It’s not just the atheists and skeptics. It’s not just the US. It’s not just bloggers. It’s everywhere. It’s (notoriously) in gaming; it’s in Australia (gee, really?!).
I’d talk to fellow players who’d moved servers, convinced that Thaurissan (an Oceanic server, with a high volume of Australian players) was suffering from the same rot as Australian society in general. Alas, as it turned out, there was sexism in pretty much every server and realm, enough to drive some of my friends from the game.
Thus making it even more sexist, thus driving even more women from the game; repeat. Cf recent events. Women murmur about sexism; man rebukes women for murmuring about sexism; explosion of sexism takes place; women go elsewhere.
This is how it works. Where there is rabid constant relentless sexism, women will be driven away because it isn’t fun, so the place where there is rabid constant relentless sexism gets even worse. That’s why it’s shortsighted and foolish to encourage the rabid constant relentless sexism, unless you actually like that kind of thing, which reasonable people don’t.
I tell you this because it seems there is still a considerable slice of society that either believes that women don’t play video games, or that they do, but sexism in gaming isn’t that bad a problem.
To which I can only really say: O RLY?
Sarkeesian’s campaign began to receive donation pledges, but then all hell broke loose: the bro dudes got wind of her campaign and set about doing all they could to burn it to the ground.
Oh how familiar that sounds.
I’m inclined to think that gaming, like its broader relative, “geekdom”, is one of those areas where the less reconstructed men of the world feel they still have a grip on the “old fashioned” way of doing things (i.e. objectifying women and slinging hate-speech around like confetti), and they’re not about to give it up without a fight. They still feel like they have a say when it comes to who gets to play in the treehouse.
In many ways, it often feels as though women can’t win when it comes to fighting sexism within gaming (both itself and the community surrounding it): you’re either derided as a “girl gamer” who is only posing with a PS3 to be popular, or decried as a feminist bore because you dare to suggest that having a major female character suffer sexual assault is lazy character development.
Hipster misogyny is all over the place. Fighting it is probably hopeless, but one has to try.