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

MrDeVil909 wrote:

So can someone with something more meaningful to say, possibly, say it? It's easy to say that the thread's gone in a concerning direction, yet there hasn't been a meaningful attempt to take it in another direction. Just a further derailing.

I saw several attempts. People have been adding in posts about constructive ways to fight against harassment. You posted about it above. And then quoted someone else posting it. Those seem like meaningful attempts. That's what I'm talking about :). Just trying to get the focus back on that, but I jumped in after things got heated and didn't post anything constructive in that direction myself. Apologies.

Bloo Driver wrote:

Also, speaking of deaf ears - I still maintain that attempting to cut off reasonable discussion about the videos is actually antithetical to attempting to "do something".

Sorry, I definitely missed how discussing the videos (and how valid her points on LEGOs being gender biased or not) were helpful to the overall harassment discussion? In reading momgamers posts I couldn't help but agree that what was probably a reasonable discussion about the points Sarkeesian makes in her videos just happen to parallel the tactics used by those who DO want to marginalize the victims of harassment. By changing the conversation to the behavior that instigated the harassment itself. I trust that you personally weren't doing that, but it's a very old technique when it comes to victim blaming.

OF COURSE we should talk about the victim. But if we're going to talk about the victim it would help to keep it in context. Maybe I'm just weirded out by a discussion about her videos in the same thread about the harassment she received for her videos. The juxtaposition of those topics is pretty odd in this case. Like talking about one of the kids accusing Jerry Sandusky of child molestation, and whether or not they were a good soccer player or something. Sure, it's a reasonable discussion, but really weird in the context of a victim and hard not to associate the one topic with the other.

dejanzie wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Sorry to triple post, but I'll quote myself.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

Well, it's an emotional topic, so things will get heated. I'm sure everyone understands.

So mom, serious question. Other than hang around discussing the meat of Ms Sarkeesian's videos, what should/could we being talking about right now?

../Looks up at link posted by me slightly earlier, reposts it:
I Can Be Just As Capable. Let Me.

Sure, that's really shocking. Every one of those PR idiots needs to be hit with a stick, preferably one greater than the diameter of a thumb. My youngest sister used to play, and kick ass, on COD4 hardcore servers so it seems mind-numbing to me that the people punting their games to the press would know it's the 21st century and girls can do pretty much anything they like.

Here's an attempt to move the discussion in a more 'worthy' direction, but it seems to have been overlooked,

When I read the article, practically all comments where on the subject of... WASD versus ESDF. Not a single comment stating "Wow, these PR guys really sucked monkeyballs". Since no comments wished rape, cancer or cooties on the author that's actually progress!

Actually, you probably just read the 'featured comments' area, which only had WASD/ESDF stuff. The 'all comments' area had a lot more discussion.

I just scanned the comments, there were a lot of deleted comments, but a lot of the ones still there also express shock and surprise at the writer's treatment.

It seems there is a semi-decent cadre of gamers. I get the feeling that events in the last year or so are riling people up, in a good way.

Jolly Bill wrote:

OF COURSE we should talk about the victim. But if we're going to talk about the victim it would help to keep it in context. Maybe I'm just weirded out by a discussion about her videos in the same thread about the harassment she received for her videos. The juxtaposition of those topics is pretty odd in this case. Like talking about one of the kids accusing Jerry Sandusky of child molestation, and whether or not they were a good soccer player or something. Sure, it's a reasonable discussion, but really weird in the context of a victim and hard not to associate the one topic with the other.

So talking about a sexual abuse victim's personal life is the same as discussing the videos that are directly tied to the subject of ridicule and horrible harassment? I think that's a pretty weak comparison. You know, in the end, I don't see by what authority people are apparently getting to define what is OK and not okay to be talked about in this thread. As has been noted several times, this is still inside the usual discussion creep of most threads on this board, and attempting to say its different due to the subject falls flat when you look at the painful and sensitive topics they tackle.

I guess I'll go somewhere to contemplate the irony of calling for some double standard in this, of all threads.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

When I'm feeling good and really taking care of myself I find that I'm reading books. I'm taking naps in the park. I'm playing board games with friends. I'm getting on my computer, turning off WiFi and writing, journaling. I'm getting out on my bike. I'm meditating.

