Armor and Model Design Within the Video Game Industry

It is well known that for sometime now video games have had rater misogynistic portrayals of women, what with women being made generally more idealized to Western beauty standards, armor being more revealing, and so forth. As this article from Forbes states, the lack of women in the game design industry is a massive issue in equity for game design, which most have agreed to be the root cause of the aforementioned issue. If there are little to no women in charge of designing women, then it is far less likely that the female characters in the games can be accurately recreated by someone without similar experiences as a woman. Now, this issue has had some promotion in the past five or so years, and as such the amount of female game designers has risen, however we still see this issue present in numerous games.

Before we dig into games that go against this trend in one way or another, let’s provide some context for games that fall into this trap of misogyny. As much as I adore the game, Skyrim has some rather unrealistic design for armor for the female models; while not all falls under the problematic category, there’s a number of heavy armor involving plate in which the torso plate has breasts, which is an unrealistic caricature as most plate armors for women involved binding or a somewhat removed torso plate that gave some space, not full on sculpted breasts though. The infamous World of Warcraft has been known for a while to have male characters dressed in bulky and encompassing suits of armor, women can be seen in more revealing armor, which can often include more or less a set of underwear with some minor pieces of armor like a breast plate, pauldrons, boots, and gauntlets. Both of these games also make their women more conventionally attractive via western beauty standards; women are generally slimmer (regardless of strength or class), shorter than the male models, curvier in certain areas, and less signs of ageing or generally skin blemishes such as acne. While not everything is necessarily required for the sake of equity, such as acne, one expects at least varying models of women like is usually done with the male models.

In contrast, more recent games have begun to defy this tradition of sexism in new ways, most notably is games like Fallout 4 or Horizon Zero Dawn. Fallout 4 made headway in reducing sexism by having new options for character creation, which also gave more options to men. The games system allowed for option features for adding various blemishes, such as acne, as well as allowing different types of skin to convey different signs of ageing more aligned with reality. There’s also a feature that allows one to change the body shape along a triangular scale, with the three ends being the extremes of thin, muscular, and heavier weight, which effectively allows for even more representation in diversity. Horizon Zero Dawn‘s production studio, Guerrilla Games, also broke part of the history of sexism in the industry by doubling it’s female workforce for it’s company, which allowed for the game developers to create what is one of the most highly appraised female characters- and protagonist -in gaming history, furthermore the game itself is highly praised, having won an award for Writers Guild of America Awards, as well as various praise throughout the gaming community. This game proves that more female representation in game development can drastically improve the quality of the game, especially when it comes to designing female characters. Ultimately, sexism in the game industry is changing, however slowly, and the popularity of many games featuring female protagonists has only increased the amount of positive female representation in the gaming community.

A Final Reminiscence of Disenfranchisement

So far I have addressed two experiences of mine with disenfranchisement in my early education, one small and petty, the other more important. Both are problems that pale in comparison to the disenfranchisement of minorities, which I also spoke on. This, however, will address my experiences with minority side of disenfranchisement, of how a persistent disenfranchisement of queer students led to an apathy that would hinder the drive I craved in order to persevere through the barriers of oppression in a system which does not care about you other than the others trapped within it. Of my experiences, I will detail gym class, a health education class, and the general disenfranchisement based on disregard for my identity.

Gym is a stereotypically disliked class, I mean the idea of exercising and having to change clothes in front of others is generally disdained, as well as the general culture of athletic superiority combined with teachers who refuse to accommodate or create some sort of equity. This basically sets the foundation for why I tried desperately to avoid gym all four years of high school, which only mildly succeeded. In my freshman year of gym I tried to avoid any gendered separation as I was generally non-conforming to either side of the binary spectrum, however each time I attempted to do as such I was repeatedly reprimanded and told to line up with a particular side, which I will not name for the sake of my own preference. Anyhow, this blatant disregard for my identity was bolstered by the fact that I had to change out of clothes- border line naked -in front of others whilst very clearly not apart of their identity, which also left me open to a lot of harassment and bullying. Suffice to say, gym wasn’t exactly the ideal scenario for a trans-person.

