Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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I think she's done a pretty good job of putting together examples of the tropes she is exploring. There are numerous exceptions that many have pointed out, where a different game may have been preferable, but overall she's identifying the trend and context. Her actual analysis of WHY these tropes are negative, however, is both relatively minimal & thinly-supported; she spends a majority of her time explaining their permutations, which again she does a relatively decent job of. There's room for improvement, but I'm not sure I could do better. When she DOES briefly talk about why these tropes are harmful, though, she does so in reductionist, dogmatic, and flippant one-liners that are expressed in absolute terms and do not leave ANY room for alternative explanations. If you find that sort of "analysis" intellectually stimulating or in any way satisfactory, well, I'm just surprised, because your comments on this thread suggest to me that you'd have a higher standard.

This sums up my thoughts on Anita and the series so far pretty much perfectly, and it's worded and phrased better than I probably ever could. Perfect.

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Statements like this imply that men, simply because they are men, are participating in a sexist system, and are therefore sexist themselves.

almost. the primary concern is that the system is sexist. i dont know how many other ways i can say that regardless of how you feel you are being labeled, the individual is not being implicated, but the class (in the abstract).

look at it this way: 1 in 6 women in the U.S. will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. you - a man - may never commit rape in your entire lifetime; that does not change the fact of a broader pattern in which men commit acts of sexual violence against not only women, but other men, and children. this is not specific to american culture, nor is it a new phenomenon. do you really think it is happenstance? the purpose of feminist theories is in part to explain things like sexual violence by analyzing the ways in which cultural attitudes and practices contribute to these patterns.

I was suggesting that applying a negative level to a group whose members cannot help being part of that group (eg "men" or "Americans" rather than, say, "Nazis") is dehumanizing because it attempts to define them as less, or at least worse, than a "normal" person.

no, im sorry but this just does not apply to what i said. you are twisting the meaning of "dehumanization" - a very real phenomenon - to use it as a weak metaphor. to say that "men represent the oppressor-class in a gender-based hierarchy" is not at all the equivalent of saying that "men are worse than normal people" (your use of the words "normal person" say a lot about the misunderstanding here - there can be no "normal" or "neutral" person). dehumanization is the process by which men come to comprise the oppressor-class and women come to comprise the oppressed-class in the first place, and cannot be used to describe the observation (or "labelling" as you say) of that fact.

i cannot address the rest of your post re: dehumanization, because it is apparently written from the perspective that "dehumanization" refers to any action or condition which makes a person feel bad about themselves.

The only reasonable definition of racism is "discrimination based on ethnicity". It doesn't matter what ethnicity is being discriminated, because the term isn't that specific. If you want to talk about racism by or against a specific group (like whites against non-whites, or non-blacks against blacks, or whatever) then you can do that... by specifying that that's what you mean. Defining racism as, essentially "by white people against non-white people", you obscure the fact that white people can be hurt by racism against them for being white. Is it as big a problem as discrimination against non-whites? Absolutely not, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a problem or we should ignore it.

let me be clear: the base definition of racism is, as you say, discrimination on the basis of skin colour. for the purpose of analogy, the base definition of rape is forced or otherwise non-consensual sex. but just as any meaningful or practical discussion on rape must take into account the fact that it has been statistically and historically an act perpetrated by men against women (and against other men and children), so too must any meaningful or practical discussion on racism account for the fact that we live in a society where white-ness, as a group, has historically benefited at the expense of coloured-ness. in these situations, discussions on the dictionary definitions of racism, sexism, rape, or whatever the case may be, have very little utility, and it's important to recognize when they are being employed in support of some level-playing-field argument in an attempt to negate or diminish the legitimacy of the inequality being discussed.

What I'm saying is that she makes only "this is so" statements, and does nothing to support them.

you are right to say that the segment i referenced does not represent a complete argument. to that all i can say is the same thing that i said to djp, which is that a truly satisfying, all-encompassing analysis exceeds the scope of these videos, and demands a much larger format. which is why, i imagine, sarkeesian included a link to the julia wood study, which provides a much more in-depth look at the arguments presented here, complete with sourced historical, sociological and cultural data/research.

i think it is unfair to expect of these videos - or really, any documentary or video-essay like it - to include such information. as a medium, video is not really conducive to such things, and it's why the series is called "tropes vs. women in video games" and not "video games and the normalization of violence against women".

Edited by Radiowar

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i think it is unfair to expect of these videos - or really, any documentary or video-essay like it - to include such information. as a medium, video is not really conducive to such things, and it's why the series is called "tropes vs. women in video games" and not "video games and the normalization of violence against women".

i don't think it's unfair to expect someone making strong claims, in language practically as fact no less, to support their claims, not just make them and walk off.

backing up your claims is the most basic of tenets when it comes to making informational material. she doesn't get a free pass because sexism is 'nebulous and subjective.'

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I'm giving up on Alex, specifically, until he reads The Blank Slate :smile:

Recommended reading to everyone else, as well!

We're going in circles because he keeps articulating what in my estimation is a worldview that is far too comfortable with gross oversimplification, and schizophrenic in its relationship with hard data.

http://1in6.org/the-1-in-6-statistic/

You quote the 1-in-6 women... here's the 1-in-6 men, FYI.

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I think the difference is that most sexual abuse of women is committed by men, whereas with men it's usually other men perpetrating (priests, coaches, etc). So, the context does matter.

While I was in the car earlier I happened upon a few interesting 'hard data' studies that might be relevant.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3210143 <- Exposure to violent / degrading images of women over a long time reduces viewer empathy / sympathy for rape victims

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2005-2009/07CAB.pdf <- Playing violent video games causes physiological desensitization to other violent imagery

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01544683#page-1 <- Exposure to rap videos with women in sexually degrading roles caused, among *women*, increased acceptance of dating violence

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fpublication%2F229493469_The_Effects_of_Multiple_Exposures_to_Filmed_Violence_Against_Women%2Ffile%2Fd912f5092ba2dc1163.pdf&ei=TsmqUcicE4ST0QHy2IA4&usg=AFQjCNHpMXojy9QgYf3_ossGanwU_vwP0w&sig2=tSQOIPKllr8c6aTanJP8sQ&bvm=bv.47244034,d.dmQ <- Multiple exposures to filmed violence against women appears to have similar negative effects

I had been thinking about what Dave said about lack of evidence or whatever, and just searched for a few minutes for terms like "study exposure media violence women attitude" (and similar terms). The above is a pretty small sampling - there are actually a ton of studies, and though I didn't (and still don't) have the time to exhaustively read or review anywhere close to all of them, it seems to me like it is at least reasonable (and not just "second wave feminist" rhetoric, or whatever) to suggest that video games that have degrading depictions of women and/or violence against women have a real psychological + physiological effect.

Edited by zircon

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I think the difference is that most sexual abuse of women is committed by men, whereas with men it's usually other men perpetrating (priests, coaches, etc). So, the context does matter.

Back it up with data, dude.

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i don't think it's unfair to expect someone making strong claims, in language practically as fact no less, to support their claims, not just make them and walk off.

backing up your claims is the most basic of tenets when it comes to making informational material. she doesn't get a free pass because sexism is 'nebulous and subjective.'

i didnt say she gets a free pass, and i absolutely did not say that sexism is "nebulous and subjective", and sarkeesian did not simply "make claims and walk off", which is why i posted the link to the exact comprehensive study which she cites. thanks for summarizing my 1000+ word posts in such an utterly misleading way, though.

http://1in6.org/the-1-in-6-statistic/

You quote the 1-in-6 women... here's the 1-in-6 men, FYI.

help me out here, please. i took pains in my response to native jovian to make it clear that women, men, and children are all capable of being the victims of sexual violence - what is important is recognizing that those acts are overwhelmingly committed by males. it is also important to understand - and i know you're gonna hate this - the ways in which the acts of sexual violence committed by men towards other men are driven by patriarchal rape-cultures, particularly those which exist in prisons.

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I think the difference is that most sexual abuse of women is committed by men, whereas with men it's usually other men perpetrating (priests, coaches, etc). So, the context does matter.

While I was in the car earlier I happened upon a few interesting 'hard data' studies that might be relevant.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3210143 <- Exposure to violent / degrading images of women over a long time reduces viewer empathy / sympathy for rape victims

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2005-2009/07CAB.pdf <- Playing violent video games causes physiological desensitization to other violent imagery

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01544683#page-1 <- Exposure to rap videos with women in sexually degrading roles caused, among *women*, increased acceptance of dating violence

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDUQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fpublication%2F229493469_The_Effects_of_Multiple_Exposures_to_Filmed_Violence_Against_Women%2Ffile%2Fd912f5092ba2dc1163.pdf&ei=TsmqUcicE4ST0QHy2IA4&usg=AFQjCNHpMXojy9QgYf3_ossGanwU_vwP0w&sig2=tSQOIPKllr8c6aTanJP8sQ&bvm=bv.47244034,d.dmQ <- Multiple exposures to filmed violence against women appears to have similar negative effects

I had been thinking about what Dave said about lack of evidence or whatever, and just searched for a few minutes for terms like "study exposure media violence women attitude" (and similar terms). The above is a pretty small sampling - there are actually a ton of studies, and though I didn't (and still don't) have the time to exhaustively read or review anywhere close to all of them, it seems to me like it is at least reasonable (and not just "second wave feminist" rhetoric, or whatever) to suggest that video games that have degrading depictions of women and/or violence against women have a real psychological + physiological effect.

I meant data relevant to the claim that you made. Something like this

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/17/stern-review-male-rape

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the primary concern is that the system is sexist. i dont know how many other ways i can say that regardless of how you feel you are being labeled, the individual is not being implicated, but the class (in the abstract).

I'm part of the class. If you're implicating the entire class, then you're implicating me. If you're implicating part of the class, then you should say so -- it's not like it's that much harder to say "sexists" or "misogynists" than "men". You can't blame the group without blaming the individuals that make up the group.

As an aside: what exactly does "the system" mean in this context? If the system is sexist, then how does one either a) change the system so it's not sexist, or B) refuse to participate in the sexist system without withdrawing from society completely and living in a shack in the mountains for the rest of your life?

dehumanization is the process by which men come to comprise the oppressor-class and women come to comprise the oppressed-class in the first place, and cannot be used to describe the observation (or "labelling" as you say) of that fact.

You realize that the problem I had in the first place was your defining of dehumanization as inherently something that men do to women? All I'm saying is that dehumanization is, in general, the act of revoking the status of "human" from any other group, not just "men oppressing women". You mostly hear about dehumanization in terms of war -- eg, they're not human beings, they're "the enemy", so it's okay to kill them.

You can't just arbitrarily define terms in ways that support your stance, and then use those definitions as evidence that your stance is correct.

to that all i can say is the same thing that i said to djp, which is that a truly satisfying, all-encompassing analysis exceeds the scope of these videos

That's what you'd call a cop out. If arguing her point is beyond the scope of the video, then the video is pointless. What good does just getting up and saying "SEXISM!" do for anyone? The people who already agree with her will continue to agree with her, the people who disagree with her will continue to disagree with her, and the people who are undecided or uneducated on the subject will have no reason to choose her interpretation over any other, because she gives no reason why they should. Nothing happens, nobody's opinion is revised, and nothing changes. Pointless.

And again, we're not asking for in-depth dissertation-level coverage of the topic, just some basic justification for her claims. I don't really think that that's too much to ask for.

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I meant data relevant to the claim that you made. Something like this

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/17/stern-review-male-rape

You could just Google it...

http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/SOO.PDF

91% of rape victims are female, 99% of offenders are male. Nobody is claiming that ONLY men rape, or that ONLY females or raped, etc., but convictions / prison stats (which is the best we have to go on in terms of stats + hard data) suggests that overwhelmingly, men are the perpetrators of sexual abuse / rape.

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I'm part of the class. If you're implicating the entire class, then you're implicating me. If you're implicating part of the class, then you should say so -- it's not like it's that much harder to say "sexists" or "misogynists" than "men". You can't blame the group without blaming the individuals that make up the group.

but it has nothing to do with implicating people at all. it absolutely is possible to "blame the group without blaming the individuals" because these groups have no bearing on the inherent humanity of the people who exist within them. as i said earlier, just because gender-based discrimination is the topic of discussion here should not be taken to mean it is in any way independent of other forms of discrimination. these things are all connected. what good is implicating a black man because he's a man when he is the subject of racial discrimination? what good is exonerating a rich woman because she's a woman when she benefits from class-based discrimination? and so on.

