A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

November 19, 2012 -

Forbes has a mildly amusing interview with an unnamed stripper to get her opinion on the "Saints" in Hitman: Absolution - those women featured in the Hitman: Absolution trailer that stirred up a lot of controversy earlier this year. Besides revealing the disconnect that the game's developers seem to have when it comes to women who work professionally as strippers (or prostitutes, and Christians), the woman who is being called "Athena" (to protect her identity) says that the whole thing comes off as "violence porn."

"I think it’s an excuse to show violence against women by making them the initiators of violence. It’s as if the makers of this video game are saying, 'Hey, these women asked for it. It’s okay to kill them and beat them up because they’re the ‘dregs of society.' It’s as if [the game is saying] they are subhuman and deserve to die. But that’s not who they are, it’s what they do for a living; stripping is a job, not an identity.

I just think it perpetuates hatred of women, because we all know that women who work as strippers and prostitutes are overwhelmingly victims of violence, not perpetrators of it.

Sociologists have found the number one reason women prostitute themselves is because they’re in poverty and don’t have the resources they need. Stripping and prostituting become a way to survive, and to demonize them for that is profoundly misogynistic. It’s bad enough that they need to do this to survive, but to turn them into the enemy…?

It just looks like violence porn to me, and I’m concerned about the minds of men who would come up with a game like this.
"

There are some more amusing parts of the interview, like the practicality of wearing a habit or high heels when going into the fight depicted in the trailer many months ago. You can check out that entire interview here.

Source: Forbes


Comments

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

I lost interest when she said, "violence against women."  This is a double standard that drives me crazy.  When men kill men it is just violence.  Now when women get killed it needs its' own term/phrase?  How about just call it violence against humans or living beings?  If people who use that phrase had some sort of strong explanation as in why we should separate it then sure, but last I check they don't.

My final point would be to say, this is just a damn video game!

"If it cannot break out of its' shell, the chick will die without being born... If we don't crack the world's shell, we'll die without being born. Smash the world's shell. For the Revolution of the world!"

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

The reason violence against women needs a separate distinction is because society goes out of its way to rationalize and excuse it where it doesn't when it's violence among men.

Assuming they are straight white guys, of course.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

So was it excused in this game?  I think not, every color and gender gets killed in this game.  Nothing got pushed under the bus.  If this is the case, then use the darn term when the situation fits.  Hitman:  Absolution isn't one of them.

"If it cannot break out of its' shell, the chick will die without being born... If we don't crack the world's shell, we'll die without being born. Smash the world's shell. For the Revolution of the world!"

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

More like society feels no need to even bother rationalizing and excusing violence against men.  It's seen as natural and expected.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Honestly, I'm more concerned that it made absolutely no sense in the Hitman series.  It (at least up to Absolution) wasn't a shooter, and while some missions did have strippers (the nightclub level in blood money), it wasn't the point of the game.  Heavily armed nuns attacking 47 makes no sense in the series, gameplay or story wise.  Unfortunately, Absolution is a terrible sequel that completely abandons what the series is about in favor of attracting the Call of Duty crowd.  The older games encouraged players to not kill anyone but the target, now most missions don't even have a target, just a door you need to walk though, and the only way to do that is to kill a bunch of cops.

 

Also, just a comment on the characters themselves: In the trailer, at least one of them had a tear tattoo, meaning that he/she killed a person in prison.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Did I miss something here?  Has it actually been established somewhere that the characters were actually strippers who just happened to stumble upon a ludicrous cache of weaponry and go after Agent 47 with it, rather than assassins who dress like strippers for no discernable reason?

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

They were introduced in the Attack of the Saints trailer.  That trailer gave no indication that the characters were current or former strippers or prostitutes.

In response to the ludicrous reaction to the trailer, IO said that it went in and fleshed out the group's back story.  The Hitman Wiki says the "majority of the [Saints] are probationary convicts, with a history of violence."  The individual character profiles reveals the character "Boo" was an "erotic dancer in a nightclub" but that's it.  One out of eight.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Right, I saw the trailer back when it came out.  I was just wondering why the Forbes article was written from the perspective of "Why is Agent 47 going around killing innocent strippers/prostitutes?"  Chalk it up to ignorance/sensationalism, I guess.  Hooray, media dinosaurs!

