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OT: Hey, let's discuss this video series about the Sarkeesian backlash! [roundtable]
Yep, I'm makin' it a roundtable.

Not to get too "political" on you, but I watched this six-part video series recently, and I thought it was really well-done. It may seem like a typical anti-GamerGate video at the start, but it isn't. It isn't even truly about Anita Sarkeesian. The analysis is very logical and even-handed, and I appreciated the way that it recast the whole feminism issue (or any social progress issue, really) by framing it from the perspective of the people whom it irritates. Honestly, it almost single-handedly repaired the damage done to my judgement by thousands upon thousands of strident internet-liberals.

Try to go in without any pre-conceived expectations and watch it with an open mind.

I'll give you the Cliffs Notes, in case you don't want to watch right now. Essentially, the video series analyzes WHY people like Anita Sarkeesian produce such a strong negative reaction, and it goes beyond the usual simplistic "They're taking our games!!" rhetoric. This guy posits that the REAL, underlying reason why Anita makes many gamers uncomfortable is that she causes them to question their way they've lived their life to this point. Ignorance is bliss, and the aim of people like Anita is to remove that ignorance. Like the term "privilege". A lot of people hate that term, and it's always rubbed me the wrong way, as well. But it doesn't mean that your life is peaches and cream or that every person from a minority has it tough. It just means that a minority person in the same position as you would have it harder, solely due to the way they were born.

That's an uncomfortable thought, as most people think of themselves as fundamentally good people, and acknowledging that you've never questioned your advantages or thought to help the less fortunate would call your own morality into question. And we're ALL guilty of that, to be honest. It's almost unnatural behavior to revolt against a system that personally benefits you. I mean, I don't like the thought of killing living creatures. I find the thought of hunting utterly revolting. I don't even swat mosquitoes or gnats. If I really considered the fact that animals had to die just so I could enjoy a hamburger, I'd probably be a vegetarian. So I don't WANT to consider it. Because meat is delicious!

Similarly, look at freaking FoxConn. All of our consumer electronics products are basically made of Chinese children. Who the fuck wants to think about that?! What's the alternative?

I'm not saying that I'm necessarily going to change my behavior based on this video series. I still believe that ignorance is bliss, and if you spend all of your time thinking about the evils of the world, your life's probably not going to be very enjoyable. But I still think it was worth watching. It kind of brought stuff that has always been floating at the back of my consciousness to the forefront. And what I most appreciate is that it did so in a non-judgmental way. It might make you a bit uncomfortable, but it definitely won't single you out.

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Posted: 07/23/15, 21:45:57  - Edited by 
 on: 07/30/15, 05:09:50
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Peach IS the classic damsel in distress. I mean, the origins of her character are super-obvious, regardless of where they've taken it over the years (like in Paper Mario, which sort of subverts the cliche).

Watching through the whole thing is up to you, but the series only really gets interesting midway through, when it leaves the GamerGate/Anita stuff behind.

I don't think Anita is ignorant about Feminism or (obviously) the female viewpoint. But as far as video games, y'know, she's doing a research paper. I wouldn't expect her to be nearly as knowledgeable as people who are passionate about them, and she isn't. Again, though, it's not like I disagree with her premise. Exposing sexism in video games is like exposing the health risks of french fries. I mean, do you personally find her videos intellectually challenging or illuminating in any way? Maybe they're not supposed to be. But I don't personally get anything out of them. Good on her for achieving her goal, though.

Can't believe I misspelled "pejorative"... I probably even misspelled "misspelled"!

EDIT: Haha, all of us brought up Paper Mario. I've honestly always thought that her videos would be much more convincing if she sent them to people like us for a final omission/misrepresentation check before publishing. Gamers usually nitpick those types of inaccuracies rather than the actual content of the videos (a phenomenon mentioned in the videos in the OP!). Maybe they'd nitpick something else if they were addressed, but still.
Posted: 07/25/15, 19:09:03  - Edited by 
 on: 07/25/15, 19:16:33
@TriforceBun Hmm, the thing is though she is mostly focused on tropes. I'd have to rewatch the videos but I don't really recall Anita just outright stating "Zelda is overall a terrible character", but just that she falls into these same overdone tropes a lot. And as a designer that is VERY interesting to me because it's not always 100% about some black and white right or wrong, but also about tiredness versus freshness. I'm not saying Anita isn't getting into the right and wrong either, because her videos obviously have a moralistic slant, but to me it's a much needed thing to point out how and why certain tropes were started and how much they are perpetuated, often without much thought, and why that can not only be problematic but actually pretty tired too.

