Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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The difference is that Extra Credits started off on YouTube with no Kickstarter or Escapist/PA money coming in. I think she should've had to prove that her content is worthy before doing a Kickstarter.

But... she did do that. She's had a YouTube channel for years with dozens of videos.

http://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency/videos?view=0

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Nobody really gets how much of a time sink video production is.

I don't know man I'm pretty sure I could make a video with the production values of this one in about a week and it wouldn't cost me a dime

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I don't know man I'm pretty sure I could make a video with the production values of this one in about a week and it wouldn't cost me a dime

Do it.

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13:38 - If she didn't make that graphic, it's an official typo. :o

I actually kinda like this series so far. Although I do like english analysis.

Edited by timaeus222

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She already had like 30 videos up.

Hm. I hadn't considered that.

I don't want to seem like I'm making a Catch 22 here, but it makes me wonder if she already had a bunch of videos up like this, what made her decide to make a Kickstarter for these videos. I guess possibly she wanted to raise more awareness?

Either way, I felt like the content was a little lacking. Hopefully it'll pick up in the following videos.

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Part of the reason she needed the money was to buy the games she was going to be talking about. There's a picture floating around with her surrounded by stacks of video games that must have cost a good chunk of money.

Also, we've only seen one video in a series that is intended to run for much longer. It's possible that later installments will be much more involved.

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Hm. I hadn't considered that.

I don't want to seem like I'm making a Catch 22 here, but it makes me wonder if she already had a bunch of videos up like this, what made her decide to make a Kickstarter for these videos. I guess possibly she wanted to raise more awareness?

Either way, I felt like the content was a little lacking. Hopefully it'll pick up in the following videos.

Since you guys are all going nuts about that part (I guess that's the controversial part? I don't know anything about this person until today, unless she's that person stiring up a bunch of drama in the atheist community right now by being insane which I only perennially know about cause my guy is part of that community...the feminist frequency thing certainly sounds familiar...)

If you look on her website she seems to have raised/used the money for research material and hardware (300+ video games and the consoles to play them is probably what most of it was for).

I'm going to continue to feel her video too long, I saw someone do a TED talk that covered similar ground about movies, was more gender neutral, and didn't even fill up the entire 10 minutes.

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Do it.

I mean I guess I could try and then find out that filming myself talking in front of a blank background with occasional snippets of video games playing for twenty minutes total actually somehow costs thousands and thousands of dollars but I'm a lot more content in just assuming that that's not really the case at all

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nice. looking forward to the rest of the series. judging by the negative reaction to the kickstarter this needs to be required reading for a lot of dudes out there which is kinda sad

Wouldn't Metroid count?

my guess is metroid is probably where nintendo comes out looking the best in terms of representation of women, though if you think about the original metroid, i think the "reveal" aspect of the ending is where it gets problematic. samus is simultaneously the agent of progress (in the androgynous/non-gendered suit) and the reward object (in the bikini), allowing the developers to sort of have their cake and eat it too.

which speaks to a point that was brought up several times in the video: that women are often depicted as capable, so long as they affect or outright adopt masculinity. any expression of femininity is exploited to reinforce male power fantasy.

also the amazing atheist is a big piece of shit idiot. hes the worst. people always link his videos when these kinds of topics come up and i dont know why. if we're trying to address issues of internalized and systemic misogyny why would you counter it with its most blatant, unabashed expression.

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that women are often depicted as capable, so long as they affect or outright adopt masculinity.

what does it mean to be capable in a feminine way

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also the amazing atheist is a big piece of shit idiot. hes the worst. people always link his videos when these kinds of topics come up and i dont know why. if we're trying to address issues of internalized and systemic misogyny why would you counter it with its most blatant, unabashed expression.

Why do you say he's a piece of shit? Why do you say he's the worst? I've seen nearly all of videos, I don't get that impression at all.

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what does it mean to be capable in a feminine way

i think the point is that capability or in other words Being A Human Person is not intrinsically tied to gender in the way that this medium's representation of people would have us believe

Why do you say he's a piece of shit? Why do you say he's the worst? I've seen nearly all of videos, I don't get that impression at all.

i dont wanna watch any of his videos just to find examples of things to say but everything about his videos and his persona reeks of misogyny, xenophobia, classicism, all cloaked under the guise of intellectualism and SCIENCE

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i dont wanna watch any of his videos just to find examples of things to say but everything about his videos and his persona reeks of misogyny, xenophobia, classicism, all cloaked under the guise of intellectualism and SCIENCE

Have you watched any of his videos?

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Have you watched any of his videos?

ya

i should have said "i dont wanna go BACK and watch any of his videos". i watched a bunch of his rants on various different topics awhile back and could not get that fool off my youtube recommendations for the longest time

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i think the point is that capability or in other words Being A Human Person is not intrinsically tied to gender in the way that this medium's representation of people would have us believe

yeah I get that but see the issue is that stupid people often accuse good female characters of being bad female characters because the positive traits they have are due to a lack of femininity or an abundance of masculinity

I say they're stupid in doing this because declaring a character's positive qualities to be inherently 'masculine' whilst also criticizing them for not featuring negative 'feminine' qualities is irrational and confusing and sexist

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ya

i should have said "i dont wanna go BACK and watch any of his videos". i watched a bunch of his rants on various different topics awhile back and could not get that fool off my youtube recommendations for the longest time

Well, I have a completely different impression of him. I find him to be against misogyny and xenophobia. As for classicism, I'm not sure if that was the word you were going for.

I don't have anything more to say at this point. Without specific examples, all I can say is I have a very different impression of TJ and his videos.

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typo. meant "classism". oops

yeah I get that but see the issue is that stupid people often accuse good female characters of being bad female characters because the positive traits they have are due to a lack of femininity or an abundance of masculinity

I say they're stupid in doing this because declaring a character's positive qualities to be inherently 'masculine' whilst also criticizing them for not featuring negative 'feminine' qualities is irrational and confusing and sexist

agreed

(...i dont know if you are describing my post here, but if you are i think you misread my post. i definitely wasnt trying to say people need to do more good boy things like have swords and kill things and less bad girl things like get captured and look hot.)

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I don't know man I'm pretty sure I could make a video with the production values of this one in about a week and it wouldn't cost me a dime

It would cost you a ton of time. Time has money value. All that HD footage, motion graphics, sound design, even the acting looks deceptively simple. That's the point of good production though. You don't even notice it, but it adds to the message.

You can shut me up by doing that in a week though. It would put a serious strain on my time for sure, even as a production student.

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judging by the negative reaction to the kickstarter this needs to be required reading for a lot of dudes out there which is kinda sad.

Agreed. As a guy who has played video games most of his life, grown up with these tropes, never really thought about them, my first thought upon watching the video was not anger or defensiveness, it was, "hmm, yeah, she's right." Clearly there are a lot of dudes who feel that the good old boys club of video game culture is somehow being threatened.

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Thought it was a well argued video presenting a strong case. True there was little in there I didn't know already but it did point out just how endemic this is fairly starkly.

Although hopefully further episodes will get a little engaging with more modern examples and focus on some other aspects.

Oh, and for female protagonists, check out 'The Longest Journey' series. Ragnar Tornquest (currently doing a Dreamfall Chapters Kickstarter for episode 3 of said series, check it out now) is a brilliant example of a female protagonist.

In 2 games he's given us 2 of the most well rounded video game protagonists I've EVER seen; male or female

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Hmm. In order from shortest to longest statements:

In Starwish (a flash shooter kind of like Gradius), most of the rescues are a female rescuing a male from a female.

In Phantasy Star, the female protagonist rescues the burly man from a woman (okay, he was petrified by Medusa, a bit of a special case, but still).

In the Mardek RPG flash game series, the first rescue is mixed-gender group rescuing a bunch of men. The second is a female rescuing a male. The third is a mixed-gender group rescuing an alien to whom gender doesn't apply normally.

