At first, when it was reported that a new video game enables you, as the main female character, to shoot men who harass you on the street, I thought “Ha ha, tables turned.” But after a look at this trailer video, I changed my mind:
Basically, you’re looking down a gun barrel and walking along on the street while men approach and street harass you. Then you shoot them, and a tombstone pops up with their particular cat call on it. And that’s it.
No elaborate scenarios like RapeLay offered for people who enjoy fantasizing about stalking and raping women and children. It’s not tables turned – it’s just fluff that involves women actually overreacting to a problem we’re frequently told we should find flattering. In one swoop, by presenting such a skewed reaction, the game trivializes the very appropriate reaction of women speaking out against street harassment and problems like rape which actually legally merit killing (in the U.S. at least, you are entitled by law to defend yourself with lethal force if someone’s trying to rape you – it’s considered self-defense).
If this game were about shooting men who try to rape you, okay. Or if it was street harassers, but instead of shooting them we just hit them really hard, that’d be fine by me, too. Still looks like a pretty boring game, though, and somehow I’m thinking that adds insult to injury – as if they assume women don’t want something more elaborate and interesting?