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Thread: Video Tropes vs Women in Video Games

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    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    As Phlogiston pointed out earlier, Dixie Kong is the one exception.
    He did say almost. There are a few characters like Cynthia from Pokemon, Gwen from the Ben 10 series, and Kim Possible who kick some serious *** though.

    But he does have a point. One good thing though is that even if it is a little off topic, the media is producing more shows that shine a strong light on their female leads(such as Scandal and Body Of Proof).
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    Because this is the internet and people need to grow up. Women are already equal to men, however more rights are demanded every day.
    1. That doesn't answer the question.
    2. That's completely wrong. Women are not equal to men. I have no idea where you pulled that out from, but it's false.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
    As long as you still include a good final boss fight, I don't think people will feel cheated by Peach already having been rescued - people are already tired of the kidnapping plot in half the Mario games, after all, and I don't think a change would be unwelcome. That said, Nintendo likes sticking to a formula, so the most resistance would probably come from them. Again, like I said, many people were unhappy with the Mass Effect 3 ending, but plenty of people still love the series, including the last game.
    Fair point, and I guess I'm short selling a lot of folks' tastes a lot. I tend to do that.

    Just wanted to restate this, because I'm sure everyone is going to miss it, and Dragonfree's point is golden. Sarkeesian will not be discussing how tropes affect men, because she isn't interested in or as knowledgeable about male representation and tropes in the media. But you don't have to look very far to see what the narratives we tell say about how we view men as well as women. Tropes are stereotypes help no-one.
    Re-seconding. I was kind of thinking earlier that this is bad for everyone for many reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by marioguy View Post
    As Phlogiston pointed out earlier, Dixie Kong is the one exception.
    Hardly "the one exception." And as much as the pendulum does swing heavily to eye candy, that's not all there is in terms of character designs from a visual perspective for females. There's no argument, of course, that for each Erika you're likely to run into a Fatima, Ivy, or Lilith first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moogles View Post
    First off, video games are subject to criticism. That's just something you need to deal with. I would hardly even call these videos "attacks" though. It's thoughtful discussion on the portrayal of women in video games. She's not saying that video games are responsible for all sexism. It's purely an educational thing, which sadly a lot of people can't understand because their "precious videogames" are getting some commentary in a negative light.

    seriously can't understand how people are crying over this. They sound like oversensitive man children.
    Welcome to heterosexual male culture.

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    Want a list of strong females in video games.
    Samus aran (Metroids)
    Sarah Kerrigan (Star craft)
    Shepard (Mass effects)
    Jade (Beyond good and evil)
    Cortona (Halo)
    Joaana Dark (Perfect dark)
    Dark queen (Battle toads)
    Grundy (Banjo series)
    captain Syrup (Wario)
    Glados, shell (Portal)
    Just to name a few. If you guys still think that women need men to come to there defense the problem is with you not reality.

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    it's funny how you say "just to name a few" because i am incredibly hard pressed to think of any more (also samus aran no longer qualifies after other m, sorry)

    and considering i've been gaming since before you were born that's not a particularly good thing for yr argument
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    Want a list of strong females in video games.
    No, I already know some lmao. That doesn't mean we can't have discussion on those which aren't strong and recognize why how they are portrayed isn't a good thing.

    Sarah Kerrigan (Star craft)
    Didn't she get captured and then get more sexualized through the transformation? Been over 5 years since I've played Starcraft so someone needs to help me out.

    Just to name a few. If you guys still think that women need men to come to there defense the problem is with you not reality.
    Nobody here thinks that women need men to come to their defense. The way that many women are portrayed in video games, however, do need a man to come to their defense. That is where the issue lies, and that is why people like the creator of that video is talking about it.


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    actually wait a minute, did you seriously just try to advance that argument using female!shepard

    the entire goddamn point of that character, either gender, is to give you a blank slate
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    Want a list of strong females in video games.
    We've already gone over how exceptions don't factor into the rule but okay.
    Samus aran (Metroids)
    Not after Other M
    Shepard (Mass effects)
    Meant to be a blank slate for either gender so that doesn't really count.

    Cortona (Halo)
    Not even a woman just a computer program designed to look like a model.

    Dark queen (Battle toads)
    Because a character who appears for 20 total seconds with 20 square inches of clothing is a strong female character.

    Glados, shell (Portal)
    One is an AI, the other has literally no characterization

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with admitting that maybe there might be a gender problem in video games.
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    there's no gender problem in video games - perhaps even anything ever - and if you think there is you're clearly a feminazi or brainwashed

    that was painful to type
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    Want a list of strong females in video games.
    The problem isn't that female characters are always stereotyped, it's just that they commonly are.

    If 50% of the human population got cancer, could we claim it's not a problem just because the other 50% doesn't?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post
    We've already gone over how exceptions don't factor into the rule but okay.


    Not after Other M
    that is your opinion. She didn't need anyone to save her did she?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post


    Meant to be a blank slate for either gender so that doesn't really count.
    When you play a game the character should be a blank state.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post



    Not even a woman just a computer program designed to look like a model.
    Cortona has a personality. Is considered alive in the game, even if artificial.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post



    Because a character who appears for 20 total seconds with 20 square inches of clothing is a strong female character.
    Did you play any of the battle toad games? she makes a lot of appearances.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post



    One is an AI, the other has literally no characterization
    And little caroline is in there two. GLaDos is Caroline, and shell is there daughter who has been traumatized to go through this but refuses to speak a single word to piss GLaDoS and Wheatley off.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post

    Seriously, what the hell is wrong with admitting that maybe there might be a gender problem in video games.
    And why is it so hard to admit that not everyone sees women getting the short end of the stick. I have just as many memories of a good female character as a male character. I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated. I do not look hard enough to find problems when they are not on the surface.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    that is your opinion. She didn't need anyone to save her did she?When you play a game the character should be a blank state. Cortona has a personality. Is considered alive in the game, even if artificial. Did you play any of the battle toad games? she makes a lot of appearances. And little caroline is in there two. GLaDos is Caroline, and shell is there daughter who has been traumatized to go through this but refuses to speak a single word to piss GLaDoS and Wheatley off.
    And why is it so hard to admit that not everyone sees women getting the short end of the stick. I have just as many memories of a good female character as a male character. I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated. I do not look hard enough to find problems when they are not on the surface.
    You seriously can't see that the number of male leads in a video game vastly out numbers females??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moogles View Post
    No, I already know some lmao. That doesn't mean we can't have discussion on those which aren't strong and recognize why how they are portrayed isn't a good thing.



    Didn't she get captured and then get more sexualized through the transformation? Been over 5 years since I've played Starcraft so someone needs to help me out.



    Nobody here thinks that women need men to come to their defense. The way that many women are portrayed in video games, however, do need a man to come to their defense. That is where the issue lies, and that is why people like the creator of that video is talking about it.
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    I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated.
    there's a phrase for what you're describing to us right now, it's called "willful ignorance"
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rkhachatryan View Post
    You seriously can't see that the number of male leads in a video game vastly out numbers females??
    So it is based on numbers and not characters. I will admit there are more boys than girls (The number is shrinking though) but for the most part boys played games more. Now it is nearly even and more female characters are being added.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    that is your opinion. She didn't need anyone to save her did she?
    She needed what's his face to save her from Ridley, and Adam to save her from the Metroid. She also refused to do anything unless Adam told her to.

    When you play a game the character should be a blank state.
    Then that takes away the character being a strong female representative doesn't it?

    Cortona has a personality. Is considered alive in the game, even if artificial.
    Doesn't get rid of the annoying focus on fanservice.
    Did you play any of the battle toad games? she makes a lot of appearances.
    She appears at the beginning of levels to say one sentence or so, while wearing a small amount of skintight clothes. Not helping.
    And little caroline is in there two. GLaDos is Caroline, and shell is there daughter who has been traumatized to go through this but refuses to speak a single word to piss GLaDoS and Wheatley off.
    Glados doesn't really have a human personality, and is more robotic than anything, and Chell doesn't have any characterization in the game. Outside of one little hint we get nothing on her. Just because we get a female character that isn't blatantly bad doesn't make it good.
    And why is it so hard to admit that not everyone sees women getting the short end of the stick. I have just as many memories of a good female character as a male character. I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated. I do not look hard enough to find problems when they are not on the surface.
    That's the problem, it is on the surface, you're just choosing to ignore it. Being ignorant and being optimistic are too completely different things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    So it is based on numbers and not characters. I will admit there are more boys than girls (The number is shrinking though) but for the most part boys played games more. Now it is nearly even and more female characters are being added.
    Yes but being added in a good way and just being added are vastly different.
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    As for why people are complaining, it's their guilt. We should take criticism with a pinch of salt but it's normal to overblow it especially when it's layed onto you like this. We try to defend ourselves in order to remove this guilt but counterarguments just bring it back and make it worse. Me constantly coming back to this thread is enough proof of that. I feel horrid after watching her videos, the feeling that so much of what I adore is plagued with a prideful lust has made me do some crazy things. Worst of all, though I have calmed down, I still feel iffy and aren't able to fully go through something I enjoy without being reminded of all these sexist clichés! We can't interact with common media without feeling guilty which is annoying and that's why we don't like it.

    As an adult male, I can't help the fact that I'm sexually attracted to the female body and I'm certain that many of you feel the same way. The game designers know that and use that to hook you, it's simple marketing and it's usually used in genres that contrast the natural motherly qualities which females possess. Is it right? In the long-term, no but that's business for you, all that matters in the end is money and that's not going to change anytime soon.

    If you're going to get males to stand up against feminism in video games, best bet is to ask them if they mind when these games "mend their sword". As for the damsel in distress being used in these games, they mean little to nothing, they're simple clichés that explain the reason you're on the quest. These videos shouldn't be ignored but should be digested slowly while the delivery doesn't help.

    I still feel awful, I'm going to keep peaking on this thread, read the responses, see the response to my comment and feel guilty, read some more and feel even more guilty, and exit looming with negativity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogeking View Post
    One is an AI, the other has literally no characterization
    I can't tell which you're referring to with which description.


    No but seriously, GLaDOS was a little, er, lacking in personality beyond "be a jerk to everyone else and run them through tests because 'science'." I would hesitate to call her strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    When you play a game the character should be a blank state.
    That kind of makes it impossible to guarantee strength of character, now doesn't it?

    And little caroline is in there two. GLaDos is Caroline, and shell is there daughter who has been traumatized to go through this but refuses to speak a single word to piss GLaDoS and Wheatley off.
    That is all not provable.

    And why is it so hard to admit that not everyone sees women getting the short end of the stick. I have just as many memories of a good female character as a male character. I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated. I do not look hard enough to find problems when they are not on the surface.
    Oh no, it's not hard to see. It's just stupid and those people who do not see women getting shortchanged are willfully ignorant. Also, the problem is on the surface, making matters worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1rkhachatryan View Post
    Yes but being added in a good way and just being added are vastly different.
    This too. There's also the whole matter of, even if there are more decent female characters, the number is such that saying "Problem solved!" over it would be like saying "Statistics show that two less people were gunned down in gang violence this year compared to the average. Problem solved!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParaChomp View Post
    As for why people are complaining, it's their guilt. We should take criticism with a pinch of salt but it's normal to overblow it especially when it's layed onto you like this. We try to defend ourselves in order to remove this guilt but counterarguments just bring it back and make it worse. Me constantly coming back to this thread is enough proof of that. I feel horrid after watching her videos, the feeling that so much of what I adore is plagued with a prideful lust has made me do some crazy things. Worst of all, though I have calmed down, I still feel iffy and aren't able to fully go through something I enjoy without being reminded of all these sexist clichés! We can't interact with common media without feeling guilty which is annoying and that's why we don't like it.

    As an adult male, I can't help the fact that I'm sexually attracted to the female body and I'm certain that many of you feel the same way. The game designers know that and use that to hook you, it's simple marketing and it's usually used in genres that contrast the natural motherly qualities which females possess. Is it right? In the long-term, no but that's business for you, all that matters in the end is money and that's not going to change anytime soon.

    If you're going to get males to stand up against feminism in video games, best bet is to ask them if they mind when these games "mend their sword". As for the damsel in distress being used in these games, they mean little to nothing, they're simple clichés that explain the reason you're on the quest. These videos shouldn't be ignored but should be digested slowly while the delivery doesn't help.

    I still feel awful, I'm going to keep peaking on this thread, read the responses, see the response to my comment and feel guilty, read some more and feel even more guilty, and exit looming with negativity.
    You know she states in the video that you are still allowed to enjoy the games she is talking about. Her isn't to say people who play video games are bad people it's to point out particular things in games that she feels aren't good in representing women. And in hopefully talking about it we can change things for the better.

    This goes for a lot of other people in this thread in a slightly different way. She isn't trying to take your video games away. She is just asking for better representations of women in video games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    Ok look guys I disagree with her statement, but can you let me fill out this life insurance paper out first before you tar and feather me? I guess what upsets me most is that no one stands up for the man anymore. You hear everyone complain about womens rights. Yeah the rights thing may not be perfect but it is not a societal problem. Women get raped in college. I can understand the pain there, Attack that. Women get paid less then men, well that is terrible. But do not bring video games into it. There is many more promising attacks that can be made.
    First of all, feminism helps both men and women. As has been stated numerous times in this thread, the same parts of our patriarchal society that are harmful to women are also harmful for men. It's a double-edged sword that hurts both genders, but effects women the most. White, straight men are the most privileged group in our society.

