The Grand Theft Auto series has always rubbed certain people up the wrong way, and it’s somewhat easy to understand; players can make their characters take drugs, drink and drive, solicit prostitutes, and go on a mass murder spree while evading the police. One of the groups of people that the Grand Theft Auto series has managed to rile up over the years has been feminists due to the fact that there are no strong female characters in the series.
However, one of the major reasons feminists have had an issue with the series is because they believe that Grand Theft Auto is derogatory towards women, due to the perceived fact that players are taught to victimize women. Feminists claim that this is done by enabling players’ characters to solicit prostitutes and murder them afterwards to retrieve the money they spent. There’s also the fact that many of the women that appear in promotional art, as well as in the game, wear scantily clad clothing.
This charge has been taken further with the release of Grand Theft Auto V, where players are able to visit strip clubs, where they get to see the entertainers almost completely nude. This is in addition to the fact that players are able to solicit prostitutes and watch whilst the player character and the prostitute do the deed. Now, however, several feminists have been given a chance to play through Grand Theft Auto V for the first time and play through the scenarios that they’ve taken issues with, whilst having their reactions recorded on camera.
The video, which you can see below, goes along pretty much how you’d expect; the feminists that took part are let go through the regular motions of any Grand Theft Auto game (killing, evading the police, etc.) so that they can pick up how to actually play the game. Then comes the interesting part: The players are all then told to visit a strip club, where they get to see almost everything (the video below is censored) before proceeding to find a prostitute to solicit. As one of the participants says, the way that these scenarios are portrayed could end up “damaging” young boys and girls who are playing the game.
“If you were going through your formative years and this was your only experience with women, it would be really damaging and weird.”
However, one surprising twist is that several of them admitted they had fun despite the nature of the content and the fact that the game lacked any strong female characters.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]