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Why presentation of gender matters #591330
04/10/16 04:48 AM
04/10/16 04:48 AM
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Ayvah Offline OP

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There have been a few topics that have tackled issues of gender and sexism as presented in D:OS2. As some of those threads have gotten out of control, I felt it was time to start fresh and try to cover the subject as comprehensively and maturely as I can.

Biological and cultural differences between men and women

There are clear biological differences in athletic aptitude between men and women, and that's why sports generally are uncontroversially segregated by gender. However, Lyrhe made some comments where he argued that there are fundamental biological differences in intellectual aptitude between men and women.

Addressing a comment by Skallewag, I made the case earlier that culture is much more significant than race when it comes to athletic aptitude. That's why Americans are good at basketball, Australians are good at swimming & cricket (and summer sports, generally), Canadians are good at hockey, New Zealanders are good at rugby, Europeans are good at soccer, etc. I can't imagine anyone trying to argue that there are significant biological differences between these groups.

Likewise, all evidence points to differences in intellectual aptitude between men and women, but further analysis points to this being cultural, not biological. This has been demonstrated repeatedly in different contexts, as per the following references:
Think Again: Men and Women Share Cognitive Skills
Men Are Better At Maps Until Women Take This Course
Why you should send your daughter to an all-girls school
Girls and boys have different cognitive abilities


Text vs subtext

To be clear, it is not a problem if the world depicted in D:OS is sexist. First off, it's far less sexist than the real world anyway. In the real world there are few women taking on the roles of warriors, particularly in the medieval style of society that is depicted. The removal of this sexism makes the world less realistic, but I can accept it and I appreciate the freedom it provides.

On the other hand, there are media like Witcher 3, Game of Thrones & Dragon Age which also present sexist worlds with sexualised characters, and yet this does not bother me.

Art is more complex than just the world it presents. In art, it's important to remember that there are different layers of text:
  • -> text (in this case, the world that is depicted)
  • -> context (the cultural lense in which we view this world)
  • -> subtext (the attitudes presented by the manner in which this world is portrayed)

The subtext is the part that really raises eyebrows. To be clear, the subtext in D:OS is much less sinister than the subtext in highly sexist examples like Metal Gear Solid V or Grand Theft Auto. D:OS2 could be worse, but there's still room for improvement.

So far, the concerns I've had regarding the subtext regarding gender relate to:
  • -> Contrast between male and female poses during character creation
  • -> Sebille (female) as the only scantily clad playable character, and the first character you see during character creation

This is certainly not exhaustive. There are potentially other issues that will be more apparent through further exploration of the game and as more content is released.


Traditional gender roles and why it matters

There were some very problematic comments by Testad I'd like to highlight. He's right that he comes from a different culture that views gender differently from my cultural background. But we all need to analyse our cultural views on gender, and consider how individuals push their cultural attitudes (which Testad admitted to be unjustifiable) onto the broader society they inhabit.

Traditionally women are not idolised for their intelligence or their strength. It's not seen to be attractive for a woman to be strong or intelligent. Under this dichotomy (and as confirmed by thebonesinger's comment) the men are attractive for taking poses that emphasise their strength or intelligence, but for women who want to take on a strong or intelligent pose, they also need to also sway their hips or otherwise emphasise their female sexuality in order to also be seen as attractive.

This is the reason women seem to be inherently less apt in masculine fields. There is clear research showing both men and women unintentionally rate equally qualified women as less competent than men in traditionally masculine fields. Media sends the message that strength and intelligence are masculine traits that are less important to women their femininity. This is the direct cause of experiences such as the one that Vometia expressed where colleagues questioned her aptitude in IT because of her gender. (This not only affects women, mind you. Men also face roadblocks if they want to take on feminine roles.)

Regardless of our culture, I think we can agree that men and women should have the same freedom of choice and the same opportunity to succeed, but we all need to acknowledge that this is not the reality we live in. This is the reason I care about how women are represented in a game.


Gender imbalance among fans of D:OS

Finally, there is this article from Swen lamenting that only 4% of the visitors to the Kickstarter were "female", and that only 9% of the followers of Facebook were "female". In the end, one conclusion Swen reached is that the Google analytics used for the Kickstarter were inaccurate. He accused the analytics of being sexist because when demographic data can't be obtained directly, Google will guess gender for purposes of Adwords. Because these are guesses, it's impossible to understand its accuracy.

However, when Google Analytics guesses, it does it in a sophisticated way -- that is, it won't assume you're a male just because you visit a website associated with a male interest. However, it will look at the known audience of that website and assume that you're male if you spend a lot of time on websites where most of the audience is known to be male. The results of these processes appear to be very accurate.

