Friday, January 10, 2014


"Hi, I'm Lily Tomlin. I'm a Pac-Man freak"

The above moment comes at 1:40 and is really, really great. This installment of Anita Sarkeezian's "Tropes vs. Women" series is on the "Ms. Male Character,"  who pops up in Pac-Man first but shows up everywhere: Sonic, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario, Kirby, Crazy Taxi, Donkey Kong, Angry Birds. The video's from last November, but I started watching it this morning via Sociological Images and couldn't stop after listening to the Pac-Man creator explain that his game was intended to play to the "things women like" ("fashion, or fortune-telling, or food, or dating boyfriends"): "I decided to theme the game around eating," he said. "After eating dinner, women like to have dessert."

Sidenote: Lily Tomlin married her partner on NYE! You go, Lily Tomlin.

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Anyone with sense/taste knows that Ms. Pac-Man is the superior game. And besides, do you see original Pac-Man consoles in movie theater arcades or at laundromats? I don't think so!


In this episode we examine the Ms. Male Character trope and briefly discuss a related pattern called the Smurfette Principle. We've defined the Ms. Male Character Trope as: The female version of an already established or default male character. Ms. Male Characters are defined primarily by their relationship to their male counterparts via visual properties, narrative connection or occasionally through promotional materials. @j

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