Stripping “Sexy” – The problem with removing scantily clad women versus adding men/modesty.

Image by lisa runnels from Pixabay

It’s no secret that I support women for wearing what they wish, including skimpy clothing, while I don’t tend to do so myself. We need to support each other, after all, and sadly there’s been a puritan ideology rising up again. The decision by Tumblr, for example, a while ago to remove NSFW content, was a bad one, and the result of the negative outlook toward women who are in the sex work industry.

This isn’t exclusive to just those in that industry, however. Sometimes women & nonbinary folks who prefer to be seen as more feminine want to dress like that for a variety of reasons, all of which are valid. Including: “This is just how I want to look”. I’ve seen some extremely horrific responses on just Twitter alone that might be trolls, but you know people with these shit takes exist.

Imagine actually having either of these viewpoints. It’s clear that these people are absolutely delusional & just a disgusting waste of space, however sadly they are not alone. If I haven’t made it clear enough, people can wear whatever the hell they want, for whatever reason, and NO ONE is entitled to do anything to them.

On the theme of wearing what they want, sadly some media show signs of regressing or making bad decisions to strip ‘sexy’ women from their products. And I don’t mean in the removal-of-clothing way. Blizzard’s recent decision to ‘desexualize’ some paintings practically no one saw to begin with is somewhat alarming. Now, if it was just two paintings, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Granted, it does send a ‘it’s women’s fault, she shouldn’t be wearing provocative clothing then!’ message, but they’ve been doing it to more than just things like that in their franchise. Removing the succubus card from Hearthstone is a great example of another pretty abhorrent decision on their part, along with modifying Jaina’s art to show less cleavage. Anyway, with regard to the succubus, in the game and mythology in general, the succubus chooses to be in the situation and likes it. She’s powerful and takes charge, in complete control. Removing that just sends a bad message of wanting to censor that type of woman.

The lawsuits toward Blizzard regarding their sexist workplace and treatment of employees is scandalizing, and it’s clear that their culture needs to change immediately. They need to take initiative and make a better workplace, cleaning up the misogynistic attitude. Doing this sort of thing, however, is performative and unhelpful. I really hope it sticks to only a few silly paintings, and isn’t a sign for the future, like the removal of skimpy outfits or demons in World of Warcraft like the succubus. Time will tell, however.

I summed up my thoughts in this tweet pretty well:

I stand by what I said there, and wanted to make a longer article about it as well. But this isn’t just about Blizzard and their nonsense decisions. We also see this happening with things like Onlyfans, where they very briefly said they would ban explicit content, only to go back on that a short time later. The fact that it almost happened in the first place is alarming, and we should not give leeway to puritans to strip away possibly suggestive content. It’s part of life, and a woman dressing in skimpy clothing doesn’t mean she’s ‘asking for anything’. It’s how she would like to dress.

So, what is the solution, then? Obviously, not all women want to be seen this way, and that is also perfectly valid. Adding modest characters to games like World of Warcraft right along with characters in skimpy clothing is a good start. By that, I mean main characters. My character, back when I played the game itself, is entirely covered up because that’s how she is. I don’t like the skimpy look on my characters. Therefore, perhaps lady characters dressed modestly should be added to the spotlight.

Additionally, adding male bodies that are in skimpy garb would aid as well. Add an incubus along with the succubus rather than removing her. Additions are the best way to go in every fashion, rather than subtractions. It sends a very negative message to change or remove things as opposed to add them.

Finally, putting different body types in the spotlight in various parts of media would also be super beneficial. While I prefer muscular body types on all genders, it does not represent everyone, and so popular media could add different types of characters in. What appeals to me won’t appeal to everyone, and that’s just fine–we need a big mixture, that’s how our world is on the outside as well.

Therefore, removing and changing things to ‘puritanize’ them is not good. Right now, it’s just minor signs in the game that I mentioned, and it might not be anything to worry about. I just hope it does not progress further where they change everything or a vast majority as opposed to adding things. From the Tumblr & Onlyfans debacle, it’s understandable to at least be a little bit concerned.

Published by Des M. Astor

Heya, I'm an author. Typically I write Urban Fantasy, and I only usually read in that genre as well. My author's website is both a writing blog and a showcase for my work. Check it out if you'd like.

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