I really wanted to talk about either hosting Best Of Anime last weekend or the brand-spanking new Anti-Cybercrime Bill, but I couldn't bring myself to cover that stuff just now.
So let's do this one instead.
Shortpacked: right again, like always. Click image to enlarge.
It seems to me that every single time a discussion about sexism comes up in any of the fandoms I’m a part of, there will always be people who are so quick to dismiss the issue with a simple “I don’t see it as a problem. Ergo, it’s not a problem.” It points back to the whole deal about dismissing issues just because they don’t matter to us that I wrote about a few weeks ago.
When the issue matters to you, though, it becomes incredibly frustrating. And to me, equality does matter. A lot. Having been indoctrinated by safe spaces like Scans Daily, I feel rather uneasy whenever I see instances of sexism because you know what? They aren’t few and far in between. They happen often enough to be cause for alarm. In fact, they happen so often, and their presence in most forms of media is so pervasive, that we are actually surprised when they’re not present.
That’s a nice defense, until you realize that it’s false equivalence: yes, the two are idealized, but the question is: for whom and by whom?
When you see Psylocke posing in a mind-boggling way where her chest and her behind are facing you at the same time, this is a fantasy put into play by the male artist to attract the male reader.
Hey, it’s Psylocke in a physically impossible pose! Must be a Tuesday.
Superman gets so boring sometimes, even the caption is more of the same.
On the other hand, being a man, when someone draws an idealized body of Superman or Batman, then that is a power fantasy and aspirational in nature. Even if some people might find Superman sexy, the intent isn’t to be sexy, but to evoke strength and power.
Not that there’s anything wrong about being sexy, mind you. It just becomes a problem when women in comics and video games statistically become all about being sexy. Why the lack of variety? Contrast that to the range of men who are sexy, men who are powerful, men who are average, and just about everything in between, while women are just all sexy? Are there exceptions? Yes. But they are so few and far in between that one cannot help but ask the awkward question why the representation and the variety is so ridiculously skewed.
So we’ve pretty much established that the kind of objectification and idealization women in comics and video games receive are still every bit as male-centric as the kind that men in comics and video games receive. Both are bad, but to say that the fact that men don’t complain about these things means women shouldn’t either is just being disingenuous. Of course they wouldn’t complain! It doesn’t harm them the way it harms women!
As a matter of fact, when there is true equivalence and men in comics or games are indeed sexualized the exact way women are, these very same men who claim they won’t complain actually do. Case in point:
Whoah! Call the waaangbulance!
The real reason why Peter and MJ aren’t married in the comics anymore…
Speaking of “realism,” that was the excuse people used to handwave the fact that Arkham City’s thugs called Catwoman a “bitch” so many times that it would ring in your ears. Funny how that “realism” isn’t necessary for crotch bulges, but suddenly, it’s integral when using gendered slurs. How utterly convenient. So in a world where people dress up as bats, cats, have freeze guns, can resurrect themselves by being dunked into a mystic pit filled with mysterious liquid, it’s important for hardened criminals to call Catwoman a “bitch”, but you can’t have Batman or Robin have any crotch bulges?
The sad part is, only one of two things will happen after I bring this whole thing up again: either people will argue with me and try to shout me down, or it will all fall on deaf ears because “women should be happy they can already vote.”
Sometimes I wonder about this planet, really.