Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #277 - Sexists, Humans, and Anita Sarkeesian


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #277 - Sexists, Humans, and Anita Sarkeesian

Hi Mom, We have discussing labels a lot in this house. So, today's post is about labels, those we freely adopt and those that people try to force on us.

And we're back to the subject of feminism, one of my favorites. I have been saving this subject for a while. First, I was planning to write about GamerGate for some time just because it's hot topic nationally, especially in geek world.

But then, I spotted this article about Anita Sarkeesian's new work -- NEW VIDEOS TACKLE FEMINIST HISTORY -- and saved it for future exploration. This is often how content develops here at Sense of Doubt for Hey Mom posts. I find things I want to write about on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, or just in the wilderness that is the Internet. I think this link came from John Scalzi, who was all over the GamerGate thing and quite the target of repressed, misogynist game boys in denial.

If you do not know what GamerGate is, then hang on. Hold that in abeyance. Explanations to come.


But first, this, so I was reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly in which Maisie Williams said this really smart thing about feminism, and sexism, and humanism.

Here's the stuff from the EW interview: EW: Any thoughts on that Thrones feminism debate? MAISIE: I don’t think I’ve seen you asked about that before… I got asked in one of my first interviews: “Is Arya a feminist?” I didn’t even know what a feminist was. EW: You were like 12!
MAISIE: And then someone explained it to me. And I remember thinking, “Isn’t that just like everyone?” And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists “feminists” and just start calling people who aren’t feminist “sexist” – and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist. People get a label when they’re bad.

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ON LABELS

I have never liked labels. I felt I had to adopt the label "feminist" when teaching women's studies as I explained in HEY MOM #124 - GLOIRA STEINEM. I wanted to put myself forward as a role model for my young male students in a very public way that a man could be a feminist.

But I never felt comfortable with the label. I have not ever wanted any label.

Politically, I eschew both Democrat and liberal. In terms of religion, I shed Presbyterian, Christian, Agnostic, and Atheist. I don't like any of these descriptor labels.

Some labels are natural an inevitable. I am a son, a brother, a husband, a father, a writer, a teacher, an Ultimate player, a biker, and most recently, I have decided to let the geek flag fly and say I am a geek: as described in HEY MOM #268 - GEEK CLOSET.

But I love what Maisie said on feminism.

I would rather take on the label "HUMANIST."

So how about we labels opponents as sexists and every one else is just human.

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GAMERGATE, FEMINISM, AND ANITA SARKEESIAN

Okay, so, what about GamerGate and all that stuff?

This all came down in 2014. Basically, a bunch of haters on the Internet -- almost exclusively boys with repressed and some with not-so repressed misogyny -- were attacking women game developers and critics of the gaming industry, one of whom is Anita Sarkeesian. These attacks included doxing as well as rape and death threats that prompted two of the game developers to flee thier homes and caused Anita Sarkeesian to cancel a talk at Utah State University.

The noise level on the Internet was very high and the venomous hate directed at these women served as striking proof that sexism, even full-on misogyny, violence against women, all the things Sarkeesian was fighting against were all alive and well (not that most of us thought the hateful bigotry of our rape culture had really gone away). 

I have two articles here that describe the GamerGate thing well, plus I included a link to Sarkeesian's blog FEMINIST FREQUENCY where she is launching a new video series as described in this article that prompted this blog entry -- NEW VIDEOS TACKLE FEMINIST HISTORY. I also included one of Sarkeesian's videos criticizing video games.

FROM THE GUARDIAN ARTICLE (linked with full credits below):

The harassment is becoming more intense towards women and other marginalized communities, and it seems to be happening more to women in male-dominated fields, and to women who speak out or make critiques.

Sarkeesian told me that the backlash in gaming – hardly a new problem – has gotten more vicious as the conversations about women’s representations in games and their role in the industry have gained steam. “This reaction, mostly from male gamers, is to protect the status quo,” she said. The same is true more broadly, and always has been when it comes to women’s progress: the more ground we gain, the worse men react.

That’s why right now is such a dangerous time for women: we’re in the midst of an unprecedented feminist moment that not all men are pleased about. Sexual consent is being radically re-framed, but feminists are accused of trying to classify all men as rapists. Television and movies created by women are at an all-time high (though still nowhere near parity), but they’re derided as “peak vagina.” And while institutional cover-ups of violence against women – be it rape on college campuses, domestic violence in the National Football League or the international news media at large – are no longer publicly tolerated, women are still being blamed for their own assaults.

This angry male mob has been building for the better part of a decade.


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FEMINIST FREQUENCY


Gamergate is loud, dangerous and a last grasp at cultural dominance by angry white men
Jessica Valenti - The Guardian


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Though I prefer the term humanist, it's obvious that we still need a lot of people to proudly shout out for feminism if things are going to change. Many high profile people rallied for Sarkeesian and the others back in 2014 when the fire storm was at its worst and since.

Though Hillary Clinton is not quite the same as Anita Sarkeesian, I see that she is a hot point for a lot of sexism and misogyny that supposed right-thinking people try to justify and rationalize as about her politics and not her gender. But I have to wonder if it's not the same thing.

Here's an article I posted to Facebook yesterday.




Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


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- Days ago = 279 days ago


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1604.09 - 10:10


NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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