Why Do Gears Of War's Women Have To Make Babies? Why Can't They Fight?

Gears of War is a science fiction boys club. For boys who have no necks. So where, exactly, do women fit into all this? Why, they don't. They're all busy. Busy making babies. Giant, neckless babies.

A great piece over at the Boston Phoenix, by Maddy Myers, points out the absurd gender inequality present in humanity's war against the Locust in Epic's Gears of War video game series.

See, while every man who can draw breath is off gaining glory and spilling blood in combat, women have been barred from the front lines. According to Gears of Wars' lore, because the Locust have wiped out so many people, the women are needed to make babies.

Sure, there are exceptions - Alex Brand, who features in Gears 3, is one of them - but they're exceptions because they can't have kids. So the only way a woman can fight is when they can't have kids? Pretty much.

This brings us to the heart of Myers' piece. "What if a woman just didn't want to make babies, and wanted to serve humanity in another way? Can the developers really not imagine a scenario where a woman wouldn't want to to choose this path? According to this premise, the only reason why a woman would want to fight off an endless Locust Horde destroying her planet would be if she had absolutely no other way to spend her time."

Interesting point. I could of course offer "what if a man just didn't want to fight?", and reply with "well, it's the end of the world, he'd be shot", but that's another topic for another day.

Gears of War 3: Adding a Female Character? [The Boston Phoenix]


    Does the world just enjoy forgetting the reason why women are often not allowed in front line combat roles in the real world? I suppose it's so much easier to make a rant piece when ignoring the facts.

      On the mark there Mr Waffle.

    Why are the Firtile Female Krogan locked away making babies in Mass Effect? Why limit this to humans?

    How the hell is that a 'great piece'? The world is being destroyed, the ability to create more soldiers to potentially save it is MORE IMPORTANT than the people actually fighting, not only cause those people can fight but that they can continue the human race.

    Perhaps Myers should read the Well of Echoes series which has similar themes where child bearing women are celebrated and lavished above all others (within reason) because without them the human race would go extinct.

      uhm, if population makes a difference in a fight that means there's fairly even power on either side. if one side were to stop making babies and suddenly double their numbers, that side would be the obvious winner. dumb argument is dumb.

    Speaking as a guy whos nickname is no-neck Id be happy to see more female company on the front line.

    Sadly (or not) though, if you've spent any time in the armed services you'll know that picture isnt an accurate representation of the average combat-ready female.

    They tend to be a bit sturdier and hold their own in an arm wrestle for a start...

    There's also been at least 2 female chopper pilots in the games. That or there's 2 guys even more girly than Baird...

    i thought they covered this

    it was simply to much effort to make a Female charachter for the game

    Anyone else have the urge to make a sexist joke?

    Reading both the post and her replies to comments, I get the impression that Maddy Myers has a bit of an agenda, which overrides a lot of what may have started off as valid points.
    When a commenter pointed out that GoW is aimed solely at males, she responds by saying "I'm a girl, I like GoW, therefore you're wrong", or something to that extent, completely missing the point.
    Also, she describes the entire main cast of GoW as idiots, without any justification. the way it's worded, it seems that she thinks that any guy that's hyper-masculine HAS to be an idiot. There's no way a guy can be a muscle-bound soldier AND have a brain, is there?

    The War in this game requires its soldiers to be extremely skilled and extremely physical. They need to be able to physically overpower locusts. And given the size of locusts, I see no way anything but an extremely strong male could do so.
    They also need to keep up the population.
    And so they segregate people into what their bodies are designed to do better. Obviously, they don't all want that.

    But I don't see Maddy once making even a mention of any poor male who doesn't want to go blow the brains out of things. It sucks just as much being forces to pop out babies as it does to sleep in a trench and get your brain exploded when your weapon jams. Its a war, things suck, stop using it as an excuse to wage some feminist agenda.

      Feminisim. Equality for all (except men still have to mow the lawn, take out the garbage, open doors , etc...)

        Feminism is as real as Jesus Christ.

    Gears of war follows Marcus Fenix and his squad therefore adding in female characters is unnecessary and simply there to satisfy virgin nerds and teenagers.

    The government is a dictatorship in the game isn't it?

    Maybe they're not given a choice, and if they don't want to have babies... too bad.

    It will be a sad day when fantasy stories are forced to be politicaly correct.

    Read the novels, the reasons 'story wise' are a major topic.

    Real world game development reason - didn't they have to do a whole batch of new animations to include female gears?

    “What if a woman just didn’t want to make babies, and wanted to serve humanity in another way?"

    In a time of war when there is a population shortage, making babies is the responsible thing for a woman to do. If a woman didn't want to, she would be regarded the same way as a male draft dodger. The social pressure would be enormous.

    During times of Total War, there is no political correctness, and personal liberty or choice is of little consequence. The nation is struggling to survive.
    Combine this with a dictatorship government, and there is no choice.

      I'd rather shoot myself than be forced to squeeze out a baby that I didn't want

    I thought it was pretty obvious from playing the games that the government is a violent dictatorship.

    They don't get a choice.

    Shambrook is right.

    The society of Sera is a fanatically socialist totalitarian regime.

    Women don't have a choice. Nor do men. State socialism demands that human beings are property of the State.

    This may not be nice, but it is not completely unrealistic. Socialist Romania under Nicolae Ceaucescu (excuse spelling mistakes) banned abortion because women's wombs were the means of production of more labor.

    Don't demand that your fiction sanitize the horror of totalitarianism and socialism. Because both of them are NOT NICE THINGS.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now