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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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@Mr_Mustache

The PSP thing was where "Chobot Licking Things" started and, if I recall, it's how she got her job at IGN. Hoo boy.

She may have licked a Master Chief helmet, but I was bringing up how all the IGNs and Gamespots were given expensive, rare swag when Halo 3 hit the shelves, including Master Chief helmets. A reputable journalist would return that shit and admonish Microsoft in the press. I'm sure a few of them did, but to me, the audacity of that move is descriptive of why I gave up on those websites.

To emphasize: My comment had nothing to do with Jessica Chobot.
Posted: 07/29/15, 02:11:19
@Mr_Mustache

No I'm not guilty of it because it's completely different to make statements about a specific person's behavior based on lots and lots of evidence. Of course you know I wasn't literally saying that that's always your problem because you know how humans talk. So I guess your problem is also sometimes being needlessly obtuse.

To answer your question, if 100% of a certain group act a certain way I would continue to treat the next person in that group I met as a blank slate because it might be 99% after I meet that person and he or she doesn't deserve to get judged based on something he can't control, i.e. how other people act.
Posted: 07/29/15, 02:30:14
@kriswright

So she got a job by licking things... How does that fit into all of this stuff, haha?? For or against?

--Was it Olivia Munn who licked a Master Chief helmet?? Either way, whatever.

@Jargon

I'll humor you. How would you EXPECT my next posts to be in this thread? Do you think I'm "doomed to repeat my failings," or suddenly post in a completely different light? You've already seen a warchest of entries from me (in this thread and others) that you find to be rubbish. How would you bet? I'm sleepy. And I should do some work.


For the record, I don't want anyone to be upset ever. Nothing I do on here is malicious. If I'm trying to hurt someone, we'll all know it.
Posted: 07/29/15, 02:41:33
@Mr_Mustache

You are painting with way too broad a brush here man. I guarantee you have met someone who was a vegan and didn't make it a big deal of it. When you say 100% of vegans you have met are smug really all it means is 100% of smug vegans were acting smug. It's this way for literally everything. People are complex and have so many different facets to their background, character, disposition and beliefs that no one group can be grouped together like that.

Sure, there exist some smug vegans. You know who else exists? All of these people. Pick out some which you had no idea were vegans. I got Prince, Al Gore, Natalie Portman, and Steve-O. If you come up with a statement lumping those four people together on some aspect of character then I would love to hear it. Now, being a vegan comes with certain philosophies but I doubt they'd all be united in that. I think it's safe to assume that for a majority the ethical implications are important as well as the health benefits but for some it could be just a case of needing to be on that diet for some dietary requirement.

Now. Imagine we aren't talking about a choice people make and present to the world. Imagine we are talking about a physical attribute that people realistically have no control over. To lump people like that in together with some kind of statement like ' "all" Indian folk are at least a little bit racist against blacks'. I've known people of indian descent and to casually suggest they are all a bit racist is in itself racist as fuck.
Posted: 07/29/15, 02:46:54
@Mr_Mustache\

I never claimed to be able to predict your every move, but sure, I'll try. You like to pick a specific example and then make broad generalizations based on them and act surprised that anyone could question them so I'm guessing you've got some beef against someone on Stephen's list of vegans and you'll tell us all about it as further proof that all vegans are smug.
Posted: 07/29/15, 02:51:24
@Stephen@Zero
People from India, not people of Indian descent. And do you guys seriously want to go there?

@Mr_Mustache
Haha, did you really identify as Angry Jack? In the first episode? Keep watching the series. I genuinely want to read what your impressions of the later episodes.
Posted: 07/29/15, 04:34:34  - Edited by 
 on: 07/29/15, 04:50:27
@Mr_Mustache Yeah but maybe people like me are precisely Anita's target audience. Maybe not. But I think when you're trying to make change you're usually not going to convince many of the people who absolutely think you're 100% way off. But what you can do is find people who are open to your message but may not have heard it otherwise, etc. Like people (myself included) often watch stuff like Anita made and think it is meant to convince "the other side". But it might be more for the "same side" who don't have specific pieces of information, as well as people in the middle.

