Monday, December 20, 2010

Just for the record

I've found myself saying a lot of the same things in various places on the internet in the past couple of weeks, so I'm going to say some stuff here so that I can refer back to this in the future and not have to articulate it again. With that in mind, let me throw some stuff out here:

I don't care if you like cheesecake.

If you like cheesecake, good for you. I'm honestly not judging you; that's a matter of personal taste. I also recognize that there isn't just a binary between "I like cheesecake" and "I don't like cheesecake" and I respect that too. I'm not going to get into the business of judging individual consumers of media for their tastes, because that's just counterproductive and hypocritical.

I am (probably) not judging you

I'm reserving judgement for the artists, writers, and publishers who use cheesecake to make money. These are the people who are intentionally marginalizing women and perpetuating stereotypes for the sake of making a few quick bucks, and these are the people that deserve to be called out publicly on their bullshit. I'm not against all sex ever in RPGs. I'm not against all sex ever in art. I'm not against all people ever who like sexy art, or who like sex, or who like sex and RPGs. I'm against people who purposefully, deliberately, and systematically dehumanize women for personal gain and profit.

Wait, part of that was really important, so let me say it again:

I'm not against all sex ever in RPGs. I'm not against all sex ever in art. I'm not against all people ever who like sexy art, or who like sex, or who like sex and RPGs.

Okay, what else...

What do I want? A diversity of depictions of women in game art.

Women in game art are hyper-idealized and hyper-sexualized. You see so many male body types depicted in fantasy, but the only female body type you see in game art is Barbie. For that matter, there just aren't any "fuckable" men that are equivalent to the cheesecake skanks they put in books. People go on and on about ridiculous beefcake, but if you start counting actual images, the numbers just don't support it.

Calling women in game art skanks

I'm not going to apologize for calling imaginary women skanks, especially not women who have been EXPLICITLY DESIGNED to be "fuckable". Everything about the costume, posing, anatomy, and other contextual elements of these elements is designed to make it clear to the male viewer that these women are totally available for banging. THAT is why I call them skanks.

For the record, I do regret comments I made about Jenny Poisson. I'm not going to go delete them because that would be cowardice, but I'll state that I was under the impression she was a paid model and not a fan. That was not correct. I stand by my assertion that Paizo's exclusive use of her photo to promote the contest was sexist, but I do regret the "splash damage" of my comments about the photo itself.

That being said:

I'm still not against sex, or against women who like to have sex, or against women who like to cosplay, or against women who like to dress sexily, or even women having sex while dressed in sexy cosplay.


On taking a more "objective" approach:

I am looking at all the ridiculous sexist imagery that pisses me the f*ck off and talking about why it is f*cking ridiculous. I don't give a rat's ass that I'm fighting a losing battle. I'm done being silent. I'm just done. I experience shame and insecurity about this shit on a near-daily basis, and I think that voicing my emotions is just as important as examining the imagery. Too many women feel they have to be silent about how sexism affects them. I'm done being silent. If that makes my blog less "useful" then that's fine with me.

I don't want all women to wear burkas

See again my comments re: desiring a diversity of depictions. See also comments re: not being against sex.

I reserve the right to come back and edit this should the need arise.