Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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I mostly stayed on-topic and had ONE line on Joss Whedon, just as a segue, and that's what gets talked about? :whatevaa:

That's cool, that's fine... honestly, I love Firefly/Serenity enough that nothing he could ever say or do would take that away.

I'll say this... he might have opinions I disagree with, OR that I agree with, but I DO think he's "allowed" to have them. People often get hung up on that, with the "What the HELL do YOU know about X?? You're just a celebrity/director/musician/whatever!!" - but they're still people, eh? And what are all of us - professional experts? So I'm fine with Joss Whedon weighing in, but I don't think he gave it much thought - not even enough thought to say "hey, maybe siding with Anita will get me some good press!" - but perhaps I'm just naive.

At any rate, timaeus222 made an observation on my point about antiquity/ancient environments needing to identify themselves as such at least in part by depictions of gender inequality because that's how we ourselves think of the past, in general terms... he indicated that most people wouldn't give it that much thought, and I totally agree. Most people don't give much thought in general to the media they consume. But here's the thing - I don't think they really have to. It's a subconscious thing, and before you point out that I'm the one that's been OBJECTING to "subconscious things," let me clarify that it is not that I think they don't EXIST, but rather that I am reluctant to draw hard & fast conclusions about their effects. Generally speaking, my own anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that when people play games or consume media that is fanciful in nature, even those of below average intelligence and above average impressionability seem to grok the disconnect between how we behave nowadays, in the real world.

And I'd like to reiterate a concern - if we whitewash environments that either closely resemble periods of human history or are even roughly going for antiquity (Middle Earth-type jams, etc.), isn't that creating revisionist problems of its own, and sending the wrong message - that the increased proximity to equality that women have achieved in modern times has somehow been ever-present, and did not need to be FOUGHT for in the first place? Ironically, it almost undersells/diminishes the achievements of the movement on whose behalf it is being advocated!!

Actual human history is much, much darker and worse for almost everyone involved than is depicted in games... games usually try and connect with that darkness on some level, but it's often superficial... I'd argue that trying at ALL is still better than painting fanciful lands in which the issues of gender equality have magically been resolved without conflict or even discussion. What type of crap is that?

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I'll say this... he might have opinions I disagree with, OR that I agree with, but I DO think he's "allowed" to have them. People often get hung up on that, with the "What the HELL do YOU know about X?? You're just a celebrity/director/musician/whatever!!" - but they're still people, eh? And what are all of us - professional experts? So I'm fine with Joss Whedon weighing in, but I don't think he gave it much thought - not even enough thought to say "hey, maybe siding with Anita will get me some good press!" - but perhaps I'm just naive.

There is a major difference between you, me, or virtually anyone here airing their opinions, and Joss Whedon airing his opinions. Let's just say ME here for simplicity's sake. I currently convince NO ONE of anything. My opinions have less proverbial gravity than a helium balloon. If I make an opinion, I sometimes get a few likes and a 70% chance of a debate followed by a 10% chance of a lower friend count on Facebook.

When Joss Whedon makes an opinion, MILLIONS listen. At least thousands mobilize and put his words into actions of some kind. He's not just making opinions, from what I've seen, he's actively trying to be some sort of crusader for the modern age, and his credibility just keeps going up in some small part because of it. He could almost move mountains if he really wanted to. Remember that line from Gladiator? I don't, so I'll paraphrase: "Power of the people IS power."

Problem is, it's not his job or his authority to be doing that. If he was a professional women's studies academic or something, damn right he'd be qualified and authorized there, but he's a writer/director. Our culture, mainstream or not, still puts far too much weight in the words of celebrities, and that's what I'm getting at here. Celebrities going on about how women are oppressed are tainted sources of information BECAUSE SAID SOURCE HOLDS MORE POWER THAN 10,000 WOMEN COMBINED. It's pretty jarring, and one is encouraged to wonder what they're real credentials are when they go on about it.

So that's my point here. Yeah, he can make opinions, but with great power comes great responsibility, and therefore great criticism too. He's not peasantry like us, he might as well be the crowned ***damn king.

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Problem is, it's not his job or his authority to be doing that. If he was a professional women's studies academic or something, damn right he'd be qualified and authorized there, but he's a writer/director. Our culture, mainstream or not, still puts far too much weight in the words of celebrities, and that's what I'm getting at here. Celebrities going on about how women are oppressed are tainted sources of information BECAUSE SAID SOURCE HOLDS MORE POWER THAN 10,000 WOMEN COMBINED. It's pretty jarring, and one is encouraged to wonder what they're real credentials are when they go on about it.

