GENDER WARS playing cards in progress

When a friend recently suggested a deck of playing cards featuring major players in the “gender wars,” I knew I wanted a set. I tried to find other ways to make it happen – photographs? Filters? AI art generator? – but decided the most expedient option was to just do it myself. Which isn’t particularly expedient, as a deck requires 54 designs (if you include 2 Jokers).

I generally suck at caricatures, but decided my limited skills would have to be adequate. I Can Do Hard Things, just not perfectly.

This is probably my most successful caricature so far. Do not expect this level of resemblance throughout the deck.

Working furiously, this week I made the first suit, Hearts. Red suits (hearts and diamonds) will be more-or-less gender critical, and black suits (clubs and spades) will be more-or-less transactivist. If this sounds like inside baseball, it is; that’s why my friend suggested a deck in the first place. I’ve turned into a gender nerd, and “civilians” have no idea whom I’m referring to when I gossip. Edutainment!

I want to crowdfund for this project, but as I don’t trust any major crowdfunding platforms, I just set up some PayPal pre-order buttons. Yes I know PayPal sucks too, all online payment platforms suck, and cryptocurrency is still too volatile.

Pre order here!


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

26 thoughts on “GENDER WARS playing cards in progress”

  1. I LOVE these.

    I’m hoping you are not going to put ‘bad guys’ on the black suits, for obvious reasons…

    (Do you want/need the bad guys included at all?)

    (Not sure if this reply is public but I can verify who I am on social media if that helps)

  2. Brilliant! Possibly use eventbrite etc in first instance whose inevitable ban will generate publicity?

  3. I bloody love these! I’ll try to persuade someone to buy me some for my fast approaching birthday ????

  4. Kind of gives the impression that these are the people in the movement who matter and the rest of us are just peons.

  5. If you are including TRAs, it would bring me joy to see everyone’s favourite luggage thief in there somewhere

  6. Cue the whining about the racism of spades and of red and black, oppressive colonialism of monarchy, violence of clubs, satanism of graven images, toxic masculinity of jacks, heracy of playing cards, classism and heteronormatity of monarchy, numerical ranking of women, ableism of playing cards, patriarchy of agnatic kings, wantonness of gambling, blood diamonds, and why can’t Saddam still be the ace of spades. I self-identify as The Joker and find all the offense terribly offensive. Y’all have more issues than a newsstand.

    I admire the idea of infinite genders but I see it collapse into individualism and sex, and can’t care to explore further, so I’ll have no idea who these people are. I don’t even know what’s inside baseball. The art is excellent, kind cariacatures, amusing, and it’s fun. Keep it up Nina, it’s a lot of work for a deck but completeness is grand. Plus at the end, if it’s popular you could sell special editions with different card mixes. The opposition might even buy it if the black suit cariacatures are clever, though everyone does boycott everyone now. Tarot cariacatures could be funny, and could sell individually framed, plus there’s fewer cards.

  7. Wait actually make Graham Linehan the jokers of the pack. Both of them. Because he’s a total joke.

  8. These are wonderful so far. Love the Meghan Murphy and Jesse Singal! Kinda wish they could all be on the GC side…

  9. Love the idea, well half of it. The art is fantastic. However, call me a TERF (yes, please) but I would only have a deck in my house of our GC women warriors, of which we have well over the 52. I don’t want to play cards with “trans/genderists” on them because I would be in a rage instead of having fun.

  10. maybe you could make the people who are pushing the surgeries and medical interventions the diamonds ($$$)? thank you for your great work!

  11. You are so talented! I love the idea. And if people criticize in any way, tell them to make their own. This is YOUR ARTWORK!

  12. Jesus, Nina.

    I got reminded that you went down the terf-hole and decided to see how bad it is, and here you are making this trash. I used to love your work, and now I’m just gonna be faintly embarrassed and sad every time you come up, and will occasionally get to be the person who sighs and delivers the sad news to someone who is about to become an ex-fan of your work.

  13. I would love a pack of these cards, but a shipping tax from US brings the total to $45 is too much.
    Is there a UK place I can find them?

  14. “some trans artist lady”, that was awesome. I’m glad I came back to look at the comments. I nearly spit out my coffee. Making trash, terf-hole, faintly embarrassed, sighing saddened, you nailed it. It could just use a “Hence I shall be leaving your friendship forever!”. I needed that. Oh man.

    She actually did the whole set of 54 cards, in the Merch Empire now at , great to have on hand for whenever you need to channel indignant histrionics.

  15. Hey, I’ve been a long time fan of your work. Loved your stance on copyright. As a woman and member of a sexual & gender minority myself, I can only warn you: the terfs don’t mind being financed by the extreme right – and these people will come for women’s & human rights next.

  16. Gawd, you are a genius! Were you already canceled or is your card anticipatory (aspirational?). Your style is Crumblike without the Crumbling urban infrastructure and dirty potty fetishes–and the humor is so refreshing!
    I would really know I’d made it as an activist if I made into one of your decks. Keep ’em comin’!

  17. I should add, that, yes, I’ve lived under a rock. Your name was in my orbit but I never recognized it. Count me a new fan!

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