The Repeater: Gamers Speak

The RepeaterThe Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


Everyone has spoken since that ghastly term “Gamergate” was first minted. For all it’s scandalous meaning, one thing about this month’s events is that it’s got everyone talking to each other. Players are discussing the issue of harassment, bigotry and ethics. I may not agree with everything that’s being said, but I can appreciate that it’s on everyone’s lips, which means people are being forced to think about this. That’s a total win.

As the repeater is about just being an echo, I present you with bits from the conversation developers are having with their gamers.

Devs Speak

Mostly, devs have just been commenting in the already on-going conversations of various threads. So when you visit these articles, read the comments sections.

Gamers Speak

I didn’t mean to hold a mirror to anyone, but it happened anyway.

[..] And that’s what “social justice warriors”, aka people who give a shit, do: inadvertently or not, they hold a mirror to anyone that chooses lazy complacency. They remind others that there are injustices yet to be fought right under their nose. Defensiveness and aggression are a typical reaction to feeling blame or guilt. Mocking those that care more than you do is a fine diversionary tactic. – Syl

A great discussion was going over at MMO Gypsy but spammers made it impossible and Syl had to shut it down just when it was getting interesting. Thanks spam bots. We love you. Still well worth a read of Syl’s post and the entire conversation that followed.

It’s never too late to discuss this sensitive subject. I think the past week has cooled the flames a bit. I’ve refrained from chiming in on this whole fiasco, mostly because I’ve said enough. It’s pretty well known what I think of things like this and I have nothing new to add.

I spend a lot of time on XP Chronicles discussing men’s issues. That can feel like a laser beam, even for me. My whole goal in setting out on this project was to focus more on those issues and to give myself a space to freely express what I’m thinking and feeling. TR Red Skies wasn’t the place for that. I think this experience has helped me grow. A lot. And it’s been good. As bad  as some events have been lately, it’s nice to see the issues acknowledged and discussed.

The Repeater: The Digital Frontier Theory Advanced

The RepeaterThe Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


It’s been a whirlwind two weeks for me with the topic of player’s rights being one of the most talked about in the Digital Frontier series. I actually never intended it to be a series, but it seems to have struck a chord with a lot of gamers, and anyway it always seems relevant to conversations about culture. Who knew I’d start the year with a topic that would provide almost a year’s worth of content!

The theme for this Repeater is just the Digital Frontier in general, as the cultural topics tend to vary quite a bit so far this Summer. That’s a good sign! I’ll start with “Virtual Conflict as Cultural Catharsis” (the impact of games and media on our perceptions of the world), a real think piece that does what most of us fail to do in writing about conflict in games: It builds a bridge from the real world into the game. It manages to make the point without making the point, which is an art with writing about culture.

The trajectory of tone and content in the ‘war is hell’ films from the 1970s such as Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter shifted dramatically to the restorative and cathartic films from the 1980s like Top Gun and Rambo. These films either painted the US military in a far more positive and victorious light or, in the case of Rambo, literally re-fighting Vietnam on-screen.

What is interesting is that in games after 9/11 this process moved in the opposite direction. The games that emerged in the first few years after 9/11 can broadly be interpreted as revenge power-fantasies. The largely tactical focus of these titles place the player in the position of a soldier with a ‘grunt’s-eye view’. This creates a space in which the player can rewrite history, restore agency and re-establish the ‘correct’ order of the world on an individual level; winning the battles AND winning the war. It is only in recent years that some developers have taken steps to question and critique what can be seen as a largely jingoistic and cynically simplified streamlining of complex geopolitical issues.

For a complex topic, the article is a quick read and well worth the time.

The New Yorker recently published a story titled “The Kiss That Changed Video Games”, in which it reviews the development of The Sims and how homosexuality was allowed into the game.

Barrett was asked to create a demo of the game to be shown at E3. The demo would consist of three scenes from the game. These were to be so-called on-rails scenes—not a true, live simulation but one that was preplanned, and which would shake out the same way each time it was played, in order to show the game in its best light. One of the scenes was a wedding between two Sims characters. “I had run out of time before E3, and there were so many Sims attending the wedding that I didn’t have time to put them all on rails,” Barrett said.

On the first day of the show, the game’s producers, Kana Ryan and Chris Trottier, watched in disbelief as two of the female Sims attending the virtual wedding leaned in and began to passionately kiss. They had, during the live simulation, fallen in love. Moreover, they had chosen this moment to express their affection, in front of a live audience of assorted press. Following the kiss, talk of The Sims dominated E3. “You might say that they stole the show,” Barrett said. “I guess straight guys that make sports games loved the idea of controlling two lesbians.”

First, I loved reading this. I never knew how that made it into The Sims and it’s really easy to just believe that the designers sort of went about it in a natural sort of way, not forcing it, not making a big deal, just letting it be. To hear that that’s pretty much what happened, but that it was made possible because the team didn’t believe it would be released any way, makes this tale that much more revealing. Also, before I even read the article I knew that the Kiss mentioned in the title HAD TO have taken place between lesbian sims. I was trying to imagine what the reaction might have been if two men had kissed during the live simulation. Could The Sims have been shelved, never to be known to us today?

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In the Battle to Exploit Gamers (Steam Summer Sale), Steam met it’s match when Reddit took it on in an effort to even out the wins for the competing teams. Haven’t you heard? In Soviet Valve, Steam plays you! By all observations, the efforts of Team White seem to have worked, but there’s currently no way to really know. What we do know is that for the first 5 days of the sale, the teams were trading wins equally. But the Red Team (of which I’m a member) has been on a streak the past 3 days. Is it due to the rule change that Valve implemented? Is there some Gray Team which is throwing all it’s effort into Team Red? We may never know. The part I liked the most about the whole thing is that players organized something with relative ease and successfully altered the outcomes for players. I think  that’s a lesson worth taking to heart, because on the Digital Frontier we’re going to need all the inspiration we can get.

