Tidy Up Tuesday #90

Just a quick one this week.

Yes we are aware that a certain YouTuber has made a video giving their predictable “I like it because as a man it doesn’t effect me and I like sexy women” opinion via a video in which they also defend their “men are sexualized too and women are supposed to be sexy while men are supposed to be strong” video.  We’re not going to link to it directly since pretty much it says nothing new and its entire contents can be summed up in one helpful bingo card.

If you’re still unconvinced however, we do highly recommend this video by Ian Laspina (apparently not watched by the YouTuber) on how breastplates are actually designed, along with these comics (1, 2) from years ago explaining some of the realities of the terrible designs.

If you are curious about us addressing a long time existing title of some sort, please do try the search function as odds are good we have and we do try to tag everything as completely as we can.

~Ozzie, – wincenworks & -Icy



The world: [Medieval European setting with knights and castles. Elves live in the forest. Dwarves yelling and drinking. Orcs just green and angry. Dragons. Boob armour.]

The world’s game trailer: [Hot mage girl. Antagonist is either a crusty old man or a sometimes sexy white woman. Fantasy war. British accents. Ugly armour. Robust character creator with multiple fantasy race options but no dark skin tones for humans. Giant spiders. A huge potion making mechanic with hundreds of recipes no one is gonna use. More giant spiders. “Only you can save the world”.]


Anyone: Why the boob armor and no people of color in this fantasy setting? 
Fanboys who preemptively decided to defend the game based on developer’s brand name alone: THAT’S THEIR CREATIVE FREEDOM! ALSO HISTORICAL ACCURACY. SHUT UP AND STOP HATING FUN! 


Tidy Up Tuesday #88

Time for some updates! Since last Tidy Up ended up dominated by the topic of Tumblrocalypse and our thoughts on that, we might need to reiterate some points this week.

While Tumblr put its amazingly bad new policy officially to work, we’re still exploring the options of BABD’s move to a website on which we have more control over our content. 

That said, this blog is going nowhere. Even after moving its primary posting to a different server, we will keep on linking new posts on our Tumblr (and it will probably remain the primary place for reader submissions). 

We’ll keep you guys updated on where to find us.

Did you know that Bikini Armor Battle Damage has an FAQ page and had it for a long time? Many people do not! Amazingly, it includes answers to such compelling questions/arguments/critique as: 

~Ozzie, – wincenworks & -Icy


SYAC – NSFW Context.

A lot of people who view my feminist leanings as an “act” always point to the fact that I used to draw fetish art a decade ago as some sort of hypocrisy. But the fact of the matter is that just because I don’t draw fetish art anymore and identify as a feminist now doesn’t mean I have some sort of vendetta against it. The problem that arises when feminists clash with comic/game/geek content is because the “context” for the “sexy artwork” either doesn’t exist or is so flimsy it might as well not exist. There is nothing wrong with NSFW artwork, providing the context makes sense (and that includes the WHERE and HOW it’s being published).

Sidenote: I CANNOT recommend “Sunstone” enough to y’all. It’s amazing and you should check it out! Here’s the link to it on AMAZON.

PS: I genuinely don’t care that Quiet is a mute and can’t talk (that’s problematic in and of itself). I just wanted to make a point.

Huh, who knew there is a time and place to make female characters sexy and that time is not “always”?

We’re also more than familiar with the accusation that we are just fun-hating killjoys who hate sexy women and want them always non-sexual and covered head to toe (extra fallacy points if something islamophobic is added to the last part). That’s why it’s a square on the rhetoric bingo



See also: When is it okay to have a female character in less than practical or protective armor? – a helpful presentation by @wincenworks 

Bikini Armor Battle Damage: marofiron replied to your post: NSWF image under the cut! Although it…

Bikini Armor Battle Damage: marofiron replied to your post: NSWF image under the cut! Although it…




Although it is hilarious to see this, i think it is important to focus on how objectifying either sex is bad rather than how men are finally getting similar objectification treatment.

In the perfect world no-one would be objectified, but since our world is far from perfect the “let’s objectify EVERYONE instead” angle is the tongue-in-cheek alternative for equal treatment.

