Hi LG. So on the female power fantasy thing: I agree that the sexy warrior babe thing is overused, and women should have WAY more options. But, in interractive media-video games & rpgs, shouldn’t women have the OPTION of playing that, as well as not?
Nope! No more sexy! Sexy has been hereby banned. No more sexy for anyone!
Please remember that I’m a dude, and my opinion on what media “should” or “shoudl not” look like in regards to a) how women are portrayed and b) what women should enjoy is pretty close to irrelevant. I try to throw in a cheap joke here or there, or offer some practical application for what women (or any other group regularly discrimnated against) have said about it. I’m not about to start criticizing women for liking what they like or how they interact with video games.
I will say that any game that markets itself on it’s ability to appeal to the male gaze (especially through super-sexy / absurdly revealing clothing on its female characters) isn’t doing it for their female audience. I’m all for fully-featured, rich, comprehensive character customization, both in physical traits and clothing. Let folks do what they want with their character (including skin tone, muscle & fat composition, size, height, weight, etc). I’m more suspicious of a game in which it is incredibly difficult to find female clothing that is both functional and non-revealing.
I’m guessing @bikiniarmorbattledamage can offer better insight into this, but for me, I’m casting a side-eye to any video game that markets itself using half-clad women as marketing gimmicks.
This is a nice summary of the quoted post and of what our response to things like “do you want to ban all sexyness in media?” is.
Thank you, @lawfulgoodness
In a perfect world, all RPGs will give the player the ability to play as any gender, and wear armor in all levels of protection/nudity. But that’s not the world we live in.
We don’t want to remove all sexiness from all mediums in past, present and future. What we want is for the media’s default representation of women to NOT just be “hot chicks” for the presumed cis het male audience to consume as objects. We just want women in media to be treated with as much respect, complexity and care as the men. And maybe then we can also explore more male power fantasies besides just “big muscle.”
if your female character doesn’t look like she has lived the life she leads and you can’t get a sense for her actual personality by looking at her because you’re too focused on making her pretty and perfect and palatable it’s bad character design and you should feel bad
It’s worth noting that, generally speaking – this is why concept artists want to be concept artists. They want to convey feelings, story and inspire the imagination. It’s not uncommon for concept artists to do staggering amounts of research in order to find ways to convey a type of character in a type of time period.
So, if you come across a product created by a major studio where they have extensive executive and production staff – it’s safe to say that any aggressively boring female character designs are done at the behest of a particular type of individual pushing a ridiculous myth to try to seem like a genius.
It is important to call out this kind of absurdity, not just to try to reduce the amount of gratuitous objectification in media – but to also spare these poor artists the indignity of having a guy try to convince them he invented anime tiddy.
Also to note, some creators try to “justify” their boring, pandering designs. Character design should speak for itself. You shouldn’t need someone there to explain it, unless there’s worldly lore the viewer needs to know (like family crests, or magic stuff, etc).
Does the character look nothing like a sniper, while the creator insists that she is? Probably a bad design. Is the character’s backstory strangely convoluted, while also not impacting the character at all besides making an excuse for her to look hot? Probably a bad design. Is the character wearing clothes anachronistic with the setting, just to look hot? Definitely a bad design, unless she sneaked in some stockings from a parallel future universe. (Looking at you, Witcher 1.)
Don’t let em fool ya.
So, the creators of Divinity 2: Save the Boobplate … sorry Divinity 2: Girls don’t play video games… sorry Divinity 2: Original Sin have shown off a couple of hours gameplay for Baldur’s Gate 3… and this is the iconic character in the intro sequence before you pick/create a character.
Which means aside from being in this atrocity, she also gets the dubious honor of being the character who we see as a fellow prisoner having a parasite implanted via her eye (then the first person scene implies its happening to you, even though she is playable as one of the pre-generated characters).
Aside from the obvious mountain of baggage to unpack about women as victims, ridiculous armor for women – accurate for men, etc. There’s something else I’d like to point out which is probably not going to be obvious for anyone who isn’t a huge Dungeons and Dragons nerd.
Lae’zel is a githyanki, basically a near human but not human “alien” race from another dimension with a long history and pile of lore which actually makes the whole scene worse. However, what I wanted to cover is this is what female githyanki look like in the current 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons art:
So for this character, Larian Studio’s entire design process has been:
- Remove all muscle tone and threatening aspects of appearance
- Make the worst armor more ridiculous but cutesy and hyper-feminine
Great job at depicting a race where all members are raised as warrior from birth.
Why are people calling the people story tellers again?
and question why majority of the “Gaming Feminist” population cry and moan about “Bikini Armor” in World of Warcraft
But when it comes to representing a male character in cosplay they decide to strip it all down into a “Bikini Armor”… Contradiction at it’s best.
You want to look sexy… Go for it, But don’t point the finger at “sexist pigs”.
This is why I can’t take none of you social bloggers serious.
Now feel free to read between the lines and tell me about all the irrelevant crap I don’t need to read while you derail from the BASIC point I’m making here.
So… that “basic” point is “feminist who criticize stupid armor bikinis can not EVER want to look sexy or dress scantily out of their own free will”?
That’s why I have no trust for anyone who starts their statement with “I am going to play Devil’s Advocate”.
After I finished laughing… which took a while. I decided I would go out looking for this army of social justice warriors in sexy Rule 63 Warcraft cosplay. Surely there must have been a legion of them to inspire such vitriol.
I found: One woman doing a single sexy WarCraft crossplay… and found no references to Social Justice, social justice issues or “sexist pigs” on any of their profiles (Indeed Google returns no results for their screen name + “sexist pigs”)
So not only did they miss the point – but this argument exists only in their imagination. That reminds me of something…
Post otherwise worth bringing back, because we’re never free of hilariously oversensitive dudebros crying HYPOCRISY at straw feminist SJWs for somehow simultaneously hating bikini armor and… wanting to personally dress up as sexy male characters in said bikinis? Okay.
Which totally happens. With frequency… not.
A New Take on The Old Republic costumes
Star Wars: The Old Republic typically has pretty good gender equality in their armors, but rarely there pop up some designs that are just old-fashioned. Not cause they’re 18th century tuxedos, it’s the double standard that’s old-fashioned… let’s just get into it.
Darth Sion Armor Set
I completely forgot about this guy cause I played Knights of the Old Republic 2 162 years ago, but Darth Sion is a shirtless angry man with scars(?), and this is his SWTOR armor set. I wasn’t too mad about the bare midriff in this since the dude version is bare-chested.
I was, however, and will continue to be, petty about the default for “lady equivalent of a shirtless man” being a literal bikini top. They had it so good with the back, but then dipped the neckline so far down in the front that it lost all of its support. There’s a reason sports bras have more than just an underwire.
(On the other hand, just adding a top means the pauldron isn’t nailed into her shoulder blade, like it is for the dudes.)
So my main effort went into adding the support back in, as well as giving her some girth. That’s my main complaint about the ladies in SWTOR: They’re all sticks! Even the “thicc” body type is miles off from the dude version. Granted, I didn’t give her the buff woman build I’d usually go for, but that’s because I was trying to prove a point; that the initial model wouldn’t have to change much to make her look like a fighter.
I also gave her some Sick Veins, cause that’s what the Siths get in SWTOR. (Where are my cool crackled-rock-scars, BioWare??) But I only drew that on one of the closeups, cause it was One of Those Days.
Bold Hellion’s Armor Set
How anything about this glorified biker costume, male or female, says “armor”, I do not comprehend.
Since the dude version is also shirtless, I took much more issue with the suspicious dimorphism in how their bodies are depicted and gendered double standard in the cut of the costume, rather than with protective value.
It was one of Those Days, so I limited the redesign to giving the lady version a non-stick-figure body, which included replacing her teeny crop jacket with his, that also covered a lot more of her mid-section.
Basically my lowest effort redo so far, yet still just making her buff made quite a difference, I’d say.
what the fuck is going on in this
it gets worse
God this is ugly
This is genuinely one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, on so many levels
wOmGaNn…AlWaYs SsExY, mEhN…jObS
@bikiniarmorbattledamage Can I ask for your input on this… modern day wonder of the world?
My reaction to this is
Somehow, this is an even uglier version of that infamous “Body shapes: men and women” chapter and those gems (content warning: extremely sexist and gender essentialist) from books by Christopher Hart (AKA the king of BAD “How to draw” books).
This artwork looks like an attempt at imitating Chris Sanders style of pinup, but with Uncanny Valley effect instead of his deep understanding of anatomy and character appeal.
Oh, the hubris it takes to draw every single female character as contorted fish-faced… thing with giant boobs and ass and then insist that it’s the only right way to design cartoony women, because females be sexy. And also that male cartoony characters should be all angular and ‘heroic’-looking, because that’s somehow inherently masculine. Then to present way more diversity among men anyway.
See also: our All the Slender Ladies @femfreq video post reblog | the same-y attitude towards female diversity in Overwatch | suspicious dimorphism – when creepy male/female design differences are justified as ‘natural’
As a follow up to HBomber’s excellent video discussing how popular media (especially games) doesn’t objectify men I thought it was worth pointing out that the double standard is especially obvious if one looks at novelty superhero costumes (using the above examples or any of those featured at @fucknosexistcostumes)
Male costumes commonly come with the padding to simulate the muscular physiques, because they’re to make the “every man” feel like a superhero without having to work out or diet.
Female costumes commonly are sized with the assumption the wearer will fit within conventional beauty standards commonly assigned to superheroes. The “every woman” is expected to diet and exercise to look like a drawing in a comic book.
On top of that: women who don’t fit within the very narrow, artificial beauty standards will find that the family pets get better costume options than they do.
It’s really amazing how much of reality you have to willfully disregard to try to support the “men are sexually objectified too!” argument.
Halloween throwback time! Reminder that to wear a mass-produced superhero novelty costume, ladies need to come in conventionally sexy size and shape (and usually ready to show more skin), while guys get the outfit to compensate their everyman figure with foam abs.
I suppose I should be grateful that the girl costumes don’t compensate with foam boobs and butts, cause we all know that’s the Woman Power Fantasy: being slim thicc. 😬