Posts tagged feminism
Posts tagged feminism
"People are perfectly happy to see women as sex objects, but the actual biologic of our bodies is apparently gross and unmentionable."
- Our Bodies, Ourselves.
you know how certain straight men sometimes say they like to play as female characters in video games because “they like to have something nice to look at”
a) that’s disgusting
b) that’s exactly why we need to have more first person games with a protagonist that is specifically (and clearly, so no one can ignore it) a woman, so that those same straight men are forced to identify and prevented from ogling
There has only been five female characters comfirmed playable compared to fifteen male characters.
I’m amazed at those exact numbers because 33% is the point where men will start thinking there’s a majority of women in a group.
Not counting the Pokemon, because they can be either sex.
Male (total: 19)
- Diddy Kong
- Little Mac
- King Dedede
- Toon Link
- Donkey Kong
- Mega Man
- Wii Fit Trainer
Female (total: 6)
- Zero Suit Samus
- Princess Zelda
- Princess Peach
- Wii Fit Trainer
Unknown (total: 2)
- Sheik (source: oh hell no I am not getting into this okay)
- Yoshi (source: here)
Oh yes, Smash is just overrun with female characters :|
Pikachu’s male. Of the Smashmon, he’s the only one from a species that’s both has known sexes and is visibly sexually dimorphic - female Pikachu have a little dent in their tails, so since Smashchu doesn’t he’s presumably male.
So, yeah, totally overrun. :|
If a videogame developer ever tells you they “didn’t show the females of that alien species because they would look awkward”, what they’re really saying is “we’re stupid and sexist and can’t conceive of a female character without a pretty face, boobs and ass, please kick us in the groin, we deserve pain”
I like “semantic squabbling.” I’m using that one.
Just a thing to prove to my mom.
Please reblog if you’re a girl and you don’t shave your legs/arm pits, or you’re a girl who does shave her legs/arm pits, but doesn’t think any the less of others that do not or if you’re a guy who doesn’t care if a girl shaves or not.
If I get enough reblogs, I’ll show this to her, and maybe it will be enough to convince her to stop telling me to be ashamed of my body’s natural functions just because I’m a girl.
hello, welcome to MMORPG!
ah, i see you want to play as a MANTIS!
are you a BOY MANTIS
or a GIRL MANTIS?
Responses in favor of this design have ranged from “OMG HOT!” to “Why does anyone even care?” Well, I care. A lot. As a character designer who pays rent designing, well, characters and a longtime fan of the Metroid series, this has an impact on me and here is why.
First off, I think they’re a ridiculously non-functional design, the next layer of “bikini armor” to her overall design. But oh! Clearly you are just being bitter, don’t I know that these are ROCKET BOOTS that HELP HER KICK ASS?
Show me where, in the current design, you see that they are rocket boots that help her kick ass. Is that you’re first impression with this design? I’m not saying they don’t have that function in-game. I’m saying that the first thing I take away from this 6 inch heel design is that they look like the stripper boots I see in the windows of sex shops and in no way serve her for jumping, running across the ruined wastelands of alien worlds.
Here are two image searches.
Women’s hiking boots:
Of course, I am using two extremes here, but ask yourself, which one looks more like the design she’s sporting and which one would serve a bounty hunter better? I don’t know about you but the second row, 4th image of the stripper boot search is a pretty similar silhouette, eh?
Does she need to be saving the universe in a pair of Crocs and a bathrobe? Nah. Is she going to keep her balance and agility in those ankle-breakers? Nope. Do I believe the current design panders to the lowest common denominator? Yup.
Remember, Samus is not here by accident. Everything she is, does, wears and thinks comes from the imaginations of designers, writers, animators, marketers… thousands of hours of research are put into her costume design. That design is calculated with specific goals and audiences in mind, how could it not be, she is a major branded character for a huge company. As a freshly-minted 34 year old old woman, I am no longer Metroid’s target demo, but that doesn’t make me happy with where Samus has been evolving.
Back on topic. So her heels aren’t suited for the type of work an intergalactic bounty hunter does, you say. So what? If SAMUS can save the universe in 6-inch heels, it MAKES HER EVEN MORE BADASS, right?