Yeah, I don’t think anyone should genuinely advocate for treating all people like objects, but we’re absolutely free to make fun of this idea. It’s subversive humor, one of the best coping mechanisms we humans have.

I’ve always wondered the same as marofiron – whether reversing the objectification – or any other oppressive attitude – is a good tactic in solving the problem in the long term.

Particularly if the reverse attitude becomes socially acceptable and hilarious even, whereas the original one becomes taboo.

I’d say it’s not a way of solving the problem rather than exposing it to the public through means of satire.
Sometimes it’s easier to see the wrongs of oppressive societal norms if the problem is shown in reverse to touch the privileged group. Like the little gem right here, for example.
That’s why projects like, for instance, The Liberation of Manfire or The Hawkeye Initiative are needed. They don’t promote turning men into fanservice, they show through contrast how absurd are norms of portraying women. It’s supposed to spark discussion about parodied problem, not to make it taboo (hint: the problem usually IS a taboo by default).

The time has come to restore this post, since there seems to be some small amount of confusion over what the purpose of our most empowering tag is.

Coincidentally, the people confused over it often seem to be the same people who want to argue that Conan is the apex of the sexualized man, but have a very, very negative reaction to actually sexualized men.

Part of the reason they’re shocked is because it turns out society has this weird double standard where it is commonplace for commercial media to have hypersexualized and objectifying depictions of women, but goes well out of its way to avoid the slightest hint of such when depicting men.

(Or if it does depict men as such, it uses it as all kinds of unfortunate shorthands, frequently likening homosexuality to moral degeneracy or being… weird alien monsters)

Thus it helps to remind people that if there is some sort of equality in the balance of depictions, it exists only in the imagination of people who don’t have to deal with the problems the inequality brings.

– wincenworks

Depicting men in the same Empowered is a way to really show how the bikini armor rhetoric is complete nonsense. Sometimes, just explaining that bikini armor is bad can trigger a knee-jerk reaction. People may be attached to a character who’s designed this way, or they just like to look at anime girls, or whatever. They may get defensive about it.

But put a man in that same, or similar, bikini armor, and it’s harder to look past the ridiculousness of it, because of our societal expectations. That’s why we also use the pro-bikini rhetoric language in our Empowered posts, applying it to the men instead. It’s a way to really highlight the double standard, rather than to promote the sexualization of everyone.


Tidy Up Tuesday #85

Redesign streams are very likely to come back this weekend! Stay tuned till Friday for more info!

Some elaboration on the obviously contentious topic of Ashe being the next Overwatch heroine:

  • Arguing over whether she’s a “true” albino or not completely misses the point of the whole discussion. Even if Ashe was (and her design, even when accounted for makeup, makes a shitty job of conveying albinism in person of any ethnicity), this changes absolutely nothing about Blizzard electing to give another pale, thin conventionally attractive woman spot in the cast rather than finally creating a playable Black woman. Especially since she’s clearly not a PoC albino, as many rebloggers pointed out.
  • People claiming that racebending a supposed albino to be Black is somehow taking away from albino representation are concern trolls
  • Literally all “arguments” about Overwatch “already having” playable Black female representation are neatly listed and debunked in this handy masterpost by @geegee-wellplayed​. Please go read it and hand the link to anyone who claims that Symmetra/the Amaris/Sombra/Efi/Lucio is all that Black women need to identify with in the game. 
  • “Ashe is a gang leader, so making her black would be a bad look” rhetoric makes as much sense as any Thermian argumentshe doesn’t have to be made as an antagonistic gang leader or to be (extremely) white. It was entirely Blizzard’s choice to release a character like that instead of literally anyone else. 
  • For some more detailed commentary about overall blandness of Ashe’s character design, please read this writeup by our reader @red-queen-on-the-heathen-throne
  • If you actually think that @darthputa​ or anyone (particularly PoC) doing race-bent redesigns of white characters from predominantly white media is the real racist and you still follow this blog, please unfollow immediately. Or at the very least tell us, so we can block you. 

Since it wasn’t the first time we discussed the matter, with the Ashe post we introduced the representation and diversity tags. We’re still working on re-tagging old posts with them, so if you guys spot in our archives something related to those topics and not yet tagged, please drop us a note!

~Ozzie, – wincenworks & – Icy




“Women should be respected and accepted as they are, don’t shame them regardless of what they look like and what they wear. Do whatever you want, ladies!”
*virtual ladies in bikinis*
“Um, this is infringing on my rights. How dare you? Keep this misogynistic filth away from me.”

Do you not understand the difference between a fictional character, created by men, to be seen as sexually pleasing for men in fiction and…like…REAL WOMEN who are ALIVE and are able to make CHOICES for themselves? 

Like, women have some key differences with fictional depictions of women. 

Ah agency, one of so many issues that bikini armor apologists work so hard to avoid understanding.  Of course, it doesn’t help that there’s a trend with developers to try to have it both ways and insult their creations for being… how they created them.

– wincenworks

Thanks to @giantpurplecat we now have new and exciting insight into just how some creators assume women do choose their outfits [big image here]. 

“This? I designed it myself. It allows me to communicate quickly with my blade and control it whether sword or whip… I’ve never really thought deeply on why though, to be quite honest.” – Ivy in the latest Soul Calibur

Remember – testing shows that not only can Ivy not control her weapon, she basically can’t even give her opponent a brisk shove without a wardrobe malfunction or two.  

Even the new game’s character creator classifies her outfit as underwear – her underwear lets her control her weapon better… so she doesn’t wear anything on top… even though it’s underwear.


Ultimately the most insulting part about the people who rush to support this kind of double standard is that they have so little respect for women that they will accept nonsense like this (or worse) as great writing.  

Nine times out of ten, this particular demographic will also have nothing but contempt for real women who actually want to express their own sexuality on their own terms. (As well as contempt for the same fictional women)

– wincenworks

GIF Source


So, Divinity: Original Sin 2 started off looking kind of promising.  Despite their head animator throwing a public tantrum on deviantArt, Larian Studios did seem to be making a fairly attempt to improve next time, after all someone had instructed Thierry to fix the artwork (to his great upset) in the first place.

So on 1 October 2015, their Kickstarter finished successfully.

On 11 February 2016, they published results of a survey they did which showed completely unsurprising results for a studio where creative leads can post rants about their right to be paid to objectify:


On 10 August 2016, it became pretty clear that Larian Studios decided the thing to do with this information was to double down and go back to their regular double standards:


Around May 2017 they started using their current iconic line up, the front and center lead of which has such a ridiculous costume it appears their advertising team feels the need to hide it:


Ironically, despite this apparently being less of Creepy Marketing Guy and more part of the studio culture, a lot of the content could be pretty good and they could probably get a lot more female players if they didn’t strive to save the booplate.


Alas, it seems to commitment knows no bounds:


Can’t imagine why they have so few female players…

– wincenworks

Since we’re in an era where a video game company had to issue a statement about having women in their game (by default… you can adjust them out via the game options) it’s worth remember that large parts of media have been fully invested in a ridiculous myth for so long that certain demographics are now shocked when anything isn’t made to be essentially hostile to women.

(Also for anyone rushing to accuse us of being selective of images… the comparison images are the ones Larian picked for themselves, unsurprisingly)

This is the world we live in.

– wincenworks

Maybe it’s because you’re taking the same strategy you would in designing characters for comics or video games and applying it to real people, except fictional characters are a representation of how you choose to see people or wish them to be portrayed, whereas real people get to do their own choosing, because nothing is more sexist than denying someone the right to choose, regardless of what that choice may be.

5 Responses to Sexism That Just Make Everything Worse


Great article, go read it whole

(via bikiniarmorbattledamage)

Worth bringing back – this quote from a pretty great analysis of complex problems with perpetuating sexism. The quoted part and image are the ones most relevant to BABD’s subject matter, but the article is still worth reading whole. 

As we said again and again, in our agency and cosplay tags, real people possess the free will to dress however they like, while fictional characters look a certain way because someone decided so
Judging real women harshly for making a choice of dressing skimpy, especially paired with celebration gratuitously half-nude nonexistent women is the sort of cognitive dissonance we refuse to stand behind.