Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers takes a look at video games


Video Games

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mechaPoet wrote:
I also noticed that people keep assuming I'm female, and I'll tell you that you're wrong on that front, and you should go ahead and use male pronouns for me, if you use 'em.

It doesn't really matter. For the same reason that I don't bother to correct people when they refer to me by different gendered pronouns. This is a discussion between minds. What dangles or doesn't between your legs is completely irrelevant to the value of your thoughts.


mechaPoet, what you say is true, but group statistics don't necessarily translate to personal experience, and nerd guys lashing out at "invaders" do so, I believe, from precisely that personal experience.

So even if a nerd white guy belongs to a group that, statistically, is less exposed to violence than others, if he in specific was a victim of violence for being nerd, he's just as victim as someone from any other group. So he might feel that he had to "endure" being a nerd and thus act wrongly -but, in his mind, justified- when a female -that he perceives as not having experienced what he has- "meddles" in his world without deserving it. And it may very well be true that the girl in question never had to endure said violence, further cementing the nerd guy's perspective.

I have six friends who are gay. Two of them (former schoolmates of mine, both nerds. One owes me a book, now that I recall) once told me that they really disliked when a straight man who campaigns for gay rights decries being a victim of anti-gay groups. What they tried to explain me was basically the same thing as the nerd guy: They felt that it was nice that straight men helped their cause, but that they didn't deserve to see themselves as victims without having experienced what they themselves endured for being gay.

So the logic is the same: "In obtaining this identity I had to suffer for it, so don't you dare try to make it yours without enduring the same as I did".

Try to see it from the perspective of a young man: Men develop later than women, so precisely the period during which personal identity begins to take a hold there is a perceived disparity that, if combined with a traumatic experience like being bullied, can develop into resentment. And that resentment may very well be the source of some nerd guys lashing out at nerd girls.

This is all speculation, though. I'm a business engineer who grows crops for a living, so I might be talking fish heads here. But I think it makes sense.


Klaus, you aren't far off in the reasoning, but there is an important difference here. Queer folk (speaking from a personal perspective here) do no choose their identity, so it is a lot stronger and important. Gamers choose to be that and they are trying to prevent others from choosing that path/identity. What your gay friends are talking about is co-opting the gay experience when you don't and can't know what it's like.

It's an important distinction in why gamer gatekeeping is total nonsense compared to racial/sexual/gender identity.


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As a card-carrying nerd, I've never wanted anything but to include more people in my nerd-dom. My usual D&D group when I was a teenager consisted of me, my sister, and three of our girlfriends. I've never met a nerd that didn't want to play with more people.

Makes me wonder how much the world changes in a span of a few state borders.


Albatoonoe, I understand that. I also agree it is not good for nerds to block other people from entering (on one hand, no one "owns" the nerdom and, second, it interferes with the plans to take over the world). But there's a difference between wrong and nonsense, because while the former implies a mistaken attitude, the latter indicates the person is acting without a basis. And I think that some of those who react that way do actually have a basis, even if they are using it the wrong way.

While you choose to be a gamer, I think there's also a series of components in the gamer identity that might be beyond immediate control: A person might know he loves something, but not necessarily why he loves it. Identity is not just one specific thing, but a combination of a whole pile of stuff.

While I'm not a determinist (I'm Catholic, after all), I do think there are factors in our life that shape who we are and that we cannot control. A guy who gets bullied for playing Pokemon might develop into a close-circle gamer as a result, and even if we say he can put games down at his own choice, his past experiences have already influenced a big part of his identity.

So when a nerd guy lashes at a nerd girl as previously discussed, while we can identify it as a negative behaviour, we cannot outright say the guy is being completely irrational. He might have concrete reasons to be resentful, even if the person he's being resentful against has done nothing to deserve it.


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Ashiel wrote:

As a card-carrying nerd, I've never wanted anything but to include more people in my nerd-dom. My usual D&D group when I was a teenager consisted of me, my sister, and three of our girlfriends. I've never met a nerd that didn't want to play with more people.

Makes me wonder how much the world changes in a span of a few state borders.

In my experience (for context, I'm from Chile), the large, large majority of nerds just want to share their hobby with as many people as possible. And of course we do; most of this stuff requires other people to work!

It's why the whole backlash against GamerGate bothers me so much: I can understand people getting mad at those few that act as twitter thugs, but not being able to really take a step back and say "Hey, guys, really, this isn't the pandemic some people are making it out to be" is infuriating, and a good bit insulting. Getting told that my opinion is somehow less important simply because of the colour of my skin and the number of testicles between my legs, conflated with my love for building inefficient transit systems in SimCity, all because it somehow makes me part of the perceived problem... that hurts, really.

I support the aspect of GamerGate that accuses the game journalism/media critic of incestuous relationships with those it is supposed to report about and for the now patent concerted effort to create an artificial label out of an identity so many of us share, that of a gamer. That doesn't mean I am somehow against the other issues some of those reporters might defend, because one thing and the other are not in any way related beyond the fact they are spoused by the same person.

To fulfill Godwin's Law here, just because Hitler and I like dogs doesn't mean I support the Nazis.

Edit: Oh shi-! Thanks, Rynjin.


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Nope, nothing to see in this post.


Saved from living in ignominy.

You have my thanks.


My work here is done.

*Flies away*

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

Albatoonoe, I understand that. I also agree it is not good for nerds to block other people from entering (on one hand, no one "owns" the nerdom and, second, it interferes with the plans to take over the world). But there's a difference between wrong and nonsense, because while the former implies a mistaken attitude, the latter indicates the person is acting without a basis. And I think that some of those who react that way do actually have a basis, even if they are using it the wrong way.

While you choose to be a gamer, I think there's also a series of components in the gamer identity that might be beyond immediate control: A person might know he loves something, but not necessarily why he loves it. Identity is not just one specific thing, but a combination of a whole pile of stuff.

While I'm not a determinist (I'm Catholic, after all), I do think there are factors in our life that shape who we are and that we cannot control. A guy who gets bullied for playing Pokemon might develop into a close-circle gamer as a result, and even if we say he can put games down at his own choice, his past experiences have already influenced a big part of his identity.

So when a nerd guy lashes at a nerd girl as previously discussed, while we can identify it as a negative behaviour, we cannot outright say the guy is being completely irrational. He might have concrete reasons to be resentful, even if the person he's being resentful against has done nothing to deserve it.

And that's understandable, to an extent.

But the degree to which women are constantly forced to "prove" their nerd-cred to these defensive men to be allowed to participate is far greater than what these men require of other men. Hence the annoying concept of the "fake geek girl," where a woman's interest in nerd-things is questioned and mocked instead of welcomed or assumed.


mechaPoet wrote:
I also noticed that people keep assuming I'm female, and I'll tell you that you're wrong on that front, and you should go ahead and use male pronouns for me, if you use 'em.

People tend to assume based on avatar.


I wonder what gender people think I am, in that case.


