Category Archives: Feminism

Cosplaying: How Should I Feel?

As a person who’s actually tentatively planning a cosplay this year for LFCC – and as a person in the atheist community who’s been honestly fucking apalled by how stupid the whole “sex discrimination regulation” things have been at TAM! and such – then I feel like this has to be said:

“Cosplay is NOT Consent aims to educate the community by using the experiences of cosplayers, and convention staff to help put an end to unwanted harassment of convention attendees. We will work with convention owners to help bring comfort and safety back to fan events all around the world. “

All of this should also go without saying. So thank you for there actually being someone (well, a tumblr) saying so.

Hat tip to Jo, who wrote an article about Lolita culture. Go read it!


Ass-Kicking Games – Tomb Edition.

The other day my girlfriend jokingly asked: “Is it bad that I kinda want to play the new Tomb Raider game?” Which of course led to me gushing about how they were some of the first games I ever played, and about how much I love them.

But even with that love, I am, as a feminist, skeptical of the newest installation. Luckily, The Border House has me covered.

“The developers tried to create a world without sexism (perhaps in response to the stigma associated with the series). That comes with problems of its own. But in doing so they also created a game that places agency in a woman’s hands.”

It even used the word “agency”, one of my favourite words ever. Fuck yeah!

Not that I really need The Border House’s consent to like a game, warts-or-lack-thereof and all. But it helps!


Combine that with the fact that Bioshock: Infinite came out this week, and is not only awesome, but has Elizabeth as a central character, and I’m feeling pretty good about gaming at the moment. I just wish I had a computer that could run anything beyond Portal.

Homophobes’ One Weakness – English Lessons

[I’ve been absent for the last few months, and if it weren’t for the fact that I’ve got at least 200 posts under my belt, I’d be worried that I’d achieved my second greatest fear: becoming this guy.

No apologies, though.]

Today – well, a few days ago –  I got linked to this. For those of you who haven’t clicked through, it’s an article describing the opinions of many young people* at a rally to “protect traditional marriage”. Now, the ideas are obviously atrocious; this is plain for all to see. But why  is it that none of them can spell or write? I mean, just look at this: Read the rest of this entry


What’s that? “More rape jokes”? Is that what I hear you cry out for?

This made me laugh a lot – you’re welcome!

Covers = Important. Sexism = Bad.

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I need to get back into the swing of writing posts. However, I couldn’t not tell you about this. So enjoy!

The BBC has just put up possibly the most comprehensive and insightful article I think I’ve ever seen on their site – and that’s quite an achievement. It just happens to be about Feminism, Sexism and Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. All of my favourite things!

Essentially, the article is about those ridiculously sexualised pictures on the covers of fantasy novels. (And Sci-Fi, although to my knowledge all modern Sci-Fi novels seem to have covers like this and this; landscapes and space-ships/vehicles with very few people, sexualised or otherwise, even present. A conversation for another day…)

And it mentions all the things that I would want to mention. Primarily, it talks about Jim Hines and Hawkeye. Now, though I find it very interesting that, in a post about feminism, the first person the writer strives to talk about is what some middle aged white bloke is doing, I suppose that is our purpose as allies. Sigh.

For the uninititated, Jim Hines is a fantasy writer with a lot of free time and good ideas; and the Hawkeye Initiative is a great idea by an artist with a lot of free time. And they both seem to have come up with the same idea at least semi-independently. Which is: Parody the Living Fuck out of Sexist covers.

Sexist covers like this.

And this.

And this.

The whole point is that if neither Jim Hines nor Hawkeye can look attractive or even comfortable imitating your cover, then there’s something wrong with it.

This is, of course, the perfect blend of “making laugh at an issue” and “making you aware of an issue” – the best way to get your point across. The point being that these covers are pointless and make us nerds look like complete assholes and sexually ignorant perverts. I’ve never bought a comic on the grounds of “PWITTY COVER WIV LADIEZ”*, and even I’d be embarassed about reading a book like that on the train.

Meanwhile, Tracy Hurley talks about why she thinks this happens, and I get to find out about her “Prismatic Art Collection”, a directory of artists who draw characters who are not just skinny white girls in bikinis and muscly white men with swords.

Since I am a lanky, weedy guy, I can’t really associate with muscley folks like Conan, and if my being catered to means that there are also more people drawing… you know, the entire rest of the gamut of skin tones, body shapes and levels of attractiveness that aren’t white, skinny and inhumanly attractive, then even better!

Rant over; you should go read the article, to congratulate and support the BBC for, like usual, taking the right stand on an issue, and making people aware of… well, the stuff in the article that you should be going to read.


