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“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

-C.S. Lewis

Hello, TechRaptor readers. Instead of going over new model releases or a new tabletop game, we’re going to put down our dice and brushes and pick up our holy bolters to purge some filthy heretic scum. A recent article published on radical feminist rag The Mary Sue went full heresy earlier this week, lambasting the much loved Warhammer 40,000 franchise. Not for glorifying violence or religious zealotry or racism, but for being too sexist. In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only misogyny.

 And manspreading.

 And microaggressions.

 And whatever else crybullies like James McConnaughy want to throw in the hopes something will stick and whatever rainbow-haired shrieking harridan calling herself “feminist” he’s fixated on will finally deign to acknowledge his existence for a brief moment before immediately berating him for having the temerity to be born male.

For those of you not fully in the know, Warhamer 40,000 is a tabletop wargame set in a completely over-the-top galaxy full of violence, hatred, blind zealotry, and pineapple on pizzas. The game is set in the never ending year 40,999, and things are bad. And when I say “bad,” I mean “utterly, terrifingly horrible for everyone everywhere.” Humanity is stuck in another Dark Age where technology is worshipped as divine, a brutal and uncaring religious police state dominates all facets of life, and a panoply of horrors await their chance to drown entire planets in blood.

Humans in the Warhammer 40K universe have a wide and varied selection of ways to die painfully horrible deaths. If you’re not:

  • going to be devoured by an unthinking horde of extragalactic horrors
  • ritualistically tortured and sacrificed in the name of alien gods bent on turning the galaxy into a literal hellscape
  • culled like herd animals by inscrutable alien soldiers trying to avoid a fate they created
  • exterminated like infesting vermin
  • killed by hulking fungi who live simply to fight
  • tricked into joining an insidious communist regime only to be gelded for the “greater good”
  • kidnapped in the middle of the night to become horribly tortured and mutilated slaves for someone’s ghastly enjoyment

then you’ll probably be killed due to a low-level bureaucrat making a rounding error half a galaxy away prompting a planet-wide cleansing by orbital fire.

 There’s a reason why the Imperium is not-so-jokingly referred to as “Catholic Space Nazis.” It’s not the ideal family vacation spot.

Let’s take a look at each faction and determine whether or not they contribute to the game’s overall sexism. For starters, we can remove all races that don’t have a gender for one reason or another. So goodbye Necrons, Tyranids, Orks, and both flavors of Adeptus Mechanicus (Skitarii and Mechanicus proper). That helps narrow things down a bit.

Now, let’s take a look at the male-only factions: Space Marines (including chapters that have their own codexes) and Chaos Space Marines. Seven-foot tall, genetically and surgically modified angels of death fighting in the name of either the God-Emperor of Mankind, one or all of the Chaos Gods, or only for themselves. There are several in-universe and real-life explanations as to why these factions are a “boys only” club.

During the Age of Strife (a second Dark Age), the Emperor of Mankind finally realized that millennia of trying to guide humanity while staying out of sight simply wasn’t working. He came out from the shadows, built an army, and united Terra in the name of the Imperium of Mankind. Realizing that humanity wouldn’t survive in the galaxy unless it was united once again, he set forth the Great Crusade to take back the lost worlds and bring Mankind under one banner. From this desire, the Space Marine Legions were born. Tens of thousands of genetically modified warrior monks utterly dedicated to the Emperor and their Primarch (a super-super soldier, as it were, somewhere between a normal Space Marine and the Emperor himself). The procedures involved were keyed to male chromosomes, presumably since the Emperor himself provided a DNA blueprint for the Space Marines, so creating female Space Marines would be impossible.

Assuming female Space Marines could be created by the standard process, it would invariably be a disaster for humanity as a whole later on down the road. If there are male Space Marines, and female Space Marines, then there would eventually be baby Space Marines. Creating an entire army of post-human warriors is one thing. Letting said army of post-human warriors reproduce without your assistance humanity will end up being second-class citizens in their own Imperium.

Now, let’s say you could create female Space Marines and you could keep them from procreating, what good would it do? Like it or not, humanity is a sexually dimorphic species. Women are physically smaller, slower, and weaker than men overall. Bringing women up to the same physical level as male Space Marines would take much more in time and resources. The Imperium of the Great Crusade couldn’t afford to spare anything, as they were already so strapped for time corners were being cut to get more Marines on the field. This is widely hinted at as one of the primary factors leading up to the Horus Heresy, a galaxy-spanning civil war that created the Chaos Space Marines and nearly brought humanity to its knees.

This also wouldn’t be feasible during the “current” era of the game, as humanity’s understanding of technology and the process of creating Space Marines has largely disappeared. The Adeptus Mechanicus controls just about all facets of technology and believe the Machine God is responsible for everything from light switches to Titans working properly. Nobody actually understands exactly what they’re doing or why they’re doing it other than to appease the machine spirits living inside everything more complicated than a screwdriver.

Stepping back into the real world, there is one main reason why Space Marines, Chaos Space Marines, and even the Imperial Guard are male-only: Making models is expensive. Not just designing the models themselves, but designing them in such a way they can be cast in pieces and reassembled again later on. Not to mention the prohibitive costs involved in creating new moulds for female torsos and heads. Add in packaging costs, shipping costs, and taking up valuable space either on a store shelf or a warehouse, and the numbers add up quickly. While the demand for female Guard bits would be much greater than female Space Marine bits (as evidenced by the number of third parties making conversion kits to do just that), I just don’t see there being enough demand for female Space Marines to cover the cost of creating them.

