Stereotypes, Stereotypes Everywhere

Stereotypes, Stereotypes Everywhere

Don’t ask how but the other day I found myself in one of those ‘games for girls’ sites that apparently have existed without my previous knowledge for a while now. What I found was boring at best and insulting at worst, reducing their target audience to people for whom ‘games’ involve clicking to make the next thing happen continuously until [what is essentially a really shitty movie about someone putting on some eye shadow and plucking their eyebrows] is done, at which point the player is congratulated for being a princess.

I find it odd that these websites are so homogeneous  Surely, understanding that around 50% of the population isn’t in its entirety only focused on looking pretty, they would include a variety of different games, but instead there is apparently a market for games that are basically just repeats of the same tired stereotypes, where the girl is assured that the only games suitable for her are ones where she puts on make up for her wedding day or does her hair. Now, I’m sure there are girls who will enjoy these kinds of games, but to market these as games tailored specifically at a net so wide in contains 50% of all humans, and therefore 50% of all the different personalities and preferences that exist out there (in rough, society does after all force people to lean in certain directions, otherwise this wouldn’t even be an issue) shows a ridiculous amount of oversight and closed-mindedness.

 

Just like all boys aren’t obsessed sports and cars, not all women are obsessed with the prospect of marriage or fashion. When you see a page of sports games, they don’t declare themselves boy’s games (at least not in my experience), in fact boys can play whatever games they want from whatever thousands of sites they wish to pool their fun from, except that forbidden fruit that is the ‘girl games’ those few games designed exclusively and insultingly for females, because apparently some people are too blind to notice that people aren’t all the same.

Open the gates and let other varieties of games flood in, keep calling yourself a website that specializes in games for girls if you wish but allow for the fact that girls aren’t some alien race that only care about one thing and one thing only. There is room for places dedicated exclusively to a subset of the population, certainly if you have forums there will be girls who feel a lot safer in an all female environment, but there’s a difference between catering to a group and imprinting basic and narrow stereotypes onto an entire group.

If you’re having trouble grasping the fact that the gender barrier isn’t as solid as a brick wall, try reading a book, try actually talking to people who don’t resemble the artist’s impression of what your idea of a woman (or indeed a man, or otherwise) is, look out at the huge world opening up around you and realise that girls and boys aren’t these clashing alien races but they are ends of a continuum determined by more than just the plumbing between their legs.

The world is a bigger place than girly girls and manly men, and I would never ask you to deny the existence of those aforementioned stereotypes, they exist, but they are by no means representative of everyone, and when you declare yourself representative of a group, you’d damn well better be ready to represent accurately or British nerds will blog about you on websites like this. (You may notice here that I say British nerds meaning myself, I do not expect all British nerds to agree with me and in fact I’m certain that they don’t, what I do know however, is that was I to make a website dedicated to British nerds, I’d talk about more than just Doctor Who.)

[image credits: know your meme, 

Eddy is an amateur writer, an even more amateurish musician and the Internet's 3600th favourite redcoat. He writes a mostly skeptical daily blog at jengajam.wordpress.com to quell the voices in his head, writes album reviews for www.alterthepress.com to put voices in his head and writes novels that he hopes to put voices in other people's heads. He is currently studying Biological Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, planning to specialise in Ecology.

2 Comments

  1. I was pleasantly surprised to play a Nancy Drew video game by Her Interactive, IIRC, a few years back and find it was a game with almost no gender stereotyping in that way. Lots of puzzles to figure out, just the main character was a girl. I bought this one because my BF at the time did voice work in it, but I would happily buy and play another one from them.

    • I’ve heard good things about the Nancy Drew games too, my girlfriend used to play them all the time.

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