Saturday, January 23, 2016

Strategic Butt Coveting

This is something of a rebuttal to Feminist Frequency's latest video.  It's interesting that Anita has such a myopic view of what kinds of games she'll review.  Of all the video games she could have chosen, she strategically missed some of the largest, most mainstream games currently available (and also previously available, at earlier points in time).

Let's look at the most obvious candidates.  GTA 5 comes to mind, as does Fallout 4.  GTA 5 is particularly interesting, because it's had phenomenal success and is one of the most easily recognizable games in circulation.  One of the main characters that can be played frequently finds himself nearly naked, showing no shortage of derriere. For someone as supposedly egalitarian feminist as her, this seems a huge oversight.  Why isn't she decrying the objectification of any butt, if female butts are equal to male butts?

Moving on to Fallout 4, another powerhouse gaming experience.  Quite possibly, it's the most popular game in the world.  It's still in the top ten or so games sold weekly.  The protagonist can be either male or female, and the player has the full choice of how much the character is exposed, and even whether or not to play in third person view.  Anita would have us believe that these games she is reviewing are on par with the games that are actually at the forefront of gaming culture.

Of course, Anita doesn't really understand the demographic she's trying to persuade.  When I play a video game, for example, I don't pay much attention to my character.  That is, unless my character's actions have some bearing on the overall story.  Much like Kenneth, I like to be whatever character I am playing.  If the choices I make are plot-specific, then by all means the character could be significant.  However, Anita's complete ignorance of the companies that are doing equality (by her definition) correctly, is something of a major oversight.  Instead, she's complaining that characters are acting in character.  Simultaneously, Anita pretends that Lara Croft's butt is important because it's representing a human ideal, while ignoring the fact that Lara Croft's character should be afforded the same rights.  Lara's character is the actions she's taking on screen, from the clothes she wears to the actions she does.  Her sense of adventure, strong will, and good protagonist characteristics are thrown out the window by Anita.  This is the main reason Anita's argument fails, because she fails to realize that the character must be taken as a whole.

In this way, Anita is a considerably worse objectifier than any of the myriad people who play the games.  She's acting like a physical attribute is what defines the person.  As she said, we can't know what the character is by looking at its butt, but it's the only part of the character upon which she chooses to make her judgments on the character.  Never mind whether the character would actually choose to act that way, for it is impossible for Anita to see these characters as anything other than their outward appearance, to objectify them as their supposedly ill-proportioned bodies.

Although Anita won't understand this, lots of us don't judge a character by whether or not that character shows some skin.  Anita does, and presumes that the designers have no other motives at play.  Using Lara again, the point of her character is to be loud, showy, strong, and over the top.  It's only logical that, being what her character is, she would be presented in such a way.  In exactly the same way, Batman wears a type of armor that makes his muscles seem ill-proportioned, because he wants to give an intimidating vibe.  It's not for a show of sexuality that Bruce Wayne chooses a rather mesomorphic costume; his ploy is not to be a sex symbol.  By Anita's logic, batman is simply an object the designers are making for straight cis women to be aroused by.  Clearly, one can see the flaw in this line of reasoning.  Batman chooses a bulky appearance for the same reason Spiderman chooses a lanky one, or Rorschach chooses to be an enigma hidden behind a layer of thick clothing.

That's my rebuttal to her poor choice of logic.  Now, if only I could make a million dollars a year debunking her, like she makes spreading her vitriol.  One can dream...


I am currently having an interesting conversations in the comments section of an image on Imgur, regarding asexuality.  Being a person who is, I've also been asked a few questions and given a few anecdotes over my time.  Now, I shall take a moment to explain a few things, whereby I shall expound after.  This might become a two-part blog post, maybe more, since people do seem to like my shorter blog posts better.  I suppose that's all about digestion, eh?

Also, as this is about sexuality, or lack thereof, the content might be a bit more mature than other subjects.  If anything related to this sort of discussion may be unfavorable reading material to you, I completely understand, and suggest you stop reading now. Not everyone likes to discuss or read this sort of thing, but it's for education, so come on a journey with me.

Let's start with the dictionary definition, using google.  You can have google define words for you by typing something like this into the search box.
So, using the first definition of asexual, we find it is defined as a lack of sexual feelings or associations.  The second definition deals with a biological definition, regarding things which reproduce without sex.  It's important to make this distinction, since you were probably taught only the latter in science class.  Bacteria reproduce that way, for example.  However, we're using the first definition, because humans are biologically sexual creatures.  Some humans like myself, however, lack the desire (or in some cases, even find it undesirable) to have sex.  Let's try to relate this to the readers who don't understand.  It's understandable if one doesn't, given one's sexuality.

