Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

Here I was thinking someone had posted the funny thing I was going to post already, but it was a dead woman's torso all along. These companies really need to stop trying to use art history to justify their tastelessness, because every time they just reveal how little they know of art history.

Anyway, funny thing to lighten the mood: trailer for the horror movie Fake Geek Girl. It could happen to YOOOOOOOOOU!!

Whoops! That's what I get for having the video AND feminism threads open at the same time. Dubstep birdie does NOT belong in this thread!

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Fake Geek Girl video

My favorite comment on youtube: "That's not funny. My brother died that way."

I LOL'd on the "Why else on earth would anyone pretend to read Aquaman comics!?" Because I actually used to.

(In researching a smart-alec joke for this space, I just discovered that you can buy archives of the old Challengers of the Unknown series. OMG! I had a few of these when I was in high school, but I lost them. It's old-school Jack Kirby before he got hooked up with Stan Lee. Truly awesome stuff, particularly if you're an old pulp novel fan. So the joke is on me, and my wallet. )

dejanzie wrote:

My favorite comment on youtube: "That's not funny. My brother died that way." :lol:

momgamer wrote:

I LOL'd on the "Why else on earth would anyone pretend to read Aquaman comics!?" Because I actually used to.

On I09, I felt the winner was "You can tell she's lying, no one likes Booster Gold!" Particularly since my projected summer movie dystopia is that 2018 sees the release of Booster Gold Begins.

Trachalio wrote:

Whoops! That's what I get for having the video AND feminism threads open at the same time. Dubstep birdie does NOT belong in this thread! :)

YES IT GODDAMN WELL DOES.

John Teti's take on the torso is too good to not post here. "It Belongs in a Museum" is really quite brilliant.

Teti wrote:

You could argue that the figure doesn’t deserve consideration as art, because it wasn’t created by an “artist” per se, and Deep Silver didn’t mean to send up the worst impulses of big-budget game studios. But that only makes it better. You’ve heard of outsider art? This is insider art, crafted by forces deep within the beast. The fact that it was meant to showcase the most appealing aspects of Dead Island is the cherry on top of the depravity sundae. It’s rare that we get to bear witness to an expression of awfulness this pure—it’s perfectly ugly. I hope to see it in a museum someday, as a relic of a bygone era.

A friend posted this article on her Facepages thing:

http://www.rolereboot.org/culture-an...

The article includes a link to a Chrome plugin that swaps the gendered pronouns and terms of whatever page you're reading. It makes for some interesting reading, even if what you're reading is already interesting.

I know I've posted them before, possibly on the post a picture thread, but Jim Hines has been lampooning SF covers by replicating the poses himself, for about a year now.

Here's a sample or two:
IMAGE(http://www.sff.net/people/jchines/Pics/Fishnets.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.sff.net/people/jchines/Pics/Bear%20Paw.jpg)

And an article on the BBC News Magazine site.

Hines, a fantasy author, is posing like some of the female characters on science fiction and fantasy book covers he says objectify women.

He gets into character by twisting his body into the same contorted positions as the female characters on the books.

"The way women are portrayed is just so ridiculous, so often, you just stop seeing it," Hines says.

"I think posing has made people see it again - you see how ridiculous it is when a 38-year-old fantasy writer is doing it."

I actually don't find the poses and costumes all that ridiculous. But I could stand to see more male characters in suggestive poses and sexy costumes, and more female characters doing lead protagonist roles (with their male cheesecake sidekicks, of course).

IMAGE(http://i2.wp.com/www.geeksaresexy.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Jim-Hines-1.jpg?resize=600%2C338)
IMAGE(http://i2.wp.com/www.geeksaresexy.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Jim-Hines-2.jpg?resize=600%2C338)
IMAGE(http://i0.wp.com/www.geeksaresexy.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/jim-Hines-3.jpg?resize=600%2C295)

Chances I will not giggle at this and the Hawkeye Project = 0.

Not game related, but this seems like the best thread for it.

Teenage Girl Blossoming Into Beautiful Object

No real point being made here, just an article about a mom being a little heartbroken when her daughter asks for no 'boy toys' at her birthday party because her 5 yr old peers would be there.

http://www.mommyish.com/2013/02/04/e...

I found this commentary on the portrayal of women in Dishonored rather interesting:

http://youtu.be/vRrM3RI0a4I?t=14m57s

There are some Dishonored plot spoilers in there, but I linked to a position in the video that is past the worst of the spoilers.

The bottom line is that most of the women you encounter in this game (after the introductory sequence with the Empress), are either maids or whores. There are a few female plague survivors, but they're mostly atmospheric decorations. The female Loyalist conspirators who are on your side are treated with contempt by their male superiors. None of the women have anything particularly worthwhile to contribute to your quest for revenge.

When you finally do encounter some women who aren't maids or whores, they are a trio of corrupt noble sisters who are targets of the Loyalists because one of them had sex with the evil Lord Regent. Huh? The simplest solution is to just kill all three of them, but the "good" solution to getting rid of the evil Lady Boyle is

Spoiler:

tricking her into joining you in the basement, where you knock her out and hand her off to some male noble who promises to make sure she will never bother you again, because he loves her, and she will have the rest of her life to learn to love him...

