on the ladies of borderlands:
or, why this post is full of shit
i’m going to be honest - i’m a little confused as to if op has actually played borderlands 2. i don’t know how anyone can beat that game and reduce lilith to “flirty, hot-blooded, and snarky” (lilith, actual socially-awkward nuclear bomb of a human being, what are you talking about), call ellie objectified, rag on real-life power mama moxxi, or say that none of these characters have much in the way of personality.
hello. yes, you’re wrong.
the only way this critique would make sense is if we were all operating under the assumption that sexiness = bad! cleavage must be stopped! how dare moxxi control her own sexuality!
look, you can’t base a character critique on the fact that lilith wears a tank top, that moxxi dresses like a ringmaster (despite the fact that that was her ACTUAL OCCUPATION), that ellie’s got visible boobs. i’m sorry that you irrevocably associate showing skin with fanservice, but that’s your problem, not theirs. none of these characters show a lack of agency, despite your claims to the contrary. none of these characters are wronged without making very damn sure that they fight the fuck back. the (very few) times lilith is ogled during the game, it’s presented through characters who are QUITE CLEARLY shitty human beings. in case you hadn’t noticed, borderlands is full of shitty human beings doing and saying shitty things. they usually get blown up a couple of seconds later.
(side note: as the majority of that post concentrated on the so-called objectification of these characters, i want to point out that mad moxxi is a performance. we know that she doesn’t use her natural accent, that she considers innuendos a defense mechanism, and, most importantly, that she has no problem with weaponizing her sexuality. she flaunts and flirts and she is not a weak character for it.)
wrt ellie, when’s the last time you saw a fat female character in a game? now, when’s the last time you saw one who was not only accepting of her body, but proud of it? she’s got little ellie figurines ripped from bandit hoods decorating her garage, for christ’s sake.
okay. let’s talk about this part.
Lilith displays an enormous lack of agency in the sequel. Once she shows up (about 25% of the way through the game), she spends about half of the rest of the game as a damsel in distress, getting captured by the villain and being used as a hostage and then as part of his scheme to awaken an ancient weapon. For a character the game lauds as a badass (many times, Borderlands loves the word “badass”), Lilith sure doesn’t act like one.
HA. HA. WHAT.
number one, excuse you, lilith is badass as fuck. you’re allowed to have your own opinions, or whatever, but have you seen her intro scene? the displacement of sanctuary? the quest line where she is worshipped as a god?
number two, the damsel in distress gets really old when talking about a character who says, direct quote, “better dead than a damsel”. lilith is powerless for a grand total of three quests, the last couple chapters of a long game, and she is fighting tooth and nail every second of those. her “rescue” cumulates in her killing the big bad. never mind the fact that she’s not captured as a tool to used against the player character, the general trope used with damsels in distress, but because she is the most powerful key jack could ever have.
tl;dr, weak arguments, weak arguments. i’m just glad it never mentioned angel, cause god knows she’s got enough misconceptions about her to begin with.
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