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12/04/2015 01:49:20 •••

Women as Reward Review - This is "No shit, Sherlock."

To start off, this is a review of the only episode of Feminist Frequency I've seen - "Women as Reward." It was clearly (though rather dully) produced and was largely inoffensive. In fact, much of what Anita said could be boiled down to "No shit, Sherlock." Women are used as trophies in video games? You don't say! *Insert image of Nicholas Cage here*

This isn't meant to be a criticism of Anita, necessarily — she's just laying out some pretty obvious realities in games. Her videos could be more engaging - while her neutral tone is good given the subject matter, the actual production often comes across as more of a souped up Powerpoint than dynamic and critical dissection of games.

Everything she says though is pretty spot on. Samus is a great character (and one of my favorites) but it's pretty obvious that the game uses seeing her in a bikini as a reward. This doesn't make the game bad by any stretch but it does exactly what Anita says it does and fits into a larger pattern found in games in general.

Why anyone would get upset at her videos, though, is beyond me. Nothing she says is revolutionary or controversial. It puzzles me that so many people could get so upset over something so boring.

It'd be similar to someone getting upset at a video pointing out the blatantly obvious reality that beauty standards in the United States are white-centric. It's just a simple reality that non-white people are much less commonly presented as a standard or ideal of beauty in America. That doesn't make white models bad people. Nor is finding white models attractive bad or wrong. But it does mean that non-white people see fewer faces that look similar to theirs presented as beautiful.

Anita's videos are basically doing this. The 30 minute long presentation basically points out the reality that lots of games treat female characters and their bodies/sexuality as something that can be earned or won or bought. Games are hardly alone in doing that, though.

09/06/2015 00:00:00

See, a lot of people who I've seen heap scorn onto Anita Sarkeezian and Feminist Frequency are the same kind of people who would flip out at someone discussing racial marginalization. After all, both topics are discussed seriously by the "SJ Ws". Diving into a comment section about her or anything related to feminism or whatever is as murky and screwy as it was when the controversy broke.

Not that she's above criticism of course, your review was pretty neutral and about the quality of her work. I honestly believe that she became a controversial figure due to her use of Kickstarter to fund her videos. A second run of "Tropes Vs. Women", actually - she made a handful of them and looked to get funding for a few more. That's when it blew up, and before she released a new episode she had a sizable hatedom.

The way they're talked up, the amount of abuse she's copped over them, you'd think she was talking about something more radical. Apparently they're just entry-level videos about stuff in video games and media that spread not-so-great images of women. Basically, the internet overreacted over something trivial because it was attacking the integrity of vidya games or something.

09/06/2015 00:00:00

Yeah, I watched the first episode of her series and my reaction was more or less "Well... yeah, I kinda already knew that."

09/07/2015 00:00:00

The series is basically "Feminist Theory 101" with a particular focus on video game representations of women. Nothing she discusses in them is controversial in the slightest; most of it is stuff game fandom has been pointing out itself for years. The fact that she and her series have generated so much vitriolic hate says far more about the cultural climate of gaming than it does about her or her content, and none of it good.

09/07/2015 00:00:00

That's more or less my only criticism of the series, and it isn't really a criticism. The observations seem banal and she isn't saying anything that hadn't been said before, so she isn't offering anyone much who happen to already have a background knowledge on the subject. But then judging by how angry people seem to get when confronted with the suggestion that maybe a few too many female characters get kidnapped or used as trophies, I guess these talking points aren't so widely known.

09/07/2015 00:00:00

I suspect, Mister Hat, that the problem these... schiessköpf have with her is more the idea that it's a woman criticizing the medium, rather than any of the content of her critique. Consider tarklas's "review" under this one, and whether it seems like he watched a single episode.

09/07/2015 00:00:00

I wouldn't go quite that far, although it's pretty obvious that a lot of the hate is really personal for really obscure reasons and a lot of people could do with thinking about why that is for them.

I think it's more a combination of that, video games being new to even super basis obvious critique, the trigger-ready nature of a changing and often disregarded culture group and people pinning an outsider status on her (although that also is probably a little gender related).

09/07/2015 00:00:00

And then there were those two guys who wanted to do an expose "documentary" about her and then it turned out that one of the guys came to the conclusion that she'd been raped by her dad, based on nothing.

12/03/2015 00:00:00

i suspect that the reason is not the videos themselves but that she is treated on media like a sacred cow for things that have been said before and delivered way better than on this videos not to say the poor research sometimes shown on them being treated as absolute truth by papers like TIMES(its name is on bold does it?) and the such by acting more or less like jack Thomson, got off a lot of gamers and people who have invested more effort on the subjects she discuses

12/03/2015 00:00:00

I feel like she wouldn't be held to such a high standard if she hadn't gotten the wave of hate that she did during her kickstarter. She wouldn't be regarded as a Sacred Cow if she hadn't gotten a disproportionate amount of hate for ''daring'' to crowdfund her videos - she'd be making the same videos as always, making smaller waves with similar content.

If people are angry because she doesn't bring anything new to the table, a big reason why she's a prominent figure at the table in the first place is because of people who were angry at her for crowdfunding - "stealing money for" - her videos.

12/03/2015 00:00:00


Anita Sarkeesian is not a sacred cow by any stretch. Even many of her defenders will tell you they don't agree with everything she has to say, myself included. The reason she gets such heated defense is because the responses to her work are completely absurd, including death and rape threats, just for voicing a negative opinion of the state of gaming from a sociopolitical perspective.

Nor is she anything like Jack Thompson. Even ignoring the differences in their approaches to their goals, Thompson was trying to ban video games as a whole. Sarkeesian wants more games made with more varied subject matters, character diversity, and better representations of women.

Thompson wanted to end gaming. Sarkeesian wants it expanded. They are not remotely comparable.

12/03/2015 00:00:00

I guess we missed the memo about her showing gay porn to a judge.

12/04/2015 00:00:00

Honestly, saying women shouldn't be a 'reward' like they were back in, say, the 1940s or 1950s, well... DURR! That's all one can say.

She took a long video to basically say "We all know this, but I'm just rehashing the knowledge that is common sense to us".

Is it stupid that she did so? Yes. If we all know, why hasn't anything been changed? I dunno, cause humans are lazy or just don't care?

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