Women as sinister seductresses in video games

Not the only one.

5 Likes

My husband has seen her speak live and says she’s much more compelling in person; he doesn’t like her videos much either. I feel like YouTube is the real disconnect between generations anymore.

(OT: I love what she’s done with her hair here.)

12 Likes

I don’t see the problem. Who should play the sinister seductresses? Men? Come on!

9 Likes

youtube just doesn’t seem to be the best medium for this sort of thing. Reading an article would be much better for me.

7 Likes

Sarkeesian’s positions are completely uncontroversial but for a single audience: adolescent men desperate for fraternity but whose interactions are all tied up in a shallow consumer identity. This is why they’re so insecure about their hobby and so angry at her for getting paid to deconstruct its hang-ups.

32 Likes

There’s a large contingent who equate her saying “This is a thing that keeps happening” with “This is a thing no one should do ever and if you do you’re a terrible person.”

31 Likes

Me too, and I’m sure we can’t be the only ones.

6 Likes

Dammit! There was no spoiler alert tag on this post, and now I know something about a game I haven’t played, and the surprise is RUINED!

3 Likes

20 Likes

26 Likes

My ADHD appreciates the speed settings they added to YouTube. I haven’t made it all the way through all of her videos because my attention span doesn’t last that long. In higher education, instructors are told to keep videos to no longer than six minutes if you want to maximize student absorption of the material.

This is not to say that my ADHD should be accommodated or that she should change how she does her thing. It’s just an observation that not everyone will make it through the whole video.

4 Likes

13 Likes

2 Likes

I see what you did there.

4 Likes

This video

Plus this article

reminds me of why Sarkeesian is a national goddamn treasure.

5 Likes

I agree about the general problems of misogyny, but I admit that I have a mild spider-woman hentai fetish. I love grotesque interpretations of the human form and would like to see more of them. But I see them as not “villainous”, which not a real thing for me. Why I see women being deceitful and manipulative as the norm is only because I see those as being defining characteristics of humanity rather than gendered qualities. But I am a complete xenophile.

3 Likes

Saga can be lauded and excellent and still engage in a misogynist stereotype. Being praiseworthy doesn’t mean being flawless. Falling into tired old tropes doesn’t mean you can’t be awesome in other ways.

The critical flaw is this Purity Culture bullshit which tries to separate the world into Manichean categories of Good and Bad. Things are complex, son.

17 Likes

Hell Yeah!

17 Likes

An interesting topic. I’ll leave off the ‘seductress’ bit because I want to talk about the earlier bits right now, specifically the tying together of “fertility” and “body horror” that’s common to the designs in the first half of the game, and the “presenting sexy things as grotesque” stuff.

I think a lot of these presentations are incredible important to large swathes of effective horror, because pregnancy and birth are things that can be genuinely horrifying in many ways while also being a common experience shared by literally every person on earth. It’s fertile ground for good horror, but unfortunately it is something that is kind of inherently female associated. There’s just no male equivalent to the sheer variety and weight of issues birth brings to the table - parasitism, blood, painful eruptions, broods and swarms, sex and death and new life, all one one package.

Which isn’t to say that there isn’t effective horror to be found in operating outside the traditional genders - the Alien movies played with all of those concepts and, in my opinion, did it remarkably well without reflecting negatively on how it treated women. Geiger is certainly an artist familiar with combining sex, titillation, birth and grotesquity, but I think he succeeded because he was willing to mix in plenty of male aspects as well. The victims were male and female, both, and the creature itself wasn’t just being used to represent birth (inherently female) but also the acts and symbolism of impregnation (inherently male).

There’s certainly plenty of horror that plays with the later, but its usually far less internalized, sexually. Ironically enough, the horror often ends up being pushed out from the monster onto the victims themselves.

I don’t want to sacrifice the birth themes, even if they will end up inherently feminine, because of how effectively they work for horror, but I am interested in how it can be done better - because, like in Alien, we know it can be done better than it usually is.

The focus on driders (the spider women) is interesting, because they are sort of built as an anti-centaur, and spiders (in addition to being inherently both frightening and compelling) are largely seen as a type of creature where females fill a role of power and dominance traditionally reserved for males, where there’s this viewpoint that males almost don’t matter. (Centaurs are traditionally exclusively masculine and monstrous, wild, uncontrollable and filled with lust)

Which has some disturbing implications when coupled with the fact that driders (and matriarchal cultures in general) are almost always evil. A lot of this goes back to D&D - the two most notable female-dominated cultures in the game, the Drow (with their Driders) and the Gnolls are also two of the most overtly and unreedemably evil at an inherent level, and at least for the drow that almost can’t be easily decoupled from their sexuality.

Anyway, like I said, super interesting topic and if anyone wants to actually talk more about it (and not Anita or her other videos) I would be up for that!

8 Likes

14 Likes