In short, we should really try NOT to do appeal to authority fallacies by throwing in a famous celebrity as the authority if they don't what they're talking about, but some of us (of the whole world) still do it anyway. Even a few scriptwriters for commercials. In the last month or so, I've seen about 2 or 3 commercials like that. Oh well. :| [/OT]

Edited by timaeus222

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So that's my point here. Yeah, he can make opinions, but with great power comes great responsibility, and therefore great criticism too. He's not peasantry like us, he might as well be the crowned ***damn king.

I dunno, the kind of people who really consider celebrity opinions so much that they could be called to action, are probably dangerous. Sometimes celebrity opinions are fine, but a lot of the time they're uneducated. I'm not going to make too much of a judgement on Whedon's opinion, except that I've thought he is a hack for years, and Firefly was a fluke that for me only became good by the very last episode. It was mainly propelled to quality by the cast, not the writing or anything else.

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I dunno, the kind of people who really consider celebrity opinions so much that they could be called to action, are probably dangerous. Sometimes celebrity opinions are fine, but a lot of the time they're uneducated. I'm not going to make too much of a judgement on Whedon's opinion, except that I've thought he is a hack for years, and Firefly was a fluke that for me only became good by the very last episode. It was mainly propelled to quality by the cast, not the writing or anything else.

Hate to break it to you Brandon, but it doesn't really work as well when you write that way... :wink:

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Dislike his work or not, when he said what he said there, he was right. If you disagree, feel free to read some of the stuff being tweeted to Anita Sarkeesian.

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I think Zoe Quinn and Anita exploited the idea of raids and abusive tweets to gain notoriety. I'm not saying it's not a problem, but they helped it along, and it helped them along. Not sure where either of them would be without it.

Not saying I justify it at all, that's just what it looks like.

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I think Zoe Quinn and Anita exploited the idea of raids and abusive tweets to gain notoriety. I'm not saying it's not a problem, but they helped it along, and it helped them along. Not sure where either of them would be without it.

Not saying I justify it at all, that's just what it looks like.

Wooo victim blaming, yeaah! Lemme guess; "they asked for it", right?

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Well in the case of Zoe Quinn she almost literally asked for it. There's countless compendiums of information detailing how she invented the initial "raid" and then encouraged the future stuff. But you know that's not what I was saying. I wasn't blaming a victim, I was pointing out and questioning a business strategy which up to this point has been pretty effective.

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Well in the case of Zoe Quinn she almost literally asked for it. There's countless compendiums of information detailing how she invented the initial "raid" and then encouraged the future stuff. But you know that's not what I was saying. I wasn't blaming a victim, I was pointing out and questioning a business strategy which up to this point has been pretty effective.

Ah, yes. The Quinnspiracy. Lewl.

Quick question:

Is it even possible to have an objective, non-emotionally, non-politically biased opinion for this subject anymore?

There's irony in this rhetoric.

Also, for the record, I'm not in any way defending the faux-feminist Quinn or the misandrist, fan-art-and-gameplay-video-stealing Sarkeesian, but maybe instead of making shit up to attack them, you guys might be taken a little more seriously if you stick to stuff that's actually proven.

Edited by DusK

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Wooo victim blaming, yeaah! Lemme guess; "they asked for it", right?

You know what? I'm tired of this "victim blaming" bullshit excuse that I see everyone talking about - especially in light of the celebrity nude leak.

Enough is enough of the whole "You're not allowed to remind someone of their idiotic, naive mistakes that make them susceptible to crime." or otherwise attracting a bad crowd. Criminals are opportunistic and newsflash, they don't care about your rights. It's your responsibility to make choices that don't potentially put you as an obvious target to them. Your mother told you not to take candy from strangers, to lock your doors, and apparently didn't tell enough people not to take n00dz with a networked device that also makes back-ups to the "cloud" which IT professionals have been reminding you for years is never. really. safe. Yet when when a bunch of dumb celebrities do it, they're expected to take no credit for their own foolishness. If Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe really did "exploit angry tweets" like Brandon suggests, which I don't know/care if they really did, more anger can reasonably be expected to follow.

Just because the bad people aren't justified in stealing from or otherwise abusing other people, doesn't mean the victims are justified in being naive idiots.

So next time I give out my credit card info over the phone, leave my car doors unlocked downtown, make a tweet that will probably piss people off, or give my facebook password to my friends, I will eagerly await all of you super-liberals to come rushing to my defense and insist that I did nothing wrong when shit goes bad simply because the apathetic people who wronged me had no right to do so.

