I am working for european and american tv and film business on different projects from conception, to line production, to animation and I sometimes work for games, too.|
My DeviantART page is mostly dedicated to my fanart stuff. ^^
Of course this is about Quiet. But this time from a woman's point of view.
(Note 1: I finished the entire game before I made this artwork, so feel free to talk about spoilers with me, just make sure to please mark them as such in the comments, thanks! )
(Note 2: When I made "Quiet Boss", I did not write down my thoughts on him at first. They were to be revealed later, when the internet was already fighting over the question of what my intentions could be behind this artwork. This time however, I find it of importance to express my thoughts the moment I publish this artwork.)
So let's start with the obvious:
QUIET AS A DESIGN:
This on its own serves an entire world of problems because of two different aspects. If we say that Quiet was designed to please the audience, why is she the only character who is talked about as a design? The male characters, of which there are many, where designed aswell. They aren't based on real people.
So why does nobody talk about the males aswell, who, as many players have pointed out already, you can also undress. You can roam around as "Naked Snake" with the male protagonist throughout the entire game. This works on all his outfits (of which he has many) inspite of the hightech suits. He won't wear tights, though, but he will generally be as uncovered as the female protagonist. Further on, I encountered a lot of "naked" guards after I had played the entire game naked so far on my second playthrough. (MGSV players will know that the game adjusts to your playstyle. Usually this happens mainly in what weapons the enemy carry. Or if they are wearing gasmasks, helmets, etc. That this might also result in them being naked was new to me. I even made a video of it. XD)
What I am meaning to say:
When Quiet is designed, so are all the others. Yet noone is talking about this. They are all talking about her and about her tights. (Of which I believe they were mainly chosen because the game self references all the time. Self referencing mustn't always be a good decision, though. Just because countless other MGS women wore tights, it doesn't mean that they look good on Quiet, too. She still has the right to be naked. More on that below.)
QUIET AS A PERSON:
Now this is where it becomes interesting! She is treated more than a thing by most reviews than as a character, mainly BECAUSE of her choosing of clothes.
Let's face it, would she be a friend of mine, I wouldn't forbid her to dress the way she wants. Why? Because it is 2015 and women have THE RIGHT to be naked! (So do men, by the way. Just look at Naked Snake. )
If I told her to dress herself up, I would tell her what she can or can't do YET AGAIN. She would only cover herself up because I want her to, NOT because SHE wants to. (Sidenote, ironically you can ask her later on in the game to cover herself up. Note how it is stated that she will wear this outfit FOR YOU. Like doing a favor for a friend. This is interesting because most games undress women as they level up and MGSV does exactly the opposite here. Do also note that to me - and I AM FEMALE - it felt WRONG to cover her up because I knew that she would only do it for me, but not because she, per se, wants it. So it felt truer to me to have her run around in those ugly tights, than having her covered up completely.)
By the way, let's play this out a little more:
If she were a real life female friend of mine, I would let her be naked the same. All I would do would be informing her, that the SHAPE of the panties she chose doesn't really look good on her bodytype. Neither do those tights. But that's all I would do or say about her, she could still be naked all day long, as it is her right to be.
DOUBLE STANDARDS: WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! NO MATTER WHAT GENDER!
I made different experiences here. It either were male MGS friends proudly showing off screenshots to me of how they sent "team naked" on their missions, or men that said to me "please don't undress any of the men in the game, I don't mind men being naked, but I prefer women".
Here comes the problem. Being naked is NOT about SEXUAL PREFERENCES, it is about PERSONAL FREEDOM.
One cannot find countless reasons on why a woman should be naked and at the same time find countless reasons YET AGAIN on why men SHOULDN'T. That is discriminating YET AGAIN, just in this case towards men!
Use your head for one second. If you want to defend a woman being naked, it'll benefit your cause, your message - in case it is more than sexual objectification - to grand the right to being naked to EVERYONE and not just the people you prefer.
A lot of people point out that Quiet has to be naked because of the way she functions within the story.
You know what? To me she wouldn't need such an "excuse".
I actually think that the reason given in the story harms her more than does her good, because another MGS character, The End, had the same traits as her, but was completely covered in clothes.
And because he wore clothes and she doesn't, this is being used countless times to push Quiet into the sexual objectification corner yet again.
I would have found it a lot more reasonable to simply state that she doesn't want to wear any other clothes than the ones of her chosing - even if that means ugly tights. It is her right. She doesn't need any "excuses" to dress the way she wants.
Again: It is her right as a person to chose her own clothes, the same as Naked Snake can decide to run around naked, but that nobody makes a comment on. End of story.
WOMEN IN MGS:
Then I must address how this series treats women. It is true: MGS is infamous for its poor treatment of women, who only seem to exist to drive the male character's plot forward through either rape or death - and if he gets to romantically engage them, they betray him afterwards. Of course this is a pretty negative picture which also might come from the culture at which these games are produced - just that Hollywood isn't much better in many cases. ("Is it a lamp or is it a woman?")
