Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Theft Auto 4 wants you to kill hookers to get your money back

I play video games obsessively. I was probably one of the first people in my area to own a Play Station 3. I have played Rock Band with friends until three in the morning many times. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you should get the game.

However, despite its popularity, I have never really liked the Grand Theft Auto series. I thought it was pretty boring, simply because I wasn't very good at the missions and shooting up cops and jumping off buildings eventually got old, although it was funny the first several times. My male gamer friends love the series, however. They like to claim that I am just being overly sensitive because all the main characters in Grand Theft Auto are male. Although, I loved Assassin's Creed, which was extremely violent and dominated by male characters. If I held my breath waiting for video games that feature women as something other than eye candy or damsels in distress I would have to throw out most of my game collection. At the end of the day, I just got to suck it up and ignore the sexism if I want to have any fun playing video games.

Nevertheless, I simply cannot condone the sexualized violence in Grand Theft Auto 4. One of my friends went to a preview party hosted by Rockstar Games. As is typical for the gaming world, the entire party was a big sausage fest with no women in sight other than the models hired to promote the game. He reported back to say that the highlight of GTA4 was the strip clubs and buying sex. Kind of gross, but that wouldn't make me outright dislike the game. What really stuck out was that you can kill the prostitutes to get your money back. According to that friend, he said what most guys that got to play the preview set up found most enthralling was paying for demeaning sex and then shooting the prostitutes and running them over with their car. "Because it's funny," he said, "and you can also get your money back."

Very classy. I especially like how the game tries to be political by developing these elaborate back stories for fast food workers and victims of the drug war to highlight those issues. However, no word on sexualized violence and the huge problem of violence against sex workers. You can just run them over afterwards to get your money back, it's not like they have a name or purpose other than sex and then dying. From the previews I have seen around the internet, it seems like Rockstar's newest contribution has no other purpose for the women in "Liberty City" other than sex and death. I really like that underlying message.

I'll go on the record saying that I like violent videogames. When most people moan and groan about how video games are corrupting the youth, I think they sound a bit dull. However, I really have to go with the fundies on this one. Sexualized violence and killing hookers is not cool. Thanks for enabling the elaborate joke socialization thinks violence against women is, Rockstar. I just don't think it's at all funny.

Props to Feministing and Samhita for pointing this out.

50 comments:

Amelia said...

I just read about this on Feministing. Did you find it there? If so, you should add a link to their article. (I ask because they had a link to the same vid on their site, which could just be coincidence, but I'm just checking)

Anyway, I never play video games, but that video was...disgusting. I am a huge pacifist, and I also am for the rights of sex workers, so it really, really rubbed me in the wrong way.

Nothing like promoting (however inadvertently - or purposefully) using women for sex and then killing them to get the money back.

Lovely.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

My problem is that you could always do the whole sleep with the hooker then kill her thing, and they've never had back stories, but the ratcheted up the realism of the sexual encounters (now you can see through the windows) and allowed IGN to post that video. So it's not so much of a hidden feature as a possible selling point. It's annoying given their supposed chagrin over the hot coffee mod for San Andreas. They're capitalizing on the sexual aspect of the game (as well as throw away women) all the while saying that their critics are without merit--while giving them fodder. I mean Jack Thomson is nuts, but apparently, he's not too far off in calling this a sex simulation, I've seen less graphic sex acts in hentai games :/.

JPR said...

Quick question from the back row... how is killing a prostitute any worse than killing anyone else? Which, to my understanding, happens quite a bit in the gaming world.

Jen said...

Jpr - killing a prostitute mixes sex, violence, and misogyny. Killing in general is wrong, but a video game will not blur that line because most video games are not realistic, and they give you a reason to kill someone (they're shooting at you, you were hired to, etc). You kill prostitutes in GTA4 because "it's fun", "to get your money back", and "it's funny". Plus, GTA4 is particularly realistic, unlike most games, and the prostitutes are killed at whim for no other purpose other than to sooth the misanthropic whims of the gamer.

Lindsay said...

My cousins have prior versions of the game, which always confused me because my uncle's a cop and at Christmas, they'd take turns playing and seeing who could kill the most cops. Anyway, I'm going to be sure to let my grandma know that I don't approve of this game, nor do I approve of them playing it (as my gma is the one who gets them video games, most often).

There was some feminist backlash over Guitar Hero 3, just that they changed the image of Judy Nails from a badass to a sexualized "badass," which isn't nearly as much fun to play. I always liked the Jimi Hendrix knock-off, personally.

Andrew said...

I think another important factor (that is pretty much implicit in most video games, and especially the GTA series) is that there are exactly no negative consequences for anything you do. It doesn't matter how much you get shot up or blown up by the cops -- whenever you're dead, you respawn at a hospital or wherever and are free to immediately resume the carnage.

Now, perhaps the previous GTA games could (kind of) get away with this because they were, after all, very cartoony and over the top. But, as Jen has noted, one of the selling points of GTA4 is that it's more realistically animated and more believably written than its predecessors -- but still utterly lacking in any kind of morality.

Personally, I think the best way to correct this sort of issue is to find a way to get more girls and women involved in gaming, particularly in the designing and producing capacity. Because let's face it -- the crowd in the GTA4 design studios was probably almost exclusively male.

Besides, video games are always better and more interesting if they feature prominent, well-constructed characters of both genders, precisely because it's more representative of real life. The suspension of disbelief is what gamers are looking for, and that only happens to its most rewarding extent when the game world makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't bite.

Yes, you can kill female characters. And the male ones. And the police. You can kill anyone. Prostitutes, women, etcetera, are not singled out.

Imagine how much more UN-realistic the game would be if you could kill anyone, but the game blocked you from harming women.

It would be ridiculous, and downright silly.

I'm sorry, but I was under the impression feminists were supposed to be liberal. Crying out against a video game, using false information, Jack Thompson-style, is the height of conservatism.

The goal is not "killing hookers to get your money back". Any random pedestrian (of which hookers are included) that gets killed has a random chance to drop money. In a random amount.

You do not "kill hookers to get your money back".

The whole point of the series is absolute freedom, in a crime-underworld setting. Ergo, everyone is a potential target for your rampage, should you choose to go on one.

The complaint about the main character is an ill-conceived one, as were your main criminal mastermind a female, women/feminists would cry out that men were saying that women are all "evil bitches", and criminals only interested in taking money from people.

Would you prefer it if the series had a female protagonist just as unsavory as the males?

Expecting the hookers to have back stories, or "why they're on the streets" is reactionary PC tripe. You can't give endless backstories to the literally infinite amount of pedestrians in the game. They aren't main characters. The story revolves around main characters, not the "extras", as it were.

Again, to sum up, you can kill anyone. Men, women, anyone. That's pure equality at it's finest. Making female pedestrians unkillable would be sexist, when it comes right down to it. It would be singling out women as something special that needs to be protected, instead of being just like everyone else.

As far as negative consequences, killing anyone/breaking any laws results in the police coming after you. Yes, you can respawn at a hospital or jail, but you lose money, you lose time, you fail the mission you were on, you lose all the items and weapons you had on you at the time, etcetera.

Even if it was a pure "game over", you could always just reload from the most recent save. That's the nature of video games. If the moment you died, the game was over, and could never be played again, sure, it would be terribly realistic, but no one would spend 60 dollars on it.

I apologize for the long rant, but I hate when people attack media such as comics, video games, movies, music, etcetera, based on hearsay and blurbs they caught from uninformed media outlets and the like.

Andrew said...

I have seen the previews and one of my friends has beta tested this title. I was a fan of the first three titles of this franchise for 6th generation consoles (128bit), and I look forward to wreaking carnage in this one as well.

The point of the series is actually to satirize stylized violence.

I was planning to blog on this sooner, but hadn't gotten to it, I will post a link to my thoughts on the series in more details once I am done.

Lindsay said...

You can kill everyone, but I'm doubting you can have sex with everyone for money, then kill them and take the money back.

If the only interactions with females in the game is to pay them to have sex with you, or to have them give you a lap dance, then it's not a very positive portrayal of women.

Likewise, it's probably not a positive portrayal of men if all they do is run around and commit crimes. It's not like people are going to see men and think "criminals" (although that stereotype has long been attached to black men, unfortunately).

Andrew said...

http://theobsessiveinsomniac.
blogspot.com/2008/04/
better-graphics-better
-gameplay-better.html

OutcrazyOphelia said...

I think its a strawman to proclaim that the issue is with the killing of women per se. Women are only hapless victims/prostitutes--therein lies the problem. Hell, No More Heroes is an orgy of over the top violence(albiet cartoony), and yes you kill women as well as men, but they are adversaries--not victims and prostitutes, and they can kill you. Maybe if there were male prostitutes, I'd be able to believe that they weren't making a commentary on women. As it is, I don't know how else one could take it. You can kill everyone, but only one gender is available for purchase, followed by death.

