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  1. #431
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    I agree that anonymity is the cloak these pathetic cowards hide behind. And no, of course I don't think all gamers are stupid bullies. But you're missing the point. Her critique of gaming culture preceded the attacks on her. She was attacked for exposing the idiotic tropes of female stereotypes in many games - themselves profoundly misogynistic. Perhaps you're too immersed in that world to see it clearly. Or perhaps you don't appreciate how directly one thing influences the other? Or perhaps you don't care.

    Anyway, this is hardly an isolated incident. Misogyny online is the rule, not the exception. It's more than evident on this forum, for example. And the fact that you as moderators usually countenance it (despite most of you believing yourselves to be progressive, despite the fact that you probably wouldn't tolerate racist or homophobic speech) just underlines the broader trend.
    Is it surprising that boys immersed in such a toxic culture grow up with an unbalanced view of women and corresponding inability to relate to them constructively?

    I would have thought it rather obvious that the absurd caricatures of women portrayed in games (especially in the absence of more edifying media/encounters) colour the impressionable young male mind and its assessment of a woman's worth.
    As does porn. And of course, plenty of video games incorporate porn as part of the entertainment package.

    Still, let's be thankful there are exceptions to that rule.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Brumfield
    One of the most disturbing recent trends in gender relations, to my mind, is the effect that pornography, in its current ubiquity,is having on younger people. This is not to say I am against porn. Like almost any straight male, for me to make that statement would be the height of hypocrisy. What I am against is the accessibility and lack of context that teens, pre-teens, and even younger children have to kinds of footage that would make the pornographers of yesteryear blush.

    My level of early exposure to pornography was on par with most men my age. The odd videotape that someone’s father had hidden poorly, the occasional magazine stolen from the convenience store while working in a group of like-minded pre-pubescent children of the 80’s. It seems pretty innocent in retrospect, and the material was awfully tame by today’s standards. All the same, I feel that that exposure, and the fire it stoked to see more of the same, stunted me in certain respects.

    There were a lot of reasons behind my awkwardness with girls, but it can at least be partly blamed on the skewed way porn made me look at women. They were portrayed as lusty, wanton sexual vessels that were always turned on and ready, so when they didn’t act that way towards me, I was confused. I blamed them for not being into me when they were supposed to be, and blamed myself for not being the oily alpha-male that I saw in these films. Since I was a silly, awkward teenager, it never occurred to me that it was all only because I was a silly, awkward teenager.

    If that limited exposure did that to me, I can only imagine what the current state of availability is doing to boys and girls growing up now. I don’t really have to imagine, though. It’s been well documented that teenage boys are looking at a disturbing amount of porn online, on their phones, and on TV. They look to it as instructional material for sexual relations, which leads them to pressure teenage girls to do things that retired porn actors will tell you have destructive physical consequences. Since context, or even the basic idea of sexuality being a means of expressing affection, has been removed from these acts, all these kids have to go off of is the mistaken notion that everyone else is doing it.

    It may seem like I am just clutching my pearls, but what all of this portends is pretty disturbing: a generation of young men, from all backgrounds, drastically desensitized to violent, abusive sex. A generation of young women that are increasingly pressured to meet the depraved demands of their male peers. A colder world where young people are more interested in emulating what they see in blue movies than in falling in love.

    Maybe that all seems melodramatic, but ask yourself this, if hardcore pornography permeated our collective consciousness this much in the twenty years since I was a pre-teen, how will our kids look and behave twenty years hence? There is no way to put the brakes on any of these degenerative attitudes with the tools available to us. It would be wrong and quite impossible to censor this material. Parental controls are joke. Parents themselves are only too willing to let the internet and popular entertainment fill in the blanks for kids about sexuality and gender roles. Where does that leave the next generation?
    *awaits torrent of (unmoderated) abuse*
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  2. #432
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Well the fact that he took the behavior of pornstars in porn movies as a proxy for the behavior of every woman should say something about his...lack of reasoning capabilities, perhaps, too? :/

