Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Impressions: Tropes VS Women Videos

So, I finally decided to see a video made by Feminist Frequency Anita Sarkeesian. It was the video above, about the use of exaggerated feminists in media, to the point of invalidating the feminism. The reason I decided to watch the video was to have an idea of how Anita works, her point of views and what to expect when she do her videos about videogames. A lot of polemic raised about this, as many gamers attacked Anita in what they saw as an attack at the hobby of playing videogames.

I don't agree with the attacks, because people have a right to state their opinions, and I will wait for someone to state said opinion before politely disagreeing with them and point out what I disagree and why. Or to change my mind and agree with that person or to find a middle ground with the person. Anita have the right to say what she think is wrong, as long as she base it in facts.

Games can and many are sexist, that is a fact. It may be not as widespread as many people want to make it seem, and many occasions where sexism and misogyny is perceived by some may not be there and be people just jumped to conclusions before even with very few information and facts available. many will willing ignore facts (like people complaining that lollipop Chainsaw had no gameplay trailers when they had plenty) just to justify their points of view.

Yes, there is sexism in games. 
So, I saw the Anita video expecting it to be full of fair points and that she would not only show the bad representations, but also show how it would be the 'right' way on her eyes and show us examples of good portrayals. I got one or other far point, but they were rare and not well explained. Many just felt as she was saying 'it is bad, trust me'. The point where she eye-rolled was the point she lost me. She should have make many explanations and showed me some good examples. She didn't.

Instead, she resorted to many 'oh yeah, right' moments and 'it is bad for women, because it is what I saying' moments. Also, she never presented any good examples of portrayal at all, implying that only the bad portrayal exists. Also, she completely forgot the nature of the shows she was criticizing. when she criticized South Park, she forgot that South Park mock and criticize everyone, not just women or feminists. It is the nature of the show.

Also, when she complained about the Powerpuff Girls episode, she forgot about the lesson Sarah Bellum told the girls near the end about the true nature of fighting for equality. She deliberately choose to ignore part of the episode so she could concentrate in the part who justify her point of view. This is not being fair.

And this moment, she completely made any hope of fairness in  her future videos lost.
In a recent interview, she criticized the way the protagonist in Gravity Rush, because she wasn't wearing the appropriated attire Anita believed to be to someone who can freaking manipulate gravity. She completely ignored how the character is portrayed in the game and nitpicked a detail to justify her points. This is not how you do. You not evaluate a character or real person on a small detail and make it bad. It is like saying a girl is a slut because she have a big cleavage or that she is a puritan because she is dressed head to toes.

Unfortunately, all my hopes that her future videos about sexism in videogames will be a fair endeavor is lost because of this interview and how she do her videos. I may be wrong, and I will watch those video to be sure. Anita have all the right to state her opinion and I will side with her for this right. I also agree that there is sexism in videogames, that there is misogyny and that women still need to fight to have equal rights.

But I disagree with how Anita Sarkeesian is doing it, and how she make her videos. I hope she listen to criticism and reflect on them, no matter the source, and not dismiss it as just people being ignorant or hateful towards her. I want to hear her points of view and opinions.

But I also hope she do the same to me.

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