With the release of Metal Gear Solid 5, there has been some controversy over the character of Quiet and how she is portrayed in the game, specifically in how she dresses. Given the obviously contrived reason her creator has given, it is clear that she was given that outfit to be sexualised for the pleasure of the male audience.
However, do you feel that there are characters who express their sexuality in how they dress and behave that are not treated as tools or made solely for the male gaze? Characters who you feel dress provocatively for their own enjoyment rather than the enjoyment of the player?
First of all, as a bi man, I realise that I am not the best person to discuss this and if I screw this up, please call me out on this. I should also point at that this post out is heavily adapted from a comment I made in a recent Open Thread.
I think most of us will agree that the way characters like Quiet are portrayed are bad and needs to be reduced. Representation of women in the media is important and silly things like can be eye rolling at best and face palming with a long sigh at worse.
Same goes for fighting games like Cammy in the Street Fighter series who doesn’t make sense wearing the green unitard, which by the Street Fighter V Beta, is so tight that you can see her belly button.
However, sometimes it feels that there are some men and women who feel any sexualisation or a fictional woman expressing their sexuality should be considered taboo or vilified. Much of the time, I’ve seen this explained away with, “There not real, real people can dress any way they want”. But in reality, what is that actually saying? Women who dress in a sexual way should not be represented in the media in any shape or form? That they should be hidden away as some embarrassing little secret? How is that better than the way things are like now?
I’ve talked about this before when I discussed the treatment the new Suicide Squad Harley Quinn is getting. Especially when I know of people, one being one of my closest friends who dress similarly. I just feel that is going too far and is being regressive rather than being progressive.
As such which fictional character do you feel dress in sexual clothing and/or act in a way that expresses their sexuality, without it feeling like its pandering or done only for the male gaze?
My example is Juri Han from the Street Fighter series:
Juri Han in the Street Fighter 4 series is probably one of the most active and agent characters in the game and supporting material, beating Chun-Li, Guile, Cammy, all the Dolls, M. Bison and (killing) Seth in canon while also taking over as the head of S.I.N. She is also very blatant in how she expresses her sexuality as the below video shows:
However, never does it feel like it’s pandering to male audiences in my opinion, but instead it feels natural for the character to do, as well as always feeling like it is always on her own terms. It is an example where I feel Capcom did a character like that right which given there track record like the previously mentioned Cammy, RE3 Jill and Poison, I’m sure was intentional. As a result, I feel that she is one of the best characters (as well one of the best villains) in the series (that and she is incredibly fun to play as).