This episode is the special-est, you guys.

In this super adult-sized four-hour episode, JKP tackles the latest scandals, controversies and general uproar regarding sexism and feminism within the realms of video games, comics and more.

Brandon, Tom, Josh and Harrison kick off the first half, giving their thoughts and opinions on everything from abusive game trailers to feminist kickstarters to overtly sexual comic characters. Then, in the second half, Brandon sticks around as moderator for perspectives on those same topics from Heidi, Sarah, Emily, Naty and JKP newcomer Jen. Ire is rised! Eyes are rolled! It’s one of our most concentrated episodes yet, and most certainly the longest. Put on those sincerity hats and (hopefully) enjoy!

Timecodes for the impatient (and who can blame them) are as follows:

The Boy Half: 0:03:10  —  The Girl Half: 2:11:30

Lastly, don’t forget to hit the jump for a comprehensive list of all the relevant topics, articles, trailers and videos that pop up during the discussions!

PENNY ARCADE & RAPE CULTURE

The Original “Dickwolves” Strip: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/8/11/

The Hitman Absolution Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ_jhw5TuxA

Penny Arcade’s Hitman Reaction Blog Post: http://penny-arcade.com/2012/06/01

Reactions to PA’s Reaction: http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/penny-arcade-vs-rape-culture/

 

FEMINIST FREQUENCY

Her Youtube Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency?feature=g-hist

Her Kickstarter Pitch: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games

The Internet Backlash: http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/06/harassment-misogyny-and-silencing-on-youtube/

 

LOLLIPOP CHAINSAW

The Marketing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nt-t8OF6vcA

The In-Game Content: http://youtu.be/keOgUFiqGVY?t=1m20s

“Boobs Pwning Noobs” Livestream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qjI5WUU5FM

 

TOMB RAIDER

E3 “Crossroads” Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkBZ6kKeoTI

“Rape Scene” Article: http://kotaku.com/5917400/youll-want-to-protect-the-new-less-curvy-lara-croft

 

DC & FEMALE CHARACTERS

New 52 Starfire/Catwoman: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/22/starfire-catwoman-sex-superheroine/

Modern-Day Starfire: http://www.dccomics.com/comics/red-hood-and-the-outlaws-2011/red-hood-and-the-outlaws-10

Catwoman #0 Cover: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/06/12/artists-respond-dc-comics-back-breaking-catwoman-0-cover/

Rob Liefeld’s Worst Drawings: http://www.progressiveboink.com/2012/6/14/3084348/the-second-40-worst-rob-liefeld-drawings

 

Use Your Keyboard to Yell at Us

45 comments on “JKP! Ep.103: Boys & Girls & Ducks

  1. :(

       1 likes

  2. Andrew Jun 21, 2012

    Hoody freakin hoo for Calvin and Hobbes!!!!! I don’t think you could have picked a better mascot for the topic. Also you better not cherry pic your emails JKP, because that would make you liar liar pants on fire. What kind of internet best friend for life woild do that.

       0 likes

    • Brandon Jun 22, 2012

      We *never* cherry-pick emails, Andrew. We got your latest. Never fear.

         0 likes

  3. Harrison Jun 21, 2012

    A thought occurs: If you take it that misogynist tropes in games teach men to devalue women, wouldn’t it stand to reason that violent games make people more prone to violence, and racing games foster reckless driving?

       1 likes

    • My crash breaker button is STILL not working and I’ve run at least 10 people off the road today. Gotta call Honda…

         3 likes

  4. Andrew Jun 21, 2012

    I wanted to comment an alternative view point to the time I believe Jen mentions to a friend that she made the Tali helmet and the individual from the story starts giving advice. My reaction to the story wasn’t oh you are a woman you obviously need help with what you did with the work, but if the person originally believed Tom made it because they knew Tom made cosplay items and Tom wasn’t around the person didn’t need to tell you the specifics of some finer details they observed on the helmet.

    After finding out that the individual was speaking with the creator of the helmet then they wanted to share their helpful information. I don’t know who they are or the situation, but I just thought it was an interesting viewpoint.

       0 likes

    • It was one of those things where you have to be there to hear the tone, and who knows it might have just been my take on it, but there was a total change in tone. Also that is just one example of the things people have said to me. Maybe it’s not the best one to illustrate my point. I’ve actually had someone tell me that I “was still a great cosplayer even though “man’s name omitted” makes my props.” When I told them that I made what they were talking about, they gave me the eye roll and said something along the line of “See, that’s what I’m talking about. You don’t need to be defensive.”

      Sorry if I’m keeping the story vague, but my intention is not to call people out, but give an example of how some (not all) people assume things based on gender. It’s not always guys either. I’ve had girls say the same kinds of stupid shit to me.

      I hope that helps to clear that up a bit.

         0 likes

      • Andrew Jun 21, 2012

        I appreciate the clarification. It is just lame that people are that narrow minded.

           0 likes

        • Well I just try to educate people. So maybe by meeting me or seeing my work their minds will expand a tiny bit. Either way it doesn’t change who I am or what I do. I’m just glad there are also a lot of open minded people in this world too!

