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Is Abby from The Last of Us 2 oppressing women with her muscular arms and small tits? One Reddit gamer says yes

By David Futrelle

Last week I wrote about the wave of transphobia that followed the leaks that revealed one of the new characters in the upcoming postapocalyptic survival game The Last of Us 2 would be the woman above, a buff, butch badass named Abby who is apparently very effective at beating other characters up.

With her small breasts and muscular arms, some gamers have decided that she couldn’t possibly be a cis woman; she has to be trans. Cue a million “that’s a man, baby” jokes and, the internet being the internet, much worse. Meanwhile, more “serious” critics accused the game developer, Naughty Dog, of kowtowing to evil SJWs and trans activists pushing a cis-hating agenda.

I took a look at the Last of Us 2 subreddit today to see if the angry gamers were still at it. They were, posting bad transphobic jokes, ineptly-drawn cartoons and a photoshopped picture of Abby sporting a beard.

But I also ran across an argument I hadn’t seen before, accusing the game developers of “erasing women’s bodies” by featuring a butch woman in their game. This “misogyny” would not stand, a Redditor called Ralmoren declared.

“Funny,” she wrote, doing her best to sound like a feminist,

I bet SJWs like Neil [Druckmann, the director of the game] and Anita [Sarkeesian] think that making women ugly is only punishing male gamers. By doing this they openly admit their bigotry: that they think the female body only exist through the male gaze.

Abby isn’t ugly; she’s butch. And making a character butch is hardly a proclamation that one believes “the female body only exist[s] through the male gaze.” I mean, what? This is cargo cult feminism, adopting the language of feminism without understanding the theory behind it.

“No female gamer would feel empowered by playing with a pretty female avatar, right ? Female gamers need to identify with our characters, so let’s make them ugly (gee, thanks)! Women are only pretty for men, if it weren’t for men they would certainly look like baboons !”

Spoken like a true straw SJW.

I’m a woman, I play videogames and when the game gives me the opportunity I like to play with a female avatar. So now I should be penalised with an ugly avatar because some male gamers are attracted to overtly sexualised female characters (like it’s a bad thing? )? I mean, translate that to the real world, it’s like telling me “When you get out of your house you should keep your hair covered because some men may look at you a certain way.”

It’s really not like that at all.

F*ck this misogynistic bigotry.

Can we get creative game developers who have sane relashionships and views of women or is that to much to ask for ? Like not I-do-stealth-missions-in-panties-because-I-breathe-through-my-skin sexy, nor Mass Effect Andromeda ugly, but something in the middle ? Please ?

Here’s an idea: how about a range of female characters that in some small way reflect the diversity of women in the real world?

In a later comment, Ralmoren cites Bayonetta as an example of the sort of woman she’d like to see more of in video games. Here’s the totally-not-sexualized Bayonetta, who I’m sure would have fit in perfectly in the gritty postapocalyptic world of The Last of Us.

As Ralmoren explained,

Feminine, elegant, and kicks ass. Bayonetta is a much happier and empowering female representation than the austere, masculine woman trope we’re getting recently.

Ralmoren insists that, as far as she’s concerned, “there’s nothing wrong with being a masculine woman (I’m not especially feminine myself).” Never mind that she spent much of her previous comment attacking Abby as “ugly”

She continues:

but I dislike that this trope shows that female characters can only be strong if they emulate men, meaning that by opposition anything feminine is weak and needs to be shunned.

If all female video game characters looked like Abby, this argument might have some merit. But having one butch character in a game is hardly the same as declaring that “female characters can only be strong if they emulate men” (my emphasis). Again, if games actually depicted women more as they are in the real world, with a variety of body shapes and sizes, this wouldn’t even be an issue. In the real world, moreover, there are a lot more women walking around looking like Abby than there are women looking like Bayonetta (except at game conventions).

Elsewhere on the Last of Us 2 subreddit, others offered up even dopier objections to Abby’s looks. Like the dude who insists that she’s simply too buff to live in postapocalyptic times.

