Enough to drive some of my friends from the game

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?

A few weeks ago, cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian set up a Kickstarter campaign, seeking crowdfunding to produce her series about gender roles and sexism in gaming, Tropesvs. WomenInVideoGames.

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.

That too.

Hipster misogyny is all over the place. Fighting it is probably hopeless, but one has to try.

H/t Emily


  1. GMM says

    When you hear people say “Gee, why are there so little women in ______?” (job field/extracurricular activity/sport/movement, etc.) remember things like this. It’s not always about lack of interest or ability.

  2. says

    Hipster misogyny link:

    Ophelia, you need to put in the “http://” manually, if copying & pasting it doesn’t work. Otherwise it will treat the url as local to your blog.

    The plus side of the “tropes vs women” misogyny-fest is that Anita Sarkeesian got funded more than ten times over her request. The vilification brought her more notice and support. OWN GOAL MISOGYNISTS! HAHAAHAHA!

  3. says

    Thanks Alethea, I borked the link when grabbing it in a hurry and didn’t notice.

    I know, I had the thought yesterday that somebody should raise a whole bunch of money for ME to make up for all the adult teenagers I have shouting at me. Then I could go to Norway and look at the fjords!

  4. Dunc says

    Fighting it is probably hopeless

    I don’t think that’s true. I think the intensity of the furore is a result of the fact that, step by step, inch by inch, we’re winning. We’re past being ignored, we’re past being laughed at, and now we’re deep in the fighting stage. You know what comes next. They wouldn’t be howling like scalded cats if they didn’t feel they were losing the war.

  5. Rrr says

    Then I could go to Norway and look at the fjords!

    Are you pinin’ or just blue? 🙂
    Why not put up a Donut Button thingmajig?
    You’d be welcome to crash on our sofa, not too far from Norway and with a view to the sea. Also, within easy range of Nordens Ark wildlife preserve park.

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