I recently watched a video where a hipster feminists, dressed in a plaid shirt and with her hair dyed a color not found in nature, clearly reading in a monotone voice off a prompt, talked about “hypersexualization” in video games. She had a laundry list of complaints about it, and I am going to debunk them quite thoroughly. Although, it’s telling how much of her criticism that she listens to. As with every one in Sarkeesian’s ideological echo chamber, her comments are disabled. You know, it’s almost like these people don’t value their own ideas enough to defend them to people who call foul! Interesting.
Here is a link to the video, so you all can see for yourself. I should warn you, though, it is BORING! Oh my god, it is so dull. There was a rather thorough video by TL;DR debunking her statistics (linked here), so we won’t talk about that. Instead, we’ll do like we’ve done with Anita Sarkeesian, and hit some of the major points.
The big thing I want to talk about is the idea of “hypersexualization.” This is a made-up term. Why? Because it assumes that this character’s core value is the fact that they are hot. This follows from a premise that a character who is hot’s only value is in being hot. Something that is grossly-subjective. For real, this just blows me mind.
I already talked about how the SJW crowd who makes arguments like this routinely ignore the sexual preferences of lesbian and bisexual women. After all, they may find women like Bayonetta just as sexually-alluring as I do. In the video I linked above, she talks about how the “hypersexualization” of female characters has a negative effect (all based on assumptions without a SINGLE scrap of credible evidence) on people. Her statements followed from the assumption that the people who only enjoy this are men. Straight men. Never mind other women who may find these women sexually attractive. That’s one of those sticky little problems that women like Sarkeesian and her brood don’t want to address.
So I’ll skip over that and take this from another angle. The woman in the video states that all of these women are being reduced down to where only their sexuality matters. This is grossly-false. Egregiously so. After all, Bayonetta is a very strong character. She is tough, in touch with her sexuality, has magical powers and takes shit from nobody. Is that a character whose only worth is her sexuality? Let’s look at Lara Croft. Before her latest expansion, when her boobs were super-sized and bouncy, she was still a strong character. She was able to fight, took shit from nobody, was skilled in firearms and plundered tombs for reasons all her own.. Does that sounds like someone who is only defined by her sexuality?
Let’s look at a few other examples of characters who very accentuated features that are in no way pushovers. There’s Jack, in the Mass Effect series. The only thing she wears from the waist-up is tattoos and a belt that covers her nipples. That’s it. She is a psychotic criminal who will kill anyone who does wrong by her. Her hatred is one of her guiding forces. So yeah, she’s not weak. Then there’s Samus Aran. Underneath her Varia Suit, there’s one smashing babe. Yet she is also on a mission of revenge. Discounting Metroid: Other M (because it sucked and took away all her cool factor), she was a no-nonsense bounty hunter. A woman of few words, she had a ton of respect from the military and from other bounty hunters. Is that a weak character? You see her in that Zero Suit, which is skin-tight and leaves little to the imagination. Is she suddenly weakened because of her lacking attire? Hell no! I still wouldn’t mess with her. She’d blow my head off with that pistol of hers.
Next up is Lulu, from Final Fantasy X. Man, those boobs sure are popping out of that outfit, aren’t they? Not to mention, with all those belts that make up the lower half, she sure must get all hot and sweaty. Oh shit, she caught me looking at her! Blasting me with lightning! Fuck! Lulu is a very talented black mage. She has a rather complex history and was even almost married, once. While she has a short fuse, she is not cruel. Just slow to trust. That is a very interesting character. She just happens to be REALLY hot too.
But I can already hear the opposition –
Oh come on! Look at games like Dead or Alive: Beach Volleyball or Leisure Suit Larry! Those games so obviously making female characters whose only value is being sexy! What about that?!
Here’s the thing to know about those games – they suck. For real, check out the Metacritic scores on those games. The former especially. The controls were terrible, the game was boring and it had no interesting features, outside of seeing women with ultra-bouncy boobies play volleyball. I mean, if they were going to make a game that catered to the lower-common denominator, they should have just gone all the way. Have all of them constantly making out with other women and such. But no, those games are made for a very specific market of people and it isn’t a very big market. People who play games like those, or a new game that I have been made aware of – Huniepop, are looking to experience what it would be like to live in the universe of porn. It’s feeding a market, and that market is really nothing in the broad scheme of things.
However, let’s take a look back through history and debunk this further. Let’s talk about Renaissance painting (oh no, historical context!). There are a ton of Renaissance paintings that glorify and, dare I say, sexualize the nude female form. In video games, it almost never gets that far. Some games will show you a nipple, but those old painters went all the way. They put female sexuality on a pedestal. It was glorified as the gods, like Venus and Athena. Those paintings were making female sexuality out to be a holy thing, not just sexy. Yes, the women in there looked more realistic. That’s because that was what was considered attractive at that time. And you better believe that those painters found women who were at the apex of attractiveness to model for them. You better fucking believe it. Those pieces of art are among the most venerated, showing us a picture of what culture, beauty and society was like, at that time. Why are video games being held to a different standard?
So yeah, this argument that “hypersexualization” takes away all the female character’s uniqueness, outside of being hot, is garbage. It is another example of how little women like Sarkeesian and the lady in the video above think of women and the control they have over their sexuality. Because any man who gives Bayonetta shit is going to get his ass kicked. Or shot up by a fuck-ton of bullets. Meanwhile, as a trope, what would Sarkeesian’s response be to the slightest opposition?
I’m oppressed! I’m oppressed! Stand up and fight in my honor, because I don’t have the guts to defend myself! For real, not one time have I ever debated someone and actually had to answer legitimate criticism! But I’m a victim! Help me!
You know, I think that Bayonetta would even kick her ass, just so she could tell her to grow up and grow a pair.
Until next time, a quote,
“Turians think they know a thing or two about a scorched-earth response. Fuck ’em!” -Jack, Mass Effect 2