That Tropes vs Women in Gaming Part 2
video sure has brought on a lot of serious discussions hasn't it? I don't mean to keep wading deeper into all this, but one question begs another and this is something I'm really curious about: What's the difference between objectification... and just being sexy?
For me this is a really tough question to answer. Speaking as a heterosexual male it's a bit of a double standard. On the one hand, objectification of women and the constant sexualization of women in the majority of media around us is, I think, overwhelmingly bad for us as a society (and I've talked at great length about this subject in the past). But on the other hand there's absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to
women or finding them sexy. Speaking from a male perspective of course, this concept can be applied to how both men and women see things.
I think our tendency to over simplify things is why so many people don't take feminists seriously, because there's this belief that all feminists want to get rid of sexy female characters from media and replace them with ball-busting angry women. And that's not true. Sexy characters are used to damaging affect against women in real life, but being sexy is not a bad thing in and of itself. It's ok to be attracted to women, while also acknowledging the very real problem of women being overly sexualized and presented as objects for men to gawk over. I know that seems like hypocrisy, and maybe it is, but it's a very real truth.
Here's one thing I know gets brought up a lot. You don't have to have women presented nearly naked to be attractive. Women can wear clothing or armor and still be considered "hot." And it doesn't need to be form fitting either. The way in which a piece of clothing is worn and expressed by the person is what's attractive. This blog on tumblr is one of my favorites because it shows how women in the industry are presented, vs how they could still be viewed as attractive without making them half-naked all the time. I strongly recommend you check it out: repair-her-armor.tumblr.com/
And I think that's ultimately what this comes down to... the way in which sexuality is used. A very good example that MovieBob made involves Ivy from the Soul Calibur series. For the most part she dresses ridiculously with absurd outfits and an over-proportioned body to boot: fronttowardsgamer.com/wp-conte…
But that's not inherently objectification as ALL the characters within the Soul Calibur series are ridiculously over stylized to the point of extremes. That's kinda Soul Calibur's weird little universe it's created, and there are often different more modest costumes you can pick and chose if you desire.
However, this advertisement campaign iplaywinner.com/storage/oneuse…
for Soul Calibur 5 is objectifying because it reduces Ivy to nothing but her breasts. Her face is intentionally cropped out and the snake leading into her chest is obviously meant to be phallic shaped. There's no other subtext to this advertisement other than "imagine your dick here." That's degrading no matter who the character is suppose to be.
One of the problems with the complexity of life is that we can't blanket statement everything. Exceptions always exist. But we also can't explore every exception, because that just takes up too much energy and brain power to comprehend at times. So we're kinda stuck in this in-between realm where with one breath we can be standing up for women's rights and denouncing those who don't, then in the next breath fawning and appreciating the attractiveness of women. Here in America it's kinda a taboo, but we shouldn't be afraid of sexuality.
I'll be honest. I have no answer for this. Like I said, it's a ridiculous double standard and even slightly hypocritical at times... but there it is. Women can be objectified, but they can also be very attractive and sexy. What are your thoughts? What defines the difference between objectification of women (or men), and finding women (or men) sexy/attractive? Is there a middle ground or is it just extremes on both sides? Is there a solution to this problem? I am very curious to know what you all think about this subject because I haven't yet formed a solid enough idea myself and would love to hear from all sides if possible.