This is why there were never any female Space Marines or Guardsmen to begin with. Hell, the only reason why Chaos Space Marines exist in the first place is so Games Workshop could cut down on design and production costs. Using the same basic models for two factions was a huge money saver and worked out in the long run.

Now that we have the big guys out of the way, let’s get a bit more in-depth as far as lore goes. There are plenty of examples of kick-ass women in the Imperial Guard. Anyone who played Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine remembers the no-nonsense Lieutenant Mira, who kept her cool and focused on her mission of killing as many Orks as possible. If you’ve read any of the Ciaphas Cain novels, you’ll recall Colonel Kasteen, the commander of the Valhallan 597th. After smoothing out the rough spots between her and her X.O Major Broklaw in the first novel, she proves to be a highly capable Guard commander and even avoids using the default “throw enough waves of troops at the enemy and they’ll eventually start slipping in all the blood and viscera” tactics commonly seen throughout the Imperium. The Horus Heresy novels have flag-captain Lotara Sarrin earning the respect and admiration of World Eaters Primarch Angron himself. And if you can earn the respect of a constantly-enraged death machine and his horde of post-human berserkers, that’s definitely saying something.

Lotara Sarrin

Nothing says “rape culture” like firing giant harpoons into a starship and dragging it through space

So the humans are dealt with. Let’s move on to some filthy xenos scum. Those that actually have genders, at least.

First up are the Eldar. To avoid confusion, we’re talking about the Craftworld variety. We’ll get to the Harlequins and Dark Eldar shortly.

Warhammer 40,000 as a whole is basically gothic space fantasy. Space Marines are knights (both loyal and traitor), the Imperial Guard represents normal human armies, and the Eldar are elves. In space.

Don’t give me that look. You accepted the whole “Space Marines made from the Emperor’s DNA” bit earlier; space elves aren’t much more of a stretch.

The Craftworld Eldar are the shattered remnants of a once-great empire that was brought down by their own hedonism and bloodlust. And when I say “hedonism and bloodlust,” I mean “had enough space cocaine and blood orgies to rip a hole in reality and bring forth a god of Chaos.” (Bear with me, I really had to work hard to describe the Fall of the Eldar in a way that would slip past the editor). A small number of Eldar grew disgusted with the downfall of morality in their civilization and took off in giant starship-cities that mostly made it out of the blast zone before their empire was sucked into the tenth level of Hell.

As you can imagine, there aren’t many Craftworld Eldar left. Estimates in the lore put the total death rate and anywhere from 90% to 95% of all Eldar were killed by the birth of Slaanesh, the Chaos god of excess. Those that are left don’t reproduce all that fast, and the galaxy is even more dangerous than ever. Everyone is responsible for keeping the guttering flame of Eldar civilization going at any cost, which means even women fight. The Eldar range has plenty of female models interspersed amongst the men, including several units that are all female. The Howling Banshees, for example, are front-line melee fighters who don’t worry about microaggressions or the patriarchy when cutting their foes into small, wet ribbons. Jain Zar, the Storm of Silence and creator of the Howling Banshees, doesn’t think about the male gaze when ripping her foes apart. There are plenty of female warlocks and farseers (also known as psykers, the 40K equivalent of wizards) interspersed in the line as well. Gender equality is fairly well-represented in the Eldar. It’s not 50-50, which makes sense when you consider the fact that women are kinda needed to make babies which are in short supply where the Craftworlders are concerned.

On the opposite side of the coin are the Dark Eldar, another group of survivors from the birth of Slaanesh. The Dark Eldar are the descendants of a group that hid in the extradimensional realm known as the webway due to the fact that their kinks were so raunchy even the people who screwed a new God into being told them to bring it down a notch. Here’s where things get more interesting.

According to the lore, any time an Eldar dies, their soul goes to Slaanesh to munch on for eternity. The Craftworld Eldar avoid this by wearing special spirit stones that trap their soul inside to be released into a Ghostbusters-like vault to avoid this grisly fate. The Dark Eldar, however, have no such protection. While they were spared the initial brunt of Slaanesh’s birth by virtue of hiding in the webway, that proved to be only a fleeting comfort. Their souls are still being consumed, but much slower than normal. A bit of experimentation found that the void left by long-term soul noming could be filled by torturing others gave birth to the drugged out, sadistic, psychic vampires we know today.

In Dark Eldar society as a whole, gender matters not at all. All that matters is that you’re smarter and quicker than everyone else. Those that are, rise high. Those that aren’t meet a grim fate. The only place that gender truly matters is in the gladiatorial pits of the Wyches, a vital outlet in Dark Eldar society that provides gruesome entertainment to keep the population satiated and in line. They believe that men simply aren’t quick and agile enough to be true masters of the arena, so only women rise to the top. Men are basically there only for battlefield support and breeding stock. How’s that for gender equality?

The lore is filled with female Dark Eldar working their way through society. Lady Aruelia Malys is the second most powerful person in Commoragh (the name of the Dark Eldar realm) through guile, deceit, and utter ruthlessness. Her cleverness knows no bounds, as she was able to outwit Cegorach, the Laughing God, in a game of riddles. If you can run mental circles around a god, you’re not someone to mess with.

Lelith Hesperax is another example of a strong female character. Lelith is a predator, pure and simple. She only cares about proving herself as the apex predator in the galaxy. She doesn’t use any of the combat drugs normally utilized by other Wyches. Lelith dresses in revealing outfits to show off the fact that she has precisely zero scars from her years in the arenas and battlefields. The only weapons she uses are a pair of knives and her hair doubling as a hooked net. The life expectancy of anyone who goes toe-to-toe with her in the arena is measured in mere minutes, if not seconds. Lelith is not someone to mess with.

Image courtesy of Games Workshop

The only “male gaze” Lelith cares about is seeing the terror in her target’s eyes when her knives come down.

The final third of the Eldar are the Harlequins, the … space elf … ninja … clown … psyker … historians of the 40K universe (I told you the setting was over-the-top). They are servants of the Laughing God and protectors of the Black Library, an ancient repository containing all of the Eldar’s knowledge of Chaos. They function primarily as ambassadors for both the Craftworld and Commorite Eldar, providing an important line of communication between the two. That’s not to say a Harlequin troupe won’t start a fight with either side; they have their own agenda and their own rules. While the Harlequins don’t have a specific female character to claim as their own, the model range does come with plenty of both male and female models in an almost 50-50 split. There is no distinction between the two genders in gameplay or lore, making them quite possibly the most equal faction in the game.

And at the end of the “Filthy Xenos” list, we come to the Tau. A young race of technologically adept humanoids slowly building their empire on the eastern fringes of the galaxy, ruled by the enigmatic Ethereals, the Tau espouse a collectivist ideology focused on helping the “Greater Good.” According to the lore, both men and women are part of the warrior castes. However, as they are aliens and almost all wearing armor, there’s no way to tell exactly which are men and which are women. The army has only one specifically female character in Commander Puretide. She is an excellent commander and highly regarded in Tau society. Her model is both decidedly female and not sexualized to the same degree, which will make crybully feminists and their male allies … less unhappy. I don’t really think radical feminists can actually experience joy in anything that doesn’t involve male suffering.

There is one faction I haven’t covered yet, and for good reason. I wanted to save the best for last. Yes, Warhammer fans, it’s time to talk about the Sisters of Battle.

Image courtesy of Games Workshop

Sorry I missed your “air conditioning is sexist” protest. We were to busy burning heretic scum to ash.

The Sisters of Battle are the military arm of the church. After yet another civil war almost brought the Imperium to its knees, caused by the church this time, the High Lords of Terra declared that the church could no longer have any men under arms. The church decided to take this literally and give all the guns and power armor to women instead. Smart, huh?

The Sisters of Battle are a group of fanatically zealous nuns with guns. Keep in mind the fact that these ladies are considered zealots even among the everyday zealots of the Imperium as a whole. These are women who will not only refuse support on the battlefield when they’re outnumbered, but will shoot anyone who tries to call for backup. These women guard shrines, escort and guard prisoners, and purge heretics, of course. With fire. Lots of fire.

Image courtesy of Games Workshop

The only “wage gap” these ladies care about is the Space Marines getting more updates and models than they do.

The model line, sadly, is in desperate need of an update. It’s currently the only model line that is almost entirely metal; everything else is a primarily plastic with a smattering of resin here and there. The models are also horribly dated, looking like they came straight out of the 1980s. Warhammer fans have been clamoring for an update to the line for years, but have been met with nothing but silence from Games Workshop. The currently accepted explanation is due to modeling and casting issues with the new designs. According to several sources, the problem comes from difficulties in creating sufficient gates (spots to pour the liquid plastic into the moulds themselves) with the new model designs to allow enough plastic to enter and fill the moulds. This can be a very expensive process, as each mould can easily run into the six figure range, so even a minor setback can be costly.

Let’s take a step out of the grim darkness of the far future and come back to reality. Why even have female models to begin with? Why have female models that appear to be so heavily sexualized? What’s to be gained from this?

The biggest reasons for having a mixed gender force have nothing to do with actual gameplay and more to do with your overall enjoyment of the game. Immersion is a major part of the whole wargaming experience. The grim darkness of the far future is grim and dark, after all. When the galaxy is less than two minutes to midnight on the doomsday clock, everyone is needed on the front lines, man and woman alike. Seeing an Eldar army, for example, with no women would be a bit jarring. Unless you’re running an all-Wraith army, of course. In which case, keep your D-scythes away from me.

Model variety is another important factor, though for a different reason. Having a mixed gender force helps break up the monotony of painting dozens of miniatures that all look exactly the same, which helps you get your force fully painted in a shorter amount of time. Players with single (or no) gender armies have to find other ways to cope with the monotony of painting yet another squad that looks almost exactly like all the others.

So now that we’ve established why mixed gender armies exist, let’s tackle the “sexualization” portion. There are a few reasons why female models in 40K look overly sexual, and it has nothing to do with the male gaze or misogyny at all. For starters, the models are small. The average infantry miniature is about 28mm tall, which really isn’t all that much to work with. You want to be able to at least tell at a glance which models are male and which are female when they’re on the table or on display. Given the scale of the game as a whole, the best way to accomplish this is to exaggerate certain features. Warhammer 40K uses the “heroic 28mm” scale, meaning some proportions are exaggerated to make the models look more imposing or … well, heroic. In the case of the male minis, this typically means big arms, barrel chests, and gigantic pauldrons that would seriously block peripheral vision in real life. For female models, this means small waists, longer hair, and a bigger bust.

Another factor to consider is the lore and background of the universe, which primarily affects the look of both the Sisters of Battle and the Dark Eldar. The Sisters look more “sexualized” in order to emphasize the fact that they are women. The Imperium as a whole aren’t known for their towering intellect, and their current style (which badly needs updating) makes it quite clear that they are, in fact, women, and the Ecclesiarchy is, in fact, holding firm to the Decree Passive.

