>Re-launched WoW Galleries: Let’s end with a gender-swap

>As promised, I have another gender-swap to finish out this series of WoW posts. My first attempt at a gender-swap was reasonably successful, but I discovered that a lot of the sexualization gets lost in translation since the “collection of bits” phenomenon has to be unbelievably exaggerated in order to come across on a male figure.

Thankfully, the new WoW galleries provided plenty of ammunition!

The ladybit assassin (see part 3) was almost my choice, but I was afraid that people have been so desensitized to Conan-type beefcake that it wouldn’t have the impact I was looking for. So instead, I went for my second, uh, favorite:

God. This makes me want to facepalm every time I see it.

And here is my take, what I have dubbed a work of “mancake”:

I got lazy and didn’t bother reproducing the bad PhotoShop filter frost magic effects. Also, I changed the colors and simplified the design of the robes. That was out of copyright concerns, not laziness.

This time, I was every bit as successful as I had hoped. This time, the sheer ridiculousness of the pose and costume wasn’t lost in translation, even after correcting the anatomy to give my gender-swapped mage a rib cage.

We have the usual suspects when it comes to sexualized female figures. Her costume has both a cleavage AND a midriff window. Anatomy is similarly distorted in the usual fashion. Ginormous fake boobs? Check. Lack of rib cage? Check. Impossibly flat abs? Check. But honestly, that’s not what I was after.

The most obvious object of ridicule is the pose. Her back is arched with her breasts and ass being thrust out at the same time. I’m really not sure how she’s supposed to cast magic like that; I tried to get into that pose myself and it was all I could do to not fall over or accidentally injure my back. (Give it a try when no one’s looking. It’s pretty hard.)

So I’m pretty pleased that most of that still comes through with my gender-swapped version. I’m not positive that the cleavage window has the same effect, even with him thrusting his chest forward. Without actual cleavage I suspect some of the impact is lost. But the intent still comes through loud and clear, which makes me very happy indeed.

Now to be fair, a fair number of the comments in the WoW gallery revolve around how it looks like she’s about to take a crap. But there’s just as many comments about how “real” this looks – which kind of freaks me out that nobody notices basic shit like WHERE ARE HER ORGANS? And then there’s an even scarier subset of people who, predictably, find Crapping Frost Mage hot:

she definatley… wants it in her anal cavity

she hot she most will be a porn star

Delicious

Mage porn star.

Oh, internet. I’m finding it harder to be surprised by this stuff anymore.

Anyhow. I’ll definitely do more of these in the future (though perhaps not right away since my time is at a premium for the next few weeks). I had way too much fun doing this one!

About wundergeek
In addition to being a cranky feminist blogger, I am an artist, photographer, and somewhat half-assed writer living in the wilds of Canada with a wonderful spouse and two slightly broken cats.

35 Responses to >Re-launched WoW Galleries: Let’s end with a gender-swap

  1. razorgrrls says:

    >Keep up the great work, it's a delight to come in here and read.- Samanth0r

  2. Ikkin says:

    >Hah, now this really gets the ridiculousness of the original artwork across.A few things to note:- I suspect the original artwork took that pose from another image without regard for whatever prop was keeping the woman standing like that. (She'd either have been leaning over a chair, or rubbing up against someone sitting on a chair behind her) It doesn't look like something that would be created as a "casting a spell" pose, no matter how sexual they wanted to make that.- Chest windows work for guys, even if there isn't any cleavage there to show. Transferring the cleavage window directly seems to limit that effect, though, because it's too narrow and doesn't go low enough — and the lack of definition on the chest makes it seem like there's nothing to see there.- The first "finds her hot" response is terrifying.Keep doing more of these, though. Gender-swaps are always fun.

  3. megpie71 says:

    >A quick comment about that ridiculous pose – if this mage is standing like that every time she casts, by the time she reaches approximately level 50 her knees will be giving her no end of gyp, her back will be out of alignment, and her shoulders will ache. She'd also need a much larger backside in order to counter-balance the weight of her chest, or she'd be falling all over the place.

  4. wundergeek says:

    >Ikkin: Rats. That's a good point. Bigger chest window next time. Do you think nipples are the male equivalent of cleavage?Megpie: Interesting point. Certainly if artists are going to inflate women's chests, they should remember to counter-balance them. (Would that be the cantilevered beam principle?)

