Last week, the Penny Arcade Report interviewed Jean-Max Morris, creative director of the upcoming female-led game Remember Me. After going into the game’s cyberpunk roots, Morris discussed the publishers who wanted nothing to do with a female protagonist. “We don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed,” he paraphrased. “You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.”
As the article made the rounds, I couldn’t help but notice what gamers were getting excited about elsewhere. Tomb Raider had just slipped to number two in the UK sales charts, after two weeks at number one. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm had already sold 1.1 million copies in its first two days. Indie developer Supergiant Games, the folks behind Bastion, announced their new action RPG, Transistor, which features a leading lady. Their booth enjoyed two hour lines at PAX all weekend. I’m told that the lines for Remember Me were comparable.
I don’t think it’s gamers who have a problem with female protagonists. Read more…
Feminist Kate Harding was fed up with constantly hearing about whether women could “have it all.” The scourge of mass media articles questioning women’s place in the home and in the office had reached a fever pitch. She began asking herself, What would happen if we replaced female pronouns for male pronouns? How ridiculous would these stories begin to sound. “Are men fit to lead? Can men have it all? Are men too competitive with each other? Are men their own worst enemies?” she tweeted. See how crazy it sounds?
And yet, we’re constantly bombarded by stories that question, basically, the validity of our existences. So Hardy, author of the forthcoming book Asking For It, created the #edgyheadlines hashtag, a place where Twitterers could turn the gender paradigm on its head. Stuff like: “Silicon Valley CEO says there would be more men in tech if they asserted themselves more” and “MALE PILOTS: How do their hormonal cycles affect their performance?”
Check out the trending hashtag after the jump, and share your own on Twitter, too. Keep reading »
There’s a new Twitter hashtag #IAskedPolitely chronicling all the times that women have spoken up about sexual harassment/sexual situations in the workplace and not a single thing changed. It’s come about following “Donglegate,” the incident I wrote about earlier this week in which former SendGrid developer evangelist Adria Richards tweeted a picture of a guy who was cracking sexualized jokes at a recent tech conference. The incident has spurred a huge debate about sexism in tech, privacy, and professionalism — both sides convinced the other is just being butthurt. I won’t wade too deeply into the critiques, although I linked to some in Today’s Lady News on Friday. But I did want to point out the #IAskedPolitely hashtag, which is turning into a list of all the awful things that have been said to women who’ve spoken up about sexism in the workplace. You have no sense of humor! It must be your period! You’re overreacting! Of course that’s the reason. No, no, no, it couldn’t be that sexist culture is f**ked up. [Twitter.com #IAskedPolitely]
Sexism in the workplace is manifested in a slew of ways: pay inequality, dress code regulations, getting hit on by your boss. In this case, on the site Australia InfoMine, sexism reared its ugly head before the job even started! According to News.Com.Au, the first requirement on a posting for the Korean coal company Pt. Karya Bumi Baratama is that receptionist applicants be “female, single, max 25 years old.”
While the post does ask for appropropriate qualities such as an education “from reputable university” and “good interpersonal and communication skill,” it rounds itself out with the last bullet point asking for the candidate to be “good looking.” Keep reading »
Developer evangelist Adria Richards has been fired from her job at SendGrid after she tweeted a picture of a developer cracking sexual innuendo-filled jokes behind her at a recent tech conference. “Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and ‘big dongles,’ #pycon” Richards tweeted, referring to PyCon, a conference for the Python programming community. The tweet was accompanied by a TwitPic of the man who’d been making nerdy insider jokes. Richards added in another tweet, “Can someone talk to these guys about their conduct? I’m in lightning talks, top right near stage, 10 rows back #pycon.”
PyCon saw her tweets. “Thank you @AdriaRichards for bringing the inappropriate comments to our attention. We’ve dealt with the situation,” @PyCon tweeted. The man was identified and fired by his employer, PlayHaven. Then, earlier today, SendGrid announced it had fired Adria Richards, too. Keep reading »
A female stylist is suing the gay, male owner of a UK beauty salon for being a “sexist bully.” Natasha Bramhall claims Funky Divas owner, Andrew Rogers told her that he only wanted to hire fat, gay hairdressers because they wouldn’t get pregnant and have to go on maternity leave.
Bramhall says that while she was pregnant, Rogers forced her to handle unsafe products (stuff like bleach, I’m assuming) and that it made her “anxious and stressed.” When she returned to work after giving birth to her son, Rogers allegedly demoted Bramhall, forcing her to quit. Keep reading »