Tag Archives: misogyny

Troll Masks

Adi Robertson, The Verge:

How much of it is just an act? How much does it actually matter? How much empathy should we feel when we read something that genuinely seems like a cry for help, when the entire premise of modern-day trolling is that the internet is just a giant game of make-believe, and you’re a fool to do more than point and laugh?

None of this is encouraging, especially when you know that just mentioning it puts you in the crosshairs, too. It doesn’t prove that there’s some hidden decency to reach or some way to impose offline consequences (I haven’t looked up anything about these people’s real identities, and I don’t plan to.) It doesn’t prove anything about what kind of person does this, because someone’s web presence doesn’t necessarily indicate much about their everyday lives. All it proves is that this isn’t some barrage of throwaway insults in a vacuum. Given enough time, whether it’s created out of deep resentment or teenage thoughtlessness or deliberate, sociopathic calculation, even the most one-dimensional troll mask can start to come alive.

Great read.

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One Hell of a Talk from Anita Sarkeesian at the 2014 XOXO Festival

Anita Sarkeesian, XOXO Festival:

For these detractors, it is easier to believe that I’m a skin-bleaching, mind-controlling, video-game-hating, scam artist involved in a masterful long-con than it is to believe that the tide is turning in gaming. That larger numbers of developers and fans are challenging the sexist status-quo and embracing the ideas and critiques expressed in my work and the work of many other women doing the same cultural criticism.

That about sums up #gamergate. We are extremely fortunate to brave folks like Sarkeesian facing this head-on.

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‘Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist’

Adi Robertson, The Verge:

The threats against Sarkeesian have become a nasty backdrop to her entire project — and her life. If the trolls making them hoped for attention, they’ve gotten it. They’ve also inexorably linked criticism of her work, valid or not, with semi-delusional vigilantism, and arguably propelled Tropes vs. Women to its current level of visibility. If a major plank of your platform is that misogyny is a lie propagated by Sarkeesian and other “social justice warriors,” it might help to not constantly prove it wrong.

I am deeply troubled by all of this. My thoughts to Sarkeesian and those affected by these incredibly disturbing acts of lunacy.

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Jessica Valenti of The Guardian on #YesAllWomen:

Part of the obstinate disbelief seems to be a need to protect the privileges of sexism: associating misogyny with a mass murder would mean having to recognize just how dangerous misogyny really is and – if you’re partaking – giving it up. Some men want to believe that they can continue to call women “sluts” and make rape jokes without being part of a broader cultural impact. But they can’t: sexism, from everyday harassment to inequality enshrined in policy, pollutes our society as a whole and limits our ability to create real justice for women.

Jessica Valenti doing magnificent work at The Guardian. A must read for all, especially those partaking in communities largely supported by anonymity.

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The topic of misogyny

Jessica Valenti, The Guardian:

Before the mass murder he allegedly committed, 22-year-old Rodger – also said to have been killed Friday night – made several YouTube videos complaining that he was a virgin and that beautiful women wouldn’t pay attention to him. In one, he calmly outlined how he would “slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see”.

According to his family, Rodger was seeking psychiatric treatment. But to dismiss this as a case of a lone “madman” would be a mistake.

It not only stigmatizes the mentally ill – who are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators of it – but glosses over the role that misogyny and gun culture play (and just how foreseeable violence like this is) in a sexist society. After all, while it is unclear what role Rodger’s reportedly poor mental health played in the alleged crime, the role of misogyny is obvious.

Any mention of video games in this column? No.

Relevant to video game culture? Hugely.

I continually praise and promote Polygon for continuing to cover controversial topics such as gender in gaming (amongst many others); be it the portrayal of female charactershostility toward female gamers, the privilege of male gamers, or women working in the games industry. However, as these articles are published, many in the community appear irritated by the growth of cultural focus on gaming websites. It is infuriating to see these types of pieces battered down by ignorant rants, chalked-up as “click bait,” or dismissed by a community who just wants to “have fun.” It’s a shame that a community built around “fun” attempts to put such important conversations to bed the instant they are published.

As more and more conversations detailing misogynistic culture are injected into mainstream outlets, the more they should be praised. The next time you read a piece in this vein, offer your gratitude to the author for braving (sadly) the inevitable hostility, broadening the conversation, and challenging our cultural norms.

A very brave and critical piece by Jessica Valenti. My thoughts to those affected by this heinous act.

UPDATE: Brian Koppelman: “As The Father Of A Daughter”

As the father of a daughter, I feel complicit. I’ve been at poker games, football games, street fairs and business meetings, on message boards and in email chains, where I’ve heard comments about women, tinged with a particular kind of frustrated anger, that I have chosen to ignore. Because it’s easier to ignore them than to be ostracized, thought unmanly, excluded.
As the father of a daughter, I promise, from this moment on, to have zero tolerance, to be vigilant, to remember that all women are someone’s daughter, and to be brave enough to remind others of that, when they need reminding.

UPDATE: Polygon: ‘Where are the women in eSports?’

Michal “Carmac” Blicharz:

We are not focused on expanding our demographic beyond who we currently reach because our core audience is growing every year. Historically all attempts to target non-core eSports demographics have been failures. Various companies have tried simplification, gender segregation, mainstream-friendly rule sets and other similar things but does not work. It is not authentic as it alienates the immensely large core audience in the hope that someone new might pick it up. We don’t see the point.

48% of gamers are female (ESA, 2014). Male physical advantage: ~0. Male mental advantage: ~0.

First comment: AngryChad:

Why is it always about women in gaming lately? You even mention in the article that 21-34 is the targeted demographic, so why aren’t you asking why older people are also being left out?

Ready to pull my hair out.

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