ThinkProgress open letter re: Tomb Raider

(via Newsweek on Tumblr) I never really checked out ThinkProgress much before, but that's definitely changing.  I was very impressed with Alyssa Rosenberg's article today, An Open Letter to the Guys Who Told Me They Want to See Lara Croft Get Raped.

[Trigger warning: rape]

I had heard allusions to this effect, but before now I didn't know that an upcoming Tomb Raider title includes plans to explore Lara Croft's backstory, which features an attempted rape.  Apparently, some commenters on the topic thought it would be a good idea to play poorly for that part of the game, to see if they could let the rape happen:

 “As long as you get to watch Lara Croft get raped uncensored, I’ll pre-order the special edition right now,” wrote Jordan Cunningham. “I been wanting to see that foe nearly a decade.” And Eric Ericsson chimed in “Rape in my tomb raider? Oh boy, I cannot wait to raid her tomb.”

She starts from a very charitable position on the question of the inherent sexism of Lara Croft.  She concedes that there are totally legitimate ways in which one can fantasize about Croft that wouldn't qualify as exploitative or objectifying.  And the direction she takes the article is one of genuine concern for the commenters, assuming that these comments are the worst kind of thing they ever do.  (That's certainly possible in their specific case, and even if not, there are people out there for whom pretending they're okay with rape is the farthest they go.)

I clicked around a bit more on her columns:  She's got a great post, which I'm very glad exists, called The Guy's Guide to Being a Feminist Ally in Video Gaming.  It's exactly the sort of content I, as a nongendered person who was born male, like to see, and can get a lot out of.

ThinkProgress is now going into my regular checks for news to read daily.