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antifeminism feminism harassment irony alert links masculinity men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA patriarchy trigger warning violence

Friday links: What About the Men: The Book, and more harassment of Anita Sarkeesian

Longtime Friend of Man Boobz Ozy Frantz, cofounder of the No Seriously What About teh Menz blog, is writing a book with fellow NSWATMer Noah Brand about men and feminism titled, naturally, What About the Men. The first chapter, written by Ozy, is up on the Good Men Project web site, NSWATM’s (sort of) new home. It’s even got footnotes, and illustrations by Barry Deutsch!

Ozy explains the book’s central aim:

We live in a sexist society, one where gender programming starts at birth (though the advent of the sonogram has allowed parents to get a head start by painting the nursery pink or blue and stocking up in advance on gendered toys and clothes) and is so pervasive as to be inescapable. Feminism has done an excellent job analyzing and challenging the ways that these assigned and enforced gender roles damage and deform the lives of women. The same tools of analysis can be applied to the damage and deformation that men suffer. And that damage, sad to say, is severe.

Yes, that says “CLICK TO HIT HER!”

Meanwhile, over on The New Statesman, Helen Lewis looks at the continuing harassment of Anita Sarkeesian, the women who dared to ask people to donate money for a video series on sexism in video games and thereby unleashed a misogynistic shitstorm.

One of the most disturbing examples of harassment: an online game in which players are invited to “beat up Anita Sarkeesian.” Lewis censors some of the images, but not others, so let me just put a TRIGGER WARNING for depictions of violence against women, including a grotesquely photoshopped “beaten up” Sarkeesian. Anyone who thinks Sarkeesian and her supporters were making too big a deal of the harassment needs to go look at these images in Lewis’ article here. (The game itself, posted on Newgrounds.com, has now been removed.)

Again, this is all because Sarkeesian asked people to donate for a video project. If they felt like it was worthwhile. That’s all she did. And this is what she got in return: someone so angry that Sarkeesian was pointing out sexism in video games that he literally sat down and made a game inviting angry internetters to “beat this bitch up.” Irony doesn’t even begin to cover it.

On Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg underlines why we need to take this kind of harassment seriously:

[A]nyone who thinks that feminists who push back hard against online harassment are being oversensitive needs to understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from becoming Anita Sarkeesians. No matter how strong you are, and no matter how much support you have, this kind of concentrated campaign of harassment affects the targets of it. And the goal of these campaigns is to terrorize people into silence. It’s not disagreement. It’s not creative trolling. It’s deployment of a weapon.

But it’s just as important to point out that Sarkeesian wasn’t silenced; in addition to helping her raise much more money than she had originally asked for, those who attacked her simply reinforced (and helped to further publicize) the argument she was making — in the case of the “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” game, quite directly indeed. The cowards and assholes who try to shut down feminists online with this sort of harassment are not only losers — they’re losing.

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hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Oh, Ruby. Way to show off your mad comprehension skills.

Wisteria
Wisteria
8 years ago

Those attacks on Anita Sarkeesian are horrible. I’ve read some comments that excused the attacks as simple trolling, but if you’re using threats of violence and out-and-out misogyny to troll, how is that different from actual threats of violence and out-and-out misogyny? I mean, if you’re upset that an African-American man is researching racism online and to troll him, you call him the n-word, how is that not racist? That makes no sense to me.

It’s also been discouraging to watch what happened on the Free Thought Blogs. I’m not an atheist, but I enjoy reading Pharyngula. Elevatorgate shocked me, so much of what appeared to me to be deliberate dismissals of what most women were saying. I thought, though, that some enlightenment had occurred. But you couldn’t prove it by the last week or so of Thunderfoot’s posts on his blog (now no longer at FTB) and many of the comments.

It really is like picking up a rock and seeing the ugly worms and insects underneath it.

I guess the good news is that Sarkeesian got so many pledges and P Z Myers is a strong supporter of women. The bad news is just how many hate-filled people there are in the world.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Great post, David. Thanks for your support of prison rape.

Love,
Ruby

cloudiah
8 years ago

Great post, David. I’m so glad we agree that poor people are losers.

