Tag Archives: musings on gender Identity.

The Problem with Lady Dimitrescu

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Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil Village could have been my absolute favorite character in the entire game. Instead, she became the character I came to hate the most. I’m so saddened by this, because I was so sure we were going to receive a deep and compelling character. I saw such a great promise in her. Now, I just feel that she was not the character I hoped she would be.

To be absolutely honest, I find her to be a flat our offensive character on principle. The issue is, as a villain she shouldn’t have been offensive in the very specific way she turned out to be.

Yes, her character design is absolutely the sort of representation we need in gaming. Women aren’t often portrayed as strong and assertive. At least, not nearly as often as we gamers might like.

I can respect her for that, but what I can’t do, is pretend she’s a good character when it comes down to dialogue.

Listen, she’s a man-hater, plain and simple, and the issue with her is that she could have been very compelling to have in Resident Evil Village with that mindset. However, it didn’t end up compelling, because the way she displayed that hate was just resolute mindlessness.

Lady Dimitrescu is many things, but she’s not supposed to be reduced down to a nitwit, and that’s ultimately what happened. When you listen to her speak for any length of time it becomes clear. Her insults are gender based more times than not, being prefaced with the word “man” in some way, shape or form.

Worst still, we know she has passed this ideology down to her daughters. Even they are very much obsessed with the concept of gender based ideologies, that just don’t have meaningful extrapolation.

Do we really need a reminder that our character has “man hands”? Does him being a man somehow lessens his complete and total existence? Is this really the best insult a person of such high bloodline and education can make? Is she really that lacking when it comes to turns of phrase?

Well, no, she shouldn’t be. She shows she can be far more than that. Yet, she doesn’t become more than that. That’s ultimately my problem with her…

Look, I get it, she’s a villain, but that’s the issue. She gets reduced down to a stereotypical woman angry at the male gender for seemingly no good reason. Lady Dimitrescu is supposed to be a very intelligent woman, thoughtful in her words and deeds. In short, she’s not a total and complete idiot. Yet, this is the best dialogue that they could come up with?

This is not the first time an issue like this has cropped up. It won’t be the last. A notable example is in Last of Us 2, showcasing a transgender character being horribly mistreated based on a performative interpretation of how they wished to be identified. A large contingent of the trans community, myself and Kreshenne included in that wide and diverse spectrum, took great issue with that.

Now Kreshenne hasn’t played Resident Evil Village, and and can’t speak to it meaningfully, but I have played it and I can speak to it.

I can’t in good faith have the issues that I do with the handling of Last of Us 2, unless I take those same issues with Lady Dimitrescu when referencing the male gender. It all comes down to the same problem. A complete and total lack of care when considering how best to handle the character.

Her hatred of men doesn’t help the narrative in any meaningful or heartfelt way. It only does damage. I don’t mind seeing difficult topics handled in games, but they must be handled with careful consideration, and Resident Evil Village failed to do that.

When you reduce insults and slander down to gender continually without any real need to do so, it is absolutely flat out bad writing. I don’t care what gender a character is, when insults are reduced down to that level, it makes everyone doing it look bad.

Lady Dimitrescu is not above this, and she really should be. She is tall not only in stature, but in personality and refinement. Even in combat, she fights with poise and grace until her final form. She is an aristocrat of the finest order, proud of that esteem, and her three daughters.

She is orders of magnitude above the other sorts of people our main character has faced before, and that alone should be intimidation enough. Yet, there is still something more. She hungers for more favoritism from Mother Miranda, and she’ll go to great lengths to get it.

She’s smart, cunning, and more powerful than she lets on. It is very heavily implied and shown that she is an intelligent woman. Apparently Dimitrescu maintained an almost feudal-like rule over the peasantry near her castle. Yet, for all of those amazing qualities, we see so little of them.

What little we do see is bogged down by her constant use of gender based insults. Unfortunately, we have no clear and obvious reason for her to hate men. Still, she treats the male characters she’s around with disgust and vitriol with no discernible reason for her to do this.

She doesn’t clearly voice a reason why she seems to look down on men, only that she does. It’s too heavy handed to place it aside. If you’re not speed running through the game, you’ll hear some of those insults more than once.

If you were like me, taking your time to play the game, you stayed in her domain long enough to hear those ideologies more than a few times. These ideologies coming from Lady Dimitrescu herself, and all three of her daughters.

Having one female character like that is one thing. Having four women in the same vicinity with that ideology is a bit problematic, don’t you think?

