whoreBy Paco Garcia Jaen

Today, on the second decade of the 21st century and despite many protests from people who claim it is not the case, we still live in an awful sexist society and our hobby, the gaming hobby that claims to be ever so open-minded and clever is just as bad as any other hobby out there.

There, I said it.

I am not going to go into all the details, just one detail. “Whore”

Why do we have to use that word when we want to insult a woman? That is just a stupid and pathetic insult as calling a man “gay” when we want to insult him. It’s puerile, a cheap shot and it’s wrong.

I have always felt uncomfortable about that word as an insult. Recently in Guardians of the Galaxy I was twitching in the cinema when Gamora was called a whore by a character that never uses a word metaphorically even though it was pretty obvious that Gamora was not, and never had been, a prostitute.

Today I published my most recent video with a review of a roleplaying game called La Mirada del Centinela in which I criticize some of the depictions of female characters for being overly sexualised. In the comments someone, probably with the best intention in the world said: “I agree with you on the female images. We really don’t need that kinky whore image of women. Not in a game, and not in real life either… “

Seriously? Is every woman who dresses in a sexualised way, for whatever the reason, a whore? Is that all we can call a woman when we want to insult and denigrate her?

People obviously don’t seem to understand that calling someone a “whore” is not just a cheap shot at the person, but it also helps perpetuate the bad image and stigma that comes associated with prostitution. And with kink.

But it goes deeper than that. People also fail to understand the difference between a woman who wants to look sexual and one who’s been sexualised for an audience’s gratification. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with a woman who wants to look sexual. She’s perfectly entitled to do so, just as are men.

The problem with the sexualisation of women for the audience’s gratification – or one of many – is that it plays to our pre-conceptions of women. We see an image of a sexualised woman and what does our little male – and plenty of females too, let’s not kid ourselves here – brain think? Whore or slave. It either turns them into an object that is denigrated and very badly regarded in our society or a weak object that must be rescued and has already been subjugated (for men and by men, of course.)

So can we just stop the “whore” trend, please? Can we just stop it?

If you want to insult a woman for whatever reason in your story, or your game, or even in real life, use another insult. Call her stupid, or idiot, or asshole. Or any other proper insults that do not pander to the male-centric stereotypes that are as rancid as the misconceptions surrounding them.

Thank you.