Ironically, Quiet as a character, as a person within the MGS universe, is in many ways a lot different from female MGS characters prior, who partly only shined through well written female characters like The Boss (who ironically has to die, too - just that her storyline was so well written, that this is totally excusable) and characters like the "B n B's" (Beauty and Beast in MGS4). The approach on the Beauties I personally found creative because one couldn't write a rape story for all 4 of them, without making it seem "boring", (And isn't it a bad sad that it is put that way? Rape being too much of the same for not 1 but the stunning number of 4 important female characters?) so they finally thought of new circumstances that could make a female character suffer and result into her becoming a villian - whom you could free from their inner demons instead of just killing them.
(Newsflash: Female characters can have stories as interesting and complelling as men. If you can't fathom a woman doing all the awesome stuff a man does, just look at Furiosa.)
MGS4's frog unit also was that kind of creative approach without needless butt and tit shots like we are having them in MGSV, and that many male players I know pointed out to be needlessly cheesy and pointless. To which I agree. It is wrong to simply assume that the fans would want to see female MGS characters to be portrayed in that way. Many in fact don't want to, and we have to ask why it was done anyways in MGSV.
BOOB AND ASS CAMERA ZOOMS STEALING INTIMACY:
Which brings me to that point. Quiet as a person does absolutely NOTHING that objectifies her. She might flirt with you later on in the game, but it happens in a rather cute and innocent way. What pushes her into the "naughty" corner is the camera alone, which is giving us countless needless and unasked boob- and buttshots.
Something that even most men I know playing the game find disturbing. And they say that not because they are discussing the game with a woman, but because it really bothers them. Quiet and Big Boss (e.g. Naked Snake ) are close to reach a level of intimacy that was never reached between a male and a female character in MGS series before. They have some really good scenes which get spoiled only by the camera having to needlessly zoom in on her lady parts all the time.
Of course one could argue that the game also deals with male shame, and treats her this way for that reason. The question just is if it always has to be those repetitive memes over and over again? That in MGS the soldier must never love, is always punished for his desires?
Like it would not be normal for any person living a normal lifespan to want to be with another person, or to even raise a family at any point of their lives? There are countless men and women working military jobs who have families...
What is so unfullfilling about Quiet and Boss is that they fall victim to that self referencing trope that none of the Snake characters can ever have a woman. The woman is used to have the male characters suffer the most they possibly can, which of course can only happen once she is always unreachable, betrays him, or the bad guys get to rape her.
There are actually more interesting ways to tell stories about men and women and that are outside these tropes. We have seen that they are possible, especially in recent breeds of high quality tv series produced by the HBO's or Netflixes of this world.
Storytelling around women is evolving, MGSV is trying to jump on that train by allowing Quiet to be a real friend and buddy for you, a buddy preferred by gamers NOT because of her looks, but because of her SKILLS. Which is an important message of its own. It is a real PROGRESS. (A progress that in itself demonstrates how under represented well written female characters still are today. Where is Ripley? Where is Sarah Connor?)
All that is destroying the progress that Quiet symbolizes right now, is the needless treatment of her body through the camera, which I meanwhile believe is solely done as marketing stunt, since none of the games did it before. But regardless of what it is, I still think it is not necessary, and it strips both characters off their intimacy whenever it is in the room. (Can't video games show intimacy between characters? Is this the reason why we giggle somewhat ashamed whenever love and sex is a subject? Or has it cultural reasons? Feel free to discuss this below. )
Quiet really is a misunderstood character, because she is mostly reduced to the clothes she wears - not by the game itself but by the outlets who write about her.
Isn't there a certain irony dealing around shame to be found here, because we are so eager to cover her body up? We can ask her to cover herself up later in the game.
Might this mess with our idea again of what a woman can or can't do? It is 2015 and a woman doesn't have the right to go around naked, because her choosing of what to wear ashames us? (And ashames us, why? Is her clothes what objectifies her, or is it the camera, our looks on her?)
And be aware of double standards: If women can be naked, so can men. This has nothing to do with sexual preferences, which is a trap most fall for too quickly. It is about the right to dress however you want that BOTH genders have.
Footnote: This artwork points to MGS promotional art on purpose. Not just on that made for MGSV, but also on an MGS2 promo piece that I found very fitting in its composition. Knowing which character Quiet replaces on my piece, it actually makes the entire artwork kinda funny in itself. XD
SHARING OPTIONS: TUMBLR darktownart.tumblr.com/post/12…
Please consider before commenting: I find it interesting how *some people* put this into a sexual context no matter what. It is about diversity, as written in this post and on the picture itself. Please try to see it this way.
A lot of people have been talking about the bulemia.com article (to be found here: www.bulimia.com/ex…/vide… ) lately. Since I myself am experimenting A LOT with female bodytypes, and I also don't like women being portrayed being unrealistically thin, I had to add my five cents - mainly because, for example, I don't understand why a "realistic" looking woman is supposed to have small breasts. confused emoticon
(Many but not all of the examples in the article toned the breasts down massively while adding a huge amount of fat to the body at the same time. Most women I know, including myself, don't get smaller breasts from putting on weight. XD)
Also please note: Treating a woman with respect does not necessarily mean that you have to strip her off all her female attributes (e.g. breasts), or that she needs to be covered up completely.
I personally love women who are happy with their body and happy with their sexuality. I don't mind them showing this and don't think that they should be blamed for doing so, either.
On the picture attached I have written down my thoughts in detail and added different bodytypes.
The variants I made are also showing some possible examples between the two examples that were originally served by the article.