Saturday, 22 November 2014

False allegations are "rare"

Okay, so let's (as Bane666_au says) get stuck into it.

Feminists claim that false allegations in general, and of sexual violence in particular, are rare. Unfortunately, feminists (and other activists) have a long history of falsifying or exaggerating claims to promote an agenda. 

There is the hoax that Superbowl Sunday is the day of the year with the highest rate of domestic violence. 

There is the ongoing hoax that major sports events are hotbeds of sex trafficking (when there is no firm statistical evidence to show that). 

There is the hoax of the "Rule of Thumb", which was a carpenter's colloquialism until some judge over a hundred years ago was reported to have joked that it should apply to a man's right to correct his wife (for which he was lambasted in the press and ridiculed in political cartoons), which then snowballed into a false claim by feminists that it was an actual law in the UK and the rest of Europe.

 There is the "UN statistic" that 70% of the world's impoverished are women--a statistic with no source which appeared in a report in the 1980s, and has been repeated ever since. 

There is the claim that the majority of deformities at birth are caused by men who beat their wives during pregnancy, another statistic with no source, where the attributed source (March of Dimes) denies ever even conducting the research attributed to it, and which is disconfirmed by the CDC and other reputable sources. 

There is Eric Holder's blatantly false claim that domestic violence is the leading cause of death for young black women (even ALL homicides of young black women put together don't add up to the leading cause of their deaths). Incidentally, even though this claim has NEVER been true, after years of being called on it, the US government posted a clarification not that the claim was false, but that it was "outdated". 

There is the false claim that 98% (or whatever giant proportion they feel like using today) of all rapists are men, when more and more evidence is piling up that this is really not the case at all, at least according to the CDC. 

There is the false claim that domestic violence is almost entirely perpetrated by men on women, in the service of dominance and coercive control, when that type of domestic violence is the most rare form of all, half as common as the reverse. 

There is Charlie Rogers, a lesbian activist who carved up her own body and made a false report to police that three white men broke into her house, tortured her, and carved Christian and homophobic symbols in her skin. 


There is Meg Lanker Simons (a feminist activist with a previous history of gun violence) who was found to have sent rape threats to herself, something police discovered only after her university held rallies protesting the threats she received as evidence of a systemic "rape culture". 

Feminism is riddled with false claims. Almost all of them false claims indicting or vilifying men either individually, or as a group. 

Look at Anita Sarkeesian's claims about the game Hitman: Absolution:

The Lie - "the player" (you know, the everyplayer who is almost always male) is "invited" to kill female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - the player, in the service of realism, CAN kill female bystanders just as they can kill male ones, but is actively discouraged from doing so through point penalties

The Lie - "the player" (again, the everyplayer who is almost always male) "can't help but" accept the invitation to kill female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - the vast majority of playthroughs posted online show players avoiding all interaction with the female bystanders

The Lie - "the game" (developed and published mostly by men within a male-dominated industry) "carefully concocted" the scenario to compel "the player" (again, virtually always male) to kill the female bystanders and sexualize their dead bodies

The Truth - "the game" does not require the player to even interact with the female bystanders, actively discourages the killing of them, and the decision to do so earns the player nothing but a point penalty and grief


The Lie: "the game" dehumanizes the female characters as sex objects available for exploitation and violation on the part of the "everyplayer"

The Truth: during gameplay, the player hears the female characters discussing their struggles and problems in a way evokes sympathy for their plight. The women talk about their mean boss, their difficult lives, their vulnerabilities, etc, which the player hears whether he interacts with them or not 

In the service of these lies, it's almost certain that Anita actually, for the first time ever, used her own let's play footage in one of her videos, because the vast majority of players simply do not play the game in the way she needs them to to suit her agenda.

She's not only lying, but she lying in such a way as to lead people to believe the average gamer is a violent misogynist prone to necrophiliac fetishization of women's dead bodies, and that the game industry itself reinforces those attitudes about women or, worse, creates them. The parallels between her agenda and that pushed by wartime propagandists to demonize the enemy are astounding. And it's no different from what feminists have been telling us about all men since the Declaration of Sentiments. 

After 4 years of research into not just typical feminist claims and their utter lack of empirical veracity, but human psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, group psychology, mob psychology, etc, I have learned to be skeptical of ANY claim coming from a self-identified feminist. While I will certainly concede that women have problems specific to their gender, any feminist claim of causation will be heavily investigated by me, because so many such claims in the past have proven false.

A self-identified feminist could tell me her morning dump floated in the toilet instead of sinking, and I'd demand time-stamped pictures. That's exactly how trustworthy they are. 


Violence against women in any form has been a HUGE cash cow for feminism. The more they inflate their claims regarding its pervasiveness in society, the more money pours in, and the more power they have to tinker with legislation and policy. Because it is such an emotionally charged subject, any rational skepticism of these claims (as to whether they are true in the first place, or whether feminists are accurate in their estimates of pervasiveness), is easily deflected by attacking the skeptic.

Feminist: "1 in 5 women are raped on college campuses."

Skeptic: "Actually, that number doesn't represent rapes, but all sexual assaults, including forced kissing and attempted forced kissing. And there are reasons to believe that the research methodology is flawed in the direction of skewing the numbers higher than they actually are."

Feminist: "Rape apologist! Don't you CARE about rape victims? Do you hate women or something?" 

Very few people seem to notice that none of those accusations apply to the mere questioning of a claim. 

You can demonstrate until the cows come home just how much certain feminists are profiting from generating an inflated fear of violence against women among the public (the average [almost always feminist] director of a battered women's shelter here in Alberta rakes in over $100k/year, and in the US, that number can be significantly higher), and people won't care, because ending violence against women is THAT important. They won't see the people who claim to be working to end it as the exploitative con-artists or ideologically driven religious inquisitors that they are.

If you point out that a very lucrative industry has formed around these issues, and that like any organic entity, this industry will work to sustain and grow itself rather than the other way around, you get called a conspiracy theorist. Even though none of these claims require a conspiracy to be valid--all they require is human nature. 

The quasi-religious nature of feminism regarding how people psychologically identify with and attach to it, makes it such that those who believe will be VERY reluctant to ever concede that the goals have been achieved. To concede that means letting go of the religion. It is at this point that you see feminists claiming that universities that report many rapes through the Clery Act are hotbeds of rape and misogyny, while universities that report few or no rapes are hotbeds of rape, misogyny and underreporting. Rape is there, and rampant, just like sin--they KNOW it. And when they've all but stamped it out, it's still there and still rampant, because they KNOW it. 

When the inquisition runs out of real witches and sinners and heretics, it will begin to invent them to justify its own zealotry and its continued reason to exist. Just as the world will always be filled with sinners and heretics, it will always be filled with misogynists and rape apologists, even if it isn't. 

This is the one reason I see religion as in some ways less dangerous than secular utopian ideologies like feminism. Religion promises that the utopia will come when you're dead. The utopia is guaranteed to the chosen, no matter how imperfect the corporeal world is. Feminism desires a utopia on earth, where it is utterly unattainable even if it is (heck, even if it already exists!), due to the very nature of religious thinking. They could bring about perfect equality, but to justify their continued ideological zealotry, they will still perceive it as "a hell of inequality on earth". 

"The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism." All this translates to is, "The more people disagree with me, the more righteous I am. The more people claim women are already equal, the more I know they are not."



Feminists, in my opinion, are currently in the process of "doubling down". Their hand's been essentially empty for decades (women have better than equal rights and opportunities at the moment, as well as a massive, government funded advocacy machine in every western country) and people are beginning to call their bluff. Their response seems to be to constantly up the ante, claim feminism is more necessary than ever, and exaggerate every possible difficulty or obstacle in a woman's life, claim it's systemic oppression and screech injustice.

An interesting psychological mechanism is at play, I think.

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/10/12/0956797610385953

"When in doubt, shout!: A seminal case study by Festinger found, paradoxically, that evidence that disconfirmed religious beliefs increased individuals’ tendency to proselytize to others."

There are numerous parallels between feminism and theism, not least of which is that its adherents integrate it into their individual personal identities. It possesses an orthodoxy, a set of doctrines, an etherial malicious force (Patriarchy), a way to "salvation" (feminist ideals), a definition of "sin" (sexism), aspects of the confessional ("I'm a straight, white male, and I acknowledge my privilege..."), and a utopian (yet ever-shifting) set of goals.

