Magic the Gathering: Looking at sexist trends over time (Part One)

[Brief note: Hi, folks. This was a bit longer in coming than I’d like, but I’ll address that shortly in a separate post.]

So the project that got this blog started in the first place was an article that I wrote for See Page XX, a webzine published by Pelgrane Press, examining sexist trends in official game art across all areas of gaming. In the original article, I analyzed a set of images taken from the official Wizards of the Coast promo kit available for download on the official M:TG site because I didn’t know of a good way at the time to obtain a representative sample of the vast library of M:TG cards, since distribution is randomized. Since then, with help, I’ve worked out what I think is a pretty decent way of comparing current Magic cards to Magic cards of the past, which I’ll go more in to after the methods section.

Since writing the original article, I’ve done a few posts using the same methodology. However, I’ve gotten a lot of new readers since then, so I’ll start off this blog with a brief explanation of just what it was that I’ve been doing, including a description of my methodology and criteria. Those of you familiar with this part can skip on to the following section.

Methods and Criteria

In each set of images I examine, I look at four sets of variables: numbers of male and female figures, active versus neutral poses, fully clothed and suggestively attired figures, and class archetype:

Ratio of male to female figures: In each set of images I examined, I recorded the number of male figures and the number of female figures. Since I wasn’t sure how to easily differentiate between focal and non-focal figures in a way that wasn’t entirely subjective, I simply counted each figure that had an easily discernable gender and did not count those figures where gender was ambiguous.

Active poses versus neutral poses: All poses are classified either as neutral, static poses that lack movement, or active, poses that are dynamic and convey action. For an example of these criteria, you can see this image here.

Fully clothed and suggestively attired: Fully-clothed and suggestively attired are not opposite ends on a spectrum. Some figures that were not fully clothed were not counted as suggestively attired while some figures that were fully clothed were also counted as suggestively attired. (For examples, please see the original article.)

Class Archetype: It was not always applicable, but when possible I looked at what class archetype a figure was depicted as: fighter, rogue, or mage. I counted all archers as rogues, as well as thieves. I counted anyone casting a spell as a mage, even if they had a sword. Fighters were any characters wielding only melee weapons and not casting spells.

Selection of Sources

In looking at current Magic cards, I was able to find pages that list all of the cards in the current 2011 core set (often referred to as M11) along with thumbnails of each card. Since these core cards are expected to form the base of most decks, rather than examine every card that is still legal in tournament play – a list that is exhaustive and constantly changing – I confined my examination to the M11 set which contains a mere 248 cards (including lands and artifacts.)

I also have access to a source of older cards in that my husband was (in the mid-90’s) an avid Magic collector and player. I didn’t count the number of cards total, but he possesses 348 unique Magic cards (not including lands) of all colors. The actual total is much higher since there are multiple copies of the commons and such, but because the collection was amassed over a few years and is taken from all colors, I felt that it comprised an adequately randomized sample of mid-90’s magic cards.

I applied the same criteria to both the M11 set and to my husband’s collection, and here’s what I came up with:

Results: M11 Core Set

Looking at the numbers, it’s pretty clear that the M11 core set of cards displays clear sexist trends across all variables. Women are consistently under-represented, with only 20% of all figures being female. Surprisingly, this is lower than the figures that were tabulated for the Magic press kit by a substantial margin, as the figures found in the Magic press kit were roughly 37% female – a difference of 17%! Furthermore, this under-representation is by far the lowest of all sources examined in the original article, with the exception of Warhammer Online. The D&D 4th Edition core books contain roughly 40% female figures. When looking at the top five North American MMOs, the official artwork found on all of their sites averages out to around 32% female figures. And even Xbox 360, the console with the lowest representation of females on its game covers examined in this period, had roughly 25% female figures.

Looking at other variables, women are more likely than men to be depicted as neutral. They are also significantly more likely to be depicted as mages and significantly less likely to be depicted as fighters; a clear example of the classic female = mage = not involved in direct combat stereotype that female characters in game art are often shoehorned into.

