Monday, March 5, 2012

Let Us Discuss A Bigot (+Joesky Tax)

This is one of my players:

This is some politically correct BS currently making the rounds and getting the standard conservative PC +115 "OhMyGodThankYouForAddressingThisImportantIssue" treatment:

This Is Mandy being a slut:
This is Mandy with one of her (900) controllers:

This is Mandy talking about this cartoon and saving me the trouble of explaining what someone who fucks with people because of their sexual preference is called:

I think the artist is a bigot through and through and I hope is getting some backlash for continuing to promote negative sterotypes abt women in general, gamer or no, and women who may be pretty, or enjoy sex along with their game-centric lifestyles.

This is some dickhead trying to defend it:

before you attempt to throw around overly aggressive trending topics like slut-shaming, perhaps you should attempt to actually digest the intent of the comic - which is to draw attention to the fact that gamer girls as shown in the media and ads are sexualized unrealities. If the term slut offends you so much, use the same for a man - whores of sexualized conquest. (This is me going: ?????) Get a clue before you insult things.

Dickhead again:

See the original thread and comments by folks like (a smart woman) who actually have the foresight to stand up for the slut shaming issue through rational means.

This is what (that smart woman) said:

Ehh, I'm not really behind the word slut because there is nothing wrong with a woman behaving like a man.
But, other than that, I'd agree. Except, I prefer showers. But you know -- we're all different ;)
Yesterday 4:32 PM

This is what I said:

Hey, I'm not stopping her from being nice to the bigot who drew this and all the bigots who +1ed it if she wants. But apparently it didn't work because you still reposted this cartoon unaltered as if you didn't realize how totally fucked it was.

This is what I wonder:

What the hell is wrong with people?

Here is another woman pointing out another flaw in this cartoon:

Zelda is not a 360 game... This artist fails...

Here is a guy trying to defend the bigot:

Pointed this out before.
There are PC emulators of previous consoles (and games).
There is also a Microsoft XBoX 360 config PC controller.
It may make me a dick to say it but before 'failing' an artist for having fun, know your gamer tech.

Here is the girl again:

The chance that the artist meant that is slim and seems like an out. And to play Zelda of all games with a 360 controller (even if it is an emulator... which thanks I know what they are and have used them...) is an insult to the entire Zelda series :)

Here is me wondering why people are so fucking condescending when women talk about games:


This is where I was going to post a link to where you can see this exact same stereotype in action in real life as used against the girl in the picture at the very top of this post:

(But I decided not to, because screw the intra-RPG-community drama. If you really want a link to it, hit me up via email or G+.)


This is how awesome most of this corner of the community (male and female) is:

Yeah, it smacks of one-true-wayism; it's basically saying you're not "true" if you have hygiene or social skills. Kinda dickish.
7:32 AM +4

You nailed it.
7:33 AM

See, my problem with this is that it says to me : "If you self-identify as a 'gamer-girl' then you are also unwashed and unattractive." I have a hard enough time with identity issues, and _____ has just barely convinced me I'm moderately attractive. This kind of depiction does not help.

And yes, I may have put off chores to grind my mining and herbalism last night in WoW, but showering was not one of them, TYVM! :-P
7:35 AM +2

Damn, I think I need a chart to parse this crap out. I'm pro-slut in that I support the right to have sexy time on your terms not mine or anyone elses, but I'm anti calling people sluts as an insult. I'm pro gamers showering but on the other hand if you want to stay home and stink while playing a video game, how is that my business? I'm calling it a four-way clusterfail.
7:40 AM +6

The intent of the comic was to call out a specific person and is saying "this is what a Real gamer (in this case a girl) looks like" both of which bother me more than saying slut or whether any specific person has had a shower today.
7:42 AM

Okay, then it's just plain ordinary bullshit.
7:44 AM +3

yup. run of the mill, standard internet asshattery.
7:47 AM

Which gets +151 and 115 shares. Standard internet asshattery that gets lots of positive affirmation. Good job! ( ._.)
7:48 AM +2

You hit on the head some of the *squirm* I was having with the 'slut' tag! I didn't want to be 'anti-slut', because the Slut Walks are all about reclaiming our sexuality; and 'slut' from the right person in the right way... hurr hurr hurr!

But used as a pejorative, it really gets my back up!

