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Angry gamers are still furious at Abby from The Last of Us 2 for being “unrealistically” buff in a zombie game

Actual real human woman (not video game character)

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By David Futrelle

Angry gamers are somehow still up in arms about the body of the character Abby in The Last of Us 2. You may recall, back in April the angriest gamers — the perpetual Gamergaters — were outraged after a studio leak revealed that the character Abby would be returning in the sequel as a newly-buff fighter with notably jacked arms.

At first the angry gamers assumed that any woman that buff had to be trans, so they accused the game studio, Naughty Dog, of pushing an LGBT+ agenda on innocent gamers. Then, when it turned out that Abby was not trans, the angry gamers got mad at Abby for a whole other reason — declaring that her body was “unrealistic” because where would she be getting enough food to bulk up like that in a postapocalyptic world and did she even lift, bro?

The game has been out for some time now and they’re still mad.

But now the angry gamers think they have found DEFINITIVE PROOF that Abby’s body is too good to be true — in the form of a workout schedule for Abby they discovered somewhere in the games assets that reveals, well, that she doesn’t lift enough to have arms like THAT.

“[A]bby is more muscular Than 90% of the Guys in the gym where i was workout,” complains another gamer on Twitter. “No girl in the gym looks as ugly as Abby.”

Other, er, critics make much of the fact that food is rationed in the dire dystopian world of the game.

“Her food is rationed,” insists one of Abby’s critics. “They SHOW that in game. She’d never be able to get the lean protein required to get that big.”

“Abby … has a muscular physique … in an environment where proper diet is so rare that food is rationed out,” another Abby non-fan grumbles. “You can say you don’t care but you can’t claim that this all about hating women.”

Like hell I can’t.

In case you’re wondering just how jacked this woman is, here’s what she looks like.

This is the body that these guys are declaring so “unrealistic”that it destroys any feelings of immersion in the game — a game that also features, yes, ZOMBIES. You know, creatures that DON’T ACTUALLY EXIST IN REAL LIFE

Come to think of it, has anyone found the zombies’ workout schedule?

More to the point, has anyone even gone looking for the workout schedules for any of the far-more-improbably buff bodies of assorted male video game heroes — say, the top-heavy soldiers in Gears of War, Batman in the Arkham series, Zangief in Street Fighter — or any of the other imaginary video game men on this handy list?

Of course not. It’s almost as if there’s a double standard. It’s almost as if Abby’s critics just can’t stand the thought of a strong women, or something. “It’s such a weird, ultra-specific way to be misogynistic while claiming to appeal to logic,” notes podcaster Jubel Brosseau on Twitter. That it is.

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StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

I kind of wish skimmingway hadn’t flounced so soon. I mean he was gross and a creep and not very intelligent but I enjoyed all the mocking of him and revealing his ignorance. He deserves all the mockery he got.

Of all misogynist types the kind I hate the most and the kind I prefer to mock, humiliate and shame the most are NiceGuys. I do that in other places online and in person but I see mostly other kinds of misogynists here among the trolls more than NiceGuy whiners. They are the ones women like me make the most upset though and they deserve what they get from us in terms of mockery.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ cats in shiny hats

One of my friends is, as she puts it, ‘a lady postman’. She looks like an Olympic athlete.

Postal workers do particularly well in the armed forces reserve here. The British Army specialises in long range ‘Tabbing’* carrying heavy loads; so to them it’s just second nature.

(*Tactical Advance to Battle; i.e. walking)

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@PoM

So skimmingway is also racist. What a shocking, shocking development!

I’m almost surprised he didn’t lean harder into the transphobic conspiracy theory about Michelle Obama that posited that she was a trans* woman. Obviously there is nothing wrong with being a trans* woman (I’m one myself), but conservatives used that claim as a way to claim she wasn’t a “real woman” and stir up some homophobia about Barack.
Michelle is cis, so it just goes to show how much transphobia and racism are linked and how stereotypes of femininity are linked to ideas of whiteness.

