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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry 962

Posted by Soulskill
from the requiring-a-cultural-shift dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Brianna Wu, leader of a game development studio, has an article exposing the constant harassment of women in the games industry. She says, "I'm not writing this piece to evoke your sympathy. I'm writing to share with you what prominent, successful women in the industry experience, in their own words." She goes through the individual stories of several women targeted by this vitriol, and tries to figure out why it happens. Quoting: "We live in a society that's sexist in ways it doesn't understand. One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women. ... This is why women are socialized to carefully dance around these issues, disagreeing with men in an extremely gentle manner. Not because women are nicer creatures than men. But because our very survival can depend on it. ... Growing a thicker skin isn't the answer, nor is it a proper response. Listening, and making the industry safer for the existence of visible women is the best, and only, way forward."
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

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  • Pft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:11PM (#47511471)

    It isn't only women who dance around issues when socializing with the other sex. Men gets very soft around women. If you think they have a harassing attitude you should see how men treat other men.

  • How do you (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:13PM (#47511487)

    How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man? We are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women, can you really say thats not true without becoming another "point of proof" that they have?

  • Occams Scalpel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik (635988) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:25PM (#47511549)

    Just how annoying is this person that she generates that kind of hate ?

    I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fulminata (999320) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:25PM (#47511553)
    She's not talking about comments like "nice ass" as much as she's talking about comments like "die, you fucking cunt!"
  • Re:Pft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Boronx (228853) <evonreis@NOSpAm.mohr-engineering.com> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:26PM (#47511561) Homepage Journal

    Uh yeah. In case you didn't notice, men killing women is kind of a problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:27PM (#47511571)

    No one deserves to be sexually harassed. End of story.

  • Re:How do you (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:27PM (#47511573)

    Why do you feel you have to defend yourself against accusations like this? Have they been leveled at you?

    Perhaps if they have, you should "defend" yourself by knocking that shit off?

    I've been in the tech industry for 18 years... worked with hundreds of different women over that time. Not once have I ever felt the need to "defend myself against accusations like this." Why? Because it's pretty easy to avoid being a condescending sexist asshole, when you stop behaving like every woman is put here for the sole purpose of your sexual gratification.

  • Re:How do you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:27PM (#47511575) Journal

    How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man? We are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women, can you really say thats not true without becoming another "point of proof" that they have?

    Well, the most obvious step is to distinguish between "That's not true of me" and "That's not true". The first statement(while not always accurate) is much easier to confirm or deny. Plus, you aren't immediately put in the position of having to 'win' the debate in order to lay out your own position. If you immediately conflate population-level complaints with personal complaints, you end up taking on a markedly larger and more challenging position.

    It may also be true that you suspect the harassment to be the work of a vocal and dedicated minority(and it would actually be rather interesting to see what the logs say about troll distribution in various internet locations) rather than a general thing; but you still gain nothing by tying the desire to defend yourself with the desire to defend a population.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarSpiteX (98591) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:30PM (#47511597) Homepage

    We're talking about work.

    FYI, men killing men is a much bigger problem.

  • Re:Pft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by toejam13 (958243) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:33PM (#47511613)

    Melodramatic? Have you ever listened to the audio chats of FPS co-op games when women are playing with men? I've heard guys who threatened to hunt down their female opponents so they could rape them and murder them just because they got their ass handed to them in a game. That is not juvenile "boys will be boys" behavior. That's somebody who might violently act out if the right circumstances (alcohol, drugs, peer pressure, stress, etc..) were to happen.

    That's just gaming. You should read some of the stories about women who get involved in politics. Some people get really unhinged when you attack their personal values. Then you have some guys who go completely off the deep end when it is a woman doing it. Threats of murder come quickly and often. It is sadistic and it is ugly.

  • Re:How do you (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WarSpiteX (98591) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:33PM (#47511617) Homepage

    Why does she get to stereotype men? Why do women get to put all their problems on men? When men do this, we're misogynistic. When women do this, well, men need to be more sensitive.

  • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:34PM (#47511623)

    Ya I think the problem is that forums bring out people who say some truly terrible things, and there isn't really much you can do about it. They say stuff to men too - but it's more death threats than sexist, and they say racist things to (or about) blacks and jews, muslims, latinos, and the chinese too.

    The perils of anonymity I suppose.

    It's not like it isn't a valid concern that people are out saying these things, but jews and blacks essentially face the same problem: if you go and look at a few hundred or a few thousand internet comments on any post there will be a couple of things that are basically just crazy people rambling. Unfortunately you don't know when random crazy people rambling on forums are actually a threat (if ever), and that they exist and want to say those things at all is a bit of an existential threat to your general day to day existence.

    There isn't really an obvious prescription. You can educate people all you want about not saying offensive things, but a small handful of people will continue to say offensive things because they're trying to be offensive. And the anonymity of the internet lets you say both unpopular things which are valid, and unpopular things which are just nonsense.

  • Re:How do you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:36PM (#47511643)

    How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man?

    You don't bother. You have no obligation to respond to her complaints if you don't feel like it.

  • by quintesse (654840) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:41PM (#47511687)

    And seeing the reactions so far not much is going to change about this shit. Disappointingly few people are even willing to entertain the possibility that the story might actually be true. Only coming up with excuses, bogus counter-examples ("I'm a guy who knows some women and I've never seen this happen") or just outright hatred and scorn. Way to go guys!

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:48PM (#47511737)

    I'll admit I was a little relieved after actually reading the article. I assumed it was talking about harassment of male game developers towards female coworkers, which would have really surprised me. I've worked in the industry for over fifteen years, and I've never even heard of any sort of sexism toward the women that were employed alongside me. It simply wouldn't have been tolerated at the places I've worked, so far as I know, and that's a good thing. While the programming department was, of course, largely male, the other departments (art, design, writing, production) were more evenly split. Everyone I've known has valued talent and hard work, and gender was pretty much an afterthought, at least so far as I could tell. Then again, I'm a guy, so I'm probably not quite as attuned to that sort of thing.

    In fact, the article seems to be mostly about women (largely in the gaming press) interacting with the still-all-too-ugly disposition of the anonymous hoards of gaming fans that interact with them. That made a bit more sense to me, unfortunately, as such women are by nature already public figures, and will probably attract a lot more bile. Let's face it. People on the internet, including (especially?) gamers, are not only sexist, they're racist, homophobic, and unbelievably cruel at time. I care a lot about the gaming culture and community, and it pains me to admit this. There's a shocking disconnect between what would be acceptable in real life versus what's said online. I'd imagine very few of those idiots would ever have the courage to say those things to someone's face.

    The only way to deal with this is absolute zero tolerance policies, at least on forums (literal or otherwise) that you have any control over. There's simply no excuse for this sort of behavior. The internet could really stand to collectively grow up a little, and realize that being anonymous shouldn't give you a free license to be an asshat. Frankly, I don't think that "normal" people turn into foul-mouth talking assholes when online and anonymous [penny-arcade.com]. My feeling is that they were assholes to begin with, but just didn't have the courage to say those things to anyone's face. These folks are not going to go away, I'm sorry to say. It would be nice if human nature could evolve a bit. But that doesn't mean anyone has to put up with this sort of shit any more than necessary. I'm also sorry to say that as a man, I'm pretty sure I'll never understand how a woman feels when she goes through something like this, and it makes me angry that so many would have to.

  • Re:How do you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kentrel (526003) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @07:52PM (#47511763) Journal
    Well, it's a logical fallacy, called Poisoning the Well. You discredit what a person might say later by misrepresenting them now. You calmly and rationally tell them that it's a logical fallacy, and that's how you defend it.

    I remember in the old days of debating on the internet logical fallacies were referenced a lot. I remember Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit getting a lot of hits when arguments got emotional. It doesn't happen so much anymore, because there's a large influx of people making highly emotive arguments but without much discipline in reasoned arguments. They may make valid points, but when they don't you should point out the logical fallacies in their reasoning. We're all prone to logical fallacies, so it's healthy for debate overall.
  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:00PM (#47511821) Journal

    She's not talking about comments like "nice ass" as much as she's talking about comments like "die, you fucking cunt!"

    Why is this moderated troll?

    The very first paragraph of the article says she got a death threat and that they know where she lives. Do people even read the articles before moderating anymore?

  • Re:Occams Scalpel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland @ y a hoo.com> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:01PM (#47511827) Homepage Journal

    She has death threats sent to her phone. This isn't just an internet forum issue, and it isn't just her.
    I have a daughter, she gets iot, her friends get it, I know 45 year old women who get attacked like this.

    You're attitude is a large part of the problem. You have substituted actual think with some sort of ad hom.

    It is industry wide, gaming culture wide.

  • Re:How do you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by exomondo (1725132) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:02PM (#47511833)

    It's sexist statements like this that cause a lack of sympathy in the first place:

    One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women

    This is something that is simply not true of all men so why make statements like that? Do you really expect people to actively defend your cause if you are openly hostile to them just because of they are of the same gender as the people you have a problem with? That's a terrible start to conflict resolution.

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <`gro.oc-onpt' `ta' `ydenneks'> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:10PM (#47511891) Homepage

    Is this what we've come to? Pretending online trolls are a problem specifically for women?

    Here's a hint for the author of that article: Trolls are adept at identifying that which will get under your skin, and will hit that button repeatedly as long as it keeps spitting out a pellet ( much like this article ). If we're going to generalize it, men don't get this particular brand of trollling because it doesn't work on us. Ultimately, it has very little to do with sexism.

    But no; let's work on trying to make ourselves a better brand of troll. Let me know how that works out for you.

    ( and no; had the author been a man, I'd have responded in the same manner )

  • Re:Pft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:13PM (#47511915) Homepage

    Nice being a straight cis white male when a venue is dominated by other straight cis white males, isn't it?

    And just to make clear, the problem of insulting people isn't along the lines of "ching chong chow chee" or whatnot. The problem case is along the lines of:

    Scenario 1:

    Man: "What does that do? Sorry, I don't know perl."
    Crowd: "You don't know perl? Geez, you're stupid."