And yes, showering is completely optional if you're having a lazy day (cough need to outlevel your boyfriend cough), or just don't have enough spoons. I'm not sure stench should be a badge of honor, or requirement for admittance, though?
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7:51 AM

well, when you're living in mom and dad's basement, you know, you take what you can get.... ( <-- see what I did there?)
7:51 AM

Pretty straightforward "telling people what they are or what they aren't" bullshit to me.
8:42 AM +2

A shocking number of +s on this cartoon and all the shares.
8:43 AM

Some of the apparent propopents of the illo could be reading this as anti-booth babe type pandering.
8:45 AM +2

that was how I took it when I first viewed it.
8:46 AM

kirin robinson - Rather than be appalled/disgusted with humanity/whatever it's not too hard to speculate on the underlying trends for why such an assertion is popular.

Although frankly I suspect the gamer community is not actually under any real sort of assault by exploitive hot faux gamer girls.
8:48 AM +2

I'll just repeat what I wrote elsewhere:

Let's start with the fact that it's utterly unfunny. If you're going to be offensive, at least be funny doing so.

I have a number of problems with that comic and few of them have to do with the word "slut."

I've got a bigger problem with the normalizing of what gamers "should" be. You're not a gamer if you're cute, girly, or even if you pose provocatively? Who the fuck are you to decide that?

This sounds like someone complaining about booth babes, which is a complaint I have no problem with, but it's being executed in a piss-poor way.
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8:51 AM +3

I've never been to a gaming / comic Con with booth babes. Is the argument against them that their presence is sexism (because they're sexy) or a Holden Caulfield type disapproval of their being actors and not "authentic" enough? (You're not really Wonder Woman are you? ) As a semi-outsider I find it confusing because the Cosplay community and the Booth Babes are often impossible to tell apart. I posted a link to some PathFinder Cosplay the other day and someone said they were a booth babe. It was a model who was a gamer and had chosen to dress like that to the Con.
8:51 AM +1

Just passed that along to my non-gamer wife. Will be interesting to hear what she says.
8:55 AM

I think part of the argument is the sexifying of ladies only. "Hey, where are the hot dudes in skimpy outfits?"
8:59 AM +1

I think they're mostly in Frank Frazetta artwork. Well, at least the dudes in ridiculous armor (lack thereof, I 'spose), anyway.
9:04 AM

There was a booth babe at the IPR booth at Gen Con one year and there was consternation. It helped that the 'babe" was personal friends with the creator and played the game. It also helped when (later? next year?) we got our booth dude.

(Though, for the record, I wasn't happy with any booth models.)
9:07 AM (edited)

from my non gamer wife, paraphrasing, as she doesn't want a direct rant of her's re-posted (lol): She was pretty appalled. Basically, she points out that the gamer subculture is quick to complain about unfair stereotyping, yet continue to engage in the same behavior. Also, it pisses her off that some people "misconstrue a pretty girl for a slut." Also, she is quite sure not all gamers have horrible hygiene.
9:10 AM

I understand why people dislike booth babes, but wow, this is a horrible way to express that.
9:12 AM +1

I don't like girls who gnaw on game controllers either; it's just unhygienic.
9:14 AM

Our society is into pathologizing and categorization to an alarming degree.
9:26 AM

Here is me paying the Joesky Tax for all this blahblahblah:

1. Grub A dull and ordinary village with a sheer cliff on its western side. Contains:
A stone statue of a manticore (on the edge of the cliff). Any single individual who has bathed in the blood of 4 freshly-slain medusae and then crushes the head of this manticore while swearing revenge will become immune to magic so long as they are in direct pursuit of their vengeance until the task is done.
Nysa Null, an innocent girl who is fated to be the consort of the Insect God.
An intelligent butterfly--secretly a transformed heroine, it will help those of good will, though it cannot communicate.
Jerkin and Orp, two young boys on toy horses who pretend to be a paladin and his squire.
The village elders, who secretly consult a yellow-eyed child of 6 before making any decisions. They believe the child to be a young lamia (it crawled up the cliff toward an elder one day). Their decisions are unremarkable
A charming but apparently useless ring in the pawn shop is actually the signatory ring of a great house in Vrokk. Wearers appearing in that city will be assumed to be long lost members of that house.
A book in one of the elder's homes contains a formula for turning up to 10 cubic feet of magma or volcanic rock into pear flesh.
A field of strawberries. Gorphin, a pig that jumps through hoops during festivals.

2. Labyrinth of Ice An artificial maze, carved into a frozen mountain by eleven of the Gorgon sisters to imprison Moroschka, their eldest sister. Contains:
Luminous emerald oozes that feed on magic.
White tamarins, (monkeys the size of squirrels) full of evil mischief, charged with the task of keeping Moroscha isolated and confused. They wear jeweled gloves capable of causing grievous injury. Their red-eyed monkey king, in his crown of knives.
A glass sphere, 10' in diameter, containing their strange, writhing god.
Pale polar lampreys, 7' long.
The egg-filled nests of the "Snow Wallow Nightmares"--a species of 12' tall snow mantis. The creatures themselves roam the slopes outside the labyrinth. Their aura makes the snow viscous in a 20' radius--effectively slowing anyone trying to move or attack in melee (but not shoot or cast spells). Walls of polished ice that reflect anything inside into a distorted infinity.
Mad Moroschka herself, who roams the halls, fearing to look into the faces of her reflections, believing them to be her sisters. She pleads with the reflections of her own feet, begging to be set free, all the while tormented by the tamarins. Her (usually lowered) gaze turns living tissue to ice.
Ice statues of curious children, bandits, lizards, birds, dinosaurs, and other creatures brave and stupid enough to have entered the lonely, reflecting halls of the labyrinth over the last million years.
The possibility that they will return to life should Moroschka be slain.
The tamarin's warrens, containing whatever weapons, trinkets and treasures these unfortunates may have brought with them.


Unknown said...

I do find it weird as hell that the girl's playing zelda with an xbox controller. Almost makes it seem like some sort of ingenious, ultra-subtle satire.

Chris Kutalik said...

What is both infuriating and sad-making about this cartoon is that it seemed to be created and circulated as an earnest (if totally misguided) way of trying to curb sexist behavior by male gamers. But what it does is bracket off some women as being "unacceptable" and as Mandy puts it so well ends up enforcing another version of sexism.

Ugh, despicable.

Steve said...

I must say, when I played RPG's years ago I never met any players who looked like the lady eating the dice at the top of this post.
However, that's no reason to assume players like that don't exist. People of all shapes and sizes like all kinds of pastimes. It's like assuming only wealthy doctors and lawyers play golf (a cliche often used in humour). Not true; I know a number of unemployed and working class people who play golf.
It takes all sorts, as they say.

Zak Sabbath said...


I saw King Buzzo at the driving range--where I was hitting golf balls with Stoya and Kim Kane.

brady said...

The first power metal band to name its next album Whores of Sexualized Conquest wins all power metal forever.

Jeremy Duncan said...

I can understand wanting a variety of depictions. Variety is desirable. Variety is interesting and exciting and effortlessly, gracefully egalitarian. What I don't understand is when an alternative is insisted upon, not as a useful counterpoint, or to increase variety, but as a replacement.

wrathofzombie said...

It really does upset me in this day and age (but then again in this day and age there are still people who think global warming is a myth) women are still subject to such bullshit. "Oh no! A woman who like sex and gaming! She's a whore! She doesn't really like gaming!" My other favorite is successful women, in any industry, obviously don't have brains or ambitions and fucked their way to where they are. Sigh...

thekelvingreen said...

Sometimes you summarise a G+ conversation on here and it looks really interesting and fun and I kick myself for not being on there often enough to join in.

I'm rather glad I missed this one. There are some right idiots out there.

Cole said...

not to baselessly make such scurrilous intimations about the upstanding king buzzo but i have observed there are a lot of people who like to get really high then go play golf

Zak Sabbath said...

He was next to a person who looked just like him but 4 feet tall and another person who looked just like him but with shorter hair so I presume he was with like his brother and his brother's kid.

This was after Stoya showed us the shape MArilyn Manson shaved her pubic into.

It was a weird day on the links.

Mike David Jr. said...

This is a cliche I cannot stand. It's the subconscious argument that just because a woman is beautiful she is judged stupid, slutty, and/or shallow. I've had good friends tarred with that way to easy to use brush.

Dungeon Smash said...

im not sure i really understand the cartoon in the first place. like who or what is being criticized? gamer girls for being smelly? faux-gamer girls for being sluts? i dunno its not a very effective cartoon
instead of getting mad about this, you should just name a monster after the guy who made this comic. name it some variation of his name and give it some power like
"its a floating sentient gaggle of cave-birds that have sonar that causes confusion. save vs wands against their weird song or else be hypnotized to put out your torch. then they pick you apart with a million little pecks in the dark, 1d4 damage a turn."
then have the porn star girls totally whale on it with sonic spells and battlecries and using shields as cymbals and watch those little birds explode (because creatures with sonar are really sensitive to loud noises)

Cole said...

what would be truly weird would be if the shape was the king buzzo hair shape in some strange golf sex metal the serpent devours its own tale scenario

Roger G-S said...

Eh, the artist has a really low bar for what constitutes slutty attire in the depiction of female gamers. "You Jezebel with your ... eyelashes! And lipstick!"

I'm just imagining as a thought experiment the same observation, with the "unrealistic" panel being a male Magic player in a jacket, tie and wearing cologne. Not so supportive now, is that? (I was going to say Warhammer player but that would just be political correctness gone mad...)

Jack Guignol said...

It seems like the underlying problem is dudes speaking for women in general. The world would be a better place if that didn't happen.

Ben A. said...

@Kelvin Green; Yes, be glad you missed it. I followed it, each stupid comment fueling my rage meter. Each further comment of how people against that cartoon were PC/ white knighting or killjoys. I just -YAARGH
I didn't comment (I hardly ever do), but I guess If I had, I'd might have vented some of that rage and at least put some more effort in prepping a game (and hey, the game went fine, players all freaked out by how if they were fucked with eyes open because of basilisks and how they were fucked with eyes closed because of weeping angels.)
Luckily the Joesky Tax brightened my mood.

BillionSix said...

It makes perfect sense to me.
Chick is hot.
I have neither courage nor social skills to get chick in bed.
Therefore chick is worthless slut, and I didn't want chick in first place.

Callan S. said...

Me, I think there could be a number of ways of taking that cartoon (I've kind of read a charitable one, but I could see a different, nasty side to it. Who knows which side is which?). And statistically it is fail, in that it only takes one women like the above to exist for the statement this isn't a gamer girl to be incorrect.

But it just seems to be people trying to get the most fucking incensed than thou about their particular reading of the cartoon, as if their reading is canonical and the perfect reading.

Maybe I'm reading the cartoon too charitably myself, but this cartoon you keep using - it might not mean what you think it means.

scrap princess said...

It's weird how some people are all saying they are reacting against overt sexualization , and they do it in way which is even more dehumanizing to people. Well, okay it's weird when these people are not claiming to be from some dark age throw back religion.
Slut is a freaking hate word like faggot.
You can use it a positive way to identify with peeps fighting the same fight as you, but if you are paying people out with it , um.. yeah.. howza bout you eat shit and die?

Unknown said...

They're "praising women's inner beauty"... by hating other women. Weird logic.

Callan S. said...

Well, I'd read 'slut' as 'a media manipulated image of women used to cock tease men for casholas, with no concern over actual character integrity being ahead of gaining casholas'. But yeah, why use the word slut for that? Why not 'media lie' or something? (subnote; I doubt Mandy, to actually play a game, mouths the controller? Surely that part of the cartoon is accurate in that mouthing while gaming is false?)

Yeah, the slut word is unnessersarily derogative, in how much it really doesn't need to be used or inform of the real issue. But the fact is advertising companies will hire models who don't game at all, to model in game adverts or at booths, etc.

Perhaps 'mercenary' would be a better term?

I remember a dictionary entry for slut once foremost listing it as being someone who is lazy (or it might have been for a lazy female, I can't remember).

Fonkin said...

1. The use of 'slut' was over the line - it's innately hazardous to use an epithet to identify - or even identify with if that was the intention here- any group.

By 'epithet' I mean any label that has some sort of negative connotation to it, be it sexual, racial, political, cultural or any what-have-you-al.

I'm aware of the practice of taking ownership of an epithet and making it yours, and that doing so doesn't make that label public domain. You can call yourself a 'gamer slut' if you so desire and it's not okay for someone else to call you that. Okay, moving on now...

2. It's a fucking single-frame cartoon. Really? So much hate over this? Should it not die an ignominious death by being ignored rather than revived to horrible life through discussion? What, was it slathered across the front page of US Today? I never would have seen it if it hadn't been posted to this blog. Food for thought.

Let the asshat's great work be damned by faint praise. Surely there will be something even more insulting for the community to expend its venom on tomorrow... sadly.

Unknown said...

It was slathered across social media today. A ridiculous number of people +d, RT'd and reshared saying "Yeah Bro!"

Fonkin said...

BLeh... Teh innernet stupids people.

Zak Sabbath said...

Stuart's right

I wouldn't have said word one if I wasn't sure way more people had already seen it than would see it because of this here blog.

Besides, it is indicative of a disturbing conservative trend I see a lot around. Like when people said the Maxim article about my group was "Bad for women".

Callan S. said...

It kind of shows the difficulty of men 'emancipating' women for them - to do it for them kinda imposes ones own standards. I suspect way back in history, burqas were invented by men to try and protect women from the terrible male gaze.

Unknown said...

That is exactly why they were invented. :(

aNonSapient said...

So, I think there is a difference between the literal meaning of what was shown in the cartoon, and what was intended.

Shown: sexual and sexy women are not gamers.

Intended: these porn stars hired to pose with controllers in their shoots does not a gamer make. Actually playing does.

I hate being devil's advocate, especially for a position sure to be mobbed, that I don't even agree with.

I mean I can't say I watch much porn any longer, but I sincerely doubt there has been a a flood of faux gamer girl porn, when there are all too many in the community ready and willing to bare all.

I do believe it comes from the same nasty sexism that y'all are assuming, but is a tad more benign (like benign cancer , not as in good). It seems like the equivalent of saying black people like fried chicken-- a stereotyped and racist thing to say, but there are definitely much worse things said on a daily basis.

Scott said...

I don't know if you remember the ragestorm that erupted when a female tech blogger went out on a date with former Magic: the Gathering professional Jon Finkel, then talked shit about him by name for not letting her know up front that he was so prominently involved in such a nerdy hobby. The internet exploded and there were rich lulz harvested from both sides of the divide. Troll's paradise.

Anyway, every now and then something comes up that reminds me why I very rarely actually participate in forums or comment on high-traffic blogs, even if I like them. Many, many of those moments of clarity are brought about by gamers discussing gender politics. It just throws into relief that no matter how messed up I may feel I am, I am surrounded by actual insane people.

Zak, I seriously can't understand why you would voluntarily participate in the conversation excerpted above.

Zak Sabbath said...

the guy added me to his G+ circle and i needed to know whether he was worth keeping in or not.

How he got my name I do not know

aNonSapient said...

@zak I get it and agree, but I can't say I grok it. Deep down, it feels like there is some part that "gets" the comic too, and I'm just trying to give voice to that. The use of slut to negatively brand a "class" of person IS execrable. I'm just not sure if the person (and their mental state) the comic came from is necessarily a bigot shithead, or is maybe just an ignorant shithead.

Simple ignorance, ignorance, willful ignorance, and absurd bigotry are all on the same continuum.

I think we can all agree on that continuum being a bad place to be. I think we can also agree that somewhere on that continuum is a line that, upon being crossed, changes from a simply saddening state to an execrable one.

I'm just not sure if we can be certain that this comic is on the far end of the spectrum.

Also: please forgive the obtuseness. It has been a very long day, and if I am not making sense, then please forgive me.

Zak Sabbath said...

Hey, maybe you are right, maybe this person is ignorant rather than puritanical.

Maybe they just don't know that girls who like to fuck are good and not bad because they have limited life experience.

But after living through AD 2001-AD 2008 I have no patience left--even for simple ignorance.

Ironbeaver said...

I think this cartoon would actually have been better if done as one of those "as X sees me" memes form a couple of weeks ago. The "mouthing the controller" woman could validly be used for "as gamer boys see me" or "as I see myself" equally (minus the SLUT text of course). The "no shower" woman would probably fit in the "as my friends/roommates see me" frame (although I'm sure there are some women who've skipped a shower now and again when they're on a roll)

Controller mouthing is all about THE MOOD she's in.

Heretic said...

