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There ain’t no misogyny on the internets

<hyperskepticism>Anita Sarkeesian was probably making all this up.</hyperskepticism>

(via Jason.)

Comments

  1. says

    This whole story makes me embarrassed to call myself a “gamer”. Fuck em though. Their shit didn’t work and it just brought the sexist gamer problem into the light even more.

  2. robro says

    If these misogynist gamer duds were as smart as they like to think they are, they would realize that their game plan was a total fail. All they have to do is watch the video. But, they aren’t smart because YouTube comments have been turned off, and I bet we can all guess why.

  3. Portia, sporty and glam, pelted with pastries says

    I ♥ Anita Sarkeesian.

    We feed the trolls here. We feed them until they burst.

    Ha, I like that. “Don’t feed the trolls” has become its own sort of trolling, hasn’t it. GTFO with silencing tactics.

  4. Gregory Greenwood says

    As someone who enjoys computer games in most regards, it infuriates me no end that the industry is still, for the most part, so openly and unapologetically sexist. It is a rarity to see a female character depicted in video games that is not self evidently a manifestation of some form of immature, misogynistic sex fantasy of the developers.

    Even those games that do try to provide the option for players to create their own character avatars, including more layered, complex and competant female characters – such as the Mass Effect series – are still littered with female character models that rigidly conform to a narrow and oppresive concept of a notional ‘feminine ideal’. It seems that, even when the industry tries to address this issue, it cannot help but continue to import the same toxic tropes.

    But, as Anita Sarkeesian points out, the problems within the actual computer game industry itself pale in comparison to those within the broader online gaming community. I refuse to identify as a ‘gamer’, despite being someone who enjoys many aspects of computer gaming, precisely because I have no desire to associate with the kind of people who respond to legitimate (and desperately needed) criticisms of gaming from a woman’s perspective with a tidalwave of hateful, hoggling misogyny.

    Computer games have great potential as a means of storytelling that encourages greater creativity, benefits from its interactive nature to tell those types of stories that cannot be told by means of books or movies, is free of the increasongly stodgy and conformist attitudes that dominate the Hollywood studio system, and can be highly inclusive when created with that intent. It would be a shame to see all that potential squandered in a rush to court the gaming dollars of reactionary, bigoted dudebros who have no clue how to relate to women other than as shallow, juvenile fantasies.

  5. eveysolara says

    Maybe it’s just me but these sound like the same guys who harrassed scientology for a while, and also this guy

  6. amyfort says

    Maybe it’s just me but these sound like the same guys who harrassed scientology for a while, and also this guy

    If you mean Anonymous, I’ve seen some stuff about them using their powers for good recently, particularly in the case of cyberbullying – some people from Anonymous recently ganged up on some people harassing a suicidal teen and got them to realise the error of their ways and they’ve been publicly addressing the problems of cyber bullying so it seems unlikely they’d be part of the massive harassment campaign that Anita Sarkeesian was/is being subjected to.

  7. Pteryxx says

    Wrong. “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Is Bad Science

    Sarkeesian even refers to this phenomenon at length in the video. She calls the coordinated hate campaign a ‘cyber-mob’ and points out that it’s self-reinforcing through the accolades of fellow haters and hate-supporters.

  8. Gregory Greenwood says

    eveysolara @ 11;

    Anonymous has certainly always been an ambiguous group that has gone increasingly off the rails in the last few years, but as a general rule of thumb I would advise you to take any report made by Fox News with several container ships worth of salt. This is the same network that tried to paint Occupy Wallstreet as a dangerous and violent movement and that provides infamously skewed reporting on all kinds of progressive issues. Afterall, it is also notable that a particular favourite topic of theirs is atheist bashing…

  9. says

    Pteryxx:

    She calls the coordinated hate campaign a ‘cyber-mob’ and points out that it’s self-reinforcing through the accolades of fellow haters and hate-supporters.

    Well, we’ve certainly seen enough of that exact behaviour since e-gate and the doubling down over A+, haven’t we?

  10. jehk says

    @Gregory Greenwood

    Computer games have great potential as a means of storytelling that encourages greater creativity, benefits from its interactive nature to tell those types of stories that cannot be told by means of books or movies, is free of the increasongly stodgy and conformist attitudes that dominate the Hollywood studio system, and can be highly inclusive when created with that intent. It would be a shame to see all that potential squandered in a rush to court the gaming dollars of reactionary, bigoted dudebros who have no clue how to relate to women other than as shallow, juvenile fantasies.

    /clap /clap /clap

    The broader online gaming community is filled with such monstrous assholes because the industry keeps producing games that attract them.

    Take the recent game Far Cry 3. It’s basically about some super privileged white boy that goes to a small pacific island and kills a bunch of brown people. He’s the great white hope for the indigenous people too (which infuriates me like few other things can). This is a major power fantasy for dudebros.

    Like the Atheist community, the ones in power are going to have to make a conscious decision to include others in their community.

  11. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    The thing about Anonymous is that it isn’t one group, it is an amorphous bunch that has dozens of subgroups. There are those who do good stuff, and decent stuff.

    There’s also shitheads.

    And they are all Anonymous.

  12. Ogvorbis says

    This:

    its not just going to go away if we ignore it

    is important. Thank you, PZed, for showing me another part of humanity I didn’t know existed and thank you, Anita Sarkeesian, for moving the ball forward a few inches.

  13. says

    Yeah, but you brought a bunch of basement geeks of all ages together in a unified activity! That’s no small accomplishment when you’re talking about people who operate mostly in weird isolation from the rest of humanity.

    Okay, more seriously, these idiots are pathetic and their tactics are revolting. But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.

  14. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.

    Unless you’re their target. Or you care about people who are their targets. Or you’re just a human being who’s aware of how toxic the environment is that creates them and that they sustain.

  15. Ogvorbis says

    But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.

    Bullshit. This was a concerted effort to drive Anita Sarkeesian of of the internet and out of public view. They sought to deny her right to affect the body politic. I doubt that all participants viewed it this way, but I would be willing to bet you dollars to donuts that the organizers of this campaign saw it that way. This time they failed. Next time? We might lose another valuable voice.

  16. says

    Michaelgoldenberg:

    Okay, more seriously, these idiots are pathetic and their tactics are revolting. But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.

    You know, it was this exact attitude I was waiting to see show up. Every day, those of us fighting the good fight on the feminism and social justice front get to see, hear and read the most appalling statements. Rhetoric and fantasy which brims over with gleeful violence. Talk of rape in order to put us nasty, not fully human wimmins back in their proper place. Talk of beating wimmin.

    Now, is some of that simply talk? Sure. However, you can be absolutely assured it’s more than talk to someone. Someone like this person, for example. 14 women, dead. That’s hardly the only example in a world which swims in violence against women and a culture which shores up that violence and excuses it.

    All that talk also provides a safe culture to excuse and encourage such attitudes, to normalize them. Rape culture already operates this way and it proliferates. By dismissing such behaviour, you enable it.

  17. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    They sought to deny her right to affect the body politic

    They did much more than that. They tried to destroy her life – the video makes it clear that they attempted to steal her personal information. You know what they were going to do with it – put in public so that she would be harrassed IRL as well. They wanted to put her in potentially mortal danger over fucking video games.

  18. jehk says

    @michaelgoldenberg

    Yeah, but you brought a bunch of basement geeks of all ages together in a unified activity! That’s no small accomplishment when you’re talking about people who operate mostly in weird isolation from the rest of humanity.

    What an old and tired stereotype this is. Many of these people act the way they do because they are entrenched in society not isolated from it. These gamers are the symptom of larger and complex social ills. A lot of it being white male privilege.

  19. Ogvorbis says

    You know, it was this exact attitude I was waiting to see show up. Every day, those of us fighting the good fight on the feminism and social justice front get to see, hear and read the most appalling statements. Rhetoric and fantasy which brims over with gleeful violence. Talk of rape in order to put us nasty, not fully human wimmins back in their proper place. Talk of beating wimmin.

    Quoted for truth.

    I am male and have become (thanks to this site) a feminist. This is really the only place I have an online presence (save for my account at Amazon!) and have seen threats, ‘jokes’, gendered insults, and other misogynist behaviour which is scary. What the ever-loving-fuck is so bad about accepting women (and gays, lesbians, bisexuals, queers, asexuals, etc.) as human beings with all the rights, privileges, responsibilities, and headaches that are concommittant with humanness?

  20. eddyline says

    ***waiting for the first MRA to call out, “Lighten up!”***

    A huge thank you, to Anita Sarkeesian, but mostly to all of you here, for helping me pull my head out over the last few years. You do great things here.

  21. Ogvorbis says

    They did much more than that.

    Sorry. Flashing on Pete Seeger and unintentionally understated. My bad.

  22. eddyline says

    **waiting for the first MRA to shout out, “Lighten up!”**

    A huge thank you to all of the Horde for helping me pull my head out over the past few years. You do great things here.

  23. says

    Another phenomenon we see a lot of: claims that the “internet isn’t real”. “It’s only the internet”. Worse, “it’s FREE SPEECH”. Therefore, this isn’t a problem unless it carries over into the “real world”.

    Sorry, gang. This is a medium for real-world communication about real-world events and ideas, and it’s becoming increasingly important.

  24. says

    PZ:

    Another phenomenon we see a lot of: claims that the “internet isn’t real”. “It’s only the internet”. Worse, “it’s FREE SPEECH”. Therefore, this isn’t a problem unless it carries over into the “real world”.

    Oh gods, yes. And they are tiresome, bad arguments. I keep waiting for one of those idiots to explain how attempts at finding personal information in order to out it (such as was done with Anita Sarkeesian) can even take place when the internet isn’t real and doesn’t consist of real people.

  25. Tethys says

    Okay, more seriously, these idiots are pathetic and their tactics are revolting. But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.

    How convenient for you that you can dismiss all of the hatred directed towards this woman as something so trivial and unimportant. Twas a mere piffle, perpetrated by evil cave dwelling cyber misogynists for fun!!

    I am seriously fed-up with people who dismiss cyber stalking and harassment that includes constant explicit rape threats with such trite bullshit.

  26. No Light says

    Another phenomenon we see a lot of: claims that the “internet isn’t real”. “It’s only the internet”. Worse, “it’s FREE SPEECH”. Therefore, this isn’t a problem unless it carries over into the “real world”

    For some of us this is our “real world”, our only world. Meatspace is not accessible to us, so we live online. We shop, socialise, learn and debate. We read, we try to do our part in activism and social justice.

    Then, they find out. They exploit it, terrorise us, and we’re left with nowhere, scared to even look at a screen.

    “Don’t feed the trolls” and “lol they’re just saddos, they can’t hurt anyone” are silencing tactics, dismissive and erasing the very real harm done.

    We must speak, must SCREAM.