Anonymous said...

"You can kill everyone, but I'm doubting you can have sex with everyone for money, then kill them and take the money back."

Again, this is false information!

Stop perpetuating it. Everyone drops money randomly. Said prostitutes might not drop any. It's random. Hardcoded into every single pedestrian, of which prostitutes are included. It's not "killing them to get your money back".

Also, no, you can't pay men for sex. The main character isn't homosexual.

"If the only interactions with females in the game is to pay them to have sex with you, or to have them give you a lap dance, then it's not a very positive portrayal of women."

The only interactions with men are people you kill, or people who tell you to kill other people.

Not a good portrayal of them, either. That's the point. It's the criminal underworld, not the Care Bears.

Regardless of how little you think of men in general, I assure you, we're not so stupid as to play the game and go "Huh. Women are dumb hookers, I should kill them." Promise.

The only people that would do that, were crazy already, and the game had nothing to do with it.

"omen are only hapless victims/prostitutes--therein lies the problem."

Everyone is a hapless victim when placed in front of the main character. No one can stop you unless you're bad at the game.

"You can kill everyone, but only one gender is available for purchase, followed by death."

Again, the main character is not homosexual. Why would he want sex with men? Also, there is no pre-requisite towards killing the prostitutes. You do not have to. No one says you have to. That is in the hands of the player, just like every other action you take.

Andrew said...

Anonymous, I have played both GTA3 and its sequel, Vice City, so none of the information you are providing is new to me.

But what of the fact that, upon soliciting one of the in-game prostitutes, the player's health is rejuvenated? Last time I checked, gunshot wounds are not magically healed by getting laid.

What this can suggest is that these women are merely tools to provide the player with the chance to continue his almost invariably murderous crime spree.

And as I recall, in Vice City, the main character (voiced by Ray Liotta, by the way) makes some extremely disparaging remarks concerning women. Also, as long as you brought up the notion of "prominent" female characters, let's review those in GTA3 and Vice City:

GTA3: The only ones I can recall were the cartoonish mistress of one of the low-level Mafia thugs in the game (whose only lines in the game are of a sexual nature), and the bimbo-like sidekick of the main character, who eventually shoots her at the end of the game (apparently because she talks too much).

In Vice City, the only female character I can recall with any lines at all was a porn star.

So, still want to argue that that's representative of real life?

Anonymous said...

First off, you're apparently forgetful. There are more than that. Secondly, I never said it was representative of real life, as it were.

Also, your health is magically brought back by "health packs", and if you get shot to death or arrested, your health magically comes back, too.

It's a video game, genius. Not everything is going to be realistic. Thought I already established that.

Moving on, he makes disparaging remarks. So what? They don't say nice things about anyone. Again, it would be sexist if the female characters were these isolated, protected, unkillable persons that the characters only spoke of as if they were the most wonderful people ever.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

Stop perpetuating it. Everyone drops money randomly. Said prostitutes might not drop any. It's random. Hardcoded into every single pedestrian, of which prostitutes are included. It's not "killing them to get your money back".

In the prior GTAs that I've played, prostitutes very rarely failed to drop cash afterwards. Maybe your experience was different but I'd appreciate it if you didn't keep suggesting that I'm regurgitating second hand information.

Andrew said...

If you can provide more examples of prominent female figures than I have, I'll believe you.

And, if you can find any examples that are anything more than excessively-sexualized objects of entertainment for the male characters, then you can legitimately say that I'm not remembering it as well as I think.

And yes, "health packs" and hospitals heal the player, but... they do that in real life, too. Sexual intercourse does not. So why does it in the game? Exclusively to provide incentive for the player to solicit prostitutes.

And, as to the issue of reality, that is entirely the purpose of the so-called "open-world" genre of games. To provide an experience that is as interactive and realistic as possible. No one is saying that women in video games should be invulnerable to player interaction (negative or otherwise), but nearly ALL of the interaction between the player and female characters in these games is sexualized. THAT is the problem.

Lindsay said...

Again, the main character is not homosexual. Why would he want sex with men?

Maybe people who play the game would want to pick up male prostitutes. If the game world is so open to do almost anything, why is it a heteronormative worldview?

Everyone drops money randomly. Said prostitutes might not drop any.

My point isn't that they're dropping money, it's that the character has sex with them and then kills them to take their money. I wouldn't call that dropping their money.

