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:
TL; DR: CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING!
See also: When is it okay to have a female character in less than practical or protective armor? – a helpful presentation by @wincenworks
Time for a reminder that this “sexy women just because” is such a norm that many seasoned creators still want to promote the idea that doing other than is somehow at odds with making a quality product.
Cliff Bleszinski recently got roasted for an Instagram post where he framed putting diversity into LawBreakers as a factor in its collapse, specifically because it did not get the praise that Overwatch did:
Ever since the studio closed I’ve been wracking my brain what I could have done differently. Pivot HARD when the juggernaut of Overwatch was announced. Been less nice with my design ideas and more of a dictator with them.
One big epiphany I had was that I pushed my own personal political beliefs in a world that was increasingly divided.
Instead of the story being “this game looks neat” it became “this is the game with the ‘woke bro’ trying to push his hackey politics on us with gender neutral bathrooms.” Instead of “these characters seem fun” it was “this is the studio with the CEO who refuses to make his female characters sexier.” Instead of “who am I going to choose” it became “white dude shoehorns diversity in his game and then smells his own smug farts in interviews” instead of just letting the product … speak for itself.
It’s okay to be political when your company or studio is established for great product FIRST. But we were unproven and I regret doing it. (This will be quite the doozy of a chapter in the upcoming memoir.)
Now obviously there were the usual suspects chanting “Get Woke Go Broke” when the game closed, but largely (in places that are not boiling cesspits) it didn’t get a lot of discussion either way because of a wide variety of other, more pressing factors like gameplay, bugs, sever issues, graphical similarity to Overwatch, etc.
But the first thing that springs to mind is “I should have made the female characters sexier” because the conventional wisdom is somehow (despite society’s ongoing oppression of sex workers) female characters looking less than porny is a risky political statement.
It really shouldn’t be controversial to give female characters the same design considerations that male characters get.
(And also like, I can assure you – there is a demand for very, very sexy men)
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.
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. 😬