The Counterpoint

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ALSO: the comic is really bad this time, because it implies that the way women are portrayed is a big problem and then says "the ones that disagree are obviously stupid because look at that dangerous problem!"

You could also replace "fire" with "water" and having the girl scream "JESUS CHRIST I AM WET! HELP!" and the two guys say "Yeah? So what! It was raining."

I am not saying nothing the portrayal of women is not a problem, but the argument the comic makes is really weak.

Rainboq:

Grahav:

Rainboq:
Sure men may be objectified, but they're objectified for men. The main objection that feminists have isn't about objectification itself, but that it caters primarily to men.

After following the links (thanks Grey) I think that the objetification and stereotypes that are done by men for men do damage as well, but in a different way. Since it "desirable" to be an expendable, blank "300" or "Call of Duty" soldier is a male fantasy why fight against it?

I agree that it does damage, but look at the figures provided, the ideal 'manly man' in the USA is generally perceived as a muscled stoic figure.

Yes, and the problem comes if this is the only accetable model of man. Bring in the jerk behavior and steroids for the skinny guys.

Yay, this again.

Men and women both get portrayed with varying degrees of "accuracy" (whatever that means) in the media. How is it even possible to be sure which (if either) side is being portrayed inaccurately more often, and why does it matter? Where are the young men who assume Jessica Rabbit is an accurate portrayal of a woman when they meet real women every day?

1. People are not idiots. Anyone without a serious mental disorder can tell the difference between fiction and reality.

2. Entertainment is meant to be entertaining (to its target audience at least). If it was going to be a flawless reflection of reality, then we might as well just sit on park benches and watch reality instead.

3. Protection from being made fun of is not a human right. Unless you can convince a court that the portrayal of women in a piece of media is causing you serious emotional distress, you're not going to get anywhere.

And let's not forget the Golden Rule of Entertainment: If you don't like it, don't watch it.

mdqp:

franksands:
i'm sorry, I'm already married ;-)

I think the problem we have today is with AAA games. We don't have, at least I haven't seen, this kind of problems with independent games.This should be reason enough for us to encourage good indie games getting as much coverage and attention as possible.

You sir, are a tease... ;p

Well, we first would need to know how many indie games might fit the bill. What I mean is that a good chunk of indie games will never be able to pander, because they employ stylized graphics, or because they are in a genre that doesn't allow such design to get into their characters in the first place (I mean, in a platform game or a strategy game, what are the odds of having an oversexualized character? I am not saying impossible, I have seen a few myself, but I think we can agree that it is unlikely). Also, having a tight budget makes the developer necessarily focus on the core of the game, you have less time for unnecessary pandering. And anyway, a lack of female leads remains true even in the indie world, so, who knows?

That maybe true, but there are some examples of indie games that could have oversexualized characters but preferred not to. Dust: An Elysian tale is a good example. Another is Mark of the Ninja, which, thank god, does not have the "bikini slutty ninja". (I haven't finished the game, but so far so good).

Grahav:

Rainboq:

Grahav:

After following the links (thanks Grey) I think that the objetification and stereotypes that are done by men for men do damage as well, but in a different way. Since it "desirable" to be an expendable, blank "300" or "Call of Duty" soldier is a male fantasy why fight against it?

I agree that it does damage, but look at the figures provided, the ideal 'manly man' in the USA is generally perceived as a muscled stoic figure.

Yes, and the problem comes if this is the only acceptable model of man. Bring in the jerk behavior and steroids for the skinny guys.

I think a general problem is the idea of there only being the archetype, and everything else being looked at as inferior.

MetalMagpie:
Yay, this again.

Men and women both get portrayed with varying degrees of "accuracy" (whatever that means) in the media. How is it even possible to be sure which (if either) side is being portrayed inaccurately more often, and why does it matter? Where are the young men who assume Jessica Rabbit is an accurate portrayal of a woman when they meet real women every day?

1. People are not idiots. Anyone without a serious mental disorder can tell the difference between fiction and reality.

2. Entertainment is meant to be entertaining (to its target audience at least). If it was going to be a flawless reflection of reality, then we might as well just sit on park benches and watch reality instead.

3. Protection from being made fun of is not a human right. Unless you can convince a court that the portrayal of women in a piece of media is causing you serious emotional distress, you're not going to get anywhere.

And let's not forget the Golden Rule of Entertainment: If you don't like it, don't watch it.

I don't think this is about how unrealistic portrayal of women in videogames affect the mindset of the general population (I feel that's a "hardcore feminist" point of view), but more like "women in videogames are often poorly represented, and there is a general lack of compelling female characters. I wouldn't mind an improvement" kind of situation.

Of course everyone can tell the difference between fiction and reality, or otherwise we would all die by imitating superman, at one point (I always thought flying was a cool super power, if a bit too common ^_^), I seriously hope no one argued that (although something could be said about forming people's opinions, but videogames have a marginal role even among gamers, I think, as social interactions are our main source of feedback regarding our behaviour).

People are complaining about this because they feel this is getting in their way of having fun. It's not about a single game or a genre, but it's more like this situation pops-up in various games, often with no good reason (I hope that we can agree when I say that often, this adds nothing to the experience).

I don't know if the majority of people want the pandering to disappear, I think they just want more options, and more games with content that doesn't appear silly or unappealing to them. This has nothing to do with hurt feelings, or at least, it shouldn't.

People that complain probably don't play those games to begin with, and are having a hard time finding something that suits them, so they are making sure their complains are heard, in order to have something to watch.

mdqp:

I don't think this is about how unrealistic portrayal of women in videogames affect the mindset of the general population (I feel that's a "hardcore feminist" point of view), but more like "women in videogames are often poorly represented, and there is a general lack of compelling female characters. I wouldn't mind an improvement" kind of situation.

