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Men’s Rights Redditor on Gaming: “It would be nice if women/feminists … f**ked off and created their own thing rather than moving into a men’s space … .”

George Eliot: Should she have been alllowed to play video games?
George Eliot: Should she have been allowed to play Call of Duty?

So the other day the fellas in the Men’s Rights subreddit were having another thoughtful and nuanced discussion about OMG WOMEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES GET OUT GIRL GERMS EWWWW GAMING IS FOR MEN ONLY HELP HELP WE’RE BEING OPPRESSED and the always insightful IHaveALargePenis offered this little suggestion to the “feminists/women” of the world:

IHaveALargePenis 25 points 6 days ago (51|26)  It would be nice if women/feminists for once fucked off and created their own thing rather than moving into a men's space (after decades of berating it and the men participating in it) and demanding things change to suit them.  Remember revenge of the nerds? A movie that's about 30 years old? All those "nerds" are the ones in charge of modern technology. They're the Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs' of today and people love their products. They didn't have it easy getting to where they did, they sure as shit weren't given a green light for simply being men. So why is it that women aren't walking down the same road? Hell it's not even the same road since most people don't actively insult them or tell them they can't do it for simply being women.  It would be nice if feminists for once proved everyone wrong and themselves right by getting a bunch of women together and creating a new system/industry from the ground up which men want to flock to.

Huh. So in return I guess men would agree to hand science fiction over to the ladies — after all, it was one of them, Mary Shelley, who basically invented the whole genre back in 1818 with her mad-scientist classic Frankenstein.

Mr. Penis also gets bonus points for explicitly conflating women and feminists — most MRAs do this only implicitly, and then pretend they haven’t — and wins this month’s “Really? You Really Just Said That?” MRA Irony Award for declaring in his second paragraph that “people don’t actively insult [women] or tell them they can’t [get involved in nerdy pursuits] for simply being women” after he JUST DID EXACTLY THAT ONE PARAGRAPH EARLIER.

One brave commenter responded to Mr. Penis’ screed with a detailed list of infliential women in the gaming industry. Amazingly, this comment wasn’t downvoted into oblivion, though it is worth noting that it got considerably fewer net upvotes that Mr. Penis’ masterpiece.

The thread, naturally, is full of poop from other contributors as well. Cthulusbaby not only doesn’t want women playing or expressing opinions about games; he doesn’t even want imaginary women in his games. No Manic Pixel Dream Girls for him!

Also, he seems to be under the impression that there are no men in romance movies.*

Cthulusbaby 4 points 5 days ago* (9|5)      what right do men have to claim an entire subculture as "their own space"?  When they are the overwhelming majority of consumers for it? Seriously, look at the demographics of men vs women for games like COD and Gears of War and explain how these online communities AREN'T male spaces?  I don't want female soldiers in my games about elite special forces, because in real life there are no female navy seals or SAS. Women just don't belong, there's no need for them in these games. I like my shoot-em-ups to be testosterone fuelled aggression simulators, not equal opportunity political propaganda.  It's exactly the same as a small but vocal minority of men complaining about male representation in sappy romance movies, and a shit ton of other men jumping on the bandwagon even though they've got no actual interest in it.      Also, you put an unfair and extremely skewed amount of blame on women for the amount of stigmatization placed on "nerds" back in the day. Sure there are women who berate gamers but I think mass media as a whole hasn't been doing that subculture any favors and to say that women are more to blame for that is completely unfounded and absurd.  I think you'll find that women are the primary consumers of TV media, and women are the ones who decide what is attractive and desirable in men. You'll notice that since the "nerd" archetype became more attractive to women, it's moved more into the mainstream and is no longer as socially unacceptable. You really think that is coincidence?  Upvoting you for providing an alternative viewpoint, but you're really misguided.

Acolmiztli, meanwhile, sheds a tear for the nerds that came before him:

acolmiztli 3 points 5 days ago (5|2)  Men were raised in a culture where playing video games was grounds for social pariah status and open hostility. It was amazing that anyone developed a love for computer games to the point of wanting to make it their career!!

Evidently the only way to rectify this past injustice is to do the same thing to women today? It’s the MEN’S RIGHTS WAY!

And hey, if women don’t like it, well, they can always just hide their gender identity. (On the Internet no one knows you’re George Eliot.)

poloppoyop 2 points 5 days ago (4|2)  A lot of free tools have been available for years to make games. Anyone can take the time to learn things, participate in open source softwares etc. If teenagers do it, I don't see what prevents women to do the same. Their gender? Nope, internet offers anonymity so you can participate in some project and people will consider you male until proven otherwise.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

Sometimes all it takes to solve these silly lady problems is some good old-fashioned male ingenuity,

H/T to Againstmensrights on Reddits for pointing out Mr. Penis’ lovely remark, and making the same point about science fiction.

* Note to extremly literal-minded readers: I am not actually suggesting that Cthulusbaby thinks there are no men in romance movies. It is just that the way he is framing the issue is so ridiculous he might as well think that.

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Morrigan
7 years ago

I must show this to my professor. I was discussing misogyny in gaming culture with her, but I did not have a good reference with me. Thank you for providing such a clear-cut example.

How they co-opt terms (men’s space) to exclude others is hideous.

Mareaper
7 years ago

Reblogged this on Victoria 2070 a.d..

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
7 years ago

I do remember Revenge of the Nerds, and how it was a perfect illustration of rape culture. The nerds install cameras in a sorority to watch the women without their knowledge, and later, one of the main characters rapes someone by pretending to be her boyfriend.

sarahlizhousespouse
7 years ago

If you enjoy an activity… share it with others. That’s true love.

johnnykaje
7 years ago

Women “fucking off and doing their own thing?” As in, making their own spaces? A space one could describe as, I dunno, “safe”?

I’m sure if they did that, misogynists would never give them trouble again. They certainlynwouldnt go out of their way to invade and troll such spaces. Why didn’t we think of this before?

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Well, I’ll grant that on the internet no one knows what’s in your pants unless you tell them // make it explicitly clear. I don’t image most people particularly enjoy that the way I do though (I am fundamentally unable to pass as androgynous in meat space)

The rest is a load of horse manure. Including about no women SEALs since they aren’t allowed to exist and may well choose to once they can. (Pecunium, correct me if I’m wrong there, but the active combat exclusion inherently covers the SEALs doesn’t it?)

serrana
serrana
7 years ago

Games are a consumer product. You participate by buying something and using it. You can’t tell a group of people they’re not welcome to buy something. Can you imagine if women started telling men they weren’t allowed to buy cake mixes? “No! Baking cakes is a woman’s space!” We’d be laughed off the planet for that. (I don’t know if that’s the greatest example, but I’m baking cupcakes for Mr. S’s birthday, so it’s the first thing I thought of.)

Chie Satonaka
Chie Satonaka
7 years ago

And let’s not forget that we’re talking about video games. Claiming that women can’t play war games because they aren’t SEALS in real life is laughable. None of these gamer guys have real life SEAL experience. So I guess they aren’t allowed to play, either. Having a penis doesn’t automatically make you a warrior.

Ally S
7 years ago

So men are in charge of a particular space because of majoritarian rule?

Um, ok.

Ally S
7 years ago

Also, I think it’s hilarious how they define “male space” as any space with mostly men in it rather than, you know, simply a space that is specifically designed for men only.

The Arbourist
7 years ago

The theme is like, well if women want in then they should do it themselves. Our MRA friends seem to miss the fact that systematic cultural and financial obstacles block many women/women orientated projects from ever being developed/reach the market.

There would be dudely rioting in the streets if they had to put up with a tenth of the shite women do as a matter of course in their days.

Andrew Johnston
7 years ago

Men were raised in a culture where playing video games was games was grounds for social pariah status and open hostility.

There’s the drama, the part that makes me love it when MRAs talk about video games. These guys talk about their “tough childhoods” like they were ethnic minorities raised in an occupied state or something. With the persecution complex these guys shoulder, I keep waiting for one of them to post the lyrics to a negro spiritual – It’ll happen, I’m sure.

It occurs to me that I’m probably the same age or older than most of these whiners, so I feel like I’m in a position to call them out on this “nerd persecution” crap they keep selling. Video games were just a normal part of youth when I was a kid – this idea that owning a Playstation made you a pariah is absurd. I get that it’s a major part of the “nerds v. jocks” myth we have going here in the States, but that’s as much Hollywood as it is reality. In this reality, video games were a fairly standard topic of conversation. If any of these guys felt left out, I guarantee that it wasn’t the electronic entertainment, it was because they were assholes.

Of course, all of that’s for boys. I don’t know the situation for girls, and obviously these pricks don’t care. There were plenty of young men who drifted in and out of my various circles, but only one girl, and she clearly did not fit in elsewhere. I suspect that there’s a reason for that.

hometeampaper
hometeampaper
7 years ago

Most of the anti-gamer hostility I saw came from other gamers for playing the “wrong” kinds of games or buying the “wrong” console. Non-gamers hearing about Final Fantasy or whatever just looked kind of bored and tried to change the subject.

I do have one piece of anecdotal evidence that supports this narrative, and that’s that my first girlfriend got mad when I ignored her to play Dynasty Warriors.

wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Yeah, IME (I’m 22) playing video games was pretty standard fare for most guys and a lot of girls in school, though maybe not as much as much as these guys do it. The one guy I can remember who was obsessive ended up going to prom with two dates. Granted, neither of us slept with him (I know because I drove him home right after, and we were both just friends of his). Also, I did make fun of his sometimes, but we were debater buddies, and I feel justified making fun of anyone who plays Starcraft on the classroom computer while I’m practicing debate.

Also, fiber arts in general is really female dominated, but I don’t think that the women involved are hostile to men who do it. Pecunium will know more, but I have never really seen it or heard about it online. So it isn’t just about “this is our space”–this is about girl cooties and privilege.

wordsp1nner
7 years ago

On the male knitter thing, I went to the local yarn shop yesterday to get some loom food and there was a young boy (maybe about ten?) learning to knit. I didn’t quite figure out, but I think some of the women around were his family. There was also a man who was one of the owners (I think) who helped show me some yarn–I’d commented on how hard it was to find masculine colors in fancy sock yarns, and he showed me a red/black cascade handpaint that I might come back for when I want to make my dad another pair of socks.

amandajane5
amandajane5
7 years ago

It’s always funny, because when I got my job testing video games, back in the late 90s, my interview went “You have experience! And you’re a girl! And you have experience! You know you’re so hired, right?” The other guys on the QA squad were delighted to have a second girl on the team. I know they like to think of themselves as super-hardcore whatever, but I hardly think working for Electronic Arts is some piddly little thing, they’d probably shit their pants to do that.

hometeampaper
hometeampaper
7 years ago

It’s always funny, because when I got my job testing video games, back in the late 90s, my interview went “You have experience! And you’re a girl! And you have experience! You know you’re so hired, right?” The other guys on the QA squad were delighted to have a second girl on the team. I know they like to think of themselves as super-hardcore whatever, but I hardly think working for Electronic Arts is some piddly little thing, they’d probably shit their pants to do that.

Starting countdown to MRA shouting about female privilege…

booburry
7 years ago

When I was out for a walk late last night I had a car full of guys drive by and scream out the window. Then they turned around and drove past as one of them dangled his dick out the window at me. I guess by wanting things like that not to happen is me wanting to take over the entire town that I live in. “If women don’t want dicks in their face for no reason, than why don’t they move?!”
The logic they use…it baffles. As always.

sparky
sparky
7 years ago

First, amen and I second that to everyone.

So, the primary consumers of tv are women, so tv is dominated by feminist women? Which is why tv shows are full of interesting, well-rounded, complex female characters and the “males 18-34” market is completely ignored by programmers and advertisers and no professional sporting event is ever televised. Ever.

Are they even reading what they write? The cognitive dissonance they experience must be through the roof! I think they need therapy. Lots of therapy.

Andrew Johnston
7 years ago

@wordsp1nner: I have a male artist friend who works in textile arts (along with pottery and a few other things), and I’ve never seen any indication that he’s excluded or looked down upon. Granted, he’s a bit different – I’ve known him and his older brother my whole life, and I’ve never known men who were less concerned with perceived gender roles. Still, no one around here seems to mind men working in “feminine” crafts, or vice versa for that matter.

Pear_tree
Pear_tree
7 years ago

I’m with the comments that say playing video games was normal when I was little (I’m 28). I’m not a gamer and don’t like games much as I lack hand eye coordination but I often played with friends. As games got more advanced and serious this happened less as I was no longer good enough to play with.

wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Andrew,

I suspect that men in fiber arts might get some crap, but not usually from women in fiber arts.

MrPopularSentiment
7 years ago

I played my first computer game as a toddler. I learned how to spell with a DOS typing tutor. I learned math from Math Blasters on a Mac. I never stopped playing – I played with my dad, I played with my male friends, and then I hit my early teens and had to play alone because gaming was a “boy thing,” so I was “weird.”

When my met my husband, our first date was in Diablo I. We also played a lot of StarCraft (he was Protoss, I was Zerg) before we moved in together. Yesterday, my in laws took our toddler to a museum for the afternoon so that my husband and I could play Left 4 Dead for about five hours straight.

But hey, yeah, tell me that women don’t play games, or that games are “male space.” While you’re doing that, I’m with a man who appreciates having a wife who not only loves games as much as he does, but who values the time that we get to play together.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

No matter how many wo9men point out that they’ve been interested in gaming all along, that this has never been purely a men’s space, they just can’t hear it. We MUST be faking it, because reasons.

And Cthulusbaby, I don’t need that “fake nerd” bullshit from someone who can’t even spell “Cthulhu” correctly. GTFO my fandom, thanks.

Wereterrier
Wereterrier
7 years ago

@MrPopularSentiment, I started out always playing Protoss, but then I got addicted to Zerg, because I like the music best, and I enjoy the squelchy/screamy/gutteral sounds they make. Sometimes, my boyfriend will make a board where I can play both Protoss and Zerg, but Zerg is my primary, so I get the Zerg music.

Shaenon
7 years ago

And hey, if women don’t like it, well, they can always just hide their gender identity.

…allowing the misogynists in the group to go on claiming there are no women in their super-special little club*, because women aren’t good enough.

My husband and I are both in the comics industry, and this past week he foolishly got himself embroiled in some arguments over the latest outbreak of assholery from the Penny Arcade guys. He is now convinced that the sole function of gaming fandom is to make comic-book fandom look better by comparison.

*Of people who play video games. That is the single saddest thing in the world to feel superior about. I was up until 3:00 AM last night playing “Yoshi’s Island” on Super Nintendo. I’m not under the impression that makes me better than people who got some sleep. Although “Yoshi’s Island” is pretty much the best game of all time.

wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Yes, and even I–who doesn’t really do video games–has a love for Civilization, various android/IOS games, and that one King’s Quest with the mother and daughter (which, ironically, I learned to play from my mother).

My dad, however, has no apparent interest in any computer games, though he does like board games.

MrPopularSentiment
7 years ago

@Wordsp1nner – Civilization is awesome. You should try Warlock: Master of the Arcane. I just started playing it a few days ago and I’m pretty much in love. It’s very similar to Civ5, but has magic! You heard me right, magic!!

sarahlizhousespouse
7 years ago

I wonder if they are referring to first person shooting games exclusively or if they are trying to imply that all gaming of any sort is intrinsically masculine.
I know I’ve played a couple of PC non-shooter games in my day and I certainly don’t consider myself a gamer.

Andrew Johnston
7 years ago

@Shaenon: Amen to pretty much all of that. At the risk of turning this into another discussion on video game culture, there is nothing about that that pisses me off as much as that “more hardcore than thou” bullshit. I remember when video games were a hobby and not part of anyone’s identity. And, I remember when no one bragged about all the time and money they wasted on video games. If I’ve spent 200 hours playing Civ games in the last year (which is probably not far from the truth), that’s not something I’m proud of. I’m proud of the things I did when I wasn’t being entertained.

Andrew Johnston
7 years ago

@MrPopularSentiment: If you can get DOSBox running, you might want to try Master of Magic. It’s as hilariously broken as any other old 4X game, but it’s also a lot more sophisticated than a lot of what you see now.

ikonografer (@ikonografer)

@morrigan: have you seen jto’s video on apartheid and safe spaces? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7kUX18R9ws&list=UU255AfKquZnQMO0amxdEGWw that should add something to your work.

feminist_couple
feminist_couple
7 years ago

I guess we should be calling for men to drop out of nursing school/flower arrangement/elementary education/fiber art/… because those are all women’s spaces, amirite? And all you need to have to define a women’s space is a majority of women!! I’m having fun imagining the hypocritical rage were I to start a satirical thread implying that.

(though much of the MRA movement have already shown that they don’t give a crap about men with those kinds of hobbies, as much as they pretend to)

feminist_couple
feminist_couple
7 years ago

*has already shown, gaah!

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
7 years ago

I am 100% confident that men have more representation in romantic comedies than women have in dudebro video games like CoD. Not only are they more represented numbers wise (unless its a romcom about lesbians, there’s guaranteed to be at least one man in it!) but there is much more variety of the type of man who is there (although it’s definitely not perfect, because it’s Hollywood).

Also, I love how “gaming culture” somehow means “going nuts over really unimaginative war shooters that get crapped out every few months”. It’s as if “movie buffs” were primarily interested in summer blockbusters, and shamed everyone who’d rather watch an indie flick or a documentary than another entry into the Transformers or Fast and Furious franchises.

The problem with Mr. Penis’s view of gaming culture is not that women want to be in it. The problem is that gaming culture has grown up, and games are not just about power fantasies for overgrown adolescents, if it ever was about that in the first place! People who make games and who genuinely love the art form are looking to use games to tell stories. They want to be creative. They want to make something beautiful, and fun, and full of depth.

Yeah, they also want to sell you a new CoD every year, because they know you’ll buy it, and they love money. But that’s not the heart of gaming. FPS’s are popular and fun and they make game companies a lot of money. But loving gaming doesn’t begin and end with loving Call of Duty any more than loving movies begins and ends with loving Independence Day. It’s OK if the popular stuff is what you’re in to. But it doesn’t make you a more authentic gamer than anybody else, and frankly, it suggests that your interest in games as a genre of artistic expression is rather shallow.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

The bullshit about men and gaming pisses me off, so every time this topic gets posted, I’ma just repost what I said on tumblr:

Whenever I hear some asshole gamer whining about how women aren’t real gamers, I want to hiss in their ear, “Roberta Williams.”

Whenever I hear some asshole gamer claiming that female protagonists in video games don’t sell, I want to say, “ROBERTA WILLIAMS.”

Whenever I hear some asshole gamer acting like his balls are getting chopped off because his sacred male space is being invaded by women, I just want to ram every CD-ROM of my Roberta Williams Anthology game collection down his throat in front of a mammoth blow-up picture of her in front of her computer circa 1978, all the while bellowing, “ROBERTA WILLIAMS, MOTHERFUCKER! ROBERTA! FUCKING! WILLIAMS!

Also, us and our friend just finished Zork Nemesis and are now playing Myst. The game is far less intimidating as an adult!

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

RE: wordsp1nner

That was King’s Quest VII! I still have it, though me and Sneak got stymied and haven’t rebeaten it in ages. (That stupid HORSE!)

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Re: DOSBox, if you use OSX there’s a freeware easy as pie one called Boxer.

And if anyone has the rom for King’s Quest VII I’ll pay you in virtual cookies for it.

S Trawnik
S Trawnik
7 years ago

I’m first going to comment to the fact that the writer indicates Mark Shelley as the founder for science fiction. Try looking up Johannes Keppler. He is credited with writing science fiction as early as 1604.

Second, I’m not one to appreciate when someone uses the voices of a few misogynistic idiots to justify another anti-masculine rant. Man-bashing is old, and as mature in life as pantsing a kid in PE class for a laugh. While I appreciate putting an idiot in their place, I don’t not like when someone uses it as a soap-box to generalize any type of ideal that women are somehow better or men are inherently flawed.

Cthulhu's Intern
7 years ago

Aren’t 90% of novel readers women? Funny, I like reading novels, but I never get told to fuck off and play video games or get tested to see if I’m a “fake novel reading guy.”

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

😀 We have the rom for King’s Quest VII! We have EVERYTHING that Roberta Williams ever even BREATHED on, up until about 1996.

Redcap
Redcap
7 years ago

I’m going to add to the “women who have always played video games, because why the fuck WOULDN’T they” list. Some of my earliest memories (around two or so) are attempting the original Tomb Raider games while my dad gave me pointers on how to play. I wasn’t very good at them, but I did beat The Secret of Monkey Island (mostly) on my own. I also gained a life-long crush on Lara Croft, so… thanks Dad?

I’d also like to note that there is -nothing- wrong with getting into video games later in life. It’s a hobby, not a goddamn career.

Cthulhu's Intern
7 years ago

And Cthulusbaby, I don’t need that “fake nerd” bullshit from someone who can’t even spell “Cthulhu” correctly. GTFO my fandom, thanks.

Word!
Also, I have no relation to that guy. Just need to say so.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Neither Steve Jiobs or Bill Gates had any advantage at all in their life because of their male gender. None at all.

Ha ha and ha.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Neither Bill Gats or Steve Jobs had any advantage at all in their lives because of their male gender. None at all.

Ha ha ha and ha.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Eerk, that’s what I get for thinking I caught my mispelling of Jobs in time to post my comment over again. I spell Bill Gates wrong instead.

D’oh.

Maltete
7 years ago

By the time I started gaming (the late 90s), it was a pretty standard activity and nobody was looked down on for it. There of course were niche geek pursuits – Magic: The Gathering, say – but mostly people would ignore rather than mock that. It sounds like so much invented persecution.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Everything I’ve heard about Gates and Jobs were that they were/are assholes, and I probably would not want to have a beer with them.

In other gaming news, apparently the kids here love horror games. The ones staring crazy little girl protagonists and asylums most of all. Go figure.

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Seriously, our old comp runs like a dream, but they’re sad because we likely won’t be able to play Fran Bow when it comes out.

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