The more evidence you put in front of them that women are not oppressed, the more they will scream women are as oppressed as ever, maybe even more so. An example:

Only a few years ago, Gloria Steinem gave an interview where she asserted that women today are more oppressed than they were in the 1950s! And the kicker is, the greater oppression of women today, according to her, stems from the very things feminists of the 60s and 70s demanded--access to education, careers, and full opportunity for participation in the workforce! And of course, the proper response to this greater oppression that has resulted from 50+ years of feminism is more feminism, because reasons.

In addition, there's a thing people do when they become heavily emotionally and psychologically invested in a concept, cause, principle, course of action or what have you. They will continue to throw good money after bad.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escalation_of_commitment

"More recently the term sunk cost fallacy has been used to describe the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the cost, starting today, of continuing the decision outweighs the expected benefit."

Many feminists--the most dedicated and passionate in particular--have built academic and political careers on the dubious foundation of the Patriarchy hypothesis. They have built an entire academic (un)discipline out of it, constructed complex, convoluted and amorphous philosophical "tools" and "lenses" such as "problematization" in order to justify ignoring or dismissing evidence that contraindicates their grand unifying theory, and have devoted their entire lives to this belief system.

They're simply not going to declare all that investment worthless, are they? Like the gambler who justifies another gamble because he's already lost so much money, they are addicted to their past investment in what I can only describe as a psychological con on an epic scale.

The OECD's "Better Life Index" clearly indicates that in nearly every country in the west, women live longer, healthier, happier, safer lives than men. They have better access to health services, safety, education, work/life balance and housing, among other things.

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/ (click on the "gender differences" button)

Strange, when you think about it. According to feminism, the oppressed live longer, healthier, happier, safer lives than their oppressors.

Yet the feminist machine churns away, heaping guilt and shame on men all while screaming that the most privileged class of people in the history of humanity (western women of nearly any race or socioeconomic class) are systemically oppressed in every facet of their lives. Show them evidence to the contrary, and all they'll do is scream louder, because they've integrated a false belief system into their identities, and because they don't want to admit they've wasted their lives on bullshit.

As Gloria Steinem said in that interview, women in western countries are "more oppressed than ever" (a false accusation if ever there was one). And if you point out that she's objectively wrong in that claim, you're just part of the problem. And a misogynist, to boot.

I find it highly ironic that a group of people who claim that false allegations of violence and sexual violence are "rare" so frequently engage in making such allegations and others--not necessarily against individual men, but against all men, or against a "male-dominated system" that has always viewed male violence against women as socially and morally problematic, but which is constantly (falsely) accused of normalizing and condoning it.

According to Anita Sarkeesian, people should "listen and believe" when women disclose their experiences. Yet I have the feeling that she doesn't want people to "listen and believe" when I disclose my own experiences--that my life is a pain in the ass at times, but not unjust or oppressive, that I don't feel discriminated against or persecuted in every facet of my life (or any of them, really), that I think describing men as poisoned M&Ms is bigotry, that I think forms of entertainment that appeal to straight men are not inherently evil, and that most of her claims about tropes in video games are elaborate and convoluted lies requiring the internalization of anti-male biases and some serious mental gymnastics to validate. 

Which leads me to wonder why on earth do so many people, men and women, take these feminists seriously? When did the statement "never question a claim, no matter what" become a vaunted and desirable secular value, just because the claim is made by a [right-thinking] woman? 


88 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! I've been pilloried on G+ for suggesting that American women have it pretty good compared to women in other countries like Somalia and Saudi Arabia.

    How dare I suggest that "burden of birth control costs, domestic violence, rape culture and...GUNS" are not as important just because "we don't wear burkas or can drive cars"!

    The absurdity of that argument just boggles my mind.

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  2. Hi Karen,

    My name's Pleiades and I'm a very new YouTuber. I've recently published some articles talking both about Anita Sarkeesian's "analysis" and the problem of statistitcs used by Feminists. If there is a speckle of kindness in your somehow-woman-hating heart then I'd love some additional exposure, either via recommendation, shout out, virtual high five or even if you could start stalking me a little bit.


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvxpKLRUCKVeVugjgzipvIw

    :D Thanks :D Regardless of the outcome :D

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  3. You going to turn this into a video? I think we're due some new kitchen content...

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  4. Gold. Why do people take them seriously? because emotions, the instinct to protect women, etc. There's something powerful in a teary woman wanting you to do something, and feminism is exploiting it to no end.

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  5. Are you really a woman? If so, I feel sorry for you. You must really be angry and torn up inside. You're pretty hurt and confused and it shows.

    Your blog is sick. And sickening.

    I wish you the best. But you need help. You're one sick puppy and a very tortured soul. Hating yourself, and your gender isn't something to "joke" about. And privately I think you realize that.

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    1. "Are you really an atheist? If so, I feel sorry for you. You must really be angry and torn up inside. You're pretty hurt and confused and it shows.

      Your blog is sick. And sickening.

      I wish you the best. But you need help. You're one sick puppy and a very tortured soul. Hating yourself, and God isn't something to "joke" about. And privately I think you realize that."

      Delete
    2. Congratulations on exemplifying the type of fanatical, emotionalist harpy GWW takes to task here.

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    3. How interesting.

      No presentation of counter evidence to disprove my many examples of feminist false accusations.

      No counter argument or refutation of a single point I made.

      Multiple personal insults and insinuations that there's something wrong with my mental health.

      Oh, wait. What I meant to say was "how uninteresting and predictable."

      Delete
    4. What she calls self-hatred is the act of having empathy for men.

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  6. Hey, you know what, I like you, challenging me to think outside the box
    but I don't want to think of you as a one trick pony, though, so, I'm going to challenge you to blog about something that isn't feminism, cheers

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    1. That's easy. She also writes about Men's Rights.

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    2. I hesitate to write about other topics, since I don't feel as well-informed on them as I am on feminism/men's rights. I could possibly do some how-to blog posts on effective fiction writing, or post some easy-peasy Sunday dinner ideas or DIY home repair/renovation stuff.

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    3. Why should she, want to silence her do you.

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  7. the fiction writing ideas blog sounds like a good idea!

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  8. Fiction? Nonsense! Your nect step should be condensing your research and supplementing it with recorded interviews and demonstrative graphics packaged for the documentary film market on amazon-netflix and internationally.
    Go for it!
    The duke lacrosse team story is perfect for a documentary and a documentary on the true breakdown of existing rape statistics would be a great instrument for women who can handle the truth.

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  9. Thought-provoking stuff!

    I really wish you'd provided more links, though. Maybe it's just that I'm new here, and I don't already know about all the examples you toss out at the beginning of the article, but right now that section reads like a whole lot of unsubstantiated claims. It's totally your prerogative to assert your position without providing support, I just think the piece would be stronger with it. You're obviously capable of including links to external information, so it's just kind of puzzling that you so frequently opted not to.

    Anyway. I'm quite happy to take your claims at face value. After all, how ridiculous would it be if you penned a dishonest article decrying the dishonesty of feminists?

    A lot of the examples of feminist dishonesty that you provide are genuinely troubling. It's really awful to think that some people are so absorbed by feelings of loathing (towards themselves and/or others) that they would invent or inflict trauma upon themselves and blame others for it. I honestly can't even begin to wrap my head around that mindset.

    It's appalling the way that sensationalized numbers with dubious connections to reality get touted by ideologues, and that even when those numbers fail to withstand rigorous scrutiny, they still have an effective imprint on the discourse around important issues.

    You make a compelling case that there are feminists out there who have become rather too caught up in their ideology, and that's really too bad.

    That said, there are a couple of places where I think you may be going off the rails a bit as well. You describe some of Anita Sarkeesian's criticism of a Hitman game as "lies". I think that in order to consider what you have quoted her as saying as lies, you need to make some assumptions about her knowledge/understanding of the game, and her motives. By my reckoning, a lie is a statement that is known to be false (by the speaker) and made with intent to mislead. Because what Sarkeesian is doing is a kind of cultural commentary, it's actually pretty hard for a lot of her statements to be false. Culture and cultural artifacts are laden with contradictions, inconsistencies, and paradoxes. There is ample room for interpretations that go off in opposite directions. For example, Sarkeesian apparently says that the player is invited to kill and sexualize female bystanders; you counter with the claim that the game discourages killing female bystanders by imposing a point penalty on players. But it seems to me that both claims can be true, depending on how you choose to understand the concept of invitation. I think it's viable to understand it, as Sarkeesian might, in terms of providing the option or opportunity. And I also think it's viable to understand it, as you seem to, in terms of offering encouragement. Then, of course, there's a question about what constitutes encouragement, and whether the point mechanics of the game are more or less of an encouragement than the simulated reactivity of objects and environments within the game. But if I'm not careful I'll get well stuck in the weeds here, so I'll move on. Suffice it to say, I'm not convinced that Sarkeesian is lying; she may just have a different, critical perspective.

    This is getting really long (sorry, I said it was thought provoking!) so I'm going to skip to something that came up for me at the end.

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    1. You seem to have missed the (rather lengthy) part where Karen mentioned how it was almost certain that Anita has finally created her own gaming footage to suit her agenda - presumably because she couldn't find anyone on Youtube playing Hitman the way she wanted you to see it played. So if this counts as "providing cultural commentary" and doesn't count as lying, i don't know what does.

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    2. I have to admit, I don't quite follow. Did Sarkeesian claim to be using someone else's footage when she was in fact using her own? That would be a lie (and some kind of weird inverse plagiarism). I don't see how using her own footage makes a lie of the claim "the game allows/encourages the player to do certain things" (for different understandings of "allow" and "encourage").

      What am I missing here?

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    3. "What am I missing here?"

      There are hundreds of playthroughs online and none play the game in the way she describes as inevitable. She played the game, killed / tortured the women herself, then claimed this is what the male population is doing and this is what the game is designed for.

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    4. You may as well send a death threat to yourself on twitter and then say this is what the male population is doing and this is what twitter encourages.

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    5. "She played the game, killed / tortured the women herself, then claimed this is what the male population is doing and this is what the game is designed for."

      That's a pretty bold and aggressive accusation on her part! Can you show me where she does that? Like, if there's a transcript or something, it should be pretty easy for you to pull a direct quote to that effect, right?

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    6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuRSaLZidWI

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    7. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.857622-Anita-Sarkeesian-Hitman-Absolution-Epic-Fail

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    8. and the original, http://www.feministfrequency.com/2014/06/women-as-background-decoration-tropes-vs-women/

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    9. Thanks for presenting some sources. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed that they're just links, as opposed to direct quotes. You described Sarkeesian's alleged accusation in specific enough terms that I assumed you could point me to an exact quote to that effect. Still, I appreciate you meeting me half way with these links.

      I went ahead and took a look through the transcript on the FF website, but I couldn't find any explicit claims that Hitman is designed for killing and torturing women or that the (specifically) male population is using the game as a torture/murder simulator. What I could find was one mention of it being possible ("the player can") to use a woman's corpse to create a diversion. That's a very mild claim, isn't it?

      Going back to the original allegation that Sarkeesian lied by apparently creating gameplay footage of the action being described, I still struggle to see where the lie is. I know that wasn't your original claim, so it may not be entirely fair on my part to put it back to you. But I get the sense you agree with it, so maybe you can explain. Where's the lie in saying that "the player can create a diversion by picking up and dumping the dead body of an exotic dancer near police officers" and showing footage of a player doing that? I could see it being a lie if it required modding the game to unlock that possibility, but as it stands, all I see is a claim and some evidence that supports that claim.

      It's also interesting to me that people are so focused on the Hitman example when it seems to be such a small part of the video as a whole. I get that it's more important to focus on inaccuracies or fabrications where those exist, because even a small one does more to undermine an argument than 10 good pieces of evidence do to support it. But when the alleged dishonesty or misrepresentation is just a matter of doing something perhaps unconventional but still possible, I struggle to make sense of what the big deal is.

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    10. 10024, are you for real?

      "You described Sarkeesian's alleged accusation in specific enough terms"

      I did not, Im doing a summation. Then you say:

      "male population is using the game as a torture/murder simulator."

      Well I never used those "specific words", did I. Dont waste my time.

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    11. I get the sense that you feel as though I've misrepresented you. I know how much it can grate to be misrepresented, so I hope we can get to the bottom of this. I'm trying my best with the material put in front of me, so if I've misunderstood something, please help me understand better.

      When you originally said that Sarkeesian "claimed this is what the male population is doing and this is what the game is designed for" I thought that you were referring to a specific statement because I understand claims to be specific, explicit assertions. Now you've clarified that you didn't mean that Sarkeesian made a specific assertion to that effect, and that you were "doing a summation". What I understand from that is that you are suggesting that Sarkeesian does not explicitly assert that Hitman is designed for male gamers to kill / torture women (" tortured" being the word you introduced in your initial post in this chain, I apologize for using "murder" earlier when you started off with the word "killed"). What I understand you to be suggesting now--and please help me get this right--is that if you take Sarkeesian's work as a whole, the is a sense, a subtext, or an implication about what Hitman is for or how people play the game. Is that right?

      Delete
    12. 10024, before we go further, please state what your understanding of Sarkessian is, aka, what is her posture about videogames and what the tropes against women video series intent is. Then please state if you agree or disagree with her posture.

      You're making it sound that saying "Sarkessian says videogames contain toxic tropes of the patriarchy and are played by sexist men" is something that requires any sort of proof - in which case it sounds you're not even familiar with her material.

      So where do you stand, are you familiar with her, do you agree, etc.

      As per your question etc.

      In a game like Hitman where you can kill any NPC, male or female, and are tasked to kill many male "targets", or in a game like God of War where you literally kill thousands of characters (mostly male), Sarkessian cherry picks the scenes that serve her narrative to sell the idea that it is ALL about objectification / violence of women.

      Now you can agree or disagree on the subject - but are you even aware of what her posture is? if you're aware why would you then ask for "proof" of this:

      "She played the game, killed / tortured the women herself, then claimed this is what the male population is doing and this is what the game is designed for."

      Which is almost a quotation of her

      "S: I should note that this kind of misogynistic behavior isn't always mandatory; often it's player-directed, but it is always implicitly encouraged."

      Not mandatory, but "implicitly encouraged" - designed for

      "S: The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon,because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

      The player cannot help - because they were designed...

      etc.

      Are you even familiar with the subject you're talking about?

      Delete
    13. I don't like jumping out of the substantive discussion to talk process, but this is kind of a big deal.

      Are you suggesting that I need to agree with you before we can continue this discussion?

      You are of course welcome to decide whether or not to continue this conversation on whatever basis seems appropriate.

      I'm not sure what the value of this apparent ideological screening is supposed to be though. I think we've been having a fairly respectful exchange so far, how would my taking a "stand" one way or another contribute to this conversation?

      Delete
    14. "Are you suggesting that I need to agree with you"

      No, read what I wrote. Im asking you if you're familiar with the subject, and what do you think of it.

      Delete
    15. 10024,

      "What I understand you to be suggesting now--and please help me get this right--is that if you take Sarkeesian's work as a whole, the is a sense, a subtext, or an implication about what Hitman is for or how people play the game. Is that right?"

      No need to go that deep, take her direct quotes - which you would know if you knew about the subject:

      "S: The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon,because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

      She IS saying (paraphrase mine) that the game is designed with the specific purpose of (male) players to derive perverse pleasure from the objectification and violence of women (specifically). And this is all she talks about.

      That, in a game were you take perverse pleasure of killing hundreds of men, she creates her own video of herself abusing a woman, so she can point the finger and say it is all about violence against women.

      Do you figure out where's the lie?

      Delete
    16. I don't, because according to the transcript, in between the commentary about and video of Hitman and the quote you provided, there is commentary about and video of: DX:HR, GTA IV, GTA V, RDR, Dishonored, Sleeping Dogs, Duke 3D, DA:O, FO 3, FO: NV, Fable, The Witcher 2, Metro: LL, Bioshock Infinite and Saints Row. Why should anyone take that quote to be about Hitman specifically when there are so many other intervening examples?

      Delete
    17. 10024,

      I take that you didnt watch her videos.

      "Why should anyone take that quote to be about Hitman specifically"

      Because when she says that quote she's playing a video of hitman where the player (herself, probably) is dragging semi naked unconscious / dead exotic stripper's body around. She says "desecrate dead bodies" and shows a semi erotic drag - from a - feet dead body with open legs and stuff. It's pretty graphic.

      So, because she IS talking about hitman specifically, that's why.

      Go watch her videos.

      Delete
    18. after you DID watch the Feminist Frequency videos (I gave you the link, watch all the tropes against women series, so at least you know what you're talking about) watch this one which sums the point again

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuRSaLZidWI

      Delete
    19. Thanks for clearing that up. It's a shame that Sarkeesian's transcripts don't accurately reflect all of the clips that are used. I regret that I am not able to re-watch the videos at the moment. All I have for internet access right now is my phone, and I can't justify using the amount of data it would take to watch long videos. I do appreciate you taking the time to set the record straight. It is probably kind of frustrating to have to do this extra work.

      So I take your point that it's perfectly reasonable to connect that quote to Hitman and maybe other games as well.

      Returning to that quote, I can see how part of it is or could be wrong, but just because she's wring doesn't mean she's necessarily lying. In fact, what she may be wring about is the sort of thing that is maybe impossible to lie about.

      The first part if the quote "The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon,because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose," is true within the framework Sarkeesian has laid out:

      "Game developers set up a series of rules and then within those rules we are invited to test the mechanics to see what we can do, and what we can’t do. We are encouraged to experiment with how the system will react or respond to our inputs and discover which of our actions are permitted and which are not. The play comes from figuring out the boundaries and possibilities within the gamespace."

      Because the designers made those female bodies interactive to the extent that they did, the player is basically forced to treat them as interactive objects. Even if a player chooses not to interact, that choice is only meaningful because it is situated in a context where certain kinds of interaction are possible.

      I would agree that Sarkeesian may go off the rails a bit when she starts making assumptions about what the designers intend for players to do: "Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

      That's the sort of claim that is really hard to substantiate, because it's a statement about somebody else's intent. Unless Sarkeesian is a mind-reader, she has no way of knowing what the intentions of the developer were. The flip side of this is that she can't really be lying, because she can't know that what she is saying is false. What Sarkeesian seems to be doing is tossing out some bullshit: claims that are provocative, and may be true or false, but she has no way of knowing and doesn't really care which.

      Delete
    20. 10024,

      Have you played Hitman?

      Every body of every character, regardless of sex, gender, religious orientation, is a ragdoll (see physics). You play as an assassin who has to kill a specific target - the how and how cleanly is up to you. You can go in the mansion and spare everyone but your target, or you can go rampage and kill everyone. The game specifically rewards you for being clean about the kill, and only neutralizing non-targets with non-lethal ways. The perfect score is when you dont even interact / are unseen by non-targets.

      When you do kill - disable someone, their body is a ragdoll you can carry around and hide so nobody finds out what you did and put the mission in danger, you can strip their clothes to wear them and disguise yourself, you can carry them and put them in boxes or in empty rooms.

      The Sarkeesian bullshit, quoting you:

      "Because the designers made those female bodies interactive to the extent that they did, the player is basically forced to treat them as interactive objects. Even if a player chooses not to interact, that choice is only meaningful because it is situated in a context where certain kinds of interaction are possible."

      There's nothing particular about the "female bodies", other than you cant make them naked after rendered unconscious like you could with the male ones. Read that right. Undressing males is fine, undressing females is being censored. There's nothing particular about the gender of the ragdoll body being treated as an object. There's nothing particular about the gender of the characters if you decide not to interact. It is not about gender. But if it was, then it would all be all about violence against men - since men are the main recipient of all the violence in that game.

      So what does Sarkeesian do? again: she plays the game, focuses on desecrating dead female bodies, and says this is what he game is about, focuses on gender, and makes it about being violence against women.

      So she takes something that is present in, say 2% of the game (two sections on a 7 sections mission, among 20 missions), films herself abusing female bodies, which the actual gamers are PENALIZED FOR DOING and then reports that this is what's going on in games in general.

      So, bullshit.

      And she does the same in GTA, and GoW, and any of the examples you gave.

      Play Quake Arena, but dress all the other players with female skins and report this game is all about violence against women.

      Play GTA, but go and kill all the women in the streets, cry violence against women.

      Play God of Ward, focus on the 5% of enemies that are female, cry violence against women.

      The 95% or more of the actual violence would be "violence against men" if you want to make this about gender, but dont let the facts alter in any way your narrative.

      Delete
    21. "Because the designers made those female bodies interactive to the extent that they did"

      The solution would be that in violent games there are no female characters, no female characters you can kill, no female secondary characters, etc. Hows that for equality? The streets on GTA would be all male only. Or. There would be female characters but the actions you can do with them are totally different to what you can do with the male ones. Maybe you can shoot and fight with the male ones, but with the females... you could only ask for deep interpersonal questions and take them to dinner? what's your take?

      Or, true equality in the case of games would actually look like this: a billion percent more violence against women, since you'd have a dead woman for every man you kill or brutalize.

      And this includes mario bros.

      Delete
    22. Sarkeesian would play pacman, film herself eating the energy pill and hunting down the pink phantom, and then cry violence against women.

      Delete
    23. Wait, whose narrative?

      I understand your narrative to be one where a criticism of an element of a game is a claim that the entire game is dedicated to the subject of that criticism. And I can understand why you might take that approach in your interpretation of criticism. After all, why bother drawing attention to something unless you consider it to be a significant element of the work you're criticizing? I think it's also viable to understand that these criticisms are less about each specific game, and more about the kinds of things that pop up in lots of games.

      It also seems like you're inferring things from Sarkeesian's choice to focus on the representation of women in these games. You seem to be suggesting that her focus is the result of her desire to cast games as being about violence against women. You've certainly imagined a number of examples of arguments in that vein. Unfortunately, that's also bullshit. You can't claim to know what her motives are for focusing on depictions of women in games any more than she can claim to know what a game developer's motives are for including those depictions.

      You're welcome to prefer your interpretive framework, but it's important that you recognize the difference between interpreting and inferring things from a text, and considering the objective merits of the text.

      Delete
    24. "Sarkeesian would play pacman, film herself eating the energy pill and hunting down the pink phantom, and then cry violence against women."

      What am I supposed to do with this? You're not commenting on something that happened, you just made something up which, if it did happen, would make you mad I guess.

      What is the point of that?

      Delete
    25. "what's your take?"

      My take is that it isn't the violence in and of itself that is the problem. As I understand Sarkeesian's point, the problem is the strange brew of sexuality and violence that some games leave space for. I'm not convinced that it's the sort of problem that you can treat as a numbers game. It may not have a solution at all. Or maybe the solution is just to remark on the phenomenon. It's something I find frustrating about cultural commentary and criticism as well. With no obvious practical solutions, it can definitely be a real drag to be presented with all these alleged flaws and whatnot.

      Delete
    26. "Wait, whose narrative?"

      Sarkeesians.


      "why bother drawing attention to something unless you consider it to be a significant element of the work you're criticizing?"

      No. The criticism is she misrepresents / fakes the data / begs the question / starts on the premise / leads to the result she wants while fabricating and misleading.

      You CAN criticise these games for what they ARE. Her critic is based on bullshit.

      "You seem to be suggesting that her focus is the result of her desire to cast games as being about violence against women."

      I dont need to infer or intuit what her motives are: such are clearly stated on her website: she is examining games with the feminist lense and finding out how women are oppressed by the patriarchy on entertainment, with the premise that those tropes are intoxicating gamers and making them more sexists. This is not a conjecture, this is what it is.

      Then, I mock it, because to get to that result they completely destroy their research and lie, poison the well, beg the question, etc, intellectual deshonesty.

      "You've certainly imagined a number of examples of arguments in that vein."

      She did attack pacman for being sexist (though my comment about the pink pacman is a joke). My comments about GTA, God of Wars etc is what she's actually doing.

      Watch her videos.

      I dont understand your posture, you seem to think I am projecting stuff unto her and you seem interested on defending her posture or something - and you dont even know what she stands for or what the videos are about nor what her manifesto is? check out her website, watch the videos, etc.

