August 29, 2006

So This is Growing Up

Filed under:Personal — Lake Desire @ 3:19 pm

This is a bit of a personal post, musing about my future because I’d appreciate some advice from you wizened lot.


August 25, 2006

Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans: 4th Edition Posted

Filed under:News — Lake Desire @ 7:38 am

My good friend tekanji posted the latest issue if the Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans on the Official Blog. It’s a great issue with loads of good stuff on comics, film, and video games from a wide variety of bloggers. Go read it, it’s good stuff.


August 22, 2006

Feminists and Pink Game Consoles

Filed under:Feminism, Gaming Women, Gender, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 8:02 am

pink ps2

My friend Maladaptive pointed out in her Livejournal that some people are unhappy with the pink PS2 and PSP. I can see the problem some people have with the pink consoles: making something “girly” isn’t going to cut it when we want things marketed towards us, respectfully, as women. I wouldn’t identify all of the Sony critics as necessarily feminist, though. One LJ writes:

the last thing I want is be reminded of my gender

This comment suggests that there is something wrong with being female, like it’s holding us back from being truly good at video games.

As a feminist, I believe people should be able to choose their own gender expression. And enjoying pink is a valid gender expression, but freedom of gender expression means a person should also be able to like or dislike pink without the social meanings we’ve attached to the color. I love pink. I love pink gamer swag: I can be feminine because there is nothing wrong with being girly.


August 16, 2006

Brainstorming a List of Feminist Video Games

Filed under:Final Fantasy Series, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 9:32 am

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, I’ve been mostly away from the internet, which is a trend that may continue for the rest of August. Maybe some other bloggers will post to entertain you all. (You know who you are.)

jfpbookworm at noticed that a Google search for “feminist video games” came up with nothing (now at least his post comes up when you search for that quoted phrase). Now he and visitors are brain-storming a list of video games with feminist elements. Head on over and opine, you all.

Final Fantasy X-2 is mentioned, and it was a game that had real promise: all three playable characters are female (how many games have only male playable casts?), and one apparently was even a lesbian. Unfortunately, the game revolves around hunting for treasure, collecting costumes, and is driven by Yuna’s narrative to her dead boyfriend. At least Payne’s sexuality remains ambiguous (as I recall), even if we don’t get an openly queer character.


August 4, 2006

Beyond Good and Evil

Filed under:Personal, Site News, Videogames — Lake Desire @ 7:10 am

I’m off for a long weekend, taking my first ever bike trip to the San Juan Islands. I’ll miss you all, but I’m sure you’ll give me some lovely comments to read when I get back.

I’m leaving you all with a link to an article about one of my favorite games, Beyond Good and Evil. It’s a favorite because it’s the closet I’ve played to a feminist video game. Owen Huges of Ubisoft PR reflects on why the game didn’t take off in popularity:

In the end BG&E got off to a slow start and never really picked up. Everyone who played it loved it, but not enough people to warrant any further investment in sequels at this point. It’s always gratifying to receive an email or letter from a customer who bought and enjoyed Beyond Good & Evil, and I always try to make a point of responding. It’s a game I personally think was a high point for Ubisoft, and proof that gaming is not always about polygons, frame rates and rag-doll physics. The recipe that made Michel Ancel’s game what it is—style, imagination, gameplay and emotion—is hard to beat for those looking for something more in their gaming than their next head shot, touchdown or fastest lap.

Article found via


August 3, 2006

Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans: 3rd Edition

Filed under:Online Communities, Science Fiction, Site News — Lake Desire @ 10:26 pm

Welcome to the 3rd Edition of the Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Fans. Putting together this issue has been a pleasure; I’m learning so much about comics from you lot.

If you’d like to host a future issue of the carnival, please E-mail ragnellthefoul AT hotmail DOT com .


Film and Television

Starting us off, Jen of reappropriate writes on Lois Lane in her Margot Kidder incarnation as a feminist icon:

And despite being married to the most powerful man in the world, the flawed Lois is a reminder that what is truly breathtaking is not what Superman can do with his powers, but what humanity, particularly femininity, can do without them.

In the category of race, LiveJournal user rachelmanija writes a two part post that analyzes the pros and cons of colorblind race casting, honing in on Star Trek.

In another LiveJournal post, bitterfig shares her Thoughts on Lady in the Water, the latest M. Night Shyamalan film.