  27. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Maybe it’s just me but these sound like the same guys who harrassed scientology

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    …is there any connection between 4chan Anonymous and the Anonymous anti-cult protestors?

  28. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    …is there any connection between 4chan Anonymous and the Anonymous anti-cult protestors?

    Apparently, yes. The latter is a subset of the former.

  29. khms says

    @Caine, Fleur du mal

    eveysolara:

    Don’t feed the trolls

    Wrong. “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Is Bad Science

    I have no idea how the idea originated that this even was supposed to be science in the first place.

    As far as I can tell, the saying originated at a time and place where it actually worked: early days of Usenet, small, technical discussion groups, with almost constant membership. Pretty much all of these attributes are necessary to it working, however. The people who tried to popularize it into the parts of the net that had more problems with trolls, themselves being the kind of people you found in those small, technical groups, were not exactly suited to recognize why their nice, effective strategy failed to work in other places – except that people didn’t follow through, so obviously what was needed was to exhort them some more …

    It’s not science. It never was. It’s misapplied social engineering, because the people who came up with it didn’t realize what the necessary conditions for success were. And then the meme had already escaped into the wild …

    Or, as it would be described in those small, technical groups, if it were part of the subject matter: The algorithm doesn’t scale.

  30. Rodney Nelson says

    Another phenomenon we see a lot of: claims that the “internet isn’t real”.

    Tell that to Michael Brutsch aka Reddit user “Violentacrez”.

  31. Rodney Nelson says

    khms #34

    Wrong. “Don’t Feed the Trolls” Is Bad Science

    I have no idea how the idea originated that this even was supposed to be science in the first place.

    I believe it’s based on the old “don’t pay attention to bullies and they’ll go away” nonsense. In meatspace bullies don’t leave their victims alone regardless of the victims’ actions. Internet bullies don’t operate any differently. Ignore them and they don’t go away.

  32. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    We must speak, must SCREAM.

    100% co-signed. This isn’t a joke. This isn’t a silly little game that doesn’t hurt anyone.

    Though, I do love it when they get back what they give. Violentacrez being an excellent example. Now everyone knows who the chickenshit bigot is.

    but even that, not okay, imo, because it still opens up people to potential violence. In this case, his wife and son.

  33. captainahags says

    I love how successful her campaign ended up being because of/in spite of (I tend to want to think because of) the massive harassment. Hopefully it’s one in a series of lessons on why you shouldn’t be a fucking misogynist asshole on the internet- although I think it’ll take quite a few school sessions before the idiots figure it out.

    In an unrelated/semi-related note, if Ms. Sarkeesian wanted a superhero name, and happened to have the superpower of extremely effective sarcasm and biting wit, it could be *puts on sunglasses* Anita Snarkeesian!

    *Hops into submarine, closes hatches, DIVE, DIVE, DIVE.*

  34. bobo says

    quote: “Okay, more seriously, these idiots are pathetic and their tactics are revolting. But once your understand whom you’re dealing with, it’s difficult to take their point of view seriously.”

    I hear this too, on right-wing sites, about neo-nazis.

    They say “hey, don’t go after the neo-nazis and their talk of genocide, its just free speech, and besides, noone takes neo-nazis and racists seriously haha”

  35. vaiyt says

    I’m still baffled as of why a simple thing, ONE attempt at DISCUSSING sexism in game in an OCEAN of skeevy material for the dudebros, could generate such an uproar and hate campaign.

  36. anteprepro says

    Another phenomenon we see a lot of: claims that the “internet isn’t real”. “It’s only the internet”. Worse, “it’s FREE SPEECH”. Therefore, this isn’t a problem unless it carries over into the “real world”.

    Sorry, gang. This is a medium for real-world communication about real-world events and ideas, and it’s becoming increasingly important.

    Pshaw. Next you’ll be saying that telephone conservations and snail mail are “real life” too. And if that were true, then I would actually have to pay my bills. Absurdity!

  37. rrhain says

    It was really good to see the women in the audience. I’m just curious, though: Where were the men? God, I hope men got to hear this, too, and they need to hear about the slime they put out there, to see it personalized and made real, so that maybe, just maybe, they can recognize the fact that they are responsible for stopping it. Not only by cutting it out from themselves but also by standing up to their “buddies” who can’t seem to figure out that women do not exist for their pleasure.

    Note, I am not saying a single thing about how the segment was produced, how she gave her statement, or anything along those lines. No one thing can be all things and perhaps this talk was focused on women. I’m hardly saying that men needed to be present there. I am truly ignorant of how the presentation was planned and I make no statement at all regarding it. I’m simply hoping that her message got out to men, too, and curious if there were any in the audience.

  38. randay says

    eveysolara appears to be a scientology troll. “harrassed scientology”? Harrassment is one of scientology’s most used methods. Ask anyone who has left the criminal organization. I don’t understand why scientology is not pursued under RICO law.

  39. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    anteprepeo , 43

    Why, if the interwebz were real life, I would have to pay the bills I receive via e-mail! Or the online transactions i do would actually use myreal life hard earned cash as payment! Madness! Where mah freeze peaches at?

  40. Marcus Hill (mysterious and nefarious) says

    When I see the net effect of the harassment as being, in and of itself, a massive piece of evidence for the misogyny present in gamer culture, and attracting loads of attention to the Kickstarter that it would probably not have otherwise had, it strikes me that what we have is a bunch of digital natives who don’t understand the Streisand effect. I don’t for one second envy Sarkeesian’s nasty treatment by these idiots, but in the long run it looks like she has the last laugh, with a project better funded and far more widely known than it would have been if they’d left her alone.