Abby is literally the only human, male or female, with that sort of muscle mass. In a post-apocalyptic dystopia. With no commercial protein supplies. Or working steroid/supplement factories.

The calorie and protein requirements alone are prohibitive in a context within which there is food and resource scarcity. But even granting that they gather enough food through hunting and they have this amazing gym that auto-produces steroids, why is she the only person in her group with that sort of build?

She’s either taking a disproportionate share of the group’s food, or she eats any members of the group that exceed her in size to both maintain her gains and insure that she is the only person with that degree of musculature.

So Abby’s not just trans, she’s an actual cannibal?

This game sounds better and better all the time.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

Not to speak too much about my preferences, but I actually like butch women, and I would imagine that some men do as well. Are those men keeping silent out of toxic masculinity or is something else going on?

doing her best to sound like a feminist

I always find it a little funny when MRAs try to sound like feminists. They’re just so inept.

I also find it funny that Anita Sarkeesian is still living rent free in their heads all these years later.

Re: the photoshopped image of Abby:
a) When I was bored as a kid I would go through old newspapers with a pen and draw beards and antennae on random pictures. Do they seriously have nothing better to do than the digital equivalent?
b) Some women have beards IRL, including some cis women. I don’t know how common it is, but I’ve met at least a handful of women with facial hair so it can’t be that uncommon.
c) They would totally lose their shit if Abby had a beard ingame, but they are literally making up even more imaginary issues. You can photoshop beards onto any character you want (including the beloved Bayonetta) and complain about what you’ve created.

Fabe
Fabe
9 months ago

Abby is literally the only human, male or female, with that sort of muscle mass. In a post-apocalyptic dystopia. With no commercial protein supplies. Or working steroid/supplement factories.

Yet no one would question a male character being the only buff person around…

Snowberry
Snowberry
9 months ago

While I’m not familiar with the original game other than little I picked up via pop culture, I would imagine that in some kinds of apocalyptic situations, there would be some cannibalism going around. Just mostly the survivally kind, not the murdery kind.

Aren’t there like fungus creatures running around or something? Maybe those are edible, just saying.

Dalillama
Dalillama
9 months ago

Abby is literally the only human, male or female, with that sort of muscle mass.

Except the protagonist of the first game. Just for example.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

As a gymnastics fan it’s cracking me up that anyone would assume that cis women can’t have small breasts and muscular arms, women with small breasts and muscular arms are always going to be butch, and that it requires really high caloric intake to look muscular. Women don’t have to be either dainty and girly or strong and butch. We can be all sorts of combinations of things.

Melissa
Melissa
9 months ago

“Cargo cult feminism” yup. These people have such limited standards of beauty they have to spoon fed the entire concept to each other sounds like.

And that’s not a disturbing thought….yikes

Dalillama
Dalillama
9 months ago

@WWTH

and that it requires really high caloric intake to look muscular

To a considerable extent it’s the opposite. Generally speaking, a high degree of muscle definition (which is a. What Abby has and b. not the same thing as muscle mass) is a sign that someone’s been working harder than their food supply allows. In the case of bodybuilders and gymnasts, the undereating is deliberate, but post-apocalypse there’s probably gonna be a fair number of folks doing too much labour on not enough food because they have no other choice.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
9 months ago

Yeah never mind that people from millennia ago who definitely ate less than us are consistently shown to have been larger than even Olympic athletes.

It’s also funny how the example given is a character whose, uh, sex appeal related qualities had to be toned down in Super Smash Bros. My bet is her next example would have been Mai Shiranui.

Sadly I’ve seen this kind of backwards logic before, from a contributor of a YouTube show I used to watch but kind of stopped because of this kind of nonsense. He (or, rather, an alleged female friend of his) complained about the idea of reducing the apparent breast size of Tifa for Final Fantasy VII Remake. (I say “apparent” because uh, have you seen the character models from the original?) The reasoning was the same, that it would constitute erasure of similarly endowed women like this friend.

numerobis
numerobis
9 months ago

So, in a world where people are constantly doing serious physical activity, nobody is going to grow muscles?