Love,
Ruby

cloudiah
8 years ago

Great post, David. Cats are losers. And their kittens will be losers too.

Love,
Ruby

katz
8 years ago

Sarkeesian gets tons of threats of rape and violence and keeps going. Meanwhile, Varpole gets one sockpuppet pointed out and instantly folds.

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

“Great post, David. Cats are losers. And their kittens will be losers too.

Love,
Ruby”

What?? I wish you hundreds years of paper cuts and hiccups, ‘Ruby’.

ozymandias42
8 years ago

NWO: I don’t delete dissent. Actually, if you look at the top post on my blog right now, there’s a debate going on about whether husbands of stay-at-home moms are sexist, and if you look at the post below that there’s a comment about how much the author hates my writing style. I delete things which annoy me, which are usually either self-evidently stupid (such as your own ramblings) or rehashed to death (is feminism evil?).

Sharc: It’s true, I don’t have a husband AND both of my partners are broke. *tear*

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Tell us all about this tool of analysis contained deep with the divine feminine so the world might bask in the light of feminine glory.

Well, since you asked so nicely, analysis is something that rational people do when we read or hear or observe something. We break it down into smaller components, compare them against each other and against established knowledge and see if any new insights arise. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they do, and cause us to re-examine things we’re already pretty familiar with, and find out they’re not really true anymore, or they’re true in different ways than we’d previously believed.

Sometimes, our analyses make us uncomfortable, because we’re forced to change the ways in which we interact with the world, each other, and ourselves. But we do it anyway, because living with an uncomfortable truth is better than living in ignorance and delusion.

It’s kind of the opposite of what you do, which is spout catch-phrases and nonsensical dogma that give you a nice warm buzz in your head, and keep you locked in patterns of behaviour that, while familiar, make you an angry, unhappy person.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

NWO, you shouldn’t be calling anyone else a tool.

kysokisaen
8 years ago

Also, I hate the whole “gamers are just like that” meme. No. No they fucking AREN’T. My boyfriend is a gamer and a feminist. My best friend is a gamer and a feminist. There are Manboobz people who are gamers and feminists.

My ex wasn’t explicitly feminist but he was pretty into equality for everyone, and his friends were definitely not feminist, and they still aren’t on board with this ‘If we can’t be sexist why even bother?’ bullshit. There are plenty of gamers who don’t identify as feminist or progressive or in any way activisty, but who are also tired of the constant over-the-top sexism, racism and homophobia on the servers. Even people who have no problems with the occasional sexist, racist or homophobic slur find themselves tired of it. Gamers are getting older and mellowing out, their kids are starting to play. These people aren’t making a lot of noise, but they and their money would probably come out of the woodwork if the industry could just clean house a bit. Kind of like the anti-smoking in bars laws that are becoming more common now. Everyone fights and fights because if you can’t smoke in a bar why even bother going, then the laws pass and all the people who were quietly staying home come out and spend their money, and it turns out there were more of them. It’ll be the same thing with games.

nwoslave
8 years ago

@ozymandias42
“NWO: I don’t delete dissent. Actually, if you look at the top post on my blog right now, there’s a debate going on about whether husbands of stay-at-home moms are sexist, and if you look at the post below that there’s a comment about how much the author hates my writing style. I delete things which annoy me, which are usually either self-evidently stupid (such as your own ramblings) or rehashed to death (is feminism evil?).”

Of course you delete dissent. Anytime you delete a post it’s because you’ve decided it falls out of the narrow guidelines dictated by feminism.

The husbands of stay-at-home moms are sexist is an old article we’ve all seen. The article, under the strict lens of feminism, dictates what is sexism, who commits it, what is appropriate for a man to do or say. All hemmed in by the genderless box you’ve embraced.

Hating a writing style isn’t the same as disagreeing with content. Hating the style but agreeing with content indicates the content is sound and honest, a little brushing up of the style ani’t so bad.

