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Each new video that Anita Sarkeesian posts is a sign that the bullies are losing

Anita Sarkeesian, still standing
Anita Sarkeesian, still standing

On Monday, Anita Sarkeesian posted the latest installment of her Tropes Vs. Women in Video Games series on YouTube, a half-hour examination of the ways in which video game makers use sexualized violence against women as a cheap way to spice up their narratives and appeal to straight male gamers.

Her tone was measured, her analysis clear and logical and supported by dozens of clips from a wide assortment of games.

Late Tuesday night, this happened:

That’s right: Sarkeesian was forced to leave her home due to violent threats against her and her family … because she made a YouTube video analyzing violence against women in video games.

She then posted some of the threats she had gotten from a Twitter account set up specifically to harass and threaten her and her family. [TRIGGER WARNING for graphic rape and death threats.]

For a larger version of the screenshot, see here.

Sarkeesian has also been tweeting some of the other threats she gets on a daily basis from anonymous gamers who are incensed that a woman has anything critical to say about their precious video games.

https://twitter.com/femfreq/status/504437681527353344/photo/1

You’ll notice that several of these threatening comments mention videos by Thunderf00t, a “skeptic” videoblogger best known, at least in the corner of the internet I write about, for a series of videos in which he viciously attacks some of the women who’ve drawn the most internet hate from angry misogynists – from skeptics like Rebecca Watson and Melody Hensley to video game maker Zoe Quinn and video game critic Sarkeesian.

Thunderf00t’s attacks have won him kudos from assorted Men’s Rights activists, from the regulars on the Men’s Rights subreddit to A Voice for Men “operations manager” Dean Esmay, who has praised his videos and urged other MRAs to subscribe to them.

In other words, the harassment of feminist women on the internet is directly linked to antifeminist propagandists like Thunderf00t – and his MRA fans and enablers.

The constant, vicious, personal attacks on Sarkeesian you see not only in video game circles but from Men’s Rights Activists – on Reddit, on A Voice for Men, on YouTube, and so on – have helped to create a hostile environment in which critiques of sexism in games result in real-world death and rape threats against women. This has an undeniably chilling effect on the free speech of women. That in fact is the intent of the harassers.

Margaret Atwood once famously observed that

Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

I think we need an internet corollary to Atwood’s observation:

Men posting on the internet are afraid that women will block them. Women are afraid that men will treat them like Anita Sarkeesian.

Thing is, Sarkeesian keeps moving forward, diligently researching and putting forth the videos she promised she would. All the huffing and puffing of her critics and attackers hasn’t shut her up. Each new video she puts out is a testament to her courage and her perseverance. Each new video is a blow against those who would shut women up. Each new video helps to inspire others who’ve gotten similar threats to continue speaking up and speaking out.

Supporting Sarkeesian helps to support every woman who wants to be able to speak out online without fear of violent threats. There’s no better proof of this than how angry the biggest misogynistic bullies get whenever feminists and other people of good conscience rally around her. The bullies are still angry about the money she raised via kickstarter, money that has enabled her to bring a new professionalism to her videos.

Hell, AVFM Bully-in-chief Paul Elam is still so angry about this that he’s already accusing her of “damseling for dollars,” collecting “gash-cash” because of these latest Twitter threats. Indeed, in a post that’s a lot more revealing than he intends it to be, he complains bitterly that she’s getting bigger donations than he is:

I am jealous. I have had half the major media in a couple of countries disingenuously and maliciously demonize me. Even after forcing some retractions I bet I got more threats than Sarkeesian.

My reward? Jack shit.

Maybe it was because I didn’t swoon hard enough or treat the threats like they were tickets to Disneyworld.

Oh, don’t be modest, Paul. You take in tens of thousands every year by pretending to be some sort of human rights generalissimo. You raked in $35,000 this summer by trumpeting “threats” that you were saying privately were phony.

While Elam “damsels” and fumes, Sarkeesian simply goes about doing the job she set out to do. Each video she puts out is yet another “fuck you” to her haters, and they know it.

U mad bros?

Here’s the video that caused all the stir. It’s well worth watching. CONTENT WARNING: Graphic violence against women.

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sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Because, sparky, a hungry homeless man is a problem you can solve very easily with materials you have available to you.

Well, honestly, I’m a little flattered that you appear to believe that I have both the power and the money to set someone up with food, housing, and a job that pays a living wage and decent benefits. Sadly, sparky is not yet ruler of the world and has neither the power or the money to do that. sparky is lucky that she’s able to provide for her own family and home. And even if I did have the power and money to do that for one person, what about the hundreds of thousands (millions? not sure about stats on world hunger and homelessness, but I’d bet it’s in the millions, if not billions) of people who are hungry and homeless worldwide? What about them?

So no, sorry, I can’t actually solve the problems of hunger and homelessness by myself. No one person can. It’s going to take the concerted effort of lots and lots of people, whole governments making widespread changes even, to solve those problems. But that doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t care about them, or do what they can, or that soul kitchens and homeless shelters should just throw up their hands and shut their doors because they’ll never solve the problem. Which is basically what you’re arguing we should do about women being harrassed on the Internet for the crime of being women.

The tendency of people who are granted anonymity and freedom from consequence to try to wreck other people with words is not something that we can solve even at length because we have no tools with which to solve it.

Oh, we have the tools, alright. One of those tools is spreading awareness about the problem. Another is getting people to see and acknowledge that it’s actually a problem. Another is to get people to speak out about Internet harrassment, to not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs. These are just three things I can think of off the top of my head. You’re not very problem-solving oriented of imaginative if you honestly believe there is nothing that can be done.

Being mean is a right people have.

Sure. But that doesn’t mean that they have to have a platform, or that the rest of us should just shrug our shoulders and say “What ya gonna do?” she people are sending rape and death threats. Overwhelmingly to women. Who’s only crime is being a woman on the Internet.

Do you think If a man had published the exact same videos Anita did then the public reaction would have been different?

Yes. Your ignorance is showing again.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Jack Thompson, David Smalley, Thunderfoot, Richard Carrier, and The Amazing Atheist.

… ok, I guess you want me to look up the names then?

Jack Thompson:

Found that he was given a 91-day suspension from the bar for unethical practices as a lawyer, but finding no indication of a harassment campaign. Gonna have to give me more info as to what you’re referring to.

David Smalley:

Google searches for “David Smalley harassment” yields nothing, trolling his twitter yields nothing apart from a single tweet “oh god what did I say.” Not very informative. Gonna have to give me something more for this dude.

Thunderfoot:

I’m intimately familiar with Thunderfoot, and how he basically leads harassment campaigns himself. I used to be a fan of his videos, then saw him gain a spot on FreethoughtBlogs, then saw him ousted for being a huge asshole. Widespread criticism from social justice-minded folks is not harassment. You’re gonna have to tell me what harassment you’re referring to.

The Amazing Atheist:

He is an odious person who is famous for intentionally trying to trigger a male rape victim on Reddit. Again, you’re gonna have to tell me what harassment you’re referring to, because again wide-spread criticism is not harassment. He’s probably the most likely person in the list to have received death threats and hate from the internet, but it just isn’t comparable to Anita.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Oh right, Richard Carrier. Forgot that one. I’ve followed his blog, and I’ve never ever even heard of any harassment directed towards him. Granted, sometimes people disagree with what he says, but he’s still blogging at FreethoughtBlogs, which is more than one can say for Thunderfoot. I’m gonna have to give a big “Huh?” and ask you to provide more info.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

So, what Delton’s saying is, we can now harass and abuse him however much we want, as long as we do it on the Internet. He will totally be unphased, unbothered, and totally above it all, because he knows it’s just the Internet and none of it will really happen, and he will never feel the slightest bit of discomfiture. Just the price of doing business on the Internet right?

RIIIIIGHT.

Cassie's Major Domo
Cassie's Major Domo
6 years ago

I’ll give you 5 more minutes.

You gotta give him more time to get those smokes! He first needs to find the fake ID. (“18 years on the Internet.” SNORT.)

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

What’s the motivation of someone who comes in here to us we’re wasting our time? Wouldn’t someone who actually believed that not waste their time writing multiple posts?

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

And sure Delton, go ahead and share all the graphic rape fantasies those guys got hit with. I’ll wait.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

If you want to tell me my privilege is showing but don’t want to tell me how or what you mean by that then you’re just not being communicative.

“Why won’t you hold my hand and educate me? Why won’t you prop up my ego by pretending my approval matters to you?”

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

And of course, I can only see a direct link to games from one dude on the list; Jack Thompson.

Dalton, let me just tell you that you’re fighting a losing battle. First, finding dudes that have been harassed doesn’t prove that misogyny wasn’t behind the harassment of Anita Sarkeesian. Second, Anita’s harassment was astoundingly huge even for women on the internet, so trying to demonstrate that that kind of harassment is widespread and common is an uphill battle. Third, you apparently don’t know what “harassment” means if the examples that come to mind are people who are criticized for the things they do in pretty reasonable ways (TAA in particular).

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Oh, we have the tools, alright. One of those tools is spreading awareness about the problem. Another is getting people to see and acknowledge that it’s actually a problem. Another is to get people to speak out about Internet harrassment, to not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs. These are just three things I can think of off the top of my head. You’re not very problem-solving oriented of imaginative if you honestly believe there is nothing that can be done.

Dalton doesn’t dare admit that it is a problem, and that something can be done to solve it. If he did so, he would be almost obligated to do something about it. Such as, y’know, when he sees abuse being “showered” on another person, speaking up and saying, “Hey bro, not cool. You can’t be in our guild if you act that way.”

But that would be so haaaaaaaaaaaard, it would practically be like solving world hunger singlehandedly. So he must remain invested in thinking it’s no big deal for ladies to be run out of their own homes by scary people who know their home address, and who have never had a “not cool, bro” thrown at them, ever.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

Dalton, forget five minutes. I’ll give you all day. I sincerely doubt you can come up with anything, but you made the challenge so I’m gonna call you on it.

Dalton Jones
Dalton Jones
6 years ago

Bet your ass people threatened to kill jack thompson and his family, and i don’t recall personally reading any rape threats toward him but you all know the troll MO as well as I do. TAA had that masturbatory video of his leaked and mirrored everywhere and general public hatred of him has only grown proportionately with his youtube fame, Thunderfoot had false accounts created in his name on pornographic websites where his face was shopped onto naked men having sex with each other.

I don’t have chat logs of most of these things because these guys don’t screencap them and post about them, they get over it.

And many of you continue to assume that I’m a hatemonger despite the fact that I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me. That’s because no matter what kind of vile shit people type at you on the internet none of it is substantial. The worst thing you can do is take it personally and the best thing you can do chill out and carry on. You really doubt that I’ve ever been threatened with violence, rape, or murder? Haven’t you ever been? And people don’t even know who we are. They don’t have to, they do it automatically when they have a tool like the internet which allows them to do it without consequence. Definitely not a laudable thing, but people have a right to do it as long as nobody ever comes to any actual harm.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Having spent a bit over a year lurking here before making my first post I kind of feel like I owe it to the community for all the times I kept my mouth shut instead of speaking up.

Personally, I enjoy both explaining things to the trolls and seeing other people do it, because it helps me find words for ideas that are obvious to me but that I have a hard time expressing.

Do you think If a man had published the exact same videos Anita did then the public reaction would have been different?

YES, that is exactly what we think. You came here to argue and you don’t even know what our thesis is?

How did your cigarette run go? Did you stop to feed a homeless person?

Aitch
Aitch
6 years ago

Bet your ass people threatened to kill jack thompson and his family, and i don’t recall personally reading any rape threats toward him but you all know the troll MO as well as I do. TAA had that masturbatory video of his leaked and mirrored everywhere and general public hatred of him has only grown proportionately with his youtube fame, Thunderfoot had false accounts created in his name on pornographic websites where his face was shopped onto naked men having sex with each other.

Evidence content: 0.

You know about what they say about assertions without evidence…

Cassie's Major Domo
Cassie's Major Domo
6 years ago

most of these things because these guys don’t screencap them and post about them, they get over it.

Oh man, fuck off. Seriously. “They get over it.” Your utter lack of empathy for the women who have received harassment at the level of Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, well… no wonder you’re getting such pushback from us. Show some empathy, or get treated like an asshole.

Also, another troll who can’t do due diligence about this as a mockery blog.

Cassie's Major Domo
Cassie's Major Domo
6 years ago

How did your cigarette run go? Did you stop to feed a homeless person?

My guess is the fake ID didn’t work. Have to steal some from Dad.

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Oh, you’re back. Did you fix the homelessness problem so soon? I know a couple of organizations that would love to hear how you did it!

and i don’t recall personally reading any rape threats toward him but you all know the troll MO as well as I do

Do you even hear yourself?

TAA had that masturbatory video of his leaked and mirrored everywhere and general public hatred of him has only grown proportionately with his youtube fame

While the harassment he gets is often terrible (the shaming of his sexual habits is particularly odious), but in terms of the non-harassment ire, it’s not just his fame that attracts “hate”. You’re comparing a woman whose only “crime” is criticizing video games to a man who complains when teenage suicide victims get attention and who is an unapologetic misogynist. How many of his “haters” (not the harassers, again, but the haters in general) have a legit grievance? How many of Sarkeesian’s do?

And many of you continue to assume that I’m a hatemonger despite the fact that I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me.

But it’s just the internet! We have a right to be mean! Get over it and go save a kitten from drowning!

Also, you started it. We’re only giving as good as we’ve gotten.

Definitely not a laudable thing, but people have a right to do it as long as nobody ever comes to any actual harm.

Like this, right here. This is a terrible thing to say and you’re a terrible person for saying it.

Aitch
Aitch
6 years ago

Definitely not a laudable thing, but people have a right to do it as long as nobody ever comes to any actual harm.

Also just fucking stop with pretending a right to do something means it’s the wise thing to do. Or that people shouldn’t criticize it.

We do have lives outside this place and communities where we have power and influence over the social context. So being aware of these kinds of trends makes us able to call them out and make people aware of what they’re doing before the insults predominate the debate.

Though you probably don’t believe socialization has any power over you or people like you, oh special snowflake.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

Too bad Dalton didn’t make like the dude in the country who went out for a pack of smokes and never came back.

Personally, I enjoy both explaining things to the trolls and seeing other people do it, because it helps me find words for ideas that are obvious to me but that I have a hard time expressing.

Me too!

And many of you continue to assume that I’m a hatemonger despite the fact that I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me.

I see we’ve gotten to the tone-trolling portion of events. Little bit hypocritical to complain about us being rude while simultaneously minimizing harrassment, rape threats and death threat, eh?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

And many of you continue to assume that I’m a hatemonger despite the fact that I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me.

Is tone policing on the bingo card?

You said you could come up with 5 dudes who have received equal vitriol to Sarkeesian. You have listed unsubstantiated allegations about 3, which don’t actually reach the same level of verbal violence even if one were to take all of them as assumed true and combined them together.

You honestly have not even the slightest clue how much, and how threatening, the abuse against AS has been, do you? And you have no clue whatsoever how different of an experience women have with violent threats than men. You are so wrapped up in your privilege you can’t even see the people around you.

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

Aitch – As much asI hate to admit it but I do remember the Jack Thompson episode. People did express a wish to harm him pretty frequently. Of course there was no organized campaign of harassment the way the whole gamergate thing became. I’d suggest going to Penny Arcade and looking through forum comments from the time relating to Thompson.

Emilygoddess – I tend to approach trolls the same way, it’s an opportunity to examine my own views and refine my thoughts. Even when it’s just the same old tired talking points.

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

” The worst thing you can do is take it personally and the best thing you can do chill out and carry on.”

Hmm, no, I think I like Bill and Ted’s “Be excellent to each other” speech much better.

Dude, what’s your motivation for coming here and insisting we chill out and carry on? Are you afraid we’ll make you think about something you don’t want to think about?

Aitch
Aitch
6 years ago

Aitch – As much asI hate to admit it but I do remember the Jack Thompson episode. People did express a wish to harm him pretty frequently. Of course there was no organized campaign of harassment the way the whole gamergate thing became. I’d suggest going to Penny Arcade and looking through forum comments from the time relating to Thompson.

Got better things to do, like pulling out my teeth with a trebuchet. But thanks for the correction, and it’s a shame he had to go through that.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

People have a right to do it? No they really don’t. Rape and death threats are illegal. At least they are in the US and the UK. I’m guessing there are laws against it pretty much everywhere.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: Dalton Jones

Bet your ass people threatened to kill jack thompson and his family, and i don’t recall personally reading any rape threats toward him but you all know the troll MO as well as I do.

So, what you’re saying is, you have no evidence, never READ any evidence, you just KNOW it happened. And I should believe you. Uh huh. Welp, I can’t argue with “logic” like that!

I don’t have chat logs of most of these things because these guys don’t screencap them and post about them, they get over it.

Your evidence for this? No. It’s just your interpretation. They could also be so ashamed they want nobody to see. They could also have nothing to screencap. You aren’t actually backing up any of your assertions, so why should I believe them?

I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me.

You seem to be mistaking “politeness” with “respect.” I’m very politely telling you that you’re arguing badly, as constructive criticism.

no matter what kind of vile shit people type at you on the internet none of it is substantial

You know, this is interesting to me. See, I’m actually kinda an outlier; all my worst trolls were people I knew personally. Friends. Parents. They weren’t an anonymous horde. When they typed to me, “I can’t love you,” that wasn’t just some stranger. That was my father. It wasn’t just some dude, it was MY FATHER telling me he couldn’t love me, and threatening to institutionalize me. And I had to make some pretty major plans and changes in my life to avoid that.

The Internet, email, IM, they aren’t some parallel dimension with no consequences, buddy. They’re real people, typing real things, and sometimes acting on them, such as my parents. They were DOING and SAYING the same things in person! Just when I stopped seeing them in person, they started using the phone, and when I stopped taking their calls, they started using email.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

And many of you continue to assume that I’m a hatemonger despite the fact that I haven’t even reciprocated the rudeness you’ve shown me.

Aw, are we being mean? So sorry we don’t have the time or inclination to coddle the feels of yet another garden variety misogynist.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Dalton’s job wasn’t to find five white men who have been harassed. We never claimed men don’t get harassed and threatened. His job was to find men who got it worse than Anita Sarkeesian. He hasn’t done that. And the admission of not seeing rape threats as a key feature is pretty much an admission of failure IMO.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Oh, Dalton, chill OUT, sunshine. Just relax and carry on, remember! It’s just the Internet!

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Oh hey, he did complain we were being rude, didn’t he? I thought people have the right to be mean. Why doesn’t he chill out and carry on?

Dalton Jones
Dalton Jones
6 years ago

“Your utter lack of empathy for the women who have received harassment at the level of Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, well… no wonder you’re getting such pushback from us. Show some empathy, or get treated like an asshole.”

I have an amount of empathy for them. I dislike that people have treated them the way they have, I know I don’t like it when people treat me that way, and more to the point I’m frustrated with the people who apparently enjoy doing it, But in the same way that my reaction to people wishing I would die is to build a bridge (or, hell, engage them and communicate) I expect them to be able to do the same.

I’m trying to understand you collective thesis here. Sparky said “To not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs.” Is what you’re saying that people should not be allowed to say fucked up things on the internet? How on earth could that be achieved? Or do you want to change people’s attitudes so that they don’t want to behave like crazy people at all? That seems like the more workable of the two options to me, but y’all perceive me as part of the problem and you don’t seem to be trying very hard to change my attitude.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@dalton jones:

Gonna have to clarify something first. Nobody here is arguing that only women get death threats or harassment. PZ Meyers has had his face photo-shopped on to porn as well. We’re saying that women face a particularly brutal form caused by misogyny. You claim that they don’t, that men face the exact same level and frequency of harassment. And here are your examples:

Re: Jack Thompson, from his Wikipedia page:

Thompson claimed to have received death threats from listeners of Stern’s show, noting that “you’d expect that considering the IQ of people who listen to Howard Stern. Apparently they fail to realize that I might have caller ID.”[132]

The only mention of death threats there. Not related to video games, so it fails one of my caveats. It sucks, and even Thompson doesn’t deserve death threats, but the situations aren’t comparable.

Re: TAA:

I’m vaguely aware of him being the target of harassment (and of him dealing it as well). He as a person doesn’t fit into a standard slot with regards to his sexuality, and I suspect part of the harassment towards him stems from that. I’m not aware of any connection to video games, though.

Re: Thunderfoot:

Again, like I said, PZ Meyers has had simliar things happen. Even Thunderfoot doesn’t deserve shit like that. As I recall, those photoshop images were a reaction to his videos against religion. I’m not aware of any connection to video games.

Re: all:

I’m still failing to see how any of your examples are comparable in size and effect to the harassment Anita has been subjected to. If you actually look at the content of Anita’s harasment, you’ll find much of it is specific to her being a woman. I doubt you’ll find any of the harassment against the previous three dudes specific to being a dude. Maybe you’ll find TAA’s harassment specific to his sexuality, so he’s probably your strongest bet.

However, TAA as an example is a bit like singling out the Westboro Baptist Church and saying the threats and harassment they receive are similar to the ones gay people face. Anita has faced more harassment for stupider reasons (and reasons more related to who she is rather than what she does) than anyone on your list of examples, and Anita is not the only woman who faces that harassment.

Sorry Dalton, but your examples just don’t hold up. They certainly aren’t indicative that this type of harassment is commonplace, and none of your examples simply took the harassment lying down. TAA has responded plenty to the threats (with more threats), Thunderfoot made videos detailing his harassment, and Jack Thompson has spoken out against the threats he claims to have received as well.

Floods of death threats and harassment are not commonplace on the internet, and women face a particularly harsh form simply for being women. Nothing you’ve provided has shown otherwise convincingly.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

As much asI hate to admit it but I do remember the Jack Thompson episode. People did express a wish to harm him pretty frequently.

That’s kind of terrible.

Of course, by Dalton’s logic, this means that it was A-OK. But mine says it was terrible. How can we possibly reconcile these differing reactions?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

It’s called moderating comment sections and banning users of a site who make threats. It’s not that difficult. It’s done here and it’s done on westeros.org as well as other places I’m sure. My examples are just of places I frequent. Yes, people can make socks but often times they move on after multiple bannings when it’s clear their behavior will not be tolerated.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Why should we change your opinion, Dalton? Why should I care so much to educate a man who seems utterly uninterested in being educated? I have many and better people and things to do. Why should you be worth my time? Especially when you said that nothing on the Internet is of any substance?

We get it. You think nobody should care about Internet harassment, and that we should all fall over ourselves teaching you otherwise. Even though the tagline of this damn blog is “misogyny, tracked and mocked,” not, “random jerks on the Internet, we take them gently by the hand, pet their precious little heads, and bestow enlightenment.”

If you want to be educated, go to one of the bazillion Feminist 101 sites.

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

but y’all perceive me as part of the problem and you don’t seem to be trying very hard to change my attitude.

In case you missed it, this isn’t the Change a Dudebro’s Mind site, it’s a site that mocks misogyny.

Why do you want us to change your attitude? That’s best left for you to do.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

I’m trying to understand you collective thesis here. Sparky said “To not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs.” Is what you’re saying that people should not be allowed to say fucked up things on the internet? How on earth could that be achieved? Or do you want to change people’s attitudes so that they don’t want to behave like crazy people at all? That seems like the more workable of the two options to me, but y’all perceive me as part of the problem and you don’t seem to be trying very hard to change my attitude.

You seem to be arguing that nobody should say or do anything in the face of harassment; internets will be internets. The other option isn’t just to try to ban people from saying mean things; the other option is to speak out against it and make it clear that harassment isn’t tolerable. Gamers need to unite and speak out against death threats and harassment, which will always happen but does not need to happen at the same scale. Women need to be treated as fellow humans rather than invaders. There’s a cultural shift that needs to happen (and is happening), and it won’t happen by sitting back and saying “don’t bother.”

Shiraz
Shiraz
6 years ago

Anyone here feel like changing his attitude? **looks around** Naw, me either.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

I’m trying to understand you collective thesis here. Sparky said “To not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs.” Is what you’re saying that people should not be allowed to say fucked up things on the internet? How on earth could that be achieved?

Well, like Policy of Madness said:

Such as, y’know, when he sees abuse being “showered” on another person, speaking up and saying, “Hey bro, not cool. You can’t be in our guild if you act that way.”

But that would be so haaaaaaaaaaaard, it would practically be like solving world hunger singlehandedly.

So you do believe that speaking up and saying, “Not cool, dude,” when you see someone saying something threatening or misogynistic is way too hard? o_O

Or do you want to change people’s attitudes so that they don’t want to behave like crazy people at all?

Why yes, we do want to change wider misogynistic attitudes about women. But what on earth does mental illness have to do with anything? It’s not people who have mental illness who are doing this. It’s assholes. We want people to stop being assholes. Don’t conflate mental illness with being an asshole, those are two very very different things.

That seems like the more workable of the two options to me, but y’all perceive me as part of the problem and you don’t seem to be trying very hard to change my attitude.

Yes, you are part of the problem. What are you going to about it?

hellkell
hellkell
6 years ago

Anyone here feel like changing his attitude? **looks around** Naw, me either.

Got way too much other shit to do, pass.

Pocket Nerd
6 years ago
Reply to  Shiraz

Thus Spake ZaraShiraz:

”The worst thing you can do is take it personally and the best thing you can do chill out and carry on.”

Hmm, no, I think I like Bill and Ted’s “Be excellent to each other” speech much better.

Except “Be excellent to each other” explicitly places responsibility on the actors; we are charged to behave a specific way. “Be excellent to each other” is not compatible with rape threats, doxxing, or spreading private photographs.

“Just chill out and carry on,” by contrast, explicitly places the responsibility on the victim: “Stop making a big deal of this. Let the people who hurt you and hurt others keep getting away with it. Pretend it never happened. Stop rocking the boat.” It’s yet another variation of the tired old victim-blaming “You’re CHOOSING to be offended” bafflegab we’ve heard a thousand times.

pendraegon
pendraegon
6 years ago

The Thompson threats I recall were a result of him attempting to appropriate various school shootings as part of his weird “video games are evil” crusade. The interesting thing about comparing him to say Sarkeesian is that he actually did what a great many people accuse her of. He deliberately attacked the medium of video games as being universally corruptive and invalid. As a result a handful of videogame enthusiasts at the time publicly mocked him and yes some behaved in a reprehensible manner.

