Weekend Reads: Kid’s Screen Time as a Feminist Issue, Trans Representation in D&D and Gay Dads are Just Dandy
Happy Mother’s Day all you Weekend Readers who celebrate the day. Remember however that not everyone has a great relationship with this holiday, keep them in mind as well.
Kid’s screen time is a feminist issue…
Our screen time fixation isn’t about kids at all. It’s about mothers. What’s really going on is an age-old problem: we don’t like innovations that make mothers’ lives easier.
Study shows that children with two Dads turn out just fine.
Maureen Shaw explains how becoming a mother made her more pro choice.
Why did vitamins disappear from Non-GMO breakfast cereal?
More moms and dads my be turning to science based parenting advice, which sounds like a pretty good thing.
On the other hand, science may prove that the Myth of the Perfect Parent actually makes it harder to be a good parent. So don’t go overboard I guess?
The two biggest names in tabletop roleplaying games, Dungeons and Dragons and their offspring/competitor Pathfinder have both made news around the inclusion of sexual minorities in their products after the news broke last week that video game developer Beamdog Studio’s had received torrents of abuse from online trolls after including a trans character in an expansion to the venerable Baldur’s Gate video game franchise. Nathan Stewart, Director of D&D at Wizards of the Coast had this to say about the ruckus…
“Dungeons & Dragons stands by the stories our partners tell and we fully support the choices Beamdog has made in developing Siege of Dragonspear.
“Inclusivity is a core value of Wizards of the Coast and we believe that all people, regardless of ethnicity, background, gender identity or sexuality, should be free to play our games without fear of harassment or attacks.
“In July of 2014 we released the D&D Player’s Handbook for the fifth edition and included the following section as an example of our core values.”
The handbook says: “Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture’s expectations of sex, gender, and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to have to leave that society. You don’t need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender. You could play as a female character who presents 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.”
Meanwhile, across the aisle at Paizo, makers of the Pathfinder collection of RPG’s and boardgames, they announced that they would be introducing the first transgender member to their stable of iconic characters, Shardra the dwarven shaman. As one of the game’s iconic characters, she will be the representative of her class in rulebooks, in character art, and as a pre-generated character for the Pathfinder Society organized play program, as well as to appear in the popular Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.
This is nothing new for Paizo, as F. Wes Schneider, Paizo’s Editor-in-Chief, recently compiled a list of 50 notable LGBTQ characters in the Pathfinder universe with one gay couple dating back to the very first chapter of Rise of the Runelords, the company’s first Pathfinder Adventure Path. Neat!
No I would not give you false hope on this strange and mournful day…
Featured Image Credit:Wayne Reynolds for Paizo.
Wizards of the Coast has already done this in Magic with Alesha, Who Smiles At Death. She actually plays an important role in negotiating the clans’ terms of surrender after Sarkhan saves Ugin from Nicol Bolas, storyline-wise. (And yes, all the Mardu have badass epithets like that.)
I would be cautious about recommending that “familyshare.com” website. I actually wasn’t all that wild about the “not everyone likes Mother’s Day” article, and it was the least problematic post I found on that site. I don’t know who runs it, but I would not be surprised if it’s run by one of those right-wing “family institutes”. In any case, it seems to be focussed on making parents (actually, “Moms”) feel guilty if they don’t have a Leave It To Beaver family.
The article that pushed me over the edge was one about “things that make your child cry at night.” It listed “arguing” and “getting a divorce.” As someone who divorced in large part so my kids would have a place where they wouldn’t have to suffer their mother’s outbursts and inconsistent parenting, I bristle at articles where divorce is presented as an unqualified evil.
Another article listed all the ways that “moms” shouldn’t indulge their children (in their words, why they should be “the meanest mom in the world.”) Note the assumption that parenting is done by “Mom.” It’s basically yet another “what’s wrong with kids these days” article with the blame placed (as usual) on “Mom.”
Not every suggestion they post is bad, but the overall tone is too parent-blamey and “everything modern is bad” for my taste.
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll keep an eye on them the next time they come up in one of my quests for content I’ll give them an extra critical eye.