             1 likes

  5. Harrison Jun 21, 2012

    Still listening, but I need to make a point:

    I did say that Anita’s videos are inflammatory. That is my opinion and I can recognize if other people do not see it as such. However, I NEVER suggested that she was acting in that manner in order to bait negative commentary in order to drum up support for her Kickstarter. I don’t know where Emily got that from, but the complexities of planning an operation around a potential viral newsflash like that are not something I would assume someone sets out to do.

       1 likes

    • Maybe I’m just extra cynical, but some word choices and phrases seem built to inspire the type of rage that inspires people to pass it around and the subject matter taylor made to garner support from some reporting sites. I doubt she expected it to blow up like it did, but I really think she expected it to earn some extra special attention some negative and some jumping to her defense.

         0 likes

    • Patrick Jun 21, 2012

      I tend to agree with Ben on this one, It might not have been her outcome but there is a bunch of phrases from that heavily scripted pitch that leads me to believe its not far from the realm of possibility.

      I said it before on the FB page and I will say it again, A series like this has been done before without asking for “research money”, hell from looking at her youtube videos I really don’t see why she would need to ask for it since she has potentially made her comments before. Also at least from her thorough list of characters it seems like either herself or somebody she knows has a grasp of these game characters and could easily go on wikipedia, read a book, or hell in some caes even email the creators to illicit a response, to which again I am forced to ask “whats the money for?”.

         1 likes

      • My only hope is that the money would go towards actually purchasing these games for her “in-depth research”. Outside of that, you’ve got me. Perhaps as compensation for the time and effort spent producing and editing these videos? doesn’t seem like she needs new equipment, the quality of her videos is already higher than most youtubers.

        But really, what do people care what their money actually goes towards, as long as they get something to validate the opinion they already have? Trope analysis, has always seemed silly to me, though…we know what they are, that’s why they’re tropes. It doesn’t justify their continued use, but pointing your finger at them doesn’t accomplish anything either. Outside of writing exercises with the intention of avoiding or successfully using them, they really don’t seem worth discussing.

           1 likes

        • Patrick Jun 22, 2012

          Brandon or Josh, if you would please show Zack her “women in refrigerators” episode. I would love to hear his take on it.

             0 likes

          • That’s a common trope that was around long before this lady. It’s been around since… well, since Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend got stuffed into a refrigerator. Since comics have more history and are more firmly entrenched in tradition, I would argue that they have a longer way to go in terms of portraying women well. It’s probably the way it is because the comics profession is so heavily male dominated. Hopefully that begins to change more and more in the future.

               0 likes

  6. Podcast inspired ramblings….

    Everything can offend someone if that person is looking for something to complain about or a way to draw attention to themselves.

    Are the nuns really any worse than Suckerpunch? Killer Princesses? Charlie’s Angels? All featured objectively attractive women, heavily armed, and intended to kick ass in relatively flamboyant costumes. Hitman is the one I hear all the sexist criticism upon. Suckerpunch was mostly criticized for being empty(though a quick googleing does show Anita did complain).
    Killer Princesses is a mostly unheard of comic starring empty-headed female super spies who can simultaneously shoot the bad guys and get their periods despite being created by two women(Gail Simone, original mind behind the original Women in Refrigerators website, and Lea Hernandez).
    Charlie’s Angel is a beloved pop culture institution/successful movie franchise.
    Hitman is obviously a Robert Rodriguez/Grindhouse-esque high violence/gore schlockfest and should be taken as seriously as that suggests.

    White Germans were greatly oppressed late and post WWII, especially by the Russians was they were pushing back the German offensive. When speaking of the widespread rape of the German peoples the Russians subjugated one Russian official said something along the lines of “The next generation of Germans will be Russian.”

    “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” -- Charles Dudley Warner
    This covers most complainers. Everyone likes talking about what is wrong, but hates trying to do anything about it. Anita has money to try doing something beyond talking, who wants to bet she does nothing constructive with it?

    Gender roles are well entrenched and formed early in life largely via toys and cartoons. You can try screaming at the toy/cartoon companies for not making pink microscopes, for making pink microscopes, or whatever slight you can imagine, but most of the complainers I see aren’t parents. Does Lego care that Anita Sarkeesian thinks their new line of toys is sexist? No, she isn’t a parent and is well beyond the age range printed on the box; she isn’t their intended consumer. Her audience is probably also mostly not Lego’s intended consumer. Lego will kindly listen to complaints, write them down and put them somewhere so they can monitor how many complaints they get, but largely they don’t care.
    Often it seems like some of the gender role reinforcement is a result of lazy parenting. Take the time show your child all the toys in toys r us or take him/her straight to the gender appropriate toy row? When that is the majority of what you introduce your child to that is what they will come to love. Because of this many complaints about how gender roles are created and reinforced can, to many people, feel like criticisms on a person’s ability to parent. Warranted or not people always think they are good parents and ignore criticisms of their parenting styles and abilities, especially when the criticism comes from a childless person.
    I’m not saying that Anita Sarkeesian and her ilk should go out and squeeze out a clutch of children. However, people are creatures of habit. By the time we are aware of how bad things are we’re way settled in our ways, and unable to rally enough adults to the cause to derail the cultural momentum. The best way to change things is to gain dictatorial control over all the corporations marketing in ways you dislike. Perhaps that is slightly unrealistic. A slower, but more possible way is to influence the next generation’s adaptation of those roles and to do that you need to be a parent or a very involved relative. Of course then you run the risk of becoming one of those “won’t someone think of the children” people and that’s fraught with its own cultural hurdles and pitfalls. Also, keep in mind the people in charge of most companies are a generation or three removed from us. As those people die off and are replaced with some closer to our beliefs and values pick up control things will change.

