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Author Topic: Video games and women
Samprimary
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Yeah, you know the fighting **** toy? This is just advancing it to the fighting **** toy squad.

Or at least whatever is being strangely fetishized here

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BlackBlade
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Check it out! It's an empowered military female promoting feminism from the new Metal Gear Solid game.

Link.

I'm honestly not trying to knock Blayne, so much as express how frustrating I find the state of female characters in video games.

edit: Also, if you saw her entire outfit you would realize that photo is probably more restrained in terms of flesh exposed.

[ September 18, 2014, 09:52 AM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Mucus: Take say Yoko from Gurren Lagann (An accomplished sniper/bounty hunter) and Inara from Firefly, and I think we could probably agree that the latter does more for feminism than the former.

Aside from how she's dressed I don't recall if Yoko acts or is written in an unrealistic or pandering fashion; I think the female characters in Naruto are probably much worse in their portrayal and in their consistent unimportance.

I think in my case I'll avoid the worst in that any dialogue would likely be what I would be likely to say or think in that moment; so again 'Accidentally Positive' in that I'm setting out to have funny or otherwise appropriate dialogue for the situation or story-beat but don't really have it in mind to go about "Is this what a girl in an all-clone military would say or think?". That's probably beyond me with my limited writing experience. Luckily the premise is somewhat alien anyways.

Sure I have two girls on my team but one is a basketcase who hasn't even read the emails I sent out five days ago for yesterday's meeting and the other my impression is that she's very focused on the technical aspects and questions pertaining to making the game but doesn't care about the creative direction (Yes I've asked her for input; "Should we have the protagonists be all female? We could also do a sort of feminist critique thing as well if we do?" - "Okay, will we find enough female meshes though?" C'est la vie).

I hope to at least have them review my dialogue [Frown]

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Samprimary
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quote:
I don't recall if Yoko acts or is written in an unrealistic or pandering fashion
she is written in a wholly unrealistic and pandering fashion and is overtly visually sold as a sexual object
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Samprimary
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i can't believe this is even in question. she is a classic example of a male visual fantasy in a firmly juvenile show
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Elison R. Salazar
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Gurren Lagann is generally plodded forward as a generally well written show with balanced characters, it would be odd for one of the centrally main characters to be the exception; I'll grant its been a while and certainly it was before I started paying attention to story structure and shit but I'm pretty sure her actions and personality if I recall correctly are generally not horrible.
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BlackBlade
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Elison: Tell me what's wrong with this clip bearing in mind Yoko has literally said nothing that might indicate an anti-feminist agenda.
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scifibum
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"Aside from how she's dressed"

I'd add "shaped"

and note that you can not - just not - exclude those from the analysis and come up with a worthwhile answer.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
"Aside from how she's dressed"

I'd add "shaped"

and note that you can not - just not - exclude those from the analysis and come up with a worthwhile answer.

I'd also add moves her body.

Also, I think it's important we recognize that a character is a reflection of the author and themselves.

How Yoko is "dressed" reflects a conscious choice by the animator/designer and the character themselves expressing their personality that way.

By both accounts Yoko is fan service, and even her effectiveness in battle serves only to keep a male audience interested because if she was crappy at it, that would be uninteresting, except insofar as her clumsily getting herself into trouble leaves opportunities for the hero to swoop in and save her.

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scifibum
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(To be perhaps overly clear: I am not saying that the shape or dress of real people is an important part of analysis of their character.)
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Check it out! It's an empowered military female promoting feminism from the new Metal Gear Solid game.

Link.

The real thing is just a little less revealing, I'm afraid.

This is an almost universal trope, in video games, anime, movies, TV, books, etc. Men are usually allowed to wear appropriate and effective gear and armor (with the exception of helmets. For whatever reason, nobody's allowed to wear a helmet), whether that be chain mail or a Kevlar vest and fatigues. Women in the same fictional universe inexplicably have to fight while dressed like a stripper. Even in supposedly "realistic" shows that avert this, expect the female soldier to run around in a sexy tank top while her male counterparts wear full cammies and body armor.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Elison: Tell me what's wrong with this clip bearing in mind Yoko has literally said nothing that might indicate an anti-feminist agenda.

quote:
she is written in a wholly unrealistic and pandering fashion and is overtly visually sold as a sexual object
quote:
she is a classic example of a male visual fantasy in a firmly juvenile show
whether or not one enjoyed this show past or present as a guilty silly pleasure or whatever, which is fine, w/e, i am amazed that any adult would be unaware of how blatantly sexist, pandering, and adolescent the entire character is as a mechanism.

that's just plain oblivious

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Samprimary
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O0okV1mu4Y

bonus top youtube comment

quote:
People who complain about her boobs annoy me, unlike other anime females Her boob are proportional to her body and the amount of jiggle is mainly because of the fact that she wears a bikini top. Her boobs are the most realistic ones I have ever seen in any anime(aside from sengoku basara).
ahhhhhh anime
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Elison R. Salazar
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Kill La Kill?
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BlackBlade
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Elison: I'd be pleased if you'd answer my question.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Mucus: Take say Yoko from Gurren Lagann (An accomplished sniper/bounty hunter) and Inara from Firefly, and I think we could probably agree that the latter does more for feminism than the former.

Ok thanks. You were saying something a bit more trivial than I expected and I agree.
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Destineer
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A lot of these shows/movies/games with tit-illating female characters are a little bit along the road to being porn. Which to me is not a problem. There's nothing wrong with porn as such.

To be perhaps unbecomingly frank for a moment: teenagers need something to jack off to. Better Metal Gear Solid than stuff that's actually incredibly demeaning like the Bang Bus.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
This is an almost universal trope, in video games, anime, movies, TV, books, etc. Men are usually allowed to wear appropriate and effective gear and armor ... Women in the same fictional universe inexplicably have to fight while dressed like a stripper.

One counter-example that I enjoy would be wuxia. Here's an example where two characters are dressed pretty similarly http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh-gwDRjKXA&t=0m13s

Here's an example with two antagonists where the female is actually slightly better armoured http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QORVQZOQLU0&t=72m12s

There are other problems of course.

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BlackBlade
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Oooohhh good counter examples Mucus.
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Samprimary
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Ahrrrrrrrg Hero
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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Ahrrrrrrrg Hero

[Confused]

It's a fantastic film! My favorite Tony Leung role, which is saying a hell of a lot. Might be the best Zhang Yimou movie as well, although Raise the Red Lantern is a strong competitor.

Certainly far, far better than the overrated mediocrity-fest that is House of Flying Daggers.

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Mucus
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Actually, I've been procrastinating, so I present a few more fun fight scenes from movies that I enjoyed with female fighters that are wearing clothes roughly as practical as the male leads.

Here's Bodyguards and Assassin's (2009):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI3Vev9lhno&t=93m0s

Here's the Grandmaster (2013)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tk44p0tLlg

And here's a comedic one from Journey to the West (1994). I'm actually not sure whether a bull demon is better protected than a spider demon that looks like a women, but she's protecting a guy while he runs away with their kid ... so I guess it kinda works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCEIfoDtXVI&t=74m30s

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) (two women):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFH6lXJ6c4k

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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Elison: Tell me what's wrong with this clip bearing in mind Yoko has literally said nothing that might indicate an anti-feminist agenda.

I'm at work.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Ahrrrrrrrg Hero

[Confused]

It's a fantastic film!

Before you respond to that post, you should best know that that post was not true! But let me tell you what the real post was:

(spoiler alert, this retelling of the first post is also not true, but the third retelling will doubtlessly be the true post)

oh man, hero.

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Destineer
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Ahrrrrrrrg Hero

[Confused]

It's a fantastic film!

Before you respond to that post, you should best know that that post was not true! But let me tell you what the real post was:

(spoiler alert, this retelling of the first post is also not true, but the third retelling will doubtlessly be the true post)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W90s58LtYhk
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Elison: Tell me what's wrong with this clip bearing in mind Yoko has literally said nothing that might indicate an anti-feminist agenda.

I finally had some spare time, lets see, #1:

English Dub. Grrrrrrrrrrrr me angry.

Alright in all seriousness, yes, yoko is dressed fanservicey and we got treated to a possibly egregious underboob and ass shot that we don't particularly see with the male characters (One thing I think KLK gets right); but it doesn't discredit Yoko as a generally strongly and believably written female character (by Anime's standards).

Fanservice is generally so epidemic to anime that I just generally tune it out and roll my eyes and try to focus on the characterization.

Although, I've always found the Nasuverse shared universe to be a huge relief in how its characters tend to be conservatively dressed. Arcuid, Ciel, Taiga, Ilya, Caster/Medea, Irisviel, Saber, Sakura, and Shiki Ryougi generally wear long flowing clothes that cover most. Tohsoka Rin wears a skirt and the knee high socks as does Rider/Medusa so their kinda the odd ones out... But Rin is obviously the most awesome character so it balances out (She's the only other protagonist that we're shown her POV) as per my argument (I refer to the Visual Novels).

As you slide more towards the fanservicey end of the spectrum it matters less to a degree so long as the character is well written and believable.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Fanservice is generally so epidemic to anime that I just generally tune it out...
*laugh*
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Samprimary
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"but it doesn't discredit Yoko as a generally strongly and believably written female character (by Anime's standards)."

What a vicious and stinging indictment of all of anime as being irretrievably and horridly sexist then

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Destineer
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So I get the line of thought that it's sexist to pervasively sexualize all your female characters. But then I start to think, it's not by itself sexist to make erotica that's pitched at heterosexual men, is it? Isn't that just what anime "fanservice" amounts to? In addition to whatever else they do, the movies/shows function as softcore erotica for the male portion of their audience. Is that a sexist thing for them to be?
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BlackBlade
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Pornography is decidedly sexist too yo.
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The Black Pearl
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I think anime, manga, american comics are the most checkered aspect of pop culture, when it comes to this sort of thing. In my opinion, female characters often come off more willful than the average of other aspects of pop culture.

But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of sexism going on.

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BlackBlade
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Blayne: I was hoping you would notice that the sexism starts before Yoko even shows up.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
So I get the line of thought that it's sexist to pervasively sexualize all your female characters. But then I start to think, it's not by itself sexist to make erotica that's pitched at heterosexual men, is it? Isn't that just what anime "fanservice" amounts to? In addition to whatever else they do, the movies/shows function as softcore erotica for the male portion of their audience. Is that a sexist thing for them to be?

there is, uncharacteristically in this case, no need to overcharge it. basically, yoko is a clear example of an overtly sexualized object, a male visual fantasy designed around consumption by men as a visual fantasy. like, undeniably so. partitioned fanservice? not the problem, necessarily. it's that this becomes the overall representation of women in a media. if this is 'a generally strongly and believably written female character' to literally anyone, you have a problem
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Pornography is decidedly sexist too yo.

Not inherently so, though. While I agree that quite a bit of porn is rife with horrible sexist stereotypes, I don't think pornography is inherently sexist. Since the main point is titillation, focusing on the man/woman(/tentacle monster)'s sexuality mainly, or even to the exclusion of other aspects isn't necessarily problematic.

OTOH, when you have an show that portrays all the male characters as serious, well rounded, three dimensional characters, but the female(s) are mostly there to provide titillation, or sexual tension, or even to provide a "romantic subplot", then that's quite obviously sexist. Because it says "this is what I think women are good for." And for that to be considered "normal" or a characteristic of a strong female character is pretty horrific. (Not that having attractive characters is a bad thing, or even having characters fall in love. But when your male gets to be his own, complete person and the women shows up and is mainly there to be fallen in love with/lusted after/kidnapped and rescued, then she becomes merely an object in a world full of male characters and female objects)

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Pornography is decidedly sexist too yo.

Not inherently so, though. While I agree that quite a bit of porn is rife with horrible sexist stereotypes, I don't think pornography is inherently sexist. Since the main point is titillation, focusing on the man/woman(/tentacle monster)'s sexuality mainly, or even to the exclusion of other aspects isn't necessarily problematic.

OTOH, when you have an show that portrays all the male characters as serious, well rounded, three dimensional characters, but the female(s) are mostly there to provide titillation, or sexual tension, or even to provide a "romantic subplot", then that's quite obviously sexist. Because it says "this is what I think women are good for." And for that to be considered "normal" or a characteristic of a strong female character is pretty horrific. (Not that having attractive characters is a bad thing, or even having characters fall in love. But when your male gets to be his own, complete person and the women shows up and is mainly there to be fallen in love with/lusted after/kidnapped and rescued, then she becomes merely an object in a world full of male characters and female objects)

Word. Pornography in every iteration I'm aware of (Admittedly not even most of it) in human history has been inherently sexist.

Now let me tell you all about how communism is not inherently totalitarian. [Wink]

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MattP
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According to my feminist activist friends, there is plenty of non-sexist (or at least non misogynist) porn. Though they also say very little of that stuff can be found on the free Internet porn sites.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
According to my feminist activist friends, there is plenty of non-sexist (or at least non misogynist) porn. Though they also say very little of that stuff can be found on the free Internet porn sites.

*nods* I too have a feminist friend who writes about feminist pornographers and such, and apparently there's been quite a big push in the industry as of late to make it more egalitarian and less misogynistic. (Possibly trying to broaden their horizons and attract more female customers) Not that I count myself a porn connoisseur by any means (it's always made me feel uncomfortable and a little gross), but I've seen enough to say I don't see any reason to assume it's all sexist.

Pornography is also the realm of dark male (or sometimes female) power fantasies, of several magnitudes worse than video games. But honestly, just as I see sexism in video games as indictive of our society as a whole rather than something inherent to the genre, I see sexism in pornography in much the same way. The amount of bigotry and malice in any community seems to inversely correlate to how much light and open, honest criticism is received and tolerated in that area. Video Games are now undergoing scrutiny that hasn't really been applied before (from an artistic standpoint, I mean). Few people enjoy indepth conversations about the porn they watch, the sexist stereotypes present in that media, and the impact it has on our culture's perception of sex, so it's seldom talked about despite being a multi-billion dollar industry. And in that darkness a lot of terrible stuff has been allowed to fester and grow, with no real conversation of how to address it or change it. (Other than trying to ban it, which is a now laughably ineffective strategy)

I think my generation's willingness to actually talk about this stuff has already caused a lot of good changes to happen, and I hope things continue along that path. We'll see, I guess.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
According to my feminist activist friends, there is plenty of non-sexist (or at least non misogynist) porn. Though they also say very little of that stuff can be found on the free Internet porn sites.

So if Utah is #1 in the nation for paid porn subscriptions, would they also be at the vanguard of feminist pornography? [Wink]
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Dogbreath
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Probably! Utah is well known for being a bastion of feminism and liberalism.

(Do people in Utah not know about free porn?)

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Dogbreath
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I can see the signs... "Welcome to Utah! The home of feminist pornography!"
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
According to my feminist activist friends, there is plenty of non-sexist (or at least non misogynist) porn. Though they also say very little of that stuff can be found on the free Internet porn sites.

Yeah i have some friends and a couple of old lovers who work in feminist porn. One in Australia. The only reason it seems to be catching on as a thing is because porn is finally becoming destigmatized enough to finally approach itself as a cultural force rather than something that is demonized as a countercultural depravity, and in the process have the opportunity and market to correct its own most sexist tendencies

also important is that girls are increasing consumers of porn as well

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Probably! Utah is well known for being a bastion of feminism and liberalism.

(Do people in Utah not know about free porn?)

Well at the time that stat came out, copious free porn was SLIGHTLY harder to find. I think shame plays into it...the more ashamed you are about looking at porn, the less rational your decisions about it will be. (Once you have isolated ashamed-but-looking-anyway, that is.) Plus not talking to anyone about it ever limits such insights.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Dogbreath:
Probably! Utah is well known for being a bastion of feminism and liberalism.

(Do people in Utah not know about free porn?)

Well at the time that stat came out, copious free porn was SLIGHTLY harder to find. I think shame plays into it...the more ashamed you are about looking at porn, the less rational your decisions about it will be. (Once you have isolated ashamed-but-looking-anyway, that is.) Plus not talking to anyone about it ever limits such insights.
Some conflicting stats have come out since 2009 that show the opposite story. The stats showing Utah has the highest rates of paid porn use was from one of the top 10 porn sites. The stats showing Utah ranks among the lowest is from PornHub data. So neither really give a great picture. So anyway, despite the fact that it has become conventional wisdom to accept that Utah has a higher rate than anyone else (and let's be honest, it's probably pretty high everywhere) I'm not sure that we have good enough data to say either way.

Linky

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Samprimary
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quote:
highest rates of paid porn use
highest rates of people who don't know how to get free porn
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
highest rates of paid porn use
highest rates of people who don't know how to get free porn
Highest rate of fiscal conservatives who can't orgasm if a good/service is not exchanged for something of value.
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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
highest rates of paid porn use
highest rates of people who don't know how to get free porn
Highest rate of fiscal conservatives who can't orgasm if a good/service is not exchanged for something of value.
[ROFL]
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Dogbreath
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Seriously, though. It's one of those things that inspire a mix of pity and sadness. Like when I learned my parents were spending a lot of money paying for a (near worthless) anti virus program. Or that they actually paid $20 to register winzip.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
highest rates of paid porn use
highest rates of people who don't know how to get free porn
Highest rate of fiscal conservatives who can't orgasm if a good/service is not exchanged for something of value.
ok i can't top that
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
highest rates of paid porn use
highest rates of people who don't know how to get free porn
Highest rate of fiscal conservatives who can't orgasm if a good/service is not exchanged for something of value.
:claps:
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Elison R. Salazar
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Blayne: I was hoping you would notice that the sexism starts before Yoko even shows up.

Yeah with Nya figuring out what she wants to do, but I got too distracted by it being a dub.
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