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a woman is always to blame boner rage creepy evil sexy ladies evil women gross incompetence imaginary oppression matriarchy men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA no games for girls oppressed men playing the victim video games violence

Men's Rights: the Video Game

It's a woman! Shoot her!
It’s a woman! Shoot her!

So I was watching a little video roundup of some of the worst video games ever the other day and I came across some footage from a justifiably obscure little first-person-shooter called Operation Matriarchy.

The premise of this 2005 PC game, made in Russia, may as well have emerged from the fevered imagination of some Men’s Rights activist. Here’s how the promo blurb at MobyGames explains it, with the especially MRA-ish bits in bold:

In the mid-24th century, a virus of unknown origin wiped through the Velian civilization. It affected only the women, twisting them into brutal killing machines. They modified their bodies, enhancing them with cybernetic and bio-engineered parts. The male population was enslaved, used for genetic experiments and food. The previously democratic society became a matriarchal ant-colony; a hive-mind focused on one thing only – Domination. All-out war erupted between the Velians and their former allies, the Federation of Earth.

But fear not! For a brave Men’s Rights Activist space solider, Senior Sergeant Paul Armstrong of the Federation, stands up against these evil matriarchs and their robot friends when they attack his ship. Also, there are monsters.

So, basically, this game offers dudes an excuse to shoot scantily clad women for hours on end. Granted, some of these women are trying to shoot at the bold defenders of all things male, but others are unarmed, and are shot down long before they get close enough to do any harm, making the game ideal for anyone who fantasizes about shooting down wave after wave of women in fetishy gear.

You can see what I’m talking about in the gameplay video below.

This is all very reminiscent of the fantasies of “restorative, retaliatory” violence that seem to drive so many in the Men’s Rights movement, as I noted in my review of Michael Kimmel’s Angry White Men on the American Prospect.

And some men are very dedicated to these fantasies indeed. One odd little side-note to the history of Operation Matriarchy that seems to underscore that point. You see, the game was so incompetently made that when it first shipped it was basically broken. As Wikipedia explains:

Operation: Matriarchy, was released with what appeared to be damaged music files and incomplete sound files; all of the music files, except for the main menu track, simply play static, while several of the sound files are simply silence.

Also, it was ugly as shit.

But some enterprising fans were evidently so taken by the premise of the game that they decided to step up and fix the game themselves — so they could have the opportunity to, well, shoot down wave after wave of scantily clad women while listening to music at the same time, and without the graphics and the story being quite so completely awful.

Wikipedia again:

A pair of fan made mods that replace these files and made other enhancements to the game were released:

In August 2007, a fan-made music and sound enhancement mod was released, which added a complete in-game music score and enhanced sound effects. In addition, the story was rewritten.

In September 2009, a second fan-made mod appeared. This offered a complete (optional) translation to German and further changes to the sound effects and music. However, the largest changes were to the visuals, with enhanced lighting and improved versions of many textures and bump maps.

I don’t know if the video above is one made using the visually “enhanced” version of the game or not. All of the videos of the game I’ve seen — and there are many, many more on YouTube — look awful to me.

If you want to buy this monstrosity, you can get it on Amazon.

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sparky
sparky
6 years ago

No true MRA ever uses body-shaming or appearance based insults.

And I am Marie of Romania.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Did pigs actually start flying on their own natural wings?

Λυνα
Λυνα
6 years ago

And no true scotsman eats sugar on his porridge or something.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

DefJam is neither def, nor a jam.

The body-policing discussion was way more interesting.

CassandraSays
6 years ago

I vote that we ignore both him and socky in the other thread and go on with whatever we were talking about before they started whining for attention.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Hey, question, totally off topic, but is it normal for you nails to feel suffocated after you put on nail polish? I bought some and used it as a treat last weekend, and it feels as if they’re suffocating, if that makes sense.

I have very little recollection on nail things, since the last time I used nail polish I was like 8.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

your*

DAMN YOU GRAMMAR

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I don’t know about my nails, but the fumes from nail polish can make the rest of me feel pretty suffocated if I don’t open a window…

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

CassandraSays: I second!

Alice:

Hey, question, totally off topic, but is it normal for you nails to feel suffocated after you put on nail polish? I bought some and used it as a treat last weekend, and it feels as if they’re suffocating, if that makes sense.

Ha ha! Yes! I thought I was the only one. I think it’s just, if your not used to wearing nail polish it feels weird at first. I usually only polish my toes, and my toenails don’t feel weird, but on those rare occasions when I do polish my fingernails it feels exactly like they’re suffocating! I thought I read somewhere that fingernail polish can dry out your nails, but according to the Mayo Clinic it’s the acetone in nail polish remover that does.


http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nails/WO00020/NSECTIONGROUP=2

And that Feministe article, yeesh.

Speaking from my own observations as a fat person in The USA:

We USians have such a weird, dysfunctional relationship with health and weight. It’s like, fat has moral and esthetic and health implications that all get mixed up into this “fat is bad” mush. Like, fat is considered a moral failing (fat people are lazy and lack self control); an esthetic failing (fat people are ugly); and a health failing (fat people are unhealthy). All three of those are demonstrably untrue. And that Feministe article read more like something from Cosmo. The story there is not “fat woman loses large amount of weight but -oh noes!- she’s still ugly from all the loose skin!” The story is one woman who decide to live a healthier lifestyle by eating a healthy diet and exercising. So what if she lost weight or what she looks like before or after!

Really, I wish we’d just get off this obsession with weight and appearance. Really, that Feministe article just reinforced that.

Which is really strange thing to post on a blog that is “in defense of the sanctimonious women studies’ set.”

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Bina – YES. The fumes are just so strong. I hated it when my old roommate would do her nails when I was around because the scent was strong enough for me to sniff it out even from about 20 feet away.

sparky – That makes sense. Ugh, I hate the sensation though, the feeling of my nails suffocating on my fingertips just doesn’t feel good. I’ve been tempted to remove the polish, then I remember that I don’t have nail polish remover and I go “oh shit, damn it”.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

When I did them last weekend I was next to our apartment’s open screen door, so the fumes weren’t a problem. But my old roommate (when I lived on campus) did her nails in our dorm room, and our windows there REALLY suck.

Alice Sanguinaria
6 years ago

Ah, so it’s not just me that suffer from headaches due to strong fumes.

Don’t they sell acetone free nail polish remover though?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Alice – yes, they do sell acetone-free remover.

I didn’t get the suffocating nails thing on the rare occasions I used nail polish, but the one time I tried stick-on nails I did, and ripped the thing off straight away.

It’s interesting about that Feministe article; I didn’t get the body policing sense from it or the one it linked to, just the message of “the weight loss industry makes out you’ll look like a model, and you won’t, and they never tell you about loose skin”. As for the photographer’s pictures of herself being used, I’ve no idea whether she was consulted, obvs, but she did make a public record of her ambivalence about her appearance – though it is also stated (can’t recall if in the article or the comments) that since she’s healthier now, she wouldn’t have done differently.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Kitteh — it’s the difference between “the weight loss industry makes out you’ll look like a model, and you won’t” full stop (TRUFAX!), “the weight loss industry makes out you’ll look like a model, and you won’t, they won’t tell you about X Y and Z”, and “the weight loss industry makes out you’ll look like a model, and you won’t, you’ll look like her”.

Had they included more on how the weight loss industry is full of lies, or a general analysis of damned if you do, damned if you, I’d be okay with it. But as it stands there’s too much “you’ll look like her! (The horror!)”

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Fuck, I was hoping it’d be how the weight loss industry is full of lies, and including the loose skin under wtf dieting does to your body would’ve worked fine by me. Yoyo dieting is really bad for you, eating healthy, exercising (as you are able) and still being over the BMI requirement is, well, healthier than my thin ass sitting around smoking and drinking a pot of coffee daily!

