Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

Recommended Posts

Take the Chippendales for example. Those dudes have literally the same look as "generic, bald-head space marine"

like I said, people probably couldn't tell you what constitutes a sexualized man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone actually hired a marketing company to create a successful viral campaign against 4chan and timed it with Emma Watson's speech and raise more support for feminism... just to take down 4chan?

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT

I don't even know who the root for in this fucklewit debate anymore. It's so ungodly stupid and aggressive and insane that I can barely finish this sentence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah it's too ambiguous now. All I can say is believe in what you believe, if you support gamer gate because of its exposing of corruption in journalism, then that's good. If you're against jerks on twitter who are hateful, that's also good. Only person you're really accountable to at this point is yourself, if other people are going to make assumptions about you based on your support of gamer gate then they're in the wrong. Then again who knows. Seems like everyone wants to craft their own version of GG and how it started and what it stands for. History's written by the winner and it looks like they're all losers :-P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not exactly savvy with 4chan's history or anything, but hasn't directly attacking and provoking them always been an absolutely horrible idea?

Anyways, GG has gotten so confusing and convoluted that I think the best course of action now is just to sit it out and do a post analysis when the whole thing blows over. At least that way it'll be over and people won't have to look out for hate mobs whenever the talk about it.

Also Bleck just because you don't feel any sexual attraction to men doesn't mean that they don't exist

Actually men aren't real can confirm I am nothing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Someone actually hired a marketing company to create a successful viral campaign against 4chan and timed it with Emma Watson's speech and raise more support for feminism... just to take down 4chan?

SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT

I don't even know who the root for in this fucklewit debate anymore. It's so ungodly stupid and aggressive and insane that I can barely finish this sentence.

No, it was a viral campaign to draw clicks onto their site so they can make a bunch of revenue. Troll-dweebs making a quick buck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't know, how do you sexualize a male character in a way that people aren't going to shrug off as "male power fantasy"?

Oglaf.com (NSFW) sometimes sexualises males. But, yeah, before that I really didn't know how you'd do it without the men being super muscled powerful types. I mentioned making designs that emphasise the crotch. Would that be the male equivalent of cleavage?

Very good & thoughtful post - appreciated. I'm singling this specific quote out because I feel like I've covered it elsewhere:

  1. Men are more easily persuaded/manipulated by sexual imagery...
  2. Most men are heterosexual...
  3. Therefore, catering to aficionados of large, bouncing breasts falls into the same category as politicians professing their religious devotion - it's often a good idea because it makes a lot of people happy whether it's genuine or not, and doesn't draw enough offense to actually lose votes (or sales)
  4. Finally, look to culture at large, and see a reflection - women are more sexualized than men. Why should games vary? If anything, we should expect things to be amplified, given a long history of target marketing to adolescent males. And we see what we expect. And even if things "grow up" a bit - and I happen to think that they have, and are continuing to - 50/50 is still a completely silly and ridiculous goal that ignores human biology, common sense, and either meets an imaginary demand or ignores an actual one.

Yeh, that's a fair cop. Totally get that it's an audience thing and men are attracted differently. There are some few cultures where men have beauty contests like how male parrots are the bright ones designed to attract females? But that's definitely not our culture.

Maybe there could be a happy medium? Can men find women attractive if they're not showing cleavage or have huge boobs? For body, all I need is a fit woman showing off some curves, even if only implying what she has underneath. Major cleavage is usually a turn off. Most of the women I find attractive don't have plunging necklines, because most women don't dress like that. (rarr :P don't ask me for a reference on how most women dress.)

It would be interesting to look into what straight men and gay women find attractive in a woman. Jade from Beyond Good & Evil is both cute and attractive, I think.

It's not to say I don't agree with your point here - I continue to ask the same questions myself, but this series of points here keeps making me go back to a point I keep trying to make, as I've yet to find a satisfactory answer for it.

. . .

Why then do gamers, many of them the same people who rejected violent game criticism, complain about female characters with big boobs and g-strings?

*nods* With games like Mortal Kombat, I'd think the violence is so over the top that the sexualisation can also be over the top? You made me pause, though. Before, I would've said sexualisation is separate from violence... but, maybe, if the media is already over the top in some aspects, why not in others?

As for big boobs... yeah, many women have big boobs. (C is the new B?) And it's no problem to have women with big boobs in games, just as long as we have some women with smaller boobs, too?

On a distantly related note, I hated how Samus went from a B cup to a DD cup from Metroid Prime to Other M. Unnecessary. I think Joanna Dark also got a boob job (and a hip job?) from Perfect Dark to Perfect Dark Zero. They were both attractive characters before. Afterwards... they became caricatures? Too exagerated? ._.

It's like, what, there aren't women with big boobs in real life? There aren't women strong enough to wear a G-string in a tundra and confident enough with themselves to show their assets off when they want? :P

... so c-c-coold :u brrrr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll offer not my opinion, but the opinion of my wife who is an awesome lady. I bought Dragon's Crown and she thought it looked freaking cool even with all the sexual stuff. And when I told her that there are a lot of people who think this game is sexist because of the way the women are portrayed, she said, "Really? I think it would be boring if all the women looked normal."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll offer not my opinion, but the opinion of my wife who is an awesome lady. I bought Dragon's Crown and she thought it looked freaking cool even with all the sexual stuff. And when I told her that there are a lot of people who think this game is sexist because of the way the women are portrayed, she said, "Really? I think it would be boring if all the women looked normal."

I think an important question to ask then is this- do women have to be sexy to look different?

Granted, I thoroughly enjoyed DC like the vanillaware fanboy I am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll offer not my opinion, but the opinion of my wife who is an awesome lady. I bought Dragon's Crown and she thought it looked freaking cool even with all the sexual stuff. And when I told her that there are a lot of people who think this game is sexist because of the way the women are portrayed, she said, "Really? I think it would be boring if all the women looked normal."

The woman in Dragon's Crown were intentionally sexualized to the point of being ridiculous, something that sailed over the heads of the people who were pissed about the giant breasts or giant thighs of the female characters. The male characters were stylized to be equally ridiculous, not necessarily in sexy terms but just in general. I named my fighter Pinhead because he was a giant breastplate with a tiny head and short little legs. The dwarf was equally silly, being built like a barrel.

The art in that game was poking fun at the typical swords and sorcery art and exaggerating it to the point where it was laughable. It's like the whole thing was a big stab at every DnD video game made, both with the art and the ridiculous "you meet at the pub lol". That's why the art worked: everybody looked silly, even the NPCs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paglia (referenced many pages back as a critic of second-wave feminism's past attempts at censorship) just wrote an article for Time:

http://time.com/3444749/camille-paglia-the-modern-campus-cannot-comprehend-evil/

The subject matter is obviously different, but there are some good quotes:

"Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender. The basic Leftist premise, descending from Marxism, is that all problems in human life stem from an unjust society and that corrections and fine-tunings of that social mechanism will eventually bring utopia. Progressives have unquestioned faith in the perfectibility of mankind."

The gender ideology dominating academe denies that sex differences are rooted in biology and sees them instead as malleable fictions that can be revised at will. The assumption is that complaints and protests, enforced by sympathetic campus bureaucrats and government regulators, can and will fundamentally alter all men.
Relevant portions in bold; not sure I fully agree entirely with how she's tackling the issue in the actual article, but I certainly agree with the above critique of leftist/progressive naivete about "fixing" people and about human nature being 110% malleable.

That's precisely why I view the entire question of women in games as an aesthetic issue, first and foremost. We should be interested in making games better, but instead too many individuals are actually interested in making ourselves better through games.

What's so wrong with that, you ask? Well, it corrupts an otherwise agreeable agenda - the diversification and maturation of the medium - with a bunch of ideological name-calling, comical oversimplification, and arguments about the psychological effects of media consumption that are not only specious but bare a marked similarity to censorship arguments made surrounding violence, etc. Given that:

  1. We don't really know if improving the variety and presence of female characters in games will have any sort of net real world effect on changing cultural attitudes, and...
  2. We want to pursue it regardless, for the betterment and evolution of the art form... therefore...
  3. It is best to pursue a line of reasoning/persuasion that maximizes acceptance of the premise & enthusiasm to explore alternatives. In summation...
  4. Ideology is NOT necessary to make this argument, and will only alienate and polarize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a side note I found that article offensively stupid, but not really for the parts you quoted... those were probably the most reasonable bits in the whole thing. The stuff about how the "majority" of campus rape is false (source?), and how the definition of rape being 'diluted' (how?) makes women more vulnerable to abduction & murder (why?) - a crime that is almost impossibly rare on college campuses... makes my head hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On a side note I found that article offensively stupid, but not really for the parts you quoted... those were probably the most reasonable bits in the whole thing. The stuff about how the "majority" of campus rape is false (source?), and how the definition of rape being 'diluted' (how?) makes women more vulnerable to abduction & murder (why?) - a crime that is almost impossibly rare on college campuses... makes my head hurt.

