I get “fake geek girl” BS in job interviews. I have skipped applying for programming jobs because the ads promote the “bro-centric company culture,” where it is common to drink beer and no one complains about your naughty sense of humor. I have applied at companies that won’t interview me for the position that I’m qualified for because the type of programming that I do is more typical for guys and this other type over here that I don’t do is more typical for girls; in order to show how inclusive of women they are, they strongly encourage me to apply for [girl job] despite me being grossly overqualified for [boy job that I can’t be interviewed for]. I have gone to interviews where it is made clear to me that I’m the affirmative action candidate, that they were intrigued by my claim to play video games [which I was tested on], and then had the technical interviewer act astounded because during my whiteboarding exercise, I followed a coding standard that prevents a security breach and no other applicants did— and then not gotten the job. I have had jobs where my opinion was dismissed by my superiors who were less qualified than me, who repeatedly interrupted me during demos to tell me that I’m doing the demo wrong on a product that the interrupter has never used— and then gotten fired for calmly standing up to him.
So let me tell you why there are so few games with strong female protagonists and so few games with characters that women can identify with as idealized heroes: games are made by men for themselves.
"We’re pretty sure the cop is a Controller. And I don’t care what you say, Jake, I think Tom is, too. So, here’s the deal. You want to get into this fight against the Yeerks?" Marco asked me. "Fine. Let’s see how much you want to do it when it turns out it’s your own brother you have to destroy."
That stopped me cold.
"It’s not exactly some video game, is it?" Marco said. "This is reality. You don’t know anything about reality, Jake. Nothing bad has ever really happened to you. You have this perfect family. Like I used to have."
His voice cracked a little. He never talked about his mom’s death.
I realized he was right. I didn’t know about reality. Not the way reality had happened to Marco — and to Tobias.
This is from the very first book.
Marco could see that very likely (and correct) outcome to what it would mean to enter in the fight. He knew Jake would have to fight his brother. And in a war, it’s life and death.
For as “immature” as Marco pretended to be, he was actually one of the only one who really saw what could (and would) happen. One could argue that Cassie saw the realities to a war, but her realities were much more personally driven, while Marco’s realities were just that - the reality of the war.
Marco had already dealt with the realities of life and death. He came from a good background. His parents loved each other and loved him. His dad had a good job. (I forget if his mom had a job and I’m too lazy to look it up.) And he saw how quickly that can all fall apart and how devastating death can be. He watched his dad unable to cope with his mother’s death. He had to learn how to deal with his new economical status. He took care of himself, and his dad, rather than the father taking care of the child.
Marco is the only one who knew how their choice would actually affect them.
This scene becomes even more heart-wrenching in light of later events, too. Because Marco has to face his mother and try to destroy her - and, for a time, he thinks he has. If he hadn’t, this conversation would, I think, have been undercut a bit.
Marco is easily the most pragmatic, the most ruthless, of the Animorphs - Jake became very ruthless too, but I think he agonised over it more. It came more naturally to Marco, because he knew tragedy intimately from a young age. He knew life wasn’t fair. He knew the only thing you could do was accept it and move on.
I think knowing the realities of their situation hardened him to them, too. Cassie felt them most keenly. Cassie made hard decisions, too, but she never closed her heart to the consequences.
Marco saw the world the way it was and worked with it; Cassie saw the way the world could be, and strived for it. They’re both, I think, completely valid approaches. Jake, I figure, was somewhere in the middle.
And in the end, the roles are reversed a bit - Marco gets his mother back (as does Tobias), and Jake loses his brother. I think that represents a core theme of the books, really - that you can always have hope, but it’s not always rewarded.