Dear Straight White Men,
Keep in mind that this is not to all of you. This is only for some of you.
Here’s the thing: it’s really damn easy to say that women are taking things too far in the gaming world. . .when you are a man.
It seems like you are lumping all women into one category and neglecting the fact that women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. You get in a snit if a suggestion is made that we need more female characters and grill us if we say we are gamers. If you find we don’t play a particular game, you put us into a “Feminist Nazi” category. YOU minimize women and get all huffy and annoyed at the fact that women are daring to play games and oh my goodness, they have opinions. YOU are the type of person that gives men a bad name. YOU are the type of men that make us women wave our feminist flags because you continue to not give us even a shred of respect.
You are afraid of women in the gaming community and instead of including us, try to attack a woman. All because we want badass representation instead of floss covering bits? How about putting your male characters in only floss to cover their bits? I bet you would be hounding companies to add more KEVLAR (created by a woman by the way) type products on your character.
But if we want to change the gaming community, you say we are being too feminist and call us “Femi-Nazis.” All because we want to change the gaming community so we have representation. We want to be included. You say: “Ew! Women in the gaming community!” When really, shouldn’t you be excited that we women want to be included? Shouldn’t you want to have women in the gaming community?
But no. You get all pissy at the women – the feminists, you sneer. As if being a feminist is a bad thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are cases where it does get taken way too far. I get that. But I don’t think this is one of those cases.
But either way, you say it’s too extreme that they are asking for female characters. Once again, it’s really easy to say that when you are a man. Thus, you do come off as sexist and homophobic since you don’t want the games to change with the times. You ask “why does representation matter?” Well you are a white straight man who has been represented his whole damn life. Meanwhile, I am a woman and haven’t had all that.
You get pissy because politics are being brought into movies and games.
Newsflash: Politics have always been in your games and movies. Always. You’re just now noticing it because it’s not the kind of politics you agree with. Or rather, we are finally trying to represent everyone in the community rather than just white straight men.
“Why do we need an all-female Avengers movie?” you ask. Well maybe because we’ve had all these all-guy movies and we women want to be represented.
“Why do we need a black superhero movie?” you ask. Because hello! how many white superhero movies are there with a primarily white cast?
“Why do we need a gay/lesbian/transgender character?” you ask. Because representation matters, that’s why.
So yes, you do come off as sexist, racist, and homophobic because of the fact you protest so much at the changes happening not only in games but in movies. You don’t see why representation matters, because once again: you are white straight man. You haven’t had to struggle to be represented. While you might not think there is sexism, racism, and homophobia in the gaming community, there is.
And don’t give me that “well if you don’t like it, then don’t play.” We do like it and we will play. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to turn a blind eye to the problems in it.
Trying to fix the problems (even if you don’t want to call it that) doesn’t make us the villains.
A Badass Who Would Like Some Fucking Armor
Special thanks to my mom (aka my aunt Meme) and my BFF Angela Ash for helping craft the beginning and the end of this letter. You both rock and are amazing!