Whether you’re a feminist or a fangirl or you just like to learn, these six “Tropes vs Women” episodes of Feminist Frequency are absolutely fascinating. Host Anita Sarkeesian makes sure you’ll never look at entertainment the same way.
I really suggest giving Women in the Fridge a watch - it was my favourite out of the group
Especially the line about these things not being created in a vaccuum. The tropes we find in comics are products of moral frameworks shaped by the society that writers and artists and producers find themselves a part of. I’ve heard the argument before that “If he didn’t MEAN to espouse some kind of political/social/moral philosophy in his art then you shouldn’t hold him or any of his fans accountable for whatever philosophy you read into it. Sometimes a blue curtain doesn’t mean depression, it just means that the curtain was fucking blue.”
The problem with this is that even if it’s unintentional, all forms of entertainment designed for general public consumption WILL SEND ACROSS A MESSAGE. Maybe they are just accidentally proliferating sexist ideals that already exist in abundance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything about it and that doesn’t mean it’s okay.
We should be constantly working to create a more equal society.
Women in Refrigerators is the trope I referenced in that one Protomen post, and the fact that it even shows up in what we all can agree a very moving, inspiring, fantastic narrative attests to just how widespread little notions like that is, how pervasive they can be, and, ultimately, how SHITTY they are.
I noticed a lot of Brotomen are female, but if we look at the story, there are little to no roles for us. For the countless mentions of ‘mankind’ and ‘man’ and ‘he’ and ‘him’, we have exactly three non-Emily references to women - ‘women lock their doors at night’ (while the ‘men [are] in the bar’, of course), ‘girls who’ve learned to stand up’, and ‘baby’, the girl Joe steals a kiss from.
The more I think of it, the more it bothers me, and the sadder it makes me. We can’t escape these shitty, shitty tropes, even in some really otherwise-incredible works.
And I’m not calling the Protomen overtly sexist - hell, they probably didn’t even THINK about it. It’s just what they’re used to. All of their influences, and the game itself, is centered around dudes and bros and pretty much ONLY dudes and bros so it’s no big surprise that their work is ALSO all about dudes and bros (with the added love-interest that’s refrigerated. Is it better than the little girl robot who cooks and cleans and is a little shopkeep and maid for Light? Not really I guess!)
In the post above mine, Rudi said this, “Maybe they are just accidentally proliferating sexist ideals that already exist in abundance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything about it and that doesn’t mean it’s okay.” and I agree with it wholeheartedly and I guess that’s why I made this post.
I know some bros don’t like it when I get my FEMINISM GAUNTLETS all up and on and shit and I don’t want anyone to be like ‘OH YOU CALLED THE PROTOMEN SEXIST AND I LOVE THEM SO I’M SEXIST BUT I’M NOT VIX WHAT THE FUCK’. I just want to point out something that sticks in my side, even while I acknowledge that the Protomen really did change my life and I owe a lot to them and this story.
It’s just that… every time I hear ‘mankind’ ‘man’ ‘he’ ‘him’, I feel just a little bit more excluded, a little bit more like this wasn’t MEANT for me.
and that just sucks.