Dude... if you're gonna call an article "offensively stupid," don't misquote:

"the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides."
That's clearly not the same as saying that it's "false"...only making a claim of categorization... How can you hope to understand something, and by understanding it attempt to control and reduce it, if you have a knee-jerk reaction to anyone even trying to categorize it?

California's "Yes Means Yes" law is a NEW thing... intended to address this delineation. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

As a side note, no one seems to have good statistics on this topic, so perhaps her using the word "majority" was somehow misleading... but part of the reason none of the stats are good is that the entire subject is politicized & FILLED with knee-jerk reactions, and any reported number that seems "too low" is seen as an attack on women. The way they ask the questions in these surveys is often very problematic. As we saw with "patriarchy," getting people to agree on the definition of a word is difficult, and when there are multiple valid definitions, good luck... I think campus police are ill-suited to handling this problem because of conflict of interest, but I think the underlying trouble is that when there's no evidence, both parties were drunk, and it's a question of one person's word over another, ALL police and the overall legal system are incapable or at least severely challenged. This is not questioning the veracity of the claims one way or another, but rather questioning the ability of any system to resolve them in the absence of additional information.

I don't see that problem being solved by anything that doesn't involve giving up some personal freedoms... on the extreme end, the freedom to have consensual intercourse without signing a contract first and filming the entirety of the act should any grievances emerge.

the definition of rape being 'diluted' (how?) makes women more vulnerable to abduction & murder (why?)
I already said I don't think I agree with the article in its entirety, but before you call something stupid, you should read it more closely. She wasn't saying the definition of rape being diluted made women more vulnerable, but rather that "The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil" - that's the title of the article. She was arguing that campuses are essentially coddling students into a fall sense of security; she also suggested that:
"Real crimes should be reported to the police, not to haphazard and ill-trained campus grievance committees."
"They do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature."
I'll say this, as an opinion piece, it's all over the place. But that's Paglia, for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure I buy her initial premise, and I'm definitely not convinced she knows what she's talking about considering the breadth of her generalizations

Still a good read, and there are certainly criticisms to be made of the sort of neo-marxist utopianism that springs from the mouths of undergraduate social science majors, but those criticisms aren't in this article

actually, after discussing the article and thinking for a bit, it really is a load of tripe

Edited by relyanCe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure I buy her initial premise, and I'm definitely not convinced she knows what she's talking about considering the breadth of her generalizations

Still a good read, and there are certainly criticisms to be made of the sort of neo-marxist utopianism that springs from the mouths of undergraduate social science majors, but those criticisms aren't in this article

actually, after discussing the article and thinking for a bit, it really is a load of tripe

Well, it's Time, and it's a brief opinion piece.

Try this: http://www.mtsac.edu/~jgarrett/RAPE%20AND%20MODERN%20SEX%20WAR.pdf

You too, Andy. This is a more substantive version of what she was saying in the Time piece. See what you think. I'm sure you'll find objectionable passages but perhaps a bit of insight as well. Pertaining to Andy's question about her overall point:

"For a decade, feminists have drilled their disciples to say, "Rape is a crime of violence but not of sex." This sugar-coated Shirley Temple nonsense has exposed young women to disaster. Misled by feminism, they do not expect rape from the nice boys from good homes who sit next to them in class."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again I take issue with her first point, that modern feminism's dramatizing of the prevalence of rape is somehow making women more vulnerable. This is JUST as speculative and baseless an argument as the one you've been arguing against consistently here, Dave (tropes of women in games causes societal views on / behavior toward women to change). You persuasively made the point that you can't just say something like that without data to back it up.

Likewise, the author can't make these wild statements about how feminism is making women more vulnerable without backing those statements up. In my opinion, it makes far more logical sense - and describes human behavior better - to speculate that IF women are MORE afraid of being raped, i.e. if they think rape is far more likely to occur than it actually is, then they would be MORE careful, cautious, aware, etc.

I understand why you like her thoughts on evolutionary biology and the difference between sexes being rooted in biology, since you've talked about that at great length here. But in the context of her argument, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

She keeps talking about how modern feminism is misleading women... she talks about the good old days, small towns, small villages, how the old double standard protected women, etc etc. But this is all baseless, factless, purely emotional, speculative bullshit. It's the kind of argument-from-emotion that I'm REALLY surprised to see you supporting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#mediaviewer/File:Rapes_per_1000_people_1973-2003.jpg

According to the DoJ, the rape rate has significantly declined over time. That flies in the face of all of Paglia's points about how women were more protected before, and how modern feminism has made them more vulnerable. And if we are to believe that modern feminism is causing rapes to be over-reported or the statistics to be overblown, inflated, etc., then the ACTUAL stats make her argument look even worse.