      "You can't claim to know what her motives are for focusing on depictions of women in games "

      I can because I read her mission when she pledged money, and I watched the videos, it's not a secret.

      But I have never here tried to go under the "why" she's doing it, Im mocking what she's actually doing. The "why" is irrelevant. But if you want it, go to her website and read it.

      "You're welcome to prefer your interpretive framework"

      Bullshit.

      "What am I supposed to do with this?"

      That was a joke, so you can laugh, or ignore.

      "What is the point of that?"

      Humor!

      "As I understand Sarkeesian's point, the problem is the strange brew of sexuality and violence that some games leave space for."

      Sarkessian's point is that women are depicted as lifeless recipients of agression, powerless, for decoration, etc. In this she's not even right - as she chooses to ignore all the games that feature different types of women protagonists and secondary characters, and focuses (again) only on the ones that can help her sell her narrative.

      But hey. Do tell me more.

      After you did the homework and watched her stuff for real.

      Delete
    27. "As I understand Sarkeesian's point, the problem is the strange brew of sexuality and violence that some games leave space for."

      You dont seem to understand S's point.

      Delete
    28. "she is examining games with the feminist lense and finding out how women are oppressed by the patriarchy on entertainment, with the premise that those tropes are intoxicating gamers and making them more sexists. This is not a conjecture, this is what it is."

      Or we could use her words:
      "This project will examine the tropes, plot devices and patterns most commonly associated with women in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective.

      This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects."

      But let's be clear, to say that a trope is "most commonly associated with women in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective" does not seem to be the same thing as saying that all depictions of women in gaming are a particular way. So if she draws on examples from some games, and doesn't talk about other games, that doesn't necessarily mean she's wrong; it could also mean she's just staying on topic. She does have other videos that talk about female protagonists ("Ms. Male Character" does a bit, as does Part 3 of the Damsel series, IIRC).

      The way I see it, you disagree with Sarkeesian over how prevalent a trope (or the whole set of tropes) has to be before she can say that it is (or they are) "most commonly associated with women in gaming". And that's fair. I think reasonable people can disagree about things like that.

      "I dont understand your posture, you seem to think I am projecting stuff unto her and you seem interested on defending her posture or something - and you dont even know what she stands for or what the videos are about nor what her manifesto is? check out her website, watch the videos, etc."

      My posture is one of nuanced skepticism and critical thinking. I think that some of Sarkeesian's arguments are flawed and bullshitty, and I appreciate your work presenting some evidence to that effect. But I also think that throwing around accusations of lying is flawed and bullshitty, particularly given that they are sustainable only with assumptions of pretty significant bad faith on Sarkeesian's part, which flies in the face of some of her more conciliatory statements (e.g. "Just to be clear, I am not saying that all games using the damsel in distress as a plot device are automatically sexist or have no value," in the first Damsel video).

      Delete
    29. "But I also think that throwing around accusations of lying is flawed and bullshitty,"

      Sarkeesian has a habit of stealing other people's let's play footage and not crediting them (which brings into question whether she actually plays the games she critiques).

      However, in the case of the piece of footage from Hit Man, she was compelled to create her own piece of footage, because there are none posted online that fit the narrative she wanted to present.

      Here are her claims:

      1) "The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon, because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose. Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters."

      This not only explicitly states that the game is SUPPOSED to be played as she describes, in essence that the player is MEANT to play the game this way, but that "the player" "cannot help but" do so.

      Given how players actually play the game, as evidenced in numerous uploaded examples, at best, only one of these assumptions can be accurate.

      If the game is meant to be played this way, AND the player cannot help but play the game as it was meant to be played, then Sarkeesian would have been able to find at least ONE example of a player playing the game this way, no?

      So we are left with the dubious possibility that the game was meant to be played this way (something I will address in my next point in the following comment). The second assumption, that the player cannot help but play the game this way is contraindicated by a complete dearth of examples of players who do.

      In fact, IF the game is meant to be played this way, the lack of examples of players who DO play the game this way, indicates the exact opposite of her overarching thesis--that so-called "misogynistic" tropes like the one described here encourage misogyny and violence against women. I mean, by her first statement, the player is not just being invited to victimize these strippers, but they are meant to do so. Overwhelmingly, players decline the invitation, even going so far as, in her analysis, not playing the game as it was meant to be played, just to avoid accepting the invitation.

      Delete
    30. 2) game makers put the strippers there specifically so the player would sexually victimize them. She outright states that this is purpose the strippers exist at all in the gameplay. She called it a "rush streaming from a carefully concocted [by the developers] mix of sexual arousal connected to the act of controlling and punishing representations of female sexuality."

      That implies intent on the part of the game developers, doesn't it? I mean, they did carefully concoct it to bring out violent misogynistic impulses on the part of "the player".

      These statements are directly contradicted by a number of ways developers discourage the player from victimizing the strippers. There are penalties built into the game, both in terms of points and in gameplay consequences, when players victimize the strippers, and plenty of room to avoid all interaction with them (and the penalties and consequences involved).

      In addition, the conversation of the strippers, which the player overhears, is specifically designed to humanize them and evoke sympathy--they talk about their horrible boss and how dangerous and scary he is, how difficult their lives are, and encourage each other to stay strong and be brave. This is not dialogue designed to dehumanize a character and strip them of the observer's sympathy.

      It is clear that the intent of the developers in including the strippers they way they did had NOTHING to do with compelling the player to victimize the strippers, and EVERYTHING to do with using the strippers as a way to motivate the player to help them by destroying their boss.

      So, we are left with two assertions by Anita.

      1) the player cannot help but victimize the strippers. It is clear that they can and overwhelmingly do.

      2) the developers' intent was that the player victimize the strippers. In fact, the developers went out of their way to humanize the strippers through dialogue, penalize the player for victimizing them, and provide plenty of ways to avoid victimizing them.

      And oddly enough, when Sarkeesian can't find a piece of footage she can steal to prove either of her assertions, she creates her own. Which means, ironically, that the only player I know of who "cannot help but treat these female bodies as objects to be acted upon" is Sarkeesian herself, or whoever she had play the game for her and provide her the footage she wanted.

      She was forced to create a piece of footage to fit her narrative and presented that footage as reflective of the norm. That's lying, in my book. It's every bit as dishonest as this:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/drunk-girl-in-public-hoax_n_6152758.html

      The producer of that video recruited men off the street to pretend to be predators trying to take advantage of a drunk girl, then uploaded the video and presented it as if it was unscripted. This not only painted a dishonest picture of men in general, it seriously damaged the reputations of the men in question, who were told the footage would be used for a film school "prank video" project.

      Delete
    31. Hey, cool, thanks for taking the time to respond!

      I don't want to spend too much time defending the Hitman stuff, because as I mention above, I think Sarkeesian puts out some bullshit there. "Players are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters." That is just too much, no doubt in my mind. To you, that's a sign of dishonesty, which is not an unfair interpretation. Uncharitable, perhaps, but I won't hold that against you. I'm more inclined to see it as Sarkeesian just getting a little carried away, or playing to the crowd, or stirring the pot, but in any case, it's the kind of thing that undermines her credibility.

      I do want to raise a couple of questions/concerns.

      First, I still don't grasp what is supposed to be so convincing about the whole "she created the footage" thing. For reasons that I'll get to in a bit, I don't think she's trying to argue or provide evidence that the player must victimize women, only that the game includes that as a possibility. If part of her argument is that the game lets players do a thing, and she creates footage of the player character doing that thing, isn't that just providing evidence that the player can do that thing?

      Second, I think you go a bit too far in your interpretation of this line: "The player cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon, because they were designed, constructed and placed in the environment for that singular purpose."

      Your paraphrase is: "the player cannot help but victimize the strippers."

      So what I understand you to be doing is interpreting "treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon" as "victimize". I can see why you might be drawn to that interpretation. There are contextual elements to the particular video and the video series as a whole that emphasize the ways that games depict (and worse) the victimization of women.

      There are also contextual elements that invite a different interpretation. Earlier in the particular video, Sarkeesian describes the way that games constrain the choices of the people who play them by making some in-game objects interactive (or reactive) and other in-game objects inert. She talks about "what we can do, and what we can't do", "experiment[ing] with how the system will react", and "the boundaries and possibilities within the gamespace". So when she says that players "cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon" she might also just be saying that players must treat the female bodies as interactive objects with defined limits on their interactivity, because that's how they're implemented in the game.

      That's not a very provocative interpretation, I'll admit, but maybe that's a point in it's favour. As demonstrated by the drunk girl in public video you reference, not to mention that rape story out or Rolling Stone that's been in the news lately, it's a good idea to think particularly critically about things that are provocative.

      Delete
    32. "First, I still don't grasp what is supposed to be so convincing about the whole "she created the footage" thing. For reasons that I'll get to in a bit, I don't think she's trying to argue or provide evidence that the player must victimize women, only that the game includes that as a possibility."

      I'm not sure what "the player is meant to" and "the player cannot help but" might mean to a reasonable person, other than that she is presenting her own interpretation not as a possibility, but as the norm, and one that is endorsed and encouraged by the developers.

      Sarkeesian has not, to my knowledge, ever used a piece of her own footage until that one bit in that one video. You don't think it's relevant that someone with a habit of accessing the footage she needs from normal gameplay posted on the internet found it necessary to invent the evidence in this particular case?

      She made two bold claims and asserted that they were the norm. She could not find evidence that they were true even of in a minority of situations, so she manufactured her own evidence.

      "So what I understand you to be doing is interpreting "treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon" as "victimize". I can see why you might be drawn to that interpretation. There are contextual elements to the particular video and the video series as a whole that emphasize the ways that games depict (and worse) the victimization of women."

      There are indeed contextual elements--and those contextual elements serve her overarching thesis that misogynistic tropes in these video games reinforce and encourage violent misogyny in real life. Yet when players she claims have been conditioned by games toward violent misogyny have the opportunity to engage in it, strangely enough, none of them do. When she can't find any who do, she presents fiction as if it is fact, using blanket statements like "are meant to" and "cannot help but".

      "So when she says that players "cannot help but treat these female bodies as things to be acted upon" she might also just be saying that players must treat the female bodies as interactive objects with defined limits on their interactivity, because that's how they're implemented in the game."

      So basically, the only way you can defend Sarkeesian is to examine every sentence she utters completely devoid of context. You must send her last sentence, and the footage playing simultaneously, down the memory hole in order to apply the most charitable interpretation possible to what she is saying.

      "As demonstrated by the drunk girl in public video you reference, not to mention that rape story out or Rolling Stone that's been in the news lately, it's a good idea to think particularly critically about things that are provocative."

      And what is more provocative to you? The suggestion that an individual with a financial and political motive and an obvious agenda might resort to manufacturing evidence? Or the assertion, backed by a single piece of manufactured evidence and refuted by scads of contraindicating data, that video games encourage systemic misogyny? Who is making the more provocative claim? That a woman with a motive might lie? Or that the average video game player fetishizes the bodies of dead women?

      Delete
    33. "She made two bold claims and asserted that they were the norm. She could not find evidence that they were true even of in a minority of situations, so she manufactured her own evidence."

      So that first part, when you say that Sarkeesian "asserted that they were the norm", what do you mean by that? I understand that to be a claim that Sarkeesian "asserted that they were commonplace and encouraged". Can you clarify?

      I'm also interested to know what you make of the fact that Sarkeesian sometimes uses language of permissibility to describe the ways that players interact with women in games (e.g. "the player can buy a lap dance" and "the player can create a diversion by picking up and dumping the dead body of an exotic dancer") and sometimes uses mandatory language (e.g. "These missions require the player to steal prostituted women").

      "So basically, the only way you can defend Sarkeesian is to examine every sentence she utters completely devoid of context. You must send her last sentence, and the footage playing simultaneously, down the memory hole in order to apply the most charitable interpretation possible to what she is saying."

      I don't think any of this paragraph is fair or accurate at all. I'm critical of Sarkeesian where I think it's warranted, as demonstrated by my repeated description of some of her points and tactics as bullshit. It's unfortunate that my criticism of your weak argument is enough to cast me as a Sarkeesian-sympathizer in your eyes. What's more, I'm not sure how I could be clearer in my use of context (different context, but still context) than leading with "There are also contextual elements that invite a different interpretation," and providing quotes. What do you hope to accomplish by putting out such mendacious claims?

      "And what is more provocative to you?"

      What difference does that make? For the record, I think it's great that you're skeptical about Sarkeesian's provocative arguments, and that you're taking the time to point out some of their flaws. I have contributed a bit to that part of the conversation, but I'm not here to only agree or only disagree with things. I also think that some of your criticisms rely too much on a provocative reading that, while not particularly inconsistent with Sarkeesian's work in general (though it does, I think, struggle to reconcile statements like "it’s entirely possible to be critical of some aspects of a piece of media while still finding other parts valuable or enjoyable"), is by no means the only viable reading of her work.

      Delete
    34. "So that first part, when you say that Sarkeesian "asserted that they were the norm", what do you mean by that? I understand that to be a claim that Sarkeesian "asserted that they were commonplace and encouraged". Can you clarify?"

      I'm honestly wondering whether you are a very dedicated troll. In my experience, trolls do not show this degree of dedication, so I'm going to take one last stab.

      I tried to be as clear as possible above. Indeed, I tried to explain like you were 5.

      "The player is meant to..." To say that this means the player is "encouraged" by the developer to perform a given action is actually an understatement on my part. "The player is meant to..." is an assertion that the described action on the part of the player is MANDATED by the developers.

      And if, indeed, the player was meant to perform the actions portrayed in Sarkeesian's footage, there would 1) be no penalty for doing so; and 2) be no easy way to avoid doing so.

      From this, it is clear that though the player CAN perform the acts described by Anita, they are manifestly not meant to. And the reality is that the vast majority do not do so, and Anita was unable to find ANY footage of any player doing so.

      "The player cannot help but..." Without a qualifier for "player" (as in "a misogynistic player" or "a pathological player" or "a socially dysfunctional player") we are left to interpret this statement as saying there is no type or subset of player who "cannot help but" accept the invitation to view the strippers as "things to be acted upon", and to act accordingly by desecrating their bodies and punishing their sexuality as demonstrated in Sarkeesian's footage which plays simultaneously to this portion of her narration.

      The reality that there are no players other than Sarkeesian who apparently play the game in this way, and that she was forced to manufacture her own evidence, and then she quite blatantly presented it as representative of the norm, leads me to believe she's a liar. She has, patently and obviously, manufactured evidence and then used it to smear "the player" (with no qualifier to distinguish him from any other player), as well as the developers, who, according to her, mandate the player to behave in these ways.

      Now. I hope that's clear enough for you. I have now explained like you're 3, not 5. If this is not good enough, if all you have in response is "I don't understand, can you clarify?" then please feel free to not respond. I don't know if I can dumb it down any more.

      I maintain Sarkeesian is a liar, at least in her analysis of this particular segment of this particular game.

      Delete
    35. I'm sorry that you find my questions frustrating. I'm glad that you're not letting that frustration get the better of you to the point that you're disengaging, but I'm concerned that your frustration is leading you to misinterpret some of my questions and assertions.

      When I asked to to clarify what you meant by "asserted that they were the norm", I didn't actually intend for you to explain what you understood by "The player is meant to" or "The player cannot help but". You've made that abundantly clear, and I stated earlier today that Sarkeesian's claims about what the player is meant to do are bullshit. So it's a little weird that you keep coming back to something where we seem to mostly agree and throwing it out as though I'm supposed to do something with it.

      I was just trying to make sure that I wasn't going to rely on a misunderstanding of what you understand it to mean for something to be the norm. And, as far as that goes, you didn't suggest meaning something other than "commonplace and encouraged" so I'll proceed from the understanding that you meant it that way.

      I think that in light of Sarkeesian's overall use of language indicating permission and possibility (see above for some examples, others include "the game makers have set up a series of possible scenarios" and "Players are often permitted to knock out, pick up, carry and throw around inert female bodies.") it takes some motivated reasoning to conclude that Sarkeesian is claiming that certain behaviour is implicit and encouraged (i.e. the norm).

