Jimquisition: Objectification And... Men?

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I have listened to this debate for some time now and would like to clarify some facts that have gone amiss by members of my species.

When people say "Men aren't objectified" what they really mean is "men aren't objectified sexually".

Elucidation: Who is more objectified? The wind up soldier, or the wind up ballerina? I posit that men are now, have been, and always will be more objectified than females. We are BIOLOGICALLY PROGRAMMED to not see male pain and suffering even when it is in front of our eyes. With admittedly mounting frustration, I must point out that this is a biological imperative brought about by our own necessary but completely obsolete evolution. Throughout history, egalitarian tribes have always been small and backward, and usually overwhelmed the moment they encounter more traditional ones. Women can make strong backs to fight and build. Men are the strong backs who fight and build. A man will never be able to reproduce, women can. And it doesn't matter how mentally or physically competent either party is. Thus, women have always been given priority in almost every circumstance:

*Who gets to eat
*Who gets to go out to fight hostile tribes
*Who sleeps at the mouth of the cave and who sleeps at the back
*Who gets on the raft and who gets an icy fate on a shipwreck
*Who hunts and who stays at home

Women are expected by society and by themselves to take priority EVERY TIME. Men are expected and forced by society to put themselves in last every time. Social ostracism, jail time, and death (in the case of draft dodgers) if they don't comply. It HAD to be that way. If men didn't go out to hunt, fight, build, and take all the risks nature could throw, then civilization couldn't exist. The fact that women are at all being affected by something as trivial as the clothing of fictional game characters (which is still often more tasteful than real life in some areas downtown) can cause the entire game industry gets into a hot debate over it proves that the human biological response to the suffering and discomfort of women is so intrinsic that we don't realize its even there.

By this time the reader could be forgiven for being incredulous. But I point out that even the very title of this episode is laden with sarcasm: "Objectification And... Men?"

As if such a thing is impossible.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YmYGl0CgrVU/UDIJuBGDxJI/AAAAAAAAALA/ymSW0SXiCms/s1600/1343374285053.jpg

Obviously those soldiers are there not because they're being forced to be under threat of imprisonment and death. Its just a male power fantasy right? All those guns and uniforms are just to make them feel manly right?

Both men and women are objectified. The difference is that MALE OBJECTIFICATION AND SUFFERING IS INVISIBLE. Tell me, during the video, did you even notice the large numbers of people being killed or that they happened to be male? I can almost guarantee the idea that a woman is offended or in distress by the portrayal of another woman is more disturbing than the body count racked up in a less than 10 minute video. Its more disturbing to me deep down and I'm on the other side of the argument! It's just our obsolete biology. The alarms going but there's no fire. There's no barbarians over the hill, there isn't a herd of Mammoths stampeding the village, there isn't an avalanche about to wipe out anyone's family. The women are just fine. Like they've always been.

Who is it that is always exposed to danger? Who is it that is always expected to be killed? Who is it that is always getting shot, stabbed, blown up, tortured, punched, cut to ribbons and blasted to pieces? Yes females being sexualized is prevalent in videogames and could be sending the wrong message, but I argue that spending a few weekends in the clubs here in Miami would make you wonder whether art is following life or vice versa.

So if the sexualization of females is sending the wrong message to girls, what message does the endless parade of males being blown to pieces send to boys? The same message it has always been since the beginning of time: "man up, suck it up, and do your job".

A sarcastic statement: Of course it's that way because men want it that way. It isn't like men have ever been forced to adapt to certain roles imposed on them at gun/spearpoint by those more powerful than them be it nature, or the government. And if it is bad for them, then its obviously their fault and they need to adapt yet again.

Men

http://chrishecker.com/private/codmw2-headshot.jpg

Are

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/fileadmin/historyLearningSite/poison5.jpg

Disposable

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/GoombaStomp_9361.jpg

And they always will be. And if I am going to be objectified, (and I am) I would rather be considered something precious and valuable to be protected and prized rather than something to be used, abused, and thrown away. I understand how serious it is to make a charge of false consciousness, and that arguments like this are won months and years after the fact, but if you read this, do please self-examine to ask whether you really do think of males and females as equal. I leave you with some statistics:

http://rt.com/usa/us-suicides-crisis-cdc-report-761/

"Men were more likely to take their own lives than women. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000."

*Most workplace deaths are men.
*Most military deaths are men.
*Most police deaths are men.
*Most victims of violent crimes are men (yet under-report incidents and report feeling less afraid of it).
*Most inmates are men.
*Most homeless are men.

Take a step back and realize that women are doing just fine. They live longer and have always been the most comfortable segment of society, including and especially children.

commasplice:

Edit:

Raiyan 1.0:
I mean, doesn't it make you sad that something like Liliana's female Spy design will never be seen in mainstream games?

I, for one, would play the hell out of that engineer. Hell, I'd roleplay Rosie the fucking Riveter every damn time I booted it up. That's possibly the coolest thing I've ever seen.

Aw gee whiz, thanks! The Engineer is the only one that doesn't still make me cringe from a technical execution standpoint, but that's probably cause it's the most recent one v: The spy, from what I heard, almost DID get in game. At least to the point where someone from Valve requested the files and they were tinkering with whether it would be technically feasible (which unfortunately, it was not, as the game wasn't really designed with such extensive customizations in mind). They've shown a lot of support for that project over the years, so that's definitely encouraging :)

holy carp, the intro alone, the intro alone was worth showing up for. I'm going to have to both watch it over and over and also burn the vision out of my brain.

Ukomba:

franksands:

(M)Ass Effect 2 wins the trophy for most objectified women. Aside from Jack, you have Samara, the justicar with high red heels. But the 1st place goes to Miranda, because the camera always focuses on her ass.

Ah, no, I believe you'll find that Final Fantasy X still holds that trophy.

As for ME2. I don't know. I never found Samara attractive, like, at all. Not sure if it was her age, her design, or her personality, she just never came off as an object of desire to me. Same goes for Miranda. Sure she's got a good body, but I just couldn't get over her being an infertile, cloned, gender switched man. Jack didn't seem come off as objectified either. I couldn't romance her either, I just kept seeing her as a wounded child. She was great in ME3.

The fact that you didn't find it attractive, does not mean that the character was not objectified. Jack almost has no clothes on, except from a string to cover her nipples, but Miranda is naked even *with* her clothes on.

Nurb:
In video games, both are equally objectified in the sense male and female game characters are objects that do what we want for our entertainment and fantasies, whatever they may be because it's fictional escapism.

Women are pretty and nice to look at, and men are fodder for the player to wade through with any given weapon weilded by a perfect looking protagonist. Men are not evil for enjoying sexualized fictional characters, nor are we evil for enjoying laying waste to thousands of enemies that want to stop our character.

Now please, no more forced gender debates!

image

No one is evil for liking or hating these characters. The only bad thing about them is that they are used too much.

As for the "male, female, at the end of the day, we're just a bunch of dang avatars made of bits and polygons", while true, the problem is more with the art(how the characters look), and the story(how the characters act).

Things that are not always in control of the player.

Also, that is a cute cat(picture and your avatar).
You may like this user group: Catoholics anonymous. If you are in already, sorry, I didn't see your name when I looked at the members list.

I hear the argument of the "hot male superhero" all the time too, and as Jim points out, it completely misses the point in the exact same way. When male heroes are showing off as much skin and having their "good stuff" front and center of panels, poses and covers, THEN we can talk about men being objectified.

Happy that the discussion's continuing, even though people seem to think threads full of nothing but "CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS!?!?" and "WHINY BITCHES NEED TO GET OVER IT!!" apparently constitutes "having already been discussed."

franksands:

Ukomba:

franksands:

(M)Ass Effect 2 wins the trophy for most objectified women. Aside from Jack, you have Samara, the justicar with high red heels. But the 1st place goes to Miranda, because the camera always focuses on her ass.

Ah, no, I believe you'll find that Final Fantasy X still holds that trophy.

As for ME2. I don't know. I never found Samara attractive, like, at all. Not sure if it was her age, her design, or her personality, she just never came off as an object of desire to me. Same goes for Miranda. Sure she's got a good body, but I just couldn't get over her being an infertile, cloned, gender switched man. Jack didn't seem come off as objectified either. I couldn't romance her either, I just kept seeing her as a wounded child. She was great in ME3.

The fact that you didn't find it attractive, does not mean that the character was not objectified. Jack almost has no clothes on, except from a string to cover her nipples, but Miranda is naked even *with* her clothes on.

Skimpy cloths doesn't equal objectified. Jack very nearly has the physique of a young man, has a shaved head, and is covered in tattoos. Jack's outfit isn't supposed to be titillating. I'm sure some people do find it provocative, but there are some people who really get off on a librarians over conservative look.

If you want to say women have to be completely covered to not be objectified then you're not only severely limiting character model options, but your actually heading into sexist territory. Jack is a good female character with a design that fits well within the context of her back story and the universe.

I have no comment on Miranda. Objectifying a transgender character isn't the topic of this discussion. I wasn't big on her cat suit, her personality, or her combat abilities so I never used her. I always preferred the non-human characters.

Actually there's a reason why photo shoots like this are made - http://nutritionsuccess.org/blog/2011/12/olympic-level-athletes-come-in-shapes-and-sizes/

This was made as both a proof of concept and as a service for artists to create more body variety.

Jimothy Sterling:
A common argument in the ongoing debate over gender and videogames is that women and men both are equally objectified. Is that really true?

When women objectify men(in media) it is USUALLY more subtle, involving something I can only describe as 'emotional objectification'. Twilight is a good example of what I am talking about. The men in that movie aren't men, or even characters. They are things, teddybears, furbies... made entierly to be pleasurable to women; things to acquire with no personality of their own. They are not people in any sense of the word. This is why while the twilight movies have haters and fans of both genders, they are typically more jarring to men then women.
DOA volleyball clearly has one reason to exist, and I don't agree with it or games like it at all. It is a problem, and it does make the statement that we're not all equal, especially given the frequency of DOAs character design in other game franchises. But lets not pretend that men are completely immune to this happening to them in games; it does happen (but again, subtly and infrequently). Look how huge Link's female fan-base is, and the things (oh god) that are done to him in the fan fiction made by said fanbase. Link is a character with little to no personality, by the way. All he does is act courageous. Apparently a pretty intimate object doing that is enough to get some girls wet, but I will at least agree that Link might be unintentional. He was a avatar always made to be a blank slate for the needs of anyone wanting to play the role of a hero, even if he ultimately ended up making girl's eyes twinkle brighter then boys. Raiden on the other-hand was admitted by his creator to be "for the ladies". There is a good reason why he looks the way he does, and started with such an 'odd' personality for a MGS character (probably why he absolutely had to have a scene being nude, to). At least, that's what the creator said. So even if Raiden was unsuccessful, he was an 'attempt' to do what you said people aren't.

But again, I will reiterate: it's very infrequent, and not near the problem it is for women. But possible? Has it happened before? Yes. But yeah, women are much more objectified then men, you will get no argument from me there.

When it comes to sexism in games, most of the games I play don't seem to have it at least none that I can see. However, I don't think it should be illegal for games to have female characters that are objectified. But at the same time if a game is only made for men then you're only getting half the audience.

One of my favorite games is Moretal Kombat and MK is no stranger to sexism, but looking at it, my favorite in the series was Mortal Kombat 2, which also had the least amount of sexism.

Orekoya:

1337mokro:

Clovus:

Like, maybe he just uses his breath to freeze his own leg and then just brushes them off. Or maybe he just, like, burns them off with this eyes.

Can Superman's powers harm himself? His hair is basically indestructible if not he'd have his glorious mullet burned of every single time a heat based enemy was encountered. So why should there be an exception for his own heat vision which still works on the same principles and does not seem to be all that strong, compared to other heat powers in the same universe.

Kryptonite razorblades?


There you go.

We have solved one of the greatest mysteries in the world! Now for the other one.

Why DID he shave his legs? :D

The Dubya:
Okay fine, games don't talk about unfair workpay or things like that SPECIFICALLY, but there's still a societal idea that Men > Women and Hot Women With Less Skills >>>>> Not As Attractive Women With More Skills that CULMINATE in issues LIKE what you're talking about.

Care to provide any evidence to back up these claims? The fact that most men tend to work in jobs that are dirty, difficult, or dangerous; and men are more likely to be unemployed or homeless than women indicates that society doesn't consider men better than women as they are treated worse than women.

If you want to use the homosexual example, take a look a back a few decades ago and see how gay men and women were portrayed in shows and movies.

They seemed to be absent from both. Well except lesbian porn.

The point is this; Games, TV, movies, radio, etc., they affect how people think.

If this is true then why hasn't anyone successfully used games, TV, movies, radio, etc to prevent people being criminals or taking drugs? Could it be because they have far less influence that you're claiming.

Person-to-person ideas vary due to personal experience, but the collective zeitgeist is usually represented in the big 4 mass media mediums, and consciously or unconsciously they effect how we view the world and view each other.

Games, TV, movies, and radio have never accurately represented anything outside of documentaries. Seriously do you believe that Seinfeld or Friends are influencing how Americans view the world around them?

Now what we DO with these representations we're presented is on us; we can either just accept how it's going and be quiet, or we can do something to CHANGE that perception and show how that particular zeitgeist was wrong/harmful.

You failed to prove that any of these mediums can effect people's perceptions and failed to provide a criteria regarding what is harmful. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean it needs to be stopped.

And speaking up and speaking out IS doing something. Slapping down the ones that want to keep the wrongness acceptable IS doing something.

Unless you fail to provide evidence that what you're complaining about is wrong. In which case people are likely to ignore your campaign.

Acknowledging the problem works toward dissecting and discussing the problem, and that leads to finding solutions to the problem. That's...how it usually works.

What happens if there isn't a real problem? Does all the dissecting and discussing show that a solution isn't required?

How it DOESN'T work is when you keep telling them to shut up all the time and just accuse them of whining about how the problem doesn't really exist/you should just go elsewhere if you have a problem with it (when the problem permeates in the majority of places, that can't really happen now can it?)

Unless there isn't a problem, in which case telling these people to shut up is the correct response. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean anyone else has to consider it a problem or do anything to resolve your problem.

Whether you want to admit it or not, that IS the perception out there (even WITH the laws out there that are supposed to prevent it), and guess what is a reflection of that?

Just because you decided that there is a problem doesn't mean a problem actually exists. You need to provide evidence that there's a problem, not condemn everyone for not accepting everything you say without question.

Those fictional boobs being thrown in our face, reenforcing the idea that female looks > anything else about them.

Women have been valuing their beauty above all else longer before people learned how to make fake boobs. The fact that you don't like how women act doesn't give you any right to condemn women for wanting to be beautiful.

Because again, media is a reenforcing mirror of us as a people.

No it isn't. The media is a reflection of society, not a magical mirror than someone controls people. If the media did control society then it would have been used to end all crime a long time ago.

The same definition for what was acceptable entertainment and acceptable ways of living in the 40's isn't the same as it is today, so there's no reason why we can't keep on adapting and changing to the times without treating it like some kind of oh-so-bothersome burden.

Why should anyone take on the burden of trying to change society for a problem that hasn't been proven to exist?

Just to reiterate one more time: Acknowledging the problem works toward dissecting and discussing the problem, and leads to finding solutions to the problem. That's...how it usually works.

Just to reiterate one more time: you have constantly failed to prove any problem exists. Therefore there's no problem to acknowledge.

Sorry if I'm late to the party, but videos on this subject always result in a million replies per second.

DVS BSTrD:
For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
imageimage
Which standard is harder to live up to?

Funny that this example has been brought up. These fat slobs, like Homer Simpson, or Peter Griffin, tend to have hot women at their side, who not only settle for fat, lazy and stupid men, but dutifully endure all their shenanigans and take care of them.

In other words, even comedic parodies of male stereotypes objectify their women, portraying them as the "prize" that all men, fat, lazy or stupid, are somehow entitled to.

On topic, have a read: 5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women

Yeah I am with you on this one Jim
objectification of men isn't a problem like moviebob put it
"They weren't rendered that way for them fellas (girls) they were rendered that way for YOU, to be male alter ego's for you to strive to be" (something like that not perfect quote)

Anyway the objectification/idealization of men is a problem, but its not NEARLY as bad as females in video games.

