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VoxRationis
2015-09-30, 12:09 PM
The chainmail bikini and its various equivalents are one of the most notorious scourges of fantasy art. They're impractical, they're objectifying, and they're an insult to the viewer, since the artist apparently thinks we can't think positively of a work without seeing a half-naked woman somewhere in it. It bugs me when I see this sort of thing, and I've resolved never to draw them (although that's probably made somewhat cheaply easy by the fact that I don't draw people all that much). I am far from the first person to espouse this kind of thought on the matter; goto124 has an entire thread about fixing them (in the "Arts and Crafts" section).
However, I hear a lot less about the other end of the spectrum in fantasy armor and equipment: ridiculous plate armor. Pauldrons that go higher than the head, three-inch-thick plates in awkward positions (like on the forearm, weighing down the arm for no reason), designs that clearly can't articulate outside of the position we currently see them in, and that weird thing Pathfinder art has with the sort of plate armor obi strapped on everyone's midriff, so they can't bend over even a little... The list goes on. I don't hear as much about this, probably because it's not blatantly misogynist like the chainmail bikini, but in its own way, impractical plate is almost as bad as the bikini mail; it makes the armor impractical for the sake of looking better, of exemplifying machismo (in most cases). In many cases, the wearer would be better off with a chainmail bikini, because at least they could then lift their arms above their shoulders, or look to the side without turning their whole body around.
So what I'm getting at is this: Does this bother anyone else like it bothers me?

Ninja_Prawn
2015-09-30, 12:20 PM
Honestly? No, it doesn't bother me as much. Partly because it doesn't seem to be as pervasive (that or it's just harder to spot so it goes under the radar), partly because it's less problematic from a sexual objectification angle (I get that "masculinity=muscles=intimidating" is bad, but it's clearly not as bad as "women exist only as accessories to male fantasy") and partly because a warrior with (in D&D terms) a Strength of 18 or 20 is so incredibly strong that a few oversized armguards aren't really going to be an issue.

TheIronGolem
2015-09-30, 12:22 PM
I acknowledge its silliness, but it doesn't bother me. I consider it the fantasy equivalent of a modern superhero's outfit - impractical and wouldn't work in real life, but acceptable in a genre where realistic physics are unnecessary or even detrimental to the story and action.

Regitnui
2015-09-30, 12:28 PM
That's one of my primary objections to Warhammer/40K and WoW, along with the games and designs that take inspiration from them. StarCraft, by contrast, gives us a good reason for the space marines having bulky armour; it's a spacesuit as well as a suit of armour. Warcraft has no similar justification; an orc does not need pauldrons twice the size of his head.

VoxRationis
2015-09-30, 12:33 PM
That's one of my primary objections to Warhammer/40K and WoW, along with the games and designs that take inspiration from them. StarCraft, by contrast, gives us a good reason for the space marines having bulky armour; it's a spacesuit as well as a suit of armour. Warcraft has no similar justification; an orc does not need pauldrons twice the size of his head.

Actually, StarCraft's armor is one of the worst. Aside from the fact that space suits don't need enormous ball-shaped pauldrons, the suit is so ridiculously bulky that the individual inside can't actually articulate properly within it. In one of the cinematics for StarCraft II, we see that the hand of the individual inside the armor is halfway inside the forearm of the armor, which does mean you don't need to have gorilla-length arms to use it, but also means that the elbow joint of the armor is either midway through the forearm of the wearer, and thus the only way to bend the armor's arm is to snap one's own, or the armor physically removes one's arms from their sockets and puts them further down to match up the joint locations.

Flickerdart
2015-09-30, 12:34 PM
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2f/0a/d3/2f0ad37626462bc2a653697898fa354c.jpg

Fantasy has nothing on sci-fi games.

CoggieRagabash
2015-09-30, 01:02 PM
If armor is a special interest of yours then I can see why this would be a bother, but I don't consider the two problems to be entirely comparable. They both involve inaccuracy and impractical armor, but chainmail bikini syndrome is part of an overall issue where women aren't simply being depicted as cool and powerful in the same way that male figures are in D&D but routinely as sexualized objects.

That said I do sympathize. Interests of mine include zoology and anthropology and many fantasy settings handle animals, ecology and cultures rather clumsily. Kvetch a little, it's all in good fun, and commend examples of things being done right, but it's best not to let clumsily handled parts of your hobby get too deep under your skin. A little MST3K Mantra goes a long way, imho!

Amphetryon
2015-09-30, 01:35 PM
If armor is a special interest of yours then I can see why this would be a bother, but I don't consider the two problems to be entirely comparable. They both involve inaccuracy and impractical armor, but chainmail bikini syndrome is part of an overall issue where women aren't simply being depicted as cool and powerful in the same way that male figures are in D&D but routinely as sexualized objects.


This is why Conan was always portrayed as wearing practical armor for combat; unlike the women in his world, he was never presented as some sort of idealized, sexualized object in the cover art.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-09-30, 01:35 PM
I guess the sci-fi examples get a little better when a work makes these things explicitly power armor/tiny mecha. This doesn't fix if there is no room for the drivers arm moving inside the suit's arm, but at least it helps with the "this armor is too thick" part. They're wearing that much armor because they want to be a tank and they can wear it because the inner part of the suit has the strength to carry that armor. (Sure, mecha and power armor have plenty of their own problems, especially at the point where they start getting into the territory of traditional armored vehicles, but that's an other can of worms altogether.)

NRSASD
2015-09-30, 01:39 PM
Horrendously implausible male armor does bother me a bit, but not as much as the aforementioned chainmail bikini. I sometimes jokingly use it as an example of "male objectification in fantasy/sci-fi" but the truth of the matter is that it really isn't comparable to how insulting and degrading many female fantasy armors are. A space marine with pauldrons the size of a cow on each shoulder is, at worst, crushed to death by his implausible armor, but it just reflects how little the artist who drew him knows about actual armor. A female "soldier" in a bikini manages to convey all sorts of unsavory undertones about misogyny, objectification, victimization (look how vulnerable she is!), and other unsettling concepts that are best left unmentioned. That is why I have to agree with the rest of the posters here: male fantasy armor is bad, but female armor is far worse.

Mark Hall
2015-09-30, 01:50 PM
Horrendously implausible male armor does bother me a bit, but not as much as the aforementioned chainmail bikini. I sometimes jokingly use it as an example of "male objectification in fantasy/sci-fi" but the truth of the matter is that it really isn't comparable to how insulting and degrading many female fantasy armors are. A space marine with pauldrons the size of a cow on each shoulder is, at worst, crushed to death by his implausible armor, but it just reflects how little the artist who drew him knows about actual armor. A female "soldier" in a bikini manages to convey all sorts of unsavory undertones about misogyny, objectification, victimization (look how vulnerable she is!), and other unsettling concepts that are best left unmentioned. That is why I have to agree with the rest of the posters here: male fantasy armor is bad, but female armor is far worse.

This tends to be my position. The overworked armors (or the ridiculous weapons, apparently made out of jagged tin foil) annoy me, but the barely-there chainmail bikini tends to be worse.

'Course, I also love Gail Simone's Red Sonja, so I'm not completely consistent.

Mr.Moron
2015-09-30, 02:00 PM
This tends to be my position. The overworked armors (or the ridiculous weapons, apparently made out of jagged tin foil) annoy me, but the barely-there chainmail bikini tends to be worse.

'Course, I also love Gail Simone's Red Sonja, so I'm not completely consistent.

Well, The chainmail Bikini is really rather fine on it's own in a vacuum. Sexy is fine, improbably outfits are fine, outfits that are improbable for sake of being sexy are also fine. They're only put a problem when put into a broader context that lacks alternatives and is part of historical trend of women as sexual objects. So liking a single work that uses the trope, or even liking a particular instance of the trope for what it is isn't at odds with also recognizing that the proliferation of it is a problem and that on average things are better off without chainmail bikinis than without them.

You can enjoy a greasy Cheeseburger and Fries without thinking that food is healthy, without thinking it's what you should eat at all the time, and while also recognizing that too many people eat too much of it, and that the amount of greasy cheeseburgers being eaten is a real problem in the world today.

Since the dudes-with-giant pauldrons things has plenty of alternatives and isn't part of any troubling historical trends, it's a bit different. It's more like eating cake batter. Sure it's still junk food, but it's probably not contributing to the obesity epidemic the way fast food is.

Eugoraton Feiht
2015-09-30, 02:07 PM
Actually, StarCraft's armor is one of the worst. Aside from the fact that space suits don't need enormous ball-shaped pauldrons, the suit is so ridiculously bulky that the individual inside can't actually articulate properly within it. In one of the cinematics for StarCraft II, we see that the hand of the individual inside the armor is halfway inside the forearm of the armor, which does mean you don't need to have gorilla-length arms to use it, but also means that the elbow joint of the armor is either midway through the forearm of the wearer, and thus the only way to bend the armor's arm is to snap one's own, or the armor physically removes one's arms from their sockets and puts them further down to match up the joint locations.

If you read the books they explain it as being power armor. A majority of the suit has machinery in it which then responds to the human inside the suit. Think along the lines of MechWarrior. The mech isn't armor, it's a giant robotic suit for you to sit in.

CoggieRagabash
2015-09-30, 02:07 PM
You can enjoy a greasy Cheeseburger and Fries without thinking that food is healthy, without thinking it's what you should eat at the time, while also recognizing that too many people eat too much of it, and that the amount of greasy cheeseburgers being eaten is a real problem.

This is a good analogy. As much as I definitely don't want to see them in most books, I also don't think there's a problem with enjoying an occasional chainmail bikini (or, for equality's sake, some sultry banana-hammock action), so long as you were aware it shouldn't be your usual, and know what it is you're consuming. You shouldn't feel guilty for an occasional indulgence, but also don't take it personally when people criticize your unhealthy treat.

Mr.Moron
2015-09-30, 02:22 PM
This is a good analogy. As much as I definitely don't want to see them in most books, I also don't think there's a problem with enjoying an occasional chainmail bikini (or, for equality's sake, some sultry banana-hammock action), so long as you were aware it shouldn't be your usual, and know what it is you're consuming. You shouldn't feel guilty for an occasional indulgence, but also don't take it personally when people criticize your unhealthy treat.

Well to continue further it's kind of a **** move to go up to someone eating a greasy cheeseburger, pointing at them and telling them they should be chomping into a nice garden salad. If you want to do anything but waste your breath it's very hard to approach as criticisms of individual "treats" as it were.

Given:
A) "OK. You have the right to eat that cheeseburger but it's full of fat, you shouldn't eat it, kids shouldn't eat, burgers are killing people!"
and
B) "Hey, yeah that cheeseburger looks pretty tasty and it's cool you're enjoying it. Have you ever tried a Lentil Soup? It's something I'm trying to get on more menus, a lot of us like it and we have darned time finding it anywhere".

A) is great for feeling self-righteous, and maybe rallying people who agree with you to be louder but it probably doesn't do much genuinely productive unless most people are already behind you.

Honest Tiefling
2015-09-30, 02:23 PM
Not really. Is it silly? Yes, yes it is. But I imagine it more appropriate for when 'rule of cool' trumps 'rule of making any dang sense'. As for exemplifying machismo...Is this a bad thing? Sometimes people just want to be invincible juggernauts and mow down plenty of baddies with questionable levels of reasoning. It's probably not terribly deep, but can be fun. And nothing says a lady cannot enjoy nor don her own ridiculously heavy armor. If women enjoy it too, is it exemplifying machismo, or power? Is assuming only men would derive fun from it or that it exemplifies manliness marginalizing their own enjoyment from the style of art and game play associated with it? I really don't think it is fair to call shooting zombies manly, it's good ol' fun everybody can enjoy!

TheOOB
2015-09-30, 02:31 PM
Do I like the overblown WoW style, no, do I have a problem with it existing, no.

Hell, there isn't even an inherent problem with the "chainmail bikini" style art either, there is nothing wrong with titillation and sex appeal, it's a problem when it becomes standard/the only way female characters are portrayed/is hurting an otherwise serious work.

Honest Tiefling
2015-09-30, 02:34 PM
Hell, there isn't even an inherent problem with the "chainmail bikini" style art either, there is nothing wrong with titillation and sex appeal, it's a problem when it becomes standard/the only way female characters are portrayed/is hurting an otherwise serious work.

I think there's other issues, like women being the only ones objectified, or when they start bleeding. Just...No. Stop that.

CoggieRagabash
2015-09-30, 02:35 PM
Well to continue further it's kind of a **** move to go up to someone eating a greasy cheeseburger, pointing at them and telling them they should be chomping into a nice garden salad. If you want to do anything but waste your breath it's very hard to approach as criticisms of individual "treats" as it were.

I agree on this regard. Unsolicited criticism of a specific person's consumption of an individual treat isn't going to do anyone any good; they will feel targeted and attacked, so nothing positive will be accomplished. The person consuming is unlikely to receive it well or learn anything if they aren't already aware of its issues, so the only real motivator is if you want to feel smug and superior or preach to the choir.

My point was more that if you're an occasional consumer of that proverbial greasy cheeseburger and there's an open discussion about greasy cheeseburgers and you see people criticizing them, that's when you shouldn't be taking it personally. People often do, as though a public discussion that chainmail bikinis are bad will have someone barrel down their door and rip Red Sonja from their hands.

Morty
2015-09-30, 02:36 PM
"Bother" is a strong word here. I don't like it, certainly. I'll pick sleek, realistic designs any day, both for weapons and armour. Contrary to popular opinion, they're not mutually exclusive with magic, epic heroism and thoroughly unrealistic action scenes. But it's not like it affects me personally, since I can ignore it.

It crosses the line into "bothering" in video games - since while in a tabletop game, I can just ignore the ridiculously impractical art and describe my characters at wearing something reasonable, video games tend to foist the former on you, unless you use mods.

Mr.Moron
2015-09-30, 02:45 PM
I agree on this regard. Unsolicited criticism of a specific person's consumption of an individual treat isn't going to do anyone any good; they will feel targeted and attacked, so nothing positive will be accomplished. The person consuming is unlikely to receive it well or learn anything if they aren't already aware of its issues, so the only real motivator is if you want to feel smug and superior or preach to the choir.

My point was more that if you're an occasional consumer of that proverbial greasy cheeseburger and there's an open discussion about greasy cheeseburgers and you see people criticizing them, that's when you shouldn't be taking it personally. People often do, as though a public discussion that chainmail bikinis being bad will barrel down your door and rip Red Sonja from their hands.

Well it is what it is, and their reactions are what they are. When encountering them your options are basically:


Ignore them in some fashion.
Argue with the usual terms until you're blue in the face.
Move your discussion to a space where such reactions aren't tolerated.
Find some way to frame your position in a way that's more palatable to them.



Where saying "You shouldn't take it so personally" as true as the statement may be, probably falls under #2 since that just isn't the kind of advice people take as anything but further attack. I can't speak to which one is the correct choice really, I personally tend to leans towards #1 though that isn't terribly effective in changing any minds. Though perhaps in all their indignant whining they'll make fools enough of themselves it'll convince other people. I guess it's just a matter of how much energy one is willing to invest towards what ends.

EDIT: This post isn't meant to disagree with anything you said really. I think what you're saying is correct. At this point I'm just kind of rambling on about it.

TheIronGolem
2015-09-30, 02:47 PM
I don't like it, certainly. I'll pick sleek, realistic designs any day, both for weapons and armour. Contrary to popular opinion, they're not mutually exclusive with magic, epic heroism and thoroughly unrealistic action scenes.

I don't think popular opinion holds that they are; it's not like Mass Effect forums are flooded with complaints that Commander Shepard needs bigger pauldrons. It's just that in some cases, the designers are aiming for a particular aesthetic, and the fact that the aesthetic clashes with real-world practicality isn't considered to be a problem because realism isn't a major goal of the setting.

ImNotTrevor
2015-09-30, 02:48 PM
That's one of my primary objections to Warhammer/40K and WoW, along with the games and designs that take inspiration from them. StarCraft, by contrast, gives us a good reason for the space marines having bulky armour; it's a spacesuit as well as a suit of armour. Warcraft has no similar justification; an orc does not need pauldrons twice the size of his head.

I would say that with WH40k, I actually don't mind it at all since it fits in with the lore as established.

the technology of WH40k's humanity is stagnant. So stagnant that innovation is actually FORBIDDEN and considered heresy.
So when you cant make something more advanced, where does the energy go? On making it more embellished. That's one of the reasons why gothic art from the middle ages looked like it did. Progress was pretty stagnant during those days, and so things were just embellished more. Made less practical and more fantastical.

There is absolutely no reason for a space marine's shoulders to be that huge. But they didn't design the armor to be practical. They designed it to be intimidating, powerful-looking, and ridiculously embellished.

Orks want to look intimidating and scary, too, so that's why they wear ridiculous shoulder armor. Practically nothing Orks do is meant to be done for the purpose of being efficient. Look at their mechs, vehicles, and weapons. "efficiency" and "practicality" are not words in the Ork language.

The other races, in comparison, tend to have fewer of these weirdnesses.

The Tau are pretty practical in terms of individual soldier armor. (They do have mechs, but given 40K's world, this isn't a horrible sin.)They do tend to have one shoulder that is equipped with a pseudo-shield, but it is on their non-firing arm and is positioned such that it wouldn't actually get in the way too badly, and the extra protection is likely worth it.
The Eldar have the sin of the overly huge cone-head thing, but for the most part the armor isn't too bad. (lots of capes, though. But how would we know they were space-elves without capes and such?)
The Dark Eldar, no one cares about.
The Necron are robots. Their armor isn't worn, but just a part of their body. And even then, isn't nearly so overly huge in the shoulder areas. For the most part, they have big round things around their necks and behind their heads, but this won't adversely affect most of their movement, especially if they're built to compensate for that part of their design. Robots. (and we can infer that their heads are vunerable to being cut off, so they don't want that. Hence the armor)
The forces of chaos are, for the most part, evil humans. Lots of the same design qualities. The demons themselves, well, we would be hard-pressed to call Chaos Gods masters of practical design.

So yeah, 40k actually manages to have something similar to a good reason why they make the choices they do.

CoggieRagabash
2015-09-30, 03:03 PM
EDIT: This post isn't meant to disagree with anything you said really. I think what you're saying is correct. At this point I'm just kind of rambling on about it.

Oh it's no problem, I figured we were both ultimately in agreement, just hashing out details.

I would not generally say "you shouldn't take it personally", at least not without an awful lot of caveats, but it's probably advice I would offer to a friend. It's advice I've taken myself, certainly. In my youth, like many people, I identified too much with things I enjoyed and considered an attack on them an attack on me.

But there's nothing wrong with saying 'I enjoy something that has problems'. If someone says you're a bad person for consuming something just because it has some unhealthy attitudes or ideas presented within, they shouldn't be taken too seriously. Literally no work is perfect, nearly every one betrays some unconscious prejudice or bigotry. Accept it for what it is rather than making excuses for why greasy food isn't greasy, seek out and praise good works for what they do well and be at peace with the troubled works you like is my advice.

warty goblin
2015-09-30, 03:08 PM
To be frank, I more or less prefer the chainmail bikini. The first necessity for anybody in a sword fight is to be able to move. An outfit consisting solely of steel mesh foundation garments offers close to zero protection, but does not interfere particularly with the prime directive of actually, you know, fighting. Strapping a couple of manhole covers to your shoulders and calling 'em pauldrons however does; so I conclude the lady in iron underpants is actually more sensibly attired than the guy in the 'practical and protective' armor that's 'appropriate for his job'.

I mean, both are dressed like idiots, but one of them is less so. Ms. Iron Underpants would totally cut Mr. Protective Armor's throat any day of the week. Or walk at a moderate pace in the other direction until he keels over from exhaustion.

Strigon
2015-09-30, 03:09 PM
I'd say yes, it bothers me, but not in the way you'd think.
Honestly, I don't care much for the argument of objectifying women/men, or how they're not treated equally; in part, this is because I find the argument of how people are drawn in art for a fantasy game more than a bit frivolous, and in part because I've spent too much time on the internet and I'm just sick of these arguments, whether right or wrong. There's only so many times you can listen to the same rant, after all.

The reason it bothers me is that I just don't want to see it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a straight guy; girls are as attractive to me as anyone else in the world, but seeing that puts me right off a game; not because it's the symbol of patriarchical bigotry and everything wrong with the world, but because it's just not the sort of game I'd like to play, and when I'm playing a game, I want to play a game. It's distracting, it makes me feel uncomfortable, and it looks sleazy and cheap.

To put it another way, imagine your favourite song. Nice to listen to when you feel like listening to music, right?
Now imagine you're watching a movie in the theatre and someone starts blaring that song. I don't care how much you love that song, you're there to watch the movie, and you will not be happy to hear that song.
If it came from the theatre's speaker system, you'll probably not go back to that theatre again.

That's exactly how I feel about chainmail bikinis; they're just annoying.

BWR
2015-09-30, 03:37 PM
Eh, it depends. I'm totally fine with this sort of stuff in itself but it is not appropriate for all games. No one would get away with bikinimail or fur loincloths or two ton plate with pauldrons larger than your chest and a hammer heavier than an anvil in a game like Ars Magica or L5R (in spite of some of the card art) and most variants of D&D.
In some games it's fine (Bikini Warriors (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/BikiniWarriors), anyone?), and the current Paths to Immortality PF game I'm running for my players sees two of the players running what amounts to support/cohort/companion characters to the Questing PCs so I give them some leeway in how serious the characters need to be, what with them being rather disposable and all. So far we've had, among more serious characters, Didi the Paladin (http://www.mbttoys.com/2015/07/bikini-warriors-paladin-limited-edition.html), Scarlet the Oracle (http://sammy8a.deviantart.com/art/Sparkling-Prince-Battle-Lover-Scarlet-506286698)and Lollypop The Paladin (http://cookusart.com/cat/35/lollipop-chainsaw-02.html) (whose smites cause the sword to get glowing whirling teeth of holy power and make a loud whirring, grinding noise).

Impractical, impossible and possibly objectifying? Sure, but at this point in time it has been part of the genre of fantasy art for so long it's part and parcel of visual language. Getting rid of bad armor or not!armor altogether would be losing a fun and historic aspect of the medium. I will happily spend my time griping at badly designed armor if it's meant to be taken seriously but so long as there is art with proper armor and the not!armor is used appropriately (in a generally humorous or genre-specific manner), I'm fine with it.

Ninja_Prawn
2015-09-30, 03:50 PM
The Dark Eldar, no one cares about.

...I was a dedicated dark eldar player for 17 years. Clearly the extravagant shoulder spikes are a deliberate statement about how, when you reach a certain level of societal evolution, style is substance.


There is absolutely no reason for a space marine's shoulders to be that huge.

Well, no in-universe reason. They're incredibly convenient for novice painters to practice on, and great for displaying squad markings on a 2-inch miniature. :smalltongue:

Keltest
2015-09-30, 03:52 PM
Honestly, im bothered by it more than the chainmail bikini trope. The only reason you would have giant pauldrons is if you were in a video game like StarCraft where the sprites are so small theyre one of the only distinguishing characteristics of the unit. And starcraft further justifies it by containing equipment like ammo in the shoulder pieces (of course, they still couldn't actually fit in the armor, but eh). But Warcraft is just absurd. Nobody would actually intentionally create something like that to block your vision and weigh you down. Even with magic, its pointless and downright silly looking.

Arbane
2015-09-30, 03:55 PM
This is why Conan was always portrayed as wearing practical armor for combat; unlike the women in his world, he was never presented as some sort of idealized, sexualized object in the cover art.

If you seriously (or sarcastically, whatever) want to argue that Conan and Slave Girl #47 are being presented the same way on comic book/novel cover art, I have no adequate response except incredulous laughter.

Jelly d6
2015-09-30, 03:59 PM
I would narrow down your broader term 'bother' to a more particular 'suspension of disbelief'. And yes, sure thing, it bothers me to look at ridiculously overdone, totally unrealistic uber-armor.

But, as many already stated, bikini armor pushes deeper than that. Bikini armor is pretty straight insulting. It violates certain ethical norms, not just some laws of physics and anatomy. It is easy to suspend your disbelief of the latter violation, much harder to ignore the former.

VoxRationis
2015-09-30, 04:01 PM
If you read the books they explain it as being power armor. A majority of the suit has machinery in it which then responds to the human inside the suit. Think along the lines of MechWarrior. The mech isn't armor, it's a giant robotic suit for you to sit in.

It doesn't matter what the books say, because the games clearly show that it's just a little too small for the wearer to be in a cockpit and just a little too big for the armor's joints to match up with the wearer's. I get that it's powered—my complaint about excessive thickness was for fantasy armors, not sci-fi (I apologize for any ambiguity), but all the pistons and actuators in the world won't help if the suit physically cannot articulate without dismembering you.

JAL_1138
2015-09-30, 04:11 PM
It doesn't matter what the books say, because the games clearly show that it's just a little too small for the wearer to be in a cockpit and just a little too big for the armor's joints to match up with the wearer's. I get that it's powered—my complaint about excessive thickness was for fantasy armors, not sci-fi (I apologize for any ambiguity), but all the pistons and actuators in the world won't help if the suit physically cannot articulate without dismembering you.

Enemy Within (XCOM) solved that bit by requiring the soldier wearing the power suit to get dismembered first...at least they acknowledged it?

Amphetryon
2015-09-30, 04:17 PM
If you seriously (or sarcastically, whatever) want to argue that Conan and Slave Girl #47 are being presented the same way on comic book/novel cover art, I have no adequate response except incredulous laughter.

Of course they're not the same; one's male and the other's female, so the stereotypical gender idealization is different for each. I also made no mention of comic books. If you believe that one representation is somehow a positive ideal compared to the other's wholly negative representation, I'll have to join you in a chuckle.

VoxRationis
2015-09-30, 04:25 PM
That's one of the reasons why gothic art from the middle ages looked like it did. Progress was pretty stagnant during those days, and so things were just embellished more. Made less practical and more fantastical.

Common misconception. While the fantastic opulence and grand societal organization of antiquity was gone for the most part, the Middle Ages experienced significant technological advancement, in multiple fields: windmills (introduced from the East in the High Middle Ages IIRC), shipbuilding techniques, armor and weapons design, architecture... Plus, the Enlightenment and Renaissance periods had even more embellishments (have you seen stern cabins from that period?).
Edit: But I get your point about 40K—this was just nitpicking. I still would have to argue that a culture in constant warfare would have to put some effort into making its weapons practical, though.

Wardog
2015-09-30, 04:38 PM
I'd say yes, it bothers me, but not in the way you'd think...

That's pretty much how I feel as well.

I'd also add that for me it breaks immersion / versimilitude.

It means I stop imagining that I am watching actual real events with real people, and reminds me I'm watching something someone drew because they wanted to draw someone in stripperific armour.



If you seriously (or sarcastically, whatever) want to argue that Conan and Slave Girl #47 are being presented the same way on comic book/novel cover art, I have no adequate response except incredulous laughter.
Ah, but what about these guys? (possibly NSFW)
http://the-toast.net/2015/09/09/men-wearing-a-military-helmet-and-nothing-else-in-western-art-history/

Atarax
2015-09-30, 04:49 PM
I think chainmail bikinis are just silly. If a woman wants her character to don that as her armor, I won't argue. Maybe she wants to play at being sexy. Maybe it's magical. Like how gloves of dexterity +4 protect as well as most armor while also covering up very little. Personally, I'm hoping she's also got a greataxe waiting for anyone gawking at her. I love to see a believable female warrior in fantasy. Practical armor. Even a helmet. (Who in their right mind would wade into battle without a helmet?) Paladins and clerics especially. Like wow. Imagine that. Shining armor, long hair flowing as she raises her weapon to signal a charge...(Blushes) I would fight in that army. Er...sorry.

The gradual change in proportions of male juggernaut types in fantasy art has caused me many an eye roll. Have you seen the weapons? They're getting freaking huge. Look at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles nowadays. Look at their tiny heads lol. The problem is, if you make a human beefcake bigger than human, then what happens to ogre beefcakes? F"*+ing little head up on a mountain of muscle.

It's like stats. 18 used to mean something. But everyone wants to be exceptional. Ok...so everyone's exceptional. That is now the new norm. 18 is now common. Now if you want to be exceptional, you need a 22.
I just heard of a party makeup from a younger friend of mine. The lowest Str score in the entire party was 18. They were playing giants and half dragons and all these super fantastic characters. Which is fine...but what if I joined as a...I don't know...elf fighter? That would be subpar for them. I'd be freakishly outclassed. Their wizard would probably beat me up in melee.

Let's progress this 10 or 15 more years. By then, you'll really need to have at least two scores of 20 or higher. If you want to be AWESOME, you'll probably want your highest stat to be 28-30. You'll level up every time you swing your sword but by this point, level 20 is only mid level. You've got 80 more to go. Your sword is 8 feet long with a blade thickness of about 2 feet. But that's cool because your hand is bigger than your head so you got it.

I'm not trying to criticize young people. Stuff changes. Everyone wants to be more badass than the next guy. In a room of superheroes, stopping a bullet just ceases to impress anyone. Dudes who played chainmail probably felt the same way about Gygax. "What? A mounted knight isn't badass enough, you gotta fight an ogre?!"

Yeah, it bothers me. But it may just be where (or when) I'm coming from.

See also: how heavy can heavy metal get? Drop the tuning down to A and squeal like a pig for 3 minutes over palm mutes and double kick drums going at a constant 2000 bpm. Black Sabbath now sounds pretty tame.

The Matrix: The first movie was cool. Then he was flying, stopping time, and taking on like 50 Agent Smiths. (Did anyone else find Trinity seriously hot?)

Resident Evil: Similar. By the third movie or so Alice had to be pretty much superhuman to outdo the past movies. Yet I watched them all because Milla Jovovich

Amphetryon
2015-09-30, 05:06 PM
Ah, but what about these guys? (possibly NSFW)
http://the-toast.net/2015/09/09/men-wearing-a-military-helmet-and-nothing-else-in-western-art-history/
They cannot be objectified because they are men.

I'd blue-text that, but it exactly echoes sentiments taught by the professor in college-level courses on Sexuality which I've taken over the years.

Faily
2015-09-30, 05:13 PM
Eh, it depends. I'm totally fine with this sort of stuff in itself but it is not appropriate for all games. No one would get away with bikinimail or fur loincloths or two ton plate with pauldrons larger than your chest and a hammer heavier than an anvil in a game like Ars Magica or L5R (in spite of some of the card art) and most variants of D&D.
In some games it's fine (Bikini Warriors (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/BikiniWarriors), anyone?), and the current Paths to Immortality PF game I'm running for my players sees two of the players running what amounts to support/cohort/companion characters to the Questing PCs so I give them some leeway in how serious the characters need to be, what with them being rather disposable and all. So far we've had, among more serious characters, Didi the Paladin (http://www.mbttoys.com/2015/07/bikini-warriors-paladin-limited-edition.html), Scarlet the Oracle (http://sammy8a.deviantart.com/art/Sparkling-Prince-Battle-Lover-Scarlet-506286698)and Lollypop The Paladin (http://cookusart.com/cat/35/lollipop-chainsaw-02.html) (whose smites cause the sword to get glowing whirling teeth of holy power and make a loud whirring, grinding noise).

Impractical, impossible and possibly objectifying? Sure, but at this point in time it has been part of the genre of fantasy art for so long it's part and parcel of visual language. Getting rid of bad armor or not!armor altogether would be losing a fun and historic aspect of the medium. I will happily spend my time griping at badly designed armor if it's meant to be taken seriously but so long as there is art with proper armor and the not!armor is used appropriately (in a generally humorous or genre-specific manner), I'm fine with it.

As the creator of Didi (whom I also mentioned in the What I made/What the GM saw/What I played-thread) and Scarlet, yeah... I have tons of funs with playing with laughable stereotypes. Sometimes, I just don't want to take D&D/Pathfinder seriously and I make silly builds like a Battle Lover (a Heavens Oracle with all the sparkly-rainbows) and I play them just as silly as their mechanics are.

I usually just laugh at chainmail bikinis these days. I find myself taking more offense to women being forced to sexy-pose and lady-pose in most illustrations than their attire these days as the men look equally ridiculous in most fantasy-genres. :smalltongue:

ImNotTrevor
2015-09-30, 05:16 PM
Common misconception. While the fantastic opulence and grand societal organization of antiquity was gone for the most part, the Middle Ages experienced significant technological advancement, in multiple fields: windmills (introduced from the East in the High Middle Ages IIRC), shipbuilding techniques, armor and weapons design, architecture... Plus, the Enlightenment and Renaissance periods had even more embellishments (have you seen stern cabins from that period?).
Edit: But I get your point about 40K—this was just nitpicking. I still would have to argue that a culture in constant warfare would have to put some effort into making its weapons practical, though.

Perhaps progress is relative. We've made more crazy strides in the past two decades than were made in a few centuries of that time. So maybe my relative reckoning of things makes it seem stagnant.

In 40k, the Tau do their best to make practical weaponry. Their weapons actually make something close to sense.

The Empire of Man is not dedicated to advancement, is the problem. Progress is forbidden. Technological advancement is also forbidden. To make a more practical weapon or armor means inventing a new weapon or armor, which is Heresy and gets you purged by the inquisition.

That's why they aren't particularly practical. It's old designs and the only way they can change them is to stamp more aquilas on it. That and melee combat is SUPER HONORABLE. So why be practical when you can stab them in the face with a chainsaw?

warty goblin
2015-09-30, 05:23 PM
Resident Evil: Similar. By the third movie or so Alice had to be pretty much superhuman to outdo the past movies. Yet I watched them all because Milla Jovovich

There are really only two reasons to watch the Resident Evil movies:
1) Milla Jovovich
2) Every single scene is the dumbest possible version of itself. In slow motion. This is glorious, because really very few movies have the courage to be the stupidest possible version of themselves, and instead try to have things like 'plot' or 'character' or 'meaning', or 'scenes without slow motion'. The Resident Evil movies transcend such petty concerns, and drill down to the real essence of their dumb subject matter; killing zombies with shotguns loaded with quarters. In slow motion.

Blackhawk748
2015-09-30, 05:32 PM
So why be practical when you can stab them in the face with a chainsaw?

Also its incredibly HEAVY METAL!!! You can pretty much explain all of 40k that way.

Am i bothered by the Chainmail Bikini? No. Would i be bothered if that is what people assumed the standard was gonna be? Yes, because that is sexist. Chainmail Bikinis are just sexy. Also i love the Heavy Metal art style, which, you should note, men are rarely wearing more than a loincloth.

Also did a quick search on google for Female Paladin (with the safe search off) and out of 45 i got two images i would put in the Chainmail Bikini section, plenty of Boobplate though. Which i am also OK with, then again i love the Sisters of Battle.


There are really only two reasons to watch the Resident Evil movies:
1) Milla Jovovich
2) Every single scene is the dumbest possible version of itself. In slow motion. This is glorious, because really very few movies have the courage to be the stupidest possible version of themselves, and instead try to have things like 'plot' or 'character' or 'meaning', or 'scenes without slow motion'. The Resident Evil movies transcend such petty concerns, and drill down to the real essence of their dumb subject matter; killing zombies with shotguns loaded with quarters. In slow motion.

All of this

Solaris
2015-09-30, 05:36 PM
Not really. Is it silly? Yes, yes it is. But I imagine it more appropriate for when 'rule of cool' trumps 'rule of making any dang sense'. As for exemplifying machismo...Is this a bad thing? Sometimes people just want to be invincible juggernauts and mow down plenty of baddies with questionable levels of reasoning. It's probably not terribly deep, but can be fun. And nothing says a lady cannot enjoy nor don her own ridiculously heavy armor. If women enjoy it too, is it exemplifying machismo, or power? Is assuming only men would derive fun from it or that it exemplifies manliness marginalizing their own enjoyment from the style of art and game play associated with it? I really don't think it is fair to call shooting zombies manly, it's good ol' fun everybody can enjoy!

I rather agree with this.

Neither chainmail bikinis nor ridiculous Space Marine-style armors bother me in the slightest when I'm playing a game or otherwise consuming media that is founded entirely in a reality different from our own. In certain high fantasy settings (Eberron-type D&D, for example, along with the Warcraft setting), anime-esque settings, and science fantasy/space opera settings (Warhammer 40k being the iconic one) they rather contribute to the verisimilitude for me rather than detract from it. They contribute to the atmosphere and aesthetic of the setting.

Now, you plop them into a setting that's realistic (or trying to be realistic with its fantasy, a la Tolkien), that's a completely different story. In that case, I'm bothered because they break verisimilitude and if you put Red Sonja next to Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Tanis, Sturm, and Laurana, she's just going to look silly.


It's like stats. 18 used to mean something. But everyone wants to be exceptional. Ok...so everyone's exceptional. That is now the new norm. 18 is now common. Now if you want to be exceptional, you need a 22.
I just heard of a party makeup from a younger friend of mine. The lowest Str score in the entire party was 18. They were playing giants and half dragons and all these super fantastic characters. Which is fine...but what if I joined as a...I don't know...elf fighter? That would be subpar for them. I'd be freakishly outclassed. Their wizard would probably beat me up in melee.

Let's progress this 10 or 15 more years. By then, you'll really need to have at least two scores of 20 or higher. If you want to be AWESOME, you'll probably want your highest stat to be 28-30. You'll level up every time you swing your sword but by this point, level 20 is only mid level. You've got 80 more to go. Your sword is 8 feet long with a blade thickness of about 2 feet. But that's cool because your hand is bigger than your head so you got it.

I'm not trying to criticize young people. Stuff changes. Everyone wants to be more badass than the next guy. In a room of superheroes, stopping a bullet just ceases to impress anyone. Dudes who played chainmail probably felt the same way about Gygax. "What? A mounted knight isn't badass enough, you gotta fight an ogre?!"

I'm pretty sure that's less power creep at the societal level and more just a phase the players go through. It's not at all uncommon for people to go through the "Screw it, gimme all the cool powers" phase where gaming is an unadulterated power trip without even the pretensions of roleplaying.
I say this because my brother went through a similar phase, and it did not help that he could roll pretty much whatever he wanted (got himself a paladin with an 18/00 Strength, three more 18s, a 15, and a 16 in AD&D and rolled it twice when the DM demanded he re-roll). He's now (ten years later) far less interested in playing the most powerful characters and prefers something more interesting that he can roleplay with. I've seen a similar process with other players, as well.

goto124
2015-09-30, 08:00 PM
I edit art (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?444582-From-Maillot-To-Mail) to give fantasy and other fictional women clothing & armor that doesn't come off as cheap demeaning 'sexiness'.

EDIT: Oh, you mentioned me! Well, I've provided a link straight to the thread. Note that I'll be rather busy for the next 7 days.

It doesn't bother me as much in a text-based medium where you don't see the woman's almost-bare body all the time :smalltongue: While I agree that the art in many books could be a lot better (I heard the DnD 5e PHB is great in its gender and racial representation, while Warhammer 40k's worst problem is boobcups on women's breastplates), in my experience the 'sexiness' of the woman (or anyone) isn't really played up to disgusting degrees per say. And those kind of icky players who go overboard with their stripper ninjas don't need direct encouragement from the books (subtle encouragement from society and the media overall is a different matter, but I don't want to go too off-topic).

Kyberwulf
2015-09-30, 08:05 PM
I am not bothered entirely to much by either. What bothers me is usually the accompanying double standard that happens. Both men and women are being showed in the media as objects, albeit different forms of objects. Still both are considered objects. For some reason though, it's "worse" for women because it reduces them to,... blah blah blah. Men are being reduced to something else too, but it doesn't matter because, men.

I get that women are being held to a standard that isn't good.
In all honesty though men are also being held to a standard that isn't good for them.

I mean, lets face it. Apparently to be a Hero in fantasy, You need to be an extremely good looking white dude, with a big sword and extremely talented at whatever it is your being depicted at doing. Now, on the surface it might not be as blatant as "chainmail" but it is just as insidious. Boys, teenages and men are being held to a standard they will never meet, and made to feel inadequate because of that unreachable standard. But of course, this argument is judged to be invalid because... men. We well never know how it is to be treated as inferior because of the waistline or bust size, or the impracticality of the armor being shown.

I find it funny in a not funny sort of way.. That certain people get mad at the portrayal of women. When for the most part they don't have to do anything. The unreachable goal they have to be is "pretty". Men on the other hand have to be "pretty" and be the best at what they do.

goto124
2015-09-30, 08:14 PM
Apparently to be a Hero in fantasy, You need to be an extremely good looking white dude, with a big sword and extremely talented at whatever it is your being depicted at doing. Now, on the surface it might not be as blatant as "chainmail" but it is just as insidious. Boys, teenages and men are being held to a standard they will never meet, and made to feel inadequate because of that unreachable standard.

We are trying to fight the 'white' part of it, though that's racism. Also, the 'big sword and extremely talented at whatever you're doing'... not only is it the entire point of the fantasy genre (and a few other genres), it gets applied to women as well (as far as I know). Aren't there plenty of female heros, even if they get pigeonholed into certain roles/oversexualised/etc?

It's also a bad thing that women can be useless and still be likeable merely for their appearance. Then again, I'm not well-versed in misandrism, and just believe that 'no person should be useless or exist purely to be rescued/sexy/objectified'.

Solaris
2015-09-30, 08:27 PM
You say "Made to feel inadequate", I say "Shown something to aspire to".

Traab
2015-09-30, 09:00 PM
I usually just laugh at chainmail bikinis these days. I find myself taking more offense to women being forced to sexy-pose and lady-pose in most illustrations than their attire these days as the men look equally ridiculous in most fantasy-genres. :smalltongue:

This. One of the biggest complaints about sexism in comics is lady costumes. Im talking big boob windows in the spandex, or just literal nudes with the skin colored differently to look like a costume. The thing is, the men are like this too. When you dont have something like the shorts and harness clad Hercules, or a speedo wearing namor, you have the exact same full body paint costumes on heroes like superman. The real difference is in the posing. There was a big kerfluffle over a spiderwoman cover art awhile back. She was wearing an outfit no tighter and more form fitting than spiderman's really, the thing is though, she was posed in such a manner that her costume rode up her crack so far im surprised it didnt have brown stains on it. You could have used that butt cleavage for a dish rack! Same for other female heroes and bad guys. Every panel they are posed to display T and/or A. Often in impossible stances that require the removal of half their skeletal structure to pull off. Sorry, but if I can see your nips AND your butt crack at the same time and mirrors arent involved, there is something very wrong with your biology. The problem isnt the costume, thats fairly standard for both genders, its how they are drawn physically.


You say "Made to feel inadequate", I say "Shown something to aspire to".

You know that could apply to both genders with equal levels of possibility right? The women are drawn impossibly beautiful. In excellent shape with breasts that could double as flotation devices that defy gravity or even the most basic laws of physics. The men are mountains of muscle and unstoppable power. Not every man can be that mountain of power, not every woman can be that idealized beauty.

Hawkstar
2015-09-30, 09:10 PM
I think there's other issues, like women being the only ones objectified, or when they start bleeding. Just...No. Stop that.

... why aren't women allowed to bleed? I think y'all are projecting way too many of your own insecurities. And how is a chainmail bikini 'Vulnerable". Most wearers of them I see are more than capable of kicking anyone's ass, and when they do take hits, they shrug them off at least as well as John McClane in Die Hard.

I think the bigger problem is self-righteous men seeing a woman in a bikini and immediately shrieking about how she's been reduced to nothing but a sex object because of her choice of armor, and completely ignoring the character within said armor. It's not the artist objectifying the heroine - it's you

Atarax
2015-09-30, 09:28 PM
Sorry, but if I can see your nips AND your butt crack at the same time and mirrors arent involved, there is something very wrong with your biology.

I feel like this needs to be proven experimentally.

Also, on the subject of objectification: how can you get more objectificationative than making characters into small plastic figures? We are making men AND women into small objects. Then sending then into dark gridded places and making them fight each other to the death for our entertainment.

And let's not forget about constructs. What are we doing with them? Let's be fair to them. Is our true objective to objectively objectify objects? That's bad.

goto124
2015-09-30, 09:40 PM
I think the bigger problem is self-righteous men seeing a woman in a bikini and immediately shrieking about how she's been reduced to nothing but a sex object because of her choice of armor, and completely ignoring the character within said armor. It's not the artist objectifying the heroine - it's you

Counter-argument:


One of the biggest complaints about sexism in comics is lady costumes. Im talking big boob windows in the spandex, or just literal nudes with the skin colored differently to look like a costume. The thing is, the men are like this too. When you dont have something like the shorts and harness clad Hercules, or a speedo wearing namor, you have the exact same full body paint costumes on heroes like superman. The real difference is in the posing. There was a big kerfluffle over a spiderwoman cover art awhile back. She was wearing an outfit no tighter and more form fitting than spiderman's really, the thing is though, she was posed in such a manner that her costume rode up her crack so far im surprised it didnt have brown stains on it. You could have used that butt cleavage for a dish rack! Same for other female heroes and bad guys. Every panel they are posed to display T and/or A. Often in impossible stances that require the removal of half their skeletal structure to pull off. Sorry, but if I can see your nips AND your butt crack at the same time and mirrors arent involved, there is something very wrong with your biology. The problem isnt the costume, thats fairly standard for both genders, its how they are drawn physically.

(Traab, may I add your words to my Mailot to Mail thread, please? With minor changes such as punctuation.)

(The spiderwoman art is either this (http://41.media.tumblr.com/88a638213cb0a362a38c80601b50ac41/tumblr_naj5dj5POr1r34y4ho1_500.jpg) or that (http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lufkqpbYef1r34y4ho1_500.jpg).)

Also, we didn't ignore the character withing the armor. Too often it doesn't make sense, or the reasons given break down on further examination (e.g. see the Succubi thread on why seduction is more than 'vapid busty girl'). Someone else has complied a list of common reasons and their rebuttals (http://bikiniarmorbattledamage.tumblr.com/post/78944172315/female-armor-rhetoric-bingo).

Hiro Protagonest
2015-09-30, 09:49 PM
I feel like this needs to be proven experimentally.

For, uh, science.

VoxRationis
2015-09-30, 09:55 PM
Someone else has complied a list of common reasons and their rebuttals (http://bikiniarmorbattledamage.tumblr.com/post/78944172315/female-armor-rhetoric-bingo).

I took a look at that article, and most of it is quite good, but I take issue with the writer's rebuttal to the "culture/climate" argument, since many cultures exist where men and women wear practically nothing (or in some cases nothing), and it's kind of ethnocentric to make all the cultures in a setting apply Western ideas of modesty. A better rebuttal is that the culture/climate argument is probably just an excuse if:

The woman in the art is in a sexualized pose in a non-sexual scenario;
The climate doesn't actually call for minimal clothing;
Other aspects of cultural diversity (linguistics, mores, etc.) are not as well-represented;

goto124
2015-09-30, 10:00 PM
Huh, I must've missed it in the giant list. Thanks for pointing it out.

By the way, "the climate doesn't actually call for minimal clothing" could mean e.g. the desert, where the dry air and sand means you have to protect your skin with loose cloth wrapped around your body. A tropical rainforest is one place where going near naked would work (the amazon tribe does this IRL).

And yes, the woman should not be sexualised, whether in the form of D-cups or TnA poses.

Broken Crown
2015-09-30, 10:13 PM
There is absolutely no reason for a space marine's shoulders to be that huge. But they didn't design the armor to be practical. They designed it to be intimidating, powerful-looking, and ridiculously embellished.

On the contrary: Space Marine pauldrons serve a necessary and vital purpose!

Notice how many Space Marines don't wear helmets? A helmet is generally considered to be one of the most vital pieces of armour, yet the Space Marines do without. They can get away with this because, in the event of incoming fire, a Space Marine has only to shrug his shoulders, and his giant pauldrons close over his head like a clam shell, giving him complete protection!

Regarding the OP:

I have to admit, it bothers me a lot more than it should. Armour has a function, and it should be able to fulfill that function, or it's not good armour. Armour that does not protect, or that unduly restricts the wearer's motion, is not good armour. And this offends me in a surprisingly deep, visceral way.

(I am similarly bothered by artwork of other "functional" devices that clearly aren't, such as the drawings of siege engines and ships in the 3rd Edition DMG. The artist knows approximately what they're supposed to look like, and has the skill to draw them properly, but gave no thought to how they're supposed to work. That's just lazy.)

If the object in question is clearly intended to be ridiculously over-the-top, I make an exception: In such a case, the primary function is to look the way it does, not to actually work. Pretty much everything in WH40K gets a pass from me for this reason; the setting is built on exaggeration.

Regarding the chainmail bikini: It is what it is, for better or worse. It's not armour; it's explicitly there to sexualize the wearer. This is fine in the right context, as others have commented; it's bothersome when it doesn't belong.

More bothersome to me is a different kind of sexualized female fantasy armour, which seems to be fairly popular: the kind of partial plate armour where the plates are worn against bare skin, and have sharp, spiky edges. It would be virtually impossible to move in a suit of that without seriously injuring yourself. It strikes me that this has some rather troubling implications about the depiction of women.

---

Edit:


Now, you plop them into a setting that's realistic (or trying to be realistic with its fantasy, a la Tolkien), that's a completely different story. In that case, I'm bothered because they break verisimilitude and if you put Red Sonja next to Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Tanis, Sturm, and Laurana, she's just going to look silly.

Hey, those last three are Dragonlance characters! Larry Elmore did the cover drawings for those novels, so chainmail bikinis are totally appropriate there!

Vitruviansquid
2015-09-30, 10:14 PM
I'm okay with it.

I'm okay with chainmail bikinis too.

Practical armor is one thing, and then artistic representations of characters is another thing. Chainmail bikinis and ultra-bulky armor both convey something about the characters wearing them, making them artistic tools. My problem with Chainmail Bikinis is that they have tended to become a cliche - so overused historically that they are now included without a great understanding of what they communicated in the first place. But when an artist is trying to convey a character's sexuality and physicality, there's nothing wrong with a chainmail bikini.

The ultra-bulky armor helps an artist give mass to a character and make him/her occupy more space. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, and sometimes that's the best way to make an aesthetically appealing character or picture. That's not to say I don't appreciate more down-to-earth pictures or pictures depicting cool, practical armor, and I really dig a lot of the aesthetics in real life armor that was worn by actual warriors. But both have their place.

Knaight
2015-09-30, 10:46 PM
While I generally don't find the armor tropes as irritating as the mail bikini ones, they're still a bad mark. It's one thing if the armor is drawn in such a way that it looks like the artist was at least trying to make something that looks feasible while retaining a stylized design, but a lot of the designs are just overblown to the point of being completely ridiculous.

Similarly, it would be nice to at least occasionally see a helmet on a major character. They're one of the most important protective devices around, and them being visually depicted on even one protagonist in a visual medium is surprisingly rare.

Cipher Stars
2015-09-30, 11:02 PM
As a woman, it absolutely does...


Not, in fact, bother me in the slightest.

Ultimately it is fiction, fantasy, and entertainment. Where there is chainmail bikini's there is the intention of being entertained. It's there to amuse, intrigue or perhaps even arouse. There is nothing wrong with it and "Objectification" is something fairly universal that only has weight or issue if you let it. Chain mail bikini's were never meant to be practical, and you never even see them portrayed as being practical. At best, a symbol of status or capability. "Oh, this person is wearing chainmail. They must be a fighter of some sort.". It's just as stylistic as bare-chested male warriors or as mentioned here, gratuitous pauldrons.


The female form is, in fact, something generally regarded as beautiful, artistic even. It's a fact of life that has been and always will be, and so long as it is, it will be flaunted or shown off because it is appealing.

In the end, people will always find things to be offended about just like people will always find something to sexualize. There isn't any need to go out of anyone's way to cater to anyone or even tone things down. Art and Games are a growing medium and there will always be something for everyone. If you don't like what the people in another group are playing, nobody should get up in arms and try to take it away from them. There are games or other media freely available and the only reason to attack those other mediums or styles is because someone's looking for trouble or some new scandal to gossip about or make a buck off of.

goto124
2015-09-30, 11:38 PM
artistic tools. My problem with Chainmail Bikinis is that they have tended to become a cliche - so overused historically that they are now included without a great understanding of what they communicated in the first place.

But when an artist is trying to convey a character's sexuality and physicality, there's nothing wrong with a chainmail bikini.

[Bikinis and practical armor] both have their place.

I largely agree with you. However, I find that chainmail bikinis (and similar oversexualised female 'armor') are 90% of the time done for the sake of "sexy women draw in viewers and money!". Funny how sexualisation of fictional women is so common, drawing her as a normal person (as one would a male character, for example) requires 'going out of your way'. It's rare circumstances when the chainmail bikini actually conveys something meaningful.

Personally, I find the "it's fantasy, women are impractically sexy here" argument to break down when almost no men get similar treatment.

Random Ramblings:

What does the word 'fanservice' mean to you (the royal you - this question isn't aimed any any one particular person), by the way?

What if equal numbers of men and women are sexually objectified to the same degree? :smalltongue:

Raimun
2015-10-01, 12:56 AM
Heh, Conan and the 300 spartans seemed to fight well enough without armor.

