The Sexist

Boobies As A Weapon of Mass Destruction


Players of first-person shooter game Team Fortress 2 have discovered a new accessory to aid them in offing other players: Images of English pin-up models Lucy Pinder and Keeley Hazell. Users are inserting the cheesecake photos into the game's environment in an attempt to distract other players long enough to sneak up and kill them. They call the tactic "Hot Girl Backstabbing," and judging by the confusion of the targets—many of whom linger near the photos for several seconds before getting blasted—the strategy appears to be working. Is this another instance of feminist-inspired simulated murder, or just another way to apply the exploitation of women to gaming? Judging by the players' enthusiastic use of the word "boobies," I'm going to guess it's the latter.

  • Kristina

    I feel like this actually both exploits women and cuts down men. I mean, this is pushing forth this idea that a trained soldier would lose his shit over a pair of boobs and completely stop fighting. "I'm a dumb man. I see boobies and forgets everything. Durrrrh." I feel like that's really offensive in and of itself. I'm pretty sure even most men just playing a game wouldn't get distracted enough by that to stop paying attention. It really downplays men's ability to, I don't know, control themselves? They can do that, too, you know...

  • Lizrd

    Also, Amanda, given my total lack of faith in the existence wide spread amounts of grown up, decent human behavior within the gamer community, I'm going to go with the latter as well.

  • Flutterby

    Kristina: the thing is though, it IS working. I'll be trying to sneak up on another player in TF2, they'll see a poster and pause to stare at it, I'll catch up and fuck their shit up. It's ridiculous.

    Still, I notice a large portion (or at least a very verbal portion) of players on popular console networks are young males (I'm talking teens here) who live up to the expectation of what they're 'supposed' to be like as an anonymous gamer. Racist, sexist, obsessed with the female body and all the sexual aspects that go along with it, etc. It's like they've grown up taking the culture of gamer/anonymous communities seriously and now act like what used to be the worst of the worst.

  • Kristina

    Flutterby: Ok, comment retracted. That's actually really, really sad. Although maybe they stopped to jerk it. And you shot a man while he was jerking it. Ew. And also high five.

  • Raven

    I have to (sadly) agree with Flutterby. While I haven't played TF2 (yet!), I have noticed that gamers on anything from Call of Duty to Left 4 Dead tend to be incredibly racist, sexist, and sometimes homophobic. Once while playing Left 4 Dead 2 my own teammates went on a tirade on how Rochelle was not attractive because she was black and how the game developers needed more attractive women in the game while we were being slaughtered by the other team.

    Now of days I keep my mic off unless I'm playing a team match. There is only so many fags, niggas/niggers, and bitches a person can take.

  • Michael Hatfield

    So somehow if a man is distracted by a picture of a naked woman then they are sexist or were raised wrong? If a man comes up and exposes himself to you and you look are you a sexist?

    This blog entry is hands down the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

  • Flutterby

    Michael Hatfield: They're being put into the gaming maps specifically as a way to distract players. Female sexuality/sex appeal is being reduced to a trivial tool.

    It's not sexist to think boobs are hot and worth a lingering look. It is sexist to objectify women, which is something the gaming industry and many of those supporting it already have a field day with.

  • Keith B.

    You must not read The Sexist much, Michael. Amanda's pretty late to the party on this one (didn't this shit happen months ago? Wasn't this all already discussed to death?) but I'm sure it had to do with her journalistic standards requiring long hours of investigation and fact checking.

    Most (if I may generalize) of the kids and a sad number of probable-adults that play online games act like terrible, terrible people. Combine competitiveness with the anonymity of the internet and the safety of mom's basement (stereotypes, yo) and you will hear plenty of fucked up stuff if you have voice enabled. Like Raven said, it just all comes out. Imagine all the hateful, for-the-lolz stuff people post on the internet, made all the more appalling by spurting out your speakers. You just have to tell yourself that these people (1) would never act this way in person and (2) they probably don't really believe the shit they're saying, but are just trolololing. God I hope so.

    So really, the only notable thing about this is that it seems to work, which if you consider the premise of the bikini car wash, isn't too surprising. Sex sells, sex gets you kills!

  • Christina79

    Most online gamers are violent, racist, sexist, and offensive. Its sad that games of gone from simple, fun things like eat all the dots in the Pacman games to "Lets shoot as many people as we can with as many guns as we can" all while using a children's toy to sell this kind of violence. Also the idea that people are using children's toys to show lewd photos is also disturbing.

    That said, anyone exploiting men's sexist nature for their own benefit gets points in my book.

    None of my kids are allowed to have video games and I don't let them socialize with children that have them. They're growing up much healthier and more mentally stable compared to kids whose parents condone this sort of thing;

  • Laura


    I think you're misinformed somewhat about video games in general. We all know about the popular online games which often seem to be full of people acting like horrible people. This tells us much more about the state of macho-masculinity in games (or, more to the point, people who are very loud and offensive in games) and less about the actual people who play them. For instance, 64% of online gamers are women. Although women are often made to feel unwelcome in gaming, obviously they enjoy it and feel it has something to give them as an entertainment form.

