What’s up Readers
You know a topic has to have gotten my “rawr!” flowing for me to put up a blog post. I know I’m horrible at it. I write them a lot in my brain but just never get them onto here. Welp, I have read an article recently that got me fired up so I’m writing a blog post about it.
If you’re new welcome! Be aware I often come into a topic with a very different perspective on things, sometimes it’s not the popular one. Today is no different and I feel strongly enough that I am posting and I’m inviting discussion on this topic. So if you’ve got something to say after you read this, agree or disagree I’m happy to have a discussion with you.
I recently read an article, actually several in fact regarding Rape Culture in Video Games. The first article I read was tilted: Quit Pretending There Isn’t A Videogame Rape Culture. This is a bit of an old article, but I have noticed in our society recently there has been a very strong push towards more conversation and a spotlight pointing on this important issue so, let’s talk about it.
I’ve also noticed this trend regarding these discussions where the speaker needs to list their emotional/experience earning qualifications to speak. For example a lot of these discussions have started with “I know I’m a privileged white X”, or “I am a victim of X”. I both understand and I’m bothered that we suddenly have to do this before our viewpoints are taken into consideration. But, because I’m 50/50 on this, I’ll list mine.
I am a minority female, and a survivor of sexual abuse, bullying, homophobia, and Hurricane Katrina. Do I get to speak on this topic now? 😉
Sweet, so let’s do it.
In real life I am a peace activist. You will NEVER convince me that non-consensual violence is acceptable. I think one of the biggest failures of the American people is their ignorance about what our military really does in the countries it is occupying. I think what is going on in Gaza is fucking wrong, and every time I look at the horrific pictures of someone’s child, or brother, or other dead family member I cry. Every time. I think we as a people of planet Earth need to start treating every child like our child, every brother or sister or mother or father etc like ours. I fully believe in conscious evolution and I do think that one day planet earth will understand that love is law and we will stop doing dumb shit.
I will absolutely 100% acknowledge that sexism and rape culture exists. We have lived in a male dominated society for a very long time and we are actively working on bringing back the feminine. I’m all about it. There should be an awareness of it, but more than that we need to talk more about the solutions. We get really hung up on problems, write long ass articles about them (like I’m about to do), and then only give about three sentences towards actual solutions.
I should be able to walk down the street butt ass naked, and just because I don’t have any clothes on, that does not give a man, or a woman, the right to touch me. I will 100% acknowledge that rape culture does exist.
I have just listed who I am in real life. However, I have a Hyde and I think we all do. You, the person reading this has had an inappropriate thought. An urge. At some point in your life, something extremely fucked up has walked into your mind. You might have even been scared by it, and quickly pushed aside, wondered briefly what the fuck was wrong with you, and gone about your day. All of us have that thing, that fetish, that desire, we have something that we do in private and only share with those close to us, where we can express that “dark” fantasy in a safe place.
When I play video games, I like to do fucked up shit. I play Civilization. It is an awesome game. One of the forms of Government in Civilization I really like is Slavery. Adopting slavery allows me to build things in cities 25% faster. Fuck yeah. If one of the NPCs in the game talks shit to me, I will drop a nuclear bomb on their capital city, I will then send my army in to ravage their cities, and sometimes I will burn that mutha fucka to the ground if the unhappiness will take too many turns to cure and it’s just easier for me to build another city over top it. Civilization is even more fucked up because when your army starts attacking a city you can hear people screaming.
In video games I get to express fucked up shit in a healthy manner. I can play grand theft auto for example, blow up a police station, steal a car, randomly stab people because it’s funny, and even rape somebody.
Ever had a rape fantasy? I have. Except I am a dominant personality so I’m doing the raping. That’s dark right? It’s fucked up right? Does this mean I would EVER condone rape in real life? No. Does this mean I would ever say, or think it is okay to say, that a woman deserves to be raped, or was asking for it, based on how she dressed or was acting? No.
Fiction vs Reality.
Violence and Sex is sometimes in the right cocktail sexy to me. My ideal relationship with my future husband would be we can have a knock down drag out fight every now and then, and it just might end with me slapping him, and him grabbing me, jacking me up against a wall and fucking my brains out. Then we should cuddle, sincerely apologize for being assholes, and watch the Notebook. True story. That is what works for me.
I play some fucked up video games. Video games are fucked up. Do they show a rape culture? Sure. They also show genocide, murder, violence against children, and all other manner of fucked up things. Just because I play those games, does not mean I support any of those things IN REAL LIFE.
Fiction vs Reality.