    So there is no winning. Just suck it up, live your life and do you best to help the people you choose to surround yourself with regardless of race, sex, religion or and other potentially divisive traits they may have.

       5 likes

    • Good post. I like the view of this from a parent angle. Thank the High Heavens none of us is qualified to deliver that angle except you.

         0 likes

  7. Patrick Jun 21, 2012

    I really like this episode, don’t have much to comment on that hasn’t already been touched upon:

    That Hitman trailer really does the series a horrible disservice (aside from the obvious). I havent played much of the game but what I take from it is its a sneaking espionage “metal gear/splinter cell” game where your goal is to assassinate the intended target by a myriad of means (shooting, poisoning food/drugs, garrote, or just planned “accident”) and then escape either undetected or in a John Woo, kill them all and let God sort them out way. When interviewed about the trailer they gave the same defense that EA gave about the bad Dead Space 3 trailer “Its really hard to show _____ style of gameplay and maintain excitement” (insert exaggerated eye roll) really!? you can’t make a trailer for a sequel to an already successful franchise (Hitman Absolution is the 5th game in the series)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4od2ljUHBTE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiBjEtqXttk

    What can I say about Lollipop chainsaw that hasn’t already been said, Its a weak hack and slash game with a vapid premis (its Suda 51, not much effort needed) so of course it will have an outrageous marketing campaign to mask the smell of this game.

    Tom, I am sorry but new Halo 4 content “Space Baking with Master Chef”. I know for a fact that I would play the hell out of it, especially if it just a re-skinned Cooking Mama

    I support the ladies point of “booth bro’s” gender equality on pointless eye candy because why not.

    “Ladies B’ PodcastN”

       0 likes

  8. I kept thinking of talking points to put in the comments, but because this episode was so damn long you guys just kept talking about stuff and defused them all!

    I think that’s a compliment to your thoroughness?

    Anyway, it was a magnificent episode, everyone, you guys really do produce great content!

    this may cross a line somewhere, but: Jump Kick Punch is also one of the only podcasts I’ve listened to that has featured women on multiple episodes who aren’t entitled, insufferable whiners who can’t take jokes and suck all the humor out of them. So kudos for that, too!

       1 likes

    • Except maybe the double standard of acknowledging that the definition of “rape” has shifted from its original use to it’s sexual connotation today, but refusing to allow it to shift again, to the more casual, degrading insult equating to “I am going to make you helpless”. That sort of got to me.

      but people treating any word as taboo always gets to me. We control language, not the other way around. I’m not advocating that everyone run around without a filter. Like you guys discussed in the episode there’s a time and a place for everything, and self-policing is important in a civilized context, but people who treat “rape” and “retard” and “cunt” and “faggot” like their fucking Voldemort has always irked me.

         5 likes

      • Andrew Jun 22, 2012

        I really like that point Tyler and I feel the same way.

           0 likes

      • I’m with you on this. I tend to curse like a sailor, not because I want to offend anyone, but because those are the words that my brain just goes to. In my vernacular they don’t have the same power as they might to a person who never uses or hears them. Honestly it’s not just curse words, people can say some really hurtful things without offensive language.

        I have always felt that words and their meanings are really just related to the intent behind them. So I’ve been known to say some offensive things while joking when around people who know me, and will get that I’m joking. On the same note I will not go around publicly saying some of the things I might say in private, because the public doesn’t know me and won’t understand my meaning. It’s more of a “respect for your fellow mankind” self-policing then anything else.

        I’m just glad there is a place in gaming for all kinda of people, and that I can still play games with friends that let me smack talk and curse at them with no fear.

           0 likes

    • I am incredibly proud of all my friends. The JKP crew is an amazing group of individuals, and you know what they say, birds of a feather. World-class ladies are all around us, and I couldn’t be more thankful. It does the soul good to be surrounded by so many people of high caliber that you truly respect and admire.

         4 likes

  9. +1 to Josh for coming prepared.

    False Equivalence: a logical fallacy which describes a situation where there is a logical and apparent equivalence, but when in fact there is none.

    Here are some other fallacies exhibited in this episode, can you spot them all?

    Ad hominem

    Straw Man

    Tu quoque

       4 likes

    • Brandon Jun 22, 2012

      Once you fill out the whole punch card, we send you a free sandwich.

