One of the people Draft donated to is worth noting here. This past year, Anita Sarkeesian has been sent into hiding, had to cancel talks because of bomb threats, and been subjected to widespread, persistent campaigns of harassment, disinformation, and abuse – all for posting well-researched, thoughtful critiques of female portrayal in video games. If you don’t think the harassment and abuse of women for being smart, talented and outspoken isn’t so phenomenally warped that action shouldn’t be taken, then let me mince no words: you are part of the problem.
Oh, and our industry isn’t just sexist. It’s racist, too. And that sucks just as hard. Discrimination comes in so many forms – along race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religion, to name a few – and they all conspire against large groups of society.
So. As a white, straight male, I’ve enjoyed life on the lowest difficulty setting, and there’s no way for me to truly know how hard it is for others out there. But I can try – through understanding, listening, and support.
After linking to all of the crap that has been done to Anita Sarkeesian, I want to also link to her YouTube channel, so you can go look at what she’s actually doing. Her videos are well worth watching, particularly if you’re a straight white male who never really had to worry about any of these issues.
I think part of the insanity of this whole situation is that we’re only talking about these women in terms of what has been done to them, instead of talking about what they are doing. People talk about Zoë Quinn’s harassment much more than they talk about the games she makes, for example. It’s important to talk about what’s happening to these women, but it seems to me that doing so at the exclusion of everything else is — in a way — reinforcing existing gender stereotypes.
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