No Right Answer: Is Anita Sarkeesian Wrong?

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You've single handedly done what the Gaming press has failed to do, you've separated her lacklustre work and slightly irritating persona form the shitstorm surrounding it. VERY well done. The loud voices in the gaming press like to shout you down and pretend that if you dislike her in any way you are part of a gang of misogynist hatred spewers and you shouldn't be allowed to talk.

The narrative about Anita is false, she has been turned into some downtrodden messiah feminist hero figure and that's extremely damaging when she is so poor at what she does. Her series is petty and her world view in shallow and unambitious.

OK. Point by point rebuttal or concession, depending on the point.
0:38 - 0:52 - "Hate is not OK. Disagreement, though..."
While this statement is absolutely true, many of the arguments and facts and implicit statements you use to justify your disagreement aren't just invalid, but are actively harmful in their belief.

"Then louder people than most went nuts and said that they were attacking there precious thing.(image of gollum)"
This is a remarkably light coverage of what was pretty shitty behavior. Let's not forget that this got so extreme that someone made a game to beat her up. In fact, this doesn't seem like balanced coverage at all in any term but the fox news sense.
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2012/07/image-based-harassment-and-visual-misogyny/

Additionally, the portrayal of these asshats as something inhuman in Gollum along with the description of them as a vocal minority contributes to the disassociation of the actions of these "troll"s (who literally cannot be trolls because they form their own community that gives social praise for this behavior) with the gaming community as they see it and themselves, though it is far from the biggest example. By this view, these people aren't anything you could become, but some mythical other that you are forever separate from, just a "vocal minority". This is part of why rape is so prevalent; it isn't treated as something that you or I might do if we aren't careful and lack empathy, but the actions of monsters in modern culture.

1:20 - "Then suddenly the internet turned into the biggest white knights ever and decided they had to protect her"

To start, don't use the term "white knight" ever again without a hint of irony. It's a poisonous term that is used to discredit male feminist supporters that is rarely if ever provable, and the people who redefined the term from its feminist roots also created the title of "professional victim" for the harassed who actually post evidence that they are harassed and label women who get righteous or angry about shitty behavior hysterical, allowing them to ignore criticism from anyone. By describing the behavior of her supporters in this way without commentary you demonstrate approval for the term, which provides cover for the disgusting people who wrote those disgusting comments and images which have been and continue to be posted about Anita Sarkeesian as a person.

Secondly, The idea that they did it to "protect her" has little evidence. Of all the motives that exist that aren't direct support for her ideals, this is among the most insulting. Many arguing with trolls used the option of donating to spite those they were arguing with, for example. Additionally, there was a very high level of exposure by the ridiculous degree to which the response was. While many would support such a project, the number of people who would have known that this existed before the trolling would have been few in number, which raises the scope. I personally donated to spite the asshats who posted this nonsense along with actually caring about these issues.

Finally, here, the full scope of your comment is insulting. One phrase that describes a really disgusting behavior and the other describes a natural consequence of the first; the description of support, "protection", for someone dealing with shit on the caliber that she was dealing with as "the biggest white knights ever" gives hyperbole to the second, not even weighting them equally when the other is significantly more relevant and horrible. It would be like I described your video as "Anita Sarkeesian made some videos, was kinda nuts. Then, in the most misogynistic of moves, No Right Answer decided to endlessly whinge on and on about how their right to criticize was taken away from them without being called sexist asshats." Which isn't true; you clearly tried to not be sexist in this and give valid criticism of Anita Sarkeesian, and you do have some valid points about her earlier videos.

2:42 - "Her point is very valid. They way she has gone about it is very off-base because you can't just bring something up and then have a reaction and then assume that 'Well I'm going to keep making the same point and getting the same reaction'. If I slather myself with honey and put fish in my pockets, and start pushing at bears, I don't really have a case when I suddenly get mauled and I go to the bear judge and say,'Hey, why did your bears maul me?'.

I'm Just going to mention that I don't watch your show regularly, so I'm not quite sure if you do abstract metaphors like these often, but in the context of feminist discussions, such outlandish metaphors involving the wilderness are a common staple of rape apologetics for some awful reason. This includes women being told that they need to act like men in the wilderness avoiding mountain lions if they want to avoid rape or act like a wasp if they want to truly avoid rape(horrible rape apologetics courtesy of Thunderf00t). Sent me reeling. If we're going to criticize Anita Sarkeesian for content issues and examples over the actual valid points she makes, I at least get to criticize your choice of content. You aren't trying to get feminists to give bad first impressions of your opinions to validate your beliefs, of course?

"When you go on the internet and post your opinion, you're going to get a backlash, Whether you're right or wrong, whether you should be mauled or not, you can't not expect that. So, when that happens, and then you see the position of power that you're in - The most dangerous women in videogames - suddenly, you need to ask yourself 'Can I do what they need me to do, and am I doing any good?'"

Others have handled this. I'll let them deal with it.

"The title - The most dangerous women in video games - that she has adopted - I don't think she invented it."
"Oh it makes me very upset and I'm not saying its her fault BUT she is not dangerous because her opinions are dangerous; they're not unraveling the fabric of our society. Her opinions are dangerous because they're immune to scrutiny. You cannot go against her without immediately being labeled sexist or personally damaging against her, and I expect our comments to say, "Oh. You don't like her. You must hate women. Do you batter your wife?' No I don't"

Her perspectives cannot be immune to scrutiny, and the claim that she doesn't listen to criticism must be false. You concede that in this very video when you admit that she has at least listened to criticism.

4:33 - "And I said OK those exist, you can't deny those exist because yeah, those are pretty clear examples which come from so many places, but you haven't told me why is this bad? In the next two episodes she describes why the trope is kinda bad, but at the same time I'm going to pick examples from games that are way in the past, - When was the last time Double dragon was relevant to anything in gaming - or you're going to pick games that nobody played, or you pick examples like DNF where everyone AGREES with you on."

