Houston, we've got a problem
As a gamer, we face problems that many other so called, fringe groups face. We are somehow thought to be outside the norm. While hilarious, South Park illustrated perfectly the image that gamers are thought to have:
There's a nice piece written by Patrick Allen about enjoying your hobby and not making excuses for it as the intrinsic value of gaming is not set by a society at large. I agree completely. The best way to counter a stereotype is to say, "I play games, and I'm not like that." If enough people challenge the stereotype, then we can make headway in getting gaming accepted as a social norm.
It may be difficult to understand. Many don't face this stereotype yet - they're in college or high school and their friends play video games. Their outside world is limited to those closest to them and those people share their ideas about video gaming. This limited worldview leads them to believe that everyone thinks like them and they have the weight of the majority on their side.
I'm assuming that's what would lead someone to make a comment like this;
It's basic human male nature to stare, admire and comment when a nice pair of jugs are seen in the wild. Don't act like an emasculated male but like a man! Why do you think that an avergae man thinks about sex most of the day? We...are...men and sex, sex, sex is in our male genes!!!
Men!! Don't let this happen to you. Don't let the feminists and NOW members make you feel dirty and negative for being a man. Real men are rough, sexual beasts and sometimes educated. You are a man!! Don't let anybody tell you to get in touch regularly with your feminine side! If you ever have boys, let them behave like boys.....not like girls!!!!
What's so wrong about this? This sort of comment is the attitude that aligns with the gamer stereotype.
When I say feminism you say....?
We all have our own stereotypes of feminism.
Is it this?
Just as in the gaming community, a feminist may look like the stereotype but there are probably just as many who break that stereotype. Feminism's core belief is that women should be treated equally with men. I'd go one further and say that 1960's feminism was about being treated equally with men. Today's feminism is about being treated as human beings. It's not a lowering of standards, it's a raising of them.
In the gaming community we have to do our part. We can't expect to be taken seriously as a community while spewing nonsense like the comment above. Saying things like that, that women are essentially there for men to lust over, is not conducive to removing the stigma around our own hobbies.
It's also not nice. I hate to pull the, "what would your mother think?" card but maybe you should ask yourself that. Did your mother just walk around in a bikini all day serving you as a child? If so, seek therapy. Otherwise realize that women are people. People with their own agenda, their own wants, needs, preferences. Just as you are a person with your own agenda. Your own wants. Your own needs and preferences.
And for those of you who read this and say, "I'm already on board, but I just don't know where to start, or how to make a difference," I say to you: Evil wins when good men fail to act. The next time you hear someone say something out of line with treating anyone as a human being, speak up. Let them know you don't agree with what they said. You don't have to be rude or hostile about it. The truth is, most people when tasked with doing the right thing, will do the right thing. When you speak up, people will have your back.
Just forget it
So, I know I mention feminism. But let's move away from feminism. Let's start a new movement. Let's try not to think in terms of "gamer," or "Feminist," or "MRA." Instead let's be humanists. Everyone, regardless of gender, regardless of skin color, regardless of socioeconomic status, or career, or any other pointless factor, deserves to be treated equal. I think that's a cause most people can get behind.
Just forget that part. I'll leave it for historical purposes but several people have mentioned that to try to put things this way is a disservice to feminism. My main point is only that we should try to be decent and respectful to everyone.