the-new-old-dana asked: You have been a role model/idol of mine for quite a while now! And though this isn't exactly your field, I was hoping for some words of advice/inspiration. I've been an aspiring video game developer/designer for over 10 years now. But sometimes it's a bit discouraging just because of the fact that I'm a girl and somehow, video games, comics, etc. are a "boy" thing. Any advice for being a girl entering a field that is usually perceived as "male dominated"?
Find the women in game developing who are really good at what they do and really driven and BOND WITH THEM.
And listen — I’m going to sound like I’m wearing a tin foil hat here, but this is the truth:
The system will try to turn you against each other. That’s how it keeps you down.
I know, I know, but it’s the God’s honest truth. Well-intentioned assholes* will try to set you against each other to be Queen of Shit Mountain. They will tell you that she’s jealous of you, that she wants your job/seat/man/lipstick/whatthefuckeverbullshit, they’ll tell you she’s crazy and that you can’t trust her.
Don’t fall for it.
I’m not saying you can’t compete with women — you can and will — but you do it like Helen and Carol, like Maverick and Goose, YOU MAKE EACH OTHER BETTER and you gain respect for each other in that competition. (And I’m not saying every woman is your friend, either. If she tells you she’s “one of the boys” or that “she doesn’t like working for women” because they’re “catty,” CROSS THE FUCKING STREET TO GET AWAY. Don’t wish her ill and don’t hasten her demise, but give her wide berth because she is poison and she will implode and you don’t want to be caught up in it.)
You give your sister a hand and you have her back EVERY CHANCE YOU GET.
I have male allies and mentors to whom I am intensely grateful and without whom I would not be where I am today. But none of them get it like Sana, Gail, Jeanine, Kathryn, Marjorie, Blair, Emma, Jordie, Lauren, Willow, Judy… the list goes on and on.
Sana and I FIGHT on occasion — we are not afraid to get into it if we both feel it will make the book better, but on a personal level, where the rubber this the road, as they say, she is MUH GIRL.
Job one: find your girls.
Job two: find the biggest guy in the yard, kick his ass and steal his cigarettes.
Job three: …
Forget that last part.
But the rest of it is true.
* Some day I will do a post about the well-intensioned asshole and how he thinks, but not today.
KSD, you’re just the best there is.
Men want what they want.
So much of our culture caters to giving men what they want. A high school student invites model Kate Upton to attend his prom, and he’s congratulated for his audacity. A male fan at a Beyoncé concert reaches up to the stage to slap her ass because her ass is there, her ass is magnificent, and he wants to feel it. The science fiction fandom community is once again having a heated discussion, across the Internet, about the ongoing problem of sexual harassment at conventions — countless women are telling all manner of stories about how, without their consent, they are groped, ogled, lured into hotel rooms under false pretenses, physically lifted off the ground, and more.
But men want what they want. We should all lighten up.
It’s hard not to feel humorless as a woman and a feminist, to recognize misogyny in so many forms, some great and some small, and know you’re not imagining things. It’s hard to be told to lighten up because if you lighten up any more, you’re going to float the fuck away. The problem is not that one of these things is happening, it’s that they are all happening, concurrently and constantly.
These are just songs. They are just jokes. They are just movies. It’s just a hug. They’re just breasts. Smile, you’re beautiful. Can’t a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness — one where women exist to satisfy the whims of men, one where a woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored.”
I don’t know what asshole invented the idea that teenage girls are the cause for all evil, but I really hope that person never has to raise one. I don’t want him to see her dissolve in his fingers as society tells her to eat less, be thinner, be the damsel in distress, be something for a man to fix, be different but not too different, be special but never ever a special snowflake - I don’t want him to watch as she realizes that no matter what she loves, she’ll be made fun of for it. She can simply like her coffee from Starbucks and suddenly she’s vapid and thinks herself poetic. She’ll want to play video games but be called a fake nerd, particularly if she poses in any remotely flirtatious way because for some reason despite the entire community playing games with poorly dressed women they still hate it when a real girl wears less clothing, she will be seen as trespassing in a specifically male space - but when she falls in love with a female-based television show for children, she’ll watch as men step on themselves to sexualize it. If she wants old-fashion romance she’s seen as being naive but at the same time is told to keep herself ‘pure’ for some dude that might not hurt her. If she admits to being anything, she makes herself a target. She will be told her worth is based on how much a man values her. She might love to cook but she’ll hate being asked to stay in the kitchen, she might love to read but get told she’s too introverted by half the population and ‘not that special’ by the other. If she loves to go out and party, she’s ‘just another college co-ed,’ if she loves to spend her friday nights watching anime, she’s a shut-in. God forbid she be proud of something: the words “I’m different from other girls” are a death sentence because we live in a society that doesn’t want to see women like that, a society that doesn’t like the idea maybe we all are actually different and not carbon copies of each other, maybe we all would like to feel unique and loved and worth knowing - maybe the real problem is that she will be raised to believe being a girl means silicone and photoshop and dying as a way to move forwards a plot - and she doesn’t want to be seen as that. When she says “I’m not like other girls,” she means she’s not like the girls she sees on tv, these invented two-dimensional creatures that say one line and then get chased down by monsters.
She can try all she likes. She’ll be shut down at every single fucking turn. What she doesn’t know is that they’re getting her ready for when she’s grown up because she’ll be so used to being stepped on she’ll just give up. Why respect women when you don’t even respect little girls?
And when she is burning up, when she mentions that her insides are volcanoes and her skin is too thin to contain them: she will be told she is hysterical, that she’s doing it for attention.
I don’t want him to watch as she shuts down, as she learns to live as a paradox, I don’t want him to see her rip herself to shreds in order to be perfect, I don’t want him to realize that there’s no way she’ll get help because she’s only doing what she’s told.”