[Linkspam] Across the Divide

Hungry for something to read?  Here’s a few articles that are worth your while.

Sexism in Eve: Male Privilege (Haberdashers Run Amok): “Then we wonder why women don’t play EvE.  We assume they don’t want to play it because it’s hard.  That’s not it.  Most women like a challenge.  They don’t want to play with us.  They don’t want to play with sexist assholes.”

A Call to Arms for Decent Men (Jezebel): “This is not about “protecting women.” It’s about cleaning out the sewers that our games have become. This will not be easy and it will not be fun. Standing up to these little jerks will require the same courage from us that women like Anita Sarkeesian have already shown. We will become objects of hatred, ridicule, and contempt. Our manhood will be questioned. But if we remember who we are and stand strong together, we can beat them. In any case we won’t be threatened with sexual violence the way women are. We have it easier than they do.”

Sexism in Video Games Study (PriceCharting.com): “Another polarizing question was “Have you ever obscured or lied about your sex while playing video games to avoid unwanted attention or harassment?” 67.5% of women said that they had obscured their sex. Only 5.8% of men said the same. That means that women are nearly 12 times as likely to feel the need to conceal their sex while playing video games as men are.”

 The Other One (BitCreature): “Some manifestations of casual misogyny are so mundane to me that they just roll down into my personal junk pile of demoralized exasperation. At this rate, I don’t really expect much from most billboards or sitcoms. Despite my incorrigible love for Street Fighter, I know that when I observe a tournament the word “rape” is going to be flowing as freely in the air as beer flows from the taps of my favourite arcade. I know people won’t expect me to know how to play, that I’m just the token girlfriend tagging along. That doesn’t make it acceptable, mind you. But it doesn’t take me by surprise anymore. So I hold my breath.”

Find any awesome articles you think we should link?  Tweet them using the hashtag #TBHlinkspam or email the editors!

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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11 Responses to [Linkspam] Across the Divide

  1. KIrving says:

    Thank you for linking all these articles. I had a good read this morning. The survey was quite interesting and confirmed some of my own feelings regarding game playing preferences.
    The article which resonated the most with me was, ‘The Other One’ not just with regards to gaming culture but also the tiredness I feel with the acceptance of casualized misogyny in all aspects of life.
    Also the colour coding used to indicate female or feminine is one of my pet peeves. The accepted idea that everything else is male by default but if you slap some pink on it becomes the female version. It really hits my annoyance button. Of course a dislike for pastel colours and pink in any form since childhood triggers some of my ire.
    I’ve given up trying to find a cheap, comfortable pair of unrelieved, black sneakers in women’s sizing and bought my last pair from the boy’s section.

  2. skoosc says:

    Good articles all around. Except that Jezebel piece. While I agree with the sentiment that we need to do more as a community to drive out the assholes and not stand for any of their bullshit. His whole appeal to ‘be a real man’ and the ‘true source of manliness’ really rubs me the wrong way. I find the idea of there being some established archetype of “Real Man” kind of offensive. And appealing for men to be “Real Men” manipulative.

    • Korva says:

      I read that article back when it was first linked on another blog, and while I appreciate the sentiment, that “real men” issue rubbed me up the wrong way, too. Maybe it’s meant to beat the assholes with their own weapon, but that weapon still remains toxic. Plus, it still equates “man” with all sorts of positive attributes. Seriously, that needs to stop, even if the positive attributes actually are positive in this case. No one gets to hog their gender identity just for themselves and those who get their personal stamp of approval. There are tons of women I despise, but I would never dream of denying the fact that they are women.

      Seriously, if that poster wants to fix male asshole behavior, I don’t think there’s a way around acknowledging that the obsession with “real masculinity” and “real manhood” needs to bloody stop.

      It also doesn’t help that the author acted like a jerk to those who politely called out the problems in his post.

    • Matt says:

      And appealing for men to be “Real Men” manipulative.

      Consider mileage varied. I’m quite familiar with the trick he’s playing, it works on me and I’m okay with it. And wondering if it’s not only necessary but badly overdue, after too many years of people on the good side of this fight chasing the perfect at the expense of the good.

      Every single human culture I am aware of that has propagated itself past more than two generations has had some kind of longstanding tradition in which a standard is set for males to become recognized as proper men in their society. In degenerate cultures boys just pick up whatever distinguishes masculinity and aggression, learn “man=male” and “opposite of male=female”, add two and two and start trying to outdo each other in all the evil that implies. (cf. Duke Nukem)

      In less degenerate cultures the alpha-male ideal is represented by compassion, temperance, understanding and controlled, justified aggression when necessary. (cf. Atticus Finch)

      Maybe the need for this gender-eidolon is some kind of biological trigger in the human brain-meats, or maybe it’s just a widespread and really hard to break habit. Either way I don’t see it going away anytime remotely soon (in the sense that I expect our great-grandchildren would, if they knew what to look for, still be able to recognize it in their own children’s behaviour), while as a weapon it remains extremely powerful for both good and evil and I would suggest that one of the biggest obstacles to greater inclusivity is that the evil has monopolized this weapon to silence potential allies far too long.

      To take it back to videogames, if you’ve got to take out camperkiddie holed up in a nice spot you don’t keep running straight down the corridor they’re looking over with your “pros only” melee weapon out hoping for a “fair” engagement, you rocketjump into an obscure vantage point and outcheese them with indirect fire with impunity until they learn their lesson. Why spend the match complaining about cheap tactics when you can just enjoy killing lots of stationary, predictable targets instead?

      • Matt says:

        To elaborate: I found that post personally and helpful. It resolved a few wordless questions and reservations I didn’t even know (or unconsciously refused to admit) were brewing in my head again as of late. It speaks to certain things I’ve grown up with and connects values from across value systems, in a way that helps stave off the nihilism and misanthropy that easily bubbles up when dealing with the idiots.

        Yeah, it’s probably a mental crutch. But you know what? If it’s what I can use to hold me up for the time being, I’d rather you didn’t pull it out from under me because I can probably do and see a lot more from up here than while crawling.

        But that all said, I should mention an assumption I always keep in the back of my mind when I use this crutch: the proper opposite of “man” in this context is “tiny baby man“.

        • Alex says:

          The article rubbed me the wrong way as well, so I’m glad to hear it helped you. I recognize I wasn’t the target audience for the article, but if it helped you it probably helped others as well, so that’s good!

  3. BourneApprox says:

    The comments on that EvE post are sadly predictable, and telling. While there are a lot of people who agree with the main statement, there are a fair fraction saying “Nah, women don’t play EvE because they’re genetically social instead of logical, unlike us manly men who can mentally rotate three dimensional objects in our brains!” You’re not actual space leaders and scientists, guys. You’re playing an MMO. While I find the whole concept of EvE fascinating and think it’s an awesome social experiment, you could never convince me to play in a thousand years, mostly because it seems like it’s full of these kind of puffed up gentlemen who like to view themselves as the the hard, cold logical opposite of the imagined “soft” girly gamers in other games.

    • Negative Kat says:

      I made the mistake of reading some of the comments, too, and although I think I gave up well before any trolls started posting, it seemed like a lot of folks didn’t even read the article. Either that, or they have the reading comprehension skills of an anthill. That “men and women are just DIFFERENT because science!” nonsense is so tiring. Pop psychology has a lot to answer for.

      My teenage brother lasted five days in EVE, even though he found the game really interesting. I’m not touching it with a barge pole.

    • Corelin says:

      You should see the stuff I had to moderate out.

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  5. Barts says:

    A nice selection of articles that, unfortunately, paint a rather bleak picture of state of gaming world when it comes to sexism and misogyny. Thanks for sharing!

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