The Dark Eldar women, on the other hand, are sexualized because they like it. They are the descendants of the pre-Fall who were too freaky and sex-fueled for the people who literally screwed a god into existence. Their society is based on sensation, excess, and spectacle. Wyches don’t just have to kill; they have to kill with style. Anyone can stab an opponent with a knife; not everyone can decapitate a dozen man with a twirl of her braid and the monofilament blade hiding in it. Dark Eldar women find mixing their sexuality and their deadliness incredibly intoxicating, as do the men, which can be a potent tool in advancing through the ranks of Commorite society.

The biggest issue I have with this argument, though, is the assumption that any sexualization is inherently bad in any sort of entertainment medium. I can understand how going overboard on certain aspects can be a bit disconcerting (take a look at some of the more … imaginative Slaaneshi conversions for evidence), but at the end of the day, it’s just a game. It’s not real. Nobody thinks Space Marines actually exist, or a WAAGH! Of Orks is going to descent on our heads. The Chaos Gods don’t actually exist, and nobody is actually getting hurt playing a game with plastic dudesmen on a table. Unless you accidently step on a Dark Eldar model barefoot, of course.

After going through the article on the Mary Sue, the single most important question on my mind was: Why, exactly, are the sexualized elements actually bad? What harm does it cause? Does he think a young boy who sees a picture of a scantily-clad Wych or a heavily stylized Sister of Battle immediately thinks women shouldn’t be treated as people? Does the lack of 50/50 gender representation throughout the entire 40K range lead to an increase in sexual assaults caused by wargamers? Obviously not, since taking that position would relegate him to the lunatic fringe of old to languish with the likes of Jack Thompson and the PMRC. Had the author been a woman, however, this could be parlayed into a wildly overfunded Kickstarter, a half-forgotten YouTube channel, and a steady stream of Patreon donations. James failed to state precisely why any of this is actually detrimental to Warhammer 40K, its fans, or the hobby as a whole; the reader is meant to assume that a lack of equal gender representation in the Space Marines and some sexualized elements are problematic by dogmatic fiat simply due to his credentials as a male feminist. As it stands now, the entire piece simply boils down to “I don’t like it, therefore misogyny. Ignore everything your customer base says and make the changes I want because feminism.”

James is trying to pass himself off as so very progressive and thoughtful, but his entire piece sounds like an insecure teenager trying to pass himself off as mature to his peers by spouting some poorly thought out and poorly explained ideas he stumbled upon while trying to secretly find NSFW subreddits on the family computer. Relax, take a deep breath, and learn to enjoy the 1980s-inspired, completely over-the-top, utter ridiculousness of the Warhammer 40K universe. It’s just a game, after all.


Michael Johnson

Staff Writer

I'm one of the tabletop writers here at TechRaptor as well as an IT security analyst and full-time geek. If I'm not actively playing, I'm either painting something, enjoying burying my nose in a book or arguing on the Internet.



  • Fenrir007

    If these SJWs had a more palpable objective like launching a Black Crusade against the Wardian threat, they would have my support (and maybe then the Adeptas Sororitas would stop serving as silly hats for the Grey Knights). But this? This is more madness than attending a Slaneesh party without condoms or lube.

  • Launching a Black Crusade takes more effort that bitching on the Internet, so I think we’re safe

  • Iconoclast

    I never got into the W40k universe, everything about it makes me cringe.

    However, that the one thing the Mary Sue chose to complain about is sexims is just… HERESY!

  • lucben999

    “What harm does it cause?”

    The crux of the issue right there.

    This is the problem with SJWs, the author of the Mary Sue article can’t just wish there were more female characters in the game because he likes playing female characters, this is a political problem you see, the game is doing harm. Apparently, having one entirely male faction in one game franchise is a societal ill. How? any evidence? you’re a woman-hating shitlord for even doubting the assertion enough to ask those questions.

    His article was not critique, it was political/ideological condemnation, an accusation of causing and/or perpetuating real life harm, made with no evidence. It was an attempt at political pressure to have a franchise altered to suit the author’s irrelevant pet ideology.

  • Our one saving grace in this regard is the simple fact that GW does a piss-poor job of listening to the people who actually give them money; the odds of the company listening to people who bitch without buying anything are practically nil.

  • Wisdomcube2000

    “(and maybe then the Adeptas Sororitas would stop serving as silly hats for the Grey Knights)”

    B-but..I haz such a nice hat…Why would you want to take that away? 🙁

    https://1d4chan.org/images/b/bb/1304057080538.png

  • Lord Raa

    Nice, but your editor missed something: The models are also horribly dated, looking like they cane straight out of the 1980s.
    Pretty sure that should be “came straight out of the 1980s”

    Sorry for being “that guy,” and the error does not detract from your argument. It’s just something I noticed. I’ll go back to lurking now.

    (And yes, I’m sure that I’ve made several spelling,style or grammar errors in this comment)

  • JellyfishMonarch

    I See how it is.

  • Michael Pitchard

    The Sisters of Battle metal range was first released in 1997, and is a long way from what GW was producing in the 80s. The reason GW haven’t got of their collect fat arses and released an updated plastic line yet has nothing to do with casting or molds. Solving any casting problem with a new line should be well within GW’s expertise as a company, after all this is supposedly what they do, make high quality table top miniatures (although I try to type that without sniggering). The reason is they just want to piss about with evermore stupid flavours of new Marine lines which they can push on teeny bop new players who know no better. GW has always been a greedy company that liked to milk its player base at every opportunity, but with the hits it has taken in recent years to its share price and facing increasing competition (both with the table top market and from the video games industry) GW has gone and abandoned any pretence of caring about the hobby. The grim truth is the old metal Sister of Battle line never sold well, it was hugely popular with a small subset of the fanbase, but the army never received the support of new additions needed to make it competitive and despite being gorgeously thematic GW decided to continually feck Sister over in the fluff of other races. So today we end up in the situation where some fecking pointless GW vice president of arseholeary bean counting has crunched the numbers of whether a new plastic line would likely sell in sufficient numbers to justify its existence and decided instead what we really need is the Age of Sigmar (we heard you like Space Marines so we put some Space Marines in our Fantasy setting so you can Space Marine while you Space Marine…)

  • Should be fixed now, pending any cache updates 🙂

  • Lord Raa

    No worries, mate. Just didn’t want people to use this as an excuse to invalidate the article.

