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December 11, 2013

Important Foregrounding Alert!

A sociologist explores the tokenism in Angry Birds II (Star Wars):

...for white, male Star Wars characters, skin color is unimportant; white characters can be represented by a bird of any color. It is the costuming or props used by these birds that convey the essence of the character. But for black Star Wars characters, their skin color (brown) becomes the defining element conveying the essence of the character.

Likewise, gender is also a defining characteristic for the portrayal of female characters. Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fischer, a white female) and Padme (played by Natalie Portman, a white female) are both portrayed by pink birds. There are no other pink birds in the game. Again, the color of the bird is unimportant, unless the bird is female, in which case the character’s gender (denoted by its pinkness) becomes the essential element of that character.

This same pattern also appears in the original Angry Birds Star Wars, in which Princess Leia is the only pink bird and Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams, a black male) is the only brown bird.
White privilege and male privilege persist, in part, by framing the white, male experience as normal. Even in a game like Angry Birds Star Wars II we see the invisibility of whiteness and maleness and the foregrounding of race and gender for people of color and women.

Question for the ages: the gender and race lobby are constantly lobbying for more inclusiveness, which usually takes the form of making sure easily identifiable members of various "disadvantaged" classes are visible in whatever endeavor they're putting under the microscope this week.

Failure to be inclusive enough is evidence of white, male privilege and poorly concealed Otherism. But apparently, so are sincere efforts to comply with the inclusivity demands of race-and-gender activists.

This yet another reason why the Blog Princess never plays video games. The White Man is Everywhere, continually Oppressing and Othering and Foregrounding and... well, you know the drill.

Sacre bleu! Did we just use rape metaphor? Drills are vaguely penis-like. And they are used to penetrate things, often forcefully! We need a safe space from The Man and his violent, rape-filled imagery.

SHAME. Shame on all you penis-havers!

Posted by Cassandra at December 11, 2013 08:33 AM

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Comments

White privilege and male privilege persist, in part, by framing the white, male experience as normal.

So then, "normal" is dog whistle for "boring?"

Posted by: spd rdr at December 11, 2013 09:33 AM

Well now isn't that just like a white man? You can't even recognize your own differently-colored feather privilege.

Sob!

Posted by: Cass at December 11, 2013 11:06 AM

Wait. All the white males are assigned to birds of all colors of the rainbow? OMG, they're implying that white males are all secretly gay!!!

Justice Roberts could not be reached for comment.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at December 11, 2013 11:17 AM

Dang. Pushed out of the closet... AGAIN.

Posted by: George Dubya at December 11, 2013 11:44 AM

sardonic humor is redundant around here on this topic; we're all old enough to recognize there's a lot of diversity within races, and have witnessed a great deal of blending.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 11, 2013 09:41 PM

Yesterday I was "Privileged" to attend a BNI breakfast with my wife (The President of this chapter). Part of the festivities was a "Chinese auction" of the gag gifts everyone brought to the party. One of the women objected to the phrase "Chinese auction" (she was clearly Caucasian). Before his wife could stop him a certain retired Captain audibly suggested renaming the even a "White heterosexual male auction"--that being the only category which cannot be discriminated against.It's gonna cost me. It was worth it.

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at December 12, 2013 09:04 AM

Before his wife could stop him a certain retired Captain audibly suggested renaming the even a "White heterosexual male auction"--that being the only category which cannot be discriminated against.

OK, that made my day :)

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2013 09:24 AM

Gotta like a white male retired CAPT w/ a sense of humor about himself.

Very Respectfully,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 12, 2013 11:11 PM

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