Which came first, the thong or the asshole?

Arguments for/against women being marketed for their looks are at least as old as Marisha Pessl. Second-wave feminism ebbed just in time for “computer technology” to give us “faceless egalitarianism.” So it should come as no surprise that there is a woman game programmer/producer who is being both parodied and praised for being hot.

Someone apparently made parodic digital-porn starring Jade Raymond (hot game programmer in question), but that someone (David Cheung) claims women bring it on themselves by marketing good looks in the first place (an advantage he thinks even Brad Pitt couldn’t take in the game industry). Though to be fair, from what I can gather, Jade Raymond isn’t exactly walking around in a thong.

“Jade Raymond,” argument courtesy Holly at La Feministe (the hottie) v. Horny otaku, as partially represented by David Cheung (the notties)

I’m not going to bother taking sides, because at the end of the day, I have more pity than disdain for otaku who troll for digital porn, and more envy than praise for successful hot ladies.

It’s just a shame the argument can’t really go anywhere. For starters, the “what if the tables were turned” argument made by Team Feminism doesn’t work because time machines and parallel universes have yet to be discovered. Conditional arguments (“If she were a man…” “If she were stupid…” “If she’d won the Nobel Prize…” “If gamers weren’t pigs…”), though extremely popular with feminists and affirmative activists rarely win because there is always someone ready to bust their tautological trump card statements:

I’m just being honest.
It just is what it is.
Hey, I’m not the one who created this industry.

If versus Is, folks. Who do you think wins that fight?

On the other hand, the porn-artist isn’t doing himself any favors antagonizing beautiful women and upstanding moral citizens (whom he refers to as “moralfags”)…in subliterate English. It’s too bad because I can almost sense a coherent statement in his rant until it just reads like spam. He’s no Mailer, I’ll say that much.

(Thanks for the heads up Heidi.)
a. ishii


  1. I haven’t read his defense, but from seeing the comic, I think he was trying to make a point that Ubisoft was using Jade to shill for a game which has gotten mixed reviews (but I personally like). The problem is that he used her back and sexualized her way beyond any the PR-friendly headshots and photo ops Ubisoft makes available.

  2. I think the true underlying problem in this debate is exactly the way the question was posed here: who do you think “wins?”


    That’s not really the point, is it? Or at least in my eyes, it shouldn’t be. The question should be, how do we reach understanding between these two “sides of the battle?” The point should be for men to logically accept women as created equally, and for women to responsibly use that equality in their own pursuits.

    Phrasing it as a two-sides of a debate implies that one is right and one is wrong, when anyone that gives a modicum of rational thought on the subject can realize that every situation must be evaluated individually, and it’s more often about shades of grey than it is about black and white.

    This case study is easy: intentionally trying to defame or insult someone by making pornographic comics about them without their expressed consent is wrong. Period. There’s no debate there at all.

    These sides seem to continually clash like this time and time again because sex is interesting. It is desirable. And until men stop finding sex appealing (and simultaneously women using their sex in order to get what they want) we will continue to have these conflicts. It has little to nothing to do with what industry you’re in, what your job entails, or how pretty the people around you are, in my eyes.

    So the question is now: if men are inherently horny, and women are inherently aware of this, then how do the two sides reach understanding?

    You’ve got me on that one.

    — Jonathan

  3. Morgan Webb went through a similar ordeal in her coming into the male-oriented gamer focus way back when. Similar in that even though she is well used for her sexuality in magazines, etc., she is also soundly protective of herself & had to find new ways to connect to her fans b/c of the occasional ‘fanboy’ as they call them, that chimes in with the innappropriate comment(s).

    People can comment on this all they want, but it’s not going to be ‘solved’ in any case. The fact is, she looks like a pretty girl and will probably get attention from that, but ultimately it’s going to be up to her to figure out how to be comfortable with the manner in which her image will be displayed to the public.

  4. Depends on what the industry wants. Sex will sell, but will also irritate and alienate possible readership. So, sell the sex, or tone it down and seek a wider market, depends on what you want.

  5. Just wanted to add a follow-up that I’m not condoning said comic at all.

    @K. Thor Jensen, my workplace blocks your site: The site you requested is blocked under the following categories: Pornography

  6. I haven’t actually read many “what if the tables were turned” arguments advanced by “Team Feminism.” Most feminist bloggers don’t even bother with that non-starter.

  7. Nerds to world- GET AWAY FROM OUR INDUSTRY!
    …women bring it on themselves? Pfft.
    That’s it, I just wanted to register disdain.

  8. Reading through these things, it seems like the super nerds have never seen a girl before. This is a huge cliche’ of nerd stereotypes. SIGH!

  9. Satire is better achieved with a thousand little paper cuts than with a blunt axe. Put her image on the game box. Add her face to a character in the game. Write a fake review where you credit everything to her, even the barcode design.
    Nerds need to curb their animal instincts. You know someone is attractive. He knows he is attractive. Place that in the background and just act like a normal person. If your intelligence, personality, and charm work, then you’ve made the acquaintance of an attractive person.
    (ATTRACTION could be physical, mental, monetary, talent… For myself, my criteria are intelligence, appearance, and talent.)

  10. From the comments, I was expecting something awful, but when I finally found the comic I was quite underwhelmed.

    I feel as bad for Ms. Raymond as I would feel for almost anyone being made fun of in public. However, it’s not anything unusual.

    Men create pornographic situations involving random attractive women they pass on the street. It’s what we do. Get over it. The only difference here is scale and access.

    She’s a beautiful woman, obviously. She didn’t deserve this public humiliation, but the cartoonist who made the satirical cartoon doesn’t deserve to be lynched either.

  11. The cartoon and it’s artist aren’t what I find interesting. I’m sure she’s heard worse from less contemtible sources. What I want to know is, is that company going to bring charges? If that parody is saying she is only working there or only has her status because she’s hot (or for sexual services), that accuses the company of bad practices. Am I the only one?

  12. Men create pornographic situations involving random attractive women they pass on the street. It’s what we do. Get over it.

    Some men do this involving men. All women do this involving whatever gender they’re attracted to. It’s the expression of that lust in public that gets a winky-winky boys-will-be-boys “GET OVER IT” pass for straight men. The reasons for this can be debated until the cows come home, but expressions of lust from other perspectives don’t usually get the same reaction.

    Oh, the cartoon? Disgusting, uncalled for, and completely within the protections of the First Amendment.

  13. Carnal Comics: True Stories Of Adult Film Stars always worked licenses with the “celebs” being depicted in our comics. Other than occasional parodies – Alicia Rio wrote someone very much like Prince into her comedic fantasy story, but we didn’t call him “Prince” and we certainly did no marketing using Prince’s likeness. Parody only protects content so much – if it is indeed a celeb’s likeness which is the main marketing point of a comic, and that celeb hasn’t given permission, it can be legally actionable. Lord knows we found that out often enough at Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics —-