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Mixed Bag

The Mission of This Blog:

I 'm not getting any younger, but as I go along, I recognize the need to be more observant of my surroundings. I am honing my typing, writing, and analytical skills as well. As I do research, it is not enough to just read the material, but to do something with it.

I have loved reading Op-Eds and opinion pages for some time now, and I thought that it was pretty cool that NF had set up this blog function. As much as I am interested in reading the opinions of others, I am more excited about the prospect of sharing my own.

I suck at making up titles and many of my entries will be edited from time to time because I am human, after all (and a bit of a perfectionist).
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My Response to Someone on Another Site (Part 1)

Posted 03-16-2013 at 05:42 PM by CrazyAries
Apparently, some Anita Sarkeesian fan saw my little post his/her hero and decided to write angry posts on another forum. Someone on NF was kind enough to show me some quotes from this person and I feel that I need to respond. (Honestly, what did you expect?) Below, I will directly addressing the poster and going into detail about me views.

Originally Posted by the Person on Another Site

It’s a bunch of well-poisoning, ad hominems, strawmanning, and red herrings.
You skip some my stronger points, so I would assume that you have no counters for those. And it is ironic that you accuse me of using ad hominems and strawmanning then proceeded to do some of that for the points you called your countering. Now, I would like to address each and every one of your points, because I thoroughly disagree with your reasoning

Here are each of the person’s “counters”:
First and foremost, I not just some person. I’m a girl and said as much in the blog post the got you in huff.

Originally Posted by Me

Girls can play with “boys’ toys” without an issue. I played with Legos as a young girl at school and loved them. Unfortunately, I never got to own them myself. Also, I asked for two trucks and a train for Christmas as a preschooler, and this was not an issue for my parents at all.

Originally Posted by the Person on Another Site

1) “Anita closed comments on her videos.” Irrelevant to the content of the video’s arguments.
How is this “irrelevant”? The fact the comments are closed to the video means that Sarkeesian’s supporters and detractors will not be able to comment on them. Another point I would like to make is that comments on past videos are no longer being approved. Both sides are being silenced. Is that productive for any argument?

2) “She picked on Nintendo!” She said that this was only part one of her discussion of the damsel in distress trope.
We shall see what she has to say about other consoles, if that, but that’s beside the point. Even if this is part one of the “Damsel in Distress” trope, my main complaint was not about Nintendo but how Sarkeesian discussed two Nintendo characters in particular: Zelda and Peach. I had absolutely no problem with her arguments about Krystal and how her adventure was turned into the disappointing “Star Fox Adventures.” I have a problem with how limited the view was on the princesses.

3) “Sure, Peach got kidnapped a lot, but it’s a running gag!” That’s Anita’s freaking point! This is a trope. This person clearly has no clue what a trope is.
This is an ad hominen .

But yes, Peach’s kidnappings are part of a running gag (within the series). It is often played for laughs in certain Mario games, along with other elements in those games. Have you ever played Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door or even heard about the storyline? This was lampshaded in the game via crows. Oh, I used a term from TVTropes. There's no way I knew that since I clearly don't know what a trope is.

And I like how you skipped over the part where I discussed that part of the running gag was how feckless Peach’s male Toad guards are. This bit of information was in the profile of Toad in Mario Superstar Baseball, I believe, and evident in Super Mario Sunshine.

Now, there are Mario fans who are sick of the repetition of the plots involving Bowser and Princess Peach kidnappings. They don’t see it as an attack on feminism or women in general. Peach kidnappings are repetitive, but the Mario franchise has never been that deep in terms of storytelling.

There was a break from the same old same old in Super Princess Peach. The plot was inverted, as the Princess had to save Mario. It is my understanding the Ms. Sarkeesian will talk about this later in her series.

The plot in Thousand Year Door was little bit different in that Peach was not kidnapped by Bowser. She was taken over by an evil spirit, but she ran into trouble due to her own curiosity. Peach is a curious person, and although she is often kidnapped, she is fearless person as well.

4) “Only Mario is able to defeat Bowser. Only Link is able to defeat Ganon. This is why Peach/Zelda are not the heroes!” Completely ignores the question of why Mario and Link are the only ones who can defeat them (assuming that’s even true). Also ignores the fact that the reason they are fighting is to save the princess (which is the trope Anita is pointing out!). This is not a counter to the trope, but evidence supporting its existence.

And this is where you lose all credibility. First, are you suggesting that we should have a problem about how Link and Mario, the main characters in their respective series, are the heroes ? Second, are you even suggesting that Link is not the only one who can defeat Ganon?

It is true that Link is the only one who can defeat Ganon. If you even played Zelda games, (particularly Skyward Sword, which is at the beginning of the timeline), you would know this. Link has repeatedly been referred to as “the hero,” and this was explained to him by Zelda in SS. She was the reincarnation of the Goddess, the one who used her spiritual powers to break off part of the land and send it into the sky (Skyloft). She did not have brute strength, but spiritual powers and she seemingly kept Demise underground for centuries while in suspended animation. Anyway, Link and Zelda would keep reincarnating and play their important roles in each game and only Link can wield the Master Sword, which is vital in defeating Ganon.

But no, we are supposed to focus on Zelda being the damsel in distress. Again, Zelda does not have brute strength, but spiritual powers. Those have aided Link in various games in the series, but I guess that does not count since Zelda is not directly fighting the bad guys.

If you were to ask anyone who discussed characters in general who isn’t a power tard, they would tell you that brute strength is not always necessary. General usefulness and overall characterization are key. Most of us hate seeing female characters being played as Faux Action Girls (ooh, look, another trope!), because they are ultimately reduced to being damsels in distress. What makes the Faux Action Girl trope so offensive is the fact that we are being told that certain females are competent in one area when we clearly do not see that. There was never any promise that Zelda (or Peach for that matter) would be melee fighters within most of the games in which they appeared.

Zelda is more than a damsel in distress, especially after her role in the story was defined in Skyward Sword. She represents spirituality (as part of the Triforce, along with Link’s bravery and Ganon’s power) and she often helps Link along the way. Sarkeesian's description of Zelda reduces the character and it ignores the decent roles of other females in the series (like Impa in various Zelda games). Let's see if Impa is even mentioned.

Regarding Mario: Yes, he is trusted the most person to deal with Bowser and other enemies. While he does receive assistance from his brother, Luigi, and teammates (some of whom are female) in RPG’s, Mario is often the most important member of the team. He is the mascot of Nintendo, so he would be shown prominently in most games in which he makes an appearance.

There were some games in which Mario had to be saved. One is Super Princess Peach, like a mentioned above, and another is Luigi’s Mansion.

5) “The game is NAMED AFTER ZELDA!” Irrelevant.
Is it? She plays a role in most games and it all started due to the Goddess.

6) “I hate the re-imagining of Peach/Zelda. They are fine as they are.” Doesn’t counter the trope or demonstrate how it’s wrong. It shows that this person buys into the trope as a useful plot device.

That attempt at a “counter” is quite laughable.
You want to know why I hate the re-imaginings of these characters?

For one thing, Zelda’s head is superimposed on Link’s body. Then, the wardrobe is treated with light colors and funky textures. If that is not wonky, I don’t know what is.

Peach is put in overalls. Is wearing a dress wrong? She’s a princess and a dainty one at that, FFS. Is there anything wrong with a lady being dainty? (Personally, I don’t like wearing dresses and I don’t care for purses or jewelry. There are some women who do. We come in all shapes and sizes and have different preferences.)

What I get from this: The ladies are in wardrobes that suggest that they should supplant the male heroes in their respective video game franchises.

My Response is continued here.
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