I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Posts Tagged ‘pithy misogyny

Real pain is being a woman…

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…not, you know, actual inflicted violence.

Been a while since I’ve written anything, but I stumbled upon this while perusing Andrew Sullivan’s “The Daily Dish” and I just can’t let it go.

Now, first I think it is wonderful and admirable that Britain’s National Centre for Domestic Violence is making an issue of domestic violence against men. And I understand that they are trying to get at the very real issue of men fearing being “viewed as less of a man” for admitting to being a victim (the implication is .

But is it really necessary to show a male victim of domestic violence as being made into a woman (or read alternatively, being completely un-sexed)? Not only does the accompanying image completely reinforces the very concepts of masculinity that the ad purports to be trying to counter by portraying  being a woman or woman-like as bad or inferior and something to be considered  shaming, but it is also completely cis-centric, ignoring the very real problem of domestic and other violence against transfolk of any identification.

Written by emandink

April 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

The Divided Fifty States.

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A lot of people have been talking about the “divide” in the U.S. lately.  On one side are the Glen Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, the Pat Buchanans. The teabaggers, the birthers, the folks who desperately need a Political Theory class so that they can learn the difference between socialism, communism, National Socialism, fascism and why it is hypocritical to protest against government spending and against inadequate government services at the same time. On the other side are the rest of us.

But that’s not the only divide. In discussions of feminism and rape culture and kyriarchy, it is abundantly clear that there is another deep chasm, between those who think she deserved it and those of us who don’t. Between those of us who think that women are objectified and those of us who think its their right to objectify us. Between those of us who think that the victims of rapists are the real victims and those who think the rapists are the real victims.

The discussion of the false rape allegations at Hofstra taking place at The Sexist today is a glaring example of this divide. And like so many such discussions, it makes me want to throw up a little because the differences in the way we view the world are so fucking obvious that I start to wonder if anything can make a difference and if we ever really can be “United”. Because despite what Buchanan thinks, we never really were.

Written by emandink

September 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Obscure, indeed.

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So, a while ago, when at GameSpot looking for some new games for the Wii, in among the cartoony Marios and rampaging rabbits and sports games, I spotted one that looked like it might appeal to the part of me that was amused for a little while by Silent Hill a few years ago. It had the dark creepy cover and the description of a mystery that sort of needed to be solved and as a bonus, could be played as a two player game, so my husband could get in on the action.

And so it was that last night we decided to check out Obscure: The Aftermath. The best thing I can say about this game is that I am sure we can trade it in at our local GameStop for some credit toward MarioCart or something for the kid’s upcoming birthday. That or it might net something good on Swaptree

Now, I’m usually more of a non-violent adventure gamer – I love the creepy, like The Lost Crown, and absolutely adore The Longest Journey, but I have no problem with video game violence, so long as it makes sense. There is no way in which this applies to Obscure. The interface is awkward, the gameplay is so dark that it was difficult to see details even in a dark room on a large projection screen and the characters are completely unlikable and are the type of people I tried hard to avoid in college the first time around. The first “challenge” is to make your way through a long bloody hallway and then fight some beasts, after which the male character wakes up in a bathroom stall vomiting. Sexy. The second challenge involves a different couple trying to sneak into a frat party. I have no idea what happens after that, because we couldn’t take it any more.

Because, here’s the biggest issue I take with the game – I’m perfectly happy to wile away a few hours playing something vapid, just as I occasionally enjoy some truly horrible movies or train wrecks of television programs – but I quickly tire of being asked to be an active participant in “entertainment” that regularly actively insults me. It is hardly news that the video game industry is not exactly female friendly, and the fact that the female “characters” were large breasted, scantily clad and largely accessories was not entirely unexpected, but as gameplay went on, it became increasingly clear that the makers of this game have apparently given no consideration to the fact that non-male individuals might ever consider playing this game.

We hadn’t even started gameplay when I turned to my husband and noted, “Evidently women aren’t supposed to play this game,” pointing to the onscreen instructions advising that if the second player wanted to leave or join the game “he” needed to press 2 on “his” remote. Non gender neutral language FTW. As the game starts, we look around the male protagonist’s (player 1) dorm room and learn that he has lots of sex with lots of different women in his bed – one of his favorite places. His girlfriend (player 2) teases him about it, but sounds bitter at his conquests and he makes her feel better by saying she’s “the only one who stuck around”. Well, that’s flattering. It is quickly obvious that the second player is almost entirely superfluous. She – and the parts we played were always heterosexual couples with the male as the leader – follows her boyfriend around. And that’s about it. Player 2 cannot do anything without being right next to player1 and gets dragged from frame to frame at player 1’s whim. (This is a design issue – lots of “two player” games don’t have much for the second player to do, but it’s particularly salient here.)

