Misogyny: Every Little Bit Matters

I have been forced, through sheer volume of Twitter exposure, to learn what #Gamergate is.

I’m not a gamer. Never have been. I have no reason to take any interest at all in the internal politics of the gaming community. But there’s this stupid hashtag peppering my Twitter feed, compelling me to find out what the hell it means.

Well, sort of. I know what some of its proponents say it means and I know what basically all of its opponents say it means. To be frank, I don’t care how it started (actually, given that the term was coined by Adam Baldwin, I’m actively bummed to know how it started) or whether the original accusation of bias has any merit (seems like it doesn’t, but I’m not going to do enough research to be able to speak with any authority on that). Here’s what I care about: Gamergate, either by evolution or by design, is rife with enthusiastic misogyny. Its banner has flown above threats of rape, murder and at least one full-on terrorist attack. Feminists are the enemy and silencing them is way up there on the to do list.

If you’ve ever wondered why I have taken such a big interest in the issue of NHL ‘ice girls,’ this is why.

It’s because video games are rife with sexist tropes, and when a woman speaks too loudly about that topic she is driven from her home. Gamergate is a horror show of circular misogyny, in which a segment of the population so values its god-given right to demean women that it responds to any threat to that ‘right’ not by rethinking the practice, but rather by upping the ante and putting individual women in real danger of bodily harm (to say nothing of the relentless psychological abuse raining down on these women).

‘Ice girls’ are one part – a small part, perhaps, but a part – of why some men believe so deeply that they are more human than women are. ‘Ice girls,’ NFL cheerleaders, movie damsels in distress, video game hookers, everyone pictured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition: All are defined entirely by whether or not they’re pleasing to men, and by how men choose to react to them. This isn’t about actual sex workers, who certainly have their place in society; it’s about an overall image of womanhood that we accept, unthinking, because we’re so used to it.

Children of both genders see co-ed crews shoveling NHL ice, with the men in warm-up suits and women in sports bras and hot pants, and see that there’s a fundamental difference between what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman, even when that man and that woman are doing the exact same job. Teens see an entire issue of the world’s leading sports magazine devoted to showing pictures of barely-dressed female models, and they learn that the sports world still caters directly, if not exclusively, to straight men. Grown men hear pundits blame women for provoking domestic abuse or muse about the commercial boost afforded by sexual assault charges, and conclude that ‘real men’ are entitled – and expected – to dominate women.

Add it up, and you get a bunch of male video game enthusiasts who simply cannot tolerate a woman trying to exert any influence over the content of those games. You get those same men, absolutely convinced that they are entitled to shut down that woman through absolutely any means, no matter how violent or cruel. After all, these intruders into the gaming world aren’t full-fledged people – they’re just women.

The best way to address this warped view is by preventing it from forming in the first place. No more placing ‘heroic’ males athletes next to scantily clad, seen-but-not-heard women. No more objectification of women in ‘family-friendly’ venues and outlets. No more making excuses for abusers just because we’d rather not view them as such. We have to demonstrate, every day and everywhere, that women are people, just the same as men are. Only by weaving that truth into the fabric of society can we start raising generations that see the world that way from the day one.

That’s not to let adults off the hook for their own bigotries. We’re grown-ups and we’re responsible for questioning and refining our own values, regardless of how they were initially formed. For those who haven’t begun that process yet, a tip: While there’s not always a clear right and wrong in every situation, if you find yourself threatening a stranger with bodily harm for expressing her opinion, then you are wrong. Most of the time, though, misogyny isn’t nearly that obvious. More often than not it comes attached to a grin rather than a snarl.

Rest assured, straight men, that feminists don’t seek to keep you from enjoying the sight of women’s bodies; rather, we’d like for everyone to remember that those bodies belong not to the men viewing them but to the women inhabiting them, and that those women have minds that deserve to be valued every bit as highly as men’s. Unfortunately, the sports and gaming worlds – and, to a slightly lesser extent, the world of pop culture – generally focus on women’s bodies to the exclusion of our minds. Little wonder, then, that those men who are most enamored with sports and gaming feel the most threatened when confronted with women who insist on being treated as more than just the sum of their physical parts.

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55 thoughts on “Misogyny: Every Little Bit Matters

  1. Speaking of Ice Girls, it was fascinating to me that the Philadelphia Flyers tried Ice Guys this year, and when fans booed, they gave up and returned the girls. This was even after an article discussing the poor working conditions.
    Excellent article.

  2. Thing is… I am a gamer. A hardcore gamer. And a woman. And a feminist. And a geek who loved Adam Baldwin’s TV characters (not anymore sadly). And a sexual assault survivor.

    I don’t actually agree with many of the comments about tropes in gaming because, as you likely know in hockey, each “culture” has its own culture. There are things about gaming and gamers I wouldn’t tolerate in other realms. For example the language. It tends to be sexist and violent and vulgar and probably bigoted in so many ways – BUT I’m well aware that the people saying it generally don’t even mean those things. I myself have said things when pissed at a boss I would be ashamed to repeat in other circles.

    With that said, this GG stuff is nonsense. Literally. It doesn’t make sense. And it’s perpetuating stereotypes they supposedly want to break – gamers are rude and childish and vulgar and violent and hateful. I’m certainly not and no gamer I know is. Gaming has been my safe haven from a sick world. I have major anxiety and have always felt welcomed in gaming circles. The worst insult I’ve received was when I sucked on a mission. And it wasn’t because I am a girl.

    I’m angry at this movement for ruining something good. I’m angry that I’m forced to rethink a culture that didn’t make me uncomfortable and now wonder if I should be. And worst of all? I’m angry they’ve taken the actual pleasure out of it because I have enough crap to worry about. I loved being able to turn it off and disappear into something and now it’s full of idiocy.

    • There is a point to be made about ethics in gaming journalism, but the GamerGaters are insistent on not making it. Instead of looking at the relationships between the giant development corporations and the media, they’re attacking relatively powerless independent developers. Somehow those independent developers just happen to be women, but we’re supposed to believe it’s not about misogyny. Who are the game reviewing sites going to be more worried about pleasing: a small time indie developer who had a relationship with a writer, or a company that happens to be a major source of ad revenue?

      • I typed a giant long reply and it deleted itself. Basically, I agree – but I think they’re missing the point. And the GG mess is just making it impossible to have that discussion. There IS misogyny and there IS an ethical/nepotism conversation to be had, although they are not unique problems to gaming. Indie filmmakers, musicians, game developers, authors, artists, etc. all face the same challenges – and women in every industry face the same challenges. However, GG has resulted in pushing the gaming community further backwards and now people are afraid to have the actual discussion. I also worry that it’s going to spread into other fields and we’ll soon see people terrified of mentioning gender bias or nepotism/journalistic integrity in anything and that’s a real shame.

  3. Sadly, the tendency to demean women is absolutely pervasive in every culture, every group of people, every religion, and every era. This topic really touched my soul, and just this week I wrote a post on why I hope to have sons, for the very reason that I can try to teach them better than what they have been taught (and what girls and women have been taught, too) this far. I enjoyed this post, thank you!

  4. it is a sad fact that Misogyny is everywhere. I initially thought that it did not exist in first world countries. i experienced first brush of racism when I went to England and France and then I thought, if racism exists then so could Misogyny.

    If you are worried about the way to stop it, then it begins at home. That is even before you are grown up. Parents unwittingly start this at home. Girls are taught to cook whereas the boys don’t even enter the kitchen. During festivals, there are some girl’s work and boy’s work.

    I remember that as a school going kid, I was allowed to come home late where as my sister was not allowed to. This has more to do with protection and care, but we were being misogynistic without our knowledge. There are a lot of small things like this which shape our society. I strongly believe that this has to do with the way we bring up our kids right from their birth. Else a little bit of misogyny is there in almost every male.

    • > it is a sad fact that Misogyny is everywhere.

      Except it isn’t a sad fact if you happen to be in the business of feminism. Feminism sells itself as a cure for misogyny. If it turns out society was is not misogynistic after all then a lot of feminists would have to get proper jobs instead of earning a living writing books, articles and UN speeches about the spectre of misogyny – whether real, overhyped or completely manufactured out of thin air….

      > I initially thought that it did not exist in first world countries.

      That certainly would seem to be the case, given that women (rather than men) are the recipients of the majority of social programs, welfare, media attention, charities, sympathy, support.

      When women are in distress or claiming to be suffering some kind of oppression this always makes the news and becomes a hot topic ….. but if a similar issue concerns men nobody cares. If 95% of workplace deaths were women you can bet this would be a hot topic and sure sign of the oppression of women. But the fact that 95% of workplace deaths are men means it’s not an issue after all – phew!

      In a patriarchy women are treated as precious ornaments, but men are treated as disposable appliances. Which would YOU rather be?

      If the majority of victims of assault in public were female, again, this would be a hot topic, but the fact that they are male means it is not. And on and on it goes…..

      The very fact that men dying at work and being assaulted in public rates as LESS of an ‘issue’ than bossy women occasionally being called ‘bossy’ kind of suggests our society values women’s emotional and physical wellbeing a lot more than men’s, wouldn’t you say?

      When women suffer (whether that suffering is genuine or made up) we are encouraged to care and we are encouraged to call it oppression, sexism and misogyny…. but when men suffer we don’t call it anything. We don’t even register. After all ….. men are privileged, right? The mantra ‘male privilege’ basically translates as “show men no empathy”, or “don’t care about men, only care about women”. This is how feminism trains us.

      > If you are worried about the way to stop it, then it begins at home.

      I agree. All cultural behaviours and attitudes begin in the home. And women have always been the main influence on children between those critical ‘personality defining’ years of 0 – 6. Yet feminists refuse to accept that women bear any responsibility for how society turns out. Point out to a feminist how much POWER women have to literally define culture in 20 years’ time – simply by how they choose to raise their children right now and you’re liable to get a blank stare and/ or slap in the face.

      The root cause of 99% of coercion, bullying, violence, abuse, humiliation and sociopathy in adults (ie in society) is ….. wait for it ……. the coercion, bullying, violence, abuse, humiliation and sociopathy inflicted on those adults when they were children. 99% of social dysfunction – from rape to war to street crime to government – is simply childhood trauma being re-enacted in adulthood. When parents ‘rule’ over their children with a ‘might is right’ attitude (“do as I say BECAUSE…”) these produces the kind of society we see today were “might is right” is the excuse for rape, mugging, wars or government interference in our lives.

      And the majority of violence, humiliation, bullying, assault and sexual abuse inflicted on children between the ages of 0-6 comes from women, not men. When these damaged boys and girls INEVITABLY grow up to become victimisers or victims themselves (AKA the cycle of abuse/ cycle of violence) feminists point the finger of blame (and power) away from women, away from the authoritarian and abusive mothers (nurses, daycare staff, teachers etc) who actually raised them …..and towards the vague target of ‘patriarchy’ / ‘men’.

      > Girls are taught to cook whereas the boys don’t even enter the kitchen.

      Yes in a patriarchy a woman’s place is in the kitchen or around the home and a man’s place is down the coal mine, out in the fields or on the battle field. Where would YOU rather be – in the kitchen and bored with you life, or on the battlefield missing a leg and losing your life? Life has always been tough and ‘unfair’ for everyone. I think it’s fair to say that female gender roles – while not ideal – were always preferable to male gender roles – assuming you value things like safety, health, longevity, protection, avoiding trauma, avoiding death etc.

      Were women FORCED to stay in the kitchen while men were ALLOWED to do manual labour jobs or go off to fight wars?…. or were women ALLOWED to stay in the kitchen while men were FORCED to do manual labour jobs and fight wars?

      If ‘patriarchy’ oppressed women, how come today the vast majority of feminists (and women in general…. AND men if they can afford to) are choosing NOT to do traditional ‘male’ jobs that involve manual labour, working in all weathers, shovelling stuff about with spades etc?

      It’s as if feminists think for centuries men prevented women working in comfortable centrally heated offices with water coolers and wifi…….. no…… men ‘prevented’ women from working in the shipyards, or on the fishing boats or building roads. Women only decided work outside the home – away from the kitchen – was appealing to them AFTER modern technology created comfortable, ‘indoor’ service industry jobs.

      > I remember that as a school going kid, I was allowed to come home late where as my sister was not allowed to. This has more to do with protection and care, but we were being misogynistic without our knowledge.