Besides I often hear of males turning down girls because "You aren't obedient and sexy enough for me"

but I don't see many girls turning down guys because "You don't look like Kratos"

Gorrath:

Mr. Q:
The following response is towards the "fine gentlemen" that believe they are being objectified just as badly as women are in video games, comic books, etc...

image

I can never fully understand the level of self-delusion that some people have to truly believe that males are treated like sex symbols or objects of desire on the same level as women. I hate to break it to you, but its not the same!

And don't give me the B.S. that topics like these fall under the "beating a dead horse" category. Regardless of what Monxeroth might have to say about it, these topics keeping coming up is because they are still a problem within the games industry and in other forms of media. I don't care how big of a blanket you've got on hand, using it to hide the elephant in the living room does not make it go away. These are serious problems that need to be addressed and resolved with urgency. It's a problem that neither side cannot ignore forever.

What Jim did today, and what he does every week on the Jimquisition, is taking the first step in solving a problem... and that is admitting there is a problem.

The majority of female characters in games are not properly portrayed in video games.

Starting off by presuming that an argument comes from self delusion isn't going to change hearts. Some arguments do, in fact, stem from delusion, but I tihnk one should consider that there may be an argument here that does not.

This whole argument was purely about sex or sexual attraction, but about objectification, sexual or otherwise. Also, simply claiming, "...it's not the same," also doesn't provide any insight.

What is a 'proper' portryal of a female character in a game? What is the 'proper' portryal of a man? Is a sexualized female body improper? What about a sexualized male one? Is a female character without agency improper? What about a psycopathic male who can only solve problems by shooting it with bigger guns? What about a 'nerdy' male scientist who also has no agency whatsoever and needs the thick-necked meat-head with guns-a-blazin' to save him too? Is he objectified because of his lack of agency?

I'd argue that there is no proper way to write a character. I would argue that there is much greater room in gaming and other mediums to expand to other tropes and characterizations.

I'm stating that most of the female protagonists in video games tend to lean more on the Playboy of the Month centerfolds rather than something more 3 dimensional. I'd like to see more games that cater towards other designs and personalities other than the latest model to test out "Jiggle Physics".

I can understand your statement on what is the proper portrayal of a female protagonist and its something I'd like to see explored. What about a female protagonist who is a mother of two trying to survive in a zombie-filled wasteland while having to make drastic decisions to protect her children (I.E. does she kill another human being to take his/her food rations to feed her kids)? How about a female soldier having to deal with PTSD and re-adjusting to civilian life? There are hundreds of ideas to be explored but as long as the industry caters to the teenage male demo, video games will never evolve any further.

1337mokro:

Orekoya:

1337mokro:

Can Superman's powers harm himself? His hair is basically indestructible if not he'd have his glorious mullet burned of every single time a heat based enemy was encountered. So why should there be an exception for his own heat vision which still works on the same principles and does not seem to be all that strong, compared to other heat powers in the same universe.

Kryptonite razorblades?


There you go.

We have solved one of the greatest mysteries in the world! Now for the other one.

Why DID he shave his legs? :D

As I recall, Clark shaved with his own fingernails in Smallville.

I can only imagine that he trims those, in turn, with his teeth.

Being a Kryptonian god sure makes these things complicated.

Oskuro:
Sorry if I'm late to the party, but videos on this subject always result in a million replies per second.

DVS BSTrD:
For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
imageimage
Which standard is harder to live up to?

Funny that this example has been brought up. These fat slobs, like Homer Simpson, or Peter Griffin, tend to have hot women at their side, who not only settle for fat, lazy and stupid men, but dutifully endure all their shenanigans and take care of them.

In other words, even comedic parodies of male stereotypes objectify their women, portraying them as the "prize" that all men, fat, lazy or stupid, are somehow entitled to.

On topic, have a read: 5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women

Exactly,
I have a problem with portrayals of white men in media (TV media not games)since the stereotype seems to be homer simpson
but on the other hand they have hot chicks for wives/GF's

WTF?

Jim is right on this one
male idealization is a problem
but female objectification is a MUCH MUCH larger and more significant problem

Oskuro:
Sorry if I'm late to the party, but videos on this subject always result in a million replies per second.

