in the wild

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A couple of vids of Kat and Dom dancing at the EW party. Stitched together.

oops, my hand slipped ;)) @franfan321 might have requested Kieran and I might have been unable to resist drawing this pretty fae,, and he was so fun to draw????

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Time to share this again.

Originally posted by asyoulikeitnow

Ok so I just started playing Breath of the Wild yesterday. I literally just got the paraglider and once I left the tutorial area before I found any villages I found a horse, mounted it, got REALLY lost trying to find a stable to register it, wound up finding the horse god who wants 1000 rupees to revive dead horses when I only have 3 rupees that I found on the ground and only the one horse that wasn’t even registered, finally found a stable to register my horse, sold a bunch of stuff to even get 20 rupees, caught and registered another horse, and I’ve just found the Giant Horse and found out I actually need stamina to ride horses. I only have the one stamina bar since I used my only upgrade on another heart. I need two and a half to get it apparently. :P

have i gone down this rabbit hole before? did i see a post on the subject that i forgot wasn’t something i came up with? idk

but Gerudo Town in the new zelda is a weird place, and it looks like they have really strange gender politics, as a side effect of, like… okay, only women are allowed in here, that’s a brute fact about the setting, but obviously nintendo isn’t going to get explicit about gender politics in their mass-market E for Everyone game and tell us why, so we’re forced to just sort of draw conclusions from how you’re treated when you break the rules.

if you’re wearing normal outfits, the guards won’t let you inside. you’ve got to be wearing the Gerudo Vai armor set to pass as a woman, and if you change clothes in town, they immediately kick you out. that’s pretty straightforward.

the weird thing- usually written off as a bug, or some failure to implement a line-of-sight detection system- is that if you go up to the main gate, where two guards are staring directly at you, and change into the vai outfit… they’ll let you in. even though they just watched Link, a guy, change clothes right in front of them. there is no way they are fooled by this. so what gives?

i think gerudo gender politics are in an awkward place between hardcore radical feminism and liberal feminism, here. where radical feminism positions both men and masculinity as irreversibly evil, the source of all gender dysfunction in society, Gerudo Feminism takes one and not the other.

specifically: they refuse to tolerate the male social role. they seem to have some kind of oppositional gender essentialism going, but identify masculinity as a performance rather than an identity. they have pretty rigid, binary ideas about what gender is, with little tolerance for blurring the lines- but gender is for them a verb, wearing the skin of a noun. in Gerudo Town, it is acceptable to be a woman, which here means wearing women’s clothing and performing a feminine presentation- and unacceptable to be a man- even if they’re aware of who you are. you can change clothes and get kicked out over and over again without anyone deciding “oh, we know you’re a voe now, we’re not going to let you back in.” the crime was being a man in Gerudo Town, not pretending to be a woman in Gerudo Town. they fully expect you to be wearing the vai outfit, and are happy to let you do as you like as long as you’re performing the correct role. why would the guards bother stopping you at the gate, if by changing your gender performance before you go inside, you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do?

there’s plenty of room for this to be a fucked up society to live in, entirely outside of the question of “hey, is there actually anything wrong with being a man?”. for example- if we assume there’s no transfemme utopia thing going on, and the Gerudo are all presumably cis women (hence their need to journey outside to reproduce)- it’s gotta suck for trans boys born Gerudo. being told that who you want to be (are) will get you kicked out of not just your home, but your whole nation? not great. and… for that matter, what do they object to about maleness? it’s clearly not the classic stuff- being violent or domineering or entitled or emotionally closed. they clearly have no problem with celebrating those things in their highly-regarded military caste! all that’s left, it seems, is harmless aesthetic stuff, betraying a not-particularly-healthy view of gender.

some question marks: is there a racial element here? like, i can easily see them “busting” some hylian guy who thinks he’s figured out the kayfabe, that he can put on a dress and go around hitting on the girls and being very loud and not at all pretending to be a woman aside from the costume. but i would guess they wouldn’t kick out a particularly boorish cis lesbian for behaving in exactly the same way, much less a Gerudo. or… would they? do they lack a norm for “catching” obviously “fake” vai? would they hypocritically accept sex/race as proof of gender? what are the rules, and how do they handle edge cases and poorly-performed femininity?

nintendo really failed to give us more than a cardboard cutout of a women-only society with Gerudo Town- it’s hard to square the circle here. the few details we’re given, plus the weird way it comes across mechanically, raise a lot of interesting questions about how this works.