That was one of the most thoughtful and well written responses I've seen on the topic. As an aside, do you do a lot of writing as part of your career? As someone who writes a lot but isn't always effective at conveying my intent, I have a real appreciation for people who can write succinctly and clearly.
Onto the content itself:
I did write: "I can say that the abuse I took during that time makes what appeared in that article look like a walk in the park."
But that is not the same as saying that those people need to be "tougher". The point is that Internet "culture" is incredibly toxic. We have an overall problem with the way people treat each other when they're behind the computer that has almost nothing to do with sexism.
I've heard voice mails and read emails to our tech support over the years that are worse than what was posted in that article. It's shocking. It's awful. But not "sexual harassment". The answer isn't for people to "grow a thicker skin" but rather to demand that people treat people better by enforcing behavior standards online. Name names.
Unfortunately, often the worst offenders of harassment and abuse are so-called progressives who use read meat like this article to justify harassing people online.
Let's consider the reactions I received from so-called progressives:
- Nicole Leffel from Buzzfeed wrote "Have you considered that all these women could be LYING about harassment?" - Games CEO Brad "Her Nipples Look Better on TV" Wardell. Her smear intentionally misquoted and misrepresented my statement (poisoning the well) and then took a false allegation "nipples on TV" and repeated it as if it were true. Let's flip that situation. Imagine a woman was raped and a bunch of disgusting guys kept posting that she was a slut and wasn't actually raped. That would be pretty horrible. And before some idiot tries to make a strawman, I'm not equating rape with spreading libel about someone. I'm pointing out that this person, even after corrected continues to take a disgusting allegation about someone else and propagate it.
- Charles Randall from Capy (another game studio) regularly labels me as a "sexist". Have I done something "sexist"? Have I even been accused of having done something "sexist"? So why does he make such a charged allegation? Because by attacking someone else he can feel better about himself. He's nothing more than a garden variety troll that likes to abuse other people while hiding behind a progressive shield (much like Nicole). He actually thinks he's somehow *helping* the cause by openly trying to get others to dogpile and those who don't share his specific politics.
The others I won't bother to list because they're either kids or deranged but these two should know better. It's the same problem you get with progressives on lots of other issues. If you don't agree 100% with them you are vilified and told to "shut up" (or dog piled by their mob).
Let's look at the checklist:
- [X] Sexism is bad.
- [X] We should actively try to address the issue of sexism through multiple means (see https://medium.com/@a_quiet_voice/what-have-you-done-to-support-feminism-in-games-bd89ca977bd9 as someone who has written a thoughtful article on the topic even though she's responding to a strawman argument that involves me)
- [X] We should actively work to create more diversified working environments in the game industry
- [ ] We should treat women as a protective class because white men are a "privileged" group
Ah, and that's where I become the enemy. I don't agree that women should be treated differently. I don't support separate but equal. That means, NO, I'm not going to watch what I say around women. If you don't like my style of humor, find another job. I'm going to treat one human being the same as another human being. I'm not going to sweat about "triggers" or other progressive #firstworldproblem bullshit.
It doesn't matter your intent, it doesn't matter how many women you hire, what matters is how you say things because how you say something determines how it is interpreted.
I appreciate this statement because it illustrates the axiom difference between conservative/libertarians vs. progressives. Progressives really do think "what matters is how you say things.." No. It doesn't matter at all. Progressives may earnestly wish the world worked this way but it doesn't. It is what you DO that matters.
The Civil Rights movement and the Gay marriage movement made progress because of the actions of individuals. Marching, lobbying, getting active in elections. The progress didn't happen because of the way they said things. It's because of actions.
You won't find people abusing each other here. We don't use words like "WinCustomize is a safe place for women to be creative". We MAKE it a safe place for human beings through vigorous enforcement.
By contrast, on Broken Forum one time, someone posted a Google Map picture of my home with my address (the intent was pretty clear). Eventually Lum (or someone) got rid of it and not before a few people chimed in supportive comments. Can anyone fathom a regular here thinking that sort of thing was acceptable to do? And *those* are the so-called "progressives" who are oblivious that it's people like them that contribute so much to the toxicity of online discourse.
I wish progressives were less wrapped up with "how to word things" and more interested in the things they are DOING (or not doing).