The only variables that are demonstrably superior to other areas of gaming are fully clothed figures and suggestively attired figures. Women are significantly more likely to be depicted as suggestively attired than men, with 60% of all suggestive figures being female. They are also less likely to be fully covered, comprising only 40% of all fully covered figures. However, while these numbers display clear sexist trends, they stand out in stark contrast to the numbers from other areas of gaming, especially MMOs. The top five MMOs averaged had almost 85% of all suggestively attired figures as female. Guild Wars in particular had 95% of all suggestively attired figures as female. So while suggestive depictions are still unequal, they are markedly less sexist than some other gaming sources.

Comparing M11 Core Set with Older Randomized Sample

Okay, I know this looks cluttered, but I wanted to be able to clearly show the changes in these trends over time. Pale columns represent old figures, saturated columns represent new figures.

What is interesting from looking at this comparison is noting which trends haven’t changed. Most variable sets have remained roughly the same over time. Active and neutral poses, suggestively attired figures, and class archetypes have all remained largely unchanged between the two sets of images. (The thief variable I was reluctant to include; the numbers for each are so small as to be very easily skewed.) The trends that have changed significantly are the ratio of male to female figures and the percentage of fully-clothed figures.

Women are actually less represented in the M11 core set of cards than they are in the randomized sample of mid-90’s cards, making up only a fifth of all figures where they accounted for a quarter of all figures in the older sample. Also of note is the fact that in the older set, women accounted for a majority of all fully-covered figures at 60%. In the new M11 set, however, they now account for only a 40% minority. So while the percentage of suggestive depictions is mostly unchanged, women are less represented in the new set and are wearing less clothing overall. This is an interesting result when one considers that D&D – a product also owned by Wizards – has been been growing less sexist in its game art over time. (Though the 4E art still displays noticeable sexist trends.)

What’s next

As with my look at the re-launched WoW art galleries, I intend to look at comparisons of images that were counted as suggestive for both male and female figures, but that will have to wait until I can finish pulling images together.

36 thoughts on “Magic the Gathering: Looking at sexist trends over time (Part One)

  1. While many of these results do seem obviously sexist, it would probably be worth doing some significance testing in order to show that these occurrence rates cannot be explain by pure chance.

  2. I do wonder what is to be expected of “the classic female = mage = not involved in direct combat stereotype”. Realistically, by average, women are not stronger than men; and realistically, by average, women don’t/didn’t fight as much in direct combat. What is an adequate replacement for this trend? Please, ignore the other trends of hypersexualization and similar issues. I’m trying to figure what this is to be replaced with.

    • Well, there’s definitely an argument to be made that there’s no reason that particular realism concern needs to be taken account in wish fulfillment fantasy when the male melee fighters are using weapons they couldn’t possibly fight with to begin with.

      If they didn’t want to break away from the physical restrictions, though, there’s always the possibility of universally-enhanced melee — it’s not sexist if it applies to everyone, and it usually looks awesome. 😉

    • “Realistically, by average, women are not stronger than men; and realistically, by average, women don’t/didn’t fight as much in direct combat.”

      You are right about women on average (and I do stress “average”) not being as strong as men , but don’t mistake not being CAPABLE of fighting in direct combat with not being ENCOURAGED to fight in direct combat. Women in our society are socially conditioned to avoid confrontation, unlike men, who are rewarded for being aggressive/competitive. When I was a young child, I had only male friends, and I behaved just as they did. As I became older I began to feel the pressure to conform and “act like a lady”, and so I did (well, “tried” is the right word). I eventually realized that women and men don’t have to try to fit the mold that society creates for us, and now I am a young woman who is aggressive, competitive, and as outspoken as any man. I’m also a very kind and caring person, but I won’t hesitate to propel my fist right into the middle of someone’s face if I feel physically threatened.

