Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
I first off want to state that I know sexism against men exists, but sexism against men IN THE FIELD OF INDUSTRIES exists not because men are men but because men are supposedly acting feminine or doing feminine things. It happens in the field of nursing because it is generally a female-dominated field and so is automatically considered a feminine job. So when a man is a nurse, he is doing “feminine” things and is therefore considered weak. Granted, some women reinforce this sexism, but they shouldn’t. But when women join a male-dominated field, they are picked on not because they are acting “masculine”, but because they are female and are therefore too weak to be in the field they are in. Male ballet dancers are picked on too because they’re considered “feminine” for doing something in a female-dominated field, which is a shame because male ballet dancers are just as incredible as their female counterparts, and we need more men in ballet. And their muscles! Have you seen the muscles on a male ballet dancer? They can take on football players, contrary to popular belief, especially because they know how to articulate all those muscles they have.
(Now I realize ascribing labels to them makes them seem less than, but I ascribed labels to specifically point out a certain sex. If I had just said ballet dancer, you probably would have thought of a female, wouldn’t you have?)
I honestly could do an entire post about sexism against men (because it is real, it exists, and it is sickening the way our society treats sexism against men), but this post isn’t about them. The Good Men Project does an excellent job about giving men voices anyway. But men don’t struggle in the gaming and publishing industries the way women do.
With gender coverflips, outcries from women in the field of science fiction, and some pretty nasty Tweets from men (above), it’s clear there is a problem. I was stunned as I was going through the comments to some of the articles linked here, along with more articles that I haven’t linked, just how ignorant people can be. One thing that rankles my nerves more than anything is how women are constantly the butt of a sexist joke: get back to the kitchen, cook and clean for me, get me a sandwich! What makes people think that in the 21st century, jokes like those are funny anymore? They’re so overused anyway that they’ve lost their appeal as potential jokes.
Now on to the gaming industry. The problem with the gaming industry is there are not enough female protagonists, and if there is a female protagonist, she is so oversexed that the outfit she wears isn’t even functional. The newest Metal Gear Solid game comes to mind, where there is a sniper in the desert, and she is so scantily clad that it’s outrageous. Someone on Tumblr tried to justify her clothing by saying she’s in the desert. No! Just no! You wouldn’t wear hardly any clothing in the desert. You would cover up so you don’t burn. Then there is Laura Croft. When I was a child, I swore her breasts grew larger every game, but that was probably just graphical improvement. There is nothing wrong with a lady having large breasts because large-breasted women exist, but large breasts present a problem of their own, and males wouldn’t really understand this because they don’t have breasts–so male game designers have no clue just how problematic large breasts would be for an adventurous woman. Then there is severe sexism in the online gaming community. Women are constantly called names and, of course, are told to go back to the kitchen. The sexism in the online gaming community especially has me flabbergasted. What makes men–no, boys–think this is okay? Isn’t respect taught? Or is sexism more subconscious?
Then there is the publishing industry. The sexism isn’t just rabid among the sci-fic community, but rabid in general because female writers are not getting the acclaim their male counterparts are because the male voice is still considered universal while the female voice is still considered “other”. The general thought is that women aren’t writing any good books, that the female protagonists are weak and pathetic and whiny and clingy. People, Twilight doesn’t define all of what women write. Just as books showing outrageously violent men doesn’t define all of what men write (John Green springs to mind). People who claim there are so many weak females probably haven’t been going to bookstores lately. Since I heavily read YA, I have seen tons of books with female protagonists able to stand on their own, who don’t lose who they are in the face of adversity.
So there is a lot going on in both of these industries that needs to be changed, both in the way people view women and how women are treated.