For thousands of years, in narratives females have been sidelined and marginalized. How would female characters look if they didn’t have a long history of being cast in the supporting roles? The minimal thing we should all be able to agree on is that we don’t know for sure.
I added Anita Sarkeesian’s latest video, Ms. Male, to my last post, but it’s so great that it deserves it’s own post. Check out the whole video, this is just one part of her message. Here’s how Ms. Pac-Man looks in games our children play.
Sarkeesian points out:
Because we live in a strongly male-identified society the idea of a Pac-Woman as the “unmarked” default and a Mr. Pac-Woman as the deviation “marked” with masculinizing gender signifiers feels strange and downright absurd. Meanwhile Pac-man and the deviation Ms. Pac-Man seems completely normal in our current cultural context.
Here’s how the game might look if male characters were always on the periphery.
This same gender dynamic manifests in movies, TV, games, toys, and apps made for children. What are we teaching a new generation about who boys and girls really are?