Gender Equality? You Keep Using That Term But You Don’t Know What It Means…

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People are ashamed of the female body. They treat it as lewd and erotic, simply because a little skin is shown. Western society has lead us to believe that if a woman is dressed with even her ankles showing it’s a sign that she’s not ‘self respecting’ because she might want impure things. Even if she DOES want impure things that’s HER CHOICE and nobody has a right to tell her to change her look, just as you wouldn’t condemn a guy for dressing up with little clothing. Even I have to agree that it’s hella sexist to criticize a woman who actively seeks sex as a ‘slut’ when a man who actively seeks sex is given a fairer judgement. Men and women should be allowed to act how they want as adults, and ‘equality’ means giving both sexes fair judgement.

A guy’s outfit can be reduced to a speedo and no one will bat an eyelid since there’s nothing to see there, but a woman in a bikini is a cause for controversy and even called ‘sexist’. What’s sexist to me is this idea that women can’t show skin or that female characters can’t be designed with revealing outfits. If you ask me, it’s sexually repressive to condemn women for wearing certain things, cause as long as they have their reasons for it and they know what it means then they should wear what they want. People are so ashamed of the female form in western society that they don’t realize that they’re being sexist by inadvertently saying women should cover up all the time, whilst insinuating that male nudity doesn’t matter. Of course, men and women’s bodies are different and women showing their boobs is different to a guy’s chest. But people forget; a woman’s boobs are NOT a sexually reproductive organ, so seeing them isn’t the same as seeing a vagina or a penis. Of course women shouldn’t go bare chested in public, but the simple act of showing boobs or dressing provocatively shouldn’t be demonized. Human beings are social and sexual animals, and sexual expressions should not be treated as if they’re taboo. A woman’s chest is something she owns, not anyone else, and I believe it’s something she should have the free control to do with what she wants.

In my opinion, true sexism is to criticize a woman for showing skin when you don’t criticize a man for doing so. Whenever a guy is shirtless in public, wearing only shorts, people might brush it off as ‘ah, what a show off’ or ‘jeez, put a shirt on’. But if you see a woman in a bikini or low cut top it’s always ‘oh, what a loose woman, what a slut, she’s not self respecting’. When really, it was her choice. As long as she knows that she’d get attention for it and she knows she’s out to look sexy for people to see then who are YOU to tell her she’s not self respecting. It’s that self respect that informs the conscious choice to dress that way, otherwise she’d wear something that shows no skin at all. Same goes for female characters in games and movies; if the developer/director’s choice is to portray a sexy and strong character then by all means that’s their choice. Selective bias makes me sick; when people blow up a female character’s design but say nothing for male character design. What IS that if not sexism?

Whenever someone thinks he’s fighting against sexism by getting angry at a female character in a video game with skimpy clothing it simply proves that he or she wants her covered up. If you’re so scared of boobs and women’s skin then perhaps you shouldn’t be playing video games or watching movies, or more specifically you shouldn’t play those games and complain. We can’t possibly claim to want equality between sexes when it’s always an issue when women show skin even though people don’t apply this rule to men or male characters in games and media. Age ratings exist on media to protect children from seeing stuff they shouldn’t, so ‘think of the children’ is always a terrible excuse. If you go to a beach or a pool of course you’d expect to see women in bikinis or skimpy outfits, and it’s not like you can condemn them there for that. So all you misguided white knights who think you’re fighting for all of womankind by claiming sexy outfits are sexist you need to take a step back and think logically. Not ALL women are ashamed of their bodies or the female form in general. Not ALL women believe that sexy outfits are sexist or that women/ female characters should always dress modest. Not ALL women fit into the B cup, no curves, no provocative outfit paradigm that you seem to have assigned to women. So it’s time to wake up and smell the diversity. And perhaps then you’ll understand what ‘gender equality’ ACTUALLY means.