DVS BSTrD:
For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
-img-
Which standard is harder to live up to?

Funny that this example has been brought up. These fat slobs, like Homer Simpson, or Peter Griffin, tend to have hot women at their side, who not only settle for fat, lazy and stupid men, but dutifully endure all their shenanigans and take care of them.

In other words, even comedic parodies of male stereotypes objectify their women, portraying them as the "prize" that all men, fat, lazy or stupid, are somehow entitled to.

On topic, have a read: 5 Ways Modern Men are Trained to Hate Women

Did you just call Marge Hot? :O

So Matt Groening and Seth MacFarlane objectify women?

Monxeroth:

MaxwellMouse:
Monxeroth, it is not everyone has seen all internet videos before. Even if it is a covered topic, that does not make it any less valid or relevant. I see people saying things like this all the time, as recent as the whole Dragon`s Crown issue.

It does if there is nothing new brought to the table in a long time then yes, that does make it less relevant since its blown out of proportion and not as equally urgent as it is true yknow >_>

Less valid, most likely not

Well i don't live a life on the internet so i haven't seen these topics discussed ad nauseum.

I personally found it a enlightening video.

The argument boils down to a separation of ideal and objectification with very little reasoning, it often seems like its all about the sex of the person that makes it.

I have no finalized thoughts on the subject because it all falls apart when you try to find the female 'ideal' rather than objectification, ask a woman to design a character and they will still be attractive.

If I'm coming to any conclusion its that objectification itself isn't something you can try to eliminate because it is something that will always be within the viewer.

So is there a difference between a power fantasy and an objectified character when we exclude the audience? I would think a truly objectified character would have to be seen as something to be owned by other characters, and even if that happened it wouldn't be bad since we would be analyzing this within a piece of art.

This seems much more like an argument against the sexualisation of women in games and that that is apparently causing the all audiences to objectify woman all because of this, which is crazy.

Those dead or alive characters aren't objectified by the game, they are objectified by the audience, and that is far more telling. Blaming the game for this is like complaining oh i don't want to objectify these characters but they are just so damn objectify-able you have to fix it!

First up Jim, thanks for acknowledging that the idealisation of men is also a problem. A different one to be sure, but a problem nonetheless.

It's been noted that the idealisation of men and objectification of women actually have quite a lot of overlap, in that they both represent a (probably) unattainable standard of physical perfection. So if strong, heroic, "idealised" men are "male power fantasy" (an expression I have absolutely no connection with whatsoever - there's been plenty of discussion about brains vs brawn already and I'm definitely on the brains side) written solely for men, what would an idealised woman be?

I'm being serious. I don't know. It's also been argued plenty of times (couldn't get on this thread earlier, I was at work) that women aren't doing enough to involve themselves in the development process. So, women, what is your idealisation? Is it a "female power fantasy"? Think about it. Then tell me. Then make an indie game about it!

I promise you, though: it'll probably still be something that if created by a male would be considered to be objectification.

image

OMG!! Stop burning that bra and put it back on, your objectifying yourself!

Raiyan 1.0:
These women don't exist in a vacuum. They've been conditioned to think like that by the mainstream media. For example, a Japanese youth is more likely to portray an idealized man as effeminate with an emo-hairdo, whereas someone who has been exposed to Western media will portray him as a grizzled 30-something with stubble, etc.

1) The media isn't some unified blob which only promotes one type of person. For example while I'm sure Roseanne Bar from Roseanne appealed to some people the majority of women probably didn't want to be as large as she was. This isn't due to media conditioning but because they wanted to look a certain way.

2) Not all people are so easily conditioned by the media. If they were then the media's anti drug campaigns would have eradicated drug use.

3) The fact that women prefer a certain type of women across all cultures indicated that it's not due to the media or society. Some studies have even shown that babies prefer more attractive women (they look at them longer than they look at ugly women).

And honestly, my comment wasn't purely out of a concern for women's perspective, but also for my hunger for aesthetic diversity. I mean, doesn't it make you sad that something like Liliana's female Spy design will never be seen in mainstream games?

I'm not, by the way, against objectification. One of my favorite characters of all time was Jeanette from Vampires:Bloodlines - The Masquerade.