The fact is that all evidence points to the D:OS audience being overwhelmingly male. As a business, Larian needs to recognise that it's unlikely they're reaching the gender diverse audience they expect to be reaching. Given that Swen pointed out that PAX attendees are 35% female, this is clearly a problem that cannot simply be explained by blaming the overall demographics of hardcore gamers.

Even highly masculine games like Battlefield have a 22% female player demographic, so it's unlikely that less than 20% of the players of D:OS2 would be female, but there is something very problematic about having only 4% of visitors identifying as female. I'd be interested to know if there are any Google Analytics that have been done to see if this forum's demographics look any better.

If Larian wants to attract female gamers or address sexism, then they will need to do some navel gazing that doesn't simply rely on fielding opinions from their core fans. I'm not necessarily suggesting that the gender imbalance will be solved by reducing sexism in the game. As we are all living products of sexist culture, eliminating sexism in the game may actually be irrelevant to the goal of attracting women and Larian may be better off focusing on introducing explicitly "feminine" elements such as romance.

But it's important to recognise that there's a problem and I do not think it is unreasonable to hope that Larian could also try to aim to present any new or existing elements in a manner that does not invoke or reinforce regressive sexist attitudes.

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591335
04/10/16 05:26 AM
04/10/16 05:26 AM
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I.......dude, you do understand your still arguing moral philosophy yes? I mean, I was a dick about it before, but restating your moral philosophy and the why's of it aren't gonna change the fact that it can brought into question itself. That all your points rely on statistics analysis, and as someone taking graduate courses related to this stuff, I'm telling you that I could make much of statistics say anything I want.

All of your arguments rely on a few key facts:
There are common moral grounds that cross the relative boundary between two peoples in the points you present
That people accept your statistical analysis and experts and resuources vs others against them
That yours and other sharing your views critical analysis and perspective of the subject matter and data is shared by others

I'll grant you that you're not an ass and you clearly have attempted to create an informed opinion and well structuted argument, but it doesn't make it less easy to tear down if one feels so inclined.

On another matter, you being up all this stuff focusing on female problems but fail to mention male ones with the same passion or degree even in the inviromenrs you bring up. That alone is an avenue of attack.

Besides allllllllll of that, you have the unique issue of trying to convince a group to come to the discussion table that has in the past attempted to but been burned multiple times by your "side" or at the least groups that said similar things. This makes it much harder to willingly attempt discussion as you must first prove that your worthy of said discussion and must inspire confidence that said discussion will be good for all parties and you won't single one side out.

I myself have offered attempts to reach middle grounds and compromises for your "side" in these forums. I was routinely ignored by one group and warned by the other that you'd only take a mile for every inch and eventually keep pushing and pushing and pushing and accepting no less than total victory in any discussion or action taken.

Also, also, there's the fact that your views are distinctly in the minority here. So that's an uphill battle.


PS. I still thinking its highly wrong to push your views onto a medium just for the sake of making it one more tool in the overarching scheme of things that we call life such that your views gain greater traction in society. That's how one of my favorite book series got ruined; a few of them actually. Authors were forced to make radical changes or lower quality in order to meet certain criteria of publishers such that political overtures and messages range through out;m. Never mind that the changes made no sense, ruined the quality, and basically tore to shreds all the original artistic talent that had gone into the original writing in books one to convey specific things. Never mind that a medium means more to its audience than the political or moral views that may be in it. Hell, its like if we had a dictator and so all books that had a protagonist that led rebellion against tyrants or showed the merits of democracy were burned or changed.

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591344
04/10/16 06:35 AM
04/10/16 06:35 AM
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vometia Offline

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Originally Posted by Ayvah
This is the direct cause of experiences such as the one that Vometia expressed where colleagues questioned her aptitude in IT because of her gender. (This not only affects women, mind you. Men also face roadblocks if they want to take on feminine roles.)

I should put the record straight there: that's not something I've experienced much within IT itself (a field which in my experience used to be much more open to women, by the by: there was almost parity between men and women when I started out, but it seems women in particular were turned off by an increasingly toxic working environment. Men didn't generally like it much either but seemed more resigned to trying to live with it. Anyway...) but has periodically been a notable feature outside of my professional environment. Not on a particularly major scale, but there are a few people whose opinions have been, erm, "notable". I'm never sure whether to be more amused or irritated when someone who knows I started working in IT nearly 30 years ago and who has no experience of it himself starts trying to explain to me how computers work...

