That Little Girl Just Owned You In Halo!
Are Females in Gaming Oppressed?
By: Tony "RadarX" Jones and Savanja
Rarely is it appropriate to bring
gamers into the political battle scene. Political discussions in
a group of gamers usually involves disgust over ridiculous lawsuits
filed against Rockstar or SOE Gamergod recently published an
article entitled href="http://www.gamergod.com/article.php?article_id=3047&category_id=35">"T
and A: Body Image and Jiggle Technology" discussing
women's oppression in computer games. While well researched on
the surface, the article quotes a number of popular feminists whose
statements were made more than a decade ago when I was still trying to
figure out why I was
fighting all these people in Street Fighter II for the Super Nintendo
(and I can't remember thinking how hot all the females looked in their
16 bit colors). I think the article may stretch things a
too far but I'm a male and it would be ridiculous for me to state I
completely understand females. So what better way to get a
perspective on this than ask a life long female gamer?
Savanja whose last interview you can read href="http://eq2.tentonhammer.com/index.php?module=ContentExpress&func=display&ceid=636&meid=249">here
has a lengthy repetoire
of games she has played as was very willing to share her opinon on the
RadarX: Savanja, this
obviouslly would be very applicable to you being a female in what is
usually considered a male dominated arena of entertainment.
Did any particular thought stand out?
This particular article struck a nerve with me.
I think we have all heard the devout feminist idea that the
opression of women is made obvious by mens need to flaunt their idea of
perfection. The thought that eating disorders, low self esteem,
and general female unhappiness is somehow caused by men who "control"
the media and force their ideals upon us unsuspecting viewers.
RadarX: Do you feel that women
are really that susceptible to manipulation by the media?
Are women really as uninformed at what's going as this article suggests?
Savanja: style="font-weight: bold;"> I am ashamed of those that
think so little of a womans ability comprehend reality from fantasy.
Do people really believe that women are so shallow, so ignorant, and so
easily swayed that we will believe and take to heart everything that is
put before us?
It's my opinion that this line of thinking is far more dangerous than
anything media can whip out.
I am a woman. A typical, everyday, average kind of gal. I
watch movies. I see what is on TV. And I game. Not
once have I pondered why it is I don't fit the media idea of
beauty. Why? Because I think for myself. I have a
mind, and I use it. And I expect every other human on this planet
to do the same.
Don't sit there and tell me
that I am not intelligent enough to determine that the airbrushed
supermodel on this months cover of whatever insipid magazine graces the
racks, is not the norm. I know it's not. Do I care that
others believe that woman to be beautiful? She may be, that takes
nothing from me, who I am, and how I feel as a woman. Why be
threatened by it if you are secure in who you are?
And please don't tell me that men are trying to oppress me, and
control me by manipulating my sexuality. I enjoy, to the fullest,
the fact that I am a woman. That I have been blessed with lucious
curves that men find attractive. I'm not so stupid that I would
allow for myself to fall prey to the "evil devices of men". That
lust, that desire, for the female form is NORMAL and should be
celebrated, not hidden and taught to be some source of shame.
RadarX: Muse states that
the "male vision of beauty takes its toll on women" in talking about
anorexia and other image issues. Are video game developers culpable in
the proliferation of these very serious eating disorders? What
would you say to women who really feel that the media is behind all
style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">Savanja:
It just is not media's fault that some woman feel bad about who they
are. That is something that resides only in ourselves, and is
something that only we can address. If you are one of those that
actually looks upon images in a game, on a screen, or on paper, and
wonder why you do not fit the worlds idea of beauty, then perhaps you
should first wonder why it is that you care at all.
Think freely. Don't allow media to tell you what you should look
like, act like, or be like. Don't allow some angry feminist to
tell you that being attracted to a beautiful woman, or wanting to be
beautiful is wrong. The only thing that is wrong is not
understanding that beauty is 100% subjective. There is beauty in
everyone. It is up to each of us as thinking individuals to see
ourselves for who we are.
For myself, I will enjoy who I am. A sexual, somewhat
attractive female gamer that enjoys taking on attractive avatars.
I am not a victim. Nor will I ever be. I will not stand up
and blame faceless men for the horrible things that woman think and
feel about themselves, when those woman can very simply open thier eyes
to the world around them and learn to accept and love who they are.
And to those that believe that I am not capable of surviving in this
world without the guidance of men telling me to fault my goods, or
feminists telling me to hide them....
My body image is just fine, thanks for your concern. I will do as
RadarX: Do you agree
that there is "anger women feel about not having power in the
world"? Do you believe women derive a sense of power from gaming?
If they do feel a sense of power from gaming then they aren't gaming
for the right reasons. If a woman wants to feel powerful then she
needs to fight for it in the real world. Become educated and
comfortable in who she is. Gaming is entertainment and therefore
superficial. No true satisfaction as a person can come from
playing a game.
RadarX: Do you feel the
author Muse seems to have any type of angst or feel personal opression
in the video gaming industry?
Savanja: style="font-weight: bold;"> There's no way for me to
speculate on that. I think that perhaps
those that feel that oppression is happening ought to take a look at
what it is about themselves that would allow them to BE
oppressed. And the truth is, if one is as strong as they should
be, they have nothing to fear.
Thanks for your time and thoughts on
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