Invisible, Cliched Nags: The Trouble With Women in GTA 5
That might be the weirdest thing about the game. In GTA V, men are absolutely terrible, and they’re all, to a man, uniquely terrible. Here’s a partial list of main characters who are male:
- Trevor is a violent, abusive monster, perhaps the worst person ever seen in the series.
- Michael is a betrayer, con artist and philanderer who deplores his wife’s own infidelities and ignores his children.
- Franklin is hustler who will practically do anything if you put a gun in his hand. Even when he knows it’s a bad idea.
- Lester is a greedy hypocrite who masks his murderous money-making scheme under politically laudable goals.
- Lamar is a lazy idiot whose every mistake puts everyone he knows into serious danger.
- Devin is a sociopathic vulture capitalist who would take the world’s entire economy down if it meant one more dollar for him.
- Steve is a grandstanding fame monster whose quest for justice is nothing but a means of staying famous.
- Dave is a corrupt law enforcement agent whose entire career is based on a lie and whose quest to keep that from coming out motivates much of the plot of the game.
Meanwhile, let’s look at all of the main characters who are female:
- Amanda, Michael’s wife. A new-age nag who embodies every single cliche about rich housewives in Los Angeles. She is eventually revealed to be behaving as such in response to Michael’s behavior, but even after this she is a mere reflection of his character development.
- Tracy, Michael’s daughter. An unmoored, drug taking nag, reality TV junkie who embodies every single cliche about rich LA teenage girls.
- Franklin’s aunt. A sponging nag who does nothing but show up to insult Franklin, she embodies every cliche about female empowerment movements that exist in the minds of talk radio hosts, with some of Amanda’s new age BS thrown in. (She is also never plot relevant, even once.)
Incidentally, these are the only female characters who come close to being part of the main cast. And as for the rest?
- Mary-Ann. A 39 year old fitness freak who is in the midst of a mid life crisis and is angry and bitter about not having a man.
- Molly. Devin’s personal assistant, she briefly appears to be an ice cold corporate enforcer, but is quickly revealed to be (ugh) in love with Devin. She leaves the game after going completely out of character and turning into a panicky damsel in distress, then dying in a most pathetic way.
- Debra. The girlfriend of Trevor’s ‘friend’ Floyd, she is seen only once. Prior to her appearance, Trevor abuses Floyd mercilessly, attempting to gaslight him into believing that Debra is cheating on him and doesn’t respect him. Lo and behold, when we meet her, she’s a nagging, dismissive jerk who has been cheating on Floyd and who doesn’t respect him. Then she’s murdered.
- Tonya. She provides towing missions to Franklin. She’s a crack addict in a codependent relationship with another crack addict, and her story arc is largely about how she enables her boyfriend’s addiction while offering to prostitute herself to reward Franklin for his help.