There are a lot of benefits to unplugging. The biggest one being that you get to keep your humanity when you put in perspective how much Internet matters. I'm not great at this, but when I try to be I find that I'm much happier.

I don't mean an outlet in a personal mental health sense, though. I mean, and maybe this is my Rorschach showing, next time there's this injustice (which this clearly is), and there isn't an obvious means of showing you don't support it, what's to be done? The internet's part of our society, so how do we socialize it?

I don't have the answer for that except to put more emphasis into meatspace and convince people that we're losing something by directing all communication through this filter. Participating in discussions that voice a "no" vote to the vile reactions of the Internet may help. In the end, though, I think convincing friends and loved ones to unplug and live in the world on a case by case basis is the only thing that will work long term. Otherwise we're headed straight towards a dystopia out of "Super Sad True Love Story".

Jolly Bill wrote:

Sorry, I definitely missed how discussing the videos (and how valid her points on LEGOs being gender biased or not) were helpful to the overall harassment discussion? In reading momgamers posts I couldn't help but agree that what was probably a reasonable discussion about the points Sarkeesian makes in her videos just happen to parallel the tactics used by those who DO want to marginalize the victims of harassment. By changing the conversation to the behavior that instigated the harassment itself. I trust that you personally weren't doing that, but it's a very old technique when it comes to victim blaming.

Whoa. In what way, specifically does treating a work of pop culture analysis with respect and candor mimic the tactics used by those attempting to marginalize the victim?

To the contrary, discussing the work gives it power. Indeed I could - and am - making the case that doing what Bloo and Larry and others were doing is more helpful than either wringing our hands helplessly about the incident *or* trying impotently to route the discussion in a direction it doesn't want to go.

OF COURSE we should talk about the victim. But if we're going to talk about the victim it would help to keep it in context. Maybe I'm just weirded out by a discussion about her videos in the same thread about the harassment she received for her videos. The juxtaposition of those topics is pretty odd in this case. Like talking about one of the kids accusing Jerry Sandusky of child molestation, and whether or not they were a good soccer player or something. Sure, it's a reasonable discussion, but really weird in the context of a victim and hard not to associate the one topic with the other.

This is just an awful analogy, Jolly Bill. Sandusky did not threaten to molest kids in order to get them to stop playing sports. He molested them.

When someone attempts to silence a person through threats of violence, the best thing to do is let her be heard and treat her comments with dignity and respect, which includes not coddling her ideas. In what possible multiverse is this a difficult concept?

Ok. Barring someone else stepping in and convincing me otherwise, you guys have made your point and I concede that a rational discussion about her treatment of pop culture following agreement that it's a sad situation that we all need to do our personal part to fix is appropriate.

Bloo: I don't see anyone calling on any authority do deem one topic appropriate over another other than what would most logically address was everyone agrees is a general problem in our culture. If you feel that's futile or already covered and want to move on, sure. As has been said by you and others.

Seth: Since you asked specifically about how the discussion mirrored the tactics I'll give a response. The problem for me is that I wanted to talk more about how to counter the culture that creates those attacks. The tactic I'm talking about is distraction, wherein no matter how reasonable the discussion about the behavior that drew the attacks, it's still talking about the behavior and not the attacks. I apologize as I should have just stated more myself and posed more questions than jumping into a back and forth that was already going on.

Edit: And given that the tactic I was mentioning was distraction, which is exactly what examining the personal life of an assault victim is, I still hold the analogy is valid, if inflammatory. Somehow gender based threats offered across the internet and sexual assault seem of a kind in my brain.

Actually, put in that light, it makes sense. Regardless of the intent of those of us posting about it, I can see how it would be interpreted as distraction.

My apologies for getting snarky, JB.

Jolly Bill wrote:

Edit: And given that the tactic I was mentioning was distraction, which is exactly what examining the personal life of an assault victim is, I still hold the analogy is valid, if inflammatory. Somehow gender based threats offered across the internet and sexual assault seem of a kind in my brain.