Which leads to another thing. I think some people look at it like "If Anita thinks Zelda falls into sexist tropes, she must think the designers are bad sexists" and then they want to defend these real people that they feel Anita is maligning. But she actually works very hard to focus on the tropes and not the designers, and stresses over and over that many of these decisions are not made with malice but simply people just doing what they know. I think she feels her role is not to attack a bunch of game designers, but just to make people think and maybe slowly change the status quo. And that leads me to...

@Anand I've gotten a lot from watching her videos, and some of it is stuff I think hard about when designing my game. I mean, obviously I was never going to go out and create some generic strip club scene in my games or anything that dramatic, but she also gets into some more subtle tropes as well. And it's easy to fall into some of them without thinking, so having her put a name on them and give examples makes it easier for me to think about how to avoid them while creating. To get more precise, one of the tropes that is easy to fall into is the women existing to push along the man's plot thing. I actually have a vague game design in my head that might turn into a future game that starred a married dude and it had a lot of that going on, like the only ideas I had about his wife all revolved around HIS STORY, but after watching her videos I was like hmm, maybe that's a bad idea. And it's not like I have to throw the whole thing out, but I can maybe work harder to make sure the woman has her own stuff going on as well and isn't just there to push his plot along.

So yeah, from a designer standpoint I like her stuff, because even when I don't agree that it is a moral issue, I still like seeing examples of stuff that is overdone that I can try to avoid. I do hope more and more people come along and talk about these things in more detail, but it's a good start for our industry. I've also talked to many other designers who cite her as an influence, including some as big as Yacht Club, so... she's clearly making some change.

...I should probably actually watch these videos you linked though and discuss them, instead of just retreading old ground here.
Posted: 07/25/15, 22:19:41  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 02:56:07

All that says is that you disagree with her. By your own admission, she's not ignorant of that scene, she just sees it differently than you. I'm not interested in debating you about this further than I have done in other threads, but if you did a survey asking what Zelda's role in the Zelda games is, I guarantee most people would say Link has to rescue her. It doesn't have to be that way.

The fact that you can't just accept that Anita has another perspective and it angers you that these videos exist says something.


You sound like an Edward Snowden hater. Half the people say "everybody knows that", the other half says "string him up for exposing our secrets." Well here, either everybody knows this stuff or she's bringing a new hate-filled perspective of video games. It can't be both.

There's a pretty simple option here you seem to be ignoring. Maybe people entrenched in video games like you and I know about these problems but others don't. I'm not going to pretend I've watched all her videos, like I said I hate the genre, but people I trust think they're well done and necessary.

Having a group of Nintendo fans say "you forgot Paper Mario!" doesn't actually add anything. Do you think any near the number of people who have played Mario platformers have played Paper Mario? That's a footnote, at best, and the format doesn't really allow for that.

You seem to be pretty annoyed by the existence of these videos too. I mean, how many You Tube videos are there out there that don't specifically teach you anything?
Posted: 07/26/15, 03:40:58
Maybe deep down everyone knows a lot of this stuff but some people really, really have a hard time admitting it and get really angry when someone says it out loud? Like telling an alcoholic they have a drinking problem or something? That's how it feels sometimes. Like a lot of the detractors get so caught up in trying to discredit on technicalities (you're not supposed to play Hitman like that!) because they know her general points are tough to argue against? I dunno. I kind of feel like anyone who can look at the game industry, especially after how Anita was treated, this Gamergate stuff, etc. and be like "Nah we're all good!" is well...

But I'm speaking right now more about her general "video games have a lot of sexist elements in them points" and such. Not everyone knows the details and various sexist tropes that exist and such, so it is good that she tries to lay them out.
Posted: 07/26/15, 03:55:32  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 03:56:34
Okay, we don't need to talk about Zelda itself anymore, but I'll leave it at saying it's a series that's near and dear to me and I feel that out-of-context approaches to its content is selling it short.

"Another perspective" cuts a little too close to "that's just her opinion" for me. An alternate perspective is fine, but she has not convinced me of that particular opinion in her piece which is clearly meant to persuade. Not sure what else to say about it; I don't think it's well-done, it doesn't feel sufficiently researched and some points she's made aren't convincing to me. I don't know why criticism against the video's execution is treated as invalid. Why is it important that people agree that the execution of these vids is well done?

Hypothetically speaking, a successful video of this type would convince me that Zelda's portrayal is problematic despite my arguments to the contrary. Anita's does not convince me.

And who said I was angry at Anita? She doesn't rile me up, and I don't want her to stop doing what she's doing or whatever. I'm not a psychopath.

Heck, like @Zero alluded to, more awareness of sexism in gaming is good, and I'd find it hard to argue against the position that her videos are helping some devs be more sensitive to things.

I dunno, I feel like you guys are trying to peg me as some sort of angry conservative dat don't want no strong womens in mah games or something. Please don't lump me in with the gross idiots that send Anita death threats or whatever.

(I like that dog comic, but I usually see people just post a version with the first two frames. I think it works better ending it at that earlier point)
Posted: 07/26/15, 04:09:41  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 04:18:06

I've explained that it's the claim that her critiques are made out of ignorance that I'm pushing back against. Just like the claim that only someone looking for clicks could have a problem with Bayonetta 2's portrayal of women.

You're acting like only a video that could convince YOU could possibly be well done, yet at the same time you've explained why with regard to Nintendo games your opinion is particularly hard to change. Again, I'm an expert, and I agree with her. Doesn't that go against the premise that she's just not researching Nintendo games enough to understand their virtuous portrayal of women? If I was in her position, and again, I'm an expert, I wouldn't do anything differently, because she's not trying to convince one specific person who goes by TriforceBun and loooves Zelda with her videos. No hypothetical video exists because you brush aside critiques, from experts or otherwise.

You honestly don't see the space between "her videos don't convince me" and "her videos are made from a position of ignorance and are poorly-researched?" If I played Tadpole Treble and said "this guy didn't study video game design enough" just because I didn't care for the game, that would be pretty shitty.
Posted: 07/26/15, 04:28:30
TriforceBun said:
Hypothetically speaking, a successful video of this type would convince me that Zelda's portrayal is problematic despite my arguments to the contrary.

I dunno. That sounds a bit like saying a successful video has to convince Triforcebun and Triforcebun alone. Maybe it's a successful video for a lot of other people and just not you?

I think Jargon just said this though. I'm tired.
Posted: 07/26/15, 06:11:52
I feel like I've said this ten times in this thread, but let me clarify my opinion of Anita Sarkeesian for the record:

1) Her videos have brought attention to the portrayal of women in games.
2) Her videos have actually had an effect on the industry, so it seems that she is accomplishing her goal. (Her goal does not bother me at all.)
3) I do not personally find anything particularly insightful in her videos.
4) It does not matter whether I find anything insightful in her videos, since they are accomplishing her goal.

I don't hate her. I am not annoyed AT ALL about the existence of her videos. If they interested me, I would watch them. They don't, so I won't. I don't begrudge her her kickstarter money, or anything. The videos don't HAVE to appeal to me. I'm just explaining, from an entirely selfish perspective, why they don't.
Posted: 07/26/15, 08:39:46

But you're not backing down from your position that she's ignorant about video games. You went out of your way to rebut me when I said that just because someone disagrees with her doesn't mean she hasn't done her homework. Now you seem to be getting defensive.

Since this thread is related to sexist tropes, I hope I don't need to point out why "oh this girl just doesn't know what she's talking about" isn't the best attitude when it could easily just be chalked up to a different perspective on things.
Posted: 07/26/15, 09:33:33  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 09:34:53
I have found Anita's videos to be very well done generally and have certainly made me think more about games I like and more cognizant of some of the more lazy trends that games I was unaware of. There have been examples she has used where I felt like she was incorrect though. Specifically that the games Hitman and GTA encourage you to murder disempowered women for entertainment. In both cases the games' freedom allows you to kill anyone and there's no encouragement to treat these people any differently than other random civilians. Hitman was an even worse point as the game penalizes you for killing anyone other than your assigned target. Those are minor gripes though and given how she has looked at probably hundreds of games I can understand the occasional error. There were definitely people though who would be like 'ah ha an error' and use it as a reason to disregard everything she said.