There’s plenty to be said on why the weight loss industry and supposed obesity crisis is actually bad for your health, but saying it’ shad for your appearance as the only point of your article? Please no.

Your morbidly obese comment though! That was priceless. Torid makes a line of plus size goth clothing btw.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Maybe I need to read it again; I get the distinction everyone’s making, but it just didn’t strike me that way.

Curious thing I found in my own response: the photo shocked me, because I’ve never seen such a pic before. It wasn’t (as I think I said there) an Ewww ugly! reaction to her, but thinking of my own skin looking like that? I cringe at the thought of it, or having to wear feckin’ Spandex (mostly because hot weather and hot flushes and chafing are bad enough NOW, never mind being bound up extra layers).

kittehserf
6 years ago

Glad you liked my morbidly obese crack! Jeez, I could totally trot that joke out if I were still into Goth gear. 😉

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Loose skin is one of those weird things, eh? Here in Canada, some kinds of plastic surgery are covered by provincial health plans if a medical reason or benefit exists in getting them. Breast reduction, for one — too-heavy boobs can really do a number on the spine and shoulder joints. Unfortunately, loose skin after a large weight loss isn’t so regarded. It’s more than just disfiguring; it’s still excess weight that can put strain on the person’s system. If you’ve lost a hundred pounds or more, there’s a good chance that you’ll have a couple dozen pounds of loose skin just hanging there, putting you at risk for infections and heart disease. I think removing it should be covered as a necessary surgery. But apparently the bean-counters in the health ministry see it differently. :-/

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

I’m not sure how much difference there is between “I don’t want to look like that” and “she’s unacceptable like that”…but that might itself be a side effect of body shaming — I’m stilling eating disordered enough to freak at being well into the normal BMI range as opposed to hovering at underweight, whereas I’ve no issue with other people being not-stick-thin (and my pharm student’s the same way and we do this “you look fine!” thing and idk about zir, but I still get all “but I don’t [despite us being able to share clothes]”)

Internalized body shaming? Idk, I’m pre-coffee, thinking aloud and shut up stomach I’ll feed you in a minute! I’ll have more coherent thoughts once my brain has been shaken back into place.

(Argh anti-PTSD-nightmare drug less than successful, head all messy)

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’m not sure how much difference there is between “I don’t want to look like that” and “she’s unacceptable like that”…

Neither do I; it’s something I’d have to tease out. I know my reaction to her wasn’t “she’s ugly like that,” yet at the same time I would be distressed if my skin were that way. Mind you, I’ve no desire to look like models, either.

Part of it is that I’ve taken long enough to be happy with seeing myself nekkid, and thinking of my body as at all attractive ::pauses to make big kitten eyes at Mister:: and I don’t know how I’d cope with loose, wrinkled skin. (I seriously hope I don’t get old enough for it to happen.) I’m not dealing with other people’s naked skin, only seeing it in photos, and it’s not my concern – as in, not my business, and will never affect me personally – what they look like.

Hell, I’m writing this post coffee and I don’t know if it’s making any sense!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

OMG, that’s the SECOND person I pre-emptively ninjaed by fucking mentioning Silent Hill 2! WHERE DO THEY COME FROM. I swear, it’s like they don’t bother to read the thread, but expect US to read every precious jewel that drops from their keyboards. (And by jewels, I mean coprolites.)

Speaking of body stuff, I’m excited, because I’m feeling… actually pretty okay with my body! It helped that I finally found a pair of jeans in a style I like that FIT. Turns out my problem was living in Hipsterville, where the only jeans that fit me were previously worn to paper-thinness by old men. Now I look and feel good!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

I’m not sure how much difference there is between “I don’t want to look like that” and “she’s unacceptable like that”…

I don’t have much trouble with this. I NEVER want boobs on my frame ever again, but I have nothing against other folks’ boobs! But yeah, it’s a long process.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Speaking of body stuff, I’m excited, because I’m feeling… actually pretty okay with my body! It helped that I finally found a pair of jeans in a style I like that FIT. Turns out my problem was living in Hipsterville, where the only jeans that fit me were previously worn to paper-thinness by old men. Now I look and feel good!

