Badger mail

On what you discussed about male and female sexualization on Nerdrevolt 47 (and maybe before)

Hello Badgers,
It is Malus, if you still remember me from the email you were kind enough to read out.^^

I have been keeping on listening to many of your shows and thus, before anything else, I want to say that I am very much looking forward to your future line-up, keep on doing what you do!^^

On your last Nerdrevolt, you where discussing the old theme of male VS female sexualization in games and I found one point interesting, since I have seen the argument elsewhere: Sexualization of Men compared to that of Women.

I think you brought up many valid points, however, one thing I think stuck out to me a bit.

You more compared the “scantily clad” female sex object to the, let us say, more fully closed and socially acceptable sexy men out there.
I do think that comparison is valid, but only to a certain degree.

Let us face it, both men AND women have different forms of sexualization. Formal dress through the ages, special ways to do hair, ornaments and many more things have been used to signal “mating value”. Exaggerated male shoulders, exaggerated female hips, things that accentuate or fake certain physical characteristics…
This is still alive today for both genders, gothic lolita types in Japanese games for example, as are men in uniform.

You correctly brought up that a scantily clad woman has nowadays more scoial acceptability, but let us not forget that this is not a universal (Actually, I think Alison brought that up very nciely when she talked about ancient Roman or also ancient greek depictions of men and women in statuary and art). So there is a difference I think between a man who is sexualized but still more dressed and more, well, “veiled” and a woman in a very revealing outit that shows lots of skin, yes, both are deemed sexy, but that does not preculde pointing out the differences. After all, scantily clad men are also a thing to appeal to women and gay men in many places.

That is mostly my point: there is on average (but note exceptions!) a trend that female game characters will be more blatantly sexualized in the “revealing a lot of skin” fashion, many games will unequally focus on anatomical detail or flattering costumes for female characters.

I think trying to talk away this fact does not really help. You have used a much better counter to that whole spiel before: sexualization is not somehow bad.
Women have erotica which will show scantily clad men in huge amounts on the cover, yaoi manga written for women will have very explicit scenes and none of that is bad.
But of course that also means men having their erotic images is not bad, which people like Anita seem to be unable to see (has she ever acknowledged male sexualization aimed at women?).

And I really do think people like Anita try to mine the dissatisfaction of some gamers (not only female) who simply are not in the market for sexualized women in their game. And those people are justified in voicing that. The correct response should be to make enough games for those typ of customer to satisfy their demand, be that games with more sexualized males or games without any sexualization.
I see Anita and her ilk as potentially dangerous because there IS some merit to criticizing the focus on games with female sexualization. It just is completely the wrong solution which she tries to sell.
What it should be is the market adjusting to cater to as many gamers of different tastes as possible to maximize profit, including games for all different tastes, not the attempt to barge in and shut down everyone else. As I said before, that is happening to some degree, but not thanks to any of the Sarkesians of this world.

So, basically, do keep countering her flimsy argument please, we need people like you to say no to them and let as many people as possible know about what she and others try to pull off.
But I think it would help to point out that there is a proper solution for people who just do not like lots of sexualized women in their games. Get together, share games which are not sexualized or which sexualize men (as well) and let the producers know what you want and do not let people like Anita fleece you for money.

Maybe you could just do a show some time about all the nice cases of blatantly and unashamedly sexualized men in games, comics and roleplaying games.^^

I hope you find something worthwhile in this mail and shall look forward to your future shows,

yours sincerely,

Malus

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  • http://dannymreed.blogspot.com Danny Reed

    An interesting experiment done by someone on 4chan on women and their attitudes towards gay men.

    My friend and I conducted an experiment last night: May 15th, 2012.
    In
    short, my friend and I would go to random bars in my Northeastern
    United States town. We would walk in, holding hands, and pretend to be
    gay. We would enter each bar and talk to no one but each other for 15
    minutes. If no one talked to us by then, we would find a way to strike
    up conversation with women. We dressed well and were groomed to
    perfection. We looked fabulous.
    The experiment’s purpose was to find how women react around men they presume are gay. And the results were sickening:

    On
    multiple occasions we were asked to make out with each other by large
    groups of women. We were coerced, cheered on, and made a mockery of just
    so these groups of women could see two men make out. This one disturbed
    me the most because we both made it very clear to these groups that we
    are not doing that, and were embarrassed. It did not matter to them. Our
    feelings took a backseat to women’s sick pleasure of masculine
    submission.

    On multiple occasions we were touched inappropriately, in the
    genitals, ass, etc. Every set of rules was now off the table because ‘we
    are gay and it doesn’t matter’.

    Despite
    the fact that we were (apparently) gay, we were hit on many, many
    times. We were called sexy, hot, cute, etc. by waves of women.

    Women bought us many drinks, some men did as well after their date would ask him to.

    On two occasions we were asked if we wanted to go back to one of
    their apartments. Disregarding the fact that we were two large males (I
    am 6’2” he is 6’0”) who could easily steal all your shit, rape you, and
    kill you.

    We heard constantly, over our shoulders and in group
    conversation, how ‘cute’ we are together. We would look behind us, and
    all around us, and there was always at least someone staring at us.

    Almost incessantly we heard how great it is that we are gay and
    expressing ourselves. When asked to elaborate on why it is so great,
    they could not, and instead turned to how ‘brave’ we are. Before I could
    offer a rebuttal women talked over me about my bravery. Even men joined
    in on this one.

    The first observation is of course, clear evidence of misandry. The
    women in question treat gay men like sex objects, and proves that male
    objectification actually exists.

    The second observation is of course, an even more damning piece of
    evidence of a double standard. If a man groped or molested a lesbian
    stranger, the consequences would be outrageous. Yet with women, doing it
    to a gay stranger is socially permissible.

    The rest of the evidence goes on and on to suggest that there is a
    serious issue of misandry and objectification of homosexuals by women.
    People continue to act like gay men are a woman’s best friend, when in
    reality they have become more like accessories or objects to them. While
    straight men face their own stereotypes, gay men certainly are
    mistreated by women, almost in the same manner that women claim to be
    mistreated as by men- they are seen as more of an object than a person.
    Annoyingly enough, many of these “fag-hags” are feminists, and are
    either ignorant or in denial of their own harmful outlook.

    Now bisexual men, I can say from experience, face their own
    struggles, one of which is the “Sassy-gay-friendzone.” I don’t want to
    confuse this with the term that fedora-wearing imbeciles use to describe
    their romantic ineptitude, but rather the heterosexual woman’s outright
    denial of bisexuality: To them if a man is attracted to a man, then he
    is gay and cannot possibly be attracted to women. I think this applies
    primarily to heterosexual girls- bisexual ones seem to have a greater
    degree of empathy for bisexual men for obvious reasons (however for
    whatever reason they often wind up as friends rather than romantic
    partners – very rarely do the two ever develop a mutual attraction. I’m
    curious as to why and think it deserves more looking into).