In her article of June 11th, "Rape Culture in Gaming," Foz Meadows focuses specifically on the rape culture that is embedded in the gaming world among far too many, but all of what she writes applies across the board in entertainment, media and where human beings congregate, whether virtually or in the flesh. Anyone who doesn't find this at the very least, disturbing, is part of the problem:
[ " Which brings me to the attacks on Anita Sarkeesian.
Sarkeesian, for those who’ve never heard of her, runs a website called Feminist Frequency, where – among other things – she posts videos deconstructing and criticising the presence of sexist tropes in popular culture. Recently, she went on Kickstarter to garner funding for a new series of videos: Tropes vs Women in Video Games. It should tell you something significant about the popularity of this idea – and of Sarkeesian herself – that, having asked for a mere $6,000 in financing, she has, as of today – with four days left on the clock – been funded to the tune of $44,027 - more than seven times what she initially asked for.... " ]
Well and good, you say, "So what's your problem?" This is the problem:
" [ Pretty benign language, yes? All she’s done is state what should be a fairly uncontroversial and obvious truth – that women are often presented badly in video games – and proposed to discuss this in detail.
And for this crime, she has been threatened with rape, with death and with violence, and had her Wikipedia page vandalised with images of graphic pornography. " ]
This is what happens as a matter of course whenever women attempt to speak out about the conditions of gaming, and it's been going on a for a very long time. And, as any woman knows who has attempted to speak about rape culture in other contexts -- the military, workplace, church, publishing, television, movies, school -- she too is vilified, threatened and more than likely expelled from the community at large. For me at least, to see a middle school girl told she should be "raped to death," for even thinking that girls should an equal cut or opportunity of whatever, frankly, terrifies me. Where do they learn to talk like that, to THINK like that, that it is not only acceptable, but their right, to react in such a way?
It hasn't escaped notice that the current crop of the New Gritty, the Grimdark fantasies, which are filled with prolonged, lingering, graphically detailed rapes of female figures, most of them spend a lot of time, by their own account, playing games.
Please read the entire article: it is rational, calm, specific and well-written. If we are hoping to continue, or even create, any civilization, we must change this condition of contempt for women that is so great women can't even be seen in entertainment except as people that exist only for motivation for masculine characters' reward or vengeance, and objects of torture porn.
Because, if we cannot manage rich, diverse worlds of our imaginations, in which the genders all can play well together -- in which we respect* each other -- this is what we get in the real world: neo nazis punching women in public, on television in a political discussion, for all the world to see. Nothing happens in a vacuum, we are all connected, from the ground water, to what we eat, to the oxygen we breathe.
* It's clear that many men in these entertainment fields not only don't respect women -- any women -- but actively fear and hate them, find women disgusting if they don't find them ridiculous, and certainly cannot see women as people at all, much less people first, women second. Do you want these people running your workplace? your bank? your school? your church? your country?