Feb 14 2009

Animated violence crosses line (real violence still OK)

I so didn’t wan’t to have to think about this, but everyone’s been emailing me about the super-repellent “rape simulator” video game, so here goes nothin.

If you haven’t heard about it, you may just want to continue traipsing through your life in blissful ignorance. I’ll be happy to accomodate you. Just watch this odd video (wherein two members of the Chicken Justice League restore peace amongst the Bunnies) and log off.

For the rest of you: in a nutshell, my spies report that Amazon was, until forced to stop under pressure from outraged citizens, selling a graphic, extra-violent “rape simulator” video game, the object of which is to stalk a mother and her two daughters and you can guess the rest. The “game” is produced by a Japanese company famous for hentai (Japanese porn) wherein gamers perpetrate violence against virtual women.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon’s (now removed) product information page:

Rapelay is an offshoot of the Illusion series, Interact Play. You, like in previous installments, play as a public nuisance that gets away from captivity and starts scouting for new targets. This time around you find a family of a single mother and her two daughters. You quickly begin your hunt and capture each woman one by one. The gameplay involves an amusing training/disposition system with which to break each respective target to your liking. Watch where you blow your load, or you might get them pregnant!”

The current furor apparently erupted when British MP Keith Vaz recently spoke out against the simulator (it is unclear how the game came to the politician’s attention; probably he caught some of his junior staff whacking off to it on their lunch hour). Vaz has been trying to squeeze some political mileage out of this thing since last year, but until the other day apparently wasn’t able to convince anyone that anything like a rape simulator actually existed. Finally, though, somebody listened when Mr Vaz was shocked, shocked that anyone would buy a game that “simulates the criminal offence of rape.” He denounced Amazon to a grateful nation and vowed to involve Parliament in banning the game from Planet Earth.

Mr Vez is not, of course, obligated to give an opinion on the rape violence inherent in non-animated, non-Japanese pornography, or, for that matter, on the rape violence inherent in actual British society (see the UK’s really abysmal rape prosecution record), and does not offer one, at least not in this article.

This surpassingly disgusting game well and truly represents a blow for Truth & Beauty, but come on. Is anyone, even the scandalized Keith Vaz, really surprised? Seriously, this is SSDD (same shit, different day) stuff. Proceeding, as the spinster aunt always does, from the premise that all pornography is the graphic representation of rape, it’s clear that buttloads of rape games already exist, and have for some time. They’ve been around since the first lonely nerd fired up “Softporn Adventure” on his Apple II. The Now Generation gamers of today can enjoy “‘breast enlargement’ simulations where CGI models grow assets of such titanic proportions that even Anna Nicole Smith would appear modest by comparison,” or really classy stuff like “Virtual Hottie 2”, which turns their computers into point-and-click blow-up dolls.*[cite] The hentai game company’s previous titles include “Battle Raper” and “Artificial Girl” (watch this space for a forthcoming post on the it’s-gotta-go-ness of teenage boy robosex fantasies). Surely this Rapelay thing merely represents a reasonably expected escalation in the normalization of rape culture.

The game I’d like to see? “Porn-Aversion 2”: A huge rotating knife, or some projectile vomit, or maybe a couple of chickens, shoots out of the computer whenever the gamer is enbonerated by a graphic representation of rape, but it feeds him a nice, hot pizza when he reads and passes a comprehension quiz on Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse, or stands up at a professional football game wearing an “I Heart Hillary” shirt and announces “I’m a feminist!”, or posts anti-porn comments on Daily Kos until they ban him, etc. In the final level, he must become a member of the Blametariat and pass for a minimum of 1 year as a radical feminist lesbian; his prize is a card he can put in his wallet that reads “Human.”

It’s worth noting that, as is general practice for the media, both the newspaper articles I saw on this subject pander to reader prurience with screenshots of the animated rape victims in their lingerie recoiling from a pair of grabbing hands. The Sun is, of course, the ickier and more gleeful of the two; it adds a second huge screenshot of a reclining figure in lingerie tearing off her own shirt, with the caption: “Sick…” In fact, in terms of screen real estate, titillating images take up more space on the Sun’s web page than actual copy. Both papers avoid condemning pornography in general, concentrating instead on the scandalous impropriety of Amazon’s involvement. The gist seems to be not that porn is bad, but that Amazon is bad for selling it. Subtext: porn’s all well and good, but it must be kept in secret naughty places under cover of darkness, not out in the middle of a popular retail website where anyone looking to buy Harry Potter might see it. Thank the lard there are Members of Parliament willing to infest the internet in an effort to drive it back underground where it belongs.

I expect that, as this story makes the rounds, blogging members of Dude Nation will be making the argument that “virtual” rape is hunky-dory, since the victims are fictional. This is a load of crap on every level. The eroticization of violence against women is not hunky-dory. A society capable of producing human units that eroticize violence against women is an antifeminist society. A culture that feeds these appetites is a rape culture. The human beings oppressed by rape culture are not fictional.

Barbarism, even when indulged via a Dell laptop, is not only the antithesis of enlightenment, it’s gonna fuck up someone, somewhere. You know how I know this? Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George’s mother catches him doing “you know” on a copy of Glamour magazine, and she is so disgusted by his pornulational behavior that she falls and ends up in the hospital in traction?

There ya go.
* I take issue with the idea put forth by proponents of these “poke the doll” games, viz. that virtual women are assumed implicitly to have given consent. A virtual woman, much like a human woman, cannot give consent, because she is the product of patriarchal programming and has no agency. The same goes for any image of any woman in any medium. No, silly, I don’t advocate for the rights of cartoon characters; I merely reveal the parallels that exist between “virtual” women, 2-dimensional images of live women, and live women proper. That this consent issue eludes the enpornulated masses is what makes rape culture so oblivious to itself, and so impervious to random acts of blame.


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  1. Nora

    I think the argument people fall back on here is that of substitute vs. complement. ‘Watching porn/playing violent video games doesn’t *cause* violence; it *prevents* it. It’s a substitute, not a complement.’

    Dunno if they’re hip to the fact that their logic essentially implies that, without films/magazines/games as an outlet, the people who read/play them would be out on the streets raping women and terrorising the populace. In that sort of society, virtual substitutes seem rather like slapping a plaster over a bleeding stump…

  2. Twisty

    “‘Watching porn/playing violent video games doesn’t *cause* violence; it *prevents* it.”

    Yup. “Give me my porn or I will pillage the village” is what separates the men from the bonobos.

  3. Tierney

    The gist seems to be not that porn is bad, but that Amazon is bad for selling it.

    Nah, Amazon can advertise subscriptions to Playboy and Maxim on its front page with impunity. To men, the word rape, as applied to women, means nothing more than “sex that you can get in trouble for having,” and a raped woman is an object of scorn or merriment not of compassion. As you said, Mr. Vaz is just using a display of faux concern to score political points with women, who are just so prone to overreaction and hysterics that it’s a wonder teh menz can get any real work done.

  4. Orange

    Those chickens need to get off their lazy feathered duffs. They’re spending their days busting up bunny fracases when their Justice League talents are needed to crack down on pornocratic violations against humanity.

  5. yttik

    I almost wish everything was this blatant. Then you could say, here it is, you own it, this is what you’re condoning. Instead we’re left with things like the recent superbowl ads, tackle a woman, throw her to the ground, and rip her shirt off, and it’s all in good fun because we’re selling a product. People don’t see all these daily images condoning rape because they’re subtle, they sneak into people’s subconcious. If the media ever showed an actual rape video, people would be horrified.

  6. Twisty

    “Nah, Amazon can advertise subscriptions to Playboy and Maxim on its front page with impunity.”

    True, true, Tierney, but I also think Playboy and Maxim are not really perceived as smut. They are merely “erotic.”

  7. PhysioProf

    It is ironic that the Sun characterizes this game as “sick”, yet makes a fuckton of money off their “Page 3 Girls”.



    Great word!

    Comrade PhysioProf

  8. Hedgepig

    These chickens are the same variety as mine! And I even have two: Blanche and Stella. They are Light Sussex Bantams. Just for the chicken fanciers among the Blametariat.

  9. Nolabelfits

    I find it somewhat significant that the mother in this disgusting game play is a SINGLE mother. You know, not appropriately chattel-ized and “protected” by another man’s ownership.

  10. Lauren O

    If you want to see a bunch of dudes insisting this is harmless fun, go check out the comments on the BoingBoing post about this game. I shalln’t link it, because you shouldn’t actually go read it, because it’s literally nausea-inducing.

    Their “logic” is that playing rape games doesn’t cause you to rape people in real life. (It only reinforces the idea that women are nothing more than sex receptacles for men to use and discard, and that’s totally fine, as long as you’re not raping anyone in real life.) Also, video games have killing in them all the time, and feminists don’t care about that! (Of course, if a game involved killing as graphic and sadistic as the rape is in this game, it would be reviled by society at large, but, hey, shooting aliens from ten feet away is totally the same as repeatedly raping a woman as she begs for mercy.)

  11. Anna Belle


    Apparently my computer is a radical feminist, because it shut itself down (twice!) when I tried to access that Page 3 link.

    I agree Nolabelfits. I dealt with this all the time as a long-time single mother. I didn’t even know for the first few years that I was being hunted by perverts, but I was. I was marked in the eyes of men from across the economic spectrum as easy and usable. I’ve actually toyed with writing a book aimed at teen single mothers on the truth about trying to find a suitable (read feminist) mate as a single mother. My thesis: it’s well-nigh impossible.

  12. Metal Guru

    I guess this is a little off topic, but it still falls along the lines of “hypocritical dudes and their delicate sensibilities.”

    Yesterday, I decided to look at the IMDB boards for the movie Teeth. You know, the one about the teenage girl whose vicious vagina protects her from rapists? I’m sure you’ll be just shocked to learn that nearly every dude (and most of the “I’m A Feminist, But” ladies) posting had a problem with this movie. “Every man in this movie is either a rapist or a pussy! It’s sexist against men!” “Feminists are such hypocrites! If this movie involved a WOMAN’S genitalia being chopped up, they wouldn’t be laughing!” “If women want to be fairly represented in the media, they should extend the same courtesy to men!” It was unreal. I’ve read enough inane shit on that website to rival Ulysses in both content and volume, but until yesterday, I’d never seen such advanced inane shit.

    I learned that this one movie in which a couple of dudes get their dicks chomped off for being rapist bastards is a tragedy. It is a disgusting attack on all men ever. Us crazy feminists have apparently overlooked the dearth of positive white male figures in American cinema. We’re bloodthirsty bitches who revel in sexualized violence against men!

    I just can’t wrap my head around this. How far up the Patriarchy’s ass are these people? Practically every other horror movie in history has involved pretty women running around in tight shirts, getting raped and chopped up, and none of those movies even had a point to make. Suddenly something slightly comparable happens to men, and it’s a national emergency?

    I guess the connection here is that as usual, nothing matters until it affects Real People (i.e., dudes) or in this case, Our Impressionable Youth. Obviously I have nothing to back this up with, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the outrage over this game isn’t so much because it glorifies violence against women as much as it is that this is a video game, and a lot of people consider video games the domain of kids and teenagers. Rape is bad, of course, but it’s especially bad for Li’l Johnny to see on the teevee! As usual, all of this fuss has little to do with the women who are actually affected by the practice in question.

  13. feral

    Having been raised by a single mother (with my sister), I propose a video game where women stalk rapists and inflict bodily harm upon them. Jesus.

  14. Twisty

    From the BoingBoing comments:

    “the game is sexist, since you can’t rape men.”

    For real!

  15. Veganrampage

    From the link:

    “An expert’s opinion: Peter Hepper

    Could games like this encourage people to commit illegal acts in the real world?

    There have been high profile instances of individuals copying from TV and games. However I think these are the exception rather than the rule.

    If one looked at the overall proportion of people who copy such things then it is likely to be very small. However to a potential victim even if one person does – that is one too many.

    I don’t think that it would make someone not so inclined to commit an illegal act more inclined or likely to commit a specific act.

    However if people are already inclined to view the world this way it may reinforce their views and make it more likely they would undertake an illegal act. I suspect the will to do this would need to be there in the first place.

    Professor Peter Hepper, heads the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast ”

    I would love to see a game simulating male rape and then hear this expert’s opinion. Video games are very influential, especially on young people. I think the US military, and perhaps all military interests are behind some of the violent ones. I’ve read many accounts of soldiers in Iraq who were quoted saying they thought it would be like a video game until their friends started getting their asses blown off.

    Twisty you are exactly right on each and every point you make.I am disgusted beyond measure.

    Metal Guru, about the comments in IMDB, most of those commenters are semi-mentally disabled boys and men and they are hopeless. I’d like to think they were all in middle school, but that is not the case. I may make a comment just to annoy the hell out of them.

    Hedgepig, I love chickens. The kind you have are especially pretty, but I still love the ones that aren’t gorgeous. I love them for their personalities. I meant to say this about two weeks ago, when I mentioned you in a remark but I actually look for your comments because I think you are terrifically funny and smart. I want to make that clear so you don’t think that my clumsy attempt at humour was anything else.

    I think everyone that comments here is fantastic, though why dewds insist on encroaching on a blog where they are specifically asked not to comment, well, that’s the Big P for you.

    Vegan hugs to all.

  16. Lexie

    This is what I don’t get about people who actually play and enjoy these video games. Saying that playing these games doesn’t cause you to go out and rape in real life is supposed to make it all okay? So what in real life makes you actually enjoy playing these video games?

    Like, it is so great that people who enjoy simulating rape in their spare time can hold back from really raping women. I’m really fucking happy about that. So there is fucking nothing remotely abnormal about wanting to simulate violence/rape towards women in the first place.

    Us feminists. Tsk, tsk. We are so unrealistical radical and we want SO much. We not only want men to not rape us, we go all crazy by wanting them not to even WANT to rape us.

  17. truffula

    When I clicked over, the Belfast Telegraph page featured a link to a “What’s hot on the catwalks” story with a picture of models parading around in their underwear. Me thinks thou dost protest too much, reporter dude.

  18. Jonathan

    My SO and I were stupid enough to turn on TV at the end of our evening tonight, first thing we saw was Twin Peaks. And the first scene we saw was a hospital:

    Cop 1: “Was she raped?”
    Cop 2: “Yeah, several times.”

    The TV is now back off indefinitely.

    If TV was inundated with this shit 20 years ago (and I bet since its inception), then I’m honestly surprised the video game industry took so long to catch up. The only media we can trust is the stuff we write/make ourselves.