that said - and im only saying this to be absolutely clear - while implicating the group does not necessarily implicate all individuals within it, that does not make those sexists and misogynists you refer to any less culpable. and - if i can stretch my luck here a little - the implication may at times extend to those who don't explicitly perform sexist or misogynistic acts, yet nonetheless enable or endorse those acts implicitly through conscious inaction, which is no less an act of privilege than those explicit acts.

to give you an example of the kind of "endorsement through inaction" im talking about, take the example of a woman who is abducted and raped while walking alone at night. it is quite common in these situations to hear people (usually men) say things like, "she must have been dressed provocatively," or, "she should have known better than to go walking there" (indeed, legal judgments have been handed down saying as much). this is a phenomenon widely referred to as "victim blaming", and it contributes arguably as much to the 1-in-6 statistic as the rapists themselves do.

As an aside: what exactly does "the system" mean in this context? If the system is sexist, then how does one either a) change the system so it's not sexist, or B) refuse to participate in the sexist system without withdrawing from society completely and living in a shack in the mountains for the rest of your life?

because you may have missed it, i'll repost the passage from ridgeway that i used in response to djp earlier:

Structural theories of power explain gender differences in power use as a function of structural advantages associated with gender in society. The theories argue that males and females do not have equal opportunities to exercise power because of social stratification at the macro level that differentially allocates power resources and status privileges to males and females. Macro-level stratification also produces gender differences in structural power at more micro levels--in the family, among work associates, and so on. Differences in both strategies of power and outcomes of power between men and women can therefore be explained by males' greater structural advantages, rather than socialized characteristics of individuals.

to your second question: to be honest, i have no idea how these systems change. if human history is indication, they dont. society has breached a lot of new ground in the last 100 years.

on an individual level, i think most people would say just try to be a good person. if you see or hear something sexist (or racist), say so. if a woman points out that something you've said or done is harmful to her, hear her out instead of immediately going on the defensive. and hey, if you happen to come across sexism in video games, give it a brief moment of consideration before going on your way.

You realize that the problem I had in the first place was your defining of dehumanization as inherently something that men do to women? All I'm saying is that dehumanization is, in general, the act of revoking the status of "human" from any other group, not just "men oppressing women". You mostly hear about dehumanization in terms of war -- eg, they're not human beings, they're "the enemy", so it's okay to kill them.

i didnt say that dehumanization was something that men inherently do to women, it's something that patriarchal notions of masculinity (and of course, femininity) do to women (and, just so im covering my bases here, men and children as well). dehumanization is one of the processes by which the power distribution within social structures is upheld: it operates primarily through cultural attitudes or practices (and this includes works of art) which diminish the humanity of one or more groups within that structure for the purpose of fulfilling the wills or desires of the dominant group. as an example: (i use this example because you brought up nazis earlier) the holocaust was the culmination of a sequence of events which were made possible in no small part by the myriad ways (through propaganda, public policy, anti-semetic art works, etc.) european jews (among other underprivileged groups) were dehumanized by the german people.

it's an extreme example to be sure, but it's not the only of it's kind, and it's one which should resonate with just about anyone.

That's what you'd call a cop out. If arguing her point is beyond the scope of the video, then the video is pointless.

hang on a second - i didnt say that. im saying the scope of the video has been made clear in its title: "tropes vs women in video games". BUT, if you take issue with her point that:

In short, sexist media doesn't instantly turn you into a raging misogynistic asshole, but it does influence you into believing the sexist narrative in more subtle ways.

that is something which goes beyond the scope of this video, and something which is satisfied by the study she cites. furthermore, i believe that the kind of information expressed in the study is not really possible to express through video, even if it were within its scope.

other than that, i dont have much else to say on this point. though for what it's worth, i do think that sarkeesian's videos may benefit from taking a page from the daily show's editorial pieces, in which the primary sources and documents being referenced are often displayed clearly on-screen while the argument continues in voice-over.

Edited by Radiowar

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Teach our boys not to be aggressive, not to bully, not to rape...

You figure all the rapists were just absent for that lesson?

Edited by herograw
that

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I had been thinking about what Dave said about lack of evidence or whatever, and just searched for a few minutes for terms like "study exposure media violence women attitude" (and similar terms). The above is a pretty small sampling - there are actually a ton of studies, and though I didn't (and still don't) have the time to exhaustively read or review anywhere close to all of them, it seems to me like it is at least reasonable (and not just "second wave feminist" rhetoric, or whatever) to suggest that video games that have degrading depictions of women and/or violence against women have a real psychological + physiological effect.

The problem with Google is that I can use it, too :)

http://bscw-app1.let.ethz.ch/pub/bscw.cgi/d5907581/Savage-Does%20viewing%20violent%20media%20really%20cause%20criminal%20violence.pdf

The above is a decent meta-analysis focusing on violence in general.... it focuses on MULTIPLE studies, looking for correlation.

http://www.apa.org/divisions/div46/articles/malamuth.pdf

And what do we have here? Let's see:

"With respect to exposure effects, the results did not reveal that repeated exposure to violent or nonviolent pornography had any significant effect on laboratory aggression against women. These findings appear to be inconsistent with previous data showing that exposure to violent pornography may increase males' laboratory aggression toward women (e.g., Donnerstein, 1980a,b; 1984; Donnerstein and Berkowitz, 1981; Malamuth, 1978). The most apparent explanation for this discrepancy is that earlier investigations examined immediate effects (i.e., in same session that exposures were presented) whereas the present experiment tested for relatively long-term effects. It may be that exposure to violent pornography might have an immediate impact on aggressive behavior against women but this effect may dissipate quickly over time."
So any aggression effect could be short-term. Attitudinal & long-term effects are far more difficult to quantify.

I might also add that one of the links that YOU PROVIDED, said the following:

There were no differences in response between the R-rated teen sex film and the X-rated, sexually explicit, nonviolent film, and the no-exposure control conditions on the objectification or the rape trial variables.
At the very least, this flies in the face of your previous claims SPECIFIC to sexual objectification (and NOT violence). Oops? Were you attempting to completely rescind that aspect of your objections?

So YOU are linking to hard(ish) data that more or less refutes at least THAT part of your previous statements. Mazel tov - remember this when Anita's videos start focusing on that topic, please!

It is completely reasonable to hypothesize what you are hypothesizing; the unreasonable part of it is the certainty with which you are jumping to conclusions & even prescribing/justifying action based on those conclusions!!!

Can't stress the difference enough! Been stressing it over & over & over again! And again! And again and again!

http://christucker.ytmnd.com/

You haven't just been "suggesting" - you've been describing your ideas as "extremely sound logic" and "self-evident" - and there's an absolutely gargantuan difference! Come on!

Also, for the record... why aren't you saying we should tone down the overall violence, then? If anything, the data you linked to suggests that depictions of VIOLENCE - whether it be sexual or non-sexual, committed against men or women - is the FAR more dangerous content. You're quoting data that partially supports your hypothesis, but far more clearly suggests that arguments against depictions of violence in general are the more logical result. Why the disparity?

I strongly recommend reading: http://bit.ly/1aRFWCp

Nadine Strossen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadine_Strossen) is covering most of this far more eloquently than I can. Her points are EXACTLY, EXACTLY, EXACTLY, EXACTLY why third-wave feminism has moved away from media criticism of this nature and towards issues like equal pay & harassment in the workplace.

You two didn't get the memo. Read the bitly link. Twenty times over. PLEASE.

Please.

help me out here, please. i took pains in my response to native jovian to make it clear that women, men, and children are all capable of being the victims of sexual violence - what is important is recognizing that those acts are overwhelmingly committed by males. it is also important to understand - and i know you're gonna hate this - the ways in which the acts of sexual violence committed by men towards other men are driven by patriarchal rape-cultures, particularly those which exist in prisons.

I shall help you out! It is relevant because the argument being articulated was that depictions of violence against women contributed to (i.e. increased) violence against women. My point is, why scope it thus? It betrays the bias... why not... depictions of violence against people contributes to violence against people? If the 1-in-6 stat rings true for men as victims of sexual assault, then why is singling out the 1-in-6 stat for women relevant to an argument that SPECIFICALLY focuses on depictions of violence against women, and not simply depictions of violence against human beings? When you quote a stat like that, in this context, the bias is transparent.

Have either of you read A Clockwork Orange??

Here's just a food-for-thought, from-the-gut observation that I'm not going to bother to substantiate with facts, because I want you to dig deep about what you know & have observed about our world:

How come the cultures with the worst track records for human rights & equal treatment of women seem to be the ones LEAST tolerant of pornography, violent or otherwise? How come rape has decreased as the availability of sexually explicit material has only increased, along with the ease of obtaining it online? Ditto for film, television, & video game violence becoming MORE explicit, even as violent crime rates drop? I won't make the same causal mistakes you're making by claiming that these trends prove my point as "self-evident" or logical, but they should at least create more doubt than either of you care to express about your convictions.

These questions aren't meant to cut media/cultural criticism off at the knees, as Alex would claim, by suggesting that no art can ever be offensive/harmful. But we should point out how & why we find it offensive, personally, share our observations, and move on. That role - the role of the critic - is indeed both valuable & powerful. If that's all Anita, or Andy, or Alex were doing, I might still disagree due to having a different threshold or standard of what I find offensive, but that'd be fine, and we'd all have at least reflected on the topic, which is fantastic & productive.

It's the certitude, the correlation-is-not-causation fallacies being made left and right, the tenuous extrapolations, and the clear presence of bias in the perception OF bias that I find so problematic, especially since NONE OF THEM ARE NECESSARY to make a persuasive argument that video games as an art form would be more interesting & expressive if some of these tropes were less common!!

At any rate, my time is short as well.

I'm just going to keep linking: http://bit.ly/1aRFWCp over & over again, now :)

Edited by djpretzel

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These questions aren't meant to cut media/cultural criticism off at the knees, as Alex would claim, by suggesting that no art can ever be offensive/harmful. But we should point out how & why we find it offensive, personally, share our observations, and move on. That role - the role of the critic - is indeed both valuable & powerful. If that's all Anita, or Andy, or Alex were doing, I might still disagree due to having a different threshold or standard of what I find offensive, but that'd be fine, and we'd all have at least reflected on the topic, which is fantastic & productive.

It's the certitude, the correlation-is-not-causation fallacies being made left and right, the tenuous extrapolations, and the clear presence of bias in the perception OF bias that I find so problematic, especially since NONE OF THEM ARE NECESSARY to make a persuasive argument that video games as an art form would be more interesting & expressive if some of these tropes were less common!!

Outside of trolls the internet over just trying to stir the pot, I'm pretty sure this is the general consensus of her detractors.

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implicating the group does not necessarily implicate all individuals within it, that does not make those sexists and misogynists you refer to any less culpable.

If it's sexists and misogynists that are the problem, then why talk about men in general instead of sexist or misogynistic men?

to your second question: to be honest, i have no idea how these systems change. if human history is indication, they dont.

That's patently untrue. Society has a repeated history of becoming more equal for more of its members as time goes on. Compare the situation for women now versus women 100 years ago, African Americans now compared to 50 years ago, or gay people now compared to 25 years ago. You can't say that improvements haven't happened, my question was how does one help those improvements happen. My point is that even if you agree with everything the videos say, they still don't give you anything productive to do with your new attitude. If you want to fix a problem, you can't just say "there's a problem", you have to follow up with "so this is what we should do about it" -- something that the videos utterly fail to do.

i didnt say that dehumanization was something that men inherently do to women, it's something that patriarchal notions of masculinity (and of course, femininity) do to women (and, just so im covering my bases here, men and children as well).

Uh.

dehumanization is the process by which men are able to be distinguished as oppressor-class in the first place
dehumanization is the process by which men come to comprise the oppressor-class and women come to comprise the oppressed-class

If I'm not supposed to get "dehumanization is a thing that men do to women" from that, then you need to be more careful with what you're saying.

hang on a second - i didnt say that. im saying the scope of the video has been made clear in its title: "tropes vs women in video games".

She very obviously has a greater point to make than just "here's a compiled list of a bunch of tropes involving women used by video games". If all she was doing was that, then she's done a decent job. But she clearly has a greater point to make -- that the use of said tropes are harmful to society in general and women in particular -- which she completely and utterly fails to support in any meaningful way. You're not allowed to say something without backing it up and then say "well, backing it up is beyond the scope of what I'm doing right now". That's a cop out.

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DJP, I haven't gone through and read all your comments but regarding this one, how can you not agree that art can "be better" and serve to transcend us past such, well put, lazy storytelling that degrades women and elevates the ego and violence of men? We should demand better and not help fund this line of storytelling. I don't play many of the games she mentions here but agree and often find myself at odds trying to get into the real life issues of many contemporary dramas that hark messages like this because they are removed from reality and not something I am willing to buy in to.

I believe games can transcend and become art. A scribble isn't art. By accepting, we say it is ok and lower our own moral ground. We have a long way to keep reaching and I believe in these times we have already lost a lot of ground while spreading ourselves thin. Think: what do we offer in excahnge for our technology, comfort, and sense of immediancy. It's all part of the process, so I am not bothered but I also know what side I am on too.

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DJP, I haven't gone through and read all your comments but regarding this one, how can you not agree that art can "be better" and serve to transcend us past such, well put, lazy storytelling that degrades women and elevates the ego and violence of men? We should demand better and not help fund this line of storytelling. I don't play many of the games she mentions here but agree and often find myself at odds trying to get into the real life issues of many contemporary dramas that hark messages like this because they are removed from reality and not something I am willing to buy in to.

I believe games can transcend and become art. A scribble isn't art. By accepting, we say it is ok and lower our own moral ground. We have a long way to keep reaching and I believe in these times we have already lost a lot of ground while spreading ourselves thin. Think: what do we offer in excahnge for our technology, comfort, and sense of immediancy. It's all part of the process, so I am not bothered but I also know what side I am on too.

I apologize, but you'd really need to read my posts, as I believe I've already addressed your questions. Also, there is no universal, homogenous "we" - so "demanding" that art conform to what "we" think is "our" "moral ground" is pretty damn iffy. At any rate... read my posts, I've covered it.

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I shall help you out! It is relevant because the argument being articulated was that depictions of violence against women contributed to (i.e. increased) violence against women. My point is, why scope it thus? It betrays the bias... why not... depictions of violence against people contributes to violence against people? If the 1-in-6 stat rings true for men as victims of sexual assault, then why is singling out the 1-in-6 stat for women relevant to an argument that SPECIFICALLY focuses on depictions of violence against women, and not simply depictions of violence against human beings?

again, the video series is called "tropes vs. women", not "tropes vs. all of humanity" - and i really dont want to go down the road of "why feminism and not humanism" once more (which is not to say that you have been the one to make statements like that, just that it has come up in this thread before).

the argument being articulated does say that depictions of violence against women contributes to actual violence against women; the corollary to that argument is that depictions of men committing acts of violence - and especially acts of sexually motivated violence - leads to an increase in acts of violence by men, and not exclusively against women. the reason why sarkeesian is highlighting assaults on women is because representations of violence frequently associate masculine traits to either their justifications or the acts themselves, while associating feminine traits to passivity or being-acted-upon - we dont need to look far to find ways in which this is normalized even through language ("be a man", "grow a pair"; "dont be a pussy", "crying like a girl").

also important, though, is that while the acts of violence these things are said to influence may be indiscriminate w.r.t. gender (though i would question that; the site i linked says explicitly that 1 in 33 men - which is to say adult men - are the victims of sexual violence, whereas the site you linked says simply that 1 in 6 men will have experienced sexual violence by the time they are 18, which is to say before they reach adulthood), narratives of masculinity having dominion over femininity manifest themselves in other ways. consider, for example, the recent anti-abortion law which went before an all-male panel. if that's not a real enough example of men making determinations about women's lives of the sort that sarkeesian is talking about, then i dont know what is.

----

If it's sexists and misogynists that are the problem, then why talk about men in general instead of sexist or misogynistic men?

read the part of my post where i addressed the ways in which implied enabling or endorsement through inaction are an equal part of the problem to out-and-out sexism and misogyny. note also that while this does cast a wider net, it does not implicate men as a whole, singular entity.

That's patently untrue. Society has a repeated history of becoming more equal for more of its members as time goes on. Compare the situation for women now versus women 100 years ago, African Americans now compared to 50 years ago, or gay people now compared to 25 years ago. You can't say that improvements haven't happened, my question was how does one help those improvements happen.

why did you cut out the part of my post where i acknowledged exactly the kind of progress which took place in the 20th century you're referring to? i dont know if you mistakenly passed over it or something, but if not that seems like a cheap thing to do. the reason why i said flatly that "if history is any indication, they don't" is because i do not - and i dont think you do, either - believe that any of that progress has reached something we could call "complete", and that in the scheme of things, 100 years is an incredibly small slice of human history to consider anything within it "permanent". in fact, if the recent debates about women's rights to contraceptive health care are any indication, some of that progress is actively or at risk of being undone.

as to how change is brought about, i would refer you back to my post. on an individual level, critical thinking and empathy are essential in any effort to counter these ingrained dehumanizing traditions and institutions. sarkeesian's video, while not explicitly stating such, is in itself such an act, and i believe encourages similar acts by its example.

If I'm not supposed to get "dehumanization is a thing that men do to women" from that, then you need to be more careful with what you're saying.

nowhere in either of the posts you quoted do i say that or even suggest it. those posts do not rule out the ways in which women's actions enable - if unwittingly - those same dehumanizing processes, among other permutations. maybe you need to read my posts a little more carefully.

Edited by Radiowar

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nowhere in either of the posts you quoted do i say that or even suggest it. those posts do not rule out the ways in which women's actions enable - if unwittingly - those same dehumanizing processes, among other permutations. maybe you need to read my posts a little more carefully.

He IS reading your posts carefully. He quoted you:

"dehumanization is the process by which men come to comprise the oppressor-class and women come to comprise the oppressed-class"
This IS a definition of dehumanization that is extraordinarily poorly-worded. I'd be personally ashamed at having written it, if I had.

Rather than telling him to read more closely, you should really own that one. That you refuse to pretty much echoes my comments about Kool-Aid...

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This IS a definition of dehumanization that is extraordinarily poorly-worded. I'd be personally ashamed at having written it, if I had.

it was in response to a post of his in which he suggested that it was the observation or "labelling" of the phenomenon itself which was dehumanizing, rather than the process by which it comes to exist in the first place. i dont see any problem with what i said - and i could do without the jab about being "ashamed" of it - other than it could be construed that i was referring to individual men or women instead of the macro-level notions of man-ness or woman-ness (which, in my defense, is why i am careful to always use the word "individual" when i am using the words "men" or "women" in that context).

regardless of the merit of that definition when taken out of context, i followed it up with a much more complete definition:

dehumanization is one of the processes by which the power distribution within social structures is upheld: it operates primarily through cultural attitudes or practices (and this includes works of art) which diminish the humanity of one or more groups within that structure for the purpose of fulfilling the wills or desires of the dominant group.

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as an aside, i would like to post an excerpt from the documentary i referenced earlier, the house i live in. the film is specifically concerned with the drug war in the united states, and on a broader level the way in which it intersects racism, classism, and capitalism, but i hope that if you watch this excerpt you might get a clearer understanding of where im coming from in my posts about feminism and dehumanization. if nothing else, i hope this might do a little to assuage djp's concerns that i am simply lifting my posts from some other source directly.

http://youtu.be/Wdiz7E6biMM

Edited by Radiowar

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as an aside, i would like to post an excerpt from the documentary i referenced earlier, the house i live in. the film is specifically concerned with the drug war in the united states, and on a broader level the institutions which it upholds, including racism, capitalism, etc., but i hope that if you watch this excerpt you might get a clearer understanding of where im coming from in my posts about feminism and dehumanization. if nothing else, i hope this might do a little to assuage djp's concerns that i am simply lifting my posts from some other source directly.

http://youtu.be/Wdiz7E6biMM

I'll check it out, but I didn't express such a concern. Regurgitation is decidedly NOT the same as de facto plagiarism, and furthermore my concern isn't so much that you're repeating what you've been taught - there's nothing inherently wrong with that - but that you're not tempering it with any skepticism or competing/auxiliary frameworks. There's too much adherence, bordering on faith.

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I'll check it out, but I didn't express such a concern. Regurgitation is decidedly NOT the same as de facto plagiarism, and furthermore my concern isn't so much that you're repeating what you've been taught - there's nothing inherently wrong with that - but that you're not tempering it with any skepticism or competing/auxiliary frameworks. There's too much adherence, bordering on faith.

sorry, i dont want to make something out of nothing here, and i apologize for misrepresenting you just then - but it seems a little...hypocritical for you to on the one hand continually criticize the "confidence" with which sarkeesian and others make their arguments, and then on the other quite confidently suggest that you have any real insight into the ways my opinions have been formed, without allowing for the possibility that i believe what i believe because it truly resonates with my own experiences.

Edited by Radiowar

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