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Feminism and Fat Princess

I am tired of hearing self-proclaimed feminists bashing the game Fat Princess. Besides the fact that this is a game and should not be misconstrued as anything else, there are many points that are being outright ignored concerning this issue.

I have made several comments on the now well-known Shakesville "feminist" blog. I'm not going to link to it, because I think that what they are doing in the name of feminism concerning this debate is ridiculous. In fact, doing anything in the name of a cause merely means you are too cowardly to do it in the name of yourself (see: Christians slaughering thousands in the name of God, GWB bombing Iraq in the name of national security, etc). My comments, though not offensive in any way (I never cursed, used the words "fat" or "fatty," and did not make personal attacks), have been blocked by the moderator. However this is an issue I feel strongly about, and I can't sit around silently while these people pat themselves on the back and say "Job well done!" after blocking all intelligent comments and simply claiming they are victims who deserve to rip apart those who leave negative comments.

Feminism is defined as the movement towards women having equal rights as men. In its infancy, this movement was developed specifically for women to be legally guaranteed these rights. In today's post-feminism world, the government has ensured that women have their equality. Feminism has now moved on simply to the idea that women are people. To say that one gender is superior to the other, male or female, is considered sexist. What most feminists are a part of now is cultural feminism, which largely deals with gender roles in the culture we live in today.

What does this have to do with the Fat Princess debate that rages? Let's take a look.

Many of these feminists were offended by the idea of Fat Princess. Weight issues aside, the core complaint seems to be the idea that the female figure is weak and needs rescuing. The plot of this game is one that has been used time and time again, and yet I have heard no thundering of voices, no unified outcry against a game before this. This is because any real feminist realizes that this situation is pure fantasy and not meant to be a commentary on gender roles. If it was, why would the first well known video game hero be a fat, Italian plumber? Do you see men running around complaining that they are not fairly represented in video games? No, they enjoy the game for what it is: entertainment.

Women may still say that the female gender is still being misrepresented and that it needs to stop. However, that is a process that is already beginning. More and more companies these days realize that women are also important consumers, and therefore make strong female characters. Samus, Joanna Dark, Dawn Star, and even Lara Croft all represent girls who kick some serious ass. Thinking back, I actually can't remember a game I've played in the last 5 years that has a male character rescuing a female character. In most of the games I've played within the last year (Persona 3, Orange Box, Rock Band) women are portrayed as an equally important part of the action and story line. In fact Portal is widely regarded as being one of the most innovative games created for a current-gen system, and there are no male characters to be found.

What this really comes down to is one, simple fact: This is not a feminist issue. Yes, a princess has been kidnapped--however in most kidnapping situations, no matter what the gender, the victim is helpless. In Persona 3 (spoilers?), one of the male characters gets kidnapped by a woman. Isn't this what we can consider equal? There are dozens of games where women are the heroes or are portrayed as strong individuals, and dozens more where men are the protagonists. In fact even in games where the male is the dominant figure, it is unusual today for a strong female supporting role to be absent.

So what is the real issue at hand? What I find amusing is that this game only seems to offend overweight feminists (with maybe a handful of others mixed in to show their support). Dragging feminism into the picture is a ploy to take the attention away from what these people are really offended by: portrayal of an obese woman in a video game.

Honestly? Any woman who is has self esteem and self confidence would not be offended by something so trivial. I'm not offended by the stereotypical big-breasted, thin-waisted women that are in video games because they don't make me feel insecure or inadequate. These are fantasy characters and the whole point is that they are not real. Not. Real. Why should I be offended by something that isn't even real?

These women will not listen to the arguments that the princess in the game is force fed as a tactic, and that her extra weight is not discouraging her people from saving her. If this game is at all meant to be a social commentary, I think it is saying that over-eating unhealthy foods is detrimental (especially if someone is trying to rescue you).

I'll take it back to a point that was made in the movie "Super Size Me." It's ok to walk up to a stranger who is smoking and say, "You know that stuff's going to kill you" but you can't walk up to an overweight person in a fast food line and say the same thing. You can say it to a thin person (I've had people say it to me when I worked at Wendy's) but saying it to someone who is overweight is apparently offensive. This is because people identify so strongly with how they look as a major part of who they are as a person. Changing what you say based on how someone looks? That kind of sounds like bigotry to me...

This "controversy" has become an endless loop; point out that this is not a feminist issue and they'll say it's making fun of fat people. However if you start out by explaining that it's not a game meant to make fun of fat people and it's suddenly all about inaccurate portrayal of women as a helpless gender.

These so-called feminists are also not doing anything to protest the production of this game. For all of the time they spent troll baiting, they could have written emails to the developers, started a petition against the game, or even protested outside of the studio. How dare these women call themselves feminists when all they do is sit on a computer whining about how this game sucks and is unfair yet haven't even bothered trying to do something about it. Either laugh it off and ignore it or go do something. The one thing I can't stand are people who sit around complaining about how their lives suck or the world is unfair but don't bother doing anything to try and change it.

Maybe if they got off their asses once in a while, they wouldn't be so fucking fat in the first place.

This blog was getting too serious, had to throw a fat joke in there somewhere :)
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About nintendollone of us since 7:30 PM on 04.12.2007

I'm a woman who loves her video games. I'm also pretty much a nerd for all that is nerdy: MST3K/Riff Trax, Star Wars, Anime/Manga, Kevin Smith, X-men Comics, and of course all things video games. Someday, I would look to get paid to write for and/or about video games. I'm awesome, so it'll will probably happen.

I have a strong hatred for the Atlantic Ocean.

Yoshi BBFs forever: Me, Suff0cat, Wardrox, and ScottyG.

Preferred games are RPGs and puzzle games. I like the occasional FPS (Timesplitters: FuturePerfect being my favorite) and some racing (Burnout Reveeeeenge).

Current Games:
Burnout Paradise
Left 4 Dead
Space Invaders Extreme
Harvest Moon Island of Happiness
Chrono Trigger DS

My Project 365
That link is to some of my photography/photoshop art done for Project 365. If you don't know what Project 365 is, GOOGLE IT DUH.

Notable C-Blogs:
The Start of the Affair: Harvest Moon

I also write a bit for Negative Gamer.

Xbox LIVE:Nintendoll
Mii code:nintendoll


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