Why Bayonetta Is One Of My Favorite Women In Gaming

You know you’re doing the “seduction by lollipop” cliche right when you look like your doing the candy a favor.
Source: Know Your Meme

Ah, screw it. I’m counting this as a Halloween post. I mean, what’s more Halloween than a witch?

So, true to my nature as being infinitely late to the party, I’m just now starting to get into Bayonetta. I picked it up at a reasonable sale price on Steam and I’ll admit openly that I may have had the game wrong all these years. I wrote it off as just ‘Devil May Cry with boobs’ and thought it was just senseless titillation for titillation’s sake. But the more I played it, the more I came to realize that, while it does delve into gratuitousness quite often, it does so in such an over-the-top way as to stop being sexy and start being entertaining on its own merits.

Plus, I’ve come to have genuine affection of the titular Bayonetta herself. I actually feel kind of bad for writing her off as pure fanservice. Because when you actually look at her closely, you come to realize that…

Her exaggerated figure actually makes sense

One of the first things I noticed back when I decided to give Bayonetta a miss was how silly her proportions were. I mean, the first thing most people notice when they see her is that she has legs like stilts propping up a torso that’s just a cup size or two shy from being a Rob Liefeld drawing.

But once you see her interacting with “normal” human beings (normal being subjective in such a strange setting), you realize that she’s not some average, everyday superheroine; she’s a 7 foot tall, supernatural amazon witch bred of two warring factions of magic users and molded to be a perfect fighting engine. Of course her body would be an exaggeration of our own – extreme conditions result in extreme personalities and extreme appearances. Those legs NEED to be that powerful-looking so she doesn’t collapse on herself like a top-heavy Barbie doll.

Plus, she’s not just a pair of legs. Look at her delicate facial features and long, swan-like neck. Everything about her is meant to convey grace and class. And when you consider the main mechanic of the game is to make a long string of unbroken attacks in rapid, flowing succession, those are good qualities to have.

Still, there’s no denying that Bayonetta is still heavily sexualized. But, in her case, that’s actually a good thing because…

She knows she’s sexy… and she LOVES it

A large part of my recent journey through gender transition has been building up a positive body image by appreciating the sensuality of my body. Of course, when you work at a rest stop and have a horde of lonely truckers and construction workers – male, female, and otherwise – reminding you of that sensuality on a weekly basis, you tend to enjoy the attention (even though they should REALLY not be doing that to someone who’s on the clock; that’s just rude).

My point is that I’ve learned that flirting can be fun and can make you feel good when done right. And Bayonetta embodies this idea. A lot of people have criticized her for ‘moving like a stripper’ in game, but she always makes it clear that she does so by her own choice (“As long as there’s music, I’ll keep on dancing”). Besides, what’s wrong with erotic dancing anyway? It’s a perfectly noble art that requires years of training and conditioning to do well. I respect anyone with the physical fortitude and self-confidence to perform stark-naked like that for an audience.

And before any of you bring up her “wicked weave”, yes, the fact that her hair is both her costume and her most powerful weapon does lend itself to fanservice. But screw that; if I had a magical updo, you better believe I’d use it for some new wardrobes (“I can’t help it if I like the little outfits”).

She’s one of the few women that work the “sexuality as a weapon” angle well

Here’s the thing you need to understand about depictions of women in games; for the longest time, there were only two flavors of women.

The first is the cutesy one – small, meek, and gentle. She’s the sort of girl that’s designed to encourage you to want to protect her; i.e., “She just needs a big, strong person around.”

The other is the ice queen – hard, tough, and mostly disinterested in others; ESPECIALLY romantic advances. Whether intentional or not, it reassures the audience that it’s okay to think she’s hot because she doesn’t care anyway.

Both of these are (god, I hate this word…) problematic as one puts the woman on a pedestal and the other outright objectifies her. So how does Bayonetta approach this dilemma?

Bayonetta is not helpless; she can take down entire armies of the most powerful beings in Heaven, Earth, and Hell with ease. But, she’s not cold either; she displays a wide variety of emotions throughout the game and cares a great deal about her own personal enjoyment in particular. This results in a personality that is eager to find pleasure but is skeptical that YOU are the one that can provide it.

Do you get it yet? She’s not a cute princess, nor is she an ice queen; she’s SEXUALLY INTIMIDATING and you, aroused audience member lost in the fantasy, need to cope with that.

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Meghan Trainor’s Is Bad Advice For Women (And Insulting To Lonely Men)

Well, I teased it last week. I might as well say for real this time; I have no trust or faith left in Meghan Trainor as an artist.

What started as a few misgivings I noticed in All About That Bass devolved into anti-male insults in Lips Are Movin’ and again into outdated 50’s patriarchal family values in Dear Future Husband. But I feel that it’s her latest offering, , that encapsulates everything wrong her message as an artist.

