Monday, June 18, 2012

What the...?

A few weeks ago I read an article linked by a friend on Facebook titled, "'The Demise of Guys': How video games and porn are ruining a generation." Basically, the article discusses some of the negative impacts of video game and porn addictions. Now, I can understand why men would feel a little defensive about this article given the title; certainly not all or even a majority of men suffer from either of these addictions. Still, I was shocked when I read the comments posted on this article. This article had nothing to do with women, other than to point out that video games and porn addictions are not conducive to a successful and healthy relationship. And yet it was a common pattern throughout the comment dialogue to attack (sometimes quite viciously) women. Many of these hateful comments expressed this basic sentiment: "If women  _______ (stopped whining, stopped expecting communication in relationships, would stay in the kitchen, were more attractive, or my favorite, would "give it up" more) then men wouldn't need these outlets."  Seriously, people? Disturbing. Oh well, right? Brush it off as trolls being trolls. 

Until I found this: A female video blogger and pop culture critic recently started a Kickstart campaign to fund her newest project of "Tropes vs. Women in Video Games." And the backlash was much worse then the comments I found on this article. In fact, several online video game forums organized online attacks against this women, including changing her Wikipedia article to include racist, sexist, and just all-around offensive language, and flooding her youtube channel with equally hateful comments. 

And all this made me think. What is the deal with this link between video games and misogny? Really, what makes some of these video gamers so defensive, but more than that, so prone to verbally attack women? As a disclaimer, I know many men who play video games who are respectful men and good husbands. But the fact that so many men defended their video gaming by attacking women in the first example, and so many video gamers attacked this woman just for wanting to point out some of the sexist tropes in video games in the second, strikes me as not just coincidental. 

So am I opening this up for your discussion (I mean for the 6 people who read my blog). What do you think is going on here? 

Here are the links so you can do your own research: