yeah it’s a massive problem in popular media that dudes can just be naturally gruff and awesome and capable but when a woman is, 99% of the time she’s gotta have a backstory of how life “broke” her. Could you ever imagine characters like master chief or kratos having these backstories in their games where they’re delicate, whimpering young men who get sexually menaced by bad guys?? It’s lame as hell.
I’m not saying that showing a character’s vulnerable side is bad, but I am saying that it’s very nearly always female characters who get vulnerability forced upon them. HMM I wonder why
I want more competent powerful kickass female heroes and I want more gentle, emotional male heroes. I want that on my desk by yesterday.
I don’t think it’s a case of characters being “tainted”, it’s more that a lot of ignorance seems to be on show in a lot of character design. I think that male designers really need to analyse how they go about designing a female character vs. how they design a male one. Do they design male characters with sex appeal in mind, or is it just the female characters? Why is sex appeal important to the character, what role are they supposed to play and is their role going to be undermined by them being designed to be a sexual object? Why do sexual characteristics (like tits n’ ass, usually) play such a large part in female character design while they don’t in male character design?
Of course I’m not saying that male designers should never design female characters to be sexually appealing. But what I am saying is that as a male designer, any female character they create is going to be coming from their own mentality and ideas as a man. If they want to write or draw a really good female character they need to do more than just make it look like how they envision a woman to look. Like if a straight person were to write a gay character, or a white person were to write a black character. Of course it can and should be done, but you need to analyse your own preconceptions about the group your character is part of and research the role. A female character designed purely to appeal to men and reinforce the ideas men have about women is an ignorantly designed character, in my personal opinion.