Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Why is objectification inherently bigoted? Classical art and sculpture, which during certain eras was much more egalitarian in its focus on both female & male forms, was inherently bigoted? Painting the human form is inherently bigoted? Pornography is inherently bigoted? Uhhhh.... why? Because you said so?

 

I mean, c'mon, you can see that there's a list made here of examples of objectification.

 

Maybe it's just me, but from that, I interpreted that djp was saying that depicting people in art is a form of objectification, not the prime example of it (nor the definition), probably because it puts the people in the art up on a pedestal to be observed. They can't consciously talk back to you, and therefore they're objects of observation.

 

Granted, art qua art exists for itself, and IMO, it's meant to be observed and contemplated, but in general its purpose is to cause a response. Without further specification, there is no inherent or explicitly-defined intention to specify particular people in a general piece of art in order to serve one's own bigoted purpose. Specific examples might be bigoted, but not all.

 

That said, objectification certainly does not involve ONLY depicting people in art, and I'm pretty sure djp gets that...

 

Maybe that clears things up? :/

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OK. I'll address specifics.

 

I wasn't just talking about rights & freedom, I was talking about criticism vs. advocacy

I agree it's a continuum, I don't agree that criticism which moves more toward "advocacy" is any less valid, problematic, or bad in any way.

 

and then also the problem with saying that X art causes Y behavior, i.e. infantilizing the audience for art & turning artists into programmers who are simply feeding deterministic code into the minds of automatons who will do their bidding, without question.

I think this is a big exaggeration and distortion of what is actually said in the videos. More accurate (and taken directly from the first video): "These tropes help to normalize certain negative attitudes toward women." That's not the same as proclaiming "X causes Y" - and the semantics here do matter.

Nor do I agree that making that argument ("these tropes help to normalize certain negative attitudes about women") is itself problematic.

 

SPECIFICALLY, I am opposing rhetoric that attempts to draw direct causal lines between art and behavior. You've ignored that point almost entirely by rewriting it into "reinforces negative cultural attitudes"... all you need to do is add a "potentially" before the "reinforces" and you've arrived at the type of reasonable, relatively unobjectionable language that I wish Anita actually used. The problem is that she doesn't; she instead isolates aspects of games and - with zeal & certitude - maps them onto real-world behaviors. This isn't good. It's bad. It's a flawed argument commonly employed by censors; even if she is not advocating for censorship, she is using the same toolbox. Yes, it's still an important distinction to make - I'm not saying it's the same exact thing, only that it is still bad in & of itself.

My giant issue with your points is that you're saying these videos are not just "flawed argument(s)" - which I don't disagree with - you're calling them bad, and constantly linking them to actual censorship. I find that to be way too much of a 'slippery slope' fallacy, using fear of censorship to try and discredit someone who, again, has never so much as suggested it in any videos.

Here's how the very first tropes video concluded:

"... it's still important to recognize and think critically about the more problematic aspects especially considering many of these franchises are as popular as ever and the characters have become worldwide icons... The good news is that there is nothing stopping developers from evolving their gender representations and making more women heroes in future games."

I don't see ANYTHING in that conclusion to justify the fear or link to censorship and nothing you've said has budged me even an inch on that. If you want to debate the merits of the arguments themselves, fine. Like I said, you've contributed to changing my views there over the course of the thread.

But everyone using censorship as a sort of bogeyman to discredit the videos and Anita herself... I don't know. Those kind of arguments and attitudes are the ones that really have led to so much real-world misery and harassment. People get this idea that "Anita is trying to take away our games!!!" and use that as direct justification of (and motivation for) despicable actions.

That's why I think the distinction between advocating censorship, and merely advocating critical thinking and careful consideration, is so important. Twisting one into the other is in PART what has led to so much harassment, doxxing, death threats... etc.

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That is absolutely NOT the implication; your logic is faulty. Read this quote of yours back to yourself; the implication was only that I think that depictions of people in art CAN be objectified, and that such objectification is not inherently bigoted. Deriving anything else from my statement was just blind extrapolation on your part.

 

I think the misunderstanding may have been here:

 

Native Jovian:

I wasn't giving objectification an out as not inherently sexist -- it is, the word "objectification" literally means that you're reducing somebody to an object instead of a person, which is inherently bigoted.

 

djp response

Wait... what? What the what? WHAT?

 

Why is objectification inherently bigoted? Classical art and sculpture, which during certain eras was much more egalitarian in its focus on both female & male forms, was inherently bigoted? Painting the human form is inherently bigoted? Pornography is inherently bigoted? Uhhhh.... why? Because you said so?

 

Major disconnect; don't see where you're coming from.. at all. Objectification can certainly be paired with bigotry, and potentially exacerbate it, but it is not inherently bigoted... appreciating the pure aesthetics of the human form has been a classical & modern tradition in art for centuries; try not to shit on it...

 

I can see how your response can be interpreted as believing that the definition of objectification is depicting people in works of art. In response to Native Jovian's use of the word objectifification, you express surprise that he thought depicting people in art is bigoted. You use examples of artistic depictions of the human form in reference to the use of the word objectification. This statement in particular:

 

"Objectification can certainly be paired with bigotry, and potentially exacerbate it, but it is not inherently bigoted... appreciating the pure aesthetics of the human form has been a classical & modern tradition in art for centuries"

 

I can see how this statement, coupled with the above statements, could be seen as implying that the definition of objectification is depicting people in art (which is what I concluded at first glance). In the same sentence, you use the word objectification and appear to define it as "appreciating the pure aesthetics of the human form". Perhaps that was not your intent, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to conclude that you were defining objectification as depicting people in art.

 

Perhaps you thought Native Jovian was using was "depictions of people in art" as the definition of objectification? Maybe you took Native Jovian's use of the word "object" to mean an image or likeness of a person; a depiction of the human form. Native Jovian's response explaining what he meant by objectification seemed to makes sense to me perhaps you felt differently.

 

Native Jovian

You're taking the term "objectification" way too literally.  Painting a picture or carving a sculpture of someone is not objectification.  Yes, you're creating an object that depicts that person, but you're not reducing that person to an object.
 
What objectification means is that you're considering people as things that you can use to fulfill your desires (or threaten them) rather than as people with thoughts and feelings of their own.  If you treat women as "a thing I can have sex with" and nothing more, then you're objectifying women.  If you treat black people as "a thing that might rob me" and nothing more, then you're objectifying black people.  If you treat Muslims as "a thing that might target me with a terrorist attack" and nothing more, then you're objectifying Muslims.  All of that is bigoted.

 

Perhaps this statement threw you off: "Yes, you're creating an object that depicts that person, but you're not reducing that person to an object." I can see how this statement could viewed as unclear. Maybe it would have been clearer had he said "Yes, you're creating an object that depicts that person, but you're not reducing that person to a thing that you can use to fulfill your desires", as he said below. I can see how the conversation could be thrown off if you were unclear/mistaken as to what Native Jovian meant by "object".

 

This is all speculation on my part and I could be completely wrong, but this is how I interpreted the discussion. I hope none of this comes across as condescending, I just thought another perspective might help clear up the miscommunication.

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I don't see ANYTHING in that conclusion to justify the fear or link to censorship and nothing you've said has budged me even an inch on that. If you want to debate the merits of the arguments themselves, fine. Like I said, you've contributed to changing my views there over the course of the thread.

But everyone using censorship as a sort of bogeyman to discredit the videos and Anita herself... I don't know. Those kind of arguments and attitudes are the ones that really have led to so much real-world misery and harassment. People get this idea that "Anita is trying to take away our games!!!" and use that as direct justification of (and motivation for) despicable actions.

That's why I think the distinction between advocating censorship, and merely advocating critical thinking and careful consideration, is so important. Twisting one into the other is in PART what has led to so much harassment, doxxing, death threats... etc.

 

Did you read the quote I provided? From http://feministfrequency.com/2014/06/16/women-as-background-decoration-tropes-vs-women/

 

In other words, viewing media that frames women as objects or sexual playthings, profoundly impacts how real life women are perceived and treated in the world around us. And that is all without even taking into account how video games allow for the more participatory form of objectification that we’ve been discussing in this episode.

