— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq)
Above is a tweet I made this afternoon in reaction to the fact that none of the games presented at Microsoft’s Xbox One E3 press conference featured female protagonists. Below are some of the Twitter replies to that observation which exemplify the male privilege and male entitlement endemic in the gaming community today. This is also a window into what it’s like to be a female video game critic on twitter.
this shit makes me so angry, i want to do individual tweets at every single one of these dickbags and yell at them, but i’m not going to
okay maybe just
a couple like five
bleh, had my phone appointment with social security today, to fill out an ssi application. that one isn’t available online, and now that i’ve gone through it i still see zero reason why it isn’t. it was basically just the contents of the adult disability report, which i did back in november and which apparently had an expiration date, as the lady interviewing me was not finding it. so i had to go through all the shit with job history and what kind of physical stuff was involved in jobs and what doctors i’ve seen in the last couple of years. i was anxious before the phone rang, but now i’m just frustrated.
she said i could expect a decision in about four months. and it’ll rely on shit they get from my doctors, and having a vague idea of why my ailments mean i can’t work, so i’m just. ugh. it didn’t help that i’m groggy as hell again today and mostly asleep despite coffee.
Imagine being in a relationship in which you are treated like an equal, consciously and unconsciously, sexually, emotionally, socially, romantically, without being bound by gender expectations, without risk of pregnancy (or having your reproductive rights taken away from you), without feelings of inferiority, without being mistreated or neglected because men don’t understand your body and can’t be bothered to learn how to give you pleasure (or that you even deserve pleasure). Imagine having a reciprocating relationship with someone who knows how to touch you and how to talk to you, who will never abuse you or take away your consent. Imaging feeling powerful, safe, like the default rather than the specific or second-class. Imagine not requiring special handling by awkward, inconsiderate men who were never taught any better. Imagine being allowed to touch and enjoy and indulge without apprehension. Imagine being able to trust your partner. Imagine knowledge and understanding, someone who sees your depths and treats you the way you’d treat yourself if you hadn’t been told from birth that you weren’t worth it.
Girls aren’t “making them gay.”
Girls are fantasizing about being equal.
I have wondering about this in fandom for many years and reading this just made me tear up. I figured this was a big reason, but breaking it down to this extent made me so extremely sad. I realized a long time ago that even if I met the nicest guy in the world, I still have to battle all those things mentioned above. Just being friends is hard. I don’t have a happy history in this area like a lot of women and I have major trust issues with men and I wish somehow that wall could be broken down and we could all truly be seen as equal…as people with value. If you have all of the above with someone of the opposite sex then you are really lucky. See women are expected to give all those things listed above and settle for not getting them in return. I believe it’s a rare thing if you have it returned. Like I said, if I was with the nicest guy in the world I will always doubt myself, think he see’s me as different, talk to me different… Why? Because that’s our experience. This world raises us to believe we are worth absolutely nothing. The idea of being equal is one of our greatest fantasies.
It’s sad that it has to be a fantasy.
It’s totally sad.
But on the other hand, slash writers are some of the most empathetic people I know. And they’re great educators, too, probably in ways they might not expect. A good slash fanfiction writer can help women understand their desires and overcome some of those feelings of shame and worthlessness.
Think about how many girls have learned how to masturbate thanks to slash fanfiction.
Sometimes just knowing that we’re all reading and enjoying the stories is an immense comfort. People will tell you that slash is trash, that fangirls are desperate and pathetic, but ladies telling ladies that they’re allowed is a powerful thing.
Yeah, oh man. This is. Yeah, this is a lot. I especially feel the taboo surrounding female sexuality to the point that even though I’m Pretty Gay myself, I’m uncomfortable with my own sexuality (not as in orientation) and also dealing with the sexuality of other women. Like in some ways, I am always hesitant to appreciate sexiness in women because we are almost never shown female sexuality in a safe, respectful, and equal way and it still freaks me out.
I will never forget — and I wish so *badly* I still had a copy — the essay one of my exes wrote before she gafiated, in which she talked about how the act of writing slash and being part of the slash community in general had allowed her to “write herself back into her body”.
To, essentially, take off some of the blinders and filters western culture had put on her, all the things that had convinced her that, as an “overtall, fat, awkward, anxious, and altogether unattractive” person (she did have some anxiety issues, but none of the rest was true by any measure but all the lies we’ve ALL been told), she deserved neither happiness, nor romance, nor anything resembling sexual parity or satisfaction.
We met through fandom — she later told me she’d been quietly lurking on my mailing lists and around my websites for two years before she ever actually spoke to me — and we had four good years together before our relationship started to fall apart.
And, while not all of our happiness — together and separately — can be laid at the feet of the various slash goddesses, quite a lot of it can be.
Slash wrote *me* back into my body, too — several times, in several ways. Slash connected me to genders I never could’ve imagined, or could’ve imagined being *worth* connecting to in the days before I really understood the possibilities inherent to taking the media I had been given and *transforming* it.
We are *here*, and our pleasure is worth it — our pleasures, plural, are part and parcel of our identities.
And, you know, some of us, after we’ve been writing slash for a good, long while?
Find new ways to express those pleasures when women are there, new ways to understand those aspects of our sexualities — our *identities* — which include *hetero*sexuality.
It’s a journey. A process. A continuum. A spectrum. A *multiverse*.
And it’s all allowed.
Because we made it that way.
Because we *make* it that way.
Oh, hey, Te, is that this essay, by any chance? http://jessica-ruth.diaryland.com/020301_62.html
Because I have been hanging on to that link for eleven years and still find cause to share it with people on a pretty regular basis.
Holy god, rEAD THE LINK
honestly, i got into slash/yaoi by mistake; i stumbled onto a ganon/link smut fic in the pit or somewhere, and got intrigued, and then stayed because i loved it. i went through that period where i was all about the yaoi, and had no interest in het or yuri, despite my sole (real life) interest at the time in girls.
edit: under a read more because wow i rambled about porn in detail and then got off topic, i’m so sorry.