I posted this on Reddit a few days ago in response to a discussion about the RPS article about misogyny in video games in r/teamfortresstwox. I felt like I should post it on here.
Comments like this one which fail to take ownership that the whole industry has a major problem with dealing with anyone that isn’t a hetrosexual white male make me angry. It makes me angrier when these inequalities are pointed out and whoever makes these comments get marginalised, harassed and dismissed. Either you’re a stuck up bitch with sand in your vagina or a fat try hard whiteknighting male. What?!
Pyro62S made an excellent comment here:
What we actually want is a variety of female characters in games of all personalities and body types, so that women aren’t portrayed almost exclusively as subordinate sex objects.
Yes you could argue that every other media does this so what makes video games so special?! Well, we’re supposed to be better than this. Geeks, Nerds, Freaks, Weirdos, Dorks we were the ones bullied, marginalised, taunted at school. We’re the ones who found solitude in gaming, or whatever fandom and special interest we had. So how can we now not include everyone? When we know how painful it is to be on the outside taunted for something you love. So how can we then become the bullies?
I read an interesting blog post here about the types of women that appear in media. When we say, “Why can’t we have a strong female character?” we often get an overly strong, but still hypersexualised woman. Again nothing wrong with that, but that often seems like we get, ‘damsel-in-distress-reason-for-conflict-prize-props-with-no-development-outside-of-the male-protagonist or we get the super-can-do-everything-while-sexing-everyone female character told that we should be happy. Well, I want more. I want variety! I want there to be a time where designers and developers can make a female their main character without facing studio rage and budget cuts.
I’m so over this being an issue, I’m so over things like:
- Women in Refrigerators.
- Women going to conventions dressed as their favourite characters and told they’re there to teaze the poor menz and are all sluts who have probably never read or watched the source material.
- Cosplay = Consent to be harassed.
- Fat, Ugly or Slutty.
This is 2013! How can things like this be okay? Companies like EA care about profits, so the more we talk about it, the more we vote with our wallets, the more we do to remind people that hey, “THIS IS NOT FREAKING OKAY”, the better it will be. Maybe not for us, but our daughters, nieces, sisters.
It’s easy to stop talking about these issues because we’ve found nice communities that don’t care if we have boobs, or that we’re gay, or that we’re a minority. Like it or not, we are part of a larger community that for the most part looks nothing like us and often begrudgingly caters to us. So let’s not stop the dialogue, let’s keep talking and fighting for some kind of change.
At this point, if I say nothing it seems like I agree, if I say something I’m a raging overly emotional crazy bitch. Either way I lose, so why not speak up?