So the top post in the Men’s Rights subreddit for a time yesterday, with hundreds of upvotes, was a post devoted to the question: “Why should male gamers change their behavior?” Yep, apparently the sacred right of men and boys to harass women and girls on Xbox live is one of the most important Men’s Rights issues of the day. Here’s how the OP, IsItRacistToAsk, framed the issue:
[G]amers themselves (until relatively recently) were a 90% male community. This goes back really far if you count non-video-game games (like Dungeons and Dragons and the like). Now all of a sudden they’re expected to just behave differently because some girls want to join?
I’m not saying girls shouldn’t be welcome in gaming communities, I’m just comparing them to someone who shows up, uninvited, to a house party and demands everyone go out and get blue plastic cups because red offends her.
Well, no, it’s more like a girl or a woman going to a public event, open to everyone, and facing a small army of creepy dudes who come up to her making sandwich jokes and calling her a bitch and a whore and a fat slut and demanding that she show her tits and when she refuses telling her “I hope your vibrator shorts out and fries your fucking vagina.”
The OP’s response to harassment? Well, guy gamers regularly get called “faggot” and “n*gger,” so girls and women should just suck it up.
Yeah, it would be too much to ask to suggest that guy gamers actually stop calling each other racist and homophobic slurs as well. Because, really, how can you possibly enjoy Call of Duty without calling some guy who’s just shot you a “fag.” Seriously, gals, you need to model yourselves on the mostly straight white dudes of Reddit who really don’t mind when people call them “n*ggers” and “fags.”
The discussion (more than 700 comments worth at the moment) is about as terrible as you might expect, filled with epic shitlordery and self-congratulation and calls for the gals to “man the fuck up,” with only a handful of commenters having anything bad to say about the culture of harassment in online gaming. Indeed, most of the gamers in the conversation seem to feel proud that online gaming culture is as shitty as it is.
JonLR won himself more than a hundred upvotes for this self-congratulatory assholery:
By asking to never be made fun of, they’re essentially asking for special treatment. These days, ‘gamer girls’ go on and on about wanting to be treated like everyone else, but then cry when they are?
I used to play Quake 1 online, and a lot of the players knew I was short (5’7″). I got called a fucking midget every game, haha. My asian clanmate got called a chink every game. Fat people got called fat, girl players got called sluts, everyone made fun of everyone. No one cared. It was all aimed at throwing people off their game.
What the fuck happened in the past 15 years that made it the worst thing imaginable to insult a girl in gaming? Whatever it was, it’s embarrassing to witness.
Oneiorosgrip got nearly two hundred upvotes for her special snowflaking:
I’m not a video gamer – long time tabletop gamer though…
Remembering when I was the only girl in the group, it strikes me that modern gamer girls are spoiled princesses who expect to walk a path they did not forge, without ever seeing any of the dirt along the side. Those of use who played before there was internet, before there was linking between video game systems… before there were RPGs on video game systems, for that matter… we didn’t earn our place among the gaming community by whining about shit like that. You had to be able to take it, and dish back, or you took your dice and went home.
I took my dice and went home only once, and found that to be a wholly unsatisfying response. After that, I learned to eschew restraint and mouth off in kind. That was more effective, and more fun, and I think it would be the more appropriate handling of today’s gaming environment, as well.
In other words, IMO, modern girl gamers really just need to man the fuck up.
Men’s Rights subreddit regular Demonspawn was his normal charming self:
Men take the shit to make a niche, once it’s successful women want to take it over.
This is the world order, nothing new about it. I’m just glad that gamers are finally saying “No.”
Sidetracking got dozens of upvotes for suggesting that women and girls just hide their identity and pretend to be guys, because gamer girls who acknowledge their gender online are just attention whores hungry for female privilege anyway:
When anybody plays a video game, without talking, they are pretty much concealed. Nobody really knows what gender, age, etc. In real life, girls expect this privileged talking, because people want to engage in intercourse with them, however, over a video game, this privilege is gone. In order to get the privilege back they say “Hey, I’m a girl”, not knowing that this privilege is completely removed over the internet. Then they get over-sensitized when someone calls them a bad name, when they don’t realize that pretty much everyone calls anyone out over the internet.
Daysleepin83 also got dozens of upvotes for talking about the kinds of “gamer girls” he hates the most: The ones who complain and the ones who, evidently,wear no clothes.
For the most part i really don’t give two shits about what sex my opponent is.
But there are two types of “gamer girls” that really piss me off. There are those like Anita Sarkeesian who seem to bitch and nag about all that is sexist and wrong with video games. Doesn’t really offer any solution to the problems she digs up, aside from telling us we need to change. …
Then there is the second group, they don’t so much as piss me off but more like aggravate me. The sexy gamer girl. … Could she be a legitimate gamer? Sure of course she could be. I could also one day become the Pope. Till she puts some clothing on and picks up that controller i am not going to take her serious as a gamer.
MrDorph explained that he hates those “girl gamers” who “have to shove down your throat.” (Shove what? Your own assholery?)
The issue I have is girl gamers who have to shove down your throat. I imagine the majority just don’t give a shit and tend not to talk or if they do its not provocative. The moment I hear “hey guys” I leave, I can’t be bothered with the shit storm that comes with it.
Ghebert001 told the “poor things” to get used to shitty treatment, in online gaming and everywhere else:
Bottom line is women need to learn to adapt to the “environment” (environment meaning gaming community, workplace, etc.) instead of always expecting that the “environment” adapt to them and use language like “it makes me uncomfortable” to shame others in that “environment” to accommodate them at their own expense.
Throwing in the obligatory, “women” =/= all women…don’t want to offend the poor things. Oh wait, there I go accommodating again!
Yourotherusername wins points for pomposity with this response to the OP:
Well put. Like many things, the environment of gaming has it’s own language. It isn’t the language of Shakespeare or high-finance. It’s high context communication. It’s code. It isn’t (usually) to be take at face value. The problem for the people who complain, is that the marketers who attracted them to play the game, didn’t tell them how the game is played and the vocabulary needed.
If a person hangs out with a group of people not in their normal click, they need to understand that what is being said, might not actually be what was meant, and until they grasp the context, they need to keep their mouth shut if they don’t want to look like an asshole. I’d much rather ‘learn the language’ than try to change a sub-culture.
Take reddit for example. Expect masturbation jokes. Expect memes. Expect stereotypes. But in all of that, you will find that once you adapt and understand the context, it becomes more than a middle school locker room (especially in the smaller subreddits). IF you are so bold as to challenge the nature of communication on Reddit by admonishing others and trying to get them to change their way, you will be anathema, and most likely down voted to hell. The best you can do to change the language, is to be an example of what you want, and hope to flying spaghetti monster, that it catches on.
TLDR: Go with the flow or don’t go at all.
Reddit: Awful and proud of it.
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Men’s Rights subreddit, someone has once again posted a link to the “The Catalogue of Anti-Male Shaming Tactics,” because god forbid anyone ever say anything “shaming” about MRAs for being the shitty people they are.