On Sexual Objectification as a Complaint

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Lonewolfm16:

LetalisK:
snip

Again, I don't see how sexulisation and bad writing go together.

Good, because I didn't say they did. I said sexualization is often used as a crutch by bad writing, not that it is solely used in bad writing.

LetalisK:

Lonewolfm16:

LetalisK:
snip

Again, I don't see how sexulisation and bad writing go together.

Good, because I didn't say they did. I said sexualization is often used as a crutch by bad writing, not that it is solely used in bad writing.

Ok... but then your complaint isn't really objectification is it? Its bad writing. Which no one likes.

Lonewolfm16:
Video games are using the fact that straight males make up a majority of their consumer base to their advantage, yet I don't see the harm. The male gamers get eye candy, characters that are appealing and attractive to the eye, and female and homosexual male gamers get... well not much, but they don't lose anything either.

Do you feel sexualising female charecters in games is objectification, or just giving the people something you think they will enjoy? Please be polite and kind, and hopefully this doesn't erupt into a flame war.

On the first section, I have to say I am a bit horrified that you think it's ok for female and homosexual players to get "not much" with the consolation prize of "not losing anything." (Actually as a female I can say we do "lose" in that scenario but it would take much more time than I have to explain why and how.)

Is it really all right for me to be blatantly ignored in favor of you? That's really the question. I could love apples and be given a lovely apple and you might like oranges and you get nothing. You watch me happily eat my apple and although you are hungry, no one really cares. At least you weren't given liver to eat, so you gotta be happy about that.

You have to be happy about the bad thing that DIDN'T happen to you. huh?

Yes of course sexualizing people is sexist. Your argument appears to be "Sexism benefits me, so what's the harm?" The harm is that other people (unfortunately for you?) exist in the world with you and feel differently about things than you do.

"In short, all signifiers of physical fitness and reproductive capability."

Ack. It's very hard to say X is indicative of reproductive capability since women who are obese can still get pregnant and give birth. Men in their 70's can still produce children regardless of their man boobs and pot bellies. It's an illusion of physical fitness.

My mom used to be a nurse and she just the other day told me the story of a young man she cared for in the hospital many years ago. He came in and she had to register him and he said his ailment was rheumatoid arthritis. A young, fit, healthy looking guy in his 20's, walking through the hall, shaking the hands of doctors etc. She said no way is this guy ill. He was the picture of youth and health. Well come the next day she had been assigned to him and when she entered his room he was curled up in the fetal position on his bed, unable to move. She had to help him carefully stretch all of his muscles and joints to the point where he could move out of that position and eventually out of bed. By the afternoon he looked well again. No one could tell how much this disease affected him.

Physical attributes are illusory, nothing more. We've more been taught what is attractive by advertising and fashion than we have by any kind of hard coded evolutionary cues. People in different countries have different ideas of beauty. If such a thing were hard coded into humanity, we would have a uniform science of attractiveness. And in fact, some of the attributes that fashion has dictated for "female beauty" are in fact detrimental to a human female's health: being hairless for one (all mammals have hair, and women are mammals) as hair serves a purpose same as on men, yet men get to keep their hair (regardless of the smell etc.), fat -- women are supposed to have more fat than men, yet men insist that women have boyish bodies. This is just unnatural. One need not be obese but a size zero should actually make men think that the women looks more male and boyish and thus be a turn off (if he's het), and the lack of fat means lack of curves which also signifies a male body. Hairlessness suggests prepubescence, which isn't really anywhere CLOSE to "reproductively capable."

It just goes on and on.

BTW I have seen women who would be considered "overweight" by most men who are triathletes. Women who lift weights or women who are tall and big boned and strong are also not considered attractive, though they are the picture of health. (Because you have been trained to see certain traits as attractive.)

