Submitted by Pozzle 471d ago | opinion piece

The Last of Us: How Sexism Survived the Apocalypse

Paste: To understand how The Last of Us truly ends, you first need some context. Ellie is the cure for the worldwide zombie pandemic—she has special brain tissue that if removed, could be synthesised into a vaccine. However, after it’s revealed the operation will kill her, Joel, who’s own daughter died 20 years prior, “rescues” Ellie from the scientists and lies to her about their intentions, saying they didn’t need her after all. (PS3, PS4, The Last Of Us)

jc48573  +   472d ago
The article is pretty lame. I get his point, but still.
cleft5  +   470d ago
It's in human nature to band together in groups and think one group is inferior to others. The ideal that sexism, racism, or any other sort of ism wouldn't survive the apocalypse is pure stupidity. If anything, those things will be at an all time high doing a phase when there are no rules other than the strong rule. The mistake that a lot of people make is thinking that these things would be purely limited to males acting out and taking up dominant roles subverting weak females.

In the apocalypse the weak will be ruled over by the strong, thats the only truth. Who is strong won't be limited by ethnicity and/or gender but by the will of the person. You need only look at the history of the United States to see this fact. Women in the frontier received the right to vote sooner than women in the "civilized" parts of the world. Blacks gained freedom and independence quicker in the frontier as well. In the frontier it was strength that initially determined what was right or wrong. It was only when the world became "civilized" that public opinion determined the rules of the people. Even then those who are fiercely strong can stand up to and change the worlds of the land to suit their own desire.

In the apocalypse, strength would rule but who has that strength is not predetermined. On a side note, these are some seriously major spoilers for this game.
#1.1 (Edited 470d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
xer0  +   470d ago
Also - where's the SPOILER alert!?

I haven't even finished the game, and now I know what happened.

Screw the author for not adding a SPOILER alert.
listenkids  +   470d ago
You actually read past the first sentence without any suspicion it would spoil? Warning or not, that's pretty dumb.
xer0  +   470d ago
Don't be a dick.

Plenty of similar articles have made it hear with spoiler tags.

It wasn't even necessary to go into this amount of detail in the opening paragraph:

"However, after it’s revealed the operation will kill her, Joel, who’s own daughter died 20 years prior, “rescues” Ellie from the scientists and lies to her about their intentions, saying they didn’t need her after all."

With a warning - at least I have a choice to read through or not.
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listenkids  +   470d ago
"To understand how The Last of Us truly ends, you first need some context" and stop.

Why is it so hard to grasp the concept of not reading on when you're not warned? One sentence is all it takes to realise where this was going, you're complaining when in reality you're at fault also.

I've done it myself plenty of times, and I accept it. The author doesn't give a fuck if you whine or not.
OrangePowerz  +   470d ago

I don't see his point. Tess is equal to Joel, the Fireflys are run by a woman and Ellie kicks ass against the hunters and she is never shown as a helpless little girl. Joel doesn't tell her the truth because he doesn't know if she would be happy that he rescued her or not as she could feel either way about it. Ellie trying to rescue Joel after the university shows quote clear that they formed a very strong bond between each other.

Besudes there was no guarantee that it will work so in that case she would have died for nothing.
Twiggy  +   471d ago
C'mon mate, Naughty Dog are pretty well rounded to making some proper equal sex characters, the brutality amongst the characters is more equal than pretty much any video-game out there.

Play TLOU online, and watch the brutal executions being performed on either males of females, or in the story just how much crap Ellie and Tess themselves go through, ... I reckon this guy was having a slow day, that's a Sunday for you.
MaxwellBuddha  +   471d ago
Ed Smith is Anita Sarkeesian with a penis, seeing sexism where it doesn't exist in order to grind an axe, or get hits, or probably both.
LordMaim  +   471d ago
Sites like that is why I'm glad for AdBlock.
festunga  +   471d ago
what a load of drivel, I think somebody missed the point to the story. joel doesn't use her as a surrogate, he learns to love her as a daughter after shutting down for 20 years and she learns to trust again and loves him as the only person to not leave her. its not a hard premise, just a good one. on another point I personally think that ellie is a empowered female character.
Tiqila  +   470d ago
Ellie is a very strong female character, and the plot would have worked with a boy instead just as well. No sexism there at all, but I think that article was more about hits than about sexism or anything else.
extermin8or  +   470d ago
Alos he doesn't lie to her find the video recorders in the final level.... they make it pretty clear she isn't the first and that they aren't all that well trained nd have hacked more than a few peoples brains open on the off chance it works... The certainty of her dying vs the possibility of a cure isn't good enough odds in my book to just kill someone especially not when there aren't all that many humans left. You are either as close to certain as you can be that it will work or you don't really know and are guessing which is what they were doing also they aren't looking for a cure anymore as Joel kills most of them capable of doing so lol.
Remy_S  +   471d ago
Piss off, we can't go one day without some jack off trying to create controversy where there is none.
#5 (Edited 471d ago ) | Agree(26) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Omnisonne  +   470d ago
yh these articles are giving me a braintumor, unbelievable
Darkwatchman   471d ago | Bad language | show
Roccetarius  +   471d ago
Even though i dislike that people put TLoU on a piedestal, i think that the Author is stretching it with this one.

It's just another sign of what damaging ripples this agenda has on the industry.
BosSSyndrome  +   471d ago
Please tell me this is satire.
LordMaim  +   471d ago
And there is a WTF / No for the record. Ellie's sex is completely irrelevant to the dynamic between a parent and their adopted child in this situation.
Imalwaysright  +   470d ago
Agreed. I would like to know if this "author" thinks that The Road is also sexist.
#9.1 (Edited 470d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Drithe  +   471d ago
Sexism? I hate it when a dumb-a with a worthless college degree decides to find politics in order to try and make a buck.

Thank God for boobies.

End of line.
Inception  +   471d ago
Not this again -_-
lonelyplayer  +   471d ago
Wow. Big spoilers in the description. At least put a warning message in there.
Silly gameAr  +   470d ago
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. The person that submitted the article not only put spoilers in the description, but the picture is a bit of a spoiler too.

Might be good to put a spoiler warning in the description.
Visiblemarc  +   471d ago
First off: SPOILERS in this article. Not buried, right from the first line.

Secondly: I used to think I was a "liberal."...but this new generation of insane agenda-driven delusionals makes me look like a hardcore conservative.

This has surpassed the point of absurdity. ND has made a game with strong female characters and complex themes, yet it's still subject to an analysis that holds Joel to an absurd social paradigm generated in a vacuum, 20 years in the past (from the fiction).

Does the author really believe that the role of a strong man would actually diminish in the life of a young woman in the post apocalyptic rape fueled hell of TLOU?

Are we really so far gone as a society as to think that a 15 year old girl should somehow "not need" a man with decades of experience surviving?

Liking self-righteous Facebook posts has become a substitute for living...an education in nothing. It's creating a sad generation without sense.

Finally, the author of the article misunderstands the end of the game entirely(possibly the whole story)...but this post is already too long.
Dannycr  +   471d ago
Are we really so far gone as a society as to think that a 15 year old girl should somehow "not need" a man with decades of experience surviving?

That's what the author of the article fails to see. It's not a about a girl needed an man, is about people needing each other to survive. No genders involved.

I just finished my first play (ever) of both the game and the DLC and I can argue that the game can also be about the complete loss of innocence as a requirement to survive such a violent world, but in the end, you could never survive alone. You can see that theme (not being able to survive alone) throughout the entire game.
#13.1 (Edited 471d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Bathyj  +   471d ago
I was thinking the same thing. It isnt about a girl needing a man. Ellies gender was irrelevant. Are they saying if Ellie had been a boy Joel wouldnt have saved him?
Visiblemarc  +   470d ago
Yeah and in reality I could have gone on for ages about the hypocrisy of an article criticizing gender stereotyping that automatically assumes that what occurs is due to some form of gender stereotyping.

The fact is though, it's difficult cherry-picking points to focus on when an article is so incredibly misguided in every direction.

Spoilers follow: That said, Joel isn't only attempting to make up for the loss of Sarah and his failure to save her, it's more complex than that. In fact, so much so that some interpret Joel to be nothing but a villain, selfishly clutching onto Ellie. I see it differently.

The game is called "The Last of Us". I think it's easy to think of it in broad terms, such as what remains of society. I see it in another way.

Ellie is the "last of us". She is the only remaining person Joel has met that displays genuine humanity. She is selfless, joyful and kind.

I believe that Joel sees that killing her to save the human body, in the form of a cure, would in fact be potentially killing the last spark of the actual thing worth saving, something he knows even he no longer has...the human spirit. The last of it.

She is the very last of us.

...And frankly contrasting that notion with petty gender-political nitpicking, makes me wonder if society may be already lacking much of that human spirit found in Ellie.
Dannycr  +   470d ago

