Xeno Fannage!


    Xenogears &Sexism

    avatar
    Nikkolas

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2013-03-09

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Nikkolas on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:36 am

    A semi-common criticism/complaint I've seen of the game. During a "Let's Play" of XG on another website that lasted for several thousand posts and had a lot of discussion, a few of Elly's lines were singled out with a "....." reaction.

    Namely:
    ELLY:
    [I]I'm not a holy woman of any sort. I'm just a regular woman. I get angry... I cry... I laugh... Although at times I can resent others, I also know how to love others... Loving whole masses of people at times... and loving just one person the rest of the time... I am in supreme bliss when I am embraced by the man that I love. Giving what I have to him, and receiving what he gives to me, we become one flesh... That is the moment when I am most at peace. It is my prerogative as a woman to simply want to save the man that I love!

    There's also the fact "the Antitype" was created specifically for The Contact.  She is destined to always be the lover of The Contact and while she has other purposes, her main one is to be that love interest. Also to die...a lot.

    So what do you all think? What is your take on Xenogears? Do you view it as misogynistic as in being outright harmful or malicious to females? Or is it more just "typically sexist" and there was no real malice in it?
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:01 pm

    My time has come.

    Xenogears is not just standard 90s sexism. If it was, I might be able to stomach it more than I do. Not only are the characters and plot points bad, bu the very core of the story is rooted in misogynistic themes. Breaking it down:

    -Enneagram typing. Nearly every woman (and certainly all the significant ones) in Xenogears fall under the Type 2 class-- which is commonly referred to as the most stereotypically feminine of the lot. It's focused on nurturing and caring for others, and often softspoken behaviour, and motherly tendencies. Elly, Margie-- even Miang. The less important girls may escape this fate, but anyone with fair amount of dialogue? Nope. This fact is made even worse by Takahashi's "ideal woman" comments.

    -The Miang Factor. Probably most disgusting thing of the lot? To render every single biological female a liability-in-waiting can only be described as disgusting. The undertones and implications of it create a world where women are inherently disabled, worthy of suspicion, and perhaps worst of all, constantly living with the chance of having their will and dignity stripped away for someone else's purpose. It might be a little better if Miang had been the "Big Bad" in the end-- but since she's really just a puppet, it retains its gross quality. Even worse-- the lines spoken to Fei about "saving all the women!"

    Yes. Let's have a man come to the rescue of every women in the world.................

    -Elly as a whole. It's a sign when even Soraya Saga expressed distaste for Elly and the way she was treated. Elly's entire character exists, as you began to say, for the purpose of Fei's. She's a Type 2, and save for some of the bits in Solaris, all of her character development revolves around him. She's essentially a "manic pixie dream girl" trope in action, worsened by the constant damsel-in-distress moments that plague the gamer right from the beginning. There was no reason for any of that-- Elly is a soldier. She should be able to take care of herself, yet not ONCE is she ever displayed in a capable and self-sufficient light.

    -Old Elements vs. New Elements. The old Elements (an all-male team) are shown as capable, serious, threatening, and generally badass. The new Elements (an all female-team) are cheap comic relief, having no real personalities to speak of, save for fawning over a man. (Ramsus.) They aren't treated with even an ounce of respect-- even in-game, the heroes always react to them with a "oh, you silly girls again" attitude. Here was a chance to have a n all-female group of threatening antagonists, matching the old Elements in every way, but a visible choice was made to make them a joke-- a group that should be "put in their place" and laughed at continuously.

    -I just need an entirely separate bullet point for that scene where Fei insists that Elly stay behind. The whole thing is vomit-inducing for obvious reasons, and it's  capped off by this lovely piece of dialogue:

    Spoiler:
    Margie: But... Men are selfish... When something big happens, they say... 'It's too dangerous... You can't come!' They treat women like we are weaklings. Although it is true can't help Bart and friends much anymore...

    Elly: That's not true. Everyone, wants someone special waiting for them. Someone who will protect a place they can return to. If you don't have that peace of mind, then you would not be able to get anything done... Men try to fight it out as much as they can and then some... They're cute when they do that, aren't they?

    Margie: Yeah, you're right...

    Elly: Anyway, we have things we have to do too, now. And, while we do them, let's pray that everyone comes back safely.

    Just in case the rest of the scene didn't drive the "stay in the kitchen"-esque point home.... they had to do that as well.

    -Women in Xenogears never have a plotline for themselves. Elly obviously revolves around Fei, as does Emeralda. Even Maria!!! The girl has barely any character, and zero personality, because her part in the plot is not about her own struggles and development, but rather about her father's. She not even piloting her own robot. Her father's spirit does that. frequently joke about how Mai got more development in 30 minutes of Xenosaga than Maria did in the entirety of Xenogears. It's true, aHAHAHAHAHHAHA. Long story short-- any woman's plotline exists not for her own development, but for a man's.

    -sigh- I can go on all day about this.

    And even IF it was just "typically sexist" -- that's nothing to brush off. No piece of media should be sexist. There's no excuse. Even if its a product of its time-- that does not exclude it from criticism and analysis. It should be examined just as closely as any more modern example.
    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:12 pm

    Hey Nikkolas, I've seen you opening this topic at gamefaq and ended up here. I only have an account here so that's where I will share my thoughts about this issue (but I'm interested in people's responses at gamefaq).

    Well, like QuiteBrilliantIndeed, I'm a female Xeno fan so maybe those things feel more obvious and insulting to us. Overall, she's absolutely right. Xenogears is filled with sexism. I don't know if it's a problem with the game alone or the era it was done (because the other Xeno games are SO MUCH BETTER when it comes to the treatment of female characters... and Monolith Soft happens to be now a pretty female friendly company *from what I heard*). Honestly, I think FF7 has issues with that too (Aerith is probably the most independant *in more ways than one* female character of the game despite her getting killed and not being trained to fight... Yuffie is cool too... but I have issues with Tifa, Shera and maybe even Elena... and MUCH LIKE XENOGEARS, seems like almost every mothers/wives died somehow... the big freaky female antagonist is also a puppet *Miang=JENOVA*). Not really surprising when you know Xenogears was proposed as FF7 at first and Kato wrote scenes for both games (both games also reference themselves *Comatose Cloud in FF7 and Tifa's poster in XG*). They're sort of sister-games.

    I happen to adore Xenogears. But the sexism is an issue for me (one among a few others) and I can say that the story would be a much better one if it wasn't a thing. Think about it, Xenogears is about emancipation. However, female characters are still stucked at the end of game. Humanity breaks free from "gods", but women are still ruled upon by men. IMO, the game would be so much stronger if women also broke free from patriarchy.

    Elly would be such a better character if she REALLY acted as the protector/guide/companion for the Contact instead of JUST his love interest. She would also be so much better if she was portrayed as a competent soldier. I understand that she had doubts about herself and Gebler military must be shitty for someone who is compationate towards land dwellers. But she must have worked hard to be there. She wanted to prove her worth to her father by going against what he expected of her (which was a nice start, a rebellous daughter with something to prove). It really doesn't make sense that she would not be AT LEAST somewhat competent. Like, think back to when we meet Elly in the forest. I personally would have liked it better if she, at least, tried to defend herself against the Rankar (she would still need Fei's help, but he wasn't likely to do better himself without a Gear so it would be understandable that they would struggle against this beast *Elly had basic elemental powers though... but maybe that wouldn't have been enough... or maybe her powers would be weakened by her mental state at the time*). I can excuse her being knocked unconscious by surprise before (especially if she was tired). Also, gameplay wise, Elly should have kept the gun (rods and gun, imagine that). Also, Vierge was RIDICULOUSLY GIRLY, WHAT THE HELL ! Having Vierge be more redish and more importantly NOT FARTING LITTLE PINK HEARTS ALL OVER THE PLACE DURING BATTLE WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE RESPECTFUL. What kind of army does that anyway !? Also, having seen the scenes again recently, the way she's treated by her squad is vomit enducing. SHE OUTRANKS YOU, YOU MORONIC PIGS! SHUT YOUR TRAPS AND FOLLOW ORDERS! You really have to wonder how the hell they went to this to... "Aw, boss, we're your friends !" in Disk2.

    Like QuiteBrilliantIndeed said, the Element girls are also really problematic and a letdown. Why could Jesiah, Sigurd, Hyuga and Ramsus be treated as 3dimentional characters with interesting stories but not Dominia, Kelvena, Tolone and Seraphita (even just a bit) ? It's a REAL shame because, imo, the Element girls could have been really awesome. Dominia is the only one who somewhat get a backstory... but barely a real goal aside helping a male character (though I don't mind her sharing Ramsus' ideals, watching the cutscenes again recently, I realized how similar they both are to each other). And SURPRISE, she's actually butch looking while the others are girly (she's also the only girl who slaps Elly... we have a manly looking woman beating a girly looking one... ... ... yeah, I know, ugh). Think about Tolone ! Nothing is ever said about her. Personally, I think Krelian worked on her as an attempt to mix human and machine, way before he could do it with Gears thanks to Nikolai and Emeralda. Which could make Tolone actually much older than she seems... as well as fascinating. Does Tolone remembers her human self ? How does she consider Krelian ? Does she hate him like Ramsus hate his creators for abandoning him ? Would she bond with Emeralda for the short time she got taken away (having a scene where she accompanies the girl to Krelian's lab would be interesting) ? All this musing for a female character who is completely left unexplained in the game and Perfect Works. And what about Seraphita ? She seemed to be a joker but what if this was just an act ? She's demi-human and she probably was a victim of racism. Also, in battle (forget the game for a while... since they always lose against the party), she's probably fairly dangerous (maybe more than the others... therefore her being the leader perhaps). And she's the FREAKING LEADER. Her character surely deserved better than being portrayed as a mere moron (also, what the hell with the panties?). Kelvena was probably the most calm and normal of the 3 (the Hyuga of the group? they both have crazy mental abilities after all)... but she was Elly's closest friend in Jugend and it was BARELY explored.

    Such UNEXPLORED POTENTIAL  :frown3: . They're just the unfunny team rocket quatuor in the game... but look at what could have been !! Also, talking about the Elements and Enneagram types... I think A.C. (from Xenotensei) really mistyped them ALL as 6... just because they're serving under Ramsus' command. It makes no sense because they actually DO have different personalities. Seraphita is probably a 7 as the fun one, Dominia arguably is a 6 (but she's so reckless/above following orders that I wonder if type 8 doesn't fit her a bit more... that or she's a 3, like Ramsus). I don't really know for Kelvena and Tolone. Type 1 for Tolone and 6 for Kelvena maybe (as Kelvena is the most dutiful and Tolone... she actually reminds me a little bit of Billy... maybe her appearance doesn't help).
    Also, concerning Margie... I never really thought of her as THAT similar to Elly. Sure, Margie wants to help and serve her cousin/king, but her personality is so much more... spunky than Elly's (Margie reminds me a bit of Aerith from FF7 actually... and Aerith is certainly not a Type 2 despite being nice... some people types her as a 7 actually). Is she really a Type 2 ? Also, Margie should have been playable and even owned a Gear... hell, she should have been able to be Bart's co-pilot after they found Andvari. She was as deserving of it as he was ! Margie has this entire goal of wanting to protect Bart, just like he did for her when they were children... and yet she never really does because the game won't allow it. She's also the one who speak her mind about guys' sexist shit (much like again, Aerith from FF7). She really should have been able to protect Bart in return... much like Fiora and Shulk did with each other in Xenoblade actually.

    I just need an entirely separate bullet point for that scene where Fei insists that Elly stay behind. The whole thing is vomit-inducing for obvious reasons, and it's capped off by this lovely piece of dialogue
    It's gross, yeah. However, there is a decent reason why Elly was told not to come. Her new role towards the people of Nisan. I thought a lot about this when I considered Margie as a playable character. We know being a symbol/holy mother in Nisan makes you as important as a political figure... or yeah, the pope. So, obviously, no one would allow Nisan's pope figure to risk her life. Sophia actually risked it and even sacrificed it... and it had major consequences. I guess, as a playable character, Margie would be really defying the sisters and ultimately... Queen Zephyr would get involved because she would feel hugely guilty about Sophia's death and wouldn't want the same kind of thing to happen again. I frankly think the situation was a bit more complicated than just "stay in the kitchen/behind because you're a gurl" ... even if the scene also stinked of this unfortunately. Speaking of "staying in the kitchen", BOO towards the people who stucked Yui Uzuki in there for the entire game ! She surely was more than that !! Especially as the daughter/granddaughter of one of the 3 great sages of Shevat and a kickass swordwoman. And then, she disappeared without explanation... BOO !! I know it happened to male characters (poor Jesiah) too... but at least they appeared a little bit in cutscenes.

    Even Maria!!! The girl has barely any character, and zero personality, because her part in the plot is not about her own struggles and development, but rather about her father's. She not even piloting her own robot. Her father's spirit does that.
    Actually, it's a bit worse. It's actually Maria's mother, Claudia, who controled her robot. But for some reason, they decided to give Nikolai all the spotlight. Geez, Claudia could have done it herself. Of course, you only learn this if you read Perfect Works, it's not in the game. It would have been less ridiculous (and even more dramatic), come to think about it, if Claudia had been recognized as the pilot and mercy killed her hudband (think about it, Maria doesn't even know at this point that her mother is inside the robot, it would have been great as a twist). Nikolai was inside another Gear already ! Why would they ALSO put him in Seibzhen ?

    And of course, it doesn't stop there. But I will. For now.
    katimus_prime
    katimus_prime
    Administrator

    Rank : Sassmaster
    Posts : 2076
    Join date : 2012-12-16
    Age : 37
    Location : Baltimore

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by katimus_prime on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:15 pm

    I must admit my own blindness to admit the many sexist pitfalls in Gears until I met you, QB.  When I was growing up, I kind of tended to relate only to male characters because I felt that I was kind of the bottom of the food chain of all the women in my family, so I gave up on picking up on or caring about womens' issues for a very long time.  Xenogears came out and was played by me during this period in my life, and I was young enough that the things I really loved about it kinda took precedence in my mind rather than anything overarching about it.  But those are very valid points, and it's extremely hard to hold arguments against them.

    There are plenty of PS1 era games with less problematic views on females.  Lunar Silver Star Story's port to the PS1 from the Sega Saturn took ample time to correct the big problem of losing Luna so early to villainhood by putting her back in the party so that the player had a much better connection to her when she finally does do the Althena thing and ends up in an antagonistic position.

    I was going to posit that Dominia and Kelvena are the two of the Neo-Elements that one can take with some seriousness, but they both do kind of orbit Ramsus.  I always thought Dominia was badass despite her Ramsus thing, if only for the fact that she, much like Eponine from Les Miserables, has learned to live without.

    There's all kinds of fridging going on with a lot of characters' mothers.  Karen Wong and Raquel Blanche to name just two.  Sophia, while not an actual mother, is the biggest example of getting fridged in XG, because it is the catalyst for Lacan to split from Abel to become Grahf, and for Krelian's complete douchebaggery to escalate (though I've aways thought Krelian was a creep to begin with).

    There is also the very huge mystery of Sigurd's mother, Shalamar.  All I know is what she looks like, and only by virtue of a drawing Soraya-san shared on the internet years ago.  Not sure if it's bad or good, but having a ??? instead of a positive still has me wishing there was more that I knew about her.

    I think it was mentioned on Tumblr, QB, that you believe that Miang is really an aromantic asexual, and I totally agree with that.  Having her use sex to get what she wants just really paints her blacker, as does the any-woman-can-potentially-be-a-host-for-Miang thing.  I wonder what it would have been like if the same were the case for a male-only host?  I think that may draw a bit from Dune, having connection to a female-only base of memory and power, but it's just the will of Miang that migrates, not really her memories or powers, and is generally considered negative.  Also, weaponized sex, but only from a female antagonist (though I guess weaponized sex from a male antagonist is just as bad).

    RD, it's cool that you mention Jenova here, as well.  It was Jenova's influence, not Sephiroth's, that is the main antagonistic force in FF7.  However, the acting out of Jenova's will seems much less tied to gender because she's typically taken to using male characters to enact her will (actually, I'm having trouble remembering a female who succumbs completely to Jenova's will - even Lucrecia seemed to have resisted her and ended up dying for it?), making it seem much less like an evil done solely by a female.  Of course, evil itself is genderless, but it kind of becomes dicey and problematic to have a powerful female villain in the absence of a powerful female hero.  FF7 had that powerful female hero in Aeris, but in comparison to Miang, Elly is absolutely helpless (or at least portrayed as helpless) when Miang takes her over.  It might just be the terrible pacing of the second disk that leads to this observation, but it also might be that it was Elly's Ultimate Destiny(TM) to be the least resistant to Miang.  

    Also, Gears seems to do a lot of perpetuating of the gender binary.  A lot of the Elly/Sophia dialogue seems to denote that a person who is less of a woman if they don't go about solving problems and finding happiness in the same way they do.  And like, there's nothing wrong in finding fulfillment and happiness with your partner, but Elly's dialogue is very heavily tied to her gender and her gender role when it doesn't need to be.  I find the idea of reincarnating over and over as someone of the same gender extremely unlikely on top of reincarnating as a human over and over.  A more open perspective on what her and Fei (and everyone else who reincarnated in Gears) reincarnated as would have helped break that up the gender thing a lot better.  Because in a world where reincarnation is a thing, there are so many ways to reincarnate.  And being around for as long as I have, even if I had a choice in it, I don't think I'd pick the same form more than even twice in a row.  Maybe that's just because I'm a weirdo who can never decide on anything.  >_>

    Having the same partner more than one lifetime in a row seems kind of soul-crushing to me, if only because I ended up with my partner after going through a series of bad ones and had to learn before I could make the right choice.  What if your soulmate turns out to be abusive and you have no hope to escape them, even after your current life ends?  Then there's the thing with the one-winged angels needing each others' help to fly.  A beautiful statement, I thought, at first, but what about the many times a day an individual has to function on their own?  Relying on someone for everything isn't an even relationship, and being unable to function unassisted doesn't ping as romantic to me.  You only have one wing and you just fly in circles.  If that is the case, I'd rather just have two wings of my own, or none at all.  It also assumes that romance is the only route to personhood, which is BS.

    I am all out of words and time.  Hopefully that wasn't too awful.


    _________________
    Xenogears &Sexism I9uSaW6
    "There is no growth without birth.  Without a foothold in the past, we cannot walk toward the future.  Get thee gone, darkness!"
    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:11 am

    Okay, I probably was too optimistic about gamefaq <img src=" title="Rolling Eyes" /> . I should have expected this crap from the start.
    I hope other posters will have some ACTUAL insightful comments instead of sticking their fingers in their ears and singing loudly.
    Anyway...

    There's all kinds of fridging going on with a lot of characters' mothers. Karen Wong and Raquel Blanche to name just two. Sophia, while not an actual mother, is the biggest example of getting fridged in XG, because it is the catalyst for Lacan to split from Abel to become Grahf, and for Krelian's complete douchebaggery to escalate (though I've aways thought Krelian was a creep to begin with).

    Krelian started as a somewhat badguy (being an assassin and all). His time with Sophia was the only time he was on the good side. Then she died and he went down the dark road again... on a much larger scale. I like his character, I even feel for him a bit, but his actions were never forgivable (it would have been kinda nice if the game had allowed us to choose whether to forgive him or not... because it's frankly a debatable issue).

    Also, back to topic, I kinda hate that they killed most mothers. Dang, Racquel was probably awesome (the Black family is kinda Team Badass to me). I also have this headcanon of Bart's mother as a raging lioness (who was best buds with Margie's mom... it's all Soraya Saga's gorgeous artwork fault) who smelt Shakhan's crap before everyone else while her husband was oblivious and made the mistake to dismiss her concerns (no really, am I the only one who imagine Bart's father as way too trusty and soft hearted ? And Bart must have gotten his impulsiveness and instincts from someone, you know...). Of course, PW likes to contradict me and made Mariel not do much and die of... shock ? That it ?

    There is also the very huge mystery of Sigurd's mother, Shalamar. All I know is what she looks like, and only by virtue of a drawing Soraya-san shared on the internet years ago. Not sure if it's bad or good, but having a ??? instead of a positive still has me wishing there was more that I knew about her.
    Not to mention Sigurd's cousin, Jordgarde... who was like a sister to him !

    It was Jenova's influence, not Sephiroth's, that is the main antagonistic force in FF7.
    That's what I first thought but it was made clear/canon in Ultimanias : Sephiroth pulled the strings. It makes more sense to me now actually. Sephiroth only use JENOVA as a way to act on the physical world. And why would Jenova enjoy to torture Cloud anyway ? Only Sephiroth has a motive to do so (he's pretty pissed and hurt in his ego that a mere teenage grunt managed to hurt him as badly as Cloud did).

    I find the idea of reincarnating over and over as someone of the same gender extremely unlikely on top of reincarnating as a human over and over. A more open perspective on what her and Fei (and everyone else who reincarnated in Gears) reincarnated as would have helped break that up the gender thing a lot better. Because in a world where reincarnation is a thing, there are so many ways to reincarnate.
    That was one of my peeves too at first. It seemed pretty unlikely to me that people could reincarnate and look exactly the same. What I find hilarious about this is that... Elly was made to look completely different to her parents (which created drama)... and on another hand, we have Khan Wong who look WAYYYY TOO MUCH like his son. It's not really consistent, is it ? There is also Lacan's ugly clothes reincarnating as Fei's clothes (lack of time here but it's still very funny). And there is also the issue of Elly getting named exactly the same each incarnation... which is stupid. I can understand that the Contact would remember her as "

    Elly"

    , whatever her current name is... but her getting named by different parents at different eras exactly the same is just weird. Now though, I just tell myself that maybe it was just easier/less confusing to have them looking the same.

    Then there's the thing with the one-winged angels needing each others' help to fly. A beautiful statement, I thought, at first, but what about the many times a day an individual has to function on their own? Relying on someone for everything isn't an even relationship, and being unable to function unassisted doesn't ping as romantic to me. You only have one wing and you just fly in circles. If that is the case, I'd rather just have two wings of my own, or none at all. It also assumes that romance is the only route to personhood, which is BS.

    I noticed something interesting about that recently. Bart himself seems to question the philosophy behind the angels (which is even shown in one of his deathblows). And obviously, Krelian ended up there too (he grew two wings at the end). Not only that but, the angels were used during the Fatima Jasper part of the game. Between Bart and Margie... but also between Bart and Sigurd. Two guys ! Who are half brothers ! So maybe the gendered one winged angels imagery/philosophy didn't apply just for heterosexual and romantic stuff. This is something that I used to wonder about lol. What about gay people ? In the end, maybe the imagery was more universal than not. Maybe them being gendered was just meant to include both genders in that imagery... as part of humanity (as far as I know and despite all the variations we know exist in nature, only female parts and male parts are compatible enough biologically to create a new life... and this is how humanity exists in the first place).

    But yeah, it doesn't change the whole idea of needing someone to feel complete. This is something I used to believe myself... mainly because I never felt good with myself and thought that the solution to this problem was finding someone to share my life with. But I matured and had talks with interesting people who made me realize that... we really need to find a way to feel good with ourselves first. We're not empty because we're alone. And being in a relationship with someone doesn't necessarily resolve our problems. Sometimes, our problems can even kill the relationship. I still find the one winged angels symbolism beautiful... but maybe it's just not THE way to live for everyone.

    Also, talking about this symbolism and Krelian... I find it interesting that he adopted the independance path (2 wings). Why ? Because Krelian was kind of Takahashi's self insert. Krelian even questions Fei and Elly's soulmaty bond. Which is an interesting thing to question. Is the concept of soulmates any good ? Or does it take away people's freedom ?
    avatar
    Nikkolas

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2013-03-09

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Nikkolas on Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:37 am

    If you would like a better response Dreamer, please look to this post.
    http://home.eyesonff.com/general-square-enix/155209-xenogears-sexism.html#post3386523

    Also while Jenova is identified as mother, it is better to think of Jenova as an "It."

    Being a completely alien creature that can look like anything it wishes, Sephiroth and the Bishie Bros in AC only identify Jenova as their "mother" due to misinformation. Jenova's mind is far too different to be representative of any sort of human sex bias.
    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:06 pm

    Here is the fallacy that the OP has, you are brainwashed and your agenda is crock. Feminism is for those who can't critically think, have no common sense, and regurgitate slogans just like a typical democrat/republican pawn does once they see their preferred politico shows. They need to be ignored and shipped out to a middle east country. If your a man and also a feminist then get neutered, the process is faster.
    http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/199365-xenogears/68916238
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Wow... I don't know if it was adressed to you Nikkolas, or to the rest of us here but...
    Like I said once on Tumblr, Feminism is a movement composed of different type of people. Some want equality, others will want to abuse their influence. It's wrong to act as if all feminists are "feminazis". But I'm sick of hearing from men that women are now the privileged ones and we should stop complaining. I could compare the situation to racism because it's exactly the same ! Black people can get special treatment because of how guilty white people feel. But just like special treatment for women, it's not exactly a good thing. Positive discrimination is not a good thing.

    And at the end of the day, men are STILL above women in society. Just like people of color have it harder STILL than white ones. Look at women in the military or ANY job that was considered for men... they get (sexually) harrassed/called names. Sexism is over in western countries ? Absolutely not. We have it better than middle east countries but that's not an excuse ! I am for equality myself, not for one gender ruling over the other... male or female. And I also believe this is a fight that is far from over. We shouldn't take anything for granted.
    Yet again another example why all women don't feel welcomed by gaming circles in the end. There have been more interesting arguments since the last time I visited but NO ONE there seems to think Xenogears is kinda sexist. That's... a bit worrying. And they seem to think we see sexism everywhere. Nope. Didn't we just say that Xenosaga AND Xenoblade were BETTER at this ? We don't have such complaints towards some other games either (Chrono Trigger is pretty cool from what I remember for example). You know, the real problem with sexism towards female characters in gaming is that... it's often more the norm than the exception. That's why it's problematic for us. And Xenogears' case is a bit puzzling because of Xenosaga and Xenoblade's existence.

    If you would like a better response Dreamer, please look to this post.
    http://home.eyesonff.com/general-square
    Okay. Though, everyone still seems to deny the fact that the game is kinda sexist. I just... don't understand. And what's with the "social justice warrior" label ? I'm sick of that crap. It's like one group of people have completely made others disregard ANY criticisms toward their favorite things. And for the record, no, I wasn't too impressed with Frozen myself (even if, yeah, they went the sibling love road instead of full romance for once... but I think the movie and this sibling bond wasn't as impactful as some people claim they were... and there are reasons for it... however, I thought people were exaggerating with the racism issue).
    QuiteBrilliantIndeed, I'm curious to see your responses to them (if you feel like it).
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:38 pm

    .........Jesus christ, that's my reaction to this. What the... what the hell. I mean, I've encountered people who try to deny the sexism, but never on such a broad and nonsensical scale as this. I'm honestly at a loss of what to say??? When I see people like this, I feel like there's almost nothing I can do. These people are literally just pulling gibberish out of thin air to weakly support their counterarguments. Not to mention, I'm noticing a generally one-dimensional level of thinking going on here? As in-- I feel like many of those posters aren't considering the choices made in development of the game-- Takahashi and the other chose to put weight on certain things, they chose to have certain characters be male or female-- you don't "accidentally" put in scenes like Fei's "stay at home speech" or excuse the sexism of the New Elements as "they were just minor characters!!!"

    (Especially considering that there are plenty of other minor characters with much more serious attitudes!)

    Long story short.... I feel a little helpless to do anything beyond shake my head and try to laugh it off? It bothers me deeply-- more than I can even express in simple angry words. I wish my arguments carried anough weight to convince these people of their toxic thinking, but in my experience, it takes a lot more than an internet argument to convince someone of these things.

    I will say these things though:

    -Elly's femininity is not a problem. The problem is that the femininity is "set in stone" and presented in such a way that firmly ties it to certain characteristics, and perhaps worst of all, to dependence on men. You can have amazing feminine women without doing that. (SEE: MOMO Mizrahi!!!!!) Plus, there's a problem when every single female character adheres to traditional femininity. There is a BIG problem. Life doesn't work that way, and it presents a warped view of reality-- the "male gaze" of characterization-- that "ideal woman" BS Takahashi talked about.

    -As RadicalDreamer said-- the argument that we're just looking for excuses to call sexism is pretty ridiculous. Especially given Xenosaga and (I assume, I haven't played it yet!) Xenoblade. Xenosaga, at least, is one of the most feminist pieces of media I've seen....! Which indeed, makes Gears all the more baffling. Takahashi grew A LOT between the two, I think it's safe to say. Sexism in video game is a widespread problem, so it will OFTEN be mentioned, but there are shining examples (like Xenosaga!!!) that break out of that box!

    So yeah. Beyond that, I'm just gonna raise my eyebrow to "then it's clear the female Elements get more development." (..............................................why) and back slowly run away from "Here is the fallacy that the OP has, you are brainwashed and your agenda is crock. Feminism is for those who can't critically think, have no common sense, and regurgitate slogans just like a typical democrat/republican pawn does once they see their preferred politico shows. They need to be ignored and shipped out to a middle east country. If your a man and also a feminist then get neutered, the process is faster." (Do I spot a trilby???)

    To wrap up this response, I think I'm just gonna say this:

    Those people? They're the exact reason WHY sexism needs to be called out, analyzed, and discussed on a regular basis.
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:20 pm

    *hits robot, hearts appear*

    this is canyoncrows, QBI. i agree with most of the things you say, but this seems strange to me:

    -The Miang Factor. Probably most disgusting thing of the lot? To render every single biological female a liability-in-waiting can only be described as disgusting. The undertones and implications of it create a world where women are inherently disabled, worthy of suspicion, and perhaps worst of all, constantly living with the chance of having their will and dignity stripped away for someone else's purpose. It might be a little better if Miang had been the "Big Bad" in the end-- but since she's really just a puppet, it retains its gross quality. Even worse-- the lines spoken to Fei about "saving all the women!"

    Yes. Let's have a man come to the rescue of every women in the world.................


    I don't really think that the world you describe existed. Women aren't disabled because the threat of Miangdom doesn't really affect them in any way as long as, you know, they aren't Miang. I don't think anyone would be suspicious of them since very few people knew what Miang's deal was. And even if everyone did know, just, hey, watch out for people who suddenly dye their hair dark blue.
    The point about having their will taken away is legitimately a frightening one, but I think there's a marked difference between "something in a fictional setting that is sexist" and "something in a fictional setting that is bad for women."

    It's a pretty scary concept. like a vampire (in bat form) fluttering outside your door, or the the monster from "The Thing," or the thought of Star Ocean 5 being made. if I recall, the way it's treated ingame is:

    Rico: wow these aliens are ufkcing assholes lets go blow them up with 1000 missile launchers uwaaaa *electric blanka attack* (last line of game)

    I'm curious as to why you think it would be better if Miang was an independent agent, and not working for Deus? I always got the impression that she was, like, literally a part of Deus. Deus' Arm. Is it mentioned anywhere if Deus has a gender or not?

    I guess what it comes down to is whether or not you think whoever was responsible for this particular plot element was writing it from Place A. "Gyahahhaha lets do bad things to women!!! >:D!!!" or Place B. forming a narrative and explanation for why Deus' agent can live through the ages and how Miang is where she needs to be, when she needs to be, and blahb klaheyrhblaseyrhg

    that said, my eyes bugged out when two random goons named rambulous and garfunkel or whatever beat the christ out of elly for 90+ seconds. what the fuck!!!!!!!!!!


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:36 pm

    @Pixy wrote:*hits robot, hearts appear*

    this is canyoncrows, QBI. i agree with most of the things you say, but this seems strange to me:

    -The Miang Factor. Probably most disgusting thing of the lot? To render every single biological female a liability-in-waiting can only be described as disgusting. The undertones and implications of it create a world where women are inherently disabled, worthy of suspicion, and perhaps worst of all, constantly living with the chance of having their will and dignity stripped away for someone else's purpose. It might be a little better if Miang had been the "Big Bad" in the end-- but since she's really just a puppet, it retains its gross quality. Even worse-- the lines spoken to Fei about "saving all the women!"

    Yes. Let's have a man come to the rescue of every women in the world.................


    I don't really think that the world you describe existed. Women aren't disabled because the threat of Miangdom doesn't really affect them in any way as long as, you know, they aren't Miang. I don't think anyone would be suspicious of them since very few people knew what Miang's deal was. And even if everyone did know, just, hey, watch out for people who suddenly dye their hair dark blue.
    The point about having their will taken away is legitimately a frightening one, but I think there's a marked difference between "something in a fictional setting that is sexist" and "something in a fictional setting that is bad for women."

    It's a pretty scary concept. like a vampire (in bat form) fluttering outside your door, or the the monster from "The Thing," or the thought of Star Ocean 5 being made. if I recall, the way it's treated ingame is:

    Rico: wow these aliens are ufkcing assholes lets go blow them up with 1000 missile launchers uwaaaa *electric blanka attack* (last line of game)

    I'm curious as to why you think it would be better if Miang was an independent agent, and not working for Deus? I always got the impression that she was, like, literally a part of Deus. Deus' Arm. Is it mentioned anywhere if Deus has a gender or not?

    I guess what it comes down to is whether or not you think whoever was responsible for this particular plot element was writing it from Place A. "Gyahahhaha lets do bad things to women!!! >:D!!!" or Place B. forming a narrative and explanation for why Deus' agent can live through the ages and how Miang is where she needs to be, when she needs to be, and blahb klaheyrhblaseyrhg

    that said, my eyes bugged out when two random goons named rambulous and garfunkel or whatever beat the christ out of elly for 90+ seconds. what the fuck!!!!!!!!!!

    Hey! Funny to see you here. -w- Welcome.

    Anyhow-- sorry if my point was unclear there. The sexism of the Miang factor is less of an in-game sexism (i.e. characters being sexist towards one another) and more of a sexist viewpoint from the developer &

    gamer perspective. We, as the viewers, are told that women are a liability here. We are told that  they need to be rescued. The general public of the Xenogears universe may not be aware of it, but the viewers are, and the developers made a conscious decision to make that loss-of-will-- that constant burden-- and the need for specifically Fei to save them, a major plot point.

    As for Miang as the big bad-- I'm referring to her more in relation to Karellen. I think of Karellen as the real major antagonist, and he uses Miang (in the form of the Ouroboros) to fight you. In the end, she is just a puppet-- and while it can also be said that Deus is his "puppet" of sorts, the game places the focus on Miang, especially with the distinctly female appearance of the Ouroboros. -o-
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:47 pm

    I guess I never got the impression that women were a liability. Partially because women are necessary for humans to exist, but also because...I dunno. what's happening is no human's fault. It's just some stupid alien man sitting in his ivory spaceship. It was also always my impression that it was the entire human race that had to be rescued, not just women.

    that said, admittingly it's been a while since I've played xenogears (at least....one year.) and I tend to forget a lot of stuff. Like all dialogue not spoken by big joe.

    I also always thought that Krelian and Deus (and Miang's) goals just aligned, not that either Krelian or Deusang were using the other. Maybe I missed a lot of subtext with all the frameskipping I was doing.


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    avatar
    Nikkolas

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2013-03-09

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Nikkolas on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:09 pm

    All the villains were using each other to some extent. Miang even openly tells Krelian that she's not on his side or the Gazel Ministry's s - she's on the winner's side and that's all that matters.

    Miang is probably the most amazing villain in the game when you consider how she's groomed humanity for 10,000 years. Both Grahf and Krelian were to some extent or another just her pawns.
    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:55 pm

    I forgot to discuss it before. I don't take much offense in the Miang factor thing actually. It's just a creepy plot point to me... which was meant to be seen as such (however, the "I'm a guy in a quest to save all women" is like... as bad as if it was "I'm the white man in a quest to save/educate all people of color" or something... it's presomptuous and sexist in the first example, racist in the second... I checked the script though and I don't think there is a line like that... however, when Fei ends the cycle on his own, he's basically doing that so...).

    It's true that not a lot of people knew about Miang/Deus in the world so it's unlikely many people would get suspicious of every women. And Miang can only manifest in like one woman at once (2 at worse). It's not too different than Grahf possessing male bodies (except for the fact that Miang possessed female bodies since the dawn of humanity without being able to choose the host, Grahf is different). However, in that scenario, it's always the male host who can break free in order to do stuff (Wiseman). Karen apparently could break free for a tiny moment... and she died right after.
    It's also interesting to note that it's almost the exact same pattern with the other mothers and fathers of the game. Mother dies out of love or gets murdered/gets a fatal disease/dies of shock. Father survives longer to do stuff on screen for his kid(s).

    I love that the game has this theme about family... but it's treated in such a stereotypical way. Why would mothers alone be self sacrificial for example ? At the exclusion of fathers/men, I mean. You know, this belief that mothers are biologically more soft and caring than fathers actually ruined some fathers' lives ? I watched Kramer vs Kramer not too long ago and it effectively portrayed how those stereotypes can be hurtful (like see, we DO recognize that sexism affect men in a negative way too... sexism is like a double edged sword).

    I'm curious as to why you think it would be better if Miang was an independent agent, and not working for Deus? I always got the impression that she was, like, literally a part of Deus. Deus' Arm. Is it mentioned anywhere if Deus has a gender or not?
    Not directed to me but... Deus doesn't have a gender. It's just a machine. However, I guess it took the appearance of a woman (sort of) because of the Contact's influence. Basically, Deus used the Wave Existence's creation for his own plans.

    that said, my eyes bugged out when two random goons named rambulous and garfunkel or whatever beat the christ out of elly for 90+ seconds. what the fuck!!!!!!!!!!
    That was kinda extreme, yeah. After all, they wanted her alive. What the hell were they thinking ? Did Krelian agree to that or were those goons just stupid and in the gross need of beating up/killing someone ?
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:36 am

    Re: The Miang Factor vs. Grahf-- there seems to be a distinct difference in how it's treated on a narrative level? Grahf takes bodies that he chooses-- it's active, and it's likely noticeable from the POV of the recipient sometime beforehand. With Miang, it's passive-- she gets thrown into a random body that neither she, nor the host, can foresee. And beyond that, there's a difference between Grahf hopping about from person to person (correct me if I'm wrong, but it's never stated that his host HAS to be male) and an entire half of the population having a genetic basis for possession. There's a certain predictability about it, a certain blanket-damseling of the entire female population that really unnerves me-- it puts all biological (I assume?????) females into a trapped state, in need of being rescued from something that might not even happen.

    It's  ESPECIALLY nasty with that "save all the women" line in place too. ;-;
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:45 am

    my friend and I discussed the issue of dead moms.

    Ashley: Fei's mom dies, his dad is alive. billy's mom dies, his dad is alive. rico's mom dies, his dad is alive and hates him. elly's mom dies, at the hands of a comic relief character, her dad is alive. maria's mom is dead, her dad is also dead, but also a giant robot mecha,
    Cecilia: it's more traumatic that way because dads are less important


    there you have it. case closed.

    on a more serious note i never realized this. are there any mothers in xenogears who....arent dead....

    omake: http://pastebin.com/ujhkZYR3


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:53 am

    THe save all the women line is Grahf, right?

    "

    "Fei, cut away all the binds on mankind... You should be able to do that now. Save her [Elly] and all the other women with her!"

    "



    This one?

    this is easily explained., grahf is awful and does not actually exist in the game. he is a fever dream thought up by a dead writer.


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    avatar
    Nikkolas

    Posts : 71
    Join date : 2013-03-09

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Nikkolas on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:28 am

    Well Fei IS the only one capable of killing Deus. He's trying to get rid of that malignant Miang Factor that is so detestable. Grahf supports him in this.

    Also Grahf hates and wants to kill everyone - man, woman or child. He doesn't discriminate.
    RadicalDreamer
    RadicalDreamer

    Posts : 290
    Join date : 2013-06-20
    Age : 30
    Location : France

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by RadicalDreamer on Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:13 am

    Cecilia: it's more traumatic that way because dads are less important
    That was probably a joke. Fathers are important too anyway.


    THe save all the women line is Grahf, right?

    "

    "Fei, cut away all the binds on mankind... You should be able to do that now. Save her [Elly] and all the other women with her!"

    "

    Ah, it actually exists. My bad...

    Since we are pulling quotes, this one hurt me a little bit inside because I love the character otherwise :

    JESSIE
    "Why are women so gossipy?
    They jabber about things they shouldn't be talking about. Hopeless..."

    It's funny because men have no idea how "gossipy" they are themselves.
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:17 pm

    The miang factor seems a lot less insidious to me when you consider that this is a game where massive amounts of the population start getting turned into zombie monsters at one point, regardless of who they are.


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    Ben
    Ben

    Posts : 26
    Join date : 2014-02-16

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Ben on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:46 am

    One thing I wanted to bring up, that I haven't seen mentioned, is that the role of women in Xenogears is heavily influenced by Gnosticism.  I have been slowly working on my own essay about Gnostic/Christian themes in Xenogears, as well as another one about the anime Space Runaway Ideon that Xenogears drew from.  Anyway, I hated to keep letting this thread go so I just thought I would briefly bring something up:  Gnosticism itself has been accused of being mysoginistic.  To what end, then, are some of the sexist elements in Xenogears a direct consequence of it incorporating Gnosticism?  Here's an essay examining it from a modern Christian perspective, that I don't agree with all of, but that provides a good summary:  http://www.newmediaministries.org/DaVin ... ism_S.html
     On November 19-25, 1985, a group of scholars who specialize in ancient Gnosticism met to discuss "Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism."

    The presentations that were made were published in a book by that title and edited by Karen L. King.2 Because the participants are scholars who have studied Gnosticism, we may take their findings more seriously than non-historians like Dan Brown and others who have not even bothered to learn about Gnosticism. The scholars do not always agree on various fairly minor issues concerning Gnosticism, but they unamously agree that Gnosticism had a very low view of women and the sacred feminine. What follows are some quotes from these authorities on how the Gnostics viewed the feminine.

    Pheme Perkins, writing about the work of another scholar, writes,

    "According to this view, the gnostic experience is ultimately misogynist in the extreme."

    Karen King the editor summarizes, "The gnostic myth of the fall and restoration of Sophia can be perceived as essentially gender related: female weakness/error/imperfection is strengthened/corrected/completed by male intervention."

    King also wrote, "When gender imagery is used with regard to the creation of the lower world, it is the feminine (in the guise of Sophia) that is consistently made responsible for deficiency and is associated with the corruption of the material realm. ... We see here again the common association in antiquity of the male with (positive) heavenly or spiritual qualities, the female with (negative) material aspects."

    This is significant to The Da Vinci Code because Dan Brown asserts that Gnosticism portrayed the goddess Sophia and the feminine divine in a positive light. In addition, he incorrectly portrays Mary Magdalene and the novel's modern day character Sophie as symbolic or posibly incarnations of the goddess Sophia.

    Frederik Wisse analyzed the Nag Hammadi texts for similarities: "Thus, finding a number of texts associated with Gnosticism that differ greatly in character and content but agree more or less in their view of femininity is a remarkable and significant fact that would permit one to speak of a trend or tendency."

    The view of femininity he discovered was antifeminine. "The reader of these texts is expected to be able to escape the bondage of femininity."

    One of the books, Zostrianos, teaches that "Femininity in the meaning of sexuality and procreation is something that can enslave everyone, and its opposite, masculinity, does not appear to be a natural quality of males but a state that all must seek in order to be saved."

    I haven't seen this brought up before, but I think that Miang probably represents the "bondage of femininity "in Gnosticism.  More to the point, the reincarnation of Sophia is Elly, who is also Miang.  Pretty interesting parallel with the Myth of Sophia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophia_(Gnosticism)
    http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Religion/Projects/Reln91/Gender/Gnosticism.htm

     The gnostic myths of Sophia also have important gender implications. Sophia is both the cause of the evil, material world, and a means to overcome that world. As a member of the Pleroma Sophia (Greek for "wisdom") represents the means of gnosis. By refusing to procreate, humans assist in restoring Sophia's divine sparks to their rightful place. In some gnostic myths a partner, Christos, was created for Sophia and that partnership is an aid to humans. Sophia is thus simultaneously part of patriarchal myths that devalue women (she is the cosmic "fall" just as Eve is the material "fall") and represents liberation from them.  


    Somewhat reminiscent of Miang and the Contact (or perhaps Fei and Elly), I think.


    Last edited by Ben on Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:40 am; edited 2 times in total
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Wed Apr 02, 2014 12:19 pm

    While I think it's part of the explanation, I don't think the Gnostic influence is any excuse-- Xenosaga also incorporates a lot of Gnostic themes, and it's the complete opposite of Gears in terms of its treatment of women. If Xenosaga can be feminist and reference Gnosticism, I think Gears could have managed the same.

    Besides, while it may shed some light on the misogyny behind Miang (which is a shame, because Miang came the closest to breaking out of Xenogears's sexism) that certainly doesn't explain the "ideal women" business. Not to mention, the women of Xenogears (especially Elly) tend to be portrayed as saintly human beings-- kind, tender, and nurturing. They embrace the feminine to the extreme, and are hailed as devoted and strong people for doing it.
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:30 pm

    Not to mention, the women of Xenogears (especially Elly) tend to be portrayed as saintly human beings-- kind, tender, and nurturing. They embrace the feminine to the extreme, and are hailed as devoted and strong people for doing it.

    Why is this a bad thing? These are universally good traits to have, and the opposite of this would be portraying that femininity is bad.

    elly also murders a bunch of people, is shown to be more pretty competent (dumb scene where she gets ambushed by a goblin nonwithstanding) and says stuff like "graaaah! I'll fight even if it costs me my life!!" which I think is more 'extreme' than anything fei says.


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    avatar
    Guest
    Guest

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Guest on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:01 pm

    @Pixy wrote:
    Not to mention, the women of Xenogears (especially Elly) tend to be portrayed as saintly human beings-- kind, tender, and nurturing. They embrace the feminine to the extreme, and are hailed as devoted and strong people for doing it.

    Why is this a bad thing? These are universally good traits to have, and the opposite of this would be portraying that femininity is bad.

    elly also murders a bunch of people, is shown to be more pretty competent (dumb scene where she gets ambushed by a goblin nonwithstanding) and says stuff like "graaaah! I'll fight even if it costs me my life!!" which I think is more 'extreme' than anything fei says.

    It's not a bad thing on it's own-- no. But-- it's a bad thing when almost every single "good" female character has these traits. It's making it a "universal" thing, that only "evil" women stray from.

    Essentially-- they're rendered flat characters because of this. 99% of  real people don't adhere so perfectly to those traits. Character's like Elly aren't well-rounded if all they do is love and nurture. Even Elly's "anger and passion" stem only from love for Fei. Plus, Elly only murders when she's not in control of her own mind (Drive) and is never shown to be a competent soldier. I lost track of how many times she was a damsel in distress.

    Compare Fei and Elly. Who seems more realistic? Who has more negative traits along with the positive ones? Who has more personality and plot outside of the other one?

    How about, say, Bart and Margie? Who seems more like a caricature?  Who is treated with respect?

    How about Maria? Emeralda? They have almost no personalities of which to speak, and the glimmers they do have are pretty much in line with that same feminine-bias. (Except more child-like. And even then, they both revolve around their fathers.) Even Rico has a more defined character, and his plotline was utterly dropped from the game. (Billy definitely has a more definite character too, but as Billy's gender is arguable and likely pretty fluid, I'm not sure if I can comfortably say they count here, ahah.)

    Writing a good female character isn't necessarily about making her strong in battle, or a kind and admirable person. It's about making her real. Making her flawed-- which often includes being crass, or rude, or merciless at times. Human beings are like that. The male characters of Gears tend to be like that. The women however, are little more than two-dimensional ideals.
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:27 pm

    well, I mean, generally evil people aren't kind, nurturing, or tender.

    Elly's not a good soldier because she's pretty quick to go AWOL, but, idk, I always got the impression that she could take care of herself.

    fei definitely has a lot more going on, but I can't really say he's realistic in any way, since he goes inside his head and has a conversation with three different people. when take away Id, who honestly I consider a separate character entirely, he's just kind of this average good-natured boring martial arts man who says Doc over and over and generally lacks any kind of spine. Most of the things that happen to him aren't even of his own volition, it's usually things Citan or someone else does.

    uh...well....Idk. maybe I had a very different experience playing this game, but bart always seemed like comic relief to me.

    I'm not really sure what to say about maria and emeralda because they both fall under 'second-disk syndrome.' to me, as they appear pretty late in the game. its hard to flesh out your characters' plotlines when ff8 team is stealing all the funding. maybe that isn't what actually happened.

    I think elly and dominia are pretty flawed and real.I guess I thought there was more going on with Elly's character than you did, maybe I'm wrong. And I really identified with Dominia. I cannot agree with any statement that says rico is better than anything.
    Honestly, among the main male cast, I only found Rico, Fei, and Bart to exhibit any negative traits. rico in that he exists, fei in that he is naive, bart in that he is dumb rude comic relief character with a bad voice actor. citan is I guess the worst character in the game since he is a giant mary sue who knows everything and can do everyhing.


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
    Pixy
    Pixy

    Posts : 38
    Join date : 2014-03-31
    Age : 29
    Location : florida ;_;

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears & Sexism

    Post by Pixy on Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:30 pm

    jrpg writing is awful - claude c. kenni


    _________________
    Yo, Buddy. Still alive?

    Sponsored content

    Xenogears &Sexism Empty Re: Xenogears &Sexism

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:04 pm