No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry
Content warning: This post contains graphic language, slurs and triggering content
This article is heartbreaking. And true.
There is a reason I throttled back on doing a lot of creative gaming content a few years ago. And why I still avoid taking some jobs in the gaming world when they’re offered to me. And why, when we have a female host on any of our Geek and Sundry gaming shows, we have to monitor the comments on YouTube extra, to remove the many comments that are offensive and pollute our community’s spirit of equality. Because I hate that shit.
There is an endemic acceptance in the gamer world that “well, it comes with the territory” when a woman receives threats and harassment and the hateful anonymous internet dialogue is focused on her body and whether they would “do” her or not. I don’t know why this became okay. It’s a vocal minority that has been given way too much power over the industry dialogue, and I am so happy to see more and more articles like this shining the light on what reasonable gamer men and women have been conned into accepting as a given.
NOTHING is a given in this world. And frankly, it taints the art form we so love and keeps it back from becoming more respected and more diverse to not at least TRY to fight it. Gaming deserves more than complacency in this area.
Even posting this link will cause me to receive hateful Tumblr PMs. I can always tell when something I write gets linked on certain places on the internet (like 4 Chan or a few other forums of troll-hood), because I’ll immediately get dozens of hate mails along the veins of what is posted in this article.
Well, I’m a lucky one to be prominent enough to have 10 supporters for every hater. I mostly feel sorry for girls and women who aren’t in my position, who may just give up on gaming when they’re too beaten down to fight anymore.
We have to change that. For the good of what we love doing, gamers! Okay, back to work :)
This is infuriating. Where do these haters get this idea? If they’re so offended by female players and female creators and female writers, perhaps they should found their own hater wank universe, where they’ll be happy. Surely it should be sinking through their brain-swamps that women aren’t going away.
They are cowards. Gutless, whining playground bullies who still think that girls have cooties, who have never learned to share their toys, who yap at the ears of their betters without one whit of understanding what it is like to live in their shoes. Forced to live as women for so much as a week, they would wet their pants and whine for their daddies, only to find themselves thrust away by their father-phalluses, dismissed for the crime of being a guuuuurrrrl. Heckled on the street, fondled on the bus, ignored in a meeting, they would collapse, unable to find the courage women have to find to get through a work week. Why? Because they never learned courage in their own forms. They thought it came with their dicks.
Oh, dear. I was away for a moment. I’m back now.
And here we have excellent comments by two of my favorite women in nerd-dom on an excellent and truth-telling article. Also recently reblogged by @rosalarian, another of my favorite women in nerd-dom.
"Johnnie Phelps, a woman sergeant in the army, thought, “There was a tolerance for lesbianism if they needed you. The battalion I was in was probably about ninety-seven percent lesbian.”
Sergeant Phelps worked for General Eisenhower. Four decades after Eisenhower had defeated the Axis powers, Phelps recalled an extraordinary event. One day, the general told her, “I’m giving you an order to ferret those lesbians out. We’re going to get rid of them.”
“I looked at him and then I looked at his secretary who was standing next to me, and I said, ‘Well, sir, if the general pleases, sir, I’ll be happy to do this investigation for you. But you have to know that the first name on the list will be mine.’ “
“And he was kind of taken aback a bit. And then this women standing next to me said, ‘Sir, if the General pleases, you must be aware that Sergeant Phelp’s name may be second, but mine will be first.”
“Then I looked at him, and said, ‘Sir, you’re right. They’re lesbians in the WAC battalion. And if the general is prepared to replace all the file clerks, all the section commanders, all the drivers-every woman in the WAC detachment-and there were about nine hundred and eighty something of us-then I’ll be happy to make that list. But I think the general should be aware that among those women are the most highly decorated women in the war. There have been no cases of illegal pregnancy. There have been no cases of AWOL. There have been no cases of misconduct. And as a matter of fact, every six months since we’ve been here, the general has awarded us a commendation for meritorious conduct.”
“And he said, ‘Forget the order.’”"
"With the exception of that time when I got The Great Brooklyn Stomach Bug of 2013 and spent three straight days watching Downton Abbey on my bathroom floor, I have not gone a single day in New York without a man yelling at me, rubbing up against me, making lewd gestures in my direction, providing unsolicited commentary on my body, or badgering me for my contact information.
"But that sounds crazy!" the dudes protest. And it is! Until you talk to literally any woman ever and they tell you the exact same thing.
Every mundane choice you make, from the length of your skirt to the opacity of your tights to the volume of your iPod to the sturdiness of your jewelry, must be considered carefully and yet doesn’t matter at all. If I had to run in these shoes, could I? If someone grabbed my ponytail or my necklace, could I shake him off? Does this color make me look like I want to be approached? And off come the never-worn stilettos and down comes the hair, and all of a sudden you’re wearing an outfit that you hate, because you are just too fucking tired to deal with it today…and some asshole walks up to you on the train platform and starts making kissy noises in your ear anyway.
It’s like an eternal ringing in your ears, except sometimes that ringing assumes a human form and follows you home at night."
Your Summer Guide to Annihilating Street Harassers (via celaenoo)
It doesn’t have to be your clothes. It’s your weight. Your age. The fact you exist. You’re not in purdah. You’re not in a baby carriage or a car with smoked glass windows. If you’re out there, you’re their game, and far too many of them are pigs. No, I’m wrong. Pigs are clean, given their preference.
Why don’t their families teach them not to do this when their young? Why don’t their fathers and mothers teach them respect for other people? Why don’t their older brothers teach them respect? Their older sisters? Their grandparents, their teachers, their ministers/priests/whatever/coaches? It’s not hard. “I see you do that to a girl, and we’re going to have a talk.” “Now that’s what I call just plain mean.” “We’re not hanging out anymore. He keeps talking trash to every girl he sees.”