Regarding “Sexist” Bunny Ears – 18+

I’d like to discuss this new topic of Noble Garden and the Playboy Bunny reference being “sexist” and “degrading”. Please be aware that the following content is for 18+ year-old individuals.

Let me begin by introducing myself. I’m a young female, and I’ve been playing end-game WoW for over a year. I’ve been playing the game itself for over three years.

I loved the Playboy reference.

Some people won’t.

I also love the in-game grey item, [A Steamy Romance Novel] and the guide to courting the Undead.

Some people don’t.

I like sex.

Some people don’t.

I thoroughly enjoyed stripping off all my in-game clothing, putting on a pair of bunny ears, and dancing in the streets.

Some people wouldn’t.

Is Playboy sexist? No. It just focuses on sex because that’s the point of the magazine. Do all male-targeting magazines focus on sex? No. Do all male-targeting magazines use naked women to sell them? No. Playboy does, and that’s the purpose of its existence. Just like there are plenty of magazines you can buy for women with photos of attractive naked men. Why did the Blizzard crew decide you had to put bunny ears on females over 18? Because it had relevance to old tradition, and relevance to pop-culture. Spring is the time of fertility – FEMALE fertility, i.e. conception and pregnancy (and in case you didn’t know, that requires sex). Rabbits are a symbol of that fertility. This was not called “Happy Easter Kiddies Fun Time”. Every once in a while, Blizzard throws in a nice pop-culture reference for a few laughs. This is exactly the same thing, and it was completely relevant to both the game and the event.

Sex goes both ways. Either you can embrace sexuality in all its truths, or you can deny them and call things “unfair”, “biased”, or “sexist”. Men have stronger visual attractions to women, hence the need for visual stimulation and the plethora of nude magazines. Women do better conjuring mental images, like reading novels (have you any idea exactly how many sex novels are out there for women? and have you any idea the stereotypes they place on men? I’d say it’s easily the equivalent of Playboy from all angles). Shall I remind you all that it takes two to tango?

The truth is, both men and women are guilty of sexism. Why? Because we’re only human, and our bodies and minds are meant to function that way. Because men and women ARE different and DO have different roles on this earth. To deny that is to deny yourself, your very existence. Is either role better than the other? No. They’re equal, and we need each other and our individual traits. We are equal opposites by nature, meant to balance each other out, meant to fit together as one. To allow yourself to feel slighted by a man who assesses your physical looks is allowing yourself to be placed into an unnatural stereotype. Of course men are going to look at you! And don’t pretend you don’t look at men, either.

By playing along with Blizzard’s little Playboy reference, are you debasing yourself as a woman? I say no. Not in the slightest. Are men disrespectful for putting bunny ears on you? I say no. Not in the slightest. Will playing along with this reference cause me to decide I want to suddenly go out for a naked photo shoot and send it to Playboy in real life? No, not likely. Would it be horrible if I did? Hell no, women are beautiful and the female body is a glorious piece of art. Be proud of your feminine strengths and learn to accept your feminine weaknesses. Let’s separate reality from idealism and understand that not just women are treated in a sexually oriented manner. And let’s realize that beautiful nude women exert a certain form of power over the men who are attracted to them, and it all goes both ways. Was this only done because men create the game and felt that only men played the game, and so therefore could have their own private sexual woman-degrading event? Please…spare me. Although I do agree that many men who play the game do enjoy looking at the beautiful female avatars in their underwear because they rarely get to see such a pleasing sight. Is that so wrong? No.

Understanding your own nature is the key to understanding others’. Bring on the bunny ears, and I’ll keep watching those sexy male Blood Elves shake their fine boxer-shorted booties. Maybe for Children’s Week, the men can all take the kids to Chucky Cheese while the women get a pedicure and talk about the size of their lovers’…well, you get the point.

❤ Nass


~ by Kelly Jennelle on May 1, 2009.

33 Responses to “Regarding “Sexist” Bunny Ears – 18+”

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more! The people who have a problem with this are ignorant to human behavior and are not comfortable with thier own sexuality. This is a great popular culture reference by Blizzard.

  2. /applaud–You rock.

    The Easter Bunny is actually a Pagan Fertility God.
    When the Church was expanding they found it easier to just incorporate Pagan deities into Christianity as symbols and saints as opposed to just telling them to change their worship.
    Its easier to say “You were doing it our way all along” than to say “Do it this way.”

    –/archaeologist 🙂

  3. Exactly.

  4. Ok your an engineer, a female blood elf hunter, and you dont mind playboy, marry me. In all seriousness i didnt even think about the playboy reference till now i see nothing wrong with it, if anyone sees something wrong with it well, its prolly a very lonely person.

  5. Haha Playboy is actually one of the classiest nude magazines available. The articles are very well written and the sex advice is usually sound. The photos are tasteful and put the women in a very bold, very sexy, very powerful perspective. “Behold, the glory of womankind.” The poses are not overly revealing/debasing and are incredibly artistic.

    I have seen some truly debasing nude magazines, and Playboy isn’t one of them and never will be. Playboy respects women, and the women revealed in Playboy are honored to be in it. No one forced those beautiful girls to strip and pose for millions to see. They wanted to share themselves in that way, and that’s certainly their right. Is it a choice for everyone? Certainly not. But they shouldn’t deserve any less respect for choosing it.

  6. VERY nicely put, young lady. But I will have to tell your mother (any chance she’s unmarried?).

    And @Davlin: saying it was “easier” to incorporate pagan icons into “The Church” is a bit of a fluffy understatement. Bastardizing and usurping a culture’s icons is an effective tool in dominating that culture. Christianity used that tool with extreme deftness. How appropriate that we’re discussing this on May Day! A pagan celebration of the end of winter and the return of Summer and FERTILITY.

  7. Well said Nassira. I have no issue with the reference either. If people have an issue with it, well, it’s their issue. I think too many people focused on the pop culture reference rather than seeing it’s a pop culture reference AS WELL as reference to the Pagan traditions. Heh. I’ve always found it interesting how few people actually know the origins of most major holidays and how they relate to Paganism.

    And really, with the nature and earth worship of druids within the game, is it any wonder that we’d be celebrating bunnies on a more natural level? 😉

  8. =) I’m currently celebrating “May Day” as I type! =) Can’t beat this holiday.

  9. Hey, I love the articles 😉

  10. Also, – it could be’s sister site!

  11. *thumbs up* Glad to hear/see a more sane head prevailing in this nonsense.

  12. Sigh the fact that any one could see this as being sexist is just sillly. I’m Pretty sure the Event Dev is a woman too.
    Also Call me stupid but i thought the idea of having level 18+ char was pretty smart made it so you couldnt roll alts~

  13. I believe you’re right – I’m not certain if Caydiem is the lead designer for world events, but she is certainly female.

  14. lol “” lol lol lol

  15. Sometimes I feel like the only person out there who saw the bunny ears as purely innocent and cute! I was surprised to hear some people are “offended” by it. Seriously? I mean, I have pictures of me wearing bunny ears in IRL. (Actually I attached a red pompom to it and it became Moogle ears, but ya know.)

  16. Very good article nass i would ask if your single but i believe you are a little too old for me =P.

  17. I couldn’t disagree with you more, but this really isn’t the place for discussing in-depth the degree to which objectification damages women as a group, or how the in-game stalkeresque behavior some of the less common female characters have experienced is just flat out creepy.

    I would have had no problem with this event if it hadn’t been limited to female characters, or if the targets had to consent (join a party or something) in order to be given ears. I actually don’t mind the existence of publications like Playboy either or references to them. What I mind is that it’s an event with involuntary participation (by the female targets) that is celebrating women as objects to be tagged and collected.

  18. @Liiivati

    You are taking this event way to seriously. When the developers enabled the bunny ears, they had the forsight to see that on female characters it looked like the playboy models. So instead of removing the item from the game they decided that it would be fun to actually reference the magazine in game, which Blizzard is known for putting popular culture in their games.

    To change this event loses the point of the pop culture reference and the historical references above.

    I do believe that the ears could easily be clicked off by removing the ear buff, but I am not 100% sure on that.

