Saturday, October 13, 2012

Embarrassment of Riches

OK, so let's talk about anti Lara Croftism and the state of modern "feminism". Last post, I clarified my feelings about "feminism", so I  want to relate  that back to my original Tomb Raider post.

For me, that cliche anti Lara Croft sentiment, and actually a lot of "feminist" protests, is largely an embarrassment of riches. We women can complain that we are objectified and that we are placed on a pedestal because - we are! Does that mean we are also not objectified and placed on a pedestal sometimes? Yes it does.

As a female, I'm not objectified and don't suffer barrages of sexual comments because I don't permit it. I don't play into that game, I don't doll myself up in purty dresses and cutesy outfits and put on a lot of make-up, at least no more than most of my guy friends. Sure I'll dress up for a special occasion and put on make-up, but usually it's just me and a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. Am I a tomboy? Not really, at least I've never felt like I was. But I'm also not a drone who follows feminine fashion mindlessly, and then get upset that people seem to think I'm just eye candy.

At the same time, I don't think someone who decides to be very girly "deserves" to be treated badly. Don't think I'm saying that. And no, I'm absolutely not saying that anyone deserves harassment, bullying, violence, or discrimination. But once again, that's not just a female issue, technically. Guys who are a little bit "too girly" get that, too, sadly. Is it right? No. Is it a feminist issue? Not really. It's a human issue, and we need to teach our kids not to do that shit.

My point is that women can complain about how horrible it is to be so pretty because that's what women are being. When individuals stop posing naked for their music album covers, stop doing fashion shows, and stop modeling so they're gawked at by millions, then that complaint will go away. But you know what? that's not going to stop because women like being pretty, they like getting attention, they like being coddled and taken care of.  And what's more, so do men. Look at all the pretty boys and models and actors - men vying for your attention based on their rugged looks and too-cool-for-school attitudes.

In other words, we're all human, and it's built in to our chemistry that we like sex. That's not going away, and the politics of how to get noticed and how you feel loved isn't going away. If we want it to change, we can't tell everyone to stop being sexual, we just have to teach our children that looks aren't important, that being nice and honest is what really matters, and so on. And hey, even then, you're still going to get sexualized images and stories, because that's just what some people really like.

But you're not going to hear me complaining about Lara Croft because she has breasts or because her breasts are too big and that males get to look at them during game play. Because if you don't like breasts, then you need to take that up with Nature, not game designers and game players.

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