    Scenario 2:

    Woman: "What does that do? Sorry, I don't know perl."
    Crowd: "Geez, women are stupid."

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:14PM (#47511927)

    men say this stuff to other men all the time.

    You don't think men call other men bitches, cunts, etc in games? The abuse is pretty common.

    The difference here as usual is that women expect to be treated differently. They don't think that's what they want but it is actually what they want.

    And I'm okay with treating women better. However, if that's the new rule, then women need to acknowledge it. That's the only price. If women so much as acknowledge that men are treating them with kid gloves it short circuits most of the PC equality arguments.

    As it should.

    If women don't want that and want to be treated equal... then fine... but that means not complaining when you're treated like a man. Which is going to mean getting cussed out by people that will LAUGH at you when you cry. People that will show you ZERO pity when you break down. People that will if anything hold you in contempt for being so weak.

    Are you prepared for that ladies? If so... game on.

    If not... completely fine. But then we're playing by the old rules of male/female relations. Which means you're just a girl.

    We've seen this PC crap try to gain purchase in the tech community for years. Linus Thorvald recently got told to be nicer women and that he shouldn't cus out people that he thinks are doing a crappy job.

    He told her that she wasn't tolerating his culture and his way of doing things... and that he wasn't going to change anything.

    I'll hold the same position here for the same reasons. If the girls want to be treated like girls then that's fine. If they want to be treated like men, that's fine. But stop trying to eat your man cake and have your girl perks too. Its either/or.

  • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:16PM (#47511939)

    anecdotes

    Prove very little and when published in a form like this prove even less. Sexual harassment and assault [preventconnect.org] are highly politicized and in many cases overstated. [forbes.com] When the mere accusation of sexual harassment in the form of making dongle jokes in a private conversation can end careers it's blatant sexism to claim it's not taken seriously enough. Sexism? yes: spreading fear that men are abusive and dangerous.

    Ive personally never heard of a man in the games industry getting rape threats for having an opinion.

    Death threats are every bit as common. Being a different gender means the hatred may be sexualized. "No rape threats against men" is a piss poor measure. How about coming up with some actual numbers reflecting the supposedly heightened hostility against women? Because no I won't take your word for it.

    Many men believe women have no worth in the games industry beyond appearance.
    The video game industry is particularly egregious at only representing women as sex objects. As such, many gamers are trained to only see women in that context.

    Would you care to back that up with facts? A survey maybe? Because it sounds like you pulled it straight from whence many of your other claims come. One sexist asshole does not a culture make. There are many games with strong [cheatcc.com]female characters. And don't say sexy clothes prove gamers are sexist unless you want to talk about the thousands of hulking, musclebound men in games.

    This kind of harassment leaves long-lasting damage. It affects our friendships, and can cause us to be distant from others.

    So your overly sensitive friend proves that the same hatred is worse when leveled against women? Equality means standing up for yourself. If you want to be a damsel in distress you don't want equality.

    Women in the industry are told by men what is valid for us to feel.

    No, women in general are told they're special and need everyone to cater to them. Then the gaming industry didn't cater as much garnering feminist ire. You can feel whatever you want but so can I.

  • Re:Occams Scalpel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rabtech (223758) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:22PM (#47511989) Homepage

    Just how annoying is this person that she generates that kind of hate ?

    I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

    Says the person who's never been publicly visible. No matter who you are, what your personality is, etc there will always be some people out there that don't like you, won't hire you, or otherwise throw negativity your way even if you've done absolutely nothing to earn their hate.

    Your reaction is what I've noticed most women get if they even gently bring something up. It's 100% complete denial and blame the messenger.

    What I can't figure out is why? I'm a guy, I'm a software developer. I like to work off data. Every single even halfway notable woman I've seen or talked to from conferences in person to online forums and Twitter all tell the same story: massive ongoing campaigns of harassment. The quantity only varies with the topic under discussion. Even the women developers I've worked with who aren't famous have multiple stories of being threatened with rape, patted on the head and dismissed in a meeting with colleagues, having their boobs grabbed at conferences, etc.

    True, this behavior may be a small group of bad apples, but by denying the problem exists at all you're enabling those bad apples to continue doing what they do. You don't need to do much to be part of the solution, just admit you're not a woman and don't actually know what women experience when other men aren't watching and that there's so much smoke from almost every single woman in tech it is highly probable there is fire.

    Seriously, why can't we just admit women catch a lot of shit just for being women in tech? No one is claiming they shouldn't catch shit for having stupid ideas or writing bad code. No one is claiming you can't ask women out or you have to be some kind of PC choir boy for fear of offending someone. What is this irrational urge to deny, deny, deny?

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:24PM (#47511997) Homepage

    You realize that there's more difference between your average man and your average woman than between your average NFL linebacker and your average man, right? (seriously, compare the stats some time - height, average bench strength, etc). You do realize how commonly women are raped and abused by men, and how they might happen to be more sensitive to the implicit or explicit threats of violence from someone that they're highly unlikely to be able to fight off?

    I'm tall, 182 centimeters, and I still once had a guy literally pick me up and carry me back to his apartment when I tried to walk away from him.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:25PM (#47511999)

    If you genuinely get threatened, and think you have a case, go to the police.

    We're not the police.

    And we don't believe a word of the murder epidemic that this article is trying to push, because it doesn't pan out in real life.

    There isn't an epidemic of gamer murders.

    It's bullshit. You're pushing bullshit.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:28PM (#47512025)

    Before I read the article, before I decided whether there was a legitimate point, before I even had a chance to introspect whether or not I, personally, held some socially unacceptable viewpoints at an unconscious level, before all this, I saw the trigger warnings.

    So before I read the article and judge it on it's own merits, let me talk about trigger warnings for a second, and what they seem to say.

    My own personal experience with them tends to be very limited, but a casual perusal indicates that the vast majority of users appear to promote misandry - that is, man-hating - as an acceptable form of discrimination. There appears to be a fundamental belief that males, either consciously or not, are simply evil, often comically so. One site even referred to consensual, loving, heterosexual sex as "a man masturbating into a woman," and the author indicated their belief that any male-female interaction was one form of abuse or another, with the woman always the victim.

    For lack of a better phrase, this level of irrational hate has become their religion, and it colors their views. Like the person who only has a hammer in their tool box, every problem appears to be a because-of-man nail, and we know how well that sort of thinking works.

    So what the trigger warnings before this article seems to say is "I have a better chance of getting truthful and unbiased coverage from Fox News in an election year than I do of finding the barest glimmer of a hint of truth in the following text."

  • Hypothetical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rabtech (223758) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:29PM (#47512031) Homepage

    For all of you trying to turn this into a men's rights issue, just stop.

    You're embarrassing my gender.

      Yes there are some unfair things that happen to men. Yes there are some real issues.

    But we aren't talking about those issues right here in this post. We're talking about women right now, so let's stick to the topic.

      Even as a man I find it highly annoying that the Internet jackass squad has to jump into the middle of every single conversation about women and cry "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?!?!". Just fucking stop it already. Write your own blog post about men's issues and submit it to slashdot and we can discuss it over there.

  • Re:Pft (Score:1, Insightful)

    by c6gunner (950153) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:40PM (#47512071)

    You realize that there's more difference between your average man and your average woman than between your average NFL linebacker and your average man, right?

    Oh, geeze, don't let a feminist hear you say that! Every time someone suggests women maybe aren't suitable to being firefighters or combat soldiers, the wymins go apeshit.

    You do realize how commonly women are raped and abused by men, and how they might happen to be more sensitive to the implicit or explicit threats of violence from someone that they're highly unlikely to be able to fight off?

    According to the newest stats, not really that much more often than men are abused or raped by women. Domestic violence cases split almost 50/50. Sexual violence victims are still mostly women, but men come in very close behind now that we've stopped defining "rape" in a way that makes it impossible for women to be rapists.

    And men being abused by men ... holy shit. If we took your approach, every man in the world should be "more sensitive to the imiplicit or explicit threats of violence", to the point where we'd pee our pants as soon as another man looked at us funny.

    Difference is, men don't try to justify freaking out and overreacting by pointing to statistics. And neither do most women, for that matter; the ones who do are just a very loud minority.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarSpiteX (98591) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @08:43PM (#47512093) Homepage

    So *what* how they phrase it?

    If you were Black Man who doesn't know perl, the crowd answer would be "dumb nigger".

    People are assholes. They'll just pick on whatever is different about you.

  • Re:Pft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @09:17PM (#47512267)

    Scenario 2 is basically what feminists are doing to men. A few men do something, and now suddenly we need pervasive, invasive, due process rights destroying changes to the law, making it toxic for ALL men. We're also supposed to accept the denigration of masculinity in all aspects of culture and life as some kind of penance. Those who question it are labeled misogynists. Fuck that.

    I'll bet that the anecdotes depicted in this article were actually subjected to scenario 1, and took it personally instead of constructively. The reality is that ALL developers get trash talk like that, not just women. I don't see why they should be singled out for special sympathy. Even developers of successful games get vitriol from some players. If the game sucks, the devs get more. We don't sympathize with derek smart do we?

    I'm tired of being told both that women are 'equals' while also being told that I'm responsible for their emotional well being. Either women are adults or they are children. They need to decide which way they want to be treated. The fact that comments have been disabled on the article speaks volumes about the logical integrity of the post.

  • Re:Pft (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @09:26PM (#47512299)

    And when you were being carried you could have ripped his ears off or dug your fingers in and starting ripping flesh off? I keep hearing people talking about equality then saying all females need protecting from males by males. You can't have it both ways. Your security is only your problem. If you're concerned about being attacked, you learn martial arts to help mitigate that risk. If you don't think it's worth your time to do that, then you're not too concerned. People make time for the important things in their life. Males don't whine about them not being able to defend themselves from someone stronger, they take action to learn how to defend themselves.

    It's strange how people always ignore most sex traits to claim males and females are equal in all abilities, except strength. While true in the average sense, it's still an excuse.

