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Friday links: What About the Men: The Book, and more harassment of Anita Sarkeesian

Longtime Friend of Man Boobz Ozy Frantz, cofounder of the No Seriously What About teh Menz blog, is writing a book with fellow NSWATMer Noah Brand about men and feminism titled, naturally, What About the Men. The first chapter, written by Ozy, is up on the Good Men Project web site, NSWATM’s (sort of) new home. It’s even got footnotes, and illustrations by Barry Deutsch!

Ozy explains the book’s central aim:

We live in a sexist society, one where gender programming starts at birth (though the advent of the sonogram has allowed parents to get a head start by painting the nursery pink or blue and stocking up in advance on gendered toys and clothes) and is so pervasive as to be inescapable. Feminism has done an excellent job analyzing and challenging the ways that these assigned and enforced gender roles damage and deform the lives of women. The same tools of analysis can be applied to the damage and deformation that men suffer. And that damage, sad to say, is severe.

Yes, that says “CLICK TO HIT HER!”

Meanwhile, over on The New Statesman, Helen Lewis looks at the continuing harassment of Anita Sarkeesian, the women who dared to ask people to donate money for a video series on sexism in video games and thereby unleashed a misogynistic shitstorm.

One of the most disturbing examples of harassment: an online game in which players are invited to “beat up Anita Sarkeesian.” Lewis censors some of the images, but not others, so let me just put a TRIGGER WARNING for depictions of violence against women, including a grotesquely photoshopped “beaten up” Sarkeesian. Anyone who thinks Sarkeesian and her supporters were making too big a deal of the harassment needs to go look at these images in Lewis’ article here. (The game itself, posted on Newgrounds.com, has now been removed.)

Again, this is all because Sarkeesian asked people to donate for a video project. If they felt like it was worthwhile. That’s all she did. And this is what she got in return: someone so angry that Sarkeesian was pointing out sexism in video games that he literally sat down and made a game inviting angry internetters to “beat this bitch up.” Irony doesn’t even begin to cover it.

On Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg underlines why we need to take this kind of harassment seriously:

[A]nyone who thinks that feminists who push back hard against online harassment are being oversensitive needs to understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from becoming Anita Sarkeesians. No matter how strong you are, and no matter how much support you have, this kind of concentrated campaign of harassment affects the targets of it. And the goal of these campaigns is to terrorize people into silence. It’s not disagreement. It’s not creative trolling. It’s deployment of a weapon.

But it’s just as important to point out that Sarkeesian wasn’t silenced; in addition to helping her raise much more money than she had originally asked for, those who attacked her simply reinforced (and helped to further publicize) the argument she was making — in the case of the “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” game, quite directly indeed. The cowards and assholes who try to shut down feminists online with this sort of harassment are not only losers — they’re losing.

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Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
9 years ago

jumbofisch: So what’s a game that stereotypes women as sex objects, in your opinion?

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
9 years ago

When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.

Where did he strawman at all? You are saying feminists should just shutup and accept misogyny in video games because you don’t think there is any feminist games.

Sharculese
9 years ago

“And then, when somebody says “Gosh, there’s a lot of misogyny in games, and here some evidence that backs that statement up” we don’t have to listen to people saying “Waaah! You’re ruining my fun! Go away into your own yucky girlspace and make your own games, you icky girls!”

Or “Waah! I don’t like how this game portrays women! My feelings have been hurt personally and I demand that people stop playing and enjoying this!” for that matter.

if you cant tell the difference between these two things the only explanation is that your head is full of rocks

Snowy
Snowy
9 years ago

Snowy: Did you even read my post or just skimmed over the first sentence and had a kneejerk “Oh no, he said bad thing about Sarkeesian, he be dumb and wrong” reaction? No need to answer. When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.

Oh yeah, I did read your entire dumb and wrong post. But if it makes you feel better I’ll quote your entire posts from now on. How is anything I said a strawman again?

As for how many games, I dunno, let’s start with one.

Oh well that’s easy. Dragon Age.

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
9 years ago

So what’s a game that stereotypes women as sex objects, in your opinion?

