Sunday, October 7, 2012

Feminism should be about equality... but isn't

The basic tenet of feminism is equality. Everybody should be treated equally completely regardless of their gender, have the same rights and duties, the same opportunities, and be respected in the same way as anybody else, completely disregarding such an inconsequential thing as gender (when talking about things where gender should in no way be an issue.)

While there's still a lot of sexism and inequality in this respect, even in the civilized world, the feminist movement has in some ways succeeded in actually doing the opposite of this basic tenet: People are actually afraid to treat women in the same way as men for example in contexts like how they are depicted in fiction and art. If female characters in fiction do not get special treatment and are depicted in such a way that their gender is a complete non-issue, the author can actually be accused of sexism! This is the complete opposite of what equality should be!

As an example, consider the following Magic: The Gathering card:


About 90% of the discussion at the official Magic: The Gathering website about this particular card consists of people talking about sexism (with some people accusing the art for being sexist, while others arguing that it's a completely ridiculous claim.)

Note that the art is not gratuitous, but actually is completely in accordance to the in-universe depiction of those two characters. The woman is basically an extremely powerful and evil necromancer witch who has no qualms whatsoever in making people suffer and to abuse people for her own gain and to advance her goals. These two characters have fought several times previously, and the woman has previously cast a curse on the man (which is what the quotation at the bottom of the card refers to.) This card depicts another fight between these two characters.

If the situation is reversed, and it's the woman who is depicted in a dominant position, nobody complains about sexism. This is not just a hypothesis, but actual reality, as there's a counterpart to that very card where it's the woman who is abusing a male character, namely this:


This is the same female character (but a different male one), but now it's the woman who is in a dominant position, making the man suffer using her supernatural powers. It's not the only example; another one is this:


Nobody complains about "sexism" in the art of these two latter cards, even though the situation is basically the same, just with gender roles reversed.

If there were true equality between genders, nobody would mind which character has which gender. More importantly, though, there would be no double standard, where accusations of sexism are thrown only on one situation but not when the roles are reversed. This is just hypocrisy.

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