@Stacey

I kind of wish skimmingway hadn’t flounced so soon.

Don’t worry, he’ll be back.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

Thanks, Alan! Dang it, my “to be read” list keeps growing. Allow me to return the favor and recommend Theodora Goss’ series about the Athena Club. I think you’ll like the character of Justine Frankenstein (yes, as in “bride of”) who is portrayed as a vegetarian/vegan (can’t recall how specific the text gets) and is also a painter and a lover of philosophy. You and Justine could have some fascinating conversations. Actually, I’d love to be a guest at any Athena Club dinners – what an opportunity to speak with so many women who are coping with the restrictions of Victorian England.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ Vicky P

Ooh, thank you. Although I still haven’t attacked the big pile of books I picked up on my lockdown walks. They have a thing here where old telephone boxes in the villages are used as book exchanges. My practice is to always do my returns to a different village to spread the books around a bit. Although it was pointed out to me that in a pandemic that just made me Patient Zero; so I’m currently keeping on to them.

A friend is a member of something here called The Athenaeum. She was asked to do a talk a while ago. She got a bit nervous. They told her not to worry; the audience had after all been very appreciative of the previous speaker. I said she’d no doubt be fine then. She then pointed out the previous speaker had been Stephen Fry.

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
1 month ago

@Alan

I’m not as built as your friend, but I am also forty and don’t build muscle as well as I used to. Though I can walk forever! It just mostly doesn’t show.

Many of my colleagues are buff as all that. Especially the ones who have been doing the job for decades. I’d place RT. 68, who is in her late fifties, as one of the strongest looking people in the office.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ cats in shiny hats

but I am also forty and don’t build muscle as well as I used to

Hey; us more mature folks have better muscles! There’s a reason most ‘natural’ bodybuilding champs tend to be older.

Pound for pound we’re actually stronger than the whippersnappers. Our individual muscle fibres are tougher. It’s why veal and lamb are more tender and less ‘stringy’ than steak and mutton. We also have thinner skin so we can look ripped without all the dehydrating and 5% bodyfat stuff.

They call it ‘muscle maturity’. It’s quality not quantity 😀

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

@Naglfar

Michelle is cis, so it just goes to show how much transphobia and racism are linked and how stereotypes of femininity are linked to ideas of whiteness.

Yes!

Misogynists stereotypes of femininity go with their racism, patriarchy and other repulsive beliefs. I’m petite, blue eyed, with fine blonde hair I keep long. I work out a lot and dance ballet and just with the way I’m built the muscle goes more to my butt and my core than my legs. My arms and shoulders get toned and the muscle is there but builds on me in a way that looks different (sort of, not really different too much, I just have a smaller frame) than in the pictures we’re talking about. My legs are strong but are long for my body so I look more “leggy” and with a really round butt because of how I work out. My body is the basis for my art and I design outfits thinking about how color and light and shadow go with my base shape.

But it also means I look like patriarchal men think a woman in supposed to look. I mean fuck what they think really but it means they act even more both indignant and incredulous that I’m assertive and a feminist because a “pretty little long haired blonde girl” isn’t supposed to be. They think my whip is just a prop and not real can’t believe that a woman my size and with a high pitched “sweet” sounding voice knows how to handle a real bullwhip as comfortably as I do in everyday life and can’t believe that a high pitched feminine voice can ever be used with a commanding and firm tone.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Is Skimmingway that Chaucer conspiracy troll? I can’t remember what his name was, but his posts got more and more pretentious and nonsensical as he went, so.

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

Jeebas, the pretence with this troll. As if him gracing us with his presence is some gift. Ugh…

Reading your responses brought to mind that gif of Anita Sarkeesian eating popcorn. I think that’s the right level of entertainment. Your appreciation for eachother was also a joy to read.

I’d also like to add on the otter-appreciation front that otters hold hands while sleeping so they don’t float apart. And that is awedorbsome.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ battering lamb

the otter-appreciation front

That sounds like the coolest group on a terrorist watchlist.

