Day 546: Fallout 4 still isn’t out yet.
Day 539: Fallout 4 still isn’t out yet.
Favourite Audrey Ramirez Quotes
Audrey doesn’t get NEARLY enough love. It’s Edwardian period, yet she’s a genius Hispanic engineer who wears overalls, has adorably little meaty arms, doesn’t take any crap from boys, runs a mechanic business with her father and her sister is a prize fighter.
Cool Disney female characters don’t have to be princesses, folks.
BUTCH is a documentary portrait project and exploration of the butch aesthetic, identity and presentation of female masculinity as it stands in 2013-14. It is a celebration of those who choose to exist and identify outside of the binary; who still get he’d and she’d differently throughout the day; who get called-out in bathrooms and eyed suspiciously at the airport; who have invented names for themselves as parents because “Mom” nor “Dad” feels quite right; and who will generally expect that stare from the gender police trying to figure out if they are “a boy or a girl”. It is an homage to the bull-daggers and female husbands before me, and to the young studs, gender queers, and bois who continue to bloom into the present.
Asked by erogesekaiseifuku
First of all, should I assume that by “these kind of things” you mean this site? Uh, okay?
I feel like you missed the whole point of this blog.
You personally prefer bikini armor and find it more interesting than full-covering, realistic one? More power to you! Then again, it’s not about you and your personal preferences.
It’s about pervasive trends of how media depicts women almost exclusively in objectifying ways and offers no alternative to this objectification. Even if said media is supposedly interactive and customizable (video games, especially RPGs of all kinds).
BABD blog is devoted to the fact of how those trends are especially obvious when combat-based female characters are depicted.
You see, there is such thing as Willing Suspension of Disbelief, the untold agreement between the author and the audience that helps to experience immersion in the fiction.
The audience intuitively agrees to overlook unrealistic/fantastic aspects of experienced fiction as long as they make sense in the narrative. It does not mean they uncritically assume everything out of ordinary to be normal.
If the author doesn’t create consistent rules for their world of fiction, the illusion of reality fails and the audience can not suspend their disbelief anymore.
A naturalistic story tells a story that is completely plausible in our world. No wizards, no dragons, no secret vampires, no alien invasions. Telling a realistic story is telling a story that is logical and consistent and makes sense (even if the setting is in a fictional world or in a reality very different from our own).
This is usually the case with skimpy armor. The point of armor is to provide physical barrier, protection from bodily damage in combat.
For instance, a bikini made out of chainmal (or any other armor material) is just a weird (possibly uncomfortable) bikini, not an armor. It serves the purpose of a bikini (cover nipples and crotch!), not of the amor (protect everything that can be slashed or stabbed!).
So in the setting where people wear armor for the same reason as in the real world, a knight in a metal bikini looks simply ridiculous, and, again, probably can not move without major discomfort.
As for the settings that justify skimpy battle outfit with magic/science/whatever that can create protective barrier… Yeah, makes sense AS LONG AS EVERYONE’S COSTUME IS LIKE THAT. If the same magic armor looks completely regular for guys, but takes form of underwear/bikini/whateverthehellthisis for women, then we face a double standard which can not be justified in-story.
There’s also the issue of skimpy armor supposedly symbolizing empowerment or badassery of a female character.
The thing is, there’s nothing inherently empowering (or sexual, but that’s another story) about partial nudity. There’s a bigger issue of cultural context behind it.
If you stop to think why most half-naked warrior women look like lady on the left, not like one on the right, you’ll understand how female nudity is used to be ogled; not to symbolize power, like male nudity.
Then again, some heroines may be characterized to feel empowered by being sexual (Emma Frost and Bayonetta are most frequently brought up as examples), but the message fails through if everyone around them is designed to look equally sexual, despite having different personality and views on that.
Just like those characters, you personally are completely free to read non-practical costumes in MMOs as attractive/empowering, but those who have different opinion should be given the choice between any level of practicality, especially since character customization is a big part of roleplaying game experience.
You Made Sue Storm Cry
Once upon a time, Stan Lee, a rabid misogynist, invented the Fantastic Four. I’m gonna be honest, the writing was pretty shitty, but the premise was awesome - a team full of superheroes with different powers and opinions about superheroism. A variety of relationships - siblings, friends, lovers. A pretty damn good rogues’ gallery and some decent adventures.
Overall, the team was pretty good, and defeated a ton of baddies in their early issues. Except for Sue Storm. Sue was undeniably the weakest link of the team. She spent her time crying, saying her powers were useless, and getting kidnapped by villain after villain.