    Can you please explain to me how women getting raped in college and women getting paid less than men are not societal problems? I'd really like to hear it. And video games are not above sexism. In fact, the video game industry is one of the most sexist forms of media out there.

    Do you know how many times I've rolled my eyes at a female character in a game? How many times I've chosen the male protagonist over the female one when given a choice because I get sick and tired of seeing a half-naked, skinny woman running across my screen? How many times I've been pissed that I just want to make my lady badass and give her plate armor, only to find that that's skimpy as well? How many times I've been harassed in MMOs (which I've been playing for well over a decade so there are numerous incidences) and called a "fat ugly dyke" or a "middle-aged man" for declining an invitation to cyber with some creep?

    Quote Originally Posted by ParaChomp View Post
    As for why people are complaining, it's their guilt. We should take criticism with a pinch of salt but it's normal to overblow it especially when it's layed onto you like this. We try to defend ourselves in order to remove this guilt but counterarguments just bring it back and make it worse. Me constantly coming back to this thread is enough proof of that. I feel horrid after watching her videos, the feeling that so much of what I adore is plagued with a prideful lust has made me do some crazy things. Worst of all, though I have calmed down, I still feel iffy and aren't able to fully go through something I enjoy without being reminded of all these sexist clichés! We can't interact with common media without feeling guilty which is annoying and that's why we don't like it.

    As an adult male, I can't help the fact that I'm sexually attracted to the female body and I'm certain that many of you feel the same way. The game designers know that and use that to hook you, it's simple marketing and it's usually used in genres that contrast the natural motherly qualities which females possess. Is it right? In the long-term, no but that's business for you, all that matters in the end is money and that's not going to change anytime soon.

    If you're going to get males to stand up against feminism in video games, best bet is to ask them if they mind when these games "mend their sword". As for the damsel in distress being used in these games, they mean little to nothing, they're simple clichés that explain the reason you're on the quest. These videos shouldn't be ignored but should be digested slowly while the delivery doesn't help.

    I still feel awful, I'm going to keep peaking on this thread, read the responses, see the response to my comment and feel guilty, read some more and feel even more guilty, and exit looming with negativity.
    No one cares if you feel guilty. That wasn't the point of the video. The point of all of Sarkeesian's videos (if anyone whining about her would actually take the time to watch them) is to promote awareness of sexism in our society. It's not even all about women. She does have a few videos that address how it effects the men in our society as well. I also don't see why people keep complaining that she only addressed the "damsel in distress" trope considering she's already stated she's going to make more videos discussing the other tropes. It's one trope that doesn't show up in every game, but it's still a common one. I know someone in this thread already complained about the games being "old" and outdated because they're mostly from the 80s/90s, but when you think about it, isn't that still an important fact? Consider the fact that most of the people playing games back in that time period are some of the people who play games most heavily now. Many gamers today were playing these games that showed women in a negative, weak light when they were still developing their ideas about society and the world.

    Also, it doesn't matter that you find the female body attractive. Many people, men and women included, find the female form attractive. Attraction isn't the problem. The way the female body is portrayed is the problem. These characters that exist solely for advertising and eye candy are turning the female body into an object, not giving it any personhood at all. That's where the problem lies. Women are not objects put on this earth solely to be the eye candy of men. We are not here to look attractive and please you sexually and considering there are still many men who get upset about women not appreciating being treated like eye candy, this is still a problem. It's not the attraction that's bad, it's the portrayal and the behaviors that develop from that portrayal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ebilly99 View Post
    And why is it so hard to admit that not everyone sees women getting the short end of the stick. I have just as many memories of a good female character as a male character. I guess I just am to much of a optimist to see how badly women are treated. I do not look hard enough to find problems when they are not on the surface.
    This is actually not willful ignorance. This is literally the definition of privilege. This is it, right here: not having to "look hard enough to find problems" because they don't affect you at all.

    Being the default is a luxury. Having to look in order to find problems is not a privilege that many of us have. The problems find us.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    First of all, feminism helps both men and women. As has been stated numerous times in this thread, the same parts of our patriarchal society that are harmful to women are also harmful for men. It's a double-edged sword that hurts both genders, but effects women the most. White, straight men are the most privileged group in our society.

    Can you please explain to me how women getting raped in college and women getting paid less than men are not societal problems? I'd really like to hear it. And video games are not above sexism. In fact, the video game industry is one of the most sexist forms of media out there.