Edited by zircon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Again I take issue with her first point, that modern feminism's dramatizing of the prevalence of rape is somehow making women more vulnerable. This is JUST as speculative and baseless an argument as the one you've been arguing against consistently here, Dave (tropes of women in games causes societal views on / behavior toward women to change). You persuasively made the point that you can't just say something like that without data to back it up.

Your rephrasing is consistently getting things wrong... her first point is that feminism has "placed young women in danger" by "hiding the truth about sex from them" - the exaggerations about prevalence are part of that equation, in her view, not because they argue that rape is more common than one might think, but because of the contractual redefinition that she describes right in the second paragraph. She's saying that candy-coating reality doesn't change reality, basically. I'm not entirely sure how one would make that an evidence-based argument...

I'm not a full-time apologist for Paglia; she is an agitator and will indeed lapse into bold statements for shock value or rhetorical effect. In this case, I'm not sure the claims are specific enough that I'd hold her to task for not supporting them, but I agree with your observation in general.

Likewise, the author can't make these wild statements about how feminism is making women more vulnerable without backing those statements up. In my opinion, it makes far more logical sense - and describes human behavior better - to speculate that IF women are MORE afraid of being raped, i.e. if they think rape is far more likely to occur than it actually is, then they would be MORE careful, cautious, aware, etc.

Not when any discussion about not getting drunk at a frat party ends up in accusations of victim blaming, which again she explicitly discusses. Numbers & statistics are abstract... having real world advice about situations where you need to be cautious is, I personally think, far more valuable. As a common example, plenty of people who drive every day freak out about flying, in spite of the dramatic & publicized statistical difference in odds. When feminism closes the door on any guidance of this nature as somehow exonerating the male perpetrator and blaming the female victim - which I agree that it CAN be, coming from the wrong people at the wrong times for the wrong reasons - it nevertheless candy coats reality.

Your point seems to be that feminism will help prepare women by scaring them through statistics. I know it sounded good when you wrote it, but think about it some more. I don't think it describes reality, and I think that even if it did, it wouldn't be a good idea. Paglia's point is that rape doesn't NEED its stats inflated, that being cautious (or even "afraid") is advisable, and that no amount of equality attained through legislation or cultural reform will change basic human psychology.

I understand why you like her thoughts on evolutionary biology and the difference between sexes being rooted in biology, since you've talked about that at great length here. But in the context of her argument, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Okay.... why not? It makes sense to me... she's arguing that feminism is out of sync with reality. Why would biology not be relevant to such a point?

She keeps talking about how modern feminism is misleading women... she talks about the good old days, small towns, small villages, how the old double standard protected women, etc etc. But this is all baseless, factless, purely emotional, speculative bullshit. It's the kind of argument-from-emotion that I'm REALLY surprised to see you supporting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#mediaviewer/File:Rapes_per_1000_people_1973-2003.jpg

According to the DoJ, the rape rate has significantly declined over time. That flies in the face of all of Paglia's points about how women were more protected before, and how modern feminism has made them more vulnerable. And if we are to believe that modern feminism is causing rapes to be over-reported or the statistics to be overblown, inflated, etc., then the ACTUAL stats make her argument look even worse.

You need to re-read; these comments are not indicative of comprehension of the material. She was not at all making the argument that things were "better" in the past. Some of this might be coming from a lack of familiarity with her work, but when she talks about "towns and villages" she's talking human history... centuries, not decades... so your DOJ chart is kinda moot.

I'd like to point out another way your DOJ chart is moot, just for educational purposes:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/66/Violent_crime_rates_by_gender_1973-2003.jpg

Violent crime, including rape, has actually decreased in general... To cherry pick a single type of crime and look to feminism as a compelling factor in its reduction would be to ignore the overall trend...

However, it's all irrelevant, because she didn't claim what you're saying. She wasn't saying things were BETTER back in, as you put them, the "good old days," she was merely saying that campus life - going off to college, away from the home/community - represented a fundamentally NEW type of threat for women, absent historically effective (to SOME extent) protections. She then is ALSO making the claim that feminism is failing to prepare women for that new threat. Nowhere does she say that it would be preferable for said women to not be going to college in the first place, or that feminism directly created the threat.