It's simplest for me to explain it like this.  Cats are cute, and so are women, but I don't have a desire to have sex with either.  I don't have the desire to have sex as a sexual person apparently does.  I do like the aesthetic of a body I find attractive, but it's exactly the same kind of aesthetic as I find in a car, color, shape or animal that I find attractive.  Perhaps 'attractive' isn't the best word, but I think the best word is a lacuna (define:lacuna) and so I'm going to use it.  The word will mean, in this context, something I find pleasing to behold, like good music or a neat painting.  I am therefore attracted to things I find pleasing (visually, let's say) in exactly the same way as anyone else.  Imagine something you think looks good, which isn't something with which you want to have sex.  That's all the further attraction works in my head.

I realize that's a bit to comprehend, so let that soak in a moment.  Let's step back a bit, and consider the more basic argument.  I may have gotten ahead of myself, but I think this will bring it full-circle.  No sexual desire typically means that an asexual person doesn't want to have sex, but that doesn't mean the person won't.  I find, for example, that I'm not terribly interested in what most people would consider typically sexual behavior, like kissing, hugging, holding hands, &c.  I simply don't care for them.  For our purposes, things like this will be called romantic behaviors.  Even that attraction above can be considered a romantic sort of inclination, albeit in a different way (again, see lacuna).  There are people, like myself, who simply don't care for that sort of thing, also.

People like to tell me that I simply haven't found the right person, or that perhaps the right person will come along some day.  I can say with some certainty that this probably isn't the case.  Being both asexual and aromantic, I'm literally quite content to simply have friends and be single for the entirety of my life.  This isn't to say that I would flatly turn down someone who was interested in me, but there would be considerable conversation before I would let a person into such a relationship with myself.  It would be unfair, I presume, to bring a sexual romantic into a relationship with myself.  This isn't the case for everyone.  Some people are completely content to simply engage in sexual behavior on the other person's behalf.  I'm not intrigued by that idea, so I don't approach it.  Even further, it's not something I want, in the same ways I presume a straight man is not interested in other men.

Which brings me to another interesting bit about myself.  I would call myself a 'straight' asexual, although that term probably doesn't mean the same thing to me as it does to the average 'straight' person.  In general, the average female form is a bit more aesthetically pleasing (comely?) than the average male form.  However, and this must be stressed, I don't care to have sex with anyone.  That's all that asexual means.  I only bring up this section because people ask about it sometimes.  It's obviously redundant to use 'straight' to mean 'heterosexual' in this way, because a 'heterosexual asexual' is a redundant term.  It simply doesn't make sense, and that's why I've taken the careful liberty of explaining it separately here.

Similarly, please keep in mind that these are my experiences alone.  Other asexuals will possibly identify differently in these ways. In fact, has lots of people who identify as non-typical sexualities and romanticisms.  If you think you might be among this group, or someone you know is, definitely check that out.  It will answer your more generic and more specific questions reasonably.

I'd like to make one final point before I end this post. Desires and urges are two different things in this way of thinking.  Occasionally, I have a need to relieve the such an urge, but there's no desire connected with it.  It's not so different from when one needs to urinate. I'm trying to keep this as polite as possible, mind you.  I simply take care of that urge, and go on with my life.  Usually this happens when my dreams start to become strange, presumably from the buildup of various hormones.  This is typically what prompts me to such action.  There is no sexual desire involved, merely an urge like needing to eat, or use the bathroom.  I've never had sex, and I've got no desire to do so.  I don't even have a desire to do what I must occasionally, but the urge is biological.  I similarly have no real desire to urinate, but occasionally I have the urge to eliminate urine from my body.  Semen is no different, to me.  In a sexual person, it's quite a different kind of thing.

It's not that I don't understand desires.  Every once in a while, I will get a craving for a particular kind of food, or to play a particular board game or video game.  Those are very much real desires.  I reckon that some people want sexuality in the same way that I want a really good dinner.  This isn't being dismissive of sexuality, mind you.  I'm not trying to defend or break down either viewpoint.  I'm merely showing what I see to be evidently true.  There's no shame in realizing one's sexuality, or lack thereof.  If you enjoy something, and it's not hurting anyone, then fully enjoy it!

I will post a second part eventually.  I need to get some good food now!