  41. eveysolara says

    Ramsay, I am not a Scientology troll, I protested with anon. I was referring to towards the beginning of the ‘raid’, anon used very similar tactics. Death threats, vandalism, sending massive amounts of faxes so that their machines would run out of ink, DOS attacks on Scientology websites, etc.

  42. stillcrazy says

    Final word talks about being full and active participants in our digital world.

    BUT THEY WILL NEVER BE INVITED IN CERTAIN CIRCLES.

    Moronic macho testosterone filled 1st shooters reward certain personality types and punish others. Long term civ builders reward others. Some people like both, some people fall into 1 or the other.

    The girls do great in the long term builders, but the shoot 1st never ask any question games? No way. Sure, there is a subset. Hhh 5% out of my ass,I’ve got gamer kids and I get detailed information from them and friends. This is a constant in our house. It is overwhelmingly guys who have a pack mentality of let’s go kill shit.

    And guess what? If they had the skills or ability to go out and talk to women, a large portion of them would not be there, they would be out GETTING LAID. These are testosterone filled guys who find women confusing and annoying, because the women want them to PLAY LESS GAMES. The women typically HATE time spent away from them and on the game.

    Every interaction with these women (their mother, their rare girlfriend) is bitching, whining, “Get off the game and go do this/pay attention to me/give me time on the big tv/do the dishes/do your homework/do, no you can’t you that”.

    This is a ball of fury and frustration, rarely getting laid.

    And a smart scary chick, who is a long term gamer so she is even scarier, makes noise about INVADING their world. INVADING. They circled wagons, and did the only thing they could. Band together and ATTACK!!!!!!!!

    And she acts like this should be unexpected? THIS IS WHAT THEY DO, DAY IN, DAY OUT, FOR YEARS!

    And she thinks it will change?

    No, the game is a total open encouragement of kill your opponent with no reservations in behavior or speech. Your teammates are chosen sometimes at random out of a pool of waiting slots. But you can hang on the same server and then your choice of teammates is restricted, so you end up hanging with your chosen bunch until ostracized.

    All is fair in love and war. ALL. No consequences. None. That is the mind set. And not just on the game server.

    This is NOT the real world. In the real world, we self-censor or face consequences.
    We don’t go around trying doorknobs just in case we can go in someone’s house. At least most of us don’t. We don’t spray paint an annoying neighbor’s house (most of us). We don’t drive by shoot them, etc.

    All of these events happen in the real world, but there is always a possibility of getting caught, so the vast majority of people who want to do this still do not, at least most of their time.

    In the game, EVERY chance, TRY.

    In games encourage this behavior. The only downside is when others stop playing with you.

    People who are trained in the digital world have a large portion of their interaction in a consequence free arena, which trains them to express their innermost downsides without regard, anonymously in a like minded group, and the possibility of being ostracized is higher if you do not reflect the worst case expressed KILLER mindset in this group-think. It drives it to the bottom.

    Remember, military is a STRICT hierarchy. 1 leader organizing a bunch of others under their command, with quick reaction to orders. If your buddy isn’t covering you because he needed to ask WHY, and you get killed, you’re pissed.

    In this case, the leader should be a very well organised psychopath. That is the top personality type that will excel, and it gives them years of training in manipulating people. They do not take challenges to power lightly. Really, these games are incredible for building certain skills, and destroying others.

    There are many thousands of servers running games training these people for years.

    Not the typical girl’s mind-set. They are programmed for networking and conflict resolution where everyone wins. We just wanna go kill something GODAMN IT!

    And the guys always assume the girls aren’t as good, will cost them points and deaths, so they will judge their mistakes very harshly.

    With no real life consequence for ANYTHING.

    The only sin here is going against the group.

    Lord of the Flies with no consequences.

    Oh, and losing matches too. But not really, they are killing time for years, being trained NOT TO CARE.

    Sigh.

    I’d tell her to get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich, but my wife serves my every need so there is no point telling anyone else to do it.

    No, of course not. I made a hell of a dinner for my wife and timed it for her arrival last night, and then cleaned up and did the dishes afterwards. And proud of it.

  43. rq says

    stillcrazy

    I’m confused… You’re saying that your gamer kids spend a lot of time playing violent games because they don’t have the skills to meet women and get laid… and yet, when they get a chance to work on those skills, they choose to ignore and go back to the game? Sounds like a self-perpetuating cycle to me. Obviously they’ll have to play less games if they want some human interaction, including interaction from women who would willingly choose to have sex with them (because lack of sex is the only problem they have, right?).

    Not the typical girl’s mind-set. They are programmed for networking and conflict resolution where everyone wins. We just wanna go kill something GODAMN IT!

    This? Really? Programmed for networking and conflict resolution? Seriously? Wow.
    You’ve missed a lot of conversations about this kind of topic.
    Because to accept these stereotypes (boys = violent killer games; girls = co-operation games) as incontrovertible facts is the wrong direction to take.

  44. Emrysmyrddin says

    They are programmed for networking and conflict resolution where everyone wins.

    [citation needed]

  45. maximus says

    First- there is no excuse for the harassment of Anita,

    But she fails to apply her views of women in games to men portrayed in games. Are women in games idealized and sexualized, yes, but so are the men. The men all have the bodies of Olympic athletes, or roided out muscle monsters. Look up: Gears of War, or God of War, these are stylized character designs. Now look at: Heavy Rain and Uncharted, these are more realistic character designs. Also look up the new Lara Croft vs the original!