You are clearly a skeleton full of lightning.

Also:

The current wave of feminism, whatever it's called, and the arguments back and forth, seem to have destroyed my ability to make logical sense of anything. I just look at it all and go blank.


mechaPoet wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:

Albatoonoe, I understand that. I also agree it is not good for nerds to block other people from entering (on one hand, no one "owns" the nerdom and, second, it interferes with the plans to take over the world). But there's a difference between wrong and nonsense, because while the former implies a mistaken attitude, the latter indicates the person is acting without a basis. And I think that some of those who react that way do actually have a basis, even if they are using it the wrong way.

While you choose to be a gamer, I think there's also a series of components in the gamer identity that might be beyond immediate control: A person might know he loves something, but not necessarily why he loves it. Identity is not just one specific thing, but a combination of a whole pile of stuff.

While I'm not a determinist (I'm Catholic, after all), I do think there are factors in our life that shape who we are and that we cannot control. A guy who gets bullied for playing Pokemon might develop into a close-circle gamer as a result, and even if we say he can put games down at his own choice, his past experiences have already influenced a big part of his identity.

So when a nerd guy lashes at a nerd girl as previously discussed, while we can identify it as a negative behaviour, we cannot outright say the guy is being completely irrational. He might have concrete reasons to be resentful, even if the person he's being resentful against has done nothing to deserve it.

And that's understandable, to an extent.

But the degree to which women are constantly forced to "prove" their nerd-cred to these defensive men to be allowed to participate is far greater than what these men require of other men. Hence the annoying concept of the "fake geek girl," where a woman's interest in nerd-things is questioned and mocked instead of welcomed or assumed.

Speaking just from my personal experience, it would seem the defensiveness works the same way regardless of gender. As Auxomalous mentioned, some people are really protective about their "Got here first" priviledge.

It is specially evident with the whole trend of bashing hipsters. Nerds in particular can be specially venomous toward those people, because they perceive them as unjustly utilizing what's theirs. Doesn't matter if the hipster in question is male or female.

Note that I think this is different from plain misongynist attitudes, since the motivations appear to be very different.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
You are clearly a skeleton full of lightning.

Fun fact: Tzitzimimeh (plural of Tzitzimitl) are all female.


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Such attitudes are of course toxic and destructive. However, we're all different. We come into this world with a set of capabilities and a personality, and are then put through various experiences. Not everyone handles these well, or is able to. Quite often, the result is that people retreat into what they perceive as a safe environment. Usually, this is a certain circle of friends, a club, or the like. Somewhere they can relax and be who they are in front of others and not feel judged. I think we have all experienced that at some point. Thing is, it's not easy to get someone to get back into the game if they have given it up. Not all people have an iron will and the strength of character to make the world conform to their needs. People break, they suffer and, at times, die. Not everything that is broken can be repaired. Schools today are a harsh, lawless land where the winners take all, and success is usually measured in status gained by kicking down on those below you on the ladder. Feeling confident and happy is reserved for those with the highest status.

It isn't primarily that these people don't want the culture they see as their refuge to change, it's that they (generally quite correctly) don't believe they have anywhere else to go. Fear is a terrible thing and makes humans do sorry stuff to each other.


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To expand on my earlier statement: Yes, I do believe attitudes on both sides have contributed to the oft-stated toxic atmosphere. It is such that I usually feel intimidated enough to retreat whenever I catch sight of any such argument. This is a bad thing.

That I feel too frightened of the roiling nexus of hate to involve myself in a positive movement is a very bad thing.


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Mechapoet wrote:
Admittedly, I was a bit hasty in throwing out that violence thing, but I was leaving work.

A lot of the sociological explanations vary from baseless to subjective as it is. Reading "deeply" into reality with subtle meanings and implied implications is applying literary techniques to real life, with the same results (minor swearing). Starting with an incorrect assumption is just going to make the tendency worse.

And men are almost 4 times more likely to die violently. But as the expendable gender that's to be expected. As the expendable gender thats all according to the plan so it doesn't freak people out, doesn't have as much story impact when someone kills an adult male. There doesn't have to be some deeper misogynistic meaning beyond that.


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Simon Legrande wrote:

That's what I said, I just said it more succinctly.

Believe it or not, there are some people who believe that race/gender/hair color truly does not matter. This is obviously not good for people who are pushing the agenda that race/gender/hair color does matter. The goal is supposed to be to live in a colorblind/genderblind world, some of us are already there.

I look at the police in Ferguson and see a bunch of bigoted a&&@)(#&. And then I see a bunch of people wanting to lump me in with them because my skin is the same color.

Then you didn't understand the articles, or you refuse to. It's great that you don't see race, I myself used to be among that crowd until friends showed me that kind of thinking only works in a perfect, non-racist world. As for being lumped in with other racists, I have a Mexican friend who is very very critical about white people (especially men). She knows full well that I am white (and male). But, every time she says something critical about white (men), guess what I do? I agree with her because I see it too, and I know she's not talking about me, she's talking about those that actually are a problem. It's as simple as that. I recognize my privilege, and I recognize that this particular case she's being very unfairly treated simply because she's not a white (man). When anyone, especially a white person, says "I don't see race." then you pretty much are dismissing and refusing to acknowledge that racism exists at all. It's the same for gender. I see men and women as equal, but women are not equal, not yet. They should be, but they are not.

SO, you say "some of us are already there?" Well, then please come back from there and stand with us, and help the rest of the world join us there.


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mechaPoet wrote:

Admittedly, I was a bit hasty in throwing out that violence thing, but I was leaving work.

-when these people suffer this violence, it often isn't taken as seriously, e.g. women facing slut-shaming when they are raped, from their communities and legal systems

Try being a male rape victim, domestic abuse victim or white victim of a hate crime if you think those groups have it so bad. The police will flat out tell you they will not help, the perp will not see any punishment and i say this from experience.


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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:

That's what I said, I just said it more succinctly.

Believe it or not, there are some people who believe that race/gender/hair color truly does not matter. This is obviously not good for people who are pushing the agenda that race/gender/hair color does matter. The goal is supposed to be to live in a colorblind/genderblind world, some of us are already there.

I look at the police in Ferguson and see a bunch of bigoted a&&@)(#&. And then I see a bunch of people wanting to lump me in with them because my skin is the same color.

Then you didn't understand the articles, or you refuse to. It's great that you don't see race, I myself used to be among that crowd until friends showed me that kind of thinking only works in a perfect, non-racist world. As for being lumped in with other racists, I have a Mexican friend who is very very critical about white people (especially men). She knows full well that I am white (and male). But, every time she says something critical about white (men), guess what I do? I agree with her because I see it too, and I know she's not talking about me, she's talking about those that actually are a problem. It's as simple as that. I recognize my privilege, and I recognize that this particular case she's being very unfairly treated simply because she's not a white (man). When anyone, especially a white person, says "I don't see race." then you pretty much are dismissing and refusing to acknowledge that racism exists at all. It's the same for gender. I see men and women as equal, but women are not equal, not yet. They should be, but they are not.

SO, you say "some of us are already there?" Well, then please come back from there and stand with us, and help the rest of the world join us there.

Thank you for telling me what I did and didn't understand and what I do or don't think. It's nice to see that you know me better than I know myself. This is a perfect example of why though I am sympathetic to your cause I will never be on your side.

Let me explain something else: there is a very high likelihood that I am more intelligent than you. You have no idea how much time I have spent building rational decisions on how I see life so that I can properly evaluate every emotional appeal that people try to push on me.

There is nothing in the statement "I don't see people differently based on their race" that even implies "I don't believe racism exists". I am not a racist, I don't know any racists, as far as I'm concerned, my corner of the world is all set. I refuse to join either side in this mess because of the desire of people to lump others together. There are enough a%÷^//_// on either side of this fight to ensure that it goes on forever.


The different ways that life tends to suck for the different genders are simply incomparable.


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Man as soon as people whip out the word "privilege" I immediately tune out. It's at that point a discussion has devolved from some sort of discourse into a dick (or t**&, if you prefer) measuring contest about who has it harder.

In theory anyway because near as I can tell nobody using the word actually has it bad, just thinks you should feel ashamed of yourself for not being in theory worse off than the other person could potentially be maybe.

It's the worst kind of pissing contest, where both contestants forget to pull their pants down and now there's a big embarrassing stain on both of their pants, thus defeating the entire purpose.

Simon Legrande wrote:
Let me explain something else: there is a very high likelihood that I am more intelligent than you.

And humble to boot.


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Rynjin wrote:

Man as soon as people whip out the word "privilege" I immediately tune out. It's at that point a discussion has devolved from some sort of discourse into a dick (or t!+$, if you prefer) measuring contest about who has it harder.

In theory anyway because near as I can tell nobody using the word actually has it bad, just thinks you should feel ashamed of yourself for not being in theory worse off than the other person could potentially be maybe.

It's the worst kind of pissing contest, where both contestants forget to pull their pants down and now there's a big embarrassing stain on both of their pants, thus defeating the entire purpose.

Simon Legrande wrote:
Let me explain something else: there is a very high likelihood that I am more intelligent than you.
And humble to boot.

It pains me deeply to agree with Rynjin. I have good reason to hate everyone who forced me into this.


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Simon Legrande wrote:
It pains me deeply to agree with Rynjin. I have good reason to hate everyone who forced me into this.

No one forced you to try declaring that you're smarter than everyone else. As problematic as AbsolutGrndZer0's arguments are, simply declaring that you're smarter than everyone else and that's what makes your position good isn't any better.

Show. Don't tell.


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AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
When anyone, especially a white person, says "I don't see race." then you pretty much are dismissing and refusing to acknowledge that racism exists at all. It's the same for gender.

No. No you are not. In the same way that I viewed the transgendered woman from my story earlier as a woman with no bias, but was offended, disappointed in her cousin who refused to acknowledge her gender, and referred to her as his "gay ass cousin".

That incident right there makes your argument invalid. Because it is very much possible to not see race but to see bigotry in any form. It's no more impossible than to see others as the same race as you but discriminated against because of hair color, eye color, skin color, height, weight, or cultural origins.

Ascending above such petty nonsense doesn't prevent you from seeing it with your bird's eye view. If anything it opens the gate to hate it even more, because you realize how truly asinine it is. There is no ground for bigotry to stand on. The ability to cling to belief that there are things that make "they, and them" different from "we, and us" falls apart. You can't say "We are innately different", you have to acknowledge things like social and economic trends rather than race, and you have to see every act of bigotry as being worthy of scorn on its own scale, and be honest that bigotry can and does happen to everyone.

Quote:
SO, you say "some of us are already there?" Well, then please come back from there and stand with us, and help the rest of the world join us there.

And you will NEVER solve the problem of bigotry in any form, be it discrimination based on features such as hair, skin, eyes, height, weight, or what reproductive organs you have; nor any based off of gender (or lack thereof), sexuality, religion (or lack thereof), philosophy, culture, or geographical origins; nor based on interests, academia, or sub-cultures, by browbeating them, demanding they "check their privilege", and making blanket statements and stereotypes across a given subcategory. All you do is breed more hate.

If you have someone that falls into a given sub-category, and then someone treats them like their experiences, their thoughts, their lives, their wills do not matter; tells them that they have it so easy and didn't have to work for what they have; tells them that they are innately rape-mongering monsters; or pretty much just tells them how much of an a$#~~!~ and a problem they are, you are going to get a whole new ocean of people who were otherwise indifferent to the whole mess filled with a lot of righteous anger and contempt.

It is human nature to strike back when you are being struck and to feel gratified for righting a perceived wrong against you. Which is why I will never, ever, stand on the side of anyone who even uses the term "check your privilege" in a non-parodying way. I will not stand on the side of people like the author of Feminist Bees who wants to spend a lot of time writing about how black people are like orcs and that makes nerds racist but acts like it doesn't make them racist*.

I get a lot more done through peaceful interaction, inclusion, and solid application of love and understanding. I treat others as I would treat myself, and I speak out against injustice where I see it. I have no time or energy to waste furthering the problems, which is exactly what I think this new breed of feminism does. Muslims and Christians didn't come to love each other from the crusades, so I don't see why anyone thinks these "moral crusaders" are going to get better results.

We agree with your ideal but we rebuke your methods. To us the ends do not justify the means, and we think there's a better method than burning the forest down.

Closing words by Morgan Freeman and a commentary on Orcs.
Racism by Morgan Freeman.

*: Orcs are a literary tool, a monstrous, physical representation of all that is or has ever been wrong with humanity. It is a practice dummy for standing against the evils of the world, a human-like creature that embodies all that is wrong, without singling out any real humans or cultures in the world in a way that would blur what they stand for.

Orcs are savage, brutal, cruel, murderous, rapacious, sexist, slaving, racist thieves that are dimwitted, short tempered, violent, and function by acting as barbaric hordes. They represent everything that is bad and none that is good. They are the monstrous reflection of the worst part of ourselves. So when I saw a particular moral crusader likening them to different racial subgroups, I was pissed. Genuinely disgusted and pissed, because that was the most racist thing I've ever seen or heard; to look at orcs and think "Gee, these guys are just the utmost scum, they must be a stand-in for non-white-males".

Yet gamers have pushed for orcs to be playable for every generation of the game. Most players that I've seen play orcs do so with a certain "Drizzt complex" in that their orcs are different from the rest, ready to rise above, because as human beings we want to see the possibility for good in others. We know, deep down, that if it thinks and feels it can learn to love and rise above darkness, no matter how far down the hole in started.


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On the subject of how people view modern feminism? This pretty much sums it up, and shows that there are feminists out there who are worth paying attention to. Just not on tumblr, or anyone who uses the term "check your privilage".

Christina Hoff Summers on why she calls herself a feminist.

They're driving wedges not just between different arbitrary subgroups, but between each other as well.


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mechaPoet wrote:
But the degree to which women are constantly forced to "prove" their nerd-cred to these defensive men to be allowed to participate is far greater than what these men require of other men. Hence the annoying concept of the "fake geek girl," where a woman's interest in nerd-things is questioned and mocked instead of welcomed or assumed.

Let me provide something that might help you understand other peoples' perspectives.

I have a problem with the phrase "nerd-cred". I know of very few people that are willing to call themselves "nerds" who are enthusiasts about varying things people are often called nerds for obsessing over. When someone perceives a simple question about their favorite flavor of a prefered hobby or an obscure element used to gauge the depth of their involvement as "being forced to prove their nerd-cred", I question their reasons for so boldly embracing a label rather than the hobby.

When I claim to "love WoW lore and the older games, but hate the MMO" many people are generally curious what the hell I'm talking about and can't imagine that anyone would've played anything older than Frozen Throne. The questions I get are not me being forced to prove WoW-Nerd-Badge credentials as much as being forced to defend my position in relation to their's.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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JurgenV wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:

Admittedly, I was a bit hasty in throwing out that violence thing, but I was leaving work.

-when these people suffer this violence, it often isn't taken as seriously, e.g. women facing slut-shaming when they are raped, from their communities and legal systems

Try being a male rape victim, domestic abuse victim or white victim of a hate crime if you think those groups have it so bad. The police will flat out tell you they will not help, the perp will not see any punishment and i say this from experience.

I'm not saying that men who experience rape and domestic abuse somehow "don't count" or don't face stigma in reporting these crimes or being taken seriously for it. But the reasons for this are still rooted in sexism and misogyny. Because men are supposed to be "manly and tough" and women are supposed to be "weak and non-violent," violence committed by women against men is dismissed because femininity is seen as weak and undesirable. Men who are raped by women are seen as "getting lucky," because our insane paradigm of sexual discourse says that men should be having as much sex as they possibly can with women. Men who suffer from domestic abuse aren't taken seriously because men are supposedly inherently able to defend themselves, and because women aren't as often seen as "seriously" capable of violence. The moral of the story for these male victims is that they don't count because they "aren't real men," or because "real men don't act like this." The other moral of the story for all of these violent acts is that you shouldn't trust cops. As for white-hate crimes, I can't really speak to that, as I just don't have the info. What I do know, however, is that most murders are intra-racial (i.e. most murdered people are murdered by people of their same race), but reports of black-on-white murder are far more prevalent in the news (even though statistically most American murders are white dudes killing white dudes).

As for violence committed against men, I don't think it's useful to just look at the numbers without also looking at the type of violence and why it happens. With some quick Google searching, it brings up some interesting questions: why are men more often killed by strangers, while women are more often killed by friends, family, and intimate partners? Why are 80% of murders committed by men? What about unlawful murders, such as the non-criminal murders of black men and rape of black women by police officers, who are never charged with anything? The "murder" rate went down in Florida after the Stand Your Ground Law(s?) went into effect. Who is listed as having violence done to them in the case where an unarmed black man in Ferguson was charged with "destruction of property" because four white cops beat him and his blood got on their uniforms? Would the rate of women killed increase if they were allowed to be on the front lines of the military? Is the super high rate of rape (of any gender) within the military (which is of course hushed up or discounted by military brass, especially when they're the ones committing them) counted in these statistics? I really am interested in investigating why men die more frequently to violence, because it's not like I don't care that this violence is happening. But I don't think it's useful to throw out the statistics merely to prove me wrong. I'm happy to be proven wrong, if it gets us closer to the truth! But I also don't appreciate being told that the sociological investigation of oppression and violence is "baseless" or "subjective." What others might dismissively call "anecdotes," I call "witness accounts." It's not like there aren't numbers to back up the facts of hate crime, either.

But anyway, I'm going to once again bow out of the conversation. I've tried to keep a civil tone, and to provide sources to back up a bunch of my claims (which isn't to say that other peeps haven't! Just trying to lay out what I've attempted, and to acknowledge that I may have had lapses in evidence and patience despite my best efforts). But I feel like this simply isn't proving as constructive a forum for this conversation as I would like.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
It pains me deeply to agree with Rynjin. I have good reason to hate everyone who forced me into this.

No one forced you to try declaring that you're smarter than everyone else. As problematic as AbsolutGrndZer0's arguments are, simply declaring that you're smarter than everyone else and that's what makes your position good isn't any better.

Show. Don't tell.

I figured "I'm smarter than you" is sufficient response to "You didn't understand, here's what you think". My position is good because I've reached it after a decade of self-reflection and examination.

And, as much as it pains me to do it again, I was agreeing with Rynjin's commentary on the use of the word "privilege".


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mechaPoet wrote:
But anyway, I'm going to once again bow out of the conversation. I've tried to keep a civil tone, and to provide sources to back up a bunch of my claims (which isn't to say that other peeps haven't! Just trying to lay out what I've attempted, and to acknowledge that I may have had lapses in evidence and patience despite my best efforts). But I feel like this simply isn't proving as constructive a forum for this conversation as I would like.

Which part isn't constructive? I'm legitimately curious. So far, I've seen you display more sexism and racism than most of the other posters in the thread. You have been heavily emphasizing race and gender with almost every point, for example. You even felt the need to identify yourself as a male as if that somehow made your arguments more valid.

I'd definitely say that this conversation has been very civil. I'm wondering why you've "tried to keep a civil tone" but imply that you're failing to remain civil. What about this forum makes this unappealing to making your points? Why does the location of the discussion matter rather than the message? Why not here, or on the corner of the street, or in a school, or in an arcade?

Where would you prefer we had this conversation? Hopefully it's no where that would require me to travel, because I don't have the time and/or money to do so. Most of the money I make goes towards helping my family, where I live with my father, and my two siblings with cystic fibrosis, riding the wave of privilege as we pool our incomes to support each other under the mountain of bills and debts and the loss of my mother's paycheck when she died recently.

Is it just something wrong with this forum? Would you prefer another random forum of the internet?


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Simon Legrande wrote:
I figured "I'm smarter than you" is sufficient response to "You didn't understand, here's what you think". My position is good because I've reached it after a decade of self-reflection and examination.

Except that's not how the conversation went down. Maybe you aren't as smart as you think you are if you missed that.

The context was some links about "Not seeing race".

Simon Legrande wrote:
Let me save you some time: saying that you aren't a racist because you treat everyone equally makes you a racist for ignoring that not everyone is like you.
mechaPoet wrote:

Here's the actual summary:

It's awesome to treat people based on their merit as a person and not be a racist.

Race shouldn't matter, but it does. Non-white people experience racism their entire lives, and to claim that you don't acknowledge race as a factor that effects them shows that you are ignoring the problems of racism they face. And it's not your fault, necessarily, because one function of racism is to obscure and erase and dismiss the voices of the oppressed. Can you look at the white cops and the white officials of Ferguson and the black inhabitants of Ferguson and tell me that you "don't see race" as an issue here?

