FeminismSkepticism

Music Break! Are Video Games Sexist? Auto-Tune Rebuttal

Jonathan Mann did an absolutely inspired and glorious rebuttal of Dr Christina Hoff Sommers recent youtube video. And he did it to music.

If you do not know Christina Hoff Sommers, don’t worry. I had never heard of her until a week or so ago.  She is a woman whose name is suddenly being waved around like a bright red Matador’s towel in an attempt to distract attention from the very real issues of sexism in video games and sexism in the secular community. Richard Dawkins adores her because she agrees with him. So do the anti-feminist and the pro-harassment crowd. She says boys will be boys and you should just relax and quietly stay in your gender roles handed down by society. No biggie. Nothin’ to see here. Just boys playin’ with toys. No need to make a fuss.

She made a video called “Are Video Games Sexist?” You can guess what her answer is.

There are few things that I love more in life than seeing someone destroying a terrible argument with art. Jonathan’s response to this video is a thing of hilarious, brilliant beauty that has filled me to the gills with joy.

Screen shot 2014-09-19 at 8.04.57 PM

Yeah, Jonathan,  I thought we were talking about sexism too! Weird!

Content note: Just a heads up, at the end of the video there are a few screen caps of some of the hate messages sent to Anita Sarkeesian- that very effectively prove a point.

We will not stand down.

Enjoy!

Be sure to like Jonathan’s video and he has a Patreon you can support too.

Thanks to biogeo for sending in the link!

Cheers!

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Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics. She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+. Tip Jar is here.

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13 Comments

  1. Female gamers actually outnumber males in the 25-35 demo. The industry has a lot of problems trying to get things right and its not necessarily bad faith that is the problem.

    The biggest problem right now is stalking/bullying and verbal abuse in multiplayer games. And they really don’t have a clue how to deal with it. If you have a million people playing a game and 1% are sickos, thats 10,000 sickos you are dealing with. And some of the execs just can’t get it into their thick skulls that women aren’t going to be paying out bucks to play games where the skinhead racist/sexist faction are allowed to drown out everyone else.

    The problem is that we don’t really have a good answer for the execs who do get it. Moderating is really labor intensive and not always very effective.

    The best suggestion I can make right now is to try to establish an environment where it is clear to people that abuse isn’t welcome and won’t be tolerated. And thats why having sexist imagery in the games is a real problem, it encourages some people to act in a particular way. And the way those people act is a real problem.

    Its like Disneyland, the secret to keeping the park clean is that it is already clean. People feel really bad about littering. If you have a game where NPGs are being sadistically tortured raped, etc. then expect certain behavior directed at other players.

  2. From now on, whenever someone derails a conversation like Dr. Sommers tries to do, I’m going to sing the name of their logical fallacies at them.
    This will be especially effective because I can’t sing for crap. It will be better than my old method of containing derailment, which required two people who could paraphrase Ep IV in real time:
    1: Stay on topic!
    2: He’s changing the subject!
    1: Stay on topic!
    2: He’s using much faster logical fallacies!
    1: Stay on topic!
    Also, I feel connected to this video because I listened to it while wearing exactly the same model of earphones he was wearing while making it.

  3. Speaking slightly out of topic:

    I dislike when someone states that “gamers are sexist” in this discussion of sexism in video games. Mainly because gamers == 1.2 billion worldwide, and I think when a press article uses a title to the flow of “are gamers X, Y, or Z” it makes the #gamergate folk feel like they’re the face of gaming, when in fact, they’re NOT.

    I think a point needs to be made to say that “gamers” are in fact incredibly diverse and the subset that’s so adamant about silencing discussion of sexism in video games is NOT the face of gaming nor even the primary target market of games.

      1. Ya, I can see how that came off as tone trolling. However, I don’t mean to troll the light-side here, I more would like to find some way to send a message to the people who perpetuate misogynistic norms in gaming that they are #notallgamers. Let me explain further.

        I’ve done analysis on a lot of game data as a function of my job. The demographics who engage & spend in games are incredibly diverse. However #gamergate likes to paint themselves as the face of gaming and most important demographic in gaming and for that reason no discussion of sexism should exist. However, they’re actually a small subset of gamers and BY FAR not the most economically profitable one.

        I’ve been in a lot of heated discussions with #gamergate folks and I’m kind of grasping for ways to explain to the public and to fellow gamedevs that they are definitely #notallgamers.

        Maybe an article that points that out with numbers.

        1. And that’s the biggest issue. But I think a big part of it is, these people can’t take criticism. But to truly appreciate a work, you must be willing to deconstruct it, to kill the author (metaphorically) and let the work speak for itself. To do any less is to declare video games aren’t an art form. (And, ironically, gamers have been trying for years to claim video games are an art form.) Anita Sarkeesian does this, albeit specifically about gender issues.

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