Ockham's Razor

This article talks about the representation of females in video games. The author subscribes to the theory that the big-breasted, wasp-waisted, scantily-clad depictions of the female form come from a desire by men to control women through (among other things) objectification and sexualization.

Hmmm…

While I am not so foolish as to say that such a mindset does not exist, I have never encountered anyone that openly espouses it. And I have encountered people who openly espouse all sorts of other opinions. Those who think I look “white” have openly talked about keeping the [fill-in-the-racial-pejorative]s in their place. Those who think I look “straight” have openly talked about keeping the “queers” in their place. Hell, those who thought I looked “thin” (when I was unhealthy) have openly talked about keeping the “fatties” in their place. But I have never heard a male say the same kind of things about women.

Mind you, I have heared a lot of sexist comments from men about women. I have also heard a lot of sexist comments from women about men. I have no doubt that there a lot of people with sexist views that act on their views. Given how hard we have worked at equal rights for women, a lot of those people probably dare not speak their true opinions out loud.

But what I do doubt is the presence of a concerted effort by men to keep women down. I am unlikely to be invited to the meetings of the Secret Cabal of the He-Man Women-Haters Club. But, given that many people see me as a “normal” (if rather weird), red-blooded, American male, my intuition is that I would have heard at least hints of such business like I have for other groups.

Far more likely in my experience is a simple explanation: a lot of men find women attractive. It could be that men are horny pigs; it could also be testosterone. I do not know. But what I do know, startling as it may be, is that a lot of men really, really like women. They like the way they look, the way they sound, the way they smell. Sure, men get frustrated with women just like women get frustrated with men, men get frustrated with other men, and women get frustrated with other women. But for a whole lot of men in the end they are just attracted to women.

Many corporate executives rise from the ranks (or depths?) of the sales organization and salespeople throughout history have shown a willingness to do anything to sell product. To my knowledge the majority of video games are still purchased by or for adolescent males, a group notorious for its fascination with the unique aspects of the female form. It seems no leap at all that the preponderance of big-breasted, wasp-waisted, scantily-clad depictions of the female form in video games comes from the game companies' executives' desire to sell more video games rather than from a conspiracy to oppress women. To be blunt, I think corporate executives incapable of thinking about anything other than money.

Of course that is not the only part of the equation; life is seldom so simple. But I think that as long as adolescent males make up a large part of the user community, video games will continue to have Kasumis. After all, Tecmo are no more immune to market effects than Hooters.

Advertisements

There are no comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: