Recently, actress Shailene Woodley came under fire for her definition of feminism. She was quoted as saying that she was not, in fact, a feminist because she loves men. On days when statements like this one spur a state-of-the-union debate on feminism–and whether there’s a threat from within–it seems some of the previous threats toward women in the public discourse have been somewhat defanged. And then there is a video game where men throw gold chains at women to turn them into trophies.
The idea that a man, say, the rapper Future, considers being with a woman a victory of some kind could be taken as “sweet” in a certain context. That is not the context of the song, “Trophies,” however. “Girl, when I’m with you I feel like I done won me a trophy,” Future sings on the chorus, with his stupid Autotune vocal filter that I cannot even believe has stayed in fashion this long. Tinkly keys ring out in the background to let listeners know this caveman-style possessive attitude is supposed to be endearing in some way. Female listeners are perhaps supposed to feel, I don’t know, like they too could someday be Future or guest Kanye West’s next hood ornament, if the current one breaks off or whatever. It is a song that is just depressing for everybody involved. But the video game version is even more depressing.
Lest you think that the sentiments expressed in the song are not literal, or some type of skewed perspective on what women are depicted as in other media, there’s the chain-flinging video game I described above. There is no other possible way to interpret this thing than that if you–and “you” is definitely a guy, if you were born the right way–have enough money, you can throw it at women until they become your un-taxidermied trophy bucks. It’s so reductive and offensive and, to these ears, not even the requisite amount of catchy that usually makes such abhorrent messages stick.
So, to recap: this exists, it’s very unfortunate, and Shailene Woodley may not know exactly what feminism means. If there’s anything you can do to fight the good fight and let the powers that be know lazy, stupid bullshit like this video game should not be tolerated, weigh in below in the comments.