the artistry and psychology of gaming


Stereotypes: Not Just for Ladies

Stereotypes: Not Just for Ladies

This week, I was going to write about female stereotypes that are damagingly prevalent within video games, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that men are just as often stereotyped yet the issue isn’t pushed nearly as much. So I thought that this week, I’d give a little more thought to men and the way in which both genders are culturally perceived in such a way as to their detriment in video games, and in society in general.

I’m always intrigued as to why stereotypes against women are seen as so much more of a problem than stereotypes against men. Sexism towards men is laughed at, while sexism towards women is abhorred and unacceptable. I’m going to put forward a few of my own theories which may or may not reflect my actual opinion, please keep that in mind.

Firstly, let me explain what kind of sexism or stereotypes I’m referring to with regards to video games.

How often have we decried the presence of stupidly proportioned women like Ivy from Soul Caliber, yet remained happily quiet about the obscene musculature of someone like Chris Redfield from Resident Evil? If a character has huge breasts, people will immediately jump on the idea that she’s being portrayed as nothing more than a sexual object, yet when Chris Redfield and his ridiculously bulging pectorals ‘muscle’ their way onto the scene, no-one bats an eye lid. I do understand that Ivy is more offensive because of how contrived her outfit it; it serves only to show her breasts, whereas Chris Redfield, despite his obscene musculature, is more appropriately attired. But it still serves as an example of how there is a double standard at play; men and women alike are up in arms about the ridiculous proportions of someone like Ivy leading to skewed views of women, yet the same is never said for the hundreds of hugely muscled men that appear as well.

I think this has a lot to do with the male and female psyche. I am in no way a believer of gender essentialism (the idea that men and women are born fundamentally different in nature, above and beyond their obvious physical differences), I am instead referring to our culturally prescribed natures; this is, of course, a generalisation and can never be applied to every member of a group, it is merely an observation. The cultural socialization processes for men and women is undoubtedly different. How often do you see a small boy fall over and their mother tell them to “be a strong boy and don’t cry” while the little girl falls over and gets a cuddle as she sobs? What this tells us from an incredibly early age is that boys should be boys and girls should be girls and that there are ways for men to behave and there are ways for women to behave.

It seems to me that women are almost taught that they’re the victims and to be wary of any discrimination directed towards them while men are regarded as the bolshy ones who are just meant to accept things and get on with it. They’re taught to almost embrace any stereotype thrown at them. I am not referring to this in a sexist way, I’m merely commenting on what I perceive to be a social phenomenon; what I mean by this victim statement is that in most western cultures, women are assumed to be  incapable of wrong doing, while men are assumed to be ‘masculine’ to the point of aggression and a blasé attitude. They’re meant to take things in their stride; women are meant to be on their guard.

Consider these cases: In a divorce, it is nearly always the woman who gets custody of the children, often to the detriment of the father. Cases of domestic abuse against men are hardly ever publicised, (despite the fact that the figures are actually alarming) because in our heads, men are the aggressive and domineering sex while women are meek and weaker; women can’t abuse their husbands. And think of male sexual harassment or even rape, something apparently considered hilarious if we are to take societies word for it. In the recent film Horrible Bosses one of the main characters is sexually assaulted repeatedly and in a variety of ways by his female boss (from being locked in a room by her while she stands there naked to being knocked unconscious by her and having compromising pictures taken of him while unaware) and apparently that’s laughable because men are such sex crazed maniacs that any attention from females is good attention, even if it was against their will. If the same scenes had been with a man sexually assaulting a woman, we would all be rightfully disgusted and the scene would in no way be funny, yet it seems to be only me left unamused when the tables are turned.

