“Lingerie is Not Armor” is Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian’s latest episode in season two of their Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series. In this episode, Sarkeesian presents a detailed and methodical takedown of the overwhelming presence of objectifying and sexualized outfits and character designs for female characters in games. She says:
Female heroes in videogames might be special agents or soldiers or treasure hunters by trade; they often find themselves in dangerous, physically demanding situations, fighting off bad guys and saving the world; they are typically performing activities that call for practical or protective clothing; but when we look at the types of outfits female characters are made to wear, we can see that they’re both sexualized and completely absurd.
Sarkeesian goes on to connect the hypersexualization of women in games and media to the societal perception that a woman’s worth is based on her sexual desirability:
These visual designs are deliberate choices made by the developers and they serve a specific purpose. They communicate to straight-male players that these [female] characters exist primarily as sex objects to be consumed. In doing so, they also reinforce the larger notion in our culture that the value of real, human women is determined largely by their sexual desirability to men.
“Lingerie is Not Armor” is another powerful piece of cultural criticism from Feminist Frequency. It analyzes this trope from many different angles and examines some of the worst offenders, as well as a few bright examples of positive representations of women’s sexuality. Watch the episode in its entirety up above.