I’ll go ahead and say it: I’m a feminist. I don’t know if men are allowed to be feminists, but I am. I was born a white, middle-class male in a Roman Catholic family out in the middle of the Untied States. I was born with more privileges than I’ll ever know, and I’m not afraid of recognizing that. Being a white male, I already have advantages when it comes to hiring decisions, promotions, and people wanting to walk on the same sidewalk as me when I’m on a stroll after sunset. I don’t have to work extra hard to be “better” than my class, my race, or my gender; an issue that many non-white and/or non-male people have to deal with under the scrutiny of the societal eye. I am a privileged man and I know it, and I’m not going to cry “misandry”, the act of discriminating against men, every time a serious debate about sexism in the games industry occurs.
Recently, I came across an article on Oh No! Videogames! about the #1ReasonWhy movement on twitter. #1ReasonWhy is a hashtag for females from all corners of the games community, journalists, developers, and content creators alike, to explain their #1 Reason Why there aren’t many women working in the industry today. It’s a great way to help people understand the blatant sexism and disregard for the talent and hard work these women put into their jobs and hobbies. Holly Conrad, commonly known as the only REAL FemShep (to me at least), tweeted:
Ashly Burch from the incredibly hilarious Hey Ash Watcha Playin web series said:
And even some guy named @AgentAce7 shared his insights:
Now, everyone has their opinions. That’s why I’m doing an opinion piece here. But it seems to me that when it comes to sexism, many people are making very crucial mistakes in their arguments. The first and most important one is simply this: Men worry that women will laugh at them. Women worry that men will rape and murder them.
It’s a very uneven playing field. I know people are going to call me some word that means traitor to my gender, or are going to claim that I’m only doing this to get laid. Both are false, if only because both are ridiculous. I’ll receive zero sex for this article because that’s not why I’m writing it. I’m writing this to help bring awareness to an actual issue around. Back to the discussion, it’s hard to see from the male perspective that for every one advantage a woman gets, we have around five. Whenever women try to speak out against sexism and misogyny, they get shamed and yelled at. How dare they rock the boat! We don’t want to SHARE our privileges! Fuck that!
After AgentAce7 spewed his last bit of ignorance, Jenn Frank of infinitelives.net, retorted with a flurry of response tweets.
Jenn brings up some solid points. These days, if women act in gender roles or outside of them, they still receive abuse from different types of men. Oh, she’s cooking? HA, WHAT A WOMAN! Oh, she’s wearing a videogame t-shirt? PSH, SHE’S JUST DOING IT FOR THE ATTENTION.
What all the abuse these days seems to point out, though, is that the misogynous men can only think about how issues relate to themselves.
What does her sex appeal mean to ME?
Why is she wearing that geeky shirt for MY approval?
Why do I have to share MY privileges?
Why are these women not addressing MY “misandry” issues?
Why do I have to listen and learn from her misogyny issues?
It’s absolute narcissism! Not a single man who doesn’t take misogyny seriously can take a single fucking second to think about how things could possibly look and feel from the female perspective.
And that’s the real problem: blind narcissism.
Then again, I may just be talking out of my ass. I could never really know what is the true problem with misogyny, seeing as I’m not on the receiving end of the abuse, but I can sure as hell try to understand. That’s something the misogynists can chew on for thought.