This was a response to a valid criticism, that she hadn't elaborated on why the damsel in distress was bad. Even if you don't like the response, and even if your criticisms of her response are valid, this was a common complaint, and she responded to it. How does that line up with the belief that her views are beyond scrutiny, that she doesn't listen to criticism? In the third video, she even went on to explain why the past games are relevant, which is a criticism you just made now, describing how indie games aim for retro and end up taking various sexist ideals from "games way in the past" with them.

Additionally, you fail to discuss her most recent work Ms, Male Character, which kept such issues under handle for the most part. Most are relatable and familiar, and those that aren't are used as examples for a specific goal, where awareness is sacrificed for bluntness and visibility or is otherwise not really avoidable.
A list of all examples specifically mentioned, sorted by discussed Topic and point of usage:

Ms. Pac Man was discussed as the first of the archetype, despite being retro. Additionally, the simple nature of sprites in the retro era not only makes the consequences of the decisions involved immediately visible and difficult to deny
The main standout issue section that still has an issue with this is the "Put a Bow on it" section, where we have Adventures of Lolo and Bubble Bobble, two retro games, and Where's My Water and Giant Boulder of Death being games that aren't particularly common knowledge. However, enough examples of the bow appear elsewhere so that it isn't a problem, and the examples are more immediately visible. The only issue this causes is that it is front loaded, so people viewing who left thinking this criticism wasn't addressed might leave early. Even if you haven't played the other games, most people have at least heard of them(Though Ice Climbers may be only notable through the SSB series).

In comparison, most of the games mentioned in part 2 of DiD were either too obscure or not new information to the viewers as you mentioned, unless your examples were cherry picking. Of about fifty examples, the only ones memorable explicitly mentioned by name being Borderlands 2, Resident Evil 4 + 5, God of War, and Max Payne 3. For the rest, long strings of aphorisms of these non-memorable games are pointed out, outnumbering well known games at least 2 to 1.

When it comes to argument, you mentioned prior that using relevant examples was a problem. Well, in Ms. Male Characters Every character used as an example for an argument that isn't itself referring to an obscure behavior is relevant. Angry Birds is universal beyond even gaming and is used as a case study in the results of Ms. Male character in gender neutral games, where it labels the original as male despite having no gender at all before several updates to the game. In addition, many of the changes are unfamiliar to most because the ongoing game is approaching over-saturation, with many many spin offs that few follow, even though the concept itself is ubiquitous. Likewise, the example of Bowser's children is both well known because of many recent appearances in NSMBU and NSMB2 along with their presence in Super Mario World and SMB 3. In contrast, Part 2 includes an in depth discussion of Prey, a game released nine years ago which was a footnote in history.This is a handling of your criticism of the second parts that wouldn't exist if she wasn't actively paying attention to feedback, which cannot be anywhere on the scale that it is claimed.

"... When you get enough money to buy a small house, you need to step up her game, which she hasn't, BUT she's protected by that firewall of being dangerous and nobody has told her that without personally insulting her."

1. Others have addressed the first point. As for dangerous firewall created by their fans, you have not demonstrated that disagreeing with her makes you some evil in this community or any other beyond fanboy or fangirl behavior. More whinging about how Nintendo is treated horribly on this website than baseless accusations of sexism. There's been about like maybe 3 - 5 in this thread of 121 posts, with everyone else either taking up the mantle of how "brave" you are to post the moderate opinion that they agree with and making similar positions about how easily people are accused of sexism or other people not knowing what the flying fish you are talking about.

Transcripts:
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/05/damsel-in-distress-part-2-tropes-vs-women/
http://www.feministfrequency.com/2013/11/ms-male-character-tropes-vs-women/

EDIT: Blerg, that was longer than I expected. Tired, will look at responses in the morning and see how badly I mangled this post.

I stopped watching it. I was expecting you each to take different positions and justify each point with the typical point, counterpoint routine but I didn't see that here. Regardless of the actual content, it doesn't feel much like a 'No Right Answer' episode when you both make the same arguements, and it's not entertaining because we've all already heard these arguments.

Just my 2p

I honestly didn't even know who this Anita person was...never heard of her before and even now that I do know who she is.. i could care less about her crap. The gaming industry might not be perfect,but i guarantee a nut job like her won't help change things for the better.

DrOswald:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

White?

Disqualified! DQ. You are out of here.

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Which is funny because both your points is actually sexist against men, and racist against white people. You destroyed your own point, unless you're in the belief that white people can't face racism, and men can't face sexism, because both point again would be wrong, and you would end up showing yourself to be both sexist and racist against men and white people.

SlightlyEvil:
Pretty much my thoughts on FF: good points poorly made. She raises important questions, in old, shallow, and uninteresting ways without offering much in the way of answers.

And phrasing her opinions as if they were incontrivertible fact...

and when she does try to bring in hard facts (a rare occasions on her channel from what I can tell), she never cites anything properly at any point.

Not in the video itself... like when she puts a quote up... sure she might say who said it, but not when, or where, or anything else that might help you look it up so you can get the bigger context of the quote...

not in the credits for the video...

and not in the video's description.

By any reasonable academic standards, her series would not get a passing grade if it were say... a Doctoral Dissertation, or even a simple research paper.

It just baffles me that anyone takes her seriously. There are much better critics out there criticizing the industry for its faults, and sometimes pointing out cases of actual sexism in the industry...

like say...

Jim Sterling's episode "The Creepy Culling of Female Characters".

This is a post to help get the comment numbers up. Hope it does well for you.

