This month I was interviewed by a girl gamer after my own heart; JoAnna Gootee is an interviewer for a girl gaming webzine called Cerise Magazine whose mission statement calls out the need for a feminist publication:
We are a feminist publication and oppose all forms of oppression and the ways in which that oppression manifests itself in game communities in ways that hurt women, transgender individuals, queer-identified people, people of color, people with disabilities, and other marginalized individuals. We hope that our inclusive philosophy will propagate to help the game industry and culture at large become an environment welcoming to people of all identities.
Cerise Magazine Interview with Monica Valentinelli
The site features a monthly issue that has news, reviews, and other content targeted toward girl gaming. Be sure to check out some of JoAnna’s other interviews that includes names like: White Wolf freelancer Jess Hartley, Lady Fireeze of the Guild of Gaming Women and Sara Girard, Marketing Lead for D&D.
In today’s world, headlines are splattered with same sex marriages, celebrity “bumps” (a slang term used to describe a pregnant woman’s stomach), and women deemed to be “fat” because they gained a few pounds. Whether you’re a writer in the entertainment industry or a columnist for your local newspaper, gender treatment is one of the biggest issues facing our work today, because the boundaries and descriptions of gender have changed.
I often laugh at old fifties advertisements showing a submissive wife waiting hand-and-foot on her husband. If you’re writing fiction or a story about that particular time period, however, those gender roles were part-and-parcel to what the society is about—much like “hippies” were part of the 60s, “disco” defines the 70s, and “over-consumption” spelled out the 80s.
Unconsciously, we deal with gender treatment all the time in today’s society; when we see a female action hero and comment on her costume, when we read about bisexual, gay or cross-gender relationships in the news, when we form opinions about gender treatment based on what’s happening in another country.
In writing, our own ideas and conceptions about gender treatment may color our projects and speak to our values. This isn’t a “good” or a “bad” thing, but it does have consequences that may range from alienating sections of a market to offending a particular group. Some of these reactions are unavoidable, but they are a result of how we approach gender even before we write words on a page.