We Need Speak Up and Knock This Bullshit Down

Feminist Pop Culture Writer Leaves Home After Twitter Threats.

Read through the vilely expressed threats of extreme violence she received…because she criticized how women were portrayed in video games. It’s insane.

And it’s not the first time this has happened to a woman in gaming.

And while these may be extreme examples of the misogyny in the geek community at the moment, they’re outliers that are not far flung.

About six years ago, when arguing on a message board over a comic book writer, I got this posted in the thread at me by a younger, male fan:

meh.ro336

In the 15 years I had been on the internet at that time, it was the worst expression of rage and sexism I had personally encountered. It was the worst outburst from anyone on the internet I had encountered (…up until the point when it was shown to me in a celebrity fan base that women could not only be equally immature and nasty, they could take it off the net into real life. But this is about the geek community.) In my lifetime of being in the geek community, I had never experienced or seen anything like that. I assumed this person was just mentally or emotionally “off” and walked away.

I did not realize he was a precursor.

This is not the normal type or amount of shit people give each other online, in geek communities or gaming. This is not women acting like “precious little snowflakes.” This is a problem that will escalate until someone gets physically hurt.

To all the little pinheaded douchey twerps who think this is appropriate or funny: If you can’t elucidate a cogent argument against an opposing point of view, you do not deserve the any of the titles of  “Geek” or “Nerd” or “Intelligent” or “Pubescent/Post Pubescent.”  I have gone toe to toe with white supremacists that didn’t even go down the road of screaming foul epithets and making physical threats, let alone such vile physical threats. You jerkwads are worse-behaved than a pack of racist skinheads. 

Think about that.

It’s not hard to have an online discussion with people who do not agree with you. Start with “I do not agree with your position because of reasons Thus, This and That.” Having provable facts to back up your assertions are awesome, having citations are great too.  They will argue, so will you. Realize that most arguments about art are about subjective opinions which sometimes can be equally valid depending on point of view. If you are open to it, you might actually learn something. You do not have to change your opinion, only listen to theirs and try to see it the way they see it. A closed mind is a dead mind.

And realize when to LET IT THE FUCK GO.

And BTW, fuckwits, responding to accusations of misogyny by threatening to rape the women who made them doesn’t exactly refute the point, y’know?

I hope you know, because your intelligence would be subhuman if you did not.

And the instant you attack the person rather than the argument (otherwise known as an ad hominem), you lost. Game over, you just stated your argument has no support and you’re desperate. When encountering an opposing point of view, if your first instinct to spew forth crude insults and physical threats at your opponents, you are a dumb as bag of week-old manure and you are a screaming, poo-flinging toddler who needs to stay out of public, including the internet, until you can act like a human being. I don’t care if she cherry picks or got her facts wrong, threatening to rape her, do horrific violence to her and kill her family is NOT an appropriate response. It NEVER is when discussing differing opinions about a topic. It doesn’t matter if the opposition is represented by a woman or not. They are not less valid, deserving of less respect, because of their gender.

You however, are less valid because of your shitty behavior. I imagine some of you are also screaming hypocrites because you are bullied in real life and you are now bullying others online where you never have to face them. Newsflash: You’re a coward, people are not punching bags. Get some therapy or get lost.

Yes, I want you to get the fuck out of my subculture. At the moment, you are bunch of worthless little pricks who are an embarrassment to our community who drive people away, people far more fun and intelligent than you are. You are embarrassing us in front of the rest of the world. So if you can’t deal with people with some basic human civility, you need to GTFO.

And those that know these particular assholes or assholes like them need to tell them that is not cool and if necessary, ostracize them. This is not acceptable and as long as the members of the society around them give tacit approval by silence, it’s going to go on. And if you need more motivation than simple human decency, it’s going to continue to color people’s perception of you too.  (And a clue? “But *I* don’t do that” is not standing up to them, it’s not stopping them. That’s just whining because you belong to a community that allows this shit to happen.)

P.S. This was an interesting article on the dominant attitudes plaguing the video-gaming community at the moment.

Though my favorite was this comment in the discussion queue.

These individuals men women bring on much of the abuse themselves due to their actions and attitudes
do I hate them? no, are they great individuals we should look up to? Heck no
These individuals are deceivers, they live for it, its what they do best- well its what they DID best
As well, weren’t the Zoe nudes commercial nudes? sooo not so much her nudes anymore, may as well say the internet owned those nudes, she put them out there via her own free will- a mistake perhaps but hers to deal with.

Straight out of the manual on how to be an abusive spouse: “If you hit her, she brought it on herself.”

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7 thoughts on “We Need Speak Up and Knock This Bullshit Down

    • I KNOW! I never saw anything like this when I was a kid and through most of my adulthood. This is something new, or at least long buried, in the geek community. And it’s not like women in video games are new either. I remember back in the late 1990’s reading that a lot of women were playing Quake and creating their own clans/teams and fangroups.

      It’s completely nuts.

      A couple years ago, when I first heard the rumblings of complaint from women in the video gaming community, I thought it was exaggeration. Over this intervening years, I have come to see it is not.

      The video game community (and as the second article pointed out communities like 4chan) have bred a collective of extremely misogynistic bastards that are making the video gaming community hell for women. It seems to be focused on the tech side of it as a great deal of their hatred is also focused on women programers and developers too. So it is concentrated in a specific section of the geek community, but they also fall under the geek bailiwick and as I pointed out before, there is some misogyny that has started to flow through in other areas of the geek community as well. We’re *supposed* to be one of the more enlightened and tolerant subcultures.

      It’s shamefull, just utterly shamefull behavior from this group. It’s depressing and very embarrassing.

      • This editorial…

        http://dangolding.tumblr.com/post/95985875943/the-end-of-gamers

        …proposes a likely theory: For decades “gamers”, mostly (though not all) straight, white male teens and men, have been small, very nerdy sub-community of the geek community. Now everyone is playing video games and they feel their group identity is threatened, that how they are “special” is coming to an end. So they are lashing out, trying to drive out the biggest “minority” group: Women, who are poised to become the majority of VG players.

        But the sexism is pervasive enough in the geek community and in our culture that I have to question the source being solely geek angst.

  1. Sorry to comment on an old post but this topic just came up again for me. There was an article about it on an Aus news website I visit. Article was great, comments made me go beyond anger into despair. I agree with your theory on nerd rage but think other things are at work too. First, when we feel powerless, it’s human nature to turn on those even less powerful. It’s why the general populace rarely get angry at the 1% but show ’em a single mother on welfare and they’ll tear her to shreds. Also, it used to be that white guys, no matter how big a loser they were, could still consider themselves better than half the people in the world purely because they were male. Now the nerds are being told that not only are the jocks and cool guys worth more than them but women are no longer inferior either.

    I must say it’s heartening that more and more mainstream men are coming out against misogyny. I find your political system rather Byzantine. Could you explain how I would go about nominating Joss Whedon for President?

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