Everything everyone said is bullshit and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Carry on, and have a nice day. *blocks inbox*

Aardvaarkman:

The Enquirer:
OT: Yea, to be honest, it is really hard to go against someone like this because you are immediately labeled, well, sexist, hateful, misogynistic or any other number of things for simply having a different opinion so you really need to have a very well thought out opinion and argument on the matter.

What do you mean by "someone like this"?

Also, I haven't seen anybody on this site labeled that way for having a different opinion than Sarkeesian. It seems like an unfounded fear.

I've been called sexist a bunch of times and accused of hating her. Even though the point I have always made is that there is undoubtedly an issue with gender representation in games (as well as race and sexuality), there are massive issues with bigotry within the gaming community that need to be stamped out but I don't think just making a series where you list "problematic" female characters while entirely ignoring the context or intention of the creator is any form of solution to this. I am 100% on her side of the issue I just think she is a poor representative for feminism in media. That and the fact that she does flat out take things out of context (from her first episode, that game with a strong female lead becoming a Star Fox sequel likely had more to do with Nintendo preferring to focus on their core franchises than sexism) and make things up (her Bayonetta video). I did also find the Kickstarter unnecessary as a film student who's in college full time, works almost full time hours evenings and weekends just to pay the bills and is still quite close to recording my first theatrical quality short film, something a lot more complex than a single camera PTC with minimal graphics that she'd been doing already anyway.

Never had I made an attack on feminism I have always just disliked the quality of her work and multiple times I've been completely discounted simply as being a sexist.

Magenera:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Which is funny because both your points is actually sexist against men, and racist against white people. You destroyed your own point, unless you're in the belief that white people can't face racism, and men can't face sexism, because both point again would be wrong, and you would end up showing yourself to be both sexist and racist against men and white people.

Oh silly, don't you know the white hetero atheist male is the only demographic you're supposed to be able to insult without anyone crying foul. :D

No seriously, I completely agree with you there.

bdcjacko:
Hold on, she needed $6000 to change back ground colors for her web series? Money well spent.

I guess I don't understand what all the hubbub is about. Some lady wanted to put on a talk show about women's issues in games and did. Why does that cause such an epidemic of hate and internet flaming? But what can I say that has not already been said by movie bob and no right answer?

Basically it boils down to this.

She asked for money to show video games as having sexist elements (she herself confessing to not be a gamer).
She asked for money to buy video games so she could play them and talk about it.
Then some foul mouthed pieces of human excrement attacked her.
So what happened ?
She then used this as evidence and to an extent played the Damsel in Distress card by highlighting how nasty the horrible people were being.
Plenty of people then went "Look, Look, we're not like those guys we're enlightened people, let us help you here have money" basically actually being sexist themselves but in this context it was a positive for her as they were trying to be the hero and help someone out. Look if you supported the campaign because you felt it was great then good. If you supported it because you felt you'd be seen as a Sexist pig for not then that's kind of the problem here.

Now imagine if you would for a moment that lets say Hat Films a fairly lesser known youtube channel.
Started a kickstarter asking for money to play games. I don't mean accepting donations and paypal support I mean actively asked their community to give them games to play. I can't see it going down too well considering they make their money by doing lets plays of games online.

Now All this would have been fine if not for what's happened since. You know how people were on about her destroying the industry ?
Well she gave a Ted talk about her experiences saying how vile the internet was. She has been on national talk shows and basically said how the whole of gaming is the domain of the male sexist pig and is holding back equal rights so much itself. She has been hired as a gameplay consultant by EA and paid to go to DICE HQ to lecture them on good game design. Let me say that again , Anita Sarkeesian a person who didn't identify herself as a gamer until bout 2 weeks after her kickstarter and who has had no industry experience was sent to lecture veteran developers on how to make games. Not how to make better female characters but how to make games.

The problem really is a lot of her present points are based upon femenism 101 and the problem with that is it actually assumes the reason for something to exist is the required negative one. in the video the guys actually pointed this out. Peach is captured but is that why people like the games ?
If you examine and de construct the trope itself in another way. The Damsel in distress trope boils down to "Love conquers all" or "Love can never be kept apart". However this aspect is not explored because the assumption at work is it's a deliberate victimisation of women in games.

My big objection is simply this.
There are female gamers doing a far better job in written word form of identifying these issues and addressing them with real logic out there. However Anita has somehow become the self proclaimed voice of the girl gamer. The problem is having spoken to some girl gamers they think her ham fisted approach is actually setting back the cause of equality.

The best example I can give of this idea are the constant attacks of Dead or Alive characters for being sexist because of the sexualisation. However would it surprise you to know the following are actual careers of said DOA characters ; Biochemist / geneticist, Company CEO, Famous Opera singer, MMA fighter, Martial arts stunt actor. Yet most people will ignore this when talking about Dead or Alive because "OMG BIg BOOBIEs being shown ITS SEXIST !!!"

If you want to read some stuff put out by female gamers that do a far better job than Anita look up Destructoid Elsa or indie gamer chick.

Here's a simple comment from Elsa made on the subject of sexism on an article I wrote.

Elsa:

Harlequin Romances:

"why is the man always handsome?"

"why is he always rich?.. and if he's not rich, then he's secretly rich, or at the very least he's gainfully employed"

"why is the male always an alpha-male?"... why are they never compromisers or hold jobs they don't really like?

The primary consumer of console games is male... most males are visually attracted to scantily clad women. As the demographics for video games change... so too does the content. Unfortunately the scantily clad lady is very unlikely to disappear because not only does this appeal to a large segment of the male market, but it also appeals to a large segment of the female market. What clothing to women buy for their avatars on PSN Home... the scantily clad stuff. What games do women play?... World of Warcraft and the Sims... what do they choose to wear?...lots of pretty or scantily clad stuff. What characters do females choose to cosplay.... I've yet to see a Borderlands Ellie.