Yay for fitting jeans, rarest of commodities!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Yeah, part of the ED fun was having to get rid of all the jeans I’d painstakingly stored up since high school and having to get rid of them, because I no longer fit. That alone was pretty upsetting for my sick brain, but even worse was when I couldn’t find any pants that fucking fit me! (As in, they’d give me rashes if I exercised in them more than half an hour.) I went through an eight month period of being pretty miserable and desperate. I’m so glad our weight has stabilized and this is no longer a problem.

kittehserf
6 years ago

::non contact hugs in memory::

That’s another reason I don’t want to lose weight – I hope this isn’t trivialising what you went through – but I don’t want to find my clothes no longer fit. I like my clothes, I like the things I’m knitting for myself, and while I’ll have to offload eventually when we need to move into a smaller place, I don’t want to chuck everything out because it’s too big.

Rashes from clothes are the pits. I chafe easily and I’ve had summerweight jeans that leave a red rash, and a pair of tights once drew blood.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kittehs

No, weight fluctuations are totally ass, I’m with you there. (Though now, in hindsight, I think it was fairly related to me going on testosterone as well; that shit redistributes fat and my waist changed pretty radically.)

I really liked a lot of my clothes too, which made it even sadder to get rid of them. Now most of what we have is my clothes, and a little of Sneak, which is fine for us but makes everyone else kinda D: (Miranda in particular isn’t a big fan of old-man plaids and 90s skater pants).

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

LBT — think there’s a difference between things seen as “normal” and those seen as “abnormal” (at best)? That is, breasts are totally normal on women, so a guy not wanting them is, you know, wtf society expects. Sure being trans* complicates that, but, say, Cassandra not wanting a penis on her doesn’t mean she doesn’t like them on men. (Cassandra,a get your mind out of the gutter!)

Contra, in no way is a scoliosis brace seen as normal, and I am fucking glad I didn’t need one.

Idk, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels different when the thing we don’t want is something considered normal. Or maybe I’m weird, since there are things I do want that aren’t considered normal. And thank you, I need to see if I still have my spikes from the first time I guaged my ears before I get a second set of holes! Cuz yeah, I want more holes in my head, which isn’t really considered normal in mainstream culture (body mod culture-wise I’m still all body mod lite though [a term I just made up on the spot])

I’m probably not making sense, this is a significantly less well thought out train of thought.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Agh my clotheshorse brain is thinking how I would not want to be stuck wearing someone else’s clothes choice (even if Sir and I do pinch each other’s knitwear). D:

MIRANDA YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHIES

Even when I went through a wearing-men’s-clothes phase a decade ago, it was men’s vintage floral shirts I went for.

kittehserf
6 years ago

http://artistryforfeminismandkittens.wordpress.com/the-official-man-boobz-complimentary-welcome-package/

We know you’re weird, Argenti, we love ya for it. 😉

What’s the thing-considered-normal you have in mind – being thinner, or the very loose skin that goes with it, that this started with? The former’s certainly seen as normal and desirable, the latter, not (and hardly known, either). It’s like you said about lose-lose, isn’t it? Is the price too high to pay? For me it would be, ‘cos how other people see me clothed matters far less than what I’d see and feel undressed. The tactile element’s a big part of it.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Well poop, that’s a different way for the blockquote monster to strike!

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Argenti

That is, breasts are totally normal on women, so a guy not wanting them is, you know, wtf society expects.

Well… yes, but we didn’t want breasts way before I existed. In fact, this system has had quite a few people of varying genders, and Miranda has been the only one with ANY interest in them; everyone else were like, “Fuck no, get rid of them.” Even Lolly who was (we think?) a girl.

Honestly, I feel that we didn’t want the chest stuff BEFORE trans stuff came along. It just so happens that my gender was the only way we’d get rid of the damn things, unless we got cancer.

I know this wasn’t entirely what you meant, I just wanted to say.

RE: Kittehs

It’s an old joke that multis are packrats, because everyone wants their own shit. Our wardrobe has definitely morphed over the years, depending on who was around to do the shopping. (Three years ago, our shit was still mostly Lolly’s, even though she’d been dead for years by then.)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

LBT — ah, yeah I guess a cis women not wanting breasts would be seen as weird. (Not that you’re a cis woman or anything)

Kitteh — being thin. Whereas not wanting the loose skin would be not wanting a thing not seen as normal (so many nots in that sentence!)

Maybe it isn’t that different though, seeing how someone perceived as female not wanting breasts would be seen as weird. Or, more relevantly, someone perceived as female not having breasts would be seen as weird, sorta like how someone with that sort of loose skin is seen as weird.

What I was trying to ask was if there’s a difference between not wanting a thing that society is okay with you having, versus not wanting a thing society is not okay with you having. But I’m bias here, not wanting various gendered bits of anatomy feels different than not wanting to be out of the underweight range — the former would make me feel better about myself, society be damned, the later worse. And maybe that’s the difference? Though I guess both are still “(fear of) looking like that makes me feel worse about myself”

In any case, I’ll be curious how much weight she’s kept off in 5 years, very VERY few people keep it off. (And, contra, pecunium and I have both managed to reach into the normal range — neither of us can maintain it while eating healthy, looks like we have a sorta set-point weight and altering it long term, while being healthy, is not easy [which is not to say that everyone is already at theirs, maybe hers is thinner than she was, or LBT’s heavier than he was])

[TW: mention of calories and exact weights]

I’m normally 110-115, less requires starving myself, and more…well, heaviest I’ve been was just over 130 and I was eating tons of candy and chips in top of constant pasta — easily 4,000+ calories a day. Ditch the tons of pasta and cut back to reasonable levels of candy and WOOSH, back to under 120. So to gain substantial weight I’d have to eat lots of junk. Which would be unhealthy. Contra, the least my 200 lb brother has ever weighed was 180 and he was working out daily which also proved unsustainable (there may’ve been a girl involved!)

So what the weight loss industry doesn’t tell you? It’s really hard to maintain a change in weight, in either direction. And yoyo dieting is bad for you, and starvation is fucking terrible for you. Like, jealous as I may be of pecunium’s BMI (and he is scrawny!), he’s that way naturally, dude cooks amazingly and eats it and may be the healthiest person I know. I’d have to starve myself to get that BMI which would be Fucking Dangerous. And hey, at least I’m over my ED enough to realize I shouldn’t try?

/TW

Eating healthy > what the scale says. And certainly > what your BMI is, that measurement SUCKS.

Also, I’m really off topic huh?

CassandraSays
6 years ago

I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.

(Watch me blithely ignore your instructions re gutters)

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Enh, not sure how much assistance I can be for you on that one, Argenti, but my ED, at least, it wasn’t about making myself feel better. It was just a coping mechanism that had long, LONG outlived its usefulness. And also… fuck, I’m twenty-five. It’s not odd that I don’t have the same build I had as a teenager in high school, plus went through hormonal changes that redistributed my weight. (Seriously, the year on T? My waist has jumped from ‘can’t find shit in the boys’ section’ to ‘comfortably fitting in shit from the men’s section.’ BIG difference.)

I guess all you can do is think about your reasons for things, and think ’em over but good. I tried everything and the kitchen sink to be okay with Mammarus and Titania. I took vitamin supplements, did certain exercises, worse certain types of clothing, reading books on internalized misogyny, even tried just staring at myself in the mirror and giving myself positive self-talk, and none of it did a damn bit of good. My weight? Not nearly so obstinate. (Also, top surgery was WAY less likely to kill me than the ED was.)

