How Bayonetta's Gender is Relevant to the Game

Yahtzee Croshaw

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How Bayonetta's Gender is Relevant to the Game

There aren't many games where having a female lead is integral to the plot and design of the game. But Bayonetta is definitely one that deserves closer inspection.

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Jan 12, 2012
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I liked the opening section of this, especially the idea of "exaggerated human perfection" but I really disagree that Bayonetta is prudish at heart. I'd say that she isn't about sexuality, but rather sensuality.

She's not banging people left, right, and center, but everything she does -from fighting to talking to how she treats Jeanne and Luka- oozes sensuality, the knowledge that she is an attractive woman (cartoonishly so, with legs that really do go on forever), that she likes how she can make other people feel, and she makes no apologies for it because there's nothing to apologize for. She's a flirt and someone who actually enjoys who they are, not some representation of Victorian repression or a grizzled emotionless husk.
 

Enlong

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Is it really S&M torture devices?

Well, I mean, obviously the one used on Joy is, but most of the other torture attacks are execution devices that aren't really on much of a sexual bent, like iron maidens or guillotines.
 

Hiramas

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Thunderous Cacophony said:
I liked the opening section of this, especially the idea of "exaggerated human perfection" but I really disagree that Bayonetta is prudish at heart. I'd say that she isn't about sexuality, but rather sensuality.

She's not banging people left, right, and center, but everything she does -from fighting to talking to how she treats Jeanne and Luka- oozes sensuality, the knowledge that she is an attractive woman (cartoonishly so, with legs that really do go on forever), that she likes how she can make other people feel, and she makes no apologies for it because there's nothing to apologize for. She's a flirt and someone who actually enjoys who they are, not some representation of Victorian repression or a grizzled emotionless husk.
From what I have seen of Bayonetta, that would be the most accurate description.
And enjoying who you are, isn't that the most positive message you can deliver nowadays?

On the other hand, yathzee is right on the notion that her IMPACT, the fact that we even discuss this, is because of prudishness and the notion we somehow have to dictate norms to people how to behave and how to live their lives (let's be real, this hits mostly women).
 

Toblo1

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Enlong said:
Is it really S&M torture devices?

Well, I mean, obviously the one used on Joy is, but most of the other torture attacks are execution devices that aren't really on much of a sexual bent, like iron maidens or guillotines.
If I remember the lore correctly the things Bayonetta uses for torture attacks where torture devices used on Umbra Witches during the Witch Hunts (and subsequently haunted by the Umbras they killed, perhaps?), the only odd one out being the device used when you use a torture attack on a Joy.......
 

CaitSeith

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
...In an ideal world, Bayonetta would stride into the room, legs akimbo, and start doing suggestive things with a gun barrel, but everyone would just roll their eyes at her and resume the orgy.

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Ideal world = orgy. Nice concept! Thank you, Yahtzee. You made my day! XD
 

ShenCS

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Just dropping a note that few are claiming that the misogyny in the industry came from people being out and out woman-hater types. More that they were/are just obliviously dismissive of the female gender, relegating their entire significance to a story to very limited roles (damsel, fanservice etc.). Of course, that comes full circle and into Yahtzee's point: people most often complain about their sexualised appearance instead of their muted character and plot relevance.
 

Evonisia

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I would say this is would be more applicable to Bayonetta 1 than 2, but I agree and I think it makes sense in both versions of the character. Of course, in B2 they seem to push how Bayonetta is a woman for some damn reason when the first game was more focused on just the visuals alone and the characters talking to her as she is.

...

After all they had been through in the first game, why does Bayonetta entertain the thought that Luca is a pervert? That just baffles me.
 

srpilha

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ShenCS said:
Just dropping a note that few are claiming that the misogyny in the industry came from people being out and out woman-hater types. More that they were/are just obliviously dismissive of the female gender, relegating their entire significance to a story to very limited roles (damsel, fanservice etc.). Of course, that comes full circle and into Yahtzee's point: people most often complain about their sexualised appearance instead of their muted character and plot relevance.
Yes, yes and yes. I was just about to post almost exactly the same ideas, cheers for doing it better than I could.

(I still think the sexualized appearance *is* an issue too because, disproportions or not, we're still floating around just one body type / behaviour for allll women)
 

lassiie

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srpilha said:
ShenCS said:
Just dropping a note that few are claiming that the misogyny in the industry came from people being out and out woman-hater types. More that they were/are just obliviously dismissive of the female gender, relegating their entire significance to a story to very limited roles (damsel, fanservice etc.). Of course, that comes full circle and into Yahtzee's point: people most often complain about their sexualised appearance instead of their muted character and plot relevance.
Yes, yes and yes. I was just about to post almost exactly the same ideas, cheers for doing it better than I could.

(I still think the sexualized appearance *is* an issue too because, disproportions or not, we're still floating around just one body type / behaviour for allll women)
I think what he is hitting on is the general misuse of the word misogyny. I hear it tossed around like candy in this day and age, especially in the gaming industry. I don't think most of them mean an actually hatred towards women, but the word still gets used.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Yahtzee Croshaw said:
It's like saying "Well yes, obviously everyone of your racial background is a thief, but it's OK, because you can join us for our Robin Hood-style heist and finally use your powers for good."
Man, I was just saying the other day that there ought to be a modern-day retelling of Robin Hood featuring a cast of black "gangsta" types. Hadn't thought of it as the subject for a video game, but yeah. I would play the hell out of that.
 

DataSnake

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ShenCS said:
Just dropping a note that few are claiming that the misogyny in the industry came from people being out and out woman-hater types. More that they were/are just obliviously dismissive of the female gender, relegating their entire significance to a story to very limited roles (damsel, fanservice etc.).
This isn't always even a conscious choice on the developers' part. Case in point: when Saints Row 2 was in development, a fan asked somebody from Volition why the first one, with all its character customization, wouldn't let them play as a woman and the response was something along the lines of "we honestly never thought of that, but it's a good idea now that you mention it".
 

LarsInCharge

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Enlong said:
Is it really S&M torture devices?

Well, I mean, obviously the one used on Joy is, but most of the other torture attacks are execution devices that aren't really on much of a sexual bent, like iron maidens or guillotines.
Toblo1 said:
Enlong said:
Is it really S&M torture devices?

Well, I mean, obviously the one used on Joy is, but most of the other torture attacks are execution devices that aren't really on much of a sexual bent, like iron maidens or guillotines.
If I remember the lore correctly the things Bayonetta uses for torture attacks where torture devices used on Umbra Witches during the Witch Hunts (and subsequently haunted by the Umbras they killed, perhaps?), the only odd one out being the device used when you use a torture attack on a Joy.......
That device is actually called the wooden horse or spanish donkey. And it was an actual method of torture and execution.
 

LarsInCharge

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lassiie said:
srpilha said:
ShenCS said:
Just dropping a note that few are claiming that the misogyny in the industry came from people being out and out woman-hater types. More that they were/are just obliviously dismissive of the female gender, relegating their entire significance to a story to very limited roles (damsel, fanservice etc.). Of course, that comes full circle and into Yahtzee's point: people most often complain about their sexualised appearance instead of their muted character and plot relevance.
Yes, yes and yes. I was just about to post almost exactly the same ideas, cheers for doing it better than I could.

(I still think the sexualized appearance *is* an issue too because, disproportions or not, we're still floating around just one body type / behaviour for allll women)
I think what he is hitting on is the general misuse of the word misogyny. I hear it tossed around like candy in this day and age, especially in the gaming industry. I don't think most of them mean an actually hatred towards women, but the word still gets used.
Just as
homophobia =/= fear of gays

misogyny =/= hatred of women

The current use of the first one is "Treating women like lesser people without realizing it". Though I agree it gets thrown around too much.