Skepchick Quickies 1.19


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. “Nuv Vomica- suited to individuals who are fault finding, irritable, quarrelsome. Oversensitive to noise, odors, light, touch.” — Nux Vomica – same plant family as strychnine. So wait, are they suggesting you poison abusers? While that’s a solution with its merits, the law doesn’t tend to favour it….

  2. I usually play a guy…though, to be specific, if the developer (usually Bioware) gives me the option in the character creator, I often go with Asian facial feature sets. Also, my Jedi characters in SWTOR have variations on my Korean name, since that’s kinda Jedi-like to begin with.

    1. When I started Skyrim a month ago I picked a female character. I don’t remember thinking about it too much at the time. It might have been a side-effect of just having finished Batman Arkham Asylum which is enough testosterone for two years.

      1. I could counter with “you get to play as Catwoman”, but then I might get laughed at. That game (that I still enjoyed) is a personification of a Tim Allen grunt.

  3. I play a mix of male and female characters. Usually when I play a female character it’s because all the male options remind me of the kind of guy I tend to find obnoxious and irritating. I don’t want to play a character that reminds me of people that piss me off.

    That goes for female characters too, it’s just that a lot of the male stereotypes annoy me a lot more than the female ones. It probably does have something to do with orientation, but not on a conscious level. I knew a number of guys playing WoW who said they preferred staring at a female backside for hours on end, but for me it was mainly that most of the males are unpleasant to look at because of the way they’re portrayed.

    The exceptions were undead and troll, for some reason, and more recently, worgen.

    1. I read a reply on blaghag this morning about quick we’re willing to give idiots the benefit of the doubt re: Poeing. I think the person had a point. The bell curve doesn’t accommodate for that much awesome. Most of what we’re seeing very unlikely to be Poe.

      Here’s the comment: “Much like Godwin’s Law I’m starting to wish Poe’s Law had never been articulated, insofar as it allows sloppy thinkers to A) lazily dismiss any and all idiocy, even when its proponents are blatantly serious-as-a-lynch-mob or even actually-in-the-process-of-becoming-a-lynch-mob, as “probably a joke,” and B) childishly derail any discussion or dissection of idiocy with the inane suggestion, apropos of nothing, that the idiocy in question might be a joke.

      And as has been eloquently argued elsewhere, it’s not like it’d matter if it were.

      So maybe we can take the idiocy seriously for once? Because it’s kinda growing all over everything.” (Azkyroth)


  4. `On the other hand, I think they’re on to something with the homeopathy of domestic violence. `I mean, the less I beat my wife, the more effective it is. `By the time we dilute it to clinical homeopathic levels (i.e. I don’t beat her at all), we’re up to maximum effectiveness, right?

    OTOH, I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but I think the space marine article is on to something. I do tend to play female characters in games, because the guy is usually blander.

  5. They should study my identical twin sister. She’s always been religious and has always believed, but I have never believed. It’s just never made sense to me. I look back at our teenage years, for instance, and she always had a bible, but that sort of thing just never spoke to me.

    I wonder how our brains differ? Especially since we were raised exactly the same!

    1. They should study me and my twin sister*

      It wouldn’t make sense just to study her. :P

      But I’ve always been fascinated with these sorts of differences between us. Why was she drawn to religion and god, and I wasn’t?

  6. “He found that if the gender of the character didn’t affect the story too much, then female characters were usually easier for him to relate to than their hyper-macho, gravelly-voiced counterparts. The typical portrayal of men in games was so far removed from his own identity that he often found it easier to play a woman.”

    Completely this. I usually pick female characters for this very reason. It’s become so much of a habit that now I just do it almost automatically now. When I got a copy of Skyrim, I made myself a female Bosmer (Wood Elf) assassin, and she *kicks ass*.

    1. If your female Bosmer (Wood Elf) assassin *kicks ass*, you’re doing it wrong. She should be *shooting ass* from nearly over the horizon, and hiding.

      I (male) also more often than not choose a female PC in such games. I suppose I like competent women and they’re more pleasant to look at. (And it doesn’t require a chain mail bikini for this to be so.)

  7. On the occasions that I play video games and they have a female character option, I play as the female character because they tend to look cooler.

    1. When I think “teddy bear” I think “sweet and cute and cuddly and protects against monsters under the bed.”

      Newt IS the monster under the bed!

  8. As a woman, I always play women in games, if given a choice. I usually say this is to make up for the years and years of being forced to play a man.

    That said, in the MMO I play (Guild Wars) out of 10 characters that I have, 2 are men. One started out as a woman, but I changed her sex because I was dissatisfied with the armor selection. (A female mage, if you want to know. Female mages usually have a hard time getting decent armor.) The other was for fun, because he was cute.

    Actually I find it rather jarring when forced to play a man. I loved Minecraft, but when it was still in beta, the sound for getting hurt was a deep grunt, and wow, did that always pull me out of the game. I still cannot believe they haven’t put in a gender selection option.

    Right now, I’m playing Skyrim, and it’s a blast to be able to be treated like a real person while playing as a woman. It’s thrilling to have people call me she, in the same sentence where they say that I saved their life, and I’m their friend. It’s wonderful that no one questions my abilities and people accept me for who I am. In contrast to Dragon Age (which I did love) where my sex was often challenged, or I was made to feel “special” because I was a woman, rather than “normal.”

