Anita Sarkeesian of Tropes vs. Women fame has announced that her series entitled Feminist Frequency will change its format in 2016. This has already been applied to the newest episode in the series, which officially started Season 2, titled “Strategic Butt Coverings”, being a more bite-sized episode of 11 minutes in length.
As always, Anita brings up some rather interesting topics when it comes to the gaming industry’s way of portraying women in video games. This new episode is more or less focused on games played from a third-person perspective with a main female character.
Every gamer has noticed up to this point that when a woman is displayed, her posterior is highly detailed, with skin-tight pants or armor, in order to emphasize its shape, size and movements while in battle. True, a nicely shaped butt that moves seductively across your screen can sometimes be distracting while you are in the process of running through the forest and shooting bad guys.
But, Sarkeesian continues her focus on video games that are specifically built around a character that is meant to be sexy. Showing gamers that Blood Rayne, Bayonetta, Lara Croft or Catwoman have emphasized rear ends doesn’t necessarily mean that the developers were thinking to put their full focus on detailing the butt to the detriment of building a better character.
The comparison between how male and female protagonists are designed to show their rear ends is also made in a way to prove Sarkeesian’s point, even if sometimes she can be somewhat misleading. Telling gamers how Fenix from Gears of War doesn’t show his butt because of the camera angle can be applied to female characters from the same game as well. Saying how Batman does not display his posterior is also somewhat false because almost everytime Batman has been portrayed with a cape. This was not a decision made specifically to cover his rear end, it was made because that’s how the character is. Plus, capes look really exciting when they sway in the wind.
Anita does mention that in order to circumvent this so-called problem in video games, men’s butts shouldn’t be sexualized in the same way that female butts are. Instead, females have to be designed in a way that de-emphasizes the focus put on their posterior, because this does not tell the player anything about the character, besides how the character might enjoy doing squats or jogging. But some players still come with the counter-argument that states how Anita should stop focusing on games that are meant to be fun and dumb like Lollipop Chainsaw or over-the-top like Bayonetta.
Even if Feminist Frequency will change its format in 2016, adopting a more bite-sized length, Anita Sarkeesian still has a long way to go before her episodes of Tropes vs Women become objective and conclusive, according to a part of the general public.