 

Compounding the problem is the widespread belief that, despite all the evidence, exposure to media has no real world impact. While it may be comforting to think we all have a personal force field protecting us from outside influences, this is simply not the case. Scholars sometimes refer to this type of denial as the “third person effect”, which is the tendency for people to believe that they are personally immune to media’s effects even if others may be influenced or manipulated. Paradoxically and somewhat ironically, those who most strongly believe that media is just harmless entertainment are also the ones most likely to uncritically internalize harmful media messages.

 

I'm going to keep this simple:

  • Talks about "profound impacts" without explaining why they're profound, or even what they are...
  • Mentions "all the evidence" without explaining or citing what it is...

This is shit you'd lambaste people like Rush Limbaugh for doing - conjuring incontrovertible, "profound" evidence out of thin air. The double standard is painfully palpable. If the effects she's describing are more general, as you've been claiming, and they simply reinforce existing cultural stereotypes, then riddle me this:

  • How could those same effects be measurably "profound"?
  • How could they be measured... at all? How does one quantify the "reinforcement" of a "negative cultural attitude"??
  • What would "all the evidence" even be?

To be sure, there HAVE been studies... some of those studies have repeatedly failed to prove a link between, say, violence in games and violent behavior. Others have found short-term effects and established a thin correlation, but not causation. She's not citing which studies she's talking about, she just talks about "profound" impacts and "all the evidence" - again, if this were right-wing rhetoric, you'd be (rightly) eviscerating it. Sorry... this reeks of hypocrisy; you're bending over backwards, here...

 

When you start wildly overstating the body of scientific evidence & its certitude, sans citation, for the effect of the consumption of media on viewers, you're a heartbeat away from censorship. That's EXACTLY the trick that's been used in the past. Otherwise, why not cite the research that's provided "all the evidence"? Because it's inconclusive? Otherwise, why overstate the effect? PROFOUND impacts, remember...

 

Thoughts?

 

When you say "nothing you've said has budged me even an inch" and again speak in such extremes ("million miles away from censorship", etc.), it sounds more like you're trying to convince yourself, to me...

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every second post in this thread = "media does not cause violent tendencies in people, therefore it is impossible for media to influence behavior in any capacity" ~ video gamers

 

have you considered that maybe the reason video games don't increase violent behavior is because there are a significant number of social hurdles that exist to prevent violent behavior, which can not really be said for sexist or otherwise discriminatory behavior

 

like maybe you guys can talk about that instead of Strawman Quest (sorry djp your posts are well-typed and long and that's cool and all but it doesn't change the fact that you're trying to argue that someone's stance is wrong by changing it to a different stance)

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Did you read the quote I provided? From http://feministfrequency.com/2014/06/16/women-as-background-decoration-tropes-vs-women/

 

 

I'm going to keep this simple:

  • Talks about "profound impacts" without explaining why they're profound, or even what they are...
  • Mentions "all the evidence" without explaining or citing what it is..

 

As I said in a previous post (maybe you missed it), she did cite the evidence. On the page you linked, the links and resources section, at the top.

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As I said in a previous post (maybe you missed it), she did cite the evidence. On the page you linked, the links and resources section, at the top.

 

I DID miss it, possibly because a good number of those references (Kuchera, etc.) are just op-eds.

 

As for the actual studies, which of those links do you think provides "all the evidence" for a "profound impact"? Point me to the smoking gun that would back that sort of statement up.

 

None of them speak to causation, only correlation... some are with relatively small sample sizes... and as I mentioned, there exist studies that don't even find any correlation (http://kotaku.com/what-to-make-of-a-study-about-gaming-and-sexism-1698543308 - with a relatively large sample size).

 

every second post in this thread = "media does not cause violent tendencies in people, therefore it is impossible for media to influence behavior in any capacity" ~ video gamers

 

have you considered that maybe the reason video games don't increase violent behavior is because there are a significant number of social hurdles that exist to prevent violent behavior, which can not really be said for sexist or otherwise discriminatory behavior

 

like maybe you guys can talk about that instead of Strawman Quest (sorry djp your posts are well-typed and long and that's cool and all but it doesn't change the fact that you're trying to argue that someone's stance is wrong by changing it to a different stance)

 

I like how you ended your post by criticizing me of trying to change someone's argument to a different stance, but began your post by changing my own argument... to a difference stance.