Video games, books, TV shows, movies, works of FICTION should be our healthy outlet to our unhealthy shit. This is how we express our Hyde in a healthy manner so we don’t go out and actually do it. This is okay. This should be okay. Pretending that we don’t all have something that tickles our fancy that isn’t fucked up, is not healthy. I do not believe you are being authentic to yourself, you are repressing something that you believe is dark and wrong, the not okay thoughts. I believe those thoughts become not okay when we suddenly have the urge to take them out of fantasy and fiction and really do them. Works of fiction do not (always) cause them, nor should they be vilified for suddenly perpetuating the fucked up shit we all carry.
When people play those games, and can’t separate the fiction from the reality, that is the problem. Not the game, the people.
I do not get angry because we can easily argue that Hollywood has desensitized us to violence. That all our action movies, and war movies, make us shrug and go no big deal when we see it happen for real. I don’t blame Hollywood, I blame us for not knowing the fucking difference. At some point, we have got to take personal responsibility for our shit, all of it, and stop pointing fingers. I enjoy the Expendables and all it’s manly violence. I abhor that kind of behavior in real life.
Fiction vs Reality.
When I first watched the Hitman Absolution Trailer what I saw was two groups of assassins beating the shit out of each other. The guy starts out the trailer shirtless, and I get to see yummy muscles and scars, then he puts on his uniform. We cut back and forth to these sexily dressed bad ass women coming towards his hotel room carrying ak-47s and rocket launchers and knives and shit ready to put the smack down. The guy wins, because he’s the “protagonist” in the game. This is not about badass ninja nuns it’s about badass Agent 47. That’s what I saw, assassin vs assassin.
Someone else looked at that and saw violence again women. Someone else looked at that trailer and saw a man exerting his dominance over women who were forced to wear those clothes, and do what they were doing and had no control over the matter.
So whose fucked up? Them for seeing that? Or me for not seeing it? (We probably both are 🙂 )
But I, as a strong independent woman have a bit of problem with that view point as well. Those women couldn’t have chosen to be sexily dressed and bad ass assassins coming after a dude? They are automatically victims getting abused by another guy? I’m not allowed as a woman, to dress in form fitting leather, choose a violent profession, and attack another dude with the potential to loose that fight? Automatically I’m shoved into victim status with no control?
Is that line of thinking not as dangerous?
Guess what? If you make a female Hit Woman trailer I want to see six, sexily dressed men, good looking, preferably shirtless, with a six pack, and those manly muscles dripping in the rain, getting their asses whooped by some badass chick. Does that mean I now support violence again men? Or am I just enjoying a fucked up video game?
I am not ignoring that most video game marketing is done for men. Most marketing in general, not just in video games, is right now done for men. Again, sexism still exists. I am not condoning that. I am not saying that should be accepted as the norm. It should not. There 100% should be more video games, movies, books, TV shows that have strong female characters, that are marketed towards women, where we are not prizes to be won, or less than the male character. But, that doesn’t mean we have to attack and see nefarious intent in a medium that is fucked up not just against women but EVERYONE to accomplish that equality. When you watch the trailer for Battlefield and you’re seeing someone run around in first person view killing other people are we now perpetuating a culture that condones murder and war as something that is just accepted? Or, are we just playing a video game?
Fiction among many other things, should also be our healthy expression of unhealthy shit. And that is healthy.
I understand, some men will watch video game trailers like Hitman Absolution, make them, or have played them and then in real life think it is okay to treat women this way. Our jobs is not to attack the fictional medium but to teach the difference between reality and fiction. If you watched the Hitman Absolution Trailer and you suddenly thought it was okay to hit a woman in real life the problem is you. Not the trailer. And that is what we need to attack.
So what is the solution to overcoming a rape culture? A society dominated by men? Awareness is key, absolutely. We have to understand a problem exists in order to tackle it. And we also have to understand that one solution does not fit all, because people are complex and unique and that is okay.
Beyond awareness we need to stop talking about the problem and start simply doing the solution. Consumers have power. You want to see more video games supporting women in strong roles, then support indie projects or mainstream projects that do so. You don’t like the Hitman series, don’t buy it. Start your own. Write a book, write a script, the next time you play an MMO make a badass chick. Engage in equality in your every day life, treat people equally. Not special or different because I have a vagina and you have a penis, just treat people equally. If you know someone who might be expressing a violently dominant view over women in a unhealthy way (non-consensual) get that person help. Don’t just yell at him for being an asshole.
If we don’t start coming at things with love and understanding, and getting to the root of issue, we will never solve them. A person who feels that way about a woman is deeply damaged. You are appalled, I am appalled, but the reality is that person is broken and despite the horrific thing they have done, they need an understanding of what is love and a lot of therapy by someone who can give it.
And seriously, stop attacking the fiction. Just, stop.