So here’s a follow-up from my first article on here in which I talked about the sexualisation of women in geek culture and I THINK, think, we might have a little spark of hope on the horizon.
Dungeons And Dragons (commonly known as D&D) recently released it’s new handbook and not being the biggest player, I didn’t really look too much into it until some shots from it popped up on my tumblr dashboard. And then I was like; ‘Aaawwww yiss, son.’
What we have are completely non-sexualised female characters. We have a lady guard in a dungeon not scantily clad in what one can assume is a metallic bikini, no, we have a fully-equipped armed guard. A black girl, a warrior, with her gorgeous, natural African hair and I was just about ready to sing to the Heavens. She does what she wants with her hair and has no time for your Caucasian beauty standards. She’s got stuff to do.
Is she posed in a questionable position? No, sir, she is not. She is not there for the lustful eye, she’s there to guard shit and impale anyone who tries to stop her. Is she wearing makeup? I can’t see any. She’s trying to guard shit and fight, she doesn’t have time for that.
The whole book is a wonderfully-crafted, beautifully-drawn amalgamation of representation. Characters of colour are heavily included, with representation for all sorts of races, rather than just white, with the occasional ‘exotic’ person of colour thrown in. And they all fit in so perfectly together.
BUT WAIT. IT GETS BETTER. THE INCLUSION OF TRANS AND NON-BINARY GENDERS. Yes, you read it right, the gender binary has been done away with aaaand I quote:
‘You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. The elf god Corellon Larethian is often seen as androgynous or hermaphroditic, for example, and some elves in the multiverse are made in Corellon’s image. You could also play a female character who represents herself as a man, a man who feels trapped in a female body, or a bearded female dwarf who hates being mistaken for a male. Likewise, your character’s sexual orientation is for you to decide.’
Holy crap on a cracker, I think I might just explode. This is a huge step forward for representation in geek culture and yes, I am aware it’s just one book and one franchise but let’s just consider the fact that D&D has been going since 1974 and has an innumerable amount of players worldwide. The fact that such a huge franchise is taking this step is a big one and will hopefully lead the way for fans and other franchises to do the same. It’s a start, and while I don’t think we’ll see huge change straight away, I think we’re beginning to take baby, very baby steps in the right direction and kudos to whoever thought it was a good idea to cram so much representation into one book. Because it was, it really really was.