Feminist philosophy is based on what some women think is good for our gender... but it's not based on what men and women will buy. Anita has a point... but she's not making the right point. She's simply spewing feminist 101 doctrine with little to no context.

That's a 58 year female gamer taking a level headed approach to sexism in gaming

Is there a problem with female portrayal in gaming ? Yes definitely
Has Anita hit anywhere near the real problems ? NO

GundamSentinel:
Nicely balanced discussion that addresses some of the points that have been bothering me with this whole Sarkeesian thing. She makes some good points, but the way she does it is often a bit ehhhh...

What bothers me in particular is the inability to have a discussion about it without being labeled one thing or another. One the one hand, if you agree with her, you're the industry killing party pooper (like the industry will immediately collapse if women are represented differently). On the other hand, if you don't agree with her, you're a misogynist bent on enslaving women (in a society where women generally have longer, safer, healthier, happier lives than men, I don't see how video games are breaking it all down, but whatever).

To me, the solution has always been simple. The problem isn't that women are often represented in stereotypical ways (it's male power fantasy in a piece of escapist media, what's the problem?). It's that they aren't represented in other ways as well (or enough). That the industry doesn't pay attention to what women want. Other industries (TV, music, toys, electronics, medical, you name it) have been doing that for years and it worked out really well for them and for women. Hell, even a traditional male product like LEGO saw the female line being the best sold in the past year. So go do it!

Actually if you look up Anita's previous work it explains how that well selling line of girls lego was Sexist because it was marketed differently to the male version. Also there are heavy implications in her videos that the male power fantasy itself is flawed and shouldn't be seen as acceptable due to the way Women can be shown in them.

The problem with Sarkeesian and the reason as to why you can't discuss her viodeos is not that you will get labelled a sexist just because you disagree with her.

The problem is that as soon as you'll mention her name you'll either get a giant circlejerk (if your video has just slight criticism of her) against her or a giant shitstorm (if your video is of the opposite).

She shouldn't have the ONLY opinion.

And she wouldn't if responses would step up their game in criticising her work. If the flagship of criticism is thunderfoot, who misses half her argument (which is not really all that complex and hard to miss), then it is easy to see that she has the only opinion on it.

The_Kodu:

GundamSentinel:
-snip-

Actually if you look up Anita's previous work it explains how that well selling line of girls lego was Sexist because it was marketed differently to the male version. Also there are heavy implications in her videos that the male power fantasy itself is flawed and shouldn't be seen as acceptable due to the way Women can be shown in them.

Of course that LEGO was marketed differently: it was designed and made for girls. Girls are different and often like different things. That doesn't automatically mean it's sexist and enforcing gender roles. Sarkeesian is a bit hypocritic about what is and what isn't sexist, based on how selective she is in assigning gender attributes. If something is liked by men and not by women, it's sexism. If something is liked by women and not by men, it's apparently men enforcing gender roles. Go figure.

The thing is, power fantasies are just that: fantasies and escapism. I personally don't think that's a bad thing, unless the gamer in question already has issues with sexism. In that case, don't blame the game. I'd like to compare the point of sexism in video games with violence in video games. Even though there is no conclusive study that gamers can't seperate fact from fiction, many media (including Sarkeesian) keep insisting there is. I'd say that's ironic.

She has a right to her opinion (and as I said, the point she makes about the lack of good female characters is a good one) and I will defend that right for her, but I have the right to call her out on misinformed nonsense.

Very interesting video. I really liked the respect with which it was done and the care taken. Very smart.

It would be wonderful for the anti-sexism movement in gaming to have a more competent voice. Prefacing that this doesn't say anything positive or negative towards the movement itself becomes very important.

bobleponge:

DrOswald:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

Maybe, but that doesn't fit the comparison you drew with your initial statement. Being a victim of racism/sexism hardly qualifies an individual to make informed and useful contributions in those fields.

To extend your analogy, just because you fell off of a faulty bridge doesn't mean you are qualified to build a better bridge. You can talk about how much it sucks when a bridge breaks, but that is the end of your special expertise.

And besides, there have been highly successful reformers have not been in the actual group of the oppressed or been formally trained in the field of social reform. Richard Pankhurst, for example, was a major (and highly successful) advocate of women's rights.

The ultimate point is that dismissing a person's view solely because of their race/sex is an inherently racist/sexist thing to do.

Angry Joe put this up as one of the Top 10 Video Game controversies of 2013, with all the attacks she received. I'll agree that the personal attacks, threats, and misconduct from "gamers" (they kind of don't get that tag when they go that there) is completely wrong.

However, I'll also agree that Ms. Sarkeesian's opinion is wrong. How can someone have a wrong opinion? Easily enough when they view something incorrectly. As this NRA (ha?) video explained, she's purposely finding irrelevant examples from decades ago. That would be like me finding a racy book from the 1800's and stating "all white literature is racist!". Even the exampled Duke Nukem Forever is something that's been in development for well over 10 years and is technically a child of the 1990's.

As for her Kickstarter, I'm thinking she looked for something very controversial knowing that she could get money thrown at it. Remember how the state of California wasted $2million trying to restrict violent video game sales? Appealed twice and got struck down in the highest court? Ya, that happened. People backed their taxpayer money going to a guy arguing video games in court and not to roads, schools, or other useful things. So, based on Fox News viewers, it's not that hard to find a large group of smucks in the USofA to throw money as something that either they don't understand or someone is manipulating them into thinking is bad.

Young girls are the largest growing gaming demographic i would bet along with middle aged women and the advent of facebook games and the like.

The whole mess will sort itself out given time as more women get into the games industry, given a few years i would bet there will be more than a few all girl games studios that cater to women gamers, why not as more and more girls play games and as gaming becomes more generally accepted as a viable thing, more will start getting into games design, writing scripts we already have something of a "star" in the women that wrote the tomb raider reboot, lc in the reboot was a fairly well written human character the story was great.

It would be weird if we did not see a trend like that in games development as the women's gaming power and dollar grows.

I dont read or follow the woman in question, but there is no question at all that women are treated rather meh across most media, hollywood is not terribly better than the games industry, advertising industry? please. women are hunks of meat to be sold in advertisements.

Is the gaming industry better or worse than other forms of media? That is a question wholly worth exploring. Do we need laws or regulations to enforce anything or do we need to let the markets sort these things out? How can you as consumers support healthy portrayals of women in games and gaming and so on.

Magenera:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Which is funny because both your points is actually sexist against men, and racist against white people. You destroyed your own point, unless you're in the belief that white people can't face racism, and men can't face sexism, because both point again would be wrong, and you would end up showing yourself to be both sexist and racist against men and white people.

In this context, no. You cannot be sexist against men or racist against white people. Oppression needs power, be it political, cultural, decisional, legislative, etc... If we're going to talk about north america then no, you be racist or sexist against a white man. They (as a group, not necessarily as individuals) hold already pretty much all of the power.

What amount of safe space is given to woman to talk about sexism on the Escapist? Pretty much fucking none. But there sure are a lot of dudes talking about something they never actually have to face.

cerebus23:
advertising industry? please. women are hunks of meat to be sold in advertisements.

This Christmas I've seen all kinds of Adverts for perfume/cologne showing well built, yet slightly effette men. The diet coke advert for manys the year has been a good looking bloke taking his shirt off, as women gather round and drink diet coke.

Not saying your point is incorrect. Just saying that the advertising industry uses sex to move whatever product is being advertised - this goes both ways, and in my opinion, isn't an issue.

The issue, in my opinion, is Car Insurance being advertised using Cartoon Elephants, CGI Gekkos, an irritating singing Welsh cunt, and a Nodding fucking Dog. I'm a grown up, and in the UK most people who can drive cars are grown-ups (that is to say, over the age of 18), and the rest (over 17) are NEARLY grown-ups. So why are we treated like bloody children when it comes to Car Insurance?

I may have gone somewhat off-piste here, unlike Michael Schumacher, allow me to get back on it before my skull gets bashed in (Little dark humour for you there, normally I dislike all celebrity news good or bad, but Michael was a childhood hero of mine so I'm going a wee bit hypocrite on this one and following the story):

I really, really, really dislike Anita Sarkeesian, as other people have alluded to previously on this thread I think that she actually harms the cause of females in gaming more than she helps it. I feel she has hijacked a position as the face of women in gaming. She is, effectively, her own strawman when it comes to feminism and gaming, and this makes it harder for other women to be taken seriously.

However, I'm a white male, and as someone else said earlier, that means I've got no ability to talk about this subject, so I guess I'll just go back to oppressing women in games (though quite how I go about doing that in Battlefront 2, I'm not sure).

(That's right, I'm playing BF2, got the old XBOX out of the attic and everything. I'm on a bit of a Star Wars kick at the moment, I've got Jedi Academy on standby for later).

DrOswald:

bobleponge:

DrOswald:

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

Maybe, but that doesn't fit the comparison you drew with your initial statement. Being a victim of racism/sexism hardly qualifies an individual to make informed and useful contributions in those fields.

To extend your analogy, just because you fell off of a faulty bridge doesn't mean you are qualified to build a better bridge. You can talk about how much it sucks when a bridge breaks, but that is the end of your special expertise.

And besides, there have been highly successful reformers have not been in the actual group of the oppressed or been formally trained in the field of social reform. Richard Pankhurst, for example, was a major (and highly successful) advocate of women's rights.

The ultimate point is that dismissing a person's view solely because of their race/sex is an inherently racist/sexist thing to do.

You're missing the point. You aren't being dismissed because of your race/sex, you are being dismissed because you don't have the experience of being a different race/sex. You don't know what it's like to be a woman/different race, so why would you think you're qualified to talk about their experiences?

Your metaphor only proves my point further. The person falling off the bridge doesn't know how to build bridges, so why should we listen to them when they tell us how to build bridges? On the flipside, the bridge engineers don't know what it's like to fall off a bridge, so why should we listen to them when they try to argue that falling off a bridge isn't that bad?

And yes, there have been plenty of men advocating for women's rights. You know why? Because they listened to the women who actually had the experiences. They didn't discuss what to do about the issue with their guy friends, then decide that, whatever, they didn't see what the big deal was.

Stu35:

cerebus23:
advertising industry? please. women are hunks of meat to be sold in advertisements.

This Christmas I've seen all kinds of Adverts for perfume/cologne showing well built, yet slightly effette men. The diet coke advert for manys the year has been a good looking bloke taking his shirt off, as women gather round and drink diet coke.

Not saying your point is incorrect. Just saying that the advertising industry uses sex to move whatever product is being advertised - this goes both ways, and in my opinion, isn't an issue.

The issue, in my opinion, is Car Insurance being advertised using Cartoon Elephants, CGI Gekkos, an irritating singing Welsh cunt, and a Nodding fucking Dog. I'm a grown up, and in the UK most people who can drive cars are grown-ups (that is to say, over the age of 18), and the rest (over 17) are NEARLY grown-ups. So why are we treated like bloody children when it comes to Car Insurance?

I may have gone somewhat off-piste here, unlike Michael Schumacher, allow me to get back on it before my skull gets bashed in (Little dark humour for you there, normally I dislike all celebrity news good or bad, but Michael was a childhood hero of mine so I'm going a wee bit hypocrite on this one and following the story):

I really, really, really dislike Anita Sarkeesian, as other people have alluded to previously on this thread I think that she actually harms the cause of females in gaming more than she helps it. I feel she has hijacked a position as the face of women in gaming. She is, effectively, her own strawman when it comes to feminism and gaming, and this makes it harder for other women to be taken seriously.

However, I'm a white male, and as someone else said earlier, that means I've got no ability to talk about this subject, so I guess I'll just go back to oppressing women in games (though quite how I go about doing that in Battlefront 2, I'm not sure).

(That's right, I'm playing BF2, got the old XBOX out of the attic and everything. I'm on a bit of a Star Wars kick at the moment, I've got Jedi Academy on standby for later).

It does but it is heavily weighted to the hot blonde in tight clothes or the bikini clad girl, even news channels they always have eye candy on set.

I was a fan of schumacher also, watched him race many a time for ferrari :).

But the heavy reliance on sex to sell stuff in general, they heavy use of sex in pop culture to sell jailbait music and pedal that look to young girls with pre packaged garbage music to boot.

Its not just the games industry that needs to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask itself cannot we not do better?

ShadowKirby:

Magenera:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Which is funny because both your points is actually sexist against men, and racist against white people. You destroyed your own point, unless you're in the belief that white people can't face racism, and men can't face sexism, because both point again would be wrong, and you would end up showing yourself to be both sexist and racist against men and white people.

In this context, no. You cannot be sexist against men or racist against white people. Oppression needs power, be it political, cultural, decisional, legislative, etc... If we're going to talk about north america then no, you be racist or sexist against a white man. They (as a group, not necessarily as individuals) hold already pretty much all of the power.

What amount of safe space is given to woman to talk about sexism on the Escapist? Pretty much fucking none. But there sure are a lot of dudes talking about something they never actually have to face.

Yes. You can. Racism has nothing to do with power, "a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.", "having or showing the belief that a particular race is superior to another.", from these two definitions of Racist, any one from any race can be a Racist. It does not require being in a position of power.

Definition of Sexist - Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women. Now it does say especially in there, I will grant you that, however it also says "Gender" Not JUST Women. To say that a man will never face sexism, is sexist. Especially when we have thing like this, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/archie-boss-calls-male-employees-penis-article-1.1534462, Is this not sexist? She is in a position of power over those men, she calls them penis to identify them. Is she not a sexist?

Or how about in Media, where all men are apparently lumbering brutes, or fat drunk slobs. Is that not sexism? Where every man is an idiot, who has to have help from his wife or child to do basic things. Yes Women can be sexist, yes a minority can be racist. Please stop acting like all white males have a perfect life with all the money in the world. We don't. We go through life with all the problems you do.

As for the second part, if you start a thread, and someone comes in and starts doing things that are wildly inappropriate, then a moderator will take care of it, they usually do not just get rid of people who have a dissenting opinion however, which is good, no one should be talking in an echo chamber, because you could be misinformed, or incorrect, or unwilling to see a different point of view.

bobleponge:

DrOswald:

bobleponge:

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

Maybe, but that doesn't fit the comparison you drew with your initial statement. Being a victim of racism/sexism hardly qualifies an individual to make informed and useful contributions in those fields.

To extend your analogy, just because you fell off of a faulty bridge doesn't mean you are qualified to build a better bridge. You can talk about how much it sucks when a bridge breaks, but that is the end of your special expertise.

And besides, there have been highly successful reformers have not been in the actual group of the oppressed or been formally trained in the field of social reform. Richard Pankhurst, for example, was a major (and highly successful) advocate of women's rights.

The ultimate point is that dismissing a person's view solely because of their race/sex is an inherently racist/sexist thing to do.

You're missing the point. You aren't being dismissed because of your race/sex, you are being dismissed because you don't have the experience of being a different race/sex. You don't know what it's like to be a woman/different race, so why would you think you're qualified to talk about their experiences?

Your metaphor only proves my point further. The person falling off the bridge doesn't know how to build bridges, so why should we listen to them when they tell us how to build bridges? On the flipside, the bridge engineers don't know what it's like to fall off a bridge, so why should we listen to them when they try to argue that falling off a bridge isn't that bad?

And yes, there have been plenty of men advocating for women's rights. You know why? Because they listened to the women who actually had the experiences. They didn't discuss what to do about the issue with their guy friends, then decide that, whatever, they didn't see what the big deal was.

But that is not what you said. Your exact quote was "Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america." You never said anything about level of qualification, about if the person had talked to women/black people, nothing. Literally the only thing you did was dismiss the opinions of two people on this issue because of their sex.

And besides, Chris and Dan never tried to claim they knew what it was like to experience sexism first hand. They never said "I know what it is like to be discriminated against for being female, and Anita has it all wrong." Nothing was ever said even remotely to that effect, so I really don't see how this can apply to their opinion.

In fact, their discussion was not about sexism directly. It was about the discussion of sexism and the importance of avoiding a dogmatic approach to this important issue, using the Anita Sarkeesian situation as a centerpiece because it is a prime example of how people trying to do the right thing can become unreasonable and prevent an actually constructive discussion.

cerebus23:
Young girls are the largest growing gaming demographic i would bet along with middle aged women and the advent of facebook games and the like.

The whole mess will sort itself out given time as more women get into the games industry, given a few years i would bet there will be more than a few all girl games studios that cater to women gamers, why not as more and more girls play games and as gaming becomes more generally accepted as a viable thing, more will start getting into games design, writing scripts we already have something of a "star" in the women that wrote the tomb raider reboot, lc in the reboot was a fairly well written human character the story was great.

It would be weird if we did not see a trend like that in games development as the women's gaming power and dollar grows.

I dont read or follow the woman in question, but there is no question at all that women are treated rather meh across most media, hollywood is not terribly better than the games industry, advertising industry? please. women are hunks of meat to be sold in advertisements.

Is the gaming industry better or worse than other forms of media? That is a question wholly worth exploring. Do we need laws or regulations to enforce anything or do we need to let the markets sort these things out? How can you as consumers support healthy portrayals of women in games and gaming and so on.

I always find it weird. I guess not being Female I don't get it but Lara Croft isn't considered a good female character. Even post reboot Lara isn't considered a good female role model but Jade from Beyond Good and Evil is despite Lara being in what's considered a more stereotypically male industry, treasure hunting.

Anyone care to shed some light on why Lara isn't a good female character without mentioning her bust ?

ShadowKirby:

Magenera:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Which is funny because both your points is actually sexist against men, and racist against white people. You destroyed your own point, unless you're in the belief that white people can't face racism, and men can't face sexism, because both point again would be wrong, and you would end up showing yourself to be both sexist and racist against men and white people.

In this context, no. You cannot be sexist against men or racist against white people. Oppression needs power, be it political, cultural, decisional, legislative, etc... If we're going to talk about north america then no, you be racist or sexist against a white man. They (as a group, not necessarily as individuals) hold already pretty much all of the power.

What amount of safe space is given to woman to talk about sexism on the Escapist? Pretty much fucking none. But there sure are a lot of dudes talking about something they never actually have to face.

You're are hurting your cause, you're trying to justified the ability to be racist and sexist against men and white people. That's all you're saying, as you change the definition of sexism and racism to not include white people nor men. It's funny as hell, to see someone try to say they are not racist nor sexist because they are sexist against men, and racist against white people. Because you don't want to be called out on it. No, your statement is sexist and racist, as sexism and racism is discrimnation based on race and sex. No such a creature based on oppression and power.

Scrumpmonkey:
You've single handedly done what the Gaming press has failed to do, you've separated her lacklustre work and slightly irritating persona form the shitstorm surrounding it. VERY well done. The loud voices in the gaming press like to shout you down and pretend that if you dislike her in any way you are part of a gang of misogynist hatred spewers and you shouldn't be allowed to talk.

The narrative about Anita is false, she has been turned into some downtrodden messiah feminist hero figure and that's extremely damaging when she is so poor at what she does. Her series is petty and her world view in shallow and unambitious.

Maybe because there are quite a few gamers who are misogynistic hatred spewers?

Maybe because the reaction to Anita by gamers was excessively awful to the point that other people took notice and went "Whoa, what the fuck? I wanna know more about this!"

And then cue the thousands of replies that mirror your own which express a sort of guttersnipe reaction to her that "She is so poor at what she does!!" When the alternative is... NOTHING!

Quadocky:

Scrumpmonkey:
You've single handedly done what the Gaming press has failed to do, you've separated her lacklustre work and slightly irritating persona form the shitstorm surrounding it. VERY well done. The loud voices in the gaming press like to shout you down and pretend that if you dislike her in any way you are part of a gang of misogynist hatred spewers and you shouldn't be allowed to talk.

The narrative about Anita is false, she has been turned into some downtrodden messiah feminist hero figure and that's extremely damaging when she is so poor at what she does. Her series is petty and her world view in shallow and unambitious.

Maybe because there are quite a few gamers who are misogynistic hatred spewers?

Maybe because the reaction to Anita by gamers was excessively awful to the point that other people took notice and went "Whoa, what the fuck? I wanna know more about this!"

And then cue the thousands of replies that mirror your own which express a sort of guttersnipe reaction to her that "She is so poor at what she does!!" When the alternative is... NOTHING!

The alternative to Anita is any number of female gamers out there who could give far better insight into this and many have been.

If you look the alternatives are there, unfortunately the media has turned its focus on Anita because of the backlash and not her ability to make the required point.

cerebus23:
Young girls are the largest growing gaming demographic i would bet along with middle aged women and the advent of facebook games and the like.

The whole mess will sort itself out given time as more women get into the games industry, given a few years i would bet there will be more than a few all girl games studios that cater to women gamers, why not as more and more girls play games and as gaming becomes more generally accepted as a viable thing, more will start getting into games design, writing scripts we already have something of a "star" in the women that wrote the tomb raider reboot, lc in the reboot was a fairly well written human character the story was great.

It would be weird if we did not see a trend like that in games development as the women's gaming power and dollar grows.

I dont read or follow the woman in question, but there is no question at all that women are treated rather meh across most media, hollywood is not terribly better than the games industry, advertising industry? please. women are hunks of meat to be sold in advertisements.

Is the gaming industry better or worse than other forms of media? That is a question wholly worth exploring. Do we need laws or regulations to enforce anything or do we need to let the markets sort these things out? How can you as consumers support healthy portrayals of women in games and gaming and so on.

The reason for women growing in gaming population would be the creation of mobile and social gaming platforms. The gaming industry had always cater to females gamers, the thing is most female gamers don't share the same interest in games as male gamers. So when we start saying game industry doesn't cater to female gamers, that tends to be mostly false. The correct version is that the male market of the game industry doesn't cater to female gamers, and that just because they are a minority. As I said earlier, people are only seeing their market and treating as it's the only thing that exist.

Magenera:
You're are hurting your cause, you're trying to justified the ability to be racist and sexist against men and white people.

You've heard it here first folks...

Feminism: Trying to Justify the Racism and Sexism against White Men since 1894!

The_Kodu:

Quadocky:

Scrumpmonkey:
You've single handedly done what the Gaming press has failed to do, you've separated her lacklustre work and slightly irritating persona form the shitstorm surrounding it. VERY well done. The loud voices in the gaming press like to shout you down and pretend that if you dislike her in any way you are part of a gang of misogynist hatred spewers and you shouldn't be allowed to talk.

The narrative about Anita is false, she has been turned into some downtrodden messiah feminist hero figure and that's extremely damaging when she is so poor at what she does. Her series is petty and her world view in shallow and unambitious.

Maybe because there are quite a few gamers who are misogynistic hatred spewers?

Maybe because the reaction to Anita by gamers was excessively awful to the point that other people took notice and went "Whoa, what the fuck? I wanna know more about this!"

And then cue the thousands of replies that mirror your own which express a sort of guttersnipe reaction to her that "She is so poor at what she does!!" When the alternative is... NOTHING!

The alternative to Anita is any number of female gamers out there who could give far better insight into this and many have been.

If you look the alternatives are there, unfortunately the media has turned its focus on Anita because of the backlash and not her ability to make the required point.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. You see, Anita is expressing basic Feminist ideas, and even those seem to throw gamers into a tizzy. See the problem yet?

bobleponge:

DrOswald:

bobleponge:

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

Maybe, but that doesn't fit the comparison you drew with your initial statement. Being a victim of racism/sexism hardly qualifies an individual to make informed and useful contributions in those fields.

To extend your analogy, just because you fell off of a faulty bridge doesn't mean you are qualified to build a better bridge. You can talk about how much it sucks when a bridge breaks, but that is the end of your special expertise.

And besides, there have been highly successful reformers have not been in the actual group of the oppressed or been formally trained in the field of social reform. Richard Pankhurst, for example, was a major (and highly successful) advocate of women's rights.

The ultimate point is that dismissing a person's view solely because of their race/sex is an inherently racist/sexist thing to do.

You're missing the point. You aren't being dismissed because of your race/sex, you are being dismissed because you don't have the experience of being a different race/sex. You don't know what it's like to be a woman/different race, so why would you think you're qualified to talk about their experiences?

Your metaphor only proves my point further. The person falling off the bridge doesn't know how to build bridges, so why should we listen to them when they tell us how to build bridges? On the flipside, the bridge engineers don't know what it's like to fall off a bridge, so why should we listen to them when they try to argue that falling off a bridge isn't that bad?

And yes, there have been plenty of men advocating for women's rights. You know why? Because they listened to the women who actually had the experiences. They didn't discuss what to do about the issue with their guy friends, then decide that, whatever, they didn't see what the big deal was.

Isn't that in the same vein as those that try to dismiss Anita's criticisms because she's "not a real gamer?" Having a strong view can entrench it and make one very defensive about it to the point of losing focus and becoming complacent, if not arrogant. "How dare an outsider or a neophyte tell me I'm doing something less than perfectly?" Trying to deny those outsider voices stems from a place of not wanting to be questioned or proven wrong. Not wanting to get into examples that just might inflame things, I'll just say that to judge any opinion for any reason that the ability of the opinion to stand is just being judgmental, with potential to fall into one of the isms. Remember: the common attitude about women at one point was that by being women they didn't have the proper knowledge to give an opinion worth considering. If you just find yourself with the same attitude, but talking about men not knowing anything worth considering, you've become what you hate.

Quadocky:

Magenera:
You're are hurting your cause, you're trying to justified the ability to be racist and sexist against men and white people.

You've heard it here first folks...

Feminism: Trying to Justify the Racism and Sexism against White Men since 1894!

It isn't 1894 anymore, and you aren't refused the right to work, vote, or do anything else. Please stop acting like you are.

You are currently trying to push your ideology into places where it shouldn't be. If you want something for yourself, you can have that space, don't try to turn what is ours into what is yours. There are instances where this doesn't apply of course, when you were refused the right to have a job, or vote, or simply be more than.. wives, or daughters then feel free to rise up and fight.

But this is about something that isn't going to affect your day to day life, a man or boy enjoying a video game isn't going to push your right to vote back, or your right to work.

SlightlyEvil:
Pretty much my thoughts on FF: good points poorly made. She raises important questions, in old, shallow, and uninteresting ways without offering much in the way of answers.

This but without the important questions bit! :)

This was pretty balanced good stuff guys, much better than Movie Bob's fawning over her.

Quadocky:

Scrumpmonkey:
You've single handedly done what the Gaming press has failed to do, you've separated her lacklustre work and slightly irritating persona form the shitstorm surrounding it. VERY well done. The loud voices in the gaming press like to shout you down and pretend that if you dislike her in any way you are part of a gang of misogynist hatred spewers and you shouldn't be allowed to talk.

The narrative about Anita is false, she has been turned into some downtrodden messiah feminist hero figure and that's extremely damaging when she is so poor at what she does. Her series is petty and her world view in shallow and unambitious.

Maybe because there are quite a few gamers who are misogynistic hatred spewers?

Maybe because the reaction to Anita by gamers was excessively awful to the point that other people took notice and went "Whoa, what the fuck? I wanna know more about this!"

And then cue the thousands of replies that mirror your own which express a sort of guttersnipe reaction to her that "She is so poor at what she does!!" When the alternative is... NOTHING!

I've written about this at length before. You are again failing to make the distinction between the abhorrent and totally unjustifiable hatred spewn at her, which for the record was disgusting, and an appraisal of her work. Calling a bad piece of media a bad piece of media isn't being a 'guttersnipe'. You are mirroring the exact same critique shield that helped create this problem.

I can say i think her series isn't very well made and point out the issues with it WITHOUT being a trolling, misogynist pig. I don't she goes far enough in her feminism. I've seem unpaid posters in these very forums address the issues better. Jim sterling has set better, more far reaching, more concise, more on the money points. Se isn't the only voice in this debate. You are simply wrong.

Quadocky:

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. You see, Anita is expressing basic Feminist ideas, and even those seem to throw gamers into a tizzy. See the problem yet?

She is expressing basic feminist ideas BADLY. That is the point being made. I have no objection to her ideas, there are things that need to be desperately expressed in regards to gender equality. I absolutely uphold that.

Ok let me draw you a diagram;

Here is Femanist ideas ---------------------------------------------------------------- and here is someone being bad at something.

They are separate ideas. See the distance between them?

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