    When complaining about a medium mostly directed at men for portraying women in a certain way(and not mentioning that for the last 9 years that trend has completely reversed), should we also complain about men in womens media: Mr. Big from sex in the city, or sexualized men in romance novels.

    That’s the problem here, not representing the facts accurately, presenting a biased view as fact. Not representing an accurate “whole” picture of the videogame industry. Her facts are simply wrong.

    For more information check out a podcast by women actually in the videogame industry, where they talk about this very issue (girlfight podcast ign), also look up Jessica Chobot, probably the most knowledgeable woman on this subject on the planet!

  46. Emrysmyrddin says

    Are women in games idealized and sexualized, yes, but so are the men.

    So, as the larger percentage of these games are played by straight doods, you’re saying that these dudely dudebros are joyously selecting their avatars based on how rock-hard and juicy their pixelated butts are? Because the avatar’s massive biceps and giant warhammers make them drool? Because they get hot for faceless but built guys in gas masks and coverall boilersuits…?

    Judging by the target audience of these games, methinks you don’t know how ‘sexualisation’ works.

  47. maximus says

    No I’m saying that men in games are presented in sexualised overtly masculine stereotypes, just like the women are presented in sexualized stereotypes, IN CERTAIN GENRES OF GAMES. I’m guessing you didn’t look up the games or pictures of the characters I mentioned. Try it actually having facts is fun!

  48. No Light says

    “I know a woman is getting rape and death threats, getting doxed and harassed, but…WHAT ABOUT THE MEEEENNNZ???”

    Sorry Maximus Reversus Sexismus, I’ve already used up all of today’s fucks. I have none left to give.

  49. says

    The problem with your argument is that those “roided out” monsters are a predominantly male fantasy, not predominantly female.

    In other words, they’re targeted at gratifying the same audience that the female characters are targeted for.

  50. jackiepaper says

    Maximus, men are not sexualized in those games. They are power fantasies for men, not eye candy for the ladies. Get real. You’re making a tired old argument that regularly rears its ugly head and is just as regularly slapped back down. If you feel you need a visual aid, here ya go: http://thehawkeyeinitiative.com/

  51. Emrysmyrddin says

    And what I’m saying is that the games in question are marketed towards straight men – therefore, the avatars in question are designed thusly: the players are supposed to want to be the male avatars and fuck the female avatars. Hence the lack of massive lunchboxes on the male avatars and the dearth of clothing on the female avatars.

  52. maximus says

    “Dim Bulb”… I mean “No Light”

    I expressly said there is no excuse for the harassment, thanks for missing that with you clear bias.

    I’m discussing the facts of the game industry, which is what should have been done INSTEAD of harassment. But I guess name calling and insults would be more appropriate…. Oh wait that’s what happened to Anita……

    Hmm, guess that shows what side your on.

  53. Gregory Greenwood says

    maximus @ 54;

    First- there is no excuse for the harassment of Anita

    Agreed.

    But she fails to apply her views of women in games to men portrayed in games. Are women in games idealized and sexualized, yes, but so are the men. The men all have the bodies of Olympic athletes, or roided out muscle monsters. Look up: Gears of War, or God of War, these are stylized character designs. Now look at: Heavy Rain and Uncharted, these are more realistic character designs. Also look up the new Lara Croft vs the original!

    Consider the principle demographic that those games are aimed at – young, straight men. I would argue that the depiction of both women and men in such games are designed to cater to different types of male fantasies. The female characters are depicted in a fashion that plays up to male sex fantasies – the female form ‘idealised’ to such a point that it verges upon the grotesquely distorted. Conversely, the male characters are not being sexualised for the enjoyment of female or homosexual male gamers*, but instead are being designed to cater to male power fantasies. It allows a male gamer to employ a virtual avatar of himself that fulfills the fantasy of being the biggest, the toughest, the strongest, the most physically powerful and thus (it is assumed) the most desireable – the ultimate alpha male.

    When complaining about a medium mostly directed at men for portraying women in a certain way(and not mentioning that for the last 9 years that trend has completely reversed), should we also complain about men in womens media: Mr. Big from sex in the city, or sexualized men in romance novels.

    This ignores the existing power imbalance in society between men and women, and the historical context of gender relations. Afterall, it is not men who have been depicted throughout much of history as alternately living sex toys or ambulatory incubators. Men also do not face the level of pervasive sexism encountered by women, who everyday are judged by society for failing to match an unachievable bodily ideal promoted by popular culture. Problematic sexualisation does not exist in a social vacuum, but is instead intimately related to existing cultural norms, tropes, and axes of oppression.

    That’s the problem here, not representing the facts accurately, presenting a biased view as fact. Not representing an accurate “whole” picture of the videogame industry. Her facts are simply wrong.

    What specific facts from her address do you think are in error?

    For more information check out a podcast by women actually in the videogame industry, where they talk about this very issue (girlfight podcast ign), also look up Jessica Chobot, probably the most knowledgeable woman on this subject on the planet!

    That a woman works in the gaming industry, or in a journalistic capacity specifically related to the industry, does not mean that she is incapable of replicating internalised misogyny, or that she automatically understands all the feminist critiques of the industry and its depiction of women. There is also the fact that such women are in the industry, and are paid either directly by the games developers or distributers or by organisations like IGN that make their money from the gaming industry. As a result they have something of a conflict of interest – it has been said that it is all but impossible to make someone understand something when their livlihood depends upon not understanding it.

    —————————————————————–

    * I would argue that the often cartoonishly overmuscled male character models may not even conform to a masculine ideal in the eyes of many women or gay men.

  54. TonyJ says

    Gregory Greenwood: As someone who enjoys computer games in most regards, it infuriates me no end that the industry is still, for the most part, so openly and unapologetically sexist. It is a rarity to see a female character depicted in video games that is not self evidently a manifestation of some form of immature, misogynistic sex fantasy of the developers.

    Agreed. Not only is it demeaning to women, by treating them as mere eye-candy, but it’s pretty insulting to men as well.

  55. jehk says

    @Nathaniel Frein
    I was about to say the same thing.

    @maximus
    You’ll be hard pressed to find examples of an idealized women from a women’s point of view in gaming. Hell, an idealized man from a women’s point of view is pretty much limited to BioWare games. Thane from Mass Effect 2. Alistar from Dragon Age.

    The medium being mostly directed at men is the problem. Your counter examples do not represent a whole medium. Only a small part of it. It’s applies and oranges.

    @Gregory Greenwood
    /clap

  56. Rey Fox says

    (and not mentioning that for the last 9 years that trend has completely reversed)

    Oh DO tell.

  57. Emrysmyrddin says

    Oh DO tell.

    Oh, let me.

    Something something adverts for household cleaners show men as inept something there is no more glass ceiling!1! something child support something something SEX AND THE CITY LAUGHS AT MENZ something something me.

    How’d I do?

  58. maximus says

    Wow dogpile,

    1.Nathaniel Frein- I don’t have fantasies about being a roided out moster any more than I do of being a short Italian stereotype plummer.
    2.Jackiepaper- I don’t understand how you can clearly see the idealized women, but not the idealized men. Care to defend the portrayal of men in womens media??? Ps-jg jones is an amazing artist.

    3.Gregory Greenwood- wow, just wow. So intelligent women who disagree and have their own opinions are just to stupid to understand? your right I`ll take your uninformed view GREGORY, rather than that of knowledgeable women actually in the field. I stated in my fisrt post what I disagreed with. Plus you clearly didn’t look up anything I said. Judging things with your preconceived bias is way more easy than finding facts huh?

    4.Jehk- you just countered your own argument. Your right coparing games to games is so apples to oranges???

    You people are really not making any sense. You can’t step outside your own bias and preconceived notions of rampant oppression/mysoginy.

  59. Gregory Greenwood says

    maximus @ 66;

    wow, just wow. So intelligent women who disagree and have their own opinions are just to stupid to understand?

    And where, pray tell did I actually write anything like that?

    your right I`ll take your uninformed view GREGORY, rather than that of knowledgeable women actually in the field.

    Being knowledgable about computer games implies being knowledgable about the feminist critiques of the computer games industry… how, exactly?

    Plus you clearly didn’t look up anything I said. Judging things with your preconceived bias is way more easy than finding facts huh?

    An IGN podcast in an authoratative source on women’s issues in society now?

  60. maximus says

    Rey Fox
    7 December 2012 at 11:17 am

    (and not mentioning that for the last 9 years that trend has completely reversed)

    Oh DO tell.

    wow, ok guess I`ll walk you through this really slow like, look up the games I mentioned in my first post, compare the character designs… go I`ll wait…. now go look up old lara croft vs new lara croft…. see the improvement

  61. jehk says

    @maximus

    “Mr. Big from sex in the city, or sexualized men in romance novels” do not represent entire mediums. Those mediums are in no way dominated by women. That cannot be said about the video games industry.

  62. Rey Fox says

    Why golly, they reduced the size of Lara Croft’s bosom. Well, let’s pack it up everybody, sexism in video games is dead.

  63. maximus says

    @ Gregory

    And where, pray tell did I actually write anything like that?

    “That a woman works in the gaming industry, or in a journalistic capacity specifically related to the industry, does not mean that she is incapable of replicating internalised misogyny,”

    -Right there!

    “Being knowledgable about computer games implies being knowledgable about the feminist critiques of the computer games industry… how, exactly?”

    No being knowledgeable about computer games implies being knowledgeable about the videogames industry and the actual representation of women in that industry.

    “An IGN podcast in an authoratative source on women’s issues in society now?”

    No its an authoritative source on women in videogames which is what we are talking about.

    But why would you want actual facts from actual women

  64. jehk says

    The jury is still out on the new Lara Croft. It all depends on how she’s portrayed in the upcoming game. I’m hopeful. Her new design is about portraying her as a person and not just something sexy for men to look at while they play an adventure game.

  65. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Sorry to detract from your point, Jehk, but I keep thinking of Mr. Big acting as an agent for an aspiring fortune teller who wants to go on Dr. Phil and and tell people how the dead want them to save their marriage because they – entirely unexpectedly – thought love was a good thing while they were alive.

    Mediums != media.

    It just leads to such hilarity, though, that I don’t often feel compelled to point it out (this being an obvious exception).

  66. Island Adolescent says

    -Right there!

    If you can’t even bother to read what the person wrote, please stop posting.
    Seriously.

    And the “fact” (a word you throw around at random) that you think women are attracted to men in GoW (Gears or God) is laughable.

  67. maximus says

    Island Adolescent

    seems like you have comprehension problems. feel free to explain how saying that a womans opinion is not her own, because she`s “replicating internalised misogyny,” is ok.

    so if a woman has an opinion that matches your bias she is correct, but if her opinion differs from you bias, then she`s “replicating internalised misogyny,”. that`s disgusting!

    “And the “fact” (a word you throw around at random) that you think women are attracted to men in GoW (Gears or God) is laughable.“

    please show me were I said that

  68. Gregory Greenwood says

    maximus @ 71;

    Right there!

    How does my point that;

    That a woman works in the gaming industry, or in a journalistic capacity specifically related to the industry, does not mean that she is incapable of replicating internalised misogyny, or that she automatically understands all the feminist critiques of the industry and its depiction of women.

    Translate as your interpretation of what I wrote that I replicate below;

    wow, just wow. So intelligent women who disagree and have their own opinions are just to stupid to understand?

    Do you know what ‘internalised misogyny’ actually is? And the ways in which women can unintentionally replicate toxic social tropes that support the patriarchal status quo? If you don’t, then you will never grasp what I am trying to say.

    No being knowledgeable about computer games implies being knowledgeable about the videogames industry and the actual representation of women in that industry.

    That knowledge will avail one little when discussing the sexist attitudes embedded within the depictions of women by the industry if it is not paired with an understanding of the feminist critiques of the homogenised nature of female character models in most games. Simply wheeling out dissenting women does not automatically rebut the feminist critique on its own, any more than finding an accomodationist means that atheists are wrong in their criticisms of religion.

    No its an authoritative source on women in videogames which is what we are talking about.

    Actuall, we are discussing the misogynistic aspects of the depictions of women in computer games, some of which may well be subconscious or the product of an unexamined attitude that things have always been that way in the industry, and so nothing needs to change – attitudes that women in the industry can be as vulnerable to as men.

    But why would you want actual facts from actual women

    You are aware that there are plenty of ‘actual’ women who are very well versed in feminism who comment on Pharyngula, and indeed on this very thread, right? Not to mention the perspective of Anita Sarkeesian, another ‘actual’ women. I am listening to them and their concerns about the misogyny that runs through the gaming industry, why aren’t you?

  69. broboxley OT says

    Gregory, when trying to discuss with maximus, realize that he probably thinks professional wrestling ala WWE is real.

  70. Gregory Greenwood says

    broboxley OT @ 78;

    Gregory, when trying to discuss with maximus, realize that he probably thinks professional wrestling ala WWE is real.

    Careful now – you will make maximus angry by doubting the integrity of Hulk Hogan…

  71. maximus says

    It`s sad that your bias prevents you from accepting anything that doesn`t reinforce that bias.

    all you have to do is look at the games I mentioned in my first post. but you seem to be on a witch hunt to find Misogyny…

    do you even know what Misogyny means, can you show me some examples of hatred of women in videogames
    wiki: Misogyny (play /mɪˈsɒdʒɪni/) is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women.

    on sexual objectification is it even possible to sexualize someone without them having any other trait. you would have to be a sociopath. (that is actually horrific). I think generally the terms misogyny, and sexual objectification get thrown around way to loosely. it seems people confuse sexual attraction with objectification. you seem very well versed in feminist theory perhaps you would be able to point me to some information comparing and contrasting the two. (humbly and honestly asking. I`m going to go look into that now)

    and no actually what I`m talking about is Anitas claims and whether or not they are acurate, I say no, give examples, and provide places to find out more, from actual experts in the relevant field.

    I`ll thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to me, I know very well that `playing on the internet can quickly cost hours. I`ll think about this some more and go look into objectification vs attraction or appreciation. thank you again, i`ll check back later

  72. maximus says

    oops looks like this isn`t the place for honest questions and debate, it`s a place for name calling and childish behavior like that which was used against Anita.

    nice to see you all agree and condone and practice that behavior, to bad your privilege prevents you from seeing the irony!

  73. Emrysmyrddin says

    (humbly and honestly asking. I`m going to go look into that now)…I`ll think about this some more and go look into objectification vs attraction or appreciation.

    Now, if you’d only done that in the first place, we could have all been fuzzy fwiends… regardless of snark, I’m glad you’re open to learning new things. You’ll be welcome back if you research, learn, and think before you post. Pay attention to the content of comments, not how they’re expressed, and you’ll do fine.

  74. broboxley OT says

    #81 #82 maximus
    so its perfectly fine for dudebros to write a game that shows Anita’s face being battered and bruised by punching kicking et al.

    Now is that “objectification vs attraction or appreciation”

    Ask your experts in the field if you are not sure of the answer yourself

  75. broboxley OT says

    85# Maximus

    It`s sad that your bias prevents you from accepting anything that doesn`t reinforce that bias.

    So I have a bias against people who virtually batter a real woman’s face and want to publish her real world address. Yea, I guess I am biased

    Now do you have any other point to make?

  76. Rey Fox says

    oops looks like this isn`t the place for honest questions and debate, it`s a place for name calling and childish behavior like that which was used against Anita.

    Oh yes, calling someone who came into OUR forum names is exactly the same as the campaign of harassment against Anita for starting a voluntary donation program to fund a project. You’re clearly a deep thinker who deserves all sorts of honest questions and debate. I’ll get out my monocle and smoking jacket now.

    to bad your privilege prevents you from seeing the irony!

    I’d ask you exactly what kind of privilege you think we, as a group here, have, but I suspect you have about as firm a grasp on that subject as you do on the homophone “to/too”.