Simon Legrande wrote:
That's what I said, I just said it more succinctly.
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
Then you didn't understand the articles, or you refuse to.

Since your succinct summary doesn't match either the links or mechaPoet's summary, primarily by being completely dismissive and explicitly saying it doesn't make you a racist, just that you wind up ignoring racial problems, but you claim it does, you're either not understanding or refusing to.

Nor did AbsolutGrndZer0 tell you what you think, he went on to describe his experience with "not seeing race" and how his eyes were open.

That's when you threw the "I'm smarter" card down.


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Ashiel wrote:
mechaPoet wrote:
But anyway, I'm going to once again bow out of the conversation. I've tried to keep a civil tone, and to provide sources to back up a bunch of my claims (which isn't to say that other peeps haven't! Just trying to lay out what I've attempted, and to acknowledge that I may have had lapses in evidence and patience despite my best efforts). But I feel like this simply isn't proving as constructive a forum for this conversation as I would like.
Which part isn't constructive? I'm legitimately curious. So far, I've seen you display more sexism and racism than most of the other posters in the thread. You have been heavily emphasizing race and gender with almost every point, for example. You even felt the need to identify yourself as a male as if that somehow made your arguments more valid.

I so love the "You're more racist/sexist since you keep noting racism and sexism" argument. It makes it so easy to dismiss any problems.

Why do I suspect that calling him racist and sexist might be part of the uncivil tone?

BTW, if I remember the context, he identified himself as male because people were using the wrong pronoun, not to help his argument. I know we're not supposed to even think about such things or notice whether other people are male or female or identify ourselves as either, but some of us are just to sexist to not do so.

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

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Discussing race and gender is neither racist nor sexist. Talking about how white people don't face the same discrimination as people of color is not racist, but it is a discussion about racism. Talking about the ways that gender affects people's lives is not sexist, but it is a discussion about sexism.

I felt the need to identify as male because people were misgendering me. That's all.

When I say that I've been trying to keep a civil tone, I just mean that I hope that's how I've been perceived.

When I said "forum," I meant it in the more general way, rather than just the internet forum way. I'd rather that I could have a one-on-one talk with y'all, instead of trying to address multiple points at once (and I've had to pick and choose which points to address and which points to gloss over).

I will leave you all, especially Ashiel, one final link:
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person (If it encourages you to read this article more, this is written by a white person who has experienced extreme poverty.)
Despite the title of the piece, I'm not assuming that you're white. But it does break down how there are different kinds of privilege, and that people can experience one kind of privilege while lacking another. Classism isn't talked about as much in the "-ism" discussions, unfortunately, but I hope this article can show you what is meant by the term "privilege" and how it can apply even to people who have hard lives. The way that these various kinds of privilege intersect is called intersectionality. So I'd like for you all to read this, or could just Rynjin-out and ignore it. I'd prefer the former, but that's probably pretty obvious.

Which means that I've lied yet again: here's one more link now that I've said "intersectionality" and I want to keep bringing it back to video games:
Wrath of the Gods: Teaching Intersectionality through Bastion


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In an effort to get this thread back on track, here's some comments from Chris Mancil (of EA, of all companies) from a very neutral perspective on recent events:

Chris Mancil (partial quote) wrote:


I think the real problem here is alienation. Not of values. That’s misguided. Its not liberal/conservative values, politics, or world-view. Its fear of being meaningless. Its about our loss of connection between ordinary gamers and the games industry. We are losing our connection with people. I think our industry has been drifting further and further away from our fans, as our business get larger, and our global reach gets broader.

This lack of a relationship, of mutual feedback, of a personal connection between ourselves and the audience (I believe) is really the true culprit of most deep seated anger here. There is no connection with us, no trust, not even understanding. Yet gamers depend more and more on us for their primary entertainment (important!) and we absolutely depend on them as customers. Yet, our relationship – is increasingly one-sided. They being the unit sale, the % converted on the acquisition funnel, or the revenue target – not the person, the player, the gamer who is (or was) exactly like all of us. We NEED them, and they KNOW we need them. They NEED us too – but have we forgotten that? Do we sometimes feel, we don’t really need them?

This alienation and dependency brings about epic rage – think banks, cellular providers, airlines, cable companies and the hate those relationships generate with customers who NEED that service but get treated like beasts… that’s our future (some would say our present). And in this environment, a back-handed slap to a mass group of gamers who are mass-labeled “misogynists” “rapists” “gamers are dead” “Games ashamed” are just *fighting words* yelled by a distant, contemptuous, un-connected gaming entity that is part of the establishment elite – and this same recipe (the exact same spark) of every single race/political/protest riot the world over from the beginning of time.

Link to the article and to Mancil's comment

I seriously hope he doesn't suffer any disciplinary action for disagreeing with the accepted narrative.

Dark Archive

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I think I lost some San and IN points reading those threads mecha.

Seriously, you have to be Western Privileged/Ivory Tower resident just to even think this way and make it the focus of your entire existence.


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thejeff wrote:
I so love the "You're more racist/sexist since you keep noting racism and sexism" argument. It makes it so easy to dismiss any problems.

Nope. I'm talking about the constant implication that being X, Y, or Z means that you either either A) agree with us, or B) are ignorant and don't understand the truth.

That's bigoted, plain and simple. I didn't call him a racist or sexist, but that I said the things he was arguing definitely sounded such to me. What he is displaying is racist and sexist, and the side that he appears to be arguing for seems to be pushing for racism and sexism and exclusion, and I've yet to see anything that shows the contrary, rather than trying to justify the "privilege" arguments.

That and telling people how it's so racist to not be racist. That's always so welcome.

Quote:
Why do I suspect that calling him racist and sexist might be part of the uncivil tone?

I said that I've seen him display more racism and sexism than most of the others. That's true, because see above. It's bigoted. I do believe that it's accidental though. Those who fight monsters and all that.

Quote:
BTW, if I remember the context, he identified himself as male because people were using the wrong pronoun, not to help his argument. I know we're not supposed to even think about such things or notice whether other people are male or female or identify ourselves as either, but some of us are just to sexist to not do so.

Did he indeed?

mechaPoet wrote:
I'm a guy, and I would take playing a girl with a machine gun over playing a hyper-macho man 100% of the time. I do at every given opportunity. I don't know who that scowling white guy on the cover of the Mass Effect games is, but I know that Shepherd is a badass woman saving the galaxy from the Reapers.

Here he dismisses BroShep as not also a valid Shepherd (sexist), and just calls him some scowling white guy (racist). And you know, I would have probably just chocked this up to an anecdote that being a specific gender doesn't mean you always want to play a PC of the same gender, which might be an argument by some of the marketing points.

But then he makes statements like "scowling white guy" and "I know that Shephard is a badass woman" and well, suddenly, I don't think it's an anecdote for inclusion, it's just more bigotry.

mechaPoet wrote:
When I say that I've been trying to keep a civil tone, I just mean that I hope that's how I've been perceived.

Oh really?

Quote:

Which women can't relate to because women don't suffer from high rates of violence in comparison to men.

Oh wait.

Thank you Ms. Sommers.

Quote:
Non-white people experience racism their entire lives, and to claim that you don't acknowledge race as a factor that effects them shows that you are ignoring the problems of racism they face.

Again with the racism. If you don't think people "white" people are discriminated against, you need to do more research. Talk to some people. Get out there in the real world and ask. All racism is bad. They're actually about the only made-up supgrouping of people that it's discrimination against is effectively given a pass most of the time.

Quote:

I will leave you all, especially Ashiel, one final link:

Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person (If it encourages you to read this article more, this is written by a white person who has experienced extreme poverty.)
Despite the title of the piece, I'm not assuming that you're white. But it does break down how there are different kinds of privilege, and that people can experience one kind of privilege while lacking another. Classism isn't talked about as much in the "-ism" discussions, unfortunately, but I hope this article can show you what is meant by the term "privilege" and how it can apply even to people who have hard lives. The way that these various kinds of privilege intersect is called intersectionality. So I'd like for you all to read this, or could just Rynjin-out and ignore it. I'd prefer the former, but that's probably pretty obvious.

Oh, I read it. I agree with some of it, and I disagree with some of it, and I think it's also pretty narrow in its scope. We can discuss that, if you want, or if you don't want to, then we won't. No biggie.

You can't expect me to think it pretty racist, however, when people are identifying or setting qualities towards characters as being "white guy" or "black guy" or whatever. Like Morgan Freeman said, "stop calling me a Black Man, and I'll stop calling you a White Man".


Auxmaulous wrote:

I think I lost some San and IN points reading those threads mecha.

Seriously, you have to be Western Privileged/Ivory Tower resident just to even think this way and make it the focus of your entire existence.

Just because some people like to talk about it here doesn't mean it's the focus of their entire existence.


Ashiel wrote:
Again with the racism. If you don't think people "white" people are discriminated against, you need to do more research. Talk to some people. Get out there in the real world and ask. All racism is bad. They're actually about the only made-up supgrouping of people that it's discrimination against is effectively given a pass most of the time.

And there we go. It so often seems to come up from the "I don't see race" people. Pity those poor white folks.


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That's a very interesting article, Necromancer.

I agree with several of Mancil's statements, particularly in regards to the disconnect.

Another thing I perceive might be a source of the sometimes irrational attitude of some journalists might be the way social sites work these days: You are more likely to be exposed to positive input regarding your ideas than negative input, since social sites works more on the basis of likes/retweet/share than anything else. Thus, agreement is magnified and dissent tends to fall on the backburner.

Since journalism sort of depends on you generating some clout, expanding that positive feedback network becomes important, making disent further alienating. More people agreeing with you = more likes/shares/exposition = more people following you = more people agreeing with you.

This, I think, can easily create a bubble in which positive feedback far outweight criticism. And while criticism can sometimes mean just bad mouthing, it is also the source of debate, contrast of opinions and, more than anything, middle grounds.

So perhaps that would explain why some journalist declare gamers are a bunch of misongynists: The critics that they see in their immediate social network might appear to be hostile because they stand our as a sore spot in an otherwise harmonious landscape of agreement.

When 9 out of 10 people you interact with share the same opinion as you, it is not unusual to see that 1 lonely opponent as mistaken. There's a sense of reinforcement of value when more people support something we like, and dissenting views might get demonized as a result. And from there to assuming everyone who disagrees with you is part of the same mistaken minority there's not a very long trek.

Doesn't mean I like that they do it, but makes it more understandable as to why it might be happening.


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thejeff wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Again with the racism. If you don't think people "white" people are discriminated against, you need to do more research. Talk to some people. Get out there in the real world and ask. All racism is bad. They're actually about the only made-up supgrouping of people that it's discrimination against is effectively given a pass most of the time.
And there we go. It so often seems to come up from the "I don't see race" people. Pity those poor white folks.

Ahem.

Ashiel wrote:
AbsolutGrndZer0 wrote:
When anyone, especially a white person, says "I don't see race." then you pretty much are dismissing and refusing to acknowledge that racism exists at all. It's the same for gender.

No. No you are not. In the same way that I viewed the transgendered woman from my story earlier as a woman with no bias, but was offended, disappointed in her cousin who refused to acknowledge her gender, and referred to her as his "gay ass cousin".

That incident right there makes your argument invalid. Because it is very much possible to not see race but to see bigotry in any form. It's no more impossible than to see others as the same race as you but discriminated against because of hair color, eye color, skin color, height, weight, or cultural origins.

I don't pity anyone. I said all bigotry is bad. It doesn't matter whether it is directed at people with light skin, dark skin, brown eyes, green eyes, blonde hair, or red hair, men, or women, religion, sexuality, or gender (or lack of any of these things).

You're committing bigotry by acting like bigotry towards one arbitrary unscientific subgroup isn't bigotry. That's why it's so damn destructive and why none of us are interested in standing beside you while you're spouting this nonsense.

I wouldn't mind signing up for Ms. Sommer's feminism though. This woman is clearly smart and balanced, but I prefer the term "equalism" more, because it has no connection with any gender. I think I would get along very, very well with Ms. Sommers and I would love to talk with her in person one day if possible.


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Interesting fact: As a native Castilian speaker, for many years I though "Bigotry" was the act of growing and grooming moustaches ("bigotes").


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Another thing I perceive might be a source of the sometimes irrational attitude of some journalists might be the way social sites work these days: You are more likely to be exposed to positive input regarding your ideas than negative input, since social sites works more on the basis of likes/retweet/share than anything else. Thus, agreement is magnified and dissent tends to fall on the backburner.

This is something that really needs to be considered in future social media projects. It would be helpful to have the ability to simply click an icon indicating "needs more data" or "references plz" or anything else that could count towards useful criticism without the potential for system-wide abuse. This way, even if something is flagged out of spite it can still be defended with empirical data, triple-sourced references, etc. And, alternatively, poorly researched and plainly biased articles would receive the scrutiny they deserve.


thejeff wrote:

The discussion's moved on (and exploded) while I was away, but I'll add a couple of points back towards the start.

When I said the "reality of the day" I wasn't talking about when you (or I) were nerds in school, whenever that was, but back to the earliest roots of computer gaming. Back to that ad for the arcade game with the model in the transparent dress and back beyond that to the first hackers writing games on the old time share machines.
Women weren't involved back then to any noticeable degree, not because women just didn't happen to be interested in computer games, but because there was tremendous social pressure against women in any kind of hard science, including computers. This was back in the very early days of second wave feminism. I would hope that even those who deny sexism today will admit it existed back then.

