1980: I WANT MY MTV ! 2017: I WANT MY MTV…GENDER-NEUTRAL!
Wow, turns out somebody was actually listening! In an interview with CNN, MTV’s president Chris McCarthy announced some changes to their annual Movie & TV Awards. Some new categories include “Best American Story” and “Best Fight Against the System”, but best of all, the show is doing away with gender-based categories, like “Best Actress”.
“[Today’s audience doesn’t] see those lines in the way that generations in the past have,” McCarthy said. “So we wanted to take those down. They felt really antiquated.”
And he’s right. Just recently, Billions star Asia Kate Dillon wrote to the Television Academy about such category names. Dillon articulately pointed out that if such categories mean ‘best performance by someone who identifies as this gender or that one’, then where is the room for nonbinary performers? How is someone like Dillon supposed to submit their work for Emmy consideration?
The Television Academy responded with surprising open-mindedness, saying “anyone can submit under either category for any reason.” Dillon opted for Best Actor, as the term historically refers to a performer regardless of gender. The MTV Awards is following suit: they will use ‘actor’ to refer to all candidates in a category.
MTV Awards joins The Grammys and Britain’s National Television Awards by opting for non-gendered categories. But will this be the start of a larger conversation for Hollywood?
Catch MTV’s Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, May 7th.
Does space travel and the possibility of discovering new worlds interest you? What about the unending ethical dilemmas of cloning? If you also appreciate Science Fiction when it focuses on personal inner conflict and the day-to-day aspect of life in at the lonely edge of the galaxy, then Joe M. McDermott‘s The Fortress at the End of Time might be right up your alley.
Since its original release sixteen years ago, The Sims has been a fairly progressive franchise. But now, in its Sims 4 iteration, the game may be surpassing the real world.
In a free update released yesterday, the Sims 4 now allows for customization of gender. Even though Sims 3 provided a huge improvement in customizable body type, players were still limited to Male and Female for gender. This dictated the types of clothing the character could wear, their ability to produce children biologically, and, obviously, the pronouns that referred to them. That limit continued into Sims 4 – BUT NO LONGER!
Recently in the survival game, Rust, many players are frustrated by the randomized generation of gender and appearance for their characters. The gaming world has gotten fired up on many outlets like Reddit, and the website for Rust about this, and has many people angry.
Primetime television needs to officially up its game. Last week General Hospital achieved something that none of my other TV shows have done: acknowledged bisexuality. Regardless what you may think of the genre, this is a pretty big deal.
It sounds so simple, and yet…. Well, look at the evidence. Prior to this, I could only name one show where a character flat out identified as bisexual, and it wasn’t in a positive manner.
Fans of period dramas, get excited, because PBS has a new series about the Civil War that (at least in its premiere) does not disappoint. Mercy Street is set in Alexandria, Virginia, will have six episodes, and is based on memoirs and letters from people who worked at the actual Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria. Unlike most Civil War stories that often focus on the fighting white men, Mercy Street focuses on two white female protagonists, and some of the free black people who work in the hospital. Mary Phinney is a young widow from New England who has come to Virginia in hopes of putting her nursing skills to use. Emma Green is a Southern belle whose family owns the hotel that has now become a hospital. Samuel Diggs was born free in the North and has impressive medical skills that are ignored because of the color of his skin.
Everyone knows Miley Cyrus as a talented music artist and actress, but fewer people are aware of her coming out experience and her activism in the LGBTQ+ community. Recently in an interview with Paper Magazine, Miley spoke about her organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation, her gender identity, and why she believes that everyone should be treated with respect. Her experience is relatable to many young people and the fact that she spoke so honestly about her identity has inspired many people to do the same. Cyrus says that since she has such a wide audience, she wants to make sure she says something important and makes an impact on people. She has certainly accomplished this goal, and many find her story inspiring and feel a little less alone because of it.
I don’t remember the last time I made an effort to attend a 10:00am panel at Anime Boston. I was probably still in high school and trying to catch the second screening of videos for the AMV contest. This year, however, I was a woman with a mission: to attend my cousin’s panel on Gender Identity in Convention Culture. The panel was a big hit last year. The room filled up about twenty minutes before it started, and I was one of the fifty-plus people who were turned away because the room was at capacity.
This year, however, the GICC panel got upgraded to the Grand Ballroom in the Sheraton, so there was plenty of room for everybody – transgender, cisgender, and non-binary!
In January, an article was posted on the Magic: The Gathering website entitled, “The Truth of Names.” It was a story about a young leader named Alesha, and it was a great example, right off the bat, of Wizards of the Coast including cool, strong, interesting women in M:tG. But then, as I continued reading, I realized this wasn’t just a great story about a leading female character – it was a story about a transgender character:
2014 saw the release of some eagerly awaited titles, some of which lived up to the hype and others that disappointed (*cough*Assassin’s Creed: Unity *cough*). Games like Super Smash Bros., Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bayonetta 2, and more, showed us what next-gen consoles could achieve and got us itching to see what could be accomplished next. Unfortunately, many of 2014’s games also left us wondering where they put all the women – because they certainly weren’t on the list of playable female characters. 2015 is set to be even a bigger year than its predecessor, with long-anticipated titles like Legend of Zelda for Wii U and Evolve planned for release, but will it take any steps towards righting the gender disparity in the industry? Without further ad, here are 5 games (in no particular order) that not only look fantastic, but also hope to answer that question: