Quiz: Why Does Female Armor Suck?

Female Armor: Not so good at protecting vital organs.

Female Armor: Not so good at protecting vital organs.

Since “Female Armor Sucks” has over 11 million views you may have already seen the video below. But since students keep sending me a link, I give up: I’ll post it.

Along with a quiz:

Why does heroine-armor fail to cover vital organs?

  1. An increase in feminine power must be accompanied by an increase in the message that “women exist for men”
  2. It is more important that women look sexy for men than that their lives be protected
  3. The vital organs are covered — if by “vital organs” we mean sexualized body parts
  4. Patriarchy

Hint: patriarchy is always the right answer.

Video here:

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on September 14, 2017, in objectification, sex and sexuality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. This post is a great example on how men are the ones who control and fetishize every aspect of a woman even when it comes to representation in a video game no matter how impractical it may be. There is no defense or reason to make armor of a woman significantly less smaller in terms of what is being covered or for this matter what isn’t being covered. I’ve noticed in many games that I’ve played, that the female armor or clothing is almost always some skimpy covering and that in reality it would do nothing besides make the wearer feel uncomfortable and actually work against the whole purpose by attracting more unwanted attention. I have played games that have the option of a more suitable outfit and armor that serves it purpose properly, but they always have a couple other options that are far less practical. This just goes to show that sex sells and that the true reason and motivation behind all this perversion is money.

  2. Thanks for your post! I’m not a huge video game player, but I’ve played enough games to notice this trend. It’s kind of annoying how female characters in games, movies, and tv shows are put in reveling and objectifying clothing. I read someone else comment about this video is old but we still have these issues. A few current examples in movies include Karen Gillan in Jumanji, Wonder Woman. There are also hundreds of games that still create female characters in skimpy clothing. The first one that came to mind was Laura in Tomb Raider.
    Scientifically speaking, men and women pretty similar physical body setups and I’m pretty sure women need their vital organs protected just as much as men.

    Do you think this trend will shift any time soon or is this not large enough of a problem for anyone to make changed?

    • Hard to say whether it will shift anytime soon. I think that the women’s soccer team helps to expand our views of women, for instance. And all of these conversations do too, so I’m hopeful.

  3. “This video is quite old and since this was made a lot of changes have also happened when it comes to female armor in video games. There are still those that keep the female version looking super sexy and less covered but for the most part the male to female skin ratio is about the same now. I don’t really think it has anything to do with sexism, I’ve been an avid MMO player since I was a kid and honestly it comes down to “fashion craft” most people who play don’t really care if their character is fully covered or not it almost always comes down to “what is going to make my character look super cool and stand out over everyone else. It’s incredibly silly but it’s such a popular concept that almost all mmos now have some sort of “transmog” option where you can take whatever armor you have and make it look like another piece that better suits your style.”

    • Hmmm, Have to do more research on this.

      It does still represent something that is still common in our society: more sexualization of women compared with men which is still pervasive in our society.

  4. As someone who easily logs hundred of hours playing anything from online MMOs(Massively Multiplayer Online Game) to Console FPSs(First Person Shooters) and who worked in video game retail for years I find this question a bit outdated. Yes, There are plenty of video games that still have the bikini armor. World of Warcraft, Dragon’s Crown, and Soul Calibur but the amount of games that have full armor sets for women have exploded for years. Men are not the main demographic in the video game world anymore. The Fallout Series, Dark Souls, Mass Effect, Metroid, Monster Hunter, and Destiny. The great thing about video games in the last twenty years is the fact that most of them give everyone a choice. If I want a female character in full legitimate unisex body armor I can. If I want something cute/sexy and revealing i can. The real question is: Where are the sexualized options for men? Where are the chainmail speedos? Don’t men deserve the choice of if their male characters are revealing? Or myself? Why can’t I choose to sexualize my male character in game?

  5. The video that was posted alongside this blog post was both disappointing and thought-provoking. Women are victims of sexual objectification on a daily basis– this video goes to show us that this does not stop in real life and has blown up in full force in the fantasy world as well.  The purpose of an armor is to protect your vital organs in battle. However, when comparing the armor of a male character versus a female character the differences are odd, to say the least. The male armor in media almost always serves the typical purpose of an armor, which is to protect in battle. On the other hand, the female armor often fails to serve as an actual armor but more of an accessory to look sexually appealing. This is harmful because of the fact that women are portrayed to look fragile and “sexy” in battle. This does not make sense because a woman is just as capable of being strong and heroic in battle and this “sexy” armor takes away from that message. Our younger generations are the largest consumers of media, and I would certainly not want my daughter raised upon these skewed images of female heroines. 

  6. I think this is a great video. It proves that in this world a man and a woman are not equal, but we can change it. Since childhood, I did not understand why the woman has less armor than men. I constantly asked this from adults, but they answered that this is all a game and all this is not true. That this is all a game and you do not need to think about it. I also noticed that all women have big breasts in all games. I think this is wrong. Maybe people who make games doing this to attract the male part of the teenagers. If this is true, then I think that this is not correct. We are accustoming the younger generation to the fact that the woman should be vulgar and have big breasts and I think this is not respect for the female sex.

  7. One thing about this topic that always annoyed me was that men don’t seem to understand that:
    1) Having a breast plate that curved to the boobs would be incredibly dangerous due to the chance the “boob plates” could cave and stab the wearer in the heart or lungs.
    Or that 2) Boobs will fit fine under a normal breast plate in the first place.
    When you try to tell this to men (And particularly the male artists that draw the fantasy armor in the first place) they will fight you on the usefulness of metal boob cups or say that it’s fantasy as a way to end the discussion. Even though the fact it’s fantasy was a given from the start and what people were saying. In the end it’s about asking why women are always sexed up in their fantasy worlds, but they don’t want to have that conversation so they divert it into this conversation about the practicality of the armor.

  8. I have been a diehard gamer ever since I was given a used Nintendo 64 as a Christmas gift when I was six years old. To be honest, the first few games I played as a kid were fairly calm in terms of addressing gender roles, because they really didn’t. This is due to the fact that I was playing video games without any female characters; games like NFL Blitz 2001, F1 World Grand Prix (a racing game), and Star Fox, which arguably had one female character, Slippy the frog, but all of the characters in that franchise were animal like humanoids, so it was hard to tell their genders. Interestingly enough, she never really seemed to be treated differently because of her gender. Slippy was an Ace fighter pilot just like Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, and Peppy Hare; the other members of her squadron.
    It wasn’t until I was in my teen years that I began to notice a large difference between the depictions of male and female characters in video games. Games like Mortal Kombat and Tekken hosted a multitude of fighters, all of them, male and female alike, had unrealistically fit builds. The female characters however, were almost always skimpily clad. This trend has continued in many video games since but it has also been called out by critics. Lately, video game companies like Naughty Dog and Crystal Dynamics have been attempting to change the status quo of female characters in gaming, by creating less sexualized and more relevant characters. The response has largely been positive. In the past five or six years, female armor in gaming has become more realistic and practical. This may also be in part due to the ever growing community of female gamers within the gamer and developer community. Could we be seeing a reverse in gaming culture and notions about women’s place? I think so, but the fact remains that it is all happening way too slowly, but it’s only the beginning.

  9. It’s funny, I was reading the comments on the youtube video out of curiosity because I don’t “game” so I have no idea about the characters in games or the armor worn, though seeing how comics are, and super hero movies. I can see how women probably are more likely going to be in sexualized outfits. But some in the comments have said there have been games where men will be in more revealing armor, but wouldn’t work because male gamers, which most are would throw a fit and complain calling it “gay”. Unfortunately because more guys are gamers, I think game developers like most businesses only care about profit and will go the easiest route.

    So what do we know about the media? Well sex sells very well, especially and more likely to men, so if game developers only care about maximizing profit than being politically correct, they will keep going that route. I would think this would be less of a problem if more female game developers come up with more female gamer in mind. I think there’s also assumption by gamers that few women play games, but I think there’s more than people think, so guys making games think it’s irrelevant what women want if they think most of their customers are guys buying and playing their games. Plus what I read from the comments is that many females don’t mind or like having characters with the sexy armor too, it might be internalizing just like women still showing sexy women in the media even though they are in charge but still choosing women.

    • Yep. We need more female gamers and game makers!

      • But what if those female gamers and makers show sexy women in their videos and not much different than male game makers? You brought up the internalizing with media even from female producers and your women finding women sexier than men post…

      • Yeah. That’s what makes cultural change difficult. You have to bring these things up or people often don’t even see them. So it could be that if you had female gamers nothing much would change.

  10. Oh my, this is just hilarious…absolutely priceless. Such blatant sexism in movies, shows, etc… which is what makes this video so funny ~ because it shows men really are pigs. Are we changes, yeah, but definitely quite slowly. Great post.

  11. Funny, and instructive. 🙂

  12. I’m going to use this video in my post next Monday. I think it is terrific and I will let the viewers make what they wish of it.

    On another note, I think women in law enforcement and the military wear the same or similar protection that are given to males. As for the entertainment industry, which the video representative, well that is an entire topic for to complex for a mere comment.

    Thank you so much for bringing this thought provoking entertainment to my attention. It is perfect, it entertains and will cause many to think.

  13. This has always annoyed the hell out of me. I’m a Fantasy nerd (maybe even geek) and have seen thousands of covers. Only lately have there been covers where the female “hero” might survive. And only lately have I read about strong women who are fine without men, who can be friends with other women, and who sexuality is healthy. But these stories are few and far between. But becoming more common. Women authors are seldom better than male authors at portraying what a woman should wear.

    I groan when I see the television or movie versions. My god. They wear even less than women on book covers or in many comics.

    • It’s pretty crazy isn’t it?!

      • As what jean claude said, and she has said above, even though more men control media. The women authors and more women having control with media aren’t that much better with how they portray women too with sexy or scantily clad clothes.Even women want to see show women’s bodies from the media and apparently straight women prefer seeing women undressed more so than men’s bodies. Men’s bodies might not be fetishsized, you don’t have to fetishsized a body to still want to see it or shown off and celebrated.

      • Both women and men internalize the culture – unconsciously – so that what they grow up in seems natural and normal. And the last part you mentioned was probably true in ancient Greece.

  14. A) nobody wants to see the male body and half naked men so men have t cover up
    B) women dress sexy for other women. Many studies have revealed that women notice women more than men. So half naked women actually exist for women
    What we have is misandrist media teaching us that men are ugly (beast) and women are beautiful

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