As a company, Canadian-based game developer BioWare has been famous for its attempts at inclusivity of minority characters in its video games. Through the years, most notably in its two most famous properties, the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, BioWare’s concern with inclusivity has been centered largely around that of minorities on the sexuality and gender spectrums. These attempts at inclusivity have been earned the studio commendations for their progressivity and forward-thinking, as well as appreciation from fans for targeting a somewhat atypical triple-A gaming audience—that is, people who are not heterosexual, cisgender men. Perhaps the most prominent example of BioWare’s efforts at representation is its most recent major publication, Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Of the three major Dragon Age titles published so far, Inquisition, released in November of 2014, is undoubtedly the most inclusive when it comes to gender and sexuality. While Dragon Age: Origins (2009) and Dragon Age II (2011) featured multiple straight and bisexual characters, Inquisition is the first of the three to feature not only gay and lesbian characters, but also a character who falls outside of the traditional male-female binary on the gender spectrum.…Continue Reading
I’ve been taking a Victorian Sexualities class this semester. And throughout I’ve been surprised by the connections between Victorian society and our present-day society. For example, both involve radical changes in technology, concern over family values and morality, and a large amount of coded talk about sex. Although a lot has changed and the conversations differ in content, many of the anxieties of the Victorian era, especially around sexuality and gender, seem to pop up today. One of the places where I was surprised to find myself suddenly thinking about the Victorians was the TV show How I Met Your Mother, created by Carter Bays and Craig Thomas.
The unmarried woman was a big concern for the Victorians. The growing number of single women in Britain was in conflict with the traditional role of women as wife and the mechanisms of inheritance and property. William Rathbone Greg wrote “Why are Women Redundant?” in 1862 to address this problem. He believed that it was in women’s nature to marry, so that if they weren’t marrying, it was for unnatural reasons: bad temperament, desire for work, and a lack of eligible men.…Continue Reading
When writing a column about feminism the first thing I would like to do is be clear: What do I mean by feminism? In society and the media today, feminism is rarely given a clear definition. Feminists, however, are clearly implied to be ugly, single, man-hating lesbians. No one is sure what feminism really is or does; it’s just clear you shouldn’t want to be a part of it. Though I don’t deny that there are some man-hating, lesbian feminists, the theory of the movement is focused not on Men or Women, but gender.
Gender is the performance of either masculine or feminine characteristics. I say performance, not because gender is not real, but because it is public. Gender is how you publicly identify, either as man or woman. People do this in almost every way: clothing, hair, voice, ways of moving, how one sits, etc. And being a man or woman comes with a heap of responsibilities! Men are expected to be emotionally closed, always into sex with women, and career-driven so as to provide for their eventual families.…Continue Reading