Sexism in Dungeons and Dragons

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m handing over the reigns to my wife for a post, to let her discuss her thoughts on the http://wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4dreye/20120502 article.

I’ve read a few of the responses to this article and I’m not sure I get the fuss. To me role playing is just that, it’s about stepping out of reality and playing a character who empowers me to be something different. I like being able to play a woman and as part of that I want the character to represent the woman I want to be – strong, powerful and sexy. Part of feminism to me is about celebrating the differences between men and woman – something I think D&D does very well. I guess a few more female dwarfs and giants swigging beer might be great if you’re into that sort of thing but I for one won’t be signing up for it.

As i’ve grown older my view on feminism has changed. When I was younger I thought it was wrong to see women in skimpy clothes because it was sexist but now I see hiding sexuality as being far more offensive. At the end of the day women are different to men and I am proud to be a woman. Whilst in real life you wouldn’t see me in anything showing much flesh, when role playing I want to play a strong and sexy female. I’m yet to find a female D&D character which isn’t strong.

There are many men who chose characters for the same reasons. They might choose a monk or a barbarian because of the certain strength and power it gives them. They might choose a character based on it’s clothing because they want to play something with those certain characteristics. Are we saying that certain male characteristics objectify men because they show flesh or they have a certain sized cod-piece?

Like it or not D&D is a game. It’s a commerical entity and whilst there are female players they are very much in the minority whilst the core audience is made up of teenage boys and middle aged men. In order for the game to make money and survive it has to appeal to that audience. It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact and unless you want to change the entire fantasy genre you’re screwed.

Personally I think the article is well thought out and well written. It addresses many good points and provides some good arguments. I think jumping on the guy and just shouting that he’s wrong becuase you think images objectify women without coming up with a good and strong counter argument is laziness.

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