IsadoraD:
snip

Your example actually proves my point pretty well. If you hand everyone a apple then great. Those who like apples will eat them and thank you for giving them apples. Those who don't like apples just won't eat the apples. I would hardly say it would be justified for someone to complain about you handing out apples because they didn't like apples. Sure they didn't benefit from the apples, but then again other people did. And I am hardly especially concerned for myself, my gender and sexual orientation is entirely unimportant. If the majority of people playing a game would benefit from something and it doesn't harm the minority in any way then I would say go forward with it. Most happiness for the most people and the most sales for the game more people like. In your example I would go find somewhere that gives out oranges, I would hardly demand you stop giving apples.

And you say that it is "of course" sexist. Please explain. This is the one thing I have never had adequatly explained. How does appreciation for feminine attractiveness equal hatred of women? How does saying "man women with large breast sure are attractive aren't they? A majority of our consumer base like seeing that kind of thing. We should add that so that the majority of our consumer base will enjoy it." The majority of people enjoy it, no one is harmed, and everyone is happy... or at least everyone should be happy.

As for your point on female attractiveness, have you seen the video game charecters people are complaining as being overly sexualised? Yes they are thin, but also curvy with wide hips and big breasts. And yes we are evolutionarily programmed to seek the "illusion" of physical fitness, because we are programmed to pick partners from looks. Yes we might be overlooking things, but these systems didn't evolve to be perfect, they evolved to be advantagous.

Lonewolfm16:
Well first off I have to say that this is honestly one of the best written and well thought out arguments I have read on the subject of objectification in a while. Bravo. Now to how I respond to your various points.

Thank you! Very calm, eloquent discussion in the thread, too.

Lonewolfm16:
Well first off, yes a game doesn't have to appeal to the majority demographic. However when a large part of your audience likes a particulair thing (in this case the thing being sexualised female charecters) it is a fairly good idea to use something that you know a large portion of your audience is going to like. Yes you can totally make a profit from smaller demographics, but marketing is much more difficult. Besides how precisely would one market a game to females and non-heterosexual males? You could use male fanservice, but you stand the risk of alientating your larger fan base just as much, also for whatever reason sex sells seems to apply less to women. There are far fewer male strip clubs and male prostitutes to service women than female equivilants for men. You could go with less fanservice... but that isn't neccissarily a great marketing strategy. As you said games can try to appeal to smaller demographics, but heterosexual males represent a massive demographic in many kinds of games which can be easily marketted to. Still we will leave discussion of demographics off for now.

I'm gonna switch things up a bit to see if I get my point across more clearly. Forget about gender, imagine we're talking about genres. CoD-like FPS games are by far the most successful videogame genre currently in the market. If I went by your reasoning, every game ought to cater to the FPS crowd, then every game would need to incorporate that gameplay mechanic somehow. If that was the case, we wouldn't have games like Amnesia, The Walking Dead, Sim City, The Sims, Limbo, [insert indie horror game here], sports games, simulation games, RPGs, RTSs and so on. There are demographics for games without FPS traits (and who don't fit in the FPS genre), despite the fact that they are the ones that vastly outsell everybody else. If there's something I strongly object to is Argumentum Ad Inevitabilitatis (forgive the pig Latin), the idea that just because something is, then it must always be. Just because the entertainment industry is this way doesn't mean it is because it cannot be in any other way. It could be like this because it's easy and comfortable and change takes effort and faces resistance.

As for "Why are male strippers/prostitutes less popular", look back to my bit in my previous post about slut-shaming. Slut-shaming is a very powerful thing that has been hanging over women for millennia. Women have been denied control over their sexuality through the use of the Virgin/Whore dichotomy.

The only way for a woman to garner respect in society is by complying to the Virgin archetype, which mainly forces her to restrain her sexuality. The Virgin archetype is not about the woman (any benefits she might gain from fitting the archetype well are purely secondary), it's about the men who use her as conquest. Much like hunting has been seen as a gentlemanly sport, the conquest of women has been one of the main yardsticks by which men measure their worth for a very long time, and just like a hunter shows no prowess by killing a prey that willingly walks towards him, only virginal women are worthy of conquest. The Virgin archetype objectifies women just as much as the Whore archetype does, because the women becomes a prize for men to fight over (you may recognise the Virgin archetype as the "good/nice girl" present in countless forms of media). The worthy man gets the nice girl, and her virginity/lack of sexuality serves only to make the man feel special because only HE got sex from that girl, unlike every other man in the world.

