- Posted: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 17:25:01 +0000
Purpose and Introduction
Resources and Acknowledgements
A - D
E - H
I - L
M - P
Q - T
U - X
Y - Z
Resources and Acknowledgements
A - D
E - H
I - L
M - P
Q - T
U - X
Y - Z
Disclaimer: I acknowledge much of the content of this thread is subjective and that many users might disagree with my definitions, my observations and my conclusions. If you disagree, please do politely post and say why. I am all for altering scores and such, should you provide a good case for it. But please don't 'shout' at me or be a jerk. I'm unlikely to acknowledge you at all if you can't communicate like a reasonable human being. For those who fear I'm biased, I want to note that I started this thread thinking that I was going to end up with far more male items than I did, and started out thinking all the people asking for male items were being kind of whiny. This thread put things into perspective for me, a little.
Welcome everyone! Some of you are probably here wondering what the heck is this nonsense? Why would I make such a nutty thread? From where stems this madness?
Well, simply put, I've always been kind of intrigued by the debate on masculine items vs feminine items. It's not that I agree more with one side or the other so much as I just find the debate itself kind of intriguing. So while satiating my own curiosity regarding the state of gender representation in the site's Rapid Evolving Items (REIs, here on out), I realized that dividing them up into distinct categories really isn't as easy as all that. They seem to be some of the most notorious items for leaving males out in the cold (some of them quite literally--yes, I'm looking at you, Polar Tear.)
But while I was doing my fancy (not really) investigation, it just became apparent that drawing a clear line in the sand with boys on one side and girls on the other was just kind of difficult. Because, while everyone seems to have a clear definition of "feminine," in today's society, defining "masculine" is no where near as clear cut. When it comes to clothes and fashion (which is the focus of most REI poses), gender divisions are beginning to blur from the female to male side, but not so much the other way around (note that this is based on Western culture and ideals because that is where Gaia is based and also is where I'm from, thus what I'm familiar with. I'm aware that other cultures have different views regarding gender association). I also noticed that a lot of items sometimes referred to as "male" are more neutral than distinctly male. And a lot of items often called "female" have far more neutral poses than they're given credit for.
Of course defining things like feminine, neutral or masculine has a significant degree of subjectivity from the start. So I've taken the first few posts to try to explain how my thought process works when 'rating' an item. I've also given a summary/explanation for each REI to explain the reason for my conclusion.
Many REIs have both male and female poses, and also contain neutral poses as well. You can't really call most belts, swords, coffee cups, tables, etc specifically male or female unless it has flowers and ribbons spewing out of it. This is why I ended up focusing on making a scale that rates each item for masculinity, femininity and neutrality rather than labeling it as such. Some items are mostly female but do have some masculine poses so there's a degree of manliness there. It's just kind of a matter of how much.
First of all, as I mentioned, with a lot of REIs, it's hard to give them a completely black or white score. But I do try to give everything an overall score of masculine, feminine, both or neutral. I felt it was important to distinguish between REIs that are geared toward both male and female vs those that are geared toward neither male or female. The difference is subtle but important to me.
I looked at a lot of different things for each REI when 'rating them.' The points I looked at are as follows (note that some of the things I look at do involve traditional gender stereotypes in Western society just because I really did need some kind of standard to differentiate between 'masculine' and 'feminine,' but I tried to be as open minded as possible. Often, the easiest way to differentiate is determining if a pose is overtly female--like a dress--since masculinity is often more subtle and difficult to define for reasons mentioned above. And, let's face it. Not many people are going to feel offended if I label a dress with bows as feminine, but many girls are likely to feel offended if I imply all pants and weapons are inherently masculine.) :
~Description/Title: Do these designate a particular gender right off the bat? Having a specific gender here doesn't necessarily mean the item matches the gender of the main character but it can impact the overall tone of the REI and much of the time, a title with a female character is prelude to a mostly female themed REI.
~Pose names: Do these designate genders? I felt this was important for determining if any neutral looking poses might have been specifically geared toward guys. A bow tie may be neutral no matter what but if it's labeled for a male character, I do take that into consideration.
~Color scheme: Are the colors generally associated with one gender or the other, or are they neutral? This is particularly important for REIs in the neutral category as the color scheme may push it more toward one gender or the other. Unfortunately, there are no specifically masculine colors but there are colors that have a high degree of association femininity (pink, pastels in general, lavender, etc). I try to take into consideration that some colors (like cream) might be neutral, but are associated with one gender or the other here on Gaia, specifically.
~Item theme: Does it revolve around activities associated more with one gender or the other? I don't really subscribe to the belief that violence is inherently masculine (I feel that's kind of...offensive towards guys...) or that cooking and fashion are only for girls. But I try to be as reasonable as possible, here because whether I personally like it or not, no matter how many guys I know that collect dolls, most people associate dolls with little girls.
~Poses: Are the individual poses overtly female--like skirts or items with cleavage--or not. Or, are they neutral--like backgrounds or accessories? Many times, counting the actual overtly female poses of an item typically considered "female" revealed surprising results. As always, male poses are harder to define so I often had to look at a combination of things to determine if it was male, really.
~Pose details: Do the clothing items/accessories have lace or bows, are they bulky or form fitting, cropped or long, are the wigs long or short, etc? Just because something has trousers doesn't mean those trousers are masculine. Most accessories, I count as being neutral unless the details are somehow feminine.
~Pose significance: Are the more important poses aligning more with one gender or the other with only smaller poses being neutral? Even if an item has a lot of neutral or male poses, if they're smaller accessories while the more significant poses like major clothing articles, wigs, face mods, etc. are female, then the item would get a higher female score since the male or neutral poses hold less weight. I tend to consider the large clothing items (coats, skirts, dresses), wigs, body and face mods as more important than accessories, props and backgrounds. I rarely see people say they decided to buy an REI for a belt or tea cup pose.
~Balance: Do overtly female poses have male counterpart poses of equal significance? I felt this was important to look at too.
~User Feedback: how do users feel about the overall tone of the item? This holds less weight than other areas because I wanted to be objective but I do take it into consideration to a small degree.