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#1 Edited by The7thDraconian (14 posts) -

As someone who cares a lot about gender representation in the media and as an aspiring writer I tend to look down at fan servicey products, but I've fallen head over heels in love with Bayonetta's characters, mythology, and action. This got me thinking about other stuff that clear objectifies people (Not just women) like the anime series Free! and games like Lollipop Chainsaw. I enjoy them despite my previously mentioned morals and I was wondering why. Is it because they frame the fan service as tough in cheek comedy or is it sexist and I'm just having too much fun to see it? I want to hear from you people. Is there ever a reason to have either a man or women in skimpy outfits or completely naked? And if there is, why is it okay? This forum is for everyone so feel free to let your voice be heard.

#2 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

Personally I think it is totally fine to have fan service like that included but I also depends if it fits in the Universe or with the character at all. Japanese products are full of objectification and sexualisation but I think the big difference here is that they are not only doing it for female characters.. Just like you have mentioned Free for example. It all depends on the game in my opinion. If you develop a ultra realistic Military shooter of course you can not have a character outfit like quiet from MGSV in it but in Kojimas or the universe of MGSV it fits perfectly into the world he has created.

#3 Posted by GnaTSoL (779 posts) -

Not sexist. Just exhibiting her beauty. What is wrong with women doing that as long as they don't go into slutty territory?

Some sexy poses and mild nudity means nothing close to sexism. Stop over thinking it. Morals just make you uptight. ;-)

#4 Edited by Spoonman671 (4381 posts) -

I hate that we are using the term "fan service" as a euphemism for gratuitous tits and ass.

#5 Posted by MariachiMacabre (6940 posts) -

I hate that we are using the term "fan service" as a euphemism for gratuitous tits and ass.

I hate that it's sort of true now.

#6 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (538 posts) -

This might sound weird... But I don't think it's sexist because Bayonetta is the pervert.

She owns her personality, and she makes the player and other characters uncomfortable (I think, I haven't played it for a while but I kinda remember a male character that Bayo hit on?? could be making this up). This makes the fan service less sexist than I think it could be.

So, I think that Bayonetta did fan service the right way. Have the fan servicey character be the pervert.

#7 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1786 posts) -

oh god damnit

#8 Posted by Fredchuckdave (4497 posts) -

@spoonman671: That's the most obvious usage of fan service and of course the most disgusting most of the time. Bayonetta isn't really sexist though if you go by the narrative, nonetheless the fan service is by far the worst part of the game. I should note that while the fan service in Bayonetta is much more gratuitous the fan service in Dark Souls is much more distressing considering it wasn't in Demon's Souls.

#9 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@viciousbearmauling said:

This might sound weird... But I don't think it's sexist because Bayonetta is the pervert.

She owns her personality, and she makes the player and other characters uncomfortable (I think, I haven't played it for a while but I kinda remember a male character that Bayo hit on?? could be making this up). This makes the fan service less sexist than I think it could be.

So, I think that Bayonetta did fan service the right way. Have the fan servicey character be the pervert.

Couldn't have put it any better myself. She totally owns the exhibitionist side of herself and thus, basically, transcends sexism because she's so self aware about it.

#10 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (572 posts) -

Fan service isn't sexism. Showing skin is fine. Claiming a woman/man is nothing but meat and an object for satisfying a man's/woman's interests is not.

#11 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11040 posts) -

It's a weird case, because Bayonetta is so self-aware of the amount of T&A it flashes in your general direction, almost to the point where it sort of isn't sexist. Sort of.

#12 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (538 posts) -

@viciousbearmauling said:

This might sound weird... But I don't think it's sexist because Bayonetta is the pervert.

She owns her personality, and she makes the player and other characters uncomfortable (I think, I haven't played it for a while but I kinda remember a male character that Bayo hit on?? could be making this up). This makes the fan service less sexist than I think it could be.

So, I think that Bayonetta did fan service the right way. Have the fan servicey character be the pervert.

Couldn't have put it any better myself. She totally owns the exhibitionist side of herself and thus, basically, transcends sexism because she's so self aware about it.

