Feminism Catch-All (with FAQ)

Don't know if you want this in here or not, but as this thread spun out of the Sarkesian thread, I thought it apropos. If that's not so, I can remove it:

Naturally, the decision to close comments on youtube were met with very obvious comments elsewhere, like Kotaku--it's "cowardly," using a "bully pulpit," which is too bad because these vids are so "flawed." As the point of the vids are "these tropes exist," and they pretty undeniably exist, I'm not sure how they can be flawed in saying they exist. Me, I think these are a pretty great catalog of very obvious things that are obviously not so obvious to some.

Also note that the video is currently unavailable because the obvious suspects did a bunch of ToS violation reports. Whee.

Edit: Tangleboneshausered.

Hypatian wrote:

Also note that the video is currently unavailable because the obvious suspects did a bunch of ToS violation reports. Whee.

Edit: Tangleboneshausered. :D

Just Tanglehausered is OK

Also, here's a link to the transcript in the meanwhile:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/201...

Tanglebones wrote:

Apparently the Reddit/4Chan forces got it pulled for ToS violations by concentrated attack on the flag video feature. It'll be back when Youtube puts it back.

Hypatian wrote:

Also note that the video is currently unavailable because the obvious suspects did a bunch of ToS violation reports. Whee.

Edit: Tangleboneshausered. :D

That's goddamned pathetic. But jokes on you Reddit/4Chan lichens, I started the vid before you could get the Dorito dust off your keys to strike!

Anyway, hopefully it's back soon.

I've been too busy lately to drop another epistle-length response here, but I think it's a great video and am continually impressed by Anita's work. BE BACK SOON. Carry on.

Great transcript. Hope to see the video soon. I think the BL2 mention is incorrect.

Thanks for the transcript, Tanglebones!! Some on the elements brought up in it are... disturbing. I have a suspicion that watching the video (with the clips) will deliver full impact, though.
She's definitely done extensive research on the matter, she deserves props for that! But what she uncovers... *sigh*

When she drives home the ubiquity of these tropes, it gets very uncomfortable.

And damn -- I knew I'd been out of the AAA title market for awhile, but games have gotten *gory.*

Drifting a bit further off topic, but I'm going to share these here as well because, well, somebody should...

http://on.ted.com/JacksonKatz

Got some dust in my eye. Gimme a moment.

A couple thoughts came up from that other thread, and I wanted to not entirely delete them. Because I'm self-important that way.

Re: "Male sexism"

Gender stereotypes hurt us all. Being told that all women should be treated by one way also dictates the ways in which men can relate to women. Talking about the unthoughtful ways that women are portrayed is just looking at one side of the coin. It's entirely fair to also look at the other side of the coin, but it's wrong to assert that the sexism against males is "worse." One side of the coin may be more direct or less diffused, but when dealing with gender as a simple dichotomy (which it isn't), you can't portray one side without also saying something about the other side.

That said, the other side of the coin is, as has been said, outside the given scope of the discussion of the latest Feminist Freq. video. At best, she can gesture at it as worth talking about; and there's nothing stopping someone from discussion the problematic representations of masculinity in games as a companion piece.

Re: Why it's important (why the latest FF video spoke briefly about sexual abuse outside of games)

I believe the video brings up the broader culture in which games are made and played as part of showing why it's important to pay attention to these issues. As she says, there's no insinuation that developers are intentionally mischaracterizing genders, but that developers (as well as audiences) can and ought to pay more attention because of the way gender is misunderstood and abused in the cultures that play video games.

I really do not think, if that is indeed her intent, that it is clear(from her mini and full videos) that her aim is at how games and other media are a reflection of the general cultural place and treatment of women. I see just as much, if not more, indicating how entertainment media informs the culture on the place of women, the roles of women, even allusions to media affecting individual or group behavior. And while she is not alone, on the internet, with muddying the point tangentially, it does have the effect of distracting me and other viewers. I then get responded to as if I was being deliberately obtuse.

KingGorilla wrote:

I really do not think, if that is indeed her intent, that it is clear(from her mini and full videos) that her aim is at how games and other media are a reflection of the general cultural place and treatment of women. I see just as much, if not more, indicating how entertainment media informs the culture on the place of women, the roles of women, even allusions to media affecting individual or group behavior. And while she is not alone, on the internet, with muddying the point tangentially, it does have the effect of distracting me and other viewers. I then get responded to as if I was being deliberately obtuse.

This is a false dichotomy. Games (and media as a whole) are both a reflection of the general culture norms and capable of informing that culture on what those norms should be or are. This dual role of the art we create is pretty much accepted in media theorist circles.

source: my partner is a media theorist.

DanB wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

I really do not think, if that is indeed her intent, that it is clear(from her mini and full videos) that her aim is at how games and other media are a reflection of the general cultural place and treatment of women. I see just as much, if not more, indicating how entertainment media informs the culture on the place of women, the roles of women, even allusions to media affecting individual or group behavior. And while she is not alone, on the internet, with muddying the point tangentially, it does have the effect of distracting me and other viewers. I then get responded to as if I was being deliberately obtuse.

This is a false dichotomy. Games (and media as a whole) are both a reflection of the general culture norms and capable of informing that culture on what those norms should be or are. This dual role of the art we create is pretty much accepted in media theorist circles.

source: my partner is a media theorist.

Yep, it goes both ways--a bit like a conversation. (Which is why people say both that art imitates life and that life imitates art.)

I'm currently struggling with two fairly different but very intense issues. But, I want to offern an overdue thank you.

Hypatian wrote:

I read a lot of stuff about gender issues, and I see a lot of hurtful sh*t from both sides. As an example, both many MRAs and many radical feminists claim that trans women are really just men. And, yeah, neither one of those groups gets it at all.

You're not alone feeling like you need to dodge poison from both sides. The polarization and fighting has, at almost all times, left me feeling very isolated. It feels very much like they say certain people can't exist, don't matter, or shouldn't exist.

The point is, you are so far from alone. Also, they're wrong.

Normally this is the time to lament, "If only someone offered something better." Normally.

Hypatian wrote:

But at the end of the day, all I can really come back to is the idea that everybody should be treated equally. Everybody should be held to the same standards. Everybody should be shown the same respect.

And I can't see anything to call that other than feminism. I can't see any path better than to spend more effort on upholding the rights of women first and foremost, simply because everything else is... smaller.

...

And yeah, that's not perfect. It's just... the best I can do.

I'm 99.9% sure you know it's not smaller to any person going through it. I just want to say it out loud.

I don't think your conclusion of "feminism" is a bad thing either. It's not my conclusion, but it doesn't have to be. I also don't think it's in any way imperfect. It looks like a place to focus your knowledge and experience. If this is where you view your strength and this is where you can reach out to others, then that has to be the best place to begin. It appears you're already off to a great start.

You have eschewed the hurtful sh*t found elsewhere in favor of inclusion and education. You have offered that something better. I've not only learned some things that were lost to the online screaming match, but I can say that what hit close to home - for once - was uplifting.

Thank you for including everyone into this conversation. It's what the conversation seems to need the most.

This is amusing/depressing http://i.imgur.com/VUIXl1W.jpg

I agree wholeheartedly with DanB. Any form of extremism is bad, and if MRAs and radical feminists can try to understand trans women and put themselves in their shoes (granted you never fully understand what you don't undergo, but ffs, you can at least try - it's called empathy), well then they're doing it wrong.

DanB wrote:

This is amusing/depressing http://i.imgur.com/VUIXl1W.jpg

I was caught in what I have now dubbed the cringelaugh.

MrAndrewJ wrote:

I'm currently struggling with two fairly different but very intense issues. But, I want to offern an overdue thank you.

Hypatian wrote:

I read a lot of stuff about gender issues, and I see a lot of hurtful sh*t from both sides. As an example, both many MRAs and many radical feminists claim that trans women are really just men. And, yeah, neither one of those groups gets it at all.

You're not alone feeling like you need to dodge poison from both sides. The polarization and fighting has, at almost all times, left me feeling very isolated. It feels very much like they say certain people can't exist, don't matter, or shouldn't exist.

The point is, you are so far from alone. Also, they're wrong.

Normally this is the time to lament, "If only someone offered something better." Normally.

Really minor comment here but my stance is that any "radical feminist" that rejects trans women is sufficiently reactionary that they can't and shouldn't be described as radical. There's nothing Radical about accepting the status quo.

DanB wrote:

This is amusing/depressing http://i.imgur.com/VUIXl1W.jpg

Further sighs/lols
http://i.imgur.com/HxKxthD.jpg

So I went to a Star Trek convention in Boston last weekend, and the whole thing was shockingly sexist. The host (Adam Malin, one of the cofounders of Creation) seemed to treat every woman he saw as eye candy first & foremost. All the actresses were some variation of "beautiful and talented" and numerous comments were made about their looks and how he had a major crush on them. During the costume contest, every woman got a comment from him on how attractive/smokin/gorgeous they were (in fairness, he did treat several of the men in the costume contest similarly).
The main event was a panel with most of the cast of The Next Generation, with William Shatner hosting to make up for Patrick Stewart & Jonathan Frakes having to cancel. One of the question asked of the female members of The Next Generation cast was if they thought their characters (or their approach to playing them) would be different if Next Gen started today instead of 25 years ago.

Marina Sirtis thought it would be just the same because it'd still be a show set in the 24th century made almost entirely by men from the 20th/21st century.

Denise Crosby thought that she would play her character largely the same, but that she wouldn't stand for the kind of crap she went through back then, though that's mostly due to her being 25 years older and wiser, and not due to the overall atmosphere for young actresses being any better.

Gates McFadden never got to answer since the William Shatner jumped in During Crosby's answer and employed most of the stereotypical methods of changing/minimizing the discussion.

After Crosby said she wouldn't stand for what she went through then, Shatner asked for examples. Among the ones she gave was that a producer told her to "stick her tits out more" during a costume fitting, which Shatner latched on to since it gave him an excuse to keep repeating "stick your tits out" to her. He then argued that as an actor, if a producer tells her to stick her tits out, then she should stick her tits out since that's the job she'd been hired for. He then tried to open up the question to a more general "how would your character be different if Next Gen was done now" and asked the men on stage if their characters would be different, skipping over Gates entirely. It didn't work though as the men on stage didn't even try to continue the derail and let Crosby take the focus back. When she got an applause for saying that she would have stood up for herself a lot more if she knew then what she knows now, he dismissed it by saying that the only people clapping were other women (I was waving my hands, but I guess I was too far back for him to see :eyeroll:). He then moved on to a different question.

I'd read that Shatner was an ass before, but that really drove it home. It also didn't help that he asked LeVar Burton how he felt as a black man during the shooting of Code of Honor as if he was the only black cast member, completely ignoring Michael Dorn who was sitting right next to him.

I saw this letter to Microsoft about their E3 shenannigans and thought it might add something to the conversation. I really appreciate how articulate the letter is, specifying particular actions and not lumping them together under useless terms like "offensive" (Giving offense itself is not a crime, but lots of crimes give offense.) Brava Cynthia Sharpe, brava.

Cynthia Sharpe wrote:

IMAGE(https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/v/p526x296/912903_10152785833945176_1301490042_n.jpg?oh=66db1dfe1cb760ce59b65c3fd66aa89b&oe=51BBF56D&__gda__=1371302138_fd7eae5883cf9167eb728faf59f32a96)Dear Microsoft,

I'm a gamer. I'm a gamer who happens to rock 2 X chromosomes. I have owned a computer since I was 5. I'm 40 now, so you can calculate just how freaking much of an early adopter family I'm part of. My husband is also a gamer and, perhaps unsurprisingly, so is our 10 year old son. Name the type of game, and we own it. From FPS to sandbox, side scroller to MMORPG, and just about everything in between. Our kid is part of the hyper wired generation, and while he can't freakin remember to use shampoo when he showers, he remembers the screen names of every single one of his friends.

This 'holiday season', we'll be buying a new console. But it's going to be an upgrade of our PS. Because much as I, an experience designer, would love to get my mitts on a Kinect system, there is no way I am supporting your Interactive Entertainment Division by buying an Xbox. Guess what- it's not about digital rights. It's not about the short-sightedness of the mandatory online authentication, or the lack of back compatibility.

It's about that division's attitude towards women. Because as if perpetuating the stereotype of ha hah, women gamers, they suck, by setting a vastly unprepared female employee up against a producer wasn't belittling enough; as if having a cavalcade of trailers without female protagonists wasn't exclusionary enough; the rape crack he made certainly was horrible enough. I have a big enough fight on my hands vis-a-vis the rape culture, and raising a boy to be aware of what male privilege is, and arming him to never, ever perpetuate that kind of absolute bullsh*t. I don't need to give money to a corporation that puts rape culture, puts anti-woman culture, right there, in the middle of the biggest forum they have.

"Yesterday, during the Xbox E3 briefing, one of our employees made an off the cuff and inappropriate comment while demoing 'Killer Instinct' with another employee." The fact that your employee felt it was fine to make that kind of comment in the first place speaks volumes about your attitude towards 47% of the market.

Look at this kid in the picture. I've already told him why we will not be getting an Xbox this year. His response?

"I wouldn't want to give them money anyway, if they think it's okay to make fun of women because they're women."

With an absolute lack of respect,
Cyn

PS: One small bright spot: with that 'off the cuff' and 'offensive' comment, you may have actually found a way to supplant Clippy as my most despised Microsoft entity.

IMAGE(http://cdn.lastangryfan.com/wp-content/uploads/citizen-kane-clapping.gif)

I'm sorry, but I have no words. What that women did... Absolutely perfect. Great reaction from here, I love her letter, and I love that she's raising her son the way I dream of raising mine.

And the Clippy burn as a cherry on top.

Great letter.

I was looking over the list of games that was shown by each developer for a different discussion and MS was really, really light on showing any women at all.

Looking over the list and recalling what was shown, I'm not sure a single woman was shown in any trailer there. None of the games have female protagonists and I don't think there was even one that let you choose gender. (Halo multiplayer may allow a woman, and Below had a character of indeterminate gender).

Sony showed female protagonists in Transistor and Beyond: Two Souls. The Last of Us and Rain prominently feature female co-protagonists (as far as I can tell). The PS4 version of Assassin's Creed IV will feature a mission where you play a woman. Diablo III, Don't Starve, Final Fantasy XIV and Elder Scrolls Online are all games where you can choose to play a woman (possibly more, I'm not super familiar with every game shown).

Nintendo showed Bayonetta 2 and a number of games where playing as a female character is an option: Pokemon X/Y, Super Mario 3D World (finally replacing the second Toad with Peach), Mario Kart 8, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Smash Bros. 4. (Probably Wonderful 101 as well, I wasn't clear on that point though). That's a good amount!

EDIT: I'm not saying none of these games are problematic *cough*Bayonetta*cough*, just making a comparison of how many women were featured on screen at the press events.

Many of you may find this shallow/stupid, but that letter actually changed my mind about which console I would get. I didn't like the rape comment but I was still planning on getting the Xbox 1 for a few different reasons, but when she put it in that type of context...I don't think I can justify a 500 dollar purchase to a company that drops a hugely damaging comment in such a blase manner.

So...good on you, Cyn. Your words affected Microsoft for at least 500 dollars.

The rape reference in the MS conference and the reaction to those who, ahem, DARED to call it out disgusted me to the point where I completely ignored MS while I was up in LA. Sorry, I don't need your rape culture. Keep your fanboy defense force too.

Seth wrote:

Many of you may find this shallow/stupid, but that letter actually changed my mind about which console I would get. I didn't like the rape comment but I was still planning on getting the Xbox 1 for a few different reasons, but when she put it in that type of context...I don't think I can justify a 500 dollar purchase to a company that drops a hugely damaging comment in such a blase manner.

So...good on you, Cyn. Your words affected Microsoft for at least 500 dollars.

Not to belittle the awesomeness of the letter, but I can't help but feel that tarring the entirety of the Xbox division because one employee was very publicly (and to be fair, completely unscripted-ly) a f***ing moron is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I would imagine (and hope) that there are professional repercussions for the guy, and I applaud the letter writer for reaching out to MS to tell them in no short order what a screw-up that was.

However, am I to believe that every member of Sony's Playstation team are paragons of feminism? That there aren't just as many misogynistic morons working there too? Or rather than Sony did a better job of managing which of their mouthpieces they put in front of the cameras?

Ultimately though, horses for courses - if that screw-up changes how you feel about the whole corporation, then you get on with your bad self, and enjoy the hell out of your PS4.

I've never really felt that Microsoft "gets" gamers (of the older school kind) so their XBox business has never especially appealed to me. I was already kind of of the opinion that the XBone wouldn't be for me but this latest round of rapey awfulness has totally sealed that deal.

Yeah. That's the other side of it, Jonman, and why I would accept accusations of being called shallow. From one perspective, I feel like I'm punishing a whole lot of innocent people for the behavior of one moron. The other perspective is that other than withholding my dollars, I don't know how else to effectively communicate my feelings.

Seth wrote:

Yeah. That's the other side of it, Jonman, and why I would accept accusations of being called shallow. From one perspective, I feel like I'm punishing a whole lot of innocent people for the behavior of one moron. The other perspective is that other than withholding my dollars, I don't know how else to effectively communicate my feelings.

Yeah, that also occurred to me that "voting with your wallet" is the only vote you have.

Although that said, a letter like the one posted upthread would likely have a bigger impact that a lost sale, as there's no way for that lost sale to be detected, let alone traced back to this incident.

Either way, I wouldn't call it shallow by any stretch, just maybe an ineffective way to communicate what you want to the corporation.