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You Are Not Our Audience Pt. 3: Catwoman

June 2, 2011

So it’s been announced that Catwoman is a playable character in Batman: Arkham City. On one hand, this is an awesome thing for us lady-gamers. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to play a strong, powerful female character in a video game. On the other hand, she’s portrayed like this:

Skip to the :40 second mark for her appearance.

It starts off okay, Catwoman flips into view and flirts with the Bat, like ya do. But when she’s left to fight the bad guys alone, it all goes downhill.

The first shot of her walking into battle shows her high heeled shoes. Every time I see a heroine in high heeled shoes a little part of me dies. But fine, it’s Catwoman. She likes to be sexy, she has her suit zipped halfway down, I can let that slide as being part of her character. But the next shot is ass.

Sigh. Fine. Again, she’s a sex pot, I can let the multiple gratuitous shots of her ass slide. There’s three in under a minute, and in one instance it’s a split screen of two asses side by side. But I can honestly forgive that. And then this happens.

Aaaand things start to get ridiculous. She slides under a tanker truck arching her back and thrusting up her boobs. It has become abundantly clear that this Catwoman is a character for the male gaze, not the genderless gamer. The only reason that truck is placed there is so that she can slide under it and strike this pose for FOUR shots.

She kicks ass in a pretty awesome way for the next few seconds, starting to redeem herself as a strong, powerful woman, until she KISSES ONE OF THE THUGS.

She also moans while she does it. And I’m sorry, but what the fuck is this?

That is one of her attack moves in the trailer. The “Death by Vulva” attack. I didn’t play Arkham Asylum, so maybe Batman had a similar “Death by Taint” move, I don’t know. Sweet Jesus.

Look… I know that Catwoman is a sexy woman. I get that. It’s part of her character that she’s sexual and she enjoys being that way. But there is a huge difference between being sexual and being objectified. Much of her montage is body parts. It appears that most of her fighting moves are designed to twist her body into sexual positions. She is not putting herself on display for the thugs and making out with them for her own enjoyment because that makes no goddamn sense. She is completely fetishised here, using sex as her weapon. Her sexuality is not her own in this trailer, it’s free for anyone else to use, random thugs included.

Could you see Batman or any other male fighter using any of these moves or putting himself into any of these positions during combat? No? Exactly.

  • You Are Not Our Audience Parts One and Two
12 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    June 2, 2011 3:24 pm

    BRB. Gotta pre-order a game…

  2. Alejandro Leon Calad permalink
    June 2, 2011 3:35 pm

    Can’t argue with you on this one. This is totally designed for male audience (or maybe some lesbians out there). I had a cat, and she never acted like that… I only wish! LOL.
    This CatWoman acts like a pole dancer for a tip. Don’t get me wrong: I guess it’s gonna be a huge succes and I love her, she looks gorgeous! But the kiss to the thug was a little too much even for me. Why didn’t she kiss Batman in stead? Oh… is Batman gay? Is Robin getting in the way of those two love cats?

  3. Meandering permalink
    June 2, 2011 3:44 pm

    Thanks to the Steam Holiday Sale, I picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum over the recent holidays. I loved watching my roommates play it, and it was on sale. It was an extraordinary game. I imagine that this sequel will be excellent as well, but what they’ve done with Catwoman does seem pretty reprehensible. There were strong female roles in Arkham Asylum, namely amongst the villians (Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy) but one of the main plot points revolved around the head doctor, who was female. I never felt like the game was flaunting these characters for sex appeal. They certainly weren’t as blatant as what they’ve done to Catwoman. It’s a very, very disappointing choice from the developers. I can only hope that they only put the very “worst” of the T&A into this trailer, and that the rest of the game isn’t nearly as blatant.

    • June 6, 2011 3:10 pm

      I’m hoping that it’s just for the trailer, too. I wasn’t too keen on Harley’s sexed up redesign myself, but it didn’t offend me. Harley never struck me as a sexual character, more innocent and naive. Poison Ivy, on the other hand, would make sense to kiss a thug as part of a combat move. That’s actually one of the ways she kills people, right?

