This Node was a challenge to brainstorm. Of course, I was familiar with Feminist criticism, often utilizing it was a supporting crutch to an already extant criticism which guided it; Queer Feminist, Psychoanalytic Feminist, etc. Additionally, one would figure that a Node concerning women, their treatment, and self-control would be easy to write in a story focused on a chivalric text, something which was deeply male chauvinist in nature. But the challenge wasn’t in thinking of what or how to write about feminism insofar as how I would make it interesting; at this time in the adaptation, after all, the player is focused squarely within the castle. This, obviously, limits my ability to introduce sweeping ideas relating to sociality.
But I continued thinking about it and settled on a tried and true scenario—that of a divided women’s wing.
The idea is that the player encounters a large section of the castle—the women’s wing— which is more or less a pseudo-warzone. On one side, you have the Sasürfass Sisters, our bourgeois-feminist import, while on the other side, we have the Dirt-born Undertakers, the obvious proletarian feminist import.
Meant to be philosophical in nature, the two factions war over language and body-matterism. Witht eh conflict centered on magical portraits of great female figures in history, the bourgeois-feminist faction, aside from taking a gender-essentialist notation of how the portraits should be honored and constructed, believe them to be perfect according to a common sense ideology. Their rivals, meanwhile, are keen in pointing out the flaws which each portrait represented and how more than mere honoring should be done, how there is a mission outside of the women’s wing and it concerns economic emancipation and class conflict.
Central to this Node will be the time-honored strands of feminist theory which have been enshrined in academia; ideas such as the male gaze, the Images of Women, Womanism and Intersectionality, Phallogocentric language, all make an appearance in addition to the aforementioned language struggle and body-matterism.
In terms of events, I have outlined a few situations for the player to intake. In one part of the women’s wing, there is a spectator which literally commodifies women, another in which a school room whips students who dare and demystify the reactionary nature of the bourgeois-feminist scripts, while at another locale, there is a reformist group of women who have tried to build a broad alliance of feminist elements into a cohesive whole; however, this reformist alliance, though having their heart in the right place, is in vicious opposition to another third-faction, one which has opposed all notions of gender and sex and acts as the true revolutionary vanguard—opposing both the sisters and the undertakers as two sides of the same coin.
I think part of the reason why this Node was difficult to imagine was because this was the first Node where I had to shift gears. Prior to this Node, I had license to imagine much due to the exterior nature of those Nodes. AS a result, I do feel that this Node is a bit stilted. At the same time, though, I feel it does have a kind of vibrancy which the other Nodes lack—especially the Deconstruction ones; this Node, I should mention, is categorized as deconstruction. Prior to this, the only deconstruction Node which the player would have encountered was the Eco-Criticism Node: whereas that Node was closed, mysterious, and lonely, this Node is the exact opposite—it is lively, extroverted, and immersed in the world of sophistication and theory. If I do it well, I hope this Node is something that people keep on coming back to. But, even so, I am willing to continue working on this Node, making some fine tuning here and there even after I have completed it. After all, the idea of these Nodes is to give the player a fast-paced yet lively introduction into the theory at hand, and that does nobody any good if that introduction is not on par with the other Nodes.