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You'll never guess what misogynistic gamebros did to these two women in gaming! (HINT: Drove them out.)

Sometimes the only way to win is not to play.
Sometimes the only way to win is not to play.

Congratulations, assholes! You did it! Your threats and harassment have driven game journalist/designer Jenn Frank and game designer/media critic Mattie Brice to leave the gaming world.

Frank, an award-winning writer and sometime game designer, came to the attention of the misogynist mob after writing a brief opinion piece for The Guardian decrying the widespread and vicious harassment of women in gaming. In addition to writing about the harassment she’s gotten — including someone trying to hack into her email account — she (as you might expect) also highlighted the misogynistic rage directed at feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian and indie game designer Zoe Quinn.

The new rule seems to be that any woman who writes about online harassment will herself be harassed, and in this case it didn’t take long.

The gamebro army, completely ignorant about how journalism works, decided that she had a “conflict of interest” — because, and I’m totally serious here, she had previously exchanged some tweets with Quinn and donated some money to her on Patreon. One critic, who put together a much-passed-around graphic outlining the charges against her, angrily denounced Frank for “vigorously defending [Quinn] while pretending to be impartial.”

There are a couple of giant problems with these accusations. First off, Frank never pretended to be impartial. She was not reporting on anything for the Guardian. She was writing an OPINION PIECE about a topic that obviously affected her. Editors don’t assign OPINION PIECES to writers who are, or who pretend to be, impartial. They assign these pieces to people WITH OPINIONS. You’re not going to get much of an OPINION PIECE from someone with no opinions.

Second of all, according to Frank (and I believe her), she had asked The Guardian to attach a brief statement to the end of her piece noting her — admittedly tenuous — connections with Quinn and Sarkeesian. The Guardian editors chose not to run it because they thought these connections were too trivial to merit a mention. They forgot that she was a woman writing about gaming, and that misogynistic assholes will seize on anything, literally anything, as an excuse for harassment.

After she started getting harassed for her alleged “conflict of interest,” Frank wrote a blog post dealing with the issue  clearly and straightforwardly, and convinced the Guardian editors to append a version of her original disclosure statement to the piece:

Update: Jenn Frank has purchased and is a supporter of Zoë Quinn’s work, although this is the first article she has written on the developer. Frank has also briefly met Anita Sarkeesian.

As absurd as it is for a woman writer to have to publicly confess that she “has also briefly met Anita Sarkeesian,” as if this is some sort of crime, Frank thus answered her critics directly. And that should have been it. But of course the harassment — sorry, the perfectly legitimate criticism — continued, and on Wednesday night Frank announced that she’d had enough:

https://twitter.com/jennatar/status/507338379474649088

https://twitter.com/jennatar/status/507411937383022592

The only “conflict of interest” here was the “conflict of interest” that Frank wrote about originally in her Guardian piece. After describing her horror on discovering that someone had been trying to hack her email, she wrote:

My unabashed love for video games, my colleagues and my work have a conflict of interest with my own terror.

And, at least for now, the terror has won.

Meanwhile, game designer and media critic Mattie Brice was also extracting herself from an industry and a culture that has been grinding her down. I’ll let her tweets tell the story. (See her timeline for more.)

Elsewhere on Twitter, the bullies crowed over their victory:

https://twitter.com/AlrightAnon/status/507395891838590976

Another day, another couple of women ground down and spat out by the Great Internet Lady Harassment Machine, Gaming Division.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the gamebros haven’t forgotten about Zoe Quinn either.

Here’s the screenshot; click for a larger and more readable version — if you’re not triggered by violent threats, that is.

BwmSdi4CMAAnYju.png large

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

Seriously, if you know, tell me, because I am fresh out of explanations for this level of blind hatred.

NOTE: This thread is a NO SHITHEAD thread. If you say anything that in any way even slightly excuses or justifies the harassment of these women, you can fuck right off to any of the eight zillion places on the internet where you can badmouth these women to your heart’s content. I and the other mods will be banning and deleting as necessary.

 

 

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inurashii
inurashii
6 years ago

Meanwhile, the concern troll style gamergaters are trying to divorce the image of their ‘movement’ from harassment. It’s not working, and there’s a great piece about why:

Link.

saphy
saphy
6 years ago

This wouldn’t have happened to us ladygamers if we were Only A Penis. 🙁

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

This is so unfair and tragic… these women deserve much better. We all deserve much better.

I wish this could be taken as a message to the world, that women are getting the hell out of the gaming cesspool… but women have been leaving all kinds of jobs due to harassment and nobody raises an eyebrow.

Can’t it stop already?

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Once again, the hateful treatment of women in [fill in the blank any old way you like] justifies feminism. Especially when hateful shit is directed at women trying to make a positive difference.