      There's even one part where Sarkeesian makes a concession before throwing out some bullshit: "I should note that this kind of misogynistic behavior isn’t always mandatory; often it’s player-directed, but it is always implicitly encouraged." So she's saying flat out, players often have a choice to engage in virtual misogyny (as an aside, I don't know how on-board I am with how she describes player actions in a game as "misogynistic behaviour" with no qualifiers, as though it's the same kind of misogyny as sexual harassment or something). Then she goes off into the deep end with the "always implicitly encouraged" bit, though I can sort of see where she's coming from with the whole idea that if the game lets a player do something, and doesn't force a fail state as a consequence, there's maybe some kind of encouragement by omission there. It's a stretch, and I don't think I buy it.

      Delete
    36. Damn it.

      "it takes some motivated reasoning to conclude that Sarkeesian is claiming that certain behaviour is COMMONPLACE and encouraged (i.e. the norm)."

      Proofreading, am I right?

      Delete
    37. 10024,

      "it takes some motivated reasoning to conclude that Sarkeesian is claiming that certain behaviour is implicit and encouraged (i.e. the norm)."

      How? she's saying it herself

      "I should note that this kind of misogynistic behavior isn’t always mandatory; often it’s player-directed, but IT IS ALWAYS IMPLICITLY ENCOURAGED"

      What I dont understand, 10024, is why we're dissecting the same quote and same idea, as if there was any shortage. The whole point of the Sarkeesian videos is to show that the (feminist) tropes are abundant, commonplace, encouraged. If you would ask her if violence against women (specifically) in videogames is commonplace, she would say so, because this is the main point she is selling.

      I take that you didnt watch the videos, didnt get to her conclusions, and didnt read the manifesto that states the mission she's into, which is not, by the way to show that there "might" be bad stereotypes of both men and women - but that the bad stereotypes of women are mandatory and that

      "misogynistic behavior [...] IS ALWAYS IMPLICITLY ENCOURAGED"

      You're misrepresenting her ideas when you say otherwise.

      Delete
    38. Hi, good to see you back.

      "What I dont understand, 10024, is why we're dissecting the same quote and same idea, as if there was any shortage."

      I like to think it's because reasonable people can engage with a piece of media and take different meanings away from it. There's a comfort to discussions where everyone just agrees about things, but I think that discussions (about media in particular) get to be much more interesting when people who disagree consider the implications of alternative viewpoints. Even better when they do so in a way that is at once critical, playful, and charitable.

      When I hear "the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming," I hear an idea being expressed about the aggregate of all those plot devices and patterns. When you hear the same statement, you seem to hear an idea being expressed about each individual plot device or pattern. Those interpretations have pretty major implications, as we've seen here. I appreciate what you and our gracious host have done to explore the implications of the latter interpretation.

      Delete
    39. The bone of contention for which I joined this particular conversation thread was you taking issue with me saying Sarkeesian lied. Hence me pasting your quote accusing me of "bullshitty" "throwing around" of the accusation at the top of my first comment.

      I'm not here to discuss her overarching thesis. I am also not here to discuss the disclaimers she made earlier in the video in question. I am here to discuss whether or not she lied about the specific examples she chose to use (and in particular, the example from the game Hit Man).

      This is where "the player is meant to" and "the player cannot help but", narrated directly overtop of her piece of manufactured "evidence" is crucial.

      It would be clear to anyone who has played that game that the player is NOT meant to kill or harm the strippers, and that the player CAN INDEED avoid doing so.

      I don't think I should need to tell you how big a no-no it is to manufacture evidence when it is lacking, particularly when one is being "bullshitty" and lying about the intentions of the game developers and the behavior of players in general.

      Manufacturing evidence because you cannot find a single real-life example of something you claim is typical, is lying. That is not an uncharitable interpretation. As far as I'm concerned, it's the only reasonable interpretation to draw.

      You may not think so. I do. Perhaps having observed enough "evidence" manufactured by feminist "researchers", I'm more sensitive to and aware of the harm it can do than the average person.

      And lets be clear, this series of videos of hers will be packaged when complete as a teaching tool for use in universities. I doubt the students in women's studies classes will typically be gamers who have played games such as Hit Man, and will not be aware that the intentions of the developers and the typical behavior of players is being so grossly misrepresented to them.

      Delete
    40. hello,

      " I hear an idea being expressed about the aggregate of all those plot devices and patterns."

      I hear the same, but then in practice what she does is cherry pick -only- the aspects that help her construct the narrative, therefore, she's misleading with that statement. She will ignore all the tropes that dont conform to her narrative, and twist the existing ones so they conform.

      "you seem to hear an idea being expressed about each individual plot device or pattern."

      No, what I hear is she saying that women in general are represented in a misogynistic way, and in a way that ingrains misogyny in the players. Which is what she is saying, so Im hearing fine.

      Delete
    41. 10024, it seems that you are deliberately disregarding the crucial parts of the quote that, in context with the footage, is meant to imply what she says it implies. she clearly says what the player is implicitly encourage, and even you accept this is a ridiculous claim, but you ignore it anyway and dismiss it, only choosing to accept the other parts of the claims.

      this is intellectually dishonest, and combined with your previous posts here that are critical of anti-feminist ideas, i am inclined to believe you have a specific reason to be here.

      Delete
  10. (continued)


    You mention that Sarkeesian encourages people to "listen and believe" when women share their experiences. And then you go on to suggest that maybe feminists aren't following their own advice because they disagree with you. It seems to me that you agree with feminists that being silenced or having your own life experiences put under the microscope or cross-examined can be pretty brutal, and that we should try to avoid implying that people are wrong about their experiences.

    I think it's great that you don't feel oppressed, discriminated against, or persecuted. I've been lucky enough to go through life feeling much the same way (except during those embarrassing teenage years, but let's not go there). But I'm not sure that really matters when other people talk about how they have felt oppressed, discriminated against, or persecuted. I'm sure it doesn't matter when documented trends and phenomena are concerned. In the former case, it's challenging because, on the one hand, you don't necessarily want to be a dick to someone who is clearly suffering--because, really, who is that going to help?--but on the other hand, sometimes it really does seem like people are seizing on deliberate misunderstandings or something to fuel a sense of righteous outrage.

    I'm really not sure what to do about that.

    What do you think?

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  11. Just had a heated discussion about abortion rights and I'll vent here in absence of a better place. Not that anyone had a problem with abortion, no. Everybody was pro-abortion. Whats the problem then, someone might ask. Well, it's about who has the right to call for abortion. My stance is that if it's my sperm and my life that will change then I have to have a say on it. Their stance is that the uterus is hers so the decision is hers alone.

    I clearly don't agree. I mean while that is her uterus this is my llife and my money. Either both have a say and carry on the obligations or just she has a say and ONLY she pays for it, no child support.

    To sum it up, with an obligation comes a right (to choose in this case). Unless I have no obligations then I don't have to have that right.

    What you guys think?

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    1. Sorry, that's the one case in which I have to say "too bad" for the man. It's not just "an obligation", you're forcing a woman into a life-changing pregnancy that changes everything, hormones, sickness, body fat, organs, not to mention the pains of labor. If you want a biological child, find a woman willing to do so or pay a surrogate or something.

      I am against compulsory child support for the man, so no obligations for either party. Consent to sex is not consent to parenthood for either sex. (If we're talking cases where both wanted a child at first, I could see a bit of a grey area there. And of course if only the woman wanted the child or lied about birth control, she cannot demand any child support.)

      Delete
    2. So you're a no obligations & no rights for men. I'm fine with that, I find it fair. As a obligation + rights would also be.

      I'll just point out that while pregnancy changes woman's body a lot, it's for 9 months. The new life that comes from it lasts a little longer and thus impact everyone's lives more.

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    3. It's not so much about the effects (and pregnancy does change bodies forever anyway). It's more about the individual's bodily autonomy.

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    4. "[W]ith an obligation comes a right".

      That's a nice thought, with a pleasing symmetry, but I have my doubts as to how well it represents the way rights and obligations actually work.

