This week’s episode explores why girl gamers don’t seem very common, despite surveys suggesting girls make up half of all gamers. And whilst it’s a coincidence we finished this episode the same month that rape threats against women gamers roared back into public consciousness, we’re all too happy to bring actual facts and arguments to a debate where mainstream gaming’s first instinct is to smear the female-identified as a “bitch, slut and whore”. Now, onto those pesky facts…
Content Note: drug incapacitation, sexual assault, victim-blaming, cyberbullying, ostracisation
The news gets worse on the appalling assault and social media shaming of Texan teenager Jada, and the flawed investigation of a similar case at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York is analyzed by the NYT.
Rape culture? What rape culture?
A must-read by Feministe friend Amanda Hess on online sexual harassment, and how legal mechanisms need to be updated to deal with the reality women face. As someone who has lost countless hours dealing with stalkers and harassers — and actually did see one of them go to jail eventually, although for threatening someone else — it was nice to see a story that didn’t just document the harassment, but that highlighted the sheer ineptitude of law enforcement, the American court system and male-run tech platforms in dealing with it.
Adria Richards, formerly of the company SendGrid, was at a tech conference this week when some dudes behind her made a series of inappropriate and sexual jokes. Annoyed by the pervasiveness of misogyny in the tech world, she snapped a photo of them and put in on Twitter with a complaint. One of the conference organizers spoke to the men and they apologized. Totally reasonable! Good response, PyCon. Later, one of the dudes got fired. Instead of getting mad at the company that made the choice to fire him, the internet hoards descended on Adria. She was on the receiving end of rape and death threats. Her address and phone number were published. Her blog and her company’s website came under DDoS attack. Oh and then her company, SendGrid, fired her (I’d be careful reading the comments on that Facebook post — there’s a whole lot of racism and sexism).
Zerlina Maxwell received sexualized, racist death threats for daring to publicly say that women should not hold responsibility for preventing their own rapes when men should be trained not to be rapists. She refused to be bullied into silence.
I’m over at the Guardian writing about “revenge porn,” and how it’s part of a trajectory of gendered harassment that women face online.
There aren’t popular revenge porn sites with pictures of naked men, because as a society we don’t think it’s inherently degrading or humiliating for men to have sex. Despite the fact that large numbers of women watch porn, there are apparently not large numbers of women who find sexual gratification in publicly shaming and demeaning men they’ve slept with.
And that is, fundamentally, what these revenge porn sites are about. They aren’t about naked girls; there are plenty of those who are on the internet consensually. It’s about hating women, taking enjoyment in seeing them violated, and harming them.
The owners to Texxxan.com practically said as much when, in defending their website, they posted a message saying, “Maybe [sic] the site provided an outlet for anger that prevented physical violence (this statement will be very controversial but is at least worth thinking about).” In other words, these are men who hate women to the degree that they’d be hitting them if they didn’t have revenge porn as an outlet for their rage. They’re angry because women have the nerve to exist in the universe as sexual beings.
The whole thing is here.