    Ironically, my S.O. and I created a 100% original pen paper RPG game to play together*, because that is the only guaranteed way that we’ve found to relax away from the gender terrorism/marching orders of the P’s “entertainment” industry.

    * Don’t try this with clueless Nigels, or you’ll end up with the dialog above inserted in at some point.

  19. Lara

    “Saying that playing these games doesn’t cause you to go out and rape in real life is supposed to make it all okay? So what in real life makes you actually enjoy playing these video games?”

    Exactly, Lexie! So quotable. I swear to you I saw the beginning of this post and I just had to stop, breath, and read again what I just saw. On one hand, I am speechless. And on the other hand, I am not too shocked. And that’s really scary.
    I am really tired of people claiming that people totally separate their fantasy from their reality. Entertainment, in the form of movies, video games, shows, etc., is only entertainment precisely because it picks up on our emotions, our wants, desires. So one has to ask, “why in Maude’s name would any man find a game like this remotely entertaining, funny, or a turn-on, let alone absolutely offensive and disturbing?”
    And you’re right, Twisty. The mainstream media keeps making this story revolve around the issue of “free market/speech?” for Amazon instead of what kind of implication this has on the state of our rape culture and violence against women. Rape is not some basic instinct for men, it’s not an essential basic part of society (naturally). So people need to stop thinking we have to choose between “should we let our six year old play a rape game? Or should we just wait till he’s older?”
    Absofuckinlutely disgusting!

  20. otoc

    In all the reports I scanned about this, they make sure to mention that the rapist forces the victims to have an abortion after their rapes. I have a sinking feeling that’s the main reason the video game got pulled from Amazon.

  21. Katipo

    Chicken-Rabbit video: happiest thing I’ve seen all week!

  22. Katipo

    Anyone seen the movie “Teeth”?

  23. Daisy P

    I like the way the game description describes the player (rapist) as a “public nuisance” …making it sound like it’s just someone really pesky who throws chewing gum on the sidewalk, or spray-paints subway walls now and again, or whatever.

    “A virtual woman, much like a human woman, cannot give consent, because she is the product of patriarchal programming and has no agency.”

    Yep, porn is the manifestation of men’s mentality, and porn is everywhere. Porn takes the mental pictures and movies out of men’s heads and puts it there for others to see, so the women are real, and the women cannot say no, and there are many reasons women in porn cannot say no…some say they can say no, but if you analyse the bigger pic, they cannot say no. I am not going to give a long speech about why they cannot say no, we are all blamers here, I don’t need to do that.

    So, it’s a chicken/egg set-up…which came first? The porn, or the contents of men’s heads? What matters now is, there is a big fat dirty loop going on….porn goes to head, more head stuff is manifested as visible porn, then porn goes back into head, ad nauseum.

    So, who said porn does not cause rape? Wait a minute, rape is now causing more porn!! I’m so confused. Errrr…not.

    And thanks Twisty, for mentioning the Sun, that paper is more responsible for the pervading rape culture in this country (Britain) than possibly any other publication. Ir’s modus operandi is to feature something titillating ie, promoting rape, whether that’s it’s lovely now-traditional page 3topless lovely which started in the 60’s, or a story about rape or something related (the story invariably being placed strategically on page3, but oh no, it’s not associated guys, we’re so pro-woman, but of course, the intention all along is to associate the two things), then cry out how outraged they are at the child abuse/rape/ sex-for-passports…whatever story they want to titillate with.

    That paper was responsible for fucking up the psyches of more little girls than Barbie.

    They have been more responsible for the creepy mentality and behaviour a lot of men in this country have.

    Of course, things have moved on since the 60’s, now we have quick-fire information transmission to anywhere in the world, so Misogynists Incorporated’s demarcated international boundaries are so blurry as to be non-existent, but minor cultural attitudes still apply somewhat.

    “”“Nah, Amazon can advertise subscriptions to Playboy and Maxim on its front page with impunity.””””
    “”””True, true, Tierney, but I also think Playboy and Maxim are not really perceived as smut. They are merely “erotic.””””

    Exactly…..all this trend now for “harping back to the good old days” burlesque and “retro porn” makes it all that much easier to make people believe that as it was so long ago, it was not really porn. It is a paver-of-way for people who still think extreme porn is bad, to start accepting “mild old-school” titillation, but don’t call it porn. Errr…it was porn…all it’s doing is showing people the evolution, if they have any brains.

    Thos pornographer’s they are clever little monkeys….dumb down the Maximz, the Playboyz and The Sun, get people to internalise that they are NOT porn, and you have the way clear, when someone says they object to having these publications in the workplace or whereever, it will be hard to argue because, magically, they are not porn any more and not harmful!! Easy!

    Off topic a bit, but I’m spitting venom this morning….I am breaking my new rule of never ever posting before 12 noon (UK time) but wtf:
    …. ps….speaking of “harking back to the good ol’ days” …..to UK people….have you seen the new retro-Virgin ad….celebrating it’s something-or-other anniversary?? Talk about non-verbal messages. Richard Branson a good-guy?? Same old same old…..the word “guy” gives you a clue.

  24. Daisy P

    “‘Watching porn/playing violent video games doesn’t *cause* violence; it *prevents* it.”

    This old argument goes against all principles of advertising….these things are not cathartic, they are reinforcments.

    Cigaretted advertising has been banned because it prevents smoking???

    How stupid do they think people are?

  25. Pam I

    Cause and effect? Someone once nailed it re movies, but it applies to all this stuff: when I see a violent movie, my brain knows it’s not real, but my guts don’t.

  26. Jodie

    “I merely reveal the parallels that exist between “virtual” women, 2-dimensional images of live women, and live women proper. ”

    I’m not sure, in the minds of many, that women are anything other than 2-dimensional.

    Oh, and I LOVE the chickens! That video brought some memories back.

  27. pisaquari

    “We not only want men to not rape us, we go all crazy by wanting them not to even WANT to rape us.”

    Another head-nod to Lexie, here. If you find the images of rape orgasmic you’re simply an idle rapist.
    “Rapeplay” along with it’s Big Bro “rape fantasy” are indefensible phrases from a feminist perspective–mutually exclusive words put together to (once again) make the idea of a woman not wanting penetration impossible to conceive.
    And btw, if consent is so hot (and one considers themselves fairly up-to-speed on the current Rape Culture) then even the performance of a rape/non-consensual dynamic would absolutely repulse you.

  28. phiogistic

    This reminds me of conversations I have had this week about Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) and his upcoming show “Dollhouse”

    “It stars former “Buffy” star Eliza Dushku as Echo, a young woman — known on the show as an “Active” or “Doll” — sapped of her memories and free will, who is sold to rich clients to fulfill their needs and fantasies. For each assignment she is imprinted with a fresh personality, complete with new skills, intelligence and neurological information; sometimes she morphs into a sexbot, other times she takes on the life of a highly methodical negotiator.” (from Salon article)

    IOW, it features a female lead that will be routinely raped, but she has her memory wiped each time! And she’s getting paid for it! So, no harm done!


    Rape is under-reported, under-prosecuted, used to frighten and control women to the point of convincing them to become suicide bombers,
    (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article5661466.ece). But according the the giant brains at BoingBoing and all their rape-apologist pals, it’s entertainment! It’s just good fun, in every type of media.

  29. Daisy P

    “….. but it feeds him a nice, hot pizza when he reads and passes a comprehension quiz on Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse, or stands up at a professional football game wearing an “I Heart Hillary” shirt and announces “I’m a feminist!”, or posts anti-porn comments on Daily Kos until they ban him, etc.”

    Noooo, no rewards for not being a misogynist in the making, only punishment for being one. No carrots, just sticks…foooey!!

  30. Twisty

    Great Scott, Daisy P. If you aren’t careful, you’re gonna turn into an ellipsis!

  31. Twisty

    “I’m not sure, in the minds of many, that women are anything other than 2-dimensional. ”

    My point precisely.

  32. Citizen Jane

    “Killing is okay in games, so why not rape?” seems to be the standard defense for this game when I see it discussed on The Interwebs. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I need to spell out to people why it is objectionable. Shooting baddies in Tomb Raider and such is not representing violence towards an oppressed group, for heaven’s sake!

    I guess I will also need to explain what’s wrong when someone comes out with Let’s Bash Homos: the fun new game where you can beat up homosexuals with 20 combo attacks! Or the new Master Race, a real-time strategy where you play in an exciting race against time to remove people of colour from the gene pool! The Sims new expansion, Domestic Violence: guide your Sim to beat his wife, but don’t let those bruises show and make sure she doesn’t call the cops!

    Why oh why oh why do we need to explain to people that this is bad? How is it not stunningly obvious to anyone with a brain cell or two?

  33. Twisty

    Frankly, I don’t see why killing games get a free pass, either. They’re predicated on the same culture of domination and submission that produced the rape game. They’re all on the same continuum, and I don’t care what anybody says, video games don’t exist in a vacuum.

  34. Felicity

    This game only works for males, no woman wants to see this thing – their second class status being used in a game for violence. So it’s just men getting off on the women they can’t have in real life. The weird creep factor element being used in a game.

    It’s controversial because men are scared that women will say the all important ‘one step too far’ . It’s all fine making subtle, ironic points about rape in porn and mass media. The patriarchy knows not to take it too far, for fear of women reacting. This is too obvious an attack on women, nothing ironic or subtle about it – why it’s almost refreshing in a sense!!

    Despite the backlash against feminism, of naive women cheering the patriarchy because they never knew any different – women are not smoothed into a state yet where they will allow men to do or produce any sexist shit. Patriarchy knows this and the disgust at this game is them defending women to appease us and make the subtle attacks easier.

    Amazing the DUDE groups coming to the game’s defence! Rape women and children as a hate group in a world these people often know nothing about – and claim it’s the same thing as a playful lazer game destroying for points? New territory! Act the violence sexists feel for women out in a game; enact the hatred similar to a racist’s some men have for women, in name of fun and ‘art’. There we cross a fucking line.

