By Crystal Colwell / November 20th, 2013
WARNING: I am a girl. If this offends you, stop reading now. I am guessing most, if not all of you, are still here. I think that our audience are enlightened, intelligent people who realize that men and woman are both capable of intelligent thoughts. At times, we are capable of not so intelligent thoughts as well and I suspect this article will be full of both.
With the recent release of games like Dragons Crown, Valhalla Knights 3 and many more, I have found myself wondering… am I sexist? While I can certainly empathize with the many people bitching about the over-sexualization of female characters in certain video games, I am not one of the ones complaining. In my humble opinion, the guys are just as sexualized and not every woman who shows off some cleavage is being abused or taken advantage of! I show off my cleavage from time to time and I don’t think that makes me appear weak, used or any other horrible thing we think of when we see women being displayed as sex objects. I think it means I want to show off the girls and I have no reason other than vanity!
My question(s) to my fellow girls is this: Do you play games where women are “objectified”? Why or why not? – No judgment on my part either way! I am generally curious for the reasons behind your answers.
I do, and I won’t act like I don’t. I won’t act ashamed of myself and I won’t stand here and say that I will stop this behavior. Now, before anyone starts throwing stones at me and telling me how terrible I am, let me give you a bit of history. Those that know me, know that I don’t tolerate sexism. I am and always have been an advocate of/for women. If you follow my Twitter you have seen me say how great certain companies are (oprainfall for one) for their total lack of sexism. I promote people/companies who have a nice balance and value opinions regardless of which sex you happened to have been born as.
I am a co-creator of our Building Character series and I try to focus on girl characters when I write an article for that series. I enjoy strong women characters and I think there should be more of them. I encourage the girls in my life to achieve everything they want to, whether that means becoming the first woman President or being a stay at home mom. I am all about girl power! Girls are great, m’kay!?
I do think we need more girls in positions of power. We need more positive women role models in video games and in real life. I just don’t think that every girl character who shows off her sexuality is in some way harming every woman. This is why I wont stop playing things like DOA.
I would say that I’m sorry, but I’m not. Maybe it’s a contradiction that I like games like Dead or Alive. Maybe I am one of those evil women who accepts the status quo and gives us all a bad name. Or am I? I certainly don’t think I am! I think of myself as a semi-reasonable, able to see the bottom line type of person. I am able to see that men are objectified in video games, too. They are almost always buff and sensitive… but not too sensitive. They take care of everyone around them no matter what is going on. They do whatever it takes no matter what is asked of them. Obviously, this isn’t true of every male character. I am generalizing here.
Is any of that real? Having been married for forever (OK not forever but 13 years) and growing up with 3 brothers, I can tell you that those things are not always true. Don’t worry, I am not about to go off on a tirade about how horrible men are. I don’t think either sex has a monopoly on being good or bad! Men are no different than women in some ways. One such way is that we all falter. We all fall and we all freak the hell out from time to time. In video games though, the guys almost always rescue the damsel in distress and then they ride off on a white horse into the sunset. Why? Because it’s a video game and it’s supposed to be about entertainment. It is supposed to take you to a fantasy land where anything is possible.
These days, there are enough women making video games that if every one of us thought each character with breasts was being over sexualized, it would have stopped. Women are everywhere in the gaming industry. We are developing and publishing games. We are writing about and playing games. If we were all pre-programed to think a sexy girl character meant sexism, things would have changed by now. I know people spout out that this is a male driven world but that, to me, is a sexist thought. That says that the women who are in positions of authority aren’t strong enough to make any valid changes where they see fit. Wrong!
So, maybe I’m not alone in my thinking. Maybe there are other girls out there who enjoy certain games that might get us thrown out of our local bra burning society. I certainly hope that I am not alone in my thinking. We can push for some more strong, nicely dressed girl characters who don’t have to have sex on the brain all the time, or be a sex object, while still enjoying some of the half-naked girl characters out there. There are obviously always going to be games that take it too far, but not every game deserves to be hated on!
My question(s) to the guys is this: Would you play a video game with a strong girl character who wasn’t being sexualized in some way? Would the game still hold your interest? Does it matter that much to you in general or could you care less? I really want answers here, by the way. I am curious to see how you guys feel. I think most of you would play–and probably have played–this type of game, but I could be wrong. Though, I hope I’m not!
So, in closing… I still don’t know if I would be considered sexist by the masses or not. Although I do think that we have a long way to go, I just can’t justify hating on every game that has a girl who shows off her curves! It’s a good thing I don’t really care since I know who I am and that I have nothing to be ashamed of. I do think that we could do well with a few more fully clothed girls in our games but I also think the guys could be a little less buff and perfect. Let’s take these games for what they are: a fantasy! After all, if we start making video games about girls with cramps running around in their PJ’s with no makeup on and guys who scream like 12 year old girls when a spider is on them and can’t defend their girl from a scary-ass monster, would anyone play them?
Photo credit and thanks for sexism meme go to http://diylol.com/
dead or alivesexism