Would it be unreasonable then to say, "hey female gaming community members, if you want games made for you, how about you make them? Nobody is keeping you!". All I hear nowadays is "those games need to change", "the studios need to change" and "the industry needs to change" and of course, those that like the games and studios are pissed, because I am fine with it.
DoA should not abandon the fans and now make a game that is also made for women in mind, but instead there should be a new fighting game that women are happy with.

Phuturist:
Man, those poor women and all of the female characters in video games that they don't like. I mean every time you go to a comic con, you see almost only Jade, April and Alyx, and no Lara Croft, chun-li or skin tight rubber costume x-men girl! (irony.)

Also fun fact, stars like Rihanna and Britney Spears, you know, the ones that are sexualized everywhere without limits, those stars have a 80% female fan croud. Go to a Rihanna concert, it's just a million 15 year old girls screaming as Rihanna shakes her bikini.

IT'S ALMOST AS IF FEMALES ARE NOT OPPOSED TO THE THOUGHT OF THEM BEING HOT AND ATTRACTIVE for fucks sake

And men agree, therefore we see many scantily clad dressed women.

Females on the other hand seem to be crazy over Ezio, the guy with the most textile on his body in all of gaming history. They just have more taste, that's why you don't see so many half naked men in products made for women. Although Twilight with the Werewolfs sort of changed that.

But yeah, not all games are made for women nor should they.

Deal with it or make games about naked men. I'm fine with that. I would even play it.

I don't think this about women hurt feelings (if there are any at all), or having no female characters, this is about having quality female characters around (nothing wrong with Chun-li or Lara Croft, I just wouldn't consider them particularly interesting characters, but this is also a matter of personal opinions, I guess).

I am not against female, both in fiction or in real life, being able to be dressed with just a few flimsy clothes, I am saying that an awful lot of characters go around almost naked with no reason at all, and that can be a little off-putting in the long run.

This isn't just about females, I am a male, but I get bored/annoyed too, when I get an ass shot of Miranda in ME2 (who was the most annoying female in the whole series, for me) for the 100th time.

Is there a Ezio female fandome? I didn't knew that! Yeah, Twilight set new standards, I guess. ;p

Not all games should cater to women, but the percentage is awfully small, and a lot of those games seem to be away from the AAA titles.

Phuturist:
Man, those poor women and all of the female characters in video games that they don't like. I mean every time you go to a comic con, you see almost only Jade, April and Alyx, and no Lara Croft, chun-li or skin tight rubber costume x-men girl! (irony.)

Also fun fact, stars like Rihanna and Britney Spears, you know, the ones that are sexualized everywhere without limits, those stars have a 80% female fan croud. Go to a Rihanna concert, it's just a million 15 year old girls screaming as Rihanna shakes her bikini.

IT'S ALMOST AS IF FEMALES ARE NOT OPPOSED TO THE THOUGHT OF THEM BEING HOT AND ATTRACTIVE for fucks sake

And men agree, therefore we see many scantily clad dressed women.

Females on the other hand seem to be crazy over Ezio, the guy with the most textile on his body in all of gaming history. They just have more taste, that's why you don't see so many half naked men in products made for women. Although Twilight with the Werewolfs sort of changed that.

But yeah, not all games are made for women nor should they.

Deal with it or make games about naked men. I'm fine with that. I would even play it.

First of all, there's nothing wrong with having a female character that is hot, sexy or playing the temptress. The has been done since the beginning of time, with the mermaids in the Greek myths, all the way through to western movies, with classics such as The Maltese Falcon.

Second of all, Lara Croft, Chun-Li and the white queen from X-Men are much more famous and have much more publicity than Jade from Beyond Good & Evil or April from The Longest Journey (which had no publicity at all ASAIK). So, a lot more people know about Lara than some obscure computer adventure protagonist.
The same thing happen with male protagonists: Go to Sci-Fi convention and see how many men dress John Sheridan (from Babylon 5) compared to how many men are dressed as Darth Vader.
That does not mean that there aren't good cosplays of Jade or April. Search the internet for 5 seconds and you'll find them.

And then, we come to the third point where your argument breaks: it's alright to have one or two super hot female characters in a story, but when every single woman has the gravity and physics defying body of DOA girls you have a problem. Why is there that the only way for a woman to draw attention is for her to be in a leather bikini?
Male characters come in all shape, size and age. As Movie Bob said in one of his videos, one of the most famous male video game characters is a short fat italian plumber with an outdated mustache. Can you name 10 famous male characters that appear almost naked all the time? With the camera doing close-up shots of his six-pack or his ass 80% of the time said character appears.

Rainboq:

Grahav:

Rainboq:
I agree that it does damage, but look at the figures provided, the ideal 'manly man' in the USA is generally perceived as a muscled stoic figure.

Yes, and the problem comes if this is the only acceptable model of man. Bring in the jerk behavior and steroids for the skinny guys.

I think a general problem is the idea of there only being the archetype, and everything else being looked at as inferior.

Agreed. And...

Well, I can't just add anything anymore. I wish there was a like button.

Phuturist:
Would it be unreasonable then to say, "hey female gaming community members, if you want games made for you, how about you make them? Nobody is keeping you!". All I hear nowadays is "those games need to change", "the studios need to change" and "the industry needs to change" and of course, those that like the games and studios are pissed, because I am fine with it.
DoA should not abandon the fans and now make a game that is also made for women in mind, but instead there should be a new fighting game that women are happy with.

Of course, that's not completely unreasonable, but some say that it is a vicious circle, with the industry producing "male-oriented" games, keeping women uninterested in finding a job in the industry, leaving it without input from female developers.