Ha! Thanks, but you actually did put it in better words. I found it hard trying to articulate it for some reason, you explained it more intelligently. :)

#13 Edited by JohnTunoku (89 posts) -

Honestly basically every character in a character action game ends up being, for all intents and purposes, an object. It just stands out to us because women being objectified is actually a problem in other forms of media relative to other characters.

It seems to me the basic idea with Bayonetta was to just make a female version of Dante. Who seems to have just been everything that Kamiya thought was cool smashed into one person.

Also agree with the point about sex empowering her as opposed to subjugating her as being a valid reason why it isn't really sexist in a harmful way.

#14 Posted by GreggD (4450 posts) -

She is the dominant character in her universe. The men either exist to serve her, or respect her for how powerful she is. One of the most powerful enemies in the game is her rival, who also happens to be a woman. Yes, she is sexualized, but in tandem with that sexualization is also empowerment at how much ass she kicks over the course of the game.

#15 Posted by Demoskinos (13917 posts) -

I still don't think people even know what sexism means if were instantly equating any display of sexuality as "sexist".

#16 Edited by erhard (348 posts) -

I really have contempt for people who use terms like what's "okay" and what's "acceptable" for an artist to create, and go on to hold some fucking referendum on what they should be "allowed" to do lest they upset the sensibilities of the consensus. It's not the first time this thread has been made.

#17 Posted by Liquidus (940 posts) -

@greggd said:

She is the dominant character in her universe. The men either exist to serve her, or respect her for how powerful she is. One of the most powerful enemies in the game is her rival, who also happens to be a woman. Yes, she is sexualized, but in tandem with that sexualization is also empowerment at how much ass she kicks over the course of the game.

This a thousand times over!

#18 Edited by Captain_Felafel (1522 posts) -

@viciousbearmauling said:

@captain_felafel said:

@viciousbearmauling said:

This might sound weird... But I don't think it's sexist because Bayonetta is the pervert.

She owns her personality, and she makes the player and other characters uncomfortable (I think, I haven't played it for a while but I kinda remember a male character that Bayo hit on?? could be making this up). This makes the fan service less sexist than I think it could be.

So, I think that Bayonetta did fan service the right way. Have the fan servicey character be the pervert.

Couldn't have put it any better myself. She totally owns the exhibitionist side of herself and thus, basically, transcends sexism because she's so self aware about it.

Ha! Thanks, but you actually did put it in better words. I found it hard trying to articulate it for some reason, you explained it more intelligently. :)

Ahaha! Together we have accomplished what neither of us were able to produce on our own. We're basically Comment Voltron!

#19 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

@greggd said:

She is the dominant character in her universe. The men either exist to serve her, or respect her for how powerful she is. One of the most powerful enemies in the game is her rival, who also happens to be a woman. Yes, she is sexualized, but in tandem with that sexualization is also empowerment at how much ass she kicks over the course of the game.

wait so it is sexist against men? XD

@demoskinos Sex negative feminists are thinking exactly that for example.

#20 Edited by Flappy (2037 posts) -

If Bayonetta is sexist, it sure as hell isn't against women. Of the top of my head, I can't recall one female character that wasn't competent in some shape or form.

Bayonetta: Cool as a cucumber and totally capable of curbstomping anyone.

Jeanne: A little more aggressive than her black-suited rival, but she's more than capable of getting shit done.

Cereza: She has to rely on others for protection, but that's because, y'know, she's a lil' girl in a world full of crazy angels and shit. Even then, there's one situation where she has some degree of dominance over a baddie.

The males in the story aren't nearly as dangerous as the females (with the exception of a certain someone), but just like everyone else, they get an opportunity to shine. Bayonetta ain't sexist, yo.

#21 Posted by development (1607 posts) -
@liquidus said:

@greggd said:

She is the dominant character in her universe. The men either exist to serve her, or respect her for how powerful she is. One of the most powerful enemies in the game is her rival, who also happens to be a woman. Yes, she is sexualized, but in tandem with that sexualization is also empowerment at how much ass she kicks over the course of the game.

This a thousand times over!

Exactly what I was gonna post, but better said. There's nothing inherently sexist about sexualizing people.

#22 Posted by MidNVis (23 posts) -

Sexism is treating a woman as less than equal because she's a woman. It's quite simple. Everything else is you being overly fucking sensitive. It's virtually impossible to be sexist in something as unrealistic as Bayonetta.

There's lots of reasons to have half naked people in everything that half naked people appear in. It's because people like it.

@gnatsol said:

What is wrong with women doing that as long as they don't go into slutty territory?

You realize that's actual sexism right?

#23 Edited by Random45 (812 posts) -

No, the game is not sexist.

#24 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -

@midnvis: No that is sexualisation not sexism which is a huge difference.

#25 Posted by EXTomar (4132 posts) -

No but it is very weird game. Don't be offended if someone points that out because it is wall to wall weirdness.

#26 Posted by MidNVis (23 posts) -

@darji said:

@midnvis: No that is sexualisation not sexism which is a huge difference.

I don't know what part of my post you're referring to. The first part was me saying basically what you just said. The second part is me calling him out on being concerned about WOMEN being SLUTTY. It's pretty clear cut.

#27 Posted by TobbRobb (4418 posts) -

NO DAMMIT NO.

#28 Posted by Darji (5295 posts) -
@midnvis said:

@darji said:

@midnvis: No that is sexualisation not sexism which is a huge difference.

I don't know what part of my post you're referring to. The first part was me saying basically what you just said. The second part is me calling him out on being concerned about WOMEN being SLUTTY. It's pretty clear cut.


Even having slutty character does not make it sexist at all. Imagine there are women like that in this world as well. Of course you can argue that a "men" has created such a character but this character could still exist in this world. I think this is a really weak argument you can make to accuse something of sexism.

#29 Posted by MidNVis (23 posts) -

@darji said:
@midnvis said:

@darji said:

@midnvis: No that is sexualisation not sexism which is a huge difference.

I don't know what part of my post you're referring to. The first part was me saying basically what you just said. The second part is me calling him out on being concerned about WOMEN being SLUTTY. It's pretty clear cut.

Even having slutty character does not make it sexist at all. Imagine there are women like that in this world as well. Of course you can argue that a "men" has created such a character but this character could still exist in this world. I think this is a really weak argument you can make to accuse something of sexism.

Ok you totally misunderstood then. I'm not talking about the game at all. I already said it's not sexist. It's the idea of even calling a woman slutty that I am calling sexism on.

#30 Posted by stubbleman (306 posts) -

Well, for one there's the fact that Bayonetta and Jeanne are both so innately likeable and cool. They're badasses who actually do badass things that are worth getting excited about and they're both smart asses who love to talk shit. So they both end up feeling like female equivalents of, like, RE4 Leon or even Agent York or something. They are completely on top of any situation, to the point of utter nonchalance through any kind of predicament. And that's just good character writing when you do it right, which they did with Bayonetta. You end up with these two characters who you can't help but sort of look up to because they're just so cool.

I think what makes the fan service feel so not shitty is the fact that it feels natural. Like, the problem with most fan service is that it feels so naked and tacked on. For one, there's the fact that everything Bayonetta does feels very much in her personality to do. And secondly, the fan service doesn't really get at anything. There's some titillation there, but not much. To be honest, there's really more fan service in the sense of seeing the cool character do the badass shit than there is of hot character doing the sexy shit. And the two mostly both happen at the same time too. So you're usually too busy getting all hyped up for how bad you just beat that boss' ass with your perfect umbran witch time climax ultra shot bullshit and getting all excited about her her punching the fucker's shit in in the cutscene than you are about catching a little flash of under boob while she summons that giant hair owl that's going to fly down and rip his fucking head off if you mash on the X button hard enough. That's just my two cents on the subject.

