Misogyny; not just the title of the prettiest lady in Ogyny, but the most used word in gaming this week thanks to the bastion of equal rights that is football.
Specifically (and quite rightly), EA are going to include the top women’s national teams in the next FIFA game (not for the first time though, you’ve been able to play as a woman in the career mode of their NHL franchise since 2012) which neatly cued up two competitions.
One contest, populated by large handed men on Twitter or UniLad on Facebook, was to see who could be the most misogynistic, whilst the games press raced out to see who could be the least misogynistic, with each side taking 10 steps like a good old fashioned shootout and then just unloading every bullet in the clip vaguely in each others direction.
So, as with all these things, the action isn’t necessarily as indicitive as the reaction.
One of the main things I’ve noticed, and as a middle class white man with a smattering of facial hair my opinion is of the upmost importance so pay attention, is the use of phrases like “It’s shocking that in 2015 we still need to talk about this”.
If you are shocked that “in this day and age” we still have to engage with such things then reality is really playing keep-away with your expectations.
Personally I’m not surprised at all by the high level of human-based shittery in the world.
I’m not surprised the Police keep shooting unarmed black people in America, I’m not surprised that neo-nazism is growing rapidly in Eastern-Europe again, I’m not surprised that there are people in the world quite willing to cut off my head given half a chance or that there are more billionaries now than there were before the 2008 crash, I’m only surprised that these things are new or different to anyone.
Most people in the world haven’t eaten ham, so quite why we would expect something as progressive as noticing that women have been playing football a bit to occur without interruption is a bit ridiculous.
There is a great clip online titled “Louis CK explains historical context to Jay Leno“, it’s linked there and you should click it because it illustrates a point very well, and it’s also really funny because Louis CK is a genius.
The point he makes is very simple, that white people don’t accept how small amount of time has passed since slavery, and without an accurate historical context the whole issue of race isn’t discussed correctly.
We can advance that point further here though.
As technology like mobile phones, cameras, games consoles and laptops grew along with the internet, those with the most access to these things were going to be the biggest base of users and contributors to the form.
In the western world, this means white people. Specifically middle-class and above, young white men and teenagers. Amongst that group you find a segment of the biggest increase in liberals; graduates and so on.
Amongst this group of middle class liberals of which I have to include myself, you find most of the games press.
Games people tend to only hang out with other games people in this line of work, so it would be shocking to hear and see such vitriol as it was with gamer gate because that mindset doesn’t exist amongst the young, liberal games media.
Unfortunately it does everywhere else, and the pace and speed to which information and news and media is available to the middle classes, is an incredibly inaccurate reflection of the glacial pace of social reform and reception of progressive ideas across the world.
A Jewish sect in London just tried to ban women from driving their kids to school for religious reasons. We live in a world run by old white people. People who remember a time it was generally accepted to knock the wife around a bit at home for stepping out of line, people who have taken photographs of lynchings in Alabama are still alive today, the jockey whose horse trampled Emily Davison at the King’s Derby died just 10 years before Yuri Gagarin went to fucking space.
The world is moving as fast as it always has, and that’s slowly. When writing a column on the presumption that we are all in general agreement that people should be treated equally, that is an unfortunately minority stance.
Those of us in the world who genuinely believe in equality, that it is our duty to live that ideal everyday and drag the rest of society with us, it is also our duty to try and fully understand the world and how best to deploy our collective efforts to change perceptions positively, because those who don’t agree with us choose wilful ignorance over uncomfortable truth.
Assuming everyone else is just a moron who doesn’t think the same might be almost entirely correct, but it doesn’t tell the whole story and it may just intrench their believes further, an idea explored in a fantastic book called ‘Heretics’ by William Storr.
People only know their own reality, and whilst you can and should disagree with out of touch and dangerous ideas, doing that by not fully accepting their right to exist, and the true reasons for their existence, may not be as helpful as you hope it is.