The second topic which brought likely the most disenfranchisement was health class, an ironic title for a class which most doctors or health professionals would ridicule. My teacher for said class during, once again my freshman year, was the most conservative in the school. This meaning that I was mis-gendered constantly, dead-named, and most of all disrespected. This teacher also taught us very little about actual sexual health, though I’m lucky in that a local organization in my town taught peerless sexual health education, and in that I could point out to you about 3/4ths of the curriculum which was purely false, or at the very least biased. The nail in the coffin for this disenfranchisement, for me at least, is how he refused to teach us about LGBTQ+, or anything health related near the area. Even when a representative form another organization came in as a speaker, whom chose to teach us about LGBTQ+, he seemed dismissive and uncaring for the material or content. In other words; unless we had a lesson by an outside representative, we weren’t taught about LGBTQ+.

Third is just a general lack of care to address me by my identity, by my name rather than the name that someone else gave me. Most teachers didn’t start calling my by my chosen name until I had administration fully change my name on our grading system, and my pronouns were more or less disregarded for the entirety of my high school career. Eventually, after the first few times with each of many teachers, I just gave up trying to correct them, and more or less my identity became forfeit to whatever I looked like to them. This really reinforced the dysphoria that I struggled with in high school, and likewise I retreated from being myself a lot. However, to contrast this, I did have a good handful of teachers who genuinely cared enough to use my pronouns, who actually made inquiry and took interest in myself as a person, beyond the scores I got or the way I presented.

All of this blatant lack of care, by the vast majority anyways, really disenfranchised me from trying my hardest in academics during highschool. I mean, why put forth my full effort if they weren’t? Thus, I received lower marks than what I could have, though mind you I did try enough to maintain my status to achieve my goals for college, which is purely due to my own drive to succeed in my ambitions. Regardless of myself, however, one can only imagine how much worse this disenfranchisement is for other queer people who experience the same thing, which may be far worse considering most are not afforded the more progressive nature of my hometown. This culminates in a lot less diversity in the various aspects of our society requiring higher academics, making less ideas and input present to help our society grow into a more prosperous one. As such, this disenfranchisement based on mild trans-phobia- let alone worsened transgressions of trans-phobic nature -is highly detrimental to society in the end. Ergo, the step we take next is obviously to put forth the basic human dignity of respect enough to put effort into using someones preferred pronouns and proper name, thus reducing the massive disenfranchisement in our society. This goes two-fold to the education system, which is essential as a formative source for youth, many more of whom are discovering themselves as transgender.

Another Reminiscence of Disenfranchisement

Though I have spoken on the topic before, I recall another instance in my early education in which I had been disenfranchised as a student, particularly at the end of elementary, in sixth grade. During my sixth grade year, only but a couple scant weeks before, we were informed of a math test that was coming up, an important one that would be important for us to do well on. We had been provided little to no information on it, just that it was important, and naturally as 12 year olds we forgot about it till the day of, as children are want to do. Well, the cruel trick of the test was that it determined our placement for math in junior high. And high school. For our entire future of education.

Well, I know not what standards the test actually had for students, but I know well enough that I wasn’t always good at math, in fact I used to be quite bad at it. This wasn’t helped that I was disinterested in it, as my previous interests during my childhood didn’t involve the academics, exactly, though I did read a lot. You can likely surmise by now that I did not pass the test with flying colors, nor were we given a second opportunity to prove ourselves otherwise. I was put on the middle track of mathematics; the standard, not the advanced nor the track for students who struggled greatly with the area. The effect of this is something I only truly learned once I had matured into high school. This single test- which had all importance left unmentioned -had single-handedly signed my writ to forever take longer to find my place in the STEM classes I loved.

Now, I understand that this may seem like a trivial issue, however I would argue quite the opposite. Had I succeeded, was allowed access to science classes earlier, to more math, more variety, well I’d likely be a lot more closer to achieving my goals. I’d have been in AP Physics 2 in my senior year instead of the first course, I would’ve taken AP Calculus, AP Environmental Science, and I would’ve joined the Science National Honors Society which my school held for us seniors, which also gave us access to more resources for financial aid. I would’ve been far ahead, so to speak. In other words, I was held back by this test, I was kept from the classes that could’ve given me the leave to become a far more successful STEM Student.