But regarding the conclusion, speaking personally, I think the matter of sexism in the workplace and games is something that should be approached with great caution: obviously where it's a problem it needs to be addressed seriously, but where such an approach could result in the wrong solution to the wrong problem, I would be extremely uncomfortable having it done in my name.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591346
04/10/16 07:24 AM
04/10/16 07:24 AM
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First of all, the differences in men and women, including intelligence, are biological first and foremost. Even within the U.S., the bell curve for female intelligence is much more clustered around the mean, while male intelligence is more spread out. This means that there are more genius men than genius women, but there are also more stupid men than stupid women.

In first-world countries, there is no sexism against women. Yes, the genders are different, but these differences go so far back historically that they have been made biological through natural selection.

But none of this matters, because this is a video game. The developers can make the characters however they like, and I adamantly support their ability to do so. That being said, I see absolutely no problem with the way the genders are presented in this game.

I swear to god, if this forum turns into a bunch of women complaining about "sexism" in a video game, I'm out.

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: vometia] #591347
04/10/16 07:24 AM
04/10/16 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by vometia
Men didn't generally like it much either but seemed more resigned to trying to live with it.

Not on a particularly major scale, but there are a few people whose opinions have been, erm, "notable". I'm never sure whether to be more amused or irritated when someone who knows I started working in IT nearly 30 years ago and who has no experience of it himself starts trying to explain to me how computers work...

I have noticed in life, anecdotal, of course, that guys are more willing to put up with crap much more often, on average, than a woman when it comes to certain things. Maybe we're just being more stubborn when we dig our heels in, on average, though :P Grrr Manly Stoicism and bottling our emotions. "Lost an arm? Tis but a scratch!"

I've seen this reflected in game forums, my two years working at a restaurant (man but the hiring and firing there was like a revolving door for most people), my girlfriend, and one of my housemates who's had more job changes than I can keep count of for all kinds of reasons concerning why one place or another made her ultimately unhappy/bored/unprofessional/ect...

Also, how stupid do those people feel when they try to explain to you how computers work? Their expressions must be more than a little comical. And I'd say the correct reaction is amused. I'd definitely encourage amusement and milking it for as much much joke material as possible.

EDIT:
Originally Posted by CharityDiary

I swear to god, if this forum turns into a bunch of women complaining about "sexism" in a video game, I'm out.


Meh, I doubt it'd get that bad, and at least it'd act as a magnet for all the other threads that devolve into this. As long as it's all in one place, I'm fine with it. There's also the fact that the OP is in the minority here.

I just lost my patience when there's a new thread (or connected enough that it might as well be) about it all the time or someone bringing it into a new thread all the time.

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 07:31 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591348
04/10/16 07:28 AM
04/10/16 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
PS. I still thinking its highly wrong to push your views onto a medium just for the sake of making it one more tool in the overarching scheme of things that we call life such that your views gain greater traction in society.

Well, basically we are talking sexual objectification (that's what a bikini armor is, after all). So you have three sides, those that want it for both sexes, those that don't want it at all, and those who are happy the way things are, sexual objectification of female only. There are worlds and places where it makes sense (Conan the Cimmerian, the princesses in Dragon Commander), but I havn't seen anything that make it fit for armors in previous Divinity games.

You may say it's a political agenda, but keeping things the way they are is one too (because things are doesn't mean they have to be kept that way).

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: melianos] #591350
04/10/16 07:39 AM
04/10/16 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by melianos
Originally Posted by aj0413
PS. I still thinking its highly wrong to push your views onto a medium just for the sake of making it one more tool in the overarching scheme of things that we call life such that your views gain greater traction in society.

Well, basically we are talking sexual objectification (that's what a bikini armor is, after all). So you have three sides, those that want it for both sexes, those that don't want it at all, and those who are happy the way things are, sexual objectification of female only. There are worlds and places where it makes sense (Conan the Cimmerian, the princesses in Dragon Commander), but I havn't seen anything that make it fit for armors in previous Divinity games.

You may say it's a political agenda, but keeping things the way they are is one too (because things are doesn't mean they have to be kept that way).


There's some truth here. My counter point is this: All groups are active in creative mediums, especially in the present day world where political social activism is the new rage again. One group should not be pushing it's onto the creation of another group or the identity of another group.

I.E. What they did with Ghostbusters or what seems to be happening here

If you want to make a new IP or game or piece or art or book or something that contains your values, go right ahead. Freedom of Speech and all that. If I like your game , or what have you but dislike, the inherent messages that come with it, I might grumble, but I won't begrudge the fact that it's your freedom to make it and I wouldnt demand you change it. Point of fact, I have appreciated creative material made by "feminists" and such and enjoyed them...just I've enjoyed "sexists" work. They can exist in tandem....

EDIT:
Also, I fundamentally disagree that sexual objectification only happens to women. Hell, even in things like the original D:OS cover art. How men and women are idealized sexually is inherently different, after all, and shouldn't be looked at with the same check list.

^ But that's neither here no there and I appreciate you focusing on a more constructive point; one where I don't feel the need to point out flaws in moral philosophy arguments concerning right and left wing politics.

EDIT_2:
Also, considering current technology development and how game design is progressing, it seems to me that more powerful character creation and/or wide selections of various character all under the sun is becoming more and more of thing. The old way of having just a few notable stereoypes or options is dying out. People love options and feeling like they really identify or own their avatars, after all.

Thus, given more time, all these group this or group that stuff will eventually just go away on it's own. It's all converging to an all inclusive environment: one where a guy can have his big breasted, sex goddess in bikini armor and another can have a guy in a dress being a transexual barbarian who identifies as a pyrofox.

Civ 6 just announced a new cool female leader with interesting abilities as well. It's about 1:1 male and female leaders and each is interesting in their own way. It was slightly amusing in a "Damn, people are stupid way" when someone apparently decided to connect this, a change in artistic style, and the fact that a female dev with cool pink hair was the one on camera with feminism and political correctness (Steam forum if you want to look) <- As much as you think we bash on you guys when you pull up stuff about sexism and politics and stuff, me and others here and on other forums are just as quick to bash people like that as well.

Also, serious warriors in bikini armor is one of the most retarded, magical things I've ever seen. Does it magically give Charm bonuses to make dodging easier? Cause it should be giving you something in exchange for practicality. Unless, the enemy is so busy staring at your tits they can't help but swing for them in some dazed attempt to cop a feel while forgetting they're holding a weapon.

Sometimes outlandish stuff like that is for jokes/satire and sometimes the characters make sense of it (ex Revi from Black Lagoon), but I also have a funny look moment when I see it in things where the setting is much more grim dark or serious.

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 08:03 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591354
04/10/16 07:51 AM
04/10/16 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ayvah
There have been a few topics that have tackled issues of gender and sexism as presented in D:OS2. As some of those threads have gotten out of control, I felt it was time to start fresh and try to cover the subject as comprehensively and maturely as I can.


So far, the concerns I've had regarding the subtext regarding gender relate to:
  • -> Contrast between male and female poses during character creation
  • -> Sebille (female) as the only scantily clad playable character, and the first character you see during character creation

This is certainly not exhaustive. There are potentially other issues that will be more apparent through further exploration of the game and as more content is released.


Stop right there, red flag. If the topics got out of hand, you are just looking for a debate then..you know the forums here do not share the same view as you, yet you want to push on it to literally start a debate / fight... so stop it.

secondly, don't lump all females together. I am 100% you and I don't have anything in common. Cause like.. I can tell a video game apart from reality.

*sighs* the elf female thing. You know know their lore correct? in this game..it would make zero sense if they were walking around in full plate armor going "don't look at me!"

Been playing for hours and have not found anything sexist in the game. Look at Griff in fort joy he has male and female thugs. \o/ and his female thugs were actually harder to fight then his male ones @_@.

Larian is a great company and they shouldn't have to deal with this issue again in this games forums. So stop it *gets the spray bottle* Let them focus on more important things, like DM mode, creation tools... ^_^!

respawn timers and level scaling! just saying, make it a thing! *runs away*

[Linked Image]

I will turn into a rainbow of happy if those two things make it into the editor tools.... and some kinda corpse removal thingy

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: CharityDiary] #591356
04/10/16 08:02 AM
04/10/16 08:02 AM
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SlamPow Offline
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Originally Posted by CharityDiary


In first-world countries, there is no sexism against women. Yes, the genders are different, but these differences go so far back historically that they have been made biological through natural selection.


Whoooooaaaaaa there nelly, hold your horses a gosh darn second. Have you ever experienced sexual discrimination before? Have you not listened to a woman who's gone through it? Have you not read a word about how Vometia feels talked down to because of her hender, did you not read a word that Testad said in the other thread about men being the kings of the household, about how women should be protected from themselves? Are you seriously going to say,

Originally Posted by CharityDairy
In first-world countries, there is no sexism against women.


when people like my mother, a woman who has multiple patents for things that she has invented herself, who went from a poverty-stricken, unemployed single mother to having a master's in materials science and a bachelor's in mechanical engineering, has had to file multiple sexual harassment charges, has been passed up for promotions because he boss believed (and this is a quote, by the way) "I think women should know what it's like to have a man on top. Especially when they don't have one in their life."? Hold on for a second. Let me look up the definition of sexism for you.


sex·ism
ˈsekˌsizəm/
noun
noun: sexism

prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.


My mother has been told to her face that she is seen as unfit for a leadership position explicitly because of her genetic makeup. This is the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex. This happened in the US. Do you think this is an isolated incident?

She was hired at Experian because her boss wanted to sleep with her, and when she didn't give in to his advances, she was fired.

When she was at Raytheon, her boss wouldn't stop sending her love messages and giving her special treatment, so she had to file a restraining order against him because he wouldn't listen to her pleas for him to stop.

Hell, it gets as small and petty as that men in my family are notorious for getting tickets for traffic violations, but over Thanksgiving one year, it became very clear after a few minutes of discussion that the women were being pulled over far more often, and being let off with warnings.

And then there was the discrimination that I faced. I was not allowed to play the flute growing up because my family thought it was a girl's instrument.

I was not allowed to be in Choir because my mom thought it was "for girls".

I have been called a freak and sent death threats because someone found out I tried to put on makeup once when I was 14.

The list goes on and on, from the subtle, every day things that people tend to write off, to the major, career-impacting phenomena that are constantly happening to women like my mother year after bloody year. I could keep going with examples if I need to, but your argument that these are "biological" differences is completely baseless, unsupported and downright inane. The thought that there is no more sexism in first-world countries is downright ignorant on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. It's not like I'm the only one experiencing these things. Look up any of Michelle Obama's talks about feminism and what it was like to face adversity as a successful woman. Hell, go walk up to any woman on the street, and ask them, "do you believe elements of sexism are perpetuated in our culture today?", or anything along those lines, and you may just find that there are societal expectations placed on women to be mothers first, and businesswomen second. Hell, my aunt (who is a self-made millionaire, by the way) taught a whole class on feminism. My grandmother is constantly going to women's retreats and women's bible studies to speak about her degree, and the challenges she faced in attaining it. She has to teach classes on a regular basis about how women are not inferior to men, because here in Texas, where I live, it is not a commonly held belief that women can be or should be allowed to be successful. It's disgusting, I hate it, I've seen it all around me all my life, and I've had to experience my fair share of "special treatment" that comes with being a white male in American society. It's real. I can feel it. I can tell it's there. From the way cops will not at me when they whistle at my sister, to the way the women in my family are expected to do all the kitchenwork (yes, even my self-made millionaire aunt who is somehow simultaneously a stay-at-home mom and an incredibly wealthy businesswoman working from home, God bless her heart). And the way that anytime I go over to help wash the dishes, or chop the onions, or peel the potatoes, my grandpa will stop me and call me over. Just to talk. And when I bring my work with me, he says things like "put that down, Grandma'll handle it". I don't know if you are truly living in blissful ignorance, or if you truly believe that this is the product of biology, but either way, this is not an issue that you have demonstrated that you are holding an informed opinion about. Please, explain to me , with utter clarity, no ambiguity, and unequivocally, exactly why you think that
Originally Posted by CharityDairy
In first-world countries, there is no sexism against women.


And as soon as you are done making your point, we are going to drop it. Because it is insensitive, irrelevant to the discussion presented, and just generally genuinely insulting on behalf of every female in my family who has to go through all of this.

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591359
04/10/16 08:20 AM
04/10/16 08:20 AM
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I don't want to harp on your parade and life story their pal, but two things. I mean, I could being up others, but I only really want to focus on two.

1) While I don't really agree with Testad's opinions, his culture is his culture and if him and his woman are happy then you really shouldn't be putting your foot in that door to say anything. Hell, you shouldn't be acting like your culture is better.

2) My grandpa does the same thing and my grand ma is perfectly happy with it; actually she's incredibly bothered by the idea of me touching her kitchen. They're from another time and another culture and they're happy

I stress the word happy cause it means that there's no need for you to interfere. You don't need to step in and say they shouldn't be happy and there's no need to try and deprive or change them away from something that makes them happy. At the point you're just doing it for yourself.

MORAL RELATIVITY
Read up on it. It's a pretty simple concept that most people deny out right cause of one basic premise: By accepting it, you accept that you're no position to say there's such a thing as moral progress since all things are relative and nothing it better than the other. Most people hate the idea they can't denounce something as wrong and another as inherently right.

I generally accept the above statement as a realistic truth despite believing in God.

My criteria for saying a cultural perspective/action/view is wrong is very small:
1) Does it hold a society back in a very quantifiable sense (science, industry, ect..?
2) Does it create general misery for the majority of the populace?

Of course there's the always present bonus round:
3) Does it cause upheavel in my, and those I care about, personal life where it's not needed nor desired?

^ But I'm a selfish human bastard that puts me and the few I care about first always. The rest of the world can burn for the most part.

EDIT: Aside from that, I'm not really trying to detract from the overall point you're trying to make in the end on your end. Just point out something. I'm not really looking for that argument on the whole "Is sexism a thing in present society? And if so, in what ways? And what should we do, if anything to address this?" and I'm not even really looking for an argument for "Is sexism wrong?" <- Just making sure that you, nor anyone else, tries to pull me into that.

I am not one for tact or subtlety or being empathetic. I am generally direct and very honest; I will only come across as an asshole (a very insensitive one) if you're views are significantly to the left or if you hold close emotional ties to some topic. I make it a point not to emotionally invest myself in many things. Social issues is definitely not one of them and arguing from a moral/emotional standpoint won't get you far with me when it comes to political things.

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 08:44 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591365
04/10/16 08:53 AM
04/10/16 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
@SlamPow
I don't want to harp on your parade and life story their pal, but two things. I mean, I could being up others, but I only really want to focus on two.

1) While I don't really agree with Testad's opinions, his culture is his culture and if him and his woman are happy then you really shouldn't be putting your foot in that door to say anything. Hell, you shouldn't be acting like your culture is better.

2) My grandpa does the same thing and my grand ma is perfectly happy with it; actually she's incredibly bothered by the idea of me touching her kitchen. They're from another time and another culture and they're happy

I stress the word happy cause it means that there's no need for you to interfere. You don't need to step in and say they shouldn't be happy and there's no need to try and deprive or change them away from something that makes them happy. At the point you're just doing it for yourself.

MORAL RELATIVITY
Read up on it. It's a pretty simple concept that most people deny out right cause of one basic premise: By accepting it, you accept that you're no position to say there's such a thing as moral progress since all things are relative and nothing it better than the other. Most people hate the idea they can't denounce something as wrong and another as inherently right.

I generally accept the above statement as a realistic truth despite believing in God.

My criteria for saying a cultural perspective/action/view is wrong is very small:
1) Does it hold a society back in a very quantifiable sense (science, industry, ect..?
2) Does it create general misery for the majority of the populace?

Of course there's the always present bonus round:
3) Does it cause upheavel in my, and those I care about, personal life where it's not needed nor desired?

^ But I'm a selfish human bastard that puts me and the few I care about first always. The rest of the world can burn for the most part.


I don't understand. On one hand, you say I am arguing morals. But on the other hand, I am not. I never was. At no point did I say any of this was right or wrong. I could give you a thirty minute rant about why Testad's behavior is controlling, and how that influences women's behavior directly (including providing clear motivation for women to hide their feelings), but I'm not going to. Because he's a straw man at this point, and I frankly don't care.

Now, let's take a look at exactly what it is that I'm saying.

"Are you seriously going to say,

Originally Posted By: CharityDairy
In first-world countries, there is no sexism against women."

That's it. I was calling into question the postulate that sexism was not present in first-world countries. At what point do I bash Testad's culture? It is a clear example of what has already been defined as sexism. Where did I act like my culture was any better? In the next several paragraphs, where I proceed to bash on it? What did I do next? I presented numerous examples of sexism, in a first-world country. Do you really believe that my grandma didn't want me in the kitchen, helping? My mother constantly forces me to help at home. It made my grandpa happy when I didn't help. Not her. Not the one who I was assisting, the one who's opinion I should be caring about. But let me read up on Moral Relativism anyways.

Moral Relativism (or Ethical Relativism) is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances.

And where did I make moral claims? I have a clear argument that sexism does exist, in a first world country. And I do not stray from addressing that. I never said anything about the wrong or right of sexism. I never said that it needs to stop, that it offends me, or anything related to morals or ethics for that matter. The most I said was that I feel insulted by his ignorance, and that's a seperate matter entirely. In short, I feel as though you are putting words into my mouth, by accusing me of saying things I never did. Please stop and reevaluate what I said. I am making an objective statement, with objective facts to back it up, which prove my point. I am objectively right about this. Because this is not a moral issue. It is an issue about the existence of an issue, and by denying that sexism exists - not by being sexist, not by perpetuating sexism, none of that, I'm not saying anything like that - he has personally insulted me. You could even say that he has offended me personally. But my sensibilities, not my morals. No morals are at play in this case. I do not feel that it is sexist of him to say these things, and I do not feel as though he is a proponent of sexism. How I would feel about those is not the point is not relevant, and is why I am not arguing with Testad, because that would truly be a moral argument (although, again, I bring him up as an example because it is objective sexism that he is demonstrating, in a first world country, which contributes directly to my point and therefore this discussion). Instead, it is that I am experiencing a very real feeling that I am being personally attacked by him directly by having the struggles that myself, that my mother, and that so many other men and women have gone through, so rudely dismissed. That is all.

Edit: And I want to clarify, that I never said it was "right" or "wrong" of him to insult me or for me to feel the way I do. What's objectively right is that there is an easy-to-prove case for sexism being very real and very present in a first-world country. I don't care if it was right of him to insult me, I just want it to stop ,which is why I said I would drop it after he further clarified on his point.

Last edited by SlamPow; 04/10/16 08:57 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591366
04/10/16 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
If you want to make a new IP or game or piece or art or book or something that contains your values, go right ahead.

Actually I'm the one advocating against a change in the IP here smile
Bikiniplate has never been an issue in previous Divinity game because there was none. I want to keep it that way, the same way I want Larian to keep telling jokes and making puns in the game.

You are the one who agrees with a change of the IP, I'm the conservative one here :p

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: melianos] #591371
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Originally Posted by melianos
Originally Posted by aj0413
If you want to make a new IP or game or piece or art or book or something that contains your values, go right ahead.

Actually I'm the one advocating against a change in the IP here smile
Bikiniplate has never been an issue in previous Divinity game because there was none. I want to keep it that way, the same way I want Larian to keep telling jokes and making puns in the game.

You are the one who agrees with a change of the IP, I'm the conservative one here :p


Mah, mah I was being more general. Lol But that's a good point ;P

But wasn't the original D:OS gonna have bikini armor according to the box art? (I'm kinda glad they changed it, but I would've been for it on say a rogue not meant to get hit anyway or if it was a joke thing) The artist made a whole post about it.

And in this specific case, I think I'd consider the Original Sin games separate from the others. They're all just so different and even the devs don't really try to keep a truly cohesive universe except loosely last I checked.

You do certainly raise a very valid point concerning Bikini armor and this IP. MMM, *mumble mumble* should we consider them all one IP *mumble mumble*

But! Yay! I got to play the part of being the non-conservative in a conversation for once on here! Viva La Resistance!

Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: SlamPow] #591372
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Originally Posted by SlamPow
And I want to clarify, that I never said it was "right" or "wrong" of him to insult me or for me to feel the way I do. What's objectively right is that there is an easy-to-prove case for sexism being very real and very present in a first-world country. I don't care if it was right of him to insult me, I just want it to stop ,which is why I said I would drop it after he further clarified on his point.


Ah......big oops and lots of sorries! I totally read that wrong then. I saw that point but I did kinda skim a more than a bit. I kinda just got the vibe you were implying those things were wrong.

If you're only point was on it's existence, then....yeah, sure. I don't need to say anything on that. Like I said: I don't want to touch that with a ten foot pole.....Pssshhh *whisper* B-b-but it does definitely exist in the world, even if I don't agree with the exstent others say it does *now running away from that topic*

EDIT:
Troll moment -> Aren't sensibilities relative? And to argue a problem exists you must agree to define what constitutes a problem.....and....Yep, could keep going with that but really that's me being a bit of a dick cause I have an odd sense of humor and I have moments where I feel like being asinine

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 09:16 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591375
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Originally Posted by aj0413
Originally Posted by SlamPow
And I want to clarify, that I never said it was "right" or "wrong" of him to insult me or for me to feel the way I do. What's objectively right is that there is an easy-to-prove case for sexism being very real and very present in a first-world country. I don't care if it was right of him to insult me, I just want it to stop ,which is why I said I would drop it after he further clarified on his point.


Ah......big oops and lots of sorries! I totally read that wrong then. I saw that point but I did kinda skim a more than a bit. I kinda just got the vibe you were implying those things were wrong.

If you're only point was on it's existence, then....yeah, sure. I don't need to say anything on that. Like I said: I don't want to touch that with a ten foot pole.....Pssshhh *whisper* B-b-but it does definitely exist in the world, even if I don't agree with the exstent others say it does *now running away from that topic*



Well, you know I can't help but forgive you when you put it so demurely.


And yeah, I can see why you wouldn't want to touch it. But as far as not believing in it to the same extent that others do, please keep in mind, that these things I bring up are all things that have happened to me or to people close to me, and additionally that I pretty much aggregated the biggest, most traumatic examples that I can remember from like the past 14 years, so that's spread out over quite a long time. I don't mean to make it out to be a huge deal, because I feel that it's really not. Things have gotten way better for women in the past decade, I feel.