Wonder how these gamebros are gonna feel when their beloved boys’ club turns into a wasteland full of tumbleweeds. Because adult women are in fact the largest demographic in the industry, and if you lose them…well…

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I’m sure there are people out there who can see a phrase like, “her complete unfaithfulness apparently isn’t important to her integrity because apparently feminism lets women do whatever they want. We need to punish her for this shit.” and claim with a straight face that this statement is completely aboveboard and not misogynist in the slightest.

Those people are horrible people. I hope I never see a post by one of them, because I know I will lose my shit if I do. This is not valid criticism, of anything. It’s rage that a woman exists in a place where men can see her.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

There has to be a way to get the guys who’re making direct threats, right? They should at the very least be banned from any/all relevant conventions.

seraph4377
6 years ago

@Bina – do I dare to hope that this means that the bastards have, ultimately, already lost? Because I’d hate to think that a little shit like Dante was right.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

Read the Zoe Quinn screenshot. Shouldn’t have read the Zoe Quinn screenshot.

“We need to punish her…”, “… give her a crippling injury”, *shudder. What the hell is wrong with these people!? Full support to Frank and Brice in their decisions to opt out. Full horror and disgust that they had to make the decision at all.

SandyH
SandyH
6 years ago

Neckbeard basement dwellers.

cloudiah
6 years ago

The problem is that the harassers are more visible and vocal than the people who oppose them but (too often) stay silent. They need to do things like this more often. (Don’t read the comments, don’t read the comments.)

slivarth
6 years ago

Yup. seriously, what is wrong with those harrasing jerks?
Is the gaming industry attracting or CREATING such insensitive crowd by pandering to the lowest common denominator of views & childlish behaviour?

Many accuse video games of increasing violence and causing psychological harm. I’m far from such biased views, but if we take a look at the history we can see that at some point games become violent. And I mean REALLY violent. Like psycho-crazy-rapist violent. Topics got darker, more gloomy, more gory. What was niche became a required feature. Graphics got better and we can now see everything in fine detail.

I think players were strongly influenced by those changes. They saw violent and criminal behaviour presented as acceptable, as excused by artistic licence. They got used to phenomenon of being violent in the reality of a game-world. They felt ok inside.

Now some people point out that such topics, such behaviour is wrong on many levels. Gamebros cannot abide! They feel threatened, because if they admit that scenes of rape, torture and violence in games are unnecessary, if they allow feminism, humanism and equal rights in their ‘entertainment’, their will have to change as well. Their world of enjoing brutality will collapse.

They are, of course, still enormous jerks and what they do is bordering on the criminal offence. I wish they understood what they did and pitied it for the rest of their lives.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

“We’re winning”
no stupid you and other cowardly misoygnists are just proving on why we need femnisism. I hope these women will be ok.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@cloudiah,

…read the comments. GAHHH!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Fortunately my Firefox doesn’t even bother loading most comment boards unless I explicitly adjust my add-on settings to permit it. No-script is the one most responsible for this. I often thank my past self for the decision to install that one.

jbgarner58
6 years ago

Sickening and appalling. These asshats are going to turn a medium that has infinite potential for bringing people together and letting others experience life in another person’s shoes into a dying realm of bro-friendly shoot-em-ups as they ruin countless lives in the process.

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

Although I do believe that there is a majority out there that deplore this hideousness — like those 600 developers mentioned in Cloudiah’s link — I’m having a daily struggle holding up hope for this to improve. (I didn’t read the comments, because I don’t need that hope slashed down even further.)

Matthew Cline
Matthew Cline
6 years ago

Reading through the Twitter thread of celebrating two journalists being harassed into retirement, I see that @AlrightAnon claims that feminism is transphobic. In a latter tweet, he explained “If you don’t thonk[sic] gender roles are a natural thing, that’s transphobic”. Uh, what?

Also, @AlrightAnon says that he’s “aiming for a monarchy”. I guess he’s one of those “dark Enlightenment” people?

beardedbeard
6 years ago

@SandyH Don’t trash on the neck beard. Some of us need them for cyclocross

ej
ej
6 years ago

The “we’re winning” comment really turns my stomach. I don’t understand their logic. They are actively trying to alienate women, but often these same men talk about all the things they want from women. Women are not going to give you anything if you drive them away because THEY AREN’T THERE ANY MORE!

On a lighter note, here is link to a video of some comedians taking on misogyny in video games. I think it’s encouraging to see more people talking about this. Even if they are making jokes, the message is still clear.

Content warning: NSFW language and some violent and sexualized video game clips.

http://www.nerdist.com/vepisode/ucb-presents-controller-freaks-misogyny-in-video-games/

amandajane5
amandajane5
6 years ago

I am really good with computers, like, REALLY, but I’ve so far in my life, dumped a computer science major (got the minor, though, that’s how late I dumped it) dumped four CS jobs, been told *at a job interview* “you have experience! and you’re a girl!,” fixed the computer of basically everyone I know at one time or another, decided to wear an apron and work retail rather than do another computer job, and still get “Wow, you type so fast! Were you a secretary or something?” *sigh* Why isn’t this getting better?

Matthew Cline
Matthew Cline
6 years ago

People are objecting to the 4chan quote on the grounds that Quinn is ignoring that the responses are all telling the commenter to fuck-off. However, the majority of those are doing so because they think the original comment is by Quinn herself or some other feminist…

Also, more loveliness from @AlrightAnon: he thinks going after Quinn’s partner is a good thing to do.

estraven
estraven
6 years ago

“Feminism lets women do whatever they want” — oh the horror! The horror that women are actually human beings who have the unmitigated gall to do things their male overlords don’t approve of! I think I’m going to be sick.

Tigerbos
Tigerbos
6 years ago

More circle jerk nonsense from basement dwellers. Big surprise. I would say a good deal of gamers are also MGTOW or the True Forced Loneliness Lunkheads you see on youtube so none of this is a surprise to me. Gamers are also obviously very SENSITIVE blokes. They are constantly whinging that there’s no such thing as games that make people violent; there’s no such thing as game addiction (while they sit there and play games 16 hours a day); there is no over sexualization of females in games (right) and on and on and on. Why don’t they just admit the truth? Because they basement dwelling anti-social nitwits…oh I mustn’t forget to add this as they do this as well: NOT ALL GAMERS ARE LIKE THAT. lol

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

ej,
That was a great video.

Don’t read the comments.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Argh! Yuck, new, gross, not the knees! (Also not the rest of the whole thing, not just the threats)

You know, I just can’t. I’ll be with Nivi hiding behind some grass.

http://www.feministborg.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/IMG_1894.jpg

Analytic
Analytic
6 years ago

Long time listener, first time caller.

I’ve been writing and developing a game for a few years now, even though being a lady software developer certainly has it’s ups and downs the specifically bullshitty behaviours of assholes this month have been enough that for the first time I’ve considered releasing under a male alias, or not at all.

So, it’s nice to hear that they feel like they’re winning. /s

Lea
Lea
6 years ago

I want to know what that idiot thinks he’s winning? Driving away talent and making your favorite hobby synonymous with misogynist assholery does what in gamebros favor? Are they admitting that they can’t compete with women so need to drive them out of the running with threats and harassment? What big prize does this douchenozzle think he’s won? The world knows he is horrible and abusive. They know that people like him are so awful that other people will give up their careers and hobbies to avoid them. The stink men like him have put on men who game as a hobby will not come off for years and years.

I can’t help but imagine that had these guys been around pre-civil rights era, they’d have been burning crosses on lawns and then patting each other on the back when minorities were driven out of their neighborhoods and towns.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Matthew — I think I can help deconfuse you as to that whole denying gender roles is transphobic thing (I can’t make it make sense though). Among trans people, some are of the belief that gender roles are, uh, an inherent part of gender? I’m surprised the view is still around, really, but historically it makes sense.

Used to be that in order for a trans woman to medically transition she had to COMPLETELY fit these inane standards of what makes a woman a woman — skirt and heels, crossed legs, all the gender role shit. So denying gender roles means saying they’re not really women, or something. The folks I hear it from tend to also be the sort to use phrases like “woman trapped in a man’s body”. Anyways, I get this from the angle of how humans are male and female, to refuse to pick one makes a mockery of binary trans people who just happen to have been born with the wrong genitals. I think part of it is that people can more easily handle the idea that nature fucked up, than that the whole construct is rubbish, so some people REALLY don’t want to press the issue of gender roles being a social construct.

Now then, man sandals or heeled boots? Eh, sandals I guess, too hot for my boots…too hot for jeans too though. Dilemmas dilemmas! (I’m with Nivi, the ideal temp is somewhere around the mid to high 60s, ze may like it a smidge colder than me, but really, 65-70 is my ideal range)

gilshalos
6 years ago

Is it the photo or is Nivi getting bigger ? 🙂

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

“If you don’t thonk[sic] gender roles are a natural thing, that’s transphobic”

File under “Definitely Not Clear on the Concept”.

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

I still have mixed feelings about them leaving. I know self-care is important. Heck it’s all important and I understand why they had to leave but I just can’t with their decision.

This is exactly what the so-called gamebros are aiming for. They want women who have opinions to shutup and go somewhere else. This is not just mean spirited but stupid and shortsighted, as well.

My only consolation to this is that eventually all of this is going to come back and bite them in the ass. You simply cannot engage in this level of wtfuckery without consequences of some kind and their behavior might end up bringing about the very thing they’re trying so hard to prevent.

