Thor in God of War: Ragnarok
So, every now and again you’ll see brodudes rushing to argue that there’s nothing wrong with bikini armor because “men are sexualized too” and that shirtless barbarians are made sexy to cater to women, etc.
However, whenever something that comes out to challenge this… its always the same cishet men who make this claim who also cry about a male character not meeting their expectations.
That’s because, unsurprisingly given that they’re usually designed by men, those supposedly exploitative images are generally made by men, for men to fulfil not just their fantasy of power but also of being some weird form of hyper masculinity.
Appealing to women is not a priority they actually care about, only the fantasy that their ideal would definitely get them laid. Many don’t allow themselves to consider if its appealing to men-loving-men… and well, they certainly don’t think about nonbinary people or anyone on the asexual spectrum.
Of course, if you read this blog, you almost certainly already knew these guys only thing about themselves – but I thought you’d enjoy the hilarity of them telling on themselves so spectacularly.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Speaking of the Sengoku period, this ultra-violent game set in that period has a variety of female warriors with different ages, backgrounds, etc and they all look amazing.in their own ways. Their particular natures showing through.
Of course, FromSoft has an amazing history of positive examples in Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but its particularly interesting that they did it with this game given so many other creators treat the period as free license to go completely off the rails with designs and the game taking the historical context seriously.
And of course, it is particularly delightful to those of us who get people trying to tell us “well actually, its different in Asia…”
from Samurai Warriors 5 (her mentor, Kazuuji Nakamura, in the bottom right)
After a seven year pause in games, Samurai Warriors 5 is out and it features a new kunoichi (female ninja)
character – Mitsuki. You can tell she’s a kunoichi because she’s dressed like she’s from a ninja gaiden game. For those not aware, Ninja Gaiden is set in 1980s USA and Samurai Warriors is set in Sengoku Period (1467 – 1615) Japan.
Sadly this is an improvement for the series.
Now the thing with the Sengoku Period is that it is an area of history where we have some good evidence of female professional warriors (onna-musha) being around (though their role has historically been downplayed and so the specifics are unclear) and we have some artwork depicting what they might have looked like… unsurprisingly the armour they wore was the same as the men’s.
When not in armour, they are understood to have worn clothes typical of feudal Japan… basically the opposite of this outfit.
So… how can this be an improvement? Well from Samurai Warriors 1 – 4 the equivalent character was a kunoichi who’s name is… Kunoichi and is… *checks notes* apparently fifteen years old…
And, again… I want to stress… there are real women from his era with artistic depictions of them available, so for a game where most of the cast are historical figures… this is um… well I don’t need to tell you.
I didn’t say it was a big improvement… or one worth congratulating them on, but it is at least a very minor improvement… very, very minor.
Very, very, very minor.
While it may not seem like the initial bingo material – I invite you consider how the fuck she is supposed to do literally anything in this plate armor.
- The helmet literally covers her eyes so she can’t see anything past her toes
- Her exposed mouth and lower face, combined with clawed gauntlets, mean any attempt to adjust it would mangle herself
- The armor is form fitted to her torso so she can’t bend, turn or even make big movements with her arms. I doubt she can even breathe with that boobplate.
- Leg legs are locked into the “maximum thigh gap” pose. so she can’t even walk, let alone engage in combat footwork
This is not armor, this is some next level BDSM shit for people who find vacuum bondage too vanilla. (nsfw)
Bless Unleashed has been around since 2019 but has recently started more aggressive marketing – and um… wow… it’s… marketing… some of it really, really leans into the old myth, double standards, suspicious dimorphism and mistaking satirical parody for a style guide.
(Honestly glad there is no mantis race… at least I think there isn’t…)
Unsurprisingly a large part of the Steam community screenshots etc is ogling even more ridiculous sets of armor.
I don’t know which is worse, the weird horny marketing put together by the Creepy Marketing Guy or the more generic, family friendly marketing that tricks people into downloading the game and finding the options for female characters are fighting fucktoy, sexy sorcereress and bad archer..