It's just like how I'm willing to accept that this semi-off-topic rant is going to inevitably piss off anyone who doesn't see it my way. Regardless, it's a sad day when telling people to use common sense, know the risks and take the best steps you can to protect yourself is immediately passed off as "victim blaming". Like there was nothing the victim could have done to protect themselves.

Anita Sarkeesian likely knew that her opinion, no matter how right/wrong anyone believes she is, and videos would make her a lot of enemies. While that absolutely does not justify the threats and other atrocious behavior people have shown towards her, she'd have to be a fool to deny that she helped set the wheels in motion - for better or for worse.

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So what's the alternative? Maybe she shouldn't have shared her opinion at all? Yes, everyone knows that there are lots of trolls, misogynists, racists, sexists (etc) on the internet. Even if it's only 1% of the internet that's still millions of people engaging in terrible behavior. However, it's a sad state of affairs where we suggest that to avoid harassment, people should not share their opinions.

As for people like Quinn and Anita "exploiting" abusive tweets etc for financial gain, that is frankly absurd. Read what they've been saying on their Twitter feeds. Their lives are in shambles, particularly Quinn's. Nobody would willingly or knowingly subject themselves and their family to that level of exposure, harassment and negativity for a few bucks.

https://twitter.com/TheQuinnspiracy

Edited by zircon

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Like there was nothing the victim could have done to protect themselves.

Except Zoe didn't choose to post those nude pictures. Her vengeful ex did. You're basically saying it's Zoe's fault if she makes a mistake that leads her to get harassed by a chunk of the world. If that chunk of the world had the common sense to not react immaturely, then she would be fine, but apparently, it's hard to accept someone's opinion these days, even if you don't know them at all. It's not like she can just know how people will react (unless she goes off of the first time it happened), so just blaming her for not predicting who she has never met before will do to her... Dunno how that makes it Zoe's fault, especially because it began as, by Aristotle's definition, "an involuntary action"---doing something without knowing the consequences, but still having voluntarily made the decision, realizing the consequences later on (making it nonvoluntary later). See Nicomachean Ethics Book III.

Something done in ignorance may be called involuntary if the person later recognizes that ignorance, but it is nonvoluntary if the person does not recognize or suffer for such ignorance.

So no, she didn't ask for it. Anita kind of did, but not to the intensity that she got it.

Sidenote... I made one post basically saying "meh, it's this dubstep that represents the stereotypical kind people who don't like it don't like", and lo and behold, over 6 months later, people are still arguing over it. 'Course, I made it in a

, but oh well. Anyways. [/OT] Edited by timaeus222

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So what's the alternative? Maybe she shouldn't have shared her opinion at all? Yes, everyone knows that there are lots of trolls, misogynists, racists, sexists (etc) on the internet. Even if it's only 1% of the internet that's still millions of people engaging in terrible behavior. However, it's a sad state of affairs where we suggest that to avoid harassment, people should not share their opinions.

Nope, that's not what I suggested. Not at all. I suggested that you're an idiot if you believe that such a choice would not result in backlash. If you want to link your bank account to Paypal, as I once did, that's fine. That's your choice. However, the reality is that it could be hacked and that you could lose a lot of money. I almost did. That's why you get smarter and find a safer, alternative route

Except Zoe didn't choose to post those nude pictures. Her vengeful ex did. You're basically saying it's Zoe and Anita's faults if they make a mistake that leads them to get harassed by a chunk of the world. If that chunk of the world had the common sense to not react immaturely, then those two women would be fine, but apparently, it's hard to accept someone's opinion these days, even if you don't know them at all. It's not like they can just know how people will react, so just blaming someone for not predicting who they have never met before will do to them... Dunno how that makes it their fault.
I admit I may not have been clear that I was talking about the mass celeb nude leak that Reddit dubs the "Fappening".

Also, if you post an opinion that "hey, women are mistreated, under-represented, etc. in video games" it is safe to assume that everyone who is a misogynist, prefers things to stay the way they are (even if said way is unfair), or otherwise disagrees with you is probably going to respond with a hostile attitude. It doesn't make them right, but did you really expect a different reaction?

What I'm saying here is that you have to understand the inherent risks and possible negative outcomes of what you do and what/whom you trust. Not put your pride above all else and then when the "I told you so" moment comes, be mad at the people saying it.

In Anita's case of the social media backlash, I'm saying "I told you so" to the fact that people are going to be pissed. But I didn't say that her haters were right or that she shouldn't be allowed to say what she wants.

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What I'm saying here is that you have to understand the inherent risks and possible negative outcomes of what you do and what/whom you trust. Not put your pride above all else and then when the "I told you so" moment comes, be mad at the people saying it.

You know that, but we can't expect Zoe to know that. Heck, if Anita really, really knew that, maybe she wouldn't have been so upfront in her videos. Hence, involuntary action on Zoe's part, and partly voluntary, mostly involuntary action on Anita's part. i.e. Zoe didn't really know what her ex was going to do, and Anita didn't quite expect people to be so aggressive. If she "just knew", then she might not have even done those videos. At least, I wouldn't have, if I was her. I'd let someone else do it. See my previous post.

Edited by timaeus222

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You know that, but we can't expect Zoe to know that. Heck, if Anita really, really knew that, maybe she wouldn't have been so upfront in her videos. Hence, involuntary action on Zoe's part, and partly voluntary, mostly involuntary action on Anita's part. i.e. Zoe didn't really know what her ex was going to do, and Anita didn't quite expect people to be so aggressive. If she "just knew", then she might not have even done those videos. See my previous post.

While I still doubt that Anita, growing up in the information age, wouldn't expect people to be insensitive, downright mean douchebags, I suppose you may have a bit of a point.

While we grow up being told that not locking your doors might let a thief in, we're generally not told that stating your opinion on the internet might result in serious threats from crazy people.

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ITT AngelOutlaw hilariously defends cyberbullying and harassment.

You just decided to be a douchebag apologist here on the OCR forum. Would it also be incorrect to assume that you won't be doxed and harassed for months because of that? After all, if you didn't want to be, maybe you shouldn't have voiced an opinion that would make yourself a target for such things, right?

Why is it such a far-out idea that maybe -- just maybe -- that kind of shit is utterly reprehensible and nobody fucking deserves it? And why do we have to live in a culture where it's "expected"?

Edited by DusK

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ITT AngelOutlaw hilariously defends cyberbullying and harassment.

You just decided to be a douchebag apologist here on the OCR forum. Would it also be incorrect to assume that you won't be doxed and harassed for months because of that? After all, if you didn't want to be, maybe you shouldn't have voiced an opinion that would make yourself a target for such things, right?

Why is it such a far-out idea that maybe -- just maybe -- that kind of shit is utterly reprehensible and nobody fucking deserves it? And why do we have to live in a culture where it's "expected"?

Riiiight. I 'defended' the bullies by telling people not to make stupid mistakes that make them targets if they're not willing to accept the risks when they become realities.

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Oh and also,

After all, if you didn't want to be, maybe you shouldn't have voiced an opinion that would make yourself a target for such things, right?
It's just like how I'm willing to accept that this semi-off-topic rant is going to inevitably piss off anyone who doesn't see it my way.

Great reading comprehension skills, Dusk.

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Riiiight. I 'defended' the bullies by telling people not to make stupid mistakes that make them targets if they're not willing to accept the risks when they become realities.

Uh, yeah. "Boys will be boys" is still a defense. Hate to break that to ya.

Doesn't it strike you even the least bit odd how eerily similar your post reads in comparison to date rape apologetics? Think about it. Think about what you're insisting "should be expected" rather than actively opposed.

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Riiiight. I 'defended' the bullies by telling people not to make stupid mistakes that make them targets if they're not willing to accept the risks when they become realities.

Well, at least by the wording, it came off that way for some. Notice you're saying "stupid", "willing to accept", etc. Again, not knowing it'll happen if it's never happened to you before is not really stupid. That's why I like the quote, "if you don't know something, then you haven't learned it yet"; it's more euphemistic that way, rather than saying, "if you don't know something, then you're not smart."

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Nobody would willingly or knowingly subject themselves and their family to that level of exposure, harassment and negativity for a few bucks.

Not disagreeing with your main point and position, but this sentence is, tragically, very far from true. Some people will do ANYTHING for a few bucks. Look at the Phelps family that are doing that Westboro shit, not all of them are up on their insane gay-bashing, and they likely wouldn't keep doing it if they weren't making some money from somewhere. Look at what Bernie Madoff accomplished (granted that was a lot more than a few bucks). Many more examples fitting or surrounding what you're saying have taken place in the last 5 years alone. Look at Octomom.

Don't fool yourself. People are more than capable of doing horrendous things for the smallest reasons. If they decide the personal rewards are worth the risks, you bet your ass they'll do it, no matter how intelligent they are. I know nothing about Zoe Quinn or have any personal opinion on her whatsoever as I've only just heard about this story, but I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if she really was trying to mastermind something just to get more exposure.

"Desperate times call for desperate pleasures." - Vulgarity For the Masses. Always remember that.

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