This dominant narrative surrounding the inevitability of female objectification and victimhood is so powerful that it not only defines our concepts of reality but it even sets the parameters for how we think about entirely fictional worlds, even those taking place in the realms of fantasy and science fiction. It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game worlds would feel too “unrealistic” or “not historically accurate”. What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend or break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection. We are perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons and items in a massive invisible backpack. But somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.
Brand new episode of Tropes vs Women is online! Please heed the content warning on this video. It contains some especially triggering scenes of sexual violence.
Gamer culture has pushed the argument about women’s roles so far to one side that most of them honestly believe the status quo of default objectification and women-as-rewards is the “neutral,” “nonpolitical” starting position.
Folks often ask me what they can do to help Feminist Frequency. Here are two ways:
- Become an awesome sustainer of our new nonprofit organization. Click here to support us!
- Create positive video responses to our series and/or refute some of the many strawman fallacies floating around the internet about Tropes vs Women. (Here’s an example of a great video rebuttal to some of the fallacies and accusations launched at my work.)
Not everyone has to deal with abuse and harassment, but enough do that Twitter must take action. In a disproportionate amount of cases of harassment, those individuals are women, LGBT individuals and people of color. These individuals find value in the service, but the problem is their attackers mean as much to Twitter as they do. The weapons to fight abuse must be kept locked up, for the good of the product. This tacit statement that profit comes before people has to stop.
Olbermann talks about the ways in which the level of basic human respect for women in sports is consistently being eroded in the media.
CONTENT WARNING: Security camera footage of violence against women.