      Shipping fees may apply.

         2 likes

      • Its a 4 hour podcast.

        That better be a damn impressive sandwich.

           0 likes

      • Patrick Jun 22, 2012

        some assembly required, void where prohibited, batteries not included

           0 likes

    • I always try to come prepared, especially for this one. Unfortunately, buzzwords like this are generally used in lieu of actually debating points. As in my example, people who would actually stick around and debate salient points tend to lose far more often than people who pull the pin on “strawman!”, lob it into a comment section, and run like hell.

      If you’d like to being up specific points from the podcast so that we might address them, that is what the comment section is for. The comment section is not so people who just took their first public speaking class can show off what they’ve learned. Well, you know it CAN be, we’ll just make fun of you for not being nearly as smart or as funny as you think you are, so whatevs.

         0 likes

      • Emily Jun 24, 2012

        Josh, I’m not sure you know who you’re replying to. In terms of education and intelligence, I’m pretty sure Jay has got everyone here beat by a mile. (Half a mile at least). I hate to have to point out the obvious, but it looks like it’s necessary: he was just being a smart-ass. I imagine you know something about that.

           3 likes

        • Then I respectfully submit he should either show his intelligence better, or be a funnier smartass. This place isn’t the stage for one’s weak B game.

             1 likes

      • Josh, in all seriousness, I was trying to pay you a compliment. As someone who enjoys arguing very much, I always appreciate when a participant in a debate can objectively point out fallacious reasoning. You were absolutely right to point out that comparing the objectification of men vs. women in a given medium might be considered a fallacy of false equivalence. I commend you for being intellectually honest about the pitfalls of the subject at hand.

        That being said, the other fallacies I named are all present at some point in the podcast, but I didn’t name the specific instances because I was just trying to be funny. I also didn’t want to denigrate the efforts of any specific podcaster, as I believe you were all making good faith efforts to seriously tackle an important discussion. But unfortunately, humor is not my forte, so from now on I will leave the jokes to the professionals (or at least to people who are reasonably funny).

           3 likes

  10. This has been bugging me for a while, but I doubt the subject will be relevant by the time you read it if I send this to you as an email, so I’ll just leave this hear instead.

    I can’t help but feel you guys judge Lollipop Chainsaw far too harshly. It’s a game that’s the essence of “vulgarity/absurdity for the sake of vulgarity/absurdity”. It’s created by the guy who saw the Wii-mote and thought “I’m going to make players do a masturbatory motion with that”, there’s no way you can think anything by Suda 51 is going to take itself seriously. If his style of entertainment isn’t your thing, that’s ok, but I hardly think you could claim Juliet is a sexist stereotype in the wake of his previous game having a gun called “the big boner”. It’s meant to be dumb and silly (and disturbing at times), and that’s what makes it entertaining.

       1 likes

    • Brandon Jun 24, 2012

      Sorry, Matt. It’s certainly worth pointing out that none of us have so much as laid a finger on the actual game itself-- the great majority of our reactions/criticisms have been squarely focused on the game’s marketing and tone as translated/restructured for western audiences.

      I know that Zack is super excited to try the game out sometime, and I regret that he wasn’t able to join us for this discussion. (He’s only joined in on one other Lollipop Chainsaw segment, far as I can recall.) I’m sure that he’ll provide a different perspective on the game once he’s tried it out.

         0 likes

      • Funny enough, if not for this show it would be the opposite for me. The first bit of information I received from this game was that the bosses would be undead caricatures of various music genres, and that the punk rock boss is voiced by one of my favorite punk rock musicians. Then I saw some of the other (arguably) well done villain designs, and I was instantly sold. It wasn’t until afterward that I learned about the marketing selling this game as “watch a cheerleaders ass for 5 hours”. And that part is a huge shame. Then I found out about the completely ridiculous alternate costumes for Juliet recently, and they’re even more shameful.

        Still, I can’t help but feel that’s Suda’s modus operandi. Every time I think “Juliet why don’t you wear more clothes”, I think back to the part of Shadows of the Damned where Garcia’s “big boner” turns into a 20 foot long canon that he holds directly between his legs, and it kinda puts things a little more into perspective. Or maybe I just like this game’s bosses too much to care. I dunno.

           0 likes

    • In their excellent One Sentence Reviews, SomethingAwful summed it up best: “Totally crazy in the most boring, calculated, and shallow ways”. Sorry Suda, it doesn’t take talent or skill to be stupid and vile.

         0 likes

    • Regardless of the ads and stuff (because honestly I don’t care about Jessica or however they’re advertising this game), I watched GiantBomb.com’s Quick Look of the game, and that was enough for me. 30 minutes in and I didn’t see anything that hooked me. I might rent it, assuming redbox has it. Otherwise, I’m going to pass.

