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…
A few points worth noting are, Ishmael flashes his junk at you throughout the Prologue, no one ever mentions it, you can get female soldiers in your army who behave identically to the male soldiers (many of mine are Legendary rank, and there's one I play as more than Snake - she does consecutive CQC just fine too) but nobody really talks about this. It's always "Quiet is disgusting! Cover her up! This is bad because reasons! Women's bodies are problematic! Burkas!"
[SPOILER] - And while comparing Quiet to The End is valid, because they share the same parasites, The End had lungs that functioned normally - when he sprints he gets knackered and uses the sun rays to 'charge up', Quiet however had her lungs completely burned, thus she has to rely on the parasites for 100% of her oxygen. They're literally the only thing keeping her alive. - [/SPOILER]
Metal Gear Solid has always done juvenile crap, especially with how it presents its female characters (the model viewer in Peace Walker comes to mind, and while fan service isn't in and of itself a problem, that and the B&B photo mode were decidedly one-sided). Quiet however is what I'd call a commentary on Slut-shaming; which is where Kojima's "you'll be ashamed of your words and deeds" came from. He wasn't talking to knee-jerk journalists, he was talking to the army of shit throwers attacking the character because she was "slutty", "a whore", yada yada because she is a woman, bottom line. The camera does try to crawl up her butt though, this is true, but narratively she is presented as a very skilled and mysterious woman; her attire is never even mentioned by the main characters, at least in no greater capacity than "if she weren't uncovered she'd suffocate", and that's pretty freaking fair.
[SPOILERS] - Quiet's story was also fantastic. Heart-breaking and beautiful. That scene in the rain was amazing. Seeing Snake actually play... it's like she woke up his inner child for five seconds. The feelz! Sucks that a bunch of reviews completely spoiled that scene because of their "she should cover up because she's a woman" rants. Unprofessional. - [/SPOILER]
Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. I like your opinion. Cheers.
But yeah you are absolutely right: noone is talking about this. Even when the game came out I saw no outlet writing about this bit....
I also got a lot of legendary female soldiers, and I have one that I specifically trained for myself so I could play her going on missions. It is absolutely awesome that you can play as woman anytime, and that the women can do the same the men can do!
So far I saw only one outlet writing about that. It was an article written by a woman, who wrote specifically about "femsnake" and how awesome it is to be able to play as a woman. Unfortunately, this seemed to be the only article from a bigger outlet I stumbled across regarding this so far.
I agree, MGs has always had a "fancy" kind of humor when it came to certain things. Like Johnny Sasaki erecting his butt in weird ways when knocked unconscious, the jokes about Raiden's nakedness.... not to start about Raikov. And the games fascination with male asses.... and silly jokes about breaking off penises in MGS4.... Fans of the series know that.
Most Jurnalists don't. And Kojima is clever enough to know that "video games are sexist" is THE headline. This is why I keep saying, a design like this - which isn't exactly a good design spoken in terms of designing - was made for a purpose. One doesn't simply be a professional designer for 28 years and then design crap like that out of nothing. There is more behind it.
Anyways, the "reason" for her nakedness really bothers me for the sake that they needed to find a reason.
Snake can go out naked and doesn't have to justify to anyone.
Having her going about naked would have given the same bold statement in my eyes. She is human as much as her male counterparts. As much as them she can decide how she wants to go out. This is a statement. As such it has all rights to be presented in that game.
Get what I mean? None explains why Johnny erects his butt in the sky when he gets knocked out in weird ways, or why Snake can break of penises of statues... when dudes do it is fine. When girls do it we need an explanation. That is silly and ridicolous. It is as if we'd go swimming and while all the men are fine to go however they want, every woman in a nikini would have to justify for it....
Sorry I am rannting, lol!
Great to have this talk with you.
MGSV covers this somewhat in its themes, which Quiet was no doubt designed to play into; the parasitic nature of language, how ideas and notions are infectious, they spread and mutate and eventually, something as simple, common, and inescapable as the human form is surrounded by a thousand different stigmas, and despite the most careful of efforts, the best anyone can do is try to pick a side of the line as to not offend their group.
It's hard to discuss MGSV without mentioning Quiet, and I rarely see anyone mention her without having to first address how terrible her visual design is. This objection is pretty obviously driven by shame; but misguided; born in the notion that women's bodies are somehow there for men, and because of the horrific past and in many places, present, it's the 'morale' or 'right' thing to now object to this possession. Which is bullshit because no one owns another persons body, and to make that a decidedly gendered ownership is the real disgusting, cancerous ideology we should all be happy to leave in the dust. So the objection to Quiet's appearance is a paradox at best.
Without that delusion of ownership, the only response to Quiet's appearance is, "Wow! That's a whole lot of her."
Enjoy being human, for fuck's sake.
Anyway, that's my rant, lol
Have a good one.
I like to "play" my charms on the other sex, its my god damn right to feel sexy when I want, but that doesn't mean I want to bang with every man crossign my way. (I just want to bang them in the head with my gun maybe) She also needs no man to save her butt and she is respected by Big Boss like any other elite soldier. She also catches his attention mostly because of her nature, not her boobies. The only reason to begin with why she was to join DD is credited to her remarkable skills. So yeah, I don't know why some people are so wrong in the head. I am so excited to finally finishing the game, seeing what will happen to her in the end. (I just started chapter 2)
Hahaha, and I still want that special Snake to show me some of his CQC techniques! Quiet can join in and show me how to take the perfect shot. Hahahahaha xDDD
Which applies to women not only when they are being designed, but also when they just happen to go out on the street (as reall people), who happen to wear what they want.
Even men I know who claim to be very "feminist" in their view automatically assume that when women do something, or when something is designed around women, it would be for them (the men).
They don't get to the idea that the woman might do it for her own sake, not for the sake of a man.