But what of the fact that, upon soliciting one of the in-game prostitutes, the player's health is rejuvenated? Last time I checked, gunshot wounds are not magically healed by getting laid.

Unless someone got shot in the heart... Apparently my menstrual blood can fix those.

Kate said...

"Unless someone got shot in the heart... Apparently my menstrual blood can fix those."

That definately made me laugh. Amazing.

Andrew said...

"My point isn't that they're dropping money, it's that the character has sex with them and then kills them to take their money. I wouldn't call that dropping their money."

This is compounded by the fact that IGN and Rock Star are specifically advertising this sex-violence dynamic.

Anonymous said...

"In the prior GTAs that I've played, prostitutes very rarely failed to drop cash afterwards."

But you see, even if they only fail to drop cash once, that's still proving my point. Yes, almost all pedestrians will drop money most of the time, however, it's still random, and so is the amount. It's not "getting your money back". It's the same money you'd get from killing any other pedestrian.

"And yes, "health packs" and hospitals heal the player, but... they do that in real life, too."

Really, now? Why has no one informed me of this? When I broke my foot, I could have just picked up a health pack and been fine? Amazing!

"but nearly ALL of the interaction between the player and female characters in these games is sexualized. THAT is the problem."

They're criminals. Do you expect them to go around holding the door open for women and buying them gifts, and telling them how well-read and educated they are?

"Maybe people who play the game would want to pick up male prostitutes. If the game world is so open to do almost anything, why is it a heteronormative worldview?"

#1, don't use neologisms in arguments, it makes you terribly hard to take seriously.

#2, it doesn't matter if the player wants to pick up male prostitutes. It doesn't fit in the narrative. Maybe a homosexual viewer would prefer to have seen Peter Parker and his best friend Harry have sex, but they didn't. It's not because of a "heteronormative worldview", it's because it does not fit in the narrative. Spider-man isn't gay, and neither is the main character of this game.

Why would a heterosexual character have sex with males? It wouldn't make sense in the context of the overall story.

"My point isn't that they're dropping money, it's that the character has sex with them and then kills them to take their money. I wouldn't call that dropping their money."

Again, you don't have to kill them. That's in your hands. You can let them walk away, same as you can drive down the street at a respectable speed, and not run anyone down.

You aren't forced to kill prostitutes. It's not a required function of the game. I think some people are operating under the impression that you HAVE to kill them, which you do not.

Andrew said...

My point regarding the health pickups and hospitals in the game is that at least those signifiers are at least somewhat related to the signified (real-life medical care). And, you failed again to address the point I was making about the fact that the sex heals the player for some strange reason.

Also, the word "heteronormative" is not a neologism of Lindsay's. If you haven't seen it before, I'd recommend you do some reading up on the various progressive theories out there (namely queer theory in this case) before you return to this discussion.

Andrew said...

Further, since there is virtually no interaction with women as "love interests" in the plotlines of these games (since the main characters are too busy shooting people and doing drug deals), I fail to see why you insist on defining the player character as staunchly heterosexual. Besides, the game's essential purpose is to cater to the preferences of the gamer, so why shouldn't he or she be able to engage with a male prostitute if he or she wants to?

Lindsay said...

They're criminals. Do you expect them to go around holding the door open for women and buying them gifts, and telling them how well-read and educated they are?

I dated someone with a criminal record who, in fact, did all of those things. He wasn't a mobster or anything, but just because someone has a criminal record doesn't make that person completely devoid of morals or manners. The point is that all of the interactions between male and female characters is of a sexualized nature.

Besides, the game's essential purpose is to cater to the preferences of the gamer, so why shouldn't he or she be able to engage with a male prostitute if he or she wants to?

Especially if the gamer happens to not be a straight male. I think the game developers only sees straight men as their intended audience, thus only female prostitutes.

Anonymous said...

"Also, the word "heteronormative" is not a neologism of Lindsay's. "

I never said it was a neologism of hers specifically, but it IS a neologism. I find they impair an argument, not strengthen it. Just like using "womyn" or "cisgender", or "herstory".

I don't use them, and I find them more than a little ridiculous, and unhelpful.

"If you haven't seen it before, I'd recommend you do some reading up on the various progressive theories out there (namely queer theory in this case) before you return to this discussion."

I've seen it, I just don't care about it. I don't use neologisms, and buzzwords.

"I fail to see why you insist on defining the player character as staunchly heterosexual."

He is what the developers say he is.

"Besides, the game's essential purpose is to cater to the preferences of the gamer, so why shouldn't he or she be able to engage with a male prostitute if he or she wants to?"