Here are links to Jim Hines’ blog, where he regularly posts such pictures, and the tumblr of “The Hawkeye Initiative” are on the respective words back there.

And while you’re at it, check out Escher Girls, which is a site all about how these pictures are not just sexist, but bad art. Have fun!

(Thanks also to Pippa, aka Along This Line, who is awesome, and who linked me.)

* The closest I’ve perhaps come is “Empowered”, and I’d feel very embarassed reading that on the train.

“What say you to your accusers, Mr ‘The Pope’?”

Just putting this out here, with a brief comment.

No; but what do you expect from an infallible, pedophile-protecting dinosaur from the dark ages?

[Click the image or here for more information.]

Aaaaand a hat-tip to Ophelia Benson, of whom I’ve been reading a lot recently.

Halo 4 is, weirdly enough, leading the way in gender equality

It’s not often that I get to comment on gaming and feminism in a good way. [Unless Anita Serkeesian has said something again.]

It’s not often I that get to say nice things about the Halo games. [Unless it’s about the expanded universe, which apparently rocks.]

But here it is: barely a week before the release of Halo 4, Kiki Wolfkill and Bonnie Ross have announced a lifetime ban feature for sexism on XBox Live.

Way to come down on the awesome side of the debate, guys! Though I have to admit, this is the most optimistic quote I’ve ever seen:

“I’d like to think most of our Xbox Live players don’t support this kind of behaviour.”

I’m not going to touch that with a barge pole, for fear of unseating someone else’s faith in humanity in general, and gamers in specific.

Watch and read these links to know more, I have to sleep.

News: Halo 4 creators introduce lifetime ban for sexism

Interview: Halo 4 devs speak out against sexism

Hat tip to Borderhouse for this one.

I can only love and tolerate so much…

[Trigger warning for a lot of stuff. Not here, but on some of the links. Mostly slurs and some rape jokes.]

Whilst browsing the blogs, I came across this post by Feminist Fiction, and it raised some similarities with recent developments in the skeptical community which I felt like sharing. But first, some background.

I am a brony. You all should know that. In fact, I am pleased to say that I am one of the guys mentioned in FF’s post as buying and proudly wearing my Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash* badges. Because Twilight, Dash and the Mane Six all kick ass, and the brony/pegasister fandom is an awesome one – in my experience, it’s always been full of creativity, love, and care.

“Love”? On the internet hate-machine? What a novel idea!

So I was horrified to find out about the sort of abuse that went on at Everfree convention a while back. You really would think that this fandom should be free of misogyny. Transphobic slurs, molestation jokes and country matters prove otherwise.

Read the rest of this entry

Now you can sing along too!

This just gets better and better! Well, insofar as illegal arrests can be better…

Pussy Riot aren’t just true punks and feminists sticking it to the man: they’re sacreligious atheists too!* Joy of joys! My estimation of them can’t help but raise higher and higher!

I find this out from Maryam Namazie, who says how much she’d love to do the same in a Mosque, and from Carol Rumen, who has provided me with what I wanted – an English translation of the lyrics.

I’ve read through them, and impressively she’s even got the rhythm down in her english versions, so I am impressed. Set “hat” = “off”.

Lyrics beneath the fold.

Read the rest of this entry

I didn’t infiltrate fuck all.

A couple of days ago I drew your attention to a post by Natalie Reed. Today is a follow up to that post – Jen McCreight is sick of this shit.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I agree with her. With bombshells like this being dropped like it was 1942 – Jen, Natalie, the unflinching shit chucked at Rebecca Watson and the endless shitstorms over what should be common sense – I’m just surprised all of this isn’t having more of an impact.

So yeah, read the article.

I’m gonna highlight one paragraph, though.

“Now it’s time for a third wave – a wave that isn’t just a bunch of “middle-class, white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied men” patting themselves on the back for debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists.

It’s time for a wave that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime. We can criticize religion and irrational thinking just as unabashedly and just as publicly, but we need to stop exempting ourselves from that criticism.”

We need to do this. And though I don’t mean to be patrirachal, the best thing that we, the old guard of straight white cisgendered men can do is to think how we can play midwife to this sort of awakening.

Who knows? Maybe at some point this week, I might write an article detailing what (I think) the role of the ally such as myself is in this situation. Because seriously, this? That thing up there?

It has to happen.

* * *

Oh look – Skepchick’s hard at work on this already, with a series of straight old white guys talking about why they’re allies, including:

It seems sexist that such allies even need to be found. Shows you how screwed up this is, huh?