mrkjad said: Dear Mr Gaider, I'm very curious what do you think about Anita Sarkeesian's video series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" especially since she often speaks about BioWare games.
I think they’re quite thought-provoking. While I don’t always agree with her conclusions, I tend to agree more often than not… and, even if I didn’t, I fully support her right to ask these questions even about games on which I’ve worked or which I love.
The guys who defend their vile rhetoric (or outright abuse) regarding Anita with “because I think she’s wrong” clearly never grew out of the kindergarten-level mentality which says the only way to disagree with someone is to punch them in the face.
In fact, now that I consider it, I’ve seen children in kindergarten with better conflict resolution skills, so it’s more likely these guys are just assholes. They feel impotent in every other aspect of their life and are thus desperate to feel manly by lashing out at someone they’ve built up as a villain in their heads… and nobody took them aside in the schoolyard to educate them that hitting a girl is, without question, the least manly thing you can do, no matter what you think she’s done.
Either way, the videos are worth a watch. Those who don’t know about them can catch them on the Feminist Frequency channel here.
Mr. Gaider, to think that you would insult a group of people baselessly and with such vitriol is… greatly disappointing; especially since you’ve been one of my favourite video game writers since I bought Dragon Age Origins. You paint all disagreement with Sarkeesian as bullying, demeaning, disrespectful and baseless.
Sad to say, there were quite a few reactionaries in the early days of her infamy that were bullying and threatening and this is a stain on video game discourse in general. Worse yet it allows people to paint any criticism of Sarkeesian’s information as sexist bullies — much as you hear for just about any criticism leveled against any claim made by any feminist. This constant act of Strawmanning that you just took part in, is a great disservice to honest and reasonable discourse everywhere.
Is some of criticism against her disrespectful? Yes, absolutely; know why? Well, Mr. Gaider you’ve been working on a game where the is a focus on taking action to grow your organization’s influence in the world, so surely you must understand that respect needs to be earned not simply given.
Anita Sarkeesian has given no one any reason to respect her; her cherry-picking of facts and manipulation of information to always make her and her causes look victimized is simply disdainful. I refer you to the video below — in which her work is deconstructed thoroughly and without vitriol.
No one doesn’t support her right to ask her questions, what people take issue with is her spreading of misinformation and her portrayal of everything as victimizing women, and while there most certainly is still some victimization and marginalization of women in media, the idea that it is some all-encompassing, monolithic structure in media anymore is utterly false.
I would also ask you about this statement “and nobody took them aside in the schoolyard to educate them that hitting a girl is, without question, the least many thing you can do, no matter what you think she’s done.” Why is it only ‘hitting a girl’? Should it not be ‘hitting anyone’ — though I disagree that there is never a reason to hit someone, I will agree that out of a philosophical difference is never acceptable — why should that statement only apply to women? Men, women and any non-binary person should all be equally protected from violence. We ought to live in a society where all people are treated equitably; putting such a strong focus on any one group within is, in truth, detrimental to that cause.
In short Mr. Gaider, while you personally do have my respect and admiration, the way you portray any disagreement with Ms. Sarkeesian is entirely assinine and I hope to see some evolution from you on this matter. Thank you for your time.
I did not portray “any disagreement” with Anita as anything. I said those who use vile rhetoric or outright abuse. Why you’d choose to lump yourself in with those you yourself call a stain on video game discourse, I can’t really imagine. You’re not one of those people? Awesome. You disagree with Anita, and can do so in a respectful manner? Even better.
Because you’re wrong about one thing. Respect does not need to be earned. You shouldn’t have to go out of your way to prove that you deserve to be treated in a respectful manner. Unless you’re confusing respect with admiration, that should be pretty clear.
As for “why is it only hitting a girl?” — come on, man. Seriously? Yes, you are absolutely correct that it’s not okay to hit anyone… but if there are men out there who didn’t figure out at some point that it is indeed worse when their target is a woman then they simply don’t know what it actually means to be a man. Worse, they aren’t listening when a woman says it is not the same as when the situation is reversed. Because it isn’t. I learned that in the schoolyard—why didn’t you?
(I could not make this shit up)
My apartment has windows facing the street, meaning I can hear pretty much everything that happens on the sidewalk beneath them. And this morning, just as my side of the street was getting the cars cleared for street cleaning, I heard some dude outside go, “C’mon, I just want your number, is that so much to ask? You’re so pretty, you know?”
Well, in light of recent conversations, I was like RED ALERT, and bustled my nosy butt outside to see what was up. Sure enough, a guy in his mid-to-late thirties had stopped his car, gotten out, and was now following a girl down the street. And when I say a girl, I mean a teenager.
Now, I’m brave and stuff, but this guy had shown himself willing to go so far outside the socially acceptable boundaries of behavior that I was pretty sure if I called him on this he wouldn’t take it well, and I was weighing my options when, like an angel of mercy and goodness, a parking enforcement officer came rolling up and she got out. First she saw me and was like, “Is this your car?”
And I was like, “It belongs to that guy down the street hassling that girl.”
And bless this woman’s heart, she gave this great eyebrow and was like, “EXCUSE ME SIR, UNLESS YOU WANT A $75 TICKET I SUGGEST YOU MOVE.”
I will give him credit for balls of steel, because he actually said, “Hold on one minute, I’m talking to my friend,” which, NOPE.
Fortunately the officer is like, “Sure, I’ll wait a minute, and in the meantime I’ll be writing you this ticket.”
So the dude goes grumbling back to his car, and of course he can’t park it anywhere nearby, so he drives off. In the meantime, I ask the girl if she wants to come inside for a minute to make sure the dude left, which she did, and sure enough DUDE CIRCLED AROUND THE BLOCK LOOKING FOR HER (I watched him while the girl was inside getting acquainted with my dog) before taking off. The girl is 18, she didn’t know the guy, and the whole time I was driving her to her brother’s house she kept trying to figure out what she’d done wrong.
Not all men harass women. But all women - and girls - are harassed by men.