Also, this is about the severe lack of those characters. Who cares if there is a game like DOA? DOA does what it does, no one is trying to push it into oblivion (I guess/hope), it is pretty honest in what it is, I see no particular problem in its prolonged existance. The problem is the general lack of female characters in other games, too, and a generally poor portrayal of them. You can't simply say that women should make games for women, men should be reasonably capable of making compelling female characters too, they just decide to not do it, in order to appeal to a certain audience. We shouldn't ban those characters, but I feel we should make other characters, too (I mean, female protagonists that don't fall into some idiotic stereotypes remain something rare. Look at King's bounty - Armored Princess: Apparently she has genitals made of steel, because all three available looks/armors for her, end abruptly in that area. The game it's a good game, but why the need of doing that? Even more hilarious, is the fact that, while the magician outfit is the classic almost naked, the other two have relatively covering armors... Until they reach the hips).

Fappy:

Legion:

Gasbandit:
Actually, it's an excellent counterpoint. The entire implied premise of the original assertion (Women are depicted badly in media) is that a gender disparity exists. Pointing out that it also happens to male characters disproves the inequality along gender lines.

This is my stance as well.

I came in here thinking I had a brilliant counterpoint and you guys beat me too it.

To be fair, Fappy, I'm pretty sure everyone that read the comic immediately thought of that argument against it. Really I think Grey might have missed the mark on this one.

DVS BSTrD:

Fappy:

Legion:

This is my stance as well.

I came in here thinking I had a brilliant counterpoint and you guys beat me too it.

I personally think there is a problem with women's portrayal in the industry, but that doesn't mean male's being objectified is irrelevant.

There is a difference between being portrayed unrealistically, and being portrayed demeaningly my fellow Y chromosome owners.

You mean like how every man in every commercial you've ever seen is depicted as a clumbsy, stupid, absolutely incompotent donkey who'd get tangled up in the blinds if his brilliant wife weren't there to run every aspect of his life for him?

Captcha: "Cubic Spline".......the fuck?

franksands:
That maybe true, but there are some examples of indie games that could have oversexualized characters but preferred not to. Dust: An Elysian tale is a good example. Another is Mark of the Ninja, which, thank god, does not have the "bikini slutty ninja". (I haven't finished the game, but so far so good).

Well, I am sure we can name a few exceptions in the AAA industry, too, I just don't think this is only about corporate mindhive at work (which should be the main difference between Indies and "traditional" companies). I think it is mainly picking the easy route, and believing that you can never go wrong with fanservice, which I am not sure is directly linked to the indie or non-indie nature of the developer (having some artistic freedom surely helps, but I don't think the pandering is something that publishers ask like multiplayer, for example).

RJ 17:

DVS BSTrD:
There is a difference between being portrayed unrealistically, and being portrayed demeaningly my fellow Y chromosome owners.

You mean like how every man in every commercial you've ever seen is depicted as a clumbsy, stupid, absolutely incompotent donkey who'd get tangled up in the blinds if his brilliant wife weren't there to run every aspect of his life for him?

Captcha: "Cubic Spline".......the fuck?

Now honestly, Isn't that more wish fulfillment more than anything else? No matter how stupid or useless the guy is, he always has a hot wife to go home to and fix everything for him? These sorts of guys are pretty obviously set up as clowns, I mean nobody should really view Homer Simpson as a role model. Besides that stereotype just puts puts more pressure on women to put up with oblivious man-children while taking care of the actual children AND keep themselves looking personal stylist beautiful.

franksands:

And then, we come to the third point where your argument breaks: it's alright to have one or two super hot female characters in a story, but when every single woman has the gravity and physics defying body of DOA girls you have a problem. Why is there that the only way for a woman to draw attention is for her to be in a leather bikini?
Male characters come in all shape, size and age. As Movie Bob said in one of his videos, one of the most famous male video game characters is a short fat italian plumber with an outdated mustache. Can you name 10 famous male characters that appear almost naked all the time? With the camera doing close-up shots of his six-pack or his ass 80% of the time said character appears.

But not all women are naked and sexualized to hell and back in video games, you are overreacting. Most of the major franchises have none of this. What are the big games nowadays? CoD, Uncharted, Gears of War, Halo, GTA, Assassin's Creed and Red Dead Redemption come to mind. NONE of these games have female characters clearly made as an object of sexual lust for men. None of them. You find these classic bikini warrior females in niche games like Hack & Slash, JRPGs and Fighting Games. Not in the broad mainstream.

And please, be honest, there are not a lot of half naked male characters, but again, my points are that

a) Females don't care a lot about naked male skin --> Ezio fandom (seriously, look it up)
b) Be honest, how many of your female and male friends really play a lot of video games that are more than iOS and free online games?

That's why there are more naked women than men in smaller games.

Oh, and you wanted your list of half-naked /skin tight rubber suit ass camera views men, here you are:
Old Dante
New Dante (2 different characters)
Lucifel (El Shaddai)
Enoch (Also El Shaddai, even has destructable armor until he only wears jeans)
Ryu Hayabusa (And it works)
Kratos (most likely not made for females)
Every MMO nowadays, because there are now more than a few females playing these games (Guild Wars 2, Tera (funny how this game gets used as an example of sexist treatment of females, while the male armors are just as absurdly revealing), etc.)
Snake (even has a naked interactive torture scene, just think of the drama a female character in that situation would cause)
Every male fighting game character ever

And maybe others. But we will see more of this as more females start playing games. It will come naturally and there is no need for developers to stop creating what they like. Everyone happy?

mdqp:

MetalMagpie:
Yay, this again.

Men and women both get portrayed with varying degrees of "accuracy" (whatever that means) in the media. How is it even possible to be sure which (if either) side is being portrayed inaccurately more often, and why does it matter? Where are the young men who assume Jessica Rabbit is an accurate portrayal of a woman when they meet real women every day?

1. People are not idiots. Anyone without a serious mental disorder can tell the difference between fiction and reality.

2. Entertainment is meant to be entertaining (to its target audience at least). If it was going to be a flawless reflection of reality, then we might as well just sit on park benches and watch reality instead.

3. Protection from being made fun of is not a human right. Unless you can convince a court that the portrayal of women in a piece of media is causing you serious emotional distress, you're not going to get anywhere.