  • Re:Pft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @09:36PM (#47512335)

    and if he grabbed a man by the throat, what would've happened? what if she assaulted him? what then? The difference in responses would be astronomical. 'Real companies' just don't want lawsuits. The lawsuits come from badly written laws that give one side the upper hand by default, truth be damned, for the sake of votes. Those laws are sexist and should be stricken from the books. Real companies don't let the stakes get to the point where passive-aggressive social dynamics are causing employees to assault each other.

  • Re:Pft (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gmack (197796) <{ten.erifrenni} {ta} {kcamg}> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @09:39PM (#47512345) Homepage Journal

    I doubt it. You don't get a lot of men being asked If the carpet matches the drapes [youtube.com] I think the real problem with gamers in general is that you get a lot of "type A" competitive personalities without any social skills to temper their behavior. Throw in the fact that, for a lot of gamers their only actual experience of actual females is either from watching porn or interacting with booth babes and they just don't realize that both are fictional.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @09:43PM (#47512351)

    I want to do a point-by-point, but ... there is no point. This is just a hate speech, perhaps only good for it's cathartic effect.

    The bit where she indicates that harassment involving looks or those taunts of a sexual nature are unique to women because she hadn't heard of men being harassed was an impressive piece of ignorance, but itself only a single point adrift in a sea of wrong, and it'd take too long to wade through every one.

    That being said, I took special issue with the sub-section that starts out "People just don't understand," and is then followed by paragraph after paragraph of "men can't understand," or "men don't know this." The very design of this argument refutes rational discussion; make claim, then state men (and 'brainwashed' women) can't understand, if anyone disagrees - that is, does not completely accept male culpability regardless of their involvement - they are perpetuating the problem due to ignorance, if not malice, and their arguments are thus refuted. In this way one can neatly make a claim and deal with dissenters in a single fell stroke.

    I also noted that there wasn't a single constructive comment on how to fix this perceived problem. There were even references to pieces that had made suggestions, but this one in itself was simply a sort of angry screed against men.

    In summary; the article failed to present a real case that misogyny is the driving force behind harassment of specific individuals or that indeed, harassment of a given gender is either exclusive, endemic or systemic. If this was meant to spur a call to action, it was a poorly thought out exercise.

      - and I'm not saying that because she's female, either.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nut (19435) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:13PM (#47512499) Homepage

    ... one in every four women actually will be raped in their life ...

    citation needed.

  • Re:Pft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karmashock (2415832) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:13PM (#47512503)

    You're right, white men don't ever suffer insults or attacks on them simply for being white males.

    Oh wait, you just did that. This sort of crap is what white men have to deal with. This suggestion that everyone in the world is a victim except us.

    Everyone is deserving of all sorts of special considerations and we're deserving of nothing.

    If we complain its just a sign of our racism or sexism.

    Everyone is allowed to offer opinions about us. Tell us why we feel one way or another about anything. But if we try to say why someone else feels something then you say "You don't know what its like to not be a white man"...

    Well that's interesting. White men are apparently the only group of people on earth not gifted with fucking telepathy.

    People presume to tell us what we think and we're often not even allowed to say why we think something. How many times have white men been told that they don't even know how racist they are? That our racism or sexism is subconscious.

    Which means not only are we not allowed to say what other people think but we're not even afforded the right to say what WE think.

    And it is in this environment that you presume talk to us about all this PC bullshit?

    And they wonder why we get upset. Its bullshit. This is a bullshit issue. Ladies can toughen up like the men or admit they want to be treated differently and get treated like girls.

    Their choice. The big problem we keep running into over and over again is that people keep trying to eat their cake and have it too.

    People keep asking for equality AND special treatment. No.

    You're either equal or you're not.

    People keep asking for rights but take no responsibility for themselves. No.

    If you're not responsible for yourself then you're not entitled to the rights. An example would be children... they're not responsible and so they don't have adult level rights.

    Just what is... If you want the one you've got to pay with the other just like everyone else.

    I'm not asking for anything that I don't ask from myself.

    Oh I know, I'm a privileged white male and I don't know how hard it is... It doesn't matter. That argument just says you need protection. Fine. Happily provided. But the instant you cash that check the equality argument goes out the window. You're a protected class at that point. Not an equal.

  • This is bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:17PM (#47512527)

    This is why women are socialized to carefully dance around these issues, disagreeing with men in an extremely gentle manner. Not because women are nicer creatures than men. But because our very survival can depend on it. ... Growing a thicker skin isn't the answer, nor is it a proper response. Listening, and making the industry safer for the existence of visible women is the best, and only, way forward."

    These days, it's men who are being 'carefully socialized' to dance around feminist gynocentric expectations and value systems. I believe HR departments call it 'sensitivity training.' Since proof of guilt is rarely required, employment for men is now a mad dash in a mine field of passive aggressive barbs just waiting to trigger whenever a woman is pissed enough to throw the book at a man. we're told this is justified because men alone engage in this behavior en masse, and that women are (ironically) damsels in distress who have no say or part in their situations, nor are they capable of similar behavior. This crap flooded hollywood and tv in the 90s, and now we're getting the full deluge of the same propaganda in the gaming scene. What bullshit. Polygon loves it, though, as they post a lot of it. The fact they shut off comments for this article speaks volumes about its logical and probably factual integrity.

    We don't give people respect who haven't earned it and/or have given us reason to take it from them. Derek smart anyone? People still give john romero shit for daikatana even though he was a big part of the success of doom. He's revered for the good he's done and demonized for his stillborn shitpiles. This is how it's supposed to work. We're not supposed to hold some people above reproach based on their sexual organs or their race or any other irrelevant attribute, as that is the very definition of privilege. This makes the whole article 180 degrees out from the truth. Growing a thicker skin IS the answer as it allows one to stop and look at criticism objectively instead of immediately flying into a tantrum and/or a flurry of passive aggressive countermaneuvers. It allows one to ignore the ad hominems and other fallacies from any communication, whether it's well written constructive criticism or vitriolic trolling, and extract any truth from it.

    These days, we are seeing more and more extreme reactions for ever more mundane situations from a culture bred to be as intolerant of criticism as possible. Everything has to be positive. All the time. No 'negative nancies' or 'debbie downers' allowed. The fact this precludes talking about the truth of things more than 50% of the time is lost on these social engineers. All that matters to them are feelings and consensus; the facts and truth be damned.

    The term 'safer' here is used in place of 'more amenable' to make the situation sound more dire than it is. The bottom line is, very very very few men are truly guilty of assaulting women. I believe the stats on college campuses nationwide is 53 in one year...53 out of millions of students on thousands of campuses. This is NOT an epidemic, and I'll bet it's more than the number of assaults by male game developers and staff. If you are assaulted, don't whine on the internet. Call the police. The reason most of these women don't is because they know their claims are bullshit. Otherwise, they should act like the adults they want to be treated as, taking warranted criticism for what it is, regardless of format, and discarding the rest.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarSpiteX (98591) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:17PM (#47512529) Homepage

    You don't get a lot of women being told they're neckbearded losers living in their momma's basements because they have micropenises, either.

  • Re:Pft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by epyT-R (613989) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @10:24PM (#47512591)

    You gotta be careful though. What do you mean by 'social skills'? Some would say this means "you just need to know how to talk to women". Why doesn't this apply to women as well? The post itself mentions something about women having to 'talk nice' to men to be heard, and that it's oppressive. Sorry, but if it's good for the gander, then it's good for the goose.

    Of course men don't get asked that. Most men don't care about such things. The fact women get asked is because they typically DO care about such things. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging that humans are sexually dimorphic, each sex having different imperatives. Really, no one should be giving a shit about the carpet or drapes at work because they should be too busy working to notice.

    The rest of your statement is stereotyping, which is something else that feminists claim is oppressive. Why do you think it's ok to do it to men, or in this case, male gamers?

  • by rlh100 (695725) on Tuesday July 22, 2014 @11:41PM (#47512953) Homepage

    My daughter and I were talking about how much personally directed sexual violence geek girls must endure. She was talking about the obsessive personally detailed threats Anita Sarkeesian creator of Feminist Frequency endures from the male geek community on a continual basis. Some of these are threats include her personal details needed to carry them out. This is really scary stuff.
    We were talking about this and she casually let drop:
    "I received my first rape threat in a forum when I was eleven"

    She casually went on:
    "Eleven is the age when geek girls first start discovering the Internet and make their first posts. They comment on a game about some small feature they don't like. Some guy will flame them with a rape threat"

    This is very shocking for a dad to hear his daughter say. "My eleven year old little girl!" She is twice as old now. But her saying it so casually is deeply disturbing.

    My daughter has assimilated it. She has grown a "thick skin". I think she enjoys giving back as good as she gets. But not the violent rape stuff.

    It is very sad that the male geek culture permits such abuse to go on.
    We MEN need to start talking about this. We MEN need to ostracize the men who threaten rape.
    * It is never funny.
    * It is not "just a joke".
    * It is not harmless.

    It is really scary for geek girls because there is always a risk that it might be real. There are unbalanced men out there after all.

    How do I change this? I start by writing about it. I talk with other people. I try to get MEN to understand the problem and see how scary it is for women.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deathguppie (768263) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @12:19AM (#47513119)

    A certain part of what he said ( not all) does ring true to a lot of us (male devs).. if you've worked on games, and I've only worked on open source games. Then you've gotten hate mail. People say the rudest most hurtful things they can think of and target you. The first time it happened to me, I was angry, humiliated, stomped around the room.. it was awful. Then it happened again, and again.

    personally I would put the pornographic fanfic in a different category as the rest of the insults in the article simply because it didn't sound like it was someone just trying to insult the person. It just sounded creepy. I had a girl when I was in my twenties, whom I told that I wasn't interested in her that way call me repeatedly and just breath into the phone when I answered.. that was creepy. Being a guy didn't make me feel better about it either, I didn't know if she would try to cut my brake lines in my car, or burn my house down with me in it. It sucked.

