Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Let's talk about Anita Sarkeesian!

This is going to be another blog where I post my responses to people who were discussing an issue to me. In addition, because there are dozens of wild accusations flying around about this particular woman I will probably be adding more to this blog post as times go on.

Before I get started, I'd just like to state that I watched all of Anita's "Tropes vs Women in Gaming" videos as part of my research into the discussion. I came away with the impression that Anita has a tendency to say one thing, but her audience hears a very different thing. When discussing her with people who disagreed with her, one of the most frequent thing I had to explain what Anita was saying in simple terms. Anita has a good education in gender studies, a college level subject. It's no surprise to me that the internet, with it's fifth grade reading level, has a hard time understanding someone trying to explain college level concept.


"Anita pushes her views on Zelda as being just a simple 'damsel' in order to prove Nintendo has a history of injustice towards women via the damsel trope."

She's not wrong though. As a big fan of the Zelda series, Zelda has only had a couple of games where she has actually... done anything. One of those games was Ocarina of Time, a game in which Zelda has to "man up" in a very literal sense to become useful. I'm just saying, Zelda is a terrible female role model and is a pretty poor example of feminist values.

And y'know, that's probably going to change. Ocarina of Time is proof that Zelda's creators are at least trying, even if they failed spectacularly in that game. (If you couldn't tell, I loathe Ocarina of Time Zelda.) So y'know, if they spoke English I'm sure they'd be glad to have the insight.

"Anita states that Super Princess Peach is really a big joke making fun of women."

I mean, giving Princess Peach bipolar disorder as a superpower is pretty on the nose as far as making fun of women goes. I actually like the game and love Peach as a character. However, it's not really a good example of feminist values.

That doesn't make it a bad game and it doesn't mean the game should be changed, but it does mean that it is a good example of a larger problem in the industry.

"Anita pushes her sex negative views when she slams Bayonetta, who is clearly sex-positive and a powerful female icon."

Is Bayonetta sex-positive and a powerful female 'icon'? Eh...

Is Bayonetta a strong female role model or does she reflect any feminist values? ...Not even a little on either front.

I mean no offense, but we're talking about a game that is as hyper-sexualized as Duke Nukem is hyper-violent. That's not so much 'sex-positive' as it is 'gratuitous fan-service', fan service aimed primarily at men mind you. Kind of hard to send sex-positive messages about women if you miss the female audience.

You may like this game and it may be a good game by it's other virtues, but it's definitely not a good example of a 'feminist' game.

"Anita doesn't acknowledge other women's views. It's like how academic feminists used to slam women's fiction for being about fashion, romance, dieting, makeup etc, calling them 'misogynistic'."

That sounds a lot like second wave feminism, which in all fairness is more or less dead, especially on the academic front.

But see, the issue with what you said is that, although women's views on women's issues are obviously paramount, being women does not automatically give their views merit. Just look at any of those "I don't need feminism" things people pass around on the dark corners of the internet and you'll find plenty of misogynistic women who think that because they're happy with their lives, everybody else's problems are clearly fake/their own fault. This should be all the proof you need that women can be selfish, ignorant assholes too.

"Anita is far too authoritative on issues that are essentially a matter of opinion, which is why people react so badly to her."

I find it odd that you chose to police Anita's tone. Criticizing her for being rude is a lot like criticizing someone who just got shot for screaming in pain. It only makes sense if you ignore that there's a reason you're being screamed at.

I mean, riots are what normally happens when you ignore the legitimate complaints of minority groups for long enough. I don't know where you get this standard of people having to be 'nice' if they want their otherwise legitimate complaints to be heard or respected, but it's not a standard grounded in reality.

Nobody should have to apologize for giving their opinions, unless of course they decide they regret having given them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.