The Whore archetype is the alternative, and it also exists purely to satisfy the desires of the man. Since pushing women towards virginity and sexlessness leaves men just as sexless, men (wanting to have their cake and eat it too) simultaneously pushed women towards the Whore archetype as a way to satisfy their sexual desires. But since that affords women power over men (by having them in control of their sexuality), men have ensured their dominion over women by denigrating the Whore archetype. The Whore gets no societal respect, is clearly branded as a "bad girl" and gets "justified punishment" cast over her by the very same men who make use of her body. The Whore, finally, has been considered "okay to rape" by society for a long, long time (and still is, in some places), because she is not considered worthy of consent. She is an object to be used by men and to be constantly put down lest she gain power in society.

Therefore, female sexuality is only now being allowed a place in society, and even then women are pushed towards the same old Virgin/Whore dichotomy (nowadays called "the good girl" and "the slut"). That means that if a woman wants to be a good girl, she must avoid expressions of her sexuality (so no male strippers or prostitutes, and certainly no sex with any guy she finds hot), and if she wants to act like a man, go to strip club or hire a male escort for the night, she gets labelled a slut and loses societal respect. Hell, even if she does none of that and just appreciates the male physique quietly, she gets labelled a slut. So it's really no wonder that the sex market is far from egalitarian. Though I believe it will catch up (Magic Mike reportedly did extremely well at the box office).

Lonewolfm16:
On to the next point, I belive what you are refering to, if I may use the TvTropes name, is the so called "girl show ghetto". Generally that media is either meant for everyone, but focusing mostly on men, or it is meant for women and women only with no crossover. This is a pretty fair complaint. And while I would say that scantily clad people of a gender you are not attracted to shouldn't make you feel uncomfortable... I can hardly control how you feel and it would be insensitive of me to merely dismiss it. I can understand that point alot better than many others. Still it would help me if people would refer to the fact it makes others uncomfortable rather than tired arguments about it being sexist to admit that most men like ogling sexy women and using that to make fun and profit. But I digress. But seriously, porn is a terrible terrible example. While most of the things which use fanservice tend to be games or shows with plenty of content besides the sexulisation, but porn is quite literally all about the sexulisation. That is all that is there. Wouldn't a better example be something like Twilight? Or another generally female medium like romance novels or chick flicks? Or shoujo anime? I understand some series have alot of sexuilisation, but no where near porn amounts.

While I do get your complaint that porn isn't a perfect comparison, I point out the Virgin/Whore dichotomy to explain why the romance genre is not the same as media aimed at straight males. While the romance genre (especially nowadays) does contain porn, it's not aimed in the same way as The Male Gaze is. The Male Gaze is based on the notion that men aren't restrained in their sexuality. If they want subtle sexuality, they can have it. If they want it absolutely blatant, they can have it too. Women, on the other hand, are still held back by the Virgin/Whore dichotomy when it comes to their sexualities. Why do you think female-aimed sexuality is framed around romance? Because that's the only context in which the Virgin archetype is allowed to be sexual. She is only allowed to explore her sexuality because she is in love with a man. And furthermore, the Virgin's sexuality is almost always framed as surrender, never (or very rarely) as the kind of assertive, proactive sexuality that men commonly display. The "good girl" is never sexually aggressive, she is "pure" and "surrenders" to her man. This, in turn, validates her role as prizes for men. And while lately romance novels have gotten steamier and more descriptive, there is still a strong current of "good girls aren't supposed to like things that are too raunchy" (or else society puts them in the Whore archetype and robs them of their social standing).

So again, while I accept that the porn comparison is not the fairest, it's also the only way you can fully appreciate how uncomfortable overt sexuality can make people that aren't the target audience. The romance genre isn't as "in your face" with sexuality as media aimed at straight males, so the only way you're going to experience the full weight of what we feel is by going on a sensory overload of bulges, abs and man-ass.

Lonewolfm16:
Moving on to the next point,I would argue that while there are not as many female charecters that are main charecters as there should be, it is hardly as terrible as some would suggest. Also sexulisation doesn't mean a charecter needs to only be eye candy, charecters who are designed to be sexy can still be competant, interesting and independant (though I would argue there is room for some female charecters to be submissive without it being sexist, not every charecter needs to defy stereotypes, just enough that the stereotype isn't in play in the medium much.) As for life revolving around men, women in secondary roles or love intrest roles are expected to react to the protagonist, that is how most stories are structured. As for Alyx, I would say she doesn't need big boobs, but if she had them would that really ruin her charecter so much? I am not opposed to Alyx having smaller breasts, just people claiming that is what makes her charecter good.

The reason it's "as terrible as some would suggest" is that it perpetuates the vicious cycle I spoke of in my previous post. It perpetuates the notion that the gamer demographic is only made up of straight males because women and non-straight men get turned off due to a lack of consideration, which perpetuates the industry's faulty assumptions. Making female characters (particularly those who aren't sexualised) is the easiest way to prove that you are thinking of somebody other than straight men. The problem with sexualised female characters has nothing to do with the sexualisation itself (I agree that it's not a problem in itself, particularly if the character displays virtues in other areas), the problem is that it sends the message that the industry is always thinking about straight males. If you can't have a competent, strong female character without sexualisation, you are basically saying, as an industry, that you are a slave to the straight male demographic. It speaks of a kind of backhanded, silent insult: by focusing exclusively on the straight male demographic to the exclusion of everything else, the industry is telling every other demographic that they are so worthless and meaningless that they are not even worth a moment's thought, much less actual consideration while creating a product.

As for Alyx, the point is, I think, that because she is not as sexualised as most characters (and because her bust size makes her similar to a lot of women who have been drastically under-represented), she is a good character from an egalitarian perspective because it shows that the industry was thinking of someone other than the straight male demographic. It's the positive intention that counts, the willingness to consider that other demographics exist and would like to see representation too, that women would like to have something other than a supermodel with a huge rack to identify with when playing a videogame.

Lonewolfm16:
On your couch anology, I would say there is room for every demographic. Again not all games need sexulisation, but I have no issue with people having it. And it would help if people stopped arguing that it is misogynistic somehow. But once again I have digressed.

I agree that there's room for everybody, but a lot of people don't listen and/or don't care, so we try to raise awareness the best way we can. Sometimes I admit we don't tackle things in the best of ways, but something I've been explaining over and over in other sexism threads is that... hang on, I'm just going to quote myself:

Darken12:
All of what you've written is true, but you didn't touch on something deeper:

Nobody knows what to do to "fix" sexism. We are a very goal-oriented society. If we identify a problem, it is ingrained in our heads to fix it as soon and as efficiently as possible. When someone criticises something of being sexist, nobody knows how to fix that. The most efficient thing most people imagine is censorship ("Let's get this game off the streets!") and that's just absolutely intolerable for people who enjoyed the game in spite of the sexism! The second thing most people think is "let's not allow another game like this to be made!" which also pisses the people who enjoyed it off.

A lot of people think that sexism is an isolated thing, like a single speck of dirt that we can just wipe off. It's not. Sexism pervades society, and everything society does (and the entertainment industry is no exception) gets contaminated by sexism (almost always inadvertently). If society teaches us sexist things, how can we not put them in the games we create, in everything we do? A lot of gamers don't understand this, and think that society is a paradise of equality and anything sexist is a horrible anomaly (which compounds on the previous points above, because the implications is "you are terrible for enjoying something obviously abnormal and evil, and you are also dumb for not noticing this was so terribly sexist").

Building up on the point above, the idea that sexism is abnormal leads to people dismissing criticisms of sexism by appealing to normalcy. "It can't be sexist! It's not any worse than any other game!" without realising that practically all games have some form of sexism (and it is almost always subtle enough to pass under the average straight male's radar).

The other sexism misconception is that sexism has to be malicious and purposeful, that it has to be born from a conscious, fully-aware hatred towards women. This is obviously false, but it leads to constant dismissals of criticism under the excuses of "But they didn't MEAN it to be sexist!" or "But the game isn't serious!" or "But they don't HATE women!" and so on. Sexism can be inadvertent. If you do what everyone else does, and everyone else is kinda sexist, you're going to do kinda sexist things. It's basic logic.

And going back to the "not an easy fix" problem, a lot of people think that feminism and other civil rights activism is just out to make everyone miserable and find problems where they don't exist, without giving simple, concrete ways of fixing them (as if "fixing society" was simple), hence why their criticisms also get dismissed. I will never, ever forget an anecdote written by a feminist about a conversation with her boyfriend:

[Feminist calmly points out an instance of inadvertent sexism in her boyfriend]
[Boyfriend agrees]
Boyfriend: "But if you weren't a feminist, you wouldn't have noticed this in the first place."
Feminist: "No, I would have noticed, but I would have just thought you were an asshole without really knowing why."
Feminist: [in her blog] "And I think that's where he finally got that feminism isn't making up or looking for problems where there aren't any, but instead trying to understand where those problems come from and how we can fix them."

People who point out instances of sexism, homophobia, racism or the like, aren't trying to look for problems where none exist, they are pointing out problems that we have learnt to live with (and that privileged majorities have little reason to change, as they either benefit them or have no problem with them), figuring out where they came from and trying to raise general awareness so that the people who are in a position to do something about them (such as game developers, for example), can step back and say "Wait, maybe we should be a bit more egalitarian." Or, conversely, the straight white male majority can join us in our demand for more equality (for sympathy's sake and human decency, if nothing else) and the industry will listen.

We aren't out to ruin your day. We just want you to realise that things aren't fair or equal.

As you can see, when we say "misogynistic" or "sexist", we're not being shrill assholes or bitches trying to ruin the games you like. We are just pointing out how society's inequalities seep into something in particular.

Lonewolfm16:
Moving on, I was mostly complaining how feminists tend to imply that strip clubs somehow victimise women by using the fact that men like ogling women for profit. And I totally agree that slut-shaming is awful and sexist and society needs to stop doing it. In many posts I have mentioned how much I hate the societal taboo against sex, and the double standard that comes with it.

This is an insightful article on sex workers (though not necessarily strippers): Prostitution. It's written from a perspective that consensual sex transactions between equal and consenting adults are possible, but that in a sexist society, it is very easy for men to use prostitution (and stripping, and the porn industry) to oppress women and engage in sexual violence and abuse. The problem a lot of feminists have with things like strip clubs is that in a sexist society where women aren't afforded the same opportunities/pay/socialisation as men, they are forced to resort to prostitution/stripping/porn to make a living, and that's why they're victimised, because the sex industry is taking advantage of women who have very little choice in terms of work (after all, a study showed that women did worse at math when tests reminded them of their gender, which echoes the societal discourse women hear from birth, which is that they are innately worse at math and science than men. This keeps them away from engineering, medicine, any scientific career, and basically most of the high-paying jobs. And since most of the non-skilled jobs are taken by men, women are cornered into highly specific, female-dominated jobs. So if they can't get into them, all they have left is stripping, porn and/or prostitution).

Now, I want to add that what I'm saying isn't as drastic anymore. We are seeing a great increase in gender equality across most work fields, I'm just explaining where feminist get their misgivings about stripping and the like.

Lonewolfm16:
Regarding your closing paragraph, yeah I honestly agree with alot that you have said, and would like to see the industry incorporate as many tastes as possible since that just means that more people get to enjoy media.

Good! I completely agree.

EDIT:

Lonewolfm16:
Your example actually proves my point pretty well. If you hand everyone a apple then great. Those who like apples will eat them and thank you for giving them apples. Those who don't like apples just won't eat the apples. I would hardly say it would be justified for someone to complain about you handing out apples because they didn't like apples. Sure they didn't benefit from the apples, but then again other people did. And I am hardly especially concerned for myself, my gender and sexual orientation is entirely unimportant. If the majority of people playing a game would benefit from something and it doesn't harm the minority in any way then I would say go forward with it. Most happiness for the most people and the most sales for the game more people like. In your example I would go find somewhere that gives out oranges, I would hardly demand you stop giving apples.

It's not an equivalent example. Imagine that apples are non-nutritious for some people. So if you don't give them anything other than apples, they don't get the nutrients they need. That's what it's like to be a minority. You starve while watching other people eating from outside a window. In the cold.

Batou667:
I spy a false binary.

The experiment I proposed was incredibly simplistic, but given that it's interesting to read what people made of it.

You've made a very basic mistake though, which is to assume that when I said "idealized" I meant "most attractive". More on this later when I respond to generals3.

Secondly, if you were assuming that the traits you pointed out were the "most attractive" traits for some hardwired reason of fertlity, then you're wrong. There is no such thing as a universally "idealized" body. There are numerous cultures both in the past and today in which body fat has been seen as highly desirable. Even the things you have pointed out are based on trends which, particularly in the case of men, date at most to the beginning of this century with the development of modern bodybuilding and have only spread out of that subculture into mainstream popular culture within the last 30 years due to male underwear modelling. The fashion for women shaving is only about 100 years old, and only really ubiquitous from the 1960s onwards.

I left it deliberately vague what the "ideal body" actually meant in these cases, but as a result you could make a serious argument that the "ideal" female body is so unhealthy that large numbers of women die trying to live up to it. Now, you could make a point about steroid use in men, but outside of a relatively small body-building subculture most people using steroids aren't doing so to get a six pack, they're doing so as a performance enhancer. Becoming anorexic or getting breast implants is never going to enhance your performance in anything. In fact, it will degrade your performance in virtually every physical task.

generals3:
That's not entirely true at all. I know very few women who like over the top bodybuilders, while certain muscularity is preferred pushing it too far is disliked. If we follow your rational that shouldn't be true.

You're assuming a few things about "my rationale" which aren't true.

* "Ideal" doesn't mean "most attractive to the opposite sex". Your typical man doesn't understand why a woman of around 5'7 would want to weigh 70 pounds. It's still an ideal which many women aspire to.

As mentioned, this is a problem with my experiment. It's really quite simplistic and ignores the fact that what's marketed as "attractive" in media is actually very broad, and what's marketed as "ideal" is even broader. But yeah.. there are body types which we can consider indicative of what is considered most desirable or admirable within a particular culture and time, and when you compare them the results are interesting. That was my point.

* "Ideal" isn't something which can be taken to logical extremes. It means, almost by definition, "not too little" but also "not too much". You made the statement in your post that in some cultures fat women are preferred. Does this mean if we shipped some morbidly obese person dying in a hospital somewhere they'd be considered the hottest of the hot and people would be queuing up to sleep with them?

Now, there are many women who are seriously into muscles and bodybuilding. There are also quite a few men. Again, this is a problem with trying to pick out an ideal, it's not an exact science. But again, we can still compare a very general and colloquial idea of what an ideal body is, with the key word being "compare".

Sleekit:
I suggest women might be actually be more "visually stimulated" than men.

Weirdly, most people who have attempted to talk about this kind of stuff in terms of sexual difference would make the opposite argument.

Sleekit:
I've known girls who've grown up their whole lives being told they are beautiful and still end up the same as discussed before somehow seemly through "osmosis"

And you don't think maybe this could have something to do with girls having no acceptable grounds for self-worth beyond their physical appearance?

Put it this way. As men we have many, many ways to live up to the responsibility of being a good, socially valuable man. We don't necessarily need to be the hottest man alive, in fact being too attractive or concerned with your own appearance can be seen as unmanly, so it's actually expected on some level that you won't give too much of a shit about how you look. Even without good looks, we can still value ourselves for being successful, or strong, or intelligent, or tough.

