Sexualized Saturdays: Male Fighters, Loss of Agency, and Masculinity

A few weeks ago I wrote about raised female warriors and their fight for autonomy. Since then I’ve been thinking on whether male characters are ever given a similar kind of tragic backstory where they‘re kidnapped, as children or even as adults, and their agency is taken away and they are forced to learn to fight and kill on the orders of their captors. I managed to find a few that could fit this trope—Matt Murdock (Netflix‘s Daredevil), Oliver Queen (Arrow), Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier (MCU), and D‘Avin Jaqobi (Killjoys). All these characters have their freedom and autonomy taken away (to differing extents) and, as such, they present a lot of opportunities for nontraditional portrayals of masculinity.


Spoilers for Arrow, Killjoys, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier below.

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Not Getting the Full Combo: Gender and Agency in Mobile Idol Games

I am still in idol hell.

It’s been three months since my criticism of Love Live: School Idol Festival, and my opinions really haven’t changed that much. I just have to admit it to myself: I like the game mechanics despite the problematic material. Though I may not have replied to all the comments, I have read through all of them, and I do appreciate all the points that you, the commenters, brought up. Reading through them, though, one topic continued festering in my mind: are there any female-marketed equivalents to SIF? I have a phone incapable of running mobile games (and BlueStacks is especially hard on my poor laptop) so I haven’t exactly had the opportunity to go delving; however, sometimes life just drops a gift on your doorstep, and heaven forbid I ignore it. I present for your comparison pleasure: I-Chu.

Hello darkness my old friend... via visual-novels-are-life @ Tumblr

Hello darkness my old friend…
via visual-novels-are-life @ Tumblr

As you can probably guess, I-Chu takes the same kind of game mechanics, but instead of playing as Muse (the band from Love Live), the player takes on the role of a producer/teacher, watching over a whole wealth of bands featuring boys of many different types and cultures. Game mechanics-wise, the games are roughly similar: tap circles, score points, idolize idols, scout for better idols. Story-wise, however, is where the two diverge, and I think this game better illustrates some of what makes SIF slightly more problematic than I-Chu.

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