Oppression Envy seems to be a thing now…

So, some people are trying very hard to make “Straight Pride” a thing. I’m going to take a moment out of my day to explain why it isn’t and why it shouldn’t be.

Look! I have a list!

  • No one is oppressing straight people.
  • No one is telling you to pray the straight away.
  • No one is going to beat you up just because you’re straight.
  • No one is going to refuse you medical treatment because you’re straight.
  • No one is going to deny you an adoption because you’re straight.
  • Your right to marry has never been denied because you’re straight.
  • You are not going to be thrown in prison because you’re straight.
  • There is no country on Earth where you can be put to death for being straight.
  • You will never have to fight the psychological medical field to have being straight removed from the list of mental disorders.
  • You aren’t going to be told you can’t give blood because you’ve had sex in the last year/six months because you’re straight.
  • Your family isn’t going to throw you out of the house when you tell them you’re straight.
  • You are not at risk of losing your job just because you’re straight in twenty nine states in the US.
  • You will not be evicted from a rented apartment or house because you are straight.
  • No one will refuse you service because you are straight.
  • You will not be told by your religion that you are going to burn in hell for being straight.
  • No one is going to ask you if you’ve really, really tried not being straight.
  • You will never have to search for representations of straight people in mass media.
  • Your sexuality does not get treated as a kink in pornography.
  • No one is ever going to tell you that you just haven’t met the right person of the same gender yet.
  • Your straightness will never be debated.

What’s happened is that you’ve looked around and seen not straight people having parades, you’ve seen them fighting for basic human rights. And you’re feeling left out. So you want your very own pride movement.

But pride movements don’t come out of thin air. They come out of systematic oppression of minority groups by the majority. They come from a place where the oppressed have been pushed so far that there is no place else to push them.

Pride movements do not come from a place of joy in being what you are. They do not come from comfort with your place in society.

Pride movements are acts of defiance. They are the collective roar of “No more!” They are the point where the oppressed push back.

Not being oppressed is not a type of oppression. Stop pretending that you are.

Online Game Advertising

So, here’s the deal.

Gender based advertising sucks. And for online games, it’s kind of pathetic.

I was happily reading along over on fanfiction.net, I do love a few of the writers there if not the site itself. Anyway… I got to the end of the chapter and right there next to the comments box is an advertisement for Siegelord. Not the one with the map and the castle and the troupe of armored soldiers approaching as it says play now, join for free and earn gems.

The advertisement had a scantily clad, amply endowed, crying woman pleading with you, a presumably male online gamer, to save her people.

I’m willing to bet that my reaction has a lot to do with how my parents raised me, maybe even more than being an actual adult female gamer. But it sure as hell wasn’t “I will save you, fair maiden!”

My reaction was “Pick up a sword, you useless crying lump.”

Now, I have never seen a scantily clad, sylph like pretty-man sobbing in an advertisement pleading for someone else to save his people. Although I am very certain my reaction would be the same, and that a guy’s reaction to seeing someone of his own gender show like that would probably be the same.

“Pick up a sword, you useless crying lump.”

The plea to save “my people” indicates that the character in the advertisement is some kind of leader, or in the case of the sobbing tits of doom, probably a princess… which is also supposed to be a leader. Because princesses grow up to be queens.

And a queen without her king is still the gods be damned queen.

I’m not inclined to rush to the aid of a people with an obviously spineless leader. I can stand a character who needs help, that isn’t a problem. It’s the doe eyed, tear soaked, sex object begging the player to do it for her that annoys me to the absolute end of my patience.

While I found the graphic offensive enough, what really gets on my nerves is the text. “Save my people.”

Are they being charged by the letter for the ad? They couldn’t fit “Help me save my people” on it?

Warsong’s commercial tag line is less irritating. “Will you be my Champion?” is less objectionable because it is issued as a challenge, not a plea. Yeah, the character issuing the challenge is still a very pretty female, but she’s not falling out of her dress and she’s walking through the battle field like a goddess of war. She’s not a blubbering lump.

So, Siegelord people! If you come across this, could I offer a few suggestions?

1. Replace the sobbing damsel in distress. Really, it’s so overdone.

2. Make the replacement a stronger character. And by that I don’t mean a guy with bulging muscles and a huge sword. If you’re going to have a female leader asking for help, make her freaking regal. Her country is being invaded, so obviously they have something worth taking! Let the woman have her pride!

3. Change the flipping tag line. More Princess Leia, less bodice-ripper heroine.

Remember, using a female character to advertise your game isn’t a bad thing. But you might want to model her more on the Queens of Narnia (went to war right beside their brothers), or Batgirl (dressed up in costume and went out to punch criminals in the face), or Princess Leia (Hey, Obi-Wan. I’ve been captured, but it’s really more important to get these droids, and the information I was smuggling, to my dad than it is to save me, okay thanks!) than on the woman swooning on the cover of a smutty novel.

Girls and women play these games, too, you know. And advertisements like that only show us that you think we’re weak. So we’ll go play something else. And even with “play for free” you’re loosing a decent sized chunk of the market.