As some of you may know, I posted a blog a few days ago that spoke about feminism and pop culture, specifically centered on gaming. You can find it here for reference. I'm not trying to promote myself, just trying to provide context to this blog.
There were some positive responses to the blog, some good discussion was born of it and I was; at that point, content to let it go at that. But some other responses have made me decide to write this "continuation" as it were to the original blog. This one will discuss some of the "problems" brought to my attention by what I would assume (and hope) are female gamers who seem to have a problem with sexism in gaming. Be warned, if you're the type of person offended by sexism in gaming such that you believe it's an actual problem, you'll likely be offended by my blog and should stop reading right now.
The general problems that feminists have with sexism in gaming are the following. Unrealistic portrayals of the female form, "fairer sex syndrome" (I'll elaborate later), lack of variety of female character amidst a huge variety of different male characters, and supposed gender stereotypes. It would be a very long blog if I went into real detail for each problem, so I'll try to be as brief as I can.
I'm going to start by saying that ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THESE ISSUES ARE A REAL PROBLEM! To be upset by any of these things in a video game is to state with absolution that you are offended by fiction. That you are granting a fictional work power over your real world life and self-image. This is a characteristic of weakness on YOUR END and is NOT an actual burden of society and should not be treated as such. It is akin to blaming television for your bratty child being violent, it is that absurd. I'll also state that I have been surrounded by many strong women in my life, and have the utmost respect and empathy for the particular hardships women have to endure and overcome. This isn't a hater blog.
Ok, so back to the problems. Unrealistic portrayals of the female form. I take this to mean that these women don't appreciate seeing women with thin waists, large breasts that defy gravity, blemish free skin, and the "perfect" butt. Ignoring the fact that offense to this is a symptom of an already pre-existing self-esteem issue, none of these traits are unrealistic. There are plenty of women in the real world born with these traits (with help from a push up bra you can simulate gravity defying breasts) and plenty who work to get them because that's what they want. I could link you to pictures, but that would be inappropriate. Unrealistic means something that is unlikely to be achieved. Well, these traits can be achieved. The problem isn't unrealistic portrayal, it's unfair portrayal.
Fairer sex syndrome: This is the "why do the women have to be rescued? why do the women have to be so weak" issue. Again, this is a problem only when people ignore basic facts. A) A game isn't real. B) History has been more patriarchal and less matriarchal because of C) Men are biologically stronger than women which leads to D) A long history of reused themes in story telling. It also is an insult to all the strong female characters in gaming, of which the list would be too long to post here. Offense to this is another sign of personal problems, not societal problems. Taking offense to something that isn't real is foolish.
Lack of variety of different types of woman: This one is the most glaring mistake feminists use when they complain about sexism in gaming. The argument is that there are all kinds of male characters. From Mario being a fat plumber, to Nathan Drake being a fit, yet not overly so, adventurer, to body building Marcus Fenix types, to the fat lard E. Honda types. The narrow minded views of the offended feminists can only seem to see the Rachels (from Ninja Gaiden) or the Katsumis (DoA) or the Ivys (Soul Calibur) or else the rest are all like Princess Peach. This is a huge insult to all the developers out there who have made a wide range of female characters, many of these developers being actual women themselves. Sure you have your borderline porn stars like the aforementioned, and you have your damsels in distress as well. But you also have your strong willed, fight against the world types like Yuna from FFX (no one can call her weak) or how about Rikku who's the chipper one of the group and nothing like the "stereotypes?" And then you have your athletic warrior princess types like Nariko, or Chun Li, or Talim. You have your soldier types like Meryl from MGS. You have your average everyday reporter like Madison from Heavy Rain. You even have everyone's favorite princess, the Fat Princess. So where is this lack of variety?
I mentioned in that last paragraph that was far too long; female developers. That's a rather large, and convenient, aspect of the industry that feminists ignore. There are female developers making games. Hell, Jade Raymond was the Producer of Assassin's Creed and the Executive Producer of Assassin's Creed 2. That means she was the boss. You have women participating in the creation of these games. Giving input making stories and character designs. Don't you think that if this was a REAL problem, you'd see them speaking up first?
What this issue has become is a launching pad for various agendas and political correctness that all stems from the same 2 areas that all problems stem. A huge lack of self-esteem and a desire to make someone pay for how miserable you feel about yourself. When there are REAL gender equality issues in the world to deal with, why bother focusing on non-issues that can only have an impact on your life if YOU LET THEM?! GAMES ARE NOT REAL LIFE! No one treats a woman, or even a man, differently based on some women or men they saw in a video game. No one perceives virtual people to be realistic representations of actual human beings. Not even little children do that and they would be the most likely to. The only people with a problem are literally those people who have their own problems to deal with first. You can't have someone speaking for all women by saying "games are too sexist against women." You don't know that even your own sibling feels that way, let alone complete strangers.
Get over yourselves, fix your own emotional problems, and focus on the good of gaming. Gaming is the most interactive entertainment out in the world, showing us worlds we can never see or imagine in this world. Shouldn't that deserve our attention more than the non-issues and launching pads for unnecessary whining campaigns?
I have made another unnecessarily long blog because this issue is just too frustrating. It's to the point where if I had the focus to do so, I'd make 2 projects in opposition to Anita Sarkeesian's very flawed "Tropes vs. Women in Video games" project. Something as negative as her project deserves opposition. Only when we stop talking about these non-issues and stop giving them power will they ever cease to exist. Peace, and happy gaming to all. I'm out.