Pam Noles–in “Persistence Overcomes Resistance”: Thoughts On The Black Panel at Comic Con International, 2006–recounts and analyzes the lone Black Panel at this years Comic Con:

It’s one thing to choose to not acknowledge the myriad Other around you when you set out to do your fiction. I might even argue that this is your right, in a Woody Allen sense, if you choose to unleash your skills exploring a unique cultural subset with as much verisimilitude as you can muster to which this type of issue is not entirely applicable. But it’s something else ENTIRELY to recognize those differences, yet be too afraid to even make the attempt to engage with them on any level in the fictional worlds that you create from your soul. What’s wrong with your creator soul that the thought of realigning yourself beyond your default boundaries is so very frightful that you won’t even make the attempt? If you are too afraid to do that, perhaps it’s time to take another look at the job description.

On the Whileaway LiveJournal Community, Ide Cyan writes on desirability of male nerds in Spider-Man: Unmasked and how it influences her purchases.

100LittleDolls discusses Batwoman in Access to Power:

As far as DC making the current incarnation of Batwoman a lesbian: it’s to sell books. DC in no way believes that straight women can’t be powerful, that a straight woman superhero isn’t the answer to the typical male (straight) superhero. Most of the superhero’s that we read about are straight: Wonder Woman is straight, She-Hulk is straight, Phoenix is soo straight, I could go on and on. I can only count on one hand the number of lesbian superhero’s I’m aware of.

In Monday Misandry, Ragnell wonders if any man would actually avoid entertainment with respectul female characters.

Katherine of Whereof one can speak writes about female characters positioned as the Other and how difficult it was for her to identify with these characters when she was a girl. From her post Costume design and reader identification; or For God’s sake, woman, put some underwear on!:

Well, Sheeva was a very cool character in many ways. She was self-assured, confident, strong; she could make things explode with her mind. Even the above image of her is not the worst cheesecake I’ve ever seen, by a country mile: there’s no cleavage, she’s reasonably proportioned, her stance and expression are not porny and (gasp!) her shoes have flat heels.

But she’s not wearing any underwear!

And BANG! my eight-year-old self lost interest, just like that.

Panties still seem to be out these days for superheroines. Karen Healey breaks down the of an upcoming issue of Supergirl in Whose Goddamn Title Is It Anyways:

What the fuck is that miniscule ruffle that barely covers the top of her thighs? Could it possibly be made any clearer that this sixteen-year-old flying superheroine is not wearing underwear?

If you weren’t familiar with either of these characters, based entirely on the depiction of their costumes and positions, which one would you say is capable of beating the crap out of the other without breaking a sweat?

Who is powerful?

Who is vulnerable?

Yeah. And people wonder why I’m angry.

In An Open Letter to Edgy Writers Who Write About Really Real Real Life, Dan Jacobson writes about rape as a plot device:

You may think that this means that I think there’s something inherently wrong with dealing with sexual assault and rape in comic stories. This is not precisely true. Dealing with it is fine. But simply introducing it into the text is not the same thing as dealing with it. Simply presenting it as bad, or taking a textual stance against it, is not the same thing as dealing with it. We all know it’s bad. You won’t be blowing any minds with that stunning revelation. And yes, the same could probably be said for all violent crimes. What sets rape apart, however, is that it is a crime that, the overwhelming majority of the time, happens to women, and happens to them precisely because they are women.

Video Games

Guilded Lily has conducted a wonderful two part interview with game developer Tara Teich on getting more women into the game industry.

My own entry for the carnival is Passing, in which I discuss my reasons for hiding that I’m a gamer and a geek.

100LittleDolls–after experiencing a form of malicious alternative masculinity–declares in her post Masculinity, Nerds, and Me:

I’m not interested in games, comics, anime, what have you, in order to prove anything. My interest is that I simply like them. I think the guys I came in contact with initially started out the same way, but found that as they grew older and had their masculinity questioned, they had to use their hobbies as a way to prove themselves. I, as a geek girl, stand in direct opposition to that, which is why I failed, after the first couple of hours, to find a common ground with them.

That’s it for this issue! Thank you all for submitting. Keep an eye on the official carnival home for announcements involving the next issue. Until then, keep reading, writing, gaming, and opining.