Talking Misogyny: Rescuing Lovers vs. Reclaiming Possessions

Do damsels in distress represent objectified possessions that must be won as Anita Sarkeesian suggests in her "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" series? Or is there an underlying aspect of love that makes these Rescue The Princess stories much less misogynistic than they may seem on the surface level? Always the lover, Gamers Association editor Luke Frazier argues for the latter.

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admiralvic1898d ago

Sigh~ I really hope this isn't the next big hot button topic that 20+ sites have to weigh in their opinion on. Please, give me more Simcity hate or even the ____ console is dead topics are better than this...

Anyway, this is one of the better articles I've read on N4G, which surprised me. With this being said, I've always thought of this trope as the lazy out of story telling. Ignoring all of the stories theme, depth, and details, it's commonly used simply because it doesn't require a lot of effort to do. You have 2 characters and the antagonist one is obviously the person that took something from you, from here you have the very simple motivation needed to justify the events of the story.

Sadly some people want to over think these things and imply negative connotations to them. * Let me start by saying, despite having posted my 2 cents in all of these topics so far, I've yet to watch said video and will continue to do so as to not support it. *The first problem with this is the fact of "ownership" the author mentions she talks about. Typically the hero is just a righteous character that is doing this out of DUTY, not greed / selfish desire or anything of the sort. I never got the impression that Mario, Link or any other character in this theme was fighting to reclaim what was THEIR property, it was just the right thing to do. Additionally we've seen some stories put a spin on this classic trope, like Sheik being Zelda in OoT. I wouldn't say Zelda really NEEDED Links help in that story (to be fair she probably helped him more than her...) and guess what, that's also among (if not the) most popular Zelda game to date.

As I've said in other articles, I can understand / respect she wants to make things "better", topics like DiD in stories is an overly generic and weak argument. Typically this wouldn't mean a lot, but when you attack a tired issue with one of the most tired arguments as your first step for change, it doesn't imply that the future installments will be that bright.

Wenis1898d ago (Edited 1898d ago )

Its interesting that we always hear how aweful it is when video games stereotype women, yet we never hear anything when the same is done to men.

Look at Duke Nukem, portraying men as being overly muscular studs who only think about killing things and sex. And look at Gears of War, the men are again portrayed as overly muscular bros who are all about killing. As a man I find this SO offensive. Actually I don't because I know its just a game so I don't get my panties in a bunch over it.

But when we get a zombie in a bikini.. SOUND THE ALARMS

Ravenor1898d ago

Hey that plastic gross looking torso was all about men objectifying women...and Bikini's...somehow.

Both genders get stereotyped and portrayed in often very inaccurate ways. Both genders "Objectify" in the sense that just as a man may desire a women, women generally have some male person in their lives that make them tingle.

The demonizing of male attention is not a healthy way to bring attention to silent victims of Sexual assault. For years what kept victims of these s silent was "Slut Shaming" the idea that a sexual assault was the victims fault, that issue was largely created and propagated by WOMEN (Not 100% but a large factor in it).

Oh is this article about Anita Sarkeesian and her ridiculous tropes argument? Does she ever bring up Samus Aran and how amazing that character is? Focusing in on the damsel in distress trope at a time when story telling in console games was incredibly basic just seems like cherry picking.

yog-sothot1898d ago

In my opinion, the "Duke Nukem cliché" is not the same stereotype applied to men, because being a muscular badass is mainly a male fantasy (even though it may offend you, it is clearly made to please men and not women), exactly as is the damsel in distress.

TopDudeMan1898d ago

Some might say that the woman in the video is reinforcing the same stereotypes by covering her face in make-up and wearing massive hoop earings.

Feminism is something I can never really come to terms with. How can you really say another race or sex has it better when you've never grown up and lived as the other half?

I agree with wenis. Stereotypes are everywhere. Everyone has to deal with them, Making a video whining about them is not going to defy them.

When I play a game, sure, it's refreshing to play as a female protagonist, but I, personally like to put myself in the game. Developers know that the majority of gamers are male, so that is why there are more male protagonists.

TopDudeMan1898d ago

Also, what this woman is saying is that if she's ever in need of rescuing- don't do it. It'll just offend her.

admiralvic1897d ago

Yup, though I would go a step further and point out that the DiD trope can be taken 2 ways...

1) As a sexist trope that only applies to women and is limited to women because of whatever reason.
2) Speaking in terms of story structure, the DiD story could apply to virtually any story that involves you fighting a villain to rescue something be it male or female. I suppose this is where I fail to understand the argument, since I look at it in terms of nuts and bolts.

Either way, I can vaguely understand where she's coming from, but in COMPLETE honesty, I would like to know how many people actually look at these things in the light she portrays them in. I suspect a lot of the "hate" and disagreements these "righteous" people face isn't due to hate, but simply not reading into things. Like I never thought about Mario saving Peach during Super Mario Bros., I just played the game. I suspect a lot of people feel more like me and in turn simply don't understand where she's coming from.

arbitor3651898d ago

i dont see the mario games like mario is "rescuing his object." if anything, he is getting the **** end of the stick. he is clearly getting friendzoned by peach. he saves her in every game and what does she do? she bakes him a cake.

ShaunCameron1898d ago

It figures. Peach is attracted to "bad boys". And Mario is a "nice guy". At least he managed to get a kiss from her once.

PeaSFor1898d ago

someone know if there's some sort of bug spray to keep Anita Sarkeesian away from gaming medias?

Megaton1898d ago (Edited 1898d ago )

Feminists give women a bad name. Like vegans and vegetables. Or hippies and weed.

NoPoint1898d ago

Again, why should we care what a feminist has to say? It's only a video game. It's not like video games don't stereotype men too. It goes both ways. I can't believe people are actually giving this chick attention.

Megaton1898d ago

Agreed. Had no idea who this person even was until N4G got its panties in a wad over her. They've delivered her a resounding victory on a platter by talking about her so much.

admiralvic1897d ago

Actually, I would say the N4G attention is quite negative and might give her views, but her goal isn't views, it's to resolve the problem, which everything I've read suggests that she's failing at.

According to what others have said, she blocked comments on her videos. While I will assume it's to not hear trolls / idiots complain about her, it also prevents her from taking feedback / knowing how things are being received and ultimately shows that you don't care about your message.

Additionally, a lot of people remember her from Kickstarter (something I learned when I first saw this video) where she asked for 6,000 to do this. Now truth be told, I don't exactly know what about this mission requires support, since I could see her at most needing a few hundred for a camcorder. Ultimately she got 150,000+ for her mission, so people are expecting a lot from her and it WILL be a big thing people use to discredit her, since some people put a lot of faith in her.

Finally, it seems none of the comments really take her side and even the positive ones just say they understand where she's coming from. So if she isn't getting people to change or even care about what she has to say, then she's ultimately failing.

rainslacker1897d ago

Not all feminist are like this. Some actually do work for positive change in the interest of equal rights for women.

Others ignore society as a whole and work towards special rights, which only segregates women more from society because they are counter-productive to the broader women's rights movement.

Using story tropes as a proof for underlying misogynistic views within the games industry serves no purpose. To effect real change you have to look at the actual industry and who it's made up of, how women are treated in the industry, and where to go from there. There are certainly more pressing issues to resolve than the DiD scenario, and it is the most shallow of ways to launch a real discussion on what is reportedly a real problem in the world...not just the game industry.

Coming across as accusatory, and making men the bad guy has historically been ineffective, and only serves to reinforce the bad feminist viewpoint.

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