Again, doesn't fit in the narrative. You can't become a furniture salesman, either.

"I dated someone with a criminal record who, in fact, did all of those things."

Personal anecdotes are irrelevant, and frankly, I'm fairly certain he wasn't a multiple murderer trying to gain prestige in the criminal underworld at any means necessary.

So, it doesn't even count as a proper example.

"He wasn't a mobster or anything, but just because someone has a criminal record doesn't make that person completely devoid of morals or manners."

Never said that was the case, but I'm fairly certain that a person willing to shoot elected officials and/or bribe them, murder people for political or criminal power, and various other deeds would be pretty damn devoid of morals or manners.

"The point is that all of the interactions between male and female characters is of a sexualized nature."

And all the interactions between males are of a violent nature (or of preparing to do violence against someone).

Again, this entire segue was irrelevant, as dating someone with a criminal record (which could be something as mild as being caught peeing in a dark alley at 3 am after a trip to the bar) has nothing to do with a pure criminal. Having a record and BEING a criminal are two different things, especially when referring to a person attempting to become a prominent member of a criminal underworld through acts of murder, bribery and worse.

"Especially if the gamer happens to not be a straight male. I think the game developers only sees straight men as their intended audience, thus only female prostitutes."

Or, again, because the protagonist is heterosexual, not homosexual.

Regardless of what a homosexual person wishes they could see in a particular piece of media, if it goes against the narrative, they won't see it.

Like my previous example, we'll make a new one: The internet is full of Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy homosexual fan fiction. Why didn't it happen in the movie? Did not fit the narrative, and neither character is homosexual.

End of story, really. Anything else is complaint for the sake of complaint.

Anonymous said...

To add:

"I dated someone with a criminal record who, in fact, did all of those things. "

I was under the impression feminists hated men that held the door for them, etcetera.

I mean, if we're all equal, why is someone holding the door for you?

Anonymous said...

To add:

"I dated someone with a criminal record who, in fact, did all of those things. "

I was under the impression feminists hated men that held the door for them, etcetera.

I mean, if we're all equal, why is someone holding the door for you?

Jen said...

I'm going to go with Lindsay's last comment and say that the developers only envisioned misanthropic straight white males as their target audience. What with all the over-sexualization of women, racial slurs, and gameplay that does not even attempt to apologize for violence with some higher purpose.

The fact that this series is so popular says a lot about American society in general, and none of it is good.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that this series is so popular says a lot about American society in general, and none of it is good."

I think you're in the wrong place. There are plenty of conservative republican blogs that would gladly welcome someone with an opinion like that.

Enjoying violent media =/= being violent.

Humanity enjoys violence. Always has, always will. From feeding people to the lions in Rome, to boxing and war movies in more modern times.

Just because someone plays a violent video game, doesn't make them a bad person.

Your problem is that they're doing something you don't approve of, and that bothers you, that your advice/opinion is being ignored. That's what I think it really comes down to. You don't want to play, you don't think people should play it, and you're bothered because they do even though you wish they wouldn't.

Lindsay said...

I mean, if we're all equal, why is someone holding the door for you?

Because I held the door open for him.

Having a record and BEING a criminal are two different things, especially when referring to a person attempting to become a prominent member of a criminal underworld through acts of murder, bribery and worse.

Before I posted my comment, I actually debated using "criminal" but finally went with "had a criminal record." Want to know why? Because by using "criminal" to describe a person, that's all they are. Their identity is of a criminal, as opposed to someone who has a criminal record. It opens the person up to be more than just a "criminal." It's a similar argument to saying "disabled person" or "a person with disabilities."

And by the way, the person I dated with a criminal record had spent multiple years in jail so it wasn't something like peeing in an alley. That's all I'm going to say.

Just because someone plays a violent video game, doesn't make them a bad person.

It has the potential to desensitize someone to violence. Not that that makes someone a bad person either, but as our culture becomes increasingly saturated with violence, it can lead to having minor violence be ignored and major violence seen as minor violence.

Andrew said...

"I find they [neologisms] impair an argument, not strengthen it."

So we should just stop adding to the language, regardless of the fact that circumstances continue to change and require new and different definitions or descriptions?

Also, heteronormative has a much more practical and academic origin than any of the other examples you supplied.

"I think you're in the wrong place. There are plenty of conservative republican blogs that would gladly welcome someone with an opinion like that."

So one cannot be liberal and oppose the glorification of rampant crime, drug use, prostitution and misogyny? Guess I'm a raging conservative, then.

