Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Settlers of Catan

So a couple of nights ago, I was playing Settlers of Catan with some of my friends and I noticed that the traded resources or commodities are: brick, stone, wood and.... sheep.

Although I have played this game before, it was shocking to me that I never really noticed that the sheep was different from the other resources. I hadn't considered its value as a living, breathing and feeling being but rather a resource, which is how the creators of this game intend me to treat it. This realization, while certainly a little disturbing, didn't stop me from playing. But what I found super interesting and also really creepy was when my friends started jokingly referring to the sheep as "dirty". I didn't understand this at first, but the more I paid attention to their jokes through out the game, I realized they were paralleling the trading of the sheep to the trading of women (i.e. sex trade, etc.). For example, when one of us would trade sheep for wood, one of my friends would say: "Wow that that dirty sheep is just going from one place to another". This really really bothered me, and brought me back to discussions of intersectionality and shared oppression, through, for example the Sexual Politics of Meat and the Incest Taboo. I am still pretty thrown off my friends' comments.  
I'd like to know what others think. 

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