So, apparently, there is maybe, sort of, perhaps a possibility that Halo 3 will get a female voice for its multiplayer mode. I’m not a fan of Halo 3, so the decision doesn’t exactly affect me. Though back in the day when I had this mythical thing called “time” I was disappointed that the FPS games I played either had no female characters or inappropriately sexualized their female player characters, so it would be nice to see an FPS giving a nod to the women playing even if I’m not one of them.
However, despite assurances from Bungie’s website that the voice “wonâ€™t be comical, stereotypical or insulting â€“ weâ€™ll pick a great, strong female actress who can pull off bloodcurdling death cries and rattles,” (which, if true, would be great; the whole orgasmic death thing creeps me out) I have a hard time taking someone seriously who didn’t even bother to use the word “woman” when addressing and talking about the female gamers.
The poster, Frankie, starts off by saying:
Hey, ladies. Yeah, Iâ€™m talking to you, ladies.
I will refrain from ranting about the use and abuse of the term “lady” in modern vernacular, but the facts are he comes off as condescending right off the bat. Most often times I hear men using that term when they’re making advances towards women, or otherwise viewing them through a sexualized lens. I also feel like the whole “I’m talking to you” thing comes across as if he’s entitled to our attention and is petulant because we’re ignoring him after the first “hey, ladies.”
Perhaps this is just my own experience, but he goes on to say this:
I myself am constantly pooned and then humped by ladies.
Okay, wait, let me back up and quote that again (in bold this time): I myself am constantly pooned and then humped by ladies.
First off, while it obviously means being beaten, I’m not sure if “pooned” is Halo’s version of “pwned”, a reference to a CS flash movie where the guy is like, “I’m going to go poon me some n00bs,” or what. But, where I come from, “poon” (as in “poontang”) is slang for vagina/sex. So to me, that imagery followed up by the blatant reference to “humping” is a clear sexualization of the female gamers he’s addressing.
Which, of course, he follows up with:
That is not sexy like it sounds, btw. Itâ€™s humiliating.
I think that line is one of the clearest examples of why the idea that women’s sexual power over men is stronger than men’s power over women is a fallacy. Bear with me here. In talking about him (a male player) being defeated by female players he first of all plays it up as a sexual thing with the “humping” reference. Their victory, then, is subverted (at least in part) because by sexualizing them he’s making them an object of his lust.
But, of course, the fact remains that he lost to them and he can’t help but remind us that, far from being sexy, being beaten by a girl in America when you’re male is humiliating (and the male can be either a boy or a man, but the girl is always a girl regardless of her age). Thus reinforcing the power structure of male as default and female as lesser — nothing’s more humilating than when someone who you don’t percieve to be as good as you achieves a victory.
He then condescends to his female readership by calling them “girls”. Men get the term “dude” which, while not as adult as “men” is still not as infantalizing as “girl”. There is one occurence of the term “man” in the post; it refers to the Master Chief as “all man”.
But, really, I’m not sure which is the kicker: the fact that, after his patronizing two paragraphs, he postulates that some of the female players will find the inclusion of a female voice as patronizing, or that he says that, “Anyone who says anything stupid or sexist in the discussion forum will be megabanned.”
Why don’t you start with yourself, Frankie, for taking a good idea and presenting it in one of the most patronizing and sexist ways I can imagine?
Today it really seems like the adage about “one step forward, two steps back” is really true…
Via Jade Reporting.