|How long does it take to make your videos?|
Anyway, in this video Sarkeesian not only looked at modern day Damsels in contrast to her old school Damsels talk last time (Which is inaccurate given she talked about Mario, Zelda, and Double Dragon up to present day), but also a series of inverses and modifications of said cliche used now-a-days, modifications she calls the "Damsel in the Refrigerator" and "The Euthanized Damsel" and how this relates to domestic violence because....... Violent Video Games? And so, here are my thoughts.
|Love is a powerful motivation.|
She next tries to address the common criticism that she is ignoring the context of the Damsel situation by effectively saying, it doesn't matter if the character is deep or complex or if she is actively attempting to effect a self-rescue or what the male character's relationship to the Damsel (whether romantic, platonic, or that of strangers) if the Damsel ultimately needs rescuing then it is a negative portrayal and all attempts at characterization are just lazy attempts by the developers to create an emotional response by gamers. What Sarkeesian is pretty much saying is that it doesn't matter whether it's a cardboard cutout or a character you TRULY care their safety, you are a misogynist if you try to rescue her. I guess, in Persona 4 towards the end of the game when I went to go rescue by little cousin Nanako, I didn't clear the entire dungeon in one run because I was emotionally invested in a character that I spent most of the game getting to know and genuinely felt like she was my little sister. NO!!!! It was because I wanted to maintain a power imbalance in our relationship so that I can dominate over her. For the PATRIARCHY!
|Why a Refrigerator?|
Now the topic of coping with the death of a love one is a really REALLY heavy topic, especially if that love one is murdered and the murderer is still at large, and thus it shouldn't be handled lightly. Which is why I find Sarkeesian's disrespect for the surviving male character's plight rather insensitive. Saying that the woman was just killed for the progression for the male character's storyline undermines the reason such a scenario is powerful in storytelling. It deals with issues of grief and vengeance and if this is the first time something like this happened to a character, it constitutes a massive paradigm shift for the character. It seems like men, according to Sarkeesian, are incapable of being motivated by any sense of love or loss. Which seems more sexist: That the lost of a loved one can shake a man to his core and causes him to do things that he wouldn't normally do in an attempt to avenge or save said love one, or that man only do things so that they can perpetuate their power fantasies?
|This is the reason why I can't play Breath of Fire IV again.|
Anyway, Sarkeesian points out this trope as particularly damaging because the female characters are "submissively accept their grisly fate and will often beg the player to perform violence on them" then stating that they are"giving men direct and total control over whether they live or die" and IMMEDIATELY CONTRADICTED in the same paragraph by saying "In other words these women are “asking for it” quite literally." So, men have complete control over women, but they have the power to "ask" for the player's action? What Sarkeesian doesn't grasp is the psychological and body horror that these games portray. In most of the cases she points out, the Damsel has been turned into some monstrosity, an abomination by some malevolent force, be it aliens, made scientists, or demons. She is horrified at herself and, in most cases, what she is compelled to do. She is afraid, afraid that at soon she would no longer be considered human, that the only remnant of her humanity is her mind and that is going fast. In this case, the "Euthanized Damsel" is her last chance to end her suffering, to die before she does something terrible to anyone else, to die while she can still be considered human. I find it insulting that the "Euthanized Damsel" as Sarkeesian put it, can be construed into such a twisted fantasy of male domination, where the reality presented in these games are that of a male protagonist, trying to save the women he loves, only to fail as the most inhuman things are done to her, reluctantly coming to the realization that he can't save her anymore, and the BEST he can do is to end her suffering and allow her to die peacefully as a human. She even ignores the long term psychological impact that accompanies the surviving character, not only by the fact that he couldn't save her from the horrible fate that became of her, but also by the fact that he himself had to pull the trigger.
|Seriously, you are horrible for suggesting that being forced to kill your loved one is a power fantasy!|
Until next time, hopefully I'd have something more positive.