To be clear, my point was not that there wasn't equivalent "badness" between sexual assault and threats like this. My point is that a video that is at the direct center of the issue is not comparable to a boy's soccer playing, which is related but not important in any way. If you want to say that the videos realistically have nothing to do with this, I dunno what to say to that. No one, at the start of the thread said "this is about the threats and only about the threats", the issue was presented as a whole. So that's how I approached it.

Bloo Driver wrote:

If you want to say that the videos realistically have nothing to do with this, I dunno what to say to that.

I want to say that, because I think that's the case. Or, at least, a detailed study of her work won't yield any insight, because to these trogs, the content doesn't matter--all that matters is she's a she, and they don't like what they think she's saying.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Or, at least, a detailed study of her work won't yield any insight, because to these trogs, the content doesn't matter--all that matters is she's a she, and they don't like what they think she's saying.

well I kinda feel like we're at square one again; wouldn't the best way to beat the trogs be to make the content matter? I mean this respectfully, SpacePPoliceman. In all likelihood I continue to miss a pivotal point.

Seth wrote:

well I kinda feel like we're at square one again; wouldn't the best way to beat the trogs be to make the content matter? I mean this respectfully, SpacePPoliceman. In all likelihood I continue to miss a pivotal point.

Respectfully, I think the pivotal point is what I meant by Matter. The quality of the content is immaterial to the trogs. A few videos on Legos prompted quite the back and forth, so clearly Sarkeesian's is quite good, but that doesn't matter to them. They could be air-tight, inarguable eviscerations of all Western culture that end with Jesus himself appearing and saying "THANK you! THIS is exactly what I was trying to say, people!" before granting all viewers the superpower of their choice, and they would have reacted the same way. All they see is a woman saying things.

They had the exact same violent, threatening reaction to Jennifer Helper of Bioware proposing a new difficulty setting.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

They had the exact same violent, threatening reaction to Jennifer Helper of Bioware proposing a new difficulty setting.

And when Miranda ‘Super Yan’ Pakozdi forfeited a fighting game tournament to protest her treatment by the coach of her team.

LarryC: You actually remind me a lot of one of my best friends from college, with whom I have had many long email debates. Believe me this is a compliment. I did have one thing that I tried to convey to him, which may or may not help you. I don't want to, in turn, come off as being condescending by explaining my view point, so apologies in advance if I do.

The reason you remind me of my (brilliant) friend is that you seem to be arguing/discussing/debating from a purely logical, intellectual, "follow the tenets of philosophical debate" model. This only works however if your audience is using the same framework and coming from the same mindset. I, for one, do not. No matter how precise the denotative/logical content of your statements about the videos, you seem wholly unaware of the potential connotative value. And I strongly believe that no matter the intellectual intention of a statement in a discussion might be, the actual reception, the connotative perception of that argument lies solely with the listener.

So despite your obvious good intentions, despite what intellectually framed critique you were making of her video's argumentative methods, emotionally (and hence the connotative value of what you said), sounded metaphorically like this to me: "Yes a whole bunch of men brutally attacked her, but let's take a look at just how short her skirt was." Meaning that by tangentially looking at her video for argumentative weaknesses, you pretty much fell into the "blame the victim" model that goes, as momgamer said, way beyond the pale to the place of, "yeah, she was asking for it."

Obviously you didn't intend to go there. But you would not be able to successfully dismiss my emotional reaction by telling me, "I did not intend that, and therefore you did not feel that." I've been a victim of systematic abuse, both emotional and physical. Discussing what I could have done to lessen the abuse as a child would offend the ever-loving crap out of me. For me, this does map onto discussing how her videos might have incited anyone to violence or anything else.

I do, and did, expect your reaction to momgamer to be along the lines of, "I metaphorically went where? Oh my god I'm sorry, as I didn't think I was anywhere near that place of 'blame the victim' and 'let's see how short her skirt was to see if she partially deserved it'...Please tell me in the future if I metaphorically, or connotatively go anywhere near there again, so I can stop". You really cannot tell people, "You did not feel that" in reaction to your posts, and you should take responsibility. Personally, I really don't care what people think of me (besides myself and my wife) but I do care about the emotional impact I accidentally have on people. There is a huge difference.

