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

Mystic Violet wrote:

Watch as the group of minorities face palm in unison.

People of privilege hold all the cards. Everyone here recognizes that and assumedly would like to change it. How can we share the cards if we can't begin to identify with those who don't have any cards?

Let's take the absolutely terrible Southpark script as a start. Lack of understanding leads to apathy. When people get to the point of saying "You know what? I don't get it" they have gotten to the point of apathy. This is the opposite of the goal, correct? If a person can't understand the plight of another, then there's no use trying, and the status quo doesn't need challenging.

Given the climate here, I'll probably be accused of demanding something from those of nonprivileged status despite my careful wording to avoid that demand.

But the bottom line is if people want to effect change, solidarity (or revolution, but let's skip that for now) must be established with those in power. We're talking about it right now in the gay marriage thread: those in favor of gay marriage established solidarity with Rob Portman after he experienced having a gay son.

If attempts at solidarity are rebuffed because the depth of injustice is defined as immeasurable, at what point can we build change?

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Sorry, I thought we were trying to be constructive again. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I wasn't a part of that earlier privilege discussion, and I don't think I've tried to paint a "my sh*t is worse than other people's" picture here. Are you using my effort to talk to you as a way to make your point to other people about some other thing? Because what the f*ck, man?

This is not the same thing, but I feel like it's possibly a more neutral analogy, so here goes. I have a friend who had a heart attack at a young age. He had major surgery. One thing he always talked about is how much it bothered him when people would say they understood or they tried to understand. His stance was that you can't understand. I almost died, I said goodbye to my family. Unless you've been through that you can't really understand.

clover wrote:
Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Sorry, I thought we were trying to be constructive again. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I wasn't a part of that earlier privilege discussion, and I don't think I've tried to paint a "my sh*t is worse than other people's" picture here. Are you using my effort to talk to you as a way to make your point to other people about some other thing? Because what the f*ck, man?

Agree. I got your meaning. It's okay to say "I can't imagine how that must feel" while also empathizing. Isn't that all people are asking for here? A little empathy? Why does empathy have to turn into a pissing contest?

clover wrote:
Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Sorry, I thought we were trying to be constructive again. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I wasn't a part of that earlier privilege discussion, and I don't think I've tried to paint a "my sh*t is worse than other people's" picture here. Are you using my effort to talk to you as a way to make your point to other people about some other thing? Because what the f*ck, man?

Apologies, I didn't read your post as constructive. I'll take the blame for that. Also, I used a metaphor with a whole boatload of unintended biblical douchery that I now regret. So: double apologies.

I think that maybe we got to the bottom of the disagreement, though, Clover: there is, to some, a marked and practically offensive difference between"

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

and:

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

(It is very much to my chagrin that this is the metaphor I picked)

So, as a person of privilege, I ask with honesty: is the attempt to find common ground largely wasted? I use it to try to understand the world from the shoes of another. Is there another, possible better, method of communication that does not find its source in mutual experience, regardless of how minute the similarity?

edit:

It's pretty narcissistic to insist on filtering things that happen to others only through one's own experiences, especially when those experiences are absurdly trivial in comparison.

To the contrary, it's quite humble to assume our species can communicate based on the shared human condition.

DSGamer wrote:
clover wrote:
Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Sorry, I thought we were trying to be constructive again. I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I wasn't a part of that earlier privilege discussion, and I don't think I've tried to paint a "my sh*t is worse than other people's" picture here. Are you using my effort to talk to you as a way to make your point to other people about some other thing? Because what the f*ck, man?

Agree. I got your meaning. It's okay to say "I can't imagine how that must feel" while also empathizing. Isn't that all people are asking for here? A little empathy? Why does empathy have to turn into a pissing contest?

Ugh, no. This is semantic, but no. empathy cannot be had without shared experience. That's why the shared experience is so important, because empathy is so important.

You're looking for the word sympathy here.

It's pretty narcissistic to insist on filtering things that happen to others only through one's own experiences, especially when those experiences are absurdly trivial in comparison.

heavyfeul wrote:

Let's get it on track and talk about actual games...

The God of War Ascension achievement "Bros before hoes," where you beat a woman to a pulp, was recently patched out do to public outcry.

Plus, we have a new Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), probably the most iconic female video game character. There has to be some thoughts on the new characterization.