 

I never argued that media does not create violent tendencies in people, nor did I argue that it was therefore impossible for it to influence any other behaviors. I simply stated that ANY certitude surrounding effects, OR absence of effects, is misplaced, since these types of studies are difficult to conduct in the first place (turns out human beings are complex, human culture even moreso), usually have small sample sizes (which REALLY doesn't help), and involve various metrics that are extremely difficult to pin down. Anyone articulating certitude surrounding the body of evidence, i.e. talking about a "profound impact," is dramatically overstating what we know, to service an agenda.

 

This is precisely what advocates for the censorship of video games on the basis of violence have done in the past - inflated existing studies, ignored any studies dissonant with their agenda, and overstated the degree of certitude such data supports. If you're completely cool with all that, then we'll just agree to disagree.

 

See https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/08/28/landmark-study-suggests-most-psychology-studies-dont-yield-reproducible-resultshttp://www.sciencemag.org/content/349/6251/aac4716 for a bit of background.

 

It's also quite worth reading http://heterodoxacademy.org/2015/09/14/bbs-paper-on-lack-of-political-diversity/ which refers to http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9945982&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0140525X14000430

 

So you've got an academic field with:

  • A severe lack of political diversity
  • A severe problem with reproducibility
  • Output that is routinely picked up by ideologues & inflated beyond its scope and certitude for rhetorical effect

This is not a recipe for success...

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I'm not changing your argument to something else, I'm implying it's irrelevant

 

whether or not there's actually a fancy journal entry detailing the exact process through which sexist media is influenced by and/or influences sexist behavior doesn't matter - there is sexist media, and there are a lot of sexist people, and I can't think of a reason why anyone would try to argue that these things aren't related beyond something dumb like implying sexism isn't real

 

you're trying really hard to prove that criticism is functionally the same thing as censorship, and there straight up can't be any other reason for that than to undermine the idea that this media is something that needs to be criticized

 

like, can you explain why else this argument matters? is there a point to spending this much time denouncing people who believe sexism is, hey, a real thing, other than arguing in favor of sexism?

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I can see how your response can be interpreted as believing that the definition of objectification is depicting people in works of art. In response to Native Jovian's use of the word objectifification, you express surprise that he thought depicting people in art is bigoted. You use examples of artistic depictions of the human form in reference to the use of the word objectification. This statement in particular:

 

"Objectification can certainly be paired with bigotry, and potentially exacerbate it, but it is not inherently bigoted... appreciating the pure aesthetics of the human form has been a classical & modern tradition in art for centuries"

 

I can see how this statement, coupled with the above statements, could be seen as implying that the definition of objectification is depicting people in art (which is what I concluded at first glance). In the same sentence, you use the word objectification and appear to define it as "appreciating the pure aesthetics of the human form". Perhaps that was not your intent, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to conclude that you were defining objectification as depicting people in art.

 

Don't forget he clarified with:

 

How is she NOT talking about depicting people (females) in works of art (video games)?? Are you laughing at her as well, and at yourself, or did I miss something?

He made the connection already. Depicting people in art IS an analogue of depicting women in video games. i.e. it's a relevant analogy.

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Did you read the quote I provided? From http://feministfrequency.com/2014/06/16/women-as-background-decoration-tropes-vs-women/

 

 

I'm going to keep this simple:

  • Talks about "profound impacts" without explaining why they're profound, or even what they are...
  • Mentions "all the evidence" without explaining or citing what it is...

OK, wait wait wait. Maybe I didn't make it abundantly clear, though I did say it a few times already, but I agree with you here. She's not supporting bold statements like that, and not providing evidence, because perhaps none exists. We're on the same page in that regard.

 

This is shit you'd lambaste people like Rush Limbaugh for doing - conjuring incontrovertible, "profound" evidence out of thin air. The double standard is painfully palpable.

... but this is where, again, I have to draw the distinction between making a flawed analysis or using flawed reasoning, and prescribing a bad course of action. Fallacious arguments are one thing, it's when you use them to support and justify real-world action that it becomes a much bigger problem.