      • “…unlike men, who are rewarded for being aggressive/competitive.”
        I understand the notion here, but in modern society, boys are not regularly rewarded or supported for being violent. I find that society is proud that its men are mostly nonviolent and cooperative. The worst violence most of us see are likely *in* video games. I *do* observe that most guys are actively interested in violence, and propogate it themselves. It’s kind of an internal, self-replicating mechanism. But I don’t see that society makes a mold asking *anyone*to be violent. We just go there anyway–guys especially. Is that a natural tendency or sexism in action?

        Lastly, if most of the fans in gaming are male, and are titillated by female avatars and characters, then I imagine a larger female audience would fill the gap/balance out the male avatars and characters. Where’s the gaming girl audience?

        Then again, I don’t believe they would be as driven as men to create a titillating avatar. Maybe this just clearly outlines the sexual openness/promiscuity of males compared to females? And that’s pretty normal…men are open because they have less to lose (and for social reasons I won’t divulge), and women are more reserved because they have more investment/risk in it (and for social reasons I don’t necessarily understand).

        • I *do* observe that most guys are actively interested in violence, and propogate it themselves. It’s kind of an internal, self-replicating mechanism. But I don’t see that society makes a mold asking *anyone*to be violent.

          Society is the other guys, who treat deviation from the violent norm as a betrayal of masculinity. And the guys who influence the kids of today got to be the way they are because they grew up in that same kind of society, so there’s no way of separating their own inherent inclinations out from learned behavior.

          Things are complicated a bit further because the more official form of society tends to create rules that are supposed to apply to everyone, but which men are basically expected to break with no real consequences. (Think of restrictions against adultery — the law is that all adulterers should be put to death, but only women ever get punished for it)

          And that probably has more to do with the difference in male and female responses to sex appeal than innate biological facts — women are embarrassed by it because society says its wrong, while men get so much reinforcement from their social groups that they’ll gladly put a pin-up image as their wallpaper without thinking anything of it. (Note that when women are reinforced by their social groups in the same way, you get the yaoi fandom)

        • Where’s the gaming girl audience?

          Go read fatuglyorslutty.com and then ask me where are the gamer girls. Can you blame women for not wanting to be associated with gaming when the common wisdom in WoW, StarCraft II, and XBox Live is “don’t admit you’re a woman”? Sometimes I wonder what the fuck is wrong with me for being associated with a hobby that thinks its okay to demand that all women everywhere show men their tits.

          That’s not to say that all male gamers do this. But hell, the fact that people like Jim Sterling and David Jaffe are still employed really illustrate just how much misogyny is tolerated in the gaming world. Hell, it’s practically de rigeur in some gaming circles.

          • I just spilled my drink laughing xD That site is too good. I’m glad there’s such a place to send misogynistic crap (which I see on a daily basis) to. I don’t know how much of a difference it will make, but damn is it funny. Thank you.

        • “Where’s the gaming girl audience?”

          Where’s the audience of “women” gamers? Everywhere! We also make up roughly 40% of the entire gaming population, so the “most gamers are men” argument is pretty much on its way out. However, despite being a decent chunk of the gaming community, we are still ignored by fellow male gamers and the industry alike. =/

  3. Was just about to post the same as Sumkid above – by your own stats, it’s not as though female fighters are completely unrepresented. Yes there are correspondingly less of them, but calling that a stereotype just seems to ignore real-life practicalities. They’re not saying women can’t be melee fighters, just that it’s less likely.

    • If you’re going to have a universe where magic exists, why get hung up on the “realism” of “women aren’t as strong as men”? The weapons aren’t realistic, the armor isn’t realistic, the magic definitely isn’t realistic. So saying that the imbalance in gender depictions is “realism”? I call bullshit.