And let's not forget the Golden Rule of Entertainment: If you don't like it, don't watch it.

I don't think this is about how unrealistic portrayal of women in videogames affect the mindset of the general population (I feel that's a "hardcore feminist" point of view), but more like "women in videogames are often poorly represented, and there is a general lack of compelling female characters. I wouldn't mind an improvement" kind of situation.

Of course everyone can tell the difference between fiction and reality, or otherwise we would all die by imitating superman, at one point (I always thought flying was a cool super power, if a bit too common ^_^), I seriously hope no one argued that (although something could be said about forming people's opinions, but videogames have a marginal role even among gamers, I think, as social interactions are our main source of feedback regarding our behaviour).

People are complaining about this because they feel this is getting in their way of having fun. It's not about a single game or a genre, but it's more like this situation pops-up in various games, often with no good reason (I hope that we can agree when I say that often, this adds nothing to the experience).

I don't know if the majority of people want the pandering to disappear, I think they just want more options, and more games with content that doesn't appear silly or unappealing to them. This has nothing to do with hurt feelings, or at least, it shouldn't.

People that complain probably don't play those games to begin with, and are having a hard time finding something that suits them, so they are making sure their complains are heard, in order to have something to watch.

Well, if it's just about "I want more content that I like" then why do people drag sexism, feminism, etc. into it? And why does the comic describe it as women being "misrepresented in the media"?

I'd like more steampunk-inspired shooters (decent ones, not that Damnation piece of rubbish). And for more games that allow riding a horse to also allow using the horse as a weapon. And more pet dinosaurs.

There's plenty of video game (and TV, book, film, etc.) content in the world that doesn't appeal to me. And there are plenty of game design decisions that get in the way of my fun that aren't gender related.

But there are enough different video games that there are still plenty that do appeal to me. Maybe I'm just less fussy than most people. *shrug*

Gasbandit:
The reason why DOA girls are all jiggly, wasp-waisted waifs is the same reason why Kratos is 7 feet of steel-reinforced steroid.

Yup. They're both catering to male fantasies.
..wait a minute, that kind of ruins that point. D:

NinjaDeathSlap:

Scars Unseen:

Zhukov:

No, actually, it really isn't.

The DOA chicks look like that because that's what guys (at least, the guys who play those games) want to look at.

Kratos is the way he is because that's what guys want to look like, and therefor play as.

I wonder who all those guys are that want to look like Kratos. His physique is utterly ridiculous. Then again, I can't stand God of War so perhaps I'm just not in the right demographic to judge such things...

Individual tastes notwithstanding, I'm sure there are more guys who want to be Kratos than there are girls who want to fuck Kratos.

As I said in another gender inequalities thread, using the Kratos example has always puzzled me. The man is (especially by the end of God of War 3) an irredeemable, murdering bastard, who slaughters is own wife and child and then destroys the entire world in pursuit of his own personal revenge. Yeah, I'm sure those are the exact qualities a woman looks for in a man, and that's without even going into his physical appearance.

May I remind you that Joran van der Sloot (murderer of one woman and suspected of killing Natalie Holloway) has been confirmed to have gotten a woman pregnant while in jail during an unsupervised visit? Or that time where Ted Bundy (not the shoe salesman) was being tried and women were giving him love letters and fucking WEDDING PROPOSALS?

*ahem*

Snarky comment aside, there are only three basic differences between men and women that I give any relevance to. In ALL other aspects, men and women are equal. Here are the three that I've seen:

1) Women are generally built tougher while men are generally built stronger. Both have scientific data backing them and the former was a myth tested, and confirmed, by the Mythbusters. Side comment: no one is generally built intelligent.

2) "Women are crazy, men are stupid; and one of the main reasons women are crazy is because men are stupid. It's not the only reason, but it's a big one." - George Carlin. We have had intelligence and sanity from both genders in this regard; however, when it comes to general basics, I've always found this little observation by one of the world's best social critics to have a ring of truth to it.

3) Reproduction. Men contribute anywheres between 9 seconds and 2 hours to this process, women contribute roughly 9 months or more. I'd like to see the average male on this planet take anywhere between a seven and nine pound dump in one turd and NOT scream or show any signs of pain during that process. If successful, I'd love to hear their views on pregnancy shortly after their experience.

I hope I never have to repeat this (but I'm guessing I will, more than once): anyone who uses difference to prove ANYTHING is either profiting from it and/or using it to improve their own self-esteem.

MetalMagpie:
Well, if it's just about "I want more content that I like" then why do people drag sexism, feminism, etc. into it? And why does the comic describe it as women being "misrepresented in the media"?

I'd like more steampunk-inspired shooters (decent ones, not that Damnation piece of rubbish). And for more games that allow riding a horse to also allow using the horse as a weapon. And more pet dinosaurs.

There's plenty of video game (and TV, book, film, etc.) content in the world that doesn't appeal to me. And there are plenty of game design decisions that get in the way of my fun that aren't gender related.

But there are enough different video games that there are still plenty that do appeal to me. Maybe I'm just less fussy than most people. *shrug*

I think the comic is mainly talking about the most used counterpoint to this particular issue people sometimes bring up (I feel women are poorly represented and I don't like it vs. Men are misrepresented too, so suck it up). Not necessarily those who raise the point of female characters not fulfilling their potential in videogames see it as sexism or feminism, but those who use that counterpoint seem to perceive that, and take men vs. women attitutde toward the whole debate. That isn't to say that there aren't people that have an agenda and try to snuck it in every possible debate (pointing finger at everything to yell feminism, sexism, etc) but I don't think that the two are so tightly connected as some would want them to be (and I think we both agree this isn't so).

I think your idea for a game is awesome, can we start a petition? :)
People are simply trying to put some pressure to the industry in order to change something they feel are a common trait of too many games and that they feel it's detrimental to the quality of the games. I don't think that's wrong, and corporations are slow to adapt, so it's always a good idea to let them know as soon as possible of your desires, or it will take them forever to change their direction.

Perfectly true, many issues around the world on many things, we are just discussing one in particular, that people seem to feel strongly about (I am annoyed by it because I feel it's too widespread, and because it's often tied with poor writing, since those characters tend to be shallow and offer almost nothing to the narrative).

Feeling that you already have enough choices is a valid point of view, but if other people want more, they should say so, it's not like anyone will be hurt by their asking for it. For example, I was disappointed in the lack of turn-based RPGs in recent years, so I am happy to hear about games that are being funded through kickstarter that seem to cater to my taste. You might feel this is a relatively small issue in the economy of the game industry, but to it has started to feel like they are weakening games in various areas, just to show something I don't care about, and that is already present in a lot of games, so why not discuss the issue, at least?

Phuturist:

But not all women are naked and sexualized to hell and back in video games, you are overreacting. Most of the major franchises have none of this. What are the big games nowadays? CoD, Uncharted, Gears of War, Halo, GTA, Assassin's Creed and Red Dead Redemption come to mind. NONE of these games have female characters clearly made as an object of sexual lust for men. None of them. You find these classic bikini warrior females in niche games like Hack & Slash, JRPGs and Fighting Games. Not in the broad mainstream.

1)So you're saying that games that have NO women in them do not suffer of women being oversexualized? That's a relief.
2)I never played Red Dead Redemption, but I have seen some friends playing it and the only female characters I saw were cliche whores. Not a very good example of strong female characters.
3)I don't have a problem with erotic games, I've played some very good flash games on playforceone, but there the goal of the game is to see women having sex. If a game were honest with what's it is about I have no problem with it, and even then, it's possible to do a sex game without having women as the weak character

Phuturist:

a) Females don't care a lot about naked male skin --> Ezio fandom (seriously, look it up)
b) Be honest, how many of your female and male friends really play a lot of video games that are more than iOS and free online games?

I don't know anything about Ezio, but knowing rule #34 I bet there is. But there's a difference between fandom and slashfic and these things being in the game as in Miranda in ME2.
Secondly, are you really, honestly saying girls only play iOS farm games and whatnot? Seriously? Do you get out much? Because just in my office I have two female coworkers: One love WoW, and not the cutesie fanserviced night elves, she plays in the Horde with a minotaur. The other has a PS3 and from what I know plays a lot more Prototype and Infamous than Rayman or Kingdom Hearts. She in particular hates all this touchy feely stuff normally associated with women. And that's just the people I have more contact with. I also remember a friend from college that his girlfriend really kicked ass in starcraft and wiped the floor with any one that played with her.

About the list, I know there are a few almost naked characters, like Kratos, but I don't remember the camera zooming on kratos ass.

CrazyCapnMorgan:

NinjaDeathSlap:

Scars Unseen:

I wonder who all those guys are that want to look like Kratos. His physique is utterly ridiculous. Then again, I can't stand God of War so perhaps I'm just not in the right demographic to judge such things...

Individual tastes notwithstanding, I'm sure there are more guys who want to be Kratos than there are girls who want to fuck Kratos.

As I said in another gender inequalities thread, using the Kratos example has always puzzled me. The man is (especially by the end of God of War 3) an irredeemable, murdering bastard, who slaughters is own wife and child and then destroys the entire world in pursuit of his own personal revenge. Yeah, I'm sure those are the exact qualities a woman looks for in a man, and that's without even going into his physical appearance.

May I remind you that Joran van der Sloot (murderer of one woman and suspected of killing Natalie Holloway) has been confirmed to have gotten a woman pregnant while in jail during an unsupervised visit? Or that time where Ted Bundy (not the shoe salesman) was being tried and women were giving him love letters and fucking WEDDING PROPOSALS?

*ahem*

Snarky comment aside, there are only three basic differences between men and women that I give any relevance to. In ALL other aspects, men and women are equal. Here are the three that I've seen:

1) Women are generally built tougher while men are generally built stronger. Both have scientific data backing them and the former was a myth tested, and confirmed, by the Mythbusters. Side comment: no one is generally built intelligent.

2) "Women are crazy, men are stupid; and one of the main reasons women are crazy is because men are stupid. It's not the only reason, but it's a big one." - George Carlin. We have had intelligence and sanity from both genders in this regard; however, when it comes to general basics, I've always found this little observation by one of the world's best social critics to have a ring of truth to it.

3) Reproduction. Men contribute anywheres between 9 seconds and 2 hours to this process, women contribute roughly 9 months or more. I'd like to see the average male on this planet take anywhere between a seven and nine pound dump in one turd and NOT scream or show any signs of pain during that process. If successful, I'd love to hear their views on pregnancy shortly after their experience.

I hope I never have to repeat this (but I'm guessing I will, more than once): anyone who uses difference to prove ANYTHING is either profiting from it and/or using it to improve their own self-esteem.

Well, I never said that there weren't any women out there who wanted to fuck Kratos, there are conceivably a few. I was just pointing out that, looking at his behaviour, I doubt he was designed to be a Paragon of 'What Women Want'. :P

Can't argue with the rest of your post (well, except for number 3, where I have to point out that, painful as it would still probably be regardless, a man's anus is not designed to dilate 10cm first).

Now, moving swiftly on from the mental image I just gave myself...

DVS BSTrD:

RJ 17:

DVS BSTrD:
There is a difference between being portrayed unrealistically, and being portrayed demeaningly my fellow Y chromosome owners.

You mean like how every man in every commercial you've ever seen is depicted as a clumbsy, stupid, absolutely incompotent donkey who'd get tangled up in the blinds if his brilliant wife weren't there to run every aspect of his life for him?

Captcha: "Cubic Spline".......the fuck?

