This topic still makes me growl to this day.
Mostly because every single time I've seen it raised, it's by some complete idiot who doesn't even play video games. Worse, forgive the ironic sexism here, it's almost always some stupid woman who just wants an excuse to work herself into a righteous frenzy "for women's rights."
The accusation of sexism is thrown about so liberally that I believe it's damaging the legitimate campaign for female equality. But beyond that, when it comes to sexism in video games, it suddenly becomes more than just sexism or misogyny.
Let me just fabricate a typical complaint here.
"Video games are so sexist. I don't know if it's because all video game developers are men, or if it's because their target audience is just hormone driven fourteen year olds who'll buy anything with boobs in it so they can masturbate over it. Look at Lara Croft! Baring so much skin, big tits, acting all like a dominatrix. Video games objectify women by portraying them as shallow stereotypes!"
OK, so, in order, this complaint is:
1. Sexist (all developers are men and all men are sex crazy)
2. Ageist (teenagers are "hormone driven" nyphos)
3. Idiotic (mentions the old lark about sex-selling)
4. REALLY idiotic (Lara is a poor role model because she has boobs)
All of those suppositions are incorrect. Worse, the assumption that only women are shallow stereotypes in video games is just ignorant - not only is it untrue that all female characters are stereotypes or included merely for sex appeal, but the same is true of male characters.
I know I once mentioned this online, but I don't know where. So I'll mention it again. This is an actual quote from a girl in my high school.
"Final Fantasy games are clearly just there so men can have 'final fantasies' about the women. Here, you can see a woman from one of these games, called Yuna, holding two guns - these are clearly phallic symbols. She's holding two penises."
What the actual fuck? She's holding two guns because it looks cool, god damn it. I dunno about you, but firearms don't give me a hard-on. Except for Kimber .45s.
I like strong female characters in fiction, and I absolutely support women's rights - though I never call myself a feminist, and this is why. There's a difference between logically supporting fairness and equality, and being a lunatic desperately searching for something to get indignant about, whether you understand it or not. Obviously, most feminists are perfectly sane, not saying otherwise, but (aside from not wanting to be associated with the dipshits complaining about every imagined sexist slight) I think labeling yourself like that hurts the cause.
One doesn't have to use some self-aggrandizing label to sign that you believe people should be treated fairly - this should be the default, and I believe that it is or will be sometime in the future.
You're not a feminist, or a youth-rightist, or what-have-you if you strongly support fairness and equality in society. No, it's called something else.
It's called being right.
7 years, 5 months ago
02 Sep 2011 04:09 CEST