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Tropes vs. Women in Video Games Kickstarter -- and the hate it's received


Video Games

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A vlogger named Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter project to fund a series of informational videos about the (mis)representation of women in video games, particularly on the many negative stereotypes and images and treatment of women seen in video games. While images of women in games have improved, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done, IMHO.

Everything I've seen from her is mild in tone and very reasoned, not ranty or hateful towards men, just addressing some existing and real concerns in a form of media many men and women alike enjoy.

She's received a MASSIVE amount of hate mail, including threats of death and sexual assault, from gamers whose arguments more or less accuse her of everything from Naziism to terrorism for her statements about negative female tropes in video games.

Which of course proves how much an educational project like this is needed.

News article about the situation here, including her video intro to her project (from the Escapist):

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/117848-Kickstarter-Video-Project- Attracts-Misogynist-Horde

Kickstarter page is here (3 days to go):
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-game s

The good news is she's raised 10x her goal of $6,000 -- $60,000 and counting.

If you feel moved to comment, I'd appreciate it if you read the linked pages first.

If you agree with what she's doing, I hope you consider supporting her or at least the ideas behind the project.

If you disagree with what she's doing, I hope you can at least express your disagreement in civil terms that don't involve threatening her life or safety (but I expect that won't be an issue here. Don't prove me wrong, please).

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope she attacks these trolls involved with every legal and public weapon possible.

Surely a case could (should) be made via the new cyber-bullying laws coming out.

Ps, I backed as soon as I saw it, can't wait to see the finished product!


I wish I could support her Kickstarter, but it popped up in the month full of doctor's appointments *sigh*. Thanks, DQ, for bringing this to my attention and I'm sure the attention of quite a few others. I agree with her position, yet I've always found the gender equality issue a hard one to tackle. Unfortunately, taking a gender studies course for my minor, I learned that instructors tend to lean towards proactive feminism if female or mild conservatism if male. I doubt this is true across the board, but it seems to be the prevalent trend. It is also unfortunate that these educated instructors are more even-tempered than a gamer with a virtual soapbox. Those comments are uncalled for, but serve to illustrate why Anita's project is necessary (as many have already pointed out).

I think her largest challenge is the "status quo". For example, Catwoman in Arkham City. She has been around since 1940 and she's always been a "femme fatale". It would be hard to change a character like that, who's identity is dependent on her exaggerated femininity. Then you have the olde stereotype: 'Men play video games, women have casual games'. This is a stereotype that has permeated into the brains of designers, developers and publishers. They believe if they want to sell their game, women are no more than T&A. Even in stuff like Beyond Good & Evil, Jade (a great female character) was a bit more busty than she needed to be. Only recently are people in the video game industry seeing that women play video games. Heck, my wife's been playing video games since the NES!

I hope that Anita's project is successful but I wonder about the degree of change it will bring.


Combined with several incidents from last year, it's easy to see that sexism is alive and well, unfortunately. Thanks for pointing this out here, I wouldn't have seen the project otherwise.


Signore di Fortuna wrote:


I think her largest challenge is the "status quo".

Well, it used to be status quo that women wore corsets and the idea of a woman riding a bicycle was scandalous. So that can change. :)

Quote:


For example, Catwoman in Arkham City. She has been around since 1940 and she's always been a "femme fatale". It would be hard to change a character like that, who's identity is dependent on her exaggerated femininity. Then you have the olde stereotype: 'Men play video games, women have casual games'. This is a stereotype that has permeated into the brains of designers, developers and publishers. They believe if they want to sell their game, women are no more than T&A. Even in stuff like Beyond Good & Evil, Jade (a great female character) was a bit more busty than she needed to be. Only recently are people in the video game industry seeing that women play video games. Heck, my wife's been playing video games since the NES!

I remember when... I think it was THQ... was performing a survey to gauge interest in a Warhammer 40K game (I think which became Dawn of War).

If you logged into the survey and chose "Female" when you were asked your gender for demographic data, you got locked out of the rest of the survey. They didn't even want to know what women might think of a game like that (and that was why I didn't buy Dawn of War, even though I was an avid 40K player at the time).

And I think that speak volumes about publisher and developer attitudes about women gamers. They don't WANT to know we exist, they don't want to make games with us in mind... it's like they can't understand there is a way to market one game for more than one demographic.

