I spent most of my youth being told to get a haircut. As a boy of slight build who usually had hair down around my shoulders, I looked a bit too much like a girl for the comfort of the home counties. Society gets angry when gender roles are blurred, precisely because those roles are a fragile act put on with clothes, hairstyles and makeup. If they weren’t enforced, clearly defined gender roles would not exist.
I take comfort in the idea that most of the young men telling others to get a haircut today are rushing home to play at being buxom dark elf warrior maidens in World of Warcraft. Gamer culture has gained a bad reputation for misogyny, but it seems male gamers are more than a little curious about playing out female gender roles. It makes perfect sense. The real world enforces gender roles, but virtual worlds let gamers express the feminine parts of themselves that don’t fit in with their masculine identity.
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2 thoughts on “The future is queer”
Interesting point. I’m not a gamer myself, but I’m always curious about gender issues, chauvinism, etc. We could all benefit a lot from taking a little time seeing with the eyes of the opposite gender, if possible.
I used to use that picture as a character profile piccy for online forum based RPGs.
It was a bit of a shock seeing it again. Nice though. :)
Oh, and for the record, many of the characters I played on said online forums were actually guys. Funny how that works, right? ;-)