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

“What I was trying to ask was if there’s a difference between not wanting a thing that society is okay with you having, versus not wanting a thing society is not okay with you having.f”

Hmmm. This is a good question. Maybe it depends on the motivation for wanting/not wanting the thing, no matter if its socially acceptable or not. Like, someone saying “I want to look like this because I want to look like this” as opposed to “I want to look like this because then I’ll be pretty/socially acceptable, and if I don’t look like this, I’ll be ugly/socially unacceptable.” But then, the question arises whether a person really wants to look a certain socially acceptable way because they truly want to, or if the person has internalized social standards of acceptable appearance. But then again, double guessing other people’s motivations for changing their appearance/wanting to look a certain is really also not cool – patronizing, I think is the word I’m looking for.

Short answer? The individual has to decide for themselves, and to hell what other people think, I guess.

And of course, as long as said bodily changes won’t physically endanger a person.

Oy vey. Society really is fucked up when it comes to appearance.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.

(Watch me blithely ignore your instructions re gutters)

You owe me a bowl of soup.

Argh

I’m trying to get my thoughts on the wanting/not wanting into words and I have post-cheese sammich brain fog.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

“I’m not sure that “on” is the word you were looking for there.”

It was not.

“Oy vey. Society really is fucked up when it comes to appearance.”

Ramen to that! And while editing people’s choices is patronizing, I do think there’s a difference between wanting it for your own reasons and wanting it because of social pressure. LBT’s top surgery, my piercings, versus wanting to lose weight for weight loss’s sake. Can someone else judge that difference? Probably not (I say probably because things like trans* surgeries are obviously not done to fit in with society but to fit what you think you should look like [wording? That’s why I want what I want, so I may be unfairly generalizing])

LBT — yeah, I’m over it enough to be more or less okay that I can’t be healthy and as small as he is — and you’ve seen us both, and had his cooking. He’s thin and that’s just the way things are. I am slightly less thin, and, again, them be the facts of life. It’s more that nagging voice in the back of my brain than a desire I’ll cave to.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Oh thank goodness – Sparky, you put what I was trying to say into words better’n I could.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Yeah, it’s a complicated thing, sparky. I mean, I didn’t starve myself or freak out over my weight because I thought being thin would make me pretty/lovable. (Especially since my vessel’s weight has NOTHING to do with my inner body’s weight.) I freaked because it was a loss of control, and tied into weirder, vaguer things with how I interacted with food and my own brain chemistry. (Basically, starvation was my way of facilitating dissociation. Unfortunately, this meant once I started eating properly again, all these horrible emotions and memory barfing would happen!) That still doesn’t mean I should’ve kept starving myself though. Not at ALL.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Another thing with weight loss for its own sake is how judgey it’s possible to get about other people. That’s not really going to apply to someone who has top surgery, or piercings.

(is now imagining LBT running around saying GET RID OF YOUR BOOBS to all and sundry)

Even when it is a societal expectation, one’s feelings can go into reverse (duh). I used to wish I was the size I used to be – I was a 12 for most of my adult life, which I think is about 8 in current US sizings. I’m about 16-18 these days. I don’t want to get any bigger, ‘cos health issues, but as I’ve said ad nauseam, being loved as I am, and for who and what I am, made all the difference.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Yeah, my only judgement about piercing is that the gun is bad, get it done with a needle. But that isn’t “you should pierce!!!” But “if you do, needles are safer and less traumatic to your ear” (the gun can only be used on ear lobes)

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Kittehs

(is now imagining LBT running around saying GET RID OF YOUR BOOBS to all and sundry)

I totally do this. OVERTHROW THE MAMMARIES! WE HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT OUR BOOBS!

cuzimbetterthanyou
cuzimbetterthanyou
6 years ago

This writter needs a hobby…

Well, a real one.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

What’s a “writter”?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

So much for better than us.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

This writter needs a hobby…

This wanker needs a speller.

opheliamonarch
6 years ago

@cuziisthestupid,

I’m gonna let Bill say this one for me:

http://youtu.be/TO86Hvr0f8M