Cave Story? There is a whole lot of kidnapping and rescuing. Sue's brother, Toroko, Sue (twice), a male Mimiga in Grasstown (kind-of), Curly twice (saved by Quote both times), Quote twice (both times saved by a female), and those two kind of save each other in the end, but Quote's the one with the use of his legs, so I guess that's more in his favor. Also, kind-of Itoh (male), Misery (female), and Balrog (Neuter, presents male-ish)

Final Fantasy 6 is very equal-opportunity with its rescuing. Now, all 3 playable female characters do need to be rescued at some point: Terra from Narshe guards and then from Phunbaba, Celes from jail, then nursed back to health by Cid, Relm from the fire. But more male characters end up being rescued: Mog, Cyan at the gates and from Wrexsoul, Shadow at the start of floating continent and in the cave in the Veldt, all of Figaro Castle and its mostly male occupants, the boy in the collapsing house, and arguably Strago.

The second of Terra's rescues is mitigated since she overcomes her psychological issues and becomes an adoptively-motherly wrecking ball, overcoming the monster you had to save her from before. Celes saves the rest of the party twice. She also fakes being a damsel in distress at one point and busts herself out. Right after Cid nurses her back to health, she returns the favor. You might think you're going through Owzer's house to rescue Relm, but she's actually all right.

Terra's mom also needed to be rescued, but Maduin totally messed it up, and the lesson of that scene is that she shouldn't have been put in that screwed up position in the first place (incidentally, she has a name, and I would have forgotten his if his corpse weren't an equippable item).

Rachel kind of needs to be 'rescued', but from an injury. Still fits.

If we apply the additional "primarily advances the rescuer's story arc" filter...

FF6, we're left with just Relm from the fire (advances Strago's arc much more than hers), Figaro Castle, Celes saving Cid, Celes saving the boy in the collapsing house, and Rachel. If we count the castle as one man, then it's 60/40 in favor of males getting saved.

In Cave Story, the story as-such mainly revolves around the rescued people, so most rescues are filtered out. Momorin (a woman, and one of the few characters who never needs rescue) rescues the main character, which serves to advance her character arc way more than his (i.e. if that whole episode had been cut, he would be barely different but she would be less developed).

(note: not saying these are typical. Their paucity is an argument in itself)

Edited by Drachefly
Cid!

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I'm not taking a side on this, but I think TAA has a good point about Anita in general in his latest video:

(Yes, I already know that he's known as an anti-feminist.)

For me, I can see her points to a degree. I think she kind of goes overboard to a level of almost hyper-sensitivity at times though. Also, I agree that she didn't need Kickstarter money to make these videos. Lots of people put out the same level of quality without that kind of money.

I must respectfully disagree with what The Amazing Atheist has to say on this subject. Not less than a minute in, I was groaning at the irony of the argument that "we, the audience, are not allowed to have an opinion..." as I'm sitting here listening to his opinion. Disabling comments doesn't stop discourse; anyone is free to post his or her own response in his or her own space. Anita has simply taken control of her own platform for delivering her message. She is denying trolls, supporters, dissenters-- everyone-- free and unbridled access to the audience that her video pulls in. She's made it so that if TAA or anyone else wants to respond, then they'll have to work to find their own audience on their own youtube page, website, or platform. I think that's fair, especially considering the abuse Anita received on her kickstarter video page, and considering the general "quality" of the discourse I've seen in youtube comments. Youtube is great for getting a one-way message out to a wide audience, but there are better places for a serious discussion than the comments section of youtube, in my opinion.

Anyway, the next 5 minutes of TAA's video are dedicated to tearing down Radical Feminists who don't really have anything to do with Anita's video. I guess his point is that he welcomes this kind of dissent-- highlights it, even. But I suppose my response to that would be... why? What do you gain by cherry-picking the most hateful comments to dissect and respond to? It seems like a waste of time to me. When Anita addressed these kinds of comments at her TED talk, she gave a few specific examples but otherwise simply referenced the sheer volume of the comments to illustrate that the backlash against her isn't just from a few fringe actors-- it's a widespread pathology. TAA has a point when he says that what the Radical Feminist bloggers had to say isn't any less sexist, but I think he's missing the larger picture here. At 6:38 in his video, when he compares Anita's feedback to his own, I couldn't help but notice how Anita's graphic is plastered with dozens of examples of the hate-speech and threats she received, while on TAA's side of the comparison, we have a solitary blogger. To me, that graphic plainly illustrates a large inequality, but disappointingly, TAA never recognizes it.