C.A.Collins
C.A.Collins
1 month ago

@Naglfar
Third time’s the charm.

Makroth
Makroth
1 month ago

@Skidwart

Good fucking riddance to you, you bloviating sophist.

May your stench never again besmirch these internet pages.

It probably will.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Alan Robertshaw
We have something like that here where people set up small boxes or old birdhouses with doors and have books inside, though I haven’t been using them since the pandemic started.

That sounds like the coolest group on a terrorist watchlist.

I imagine them being a bit like Sea Shepherd but specifically focused on otters.

@Stacey

I mean fuck what they think really but it means they act even more both indignant and incredulous that I’m assertive and a feminist because a “pretty little long haired blonde girl” isn’t supposed to be.

I recall some years ago reading a feminist manifesto by a bisexual femme woman who was discussing how she viewed her presentation as a way of subverting the patriarchy, as she dressed in a conventionally feminine way but did it for herself rather than for the male gaze. What you wrote reminded me of that manifesto, how you have taken it into your own hands and subvert expectations.

My own exercise consists mainly of walking and running so I have very developed calves and thighs, but I don’t have much core muscle.

@C.A. Collins
It’s almost surprising he hasn’t gotten banned yet, most trolls get banned after this many iterations of rambling fascist apologism.

@Battering Lamb
This one?comment image

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

@Alan: Shhh we’re super secret. Still working out the trademark. :p

Jim Sterling did a Duke Amiel Du Hardcore reading of a lot of the ‘criticisms’ of Abby in his most recent video. The only way to read that nonsense.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

@Naglfar

I recall some years ago reading a feminist manifesto by a bisexual femme woman who was discussing how she viewed her presentation as a way of subverting the patriarchy, as she dressed in a conventionally feminine way but did it for herself rather than for the male gaze. What you wrote reminded me of that manifesto, how you have taken it into your own hands and subvert expectations.

Yes, you are so cool and awesome to get that. I definitely see my enjoyment of my art and my living and dressing the way I do as a direct subversion and resistance to patriarchy. That’s the same reason I am so vocal and direct about insisting only on men who I find attractive and by having the standards I do. I do that because I know that patriarchy expects me not just to behave in a certain way but even inside myself feel a certain way and I’m wrong if I don’t.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ naglfar

but I don’t have much core muscle.

I suspect you probably do. Walking is one of the best things you can do for a strong core; especially if you encounter a lot of inclines. You engage your abs and obliques; even moreso if you sort of lean back into it rather than hunch over. But just putting a bit of a swivel in your trunk can build a core, even on level ground.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Aln Robertshaw
If I do, it’s not very visible. If I wanted more visible abs I’m sure there are exercises I could do, but I haven’t really focused on that in particular.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

A misogynist will hate it and complain when say I’m out somewhere dressed in one of my typical styles and am talking to two guys that were just introduced to me and one is tall, handsome and ripped and the other isn’t, if the one I’m not attracted to stares at me I’ll tell him not to (with *one* polite and regular tone of voice instruction/warning to him before I get sharp and he’s dismissed from my immediate presence) while the other one I definitely invite to admire as much as he likes because with a hot guy who is nice, creative and intelligent and sweet of course I love him looking at me. The misogynists complain because if they think just because they’re both standing there in the same conversation and they are both men that must both automatically give them the same rights over me because of how I’m dressed and because they can both see me regardless of what *I* want! That makes me so mad! I hate creeps. So I definitely am open and proud of acting that way just as a way of challenging patriarchy.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

@Naglfar

I was going to say the same thing as Alan about core strength. If you are running you do build it because you have to automatically keep your body stable to run.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ naglfar

I have a pretty strong core; but I only get the visible abs thing when I’m really dehydrated, say after a long walk; or in certain light. The guys down the gym have taught me all the tricks. Very few people have visible abs all the time. For competition and photoshoots they go through all sorts of palaver to get the right look. Fasting, dehydrating, flexing right, downlighting etc. You’re probably very strong; but that’s totally different thing to the visuals.

ETA: Just look at Chris Hemsworth and that Aquaman bloke when they’re not actually filming.

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
1 month ago

Alan wrote:

Postal workers do particularly well in the armed forces reserve here. The British Army specialises in long range ‘Tabbing’* carrying heavy loads; so to them it’s just second nature.

(*Tactical Advance to Battle; i.e. walking)

I recently read a Finnish translation of the 1977 Russian novel “Za tsertoj miloserdija” by Dmitri Gusarov. It details a large two-month Soviet commando operation behind Finnish lines during summer 1942 in the wilderness around Lake Segorskoye (ca. 64 degrees north). It’s supposed to be a highly documentary account (including fact checking by the Finnish publisher), notwithstanding Soviet political bias.

Apparently, this operation was *overwhelmingly* about people
just hiking in the woods carrying extremely heavy loads of food, equipment and ammunition. There were over 500 men and about 50 women who had to hike for many days before even getting to the enemy line across a wide, uninhabited no man’s land. The women were medics and non-combatants, and their packs were lighter compared to the men, but still super heavy by the standards of modern couch potato.

Oddly enough, while these people must have been highly fit, I can’t imagine them generally being all that muscular. One of the main characters (a guy) is actually described as “wiry” by his natural body type. After a few weeks, they were all badly starved and presumably quite thin – most of them eventually died from either starvation, exhaustion or battle action. Some 120 were able to retreat back to their own lines.

(Similar commando operations were done by the Finns, but in much smaller units and without women.)

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

@Alan

Very few people have visible abs all the time. For competition and photoshoots they go through all sorts of palaver to get the right look. Fasting, dehydrating, flexing right, downlighting etc. You’re probably very strong; but that’s totally different thing to the visuals.

That is so, so true and if more people of all genders realized that people would have better feelings about their bodies maybe.

My guys stay hydrated because there is no reason to not drink enough water but definitely for photography the photographer usually has them flex their abs to get that idealized look and it takes the right lighting too. If a person has good nutrition it helps too. My guys’ middles look good to me regardless when they are relaxed and not flexing (who could walk around like that all the time anyway?) just by being naturally fit and strong. That is what looks ripped.

The other thing about appearance over body as starting point is that the design and layout of the straps of the bodyharness that my guys have to accept as a requirement to wear as part of our partnetship agreement is designed so that it visually frames the parts of a strong fit cis male torso so that the abs look more accentuated. Working with that is part of our palette.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ lumipuna

described as “wiry” by his natural body type.

That’s a very common descriptor applied to UK elite forces types. Also ‘racing snake’.

US special forces tend to be a bit bulkier. But they tend to use vehicles (ground and air) for insertions; whereas for some reason the Brits seem to always walk there. (The Polish were astounded by this during Market Garden)

I read a thing once about D-Day casualties. My body type had the lowest life expectancy; charming. But this was also believed to be a factor in the Bravo Two Zero mission. The guys who died of ‘natural’ causes (as opposed to being shot) were all from 23 SAS; whereas the survivors were from 22. And because of the different backgrounds and selection process 23 tend to be bigger than 22 guys.

But even the Spartans observed this. They noted that warriors needed a much different training regime and ideal body type than athletes.

Is Pavlov’s House about? I bet he knows a lot about this.

Some Chick in Texas
Some Chick in Texas
1 month ago

Good lord, the projection on this one. IMAX and drive in theaters are positively green with envy.
Also, what’s up with his hatred of all women that don’t make him happy in the pants in general and Mrs. Obama in particular? Is he some sort of weird time-traveling dandy? Weren’t they supposed to be fun at least?

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Some Chick in Texas

what’s up with his hatred of all women that don’t make him happy in the pants in general and Mrs. Obama in particular?

Don’t you know? Women only exist to give him boners. Anything else we may do is extra. /s

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

O/T, but just the kind of guy this blog makes fun of:
https://twitter.com/EXPELincels/status/1292860021907369984

Pavlovs House
Pavlovs House
1 month ago

pushes back piles of papers and books

In getting ready for soon-to-start classes I see I missed more Skimmingway ill-founded ranting. He claimed to prepare us for the intellectual trouncing of a lifetime. He failed, miserably, as predicted.
Scanning over the comments I see he left a lot of challenges unanswered (because he couldn’t answer).

@Victorious Parasol

I especially enjoyed your handing him such a clear answer, point by point, to his ill-founded challenge and then a clear, point-by-point refutation to his attempted additional challenge.

@Alan, @lumipuna and others talking about strength and conditioning in the special operations forces of various countries’ armed forces

Disclaimer: although I have plenty of personal experience in airborne operations experience in field exercises (including lots of jumps myself) I was (lucky for me) not deployed during my active duty time and don’t have Ranger school, Special Forces school, etc. qualifications. Nor is this my specialty. That said, I do work with lots of young men and women training for active duty. As for me personally, yes, I am still in the Army Reserve but I am officially in the “completely-ancient-and-fully-decrepit-call-him-to-active-duty-only-if-a-full-Army-Group-is-besieging-Washington-D.C.” category. And even in that category I still do train at times and can correct.

The U.S. Army as a whole, including its special operations units, (Ranger battalions and Special Forces units) *do* emphasize carrying heavy loads on foot long distances overland. (The term in U.S. jargon is “rucking”, i.e. carrying a rucksack [field pack]). For example, U.S. Army Ranger School has lots of rucking with (at least?) a 75-lb-ish rucksack. It may be more and in the 100 lb range — some who knows more can c

With the officer candidates at the institution where I teach, when the new 1st-year students come in over the summer, they do their initial basic training and the end of that has as a culminating experience a 15-mile road march in tactical conditions over some very rough terrain with lots of steep hills. The faculty sometimes (voluntarily!) join in for morale purposes and I’ve done it before several times. I’ve done it with between a 35 lb. ruck and a 75 lb. ruck (the latter being a BIG mistake since it was volunteer Reserve training activity and I could have done a lower weight!) Even my Army Reserve unit where I lived several years ago and with whom I trained regularly on just weekend drills would do at least a small mini-road-march just as morning exercise, say 5 miles as a “stroll” but with full field equipment. Keep in mind that in addition to the ruck, the load carrying gear, water, helmet and weapon adds 20-ish pounds. And that’s not including ammunition which is the big weight-addition in an operational situation. And when I say weapon, I mean individual weapon — any crew served weapons like a squad or company light machine gun or heavy machine gun is something that someone has to carry (the squad leader or platoon sergeant, as applicable, will of course rotate who carries the crew-served weapons — OK, showing my age here by mentioning an M60 machine gun but for a movement of 20 miles I would probably have one soldier carry the M60 for only 5 miles at a time and then rotate it to another soldier).

The upshot of all this is that I did not see any particular body type or gender as especially better, intrinsically. I have seen wiry cis men soldiers do well and big hulking male soldiers do well. I have seen very short of stature women do well. More important than body type are other factors, I think — staying hydrated, *teamwork* and morale. If someone is having a rough time for a while, maybe someone else take one piece of equipment over until the next rest stop. Words of encouragement mean a lot. Watching out for one’s feet, changing socks at rest breaks, and so seems much more important than how one is built.

All of that (especially the teamwork part) are the elements of reality that diverge from the image held in the mind that the misogynistic right-winger who has never done it nor even read seriously about it.

That said, it may well be that a certain body type predominates in U.S. Army ranger units and Special Forces units. There has probably been at least one, and probably several, studies of that issue. I would have to look though. If someone wants to look, try some of the RAND studies. That is also the kind of thing that a Major or Lieut. Col. with an interest in that area and a scientific background might choose for an Army War College thesis.