So when female characters have huge breasts that jiggle we get defensive, yet when male characters have huge muscles that flex and bulge, we don’t say a word. I know you could boil it down to breasts being considered sexual and muscles less so but at the end of the day, it is still a case of both sexes being objectified in a way potentially psychologically harmful to those watching, yet only one of the cases is considered a problem. If we are to say that women can develop low self-esteem because of the plethora of images and characters possessing unattainable beauty, who is to say that men don’t feel the same? Society is apparently, because men are just meant to be ‘manly’ and not give a damn. But the truth is they are allowed to give a damn, they should give a damn, and it is no less ‘masculine’ for them to do so.

It also comes down the social idea that men can’t be sexualised because being sexualised implies you don’t desire the attention, however, men apparently always desire the attention – they have rampant, ungovernable sexual desires – while women are the ones who are meant to deflect such sexual attention because women are the less sexual of the two genders with a lower libido. Writing it out  just highlights how wrong, out dated and sexist such a notion is but it is still incredibly prevalent. Just think of the differences between a man being a ‘player’ and a woman being a ‘slut’. You don’t have to go far to find someone who considers this a legitimate label for each gender, regardless of them engaging in exactly the same behaviour.

This isn’t quite as video game focused as I intended when I first started writing but, like any other art form such as literature, movies or music, video games reflect societal norms and values. Until men realise they don’t have to accept these insulting stereotypes portrayed in the media and until society and media in general stops portraying men as violent, sexmongering, ‘muscle-heads’, video games will have a hard time shedding these stereotypes also. This isn’t meant to excuse any sexist or stereotypical portrayals in video games, but it might go some way to explaining them.



  1. Great post, however I do have a different view on the matter being a huge gaming and comic nerd. In games and comics alike women are portrayed as sex objects basically, with male dominated industries the women are created to be what men want in a woman. Recently this has evened out a tad with the injection of more women creators, but for the longest time women are put forward as a model of lust. For men it is a tad different.

    Superman, the perfect alpha male figure is the perfect man. Many characters in popular culture are modeled after him, even Chris Redfield has a superman-esque look. However this look isn’t really sexualised in any way. Superman was created to give men something to live up to, to aim for. But unlike the female model where we expect women to live to these impossible bodily feats, superman’s physique isn’t the key to what superman is. It’s because he’s a hero. In all these games the ripped, perfectly balanced man has attributes beyond his look that give him a heroic feel. Female models in Ivy or the plethora of other big breasted characters that litter games have no depth to them. The males however 99% of the time are people men can look up to and by following the principles the hero’s set forward better themselves, this isn’t the case for the female characters.
    Superman, Shepard, Master Chief, Nathan Drake, Batman, all are impossible to reach the level of, but all of them carry traits that make them something to admire. The exception of Duke Nukem, who is a parody of these figures shows us what happens if you take the stereotype of the muscle-bound man to the next level, however he is one in a thousand characters, and if you don’t take him as a joke you don’t understand Duke at all.
    Men while displaying impossible traits in games do have good principles behind them, it’s something for us to look up to, not to attain. Women however seemed to have drawn the short straw and are expected to attain these impossible traits and act like the lowest of humanity.

    • I do think you’re right, women have pulled the short straw either way you look at it but although I mentioned sexualisation, my main feeling was that it’s another contributor to the unrealistic body desires of those playing. It could be that this phenomenon is total bollocks but regardless, both genders should be portrayed in a sympathetic way (Chris Redfield is just a little too WTF for me :P Superman I can understand, he’s from another planet and has super powers, he’s not constrained by the principles of normal human musculature but Chris Redfield was meant to look realistic…) Although, you’re undeniably right, the muscled man represents a lot more than the vacuous large breasted woman, through no fault of the women obviously, it’s just a case of ‘made for men by men’. Thanks Ollie for your comment :)

  2. Very good job to go in this direction and view things from the other side of the situation. Also great way to start and one specific example for excessive muscles is the Cho Aniki brothers. They might be before your “gaming era” but you can’t miss them. Talk about super buff men XD

    I do agree very much with you that it is how we are raising our society as more to blame than game design but they are falling into suit because it’s easier for society to relate to and “easier to go with the flow than swim against the current”. Good analysis and I would also add onto it how overall (since we know there are plenty of exceptions) would be that men are the “destroyers” while women are the “repairers/creators”.

    I think your example from Horrible Bosses is a fantastic analysis and I have even explained to people on multiple occasions on how men CAN be raped (I admit it is unlikely by “society’s perspective” but women can “tie down a guy and force his penetration into her”…some still fight against the definition of it not being raped because “she” didn’t penetrate “him” but that is a misunderstood conception and it still would count as the guy being raped by the woman). I don’t know of an exact case but I am saying it still is possible (and some women are capable of such “sick” or “desperate” acts). I do my best to fight the preconceived notion and agree that situation should not be viewed as “amusing” but rather horrid.

    I’m not going to say this is a reason but more of my guess as to why imagery is “more damaging” to women than men. Women are constantly subjected to next to impossible standards that only 0.1% of the population appears as…that is a given and we know about those details. For the guys, they are trained and raised to be “the top dog” and be “the best” at everything. To see…we’ll use Redfield as an example…it is a challenge given to them to strive to surpass…kinda like a goal that they will seek to eagerly surpass…kinda like “beating the boss of the game” goal. I’m not saying every guy on the planet is trying to be “Mr. Strongman” but because they are raised to always “strive for #1 and be the pack leader” and “suck it up”, that (at least on the outside) they appear less of an effect. Are all of these guys possible of being “Chris Redfield” like (just to stick with the article’s example) every woman possible of having “Ivy’s physique”? Just as equally between genders I would say (and am pretty sure you’re saying that a few times in this article). For those guys who can’t, they just have to “not give a damn” or “suck it up” and be “the best” at something else to make up for it.

    I do agree with you on that “double standard” of “player vs slut”. It’s just begging to degrade women to a far greater level (especially since the guy gets praise while the woman gets called “whore” in addition and have witnessed it many times). Also, I hate it when it still is applied to a couple who has been completely faithful to eachother for year(s) and “just now are doing it for the first time” and both of those labels still come up. For the guy, I guess that is okay because it is a term of praise (allegedly…to me a “player” is a term I wouldn’t consider praise because of how the view of “player” and how a “player” treats a woman is not something to be praised IMO) but the woman who has only done this act once and to a man she has been with definitely should not be treated as such (and also this might be a good point to rant on how chivalry is near completely dead because said “player” should do the responsible and honorable thing by defending the woman’s reputation from the insults).

    Luckily for us, not all guys in video games are “insert macho man here” (although I do agree it is much rarer to find a female character that is not the standard “female video game character” appearance). I know of several video games from as far back as NES (before then will be hard to identify except box art…but I wouldn’t count that anyways). A Boy and his Blob, one of my favorite NES games, is a “shrimpy” boy who uses the blob and his clever use of jellybeans to solve puzzles. Solstice has a frail, old wizard running around in a giant maze/dungeon and is almost the exact opposite of the modern portrayal of most guys. As we look through more modern examples they start occurring more often and let’s hope with great journalists like yourself that the same will begin happening for the women portrayal in gaming too.

    • Hehe, I had to google them but yeah, yikes! Although, it’s pretty evident that they’re meant to be completely over the top. Which actually presents us with exactly the example I was talking about; if it was the same with a female character that just had boobs the size of beachballs, we’d all be outraged. And actually, as much as I have just written about how women are seen in society as the victim and taught to be wary, it is a question of intent. When a man is portrayed like the Cho Aniki brothers, we shrug it off because it doesn’t mean anything to us, possibly for the reasons I have written about, but when it happens with women, we do become defensive because the intent is to highlight the features which make her sexual, thereby demeaning her and reinforcing an objectified idea. It’s a tough one!

      Very true, I could name hundreds of female mages as the stereotype is for them to be the nurturing, kindly gender. And by exactly the same token, men are stereotyped into the destroyer role because they’re physically stronger and seen as the emotionally more aggressive gender. Great example :)

      It’s definitely possible for a man to be raped but the issue lies in the perception by the male victim. Society has shaped our idea of male sexuality to such an extent that a situation as you’ve just described isn’t viewed as a problematic one, to such an extent that a man would probably just shrug it off if it happened. And that is worrying to me; society sees men as totally unexploitable because they are culturally percieved to welcome every sort of sexual attention which is just untrue, but if a man is deflecting sexual attention, people would accuse him of being ‘unmanly’ or gay. And that really irritates me. Double standards stand staunchly in the way of equality even by definition alone. Equality for women is paramount but equality for men is important too.

      I’d definitely agree with you and it ties in with what I said about women being raised victims and men being raised to get on with it. I suppose that, because historically and culturally women have been forced to be the underdog, we’re wary of anything directed towards us in any way and suffer greatly from the presence of all these beautified images because we already feel a lot of pressure. Men, however, have never really had to deal with this media bombardment affecting their mental wellbeing because they’ve always been the top dogs and don’t feel threatened, so they see someone like Chris Redfield and view it, like you said, as a challenge. Whereas women are cautious through necessity. That would be my interpretation :D

      To me, if you’re willing to call a man a player for sleeping with 3 women in 2 days, then you should be happy and willing to apply that same label to a woman if she also slept with 3 men in 2 days. It’s as simple as that and it infuriates me to see it said any other way; it’s so degrading and hypocritical to the girl. And as you say, the culturally prescribed notion of the ‘player’ is a reprehensible one anyway and no-one should strive to be like that :(

      You’re very kind, as ever, thank you ^_^ I hope we can all spread the word; diversity will make everything better! If I wasn’t a vet, I would definitely be working in the industry, I do lament a little the fact that I’ll never design games. But it’s cool, I live vicariously through you ;)

      • Yeah…they are evidently made to be over the top but they do help focus on your point (and their big “shine to fame” was back when video games were still mostly “kiddie” and Mortal Kombat was just starting to really shake things up). Hmm…I think on one other small detail to add onto that, guys are much more in control of their muscles than women are about their breast size (also they’d be in a LOT of back pain all the time if they were that big and they’d get extremely floppy and disgusting a few years after the game’s timeline anyways). Or maybe even another way of thinking about it is how the Cho Aniki brothers are so masculine that it is more of a symbolism of strength while women are just being treated as objects.

        Thank you and while reading that it reminded me of a much more classical debate from the 8-bit days of the arcade…Gauntlet II. I remember that one game causing a bit of a stir in it’s day because of: the mighty, masculine Warrior; the nimble, agile elf; the wise, elderly wizard; and the stunning Valkyrie. A female warrior with a shield and sword (although it does get discredited a bit on the outfit for the basically bikini armor). if you want to see the in-game image. But it was a big thing for her to be displayed as a fighter instead of a more medicinal (or even magical) role. She also happened to be my favorite to play as because she is well balanced (2nd best at strength, speed, and magic). Yeah they are viewed to be physically stronger and DEFINITELY more aggressive. At least in society we have plenty of examples of exceptions to the rule.

        Yeah and I think more people do need to understand that not all guys, while still remaining straight, do not need to crave sexual attention all the time. There are actually a few females I talk to regularly that do show more of seeking sexual attention and/or wanting sexual activity more than myself and I don’t find that shameful of myself. In fact, just a few minutes ago, I was talking about something to do with a woman that my intention was to add a little more hint of atmosphere while she was picturing a “little more than romance”. It can and does happen from time to time (it’s just harder to recognize for when it occurs to the normal male that plays into what the stereotype dictates). Equality does have to go both ways and not just “women are always the victim” as well as not always “the guy making the sexual advance/suggestion”.