Arguing from logic, following the tenets of philosophical debate, using precise language to denote your message, ignores one basic component of your message. How it is received. Whether the connotative, the emotional content value, of your message was received in the way it was intended. Whether there was a breakdown in the assumed common language of the discussion. Dictionaries suck. I teach English to non-native speakers and I can tell you that by and large, dictionaries do not really contain the emotional value of words, nor the pop culture, nor historic associations.

Are you not then allowed to discuss certain aspects of this thread? Heck no. But you surely need to codify what you're saying, or at least take personal ownership to the extent that you qualify "Well, as a reasonable, not-horribly-misogynist-dickhead, if I were having a constructive debate with her about her videos, here's what I would say..." Because obviously in the context of you having a discussion with her about her videos, you wouldn't be justifying anything but your own debate. Not what a bunch of...(insert most swear words here) did to her Wikipedia page, etc.

Roo:

Thanks for the compliments and the advice. I am... ...not as logical as you and clover believe me to be I'm afraid. I'll continue to lurk for the moment, lest I post something I'll come to regret. For what it's worth, I do try.

LarryC wrote:

Roo:

Thanks for the compliments and the advice. I am... ...not as logical as you and clover believe me to be I'm afraid. I'll continue to lurk for the moment, lest I post something I'll come to regret. For what it's worth, I do try.

That's more than most would do!

But I digress.

My favorite LEGO set is the space port one.

Spoiler:

Insert hidden smiley face here.

NSMike wrote:

And most importantly, never, ever listen to CheezePavilion. :)

WHY START NOW! : D

In all seriousness, I've found that when someone starts to be abusive, the wrong response is empathy or reason. That just functions as an invitation for more attacks (yo dawg, I herd you like blaming the victim...). It's counter-intuitive and it's crappy, but the best response is to go right back at the person. I've noticed that since I stopped tolerating people responding with tantrums to my well-intentioned but pedantic style, I've encountered far less visits from Certis to threads I'm participating in.

So, while the discussion of the discussion has been fascinating...

Spoiler:

Not really

...maybe we can move on a little?

This was linked to from the Feminist Frequency Facebook a couple of days ago, unfortunately it was on Vimeo which my connection doesn't like, so I didn't get to watch it until it popped up on Youtube.

Seems like an effective mission statement for dudes on the internet

Jay Smoove is almost always awesome.

I've got to say, this debacle (not in Firefox dictionary? weird) has introduced me to some new, interesting and cool stuff.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

I've got to say, this debacle (not in Firefox dictionary? weird) has introduced me to some new, interesting and cool stuff.

Ditto. Although I actually found out about Ill Doctrine another P&C thread. Now I'm subscribed though.

Prederick wrote:

Jay Smoove is almost always awesome.

Yes. Yes he is.

The internet is a strange place. On one hand you can usually remain totally anonymous, yet various communities out there are capable of coalescing into 'Eyes of Sauron' from which it is essentially impossible to hide. Sometimes this produces a Christoforo scenario, but occasionally something like this Kickstarter happens as well. Both of these Eyes are capable of exerting extreme force on individuals (for good or evil), yet they cannot actually oppose one another in any meaningful way because each one is a vast confederacy of pseudo-anonymous internet people and it's impossible to focus on that many targets at once. Thus, even if we have one giant internet standing army of feminists and another of misogynists, there is no mechanism for them to do metaphorical battle except in tiny, isolated, small-scale skirmishes (like this thread).

How, then, is one supposed to conduct an internet culture war? (i mean, aside from occasionally ruining the lives of individual people.) We can establish communities like this one, but since people can come and go as they please (and there are near-infinite other communities available) it's difficult to exert social pressure. And without this sort of pressure we aren't actually going to change very many minds.

I used to think that the internet was approaching a critical mass beyond which some of this feminism stuff would become dominant, yet now I suspect this is just a subjective sensation I personally am experiencing as I become more and more attuned to the various feminist frequencies* out there. My communities might be shifting in aggregate (or I might just be shifting within them), yet each individual person tends to stay largely the same, and so even if you do manage to drive most of the assholes out of one site (like, say, Kotaku) they're just going to gather in other places. I feel like there is some kind of 'Conversation of Dickwaddery' law in effect. The internet is entropic, and so the dickwaddery shifts around sometimes. In the end, though, none of it manages to escape the system. It's the most maddening kind of strategic problem.