  77. bobo says

    Maximus: have you seen the male models in Wow? OMG. My boyfriend and I both played female characters, or undead, b/c all the male characters were so roided out it was embarassing and stupid in the extreme. In fact, it was fairly common for people in the WoWverse to mock the roided out male characters incessently!

  78. vaiyt says

    oops looks like this isn`t the place for honest questions and debate, it`s a place for name calling and childish behavior like that which was used against Anita.

    Your ‘questions’ aren’t honest. Next.

  79. Beatrice says

    maximus,

    Please quote where someone threatened to rape you. Please quote where someone wrote they wished for you to get raped. Please quote where someone outed your name or address. Please quote where someone wished to commit some sort of violence on you.

    Nothing? Well then, you can hardly say you were treated here the way Anita Sarkeesian was treated by haters.

  80. Beatrice says

    Caine,

    I fail too. If I ever learn how to cope with this, I’ll share it with you. *sniffle*

  81. No Light says

    Maximus Craniorectus-Inversus,

    You were never here for honest debate, cupcake. You were here to tell us how wrongity-wrong Anita was, whine about double standards that aren’t there, and sneer contemptuously at anyone lacking your totes awesome gamer cred.

    Starting off like this was a good clue:

    . I’m guessing you didn’t look up the games or pictures of the characters I mentioned. Try it actually having facts is fun!

    As for your attempt al mocking my name, wetl it would help if you even knew what it referred to, cut you don’t.

  82. says

    @Bobo re: WoW

    I like the Blood Elf male model. The Tauren model makes sense to me because it’s a walking bull. The male Pandaren is pretty reasonable too.

    I do, however, agree with you on the rest of ‘em. I’ve been part of a vocal minority on MMO-Champion and the game forums asking for more options in body types for all races.

  83. Esteleth has eaten ALL the gingerbread! Suck it! says

    When Blood Elves were first introduced into WoW, they had to pull the male and redesign the body, because too many (male) players complained that the design was “gay.”

    Seriously.

  84. Rey Fox says

    It’s the “trend has completely reversed in the last nine years” thing that gets me. I mean, yes, there are more well-rounded and realistically-rendered female characters in video games now, that’s hopefully due to video game makers wising up to changing demographics, possibly opening their eyes to the wider world of people, and let’s face it, improved graphics (not only were original Lara’s boobs rather large, they were triangular). But to suggest it’s “completely reversed”, that would mean there’s no more bikini armor, no more damsels in distress, no more gratuitous T&A (Bayonetta, for example, is not over nine years old), games that actually pass the Bechdel test, etc.

    And then there is the rampant misogyny of the gamers themselves, which I notice seems to be slipping out of the discussion…

  85. bobo says

    #97 Agreed. The night elf male models in WoW were the worst. I swear!

    I quit WoW a couple of years ago and am now playing LOTRO. As LOTRO is a family game, the character models are pretty normal, not sexualized at all. The male models still look a little too buff for my taste, but nowhere near as awful as WoW.

  86. says

    They also had to pull the original female troll models from the alpha because people didn’t like that they were so similar to the male models in posture.

    They pulled the original Worgen females because they weren’t “cute” enough. I’m actually very happy with how they handled the female Pandaren models.

    WoW gets called out a lot because it’s popular (and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing) but I do have to give Blizzard credit that their game is nowhere near as egregious as most other MMORPGs.

  87. Island Adolescent says

    please show me were I said that

    Okay, here you go:

    Are women in games idealized and sexualized, yes, but so are the men. The men all have the bodies of Olympic athletes, or roided out muscle monsters. Look up: Gears of War, or God of War, these are stylized character designs.

    And in the next paragraph:

    When complaining about a medium mostly directed at men for portraying women in a certain way(and not mentioning that for the last 9 years that trend has completely reversed)

    Are you capable of reading your own writing?
    If you had only said “idealized”, then yes this would make sense. Except for that the idealization happens for the target male audience, and has nothing to do with females. But you didn’t only say “idealized”, you also said “sexualized”, and then used the GoW games as an example. In the following paragraph, you state that the trend of sexualized portrayal was reversed in the past 9 years, once again stating that such video game characters are sexualized.

    How is a character sexualized exactly, if the people who are interested in that gender don’t fight the character sexually attractive? Do go on and tell.

    The “reversed” comment is laughable to begin with.

  88. gjpetch says

    Maximus mentioned the new Tomb Raider as an example of how un-sexist games are now.
    *trigger warning*
    This particular trailer for the new Tomb Raider is ENTIRELY sadistically brutal violence against women, they get kidnapped and tied up, and Lara almost gets raped. To me the game doesn’t exactly look like a bastion of feminism.
    Maximus, if you think that’s a good example of how well women are portrayed in games, then perhaps some self examination and research into feminism might be a good idea?

  89. Nepenthe says

    on sexual objectification is it even possible to sexualize someone without them having any other trait.

    Yes.

    That’s just a nice introductory post. Sociological Images has 316 posts tagged under “Bodies: objectification”.

  90. bobo says

    107

    Maximus mentioned the new Tomb Raider as an example of how un-sexist games are now.
    *trigger warning*
    This particular trailer for the new Tomb Raider is ENTIRELY sadistically brutal violence against women, they get kidnapped and tied up, and Lara almost gets raped. To me the game doesn’t exactly look like a bastion of feminism.
    Maximus, if you think that’s a good example of how well women are portrayed in games, then perhaps some self examination and research into feminism might be a good idea?

    The fucked up thing is that the developers thought this was a *good* thing, b/c it would create *empathy* on the part of the player…I mean sersly wtf???