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 Post subject: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:29 pm 
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I'm speaking of in-game sexism, which I think is strangely absent. This is not me saying that I want every female in the games to be scantly clad sexy supermodels with big boobs. In fact, I think it's rather annoying and immersion breaking when games do it that way. No, I'm an adamant fan of realism, and thus I'd prefer there be normal female bodies covered with normal common-sensical clothes. TES is actually very good in this regard, and I hope they continue being so.

No, what I'm really talking about is the in-game sexism. Seeing as TES is set in a rather medieval setting, doesn't it feel a bit out of place that the sexism, which was very strong in our own real universe, is almost absent in TES? In my view, it takes away from the atmosphere. I think playing as a woman, one should be treated differently by the world, mostly in bad ways I suppose but not always. In short, it should be a tad bit harder to be a woman, just like it was here on earth.

BUT, maybe sexism is absent because they do not have the same circumstances in the TES universe? Whatever caused sexism on earth perhaps wasn't there to cause it in TES? Id est, maybe there's a reasonable explaination for the absence. Perhaps the TES races just can't be compared to humans? But atleast some of the races would be sexist? What do you people tihnk about this?

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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Fantasy universes do not require the same inequalities as our own to be believable or realistic. Imagine the outcry if the situation were reversed, if the setting of TES had prominent misandry, and any male character constantly got mistreated on the basis of their maleness.

This is why removing or reducing the relevance of things like sex and race differences in skill and attribute stats is a good thing, and why it was done to the series in the first place. Media exists in part as escapism; why should someone who identifies as a woman be forced to confront the same hardships in a game that they do in real life? Why should people find it so hard to accept and believe it's possible for a world to exist where mistreatment based on sex, gender, race, or orientation is absent? Fictional worlds are not our own; they do not require our social cruelties, and, frankly, neither do we.

Codified racial and gender differences can make people extremely uncomfortable with playing the games. It sends a message that the games aren't for them, that they're for people who don't suffer racism and sexism, who don't have that pain and aren't vulnerable to the twisting knife of its casual, unjustified representation and reinforcement.

What's peculiar isn't the lack of sexism. What's peculiar is that so many people (for you are definitely not the first person to bring this up about TES, or any other fantasy media) think a lack of sexism is peculiar, unbelievable, or unrealistic.


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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:05 pm 
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I find the lack of sexism refreshing. There are enough games out there that have elements of sexism, in the game mechanics if not the story (as a woman, I'm usually forced to play a man, and I'm usually forced into a romance subplot with a gender I'm not attracted to, things like that), so being able to choose what character I play and who I choose to develop a romance with (or not develop one at all!) is part of why I like TES so much.


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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Marelo wrote:
Why should people find it so hard to accept and believe it's possible for a world to exist where mistreatment based on sex, gender, race, or orientation is absent? Fictional worlds are not our own; they do not require our social cruelties, and, frankly, neither do we.


What he said, but especially this bit.

In ours, the most difference you'll find if you walk down a normal street is different skin colour and accents - in theirs it is an entirely different kettle of fish in every sense.


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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:56 pm 
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While there isn't any overt sexism, the ES games do have a form of gender-imbalance in terms of the gameworld.

For instance, a lot of the faction rankings are skewed towards male characters (eg House Brother, House Father, Swordsman). There are even some factions that are exclusively male, for instance the Imperial Legion in ES4, and the Greybeards in ES5.

And I think Neloth's dialogue in Dragonborn confirms the Nerevarine as being male too.

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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:02 pm 
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What do I think about this? [&@%!] hot button issue! The main reason I am not turned off by this game is because I do not have to deal with "reality" or the "normal" crap. The obvious racism is bad enough, but it is what the wars are almost always about race and religion. So, it is refreshingly abscent that females are not treated too realistically, that would suck for the women that want a different experience than we ordinarily get on planet earth. Pretty much a deal breaker in my opinion. So Thanks ESV for knowing this about us.

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 Post subject: Re: The peculiar lack of sexism
PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:18 pm 
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The answer to the OPs question is that this is a fantasy world, not reality.

As Ursula said, this is a "hot button" or controversial topic that could very easily go from discussion to argument. I already see the beginnings of that happening, so I'm going to lock this topic. Thanks for your understanding.

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