It's been a while since I've seen what she said about Peach and Zelda but I think labeling them as damsel characters generally is fair. For every example you might be able to come up with of them doing something cool there's probably 5 times as many of them having to be saved or otherwise serving as motivation for the player.
Posted: 07/26/15, 12:15:41

On the presumptuous thing: Somewhere, about 2/3rds of the way through, I realized this guy was describing a caricature of his online enemies. "Angry Jack feels this way." "Angry Jack is motivated by this." Just the fact that he characterizes these people with the name "Angry Jack", based on a person he derided in his youth, is kind of a clue that he's caricaturing. Do I think he's wrong about these guys? Not really. In a general way, he's probably mostly right. But he is presuming he knows the motivations of these people and he's not citing any of them in their own words. At best, then, he's being an armchair psychologist. At worst, he's kind of soft selling a dismissive cartoon-depiction of his political enemies. And that always ends well...

Again, I'm not sure he's really wrong, in a general way. But let me use myself as an example:

My attitude about Anita Sarkeesian: I'm mostly on her side, politically. Peach and Zelda are definitely damsels in distress (though Zelda could still be defended, as Bun ably does). I see nothing wrong with what Anita is doing. I smell no conspiracy. Conversely, I hate the behavior of her enemies, not only because they overreacted (sometimes shockingly, with death threats), but because they brought in the disgustingly low standards of debate from the rancid world of American politics. That said, I watched two of her videos and didn't find them particularly profound. To me, there doesn't seem to be anything special about her actual scholarship. It's undergraduate Women's Studies type stuff. Which should sort of prove that it's not all that remarkable and didn't deserve the backlash. But make no mistake, I think it's a net positive, and considering the volume of backlash she got, there's no question that I'm on her side, if it comes to taking sides. And I'm happy to hear people like Stephen and Zero say she made them think about things in a new way. That's all the proof you need.

My attitude about Zoe Quinn/Gamergate: I'd never heard of Zoe Quinn until that ridiculous non-story broke. My original take was: I'm not reading some guy's annotated crybaby paper he wrote after his woman done him wrong. But, I felt he had a right to write down his feelings and tell his own life story on the internet if he wanted to. It wasn't dignified, but as I feel I've proven many times, dignity isn't a requirement on the internet. And, as I said at the time, the correct reaction from the rest of us to his little angry treatise should have been, "Who cares?". Because it's not our business and we don't know if it's true. The only part of the paper (from hearsay, because I still haven't read the whole thing, because who has time for that crap?) that I thought had any relevance outside of the lives of Quinn and That Guy was the accusation that she traded sex for media coverage. But, even there, I felt that this sort of tit-for-tat was so widespread in the industry that picking on such a minor figure as Quinn was basically scapegoating. (Tit-for-tat not so much meaning sex, here, but any kind of trade for coverage - Access, Free Games, Master Chief Helmets, etc.). The major players are way worse.

In other words, the only part of it I defended was the "ethics in games journalism" part and, for me, it was only relevant if the reaction was less focused on Quinn specifically and more about seizing that moment to discuss it generally. This was at the very start of the uproar. If the thread still exists somewhere, I think you can clock my attitude shift over only a few days when it became clear that the backlash was actually just sex-outrage and anti-feminist in origin. (As an aside, it was pretty funny to see a bunch of anti-feminists actually White Knight for someone, even if it was a man. Way to protect That Guy's honor there, dudes!)

Now, I was never a GamerGater. I never used the hashtag and never identified that way. But I used similar language in the first couple of days - that the only part of the story worth talking about was the ethics in games journalism part. Does that make me, for those few days, just another Angry Jack? Was I secretly a part of an anti-feminist agenda that I was trying to cover for with a smokescreen? Did I collaborate with Nazis like this guy accuses all the other Angry Jacks of doing? At what point is it simply unfair to generalize about the motivations of large groups of individuals, especially if you're clearly their ideological opponent?