Social Progression.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@lkeke35

We can’t expect every member of an oppressed group to be willing to put themselves on the cross for The Cause. It’s unfair to expect every woman to be an activist, or every black person to be an activist, or every gay person to be an activist. When you’re picked out of a crowd for basically no reason and have a target painted on you, you’re not a lesser person if you elect to retire from the fight. Not everyone is equipped, socially or psychologically, to stand in the line of fire, and that’s not something that deserves shaming.

The decision of these women is not wrong.

ej
ej
6 years ago

Thanks lea! A friend of mine posted that on Facebook the other day and I really liked it. It’s making the conversation about misogyny in games more like a normal conversation that you would have in real life. While I do also like Anita’s videos, they are quite serious and intense, which can make them harder to relate to sometimes.

Also, my boyfriend plays chess competitively, so I really liked the comment at the end claiming that chess is the most misogynistic game.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Ej
I lol’d at the end! 😀 very happy that people are addressing the issues
I read some of the comments and there was a few that made me smile.

Ikeke35
Yep

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

These guys aren’t really helping the image of gamers as immature and socially maladapted, either. “I disagreed with this complete stranger so I threatened and harassed her until she quit her job!” Surely even people who refuse to see the misogyny here can agree that this is not a mature or appropriate response?

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

gilshalos — it’s the photo, blame foreshortening. (Also, the things that look like maybe gravel aren’t, the sand substrate likes to clump, but it falls apart just as easily)

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

I can’t help but imagine that had these guys been around pre-civil rights era, they’d have been burning crosses on lawns and then patting each other on the back when minorities were driven out of their neighborhoods and towns.

Quoted For Truth. They honestly believe they’re speaking truth to power, that every female game developer is a social justice warrior trying to ruin their beloved hobby.

You don’t even have to imagine, really. Burning crosses were anonymous death threats before twitter existed. Now they leave abusive and threatening tweets and comments in the victim’s internet spaces, and the OP has them literally patting themselves on the back after a successful ousting. There is no difference in form.

Julie (ᴍᴄ) Galliard (@mcjulie)

I’m with Lea. If they’re “winning” — what are they winning, exactly? The right to have gamers perceived as raging psychopathic assholes? And that’s a good thing why?

lkeke35
lkeke35
6 years ago

Policy of Madness: I agree. I understand, I really do but I still feel awful about their decision. I know there’s no shame in it. I’ve had to bow out of a coupe fights in life too, bc I KNEW I was not equipped, mentally or emotionally, to handle it. I think maybe I’m too close to it.

I think its just galling to me to feel like these dipshits are getting exactly what they want. Its pissing me off and I think some of that spilled over onto the ladies.

My sincere apologies if I’ve done a shaming on them.

talbotfish
talbotfish
6 years ago

Internet anonymity + sexism + mob mentality + MRA agitators who could care less about”gaming” fanning the flames= this apparently.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@ikeke35

I don’t feel that judging them on whether their decision is right or wrong is the most productive conversation to be had – that kind of thing veers straight into (and adds to already existing) victim-shaming which is a place nobody wants to, or should, go.

They’ve kind of had enough of that already – it’s what contributed to the decision in the first place.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

Sorry Ikeke35, can see you’ve already responded re: previous post.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Julie
Let’s please not use ableist terms

Ikeke35
I feel the exact same way but let’s look at the positive side there are still people who are fighting to make women in programming and who are gamers themselves safe.

Luzbelitx
6 years ago

OKay, hope in humanity slightly restoered: http://games.on.net/2014/08/readers-threatened-by-equality-not-welcome/

They got it. They need to be that clear.

I want to cry and smile.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

I think instead of feeling disappointed that these women stepped out of the fight, we should be asking what other people are doing. Some people are socially and/or psychologically equipped to handle this. Some of them are already involved, but I’m sure there are others who have no fear of the dudebros but who aren’t doing anything because of Reasons.

Our mixed feelings should be reserved for those folks.

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
6 years ago

Luzbelitx
Awesome

Misha
Misha
6 years ago

@Luzbelitx 🙂

repentantphonebooth
6 years ago

goddamn them so soooo so much.

A Wolverine
A Wolverine
6 years ago

The claims of “ITS ABOUT INTEGRITY” get shot completely to hell by them happily retweeting breitbart affiliated accounts.

Kootiepatra
Kootiepatra
6 years ago

Samantha Allen, another games writer, was also successfully driven out of the field a few months ago. She still writes, last I knew — just not about video games. The harassment became too much. If the replies to her “goodbye” tweet are any indication, I don’t blame her, either.

It is really beyond me how any person who makes a habit of trying to ruin people’s careers, for the oh-so-giant evil of making uncomfortable criticisms, can see themselves as the good guy. Like, you are seriously accomplishing nothing productive or beneficial. You’re just hurting people.

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