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Damsel in Distress: Part 3 of Tropes series discusses 'dude in distress'


The third installment of Anita Sarkeesian's Damsel in Distress video series explores the "dude in distress" mechanic, the use of ironic sexism in retro-inspired games and wraps up with a look at games that subvert the damsel in distress idea.

Sarkeesian notes that games featuring female heroes saving male counterparts – the dude in distress – are rare, with only 4 percent of games placing a woman in a leading role. Even then, the damsel in distress trope perpetuates a longstanding notion that women are inherently helpless and need saving, but the few dudes in distress don't negatively impact society's view of men, since there is no preconceived belief that men are powerless to save themselves because of their gender, she says.

This is the final Damsel in Distress video, and the first completed video mini-series in Sarkeesian's Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games project. Tropes was funded via Kickstarter, raising $159,000 of a $6,000 goal, and expanding the series to 12 videos. Next up, according to the Kickstarter, is a section called "The Fighting F#@k Toy."

Sarkeesian prefaces each of her videos with the same guiding principle: "It is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects." Note that it doesn't say, "while also violently cussing out people who disagree with your views." Please, enjoy your critical analyses.

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