Feminist Frequency ignores Batman’s many butts to make a point
22 Jan 2016   Home » Features » Opinion » Feminist Frequency ignore... Share

Feminist Frequency ignores Batman’s many butts to make a point

And questions Bruce's cape!

A recent episode of Feminist Frequency introduces the concept of “strategic butt covering”, using the Batman: Arkham franchise as a prime example when it really shouldn’t.

“Common ways men’s butts are hidden are by preventing the player from seeing below the character’s waistline, or employing a more over-the-shoulder camera angle, which has the added benefit of keeping the character’s butt safely out of the frame,” Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian begins. “The most amusing solution is to simply include a cape, tunic, long coat or very conveniently positioned piece of tattered fabric which actively prevents the player from getting a clear or sustained look at the protagonist’s butt.”

We’ll just set aside the fact that for most of Batman’s 75 years, his cape has been a staple of his outfit.

“For the purposes of this video I tried to get a glimpse of Batman’s rear end, but it’s as if his cape is a high-tech piece of Wayne Industries equipment designed to cover up his butt at all costs,” Sarkeesian continued. “I like to jokingly refer to this aspect of a male character’s costume as the strategic butt covering.”

An imgur user, as shocked by this statement as I, decided to show Sarkeesian how wrong she was. Here are that user’s examples:



Not to be outdone by one of my very own. #Datass of Nightwing, Dick Grayson.

BatmanArkham Knight

Sure, my photo’s been taken using Arkham Knight‘s photo mode, but that’s only because I wanted to see his butt without on-screen HUD items getting in my shot. The fact of the matter is, a simple Batman costume change — or a switch to any number of other playable male characters — presents the player with butts aplenty.

Sarkeesian makes the valid point that female characters are over-sexualised in games, with more opportunities to have their rear ends shown. Citing examples, she lists three Tomb Raider games, with 2008’s Tomb Raider: Underworld being the latest example. Interestingly enough, Sarkeesian doesn’t mention Lara’s new look in Tomb Raider or Rise of the Tomb Raider at all.

What do you think of Feminist Frequency’s latest video? Are we over simplifying the issue? Are they?

Steve Wright

Steve Wright

Steve's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, freelance journalist, owner of this very site, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally.