#451 Edited by Lively (298 posts) -

@flindip said:

@lively: Dude, the term of feminism is a broad catch-all term dealing with various schools of thought. There're gender feminists, cultural feminism, radical feminism, liberal feminism, conservative feminism, socialist feminists, sex-postive feminists etc etc. I can talk to 10 different feminists and get extremely different opinions about certain women's issues. One of the biggest criticism to modern feminists is that doesn't have a unifying message anymore. It used to be simply "equal work for equal pay" and the same basic rights as men. For some people that is what feminism still stands for. I have no problem with that. That is perfectly fine.

But somewhere after the 70's feminist movement, radical feminists began to take over the academic circles in order to legitimize feminist theory. Than came all the post modern deconstruction academic echo chamber that feminism(modern) seems to be trying to endlessly parade around. The theories of patriarchy and rape culture permeating everything in our society etc. It became more of ideology about what a group wants you to believe than what is actually the truth. To be fair, many men's rights advocate's do the same thing, as well as many religious people etc...

Ya know what, those women can continue on in those academic circles spewing it until their jaws fall off. I wouldn't dare censor any of them. But I have read enough modern feminist theory to have an educated opinion on it. I would say about 85 percent of it is complete and utter horse shit...

I don't doubt that there is a lot of self-indulgent silliness going on in academia, but I wonder if it's fair to extrapolate from that and then say the entire feminist cause has lost its way, because it certainly doesn't square with the opinions I've seen from "boots on the ground" feminists and progressives. Further, I think it's important to try to make sure your exposure is representative; I.E. if you only read the worst studies passed around as evidence that feminists are crazy, are you ignoring a larger body of work that is more sound? I'm not saying that's the case for you, but I can't be too careful with strangers on the internet, you know?

I wonder if you could point me towards some of the feminist pieces you've come across? I actually am curious to read some of it if I have time, to see what my take on it would be.

I don't mean to be rude here, but earlier you were the one who told me that the "elevator gate" thing wasn't worth defending at all, and I certainly didn't find that to be the case after I looked into it. So, basically I'd want to read things "from the horses mouth" before passing judgment based on what someone else thinks.

Again, I really am interested in trying to get more information under my belt here, I'm just cautious about making sure I get it right.

#452 Posted by joshwent (1778 posts) -

@lively said:

That's a fair statement. Although, it does remind me of several people I've met, that when quizzed on their individual views, more than met some definitions of being a "feminist", but still rejected the label, either because they didn't like any labels, or because they had some negative associations with the word "feminist" in particular.

Maybe their "negative associations" with the word are that it's so broad as to be meaningless.

For probably 26 of my 29 years, I would have identified as a feminist as well, because it's obvious to me that women should be considered as equals to men. Simple. But that definition has become antiquated. As our society has evolved, that once revolutionary position has become the default. It was once that there was the gender oppression status-quo mainstream view, and then a bunch of radicals who thought women should be able to vote. Now the mainstream view is largely pro women's rights itself, but the radicals are still there, and have co-opted the once simple movement into a complex web of societal theory.

Feminism now implicitly includes overthrowing the patriarchy, dismantling rape culture, fighting objectification and the male gaze, as well as occasionally some "down with capitalism" sentiment. These are all things that I don't accept for various reasons, so the label "feminist" simply can't apply to me. And even though I will always believe with the core of my being that women are equals, since I reject those other concepts, I'm automatically labeled by many as sexist.

If you still argue the term could be applied to me, then it also could for practically everyone no matter their views, so it's simply become useless.

#453 Edited by Darji (5295 posts) -

@lively: Christina Hoff Sommers is also a feminist so there is no problem and even she says that there is no reason anymore for feminism in our modern countries. The problem are the gender and radical feminism which is taught at Universities. Back then Feminist organisation have build up and organized a huge lobby and today they still need a reason to exist just like all these big lobbies and organisations. Feminism today has nothing to do anymore with the women movement from back than. Instead of focusing on one group we should not specialize ourselves . Just like Wendy Davis which was bought up recently we should fight for everyone and that is not what feminism stands for. And that is what egalitarianism stands for and I am glad that people in here totally agree with my opinion.

We will never archive the " true equality" like the Gloria Allred "wants" because we will always be different. Physically and emotionally no matter what. We could only lose it if we were produced by machines to think the same, act the same and look the same. But this will hopefully never happen. WE do not need these groups that only want justice and equality for one gender, race or sexuality. WE need to work together as one.

#454 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3325 posts) -

@lively said:

It's silly to complain that being both egalitarian and a feminist is impossible. They're not mutually exclusive; if you think so you're using very slanted definitions of the word. It's not a zero sum game, and gains made by women don't necessarily mean losses by men.

