Favourite movies: Whole bunch of Quentin Tarantino stuff, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Harry Potter movies (or at least the ones from Prisoner of Azkaban onwards), Flash Gordon, Highlander, Airplane, way too many others I can think of.
Favourite music: Queen, Nightwish, some modern day rock groups, some pop acts like Bruno Mars's recent work
Favourite video games: South Park: The Stick of Truth, Knights of the Old Republic games (even in spite of how broken The Sith Lords was), LEGO Marvel Superheroes, the Portal games, Outlast, Slender, The Stanley Parable
Favourite wrestling: Daniel Bryan, NXT as a whole, Attitude era stuff, plus a hopeful viewing of stuff on WWE's current main roster to hope things get better. Also an occasional interest in NJPW as well.
"Games cause sexism" is commonly something that GamerGaters and other so-called "critics" use as a way to over-simplify and misrepresent Anita Sarkeesian's argument. Of course, it's not actually that simple.
Anita Sarkeesian's argument, from Women as Background Decoration Part 1, with explanatory comments
"Games cause sexism" is commonly something that GamerGaters and other so-called "critics" use as a way to over-simplify and misrepresent Anita Sarkeesian's argument. Of course, it's not actually that simple, as we find when we actually look at what she says:
"...So why does any of this matter? What’s the real harm in sexually objectifying women? Well, the negative impacts of sexual objectification have been studied extensively over the years and the effects on people of all genders are quite clear and very serious. Research has consistently found that exposure to these types of images negatively impacts perceptions and beliefs about real world women and reinforces harmful myths about sexual violence.
We know that women tend to internalize these types of images and self-objectify. When women begin to think of themselves as objects, and treat themselves accordingly, it results in all kinds of social issues, everything from eating disorders to clinical depression, from body shame to habitual body monitoring. We also see distinct decreases in self-worth, life satisfaction and cognitive functioning.
But the negative effects on men are just as alarming, albeit in slightly different ways. Studies have found, for example, that after having viewed sexually objectified female bodies, men in particular tend to view women as less intelligent, less competent and disturbingly express less concern for their physical well being or safety. Furthermore this perception is not limited only to sexualized women; in what’s called the “Spill Over Effect”, these sexist attitudes carry over to perceptions of all women, as a group, regardless of their attire, activities or professions.
Researchers have also found that after long-term exposure to hyper-sexualized images, people of all genders tend to be more tolerant of the sexual harassment of women and more readily accept rape myths, including the belief that sexually assaulted women were asking for it, deserved it or are the ones to blame for being victimized.
In other words, viewing media that frames women as objects or sexual playthings, profoundly impacts how real life women are perceived and treated in the world around us. And that is all without even taking into account how video games allow for the more participatory form of objectification that we’ve been discussing in this episode."
Basically, if by this point you're still reading ANY of what's written there as "OMG GAMES CAUSE SEXIST BEHAVIOR", then you are guilty of engaging in a faulty reading and this kind of shit demonstrates that you cannot conceptualize nuance and complexity in the relationship between cultural notions and the media that culture produces. The hypocrisy here is that Anita's critics will accuse her and those who support her of "black and white" thinking.
In addition, we have numerous studies linked in the transcript for the article. One such is called The Sexual Objectification Spillover Effect and this has links to other academic sources, not of course that you would expect any of her so-called "critics" to actually address those.
The primary issue I have with Anita's so-called "critics"
Regardless of how much such an issue likes to get swept under the rug by those sorts of people, the fact of the matter is that, much like the origins of GamerGate funnily enough, the whole campaign against Anita Sarkeesian began and is rooted in sexism. Anita launched a Kickstarter announcing her intention to do this series, and a big group of people felt so damn outraged that she would dare to do such a thing and that she was receiving donations for it, that they decided that the best course of action was to harass in their thousands with pretty much every kind of gender-specific insult under the sun, make numerous false reports about her Kickstarter, send her numerous violent threats of assault, rape, and death, and try to dox her. Afterwards, she received even more donations resulting in a total of $158,922.
Now, here's the big question Anita's critics never really seem to ponder: what exactly was it about all this that made Anita's donors be motivated to send donations en mass to this project? Putting aside the conspiracy theories (because claiming that Anita sent all of those threats to herself is just horse-shit no matter what way you slice it), I think it's fair to say that her donors saw the extreme hostile reaction towards a woman who was merely proposing artistically critiquing video games from a feminist perspective, and quite justifiably thought: "Well, shit, maybe this industry DOES have problems with sexism if that's the kind of incredibly misogynistic reaction that women like Anita receive just for having opinions on video games".
Ultimately, you should not blame the victim, you should blame the ones who started this mess to begin with. The harassment that she, and other females involved in popular hobbies, is a part of ANY conversation that is to be had, regardless of any attempts to airbrush the topic out of the discussion. Because women have suggested reforms in video game culture, they’ve been subject to truly horrific harassment. And perhaps the misogyny accusations bear some merit considering that Anita’s critics will condemn her in one breath, and then hitch their wagons to people like Thunderf00t, the Amazing Atheist, Jordan Owen, Davis Aurini, Paul Elam, and Milo Yiannopaulos – all guys who have expressed some truly extraordinary anti-woman statements and who commit far greater ethical breaches with their work than Anita can ever dream of. But it’s totally okay, because they hate feminists, and aggressively hating feminism is the “in” thing now for the seedier corners of the internet.
Sexism IS a big problem in video game culture. Denial of this is just ridiculous, especially when you accompany it with demands for her to keep her video channel comments open, a demand that many of her so-called "critics" have made. Problem is, here's a visual reference of what her YouTube channel's comments would look like if they were switched on. Bear in mind, that on a YouTube channel, there would likely be even more of it, it would target anyone in the comments there for positive discussion, it would be multiplied tenfold for just about any effort to moderate and delete them, and for the purposes of her intended audience (students, academics, women at all places on the spectrum of vulnerability), it would be completely and utterly unhelpful, and potentially harmful.
So many people, nonetheless, believe that Anita should keep the comments open anyway, and just "suck it up" and bear it, so to speak. A friend of mine that I discussed this with online made an excellent counter-point which I shall share here:
"It's unbelievably hypocritical that people claim that she's obligated to just "deal with it" and cope with personal rape threats and whatever abuse comes her way in order to engage the proper discussion going on. Especially when the same people are the ones claiming to be oppressed and, as they put it, "playing the victim" with their views that Anita and those who support her are apparently "attacking" and "insulting" them, despite neither Anita nor pretty much anyone on her side ever:
-telling those people who oppose her that they're going to rape them and murder them in explicit detail,
-listing the personal information for them to be capable of doing so,
-calling any of Anita's opponents at home and calling their relatives and friends at home
-making it so that Anita's opponents to have to listen to them masturbate on the other end,
-maybe even showing up at any of the houses of Anita's opponents, if they can.
Because that's the bullshit Anita and a whole host of Feminists expressing their opinions on the Internet have had to deal with. And Anita's so-called "critics" think opening the comments section would not just be a good idea and something they can cope with to get to genuine discussion, but something they are obligated to do. "Hey, you, I'm going to hurl abuse at you and you have to TAKE IT so we can have a positive discussion while this is going on! And if you won't listen to me, I'm STILL going to hurl abuse at you, but everyone will know and say how you're not interested in positive discussion."
If I may expand on this, another reason why it's frivolous to complain about closed comments on a YouTube channel is that it is essentially the equivalent of the “Open/Closed Window” theory. If my house’s window is open, I’m going to be happy to keep it open and talk to my neighbours if they are nice people, or at the very least polite or civil. But if I get people screaming vitriolic abuse at me and threatening harm on me and vandalism on my house, I am perfectly within my rights to shut my window so that I do not need to hear such abuse.
The YouTube comments on her channel are Anita’s decision to open or close the window on her house. She doesn’t have any obligation to anyone to keep the window open if she’s going to continuously have shit thrown through it. Oh sure, there are doubtless some intelligent people who do want to honestly debate her. At the same time however, there are critics of hers that have been decidedly dishonest and toxic and who massively misrepresent her, and of course there are those who just plain launch a cavalcade of gender-specific insults to her, as well as threatening her with assault, rape, and/or death.
Plus, to compare her to other critics, why is there even considered to be an obligation for her to debate? For one thing, one of the planned videos she intends to do in her series is “Top 10 Defences of Sexism in Video Games”, so she'll doubtless discuss a whole fuckload of those there, not to mention all the conferences and interviews she does for media outlets where she's taking apart the bullshit arguments there anyway. For a second thing, does the Nostalgia Critic engage in debates after he savages movies people may like? What about Angry Joe? Or Ben Yahtzee Croshaw? Or Todd In The Shadows? Anita describes herself as a critic, nowhere has it ever really been detailed on her Kickstarter that debates would happen. Or if they do happen, they won’t happen until Anita concludes her series.