Ms. Male Character and the “Creation Myth:” Did Anita Sarkeesian have to go there?

Ms-Pacman

Now a days, I find it almost impossible to completely agree with someone. Human beings are just too complex– so, just because I raise one issue with Anita Sarkeesian’s latest video, does not mean that I think she should stop doing what she’s doing. For example, I love what she has to say about irresponsibility and danger of normalizing violence against women.

It’s not that I don’t agree with her about her use of narrative in the Bible. It’s just a bit incomplete. What do I know? She’s pioneering a different cause. Who cares if we burn bridges with those crazy religious people? Eh, they don’t matter.

All joking a side, I think being insensitive toward people (like Christians), does a disservice to the cause. On second thought, I don’t really know what the cause is. Maybe Anita burns with passion to see justice for women, or maybe she just likes making videos. Whatever the case is, she’s not known for pioneering secular humanism. Her tag line isn’t: “women are dehumanized in video games; also, God isn’t real.”

The issues that arise are a simple 3.

  1. In my opinion, storytelling is very dependent on the cultural context. One famous psychology study was done by Frederick Bartlett through telling Native American folklore to Oxford students, and having them retell the stories a year later. Although, Anita uses narrative examples from much older work to show where our current state of storytelling (in games) comes from, it’s necessary to also indicate how different the world was, you know, 4000 years ago. Sacrificing animals sounds uncivilized, but progressive, when compared to sacrificing humans. Not that she has to do this all the time, but the Bible is SO OVERLY used out of historical context that it’s a bit of an eyesore for me. I would’ve simply added, “hey, this was written a few thousand years ago, BTW, people weren’t as civilized back them– Probably our media should evolve too.”
  2. When she says “this Adam and Eve version of the creation myth,” she doesn’t make a point to say that there are 2 versions of it. One is more of a Ms. Male telling, the other, Adam and Eve are created side-by-side as equals. These stories are told one right after the other. Even if she only wanted part of the story, bringing religion into this should be done so more carefully.
  3. Which, again, in my opinion, she does not seem to care about. I mean, “Anita, you could’ve said creation story, instead of myth.” Maybe she is trying to be alienating toward Christians? She’s certainly entitled to that.

Of course, she can’t please everyone. Those Mens Rights Activists and internet trolls seem practically entitled to dehumanize women. So, again, I am asking myself the question, “are Christians allowed to be indirectly and directly shot-down, because they come from a place of privilege… or whatever?” Is it like when white people claim reverse-racism? I honestly don’t know.

Here’s the transcript on Adam and Eve from Anita:

One very old and notable example of the Ms. Male Character trope comes to mind. As the story goes, God made Adam in his own image and then later took a rib from Adam’s side and fashioned a woman out of it to be his wife and companion. This Adam and Eve version of the creation myth reinforces a subordinate view of women — man is cast as the original concept and source code for woman who is derived from his body. Essentially Eve is the sequel to Adam, just as Ms. Pac-Man was built from the body of Pac-Man who came before her.

Maybe Anita didn’t mean to indirectly point out that those silly Christians believe in fiction. For a Christian, I could see the creation story explained as myth, if done so tactfully (maybe by Francis Collins). I don’t think there’s anyway to make such a passing comment tactful though.

Walls are bad, but who cares about Christians anyhow, they’re too illogical to reason with. 

Anyhow, interesting food for thought. Another cool video from Anita Sarkeesian. It definitely inspired me to take a break from writing academic papers to maybe present another perspective on faith.

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