Let’s talk about sex

Ever since #gamergate began I’ve been seeing feminism all over the place, and especially people saying video games, and the men who play them, are sexist. This upsets me on several levels, and I’ve spoken about a few but I have one that effects me personally that I’ve avoided for a few reasons.

The spat of feminism, and some of the things people have said, including a few people I use to think of as friends, makes me feel like they think I (and other women like me) am a slut just because I like sex.

Over the last few years there has been a move to say we live in a rape culture. That women are treated as nothing but sex objects, and it encourages man to rape and abuse women. It makes it feel like the “rape culture” enthusiasts have decided that if you are female and sex positive then you are just doing what men want you to do, falling into the stereotypes, and unable to think for yourself.

One of the most vivid memories I have from my marriage was the day I told my husband I thought something was wrong with the way he was treating me. His response was “Who told you to think that way?” as if I couldn’t think of something on my own. As if I wasn’t intelligent enough to think for myself.

Now we have a contingent of feminists that attack anything that shows women in a sexual way. Sexy outfits in video games, Anaconda by Niki Manaje, porn, etc. It’s all made for men, according to this segment of our population. It degrades women. It makes them targets.

“The women who partisipate in these things don’t know any better. They can’t think for themselves. They are just doing what the menz want.” Or so it sounds.

We came so far from Victorian prudence teaching children to hate sex and their bodies, all the way to free love in the sixties. We found a new identity that said women were in control of their bodies and could do what they liked. That women had the power over themselves. They could have sex without fear of pregnancy, get pregnant without a man, have their own jobs, incomes, mortgages. They could be in the military and by and large they had the authority over themselves and their minds.

They could think for themselves.

I do not disagree that there are some men who treat women as second class citizens, nothing more then a wet spot to stick their penis. I’ve had my fair share of encounters with them. They are assholes who aren’t worth my time. But these few men do not change the fact that I still have control of my body. I still have the desire to be desired, loved, and yes,  sexualized at times by my significant other. And there are women who enjoy being sexualized by every man who sees them. They enjoy it, and there is nothing wrong with that.

We are sexual creatures. We shouldn’t allow a few bad apples to ruin all the progress we’ve made over the last century.

Then we have the other side of the situation where this contingent of feminist treat men as mindless walking penises, unable to think with their larger head if there is any depiction of sexy females anywhere around.

Sigh. Any woman who’s been in a relationship long enough, who likes sex, will eventually get turned down for sex. Men have the same issues we do. Sometimes they are sick, tired, stressed, angry, worn out, or just plain not in the mood. Just like women *gasp*.

(As an aside, if a couple have different sex drives, meaning one wants it more than the other, then one party is less likely to turn down the other, ever, because they are afraid if they do they might not get sex again. This happens to men and women. But that’s a different subject.)

And one more thing, to those who say we sexualize women and not men I say: you’re not paying attention. “Why are women portrayed in bikinis and men in suits?” Have you seen a Calvin Klein ad lately? Those men are in underwear, sometimes with button up shirts undone. Topless photos of male actors are just as readily available online as topless actresses. No there aren’t a lot of nudes, but if you insist that women don’t like porn then that’s why. Besides the fact that the flacid penis is just weird, not attractive. (hint, a lot of women do like porn.)

How about Chip’n’dales? Or Playgirl magazine?

The truth of the matter is that sexy men don’t sell stuff nearly as well as sexy women in an ad. Is that because women are less visual? Is it because women are too smart to fall for that kind of advertising? Maybe it’s just that women have such a wide variety of sexual preference that they can’t find the one real “sexy” male body type.

Playgirl magazine does not sale as much as Playboy. A lot of women who do like porn prefer the type of porn that is “directed at men”. Why are we faulting marketers for following tends? If naked men sold product we’d see a lot more naked men. They don’t, for whatever reason. That doesn’t make men pigs, or women prudes, it makes us true to our human nature. Men and women have physical and mental differences.

In short… Sex is natural, sex is fun. Stop trying to inflict your beliefs on sexuality on other people. Last time I checked my body and mind are still my own.

Feminism in Video Games

578253Anyone who knows me knows that I have an addiction. I spend far too much on video games, humble bundles, and steam sales. I play far too many video games when I should be writing. In general… Hi. My name is Crissy, and I’m a game addict.

I own 281 games on Steam. I have a binder FILLED with more games like Baulders Gate, Settlers, and Might and Magic. Games that I love, and sometimes install just for the nostalgia. That isn’t even considering the consoles I own, and all the games for each of them.

I don’t finish a lot of games. Most of the time it’s because the game looses my interest and I go off to the next shiny thing. Sometimes it’s because the game is too difficult for me and I’d rather just watch someone else play it on a let’s play. Sometimes it’s just not my type of game and I never get past the first few levels. But I’ve been playing games since I was a teenager, and own a lot of consoles to prove it, so I’ve also had my share of completions.

Why am I talking about video games? Because this week there has been a HUGE upsurge in interest regarding Anita Sarkeesian and her “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. Most of it started because of the controversy around Zoe Quinn and the accusations that her ex boyfriend leveled on her.

Now, let’s reflect for a second that Zoe’s EX BOYFRIEND accused her of things and tons of people just jumped onto it without even considering where the source came from. I don’t presume to know if it happened or not, I honestly don’t care at this point. What I do know is that it is a suspicious situation, and people on both sides of the Quinn debate have been assholes to each other, and especially to Miss Quinn herself.

Then there is Sarkeesian, the controversy surrounding her kickstarter and where the funds went. The rumors about her statements that she didn’t even like video games. Reports that she stole art images and let’s play footage. Then her portrayal of games as “sexist” without even really looking into all the information about the particular game she called sexist. All of that, but she still didn’t deserve the threats and late night calls that she received. So many that she left her home to take refuge elsewhere.

Regardless of what is in video games, neither of these women deserved to be treated like that. No one, man or woman, deserves to be treated like that.

On the video game side: Yes, video games could use a little more dimension in the way they portray women. Yes, video games can sometimes seem sexists to some people. Yes, there is a conversation to be had. But let’s be honest about the portrayal of women in games vs. reality, shall we?  Continue reading