Content warning: This post contains graphic language, slurs and triggering content
This is one of the better articles on gendered harassment I’ve read in a while. It manages to convey the scale and ubiquity of this kind of harassment, but does so by using individual, personal (and hard to read) stories. If you know anyone who still thinks: a) harassment of women isn’t really happening; b) it’s happening to men at similar levels; or c) the proper response is just to “toughen up and deal with it,” please send them this article.
Reading Discworld means constant exposure to incredibly beautiful and heartwarming moments of humanity at its best (even when its dwarfs, trolls, golems and other people), soul-breakingly grief-making depictions of the absolute banality of evil, tearjerking sights of tragedy and…
RecentlyI wrote about the realisation that I am sexistand how I’m trying to change. The response was fascinating. OK, a few people were so upset that I want to respect other people’s humanity that they threatened to leave the site forever, but I also received lots of thoughtful messages, in comments and by email, leaving me with lots more to think about.
One of the ones that stuck out came from a reader called Juliane, who told me about something that always irks her when this subject comes up. It’s the old argument that female protagonists don’t make sense in a lot of games (or books or movies or comics or whatever) because their presence isn’t historically accurate.
Juliane had a good point to make about this, but before we get into it, let’s first take the opportunity to consider how selective the “it’s not historically accurate” defence is whenever it’s levelled at people who advocate for the addition of female characters to video games (or indeed any character that isn’t white, straight, male, vest-owning).
None of this was why Juliane wrote to me about the historical accuracy defence, though. Juliane’s objection was simple: written history isn’t accurate.
This is an open, honest article that highlights the deeply-entrenched, systematic sexism found not only in games, but in society in general. Bramwell shares his realization that he has been casually, unintentionally sexist for his whole life.
And while it’s important to call out overt and aggressive sexism (or racism or ageism or homophobia or numerous other -isms), it’s equally important to understand how so many of us unconsciously and unintentionally behave in sexist ways every day. It’s so ingrained in the fabric of society that even well-meaning people perpetuate the problem without realizing it.
I would encourage us all to read this, examine our own behavior, and think about how we can behave more mindfully.
This is definitely a good article for everyone to read, from those actively fighting sexism in games every day, to those who scoff at the idea that it even exists. For that latter group, it shows how sexism doesn’t have to be a giant conspiracy or even obvious, but can in fact be personal and subtle, and committed by well-meaning, unknowing participants. Bonus points because the person writing this article is the Editor-in-Chief of Eurogamer, and when the people having the conversation are the people in charge and the people setting the tone, the community benefits even more from that.
Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and shag a nun.