Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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saying that we should go after "what people are instead of what people do" is functionally arguing that people's actions aren't capable of being problematic (which implies that you believe that the negative effects of these things don't actually matter, which is probably because you're likely not a victim of them)

 

There is no actual shred of english-mounted logic you can use to support this statement. I genuinely feel at a loss trying to explain to you that the conclusions you draw are not actually mathematically correct. There is nothing you can do to equate:

 

"Raising people to be less okay with systemic sexism is more effective than policing systemic sexism"

with 

"Systemic sexism is not a problem"

 

the only functional equivalences of the former argument you're allowed to deduce within the english language are these:

 

1. "Policing systemic sexism is less effective than raising people to be less okay with systemic sexism"

 

Oh, there's only one.

 

You can argue that I'm wrong, sure, you can argue that raising people to be less okay with systemic sexism is not more effective than policing it, then you're actually holding a contrary opinion that makes sense in the context of the discussion. Instead you're bringing in these whacko equivalence relations and absurdem fallacies. So now let's get to when you do in fact do that.

 

 

again, people are the sum of their actions; there is no "the real me", and the only reason people tend to claim as much is to imply that there's a certain degree of separation between what people "are" and what people do so as to imply that the way people's actions make other people feel doesn't matter (like, for example, saying that sexist media isn't a problem)

 

You seem to have gone a long way to put literally shit tons of words into my mouth about "internal people" and "the real me" and misrepresenting an argument you supposedly think I was trying to make (again, no quotes you can find to support that I said any of those things).

 

The last thing I said on the subject was that a sexist society reinforces sexist media. This is something you agree with, which is that sexist people, defined on your terms by people who perform sexist actions, do in fact perform sexist actions, in this context creating sexist media. We're not in disagreement here. You can't disagree with tautology.

 

My counter-claim is that sexist media ("sexist actions") does not instigate, influence, or otherwise partially encourage previously non-sexist people (on your terms, people who do not perform sexist actions) to become sexist people (to then start performing sexist actions). So policing it is ineffective, because it's trying to stifle an effect that doesn't actually exist.

 

Any further deliberation on your part to pick apart the words of what is a "sexist person" vs. "a person who does sexist things" and similar dealings is just derailing the conversation into an argument of semantics instead of actually talking about anything productive. If the latter is your goal, please say so so I can promptly ignore you.

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your process here assumes that "deliberation" is some kind of separate process from, you know, thinking (it's not), and that the fact that people think must therefore mean that people can be something internally without necessarily affecting their actions (it doesn't)

 

again, people are the sum of their actions; there is no "the real me", and the only reason people tend to claim as much is to imply that there's a certain degree of separation between what people "are" and what people do so as to imply that the way people's actions make other people feel doesn't matter (like, for example, saying that sexist media isn't a problem)

 

saying that we should go after "what people are instead of what people do" is functionally arguing that people's actions aren't capable of being problematic (which implies that you believe that the negative effects of these things don't actually matter, which is probably because you're likely not a victim of them)

 

Except I didn't. To be absolutely clear, I'm saying that the relevant definition of thinking is the part where I said, "[ . . . some form of deliberation + outside influence] -> decision". What I implied (or at least intended to imply) was that deliberation is a more focused area of thinking, as I had broken down the role of deliberation in being the common process for coming to a decision, sometimes affected by outside influences, and thus converging upon a course of action.

 

Never did I outright say that the "the way people's actions make other people feel doesn't matter," nor that "the negative effects of these things don't actually matter," i.e. that the results of our actions don't matter (it could be extrapolated, but it would be a straw man). In fact, I said this in an earlier post on page 100:

 

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.

 

The degree of separation I'm emphasizing between what you "are" and what you "do" is meant to prompt further analysis on perception vs. reality. Simply because you perceived a person's observable action as being wrong in some way (perception) doesn't mean you've accounted for how they actually came to their decision (reality) to perform such an action. i.e. although a person's observable action is easy to see (perception), probing into their minds to substantiate the rationale of their thinking (reality) is much more difficult (otherwise police investigations would be pretty easy, no?).

 

Essentially what I'm saying is that actions DO unfortunately matter in the end (the most, even, because they are observable), but it would be worse to compound that and say that their action has essentially 'summed up' who they "are" as a person. If we only focused on the person's action, what's to say they weren't coerced in private, for instance? It doesn't fully account for who the person "is," i.e. their moral character.

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Treating the symptoms (policing media representation) does not treat the illness (people creating sexist representations because society raised them and allowed them to grow up into sexist tendencies and thought processes without consequence).

Where do you think people get sexist tendencies from?  By absorbing the attitudes of the society around them -- the people in their lives and the media they consume.  It's a chicken-egg problem.  Sexist cultures produce sexist media, sexist media reinforces sexist attitudes, and sexist attitudes contribute to sexist culture.  If you can short-circuit the process at any point, then the cycle ends.  Since you can't very well keep media from influencing attitudes or attitudes from contributing to culture, you try to stop it at the "producing sexist media" point.

 

It won't solve the problem by itself, certainly, but it will help.

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Yeah... y'all are using the word "sexist" as if you all agreed on exactly what it means, in every context, and as if it were a box that can be easily checked off... and I think that's a huge part of the problem here - successfully extricating a fictional character or world's characteristics from an author's endorsement of those characteristics, looking at context, avoiding knee-jerk reactions, sussing out whether scantily-clad ANYTHING can ever be okay, etc.... these all take careful analysis. Building a long list of "YES THIS IS SEXIST - NEXT!!" characters, stories, environments, etc. without context and without looking at each a bit harder... really?

 

Too much mind-reading, too much false dichotomy; best evaluated on a spectrum, and with an open mind, not as a checkbox, with certitude. That's what art deserves, and that's what artists deserve, and by golly, if we're gonna call video games art, we should act like it.

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derailing the conversation into an argument of semantics 

 

how to neblix; constantly debate semantics, accuse other people of debating semantics, feel superior to other people

 

anyways your problem is you're one of those people who are probably like "instead of gun control, why don't we fix whatever makes people want to shoot people?" and then all the reasonable people are like "yeah but also in the meantime how about we have fucking gun control"

 

 

If we only focused on the person's action, what's to say they weren't coerced in private, for instance?

 

this is why your thinking is bad; the only reason people argue that moral character is something that can exist outside of people's observable action is so that they can assume that there must be some reason that excuses poor behavior (e.g. "I did a bad thing, but I'm not a bad person, so it's not so bad")

 

it's a bad thing to think because it gives people carte blanche to make up their own excuses as to why their actions aren't as bad as other people say they are, because the implication is that people can evaluate the social effects of their own actions, when in reality how you perceive the effects of your actions is irrelevant if they're different than what others perceive

 

a popular louis c.k quote; "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't."

 

 

Where do you think people get sexist tendencies from?  By absorbing the attitudes of the society around them -- the people in their lives and the media they consume.  It's a chicken-egg problem.  Sexist cultures produce sexist media, sexist media reinforces sexist attitudes, and sexist attitudes contribute to sexist culture.  If you can short-circuit the process at any point, then the cycle ends.  Since you can't very well keep media from influencing attitudes or attitudes from contributing to culture, you try to stop it at the "producing sexist media" point.

 

It won't solve the problem by itself, certainly, but it will help.

 

^ yeah that

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this is why your thinking is bad; the only reason people argue that moral character is something that can exist outside of people's observable action is so that they can assume that there must be some reason that excuses poor behavior (e.g. "I did a bad thing, but I'm not a bad person, so it's not so bad")

 

it's a bad thing to think because it gives people carte blanche to make up their own excuses as to why their actions aren't as bad as other people say they are, because the implication is that people can evaluate the social effects of their own actions, when in reality how you perceive the effects of your actions is irrelevant if they're different than what others perceive

 

a popular louis c.k quote; "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't."

 

What about mens rea (criminal intent)? As an example, why would that be defined in the U.S. constitution if excusing poor behavior is somehow "the only reason" for arguing that "moral character is something that can exist outside of people's observable action"? We're getting on a tangent here, but the point is, whether or not you personally care about a person's train of thought, the U.S. criminal justice system cares (or... it tries to, to be more accurate), and that's pretty unfortunately significant.

 

Sure, practically speaking, this "excuse" allows some people to justify their own actions in how they "perceive the effects of [their own] actions," potentially in contrast to "what others perceive," but that is bound to happen anyway. We agree that others' perception of us, such as an officer's perception of a particular so-called criminal, more greatly affects us than what we argue to justify our actions. Where we disagree is how we should treat the offender.

 

As a more specific example, many innocent people who get arrested are going to believe that simply because they know they're innocent of a given crime, that they can't be convicted for something. But in fact, it's still quite possible (see the first paragraph here). Maybe someone mentions your name when he/she gets accused of a gang rape, because an officer interrogates him/her and assumes that he/she had accomplice(s), one of them being you (perception)... again, even if you had nothing to do with it (reality). If and when it happens, your life is in the toilet while you're being taken in. If you're in college, you just acquired a semester and a half of absences waiting for a verdict (because it's about 6 months between the initial arrest and your trial). If you own a car, a home... you've lost it. And that is one result of observable actions overshadowing moral character. In other words, THAT is a major issue in the U.S. criminal justice system.