      • Except that they’re not “hung up” on women being weaker at all. By your own stats, nearly half the women are melee fighters! Compare that to real life where – for whatever reason, political or otherwise – pretty much none of the women in the armed forces will be on the front line. If I wanted, I could easily argue that the proportion of women fighters in their universe is as unrealistic as the armor or weapons.
        I agree with some of the piece’s other points but on this it seems strange to be criticising them for being sexist simply because they didn’t skew their universe far enough away from reality.

      • By that token, the game’s called “Magic”. It’s about people that throw magic at each other. Why is women being classified as “mage” in such a game a problem?

        Also, the biggest gender imbalance in the series is that Angels are entirely women, and angels have a “near-to-naked-as-the-censors-let-us” vibe going on, sort of aping classical angel paintings. It was a terrible justification. Now, they finally got around to fixing some of that, like with the new Serra Angel art, but there’s so goddamn many angels and Wizards uses old art for years at a time in coresets, so it’ll take a while to get this fixed.

        Have hope though! Like, <A HREF="http://i.imgur.com/SOe9F.jpg"%5Dwith things like this..[/A] That's Elesh Norn. She's one of the major villains in the current block, and if you find her sexy, well, I don't think we can fault Wizards for that. Things are changing in the new cards. (I think. Most of Phyrexia is somewhat beyond gender and anthropomorphism, so it's hard to tell what exactly is supposed to be female.)

  4. I do a martial art called kendo (Japanese sword fighting), and I’ve got to tell you, the women kick just as much ass as the men (my last sensei was a woman, and you would not argue with her!). Unless you’re wielding a giant hammer, strength isn’t the most important thing, skill is.

    • Not that it matters anyway in a world where you can bring a fireball into a knife fight.

      • “Not that it matters anyway in a world where you can bring a fireball into a knife fight.”

        I agree, and I actually find it more enjoyable to play as a mage than a sword-weilding warrior. However, while it doesn’t matter in a world full of magic per se, it certainly matters when a select few use the excuse of realism as a means to justify having very few women in physical combat roles. I’m sure we can all agree that there will always things in video games that one would never see in the real world, but saying that there shouldn’t be a more balanced representation of the genders because compared to the real-world statistics it isn’t correct, is a weak argument indeed.

        • Should’ve been a comma right after “a more balanced representation of the genders because”. Punctuation escapes me at this time of night. -_-

        • “saying that there shouldn’t be a more balanced representation of the genders because compared to the real-world statistics it isn’t correct, is a weak argument indeed.”

          If you’re referring to me, that’s not what I was saying at all. My point (as I reference Sumkid’s post) was purely about the 44%/50% fighter/mage split and how lambasting that as unbalanced or perpetuating a non-combat stereotype was strange.

    • I’m an iaidoka (another form of Japanese swordfighting), and I agree with this completely. Using a katana is much more about subtlety than brute force, and there’s both advantages and disadvantages to everything as far as physical stature is concerned.

      Of course, following that would just increase the number of weapons a woman could reasonably use, rather than questioning the idea of whether there should be “unreasonable” weapons to begin with when some of the men are carrying 100lb hammers. 😉

      • Thank you for reminding me of this important piece! “A bullet renders all sizes equal”! When it comes to using weapons, Ikkin and Nick are absolutely right–skill is the primary determinant, and physicality falls secondary. But in the face of incredible technological jumps, where weaponry itself can determine the battle, do the differences between man and woman not mean anything anymore?

        Also, I do still wonder–do you also feel that intrinsic difference between men and women? I mean, evolutionarily, biologically, spiritually–in any arena–do you feel that men are naturally built and inclined toward things that women aren’t? That women are naturally built and inclined toward things that men aren’t?

        Because if men and women are all the same, then what’s the difference? Women have parts that allow them to do things I can’t do, and I have parts that allow me to do things they can’t do–is this a naturally occuring sexism? I don’t see it. Is this the extent of our differences? I feel it’s hard to believe, considering how that dichotomy splits so naturally into other arenas. At the root of it, we *are* different. Is it wise to reduce these differences to naught?