Perhaps you and I might debate on a closed thread? Perhaps here, perhaps over at the good men site. Surely an educated woman like yourself armed with degrees in gender studies and sexology would make mincemeat out of an undereducated man such as myself. Think of the guffaws to be had as you trounce me point after point. Honest debate is equality for all. Why the debate could be sent out to all the other feminist sites. I have a ten year old computer and no resources to command, you’d have all kindsa help and loads of resources to draw from. It’d be like leading an oxen to slaughter.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

““Feminist tools of analysis?” That is priceless. You’re a tool alrighty. The heralded, sacred analytical tools of feminism. How did the world muddle along for so long without this most precious analytical gift. Tell us all about this tool of analysis contained deep with the divine feminine so the world might bask in the light of feminine glory.”

Are you just one of those people terrified by change? Because that box you’re typing on wasn’t around a century ago, and does some seriously impressive mathematical analysis, but “How did the world muddle along for so long without this most precious analytical gift.”

As for the implication that feminist analysis is hidden deep in the depths of Mordor, check the damned side bar, there’s plenty you could go read on the matter if you actually wanted to learn something.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Wisteria: I’m rapidly becoming a fan of FtB (starting with Myers, but soon ranging out into some of the others)–have actually signed in with my yahoo account and trying to get up nerve to comment.

The most recent thread (“I get email”) was……………amazing.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

Not excusing the hate campaign against Sarkeesian (although someone more cynical would say “hey, welcome to the internet”), but here’s one thing I don’t get. If sexism in video games and gamer culture is such a huge issue, and so many people have a problem with it, why don’t these people get together and make their own games? Surely there have to be a few with the talent and motivation to do so, and apparently a large enough willing audience that would buy and support these games. Because so far I haven’t seen any of this. All I’ve seen is a bunch of offended people trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t enjoy. So far it seems to me like they don’t want their own games as much as they want others to stop making and playing games that they don’t like. And that’s not something I want to support, honestly.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

*Leaps in and joins the derail*

Even though i’ve started spending more time here than there (this is the only place i’ve had the courage to comment at, and keeping up on the conversations takes work 😛 ), I do like FtB a lot.

In fact, it’s the sole reason I am where I am today (atheist, feminist, supporter of minorities, etc), so it will always be important in my mind. I tend not to read Pharyngula as much as I used to, but there’s a few other blogs on there that I make sure to read regularly. And the rest if I see something interesting in the latest posts sidebar (which more often than not, there is).

If there’s anyone around that hasn’t gone there before (or doesn’t visit much), you’re missing out on some really fantastic bloggers.

cloudiah
8 years ago

@Kyrie, I was making fun of Ruby’s comment above. For the record, I love kitties!

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Not excusing the hate campaign against Sarkeesian (although someone more cynical would say “hey, welcome to the internet”),

Uh huh. I think I know where this is going and oh yes, so it is. Another faux-reasonable whiner. How many games would they have to make before they were allowed to criticize sexism in games and gaming culture? Or is this one of these “shut up and be quiet” sort of things you’re arguing for, the same way you seem to think Sarkeesian should have expected this treatment just for going on the internet.

Sharculese
8 years ago

If sexism in video games and gamer culture is such a huge issue, and so many people have a problem with it, why don’t these people get together and make their own games? Surely there have to be a few with the talent and motivation to do so, and apparently a large enough willing audience that would buy and support these games. Because so far I haven’t seen any of this. All I’ve seen is a bunch of offended people trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t enjoy.

because even if you ignore the difficulties in setting up a separate and parallel industry, de facto segregation is a moronic solution to any problem. why cant misogynists just grow the fuck up instead?

this has been another edition of simple answers to stupid questions.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

Snowy: Did you even read my post or just skimmed over the first sentence and had a kneejerk “Oh no, he said bad thing about Sarkeesian, he be dumb and wrong” reaction? No need to answer. When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.

As for how many games, I dunno, let’s start with one.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Not excusing the hate campaign against Sarkeesian (although someone more cynical would say “hey, welcome to the internet”), but here’s one thing I don’t get. If sexism in video games and gamer culture is such a huge issue, and so many people have a problem with it, why don’t these people get together and make their own games? Surely there have to be a few with the talent and motivation to do so, and apparently a large enough willing audience that would buy and support these games. Because so far I haven’t seen any of this. All I’ve seen is a bunch of offended people trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t enjoy. So far it seems to me like they don’t want their own games as much as they want others to stop making and playing games that they don’t like. And that’s not something I want to support, honestly.

Or, here’s an idea. How about if somebody were to raise some money to do some research into the whole issue? That way, instead of a bunch of people yammering on about their impressions, there can be a discussion based on documented and quantifiable facts.

And then, when somebody says “Gosh, there’s a lot of misogyny in games, and here some evidence that backs that statement up” we don’t have to listen to people saying “Waaah! You’re ruining my fun! Go away into your own yucky girlspace and make your own games, you icky girls!”

jumbofisch
8 years ago

but here’s one thing I don’t get. If sexism in video games and gamer culture is such a huge issue, and so many people have a problem with it, why don’t these people get together and make their own games?/

They have, there is plenty of more feminist games out there because someone who was planning the game was tired of sexist tropes. Games like portal which have a female protagonist yet don’t make a deal out of them “being a woman” rather they are normal people rather than walking stereotypes or sex objects.

. Because so far I haven’t seen any of this. All I’ve seen is a bunch of offended people trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t enjoy. So far it seems to me like they don’t want their own games as much as they want others to stop making and playing games that they don’t like. And that’s not something I want to support, honestly.

What are you even talking about, no one on this thread wants to take away video games or tell people what to enjoy. Hell lots of us enjoy stuff even if they have sexist tropes for various reasons. I think more game producers could do better though in terms of treating women and minorities like human beings, there is no need to portray them so shittily other than ignorance and laziness. I don’t support ignorance or laziness so I am going to keep criticizing gaming culture as a gamer and a feminist. Just because you don’t make something doesn’t mean you can criticize it.

jumbofisch
8 years ago

fail lemme retry:

but here’s one thing I don’t get. If sexism in video games and gamer culture is such a huge issue, and so many people have a problem with it, why don’t these people get together and make their own games?

They have, there is plenty of more feminist games out there because someone who was planning the game was tired of sexist tropes. Games like portal which have a female protagonist yet don’t make a deal out of them “being a woman” rather they are normal people rather than walking stereotypes or sex objects.

Because so far I haven’t seen any of this. All I’ve seen is a bunch of offended people trying to tell others what they should and shouldn’t enjoy. So far it seems to me like they don’t want their own games as much as they want others to stop making and playing games that they don’t like. And that’s not something I want to support, honestly.

What are you even talking about, no one on this thread wants to take away video games or tell people what to enjoy. Hell lots of us enjoy stuff even if they have sexist tropes for various reasons. I think more game producers could do better though in terms of treating women and minorities like human beings, there is no need to portray them so shittily other than ignorance and laziness. I don’t support ignorance or laziness so I am going to keep criticizing gaming culture as a gamer and a feminist. Just because you don’t make something doesn’t mean you can criticize it.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

“And then, when somebody says “Gosh, there’s a lot of misogyny in games, and here some evidence that backs that statement up” we don’t have to listen to people saying “Waaah! You’re ruining my fun! Go away into your own yucky girlspace and make your own games, you icky girls!”

Or “Waah! I don’t like how this game portrays women! My feelings have been hurt personally and I demand that people stop playing and enjoying this!” for that matter. 😛

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

jumbofisch: So what’s a game that stereotypes women as sex objects, in your opinion?

jumbofisch
8 years ago

When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.

Where did he strawman at all? You are saying feminists should just shutup and accept misogyny in video games because you don’t think there is any feminist games.

Sharculese
8 years ago

“And then, when somebody says “Gosh, there’s a lot of misogyny in games, and here some evidence that backs that statement up” we don’t have to listen to people saying “Waaah! You’re ruining my fun! Go away into your own yucky girlspace and make your own games, you icky girls!”

Or “Waah! I don’t like how this game portrays women! My feelings have been hurt personally and I demand that people stop playing and enjoying this!” for that matter.

if you cant tell the difference between these two things the only explanation is that your head is full of rocks

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Snowy: Did you even read my post or just skimmed over the first sentence and had a kneejerk “Oh no, he said bad thing about Sarkeesian, he be dumb and wrong” reaction? No need to answer. When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.

Oh yeah, I did read your entire dumb and wrong post. But if it makes you feel better I’ll quote your entire posts from now on. How is anything I said a strawman again?

As for how many games, I dunno, let’s start with one.

Oh well that’s easy. Dragon Age.

jumbofisch
8 years ago

So what’s a game that stereotypes women as sex objects, in your opinion?

Not sure how this is even relevant unless this is some thing where I list games and then you whine about how its not really like that. No, I am not going to play lets move the goalpost game. You address what I said and I address what you said.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

“When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.”

Says the guy who identifies with a movement that would not even exist without strawman feminists to tear up.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

“Oh well that’s easy. Dragon Age.”

Great, they should make more of those then instead of looking for things to be offended by.

jumbofisch
8 years ago

Dude people are allowed to criticize stuff. Sexism in video games is pathetic because people could do so much better.

Not everyone can make videogames either or can change the world but that doesn’t mean their voices need to be silenced. Criticism has its place and just because you don’t like what people are critiquing doesn’t mean it should not happen. Stop getting all worked up over people critiquing stuff you like, what you are doing now is the typical fanboy reaction and really its pathetic. Nothing is perfect not even video games you love, grow up and accept that.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Oh, so you admit I wasn’t strawmanning? You want people to just shut up and be quiet? Please show me how I was strawmanning your ideas in any way.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

“Stop getting all worked up”

My irony meter just blew up and made a mess everywhere so I think I’ll stop replying here for now.

jumbofisch
8 years ago

Criticizing video games because it alienates/stereotypes/perpetuates hate to people like you is a little more valid reason to “get worked up” over it than getting worked up because the game you love is utterly perfect and those mean mean feminists are criticizing it.

(also placing my bets this flounce won’t last)

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Ahaha couldn’t answer the question, eh? Bye then. Please stick the flounce!

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
8 years ago

Sorry, did you have a question? All I saw was semi-intelligible blathering and insults. But hey, I’m sure that when I walk down the street and a dog barks at me until I pass from its line of sight, the dog also thinks that it won.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

So much for the flounce.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Yup, I asked you to explain how exactly I was strawmanning you like 3 times now. Or do you not know what a straw man is and thought it was just a fun word? Nice flounce btw, a whole 32 minutes, wow!

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

If I see racism in movies, should I shut up about it and make my own movies? (because, you know, everyone has the money, skills and time to do it)

If not why is it different when it’s about video games, or sexism?

Bringing attention to a problem in hope it will be fixed has nothing to with wanting to take away the game, or from stopping people from enjoying it. Unless you can only enjoy it if you’re blind to its problematic elements, which is hardly our problem.
For example, many of us (boys and girls and non binary people) enjoys video games. We often discuss them, both what we appreciated and what disappointed us. Pretty classical for gamers, no? Obviously, since most of us are feminist, the discussion will often be along the line of societal issues: racism, sexism, harmful stereotypes, tropes, transphobia, homophobia, erasure of a minority/identity,… Again, in games that many of us LOVE.

Other example of game I consider kinda feminist: Braid. Very interesting for its approach of male gaze.

Flib
Flib
8 years ago

Johnny never flounce
Also will never explain
Essence of a fool

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

cloudiah, there was no need to justify yourself, your meaning and humor was absolutely obvious.

Xtra
Xtra
8 years ago

So MRA’S can stop complaining about misandrist television Johnny has the solution for everything. Make your own tv shows. Hey black people, don’t like racist cops—make your own police force, Although it would explain the real dolls though, they made their own woman because they don’t like the real ones that have the audacity to have free will and all.

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Hey Johnny, I think you should quit complaining about people on the internet examining gender roles in video games and go make your own internet where nobody does that. Sound good?

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

Dracula, you win an internet, that you may lend to Johnny.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Dracula: I think I love you!

Dracula
Dracula
8 years ago

Aw, thanks all!

TK
TK
8 years ago

How on earth do guys like that survive in a political debate? Because unless you’re willing to invent your own political system, perhaps even found your own country (or colonize a planet), why should you get to whine about it?

katz
8 years ago

No lending Dracula’s internet to Johnny! He has to make his own!