When Sarkeesian decided to address a specific issue that occurs in the medium she was the target of widespread harassment and threats of violence. I’m not a fan of Sarkeesian, but the endless river of shit that was addressed to her is not even approaching the response to Thompson and considering the incredibly gendered and sexualized nature of the harassment it’s pretty apparent that she was treated differently.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I dislike that people have treated them the way they have,

But not enough to say, “That’s not okay.” Your “dislike” is limited to telling us that they should suck it up and stfu.

I know I don’t like it when people treat me that way, and more to the point I’m frustrated with the people who apparently enjoy doing it,

And yet your expression of solidarity is to tell us that they should suck it up and stfu, it’s no big deal really, they should just roll with it. In fact, we should stop talking about it or worrying about it, and go into the kitchen and make a sandwich for a homeless man (but not a homeless woman?) Interesting tactic.

But in the same way that my reaction to people wishing I would die is to build a bridge (or, hell, engage them and communicate) I expect them to be able to do the same.

This is what people mean when they talk about your privilege. You have the privilege of assuming that if you get a death threat on the internet, the likelihood of the threatener carrying through and actually coming to your house to rape and kill you is sufficiently tiny that you need not worry about it. In fact, you can just laugh and offer to make friends with the person who threatened you! Women and non-gender-conforming persons do not have that privilege. It may not seem like “privilege” to you, because that’s such an ordinary thing that everyone ought to be able to say. Not everyone is able to say it. That’s what makes it privilege.

I’m trying to understand you collective thesis here. Sparky said “To not tolerate misogyny and harrassment on their boards and blogs.” Is what you’re saying that people should not be allowed to say fucked up things on the internet?

People should not be allowed to issue rape and death threats on the internet without pushback. They should not be allowed to do this in an environment that treats that as normal. It is, as you say, fucked up! Why don’t you treat it like it’s fucked up? Why don’t you treat it like an abnormal, bizarre thing and you can’t understand why anyone would think that way? Why do you just shrug and go, oh well?

How on earth could that be achieved?

You say, “Holy shit, that’s fucked up. What’s wrong with you?” You especially say this to your friends. Your friends are the ones most likely to modify their behavior to gain your approval. Stop giving them approval for fucked-up shit.

Or do you want to change people’s attitudes so that they don’t want to behave like crazy people at all?

Crazy people don’t act like this. I wish they would behave like crazy people. That would be an improvement.

They’re behaving like children who have never been told that their behavior is abnormal and won’t be tolerated by civilized society.

That seems like the more workable of the two options to me, but y’all perceive me as part of the problem and you don’t seem to be trying very hard to change my attitude.

Your attitude is that this is NBD and everyone should chill. You are part of the problem. Unless you get over this notion that this is NBD and everyone should chill, changing your attitude is not a priority. I would be better off spending my time working on someone who agrees that this is actually fucked up.

Dalton Jones
Dalton Jones
6 years ago

“You seem to be arguing that nobody should say or do anything in the face of harassment; internets will be internets. The other option isn’t just to try to ban people from saying mean things; the other option is to speak out against it and make it clear that harassment isn’t tolerable. Gamers need to unite and speak out against death threats and harassment, which will always happen but does not need to happen at the same scale. Women need to be treated as fellow humans rather than invaders. There’s a cultural shift that needs to happen (and is happening), and it won’t happen by sitting back and saying “don’t bother.””

Fair enough.

J.J
J.J
6 years ago

Word to pretty much everyone but Dalton.

Oh, wait, if we’re choosing to be offended by rampant misogyny and therefore should STFU about it, then the dudebros who are offended by Anita’s videos should also therefore STFU about that. And go away. And I think the dudebros are actually choosing to be offended, because while being told that women are innately inferior to men is, at the very least, extremely rude, being told ‘hey, maybe videogames don’t all have to be about/cater to a certain type of a white heterosexual male mentality’ is not so much rude as it is…’the world consists of other people and viewpoints besides yours.’ Which just sort of is and therefore is not rude, hateful or worth sending death threats over.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

So, here’s the thing. I DO spend a fair amount of time and energy trying to help people change their own minds and get where they need to be. I consider it my job! Back in 2013, I swore to the Golem of Prague that if I got disability, I would use it to fuel the best work I could possibly make. It held up its end of the bargain, and so I’m holding up mine.

I make my comics with the intent of helping mentally ill people and the people around them. This is pretty obvious; they’re educational comics, and they’ve been used in mental hospitals, by therapists, and by individuals. I have had a multi system and a young trans woman tell me that my comics actively improved their lives (and in the woman’s case, SAVED her life).

On a less obvious level, every story I write, I want it to make there be less suffering in the world. How that happens can be a bunch of different ways. Maybe my writing about multi or trans characters helps someone understand those things better, or connect it to their own experience. Maybe my story gives them an answer to a question they never thought to ask. Maybe, by writing about characters being kind to each other, I can teach other people (and myself!) how to be kinder. I don’t change their minds; THEY change their minds. I merely try to help them get there.

So this is my JOB. I get PAID for this. I go to CONS for this. Because of disability, I don’t have to anymore! I CHOOSE to. I do this work because I consider it valuable.

What I’m saying is, I’ve done this A LOT. I’ve done it with a lot of people, and I’m sure I’ll do it for more, and that means, after a while, I’ve learned to recognize when someone is in a position to hear what I have to say, and when someone isn’t.

You’re not ready, Dalton. Do some soul-searching and try again some other time.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Oh, wait, if we’re choosing to be offended by rampant misogyny and therefore should STFU about it, then the dudebros who are offended by Anita’s videos should also therefore STFU about that. And go away.

QFT

Why is Dalton not hanging out with those dudebros and telling THEM to relax and go help a homeless person?

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

“Just chill out and carry on,” by contrast, explicitly places the responsibility on the victim: “Stop making a big deal of this. Let the people who hurt you and hurt others keep getting away with it. Pretend it never happened. Stop rocking the boat.”

Yup. Dalton is more upset about by people speaking against harassment than he is about the harassment itself, and that tells us all we need to know about him.

cloudiah
6 years ago

A more specific request for Dalton would be to find 5 men who were similarly harassed and threatened merely for soliciting financial support for a video series on Kickstarter. In fact, can you document that the dudes who asked for money to do a “Tropes vs. Men in video games” video series and then absconded with the money without producing anything al all got harassment and threats on anything like the scale Anita Sarkeesian did? Compare the angry screeds against Anita posted nearly daily on Reddit to the near total lack of critical or angry discussion of those guys.

Or, you know, just fuck off. We’re here to mock asshats, not convince them to join our team.

cloudiah
6 years ago

I doubt he’s coming back, but I have to wonder if Dalton would have advised just chilling out and carrying on in response to this threat. Rather than, you know, contacting the cops, having the building searched, and upping the security measures and bag checks.

isthisafuckinjoke?!
isthisafuckinjoke?!
6 years ago

“The interesting thing about comparing him to say Sarkeesian is that he actually did what a great many people accuse her of. He deliberately attacked the medium of video games as being universally corruptive and invalid. As a result a handful of videogame enthusiasts at the time publicly mocked him and yes some behaved in a reprehensible manner.”
The only difference to Sarkeesian being that she didn’t attack it “universally”, only parts of it – but then again, the accusations against her usually aren’t of wanting to remove games, but to change it to suit her ideology.

“When Sarkeesian decided to address a specific issue that occurs in the medium she was the target of widespread harassment and threats of violence. I’m not a fan of Sarkeesian, but the endless river of shit that was addressed to her is not even approaching the response to Thompson”
Maybe, I didn’t count. He got killed in at least one game, though, and it was in 3D – so maybe that makes up for it? I dunno.

“and considering the incredibly gendered and sexualized nature of the harassment it’s pretty apparent that she was treated differently.”
The implications of this aren’t as strong or telling as you people would like to believe: the fact that she specifically complains about misogyny and sexism is a large part of the “inspiration” (i.e. when it’s done as an act of “defiance”), and the fact that saying these kinds of things to women, or the targeting of women in general, is much more condemned by society than doing it to men, is another (more offensive, shocking and politically incorrect that way).
Aside from that, trolls usually just pick whatever insult/threat that comes to their mind, so if it’s like a man they’ll be like “gay, faggot, i kill you lol” and if it’s a woman they’ll be like “ah, rape, kitchen, suq madiq lmao” and it’s really just this thoughtless process that doesn’t necessarily stem from any attitude or mindset they actually have.

Now having that said, you’ll obviously find real misogynists/bullies/racists/whatever among the mass, simply by virtue of those people existing and having access to computers – but this kneejerk conclusion of such comments being a sufficient indicator of that, is deeply fallacious.
And it disregards another common kneejerk response coming from the other side, which is to go with whatever is condemned or considered bad by society.