      Consider taxes. Most adults with an income have an obligation to pay taxes. I'm not sure what rights a person is granted by virtue of their having to pay taxes. It's not a right to directly determine how that money is spent, because nobody has that right. It's not the right to vote, because there are people who earn taxable income but aren't allowed to vote (teenagers, temporary foreign workers). It's not other basic human rights like the right to due process, because we don't throw out trial procedures against tax evaders.

      It seems to me that sometimes we do just have to deal with obligations that don't give us rights in return, especially where money is concerned.

      The flip side is also true: there are rights given to us without reciprocal obligations. Children, as far as I know, have no obligations under law, but still have some rights.

      I think part of the problem with this idea of "no obligations without rights" is that "obligations" and "rights" remain rather vague. Obligations to whom? Rights of what? Like I said, the symmetry of the idea is compelling, but I don't think it stands up to closer scrutiny.

      Delete
    5. Well, you can try and find/live in a country where you don't get a military and police in exchange for your taxes. If you think the due process is not a right then maybe you should check the premises of a modern state, starting by the social contract.

      Delete
  12. Actually it isn't even really about individual bodily autonomy because any pregnant women is actually two individuals. The individual who is not yet born is given no consideration not even enough for basic bodily autonomous functions to continue unimpeded. Therefore, in the current legal climate, it is only about the emotional state of the mother. She decides whether or not she WANTS to continue to allow her child to proceed to the next stage of human development. This decision can have an even greater affect on her child's bodily autonomy that that of either the father or the mother.
    In the case where bodily autonomy of all individuals affected would be taken into consideration, a decision would have to include both father and child if the child was presenting no physical danger to the mother.

    Obviously, when a pregnancy presents an actual physical danger to the life of the mother, there are actual competing interests to be weighed very carefully by the mother whose life is in danger. Outside of this scenario, no individual right to autonomy includes ending the life of another human individual without due process.

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  13. Even if you consider the fetus an individual, no individual has the right to use another's body without their consent. Here's the thing: it's illegal to even take out an organ from a dead body if the person did not consent before. You're saying the fetus has more rights than anyone else in the world if it has the right to occupy someone's body and organs without their consent, and saying the woman has less rights than a dead body.

    I can concede a bit of a grey area if we're talking late-term abortions, and I think most pro-choicers would prefer a c-section instead if it posed the same risk to the woman. I'm ultimately in favor of artificial wombs to put an end to the whole debate though.

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    2. "Even if you consider the fetus an individual, no individual has the right to use another's body without their consent."

      Of course they do. Once a man ejaculates inside her (and not even necessarily inside her) women in the West have the right to use a man's genetic material to conceive and may then lay claim to something like 25% of his gross income for the next two decades.

      In a previous comment you mention only the changes wrought on a woman's body, by pregnancy. I see that sort of comment often, and it is almost invariably accompanied by complete disinterest in the changes wrought on a man's body by between four and a half and five years of full time work (25% of 18 to 21 years).

      If we're looking at the examples of unmarried men and women, where there was no explicit or implicit agreement to have a child, I am completely unpersuaded by arguments relying on the idea that nine months of voluntary pregnancy ending usually in sole or primary custody of the child is somehow worse than 4-1/2 to 5 years of full-time work ending in secondary or no custody and the concommitant inability to meaningfully influence one's child or participate in her upbringing, or to compel visitation when that is denied).

      Voluntary pregnancy seems the far better deal.

      Delete
    3. I agree, when I said 'right' I didn't mean as in what exists today, but rather what should be.

      I'm also heavily sympathetic to the case that the cost of child support is, in fact, more than that of an average pregnancy. This post is a good summary: http://permutationofninjas.org/post/21545067785/the-cost-of-child-support Even the risk of death at workplace outweighs pregnancy mortality rates.

      I'm not a moral utilitarian though, so I condemn both equally.

      Delete
  14. On the contrary, the child has not used any force whatsoever and its very existence is actually a consequence of the mothers actions and autonomy, so that constitutes implied consent unless of course the father used force against the mother to engage in sexual intercourse.
    The fetus has not forced itself on the mother and/or father at all. It is incapable of force. It is in the location appropriate for its age and development. It's body will grow accordingly unless the mother uses force to end its life.
    Abortion is a case of mother using force against a defenseless child ending its life which is the ultimate in loss of bodily autonomy not a mother defending herself against a fetus using force against the mothers bodily autonomy.

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    Replies
    1. If you're using birth control, no you're not implying consent. Even if you didn't use birth control, you don't deny smokers cancer treatment because they "implied consent" by smoking.

      Almost all forms of birth control are imperfect and an unwanted pregnancy will happen once in a while. Unless you completely reject all non-procreational sex, abortion will be necessary when birth control fails.

      Delete
    2. There is no birth control method with 100% effectiveness except for abstinence so actually even when engaging in sexual intercourse using birth control, pregnancy can be an expected result. At any rate, birth control failure is certainly not the fault of the fetus and the existence of the child is still the consequence of the actions of the parents regardless of intent and not the result of the fetus using force against the mother.
      Cancer treatment doesn't kill another individual that hasn't consented to the "treatment". That analogy doesn't work.
      So, yes, abortion is a procedure that a mother can use to kill her unwanted child and reject the consequences of her own behaviour.

      Delete
    3. Well I was thinking of hysterectomy...but anyway.

      Children are not a punishment for having sex.

      Most abortions happen in the first few weeks so stop calling it with overloaded terms and appeals to emotion like "killing a child". Pro-lifers make it sound like capable full-grown babies are being torn out and then shot.

      Delete
    4. Children are not a punishment at all for anything. Childhood is just a stage of human development. Just as sexual intercourse is just part of the human reproduction cycle in which sperm meets egg and forms a new individual human. It's biology more than anything else.

      I apologize if you feel offended by the phrase killing a child. Perhaps eliminating the unwanted child would sound more palatable but killing is probably a better term than dismembering by scalpel or liquify by vacuum aspiration so I feel like I have tried to explain some concepts for you in a clinical manner.

      Delete
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  16. "abortion is a procedure that a mother can use to kill her unwanted child and reject the consequences of her own behaviour"

    Yes and it should be obvious -

    Abortion is ending the life of your kid-to-be for your own benefit. That's what it is, if you're going to do it, know what you're doing.

    The comparison to cancer treatment is just rhetorics - pregnancy may "feel" like cancer if it's unwanted, but it isnt. We're talking about what things are, not what they feel like.

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  18. Interesting read. You don't come across many anti-feminists with good, detailed and concrete opinions, I suppose the same regards some Feminists. Anyway, you mention statistics and feminism's falsification of them. But I kept asking myself why they would do that. Why would they need to exaggerate a dire situation? Issues of rape, domestic violence and abortion are deeply personal so what gain would come to the feminist cause through exploiting it?
    And just a by-side question, Do you think Racism and Feminism may be interlinked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Why would they need to exaggerate a dire situation"

      To receive support, money, power, influence, etc. Feminism isnt the only movement exaggerating or creating issues and distorting reality in order to push an agenda - it's a common practice.

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  19. Replies


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  20. Do you have a link to that Gloria Steinem interview? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  21. Do you have a link to that Gloria Steinem interview? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  22. Excellent breakdown of the ongoing feminist deception and falsehoods!

    One thing I'd add - perhaps a couple - is how the 3rd wave feminists utterly neglect to aid women that actually need help, such as women in many 3rd world countries where oppression and rape culture is real. They also denigrate - and attempt to suppress - women's agency everywhere thus producing more and more victims - quite the opposite of the female empowerment they claim to be fighting for.

    ReplyDelete

Commenting policy:

All comments are welcome here. I refuse to censor points of view that differ from my own.

I recognize that I may be challenging the deep-seated beliefs of some people, and perhaps stirring up emotions in others. However, I would ask:

- if you care to respond to anything that I have said, please do not simply link to or quote some statistic. Do not simply regurgitate things you have been told are true. Think about what I am saying. Respond with an argument. Offer something from your personal observations, and explain to me how you feel your statistic is connected to your experience.

- If you wish to be part of a discussion, try not to dismiss what I or a another commenter says out of hand. Yes, that means that some lines of thought or ideologies may not stand up to scrutiny (perhaps even my own).

- Remember, ad hominem attacks diminish everyone involved. If you want to criticize anything, do so passionately and directly - but debate is about attacking ideas, not people.

Have at you!