Once I had come to the realization of this, you can imagine I felt pretty disenfranchised, how much I wanted to escape the education system and all it’s invisible barricades, whether it’s general or targeted. I had endured many years of bias as a queer person, many years of hard work to achieve something that looks worthwhile, hours upon hours of homework, and yet still it was not enough, because in reality I was hindered from the start. This is a privileged example of disenfranchisement, one that disregards the racial disparity of the system. I can only imagine how BIPOC students manage to push through the thousands of barricades that try to push them down, to be subservient beneath the privileged prowess of those with the power. And yet, we see many of those students becoming far greater than what the system wants for them. I think it is this drive that overcomes disenfranchisement, however it can only persist by the will of spite; to prove others wrong, to prove yourself right. In this sense, disenfranchisement of a people such as with BIPOC students or queer students like myself is one best treated with success.

Petty Reminiscence on the Disenfranchisement of Children

I have a specific recollection which I wish to share from my freshman year of high school, though I will likely involve reference to other instances in other parts of my youth. During freshman year, I was trying my best to succeed in the goal of being perfectly average in that I avoided AP courses, while also trying to excel by filling my schedule to the brim in order to avoid taking gym class. I maintained an A or near that in about every class, as I found most to be not difficult nor easy, more of just boring. English 9 was much the same way; I knew already about sentence structure, what verbs vs adverbs or adjectives vs nouns were, already knew how to construct an essay, at least well enough, and had a basic grip on properly understanding a piece of writing. However, even before first trimester, our teacher had taken maternity leave as she had just given birth, and ergo we were left with a long term sub to teach us once again about sentence structure.

To say the least, I was bored. After all, there’s only so much sentence structure you can learn before you find out you can utterly defy it in order to achieve a more poetic or off-the-beaten-path style. And, seeing as I was a blooming poet, I injected that style into my own writing, which most teachers agree is more complex and interesting than the run of the mill standard structure. This sub, whom had not an English degree nor was a writer, decided otherwise. In one of many various sentence structure practices, in which it basically said only to write a sentence about the prompt (something basic along the lines of two friends greeting each-other or some sort). Naturally, I did as such, but with a single twist; I removed a single function word in order to convey the same meaning in a more poetic way.

Now, I understand the argument that I should’ve followed the standard structure to a ‘T’, that I should abandon my style for the sake of showing my work, my understanding. I would argue that the many other assignments previous to this, which had us demonstrate likewise, had already proven myself more than capable. I also understand that this is incredibly, incredibly petty. The sub likely was grading off of a sheet with the correct answers, it wasn’t her fault, I know this logically, however I also have this strange assertion that I was most certainly within my ability to make a proper sentence while also adding some flare. I think this assertion comes from a sort of disenfranchisement from expression, in a way; my poetic style wasn’t seen as ‘right’ and I internalized that to mean it was an inherent problem with myself. In reality, it was a miscommunication of standards and wants from one another, as in from my writing to the directions.

Yet still the very real effect of this was that I felt disenfranchised from using my skills as a writer to their full extent, what with figurative language as well as alternative styles. This is not to say that the disenfranchisement, as in the systemic disenfranchisement created based on bigotry of various minorities, is any lesser or as important as the general disenfranchisement of students via improper communication with educators, in fact the systemic oppression and disenfranchisement of minorities in education is far more pressing, as well as being more complex than just the education system alone as said by Dena Simmons of the Hechinger Report. The point I am trying to raise, by means of a personal and petty story of my youth, is that disenfranchisement of students is a massive issue, especially for minority students such as BIPOC or queer youth, which leads to further oppression by the system in other aspects of life.

Power; A Matter of Demonstrating That We’re Pissed

Since it’s initial conception, of sorts, by activists of the early 20th century such as Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Delores Huerta, and so on, it has been criticized by conservatives for it’s various facets. Criticisms often include a harshness towards disturbing the peace, causing inconvenience, being illegal, being mere riots in disguise, and even being violent. The reality is that these demonstrations are meant to provoke this, meant to force people into talking about it, even if the mass of the fools of a society are complaining rather than taking action. However, the goal of a demonstration is to force some sort of change as per proof of disapproval of the people, to make people uncomfortable enough to stand up and do something, make enough noise to where ignoring it with fancy earplugs is not enough. If that proves successful, then we can change the values and rules of our society to better reflect the wants of the people, to better implement equity, to create a world where we aren’t forced to live under oppression and in hiding like it’s a second skin.

