Quickies: Mental illness and pregnancy, Warhammer, Emma Watson, and fluffy birds


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

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  1. I completely agree with the article on Warhammer, as a hobbyist and a huge fan of the setting. Honestly, all they would have to do to fix parity within the Imperial Guard would be to sculpt a few new heads (which a few third party companies have done). The Space Marine video game from a few years ago had a female guard lieutenant as a supporting character that was very well done – not only was she wearing armor that was identical to the other soldiers, but was a strong, no-nonsense leader, and an all around competent character.


    Of the (many) other miniatures games that I follow, I think Warmachine/Hordes (by Privateer Press) has the best parity. They haven’t completely moved away from the sculpted boob armor thing, but there are a large number of well-developed female characters. It’s carried over into their RPG line, where some of the physical problems are much less pronounced (perhaps because the artwork doesn’t have the same limitations as a 2-inch-tall metal miniature).

    Infinity is another decent one, but they have a definite anime aesthetic, and while there’s decent representation, some of the sculpting (less so with the newer models) is… problematic. Likewise with Malifaux. They’re both so heavily stylized that it’s a little less jarring.

    Games Workshop is kind of a dinosaur, in more ways than one. For so long, they’ve been at the top of the wargaming miniatures world, and I think they’ve lost the ability to honestly examine their own work (including business practices and game design too), and adjust to keep up with the times.

    1. Somewhere along the line, Warhammer 40k started taking itself seriously.

      The key elements of the setting, particularly from the human sides, were an out-and-out parody of fascist ideologies. Absurdly strong xenophobia, obsessions with masculinity and strength, super-men elevated above their peers by technology, unquestionable doctrinal religion, and perpetual war. Every tenet of fascism on full display.

      It essentially was an answer to the question “What would a far future run by Nazis look like?”

      Then the fans started liking it, and parody became genuine identity. With that history, it’s no surprise that women, especially human women, are sidelined. I have no idea what’s an appropriate response.

      1. I agree that it takes itself too seriously these days. There was a fun and decent parody period after their silly mishmash-of-everything-scifi phase (I’m looking at you, Inquisitor Obiwan Sherlock Clouseau), but before their super serious ultra-grimdark phase that they’re in now.

        I’m not sure that I’d blame the disparity on the setting itself, though. There’s better representation in some of the books (starting a little ways into the Gaunt’s Ghosts series, and the Eisenhorn and Ravnor trilogies, both by Dan Abnett). There’s great representation in the RPG books (by Fantasy Flight Games) – the illustrations in the “Only War” book has a roughly 50/50 mix, and depicts the men and women of the Imperial Guard wearing the same armor.

        Seeing as some of the authors and the crew at Fantasy Flight Games can manage to work realistic distribution and depictions into their fiction without breaking the setting, I’m inclined to lay the blame at the feet of GW headquarters. It’s not that the setting (Space Marines notwithstanding) can’t handle females… it’s that the designers seem to be unwilling to put in an effort, or lack the self-awareness to recognize that there is a problem in the first place.

  2. Sounds to me like Emma Watson was pushing Alan Rickman’s evil feminist agenda. A nice tribute for a friend; I think one of the great things we can all hope for is that when we die, those whose lives we’ve touched continue to push our evil agendas in our names.

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