For your response to the second point: it doesn't really matter whether I think it's a correct reaction or not. It's going to happen. Women are coming into gaming culture and gaming culture is going to change. You can fight back, but it can't be stopped, short of changes in the status of women in the outside world.

This isn't true. Like comics, women were actively involved at the beginning and then left. Look at 70s art and advertising instead of 80s. It was the 80s where gender stereotypes started being used. I suspect it was a large part of the cultural shift that encompassed a lot of other things too.

The Exchange

Simon Legrande wrote:
What if "Women are just naturally less interested in hard science" is actually true? Have there been studies by anyone to prove that women are just as interested in hard sciences as men are?

They've done studies of sex-segregated vs. mixed-sex classrooms that have shown that among student achievers in mixed-sex classes, the girls get lower grades in STEM classes than the girls in single-sex STEM classes. In other words, girls show greater aptitude and interest in STEM when in a society of females than they do in mixed company. Now whether or not the girls are more or less "interested" in science as a class than boys as a class really hasn't been compared (at least not in the studies I've read). Compulsory schooling means that kids have to take classes no matter what their interest level. However, better grades does imply that the girls are academically engaged with STEM subjects. The conclusion is that environment makes a big difference in interest/achievement. SO NO, women are not "naturally" less interested in STEM; social/environmental factors influence interest levels. There is nothing "natural" about it.

Female achievement in STEM workforce (in terms of jobs and measurements of achievement) is a whole different kettle of fish which I won't get into here. Schools provide sort-of-ideal controls for social experiment because of standardized curricula and natural division by age group and ability. Workforce studies are a lot more difficult to carry out and draw conclusions from. I'd assume video-game studies are even more complicated to control, although if the focus-group R&D money of several game companies was pooled and went to such an experiment it might provide fascinating results.

Dark Archive

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My theories and view on the concept of "Privilege" and other newspeak single phrase classification language which are based on gender/race.

This is going to offend - probably everyone, but I will go ahead and put it out there anyway. Before the flamethrowers come out I want to stress that this is "my view" on the use of the term "privilege" in the context that it is being applied by SJWs and is not an effort for me to reduce the value of other significantly harsher derogatory terms.

Spoiler:
The term "privilege" and associated newspeak tagging of individuals is leftist, quasi-academia version of the "N-word" or other racist derogatory terms.

Take a breath. Ok, still there?

What is the function of derogatory/racist terms?

- Communicate an image/idea quickly among others who share the same view(based on stereotype/type)
- Empower the speaker (as an insult, hurtful words, establish superiority over the subject)
- Insult or hurt the target. Divisive function design to create more division vs. eliminating it.
- Circumvent discussing the individual and instead make them part of an established or accepted class/race/gender/group
- Control and restrict challenging terms or dialogue.
- Establish Hierarchy

The term "privilege" shares almost all the functionality of using the "n-word". Breathe.
The latter his its own historical context and power, while the former is more obscure and does not have a history of oppression behind it. But the functional use of both is the same. Not the meaning, the function as to why either phrase would be used:

Derogatory terms:

- Communicate an image/idea quickly (based on stereotype/type) among others who share the same view
Two people discussing someone else use the phrase "privileged" to describe a third person. This term carries the weight of the 3rd persons race, position in society, income and class level. This is often done for the purpose of expediency, but at the cost of that persons nuanced details, specific history, personality, identity, etc. None of those things matter or are used to describe you, you are the term.

- Empower the speaker (as an insult, hurtful words, establish superiority over the subject or used to establish a power paradigm)
Using the above example, the two people discussing the 3rd "privileged" person will do it with an attitude of superiority. That they see something or know something about the 3rd person that makes them feel more informed because they know (or are guessing) the subjects race. They become informed experts on class/race and victimology - which also makes the right (in their minds at least). And it's always nice to be right. Many great things (historically) can be done when you know you are "right".
So in discussing racism those applying the tags are acting in a racist fashion - albeit in a socially accepted method. The subject of the tag is not allowed any distinction besides what can superficially be detected by the person tagging them.

- Insult or hurt the target. Divisive function design to create more division vs. eliminating it.
The term is "soft" derogatory one - often implying that the subject is too stupid or ignorant to know what he really is. That this description encapsulates who he is as a person in one term, why he does what he does, reacts the way he does, etc. Most people who are called "privileged" will not react the same as person of African descent being called the "n-word". But both phrases are intended to put the subject "In their place".
While the subject is in this "place" they cannot escape it. You are privileged because of your race. You have committed a social crime of sorts for being in this place. While miles away from the use and power of "n-word" it does serve the same functions.

A) This is what you are, it is inescapable
B) You are ignorant
C) but even your Awareness doesn't change it
D) The person using this term for you is doing so from a position of superiority: their knowledge vs. your ignorance, their status as victim - which makes them better person than you (in a society that martyrs and worships victims).

- Circumvent discussing the individual and instead make them part of an established or accepted class/race/gender/group
Reducing a person to a descriptive term has been a dehumanizing tactic since the beginning of recorded history. It is often used during warfare to make the enemy/other, inhuman and as such, easier to destroy.
The other function of using simple terms is that the immediate subject - their thoughts, feelings, views and desires are all limited by the phrase. They (for the phrase to work) must live in that word used to describe them. It is social and intellectual laziness at best, sinister and destructive at worst. By putting an individual into a single term you have shut down the definition of that individual into descriptors associated with the term.

- Control and restrict challenging terms or dialogue.
The phrase is design to be unassailable. Derogatory terms generally have a long historical meaning. The ones tied to race often derived from modified a term of the individuals racial origin (N-word, S-word). But ultimately these terms cannot be challenged. They can over time be changed or applied in alternate ways though. (n-word used in hip-hop culture, an effort for gay activist to recapture the word "Queer" - queer nation, et al).
The point being that the phrase will stick and the subject will be boiled down to the quick communication of phrase. Similar to the way the term "prole" in 1984 was used to describe ignorant, non-party members.
These terms are ironclad and their design is as such so they cannot be changed or should not be changed by those who coined them.

- Establish Hierarchy
Racial terms are used by an oppressor to remind the oppressed who and what he is.
In the case of "privilege" and other newspeak terms, the established hierarchy is who is the greatest victim/endures the most pain, and as such the better person in the society. So if a cis white privileged woman is raped, her suffering is then ranked based upon her level of privilege/race. Because if a trans person of color is raped it is far more severe an act since the trans person of color is at a lower level of privilege (if at all) in that hierarchy. This is implied when you reduce people to hierarchical terms and phrases.

A Hierarchy of suffering is established, thus the newspeaker has provided a better understanding of "justice".
The reality of course is that both people were raped - suffered terribly and will be dealing with the consequences of that assault for the rest of their lives.

I think (imo - all of the above is imo and my own thoughts) that the newspeak terms were created and designed to be divisive. They quickly and lazily establish power, authority and hierarchy while subsequently reducing the subject to a term. All the aspects of the person get lumped in with no distinction and the inability to challenge the term.
They term also serves the dual purpose (as derogatory terms often do) of establishing superiority of the speaker utilizing the term. It is designed to belittle the subject.