The tactic of nonviolent protest, as better illustrated by the pioneers themselves, such as said by Martin Luther King via his Letter From A Birmingham Jail. Nonviolent protest is to profess love by occupying the minds of others by creating inconvenience, this love is meant to show a unity, a oneness in humanity that can overcome the ordeals of injustice, of inequality, of oppression. This is most often achieved by causing inconveniences, such as sit-ins like the camping trips on the lawns of politicians organized by Delores Huerta, like the many marches planned by Malcolm X, like the hunger strikes of Gandhi, and like the speeches delivered like Martin Luther King. All of these actions try their best to turn the heads of the people with the power, whether that power is on a legislative level or on an individual level of changing personal opinions or those of your peers. Specifically focusing on the aspect of catching the attention of the higher levels of power, of expressing the power of a people, I focus on how demonstrations were carried out. These demonstrations did not get any approval, no care for the opinions of opposition or permissions, only focused on getting people uncomfortable, just enough so to make them rethink and listen. Without the permissions or agreement of those with power, these movements inherently held power, because they expressed how the power of the few cannot outdo the will of the many, especially when it’s organized into a group whether they take to the street or occupy your spaces.

This, I think, is where we may have lost our touch in recent years. As time wore on from the golden era of activism, whether it was the civil rights, farm workers, feminist, or other movements, began to wane into a sort of unspoken yet heralded history. But, as the peace sought by the powerful slowly returned, in certain ways at least, things began to worsen for those without the power. The powerful have taken to reclaiming their right to oppression; to police bodies, to red line and gentrify, to allow the legally sanctioned genocide of young kids, to place brown bodies into concentration camps- and yes I will refer to ICE internment camps as concentration camps as they do also hold a concentration of people against their will, though they are not death camps. And yet, what have we done? Why yes we have been taking action, but now we alert those in power, we ask permission, we’ve made our action convenient. Sure, the critics will still complain, as they are want to do, but still we have become somewhat complacent. And, when we do take our power and forego any permissions, such as the BLM rallies, we are beaten time and time again by the police. We are called violent for occupying the places we shouldn’t, just as was King, Malcolm, and so on, and are reduced to fleeing when tear gas and riot gear become specters of brutality. So, when we take our power for ourselves, we are beaten, defamed, and brutalized on the streets, call it karma. And when we leave a bit of our power, ask permission, be convenient, and do our best to avoid provocation, we see no change nor much attention, call it lack of trying. Now, I don’t know exactly what the solution is, I’d love to promote some grand philosophy, a call to action, a clear manifesto stating what exactly needs done. I do not have this, and in fact, I am more worried than ever that we are stuck without the right amount of power. The most I can advocate for is taking the beatings, taking the action whenever and wherever to follow in teh footsteps of the pioneers of activism who came before us.

Video Games; The Value and Myth of Relaxation

Most of us who play video games, IE gamers if you would, generally make up the majority of the population by this point. After all, video games are fun, more or less accessible, and provide us with a specific joy that can be found among gaming of all sorts. While the aforementioned is all true, the idea that games are relaxing is not entirely true. The common misconception of relaxing with video games is that, not all of which are relaxing. Games that involve quick time events, violence, or similar scenarios don’t actually help you relax, necessarily. Before we dive further, let me define relaxing; relaxing is removing yourself from a stressful situation to be in a more calm state where there is no mental burden. When first person shooters such as Call of Duty or Fallout 4 put the player into scenarios in which they need to consistently focus on not being injured and felling foes, which create minor stressors that don’t effectively remove the player from mindsets of stress and general busyness.