At any rate, I think you read the article too quickly and started forming arguments against what you imagined it said. I've done that myself before, no worries. You're also focusing on numbers, but none of her arguments really hinge on numbers. There's plenty to object to, though... personally, she's too pessimistic (even for me!), and I think she misses the role that technology can potentially play when she talks about things having ALWAYS been a certain way and insisting that they'll stay that way indefinitely.

http://everything2.com/title/Camille+Paglia%252C+date+rape%252C+and+me

Very interesting commentary on this article, worth reading!!

It had been YEARS since I visited everything2... fun site to poke around on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh brother, it has come down to this? Really?

College rape is a serious issue in the United States (and Canada.) There are perverse incentives to not investigate and prosecute incidents of rapes on college campuses. Of the biggest perversions is the brand massaging done by college administrations to play down the number of rapes that occur on their campuses lest they have their brand impaired by accusations of being unsafe campuses. This is especially a big problem on private campuses, less so on public campuses and is one of the biggest reasons that the discussion is most agitated around private campuses. Public campuses, your community college and your state universities, have given indication that they are working on this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh brother, it has come down to this? Really?

College rape is a serious issue in the United States (and Canada.) There are perverse incentives to not investigate and prosecute incidents of rapes on college campuses. Of the biggest perversions is the brand massaging done by college administrations to play down the number of rapes that occur on their campuses lest they have their brand impaired by accusations of being unsafe campuses. This is especially a big problem on private campuses, less so on public campuses and is one of the biggest reasons that the discussion is most agitated around private campuses. Public campuses, your community college and your state universities, have given indication that they are working on this issue.

This is a major issue with everything at the university level. The main goal of the university is to collect as much tuition money as possible, full stop. Students pursuing lawsuits against the university makes them look bad, which leads to fewer students and less money. Many university systems (CIC institutions are my current background, fwiw) try to deal with accusations of rape internally so that they don't have to report all of the details to the public.

The same is true for grade inflation, incidentally. Students are merely customers, which is why I have to work so hard to fail someone these days -- to give someone an F, I have to specify a reason for so doing and provide documentation if asked. Nobody cares if suddenly I give everyone an A grade! :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I understand why you like her thoughts on evolutionary biology and the difference between sexes being rooted in biology, since you've talked about that at great length here. But in the context of her argument, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

Just revisiting this for a second, for everyone's benefit:

http://www.pasadena.edu/files/syllabi/txcave_18360.pdf

I found THE relevant excerpt from The Blank Slate available online!!

Make me very very happy and read it :) There are numerous citations but unfortunately they are not included in the excerpt. Well worth buying the book; Pinker documents all his claims.

This is a lot of what I've been saying, only much better. There's even a brief mention of Paglia. To clarify, Paglia is someone I find interesting and who tells hard truths and makes awesome points, but also goes off the deep end for me, personally, rather often.

Pinker, on the other hand, is rock solid. If the only thing this thread resulted in was a few people reading this excerpt in full, I'd be damn happy.

See if you disagree with ANY of it. If you do, I'd love to hear why, with specifics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First three pages read exactly like cherry picking ("oh, and look at this! this supports my theory! oh and look at this! this too!") A very obnoxious style of writing with little explanation of how they are congruent and whether or not the theory he espouses has been modified to account for the phenomenon he reports on. Will continue reading, but I hope he breaks out of this pattern because it is not pretty.

Edit: at page five, he starts to recognise Third Wave Feminism. Hey buddy, Third Wave Feminism has been around since the 70s. Glad you're just cluing in. (refering to the author.)

Hm, this book was written during the crisis in evolutionary psychology in 2000s. That was during the time professors were kicked out of schools for academic chicanery (Kanazawa) and certain major proponents were explicitly supporting exceptionally reactionary causes (Charles Murray, Rushton's Pioneer Fund.) In fact, I am begining to see why Pinker's work would be dismissed by various academics including scientists in the harder sciences, as something beset by strawman fallacies. He scarcely demonstrates whether or not he has an understanding of the arguments made by those he pillories.

The nature-nurture debate is not one with a tradition of fair play. Rather the standard practice has been to present a fairly complex and nuanced version of your own side of the debate, while setting up and demolishing a straw man as the opponent. In his latest contribution to the ongoing debate, Stephen Pinker cites numerous examples where his opponents adopt this strategy. However, he seems oblivious of the fact that he is responding in kind, beginning with his title, The Blank Slate. One might expect an author putting forward new ideas on a topic of such vital interest to choose a title giving an appealing characterisation of his own theory, rather than a pejorative label for the opposing viewpoint.

Perhaps in the 10s, the science has improved considerably. In fact, I think the 00s have been a revelatory period. You might want to use more recent works in the science than something that is twelve years old.

Edited by Xelebes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.