Lady Dimitrescu looks down to men like children, or the pure scum of the earth, some notable quotes are “Ugh, just another simple little manthing.” and “Stupid manthing! You won’t live long, even if you run!”oh, and let’s not forget the best one: “Oh, so gauche. What do you care for bread and circuses? The manthings suffering is assured, regardless.”

Look, here’s the sad part of all of this. She actually had the vast potential to be a far more compelling character. We see hints of it beneath it all. My absolute favorite line shows just how well educated she is, and just how cunning she can be when she says this:

“The man is of no real use to anyone else, and my daughters do love… entertaining foreigners. Furthermore, I can assure if you entrust the mortal to House Dimitrescu, my daughters and I shall deliver to you the finest cups of his slaughtered blood.”

There, see that? An insult, a threat, and a promise all encapsulated within the confines of her station and abilities. She can still see herself as a superior, but she does so in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

Now, that is a compelling villain. This is the sort of dialogue that shows just how prim and proper she can be, with that incredible ruthlessness we expect from her. It’s classy, it’s “well-to-do” as expected from an aristocrat. Above all it shows, her true grace and intellect as a ruler.

It shows how she was able to rule over the lands for so long, before becoming infected by the mold. It is characterization that is paramount for her, and we get too little of it.

We should have had more of that sort of dialogue. Grim promises, deeper threats to our livelihood, and a grace all her own. All of that from a ruler who doesn’t take idle shit from anyone.

Instead, a lot of her repetitious vocal lines fall under those before mentioned gender based insults, and that’s just sad. It diminishes her in a way that is well and truly a letdown, because she could have been so much more.

In attempting to defy stereotypes, Lady Dimitrescu become one of the worst ones a female antagonist could be. She became a mindless man-hater, with no real explicable reason for why that is, or what drives that deeper hatred of men in general.

We can’t assume she isn’t one. All we see is Dimitrescu talking down to her brother, or down to the main player character himself. There’s no other male for her to defy the precedent she sets for herself in a useful way.

It’s just so sad, because if those lines had been handled with just an ounce of care and mindful foreshadowing, she could have been one of the best villains to ever show up in a Resident Evil game.

As she is, only her looks will stand the test of time, her characterization will be too easily forgotten. That’s a real shame, isn’t it?

Well, that’s just my opinion. I know it will likely be an unpopular one, but that’s my view. In any case, this has been Kernook of “The Demented Ferrets”, where stupidity is at its finest, and level grinds are par for the course.

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How To Make a Brick – The First Brick

Note: My cousin was biologically female, assigned at birth. But, but cousin also subverted gender normality mentally in every way humanly possible. The line between a non-binary identity crossed heavily with a male one. My cousin most often identified as male. Therefore, I will be using the pronouns he/him for the entirety of this blog post.

Okay smart-ass, how do you make a brick…?

Something my cousin asked in a moment of stupidity…

“Okay smart-ass, how do you make a brick…?”

That was the question asked nearly a decade ago on a summer day. I was whittling the slow hours away out on my cousin’s front deck. Cigarette in hand and a cold glass of some flavored water collecting condensation in the sun. We were talking about everything and nothing. Stupid questions and even stupider answers flowing from our mouths. Everything we said was vitriolic, but also in good humor.

It was just our way, and it was a typical day for us. I recall that day fondly.

My cousin’s life was prolific in the normalcy of it all. A hand-full of problems, and no real way to fix any of them. He was incredibly smart, but, he was also a drug addict. He went to therapy often, going through shrinks like a household goes through toilet paper. He spent his many years taking prescription medication, using them, until they began using him. Just another vice among a great many.

He never quite got his fix…

Why does all that matter now? Well, my cousin’s dead. He died in 2019 of an overdose. Duster cans acting a means of getting high that didn’t justify the end. In spite of this, that was the outcome we had all come to expect. It was going to happen eventually, because addiction is a beast all of it’s own. Monstrous in how it eats the soul from the inside out. It’s almost like a plague, really.

Being an outsider looking in on that struggle, it’s hard to fathom. The highs come with lows, and when mental illness get mixed in, lines blur. You ask yourself questions trying to piece together the magnitude of it all. You try to understand-often failing to do so– and sometimes there are just no answers in sight.

That’s how it was for me. I had so many questions, but so few answers.

I’d ask myself, what part of it is the illness? What part is the drugs? Where is the soul beneath all of that? How do you cure the things that can’t be?

Some people can claw their way to successful management of their addictions. It never leaves, once an addict always an addict. Yet, some people can control that beast. Unfortunately, my cousin never could. Maybe in a way, it was just easier not to…

I can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities, failed chances, and everything he left behind. A muddled story to be sure, but one that played an irreplaceable part in my life. It would be a disservice to even think otherwise.

