Tuesday, April 12, 2011

You Know What's Awesome?

When people of power and influence don't pander to privilege.

Via AfterEllen, some person on Twitter accused Grey's Anatomy (a show which I lurve) producer Shonda Rhimes of "pander[ing] to the gay/lesbian community."

Her crime?

Having one same-sex couple be in the mix of, like, 52 heterosexual relationships and hookups. I mean, seriously, have you seen Grey's? If there is any pandering, it is aimed at people who have sex in the workplace! (Pander pander pander. That just sounds dirty.)

Anyway, Rhimes responded:

"...[O]ne of the reasons I cast the show the way I did is because I like to turn on the TV and see people who look like me living in a world of diversity. I'm betting there's a lesbian girl out there who likes to turn on the TV and see people who love like her too.

So, you know, yeah I just went all ranty, but come on. Love is universal. Life is universal. Grow up and stop complaining and stop hating on a storyline because the characters are different from you. Because THAT? Is ridiculous."


Also, via Shakesville (via Phyrra), game company Bioware recently took some heat from one Straight Male Gamer for supposedly neglecting the main gaming demographic of straight white guys by including non-heterosexual romance options in the game "Dragon Age 2."

In reponse, Bioware wrote:

"The romances in the game are not for 'the straight male gamer.' They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. We have good numbers, after all, on the number of people who actually used similar sorts of content in DAO and thus don’t need to resort to anecdotal evidence to support our idea that their numbers are not insignificant… and that’s ignoring the idea that they don’t have just as much right to play the kind of game they wish as anyone else. The “rights” of anyone with regards to a game are murky at best, but anyone who takes that stance must apply it equally to both the minority as well as the majority. The majority has no inherent “right” to get more options than anyone else.

More than that, I would question anyone deciding they speak for 'the straight male gamer' just as much as someone claiming they speak for 'all RPG fans', 'all female fans' or even 'all gay fans'. You don’t. If you wish to express your personal desires, then do so. I have no doubt that any opinion expressed on these forums is shared by many others, but since none of them have elected a spokesperson you’re better off not trying to be one. If your attempt is to convince BioWare developers, I can tell you that you do in fact make your opinion less convincing by doing so.

And if there is any doubt why such an opinion might be met with hostility, it has to do with privilege. You can write it off as 'political correctness' if you wish, but the truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They’re so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don’t see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what’s everyone’s fuss all about? That’s the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want."

Much appreciation to both Rhimes and Bioware.

*rolls away on rollerskate shoes to go play Dragon Age*

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