This is a comic I drew, the blog post that accompanied it, and a pertinent exchange between myself and some readers. I’m posting it here because I’m not really the kind of person who knows about gender issues and stuff. I just kind of shoot from the hip based on what I think and what I was taught. I know several of my followers are, like, into this kind of thing. To the point that they went to school over it and whatnot. I’m just curious if I’m way off base in what I’m saying, or what. I don’t have the luxury of sitting in front of a monitor all day arguing about this stuff, I just reply when I have a chance, without many facts to back up anything I say. I’m also pretty dismissive when someone wanders into the comments with an argument, or opinion, that seems like bullshit to me, so I don’t engage right away, but they kind of get me going and the result is as follows:
That moment when they can’t pretend they aren’t into it.
I’ve experienced this a few times with girls. I’m not sure what the resistance to enjoying a game is about. Maybe it’s the nerd stigma, maybe it’s that girls aren’t supposed to like video games, I couldn’t tell you. In my experience however, once a girl finds a game she likes the whole world of gaming opens up like some kind of buffet of insanity. Then, of course they start to see the subtle, and not so subtle, sexism, but that’s pretty much how it is for anything. The long and short of things is that getting people of all genders involved in a culture ultimately improves the culture. Unless the point of your culture is segregation, in which case… I don’t think I have any advice for you. In any event the world at large is a lot less judgmental of a girl who likes “boy stuff” than it used to be. Less so of guys who like girly things, but baby steps… baby steps. The teen unashamedly enjoys video games and, for the most part, is immune to the sexism and whatnot that tumblr is obsessed with. She does notice it sometimes, but for the most part she just wants to serve food to virtal patrons, kill zombies, and have pretend fashion shows. Everything else is just in her way and, therefore, unworthy of attention.
Ok this whole sexism in games thing is new to me. I mean yes women in games are objectified. But so are the men. One can hardly complain about Jill Valentine’s gravity defying rack and hourglass curves without mentioning that in revelations Chris Redfield wears less than her. Just seems to me like the objectification is a bit on even footing. It’s not like there’s a hyper- realistic call of warfare: modern duty 12 where the white ‘murican soldier beefcakes shoot their testosterone injections while screaming that women belong in the kitchen. Although that would make an amazing satire of the entire argument…
There’s always one…
All I’m saying is that I don’t see any latent misogyny. I’ve got a lot of gamer girlfriends and they never say anything about any sexism in games.
If this is true then I fear you are far, far, beyond my ability to help. I’m very sorry.
After looking into the issue some I think that the disconnect was from the player and the media itself. I accept that there are extremely misogynistic players who say crass and crude things. I’m not sure if the art is precisely to blame for that. Anonymity allows for that kind of behavior. That may also be the reason I don’t play games online. Also because of my general disdain for that kind of behavior under any circumstances I have surrounded myself with like minded individuals. So I personally have never encountered that kind of thing from players.
My problem comes in with the argument that a lead female character has to be made in games to fill some kind of quota. I don’t think that that kind of affirmative action thinking will lead to a good narrative or empathetic character. Man or woman doesn’t enter into it for me when it comes to an engaging story. There very well may be games like the sarcastic comment I made above, but I don’t actively look for that kind of thing. I’ve seen some games like metroid, tomb raider, and bayonetta listed as examples. Metroid other m I’ve heard is pretty bad when it comes to gender roles, and I’ve not played it. I have however played super metroid and metroid fusion and had no problem forgetting anything and any importance about samus’ gender. I’ve never had any interest in tomb raider so I can’t say anything to it’s gender role disconnect. Bayonetta, I liked. I admit it is a bit on the t&a side of the aesthetic, but I also felt as though the game play and story allowed some leeway for a generally gender neutral experience. I have the same opinion of lollipop chainsaw. I marveled at the game play and music that I didn’t even think that Juliet’s gender entered into it.
Sorry if I seemed crass with my comment, but I don’t get trying to start a gender equality argument when one doesn’t exist in my experience.
That’s all well and good, but your argument basically boils down to “since I don’t notice it then it either doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter”. I’ve never seen anyone actually commit a murder, but evidence exists to prove they happen, that they are a real problem. It would be irresponsible to claim that murder isn’t an issue simply because I’ve never witnessed one.
Not every game needs a female protagonist. Some games logically need to exhibit misogyny, because they are a mirror we are holding up to ourselves through the narrative. It is important that we, as consumers, are aware of the potentially negative effects our hobby could have on the young and society in general.
There is a middle ground that can be reached on the issue, but being a aware, accepting that there is an issue, has to come first.
And that’s all I’m prepared to say on the subject from a rest room. XD
You have a point crave, but I have a counterpoint. While women are portrayed as busty, nearly naked and sex objects in games, most of the older games that I remember the woman was the fastest, or had the best/most useful skill, blaze for example had a very fast, semi long combo, axel struck maybe twice or 3 times in the time it took her to finish a combo, this may not seem like a big deal, but axel took longer to kill an enemy than blaze, so while her choice of dress was slut-tastic and her attacks were “weaker” she in the end was a better choice, not convinced? Smb2. Princess peach could goddamn FLY over huge portions of stages without worrying about baddies or death pits who else had that? Oh right… none of the boys had that. How about mortal kombat? Mileena: sai throw drop kick and a few more of her moves were free huge distance heavy damagers, kitana: fan lift, fan throw, fan spike, heel kick, and many more stun, and range, sonya blade: blown kiss, heel stomp and in some she had ranged moves that stunned, jade: her damn staff, seriously she had range to spare with that damn thing. Morrigan anesland of darkstalkers: only character with an unbreakable infinite combo, only requiring 2 bars of power at that. Dimetri has an “infinite” combo but it is rather easy to break when he backs up for one of the attack’s range, morrigan doesn’t have that issue. Well how about that I just showed off a bunch of women in gaming that are better than men regardless of looks. Go me.
While it’s great that some games give females desirable characteristics it doesn’t magically make up for the fact that females are generally used as props or cum dumpsters.
Fire Emblem Awakening takes making females better than men to a level that’s almost ridiculous. Apart from one DLC character only women can learn galeforce. The only way a male can know that skill is if it is passed along to him FROM HIS MOTHER. It allows a unit to take another full turn if they successfully incapacitate an opponent. It turns the women into nearly unstoppable killing machines. If not for the ability to pass it to male children there would be no tactical reason to have men on your team at all. In addition to that every female character is written as a fully realized human being with goals, preferences, friendships, and flaws. It’s one of the best examples of gender equality in all of gaming going right back to the start of the franchise. Still, in spite of the existence of this shining example of equality in gaming I am capable of understanding that IT DOESNT FIX THE FUCKING PROBLEM. Cite examples all day long, but the problem will continue to exist.
The real issue here is this insane need for fairness that people are fucking obsessed with that is supposed to somehow make everything better. It’s not a one to one, this fixes that, mathematical thing. In addition to that a lot of people seem to take even the idea that maybe we could treat women a little better as a personal fucking insult. Like just because they don’t do that we shouldn’t examine our culture from time to time and see if maybe, just maybe, we could be doing something better. That is the real obstruction that doesn’t help the conversation.
Appreciating a sexy man or woman is not inherently wrong. Using sex to sell something or get attention isn’t either. It’s when you start implying that women are a series of holes to stick your dick in that things start to go awry. When a women gets death threats for daring to even suggest we could do a little better that is a fucking warning sign.
So list as many female characters that are mechanically better than their male counterparts, because it is just a distraction from the actual issue. (He replies from his phone, in bed, at five thirty three AM…)