This is not an exaggeration in any way.
Stan Lee wouldn’t give her any chance to shine. He kept writing her as an insecure, self-hating, ineffectual crybaby, and wouldn’t let her take credit for even her few victories. He couldn’t even think of any good uses for invisibility, for crying out loud.
Pictured: Sue not even getting any credit for beating up Doctor Doom.
She was a really lousy superhero, and a drag to read about. She didn’t get any good lines or get to do anything cool. So naturally, fans hated her guts. And they wrote in and told Stan Lee so.
What did he do in response?
Did he decide to take Sue off the team and stick to writing male characters because he couldn’t write women who weren’t offensive stereotypes? Nope.
Did he decide to put some effort into writing Sue as something besides an offensive stereotype? Hahaha no.
He did this:
That’s right, a fourth-wall-breaking mailbag issue where the readers learned that their mean, mean letters made Sue Storm cry, and they should just learn to appreciate her the way
Stan Lee’s sockpuppetsthe rest of her team does!
So, why exactly should we continue to read the adventures of Sue Sadsack Storm?
You wanna see women kicking ass? Go watch women wrestling! Superhero comics aren’t about that sort of shit! I hope you picked up this action-packed superhero comic for something besides people doing cool shit with their superpowers, because Sue won’t be doing any of that! The guys will, though.
Why is she even on the team if she’s not going to participate at all?
That’s right. We should read the adventures of Sue Storm because even though she doesn’t get to do any of the adventuring, her teammates value their relationships with her and she totally adds a lot to the team offscreen!
And also this one time she got to go invisible and toggle a switch in the middle of an exciting action sequence!
This reminds me of the arguments I’ve seen that fans just have to try harder to appreciate female characters as much as they appreciate male characters. It’s bullshit. Sue Storm was a shitty, shitty character throughout Stan Lee’s run. Because he wrote her that way. He gave her all of those character traits, he put her in situations where her powers were useless, he gave her that dialogue, he made her lose fights, he kept her from any chance of heroism and being an enjoyable character fans could identify with.
The writer was the one who needed to change. Not the fandom.
The writing was sexist. It was bullshit to create an unlikeable character and then blame fans for not liking her. We’re not obliged to happily accept any slop thrown our way, even if female characters are rare.
I really do like subsequent incarnations of Sue, but it really, really depends on the writer, and how much they’re willing to develop her character, give her good lines, and let her shine.
Sue Storm isn’t inherently a bad character. She isn’t inherently an interesting character either. It all depends on how she’s written. Characters aren’t real people. They aren’t naturally who they are. They are written deliberately. That writing can be critiqued. And making your characters cry into their mail is just cheap emotional manipulation to avoid engaging actual critiques.
I bolded part of this for emphasis. This isn’t specifically about Sue Storm but an example of what Summer’s been saying about how people treat characters like they’re real people in order to dismiss criticism of how they’re written/portrayed and put the blame on the reader for not trying hard enough to like them.
Also, I’m amused that Stan Lee’s response wasn’t even to really address his critics as much as be like “you’re being MEAN to her, don’t you feel bad now?” And look the character I’m writing is crying! And the characters I’m writing like her! It’s almost like this weird fictional peer pressure thing. -_o Plus, I’m not even sure how that’s an argument. All the villagers in Beauty and the Beast liked Gaston. Did we have to like him too? And he’s not even supposed to be a hero we’re supposed to associate with and enjoy reading about.
His “behind every great man is a great woman” argument is hilarious too. Not just because that argument is often used to dismiss arguments about lack of representation of women in the workplace or in power (“oh but my wife, she’s the REAL boss of the house!”) but also, they’re not real, so Sue isn’t actually doing anything for them behind the scenes. Nor is Stan Lee interested in writing the amazingly useful things she apparently is doing for them, he’s just using it as a handwave and attempting to put the onus on the readers for his own writing limitations and sexism.
(It’s also not a particularly great response to make her helpless in the comic that’s about how she’s not useless and helpless. She’s just crying and saying she should quit and it’s the guys making the arguments to defend her.)
This example may seem antiquated, but we still see this exact same argument brought up today when people are critical of how a female character is written. It’s also a good example why the “separate but equal” excuse for weak female characters is still comically lame.
"Feminine" attributes and "masculine" attributes are mostly arbitrarily assigned by whatever culture they’re in, and are a poor means of constructing believable, compelling characters of any gender.