I don’t understand this concept that in order for a space to be “safe” for men, women have to feel unsafe in it. It seems rational that spaces which are more inclusive are actually safer for everyone. What these gamers really want is a “boy’s club” where they can spout vitriolic misogyny and never get called out for it.
It’s depressing to me since it’s yet another community that I once identified with and now feel almost ashamed to be associated with (the other, of course, being atheism).
I’ve been playing video games for longer than I’ve been an atheist, for over twenty years. Yet even if some cartoon supervillian was shouting, “I will end gaming forever, mwahaha!” I wouldn’t get up in arms over it. It’s not worth threatening anyone over – they’re just games. Yet that’s not even close to what people like Anita are doing. A line from one of her videos is that it’s possible to enjoy media while still criticizing its more pernicious aspects. That’s a totally reasonable position, and yet she still gets death threats for it.
On reddit, saying anything even remotely positive about Anita is a guaranteed way to get downvoted into oblivion. In fact, once all I said was “Even if you disagree with her, let’s all agree that death threats are a bad thing” and while I didn’t get downvoted, I got replies informing me that she has made fake threats before so this one is probably fake too. I asked how it was known that she had faked threats before, and the reply was something about how the Twitter accounts sending her threats were only a minute old, so that somehow proves that she made those accounts herself. That’s some perfectly rational Spock-like logic there, right?
The whole thing makes me want to ditch gaming for a new hobby, like model railroading. Though I’m sure there’s a contingent of sexists assholes there too, since it seems to be a trend.