And I'm still waiting on those examples of any women in the GTA games that aren't sex objects.

"To add:

"I dated someone with a criminal record who, in fact, did all of those things. "

I was under the impression feminists hated men that held the door for them, etcetera.

I mean, if we're all equal, why is someone holding the door for you?"

Check out the following website before you say anything like this again.

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/purpose/faq-i-asked-some-feminists-a-question-and-instead-of-answering-they-sent-me-here-why/

Anonymous said...

"Because by using "criminal" to describe a person, that's all they are. Their identity is of a criminal, as opposed to someone who has a criminal record."

If it walks like a duck...

Commit a crime, you're a criminal. Commit a felony, you're a felon. Murder someone, you're a murderer.

Feminists take no qualms with calling someone who has raped once, a rapist, so, call a spade a spade in all situations.

"It has the potential to desensitize someone to violence. Not that that makes someone a bad person either, but as our culture becomes increasingly saturated with violence, it can lead to having minor violence be ignored and major violence seen as minor violence."

Except like most "blame the media, not the parents raising the child" arguments, there's not one iota of proof that movies/video games/comics/music/etcetera cause violence, or even make the person more likely to ignore it, or become desensitized to it.

I'm sorry, I just don't buy it. At all. I've been playing video games, including horribly violent ones, watching violent movies, and more, for pretty much my entire life.

I also sing to my cats. Point is, a well-raised, mentally healthy and well adjusted person will be completely unaffected by seeing these games. Period. Anyone that would be set off by them, was already heading to a violent outburst, and the game didn't trigger it, it just happened to exist coincidentally.

Anonymous said...

"So we should just stop adding to the language, regardless of the fact that circumstances continue to change and require new and different definitions or descriptions?"

There's a difference between "adding to the language", and "making a political statement". You can guess which column most feminist/PC neologisms fall under.

"Also, heteronormative has a much more practical and academic origin than any of the other examples you supplied."

Don't care. Still a neologism of no value.

"So one cannot be liberal and oppose the glorification of rampant crime, drug use, prostitution and misogyny? Guess I'm a raging conservative, then."

If you oppose the game, and want it pulled, or want people to stop playing it, or want them to stop making it, then yes, you're a conservative, as you oppose the right to free speech.

"Check out the following website before you say anything like this again."

Check out the following website before you think you can tell me what to do again.

http://www.dont-tell-me-what-to-do.com

Frankly, if you can't come up with your own answers, and need someone else to give them, I have no time for you.

Lindsay said...

there's not one iota of proof that movies/video games/comics/music/etcetera cause violence, or even make the person more likely to ignore it, or become desensitized to it.

I wouldn't say that increased media violence causes violence, but definitely desensitizes people to it. In Pamela Paul's Pornified, she cites a study in which people who have massive exposure to porn are more likely to be desensitized to porn and want to watch more hardcore porn. She interviewed people who this happened with, as well. Now I don't agree with all of her conclusions in her book, but I think the studies she cites and the examples she gives offer a good template for what might/is happening with violence.

Frankly, if you can't come up with your own answers, and need someone else to give them, I have no time for you.

He's not asking for answers; he's asking for examples. If you can't give them or cite your sources or back up your claims, I don't feel like anyone should listen to you. If you want to make a point - back it up. You shouldn't have any problem doing this if your arguments are as solid as you think (and talk like) they are.

Andrew said...

The word "heteronormative" refers to the ways in which society expects and in many cases coerces individuals to comply with a set of behaviors that is exclusively heterosexual and suits the identity of the majority at the expense of the minority.

If you think that concept and the recognition of it has no value, I'm curious as to why you even read this blog.

I do not oppose the game. I do not promote removal or censorship of it. I do, however, promote acknowledgment of the fact that it contains sexist themes. There is a difference.

And the Feminism 101 site was created as a resource to provide information for those who, like yourself, are not fully informed about feminism. Your mistake was suggesting that feminists hate "chivalrous" men. The notion that feminists hate men is one of the oldest myths about the movement, perpetuated mostly in ignorance, but inadvertently supporting the patriarchal, heteronormative society in which we live.

OutcrazyOphelia said...

"Personal anecdotes are irrelevant"

But before you seemed so wedded to the concept that the exception proves the rule: "But you see, even if they only fail to drop cash once, that's still proving my point."

So, if only one criminal fails to adhere to your assertion of their presumed actions, then your entire point is wrong.

Anonymous said...