Now honestly, Isn't that more wish fulfillment more than anything else? No matter how stupid or useless the guy is, he always has a hot wife to go home to and fix everything for him? These sorts of guys are pretty obviously set up as clowns, I mean nobody should really view Homer Simpson as a role model. Besides that stereotype just puts puts more pressure on women to put up with oblivious man-children while taking care of the actual children AND keep themselves looking personal stylist beautiful.

Wish fulfillment? Nope, can't say I see it as that. Because even in THAT case it just FURTHER emphasizes the fact that not only are men clumbsy, stupid, and incompotent, but they actively WANT to be clumbsy, stupid, and incompotent. It suggests that all men really want is a hot wife to take care of them so they can sit around on the couch Al Bundy style with one hand on the remote and the other down their pants.

Indeed, Homer and Al are not meant to be role models, they're parodies. That such commercials and TV characters are "wish fulfillment" implies that men WANT to see those two as role models so they, themselves, can be fat, stupid, and lazy with a wife that handles everything for them.

Mr. Franksands yours was a terrible post and you should feel ashamed.

franksands:

1)So you're saying that games that have NO women in them do not suffer of women being oversexualized? That's a relief.

Only CoD has no women.

franksands:

2)I never played Red Dead Redemption, but I have seen some friends playing it and the only female characters I saw were cliche whores. Not a very good example of strong female characters.

"I have no idea but I it's a bad example anyway." fantastic. Look up Bonnie MacFarlane. Or don't and be quiet about it.

franksands:

3)I don't have a problem with erotic games, I've played some very good flash games on playforceone, but there the goal of the game is to see women having sex. If a game were honest with what's it is about I have no problem with it, and even then, it's possible to do a sex game without having women as the weak character

I don't get why you mention that sexual content in games should be binary, meaning not there at all or everything about the game, and it has nothing to do with the discussion but fine, have it your way.

franksands:

I don't know anything about Ezio, but knowing rule #34 I bet there is. But there's a difference between fandom and slashfic and these things being in the game as in Miranda in ME2.

You don't get it. Men find Miaranda attractive (I suppose, although most don't) because she has big breasts. Females find Ezio attractive because he is mysterious, charming and strong. There is not market for Ezio crotch bulge shots because nobody is into that, not even females. That was my point.

franksands:

Secondly, are you really, honestly saying girls only play iOS farm games and whatnot? Seriously?

No I did not.

franksands:
Do you get out much?

Oh christ, I shouldn't even reply to your post.

franksands:
Because just in my office I have two female coworkers: One love WoW, and not the cutesie fanserviced night elves, she plays in the Horde with a minotaur. The other has a PS3 and from what I know plays a lot more Prototype and Infamous than Rayman or Kingdom Hearts. She in particular hates all this touchy feely stuff normally associated with women. And that's just the people I have more contact with. I also remember a friend from college that his girlfriend really kicked ass in starcraft and wiped the floor with any one that played with her.

Bravo. That's 3. How many guys have you met that played video games to the extend of those 3 girls? No really, answer me, look at the numbers and then come at me with that argument again.

franksands:

About the list, I know there are a few almost naked characters, like Kratos, but I don't remember the camera zooming on kratos ass.

Yeah, that was the one character that I mentioned that is probably not designed for females.

RJ 17:

DVS BSTrD:

RJ 17:
You mean like how every man in every commercial you've ever seen is depicted as a clumbsy, stupid, absolutely incompotent donkey who'd get tangled up in the blinds if his brilliant wife weren't there to run every aspect of his life for him?

Captcha: "Cubic Spline".......the fuck?

Now honestly, Isn't that more wish fulfillment more than anything else? No matter how stupid or useless the guy is, he always has a hot wife to go home to and fix everything for him? These sorts of guys are pretty obviously set up as clowns, I mean nobody should really view Homer Simpson as a role model. Besides that stereotype just puts puts more pressure on women to put up with oblivious man-children while taking care of the actual children AND keep themselves looking personal stylist beautiful.

Wish fulfillment? Nope, can't say I see it as that. Because even in THAT case it just FURTHER emphasizes the fact that not only are men clumbsy, stupid, and incompotent, but they actively WANT to be clumbsy, stupid, and incompetent. It suggests that all men really want is a hot wife to take care of them so they can sit around on the couch Al Bundy style with one hand on the remote and the other down their pants.

Indeed, Homer and Al are not meant to be role models, they're parodies. That such commercials and TV characters are "wish fulfillment" implies that men WANT to see those two as role models so they, themselves, can be fat, stupid, and lazy with a wife that handles everything for them.

Yeah PARODIES. So they aren't ment to be taken seriously. Even if they were, that's holding men to ridiculously Low than the ridiculously high standards of appearance women are held to. Besides it's not the the laziness that's the wish fulfillment, it's the hot wife that's devoted to you.

DVS BSTrD:

RJ 17:

DVS BSTrD:
Now honestly, Isn't that more wish fulfillment more than anything else? No matter how stupid or useless the guy is, he always has a hot wife to go home to and fix everything for him? These sorts of guys are pretty obviously set up as clowns, I mean nobody should really view Homer Simpson as a role model. Besides that stereotype just puts puts more pressure on women to put up with oblivious man-children while taking care of the actual children AND keep themselves looking personal stylist beautiful.

Wish fulfillment? Nope, can't say I see it as that. Because even in THAT case it just FURTHER emphasizes the fact that not only are men clumbsy, stupid, and incompotent, but they actively WANT to be clumbsy, stupid, and incompetent. It suggests that all men really want is a hot wife to take care of them so they can sit around on the couch Al Bundy style with one hand on the remote and the other down their pants.

Indeed, Homer and Al are not meant to be role models, they're parodies. That such commercials and TV characters are "wish fulfillment" implies that men WANT to see those two as role models so they, themselves, can be fat, stupid, and lazy with a wife that handles everything for them.

