I don't like Cracked's Portal article

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I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:26 pm

Cracked did an article about the "secret feminist messages" in Portal.

I really enjoy Portal. It's genuinely hilarious, it's got interesting puzzles and a clever story, and it writes women like human beings. I am not happy to see this Cracked article marginalizing women by acting like every story with women in it is actually a trite feminist cliche. No way a popular story with a female protagonist can just be taken at face value, you know, like stories starring men are.

There will be spoilers in this thread and I'm not going to use the spoiler tag because I assume you have already played Portal. If you haven't played it you are wrong.

#5. The Female Main Character Is a Blank Slate (In a Good Way)


I agree with this one. NEXT!

#4. There's a Hidden Backstory Full of Overbearing Men


Oh man. Here we go.

The only evidence the article provides for the men in Portal being "overbearing" is 3 comic strip panels in which male scientists discuss trying to control GLaDOS. Seriously. Cracked, GLaDOS is an evil murderous robot, they want to control her because she's trying to kill them all. Not because she's a woman.

#3. The Female Antagonist Is the Product of an Abusive Relationship


Cave eventually starts talking about "pouring" people into computers, and declares that if he dies before it's possible for his brain to be transferred, he wants it to happen to Caroline instead. Offering his assistant immortality would be a sweet declaration of his love and gratitude, were it not for this line: "Now, she'll argue. She'll say she can't. She's modest like that. But you make her!"

That scene was originally written to sound like rape, as Cracked has mentioned before. And when Caroline is stripped of her autonomy and humanity and becomes GLaDOS, her new form as a psychotic AI resembles a woman in bondage.

Really? I just saw those things as wires. Not bondage. You know, wires, because GLaDOS is a ROBOT. I didn't think that scene was supposed to sound like rape either. Is everything a man does to a woman that is against her wishes a rape metaphor? Isn't it marginalizing to women to act like everything bad that happens to women is somehow rape related?

#2. A Guy Comes Along to Offer Help, Then Gets Rough When the Relationship Goes South


This is referring to Wheatley. Wheatley went mad with power when he got control of the lab. It's implied that there is something about the system that makes whatever AI is in charge of it go insane. There is nothing about Wheatley's interaction with either Chell or GLaDOS that constitutes a romantic "relationship." He takes on more of the role of dumb side kick / comic relief. You really have to reach to find these abusive relationship "metaphors."

Now, there's nothing remotely sexual about your interaction with Wheatley, outside of some very strange and definitely unofficial artwork that we've seen. But the dynamic they share hits many of the same beats you'd find in a toxic relationship. Imagine you're a normal girl who's down on her luck. A nice guy turns up with all the right answers, or at least an honest attempt at them. He wants to help you, so you follow him for a while, and sure enough, things start to look up. Life isn't perfect yet, but you're not in that rut anymore, and that's partially thanks to him. But the moment you start to succeed on your own? That's when you find out he was using you.


This is seriously disturbing for me to read. I just can't believe there are people out there who think any interaction a woman has with a man that turns negative must be a metaphor for an abusive relationship. It seems really dehumanizing. It's stereotyping, shoving women into a box they can't escape from.

#1. The Game Employs Subtle (But Important) Symbolism Throughout

We'll sidestep any more talk of how your gun shoots vaginas, in the name of keeping this classy. In fact, we'll even ignore that the game is peppered with names like Cave and Aperture, and the potential implications thereof. Instead, we want to talk about the Moon.

What does the Moon have to do with femininity, we're going to assume you're asking? Well, look around you -- there's a reason menstual cups are called "moon cups" and snack bars for women are called Luna bars (complete with a Moon symbol in the logo) and new-agey treatments for women have words like Moon Goddess in them. Ask any mythology enthusiast or new age type at your local health food store (if you're not sure who's a new age type at a health food store, it's everyone), and they'll all tell you the same thing: The moon is a symbol of womanhood that's been associated with dozens of goddesses throughout the ages. Also werewolves and crazy people, but mostly lady gods.


Oh my god. So because the moon is in this game and women are in this game, anything that happens to the movie must be a symbol of womanhood?

I think the Portal story deserves to be taken at face value. Reading all these messages into it seems like it's not taking the story seriously enough and not taking women seriously.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby DamianaRaven » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:41 pm

My first thought upon seeing the title was "for fuck's sake." Enough with the "feminism," people... at least for a week or two? Sometimes, I think they're deliberately fucking up the concept - "if talking about feminists gets us a crowd of clicks from hostile MRA types, talking out of our asses about angry feminists will not only draw the usual gaggle of trolls and fuckwits, but will also bring in hundreds, maybe thousands of the bitches ladies themselves who want to set the record straight."
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby subotai » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:12 pm

We're all waiting to see if the title gets a re-do. I imagine it will go full-bait.

Im am actually heartened to see the comments lately! I know right? But there seems to be a genuine, and widespread criticism of the way Cracked is patronising it's audience.

Sure, you get the odd Tumblrina agreeing with it all, or the comment predicting 'MRA-rage' for cheap upvotes, but I can see many more comments calling Cracked out, and even Feminists.

Reducing every accomplishment a woman makes to being about men, or in spite of them, is NOT a positive message, and I think people are starting to get that.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby AboveGL » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:33 pm

Yeah, I like that many who criticise this recent trend are actually feminists.

Like one who criticised the "Lara Croft was all about the boobs" part (which of course is utter horseshit).
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Australia » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:39 pm

Cracked: Gee, Tesseracts seems really agitated about feminism today. It must be her time of the month.

Image

I'm writing* a story at the moment, revolving around a female character. I'd hate to hear their response to a man controlling the actions and thoughts of a fictional girl.

*two paragraphs a week. TCS takes up a lot of my time, okay? Work. I mean work takes up time. And TV. And lamenting about procrastination. And unnecessary footnotes.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby DamianaRaven » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:42 pm

Australia wrote:I'd hate to hear their response to a man controlling the actions and thoughts of a fictional girl.


Wait, you're a man? :o When did this bullshit start?
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Australia » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:44 pm

DamianaRaven wrote:
Australia wrote:I'd hate to hear their response to a man controlling the actions and thoughts of a fictional girl.


Wait, you're a man? :o When did this bullshit start?


Puberty.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby subotai » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:03 pm

Wait, countries are always women. No wait, that's ships.

Countries are always flowers.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby thatindianguy » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:28 pm

Honestly the article itself wasn't that bad. If you've attended a literature class you'll know that a lot of theories are like this, but more professional so for a site that takes reader submissions it's okay....except for the whole 'every guy is an asshole' message they're saying is a feminist message.

But what kills it for me is Cracked's track record. Given their past of basically using social issues as click bait, spewing complete crap and general SJWish behaviour I can not take this in good faith.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sat Mar 07, 2015 5:52 pm

subotai wrote:Wait, countries are always women. No wait, that's ships.

Countries are always flowers.

I thought they were anime characters.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:00 pm

This article sort of begs the question, what do tumblrites expect out of video games? What would be their ideal video game? Do they even want video games to be a thing?
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby AdricDePsycho » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:24 pm

I couldn't finish this article. It was vomit inducing clickbait that read like the author had hammered himself with 20 shots of vodka, read a Wikipedia article about Gloria Steinem, than played Portal, threw up, passed out, woke up hungover, and wrote this dreck with a half hour before the deadline. Its points are bullshit, its evidence is bullshit, the blatancy of its trollbait status is, quite frankly, enough to give me a diarrhea attack, and I now feel like reading some of irwinmetro's comments. At least he doesn't write articles this stupid. Hell, headponcho is less inflammatory than this article.

EDIT: OK, too far. But I really didn't like it.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby EstebanColberto » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:26 pm

I disagree with everything you just said Tess. That means you just had a negative interaction with a man so you better call the authorities cause I apparently just raped you.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby krankittoeleven » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:28 pm

I haven't played Portal much, so I skipped the article as I figured it'd just piss me off and I wouldn't get most of the comparisons. Seems like I've started off my day with a wise decision.
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Re: I don't like Cracked's Portal article

Postby Absentia » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:43 pm

krankittoeleven wrote:I haven't played Portal much, so I skipped the article as I figured it'd just piss me off and I wouldn't get most of the comparisons. Seems like I've started off my day with a wise decision.


The unwise decision was not playing Portal. Skipping the article was definitely smart.
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