Saw this on Twitter this evening and got to thinking.
The topmost tweet is that one that caught my attention. I’ll quote it in case it’s difficult to read.
Most gamers seem to support equality feminism. What they reject is today’s male-bashing, propaganda-driven, female chauvinism.
I read a lot of claims about “modern feminism” or “3rd wave feminism” or even “4th wave feminism” being somehow separate from “equality feminism”, but I don’t usually see much else. It’s just sort of thrown out as though it’s self-evident that mainstream feminism today has abandoned the old standard of “the radical notion that women are people” and become an excuse for male-bashing by ugly, uppity women.
Actually, I’m pretty sure people have been saying that about women’s rights movements since before “feminism” was a word.
Honestly I do have an actual point to get to, but first I have to wonder: is “male-bashing, propaganda-driven, female chauvinism” actually a thing? I mean, I’ve seen a couple of websites that describe themselves as “radical feminists” and do seem to be openly hostile towards men, but they seem to be fairly isolated and don’t attempt to, you know, actually oppress men in any way. I just haven’t seen any of this male-bashing in a position of actual influence, you see, and certainly not to the point that you could describe it as though it were the primary voice of feminism today.
But moving on, the bottommost tweet added some context, which really must be appreciated.
I always expected other liberal-minded scholars to join me in exposing 3rd wave feminist lunacy.Never happened.But now the gamers r here.
Just so we’re clear, is there some other clash between feminists and gamers, or is she actually talking about the waves of hate and abuse Anita Sarkeesian has been receiving for the heinous crime of creating a video series examining common sexist tropes in video games? You know, the shit that’s gotten so bad that blogging about the death threats she’s received is enough to bring death threats of your own down on you?
Because to be honest, I’m not really seeing that as “exposing 3rd wave feminist lunacy”. Not even a little. It really looks like pure reactionary anger to me.
Look, I’m not all-knowing. Maybe I’ve missed some vital context here.
Truth is, lately I’ve gotten lazy about checking sources & background on anything to do with feminism, because it’s always boiled down to a bunch of guys with a sense of entitlement whining. I think the turning point was a kerfluffle about a conference instituting a sexual harassment policy for the first time. The outcry wasn’t over the content or implementation of the new policy, it was that they had a sexual harassment policy at all.
Not that it’s really relevant, but from what I recall the policy itself was pretty boilerplate. Instructions to staff dealing with complaints were basically, “Document everything, and call the police if someone asks you to.”
It’s gotten increasingly difficult for me to take this sort of thing seriously since then.
This is not a safe post. The links which follow contain real people sharing their stories of rape, and reading them made me feel seriously sick.
It started here, with one woman telling her story in a blog post. The times she was raped, the results of reporting or not reporting it, the reactions, the fallout. It’s hard enough to read just on its own. And then there are the comments, see people read the comments and felt a need to share their stories. So there are more on that site than just Elyse’s. But see, I didn’t go to the Skepchick site today, I saw that from this post on Pharyngula, which has a large and well-established crowd of commenters, who have also chimed in with their stories.
At this point I’ve read them all. I felt like I had to, like I somehow owed it to these people to read their stories.
And it’s awful.
There are so many of them, and there are so many similarities between them. Elyse talked about “the script”, and how it needs to be rewritten, and after you read ten or twelve of those stories you see her point. Because the parts that are most similar aren’t the rapes themselves, but the attitudes of everyone else. The third-parties, police and friends and family and witnesses, these are where you see the same things over and over. This is where there’s a script people are following.
I don’t have any witty snark or words of wisdom to add. I just feel hollow and sick after reading all those stories. I’m going to finish up here, take a shower, and curl up with a book.
I will, however, first post a few hopefully useful links. Here’s a summary of the Crystal Clear Consent rules that the Pharyngulite Horde are working on, with links to the ongoing discussion and refinement of same. And here’s a link to a useful part of the National Domestic Violence Hotline website which I also found in the comments and thought was worth passing along.
That’s all I have for now. Feel free to comment, but don’t expect me to respond tonight.
Take care of yourselves, and take care of each other.
I’ve been thinking I should say something about the Steubenville verdict. Or rather the various reactions to it. It’s a difficult issue to discuss, and it seems like everything I could say has already been said better than I could. But that’s no excuse to hold my tongue.