A good test of my theory would be to find a discussion on privilege and instead substitute a derogatory racial term. It's a fun test, try it out.

Sorry for the length - and content if it offended you. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Exchange

Caineach wrote:
thejeff wrote:

The discussion's moved on (and exploded) while I was away, but I'll add a couple of points back towards the start.

When I said the "reality of the day" I wasn't talking about when you (or I) were nerds in school, whenever that was, but back to the earliest roots of computer gaming. Back to that ad for the arcade game with the model in the transparent dress and back beyond that to the first hackers writing games on the old time share machines.
Women weren't involved back then to any noticeable degree, not because women just didn't happen to be interested in computer games, but because there was tremendous social pressure against women in any kind of hard science, including computers. This was back in the very early days of second wave feminism. I would hope that even those who deny sexism today will admit it existed back then.

For your response to the second point: it doesn't really matter whether I think it's a correct reaction or not. It's going to happen. Women are coming into gaming culture and gaming culture is going to change. You can fight back, but it can't be stopped, short of changes in the status of women in the outside world.

This isn't true. Like comics, women were actively involved at the beginning and then left. Look at 70s art and advertising instead of 80s. It was the 80s where gender stereotypes started being used. I suspect it was a large part of the cultural shift that encompassed a lot of other things too.

This is true of photography and filmmaking too, back in the 1880s-90s. When I studied film history in school, the reason given for the fall-off in female-produced content was a) "professionalization" and b) money (although those 2 points aren't really separate). Once Wall Street saw that [movies/comics/videogames] was making serious money instead of being just a fringe interest, they folded it into Madison Avenue's existing business model for selling stuff (i.e. Lowest Common Denominator selling) and co-opted it, making it harder for competing groups (e.g. women, minorities) to profit in an area that the Establishment suddenly wanted to compete in; when the Big Money shoved aside the Little Money, we saw a lot fewer women and minorities get the jobs and a lot less content directed at such low-dollar groups.


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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
Interesting fact: As a native Castilian speaker, for many years I though "Bigotry" was the act of growing and grooming moustaches ("bigotes").

That's actually one of the possible origins of the words. Spaniards used the word "bigot" to make fun of the Swiss soldiers' mustaches. The word at some point evolved to refer to all foreigners, and then, to people who hated foreigners. So, ironically enough, "bigot" was a term created and used by bigots.

...Assuming that is the real origin of the word, of course. I believe there are other possibilities, but that's the one I remember because the irony is kinda funny.


Simon Legrande wrote:


I figured "I'm smarter than you" is sufficient response to "You didn't understand, here's what you think". My position is good because I've reached it after a decade of self-reflection and examination.

Actually, there is a very strong possibility I am smarter than you. See, I can say it too. I'd tell you why I feel I can say that, and ask you to do the same, but do we really need to start a d*** (or brain in this case) measuring contest? My point, and the point of the articles is, whether it's what you mean to say or not, when you tell a person who is being discriminated against "I don't see race" what many hear is "You are no different than me, and you are not being oppressed." Whether you mean that or not, that's what is heard much of the time because usually they just got stomped on and your attempt at saying that is to say "Oh, but I'm not like that mean person" in a defensivce manner. Support them, do not get defensive (again, your intent may not be this, it's all about perception.) What others HEAR is just as important if not more important than what you mean. SO no, I wasn't telling you what you think, I was telling you what many other people hear, which is a very important distinction. But look, maybe that's what happened here... What I THINK and what YOU thought I was trying to say were very different.

As for what Morgan Freeman said, and let me say, I cannot comment on what he thinks, only my interpretation of what he said and what I think of it. I fully agree that yes, "Black History Month" should be abolished and incorporated more fully into American (and the rest of the world, because that's one place where I think Freeman is wrong, Black History Month isn't JUST American History, it's WORLD history) history, and that should be the goal but it won't be solved by ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away which is what would end up happening if we just straight up got rid of it.

As for the word privilege, I've been a "broke white person" myself so that article mentioned above is why I have no problem with and understand the concept.

Let me ask you this since you don't see race... Is it okay for me to dress up as a Native American Chief with a full headdress this Halloween? If it helps you decide, I am 1/16th Cherokee because my great-great grandmother was a princess!

Disclaimer about the Princess thing:
Yes, I am fully aware there is no such thing as a Native American Princess, but that is a very common claim by many people, oh I am descended from an indian princess! But the truth is, even if your great-great-great grandfather was a chief (as mine was) that doesn't make his daughter any more important or a "princess" than any other daughter in the tribe.

In closing, take a look at the new movie Exodus by Ridley Scott. You have a mostly white cast and the statues are being redone to look like the white cast. So, in this ideal world where we don't see race (and that was Ridley Scott's answer to accusations of racist casting, he isn't racist, he doesn't look at race in casting his movies)... well, that's all just fine (and that's also how it's always been done in past movies, Charleton Heston, Elizabeth Taylor, etc) Because we don't see race, it doesn't matter that the Ancient Egyptians had darker skin, we don't see race so it doesn't matter what they look like in our movies and that the statues in the movie look nothing like their real counterparts ever did? To take that to a more extreme but IMO better illustrating modern day example, if we were making a movie about Martin Luther King, Jr... and a lighter skinned ('white') man auditioned and just nailed the audition... should he get it? Because we aren't looking at race, remember.


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On a separate note, I'll say that whenever I hear words like "privilege" and "patriarchy" (or any other "YOUR people are actively conspiring to screw MY people" term) I instantly assume the discussion became a pointless and unproductive victim-hood contest.

I'm white, male and straight... And I was born and raised in Brazil, meaning I'm Latin too. So what am I? Privileged or a member of a oppressed minority? If you ask me, I'm neither. I'm just a guy doing his best to live a comfortable and fulfilling life, and like everyone else, I occasionally have to deal with people who dislike me, some of them will have a legitimate reason for that, and others won't.

Maybe I'm an odd case, but as far as I know, no one ever harmed me because of my nationality (although I did hear some funny observations like "You're Brazilian? I didn't know there were white people in Brazil!" and "But I thought all Brazilians were Mexican!"... Yeah, someone actually thought "Mexican" was a race!), neither in the US nor in England (where my sister lives, so I visit the country once in a while). I've been called "cracker" on a few occasions, though.

And what about legitimate differences between men and women?

Let's say I have to hire someone for a vital position, and a I have two candidates that are equally capable in all relevant aspects, but one is male and the other is female. Both of them are married and currently trying to have children.

Now, if the male employee's wife gets pregnant, his paternity leave lasts 10~15 days. If the female employee gets pregnant, her maternity leave lasts 3~4 months. With that in mind, all things being equal, if I decide to hire the man because I can't afford to lose an vital employee for 3~4 months... Am I being sexist or pragmatic?

I'd say the latter, but many people would say the former.

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