Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Misogyny, The Internet and Gaming

In the past few months there seems to be a lot of posts about the misogyny on various internet and gaming communities, while this isn't a subject that directly effects me, it is a subject that is fascinating. These posts are quite often by women and usually have the goal in mind of ending the misogynistic attitude some have to make the Internet a more pleasant place for women. The goal is insanely noble but I think people are asking the wrong question, the question that should be asked is why, and how can we change THAT.

Remember whenever talking about this that emotions run deep and quite often the worst characteristics of both genders can jump out to everyone, but the fact is that women are treated poorly all over the Internet. Unfortunately many of the theories and attitudes that some women have are just as cruel as the original comments made by men that made them feel uncomfortable. Also note that generalizations will be made and although they are not perfect, they are necessary for most dialogue on this subject, so please realize that.

Here are a few things that I am sharing from a male perspective on why it occurs besides the seemingly typical female response of "They are misogynistic because they were rejected by women" which is a cheap and cruel cop-out. There is more to it than that and unless you want to dig deeper, this problem will never get solved:

1) Men are men and usually say things without actually thinking if it would be intelligent to speak, and in the company of other men this usually isn't a problem because males generally understand the way a fellow male's brain works and they immediately ignore it. From personal experience I have noticed that many women are innately more thoughtful and generally have more tact when having a conversation IRL or online. With this comes a disconnect that leads to feeling alienated, which often isn't the desired reaction.

Have you ever seen conversation among a group of men? The cruelest things are said almost non-stop, and no one usually cares because we all share testicles.

2) When boys grow up they have unrealistic examples of adult women because of media portrayals. By the age of 10 I truly believed that most women will eventually bleed you dry, nag you to death, try to change you or cheat on you, and I only gathered this from Sitcoms.

3) The American education system is way too feminized and it has led to alienating an entire generation of males. We were often taught by older women who naturally cannot understand the differences in the way a boy thinks, feels, acts and learns from a girl of the same age, which leads them to make unrealistic expectations of the boys in class. When those female-based expectations aren't met, the boys are quite often reprimanded for actions with no suitable explanation of why that makes sense to them. This leads to a resentment of women from a very young age that is difficult to overcome later in life when the sex drive comes in.

4) A great comic once said something along the lines of: "Think of how dumb the average person is, and then remember that 49.9% of people are DUMBER than that". The men who make women feel uncomfortable are usually just fucking stupid with a very low IQ. These are the same people who have led me to avoid all multiplayer games and they buy shooter after shooter which has completely ruined the fun of video games.

5) The people making these comments on the Internet are very likely boys from the age of 10 to 18, it's important to realize that because maturity is a major part of this issue and the source should be considered before it's deemed a major problem.

My biggest piece of advice to these women who have felt alienated is that it's the Internet, stop taking it so seriously. I truly feel bad for some of the examples I have seen, but the internet is a place where the dumbest people can post the dumbest things without retribution. It's all about where you go and how you converse that will dictate the quality of conversation you have. With that being said, my response to the question posed by RockPaperShotgun as to why so many males don't want to discuss this issue is simply that the more enlightened male sect figured out years ago that the only thing dumber and more pointless than arguing on the internet, is talking about arguing on the internet. Among men, things like this do not need to be discussed and since these forums are often naturally populated by men there is an overall attitude to shut the hell up and move on.

For an exercise, go to a forum where women comprise majority of the posts and compare. I guarantee the tone, attitude, topic of conversation, respect for all fellow posters and the vibe of the forums are MASSIVELY different.

My personal opinion, as someone who has never and will never reply to a girl's post with "show your tits" or "you are a slut" is this: An estimated 3,000,000 women a year are forced to undergo genital mutilation, in America women still earn about 19% less than men doing the same job and that state governments in countries with Sharia Law allow for the stoning to death of women who commit adultery and some have even been stoned for being rape victims.

These statistics make me so sad and feel so hopeless that I'm sorry I don't care much that some asshole asked to see your tits on the Internet. No woman should feel alienated for posting on a website, but fighting the bigger issues that are actually physically and psychologically hurting women around the world is much more important and will lead to changes in attitudes that will fix this problem.

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