        Yup…very true. I think it also has to do with the natural affects psychologically of when one becomes “the victim” (such as immediately taking a defensive take on everything). I think, in terms of media bombardment, they are affected in a different way (and more dangerous IMO)…they are just “accepting what the media tells them to do”. Media is always telling them to “live it up like a player” or “act like a thug” or (from “fashion” perspective) “let your pants drag around your legs”…and so many of them do so blindly and willingly. At least the women have the guts to unify and stand up to speak against what they disapprove of. Sure some of them can be an “effective challenge to target” but there are also plenty of examples where “challenging” or “following the herd” is all they are simply doing.

        Heheheh…yeah…you have to apply it to both sides. We know there are female “players” out there and the media flourishes on it and dramas love to tell about them. I do think we need to emphasize “men can be sluts too” (in fact they are so much more often it is probably glossed over by society as just more of a common trait than name calling…but that also ties into your point that you made of “any sexual related attention towards a guy is a good thing”). Also, it does have to be a matter of “how often sex is occurring for that person” as well. Anything less than 3 times a week definitely should not be grounds for the mudslinging for a boyfriend/girlfriend that they are with and loyal to IMO. As for not having a relationship is when it gets really muddy but we have to go look at it as “okay s/he has had sex one time this year and we’re calling him/her a slut because of that one instance with someone they weren’t in a relationship with?” as a wake-up call of people either don’t know the definitions of the words they use (quite plausible) or are that eager/bitter to insult the person.

        Thank you very much and always a pleasure to read ^_^ You’re very quickly becoming my favorite journalists and you’ve only had 4 or 5 articles up here now ;D And yeah, you and a few specific others may get dragged along for a few rides and while you’re not doing the whole process and all of the dirty work, you’ll still be making an impact on a few game designs. You know what you’re talking about and you understand what makes it fun, but most importantly is that you can explain it so eloquently that you can’t be ignored in the design process. So you get the glory without all of the frustration and hard work =P

  3. I love you, this true and finally someone said it.

    • It needed to be said ;) We all need to be equal, it is that simple. (Well, in theory anyway, we’re really going to need to haul ass to put it into practise!)

  4. I wouldn’t exactly say Chris Redfield’s new look in Resident Evil 5 went by unnoticed. It’s just that instead of outcry, the reaction was more along the lines of ridicule. “Seriously Capcom? Since when did Chris decided to get ‘roided out? Oh, and now he’s punching a giant boulder out of his way….” Then again, the difference in reaction still illustrates your point.

    Also, Ollie has a point, concerning character traits beyond appearance. A character with an “idealized” appearance can still be a strong character if they’re well-written. On the female side of the coin, consider Farah from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. If you were to show a picture of her to someone who hasn’t played the game, they might assume that she’s a representation of the objectification of women, going by her physique and somewhat-skimpy clothing. However, she has proven to be resourceful, intelligent, capable and more than a match for the Prince in terms of sarcastic wit. Plus, the clothing is justified because it’s hot in the middle east, so of course she isn’t going to be running around in jeans and a turtleneck sweater. On the other hand, Princess Peach never wears revealing clothing, and doesn’t have a very sexualized appearance, but she could hardly be considered a role model given that at least 50% of the time she exists only to be kidnapped and rescued.

    With all that said, this really is an amazing article, and it touches on some things that people rarely talk about, but I wish they did. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone discuss sociology and gender roles as reasonably and logically as you do, including the professor of the sociology class I took in college. Please keep being awesome.

    • No, you’re right, we were all pretty suprised when his concept art rolled out. In fact, I was less suprised and more, “WTF. Put away the syringe man, you’ll die.”

      You’re right, traits and personality are what make or break a character. There are many visually sexualised characters who although they were designed to look like they’re just stumbled out of a bordello, were in fact, deep, interesting and witty characters worthy of note.

      Ming from Lost Odyssey for example, I like her a lot; I think she’s interesting (if not suffering a little from the odd Japanese tendancy to ‘wishy washiness’ as I so unhelpfully describe it. The sort of thing you hear when a character in a JRPG says, “I want to transfer all those warm memories to my heart.” Excuse my irrepresible sarcastic Englishness but that just doesn’t fly with me!) Yet first impressions (which consist entirely of cleavege) are not as fantastic.

      But you’re totally right, appearance is merely superficial and it is how the character is written and acted that is the main thing, but initial impressions can undermine the brilliance of a character while also serving as the visual key to a game, so they need to be memorable for the right reaons :)

      Thank you so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed it! Especially the bits about social theory and sociology, because I find it fascinating so I’d like to portray it in as sympathetic light as I can! Thank you very much for your comment, I really appreciate it.

  5. I’m not saying that men aren’t sexualized in this way, but in certain games, it almost makes sense. In a typical video game, you’re taking on legions upon legions by yourself or with a small group (usually no larger than 5). It would take someone incredibly physically fit and strong to win such a scenario. You shouldn’t expect someone that looks like Hope Estheim (I know I’m contradicting myself here) to be able to overcome such impossible odds. On the other hand, big boobs don’t help much in a fight. So, I’d say that for any physical fighter in a video game, male or female, musclebound isn’t necessarily a bad fit. Then again, you don’t necessarily have to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger to be incredibly strong, so I suppose there’s a decent case for the contrary.

    As for gender roles, historically, it has been the white male that has enjoeyed all of the power in society, though that has changed a lot in the last few decades. In today’s more enlightened world, this figure now represents opression and there seems to be an attitude of “It’s your turn to be discriminated against now, and you have to just sit there and take it.” The same can be seen in race relations. That’s not to say that this isn’t wrong or that it’s universally true, but as a sweeping generalization, usually seems to be the case.

    As aspiration figures, I’d say that both the Superman and the Barbie model are abhorrent. Kids don’t need good physical role models, they need good role models for personality, morality, etc. Kratos from God of War isn’t a good role model; Cecil Harvey from Final Fantasy 4 is. That’s why I have a problem with this whole “Antiheroes are necessary and everyone else is boring” movement. If role models today are just mindless, selfish, bricks with legs, then what is our society going to be like in thirty years?

    • I didn’t mention it but of course, this was certainely in my mind, you’re completely right. Although even by those standards I’d consider Chris Redfield to be over the top! But yes, plausability is there and it’s important that someone who wields a sword all day or fights legions of the undead is suitably physically fit and visually so, because it’s just too hard to believe a tiny weedy lanky person could do it! Hope being case in point, lovable weedy boy that he is :D

      That’s an interesting point, although I wouldn’t say it’s an active shift in focus to dicking on the men, more that it culturally percieved that men don’t really have anything to worry about, and that taking the piss out of them doesn’t affect them and is cathartic to women, almost as if we’ve built up a discrimination quota and now consider it our duty to belittle men due to how historically we have been belittled. Which is of course, totally bollocks because the current generations cannot be blamed for acts performed by their ancestors.

      Yeah, this really worries me too, mainly because of how reliant our generation is on media and celebrities for the calibration of their moral compass. Although, having shitty people for protaganists it’s an artistic right and saying that we need role models is limiting ourselves which is awful, seeing as video games have such incredible potentional for amazing stories. That being said, gaming is more of an adults domain really these days so it doesn’t really need characters of suitable moral fibre as ‘role models’…But basically, yes, it’s not about the physical, a characters personality is so much more important but the visual aspect is part of the package too and needs to suitably reflect and respect the nature of that person (except where it’s part of that characters nature to act incongruously with their appearance…) I think I’ve confused myself with this train of thought…it’s nearly 4am here and I fear my brain may have just evacuated my cranial cavity…

  6. A great article and very effective to approach from the opposite side of the spectrum once in awhile. I do agree that this is a topic that does exist and it’s something that is underplayed by both genders I would think (guys underplay the seriousness of it when towards them and we see women making bigger waves about the ones towards them but seldom take the reverse perspective, which you can now say you are doing). I also think this article says more because this time you’re speaking out on “the other side’s defense” to allow yourself a different perspective on a topic you have talked about already. As one who is caught frequently put into the situation of calling out the “double standard” to point out the large gap in equality and how it needs respect and effort from both directions and not one side always calling the other towards their side/perspective.

