I Propose a Change

by March 24, 2012
filed under Entertainment

Gender Roles Examined

I don’t see what the big deal is about me liking video games.

Most people don’t care either. They accept it as a part of who I am without blinking an eye. And I like to think that it’s the same for a lot of other girls and women out there. I hope it is anyway.

Things are changing for the gaming industry. It is becoming more and more acceptable for women to not only like games, but be involved in the creation process. There is still a lot of misogyny and sexism in the industry, but I see that slowly changing.

I don’t know why video games have been declared “male-orientated.” But they are. Maybe it is the simulated killing, the gore that attracts that kind of attention. Maybe it is the antiquated idea that men are more cerebral. Maybe it breaks down the age-old idea we’ve been told since birth: Blue=male and pink=female. At any rate, that has always been the message and women have slowly broken into the industry. Yes, there are those men who get so surprised at a “girl-gamer.” They make inappropriate comments that either makes the woman uncomfortable for being considered attractive or (in my experience) shaming a woman for not being attractive.

But I also see these same people whip around and scorn “female-orientated” things. And it leaves me kind of confused because if I am not allowed to either play video games or read young adult novels, than what am I supposed to do?

I propose a change.

Let’s take all these things we like — video games, books, magazines, movies and TV shows — and just forget everything that is attached to them. Let’s forget who is supposed to like what and just enjoy what we like. Let’s not care if a woman likes military novels or if a man likes to read teenage vampire novels. The stigma attached to those things just needs to be done away with. Either side wouldn’t be shamed for what they like. People would be happy.

It sounds simple. But how do we get there?

Well, it starts with you!

  1. Stop thinking of things as gendered. Barbie is just a toy. Blue is just a colour. People are allowed to like what they like.
  2. Think about the things you like. If you think “oh, I’m a man so I like xyx” or “I’m a woman so I love so and so” then try to find another reason. You do not have to like something just because you are a certain gender.
  3. This one is hard, but stop being embarrassed for liking things. Don’t apologize. I am a fan of critical thinking. You can like problematic things as long as you are away of the problematic elements. So if you are girl who likes “girly” things, then celebrate it.
  4. Be aware! It’s easy to just consume everything around you, but paying attention to the things you like and thinking about them can help break down these gender barriers we build around things.

Do you have any more examples of how we can dispose of gender stereotypes? Post in the comments below.

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