#31 Edited by TruthTellah (7688 posts) -

I don't believe so. I can understand some people seeing negatives in the sexualization of Bayonetta, and I think that's open to interpretation. But I would say that her sexuality is presented as a strength and not a weakness, and she is not treated as an object of fan service as much as an active participant. She is the strong force bolstering any fan service in the game. Now, obviously, she's just a character; so, she is inherently an object infused with the desires of the developer. But they seem to have designed her to represent a positive form of sexuality and feminine strength. In Bayonetta, I see less of the hallmarks of negative representation which have appeared in gaming over the years.

So, I'm not willing to rule out the possibility that there can be negatives to Bayonetta's fan service, but in my opinion, this is a reasonable and even somewhat positive use of sexualization in a game.

#32 Edited by Fredchuckdave (4497 posts) -

Aside: This has nothing to do with people dressing "slutty" in real life, it has something to do with mostly male developers producing a product that will be consumed by mostly male people portraying women in an abnormal fashion in some respect. Do not conflate the two. As a general rule virtually everything produced by a homogeneous group of people will portray non members of the group in some "politically" incorrect or inadvisable way, that's just reality.

#33 Edited by Turambar (6490 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@spoonman671: That's the most obvious usage of fan service and of course the most disgusting most of the time. Bayonetta isn't really sexist though if you go by the narrative, nonetheless the fan service is by far the worst part of the game. I should note that while the fan service in Bayonetta is much more gratuitous the fan service in Dark Souls is much more distressing considering it wasn't in Demon's Souls.

You should go find the the story of how Gwynevere ended up with that design. It's pretty funny.

#34 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Not this shit again. Thumblr scum please go. Go be offended somewhere else.

A game can't be sexist, neither can it be violent. Think about it

@flappy SPOILERS--> She bears a striking resemblance to Bayonetta and it is later revealed that Cereza is Bayonetta as a child. <---SPOILERS

#35 Posted by Xeiphyer (5590 posts) -

With Bayonetta specifically I don't think so. She owns her sexuality. She is a supremely strong female character who is who she wants to be because she chose it, not because someone has forced her into that position.

Just because a character is portrayed as sexual doesn't make it sexist. That's some hyper conservative bullshit thinking it is. Women are allowed to be sexy, just not exploited, and there is a huge difference there.

#36 Posted by Flappy (2037 posts) -

Not this shit again. Thumblr scum please go. Go be offended somewhere else.

A game can't be sexist, neither can it be violent. Think about it

@flappy SPOILERS--> She bears a striking resemblance to Bayonetta and it is later revealed that Cereza is Bayonetta as a child. <---SPOILERS

Thanks, but I already knew the situation with the two of them. Didn't see the need to spoil it since they both get their fair share of screentime over the course of the game. From that angle, they might as well be their own characters.

#37 Posted by StarvingGamer (7582 posts) -
#38 Edited by ArtelinaRose (1786 posts) -
#39 Edited by cmblasko (1011 posts) -

No, just childish and silly.

#40 Posted by Haruko (263 posts) -

No... just No.

Online
#41 Posted by SuperSambo (2837 posts) -

It put me off the game completely, seemed so creepy and like it was just trying to appeal to a bunch of anime fans who jerk off to fan fiction. I activity look down on people who think that there is no problem with the game, because it is what is wrong with that sort of culture.

#42 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

@supersambo: Why don't you come down from your high horse, Mr.Too-good-for-good-video-games?

And stop using shaming tactics. You won't get anyone to change their mind.

#43 Posted by joshwent (1781 posts) -

@the7thdraconian: Pulling this excerpt from an essay by Obligatory Spider Queen who makes my point better than I ever could. Basically, as she also states, "Bayonetta is a uniquely female power fantasy."

SPOILERS!!!