Later in the game is an inexplicable scene where you come across one of the Loyalists watching through a keyhole as a woman who he fancies is taking a bath. He sputters an apology, but then after he walks away, you have the option of peering through the keyhole yourself, entering the room, and propositioning or even forcing yourself on her. This scene has absolutely no relation to anything else in the game, it's just a kind of creepy standalone sexual assault simulator.

I guess on the plus side, Dishonored doesn't really sexualize all the women by giving them ridiculous body proportions or skimpy clothing. Well, except for the whores, but even they are dressed relatively modestly by video game standards. But stilll, the overall portrayal of women in the world of Dunwall manages to be pretty sad.

Ugh.

OK. Yes, absolutely on the ugh. Totally, 115% on that.

However, and this sounds like an awfully apologist thing to say, and I'm going to say it anyway, but is there an argument for horrendous sexism in an utterly fictional world? Dishonored does a really good job of passive storytelling by way of it's worldbuilding. Is crushing sexism not in fitting with the oppressive totalitarian regime it depicts? Could that have been an intentional, and artistically valid choice?

(mild Dishonored spoilers)

The initial comment of slut shaming is weird considering that's only one of the three options; depending on your play through the target could be any one of the sisters and only one is the "slut" personality type. I'd say that colored the youtuber's entire view of it actually, because the other two don't talk about sleeping around, one of them is actually quite cold. The spoiler is the case for all of them, but let's keep in mind that:

Spoiler:

Another similar scenario involves cutting out two men's tongues and forcing them into slave labor, and yet another involves marking a person for life and eventually revealing they become a zombie due to the evil plague!

So we aren't exactly dealing with good outcomes for the people you're going up against. I'd even argue against his comment of that as the "good" ending prerequisite; it isn't needed to get the "good" ending at all, you can get that just from not killing too many people, and another achievement from only killing your targets.

And yes, while those non-lethal take downs are needed to get the no kill achievement the things that end up happening to your targets if you don't kill them are consistently worse than death. Which I'm PRETTY sure is kinda the point. You can't have a clean conscience at the end of that game, you've done some horrific things regardless of how you played through it.

His argument regarding Callista in the bathhouse is absurd; if you kill a member of the loyalists game ends with the first message, if you aggro one the members of the loyalists game ends with the second message. Aggro by posession or aggro by jumping on top of their head as he does in the video, it's all the same. That's what they coded for. To think the game designers are trying to equate rape and possession is crazy.

Furthermore that scene has quite a bit of relation to the game; if you talk to Piero and Callista before that point you find out he's been making awkward advances for some time, and Callista is against this. In MY initial play through of Dishonored I ended up berating Piero for looking at Callista in the bath and walked away just fine.

Really, there are flaws with the portrayal of women but the things he brings up are just stupid.

Jonman wrote:

OK. Yes, absolutely on the ugh. Totally, 115% on that.

However, and this sounds like an awfully apologist thing to say, and I'm going to say it anyway, but is there an argument for horrendous sexism in an utterly fictional world? Dishonored does a really good job of passive storytelling by way of it's worldbuilding. Is crushing sexism not in fitting with the oppressive totalitarian regime it depicts? Could that have been an intentional, and artistically valid choice?

Oh, there's absolutely a argument for it, it's mostly just about how you handle it. I know i'm of the opinion that, if you're doing a game about Southern aristocracy in the antebellum South, and everyone acts like they're a member of SNCC, wrongity-wrongity-wrong.

Prederick wrote:
Jonman wrote:

OK. Yes, absolutely on the ugh. Totally, 115% on that.

However, and this sounds like an awfully apologist thing to say, and I'm going to say it anyway, but is there an argument for horrendous sexism in an utterly fictional world? Dishonored does a really good job of passive storytelling by way of it's worldbuilding. Is crushing sexism not in fitting with the oppressive totalitarian regime it depicts? Could that have been an intentional, and artistically valid choice?

Oh, there's absolutely a argument for it, it's mostly just about how you handle it. I know i'm of the opinion that, if you're doing a game about Southern aristocracy in the antebellum South, and everyone acts like they're a member of SNCC, wrongity-wrongity-wrong.

Forgive my foreignness, that one went over my head. My civil rights history is extremely poor - it doesn't get anything like the coverage in high school in England that it does here.

That aside, you seem to be making the argument that depicting everyone from a historical situation behaving monolithic-ally is wrong, and I'll grant you that, but that's not relevant to the idea of Dishonored being a completely fictional world - why couldn't that be a monolithic society? Is that lazy writing or an intentional simplification to ram home the feel of the world?

I don't really have an opinion either way Larry, but you might want to just link that picture instead of posting it--spoilering a picture still makes it show up, and it's still borderline NSFW.

Will do. I did do the first one. Thanks for the tip.

I've been waiting a while to bring this up, but at this point, I've resolved that there's never going to be a right time, and I should just say it. This thread seems to be the best suited for this particular character discussion. This is Zsazsa Zaturnnah, a rather sexily drawn superheroine:

IMAGE(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/13/Zsazsa_Zaturnnah.jpg)

IMAGE(http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs41/f/2009/034/4/a/Zsazsa_Zaturnnah__Orange_Burst_by_carverhouse.jpg)

These are tame. These are kind of more suggestive:

Might be NSFW. I don't really have a clue on where that line is.

Tentaclish and mushroom-ish stuff

Here's her alter ego with her beau:

Zsazsa's Alter Ego Ada with her beau

Please look at these pics as-is, before finding out more about who she is and what her powers are. There is a plausible reason for the ultra-sexy portrayal, though the true reason could just be traditional comic heroine portrayal. It is consistent with her character that she would want to flaunt her femininity in this way when she's in superhero form, and the author is sort of making a point about it. Her alter ego is much more demure.

This kind of confuses me, even though this comic heroine is from my home country. Is this sexism?

For the record, I liked this comic and this heroine a lot.

Uh, does Dishonored really give raping a woman as an option? Because I was considering that game as one to play but I don't think I'm okay with that, no matter how much it might be justified in the setting.

Also, "she's wearing this skimpy costume because she loves to flaunt herself" is the go-to justification for pretty much every female superhero costume in existence so I'm not sure what's special about that one that Larry links.

(If it's not that, it's "she's doing it to distract the male criminals she fights!" In which case, Batman would logically fight with his penis exposed, since that would surely surprise and distract anyone who fights him.)

And once again, it's primarily sexist because every female superhero is that way with almost no exceptions.

Badken wrote:

Later in the game is an inexplicable scene where you come across one of the Loyalists watching through a keyhole as a woman who he fancies is taking a bath. He sputters an apology, but then after he walks away, you have the option of peering through the keyhole yourself, entering the room, and propositioning or even forcing yourself on her. This scene has absolutely no relation to anything else in the game, it's just a kind of creepy standalone sexual assault simulator.

Demyx wrote:

Uh, does Dishonored really give raping a woman as an option?

No, not sure why Badken said that part, it's not an option in the game. The door can be opened, you can proposition but that's the extent of it.

Demyx:

She likes wearing that costume because she's transsexual. Her alter ego is a much-abused transsexual who longs for nothing more than to become female. Zaturnnah is a little much for a drag costume, so I'm not sure how it works out. As herself in normal life, Ada dresses like normal people.

It's certainly not to fight male villains. All of Zsazsa's archenemies are female, so far as I know.

The thing is, Zsazsa's real identity isn't secret to the reader. It's all laid out quite in the open, so I'm not really sure whether or not her blatant sexuality is really meant to titillate straight heterosexual males.

I can see the fervent statement, "But this is the Philippines' most popular superhero!" instantly converting people in comic book stores.

Jonman wrote:

Forgive my foreignness, that one went over my head. My civil rights history is extremely poor - it doesn't get anything like the coverage in high school in England that it does here.

That aside, you seem to be making the argument that depicting everyone from a historical situation behaving monolithic-ally is wrong, and I'll grant you that, but that's not relevant to the idea of Dishonored being a completely fictional world - why couldn't that be a monolithic society? Is that lazy writing or an intentional simplification to ram home the feel of the world?

I'm going to go with lazy, but the worst kind of lazy - it's when you're clearly going for some sort of societal depth by marking that society with a heavy air of female oppression/objectification, but then stopping there. If it was one or two examples of women and it was mentioned kind of as background noise, that'd be one thing. But the writers/producers/whatever put it pretty front-and-center. And when you do that, it's good writing to show that it isn't monolithic. But they didn't. They instead went for an easy road of just throwing it around everywhere without making it interesting or nuanced, just to get a reaction and add superficial depth to a world.

LarryC wrote:

Demyx:

She likes wearing that costume because she's transsexual. Her alter ego is a much-abused transsexual who longs for nothing more than to become female. Zaturnnah is a little much for a drag costume, so I'm not sure how it works out. As herself in normal life, Ada dresses like normal people.

It's certainly not to fight male villains. All of Zsazsa's archenemies are female, so far as I know.

The thing is, Zsazsa's real identity isn't secret to the reader. It's all laid out quite in the open, so I'm not really sure whether or not her blatant sexuality is really meant to titillate straight heterosexual males.

It rings about as legit as Power Girl's "I don't want an emblem on my chest and my cleavage helps distract bad guys".

At the same time, a transsexual superhero, I would say, is kind of a good step for transgenders, and them portraying her with the same respect they would with non-transgendered females... while it's still not great due to the industry's portrayal of females... is kind of a nice step for transsexuals, isn't it?

I dunno. Just shooting from the hip on that.

Yeah, after looking at those photos and doing a little reading, I will say that "Well, but she's transgender!" doesn't really seem to make it less about her being a sexual object. It just seems like a handy excuse to deflect criticism or pretend this is somehow unique. I mean, if someone wants to be a woman who is overly sexualized, that's fine, but that particular matter has been hashed out over and over and over again. The fact she's transgender adds nothing to the particular discussion.