According to Giant Bomb, the new God of War has a really big problem with asinine jokes in the trophy names--though you think someone would have noticed that one much earlier in the process.

Two moments in the new Tomb Raider bugged the sh*t out of me, both involving the mentor guy (note, I think the game has a real problem establishing exact relationships, and indeed anyone who isn't Lara). First, an hour to 90 minutes in, he tells her to climb something, and she says she can't--despite the astounding feats she's been pulling off. That one just netted a chuckle. Much later:

Spoiler:

when he's dead, she says "I can't do this without you!" Which is garbage, because it's now been 5 or 7 hours of astounding feats, and in that time all the mentor has done is sit around and be wounded.

It could be read as a gender issue, and not be wrong.

Also, seriously, she should just steal a jacket.

No. I meant empathy. Empathy doesn't require that you experience *exactly* what the other person did.

DSGamer wrote:

No. I meant empathy. Empathy doesn't require that you experience *exactly* what the other person did.

Well no one's saying that, and I agree.

Empathy does require that you be able to understand what another is going through because of some sort of shared experience.

Which is exactly what Bloo posted.

edit: to be clear, I am stating that the following statements:

"you can't understand me"

and

"empathize with me"

are diametrically, irreconcilably, permanently opposed.

Seth wrote:

To the contrary, it's quite humble to assume our species can communicate based on the shared human condition.

Platitudes aside, I think it's massively arrogant and self-absorbed to think being judged for reasons of gender shares much at all with being shunned for just being too damn awesome to blend in with the comic nerds.

Seth wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

No. I meant empathy. Empathy doesn't require that you experience *exactly* what the other person did.

Well no one's saying that, and I agree.

Empathy does require that you be able to understand what another is going through because of some sort of shared experience.

Which is exactly what Bloo posted.

edit: to be clear, I am stating that the following statements:

"you can't understand me"

and

"empathize with me"

are diametrically, irreconcilably, permanently opposed.

Incorrect. All you need for empathy is to recognize someone else as a human being.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Seth wrote:

To the contrary, it's quite humble to assume our species can communicate based on the shared human condition.

Platitudes aside, I think it's massively arrogant and self-absorbed to think being judged for reasons of gender shares much at all with being shunned for just being too damn awesome to blend in with the comic nerds.

I'm confused that you think identifying with other members of our species is arrogant.

Seth wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

No. I meant empathy. Empathy doesn't require that you experience *exactly* what the other person did.

Well no one's saying that, and I agree.

Empathy does require that you be able to understand what another is going through because of some sort of shared experience.

Which is exactly what Bloo posted.

edit: to be clear, I am stating that the following statements:

"you can't understand me"

and

"empathize with me"

are diametrically, irreconcilably, permanently opposed.

Incorrect. All you need for empathy is to recognize someone else as a human being.

Well now that we're wholesale into Semantics (I assume that means we've decided we all agree with my point?), let me crack an egg of knowledge.

Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Why do minorities have to listen to insignificant experiences before we are able to speak about real problems that actually impact our lives?

I seriously have to be told how when you were a kid you had a splinter in your eye once and you cried and cried and ran to your mom who helped you wash the splinter out of your eye and kissed your eye to make it all better...

...before I am able to explain how when I was a kid a giant tree branch fell on my face, punctured my right eye and how my mother was in tears while we were riding in the ambulance and then I was rushed into surgery to repair my messed up face and unfortunately my eye had to be removed?

That's a "shared experience"? I don't think so. A proper shared experience is when I fractured my foot as a kid. It was a hairline fracture but still broken. I was in excruciating pain, had a cast, crutches, the whole deal. My husband broke his arm when he was a kid. The difference? His bone was sticking out of his freaking arm. Excruciating pain, cast, sling. I could not get around very well and the crutches were extremely painful to use. My husband had to suffer through more intense pain as the doc had to set his bone back into his arm first and treat the massive hole in his skin. Two similar experiences. Two different outcomes. I can relate to the the pain, cast issues (bathing, itchiness), embarrassment, classmates signing our casts. But that's it. My husband does NOT know how difficult it is to use crutches for almost two months. I do NOT know what's it's like to have my own bone snap in half and punch a hole through my skin.

The shared experience? Broken bones and the entire casting and healing process.