  • Donwel

    Will these people actually bitch over anything?

  • Azure

    You must have missed the memo from since the dawn of time.

  • Leics Fox

    Now GW is massive I did think the calls for variety in the Guard/Inquisition and a new SoB book was pretty reasonable…but as you lay out more generally, his lore arguments and rage about real world consequences were very strange

  • Azure

    It is quite suprising that someone has a gripe with a game where the Women are at there most powerful. But then again bitches gotta Bitch about something.

  • I can always hope people wouldn’t be petty over something as stupid as a single letter, but I suppose it could happen 🙂

    Thanks for the catch, too!

  • Honk Honk

    well hopeful a positive comes out of this sjw bitch fit and GW give the sisters a bit more attention. that would be the least and the most i would hope this causes

  • BlueLight

    ARE YOU CORRUPTED?!

  • Yanni

    Here’s a question, what proportion of the player base at your Friendly Local Game Store are women? At a convention? I’m fairly sure the ratio is heavily weighted towards male players everywhere 40k is played, and in many places females who play 40k are basically unicorns. You can claim the game isn’t sexist all you like, but when basically no women play, maybe, just maybe it’s because the game is actually pretty sexist, and is not inclusive or welcoming to women.

    That said, GW has recently made some steps in the right direction with the inclusion of a non-sexualized female Tau warrior model.

  • You’re right. The population at my FLGS is overwhelmingly male. My question to you is: so what? Why is that a problem? The gender breakdown in a given population isn’t a solid indicator of any issues caused by sexism. If that were the case, then Pinterest would also have a major sexism issue as its user base is primarily women. Does Pinterest hate men? Or maybe, JUST MAYBE, determining whether a community is sexist or not based solely on the gender breakdown of people within said community isn’t such a good idea?

    Using “sexualization” is just as flawed a method as well; women are allowed to like attractive-looking female models too, you know. And that isn’t strictly limited to the non-heterosexual female population either. It’s quite common for women to enjoy sexualized models in wargames as an outlet for female power fantasies, just as men do with bulky, muscular models and characters.

    Allow me to provide you with a real-world example: I recently asked my wife her opinions about the Toughest Girls of the Galaxy model line as a sort of experiment. She was a fan of nearly all of them, but immediately fell in love with the Lust Elves and all but declared ownership of all the Lust Elf freebie models I’d be getting from my Kickstarter reward. When I asked her about it, she told me it was due to female power fantasies and how those models in particular mixed sexuality, horror, and martial prowess.

    TL;DR – Your methods for determining sexism in games is bad and you should feel bad.

  • Nick Dilmore

    “You can claim the game isn’t sexist all you like, but when basically no women play, maybe, just maybe it’s because the game is actually pretty sexist, and is not inclusive or welcoming to women.”
    Why isn’t an acceptable answer ever simply because women aren’t interested? Women aren’t idiots, aren’t weak willed automatons who need brave manly men to lead them by the hand to take up a hobby in the holy name of Inclusion. Why do I never see anyone demanding women change generally female-centric hobbies/pasttimes to be more palatable to men? This kind of thing is always one way. Men must change. How about we let people do what they want?

  • Somehow, I doubt it. There isn’t enough impetus on GW’s part to cave into these people. IMO, the best hope we have of getting a revitalized Sisters of Battle army is the popularity of Raging Heroes’ latest model line. If their Sci-Fi space nuns start flying off the shelves (metaphorically speaking), it might force GW to respond with updated Sisters.

    Fingers crossed!

  • > so you can Space Marine while you Space Marine…)

    That’s how we got Centurions.

  • XZ

    Simple response to your prospective criteria for “sexism in Warhammer”; correlation does not equal causation.

    A more complex answer isn’t necessary, but I will provide. The ratio of males to females at gaming stores of any type is heavily weighed towards males. The primary reason for this is because for the longest time, prior to the popularization of more “nerd” stereotypical hobbies, it was mostly males playing the game to begin with because they were escaping from bad social situations; the “nerd” stereotype was overwhelmingly ostracized for a very long time, so the FLGS was a place the ostracized nerds could go and be among people who actually appreciated the things they also appreciated, instead of being persecuted for not conforming to social standards.

  • Yonan Gezza

    “In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only misogyny.”

    Hahaha, you got me. That was great.

  • Pansergrateng

    No, it’s not sexist. full stop.

    Even beyond regular common sense, there are also several studies that clearly imply that there are indeed gender differences in interests.

    Playing the general of armies of plastic soldiers is a thoroughly masculine interest. Women in general simply aren’t naturally interested in these things, end of story. It’s been the same way with videogames for ages until the whole “nerd chic” culture came along and gave women a passing reason to at least pretend to be interested, and with the growing scope of videogame development, there are steadily more titles that may actually appeal to women.

    But such a change has not, and likely, never will, happen with miniature games, both because of their much more niche status and the fact that miniature wargames will always be firmly anchored in the strategy genre.

    The shitheads that whine and cry about sexism are just worthless attention-whoring trash.

    Thought of the day: Suffer not the witch to live.

  • Anon

    So in short, the MS writer is accusing WH40k of heresy against Feminism.

  • Weistber

    This has actually been festering on tumblr for quite a while.

    I follow a guy who moulds greenstuff boobs onto his Black Templars. It makes me zealously angry as a Templars player. But live and let live.

    What would Space Marines do with gender anyway ?

    They’d just be indistinguishable from the current space marines. What purpose would mammary glands serve ? Could they even still be called feminine then ? What behaviour would a space marine display that would make you identify her as female ? Most space marine traits are identified as positive masculine traits.

    Most importantly, male space marines can pee standing up better.

    As far as I’m concerned, Space Marines are monogendered post-humans. Gender is meaningless to them. I swear, these SJWs are the most sexist people on the planet.

  • Spider Jerusalem

    Manspreading is an unavoidable issue if you’re packed into a 200kg powersuit.

  • There will always be people who are under the impression that society reflects entertainment, rather than vice versa. They think your medium needs to grow up, that you need to grow up, that your entertainment is corrupting our youth. And yes, there are even some fans who believe this too, once they realize the entertainment they’ve loved for so long doesn’t strictly conform to their militant interpretation of newly-held political beliefs. I often wonder what it’s like to have so little self-awareness and crave validation for my entertainment choices. I’m sure I knew, once, but my teenage years are like some long unremembered dream. I grew up.

  • Ricardo Lima

    Just throw Salon and Mary Sue in a warp portal and let the Daemons sort them out out. Without lube.

  • Elfa

    Feminism is Heresy.

  • Fenrir007

    Just embrace the warhams, son. You will love it. I suggest the Ciaphas Cain novels, personally.

  • Riddle

    By the emperor…this is a great article.

  • Iconoclast

    I tried, but in the W40k universe is just nothing to root for. Everyone and everything is a corrupt shit or outright EVIL(tm). I just don’t care what happens because whatever people do it won’t change anything.

    If I had to force me to pick a race, I probably join da Orkz, they are just in it for da WAAAGH!, a motivation I can get behind.

  • Donwel

    I mean, I know they’ll bitch over most things but this just seems petty, even for them.

  • Fenrir007

    This is sort of true on a macro scale (though I wouldn’t say they are evil – evil is a matter of perspective. The Imperium guaranteeing its survival is not evil), but there are several selfless individuals working for the Imperium at large, and risk their lives on a daily basis for nothing beyond helping their fellow humans.

  • Elliott Gaal

    This is way more better than the original.
    Damn SJWs and pupeteers, I’d send them to Perturabo.
    Techinically any IG or SA (Solar Auxilia) could have females. The armour and clothes are bulky enough to be marked off as paperwork error. For the SA, its badass deep sea suits, gender shape would not be important.
    That suit is the only thing keeping your insides where they belong.
    Did the idea of kit bashing ever occur to those cancerous blights.

  • Elliott Gaal

    Yeah… Let’s not go there for everyone’s sanity’s sake.

  • Elliott Gaal

    You think SJWs are sane and reasonable. Funny guy, you get purged last by them.

  • It did, but it’s unfair that GW doesn’t offer kits to upgrade normal Space Marines into disabled queer tri-gender pansexual pyrofox-kin in their stores. Therefore, sexism. Oh, and they also need to change 25+ years of established lore to mollify a tremendously small potential customer base and ignore their current customer base because FEMINISM!

    Oh, and ignore all the Black Library books and video games and everything that isn’t a model because it invalidates their point. Which is rape.

    Also, you’re racist for even thinking of this.

  • He’ll be purged first due to the fact that humor is problematic.

  • Elliott Gaal

    Same thing, purge happens, he(?) dies.

  • Elliott Gaal

    You speak such true words.
    Still wouldn’t mind a female kit.

  • hehe, awesome article.

    And I suspect anyone seriously accusing GW of sexism must have confused them with folks likely to give a shit.

    Listen up you SJW rubes, WH40k players are not your audience and never will be. Indeed ask a WH40k player what he thinks of SJWs and he is likely to reply “Are they shootie like Tau or close combat based like da Orks? And when does their Codex come out?”

    And remember, in the Grim Dark Future, there are only British.

  • Calum Wallace

    True enough. It’s very much black-and-grey morality – there are no purely good factions in 40k, though there are factions composed of 100% pure distilled evil. I can easily see how it goes well over some people’s darkness event horizon.

  • Calum Wallace

    Think I’ll say the same thought I said on Facebook:

    I’ll concede that 40k being categorically designed to appeal to teenage boys
    is a bad thing once My Little Pony being categorically designed to
    appeal to small girls is considered a bad thing, and not one moment
    before.

  • Leics Fox

    touche

  • Matilda Persson

    Someone noticed there is a staggering disparity of male to female models. They don’t like that. They explain why they don’t like that. In response, you:

    – Repeatedly attempt to poison the well and attack them personally.

    – Attempt to justify sexism within a fictional world by referring to real world biology — because Space Marines, Orks, laser rifles, Necrons, sentient stars that feed on other stars (C’tan), etc., are all super in keeping with our real world biology, am I right.

    – Pretend creating female models would be expensive, when GW literally just released a ton of new models in both Age of Sigmar and 40K. Worse, you pretend this expense is good reason to not supply the female models I and others would like, because you got yours and fuck us, I guess.

    – End your asinine rant by spiting in the face of your article’s opening lines, calling them childish.

    Bravo.

  • A few points:

    Recently released models have been through the design and production process for months (if not years in the case of Sisters of Battle) and fit into a meticulously designed and laid out schedule. Disrupting this pipeline will add to the overall cost of whatever is being shoved into the pipeline, making the prospect of creating models that would appeal to a niche audience within a niche audience even more unappealing.You want more female models? Do a better job of showing market demand; making everyone’s ears bleed screeching about sexism isn’t the best way to accomplish this.

    Nobody in the 40K world cares about sexism because there are more pressing matters at hand, like food, not being turned into a servitor, not slaughtered by whatever force decides to invade that week, or not being executed for heresy. Hierarchy of needs and all that.

    The entire argument put forth by The Mary Sue hinges on several assumptions that fall flat on a second look:

    -GW is turning away 50% of the population by not including more female models, yet there is no evidence provided to back this up. This point would hold more water if 50% of the male population was interested in 40K, or wargaming as a whole. Which we both can agree is simply not the case.

    -Traditionally male hobbies and interests absolutely need to have an equal representation of both genders (Oh, no! I said there are only two genders! BURN THE HERETIC!). I’ll accept this when traditionally female hobbies and interests make efforts and changes to increase male representation. Call me when Taylor Swift concerts have pyrotechnic displays and monster trucks, then we’ll talk.

    -Not everyone picks models because they resemble themselves. I play primarily Dark Eldar, does that make me a pallid, sadistic, drug-addicted space elf? Of course not. While the look of the miniature range does play a role in choosing an army, it’s not the ONLY factor involved.

    Finally, the overall tone of my article was combative and aggressive, yes. That was done intentionally. I don’t want wargaming to go down the same path that other male-dominated geek hobbies have been sent down. We don’t need progressive hipster colonizers coming in and deciding that the White Man’s Burden requires the removal of “problematic” ideas and people. We don’t want wargames to end up mired in the same political garbage currently infesting interests like comics, Magic: The Gathering, or SF/F books.

  • Matilda Persson

    -“Recently released models have been through the design and production process for months (if not years in the case of Sisters of Battle) and fit into a meticulously designed and laid out schedule. Disrupting this pipeline will add to the overall cost of whatever is being shoved into the pipeline, making the prospect of creating models that would appeal to a niche audience within a niche audience even more unappealing.You want more female models? Do a better job of showing market demand; making everyone’s ears bleed screeching about sexism isn’t the best way to accomplish this.”

    Telling the public, including GW, what you want is bad because you don’t want to hear about it? Could I not tell you to keep your criticism silent, then? You also assume I’m not supporting the female models, for no apparent reason.

    -“Nobody in the 40K world cares about sexism because there are more pressing matters at hand, like food, not being turned into a servitor, not slaughtered by whatever force decides to invade that week, or not being executed for heresy. Hierarchy of needs and all that.”

    Nobody in the fictional universe of 40K would care, so the people here, in the real world, can just go without? The fuck kind of logic is that? I don’t care what nonexistent people do or do not want. Why should I? Queer.

    -“GW is turning away 50% of the population by not including more female models, yet there is no evidence provided to back this up. This point would hold more water if 50% of the male population was interested in 40K, or wargaming as a whole. Which we both can agree is simply not the case.”

    Inclusion doesn’t foster community? That’s the straw you want to die reaching for? You are speaking to a woman that would buy more models if I had more female options. I and my partner, both. You must know this line of reasoning is absurd.

    -“Traditionally male hobbies and interests absolutely need to have an equal representation of both genders (Oh, no! I said there are only two genders! BURN THE HERETIC!)”

    See, this is why you don’t build straw men. You throw around nebulous terms like gender that mean any number of things to any number of people, and you don’t even bother to ask me what my fucking opinion is, before projecting your issues onto me. I don’t recognise ANY gender. I recognise that others think gender exists, but I assert that it is a largely meaningless term, too broad and ill-defined to describe anyone. I feel the same way about race, too. You do this all the damn time. In one comment you did it multiple times. Let me show you:

    “It did, but it’s unfair that GW doesn’t offer kits to upgrade normal Space Marines into disabled queer tri-gender pansexual pyrofox-kin in their stores. Therefore, sexism.”

    Not only did no one mention any of that, you somehow think including disabled options would be worthy of mockery — when there is literally a chapter of Space Marines with artificial limbs already, mind.

    “Oh, and they also need to change 25+ years of established lore to mollify a tremendously small potential customer base and ignore their current customer base because FEMINISM!”

    You got yours, so fuck everyone else, especially minorities? The fuck? And of course this was never said either. But arguing with straw men sure is easy.

    “Oh, and ignore all the Black Library books and video games and everything that isn’t a model because it invalidates their point. Which is rape.”

    Yes. People call the Black Library and the GW video games rape. That is a thing that happens. Who does this? You do that. I don’t. The article you are referring to didn’t. You did. You are literally the thing you are mocking.

    “Also, you’re racist for even thinking of this.”

    That’s FOUR straw men in one comment. You are tilting at windmills.

    Do you see the problem yet?

    -“I’ll accept this when traditionally female hobbies and interests make efforts and changes to increase male representation. Call me when Taylor Swift concerts have pyrotechnic displays and monster trucks, then we’ll talk.”

    Because only men like fire and monster trucks? What are you even saying? And why shouldn’t more things include men? My father was a nurse in the army. Nurses have long been assumed to be women, while the doctors are men. This is bullshit. My father was willing to die to save lives. I have men in my life who bottle their emotion up and have repeatedly come to me *this* close to taking their own lives. Why? Because the world tells them to harden up, to grow some balls, to stop being a girl about it. That is bullshit. Your argument here is bullshit.

    -“Not everyone picks models because they resemble themselves. I play primarily Dark Eldar, does that make me a pallid, sadistic, drug-addicted space elf? Of course not. While the look of the miniature range does play a role in choosing an army, it’s not the ONLY factor involved.”

    Who said it was? Not me. Not the article. You did. Again.

    -“Finally, the overall tone of my article was combative and aggressive, yes. That was done intentionally. I don’t want wargaming to go down the same path that other male-dominated geek hobbies have been sent down. We don’t need progressive hipster colonizers coming in and deciding that the White Man’s Burden requires the removal of ‘problematic’ ideas and people. We don’t want wargames to end up mired in the same political garbage currently infesting interests like comics, Magic: The Gathering, or SF/F books.”

    Being an abrasive dick on purpose, only fills your hobby with more abrasive dicks. Good job. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  • >Nobody in the fictional universe of 40K would care, so the people here, in the real world, can just go >without? The fuck kind of logic is that? I don’t care what nonexistent people do or do not want. Why >should I? Queer.

    Right here is where you overplayed your hand and gave yourself away.

    Had you avoided using any homophobic slurs, I would’ve simply guessed that you were a run-of-the-mill third wave feminist ranting and raving about how this one tiny, predominantly male portion of society was a harbinger of doom for anyone with a vagina. But this little slip really shows you to be nothing more than a troll who is very good at impersonating the average Tumblrina, but still needs some work.

    Next time, instead of “queer”, use an insult more befitting your persona. “Pissbaby” is an excellent go-to, as is “manbaby”, “neckbeard”, or “basement-dwelling virgin”. It’ll help you maintain your facade a bit longer. Maybe spend a bit of time reading /r/TumblrInAction will help you get a firmer grasp of the nomenclature.

    Since I now know I’m most likely dealing with a /pol/ reject trying to be the next Jonah Goldberg, I bid you farewell and better luck in your future trolling endeavors.

  • Matilda Persson

    -“Had you avoided using any homophobic slurs, I would’ve simply guessed that you were a run-of-the-mill third wave feminist ranting and raving about how this one tiny, predominantly male portion of society was a harbinger of doom for anyone with a vagina. But this little slip really shows you to be nothing more than a troll who is very good at impersonating the average Tumblrina, but still needs some work.”

    Your rampant ad hominem aside, queer there wasn’t an insult. It was a remark. More specifically, I was remarking that your line of reasoning was queer. I’m gay, for Christ sake.

    -“Next time, instead of “queer”, use an insult more befitting your persona. “Pissbaby” is an excellent go-to, as is “manbaby”, “neckbeard”, or “basement-dwelling virgin”. It’ll help you maintain your facade a bit longer. Maybe spend a bit of time reading /r/TumblrInAction will help you get a firmer grasp of the nomenclature.”

    What are you even talking about?

    -“Since I now know I’m most likely dealing with a /pol/ reject trying to be the next Jonah Goldberg, I bid you farewell and better luck in your future trolling endeavors.”

    What the fuck does any of that even mean?

    Are you not going to address a single thing I said? Seriously?

  • Hix

    Sure the lore of 40K doesn’t mean anything anyway, it’s been re-written so much you can make anything up and it would still be canon as long as GW says so.
    So arguing that there are in-canon reasons is a weak argument.

    So the question changes.
    It is no longer “Why are there not more representations of Women in the game?” and is now “Why do you not want more representations of Women in the game?”

    I like girls, I like girls a lot and part of that appreciation is the desire to share my interests with them and the truth that many people (for some reason I cannot currently fathom) want you to believe is that Women exist and they are wicked and hate you, yes you with the neck beard, you in your parent’s house at 35 years old, you who have never been kissed and you who seek solace in this hobby to the exclusion of all things.
    Exaggerations yes, but it rings true at least in part for many people who enjoy Warhammer and 40K.
    I include myself in this column, that’s me the one who ran from school to the local GW store just so I could avoid the usual 45 minutes of systematic terror that awaited me around the corner at the bus stop.
    It was for me a literal refuge. When we got bullied or attacked, once we ran for our lives from three middle aged men who threatened to rape us and it was like a haven for me and my friend as we reached the store. The shopkeeper knew us, the local painters and hobbyists knew us too and when we told them we were being chased a few of them even went around the block for us to see is those men were still there. We were actively protected by our community. That’s an unbelievably positive feeling and it left a strong impression on me that I should do the same where I can.

    The idea that the place I thought of as protecting and kind is also a place where whole facets of the population dread to enter is so jarring to me that I have to almost sit down and wonder. “What right do I have to be protected over anyone else?”
    I was much too young to have any stable income so I rarely bought anything, the guys at the store were not waiting for me to leave, I could stay there all evening if there was a delay in the bus schedule and a few times I even did my homework there. I learned about community there and my experience with that community was always golden.

    So why not open the doors to anyone who wants in? Cause don’t be fooled by the talk of lore and gender representation here this is about marketing to a wider audience that needs much more protecting than I ever did.
    This is a chance to stop imagining and wishing and start acting like we believe in things like Honor, Integrity and Nobility. What better thing is there for a game to do than enforce values like that?

    I hear the term SJW thrown about like that’s some damning insight into a person’s actions and yeah I think there’s certainly a point where being PC creates more problems than it solves but that place is not here. It’s not even close to here.

    I love this game, I love these worlds and these characters and I love my memories of the community. It’s worth fighting for, it’s a genuine cause for good and it’s real, you can feel it, you can see it. It’s not a fantasy and anyone can experience that community if you have the courage to reach out to those who don’t have a place among us yet and help them feel welcome.

    So I’m taking Fenrir007’s suggestions to heart and launching my own Crusade. Not against Matt Ward, he’s a symptom. I’m going for the heart of the beast.