Maybe you and I just differ on this point of view. If someone thinks abortion is wrong using religious justification, I'd disagree with them, and I'd say their reasoning is flawed. But as long as they don't support banning abortion, I'm fine with them saying that. Not worth arguing with them, because they're not actually trying to infringe on anyone's rights. They're not a threat to freedom. It's the people who DO want to ban abortion that are the big problem.

Actually, Ben Carson would be a great example here. When he says that homosexuality is a choice, that's dumb. But then he followed it by saying same-sex marriage is the law. Great! I don't care about his thoughts on homosexuality, as long as he supports equal rights. When he says that abortion is wrong, and then follows it by saying abortion should be illegal... not great. Two very different things.

 

When you start wildly overstating the body of scientific evidence & its certitude, sans citation, for the effect of the consumption of media on viewers, you're a heartbeat away from censorship. That's EXACTLY the trick that's been used in the past.

Regardless of whether it's the same 'trick' or not, again, it's the conclusion that matters more than anything, and the conclusion here is benign.

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Regardless of whether it's the same 'trick' or not, again, it's the conclusion that matters more than anything, and the conclusion here is benign.

 

If someone uses bad reasoning, and (more critically) inflates & overstates the certitude of studies, but stops short of advocating censorship, they are in a sense endorsing those rhetorical methods, are they not? Lending them support? I agree that the conclusion matters, and might even agree that it matters the most, but you lose me on it being completely & totally okay to abuse science in the name of rhetoric in the exact same fashion that censors have, and that not being a problem that is RELATED to censorship, because I think it strengthens those weapons & perpetuates those misunderstandings...

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Maybe you and I just differ on this point of view. If someone thinks abortion is wrong using religious justification, I'd disagree with them, and I'd say their reasoning is flawed. But as long as they don't support banning abortion, I'm fine with them saying that. Not worth arguing with them, because they're not actually trying to infringe on anyone's rights. They're not a threat to freedom. It's the people who DO want to ban abortion that are the big problem.

[...]

Regardless of whether it's the same 'trick' or not, again, it's the conclusion that matters more than anything, and the conclusion here is benign.

 

So, basically, you're saying that no matter what their rhetoric... if they don't follow through and support banning something, you're OK with that? I get that many people are on the side of "it's the end result that 'matters,'"[*] but why dismiss the rhetoric? Why is it "[n]ot worth arguing with" the people who are "not a threat"? I think WE should care, because so many people out there don't.

 

Did you know that one confession to a crime (even a FALSE one due to aggressive interrogation) is enough to convict, despite zero physical evidence? Isn't that upsetting and alarming?

 

Granted, physical evidence is not quite the same as the rhetoric and cited sources used in proposing correlations between art and its so-called effect on humans, and getting convicted is more serious than making conclusions about impacts on gaming, but it's a pretty similar issue---why make claims with such certitude with little or no proper justification, and why accept such claims? Why agree with the many people who care more about the results than the rationale or rhetoric to get there? Yes, the conclusion "'matters' more than anything" in the end, but I find it more of an unfortunate, sad truth than something we should accept.

 

[*] For instance, 20~30 years ago, the government paid private convicted-drug-dealer informants to snitch on other people as per "Mandatory Minimum Sentences," regardless of whether or not the informants are lying. I saw a documentary on this the other day, and it's just disturbing that the government cares more about the conviction rate than the credibility of the snitches used to get some of these convictions.

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I mean it comes down to the question of should a noble goal be carried out with crappy or shaky methods using things like bad rhetoric or logic?

 

I personally don't think it should, and I think that sets a precedent that allows people to be taken seriously regardless of what they say is sound (and if they don't happen to be supporting a noble goal, then that is actually a problem).

 

I don't agree that only the conclusion matters. That's ultimately an "ends justify the means" kind of thing, and as kind of obviously follows, the world is more complicated than can be summed up in single clever sentences. I think the means matter, even in cases where the conclusion isn't expressly pushing for a call to action. That's because if you set an idea in motion using bad rhetoric, people will listen to you, and it will spread, most times at an equal or lesser rhetorical validity as you. If that idea is a bad idea, regardless of whether it's calling to action or not, it certainly is spreading shitty opinions.