    It is a great way to start off this article with talking about the easiest example to recognize, the 0.01% physical fantasy. I also think that for those who think about it a bit, a woman’s breast is appealing to the opposite gender like a man’s muscle and I see the correlation you’re making very well. It doesn’t have to just be about the sexual organs to appeal as muscles have wooed over many women over the past few millenium. Also, anyone who has read a few of your past articles also knows you don’t like the rediculous “armor” women are frequently put into when it comes to video games and that you are only asking that both be equally attired because both are just as vulnerable physically as the other gender.

    I agree that the way we raise each gender is a part of this problem (and I’m not limiting it to just games because we know it happens in movies and the like as well but you’re a game journalist so we’ll keep it there in your expertise). With guys always told to “suck it up” or “not to give a damn” makes the problem more buried and harder to fix since it takes more digging and paying closer attention to even find and identify. Also, because of this, guys will have a harder time to admit the problem and begin helping to fix the process that directly affects them. I would say another aspect that makes this problem harder to identify for the males as well is men are always raised from childhood to be “the champion” or “star athlete” as their goal. When someone is “superior to them” (such as bigger muscles), they are raised to surpass that person as a challenge from a competitor/rival (which on that note you could make a plan to write an article about why “rivals” are usually male even though females have just as much competitive push).

    Very good point about bringing up that women can cause these same negativity towards the opposite gender. I haven’t seen Horrible Bosses but that is a very good point. Women are capable of sexuall harassing and repressing men (although it is usually viewed as either “gay” for the guy to complain or the guy being “weak” and “unmanly”). In fact, no matter how much I’ve heard it protested, women are capable of tying down a guy and raping him (and they can force them to be penetrated by the guy…even if he is unconcious).

    Good point about the claim of “just because they are alluring because of breasts” is not any different than a guy being “alluring” with his gigantic muscles. As I said earlier, women have swooned over muscles before. Also, as I mentioned before, I think part of this “manly muscles” vs “womanly breasts” also stems from the men viewing it as a challenge to surpass…however both genders are set to the same 0.01% impossible standards but both the “men viewing it as a challenge to surpass” and the “suck it up” attitude combined make it as a problem not as hard pressed by the guys as an objection compared to the much more talked about objectification of women. But clearly men do care (eeven if fail miserably at speaking out on it) or we would not be dealing with commercials for Enzyme, spam of enlarging “that part”, or even all of those commercials/infomercials for weight training kits in one’s own home

    I so strongly agree with you on the “player”/”slut” argument. And I know women have a sexual libido of some kind and I wish society would admit it. If women didn’t, we would still be doing things like we did in cavemen times of “Olaf want you! Olaf knock you unconcious and take you to Olaf cave.” Also, without that sexual libido, wooing and swooning would essentially be pointless efforts. In fact, I know of several of my female friends who have a much higher sexual libido than myself but not high enough to be labeled what is defined as “slut” or “nymphomaniac”. Also, another thing I hate and have seen a few times (one of which is very recently) is when the guy is labeled as a player, which amongst guys is generally viewed as a compliment (I personally disagree with it being a compliment because of how “players” treat women and if we are looking for equality guys may like that treatment on the outside but on the inside in the long term I don’t see it lasting as a “positive experience”). Also, even after a woman is very faithful and loyal to her b/f for year(s), just having sex once can be enough to put on the title of “slut” or “whore” which I think is absurd (and this is something I have personally witnessed recently). Sure there are some women who are both of those but just because they are doing it doesn’t instantly make them such labels. And while I’m not saying it should just be “done right away and frequently”, we do need to mature up and accept the fact that sex is something that has to be done (not just for personal pleasure) to keep the species alive and if it wasn’t done, none of us would be here.

    Great job in pointing out a few of the doublestandards and it needs to be done so that we can truly begin the process of bridging the gap.

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