If you look at skeletons of hunter-gatherers, you can see from their bones that many of them were about on par with modern olympic athletes. It takes a lot more strength to live out on the land your entire life than what you’re going to get with an 8-hour work day plus some time at the gym.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
9 months ago

OT (but connected ultimately to this site’s raison d’etre via Trumpism and its baleful consequences): I came across this in connection with the worsening political situation in the US.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/14/AR2010051404234.html

Late in it, it says:

David Price, an 11-term North Carolina Democrat and distinguished political scientist, has just published a frank account of the reasons that led Democrats leaders to abandon their hopes of reinstating more open, less restrictive rules of procedure in the House. His essay is required reading for those who want to understand the ground-level dynamics of polarization in action.

The word “essay” is a link to what, one would assume, is supposed to be a publicly readable opinion piece. However the link doesn’t function correctly, and after a lot of fiddling around with the Wayback Machine I’ve been unable to find a complete copy of it anywhere, just excerpts and what seem to be copies hidden behind paywalls in a couple of places.

Where is the full text of this essay available?

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
9 months ago

@ numerobis and Dalillama

So much for “biotruths”… and they think they’re the ones who know science.

Dalillama
Dalillama
9 months ago

@Surplus
Not enough information is provided in the article. It appears to be a link to issue one, article six of something, but without a title there’s nothing to go on. Mr. Price does not appear to have any publications in academic journals, so Grodd only knows what the hell political broadsheet they were reading. Given that an essay I did find by Price was about the theological basis of humility in politics, I’ve pretty much stopped giving a rat’s ass about his opinion, though.

Miri
Miri
9 months ago

As someone who is vaguely a wlw, Abby is more than welcome to oppress me with her big muscles and small boobs. Like, please.

impudentinfidel
impudentinfidel
9 months ago

Odd to blame Sarkeesian. Hating butch female characters who solve problems with violence is one of her better-known quirks. There was a whole tempest in a teacup when she insisted Furiosa wasn’t a feminist character for that exact reason.

Lainy
Lainy
9 months ago

My husband is really upset about how the new game seems is going to go, but none of those upsets are over a character boobs who was 14 in the first game.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
9 months ago

Bayonetta looks awfully happy. Is that due to the guns on her heels? If I wore glasses and guns on my heels, I would worry that my glasses would fall off and consequently I would shoot myself in the leg. But that’s me.

occasional reader
occasional reader
9 months ago

I do not get it : are they “forced” to play this game if the chara design does not fit them ? Or do they think game developers owe them the game ? Are not they the same people who, when some persons complained about oversexualisation or misogynism in a video game, told them to go and make their own game if they were not happy with it ?
If i had to complain about each game where the main character does not suit me, i would be in a neverending rant… (I have played a few adult games during this confinement, and if some of you are interested, i can make a quick review about some of them, but i am not sure to be of good advice)

BradMoonRising
BradMoonRising
9 months ago

I just finished the first Last of Us — it was so good. I’m really looking forward to this new one. The gamergate crowd’s disapproval is an automatic positive for me. Kinda like when a politician gets an F or D- NRA rating.

Moggie
Moggie
9 months ago

Huh, Bayonetta. Isn’t she naked? From what I remember, her clothes are her hair, and partially disappear at times. Not that that’s designed to appeal to horny boys, I’m sure! Whereas the game character I usually hear given as a good example by actual feminists is Femshep, whose looks are very much secondary to the traits she shares with Broshep.

GAZZA
GAZZA
9 months ago

Yeah the Last of Us was awesome. I am far more concerned with Naughty Dog’s abusive labour practices than their character designs.

Masse_Mysteria
Masse_Mysteria
9 months ago

Even with the last thread about this I felt kind of uncomfortable because I would have assumed the complaints about a muscular woman would have been more in the “butch dyke” vein. I guess it’s just that I hate how some people seem to think that all butch women are actually trans* men, and then this whole charade was something else entirely and I’m just so confused.

