous, considering that no one chastises any of the male aliens for not being “handsome” enough and yet the unattractiveness of female aliens, which again are ALIENS and therefore shouldn’t even be subjected to human standards of attractiveness, elicit “disappointment” from fans.
So let’s have a count:
We have seen female humans, quarians, and rachni. We have one representation of female krogans, salarians, (both of which are presented as indistinguishable from their male counterparts anyway) and turians (not in the game, in the comics). And there’s the “all-female” race of asari.
And all of the batarians, volus, drell, hanar, elcor, vorcha, and yaag we see are male.
Unfortunately, in Mass Effect, male still continues to be the default. We see plenty of male versions of every single race, the only exception is the asari, but that’s only because they are “all-female” (which again, I kind of resent. If they are mono-gendered, why do they have to fit into the binary “all-female” label instead of just saying that they are a non-binary race?) Yet there is never “room” for female counterparts. We don’t even get to see images of female versions of most of the other races. Within the context of time and money, it doesn’t give me outrage, but it does disappoint me, as it seems odd that there was room for a sexy robot fantasy character in EDI’s body - as if the sexy genetically modified Miranda or an entire race of sexy blue aliens wasn’t enough - but no room at all to show the full face/body of multiple female salarians, krogan, turians, or any other race that did not have the intention or suggestion of being salacious or eye candy.
For some races, it is also very illogical. It is said over and over that all turians live in a deeply-ingrained military culture, so how does it make sense that we don’t even see one female turian fighting on the moon of the turian homeworld? Or anywhere else at all?
One of the themes in Mass Effect is how diversity, and cooperatively working with that diversity, ultimately shapes a better universe. And yet, in terms of gender, the universe remains in many ways, quite sparse in terms of diversity.
The complete lack of anything other than male aliens was something I was hoping they would fix/address in ME3… huge disappointment Bioware.
Argentina JUST PASSED a groundbreaking gender identity bill!!!
From now on, people will be able to change the name and gender on their ID without needing psychiatric permission or any body modifications. Furthermore, anyone who does want hormones or surgery will be able to access them for free through the public and private health system.
It was passed unanimously today by the Senate :-D
Unanimously! Way to go Argentina!
When you discuss the wage gap, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Only white women make $0.77 to a man’s dollar.
- Black women make about $0.68 to a man’s dollar.
- Latina women make about $0.58 to a man’s dollar.
not just white feminists. ALL white people****
Intersectionality is mother-fucking important.
You may or may not have seen my original post about deciding to make some feminst tshirts - either way, here they are, and now it’s your turn to help me out, if you’d be so kind. :-) I have not yet sent them out to be made, because I first wanted to get your opinion on the ones you liked the most. I reserve the right to make tiny little tweaks on the shirts, however, what you see now is probably pretty much what you will be seeing as a purchasable option very soon. I am not going to be selling all of these shirts, at least not yet, as that would be too costly for me to have made. I am thinking I will send out for the top four favorite fitted shirts, and the top 1-2 unisex fit shirts. So be sure to let me know which ones you like (or don’t) so that you’ll have some options to purchase that satiate your cool feminist t-shirt needs! And don’t forget to tell your friends! I’m sure they want to look snazzy too. ;-) xx
Let me talk to you about books.
Specifically, one book. This book.
This book should be a best seller. This book should be required reading for graduating from high school. Before you get that diploma, you read this book.
This book deals with debunking “Neurosexism,” which is a very fancy term for all of that evolutionary psychology bullshit that people spill about those “brain differences” between boys and girls.
This book debunks such myths as:
- Boys are better at math than girls
- Women make crappy lawyers/business CEOs/etc, as their brains are not cut out for aggression.
- Men make crappy counselors/primary school teachers/primary parents/etc, as their brains are not cut out for empathy.
- MEN ARE BUILT FOR GOING OUT AND HUNTING WHILE WOMEN ARE BUILT FOR STAYING HOME AND BABYMAKING IT’S NOT SEXISM IT’S JUST BIOLOGY
- And many other such myths.
Furthermore, this book covers topics such as:
- Neurosexism and gender perceptions in multiple races (as this is not a singularly white experience, just as the western world isn’t a singularly white experience)
- Sex discrimination in the workplace, and how women are (or, more often, are not) allowed to behave
- How science is used (badly) to support many of these claims
- Experiences of trans* people, both through interviews and empirical studies.
AND FINALLY - It is all brilliantly researched, cited, compiled - and it’s easy to read! Cordelia Fine actually manages to be funny while writing this, which I think is important, because it makes all of this information infinitely accessible.
Delusions of Gender has reinforced what Oberlin taught me: The gender binary is stupid and arbitrary, and dangerous. And it is a self-perpetuating bias that needs to be addressed to be overcome.
i would like to own this book, i shall find out how to acquire it
dude me too
I want to read this =w=…
oooh I need to find this and read it over the summer!
Sign me up for a copy.
This is a good book, and I totally nth the recommendations above.
This sounds like a wonderful book. …also, it would be great if I could see it since it would be great for a research paper on gender I may be having to write for my Queer Theatre and Film class. If anyone I know happens to have it and wouldn’t mind loaning it to me, could that happen please?
UGA library’s got it! That’s where I read it from in the first place, actually. Check the Science library on the 4th floor under QP360. :)
I really need to read this book.
Because there is nothing as horrible as trying to set the record straight when it comes to real, inclusive, human sexuality… The nerve!
There is a sexuality class at my university where the very first week is just watching a ton of porn. According to the prof, he does this to “weed out” the students who won’t be able to handle the later material.
This class also has the longest wait-list at my university and is a fan-fucking-tastic class.