         0 likes

    • Patrick Jun 25, 2012

      Like I said last week, my friend bought it and I got to play a little bit over the weekend. Its just like Bayonetta only slower. The game is 5-6 hours and rewards people to replay the game several times by unlocking character skins and items (which that in itself is something I have a gripe about) That being said the hack and slash genre has fallen with the FPS and the 3rd person shooter. There just is far too many games like it, instead of trying A) To find a new way to revitalize the genre and make it new and bold. (B) write a story that actually captivates a person and makes the viewer actually give 2 shits about the game they are playing. or (C) Just making a game using a genre that isn’t being exploited by every other company. I completely understand what your saying about the “novelty” of Suda 51’s style because I know a handful of people that defended Shadows of the Damned and even this game saying “he’s making a parody of recent gamer tropes” or “he’s emulating the “grindhouse” cinema” if it works for you, fine but to me if that is what they are going for I would have loved to know ahead of time instead of thinking they are just being dumb. Personally I would rather get another Killer7 or No more Heros from them.

      When I look at a game I really look closer to the merits of gameplay over the marketing hype. This game has far too much hype attached to it for its gameplay, hence why they would shy away from actually showing gameplay in the majority of their trailers. I think that JKP’s response is completely valid because Warner/Suda51 is making such a big deal out of the hype behind the game.

         0 likes

      • I will always agree that the marketing was bad/dumb/sexist/etc. But I don’t think it’s fair to demonize the game for it, since I personally think it’s got quite a lot of creative ideas going for it. And it’s also just….not worth the thought, honestly. It’s not a thinker’s game, and it clearly wasn’t meant to be as big a deal as the marketing made it out to be.

           0 likes

  11. Shadra Jun 24, 2012

    I am honestly not sure where to even begin.

    Tom and Brandon have heard some of my very specific thoughts on this episode, and I haven’t even gotten to the lady’s section yet. It took me this long to get through it, because it was awful for me to get through. I did, though, because it’s only fair for me to listen to the opinions of others, whether I agree with them or not. And yeah, it fucking sucked, but I did it.

    As I’ve said to some, I really did consider doing a point by point, thorough and exhaustive timestamped analysis of where a lot of statements are offbase and, frankly, insulting and/or ignorant. While understanding that opinions expressed are not representative of your entire gender, the main problem I have is that these are the /same opinions/ I keep seeing most representatives of the male gender seem to make when these discussions come up.

    But, I don’t have /that/ much free time. So, here’s what I’ve got right now that I remember most specifically thinking while enduring two hours of ‘the internet, on JKP’

    Generally, I personally feel that my efforts in this topic of discussion are best spent where I think they’d make a difference, and honestly, I’m not feeling that with this crew at this time. There was no sense of open-mindedness in this discussion, there was only a sense of expressed authority and a very quick tendency to completely disregard legitimate criticism, arguments, and opinions for one weak reason or another. It, honestly, came across as a bunch of complaining about women who are complaining about things you enjoy, for this reason or that.

    I noticed, as well, a lack of any kind of implied interest in knowing why, as a woman, I would so heavily disagree with the sentiments, attitudes, and opinions expressed (not just yours, but on this corner of the internet as a whole). I was, frankly, incredibly insulted by the specific (and oft-repeated) sentiment that the feminist movement should move its focus on ‘more important things’ such as rap music or Japan, because ‘they’re so much worse than video games/entertainment media’. Except that:

    A) Japan’s creepy rape games are not marketed towards mass audiences, they are made for and sold to creepy perverts. Japan’s mass-marketed games are, on the whole, far, far tamer in sexual/violent content than what Western games are sold to mass audiences, mainly because most of those games have a LOT of women on the design/production teams and actually know how to create games that can appeal to both genders. Also,

    B) it is well documented that entertainment media has an ENORMOUS cultural impact on what is seen as normal, acceptable, or even possible. Bruce Lee movies changed the asian stereotype in America from something insulting and degrading to something positive and powerful (if, these days, annoying to hear). The Cosby Show showed that an African-American family can have strong values, hard workers, and is not so different from a white family, greatly reducing race tensions and opening the doors to normalizing the idea of smart, capable, family-focused, and otherwise positive values for african-americans. I, personally, cannot imagine that President Obama would have been elected with as high a white vote as he had if there had not been a decade or more of movies and television with african-american men cast in positions of real power and authority, who were shown to be respectable and good and COMPLETELY capable. This is why it is so important to women-- and any less-privileged group, in regard to their cultural image-- that entertainment media-- games, comics, books, television, movies, etc-- are filled with positive portrayals of women and that clumsy incidents using violence/rape as ‘character changing opportunities’ are few and far between-- because yes, the more violence/disrespect/submissive/negative/sexual impressions of women are shown in entertainment media, the more this idea is reinforced as being ‘normal’ in society. Sure, it’s understood to be ‘bad’, but it’s also apparently ‘expected’ and ‘what are you going to do about it?’ This message is not just sent to men, but to women-- that abuse, that sexual harassment, and that being dismissed or controlled or thought of as ‘lesser’ is just ‘how it is’ and the idea of it ever stopping, or someone listening to them speak out against it, is just a fantasy.

    his is why a show like MLP: FIM is an excellent show for little girls-- because it normalizes the perception of many different types of girls, not just ‘the one that wears pink and needs to be helped out by a man’ as often happens even today. Yes, there are a LOT more well-rounded, well /written/ female characters in entertainment media these days-- I often enjoy talking about them when I notice them (and believe me, they are noticeable-- they stand out). But it’s not enough. And no, I at least am not going to be satisfied until it is /normal/, not remarkable, to see well-portrayed, well-written female characters in entertainment media.

