Oh goody- it’s time for yet another battle of the sexes! Let’s get our boxing gloves on and duke it out!!!
Or we could try actually listening to each other before shoving our opinions down every throat that crosses our path. Stephen Covey put it best when he reminds us that effective people “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. Let’s be effective, conscious and courteous adults and quit playing the blame game.
I have read many posts, tweets and various other social media opinions pertaining to the Heroes of the Storm interview with Dustin Browder. I honestly saw nothing wrong with his responses – especially to a question that was clearly meant to not only catch Browder off-guard, but to back him into a corner and force him into a debate. Fuel was then added to the fire after Blizzard’s Rob Pardo made “similar claims”.
I play MMOs. I play MOBAs. I read comic books. Are female characters in these examples hyper-sexualized? I honestly have not put an awful lot of thought into the whole thing until the soapboxes started being dragged out as of late.
I, personally, have not not been offended by the apparel that women in the above examples wear. Or by any situation that they have faced for that matter. Let us focus on the apparel for this post, as it seems to be what is most under fire.
I’m not blind. I can see that many female characters don significantly less clothing than their male counterparts. Take World of Warcraft for example. Most armor options are far more revealing on a female toon than a male. I have always been alright with this fact. And it is not because I feel that this is a non-issue. I do understand why some take offense.
However, I do not really see this as unfair. Sure, women are running around in their armor-kinis- my toons included (more on this later). But let us turn our attention to some of the male character choices as well.
Since Heroes of the Storm is what sparked this debate, let’s look at Illidan. From a solely physical point of view, how come you never hear people complaining that he is hyper-sexualized? He is a big, strong, beefcake of a Humanoid who runs around with his shirt off allowing him to show off those sweet pecs. Is this not what the media has shown us is the epitome of attractiveness for a male? Other than being purple, would he not be considered your stereotypical “panty dropper”? I know I have caught myself drooling at Illidan’s magnificence on more than one occasion…
Another example that I have seen over and over again is Kerrigan from Starcraft. Alright, so we can see her bum. And it’s a REALLY nice bum. If I had a behind that looked like that, I wouldn’t hesitate to show the world that thang either. And as we focus all of our attention on Kerrigan, we seem to forget that Raynor is, again, a big, beefy dreamboat. He just happens to be wearing more clothes on his lower half- But we still have front row tickets to the gun show up top! ;)
In short, if you are making female characters cover up, then I demand Illidan find a shirt. It is far too distracting to solo Black Temple with him prancing around like sex on a stick. Because that is clearly why I play this game- for hot male characters. And while you are at it, can Raynor get a jacket please? I get a little bit too excited when he flexes. Woops. Imagine that- I just turned male characters into objects of my desire. Which apparently never happens… (sorry- there is some hostility in this paragraph…)
These examples aside, what really makes me angry about this whole thing is when I am attacked for choosing to alter my character’s appearance in a way that makes me happy. My Death Knight happens to be transmogged into a revealing plate-kini. Apparently, according to my attackers (who I will not name here, as I have more class than that), I am not only degrading myself and females in general, but I am also perpetuating the stereotype that women are weak and inferior and in turn should be treated as objects.
Wait, wait, wait… WHAT? Don’t you DARE tell me that I am a disgrace to all women because my AVATAR in a role-playing game is wearing less clothing than you happen to find suitable. It is MY fantasy world and you are ruining it for me! I am very self-conscious in real life and choose to dress my toons in a way that I feel that I, myself, cannot. Just to be surrounded by “justice seekers” belittling my choices and making me feel self-conscious in a place I come for an escape. Good game; you are definitely much better people than I since I am clearly devoid of morals. (In case you didn’t catch on- that was sarcasm. Slut-shaming in any form, even in a video game, is NOT alright.)
My “disgraceful” DK
I would just like to take this time to announce that I am not some sort of anti-feminist. I agree that women are sometimes treated less fairly than men. But on the other side, most of the time I feel most feminism has become a crazy radical push towards superiority rather than equality. And this does not sit well with me. We are all humans and we all have thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs… And if equality is the end goal of these crusades, then why should any of us be made to feel lesser? Please just think about this, and value the fact that I, like you, have an opinion.
This is a hot topic, and I believe that it should be discussed. I just wish that we could all get together and open this up in a more constructive way than has been presented lately. It’s just a shame that some- usually the most confrontational (disguised as “passionate”)- cannot see past their blind hatred.