It's funny, because, during the game, I saw it as both characters going through the opposite phase of their lives. Ellie's innocence was gradually being destroyed by the world around her, while Joel was crawling back from the hole he dug up for himself when his daughter died (and regaining some hope and some "innocence himself), because of Ellie's innocence and cheerful attitute, however, (I Think) they both met at a common place while going through that internal Journey
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ZombieGamerMan  +   471d ago
Plus The Last of Us has arguably the strongest female character's in gaming, Tess while maybe having some sort of romantic relationship with Joel is also the one in charge. She is always capable and even at the start is told to us that she can do a job without Joel's help. Not to mention Marlene who is the leader of a rebel forces group that has many supporters, not only that but at one point in the game and in the DLC Ellie is the one who protects Joel.
Bathyj  +   471d ago
Great points, all of them.
Sketchy_Galore  +   470d ago
This comment and the reply you posted just below are ridiculously intelligent and well stated. I don't say that easily either, being nice to people is like Kryptonite to me but I just had to say, well done.
Sclavius  +   471d ago
Good god. Some people just want to pretend like the smartest person in room by reading into shit and lecturing us "sexist pigs." This guy must've skipped the part of the game wher Ellie saves Joel's life and her own life by taking on several full grown men with no help at all. Or how Tess is a complete badass. And also you spoiled the whole goddamm story in the first fucking paragraph with no warning. You self rightous, smug, white knight, prick.
#14 (Edited 471d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
AidenPearce  +   471d ago
Somebody please tell this is a parody of feminist. I mean this can't possibly be a serious article, right? Right, guys?
#15 (Edited 471d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
wesbi542  +   470d ago
You do realize they are complementing the game right? They are treating it like art and using film analysis on the ending. They think the game is making a point about sexism. Due to the fact it is about a father/daughter relationship it would be hard for it not to. Repeat, they are not saying the game is sexist. They are actually saying the opposite.
#16 (Edited 470d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
its_JEFF  +   470d ago
I'm so tired of this kind of BS! Many have praised TLOU for having strong female characters, but some are just not satisfied. This is such a lame article, If this game isn't "enough" for the author I would like to see what games are, or movies in fact.

So tired of this "white knight" stuff, find some other way to get girls!
Imalwaysright  +   470d ago
This pseudo-intellectual agenda driven rant made my brain hurt. So the natural feelings of protection that any parent would have for his/her child = male domination? Didn't this "author" realize that Joel, the supposed "macho man" needed Ellie just as much as Ellie needed him to survive? This "author's" agenda is clearly making him suffer from a severe case of selective memory and I can't even respect his opinion because of it.

Story quality? A facepalm inducing WTF
Like this website? Hell no
GenericNameHere  +   470d ago
If anything, with the world in such a disarray, racism and sexism will be more prominent. Why would there be equality? You're in a broken world. No government, no healthcare, barely enough food and shelter, and you'd be fighting everyday to keep yourself, your family/loved ones, or your group safe from harm.

Marlene is the LEADER of the Fireflies. A woman is the leader of this group that declares itself as the saviour. I said sexism would be more prominent in a broken world, but why is she a leader here? Because she's the strongest. We don't see or hear the reason why she was voted the leader, but we can assume it's because she has either survived the longest, is the best out of all the other. Fireflies, or both. The better thing? She's black. So not only does the story get rid of making the white men the strongest, but she also gets rid of the "only white people can rule" thing.

Why does Ellie stay behind Joel? Because not only does it show that Joel will always be in front of Ellie to keep a lookout on the front and make sure she is always safe, but to also show that Joel is the stronger person. He's had 20 years of survival and experience since the outbreak began, so it's only natural for Ellie to stay behind him for protection.

The author has his own opinion, but I HIGHLY DISAGREE with making this into a sexism argument.
mmj  +   470d ago
Firstly, like it or not sexism is a part of human nature because one sex is physically stronger than the other. Sexism has and will always exist no matter how much civil society tries to suppress it.

This article is a load of crap anyway, Ellie is upset because she has to live out her life as an infected, what does she have to live for really? Joel will be old and decrepit in 20yrs assuming he lives that long, he'll die and then she'll be on her own again. Ellie was selfless and wanted to die with the hope of saving humanity, Joel was selfish and wanted her to live presumably because he cares for her and doesn't want to feel the pain he did when his daughter died.
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wheresmymonkey  +   470d ago

Ellie didn't want to die for the sake of humanity. Ellie didn't know the procedure would be fatal. Niether of them did,that's sort of the point.
rextraordinaire  +   470d ago
They should have made her a boy, that way no one would complain
Oh. Wait...
Sketchy_Galore  +   470d ago
It's scary how things have turned around. When I was growing up it was always the right wing religious fanatics who were always crying about secret messages in media, obsessively listening to songs backwards and looking at cartoons with a magnifying glass trying to see and hear inappropriate things to be outraged about. I can't believe that almost as soon as we made a laughing stock of those people the idiots from the other side of the spectrum jumped in to take their place. How do you not see that you're everything you hated?

This author should be banned for the huge spoilers but more than that, if you're reading this you should know you're a disgusting sellout of a person. You know deep down that the Last of us is not sexist. From the fact that the leader of the freedom fighters is a black woman to [SPOILERS] the fact that Joel is seriously injured at one point and has to be taken care of and nursed back to health by Ellie [SPOILERS]. You know at least somewhere inside you that you're just trying to find controversy where there is none. You may have convinced yourself you're being honest. I've seen many of you social justice warrior types clearly think you're being like the new John Lennon or Bill Hicks, fighting the power and standing up for the oppressed. You should know you're more like the sleazy televangelists and alarmist preachers those people were fighting.
#22 (Edited 470d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Legacy212  +   470d ago
Is this real life?
At no point while playing this game did sexism ever cross my mind. I swear you cant win with these people. Even if it was a boy and joel lost a child he would still do the same thing. Joel is a flawed hero that can be seen as selfish at the end of the guy but in no way, shape, or form is there implied sexism. My brain just died a little reading this article

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