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Men’s Rights Redditor: Beware the stealth Sarkeesians infiltrating our industries!

Sneaky Anita Sarekeesian, trying to hide behind a stack of video games.
Sneaky Anita Sarekeesian, trying to hide behind a stack of video games.

So Angry Harry, the dotty old British uncle of the Men’s Rights movement, has a post up vaguely warning that the virus software company Symantec just might soon have some sort of shareholders revolt on its hands because it dared to put a bunch of men’s rights sites on a “hate sites” blacklist, blocking access to them for some users of Symantec’s Rulespace software.

That’s kind of an old whine at this point, but what captured my fancy was this recent discussion about Harry’s article in the Men’s Rights subreddit.


Oh, where to begin with all this? I’m charmed, of course, by the idea that feminism is just ruining things — ruining things! —  for all the nice ladies in the tech world. I mean, it’s not like feminists have anything to complain about with regard to sexism amongst male techies. They’re just complainy complainers. Ladies in tech are doing just fine, thanks! Don’t take their word for it. Take the word of some random dude in the Men’s Rights subreddit for it.

But the real treat here is Hamakua’s nightmare vision of an army of  secret “imbedded” Anita Sarkeesians infiltrating major corporations and … doing what, exactly?  Secretly making videos about sexist tropes in video games in hidden compartments underneath their desks, like that secret nap compartment George had built under his desk at work on Seinfeld?

Beware the stealth Sarkeesians!

(Found this through the AgainstMensRights subreddit.)

217 replies on “Men’s Rights Redditor: Beware the stealth Sarkeesians infiltrating our industries!”

“But while that sort of thing works OK if you’re actually lying or taking advantage of someone, what about when you’re just interacting in a nice way? If you convince someone to be your friend, you don’t have less social capital left over, you have more. And there’s a similar difficulty with modeling it after combat. “Ha, I have totally defeated you! Now you have to be my friend!” Doesn’t make sense.”

I grant that my examples were transactional, but I don’t think the idea needs to be. Although this may be a limitation of the medium itself. After all, most rules are about resolving conflict or some other sort of drama. I’m not sure complex, codified rules for making friends or interacting in nice ways would be necessary, unless the players who struggle with role-playing would actually enjoy the game more with them.

That said, I’d love to see someone design a RPG that made rules for that workable, precisely because it would (potentially) help players who struggle with character roles feel more engaged and give them a sense of direction.

Oh, and another on my list of “some day” is the obscure glam-rock-and-aliens RPG “Starchildren: Velvet Revolution.” I may be one of the only people on the planet who bought a copy, but I still think it would be a lot of fun… especially since it’s not combat-oriented at all. The rules for fighting are deadly, and designed to discourage violence. And the game used playing cards instead of dice, an idea that I’m finding increasingly attractive (it’s one of the things I loved about Castle Falkenstein). Androgyny and gender-bending are a big theme of the game, too (it’s about glam rock, after all).

Bob Goblin:

This game is combat-oriented, but friendships are a big part of the whole thing, too:

That said, having not played it, I can’t guarantee there aren’t other problematic elements–it’s meant to emulate Japanese Anime, and I don’t think anyone here is unaware of just how… un-progressive that particular medium can be.

>it’s meant to emulate Japanese Anime, and I don’t think anyone here is unaware of just how… un-progressive that particular medium can be.

It’s an RPG based on a specific type of porn, from what I gather. I don’t think any country’s in their sunday best in porn.

Not porn, despite the name. In fact, the name is specifically meant to evoke the sorts of mistranslations that occur in cheaply dubbed anime. There is anime porn, but this is meant to be more along the lines of the typical magical girl stuff–Sailor Moon, etc.

D&D (Beige Box)
AD&D 2nd Edition
Call of Cthulu
Villians and Vigilantes
LARPs, of various stripes

I’m sure I’m missing some, but it’s been a while since I was actively gaming.

What do people here think about GURPS?

I tried playing the setting that everybody on the SJGames fora seemed to love, Reign of Steel, but maybe the premise for my particular game was too far out there, or something, or we failed at character creation, because it seemed very difficult to actually accomplish anything.

I agree, Falconer. I’ve played, but never run, GURPS. I didn’t really like the system itself, but their genre and historical sourcebooks are always top-notch and useful for any roleplaying rules set.

I’m a proponent of the idea that a RPG’s rules should be evocative of its theme or setting, the more simply, the better. This is why I’ve started to gravitate away from generic systems like GURPS or (blasphemy!) the recent editions of D&D, and towards simpler, more streamlined and accessible games like Dr. Who/Primeval.

The Doctor Who RPG has an initiative system that perfectly captures the feel of the show, for instance. In times of danger or conflict, there’s no rolling to see who goes first. Actions are resolved in the following order: talkers go first, then runners, then other actions, and beings using violence go last. This sets it up so that the vast majority of conflicts in the game end up resolved through a combination of intellect, persuasion, and jiggery-pokery… just like they do in the show’s universe.

And, as a nice bonus, all those GURPs genre and historical books can be plugged right in…

How does it handle the sheer power gulf between the Doctor and the Companions?

… Maybe I’m thinking of FASA’s Doctor Who game, where one person got to play the Time Lord and the others had to fight over who was going to be the maths whizkid and who the mouthy Ozzy.

I’m not familiar with FASA’s version. I’m playing the one officially licensed to Cubicle 7 Games —

You don’t need to include The Doctor as a PC or even as an NPC in this version, and in some ways it’s preferable not to. The group I’m in are all playing Time Agents with one Vortex Manipulator between us. It’s basically a sci-fi RPG set in the Doctor Who universe, and so the possibilities are endless. Of course, The Doctor can make an appearance, but he’ll be a show-stealer for sure. And it’s possible to make another Time Lord, or even a whole party of Time Lords, as PCs, as well.

It’s a very flexible and easy to learn game. Everyone in our group mastered the basic rules in only a few minutes, as did the GM, who is using this for her first-ever campaign. Lots of fun!

Yeah, the (long-awaited) GURPS Vorkosigan book says, don’t let Miles anywhere near your plot, because he WILL try to solve it himself and steal the show from the PCs. If he doesn’t, either you’re not portraying him right, or it ain’t Miles.

I have to say that I owe good old Angry Harry a lot! I was minding my own business browsing a forum on IMDB when I stumbled across a truly revolting and mysogynist comment by a guy with the Angry Harry link in his signature. Sadly, I clicked on the link and had the misfortune of reading some of the most absurd and hateful crap I’ve ever seen. I was on the verge of losing all faith in humanity, so decided to Google “men against violence against women” in the hope of finding something to balance the scales. My faith was restored as I discovered Man Boobz, Keith Edwards, Jackson Katz and a whole host of other intelligent, articulate and evolved feminist men who not only didn’t buy into Angry Harry’s misogynist bullshit, but actually spoke out against it. It was a revelation!

I grew up with a father who was capable of some pretty shocking misogyny at times, and I just assumed that all men thought that way. Discovering that there were men in the world who viewed women as fellow human beings and who despised misogyny as much as I did was heartwarming to say the least. I actually cried.

So, thanks to Angry Harry, I’m now proud to call myself a feminist and I know that I don’t ever have to put up with misogyny because it’s not “just the way men are”. Thanks, Harry!

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