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The wit and wisdom of the guy who created that “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” game

Yesterday I wrote about a vile online game in which players were invited to “beat up Anita Sarkeesian,” the feminist cultural critic who’s faced endless harassment because she had the temerity to ask for donations to fund a video project looking at sexist tropes in video games.

The game, which (happily) has been removed from Newgrounds.com, where it was originally posted, was put together by a young Canadian gamer named Bendilin Spurr. On the game’s page, he offered this explanation as to why he created the game:

Anita Sarkeesian has not only scammed thousands of people out of over $160,000, but also uses the excuse that she is a woman to get away with whatever she damn well pleases. Any form of constructive criticism, even from fellow women, is either ignored or labelled to be sexist against her.

She claims to want gender equality in video games, but in reality, she just wants to use the fact that she was born with a vagina to get free money and sympathy from everyone who crosses her path.

That doesn’t really explain much, as asking people for voluntary donations to a video project is a far cry from “scamming,” especially since she’d asked for far less, and that the misogynist backlash to her project began long before she’d collected anywhere near this amount.

It also doesn’t quite explain why Bendilin felt that a Sarkessian-punching game was the best format to make this, er, critique.

Last night, after learning from the comments here that young Bendilin had a profile on Steam and a Twitter account, I decided to peruse both to see if I could find more clues that might explain his foul game.

On his Steam profile, he’s set forth his basic philosophy of life, video games, and how much women suck:

I think it’s just adorable how absolutely no girls are any good at video games, just like how no woman has ever written a good novel. They are nothing but talk and no action, probably because girls are such emotional creatures and base everything they do on their current feelings and then try to rationalize their actions later. How pathetic.

You know what’s priceless? When a gamer girl posts a pic of herself looking as slutty as possible and then throws a fake fit when people talk to her like she’s a whore. What did you think was going to happen, you dumb broad? Lose thirty pounds.

Sadly, these aren’t terribly rare or original opinions for a young male gamer.

Over on Twitter, Bendilin has offered a number of conflicting explanations for why he felt so much hostility for Sarkeesian and her video project that he felt justified in creating a video game devoted to punching her in the face.

There’s the fiscal argument:

There’s the laziness argument:

There’s the rather strange argument that Sarkeesian is not taking the proper time to research the subject, although she has not yet started the project. (Also, one of the reasons she was asking for money was so that she could take the time to research the subject properly.)

The “nuh-uh you’re wrong” argument:

The “she won’t listen to me argument.” Part one: The Lego Incident

And Part 2, in which our hero explains that making a video game about punching someone in the face is a great way to open a dialogue with them:

Naturally, Bendilin, like most misogynists, fervently denies that he’s a misogynist:

Yep, that’s right. The guy whose Steam profile claims that “absolutely no girls are any good at video games” and that “no woman has ever written a good novel,” and who decided to express his criticism for a video project that hasn’t even started by making a video game in which players punch the woman behind it in the face, is angry that anyone might conclude that he hates women.

Well, Bendilin, if you wanted to defend video games and the gaming community at large from charges of sexism, you’ve done a bang-up job of it.

UPDATE: Bendilin is also an artist! Here, Virgil Texas takes a look at Bendilin’s erotically charged Sonic the Hedgehog art.

That last paragraph and the update contained

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Posted on July 8, 2012, in antifeminism, bullying, harassment, irony alert, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, narcissism, oppressed men, pussy pass, vaginas, violence. Bookmark the permalink. 1,286 Comments.

  1. I can probably safely conclude that Steele does not know there is a thing in some cultures called kidnap marriage. The girl gets kidnapped and raped and because she is no longer a virgin people let her become the wife of the kidnapper and rapist. Her society thinks her being held captive and raped for the rest of her life is ok as long as they call it marriage.

  2. Thanks for venturing into this. It’s a positively awful scenario all around and I greatly appreciate you taking the time and putting forth the energy to debunk this twits arguments (not that its hard to do as you clearly show, but that takes energy to track that down). Blogs like this help add fuel to the masses who, thankfully, see this for what it is: misogyny.

  3. Pecunium:

    VoIP: I assume the high-five was for my Korea/Vietnam comparison?

    Yeah, it was. Twentieth century American history is not my strong suit, and you had the stats at your fingertips. Way to go.

    Ugh:
    Thank you! I was kind of separating hereditary service, as in the Manchu army, from conscription, because in the European context, the analysis of universal conscription takes place in the analysis of how citizens relate to the modern state. That had been my original point, before Steele stupided all over everything: from 1789 onward, universal conscription wasn’t seen as a burden, it was seen as a privilege, the other side of citizenship. In nineteenth century liberal states, discussions of what it meant for men to participate in the activities of the state revolved around the two poles of parliamentary politics and warfare. And both of these activities belonged to men. Male conscription isn’t an example of “misandry,” as Steele had held, it’s an example of misogyny, of a sexist political order.

    (Interestingly for me, what this means is that warfare got more masculine; during the period I study, which is much earlier, families went to war together, men, women, and children.)

    So, in the strictest sense, the kind of conscription I’m talking about did not take place in the Qing empire anyway, as they were not a liberal parliamentary democracy. Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany weren’t liberal parliamentary democracies either, but each retained the nineteenth-century notion of warfare as a means for the citizen to participate in the state. George Mosse has some great discussions of how these nineteenth-century ideas contributed to Nazi ideas, and also of what all this has to do with gender.

    But if you want to expand the discussion of “conscription” to mean “any time when one is coerced into military service,” then I think we can. However, since the Taipings conscripted women as well as men (as I have heard–correct me if I’m wrong), Steele’s original point, which had been that conscription is a form of institutionalized man-hatred, still doesn’t hold up.

    I found volume 1 of Michael’s book on Amazon for 8 dollars, and I just might get it. What’s your field?

  4. WHY DAVID WHY. WHY DID YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE THE LINK TO THE SONIC THE HEDGEHOG ARTWORK. Of course my curiosity piqued me and I had to click on it. My retinas are in pain.

  5. Hershele: Honestly I’m starting to wonder about the possibility that Steele is ToySoldier. In which case he’s entitled to use his suffering however he likes.

    There are some rhetorical similarities. But not quite (ISTM) the same level of mania, but I did entertain the idea.

  6. @VoIP

    I think you can draw some parallels between a liberal democratic ideal of citizenship and a premodern Chinese version. There were multiple types of citizens, from those with hereditary privilege down to slaves, and each was thought of as being in some kin of social contract with the state. Even in the 4th or 5th century there is a general understanding that though commoners owe taxes and labor, the government was responsible for keeping food affordable and keeping commoners employed.

    Reservists were mostly from the higher income end of the commoner class; usually the same families were selected for reserve duty over generations. This is because the more leisured commoners were believed to have more time to practice at arms in their spare time, so the state thought they were a better investment than the very poor. Depending on the time period, being selected as a reservist was seen as either a great honor or a death sentence. In the Taiping Rebellion, it was probably more the latter. However, in theory it was supposed to be an honor. Women were not included because they were seen as unfit for the duty or honor, and not because they were seen as better than men. Also, men had more leisure time in general than women, so they were optimal from the government’s point of view.

    Also it’s true, the Taiping forces conscripted both genders, although more men than women. One of the reasons they didn’t select more women was because footbinding immediately disqualified a large fraction of urban women, and some of the richer rural women, so yeah, lots of misogyny involved there too.

    Local defense corps were also known to press women into service, both in combat and support roles. Women fought on the front lines of both sides during the assault on Nanjing.

    And yeah, in command economies, conscription theoretically loses its meaning because technically everything that happens is compulsory. However, I think on the ground there was a lot of the same ideology going on. Soviet propaganda called military service the “holy duty,” which was a lot more honor and praise than they gave to, say, compulsory garment factory work. Even in Stalin’s USSR, there was a limit to how much you could ask of people, and one way to get around that limit is to try to convince people that their conscription was an honor.

    I don’t have a field right now, or really know where my life is going in general, but my recent MA thesis was on Tang Dynasty history. How about you?

  7. Also, I think we can see in the modern age how important the masculinity of the armed forces is to their image of strength and honor. I mean, the backlash in the United States, during a soldier recruit shortage, to expanded roles for women, and the continuing amnesia about the women who already do serve, kind of shows how invested the culture is in this masculinity.

  8. I’m getting a PhD in cultural history. I’m focusing on the military in the early modern Holy Roman Empire, but since I’ve puttered around a bit I also know a fair amount about military history from eras that aren’t early modern, as well as intellectual history.

