Remember Aleena the Cleric? If you're a D&D player of a certain age, you undoubtedly do, even if the name doesn't ring a bell.
Maybe this will jog your memory:
For those of you who weren't part of the two million or so kids for whom the Red Box D&D "Mentzer" box set was one of their earliest RPG experiences, let me put it into some context: Aleena the Cleric is the NPC that shows up in your very first (solo) adventure, in the introduction booklet of the Red Box. She is in some ways one of the earliest "iconics". She is a brave and heroic adventurer, slightly more experienced than your own character, dedicated to fighting evil. She ends up teaching you a lot of what you need to know to survive in the dungeon. She is determined to stop the evil wizard Bargle, but tragically dies at the hands of Bargle's sorcery for you to avenge her.
She is at no time a 'helpless princess' type of character. She is, if anything, the Roy Fokker or Obi Wan Kenobi of the red box, the mentor-character that shows you what you need to know and then dies so that you can continue in your Jungian Hero's Journey.
Oh, and as you'll see above, she wears full head-to-toe armor. No 'chainmail bikinis' or 'slave girl outfits' for her. The only skin she shows is her face. She could only be more covered up if she wore a burqa.
Tracy Hurley, one of the Outrage Brigade who has recently been trying to smear me all over the internet, and who complains about how it is impossible to 'engage' with me (when her definition of 'engaging' was to slander me in mid-argument with a made-up story about me looking at some vaguely titillating picture and then pretending to be all stunned when I got mad at her dirty pool), thinks Aleena the Cleric is sexist.
I think, frankly, it's pretty much impossible to 'engage' with lunatics of this level. With people so determined to undertake their crusade to impose their will on the hobby that they'll try to claim that a heroic female warrior figure from 1983 (a time when fantasy art routinely depicted women as naked as legally possible for them, and often in some kind of pseudo-bondage position) is a bad representation of women.
I'm not making this up. Why would I lie when the truth is this damning? Here's a partial transcript of the conversation where Hurley shows just how extremist she is. Note that it's been edited, and so it doesn't necessarily reflect the full radicalism of her views, but it's pretty damning enough by itself.
The following are ACTUAL QUOTES of Hurley's about Aleena the Cleric:
"she's drawn to please a heterosexual man"
"the woman is being made to fit into a world view where women are there for display first, their power second."
Seriously, about Aleena!
Want some more?
" There's an emphasis on femininity in the drawing that I don't find
overly practical, especially the long piece of fabric between her legs"
This one makes Hurley look ignorant more than anything: that "piece of fabric" is a tabard. It's an actual thing that knights wore, including templar knights, which Aleena the CLERIC is clearly being modeled after. So far from an "emphasis on femininity", Aleena's full body-covering armor including the tabard is meant to make her look more like a MALE KNIGHT.
I guess she can't be blamed for not knowing a tabard was a real thing, and mistaking it for something the artist put in to 'sex up' Aleena in some vague way. She was probably too busy doing other things in her education to bother studying history.
Ready for the one that will leave you speechless?
"To me, the purpose of the tabard is to soften her and to play cat and
mouse with the viewer. The pose is opened up to give greater access to
her inner thighs but the "money shot" is hidden behind the soft, flowing
That's right, "money shot". To Tracy Hurley, that drawing of Aleena the Cleric is like pornography.
I think you must have something seriously wrong with you and how you
look at art and the world if you look at that image and think 'that
tabard further covering that fully dressed warrior-woman is just too
arousing'. But then, I guess if you're a professional witch hunter you'll want to find witches everywhere. The more you do, after all, the better it pays off.
But anyways, I'm not writing about this to make fun or just to insult; but to raise awareness. I want people to understand exactly the type of people we're dealing with, and to consider the source. It puts a context into the mentality of our opponents. They want to
present themselves as the "reasonable" ones, the "inclusive" ones.
me, "inclusive" means putting a heroic transgendered character on the
cover of an RPG I wrote, or making casual mentions to LGBT relationships
just like I would heterosexual relationships in another RPG I wrote, or
writing a detailed and carefully researched RPG on a non-european
culture, which I also did.
For my opponents, "inclusive" means
trying to make sure Zak S' currently-quite-ill girlfriend is publicly pilloried for
being a porn star, calling her a "fucksack", and going after Aleena the Cleric because a depiction of a brave, dashing, heroic
warrior woman dressed in head-to-to armor that reveals no skin
whatsoever aside from her face is just far too sexist and must be
A year ago today, the exact same people who are now engaging in a campaign to blacklist me and Zak S were engaged in a campaign against rpg writer Shanna Germain, accusing her of having created a 'sexist' monster in the Numenera RPG. Tracy and her friends were going after a female RPG writer in the name of feminism.
A year and a half or so ago, they went after Stacy Dellorfano for daring to make an woman-centered RPG Convention ("Contessa"), which featured all-women panels and women-run games. Why on earth would they go after that? Isn't that exactly the kind of thing any feminist, or just anyone who wants to encourage women to have a bigger voice in the RPG hobby, should be cheering about??
Well no, because Dellorfano wanted the con to be about actually running and playing RPGs, and not about talking about how horribly sexist the hobby is; they went after Stacy mercilessly in essence because she wouldn't give them center stage and support their 'narrative' that the hobby is just far too awful to actually let women play at all. A con where women were playing and running games and everyone was happy about that fact ruins their whole argument.
Somewhere in between those two events, they were trying to push for a supposed 'anti-harassment' regulation for all gaming cons that would allow them to kick anyone out they thought was dressed too provocatively.
At the time, I made a blog entry which implied that the Outrage Brigade wouldn't be satisfied until they saw women in Burqas in the name of feminism, but of course that's not true. What Tracy Hurley wants is for WOMEN TO DRESS LIKE HER.
She'd be equal in
condemning a naked porn star, a bikini-clad booth babe, a cosplayer
showing too much leg, or a conservative muslim woman in a
niqab/burqa/etc. because they are all different then her particular view
of propriety, a view informed by and conditioned by a type of feminism
very rooted in middle class ideas, which (ironically) descend directly
from victorian prudery. The point is any woman who CHOOSES to not look
like her is wrong and misguided in her eyes, and must be shown the error of her ways including by coercion is necessary; she has to be forced to dress right for the sake of feminism. Likewise, any art that does not
reflect her personally is wrong and misguided.
She's doing this:
All of the Outrage Brigade are. One of the few things that makes Hurley exceptional is the fact that she's actually a woman; the majority of the Outrage Brigade are actually men, telling women like Shanna, Stacy, and Mandy Morbid what they should write, how they should act, and what they should or should not wear.
this even extends to Aleena the Cleric, which is a sign of a REALLY
extreme extension of that kind of 'prudery' based not on actual interest
in modesty so much as a desire for homogeneity of thinking. The Outrage Brigade can't
stand anything that doesn't think like they do; and Tracy Hurley suspects that
while Aleena is a figure that would be seen as a role model for some
young girls into D&D, this is actually dangerous because it
represents a type of D&D she despises as contrary to her thinking of
what is proper. Aleena is sexist because D&D is sexist, because
D&D does not agree with her about how her ideas are best. It's a
neat little logical pretzel.
Aleena would not be out of place as a heroic female figure in 2014, but
in 1983 she was almost radical, compared to much of what was around her.
say this is 'not good enough' is to suggest that NOTHING in fantasy or
RPGs is good enough. It betrays your real motives: to never ever be
satisfied because your real issue is with the entire hobby/culture, and
you want all of it to be taken down completely, so you can rebuild it forcibly under your control and in your own image.
There's no 'middle ground' to be found with people like that.
Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Egg + Gawith's Navy Flake