This is a response to one the most comprehensive articles on Corvus Belli’s sexism, by Gravitas. His article is the #1 result if you search “sexism in infinity”, and as Gravitas hasn’t posted since 2013, I presume his opinion still stands. This article was one of the first things I read regarding Infinity before I purchased products last year, and it was very formative of my opinion of Corvus Belli’s Infinity the Game.
But my worldview has changed quite a lot in the past few years. A particular point of metanoia has been my beliefs regarding the sexism pervasive throughout Western society. As someone who will be returning to university life next year, I look forward to being vocal and jumping right into such debates. And as long as I’m an active blogger about this hobby, I want to address this political correctness that is elbowing its way into every form of entertainment.
I totally agree. The fact that people praise Corvus Belli for being highly professional and productive tells me that professional standards in the wargaming industry are very low indeed.
Inconsequential plots? Price gouging? Failure to deliver on promises?
…Power creep? I hope you mean power creep.
Hell is pretty sexist. Owned by God? Lorded over by Lucifer? And both are male. And where are the females? So sexist.
Okay, so let’s presume off the bat that you are correct, that there is a deeper reason to the schlock, that Corvus Belli is full of bigots. And let’s put this into perspective.
Depending on which estimates you take, between 600 million to 1 billion (figure 1 in 10) people do not have access to clean drinking water.
About 300 million (1 in 20) people can’t afford (or otherwise don’t own) shoes.
Conservative estimates put 2.4 billion (at least 2 out of 7) people without basic sanitation.
88% of all deaths worldwide are from preventable diseases.
5.5 billion people (80% of the world’s population) lives on less than $10 USD per day.
130 killed and 670 injured by Islamic attacks in the European Union, in this year alone.
You are offended by a miniature pinup girl. This is what we become activists over?
I’ll tell you what, man, I have a hard enough time caring seriously about my neighbors. I do not care about a few girls being offended by Infinity. This is not serious problem, you screwball.
Look, there are examples of sexed-up male characters in Infinity…
…but we do not complain. I suspect that you are not as sensitive to sexualized male models, as that we are a sexually dimorphic species, it is very well-established that female sexuality is subconsciously tied to visual representation, whereas male sexuality is historically more nebulous and is represented by power, prestige, wealth, confidence, or security, and tends to be far less dependent on physical attractiveness.
I would further suspect that your concern with sexed-up females has more to do with your acceptance of feminist narrative, and less for an overall concern for equality, but as you have made no ostensible claims to a feminist ideology, I won’t push that point. Your last sentence is telling, though: “This hobby is awkward enough without having idiots snickering over a ‘sexy’ model, or having to explain to someone why that trooper isn’t wearing any pants.”
You shouldn’t be ashamed of your hobby. Your Reverend Moira is a toy, not your daughter. I’ve spent the past 14 years trying to dodge the nerd label, and that was pointless—because I’m a nerd. I may as well try to dodge being called a ginger. I spent my first year as a wargamer trying to keep quiet that I’d become a wargamer.
But you know what? Fuck it, fuck me. I cannot be ashamed that I play this game. That would necessarily mean that I think it is shameful, and what would that say of my opinion of friends, strangers, and the international community who play? No. No, no, no. You are not obliged to anyone to “explain” or justify what you love. If you love mecha manga and foot fetish porn and the expanded Star Wars universe, love it up, dude. If your huffy friends hate Infinity, don’t invite them to the game table. And don’t worry about changing their holier-than-thou opinion. As Dr. Seuss said: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
I’d like to note that Yashia didn’t mind this very inappropriate undercover vice operative. She didn’t mind it so much, she even cosplayed it:
Yes, that’s a woman under there. She doesn’t seemed to be baffled by this sexist crap. Maybe you should tell this clearly deranged woman to protest the miniature inequality?
Or maybe women don’t need intervention in this game?
Maybe women aren’t such sensitive fragile snowflakes?
Maybe women might even enjoy being represented in sexy ways?
Respectable point! Boob armor might be a necessity for distinction, as boobies aren’t even sculpted in classical armor for women. Put a helmet on realistic armor and you’ve made distinction even more difficult. As a cartoonist, though, I find hip-to-waist ratio to be the easiest sign for lady characters—though traditional signs like boobies and eyelashes work great, too.
Boob armor annoys me for a totally different reason. Boobs aren’t made of cartilage, of course, and simply don’t need a solid metal carriage. And armor—even medieval armour—is designed to stop, soften or deflect blows. The beautiful curves of fluted Gothic and Italian armour were made for this purpose, to guide strikes away from the wearer. But boob armor would actually guide strikes and projectiles toward the wearer, steering glancing blows and projectiles toward the sternum or throat.
In other words, it would undermine itself. It annoys me for the same reason the Seraph sculpt annoys me, but Corvus Belli does as they please.
Again, I’m with you on this one, at least in part. From my lay knowledge of physiology, a bit of heel is good for the spine, but “combat heels” are dangerous, and ridiculous. Paramedics would be constantly treating broken ankles.
Of all the sculpts in Tohaa, only one female is pointing her primary weapon in an aggressive manner. Aelis Keesan, Neema Saatar, Lady Rasail, the starter Clipsos, and the entire Kamael box are doing nothing threatening with their weapons. We were shown badass art for Neema Saatar, and got a goofy-ass poledancer for a sculpt. And damn it, I like aggression in my aggressive faction. Probably why Dude Rasail is my favorite sculpt.
Though I don’t mind sexy women in a game, and I don’t want everyone posed like the HMG Intruder―and on the whole it really isn’t a big deal―I do think there is a bit of a visual Freudian slip when all the women that are here aren’t here to fight. But I may be projecting a bit, and granted, I’m only considering Tohaa. And again, this is just a game. Not worth getting offended over.
Basically—my ire is motivated by realism, not political correctness.
Now, these are older sculpts, so one might say that this point doesn’t count due to obsoleteness―but I think you would quickly say that the Nazarova Sisters are even worse, due to the wet T-shirt paintjob. This goes back to your previous points and I would say the same thing. Some people—other people who are not you—like sexiness in their fictional wargame. As for me, a lack of realism is annoying, but harmless.
Anyway, getting rid of “Tactical Rocks” and “Power Fists” is higher on my annoyance queue than asscracks and cleavage I can greenstuff or T-shirts I can just paint without nippage.
It’s not really “depressing”, is it? I mean, I would think you use the term in hyperbole, but given how serious and scornful the rest of your article is, I imagine it does depress you a bit.
You know what depresses me about this wargame?
Nothing, really. It’s intended to be fun.
I feel you.
And here is why people lose their temper at social justice warriors, feminists, authoritarian leftists, authoritarian right-wingers, religious zealots, and politically correct thought police.
So there is something that you find embarrassing and distasteful that, instead drawing the line at attempting to persuade others to your opinion, you demand that your opinion be accepted, by everyone, and defame anyone else who does not accept your opinion as an evil bigot.
I don’t get to speak for all Tohaa players. Just like you do not get to speak for all fans and consumers of Infinity. And you don’t get to control this company. You said it yourself: vote with your wallet!
You know what I don’t get my kicks from? Manga. You know what I don’t waste my time reviewing? Manga.
Do you realize how many players aren’t “horny 13-year-old boys” who enjoy this, and who enjoy the sexiness; or at least, don’t mind the sexiness, and enjoy the game anyway?
Infinity creeps you out. A silly-ass inconsequential wargame creeps you out. Jesus, I mean, just think about your life. You know what creeps me out? My fucking President supplicating like a cuckold to zealots who kidnap, torture, and behead my countrymen, creeps me out. The Paris bombing, currently shrugged off by my government, creeps me out. The Patriot Act pushed by dumbfuck President Bush, which was cursed by opponents at the time, but now both parties are hunky dory using to spy on their own population, creeps me out. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, creeps me out. Deforestation and extinction, creep me out. Destruction of native landmarks, and more landmarks, creeps me out. Coverups of Rotheram’s child abuse, creep me out. The “truck attack” in Nice swept under the rug, creeps me out. The taharrush rape party in Cologne, creeps me out. Twitter’s Orwellian speech police, creeps me out. This ex-KGB agent interview, creeps me out. Fucking vehicular manslaughterer hero “Caitlyn” Jenner, stunning and brave as she may be, yes, creeps me out.
The world is a serious place, and Infinity is an escape for fun. How small is your world if this tiny little anime game with midriff, ass, tits, and too-tiny guns can creep you out?
Oh, fuck off, this is one of my favorite minis.
Hey, this is awesome. You did counterpoint yourself, and playing devil’s advocate is a mark of intellectual integrity. However, after reading that article, I must point out that your message there was not, “This may not a big deal after all,” it was, “Corvus Belli may be making the right moves toward representation that I prefer.” And then I read the comments:
I’ve never deleted a comment on my WordPress here, and I never will, unless the comment is a spambot or ads. I think moderating comments is babyish and patronizing. And I’m betting your deleted comment wasn’t spam, but someone you strongly disagreed with, as comment censorship is such a default way for social justice warriors to wage debate. You say:
I’m not trying to be anyone’s knight in shining armour, I just don’t want to buy skeevy miniatures, or be associated with bullshit like that. It’s not too much to ask!
Yes, Gravitas, it is too much to ask. You want a company to change their entire product line to fit your puritan morals. You’re not an executive at Corvus Belli. You’re just another consumer. The only real power you have, as a consumer, is what you buy.
If you don’t want to buy skeevy miniatures, don’t buy skeevy miniatures. If you don’t want to “be associated with bullshit” like this, guess what, fucker? You don’t have to play it.
I’ll bet my shiny new Kaauri you really are trying to be somebody’s knight in shining armour. You are the same dude who said that you have to explain to others why your miniatures have titties and combat heels. Look, you don’t need to explain shit to those cunts. You’re not hurting anyone by playing this game. And if you’re embarrassed and can’t help being embarrassed, fucking chin up, and be an adult. You’re playing a goddamn miniature anime game. Let the rest of world who enjoys this game, enjoy this game.
The commenter Unknown goes on to say:
Females generally lack the physical strength, stamina, and overall aggression men have. Now of course there are exceptions, but they are just that, the exception. And before I get flamed for being sexist, I’m not saying women are worth less then men or something like that, just we are not the same, so why pretend we are.
To which you reply:
Your post is just.. confused (and also sexist!). So men and women have slightly different physiologies. So what? But then again you pretty much did say women can’t be soldiers.
Did he! What a terrible deluded sexist. I can’t believe it. Literally: Unknown actually said there are exceptions, that it expressly wasn’t an absolutist statement. Unknown is not sexist—Unknown is informed. You, however, have your wagging social justice fingers in your social justice ears.
You really believe that, before the advent of telecommunications, men organized a worldwide patriarchy that oppressed women by keeping them out of warfare? You really believe women throughout history really wanted to fight deadly wars, and the mean old men didn’t let them? Like war was a fun game, and men were the cool kids? Is my statement even kind of a strawman? Does that statement even need a rebuttal?
You want this game to be realistic? You’d be looking at about 3% to 5% female combatant models. Unknown was right: Women have always been underrepresented in war. Not because men were more “awesome”. Exactly 0% of soldiers I have known said that war is a privilege. Usually I hear that war is awful, very occasionally I hear about something that was awesome, but most of the time I don’t hear anything at all, because they don’t like to talk about war. If you can’t imagine why men have fought far more wars than women, then consider the following:
Or, don’t consider anything. Just sit in your echochamber. Tickle your ears with other westerners without real problems, bitch about your entertainment, bitch about a luxury hobby that you find creepy and depressing and sexist, which the rest of us just find fun.
You know, I never really thought these sorts of complaints were an issue until I saw Anita Sarkeesian get a Gaming Ambassador’s award. You really want to bring this shit into wargaming?
People play a wargame about shooting and killing for fun, for fun, Gravitas. Infinity the Game has caused as much actual misogyny as it has caused gun violence.
And for fun, here’s the lovely Neema Saatar á la Alexandre Cabanel’s Naissance de Venus.