Home / Editorials / Batman: Arkham City – The Most Sexist Game of All Time?

Batman: Arkham City – The Most Sexist Game of All Time?

Batman: Arkham City, WB, PS3, Xbox360, Catwoman, Bitch, Sexist, Batman, Rocksteady

Mrs. Emmeline Pankhurst would be turning in her grave . . .

Batman: Arkham City has been receiving rave reviews from the press, currently standing at a 96 on Metacritic, but I have one, giant problem: Arkham City is the most sexist game of all time! In such progressive time, I was shocked and outraged to hear Catwoman (and by proxy every single women in the world) demeaned so consistently and cruelly, all through the use of the word “bitch”.

Catwoman, an independent heroine reliant on no man, has become a symbol of women’s progress in society, yet she is constantly degraded throughout the course of the game, as henchmen and even (shock, horror!) super-villains refer to her as a “bitch”:

“That’ll teach the bitch to screw with Two-Face.”

Bitch deserves it. You saw what she did to him in the court. It was only a matter of time before he got a little payback.”

“”I’ll make you meow, bitch,”

“He sent Paulie B over to blow that bitch’s secret hideout sky-high.”

“She’ll come straight back here… And when she does, I want you guys to blow that bitch apart!

“He had her just where he wanted her and that bitch broke free.”

“Ha, I only took half. The rest I gave away. I win, bitch!”

“Help us decide if we should kill the bitch who tried to steal from us, or let her go to do it again.”

“Two guns, bitch!”

By using such a sexist slur over and over again it is clear to me that the writers’ aim was to belittle every women on this planet, trying to stamp out the progress of women over the past century: gaining the vote, the right to equal pay and, most importantly, central characters in comic books.  I find it laughable that people think the word “bitch” is simply a gender specific insult; they clearly fail to realise that it’s use represents the oppression of women! Many others say that Catwoman’s outfit is actually evidence of sexism but they miss the point entirely; skin-tight spandex showing a large amount of cleavage is by far the most practical clothing for a female super-hero, not an attempt to purposefully sexualise a female character.

I would like to propose a list of gender-unspecific slurs which could be used as exclamations by villain when referring to Catwoman:

  • Scallywag!
  • Ne’er-do-well!
  • Ninnyhammer!
  • Coccydynia!
  • Hircismus!
  • Snollygoster!
  • Nincompoop!
  • Guttersnipe!
  • Silly Sausage!
  • Banglenut!
  • Funcy!

All of these insults are just as effective putting Catwoman down, but they not sexist and will, therefore, cause much less offence to the fairer gen . . . I mean, equal gender. I believe that Rocksteady should do the honourable thing, and release a patch replacing the offending word with the above phrases. Unfortunately, however, this is not the only sexism that lies in the game; looking more closely, you’ll find the game is laden with sexism. Take this video, for example:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUpALZmYe-Y

Now, the use of the word “bitch” is the most immediate offence, but if you actually look at what happens in the video, you can see a dark undercurrent of sexism. Batman saves Catwoman: an obvious reflection of the writers’ attitudes towards gender roles; that it is the man’s job the rescue the women and not the other way around. That’s not it, however. Just look at Batman’s name: Bat – man. Why would DC single out the main hero as a man? This blatant attempt to discourage women from becoming crime-fighters is, in my humble (but aggressive) opinion, the greatest misdeed of all.

We live in modern times, why are we still stuck in our old ways, distinguishing fictional characters based on gender? Sister Suffragettes, do not be put down by the man, rise up and show your true power! Forget the trivial matters such as equal pay, the treatment of women in 3rd world countries and illegal arranged marriages, we need to stand for what really matter! Do not accept the traditions of old, it’s time we make a change, who’s with me? From this day forth, Batman shall be know as Anthropromorphic Batperson!

/sarcasm

  • Victoria Taylor

    Wow..just a bit exaggerated. The characters throwing around the word “bitch” are low-life prisoner thugs and psychotic killers. Of course they are saying “bitch” because they are uneducated…and crazy. As a female, I was not at all offended while playing this game.

    • http://twitter.com/xalaga xalaga

      I agree with victoria. I understand where the writers pushed the envelop to make sure we got the point that this guys where just low life. If anything, it made it more satisfying to kick around once I was playing as Catwoman. At the same time, I see how the over use of the word can be too much. It is a delicate balance, and even though TheStoneSheep brings up good points, I think the game could have done a bit better at not using the word “Bitch” because they could.

    • http://twitter.com/SerpentineZERO desmond

      Guys. The last word. Sarcasm. The whole thing was intentionally as exaggerated as it was.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G372FSCBLA3RPC6QNNKPGLD5M4 JeffM

    The fact is… we really don’t need the game to use derrogatory language at all. The graphics are amazing! I can let my 11 year old play Skyrim, but I won’t let him play this because of the language. Arkham city is rated teen and skyrim is rated M. go figure…

  • http://www.facebook.com/t.g.doran1 Tom Doran
  • Pingback: When Men on the Left Refuse to See Their Sexism « Muslim Reverie