Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Desire For Representation Is Not Entitlement

Dear Internet,

I realize if you're reading this, you likely follow this blog and the chances are that if you follow this blog, you're not the person who should be reading this.

I think that's the problem with whenever you want to bring attention to a social issue. The people listening to you are probably the people who already agree with you so they don't need to have the discussion you're trying to have because they already know the points you're making.

It's frustrating.

But we write these anyway and send them out into the void because we HOPE that it will reach someone who maybe hadn't thought of it before. We do it because one conversion to our cause is still worth it.

You're probably wondering what I'm talking about, aren't you?

Well, I'm going to start with this:

(Click the Tweet to See the Responses it Got)

While I'm sure some female protagonists will be showcased in later games--even at later times of the Expo itself, Anita Sarkeesian was making a mere observation. Yes, it was laced with a underlying frustration, but can you really blame her? 

There is this constant insistence that women aren't a large enough demographic in video game players for them to catered to and I don't understand it. Do you not see us? I mean, we're there. Every convention, every game release, camping out in the freezing cold for the next console--and we aren't there just because our partner dragged us.

But I'm not really here to talk about that issue--that's a whole other can of worms for another day. I want to address the backlash that tweet received.

Because here's the thing.

Even if you don't agree women deserve representation in video games, why is attacking one of the standard reactions? 

This is not a "fight or flight" scenario. Nothing about gaming is being threatened or insulted. She pointed out that there was no female protagonists being advertised for the next generation of gaming at that time.

I cannot for the life of me wrap my brain around the knee-jerk violent hate reaction. What part of that comment "justified" calling her a cunt

Even if for some reason you don't see that there's a lack of female representation--or even that there are issues with what female representation there is in the industry--why does bringing it up elicit such violent and hateful reactions? 

I wish I could just throw my shoes at them and shout, "Take a walk in these!"

...it's a stupid joke, but you get the idea.

Video Games are enjoyed by all genders, gender identities, sexualities, races and ages--asking for equal representation for your demographic isn't someone being entitled. It's something we all want. 

It means we're part of the story--the movement--the reality--life. Regardless if you're a woman, or a gay man, or transgendered, or Asian or seventy-five-- representation is important. As human beings, we want to be valued by the things we're passionate about. 

1 comment:

  1. According to the ESA, 45% of gamers are women. The insistence by these attackers that it's just business because women don't play games is therefor absurd. We're 45% and we'd like if, once in a while, we could be properly represented in game narratives.

    What frustrates me the most about the reactions Sarkeesian constantly gets, is the fact that she never really attacks games. She points out flaws, but she is a gamer and she does enjoy playing games. I guess it's kill-the-messenger. Guys don't like when someone points out how contrived their favorite narratives are.