This might also lie in the nature of how boys and girls are raised. Girls are less competive and generally raised to think more in terms of the family (others), which might explain this ongoing "misunderstanding" that we are having here between the genders.
As I said before, I personally LOVE "dress to impress" it really boosts my selfesteem. When I see men turning around to have a second look, you know you left an impression on a person you do not know and probably will never get to know. I remember having an old men flirting with me while we were waiting for different busses. He always was like: Damn! If only I was younger, I would instantly buy you a bouquet of flowers and take you to that fancy bar I know. (which actually happened to no longer exist - but must have been very popular in the years during WW2)
It was just so charming. C: Some women really need to get their virgin minds out of their asses and accept that sexual attraction is actually a woman's greatest weapon. (and that also goes for men btw - I mean, I drool when I see Big Bosses bootey grrrrr = U = )
And even if you are strictly after the idea to find your one and only man in the world, I am sure any woman wants to attract him or feel like he desires her in some way. That's a fact. We all want to be desired and something special. I think some people just can't admit that and some other people might missunderstand that in the most terrible way. *cough*fucking rapists*cough* But the last is actually wrong in the head to begin with so... well. *derps away*
The pseudo pro-feminism men actually turned out to be the most annoying to me lately. I lived as a woman for almost 30 years, I know what struggle it means, and I have found ways to deal with it. Now they come along, but they don't actually do anything to make my life better. Example: an author who complains that there are too many male protagonists.
Well... a professional author.
And he couldn't write a novel with a female protagonist and strong female supporting characters? Or a comic?
Instead of actually DOING something, all those kinda men do is telling ME how I should live my life, because a random more or less "famous" woman on the internet is having it so hard because noone is understanding her and her feminist views. How does pseudo educating me about something I already know HELP me in any ways?
How is it not patronizing me to tell me that I'd have no idea of what they are talking about, just because they started following certain websites?
This makes me really angry sometimes. I wish those guys to go out and actually do something. But most of them won't because when you dig deeper, you find out that they are afraid that feminism could attack them -because they are men.
What an odd way to see it. I dare say that no woman would really attack you if you, as a man would work on brining us more Furiosa's in movies.
There will always be some who will make weird statements, however, for the majority, having a Furiosa, or the strong female characters like seen in American Horror story season 3, would be a lot more important. Because those women are real rolemodels.
Especially the ladies in American Horror Story, many of them beyond their 50's, show how a woman can still be awesome and rock, even when she is older. (And age is something we women are always determined to believe as our worst enemy.... so this rolemodel really means something.)
About dress to impress and female sexuality. I find it ridiculous that while most advertisement and what not is SWAMPED with women looking sexy, but when female suxality becomes a subject, THEN it is suddenly objectification.
I beg to differ! Using a female body on an advert for whatever is a lot more likely to be objectifying than having a woman who shows confidence about herself and her sexuality.
It seems that people dont't really know - or don't want to know the difference.
We are still raised to believe that a woman who enjoys men and sex is a slut while men who score a lot of females are heros.
We should start asking where this is coming from and allow women to have their own sexuality instead of wanting to cover every woman up because we are ashamed.
And like you I also don't mind being looked at. There is that difference between appreciation and ugly staring. Most men don't do the ugly kind, and when they do, I can still tell them to fuck off.
But here again comes this weird idea that seems to paint every man as rapist as soon as we don't cover ourselves up... while the perfume advertising enxt to us has all her boobs hanging out. It is ironic! *rants* XD
(Sidenote about that WW2 bar - how old was this guy? If he used to hang out there during WW2 he must be in his 90's now. XDD)
When you mention BB's nooty I have another thing that I find interesting.
While today's media is over dominated with the depiction of females that we are supposed to find attractive (just look at magazine covers), one of the few domains that sexualizes men and makes them attractive in order to sale copies is actually the gaming industry.
So my psudeo-feminist friend would actually be pretty surprised if I told him that Big Boss can be a man to me no problem.
I don't mind looking at his ass. I don't mind undressing him and seeing his abs when I am running around. I see nothing bad about that.
But do you know why those guys would expect me to find it bad?
Because they see a naked BB again from the eyes of a man, as if everythign was addressed to them. And they don't want to see a naked man, so I am not supposed to, either.
Thanks for the fun talk. I will try to come back earlier this time.
The problem I have with it is that - being a fictional character - Quiet's clothes were chosen for her - most likely be a straight, male designer (as most people in the video game industry seem to be)... And I can't help but feel that her near-nakedness is the result.
That said, I haven't played this particular game, so I'm surely at least some important points.
The problem is not that Quiet is naked, the problem is 1. how the camera deals with that 2. that the male protagonist needs no explanation for going around naked, while she needs one.
Leading to the message that = women need a justification to dress how they want while men don't.
Honestly, the problem doesn't start and end with Quiet, and I don't mean to harp on her... It's not that I don't appreciate how well she, and many video game ladies, are animated. It'd just be nice to see a female character, in a major role, wearing something more substantial for once. Like something a real person might wear say...in combat.
The fact that they need to find a justification for her outfit says it all to me.
Her outfit and her body become a commentary.
It is interesting that throughout the game, you can unlock more outfits for her, and when you bonded with her a lot, you can even dress her real uniforms.
I find it interesting that when you compare that to mmorpg's for instance, the more you level up there, the more naked the female characters usually become (like a reward).
In MGSV it's the other way around.
The "reward" seems to be that you can cover her up.
However, this: "Honestly, the problem doesn't start and end with Quiet, and I don't mean to harp on her... It's not that I don't appreciate how well she, and many video game ladies, are animated. It'd just be nice to see a female character, in a major role, wearing something more substantial for once. Like something a real person might wear say...in combat."
Still stays 200% true!!!