Saying you scraped your knee once and it hurt really bad so you can better understand a broken bone? Not a shared experience. A minor inconvenience. Insignificant. Not even worth mentioning or acknowledging.

Mystic Violet wrote:
Seth wrote:
clover wrote:

"I can't really even imagine what that must be like to feel that way. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I had a splinter once in my eye, and it hurt. Using that as a point of reference, can you relay how much worse that log in your eye is?"

Why do minorities have to listen to insignificant experiences before we are able to speak about real problems that actually impact our lives?

I, earlier wrote:

Given the climate here, I'll probably be accused of demanding something from those of nonprivileged status despite my careful wording to avoid that demand.

I seriously have to be told how when you were a kid you had a splinter in your eye once and you cried and cried and ran to your mom who helped you wash the splinter out of your eye and kissed your eye to make it all better...

...before I am able to explain how when I was a kid a giant tree branch fell on my face, punctured my right eye and how my mother was in tears while we were riding in the ambulance and then I was rushed into surgery to repair my messed up face and unfortunately my eye had to be removed?

Let's tease out the difference between you being able to explain that and expecting others to care about it.

I mean sure, that's a story, that sounds like a thing that happened. You have every right to tell me that story.

OR! "yeah I had a splinter once and that hurt like hell, I can't imagine how it must feel to have a whole branch fall on you and oh my god you're blind in one eye?! I once experienced pink eye that swelled my eye completely shut and what happened to you is a million times worse! That's absolutely terrible!"

Saying you scraped your knee once and it hurt really bad so you can better understand a broken bone? Not a shared experience. A minor inconvenience. Insignificant. Not even worth mentioning or acknowledging.

As someone who has broken his femur twice, *this* just comes off as arrogant to me. Arrogant and a pissing match and off topic, so let's bring it back home:

People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired. Unless we can empathize with each other, we might as well be howling at the moon.

What a depressing idea of what it means to be human.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

It's pretty narcissistic to insist on filtering things that happen to others only through one's own experiences, especially when those experiences are absurdly trivial in comparison.

By definition a human only has his or her own experiences. Everything else one perceives about the universe is an extrapolation based upon those experiences.

You can observe how other people react to things and alter your behavior accordingly, but every observation is filtered through the meat machine in your skull. Even at the shallowest level of understanding - that doing thing X impacts person Y negatively - you only have a concept of what a "negative" impact is because you have formed such a concept in reference to your own experiences.

Seth wrote:
Mystic Violet wrote:

Saying you scraped your knee once and it hurt really bad so you can better understand a broken bone? Not a shared experience. A minor inconvenience. Insignificant. Not even worth mentioning or acknowledging.

As someone who has broken his femur twice, *this* just comes off as arrogant to me. Arrogant and a pissing match and off topic, so let's bring it back home:

People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired. Unless we can empathize with each other, we might as well be howling at the moon.

It also sounds a bit arbitrary and subjective. Who determines whether another person's experience is close enough to another that it can be brought up in a conversation? Sure, the splinter in the foot doesn't compare to a log in the eye, but does a q-tip in a nostril? Or a fork in a light socket? The log in the eye doesn't seem to really compare to a gun shot in the chest, so you should make sure no one in the room has been shot before you talk about it.

Ill-defined boundaries bother me, I'm a programmer.

Seth wrote:

I'm confused that you think identifying with other members of our species is arrogant.

Simple. It's not identifying, it's making someone else's experiences all about oneself. Real empathy shouldn't require much more than recognizing pain. No semantics necessary, but if you want to pick at them, have fun.

Hypatian wrote:

What a depressing idea of what it means to be human.

In-f*cking-deed. A few pages back, it was being claimed that only full context was acceptable for commenting on a bit in a video game, lifted more or less unchanged from hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of stories. But apparently the richness, complexity, and peculiarity of a moment in a person's life doesn't require anywhere near that much rigor.

Seth wrote:

People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired. Unless we can empathize with each other, we might as well be howling at the moon.

Wow. That sounds horrifying if you really believe that.

Mixolyde wrote:

Sure, the splinter in the foot doesn't compare to a log in the eye, but does a q-tip in a nostril? Or a fork in a light socket? The log in the eye doesn't seem to really compare to a gun shot in the chest, so you should make sure no one in the room has been shot before you talk about it.

