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Do you think the Sonic series is kind of sexist?


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4 hours ago, Kuzu said:

No, but the Freedom Fighters have always been portrayed as completely morally upright. Turning them into an extremist group borders on character assassination.

 

lol

Not to derail this thread... but there is no version of the FF that aren't by definition an extremist group.

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42 minutes ago, Sega DogTagz said:

 

lol

Not to derail this thread... but there is no version of the FF that aren't by definition an extremist group.

You know I mean. This is Sonic and their enemy is Robotnik.

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29 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

You know I mean. This is Sonic and their enemy is Robotnik.

Yeah, I get and agree with what your saying. Just taking a cheeky swing at ya. One of my undergrad degree's is in Poli Sci, so I had to slap you on the wrist for careless usage of the terminology.

 

All that student loan debt has to be worth something gosh darn-it.

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6 hours ago, Snowikaris said:

Well, do we have a well-intentioned extremist group in the series? 

No, and I'm not convinced we need one. "Should humans have rights?" Isn't ever really a question in this series. "Humans are bad" has never been the point. 

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6 hours ago, Sega DogTagz said:

Yeah, I get and agree with what your saying. Just taking a cheeky swing at ya. One of my undergrad degree's is in Poli Sci, so I had to slap you on the wrist for careless usage of the terminology.

 

All that student loan debt has to be worth something gosh darn-it.

Shit man, I'd love it for the Freedom Fighters to be a morally ambiguous group like Jet's group in Avatar, but that ain't happening in this franchise of all things. 

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4 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Shit man, I'd love it for the Freedom Fighters to be a morally ambiguous group like Jet's group in Avatar, but that ain't happening in this franchise of all things. 

It could. We've had GUN and those kids that tried to burn down a forest to stop the zombots in IDW. Sega isn't afraid of showing morally questionable groups.

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Yeah, the games have never once had any kind of wide-scale conflict between humans and animals.

Eggman is the enemy of humankind and animalkind alike. GUN murdered other humans. Pachamak's tribe massacred chao, etc.

When Sonic and his friends do interact with humans, they're treated as "essentially human" by them. There doesn't seem to be any sort of societal differentiation between humans and animals on Sonic's world. Heck, in Unleashed, most humans didn't even flinch when Sonic became a monstrous version of himself (aside from a couple of NPCs roasting him for his appearance) or react with surprise to his little flying dog companion. Humans are pretty unfazed by nonhumans living in their world.

The games aren't Archie, which did have a long and storied history of animal vs. human (or at least animal vs. overlanders, humans' similar offshoots) conflict. Introducing some human-hating extremist group would come right out of nowhere and have no basis in the series thus far.

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8 hours ago, CertifiedNobody said:

It could. We've had GUN and those kids that tried to burn down a forest to stop the zombots in IDW. Sega isn't afraid of showing morally questionable groups.

And when was the last time GUN was referenced in any capacity in the games

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4 hours ago, CertifiedNobody said:

Generations, but that doesn't matter. Sega's shown that they're willing to have extremists and morally grey elements in Sonic.

Not recently, though. Last time was in Black Knight. Recent games seem to be more and more black and white, with even the HBH’s redemption being a binary switch of temperaments, and it’s ignored in the IDW comic.

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Marginalizing women is sexist, so yeah, many things are sexist when you think about them with that i mind. Things have certainly gotten better in that regard over the last few years though. FNaF is acually kind of old fashioned that way; by the time the first game came out the "only one girl" trope had already started falling out of favor. But I think FNaF can be excused due to the fact that it's in universe story is that the animatronics and the pizza chain are from the 80's, a time when such an establishment would very likely have featured a single animatronic female character. If a lack of diversity is done specifically to recreate a saddly less inclusive era then I think it's acceptable. Like how when that movie Dunkirk came out a few years ago and got flack for not featuring any female soldiers and very few non-white soldiers, when it's honestly an accurate recreation of an specific time and place.

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On 1/8/2022 at 7:54 AM, MetalSkulkBane said:

Can people gimme examples of franchises that 1 aren't sexist 2 but also don't have female protagonist?

Tetris. (I kid, I kid.)

Undertale/deltarune are both games that have a main character that's simply addressed by they/them pronouns. Whether that means the protagonists of these games are canonically nonbinary or whether it just means their gender is unspecified is a point of contention in the fanbase, but I think it's safe to say that these games don't have definitive "female protagonists."

But they both do a good job portraying lots of different types of women (and men), who aren't pigeonholed into narrow gender stereotypes and get to shine on their own merits. Women in these games are everything from motherly figures to powerful warriors to scientists and more, and there's not really any sense that they're less important or less prominent than the men in the story.

Stepping away from video games, Steven Universe is another good example - It's outright got a male main character, but still has plenty of well-realized and developed female characters. Nobody in the series is really treated any differently on the basis of their gender, either.

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Aight, time to bust this out since its relevant. 

Why is it relevant? Because it explores the various difficulties media has found itself in writing female characters through the years. 

I don't think this applies to just Sonic, but many media just being archetypal in general. It's probably more apparent with Sonic however because it's a series rooted in 90's American and Japanese culture, and it hasn't really modernized itself all that well. Let's look at Amy, who despite ostensibly being the franchise's main heroine, is often relegated to a supportive role towards the male characters while they're the ones who do all of the interesting shit. 

And writers have often struggled at moving her out of that specific niche she was meant to fill without drastically changing her character. 

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I'm probably going to get a lot of backlash for this post, sorry in advance.

 

I don't like when peope accuse some medias to be offensive/discriminatory because there are stereotypes in it... I don't mind stereotypes as long as they are not offensive. There's plenty of media filled with male stereotypes and usually they aren't considered offensive, but when they are female, they automatically are. I'm all for gender equity and don't support sexism, but I think that often people see problems where they don't exist.

For example, in most videogames, the bad guy is some evil man, often a very masculine one too, because masculinity gives the idea of them being physically strong, and in order to impress the player, the bad guy has to be strong. This is a negative stereotype that should be considered offensive toward males, because the message it sends is that male=evil and nobody seem to care, I myself don't care for sure. Even A Hat in Time, in order to give the idea that Mustache Girl is evil, indeed they gave her some mustache. Just who cares.

It's not like all the villains in media have to be girly girls because that breaks the stereotype... sometimes a Ganondorf-like guy as the main villain is just ok.

This is an example but there's plenty of other stereotypes in games and not all of them are actually offensive for real, most of them aren't meant to be.

7 hours ago, Kuzu said:

Let's look at Amy, who despite ostensibly being the franchise's main heroine, is often relegated to a supportive role towards the male characters while they're the ones who do all of the interesting shit.

I'll start by saying that Amy is one of my least favorite characters in the series, because she's one of those Minnie-Mouse-like characters who are just a female variation of the protagonist, whose personalities and roles are often inconsistent because they are not important factors unlike their feminine look, which ends being the defining trait of the character.

Amy being mostly a supportive character is not due to her gender, but due to how the character was designed in the first place, AKA a minor side character meant to appear in one game only (at least originally). The series has shown us that female characters can do "all the interesting shit" the main characters do (Blaze, Rouge), even Amy did it a couple of times, though Amy was never designed to be a major character and she's only shoehorned everywhere because Sonic needs a female mascot for marketing; she's forced in the spotlight for the sake of it.

In promotional stuff, Amy is depicted as part of the main group, but in the actual games she isn't, really. She was never meant to be one of the main heroes, and she lacks the features to be one (strenght, fighting skills, heck even uniqueness - I know fighting and strenght are not all, but in an action adventure series about fighting robots and god-like monsters, if you lack fighting skills you just can't do stuff; even Tails is often relegated to supportive roles for similar reasons and he's not female, he's just a little bit younger, more insecure and nerdy).

When they made Boom, they had to redesign Amy into a completely different character because the original version just isn't suited for being always around and doing what the other heroes do, and at this point why not just making a completely new character instead?

You can redesign her to be a main hero, by giving her a lot of power and experience in fighting all of a sudden, super transformations and all, but that would be the usual case of retooling Amy in order to shoehorn her at any cost because of her look, because she's THE female. I'd rather prefer if they make a completely new female character for that role (it would just be Blaze already if not for that dimensional barrier and her being busy with her kingdom), just leave Amy alone, sorry to all her fans.

Regardless of all what I said, I still love her gameplay in Sonic Advance, because that's a lot of fun, and I wouldn't mind her to be playable from time to time; what I don't like of her is the general idea behind the character, the concept of "THE female" is just uninteresting (call it offensive if you want, I don't think it is, I just think it's boring like for any other Minnie-Mouse/Smurfette like character, except Toadette, Toadette is cool).

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I think get your point @Iko

Like, Princess Peach by existence isn't sexist. Girls who like pink, dresses and aren't exactly fighters exist. And that's okay. (Fighting part is a bit arguable with Peach, but that's life for ya.)

The problem only starts if all girls are made from same mold.

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1 hour ago, Iko said:

I'm probably going to get a lot of backlash for this post, sorry in advance.

 

I don't like when peope accuse some medias to be offensive/discriminatory because there are stereotypes in it... I don't mind stereotypes as long as they are not offensive. There's plenty of media filled with male stereotypes and usually they aren't considered offensive, but when they are female, they automatically are. I'm all for gender equity and don't support sexism, but I think that often people see problems where they don't exist.

For example, in most videogames, the bad guy is some evil man, often a very masculine one too, because masculinity gives the idea of them being physically strong, and in order to impress the player, the bad guy has to be strong. This is a negative stereotype that should be considered offensive toward males, because the message it sends is that male=evil and nobody seem to care, I myself don't care for sure. Even A Hat in Time, in order to give the idea that Mustache Girl is evil, indeed they gave her some mustache. Just who cares.

It's not like all the villains in media have to be girly girls because that breaks the stereotype... sometimes a Ganondorf-like guy as the main villain is just ok.

This is an example but there's plenty of other stereotypes in games and not all of them are actually offensive for real, most of them aren't meant to be.

This isn't entirely true. You said it yourself, males are "supposed" to be powerful. Not even just villains, just male characters in general. In any given medium, the audience expects some level of competency from a male. But this is still an inherent power fantasy, because it appeals to the basic human desire to be seen as powerful and confident. There's a reason villains tend to be very popular, because they appeal to base instinct in a lot of young males of feeling powerful and strong. 

So yea, it is sexist, but not in a way that's really demeaning. 

1 hour ago, Iko said:

I'll start by saying that Amy is one of my least favorite characters in the series, because she's one of those Minnie-Mouse-like characters who are just a female variation of the protagonist, whose personalities and roles are often inconsistent because they are not important factors unlike their feminine look, which ends being the defining trait of the character.

Amy being mostly a supportive character is not due to her gender, but due to how the character was designed in the first place, AKA a minor side character meant to appear in one game only (at least originally). The series has shown us that female characters can do "all the interesting shit" the main characters do (Blaze, Rouge), even Amy did it a couple of times, though Amy was never designed to be a major character and she's only shoehorned everywhere because Sonic needs a female mascot for marketing; she's forced in the spotlight for the sake of it.

In promotional stuff, Amy is depicted as part of the main group, but in the actual games she isn't, really. She was never meant to be one of the main heroes, and she lacks the features to be one (strenght, fighting skills, heck even uniqueness - I know fighting and strenght are not all, but in an action adventure series about fighting robots and god-like monsters, if you lack fighting skills you just can't do stuff; even Tails is often relegated to supportive roles for similar reasons and he's not female, he's just a little bit younger, more insecure and nerdy).

When they made Boom, they had to redesign Amy into a completely different character because the original version just isn't suited for being always around and doing what the other heroes do, and at this point why not just making a completely new character instead?

You can redesign her to be a main hero, by giving her a lot of power and experience in fighting all of a sudden, super transformations and all, but that would be the usual case of retooling Amy in order to shoehorn her at any cost because of her look, because she's THE female. I'd rather prefer if they make a completely new female character for that role (it would just be Blaze already if not for that dimensional barrier and her being busy with her kingdom), just leave Amy alone, sorry to all her fans.

Regardless of all what I said, I still love her gameplay in Sonic Advance, because that's a lot of fun, and I wouldn't mind her to be playable from time to time; what I don't like of her is the general idea behind the character, the concept of "THE female" is just uninteresting (call it offensive if you want, I don't think it is, I just think it's boring like for any other Minnie-Mouse/Smurfette like character, except Toadette, Toadette is cool).

I should have specified that yea, there have been later female characters added to the series that are just as interesting and capable as the males. They usually just have something holding them back; Cream's too young, Blaze is in another dimension. Rouge could work, but she's often a supporting character for Shadow...which is its own problem that I won't get into. 

 

But yea I agree, and it's probably why I just never cared much about Amy in general. I don't dislike her or anything, she just doesn't have much going for her as a character in terms of motivation and skillset. Now to be fair, she's not the only one with this problem; it's apparent with characters like Tails as you said, and even Knuckles and Shadow to an extent as all of them are mostly defined by their relationships to Sonic. Its just that those three at least get to strike out on their own every now and then when the writers care enough. Amy's never gotten that treatment and I often feel like writers struggle justifying her presence when she doesn't have much to offer in terms of narrative beyond motivating characters that are more important than her. 

Which...is fine I guess, her fans don't seem to mind much and she's perfectly functional in that role. It's just not a very interesting role to me is all. I do agree that adding more female characters is better overall for the series and a good way of keeping the series feeling fresh. 

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On 1/10/2022 at 3:29 AM, Iko said:

I'm probably going to get a lot of backlash for this post, sorry in advance.

 

I don't like when peope accuse some medias to be offensive/discriminatory because there are stereotypes in it... I don't mind stereotypes as long as they are not offensive. There's plenty of media filled with male stereotypes and usually they aren't considered offensive, but when they are female, they automatically are. I'm all for gender equity and don't support sexism, but I think that often people see problems where they don't exist.

For example, in most videogames, the bad guy is some evil man, often a very masculine one too, because masculinity gives the idea of them being physically strong, and in order to impress the player, the bad guy has to be strong. This is a negative stereotype that should be considered offensive toward males, because the message it sends is that male=evil and nobody seem to care, I myself don't care for sure. Even A Hat in Time, in order to give the idea that Mustache Girl is evil, indeed they gave her some mustache. Just who cares.

It's not like all the villains in media have to be girly girls because that breaks the stereotype... sometimes a Ganondorf-like guy as the main villain is just ok.

This is an example but there's plenty of other stereotypes in games and not all of them are actually offensive for real, most of them aren't meant to be.

I'll start by saying that Amy is one of my least favorite characters in the series, because she's one of those Minnie-Mouse-like characters who are just a female variation of the protagonist, whose personalities and roles are often inconsistent because they are not important factors unlike their feminine look, which ends being the defining trait of the character.

Amy being mostly a supportive character is not due to her gender, but due to how the character was designed in the first place, AKA a minor side character meant to appear in one game only (at least originally). The series has shown us that female characters can do "all the interesting shit" the main characters do (Blaze, Rouge), even Amy did it a couple of times, though Amy was never designed to be a major character and she's only shoehorned everywhere because Sonic needs a female mascot for marketing; she's forced in the spotlight for the sake of it.

In promotional stuff, Amy is depicted as part of the main group, but in the actual games she isn't, really. She was never meant to be one of the main heroes, and she lacks the features to be one (strenght, fighting skills, heck even uniqueness - I know fighting and strenght are not all, but in an action adventure series about fighting robots and god-like monsters, if you lack fighting skills you just can't do stuff; even Tails is often relegated to supportive roles for similar reasons and he's not female, he's just a little bit younger, more insecure and nerdy).

When they made Boom, they had to redesign Amy into a completely different character because the original version just isn't suited for being always around and doing what the other heroes do, and at this point why not just making a completely new character instead?

You can redesign her to be a main hero, by giving her a lot of power and experience in fighting all of a sudden, super transformations and all, but that would be the usual case of retooling Amy in order to shoehorn her at any cost because of her look, because she's THE female. I'd rather prefer if they make a completely new female character for that role (it would just be Blaze already if not for that dimensional barrier and her being busy with her kingdom), just leave Amy alone, sorry to all her fans.

Regardless of all what I said, I still love her gameplay in Sonic Advance, because that's a lot of fun, and I wouldn't mind her to be playable from time to time; what I don't like of her is the general idea behind the character, the concept of "THE female" is just uninteresting (call it offensive if you want, I don't think it is, I just think it's boring like for any other Minnie-Mouse/Smurfette like character, except Toadette, Toadette is cool).

This is why I find Amy being the sole female in a lot of series toylines so disappointing; she’s probably one of the least interesting to play with for younger fans, especially with her bland post-Unleashed self AND her raging borderline-yandere depiction in the dark era. Then again, Knuckkes has been portrayed as luckless dumb muscle more often than not across the dark era up to today. Rouge, for example, adds another more antagonistic character to the collection of figures so we aren’t stuck with badniks alongside Eggman, Metal, and Shadow. Blaze also works better in an action figure assortment, and could even provide a contrast with Chaos or compliment Omega. Plush? Go hog wild with character choices, it seems the characters overall work better there. The only characters I’d refrain from in that department are the distinctly unpopular and uninspired recent characters like the Deadly Six, and what do you know, merchandise does avoid them.
 

One of the only toylines that is based on a video game that I see as even worse is Mega Man. Given we’ve had some figures of characters like the above mentioned, yet other strong females like Tron, Alia, and Aile get nothing. Even Roll seems to have gotten less than Amy, not to mention other more feminine girls like Kalinka and Iris also not getting the figure treatment. There isn’t even a plush of Roll out there. (That isn’t “Tsum” styled)
 

 

Anyways, probably the most sexist Sonic game is Lost World. Amy is reduced to a doting housewife type who gets fridged in the climax, while Zeena is a vain, jealous valley girl stereotype who Sonic gives false hope of reasoning with, only to continue attacking her and the rest of her kin. 

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3 hours ago, Snowikaris said:

Anyways, probably the most sexist Sonic game is Lost World. Amy is reduced to a doting housewife type who gets fridged in the climax, while Zeena is a vain, jealous valley girl stereotype who Sonic gives false hope of reasoning with, only to continue attacking her and the rest of her kin. 

I'll agree with you if you can look me in the eye and tell me that Lost World treated the male characters any better.

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40 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

I'll agree with you if you can look me in the eye and tell me that Lost World treated the male characters any better.

There were way more male characters overall. They even attempted character arcs for Sonic, Tails, and Eggman, but didn’t do it well. The only playable character was also male. 

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43 minutes ago, CertifiedNobody said:

I'll agree with you if you can look me in the eye and tell me that Lost World treated the male characters any better.

Lost World gives us the ultimate male power fantasy.

tumblr_inline_p11mluWCLb1t6wr66_500.gif 

King moment.

10 hours ago, Iko said:

In promotional stuff, Amy is depicted as part of the main group, but in the actual games she isn't, really. She was never meant to be one of the main heroes, and she lacks the features to be one (strenght, fighting skills, heck even uniqueness - I know fighting and strenght are not all, but in an action adventure series about fighting robots and god-like monsters, if you lack fighting skills you just can't do stuff; even Tails is often relegated to supportive roles for similar reasons and he's not female, he's just a little bit younger, more insecure and nerdy).

See, here's where I disagree.

Because for a brief period of time, Amy was part of the "main heroes." She had her own story in Sonic Adventure, and was consistently one of the selectable characters in the Advance series in the early 00s. And two of those games even had a second playable girl character with Cream, making Amy less of "token girl" in those games.

Furthermore, I just don't buy the idea that she "lacks fighting skills." She has different fighting skills, since she uses a weapon instead of pure innate ability, but those are still fighting skills nonetheless. The Piko Piko Hammer, as both a weapon and a means to achieve aerial mobility, added some variety to the series that I think was (and still is) welcome.

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It should be noted that Amy's story is both the shortest and outside the portion where she's kidnapped, isn't tied to the main plot at all.

She's certainly not weak, but she is technically supposed to be thr "normal" one among the group and not be as capable as her peers.

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18 hours ago, Snowikaris said:

Anyways, probably the most sexist Sonic game is Lost World. Amy is reduced to a doting housewife type who gets fridged in the climax, while Zeena is a vain, jealous valley girl stereotype who Sonic gives false hope of reasoning with, only to continue attacking her and the rest of her kin. 

Zeena is indeed the most baffling thing in the series in terms of gender representation. The game came out in 2013 but the Deadly Six as a group is such a straight example of the "the one female whose personality is to be female" trope that you'd think the game came out 20 years earlier. Zeena puts Smurfette to shame. I get that the characters in the game were ultimately created in Japan so that explains a lot of it, but not all. Pontac and Graff were told to use a certain set of characters in a basic certain story but they wrote the lines (and even the finer details of how the story plays out). It's not like Sonic Forces where they merely translated and slightly changed a japanese script. No, these two american writers who you'd think would write with a sense of basic modern day western sensibilities in mind basically took an already problematic character and made her borderline offensive. Now, to be honest, I can appreciate when a writer decides to just write what he/she truly wants to write without taking political correctness into account (South Park is something to admire) but with Zeena and her Smurfette-principle in full swing... I just don't get why. Why would they do that? What did they want to say? Or, perhapes more realistically, since I'm assuming they probably didn't actually want to express some personal truth or meaning with it, why did they think people would like it? Did they genuinly not realize that in 2013 most people are aware of the marginalization of females in media and tired of it? I mean I know that the "ok boomer" meme is old and dead (like a lot of boomers) but geeeez guys, if you write professionally for a living then you might wanna keep up with how writing evolves from one decade to the next, if even solely for the purpose of being able to please the masses.

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