However, games that involve menial tasks that require little thought with very little threat can prove quite relaxing, as they remove most of the common stressors of violent video games. As I will largely reference from this list by Gamer Rant, most of these games have a common theme; such as creating, farming, story, or simply exploring. Of the first games such as Minecraft or Terraria fall under this category; while these games do contain combat as a feature of the game, the combat is more simplistic and remove the first person perspective that can add to stress, as well as being a lower stakes situation where the goal is not to be an elite warrior but to overcome an enemy that proves as an inconvenience. Of the second type of game, games such as Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing come to mind; games in which you lead a relatively simple life that, for the most part, involves farming and other small, routine tasks that requires little thought while proving entertaining. And of exploration games, games such as No Man’s Sky and Journey prove an example; games in which the goal is to explore and experience the world in which you’re set, trading complex gameplay styles for beautiful visuals and intrigue into the areas you can discover.

While these types of games may not be for everyone, they often prove to remove the player from the more stressful space of other games, providing enough reasoning to label the aforementioned games as comfort games; comfortable due to their relaxing nature. Now, all this being said, there is no reason one shouldn’t play other games that can be less relaxing or even stressful. The object of games is not to be relaxing, but to be fun. Personally, I prefer open world RPGs that involve a good amount of stressors, this is largely due to my interest in the RPG and action aspects of the games. Ergo, while all types of games can be massively appealing to different people, if you’re ever looking for a more relaxing game, then I would suggest games of the aforementioned styles, for in-between the more stressful ones at least.

Frustration With Bureaucracy; The US School System, a Continuation

In a previous post, I detailed my frustration with the administrative aspects of the US school system, specifically how it stripped the power from school associated organizations from ability to control internal issues. The issue itself is one in which a previous member had caused some serious issues involving stalking and likewise with another club leader, which we attempted to address a few times with our only success being a temporary calm before the issue arose again, often in a more elevated manner. After taking a more drastic decision to try and remove them from club, we were informed by school bureaucracy that we had no authority to do as such. I detailed the bulk of my frustrations in the previous post, so as such this one will be far shorter.

When we had returned to inquire about the issue again with our club sponsor, he had informed us of our options: we step down as leaders and leave it up to someone else, we dissolve the club, the club is no longer school associated and loses the benefits of this status, or he’s allowed to remain a member of club without punishment. Naturally, we didn’t exactly like any of these options, and as such we abdicated to reach a sort of compromise. What we had settled on was that we secure a secondary room with which to put the problem person in question and my fellow club leader apart, as to remove issues with contact. As such, we instituted this, which worked well to our benefit furthermore as it removed a good amount of the noise overlap issues. While reaching this sort of accommodation proved to be of some solution, my frustration only went further upon being informed that problem person had a particular type of neurodivergency which could’ve been massively helped to curtail some of the issues by having a para-educator. Instead, the school decided it a wise decision to blatantly ignore that, and left it to fester.

My frustration there stems from a couple things, the first being thus; the school had the knowledge and wherewithal to actually take some sort of action or at least inform us, and instead they failed on this front. Second, is that the school showed us how clearly they do not care about our mental illness or neurodivergencies. This wound felt even deeper as we were a school which claimed to be the foremost helpful when it came to mental issues, such as having a designated therapy dog and such. But, when it came to actually showing their worth on that front, nothing was done. Their incompetence bore through my core much more than that of any other bureaucratic mess I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with. In the end, however, club went on with far less issue, and the year carried out just fine. However, if I’m ever to face the rearing head of our broken education system’s damned bureaucracy, I’m more like to go for the head I make parley, which is to say, I refuse to cooperate.

Frustration with Bureaucracy; The US School System

The education system in the United States is notorious for having an egregious amount of issues, ranging from under-educating in most areas to misinformation in the rest. This is a rather complex issue that stems from a large amount of sources, such as incompetent teachers, unaccommodating systems, political bias, changing information, federal and state legislative systems, and so on and so forth. The affect of the education system is a largely negative one felt by nearly everyone, though the experiences of the victims of the education system is unique to each individual, though naturally patterns can be found among those experiences. Personally, I have me own repertoire of complaints based on first hand experiences, such as how my entire mathematical course path for the future of my education was set in place based on a single test they had us take in the fifth grade, which they placed no great emphasis on mind you, and refused to acknowledge the academic prowess of any students in their math courses in the future so as to better adjust to the actual needs and wants of the students; in short, I was held back in my STEM career due to a test I took in elementary, a time which I did not try on anything as most all things I found too simple to be a challenge.