Who even needs proper armor? No one. Unless it's an armor fit for a modern day battle tank. Then we'll talk. In the meantime, it's loinclothes and chainmail bikinis for everyone. Unless you want to look like a foot soldier or something.

As a wise man or woman once said: "Style over substance."

Regitnui
2015-10-01, 02:44 AM
I don't object to either chainmail bikinis or overbulk, but I will say it bothers me. The same way putting a mine on floating islands bothers me, or ridiculously evil bad guys as the designated "beat-us-up" mook. I won't condemn any of the thin-worn tropes or nonsensical designs, but they will always be there in the back of my mind, making me take this less seriously than I would otherwise.

Kami2awa
2015-10-01, 04:11 AM
I would like to see now a sci fi setting where the disadvantages of massive armour are shown, e.g. you can't fit in a small space, you're twice as obvious to the enemy, and you have to do a three-point-turn whenever the sergeant says "about face!" Watching a squad of these guys rank up must be like watching 20 learner drivers trying to parallel-park simultaneously. Bonus points if the user is new to the armour and it doesn't work properly (damn budget cuts!)

Doctor Who kind of does this with the Dalek armour, which is about as impractical as can be.

Regitnui
2015-10-01, 04:26 AM
Doctor Who kind of does this with the Dalek armour, which is about as impractical as can be.

Stairs! The great weakness of daleks!

Seriously, I find that a nice lampshade hanging on the daleks and a few other improbable monsters in the SciFi/fantasy world. If you can't imagine this thing as a threat in the real world (the one outside your window) it's not going to be threatening to the in universe characters either. The classic skie, shambling zombie is a great example, only being dangerous due to numbers. How did the vast majority of humanity succumb to a bite-transmissible disease that also turns its victims into half-blind, half-deaf, practically kneecapped corpses?

A better zombie apocalypse scenario comes from Franken Fran, but I've already meandered quite far off topic.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-01, 06:14 AM
I am not bothered entirely to much by either. What bothers me is usually the accompanying double standard that happens. Both men and women are being showed in the media as objects, albeit different forms of objects. Still both are considered objects. For some reason though, it's "worse" for women because it reduces them to,... blah blah blah.

To almost literal objects, often.

I'm not talking about say Xena the warrior princess or princess Leia here, both iconic wearers of metal bikini style outfits. They may be sexualized, but I wouldn't say they're objectified that much. They're sexy characters. Still plenty there to take offense about, but I'm already drifting away from what I'd like to say.

To get what I'm going at, I'd like to introduce the sexy lamp test. Take a story in mind, any story. Maybe an action movie, or a fairytale... Now ask yourself this: could the lead female character be replaced with a particularly sexy lamp without that change really affecting the plot? (Joke scrapped, family friendly site.) If the answer is yes, you've found someone being treated like an object.

There are plenty of male characters who function like some simple plot device, but they're generally unimportant characters, not the lead male, or even number two, three or four on the list of importance. As rare as women already are in fiction, it doesn't help that the lead female character in a bunch of fictional works doesn't really contribute to the plot. She gets attacked by bad guys, sleeps for a hundred years until the hero comes to her rescue or just goes "oh James" at the right times.

And this is not a problem in an individual story, mind you. It's completely fine that there are works out there where the presidents daughter is the prize everyone is fighting over rather than a case of diamonds or a room temperature superconductor. And it's fine that there are stories where every woman is a kidnapped damsel who will already be neatly undressed and ready to go when the hero slays her captor with one blow of his mighty sword.

Where I do see a problem is at the point where this becomes a trend. Men act, women are. Yes, this has some basis in our culture and even biology. Women are, sorry ladies, generally the boring gender. Someone has calculated that approximately 80% of all women ever (women who made it to adulthood I suppose, I don't think they counted child mortality) has reproduced, versus only 50% of the men. So there is a basis to the idea that the men have to be the risk takers who go on wild adventures (hunting bears, waging wars, sailing the seven seas or just trying to establish a successful business or dying trying) after which they come back to sweep one or more of the stay at home girls (who have been busy with equally important but less dangerous and less prestigious work) off their feet. But having said that: come on, is that behavioral split that prominent in our modern society? Don't most men just have a boring desk job and a safe hobby like playing RPG's? I mean, I haven't been protecting any villages from saber-tooth cat attacks lately. And don't we have plenty of female soldiers and athletes and stuff, taking risks and making a name for themselves? In fiction meanwhile, pretty much every female movie heroine has a capable male counterpart joining her adventures at some point (Lieutenant Ripley from the Alien series probably being one of the most notable exceptions), many male hero's still get a sexy lamp as their woman of choice. (Has this in fact ever been as prominent as it is in some corners of the fiction landscape? At least recently?) Were women really sexy lamps in the good old days? Questions, questions...)

The way I see it all of this is only tangible related to chainmail bikini's, which do have a place in fiction, even if it would be nice to have more sensible battle outfits on fictional women to counterbalance them.

And honestly, I think the huge armor thing may be even less related to it all. Because ask yourself one thing: is that big armor a female fantasy? Does a guy really look sexy in it? Is, in fact, young Arnold Schwarzenegger, the epitome of muscled men, sexier to the average heterosexual woman than say Leonardo DiCaprio? I don't know, honestly, but I have my suspicions. The big muscled hero guy, if anything, is as much a male fantasy (being it) as a female one. And I suppose the damsel who gets saved by the hero has to at some level be a female fantasy as well as a male one, or it wouldn't be this prevalent in our fiction. I just think it might be time to start getting serious about filming some different female fantasies as well.

What do you say? That's how we ended up with fifty shades of grey? Okay, maybe this whole thing is just a bad idea than, carry on.

Damn, what a waste of such a wall of text on objectification.

Hawkstar
2015-10-01, 07:17 AM
And yes, the woman should not be sexualised, whether in the form of D-cups or TnA poses.
Because women with D-cup breasts are nothing but sexual fanservice for men.

Strigon
2015-10-01, 07:50 AM
What does the word 'fanservice' mean to you (the royal you - this question isn't aimed any any one particular person), by the way?

What if equal numbers of men and women are sexually objectified to the same degree? :smalltongue:

Fanservice? If it doesn't make sense for something to happen organically, it doesn't move the plot along nicely, and a significant portion of the fanbase has a deep interest in seeing it happen - those are my three markers of fanservice. Fitting one is a cautionary sign - I'll be on my guard from that point on. Two is when I call it fanservice, and I'll be a little bit annoyed. Three should never happen, because at that point they're not even pretending to be subtle about it. For example, there are women out in the world who dress... promiscuously. If you have a character, however, who dresses in ridiculously revealing outfits regardless of the situation, and is clearly flaunting their body, that fits the second two markers, and I'll call it fanservice. Same goes for two incompatible characters being forced into a relationship, or bringing back a character who, by all rights, should be dead.

Personally, I hate fanservice; if I'm watching a show, movie, or otherwise taking in a story, I have a vested interest in how that story plays out. If something happens that changes the plot, just because some fans wanted it, that means the plot - the part I'm interested in - has become second priority to people who only care about which of their "ships" become "cannon", or something similarly frivolous. As for fanservice of a sexual nature? See my original comment about not wanting to see it, simply because I don't want it there. My opinion of the media takes a sharp turn downwards the moment I first see fanservice.


The classic skie, shambling zombie is a great example, only being dangerous due to numbers. How did the vast majority of humanity succumb to a bite-transmissible disease that also turns its victims into half-blind, half-deaf, practically kneecapped corpses?

Well, the ones I've read often:
Start in a 3rd-world country with low sanitation standards.
Involve a ridiculously infectious plague, with a 100% mortality rate. Even if you kill a zombie, its blood might get in a wound, infecting you.
Spread due to human sympathy or misunderstanding - not wanting to kill someone just because they were bitten, so suddenly your zombie brother becomes a zombie family.
And the fact that they stick around, can be perfectly silent, and are quite hard to kill without a dedicated weapon.

The ones that make the most sense to me are either started from a mutated virus in a nation with next to no health care, infect a small village, spread to the people trying to help, follow them home, and start infecting hospitals; or they start as a genetically engineered weapon, deployed in a similar area, and does the same thing. The government covers it up, thinking it can be contained, so people don't know about the threat. Eventually, emergency services start to shut down in the infected areas, making help hard to achieve. They quarantine the infected, which only lets their numbers rise in the quarantine area as survivors turn.
People infected break through the quarantine area, and start spreading it around more. The fact that the infected can hold a perfect ambush kills a lot of people, and since most military tactics for dealing with huge swarms of infantry don't work, the military response begins to fail, and soldiers become infected. Things start snowballing, once one country falls, the rest are soon to follow.

As for the ones that break out of a lab? Careless scientist working on a deadly plague decides not to report it when he's exposed, or when he accidentally exposes someone else. He goes home, turns in the night, infects his family - follow roughly the same pattern as the last couple paragraphs.

Now, the ones that start with a single zombie in a lab make almost no sense. (https://xkcd.com/734/)

Solaris
2015-10-01, 08:31 AM
You know that could apply to both genders with equal levels of possibility right? The women are drawn impossibly beautiful. In excellent shape with breasts that could double as flotation devices that defy gravity or even the most basic laws of physics. The men are mountains of muscle and unstoppable power. Not every man can be that mountain of power, not every woman can be that idealized beauty.

Application to both genders went without saying.

While it's nice to focus solely on the stylized aspects of the art and moan about how we'll never achieve perfection so we shouldn't even try, there's nothing stopping most people from becoming physically fit and extremely competent in their fields.

Traab
2015-10-01, 08:55 AM
Fanservice to me is blatant pandering to hormonal guys or gals by showing titillating stuff that is unneeded for any real storyline related reason. Having She Hulk decide to model her new string bikini from out of nowhere in the comic, a shower scene where everything is barely obscured, lots of strategic clothing damage in a fight, that sort of thing.

If you want to truly understand fanservice, you must watch High School of the Dead. Its an anime about a zombie apocalypse, and it is so heavy on fanservice there is a constant breeze emanating from my monitor when I watch it. It has it all, the male gaze, meaning the "camera" is constantly set at breast or butt height, impressive jiggle physics as no female can take a step without their chest rippling like a jello mold in an earthquake. Sometimes the boobs move so much they can literally dodge bullets. No, I am NOT exaggerating, this happens. And every woman has to wear a short skirt when the pavement is apparently full of steam vents randomly launching said skirts into the air for constant panty shots. Pretty much every woman in the series has a bra size no smaller than DD, and one woman, a ditzy school nurse, could probably crush zombies with her breasts if she ever spun around too fast from two feet away. Oh yeah, and it has an obligatory group shower episode. Yes, I said episode. Ok, so they arent naked in the huge bathroom the entire time, they leave dressed in panties and t shirts far too small for them. One wears an apron and a thong. And continues wearing this into battle.

*EDIT* goto, feel free, and yeah, it was the first one. Im pretty sure spiderwoman can taste the spandex, its riding so far up her butt.

Amphetryon
2015-10-01, 09:19 AM
Because women with D-cup breasts are nothing but sexual fanservice for men.

And only large-breasted women are sexually attractive.

Jelly d6
2015-10-01, 05:44 PM
What does the word 'fanservice' mean to you (the royal you - this question isn't aimed any any one particular person), by the way?

What if equal numbers of men and women are sexually objectified to the same degree? :smalltongue:

Fanservise is one of the cheapest and surprisingly effective ways of getting audience' affection. And 'the cheapest' is a relative definition being compared with narrative value. It is much harder to achieve the same degree of amusement with mundane narrative means. Unfortunately, fanservise always exists at the expense of narrative value.

So, basically, objectifying every kind of person leads us virtually nowhere.

Deophaun
2015-10-01, 07:15 PM
Counter-argument:

(Traab, may I add your words to my Mailot to Mail thread, please? With minor changes such as punctuation.)

(The spiderwoman art is either this (http://41.media.tumblr.com/88a638213cb0a362a38c80601b50ac41/tumblr_naj5dj5POr1r34y4ho1_500.jpg)...

Which just goes to show how there is no counter-argument, considering (http://x.annihil.us/u/prod/marvel/i/mg/3/10/50b3a4745f209/background.jpg).

Besides, Spiderman's had his own share of poses that would have castrated a real male.

TheCountAlucard
2015-10-01, 08:19 PM
Heh, Conan and the 300 spartans seemed to fight well enough without armor.The 300 Spartans (and, notably, the thousands of non-Spartans that went with them) "fought well" because they were armored better than the majority of the opposition, and held their phalanx in their fortified position, rather than routinely breaking ranks to engage in slow-mo CGI blood orgies. Also because of the contribution (by more non-Spartans, mind!) of a number of naval battles that didn't occur in the film.

Moreover, Conan in the actual Robert E. Howard stories killed his fair share of dudes while wearing nothing but sandals and a breech-clout, but most of those were situations where armor would have been a detriment (lost in a desert, evading a force of men hunting you in marshlands, swimming fifty miles through shark-infested waters) or he'd been taken prisoner, et cetera. Please note that pretty much every other story, he wore the heaviest armor he could get away with. When twenty men assail him in the dead of night in The Phoenix on the Sword, Conan does not just rip off his nightshirt, throw open the bedroom door, and say, "Come at me!", he puts on his armor.

Blackhawk748
2015-10-01, 08:34 PM
Similarly, it would be nice to at least occasionally see a helmet on a major character. They're one of the most important protective devices around, and them being visually depicted on even one protagonist in a visual medium is surprisingly rare.

Most Viking characters are usually wearing a Helm, it usually has horns and thats a completely different problem, but they have it. I agree though, at the very least stick a freakin nasal helm on them. They did it to Orlando Bloom in at least part of Kingdom of Heaven, all of Rohan had them in LOTR, i mean i get not putting a full face helm on, but come on!


I would like to see now a sci fi setting where the disadvantages of massive armour are shown, e.g. you can't fit in a small space, you're twice as obvious to the enemy, and you have to do a three-point-turn whenever the sergeant says "about face!" Watching a squad of these guys rank up must be like watching 20 learner drivers trying to parallel-park simultaneously. Bonus points if the user is new to the armour and it doesn't work properly (damn budget cuts!)

Doctor Who kind of does this with the Dalek armour, which is about as impractical as can be.

Play Space Hulk, you'll learn to hate Terminator Armor real quick. Though thats one place i need to give 40K credit, they are aware that the armor is ridiculous and oversized, and they do point it out, and sometimes Space Marines use the armor's weight to crush people. :smalltongue:

Also i feel the "Giant Pauldron" thing is overstated, at least for Space Marines. Mostly because the "pauldron" actually covers their bicep as well as their shoulder:

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/spacemarine/images/b/bd/Rtl_Leandros_Titus_Sidonus.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20110918132021

Also i know people can move in that with no real issue, as ive seen cosplayers at Gencon. The big problem is the weight.

Hawkstar
2015-10-01, 08:41 PM
Funny how sexualisation of fictional women is so common, drawing her as a normal person (as one would a male character, for example) requires 'going out of your way'.
This is confirmation bias more than actual truth. I've found far, far more practical depictions of women than 'sexualized' ones, aside from the fact that normal men tend to wear significantly more prudish outfits than normal women - but that's men's problem.

What bothers me is the aggressive anti-female armor, anti-'buxom' women crusade that, as far as I can tell, is caused by men projecting their lusts onto depictions of women (Seriously - high heels are a fashion statement and give a more regal and powerful poise. They're not sexual fetishwear), and often establishing a double-standard on what's "acceptable" to wear (One notable complaint I read about how the sexualization between men and women isn't the same ended in the hilariously hypocritical point "If I had a body like Adonis, hell yeah I'd show it off!").

Reactions to "Boobplate" in Mass Effect have proved that, if male and female armors are equally form-fitting, people will scream bloody hell about the oversexualized female armor, and fail to notice the male armor is the exact same in regards to the underlying anatomy. Their problem is with the female figure itself being depicted.

Blackhawk748
2015-10-01, 08:49 PM
This is confirmation bias more than actual truth. I've found far, far more practical depictions of women than 'sexualized' ones, aside from the fact that normal men tend to wear significantly more prudish outfits than normal women - but that's men's problem.

What bothers me is the aggressive anti-female armor, anti-'buxom' women crusade that, as far as I can tell, is caused by men projecting their lusts onto depictions of women (Seriously - high heels are a fashion statement and give a more regal and powerful poise. They're not sexual fetishwear), and often establishing a double-standard on what's "acceptable" to wear (One notable complaint I read about how the sexualization between men and women isn't the same ended in the hilariously hypocritical point "If I had a body like Adonis, hell yeah I'd show it off!").

Reactions to "Boobplate" in Mass Effect have proved that, if male and female armors are equally form-fitting, people will scream bloody hell about the oversexualized female armor, and fail to notice the male armor is the exact same in regards to the underlying anatomy. Their problem is with the female figure itself being depicted.

Agreed. Its also funny that you usually only see like, 3 body types for men in typical fantasy (Fat, Average/Fit, Musclebound), but ive seen way more than that for women. Yes the Lithe Somewhat Excessively Buxom is more common, but ive seen plenty of others as well. Im also aware that this may just be me remembering the female ones more than the men.

Jay R
2015-10-01, 08:59 PM
A chainmail bikini isn't intended as armor. It is minimal clothing (like Conan wears) but more decorative.

Vitruviansquid
2015-10-01, 09:08 PM
I largely agree with you. However, I find that chainmail bikinis (and similar oversexualised female 'armor') are 90% of the time done for the sake of "sexy women draw in viewers and money!". Funny how sexualisation of fictional women is so common, drawing her as a normal person (as one would a male character, for example) requires 'going out of your way'. It's rare circumstances when the chainmail bikini actually conveys something meaningful.

Personally, I find the "it's fantasy, women are impractically sexy here" argument to break down when almost no men get similar treatment.

Wait. How are you surveying artists' intentions with their works? How do you know the 90% of artists who are telling you their women are sexy for "viewers and money" are telling the truth?

If you haven't actually surveyed artists about their fantasy drawings, are you sure that you're not just reading their art with an unfairly pessimistic view?


Random Ramblings:

What does the word 'fanservice' mean to you (the royal you - this question isn't aimed any any one particular person), by the way?

What if equal numbers of men and women are sexually objectified to the same degree? :smalltongue:

To me, "fanservice" means something done not just to please fans - a lot of artistic works exist almost solely to please fans, even by having depth and being intellectually challenging - but does so in a kind of skeevy and cheap way.

It wouldn't matter to me if men and women are sexually objectified to the same degree, because sexual objectification of fictional characters isn't a big deal to me. I guess my view is just (and I know it's considered outmoded and barbaric these days) that sexual objectification is only harmful to real people in real life situations.

Callos_DeTerran
2015-10-01, 09:48 PM
I'll be honest in the fact that neither the chainmail bikini or impractical plate armor bother me. Its a game where you can create a precisely thirty foot radius explosion by mumbling some words, mimicking sign language, and throwing bat poo at your problem. This fireball remains the same radius no matter how many words, sign language, or bat poo you use.

I mean if I was one to let 'realism' in RPGs get to me, armor would very very low on my list of complaints. I honestly am more befuddled and irritated by people who not only let impractical armor get to them but then say anyone else who engages in it is having 'badwrongfun' or is misandrist/misogynistic themselves (worst example was a former player saying the people who designed impractical armor on minis have a rapist mindset only partly in jest). If you don't enjoy it then cool, do you...but what try to tell other people their enjoyment is wrong?


This is why Conan was always portrayed as wearing practical armor for combat; unlike the women in his world, he was never presented as some sort of idealized, sexualized object in the cover art.

...Can't tell if sarcasm... :smalltongue:

Mr.Moron
2015-10-01, 11:40 PM
This is confirmation bias more than actual truth. I've found far, far more practical depictions of women than 'sexualized' ones, aside from the fact that normal men tend to wear significantly more prudish outfits than normal women - but that's men's problem.

*Shrug* I guess folks can make of things whatever they like, one way or another.

Wizard (https://www.google.com/search?q=Wizard&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Wizard (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Wizard&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
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Fantasy Priestess (https://www.google.com/search?q=Fantasy+Priestess&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Paladin (https://www.google.com/search?q=Paladin&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Paladin (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Paladin&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
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Sorcerer (https://www.google.com/search?q=Sorcerer&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Sorceress (https://www.google.com/search?q=Sorceress&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Cleric (https://www.google.com/search?q=Cleric&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Cleric (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Cleric&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Cleric (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Cleric&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Necromancer (https://www.google.com/search?q=Necromancer&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Necromancer (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Necromancer&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Necromancer (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Necromancer&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Ninja (https://www.google.com/search?q=Ninja&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Ninja (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Ninja&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Ninja (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Ninja&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Knight (https://www.google.com/search?q=Knight&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Knight (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Knight&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Knight (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Knight&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Alien (https://www.google.com/search?q=Alien&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Alien (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Alien&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Alien (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Alien&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Cyborg (https://www.google.com/search?q=Cyborg&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Male Cyborg (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Cyborg&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Cyborg (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Cyborg&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Fantasy God (https://www.google.com/search?q=Ancient+God&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Fantasy Goddess (https://www.google.com/search?q=Fantasy+Goddess&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)

Superhero (https://www.google.com/search?q=Superhero&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Superheroine (https://www.google.com/search?q=Superheroine&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)



Wait. How are you surveying artists' intentions with their works? How do you know the 90% of artists who are telling you their women are sexy for "viewers and money" are telling the truth?

If you haven't actually surveyed artists about their fantasy drawings, are you sure that you're not just reading their art with an unfairly pessimistic view?


I'd call such a view perhaps practically skeptical, or justifiably cynical but to each his or her own I suppose. I recall interacting with high-level staff member for Privateer Press (http://privateerpress.com/) on their forums, claiming their designs (https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0330/27/1403990846088.png) for the Satyxis (http://www.captainspud.com/stuff/satyxis_captain.jpg) had nothing to do with titillation. I suppose I could take him at his word, but frankly that just means the man is delusional.

Zrak
2015-10-01, 11:45 PM
This is why Conan was always portrayed as wearing practical armor for combat; unlike the women in his world, he was never presented as some sort of idealized, sexualized object in the cover art.

I know you're being sarcastic, but he really wasn't. I don't think you can defend the thesis that anyone with those bangs is an idealized sexual object.


Orks want to look intimidating and scary, too, so that's why they wear ridiculous shoulder armor. Practically nothing Orks do is meant to be done for the purpose of being efficient. Look at their mechs, vehicles, and weapons. "efficiency" and "practicality" are not words in the Ork language.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if bigger actually is always better for Orks. I mean, their vehicles actually go faster if painted red. This is how the world works when you're an Ork.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-02, 04:12 AM
Reactions to "Boobplate" in Mass Effect have proved that, if male and female armors are equally form-fitting, people will scream bloody hell about the oversexualized female armor, and fail to notice the male armor is the exact same in regards to the underlying anatomy. Their problem is with the female figure itself being depicted.

To be fair, boobplate is generally a bad idea. Form fitting is fine, for everything beneath the actual layer of armor. What boobplate does, compared to a flat or slightly rounded plate across the chest, is use extra material to create sort of a pit trap for weapons fire, ensuring that the power of the blast will always get focused straight on the middle of the chest. Personally I'd rather have armor that deflects incoming bullets away from me. That's why it gets ridiculed so much, because from a practical perspective there are only downsides to the design, except being able to identify the wearer as a female, because boobies.

Now, in a game everyone wants to look like their own faorite fictional kind of badass. Maybe women want to be a badass with clearly present boobs, that's fine, the fantasy should allow that then. But people will go on about how unrealistic that fantasy is, because that's what nerds do, (it's all we do! *terminator drum*).

Keltest
2015-10-02, 05:26 AM
To be fair, boobplate is generally a bad idea. Form fitting is fine, for everything beneath the actual layer of armor. What boobplate does, compared to a flat or slightly rounded plate across the chest, is use extra material to create sort of a pit trap for weapons fire, ensuring that the power of the blast will always get focused straight on the middle of the chest. Personally I'd rather have armor that deflects incoming bullets away from me. That's why it gets ridiculed so much, because from a practical perspective there are only downsides to the design, except being able to identify the wearer as a female, because boobies.

Now, in a game everyone wants to look like their own faorite fictional kind of badass. Maybe women want to be a badass with clearly present boobs, that's fine, the fantasy should allow that then. But people will go on about how unrealistic that fantasy is, because that's what nerds do, (it's all we do! *terminator drum*).

I can forgive boobplate (in some mediums. Im looking at you Skyrim!) because quite frankly the artists are probably not historical arms and armor scholars, and they make, like, clothes and stuff accounting for the extra space taken up by the chest, so why wouldn't armor? Its at least a reasonable mistake to make by an artist who just wants stuff to look cool.

Ditto with magic users wearing whatever the heck they want to. Theyre magic, they don't need no stinking protection or modesty.

Hawkstar
2015-10-02, 07:32 AM
*Shrug* I guess folks can make of things whatever they like, one way or another.

Well, my GIS on all those gives roughly equivalent 'sexualized" and 'nonsexualized" result. While the women tend to have more skin exposed than the men, outside one or two results per page it's not moreso than the difference in skin exposed between men and women outside of unisex workplace uniforms. Which I think is more "Men are less comfortable with showing more skin" than "Women are oversexualized."

Amphetryon
2015-10-02, 07:49 AM
I know you're being sarcastic, but he really wasn't. I don't think you can defend the thesis that anyone with those bangs is an idealized sexual object.


Are you really making the non-sarcastic argument that a person's depicted hairstyle can make the difference between whether they're sexualized or not?

Vitruviansquid
2015-10-02, 08:36 AM
Boob plate is actually one of these realism fouls I would rather have than not.

When people I've talked to, male and female, play female characters in games, they are looking forward to identifying as the female character. For that to happen, the character needs to be identifiably female. In the absence of some other marks of femininity, like on Femshep, boob plate is necessary for people to be able to get immersed in their female characters.

Femshep's boobplate as a whole seems sensible to me, because the armor in Mass Effect seems to take more cues from modern or sci-fi military outfits, like those worn by Solid Snake and Sam Fisher, which are skintight suits, rather than medieval armor.

halfeye
2015-10-02, 08:52 AM
While overly huge plate armour is odd, what bothers me more in video games is plate armour that changes shape as the character moves, I'm thinking of Dragon Age Origins in particular.

Strigon
2015-10-02, 08:54 AM
When people I've talked to, male and female, play female characters in games, they are looking forward to identifying as the female character. For that to happen, the character needs to be identifiably female. In the absence of some other marks of femininity, like on Femshep, boob plate is necessary for people to be able to get immersed in their female characters.


I honestly can't understand that logic; they need a constant visual reminder that they're playing a girl, or they'll forget/feel like they aren't?

Blackhawk748
2015-10-02, 09:06 AM
I honestly can't understand that logic; they need a constant visual reminder that they're playing a girl, or they'll forget/feel like they aren't?

Honestly in DA:Origins the Blood Dragon armor changed very little between genders, and if you had a helmet on it was hard to tell. Thankfully they talk when you use abilities, but i can see this being a thing.

Segev
2015-10-02, 09:21 AM
Does it disturb anybody else that, even when we hear complaint about impractical male armor being too bulky for the sake of "cool," one of the terms used to describe the expected reason it happens (and to do so in a negative way) is "machismo?" It really bugs me, personally, that these threads always seem to have a strong contingent of, "no matter what is the realism problem, males and their interests are to blame."

Females wearing sexy clothes? Objectification by evil men! Men depicted in unrealistic ways? Male power fantasies ruining realism for everybody!


I think a more interesting note in this thread that I haven't seen in others is that our modern society is one wherein men show less skin, as a general rule, than do women. This is a huge inversion from a few generations back. Women used to wear all-concealing gowns, often with huge skirts to obscure even a hint of their legs, and the very notion of seeing even heavily-frilled undergarments that show that girls have legs was enormously embarrassing for the girl and titillating (and embarrassing) for the (gentlemanly) guy. Doctor Who had an episode that toyed with that effectively when Rose Tyler met Queen Victoria, and the Queen kept referring to Rose as a "naked child." Rose was wearing perfectly acceptable modern garb.

Equally interesting: with a very few exceptions, if men wear sexualizing or revealing clothes, it carries a connotation that they're "gay." (I use that term deliberately, as I don't merely mean they happen to like men, but that they are seen as portraying a particular stereotype.) The exceptions seem to be A-shirts and the OCCASIONAL allowance for shirtlessness or tight-fitting clothing. But any actual exposure of the upper leg, and certainly any midriff-baring (without the whole torso being exposed; that seems to make it less connotatively "gay") is feminizing. Thinking on it as I wrote that, it's probably because women specifically are expected to cover their breasts, while men are not, so anything that treats the upper chest as "needing" coverage but exposing the modern-day-acceptable navel is "feminine."

But bare midriffs are almost common in casual wear for women these days. Not all-pervasive, but nothing anybody bats an eye at. And, generally, is considered "cute" rather than even explicitly "sexy." The modern fashion is for women to show off their bodies - and particularly exposed skin - more rather than less. I'm not saying they're all sex objects, but the "empowerment" movement definitely edged towards more exposure being a form of empowerment, which makes the "men are objectifying women" comments all the more baffling. Not totally incredulous, but a bit baffling.

If you compare common female fashion and common male fashion for the modern western society to the fantasy versions, you probably won't find TOO much more skin exposed on women vs. men, in a relative sense.

Chainmail bikinis aside, if you were to just turn non-unisex casual wear into fantasy armor, you'd probably still see more bared flesh on the girls. This is a cultural thing.

If you'd done similarly 150 years ago or more, you'd probably have women in impractical armored dresses that were narratively layers upon layers of plate.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-02, 09:23 AM
Honestly in DA:Origins the Blood Dragon armor changed very little between genders, and if you had a helmet on it was hard to tell. Thankfully they talk when you use abilities, but i can see this being a thing.

I must admit I can see that point about it.

Look at this forum. It's got gender markers. Without those, anyone without a specific feminine username would probably be assumed to be male (because, as everyone knows, there are no girls on the internet, which I really should be typing in blue if it weren't for the fact that people's assumptions really seem to work like that). While it's certainly no big deal if someone can't tell your gender from the way you type posts about stick figure webcomics or from how you shoot people with a laser gun, it can get annoying to be constantly assumed to be of the other gender, especially if you happen to be speaking a language which has different words for he and she (which is almost all of them).

So yeah, I guess it isn't so much too much equality as a lack of being able to identify a specific socially important quality about a person. Realistic armor is a bit like ninja turtles with only red masks, it annoys the wearers if you can't tell them apart.

Maybe we just need larger pauldrons on the male armor then. :smallbiggrin:

Solaris
2015-10-02, 11:07 AM
Well, my GIS on all those gives roughly equivalent 'sexualized" and 'nonsexualized" result. While the women tend to have more skin exposed than the men, outside one or two results per page it's not moreso than the difference in skin exposed between men and women outside of unisex workplace uniforms. Which I think is more "Men are less comfortable with showing more skin" than "Women are oversexualized."

Give or take a couple here and there, I had similar results.
Heck, compared to many, if not most, of the female students at the college I'm attending in the middle of deeply conservative Texas, most of those image results were nuns. It's not at all uncommon to see a girl exposing almost all of her leg, some midriff, and even decolletage in casual wear, and if they aren't exposed that's because they're covered in nearly skintight fabric.

Sacrieur
2015-10-02, 11:43 AM
It's annoying to search for portraits and find mostly sexualized stuff.

Beyond that I'm not personally offended.

Amphetryon
2015-10-02, 11:53 AM
It's annoying to search for portraits and find mostly sexualized stuff.

Beyond that I'm not personally offended.

Just so I'm clear, how are we differentiating between sexualized and nonsexualized stuff, given the breadth of human responses regarding what is, or is not, sexy?

Hawkstar
2015-10-02, 11:54 AM
Does it disturb anybody else that, even when we hear complaint about impractical male armor being too bulky for the sake of "cool," one of the terms used to describe the expected reason it happens (and to do so in a negative way) is "machismo?" It really bugs me, personally, that these threads always seem to have a strong contingent of, "no matter what is the realism problem, males and their interests are to blame."
The reason for this is because both are created in generally male-dominant spaces. It's art created by men for men (especially when the primary 'customer' is the artist himself), then reported by men to be complained about by men. Fortunately for diversity's sake, men and women's cultural 'spaces' are encouraged to mix more often. I get pissed at the "STOP DRAWING BOOBPLATE! DON'T TELL ME TO DRAW MY OWN!" response to the issue because it is a petty and destructive attitude that seeks to control and exert power over others, especially in spaces that are supposed to be fun.

Keltest
2015-10-02, 11:56 AM
While overly huge plate armour is odd, what bothers me more in video games is plate armour that changes shape as the character moves, I'm thinking of Dragon Age Origins in particular.

That I think is generally a result of the game engine. As far as it knows, the armor actually is just painted onto the skin, so unless the animators go out of their way to create a variety of different animations for different levels of protection, youre going to get some breath plate occasionally.

Sacrieur
2015-10-02, 12:04 PM
Just so I'm clear, how are we differentiating between sexualized and nonsexualized stuff, given the breadth of human responses regarding what is, or is not, sexy?

I really thought it was common knowledge. I'm not going to derail this into arguing semantics.

I'm asexual and I can tell the difference.

Strigon
2015-10-02, 12:06 PM
Just so I'm clear, how are we differentiating between sexualized and nonsexualized stuff, given the breadth of human responses regarding what is, or is not, sexy?

Just because people have different ideas on what's "sexy", it doesn't mean some things are not clearly drawn for sex appeal.
Certain features are almost universally recognized within most societies as "sexy" body parts. If the art takes pains to accentuate those specific body parts, potentially even at the cost of aesthetics or logic, it's sexualized.

Amphetryon
2015-10-02, 12:13 PM
Just because people have different ideas on what's "sexy", it doesn't mean some things are not clearly drawn for sex appeal.
Certain features are almost universally recognized within most societies as "sexy" body parts. If the art takes pains to accentuate those specific body parts, potentially even at the cost of aesthetics or logic, it's sexualized.

So, a detailed anatomically correct drawing of a foot, and only a foot: sexualized or not?

Swimsuit catalog: sexualized or not?

Pie fight (folks smashing pies and cakes in each others' faces): sexualized or not?

All are almost universally recognized as sexual fantasy fodder for segments of society.

Tvtyrant
2015-10-02, 12:16 PM
Neither particularly bother me. Acknowledging sexuality and idealization in D&D is a reasonable thing to do, as those are major aspects of the human condition. What does bother me is setting where you can'tnplay anything else. Like if Soul Caliber was narrowed down to two costumes, or Dragonlance having only beautiful women.

I do think fantasy needs more ugly women and effeminate men, more lice and pot bellies and crooked teeth. It is the lack of variety which bothers me.

Garimeth
2015-10-02, 12:21 PM
So, a detailed anatomically correct drawing of a foot, and only a foot: sexualized or not?

Swimsuit catalog: sexualized or not?

Pie fight (folks smashing pies and cakes in each others' faces): sexualized or not?

All are almost universally recognized as sexual fantasy fodder for segments of society.

I'm sorry, but this is asinine.


I do think fantasy needs more ugly women and effeminate men, more lice and pot bellies and crooked teeth. It is the lack of variety which bothers me.

Only bothered posting at all to let you know that you just won the thread.

Amphetryon
2015-10-02, 12:31 PM
I'm sorry, but this is asinine.

In what way do you find this responsive? I'm trying to understand the lines of demarcation that are framing this discussion, starting with discovering at least a couple examples of artistic representations that cannot truthfully be described as sexualized by a reasonably intelligent person who is versed both in artistic theory and in the general breadth of human sexuality.

georgie_leech
2015-10-02, 12:54 PM
*Shrug* I guess folks can make of things whatever they like, one way or another.


Male Wizard (https://www.google.com/search?q=Male+Wizard&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)
Female Wizard (https://www.google.com/search?q=Female+Wizard&biw=2560&bih=1331&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMImri21PaiyAIVSF0eCh3phwIL)



Sorry, I found it somewhat amusing that my first results were this (http://pre05.deviantart.net/a4da/th/pre/i/2012/206/e/6/male_wizard_by_ulsae-d58jmw9.png) and this (http://orig09.deviantart.net/48fe/f/2011/200/2/7/female_wizard_by_herckeim-d40qvho.jpg) respectively. :smalltongue:

Garimeth
2015-10-02, 12:55 PM
In what way do you find this responsive? I'm trying to understand the lines of demarcation that are framing this discussion, starting with discovering at least a couple examples of artistic representations that cannot truthfully be described as sexualized by a reasonably intelligent person who is versed both in artistic theory and in the general breadth of human sexuality.

Strigon gave a great start, but I'm with Sacrieur: I'm not gonna get down and roll around in the mud. Gray and ambiguous areas exist, but most of fantasy artwork is either the one extreme or the other, and just because a significantly minor portion of the population find certain things sexual does not qualify them as "sexual content" - this is equally true of content that is not sexual that is used by the majority of the population to fantasize with, i.e. a completely clothed person no being provocative in any way. That having been said, anybody can tell the difference between the pin-up version of a nun and a real one. A healthy dose of common sense helps more here than being "versed both in artistic theory and in the general breadth of human sexuality" because the average person is neither of those things, and if you hadn't included the word reasonable I would dispute that the average person is intelligent as well. Beyond this response I'm not interested in carrying my part in this conversation any further, but figured I would at least leave you a response that was more in depth than my initial one.

Mr.Moron
2015-10-02, 02:06 PM
Just so I'm clear, how are we differentiating between sexualized and nonsexualized stuff, given the breadth of human responses regarding what is, or is not, sexy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexualization


Sexualization (or sexualisation) is to make something sexual in character or quality, or to become aware of sexuality,[1][2] especially in relation to men and women. Sexualization is linked to sexual objectification. According to the American Psychological Association, sexualization occurs when "individuals are regarded as sex objects and evaluated in terms of their physical characteristics and sexiness."[3]

More specifically in this conversation you can make it mean a presentation in line with what the creators find, or what the mainstream of culture finds to be sexy.

In the case of women this would generally be accentuation and prominent display of large breasts, buttocks, shapely thighs and trim midriffs particularly when the art in question uses poses or costuming that particularly calls attention to these when nothing else in the context demands it, or the context feels contrived to create the demand.

You're correct that human beings find a wide range of things sexy or not, but only in the most technical and irrelevant sense. Unless you're posting from somewhere well outside the influence western culture we all have something of a shared context for what is sexy or at least commonly accepted as sexy and what is being referred to in that case should be relatively obvious from that context even if your specific personal tastes diverge from that.

The "general breadth of human sexuality." as you put, is just not material to the discussion.

To provide a concrete example from the lists I previously linked, this is one of the first results for "Female Ninja"

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_small/14/145020/3221821-8845717923-rende.jpg

This a fairly solid example of a sexualized image of a character. Her oufit is designed in a way to explicitly accentuate and display her large breasts, her clothing crops closely around her genitals, and her pose calls attention to hips with pronounced curvature. She's also wearing high heels with exposed thighs a combination largely thought of as titillating, and which is frequently found in pornography. You'll find that similarly constructed (if less ninja-themed), clothing items will typically be marketed to women as items to be worn in an intimate setting for exciting one's sexual partner.

It's a safe conclusion to say that the design of this character and her clothing were meant to illicit sexual imagery and desirability beyond what is demanded by the immediate context, namely her being an like nimble fighter that flips around and stabs people. That's a large part of what Sexualization is as it relates to the matters at hand of like RPGs and Comics and Stuff, though it does also have some do with the way characters are presented beyond their apperances and they roles play in stories.

Strigon
2015-10-02, 02:10 PM
So, a detailed anatomically correct drawing of a foot, and only a foot: sexualized or not?

Swimsuit catalog: sexualized or not?

Pie fight (folks smashing pies and cakes in each others' faces): sexualized or not?

All are almost universally recognized as sexual fantasy fodder for segments of society.

All three depend on a number of things; the first depends on the intended demographic; most Western societies consider the midriff, breasts, legs, and buttocks "sexy" on both males and females. Certain people might also find other areas attractive, but those are points upon which the vast majority can agree. Now, of course, the only 2 places I could think where you'd go out of your way to make a detailed drawing of exclusively a foot is for either:
A medical institution, for reference
Or
To display to people who find feet attractive.

Depending on the demographic, it could be sexualized, or not. Of course, a medical diagram would normally be labelled and as realistic as possible, and a pornographic foot drawing (something I had hoped I would never say, but that's the internet for you) is more likely to be an idealized foot, whatever that might mean. Now, given that you specified just how detailed and accurate this foot drawing was, I can only assume it wasn't idealized, so in this case? Probably not.
Again, this goes back to my original statement about accentuating the "sexy" body parts.

Swimsuit catalog? Almost universally; very few swimsuit makers are displaying how modest their swimsuits are - many more are trying to say "look how attractive this swimsuit is!". I suppose this goes against my previous statement on how they all depended on a number of things, but I forgot about this example. Basically? The answer is probably.

Pie fight? Depends again on the demographic and context. If they're wearing tight, revealing outfits, it might be sexualized. If it's two teachers going at it for a school fundraiser, it probably isn't. It also depends on who's doing the fighting - two young girls, or two buff guys are far more likely to be sexualized than, say, a 60-year-old grandmother and her husband.

Solaris
2015-10-02, 02:48 PM
Just so I'm clear, how are we differentiating between sexualized and nonsexualized stuff, given the breadth of human responses regarding what is, or is not, sexy?

Same way we demarcate porn and not-porn.
The delineation is going to be different for different people, although there'll be some measure of commonality in a given culture. It's entirely subjective.

And if you don't believe me, watch a Bedouin tribesman's reaction to a woman in a one-piece swimsuit.

Cluedrew
2015-10-02, 04:44 PM
It's got gender markers. Without those, anyone without a specific feminine username would probably be assumed to be male ... especially if you happen to be speaking a language which has different words for he and she (which is almost all of them). ...
I actually blame the language for this, English lacks a gender natural pronoun (well there is 'it' but that implies inanimate) so you have to assign gender to a person to even speak about them or use there name every time which is rather awkward. Better than French thou, some of the stuff I have hear about how French grammar around gender works is... bad.

As for the shoulder thing, I never saw that as manly but that may be because when I think big shoulders I think Samus Aran, the lady from Metroid. She is also a very well done strong female character (generally, I hear tell of a few missteps). The only other place I have seen much of them is Warhammer. Most depictions I have seen there don't look like they would get in the way too much. When they are really big and bulky and look like they might be a problem they are often paired with a equally cumbersome backpack, or that is how I seem to remember it, which suggests this guy is not supposed to be that mobile anyways. And maybe you could spin a tail of weight distribution.

Solaris
2015-10-02, 05:01 PM
I actually blame the language for this, English lacks a gender natural pronoun (well there is 'it' but that implies inanimate) so you have to assign gender to a person to even speak about them or use there name every time which is rather awkward. Better than French thou, some of the stuff I have hear about how French grammar around gender works is... bad.

"They" is singular as well as plural.
inb4 stupid made-up pronouns.

Cluedrew
2015-10-02, 05:18 PM
No its not actually... it is being adapted so it is but currently its official definition is still locked to plural. Personally I think... I'm about to go very off topic so I will stop myself.

Zrak
2015-10-02, 06:40 PM
Are you really making the non-sarcastic argument that a person's depicted hairstyle can make the difference between whether they're sexualized or not?

I mean, I'm definitely not being entirely serious, but I actually do disagree that Conan is presented as an idealized sexual subject and think the "traditional" Conan hair is a pretty big part of that. Like, compare Conan's hair to Red Sonja's. Red Sonja's hair gives the impression that her sword arm is so swift, you don't even see her put away her sword, take out a curling iron, and do her hair like it's senior prom in-between every swing of her blade. Conan's gives the impression that he either just lets near-misses in battle cut his bangs for him, or else breaks his barbers' hands before demanding they give him just the front half of a bowl cut, presumably to dare men to taunt him. In all seriousness, it's not a hairstyle that's ever been sexy, or even particularly fashionable. Conan's hairstyle puts being a barbarian first and being attractive second; Red Sonja's does the opposite. The same is true, although less pronounced, with the rest of their respective designs; Conan is always going to be drawn as a hulking, musclebound brute, even if what's fashionable is a waifish figure or a leaner "swimmer's" body. That isn't to say Conan won't be remotely sexualized, but that the sexualization of Conan always comes after many of his other traits, in a way the sexualization of the women around him doesn't. In other words, Kristen Stewart or Alexandra Daddario is as likely to be cast as Red Sonja as, say, Ronda Rousey; Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp are much less likely to be cast as Conan than, say, Manu Bennet.


Does it disturb anybody else that, even when we hear complaint about impractical male armor being too bulky for the sake of "cool," one of the terms used to describe the expected reason it happens (and to do so in a negative way) is "machismo?" It really bugs me, personally, that these threads always seem to have a strong contingent of, "no matter what is the realism problem, males and their interests are to blame."
I don't think "machismo" is generally invoked to refer straightforwardly to males and their interests, but rather to the heteronormative societal pressures that affect males; it's not in reference to what men want to be so much as what they are told they should want to be. Being some kind of lithe, irresistibly stylish Casanova is as much a power fantasy as being a towering mountain of knotted muscle, but it's not the one most media chooses to emphasize. In other words, it's less that bulky armor represents a reality-ruining male power fantasy, it's that in enforces a prescriptive idea of what it means to be masculine. It's not really designed to cater to male power fantasies any more than the sexualization of female characters is designed to cater to female sexual fantasies.
That isn't to say you have to agree with this, either, just that I think this is more traditionally what is argued on the subject.


(well there is 'it' but that implies inanimate)

Tangential, but this really is not the case. "It" is used fairly frequently to refer to animate objects and even people in common use; Coleridge advocated "it" as the pronoun of choice when referring to people of uncertain gender in one of the first English works formally concerned with matters of style.


No its not actually... it is being adapted so it is but currently its official definition is still locked to plural. Personally I think... I'm about to go very off topic so I will stop myself.

Shakespeare and Chaucer used the singular they. It's been around for a while. Objections to its use are the newcomer, having first arisen towards the end of the eighteenth century and only gaining traction in the latter half of the nineteenth.

ShadowFighter15
2015-10-02, 06:48 PM
While overly huge plate armour is odd, what bothers me more in video games is plate armour that changes shape as the character moves, I'm thinking of Dragon Age Origins in particular.

I can overlook that, considering how much extra animation work it would involve. Especially for character models who can change armour. You'd have to have a character who can shift through several animation meshes and would be more costly than it was worth.

Vitruviansquid
2015-10-02, 07:40 PM
Well, I think it's usually fairly easy to tell if a picture is supposed to be sexy. The problem comes in assigning intentions hastily.

It is very easy to dismiss anything sexy as pandering, or pornographic, or sexist when you may not grasp what it's all about.

Strigon
2015-10-02, 08:38 PM
No its not actually... it is being adapted so it is but currently its official definition is still locked to plural.

Actually, the usage of "they" as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun has been around for quite some time - it even shows up in the works of Shakespeare.
As for its official definition? There isn't one. Unless something changed while my back was turned, there is no Grand English Committee that produces legal, official rulings for the definition of English words. Sure, there are dictionaries, but those are just reputable sources, not official judges.
Keep in mind, too, that languages change over time; after all, they're just a bunch of sounds and shapes people associate with ideas. Words lose meaning, take on new meaning, or even get invented out of thin air. This isn't wrong; it's part of languages, and any linguist will tell you so. Heck, it's how all major languages came to be in the first place!

Keltest
2015-10-02, 08:41 PM
Red Sonja's hair gives the impression that her sword arm is so swift, you don't even see her put away her sword, take out a curling iron, and do her hair like it's senior prom in-between every swing of her blade.

I speak from experience when I say that some people just have hair that does that. While my hair isn't waist length and crimson, it curls up to an absolutely ridiculous degree if I go for more than about a day without washing it. Less than that if I am doing anything that makes me sweat.

VoxRationis
2015-10-02, 09:04 PM
Actually, the usage of "they" as a gender-neutral, singular pronoun has been around for quite some time - it even shows up in the works of Shakespeare.
As for its official definition? There isn't one. Unless something changed while my back was turned, there is no Grand English Committee that produces legal, official rulings for the definition of English words. Sure, there are dictionaries, but those are just reputable sources, not official judges.
Keep in mind, too, that languages change over time; after all, they're just a bunch of sounds and shapes people associate with ideas. Words lose meaning, take on new meaning, or even get invented out of thin air. This isn't wrong; it's part of languages, and any linguist will tell you so. Heck, it's how all major languages came to be in the first place!

There are some "official" sources: the law. The law requires extremely precise definitions for just about everything, plus extremely precise usage environments for each kind of punctuation. I know people whose entire job it is to make sure laws adhere to these rules.

Zrak
2015-10-02, 09:20 PM
I speak from experience when I say that some people just have hair that does that. While my hair isn't waist length and crimson, it curls up to an absolutely ridiculous degree if I go for more than about a day without washing it. Less than that if I am doing anything that makes me sweat.

I don't mean so much the fact that her hair is curled, since lots of people have curly hair or hair that curls in humidity, but rather to hair that looks like this (http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_super/12/123441/3166305-red-sonja.jpg) in the middle of a sword fight.


There are some "official" sources: the law. The law requires extremely precise definitions for just about everything, plus extremely precise usage environments for each kind of punctuation. I know people whose entire job it is to make sure laws adhere to these rules.

Those sources are only official with regard to their specific discourse, though. They don't, and aren't intended to, govern common usage.

Solaris
2015-10-02, 09:27 PM
I speak from experience when I say that some people just have hair that does that. While my hair isn't waist length and crimson, it curls up to an absolutely ridiculous degree if I go for more than about a day without washing it. Less than that if I am doing anything that makes me sweat.

My wife's is the same way. Her very curly hair actually behaves better when it's damp, as with sweat, and it's less likely to frizz when it's longer than when it's shorter.

That's without getting into a discussion about how comics are drawn and why it's okay to skip the part where the female character's head turns into Hairthulhu at the slightest provocation.


I don't mean so much the fact that her hair is curled, since lots of people have curly hair or hair that curls in humidity, but rather to hair that looks like this (http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_super/12/123441/3166305-red-sonja.jpg) in the middle of a sword fight.

Looks like it's clumping up. That's kind of what you'd expect out of hair that's dirty and damp.

Cluedrew
2015-10-02, 09:38 PM
Tangential, but this really is not the case.

As for its official definition? There isn't one.
And I have no reason to doubt either of you in fact I alluded to some of that already so we are in agreement on a few points. Personally if you want to extend a word's meaning I would go with "it" because I think the distinction between one person and two people is more important than a female person and a male person. In all honesty language, as well as the definition and evolution of such is probably a bit to much for this conversation. I will however argue that any argument based on Shakespeare is 400 plus years out of date. The rest is good through.

Strigon
2015-10-02, 09:45 PM
Those sources are only official with regard to their specific discourse, though. They don't, and aren't intended to, govern common usage.

Exactly; they assume you know exactly what each word means, and then assign a legal definition to words where there might be a grey area. They wouldn't, for example, cover whether or not "they" can be used appropriately as a singular pronoun.
Especially given that there is no universal "law"; definitions would have to vary between legal borders, which counters the entire idea of any entity assigning universal, immutable definitions for each word.

Zrak
2015-10-02, 09:46 PM
I watch enough women's boxing to be pretty confident when I say that's not what anyone's hair looks like in the middle of a fight. It's not really any "clumpier" than a lot of comic book hair, hardly a strand is out of place, and in any case it's a much more stylish cut than Conan's regardless of how messy it is. It's pretty much indistinguishable from Mary Jane or Black Widow's wavier hairstyles.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-03, 03:32 AM
There are some "official" sources: the law. The law requires extremely precise definitions for just about everything, plus extremely precise usage environments for each kind of punctuation. I know people whose entire job it is to make sure laws adhere to these rules.

Bunch of amateurs. Even the Dutch language has an official body (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Language_Union) presiding over all of its use.

(Except of course it's use by anyone who likes the "if you understood it, it was good language use" rule. This is also known as the yellow sauce rule. If you ask for the yellow sauce, but get past the pink whisky cocktail sauce you actually tried to ask for anyway, you used your language correctly.)

Arbane
2015-10-03, 04:04 AM
To be fair, boobplate is generally a bad idea. Form fitting is fine, for everything beneath the actual layer of armor. What boobplate does, compared to a flat or slightly rounded plate across the chest, is use extra material to create sort of a pit trap for weapons fire, ensuring that the power of the blast will always get focused straight on the middle of the chest. Personally I'd rather have armor that deflects incoming bullets away from me. That's why it gets ridiculed so much, because from a practical perspective there are only downsides to the design, except being able to identify the wearer as a female, because boobies.

For extra stupid, try female characters wearing ornate, full-body armor... with a chest window to show off their cleavage.

(I've seen this design in too many games. Pathfinder has the Inquisitor character, for one.)

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-03, 04:23 AM
The reason it bothers me is that I just don't want to see it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a straight guy; girls are as attractive to me as anyone else in the world, but seeing that puts me right off a game; not because it's the symbol of patriarchical bigotry and everything wrong with the world, but because it's just not the sort of game I'd like to play, and when I'm playing a game, I want to play a game. It's distracting, it makes me feel uncomfortable, and it looks sleazy and cheap.

This. This is why I like the movie From Dusk Till Dawn so much. That may seem like the exact opposite of what Strigon was saying, but bear with me here: a lot of good movies completely stop what they're doing to show you some nudity. They're basically saying: "Here, this is better than plot, right?" Even action and special effects scenes often merge fluidly into the rest of the story, but nudity and especially sex scenes more often than not don't. It's an unnecessary and at that point unwanted part of the experience. Bad or cheap movies (as well as anything Paul Verhoeven made outside of his three big science fiction movies, which are absolutely awesome) often even resort to nudity and sex when they run out of plot and/or budget. "It's fun to look at and it's cheap, here, have another sex scene!" No, dammit, that's not what I wanted to see. Just make a one hour movie if you can't stretch this thing out to one and a half without resorting to that.

Or, to get back to my second sentence: I like From Dusk Till Dawn so much because it's one of the few movies that manage to get nudity right. The story is about vampires in a strip club. Due to that setting the sexyness is part of the scenery, even part of the plot advancement. It doesn't bother me at all in that flick, and it's absolutely refreshing to see the thing unfold and realize that someone out there managed to do what every uninspired hack since the invention of acting thought he or she could do. Yes, it oversexualizes its female characters, to a much and much larger degree than any of its male characters, but it works. Apart from all the moral objections one might have to that, at least it's a good movie. And to most of the nudity in movies I simply object because it features in badly written scenes that halt the plot. As far as I'm concerned we could do with less sex scenes, for all the wrong reasons. And as it applies to movies, it applies to roleplaying games. Chainmail bikini's have their place, in a harem scene during a game of FATAL.


For extra stupid, try female characters wearing ornate, full-body armor... with a chest window to show off their cleavage.

(I've seen this design in too many games. Pathfinder has the Inquisitor character, for one.)
Maybe this was what Tolkien was envisioning when he wrote about the ringwraith king. He was actually a she, and her only weakness was a cleavage hole in her armor, which no man would ever jab a sword through.

Mutazoia
2015-10-03, 04:37 AM
For extra stupid, try female characters wearing ornate, full-body armor... with a chest window to show off their cleavage.

(I've seen this design in too many games. Pathfinder has the Inquisitor character, for one.)

Oddly enough, the old AD&D novel "Curse of the Azure Bonds" did a play on this, where the MC had he low-cut, v-neck chain shirt that showed off her cleavage....it also had a magical wall of force covering that area, much to the surprise of a swordsman who tried to cleave her cleavage and had his sword skitter off.

But honestly, preposterous looking fantasy armor doesn't bother me one bit. After all it's FANTASY armor. So what if the person wearing it technically shouldn't be able to turn their head? Orc's aren't realistic, so why should they be forced to wear realistic armor? Besides, look at Conan, or the Beast Master, or He-Man. What do they wear? A leather speed-o and suspenders. How practical is THAT? Not at all. But who cares? It isn't real. You might as well pick apart Star Wars because there couldn't possibly be sound effects in space, and complain about that.

Arguing against the whole chain mail bikini bit, is a bit nonsensical in it self. Back in the day, the target audience for such artwork were gamer geeks who would probably never get to talk to a live girl that they were not directly related to. Showing them a hot girl in a chain two piece was better than them swiping their fathers Playboy. Girls who played RPGs were rarer than actual live unicorns, unlike today, so it wasn't really anything sexist...it was marketing. Complaining about a chain french-cut now is a bit like walking into a movie theater during the middle of a movie and complaining quite loudly about how you didn't like the opening credits and think they should be re-shot. There is plenty of artwork out there that shows female fighters in full (practical) plate, so it's not like EVERYTHING is girls in chain g-strings.

At the end of the day, you just have to take a deep breath and realize that getting upset (at any level) over fantasy imagery of any kind is, after all is said and done, a waste of time and energy. A particular image exists because some people like it. If you don't like some thing, don't buy/download it. End of story.

VoxRationis
2015-10-03, 12:28 PM
Oddly enough, the old AD&D novel "Curse of the Azure Bonds" did a play on this, where the MC had he low-cut, v-neck chain shirt that showed off her cleavage....it also had a magical wall of force covering that area, much to the surprise of a swordsman who tried to cleave her cleavage and had his sword skitter off.
Which is great for a one-time gag, but upon a moment's reflection, one should surely ask why more of the armor, or of armor in general, isn't an impenetrable wall of force.


But honestly, preposterous looking fantasy armor doesn't bother me one bit. After all it's FANTASY armor. So what if the person wearing it technically shouldn't be able to turn their head? Orc's aren't realistic, so why should they be forced to wear realistic armor?
...
You might as well pick apart Star Wars because there couldn't possibly be sound effects in space, and complain about that.

Actually, some of the best fun my kith and kin have had has been picking apart Star Wars (although, admittedly, we moved past the "unrealistic" line of thought a while ago, and moved on to problems with tactical judgment and internal consistency).
You seem to be a full-paid subscriber to the "but DRAGONS" fallacy. An orc isn't real (whether it's realistic or not depends on the exact flavor of orc), but it still has a mostly-humanlike head, neck, and eye socket setup. Its needs with regard to which ways it can look are similar to a human's in real life, and a human who can neither look to the side nor raise its arms above its shoulders is going to be at a pretty massive disadvantage in a combat scenario (unless they only use piercing weapons like rapiers and pikes, or fire a gun from the hip, I suppose). Just because there is a fantasic element in a setting or story, doesn't mean that that element is wholly immune to practical and realistic considerations, particularly given that these elements are often introduced in a limited way (i.e., the orc, which rarely if ever has any noted aspects of its morphology which would allow compensation for impractical armor).

Solaris
2015-10-03, 12:34 PM
I watch enough women's boxing to be pretty confident when I say that's not what anyone's hair looks like in the middle of a fight. It's not really any "clumpier" than a lot of comic book hair, hardly a strand is out of place, and in any case it's a much more stylish cut than Conan's regardless of how messy it is. It's pretty much indistinguishable from Mary Jane or Black Widow's wavier hairstyles.

Those boxers have generally showered recently. I've been on enough field training exercises to be pretty confident when I say that's what hair looks like when it hasn't been cleaned in the last couple of weeks and you're sweating like a pig.

Mutazoia
2015-10-03, 04:39 PM
Which is great for a one-time gag, but upon a moment's reflection, one should surely ask why more of the armor, or of armor in general, isn't an impenetrable wall of force.

Practicality, to be honest. Walls of force don't bend and you can't work a joint into one no matter how awesome a mage you are. Besides, can you see trying to put on a suit made entirely of invisible magic force? Your first nearly impossible task will be finding it every morning.


You seem to be a full-paid subscriber to the "but DRAGONS" fallacy. An orc isn't real (whether it's realistic or not depends on the exact flavor of orc), but it still has a mostly-humanlike head, neck, and eye socket setup. Its needs with regard to which ways it can look are similar to a human's in real life, and a human who can neither look to the side nor raise its arms above its shoulders is going to be at a pretty massive disadvantage in a combat scenario (unless they only use piercing weapons like rapiers and pikes, or fire a gun from the hip, I suppose). Just because there is a fantasic element in a setting or story, doesn't mean that that element is wholly immune to practical and realistic considerations, particularly given that these elements are often introduced in a limited way (i.e., the orc, which rarely if ever has any noted aspects of its morphology which would allow compensation for impractical armor).

And you seem to be a full-paid subscriber to "but REALITY" fallacy. This is artwork we're talking about. Do you look at the painting of the Sistine Madonna and say "whoa...wait a minute..there are cherrubs in that painting...cherrubs are not real and those tiny wing are too small for them to fly!" I hope not at any rate. You are arguing that an Orc that is not real, couldn't possibly get in a fight that is not real, with an opponent that is not real, because his armor that doesn't look real, couldn't possible function as well as real armor. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but....that Orc....is never actually going to get into a fight. Hell...half the drawings of people in "practical" armor are technically wrong...even with out strapping a live unicorn to each shoulder. Most artists who draw this kind of stuff haven't seen, let alone worn real armor, so they draw joints out of place, straps exposed (to get cut at the first sword strike, causing the armor to drop off), etc.

Keltest
2015-10-03, 04:43 PM
Which is great for a one-time gag, but upon a moment's reflection, one should surely ask why more of the armor, or of armor in general, isn't an impenetrable wall of force.

It is. The entire suit of mail is heavily enchanted. There isn't actually a "Wall of Force" spell on it.

Zrak
2015-10-03, 04:53 PM
Those boxers have generally showered recently. I've been on enough field training exercises to be pretty confident when I say that's what hair looks like when it hasn't been cleaned in the last couple of weeks and you're sweating like a pig.

I've lived in a few hippie co-ops, I know what hair looks like when it hasn't been washed, and that is not it. Again, the more salient point was that it's a much more stylish cut than Conan's all around. Red Sonja's hair generally looks like she walked out of a shampoo commercial, not off of a battlefield after living in the wilderness for weeks or months at a time.

TheIronGolem
2015-10-03, 06:48 PM
Most artists who draw this kind of stuff haven't seen, let alone worn real armor, so they draw joints out of place, straps exposed (to get cut at the first sword strike, causing the armor to drop off), etc.

Actually, a lot of them have, but they still draw it that way anyhow, because realism isn't as high a priority for them (or for their clients, in the case of professionals) as evoking a certain aesthetic in the design.

Solaris
2015-10-03, 06:55 PM
I've lived in a few hippie co-ops, I know what hair looks like when it hasn't been washed, and that is not it. Again, the more salient point was that it's a much more stylish cut than Conan's all around. Red Sonja's hair generally looks like she walked out of a shampoo commercial, not off of a battlefield after living in the wilderness for weeks or months at a time.

Curly hair that hasn't been washed in a while? Yes it does. Just ask my wife. Greasy from camping for a while, and damp with sweat, it's going to look something like that. The fact that it resembles other hair styles you'll see is due to the fact that the stylized, cartoonish art isn't detailed enough to pick out the greasiness and smell accompanying it.

If you're really wanting to stick on the stylishness of the haircut as the salient point, I invite you to look at the general population. As a rule, men, especially of the generations where Red Sonja and Conan first debuted, tend to not put much effort into their hair whereas women do. I think you're doing better with the "nary a strand out of place" argument, because this one's just silly.

VoxRationis
2015-10-03, 07:25 PM
Practicality, to be honest. Walls of force don't bend and you can't work a joint into one no matter how awesome a mage you are. Besides, can you see trying to put on a suit made entirely of invisible magic force? Your first nearly impossible task will be finding it every morning.

You're missing the point. What I was asking, not that it's especially important, is why, if one can make a plate of force in the space above the wearer's chest not covered by metal directly (thus replacing a piece of metal usually found in armor with a miniature wall of force), why one didn't replace more of the armor with it in a similar fashion, simply retaining metal edges and joints, since magical force is usually stronger and lighter than metal.


And you seem to be a full-paid subscriber to "but REALITY" fallacy. This is artwork we're talking about. Do you look at the painting of the Sistine Madonna and say "whoa...wait a minute..there are cherrubs in that painting...cherrubs are not real and those tiny wing are too small for them to fly!" I hope not at any rate. You are arguing that an Orc that is not real, couldn't possibly get in a fight that is not real, with an opponent that is not real, because his armor that doesn't look real, couldn't possible function as well as real armor. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but....that Orc....is never actually going to get into a fight.
Accusing me of being incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality is uncalled for in this circumstance. I am quite capable of doing so. But if the orc isn't actually going to fight, why give it armor at all? The point of the matter is that within its fictional setting, the orc is going to fight and it is going to need to do things like lifts its arms without impaling its own head on its pauldron spikes. And fantasy doesn't excuse violations of internal consistency. Sharp metal objects cut in fantasy. Metal prevents things from moving through it in fantasy. Orcs use their eyes to see in fantasy. These principles, not the sorts of principles already broken during the establishment of the setting, are the ones that are being broken by impractical armor.
Put simply, if you establish that a milieu is fantasy because real-life principles X, Y, and Z are violated by fantastic laws x, y, and z, it doesn't allow you to later break real-life principle A, particularly not when it's shown in other applications to be fully functioning in this milieu.


Most artists who draw this kind of stuff haven't seen, let alone worn real armor, so they draw joints out of place, straps exposed (to get cut at the first sword strike, causing the armor to drop off), etc.
Thus making those armors another kind of impractical armor. That's a whole different matter, a whole different discussion.

Strigon
2015-10-03, 08:58 PM
You're missing the point. What I was asking, not that it's especially important, is why, if one can make a plate of force in the space above the wearer's chest not covered by metal directly (thus replacing a piece of metal usually found in armor with a miniature wall of force), why one didn't replace more of the armor with it in a similar fashion, simply retaining metal edges and joints, since magical force is usually stronger and lighter than metal.


Two possibilities come to mind; the first being that it's prohibitively expensive to do so; or at least, inefficient compared to other options, and the person in question had extra cash to blow and felt like being provocative.
The second? Maybe they do do that. Unless I'm mistaken, what exactly happens upon giving armour an extra +1 is never actually explained, so for all we know that's how it's normally done, with higher and higher bonuses either replacing or reinforcing more of the armour with permanent Walls of Force, up to the maximum enchantment bonus, at which point there's not much left to replace.

Of course, if we're talking about actual Walls of Force, from D&D, aren't they immovable?

Raimun
2015-10-03, 09:35 PM
The 300 Spartans (and, notably, the thousands of non-Spartans that went with them) "fought well" because they were armored better than the majority of the opposition, and held their phalanx in their fortified position, rather than routinely breaking ranks to engage in slow-mo CGI blood orgies. Also because of the contribution (by more non-Spartans, mind!) of a number of naval battles that didn't occur in the film.

Moreover, Conan in the actual Robert E. Howard stories killed his fair share of dudes while wearing nothing but sandals and a breech-clout, but most of those were situations where armor would have been a detriment (lost in a desert, evading a force of men hunting you in marshlands, swimming fifty miles through shark-infested waters) or he'd been taken prisoner, et cetera. Please note that pretty much every other story, he wore the heaviest armor he could get away with. When twenty men assail him in the dead of night in The Phoenix on the Sword, Conan does not just rip off his nightshirt, throw open the bedroom door, and say, "Come at me!", he puts on his armor.

I am aware. I was refering to the movie versions of Conan and the 300 spartans. I've read a few Conan stories and I know my history, so of course I know all 301+ of them actually did wear armor, at least if given the choice. That's the sensible thing to do.

However, it's (almost) always more entertaining when people in fiction aren't sensible. Especially if they succeed nevertheless.

Besides, since when did wearing sensible amount of armor make you that resistant to damage in fiction? I've always been convinced that in D&D the best way to get a really Armor Class is to not wear armor at all and instead rely on Dodge and Dexterity bonuses that require you to wear no armor at all. I've played many characters (in D&D and other RPGs) that are way more durable/survivable than PCs in full plate armor, even if they wore nothing but a loincloth or chainmail bikini.

Solaris
2015-10-03, 11:02 PM
Two possibilities come to mind; the first being that it's prohibitively expensive to do so; or at least, inefficient compared to other options, and the person in question had extra cash to blow and felt like being provocative.
The second? Maybe they do do that. Unless I'm mistaken, what exactly happens upon giving armour an extra +1 is never actually explained, so for all we know that's how it's normally done, with higher and higher bonuses either replacing or reinforcing more of the armour with permanent Walls of Force, up to the maximum enchantment bonus, at which point there's not much left to replace.

Of course, if we're talking about actual Walls of Force, from D&D, aren't they immovable?

If we're talking about D&D, there's also things like mage armor, greater mage armor, luminous armor, and so on for providing an effect rather similar to a protective force field, and of course the with the shield spell there's no 'similar' about it. Force fields/energy shields have been fluffed as deflection bonuses (in d20 Future), which is what a ring of protection provides.

We don't need to stick with a wall of force to mechanically describe the effect.

Zrak
2015-10-04, 12:00 AM
Curly hair that hasn't been washed in a while? Yes it does. Just ask my wife. Greasy from camping for a while, and damp with sweat, it's going to look something like that. The fact that it resembles other hair styles you'll see is due to the fact that the stylized, cartoonish art isn't detailed enough to pick out the greasiness and smell accompanying it.

I looked up both "sweaty hair" and "greasy hair" on google images without finding anything that looked remotely like that except for, in the latter search, some pictures of Kristen Stewart with a ton of product in her hair. That said, I think we're just reading different implications in the cartoonish style.


If you're really wanting to stick on the stylishness of the haircut as the salient point, I invite you to look at the general population. As a rule, men, especially of the generations where Red Sonja and Conan first debuted, tend to not put much effort into their hair whereas women do. I think you're doing better with the "nary a strand out of place" argument, because this one's just silly.

As a general rule, I do not take the general population to be representative of trends amongst wandering barbarian warriors. :smalltongue:
More seriously, I think a comparison to the general population is a good way to bring up what I'm talking about when I say Red Sonja's hair is more stylish than Conan's; to a much greater degree, her hair has changed with the times and been more likely to imitate what is stylish at the time. It's not that her hair is necessarily more involved, though it usually is, or even just that it looks better, though it usually does, but just the fact that how good it looks is much more clearly a character design concern.

That said, this trend does seem to be changing, since Conans with more stylish long hair have cropped up here and there in the wake of the Jason Momoa film, even if the "bowl cut in the front, party in the back" look still predominates.

Mutazoia
2015-10-04, 10:45 AM
Accusing me of being incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality is uncalled for in this circumstance.
As is your accusation of my so called "but DRAGONS" fallacy, but who's keeping track, right?


But if the orc isn't actually going to fight, why give it armor at all?
Hey...if you want pictures of naked orc's, go for it...to each his own I guess....


The point of the matter is that within its fictional setting, the orc is going to fight and it is going to need to do things like lifts its arms without impaling its own head on its pauldron spikes.
Who says he's going to fight in that armor? Maybe it's fancy dress armor, ya never know. Maybe he's just striking a pose for the painter.


And fantasy doesn't excuse violations of internal consistency. Sharp metal objects cut in fantasy. Metal prevents things from moving through it in fantasy. Orcs use their eyes to see in fantasy. These principles, not the sorts of principles already broken during the establishment of the setting, are the ones that are being broken by impractical armor.

Again...you realize we're talking about art here, right? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_license)


simply, if you establish that a milieu is fantasy because real-life principles X, Y, and Z are violated by fantastic laws x, y, and z, it doesn't allow you to later break real-life principle A, particularly not when it's shown in other applications to be fully functioning in this milieu.

Man...I wish people would make up their minds. You try to argue real world physics one day and you get the "but this is a fantasy game, real world physics don't apply"....you argue "It's fantasy art, not real armor" the next day and get "but it has to work like real armor should."

warty goblin
2015-10-04, 11:35 AM
All I can say RE: the Red Sonja hair debate is this; I've got long red hair, and I'd much rather fight in a chainmail bikini than with the hair loose. Getting cut is never fun, getting cut because you were simultaneously blinded and choking on your own flowing tresses is just insult to injury. Plus my adversaries would doubtless rather the opposite. Quite apart from the tactical advantages offered by some moron with half his hair up his own nose, I really don't have the figure for a steel two-piece.

Daddoo
2015-10-04, 11:51 AM
Well, The chainmail Bikini is really rather fine on it's own in a vacuum. Sexy is fine, improbably outfits are fine, outfits that are improbable for sake of being sexy are also fine. They're only put a problem when put into a broader context that lacks alternatives and is part of historical trend of women as sexual objects. So liking a single work that uses the trope, or even liking a particular instance of the trope for what it is isn't at odds with also recognizing that the proliferation of it is a problem and that on average things are better off without chainmail bikinis than without them.

You can enjoy a greasy Cheeseburger and Fries without thinking that food is healthy, without thinking it's what you should eat at all the time, and while also recognizing that too many people eat too much of it, and that the amount of greasy cheeseburgers being eaten is a real problem in the world today.

Since the dudes-with-giant pauldrons things has plenty of alternatives and isn't part of any troubling historical trends, it's a bit different. It's more like eating cake batter. Sure it's still junk food, but it's probably not contributing to the obesity epidemic the way fast food is.

I like this response completely goes with my own thoughts on the matter. Even though I did get rather annoyed when 3.0 came out and it had ridiculous looking spiked armor made even worse when pathfinder came out and it had gone the route of anime with oversized swords and weapons. I was not a fan of the artwork but it's not the art work I care about it's the content inside. So if I see a chainmail bikini I look at the art as art itself and then read and judge the book/article on it's own merits.

Lvl 2 Expert
2015-10-04, 12:34 PM
All I can say RE: the Red Sonja hair debate is this; I've got long red hair, and I'd much rather fight in a chainmail bikini than with the hair loose. Getting cut is never fun, getting cut because you were simultaneously blinded and choking on your own flowing tresses is just insult to injury. Plus my adversaries would doubtless rather the opposite. Quite apart from the tactical advantages offered by some moron with half his hair up his own nose, I really don't have the figure for a steel two-piece.

"Dude, gross!"
"Who let that dude have the bikini? I mean, come on, I don't get paid enough for this ****!"
"Let's go home guys, that just sucked all the will to fight out of me."

Wars would be so much easier to win.

VoxRationis
2015-10-04, 12:45 PM
Hey...if you want pictures of naked orc's, go for it...to each his own I guess....

That's not what I was getting at and you know it. Intentionally misinterpreting someone so you can make snide insinuations is poor form in any reasonable debate.



Again...you realize we're talking about art here, right? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_license)


So you honestly believe, and not just as a cop-out to excuse laziness and stylization on the parts of the artist, that fantasy art stands by itself, independent from the media (RPGs, computer games, etc.) it is depicting scenes from, to the degree where "it's art" is a worthy defense of it? Another good point is that we are frequently talking about the in-game art of computer games and the like, which definitely does NOT stand alone.



Man...I wish people would make up their minds. You try to argue real world physics one day and you get the "but this is a fantasy game, real world physics don't apply"....you argue "It's fantasy art, not real armor" the next day and get "but it has to work like real armor should."

I cannot be blamed for the opinions of others. While the former opinion is unfortunately common in this forum (and is frequently misapplied to type-A scenarios when the established violations are X, Y, and Z), you can't hold it against me.

warty goblin
2015-10-04, 02:15 PM
"Dude, gross!"
"Who let that dude have the bikini? I mean, come on, I don't get paid enough for this ****!"
"Let's go home guys, that just sucked all the will to fight out of me."

Wars would be so much easier to win.

Of course, because of my complete lack of curvaceous hips, I'd need suspenders to keep the bottoms up, which I think raises me in a chainmail bikini to the level of a genuine crime against humanity.

Remmirath
2015-10-04, 11:53 PM
Impractical armour for the sake of being "cool" (in quotes because, at least to me, it's not cool) does bother me. It doesn't bother me quite as much as armour that doesn't afford sufficient protection in the name of being "sexy", but it's pretty annoying in and of itself. I would much rather see realistic armour across the board, unless there's a very good reason for it not to be. Note that this does not mean armour that's all the same, or boring armour; there are plenty of ways to differentiate armour between cultures and groups, and to embellish it, while it still remains realistic.

That said, I don't care all that much when it's a question of paintings or accompanying artwork. Either the artist felt like drawing it that way or they were paid to do so, and it's a bit annoying, but I can get past it. I would actually prefer to have a gaming manual filled with excellently executed illustrations showing exclusively people in impractical armour than with poorly done illustrations of people in many varieties of armour, but then, I'm pickier about things like anatomy even than I am about armour.

When it comes to computer games, though, I will be very annoyed if most of the armour options for female characters are terrible (as in, impractical, unrealistic). I'll also be annoyed if the options for male characters, or for all characters, have spikes and outsized pauldrons and bizarre plates strapped onto their midriffs for no apparent reason and so forth. I will be less annoyed by that than I will be by the "sexy" armour, because the big pauldrons and such can at least be excused as somebody's perhaps undereducated idea of what armour should be like, whereas the other cannot be.


Girls who played RPGs were rarer than actual live unicorns, unlike today, so it wasn't really anything sexist...it was marketing.

No, they never were. I realise that you're using hyperbole to make your point, but still, this was never as rare as people claim. Ever. Not from the very first.

Mutazoia
2015-10-05, 12:28 AM
That's not what I was getting at and you know it. Intentionally misinterpreting someone so you can make snide insinuations is poor form in any reasonable debate.

Or just realizing that the other person is taking the debate way to seriously and attempting to interject some humor.




So you honestly believe, and not just as a cop-out to excuse laziness and stylization on the parts of the artist, that fantasy art stands by itself, independent from the media (RPGs, computer games, etc.) it is depicting scenes from, to the degree where "it's art" is a worthy defense of it? Another good point is that we are frequently talking about the in-game art of computer games and the like, which definitely does NOT stand alone.

If you want to drag the area of video game's into this, your argument get's a lot weaker. Look at it this way...MMO's like WoW want to keep their player base interested. To do that they need to add new content occasionally. There only so many ways you can dress up "practical" looking armor before you run through every conceivable combination. That means you have to start designing new armor that wouldn't be practical in real life, but make it LOOK cool to keep your players coming back. Now we hit another snag...the time/cost ratio of doing all this. Sure, they could fully design and render the armor so that every part moves as it should (or doesn't move as it shouldn't) but this not only takes time on the design and coding end (which could cause major delays for the release of new content) but it could also significantly increase the number of pixels the client side software has to render, increasing lag. Nobody who plays an MMO likes lag. Especially if it's just to see a spalder move correctly on 100 set's of armor as they glitch through a city. Again...it's just another (and more reasonably justified) case of form over function. It's a video game, so you are expected to suspend belief about a lot of things, like magic, or dragons, or the fact that that orc over there has a pair of live unicorns strapped to each shoulder.


I cannot be blamed for the opinions of others. While the former opinion is unfortunately common in this forum (and is frequently misapplied to type-A scenarios when the established violations are X, Y, and Z), you can't hold it against me.

Not blaming you, just making an observation.


No, they never were. I realise that you're using hyperbole to make your point, but still, this was never as rare as people claim. Ever. Not from the very first.

I've been playing from the very first and it was decades before I saw a live female gamer, and about as long before the male to female ratio began to be less and less lopsided. And I'm say that with several trips to (the original) GenCon under my belt.

Regitnui
2015-10-05, 02:04 AM
Any internet debate ever:

1: this bothers me. Does it bother you?
2: yeah, it kinda does, actually.
1: it'd be nice to see the more sensible option sometimes.
3: hey, you guys have an opinion, and that's ok, but your opinion is wrong because it isn't mine.
2: that's your opinion, but look at this evidence.
3: well, your evidence is wrong too, because it disagrees with me, and here's some that agrees with me.
1: you do know that your evidence is misapplied and is actually just you under a different name?
3: shut up, you're wrong, and i'm going to keep saying so until you agree because i'm not going to concede an inch.
(1&2&3 dissolve into handbag fight, then continue it with people who have the same viewpoint as them, eventually concluding that they 'won' despite not exerting their critical thinking in any way.)

Although, that describes RL debates too.

Yes, there's such a thing as artistic license. No, it does not prevent citicism of said art. You say that the artist drew it like he/she wanted to for a good reason. The other guy says that the art still makes no sense because of other good reasons. Have you stopped to consider that both of you have a point?

Mutazoia
2015-10-05, 02:14 AM
. Have you stopped to consider that both of you have a point?


Yes. I have been making rather vague statements to that fact. Perhaps too subtle for an internet debate.

Kami2awa
2015-10-05, 02:27 AM
I think part of it is the problem of showing Heavy Armour, and then Even Heavier Armour, in a drawn art style. Armour plates of realistic thickness can look flimsy to people who don't realise the strength of materials, and how quickly strength goes up with thickness. So if you want to show someone with impenetrable armour, then massive armour plates that would not be out of place on a battleship might be the way to go.

A lot of plate armour was 1.5-3mm thick, easily thick enough to be unbending and strong but on the scale of a small artwork might look like a coke can (which is a fraction of a mm thick, and in any case is soft aluminium not iron or steel).

squab
2015-10-05, 03:04 AM
I've been playing from the very first and it was decades before I saw a live female gamer, and about as long before the male to female ratio began to be less and less lopsided. And I'm say that with several trips to (the original) GenCon under my belt.

GenCon is honestly gonna be one of the last place female games start showing up. There's a demographic of women interested in playing the game, there's a much smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, and and even smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, can afford to go to cons and get the time off, and are prepared to go to an an environment full of socially awkward men, men who will shun and/or make really awkward attempts to have sex with her.

In general, if you base the demographics of something based off your own experience, you're wrong. Because you, more or less, hang around similar people who have similar thoughts. What if there was actually a large amount of women D&D players in the early days, who only played D&D with women because they didn't want male D&D players to find out and go "hey me and this female have a similar interest ergo I should try to have sex with her." Regardless of whether or not that demographic existed (I doubt it tbh) my point is that demographics exist that you aren't a part of, and therefore basing demographics off your own personal experience is a bad idea.

I wonder if the term invisible demographic is ever used in marketing? An existing demographic responsible for a good chunk of your sales, yet a demographic that's very quiet - they're not invested enough to make noise about it. They aren't interested in any big convention for it. I know from reading about MTG that there's a casual kitchen table demographic that isn't very vocal but makes up a significant* amount of their sales, I'd assume D&D would have one as well. And that most women, especially in the early days of D&D, would be part of said demographic.

*I have no idea what the actual percentages are, but high enough that making this demographic disinterested in your products really hits you in the pocketbook.

Zale
2015-10-05, 03:14 AM
Chainkinis are silly for a lot of reasons. I mean from an authorial perspective, they exist just to see a lady in a bikini.

From an in-character perspective, why not just wear regular clothes under it?

Sounds like it'd chafe and get really chilly after a while.

Kyberwulf
2015-10-05, 10:23 AM
Doesn't

In general, if you base the demographics of something based off your own experience, you're wrong. Because you, more or less, hang around similar people who have similar thoughts. What if there was actually a large amount of women D&D players in the early days, who only played D&D with women because they didn't want male D&D players to find out and go "hey me and this female have a similar interest ergo I should try to have sex with her." Regardless of whether or not that demographic existed (I doubt it tbh) my point is that demographics exist that you aren't a part of, and therefore basing demographics off your own personal experience is a bad idea.

Just cancel out this ...

GenCon is honestly gonna be one of the last place female games start showing up. There's a demographic of women interested in playing the game, there's a much smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, and and even smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, can afford to go to cons and get the time off, and are prepared to go to an an environment full of socially awkward men, men who will shun and/or make really awkward attempts to have sex with her.??

Jelly d6
2015-10-05, 10:44 AM
Again...you realize we're talking about art here, right? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_license)

There exists art that isn't related to reality, it's called abstract. All the other forms of art are experienced in a context of reality. However, for each person experiencing the piece of art the context is their own and unique. Strictly speaking, the context in each case is determined by individual beliefs and points of view, but reality is the main force shaping these matters (if it isn't the main force, we're dealing with a mental disorder).

So, reality is a basement upon which a fictional work is built. It is a broad basement, and a fictional work only uses some small areas where it gets support from. The fictional work can deny certain aspects of reality, but if it becomes too unstable, the whole thing can collapse.

Now thats where individual contexts start playing a role. To continue with this architectural analogy, it is your mind that sets the direction and intensity of gravity. Some unrealistic developments may work perfectly for you, but not for another person. Reality is the only universal language that ensures acceptance for the whole audience. So, when dismissing realism, an author has to be sure the benefits of artistic creativity outweigh the losses from sacrificing credibility. Of course, the results will vary wildly depending on specific audience but that's another topic.


That means you have to start designing new armor that wouldn't be practical in real life, but make it LOOK cool to keep your players coming back.

You made en excellent point! The thing is, realistic armor is a way more boring than unrealistic one. And no one wants boring stuff in their product. So artists try hard to impress us. They succeed most of the time, but not always in the sense they are supposed to. Ye goode olde 'flashy vs deep' debate.

warty goblin
2015-10-05, 12:23 PM
You made en excellent point! The thing is, realistic armor is a way more boring than unrealistic one. And no one wants boring stuff in their product. So artists try hard to impress us. They succeed most of the time, but not always in the sense they are supposed to. Ye goode olde 'flashy vs deep' debate.
I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if fantasy illustrations had actually done any sort of thorough exploration of real world armor styles, or were actually somewhat diverse in their made-up styles. Instead it seems to me that the 'realistic' stuff tends to be some partial plate armor modeled *very* loosely on a conglomeration of a few hundred years of medieval European armors, while the more fantastic is basically just the same as above, but with much thicker plates, many more spikes, and even less attention paid to how people actually move, or else stuff that's closer to leather fetishwear than armor.

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-05, 01:39 PM
GenCon is honestly gonna be one of the last place female games start showing up. There's a demographic of women interested in playing the game, there's a much smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, and and even smaller demographic of women who want to go to cons, can afford to go to cons and get the time off, and are prepared to go to an an environment full of socially awkward men, men who will shun and/or make really awkward attempts to have sex with her.

In general, if you base the demographics of something based off your own experience, you're wrong. Because you, more or less, hang around similar people who have similar thoughts. What if there was actually a large amount of women D&D players in the early days, who only played D&D with women because they didn't want male D&D players to find out and go "hey me and this female have a similar interest ergo I should try to have sex with her." Regardless of whether or not that demographic existed (I doubt it tbh) my point is that demographics exist that you aren't a part of, and therefore basing demographics off your own personal experience is a bad idea.

I wonder if the term invisible demographic is ever used in marketing? An existing demographic responsible for a good chunk of your sales, yet a demographic that's very quiet - they're not invested enough to make noise about it. They aren't interested in any big convention for it. I know from reading about MTG that there's a casual kitchen table demographic that isn't very vocal but makes up a significant* amount of their sales, I'd assume D&D would have one as well. And that most women, especially in the early days of D&D, would be part of said demographic.

*I have no idea what the actual percentages are, but high enough that making this demographic disinterested in your products really hits you in the pocketbook.

Unless WotC and Gigax before them were and are absolute idiots regarding marketing, I should be able to google this easily.
....

Turns out they may be absolute idiots with regard to marketing, but at least they got is some data I can work with.

The most important thing to note is that this data comes from a survey performed in 2000. It is no longer accurate and needs to be performed again, with better methodology. What this means is, their buyer data is likely awful. Their player data, from their methodology, is probably fairly accurate. Let us proceed.

As of 2000, female players comprised a whopping..... 19% of d&d players. (Insert windows 98 success fanfare here)
This means that 81% of players were male, according to this study.

Most casual surveys performed today show a growing number of females generally, but the samples are not really representative.

With this, we can make some basic assumptions: If you need to chose a gender to appeal to more in this case, for now it should be men. You will get more bang for your buck.

So there you go. Given the rising trend, we can assume that it has been low from the beginning and is slowly growing.

Mind you, upom googling this you will find articles that raise issues with the data. As far as I've seen, these issues are virtually all related to the data's usefulness as a marketing tool in regards other than gender appeal, but rather in fields such as Age, who the Buyers are, and other less obvious but important pieces of data for marketing. From a marketing standpoint, the data is nearly useless. From a "what are our demographics?" Standpoint, the data is sufficient.

Science.

obryn
2015-10-05, 02:57 PM
I've been playing from the very first and it was decades before I saw a live female gamer, and about as long before the male to female ratio began to be less and less lopsided. And I'm say that with several trips to (the original) GenCon under my belt.
And with stuff like female strength limits, nude sacrificial victims on RPG book covers, etc. ... well, why would that be even be a surprise?

"We don't need to respect Demographic X because Demographic X isn't our customer" is the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Mr.Moron
2015-10-05, 03:09 PM
And with stuff like female strength limits, nude sacrificial victims on RPG book covers, etc. ... well, why would that be even be a surprise?

"We don't need to respect Demographic X because Demographic X isn't our customer" is the very definition of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nevermind the really odd language of "live female gamer". It's the kind of langauge you see all over certain parts of nerdspace and it's just got this certain kind of vibe to it I guess.

http://www.startrek.com/legacy_media/images/200303/tng-221-scheming-ferengi-qol-a/320x240.jpg

Solaris
2015-10-05, 03:56 PM
I looked up both "sweaty hair" and "greasy hair" on google images without finding anything that looked remotely like that except for, in the latter search, some pictures of Kristen Stewart with a ton of product in her hair. That said, I think we're just reading different implications in the cartoonish style.

Given what I saw when I did the same, I think that's the case.


As a general rule, I do not take the general population to be representative of trends amongst wandering barbarian warriors. :smalltongue:
More seriously, I think a comparison to the general population is a good way to bring up what I'm talking about when I say Red Sonja's hair is more stylish than Conan's; to a much greater degree, her hair has changed with the times and been more likely to imitate what is stylish at the time. It's not that her hair is necessarily more involved, though it usually is, or even just that it looks better, though it usually does, but just the fact that how good it looks is much more clearly a character design concern.

That said, this trend does seem to be changing, since Conans with more stylish long hair have cropped up here and there in the wake of the Jason Momoa film, even if the "bowl cut in the front, party in the back" look still predominates.

You know, I think that's changing because their own hair really hasn't been a thing Manly Men(TM) have paid attention to until about the late 2000s/early 2010s. Before that, "Not bald" and "Not a mullet" was about the extent of men's hair fashions, and anyone who paid much more attention to their hair than that was derided as a pretty-boy. Nowadays, though, that seems to be changing - and with it, Conan's hair.


All I can say RE: the Red Sonja hair debate is this; I've got long red hair, and I'd much rather fight in a chainmail bikini than with the hair loose. Getting cut is never fun, getting cut because you were simultaneously blinded and choking on your own flowing tresses is just insult to injury. Plus my adversaries would doubtless rather the opposite. Quite apart from the tactical advantages offered by some moron with half his hair up his own nose, I really don't have the figure for a steel two-piece.

Meh, if I'm willing to overlook Conan's hair being too long, then I'm willing to overlook Sonja's hair being too long. This isn't a genre known for its hardline realism or even cleverness, after all.


When it comes to computer games, though, I will be very annoyed if most of the armour options for female characters are terrible (as in, impractical, unrealistic). I'll also be annoyed if the options for male characters, or for all characters, have spikes and outsized pauldrons and bizarre plates strapped onto their midriffs for no apparent reason and so forth. I will be less annoyed by that than I will be by the "sexy" armour, because the big pauldrons and such can at least be excused as somebody's perhaps undereducated idea of what armour should be like, whereas the other cannot be.

I definitely agree with this one. Having sexy be an option is okay. Having it be the only option is annoying at best, especially if the females are noticeably more sexified than their male counterparts (like the Mortal Kombat ninja Mr.Moron posted earlier, whose male counterparts tend to be either fully clothed or wearing at least trousers and a vest).


Nevermind the really odd language of "live female gamer". It's the kind of langauge you see all over certain parts of nerdspace and it's just got this certain kind of vibe to it I guess.

http://www.startrek.com/legacy_media/images/200303/tng-221-scheming-ferengi-qol-a/320x240.jpg

Y'know, there's a reason I tend to be very careful about what sort of gamers I introduce my wife to...

Jelly d6
2015-10-05, 04:25 PM
I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if fantasy illustrations had actually done any sort of thorough exploration of real world armor styles, or were actually somewhat diverse in their made-up styles. Instead it seems to me that the 'realistic' stuff tends to be some partial plate armor modeled *very* loosely on a conglomeration of a few hundred years of medieval European armors, while the more fantastic is basically just the same as above, but with much thicker plates, many more spikes, and even less attention paid to how people actually move, or else stuff that's closer to leather fetishwear than armor.

Honesty, I cannot see any reason for commercial artists to thoroughly research real world armor. They are supposed to draw cool things, not practical ones. But we shouldn't blame them for it, we should blame the audience. As long as audience' knowledge of the subject doesn't exceeds artist's, everything works just fine. It's not the artist's fault that the audience' 'cool factor' gravitates towards fetishware store area.

Diversity is an issue though. Must be that 'time/cost' restriction. Creativity is a demanding thing.

Keltest
2015-10-05, 04:37 PM
Honesty, I cannot see any reason for commercial artists to thoroughly research real world armor. They are supposed to draw cool things, not practical ones. But we shouldn't blame them for it, we should blame the audience. As long as audience' knowledge of the subject doesn't exceeds artist's, everything works just fine. It's not the artist's fault that the audience' 'cool factor' gravitates towards fetishware store area.

Diversity is an issue though. Must be that 'time/cost' restriction. Creativity is a demanding thing.

Personally, I don't find rule of cool to be enough justification to have, for example the above green ninja. At some point you have to recognize that you are drawing something that has an actual purpose, and it should at least appear to serve that purpose. Giant pauldrons or spikes or cleavage windows all negate the purpose of armor. At least Chainmail Bikinis are pretty definitely drawn for the sake of being sexy rather than actually pretending to be protective.

Segev
2015-10-05, 04:57 PM
I don't think "machismo" is generally invoked to refer straightforwardly to males and their interests, but rather to the heteronormative societal pressures that affect males; it's not in reference to what men want to be so much as what they are told they should want to be.Like it or not, this arises from there being a stereotype about what men, as a general rule, like and are like. Few men are going to match the stereotypical caricature with great fidelity, but men really do tend to have interests that align one way or another with "machismo." It is an even rarer man who exhibits none of those traits than the one who exhibits all of them. (I'm one of the least macho men around, but I can still identify some traits I have in the stereotype.) To denigrate machismo as a whole is to denigrate men as a whole by painting those things which men most likely have in common with each other as bad.

We can be supportive and egalitarian without making it a no-win situation. The problem I was trying to outline is that the conclusion being presumed is that all things are a patriarchal plot or social scheme to oppress women, and thus no matter what's going on, it's men = bad/women = victims.

Hence, scantily clad women are male sexual fantasies, but scantily clad men are male power fantasies. While an oversimplification, and to some degree meritorious, it's over-applied to the point of being pure attack propaganda a lot of the time.


Being some kind of lithe, irresistibly stylish Casanova is as much a power fantasy as being a towering mountain of knotted muscle, but it's not the one most media chooses to emphasize.And here is exactly an example of what I mean: if a girl is "some kind of svelt, irresistibly sexy femme fatale," she's declared a sexual fantasy (for men). But the first thing thought of with "some kind of lithe, irresistibly stylish Casanova" is that he's a power fantasy (for men).

It couldn't possibly be that the femme fatale is a power fantasy for women, nor the Cassanova a sexual fantasy for women. (Okay, it could possibly be, but even making the argument will get the social justice crowd up in arms over the audacity to claim that there could possibly be parity of pandering at all.)


In other words, it's less that bulky armor represents a reality-ruining male power fantasy, it's that in enforces a prescriptive idea of what it means to be masculine. It's not really designed to cater to male power fantasies any more than the sexualization of female characters is designed to cater to female sexual fantasies.
That isn't to say you have to agree with this, either, just that I think this is more traditionally what is argued on the subject.



I have to say that I've never really seen it used to portray men as "victims" of stereotyping. Only as a justification for dismissing any scantily-clad male character as a counter-argument that a scantily-clad female character is an unfair social attack on women. I've seen that argument used for why women are being victimized: not only is that sexy half-dressed woman objectified (and definitely not a power fantasy for women), but she shows only one way to be "feminine," and thus victimizes women who don't fit that narrow mold.

Meanwhile, the "male power fantasy" is universal enough that all men DO want to be that and allowing them to pretend to be is totally catering to their unjust masculine whims.



In short, my position is that I get tired of the conclusion that women are always the victims of an evil male patriarchal conspiracy and that men are never in any way anything but uplifted and given total unfair advantage. Especially as no matter what examples are brought up, they all are twisted to support that conclusion, even if they have to contradict prior explanations for prior examples.

(Worse, I could probably construct the arguments identically to portray men as "always victimized" and women as the dominant matriarchal power trying to keep men under their well-manicured thumbs. Note: I don't think that's the case, but the arguments are that ludicrously twisted.)

Jelly d6
2015-10-05, 04:58 PM
Personally, I don't find rule of cool to be enough justification to have, for example the above green ninja. At some point you have to recognize that you are drawing something that has an actual purpose, and it should at least appear to serve that purpose. Giant pauldrons or spikes or cleavage windows all negate the purpose of armor. At least Chainmail Bikinis are pretty definitely drawn for the sake of being sexy rather than actually pretending to be protective.

Every type of bikini - silky, polyester, latex etc. - but not chainmal. Chainmail bikini is the exact item from fetishware store. At worst, it HURTS. At best, it's manageably inconvenient but still heavy, loose and awkward. It is the least sexy bikini I can imagine.

Amphetryon
2015-10-05, 05:31 PM
Every type of bikini - silky, polyester, latex etc. - but not chainmal. Chainmail bikini is the exact item from fetishware store. At worst, it HURTS. At best, it's manageably inconvenient but still heavy, loose and awkward. It is the least sexy bikini I can imagine.

So, because it doesn't fit your definition of sexy, it isn't sexy, period?

Solaris
2015-10-05, 06:03 PM
So, because it doesn't fit your definition of sexy, it isn't sexy, period?

Didn't you know? Sexy is objective, just like alignment.

Jelly d6
2015-10-05, 06:03 PM
{{Scrubbed}}

Knaight
2015-10-06, 12:47 AM
I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if fantasy illustrations had actually done any sort of thorough exploration of real world armor styles, or were actually somewhat diverse in their made-up styles. Instead it seems to me that the 'realistic' stuff tends to be some partial plate armor modeled *very* loosely on a conglomeration of a few hundred years of medieval European armors, while the more fantastic is basically just the same as above, but with much thicker plates, many more spikes, and even less attention paid to how people actually move, or else stuff that's closer to leather fetishwear than armor.

I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if the premise of "real armor is boring" held up. I've seen enough pictures of plate cuirasses made by the late 1400's masters, beautiful helmets, and other things that modern artwork doesn't come anywhere near. Heck, even the cheap butted mail I've seen has a real beauty to it, let alone real hauberks. I mean, look at this (https://www.google.com/search?q=negroli+helmet&pws=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMItcSF_pCtyAIVSowNCh25wApV&biw=1076&bih=818). Sure, the occasional pure parade armor piece slips in there, but there's some amazing work. Then, returning to mail, there's the whole matter of how it's basically a highly protective flexible metal fabric. Personally, that seems pretty damn cool.

As for fantasy works, it's noticeable that there are a few obvious things that could be done, which are both practical and stylish. Mail where the links are just solid rings comes to mind, as does tabards being useful equipment that also provides a big sheet of cloth to stick designs on.

cobaltstarfire
2015-10-06, 01:11 AM
Honesty, I cannot see any reason for commercial artists to thoroughly research real world armor. They are supposed to draw cool things, not practical ones. But we shouldn't blame them for it, we should blame the audience. As long as audience' knowledge of the subject doesn't exceeds artist's, everything works just fine. It's not the artist's fault that the audience' 'cool factor' gravitates towards fetishware store area.

Diversity is an issue though. Must be that 'time/cost' restriction. Creativity is a demanding thing.

What is "cool" is largely subjective...but setting that aside.

There's plenty of reason for commercial artists to research real world armor, doing the research into how real things look go a really long way to improving the end product. Visual Research is king if you're a commercial artist, and in general is the basis for good art making that isn't non-objective/abstract in nature.

Not to mention on its own a lot of real world armor actually looks quite neat, and is even novel looking compared to a lot of what we see in fantasy armor these days.

It feels like there are also plenty of IP's out there that rely on more grounded/utilitarian looking armor too.

I don't personally have a problem with over the top armor, then again chain mail bikini's aren't especially bothersome to me either...so long as none of my characters have to wear it.

Regitnui
2015-10-06, 01:56 AM
To add to the chainmail bikini debate: How many of the guys in this thread think a chainmail speedo sounds comfortable?i

Vitruviansquid
2015-10-06, 02:36 AM
It doesn't matter if it's comfortable or not.

Zrak
2015-10-06, 03:20 AM
To add to the chainmail bikini debate: How many of the guys in this thread think a chainmail speedo sounds comfortable?i

You ask that like it's a hypothetical question.

Frozen_Feet
2015-10-06, 05:24 AM
Do tell me more about this weird alternate reality where one-third of convention goers aren't teenage cosplay girls. :smalltongue:

In case you don't understand: here in Finland, convention culture is rather different. It's mostly driven by volunteers rather than corporations, and since niche hobbies flock together, the predominantly male communities of wargaming and tabletop RPGs have always had an unholy union with predominantly female LARP, anime and cosplay communities. So while the girls might not have come to the event specifically for tabletop games, it's a great chance to introduce them to the hobby. As a consequence, while there a few female GMs (for the moment), there's no shortage of female players.

And on that note, I express mild incredulity at the concept of chainmail bikini driving away female players when a lot of your potential players dress like this (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-61Sb9ciuZeE/VXlqv5D7_HI/AAAAAAAADEU/Y_QQphOkfgI/s1600/DSC_4604mod.jpg)of their own volition, read Yaoi in public places and make jokes about tentacle rape.

Regitnui
2015-10-06, 07:11 AM
You ask that like it's a hypothetical question.

Why isn't it for you?

Hawkstar
2015-10-06, 07:18 AM
And on that note, I express mild incredulity at the concept of chainmail bikini driving away female players when a lot of your potential players dress like this (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-61Sb9ciuZeE/VXlqv5D7_HI/AAAAAAAADEU/Y_QQphOkfgI/s1600/DSC_4604mod.jpg)of their own volition, read Yaoi in public places and make jokes about tentacle rape.

Again, I think the bigger problem is a backfiring of the "Golden Rule" - Guys tend to be more insecure and uncomfortable with their bodies and sexuality than women, and project that insecurity onto women.

I think guys should try wearing more chainmail speedos and the like. It would probably solve more social issues than railing against the female figure.

Amphetryon
2015-10-06, 09:09 AM
To add to the chainmail bikini debate: How many of the guys in this thread think a chainmail speedo sounds comfortable?i

So, it's your contention that regular chainmail, rather than a chainkini or chainspeedo, is worn for comfort?

Psyren
2015-10-06, 09:20 AM
I see no real reason to be beholden to real-world armor in fantasy. Our world doesn't have defensive enchantments, or mithral/adamantine, or force fields or many other things we can expect to be staples of the genre. So the fact that armor can be revealing and protective simultaneously isn't as big an issue for me.

Rather, my concern is that revealing armor is so pervasive, and so assumed to be the default for fantasy females, that it can only be described as pandering - and furthermore, pandering to one very specific demographic who are assumed to be a majority. This is particularly true when we look at fantasy (http://www.destructoid.com/scarlet-blade-might-be-the-most-shameless-f2p-game-yet-250929.phtml) game (http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2009/07/14/evolution-of-evony-video-game-ads/) advertising. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/10/14/wartune-is-for-men-only-no-womens-to-read/)

What I would like (particularly in the CRPG space) is the option to toggle how you want your armor to look on your character, much like a warrior living in that universe would be able to choose how much or how little of themselves they would want to reveal (assuming practical concerns like protection and encumbrance are equal between outfits.) Even something as simple as an illusion to cover up or reveal more at the wearer's option would be nice. Many CRPGs are doing something like this via letting you transmogrify your gear - letting you copy the look of something else while retaining your stats. This kind of expression should be the norm, and there should be a wide variety of armors for all genders with multiple levels of cheesecake.

But some options just don't need to exist at all, like running into battle wearing nothing but a few strings.

Satinavian
2015-10-06, 09:46 AM
Again, I think the bigger problem is a backfiring of the "Golden Rule" - Guys tend to be more insecure and uncomfortable with their bodies and sexuality than women, and project that insecurity onto women.

I think guys should try wearing more chainmail speedos and the like. It would probably solve more social issues than railing against the female figure.
For me it seems more like an US thing.

In Europe, tabletop-RPG-Culture seems more mixed and aspeccially here in Germany nudity is far less an issue as over there. (e.g. Germanys biggest tabletop game has illustrations with completely naked men and women which are not sexualized at all)



personally i don't like chainmail bikinis or other sexualized armor and i don't like unrealistic bulky armor. But the latter bothers me far more. The former is just aa stupid thing to wear but might be acceptable if the person is that stupid or values look over protection that much. But armor that is impossible to wear is, well, impossible to wear and shatters versimilitude.
At least in every setting that is at least a little bit serious about itself.


I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if fantasy illustrations had actually done any sort of thorough exploration of real world armor styles, or were actually somewhat diverse in their made-up styles. Instead it seems to me that the 'realistic' stuff tends to be some partial plate armor modeled *very* loosely on a conglomeration of a few hundred years of medieval European armors, while the more fantastic is basically just the same as above, but with much thicker plates, many more spikes, and even less attention paid to how people actually move, or else stuff that's closer to leather fetishwear than armor. A lot of systems actually do look at very different historical armor types. The Anglosphere tends to be a little bit concentrated on western european, especcially British armor. But i have seen eastern european, middle eastern and even central asion armor quite often in various RPGs. Central and south American armor and eastern Asian armor tends to be only in images for fictive cultures inspired by the corresponding real cultures and periods and are a bit rare. But to see e.g. Cataphract armor or some obviously Polish winged knight or armored Mongol archer is not uncommon at all. The same is true for other periods. Even in American RPGs you can find attire and armor inspired by ancient egypt or the all time favorite lorica segmentata.

To add to the chainmail bikini debate: How many of the guys in this thread think a chainmail speedo sounds comfortable?Chain armor of pretty much any kind is usually not worn on blank skin. That would be stupid. If you avoid that, the only really uncomfortable thing about it is its weight. As everyone who has actually word chainmail can tell you, it is heavy. Which would not really be true for a speedo or a bikini.
So yes, both would probably be not that uncomfortable, provided, you have something else under it. The reson not to use it is that it does not offer any significant protection. I could see both as either a kind of gladiatorial armor (which were not really practical but balanced for certain pairings and made for looks) or some kind of ornamental armor (which by the way does not fit any known real culture using mail but might fit certain ficive ones)

warty goblin
2015-10-06, 10:30 AM
I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if the premise of "real armor is boring" held up. I've seen enough pictures of plate cuirasses made by the late 1400's masters, beautiful helmets, and other things that modern artwork doesn't come anywhere near. Heck, even the cheap butted mail I've seen has a real beauty to it, let alone real hauberks. I mean, look at this (https://www.google.com/search?q=negroli+helmet&pws=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMItcSF_pCtyAIVSowNCh25wApV&biw=1076&bih=818). Sure, the occasional pure parade armor piece slips in there, but there's some amazing work. Then, returning to mail, there's the whole matter of how it's basically a highly protective flexible metal fabric. Personally, that seems pretty damn cool.

As for fantasy works, it's noticeable that there are a few obvious things that could be done, which are both practical and stylish. Mail where the links are just solid rings comes to mind, as does tabards being useful equipment that also provides a big sheet of cloth to stick designs on.

It was never my intention to imply real world armor was boring, far from it! No, my intent was merely to say that if fantasy art had done a good job of exploring the full diversity of real world arms and armor, I could see the argument for making up new stuff. Obviously however fantasy art has, by and large, not really done this to a meaningful extent.


So, it's your contention that regular chainmail, rather than a chainkini or chainspeedo, is worn for comfort?
Regular chain mail is, when worn with a belt and proper padding, not particularly uncomfortable. It's not particularly pleasant on bare skin in my experience, since the rings tend to pull at your body hair - even very fine hairs - but put any sort of fabric under it and that's no longer a problem. It doesn't even weigh more than a decent backpack, and constricts movement no more than a heavy sweater. A plain simple hauberk is, for an adventurer, probably a very good choice for armor, since it's quick and easy to put on and take off without assistance, doesn't compromise your flexibility at all, is simple to maintain, and fairly comfortable for extended periods of time. It's less protective than various forms of plate to be sure, but those require somewhat more logistical overhead that may be incompatible with dungeon delving.

Mr.Moron
2015-10-06, 10:38 AM
This complaint doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. For one thing, what makes pandering to one demographic - which may be an actual majority in a particular market - a bad thing? And where is all the 'concern' about the extremely sexually objectified (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_pg_3?rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Aparanormal+romance&page=3&keywords=paranormal+romance&ie=UTF8&qid=1444143974) men all over the covers of paranormal romance novels? It's not even like you can say that's a male power fantasy here, because paranormal romance is overwhelmingly read by women (https://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=582). More to the point, why should there even be concern about the endless parade of beefcake adorning the covers of first person novels about hot werewolf sex? I for one would argue there really shouldn't be, at least not unless we're gonna go down the extremely fraught and mostly unproductive road of attempting to police people's desires. So why get all concerned about some ladies in string bikinis promoting a free to play MMO?

We need give a lot less scrutiny to depictions of men than women with regards to objectification and some other things, because as a class women have traditionally been marginalized and dehumanized in a way that men as a class haven't. While tons of progress has been made and women have legal rights and have held positions as world leaders we're still carrying around a non-trivial amount of cultural baggage. Women still meet with challenges on an individual level in normal life because of remnants of that cultural legacy, and we still see large-scale inequities in things from power/representation to consideration in medical studies.

This means that if something comes up that might serve as a bit of objectification we can generally say "Dudes be doing fine, and this probably ain't gonna change that" and just chalk it up to taste. We can't say that with the same confidence for women. This doesn't mean that every bit of cheesecake or even the majority of it is a problem specifically, just that we need to keep critical eye in general and especially how they fit into broader trends.

Maybe that won't be the case someday, but I'm not convinced we're there yet.

Jelly d6
2015-10-06, 10:42 AM
I'd find this argument a lot more convincing if the premise of "real armor is boring" held up. I've seen enough pictures of plate cuirasses made by the late 1400's masters, beautiful helmets, and other things that modern artwork doesn't come anywhere near. Heck, even the cheap butted mail I've seen has a real beauty to it, let alone real hauberks. I mean, look at this (https://www.google.com/search?q=negroli+helmet&pws=0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAWoVChMItcSF_pCtyAIVSowNCh25wApV&biw=1076&bih=818). Sure, the occasional pure parade armor piece slips in there, but there's some amazing work. Then, returning to mail, there's the whole matter of how it's basically a highly protective flexible metal fabric. Personally, that seems pretty damn cool.

As for fantasy works, it's noticeable that there are a few obvious things that could be done, which are both practical and stylish. Mail where the links are just solid rings comes to mind, as does tabards being useful equipment that also provides a big sheet of cloth to stick designs on.

First, I've mentioned 'realistic vs. non-realistic', not 'historical vs. fantasy'. Second, I've used 'boring' from the target audience' point of view. I can pretty much see the beauty as well as novelty in historical armor forms. To continue with the helmets theme you've suggested, I can think of several examples in totally (http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/112097) different (http://twonerdyhistorygirls.blogspot.ru/2011/08/horned-helmet-of-henry-viii-1514.html) styles (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close_helmet#/media/File:German_-_Close_Helmet_of_the_%22Maximilian%22_Style_-_Walters_51465_-_Profile.jpg) that still look pretty impressive.

But all these examples just won't fit into 'high-fantasy aesthetics'. Which only shows us how rigid and limited this aesthetics is. Not only it prefers form over function, it doesn't tolerate any violation of the form.

Garimeth
2015-10-06, 10:52 AM
{{Scrubbed}}

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 11:07 AM
We need give a lot less scrutiny to depictions of men than women with regards to objectification and some other things, because as a class women have traditionally been marginalized and dehumanized in a way that men as a class haven't. While tons of progress has been made and women have legal rights and have held positions as world leaders we're still carrying around a non-trivial amount of cultural baggage. Women still meet with challenges on an individual level in normal life because of remnants of that cultural legacy, and we still see large-scale inequities in things from power/representation to consideration in medical studies.

This means that if something comes up that might serve as a bit of objectification we can generally say "Dudes be doing fine, and this probably ain't gonna change that" and just chalk it up to taste. We can't say that with the same confidence for women. This doesn't mean that every bit of cheesecake or even the majority of it is a problem specifically, just that we need to keep critical eye in general and especially how they fit into broader trends.

Maybe that won't be the case someday, but I'm not convinced we're there yet.
Yup. It is up to men to take care of and protect women from the evil of Men, because women are too fragile to deal with sexualized images and therefore must be protected from them.

Sarcasm aside, this kind of argument is 10x more demeaning to women as strong, grown-up people than a chainmail bikini is. Dear lord.

Hawkstar
2015-10-06, 11:08 AM
We need give a lot less scrutiny to depictions of men than women with regards to objectification and some other things, because as a class women have traditionally been marginalized and dehumanized in a way that men as a class haven't. While tons of progress has been made and women have legal rights and have held positions as world leaders we're still carrying around a non-trivial amount of cultural baggage. Women still meet with challenges on an individual level in normal life because of remnants of that cultural legacy, and we still see large-scale inequities in things from power/representation to consideration in medical studies.

This means that if something comes up that might serve as a bit of objectification we can generally say "Dudes be doing fine, and this probably ain't gonna change that" and just chalk it up to taste. We can't say that with the same confidence for women. This doesn't mean that every bit of cheesecake or even the majority of it is a problem specifically, just that we need to keep critical eye in general and especially how they fit into broader trends.

Maybe that won't be the case someday, but I'm not convinced we're there yet. Eh... I think it's fallacious to believe that guys enjoying drawing skimpy women has anything more than a negligibly trivial effect on the social treatment of women in professional and political spaces. In fact... it tends to be doing more good than harm as far as I can tell. While some women are offended by the treatment, a lot more such as myself aren't, and it brings us into spaces that would otherwise be even more predominantly male (Especially art and gaming subcultures)

Oh no! The planet's temperature is going up! Better nerf Irelia! I mean, since that one set of numbers are going up, we need to fight the trend of growing numbers by dropping Irelia's even lower!

Mr.Moron
2015-10-06, 11:11 AM
Yup. It is up to men to take care of and protect women from the evil of Men, because women are too fragile to deal with sexualized images and therefore must be protected from them.

Sarcasm aside, this kind of argument is 10x more demeaning to women as strong, grown-up people than a chainmail bikini is. Dear lord.


"We" is not men. It's society as whole all people, men, women and otherwise just being mindful about how we portray people who still face challenges because of the limitations historically placed on them. It has nothing to do with women being fragile, or "protecting" them. It has nothing to do with women being offended or hurt by individual images like it's some kind of foul smell. It's about being aware of cultural trends, placing the media we consume in context with them and keeping a critical eye open where history merits we should.

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 11:33 AM
"We" is not men. It's society as whole all people, men, women and otherwise just being mindful about how we portray people who still face challenges because of the limitations historically placed on them. It has nothing to do with women being fragile, or "protecting" them. It has nothing to do with women being offended or hurt by individual images like it's some kind of foul smell. It's about being aware of cultural trends, placing the media we consume in context with them and keeping a critical eye open where history merits we should.

Exactly. Because women had it hard once and need to be coddled and protected or else society will be mean to them.

Either way, you're demanding that women get special protective treatment. We don't protect strong, self-capable people. We protect the weak, the ill, and the children. (And sometimes especially important people, but they're the rare exceptions)

This is still the same argument, but you're saying "This is the argument, but its not this."

You want women to be treated different so that they have it less hard. That means you want them to be protected. You don't protect someone if they can protect themselves just fine. So you must think they NEED protecting. Which means they are incapable of handling our society without protection.

Still demeaning to women and their power and capabilities and unbelievable strength and resolve and ability to get sh*t done. My wife is a strong, powerful, independant woman who does not need a man but who decided she wanted one anyways. She chose to be a mom because she dang well wanted to be one. She is smart and capable and she knows what she wants.

My unborn daughter will be just like her. And I expect her to affect her own change on the world. If she doesn't like something, she has the power to ignore it, or bring about a more positive, powerful movement. She will not need society to coddle her and protect her from chainmail bikinis.

That's how women truly are. That's the kind of woman my mother spent years fighting in favor of. Women who make their own change because they want it. Not women who need to be protected in case their feelings get hurt because the previous generation had it hard.

One creates change. The other creates whining. That's the difference.

Society DOES need to change. But not because women need to be protected. It needs to be changed because women decided to change it and make it better than it was. And even better, to do so hand-in-hand with men so that no one has to be treated like dirt so that someone else can rise. We can, indeed, be respectful to both sexes at the same time. We can tackles womens issues and mens issues simultaneously, because theres 7 billion humans and humans are amazing. There is no need to ignore mens issues to deal with those of women. It's just being willfully vengeful.

Just my 2 cents.

Segev
2015-10-06, 12:03 PM
This means that if something comes up that might serve as a bit of objectification we can generally say "Dudes be doing fine, and this probably ain't gonna change that" and just chalk it up to taste. We can't say that with the same confidence for women. This doesn't mean that every bit of cheesecake or even the majority of it is a problem specifically, just that we need to keep critical eye in general and especially how they fit into broader trends.

My Ph.D. work centered around neural networks. My advisor used them heavily for power system stabilization. Power plants attempt to produce exactly enough power to meet current demands moment to moment, because too little results in brown- or black-outs, while too much causes circuits to overload, destabilizing the power system and frying elements until the excess power is spent on generating heat (and leading to black-outs due to lines and circuits going down).

There is a fair bit of tolerance built into the system, so this needn't be exactly precise 100% of the time, but it has to stay within certain bounds.

Fluctuations in the power grid tend to behave more like water washing back and forth across a tipping tub than they do a simple level. You're trying to balance the inflow to the outflow, and adjustments on one side take time to propagate to the other. This also means that sudden dips and sudden increases form waves going back and forth, leading to fluctuations up and down when power is not provided at the right level (as opposed to a steady drop or rise, as one might otherwise expect).

One trouble that we have is that the time it takes to detect need to the time power levels can be changed is significant in electrical timescales. If you respond to a dip in power by increasing output, you may well find the extra power going in at the peak of a fluctuating wave. Conversely, responding to a rise in power by lowering it could result in power being dropped just as a trough of that fluctuation occurs. Either way, your action reinforces the peak or the trough, causing the fluctuation to get worse rather than better as things swing even further out of whack.

The goal is to damp out these fluctuations, not make them oscillate more and more strongly. That is, you are not trying to ensure that, just because you had too little power 2 milliseconds ago, you have an equal amount of too much NOW; you want to have exactly the right amount as soon as possible, without regard to "paying back" any overage or underage.


Likewise, attempting to rectify historical inequalities by granting special extra privileges and protections to a once-victimized class only serves to further destabilize things. Early civil rights laws handled it better than modern societal attempts are: most of them centered around declaring that race/sex/skin color could not be a consideration in determining various things (hiring practices being the most obvious). Approaches wherein equality is forcefully applied help to damp out the social oscillations and force things to an even keel at the new, egalitarian level.

Approaches wherein special privilege or specific, exclusive protections are given based on past injustices only throw things more towards inequality. The legally-enforced distinctions based on sex/race/whatever further separate the classes that are supposedly trying to be equalized, and create resentment in those not in the protected/privileged class. If the theory is that the formerly-privileged class already was bigoted against the unfairly victimized class, this will only serve to enhance that bigotry, creating a larger, stronger backlash with the (justified) demand for equal treatment now REINFORCING the former bigotry that used to justify the prior unequal state.

Therefore, equal treatment must be the means as well as the end. Men being made "sex objects" just as often as women should not be treated with a double standard: if it's bad for women, it's bad for men; if it's okay for men, it's okay for women. To treat it otherwise, with a double standard, is to only serve to prevent things from evening out. To reinforce the divides, the bigotries, and the ire to the point where equality is actually harder to achieve.

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 01:03 PM
I am in strong agreement with Segev.

The best way to handle situations like these is with mutual respect.

Disrespectful depictions of women MUST be exactly as shunned as disrespectful depictions of men. There is a trend in sitcoms and series of portraying the father as a fat, incompetent moron to the point where a competent father would now be refreshing. Who was the last competent, sane father you saw in television?
This is disrespectful.

Any depiction of women as weak, inferior, or only worth the weight of their breasts and buttocks is disrespectful.

One can acknowledge the trends and differences between the sexes and be respectful. We need not be the same to be respected equally.

But we must be respected equally to be equals. Mutual respect, and without protecting one class of person over another.

To say one must come first is fallacious. Humanity does not solve one problem at a time. We can solve many at once. We don't have to wait until Gay Marriage is passed to start working on stronger laws against Child Abuse. We don't have to wait until Women have 0 issues before we start tackling men's issues.

Psyren
2015-10-06, 01:36 PM
In short, my position is that I get tired of the conclusion that women are always the victims of an evil male patriarchal conspiracy and that men are never in any way anything but uplifted and given total unfair advantage. Especially as no matter what examples are brought up, they all are twisted to support that conclusion, even if they have to contradict prior explanations for prior examples.

(Worse, I could probably construct the arguments identically to portray men as "always victimized" and women as the dominant matriarchal power trying to keep men under their well-manicured thumbs. Note: I don't think that's the case, but the arguments are that ludicrously twisted.)

No one is concluding "X is always Y." The only real absolute is that individual exceptions and counterexamples invariably exist; their existence however does not disprove the general trend. And for that matter, rational folks are well aware that #NotAllMen are contributors to patriarchal inequality. But the problem is still a systemic one, and concluding otherwise does nothing to help fix it.


Segev, your whole post was good, but this portion just nailed exactly how I feel not just about this topic, but much of society.

There are too many apologists for their own demographic. *Politics snipped*

I assure you, as a cisgendered male I am not in the female demographic, but I still consider myself to be a feminist (Some here might say "SJW") and think these issues need to be talked about, and exposed to the light of day, and ultimately challenged. Because patriarchy, and the toxic masculinity it engenders, hurts everyone.

No woman should ever have to worry about hiding her voice/using a male avatar in an online game to avoid harassment, or being subject to slurs and abuse in a tournament (http://kotaku.com/5889415/this-is-what-a-gamers-sexual-harassment-looks-like), or be afraid to even work in the industry entirely. Yes, I'm aware that some don't worry about these things, but too many do. Yes, I'm aware that there are guys that have some of these fears too, but they affect one gender disproportionately. And that is a problem that needs to be solved.

warty goblin
2015-10-06, 01:44 PM
Man, I either need to get better about just not writing this stuff in the first place, or get a lot faster on the ol' edit button. But hey, the milk's spilled, so whatcha gonna do?

I really just wanted to make one point: fantasy tends to be full of sexually objectified people, possibly because one component of fantasy for a lot of people is sexual, and imagining a hot person who wants to have sex with a more awesome version of yourself is fun. The subset of the genre we call sci-fi/fantasy that features the version of this fantasy aimed at straight men tends to feature scantily clad ladies. The romance book genre sells one version or another of this to straight women, and tends to feature lots of scantily clad dudes. This seems basically inevitable on both parts, given the lowering of taboos around partial nudity, and that a fairly large subset of people like to look at sexy pictures of people who are members of a gender to whom they are attracted.

Seems to me that one has to more or less just roll with that, or else get into the business of saying fantasy X is bad, and fantasy Y is OK. Which is generally unpleasant, liable to annoy a lot of people, and unlikely to actually work in the first place. It also seems to me that to a considerable extent, a trend is simply a thing a lot of people like. Which is to say there's probably a lot of paranormal romance novels with super-muscular male torsos on the cover because a lot of women like that, or it at least does a good job of signaling that the book contains the sort of things that they enjoy. And the prominance of women in chainmail lingerie in fantasy art is probably because a lot of men like pictures of women in chainmail lingerie, or it serves a similar signaling role.

But if a trend is to a large degree a thing a lot of people like, and we aren't getting into the business of saying hot supernatural person illustration 1 is bad for being hot, and hot supernatural person illustration 2 is good or OK for similar reasons, then you're pretty much stuck with pictures of hot supernatural people are OK, and any trend in said can in large part be ascribed to the sum of individual taste, which remember we aren't policing. On top of which, romance is a much larger market than any male-centric book market (if sci-fi/fantasy even is male-centric), or any other fiction market full stop, so it's hardly the case that female tastes are being neglected here. They may not be being enormously well served within the bounds of traditional fantasy, but there are fantasy romances if you need some hot elf action1, and romance really does not serve male interests particularly well at all, so I'm having a hard time elevating this to 'actual problem' status. Different people go to different genres for their differing tastes, even if there's some symmetry in those tastes.

1Some of which are actually a lot of fun, although I've very seldom read any other fantasy which describes a fight scene as 'there was a fight' and then gets back to the important part: lustful longing.

None of which is to say that ladies in chain mail underpants should be everywhere, or to comment on whether particular corrections are necessary to undo a history of gender oppression, or if gender A is doing OK in relation to genders B through a-gender non-conforming otherkin. It really is just a statement about hot supernatural people in art, and how I figure there being hot supernatural people in art is just fine, even if you find different hot supernatual people in different isles of the bookstore.

TheIronGolem
2015-10-06, 02:28 PM
Remember when this thread was about armor? I miss that.

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 02:30 PM
No one is concluding "X is always Y." The only real absolute is that individual exceptions and counterexamples invariably exist; their existence however does not disprove the general trend. And for that matter, rational folks are well aware that #NotAllMen are contributors to patriarchal inequality. But the problem is still a systemic one, and concluding otherwise does nothing to help fix it.



I assure you, as a cisgendered male I am not in the female demographic, but I still consider myself to be a feminist (Some here might say "SJW") and think these issues need to be talked about, and exposed to the light of day, and ultimately challenged. Because patriarchy, and the toxic masculinity it engenders, hurts everyone.

No woman should ever have to worry about hiding her voice/using a male avatar in an online game to avoid harassment, or being subject to slurs and abuse in a tournament (http://kotaku.com/5889415/this-is-what-a-gamers-sexual-harassment-looks-like), or be afraid to even work in the industry entirely. Yes, I'm aware that some don't worry about these things, but too many do. Yes, I'm aware that there are guys that have some of these fears too, but they affect one gender disproportionately. And that is a problem that needs to be solved.

It is a problem that needs to be solved. No one is disagreeing with that position.

What IS being refused is the idea that the ONLY way to support one group is at the expense or selective ignorance to another group's problems.

Mutual and equal respect to both sides, ALWAYS. That means we treat womens issues and mens issues with the same gravity and respect ALWAYS as if they were EQUALS. That's what being Equals means. I respect you and want to help you exactly as much as you want to help me.

THAT is where we run into problems. When you deliverately act in a way that is disrespectful to men because women were disrespected, no increase in respect has been achieved. All you have done is shifted some of the disrespect.

I don't need to be punished because some a-hole treats a woman like crap. I don't even have guilt by association. I've never raped anyone, but I have been lumped in with those people on account of my having a Y chromosome. Not only is that idiotic and illogical, but it is INCREDIBLY disrespectful.

I respect women enough to say that they are grown ups who can handle their own issues, and who are smart enough find ways to overcome oppression without vilifying, generalizing, or demonizing others. If that makes me a Misogynist, then I adopt the title proudly.

When you get to the point where you can no longer respect another person's very real perceived problems, you are now just as bad as the people who refuse to respect your problems. This is true, irrelevant of total number of problems each party has. Even if you have more problems than someone else, it is disrespectful and hurtful to deny and minimize their problems in favor of your own.

We can solve all of the problems without treating EITHER group like villains.

Real life is not d&d. Men are not the BBEG that must be defeated for equality to happen.

Enuff said.

Edit:
With regards to the article, I think the response to what happened is a better barometer for society than what actually happened. When one guy is a massive tool and the rest of his community throws him under the bus, (which is what happened) then that speaks more to how GOOD of a community that is, rather than how bad of a community. Yes, one incident occurred and the community was disgusted. This is not "gamers are so #sexist" this is "wow, that guy is a jerknut. At least virtually no one supported him in his community."

Sure, someone probably supported him. But what I'm seeing is far less support than condemnation. You're taking a sign of health as a sign of sickness. Don't twist it around. Dude got rekt for being a jerk. Celebrate. That's a win, not a loss. And we can do that without generalizing all men and gamers and insteaf by making it clear that any INDIVIDUAL who behaves like a sexist pig will be ostracized and given a smackdown on an individual basis.

This will not 100% cure the problem. Nothing will.
We have done virtually everything to limit murder. It still happens. Oops. Jerknuts will always exist to ruin your day. At least we get to go John Cena on their candy @sses.

That article and its update show, to me, a positive thing. Not a negative. What he said and did, bad. What happened after? Oh yeah. That's what I like to see.

Mr.Moron
2015-10-06, 02:45 PM
We can solve all of the problems without treating EITHER group like villains.

Real life is not d&d. Men are not the BBEG that must be defeated for equality to happen.

Enuff said.


Yogurt is not killing our platypuses, it's insane you want to ban oranges to save them. We don't need defeat dairy products to ensure citrus is safe for everyone!

warty goblin
2015-10-06, 02:52 PM
Remember when this thread was about armor? I miss that.

Kegel helms vs. Spangenhelms? Go!

Garimeth
2015-10-06, 02:55 PM
I assure you, as a cisgendered male I am not in the female demographic, but I still consider myself to be a feminist (Some here might say "SJW") and think these issues need to be talked about, and exposed to the light of day, and ultimately challenged. Because patriarchy, and the toxic masculinity it engenders, hurts everyone.

{{scrubbed}}

obryn
2015-10-06, 02:58 PM
I support equality. Modern/third wave/neo feminism supports special treatment.
Huh, and here I thought this board was all about its 3e.

georgie_leech
2015-10-06, 03:00 PM
Huh, and here I thought this board was all about its 3e.

3.5 is considerably more popular :smallbiggrin:

Garimeth
2015-10-06, 03:02 PM
3.5 is considerably more popular :smallbiggrin:

I think, from a NON-BIASED standpoint, it is much more balanced.

I'd like to point out that both 3rds required excessive special treatment in the form of house-rules.

obryn
2015-10-06, 03:08 PM
I support equality. Modern/third wave/neo feminism supports special treatment. I am in pretty strong agreement with that guy who ISN'T Trevor. As soon as SJW as a concept leaves the net and hits the real world it results in double standards. X is the criteria for Y (jobs, programs, crimes, disorders, whatever). Does this person meet this criteria? Yes? Case Closed.

What was said in Animal Farm? "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others?"
In all seriousness, though, I have no idea where you're getting the rest of this from. But I also have much better things to do with my time than trying to do a 101 class on this site when it's at best tangentially related, so...

VoxRationis
2015-10-06, 03:25 PM
Remember when this thread was about armor? I miss that.

I agree. I'd like to point out that this thread wasn't really supposed to be about feminism or even chainmail bikinis (both of which have been talked to death elsewhere).

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 03:52 PM
Yogurt is not killing our platypuses, it's insane you want to ban oranges to save them. We don't need defeat dairy products to ensure citrus is safe for everyone!

I have honestly no idea what this is supposed to mean. Is it an agreement? An attempt to reduce the argument to absurdity?
A joke?

Either way...

http://new2.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/I+just+want+to+put+some+butter+on+my+toast+_746a3d 11899ea85eedefef1a8651a46e.jpg

Mr.Moron
2015-10-06, 03:56 PM
I have honestly no idea what this is supposed to mean. Is it an agreement? An attempt to reduce the argument to absurdity?
A joke?

Either way...

http://new2.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/I+just+want+to+put+some+butter+on+my+toast+_746a3d 11899ea85eedefef1a8651a46e.jpg


Oh. I thought were just arguing against things that nobody brought up, sorry.

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 04:26 PM
Oh. I thought were just arguing against things that nobody brought up, sorry.

I felt that I had made it pretty clear why I made that point, and how it was related. Apparently I was mistaken, or my train of thought ran away with me. So let's go back and look at my logical chain that led me there.

>Implication made that we don't deal with (insert valid male negative experience here) and we are justified because ( insert Larger quanity of valid female negative experience here)
>I Refute this idea on basis of mutual respect being paramount regardless of quantity of valid negative experiences, and that solving multiple problems simultaneously is possible. We don't need to take turns.
>Implication repeated with new wording.
> I re-explain from a new angle, asserting now that to reject as invalid one group's valid problems and to treat them disrespectfully is damaging.
>Highlight Kotaku article that takes a legitimate victory for equal treatment and makes it about how the sole instigator is representative of his entire gender within a subculture, thus actually being hostile towards a certain gender.
> It seemed like a valid point to make at this point that such hostility, generalizing, and demonizing of the male sex is simply unneeded, using common topic of this forum as a touchpoint.

Perhaps not a point that fits perfectly, but unless it's incorrect there's no real reason to be hostile towards it. The most respectful response is something along the lines of "I don't think anyone is saying that, but I understand the feeling behind it."

Rather than mocking a point that, while not really needing to be said (I got ahead of myself somewhat, as I love waxing eloquent) is generally accurate to reality. It has the chance to make someone think that you believe that the point itself is absurd, which I don't think you do.

At least, I hope you don't think it is absurd to say "we don't need to defeat men to uplift women." Luckily, nothing you have said so far makes me think that you have a belief that extreme.

Psyren
2015-10-06, 04:33 PM
@ ImNotTrevor: I'm not seeing anyone in this thread that was being disrespectful to men. Certainly I wasn't. I believe that is the source of Mr. Moron's confusion, and if so, I share it. I do agree with you that the response to the Cross Assault debacle was heartening, but the fact that it could still happen in the first place is a problem.

@ Garimeth: I'm all for equal treatment, but if one group is at a disadvantage then it's not quite the right answer. Imagine a seesaw that is weighed down more at one end - if you then walk up and add the same weight to both sides, you're behaving equally, but the seesaw will still be tilted/imbalanced when you're done. Equal treatment in an unequal system doesn't fix the inequality.

Or just this graphic:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/eb/4c/ac/eb4cacceb666fb5918c8360acfbc1c08.jpg

And to tie this all back to fantasy armor, that is a perfect example. "The dudes' armor is unrealistic/sexualized too" is a common counter, and it feels right, because it is doing the same thing to both sides - equal treatment. Yet it doesn't work for two reasons:

1) Both are primarily designed for (and in many cases by) the same audience - young straight adult males. Sure, there are some buff shirtless dudes drawn with a female audience in mind, but most are not, and the difference is fairly easy to spot - it's in the posing.

2) There are so many, many, many more examples, and even whole other genres, where the female outfits are largely drawn that way - modern, pulp, contemporary sci-fi, futuristic sci-fi, superheroes, steampunk etc. - that saying "there are dude outfits drawn for cheesecake too" does not begin to redress that balance. This has been a thing pretty much as long as marketing has existed, and it's not just for games and books either, it's for nearly everything that targets the demographic mentioned in #1.

Solaris
2015-10-06, 04:43 PM
Remember when this thread was about armor? I miss that.

SJWs tend to kill the fun in things. It's a class feature of theirs; they get tons of experience points for it. I just like playing SJW buzzword bingo while they do it.

You know what's funny about that "Chainmail bikinis are uncomfortable" point? I never assumed that someone would be wearing all those pinchy little links next to bare skin, especially on the bottom (yeowch). I think it's 'cause my first exposure to chainmail bikinis was in the SCA (some people take 'anachronism' a little farther than others), and that's the sort of mistake nobody makes twice.

Strigon
2015-10-06, 05:38 PM
Remember when this thread was about armor? I miss that.

Expecting a gender inequality debate not to derail an Internet forum is like expecting an alignment debate not to derail a GitP thread.
Actually, that's a good way of looking at it; gender equality is the Internet at large's version of an alignment debate.


Honestly, the issue here is that everyone who has posted is on the same side: treat women with just as much respect as you would treat men. If someone refuses to do so, they're a jerk.

The issue that seems to be arising is exactly how that respect is shown, and whether or not you should actively try to balance the scales or just do your part to make sure you're not being disrespectful.


There's absolutely no way I'm putting in my own opinion here, though :smalleek:

ImNotTrevor
2015-10-06, 05:46 PM
@ ImNotTrevor: I'm not seeing anyone in this thread that was being disrespectful to men. Certainly I wasn't. I believe that is the source of Mr. Moron's confusion, and if so, I share it. I do agree with you that the response to the Cross Assault debacle was heartening, but the fact that it could still happen in the first place is a problem.

@ Garimeth: I'm all for equal treatment, but if one group is at a disadvantage then it's not quite the right answer. Imagine a seesaw that is weighed down more at one end - if you then walk up and add the same weight to both sides, you're behaving equally, but the seesaw will still be tilted/imbalanced when you're done. Equal treatment in an unequal system doesn't fix the inequality.

Or just this graphic:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/eb/4c/ac/eb4cacceb666fb5918c8360acfbc1c08.jpg

And to tie this all back to fantasy armor, that is a perfect example. "The dudes' armor is unrealistic/sexualized too" is a common counter, and it feels right, because it is doing the same thing to both sides - equal treatment. Yet it doesn't work for two reasons:

1) Both are primarily designed for (and in many cases by) the same audience - young straight adult males. Sure, there are some buff shirtless dudes drawn with a female audience in mind, but most are not, and the difference is fairly easy to spot - it's in the posing.

2) There are so many, many, many more examples, and even whole other genres, where the female outfits are largely drawn that way - modern, pulp, contemporary sci-fi, futuristic sci-fi, superheroes, steampunk etc. - that saying "there are dude outfits drawn for cheesecake too" does not begin to redress that balance. This has been a thing pretty much as long as marketing has existed, and it's not just for games and books either, it's for nearly everything that targets the demographic mentioned in #1.

Equality means everyone has an equal opportunity.
Equity means everyone gets an equal result regardless of effort.

So the graphic is misleading in several waysn especially since the problems are in the individuals, not the system they are overcoming. The system presents an equal challenge to all, and equal reward to all. The only difference is the individual. So the graphic is especially poor as an example of a broken system.

As for "we shouldn't live in a world where guys like that exist", we shouldn't live in a world where murder happens, either, but we don't seem to be in nearly so much of an uproar about it being a thing. We tend to celebrate low murder rates and the techniques that brought them about, instead of bemoaning each individual murder as a product of culture.
Long story short, sexist morons will always exist. To believe otherwise is a bit silly. Every time one gets socially suplexed, be happy. It will happen forever, to both sexes, because being lecherous is not exclusive to the male gender. During my brief time in Paraguay I was cat-called and harrassed due to being pale, blue-eyed, and obviously American, by women on a nearly daily basis. No, I am not particularly attractive.

So yeah, a lot of these complaints are for relatively minor problems that will either work themselves out over time or are essentially non-problems.
Guys make fantasy lady fap materials for other straight guys. As more women make art for the field and join it, the problem will equalize naturally with minimal input. You're part of the generation that really doesn't care about the sexes enough to continue the systematic oppression of the past. And soon we'll be in charge and the problem will phase out with the old guard that maintained it.

But hey, I'm one of them optimists.

Psyren
2015-10-06, 06:11 PM
The system is the fence - but you have incorrectly concluded that the problem lies with the individuals. It doesn't, because it's based on something they don't control - their height. No one can (yet) control how tall they are - a system that discriminates based on a characteristic the participants in that system can't control (see the pattern?) is a flawed system. It means that effort is not the determining factor for reward. The tall guy puts forth no effort at all, yet he beats the fence, simply because he came to the fence (read: was born with) an advantage that the other two don't get.

The same goes for a system that punishes gender, race, sexuality, or any other characteristic that has nothing to do with effort.

And I don't know about the society you live in, but my experience is that murder is a pretty big deal in most places I've been to :smalltongue:

Solaris
2015-10-06, 08:15 PM
Except we don't live in a society that discriminates based on height. We live in a society that tells you that you must accomplish at least X amount in order to play.

It's not society's fault that some people are less able to accomplish X than others, nor is society obligated to adjust itself to suit them.

Amphetryon
2015-10-06, 08:31 PM
Except we don't live in a society that discriminates based on height. We live in a society that tells you that you must accomplish at least X amount in order to play.

It's not society's fault that some people are less able to accomplish X than others, nor is society obligated to adjust itself to suit them.

Seeing the playing field is an accomplishment?

Hawkstar
2015-10-06, 08:55 PM
And to tie this all back to fantasy armor, that is a perfect example. "The dudes' armor is unrealistic/sexualized too" is a common counter, and it feels right, because it is doing the same thing to both sides - equal treatment. Yet it doesn't work for two reasons:

1) Both are primarily designed for (and in many cases by) the same audience - young straight adult males. Sure, there are some buff shirtless dudes drawn with a female audience in mind, but most are not, and the difference is fairly easy to spot - it's in the posing.

2) There are so many, many, many more examples, and even whole other genres, where the female outfits are largely drawn that way - modern, pulp, contemporary sci-fi, futuristic sci-fi, superheroes, steampunk etc. - that saying "there are dude outfits drawn for cheesecake too" does not begin to redress that balance. This has been a thing pretty much as long as marketing has existed, and it's not just for games and books either, it's for nearly everything that targets the demographic mentioned in #1.
The problem with this analysis of art is.... where's the problem? Drawing scantily-clad women is not hurting them in any way.


The system is the fence - but you have incorrectly concluded that the problem lies with the individuals. It doesn't, because it's based on something they don't control - their height.
The problem is in the individuals, even if it's a problem they can't control. Life isn't fair, but the tall guy didn't steal the short guy's height. The fence is a consistent, even height. Now... if the fence was slanted, then it would be an unfair system.


And the reason this thread is about female armor is because the OP opened the thread with this pile of garbage:

The chainmail bikini and its various equivalents are one of the most notorious scourges of fantasy art. They're impractical, they're objectifying, and they're an insult to the viewer, since the artist apparently thinks we can't think positively of a work without seeing a half-naked woman somewhere in it. It bugs me when I see this sort of thing, and I've resolved never to draw them (although that's probably made somewhat cheaply easy by the fact that I don't draw people all that much). I am far from the first person to espouse this kind of thought on the matter; goto124 has an entire thread about fixing them (in the "Arts and Crafts" section).

Zrak
2015-10-06, 11:36 PM
You know, I think that's changing because their own hair really hasn't been a thing Manly Men(TM) have paid attention to until about the late 2000s/early 2010s. Before that, "Not bald" and "Not a mullet" was about the extent of men's hair fashions, and anyone who paid much more attention to their hair than that was derided as a pretty-boy. Nowadays, though, that seems to be changing - and with it, Conan's hair.
I think that's part of it, although I think part of it is also Jason Momoa's sheer charisma managing to make his look surprisingly iconic for how little anyone cared about that movie. Conan had pretty much a singular, specific hairstyle for almost his whole career until the Momoa film, when he lost the huge bowl-cut bangs and started just having relatively plain long hair. I think the two sort of went hand-in-hand. Also, the earth-shattering success of several genre media franchises targeted at young adult women probably didn't get in the way of trying to sexy up male leads in genre media.
All that said, it remains the case that I doubt we'll ever see a scrawny Conan, even when "thin is in," but I'd be more surprised if a given Red Sonja were particularly muscular than if she weren't.


Like it or not, this arises from there being a stereotype about what men, as a general rule, like and are like. Few men are going to match the stereotypical caricature with great fidelity, but men really do tend to have interests that align one way or another with "machismo." It is an even rarer man who exhibits none of those traits than the one who exhibits all of them. (I'm one of the least macho men around, but I can still identify some traits I have in the stereotype.) To denigrate machismo as a whole is to denigrate men as a whole by painting those things which men most likely have in common with each other as bad.
To reiterate, the idea isn't to denigrate the things men like and have in common with each other; it is to reject the idea that men must like these things in order to be "real" men.


Hence, scantily clad women are male sexual fantasies, but scantily clad men are male power fantasies. While an oversimplification, and to some degree meritorious, it's over-applied to the point of being pure attack propaganda a lot of the time.
I would agree; there's some truth to that idea, but it's ultimately a facile oversimplification. Where I would disagree with you is that I don't think that's generally what's being argued, or at least what's being argued as often as its opponents claim it is. Like I said before, I don't think the hulking, skull-crushing musclemen are any more representative of a male power fantasy than the impossibly-proportioned scantily-clad sex goddess is necessarily representative of a female fantasy. That said, they're the fantasies that are marketed towards us; whether they're on the cover of a fantasy novel or on the posters in the window of GNC, that's what we're told we're supposed to look, act, and generally be like.


And here is exactly an example of what I mean: if a girl is "some kind of svelt, irresistibly sexy femme fatale," she's declared a sexual fantasy (for men). But the first thing thought of with "some kind of lithe, irresistibly stylish Casanova" is that he's a power fantasy (for men).

It couldn't possibly be that the femme fatale is a power fantasy for women, nor the Cassanova a sexual fantasy for women. (Okay, it could possibly be, but even making the argument will get the social justice crowd up in arms over the audacity to claim that there could possibly be parity of pandering at all.)
I wasn't trying to say that sex appeal can't be a power fantasy for women, only that neither gender's portrayal is really based around what people desire for themselves. I should've probably chosen a different example, a charismatic political manipulator or daring, scrawny thief or something, to not confuse the issue. In any case, my point was that the typical presentation of males in fantasy shouldn't be considered indicative of male power fantasies, any more than the typical presentation of females should be considered indicative of female sexual fantasies.


I have to say that I've never really seen it used to portray men as "victims" of stereotyping. Only as a justification for dismissing any scantily-clad male character as a counter-argument that a scantily-clad female character is an unfair social attack on women. I've seen that argument used for why women are being victimized: not only is that sexy half-dressed woman objectified (and definitely not a power fantasy for women), but she shows only one way to be "feminine," and thus victimizes women who don't fit that narrow mold.

Meanwhile, the "male power fantasy" is universal enough that all men DO want to be that and allowing them to pretend to be is totally catering to their unjust masculine whims.

This isn't the line of argument on the subject I'm familiar with from academic criticism, but I've been on the internet long enough to know every opinion will, in time, devolve into a farcical strawman of itself on the internet, so I can't really say I'm surprised that ti's a line of argument that's around.


Why isn't it for you?

No, dude. I don't swim without protection. There are sharks, man.


It's not society's fault that some people are less able to accomplish X than others, nor is society obligated to adjust itself to suit them.

Except, some times it is society's fault that those people can't, or that their path to doing so is unfairly difficult compared to others. Some of my friends and family who grew up on reservations couldn't achieve the same things I did in high school, for example, through no fault of their own; the opportunities to do so literally weren't there. At the very least, the same achievement is often a much more unreasonable burden for some than others, due to entirely external circumstances.

TheIronGolem
2015-10-07, 12:24 AM
So how about them spikes on armor, eh? Those sure are silly. It's like "hey, I'm a heavy shock trooper, it's not like I'd ever need to stand next to someone I don't want to kill", right?

Zrak
2015-10-07, 12:34 AM
Obviously, their formations stand farther apart to make room for their gigantic swords.

Svata
2015-10-07, 12:45 AM
Except we don't live in a society that discriminates based on height. We live in a society that tells you that you must accomplish at least X amount in order to play.

It's not society's fault that some people are less able to accomplish X than others, nor is society obligated to adjust itself to suit them.

Yeah, its someone's own fault when they can't met society's standards. To hell with anyone who happens to have a handicap (whether physical, mental, or societal. Doesn't matter which). **** 'em. Not my fault; not my problem.

Psyren
2015-10-07, 12:58 AM
The problem with this analysis of art is.... where's the problem? Drawing scantily-clad women is not hurting them in any way.

It is if that decision/approach/style is so pervasive as to become an accepted default portrayal. Many games don't even question it anymore, or provide alternatives for the female gamers who don't want their avatars to look that way. Action figures, comics, movie posters and other media fall prey to this often too.



The problem is in the individuals, even if it's a problem they can't control. Life isn't fair, but the tall guy didn't steal the short guy's height. The fence is a consistent, even height. Now... if the fence was slanted, then it would be an unfair system.

Consistent, even... and too high for the shorter folks to see over without help.

As an analogy - if no buildings anywhere had ramps to make them handicap-accessible, that would also be consistent and even. But consistent doesn't mean fair and even doesn't mean just.

Ninja'd by Svata

VoxRationis
2015-10-07, 01:53 AM
So how about them spikes on armor, eh? Those sure are silly. It's like "hey, I'm a heavy shock trooper, it's not like I'd ever need to stand next to someone I don't want to kill", right?

Not to mention that the spikes usually prevent the wearer from properly articulating, and are rarely positioned such that you could actually stick anyone with them unless you fell over on them. They are great for dissuading monsters from swallowing you whole, so in some fantasy circumstances, there is that use.

Regitnui
2015-10-07, 02:24 AM
So how about them spikes on armor, eh? Those sure are silly. It's like "hey, I'm a heavy shock trooper, it's not like I'd ever need to stand next to someone I don't want to kill", right?

The only time I've seen armour spikes that I liked was the Warforged Juggernaut or LoBster. The simple reason is.that they're constructs living among constructs. If you're soft enough to be hurt by their spikes, you're a squishy humanoid and need to be killed anyway.

Frozen_Feet
2015-10-07, 04:09 AM
Apparently the point I made regarding cosplay girls went largely ignored.

Lets try again, with passion:

A significant portion of female hobbyist willingly spend time and money to dress in chainmail bikini and other "objectifying, oversexualized" outfits.

And while it's a running gag in that crowd that those people are just gagging for a boyfriend, a look under the surface shows that the cosplay community consists mostly of women, and the most extravagant outfits are mostly worn around other women.

A similar phenomenom can be witnessed in the mainstream culture. When you look at evolution of female clothing within the last century in Europe and USA, the modes of dressing have gotten gradually more daring and revealing. People in this thread made a point of how CRPGs are advertized with sexualized and idealized female bodies, but just take a look at the magazines targeted at girls and women! Idealized, sexually attractive models and clothes abound.

A subset of the feminist crowd likes to paint this as the fault of men, but this too starts falling apart when you realize the clothing industry is not run by your average straight male. The biggest names in clothes design and fashion are gay men, and straight women. Women also overwhelmingly make up the consumer base for clothing - 80% of clothing buying decisions are made by women. This is true for those "objectifying, oversexualized" outfits as well as actual fetish wear. It is actually true for a significant fraction of male clothing purchases - based on market behaviour, men often wear what their mothers and girlfriends choose for them to wear.

Women also make their own clothes and participate in indie clothing industry more than men. Again: this is true for sexy wear just as well.

We can then contrast this with actual strong patriatchal culture of Middle-East and their attitudes towards female clothing. They have much more interest in hiding female sexuality and covering up the women in streetview. In fact, it can be easily demonstrated that the rise of fundamentalism also made women opt for more conservative clothing. When the atmosphere was free-er, so were the modes of dressing.

All this strongly suggests that the current "oversexualized, objectifying" culture of Europe and USA is just as much a result of women's own tastes - and that it's not a strong sign of patriarchal rule or oppression of women. On the contrary, it would be more convincing to say female fashion has gotten more revealing as a result of increased equality.

More: Conan may be a male fantasy, but how many male hobbyists look like Conan? Not many, because time spend on playing RPGs is time not spent hitting the gym.

On the other hand, while portrayals of women have this pornstar-vibe going for them, a lot of young women naturally look waifish or pretty without much extra effort. Looking like your favorite female chsracter is just a matter of right hairdo and choice of clothing. So ironically, because portrayals of women focus on sexuality instead of power or coolness, it's easier for women to live out the fantasy.

Keltest
2015-10-07, 06:38 AM
Apparently the point I made regarding cosplay girls went largely ignored.

Lets try again, with passion:

A significant portion of female hobbyist willingly spend time and money to dress in chainmail bikini and other "objectifying, oversexualized" outfits.

And while it's a running gag in that crowd that those people are just gagging for a boyfriend, a look under the surface shows that the cosplay community consists mostly of women, and the most extravagant outfits are mostly worn around other women.

A similar phenomenom can be witnessed in the mainstream culture. When you look at evolution of female clothing within the last century in Europe and USA, the modes of dressing have gotten gradually more daring and revealing. People in this thread made a point of how CRPGs are advertized with sexualized and idealized female bodies, but just take a look at the magazines targeted at girls and women! Idealized, sexually attractive models and clothes abound.

A subset of the feminist crowd likes to paint this as the fault of men, but this too starts falling apart when you realize the clothing industry is not run by your average straight male. The biggest names in clothes design and fashion are gay men, and straight women. Women also overwhelmingly make up the consumer base for clothing - 80% of clothing buying decisions are made by women. This is true for those "objectifying, oversexualized" outfits as well as actual fetish wear. It is actually true for a significant fraction of male clothing purchases - based on market behaviour, men often wear what their mothers and girlfriends choose for them to wear.

Women also make their own clothes and participate in indie clothing industry more than men. Again: this is true for sexy wear just as well.

We can then contrast this with actual strong patriatchal culture of Middle-East and their attitudes towards female clothing. They have much more interest in hiding female sexuality and covering up the women in streetview. In fact, it can be easily demonstrated that the rise of fundamentalism also made women opt for more conservative clothing. When the atmosphere was free-er, so were the modes of dressing.

All this strongly suggests that the current "oversexualized, objectifying" culture of Europe and USA is just as much a result of women's own tastes - and that it's not a strong sign of patriarchal rule or oppression of women. On the contrary, it would be more convincing to say female fashion has gotten more revealing as a result of increased equality.

More: Conan may be a male fantasy, but how many male hobbyists look like Conan? Not many, because time spend on playing RPGs is time not spent hitting the gym.

On the other hand, while portrayals of women have this pornstar-vibe going for them, a lot of young women naturally look waifish or pretty without much extra effort. Looking like your favorite female chsracter is just a matter of right hairdo and choice of clothing. So ironically, because portrayals of women focus on sexuality instead of power or coolness, it's easier for women to live out the fantasy.

The problem I find with this phenomenon is that sexy is the only option. Women have to look sexy or theyre wrong. Full suit of deliberately covering plate armor? Nope, gotta show there are boobs in there. Chainmail? Need a plunging neckline. Street clothes? Never wear more than you can help.

If women want to walk around town wearing nothing but bikinis, more power to them, I guess. But when everyone and everything is showing them that this is the "right" way to be, no matter what, I start getting some red flags.

Garimeth
2015-10-07, 06:59 AM
The problem I find with this phenomenon is that sexy is the only option. Women have to look sexy or theyre wrong. Full suit of deliberately covering plate armor? Nope, gotta show there are boobs in there. Chainmail? Need a plunging neckline. Street clothes? Never wear more than you can help.

If women want to walk around town wearing nothing but bikinis, more power to them, I guess. But when everyone and everything is showing them that this is the "right" way to be, no matter what, I start getting some red flags.

Trust me fat men get judged just as much as fat women. Men even have the additionally qualifier of their bank account, lol.

Anyway, not to you, but to some others, I made my previous post because Psyren specifically responded to something I said previously - so to imply that I came into the conversation and brought those topics up (especially when PSYREN didn't even bring them up - HE was responding) is unfactual and/or misleading.

To Vox: In regards to your OP, I dislike both armor tropes for the same reason: lack of realism. They just don't make sense.

Frozen_Feet
2015-10-07, 07:37 AM
Yeah, the way you reduced the above to "but everyone is telling them that's the only option and that's wrong!" suggests you didn't think of it very deeply.

I read a funny article yesterday, about make-up: pictures were taken of women with no make-up, mild make-up and full party make-up. The women who put on the make-up rated themselves sexier in direct proportion to make-up used.

However, when the pictures were shown to men, they considered those with mild or no make-up sexier.

The same was true of other women.

This is one of many things highlighting how what people think "everyone is telling them" is in active ignorance of what anyone is actually thinking or telling them.

Same applies to clothing. "Everyone is saying that's the only option!" is flatly counter-factual. On the contrary, women's mags and internal channels of the cosplay community (to give few examples) are full of advice like "you can dress any way you want!" or "you can dress as any character you like even if you don't share the body type!" or "it doesn't matter what other people think, if they shame you for your outfit that's on them!"

If actual practice is that women still opt for sexy instead of something else, you have to seriously reconsider their motives. Could it be invidual women are acting on their own iniative and (mis)conceptions more than the collective opinions of others? Could it sexy attires among women are more common than coolness, power etc. because the internal drive to look sexy is more common? Or could it be, like I said in the last post, that looking sexy is simply less labor-intensive than those other things, and hence has wider appeal and applicability?

So on and so forth.

Hawkstar
2015-10-07, 07:49 AM
It is if that decision/approach/style is so pervasive as to become an accepted default portrayal. Many games don't even question it anymore, or provide alternatives for the female gamers who don't want their avatars to look that way. Action figures, comics, movie posters and other media fall prey to this often too.Well, it's not that pervasive, so it's not a problem. It's mostly


The problem I find with this phenomenon is that sexy is the only option. Women have to look sexy or theyre wrong. Full suit of deliberately covering plate armor? Nope, gotta show there are boobs in there. Chainmail? Need a plunging neckline. Street clothes? Never wear more than you can help.

If women want to walk around town wearing nothing but bikinis, more power to them, I guess. But when everyone and everything is showing them that this is the "right" way to be, no matter what, I start getting some red flags.You've got it backward. Stop projecting male hangups about sexuality onto women.

Satinavian
2015-10-07, 08:00 AM
The problem I find with this phenomenon is that sexy is the only option. Women have to look sexy or theyre wrong. Full suit of deliberately covering plate armor? Nope, gotta show there are boobs in there. Chainmail? Need a plunging neckline. Street clothes? Never wear more than you can help.

If women want to walk around town wearing nothing but bikinis, more power to them, I guess. But when everyone and everything is showing them that this is the "right" way to be, no matter what, I start getting some red flags.I have seen many women wearing full plate and/or historical armor. It's less common for pure cosplayers and more common for those that are also reenactors, larpers, exhibition fighters or HEMA-fighters, but i can't say that there is any expectation that sexy is the only allowed look.

It probably does help that it is pretty easy and not too expensive to get realistic armor replicas in Europe. Unrealistic fantasy armor has usually to be custom made. And you probably can't use real steel.

Hawkstar
2015-10-07, 08:12 AM
Oh, hey! This week's Cosplay Dossier is extra-relevant to the discussion! (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comicsandcosplay/columns/cosplaydossier/14746-Power-Girl-and-Ivy-Cosplay-Boost-Self-Esteem)

Mark Hall
2015-10-07, 11:49 AM
The Mod Wonder: Thread closed for review. It might not reopen.