As for the Indian part I think me not using personal anecdotes to say "all" people of a certain persuasion act a certain way. That's just plain racist. But if you need some personal anecdotes, a large part of my family is Indian. A couple of NW people met my half Indian cousin. And my other half Indian cousin is full vegan and not smug at all about it but then again you wouldn't know she was vegan if you met her because being not smug, she doesn't tell everyone she meets right away.

But can we just like... stop this now? This is the same junk from before. You're saying like openly racist things and we're not just going to sit here and be like cool opinions dude.
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:03:50  - Edited by 
 on: 07/29/15, 05:07:09
@Anand

I don't know, do we? Are you going to say a statement as to the racial prejudice of over 1 billion people has merit? Keep in mind, this is different from systemic racism that many countries have where they treat people of certain ethnicity poorly.
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:05:57
@Stephen

Out of curiosity, how are those two things different?

Systemic racism is still racism.
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:34:06
@Shadowlink Systematic racism isn't necessarily supported by 100% or even the majority of people. And when it is, it is often in subtle ways they themselves might not fully understand.

For instance, a lot of systematic racism in America is related to class inequalities that disproportionately hurt African Americans. Most Americans would probably not agree with a statement such as, for instance, "blacks deserve worse schools growing up than whites do", we just have a lot of policies that effectively make this true. So systematic racism leads to blacks getting worse educations on the whole. Etc.
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:47:21
@Stephen
I will just say that I found your statement to be incredibly presumptuous. Leveraging rhetoric and platitudes against decades of direct life experience.

Obviously, every rule has an exception, but when those exceptions are few and far between, I think that they prove the rule. I'm aware that some people (in this thread, even!) don't feel that way, but, to be honest, few of the people that I've observed dealing in naive and idealistic platitudes are from a minority background. For people who grow up with a minority background, the world is painted in shades of grey, and naivety is a luxury that you can't afford.

You guys may find that offensive, or whatever, but I'm just trying to share my perspective on the situation. Please don't kick me out of your supper club!
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:48:47  - Edited by 
 on: 07/29/15, 05:51:24
@Shadowlink

Because systemic racism doesn't speak to the beliefs of people. It's the difference between the reality of Canada having a problem with the way they treat the aboriginal people in society vs. saying that all Canadians are a little bit racist to aboriginal people.
Posted: 07/29/15, 05:55:32
@Stephen

Maybe so, but you could also argue that the very fact that systemic racism exists shows that there is a *general* (not 100%, I agree)undercurrent of support for the very things that contribute to that systemic racism.

For example, we're about to enter a free trade deal with China. Some of the unions here are running an attack campaign against the agreement with the usual 'They're going to take our jobs!' rhetoric. The whole thing is being slammed as ridiculous xenophobia.

How would you characterise the prevlance of anti-Chinese sentiment within those unions? It would be problematic to say something like 'all unionists are racists against Chinese', of course. But the fact that the attack ads exist at all would suggest there must be some sort of general undercurrent of anti-Chinese feeling thats being tapped into here, surely.
Posted: 07/29/15, 06:08:41
@Shadowlink

Yea, if every single racist person in the United States woke up tomorrow without a drop of prejudice inside them, there'd still be systemic racism.

And no one's saying that there aren't psychological instincts ingrained in people that cause prejudice and lead to racism, but not being guided exclusively by our instincts is what separates us from the animals. Reason can overcome those instincts to the point so you don't express them or act on them.

@Anand

What exactly did Stephen say that is presumptuous? And what is your assertion about Indian people so that we can actually confront it?
Posted: 07/29/15, 06:13:25
@Shadowlink Yeahhhhh but that might be a more blatant example of when racist feelings contributes to systematic racism. My school example though is a bit more subtle. There is some pinpointable racism in play for sure, but the main issue is more that we brought blacks over as slaves years ago, freed them but kept them in bad economic situations early on, and over the years created a situation where they were significantly more likely to be born into and remain in severe poverty than white people. And the schools in the lowest poverty areas tend to be worse because that is just how things work... the best and brightest teachers don't go to those schools, the turnover is super high, yada yada, So there was a shitty racist system in place that led to all of this, but it's not necessarily that the average white American wants to keep blacks down. Although I do think a lot of that is in play as well so... I mean there isn't always a fine line between the two. But it's more than any real steps to dismantle this system are looked at as against I dunno... America's FREE MARKET ECONOMY and all that.
Posted: 07/29/15, 06:15:47
Mr_Mustache said:
I haven't heard of Hatred or Snakebird. You could be making things up now..

What!? Next you're gonna tell me you've never heard of Strawberry Cubes!
Posted: 07/29/15, 06:47:49
@Shadowlink

I wouldn't make any statement as to a whole group of unionists. They might have supported a racist ad campaign out of ignorance, racism, or under protest. There's no way to know the individual situations of those people. So what do you do? You speak out against the ads themselves and avoid painting anyone remotely connected to it as a racist. If people try to defend the ads then you can figure out their position on a more individual level.

@Anand

Like I said, we are talking about over a billion people. Even if I accept that 99% are racist that leaves over 10 million people I have categorized as racists unfairly.
Posted: 07/29/15, 08:22:27
Welp, to get back to the OP here, finally watched all of the videos. Not much to add other than to say that I think he is mostly dead on. I'm kind of not sure that I think engaging the "angry Jacks" out there is really that worthwhile though. I mean, I do it... often way too much... but I don't know that I think it helps much. Would be interesting to see if anyone ever researched this kind of thing and can point to quantifiable results.

What I think is probably better is to address the issues on your own terms. A blog, or whatever. And then get it out there where people can see it. Kind of like this guy did with his videos really.
Posted: 07/29/15, 09:07:30
@Anand

Uh, that reads like you're saying all Indian people really are racist. Surely not.
Posted: 07/29/15, 10:07:06
@Jargon
I think that believing you know more about a culture than somebody who's actually (kind of) from that culture is presumptuous. Unless he was only saying that it's impossible that 100% of Indians are prejudiced against black people, in which case, duh.

@Jargon@kriswright
As far as what I actually meant (and I didn't really want to share it publicly, because it might make some people uncomfortable), pretty much all of the hundreds or thousands of people from India that I've met are at least mildly prejudiced against black people. A lot of them, more than mildly, and they're not shy about sharing it (with other Indian people). There are various underlying reasons why, but it's seeped into the culture.

I'm sure you guys could tell stories about white guys casually saying horrible shit about other races while in each other's company. Hell, I could tell stories about white guys saying horrible shit about other races while in my company. My high school was 87% black, but my classes were mostly white. Man, the shit they used to say...

Stephen said:
@Anand
Like I said, we are talking about over a billion people. Even if I accept that 99% are racist that leaves over 10 million people I have categorized as racists unfairly.
It's not about categorizing people and telling them that they're all racist. It's about dealing with a different culture. If you DO accept that 99% figure (or even a 50% figure), then you can interact more intelligently with that culture. For example, I would NOT recommend that black people visit India. That's a practical application of the data.

Building on what I said before, if you exist in a minority, then you need to use these types of tools to deal with the world. The practical applications being to avoid being ostracized or getting beaten up. I mean, that's true for anybody, but minorities are on thinner ice.

To everyone: Should, say, an openly gay couple vacationing in Texas assume that every person they meet is totally accepting of their lifestyle? And then, supposing they have a series of horrible experiences, should they keep assuming that the next person they meet is totally accepting? Jargo might call it 'profiling', but I just think of it as building a database of the world. It's not set in stone, and every individual entry in the database can (and should) be adjusted upon further interaction, but, like I've said before, I still think it's useful to create a set of default expectations/assumptions based on life experience. It doesn't mean that you should treat people badly without any reason. It just means that you should know when to exercise caution.
Posted: 07/29/15, 17:53:15  - Edited by 
 on: 07/29/15, 18:13:09
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