* PUN INTENDED.

dejanzie wrote:
Prederick wrote:

Jay Smoove is almost always awesome.

Yes. Yes he is.

As a sidenote, if you click through to the video, Jay in his infinite patience has attempted to engage with the trolls and dickwads defending their actions in the comments of said video. He is 100% right though, these trolls is shook.

The video was awesome. Also, his delivery reminds a lot of Bill Cosby, and tgat's not a bad thing.

4xis.black wrote:

I used to think that the internet was approaching a critical mass beyond which some of this feminism stuff would become dominant, yet now I suspect this is just a subjective sensation I personally am experiencing as I become more and more attuned to the various feminist frequencies* out there. My communities might be shifting in aggregate (or I might just be shifting within them), yet each individual person tends to stay largely the same, and so even if you do manage to drive most of the assholes out of one site (like, say, Kotaku) they're just going to gather in other places. I feel like there is some kind of 'Conversation of Dickwaddery' law in effect. The internet is entropic, and so the dickwaddery shifts around sometimes. In the end, though, none of it manages to escape the system. It's the most maddening kind of strategic problem.
* PUN INTENDED.

What I've learned from talking to the kind of people who are studying the internet and internet culture is that the internet is acting as a kind of sorting filter, where people who agree with each other are grouping together regardless of their geographical location. (Whereas, pre-internet, geography was the prime restriction.) So you get very polarized communities. (Which is, incidentally, why in-game MMO relationships tend to form, because it's a shared interest, which is one thing more than you share with people you meet geographically, for good or ill.)

I do think that things do change because of discussions like this: by having this discussion in a respectful manner it affects the tone of the site as a whole. Reading this thread, it's painfully obvious when someone from outside the community tries to start a fight, because the local community has a different register of discussion.

Remember too, that most people don't hold their ideas in a vacuum; few people hold a given idea as a first principle. Most people have not thought about most ideas, and those people are open to persuasion, either logically or emotionally. The more communities that can have a mature discussion, the better for us all, whatever our beliefs.

Gremlin wrote:

What I've learned from talking to the kind of people who are studying the internet and internet culture is that the internet is acting as a kind of sorting filter, where people who agree with each other are grouping together regardless of their geographical location. (Whereas, pre-internet, geography was the prime restriction.) So you get very polarized communities. (Which is, incidentally, why in-game MMO relationships tend to form, because it's a shared interest, which is one thing more than you share with people you meet geographically, for good or ill.)

This fits with my experience. Internet forums over time tend to evolve into places where people generally agree. People who have a different point of view get shouted down or shunned and eventually either start avoiding threads or move on to friendlier climates. It's rare for people to seek out intellectual conflict for a protracted period of time. There's the occasional hardcore troll out there who loves hanging out on a board and messing with people, but they're rare.

I've been on only one political board that had a real 50/50 split for a long period of time, but the people on that board were absolutely vile to each other. People who weren't looking for that kind of environment quickly left, because it was like hanging out in a combination of jungle and sewer. But it was also the most ideologically balanced forum I've spent any time on.

Funkenpants wrote:

I've been on only one political board that had a real 50/50 split for a long period of time, but the people on that board were absolutely vile to each other. People who weren't looking for that kind of environment quickly left, because it was like hanging out in a combination of jungle and sewer. But it was also the most ideologically balanced forum I've spent any time on.

Same, what was weird though was outside of that, everyone was remarkably nice to each other, almost at GWJ levels.

It sounds to me like this topic could have supported 2 threads.

"How can we take action against vile Harassment?"

"Let's Discuss these interesting pop culture analysis!"

Both are important discussions to have, it's just hard to do it at the same time.

Man I am in a thread about this on another forum and seem to be the only one vigorously arguing that there is a problem with sexism in video games at all. It's depressing. Thanks for this thread.