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To mark the release of the first entry in the much anticipated "Tropes Vs Women" Kickstarter video series, I thought it'd be appropriate to start a thread dedicated to discussion of that series and the new media works of Anita Sarkeesian in general.
Aaaaand here it is.
I realize that this kind of debate can get pretty heated, people, so a quick reminder: Be civil, be considerate and have fun. If you don't, you're doing TV Tropes wrong.
Yeah, it's great to have a place to talk about this.
I'm excited about this series, and I think that episode was pretty damn comprehensive.
There are minor academic problems (it's written to boilerplate academic formula, it briefly references TV Tropes as a credible and recognisable academic source) but I'll take my victories where I can get them. And if the rest are to this standard of quality, I'll count this as a win.
Eh, some of her points were spot on and some were a little sketchy, I'm not seeing what the hundreds of thousands of dollars went towards though. Production quality hasn't taken much of a step forwards.
http://sshof-vidya.tumblr.com/post/44813606965/oh-boy-its-finally-here-first-of-all-i-laughed < sums up my thoughts on the video.
Surprised that this (and presumably every other) category is multiple parts.
Also, good to know she's gonna be doing positive examples as well.
@Avorne: So you think that she played a damsel in distress herself to get her Kickstarter backing? Cause that's kinda what the Tumblr post you linked says.
Anyway, about the video, it's interesting, but I expected a more in depth look to the subject rather than just having a list of examples, she raises good points but I still can't helpt to think that it's a rather superficial look at the matter, even with all the info presented, I was expecting something else. I do look forward to see more of the videos, and I'm looking at the other non video game focused videos she has of Tropes vs Women.
'Superficial': that's been a large complaint of mine with her works and applies just as well here as it has in the past.
edited 8th Mar '13 1:05:58 AM by AnOtherT
I haven't seen most of her vids, and the ones I have I can barely remember, but the biggest problem with this vid (other than you can't see that kickstarter money anywhere ) is that everything she says is just lazy descriptions of the trope with And That's Terrible tacked on at the end. I would say that maybe its because she wants to start a discussion, except she's disabled comments, so why even do this if you're going to shut off all feedback, praise, and criticism?
And yes, I know they're disabled because of legitimately sexist trolls, but if you're so terrified of faceless dickbags online abusing ASSCAPS, then why even put yourself out there? Oh yeah, cuz you got a lot of Kickstarter money you have to show something for. The series might improve though, so I'll stick around I guess.
I'm only a few minutes in and her pointless Gratuitous French is starting to bug me. Haven't finished it yet so I'm not sure what I think of the whole thing.
edited 8th Mar '13 10:08:37 AM by Boredman
All the points she brings up are sound IMO; she's not wrong about anything. But these are points that have been made hundreds of times before, and she brings nothing new to the table, just a very dry, academic analysis. She's like The Nostalgia Chick without the snarky humor and lovable side characters.
edited 8th Mar '13 10:41:29 AM by Filby
Well, she's clearly making more of an effort than she used to. Although her arguments still aren't winning me over.
Anyone else catch how she actually twists the definition of the trope in order for her point to exist? She literally does a revise halfway through the video.
Meh, I'll keep watching just to see where this goes.
edited 8th Mar '13 12:39:39 PM by VeryMelon
@Brokenshell44: She disabled comments because apparently sharing them with others and discussing the video in other threads is a far better decision than having a shitstorm of sexist/anti-feminist comments infecting her comments section. Of course, all this does it move the sexist comments to different scattered places as opposed to being focused within one large area.
In any case, I don't really feel like watching this video yet. At least until I can get over my dislike for the way she took advantage of the people that backed her Kickstarter.
How the hell can you still claim she's "Taking advantage" of people here when 1) no one was forced to donate and 2) she did use this money to make the promised product.
Because for a very long time, it seemed that she didn't put that money into good use. When other far more promising projects get thrown to the side for whatever reason, this one only got successful because of her notoriety and victim-baiting.
edited 8th Mar '13 1:43:23 PM by Nettacki
She painted herself as quite the damsel in distress, or at least a downtrodden victim of the world, who was receiving nonstop sexist comments and was hated by men at large for telling it like it is. She said she needed that money to continue and expand on her existing works yet all she really did with it for the longest time was buy a bunch of video games and show nothing for it. Now she has shown something for it and, guess what, it's nothing she couldn't have done without that money.
Movie Bob of The Game Overthinker chimed in on the costs when quizzed on his blog about how much his own series takes to produce.
Having watched the video itself: She's shooting and outputting in HD/broadcast-quality (this has clearly been designed for classroom/seminar presentation moreso than the web video) and most the MASSIVE amount of game footage looks to have been captured from either original sources (I'm assuming MAME or download-service copies for the retro stuff) - which requires both expensive equipment and the expense of the systems and games themselves. Also, I don't know if she does her own graphics and animation, but her transitions all look like original work; and even if she did do them herself the "going rate" for that kind of work can get pretty damn high especially if you plan to buy or license it in perpuity.