    I mainly have a problem with your summing up of games as 'children's toys' and emphasis on violent games. Yes, there are a lot of violent games about, and they are certainly problematic, but they are not intended for children to play as referenced by the age certificate. I'm in the UK, but here at least children cannot buy these violent games (usually rated as an 18+), only an adult can. No doubt kids play these games, but they are usually being provided for by an adult in one way or another. The kid in the video has a bad attitude to women and is aggressive and rude, does that condemn everyone who plays games?

    And games just aren't 'children's toys'. You wouldn't describe a TV as a children's toy, although there are plenty of shows aimed at children, and plenty of violent/sexual shows aimed at adults. Hell, you wouldn't call board games a 'children's toy', as snakes and ladders or junior scrabble is pretty far away from something complicated like risk. No other medium is so limited by the unfounded assumption that games are for children and any adult who plays them is doing something childish.

    I can't comment on what you choose for your own kids, but there are plenty of child-friendly games that are still fun and even help develop tactical or educational skills. For example, I hated maths as a child but became obsessed with 'The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis', which was a children's game based around logic and maths. I was literally having fun with a game and learning maths. As for current games, there are plenty available, whether they are aimed at young children (pet sims, the clever kids series of educational games or the numerous branded games featuring Barbie, Dora the Explorer and so on).

    There are also plenty of mature, intelligent games that may or may not feature violence (as any film directed at adults), that can be great fun and also a much more engaging and interactive experience than watching a film or reading a book. These can be story-based, puzzle-solving, platforming...the list of non-basic-shooters is endless. To list a few recent and upcoming: Heavy Rain, Gray Matter, Portal, Fable and Dragon Age (which both feature violence but also incorporate strong and developed LGBT and female characters without question). There are even games that are suitable for children but still have plenty of content for adults, and are enjoyed by both: The Sims, Lost In Blue, Phoenix Wright.

    You do get games like Manhunt or Postal 2 which are basically impossible to defend, and IMO aren't really suitable for anyone. But these are few and far between, and the only thing that really limits the development of games as the most important and exciting new art form is the attitude that they are childish, and the reflection within the industry that games need puerile and offensive content to sell.

  • Christina79


    Don't lecture me about what you THINK you know about video games.

  • Raven

    Laura- I don't know about Sims or Phoenix Wright. The Sims can have some seriously insane stuff in it and Phoenix Wright has crime scenes in it. But then again, I've been playing both since I was about 14 and I'm perfectly fine.

    Christina79- I don't think its fair to assume that every child who plays videogames have parents who allow them to play Grand Theft Auto at some ridiculously young age or that they become violent no good adults in the long run. I've been playing games since I was 4, but my parents DEFINITELY didn't allow me to sit on my butt all day nor did they just let me play adult targeted games without discussing the themes in them and whether or not I'm ready to play such games (and I was at least 13/14 by then and thoroughly understood sexism, racism, misogyny, etc etc to know when to put a game down and not let it degrade me/what games not to buy such as Bayonetta or Grand Theft Auto). Games won't dictate whether or not a child will be some no good thug, good parenting does. And Good Parenting should be more than enough to prevent any kid from deciding to shoot the school up, otherwise you're doing it wrong.

  • Keith B

    Christina79 sounds like the kind of parent who thinks DARE programs work. Also, since you felt compelled to lecture us about your rage-against-the-atari parenting techniques, Laura can at least try to educate your ignorant ass. It sounds like she actually knows what she's talking about; saying Pacman was the last good game... you do know that Prairie Home Companion is a work of fiction, right?.


  • Flutterby


    You're my new favorite commenter. THANK YOU for pointing out how ridiculous the stigma of videogames as nothing but toys for little kids is. I blame people with that mindset for games like Grand Theft Auto which, while having it's appeal, has story and characters clearly aimed at stereotypical 13 year old boys with lenient parents.

    I want my Mature-rated games to actually be for mature minds, not immature hormonal impulses.

  • Laura B

    Christina79 - Err, I've played video games since I was about five years old, I think I have a pretty good idea. Do you have some knowledge I've overlooked? What's your counter?

    Raven - You're right, I structured my comment really badly and didn't read it again! I meant to point out some games that older children could enjoy. I think the original sims game is pretty child-friendly, I played it when I was 12 or 13 and don't remember anything controversial. The new ones have sexual content but it's all implied... Phoenix Wright obviously has some adult-ish content of murder scenes and sexual innuendos, but it's never graphic and I reckon it would be ok for a 13+ kid.

    Flutterby - Thank you! I really want there to be a truly mature game released. I was hopeful about Heavy Rain, and it was amazing in a lot of ways, but was still let down by an imperfect story and just a little too much emphasis on the female character's body. Interestingly, I've been playing through some old action-adventures I first played in the 90's and the Tim Schaefer and Jane Jensen games had great stories, intelligent laugh-out-loud humour and developed characters. I wonder what happened...

    Keith B - Well you know, Pacman wasn't all that friendly. Popping pills in the dark with loud music? Ghost murder?

  • Christina79

    How old are you people? I'm going to rage if you say "older than 14". Seriously, why would you be playing video games as an adult? There is no appeal to them beyond a certain point.

  • Laura B

    Err I'm 21. There are a huge amount of video games you can't even legally buy until you're 18. Adult female gamers outnumber male teenage gamers.

    I'm beginning to think you're fake, so I'll leave it at that.