"He's not asking for answers; he's asking for examples. If you can't give them or cite your sources or back up your claims, I don't feel like anyone should listen to you. If you want to make a point - back it up. You shouldn't have any problem doing this if your arguments are as solid as you think (and talk like) they are."

What??

I asked a question, he answered by ordering me to read some external link.

I told him he needs to be able to answer a question, not bounce the question elsewhere.

"Your mistake was suggesting that feminists hate "chivalrous" men. The notion that feminists hate men is one of the oldest myths about the movement, perpetuated mostly in ignorance, but inadvertently supporting the patriarchal, heteronormative society in which we live."

Uh, most blogs I read exclusively refer to "chivalrous" men as sexist, and chivalry as sexism. Also, just like feminists can single out anyone who disagrees and call them a hater of women, so too, can I say the average feminist that does the same could indeed be a hater of men.

It's also not entirely a "myth". I've read more than my fair share of feminist blogs, and trust me, the hate is virulent and obvious. Such as the mess splattered onto the internet by one 'Twisty Faster'.

Again, neologisms ruin your argument and make you look like you're just trying to make some political statement.

"But before you seemed so wedded to the concept that the exception proves the rule: "But you see, even if they only fail to drop cash once, that's still proving my point.""

False analogy. Saying that proves that they aren't simply returning the money spent to you. So does the fact that it might cost you $100, and they drop, say, $15.

Andrew said...

"Uh, most blogs I read exclusively refer to "chivalrous" men as sexist, and chivalry as sexism. Also, just like feminists can single out anyone who disagrees and call them a hater of women, so too, can I say the average feminist that does the same could indeed be a hater of men."

Chivalry falls under the category of something called benevolent sexism, meaning that it is not a directly negative influence, but it still contributes to the overall notion that women are more fragile and less capable than men. If you had looked around at that site I posted, you would know that already.

You also might have noticed that the purpose of Feminism 101 is to educate people as to the true ideologies behind the movement so they don't derail discussions by saying things like "I was under the impression feminists hated men that held the door for them, etcetera."

It is true that some feminists are more extreme than others. But that is true of absolutely any socio-political movement. The vast majority of women interested in this subject are rational, intelligent individuals who are forced to repeatedly defend themselves against the "man-hater" argument (and plenty of others) precisely because people don't do their homework before getting involved in the discourse.

And I'm not sure what you hope to accomplish by telling me the word "heteronormative" is a political statement. It seems it's the perfect sort of word for this discussion, then, because last time I checked, gender and sexuality issues are, in fact, political in nature. They have to be, or no change would come of the ideas exchanged within them.

Amelia said...

It's also not entirely a "myth". I've read more than my fair share of feminist blogs, and trust me, the hate is virulent and obvious. Such as the mess splattered onto the internet by one 'Twisty Faster'.

As the founder of this blog, and a feminist with a chivalrous boyfriend, I would like to say that your generalizations are not welcome here, Anonymous. I don't care what other blogs have led you to believe. This blog promotes no such idea. The end. You cannot argue that.

Amelia said...

Also, I think that chivalry needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. Some people can be considered chivalrous when they treat all people the same - holding doors for men, women, and children.

Anonymous said...

"As the founder of this blog, and a feminist with a chivalrous boyfriend, I would like to say that your generalizations are not welcome here, Anonymous. I don't care what other blogs have led you to believe. This blog promotes no such idea. The end. You cannot argue that."

As someone living in a country what grants him freedom of speech, I can argue whatever I damn well please, when it comes right down to it.

Feminists make gross generalizations every day. I've even seen them here. You get what you give, one might say.

I still don't see it as a generalization to say something is "not entirely a myth", based on seeing actual fact.

By identifying yourself with the movement, you invite certain descriptions and associations.

Anyone who is a member of any group or movement has to deal with this. Frankly, if your loudest members are the ones that hate men, and want to criminalize heterosexual sex (for males), you're going to have to deal with that. It's also not anyone else's problem but your own, if such things attach themselves to you.

"Also, I think that chivalry needs to be addressed on a case by case basis. Some people can be considered chivalrous when they treat all people the same - holding doors for men, women, and children."

Mine is much more sensible.

You have arms. You can open your own damned doors, and pay for your own dinner, and should you want a shiny engagement ring, well, buy it yourself.

That's my logic. Though the last part about the ring is mostly snark, as I'd never be in that sort of situation in the first place, I still felt like throwing it in.

Amelia said...

