There was an article written on the 12th by Mark Sorrell of “Beware of the Sorrell”, a gaming blog, that discussed the ridiculous male dominated world that is gaming and how women in gaming are seen as frivolous and stupid and blahblah. This is a great example of what he is saying :
I will not be accused of being a shrill moaning harpy. I won’t be asked to make anyone a sandwich, nor will I be accused of being a lesbian, asked to suck anyone’s cock or be threatened with rape. Partially, this is because those who have met me understand that I view other humans as lunch with a temporary stay of execution. Let the Wookie win, as they say. Mostly, it’s because I’m a man and so people will read what I have to say rather than switching off their brain and spewing out some astonishingly unimaginative sexist bullshit.
It strikes me as incredibly bizarre to think that men talking about the mega-sexism in the game industry, pointing at it and screaming and banging their ham-sized fists on the metaphorical game-table and bellowing that “this will not stand!” could have more effect than the same outrage expressed by the women actually suffering it. However, it seems very likely true. So here I will stand and bellow.
And if you’re at all interested in the sexism that’s rampant in the gaming industry, please do read the rest of his article here, it’s very very good. I’m interested because I see these things first hand since Kamel works in the gaming industry. We discuss these things from time to time and I often get frustrated and cry out when I see injustice being done. I’m not one to stand down. And that brings me to the article that was a follow up to Sorrell’s… the actual point of this post. (Imagine that)
This article for Kotaku by Margaret Robertson talks about self censorship, which is a lot of what I was talking about in that other feminist tirade I went on a while ago about violence against women. Margret talks about how she self-censored for a long time because she didn’t want to be called out on the internet for being a …. WOMAN. (The crowd covers their faces so they won’t have to witness the HORROR.) I mean, she wrote as Margaret, so I think the audience could figure it out, but she was very concious of falling into any “lady traps” that may have ensnared her along the way. Here are some things she she says she did in order to “Not make herself a target”:
- not wearing skirts
- not wearing heels
- not coming to the defence of other women on the receiving end of abuse and threats and dismissals
- not, under any circumstances, ever ever ever ever indicating that there might be any sexual activity in my thoughts or my life or my body
- not talking about ‘being a woman’ or anything dumb and feminist like that
- judging the success of my approach on the number of people who didn’t realise from my writing that I was female.
And when I got done reading the final bullet I had an epiphany: wow I am really doing it ALL WRONG THEN, am I right ladies?!
Ok that was a joke… I was actually ridiculously horrified. Because as much as this is only about the gaming industry and the icky stuff that’s happening over there, it’s really about the job market in general and public opinion. Some places are worse than others, but it’s all not great. And when I say not great I mean: There isn’t equality in the workforce across the board and until there is it will NEVER EVER EVER be good enough, and I don’t care if you know someone who has a lady CEO and see? everything is all better, because No. I’m tired of that. I’m tired of the one example that acts as the band aid on a gaping wound.
Seventy-seven cents to the dollar. Across the board. And those are just numbers, they aren’t even attitude or humiliation or the rate of unemployment. Seventy-seven cents to the dollar is women in the workforce on a GOOD DAY.
I don’t like that it’s “ok” on the internet to be a total D-Bag. I wish people had more manners, I wish that people understand these words were written by a human, I wish that we could all laugh at our selves a little more. But i think it’s the bottom of the barrel when a group of people avoids coming off as “too much themselves” because they will probably be torn down and tossed aside if they do.
And this wasn’t even what I had been planning on discussing with you either… although that was quite the hoo-rah tangent I had going for a minute.
The deal is, the internet is full of censorship (and maybe some things that should be a little more censored). And I feel like a lot of that censorship has to do with things that makes us look cooler, richer, more popular, with really great hair and perfect skin. The things we leave off the internet are the things that make us normal people (much like wedding photos that you don’t think you look good in). We untag a photo, we tell half truths, we want to seem more successful and more put together than we actually are. And there’s nothing really wrong with this, it’s human nature to put your best foot forward.
I just want more honesty. If you’re a 35 year old man who loves unicorns, then just be that guy. If you prefer staying home on a friday night and you don’t have a flickr account, and you really love jenga more than you love dance parties, do it. Sometimes life is really messy or sad or self depricating or BORING. Sometimes life is really boring. Not always, but there have been times where fuuuuck it’s so boring! And there is so much pressure to be doing doing doing and to out-cool the next guy. I’m over it.
I’m also over sexism. And I’m over this whole attitude that women writers on any subject are less awesome than men writers on any subject. That, I am sick of. I have a vagina and I have an opinion, and I also really enjoy people watching and diet coke and I think my wedding was the most amazing wedding there ever was and ever will be (and I’m really really sick of talking about them) and I HATE GRAMMAR (but I know how to spell it!) and I probably have waaayy less friends than you think I do and sometimes I only cook because I feel like I have to have something to say on this blog.
And I vow to never ever ever let a sexist comment slide in public or on the internet because I am afraid of backlash. I will come to your rescue and I will take the bullets because I’m SICK of a world where people don’t. The end.