 

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4 thoughts on “Gender Equality? You Keep Using That Term But You Don’t Know What It Means…

  1. You’re on the right track. Slut shaming is a common subject in feminist discourse, and you explained it perfectly. It’s wrong to criticize a woman for dressing in a certain way, or for having a bevy of sexual partners.

    However, it is not the same thing to criticize the design of a video game character. A video game character is not a woman with agency; she is a creation of men/a man. She didn’t decide to wear a bikini because she liked it. She didn’t decide it at all. Her creator put her in a bikini. Now, I’m sure he* had his reasons, but often those reasons are that a bikini is erotic or sexy, that her skin will be something sexy. There are ways to have naked or barely dressed characters without sexualizing them, but this is rarely the case in video game design. Look at artistic nude photographs. They show the form of the human body without turning it into a sexual thing.

    Look at women in the gym. Sure, many of them look sexy and wear form-fitting, skin showing attire. But their attire has a purpose–sneakers support their feet/ankles, sports bras support their chest. Lady video game characters are often wearing a sexual version of the same costume–teeny bra/bikini top with no support for her heaving bosom and heels. Ever run in heels? It’s much harder than running in sneakers.

    I don’t mind sexy characters, as long as there is a reason for them to be sexy. Don’t pretend like a girl in heels and a skimpy bikini top isn’t sexualized.

    • Yes, but it’s not all so black and white. If you read my other article about discrepancies in perspectives of female characters i touch upon this topic: https://justicesoultuna.wordpress.com/2013/09/11/what-causes-the-discrepancy-in-perspectives-of-female-characters-in-games/.

      I get what you’re saying, but it’s not just men who design female characters, it’s women in these gaming companies who do so as well. Also, a lot of women are ok with the depictions of female characters, i.e. voice actors, cosplayers, etc. Sexualized characters aren’t something everyone can appreciate, but both men and women do in large amounts just as some don’t, which is fair enough. I’ve talked to great lengths about women in gaming on both my blog and youtube so if you’re interested you can check it all out as it’ll give you a better picture of my perspective. Male and female characters in fiction, gaming and movies etc, are designed to be a certain way and wear certain things. Of course they’re not given choices, they’re not real people obviously, and from greek sculptures to deviant art pictures it’s just about design. I’m sure you know all this, so I don’t hope to patronize you, I’m merely trying to point out that sexualized design isn’t done out of malice or hatred for women in the same way it’s not done out of hatred for men either. Depictions of either gender can be anywhere from stereotypical to advante garde, and in the realm of gaming which is all about fantasy and escapism, it’s not surprising to see unrealistic depictions.

      It’s not about ‘realism’ and the characters can have agency, direction and personality regardless of what they’re wearing, it’s the whole point I was making here and in other posts. It’s easy to claim that a female character doesn’t have ‘agency’ just from looking at the outfit, but you can only criticize when you see how detailed the character is, not judging by appearance. If you hold fast to your beliefs then I don’t fault you for that, nor will I be able to change how you feel. All I aim to do is gain a consensus amongst the gaming community, because as it stands the topic of gender in gaming is one where people are just shouting at each other (like all things). I appreciate you sharing your view and while I may not agree, the purpose of the things I write and say are to open up conversation, and hopefully it’ll stay that way, haha.

      • Obviously they are designed a certain way. And the female characters are, by and large, designed to be sexy. The male characters, not so much. I am not judging the characters themselves; I am judging the designers. Look at the GTA V ads– three guys in imposing stances, threatening the viewer, and one girl in a bikini blowing a kiss. Do you really think her primary purpose, in that image, is to be anything but sexy?

        I can see that your heart is in the right place. Women, whether real or fictional, should not be judged by their appearances/dress. The trouble is, by making female characters improbably busty and putting them in sexy outfits, you are making their appearance the most important thing about them.

      • Heh, well I don’t blame you for seeing it that way. You are right to an extent, it’s the primary concept that’s given off. It’s why i admit it’s not for everyone and sometimes it takes digging deep into the characters/game before judging completely. I appreciate your honesty and I’m glad I got to talk to you about this =]

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