ALSO: I don't know what else she does for a regular living, but I DO know the relative man-hours of putting a project like this together and they are substantial - thusly, if the ONLY thing all the Kickstarter money did was pay her bills and living-expenses so that she could free up the time to actually play/record the games, write the script and make the video I'm frankly perplexed that she ever somehow thought a paltry sum like $6,000 was going to cover it. I mean... isn't she working out of New York? Do you have ANY idea how expensive the WORST living-space in New York is?
Not to mention that if there where overt differences in presentation, people would probably be saying she wasted the money. She can't really win.
As for the accusations that she played the damsel in distress herself to drum up interest... Baseless. She put up the "support my kickstarter project" video. Some people noticed. These people make a huge fuss about it. Other people donated out of spite for the first group of people. Hell, by the time she even commented on the harassment the kickstarter had gone way past the stretch goals.
ANYWAY, as for the video itself; nice introduction. Nothing I didn't already know, of course. I find it funny how even I didn't really realize how many Damsels there where back in the golden ages. Guess the Excuse Plot pileup just sort of faded into the background after awhile.
edited 8th Mar '13 2:10:10 PM by ShirowShirow
I'm certainly wondering what on earth the original $6,000 was for.
I didn't want to get into this again but Shirow, she totally did play the damsel in distress that she's criticising. All comments on Anita's Kickstarter video needed to be approved before posting and, while I'm not so paranoid that I think she was filtering out all positive comments (and the reasonable, non-trolling negative ones), she did go on to post all the abuse on her blog. So it's only logical that she wanted the abusive comments at the forefront to gain the sympathy that she wanted. The same sympathy that netted her $158,000, a ton of interviews and flights to TEDxWomen and EADice.
For her to approve the abusive comments she was receiving and post a screenshot of them on her blog is a clear sign that she didn't think anything of them; if she truly found them morally wrong, then she wouldn't have approved them. Or would've blocked the commenters or refused to allow comments on the video at the first sign of trouble. She would not have tried to garner sympathy by posting them on her blog. All she was doing was preying on the sympathies of people who were offended by those comments and giving her money because they thought she was a victim.
Even without all that, however, my respect for Anita took another nosedive after she referred to herself as a "survivor" of online abuse at TEDxWomen. There are a lot of victims of online bullying and abuse who are driven to suicide because of it. A lot of those victims may not have committed suicide if they had $158,000 to fall back on and I think it undermines those victims by calling herself a "survivor" when she's only benefitted from the abuse that she herself orchestrated.
Edit: Okay, not "orchestrated", but she didn't deter it anywhere near as much as she could've.
edited 8th Mar '13 2:41:34 PM by Guest1001
Having seen more of her videos I do have to say she needs some improvement, I agree with most of what she's saying, I just don't find myself interested enough to keep visiting her series, I can think of at least three different content producers that also talk about women and gender portrayal in the media that I find more compelling.
Also I find odd that she uses certain examples to make a point of a trope, when said examples where made to actually deconstruct said trope.
Which examples? How exactly do you Deconstruct Distressed Damsel when that's already a bad thing?
I meant the other videos, the non video game focused, like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl episode, in which she uses 500 Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind as reference, or the Straw Feminist episode, where she mentions the Powerpuff Girls episode with the villain Femme Fatale.
Those are some of the examples of Anita not doing her homework.
Which I don't think she'll come up with here based on how comprehensive this vid was. You can call it many things but "poorly researched" isn't one of them.
Yeah, and it's not like those minor examples seriously hurt her argument. Summer and Clementine aren't straight examples (though they're both meant to appear to be initially, and such a view stems from systemic nature of the Male Gaze) but there are plenty more that could easily take their places, like Anne Hathaway's character in something something end of the world something.
That was a good video. A bit talky, but that's not a problem for me. Most of it's quite obvious stuff, but sadly, given the reactions to her, it apparently needs to be said. As usual the criticism against her is shallow at best. I mean, look at the tumblr link posted earlier. I realize it's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but how can you take anyone seriously who writes:
"I CANíT BELIEVE SHE CAN SAY THAT WITH NO SENSE OF IRONY AND SHAME. Considering that playing the damsel in distress is how she managed to scam people out of more than $150,000, and thatís basically what her ideology of feminism is, I think that has worked out pretty well for her."
I look forward to the rest of the series, but it's off to a good start.
... But that's exactly what she did. I find it much easier to take that seriously than the woman who criticises the damsel in distress while playing the Wounded Gazelle Gambit herself. Since the Kickstarter ended and her first video appeared, that's what she made her name from. Playing the victim.
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