The video kind of derails from there, imo. TAA says that disabling comments and ratings sends a signal that Anita can't handle the criticism. Well, that's not the signal I got. I just figured she was tired of the flood of unintelligible trolls, much like any one of us might hit the mute button on someone blasting music or screaming in the mic in an online game. I don't think that voluntarily subjecting oneself to unsolicited annoyance is a sign of personal strength-- that line of reasoning doesn't register with me. Next, TAA sets up a false dichotomy between Pro Feminists and Anti Feminists. The issue is much more complex than that. Radical Feminism (the kind that TAA addresses earlier in his video) has largely been replaced by the more even-tempered Modern Feminism, which casts off the misandric tendencies of its predecessor. TAA doesn't ever seem to acknowledge this, from what I can see. He characterizes all of Feminism solely by the characteristics of Radical Feminism, which is a fallacy of composition.

I hope I don't come off as combative in this post... I love you all and I don't think anyone is a misogynist if they disagree with Anita, or me. I feel that TAA missed the mark on his video though.

Edited by crypto_magnum

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Curious to know what anyone who feels strongly about this issue thinks about the series 'Becoming Youtube' by Ben Cook. Particularly this episode from last month:

It's not video game focused but it was about the issue of male / female interaction in online media, focused of course on Youtube. Some thought it raised interesting issues, other declared it incredibly patronising. The fallout ended up with Ben Cook largely declaring on Twitter 'I AM A FEMINIST' as though his credentials were under threat, whilst one of the people he interviewed became the target of a feminist hate campaign because he made some unguarded (but potentially well intentioned) comments.

The curious thing I find is when men raise this issue, as in Ben Cooks case, the angry response appears to be from feminists shouting 'your a man, you don't get our pain' whilst in the case of Feminist Frequency the angry responses I've observed have been 'mostly' males doubting her credentials.

Generalisations, but interesting ones.

(Edit: oh, and bu the way, Crypto, agree with you completely. His ramble irritated me no end and I turned off two minutes in)

Edited by Swifthom

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I'd rather watch a video of bleck bitching about a game for 20 minutes, personally. It would likely be more informative and entertaining. I wouldn't pay for it, but I would give him, like, a thumbs up or something.

This video was itself very boring in that it didn't bring in much of anything new that we didn't already know about games. It was a twenty-minute intro. Which is really lame.

I'm surprised she spent so much time nitpicking the 'damsel in distress' stuff when it's at its heart, a kids' thing. It's not like fairy-tales told to kids about boys who (as one person put it) 'put it all on the line' to rescue yonder lady - it's not like there isn't any positive reinforcement or connotations that come with that. And while she only barely touched on it, it's not just 'damsels' - hell Blaster Master was about saving your pet frog. I think she made the model first and looked for examples, instead of the other way around. In that sense it is a sloppy video funded by hundreds of dollars parted from their fool owners.

She also seems to fail to realize that for most of video-games' history it has been a male-oriented past-time. Like, duh, NES games are going to have male protagonists. A lot of early games were meant to appeal to boys, and in the same way you don't see Barbie doll manufacturers going out of their way to make Barbie more interesting for potential boy customers (they don't exist).

As the industry grew and evolved, there were more female characters to control and 'play as' in video-games. Hell we have lots of great female protagonists at this stage. The whole 'damsel in distress' thing is hardly normative of video-game framing at this point.

In general, this Sarkeesian lady (more or less) went fishing for things to nitpick, which I think is the general modus operandi for a lot of the 'sexism in video-games' arguments I hear today.

watch what you say emperor charlemange might be around to hear that

I admit it's flattering that my posts are so good you can't help but think about me when I am nowhere, in no ways involved in a topic.

Edited by EC2151

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