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Er.... whats up with people hating fiction so much they lose inelegance? Least I have a reason mechanics have no depth these days :P


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

The ad was terrible and full of problems in a misogynistic sense, but I don't think she has hit on any of them.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

The ad was not misogynistic.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

It was. The targets featured were unnecessarily and irrationally sexualized for the sole purpose of cheap titillation and the gameplay was amazingly misrepresented for the sake of getting to show 47 brutalizing the lot of them. To help you differentiate these situations in the future, here is a litmus test. Would the aesthetization of violence have been done in the same way and to the same degree if the targets were male?

To wit, had The Saints been a team of male assassins, would the trailer have featured them wearing revealing latex fetish gear and priest collars? And would 47 been shown deviating from the stealth-based sneaky-man way he actually operates in order to get in a big sexy beatdown with them? No? Then misogyny has occurred.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"The targets featured were unnecessarily and irrationally sexualized for the sole purpose of cheap titillation and the gameplay was amazingly misrepresented for the sake of getting to show 47 brutalizing the lot of them."

That's not misogyny.  Additionally, from what I hear, that's actually not a misrepresentation of how this particular Hitman game can be played.

"Would the aesthetization of violence have been done in the same way and to the same degree if the targets were male?"

I'd say yes.  I certainly don't see 47 taking it easier on a different attacking group of assassins regardless of their gender or dress.

"To wit, had The Saints been a team of male assassins, would the trailer have featured them wearing revealing latex fetish gear and priest collars?"

It could have.  IO certainly has shown itself to have that sense of humor.

"And would 47 been shown deviating from the stealth-based sneaky-man way he actually operates in order to get in a big sexy beatdown with them?"

I wouldn't describe the beatdown as sexy but yeah, there's no reason it couldn't have turned out the same way.  And again, from what I hear, this particular Hitman game can get a bit action-shootery.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

That's not misogyny. Additionally, from what I hear, that's actually not a misrepresentation of how this particular Hitman game can be played.

From what I hear, it isn't. Also, I'm really glad a man is here to tell me what's misogynistic and what's not. I'm sure you looked it up in the dictionary and decided that this wasn't "a hatred of women", but misogyny is not simply the guy who thinks women need to stay in the kitchen. Misogyny encompasses all sorts of behaviors and concepts, many of them things that most men have no idea they are even guilty of and complicit in because that's just the way society has raised them and they do not need to be aware of it. But to shorten the Women's Studies dissertation, making your entire cast of villains female and outfitting them in male-gazey outfits with no actual practical purpose in their own universe, just so your hero can beat them to death, is misogynistic. Because you wouldn't treat male characters that way.

I certainly don't see 47 taking it easier on a different attacking group of assassins regardless of their gender or dress.

You missed the part about it being aestheticized. If it were a group of men, there wouldn't be a whole scene of him gracefully and artfully murdering them all up close and personal and with as much force as possible. The point is to look at how beautiful and sexy him killing all these scantily clad women is.

It could have. IO certainly has shown itself to have that sense of humor.

It could have. Would it, though? No, I think not. I'm not asking if it's in the realm of possibility. I'm asking if, in the intent to promote and sell their game, they would put that in a trailer.

I wouldn't describe the beatdown as sexy but yeah, there's no reason it couldn't have turned out the same way. And again, from what I hear, this particular Hitman game can get a bit action-shootery.

I'm sure you don't think anyone getting their nose broken is sexy. However, that doesn't discount that the scene is made to be visually pleasing, ultraviolent in a way that previous Hitman trailers were not, and rife with erotic suggestion. Otherwise, they would have dressed their assassins in sensible clothes, especially since being ICA agents, they should be fully briefed on how 47 is not interested in sex.

And yes, any Hitman can be action-shootery. But we are not looking at action shootery. We're looking at a bare-handed massacre. Which Hitman never was, even when they finally gave you the ability to headbutt people and steal their guns.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"I'm sure you looked it up in the dictionary and decided that this wasn't "a hatred of women"..."