I could complain about how she’s sold out and traded in the 50’s classic rock sound for a generic ‘angry girl’ pop sound, but this isn’t about her sound. This is about the text and subtext of her work; what she wants us to do with our lives as a society and how she’s demonstrably wrong.

So let’s waste no time. I’m going to breakdown Trainor’s lyrics to prove that she A) genuinely hates men and B) doesn’t know how feminism works.

“I think it’s so cute and I think it’s so sweet/How you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me”

Wait, that’s a charming trait to you? Most people I know would take having to be goaded to do something as a sign of cowardice or lack of character. It’s not an accurate assessment I grant you, but it is the prevailing knowledge.

Also, please remember this; it’s going come back to bite her in her bass (*obligatory reference achieved*)

“But let me stop you there, oh, before you speak”

You might want to remember this too because she’s about to make a bunch of snap judgments on this guy without exchanging two words with him.

“My name is no/My sign is no/My number is no”

Okay, so this is ACTUALLY a good message to preach. After all, it’s important for everyone – men, women, and otherwise – to know that they have the right to refuse to put up with sexual harassment. I have no problems with this. It’s how she’s going to try to preach this word that bugs me.

Also, and I realize how petty a complaint this is, but has ANYONE worth being taken seriously ever used the phrase ‘what’s your sign’ unironically? I’m sorry, but I hear people treat that like a legit pick-up line and want to immediately want to deduct 20 IQ points.

“First you gonna say you ain’t runnin’ game, thinkin’ I’m believing every word”

That’s a pretty big leap in logic considering you stopped him before he could even speak to you. For all you know, you left your purse at the bar after your third Long Island Iced Ted and he just wants to return it.

“Call me beautiful, so original, telling me I’m not like other girls”

You know what Meg, You’re right. I shouldn’t pay you unoriginal complements. I should just tell you that you’re a sloppy bitch with the face of a bulldog and be on my way.

I understand the feeling of being approached by an undesirable. I really do. But even I’m not such a dick as to throw a legit compliment back in someone’s face. Are you telling me there was no more gentle way to turn this guy down? ESPECIALLY when you consider that you know he’s already so emotionally frail and nervous around you that he needed his friends to encourage him to even speak?

Actually, no. You don’t even KNOW that he was going to pay you a backhanded compliment because you shot him down before he got a word out.

“I was in my zone before you came along, now I’m thinking maybe you should go”

Well, how the hell did I know what you wanted? I’m not psychic; I’m human. We talk and communicate in order to exchange thoughts and ideas. Are you seeing the problem here, yet?

Wait, this song implies that we’re at a club. If you didn’t what to socialize with people, why the F*** are you in a social setting? If you just wanted to get drunk and dance with friends, you could have done that with fewer interruptions and less money with a bottle of rum and your Spotify playlist in your overpriced seaside house in Nantucket, Massachusetts.

“Blah, blah, blah, I be like nah to the ah to the no, no, no”

You know what OTHER phrase makes me deduct IQ points from you? ‘Blah blah blah.’ Not only does it sound childish, but it also implies that the speaker is closed minded and unthinking.

Seriously, Meg, You would have been better off saying ‘Yadda yadda yadda’ at this point.

“All my ladies, listen up/If that boy ain’t giving up/Lick your lips and swing your hips”

HOLY S***, that is TERRIBLE advice!

Girls, listen to me. Generally speaking, directed lip-licking and booty shaking are signs of sexual interest. So when you flirt like that with someone and then IMMEDIATELY shoot them down, you aren’t being some unstoppable valkyrie; you are mercilessly taunting a total stranger.

Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say Trainor is right and this guy IS a massive douchebag trying to get in her pants. What do you think a large, aggressive, primitive thinking and sexually frustrated human is likely to do when the woman of his affections taunts him with the fact that he ain’t getting any?

… Yeah, let that sink in. And if it’s not you because there are too many people around to get away with it, he’ll find someone just like you.

Congratulations, Meg. You just made the Men’s Rights Activists look right. Now we have to deal with even MORE of their ignorant garbage.

“Thank you in advance, I don’t wanna dance/I don’t need your hands all over me/If I want a man, then I’mma get a man/But it’s never my priority”

Okay, I could reiterate how you don’t ACTUALLY know this guy’s intent and the paradox of being anti-social in a social setting, but this is significantly better. We’re back to the message of sexual independence and not owing anyone anything in regards to sex. Awesome. Can we stay on this path?

“I was in my zone, before you came along, don’t want you to take this personal”

Of course not…

Meg, when you flat-out admit that you knew how nervous I was to speak to you, make massive assumptions about my intent, and then actively build up my confidence just to break me down again, HOW AM I TO TAKE THAT ANY OTHER WAY THAN PERSONAL?

Also, please stop saying, “… in my zone.” You’re just reminding me of Kanye West and you have enough problems without being associated with an egomaniacal rapper… though that may be an apt description if you keep on the path you’re on now.

“I’m feeling/Untouchable, untouchable”

And speaking as someone who was routinely targeted by bullies throughout his public school life – including having his hand broken, being thrown head first into a concrete wall, and being wheeled out of school with a concussion – THAT’S when you need to be most on guard.

Nothing will get you in more trouble than acting like you’re indestructible. You start to overestimate yourself and are more likely to treat others as beneath you. All it takes is one person to get sick of your pompous B.S. and you’re headed for a fall.

Also, this bridge is infuriatingly repetitive. Like, to the point where it feels a lot longer than it actually is.


So, all that being said, how should you ACTUALLY handle a pushy prick at the bar?

Well, for starters, be on guard while maintaining a respectful atmosphere. Let them say their piece and if you aren’t interested, politely decline.

If they press the matter, don’t be afraid to seek help. This is something these Faux-Feminist anthems tend to leave out since the authorities that could help (bartenders and bouncers, in this case) are typically men. And, “we can’t have men around to aid the cause of women. That would make us seem hypocritical and won’t sell albums. Sorry, can’t hear your logic and legitimate concerns over the sound of all this MONEY!”

So to conclude the longest rant I’ve ever gone on,  I hate this song and, by extension, the woman who sings it because they promote a ‘us versus them’ mentality to sexual politics, give potentially dangerous advice, and think that the best way to combat gender discrimination is to objectify the other side even more than what they were inflicting on you.

I can’t be the only one that sees the folly in acting like this; emulating the worst aspects of arrogance and cruelty found in the people we can’t stand. Even if you do buy into Trainor’s ‘boys are stupid; throw rocks at them’ mentality, do you really want to live in a world where the only way to be respected as a woman… is to act like a man?

Nicki Minaj and “Anaconda” Are NOT Feminist

Do you want to know what is the most infuriating thing as a sex-positive feminist? People confusing sexual marketing for sex-positive feminism.

Female rapper Nicki Minaj has been stirring up controversy lately with her latest single Anaconda, where she is supposedly (I personally see little difference from her usual schtick) more sexual in her verses and her video then ever before.

Rather than writing her off as another sad example of the trope of sex obsessed rap music though, it seems that people have been flocking to her defense and justifying the existence of Minaj’s new single by claiming it’s a feminist rallying cry.

… We ARE listening to the same song here, right? I mean, I listened to the whole thing from start to finish multiple times and the only message I got from her was, “I can use my booty as a bartering chip to trade for anything I want.”

I guess you could make the argument that if men are foolish enough to be stupefied by T&A, then they deserve to have a beautiful woman fleece him out of everything he owns. But, on that same note, it shouldn’t be the only thing that a lady (or even a man for that matter) should aspire to. What about getting an education? Are you not interested in becoming a respected player in a high-powered field of business? No, you’re content with being your sugar daddy’s sex toy? Okay, your loss then.

More annoying are the people with the gall to claim that Minaj’s blatant sampling of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Baby Got Back is her taking back the song for women and that it was one of the most sexist moments in music history.

As I briefly observed in my article on one-hit-wonders, Mix intended Baby Got Back as an indictment of the fashion and media industries and their narrow minded, sexist, and even racist standards of beauty.

Now, one could claim that Mix was just trading one standard of beauty for another. However, you could also see how other songs, including Anaconda, are even more guilty of that accusation. Plus, any song whose verses include, “I’m tired of magazines / Sayin’ flat butts are the thing,” and, “So, Cosmo says, ‘You’re fat.’ / Well, I ain’t down with that,” is clearly out to make a change.

Do you want to know who the REAL sex-positive feminist icons of music are? Because they aren’t difficult to find.

Meghan Trainor released a single recently about defying the standard of beauty that was handled expertly and was really catchy at that.

One-hit-wonder female rapper Tweet did a whole song with Missy Elliot about how important, natural, and healthy female masturbation is.

And speaking of Missy, she made an entire career out of the phrase, “I have a vagina, I don’t fit the standard, and I’m sexually active; deal with it.”

My point is this; there is a very broad and visible line between using your sexuality to deliver a positive message and being a literal corporate whore and, honestly, Nicki Minaj is either not smart enough or too lazy to be the former.

Also, it’s hard to take any perceived sex-positive message seriously when it comes from the mouth of a woman that lied about her sexual preferences to sell more records.

Bottom line (no pun intended), I don’t appreciate someone literally sticking their thong-clad butt in my face only to figuratively fart in it.