So, this article, “Own Up or Change Up – 14 Misguided Defenses for Misogyny in Games,” has been making the rounds, and it’s a pretty good if cursory article. And I posted it to the GGR Facebook page, which resulted in more bannings in one day than in the entire rest of the history of that page.
One article, outlining why those excuses people use for why videogames are and should remain sexist are bullshit, resulted in me having to tell several dudes they could no longer hang out on my page because:
A. The First Amendment does not say what you think it says. Yes, the First Amendment grants the freedom of speech. What that means is you get to say what you want, but that other people get to criticize what you say. And it means you get to criticize what other people say. And so on… Shorter: It does not protect you from being called an asshole.
B. This blog/Facebook page is not the US government. I cannot censor you. I’m not a government agency. Now I CAN delete your ass, or block your ass, because this website, that facebook page, that twitter account, are MINE. But I’m still not “censoring” you. You can go scream about what a bitch I am from the mountain tops if you are so motivated, but you will not do it on my dime.
C. The other people talking about misogyny in games are ALSO not the US Government, and therefore are not censoring you. They get to talk about why sexual discrimination and misogyny in games are bad things. And you get to voice your opinions. And then we get to explain why we think you’re full of shit. It happens. Hopefully everyone can be grown ups about it and speak civilly. But sometimes that doesn’t happen.
D. If you’re upset that fewer misogynistic games and stuff are being made (and I don’t know that anyone CAN make the argument right now), that would be because people aren’t buying them. If your blow up dolls are being replaced with realistic female characters, and that upsets you, well, then, you can just do what you’ve been telling female gamers to do for years and suck it up, Buttercup.
Now a question that came up, particularly in light of the Mortal Kombat game the article brought up, was do male characters lose their clothes like the female characters do as they’re wounded? So I just spent fifteen minutes watching character bios for the Mortal Kombat, and while, yes, the male characters do lose parts of their clothing, they neither lose as much, nor in as sexualised a manner. When the female characters lose their clothing, their already skimpy outfits lose the majority of their boob coverage and big chunks of what covers their asses. When the guys lose parts of their clothing, the holes stay far, far away from their groins and asses.
Maholo Videogames on Youtube have the character bio walkthroughs for all the characters, so you can check this out for yourself.
Now I hope that by this point in the conversation, I hope I don’t have to go into detail about how male video game characters, which are exaggerated and idealized, are idealized MALE power fantasies (because I can’t get Shortpacked to cooperate with my machine, have the Mary Sue article).
So, in sum, while it may upset you that women (and some dudes) are pointing out that misogyny in your favorite media is a real thing, screaming “Censorship!” and “First Amendment!” aren’t going to do anything other than make you look stupid, and get you blocked.
If you like the blog or the podcast, please, please, please donate to keep us going. Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.
Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16).