    I was born in the 80s too and had a similar exposure to porn. It was *obvious* to me that porn depicted very much extremes of beahvior aimed at being quickly arousing for males.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #433
    Klingon Warrior Princess Patches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    But you're missing the point. Her critique of gaming culture preceded the attacks on her. She was attacked for exposing the idiotic tropes of female stereotypes in many games - themselves profoundly misogynistic. Perhaps you're too immersed in that world to see it clearly. Or perhaps you don't appreciate how directly one thing influences the other? Or perhaps you don't care.
    I view it as more of a coincidence that it had anything to gaming. Those raids are crimes of opportunity. They'll go after anyone they can, and they do it often. Her subject matter just happened to be gaming. If 100 raids happen, and 5 are related to gaming... I don't blame the gaming. I suppose from your perspective then, the answer is that I don't appreciate how directly one thing influences the other.

    Like I said, I'm not suggesting videogames don't promote misogyny. As a female gamer, I've been the subject of many "get back in the kitchen" jokes over the years. I'm just saying that I feel like the greater issue here is the anonymity. That, gamer or not, 90% of the people responsible for that kind of harassment wouldn't have the balls to say jack shit if there was some accountability for their actions.

    And the fact that you as moderators usually countenance it (despite most of you believing yourselves to be progressive, despite the fact that you probably wouldn't tolerate racist or homophobic speech) just underlines the broader trend.
    This is probably a more appropriate topic for a feedback conversation, but we try to err on the side of censoring conversation as little as possible. I can think of many occasions of reported homophobic speech that, while we unanimously disagree with it's message, did not remove it. It's a forum. Differing opinions happen, and those unpopular opinions are part of the discussion. As long as it's not egregious hate-speech, or a directed insult at a specific member... We try to just let the conversation flow without impeding it. (If this starts a tangent about moderation, I'll probably split it into feedback.)

    I would have thought it rather obvious that the absurd caricatures of women portrayed in games (especially in the absence of more edifying media/encounters) colour the impressionable young male mind and its assessment of a woman's worth.
    As does porn. And of course, plenty of video games incorporate porn as part of the entertainment package.
    Why do you focus on videogames specifically and not media in general? Movies and TV shows, and especially music are just as guilty of oversexualizing women and objectifying them. Videogame developers are marketing toward males, so it makes a certain amount of sense to me that a lot of games have themes like that. (Understanding - not condoning.) But music, TV, and Movies have more of a 50/50 market. And not only are they having an impact on males, but they're also teaching young women that they're sexual objects.


    *awaits torrent of (unmoderated) abuse*
    From me? I like you. In a lot of ways I admire that you seem to be a much stronger woman than I am. I've disagreed with you before, sure, but I don't think I've ever been abusive toward you. Not on purpose anyway. I'm sorry that I've done something to make you expect that from me.
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman

    ~

  4. #434
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    They were portrayed as lusty, wanton sexual vessels that were always turned on and ready, so when they didn’t act that way towards me, I was confused. I blamed them for not being into me when they were supposed to be, and blamed myself for not being the oily alpha-male that I saw in these films. Since I was a silly, awkward teenager, it never occurred to me that it was all only because I was a silly, awkward teenager.
    The more I read stories like this the more asexuality seems to be rising in my mind in reference to myself. Nice that these people recognise the issue though, albeit sometimes a bit too late after burning some relational bridges.

    Ah what am I on about? So fucking vague, sorry people.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  5. #435
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    You know, comics were giving nerds ridiculously misogynistic impressions of women before video games even existed. I like to say that the two mediums are in a competition to present the more shameful depiction of women. However, video games are definitely the junior partner there.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #436
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I don't represent any larger group of gamers. I play a limited selection of things. Many of my favorite games are fairly "gender neutral", and don't necessarily revolve around male centric promotional material. Most of the RPGs I play are like this.. you create your own characters in many RPGs. And they tend to have as many female fans as male. I think fantasy has taken on a more realistic turn since Lord of the Rings came out (by realistic, I mean, functional looking armor or people actually wearing clothes). A lot of old fantasy images with scantily clad warrior women had been in fantasy for years before games ever came out.. in large part due to Frank Frazetta. Who also influenced the comic book industry. Frazetta was an awesome painter, but I don't see as much of his influence going on nowadays. Even in fantasy book isles, book covers have changed. There's a lot more to offer than just sex and blood. And again, that's a genre that might be even more popular among females (across all ages, it seems like).

    Besides that, I'm playing things that don't even really involve "people" in any direct way. Like City Builders or strategy. They have nothing to say about social issues any more than Chess does. What I really care about is the "skeleton" part of the games.. the underlying goal of them. Even when it comes to kiddy beat em up games. I'll enjoy it if a boss fight's patterns are difficult to read or the underlying puzzle is challenging enough that I'm throwing the controller at the TV. I don't care if there are "hot chicks" in the game or the main character has a ten foot long penis. I don't even think I was that infantile and petty, even when I was a kid, and legitimately infantile and petty.

  7. #437
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    I view it as more of a coincidence that it had anything to gaming. Those raids are crimes of opportunity. They'll go after anyone they can, and they do it often. Her subject matter just happened to be gaming. If 100 raids happen, and 5 are related to gaming... I don't blame the gaming. I suppose from your perspective then, the answer is that I don't appreciate how directly one thing influences the other.
    Like I said, I'm not suggesting videogames don't promote misogyny. As a female gamer, I've been the subject of many "get back in the kitchen" jokes over the years.
    I guess there are a couple of links. The first is the idea that 'games are for guys' (you even imply this yourself, despite being a gamer ) and that women aren't welcome in that world as anything other than eye-candy/objects of gratification. Certainly they are not allowed to criticise it. It's not difficult to see how that attitude could infect other types of interactions. The second point she makes is that the violence directed at her was made into a game. The link here is beyond obvious.

    This is probably a more appropriate topic for a feedback conversation, but we try to err on the side of censoring conversation as little as possible. I can think of many occasions of reported homophobic speech that, while we unanimously disagree with it's message, did not remove it. It's a forum. Differing opinions happen, and those unpopular opinions are part of the discussion. As long as it's not egregious hate-speech, or a directed insult at a specific member... We try to just let the conversation flow without impeding it. (If this starts a tangent about moderation, I'll probably split it into feedback.)
    What are misogynistic terms of abuse if not hate-speech? I think it would be universally beneficial to outlaw hatespeech on the forum. This isn't about censorship.
    Laurie Penny makes the point better than I can.

    The idea that this sort of hatespeech is at all normal needs to end now. The internet is public space, real space; it’s increasingly where we interact socially, do our work, organise our lives and engage with politics, and violence online is real violence. The hatred of women in public spaces online is reaching epidemic levels and it’s time to end the pretence that it’s either acceptable or inevitable.

    The most common reaction, the one those of us who experience this type of abuse get most frequently, is: suck it up. Grow a thick skin. "Don't feed the trolls" - as if feeding them were the problem. The Telegraph’s Cristina Odone was amongst many commentators to imply that Mary Beard should have done just that rather than speaking out this week. “Come on, Mary,” wrote Odone. “Women in public arenas get a lot of flak – they always have. A woman who sticks her head above the parapet. . . . is asking for brickbats.”

    Asking for it. By daring to be a woman to be in public life, Mary Beard was asking to be abused and harassed and frightened, and so is any person who dares to express herself whilst in possession of a pair of tits.

    It’s an attitude so quotidian that only when you pause to pick it apart does its true horror become apparent. I am contacted, not every day, but most weeks, by young women who want to build lives as journalists or activists but are afraid of the possible backlash. Every time I receive one of these letters, I get a lurch of guilt: should I tell them the truth? Should I tell them that sometimes I’ve been so wracked with anxiety by the actions of trolls and stalkers that I’ve been afraid to leave the house, that I’ve had to call in the police, that there’s every chance they might too? Or should I tell them to be brave, to take it on the chin, to not be frightened, because their fear, their reticence to speak, is precisely what the trolls want to see most of all?

    I always hesitate over whether or not to speak about this. In fact, I've written and deleted this post that you’re reading several times. For one thing, I don't want to let on just how much this gets to me. Nobody does. It’s what the bullies want, after all. They want evidence that you're hurting so they can feel big and hard, like Richard White in his ridiculous Twitter profile picture, which shows him with beefy arms aggressively folded and his face obscured by a cross. Nobody wants to appear weak, or frightened, or make out that they can’t ‘take it’ - after all, so few people complain. Maybe we really are just crazy women overreacting?

    And so we stay silent as misogyny becomes normalised. We’re told to shut up and accept that abuse of this vicious and targeted kind just happens and we'd better get used to it. Whilst hatred and fear of women in traditionally male spaces, whether that be the internet or the Houses of Parliament, is nothing new, the specific, sadistic nature of online sexist and sexual harrassment is unique, and uniquely accepted - and it can change. The internet is a young country. Its laws and customs are not yet decided. We don’t have to accept sexist hatred in silence any more. This week, with many victims sharing their stories of online harassment on the hashtag #silentnomore, the fightback began in earnest.

    Right now, the beginning of a backlash against online misogyny is underway. Some people claim that this backlash is an act of ‘censorship’. Some website owners claim that promoting and publicising sadistic misogyny is merely respecting the ‘freedom of speech’ of anyone with a lonely hard-on for sick rape fantasies. That sort of whinging isn’t just disingenuous, it’s terrifically offensive to anyone with any idea of what online censorship actually looks like.

    As I write, there is a real fight going on to keep the internet as free as possible from government interference, a fight to free speech and information from the tyranny of state and corporate control. Without going into it too much here, the internet is full of people who have spent their lives, risked their lives and even lost their lives in that fight. To claim that there’s some sort of equivalence between the coordinated attack on net neutrality and digital freedom going on across the world and the uninterrupted misogyny of comment-thread mouth-breathers doesn’t just take the biscuit, it pinches the whole packet and dribbles ugly bile-flecked crumbs into the keyboard.

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking, brain-aching. These people talk unironically of their right to free expression whilst doing everything in their power to hurt, humiliate and silence any woman with a voice or a platform, screeching abuse at us until we back down or shut up. They speak of censorship but say nothing of the silencing in which they are engaged. I have even been told, with apparent sincerity, that using the ‘block’ button on Twitter to prevent anybody who has posted threats of violence against me is actually an attack on the troll’s freedom of speech - no apparent distinction being made between the right to express your views and the right to have your ugliest half-thoughts paid attention to.

    According to the current logic of online misogyny a woman’s right to self-expression is less important by far than a man’s right to punish her for that self-expression. What appears to upset many of these people more than anything else is the idea that any woman or girl, anywhere, might have a voice, might be successful, might be more socially powerful than they themselves are - at least, that’s the message I get every time I’m told that I’ve got a lot to say for myself, and my silly little girl’s mouth could be more usefully employed sucking one of the enormous penises that these commentators definitely all possess**. In 2011 I wrote that a woman’s opinion was the mini-skirt of the internet. Since then, the situation appears to have deteriorated, not just for women in public life but for women in public full stop.
    Why do you focus on videogames specifically and not media in general? Movies and TV shows, and especially music are just as guilty of oversexualizing women and objectifying them.
    True, but there is less inducement to rape and murder them. Probably. Try searching for "how to rape in Grand Theft Auto". Edifying stuff.

    Videogame developers are marketing toward males, so it makes a certain amount of sense to me that a lot of games have themes like that. (Understanding - not condoning.)
    Really? It makes sense to you? Because it makes no fucking sense to me whatsoever. And why are they marketing exclusively towards males when 40% of their market is female??? (and that segment would undoubtedly grow if it were not alienated by the hate vomited in its direction).
    But music, TV, and Movies have more of a 50/50 market. And not only are they having an impact on males, but they're also teaching young women that they're sexual objects.
    I agree. But music and film are more of a mixed bag. You have some great role models in there too.

    From me?
    No silly, of course not from you.

    I probably have derailed the thread in multiple directions. Feel free to split as you see fit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #438
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    You know, comics were giving nerds ridiculously misogynistic impressions of women before video games even existed. I like to say that the two mediums are in a competition to present the more shameful depiction of women.
    For real. What you have to ask yourself is why.

    This is Tom Harris, comic book "artist":
    I cant remember if Ive said this before, but Im gonna say it anyway. I dont give a crap.I appreciate a pretty Gal as much as the next Hetero Male. Sometimes I even go in for some racy type stuff ( keeping the comments PG for my Ladies sake) but dammit, dammit, dammit I am so sick and tired of the whole COSPLAY-Chiks. I know a few who are actually pretty cool-and BIG Shocker, love and read Comics.So as in all things, they are the exception to the rule. Heres the statement I wanna make, based on THE RULE: "Hey! Quasi-Pretty-NOT-Hot-Girl, you are more pathetic than the REAL Nerds, who YOU secretly think are REALLY PATHETIC. But we are onto you. Some of us are aware that you are ever so average on an everyday basis. But you have a couple of things going your way. You are willing to become almost completely Naked in public, and yer either skinny( Well, some or most of you, THINK you are ) or you have Big Boobies. Notice I didnt say GREAT Boobies? You are what I refer to as "CON-HOT". Well not by my estimation, but according to a LOT of average Comic Book Fans who either RARELY speak to, or NEVER speak to girls. Some Virgins, ALL unconfident when it comes to girls, and the ONE thing they all have in common? The are being preyed on by YOU. You have this really awful need for attention, for people to tell you your pretty, or Hot, and the thought of guys pleasuring themselves to the memory of you hanging on them with your glossy open lips, promising them the Moon and the Stars of pleasure, just makes your head vibrate. After many years of watching this shit go down every 3 seconds around or in front of my booth or table at ANY given Con in the country, I put this together. Well not just me. We are LEGION. And here it is, THE REASON WHY ALL THAT, sickens us: BECAUSE YOU DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT COMICS, BEYOND WHATEVER GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH YOU DID TO GET REF ON THE MOST MAINSTREAM CHARACTER WITH THE MOST REVEALING COSTUME EVER. And also, if ANY of these guys that you hang on tried to talk to you out of that Con? You wouldnt give them the fucking time of day. Shut up you damned liar, no you would not. Lying, Liar Face. Yer not Comics. Your just the thing that all the Comic Book, AND mainstream press flock to at Cons. And the real reason for the Con, and the damned costumes yer parading around in? That would be Comic Book Artists, and Comic Book Writers who make all that shit up.
    I know. Sounds like the deluded ravings of a mental asylum inmate. He genuinely posted that on his Facebook page.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #439
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    @Salomé

    I'm not sure if this will be interesting to you but I went with my mother to visit a friend who had just given birth to a baby boy and my mum is a midwife at Stafford hospital.

    Now firstly i'll admit that I could not find a source to back this up, although i'll also admit I didn't look that hard', but during the visit my mum advised the lady in question to breast feed skin to skin because it was more comforting to the baby to feel the warmth of it's mother.

    She then went on to mention that it was discovered that men have less social genes than women, (once again don't know about sources on this), which is why young boys and baby boys are more sensitive and require more physical contact and engagement at an early age.

    I thought this was interesting because if it was true, it seems to be the exact opposite of how gender cultures make out the genders to be. Most men for example learn to appear insensitive and mocking of those who are, whereas stereotypically it is believed women are more sensitive.

    It is not a surprise therefore that many men suffer from suppressed feelings of emotional vulnerability considering that if this information is correct, most are actually more desiring of a sensitive and emotionally open series of relationships, or at the very least they require it.

    Well this was just an idle idea built off a shaky foundation.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  10. #440
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    less "social genes"? Really we still have trouble identifying genes that may lead to congenit illnesses, I don't know if it's easy to believe in such a thing.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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