    1. “(A female mage, if you want to know. Female mages usually have a hard time getting decent armor.)”

      I assume that most female mages get boobalicious armor? Heh.

      I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, and in some cases you can tell it was a lot of men that did the designing (big boobs, some of the armor is questionable), but in general, it’s very diverse, when it comes to male/female, so that’s cool.

      1. Not enough non-humanoid options. I wanna be a wookie! Seriously though, the armor IS pretty questionable for the ladies, but not quite as embarrassing as the twi’lek NPC designs or related quests. I also think WoW was a bit more embarrassing in the bikini chainmail dept.

        1. “but not quite as embarrassing as the twi’lek NPC designs or related quests.”

          Yeah, I agree. SO MANY BOOBS.

          Early on in the game, my female Jedi Knight was given some better armor from a good friend of mine who also plays the game … and it was just a wrap with an exposed belly and belly botton. I said I was uncomfortable with that and he was like, “Why? It’s hot! You’re just spewing weird feminist crap. It’s just armor.” Oh, but it’s hot. Icky.

          I was like um okay. Still pisses me off when I think about it, especially since he’s otherwise pretty progressive. Some men are just fucking clueless.

          Thankfully I eventually got some even better armor that actually looks like it would protect my character.

          1. I’m certain it’s true…fingers crossed on Ewok vanity pets.

            I wonder how “hot” a banana hammock and mesh shirt on my burly cyborg Sith Warrior alt would seem to your friend, heh.

        2. Wookie would be awesome. I’m pulling for whatever Greedo was… want my character to be as far removed from human as possible, a Hutt maybe.

  9. Now that I think about it, I wonder if The Legend of Zelda series’ popularity can be attributed to the protagonist being somewhat androgynous in appearance in many of his iterations and the “damsel in distress” usually adventuring on her own in some way in lots of the games. The most recent one, Skyward Sword, seems to be more equitable at least in that Zelda is off on her own adventure and you’re trying to find her (at least up to where I am in the game).

    I’d still like to see one where you can choose to play as Zelda and save Link.

    1. I was seriously hoping as I played that game that there would be a plot twist where Zelda was the hero of legend and you were the ‘damsel in distress.’

  10. I always play female characters, unless there’s not an option to. My seriously badass skyrim character is a female dark elf, and like the poster referenced above, you’re not hindered by gender in Skyrim. The only vaguely questionable thing I’ve encountered was a slut-shaming quest.

    I read that the next Dragon Age is going to be a bit more like Skyrim. I hope so. Apart from Origins, Dragon Age and all it’s add-ons have been seriously suck ass.

  11. From the anti-abortion teddy bear article:

    “Some in the Statehouse also took notice that the teddy bears, bought from Build-A-Bear, were made in China, a country with a one-child policy and millions of abortions each year.”

    It’s… Ironitopia.

  12. I used to be quite religious, but slowly became less religious, and now I’m an atheist. So did my brain change?

  13. My son (age 19) has always played female characters, when there was the option. His favorite games being the Metroid Prime series. His reason for choosing that option is he hates how the male characters look, and that he gets tired of having games where it’s always a guy saving the day when women are quite capable of saving it as well.

  14. I’m a male and in all the games I play I pick a male character because I’m a man and I don’t know how to be female. When I pick my character I don’t look at it and say “he’s just too beefy. He couldn’t possibly be rogue.” Really? You’re playing a game where you’re shooting fire balls out of your hands and you’re worried that your character’s physique might not fit in with his class. You’re over thinking it.

    Besides, I think it’s just disingenuous for people to play opposite sex characters. Why are you trying to trick me? I know some guys play female characters because they want to get free stuff from clueless male players who think that they can buy favors from someone they perceive to be a female in real life.

    Some guys say they play female characters because they say they don’t want to stare at a guys ass all day while they run around killing rats or some other creature. This is just completely silly. I don’t stare at my characters ass while I play. in fact I barely look at my character at all. I’m usually looking at the thing I’m fighting.

    Now I can understand why a woman would play a male character. Female characters get hit on a lot in multiplayer games and they play male characters to avoid the annoyance. Other than that I find it perplexing.

    1. “Besides, I think it’s just disingenuous for people to play opposite sex characters. Why are you trying to trick me? I know some guys play female characters because they want to get free stuff from clueless male players who think that they can buy favors from someone they perceive to be a female in real life.”


  15. I started back in on DC Universe Online since it’s free-to-play and noticed on the PVP server, there are scads of Level 30 characters who camp at safehouses to lay waste to low-level players. I also noticed that given their druthers, they seemed to be attacking the players with female avatars – the same pattern held in adventure zones geared to low-level players, too. The women would be beaten senseless before the male avatars would be targeted. When I asked the players on global chat if I was reading the situation correctly, or if I’d just found a pattern where none existed, lots of players responded that I wasn’t imagining things and that the server’s griefers did make it a point to attack a female toon when they had the chance. Admittedly, not a scientific survey by any means, but it still disturbed the hell out of me.

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