Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood: Okay, This Series Has Some Issues

(via IGN)

(via IGN)

I want to start this post off by saying that I don’t hate this game. I actually ended up enjoying the gameplay a lot more than I did its predecessors. And again, as someone who used to live in Italy, there’s a really strong nostalgia factor for me when a game allows you to run around Rome for 20+ hours. But not hating the game is a far cry from enjoying everything it had to offer. The first two games had their issues, like all stories do, but their problems are much easier to ignore. Brotherhood, again following the character Ezio, has a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses that Assassin’s Creed II had, but the game’s characterization missteps are much more apparent. And it’s the portrayal of one character in particular which nearly ruined this story for me: Lucrezia.

Trigger warning for rape, incest, and victim-blaming up ahead.

Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: James Potter, Rape Culture, and Unhealthy Relationships

I’ve never been a big fan of James Potter’s character. Part of that, I’m sure, is colored by my love for Severus Snape, so I’ve always thought of myself as a little biased when it comes to this issue. It also doesn’t help that the fandom as a whole seems to be split down the middle when it comes to both James and Severus—I can’t find many people online who either passionately hate or passionately love both of them. A lot of fans tend to hate one and love the other, as if they have to choose a side for some reason.

The_MaraudersI’ll admit that I’m also guilty of this. Snape is my favorite character, and after reading the fifth book, for the longest time, I loathed James Potter. However, in recent years, as I’ve come to terms with the more problematic aspects of Snape’s character, I got to thinking that I should give James another chance. Unfortunately, even then, something about James still struck me the wrong way. Despite being a widely popular character among fans, we don’t know all that much about James outside what we are told by other characters—it’s hard to say whether or not he was even a good person—and what we do know about him is that for much of his life he valued ideals that reinforced toxic masculinity.

Continue reading

Sexualized Saturdays: Game of Thrones and the Sansa-Theon-Ramsay Atrocity

When Game of Thrones’s fifth season started, I knew that there’d be some things about it that I wouldn’t like. That’s true for any story—you have to take the good with the bad—and that’s been especially true for Game of Thrones. When Game of Thrones is good, it’s pretty decent, but when it’s bad, it’s fucking horrible. The unnecessary Jaime-Cersei rape scene comes to mind. But while I knew that the show would continue to have its faults, I didn’t think it would be this bad.



For those of you who don’t know what happened, Game of Thrones dug itself into yet another hole with the episode “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”. That episode’s ending scene is the worst thing ever. It’s so bad that I’m not even sure I can accurately represent my rage and disgust logically. Instead, I just want to scream and set things on fire. The hole the show just dug for itself is so deep, I’m not sure that it can climb back out again. I’m also not sure that I want it to. It deserves to rot down there.

In case you couldn’t tell, there’s a trigger warning for rape and abuse up ahead.

Continue reading

Magical Mondays: Faerie Food and Sexual Assault

PersephoneI was thinking recently about faerie food and how it never leads to anything good. Very rarely is the only consequence of eating fairy food that you’re a little less hungry afterward. At first, I thought that faerie food seems to be a metaphor in some ways for drug use and addiction, seeing how, in many myths, humans who eat it become addicted, don’t want to eat anything else, and if there is faerie food available, can’t stop eating it even past the point of being full. But then I started to realize there is a much more sinister connotation to faerie food: faerie food in a lot of ways seems to be very similar to date rape drugs, thus tying it to sexual assault.

Trigger warning for rape, date rape, and sexual assault after the jump.

Continue reading

Web Crush Wednesdays: #cosbymeme

Trigger warning for rape/sexual assault in this post.

This week, my adoring gaze has fallen on Bill Cosby. Not so much the man himself, but the decision of those people who represent him on social media to ask people to meme him, using a meme generator on his website @ (now defunct), fully underestimating the virulence of feminist twitter. They went wild. Por ejemplo:

Continue reading

Gotham’s Selina Kyle Said What?

I wasn’t planning on doing another post about Batman this soon, but Selina Kyle said something during Gotham’s second episode that I feel the need to address. Especially because I’ve seen people cheering her inappropriate behavior on. Though I enjoyed the episode and once again was thrilled to see Selina and learn more about her, that was only until she threatened a police officer with a false sexual harassment accusation. Her line:

Go get [Gordon] or I’ll say you touched me.

“Atta girl, Selina.”—actual reaction quote someone wrote in response to the threat

Atta girl, Selina.”—actual reaction quote someone wrote in response to the line

Her threat is problematic for a number of reasons. And it was a giant blemish on an otherwise enjoyable episode. Trigger warning for rape ahead.

Continue reading

When You Play the Game of Thrones, It Turns Out We All Lose

So this week’s Game of Thrones, huh? How about Pod being the best squire ever? Or, uh, Tywin talking to Oberyn? That was pretty cool, right? Or you know, the producers assassinating the entire arc of one of the most sympathetic characters on the show in favor of once more perpetuating the misogyny so prevalent in a good portion of popular television today?

Yeah. That? Not so rad.

Side-eyeing you so hard right now, Game of Thrones

Side-eyeing you so hard right now, Game of Thrones.

Spoilers for Game of Thrones under the cut, as well as a trigger warning for discussions of rape and incest.

Continue reading

Trigger Warning: Kate Argent

My favorite Teen Wolf actors are currently filming Season 4, and if rumors are to be believed, it’s less American Horror Story: Lycanthrope and back to normal ol’ campy-yet-awesome Teen Wolf. But here’s the thing: I’m not so sure that this season is going to be less traumatic now that Kate Argent is back.

wcgiqLdJeff Davis has said this will be a big season for Derek, and that he will be in trouble at the beginning of the season and the gang will have to rescue him. Big money is on Kate kidnapping Derek… again.

This does not sound like a light and fluffy season to me, but I’m really worried the writers will attempt to make it that way, and in the process royally screw up a really important issue.

Trigger warning for sexual assault below the cut. Continue reading

The 100 and the Privileged Dystopia

the-100 logoSince I’m taking an extended break from my True Blood reviews for reasons I’m not going to get into right now, I’ve decided to review the new CW show The 100 instead. I’m only four episodes in, and thus far, The 100 is frustratingly predictable, even if it does have a very interesting premise and a lot of potential. The 100 takes place in a future dystopia—which is awesome since I love dystopian societies—but that dystopia so far seems to have similar problems in its portrayal to something like The Hunger Games or Divergent. That is, it comes from a very privileged viewpoint of how dystopias actually work in terms of racism, heteronormativism, and rape culture.

Trigger warning for rape and potential spoilers for The 100, The Hunger Games, and Divergent after the cut.

Continue reading

Not Cool

 [content note: sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape]

I am, admittedly, a giant honking video game nerd. I mostly play on PS3, though, so I don’t have a lot of feelings about Toon Link. I finally got around to playing The Last of Us on the hardest difficulty, and after crying myself to sleep for a couple of nights in a row, finished it. It is, by the way, the finest game I’ve ever played.

I was, largely, raised by video games and they’ve colored the way that I think about the world. They are an art form unto themselves and if you don’t think so then I have literally no time for you. But there’s always been a sense of community about video gaming, people sharing strategies, comparing skill levels.

With the sixth and seventh generations of console gaming, we got online multiplayer, which has changed the way we think about games. The community of gamers became worldwide and truly connected.  Online gaming networks turned out to be wildly successful, Playstation Network having 77 million registered accounts. Many popular games have single-player modes that are really only seen as vehicles for their PS Network or X-Box Live offerings. But, multiplayer and I have a love/hate relationship. For one, it’s now rather impossible to be the best person you know or interact with at a given game, and that’s difficult for me because I’m a giant tool. Also, there’s the mics. Some games require the use of some method of vocal communication to coordinate strategies, like SOCOM or Call of Duty. It comes with a cost, however. I played a lot of Mass Effect 3 on multiplayer and one day I happily decided to go buy a microphone. While having mics on made it easier to co-ordinate strategies on higher difficulties, keeping us from being rotely murdered by geth with flamethrowers, it also meant I had to listen to two French-Canadian boys try to serenade our fourth team member.

french_canadiansAll told though, that’s a relatively minor problem. For example, people don’t regularly threaten to rape me in online games. If you’re a woman and you play games online, you’re familiar with this and other forms of gendered verbal abuse. If you want some detailed examples, please check out Not In The Kitchen Anymore, which is an online archive of exactly that kind of abuse. I don’t want to speak too much to this exactly, because it’s not my experience. However, before anyone accuses me of not being able to take a joke, or infringing on their freedom if speech, my thing is this: if games are supposed to be a space where people go to relax, get away, and enjoy themselves, then maybe we shouldn’t subject women to the same constant specter of sexual assault and harassment they live within the real world. Continue reading