      • Meandering permalink
        June 7, 2011 2:11 pm

        Poison Ivy has never been a fighting character. She’s all about using advanced chemistry to mind-control people. Kissing is definitely one way she’s done that. It even worked on Superman (Kryptonite-laced lipstick, of course.)

        I finally watched the whole trailer. It was worse than I feared. Hopefully they can tweak it before release.

  4. ZeeZee permalink
    June 2, 2011 3:54 pm

    …In a word.. Ew….

    I’m female, and bi…. So yeah, I do enjoy sexy women..

    But even I have to facepalm at stuff like this..

    Makes me question if any women are employed anywhere in that development team or even the company as a whole…

  5. June 2, 2011 4:41 pm

    “there is a huge difference between being sexual and being objectified”

    That says it all.

  6. Encrazed Crafts permalink
    June 3, 2011 4:18 am

    Excellent post! For disliking what ya saw, you kept a very level head throughout the above breakdown of points. Kudos for you, as depending on topic, I tend to simply rage out and that’s no bueno for anyone!

    To me, the biggest problem with this Catwoman, even after seeing that video, is that they kept Batsy and Joker, yet not Catwoman’s animated series voice actress. (And Harley is left out too 😦 I like that lil’ clown girl!) They lost a lot of brownie points when they let those gals go, and as it is the sequel and the game has proven to be successful to the point that it is vastly larger and even offer multiple playable characters, they could have ‘splurged’ on keeping the female cast intact.

    As for this video specifically, I think everything is purrrfectly fine *except* the kissing part. (It simply makes no sense at all for her to do.) In fact I think with that kissing bit in place it makes all of your complaints viable. However, if they lose the kiss (and never bring it back, minus potentially with ol’ Batsy) everything remains ‘in check’ and does not then get elevated to a ‘problem’ status.

    I do like her outfit though. It’s a nice take on the style I think the comic is currently or recently running with. While they could have gone without the dual butt-shot bit, I wasn’t exactly complaining -_^ Don’t lynch me or anything, I thought the most attractive scene was the close-up of her necklace and smile.

    The knee-sliding move isn’t an issue, if anything this is showing just how maneuverable she will be when you can play her. This is a good thing. From my time in the original’s demo, Batman was VERY rigid, even the way he walked was a hassle. He resembled a T-1000 trying to move after coming in contact with liquid nitrogen XD

    The close ups of various costume locations… you are correct. You are not the intended audience 😛 This is an issue with both the editor and the higher-up that made the editor display her in such a way. It alone will not damn the game, assuming the costume and her antics are all in check, minus a certain kissing throw move that should never have seen the light of day >.>

    The kiss-throw is terrible on all fronts. It clearly bothers the female gaming demographic, and that alone should be reason enough for it’s removal. You were quite understanding of the eye-candy that goes in in gaming, but the kiss was beyond over-the-top. It doesn’t even make any sense. Why would she kiss him during a throw, or at all for that matter? That was no cinematic, so that means that is a repeatable, spammable move. Potentially every non-boss will be kiss-able, which is not only nasty, that’s not Catwoman. Well, maybe Halle Barry Catwoman… but since no one went to see that I guess we’ll never be certain ^_^

    • June 6, 2011 3:11 pm

      Mahvelous comment as always. I also enjoyed your post on the trailer and commented on yer blog.

      • Encrazed Crafts permalink
        June 6, 2011 9:19 pm

        Thank you dahling! Had a vunderful time!

  7. Encrazed Crafts permalink
    June 9, 2011 11:42 am

    Video of Catwoman in action at E3:

    The moves are quick and the camera does not full zoom and rotate, but the moves are still present. And the kiss *is* a throwing move as predicted.


  1. Batman Arkham City: Does Catwoman’s Kiss Tell Too Much? « Encrazed Crafts

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