Monday, November 13, 2006

Me as a nerdy feminist

My brother is a real weirdo. He has the world's strangest sense of humor, which (since we grew up together) somehow always manages to get me laughing. He's probably the only person in the world who can consistently make me laugh, and probably with something that would only make anyone else scratch his/her head and say "whaaa-?"

Anyway. My brother and I also share a love of nerdy videogames. He's better at them but in fairness he has more free time than I do. I'm still on the first Final Fantasy X. I mentioned to him that the final battle was taking me forever to get through and said that when I was finally done I'd play FFX-2. He said he recommended that I skip it; it was an "ok" game but not very empowering for women.

Intrigued, I asked him why.

He explained that the game, which features no playable male characters, is overly concerned with things like singing and costumes.

I just love how my brother gets why that's offensive. I like to think I had something to do with the fact that he's a Very Smart Male :D

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At November 13, 2006 at 6:05 PM, Blogger odderie said...

I love it when brothers do awesome things like that.

At November 14, 2006 at 8:44 AM, Blogger Drewcatt said...

Yet, the thing I pull from this is that there are more than ONE Final Fantasy TEN games.

That might have something to do with my disgust with Square-Enix though...

You have to ask yourself one question though, what's a woman to do in a world filled with machine-gun carrying men, evil sorcerers and demons and other Summons that are liable to scare kids from here to eternity? Of course they're going to sing... it's what comes natural :P

At November 14, 2006 at 11:12 AM, Anonymous roonie said...

Is he single? Or, rather, is he legal?

At November 14, 2006 at 12:17 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

odderie, yup, brothers can actually be worth having every once in a while ;)

drew, yup. Nerds do crazy things like that. The short explanation is that the Final Fantasy games all take place within the same universe, but none of them is actually a sequel to any other. FFX-2 is the first actual sequel they've made, that is to say, it's the first time a FF game has followed the same storyline and had the same characters as an earlier game. And yes, we women are always worried about our singing voices and costume changes. I mean, duh ;)

roonie, both -- he's 23 and quite a catch, if I do say so myself :)

At November 14, 2006 at 5:44 PM, Blogger Drewcatt said...

Oh LF... I know... believe me I know. Final Fantasy III introduced me to the wonderful world of Role Playing Games a looooonnnnggggg time ago.

I'm looking at my pre-order cheque for it's re-release (if you can call it that) on the DS, and eagerly awaiting getting some time to fly down to Gamestop and pick up my copy. :D

And no, my disgust doesn't go that deep (I'm just miffed at them for selling out to Sony...)

... I'm sure you dress well and have a lovely singing voice though :D

At November 15, 2006 at 8:41 AM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

That's a pretty subtle thing for a guy to get. Wow!

I prefer pinball to video games, mostly because tilting the table makes me feel powerful. In a non-masculine way, of course.

"I am woman. See me tilt."

At November 15, 2006 at 10:06 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

drew, ahhhh, you've been sucked in too! RPGs are daaaaaangerously addictive, aren't they? I'm gonna have to look into the DS re-release. DS is my new favorite airplane distraction of choice :)

Of course I dress and sing well -- all real women do! ;)

heart, I know, isn't it? My brother is so awesome. Must be those fabulous genes we share ;) Pinball games are AWESOME. In fact, if you ask me, computer pinball is an abomination.

At November 16, 2006 at 2:26 PM, Blogger Jeffrey said...

Well, there's also the fact that the female characters (other than the whole dress changing/singing thing) are just generally stupid and frivolous. At least in the first one Yuna and Rikku were serious about getting things done. FFX2 is more fun as far as battle style, though.

Oh boy, I've labeled myself a video game geek now.

At November 16, 2006 at 3:03 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

bearcat, never fear, you are among friends :)

As for Rikku... you've found her useful? I mean, once your other characters learn "steal" and "use" (which doesn't take long), as far as I can tell she serves no purpose, and her overdrive is only occasionally helpful. I've taken to using her as a sub-in to cure other characters when Yuna is low on MP... in general, though, she is mostly superfluous.

Which is another complaint I have about these games -- the female characters are never the best fighters. Even the good female fighters are only good with magic. They always suck at melee combat.

(see, now we're both geeks!)

At November 19, 2006 at 9:43 AM, Blogger Ken W said...

Hi Law Fairy,

I hope you don’t mind, I followed you over from Feministing. So I was wondering, do you happen to know if FF is marketed to primarily boys and do all the games have only female characters? If so, what would be the strategy of marketing girl characters to boy players? I have my own ideas, but I’m interested in your perspective.


At November 20, 2006 at 1:58 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Hi Ken, welcome. It's absolutely okay for you to visit -- thanks for stopping by!

As far as I know, every other Final Fantasy game has playable male characters, so the women-only thing is confined to FFX-2. As for marketing, I'm not sure how they're marketed. Actually, I'm not even sure of FF's main demographic... I imagine most FF players are male, but FF is a game with more "crossover" appeal to women as well. You do raise an interesting point, though -- I wonder, actually, if FFX-2 was specifically developed to tap into the female market? If so, and if my brother's characterization holds up, that's pretty offensive.

I don't know that using mostly female characters would be the way to draw in males... the way the characters are drawn, the women are definitely attractive (or, as attractive as CG images can be :)), but this is a common thing in all of the games. Women always have to be attractive if they're going to be worth showing on a game/movie/whatever. Interestingly, the male characters, while often buffed up, have a kind of feminine quality to them, especially the heroes (very "pretty boy" -- in fact, there's a running joke among video game geeks about how Tidus, the male main character in FFX, is often mistaken for a girl). I'd have to think longer about why this is/its implications, though.

At November 22, 2006 at 2:21 PM, Anonymous 5alarm said...

They always suck at melee combat.

Uh, welcome to....REALITY! Or, are you under the feminist delusion that women can compete with men toe-2-toe in H2H combat? Lmao...well feel free to step in the bxoing ring or Octagon anytime, lady!

At November 24, 2006 at 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but has he recovered from the abuse received when trying to squat to pee in the men's room?


At November 27, 2006 at 12:37 PM, Anonymous JD said...

Is he single?

Of course he's single. All manginas are. Nothing turns a woman (particularly feminists) off faster than a dripping femboy.

I feel sorry for this kid, being tooled by his sister for her own agenda. What a disempowering influence. Too bad he doesn't have a strong father to show him the REAL ropes of being a man.

At November 27, 2006 at 8:34 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

ahh, the troll has friends. I guess posting immature comments on a stranger's blog must be more entertaining than staring at your teeny boy-penises and cursing God and your mothers for your miserable little lives...

At November 29, 2006 at 10:17 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

Actually, I have to agree with jd here. Truth be told, nutless metrosexuals turn me off like a light switch.

So sue me. I like me a good old-fashioned caveman who knows his role as my protector and provider. And am not afraid to admit it, to myself or others. I like feeling safe and cared for. And that's why I'm in a happy relationship with a real man, and not restocking C-cells for my vibrator...

Tell your brother to grow a pair first if he ever wants a REAL woman.

At November 29, 2006 at 10:19 AM, Anonymous nancy said...

Sorry, but real women don't like THESE.

At November 29, 2006 at 11:15 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Well, "nancy," for those of you who supposedly are so pro-man, you sure are eager to condemn a man you don't know as being "not-man" simply because of a perceived disagreement with him. Would you change your mind if I told you he was homophobic? Because surely that must be a requirement for "real" manhood in your strange, simplistic, black-and-white little world.

As a "REAL" woman (meaning, one with female genitalia... I'm not convinced I can say the same for you), nothing turns me off faster than Neanderthals who are so insecure they themselves don't believe they're actually men unless they beat their chests (and later their wives) and do all the stupid things that give men the undeserved reputation of being simple, immature creatures with no hope of ever actually growing up.

REAL women expect men to act like fucking grown-ups. REAL women want men who respect them. REAL woman respect themselves enough not to settle for a man who thinks of them only as a sexual plaything.

You see, "nancy," here is the strange thing: feminists are advocates for men's rights too. We want men to have the option to experience the joy of child rearing, if that's what they want, and not be ridiculed as "not-men" simply for loving their children. We want to relieve men of the pressure to do all the work, make all the money, win all the contests, be the "best" at everything, because we realize that competition is not everything -- but "real" "manhood" does not allow for the possibility of "defeat" (which is of course anything less than a full win). We want to give men AND women the REAL choice to simply be who they are -- "feminine," "masculine," somewhere in between, neither, rich, poor, young, old, beautiful, ugly, sexy, boring, tired, happy, sad -- without feeling the ridiculous need to conform to some artifical standards constructed by society.

It takes a really mature and insightful person to understand this and to truly grasp the good that feminism actively seeks. So good luck with that whole growing up thing.

PS -- the cartoon you link to is weird and doesn't really prove a point... you guys do know Promise Keepers are more on your side of the fence than mine? What with their whole men-as-head-of-the-household rigamarole and all. Unless you actually LIKE the slovenly misogynist men who ACTUALLY expect women to do everything for them while they sit on the couch getting fat, drinking beer, and watching football. Um, cause, yeah, that's what "real" women want...

At November 29, 2006 at 11:55 AM, Anonymous Nancy said...

Uh, people always had that freedom. It's just that the vast majority of people NATURALLY preferred a certain arrangement of gender roles that maximized natural skills and efficiency.

Same as today (some things never change)...which is why your brother is, and WILL BE, single for a long, looong time. As well as YOURSELF.

Have fun with your vibrator & doggy!

One day when you stop suppressing your natural femininity, you will enjoy life the way it was meant to be.

At November 29, 2006 at 1:31 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

lol, "nancy." What's it like living in a world where insulting strangers on the internet is the only way you can justify your pathetic hatred of women? Some of us do useful things with our lives. Like get an education and learn to make arguments instead of making up facts about people you've never met (in case your parents never taught you -- which they may or may not have, women's brains being the gooshy blob of silliness that they are, scientifically speaking, of course! -- those two are different things). Hell, maybe if you got one of those you'd understand why simply being coupled up (without regard for the quality of the significant other) is hardly a lofty goal. Or, really, much of a "goal" at all.

Oh, and "nancy" -- you're being pretty unfeminine yourself, by arguing with me. Really, you ought to leave the big talk to the men. Women are meant to be seen and not heard, you know! Hmmm... unless you're not actually a woman, and are in fact an anti-woman male misogynist in disguise? Oh well, either way, you've already lost whatever "argument" you were trying to make.

Have fun with your unused, rotting brain!

At November 29, 2006 at 1:59 PM, Anonymous Nancy said...

What facts did I "make up?"

Your brother is single.
You are single.

And both due to feminism. You are like straights pretending to be gay - and thus doing a poor job of each.

Let's not deny the simple truth here. You are incapable of having a functional heterosexual relationship that's FULLY-satisfying to both parnters due to your dysfunctional ideology and egomania.

A functional life in harmony with Nature is a tight balance - and you are waaayyy off the mark.

And probably inorgasmic during sex too since you can never fully let go and surrender your pleasure to a MAN.

Pity to be you.

At November 29, 2006 at 3:33 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

And this, my friends, is Exhibit #1 why feminism is still relevant.

Thanks for the illustration, "nancy."

At July 21, 2007 at 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh, I found your blog from Feministing as well and saddened to see Nancy's ignorant posts but at the same time, I almost wished you'd just deleted them. Do you have that option? once someone proves they are that nuts, it's almost like you should just cut off their voice while you can. Like those racist, Aryan nation little girls called Prussian Blue who write white supremacy songs. Dateline covered them and gave them all this attention and now it's like extreme racists think they are legit because they got on TV. Whatever. I am probably wasting my time responding to her posts too but I thought I'd let you know someone out there supports you since it's nicer to hear than the kind of deliberately negative, hateful, and unprovoked bull that many readers can find above. That's all I will say about that.

The reason I originally read your blog was because of some comment I agreed with and then the realization that you are currently in, or recently out of, law school. I am considering it myself and just wondering how you have found it as a feminist and what career path you are thinking about. I will e-mail you privately to discuss more if you have time to answer my questions and would rather discuss them in a less public forum. Let me know via your blog! (Sorry, I don't e-mail people straight up, even feminists I agree with about most things. I guess you could say I'm a little paranoid in the age we live in today with online predation.) Anyway, keep up the good work, don't let the haters get you down--just delete them and be glad you've never actually physically met them and don't have with them and see them every day.

Polite and Proud Feminist who believes in manners and logical arguments (PPF for short)


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