The main issue I wish to speak on is a more recent one compared to that of a fifth grade test, one that deals with the incompetence of my high school power structure that proved itself uncaring for the safety of its students. As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I ran my schools TTRPG (Tabletop Roleplaying Game) Club, which was a haven for nerds to congregate and play such games as Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder or such. Our goal was to get more people to try different game systems, to feature smaller games to catch the interest of the average D&D players and open up the wider world of TTRPGs. In order to make the club a comfortable space, we ensured that the space was welcoming to everyone, whether that meant you had a lot or little to no experience with TTRPGs, as well as being welcoming to people of different ethnic background, sexuality, gender, and likewise. This proved to be such a space for a while, until one of my fellow club leaders informed me of a member whom had severe mental health issues, and was (and had been for a while) proving a threat to them personally. Naturally, I wanted to deal with this issue as I sought to uphold the sanctity of a safe space for myself, club members, and especially my fellow club leaders. Eventually, the opportunity to confront this individual passed, and the issue pressed itself to be one we could not personally handle. We brought it to our club sponsor, as well as former teacher, whom promised to do something about the issue, especially since this individual had been on the radar of the rest of the staff. From that point forward, the individual proving a problem had been removed from club for a time, that is until our club sponsor informed us that we could not actually remove the individual from club, as it was school sponsored it had to accept any and all who wished to join, regardless of mental illness.

It is at this point in my recanting I become angry; never once had the system shown any kindness to the mentally ill, especially when the mentally ill have proven to be a danger, which is rarely the case as I can testify as someone with mental illness. This person had waged threats against various schools as a whole several times, enough where action had been taken by administration previously, and yet now when the safety of a student is threatened, they wish to uphold their ability to remain a threat in that space? It’s enough to boil my blood to a bitter stew even now. The only option we had was to compromise and find an alternative way to separate the individual from my fellow club leader, the main person whose safety was in question. This is all due to some ridiculous policy about school sponsored events having to be open to everyone, regardless of actions, history, danger, or otherwise. Now, I do believe that organizations related to public institutions should involve a general openness to the public, however I wildly disagree with the notion that the power to remove problematic individuals is not up to those who have no direct involvement with the organizations, such as our administration which pays little to no attention to our organization aside from now, especially having never actually interacted with us and ergo not having the ability to understand the situation on a more personal level to properly handle it. Unfortunately, I feel as though I’ve ran my time for this piece and as such I shall leave the rest of the story for a future post, a part two if you will, on my frustrations with the American Education System and it’s political, bureaucratic mess.

The Unfortunate Boons of Unethical Practice During the Holocaust and How Ethics Should’ve Been Present

The unfortunate part of tragedies is that they often yield results that can effectively be used to improve technology and medicine, which of course involves a distinct disregard of ethics. That said, I warn any readers that this post will include discussions of the holocaust and other horrific events throughout history. Anyhow, sometimes it is an outside force that is putting scientists up to the task of benefiting a personal or nationalistic goal, which forces their hands to breach ethical code and from there delve further into the experiments. There are also a good sum of scientists whom have disregarded ethics towards specific groups of people due to bigoted ideology. The most premiere example of this is the scientific developments spawned out of horrific experimentation from the holocaust.

These experiments led to a great number of medical developments, such as treatments for hypothermia, studies on altitude sickness, and immunization methods for a number of diseases. Of course, the experiments conducted were not only to improve the medical field, which I must make clear was in order to improve military efficiency, but also to further the ideological goals of the Nazis; experiments that involved testing for racial inferiority with diseases and various chemicals, castration, and so forth. Both these ideological and genuine sects of experimentation were wildly unethical, due to the tests being conducted on Jewish peoples who were held prisoner in concentration camps, most of which test subjects either died or suffered horrific injury or health complications. These developments, especially ones involving hypothermia and other afflictions caused by the harsh cold, were fundamental in creating the knowledge we currently hold to treat many medical issues.

