But isn't a butt but a butt?

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But isn't a butt but a butt?


I decided to butt into this butt debate. No buts.

{warning: post may be disjointed, played some LoL inbetween sections and it's also 4 AM :D}

Blogging with posts on concrete subjects was something I didn't initially plan on, but (ha) I guess, it became somewhat of a natural thing. Today, there's a butt on a platter. This musing is sponsored by Riot Games and /r/leagueoflegends.

None of you one person who reads these things know about what spruced the whole mini-drama. So, let me present you DJ Sona, a new ultimate skin for a champion in League of Legends in her non-butty glory:http://www.newsoflegends.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/xPYWJoe.jpg That's one of the new splash arts.

The in-game model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74Exl5dNz2Q

Now, courtesy of some 3rd party software... behold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4B4VKDc3M0 THA BUTT.

Alright, so there's that, I kinda didn't pay too much attention to the whole thing (can't afford the skin for one of my main champs atm, so I'm not going to rub it in my eyes!). But then I casually stroll onto Reddit today, and see there's a drama spiking up. Well, hand me the popcorns, not like I'll resist a good drama. I scroll through the posts and find out that the issue is, there are apparently people complaining about that ass indeed being too fat. But not in a "OMG SO FAT MUST HAVE IT ALL" way, but objectifying women way. And then there were sides, and there were questions.

And someone said that Riot actually made the butt smaller on PBE and all hell broke loose. Nothing surprising there, but then came a question of why don't people mind bare-chested guys. Isn't that sexualizing them too? Isn't that objectifying?

Short answer: no. And before I go on, let me say I don't mind DJ Sona or her butt. I don't mind sexualized League characters, it doesn't offend me and it's not going to be a feminist rant. It's going to be an equality request. As in:



But I want to state a few things that some people seem to miss in their perspective on the subject:

1. Women are more sexualized and objectified in games than men are.

2. Women are offended by it, because of the history of how our gender was treated, objectified in real life, how those issues still aren't a thing of the past.

3. I'll go with LoL examples since that's where it started. Guys like Pantheon, Braum, Lee Sin, they show chest, but it's not for objectifying or sexual reasons, it's not to cater to females and gays, it's to cater to heterosexual men who want to feel strong. There's a reason so many girls I know prefer Ezreal and Varus over those guys :P

4. For the sake of this argument, I'll count Pool Party Graves, though he's hardly sexualized (it's like Pool Party Leona, neither is). That gives 2 males who could be said to cater to manloving crowd through showing some skin in a way that's not either devoid of sex appeal or simply lore-induced (Pantheon).

5. When you compare the amount of fun/weird champions for either sex, it's also striking. Girls, we had Annie, Anivia, and some yordles. Guys had everything from Amumu through Twitch, Urgot, Gragas, Mundo, Kha'Zix, Rengar, Sion, Thresh, and a solid bunch more. Now, it seems to me that ever since LoL grew as a game, Riot has actually started to take other perspectives and possibilities into account. Newest female champions seem SO much less like boy fanservice, and I think it's great. Go Jinx with her different psychique, go Kalista with her Thresh-levels of sex appeal. Go Rek'sai, maybe soon people will even stop instantly assuming you're a boy!

I don't think DJ Sona should be changed, as she has always been the over the top busty sexy champion. Even her voice is pretty much one of a temptress (you can hear if you play her, she's mute otherwise). I don't think there should be less sexy characters in games, because they're games, and people like to watch pretty people in their games/movies, and there's nothing wrong with it.

And honestly I think that all the issues of those who complain about these things will disappear once the game casts will become more diverse. Give us sexy girls, give us sexy guys (SEXY not BUFF and so overly manly they're turning most men-loving people off <most, I'm well aware there are those that would drool all over Braum, and good for you! He's there in all his glory!>). Give us monster guys, monster gals, dumbo guys, dumbo girls, give us a fugly female champion that can rival Urgot, and give us an Incubus who will give Ahri a run for her money.

And yea, everyone should be happy then :) Aside of people who just really want to fight for things to disappear untill everything is homogenized and fitting their over-the-top politeness and PC standards. IMHO, that would be boring. But I'm all for giving everyone who shrugs off DJ Sona's booty an eyecandy that will give them some drool to wipe off the keyboard too.


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Bah, I turned off the reply notification for approved guys, cause I don't notice replies without having to approve them first. No notifications anywhere.

Either way - this linked one is Monkey Lee Sin :D He sure has other splash arts that I don't mind at all ;)

As for the cookie-cutter - it's still all over, but look at Riot's Jinx, for example. She's still considered sexy by the community and she's pretty far from your regular busty woman.

And I don't think that showing a smooth man, whose sexiness comes from brains/wealth is sexualizing. He can be appealing, but he's not sexualized. Same way as a smart/badass woman would be appealing while wearing an outfit that's neither revealing nor latex-tight. Move the sexiness to the brains/status/battle prowess, and it's an appeal (sexual), without actual sexualizing of the character. That's how men are usually presented, even those sexually appealing, and that's why this discrepancy is even something to note and talk about :)
:D No u.
I'l throw a few of my thoughts into the mix:

1) While I agree with you on this, I don't think a cross-gender comparison is especially beneficial when it comes to discussing the sexualization of characters in video games. You could say: "Look at how many non-sexy guys there are! Lets have more non-sexy females!" but if non-sexy characters are good to have it should be because they're good to have, not because there are more non-sexy characters of different gender/species/what have you. If Riot thinks their audience is expanding, then I think it's a sound moral and fiscal strategy to add variety to their product.

On a broad cultural level (in many cultures, at least, and in mine) the sexualization of male characters is also less controversial, and less apparent; part of what makes male sexuality sell* are traits implied by appearance rather than directly by the appearance itself. Muscles, wealth, socio-economic position, strong jaw lines, leader-esque qualities/authority/command, etc. If you have a wealthy male intended to be attractive he's probably suave and intelligent. If you have a poor/stupid male intended to be attractive he's probably brave and strong (read: built like a brick house). What I'm trying to point out is that I think blanket statements like "women are sexualized in games more than men" are hard to quantify or prove. (Even if games are often marketed to males, the consumer needs to want the product, and one thing heterosexual men often value is attractiveness to females. Ergo, male protagonists are often designed to be sexy or desirable by women. Though, this may be disparate to what women are actually attracted to (specifically because "women" aren't attracted to anything; "the woman" is what determines attractiveness, and women, as all people, are a varied bunch). It is also the case for hetero-men/homo-women with how female sexuality is designed.)

*to the average person, though you imply that you're more of a Varus girl ~.^ The stereotypical way female sexuality is sold doesn't really appeal to me either, but alas.

2) This is true and understandable, though I would personally be cautious about being offended by history. Certainly be offended by any sexism you see perpetuated in your life, but sometimes the past needs to be left behind. It's interesting: when I was in Japan the only people who treated me (a very white-northern looking male) with initial animosity were the older generation. When I asked someone about this later, they mentioned that a lot of that generation was still bitter over World War II (understandably I suppose, though my grandmother was barely alive during WWII). However, all the young/middle age people thought of me as an intriguing curiosity more than anything else and were all kinds of hospitable. It's fascinating what some distance from a negative element can do.

3) Hmm, I'm a heterosexual male and most female champions aren't my style; imho most of them are to me what Lee Sin is to your Varus. Maybe it's the era I grew up in, but *shrug* I can't say much here other than I'm all for offering sexy-material for all types of people ~.^ On a side note, http://ddragon.leagueoflegends.com/cdn/img/champion/splash/LeeSin_1.jpg Lee Sin's splash, at least, is certainly in the realm of sexy to a lot of straight women and homosexual men. I also know women and men who are really into burly dudes with beards, or scrawny guys with long hair. So it's hard for me to comment on what "men" or "women" find attractive. When I played LoL I also mainly played Veigar and Ezreal, so who knows what that says about my aesthetic preferences!

4) This is true, though I'm not sure if it's so unfortunate. I can't really comment on your perspective, but as a man seeing /yet another/ mostly naked busty woman is not really something to get excited over. Maybe having a drought of sexy men makes Varus all the better ;) Not that there shouldn't be MORE sexy men, but I would definitely be interested in varied female design choices rather than another cookie-cutter model.

Anyway, yeah, I pretty much agree with your conclusion. Bring on the sexies - and not sexies - for everyone!