Yeah PARODIES. So they aren't ment to be taken seriously. Even if they were, that's holding men to ridiculously Low than the ridiculously high standards of appearance women are held to. Besides it's not the the laziness that's the wish fulfillment, it's the hot wife that's devoted to you.

And so the demeaning portrayals of women are supposed to be taken seriously? You're still dodging the point, it really isn't that complicated. Parody or not, most media still depicts men in insulting and demeaning ways. The fact that you seem to be saying "Oh well you're just supposed to laugh at them and pay it no attention" is even more insulting because THAT implies that male behavior is nothing but one big joke. You can tell a horrendously racist joke and say "Oh I'm just joking for the laughs", but that doesn't make what you said any less racist, does it?

And since when is being held to a lower standard a good thing? Should men not be held to as high a standard as women? Oh, that's right, men are incompotent jokes and it's alright because we're meant to laugh at them. If that's the case, then there's nothing wrong with the mindset of "well women are held to a higher standard of responsibility but that's alright because they're supposed to be eye-candy that takes care of everything."

Look, here's the breakdown. The entire point is that it's bad to generalize the genders into stereotypes. It happens to men AND women, neither one is good. The stereotypes are that women should be nothing but eye-candy and men are nothing but jokes. The fact that it also happens to men certainly does not justify it also happening to women, however the fact that it happens to men does prove that the perceived inequality isn't there. It happens to EVERYONE, regardless of gender. I'm sure women find it insulting that they're depicted as unimportant arm-trophies for a man, just as I personally find it insulting that men are depicted as fat, stupid, and incompotent.

Andy Shandy:

*snip*

But to have something to say vaguely related, instead of both sides complaining at each other, why not work together and complain about both things at once?

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou, oh so friggin thank you!

I restrain myself from bringing up all the wicked situations i already had in discussions about this matter, it's enough to point at where the one in this forum is going at.

Why is it so hard to just work together to put out this damn fire? Because we're not able to share the tools? Because we can't decide who gotta regulate the water and who holds the tube? Because we're to immobile to take turns in the process, or actually use it simultaneously? Better let everything burn to the ground first, eh? Typical problem of pretty much every solution to make and then nothing's getting fixed. I just don't get it, why this appears to be so much of a better choice for most people.

Frostbite3789:
The funny thing about all this is in LoL, the only people offended by the female champ design in that game are men.

Every single woman I know that plays the game doesn't care. Every thread in the LoL forums I see pop up about the subject is created by a dude.

While I'm at it, white knighting is far more sexist than a sexy female character design.

"DONT WORRY WUMAN I TELL U WEN U SHUD BE OFFANDED U NEED MY HALP TO PROTACT U"

No. If they were offended, they'd say so themselves guy.

There is no such fucking thing as "white knighting." It's beyond stupid to suggest that guys on the internet will take a woman's side because he wants to have sex with her. Only someone who is delusional would think this way. No rational person could think, "I'm going to take this woman's side of the argument because she is a woman and not because I actually agree with her points. No, it's either because I'm trying to protect the poor helpless woman, or because I want to endear her to me so that we can have sex (completely ignoring the logistical point about there being great distances separating most people who communicate on the internet)."

What white-knighting is is a term used to attack the individual rather than what they are arguing. It's much easier to dismiss all these opinions if you can just call any man who argues on the side of feminism or women's rights a white knight. It's a term for lazyasses who can't make an actual effort to engage the argument.

NightowlM:
Snip

You seem a little angry man. Did I strike a nerve?

And besides, that's even what I said it is. It's the guys who feel like they have to argue something for a woman, because the women clearly can't do it themselves. I even described the exact situation. But you picked up on two words and got offended. Good job champ.

Frostbite3789:

NightowlM:
Snip

You seem a little angry man. Did I strike a nerve?

And besides, that's even what I said it is. It's the guys who feel like they have to argue something for a woman, because the women clearly can't do it themselves. I even described the exact situation. But you picked up on two words and got offended. Good job champ.

No. Just annoyed. Also, not a man.

I was trying to get at the fact that, though there may be individual cases of "white-knighting," it's completely overblown to the point that it's a thought stopping cliche. Anyone arguing with someone on the feminist side can just throw out the white-knight phrase instead of assuming that men are just as capable of caring about women's rights' and feminist issues. And I am suspicious of anyone that throws that out there because it involves a huge assumption that men who take the "women's side" are doing so because they fit the "white-knight" profile. That's what I was assuming you were doing.

But it wasn't all directed at you. I just constantly see the phrase on the Escapist whenever any topic like this shows up and I'm sick to shit of it. The ratio of actual white knighting to people complaining about white knights is most likely pretty low since dozens of topics can be filled up with hundreds of complaints about white knights without really any solid examples of it.

NinjaDeathSlap:
Can't argue with the rest of your post (well, except for number 3, where I have to point out that, painful as it would still probably be regardless, a man's anus is not designed to dilate 10cm first).

Now, moving swiftly on from the mental image I just gave myself...

Actually... we don't dilate that much either. Hopefully a doctor snips us open the rest of the way, but often women literally rip open until the anus and vagina are actually one hole until they're sewn back up.

Pretty picture, huh?

This is one of those discussions that easily turns into heated flaming (which sounds oddly appropriate, now that I think about the joke of the comic strip).
But here's my two cents, as a woman.

This comic, despite being quite funny, works as humour but completely misses the issue. This comic implies that women depiction in media = men depiction in media. And if that was the case, then I, too, would act like the fire hipsters of this comic and say "what's the big deal?".

But the REAL issue is that women depiction in media IS NOT like men depiction in media. Nearly every videogame, movie, etc. always has the "male point of view". Something men don't often notice.

IndomitableSam:

NinjaDeathSlap:
Can't argue with the rest of your post (well, except for number 3, where I have to point out that, painful as it would still probably be regardless, a man's anus is not designed to dilate 10cm first).