That, and there's much worse issues here in Texas anyways, ones that I have lots of personal experience with. Like race! But! Not gonna open up that can of worms.

Originally Posted by aj0413
Troll moment -> Aren't sensibilities relative? And to argue a problem exists you must agree to define what constitutes a problem.....and....Yep, could keep going with that but really that's me being a bit of a dick cause I have an odd sense of humor and I have moments where I feel like being asinine


Well yes, of course sensitivities are relative. But that's what makes them so relevant to me personally. My sensibilities are offended ---> I want people to stop offending them ---> tell the offender politely yet firmly to stop, is the natural flow of logic, and it's where my point led. Again, I never said it was by any means objectively wrong of him to offend me. He can say offensive things all day long, just like my racist uncles do. But when it affects me directly, then I must take action to cause it to stop, which is what I did, and I further ensured that he stop by directly addressing why he was offending me, and explaining the issue to him so that hopefully he would understand, and I would no longer be offended. Once more, not saying anything objective. Just personally feeling insulted and taking direct steps to alleviate that.

As for what constitutes a problem, anything that causes me emotional distress causes me a problem, as stress ties directly to my health, and I already have a stress disorder. But, like I said, I am taking steps to solve my problem directly.

Last edited by SlamPow; 04/10/16 09:28 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: SlamPow] #591377
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Originally Posted by SlamPow


Well, you know I can't help but forgive you when you put it so demurely.


And yeah, I can see why you wouldn't want to touch it. But as far as not believing in it to the same extent that others do, please keep in mind, that these things I bring up are all things that have happened to me or to people close to me, and additionally that I pretty much aggregated the biggest, most traumatic examples that I can remember from like the past 14 years, so that's spread out over quite a long time. I don't mean to make it out to be a huge deal, because I feel that it's really not. Things have gotten way better for women in the past decade, I feel.

That, and there's much worse issues here in Texas anyways, ones that I have lots of personal experience with. Like race! But! Not gonna open up that can of worms.


Haha well, thanks for being forgiving.

And I totally get where you're coming from. I have personal experience or at least know people with lots of personal experience concerning hardships and tragedies and what not of various kinds from many walks of life. My problem is that when I always put things in perspective of population scale and proportions, numbers, and artificially perceived inflation of an issue given the information era and technology we now have. I don't try to say social issues don't exist, but anecdotal accounts vs hard numeric data on the seriousness of the issue.

*sheepish shrug* Gah, look at you. Somehow Jedi mind tricking me into discussing politics seriously! *sigh* Way too early for that; I should be in my bed with my beautiful girlfriend but insomnia paired with ADHD sucks

EDIT:
By the by, that was the best argument I've seen yet for saying you were justified in defending and standing up for your relative subjective views; what with the the whole flow of logic and what naturally occurs when you're sensibilities are offended.

Last edited by aj0413; 04/10/16 09:36 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591380
04/10/16 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
insomnia paired with ADHD sucks


TELL ME ABOUT IT!

I haven't slept in 2 1/2 days.

On the bright side, it's given me time to put another thirty hours into DOS2... =D

Also, I think part of it is to blame on these forums. We seriously need to stop talking, because you are way too informative and engaging of a person. If this keeps up, we might even end up as friends!

Edit: Thanks man! I'm glad I could come across as sensible, especially when dealing with topics involving emotional reactions.

Last edited by SlamPow; 04/10/16 09:38 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: aj0413] #591381
04/10/16 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
... insomnia paired with ADHD sucks

Oh, yeah, there're both very familiar sights in my extensive portfolio of things that irritate me. I can empathise, even with the autism thing going on too. biggrin


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: vometia] #591382
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Originally Posted by vometia
Originally Posted by aj0413
... insomnia paired with ADHD sucks

even with the autism thing going on too. biggrin


Heyooo! I may not have autism, but I am mentally disabled, so I can totally relate!

Edit: Or maybe not, now that I think about it. May be totally different. Still! Mentally disabled buddies, woooo!

Last edited by SlamPow; 04/10/16 09:42 AM.
Re: Why presentation of gender matters [Re: Ayvah] #591385
04/10/16 09:49 AM
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In my experience, it seems that psychiatric interestingnesses often hang around in gangs, so while they may be distinct and different to each other, in practice I think it's often quite easy to relate. It's one of those subjects where they can often seem more different than they are alike on the basis that all people are different, speaking as someone who for a long time rejected the idea of autism because "but I'm not like that". No, I'm like me, which is the whole point! The autism angle no more identifies me than having brown eyes (or whatever colour I've chosen today: one of the advantages of wearing contacts is that it conveniently panders to the indecisive in that regard at least).


J'aime le fromage.
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