        P.S. @ Wundergeek: Yuna is one of the best female characters ever. I’ve been drawn to her even without seeing her bare it all on screen. Have you ever read Battle Angel Alita? There’s a powerful character you might enjoy. (Warning: she’s visceral!)

        • Men and women are biologically different. I majored in art and had a lot of anatomy, so I get this. However, I’m sure as hell not going to proclaim the ways in which they are different biologically v. societally because SCIENCE still hasn’t figured out the difference between biological and societal differences yet.

          I will say very basically that yes I understand men are generally stronger than women. But at the same time, the “biological differences” argument has been used to uphold some incredibly misogynistic ideas. Ditto with evolutionary psychology. So I generally prefer to just say “yes there are differences, but society plays a bigger part in those differences than people generally want to acknowledge”.

          The reason the woman = mage stereotype bothers me is because it is used to make women secondary, more passive characters who don’t get involved in conflict. I’m completely willing to acknowledge that men and women will approach combat situations differently; I know that I dislike fighting the guys in my class who have a foot on me. But in a fantasy universe where those distinctions are essentially meaningless, I want equal representation for women as fighters because it would give women more of a chance to be portrayed as movers and shakers rather than the traditional “I’ll just stand back and twiddle my figures while you big strong men go be heroic” that I get so sick of.

          • The reason the woman = mage stereotype bothers me is because it is used to make women secondary, more passive characters who don’t get involved in conflict. I’m completely willing to acknowledge that men and women will approach combat situations differently; I know that I dislike fighting the guys in my class who have a foot on me. But in a fantasy universe where those distinctions are essentially meaningless, I want equal representation for women as fighters because it would give women more of a chance to be portrayed as movers and shakers rather than the traditional “I’ll just stand back and twiddle my figures while you big strong men go be heroic” that I get so sick of.

            In that case, wouldn’t the portrayal of mages themselves play a role in whether portraying women mainly as mages is sexist?

            I mean, there’s nothing questionable about it when you’re dealing with the traditional kind of mage who stands in the back row and casts healing spells/buffs/debuffs/attack spells.

            But, what about a character like Kingdom Hearts’ Aqua, who’s fully competent with a blade but finds it much more efficient to follow the other Keyblade Masters’ leads and tear stuff up with close-range magic? The implications of that would seem to be rather different — is there a problem with that, too?

          • See, that’s a problem with gender roles, not mages specifically. using our Magic example, Urza, the protagonist of the first decade of Magic strylines, is the quintessential blue mage (Merlin style + magical trinkets, basically). His major sidekicks and minions (he has minions becuase Urza is not a very nice hero. Crushing heaven into airship fuel, using friends as suicide bombers, using WMD strong enough to start an ice age on his own brother, and the whole meta-Thran eugenics programs demonstrate this) are Gerrard and Xantcha, (the latter is a woman, by the way), both of whom are physical types. His enemy Yawgmoth is essentially the immaterial will of Phyrexia, which is basically transhuman-industrial-cyborg/demon/zombie-hell. (this is why Urza is the hero of the story despite being a complete asshole. It’s also why it’s hard to figure out female representation among them, or if they’re even sexed at all, aside from Sleeper agents designed to look like regular people and “compleated”foreigners like Belbe).

            In neither case does this make the characters secondary in the plot, unless you think “the chessmaster” or “trickster” are passive roles. I remember one of the Ravnica books had Teysa Karlov as a protagonist. Summary: a white/black aspected woman who was a Baroness lawyer with a cane that went around being a ruthless-yet-helpful asshole to everyone (this was years before House aired. Just getting that out of the way) who won a war entirely through legalese.

            Archetypes don’t make for active characters. Only good writing can do that.

          • “The reason the woman = mage stereotype bothers me is because it is used to make women secondary, more passive characters who don’t get involved in conflict. ”

            Just wanna say, look out for this wording here. Mages are technically involved in combat, just in a different way, as we’ve outlined they (and women) realistically would have to do. Should a mage alone face a slew of foes, he/she could do just as well. It simply emphasizes the difference between the Way of the Mage and the Way of the Warrior, as with the Way of Men and the Way of Women.

            However, this does not hold strong in a fantasy universe, as you said.

            I apologize for pulling the conversation away from the video game world (I am still very curious about feminism in general).

            I think that was the ideal root of my questioning. You have not lost a reader.

            • “It simply emphasizes the difference between the Way of the Mage and the Way of the Warrior, as with the Way of Men and the Way of Women.”

              Except there is no “way of the men” or “way of the women”. You are right that mages are just as competent in a battle situation as warriors (unless you’re a healer/cleric), but the sexism comes when the vast majority of mages are women. It implies that women are not capable of physical combat, which is simply false. Brute force and magic are both really great ways to win a fight, but we should see a more balanced representation of the genders in each of these categories.

              • Word. Sorry my comment wasn’t more substantial but I just really agree with this comment so much😄

              • I’ll keep to the books: The dictionary.com definition of sexism, “attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles”.

                My vision of the stereotype presented is that ‘women are not expected to engage in direct combat’. Otherwise, the unveiling of Samus wouldn’t have been such a shocker! Now, with that breaking of the ice, the mold was officially broken: there are women warriors (I still love Battle Angel Alita!). With the breaking of the mold in place, I don’t see how women are being told that they’re “not capable of physical combat”. I’m a little lost as to how this gets communicated. Most of the women in the background–actually, all of the women on the website’s background are close range fighters. (Again, I’m speaking more out of the realm of Magic…)

                “but the sexism comes when the vast majority of mages are women.”

                Having just read it, I was shocked to see that most of the mages in the Magic sampling weren’t women. I guess I’ll have to migrate over there. So…no sexism, right?😀

                On a final note, I want to make this issue closer to something more personal: minority representation. An example: Black people are generally perceived as thugs, hoods, gangstas and gangbangers. A public menace. “Black culture” is in hip hop, rap, gangsta rap, and sagging while wearing oversized clothes and jewelry. I don’t know if most of America’s black people act this way. In cultural centers (cities), I’ve witnessed that many do. I *do* understand that it can be frustrating for black people who aren’t a part of that “culture” to live with it and try not to be seen that way, or even get other people to see that there’s more to the world. Especially when almost everything that is advertised, endorsed and communicated speaks from a realm that they aren’t a part of.

                So, translating the situation, I can imagine how *frustrating* it can be to be a woman with a measure of grit who won’t submit 100% of the time. Because there’s more to women than that.

                Wundergeek, you keep up with martial arts! It’s no wonder you would like to see more active, worthwhile female roles (Alitaaaa!)! A large subsection of women would cringe at the thought, and are content to bat their eyes, cut off the shoulders of their V-Necks and stoop low to pick up pennies in public. (And many men will watch them…just as they’ll watch Flava Flav or Ceelo Green) Women like this occasionally even dress up as video game characters for cosplay! They don’t care! I see now that it doesn’t mean you don’t.

                I don’t know where I’m going anymore, but I think I can see this better. Just…don’t *not* admit that men and women are different!😛 We may never understand each other, and the reasons may not be clear, but in either Creationist of Evolutionist realms, we exist for very different functions. Simply because there are two kinds of human doesn’t make one submissive and one dominant. That schism doesn’t split along the sex line. =]

                Cheers!

              • @Sumkid: Going off dictionary definitions, which can themselves be biased and too not give enough information to give an actual accurate picture of what something is, is a bad idea. Also, yes there are women who are warriors in media. Okay. More please.