    Also? It’s time to start talking about racism again, in real, grown-up discussions, and not just sticking fingers in our ears and saying ‘LA LA LA RACISM IS BAD YOU LOSE THE ARGUMENT LA LA LA’ because that is the opposite of helpful. Racism is real, it is still happening, and just ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t happen anymore or doesn’t affect people every single day is enormously and consciously immature. Racism, privilege associated with race, class, gender and many other factors is also real, it plagues our society and unfortunately, it is very easy for those of great privilege to ignore, because our society loves to hide those depressing, perhaps even guilt-inducing facts. The answer to realizing one is privileged is not to feel guilty, sad, or depressed, however-- it’s to begin asking questions and finding out how one can even the odds and perhaps reach out to those who are underprivileged and attempt to make a difference.

    One can start by understanding that the less-privileged aren’t happy about being less-privileged and will often speak in angry, inflammatory ways because they are understandably and legitimately VERY ANGRY. That does not mean one should ignore them or dismiss their arguments because of their ‘tone’. Martin Luther King, Jr. was essentially told this same thing, as he responds to in his well-known ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’, explaining that things don’t change with inaction and complacency, and sticking one’s head in the ground and running away from the disturbance was not in any way helpful. Malcom X, another well-known and respected Civil Rights advocate, was also very, very angry and said many seemingly inflammatory things, but would it be fair to ignore or dismiss his impact on the Civil Rights movement because of that? Because that’s what happens to women, to people of color, to other minorities-- to anyone without power equal to that of the privileged.

    Throughout all of American history, civil rights movements, or any actions taken on behalf of the under-privileged have forever been connected. Emancipation could not have happened without the participation of women. Women’s suffrage could not have happened without the participation of men. Civil Rights could never have come to be even moderately successful without the participation of white people. And all of these movements-- all of the underprivileged speaking out against oppression-- were met with disdain, with dismissal, with calls for ‘reason and civility’, and other methods to ignore and otherwise defend the status-quo.

    So, think before you’re so quick to dismiss anyone’s criticism about something you like. Your enjoyment of entertainment media being ‘the way it is’ is not, sadly, more important than the people it’s directly or indirectly harming in the long term.

    Anyway, there are many more points I would love to make--

    (one of which being, quickly, Josh: the Jewish people were not persecuted only in the middle east (and in fact, almost no Jews remain in the middle east outside of Israel, as they were asked to GTFO and go to Israel instead of living in their home countries)-- our entire history is one of persecution, and modern history reflects the same in Europe (east and west), in the Americas, parts of Africa and Asia as well. To this day, how often does one see being called a ‘jew’ as derogatory? That very ‘insult’ was directed at Ms. Sarkeesian, among others…)

    --but I’ll save my paper writing for the fall, when I’m in school for that sort of thing and academic structure and arguments is actually helpful.

    TL;DR: I did not enjoy the men’s half of the episode, haven’t gotten to listen to the women’s yet, you guys ignored a lot of stuff, and overall I’m pretty unhappy and/or insulted with/by a lot of sentiments I heard.

    PS, I’m still not sure I understand why Josh wouldn’t mention my name during the episode when the discussion we had came up re: Lara Croft/Tomb Raider. I own up to the things I say on the internet, and on Facebook in particular, and I’m not sure why I don’t deserve credit, for good or for ill, for my words and opinions. Crediting me with my expressed opinions would not make the discussion ‘about me’, it would make me feel like I actually had an iota of input into your discussion in the first place. You spend enough time trying to explain to me how I’m wrong about my expressed opinions--as we do on the internet-- the very least you could do was attach my name to it so I’m not just some ‘chick on the internet you were talking to about this subject’.

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    • First off, I’m genuinely sorry that we caused you distress. That absolutely was not our intent. Personally, I did my dead level best to treat the subject with as much dignity and respect as possible. Unfortunately, I have two gears: Public Speaker, and Make Fun Of You. Since the latter was off the table, it came off as lecture-y.

      >There was no sense of open-mindedness in this discussion, there was only a sense of expressed authority and a very quick tendency to completely disregard legitimate criticism, arguments, and opinions for one weak reason or another.

      I respectfully disagree. I tried my very best to make it clear that these issues are important to me, and it’s a community I would very much like to argue on behalf of and fight for, but I frankly am confronted with too many attitudes and mindsets that I just can’t hitch my wagon to. We dismissed people for hypocrisy, for cherry picking arguments, and for being flippant and argumentative. We may disagree here, as I think those things absolutely do matter. It’s important to not portray things as “us vs. them”, because that’s the opposite of helpful and truthful. For the most part, I think we dismissed people for just that. Unfortunately, good intentions and good points aren’t enough. I will mention that I find it interesting that you take us to task for ignoring salient points wrapped in barbs, and then tell us our part was sickening because you didn’t like the tone.

      >I noticed, as well, a lack of any kind of implied interest in knowing why, as a woman, I would so heavily disagree with the sentiments, attitudes, and opinions expressed (not just yours, but on this corner of the internet as a whole).

      No such lack of interest was implied, due to the fact that the entire second half of the show is women being given the chance to tell us exactly this. Were this any shade of true, we would have talked for 3 hours like we normally do and then ended the show. I’ll be honest, I kind of don’t know even how to respond to this sentence. Did you want us to try and find out why “women” were upset with our mindset and opinions before we even said them? Did you want a live call in show? Regardless, the male half was not meant to be a defense of current day gender issues from the male perspective, or even an apology on behalf of our gender: the male half was simply us voicing our opinions. As feminist blogs are so quick to point out, we will never truly understand anyway, so to speak for the female gender as to why they’re mad at us would be a bit presumptuous.

      > Japan’s creepy rape games are not marketed towards mass audiences, they are made for and sold to creepy perverts.

      The most extreme examples are definitely, but games with sexual content are far, far more prevalent and “normal” than they are here, and a *staggering* amount of Japan’s porn, both real and drawn, deals with unrealistic rape, so much so that it’s basically in the norm when talking about adult material. This is not stuff “for the perverts”: You better believe people look at porn over there just as much as they do here, i.e. almost everyone, and to a certain extent where porn goes, historically so society goes as well. Even if we’re not talking about porn, a large amount of Japan’s input is at least mildly hostile to women: objectification is ten times worse over there than it is here, and since most anime deals exclusively in broad archetypes anyway, “submissive female” is a pretty standard norm. Hell, Dragonball, probably the most well known manga in the world, had every single female character be a completely awful stereotype. It’s very interesting that you would toss this criticism away so readily in order to attack other things.

      >because yes, the more violence/disrespect/submissive/negative/sexual impressions of women are shown in entertainment media, the more this idea is reinforced as being ‘normal’ in society.

      I am all about everything you said in that paragraph except this sentence. In my opinion, any form of violence simply being shown, regardless of context, in and of itself has no effect on society. If you’re truly going to argue this point, you throw in with Fox News and their view that violent movies and video games turn kids into killers, you throw in with 80’s moms that D&D turns kids into devil worshippers, you throw in with Frederic Wertham when he said that comics should be censored because of their effect on young children, and you throw in with the inhabitants of River City when they tacitly believe that pool will lead to all hell breaking loose. It hasn’t been true for any form of violent cause and effect for the last hundred years or more, and it’s not true now. Art is all about context: if we have a sudden spate of movies or games where slappin’ women around gets you fame and fortune, then yes, we should probably endeavor to turn that trend around with art of our own. As it is, even the clumsiest “violence towards women” things I’ve seen usually have the clear message of “this is bad, don’t do this”. It *is* a deadly serious topic and should be treated with the utmost respect, but that doesn’t mean “just don’t show it”. It means “show it well, and tell everyone as loud as you can that this isn’t right or acceptable”. Not everyone is going to tell it well, but you shouldn’t frown on people at least attempting. I think it would be far more damaging if popular media pretended violence against women doesn’t exist outside of stern PSA’s.

      >And no, I at least am not going to be satisfied until it is /normal/, not remarkable, to see well-portrayed, well-written female characters in entertainment media.

      No arguments here. Thank you for being as passionate about it as you are. Like I said in the podcast, when female characters are written well, everyone wins.

      > Racism is real, it is still happening, and just ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t happen anymore or doesn’t affect people every single day is enormously and consciously immature.

      I can only assume this statement is fallout from me calling out John Scalzi on his inflammatory article. You’re absolutely right, racism is real and is still happening, which is why it would be dishonest of me to ignore it when it’s done to me. Being racist while crusading against racism is called “being a hypocrite”, and as such it immediately invalidates them as a person who can speak with any sort of authority or level-headedness. There are tons of social commentators who can raise the points of privilege and equality without being hypocrites, so there’s no reason to waste time on someone who can’t.

      >One can start by understanding that the less-privileged aren’t happy about being less-privileged and will often speak in angry, inflammatory ways because they are understandably and legitimately VERY ANGRY. That does not mean one should ignore them or dismiss their arguments because of their ‘tone’.

      Couple things: Again, I’d like to point out that our mere perceived tone has made you sick due to our lack of caring, despite us making it very clear in both words and deeds that we actually do, so there’s that. Second off, honestly? Yes it does mean we should ignore them. The first rule we’re all supposed to learn in kindergarten is that you don’t react to shitty behavior with anger. If you’re writing an article/ participating in a debate/doing anything meant to open minds and promote peace, goodwill and equality, you leave your anger at home. Make no mistake, it’s supremely difficult to separate passion from anger, but that doesn’t mean you just say “fuck it”. Coming at a subject with anger, especially one as complex and fragile as equality and togetherness, is not conducive to the discussion and a sign of immaturity. Either you leave your anger at home, or you get even angrier and bring it to a riot or war. It has no place in civilized discourse. This does NOT mean you agree with the status quo: The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

      It’s interesting you mention MLK and Malcolm X: MLK is almost revered like unto a deity these days, and that’s because he approached civil rights with passion, without anger. Malcolm X did a lot too, but is ultimately seen as somewhat misguided because his methods didn’t rule out violence and vengeance. Human nature dictates that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, and violence to reach equality is never the answer.

      >Your enjoyment of entertainment media being ‘the way it is’ is not, sadly, more important than the people it’s directly or indirectly harming in the long term.

      I think the entirety of the podcast over the years will show that I’m definitely not happy with entertainment media “the way it is” for multiple reasons, a dearth of real female characters amongst them. Regardless, I feel the need to say that I think the freedom of people to create the art they want, to say what they want, regardless of what its inherent value or content might be is the most important thing. It’s more important than safety, it’s more important than morality, it’s more important than any country or society. Unfortunately, that includes reprehensible speech and art as well as noble, but it still stands.

      Both here and on Facebook you’ve called us out for going “that’s just the way it is, what are you going to do about it?” I remember Harrison saying such, but that was never one of my talking points (of course, I could be wrong. My memory’s not what it used to be). I will say that I initially said that about the feminist kickstarter video thing, because I had just glanced at the original article and didn’t see anything remarkable at first glance other than “the internet is being terrible”. I honestly don’t think that’s ever going to change, because the internet being completely awful to everyone all the time is a function of human nature, and that’s permanent. On the plus side, I think that due to that same quirk of human nature, all hate on the internet is multiplied by a thousand, so the actual, real world reaction to those videos is probably a lot less intense, if no less idiotic. Having said all this, that does not mean that we stop striving to be better to one another, to just accept it: all it means is that it’s just yet another never-ending battle that we must endure.

      >one of which being, quickly, Josh: the Jewish people were not persecuted only in the middle east (and in fact, almost no Jews remain in the middle east outside of Israel, as they were asked to GTFO and go to Israel instead of living in their home countries

      This is absolutely correct. I apologize if the way I phrased it made it seem like I thought Jews were only persecuted there: They have been persecuted all over the world since time immemorial. I was aware of this, and again apologize if I made it seem like this wasn’t the case.

      >I’m still not sure I understand why Josh wouldn’t mention my name during the episode when the discussion we had came up re: Lara Croft/Tomb Raider.

      Because I didn’t want it to be “Josh vs. Shadra”. I wanted it to be what I thought about the situation at large. I didn’t want anyone to take away from it “Josh was being unreasonable with a friend of his” or “Josh had to deal with a single nutbar”, depending on who they agreed with. I didn’t want it to come across as me using the topic as an excuse to bring a feud into a widely broadcast forum. It was done out of respect, not dismissal. I apologize if you felt otherwise, it was sincerely not my intent to marginalize your opinions or input.

      Because Shadra? You are definitely never just “some chick”. I sincerely thank you for your input: I hope you know it is always valued.

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  12. Hey all,

    I really enjoyed this episode! A lot of great points were made, but I do agree with the girls: The guys in JKP (and I’m sure the readers as well) are probably more outliers in having a more progressive view on gender issues.

    I wanted to empathize with Jen on the story of her cosplay props being mistakenly made by Tom. I’ve had instances where I’d go to my game studio’s events and often be mistaken as “the girlfriend of the developer”. It’s a bit of a jab especially when you put long hours into your product.

    I, myself, don’t see anything wrong with having the femme fatales and oversexualized characters, as long as it a) matches the context of the story or b) the game offers a broader range of female characters for women to play in the game if it allows for it. i.e. don’t have ONLY skimpy outfits to wear in an MMO! I don’t like it when the oversexualized character is the default female for no reason, and when that “second camera” shot comes up, I start rolling my eyes.

    I think it all goes back to games being a young industry. Movies have their femme fatales, but they also have their romantic comedies too. There’s still not a lot of variety in games, at least the ones that get all the attention i.e. AAA games. It’s important for developers who do, to help cultivate variety (granted if their publishers give them that artistic freedom…always a catch 22). Naughty Dog is an excellent example of that. Their games support context and have characters that don’t follow the usual tropes, and unsurprisingly, they attracted gamers from all different demographics. Indie games also draw in a more varied audience probably because they don’t follow the expected tropes in games. It’s all going to change as the industry matures, game dev tools are more accessible, and more girls get into gaming.

    And speaking of tropes:

    http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=311

    http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=336

    And you should totally get the girls together and have them do another roundtable. Loved hearing their perspective on all things geek. It reminded me a lot of the IGN Girlfight podcast, which I really miss. ;_;

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    • Couldn’t agree more. In fact, when I started my Demon Hunter in Diablo III, I was like “Corset and heels? Really?”

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