  5. Ikkin says:

    >Wundergeek: I don't think they are, because showing a bare male chest in its entirety is perfectly acceptable. I can't think of an example of a chest window where they're actually showing — it seems like artists would rather imply that they need to be covered, and then do so only barely or just get rid of the shirt completely, instead of leaving them completely bare in spite of the character wearing some kind of top.Trying to describe what would make it work in words is rather difficult, though — image references are much more useful. (Official artwork of Organization XIII gives one option for what a cleavagey-type outfit would look like on a man; Seymour Guado provides an alternative if that doesn't go far enough. Square-Enix characters in general make good references for this kind of thing, honestly)

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Personally i think it's not really reproducing the same effect of ridiculnes, sure his pose is extremally bizzare (exactly as female elf ) but if you have added more detailes to his robe and these cool spell effects he would be almost completly passable, even now his face is really neat.

  7. wundergeek says:

    >Ikkin: Oh, Square and it's oddball character designs… That's actually one reason I enjoy the Final Fantasy series. They tend to be pretty equal opportunity with their fanservice – like Kuja or Seymour or Tidus…

  8. Ikkin says:

    >Wundergeek: Yeah, me too. As problematic as they can be sometimes, they're not afraid to turn it around on the guys (did you see their concept art for Snow's transformation?), and they embrace the fact that we exist and play their games, which is pretty refreshing compared to the tone given off by a lot of other games.(I actually think Kuja's design is a bit too strange to be attractive, though — one of the promo images of him for Dissidia seems like a pretty good male analogue for the ladybit assassin, and I'm not sure that's a good thing)

  9. LilithXIV says:

    >I like Kuja just fine myself. I think more of his kind of design should be spread around to guys in all kinds of games if they truly want women to be convinced they have it 'just as bad'. And I mean frequently! Seymour should get nipples, visible ones that are constantly erect. Men with closed shirts should have holes cut into them, so we can still see those nipples and pecs of course! Or they should start wearing spandex-like shirts. Also, they should glisten with sweat constantly.Their pants should never be covering the area just above their crotch, so you can see those bones pointing down it. There should be more speedos and banana hammocks put on men in every situation, and I /guess/ they can look kind of armored but not /too/ much because we still want to see definition under there. I'm talking ass, well-shaped and curvy, and poking out instead of just blending.Also, I always wondered what was up with the neuter look in the crotch area I see in so many guys in comics and other art? Women have their breasts and (often nipples) so deeply outlined so why not the guys with their own … Outlines in an area where it'd count (Women get plenty of cameltoe shots thrown in for no good reason too, after all)? So, there should be a bulge in the crotch area for men. Maybe not fully erect but definitely up there, somewhat straining against the fabric (Which will, naturally, be a spandex-like material, maybe the armor can just /surround it/ but not block it out. After all, we have to think of priorities! Optional on whether or not it rides up their asses to really show those cheeks for all they're worth).

  10. Anonymous says:

    >^And you see it wouldnt be the same, b/c that's what actually men really want, some kind of puritan prudishness still remains but men do love their penises and wouldn't mind if character that identify with sport some manly one around…

  11. LilithXIV says:

    >Are you willing to bet on that, Anonymous? Because I've seen men get quite up in arms about similar displays of that kind for men. In the same way they'd accuse women of being 'prudes' they react just as badly to something they perceive as sexualizing men. Hell they go into full-blown homophobia about it. The reason for the homophobia with the implication that sexualization makes men 'feminine' and is therefore for women only. The Message = Women Are For Sex. Look here http://odditycollector.livejournal.com/97166.html – There are men in the comment threads who reacted very defensively to this kind of stuff. They even try to say that 'muscles' are the same thing as being reduced to sexual parts, as if it's equal. But it's not, and they know it too, it's that they don't really want it to get close to equal. There's a reason why, in the majority of comics, you'll almost never see a bulge in the crotch or ass for men but you'll lose count of the ones at on women. As I said above, guys are rendered mostly neuter in that sexual area by their mostly male artists. That kind of contradicts what you're saying.Then there's crotchgate http://www.postmodernbarney.com/2007/04/crotch-gate-07.html – Obviously there are more links to this if you just google search around, but this is a good one to start you off. Eventually the erection got shrunken down because of all the complaints from men to the artist. And trust me, with the way women are still treated and slut-shamed these days on various accounts, there's more than a little 'puritan prudishness' around and a lot of it is actually not from women.And lastly, I always wonder if people Get that 'puritan' ideals are just one side of an extreme. The opposite side is where you literally strip someone's humanity away by reducing their worth-value to sexual parts by prioritizing it over everything else (if anything else is even bothered with that is). Also, the outlined sexual parts will be in every single scene with the men, not just in one or two so you can just laugh it off because you'll tell yourself it's just an exception.

  12. ThePredation says:

    >Lilith I actually laughed out loud at your comment, but it's exactly illustrating what women in game art are put through. Men need to have awkward bulges and strained poses to even come close. And just think of the chafing from constantly erect nipples!But the conclusion to the WoW gallery series is fantastic, and even though you were kind enough to give him enough space for some innards instead of making him grossly thin like the original, it came off very well. Kudos!

  13. LilithXIV says:

    >Thanks Predation, sometimes it's better to fight fire with fire. Though I don't think the blog likes me very much, it seems like my comment to the Anonymous directly above TP's comment up there got marked for spam or something and removed. Sorry, Wundergeek, I'm totally not doing this on purpose! x.x

  14. trollsmyth says:

    >Yeah, go with LilithXIV's delightful, "over the top" (quotes for a reason) version and guys might, might maybe start understanding what you're talking about.Maybe.

  15. Ikkin says:

    >LilithXIV: The problem with fighting fire with fire, in this case, is that you'll probably end up burning innocent women in the process. From what I've seen, while men's reaction to cheesecake art range from "hot" to "embarassing," women's reaction to manthongs and nipple windows tend to range instead from "hot" to "augh, my eyes." Which probably says something in and of itself, honestly.Trollsmyth: Judging by reactions to Kuja et al., it's possible to get guys to recognize that they don't like that. They just tend to ignore the obvious implication that we don't like it happening to us either, because they like looking at it, so what we like doesn't matter. Or something like that. *headdesk*

  16. LilithXIV says:

    >@Ikkin: I'm not sure what it says, honestly. What does it say? Other than perhaps we have all had the sexualization of women sort of normalized into us as just a standard thing but not men. But iunno, I've seen plenty of examples of 'hot' reactions more than the 'augh my eyes' ones from women on men's bodies they consider attractive. Like in that Vito-excalibur post or others that have edited male superheroes to be more sexual.The thing is, when men are presented that way their attractiveness is often not catered specifically to women and I think /that/ more has to do with the 'augh my eyes' thing than anything else. But yeah the 'fire with fire' thing was more aimed at the men who honestly, without irony, complain that men have it 'just as bad' in the objectifying department. It just shows they don't even compare. Not even a little.

  17. Ikkin says:

    >LilithXIV: Well, I haven't seen the "augh my eyes" reaction all that much for guys women consider attractive, either. It's almost universally saved for unattractive (or just plain awkward) methods of sexualizing men — which include a lot of the most blatant methods that are used on women. (I'd use Voldo as an example of that effect — his outfit is sexualized but hideous, and would probably look terrible even on a more attractive male character)And, yeah, it's certainly a good tool to use in that respect. I'm just not sure that it would get anywhere near parity if implemented, because absurdity appears to detract more from men's appearance to women than it does women's appearance to men for whatever reason.

  18. LilithXIV says:

    >No, I meant the guys themselves are attractive. Like.. Voldo isn't attractive at all (he's like those 'monstrous' examples in WoW). He is clearly meant to creep you out, but not the men in say.. Vito Excalibur's post http://vito-excalibur.livejournal.com/114588.htmlThey are attractive. There's a difference between the two, along with there being a difference between Voldo and say.. the lap-dancer ogre in the 'monstrous' post (he seemed like a old time chippendale dancer heh). I don't really think the sexualization has to be very different at all. So I guess we just don't agree on this.

  19. wundergeek says:

    >(Amusing side note: My brother learned how to play Voldo really well specifically because I find him insanely creepy. Brr.)Lilith: I kinda agree with Ikkin that Voldo is a sexualized character, especially SC2 and after. His costumes are clearly fetish gear, and some of his more special moves are overtly sexual. In SC2 there's a move where Voldo assumes a crab-walk positition and, uh… humps his opponent into the air. And if you time it right, he can hump-juggle his opponent. I wouldn't go so far as to say that he approaches Ivy or Taki levels of sexualization, but I do think it's there.(Also, don't blame yourself. Blame Blogger's shitty spam filter. It has yet to filter a single comment that is ACTUALLY SPAM.)

