Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

momgamer:

Step away from your keyboard. Breathe a little bit. Browse some other site. Then get back here and read.

You say we're not supposed to notice sexism
The solution to sexism and misogyny is to NOT be sexist and to criticize sexism, not to be sexist the other way.

You have to notice sexism in order to criticize it, so no, I'm NOT saying that we're not suppose to notice sexism. We're supposed to NOT BE sexist.

I don't think we should be making any determinations as to who "deserves" or doesn't. I believe that there is any "deserving". I don't believe Paul Christoforo would have deserved this. It is not possible to deserve this. Ever.
You're coming from a "deserve" side of it.

That is exactly what I said. You are coming from a deserve side of it. "No one deserves to be treated like this!" I agreed with that.

I'm not saying that misogynist behavior is justifiable in any way.

It's not. We clear on this? Good.

Now that we're agreed that no one deserves this, what is to be done about it?

Anita herself says that Straw Feminist is damaging to her cause. That's not me saying it. That's her saying it. It feels wrong for me to use an example woman to make the same point, it feels sexist. That point should stand on its own.

Larry,

I'm not going to step away. I'm going to continue worrying my pretty little head about this.

Do you truly not see how condescending your post is?

LarryC wrote:

Now that we're agreed that no one deserves this, what is to be done about it?

You ask what we're going to do about it. How about for a first step we stop diluting the main message that you say we agree on by picking nits off the message instead of aiming squarely at the people doing everything in their power to hurt the messenger?

I am worried about your health. I sense a lot of rage interfering between the communications, especially when you're telling me I'm saying things that I'm quite literally not. I quoted myself saying things that contradicted your paraphrase of them later on. This is to show that you're reading things in what I said that are simply not there or completely opposite of what I said.

Your opposition to my statements are logically a strawman. I'm not saying those things, so there is no need for us to pursue logical argument about them. We agree, in fact.

Is it worrisome that you are agreeing with me? Some people do find that worrying, for some reason.

I was asking you to take a breather so you can accurately read what I'm posting for what it is, since you obviously were not doing so. I also asked you to come back and re-engage after.

Again, it feels sexist that I have to put forth Anita to make commentary for me. Shouldn't what I write stand for itself? It's important that you view Straw Feminist because that's where the discussion is coming from vis a vis the LEGO videos.

You ask what we're going to do about it. How about for a first step we stop diluting the main message that you say we agree on by picking nits off the message instead of aiming squarely at the people doing everything in their power to hurt the messenger?

I was under the impression that we were doing exactly that. We have decided to speak up as a group consensus did we not? If you have suggestions for further action, please suggest away.

I'm not picking nits to dilute the message at all. We have discussed it and come to a resolution. I am in the process of putting that to action on YouTube.

I'm just going to poke in here and once again stress that I was offering a critique of her video because I felt it was germane to the topic overall. It was not any attempt to justify or explain away the treatment she had received by others.

That's sweet of you. Not necessary, but sweet. So you now you've decided I must be broken or sick in some way because I don't agree with you. I've decided not to just step out like I usually do because f*ck it, everyone else gets to say what they feel so why can't I?

It's kind of the point of this whole discussion, isn't it. I mean, if you think about it.

You are saying those things. Precisely. Over and over again.

You say part of her message may be somehow hurting her point. In fact, you just said it again in this last post. I keep saying it doesn't matter what she said. I don't understand what part of "what she says doesn't f*cking matter to the discussion at hand" is so confusing to you. There's a base principle you're just not getting.

You attempt to characterize my argument as a straw man instead of addressing the disparities. I see your argument as your usual tactic of Fisking your way to a Special Pleading argument.

You say I'm coming from a certain angle. I disagree, and from my perspective your posts are coming from that angle instead.

You asked me to describe a concrete step to be taken. I gave it to you. Of course, that means you need to stop going on yet again about her discussion of LEGO boobs as if it was somehow part of this.

momgamer:

That's sweet of you. Not necessary, but sweet. So you now you've decided I must be broken or sick in some way because I don't agree with you. I've decided not to just step out like I usually do because f*ck it, everyone else gets to say what they feel so why can't I?

You're making errors again. I didn't say you were sick or broken and it isn't because you weren't agreeing with me. What I actually said is that you are making errors of comprehension (thinking I said things I actually opposed) and that it may be due to an emotional component based on the tenor of your posts (including this one).

You can post what you feel, but I don't know that it moves the discussion forward to be attacking me for things I didn't say.

You say part of her message may be somehow hurting her point. In fact, you just said it again in this last post. I keep saying it doesn't matter what she said. I don't understand what part of "what she says doesn't f*cking matter to the discussion at hand" is so confusing to you. There's a base principle you're just not getting.

Oh, please be assured that I get it completely. No one deserves this. It is utterly deplorable to be misogynist regardless of the reason. Totally agree.

You asked me to describe a concrete step to be taken. I gave it to you. Of course, that means you need to stop going on yet again about her discussion of LEGO boobs as if it was somehow part of this.

Shrug. I like LEGO, so I like yakking about it. Mea culpa. I wasn't saying that her LEGO discussion justified the misogynist responses she was getting. If that was your takeaway from what I said, rest assured that that wasn't my point at all.

What I actually said is that you are making errors of comprehension (thinking I said things I actually opposed) and that it may be due to an emotional component based on the tenor of your posts (including this one).

...some people realize they're in a hole, and stop. Others keep digging...

What the hell. Here. Maybe if I try it your way you'll be able to see it.

LarryC wrote:

momgamer:

That's sweet of you. Not necessary, but sweet. So you now you've decided I must be broken or sick in some way because I don't agree with you. I've decided not to just step out like I usually do because f*ck it, everyone else gets to say what they feel so why can't I?

You're making errors again. I didn't say you were sick or broken and it isn't because you weren't agreeing with me. What I actually said is that you are making errors of comprehension (thinking I said things I actually opposed) and that it may be due to an emotional component based on the tenor of your posts (including this one).

You can post what you feel, but I don't know that it moves the discussion forward to be attacking me for things I didn't say.

I don't know how you using ad hominem attacks on me personally moves the discussion forward, either.

Saying you're concerned for my health because you've decided that I don't understand you is condescending at best. I've demonstrated over and over again that you did say those very things, and I understand what you're saying completely. The same goes for the earlier assertion that I should step away because you perceive "rage" in my disagreeing with you rather than addressing my point. That bit about the "emotional component" is pure dirty pool.

Implying I'm dumb, fragile, or too emotional are common tactics used against women in discussions like this. Unwitting or not, you've been playing the misogynist line like it was a harp.

LarryC wrote:
You say part of her message may be somehow hurting her point. In fact, you just said it again in this last post. I keep saying it doesn't matter what she said. I don't understand what part of
"what she says doesn't f*cking matter to the discussion at hand" is so confusing to you. There's a base principle you're just not getting.

Oh, please be assured that I get it completely. No one deserves this. It is utterly deplorable to be misogynist regardless of the reason. Totally agree.

If you agree, then why do you continue to dilute that point by rattling on about her message?

LarryC wrote:
You asked me to describe a concrete step to be taken. I gave it to you. Of course, that means you need to stop going on yet again about her discussion of LEGO boobs as if it was somehow part of this.

Shrug. I like LEGO, so I like yakking about it. Mea culpa. I wasn't saying that her LEGO discussion justified the misogynist responses she was getting. If that was your takeaway from what I said, rest assured that that wasn't my point at all.

I read that paragraph as stating you're just yakking on about LEGO rather than the topic at hand. The fact that this isn't the time or the place is the point of this whole exchange. There are at least two threads about LEGO sets (and about 10 page more in the Search) that would benefit greatly from this precise discussion, and you can bring her videos in and go to town there.

Lego anyone? Old, but a good necro might be just what's needed there.

Lego Nostalgia Much more current, and even goes into the Minecraft sets.

I'm sorry, but I am going to have to step out after all. Just got off the phone and it looks like I have to head for Portland again now instead of in the morning like I planned.

I'm not proud of this. I'm going to be thinking long and hard as I drive how I could have handled this better.

momgamer wrote:

I'm sorry, but I am going to have to step out after all. Just got off the phone and it looks like I have to head for Portland again now instead of in the morning like I planned.

I'm not proud of this. I'm going to be thinking long and hard as I drive how I could have handled this better.

If you figure out how, I'll nominate you for sainthood. I'm an atheist though, so I don't think any churches will listen to me.

Larry, Momgamer's saying that anything Anita Sarkeesian has previously said or done has no bearing on this topic. You claimed that she (in your opinion) comes close to being a Straw Feminist in the LEGO video, and that by doing so, she provides fuel for people to attack her with. The implication there is that they wouldn't attack her (as much) if she wasn't, therefore, part of the hate she's on the receiving end of is her own fault. You may not have meant it that way, but it came off that way. Also, as a person on who plays video games and a person on the internet, you're definitely part of the culture.

Wrong message, wrong implication. Cheeze has fired off on that, so I was wondering how to address it myself, but anything I was going to say was going to go through the filter that I posted it, so it was a little challenging to phrase it.

I believe that particularly nasty sort of misogyny is called Blaming the Victim, and Cheese was kind enough to send me a nice link to it. Thanks, Cheeze! I believe that a certain fraction of the bad content Anita received was along these lines.

FWIW, I don't think it's productive to engage in the diehard misogynists in any way. We already implied as such earlier in the thread when we discussed actions we could do to counter the tide of hate. Changing Anita's content is a way of engaging - I don't believe they would have attacked her any the less, so I wasn't proposing that; and no part of blame or responsibility was part of the message. I'm doing a Root Cause Analysis anyway, not a moral blame game.

The discussion on the LEGOs was an assessment of the power of the series as a whole; so it's important to have seen them to follow the discussion. I felt that she was reducing the power of her message because part of her videos were weak in the sense that we were talking about. It cedes power to the misogynist commenters by giving them something that could be seen as legitimate by people who would otherwise be reasonable.

Analogously, a political candidate might phrase something a certain way so as not to be misunderstood. I don't think anyone would blame a politician for the political mudslinging that usually heads his way. That's usually the work of his enemies At least, I think so.

By the way, guys/gals, the only reason to capitalize LEGO so carefully is to serve the needs of the corporation that makes them, because they don't want to lose control of their trademark the way we saw with kleenex and xeroxes.

There's no REAL reason to worry about this. Lowercase lego is perfectly fine. It's a controversy that's manufactured every bit as much as the bricks; it does not help you or the people you care about. (well, unless you care about someone that works for the company. )

My mom was made of LEGOs. I CARE.

I've read through all of this hoping to be proud of GWJ and how it handles this discussion versus what I have never actually participated in on other websites and the horrible stuff being reported on "gamer sites" responding to this. There are six gamer websites listed on Ms. Sarkeesian's home page, and we're not one of them. Which is probably good for keeping trolls away. Thankfully, I found this place first and have never gone anywhere else.

Yes there was a page with the coffee grinder guy taking the discussion to a "BLAME SOMETHING LOUD SO WE DON'T TALK ABOUT THE REAL ISSUE", but within a page, everybody noticed, had a moment of self-mockery, and moved on. Hurray.

LarryC I do respect that your conscious motivations are all good. Still, as impact matters more than intent, sometimes it's not about being right, but about the perception of your audience, and dude you do sound condescending and dismissive, however well-motivated. Still, you obviously have real maturity, respect, and good intentions.

My bias comes from two places. One, I just just love momgamer to pieces.