@An Impish Pepper

The reasoning was the same, that it would constitute erasure of similarly endowed women like this friend.

I once knew a woman who had pretty big breasts, and from what I gathered, she didn’t really have any issue with game or animation characters having big breasts, but hated how unrealistic they always were. She said this was one of the reasons she didn’t read manga.

I think it’s kind of rich that there are so many people rallying to demand big breasts on all the female characters like anything else is oppression, like their preferences are somehow holy. For years and years I’ve been reading otherwise interesting or entertaining comics (particularly manga or super hero stuff) with gritted teeth because practically every adult woman has such ridiculous anatomy that it’s kind of painful to watch. But I guess my “can supposedly able-bodied people please look like they could actually function” wish is just too radical.

Crip Dyke
9 months ago

Abby is literally the only human, male or female, with that sort of muscle mass. In a post-apocalyptic dystopia. With no commercial protein supplies. Or working steroid/supplement factories.

The calorie and protein requirements alone are prohibitive

I’m sorry, what?

I looked really, really carefully at Abby’s size and build. I mean, I had my laptop out and studied her for HOURS, and near as I can tell, the complete circumference of her arm around the widest part of her bicep has to be less than 1.5 inches. Hell, her entire torso from the waist to the top of her head is less than four inches tall.

I have been consulting physiology textbooks for over 3 weeks now trying to pin down the caloric intake for post-apocalyptic characters made out of pixels and I’m entirely unable to find the math Ralmoren used.

rv97
rv97
9 months ago

@GAZZA

Yeah, sadly the games industry is a piece of shit and in the case of the US, it’s down to shit labor laws and neoliberalism putting capitalism at a level of infallibility like a God except capitalism is not God and came about because money exists.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
9 months ago

@Crip Dyke
Whew! And here I thought I was the only one to notice that Abby is so slight that she probably requires only 100 calories or so a day.

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
9 months ago

I “love” how whenever someone starts to complain about the plot twists of Last Of Us II, I have to brace myself in case they go off on a tangent about Abby’s looks.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@occasional reader

do they think game developers owe them the game ?

I think they do think that; they’re used to games having exactly what they wanted before so they don’t have the mindset to accept otherwise.

@Crip Dyke

I have been consulting physiology textbooks for over 3 weeks now trying to pin down the caloric intake for post-apocalyptic characters made out of pixels and I’m entirely unable to find the math Ralmoren used.

Would the caloric intake be measured in pixels as well?

Re: Bayonetta
I’ve never played the game she comes from, but I regularly see the sockpuppets of GamerGaters and ComicsGaters claim that as women Bayonetta is empowering to them. Despite this, I have never seen anyone without a cartoon avatar or who is not anonymous say anything of the sort.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

Yes, that feminist icon Bayonetta, made by men for men, whose magic powers require her to get naked to use them. So empowering for women.

By doing this they openly admit their bigotry: that they think the female body only exist through the male gaze.

You heard it here: the only way to truly and genuinely subvert the male gaze is to make fictional characters that explicitly cater to it. Catering to the male gaze in fiction is how we deny its power in reality.

The real key to this conundrum is that we’re talking about fiction here. A female character who is invented and who has only those characteristics that are assigned to her. Most invented female game characters conform to a certain body type that, while real, is not as common in reality as it is in games. They are assigned the big bouncy breasts that it is assumed appeals to gamers (coded as male). They are designed to appeal to the male gaze. And here we have a character who looks different, who will no doubt appeal to some gamers (again coded male – female gamers are just not a demographic that game designers ever care about) who are not really into the big-bouncy-breast archetype, still appealing to the male gaze just a less common type of male gaze. And those gamers who are into the big-bouncy-breast archetype are unhappy, not because the male gaze is being denied (it really can’t ever be fully denied) but because their particular vision of it isn’t being catered to this one time.

Men who become angry when their penises are not pleased by some female body are also angry when it happens to them IRL. Any woman who doesn’t have a sufficiently “femme” presentation knows this
(and “sufficiently femme” varies by the man and by the day of the week so really most women have experienced male anger at not being adequately pretty to look upon). But angry men are unable to escape non-penis-pleasing women in reality, because women in reality have so many body types. They are able to escape this in fiction, so long as fiction continues to conform to their personal interpretation of the male gaze, and now that there is a slight hint that maybe this is no longer 100% true, the screaming commences. Angry men are snowflakes, and expecting them to be reasonable (“Look, 99% of women in games conform to your expectations, let this one woman not without being a whiny baby about it”) is unrealistic.

coilybepraised
coilybepraised
9 months ago

Obviously there is so much wrong about these whiny “fans” but I just wanted to jump on about the whole Abby being a trans woman thing. So, here is the deal, it has not been confirmed that Abby is trans via the leaks that everyone is referencing. That particular detail came from 4chan, of course. So these people are getting upset over something they don’t even know to be true.

Now here is the really interesting part. Abby is voiced by a cis female actor. Lev on the other hand is voiced by a trans male actor. If they are hiring trans actors then why wouldn’t they hire a trans female actor to play Abby?

But anyway, yeah the transphobia surrounding these leaks are just too much. It is so frustrating to me. I don’t even know where to begin.

numerobis
numerobis
9 months ago

Crip Dyke: being on a PS4, she consumes about 100W. To keep her on screen all day would require about 2,000 kcal. Pretty much average for a human.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

I missed this a few days ago when it was originally posted, but Anita Sarkeesian put together a thread responding to the people attacking her over this game.

@numerobis
But if there’s other characters on the screen, the net power consumption would still be close to the same, so she’d be consuming fewer calories then. And then there’s powering the screen, which would depend on the kind of screen and size.

Cyborgette
Cyborgette
9 months ago

Bayonetta, I remember that one. I read a synopsis and thought “This looks fun as hell.” Then I saw the first 10 seconds of the intro movie and threw up in my mouth a little.

I am here for fighting giant dragons in ice skates. I am not here for watching some vainglorious male artist’s living doll/hair fetish fantasy. If I want to fight giant dragons in ice skates, there are dozens of ASCII games that do not make my PC look like a ball-jointed Murder Barbie.

Needless to say, less sexualized female characters are much appreciated here. Though TBH the spoilers I’ve glanced at make me think Abby’s role might not be as progressive as these dolts think. I won’t say more because spoilers, but like… Her storyline looks like a trope I’ve seen a lot that has personally been very damaging to me, so yeah, no thanks.

impudentinfidel
impudentinfidel
9 months ago

Bayonetta is a weird example. The creators deliberately, from the ground up, designed both the character and games to be as ludicrously over the top hyper-sexualized as possible. It’s not like they tried to play it off as incidental like a lot of companies do with oversexualized characters, it’s the entire point of the game. There’s literally a mode to play one-handed.

dashapants
dashapants
9 months ago

@impudentinfidel

There is??!!! Bwahahahahaha! I mean I have always found that game and its porn-magic to be a kind of sickeningly hilarious abomination, but I did not know about the one-handed mode. That’s really special.

Anyway, Bayonetta is being used as an example in the very disingenuous argument precisely because it’s so shockingly egregious. The intent is to provoke and argue that a specifically porny game is empowering. It’s like some sort of sideways reductio ad absurdum diversionary tactic.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
9 months ago

@Naglfar:

I’ve never played the game she comes from, but I regularly see the sockpuppets of GamerGaters and ComicsGaters claim that as women Bayonetta is empowering to them. Despite this, I have never seen anyone without a cartoon avatar or who is not anonymous say anything of the sort.

As a woman, I always begin my internet comments with “as a woman”. It’s how we women woman.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@Buttercup
As a woman, I learn something new every day. Good that I have so many women willing to teach me, as a woman, how to be a woman properly.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
9 months ago

To think that a while ago, I was accused of being too harsh and reductive concerning the game industry! But yeah, I think it is a bit reductive to suggest that nobody other than horny dudebros would consider Bayonetta empowering, or that game designers never care about women players. (Though, the person I’m thinking of who feels empowered by Bayonetta definitely thinks that way for reasons other than the whole naked thing.) At least in Japan, it’s just that the Asian boy band look isn’t nearly as objectifying as the way a lot of women characters get designed.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

@An Impish Pepper
If your friend finds Bayonetta empowering, that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with people enjoying games, even if I don’t like the oversexualization. And I don’t mean to say women can’t enjoy games. What I meant is that a lot of GGers tended to make sockpuppets as women and PoC for #NotYourShield, so I am suspicious of a lot of pro-GG posts claiming to be from women about how empowering they find these characters to be.

TrainingJay
TrainingJay
9 months ago

impudentinfidel:

Odd to blame Sarkeesian. Hating butch female characters who solve problems with violence is one of her better-known quirks. There was a whole tempest in a teacup when she insisted Furiosa wasn’t a feminist character for that exact reason.

Ms. Sarkeesian and I have our differences, but in this I agree with her. If the only way a female character in a film is to be masculinized into a man-in-all-but-name, it’s dishonest to characterize her as a “feminist character.”

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
9 months ago

One of the thing with Bayonetta is that part of her concept is that she is an actively sexual badass that put her sexuality in your face. While she is too sexualized, it’s also a case of the basic concept not working without it.

Thinking of a male equivalent is a fun experience of though. I guess she is mostly the female James Bond, even if probably even more in your face than the english secret agent.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

I guess she is mostly the female James Bond, even if probably even more in your face than the english secret agent.

Sure, if James Bond had a key secret gadget that had to rip all his clothes off to work. And he was written by a woman.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

One of the thing with Bayonetta is that part of her concept is that she is an actively sexual badass that put her sexuality in your face. While she is too sexualized, it’s also a case of the basic concept not working without it.

Funny how male writers keep managing to write plots that just so happen to require the oversexualization of female characters to work. Funny coincidence!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

Funny how male writers keep managing to write plots that just so happen to require the oversexualization of female characters to work. Funny coincidence!

Wasn’t there a female character once, invented by a man, who was dependent on photosynthesis to live, so she had to constantly be naked to maximize her surface area exposed to light?

Catalpa
Catalpa
9 months ago

Wasn’t there a female character once, invented by a man, who was dependent on photosynthesis to live, so she had to constantly be naked to maximize her surface area exposed to light?

I believe you’re thinking of Quiet, from the Metal Gear Solid series.

https://metalgear.fandom.com/wiki/Quiet

Quiet wore a minimal amount of clothing at all times because she could only drink or breathe through her skin following parasite-treatment due to the serious injuries she had sustained while trying to kill Big Boss during the hospital raid; wearing too much clothing would lead to suffocation.

She also was infected with a parasite that spread via language, so she can’t speak English without infecting others.

So on top of having a contrived reason why she can’t wear clothes, she also has a contrived reason for why she can’t speak. Subtle, this ain’t.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
9 months ago

I believe you’re thinking of Quiet, from the Metal Gear Solid series.

Mmmmmmaybe? I thought I specifically recalled photosynthesis but you may well be correct.

Can I play this game, too?

There’s a race of sub-surface dwellers, the men of which breathe through their penises. So they can’t wear pants, and even underwear is problematic. Our sidekick character is a member of this group, and he’s super-proud of his heritage so he won’t cover up with even the most minimal veiling. He’s got his dick out 100% of the time and his armor has to be specially modified to have a crotch-window.

Catalpa
Catalpa
9 months ago

@Policy of Madness

Yeah, the wiki says that she can do photosynthesis with her skin too, along with breathing and drinking. So you remembered correctly.

Also, I think there should be another character, maybe the villain, who can produce powerful blastwaves by clapping his asscheeks together. It’s his main ability, and since pants get in the way, he constantly needs to wear assless chaps.

He can produce smaller, less powerful blastwaves by flexing his muscles, but this causes his shirt to tear off from the force.