While a meager amount of this information was beneficial, the bulk of it was not, and the amount of death both required was enough to make anyone wince. The Nazis forced Jewish prisoners to freeze to death, inhale deadly gasses, use various experimental drugs, suffer illnesses and even death, and so many other horrors untold. These forms of experimentation not only went against strict national codes like the Geneva Convention, but as well as basic moral code that nearly everyone holds. This torture was so egregious that it still holds ethical debates, whether the information should be used or not for instance (As an aside, my opinion is that the information should be utilized since it already exists, though no information should ever be gained in a similar fashion again). Ethics exist for a reason; keeping science and technological advance morally non-corrupt so as not to harm any single person for the benefit of humanity together. The fact that the Nazis disregarded ethics to allow for the deep corruption of science as a weapon towards specific racial or ethnic groups is sacrilege; a mistake that’s to never be repeated, or face the death of moral code itself.

The aforementioned experiments were unethical enough to develop a solid ideology with which to conduct scientific research going forward, the Nuremberg Code; all scientific procedure and experimentation should involve the informed consent of subjects and variety of required standards before experimentation may be permitted. There’s, of course, far more to the Nuremberg Code, though instead of shifting the focus of this post I’ll include this link from Wikipedia for reference instead. This code, as well as some modern interpretation, helped shape the base code of ethics used in the scientific world, which is essential to ensuring that the sciences are purely beneficial with as little harm as possible. Ergo, while we may have some benefits from the disgusting things committed during the holocaust, the weight of human life lost is far worse than any benefit we may have gained.

Pronouns; The Misconception of Grammar and Basic Respect

Of late, the topic of pronouns has been a rather touchy and controversial one, which comes off as somewhat strange considering the core of the topic is a basic aspect of language, diction, and grammar. For the few wondering why, this would be due to the rise of the transgender community of the LGBTQ+, whom most often change their preferred pronouns to correspond with the gender that they truly are, despite some flawed biological construct that houses the mind. The binary spectrum of gender alone has caused issues among certain types of cisgender individuals; transphobia. The issue furthers itself when the binary spectrum of gender (man and woman) is broken furthermore into the non-binary, in which the corresponding pronoun for non-binary individuals is the singular they/them/theirs. Most people take issue with this due to resistance to change, as well as a lack of understanding on how the singular they/them/theirs has been a constant pronoun throughout history, as detailed by this article from the Oxford English Dictionary.

Most misconstrue the singular they/them/theirs to be a breach in grammar, as those whom share that understanding believe that they/them/theirs refers specifically to plural amounts of people or entities. As the linked article will explain, this is utterly a falsehood. If we want to further confuse the aforementioned people who do not understand dynamic language, I would bring about the idea of neo-pronouns; pronouns such as xe/xem/xyr, or ve/ver/vis. Neo-pronouns are new pronouns that are meant to correspond to non-binary genders, though they’re not limited to this usage, and are chosen by personal choice. Now, if you’re not trans and have less empathy to be able to understand the reasoning behind neo-pronouns and gender identity at a general, then there’s still a very simple way you can coexist without issue; respect.

Respecting one’s pronouns and gender identity is the basic act of using the chosen set of pronouns for said person(s), regardless of the appearance of the person, how they sound, act, etc etc. As long as they want you to use those pronouns, you use them. And if at all you’re ever confused, or simply before talking to them at all, it’s not impolite to ask what their pronouns are, in fact it comes across to trans/queer people as very kind as it shows care, and for non-queer/cis people it’s not at all an inconvenience. Transphobes will often see informing others of their pronouns as an inconvenience, that one should simply look at them and assume what to use, which I find to be preposterous as the effort required for this conceived inconvenience is merely a few words. However to resist this supposed inconvenience, there are some transphobes who deny having any pronouns, which would infer deferring to their name as a pronoun, which is based solely on the idea that pronouns are only for trans people; a reminder that pronouns are an essential function for basic grammar.

What this ultimately comes down to is respect. If you’re not respecting someone’s pronouns/name/identity by using their name, pronouns, and so forth then you’re not respecting that person. And being frank, being disrespectful without reasonable cause (i.e. being insulted or interacting with a morally corrupt person), just makes you something of an asshole. So, as to be a generally tolerable person, simply respect someone’s pronouns at the bare minimum, else face the consequences of being insufferable.