“It’s about choice”

Standard Troll Rebuttal Page #2:

“It’s all about choice, people should be allowed to choose whether or not to play a game that has hawt naked chicks in it!”

Yes, they should. At no point anywhere in this blog will you see us advocate a game being banned because we disagree with the way women are portrayed in the game. So you can just get down off of your anti-censorship high-horse right now.

Now that that’s cleared up…

Speaking of choice, there is no shortage of sites on the internet that will celebrate the hawt naked chick in the videogame. You have come to a site for feminist gamers. We look at the completeness of the videogame industry and see that we, in fact, do not have much choice. Games that portray women in positive ways with more realistic body types are in short supply.

What we’ve got a problem with is the fact that women are highly sexualized as a matter of course, and men are only mildly (if at all) sexualized. We want to play games where we don’t feel our only representations are objectified. And if we choose not to play games where women are highly sexualized, what right do you have to come on here under the guise of “choice” and tell us we’re wrong?

“I know women who look like that…”

Sure you do.

“It’s a fantasy. People don’t need to be 100% realistic in a fantasy.”

“It’s a male fantasy. People don’t need to be 100% realisticWomen need to look hot for us in a fantasy.” Fixed that for you.

“But the men are sexualized too!”

Game developers know that characters have to be attractive in order to sell titles, but the question is “attractive to whom.”

The point is that the developers are trying to sell their games to men. So all characters designed are intended to be attractive to men. Women are highly sexualized and objectified, and men are handsome, but not over-sexualized, and typically, not “threatening.” Bare chests may be all well and good, but the genital area is not anywhere near as over-the-top as it is for women (that is, if the male character is wearing tight pants and not baggy Hammer pants). Even if a game offers a more sexualized male character, not only is he not as hyper-sexualized as the female character, but his appearance often results in a homophobic fanboy backlash.

But the point isn’t that we want everyone sexed-up to eleven. It’s not about parity in objectification, it’s about allowing women to find characters and avatars that don’t make us feel like our only point in life is to be appealing to men.

So just as much as it’s “about choice” for developers, in some ways, they don’t have as much choice as you’d like to claim when any critique of body image in videogames brings out sexism apologists like you.