Why Females Are Oversexualised In Video Games

Female Demon Hunter

Pre-Victoria's Secret concept art from Diablo 3

Update: A lot of this article has been misconstrued either through confusion or in the name of melodrama. To be 100% clear, I’m not condoning sexism or oversexualisation in video games in any way at all. Indeed, if anything, the purpose of the article is to highlight the history of inequality that has existed between the genders and try to answer why it not only happened but still continues today.

For the sake of consistency, I’ve left the article unmodified even though I’ve been sorely tempted to correct areas where I’ve perhaps been unintentionally flippant or insensitive. Still, the post is merely a theory based on some interesting and plausible conjecture and I’d encourage everyone to read it carefully and thoroughly before passing judgement.

I have this theory. I believe that fundamentally all hetrosexual men are enslaved by women. Well, maybe enslaved isn’t the right word here. Besotted? Captivated? Fixated? See, I think females are the “dominant” gender (if such a thing can even exist) and us males are driven, through biology and instinct, to focus a significant portion of our lives around them. Whether this means chasing after them to engage in sex and companionship or simply thinking about both those things on a frequent basis, there is little denying that most men cannot escape the consideration they give to the opposite sex. Simply put, men are obsessed with women.

And why not? Both sexes (and the resulting interactions) are fundamental components of the human condition. Yet this preoccupation with women, I suspect, has led to a lot of resentment on the part of the male, resentment born out of fear that stems from the ‘hold’ the female gender has over the male. Thus, in order to fight against this, two things occurred throughout the ages to place the power firmly in the hands of the men: male inheritance and organised religion.

Making all inheritance pass only through the male side of a family (primogeniture) combined with Christianity and its off-shoots, transformed the relationship between the human genders for thousands of years. Concepts like male primogeniture, Sharia Law, immaculate conception, no sex before marriage and even complete sexual abstinence were all designed to take freedom and power away from women and essentially shackle the single most potent form of control they had over men – sex. By hiding it, by denying it and by controlling it, males were effectively asserting themselves in a societal position above females.

Fortunately, through efforts such as the Suffragettes and the general feminist movement, we’ve slowly started to change our ways and realise that trying to empower one gender over the other is as ridiculous a concept as it sounds. In fact, we’re now so acutely aware of it that we point out and criticise anything that might portray women in an unequal light to men, especially when it comes to video games. Metal bikinis, strangely proportioned female models and high heeled boots in combat are all classic examples of this.

So why do we do it? Well, I actually think I have a few answers to this.

Firstly, my initial point again: men are obsessed with women. We (men) don’t oversexualise females in video games because we necessarily want to exert control over them, we just do it because we’re simple, primitive ape-creatures who are obsessed with sex and the female form, drawn to them like a moth to a flame. We simply do it because it’s a huge and constant consideration in our lives.

Secondly, because we think it’s what women want. Video games are mostly fantasy representations and reflect things as they would be in a ‘perfect’ universe. The male models are all huge and buff, straining their clothing through their rippling muscles beneath, a massive departure from not only real life but also the men themselves who play the games. If we like seeing ‘perfect’ men, why wouldn’t women like seeing ‘perfect’ women? And if males run around wearing what we would wear in our ultimate fantasies, wouldn’t we want our female characters do the same?

And thirdly because the developers are trying to imbue the female characters with feminine characteristics in order to compensate for their, essentially, masculine qualities. Let’s be frank here, most video games are about fighting and it’s very uncommon, both throughout modern society and history as a whole, for women to be involved in combat. So maybe the question shouldn’t be why the female Demon Hunter in Diablo 3 wears high heeled boots but rather why the heck is she even there in the first place?

Of course, I see equality for men and women in a different light from simply making all female characters in video games wear sensible cloths. Equality should be about freedom, respect and societal status as a whole. Now whether metal bikinis and big polygon tits detract from those things or not, I honestly have no idea. I am just a simple sex obsessed primitive ape-man after all.

-Gordon

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