Class-splaining is just a symptom.

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Not only are there problems with empathy in terms of race and gender, but it seems anything outside of one’s experience is an excuse to put on a superior tone and lecture others. I understand that sometimes being an objective outsider can provide a fresh perspective. Yet that tends to be a different dynamic – participatory, supportive – from positioning oneself as omniscient and higher-caliber than the unwashed masses. Continue reading “Class-splaining is just a symptom.”

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Allied Progress

Had a bit of a back and forth with a former classmate and work colleague on Facebook about cultural appropriation. It’s one of the biggest issues I am struggling with on this journey of awareness, intersectionality, privilege, and equality. I’ve learned a lot over the last year, but there will always be room to grow.

A newly sprouted plant emerging from the soil.

Continue reading “Allied Progress”

Redneck urges ‘white racial responsibility’ – and it’s brilliant

Just found this in a post titled “Redneck’s” viral video calls for whites to post their own “white racial responsibility” videos. Damn. It’s brilliant. Never thought I’d be so proud of a redneck from my country. Brought tears to my eyes.

Hope for humanity: cranked up about 10 notches.

Why the video game industry needs to take the initiative in gender equality

Rather than be gently prompted or decide to get there “some day”, I challenge video game companies to take the lead on instigating a change in their CIS, straight, male privilege-based culture from the inside. NOW.

I posted the following comment on a video about Eve Online and received such vitriolic responses I just sat there with my jaw open.  I’d seen it happening to Anita Sarkeesian, Laci Green, and other feminists who spoke out about misogyny, but somehow figured it was because of the size of their audience or their internet celebrity.  Nope, even little ol’ me, who just likes to geek out at home and play video games.  Raise your voice about injustice and the trolls come calling.

Me: “Distinct lack of female gamer representation is disheartening. Have you forgotten that we make up half the population, CCP?

I played Eve and I loved the space travel, but there was even less character interaction than in WoW. Not to mention, you must PvP or take the slow route. I know their big claim at the time was one giant universe, but I would have been much happier with a PvE server. I was in the military at the time. Fighting real people was work; gaming (fake fighting, when it happens at all) is escape. Have recently discovered the Dragon Age franchise and, despite the lack of space travel, am much happier with the character devepment options. I think even having some animated cut scenes in Eve would have made it more personal than it was. And yes to all the previous comments about it being a grind to get a decent ship.”

Making connections: diversity in media

Diversity has a long way to go in film, media, and gaming, but companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of building it into both staffing and end product. Some more successfully than others.

Tech Woman

Last week I attended the Dublin Web Summit.  Made some good connections in the Irish film community.  Saw some great talks, too.  Sadly, only 15% of the speakers were female.

Recently spoke to a friend at Blizzard, creators of the extremely popular Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo franchises, as well as the upcoming Overwatch game. He pointed me to Anthony Burch, who works at Gearbox creating games, among other endeavours. He said that Mr. Burch makes an effort not to over sexualise female characters. In part it’s just because he’s aware of the problems it creates, in part it’s because of his sister – with whom he produces a web series – and in part it’s because he recognizes that female gamers are a large portion of the gaming audience. Bravo, Mr. Burch!  Continue reading “Making connections: diversity in media”

Lurching toward equality

Is the glass half empty or or half full?

In discussing whether the world is improving or getting more awful every day, it’s quite common for people to state their belief in the latter. In part this is because it’s easier to begin a conversation from the common ground of what two or more individuals reject. Defining what we are not can be a much quicker path to camaraderie than defining what we are. Avoiding danger is a survival mechanism, the neural wiring of which leads us to give more weight to the negative despite realising that positive focus is better for long-term health and happiness. Continue reading “Lurching toward equality”