We had always said we’d write a book together. We never did. We should have. With all time we wasted with our thumbs up our asses, we could have. It’s that last point that really gets me.

We could have done it.

Like so many things, we never got around to it. Instead, all I have are the memories of the things we’d said we do.

I look back at the missed opportunity. I wish we had made those chronicles of our lives. I wish we’d written that family history. It was just as imperfect as any other, but ours anyway. Special because it was ours. Now, it’ll never be written. My cousin was eighteen years my senior, but, history has way of repeating. My cousin was a looking glass for me.

Still is, I suppose.

Like my cousin, lines of gender blur for me. I am also biologically female. In my head, I am 100% not female. I don’t believe myself to think inherently like a woman. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the concept of inherently feminine traits or masculine traits, it doesn’t matter.

I’d never call myself non-binary, because to be that title would never fit. Then again, I can only help but feel that the spectrum of gender as it is fails humanity in so many ways.

I think we put too much significance in gender. The Performativity of it. In many ways it’s all pomp and circumstance.

That being said, I take my identity a step farther than my cousin ever did. I wear binders, he didn’t. I pack, he didn’t. Even so, in my eyes he was no less a person, and no lesser a man. Effeminate qualities do not chain down a soul.

Like him, I find myself at the mercy of the mirror every day. Taking quick showers because I don’t wish to see myself without clothing. I’m by no means obese, but biologically women tend to have more body fat than men. To me, breasts are no more than blubber with a nipple on them. A pain in the ass, and just as unsightly as rolls of excess fat that cling no matter what you do.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never have the body I’d like. I’ve decided that a body is just a vessel that houses a soul. That the vessel itself need not reflect the soul in the slightest. That despite our best wishes, for some of us it’s never going to. I feel that we must reach beyond those confines in different ways for some semblance of comfort.

This idea is akin to many memes we see across the internet. Much like a house cat with the ferocity of a lion. Or a dog that stands with all the majesty of a wolf.

I turned 31 in September of 2020. It was a bit bitter for me because I thought I’d be someplace further in my life than what I am now. It’s strange, because my cousin used to say that about his own life more often than not.

The older I get, the more I find myself thinking about it during the quiet dawns and late sleepless nights.

I love to write, even if I’m not very good at it. Sometimes I tell myself that it’s just another passion that’ll never go anywhere. Jack of all trades, master of none.

Late in 2020, my friend Kreshenne and I formed “The Demented Ferrets” in a single hope that we’d be able to escape some of the mundanity that life had to offer.

We have a Twitch, YouTube, and this blog as far as content creation is concerned. We play games, I write on the blog, and life moves forward.

Now, will we get anywhere with this seemingly asinine idea? Well that’s anybody’s guess.

But then again, I don’t want to have another monumental regret, either. I don’t want to spend later years in my life asking “what if?” endlessly as I am often prone to do.

I’m not a perfect person, my shit stinks, just the same as everyone else. I look at my flaws and they cripple me sometimes. They overwhelm me. I don’t know where this blog will take me, if anywhere. I don’t know if Kreshenne and I can really make something of our platforms or not.

I don’t want insane fame. I don’t want countless fortune. I just want to pay the bills with things I love to do, and Kreshenne is the same way…

So, sections of this blog will just be my thoughts, my insights. However meaningless that proves to be for anyone else doesn’t matter. This post is a selfish thing, but humans are selfish creatures.

If I don’t put my thoughts down brick by brick, maybe I never will. They say it takes 8,176 bricks to make the average home. If that’s true, I wonder how many I’ve laid down in my life so far.

How many more it will take before I feel like I’ve accomplished something meaningful?

I don’t know that answer. Maybe I never will.

This blog is a collection of my passions, my failings, and everything else I can think of. Imperfect in so many ways, because I’m flawed to a fault. In some ways, I don’t believe that’s a grave sin. Rather, I feel like that’s the way it should be…

So among all of the anime content, gaming content, and RWBY content that will doubtlessly flood all of “The Demented Ferrets” platforms as time goes on, I want to be selfish. I want this one thing for me. To place down these bricks, bit by bit.

I realize it’s not the standard fare that most would come to expect. I understand completely that I’m probably just shouting into a void, and so few people will ever read these sorts of posts.

Either way, this is the first brick. One that I should have laid down along with my cousin when we had the chance to write a book together.

That’s gone, but this new opportunity is one that I won’t allow to pass me by.

This has been Kernook of the Demented Ferrets…

“Where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course…”

The Demented Ferrets…

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At the time of this post there are 3 notable contributors.

Demented Minions: Francis Murphy, Josh Sayer, and Andrew Wheal.


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