Another equalizing factor is that the U.S. Army’s physical fitness tests may favor certain body types over others in one particular event but in aggregate lots of body types if well-conditioned will pass. That was definitely the case with the old Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) and the new Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) which uses a different theory — lots of functional movements. For example in the ACFT, there are things like carrying heavy weights in a shuttle run (modeling carrying small arms ammo boxes up to a firing position QUICKLY). I really have to ask who much of that is a determined person and how much of it is a body type? Yes, there is a basic physical minimum that one must have but beyond that I don’t know whether wiry or hulking matters as much. I’ll defer to those with better knowledge of kinesiology than I have. I’d be curious about that myself.

Whew! Typed more than I meant to…sorry for the wall of text everyone! Back to the course planning for me anyway.

Oh, wait, I don’t exist because I’m in the armed forces and not conservative. Hmmm, well, that takes care of that. I can go back to non-existence now.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

@Some Chick in Texas

The way he described Mrs. Obama reminded me of how the GOP featured the most unflattering photos of Democratic women at one of their conventions (2008, I believe), and then deliberately compared them to GOP women … whose photos were all glamour shots. I nearly threw up when I saw that footage and heard the crowd’s reaction. It was such a naked display of patriarchal bullying. Didn’t do them any good at the polls, if I’m remembering properly, but I’ll never forget those smug looks.

There’s a scene in the late Sheri Tepper’s book Grass that comes to mind: a terrorist group dedicated to the worst practices of toxic masculinity has arranged a public bombing designed to kill or at least mutilate a great musician who was also a refugee from their territory. The bombing goes off as planned, with the musician struck down in the middle of a patriotic symphony performed on live TV, and the terrorists are very gleeful as they watch the music-loving audience wail and cry. But then one of the concert-goers rushes the stage and begins to sing the song used as a theme for the symphony, and the audience rises to their feet to sing along while the medics work frantically to save the musicians’ life.

And the terrorists are confused, because their enemy is supposed to be weak. The bombing was supposed to make them afraid and give in to the terrorists’ demands. Instead the people are rallying together, comforting each other, supporting the musician and her family, and vowing retribution. And so the terrorists are afraid and angry, and begin to blame each other for the bombing, because it’s easier to turn on each other than to admit they had done something monstrous.

That’s what these trolls are like. They come by here and heave their verbal petards, and don’t know what to do when we don’t follow their script.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

@Naglfar

Ugh. Yes, gross, entitled and worthy of mocking.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ pavlov’s house

Thanks for that; knew you’d know! And I appreciate you interrupting your work for us.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

@wwth

Is Skimmingway that Chaucer conspiracy troll?

I were thinking the same thing this morning, then dismissed it. The Chaucer guy had some semblance of both humour and wit, if memory serves.

Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
Threp (formerly Shadowplay)
1 month ago

@Pavlovs House

… it may well be that a certain body type predominates in U.S. Army ranger units and Special Forces units.

FWIW, and anecdata only covering a small sample in the last 20 years: the vast majority of the SF types we’ve worked with have been more whippets than bulldogs. Not small by any stretch of the imagination (you Yanks run to big as default), but wiry sods, not bruisers.

Sorry to DP – missed the edit window to add to previous post.

Fabe
Fabe
1 month ago

And Jim Sterling breaks out Duke D’hardcore to cover this issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpmt7LHRP4E

Battering Lamb
Battering Lamb
1 month ago

@naglfar: That’d be the gif, yeah. Seeing it always brings me a lot of joy.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Victorious Parasol

The bombing was supposed to make them afraid and give in to the terrorists’ demands. Instead the people are rallying together, comforting each other, supporting the musician and her family, and vowing retribution. And so the terrorists are afraid and angry, and begin to blame each other for the bombing, because it’s easier to turn on each other than to admit they had done something monstrous.

I haven’t read that book, but this seems familiar because I’ve seen similar things happen IRL recently. When the coronavirus hit, part of why conservative preppers started acting up is because they were expecting everyone else to be weak, but instead people banded together to support each other and keep things running, which confused the fascists.
Or, alternatively, when JK Rowling wrote her shitty blog post she and her TERF friends expected a lot of people to “peak trans” (TERF slang for becoming a TERF) but instead she saw a massive outpouring of condemnations of her and support for trans* people.

When horrible people do horrible things then don’t get the reaction they expect, it often throws their plan out of order.

As for comparing liberal and conservative women’s appearances, it also goes to show how subjective beauty is. Most of the people I find the most attractive have been left leaning, but even aside from that political views play a big part in whether someone is compatible. If the most beautiful person ever was a hardcore conservative, I wouldn’t be interested anymore.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

Here’s Casey Explosion’s take on it:
https://twitter.com/CaseyExplosion/status/1292862674213183496

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

@Naglfar

I can’t recommend Tepper as easily as I can recommend Theodora Goss, but it depends on the intent of the reader. If a reader is interested in the kind of SF that mixes environmental concerns with social consequences, especially that written in the 1980s to 2000s, then yes, read Tepper, but you might want to avoid The Gate to Women’s Country. It’s an original take on a post-apocalyptic setup and gender roles, but there’s a line in it that is easily interpreted as homophobic. The only way I (cishet) can deal with it is to tell myself that that’s a flaw in the society, which is an interpretation I can support by the rest of the text, but I know a lot of other readers have found it very uncomfortable; it’s the book and the line most frequently cited as problematic.

OTOH, some of her later books have some very sympathetic gay characters, and her examination of gender includes at least two characters (that I can remember) who could be read as either trans or genderfluid, and whose nontraditional gender presentations become crucial to the plot. ETA: I just remembered a character in another book who is either trans or a cross-dresser, who is not a great person, but is someone who was raised in a really dysfunctional society and is as sympathetic as one would expect under the circumstances. (Think a world like 1984 and you’re close.)

So either Tepper grew as a person and that was reflected in her writing, or The Gate to Women’s Country is intentionally portraying a culture that is not great, but is healthier than some other societies in that novel.

Sheri Tepper was a 20th century writer (born in 1929, died in 2016) and Theodora Goss is most definitely a 21st century writer (born 1968), but I’d nominate them both for a literature course focusing on gender dynamics in SF.

I’m reminded also of Amanda Cross’ Kate Fansler novels, specifically An Imperfect Spy, which includes the plot point of a “Women in Law and Literature” course taught at a fictional law school named Schuyler. (If Cross were still alive, I think she would be amused that the Schuyler name is now more associated with Philip Schuyler’s daughters.) The course described is a literature course for law students, examining texts through the lens of the law. I suspect it will surprise nobody here that one of the novels discussed is Jane Eyre.

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved
1 month ago

O/T

Incoming test for possible NiceGuy. I know the most recent trolls have been adjacent kinds of misogynists and not NiceGuy(TM) but I was thinking about this because of the troll. A guy friend who I met about a month ago and who had earlier expressed interest in me but who I politely declined is coming over today while I work on some project planning. He said he really just thinks I’m a cool person and assured me he’s cool with just hanging out. I could use some company and a sounding board as I plan stuff for my long term project so I said sure. He seems for real in sincerity and although I’m not naive he seems outwardly cool enough that I will give him the benefit of the doubt. I think it is good to be positive and I for once would love to be able to have a truly kind guy friend who really truly values friendship for what it is.

Dalillama
Dalillama
1 month ago

I was a lot stronger when I was 145 lbs of bone, tendon and muscle than I am now at 200 lbs, but that has a lot to do with my not being nearly as physically active as I was back then, and I’ve lost strength in the quarantine for not hauling heavy things at work or commuting 6 miles a day on a bike. That said, all other things being equal a wiry sort can march further on the same amount of sustenance than a burly or hefty individual because they’re moving less mass overall. (This isn’t the same as being able to go without food. Fat is a big advantage there. Also cold. Skinny people need more food in the cold than fatter people, due to a less-favourable surface area to volume ration and less insulation.)
Wiry people also have an edge getting into/through small spaces, traveling on animal back, and hiding, all of which Special Forces are regularly expected to be able to do. And yes, back in the day (and when my knees worked better) I could carry people half again my weight on my shoulders, I don’t reckon a 75 lb pack would’ve broken me.

