No sooner had the trailer for Rockstar’s hotly anticipated sequel to Red Dead Redemption hit the web than the SJWs were gnashing their teeth over its lack of strong womyn. “… [I]f RDR 2 continues without any sort of major kick-ass woman, it’ll be actually far more male-focused as a story than most classic westerns” wrote Dan Golding at Kotaku. Over at The Mary Sue, Jessica Lachenal linked to various articles about lady outlaws. According to her, the game is bucking tradition if it doesn’t pay homage to these obscure figures. But since we know so little about the game, this judgment is a bit premature.
If the judgement is accurate, what are its merits? In other words, why does it matter whether the game has “kick-ass” women or not? Golding’s article doesn’t explain what these characters add to Westerns; he just says there is a tradition of kick-ass women in Western films, which the game borrows from. Couldn’t a Western have “kick-ass” women and be awful, despite (or because of) the presence of these characters?
SJWs push the idea that every entertainment product needs a quota of women and minorities. For instance, a black actor complained that British television is “too white” and so doesn’t “reflect the reality of multi-ethnic Britain.” And earlier this year, George Clooney made similar remarks about the Oscars.
The basic idea is that since society has changed demographically, the cast of characters in sitcoms, movies and video games should speak to those changes. But while society has changed demographically, the people creating entertainment products remain overwhelmingly white and male.
White males, like virtually every other group, tend to write characters like themselves because they have the internal experience of being white males. When they write minority characters, they often create stereotyped imitations or multi-hued puppets who say things that could be said by anyone. White men can’t empathize with the situation of blacks and women on a level that allows them to create authentically real characters. So if there’s a role in Westerns for lady gunslingers who tame buffalo and fight Dodge City’s rape culture, why would men be expected to write them?
Demanding that game developers, movie directors and television writers place token characters in their creations is to deny that the experience of being a minority is something unique; that there is no such thing as the black experience, the female experience, or the hermaphrodite-otherkin experience.
Of course script writers could shoehorn black and female characters into stories and put lines in their mouths that could be spoken by anybody. But if this is what SJWs want from entertainment, then SJWs must think that minorities are interchangeable with white males. If they are interchangeable with white males, then diversity is pointless. SJWs are advocating tokenism.
If SJWs insisted on black directors making black movies, female screenwriters writing female characters, and so forth, then it would be an admission that there is a consciousness white males can’t tap into. In which case, white males can’t be faulted for the lack of diversity in entertainment. It’s not “problematic” that the 2016 Oscar nominees were white or that video games are dominated by male leads; it’s a result of the creative decisions of the people (white men) making those products.
If there is a lack of black and female game writers, film directors and screenwriters, then perhaps the talent isn’t there (SJWs assume it is). No one is standing in the way of black independent film studios or game development teams. You can be struggling financially and make it if you have the ability. The documentary Indie Game follows several developers who worked on a shoestring budget, yet became successful. Or perhaps the talent is there, but isn’t wanted by anyone but SJWs. Movies that depict black life, like Spike Lee’s movies, don’t generally earn high returns at the box office.
The lack of women in game development could be due to a number of factors. It could be that women aren’t drawn to games because they handle conflict differently than men do. Popular video games are often about resolving conflict through violence. Women handle conflict by flattery, slander, or by deference to masculine authority. A game where you embarrassed your enemies by revealing something shameful about them would not sit well with most gamers.
Video games are vicarious adventures for men; the player sees himself as the character saving the world. When developers design female characters, they often have both hypermasculine and hyperfeminine qualities. To appeal to men, the playable female character has to do things like fire rocket launchers, but also sport a voluptuous body and tight-fitting clothes ala Lara Croft. This is what people like Anita Sarkeesian can’t figure out because they deny substantive differences between the sexes. But men understand it, which is why they create characters like Croft and why they are they majority of game developers.
So the SJWs who complain that the cast of characters in different forms of entertainment don’t match up with the changing face of society are saying one of two things, both of them ridiculous. They’re either saying that the people who make entertainment products are to be blamed for not creating enough token characters, which makes “diversity” an illusion. Or they’re blaming the people who run the entertainment industry for not employing enough minorities, when the talent or the demand for the talent might not be there. Whatever they’re saying, SJWs should not be making creative decisions from their armchairs.