PS3 News: Dear Friend: DNF Isn't About Misogyny, It's About Being Disgusting - PS3 News

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Dear Friend: DNF Isn't About Misogyny, It's About Being Disgusting

I have to be careful here. This is a time to step lightly and be cautious with one's words.

Gamer Abdul Siddiqui has accused developer Gearbox Software of being misogynistic and as such, he is boycotting their products (which means not purchasing the newly released and critically acclaimed Borderlands 2). Siddiqui bases his bold misogyny claim on Gearbox's Duke Nukem Forever, which featured quite a lot of potentially offensive material.

For the record, and this cannot be forgotten when reading the following argument, I don't necessarily disagree that Duke Nukem Forever could really offend people, especially women. That's a given. Furthermore, having an old-fashioned respect, almost reverence, for the fairer sex, I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to men who mistreat and abuse females. I place such idiots somewhere between rodents and belly button lint on the ladder of civilization. And it's easy to forget that, during times of fun and leisure, someone might feel uncomfortable or even threatened.

That being said, Mr. Siddiqui, misogyny is not the correct term to use. Going by Webster's definition, misogyny is "hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women." There's no doubt that the character of Duke Nukem is a hopeless womanizer and treats females as objects of desire and little more. The best that can be said for his personality is that he's a playful macho sh**head. However, what you're describing in DNF is Duke killing women who have morphed part-way into aliens; hence, they become his enemies. If it were a female main character and there were half-naked men transformed into aliens, would you consider that misandry (hatred of males)?

If one were to perform an in-depth psychological breakdown of Duke's character and personality, one might discover that he indeed has a mistrust, perhaps even a fear of women, which is why he acts the way he does. But that could be a stretch and besides, we are not meant to delve so deeply. Here's what you're missing: Duke Nukem was never meant to be taken seriously. It's lewd, crude, and disgusting. It always has been. It's obscene and offensive and if a production could be given an IQ, DNF would come in well below the mentally retarded line. Last I checked, the mentally crippled aren't responsible for their actions.

Forgive that little joke, but you get my meaning, I hope. There is a wide gap between being disgusting for the sake of disgusting, and misogyny. Misogyny is purposeful, designed to be hurtful, and expressly intended to insult or harm. I can promise you Gearbox had no such intentions with DNF, and I can also promise you that if you asked the original creators of the Duke Nukem character, they would say he is in no way a misogynist. He's a cocky, type-A womanizer, but they would never have him running around killing women just for the hell of it. A code of ethics? Probably not. But a misogynist? Being a fan of the series, I don't think I have evidence of that.

There is no subtlety in DNF but there is also no real intent. Nothing is meant to be taken literally or seriously. Occasionally, saying that is little more than a dodge when something is obviously insulting or harmful, but I don't believe that in this case. DNF never once tried to be taken seriously. It was designed to make you cringe and issue a guilty giggle every now and then. It wasn't created to mean anything. Misogyny is not only inaccurate, it's far too serious a label for the tongue-in-cheek transgressions committed by Mr. Duke Nukem. Let's protect and respect women. Let's not insult their intelligence by assuming they'll look at that game and go, "Oh my God, now I feel totally violated."

Most intelligent ladies I know would just smirk and roll their eyes, which is exactly what we're supposed to do.

Tags: duke nukem forever, gearbox software, borderlands 2, misogyny

9/18/2012 10:02:20 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (12 posts)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 10:47:53 PM

Yeah I'd say ol Abdul is reading too far into things. We are, after all, talking about a franchise and character named "Duke Nukem". I looked at the article, no serious person could actually attribute the things to Gearbox that are attributed here.

Okay, now BL2 is out and Alien is on the way so please get rolling on the next Duke Nukem fellas.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 11:07:26 PM

If he didn't understand the over-the-top satire & wants to boycott great games because of his own preconceived, misguided notions, then it will only be his loss as more & more great games pass him by the wayside.

Better not let him play Barbies Riding Academy either, cause he'll probably do more mis-understand complaining about how the game's nothing more than cruelty to horses.

(And NO, I don't own any Barbie games, LOL)

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/18/2012 11:09:06 PM

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012 @ 11:21:38 PM

Not even for the collection?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 1:15:41 AM


NO, I'd never buy it, but now if someone like Ben were to donate their copy....

Just saying, LOL

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/19/2012 1:17:47 AM

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 12:53:59 AM

Why is it always a guy who "defends" woman with things that don't matter like this? Don't you think they could do it for themselves if they thought that it was worth it? Or has it just been a really really long time since this guy got laid and he thinks this will get him some?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 1:09:48 AM

If Duke heard him he'd sure rip his head off! lol The only reason Duke is taking action is because he wants to SAVE his chicks :D

That guy is probably an opportunist trying to put the fact that most people don't even know what Duke Nukem is all about to his advantage and look like some kind of a savior. Hope he burns :D

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 3:14:01 AM

The fact that he's accusing Gearbox for the "misogyny" of DNF proves that he's at least irrational. 13 years of development at other companies, while Gearbox just brought it up to a release standard. It's laughable.

As for his assertions of misogyny, he brings up the point that women in the game are objectified and never given real personalities. Now, don't get me wrong, I haven't played it, but I was under the impression that there were no real characters driving the narrative outside of Duke Nukem. Why would they even try to ascribe a deep personality to a character that appears in only a single cutscene and has no real relevance?

And as for the sexual imagery argument... That's not misogynistic either. It's immature, offensive and insulting, sure, but it that towards women, or the intended audience of the game? I genuinely believe that it would be the latter; a way to sort of act as a wake-up call? I dunno. Maybe I'm just trying to justify the reasons that it was included aside from a hatred for women for the sake of arguing with the article...

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 7:02:26 AM

one thing i absolutely LOATH about todays society!
this is just a repeat of the overreaction to one of gearboxes developers recently describing the necromancer as the perfect class for your girlfriend.
so everyone went rampant saying oh gearbox thinks girls are stupid, there sexist!
jesus tap dancing christ, just because you portray ONE character as a certain thing does not mean there all like that!
people just love to look for controversy and blow EVERYTHING out of proportion!
talk about giving someone a rope, and they turn into a f*cking cowboy!
for once, can a developer say something without it being 100% completely misconstrued and twisted into something to get people riled up?
exactly why i also hate gaming journalism, thats all its about.
twisting developers words so they can gain more hits!
im really surprised developers have not said you know what?
f*ck you!
your constantly twisting our words so were not doing interviews anymore.
so f*cking sick of developers saying something totally understandable and it getting completely blown out of proportion and taken out of context.
frustrating to me, imagine how bad it is for them!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 11:34:19 AM

Wow, I actually agree with you.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 11:36:06 AM

A stopped clock is right twice a day.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 6:11:35 PM

Tell the guy to watch a music video on MTV. If that's not offensive to women than i don't know what is.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 7:50:49 PM

A music video? On MTV? HA!

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