    I hate the men who designed this; and I hate the men disusted at it in government; just as I hate the men coming to its defence. If we lived in a world showing any respect for women those who designed this game would be put away. I sadly feel a similar game with racist motivations would be responded to much more seriously. This isn’t oppression olympics, i’m just showing how much of a joke our oppression is compared to the oppression taken seriously of other people.

    Although it’s a relief to finally find an attack not shrouded in irony and the smirk of a misogynist telling you to ‘calm down’, I feel some sexists are using this game and the controversy as ‘another knock on men (a.k.a. privilege)’. I feel they’re trying to make this something like a stepping stone as to what they can get away with. Otherwise why defend it? I want to know why some arseholes take it upon themselves to seriously defend it? Surely it’s sexism in itself to defend rape, in whatever form! This game is bringing sexists out of the woodwork.

  35. Daisy P

    “Great Scott, Daisy P. If you aren’t careful, you’re gonna turn into an ellipsis!”

    I did say that I am a 2-dot Blamer……….how what the hell, make it 60. I know, I am a compulsive ellipser. I shall try to contain meself but it’s not going to be easy.

  36. mearl

    Here, for your reading pleasure, is another cheerful yarn from the Mearl Archives:

    My ex-Nigel, who had all manner of personal issues and what he called a “slave complex,” was a guy who seemed like the angelic picture of passive-aggressive unmanned manhood. He was very smart, I’ll give him that, and said he was interested as hell in learning about and becoming a feminist man. He wanted to be a better person. I used to think that the more dudes (and women) I educated on feminism, the more impact I could have on even just a tiny corner of the world. So the ex-Nigel and I talked at length about gender politics. He tried to be a nice guy, but some of his descriptions of his opinions made my brain curl.

    During a few of our discussions about gender I remember him making some oh-so-valid points about how horrible it is to be a dude. For one thing, he told me that as a man, he’s useless. His body is expendable, he can’t have a baby, therefore he could destroy all the parts of his body and it wouldn’t really matter. He has no reason to get up in the morning, no reason to do ANYTHING unless it involves working to make a comfortable life for a woman, because women are the ones who matter, we can carry children, our bodies are precious. He believed that this was the Duty of the Dudes: to make money, to go to war, to serve and protect the sad little Wimmins. We’ve heard this narrative before, the “I have no reason to be anything other than a selfish, filthy, lazy, strip-club-frequenting, porn-consuming, pot-smoking, beer-swilling bachelor dude until I can find a suitable incubator for my offspring, whereupon my eyes will be opened to the meaning of life and I’ll become responsible and apply for a mortgage and insurance.” See “Knocked Up” as a recent blockbuster movie example.

    Okay, bear with me through this dudely sentiment, because it leads to more dudely reasoning. In the same breath he was arguing with me about how awful it is to be a (straight) male and to be a slave to your sex drive. How horrid it is, the ex-Nigel told me, to be SURROUNDED by women, women, WOMEN everywhere, who have this thing men want access to SO badly (a vagina), and not to be allowed to have said access whenever and wherever they want. It’s torture, really. The male existence, in its nihilistic uselessness and vagina-deprived state of perpetual lustfulness, is TORTURE.

    I asked him why he thought anyone should have access to anyone else’s body without that person’s consent. He said he didn’t think that, but underneath it all, it’s just the way men FEEL, even if they know it’s wrong to infringe upon another person’s bodily integrity. He would also piss and moan about how good women have it (?) since we don’t have to lift a finger and because we have these tasty goods like breasts and all that, men will fall over backwards to bring us whatever strikes our fancy. I asked him what planet he’d been living on where this occurs. To contextualise, this is Canadian middle-class white uni-attending thinking, influenced by the greater Western mainstream cultural gobbledegook.

    Eventually I couldn’t hack his convoluted reasoning any longer and ditched him. It just bothers me that even when I talk to the so-called “nice guys” who uphold the values of the liberally educated dude, underneath it all, it sounds like they would still enjoy a good old-fashioned rape. And they consider the civilised prevention of such thinking to be a grave injustice against their core drives. I also know that this is just one dude, but it reflects other chats I’ve had with other dudes. I was wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with the so-called nice guys.

    The very thought of male opinion on rape just fucking BUGS me. If I REALLY WANTED TO, I could kidnap and rape guys, but I have never once, in fantasy or even in thought, had the inclination. I don’t fantasise about being raped, I don’t fantasise about being a rapist. So does that make me a freak, or somehow lacking in lusty human nature? Or does it make me a person driven by ethics and reason? And why can’t we all get to that level?

  37. Fireflew

    It just bothers me that even when I talk to the so-called “nice guys” who uphold the values of the liberally educated dude, underneath it all, it sounds like they would still enjoy a good old-fashioned rape.

    Tell me about it.

    Just the other day I had to witness the most ‘feminist’ man I know (in real life as well as online), someone who is generally feminist-sympathetic and has actually read some of the theory, bawwing angrily how some feminist dissection of the ways in which women are encouraged to objectify themselves made him feel ‘guilty’ about fancying ‘sexy’ (ie. pornified) women. the discussion was suddenly less about women being teh victims of this stuff and ALL about his all-important libidinal rights’ and his poor, hurt feelings.

    I despair, I really do. I’ve found this time and time again, though – all bets being off as soon as any critique of compulsary sexyfunness/pornification/objectification of women enters the discussion. The moment they sense the slightest ‘attack’ on their ‘preferences’ (even soi-disant ‘feminist’ men prefer sexyfun/pornified women, it seems) their ‘right’ to objectify women and consume pron, all hell breaks loose and it’s all about them.

    As such, I generally regard any heterosexual man who attempts to tell me he’s a feminist with deep and abiding skepticism.

  38. StillWater

    I have known women who have been driven almost fear-mad by the life-killing waste that is offered as entertainment in our media. Both of them were completely terrified of everything I might set up to do because it might lead to rape/murder. (Camping, going out of a walk, driving basically anywhere) This kind of fear is infectious and for me is quickly transmuted into a terrific IBTP rage.

    I become so angry that women are encouraged to live their lives in constant fear–a fear usually only reserved for when you’re hiking through bear country. The message television, including the news, seems to be sending is that for women, everywhere is bear country, and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.

    On finding out I was a lesbian, one woman I knew was openly fearful for me. In summary she wanted to know how I expected to get through life without a male there to shield me. Shield me from what? Other males of course.

    When I talk about this people will sometimes tell me that the fear is somehow needed because the world is dangerous blah blah blah.. I think that unless you are in literal bear country the world is made dangerous by men and for men’s benefit.

  39. chihiro

    on the topic of “rape not being a big deal” family guy’s latest episodes have I think the worst rape jokes in them so far. As with the video game defence from the doods , fans are jumping to it’s defence insisting that it is simply “satire” and that family guy wants to shock “everyone”. Well last time I checked satire aims to humilate or make fun of an oppressor from the perspective of the oppressed. Now correct me if I’m wrong but if in the cartoon a guy asks peter if he can have sex with is daughter in exchange for a record then adding “only if she’ll cry and beg me to stop” isn’t really making fun of a rapist at ALL is it? Nor is watching an animated woman be held down crying by a rapist for a good few minutes and be told by aquaman (the “joke” was that he is uselss when crime happens on land….why seth chose a rape however…) that she “shouldn’t have lead him on then”. Again this “joke” was hardly trying to dismantle or make fun of our rape culture but rather used rape as a tool for a gag that didn’t require it and made no point. If family guy fans SAW a TRUE satirical joke aimed to shame rapists on the show I doubt their minds could handle it as they are so used to it’s constant misogeny.

  40. Ayla

    Alas even the cutest, most un-Patriarchal seeming video games in the world are tainted. I recently discovered that my beloved LocoRoco and LocoRoco 2, wherein the a few of the myriad objectives include eating flowers to grow your little singing colored bouncing balls AKA LocoRocos, sliding on ice and riding in go carts, has been criticized for racism. Turns out, the solid black, monster-like baddies called “moja” who try to eat your LocoRocos look just like racist cartoon drawings of black people from the 1800’s.

  41. lawbitch

    As a rape survivor, I’m not interested in discussing the nuances of intent in the context of simulated rape. I’m busy trying to avoid shit like this that triggers PTSD symptoms. If I saw this game, I’d need sedation. Of course, one must be human to get this.

  42. Lara

    “I was wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with the so-called nice guys.”

    Mearl, we live in a Patriarchy. We are all too familiar with this kind of bullshit men dish out to us. Trust me.
    I don’t even bother having remotely political/feminist discussions with men. I prefer to just talk about other things, lest I have an aneurysm and accompanying male gets his balls ripped off and shoved down his throat.
    And as soon as I hear a guy say something along the lines of “I want to be feminist so I can be a better man” that’s a warning signal right there: he’s making this about himself and navel-gazing.
    Poo on that.

  43. Daisy P


    Sorry Ms Faster, I hope you don’t mind me posting a link. Not sure how long these yahoo links stay up.

    Potential for abuse by Mr Pat? Oops, that’s not a question, it’s a statment.

    A dood discovered this, quelle surprise. I mean, what on earth did he undertake these experiments?

    Woo-hoo!! You can almost hear the shouting! A drug to erase memories, now we don’t have to drug them senseless to rape them. That’s much more fun!

    NO, don’t get the doods to stop raping/assualting/being misogynists, just wipe the victim’s hard drive as it were. Phew!

    The drug in question has been used for years to treat migraines, but this…. (yeah, I know sorry).

    Note, this quote was invisiblised by placing it right at the bottom of the heap in the article. An analogy of the bigger pic as regards women’s issues I think.

    “An interesting complexity is the possibility that victims, say of violence, might wish to erase the painful memory and with it their ability to give evidence against assailants.”

    Ya think?

  44. Buffy

    Thanks Twisty. Amongst all the anger, disbelief, protest and defending of this game, everyone forgot to mention that it is pretty freaking hypocritical for the Parliment to whine about a simulation game when their own prosecution rate for real criminals committing rape is shameful.

  45. kate

    To those who commented on the presence of the single mother in the video: exactly my thoughts.

    It became immediately apparent to me once I became a single mother how to the public at large I no longer had any boundaries between them and my family/personal life. I was free for intrusion. School teachers and principals, scout leaders, church ladies and all types of regular gatekeepers of “respectable” society made every attempt to remind me of my lack of boundary markers at my door. Prying social workers not withstanding.

    I am one of those women on constant alert who can be triggered into having a really bad day just by the insidious thoughtless comments of the dude-world. For example I have a plumber that works for the person I work for who likes to often remark that he’d “shoot with my .45” anything that irritates him, from a noisy fridge to a locked door. I find his language abusive and intrusive to my sense of daily wellbeing. But I am supposed to laugh at the jest and act bemused, I guess. I actually just don’t respond.

    I’m sure there’s an entire contingent of male geeks on the internet bleating endlessly about how Amazon’s removal of the game smacks of censorship. Because you know, so what about the victims of such crime or crime re-enactment, what counts most is the dude-nation’s ability to exploit for pleasure without interruption from the lower factions.

  46. Flores

    Twisty wrote: “Frankly, I don’t see why killing games get a free pass, either. They’re predicated on the same culture of domination and submission that produced the rape game. They’re all on the same continuum, and I don’t care what anybody says, video games don’t exist in a vacuum.”

    Exactly. As unsettling as it can be, the character of our fantasies matters. While not nearly as disturbing as subject at hand, most any action video game has troubling implications. Is it healthy to want to stand triumphant over the bloody bodies of aliens or Nazis? Kill to gain the power to kill more and eventually save the world via violence. I see plenty to criticize in that narrative.

    Fireflew wrote: “I’ve found this time and time again, though – all bets being off as soon as any critique of compulsary sexyfunness/pornification/objectification of women enters the discussion.”

    Yeah. In a recent discussion about high heels, one of my comrades felt the need to point out how sexy he finds them. He grasped the problems, and mentioned he could recondition himself, but didn’t seem particularly interested in doing so.

  47. kelly g.

    Sadly, I found myself relieved that George was jizzing all over a copy of Glamour instead of, say, Highlights or Cat Fancy.


  48. Jezebella

    You know what would be awesome? Is if I never, ever heard anything about any dude’s “jizz” ever again, much less that of a fictional character on a long-deceased sitcom. Like, what it was on, or how it got there, or what inspired it. I’m just sick of hearing about their cocks and what comes out of them.

    [I’m not picking on you, kelly g., it’s just, I think your comment was the last damned straw for me today. Let me be clear: it’s the dudes I’m sick of, and their goddamned toddler-like need to talk about their dicks all the time.]

  49. kelly g.

    No offense taken, Jezebella.

  50. mearl

    Lara, I laughed when I read over how my comment sounded. I guess it’s pretty rhetorical to ask a forum of radical feminists whether anyone’s experienced the Amazing Fountain of Self-Justifying Platitudinous Dudely Ideological Diarrhea that can spout forth from a “nice guy.” I guess I just like to hear the stories so I can compare notes. Every now and then I enjoy cackling at the foibles of dudes, usually while rubbing my long hairy legs together in glee and grooming my big pointy feminist teeth.

    In reality, the whole thing makes me really depressed even though I wish that, after all that goddamned time and effort, I may have had SOME lasting impact on SOME dude, somewhere.

  51. Laughingrat

    It was really great to read a post about this game (which I first heard about a few weeks ago) that made me laugh as much as it made me mad. That’s really important for survival, the laughter. The anger, that comes naturally.

    The Chicken Justice League helped ameliorate the horror a little, too.

  52. Jonathan


    And as soon as I hear a guy say something along the lines of “I want to be feminist so I can be a better man” that’s a warning signal right there: he’s making this about himself and navel-gazing.”

    Right on. Whenever my s.o. sees a guy start that, she sighs, “Great. Not another episode of the Derek Show” (Or whatever the guy’s name is).

    You can probably just walk away at that point. I doubt he’d even notice.

  53. Spiders

    Peter Hepper would be well aware of the shitload of solid evidence that shows links between video game violence and actual violence.

    Why does the state ignore the research of social psychologists, and sanction violent games? Because they are the outcomes the state wants from wide scale usage of such games!

    They want to teach boys that enlisting in the army is fun/heroic whatever, because they need pools of cannon fodder for their stupid wars over resources.
    They also want a continuation of women’s oppression/subjugation/sexual terrorism. They want to teach boys to continue with that cause.
    Because this is all what’s best for the state.


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