 

That is an example, I would say, of why I think we should prompt more critical analysis of a person's moral character in conjunction with his or her actions before making the claim that his or her actions "sum up" who the person "is".

 

Now to make this actually relevant, Neblix was saying that "policing sexist actions to try and fix the sexist society (what Anita is trying to do when she judgmentally casts gamers as sick people because they enjoy this stuff) will not work, but that treating the sexist society at the root of its sexism will in fact work." What I said above essentially pairs up with this statement that addressing the so-called "sexist actions" alone isn't good enough, in that I am saying that the person's action does not "sum up" who the person "is"; hence, it is not good enough to go that direction.

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how to neblix; constantly debate semantics

 

Find the quotes, I will send the money!

 

anyways my problem is I only want to attack arguments I think you would or might make based on my impression of you as an internet persona instead of even once taking tangible issue with anything you've actually typed

 

I need not say more, comparing my position on sexism in games to what you conjecture my position on gun control is (I've never once expressed to you my position on gun control, so not sure how you formulated it) is really cheeki breeki.

 

Since you can't very well keep media from influencing attitudes or attitudes from contributing to culture, you try to stop it at the "producing sexist media" point.

 

Yes, but there is a difference between forcing people not to make sexist media and actually changing their mind about how they view gender/sex differences so that they don't feel creating sexist media is appropriate or something they actually want to do.

 

A very tangible way of doing that is boycotting or otherwise discouraging the consumption of said media. Since a lot of motivation behind these depictions are the effervescent "sex sells!" adage, proving that wrong to content creators who use that as a primary motivation is a great start. Taking the game off the shelves as a "no-no" to content creators, on the other hand, is not as much.

 

This approach doesn't stifle sexist expression; it removes the creator's need and perhaps even desire for it (in the specific circumstance where the need is motivated economically rather than... artistically)

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Yes, but there is a difference between forcing people not to make sexist media and actually changing their mind about how they view gender/sex differences so that they don't feel creating sexist media is appropriate or something they actually want to do.

 

A very tangible way of doing that is boycotting or otherwise discouraging the consumption of said media. Since a lot of motivation behind these depictions are the effervescent "sex sells!" adage, proving that wrong to content creators who use that as a primary motivation is a great start. Taking the game off the shelves as a "no-no" to content creators, on the other hand, is not as much.

 

This approach doesn't stifle sexist expression; it removes the creator's need and perhaps even desire for it (in the specific circumstance where the need is motivated economically rather than... artistically)

 

Almost nobody on any side of this argument thinks that removing anything from the shelf is a viable end-goal.  Critique such as Anita's that points out sexism in media (aside: please table specific citations from her -- I agree with some of her critique and I don't see sexism when she does in other specific instances) might encourage people to not buy sexist material, but nobody is forcing anyone to not make things.

 

With specific regard to DoA Xtreme 3, Tecmo Koei can say whatever it wants about not wanting to bring over the game because of fear of backlash; whatever they say, negative news to a low-profile game is still making it in the news, which ultimately raises copies sold.  It is simply that the previous games did not sell enough copies in the US to justify the release, period.

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the U.S. criminal justice system cares

 

the US criminal justice system also thinks that being trans is a justifiable reason for someone to attempt to murder you - they're not exactly the pinnacle of logical

 

pointing out that an excessively flawed justice system functions in a way that lends credence to your argument is not exactly a convincing argument

 

I need not say more, comparing my position on sexism in games to what you conjecture my position on gun control is (I've never once expressed to you my position on gun control, so not sure how you formulated it) is really cheeki breeki.

 

I'm not saying that's what your position is - I'm saying I would be surprised if it wasn't, since the logic is essentially the same

 

A very tangible way of doing that is boycotting or otherwise discouraging the consumption of said media.

 

yeah - but when people do that, people complain that they're trying to censor things, as seen in this very thread

 

 

 

 

 

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pointing out that an excessively flawed justice system functions in a way that lends credence to your argument is not exactly a convincing argument

 

On the contrary; it is the "excessively flawed justice system" 's specific failure with regards to the lack of "presumption of innocence" that is what I was drawing from for the argument. So, the worse the handling of the "presumption of innocence" is perceived to be, the more it supports my argument here. It is the unjust result of "observable actions overshadowing moral character" that I'm saying is a provocative example intended to prompt "more critical analysis of a person's moral character in conjunction with his or her actions before making the claim that his or her actions 'sum up' who the person 'is,'" so that we avoid doing such things.