                Token efforts are not worth much. When you still represent a larger majority as being the warriors (men) while representing women as being the less physical/brutal/aggressive of the bunch then.. yes you still have a problem. It’s still skewed and it’s still sexism. Also, lets say you do make the majority women.. are they all wearing half outfits, armor with cleavage or midriffs bared and cameltoe and the like? Then that’s still sexism, since it makes it out that women are there to be on sexual display (usually for men) not to be the profession they’re supposed to be.

                The idea that ‘a large subsection are fine with being sexualized by men’ is too simplistic. Why? Because our society tends to send the message that women are only valuable when they’re on display (like ‘sex sells’, which is oddly only used in relation to women most of the time)? Or maybe they are simply doing it for /themselves/ and you are assuming they are doing it for the men on the streets. Would they really cringe at the idea of more well-rounded and better represented women in media? I have a hard time believing that. You cannot ignore social influence, including the ones that tell us ‘women and men are different’ for vague and unexplained reasons, or tell men and women they’ll never understand each other (with messages like that, no one will ever try..).

                Women and Men are different, but /how/ different that people tend to disagree on. And there are plenty of myths and things that depend solely on performance that are confused with fact on how different women and men are. I don’t believe it can ever be as black and white as ‘existing for different functions’, human beings are too various and far too flexible to be categorized to such narrow roles.

              • @Cole and Lilith

                Just as there is no inferior in the way of men and women, there is no inferior to mages and warriors. I don’t feel that I imply–or that mass entertainment implies–that one is inferior to the other. Why is it that men can’t generally be viewed as fighters and women generally viewed as casters? Just how taller players are generally viewed as playing Centers in basketball, while shorter players play Forwards? I mean, in the game of battle, they seem congruent. I have no real stake in the matter anymore, but there are things that men are tailored to, and things that women are tailored to. I feel that this can’t just be banished, even if it’s not central. Because, even if we eradicate all traces of sexism, men and women *are* different. And I don’t think that’s a sin.

                I despise stereotypes as much as the next person, but there is always *some* trace of truth in them. That’s why I can’t abandon this idea as easily as I’d hoped I could.

                Surely, I understand that the industry is vastly oversexed–I’m beginning to become more and more bothered by the supported lack of sexual control (c’mon, guys, step it up!). I am, however, plagued by this idea that there is something intrinsically, purposefully different between men and women (and it doesn’t make one great than the other!). Whether we were created or evolved, men and women exist as separate for a reason. If we could do everything the same, then what’s the point? That’s either natural, evolutionary inefficiency or bad creative design.

                I feel that it’s more important to celebrate these differences than sulk in them or feel inferior. In the end, we need each other to live! I’m sure there’s a balance between male and female capabilities and societal roles.

                I see no reason why women can’t be great fighters, or men good casters. I see no reason why men can’t be feminine or women be masculine. But then why are there two of us? Just as a function of reproduction? *That’s* just as narrow, and unflexible.

      • Yeah, Japan has some pretty awesome stuff. From Wiki:

        “Although they did not typically fight as normal soldiers, women of the samurai class were expected to be capable of defending their homes while their husbands were away at war. The naginata was considered one of the weapons most suitable for women, since it allows a woman to keep opponents at a distance, where any advantages in height, weight, and upper body strength would be lessened.”

        So yeah, women can fight just as well, even without magic or guns. They simply have to be smart about it, like every soldier ever.

  5. Big fan of the game, earlier sets (before 8th ed). But yea, just went through my old green deck, and was sad to say mostly males portrayed. Then again, I’m really not surprised, it’s basically a video game in card form and vgs obviously don’t have a great track record for sexual equality. Also most of the female characters in friends’, and my own, decks are anthropomorphized (word?) and hyper-sexualized. It’s like the two go hand in handO_o

    Btw, this blog is growing on me since my last posts and the conversation going on in the comments is definitely quality.

  6. Not looking for a fight… just some added clarification. Are these sexist issues a slice of the white male issue (white males dominate in entertainment media)? Or is it really a case of male/female and race isn’t under-represented?

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