    All of the things mentioned in the article are truly lame, and should never happen to anyone , but I don't see them as sexist per se. It's more just about how shitty the world is. Sexism, seems more about inequality. Women getting lesser pay, having less opportunity in the work place. That is something everyone can agree on. But if you just want to claim that all shitty things that happen to women are due to sexism, then everyone else is going to start thinking about all the shitty things that happen to them, and wonder why your shitty things should garner more special attention than any one else's. It sucks to have people single you out for insults, but it sucks worse when it's someone keeping you from getting a job, or a pay raise, or not allowing you to drive, or vote, or wear pants. That's sexism.

  • Re:Pft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @12:20AM (#47513121)

    Oh for fuck's sake.

    I never thought I'd see the day where I saw someone say "cis" on /.

    And get fucking upvoted as fucking insightful for it.

    Get your cute little unicorn-kin ass back to tumblr, pronto.

  • Re: Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kwbauer (1677400) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @12:42AM (#47513185)

    Awesome job proving his point!

  • Re:Pft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cowdung (702933) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @02:03AM (#47513393)

    That doesn't make it more acceptable. It means men don't only have to change the way they treat women.. they also have to change the way they treat other men.

  • Re:Pft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @04:36AM (#47513811)

    You seem amazingly defensive. You're willing, in terms of equality, to have stalkers keep sending you death threats months after your original blog posting, you're ok with getting threatened with rape at conferences or having the sweaty nerd press up against you until you acknowledge his presence?

    I have never worked at a place that tolerated any sort of abuse in the work place. So equality means no harassing females and claiming it's just guys exercising their masculinity and natural desires, because I've never worked anywhere that tolerated males harassing males, trash talking males, insulting males in any manner. The trash talking defense is misguided because that just does not happen in a professional workplace.

    Men do NOT have to toughen up in the work place, because we're not insulted at the workplace for being men. No one tells us to go back to the kitchen. And for sure no one tells a black man to get back to the fields at work if they don't want to be fired on the spot.

    And learn what equality is. Because you seem to think that equality means that everyone should act exactly as you do.

  • by goose-incarnated (1145029) <lelanthran.gmail@com> on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:28AM (#47513941) Homepage Journal

    Don't talk to many women do you? Just ask a woman. Ask your mother. I think you will be surprised how common it is.

    Ask simple questions like: Have you ever felt unsafe because of the comments men are making about you?

    I'm not responsible if you feel uncomfortable around me. Your feeling uncomfortable might be due to me actively working to make you uncomfortable, or it may just be you being paranoid.

    How often do you evaluate your personal security around men?

    Men evaluate their personal security around other men all the time. It's not sexist in any way if women do the same.

    Have you ever been sexually harassed?

    In online forums? All the time.

    Know a geek girl? Ask her: Have you ever been harassed with a rape threat because of a comment you made on line?

    As a man, I face violent threats all the time online. This includes death threats.

    Listen to the answers and then start looking at your own behavior. Why are you making it the women's problem rather than looking at your own behavior and beliefs?

    Because most people understand that your "feels" may not actually be rooted in anything I did. If my wife "feels" neglected, it's not necessarily a fact that I neglect her. If my wife "feels" unloved, it is not necessarily a fact that I do not love her. If a woman I talk to at work "feels" harassed, it is not necessarily a fact that I harassed her.

    The problem is that you are trying to make men responsible for the way women feel, and "feels" are an entirely subjective thing. When you can objectively measure on a proper granular scale how "loved", "creepy", etc a man is being (regardless of how the woman perceives it), then we can talk about whether it's a problem or not - until then it's all subjective and I see no reason for the female point of view into feelings to be more legitimate than the males point of view.

  • Re:Hypothetical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darinbob (1142669) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @05:36AM (#47513971)

    I don't worry about being embarrassed by my gender. I'm already too embarrassed by my species.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N1AK (864906) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @06:38AM (#47514155) Homepage

    If I write a gaming opinion piece called "Mens world: why game devs should ignore all whining women and focus on their main demographic" I'd also get a lot of angry mail and spiteful messages.

    And Martin Luther King got a whole lot of shit for highlighting the plight of black people; it doesn't mean he didn't have a point or that threatening to sexually assault or kill him should be brushed off as the inevitable consequence of his actions.

    I've seen enough sexist, aggressive or verbal, abuse of women by men which had nothing to do with the woman being a 'feminist' (like that could justify it regardless) to appreciate that sexism is an real issue that needs addressing. Obviously not everything that every man does is sexist, but when women have to put up with orders of magnitude more harrassment just because they're female, us men need to put aside our desire to defend our own reputation and realise that this shit has to stop.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:19AM (#47514257) Journal

    Because the man gets cused out every day

    Speak for yourself. I'm a man and I don't get subjected to this.

    Women don't want that. They want to be treated as like women AND be given the respect of men.

    No, wrong. Many women simply want to be treated as respected equals.

    Women will be protected from male society. We will protect you from our viciousness and brutality. And in return... you stay out of our business.