No, I have a decent vocabulary and have long been familiar with the term so there was no need to look it up.  And of course I decided the trailer didn't demonstrate a hatred of women.  Because it doesn't.  47's actions have absolutely nothing to do with their gender.  Again, he wasn't going after them, they were going after him.  There is absolutely nothing to indicate that he wouldn't react exactly the same if a squad of underdressed male assassins came after him.

"Because you wouldn't treat male characters that way."

There's nothing to indicate that assertion.  47 is and has always been just as brutal to everyone that gets in his way, gender be damned.

"If it were a group of men, there wouldn't be a whole scene of him gracefully and artfully murdering them all up close and personal and with as much force as possible."

There's nothing to indicate that assertion either.  Swap out the Saints with leather fetish gear-clad monks and you would not have to change a single shot.

"The point is to look at how beautiful and sexy him killing all these scantily clad women is."

That's still not misogynistic because he's not killing them because they're "scantily clad women."  He's killing them because they're trying to kill him.  The real point of the trailer is: it doesn't matter who you are or how many of you there are, if you mess with 47, he will end you.

There is absolutely no suggestion that the Saints deserve to die because of their gender or manner of dress.

"I'm asking if, in the intent to promote and sell their game, they would put that in a trailer."

And looking at the type of characters and situations 47 has run into throughout his games, I see no reason why they wouldn't.  The fact that they didn't, doesn't make it misogynistic.

"However, that doesn't discount that the scene is made to be visually pleasing, ultraviolent in a way that previous Hitman trailers were not, and rife with erotic suggestion."

Of course it's meant to be visually pleasing.  They're trying to sell a game.  And I don't agree that this trailer is unique in its ultraviolence.  Most of the trailers employ the highly choreographed, slow-motion almost balletic violence.

Regardless, that still wouldn't make the trailer misogynistic.

"We're looking at a bare-handed massacre. Which Hitman never was, even when they finally gave you the ability to headbutt people and steal their guns."

Which doesn't make it misogynistic either.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Trailer is still misogynist. If the women had been wearing business attire (like agents 47's suit) or combat fatigues most of your other points would be valid. However almost everything about the women characters in the trailer was sexualized. Their stripper/fetish outfits complete with 6" stiletto heels. They walk with a sexualized and exaggerated sway to their hips. Using (ridiculously long btw) legs instead of arms to block or parry attacks. A straddle maneuver with a basically upskirt shot of one women. About the only fight scene I recall seeing that was more sexualized than this was the strip tease/sword dual from Final Flight of the Osiris. And that was a whole other context, tone and mood.

It's not just violence against women it's sexualized violence against women. It's about propping these women up as sexual objects than brutalizing them, regardless of weather "they have it coming" or not. What ever justification there is for killing these women characters, there's no justification for objectifying them first.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"...almost everything about the women characters in the trailer was sexualized."

That doesn't make it misogynistic.

"It's not just violence against women it's sexualized violence against women."

No, it's not.  The women are sexualized.  The violence against them is not.

"What ever justification there is for killing these women characters, there's no justification for objectifying them first."

Doesn't matter, that's still not misogyny.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

you have a very narrow definition of misogyny it seems. While it seems dictionary.com only lists hatred, I was taught it includes objectification, much the same way anti-semitism manifests in dehumanizing Jewish people. I suppose unless someone is literally saying they hate women you won't consider it misogyny. How about we use the word chauvinist than.

Looking at your other arguments it looks like you have a strong like for this game and by extension the character. The issue isn't that agent 47 is chauvinist/misogynist, it's that the developers are and that the trailer appears to be.

As to you argument that the violence against them is not sexualized, what would you consider necessary to for it to be sexualized violence? Would he have to rip their clothes off? From my view the women have been sexually objectified and much of their combat maneuvers have been sexualized, I consider that sexualized violence, that no sexual anatomy was whipped out for all too see does not make it non sexual. There are other methods of sexualizing rather than just vulgarity or pornography.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"you have a very narrow definition of misogyny it seems."

