30 Days Of Sexism

This is just depressing. And not at all surprising.


Videogame culture is still one of the last bastions of “bro” behavior where talking about a woman’s appearance, or denigrating their appearance, or threatening some kind of violence is still acceptable on some level.

Odds are these boys* wouldn’t ask a female barista if they could see some cleavage. Odds are they wouldn’t ask a female co-worker if they swallowed. And if someone said something like this to their mother or sister, odds are that they would be pretty pissed.

But if a woman deigns to have an opinion on a video game, or compete in multi-player, or work for a videogame company, it is apparently open season.

And this hurts us on many levels.

It’s an attack on the basic decency and humanity you wish everyone would possess and exhibit. It coarsens the public arena and, when it is tolerated, reinforces this idiotic and pathetic behavior.

It also chases away talented women from the videogame industry. And that deprives us all. We need multiple viewpoints to make great games. Some of the best games in the early days of gaming, games that made young kids want to create games, came from women like Carol Shaw and Roberta Williams. Portal exists because of Kim Swift.  But when you tolerate the kind of behavior that reduces women to fetishes, you will lose that talent. And you create a more myopic industry that says it understands the problem but really doesn’t. Like Crystal Dynamics thinking that they were being progressive and empowering by having Lara Croft almost get raped in the new Tomb Raider.

And as video games become ever more prevalent in our lives, their influence over popular culture, and our society overall, will increase. And if that influence is not only lacking in contributions and input from women, but is actively objectifying and degrading women, then women are going to be treated even worse than they are now.

The best way to combat this? Call the behavior out when it happens. Just like Alanah did in her piece. Like Anita Sarkeesian did when she was attacked with some of the most vile rhetoric ever for daring to start a Kickstarter to examine gender roles in video games. Like Brenda Romero did in quitting the IGDA after their party at the Game Developers Conference involving hiring scantily-clad dancers.


And frankly, men have to step up to the plate as well and call this garbage out. Because our silence on the matter can be just as damaging. Silence can be seen as approval. And we have to strive to make sure that doesn’t happen.


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* I say boys specifically because men - actual men - don’t say this kind of stupid shit or act like a prepubescent asshole.

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    Couldn’t have put it better myself
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