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Response to Bayonetta being a souless shell

Reading through the comments in the article that Mr. Holmes wrote on Kamiyama's views towards women (http://www.destructoid.com/bayonetta-dev-to-one-woman-all-other-women-are-enemies-191213.phtml#commentbox) brings to light 2 disparate views on the Bayonetta character. In one camp, there is the thought that Bayonetta is nothing but an over sexualized toy, used to obtain the money of guy gamers. The other camp believes that it is because of this dominating sexuality that makes Bayonetta a self conscious parody of sexualized video game women. I think that these to camps of thought are fascinating because they seem to be separated by a thin line. This line would be the question: is the sexualization of Bayonetta just stupid sexyness or is this same sexualization so intense that it transcends "souless sexy shell" and into the realm of character archetype parody? I firmly believe that Bayonetta is able to place it self into the category of parody and I hope that my examples will convince you of the same.

Bayonetta and the Pussycat Dolls are alike because they both make use of intense sexualization. The difference between their approaches to this sexualization, however, is what sets them apart. The Pussycat Dolls' form of sexualization does it's best to empower the members of the group but ultimately fails because sex is both the tool and the goal. When I watched Pussycat videos I thought that the were being very sexy but to what end? It seemed like they were strutting their stuff and showing off in order to become more empowered so that they could... strut their stuff and show off more. Here lies the fatal flaw in the Pussycat Dolls approach to "sexuality = empowered". When the tool (sex) is also the goal (more sex), it makes the Pussycat Dolls ultimately fail at empowering women because, in the end, they are still doing one thing and one thing only: pleasing men. This is important. No matter how hard the Pussycat Dolls try, no matter how "empowered" they become, they are still just wank material for men. Bayonetta does the opposite.

Sex is, indeed, a tool that Bayonetta uses. However, unlike the Dolls, sex is NOT the goal. Instead of using her sexuality as a means to further pleasure us guys a la Doll's style, Bayonetta uses her sexuality as an implement of killing. Her goal is not to strut her stuff and show off. Her goal is to obtain dominance over her enemies. Here lies the fundamental difference between Bayonetta and the Pussycat Dolls. Instead of having to be sexy in order to be more sexy and thus ultimately falling prey to the whims of men, Bayonetta uses being sexy in order to obtain dominance. This fundamental difference between having to and using is why Bayonetta is able to transcend mere "plaything" label and catapult herself in the realm of clever character archetype parody.


Bayonetta also differs from your usual over sexualized gaming women on an artistic level. Look at the character design for Chun Li. She is the strongest women on earth yet when she wins a match, she breaks out into her "yatta!" little-girly-speauling routine. This is purposely done to soften her character so that the men who are playing her can still feel sexually superior to Chun Li by way of softening her character. In the back of men's minds, Chun Li is just a perky little girl who happens to be really good at fighting, not the other way around. Now look at Bayonetta. There is absolutely nothing about her that is even remotely close to being submissive. Her personality is dominant, her fighting abilities are dominant, and, more importantly, her sexuality is dominant. Bayonetta is not softened at all and instead of trying to make her sexually acceptable to men, she is, in fact, sexually intimidating. Can you believe that? A video game female that actually makes the male player feel small and insignificant in bed. Sure, Bayonetta wants sex. But are you the one to give it to her? No way in hell, you're not. This complete sexual dominance over the player is also why Bayonetta transcends the shackles of sexy video game women. Instead of being really sexy and stopping at a point where men still feel in control, Bayonetta says "Oh, you like sexy women in your games? Well how about this much more, then? And more? And more? And more?! And MORE?!?! AND MORE?!?!?! AND MOAR?!?!?!??!?!". In other words, she gives male players exactly what they want, sexy women in game, BUT she gives them so much that they are completely dominated by her onslaught of sexual power. Also, remember that, unlike the Pussycat Dolls, giving the player sexual pleasure is NOT her goal. As was said above, her sexuality is a tool and unlike the Pussycat Dolls having to use their sexuality in order to gain enough empowerment to still do nothing but use their sexuality, Bayonetta uses her sexuality to obtain a different goal which is domination over her enemies.

I hope that this bit of writing has clearly expressed my views as to why I think that Bayonetta does not stop at just being sexy and, instead, breaks through to a new realm of sexually dominating and sexually intimidating video game women who also parody the archetype of sexy video game women.

Note: I will post a link to the Game Overthink'ers video later but for now, Screwattack.com is not accessible.
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About Jomonoeone of us since 9:40 AM on 03.04.2010