All that said, the average special forces trooper is in fact of average size, being (for men, in the US and UK) mostly 5’8-9″ (172-5 cm) and 170-190 lbs (78-86 kg) with notably less variation than in the military as a whole.

Some Chick in Texas
Some Chick in Texas
1 month ago

That’s what these trolls are like. They come by here and heave their verbal petards, and don’t know what to do when we don’t follow their script.

That explains his long winded tantrums when no one gets riled up the way he expects them to.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
1 month ago

That explains his long winded tantrums when no one gets riled up the way he expects them to.

Not an uncommon pattern. Think of how often we’ve had trouble telling trolls apart because so many of them do the same thing over and over.

@Pavlovs House

I especially enjoyed your handing him such a clear answer, point by point, to his ill-founded challenge and then a clear, point-by-point refutation to his attempted additional challenge.

Thank you kindly. I asked myself “What would Scildfreja do?” I lack any good Fluttershy pics, and I can’t call someone “duck” as easily as she does, but I did my best.

C.A.Collins
C.A.Collins
1 month ago

I still wish to give a virtual high-five to whoever it was suggested Bulwer-Lytton.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 month ago

@Some Chick in Texas

That explains his long winded tantrums when no one gets riled up the way he expects them to.

The right has gotten high on their own supply of leftist stereotypes for so long that they now think that anyone to the left of Rush Limbaugh is exactly like the memes, so they get confused when dealing with actual people. It’s why left wing groups like Unicorn Riot regularly release leaks of right wing groups, but the inverse never happens.

@C.A. Collins
Not to toot my own horn too much, but that would be me. I still think he was insufficiently appreciative of my suggestion.

Lainy
Lainy
1 month ago

TBH

Abby looks like ever young female marine I’ve met when meeting my husband’s co workers and such. They make me feel like a hobbit among amazons. My gayness goes up so much while around them.

numerobis
numerobis
1 month ago

Abby’s arms look like those of about half the women at my climbing gym (pre-COVID anyways; we’ve probably all lost a lot of muscle tone since).

I guess they’re all unrealistic too?

I hope she looks at the misogynists with that same face … and claw hammer.

Cats In Shiny Hats
Cats In Shiny Hats
1 month ago

@Alan

I stand corrected! I, personally, don’t seem to be building much muscle these days? Maybe it’s the food I eat, although I try for healthy.

numerobis
numerobis
1 month ago

StaceySmartyPantsTwiceRemoved: friend of mine who turned me down was pretty amazed when I actually took no for an answer, and treated her as a friend after her rejection.

So I gather it’s unusual. But I hope that’s what’s actually going on for you!

Paireon
Paireon
1 month ago

Late to the show, but IMO she kinda looks like a dockworker. A bit mannish and with breasts on the small side, but it’s not like those don’t exist in real life, except in Gamergaters’ minds (and likely other Manospherians’ as well). Doesn’t look like the arms of someone who lifts for gains, rather like those of someone who lifts for a living (which given the post-apocalypse setting makes sense). Probably also a way for the character to cope with her anger issues (from what I know of the character). She probably would have ended up looking more conventionally attractive in a world where modern civilization hadn’t collapsed, but that’s not the world she’s in; also, given that those muscles (and what seems to be a rather proactive attitude) likely enable her to earn her keep, she’s unlikely to be that malnourished.

In conclusion: I don’t find her design particularly unrealistic, quite the opposite in fact. Which is likely a big part of their beef, seeing as video games tend to be escapist so they’re pissed when one reminds them that reality isn’t their oyster.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 month ago

@ cats in shiny hats

As mentioned; it’s all about quality! We don’t need to do all that ‘mass monster’ stuff; we’re practically terminators inside.

Like you say; you can walk forever with heavy loads. That’s real muscle strength; not steroid and insulin bulked bombast*

https://medium.com/advanced-fitness/the-role-of-muscle-maturity-on-physical-appearance-4d80258d210a

(*I always love an opportunity to use that word in its original sense)