I can certainly be a shit head sometimes

Oh god I don’t even know how to start this.

So I just read this and realized I’ve been a total dick recently.

Let me explain.

I’ve long held that we need more women in game design in general. Game design can be a (white) boy’s club and there’s a distinct lack of different perspectives from most any view point (gender, race, non-geek, etc.). Gender seems like an easy thing to point to as “hey we could try not discriminating against that.” Luckily, I feel like the trend has been shifting positively for the better, although there’s still a lot of work to do.

About a year ago, I read about Dani Bunten and her very influential place in the world of game design. I thought to myself “Hey! That’s awesome! Women!” But then I found out she was a transgendered woman, and I felt slightly betrayed. Shortly after, I also found out that anna anthropy/auntie pixelante/dessgeega (what do I call you?) is a transgendered woman as well (how the hell did I miss this for so long?) and was dismayed. I thought “Well crap, two of the foremost women in game design aren’t REALLY women.”

Then I didn’t think about it much more. Not a big deal to me at the time, just a bit of a letdown.

After reading the article above this morning, I realized how much of an assholish, ignorant, shitty person I was being by thinking that either of these two people were not “real” women because they were born with penises. Being a woman is no more related to genitalia than anything else. Just because we tend to assign certain traits at birth because of a specific arrangement of body parts doesn’t mean that these assignments are true for any individual. I should know better by now.

I’m not sure what else to say, really. I’m not an expert in gender or social stuff in general. I just felt that it was important to make a public apology for being a private jerk. Hopefully someone else will read this and realize that they, too, can make strides towards being less prejudiced/closed minded. I also hope this doesn’t come off as primitive or self-serving. I just wanted to say sorry.

So, I’m sorry for being a part of the problem. I will try harder.



  1. #1 by monkeyvault on July 18, 2012 - 9:58 AM

    Truly understanding that gender is not about genitalia was one of the biggest struggles for me, too. (Also lolz I totally missed this entry when you posted it 4 months ago) I had to seriously spend some time sitting and thinking about what the hell it actually means to be a woman. Did I choose this? Did I really decide, “I am going to like boys and skirts and swinging my hips”? Did society tell me to like these things? Or is it part of my intrinsic nature?

    Granted, society does tell me what a woman is, and it makes strong suggestions as to what a woman should be interested in. However, my decision to align myself with those interests was indeed due to an inborn urge to be female. And it took me a long-ass time to figure that out.

    It was pretty easy for me to determine that my heterosexuality was inborn. All I had to do was think about being 11 again. Man, no 11-year-old CHOOSES to have intense, soul-destroying crushes. That’s not something you think about and carefully decide upon based on what society tells you to do. I hit puberty and WHAM. Suddenly I couldn’t interact with cute boys to save my freakin’ soul, and that shit was ALL chemical.

    Gender’s a little fuzzier, because I know so much of how we EXPRESS our gender is environmental. It’s harder to get to the core of what really makes you feel male/female, because it’s bogged down by so many expectations. And since my gender just happens to align with what society expects of my genitalia, it’s really easy to forget that my crotch and my gender are not one and the same.

    My point: It’s really easy to be an asshole. It’s really easy to fight for one cause and forget you’re being an asshole about another. Every human being has moments like that. I’m proud of you for doing what you can to work on your prejudices and become a truly accepting person.

    • #2 by Clint Emsley on July 18, 2012 - 12:27 PM

      Hey, wow, thanks for the super thoughtful comment…I forgot about making this entry, haha.

      But uh, yeah, what you said. It’s rough…I think people other than white, straight males have it harder though. Hoorah.

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