Christina Hoff Sommers came out with a video a short while ago about the oppression of those poor boys who play video games — the feminists are out to get them, don’t you know? — and it was pretty bad. Right away she asserts that people who play games that aren’t violent and sexist aren’t really “gamers”, so she defines away everyone who might disagree with her. Par for the course for that anti-feminist — she’s absurdly illogical.
I couldn’t get through the whole video, but Jonathan Mann did it — by autotuning everything and singing a musical counterpoint. It’s hilarious. Listen, especially if you already hate autotuning.
As usual, Christina Hoff Sommers is ridiculed by simply repeating her own words. I rather like the fundamental premises of her anti-feminist views, right here:
In my view, the noble cause of women’s emancipation is being damaged in at least three ways by the contemporary women’s movement. First, today’s movement takes a very dim view of men; second, it wildly overstates the victim status of American women; and third, it is dogmatically attached to the view that men and women are essentially the same.
As someone who knows a lot of feminists and listens to what they actually say, all three of her premises are false and ridiculous — they’re only going to appeal to bigots who accept them as a reflection of their own prejudices.
Well, maybe also to very dim men, who think that women’s detestation of their behavior means that they think all men are as vile as they are. Trust me, they don’t hate all men, just you.
This is the woman Dawkins uses as an example of a good sort of feminist. She retweets A Voice for Men’s Janet Bloomfeild aka Judgy B*tch and supports #GamerGate.
In case people do not know JB is the one who claimed that Jimmy Savile and the Steubenville rapists were the real victims.
As sad and as tired as I feel after three years’ worth of watching Dawkins (somebody who taught me a lot, so I was grateful) prove exactly who he is, I’m now hoping he’ll go and retweet Judgy B*tch these days, if not Elam himself. Why – because I’ve still got friends who, having witnessed what’s been going on, are deluding themselves with “This is appalling!!.. but it’s only happening because he’s been listening to the wrong people. For example, I’m sure he’s got no idea Hoff Sommers is an MRA mouthpiece. He simply wouldn’t be endorsing her if he saw for himself what they are like!” Um, no. He’s got all the knowledge he ever needed, including about MRAs, and he has no problem with what they stand for.
If I can name 4 people naive enough to still want to believe the esteemed professor wouldn’t be like this if he knew who his new friend’s friends are, there’s a ton of them out there, and he’s the only one who can set them straight. I wish I didn’t need to, but I hope he soon does.
Now Ron Lindsay is accusing Ophelia Benson of lying about Shermer’s sexist comment. This movement is too fucking toxic. It’s a good ‘ol boys club for pretentious white men and that’s what the white dudes in charge want it to stay. I’m appalled and disgusted at new levels daily. We need a new movement. This one has revealed it’s to be hostile to progress and equality. It’s full of people who act as if the only thing wrong with Bill O’Rielly is he’s Catholic. Shit, it’s hostile to women’s basic safety. Put a fork in my hope of it ever being anything else. It’s done.
Sorry, Harris’s sexist comment. Though, he basically repeated “It’s more of a guy thing.”
The whole Harris/ Dawkins reveal has been really depressing… But it does make me seriously wonder what MY picadillo will be…My blind spot that is yet to be revealed, and more specifically the one that I’ll flat out deny to my grave…If Dawkins has one, certainly I must have one…WHAT IS IT?
Asheleybell, I know just what you mean! I think about that a lot: what am I doing and thinking that will be found completely immoral by future generations? All people have one. But, if your blind spot is every revealed, I’ll bet you would reason it out, acknowledge it, and change.
I’m sorry to say that the misogyny of the atheist movement (or whatever you call it) is the same as in any old boy’s club, only they feel free to express it. You should see what goes on among chemists. They’ve just learned, sometimes by hard experience, to keep it to themselves more often.
Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says
God, this whole mess is like a game of 3 degrees of separation from the vilest MRA shit.
