When I read the anti GamerGate proclamation from the RationalWiki Facebook page that the admins would be banning anyone on sight for even sympathizing with Gaters, it struck a nerve in me. Something that I think needs to be addressed.
I believe in the things I stand behind. When Bush went to war in Iraq for reasons that I thought were unjust, I went and stood against that belief. It wasn't popular at first, but then people took a second look at what was going on and the handlings of the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, and they finally took heed to a presidency that not only undid any good Clinton did, but didn't assume the blame for most of it.
Back when it was an unpopular belief, I stood as a LGBT ally. Today, it's possibly the most progressive movement in our time. I long for the day when LGBT people don't have to hide in fear of being maligned the way they have been. It gets better? Indeed.
But I stand by what I believe in, and I believe in fair journalistic approaches. I've seen what bias can do (just look at how FOX News drummed up that war in Iraq as a shill for the Bush Administration). The majority of GamerGate wants that. They just want Gawker to atone. They just want games journalism to clean up their damn act. There's no reason why they cannot just hear anyone out.
Instead, we get things like what Arkady Ilyana Rose posted to that RW group yesterday ( https://twitter.com/real_da... ). Not only is this person going to nuke the people responsible for the comments and the comment itself, but make a game out of it. All without even the slightest intention of shutting up from the constant cesspool that is their rhetoric of blue state versus red state somehow driving this force or the notion that a movement that a vast majority of gamers in the world are either completely behind, or are sympathetic to its purpose of restoring proper transparency and ethics into gaming media, is somehow all hateful, bigoted pigs by proxy for two minutes to even hear any point out. They want to believe it, they have closed their minds and hearts to anything else, and they do not care what anyone thinks about it.
All while trying to not only drive a wedge in between all of us, but to make us have to choose between our friends and family, and a movement that has done nothing morally wrong besides having sirens and lights everywhere if even a single troll attaches to the tag for malicious purposes, even for a nanosecond, when the chosen battleground has no visible way of filtering out the retch to begin with. This is all there isn't even a hint of any condemnation, of any description, being laid down towards the other side for its own sins which are clear and obviously present, and, unlike their counterparts on the other side of the aisle on this issue, are committed by those that we are all aware should know better.
I have friends that are on the feminist side, and you're reading a blog from someone who can be called one himself. I can sympathize with the fear they have for this movement. But I also know why they have this fear. It's because those people that have something to lose from this succeeding don't know when to stop pushing. They have the mainstream in their back pocket that they can run to whenever they want. They hide behind the skirts of those that will gladly allow them to use them for their own gain, as long as they get protection in return. They actively call for a return to bullying, an act that most of us on both sides, though I would love to think we would all be against the act of harassing someone for something they cannot control, would condemn in a heartbeat. They drive a wedge, pitting gamers against gamers, and stereotype who doesn't agree with them. They project their own faults onto those that don't agree with them, as well, with tactics that would make Joesph McCarthy proud. They make it into a liberal versus conservative issue, when there have been several gamers in the movement that come from all walks of the political spectrum.
They cannot stop, nor will they. They have interests far beyond what we have admitted yet. They want us to continue to fight amongst ourselves. Why is it when we get in any way the narrative back, they throw Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian, or their latest morally and intellectually bankrupt Three Card Monte dealer, Brianna Wu, down our proverbial throats, as if they spoke for all feminists and female game developers throughout history, along with the latest third party troll-generated death threat from someone who's never played a game in their lives or knows what GamerGate even is. All while perpetuating the notion that by disagreeing with some, or any, of how they word arguments that, if given by anyone else in any other way, we would be squarely behind, we equate ourselves with those that only seek to cause terror and fear to them. It's not only insulting that we continue to be told that we're never sympathetic to the plights of the female game developers, but it is degrading to those developers when the only stories we hear about are those that haven't proven that they can separate discourse from vitriol. It's not to say that we don't feel sorry for the threats they have received, which should be the default opinion of any sane human being. It's when they seem to use that vitriol that many have to overcome in their lives as ways to deflect any criticism what so ever, especially when that criticism isn't directed at the issues they address, but rather how they choose to represent those issues. It only feeds more hate towards not only them, but to other female game developers, and feminists in general, and to others on their own political spectrum, in which none of them really deserve it.
Those like Gawker, Kotaku, Polygon, and those too scared to take their own stand without copy and pasting the latest buzz words, can end this, but there is yet another battle that they hide behind the curtain, as well. They've seen their readership dwindle in favor of YouTube personalities. While their readership falls, TotalBiscuit's continue to rise, and those in his irk continue to see their own successes climb. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why or how. It's so transparent, then, that when someone condemns both GamerGate and the YouTube scene, we then know they REAL reason they are trying to smear GamerGate. Not only do they not want to change the very ways that got us to this point in the first place, but they've also seen a way that they can gain readership back, without changing even one letter of their ethics policies.
And when the only three or four feminists we're ever allowed to agree with, according to them, take center stage, we know why. It's because they are trying to control every second of this narrative. They want it to go away and go away now. Sadly, they have tuned up a portable public chorus of the mainstream media that is looking for the latest ratings grab. They are throwing their moral compass out the window, and then throwing a grenade to it, just to make sure it shatters into a sea of hot, molten lava. They have shown little care to the reputations they are destroying other than their own, or to the friendships they have helped to destroy.
So this comment is troubling from the RationalWiki admin, because it only helps to further this sentiment. They are doing the work of these professional gaming terrorists for them, and they are not only doing what the trolls seek, but they are seemly putting said trolls onto their active payroll, to the point where they might as well get the GNAA to write the latest blog post for them.
This is all because a few in the game media industry seem to be incapable to just listen, or to care. We've seen friendships destroyed because of this; shattered beyond repair, it seems, all because of a scare campaign due to some people in games media who are choking on their own pride.
What gain comes from this? What pleasure will come from holding a grudge because of a narrative that those that wish to see bloodshed between us gamers made up? What sort of recourse or discourse will come from saying that you will not even read what has been said? How will it calm the waters of a sea that you have proclaimed is too harsh to sail through? What good will come from such a deep seeded hatred, that you will not even entertain the notion of shaking hands when this is all said and done?
Answer: none! All this will do is to show that you are the ones that are exclusive. You're the ones that will pick and choose who you will welcome into your club. You're the ones that will pick the cool kid above the one that looks weird, or has no friends, or is a transgender, the latter of which actually happened on two subreddits a day or so ago concerning this very issue that were both run by someone willing to just be a complete subhuman over the whole ordeal, that never had a horse in the race to begin with. You're the ones that will never welcome any of us back in.
And you're the ones that are seeking to drive those like me and my feminist friends apart. I value their thoughts, as they do for me. Some don't understand it, and I wish they would because I want for their to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I want them to understand that it's not the issues Anita brings up, but rather the framing that is the issue. I want them to understand the true nature of why these people fight, which has little to do with someone's intimate life, nor is it the true reason why it transpired. I want them to understand that the majority of gamers are inclusive. There have been many female game developers throughout the gaming world, many of whom made some of the best games ever produced, and that gamers have always had their doors opened for anyone to walk into, pick up a controller, and immerse themselves into a character, trash talking and congratulating along with the rest of us. Gay, straight, conservative, liberal, white, black, Christian, Muslim, and everyone in between has always been welcome into the fold.
And when they have felt cheated, betrayed, or threatened, they have banded together in unity. Though they are only human, and humans have shown flaws throughout history as they no doubt will always continue to, they will protect one another, and be there for one another. Most, if not all, in the culture hate misogyny, bigotry, racism, homophobia, and prejudice just as much as any other sensible human being would. They are allowed to compliment a person's attractiveness, or to compliment someone looks, just as much as anyone else would.
If those people that have said these things about them were to ask the gamers for forgiveness, they would do what any person would do to someone that has acted that way: they would give it to them. Because, above all else, they know that it's unhealthy to hold a grudge.
I value my feminist friends, and I value their input. I don't want to lose them. I'm not about to choose between my friends, or a movement that has been maligned for no good reason than to allow corporate bullying to continue.
I will choose both, and continue to be the person that tries to bridge the gap, as any gamer, and as any human being, would. At some point, the admins of RW, and those that have done nothing but try to divide us to get away with their crimes since this began, will understand this lesson, stop trying to destroy the very fabric of what has made gaming what it is, discuss ethics like adults, and regain their humanity.
Me, my feminist friends, gamers, and those in between, regardless of political leaning, deserve much more than that from them. But that would be a very good first step in their atonement.