Not sure how this is even relevant unless this is some thing where I list games and then you whine about how its not really like that. No, I am not going to play lets move the goalpost game. You address what I said and I address what you said.

Fembot
9 years ago

“When you’re done tearing up that strawman I’ll be over here.”

Says the guy who identifies with a movement that would not even exist without strawman feminists to tear up.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
9 years ago

“Oh well that’s easy. Dragon Age.”

Great, they should make more of those then instead of looking for things to be offended by.

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
9 years ago

Dude people are allowed to criticize stuff. Sexism in video games is pathetic because people could do so much better.

Not everyone can make videogames either or can change the world but that doesn’t mean their voices need to be silenced. Criticism has its place and just because you don’t like what people are critiquing doesn’t mean it should not happen. Stop getting all worked up over people critiquing stuff you like, what you are doing now is the typical fanboy reaction and really its pathetic. Nothing is perfect not even video games you love, grow up and accept that.

Snowy
Snowy
9 years ago

Oh, so you admit I wasn’t strawmanning? You want people to just shut up and be quiet? Please show me how I was strawmanning your ideas in any way.

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
9 years ago

“Stop getting all worked up”

My irony meter just blew up and made a mess everywhere so I think I’ll stop replying here for now.

jumbofisch
jumbofisch
9 years ago

Criticizing video games because it alienates/stereotypes/perpetuates hate to people like you is a little more valid reason to “get worked up” over it than getting worked up because the game you love is utterly perfect and those mean mean feminists are criticizing it.

(also placing my bets this flounce won’t last)

Snowy
Snowy
9 years ago

Ahaha couldn’t answer the question, eh? Bye then. Please stick the flounce!

Johnny_M80
Johnny_M80
9 years ago

Sorry, did you have a question? All I saw was semi-intelligible blathering and insults. But hey, I’m sure that when I walk down the street and a dog barks at me until I pass from its line of sight, the dog also thinks that it won.

hellkell
hellkell
9 years ago

So much for the flounce.

Snowy
Snowy
9 years ago

Yup, I asked you to explain how exactly I was strawmanning you like 3 times now. Or do you not know what a straw man is and thought it was just a fun word? Nice flounce btw, a whole 32 minutes, wow!

Kyrie
Kyrie
9 years ago

If I see racism in movies, should I shut up about it and make my own movies? (because, you know, everyone has the money, skills and time to do it)

If not why is it different when it’s about video games, or sexism?

Bringing attention to a problem in hope it will be fixed has nothing to with wanting to take away the game, or from stopping people from enjoying it. Unless you can only enjoy it if you’re blind to its problematic elements, which is hardly our problem.
For example, many of us (boys and girls and non binary people) enjoys video games. We often discuss them, both what we appreciated and what disappointed us. Pretty classical for gamers, no? Obviously, since most of us are feminist, the discussion will often be along the line of societal issues: racism, sexism, harmful stereotypes, tropes, transphobia, homophobia, erasure of a minority/identity,… Again, in games that many of us LOVE.

Other example of game I consider kinda feminist: Braid. Very interesting for its approach of male gaze.

Flib
Flib
9 years ago

Johnny never flounce
Also will never explain
Essence of a fool

Kyrie
Kyrie
9 years ago

cloudiah, there was no need to justify yourself, your meaning and humor was absolutely obvious.

Xtra
Xtra
9 years ago

So MRA’S can stop complaining about misandrist television Johnny has the solution for everything. Make your own tv shows. Hey black people, don’t like racist cops—make your own police force, Although it would explain the real dolls though, they made their own woman because they don’t like the real ones that have the audacity to have free will and all.

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

Hey Johnny, I think you should quit complaining about people on the internet examining gender roles in video games and go make your own internet where nobody does that. Sound good?

Kyrie
Kyrie
9 years ago

Dracula, you win an internet, that you may lend to Johnny.

Ithiliana
9 years ago

@Dracula: I think I love you!

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

Aw, thanks all!

TK
TK
9 years ago

How on earth do guys like that survive in a political debate? Because unless you’re willing to invent your own political system, perhaps even found your own country (or colonize a planet), why should you get to whine about it?

katz
9 years ago

No lending Dracula’s internet to Johnny! He has to make his own!

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