Feminine Qualities

Is it worth it to prove that women can be as violently destructive as men?

“It’s not a trilogy, it’s a quadrilogy.” - from the movie “In a World” written/directed by Lake Bell


Now is as good a time as any to revisit my ideas of feminism in game culture. Which I am doing internally. But for this post, I will only focus on one idea, which is the idea of women in combat; the principal context here is video games, though I am guessing this can be extended to other aspects of our culture.


Five years ago, all-male combat games were fairly common: All the playable avatars were male. This may be less common today, but male characters as combatants still outnumber playable female combatants. Is this actually a bad thing? Despite humanity’s long history of warfare, I still hold out hope for world peace. Prosperity through peace. Perhaps I am hopelessly optimistic. But holding strong to the ideology of peace seems a better path to me than a cynicism of “there will always be war.”


Women can probably become as fierce in war as men currently are...there is ample reason to believe this. The deadliest technologies we already possess no longer rely principally on the advantages of male biology for their destructive effectiveness. Male physiology does have its advantages: we are stronger, faster, and larger than women on average. We also have deeper voices and more body hair, neither of which are attractive (your opinion may differ.) But I would much rather have longevity, not to mention flexibility, endurance, and multi-tasking - all of which women are superior to us. But getting back to my point: women are superior at peace.


Why ruin a good thing? Yes, women can eventually become just as important in any modern military force as men; the technological foundations for such a result are already in place. Worse though, is that the cultural structures for such a sea change are also in place, in the form of rather simplistic, and definitely obsolete, notions of equality.


It’s tempting to do thought experiments involving peaceful intergalactic associations or warrior civilizations intent on invading earth. But for all we know, we really could be alone out here. There is a chance that in the entire universe, we are its only advanced civilization. That no one out there in the heavens of space will invade us, that no one will come to rescue us from ourselves. Given that responsibility, it makes sense for us to do the best we can. And peace, from all angles, is definitively better than war.


The Warrior Woman is a degradation of some very good Feminine Qualities. The parallel for men is true also: the Warrior Man is not some high ideal of the Masculine. Instead, it is the harsh reality that ages of conflict have handed us as a necessity for all men to adhere to. Sure, it has its moments. But in the larger scheme of things, it is awful to be a man in any kind of war. The noblest goal we can have for any soldier is that he lives out his life in peace, never having had to use his deadly knowledge on others, and never having been himself damaged in actual combat.


Playing as a female combatant will become more common in the coming years and decades. Every day, I find it more difficult to believe that that is a good thing.


Latest Jobs

Manticore Games

San Mateo, California
Senior Software Engineer - Mobile

Sony PlayStation

San Diego, California
Sr. Online Programmer

The Walt Disney Company

Glendale, California
Associate Marketing Manager - Walt Disney Games

Insomniac Games

Burbank, California
Accessibility Design Researcher
More Jobs   


Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more