I'll start off by being blunt about three things. First: All media has bias, and no media is infallible. Second: Social Justice Warriors are the enemy of true equality. Third: As with all my opinion pieces, this will be freeform and mostly without structure.
Social justice issues have been reaching a head lately, I feel. Maybe it's my age (24), and the fact that my general demographic is now educated. Maybe it's because another nerdy shit community I recently joined is far more... "Political", I'll say, than most people I've met. Maybe it's because sites like Kotaku have changed their content such that they're almost exclusively talking about social justice issues, with gaming itself as a sort of seasoning. Regardless, it's been a topic that's been on my radar in recent months - and countless Facebook discussions, YouTube videos and gaming articles later, I'm ready to talk about it.
SJWs (as I'll call them for short) have always bothered me. I've always been a firm believer of equality; but as an absolute. People are ENTITLED, I feel, to be treated equally and given equal rights and equal opportunity - whether female, black, gay, handicapped... Or a straight white male. I harbour no hate for any person unless they give me an INDIVIDUAL reason to. But people, physiologically, are not the same. Women have breasts and are, most of the time, able to carry children for nine months. Straight, sexually capable/interested men will have their eyes almost magnetically attracted to certain parts of a female's body without realizing it. People descended from ancestors of a certain region are more genetically predisposed to certain illnesses and physical features. These are facts. However, SJWs never accept this - they will never accept equality. They demand of every man, woman and child that delicate issues be tip-toed around, and that everyone have the same requisite knowledge as their university-educated selves. I find this unacceptable. I was born blue-collar. I am college-educated in a technical trade. I have zero interest in philosophy or social theory. Do I intimately know the plight of the modern gay man? Absolutely not. I never will. That is not part of the life I lead, and it probably never will be. I will never feel that pain, and I will never know that discrimination. I sure can pretend to - I can tell all of Tumblr about how I, the noblest man of all, know the suffering of every human being that has ever lived. Trouble is, I'm not a piece of shit. I've had the argument countless time with SJWs where, even though I'd fight for that hypothetical gay man to have the same goddamn rights as everyone else, how I'd take exception to any random stranger being called a "fag", I'm not "an ally". Why? Fucked if I know. Simply wanting equality isn't good enough. I believe the term used on the internet is "oppression olympics", the Whole Foods enthusiast's never-ended quest to be THE most tolerant person in existence.
But, SJWs will never solve anything. Why? Because they don't actually do anything to fix the problem. Why are there homophobes? They never ask that question. Sure, they attack homophobes in verbal tirades. And well, frankly, they're justified in doing so. But that's not going to change the homophobe's mind. Back to the question - why are there homophobes? Religious indoctrination? Fear of being flirted with by another man? Closet homosexuality? The answer could be broad and varied. Only when we understand the cause can we solve the problem, and this brings me rotundly to gaming media.
Anita Sarkeesian is an enemy of classical feminism. Feminism, in its traditional sense, is advocacy of equal rights for women. Third wave feminism, as it's known, is more about finding ways to play the victim and blame all your life's problems on other people and vague concepts of "patriarchy". It's important to make that distinction. Where every gaming website in history has hailed Anita Sarkeesian as some kind of hero (demi-god, perhaps?), she hasn't actually done anything to fix the problem. Sure, she's called us all bigots and wife beaters and braindead redneck assholes who enjoy seeing nude women in pain, but what has she done to fix things? Nothing. In fact, all she's done is point fingers and draw conclusions while living in a bubble where she is immune to criticism. After all, anyone who dissents the opinions of a woman, even if those opinions are, at best, misguided is OBVIOUSLY misogynist pig-man, right? Instead of examining real problems (Why do female warriors have no armour? Why are characters designed such as they are? Why is a strong male lead an easy-to-identify-with protagonist?), she's turned the noblest ambitions of true feminism into a farce, made it so that people can hide behind the "oppression" barrier even if they're outright lying or misrepresenting something, and created a void between hobby and philosophy that has no place being there.
And the games media is completely complicit in this. You know, we can mock the likes of Fox News for their need to "represent both sides" in an issue like climate change where the scientific consensus disagrees with corporate rhetoric, but in an issue like gender discrimination, there ARE two sides. No, that's a lie - there are hundreds of sides. The games media only reports on one side - "Video games are oppressing women". I cannot, for the life of me, recall a Kotaku article called, "Chill the fuck out, not every game dev is a hyper-enlightened academic". Or one called, "Study shows female gamers don't give a fuck about this shit, they just want to play Zelda in peace." To get that perspective, you need to go to the comments. You know, where the chattel hang out. Your commentary about loving and respecting womenfolk is in the same space as Corporal Douchecanoe who's had six too many beers and thinks women and the spawn of Satan. And that's where it will be. Forever. The media, meanwhile, will continue to mine these comments and flail their arms shouting, "Look! This one guy hates women! That means all gamers hate women! Patriarchy! Sky is falling! Save us, save us, it's worse than the Great Depression!"
Outside of academia, in working class society, we have words for this sort of thing. You know... Censorship... Oppression... Yeah, there's a reason why I stand steadfastly for true equality above all else.
Because everyone was expecting it, here's what I think about Zoe Quinn. She is a person without morals. She is a shameless self-promoter. But let's be fucking frank here, has anyone worked in sales or business? She's not exceptional in any way! I've seen people talk about, "She's corrupted the gaming media, this and that..." No. The gaming media was ALREADY corrupt. The environment of one-sidedness and pretentious, over-educated bullshit is what allowed this fucking thing to happen in the first place! Zoe Quinn is not the Ebola virus that wiped out a hospital, she is an Ebola virus in the Ebola celebration commitee. She, like Anita Sarkeesian, is another poster child practically constructed by the media so that journalists could point to her and say, "Look! People hate this WOMAN! Look how much people hate WOMEN! All women!"
And this shit needs to get out of the gaming media.
Gaming is an art form. It can say, do, think, feel, smell whatever the fuck its artists want it to. It can say things about society, it can create vibrant fantasy worlds, or it could be a mindless 8-bit timewaster. If people in the gaming media, people who steer the conversation about gaming, continue on such a narrow, oblivious mindset, nothing genuine can be said about gaming. You cannot create a game where the male protagonist has his life shattered by his wife's double life. Why? Paints women in a bad light. You can make that game and have only the wife as a female portrayed negatively, and they will hone in on that like flies to excrement and spend days trying to incite a fucking flame war about it. These journalists - no, these pretentious hacks - don't actually want to start a conversation about anything. They just want to stir the pot and create a space where nothing can ever be discussed earnestly. We have to tap-dance around EVERY issue, treat everyone like a fragile snowflake that'll melt if we think too much, and it's a load of fucking shit. Are there real problems of discrimination in gaming? YES!!!! But this is doing NOTHING to solve that! It's a bunch of armchair scholars sitting around playing the fucking blame game, without actually asking any questions or doing any real research. It is the LAZIEST, most GUTLESS way to get on a high horse and swat away dissent.
And it's just pathetic.
PyramidHeadcrab is a straight, white man. Clearly, he is part of the oppressive patriarchy and, despite growing up poor and actually facing real life problems, clearly knows nothing about oppression or difficulty in life. I'm glad your $100k liberal arts major that I will never have the luxury of obtaining gave you classes great enough to teach you about me, personally, and why I'm a threat to society. Please leave comments about how much of a hateful piece of shit I am for demanding equality and rejecting double-standards, and please inform me of how I need to be indoc- "educated about social justice issues".