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I wrote a letter to Straight Male Gamer

And it allowed me to convey what I keep trying to say in other ways.

This isn’t solely about games but the dismissal of those who are not what John Scalzi calls “the lowest difficulty setting” in life: the straight (white) dude.

The frustration can turn turn to apathy and giving up. I don’t want to do that, which is why I often try alternate ways of conveying my arguments.

Comments

  1. MissinPost says

    I wrote a letter to the black male gamer but then I realised I was a bigot and deleted it.

    Of course that’s not the same because of structural oppression.

    Because structural oppression is why generalising inaccurately and racistly is wrong. Not because it’s innaccurate and racist.

    But you’re helping by stoking racial tensions.

  2. Chaos Engineer says

    Because structural oppression is why generalising inaccurately and racistly is wrong. Not because it’s innaccurate and racist.

    OK, I think I see where you’re confused.

    Racial prejudice is inherently wrong. Structural oppression is also wrong. That means that structural oppression due to racial prejudice is at least as bad as both of those things combined!

    Here, let’s look at a practical example: Suppose I’ve got a steady job and an excellent credit rating, and I want to take out a mortgage. I walk into a bank, and I see a notice saying, “We think that all white people are deadbeats, so we have excessive interest rates for white people only.” My feelings will be hurt, but then I’ll just turn around and go to one of the ninety-nine other banks in the neighborhood that doesn’t have that racist policy.

    Now, suppose I’m black, and see a notice that black people are going to be charged excessive interest rates. For various historical reasons, there are a lot more bigoted white bankers than bigoted black bankers, so it’s going to be a lot harder for me to find a bank that will give me a fair deal.

    Of course, a banker would have to be pretty silly to actually put up a notice like that. It’s more likely that they’ll just have an unwritten policy that black customers will be charged excessive interest rates. And in fact, this is what we see happening in the real world. The technical term for this sort of racist structural oppression is Redlining.

    Wouldn’t you agree that my hurt feelings (in the first scenario) are pretty bad, but the damage done by redlining (in the second scenario) is much worse? And that if we address the second scenario, then that will indirectly fix the first scenario?

    But you’re helping by stoking racial tensions.

    “Stoking” means to make something worse. This is more like “calling attention to existing racial tensions”.

    Anyway, the article isn’t about race; it’s about sexual orientation. If you want to write a “Letter to an LGBT Gamer” and post it here, we could critique it for you.

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