Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"For Good Men To See Nothing" Shared Content

This is a shared piece I wanted to do my part in getting out in front of more people. Please check out the following and read the full article here.

Guys, we can't say that nerdom is always girl friendly. Sometimes it seems harmless, just the way things are, other times it's painfully obviously how direct and pointed it is that women are not welcomed. From online multiplayer, to conventions, to comic shops, the female gender has to jump through a gauntlet to prove they beyond while males are just accepted as they come.

Trust me, I'm a dude. No one ever questioned if I'd actually played the game on my shirt. Only once in my entire adult life has anyone ever grabbed at random while I was out. And never have I been made to feel uncomfortable due to sexual jokes being made about me or about guys like me. So hetetro white guys, please take a read:


I specifically AM addressing this piece to the people of “my tribe”: white, heterosexual male gamers who wouldn’t dream of grabbing anyone in a non-consensual or sexual way in public, and find descriptions of these kinds of acts inconceivable, because they don’t happen in front of us.
Our starting point is an article by Emily Garland, who won a judgment from a Canadian court about entrenched sexism she experienced as a customer at a game store. It’s the “Tabletop Gaming Has a White Male Terrorism Problem” piece that came to public notice in early April 2016. To our credit as human beings, it’s gotten a lot of positive responses — positive in the sense of “Yes, this is believable, and we’ve got to do something about it.” However, it’s also gotten the “I think she’s making it up to get attention” backlash that’s common when discussing sexism.
No, guys. She isn’t. And as long litanies and lists of licentious license being taken won’t convince you…I’m going to pose this a different way:
  • What does it cost you (yes, you!) to assume the women coming forward are telling the truth?
  • Why do you demand they “confront the person they have a problem with” rather than bother you by asking for help?
  • Why, with your pride about being smart, can you NOT see the pattern here?
I’ve seen sexism in gaming, both in stores and at conventions, for more than twenty years now. Here are a handful of the stories I’ve heard from reliable witnesses. They illustrate the thought process women go through, and I can say that I am certain that all of these have happened.
 “Hey, I was at a table, and another player made a crack about having a gang bang on the tied up dark elf villainess. It made me very uncomfortable. I asked the GM and the other players to walk that back; they told me ‘It’s just a joke…’ and ‘Hey, all gamer chicks LOVE bondage sex!’”
“I hate going into game stores, because the customer service is either ‘stare at my shirt’ or ‘I’m invisible’ — I’ve had customer service reps simply ignore me because I didn’t ‘look like a customer’ to them.” 
Here are two that happened with me present: 
A woman was posing in a costume at WorldCon in Spokane. I’d demo’d my game to her and taken a few photos with her permission. Another fellow came up and asked if she would pose with him. She graciously said yes; he handed me his phone to snap the shot. While she was standing there, he moved his hand down from the back plate of her armor costume to squeeze her ass-cheek. 
She told him “No photos for you. You do not grab my ass in public, no matter how many people you think can’t see it. Ken, please delete the photos you snapped.”
He mumbled an apology, picked up his phone and walked away. She needed to sit down behind my display and talk herself out of what looked like a panic attack. She was trembling.

You can read the full article by Ken Burnside here.