That cartoon is one of the many things that i feel ashamed for in the gaming scene i am part of. This drawn piece of dumbfuckery puts me in frage, it makes me want me to go AVGN on the person that is accountible for that picture. Like one of the posters already said: A fourfold clusterfail.

David Pretty said...

Above and beyond the comic's dubious puritanical new math equating sexy + gamer + girl with 'slut', the second thought that popped into my head was: "Really? A girl isn't a legit gamer until she eschews personal hygiene? Don't we have enough gamer GUYS that smell bad?"

Perhaps the artist is confusing 'gamer' with 'gamey'.

StevenWarble said...

Would I be wrong to point out that some of us... well, me ... find the second gamer girl in the cartoon just as attractive as the first gamer girl in the cartoon. Hypothetically of course... not that I'm attracted to cartoons...

But seriously. Nothing against super hot porn chicks, but not all of us jump that way.

Carter Soles said...

Best line in this:

"I'm calling it a four-way clusterfail."

Thanks for sharing!

Zak Sabbath said...

If you find either of those chicks hot, you have a far more generous view of the artist's abilities as a draftsman than I.

Edmund Ward said...

I think that the use of 'slut' is bad and unfortunate. I agree entirely that there really isn't any reasonable mobilisation of the term 'slut'. but I think you're willfully misreading the cartoon. The top girl is not really being judged for her sexual preference, she is being judged for the fact she's sucking on a controller and not playing a game.

Let's look at the shower skipping thing for a second. I am of the belief that if you've never skipped a shower for a game then you probably aren't a 'gamer', you're probably someone who has just played some games. Has anyone here really never done this? Gone 'this is too damn good to put down just so I can go do something as menial as have a shower'

You know what? FUCK anyone who thinks there's something wrong with that. Just as much as FUCK people who use the word slut. Why is a lady any less entitled to her choice to skip the occasional shower than Satine's choice to pose looking sexy with some dice? Why do we say ignoring social norms about sex, in the privacy of our own home, is righteous but ignoring social norms about hygiene in the same space is something to be sniggered at - the sign of a dysfunctional mind? If you think less of a person for having an earnest human reaction to a powerful piece of art/entertainment then you are "a useless piece of shit and should die". You're also not a gamer.

Edmund Ward said...

I think you have misunderstood me. I agree with everything you've said. The earnest reaction I was referring to was the reaction to a game being: 'I want to keep playing and will skip normal life-function for it'. The powerful piece of art I was referring to was the game that elicits that reaction (not the comic!).

In a rush to agree with you there seems to have been a number of sneering comments about that practice. I think there's not only nothing particularly shameful about that, but also it's a pretty good barometer of how much you care about the games that you are playing. I don't think the artist is saying you have to be unwashed to be a gamer, but that you have to have gone through that thought process.

But yes, use of word slut is bad for all the reasons you have expounded. And it's fair to call it out. I'm not denying that.

I know I'm not on topic with this point but I felt it needed to be expressed because I don't know how you can reconcile sexual liberalism (a good thing) with a other arbitrary social judgments.

Now that I come back to it after a night's sleep I realise it wasn't really a point worth making, particularly in this context and particularly with all those capitalised 'fucks'. I apologise for that.

The Great Unwashed said...

The drawing and the message behind it are fucking stupid.

That said, what shits me is the all-too-common reality that most of the women presented as 'gamer chicks' by magazines/sites are not, actually, gamers at all: they're models paid to hold controllers sensually in their underpants.

That's the point, obviously, that's the market. But that doesn't stop it being super annoying, and contributing to the sort of culture that feels the need to respond by creating the above picture.

If the 'slut' in the picture ACTUALLY PLAYS VIDEO GAMES, then she's a gamer girl, end of story. Mandy ACTUALLY plays D&D, making her a gamer girl as well.

Games + girl = gamer girl. I'm not sure at what point "gamer girl" stopped meaning "girl who plays video games", but shit, maybe we should stop trying to box people in in an attempt to "reclaim" them

Unknown said...

Of the 25 Billion apps people have downloaded from Apple the most popular one is Angry Birds. Gaming is really mainstream now and it's weird to see people pretend it's a niche hobby.

If games + girl = gamer girl, then there are a lot of gamer girls, and I wouldn't assume hired models are not gamer girls as well.