Going back to this for a moment, while I agree that gains made by women don't necessarily mean losses by men, it's a good idea to remember that isn't always true. Here are two good examples of this:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324600704578405280211043510.html

I know that this has become a rather frequently used arrow in every male rights activist's quiver, but it's still a pretty massive injustice that was an unintended consequence of a system that was created with the best of intentions.

Speaking of title IX, I've enjoyed John Stossel for years, and he was speaking out against the problems with that law long before he left 20/20. Trust me when I say that I absolutely DO NOT watch Fox News, but if you can get past the idea of where this story originally aired, this is pretty much the same case he's been making since the 90s.

SKIP TO THE 12:00 MINUTE MARK. I have no idea why, but you tube refuses to embed the correct the time-code.

@lively said:

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, that the best way to make Anita irrelevant is to do what she did but a lot better. Maybe she'll be the one to do that, maybe someone else will, I don't know. Whoever it ends up being, I wish them luck.

I agree. When I hear people make claims of a huge demand for female protagonists, I'm always fascinated by the fact that only 18 percent of Mass Effect 2 and ME3 playthroughs used a female character. I wish someone would look much deeper into statistics like that, and make a case that was based on fact more than opinion. Not that feelings are worthless, and not that statistics can't be manipulated to serve whatever point you're trying to make, but it would interest me much more than what Anita is currently doing.

#455 Edited by Marokai (2636 posts) -

@lively said:

@marokai said:

The problem with Anita Sarkeesian is that she's a feminist. By that I mean, she sees everything through only one lens, in only one way, for only one purpose; women, women, women.

It's silly to complain that being both egalitarian and a feminist is impossible. They're not mutually exclusive; if you think so you're using very slanted definitions of the word. It's not a zero sum game, and gains made by women don't necessarily mean losses by men.

All I meant to suggest there is that feminism, if it simply means equality for women, is a needlessly divisive label that, if used to that broad of a level, just becomes meaningless, because it basically applies to everyone at some point except for the deranged. I believe in gender equality; the idea that men and women should be treated the same and have equal rights and privileges. That a woman should be able to treat me like anyone else, and I should be able to treat a woman like anyone else. That if I make a joke about a guy, and no one bats an eye at it, I should be able to make the same joke about a woman, or use the same terminology toward a woman, without someone getting creeped out and defensive by it.

That makes total sense to me. Not seeing a difference in how to treat and feel about either gender is what gender equality means to me, and honestly, what I think it actually means. But that's not the sort of attitude that would endear you to the modern feminist movement, who believe in the "patriarchy," and see objectification and "rape culture" everywhere they look, including, apparently, Christmas songs. I can fully understand why someone would casually look at one or two of Anita's videos, and think she's a mild mannered woman saying fairly uncontroversial things and being treated unfairly for it, but that's not a fair representation of how she really thinks.

She seems to complain about everything to the point of contradicting herself, dismisses the possibility that anything can be explained by narrative context, and despite her constant regrets that their aren't enough strong, positive female role models in pop culture (which she is right about!) she complains about plenty of them (see: True Grit) for absurd reasons. And this is the incomprehensible part about modern feminism, because if you're a strong and tough female, you're just trying to be like a male. But if you express your emotions and take a support role, you're just a pitiful and weak representation of what males think of women. Anita, and other feminists, concoct these preposterous no-win scenarios.

This is getting a bit broad again, and I'll stop myself before I ramble on for much longer, but I just feel like the modern feminist movement (which is unfortunately enabled by a lot of folks who have influence who feel too afraid to call out bullshit on any part of it) has been an enormous failure and it's biggest mistake is only focusing on women's problems and how they can make men feel ashamed for them. In this regard, Anita Sarkeesian is no different and doing women no favors. There's no discussions of any of the problems that men actually do face in society, and there's no admission that all of these problems come from very deep and complex underlying issues in our society that will take time to iron out and aren't going to be solved by one law here, or one law there, and certainly not by futzing with video games.

This isn't a women's issue, it's a human issue, and it will be solved through education, through treating everyone equally, by no longer perpetuating the difference between men and women by saying things like (as one random example) "Timmy, you shouldn't ever hit a woman!" and instead saying things like "Timmy, you shouldn't hit anyone." That's why I don't really "get" feminism, such as it is, or Anita's whole schtick. It's a divisive label, and a movement that seems to spend more time whining about the problems and who can be blamed for it, instead of growing up and trying to talk about the solutions.

Again, I apologize for the length of this. It's a weedy topic.

#456 Edited by Lively (298 posts) -

@marokai, @joshwent, Those last two posts of yours are among the most articulate and convincing I've seen coming from the "against" side of this topic, so props there. It's always nice when a debate stops fussing over semantics so much and starts focusing more on the underlying meaning, and when that happens usually a surprising amount of common ground can often be discovered.