IMAGE(http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i453/czpv/GirlsSeason2_zps3eef7591.jpg)

+++++

In any case, now that we're at the point where we just tell people their ideas are horrible and depressing in order to win the argument, maybe something a little more constructive that popped into my head in the course of this conversation: I like zombie movies and games and such. Women I've known have liked them a lot more. As in...a LOT more, to the point of obsession.

Is that a man/woman difference in perspective thing? When I see mindless hordes shambling towards me ready to put their hands all over my body and rend me limb from limb, I think hell is full and now the dead walk the earth. Do women think "oh--it must be Tuesday"? Is stuff like zombie preparedness kits & plans a way of psychologically coming to terms with knowing stuff like this happens? Maybe it's just that the girls I know tend to be counter-cultural types to begin with, but I don't know--looked like a bit of a possible connection there.

Valmorian wrote:
Seth wrote:

People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired. Unless we can empathize with each other, we might as well be howling at the moon.

Wow. That sounds horrifying if you really believe that.

Welcome to f*cking reality.

Edit: the worst part is that you think this is horrifying.

I feel like some people are reacting to Seth's tone without paying any attention to that he's really saying. Shared experiences are how we communicate. Our brains are just big networks of interconnected ideas. I mean, try to describe how something tastes without comparing it to some other food, or a physical sensation, or some other experience that we hold in common. It's impossible.

If I've never suffered even the most minor form of discrimination, I can't really begin to understand something as harmful and pervasive as sexual discrimination. I can understand that it's "bad" on some conceptual level, but if I want to try to understand how it feels, I'm going to have to filter that through my own experiences. And yes, those experiences are woefully, pathetically, hilariously inadequate. But they're all I've got.

muttonchop wrote:

I feel like some people are reacting to Seth's tone without paying any attention to that he's really saying. Shared experiences are how we communicate. Our brains are just big networks of interconnected ideas. I mean, try to describe how something tastes without comparing it to some other food, or a physical sensation, or some other experience that we hold in common. It's impossible.

I'm glad I'm not the only one noticing this.

Uh. The idea that I thought was depressing was not that people communicate by having common experiences, but that "People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired."

Hypatian wrote:

Uh. The idea that I thought was depressing was not that people communicate by having common experiences, but that "People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired."

I can't tell the difference between those statements. They are two sides of the same semantic coin.

Hypatian wrote:

Uh. The idea that I thought was depressing was not that people communicate by having common experiences, but that "People don't care about others' misfortune unless they can identify with it. That's how we're wired."

I just realized how several years working in marketing has completely jaded me to this ugly truth. It's the reason Americans don't really care or even first hear about crimes against humanity until the Kardashians slap a "Free Tibet" sticker on their porsche bumper or Bono holds a Kony 2013 benefit concert.

The one thing I would caution - generally speaking - is not assuming that the white male experience is uniform, or that American white males cannot possibly understand extreme adversity, deprivation, or dehumanization.

That being said, you probably want to avoid Rosa Parks syndrome (listen to last week's This American Life where Sarah Vowell points out all the ridiculous ways people compare themselves to Rosa Parks, including Ted Nugent claiming that he wouldn't be put in the back of the bus by Obama).

CheezePavilion wrote:

I like zombie movies and games and such. Women I've known have liked them a lot more. As in...a LOT more, to the point of obsession.

Is that a man/woman difference in perspective thing? When I see mindless hordes shambling towards me ready to put their hands all over my body and rend me limb from limb, I think hell is full and now the dead walk the earth. Do women think "oh--it must be Tuesday"? Is stuff like zombie preparedness kits & plans a way of psychologically coming to terms with knowing stuff like this happens? Maybe it's just that the girls I know tend to be counter-cultural types to begin with, but I don't know--looked like a bit of a possible connection there.

Many of the women I know (and few of them are counter cultural types) actually fit this description as well.

Just throwing some theories out there, but the general rape apologist / victim blaming mantra is some form of "boys will be boys." Maybe this interest in zombies -- a shambling, stupid race of enemy driven only by their basest instincts -- is a reflection of rape culture.

Or not. Just spitballing.

Feel like the diminishing returns on this thread. Maybe start another when something new comes to light that can focus things in a bit.