FAKE GEEK GUYS: A MESSAGE TO MEN ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
By Andy Khouri
“I think this woman is wrong about something on the Internet. Clearly my best course of action is to threaten her with rape.”
That’s crazy talk, right? So why does it happen all the time?
Honest question, dudes.
That women are harassed online is not news. That women in comics and the broader fandom cultures are harassed online is not news. That these women are routinely transmitted anonymous messages describing graphic sexual violence perpetrated upon them for transgressions as grave as not liking a thing… that is actually news to me, and it’s probably news to a lot of you guys reading this.
So what do we do about it?
This is important.
"…the deviation, the invading body, the cancer." "We won’t stop attacking."
Bring it ON, little boy. But be aware this cancer is metastatic, and it’s fucking lethal.
And as the article says, the plot of the entire toxic debacle, is so:
'All this happened because a woman didn't like a comic book cover that a man did.'
And if that doesn’t make it all seem like purile antics to you, I don’t know what will convince you that this behaviour only serves to make you look like a screaming manchild. You may not have noticed, but women comprise half of our species: we’re not going anywhere and the days you could depend on your possession of a penis to shut us up are most definitely over.
PS. equalgaming you might be interested in this article, if you didn’t see it yet!
Truth: I get some awful messages like this. I get called names, threatened, talked down too, shouted at, cat-called ect. at games, stores, cons and anywhere else I’m hanging out with other players.
Some of the people that do this are people that I normally would consider “friends”. But for some reason you start talking about “nerdy things” like gaming, sci-fi, comics ect. they get defensive and turn against you. Why do they do this? As a co-worker of mine put it “Men like me who play games see it as a time to relax and hang out with the boys. They think that you are trying to take that away from them so they fight back like misogynistic rabid animals. If more women are around or if things start changing to include more women then they’ll lose their guy time.”
Here is the thing, if men want to be with other men and have fun in an exclusively male place then I am totally ok with that. But it shouldn’t effect anyone else, at all, ever. Do stuff at home with your friends and if they aren’t in the same city, use skype or ventrillo. If a sudden influx of men decided to start getting mani-pedis or blowouts at the salon and women started threatening those men or harassing them, my message would be the same to the women using those places and activities for “girl time”.
A lot of the male gamers I am exposed too on a regular basis normally act 1 of 2 ways. Like I am some magical creature that can’t possibly exist in real life so I get worshiped and hit on constantly to see if I can be captured. Or I am the worst thing imaginable, a woman that is trying to infiltrate the brotherhood and cannot be controlled so I am hated but still objectified. Neither of these groups see me as a person, I am not a human being to them and that is the real crux of the issue. That these people are so wrapped up in trying to keep their safe place that they dehumanize others, attack people who aren’t like them, who they find threatening just to keep what they have for a little while longer.
Sometimes when I call people out on the improper use of the word rape or the use of girl as an insult, I get looked at like they didn’t expect me to say something. “People feel like they have to watch what they say around you Trish.” is something a partner of mine told me. You know what? They shouldn’t say that shit in the first place and if gaming is the last “safe haven” for sexism I am never going to be quiet, I am never going to let that shit go and you will always hear me calling you out on it. You can threaten me, you can call me names, you can treat me like dirt but at the end of the day, I can look in the mirror and be proud of who I am and what I stand for.
The Emperor Protects!