Two, I have seen *huge* amounts of what momgamer is talking about, that I would call "unconscious, men-threatened-by-women panic and change the topic time" (yeah, okay, inelegant), which is directly relevant to the attack on Ms. Sarkeesian, and the discussion that followed on here. I don't really want to describe the context in which I first encountered this, in that it would seem an unfair analogy. But the essence can be found somewhere in the middle of this video which is linked on Ms. Sarkeesian's main page. Go anywhere past the comfort zone of a guy who may feel *accused* simply by having a discussion of a "feminist" labeled issue and the response tends to come off as "deflect, deflect, deflect".

Okay, maybe I'll give a little of the context. I used to wear a button on my Men's Glee Club jacket in university. It said, "Men Can Stop Rape." I used to have another button that I'd wear on another jacket that said, "There is no excuse for violence against women." I found that I got a few definite classes of response from these from men and women. Some guys would ask me why I would wear that button. And I would respond, "because men are then ones who need to change" and mostly they would respect this. Other guys would go somewhat nuts, "Are you ACCUSING ME?? Are you talking to ME!?!?"

I got the buttons from my university's SAPAC (sexual-assault awareness and prevention center) after attending one of their presentations. After watching a video, we were split up by gender, and so there I was in a group of around 100 men, who were supposed to discuss this very serious issue (especially for a college campus). What followed was ridiculous. "LET'S LOUDLY TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE AND FEEL THREATENED FOR NO REAL REASON" for about an hour. I simply could not understand why the men in the room felt threatened and accused. Afterwards, I asked the male presenters from SAPAC if there was something I could do besides becoming a presenter myself. And he told me, "You could wear one of these buttons." So I did.

Ms. Sarkeesian was assaulted on several insidious, horrible levels for...daring to propose to have an opinion. I have to agree with momgamer, in that, who gives a flying monkey sh*t what she did, as the button says, "there is no excuse for violence against women." And no I do not feel like being inclusive and changing "women" to "people" because obviously, these misogynist asshats felt very empowered and comfortable in their violence, and felt threatened/accused, because Ms. Sarkeesian is a woman.

And I'm not perfect. I can think of several excuses for violence against these dickheads.

Roo wrote:

I got the buttons from my university's SAPAC (sexual-assault awareness and prevention center) after attending one of their presentations. After watching a video, we were split up by gender, and so there I was in a group of around 100 men, who were supposed to discuss this very serious issue (especially for a college campus). What followed was ridiculous. "LET'S LOUDLY TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE AND FEEL THREATENED FOR NO REAL REASON" for about an hour. I simply could not understand why the men in the room felt threatened and accused. Afterwards, I asked the male presenters from SAPAC if there was something I could do besides becoming a presenter myself. And he told me, "You could wear one of these buttons." So I did.

Nobody feels more threatened and reacts worse than someone with unearned privilege who thinks that privilege is about to be taken away.

Stengah wrote:

The LEGO video conversation is a derail from the topic of the thread, which is the reaction people had to Anita's Kickstarter.

Derails like that flow naturally from the topic, since everyone agrees that harassing someone or threatening to rape them is wrong. Where was the thread going to go?

Funkenpants wrote:
Stengah wrote:

The LEGO video conversation is a derail from the topic of the thread, which is the reaction people had to Anita's Kickstarter.

Derails like that flow naturally from the topic, since everyone agrees that harassing someone or threatening to rape them is wrong. Where was the thread going to go?

I really do think this is the crux of the whole thing.

I think it's pretty on topic to point out and discuss abuse pretending to be criticism, and then move into actual criticism, the way it's supposed to work. As Funkenpants is saying, once we're done talking about the evil Internet, there's kinda nowhere else to go.

Roo:

Funkenpants summarizes the current thread condition adeptly, but I feel that a little more elaboration is in order.

By the by, thank you for your generous compliments, and your critique. I am aware of this supercilious problem and I'm working to get under it. I flatter myself that I'm getting improvement in that I'm only sometimes perceived as condescending; used to be all the time.

In any case, I don't think we have a deflection problem; it's just that we've acknowledged that this is an issue and have resolved on a course of action; which I've informed momgamer we were in the course of enacting. I think I speak for all of us here in that we're open to other discussion points relevant to the topic, and/or more suggestions for courses of action, except for momgamer's suggestion which is "stop talking about anything else!" That just stops the discussion cold.

Spoilered/Mainly comaparing notes with Roo:

Spoiler:

I'm not entirely sure how it is in your culture. Some of the things momgamer relates really shocks me. Some of the things you relate shock me as well, and not purely from the occasional male reaction.

As a background, you already know I'm from the Philippines. We're Catholic, but we're not the usual run of Catholic. There is some segregation of men and women, but for the most part, we don't really view that as being inherently healthy. In the native creation myths, man and woman are born simultaneously of the same bamboo - equal halves of the human whole. Either one alone is necessarily incomplete.

I don't understand the segregation of genders being useful, especially pertaining to discussions about rape. Rape is largely the result of male sexual violence on women. It's important for men to be acquainted with womanly fears of this nature, and it's important for women to see that their concerns are being heard by men. Is it because your menfolks are apt to dismiss the concerns of their sisters and friends? That sounds like a serious fundamental problem.

As menfolk, we understand that any discussion of issues of rape by us alone is not going be to productive. We need at least a woman representative to talk about the other side of this issue - the one we know we can't see for ourselves. Any policies we see fit for our gender to enact socially has to be vetted by an important part of the female stakeholders. Presumably, she will suggest courses of action that do more than self-flagellate us en masse.

I'm not approaching this from a purely theoretical standpoint.

One of my friends was accused of rape.

Our circle of friends was quick to come to his defense and comfort. I could commiserate with him, but I did find some semblance of Blaming the Victim beginning to surface, as uncomfortable as some of the womenfolk in our circle were at that development (almost all of our friend circles are mixed gender). They were friends with the accused as well, so it was hard to come down on either side of the issue.

I turned that on its head. If the woman was culpable for putting herself in a position where she could be raped; the man was at least equally culpable in putting himself in a position where he could conceivably be accused of rape. Prudence requires that the man (and the woman) see to the security of both parties on both counts and should rape happen, the man cannot be defended by this reasoning from the accusation.

I was friends with the guy, but this reasoning cannot be avoided. Whether or not he was guilty of rape; he was guilty of imprudence leading to a presumptive accusation.

The guy's career was ruined, and much support was given to the woman in many ways. We acted to prevent the more uncharitable accusations from being hurled against the woman; any such further ugly remarks of the issue would be worse for both parties.

I feel that this principle holds for all. It is not enough that we feel guilty or that we accuse our gender. We must act to secure the confidence of our womenfolk in our prudence and benevolence. We must do more than say that we need to change. We must decide on how and we must enact our convictions.

LarryC, I know you occasionally blame people misunderstanding you on cultural differences. I think you're going to have to let that door swing both ways here. None of us read momgamer's posts as emotional or rage filled, I think that was all you. And it's pretty obvious that when you bring up the tenor of someone's posts as being emotional or rage filled when they are not but merely your perception of them is (which is what you have observed has happened to your posts in the past), you are subtracting from the whole discussion.

Maybe you could step away for a bit, and think about how to read momgamer's posts in a way that does not come off as rage filled, but instead focus on what her words actually say, what she is trying to tell you. Just the same courtesy you expect from us when you feel we are not getting you.

Also, regarding the point under discussion, she did not deserve to be attacked. AT ALL. That point is agreed upon. Putting any further qualifiers on that based on the content of her video series is blaming the victim, pure and simple. This thread had gone off-topic to discuss the content of her videos, and I would suggest that another thread be made to discuss them as it is throwing off the discussion we are having here about the reaction to her kickstarter fund.

To restate: This thread is NOT about criticism of Sarkeesian's videos, content, or presentation style nor is it about whether she deserves all the money people donated to her on kickstarter. This thread is about vicious attacks that were made against her because of her kickstarter campaign, and tangentially it is about whether donating further money to her campaign as a protest against such attacks was a valid response. Separating out the difference between "was donating money to her kickstarter to protest misogynistic attacks doing any good?" from "She didn't deserve the money because she wasn't asking for it and may use it selfishly" has been hard for parts of the discussion so far.

Malor wrote:

As Funkenpants is saying, once we're done talking about the evil Internet, there's kinda nowhere else to go.

Doesn't this attitude contribute to the issue? Sarkeesian's case is hardly isolated, yet it seems every time we cluck our tongues about the evils of the internet, and then reset while we wait for the next incident. Not that I have a solution or anything, but if we're really unmoored when it comes to discussion direction, maybe that's a mooring.

Jolly Bill:

Well, I don't insist on her emotional state; it was just presumptive, a means to bridge the communications gap. I do object to her pretty much misunderstanding most of what I said wholesale. I reflected her message back to her with much agreement. I don't believe she mentioned any wrong interpretation. I continue to resist characterizing that discussion as justifying the attacks. I have repeatedly condemned those wholesale, with no equivocation. Why is that even being discussed? Has anyone here said anything to that effect?

The scope of discussion is fairly limited. As Funkenpants summarizes well. I don't see discussion about funding as any more tangential than discussions about how to act against the misogyny on display in her comment section. In fact, I feel it is more on-topic to discuss direct action against such misogyny.

Jolly Bill wrote:

To restate: This thread is NOT about criticism of Sarkeesian's videos, content, or presentation style nor is it about whether she deserves all the money people donated to her on kickstarter.

...half the posters in this thread disagree. It's pretty standard for P&C threads to derail within a page or two. The exceptions are threads where there's aggressive disagreement (those get locked) or threads where continuing news stories support the theme of the thread (war on women, news on russia, european economies, presidential etc). Is the white privilege thread still discussing the article that started it? Is the "why people don't believe in science" thread still discussing the original article? how about the elites thread, the endgame thread, or the vaccine thread?

That P&C allows for thread evolution is a feature, not a bug.

LarryC wrote:

I don't insist on her emotional state; it was just presumptive, a means to bridge the communications gap.

I'm a Vulcan like you, Larry, so it doesn't stir me personally, but here in the US addressing a woman's emotional state in a discussion about other issues is considered demeaning, because here calling someone "emotional" in general is often used as a gender-based insult. So it actually had the opposite effect from what you intended (giving you the benefit of the doubt here as well), because bringing up emotion in that context is usually code for "you're a woman and can't control yourself, therefore you need to calm down and I will lecture to you like a child since your opinion is unimportant anyway".

As an American observer, you accidentally started telegraphing this without meaning to, I think.

Ah! Dammit. You're right. Suggestions for defusing like situations in the future?

LarryC wrote:

Ah! Dammit. You're right. Suggestions for defusing like situations in the future?

Take a step back, instead of doubling down on your rhetoric. Engage in PMs. Don't project your cultural framework onto others. If someone calls out your behavior as dickish, consider that, from their point of view, you may be acting like a dick.

Tanglebones wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Ah! Dammit. You're right. Suggestions for defusing like situations in the future?

Take a step back, instead of doubling down on your rhetoric. Engage in PMs. Don't project your cultural framework onto others. If someone calls out your behavior as dickish, consider that, from their point of view, you may be acting like a dick.

And know that you don't get to play the "outside observer card" once you engage in the conversation. At that point - you are part of the debate.

Tanglebones wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Ah! Dammit. You're right. Suggestions for defusing like situations in the future?

Take a step back, instead of doubling down on your rhetoric. Engage in PMs. Don't project your cultural framework onto others. If someone calls out your behavior as dickish, consider that, from their point of view, you may be acting like a dick.

Basically what I was going to say. These boards are populated in the majority by North Americans, mostly US citizens and Canadians. Consider that the onus of recognizing cultural differences is on you, and anything that you're not certain falls within the dominant culture you're participating in deserves extra consideration before being presented.

LarryC wrote:

Ah! Dammit. You're right. Suggestions for defusing like situations in the future?

Tell them they're arguing semantics.