It’s curious how people will angrily dismiss Sarkeesian because she’s supposedly not a “real” gamer, but welcome Sommers as if she were in any better position to comment on games and gamer culture.
Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says
From the video (the autotuned, not the original), my impression was that Sommers’ familiarity with gaming started with knowing it existed and ended with feminists said something negative about it, so it must be a great thing.
But hey, the enemy of my enemy…. Who cares about consistency anyway?
Yay, Jonathan Mann is awesome. I love when he releases these types of songs.
Al Dente says
What are Sommers’ credentials to knowing about the gamer culture? She supposedly spend “weeks” talking to gamers. As Jonathan Mann asks, which gamers did she talk to? She sneers at Anita Sarkeesian’s degree (rightly identified by Mann as an ad hominem) but doesn’t bother to refute Sarkeesian’s arguments except in the most general terms.
Anita Sarkeesian has played and researched about video games, but she’s unqualified to talk about the subject because she hasn’t played every single game she talked about to 100% completion.
Christina Hoff Sommers talks to the gaming dudebro in-group for a week, and she’s suddenly an expert. Not only that, she has the authority to determine who’s a gamer and who’s not! Well, Miss Overlord, you defined most of the video game consumers out of your little group, automatically rendering it barely relevant to the market. You’re gonna have to work hard to explain why should the entire industry cater to them in detriment of everyone else.
Marcus Ranum says
I’d never heard of Jonathan Mann before, but now I am a fan.
I see no evidence she even talked to anyone. I also see no evidence she has read/watched any of the feminist gaming critics criticisms. It seems like a recruiting drive more than anything, trying to attract angry young white men to the angry white men’s party.
This guy is a genius. ^_^
@ashleybell #5 it’s not one, it’s likely many picadillos.
We can’t be perfect, but as long as we stay humble and critical of our own ideas we can find them.
As long as you stay honest and do your best to change your mind when necessary, being wrong is ok.
Being human is ok. =)
Matthew Trevor says
omniactivistarian @ 8
Similarly, a lot of the same people who have praised as “unbiased” the opinion of Sommers – who is funded by a conservative think tank – are convinced that Sarkeesian is a con-artist because people voluntarily contributed to her project.
Christ, it’s beyond infuriating how the #gamergaters and Dawkinsbots (how much overlap there?) keep trotting out CHS as “one of the good feminists” or as “even feminists agree with us!”
I hope Sommers is happy with the intellectual caliber of her new fans.
Holy fucking shit, i just watched the original video and it is fucking terrible…That’s who Dawkins is promoting as a brave feminist that people should follow? Fuck. Me.
I’d never listened to Christina Hoff Sommers before, but if I have to, videos like this one is the way to do it.
Very well done!
Crimson Clupeidae says
This is the perfect opportunity to use their own words against them.
Iyéska, mal omnifarious says
Jonathan Mann is absolutely fabulous, and I really appreciate him detoxifying Hoff Sommers’ standard poison.
Anthony K says
N00bs think this? Ha! A REAL gamer* has such a backlog of games to complete that they use tracking sites like Backloggery or How Long to Beat to deal with the stress of uncompleted games.
*Tongue-in-cheek. I certainly fall into the ‘spends way more time gaming than is physically healthy’ category, but I have no problem with considering people who play only rarely, or certain types of games as ‘real gamers’.
John Horstman says
That was so awesome. Also, what’s with CHS’s dismissal of a cultural studies degree when talking about someone who… is studying culture? Is she pissed about all those biologists spouting off about biology? (Possibly, especially if they conclude things she dislikes.)
John Horstman says
Also, I don’t actually know all that many feminists who are thrilled with Oprah (though many LOVE Beyoncé), and female-fronted sexist shows like the FOX News atrocity “Outnumbered” certainly get plenty of criticism, so not only is that bit false equivalence, her rhetorical hypothetical isn’t hypothetical – we can actually see what happens (hint: feminists criticize misogyny, misogynists defend it).