I'm not saying that female diversity is wrong, I'm saying that there simply isn't a large market for it because men and women tend to prefer a certain type of woman. Even in Japan where they have comics for girls created by women they don't have diverse female casts because it's not what women want.

If female diversity was due to social constructs then you'd expect different cultures to prefer different types of women, or to promote more diversity among female characters. The fact that most cultures prefer women with a certain figure indicates that diversity among women isn't due to social reasons but more likely to do with genetics.

If objectification of men and women where more 50/50, these kind of scenes would be more normal:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CESpInzM9yA

Chemical Alia:
From this moment forward, I will model all video game characters as 75-year-old female bodybuilders, just to ruin your fun. Even the male ones, and there's nothing you can do to stop me. I have convinced all other industry artists I know to do the same (way more than 15+). The plan has been set in motion. Watch out, I'm coming for your fun.

Go ahead. I know how to use modelling programmes, so I can easily make a mod to replace the default models and textures with more aesthetically appeasing ones.

DVS BSTrD:
I recall having a similar discussion about the portrayal of men vs the portrayal women in popular culture overall. For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
imageimage
Which standard is harder to live up to?

Is that Jay from Modern Family on the left? Damn, he was pretty good looking when he was younger. Still kind of is now.

OT: I agree with everything that was said but it's all been said before really. If something new was added this time, it'd be interesting but it really was like listening to the same old argument again just with different examples.

PrarieDog_319:
I have listened to this debate for some time now and would like to clarify some facts that have gone amiss by members of my species.

When people say "Men aren't objectified" what they really mean is "men aren't objectified sexually".

I registered here just to give you kudos on this post. I was thinking the exact same thing listening to Jim. I often really like Jim, but he was off his mark for focusing to narrowly here. Men sexually objectify women. Society objectifies men's lives. I mean, we can get into the whole disposable male theory another time, but when you boil it down this certainly at least holds true in games.

I mean, my character in Fallout NV flirted with Cass, but he slaughtered men by the hundreds. Perhaps the Dead or Alive or Gears of War titles don't properly illustrate this, but I find it laughable to say "games don't objectify men" when every RTS game ever made has purposefully disposable male infantry. In fact, in Red Alert 2 (without counting YR and the Virus), the only female characters were either secretaries who never fought (like Sofia and Eva), or the Hero unit Tanya who got more screentime than the president. Female voice actors are only used for the hover transport units. Essentially, the only 'girl' units you have are so valuable, like Tanya, that you don't want to loose them, or non-combatants that have a use that makes them important to keep alive, like the transports. The ho-hum army of waves of infantry to throw at your enemy, and paper thin tanks are all voiced by men.

I mean sure, maybe it's still all related back to male power fantasies, that we want our women as sexual objectives, but men are objectified to an even more perverse degree, they're not objectives, they're objects, a means to an end.

Just read the wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Objectification

Females are treated, in games at least, with denial of autonomy, ownership, fungibility and denial of subjectivity, but males get much the same treatment, but atop that are subject to extreme violability and instrumentality.

Imp Emissary:

Nurb:
In video games, both are equally objectified in the sense male and female game characters are objects that do what we want for our entertainment and fantasies, whatever they may be because it's fictional escapism.

Women are pretty and nice to look at, and men are fodder for the player to wade through with any given weapon weilded by a perfect looking protagonist. Men are not evil for enjoying sexualized fictional characters, nor are we evil for enjoying laying waste to thousands of enemies that want to stop our character.

Now please, no more forced gender debates!

image

No one is evil for liking or hating these characters. The only bad thing about them is that they are used too much.

As for the "male, female, at the end of the day, we're just a bunch of dang avatars made of bits and polygons", while true, the problem is more with the art(how the characters look), and the story(how the characters act).

Things that are not always in control of the player.

Also, that is a cute cat(picture and your avatar).
You may like this user group: Catoholics anonymous. If you are in already, sorry, I didn't see your name when I looked at the members list.

That's the point of fantasy, though. Not all games do this depending on what they are of course, but in some, a busty, sexy female character or being a perfect looking guy that can do damn near anything is just nice to imagine. Games are ment to get away from reality.