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It is the unjust result of "observable actions overshadowing moral character" that I'm saying is an example that prompts "more critical analysis of a person's moral character in conjunction with his or her actions before making the claim that his or her actions 'sum up' who the person 'is'." :lol:

 

that's not how your justice system works

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When an imminent arrest was to be made based on a witnessed shooting of an unarmed victim, Zimmerman claimed that his actions were for self defense (i.e. he claims that he had no intention to kill for the sake of killing). At the same time, the police could not find evidence from an interrogation to counteract that claim; it just so happens that by Florida's Stand Your Ground law, the police weren't allowed to make the arrest. About a year later, he even goes so far as to say that he was an "innocent American being prosecuted by the federal government." The attempted conviction involved an arrest based on Zimmerman's actions (the shooting), rather than his moral character (his claim of self-defense in some way justifying his actions). The Stand Your Ground law became a technicality that fell in line with his claims (not that I'm saying he cited that law), so by a technicality, the acquittal correlated with his claim of self defense. Their instinct for the arrest was based on the action.

 

Presuming that he, with certainty, actually shot the victim, his claim of justifying actions that, gone unqualified, would have been illegal (i.e. an attempt at establishing his good-faith moral character) is opposed to how his observable actions were perceived at the time of the arrest. It's just an example of a probably guilty person acquitted, rather than an innocent person convicted. At its core, it returns to the perceived actions unfortunately overshadowing his moral character, which is the root of what I've been saying.

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Above and beyond your misunderstanding of the George Zimmerman case (the Stand Your Ground law was not used as part of his legal defense), you're missing the point.  You can't be put on trial for "being a huge douchebag", and "but I'm a good person" isn't a valid legal defense for committing a crime.  The point is that the justice system doesn't care about your moral character, it cares about your actions.

 

Of course, using lethal force to defend yourself is a different action than committing murder.  The whole point of the trial was to determine which Zimmerman had done.  No one disputes the fact that Zimmerman shot and killed Treyvon Martin, but the prosecution was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was murder rather than self defense, so he was acquitted.  He wasn't found not guilty by reason of being a really stand-up guy.  He was found not guilty because they couldn't prove that the actions that he took constituted murder.

 

Anyway, the entire justice system thing is a derail.  Timaeus, you originally made the argument that what someone does doesn't define what they are.  Here's the original quote:

 

Equating "actions" as being what a person "is" removes his/her deliberation from the equation. Here's what I mean...

 

This is incredibly silly.  If you do sexist things, then you're sexist.  That's what "being sexist" means.  You can't say "sure, I do sexist things, but I'm not a sexist".  It's nonsensical.  A sexist is someone who does sexist things.  It's like saying "yeah, I stole something, but that doesn't make me a thief."  Yes, it does make you a thief.  That's what "thief" means.

 

What you think about your actions doesn't matter.  Doing sexist things makes you sexist, regardless of what you thought you were doing.  No, that may mean you're only accidentally sexist and someone just needs to educate you along the lines of "hey man, don't do that, that's sexist".  Which is great and all, but it doesn't make what you're doing not sexist.

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Actually, the way you explained your interpretation of the case is how I understood it. Apparently I wasn't using clear enough wording. That aside:

 

Anyway, all of this is besides the point.  Timaeus, you originally made the argument that what someone does doesn't define what they are.  Here's the original quote:

This is incredibly silly.  If you do sexist things, then you're sexist.  That's what "being sexist" means.  You can't say "sure, I do sexist things, but I'm not a sexist".  It's nonsensical.  A sexist is someone who does sexist things.  It's like saying "yeah, I stole something, but that doesn't make me a thief."  Yes, it does make you a thief.  That's what "thief" means.

 

What you think about your actions doesn't matter.  Doing sexist things makes you sexist, regardless of what you thought you were doing.  No, that may mean you're only accidentally sexist and someone just needs to educate you along the lines of "hey man, don't do that, that's sexist".  Which is great and all, but it doesn't make what you're doing not sexist.

 

Let me clarify some more. Performing an observable action in public once to a specific witness doesn't reveal to said witness how many times you've done it in previous days, so it's plausible that the witness would characterize you by your action.

 

However, I saw "doing sexist things" as "doing sexist things [repeatedly]". When you do something repeatedly, and it is something that can be attributed to a type of character, like a sexist, racist, etc., then someone is more and more likely to choose to characterize you as such. One assumption I'm making is that that action also tends to be done for itself, i.e. for its own sake. When you've done it once or twice and then suddenly realized, "wait a minute, I shouldn't do this anymore," then how could you be characterized as someone who does that action [for its own sake]? It's somewhat of an analogy with Kierkegaard's Pure of Heart.

 

The point is, do you really think that doing something that you then realize is wrong after-the-fact, and then you stop doing it from then on, all of a sudden defines who you are, i.e. permanently characterizes you? Isn't someone who "used to do something" not the same as someone who "does something [repeatedly]"? This refers to if you *have been sexist before*, that it does not necessarily mean that you *will do it again and again*. Yes, if you have done something sexist, the action itself is sexist automatically. But if you have done sexist things [before], I truly believe that you're not necessarily sexist until it is clarified that you have continued to do sexist things.

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I like how people in this thread somehow came to the psychologically unfounded conclusion that a person's mind has nothing to do with their character.

I just remember when it was fun to play videogames, with whomever, about whatever subject.

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I like how people in this thread somehow came to the psychologically unfounded conclusion that a person's mind has nothing to do with their character.

I like how you constantly accuse others of using strawmen and semantics and yet do nothing but

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I truly believe that you're not necessarily sexist until it is clarified that you have continued to do sexist things.

your problem here is that "continued" in this context vaguely refers to a period of time or a number of actions that you arbitrarily control

what you're saying here, functionally, is that people aren't [sexist or whatever] -unless you say so-, which you may recall as exactly the kind of fallacious nonsense that I said was the only reason people try to argue that people exist separate from their actions

(I know this is a double post but I'm currently incapable of editing previous posts on the mobile version for some reason)

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I like how people in this thread somehow came to the psychologically unfounded conclusion that a person's mind has nothing to do with their character.

 

I like how you constantly accuse others of using strawmen and semantics and yet do nothing but

 

people try to argue that people exist separate from their actions

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yeah - the strawman that you're making here is saying my argument is "people's minds are unrelated to their character", whereas my actual argument is "the idea of a person having an innate 'character' that's somehow separable from their actions is false - people cannot innately be any descriptor that runs contrary to how they act, because people only exist to each other as a sum of their actions (for example, a person claiming they aren't sexist doesn't mean anything if they do sexist things)"

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people cannot innately be any descriptor that runs contrary to how they act, because people only exist to each other as a sum of their actions

 

That kind of reeks of "objective reality" type philosophy, be careful with that. It's also a bad method of evaluation; generally an action is meaningless without context and a history to measure it against in relativity. This is how media can basically turn any "action" into any "meaning" or "evaluation" they want. They take some snippet of something they see from their armchairs and then interpret it how they see fit.

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your problem here is that "continued" in this context vaguely refers to a period of time or a number of actions that you arbitrarily control

what you're saying here, functionally, is that people aren't [sexist or whatever] -unless you say so-, which you may recall as exactly the kind of fallacious nonsense that I said was the only reason people try to argue that people exist separate from their actions

(I know this is a double post but I'm currently incapable of editing previous posts on the mobile version for some reason)

 

"Continued", as in "from the moment they started up until the current day". Can't go past that in either direction without making assumptions, so it's one of those "safe" words that is limited to the scope of one's observation of the other.

 

But it's worth mentioning that referencing that quote by itself omits the qualification I make that one, more often than not, performs an action repeatedly because one truly believes in doing it for itself.

 

people cannot innately be [observed in accordance with] any descriptor that runs contrary to how they act, because people only exist to each other as a sum of their actions

 

Again, that is a view that limits one's perspective to what is observed, and forgets that there is in fact a voluntary or involuntary quality assignable to all actions. Even though it is true that others can only observe through their lens how you act, it doesn't mean that that unqualified observation is an accurate, sufficient lens that gives you the entire perspective for you to describe someone else without making assumptions. It doesn't fully account for how the person innately is. That's what I've been saying.

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@Bleck: All you're correct on is that observable actions are the only things we have to go on to judge a person; that's far from actually making the case that those observations are absolute and sufficient to make accurate evaluations.

 

It's one thing if you say "actions are the best thing we have to judge someone as correctly as we can because other factors in a person's character are unverifiable and subjective", but instead you're framing it as "actions are the only things we need to make a correct evaluation because there are no other factors in a person's character".

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no, see, you're strawmanning still - I'm saying we shouldn't evaluate people at all

we should only evaluate their actions, and hold them responsible accordingly

nobody is good or bad - only the things they do

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