Op Ed

Kotaku - Nerds and Male Privilege.
The idea that perhaps the way women are portrayed in fandom is aleetle sexist is regularly met with denials, justifications and outright dismissal of the issue. So regularly, in fact, that there's a Bingo card covering the most common responses. Part of the notion of male privilege in fandom is that nothing is wrong with fandom and that suggestions that it might benefit from some diversity is treated as a threat.

But what is that threat, exactly?

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Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 13:06
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Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 13:06
Dec 18, 2011, 13:06
 
It's very rare that I say this...but...I've seen shit stains in public with more substance than that article. "WASPing" indeed.
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
2.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 13:35
Quboid
 
2.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 13:35
Dec 18, 2011, 13:35
 Quboid
 
I like the tone of that article - "If you disagree with this, then you're part of the problem". That's a very handy debating position, if people agree you win and if people disagree, you win.

Females in ridiculous outfits really turn me off a game. I know the male characters aren't any more realistic, but at least in a battle field they would typically be wearing body armour. Seeing women in battle wearing little more than metal bikinis is distracting in all the wrong ways. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting old, but I just think that they look cold and that their armour must chaff something awful.

Alyx Vance is so much more attractive than some Dead or Alive bimbo. Vance was least attractive in HL2 Ep2 when she started exhibiting the neediness that female characters written by males tend to. Lara Croft is perhaps the worst as they tried to make a strong, independent female role model and ended up with a big bazooka'ed, skimpily dressed cliché.

I make no apology for dismissing the DoA girls as bimbos, frankly, that's what they appear to be trying to be. Neither do I apologise for considering the attractiveness of them, Croft or of Vance. Sexuality isn't sexism.
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3.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 13:54
3.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 13:54
Dec 18, 2011, 13:54
 
It's a bit insulting to not consider the history of gaming. Most early games weren't sexist, they were games. The reason that we have a mostly male dominated gaming market (not speaking of the so-called "casual" market), is because the people who first started playing those games tended to be male. And that spiraled, as developers focused more on their market, they designed their products to be more appealing to males. And the people who enjoyed the products, and then got into the industry to make them tended to be males. And the cycle continued.

My annoyance with the whole thing is - why is this a problem? When you design a facial mask product, you do so with the knowledge that the majority of people that use it will be women. Sure, maybe some men do, but you recognize that's not your primary market. So you design and advertise your product accordingly. Game companies do the same thing, they aim their products at their target market.
4.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:01
Quboid
 
4.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:01
Dec 18, 2011, 14:01
 Quboid
 
Bhruic wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 13:54:
My annoyance with the whole thing is - why is this a problem? When you design a facial mask product, you do so with the knowledge that the majority of people that use it will be women. Sure, maybe some men do, but you recognize that's not your primary market. So you design and advertise your product accordingly. Game companies do the same thing, they aim their products at their target market.

I'm inclined to agree, with a couple of caveats. Firstly, I'm their target but as I said, this turns me off their game. Secondly, and more importantly, it's not so much the games that are the problem so much as the gamers. The comic book shop example given is an example. I bet the level of grief (and misguided White Knighting) that female gamers on CoD is horrific.

I read an article by a female blogger of note about why many comics are sexist a while back, I think Cracked linked to it. I'd love to link to it but I can't find it now, I'll give a cookie to anyone who can.
Avatar 10439
5.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
Quboid
 
5.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
 Quboid
 
Too late, I ate the cookie.

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/22/starfire-catwoman-sex-superheroine/

That depiction of Starfire (who I'd never heard of before, I don't read comic books) is what I mean about turning me - target demographic - right off.
Avatar 10439
6.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
6.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
Dec 18, 2011, 14:06
 
I like sexy women and boobies. As long as games continue to put both in them, I will enjoy them as part of the scenery. Plenty of games out there that have neither and everytime I see an article like this it just reeks of someone wanting the world to reflect how they want to see it.