As a woman, the only acceptable grounds for your self worth is your appearance, and the justification behind that is that you'll be more attractive to men. Sure, being "beautiful" is often linked to a much wider range of things than simply being attractive to men - and yeah, you could easily argue that women spend far more time cultivating and shaping ideas about female beauty then men do, but then.. the reasons are pretty obvious, they have more reason to care. They have a huge stake in who is considered beautiful and ugly.

As for the resulting neurosis. Sure, you're "just you", but if a woman believes she's hideous, then the fact that you might believe otherwise or settled for her makes you the only person who can possibly see them as special and valuable. It gives you enormous power in that relationship, and yeah.. you might not get it, it might even be kind of annoying but surely it's better than having someone who believes they're so attractive and desirable and special that anyone could fall in love with them.

Big breasted women tickle the insecurity-bone of small breasted women.

The same would go for penisses, but they don't get flung around half as much.

There's your problem. That's all there is to it.

It's an insecurity thing.

If all male video-game characters would have 12-inch schlongs, you'd probably be hearing the same from the male community.

SimpleThunda':
Big breasted women tickle the insecurity-bone of small breasted women.

The same would go for penisses, but they don't get flung around half as much.

There's your problem. That's all there is to it.

It's an insecurity thing.

If all male video-game characters would have 12-inch schlongs, you'd probably be hearing the same from the male community.

I present a counter argument to your clearly well thought-out argument on insecurity: Porn. It swings more large schlongs than a gay bar on happy hour, and yet straight men flock to it like flies to honey. If straight men felt THAT insecure, 12-inch dicks would be the exception instead of the rule.

Captcha: The Big Apple. Oh, Captcha. You so witty.

Whenever I see female characters in games with massive tits and retarded hypersexualized designs, I just naturally assume that the artist who designed her is a juvenile nerd who has never drawn anything but. At the very least, it makes me think much less of the art direction to take the cheap and lazy route. I'd never bother with trying to be a character artist at most game studios, that's for sure.

SimpleThunda':
Big breasted women tickle the insecurity-bone of small breasted women.

The same would go for penisses, but they don't get flung around half as much.

There's your problem. That's all there is to it.

It's an insecurity thing.

If all male video-game characters would have 12-inch schlongs, you'd probably be hearing the same from the male community.

Then explain why large-breasted women are offended by sexual objectification.

Darken12:

I present a counter argument to your clearly well thought-out argument on insecurity: Porn. It swings more large schlongs than a gay bar on happy hour, and yet straight men flock to it like flies to honey. If straight men felt THAT insecure, 12-inch dicks would be the exception instead of the rule.

The funny thing is, straight men are actually super into penises. Don't ask me why; personally i don't see the appeal.

cobra_ky:
The funny thing is, straight men are actually super into penises. Don't ask me why; personally i don't see the appeal.

Latent bicurious tendencies (I wish).

Probably because they're part of the sexual fantasy. That's why hot, shirtless men are also aimed at straight males; because "wanting to feel desirable" is a very common human trait. As to why penises exactly, probably because the patriarchy hasn't been allowing women to have a say in what they find sexually attractive, so men extrapolate that they must like big cocks (because most of them will never know what it's like to be on the receiving end of one).

I've never had a problem with sexual objectification of fictional characters of either gender. After all every character, sexualised or no is effectively an object within the work of fiction. Whether they be a tool for moving the plot forward, a tool for appealing to reader's sexuality, a tool for creating suspense etc.

And while sexualisation for sexualisation's sake in fiction is trashy, I see no moral problem with it. There's no evidence to indicate it's harmful. Most people can see the difference between fact and fiction.

I'm also amused at the people saying things like "sexualisation should be done on our terms" or that characters have been sexualised "wrongly."
You have the right by all means to criticise a work of fiction, to say that you find it offensive, even that you think it's sexist. But the writer probably wasn't thinking about how to please you as an individual when they were writing it. There's no reason why anybody should compromise their creative vision in order to work on your terms.

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