 

And when the non-call spreads around, someone is going to feel strongly about it, employ a new call to action, using the bad rhetoric they've been served, and now headaches all around, because now someone is trying to actually do something about it, blow the issue out of proportion or otherwise target blame on the wrong aspects of it. The other people who take it more seriously and look into it get cast aside, as is usually the case with fact checkers being rendered incapable of keeping up with viral internet spreads.

 

And that's drum beating in a nutshell; the internet is an echo chamber, and it is a problem even if it doesn't affect how people do, because it affects what people think.

 

To be specific, actually and irresponsibly correlating behavior in art with behavior in real life (I'm all for believing it if it's been shown or verified, but it hasn't as of yet) and stopping short of saying "let's do something about it" is still bad. Because even if she doesn't say it, someone will, and it'll gain traction.

 

Her goal is noble enough, so why doesn't she bother putting in the effort to solidify her communications? It can only serve to help her.

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"the world is more complicated than 'the ends justify the means', and that's why we should dismiss any ideas that aren't presented flawlessly to my arbitrary standards"

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For the record, Cash was exactly right regarding my thought process of DJP's posts.  Even going back and re-reading them with his clarifications after the fact, I still can't see how to read the original posts any other way than the way that I did, but I can accept that what I took out of it isn't what he meant to say.  Fair enough; misunderstandings happen.

 

Regarding scientific support for Sarkeesian (et al)'s claims, that's a fair point.  You can certainly argue that they're overstating the evidence for their conclusions.  That doesn't make them wrong, but it does make them guilty of sloppy thinking at the very least, which is not a point in their favor.  The science is mixed on the issue, so the argument that sexist depictions are bad because they have negative social consequences is a weak one.  It doesn't affect the other arguments they make (that it's in poor taste, that it's limiting the medium as an art form, etc), but it does curtail the effectiveness of the idea that "you shouldn't do this because doing this actually hurts actual people".

 

The "therefore censorship" argument is purely guilt by association, though.  DJP has repeatedly said that Sarkeesian et al use similar arguments as people like Jack Thompson who have advocated for censorship.  This is entirely irrelevant.  The fact is that Sarkeesian et al are not advocating for censorship.  The fact that they're similar to censorship advocates in other respects is a red herring, an attempt to discredit their arguments by linking them with something bad (ie, censorship) despite the fact that that's not actually their position.

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"the world is more complicated than 'the ends justify the means', and that's why we should dismiss any ideas that aren't presented flawlessly to my arbitrary standards"

 

wow, that's a pretty shitty world view man. :/

 

there's more at stake here than your arbitrary standards

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"the world is more complicated than 'the ends justify the means', and that's why we should dismiss any ideas that aren't presented flawlessly to my arbitrary standards"

 

Like the requirement of evidence?

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Like the requirement of evidence?

 

 

social sciences are not often based on observation of physically objective phenomena - the problem here, even in this thread, is that people keep saying that correlation does not imply causation (which is true) and then implying that it's possible for social sciences to do anything other than point out correlation (which is not)

 

the reason why I, as such, say "arbitrary standards" is because you demand a kind of evidence that isn't actually real, and then denounce any idea that fails to present it

 

like I said, whether or not sexist behavior is, in fact, caused directly by sexist media doesn't matter, because the question demands an answer that is not possible to ascertain

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I might be wrong, but I don't think anyone here is saying that Anita et al. need scientific/physical evidence to prove causations in the social sciences---just that they should cite relevant studies to show that they aren't making hand-waving arguments and passing them off with certitude with regards to direct causal lines.

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The former highlights the lack of requiring cause/effect evidence for the social sciences to strengthen the argument (because asking for such evidence would be fallacious), while the latter strongly suggests correlation evidence for the social sciences to strengthen the argument (asking for such evidence would not be fallacious) AND to limit the certitude with which the argument is made.

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but when evidence that demonstrates correlation is presented - as seen in this thread - detractors point out that correlation does not imply causation, and promptly disregard it

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social sciences are not often based on observation of physically objective phenomena - the problem here, even in this thread, is that people keep saying that correlation does not imply causation (which is true) and then implying that it's possible for social sciences to do anything other than point out correlation (which is not)

Social sciences are sciences--they need to be based on physically objective phenomena. Unfortunately, when you can't measure something directly (e.g. attitudes), you need to measure them indirectly (via behavior or self-report).