... and apparently they don't want our money. Personally I always thought, if someone walks up to you and says, "Hey, I want to give you money!" then you do what you can to encourage them to keep giving it to you, but apparently marketing doesn't work like that. It is a world I admit I fully do not understand.

Quote:


I hope that Anita's project is successful but I wonder about the degree of change it will bring.

When I was in graduate school, I read articles and letters to the editors from journals in the 1890s. They would say things like, "Sure, that one 'new woman' is saying girls shouldn't wear corsets and should ride bicycles, but it's just one essay. I can't imagine it will really bring about any real change."

But the thing is, these people spoke up, one by one, and generated discussion. And change occurred slowly over time the more the discussion was passed around.

And a mere 100+ years later, we look back and think, "Women riding bicycles was a big deal? Seriously?"

This thing is already generating a lot of buzz, such that Sarkeesian asked for $6,000 and has instead received $68,000 and counting.

It may not cause all games tomorrow to contain respectful images of women. That doesn't mean it won't contribute to change for the better down the line. Tiny ripples contributing to creating waves, and all that. If it keeps the conversation going, it's important.

There is not a single social movement that was successful overnight, after one person's effort. It doesn't mean individuals shouldn't make an effort. Because those movements still can be successful over time.

And after all, note the biggest agenda of the people harassing her are trying to shut her down, trying to keep her quiet. They have tried to get her banned for terrorism on Youtube (I am not exaggerating). They have tried to make Kickstarter shut the project down for fraud. They have threatened to rape or kill her if she kept trying to do what she was doing (if the threats aren't serious, it's still an effort to intimidate her into silence). They want to make this woman shut up and go away by any means possible. If her speaking up didn't have the potential for change, why would they so violently be trying to silence her?


Yes, thanks very much for posting the link. I've backed what I can afford.

I agree with the Escapist comment that all of the vicious comments and attacks are only more proof that this Kickstarter project needs to be completed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I saw this about a week ago and read the screenshot of the awful YouTube comments. It made me so sad and sick to my stomach that people can still think and act like that. It baffles me. I am baffled.


This looks really interesting, I’ll definitely keep an eye on it to see what I think and if her breakdown matches my own personal opinions of what female tropes in video games are (looking at her list I suspect our views are close.) and what she thinks is a serious problem and what should get more of a pass. (I actually have less of a problem with the common sexy, curvaceous portrayal of women than I do with the stereotypical motivations and psychological traits I see hammered home hard that I find inappropriate.)

On another note have you ever noticed that when someone stands up for a group that suffers from heavy prejudice people will often give them a standing ovation but when they point out women often suffer the same most of that same crowd has a “Hey, What the hell is your problem?” reaction. What the heck is up with that?

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

People are generally ok. Take away personal accountability & give them a wide enough audience, and they turn into the horrid simian pack hunters we evolved from.

That which is "other" is a threat to "our" power/wealth/happiness, so we must attack and destroy it at all costs.

I sincerely hope these misogynistic trolls feel the pain of anti-defamation, cyber-bullying, and any other criminal & civil charges that apply. This is exactly the wrong kind of thinking to pass along, assuming our goal is a society that does not wish to self-destruct...


psionichamster wrote:
People are generally ok. Take away personal accountability & give them a wide enough audience, and they turn into the horrid simian pack hunters we evolved from.

I agree.

The comments aren't about sexism/racism/etc on her boards, they are just the primates hurling whatever poo they had to hand that they thought might stick and hurt.

Sexism isn't the problem, its a symptom, the horrible self-centered self-indulgent mentality pervading society is more the issue.

They are also a bit jelly because shes attractive AND intelligent, and the haters are frustrated that she wouldn't look twice at them.


Shifty wrote:
psionichamster wrote:
People are generally ok. Take away personal accountability & give them a wide enough audience, and they turn into the horrid simian pack hunters we evolved from.

I agree.

The comments aren't about sexism/racism/etc on her boards, they are just the primates hurling whatever poo they had to hand that they thought might stick and hurt.

Sexism isn't the problem, its a symptom, the horrible self-centered self-indulgent mentality pervading society is more the issue.

They are also a bit jelly because shes attractive AND intelligent, and the haters are frustrated that she wouldn't look twice at them.

Both dead-on correct. And let's face it: the syntax in the internet subculture of videogamers (of a certain age and gender, generally) tends to be one of snarky, mean, overly sarcastic, misogynistic bravado, especially when supported by the anonymity the web usually provides.

Andoran

Speaking on behalf of my wife, she agrees with pretty much everything written so far.

She also wanted to point out rather happily about the new direction and look that the Tomb Raider series is taking with Lara Croft. You know ... where she looks like a real-ish woman and not stuffing watermelons for snacks later.

Maybe there's hope yet.


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khazan wrote:
And let's face it: the syntax in the internet subculture of videogamers (of a certain age and gender, generally) tends to be one of snarky, mean, overly sarcastic, misogynistic bravado, especially when supported by the anonymity the web usually provides.

Yes, the G.I.F.T. in action!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Misery wrote:

Speaking on behalf of my wife, she agrees with pretty much everything written so far.

She also wanted to point out rather happily about the new direction and look that the Tomb Raider series is taking with Lara Croft. You know ... where she looks like a real-ish woman and not stuffing watermelons for snacks later.

Maybe there's hope yet.

While I like the new design the content of the game sort if makes me somewhat uncomfortable. Although I'll reserve judgement until I play what seems to be Tomb Raider: Souls for Smuggler's Shiv.

Shadow Lodge

Misery wrote:

Speaking on behalf of my wife, she agrees with pretty much everything written so far.

She also wanted to point out rather happily about the new direction and look that the Tomb Raider series is taking with Lara Croft. You know ... where she looks like a real-ish woman and not stuffing watermelons for snacks later.

Maybe there's hope yet.

Thing is, I've seen rants about how making Lara more vulnerable is horribly insulting to women everywhere. Hell, even the new Lara's change in appearance was attacked, with some of the posters claiming that she apparently can't be "sexy" as well. Despite the fact that, at least to me, a fairly normal-ish heterosexual guy, the new Lara looks a lot better than the previous version (who looked a bit like a blow-up doll).

That's actually one of the biggest problems...no matter what is done, somebody somewhere is going to take offense at it.

Anyhow...back on topic:

I watched one or two of this woman's videos out of curiosity, and she seems to take things to the other extreme...she seems to be blaming all males and making some pretty generalized statements in that direction. Now, maybe my clicking on a couple of videos just happened to wind up on ones that weren't really representative, but what it did do is make damn sure that she has no chance of getting a pledge from me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

At the risk of sidetracking the sidetrack -- after looking at the comments here and elsewhere, I find myself glad for one more thing that makes Paizo unique in the gaming biz (AFAIK, anyway): it is headed up by a female, our very own Lisa Stevens!

I am curious if/how this (being run by a female in the head spot) affects the representation of women in Paizo products and art, compared to other game companies not so helmed. (I don't have the time or know-how to carry out a study, but still, I'm curious.)

Taldor

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YouTube commenters are the scum of the earth, news at 11.

Really don't see why this is news, and I really don't see why she needs Kickstarter to make a documentary, given that she seems to be already doing that. Furthermore, anyone with a functioning brain (so not the people on YouTube) would be more then aware of this issue and have already been exposed to the debate.


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Rebuttal


mempter wrote:
Rebuttal

I had that debate yesterday - Documentaries presenting a particular point of view vs impartiality.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mempter wrote:
Rebuttal

Haven't looked at video, so I don't know "foreverpandering"'s statements in full, but I don't understand how that would "rebut" such vile attacks on an artist who hasn't even created the project for which she's been physically threatened.


There isn't an attempt to rebut the trolls nor their attacks, it is more about her bias.


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Uzzy wrote:
YouTube commenters are the scum of the earth, news at 11.

It's not just YouTube commenters.

She was also reported to YouTube "for terrorism" in hopes she'd be banned and protests sent to Kickstarter claiming she was a fraud and hoping they'd also oust her. And then there's the Wikipedia re-editing.

Further, she's been receiving death threats and rape threats. I don't care whether that's on Youtube or anywhere else, that kind of behavior should not get a pass. "It's okay if I threatened to sexually assault her as long as it's on Youtube, because everyone knows YouTube commenters are jerks?" Yeah, I don't think so.

Quote:


Really don't see why this is news, and I really don't see why she needs Kickstarter to make a documentary, given that she seems to be already doing that. Furthermore, anyone with a functioning brain (so not the people on YouTube) would be more then aware of this issue and have already been exposed to the debate.

The Kickstarter page (linked in the OP) explains why she requested fund backing. In short, making several 10-20 minute long professional quality videos (not the vlogs she's been doing) and getting the rights to game clips amongst other things costs money. ETA: Oh and there's some curriculum design going on in this as well.

If you don't think it's news, I'd ask the backers who supported her with over 10x the amount of money she asked for, because they seem to disagree.

It's causing buzz, and ergo buzzworthy. After all, something about it made you feel it was important enough to reply, even if in the name of being dismissive.

If it was truly uninteresting or not worth anyone's notice, then why is anyone at all noticing it, let alone reacting so positively or so negatively or being reported on news sites?

If you're not interested in the project, fine, or think it's misaimed, I can imagine some arguments for that. But talking about why people shouldn't talk about it seems to be moving the goalposts a bit, IMO.

====

Kthulhu, I also watched several of her videos before deciding to back her project. I saw no such man-hatred of which you speak, or I wouldn't have backed it either.


I don't think its news, and there would be very little surprising information raised in her videos. The real problem comes down to the final endstate - the videos are in danger of only being watched by people sympathetic to issue, and preaching to the choir isn't all that productive.

I don't think her approach will really work in reaching those that NEED to be encouraged to stop and think, and that's where I think this process will fail.


-youtube is blocked here, but based on what I've read, IS ANYBODY REALLY shocked?
-I thought it was common knowledge that many gamers are sexist pigs. In this I find myself agreeing with Shifty. How many people watched "Driving Miss Daisy" or "American History X" and decided to stop being in the KKK? In other words, as true as all her points are, is anybody going to stop being a pig? Or more likely aren't gamers who are NOT pigs going to feel bad because they have to be at the same table with the pigs.


Shifty wrote:
I don't think its news, and there would be very little surprising information raised in her videos. The real problem comes down to the final endstate - the videos are in danger of only being watched by people sympathetic to issue, and preaching to the choir isn't all that productive.

I don't think it's the "choir" that's sending all those insults to her. The whole reason it's gotten attention is because people who aren't her usual followers are finding out about this.

There's also a curriculum being designed now, so it's possible this could even end up in communications and media courses, I guess. Which also means reaching more than just other gamer girls.

And if it keeps being spread on Gamer and Geek News sites like Escapist and Kotaku, like it already is (might want to send a letter to those journalists that they're not writing news), there's a fair chance a broader audience is going to see some of it. And whatever spurs conversation keeps the issue visible, which I think is kind of the point.

We'll see. Could end up not being far reaching, sure--hell, there's even a good chance of that, it's the Internet after all. But my opinion is with stuff like this, if there's one out of a million minds who start to rethink how they can approach things more respectfully, then it's successful.

===

And in other news, at the time I posted the OP they were at 2,000+ backers and $60,000. It's now, a few hours later, up to almost $80,000 and 3,300+ backers.

Will be interesting to see the final numbers three days from now.


Shifty wrote:

I don't think its news, and there would be very little surprising information raised in her videos. The real problem comes down to the final endstate - the videos are in danger of only being watched by people sympathetic to issue, and preaching to the choir isn't all that productive.

I don't think her approach will really work in reaching those that NEED to be encouraged to stop and think, and that's where I think this process will fail.

I've seen you post on other controversial topics, and you always seem to advocate not talking about things, or that because it's not an issue for you, no one else should talk about it either.

Even if the talking doesn't result in much directly, talking more about problems encourages more talking. Eventually, some of that talk might bring us closer to a solution. There are serious problems with sexism in the gamer community. You can stick your head in the sand if you like, but it is not a bugblatter beast of traal.


Irontruth wrote:


I've seen you post on other controversial topics, and you always seem to advocate not talking about things, or that because it's not an issue for you, no one else should talk about it either.

Then you must be referring to someone else, because that has never been a platform position of mine, not once. Arguing a counter point of view or disagreeing with your argument is not stifling your debate, it is encouraging you to mount a decent case, and if silence follows that challenge then I can only suggest the fault lies with the opposition.

Please point to where in this thread I have said the issue shouldn't be discussed? Point to the spot in the thread where I said the problem doesn't exist?

So if we are done here, perhaps you could kick your passive aggressive attack across the street and stay off the adhoms.


That's why I'm puzzled. I thought sexist gamers were as much a true stereotype as that we like to paint little men. I don't see how this could shock anybody, unless they were in denial. It's like making a documentary called "Did you know South Africa has racial tensions?".


DeathQuaker wrote:


I don't think it's the "choir" that's sending all those insults to her. The whole reason it's gotten attention is because people who aren't her usual followers are finding out about this.

Oh I agree!

The people sending the messages are a bunch of nasties that could certainly benefit from thinking about their actions.

The issue for those guys though is that they are so generally full of hate, if its not one thing it will be another - nothing is sacred to them, race, gender etc. They don't hate women, they just hate everyone, and quite often themselves the most (irony eh?).

Communications classes tend to be full of pretty well balanced individuals, so I'd be more keen if her rollout was aimed more at a school level as well, not sure how it would get there, but we need to get that sort of message right down the chain before the habits and hate set in.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mempter wrote:
Rebuttal

This.

Killing two birds with one boulder.


I miss youtube...only 6 months more...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

I feel sad that I was able to predict exactly what sort of reactions this would get halfway through reading the topic title.

Thanks for the link. Kickstartan.

Irontruth wrote:
Combined with several incidents from last year, it's easy to see that sexism is alive and well, unfortunately.

The sad thing is you could insert "on this very forum" after "incidents" and it would be true.

In the larger gamer culture, IIRC the Dead Island clownshow was probably the absolute lowpoint for the industry last year.


Mikaze wrote:
In the larger gamer culture, IIRC the Dead Island clownshow was probably the absolute lowpoint for the industry last year.

Missed that one... will go have a look.


Shifty wrote:
Irontruth wrote:


I've seen you post on other controversial topics, and you always seem to advocate not talking about things, or that because it's not an issue for you, no one else should talk about it either.

Then you must be referring to someone else, because that has never been a platform position of mine, not once. Arguing a counter point of view or disagreeing with your argument is not stifling your debate, it is encouraging you to mount a decent case, and if silence follows that challenge then I can only suggest the fault lies with the opposition.

Please point to where in this thread I have said the issue shouldn't be discussed? Point to the spot in the thread where I said the problem doesn't exist?

So if we are done here, perhaps you could kick your passive aggressive attack across the street and stay off the adhoms.

Sorry, perhaps I read too much into what you were saying. I found some of your comments dismissive, such as the "sexism isn't the problem, it's a symptom". As well as attributing part of the problem to her appearance.


Indeed, sexism isn't the problem, it is A problem that shows as a symptom of a broader subset of problems. If we made the sexism stop, the underlying cause is still going to be sitting there manifesting in a range of antisocial activities.

So in this case, we'd no sooner get the Youtube grognards finally accepting that the sexism they spout is pretty vile, and then they'd apologise... which would probably finish with "..but shes still a Jew" or something equally mindbendingly infuriating.

The note to her appearance is that the kind of people that like to show their sexist side only accept dumb women who are good looking, they get really riled when a good looking woman is smart too - apparently they find this really threatening and get all antsy about it. That takes nothing away from her, that's all about them, however it will be difficult for such a messenger to be able to communicate with said apes.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Well, it used to be status quo that women wore corsets and the idea of a woman riding a bicycle was scandalous. So that can change.

Women in corsets and not being able to ride bicycles was ubiquitous and an infringement of civil rights. Not many will say that Bayonetta degraded the stature of women. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I think there are less people who see the value of supporting Anita's project versus those who support women's rights as a whole.


I think what Shifty is trying to say is not engaging men, weather the message is perceived to be aimed at women or the message is perceived to be overtly or covertly hostile, will not make much headway in attempting to resolve sexism.

The difficult task is talking to 49% of the population getting them to change their behaviour. Recognising that the stratigraphy of sexism runs from minuscule for the vast majority to extreme for a very loud and visable minority. Then making these changes without alienating the majority who on the whole are very supportive of making things better.


Seriously, it'd be a good first step to get rid of those "E3 booth babes".


I am sometimes ashamed to be a man in this society. I mean seriously ashamed. This woman is trying her best to fight the (often degrading) tropes that target women in this society.

I will admit I participate a bit to much in funding these poor representations but if I do it is because I believe the game itself is good and not just the t$+# and ass that are on screen (Beyond Good and Evil being one example).

I am all set to possibly buy Lollipop Chainsaw but that has more to do with that it looks interesting and fun. The top of my list on these fun aspects is the one baddie's attack is shouting obscenities and you have to actually avoid the words.