I agree that in the long run, the label of "feminist" shouldn't be needed when replaced by a strong egalitarian ethic. I agree that some social movements, once constructed, and after they accomplish their primary goals, can get stuck in auto-pilot and pick some fights that probably don't need to happen.

I guess the main difference for me is this: the wrongs those social movements were meant to correct are either sufficiently recent, or in some cases partially ongoing, that I really don't think the vitriolic anger at modern day feminists (or insert other social cause here) is justified. I empathize with these causes so much that even if some of their members could stand to tone it down a bit, I really want to be the friendly good-cop type who is in a better position to encourage that change than the hateful internet masses who mostly just end up proving them right.

And secondly, I think that there is at least some validity to the concepts mentioned earlier - patriarchy, rape culture, male gaze - each one of these things is describing observable phenomenon, whether it be the overwhelming tendency for men to inhabit the highest positions of power, or the flippant, even permissive attitude towards rape found among some people. And the concept of the "male gaze" is something that is used all the time in film criticism, (just watch any James Bond film for a blatant example), so extending it to videogame criticism isn't much of a stretch. For the record, "female gaze" is a real thing, too, whether it's in "Fifty Shades of Grey" or "Twilight" - it is slightly rarer in movies, though, and hardly ever found in games.

I guess my point there is that these concepts deserve to be explored - understanding them better doesn't mean that you have to encourage the destruction of the patriarchy, or banning all uses of the male gaze in fiction. If you find a feminist who takes a thoroughly black-and-white view of these ideas, then sure, that person is probably a silly ideologue. I generally think you should postpone calling them that as long as possible, though, because people are rarely as simple as they seem on first glance.

What we're talking about here aren't legal issues - they're cultural ones, and for the most part you can't legislate them; you can only attempt to explore and describe them. Social / cultural phenomenon are by their nature very complicated and hard to reduce to simple truths, nor should they be. In my opinion, though, our culture is made richer because we're willing to try to understand ourselves better.

#457 Edited by joshwent (1778 posts) -

@lively: An internet sexism argument that's coming to a productive conclusion?!? Maybe I fell down in the shower this morning and this is just a lovely hallucination.

Anyway, I really like what you just wrote, and I think you do better understand where some of us are coming from in this specific aspect of the conversation.

If you find a feminist who takes a thoroughly black-and-white view of these ideas, then sure, that person is probably a silly ideologue.

For me this is Anita to a T, and a perfect summary of my dislike of her videos. As you said, the wrongs feminism tries to address are ongoing, and that fight is a vital one. So when a person rises to a prominent place in that discussion, but is at the same time uninterested in a discussion and rather just preaching her own narrow POV, I get upset. Not upset that my boobie games are gonna get taken away. Not upset that a woman is out there speaking her mind and I'm threatened. (both kind of offensive dismissals of the dissent that I've read countless times already) No, I get upset that this pivotal struggle for equality looses strength when it's reduced to analyzing extremely questionable points like just how much Princess Peach disempowers women, or how spousal abuse is encouraged by video games.

In my opinion, though, our culture is made richer because we're willing to try to understand ourselves better.

In mine too, buddy! But when figureheads shut the actual discussion out in favor of spreading their theory, the further away we get from mutual understanding, which is the only way we'll ever actually become equal. Basically, Anita's videos just because they exist do the good job of getting people to think about the social impact of media, but her dismissal of other opinions and the painfully rigid and narrow feminist theory that guides her "research" actually acts as an obstacle to the progress she seeks. I think that might just be something we can agree on.

Hugs!

#458 Edited by Lively (298 posts) -
@joshwent said:

@lively: An internet sexism argument that's coming to a productive conclusion?!? Maybe I fell down in the shower this morning and this is just a lovely hallucination.

Anyway, I really like what you just wrote, and I think you do better understand where some of us are coming from in this specific aspect of the conversation.

If you find a feminist who takes a thoroughly black-and-white view of these ideas, then sure, that person is probably a silly ideologue.

For me this is Anita to a T, and a perfect summary of my dislike of her videos. As you said, the wrongs feminism tries to address are ongoing, and that fight is a vital one. So when a person rises to a prominent place in that discussion, but is at the same time uninterested in a discussion and rather just preaching her own narrow POV, I get upset. Not upset that my boobie games are gonna get taken away. Not upset that a woman is out there speaking her mind and I'm threatened. (both kind of offensive dismissals of the dissent that I've read countless times already) No, I get upset that this pivotal struggle for equality looses strength when it's reduced to analyzing extremely questionable points like just how much Princess Peach disempowers women, or how spousal abuse is encouraged by video games.

In my opinion, though, our culture is made richer because we're willing to try to understand ourselves better.

In mine too, buddy! But when figureheads shut the actual discussion out in favor of spreading their theory, the further away we get from mutual understanding, which is the only way we'll ever actually become equal. Basically, Anita's videos just because they exist do the good job of getting people to think about the social impact of media, but her dismissal of other opinions and the painfully rigid and narrow feminist theory that guides her "research" actually acts as an obstacle to the progress she seeks. I think that might just be something we can agree on.

Hugs!

Well hugs might be a bit premature here; I still have a much rosier view of Anita's videos overall. I think she is guilty of being a black-and-white ideologue some of the time, but not all the time, and less as time goes on and she interacts with more people (which she does, on Twitter, even if she's locked down her YouTube comments). There's nothing in the videogame series that over-reaches quite as bad as her Christmas song video, and I think most of her more extreme-sounding statements would go down a lot easier if she just included about 10% more context and caveats to go along with them. I also don't think her missteps are "damaging the cause" (I don't think she's actually that powerful yet), so much as limiting the potential of how her message is perceived.

Still, a genial hand-shake will do for now :)

#459 Posted by joshwent (1778 posts) -
#460 Posted by blabbermouth64 (16 posts) -

I think these videos are great. I think its great to critically analyze video games in this fashion. I, personally, feel like a lot of the negative responses to these video games comes from people not know what the word "trope" means. The series is called "Tropes vs Women in Video Games." The damsel in distress scenario is one trope relating to women. So, everyone that thinks she forgot to mention (or is unaware of) games where the female character is not in distress is not correct. She is not discussing them because they do not relate to this trope. She will probably discuss them during the analysis of another trope. Hope to see more of these kinds of videos!

#461 Edited by darkpower (83 posts) -

Gonna do an "unintentional" bump of this because I just found this Facebook post about Antia's DiD 3 video. Why is it so relevant (it was posted on Aug 12th)? Because of who made the post: Doug Walker (aka The Nostalgia Critic) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Doug-Walker/127127037353766?hc_location=stream

Hmmm...I don't know. I've defended Anita Sarkeesian for her ripping down of the tired, overused, and (in my opinion unintentionally) damaging image of the Damsel in Distress in video games, even if I didn't agree with all her choices (disabling the comments still aches me to my core). I did this knowing it was unpopular, but never the less joined in the bashing of this bored cliche because it taints what I feel are otherwise bad-ass female characters.

I was looking forward to the final part about Dudes in Distress and Role Reversals, thinking she'll finally show the strong female heroes that so many games have given us. She briefly listed 9 all together (claiming 2 barely counted because they were secondary characters) and continued saying this was not enough. I agree, that is not enough, for you left these names out:

Samus
Lara Croft
Chell
Bayonetta
Zoey (Left for Dead)
Alyx Vance
Jill of the Jungle
Tyris Flare
Rayne
Joanna Dark
Manon Batiste
Danielle Fireseed
Chun-Li
Lightning
Sonya
Cate Archer
Faith
Ellie Langford
Nariko
Hibana
Giana and Maria
Jill Valentine
Bastila Shan
Elena Fisher
April Ryan
Nina Kalenkov
The Scythian
Konoko
Maki Genryusai
LuciaAlicia Claus
Blaze Fielding
Aya Brea
Rubi Malone
Violette Summer
Heather Mason
Regina
Momohime
Mace Daniels
Hana Tsu-Vachel
Vanessa Z
Vela
and ANY versus style fighting games. Practically every one has strong female fighters with great back-stories and personalities.

You can find more under Wiki's List of Female Video Game Action Heroes, where you can't find them is in Anita Sarkeesian's video. I truly feel this is a large missed opportunity as Anita states she is exploring the role of women in video games. Not explaining the roles many of these characters played is like discussing women in comedy and never mentioning Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Tina Fey, ect.

The goal, at least as I saw it, was not just to point out the problem, but acknowledge those who have succeeded past the problem, so that we may be able to learn from them. Women have worked too greatly and come too far in ALL forms of media to be ignored as such. I stand by her right to have her opinion, she is an intelligent person with intelligent points of view, but to make her points valid, I believe it is better to celebrate women for their accomplishments rather than waving one's finger saying "they're not enough."

As a comedian, I understand the irony of me saying "Focus on the positive," but I perform as an over the top satirical character for comedy, and have also added positive editorials to his work recently. Anita is searching for actual change, hoping to teach us how to accomplish it. A good teacher does not simply shame students who get things wrong, they build up students who get things right. I hope for a more positive and inspiring outlook for women in her future videos as I think she does have talent and some interesting points. For now though, I much rather focus on finding other women making changes in the media, as I know they will not be featured in Anita's videos anytime soon.

While I don't agree with every single opinion that Doug actually has done (there was a lot about his Sailor Moon review a few weeks ago that I didn't agree with, and he's hated on things that were very well liked before), his standing as a really well known internet celeb does make this interesting. That list is mind boggling, too: most of those I never even thought about.

I don't know. I agree she's intelligent, but I also agree she's doing way too much finger wagging and leaving anything out that doesn't fit the view she wants to have.