And I think I mentioned this a few dozen pages ago, but the real problem with requiring hard, objective evidence that media portrayals have an effect on attitudes and behavior is that it's really, really hard to do meaningful, controlled studies on this sort of thing. The ideal experiment would involve putting people in a completely media-controlled environment for years. Obviously, that's impossible. So psychologists use smaller-scale analogues which they think might demonstrate the same effects in miniature. Studies no more that a few weeks long, which involve exposure to a few chosen examples, and can't control other influences. And these studies do often show causal effects--but they're so far removed from real-world circumstances that critics discount them.

And it's not like the media hasn't been on board with the whole "reducing sexist" thing for years now. The creators of movies and TV shows make conscious decisions to include more professional women, for instance, and fewer stereotypical housewives and "maidens in distress." This is in an effort to empower women with strong role models, and get men used to the idea of having women as peers. I don't see much disagreement with this effort. The only debates I'm seeing are 1) between "more good things" vs. "fewer bad things" and 2) what exactly defines "good" and "bad" portrayals.

In other news, I found this fascinating:

http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2015/11/24/dead-alive-xtreme-3-isnt-planned-western-release-treatment-women-video-games-cited-reason/#/slide/1

Koei Tecmo had this to say:

Do you know many issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female in video game industry? We do not want to talk those things here. But certainly we have gone through in last year or two to come to our decision. Thank you.

Which I read as, "We have nothing to say about sexism/feminism or what they have to do with our game, but we know that the Western media will flambée us over this game, and we don't want to have to deal with that."

These aren't the words of a media producer who's been convinced by arguments. These are the words of fear. Words that really ought to reinforce that the feminism in games coalition is taking the wrong approach, regardless of the virtues of their arguments.

Oh, and can we stay away from the term "SJW" please? It's a slur, and I personally don't consider it any less offensive than racial epithets.

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These aren't the words of a media producer who's been convinced by arguments. These are the words of fear. Words that really ought to reinforce that the feminism in games coalition is taking the wrong approach, regardless of the virtues of their arguments.

Oh, and can we stay away from the term "SJW" please? It's a slur, and I personally don't consider it any less offensive than racial epithets.

 

You find a criticism aimed at someone's exercise of free will & their words and actions equally as offensive as a criticism aimed at someone's race?

 

That's... interesting, to me... especially given a long history of blood & death associated with racial violence which, insofar as I'm aware, tumblr can't really match.

 

I always thought criticizing someone's behavior & speech made the MOST sense, of all the available options...

 

...At any rate, I'm glad games like the Dead or Alive Xtreme series exist; they show that the medium is versatile enough to include soft-core porn! At least the characters are all "of age" - a nagging problem with many visual novels & anime. Such materials present an interesting type of intersection/overlap, where those paralyzed with the fear of offending another culture (Japanese) in the name of multiculturalism have to reconcile THAT concern with a competing concern to avoid sexual objectification, often of pre-adolescent girls... things get so very confusing when you're acting based on competing ideological drivers as opposed to personal principles!

 

I tend to agree with your assessment of fear, though... although sometimes things just get lost in translation.

 

Since we've all agreed that the social sciences can't really deliver the type of certitude that would support claims like Anita's, I'd just like to re-float an observation I think I made maybe like fifty pages or so ago: the countries with the most pornography & the most sexualized, objectified advertisements seem also to be the liberal countries that have BETTER track records when it comes to women's rights than the nations who are intolerant of pornography & sexualization and who - often by legal and/or religious decree - cover their women up... it's a complicated puzzle to sort out, and it's another correlation with zero causation, but when you look at the world, what do YOU see?

 

How would you conduct an experiment to quantify the potential impact of sexual objectification and/or violence in games as an outlet, as opposed to a source of "inspiration"/aggravation? Have such experiments even been attempted? Granted, their conditions would be just as complex (if not moreso) and their conclusions just as uncertain, but I personally feel like only half of the equation - negative reinforcement - is being studied, because of the agendas/ideologies that permeate the softer sciences.

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