Because this is what happens when you don’t:
Karen Memery (like memory but with an e as she explains), is just such a seamstress. She is the titular narrator of Elizabeth Bear’s latest steampunk adventure, Karen Memory (with an o and not an e). A prostitute at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, a high-class bordello in Seattle Rapid City in the late 1800s, Memery is dissatisfied with her job and her johns, longing for the prairie life she gave up when her father died….
Bear also gleefully subverts gender roles in Karen Memory. Not just with Karen and Priya’s lesbian relationship. She also introduces Crispin, the gay bouncer at the Hôtel Ma Cherie, and Miss Francina, one of the seamstresses who has a select client base. As Karen puts it:
“…the thing about Miss Francina is that Miss Francina’s got a pecker under her dress. But that ain’t nothing but God’s rude joke. She’s one of us girls every way that matters, and handy for a bouncer besides.”
So not only do we have three prominent gay characters, including the main protagonist and her love interest, but we also have a transgender character — the first I’ve run into in a 19th Century setting. And Karen’s plainspoken acceptance of Miss Francina, and those other societal outcasts who gravitate to the Hôtel Ma Cherie is probably the most refreshing part of the book.
Indeed, one of the major themes of Karen Memory seems to be the subversion of the dominant white male paradigm. Bear puts a variety of alternative lifestyles and minority role models on display, and fervently asserts that they too can be heroes in a fantasy novel. Madame Damnable in her quest for leadership of Seattle Rapid City against Bantle; the African-American Marshal Reeves, who has risen to a place of leadership despite his race (and actually Madame Damnable as well – Karen makes it clear that the powerful madame is also African-American by blood, if not by appearance); and Priya and Karen’s blossoming relationship, forbidden both as same-sex and interracial, are all examples.
Does that sounds like “loads of fun” to you? Because reading about a dissatisfied whore while being subjected to a sermon on the importance of diversity in sexual orientation, race, and transgenderism sounds about as much fun as listening to to SJWs drone on NPR about intersectionalism. I would genuinely rather read an IMF paper on the monetary policy of Zambia or Newton’s Principia. In Latin.
Loads of fun. That’s what they want to bring to the game industry too. Loads of fun. Now, you can either submit to this SJW shit, or you can help us keep it out of games and take back science fiction. What will it be?
No, apparently not.