Submitted by jbomber 1417d ago | opinion piece

VGW Opinion: Where have all the strong females gone?

VGW's Jen Bosier says: "As of late, there has been an emergence of what I call “Brittany Spears Feminism.” This is the idea that states “I dress like a stripper because I’m empowered!” Because of this, there is now a turn to justify latex costumes and triple-D bust lines by claiming they are empowering, or "strong female characters." Now is the time to make a very important point: wielding a giant sword, and reminding all the chauvinistic males in the game that the character is a woman, and will totally kick some dude’s ass, does not a strong female make." (Bayonetta, Culture, Heavenly Sword, Industry, PC, PS3, Resident Evil, Silent Hill 3, StarCraft II: Wings of LIberty, Xbox)

RIPSKATEDESTROY  +   1417d ago
duh, in the kitchen making sammiches!!
Sharingan_no_Kakashi  +   1417d ago
Dangit ya beat me to it.
FourthMonkey  +   1417d ago
Can't imagine kickin' butt when you can't even see your feet, or the unbearable neck and back pain from just having jugs like that.
sarabbc  +   1417d ago
A very informative article, nice job
MidnytRain  +   1417d ago
I'm surprised the author mentioned nothing of the Tomb Raider reboot. I figured that that was the inspiration for the article.
Toasty   1417d ago | Spam
Kakihara  +   1417d ago
I think this article overdoes it a bit. Complaining that Chloe from Uncharted 2 is a stereotype used to show just how fickle and manipulative women are, then what about Elena? What about the uh, the British fella?? Complaining that Jack from Mass effect is a stereotype that spouts 'tough girl' cliches as if all the male characters in that franchise aren't ridiculous cliche spouting stereotypes.

Forgetting about Faith from Mirror's edge and Chell from Portal because they work against the case being made. Complaining that the super strength of the main character from Heavenly sword is unrealistic as if anything in that game was at all realistic.

I'm all for equality in all things but it's this kind of biased reactionary writing that leaves us unable to have a black criminal character or a wicked sexually manipulative female character in anything for fear of being accused of portraying all people of the same gender or race as being just like that. Ironically ignoring the fact that the creators of these characters were intending them to be judged as individuals and not as representatives of anyone else who happens to share the same skin colour or fun bits.
theonlylolking  +   1417d ago
Very well said.
Xander-RKoS  +   1417d ago
Chell is a different archetype all together though. I agree with what you're saying, but I think that one idea that people seem to have a hard time grasping is that difference between a character and an avatar.

Chell is not a character in the strict sense. She has a bit of a backstory but that's it. She has no personality and really doesn't have any thoughts and motivations separate from the player. Chell is a shell for the player to manipulate and even though she is referred to as a "she" and "her" throughout the game, she is meant to be completely gender neutral. Hell, the reason Chell is even in Portal 2 is because when testers were playing as a new character, they said it didn't feel right for GlaDOS to not refer to the player as the same person.
Lord_Sloth  +   1417d ago
Say hello to Ellie Langford: CEC Heavy Equipment and Machinery pilot from Dead Space 2. She could kick your ass and wasn't concerned with makeup or any other BS.
searchbuzz  +   1417d ago
Nothing like some hench females in a game!
Prototype  +   1417d ago
They're too busy bitching about the next woman that looks younger and the single guys dream about every night...
NiteX  +   1417d ago
I never even knew females could be strong. Ha learn something new everyday!
Xander-RKoS  +   1417d ago
Many female characters weren't designed to represent the empowered female, but more fulfill a male fantasy. Stereotypes of women as secondary characters allows the (assumingly) male player to feel empowered. In the case of Chloe from Uncharted 2, issues with her character actually stem more from the racially exotic being mysterious (contrast to Elena's American white girl or sophisticated sounding Flynn) and the women stereotype that the article mentioned.

Other instances like Mario and Zelda actually require some historical context. Both Mario and Zelda used princesses in danger because of the limitations that technology had to tell a story. The damsel in distress is something that does not need extensive storytelling to digest and allowed players to simply understand the primary objectives of the game (very similar to games where you fly a spaceship to kill the aliens). You also have to be pretty unfamiliar with current Zelda games to say that Zelda is strictly there as a damsel in distress anymore. More and more since Ocarina of Time, she has taken a more active role in the story as a reliable character. Yes, she gets in trouble and needs the player to help her (I swear more out of tradition at this point), but saying that a female character can never get into trouble or its sexist, is sexism (i.e. its not equality).
SeraphimBlade  +   1417d ago
I still think Bayonetta's a decent female character. Ignoring her stripper outfit and poses, and flirting with Luka, can you really picture a guy in her role? There's a lot of mother/sister stuff going on with her, Jeanne, and Cereza. Visually, she was designed for guys, DUH, but she's a good character deep down.
The thing is, a lot of times, feminine character traits end up being weaknesses of that character. For Bayonetta, her motherly and sisterly behaviors are her strength. Her will to protect Cereza quite literally topples giants, and her sisterhood with Jeanne saves the world multiple times. It just wouldn't be the same with a guy and that's why I think she's such a good character. Try going through the game with one of her tamer alternate outfits and you'll see what I mean.
Ponurasky  +   1417d ago
There are not gone anywhere, Selvaria Bles kicks ass.
madjedi  +   1417d ago
I love that she totally wrote off nariko as a female kratos and dismissed her as a male character that wields a massive blade with tits, portraying a male chuvanist role ect.

So isn't the same kinda sexist mindset, that states a female can't ever be badass warrior because she is not strong enough/have enough stamina/will?

Really, considering she fought an entire army, 3 deadly enemy generals and a evil ruler, rescued her captured clan members, and did all this without being any man's subordinate/play thing she is not an empowered woman.

Says alot more about her character's and empowerment/individuality, than most of your typical female characters in games, or hell alot characters in these games period. Some main characters are lacking a character.

Don't know what you politically consider yourself, doesn't sound too much like a female gamer. This sounds more like a chick nit picking about female characters, which she doesn't like for whatever personal vague reasons.

There is another saying it's just a game, you can over analyze a character too much, and you can also try to hard to fit these characters to our reality.
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