      How ON EARTH is that misogyny? Please present your logic on that one. Do you even know what misogyny is?

      • What you fail to understand is that, regardless of how appealing or unappealing you find traditional gender roles, feminism is about putting women’s choices in their own hands. You make a lot of vague generalizations about what kind of lives the majority of people might prefer; this is irrelevant. What matters is the right to decide for oneself what kind of life to lead. Men have long had the only real say in making this choice, both for themselves and for women. That male dominance was blatantly codified in our laws (and still is, in some countries) and continues to be enforced through both societal norms and violence. It goes hand in hand with the notion that men are the default humans while women are a subset, to be “allowed” or “prevented from” certain activities by the primary members of the species. Whether men think they’re protecting women or oppressing them, what matters is that men dictate the terms on which women may live. That is what we feminists seek to change. We are every bit as human are men, and we just want our world to reflect that.

        • > feminism is about putting women’s choices in their own hands.

          You mean like ‘He for She’ which is women nagging men to be more chivalrous and dutifully take on the responsibility of ensuring women’s happiness, comfort and wellbeing?

          > What matters is the right to decide for oneself what kind of life to lead.

          So… perhaps feminists should stop telling men how they should live their lives? Perhaps feminists should leave men alone and get on with their own lives. Now there’s a thought.

          > Men have long had the only real say in making this choice, both for themselves and for women.

          Now you are objectifying women (stripping women of agency and reducing women to ‘acted upon’ objects).

          How many feminists (or even women in general) do you know who would WANT to take on men’s gender roles and do men’s work if you beamed them back to any time period over the last 2000 years?

          The traditional patriarchal roles for women may have been awfully restrictive and annoying but they were for the most part the best possible deal for women, under the (pretty dire) circumstances of the time.

          No feminist has ever come up with an alternative set of gender roles for the year 1249 or 1794 or 1859 that would have (a) not resulted in massive food and resource shortages, a plummeting birth rate and the eventual extinction of the human species (b) been actually more preferable to women than ‘patriarchy’.

          Men might have preferred it if women had worked in the shipyards or went off to war while they scrubbed the floors and played with the children, but I don’t think the women would have preferred it …. which is presumably why women did not object to staying at home, did not try to join men at their work, did not raise their daughters to be feminists and did not raise their sons to be feminists….. not until technology came along and allowed women to be financially independent working in nice comfortable offices out of the pouring rain.

          > That male dominance was blatantly codified in our laws

          Really? Let’s look at voting laws. Neither men nor women had the vote for most of history, with men getting it fractionally before women. Feminists claim women getting the vote was ‘gender equality’, but when men got the vote they had to give up certain rights – such as agreeing to be sent of to fight wars for the state. But when women got the vote they had no obligations to the state.

          So if there are two classes of people (men and women) and one has obligations to the state and the other doesn’t – is that ‘equality’ ……… Yes or no?

          And which class is more privileged … the group with obligations to the state (which could spell an early grave), or the group with no obligations to the state?

          > It goes hand in hand with the notion that men are the default humans while women are a subset, to be “allowed” or “prevented from” certain activities by the primary members of the species.

          Yes men are the default cannon fodder, the default manual labourers, the default road sweepers, the default rescuers of cats up trees or people drowning in lakes or burning buildings, the default group left to go down with the sinking ship while the women and children get to go in the life rafts, the default tax enforcers (without which feminists would have to get their benefits from the population at gunpoint all by themselves), the default losers of custody, the default financial supporters of families, the default defenders of property against intruders and thieves, the default payers of restaurant, taxi, gas, electric and rent bills and the default sex when it comes to genital mutilation or just being kicked in the genitals for hilarious comic effect (imagine a Hollywood movie where a woman was ‘hilariously’ kicked in the groin or punched in the ovaries). With privileges like this it’s no wonder men commit suicide far more than women.

          The fact is in biological (reproductive) terms men are the disposable sex and women are the limiting factor for reproduction. A tribe can loose half its males and the birth rate will not drop as long as the remaining men don’t mind having lots of sex. But if the tribe loses half its women birth rates will plummet and the tribe may risk extinction.

          This is why every culture throughout history has always protected its women, and sent its men off to do all the dirty, dangerous and often suicidal work including fighting wars.

          > Whether men think they’re protecting women or oppressing them, what matters is that men dictate the terms on which women may live. That is what we feminists seek to change.

          Your words would ring less hollow if feminists were actually rolling up their sleeves and seeking out dangerous and dirty ‘male’ jobs like garbage disposal, construction work, logging, fishing, frontline policing, security, factory work, engineering, tech, infrastructure maintenance etc etc. But as a rule feminists avoid these kinds of activities like the plague, expecting men to do these jobs….. and as a result men still die at work 20 times for frequently than women.

          Your words would also ring less hollow if feminists weren’t constantly demanding men / the state (which steals most of its taxes from men) provide them with free stuff and special treatment and protection.

          > We are every bit as human are men, and we just want our world to reflect that.

          If women are every bit as human as men then patriarchy theory – which defines men as sociopaths who systematically oppressed the people they have their most intimate relationships/ interactions with – is bogus.

          If women are every bit as human as men then men are no more or less capable of rape, assault, abuse and violence than women … which (if you look at the statistics) is about the truth.

          You cannot have your cake and eat it. If you believe men and women are equally human, then you are attacking the very foundation of feminism …. ‘patriarchy theory’.

      • Agree to most of your points actually and India boasts of patriarchy system to the hilt. In India, a lot of women are forced to quit their jobs after marriage, but I know a lot of my own relatives who have decided not to work out of choice.

        I also agree to your points that women started going on when the situation was better. I do not know about the western world, but in India, there were hardly any Engineers who were females about a couple of decades ago. Engineering subjects were only Mechanical, Civil and Electrical and their job meant sweating in the sun, factories etc. Females took up engineering only after there was a subject called “software”. Sitting in Air conditioning rooms and sitting in one place and coding.

        “I remember that as a school going kid, I was allowed to come home late where as my sister was not allowed to. This has more to do with protection and care, but we were being misogynistic without our knowledge” –> This is not Misogyny but can lead to it is what I wanted to say.

  5. I’ve always felt there has been a definite imbalance in mass pop culture. Music is where my heart lies and have always thought what would music be without TV. There tends to a pre-emphasis on the portrayal of women in pop culture or the separation between males and females. Thank you for this post.

  6. I don’t agree with all of the points you make, but you make a few very strong arguments, and you say some uncomfortable things men certainly don’t want to hear. I love it.

    The fact that feminism is becoming- or is, in some cases- a movement to be avoided is sickening. Young girls are denying feminism because it has fallen so far out of favor. There are so many reasons why. I believe there ought to be a revitalization of the movement to steer it again to the shores of equal rights in the eyes of the opposers; perhaps a friendly reminder to the proponents of it too.

    Let’s face it, gamer girls love the pretty boys too.

  7. Reblogged this on Sally Ember, Ed.D. and commented:
    Excellent insights and very timely. I especially like this part: “No more placing ‘heroic’ males athletes next to scantily clad, seen-but-not-heard women. No more objectification of women in ‘family-friendly’ venues and outlets. No more making excuses for abusers just because we’d rather not view them as such.”

  8. I don’t want to be the broken record, or the misogynist here, but in the case of things involving real women and not digital constructs, isn’t the answer non-participation? I like the Saintsations but it would not affect my New Orleans Saints Gameday Experience not one bit if they decided they were being exploited and refused to participate. I no longer subscribe to magazines like Playboy and Maxim, not out of any White Knight intention, I just moved past them, but they would not exist without the participation of the models. I mean, right? But what do I know? I’m just a 38 year old, barely evolved caveman with a lot of leftover monkey genes.

    • For any job you create, there will be someone willing to do it. Just because the NFL could find people willing to fight to the death at the 50-yard line at halftime doesn’t mean it should sponsor that activity.

      I’m not saying women shouldn’t have the choice to display their bodies for profit. I never suggested that Playboy and Maxim shouldn’t be allowed to exist.; those are appropriate forums for what they purvey, just like Playgirl and Chippendales are. I’m taking issue with the fact that the objectification of women is an expected, pervasive phenomenon throughout our culture. If men (or women, for that matter) want to look at sexualized, objectified female bodies, that’s fine – there are places for that. But the women who don’t choose to participate – the fans, the gamers, the subscribers to magazines and other cultural outlets whose primary function is *not* to provide means to sexual arousal – shouldn’t be forced to accept that the objectification of our gender is attached to all these things, no matter how unrelated to the main subject matter. And girls and boys shouldn’t be tacitly taught, just because they enjoy sports and games, that women are objects first and people second.

      • Oh i agree in principle with a lot of what you say, and while I personally have no expectation of female sexuality in everything, i hear what you’re saying (writing). Again, no White Knight intentions here, I love beautiful women wearing little to no clothes, but I do object to the fact that I can’t watch a movie or tv show with my 12 year old without sensationalized violence or sexuality.

  9. I thought this particular blog post summed up how I feel about #gamergate. I am a gamer but you don’t have to be to understand that this senseless violence directed at women under the guise of journalistic ethics is absolutely appalling. Unfortunately we live in a world where the vast majority who believes feminism is no longer required – where news hosts can “excuse” young women from voting because too hot to care and where toddler Halloween customers for girls look like lingerie. Reblogged at http://scrapsoflaceandlove.wordpress.com/

  10. Thanks for the piece, Melissa. One male feminist here trying to understand and work for justice. Let me know if you need any articles or insights from that perspective.

      • Haha okay I’ll give that a shot, so long as you don’t hold me to the answer. Male feminist – a person socialized as a male and yet proactively trying to advance the well being of and promote opportunities for those persons socialized as female.

        Working for justice…Well that one is harder. Justice as a concept isn’t easily defined, but here in America “fairness” is a good enough approximation. But fairness isn’t just passively mandating the same rules for everyone since people start out with different social/economic advantages and disadvantages. So if I were working for justice on behalf of women, I’d be actively seeking to remove and prevent the disadvantages faced by women in our society in order that they might have the same opportunities and well being as any other human.

        Practically, this means things like simple actions in the workplace, all the way up to political decisions and choosing to use my money to promote women’s issues. A big part of my role, as I envision it at least, would be redefining the masculine standard in our society as well.

        After that long windedness, let me just temper everything I’ve said with a dose of Humility by admitting that I am a socialized American male (not just that, but I was was socialized early on as a red state high income rugged individualist male). That means the microagressions and preconceptions I have are not going to be easy to break. I can only do so much, but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t do anything.

  11. I’m sad that the hateful aspect of #gamergate is so completely dominant, because the honest truth is that sites like Polygon and Kotaku really are trash, vacuous tabloid garbage, but the horrible (and even possibly illegal, in the case of the threats) behavior of a lot of the people using the tag make those big sites look like the heroes, protecting the small, independent female game developers from online trolls. These people just haven’t been smart at all in going about their goals.

    The thing is, there is a misogyny problem in game culture and in some games. I think that problem is slowly being corrected. However, there will always be some percentage of games that sexualize their characters, and even their female characters solely, because they’re targeting a particular audience. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that in itself. There’s a perception among some gamers that feminist game critics like Anita Sarkeesian are advocating censorship, and so they’re framing their protests in an anti-political correctness way. The scathing, sort of preachy tone of Sarkeesian and similar critics doesn’t help – though maybe that tone is also necessary for them to achieve their goals? I don’t know.

    Despite my feelings, I am pretty ashamed at the behavior of the #gamergate crowd.

  12. I like a woman is is smarter than me. Someone who can teach me about some topic I knew very little or am completely wrong about. In my professional life I have seen women who don’t stand up for themselves, I don’t know why. They are bright, capable, highly motivated people; but at times they shut it down. I wish I knew how to make that better for them.

    I’ve found myself stopping the use of some feminine slur [i.e. you act like a 4 yr old girl] and unfortunately still rely on using “Jackass” or the more traditional “Moron” when talking to people during sports or obnoxious talks with other males. I know that words hurt and I don’t want to be in a world where some female member of my family is made to feel less of themselves simply because of their gender and the bias someone might have.