Now, in fairness, I wasn't actually a GamerGater. But I can imagine someone like me - I'll call him Slightly Dumber Me - slightly more interested in games journalism than I am, and maybe a little less perceptive than I am, and almost certainly younger than I am, getting swept up in it, thinking this was the battering ram we could use to knock down IGN or Gamespot and prevent all those "Kane and Lynch" situations from happening again. I don't know how long Slightly Dumber Me could have stayed with GamerGate, but he wouldn't fit the profile of Angry Jack. And yet, from the outside, he would look just like what the guy in the video describes: A guy who apologizes for GamerGate by saying it's really about ethics in games journalism, disowns the behavior of the sexists using the hashtag, rightfully points out he has no control over what other people do or say, eventually gets tired of the extremists in the movement and attempts to rebrand it to cut out the sexists, gets derided for trying to repackage it, goes off to his room to stew, saying to himself he never was a bad person who hated women, he only wanted to talk about games journalism, and feeling like he'll never be taken seriously. That's entirely plausible to me, and yet this video basically suggests Slightly Dumber Me would have been lying to himself and, really, he just resented women.

That's what I meant by presumptuous.

I'll at least throw this bone out, though: I have no idea how many guys like this theoretical Slightly Dumber Me got swept up in the movement. The small interaction I had with GamerGaters was mostly terrible. They were woman-hating assholes, primarily. But I still feel ethics in games journalism was something worth talking about, and can imagine people who stayed deluded for quite some time that that was what their movement was all about. It seems a shame to characterize all of those people as Angry Jack.
Posted: 07/26/15, 16:23:14
Oh, it definitely centers around psychology and the presumption of motivations. (I've always been a bit uncomfortable with the term "armchair psychologist", though, since it seems to imply that only someone with a doctorate can understand the motivations of others.)

I have to admit to some lurid fascination with the original blog. What a fucking trainwreck. That dude had better hope that no prospective girlfriend ever Googles his name.

If you never identified with the GamerGate movement, I don't know if that would make you an Angry Jack. Especially if you realized the truth of it and distanced yourself from it. What if you had subconsciously noticed the truth, but didn't distance yourself from it? I guess the idea is that you'd have to look inside yourself and determine whether or not you're an Angry Jack.

The videos DO portray Angry Jack as somewhat jerk-y, but, ultimately, more of a victim of willful manipulation. I guess one of the goals of this video might be to clear the minds of those less-informed victims and help them realize that 4-chan's been manipulating them.

If people really want to discuss ethics in gaming journalism, though, why start from such a terrible place? Why not start up GamEthicsGate with a well-written blog that discusses the issues with endemic advertising, researches known instances of corruption, etc.?

Yeah, I don't believe that she is particularly knowledgeable about video games, relative to myself. It's not a matter of her perspective. Her videos always have some inaccuracies. And no, I don't want to cite specific examples.

It doesn't impact her overall message, but it does sully the presentation a bit.

If you don't watch her videos, why are you so convinced that her research is unimpeachable? It's more sexist to disallow the possibility that a female might be inaccurate at times.
Posted: 07/26/15, 16:34:26  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 16:58:27

I wouldn't be thrilled, but your opinion is your prerogative, and if Tadpole Treble didn't convince you that I knew much about game design, that fault's (at least partly) on me (despite the nights I would stay up crying after reading that).

I don't think your argument that the vid(s) is/are well-done (from the perspective of an expert) necessarily negates mine. If anything, it makes me want to go into detail with you about the Zelda series and why I feel it actually has multiple strong female characters and bounce opinions and evidence around like it's the days of the GCNGB again. But you don't seem interested in discussing the Zelda series with me, so I'll have to save it for Stephen a few paragraphs down.

Speaking from your perspective, you know the series and feel Anita does a good, well-researched job. Speaking from my perspective, I know the series and feel Anita does a lackluster, not-well-researched (albeit not horrible) job. Neither of these opinions should negate the other--I argue that if she understood the series better, she wouldn't lump Zelda in with the girlfriend from Double Dragon so easily.

Yeah, I'm pretty stubborn about this. But I also feel strongly about it and feel that I can argue against it adequately. Do you think that Anita's vids are so well-done that it's not possible for me to disagree with them without having some sort of alternative, pro-Legend of Zelda motive?

I also believe that when ideas like "Zelda is a simple Damsel in Distress" are hammered in too frequently, it starts becoming accepted even though it's (what I believe) a surface-level judgment, and it ultimately hurts the brand of Zelda. Which I feel pretty strongly about. Look at this incredible article--Zelda is Classist, Sexist, and Racist--which frequently cites Anita's vid and argues that the game is bad for animal rights because it has a farm. Salon isn't exactly a tiny publication, and people are going to see this (in my opinion) incredibly poor write-up and think The Legend of Zelda is some abomination.

Zero said:
I dunno. That sounds a bit like saying a successful video has to convince Triforcebun and Triforcebun alone. Maybe it's a successful video for a lot of other people and just not you?

I feel like we shouldn't have to put "IMO" after sentences to clarify we're not making generalizations about how everyone will feel. You're allowed to like the videos. So's the Jargs. I'm not trying to change your minds on the videos, I'm trying to explain why I don't like them so much.

Again, I don't see why I'm catching so much heat for my pretty ordinary (??) opinion. We critique stuff all the time here, mostly games but also movies, comics, music, art, and yes--YouTube videos. Anita is already a very controversial figure, and there're going to be people who disagree with her methods and the ideas she presents in her videos. And not just crazy people!

I already said I'm not furious with her, although I do think it's frustrating to see games like Zelda get lambasted because of it. I swear, I'm this close to making a "Feminism in The Legend of Zelda" thread here so I can delve into the dozens of great female characters in the series.

In the meantime, I'd like you guys to check out a video. It's a counterpoint to the Peach and Zelda thing by Anita, it's done by another girl gamer, and she presents it in a very diplomatic, well-spoken way that emphasizes positivity. I agree with almost everything she says, and I thought the last minute or so was especially relevant to what Jargon and I were disagreeing about (different experiences and all that):

Stephen said:
It's been a while since I've seen what she said about Peach and Zelda but I think labeling them as damsel characters generally is fair. For every example you might be able to come up with of them doing something cool there's probably 5 times as many of them having to be saved or otherwise serving as motivation for the player.

Challenge accepted!

Here, I'll reverse it on you--I'll give you a game where there are five EXAMPLES for every KIDNAPPING.

Ocarina of Time Zelda


1) Gets kidnapped during the last hour of the game.

Cool things she does:

1) Is the only one to know Ganondorf's evil plans (before all the diplomats of Hyrule and the KING HIMSELF) and conspires with Link to collect the Stones of Time to help stop him.
2) Gets the Ocarina of Time to Link to help save Hyrule even while she's being directly pursued by death on a horse.
3) Devotes seven years of her life going undercover as Sheik to keep the Triforce of Wisdom out of Ganondorf's hands.
4) Teaches Link (as Sheik) multiple different melodies to help him get around; gives Link the item necessary to defeat Ganondorf.
5) Opens locked doors with her magic to help Link and herself escape from the crumbling tower.

Here's a bonus, 'cause I likes ya: warps Link back seven years so he can enjoy his childhood.


P.S. 4chan is a cesspool.
Posted: 07/26/15, 17:13:17  - Edited by 
 on: 07/26/15, 17:31:30

Stirring rebuttal. You can always tell someone takes sexism seriously when they quickly bring up charges of sexism against men.


I think I've been pretty clear. It's possible to be a Zelda expert and see things differently than you. Why can't you extend some courtesy to Anita and just assume that she sees things differently and isn't failing at the basics of her job? When someone writes a game review you disagree with do you assume they didn't actually play it?
Posted: 07/26/15, 18:44:06
Zero said:
Part of their belief in this conspiracy is that game journalists are all pushing coverage on their "SJW" friends (or any "SJW" really") while ignoring coverage of those who don't walk the "SJW" line.

I think you know enough developers to know that this is not complete BS. Maybe the label "conspiracy" is too much. But of course there is truth to this, right?

Are game journalists often left-leaning and in favor of SJ? Of course. Are most game developers? Of course. Do game journalists tend to favor and befriend like-minded people, usually unconsciously but sometimes consciously? Of course.

I don't believe that game journalists tend to favor politically like-minded games and developers, they just tend to favor their friends. And we often become friends with people who are like us. So it's typically not a conscious attempt at pushing a SJ agenda.

(Although I have met some game promoters who were extremely candid about using their influence to push games they believed had a SJ message they agreed with and wanted to promote. But as long as they're open and honest about this, I don't think it's a problem. )
Posted: 07/26/15, 19:27:26
Yup, that's me in a nutshell. Always railing against anti-male sexism. Quickly railing, even.

I could try to post a logical, even reply, but I think you've (uncharacteristically) misinterpreted my last five posts in this thread. So I guess the only way I can gracefully exit this debate is to say that women can never be wrong.

With that in mind, women can never be wrong.
Posted: 07/26/15, 19:30:29

Dude your claim doesn't even make sense. It's not sexist in any way to say that someone isn't ignorant. Particularly when no one in this thread has pointed out a single instance of Anita saying something that is factually wrong.

We've been down this road before. I've explained why I find your solipsistic worldview to be destructive and wrong-headed. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt because that's what I expect in return. You think people should act based on stereotypes and literal prejudices. Apparently in this case that means assuming that a woman discussing video games must not know what she is talking about and I'm supposed to be cool with that without any actual examples.
Posted: 07/26/15, 19:50:07
I think I have a good explanation of why there is so much disdain for Anita.

Before I explain it, I want to be clear that this isn't how I personally feel. I don't dislike Anita. And she's done nothing deserving of even the most mild harassment. But I can understand why some people might dislike her.

A lot of gamers are probably introverted and a bit reclusive from normal society. They may have even acquired a fair amount of resentment (not necessarily misogyny) towards women who have hurt them in the past. But they have games, something they are passionate about that means a lot to them on a personal level. Try to imagine what it's like being this kind of person.

Now you have Anita, a self-proclaimed feminist who is in the business of criticizing pop culture. She has taken it upon herself to kick down the door of the gamers' clubhouse, barge in, and criticize everything she sees. "I don't like this." "This doesn't suit my tastes" "This is bad. I want you to change it" "See this thing you care about? I don't like it, and if you do, then you are a bad person." Is it really a mystery that this rubs these people the wrong way?

But not only does she barge into the clubhouse and criticize everything she sees, she is being given a massive amount of money to do this. Money makes people jealous and resentful, and these people are already resentful as it is. People are paying her to go into a place where she is not wanted and tearing down things that they care about. Undoubtedly this makes people riled up. They're having trouble containing their anger.

So then one of these angry club-dwellers, some twelve-year-old off his meds, sends her a mean tweet or something. Now she's being harassed. Now she's a victim. Now she's appearing on national new, the Colbert Report, where she can further criticize the club members and tell everyone outside the clubhouse how they're all mean misogynists. Does anyone from the clubhouse get invited to tell their side of the story? Nope. So now Anita has been given money to barge into their sacred clubhouse, criticize it, then leave and tell everyone on the outside how awful it was and how awful everyone in it is. Is it still a mystery why these guys are angry?

I keep using this analogy of a clubhouse because I think it's important in understanding all this hate. Remember when there was so much emphasis on whether or not Anita was really a "gamer" or not? Why was that so important. It's important because that determines whether or not she was in the club or not before she started criticizing things. That completely changes how people feel about being criticized.

I honestly believe that if a woman who was unarguably recognized as a gamer first would not have endured nearly as much hate. If someone like Dodger or Morgan Webb had said "Hey guys, you know I like games, but here are some things I think could be better," the response would have been completely different than someone who had taken it upon themselves to kick down the door and begin criticizing everything they see. Anita had 0 cred. It's like they feel violated by someone from the outside who doesn't understand or care about how they feel about these things they care deeply about.

This doesn't invalidate Anita's opinions of course. This is just an explanation of why I think she's so deeply resented.
Posted: 07/26/15, 19:50:15

I agree that these guys thought Anita stormed their clubhouse, but your conclusion would make a lot more sense if there weren't 7 million examples of these same people claiming Morgan Webb wasn't a gamer.

Anita was hated from the start for a simple reason. She used the "F" word. Feminist.
Posted: 07/26/15, 20:16:27
kriswright said:

I agree that these guys thought Anita stormed their clubhouse, but your conclusion would make a lot more sense if there weren't 7 million examples of these same people claiming Morgan Webb wasn't a gamer.

Anita was hated from the start for a simple reason. She used the "F" word. Feminist.

Webb isn't a great example. I don't know her too well and have no idea what she's done in the last five years. Certainly there must be more female gaming personalities?
Posted: 07/26/15, 20:19:42
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