Now, moving swiftly on from the mental image I just gave myself...

Actually... we don't dilate that much either. Hopefully a doctor snips us open the rest of the way, but often women literally rip open until the anus and vagina are actually one hole until they're sewn back up.

Pretty picture, huh?

Why? Why would you do that to me? I was innocent until today! D':

NuclearShadow:

Granted there is a big gap between tropes and my example in severity of a issue however in both cases it would be the use of the same logic placed upon the problem. Just because one does not endure a wrong doing alone does not excuse the wrong doing.

As for how we depict other people whether it be based on race, gender, religion, or anything else that can is usually seen as a major difference between us is important. Minds especially young impressionable ones learn from the content they adsorb and it will effect how they are when they become adults. How many times in history have we seen cases of people "x" being exclaimed as evil and something should be done about them by people "y"?
This usually ends in very poor results. While video games aren't calling for violence specifically against women it does often put them into a spotlight that is unfavorable and many times portrays them as weak or sexual figures.

Maybe this wasn't a big deal before gaming went main stream as it was such a minor part of life to just about anyone. But now kids are expected to spend much of their free time playing and absorbing this and down the line it will show it's effects. It already is in-fact look at the common treatment of women on Xbox live, or any woman who tries to express such getting harassed as well as threatened with rape and murder. This would have never happened to anyone who wrote Nintendo Power in the late 80's and had their comments published. The evolution of our culture in which we direct the mindset of our youth is a big deal.

I've stood by the "two wrongs don't make a right" argument for years, I completely agree with you on this point.
The thing, for me, is the severity. I've grown up with both western and eastern origins, I've seen what the "real" problems in life are in the east, compared to the snug and socially dominated western culture. Kids in the west are spared the harsh realities of life, but they're also lacking the tough skin you naturally get when faced with adversity.
I really don't believe that these problems are that severe, and more importantly, I hope they never become a problem that lowers our social defense so much, that we're turned into whimpering, sniveling kiddies whenever we are faced with a bit of word dueling.

We're seeing examples of this already, as our method of discussion on the internet is evolved. It's no longer about values, it's about making the most points, winning the most arguments and ultimately being right no matter what.

The anonymity really makes bullying and harassment an issue, however, this is due to the immaturity(as in age) of online behaviour and the lack of control and experience. As the original gaming generation are getting older, they're beginning to have kids and beginning to know how to deal with this and influence people to be nicer online; Especially towards the growing female gamer group. I think this will weed itself out eventually; In fact we're already seeing signs of this as more and more laws are enforced on the internet, regarding cyber bullying, harassment and threats.

Not to mention the literal horde of white-knights who are jumping out to defend anyone without a penis(Ironically being inadvertently sexist, as well as never being there to defend the little (male)guy).

This is the point; If the next generations are so influenced by online behaviour, we have a much bigger problem than sexism; It's outright social regression en masse and it's going to devastating for western society.
We're gonna end up with current republicans being the smart ones ;)

somewhat relevant quote by some escapist forum user:

As much as girl gamers grouse about how terrible girl-targeted games are, the fact is that they sell better than games that actually respect women.

Beyond Good and Evil had a respectable female lead and a newbie-friendly learning curve and was generally ignored, despite a raving critical reception. Many combat-oriented games let players choose the genders of the characters in a non-exploitive fashion, so female gamers do have options to have a female lead.
Hell, the current trend of targetting fratboys with sex scenes and massive boobs is pretty recent. Through the '90s, games were youth-oriented... even games for more mature players seriously avoided sexuality. Things like DOA were the exception, not the rule.
Girls avoided games even then.
At some point you really shouldn't be surprised when the gaming industry gives up on you and says "screw it, let's just put in some naked ***** into the game - the people who would get offended aren't our customers anyways".
The only games that seem to qualify as girl-games are the ones that focus on social aspects with a fringe of hyper-tedious gameplay. When The Sims and Farmville are the things that break ground into the female gamer market - both known for little but drama and tedium - it's really no surprise that game developers don't have much interest in catering to you. I mean, it takes a miracle of timing and luck to get those games to take off (they cannot be promoted through traditional channels - they need to go entirely by word-of-mouth), and they're the kind of thing that would be repulsive to work on.

Really, the gaming industry extended the olive branch many, many times... and the results have been less than impressive. Even Nintendo's only real inroads into female gamers was with the WiiFit, which is the kind of approach that most of the industry doesn't even have as an option - Sony and MS don't have the kind of reputation to pull it off, and nobody else has the hardware ability. Despite their initial focus on being a family and party unit, Nintendo has obviously found that the biggest market was young children (of both genders). Those pictures of fashionable, hip women holding wiimotes and excitedly playing some non-depicted game? What game are they playing? Does anyone know?

They tried. They tried from every possible angle, and the only angle that seems to work is kinda repulsive (farmville).

I think the main problem with this comic....other than "oh boy, is it feminism tuesday already?"...is the way they're illustrating it.

The illustration that they use is one of a woman getting burned and the two guys shrugging it off. In this case, this is actually an excellent counterpoint almost to the point of shutting down the conversation.

Why?

Because, without going to TV Tropes, violence against males has been a long accepted practice in our media whether it is video games or movies. Since Kratos has been mentioned, we can see that the next game is going to back away from violence against women or any female creatures. Males, on the other hand, are going to continue to have Kratos expose their insides to the outsides. Females are quite often the minority in the cannon fodder section usually only coming in as sub-bosses/bosses if at all.

If the comic had addressed the sexual portrayal of females vs males or even sexualizing violence against women, it may have had a point. As it is, the last panel should have had roughly 20-30 males on fire with 4 also having katanas stuck through their abdomen and 15 having taken a shotgun blast to the chest for it to actually be proportional. Under those circumstances, it is absolutely appropriate to make the counterpoint of how men are far more likely to have violence inflicted on them in any form of media than women.

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