One of my favorite representations of women was Zoe in Left 4 Dead. She wasn't in skimpy clothes and she was damn badass.


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Often, when I see stuff like this, I feel like I'm being oppressed and hated by women.

I am a lesbian. I like sexy women in the same way that I would like to be sexy. There are no men involved in this equation at any point. Does that make me a horrible person? A lot of feminists seem to say yes.


I don't think it makes you horrible at all.

I also think Hydra shouldn't be ashamed to be a man either.

Signore DF also makes a valid point that the E3 babes should be parted with; what are they really there for? Can't we move on from booth babes, ring girls, and all that other gratuitous stuff? Like I mean really? A semi clad chick with her norks out is really supposed to inspire me to buy a car?

Its funny, I dated a girl that used to do that stuff for a living (ok it was the 90's), and she used to complain all day that the guys just treated her 'like meat', she got a bit terse when I asked her if she really thought she was there for discussion and philosophy. The whole circle just makes me sad.


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The vast majority of video games are marketed toward adolescent and young adult males.

Women in video games often cater to the fantasies of that target group.

If you want to see better female characters in video games the solution is not to go after video game companies, or even to try to educate the current target audience.

The solution is to educate male children who will become the target audience in 5-10 years.

That means better education standards and better parenting.

It's a solid fact that every time the quality and availability of education increases in a society, discrimination, cultural bias, religion and poverty all take a nose dive.


Doomed Hero wrote:

The solution is to educate male children who will become the target audience in 5-10 years.

That means better education standards and better parenting.

As I was thinking, got to get in at school age - prevention being better than trying to cure afterwards.


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To be honest, I find one aspect somewhat puzzling in this. She shows a single screen shot (I have no doubt that there is far more on the youtube site, that's not the problem), and that screenshot contains ONLY hateful remarks except for one positive comment. I have no particularly high thoughts about the brains of anonymous commenters, but it doesn't add up for me. It may be true that this is where some group from a school did some hatemongering together, but seriously, WHERE ARE THE OTHER POSITIVE COMMENTS? Especially since she got such a massive dose of support through pledged money?

I hate to say it, but I smell advertising and sympathy through false flag operations. I hope I am dead wrong. Also, her views in the vlog I have seen have been quite balanced and sane, which means the false flag operation would not have been started by her, but by any number of enthusiastic supporters with more dedication than sense.

Personally, I look forward to seeing the films. It's a very good initiative, and if she maintains or ups the quality I saw, I'll quite enjoy seeing it.

Shadow Lodge

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She also lost me in her "Women in Refrigerators" video when she started to complain about Gwen Stacy being killed of for no other reason than to provide Peter Parker with a more complex and interesting story arc. That pretty much describes EVERY event that occurs in Spider-Man comics, be it for good or for evil. He is, after all, the main character.

I think one of the real issues is ithat if you go into viewing any sort of media with the intention of finding something (whether it be sexism or a good strong moral message, or any of a thousand other things), you aren't really going to have to dig very deep.

Of course, that particular video also lost me right from the outset, when it literally began with the words "I haven't actually read Green Lantern, BUT..."

Her underlying message is good, but some of the ways in which she choese to try to convey it just aren't working for me. None of which excuses the ridiculous and vile comments she's gotten.

One thing I do find hilarious is that apparently some of the more rabid of her detractors have decided to "punish" her by throwing money at the kickstarter so that she'll have to type up their names. Stupidity really is it's own punishment.


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I wonder if she was as upset when Peter's Uncle Ben was killed off. Would that be an old man in a refrigerator?


I supported it today. I only put a buck in, because projects like this tend to very easily become subjective; instead of objective.

If it becomes a subjective, opinionated troll bashing fest; where femfreq somehow uses the negative youtube comments as media fuel... I won't be sad that I lost a dollar.

If it turns out to be a truly objective study about Tropes vs Women, in games... I'll be quite content that I at least gave a dollar.


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Signore di Fortuna wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
Well, it used to be status quo that women wore corsets and the idea of a woman riding a bicycle was scandalous. So that can change.
Women in corsets and not being able to ride bicycles was ubiquitous and an infringement of civil rights. Not many will say that Bayonetta degraded the stature of women.

I know I'm veering off a bit, but bear with me for a minute. I'll throw this under a spoiler to not distract from the main thread of discussion.

