Chauvinist fun for the whole family.
Several days ago, Kotaku had an article up on Nerds and Male Privilege. Nothing fancy—just a piece about everyday sexism and regular male obtuseness. Originally, the only thing I’d wanted to add was this:
Source (there’s more!)
Which kinda illustrates nicely the point of the article’s introductory story:
She was in there for less than 4 minutes before one mouth-breathing troglodyte began alternately staring at her boobs—evidently hoping that x-ray vision could develop spontaneously—berating her for daring to comment on the skimpy nature of the costumes—in this case, Lady Death and Witchblade. […] When both the manager and I explained to him in no uncertain terms as to what he did wrong he shrugged his shoulders. “Hey, I was just trying to help you guys! She couldn’t understand that chicks can be tough and sexy! Not my fault she’s a chauvinist,” he said.
But this attitude itself, however widespread and obnoxious it is, isn’t what the article is about: it’s about acknowledging that something’s wrong, nothing less, nothing more. This paragraph pretty much sums it up:
Y’see, one of the issues of male privilege as it applies to fandom is the instinctive defensive reaction to any criticism that maybe, just maybe, shit’s a little fucked up, yo. Nobody wants to acknowledge that a one-sided (and one-dimensional) portrayal of women is the dominant paradigm in gaming; the vast majority of female characters are sexual objects.
And this is where the story starts, as Kotaku’s comment section brings on the burning stupid in huge tanker trucks.
Choice gems you’ll find there:
“Why do all of these articles address the entire Kotaku audience like it is nothing but sexist white males?”
“If women are going to get into gaming, it’s not going to be because we all agree to stare at the floor when they walk in a comic shop.”
“If women enjoy gaming, then game developers will find ways to try to cater to that market, because they like money.”
“Here’s an idea. If women, or anyone out there doesn’t want to play certain games, then don’t play them.”
“[Women] won’t go to comic shops even if they like gaming, because they don’t have to and never would want to.”
“[C]hances are if they went and made their own games with diverse casts, it would become entirely about how diverse they are, defeating the point entirely.”
“And for every male character that isn’t dressed completely out of the situation, there’s a Goku whose shirt has been ripped off by energy blasts or what have you. Men are sexualized, too.”
“It is about the constant stream of pretty much identical articles on Kotaku, which solely focus on ‘normalos’ and how they behave to minority X. And this fact indeed makes the point of ‘reflect’ rather stupid. We already did that with the last article and the one before and the other one… I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to reflect each week how I treated other races, genders, sexual orientations or whatever.”
“Generalizing is one of the most maleficts In this generation. […] Thus, I’ve met girls that are way pervert than most of my male friends out there.“
“You must honestly think that we’re all complete idiots. I don’t think that a single person commenting in this entire article would deny that male privilege exists. The fact that you actually think they would explains why you’re so condescending, insulting and ill-informed. I told you, I have studied gender issues before.”
“Games are all about exaggeration, fantasy, adventure, excitement, and yes, even a little sex. It’s not meant to offend any one, but simply appeal to our imaginations.”
Bonus quotes, from the Burning Stupid at One Million Degrees Edition:
The reason all that sexist white males crap don’t apply to me is because…
“I’m an Arab-American male, and I have two liberal arts degrees!”
“[T]his is simply not good journalism. It feels myopic and un-researched. It insults half it’s audience and ignores the other. As loyal readers we deserve better.”
“I am a middle class white male and consider myself a feminist but, although I acknowledge that there may be circumstances that lead to these people feeling the way they do, I have little respect for so-called ‘militant’ or ‘man-hating’ feminists.”
“So apparently, its my fault I enjoy the female form and was born a white male in America. Alright then sorry for being born.”
Defend, counter, argue, resist. Change the subject, move the goal posts, call the forces of the self-correcting market. Discredit, disclaim, deny.
Remember, it was about acknowledging the problem.
But, to end on a somewhat lighter note, some things do get better: pointless armor is now available in Dude!
I find the shades particularly appealing.