Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Transgender visibility-- a step closer, but not quite there yet

"Top 5 - Transsexual characters in games"

It's great to see some trans visibility ANYWHERE, and  in video games is one of those places, especially since it's such an interactive pop-culture based form of media. I can understand that people are not always super up-to-date with appropriate language within the LGBTQIAAP+ community. The trans community can be especially tricky to accurately name and define, since there are many identifies within the "trans umbrella" so here are a few tips to help you understand vocabulary in the trans community:

--Try to use transgender rather than transsexual. Many people who consider themselves transgender reject the term "transsexual" because it implies that one must seek sexual reconstruction surgery to be considered the gender they desire. Remember, gender is mental while sex is physical. A person who has a penis may be considered a male in terms of sex, but if they consider themselves to be a female, their gender is female.

--Let others define themselves before you do. Don't make assumptions!
It's important to hear others tell you what they define themselves as rather than you telling them. Don't be shy to ask if you're unsure, many are okay with the question. You can try asking someone to tell you about themselves to learn about their gender identity. If you want to be more direct, ask if they have a preferred gender pronoun. Some people prefer the term transsexual to transgender--let them tell you.

Here are some iconographics to help understand

Point and case: it's important to include the transgender community in representations and visibility, but it's just as important to refer to them (and everyone!) correctly. So, watch the above video  to learn more about transgender video game characters. They are all rather diverse while also speaking to the issues of trans visibility, as some of them are not formally considered such.

Here are the descriptions included on the  video: (I encourage you to spot the offenses!) 

Poison - Final fight / Street fighter x Tekken

Poison stars in the Final Fight and Street Fighter video game series. She is officially described as a 'post-op transsexual' but not in Japan. According to the Japanese designers of Street Fighter she simply tucks her business away to look female. 

Bridget - Guilty Gear XX

Bridget shows strong determination when it comes to proving himself as a man in Guilty Gear XX. This confident transsexual prefers to correct others when they mistake him for a girl. Unfortunately they don't see him as a serious threat and simply regard to him as an annoyance.

Naota Shirogane - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4

In Persona 4 the gender of the young detective Naoto remains a mystery at first. You eventually find out this female dresses as a boy to gain the trust from the police. If you go down the romantic route with her, Naoto asks if you prefer her with a low or high voice. 

Kainé - Nier

Kaine is a female-bodied character with a penis. According to the mythology of Nier, she became a hermaphrodite after being possessed by a demon. Kaine's attitude is manly but she emphasizes her female qualities through a racy fashion style. 

Birdo - Super Mario Bros. 2

Birdo is considered to be the first transsexual in gaming. In her first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2, Birdo was described in the manual as such... "He thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth. He'd rather be called Birdetta." After confused reactions by gamers Nintendo decided to scrap this line in later manuals. Even if she is considered a full fledged female by Nintendo ... we all know her little secret.

1 comment:

  1. The dorkiest comment in the world:

    Poison: Is hugely offensive. Her origin story is, basically, that violence against 'real' women is unacceptable, but they wanted a hot chick for sex appeal. Now it's played for laughs (dialogue clips before battles often involve other characters being shocked that she's 'fake').

    Naoto: Is not transgendered. That she thinks of being made male as literal torture complete with Frankenstein overtones is as good as proof as we're getting on this. That the player can convince her to dress/talk as they please is unrelated (also CREEPY).

    Bridget: Is comic relief and a 'trap' (aka fetishization material). He's cisgendered male, but due to the pracices of his village (twins are bad luck), had to dress as a girl to avoid being murdered. The joke is now he cross-dresses out of habit and, being ditzy, fails to get why this would impact what gender others see him as. Now, to prove his manliness, Bridget is a bounty hunter and wanders the land beating up people.

    Kainé: Was born a hermaphrodite. The possesion is unrelated apart from her being miserable from all the bullying making her a better target for a demon that encourages murder as a lifestyle choice.

    Birdo: Is totally fine and even got married to Yoshi in one game <3

    - Slowpoke