Misogyny bad? Spoiler alert: it is.Posted: June 12, 2013
Okay. I don’t usually write about this sort of thing. Not sure how good I am at it, really. Also, I don’t have anything new to add to the topic. I’ve read four articles about misogyny today, though — three in regards to the SpecFic community and one to the video game community — and I felt the need to say something.
Also, if you haven’t seen my Twitter userpic, then let it be known that I’m a white man. So, this is an outsider’s perspective.
Last bit of preamble: probably some triggering stuff coming up. I’ll put it under a cut just to be safe.
Yesterday, I read a post that showed some responses to a tweet the author made two days ago about the lack of female protagonists in the games presented at Microsoft’s E3 press conference. I stopped reading shortly after because those responses ranged from dismissive to disgusting. And, sadly, it was nothing I hadn’t seen before in the video game community.
Later on, I read a post, which pointed me to two other posts here and here which detailed the authors’ personal experiences with misogyny in the SpecFic community. Now this is still fairly new to me. I mean, I’ve read a few experiences similar to those presented in the latter two posts, but it’s not something I’ve come to expect/dread yet from my chosen genre.
I’ve been a gamer since before I was old enough to go to school (my recent vow to give them up notwithstanding). I’ve been a reader since kindergarten, and the genre that won my heart is speculative fiction. And to realize that sexism is so endemic to both, well…
I want to be angry. When I see injustice, I want to Hulk out and smash. This doesn’t happen. I just get depressed and hopeless for our species. Depression is not motivating, which is why I so often do nothing. Say nothing. Why else do I say nothing? Fear. I don’t want to “rock the boat.” I’m so averse to rocking the boat that I will jump out of the boat and tread water. Also unproductive.
So this is me fighting my natural inclination to fade into the background. This is me deciding to actually have a public opinion about Something Important. It’s really quite simple. So simple that I can state the gist of my opinion in one sentence:
I would go further and say “inequality sucks,” which it does, but I’m focusing on sexism with this post. Gotta stay focused.
It is not cool that women, half the population of our freaking planet, have to deal with so much crap, not just from two of the things I love, but from society in general. It’s even worse how unnoticed and even accepted it is. Women do not deserve to be ignored or disrespected. Their voices, viewpoints, and experiences are as valid as mens’, and to think otherwise is pretty damn ignorant.
I want women to write stories and make games. I want to read books, play games, and watch shows and movies with women as protagonists. I want them to be heard, seen, and respected.
On a larger scale, I want society as a whole to get its metaphorical head out of its ass, realize it has a problem, and fix it. And the people who are brave enough to say this — and by this I don’t mean random guys like me who have nothing to lose, but the women who are actually affected — should be safe from backlash. The rape and death threats. The horrible names. The pure, unfiltered waste spewing from the underdwellers of humanity.
For my part, I will do better to keep my eyes open, to spread the word, to speak out against misogyny and other forms of inequality that I encounter. Not because the marginalized need me to be their hero, but because I want people to know that this happens and that it’s not okay.
P.S. As I was writing this, Chuck Wendig posted this, which I agree with and can point to as another reason I wrote this post: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/12/why-men-should-speak-out-about-sexism-misogyny-and-rape-culture/