yeah women gender roles are good for you don't you know

tapehook  asked:

I don't think Anita Sarkeesian's videos should be treated as an extension of the PMRC mindset. She's pointing out misogynistic tropes in video games, not advocating censorship. I mean hell, she starts her first video in the series saying that even though she's pointing out problematic aspects of games, that doesn't mean those games shouldn't be played or enjoyed. I don't understand why she's getting as much flack as she is.

Anita is getting flack because she’s an ignorant outsider. I’m not even a gamer, and this is apparent to me.

Whether you agree the content Anita showcases is misogynistic, offensive or not, most of her videos function on the same, flawed premise: That the negative gender stereotypes she finds in these games are harmful to the gamers that play them. She argues that these games somehow ingrain negative gender stereotypes in the individuals that play. They hurt women via perpetuating these stereotypes, essentially.

This is pure, unsubstantiated BS. Anita would never fund an actual study with the tens of thousands of dollars she’s raised, because she knows any such study wouldn’t work in her favor. It’s easier to buy a bunch of video games, cherrypick the most offensive parts for ignorant viewers, and then keep the rest of the money for yourself and your organization, right?

You’ve gotta wake up to the truth: Anita’s videos are about as effective and as enlightening as an elementary school screening of Reefer Madness

Media—especially popular media—reflects already-existing norms, ideas, concepts, and sentiments in a society, it doesn’t dictate them to consumers. Slasher flicks don’t make serial killers. Grand Theft Auto doesn’t increase the probability of shooting sprees. Gangsta rap doesn’t create gangs. The game Bully doesn’t create bullies. Reading 50 Shades of Grey probably doesn’t increase the likelihood of the reader getting tied up and whipped for sexual pleasure either.

If EA Games were to somehow create and sell a video game titled Mysogyny: Women Suck, the only people who would buy and enjoy such a game would be individuals who already agreed with the game’s clearly stated ideology. Anyone else buying and enjoying the game probably just dabbles in whatever fantasy the game presents during gameplay only. 

The probability of this game somehow CREATING a misogynist is about as likely as your local library’s copy of Mein Kampf creating a Nazi. Any such result would be minuscule if charted in a study of any sort.

As a kid, teen, and adult, I’ve been exposed to TONS of media that has displayed women as the weaker, more submissive, and more sexually desirable gender. However, this is not something I feel is reality. Why? Strong female role models, good upbringing, friends, family, amazing wife, and plenty of real-life interactions with women. FUCK A VIDEO GAME! A healthy reality ALWAYS trumps a fantasy. 

If you really want to change hearts and minds when it comes to gender roles in society, you’ve got to work on changing that society’s reality, not its media—especially media that so explicitly deals in fantasy. I know we tend to blame the media for a lot of our ills, but your real-life interactions and role models play a larger role in guiding your moral and social outlook than any music, movie, game, or book you’ll ever consume.

Anita is on the most foolish of errands, but y’all are eating it up like a hot pizza. Looking for positive gender roles in a game like Hitman is like looking for positive gender roles in any of the three Expendables films. There’s nothing applicable to real life in Hitman because the game’s not meant to guide anyone through real life. It’s a violent video game, not a dating advice show. There aren’t a whole lotta healthy social norms in the game because it’s not meant to portray any sort of normality.

NOW DON’T GET IT TWISTED: I do understand that violent, male-pandering video games persist in the video game industry. They make a lot of money, yes. And I completely acknowledge that a lot of what’s in games like Hitman, Manhunt, and Grand Theft Auto isn’t exactly, uh, healthy when it comes to the gender roles displayed. There’s a definitely a lack of female leading roles in many games, too.

However, it’s not like there aren’t alternatives here. There are plenty of non-violent, positive indie and mainstream games out there that would love more customers. And there could be MORE if we supported this sect of the industry. If Anita really cared about the future of the video game industry in relation to her cause, well, then she’d encourage all of her fans to purchase video games that work outside the negative gender stereotypes and violence of games like Hitman. It’s that simple. Supply and demand might have created Hitman, but it can just as easily create games with positive messages and gender roles, and it already has. You just have to buy them and be willing to support future releases that fit in with your taste.

But Anita is no gamer, and most of her supporters aren’t either. They’re outsiders that want to see change in a market they don’t participate in. Anita’s lack of experience is plain as day, yet, she’s lauded as some kind of expert. What if we applied the same angle to me right here:

Would you take my metal reviews seriously if I owned no metal records? Didn’t listen to metal? Had no real history with metal? Disliked metal? Constantly criticized metal with surface-level complaints like it being too loud, satanic, violent, angry, and perpetuating dangerous, overly masculine gender stereotypes? No, you wouldn’t. No one—except people equally ignorant to metal—would take me seriously. I’d be an ignorant outsider, which Anita is when it comes to gaming.

And I still stand by my PMRC comparison, too. I see similarity in her determination to find social dangers where there really are none. Yeah, Anita has nowhere near the same level of power or political influence, and she probably never will. And she probably won’t try to pull off the same censorship stunts due to the inevitable failure of trying to enforce or legislate any such censorship. It would be more beneficial to her to stay on the sidelines and collect her fundraising bucks as she highlights games she deems misogynistic. I agree America’s got a long way to go when it comes to creating social equality between the genders, but video games are nowhere near the root of the issues we need to address. They’re just an easy target for the quick to complain.

All in all, it’s same shit, different decade. People have been whining and moaning over “harmful” media for generations. And it should be no surprise that those desperately seeking to be offended lose every time. You can be on that side if you want, but just be a good sport when you take your “L”.

anonymous asked:

Could you google the article "Why You Shouldn't Hate Straight White Men" and tell me your thoughts on it? It's on wordpress and the blog's name is thequietvoice18. One of my close friends wrote it, and I feel super uncomfortable about it because I don't agree with a lot of what he says but I can't tell if i'm just overreacting?? If you don't have time to do this it's cool, it would just be nice to hear another feminist's opinion on it.


Okay, I’m going to list my issues with this as I read. Obviously I don’t know your friend, so this isn’t about him as a person. He may be absolutely lovely, but I really don’t like this post, SO:

1. That conversation sounds fake as hell.

2. Oh good, the “I’m gay, so I feel that I can relate” justification for talking about issues that don’t affect him. Gay men are oppressed, of course, but that doesn’t mean they understand misogyny. Kind of like how I’m oppressed as a woman but don’t have first-hand experience with racism. Ugh. Plus he doesn’t elaborate on this topic or use his experience as a model for comparison, so why include it at all?

3. I strongly suspect that this person does not know what a radical feminist is and is instead using the term as a pejorative. Which, for the record, is really goddamn irritating.

4. Why does the “all men” hyperlink go to an excerpt from an article about the problem with rape jokes? The excerpt isn’t addressed to “all men”; it literally opens with “To all those who don’t think the rape joke was a problem, or rape jokes are a problem.” Which, you know, doesn’t describe all men.

5. Also, way to ignore the fact that the Huffpost Guide to Rape Culture article was written by a dude trying to help his fellow dudes. Oh, and you know why these articles exist? Because people believe that men don’t have to be “complicit in rape culture.” That they can change. Which is a pretty optimistic view, yes?

6. Not everything people do has to “contribute to equality.” Catharsis is actually a perfectly valid reason to do something, so long as you’re not hurting others in the process. And before someone jumps in with, “but that’s the point, hating men does hurt them,” I have two objections: First, that wariness/fear of men is often misconstrued as hate, and second, that women who are averse to men tend to avoid them. Like yeah, okay, if you loathe men with the core of your being and then give birth to a son that’s probably not going to go well, but avoiding men because you’ve had bad experiences with them doesn’t really harm anyone. And that’s usually what “hate” means in this context.

7. Which brings me to another problem: The post is too abstract. Some feminists hate men and are mean to them, yada yada yada, I’m not going to provide any examples or evidence and you just have to take my word for it because whatever. I’M SO SICK OF THIS. Like I can almost guarantee that the “man-hating” he’s talking about is just women expressing frustration and using hyperbolic language that doesn’t reflect their actual opinions. That’s something people do all the time, in all kinds of situations, but when it comes to feminism it’s always evidence of man-hating. If I say, “fuck I hate this town” after popping yet another bike tube on those damn cactus-lookin things all over the roads people know I don’t actually hate The Biggest Little City in the World, but if I say “I hate men” when complaining about the guy who crept behind me in his car for three blocks then suddenly I’m a big evil man-hater ROAR.

8. We should be nice to privileged people and open space for discussion, blah blah blah. Yeah, except we know that avoiding confrontation and trying to placate privileged people often lets them believe that they’re the exception to the rule, that none of this inequality is their fault. Of course civil discussion is important, but we have spaces for that already, and no one is obligated to open new ones. And maybe we could, you know, make demands of privileged people? Because while many resist those demands, not all of them do, and they’re usually the ones who need to change. Get your priorities straight, Duder.

9. No shit gender roles “hurt men too,” but this is not a “both sides have it equally bad” situation, and even implying that is either disingenuous as hell or indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding of privilege.

10. I don’t hate Jessica Valenti, but there are so many other books he could have recommended. Something tells me this person’s feminist education is less than extensive.

11. I love this line: “Agree or disagree that we should try to understand each other instead of just calling each other out?” He’s framed the question in such a way that no one would flat-out disagree, but his actual argument is flawed as hell.

12. Also rolling my eyes hard at “understand each other.” I’m just gonna link a relevant post I did for my side blog.

13. Oh hey, can I just point out that nothing in this post explains why we shouldn’t hate straight white men? It’s an argument for acting nice, but you can totally be nice to people you hate. Like one time I told Obnoxious Poetry Girl that her hairstyle was cute, but I still can’t stand her.

anonymous asked:

I don't understand why feminists get so upset at the idea of involving men, or even helping to change the negative gender roles, and expectations caused by masculinity that negatively affect men. I don't understand, because they say that feminism is not about men, when in reality at least half of it has to do with men. Everything they want to change and fix, involves changing men as well as women. I don't understand why they are so against it.

Imo I agree with some things like “feminism doesn’t need to help man to be validated”. Yes, like men shouldn’t support feminism only because they realise patriarchy hurts them too. I am fine with people pointing out Emma’s speech has limitations are saying, “well yeah but in principle I think it’s important for feminism not to lose its focus on women and not to degenerate into catering for men. There is a difference between engaging men as a TACTIC to further feminism and CHANGING the GOAL of feminism. #HeForShe, imo is the FORMER. 

For me, those criticising Emma’s speech because it talks to men completely miss the entire point of #HeForShe. If that’s the only thing you take away from it… well, firstly:

All this outrage is so damned ironic when guess who is the head of UN Women and responsible for #HeForShe?

Oh, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, head of UN Women. A black South African woman who experienced apartheid, who is from a country which has big issues of domestic violence against women- yes, she knows MORE about being “oppressed” than all those people who can’t even acknowledge that #HeForShe has some merits. I’m sure she saw the big role men play in oppressing women when they remain silent and saw how necessary it was to reach them to help effect change more quickly.

I think it’s unspeakably arrogant of people who say they won’t even support #HeForShe and don’t even recognise that it does some good. What a massive, blindness of privilege and a failure to recognise that in so many other countries where men have SO MUCH MORE institutional power over women, who can decide when she gets married and whether she goes to school, it’s MORE THAN NECESSARY to rope men in to protect women’s rights. How do you build girls’ schools in rural Pakistan without roping in the support of men in the community who will protect them from the Taliban? “Damsel in distress”- yeah, please go ahead and ignore the realities in some other places where women are far more disenfranchised than you, are less fortunate than you. 

Look, many men in the developed world itself who think feminism is a dirty word won’t even listen to what women say about feminism. Not because we’re “damsels in distress”. They just WON’T listen. That’s why it’s IMPORTANT men get involved as #HeForShe aims because maybe these men will start opening their minds to listening if these words are coming from other men

  • I feel there is a lot of conflation on tumblr of trying to enlist men to fight for women’s rights with changing feminism to focus on men. NO. It is a tactic to advance feminism, not a reworking of the goal of feminism. This campaign recognises the practical reality of this world, that men are the ones with institutional power responsible for a lot of gender inequality. 

Even more so, you can’t barge into a deeply patriarchal society in other parts of the world and start insisting women shouldn’t have to get married and start unloading all your feminist ideas contextualised in the West and expect them to listen. Hell, instead they’d see it as cultural imperialism. You do it by persuasion, like in rural Afghanistan- by respecting their customs and gently saying how like the Koran values education, how a number of Muslim women in the Koran ran their own businesses and were educated etc. You try and get them to empathise by saying, “imagine those women you read about who were hurt by the Taliban- they could be your sister or your daughters, right?” That’s how you even open the door to having the conversations that will eventually lead to the fully formed respect for women’s rights everyone wants. You tailor your methods differently. Obviously, more urban and cosmopolitan Kabul needs DIFFERENT methods compared to rural areas and has DIFFERENT problems. You need DIFFERENT messages in Kabul, Afghanistan, compared to Johannesburg, South Africa or then to the US.  People dealing with oppression never have the luxury to wholesale sacrifice tactics and retailoring of messaging for the sake of ideological purity. 

I was going to not say anything at all, but fuck it. This is why I don't like feminism.

1. Let’s start with the fucking word. “feminism”. Feminists pride themselves on working/supporting for females to be seen as equals to men (at least that’s what I’ve gotten out of my experience). However, the word feminism alone displays nothing of equality, it displays “female”.

2. People who generally describe themselves as “feminists” (notice the word “generally”, I am not saying “all feminists”) tend to: A) Call anybody who doesn’t agree with them horrible names and often times I see them throw low jabs at people (usually males), calling them ugly/fat/stupid, all the while complaining that women have to deal with being seen as and feeling ugly/fat/stupid. That seems a little fucking hypocritical to me. B) Ignore the fact that the male gender also has gender roles to live by and also have shitty things. Yeah, you know what, it does suck to bleed out of my vagina once a fucking month, but would I trade that for a random fucking boner in an awkward situation, no. Would I trade that for blue balls, no. Would I trade that to have a set of balls that would put me in excruciating pain whenever they were hit or had pressure put on them, no I fucking wouldn’t. Men are told by society that they should be masculine, that they should have sex at least by the time in they are in high school, that they should have a six pack, that if they have red hair, they may never get a girlfriend because only redheaded females are good looking. & you know what else, men can also get raped/abused/murdered. Not only can that happen to them, but it fucking does happen to them, but we are too busy worrying about the gender roles imposed on women that we forget a man can’t report a rape or report abuse without being viewed as a “pussy” or liar. There aren’t shelters for men to go to because nobody thinks that a man can’t defend himself and that’s because of the gender roles we as a society impose among men.

3. They are called civil/human rights, not gender rights. 

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t agree with the issues that are a part of the feminist movement, I definitely agree with those, I’m just saying that “feminism” is not the way to go about “equality” for humans.

I am not a feminist because as much as I don’t want women to be raped, to be abused, to be used as a sex object, to have gender roles imposed upon them, I also don’t want those things to happen to men. Also, if you think those things don’t happen to men, you are ignorant. If you believe every statistic you read, you are ignorant. We already have an idea of  how many women don’t report abuse….now think about how many men don’t report abuse because of the gender roles we impose upon them.

Let’s at least fight for humanity as a whole, fuck gender.

anonymous asked:

I really think you're right about your queer Zelena theory! I hope you are at least because I'm tired of being annoyed at Zelena because lately whenever she was on screen she made at least one rape joke or reminded me why she's not fit to be a parent. I'd love to have a storyline that makes me root for and really like Zelena (I was hoping the SL would be a sister-bonding one between Regina and Zelena, but I'm not holding my breath for that one right now).

I have complicated existential feelings about queer Zelena as an actual reality rather than as a prediction.  I … am holding out some of my reasoning to talk about if I turn out to be right.  I have spoken about this at length with @anothershadeofgreen and there is a certain amount of subversion in Queer Zelena Theory just as Dump Positivity is a form of protest.

If it is Wicked Kansas they’ll have to walk a line of making sure that it is not the copy of fanon Swan Queen that it appears to me on the surface.  But that is still possible.  A lot of the Swan Queen dynamic comes from the chemistry between Regina and Emma and no matter if there is a similar set up chemistry can’t be repeated.

If it is Queer Zelena in general they have the the evil lesbian who raped a man to steal his sperm problem.  I’m absolutely not dismissing that that’s a terrible form of representation on this show.  But at this point any representation that is not Swan Queen is going to be problematic–and in some of the ways that Queer Zelena would be problematic so would Swan Queen.  Reformed or not Regina is a mass murderer and a rapist.  Now there is a significant difference between 3 seasons reformed Regina versus making rape jokes yesterday Zelena, but if we’re looking for “Role Model Representation” this show is not going to give us that even if they did Swan Queen because Regina is a complicated multi-layered character.  Oh and Emma just raped her boyfriends soul last week so let’s not pretend she doesn’t have baggage now too.

But here is the thing.  One of the arguments about representation is that it moves along in steps.  When racial minorities were first appearing on network television they needed them to be normal and good people to show the world that blacks were intelligent and heroic.  Once you normalize their representation (and this is a gradient because the representation for racial minorities is still not good) you move on to a place where you stop asking for “Credit to their Minority Status” characters and you start asking for complicated and flawed characters.  I am no longer at the point in my life where I just want or need Jack Harkness to be omni sexual.  I need him to be a complicated flawed man.  And the most complicated and the most flawed and the richest development on Once Upon a Time is with villain characters.  Who have a decided tendency not to remain villains.  Would Red or Mulan avoid the evil lesbian trope?  Sure.  But I say this with a great deal of love for Red… they’re also relatively boring characters on the canvas of Once.  And…. they’re not unproblematic as representation.

So why wouldn’t Red and Mulan be better than the crazy rapist?  Well for one thing they are not regular characters so the writers are, to be frank, quite likely to drop and forget them like they have so many other characters.  Neither had been seen in more then a year before they popped up again in 5.09.  Mulan hadn’t been seen in more than two!  Zelena for all her faults is a regular character so a commitment to a relationship with her is a stated commitment to carry on the story even if it is with a recurring character as the other partner.  Red has more characterization because she’s had two centrics but Mulan hasn’t even had that.  What we know about Once’s Mulan is that she’s an honorable soldier who fell in love with a princess and broke gender roles.  Do we know why she became a soldier?  Do we know why she has not returned to her family?  Do we know anything about Mulan that we don’t have to infer from the historical legend or the Disney movie?  And Red, who I adore as a character, ate her boyfriend.  So we’re fine with saying gays are secretly monsters who might kill the people they love if they lost control?  If that’s not an unfortunate metaphor not that far distant from deranged Zelena I am not sure what is.  And if you read the subtext in 5.09 it appears at least part of Red’s potential story would be that she was in love with Snow.  Good match for Mulan in the queer women can’t be friends with straight women without falling in love with them and having to leave rather than be threats to their families.

So on paper… while Red Warrior/Mulan Rouge might look like better representation then Queer Zelena/Wicked Kansas that isn’t necessarily the case.  I go back to something I’ve said before.  The only unproblematic characters on this show are unproblematic because they are unimportant.  If you want the representation to be real and organic and not some model of something bland and inoffensive it wont be organic to the show, it will be obviously forced, and that doesn’t do queer kids in 2016 any good at all to see themselves as bland, side, unimportant characters in an irrelevant romance.

Now… there is the Swan Queen question and in fact if they had done this story 2 years ago I don’t think this would be so much of an issue especially if they don’t write a carbon copy dynamic in Wicked Kansas.  The simple fact of the matter is that the majority of the show’s queer fanbase are shipping Emma and Regina.  And those people are never going to be happy to get the scraps of another relationship because they are shipping Emma and Regina not lady parts that we’re never going to see at 8PM on a network Sunday night show.  The people invested in the show are invested in the characters they love.  It would be condescending to say “oh, it doesn’t matter if we kill off Robin and Belle and David because the Outlaw Queen, Rumbelle, and Snowing shippers can just ship Captain Swan.  After all… he’s got a penis and she’s got a vagina.  They like peg A in slot B.”  Now if you are a LGBTQIA+ person and you don’t ship Swan Queen you are saying “well it’s not a story for them it’s a story for me.”  Sorry dear, no.  You have your ship.  You are shipping it already.  

The audience they are aiming at are the people who are not already shipping one of their established canon romantic ships.  Three years ago the show could have given us a canon LGB ship … I don’t know maybe one that involved two iconic Disney princesses … and I think that many Swan Queen shippers would have given it a chance.  Go look at AO3 and see who actually writes fan fic for Sleeping Warrior if you have bought into the weird narrative that SQers are somehow anti-SW.  What they are facing now is a rejection of the scraps because they tried to feed them to us before and then pulled them away at the last minute and said “just kidding.”  The show’s LGBT fanbase, the one they say they are trying to honor, is understandably wary.  We should be.  They’ve pulled this shit before.  They pulled this shit in 5.09 where Mulan manages to have an entire monologue awkwardly avoiding the use of any gendered pronoun.  Mulan is still not canonically bisexual.  Now I think she is, just as I think Regina Mills is, but that shit still stinks in subtext as much as it does in main text.

Handled delicately and with some good writing I think it could be good.  On paper it’s not a bad idea.  Especially when you remember the cultural connections between the gay community and the Wizard of Oz and Wicked.  Oh, but yeah.  This is Once Upon a Time.  The chances of getting good writing and a delicate handling of a queer romance of any sort?  A good handling of a romance of any sort no matter what the sexualities of the characters involved?

anonymous asked:

could you please clarify that "legit question" post? because it describes me perfectly but i must be obtuse or something because i don't get the implication, sorry to bother

i know a lot of fairly early-transition trans women lately because i am one myself anymore - and by “early transition” i mean people who have only seen ourselves as trans fairly recently. many of us were ignorant in certain ways about trans stuff before figuring out it could apply to us, but none of us were entirely ignorant that transness was even possible. the majority position of people who grew up online and discovered that thinking of ourselves as trans was good for us fairly late in that, in my experience, has been a long period of: transness being a Cool, Awesome Thing we’re personally incapable of having in our own lives, because it’s just not who we are - because we'd know if that was who we were, right?

except “knowing” isn’t exactly as simple as that. i definitely knew that in some sense transitioning was an important idea to me but i rejected it. i might have dodged not being hetero by looking at my sexual attraction to men and calling it “mostly hetero” b/c i still valued women more, but i dodged the idea of transness by insisting i was cis, loving and valuing trans people but putting myself outside of transness.

but the fundamental dissatisfaction with my role within my gender assignment, annoyance at my body being sexed in the easiest way for me to have it sexed, and general numbness and emptiness with respect to my sexuality were there, and i had to deal with them somehow. i felt alone in those things in certain ways and seeing people talk about similar things made me feel less alone, and i took a lot of vicarious enjoyment in people figuring stuff out, you know?

but yeah, long story short: me and basically every trans lady i know spent a while as a Cis Ally of a very specific sort, and if i had one thing to say to me from a year ago it’d be “these people you’re trying to show love and make happy are you”. i think about this a lot because the period in my life when i would have needed to hear that was a very sad and very empty one