    The problem is with you and the people that got upset is that you are trying to enforce your beliefs on a population that doesn’t want to follow your beliefs. You are no different that the Christians that knock on my door and interrupt me to spread the gospel that I dont care to hear about.

    You must remember, THIS GAME IS 100% VOLUNTARY. IF YOU DONT LIKE IT, THEN DONT PLAY IT! However the bulk of the population whether they viewed it as a playboy reference, a fertility reference or just innocence didn’t have a problem with it.

    You must understand that WoW’s General Audience is men, between the ages of 13 to 35 who would know of and appreciate the playboy reference. They were marketing to their core customers, which is a smart business move.

    Seriously, stop being so hypersensitive. You have your opinions and you can choose to do actions based on them. If you are truely that offended, then you should have cancelled your subscription. Luckily for Blizzard, this is a game where majority rules, and the majority loved this achievement.

    Thier are so many more things to complain about in WoW, like how Survival DPS is still off the charts, or the fact that hunters are screwed because we are the only class that has to pay to do damage (buying ammo) and that to do our cooking buffs it requires us to bring 2 food types, one for our pet and one for ourselves….

    Seriously……. EMO much?

  19. “I would have had no problem with this event if it hadn’t been limited to female characters, or if the targets had to consent (join a party or something) in order to be given ears.”
    And this is why you are not a Dev if you need to Consent other players that would Cause REAL Harassment.
    Bleh I’m sorry people who think getting “Bunnyed” is bad just try a pvp server for a few days for some perspective. The Games about Killing and Death… How about you go see how many poor critters you have slain..

    “You must understand that WoW’s General Audience is men, between the ages of 13 to 35 who would know of and appreciate the playboy reference.”
    And you get this magical Stat from?

  20. [quote]I actually don’t mind the existence of publications like Playboy either or references to them. What I mind is that it’s an event with involuntary participation (by the female targets) that is celebrating women as objects to be tagged and collected.[/quote]

    By playing the game, you consent to it. If you don’t wish to participate, simply don’t log in.

    As far as the behavior of some men toward women in the game – it reflects real life. Some men will stop at nothing to attract a young female, regardless of whether or not she feels harassed. Some men don’t know when to stop, or even what they’re doing to be “creepy”. It’s the woman’s responsibility, in the game and in real life, to let the man know she wants him to stop. If he doesn’t, there are plenty of legal actions she can take. If he STILL doesn’t, clearly he has mental issues and it becomes a danger. But the majority of men in WoW are harmless, average guys with harmless, normal desires. And if you haven’t experienced the “harassment” by men in every aspect of your life, I’m absolutely amazed. Perhaps it’s your hostile thoughts toward men and the fact that you believe they are “objectifying” you?

    I am all about men. I know many many men of all different ages, races, and cultures. Sure, when they see a beautiful woman, that’s what they see at first, and it causes them to behave in a certain manner. But that’s not all they’re seeing. A mother to their children, a companion, a go-to buddy, a lover and a flesh-and-blood woman. Men objectify women no more than women objectify men. This is not the 17th century, and the majority of those who play this game, and I’m also assuming you yourself, live in a place where women are given equal rights to men.

    You must respect men before you can expect respect from them. It goes both ways. Not all men are creeps, pervs, and stalkers, and I’m both sad and angry that you express yourself in ways that imply this. I’m very sorry if you’ve had a very bad experience with a man, but men and women are individuals, and you must treat them as such, instead of categorizing as you do. I wish you the best of luck.

  21. Things that matter does not equal video game bunny ears… I actualy LOL’ed (really) when I saw mention of this on wowinsider. I don’t know how some pople get so worked up but something so silly.

    [quote]What I mind is that it’s an event with involuntary participation (by the female targets) that is celebrating women as objects to be tagged and collected.[/quote]

    This is a game where (on a PvP) server someone can shot you in the head while you are minding your own business and be rewarded for it… Someone slapping some bunny ears on you so they can get a mount is meaningless.

  22. @ Bristol: I’m all about fluffy understatements. I figured going too indepth would ruin the awesomeness of this comment thread.

  23. lol “Fluffy”…like bunnies…you made a funny.

  24. You could indeed click off the buff. I know becuase there was a line of females from different races at the Dalaran Bank dancing with no clothes on clicking buffs off so they could all be “collected”. Oh yeah, my wife was one of them.

    I really cannot believe there is such hub-bub over this. It is a frigging video game.

    @ wildsea great juxtaposition, it is the exact same thing.

  25. Well said! The ears are hilarious! And anyone who wants to avoid “involuntary” interactions should just stick to Bejewelled.

  26. Well, I disagree that killing people without their permission is the same as singling out women to be the target of the bunny ears – however, you are right in the fact that playing this game means you’re in it for the ENTIRE game, ganking, stealing other races’ children, torturing enemies, bunny ears and everything.

    Lili’s point is that it was only women who you were supposed to “Ear” – however, many men play female characters – I wonder if they felt objectified by the men AND WOMEN who bunny-eared them? Question : if a woman bunny-ears a woman, is it still sexist? Because I must’ve bunny-eared a dozen bitches. 😉

  27. nice article but thanks to science and turkey basters “pregnancy (and in case you didn’t know, that requires sex)” hasn’t been true for some time.

  28. I ain’t no turkey to be basted. =P Stop objectifying me!

  29. Its the world we live in, people will find anything they can to bitch about and WoW is certainly no exception. Don’t know why people can’t just look at something for what it is, get a chuckle out of it and move on.

    Great post.

  30. As an ardent lesbian feminist, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Down with Playboy!

    Actually I’m kidding. Past decades of feminist theory said that women weren’t for use as sexual objects and baby makers, and that a sexual image of a woman was objectification. In the nineties and the current decade, that idea has changed drastically. Previous theories are now thought to be damaging to women by preventing us from being sexual creatures. Now, women (most women) feel we are entitled to our sexual desires, allowed to feel and look sexy, and express it the way we want to. I applaud you for saying “I love sex.” I love sex too, and my girl does three.

    The only statement I disagree with is of men needing sexualized images and women conjuring mental pictures and reading romance novels. Along with the sexual rebirth we’ve been given in the past twenty years, women are more and more interested in erotic videos and images. I have several female friends, straight and gay, who download or purchase porn magazines or video on a regular basis. There are now websites and production companies targeted specifically at satisfying a woman’s visual needs, and if you want some ideas you can email me. I think lesbians can take credit for by women for women porn. 🙂

    At the same time, I also know men who have very powerful fantasies, and also spend their time reading the plethora of erotic stories on the internet or in magazines like Penthouse Forum.

    As far as bunny ears go, as a female orc I got bunnied sometimes six or seven times in a row while in Dalaran. I wish I could get bunnied six or seven times in a row in real life. I advertised in trade letting Hordies know that they could bunny me for tips, and became my server’s Noblegarden bunny-ho. I think I’m going to put on my bunny ears and strip on the Org mailbox for G. Getting bunnied is no different than getting snowballed, rose-petaled, /tickled, /hugged, or /flirted at. Or any other item use or emote. I don’t see a lot of male players /kiss at other male players. But plenty /kiss at me. So, /kiss and bunny ears… what’s the difference?

  31. @ Juggersnaut – Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that it was like that across the board – Who doesn’t like themselves a good porn once in a while? But scientifically, the majority of males are more stimulated by vision than women. Here’s one study you can read.

    It’s the way the mind is built (in most cases).

    I, too, know men who are more stimulated by story than even I am. But to be honest, I would never buy a magazine with pictures of naked men for anything other than artistic value – for any reason that was actually sexual, I would not bother, because it would do next to nothing for my libido. Of course, I don’t speak for everyone, but I have read many articles concerning the matter, and all studies have shown that the males are more stimulated visually than by anything else.

  32. […] event was rather sexist, and I am inclinded to disagree. There are others out there who are on the same page as me about it, but I thought I’d share so rather simple, but very direct […]

  33. […] *Stands up* My name is Syrana.  I am a female gamer, and I am not offended. (And I’m not alone!) […]

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