6029a059-48a2-4426-8fc3-0f16b0aa5380-bestSizeAvailableWhen asked why people were more upset by the bad representation of women in Grand Theft Auto V gaming journalist Jeff Gerstmann said:

Because one of those arguments actually requires people to play the game.

Brilliant Gerstmann! But the two issues are not interconnected and the issue of gratuitous violence (which can have a place in games) and sexism aren’t even linked. The thing that’s asked is why aren’t there every women in GTA games that do much more besides stab you in the back, strip, or whore themselves out on various corners. To a small degree, there will be characters represented in a more positive light, though even they might be horrible bastards. They’re at least likeable in their own way. Hell, I can’t think of a woman that had a personality besides fuck toy or enemy other than Michelle in the fourth game. And the fourth game was pretty abysmal.

This game had three protagonists so the old argument that they couldn’t have put a woman in the role because of the effect on sales is somewhat diminished. If they didn’t want to for artistic reasons I can respect that and even if I couldn’t it’s their choice.

But it’s people’s right to be critical of the products we spend almost seventy dollars on. When we ask a question it shouldn’t be shrugged off.

And when people pose a question it shouldn’t be deflected away from. This is a common thing when you bring up inequality of any sort. If you say “Women have it bad when it comes to X.”

Someone will inevitably respond that “Well they have it better than the women in the Middle East” or “They have it better than most other places in the world.”

Sorry, that doesn’t cut it for me. If we push issues of inequality back because they’re not big enough issues and there’s something more important out there when we could discuss and deal it’s just deflection. And there’s no reason not to discuss this. The people saying this kind of thing will never accept that there is a time to discuss it.

Besides, the last time I checked morality didn’t grade on a fucking curve. Just because we’re ahead of a country run by sexist religious zealots doesn’t automatically mean we can stop working.

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