Though there's also this false presumption that because men enjoy video games in a larger number than women, it must be because developers and gamers are actively trying to keep women out of the hobby, which just isn't true. We're talking demographics, and some things appeal to some people more than others for whatever reason. Just as there's not a huge number of guys into romance novels, and it's not that authors and fans want are trying to keep guys from young guys from reading them and why "But vampires don't sparkle!" falls on the deaf ears of fans and Twilight Moms. XD

and if you're on the internet you're suppost to like cats. It's a rule I think.

Holythirteen:

RaikuFA:
Theres some other issues that need to be addressed in this debate. Like the fact that Senran Kagura might never make it outside of Japan due to the west being prudish and crying sexist at anyything that has boobs.

No matter how objectified a women is in a game, no matter how much we argue about it, it has never stopped a game from being released. If anybody says that, they are making an excuse.

I hope you're right but XSEED/Marvelous said last week that due to recent events, the games will be a lot harder to promote without crys of sexism. I think they're telling the truth. But it could be a publicity stunt(which I'm hoping it is). Either way, this topic needs to stop for awhile.

I don't fully agree with Jim here, what is this "idealized" thing he keeps raving about? What kind of ideals Markus Phoenix and Kratos promote? Giving zero fucks about anything, being ripped beyond belief and killing first - asking questions later?
If that really is the "ideal" man, then why can't we say that a huge breasted happy go lucky character (obviously objectified) is the ideal female too?

if they stopped making guys look like 200lb wrecking machines with chins that could split atoms, and chainsaw Dicks, and actually developed character designs on real internal structures, characters wouldnt get so much flak for being objectified.

Oskuro:
Sorry if I'm late to the party, but videos on this subject always result in a million replies per second.

DVS BSTrD:
For from objectifying men, this other person seemed to think that men were unfairly stereotyped as fat idiots who were completely dependent on women to save them from themselves. Now I want you to look at these pictures and ask yourself
imageimage
Which standard is harder to live up to?

Funny that this example has been brought up. These fat slobs, like Homer Simpson, or Peter Griffin, tend to have hot women at their side, who not only settle for fat, lazy and stupid men, but dutifully endure all their shenanigans and take care of them.

In other words, even comedic parodies of male stereotypes objectify their women, portraying them as the "prize" that all men, fat, lazy or stupid, are somehow entitled to.

Yet for some reason women aren't demanding comedies where the woman is a fat layabout who is completely dependent on her more handsome husband. I wonder why? Could it be because women like stories where women are the smart one and men are basically useless.

People are objects. Look up the definition of the word object:

Noun
A material thing that can be seen and touched.

The superstitious myth that man is somehow Something Moar is a throwback to the days when invisible, bearded sky giants comprised valid explanations for lightning and agriculture. That shit doesn't fly anymore, and everything we know about reality strongly implies that humans are self-aware, organic computers. Decent ones, but still just computers. So yeah, objects. Although I doubt computers would confuse themselves for anything more than that so, limited power notwithstanding, they may still be ahead of you.

Women often take offense to being "treated like a piece of meat." Whenever I hear that I think to myself that I'd like to open one up and show them what they're really made of.

Ukomba:

OMG!! Stop burning that bra and put it back on, your objectifying yourself!

Heh, it's okay--she didn't need it anyway.

PeterMerkin69:
People are objects. Look up the definition of the word object:

Noun
A material thing that can be seen and touched.

Women often take offense to being "treated like a piece of meat."

I'll just leave this here.
At times Patrice O'neal would encourage people to call out to the stage in order to set up a punchline. "Ladies, how would you keep your man if you lost your vagina?," O'neal would ask of his audience. When the women would invariably reference oral and anal sex, the comedian would respond, "See, I gave you the chance to talk and you qualified yourself as a series of holes."

ElinHime:
If objectification of men and women where more 50/50, these kind of scenes would be more normal:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CESpInzM9yA

That makes the very large assumption women think like men. Most women I know find a well dressed man more attractive than a naked one. A naked man can be more threatening to women than a dressed one.

That clip is more homosexual fanservice than female. Male objectification from a man's thought process. In the same way two naked women making out is male fan service and not lesbian fan service.

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