is a web series created by Anita Sarkeesian to analyze pop culture from a feminist perspective. The point of the series is to point out female character archetypes, mostly negative criticism towards what she regards as the Unfortunate Implications
that ensue from various shows and movies. She has created a six-part mini-series on "Tropes V.S. Women" and is in the process of creating a 12-part mini-series on "Tropes V.S. Women in Video Games
", both of which just so happen to use this very site as inspiration.
Tropes/works discussed in the series:Tropes
- The Bechdel Test - She suggests an addendum to it that interactions between women should amount to more than a minute of screen time, to clear up debate over cases where there are only one or two sentences. She also points out a corollary for the portrayal of people of color in films, where two or more of them talk to each other about something other than a white person.
- Each of the "Tropes V.S. Women" episodes focuses on a particular trope she considers to be negative:
- The Tropes Vs Women in Video Games has started being released:
- The first two are about the Damsel in Distress. The first focuses on the definition (a woman rendered completely helpless so the hero can rescue her) and the history of the trope from some of its earliest incarnations up to the year 2000. The second will focus on more modern games.
- Most Writers Are Male: Discussed most of the time.
- Stalker with a Crush: How she sees Justin Bieber's version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You".
- The Nostalgia Chick: Cited as a reference source.
- Veronica Mars: Praised it for interpreting women (the main character specially) for being tech-savvy and the use of non-violent conflict resolution. Panned the third season for literally villainising feminists.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Although she hasn't discussed the show in an episode, she has mentioned it often as one of her favorite shows and characters. She has also published one dissertation in which she compares Buffy to Bella Swan.
- Twilight: Unsurprisingly, she finds it to be awful. Although in her video about it, she discusses how male viewers often hate Edward for the wrong reasons.
Tropes invoked during the series:
- Accentuate the Negative: Largely focuses on what she finds sexist in the media.
- Actual Pacifist: Her continuous praise of non-violent resolutions in media suggests that she is this.
- And That's Terrible: She argues that Hollywood "should feel really guilty right now" about using the Mystical Pregnancy trope.
- Cowboy Be Bop At His Computer: Anita has made a few research mistakes. Among them:
- Lumping Y: The Last Man and the Daughters of Amazon therein as example of "crazy man hating Straw Feminists without any realistic feminists showing up" when not only do calmer more grounded feminists appear but Brian K. Vaughan explicitly created the characters as examples of one type of feminist school of thought and other characters as opposing ones.
- Dismissing Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs because she's overshadowed in the cultural memory of the film by a male character (Hannibal) even though Clarice fits her previously established criteria; she has the most screen time in the film, the story arc revolves around her, we see her make decisions and she is the character that the viewer identifies with in a role that earned Jodie Foster her second Oscar along with Anthony Hopkins for his Hannibal Lecter role. It's virtually impossible to describe the plot in a way that makes Hannibal seem anything like the lead character, but Sarkeesian says the exact opposite of this.
- She also lists Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as a straight example of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, even though she is a character who was an outright subversion of this trope who actually says to her romantic foil: "I'm not a concept. Too many guys think I'm a concept or I complete them or I'm going to make them alive, but I'm just a fucked up girl who is looking for my own peace of mind. Don't assign me yours."
- Her Bayonetta review (which she has since deleted) has been ripped to shreds by several people because of the sheer amount of inaccuracies that came up when she described the plot and characters (she described Bayonetta as being a single mother, when no such plot device existed in the game). She claims that this was a result of people not getting a bunch of jokes she made and has since uploaded an unlisted video linked from her website that has the inaccurate statements/jokes removed. You can see it here.
- The Damsel in Distress video has a glaring inaccuracy. She describes what would become Starfox Adventures, Dinosaur Planet. She correctly states that Krystal was a playable character, but then states that it was "her own game" and that Fox Mc Cloud replaced Krystal. It is well known, however, that there was also a male playable character named Sabre that Fox actually replaced (Sabre was never even brought up in the video), and the change to the Starfox canon was because of Nintendo selling Rare to Microsoft and them wanting to secure the ownership of the Dinosaur Planet elements because of them selling Rare to Microsoft (another omission). She also failed to bring up the two proceeding Starfox games (Command and Assault), both of which feature Krystal in a Smurfette Principle, but still show that she was a force to be reckoned with and both allowing playability as her in some form.
- One of Us: Loves Sci-fi and fantasy shows, and does a trope based segment. She also loves many of the franchises she critiques, including the Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda franchises.
- She has commented on the series, but only about the success of the first part and how many examples of the Damsel in Distress trope are listed on her Tumblr page. Nothing concerning when the next installment will appear.
- Men use Violence, Women use Communication: Discussed in her videos for True Grit and Veronica Mars.
- Sarcasm Mode: In the latter part of the Tropes Vs. Women videos.
- Viewers Are Morons:
- In the first Tropes VS Women in Video Games video, about a minute is spent describing to the audience what a Damsel in Distress is, even though that trope being incredibly common is one of her key arguments.
- She also emphasizes at the beginning and end that you can be a fan of something and be able to see its flaws. Justified, as this is something her critics often don't understand.