  9. And yeah, in command economies, conscription theoretically loses its meaning because technically everything that happens is compulsory. However, I think on the ground there was a lot of the same ideology going on. Soviet propaganda called military service the “holy duty,” which was a lot more honor and praise than they gave to, say, compulsory garment factory work.

    Yeah: whether or not Germans under the Nazis or Russians under Stalin voted, they definitely participated in the state, in a way that was highly emotional. Going to war, going to a rally, the entire complex of ideas around the notion of “work,” all were part of this state-participation.

  10. What’s amusing (as someone who was in that military) is the ways in which the internal culture doesn’t map to the external. With the exception of the parts which are female excluding (which is caused, in no small part by civilian law) the participation of women in, “Masculine” roles has met with much less resistance than the larger culture’s antipathy toward it.

  11. @pecunium: Right? The most outspoken “experts” on military life, and how soldiers think and react, and what it’s like “in the trenches” always seem to be warrior wannabes who’ve never not only served, but gone out of their way to avoid serving.

  12. VoIP: Yeah, it was. Twentieth century American history is not my strong suit, and you had the stats at your fingertips. Way to go.

    I had them close enough. I had to make sure I was doing the directionality on the computation right, because I am only moderately competent at numbers.

    But yeah, I have an interest in modern warfare (which is to say from about 1500 to present), and Korea is one of those conflicts which gets short shrift.

    Steele, of course, got his timeframe wrong. The US draft ended in 1973, and the withdrawal of troops was in 1972 (We did a quickie on it when we were talking about Thomas Ball; who was it who said he “fought” for our right to have a 1st amendment?).

    But that doesn’t really change the numbers, because the published data I had was dealing with that. But adding the 2 1/2 years of post withdrawal before the fall of Saigon doesn’t help him, because those weren’t draftees (even those who had been drafted in 1972 weren’t going to be incountry unless they volunteered).

    The humanities were not for him.

  13. Pecunium and Unimaginative:
    This reminds me of John Lynn’s Women, Armies, and Warfare in Early Modern Europe, where he hypothesizes that gender roles in early modern armies were, if not egalitarian, then at least more egalitarian than in civilian life. He thinks that the women who traveled with the armies had more economic freedom than civilian women, for instance, while there is anecdotal evidence that they may have gone armed where civilian women would not have, and that’s a hugely symbolic thing in early modern Germany.

  14. i dont think toysoldier would sockpuppet. he’s way too big of a self-promoter for that.

  15. So, basically, where people are actually trying to get shit done and not die, there’s less room for manufactured gender bullshit (although armies, like everything else in early modern Europe, were also full of manufactured gender bullshit).

  16. VoIP: Yep. When someone else is trying to kill you, the need for a bra vs. a cup is small beer.

    I’ve got a really good book about women and the British Army, “Following the Drum” by Annabel Venning, which details a lot of how women lived in the near proximity of their partners, and the ways in which the Army changed as a result.

  17. One dollar on Amazon plus shipping. I just bought it.

  18. Screw everyone who thinks girls/woman can’t be good at anything. Or are wimps losers idiots, I heard them all. Screw you who think that!

  19. Let me guess… Men hate u so this website is your way to express your hate towards the male race?

    Get some help u ugly fat loser!

  20. cassandrakitty

    Which male race? Is this like The Amazing Race? Are there going to be hurdles? Please do tell us more!

  21. The male race is a misandric competitive sport orchestrated by our callipygian overlords.

  22. There’s a male race? Is it a 10k or a fun run?

  23. Pffft! The Male race is 5000 lightyears over burning coals! The Male race is the kessel run, over legos!

    I mean, we’ve heard from the misters just how hard it is. It’s a triathlon where the second leg is pain and the third leg is DEATH!

  24. Evidently Obama got tired of having to be so eloquent all the time.

  25. Men are a “race”, now? Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing shit about the “master race”, too.

  26. RE: Obama

    Men hate u so this website is your way to express your hate towards the male race?

    Yes. You’re totally right. Men hate me. That’s why I’m married to one. That’s why I have male friends. Because I hate the whole of maleness.

    Also, dude, men aren’t a race, we’re a fucking gender. Read a book, dumbass.

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