  20. Ikkin says:

    >LilithXIV: I'm not sure I got my point across. My point isn't that Voldo is the same thing (because that guy's just creepy), but that Voldo's outfit adds to the creepy effect, and probably wouldn't be all that attractive (to non-fetishists, anyway) even if it were worn by someone like Sephiroth who has a significant female following.And, even within the Vito-Excalibur post, the results differ significantly depending on the image — some of them transfer over completely (facial expressions especially), while others are just kind of hilarious. There aren't really any "eww, gross!" ones there, because they're basically just wearing spandex briefs — but you can find some of those in one of the Girl-Wonder threads linked in the comments.The double-standard, as I see it is "virtually any scanty outfit reads as hot on an attractive woman, some scanty outfits read as weird or gross on an attractive man. Virtually any suggestive pose reads as hot on an attractive woman, some suggestive poses read as weird or gross on an attractive man."

  21. LilithXIV says:

    >Oh, no, I agree that Voldo is sexualized. But now I'm kinda wondering where this conversation is even going. If you were just trying to point out a double standard then: "Other than perhaps we have all had the sexualization of women sort of normalized into us as just a standard thing but not men." Which is what I said above.

  22. Awitelin says:

    >I just laughed until I cried at the term "crapping frost mage". That describes the ridiculousness of poses like this so perfectly.

  23. Ikkin says:

    >LilithXIV: I guess the thing throwing me off is that, regardless of whether it's normalized or not, some forms of sexualization work perfectly well for men, and others don't. Though I guess it could just be that the forms that don't work for men wouldn't work for women either if they hadn't been normalized for women…?

  24. Chaltab says:

    >I really don't understand, on some level, the discomfort some men feel when seeing even mildly sexualized male video game characters. Like, all the people who hate Vaan because 'he's a fag' or whatever. Are they really that uncertain of their own heterosexuality that a sixteen year old boy with an open vest makes them uncomfortable? Yeesh.

  25. wundergeek says:

    >Awitelin: Thanks! It's always good to know people find my hyperbole amusing!Chaltab: I actually wasn't aware of the hubub about Vaan until recently. Why didn't I hear any of this about the hero in Vagrant Story, his name escapes me, who wore assless pants?

  26. Ikkin says:

    >Wundergeek: There's probably a few reasons for that. Vagrant Story isn't nearly as mainstream as Final Fantasy, less-mainstream fandoms tend to attract proportionately-fewer vocal idiots, and it came out so long ago that we don't even know the original reception of the character. The PSOne's fairly weak 3D abilities might have something to do with it, too — its graphics are ambiguous enough that players might have assumed it was part of his pants. And, while Ashley Riot's outfit is revealing in a more taboo way, I've never seen any promotional material that draws attention to that, while Vaan's CG portrait shows him lounging around with one side of his vest hanging off his shoulder.In any case, I'd be quite surprised if a revival of the Ashley Riot character by the current-day Square-Enix would be given the same pass.

  27. Maverynthia says:

    >Definitely need to open the "boob window" more and maybe add a few lines to define his pecs a bit. That would add to the effect. :3

  28. ghost4 says:

    >Your image proves that men look silly when they adopt feminine gestures and clothing. Which everyone already knew.LilithXIV: I think more of his kind of design should be spread around to guys in all kinds of games if they truly want women to be convinced they have it 'just as bad'.Your entire idea is based on the incorrect premise that men and women are identical and interchangeable. Men and women have different ways of behaving and presenting themselves, and different ways of thinking. Mother Nature is not a feminist.I also find it odd how women complain about sexualized female characters in video games while willingly sexualizing themselves in real life.

  29. Chaltab says:

    >Let us please ignore the urge to feed the troll.

  30. morobrany says:

    >Maybe she's leaning forward like that because it's the only way to keep that weird throne-headress-ruff thing from falling off her shoulders?About the only way I can think that something like that would stay in place is if it were attached to a long back piece that was affixed inside of a corset.Same thing with the guy. If you stood up straight it would probably fall off your back and shatter.

  31. ghost4 says:

    >I like how virtually all feminists immediately employ the troll defense when anyone objects to what they're saying. And they don't even know what a troll is!

  32. LilithXIV says:

    >I wish I had seen this sooner, then. Alright I'll stop replying seriously to this ghost4 thing. It's really not worth it I suppose, he's already so sure of his 'wisdom'.

  33. >This is great! My friends and I tried to do this pose for 5 minutes and couldn't stop laughing! We got as close as we could without breaking in half. Actually, my back really hurts now. Anyway, your blog is awesome. Keep doing what you do :D

  34. wundergeek says:

    >dismahboomstick: I'm glad you like the blog! I also tried assuming this pose and found it very difficult. I'm pretty sure human spines don't bend that much.

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