    My mother taught me that women could achieve anything if given an equal opportunity to do so. One free from judgement on how they look. Judge them on how well they do their job, ask them if there is some obstacle that might be removed to help them achieve their goal. Personal, professional, educational; everyone should be able to do their best to be their best without low-brow comments.

  13. Misogyny is sad, bad, period. It’s a mental illness common to rapists and serial killers..and should be treated as one. Gamergate’s sole purpose is to “normalize” it, flaunting the illness in a game form to pave the way to getting it accepted unwittingly by unwary people as the new normal.

    • Misogyny is a scourge. A mental illness, though, is something that happens to a person without his or her consent, like any other disease. Bigotries, including misogyny, aren’t diseases that afflict people; they’re though processes that people can choose to examine and change within themselves, if they’re inclined to do so.

  14. I just can’t believe that the ice girls thing is real. WOW. But I am from Phoenix, so we don’t have too much call for Ice anything. Not to make light of your post. It is galling too that when you have a female teen that you truly have to caution them on “perception”. Don’t get me wrong, my son was taught to know that women are people too- and no matter what garbage the media shovels out there that he is to hold himself accountable for his actions- not his date’s attire, etc. And do NOT get me started on the overly sexualized girls clothing! It’s enough to make me wish I could sew a straight line.

  15. So, I’m a 38 year old caveman, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching home gaming from its infancy to today. In the 80’s and early 90’s gaming was marketed primarily to children and so the character were very childish in appeal. Mario, DK, Frogger, Qbert, etc. As we progress throught the 90’s these gamers, primarily male, enter adolescence and their teens and so the digitized female is marketed to these pubescent, horny male teens. Enter the first Lara Croft and other fantasy like, highly sexualized characters. As we keep moving forward through the 2000’s, we of the first generation of 25 year old children, still mostly men and now fully saturated with Internet porn (which I’m still a big fan of) and so once again the video game industry (read: marketing and research department) responds by essentially programming female characters that could also double as digital porn stars. I’ll just go ahead and jump to the current era. These same programmers are still marketing to the same generation of gamers: mid to late 70’s born men. But now we have a whole new demographic of gamer fully on board: female gamers. Let me just say I welcome you all. What happened that got women into gaming? Was it to better relate to their male, game playing partners? Maybe an influx in competitive spirit? Maybe women have always been into gaming but held back public interest to fit into some societal gender norm that girls don’t play video games. All or none of those things, maybe? I don’t pretend to know, but I embrace the female gamer, both figuratively and literally (when I can). So while it has been an industry turning ass and tits into dollars and cents for so long, this new influx of female gamer is going to demand, with their bank accounts, changes in the marketing of characters in popular gaming. And because at the end of the day, these software companies are all about a dollar, they’ll respond. You’ll see. Sorry to blog in your blog, I meant that to be about ten times shorter.

  16. I am, by no means, speaking out against femininity, however, I attended a small liberal arts school for a semester and the word misogyny was thrown out left and right. The funny thing was that the same women who promoted femininity and who rejected the “hook up culture”, were the same ones who were consistently sleeping around and engaging in “pre-marital acts”. I am not saying that all women are guilty of this, but it does appear that our younger generation needs to further grasp the idea of feminism. Just because you believe in the strength of women does not mean that you have to hate EVERY male on this planet. Just my two cents. I do not have an agenda, I am in full support of people being who they are. This is America and we have the rights to pursue what we want, I am just upset that the word misogynist is thrown around entirely too much and, in most cases, is not warranted

    • A few things:

      1. Sleeping around and engaging in “pre-marital acts” are not things women are or are not “guilty of.” They are just behaviors that women are free to choose or not to choose.

      2. Who said anything about hating men?

      3. I never referred to individuals as misogynists in this post. I referred to our culture overall, and the Gamergate movement in particular, as having profoundly misogynistic features. I absolutely stand by that.

      • I agree 100% with you in regards to the Gamergate culture! I have nothing negative to say about your post. My issue is that (at least at the last university I attended) the word misogyny was tossed around entirely too frequently and the ones doing so were extremely hypocritical. I apologize, i did not mean to completely derail the post! Your points are excellent and I definitely agree with everything you had to say!

  17. Pingback: In the NHL, Boys Will Be Boys, and Girls Will Be Sexy | ……

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