You still fail to convince me of any of your arguments against feminism, because a number of feminists on this blog fail to fit in your generalization.

Being "someone living in a country what grants him freedom of speech" does not make it intelligent to argue on the premise of generalizations that clearly do not incorporate the writers on this blog.

By identifying yourself with the movement, you invite certain descriptions and associations.

That is true, but only so when people (dare I say yourself included?) refuse to think outside of stereotypes/generalizations, even when confronted with examples that prove those things incorrect.

I get the feeling that you feel threatened by feminism. Otherwise you might be more receptive to realizing that you are not always correct when you say things such as "feminists hate men" and the like.

Amelia said...

I would like to re-phrase that clearly do not incorporate the writers on this blog to read as: that clearly does not always incorporate the writers on this blog, as I am perfectly willing to admit that sometimes I (and others) have spoken in generalizations, but I am ready to explain that that is not the correct way to argue.

I think there is a difference there, and unless you are willing to give a little and admit your mistakes, I will no longer engage in this...discussion...with you.

Thank you, Anonymous.

Lindsay said...

I told him he needs to be able to answer a question, not bounce the question elsewhere.


Just like he requested you back up your claims here: And I'm still waiting on those examples of any women in the GTA games that aren't sex objects.

By identifying yourself with the movement, you invite certain descriptions and associations.

Anyone who is a member of any group or movement has to deal with this. Frankly, if your loudest members are the ones that hate men, and want to criminalize heterosexual sex (for males), you're going to have to deal with that. It's also not anyone else's problem but your own, if such things attach themselves to you.


That's precisely why I call myself a feminist - to give an example that not all feminists are raging man-haters who blame men for everything. Sure, there are problems with it, but I am right here as a counter example. I don't hate men, I don't blame men for everything, I try to live my life as equally as possible, I open doors for everyone, regardless of gender.

That being said, I'm with Amelia.

Kate said...

"Anyone who is a member of any group or movement has to deal with this. Frankly, if your loudest members are the ones that hate men, and want to criminalize heterosexual sex (for males), you're going to have to deal with that. It's also not anyone else's problem but your own, if such things attach themselves to you"

Frankly, I don't think the most vocal members of the feminist movement are man-haters. In fact, I've never met one. You are relying on old stereotypes perpetuated by the media, and truly grounded in fact. Just click on the links on the side of the blog. Those are vocal feminists, and not one of them is a man-hater.

Kate said...

***I meant NOT truly grounded in fact.

Sorry.

Anonymous said...

"You are relying on old stereotypes perpetuated by the media, and truly grounded in fact. Just click on the links on the side of the blog. Those are vocal feminists, and not one of them is a man-hater."

Nah. That very example was quoted directly from a current feminist blog.

The owner of which wishes for heterosexual sex to be criminalized for all males that engage in it.

Not some "old media stereotype".

I never base things on hearsay. If I've seen it personally, I call it an example.

Even still, many of those that don't hate men, still consider us less important than women, which to me, is just as bad.

Amelia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amelia said...

Anonymous, you make me sad.

Your response of "Nah" to Kate's suggestion that you read the other blogs that we linked to means you are unwilling to acknowledge that some people do not fit your neat little mold.

"Even still, many of those that don't hate men, still consider us less important than women, which to me, is just as bad."

Stereotype.

And just because a few women are like this doesn't make it a sound argument against feminists in general. I also feel that you are probably just...wrong in a lot of cases.

Since you seem to be able to use anything but them, even though we've given you plenty of opportunity to do so, this conversation is over.

Good bye.

Anonymous said...

"Your response of "Nah" to Kate's suggestion that you read the other blogs that we linked to means you are unwilling to acknowledge that some people do not fit your neat little mold."

No, my response of "Nah", meant I wasn't just relying on some "old media stereotype", and was in fact, using current examples.

"And just because a few women are like this doesn't make it a sound argument against feminists in general."

It's more than a few.

Anonymous said...

For the record:

Grand Theft Auto III:

Catalina: Notorious bank robber, not sex object, not prostitute.

Maria: Girlfriend/wife of head of Leone crime family, not used as sex object or prostitute.

Asuka: Co-leader of local branch of Yakuza, not sex object or prostitute.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas:

Kendl: Sister of main character, portrayed as intelligent, pragmatic, entrepreneurial, creative, and having qualities of leadership.

And she's not even a main character.

In fact, the only sex objects/prostitutes in these games, are the hookers.

Any female that is a front line character is not.

So, there's your verification and proof. What do I win?