Get Back Up

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DeathQuaker:
I definitely appreciate Susan Arendt's perspective that the trailer highlights Lara Croft's perseverance and push to survive. And those are indeed admirable traits.

I wish, though, that Ms. Arendt might have addressed the following:

The complaints I've read about the Tomb Raider trailer revolve around the idea that Lara Croft has to have been a victim/near-victim in order to become badass. And that there is an implication in some contemporary pop culture, the Tomb Raider trailer included, that women who are badass MUST have been raped/near raped/assaulted in some way or else they'd never become the kind of heroes they are. I think that's where the accusations of sexism come in, the idea that a woman can't become a hero unless she's suffered in a very specific way first. Or even that a woman character isn't interesting unless she's suffered in a very specific way.

And THAT is a problematic idea. IF Tomb Raider is playing into that trope, it does muddy the waters to say the very, very least.

I wish I could remember the source--but it's the Internet, I tend to read things and move on--but I remember reading on another game site the suggestion that the reason why people enjoyed Lara was because basically she just decided to be an adventurer and went out and did it. And there's no reason, especially within the video game fantasy world, why she can't just be a fun-loving adventurer. In a way, in this day and age, that absolute freedom from dark-and-edginess is in a way, more novel and refreshing. Sure, it makes it easier to leave character background shallow, and that is in itself problematic. But I think some of the complaints about Lara have boiled down to, "She was just FUN. Why couldn't you leave well enough alone?" For a character designed to entertain, I think it's a fair argument, even if there's also a lot of room for disagreement. (I think I did

Bringing around to the beginning of the discussion, again, I think it is an extremely good point that to see a woman get up again and fight past the odds IS inspiring. And it IS, I absolutely agree. I just also think the questions "why Lara Croft specifically?" and "why do we do this, especially with the implied sexual assault, to female heroes in particular?" are good concerns to examine.

As for the game itself, I'll guess we'll see how they handle it as a whole when it comes out.

Susan I love the article I feel like your one of the few people looking at things from a more open and positive light.

No just because a blogger says that this is what the media is doing doesnt really prove it.

You can find just as many examples of both actually im hard pressed to find a movie that makes the "rape makes you tough" trope that everyone says is a trope and indeed i doubt its a real trope at all. just a kneejerk reaction from those looking to find something wrong with everything that everyone pushes out. Kill bill stands out in my mind as well as the female theatre proprieter from inglourious basterds. two tarantino films granted but still when it comes too " She gets raped she gets tough." I honestly cant think of a one.

For once i think these guys actually care. watch any interviews of the team that are developing this game. Anyone who has interviewed them will tell you that these guys have a sincerity to there efforts. to imply the contrary is gender politics plain and simple.

Phasmal:
I'll admit I still don't know how to feel about this.
Personally I feel it was not needed as an addition to Lara (and I agree with people saying it might have been better done in new IP).

As for that guys comments about `protecting Lara`, I think that was just dumb.
It certainly implies that guys cant identify with a female protagonist, which isn't true at all. Most games I'm forced to play as the opposite gender, and it doesn't really effect immersion (except when I forget and then get called `Sir` in-game or something).

Would you want to protect lara?
Because that is what protecting lara also means protecting her, they didn't say they meant guys wanting to protect lara they meant people wanting to protect lara.
Edit: Crap forgot this thread was on the old side sorry for the necro.

rolfwesselius:

Phasmal:
I'll admit I still don't know how to feel about this.
Personally I feel it was not needed as an addition to Lara (and I agree with people saying it might have been better done in new IP).

As for that guys comments about `protecting Lara`, I think that was just dumb.
It certainly implies that guys cant identify with a female protagonist, which isn't true at all. Most games I'm forced to play as the opposite gender, and it doesn't really effect immersion (except when I forget and then get called `Sir` in-game or something).

Would you want to protect lara?
Because that is what protecting lara also means protecting her, they didn't say they meant guys wanting to protect lara they meant people wanting to protect lara.
Edit: Crap forgot this thread was on the old side sorry for the necro.

I know this is a necro but I hate not answering people.
The issue is with the wording.
When you're playing... say... Assassin's Creed and you accidentally floss a nearby citizen's brain with your knife- you aren't thinking `Whoops! Ezio is in trouble, I should get him out of it`.
You're thinking `Oh fuck I'm in trouble runrunrun`.
The issue is that it suggests you aren't Lara. You're just `helping` her (in fact that was part of the quote somewhere, I'm sure).
To be honest, it was shitty wording with a silly implication.

DeathQuaker:
I definitely appreciate Susan Arendt's perspective that the trailer highlights Lara Croft's perseverance and push to survive. And those are indeed admirable traits.

I wish, though, that Ms. Arendt might have addressed the following:

The complaints I've read about the Tomb Raider trailer revolve around the idea that Lara Croft has to have been a victim/near-victim in order to become badass. And that there is an implication in some contemporary pop culture, the Tomb Raider trailer included, that women who are badass MUST have been raped/near raped/assaulted in some way or else they'd never become the kind of heroes they are. I think that's where the accusations of sexism come in, the idea that a woman can't become a hero unless she's suffered in a very specific way first. Or even that a woman character isn't interesting unless she's suffered in a very specific way.

And THAT is a problematic idea. IF Tomb Raider is playing into that trope, it does muddy the waters to say the very, very least.

I wish I could remember the source--but it's the Internet, I tend to read things and move on--but I remember reading on another game site the suggestion that the reason why people enjoyed Lara was because basically she just decided to be an adventurer and went out and did it. And there's no reason, especially within the video game fantasy world, why she can't just be a fun-loving adventurer. In a way, in this day and age, that absolute freedom from dark-and-edginess is in a way, more novel and refreshing. Sure, it makes it easier to leave character background shallow, and that is in itself problematic. But I think some of the complaints about Lara have boiled down to, "She was just FUN. Why couldn't you leave well enough alone?" For a character designed to entertain, I think it's a fair argument, even if there's also a lot of room for disagreement. (I think I did

Bringing around to the beginning of the discussion, again, I think it is an extremely good point that to see a woman get up again and fight past the odds IS inspiring. And it IS, I absolutely agree. I just also think the questions "why Lara Croft specifically?" and "why do we do this, especially with the implied sexual assault, to female heroes in particular?" are good concerns to examine.

As for the game itself, I'll guess we'll see how they handle it as a whole when it comes out.

Sorry, didn't see this until today. Happy to address that.

I disagree that the game puts forth the notion that Lara has to be a victim in order to become a badass, and I very much disagree that rape must be part of some magic formula to make a woman strong. Given the circumstances in which she finds herself, the threat of rape makes perfect contextual sense. She's a young, frightened girl surrounded by bad men. What else do you think they're going to scare her with? Yes, it's an obvious go-to, but it's also one that works. Even if it wouldn't work, the typical man would think it would work.

People must overcome hardship in order to become stronger, though what "hardship" means varies from person to person. If you're never presented with a challenge, you never have anything to overcome, after all. For most of us, that challenge is school, work, raising a happy family, and maybe keeping our lawn alive in the middle of a hot summer. We also have to deal with loss, and grief, and our own stupidity - the normal things. Lara as a character, however, is meant to be more than us. Someone destined to have extraordinary adventures surely therefore has extraordinary challenges to overcome.

Within the context of Tomb Raider, those extraordinary challenges being physical makes perfect sense, as Lara is a very physical creature. One doesn't suddenly wake up one day able to shake off a fall off a rock face - one has to acquire the ability to shrug off pain that the average person would howl over. Right now, for example, I have a dime-sized burn on my face from a shell casing that got caught in my glasses. At the time, it was so shocking and upsetting to me that I started crying. The burn is still distracting me. You think Lara has time to be worried about something that minor? Hell, no. She's been toughened up by her experiences, and those experiences had to start somewhere.

I think it's disingenuous to suggest that the threat of rape is contextually unsound in this scenario. Was it necessary? No, I don't think it was, not at all. I don't think the narrative would've suffered at all had that confrontation not been included. But I also don't think it being there is out of line.

Now, the argument that none of this was necessary at all, and that Lara could've just been a fun-loving adventurer...I certainly see that line of thinking, and while I don't share it, I understand where it's coming from. Many people are disenchanted with this "gritty" reboot simply because it seems to be at odds with the overall tenor of the franchise. I get that, but I also think that Tomb Raider was long past stale and needed a bit of a refocus.

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