Spoiler:

I think the analogy IS more apt than that. Women not being able to VOTE was an infringement of civil rights.

Women were never, on the other hand, legally required to wear corsets--they were just expected to because it made them fit the standards of beauty at the time. Nor were they lawfully prohibited from riding bicycles--just many protested that increasing numbers of them did for two oddly conflicting reasons: one was that it made them unattractive, as it made them sweaty and gave them powerful leg muscles; the other was that they were afraid it would *cough* make a woman aware of her own ability to achieve sexual pleasure because they thought the shape of the bicycle seat and the way you mounted it would do so (this was an era where publicly the female orgasm was referred to as a myth and anything that showed that women were able to attain sexual pleasure on their own was highly discouraged). In the 1890s there were plenty of women who didn't wear corsets or wore modified ones and rode bicycles (the two went hand in hand, as you kind of need to breathe when engaging in cardio), and they weren't legally persecuted. They were socially persecuted, and the media often depicted them as undesirable--different thing.

The corset and bicycle issues were unwritten social standards that entirely revolved around a woman's public image and her sex appeal related to her public image--and more to the point, the idea that a woman's sex appeal is something that's valuable and saleable... but, say, athleticism or strength or comfort or a different standard of beauty is not. And also that women cannot be seen to do things that empower their own sexuality, they exist only for the sexual empowerment of men.

120 years later, the video game industry, while there have been individual improvements, actually is, in its own way, making its own similar statement--that women need to be depicted as a very specific kind of sexy, in certain clothes, and not as strong or powerful or fit because that is socially unappealing. And moreover, that women only exist for the sexual empowerment of male characters or the presumably male player.

It's in a much limited media, but it still boils down to the image of women in the public and an encouraging an image that appeals to an outdated sense of patriarchal values. And my argument was was then, as now, people talking about it, seeing the different points of view --- and seeing women ride their bicycles anyway/play video games anyway and say, "this is what we want" -- that's an important thing to encourage eventual change. Remember that was your original argument -- that the thing wouldn't "change anything." My sense was based on similar discussions of women in the media in the past, that no one single thing will, but anything that sparks a discussion has value.

Hopefully something in that rambling pre-caffeinated mess made sense.

Quote:


I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I think there are less people who see the value of supporting Anita's project versus those who support women's rights as a whole.

Hopefully I'm not being too argumentative either, just trying to clarify a point. The sense I got from you was a bit defeatist and I was trying to point out why defeatism doesn't have to come into this. :)


--But let's say a few things...Entertainment is ESCAPIST. I don't think I need to define that term. Since many, if not most gamers WANT escapism, they want their sexual fantasy filled. By the way, check out the muscle mass on male barbarian type characters,who never wear shirts.
--As for the whole "women didn't feel sexual pleasure before 1960" this does exist, but considering the WHOLE subject of sex was rather hush-hush and the pleasure instinct was/has been rather strong, a ton of 19th century erotica is full of women who admit having pleasure. Sure most of them are portrayed as whores or cheaters, but let's face it. A wife who liked sex was going to be more fun. Also look at Indian and even Muslim sex guides. They make plenty of mention of female pleasure.
--The ancient romans used to murder Christians, and have men fight to the death for escapist entertainment. Now we make violent video games where the women have DD breasts. This sure isn't ideal, but escapist entertainment will never appeal to "the better angels of our nature"
--THIS is however not to support the idiots who can't play a game of d&d without saying "girls are dumb" and staring at the largely-lack-luster-bossoms-of-the-slighty-dumpy-gamer-chic. Such behavior has more to do with the fact that such gamers are profoundly low-self-esteem having, self loathing, miserable men.


Kthulhu wrote:


One thing I do find hilarious is that apparently some of the more rabid of her detractors have decided to "punish" her by throwing money at the kickstarter so that she'll have to type up their names. Stupidity really is it's own punishment.

That might be a cunning sort of counter trolling.

CounterTroll:"hey guys, looks at this [insert nasty gender slur here], we should totally give her money so she has to thank us!"
TrollHoardes:"yeah, thaz a gr8 idea!"*runs of to throw money at the project.
CounterTroll:"my work here is done."

Ofcause, it is probably just stupidity.

Anyway, I have given a token donation. Don't have the money to support the project in a big way, especially when it is doing so well. I don't agree with her across the board, but the margin of difference between us is infinitely smaller than there is between me and the people bringing the abuse.

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