This is how the timeline went at our house: Atari, Commodore 64, Nintendo, Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Genesis, Windows-based games, gap due to college/us kids moving out, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Gameboy Color, xBox 360, Nintendo DS. Everything from Nintendo GameCube on is still in good working order at my mother’s house, and she also has an original xBox.
When she was 5, my sister had calluses on her hand because she played so much Donkey Kong (I preferred Mountain King). As we got older, she sort of fell out of gaming, while I can easily get addicted. I can’t have a gaming system in my house, because I would seriously do nothing else, but I do visit my mom and family quite often. And oh, do we game.
I bring up this personal background because I know I’m not the only woman who games. Women game. The number of women who game keeps on growing. Also, it follows that since women game, perhaps some women might like to play female characters – I know that I am more apt to pick a female if I have a choice. I didn’t think that these things were still debated in 2012. But lately I’ve seen some distressing things.
Like this thread, which, granted, IS on a Men’s Rights board. The poster and subsequent comments go into great detail about how strong female characters are “subliminal brainwashing,” and that obviously women would not be able to keep up with men physically or mentally, in just about any type of situation. I especially chuckled at the reasoning that Samus from “Metroid” is OK, because she has armor that makes her strong, and she is “quasi-human.” Oh, and “non-feminist,” just trying to avenge her family.
Have you ever had that moment of being excited that there are 10 or 12 female speakers at a secular event followed a nanosecond later by the “wait a minute…” realization that they still compose less than a quarter of the event’s roster? Let that feeling be banished this spring—for the weekend at least.
May 18–20, 2012, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) is sponsoring the conference “Women in Secularism,” the first[*] of its kind in the organized secular humanist movement in the United States. The conference will be held at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport outside Washington, DC, and I’ll be covering it for CFI’s Council for Secular Humanism and of course We Are SkeptiXX!
I don’t know if you skeptical peeps have noticed, but there are not very many female skeptics kicking around the skeptics movement. Actually, I just lied. There are quite a few female skeptics out there; it’s just that few (well, let’s face it, none) of them get as much attention as their male counterparts. Okay, I lied twice in that first sentence—I know full well that many of you out there have indeed noticed this inequity. I honestly find this dearth of estrogen in the movement a bit baffling and, well, really annoying. There are some amazing women in the skeptics community—Eugenie Scott, Harriet Hall, and Karen Stollznow immediately come to mind to name a few—but none of them gets the recognition of a James Randi, Phil Plait, Steven Novella, Adam Savage, Richard Wiseman, Joe Nickell, et alia ad nauseum. When most people think of skepticism they immediately think of an aging bald white guy♠. Hell, that is the first image that comes to my mind when I think of skepticism, and I’m the one lamenting the lack of female influence in the movement in this very post!