“I DON’T PLAY POKEMON BECAUSE I’M AN ADULT AND I’VE SEEN A VAGINA”
– one of many bullshit memes doing the rounds on Facebook
It is very hard to enjoy anything these days without having to deal with patriarchal attitudes, including the latest iteration of the Pokemon Franchise – Pokemon Go.
I’m a Digimon girl; the anime and the characters were better, but they never seemed to get their games right. Pokemon was a side interest, mostly due to the fact that we couldn’t afford to have multiple consoles in our household when I was growing up. (Sega Mega Drive FTW). When my American friends started playing Pokemon Go it looked like so much fun so I downloaded the APK and played for a week before it was officially released in the UK.
The game is fun. I have mild agoraphobia, so having an app that gamifies my time outside is always welcome. It is also similar to geocaching, one of my favourite hobbies. Finally, I’ve managed to have an amazing social experience while playing; other people are outside playing too, and seeing so many people being joyful is a wonderful thing.
Of course there are haters, and haters gonna hate.
Mostly that’s fine. There are always some grumpy bastards who like to spoil everybody’s fun. However, a lot of the hatred directed to Pokemon Go players is deliberately misogynistic, homophobic and promotes toxic masculinity. In short, it’s anti-feminist and that has set off my inner feminist úlfheðnar.
Apparently enjoying Pokemon Go makes you ‘less of a man’ and by association ‘more of a girl’. Let’s pick this apart.
The image of manly manliness is pretty fucking toxic. Big boys don’t cry. Man up. No cooking and sewing, even if you like it. Lots of cars and fighting, even if you hate it. Be Alpha. You know, the sort of attitude that bullies men into being emotionally backwards, and closed off to the world. Because men shouldn’t ‘feel’. The sort of attitude that promotes hard hearts and harder thinking. An unrealistic expectation of all men to fit the mould that patriarchy set up for them, and if they fail then they will never be a ‘real man’.
Fuck that noise.
And what, pray tell, is wrong with being a woman? Are we too weak? Too frail? Is being compared to a woman such a horrid thing?
Think about it, and fuck that noise.
If you have a penis, vagina, both, neither or whatever, if you are male, female, both, neither or some other flavour, do not let some messed-up judgemental fuckwits tell you what it means to be a ‘real man’ or a ‘real woman’. I’m no expert on sociology or gender, but I can spot a scumbag human a mile off. And if you want to play Pokemon Go, then go.