The GamerGate Post: Twitter and Feminism

Posted on November 27, 2014 by Richard Goulter
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This is my GamerGate post.
This isn’t to comprehensively discuss the issue, so much as to share some excellent discussion/posts I’ve seen related to the issue; just so you know where I’m coming from.

About a month ago I was, uh, fortunate enough for someone to share Cathy Young’s article on GamerGate; in this, she describes GamerGate as a backlash against the radical feminists whose views on gender go unchallenged in MainStream Media.
Well, it’s the second article she wrote about GamerGate; later I read her first piece which is also excellent.
Cathy could perhaps be accused of bias. (This would be a mild accusation; I see that women who dissent from feminist orthodoxy … get called mean names). Unfortunately, it’s rare to find writing so balanced as Cathy’s on GamerGate.

I’d come across Cathy Young before, so was intruiged enough to investigate further.
For me, it was refreshing and amazing to see discussion on the issue; and dissent from the liberal view. Following Cathy Young’s twitter (where she shares not just libertarian(?) opinions, but also retweets cute animal pictures) has been a boon. e.g. coming across another great post from slatestarcodex, which discusses “red vs blue” tribalism; as well as suggesting “tolerance” isn’t “tolerance” if it’s easy. Very long, but an absolutely fantastic point.

– I’d be best to note, before going further, that indeed a lot of what populates the #GamerGate hashtag on Twitter isn’t all that great; neither on the pro-GG side nor on the anti-GG side. It really goes without saying that deaththreats, etc. aren’t to be condoned. (Sigh. Though too bad many have been told #GamerGate is about harassing women).
Less problematic is the discourse wherein each side will take examples of the worst of the other side, using it to generalise about how bad the other guys are. This leads to really ugly discussion, not shared understanding.

But I’ve mixed feelings about some of the zingers to be found in this ugliness. e.g. This post from SexyIsn’tSexist features the line:

So when radical feminists protest that gamers are “anti-feminist”, remember this does not mean “anti-woman”. In the modern context, it is more likely to mean “pro-equality”.

Whoa-ho-ho. Burn.
This amuses me, but at the same time I think the tone of the post is too hostile to be able to engage with anyone who disagrees. (Well. Unless the people who disagree with her are clever enough so as to read past the aggression).

Christina Hoff Sommers also comes out with some really good zingers. (“When women say no to feminism, feminists don’t seem to understand that no means no.”).
CHSommers is a key figure in all of this. It seems she’s been battling with these radical feminists for about 20 years. Sure. But within GamerGame she came-to-fame through her video “Are Videogames Sexist? as part of her ongoing “Factual Feminist” series which attacks against radical-feminist propaganda using facts. The pro-GamerGate camp loved her, calling her “based mom”.
Even better was her “What the critics of #GamerGate get wrong” video, which features the best proclamation of gamer culture I’ve ever heard:

And those gamers, they’re not going away any time soon. Once they enter a battle, they like to win. And they know a thing or two about slaying dragons.

– CHSommers makes for a better example of what I saw many months ago when I first found this topic; not that this is a novel insight, but so much of the discourse about “feminism” includes discussing what a real feminist is. Don’t be surprised to hear that the radical-feminists aren’t keen on the idea that CHSommers is a feminist.
– On that note, when feminists (not necessarily feminism) comes under attack, the common defensive cry is that “but feminism is about equality; how can you be against that?”. - Worth pointing out is that these statements like “it’s about equality” or “let’s look at the facts” are good to say, regardless of whether the person saying them is disingenuous or not. (Note that by suggesting someone isn’t a real feminist, the criticism is about ‘sincerity’. This is sometimes a useful lens to see all this banter through). Because if someone thinks equality is good, then they can be called out if ever they do something which isn’t equal.

In terms of more “core” GamerGate issues; I did come across these posts: that there is some less-than-ideal shit which has been happening in videogame journalism; and a defense from someone who knows what it is to be a victim explaining the initial Quinn post which started the GamerGate controversy.

I’ll finish off with some more interesting posts from the “GamerGate as a pushback against SJWs” perspective:
This post from Spectator suggests that SJWs have been able to build their success by relying on people who don’t want to offend, don’t like being stupid. But now GamerGate demonstrates a shift in media/culture, wherein things can be expressed now which would’ve been shot-down some years ago.
This post from DailyCaller tells the narrative of the media’s attack on the white-nerds, and portrays GamerGate as a backlash against this. (Well, this post isn’t all that balanced; but +1 for highlighting cultural attitudes about white-nerds..).

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