Naglfar
Naglfar
9 months ago

Quiet wore a minimal amount of clothing at all times because she could only drink or breathe through her skin following parasite-treatment due to the serious injuries she had sustained while trying to kill Big Boss during the hospital raid; wearing too much clothing would lead to suffocation.

Speaking of James Bond, I wonder if this was inspired by the film Goldfinger. In that movie there is a female character who paints her body in gold paint and dies, this is explained as being because humans need to have some exposed skin to breathe properly and that she suffocated as a result of the paint. It’s been a while since I saw that movie so I might be off on the details a bit, but I’m curious if there’s any connection.

In the neighborhood, thought I would drop by
In the neighborhood, thought I would drop by
9 months ago

As a guy, I have had a couple of girlfriends with a butch body and small breasts. Actually, my preferred female body type.

One was a black belt in a couple of *serious* martial arts. Like “rip your arms off and beat you with them” serious. I told her that if we were ever in a bar fight, I would cover her back. After all, she was fully qualified to defend herself.

My family marries and spawns strong women. We are rednecks && appreciate women who stand up for themselves. Funny thing – domestic abuse isn’t a problem. Nothing like knowing you might wake up dead.

My wife has a friend with that body type. One of the top female weight lifters at one time. She is one of the top martial artists in the world. She has also had the certifications to operate any type of construction equipment (bulldozers, cranes, etc) because she designed and straw-bossed wooden roller coasters. She would hire local help – guys who at first were “yeah, little girl” her. She quickly showed them she was *better* than them at their jobs. Only took one idiot to make her point.

I also studied martial arts at a women-led dojo – I was one of the first adult males they accepted. All of the instructors and top students were lesbians. They *never* had an issue with me being male – never came up. (Of course, I was not stupid.) They got the better dressing room – fair, because women outnumbered the men by a fair amount. It was a fun time.

The head instructor used me as the “attacker” to teach women how to defend themselves. I was glad to help out. (If you have not taken a self-defense class, DO SO. Look for ones taught by women.)

I guess incels would have a terrible time with strong women. (snicker.)

Fabe
Fabe
9 months ago

@Naglfar

The only detail you got wrong was that She painted herself. What really happened was the bad guy painted Her in gold paint with the intent of killing her for betraying Him .

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
9 months ago

@Ohlmann
This is only from what I hear from others and not about my own nonexistent experience with the games, but I don’t know if the hypersexual aspect of the character is all that important. I actually almost never hear about that aspect, outside of offhand mentions. It’s almost similar to how people talk positively about Kill la Kill, except to an even more extreme degree. You’d almost think Bayonetta is just a quirky witch who likes to dance in a vaguely suggestive manner.

Like I mentioned before, the clothes stay on in her Smash incarnation. There was no significant backlash against that from what I could tell. I don’t think people really cared. It’s more or less a faithful representation of the character, apparently. (Speaking of which, the person I was talking about isn’t someone I know, but is someone who can reasonably be said to exist, unlike the subject of this blog post.)

I guess that’s what gets into my broader point. People are going to engage with sexualized characters differently, depending on the character, and it won’t just be horny dudes making media for other horny dudes. I mean, Bayonetta is voiced by women, and a woman designed her. Women have been involved with more questionable characters and more questionable lines. And then there will be those in the audience who make those characters their own, and reinterpret them. The trend toward sexual objectification is still an important problem that hinders character design. I just think there’s something to be said about people who manage to make something good out of problematic things.

Snowberry
Snowberry
9 months ago

Of course, that’s not realistic. It’s not healthy to completely cover your skin like that for long periods, but you won’t die from it unless the temperature is high enough that you really need to sweat and whatever you’re covering your skin with won’t allow you to do so. Or you’re deathly allergic to it. Or, I suppose if your diet is entirely lacking in vitamin D, but that wouldn’t kill anyone that fast…

Human skin doesn’t “breathe”, at least in the literal sense. There are numerous minor health benefits to leaving skin exposed, the more the better, but merely being less optimum in that regard is hardly fatal.

I suspect what really happened in that film was that the gold paint was poisoned. Assuming the scriptwriters weren’t idiots and the villain was lying.

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