---

The male gaze is there. It’s undeniable. But there’s also something a little different. Her proportions are superheroic and her breasts are only as big as her head because her head is small in proportion to her body, an artistic decision that’s often used on male characters to make them more imposing but is seldom employed for female characters. This exaggeration actually gathered a lot of complaints from male gamers who thought it reduced her sex appeal. Her outfit is skin tight and cleavage exposing but it’s also incredibly detailed and high concept. Her earrings, echoing both the shape of a cat and a high heel and the celestial ornaments hanging from her sleeves speak volumes about her personality. Most hypersexualized costumes say very little about the character wearing it, feeling more like generic stripper-wear to me but I really believe this costume suits this character as an individual. And what’s more, I find this costume stylish. I would love to own such a costume. Bayonetta’s visual design is by Mari Shimazaki and was more inspired by haute couture runway fashion than by strip club apparel and it really works for me.

So I liked her visual design from the beginning, but actually playing through the game for the first time was different. The male gaze is so over the top it gets groan inducing and that’s before the point where an angel disguised as the main character spreads her legs at the end of a dance panel and turns into an angel with jiggling breasts that you’re supposed to have to finish off with a medieval bondage horse. You can see why I’m not eager to tap anyone on the shoulder and say ‘No no, my interpretation is more important than that!’ But when I beat the game I was cheering and as I started to replay it on harder difficulties, skipping most of the cutscenes I started loving the game.

Because under the fluff and noise, this is a game about murdering the patriarchy with its own tools of oppression.

Take the high heeled shoes that you’re expected to suffer for the visual enjoyment of men and make them implements of murder. Take the long hair associated with gentle passive womanhood and strangle the crap out of them. Do it with your BFF, who you appeared to be forced into competition with by the patriarchy but who was always truly on your side. When your clothing comes off to reveal your naked body, you’re the opposite of vulnerable, tearing massive enemies limb from limb.

“I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more dead misogynists.”

This is a game where you play as a witch fighting angels and you kill the father who wants to use and supress you with a lipstick bullet. This is a game where the heroine flat out states “I don’t like babies but I enjoy making them.” It’s a game that appears to be about nurturing a child but is actually about defending yourself.

I want to be this witch. I want to run up the sides of walls in the moonlight and shoot angels with my awesome heels and look totally amazing while I’m doing it. I want every pose I strike to be ready for an issue of Vogue. I want to stand back to back with my sister and smash the corpse of god into pieces after I throw it into one of the most potent symbols for masculine gods: THE MOTHERFUCKING SUN.

This is a revenge fantasy where you hack institutionalized Christianity into bloody pieces.

As a general rule virtually everything produced by a homogeneous group of people will portray non members of the group in some "politically" incorrect or inadvisable way, that's just reality.

I struggle to come up with an example to the contrary... because almost all media proves your statement wrong. Unless you agree that you think basically everything ever created is somehow "inadvisably" representational of certain groups, than you have to admit that your point just doesn't really fly. "Homogeneous" groups of shitty writers will probably create shitty characters, but their homogeneity has nothing to do with it.

#44 Posted by Splodge (723 posts) -

sexism is bad.

#45 Posted by GreggD (4450 posts) -

It put me off the game completely, seemed so creepy and like it was just trying to appeal to a bunch of anime fans who jerk off to fan fiction. I activity look down on people who think that there is no problem with the game, because it is what is wrong with that sort of culture.

hey guess what youre wrong oops sorry for that truth bomb

#46 Posted by Boboblaw (256 posts) -

i hate you all

Online
#47 Posted by GnaTSoL (779 posts) -

@midnvis said:

Sexism is treating a woman as less than equal because she's a woman. It's quite simple. Everything else is you being overly fucking sensitive. It's virtually impossible to be sexist in something as unrealistic as Bayonetta.

There's lots of reasons to have half naked people in everything that half naked people appear in. It's because people like it.

@gnatsol said:

What is wrong with women doing that as long as they don't go into slutty territory?

You realize that's actual sexism right?

Explain.

#48 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5750 posts) -

I choose not to think about it.

#49 Posted by Splodge (723 posts) -

I choose not to think about it.

I played the game and completely enjoyed every minute of it. Whenever the insanely sexy stuff happened, i thought "Woah, that's kind of sexy! But it's not real."

Guess I am a perverted sexist.

#50 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4969 posts) -

*insert Jeff sexist bullshit picture*

And nah, it's not.