No. And that’s just a lazy excuse for a lazy design. If you’re going to place physical restraints and challenges on your hero/heroine, don’t be lazy and do it for the sake of sex appeal, work it into the story or give it context. Such as…
A much better example of being badass despite the odds would be in Fusion when Samus was on the brink of death and compromised throughout most of the game - the level of desperation and panic of being chased by your evil clone was intensified, at least for me, by that extra level of vulnerability. Terminal illness doesn’t get teenage boys hard though (at least, not the ones I’ve ever known…!) so great plot devices like that get thrown away.
"But you’re being mean! Being sexy isn’t bad! Why do you hate being sexy?!"
Sexy is not bad. Stripping is not bad. Wearing sexy boots is not bad. You know what is bad? Pandering is. Being a lazy designer at the cost of catching a wider audience is. A bounty hunter who runs over rugged terrain does not need stripper boots, she needs something with treads and function that can *gasp* still be sexy. I can picture a hybrid boot design that is feminine but rugged, functional but badass. You know what conveys things like “boosters” and “power” and “high jump”? Springs, coils, energy cells, treads, jets… you don’t have to be literal but you also might want to show, not tell, what a prop does.
And now the elephant in the room. "But you get to see Samus in a bikini at the end of like every game! She’s ALWAYS been a sex object! How can you like the other games but hate this design?!"
I’ve know that there’s always been fanservice in the Metroid series, and fanservice doesn’t always rub me the wrong way. It serves as a little reward for beating the game in record time or having found more hidden power-ups before beating it. But that’s what it is, a reward. It isn’t baked into the functional, playable design of Samus, at least, it hasn’t been until the catsuit (which I think makes perfect sense for her to be wearing under her Varia suit, but let’s be fair, wearing the blue catsuit is way she is portrayed the vast majority of the time in promotional material) and now, the stripper boots showed up. Hence why I think this current design is crap.
I am not calling for Samus to be devoid of being a sexual being. She is not an asexual character by any means. It’s just when I see such an obvious design choice of boner-over-function that I get nettled.
Also, understand this. I came from a generation where there were not very many playable female protagonists in video games. Hell, up until I discovered Samus was a girl like me, I only had this to work with:
Though honestly, 6-year old Steph was happy with Toadstool in Mario 2. She had a pretty sweet floaty jump. "AHA! But she did everything in heels too, and you’re ok with her? HYPOCRITE!" Well, maybe? Mario 2 was a level of fantasy and stylization a few notches above Metroid, so I guess I gave it a pass. I suppose too that since Toadstool went from a role of damsel in distress to playable protagonist in Mario 2 that she was at least headed in a more positive direction. It’s still better than her using crying as a weapon in the other Princess Peach game.
Poor design choices and selling out aside, I’ve just been sad in general to see how Samus has devolved over the decades. For me, Samus was the silent protagonist, a relatable heroine because only so much of her was defined and the rest left to your own projection. That was me in that Varia Suit. In Metroid, Metroid II, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, hell even in Metroid Prime we learned more about her history and developed her character but there was still enough left to the imagination that I could still relate, invest and enjoy her and her plight.
Remember this wonderful comic?
Even though artists were getting more specific with her human design, that was still a relatable heroine for me. In no way is this a sexless, woman-posing-as-a-man depiction of Samus, that’s a woman out to kick ass without balloon tits or spike heels. They even made her hair purple, a color not ocurring in nature, which doesn’t alienate as much as a natural color might.
As time went on we saw more of her outside of her suit, but she still felt relatable for me, right up until she developed the angsty backstory with Adam and became the blonde-haired, D-cup heroine she is today. It’s just too obvious and too transparent. This is not my Samus.
Of course a company needs to stay current and evolve as its target demo changes. I’ve designed characters for video games and toys for brands that have been around for decades, so I do, I get that. It doesn’t make me feel better about where Samus is headed and really makes me sad to see her go.
On a final note, I find it ironic that the current design of her booster boots serves neither purpose of stripper or bounty hunter. I want to see some gifs of Samus breaking her ankle while trying to lock on to a space pirate and gifs of her swinging on a pole at a strip club with one of the boots activating and launching her around the pole at breakneck speed. ;)
Female: […] Let’s do some maths. Let’s say there are 20 men in the world, and they each buy a copy of your game for $1. How much money do you make?
Publisher: If any of our investors or accountants are listening, very little indeed. But to humour you, let us say our sales are $20.
Female: Now, imagine if the 20 women in the world also bought your game.
Publisher: We’d make $40. Yes I see what you mean. But you are naive, madam.
Developer: So naive! Ha ha!
Publisher: Because the 20 women would not buy the game.
Developer: No they wouldn’t! Ha ha!
Publisher: Women aren’t interested in games. And that’s why we make games that omit women altogetherrrrrrrrrrr oh my god I’ve just heard the words coming out of my own mouth.
Female: There it is.
Developer: Holy shit. I see it too. Sir, sir – if we make games that don’t treat women like sub-human dust bunnies fit only to be rescued, kidnapped, lusted after or left out of the picture altogether, women might buy more of our games. Maybe – maybe it’s not that women aren’t interested in games, but that our games actively discourage women from enjoying them in preference to literally any other form of media!
Nintendo have so much potential with a tall lady space part-alien warrior and instead they turn her into a sexy little boob woman thing that you see in just about every form of media at some point.
I know some people might say “women can be feminine and still be strong characters/badass!” Yes they can. Yes they absolutely can. But Samus is not one of them. In previous games, as established at some point by some material made for Super Metroid, she’s tall, quite muscular etc. and why can’t she be that? There’s billions of “feminine” women in media, some strong and interesting, some blatantly sexist. Why can’t we have Samus, who has been previously established as a more physically powerful woman, being a bit larger and tougher?
To counter an argument I received months/years ago on a separate post, women can have big boobs and there’s nothing wrong with that. Problem is that Samus’ boobs and butt are not only pretty unrealistic half the time, but if they’re big, there’s a reason for it. And that’s all to do with what some people like looking at. (Why bother with that anyway? Sex sells? Who the fuck is buying a huge nintendo crossover fighting game full of all your favourite childhood characters because one of the bunch has nice breasts?)
And besides, if she isn’t the popular female “feminist icon” who’s a taller, stronger etc. there isn’t really many others who can be that in her place.
So… yeah. I mean, if men can have years of her pleasing their sex fantasies, can’t we have a bit of her pleasing our own power fantasies (and just generally staying in damn character)?
Nintendo’s recent treatment of Metroid in general and Samus in particular is really souring me on the current company, to be honest. Even if it’s different people involved, I worry about spillover into their other franchises. And of course am just plain frustrated over this in ways that are hard to articulate.
A friendly reminder that the War on Women is nothing new. It’s so cute how Republicans keep sputtering “b-b-but we fought for the Civil Rights Act! Democrats are the real bad guys!” and conveniently forget everything that has happened in their party since 1964.
A lot of men (and probably other genders, but mostly men) like to creepily hit on people (usually women) in contexts in which it’s not ok to hit on people. (Eg: on the subway).
Girls start experiencing this before they’re considered old enough for sex ed.
Creepy men regularly do this in a way that’s slightly deniable.
Like sitting way too close. Or asking an almost innocuous thing. And it feels really horrible to be on the receiving end, but it can be hard to put your finger on why. And if you object, the man who started it will try as hard as he can to say you’re being unreasonable. Often, bystanders or people you tell afterwards will empathically agree and tell you he was just being friendly and that didn’t have to be rude.
This is not your fault. It’s not your fault that creepy guys are awful to you, and it’s not your fault that people punish you for refusing to cooperate with their creepy actions.
There is usually no polite way to object. Because they manipulate the rules of politeness so that you have to be rude to say no.
It’s ok to be rude in that situation.
Being in that situation doesn’t mean you’re a rude inconsiderate person. It means you’re asserting an important boundary in the only available way.
Most of these guys know exactly what they are doing. It’s not innocent awkwardness. It’s a different thing. It’s doing something they know they can probably get away with denying that they’ve done.
(People do sometimes do this kind of thing by mistake, too. But it’s not ok then either. And most people who do this, know damn well what they’re doing.)
Women in positions of power are stuck between a rock and a hard place: If they don’t speak up enough on feminist issues, they’re accused of betrayal. If they speak up too much, they’re liable to be mocked, attacked, accused of rocking the boat or being ungrateful. Sandberg does what she can: empowering women while simultaneously keeping the topic in our national discourse. Men can see it and be reminded of it. But now it’s time for men to do their part.
All this is to say that Americans need to spend a little less time criticizing women for doing too little and a lot more time holding men accountable. It’s okay to encourage women to stick with it and to lean in, but the bulk of this conversation needs to focus on getting men to “dig deep” and ask the hard questions of themselves. We need to challenge all men — regardless of their self-identified progressive values — to advocate for women where it really counts: in front of other men.
there is nothing inherently liberating in showing skin
there is nothing inherently liberating in covering up
the liberation lies in the choice