Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Women in Gaming/Tech

(Disclaimer: The views expressed here are entirely my own. They do not reflect the views of my employer, or anyone else. They are mine and mine alone)

Every day I am confronted with an overwhelming theme in the snippets of social dialogue of which I peruse. I am probably what Ryon Day would call a spiritual window-shopper (http://ninjaloungehouse.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/felicia-day-ruined-videogaming/#comment-84) in a lot of ways. I sit here comfortably watching the discourse flow by. Often I am just not mtoivated anymore to take part. Other times I am paralyzed by rage, unable to find a meaningful or impactful way to contribute. Our discourse as a society has become shattered and we now fight each other with vehemence and vitriol over the small peices of the puzzle. But, I digress.

Lately I keep hearing/reading about the plight of Women in Tech. Or women in the Games culture. The more I see this come up though, the more my reaction has started to turn to anger. That's right, I am angry at the people who say "women are treated badly in the tech field" or "women are treated badly in the gaming world".  To these people I say this now, being as frank and clear as I possibly can: "Women are treated badly EVERYWHERE". The problem is not with gaming or tech, or any other sub-culture. The problem is with our culture! Why limit this even to women, though? They hardly have a monopoly on this phenomenon? What about Homosexuals? Bisexuals? Transgenders? Transvestites? What about anyone who is not a White Hetero Male, essentially?  As a White Hetereo Male of the fairly standard European stock, I am amazed at what I see. I have had conversations with people who I respected and found to be very intelligent when a bombshell comes out of their mouth like "it's all part of the gay agenda" or some other suitable piece of toxic mind-poison.

When rabid pro-whatever people start causing a ruckus, we find the corners of our mouth tugging in distaste. We say to ourselves "why can't they just be a little more reasonable?" I am surely guilty of this, just as I am surely deserving of someone telling me to shut up for it. The fact is us White Hetero European Descent Males have held a majority of the power across the world for quite a long time now. Yet, no one cries more shrilly when they feel threatened. If you don't beleive me, just turn your attention to politics here in the US for five minutes. There's an entire sect of the Republican Party polarizing around their pride at being White Hetero Christian Males who want to make sure that people like homosexuals stay in their place(although I think some of them would like even more drastic measures).  When women come forward about being marginalized or worse yet, sexually assaulted, they are spewed on from a firehose of filth. On the internet we have come to expect a certain level of verbal sludge spewing forth in our direction whenever somebody says something we don't like. What these people face is a whole different level though. This level comes with threats of violence and sexual assault on a routine basis. Let me just reiterate: we as a culture seem to be okay with the fact that, if somebody doesn't like what you have to say they can threaten to rape and kill you. Maybe i'm overreacting, but that seems like a few steps down the path to essentially condoning crimes of murder and rape. There should be nothing funny or acceptable about this behaviour. If anyone reading this has engaged in this behaviour, let me just say this "You are the one who should be treated as subhuman. Not women, not gays, not transgenders. You! You are contemptible and despicable, and I feel sick to think we are even from the same species."

So, now I have rambled in an irate manner for a while. I'm going to wrap this up. Anytime you start to rationalize dehumanizing another person because they are different than you, you're on a dangerous path. We need to stop focusing on our myopic sub-cultures, and realised there is something fundamentally broken within our society.  As long as things like this: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/10/12/4549775/nightmare-in-maryville-teens-sexual.html can continue to happen, I will feel sick inside.

That's my two-cents.

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