    Do you know how many times I've rolled my eyes at a female character in a game? How many times I've chosen the male protagonist over the female one when given a choice because I get sick and tired of seeing a half-naked, skinny woman running across my screen? How many times I've been pissed that I just want to make my lady badass and give her plate armor, only to find that that's skimpy as well? How many times I've been harassed in MMOs (which I've been playing for well over a decade so there are numerous incidences) and called a "fat ugly dyke" or a "middle-aged man" for declining an invitation to cyber with some creep?



    No one cares if you feel guilty. That wasn't the point of the video. The point of all of Sarkeesian's videos (if anyone whining about her would actually take the time to watch them) is to promote awareness of sexism in our society. It's not even all about women. She does have a few videos that address how it effects the men in our society as well. I also don't see why people keep complaining that she only addressed the "damsel in distress" trope considering she's already stated she's going to make more videos discussing the other tropes. It's one trope that doesn't show up in every game, but it's still a common one. I know someone in this thread already complained about the games being "old" and outdated because they're mostly from the 80s/90s, but when you think about it, isn't that still an important fact? Consider the fact that most of the people playing games back in that time period are some of the people who play games most heavily now. Many gamers today were playing these games that showed women in a negative, weak light when they were still developing their ideas about society and the world.

    Also, it doesn't matter that you find the female body attractive. Many people, men and women included, find the female form attractive. Attraction isn't the problem. The way the female body is portrayed is the problem. These characters that exist solely for advertising and eye candy are turning the female body into an object, not giving it any personhood at all. That's where the problem lies. Women are not objects put on this earth solely to be the eye candy of men. We are not here to look attractive and please you sexually and considering there are still many men who get upset about women not appreciating being treated like eye candy, this is still a problem. It's not the attraction that's bad, it's the portrayal and the behaviors that develop from that portrayal.
    That's a little harsh lol, he's allowed to feel guilty. I did a little too after watching it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1rkhachatryan View Post
    That's a little harsh lol, he's allowed to feel guilty. I did a little too after watching it.
    Feeling guilty isn't enough, especially if someone is going to feel guilty and continue to objectify people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
    If you want to, sure, but they should stop being so surprised whenever there's a backlash against those decisions. At a certain point, it's time to rethink your decades-old strategy.
    Yeah but that's not the point. You criticised someone because they stated that private companies creating a product which they are seeking to make a profit from have a right to dismiss a potential market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pesky Persian View Post
    First of all, feminism helps both men and women. As has been stated numerous times in this thread, the same parts of our patriarchal society that are harmful to women are also harmful for men. It's a double-edged sword that hurts both genders, but effects women the most. White, straight men are the most privileged group in our society.
    Saudi Arabia is a patriarchal society. We (let's take it as the West minus South Africa and Africa in general, which isn't a great or absolute definition, but it's a start.) are not. It's like saying we're a "racist" society. A "homophobic" society. Just because strands of said thing exist in a society does not make it a defining characteristic. That's a major problem with Sarkeesian's arguments. She simply assumes that her points will be taken on the basis that we live in a "patriarchy". A "patriarchy" which (AFAIK) she has never properly established or defined as the basis from which she makes her arguments. She simply takes it as a given and goes from there. I take the argument that these are youtube videos not a thesis but it's still a major problem with her videos.
    Last edited by Snorunt conservationist; 19th March 2013 at 7:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snorunt conservationist View Post

    Saudi Arabia is a patriarchal society. We (let's take it as the English-speaking West minus South Africa and Africa in general) are not. It's like saying we're a "racist" society. A "homophobic" society. Just because strands of said thing exist in a society does not make it a defining characteristic. That's a major problem with Sarkeesian's arguments. She simply assumes that her points will be taken on the basis that we live in a "patriarchy". A "patriarchy" which (AFAIK) she has never properly established or defined as the basis from which she makes her arguments. She simply takes it as a given and goes from there. I take the argument that these are youtube videos not a thesis but it's still a major problem with her videos.
    Just because women have rights in this society doesn't mean it isn't patriarchal. Men still hold the vast majority of positions of power in American society. Hell, even when we do have a woman who even runs for a position of power, she's mocked for it because there's still this pervasive idea that women can't be successful leaders.

    paˇtriˇarˇchy
    noun \-ˌär-kē\
    plural paˇtriˇarˇchies
    Definition of PATRIARCHY
    1
    : social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly : control by men of a disproportionately large share of power
    Tell me again how America doesn't fall into this definition.
    Last edited by Pesky Persian; 19th March 2013 at 6:39 PM.

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