Tropes vs Women in Video Games kickstarter

A worthy cause if you’ve got a few bucks and you’d like Feminist Frequency to make this series of videos exploring the hundreds of instances of problematic video game characterizations of women. Go see the Kickstarter project and, if you can, donate.

Update: Looks like they’ve met their goal, but the series as a whole needs donations to keep the lights on anyway, so I don’t see any reason to stop now!

S E Cupp is wrong about so many things… this time, equality

You folks might remember S. E. Cupp as FOX News’ token atheist, who claims to be godless but “doesn’t hate God”. You might remember her as Sarah Cupp, who I’m guessing doesn’t like to be called Sarah because she bears more than a passing resemblance to Sarah Palin both in politics and in appearance.

Now, you have a new reason to remember her: she thinks achieving gender or racial equality in places like the Secret Service is “quota mongering” and therefore wrong. Considering the nature of the current Secret Service scandal, stemming as it does from a monoculture of men evidently steeped in their gender roles, this strikes me as amazingly tone-deaf. But if there’s anything S E Cupp excels at, it’s ignoring all situational nuance. She IS a Conservative after all.

Seriously, were these guys the “best for the job”, if they’re incapable of doing the job because they’re too busy employing then not paying prostitutes their fair wages? I’d bet having a woman in that security detail might have precluded that kind of nonsense. Or made the woman the target of their toxic masculinity, I suppose. But at least then that woman would have recourse from her abuse! (And yes, obtaining consent under false pretenses is abuse — more specifically, rape.)

Besides all this, where’s she getting the idea that women trying to eke out a living in Colombia by trading sex for money are somehow morally wrong, ignoring even the very real possibility that they’re not doing it voluntarily? That kind of anti-sex rhetoric is the stuff we feminists get routinely accused of, and it sure as hell shouldn’t fly when that rhetoric comes from anti-feminists either.

Hat tip to Mediaite.

Citrix pulls out of Rush Limbaugh advertisements

After a metric assload of complaints regarding their advertising on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Citrix has pulled their advertisements. They posted on their Facebook wall:

Over the past day, we’ve heard from many great Citrix customers about our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show. These customers have expressed their growing concern that some of his recent comments seem inconsistent with the core values Citrix has always stood for – humility, integrity and respect.

While Citrix obviously does not control any show’s content or endorse opinions of their hosts, we do take the concerns of our customers seriously. When they are upset about something, we listen. After careful consideration, we have decided to discontinue our advertising on The Rush Limbaugh Show.

Sincerely,
Brett Caine
SVP and GM, Online Services Division
Citrix

Considering Rush publicly called a law school student a “slut”, you basically made the only choice you could, Citrix. A true shame you chose to advertise with his show to begin with, and a true shame you took so damn long to finally cave to the pressure, but at least you made that choice rather than stubbornly doubling down and doing more damage to your brand than you need right at the moment. You know, by supporting the systematic destruction of women’s rights.

Update: More advertisers are pulling out over Rush saying the law student — who began petitioning her university insurance to cover contraception because her friend had ovarian cysts, by the way — was just looking to have her sex life subsidized.

Are universal statements always a problem?

Or just sometimes?

It occurs to me that many (“ALL!” “Shh.”) of our problems around these parts viz every new conflagration, from our recent conversation with Mallorie Nasrallah, to the statement by DJ Grothe that we only blog about controversial topics for hits, to the pushback against a Rebecca Watson blog title as though it meant she hates all atheists, is the fact that we as skeptics seem to have a problem with blanket universals even when they are not intended as universals. They are the quickest single thing you can do to engender hatred amongst your commentariat.
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Agitation And The Long Game

I don’t have a good post queued up for today, and not a lot of time to write one, but here’s a few links you’ll probably enjoy (if you haven’t already).

My post from June about Rick Santorm’s wife’s abortion, proving him a total hypocrite with his anti-abortion stance, suddenly exploded overnight. People are passing it about on Facebook like crazy and there are a bunch of people joining in on the comments. By all means, keep the momentum rolling!

Stephanie Zvan is taking one of the skeptic community’s leaders to task for their cognitive biases. Guess which one, why, and what the evidence is!

And Christina over at WWJTD takes on Mallorie Nasrallah’s post declaring that men shouldn’t listen to women who decry sexist comments in our community. And she does it without raising Mallorie’s “you’re strawmanning me!” defense, which she’s offered in every single rebuttal to her own huge strawman argument.

PZ has blow-by-blow in-depth coverage of the Iowa caucus as well if you’re interested in seeing who surged ahead, who was merely turgid, and who flagged at the poles. I mean polls.

The blog-fights we engage in are part of a long game. That’s a lesson I just learned with having an old post go viral so long after it was written. This image, posted by a commenter in an earlier post, is therefore appropriate.

Keep fighting, noble Keyboard Warriors.

Mallorie Nasrallah’s misguided defense of serial harassers and misogyny in the skeptical community

Please note that at Mallorie’s request, as Google indexes are returning potential business contacts to this page when searching for her name, I have retitled the post. The URL can’t change for indexing purposes, but the title itself has been changed from ‘Mallorie Nasrallah says “I like it when #mencallmethings”‘ — playing off a Twitter hashtag that was popular when the post was written.

That’s the only takeaway message I can get from this open letter to the skeptic community, which apparently came as a direct response to her active participation in this discussion at Greta’s.

In the comments on my ill-received but well-intentioned (but as Classical Cipher is fond of saying, intent is not magical) post regarding whether we should differentiate between a person being “a misogynist” and “exhibiting misogynist behaviour” yesterday, Mallorie Nasrallah chimed in. She claimed that the people involved in dissenting from the idea that there is a patriarchy, or that certain actions are misogynistic or enforcing of that patriarchy, might not dissent out of privilege, or out of misogyny in the sense of hating women, but just because they came to different logical conclusions.

She then went on to pen this open letter, which she sent to me via Twitter apparently hoping that I would amplify it. I didn’t. She is apparently friendly with some far bigger movers and shakers in the skeptic community though — Penn Jilette tweeted a link to it a few hours later, lending a very large audience to her letter in a hurry, most probably because he likes the idea she expresses.
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Maddow: The Cain allegations expose systemic dismissing of sexual harassment

Rachel Maddow summarizes the case against Herman Cain in his having settled with two women for sexual harassment. Talking Points Memo put up a list of things that don’t affect the allegations that have been thrown chaff-like into the discourse to throw off the media. The summary contains choice responses from the right-wing, trying to smokescreen the allegations.
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The Case Against Outing Franc Hoggle

There’s a battle raging presently over at Ophelia’s and Stephanie’s over a guy by the ‘nym of Franc Hoggle. I say ‘nym, because a real-life friend of his learned of his online identity, evidently by him outing himself to this friend — leading to his friend discovering his blog, Grey Lining (no link, sorry). Said friend decided to tell Ophelia Franc’s real name so she could use it to defend herself and the rest of us by extension from his ongoing misogynist, anti-feminist, anti-FtB, anti-Ophelia and downright obsessive anti-PZ campaign.

To be clear, Franc Hoggle, despite making a great many oblique and yet threatening comments like “if I were a woman, I’d kick [Ophelia] in the cunt”, has never directly threatened anyone. In his nascent proto-Mabus state, he has compared PZ Myers, popular atheist blogger and small town professor of biology, of being like Idi Amin and Kim Jong-Il, the only admitted difference being that PZ was lacking only the opportunity to commit mass-murder.

The constant drumbeat of anti-feminist sentiment from his site and his commentariat (whom we would probably leave largely alone if they would only stop staging raiding parties!) is evidently intended to inculcate a hostile environment for our bloggers, shaming and othering and invoking fear to speak our minds lest we incur the wrath of some people who happen to think that including feminism in the skeptic and atheist blogosphere is the Wrong Direction For The Movement™. But he has made no direct threats to anyone, and short of the fact that he has visited the Melbourne-based Global Atheist Convention in 2010 under his real name, and PZ was planning on being at the 2012 GAC, he poses no physical threat to anyone in real life.

Yet.
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Female protagonists in video games as eye candy and as role models

Via reader Aliasalpha, Kotaku Australia has a piece up about a Street Fighter panel at NYU’s Game Centre where Capcom staffer Seth Killian (a.k.a s-kill) was asked, point blank, “why so sexist?” He said he was going to “take it on the chin”, but proceded to blame cultural differences between Japanese and Western cultures, playing his answers for laughs from the crowd.
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