I’m watching a video series by Anita Sarkeesian about women in video games playing the role of damsel in distress. She does an excellent job of describing how that role demeans women, robs them of any personality, and rather than making the hero’s cause noble the role makes women the ball in a game between two men.
This new-to-me perspective is fascinating. I’m hoping it will be one of those things where when I see it once I can’t help but see it everywhere. While watching the videos I kept thinking about how our society reinforces this idea of men saving the damsel in distress. This is what all the classic fairy tales that I can remember revolve around. This is the model for young boys’ behavior – this is what is respected and expected by society.
But I can’t argue with Anita’s logic. The damsel in distress is the ball. Or maybe she is the trophy that you hold up high and put on a shelf collecting dust at home. Either way, the game is not about the woman. The game is just a power struggle between two men.