Women invented all the core technologies that made civilization possible. This isn’t some feminist myth; it’s what modern anthropologists believe. Women are thought to have invented pottery, basketmaking, weaving, textiles, horticulture, and agriculture. That’s right: without women’s inventions, we wouldn’t be able to carry things or store things or tie things up or go fishing or hunt with nets or haft a blade or wear clothes or grow our food or live in permanent settlements. Suck on that.
Women have continued to be involved in the creation and advancement of civilization throughout history, whether you know it or not. Pick anything—a technology, a science, an art form, a school of thought—and start digging into the background. You’ll find women there, I guarantee, making critical contributions and often inventing the damn shit in the first place.
Women have made those contributions in spite of astonishing hurdles. Hurdles like not being allowed to go to school. Hurdles like not being allowed to work in an office with men, or join a professional society, or walk on the street, or own property. Example: look up Lise Meitner some time. When she was born in 1878 it was illegal in Austria for girls to attend school past the age of 13. Once the laws finally eased up and she could go to university, she wasn’t allowed to study with the men. Then she got a research post but wasn’t allowed to use the lab on account of girl cooties. Her whole life was like this, but she still managed to discover nuclear fucking fission. Then the Nobel committee gave the prize to her junior male colleague and ignored her existence completely.
Men in all patriarchal civilizations, including ours, have worked to downplay or deny women’s creative contributions. That’s because patriarchy is founded on the belief that women are breeding stock and men are the only people who can think. The easiest way for men to erase women’s contributions is to simply ignore that they happened. Because when you ignore something, it gets forgotten. People in the next generation don’t hear about it, and so they grow up thinking that no women have ever done anything. And then when women in their generation do stuff, they think “it’s a fluke, never happened before in the history of the world, ignore it.” And so they ignore it, and it gets forgotten. And on and on and on. The New York Times article is a perfect illustration of this principle in action.
Finally, and this is important: even those women who weren’t inventors and intellectuals, even those women who really did spend all their lives doing stereotypical “women’s work”—they also built this world. The mundane labor of life is what makes everything else possible. Before you can have scientists and engineers and artists, you have to have a whole bunch of people (and it’s usually women) to hold down the basics: to grow and harvest and cook the food, to provide clothes and shelter, to fetch the firewood and the water, to nurture and nurse, to tend and teach. Every single scrap of civilized inventing and dreaming and thinking rides on top of that foundation. Never forget that.
from a post by Reclusive Leftist on women’s erasure in history.
her comments relate specifically to an article by the NYT thanking “the men” who invented modern technology, but pick absolutely any academic field of study, and women’s contributions are minimized, if not outright ignored.
literature has been a huge part of my life for a long time, and i grew up reading the classics—which, of course, are typically books written by white men, depicting their experiences. i was taught that the first “modern novel” was Don Quixote, written in the early 1600s by a guy (Cervantes). i don’t think i know of a word to accurately describe my mixture of outrage, shock, and pride, when i discovered later that actually, the first modern novel was written 600 years earlier—by a woman! (it’s The Tale of Genji, written by a Japanese lady-in-waiting who was known as Murasaki Shikibu.)
this might not seem important, but if you’re a woman you know just how vital this knowledge is. even now, when women are being told that we can do anything we set our minds to, the historical, literary, and scientific figures we learn about are all men. it’s a much more insidious way to discourage women from aiming high—because what’s the point in putting in so much hard work if it’s not even going to be remembered after you’re dead?
All of this. For a long time, women couldn’t apply for patents in the US, so even if they invented something, they had to let their husband or male colleague take credit for it. Us ladies had made significant contributions to every field of study out there, and I am sick and tired of seeing that shit get ignored.
Frustrated by a plea bargain she knew nothing about until it was announced in court, Savannah Dietrich tweeted the names of her attackers despite a gag order on her case. I don’t understand why there was a gag order in the first place. Why does admitting you committed a sexual assault (and then published the photos to the internet) grant you protection and privacy?
“We all know about the sexual desire of adolescent boys. But scenes of young women’s sexual awakening in themselves do not exist except in a mock-up for the male voyeur. It is hard to imagine, in a cultural vacuum, what solitary female desire looks like. Women’s bodies are portrayed as attractive packaging around an empty box; our genitals are not eroticized for women. men’s bodies are not eroticized for women. Other women’s bodies are not eroticized for women. Female masturbation is not eroticized for women. Each woman has to learn for herself, from nowhere, how to feel sexual (thought she learns constantly how to look sexual). She is given no counterculture of female lust looking outward, no descriptions of the intricate, curious presence of her genital sensations of the way they continually enrich her body’s knowledge. Left to herself in the dark she has very little choice: She must absorb the dominant culture’s fantasies as her own.”—The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf (via amythia)
Sure, there’s the occasional obvious racism, like your classic stereotypes — Barret Wallace in Final Fantasy VII is the only black character, and of course he uses heavy weapons, speaks in broken English and is vaguely homoerotic. City of Heroes has a similar problem, with the only in-story black character being the “Back Alley Brawler.” Even the Mass Effect franchise, which is usually considered smarter and more progressive than most other games, has only one possible black romance option — and if you pursue it, he cheats on you and gets another woman pregnant. Also, he’s in charge of weapons on your ship and his father is a criminal. Also, he constantly says “dyno-mite!” like Jimmie Walker and kills aliens by slam-dunking over them. (We only made two of those things up.) One of the oldest villains in video game history is Ganondorf, and not only is he the only non-white character in the first few thousand iterations of the Zelda series, but he’s also a member of the “thieving Gerudo race,” which, like the Redguard, are obviously based off an existing people: Gypsies.
In Warcraft II, the “Trolls” are a species of idiotic subhuman warriors, so, naturally, they speak with an obvious Caribbean accent and make blatant references to living in Jamaica.
We’re not even going to get into World of Warcraft’s race of Pygmies, who actually speak by repeatedly hollering “boogada boogada.” You guys know Pygmies are a real people, right? We know they’re amusingly short to us white devils, but we didn’t see any “You must be at least this tall to be racially offended” sign at the entrance to the arcade.
But hey, like we said, that’s all pretty superficial stuff: Some racism in modern video games is so ingrained as to actually be fundamental to the gameplay.
So What’s the Deal?
Way back in 1974, Dungeons and Dragons took a cue from Tolkien and set a fantasy standard in gaming that lasts to this day: The race of your character influences gameplay in a meaningful way. Elves are good at bows and magic, dwarfs are heartier and use axes, and humans are for players who are unimaginably boring or painfully indecisive. Now, more “realistic” fantasy games like the Elder Scrolls series allow your characters to choose real-world races — but still base their in-game stats around race. For example, the Redguard share skin pigmentation and cultural signifiers with the Moors, and share their stats with “black people,” as in the walking stereotype we’re trained to expect from watching cop dramas and episodes of Maury. In Skyrim, Redguards have an Adrenaline Rush perk that augments their athletic abilities, while in Oblivion, Redguards took a massive penalty to intelligence (effectively meaning that in the Elder Scrolls universe, black people were too stupid to use magic — that world’s analogue of technology). The only other playable race with a comparable intelligence penalty was the Orcs, which the game commonly referred to as “Beast Men.”
This isn’t the stuff of yesteryear; it’s all still present in video game design. Despite the fact that African-Americans and Latinos play more video games than any other race, they’re still getting treated as second-class citizens in the properties themselves. That’s right: Even in an interactive medium completely free from the boundaries of reality, we’re still slapping up “no coloreds” signs on all the Fairy Fountains.
“TW: rape, Child Abuse, Paedophilia.
The latest establishment scam in the UK, is to describe child prostitutes as “vulnerable children groomed for sexual exploitation”, then talk about them being “passed around” etc, without mention of the fact that these young people agreed to be whores, and are getting paid for it.”—
As you probably know by now, Daniel Tosh has a history of being sexist and misogynist—but I bet you didn’t know that, on his television show, he actively solicited his male viewers to take videos of themselves physically harassing women, and then upload those videos to the internet.
Just in case they didn’t understand what it was he wanted them to do, he then played video of himself doing it. You know, as a visual aid.
“Daniel Tosh perpetuates rape culture and his response to that “heckler” was to silence her, which is what happens when women speak up and demand to be treated as humans with feelings who do not want to be treated as jokes and do not want to have the most humiliating violation of their bodies to be punchlines. As long as Tosh is on the air, men will continue to see nothing wrong with rape and rape culture—and the women who speak out against it are “bitches” and “ignorant sluts”.”—Kathleen Quinlan, Take Daniel Tosh Off the Air (via limegl0wstix)
‘Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…’” isn’t a joke, it’s a threat. It’s Daniel Tosh standing in a room that he is commanding, saying a woman should get raped for calling him out on his bullshit. That is not now, nor will it ever be, a joke.
I find it fucking amusing that the male gaming audience can react with such misogyny, abuse, and close-minded hostility whenever something feminine or feminist is brought up in gaming, such as feminist examination or a woman representing gaming, and yet most male gamers seem to have NO FUCKING CLUE about the 'boy's club mentality' bullshit that female gamers are faced with all the goddamn time. So if you think girls are welcome in gaming, embraced, and made to feel wanted, you're extremely fucking wrong.