"You're in Victorian garb? Where's your corset?"
"Under my dress. Where it's SUPPOSED TO BE."
-Actual conversation reported to me by a costume enthusiast
In our last Dev Note, we addressed some of the problems games face in developing a Victorian setting with regard to realistic representations specifically of women. It is important to note that we acknowledge the value of choosing to present an unrealistic and artificial equality. But we hope that we have presented some reasonable argument that realism (or at least quasi-realism) can be valuable in creating interesting and even important female characters for your game.
However, there is a more thorny issue in the steampunk genre, and particularly in steampunk games. Today we will tackle the subtle inherent sexism of the steampunk aesthetic, and it largely has to do with one particular article of clothing: the corset. In many ways, the corset has become the steampunk version of the "bikini armor" problem in fantasy settings.