the most real tweet ive read all day tbh
Thing is, though, actual researched and meaningful feminist criticism and commentary tends to be relatively well received and sparks meaningful discussion. When the face of “Feminist Criticism” in gaming is Anita, of course it’s going to be a big “WTF” because it’s some of the most poorly written, poorly presented and poorly constructed criticism out there.
I take issue with people who dismiss any negative response to Anita’s “criticism” as “ahurdur internet sexism” because, honestly, her “criticism” is flawed. It ignores context, it cherrypicks and purposefully misrepresents information to suit the point she wishes to make. She does not offer criticism. What she does is seeks out examples to back up the statement she was already prepared to make.
And even then she undermines the whole purpose of her series by not really offering any sort of insight or commentary, rather reading off a laundry list of things she didn’t like that fits the trope the video is about and a number of times the examples she shows have been misrepresented and shown without context to twist them to fit her point.
People are not again criticism of representation, portrayal and execution in gaming. People are not inherently against feminist criticism of games or even against criticism of games from an artistic view.
What people are against is shitty, poorly researched and biased criticism.
Also, I think it’s time people stop pretending that people take issue with Anita herself. And I mean this on both sides of the fence here. People against her need to stop pretending they don’t have an automatic dislike of anything she produces because of how questionable her actions have been and how manipulative her “criticisms” have been.
And people in support of Anita need to stop pretending that her arguments are without fault and that all of the criticism she receives comes from misogyny. People need to stop pretending that she is infallible.
I’ve seen very civil, well spoken and thought out counter-arguments to Anita’s criticisms from all sorts of people. Feminists, bullheaded gamers, men and women alike. But the common theme is that they’re almost always disregarded as just “being against Anita!!!!! sexism!!!!”
I truly and earnestly want to see feminist criticism of video games, their stories, their representation, etc. I believe it’s an important discussion to have and I believe it’s something that everyone should, at the very least, be aware of and take into consideration.
I do not believe that Anita is the one to do it, though. I feel she has done an awful job thus far and has created this bizarre sort of mentality that as long as someone is a victim of harassment what they have to say is valid and true and should not be questioned. It’s created a breed of people in gaming culture who will blindly accept whatever is said and blindly defend it when the whole point of the criticism is to encourage a critical and thoughtful evaluation of the games we play and enjoy.
Ultimately, I truly regret donating to the Tropes vs Women kickstarter because not only does she take forever and a half to produce a single episode but her criticisms have been incredibly insulting and prove that she’s not putting in the amount of research or thoughtful analysis that she would have us believe she is. I feel that her brand of feminism is not one that should be held up as the kind to judge and critique media. It’s a very shallow, sex-negative and, if I may be so bold, femininity-shaming kind of feminism.
I mean, hell, look at her proposal for a game idea. Look at what she considers to be “better ideas”.
They ultimately boil down to “okay, just take what the male character already is… and make it female!”. What she proposes is not better variety and more respectful representation of women but is actually just “well just make it a girl”.
Literally to take Mario and Link and swap their heads with Peach and Zelda’s. To present them in the same way masculinity is presented while shaming “traditional” femininity as “weakness” in female characters.
And honestly, I truly wish people didn’t just eat it all up just because it’s an easy to digest “yay look I’m supporting feminism without actually putting much thought into it! Anita knows what’s she’s doing!” cookie.
Also, when it comes to journalism? Yes. Yes gaming journalism SHOULD be held to higher standards. No more of this “bloggers when they fuck up, journalists when they want respect” garbage. No more of this clickbait bullshit. Either gaming journalists produce content that is deserving of the respect and thoughtful consideration it wants or be disregarded as the jokes they currently are.
tl;dr the issue “gamers” have is not with feminist criticism but with those who currently represent “feminist criticism” and how poor and shallow it is.
It’s a non-sequitur anyway. Even good feminist criticism has nothing to do with artistic competence. Nor is feminist criticism somehow particular to “artistic media”; feminists criticize everything. This is absolutely fine. As feminism is both a political stance and a worldview, they’re entitled to talk and judge what they interact with. What’s not fine is suggesting people have to bow down to it. You want feminist journalism, well, you’ve got plenty of it already. We don’t need feminism suddenly inside our popular magazines anymore than we need the Christian right or (as a bipartisan gesture) environmentalism.