No, I have a correct definition of misogyny.

"How about we use the word chauvinist than."

We can't, because that word doesn't apply either.  Nothing in the video communicates the idea that 47 is or thinks he's better than the Saints by virtue of difference in gender.

"Looking at your other arguments it looks like you have a strong like for this game and by extension the character."

Nope.  I don't particularly care for the series at all.

"The issue isn't that agent 47 is chauvinist/misogynist, it's that the developers are and that the trailer appears to be."

The developers may or may not be but there's nothing in the trailer to indicate that they are.  As for the trailer itself, it is neither.

"As to you argument that the violence against them is not sexualized, what would you consider necessary to for it to be sexualized violence?"

In order for it to be sexualized violence, the violence would have to be sexualized.  Because the violence isn't sexualized, it's not sexualized violence.  It's that simple.  Again, the women are sexualized, the violence against them is not.  There is nothing sexual about the way 47 drives his elbow into an attacker's face or the way the camera focuses on her nose getting crushed and fountaining gore.

What would have made the violence against the Saints sexual?  A lot of things.  Could have been dialog, the physical way 47 dominated them, the vocalizations the Saints made in reaction to the damage they received, what the camera chose to emphasize, etc.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

But AE, you're forgetting:  as a man, you don't have a right to express (or even have) an opinion on this subject.  You're automatically the bad guy and any woman who wants to play the misogyny card is automagically right and you'll just never understand you chauvinist pig.

Or something...  >.>

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

You are welcome to have an opinion when you are able to demonstrate that you have any actual knowledge or perspective on a subject. Since most men have no idea what it's like being a woman in their world and certainly no understanding of what the things in the games they created say about them and their society and what the consequences of those things are for people who are not men (or any marginalized group, really), they should probably do more listening than talking.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

It’s as if the makers of this video game are saying, 'Hey, these women asked for it. It’s okay to kill them and beat them up because they’re the ‘dregs of society.' It’s as if [the game is saying] they are subhuman and deserve to die.

No, that's not what the trailer was saying at all.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Isn't that what Hitman says about all of its targets? 47 is never tasked with killing someone who doesn't "have it coming". The closest one ever gets to that is Joseph Clarence in Death of a Showman, but he's still guilty of gross negligence.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

Doesn't matter.  In the trailer, the Saints are not 47's target.  He's theirs.

Absolutely nothing in the trailer suggests that the Saints are the "dregs of society" or that they are "subhuman and deserve to die."

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

It does matter, but you have the luxury of not having to see why.

Much like the assassins sent in Blood Money, they become his targets once he becomes aware of them. And all Hitman targets are bad evil people who need to die.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"And all Hitman targets are bad evil people who need to die."

But not because of their gender or manner of dress and again, in the Attack of the Saints trailer, they are not his targets.  He's theirs.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

I know it's really hard to pay attention to women speaking, but I actually didn't say that. I said that all targets in the Hitman franchise are people who are demonstrably worse than 47 himself (the mission briefs make sure to detail their crimes), so that the player can feel good about killing them. Including these targets.

Re: A Stripper's Take on 'The Saints' in Hitman: Absolution

"I know it's really hard to pay attention to women speaking..."

The amount of attention I devote to someone is never based on their gender.  Even if it was, I had no way of knowing yours.

"...but I actually didn't say that."

The "gender" and "manner of dress" bit?  I know.  I said that only to reiterate my overall point.

As for the rest of my reply, twice you'd said that targets of 47 are routinely presented as bad people who need to die.  Which, true or not, doesn't matter because the Saints, in the context of the trailer, are not 47's targets and even if they were, that's not what Athena's talking about and what I'm disagreeing with.

"I said that all targets in the Hitman franchise are people who are demonstrably worse than 47 himself (the mission briefs make sure to detail their crimes), so that the player can feel good about killing them. Including these targets."

Again, in the trailer, they are not his targets so it doesn't matter anyway.  That aside, as I mentioned above, that's not what Athena was talking about with the whole "dregs of society" and "subhuman" stuff.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

How do you usually divide up your Humble Bundle payments?:
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician