male consumer

The people represented in a work aren’t the only ones who will see it.

Positive representation of marginalized people does more than supporting self-esteem or giving people role models. It also gives people in the privileged group an opportunity to learn to empathize with marginalized people, which has immediate and direct benefits to people oppressed by that privileged group.

A lack of positive and diverse media representation encourages people with greater social power to see marginalized people as two-dimensional stereotypes - often as threatening or irrelevant or both. This perspective translates to how privileged people will approach members of that group in real life, and encourages acceptance of injustice toward that group.

For instance, when the overwhelming majority of media focuses on men and their goals and inner lives, treating women as props to further the journeys of the men around them, it’s both demoralizing to women and dangerous, as men are encouraged to see real women in the same way, and treat them accordingly.

Positive representation has the potential to do the opposite - to challenge dehumanization and the excuses for marginalization. (This is one reason allies of a marginalized group should seek out media that the group says represents them well.)

Much of what we learn about what other people are like comes from media portrayals. Obviously seeing ourselves in media is important - but media representation affects the way we see and treat others as well.

And another thing!

The white men who run the tv/film industries are generally so unselfaware they have no idea how fucked it is that they not only centre people from their tiny demographic in everything they make, but they fill almost every non-lead spot with white men too, expecting us all to just suck it up and identify with these people and consider it a treat when someone who’s not a white man gets to appear.

Like, white men make up, what, 13% of the world’s population? And even fewer are the middle-class-or-more, cishet, non-disabled kind of privileged we see in so much mainstream television and film. It’s so fucking alienating that this one tiny group gets to star in all the big-budget stories and the majority of the population is considered “niche”.

Like, one deviation from the “abled middle class+ white cishet male” default is considered progressive. You can have an abled middle class+ black cishet male, or you can have an abled middle class+ white cishet woman... but two deviations is considered SUPER progressive, and more than that is basically unheard of.

tl;dr - White men, especially middle-class (or richer) abled white cishet men, are a very tiny percentage of the world’s population. Why are they treated as the default human being? Why are their stories the only ones considered worth telling?

I mean, we know why, but it’s fucking bullshit.

The Illusion of Minority

My answer to a question on reddit which asked, “In your opinion is geek/nerd culture inherently male dominated?”

Active discussion and community involvement is often controlled by men, but this does not mean that men are a majority in “geek” or “nerd” subcultures. Statistically, most kinds of “nerd” hobbies - from video games to tabletop games, TV show fandoms, etc. - have an even divide of male and female consumers.

More women own consoles than men and play more PC games than men on average. Women are a large consumer market when it comes to science fiction novels and adventure fantasy, genres whose earliest authors (like Mary Shelley or Baroness Emma Orczy) were women.

But men have had a history of political, financial, and social dominance in most societies, a history which still affects who is in power today. More men are CEOs of companies, whether they be gaming companies or media conglomerates, and it is ultimately men who shape the public perception of popular cultures in modern society.

It’s no doubt that men believe, despite clear statistical analysis, that significantly more men are into gaming, science fiction, comic books, certain TV shows, etc. than women are (it is also not uncommon for men to believe they are more knowledgeable or skilled in reference to these interests than their women counterparts). We as women were raised in that kind of world, told that these are “men’s things” and often felt like a minority when we too enjoyed these hobbies or interests. This has caused an isolation of women consumers in geek/nerd culture that reinforces the male bias towards seeing these spheres as men’s spaces. Women are less vocal and less visible in geek/nerd culture because we have a habit of keeping to ourselves, out of fear of being an outcast in a community that congregates around our passions. It is also out of fear that we will be harassed by the men who spend their time gatekeeping these communities, many of whom hold deeply sexist worldviews.

               it was the FIRST time they’d really gone out since mickey had come out and it was sort of a celebration he supposed. beings that he wouldn’t have WILLINGLY come to his club before unless he was waiting for ian or something of the sort. given the amount of alcohol that the male had consumed this evening he was on and ENTIRELY different level, as it was finishing off another bottle of beer, sitting it back down on the bar before he was taking ian’s hand and pulling him back onto the dancefloor. that’s how you KNEW mickey was drunk, he didn’t dance any other time, only right now his hands were roaming ALL over the taller males body, and there wasn’t even enough space between them to fit a piece of paper. he knew that nobody was REALLY watching them, though mickey had felt as if all eyes were on them. “you think they know?” the male had slurred out, looking up at ian before he was moving to sort of WHISPER into his ear then. “you think they know i’m your BITCH?”  

           he didn’t even care at this point and he wasn’t going to DENY it at all. part of him was happy to finally be out about all of this, and not have to hide who he was or what he was doing anymore. his father was STILL in jail, mandy had somehow fuckin knew before he even told anyone - and the rest of his family didn’t really seem to matter or mind too much. “because i am.” mickey had suddenly spoke again as he was pulling back to yell once more. “i’m his FUCKIN’ bitch.” smirking then mickey had meant for that to be heard by anyone around them, to which he did get a FEW hoots and hollers back. grinning as he looking up at ian it was the first time he was going to actually do this in public and it was the liquor that was fueling him as he moved his hand to the BACK of ian’s head ; pulling him down and pressing their lips together. // @allthemutts

The function of pornography as an influence on consciousness is a major public issue of our time, when a multibillion-dollar industry has the power to disseminate increasingly sadistic, women-degrading visual images. But even so-called soft-core pornography and advertising depict women as objects of sexual appetite devoid of emotional context, without individual meaning or personality: essentially as a sexual commodity to be consumed by males. (So-called lesbian pornography, created for the male voyeuristic eye, is equally devoid of emotional context or individual personality.) The most pernicious message relayed by pornography is that women are natural sexual prey to men and love it; that sexuality and violence are congruent; and that for women sex is essentially masochis-
tic, humiliation pleasurable, physical abuse erotic. But along with this message comes another, not always recognized: that enforced submission and the use of cruelty, if played out in heterosexual pairing, is sexually “normal,” while sensuality between women, including erotic mutuality and respect, is “queer,” “sick,” and either pornographic in itself or not very exciting compared with the sexuality of whips and  bondage.Pornography does not simply create a climate in which sex and violence are interchangeable; it widens the range of behavior considered acceptable from men in heterosexual intercourse-behavior which reiteratively strips women of their autonomy, dignity, and sexual potential, including the potential of loving and being loved by women in mutuality and integrity.
—  Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence, Adrienne Rich (1980) 

It’s fitting that our modern fiction about AI should go hand in hand with horror-laced tales about men’s failure to correctly estimate women. Increasingly, AI helpers from Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana to talking home thermostats, GPS and fitness apps default to a female voice, as lots of research suggests that both male and female consumers prefer it. The likely explanations of this are many and probably driven by social conditioning – we want our virtual assistants to seem pliant and non-threatening, competent but not domineering. Maybe AI development is also influenced by the geek culture ideal of being alternately serviced and encouraged by a hard-earned digital princess – the nostalgic science fiction fantasies of white guys drive lots of things in Silicon Valley, so why not the concept of AI?

No matter the reason, the voices of women – and their creators’ ingrained concepts of modern womanhood – are leading the AI frontier. But we have no reason to believe that the male-dominated technology industry understands us at all. Siri and her cohort, for example, know how to respond to health crises such as suicidality but do not know what rape is. These robot women have no answer for questions about domestic violence, like a community of real women would. Siri’s makers had apparently not thought about emergencies primarily relevant to women. In fact, Siri even insists she has no gender – but women’s speech is more than just voice sound – it purportedly involves word choices, too. They conditioned a woman and then attempted to neutralize her.

Honest to god, the reactions to the last Game of Thrones episode basically reinforce what I say like 100 times a day.

Society is forgiving of male casualty, but absolutely consumed by the suffering of women.

Theon has arguably suffered beyond what any other character has suffered, but a minute long rape scene is cause for boycott.

I’m not saying either is “ok” or trying to diminish anyone’s experience… But where was the moral outrage when Theon was being unbelievably tortured into disassociation?

It just wasn’t there.

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Today is World Lion Day! 

Considered the most social of cats, African lions live in prides that consist of one or more males, several females, and cubs. While a male lion consumes an average of 5,500 pounds of meat a year—mostly wildebeest, zebra, and antelopes—females do most of the actual hunting.

Compared to their African relatives, Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) tend to be smaller and lighter, and the males also have less well-developed manes. Asiatic lions are an endangered subspecies, with just a few hundred individuals left in the world. While Asiatic lions used to range throughout Asia and the Middle East, the remaining population exists only in the Gir National Park in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Learn more on the Museum website.

theres something rly off about that post going around about how men who don’t consume porn are good at sex…..like….no….pretty much all men by virtue of male socialization and consuming mainstream media (we live in a porn culture, ya know? you don’t have to watch porn to be affected by it) alone see/treat women as sex objects which leads to shitty sex. maybe avid porn consumers may have more violent fantasies because of what they are routinely getting off to and the process of desensitization to sexually violent content but the idea that men who don’t consume porn are these unaffected men filled with humanity and capable of wholly loving (not that sex is synonymous w love but) a woman is naive, short sighted analysis imo