Also, I love how Arkham City gets drug out as the posterboy for these types of articles. Everyone always conveniently forgets to mention that these are established characters and none of their designs are even remotely out of line with the source material. Maybe you'd like to see Catwoman parade around in modest pantsuit with tasteful glasses that draw attention to her eyes...but I'd think that would be a fucking travesty for the sake of political correcteness.
7.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:07
7.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:07
Dec 18, 2011, 14:07
 
Secondly, and more importantly, it's not so much the games that are the problem so much as the gamers. The comic book shop example given is an example. I bet the level of grief (and misguided White Knighting) that female gamers on CoD is horrific.

In general, I agree, but I'm not sure that it's that much worse than many other facets of the internet. Although I don't think the comic book example was useful, since dragging someone somewhere they don't want to be, and then getting them involved in an argument over the contents of that location is a pretty stupid idea.

Beyond that, however, it's disappointing how many women have to put up with idiot gamers. But can you think of an example of where you could have large numbers of teenage guys who can act anonymously, with a smaller percentage of females, and not have the guys act like complete asshats?
8.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:20
Quboid
 
8.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:20
Dec 18, 2011, 14:20
 Quboid
 
Bhruic wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:07:
In general, I agree, but I'm not sure that it's that much worse than many other facets of the internet. Although I don't think the comic book example was useful, since dragging someone somewhere they don't want to be, and then getting them involved in an argument over the contents of that location is a pretty stupid idea.

The comic book example is a bit off topic, but I think the point applies to games as well (edit: and as Ruffiana points out, they are intertwined somewhat). That comic book article I linked to sums up my problem with Lara Croft type heroines very well - these aren't modern, strong, independent, sexually liberated women, these are men's fantasies of modern, strong, independent, sexually liberated women.

Bhruic wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:07:
Beyond that, however, it's disappointing how many women have to put up with idiot gamers. But can you think of an example of where you could have large numbers of teenage guys who can act anonymously, with a smaller percentage of females, and not have the guys act like complete asshats?

Oh Goodness me no. No no no. No, that's always happened and always will, with any group of teenage guys and most groups of men of any age. I'm sure groups of women aren't much different either. This is in no way exclusive to gamers. That doesn't make it right.

I'm a bit conflicted about this to be honest. As much as I dislike this, it is inevitable, it certainly isn't just gamers and comic book readers. It's not just young men, it's not just men. Also, I feel like I'm falling into the White Knight trap.
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9.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:31
9.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:31
Dec 18, 2011, 14:31
 
Quboid wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:20:
I'm a bit conflicted about this to be honest. As much as I dislike this, it is inevitable, it certainly isn't just gamers and comic book readers. It's not just young men, it's not just men. Also, I feel like I'm falling into the White Knight trap.

dont worry because at the end of the day you will remember that everything discussed here is about fantasy played out on video games or other sort of entertainment medium. you wont act it out in real life now would you? ...right?
10.
 
nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 14:37
10.
nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 14:37
Dec 18, 2011, 14:37
 
unlike the rest of society, right?
11.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 14:38
11.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 14:38
Dec 18, 2011, 14:38
 
Oh Goodness me no. No no no. No, that's always happened and always will, with any group of teenage guys and most groups of men of any age. I'm sure groups of women aren't much different either. This is in no way exclusive to gamers. That doesn't make it right.

I'm a bit conflicted about this to be honest. As much as I dislike this, it is inevitable, it certainly isn't just gamers and comic book readers.

That's the main reason I find these articles annoying. They continually act as if somehow geek culture, and gaming specifically, are abberations on human behaviour. And suggesting that the cause is rooted in geek/gaming depiction of females is pretty silly. Do they honestly think that women would be treated any differently in online CoD if they had female soldiers to play instead of just men?
12.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 14:44
12.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 14:44
Dec 18, 2011, 14:44
 
space captain wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:37:
unlike the rest of society, right?
You mean sports, and well shit everything else? I mean why pick on geeks, which was my exact point. A shit stain has more substance.
--
"For every human problem,
there is a neat, simple solution;
and it is always wrong."
--H.L. Mencken
13.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 14:49
13.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 14:49
Dec 18, 2011, 14:49
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:44:
You mean sports, and well shit everything else? I mean why pick on geeks, which was my exact point. A shit stain has more substance.

yep. nailed it.
14.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 15:08
14.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 15:08
Dec 18, 2011, 15:08
 
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:44:
I mean why pick on geeks, which was my exact point. A shit stain has more substance.

its got "substance", just not the kind we are looking for.. if you cant see that then the only thing you got is a shit stain as well

there is definitely a reason why this good dr. decided to "pick on geeks"... but who gives a fuck? let him rot in the grave he chose
15.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 15:20
15.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 15:20
Dec 18, 2011, 15:20
 
space captain wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:08:
its got "substance", just not the kind we are looking for.. if you cant see that then the only thing you got is a shit stain as well

there is definitely a reason why this good dr. decided to "pick on geeks"... but who gives a fuck? let him rot in the grave he chose

you clearly did not read the first paragraph of the article. the author has a motive and that is to score some points in order to get into the pants of his new girlfriend. he can do that on his own time but writing an article about it because he felt his girlfriend got violated by the stare of a geek at a comic store he visits regularly as full of shit stain. im sure once his girlfriend dumps him for a sport jock he will stare at other women with drool going down the side of his mouth.
16.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 15:39
16.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 15:39
Dec 18, 2011, 15:39
 
zirik wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:20:
you clearly did not read

my comment either, or perhaps you just cant understand it
17.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 15:42
17.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 15:42
Dec 18, 2011, 15:42
 
space captain wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:08:
Mashiki Amiketo wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 14:44:
I mean why pick on geeks, which was my exact point. A shit stain has more substance.

its got "substance", just not the kind we are looking for.. if you cant see that then the only thing you got is a shit stain as well

there is definitely a reason why this good dr. decided to "pick on geeks"... but who gives a fuck? let him rot in the grave he chose

I'd say he is 'picking on nerds' because he has a horse in the race, and it's an industry he appears to at least be loosely involved in. Addressing Sexism in a culture, I don't see as a bad thing,

For example, When Sexual harassment actually became a punishable offense in the work place, Sexism was/is still an issue outside of the workplace, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be addressed. I'm not saying some sort of punitive measure should be in place, (though sometimes that should be the case, getting banned from a server for being that guy who thinks everyone is a African american, Homosexual, Jewish, or female. It's something I certainly don't have a problem with.

Sexism may be an issue in other communities, but that doesn't mean we can't work on these issues in our own community.

I don't know if sports is a good example either, due to the inherent gender seperation and seperation there (for example, any gender can play any game, in the NFL only men get to play. Basketball has separate leagues for men and women.

Quboid brings up some good points too. A lot of the time this is supposedly being done to 'pander' to the target demographics. I would argue that generally they don't need to be pandered to in such a fashion and those people will still be around and that in doing so they would be get themselves more customers. Commenting on privilege was a good idea as well, a lot of people don't seem to understand how privilege can play into ones world view.
18.
 
Re: Op Ed
Dec 18, 2011, 15:43
Prez
 
18.
Re: Op Ed Dec 18, 2011, 15:43
Dec 18, 2011, 15:43
 Prez
 
I like the tone of that article - "If you disagree with this, then you're part of the problem". That's a very handy debating position, if people agree you win and if people disagree, you win.

Yep. It's the tactic of an intellectually inferior malcontent.

And when did the gaming press become such frickin' whiny sissies? If I read one more article about "Boohoo - the poor taken-advantage-of women" someone is getting stabbed in the eye with a spork. Preferably the author of useless, shitastic pieces of "journalism" like this drek, but anyone will do.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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19.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 15:48
19.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 15:48
Dec 18, 2011, 15:48
 
Draugr wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:42:
Sexism may be an issue in other communities, but that doesn't mean we can't work on these issues in our own community.

in terms of priorities, its a fucking low one IMHO
20.
 
Re: nerds are sexist
Dec 18, 2011, 16:14
20.
Re: nerds are sexist Dec 18, 2011, 16:14
Dec 18, 2011, 16:14
 
space captain wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:39:
zirik wrote on Dec 18, 2011, 15:20:
you clearly did not read

my comment either, or perhaps you just cant understand it

yeah... next time you can elaborate on why you think the author has a reason for writing the article instead of just saying he has substance.
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