While I’ve been enjoying watching Anita Sarkeesian’s new video series ( largely from the perspective of a former crit theory student), I think that there are a lot of interesting and very good rebuttals out there. No, not the people who are all “Anita’s a stupid (insert various insults against women here)”, but there are a lot of really well thought out arguments against her position and her methods (some of the best of which I’ve tried to aggregate here). And considering her topic out of the gate, I hope that the irony is not lost on her that she made a ton of kickstarter money off people who were White Knighting for her.
This is a pretty good rebuttal:
As is this lady’s:
(she’s posted counterpoints to all three videos, you can find them easily enough yourself.)
Also, let’s not forget that intellectual feminism is largely based on linguistic acrobatics (thank god at least English doesn’t have masculine & feminine endings), as this points out. It’s slightly harsher than the previous, but points out, more or less, that rhetoric can be used to argue any point in any direction (but those with the power to oppress cannot be oppressed, hurr hurr).
Here is Anita’s example of a “good” game with a female protagonist as she’s proposed:
Yet if such a game existed, one could complain that the princess character is:
-Simply a gender swap of a male protagonist
-An individual who came from privilege, not oppression, and therefore cannot be a symbol of release from oppression.
-The sexualized product of male fantasies about subdual and subjugation by a strong woman (a Japanese feminist manga critic professor doctor lady once told me that there were no strong feminist heroes in manga, all strong female characters are simply male fantasy objects in a culture where most women are incredibly demure and men have a desire to be smacked around by dominating tough girls.)
And if Anita Sarkeesian had not been the one to propose such a game, how much do you want to bet she’d be the one to attack it?
(plus, isn’t a royal returning from exile and overthrowing a council the opposite of what usually happens when people are trying to abolish the monarchy forever?)
Lastly, Mario a retelling of St. George & the Dragon? It’s so obvious that anyone could overlook it.
Ultimately, there ARE a lot of really gross things in video games, and a lot of female characters in video games ARE oversexualized and essentially made objects of the gaze, but Anita’s approach means finding the sexist bogeyman behind every corner and under ever rock.