    Please take your male society very very far away from me. I want no part of it. And looking round my (almost exclusively male) office, no one I know here would want your wretched hole of what passes for some sort of society for you.

    Choose.

    I choose not to associate with people like you. You sound like you move in very unpleasant circles. I want no part of that.

  • Re:Pft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by martas (1439879) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:40AM (#47514343)
    His point is that they're not fuckwads because they're "sexist, racist, homopobic, tranphobic", but that they're "sexist, racist, homopobic, tranphobic" because they're fuckwads. Also, I think it's pretty funny that in the list of "teh patriarchy" adjectives, "cis" has become so standard despite referring to about 0.3% of the population. I guess the more victim classes you have, the stronger your case sounds. In which case, here are some other classes you could have used, thank me later: mentally ill, physically ill, young, old, bald, poorly endowed in the genital area, ugly, pretty, skinny, fat, redhead, bucktoothed, swole, hairy, flat-chested, less-than-fluent in the language being used, cross-eyed, far or near sighted, and virgin. And that's just off the top of my head, I'm sure I could come up with more.
  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @07:45AM (#47514363) Homepage

    I'll bet that the anecdotes depicted in this article were actually subjected to scenario 1, and took it personally instead of constructively.

    How do you take an email saying "Women are the niggers of gender. If you killed yourself, I wouldnâ(TM)t even fuck the corpse" constructively? How do you take people threatening to come to your house, complete with your home address, constructively? Why do so many of these kind people post their constructive criticism anonymously?

    A few men do something, and now suddenly we need pervasive, invasive, due process rights destroying changes to the law, making it toxic for ALL men.

    Bad laws are a problem in themselves, not a gender issue. Having said that I find that they are generally well balanced and fair in my country, and apply equally to both genders. I have benefited from them, and I'm male (e.g. I now get the same relaxed dress code as women do).

  • Re:Pft (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:00AM (#47514417) Homepage

    You don't get a lot of women being told they're neckbearded losers living in their momma's basements because they have micropenises, either.

    No, they get told they are ugly, nerdy, flat chested and unable to get a boyfriend. Different words, same bullshit.

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:06AM (#47514445) Homepage

    What do you mean by 'social skills'? Some would say this means "you just need to know how to talk to women". Why doesn't this apply to women as well? The post itself mentions something about women having to 'talk nice' to men to be heard, and that it's oppressive. Sorry, but if it's good for the gander, then it's good for the goose.

    The difference is that when people talk about men knowing how to talk to women they mean knowing how not to be insulting, lecherous dicks showing them with unwanted attention... You know, talking to them like they talk to other guys they have no sexual interest in, i.e. normally.

    When people talk about women knowing how to talk to men they mean women knowing how to talk extremely passively so as not to upset some apparently quite delicate feelings. It's the exact thing that a lot of men complain about - women being overly sensitive. The point she is making is that actually some men are at least as bad, and feel insulted and threatened when a women offers constructive criticism.

    You can see it all over the comments on this article. A woman dares to suggest that some men are being arseholes when they made credible threats to rape and murder her, and suddenly all these guys get defensive and upset instead of just saying "yeah, maybe people shouldn't do that."

  • Re:Pft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kielistic (1273232) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @08:42AM (#47514579)

    Ah yes, the old "sometimes a white man gets shit so sexism and racism doesn't exist" argument. You do know that's an unsound argument, right?

    You do know that's not what the poster was saying at all, right? You do know that strawmaning is an unsound argument, right?

    You continually repeat that white men don't deal with these issues. Then when a white man comes out a says "well actually I do have to deal with those issues" you insult them and say they're implying racism/sexism doesn't exit.

    Congrats on exemplifying exactly why the parent poster is so fed up with you idiots.

  • Re:Pft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday July 23, 2014 @11:35AM (#47515849)

    You realize that there's more difference between your average man and your average woman than between your average NFL linebacker and your average man, right? (seriously, compare the stats some time - height, average bench strength, etc). You do realize how commonly women are raped and abused by men, and how they might happen to be more sensitive to the implicit or explicit threats of violence from someone that they're highly unlikely to be able to fight off?

    You know, if you complain about violence against your group yet dismiss violence against another group as inconsequential, you aren't likely to get - or deserve, for that matter - much sympathy, especially from that other group.

    This is something many feminists - and other rights groups as well - seem to be unable to comprehend: you can get most people to back equality. You can't get them to back a power grab. No matter how justified you believe yourself, if you dismiss everyone's pain but yours then of course they're going to dismiss yours, and rightly so.

    I'm tall, 182 centimeters, and I still once had a guy literally pick me up and carry me back to his apartment when I tried to walk away from him.

    And I had a guy pull a knife on me. But that doesn't matter since I'm a man, and thus don't have a woman's sensitivity, right? Testicles make me immune to fear and pain, thus violence and threats against me don't count. Only real human beings like you matter. I can bloody well just "stop being a sissy", since unlike you, I don't have feelings. Someone attacking you is a tragedy, but someone attacking me is of no importance because, after all, I have a penis.

    Sexist creep.

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