The men’s dorm is filled with notes referencing the sexual prowess of its residents. J kept noting “It’s persistent” every time the game would reinforce it’s message that manliness is next to fucking anything that comes within a few hundred feet. The notes were even worse in the women’s dorm, which the protagonist boyfriend enters through an open window later in the game – one recounts male-on-male sexual assault as part of an apology to the perpetrator’s girlfriend. Another is a notice that reads like a flier about a lost puppy, except that the creature that was “lost” is the note writer’s girlfriend, who’s name he does not know. Charming.

The second couple we meet is a beefy athletic dude and his buxum blonde girlfriend. They want to go to a frat party. Wheee! So they try to sneak in. So they wander around until they find a big box to climb on. At which point, the girlfriend declares “You move this. You’re big and strong and I’m just a weak girl.” Slightly paraphrased, but you get the idea. That, my friends, was when I was done and we switched to Lego Batman.

I can put up with a lot in the name of entertainment. But fail to be entertaining, while being actively, seemingly intentionally offensive? Well, the name of this blog has rarely been so appropriate.

Written by emandink

June 20, 2009 at 11:37 am

Anger is an energy.

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(Originally titled “I think you owe me a great big apology” – a quote from the NIN song “Terrible Lie”. He has sort of apologized for the “plump” remark, to be fair.)

So, Trent Reznor has decided to hang up his twitter hat. That’s nice. Not something I’d even really notice, since I’ve not been a big Nine Inch Nails fan for 15 years or so, if not for the acquaintance who pointed out this charming paragraph:

Looks like the Metal Sludge contingency has discover Twitter! Finally! For those of you that don’t know what this is, please let me explain. Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I’ve ever come across. It’s populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands. Kind of like a role-playing game where people NOBODY will fuck make up stories about their incredible sexual encounters with people they WISH they could fuck. It would be kind of funny in a sad and pathetic way except the fun doesn’t stop there – hate and good old-fashioned outright blatant racism are also encouraged to spice things up and remind you how truly ugly these scourges are. TRULY ugly on the inside (the outside is obvious).

Ugly on the inside, indeed. Now, I know next to nothing about Metal Sludge and the Wiki is less than helpful. Nor do I really care. And maybe the majority of the people posting behind that fabulous page requiring an affirmation of the First Amendment are truly abhorrent, unpleasant people who no one really would want to wile away an hour or three with. I have not a clue (if they are truly obsessed with any band or celebrity to the point of sending death threats and hate mail and blatant racism, then, really, I wouldn’t want to invite them to a party).

But, if that’s the case, then why, pray tell, is is necessary to comment on their physical appearance? Why the fat-hating nastiness about the inherent unattractiveness of “plump” women. If they are truly such abhorrent specimens of humanity, it shouldn’t matter whether they are supermodels or, well, not supermodels. Making nasty claims about people’s appearance and supposed lack of sex life is pretty damn ugly too. I don’t care who you are.

EDITED TO ADD:
Apparently Reznor did clarify his remarks here:

Just glanced at this stuff. May I clarify:
I have no issue with PLUMP people and I apologize if some of you incorrectly inferred I was equating being overweight to being unworthy. I used that term for two reasons: one – these cunts on MS portray themselves as in a very inaccurate way, because they can. It’s their one place they can wield a little power and escape their pathetic lives. Two – I knew it would hurt them and it most definitely has.
Place my comments in context. If you haven’t seen the type of comments we’ve been getting and the sheer level of ignorance, you have no reference in which to comment on this.

I know MOST of you are not a part of this and I didn’t mean to offend you – this situation has angered and saddened me.

And THAT is it from me on this topic. 

So, these folks actively misrepresent themselves (something which is clearly extremely rare on these here internets). I do not begrudge Reznor his anger. I do not begrudge him the loathing he has for people who send racist tirades about his fiancee or who send death threats or who are by all evidence rude, unpleasant, horrible people.

 I do, however, hold him to the same standard I would hold anyone – that mocking of appearance and sexual attractiveness, while easy and appealing – is still problematic, no matter how abhorrent the subject of the mockery.

Written by emandink

June 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm