Friday, August 16, 2013

Boobies!

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about the double standard that we all live by. Boobjam. It’s an ongoing contest started by game critic Jenn Frank about opening up discussion about women’s bodies. This isn’t about the breast physics in Dead or Alive or the changes to Lightning to FF13. This is about confronting the reality of being a woman. Some game suggestions include “what would happen if Wonder Woman left the house without a bra?” or “Game heroines going to get a mammogram.” This is part of the feminist and gaming movement that we need to see. Yes it’s a bit satirical, because who really wants to see Lara Croft talking to her doctor about her reproductive organs, but you know what? It’s necessary if we want to move forward and create more dynamic games.


But the cause also serves other purposes, such as bring to light the “over willingness to police women’s bodies” fictitious or otherwise. You see this with health care legislation in this country and with how trans-gender individuals are treated. One benefit that was glaringly obvious to me but not discussed in the article is getting women to be more open about discussing their bodies.

Look it’s no great secret that we tend to be quiet about things. While men enjoy discussing belching and bowel movements, women have been told, trained even, to keep quiet about these actions. Why? Because we’re women. We’re viewed as dainty and pretty and we shouldn’t be allowed to discuss such disgusting things! For shame! And in many ways, that is what hurts us. So many of us are afraid to go to a doctor for a yearly mammogram and OBGYN check because we’re told by society how wrong it is. Free or low-income health clinics are being shut down for trying to help women for providing ‘family care,’ which many people feel is a code-word for abortions and birth control. When really, they are providing life-saving screenings for all women to stop serious diseases and viruses, such as cancer. That’s pretty important in my book.

Boobathon is a way for people to express what breasts mean to them, and to openly discuss the issues of gaming, sexism, and, in many ways, the important health aspects that come along with having them. Thanks Jenn! I hope this project spawns not only creativity, but a movement for women to not be afraid to discuss their bodies.

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