One more piece worth repeating is brought to you by Wundergeek at Go Make Me a Sandwich where she explains why it’s difficult to add women to games (this one’s for you Ubisoft!).

Hey, it’s The Repeater and that’s two pieces of Awesome at the end of what’s usually a brow furrowing series. Have fun sharing!

The Repeater: Realities of Diversity

The RepeaterThe Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


Ever hear stories about transgender men/women? They probably involve some straight person’s experience “mistaking” or being “tricked” by those men/women during a Saturday night at the bar. Have you ever stopped to wonder about the person behind the gender? Perhaps their own embarrassment, disappointment, or anger at the transaction? Cracked has short list of “5 Shocking Realities of being Transgender the Media Ignores”. It’s a good read and as good a starting point as any for empathizing with people unlike ourselves. I think it funny how we can turn a situation into something that’s about us even though others are involved and are just as affected by it as we are — often differently and often worse. Thanks to Mace at Geekquality.com, where I found the link.

The best comedy mimics the truth. I present you the recently viral Typecast music video.

Representation matters, folks. Let’s remember that in 2014 when 90% of AAA protagonists are white and male. You watch as it happens before your very eyes.

One last article that, if you click none of these other links, click this one. I envy those who can write with such clarity and power as the author, Daniel Jose Older. Occassionally some real gems get published over at Buzzfeed, and this one is a fine piece. It’s title “Diversity is Not Enough: Race, Power, Publishing” delivers exactly that: an analysis of the current state of the publishing industry but while the author talks specifically about books publishing, I couldn’t help see the very same trends that happen in games publishing. This supports the fact that the problem is systemic. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in, if you’re not part of the dominant group it’s difficult if not impossible to find the success you’re looking for without the “mangling and silencing” of your voice, as Older puts it.

Diversity is not enough.

We’re right to push for diversity, we have to, but it is only step one of a long journey. Lack of racial diversity is a symptom. The underlying illness is institutional racism. It walks hand in hand with sexism, cissexism, homophobia, and classism. To go beyond this same conversation we keep having, again and again, beyond tokens and quick fixes, requires us to look the illness in the face and destroy it. This is work for white people and people of color to do, sometimes together, sometimes apart. It’s work for writers, agents, editors, artists, fans, executives, interns, directors, and publicists. It’s work for reviewers, educators, administrators. It means taking courageous, real-world steps, not just changing mission statements or submissions guidelines. READ MORE

 

The Repeater: The Industry

The Repeater
The Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


The Bloom and Doom Cycle of Gaming

Greg Costikyan at Gamasutra published a fiery article about the waxing and waning of industry innovation. He argues that there’s a cycle of greed which, every 10 years, suppresses innovation and burns game development to the ground only to have a new generation rise from it’s ashes. Even though the industry recovers, he believes it doesn’t have to be this way and I agree. The idea that just because developers have been able to recover and revitalize the industry after the ravages of capitalism nearly destroy it doesn’t mean that this cycle is beneficial or best. There are better ways to do this.

In the comments, readers were keen to add that while the cycle of destruction is true, there’s never been a better time for games development. These kinds of arguments are fine and often valid, but I think they get brought up for the wrong reason. Usually respondents are eager to say that “things aren’t that bad/aren’t as bad as they were” in order to conclude that things are therefore good and we should be grateful. This is the wrong reason because they’re angled to refute the truth, to leave it unacknowledged somehow. It can get really twisted when rationalized too much — and that’s typically how I see these discussions go down. Sure, we’re doing some things right and let’s keep doing them. But they are woefully short of what we really ought to do. If such points aren’t balanced with this in mind, they rapidly become an excuse to cruise with the status quo.

Sexism in the Industry

This is an extremely interesting study published at Gamasutra began over a year ago to learn more about sexism in the games industry. While I believe it’s on-going, author and researcher Jennifer Allaway shares some results and analysis. Not surprisingly, sexism does exist and is as destructive as we already are aware of. The comments section though, while overwhelmingly supportive, had it’s share of deniers and sexism-skeptics.

Ethics in Game Design

A while back i wrote an article questioning the role of the industry and it’s developers in designing ethical games. Last year I remember reading a couple of articles asking the same question. This time around, Andreas Ahlborn at Gamasutra poses the question. He thinks there’s clearly some responsibility on the part of the developers and asks them to question their design intentions and decisions. I couldn’t agree more and I plan to re-open that discussion with a new article about it in the near future.

Adriel Wallick of Gamasutra shares a story of Mountain Dew and sexism and how she and her fellow developers banded together to make a stand against it. This is a very inspiring read. Though the story shared is disappointing, it was very encouraging to see how the developers supported one another and decided to not participate in sexist schemes.

There’s something that gets to us all when we hear or are presented with information which contradicts who we believe we are. I’m referring to the knee jerk reactions in comment threads from developers in these articles, some of whom are eager to assert that nothing is wrong or who just don’t want to inspect their own skepticism. I know these reactions too well and I think a lot of us do — from experience at both ends. But we are responsible for what we do and accountable for the consequences. It doesn’t matter that we believe something else or that we believe it passionately. We hate to be judged by what we do and we like to wander into the realm of who we believe we are without considering those acts. For example, many men love to talk about the superiority as human beings, far above animals and even above certain “kinds” of humans — yet in the same breath they will blame rape and/or sexism on “natural” (animal), irresistible biological “impulses” (honestly, we have to pick one, it can’t be both). In the end, what we do is what defines us. Besides, if the consequences of our reactions do not reflect those beliefs, then what do they matter?

It’s not all doom and gloom as Adriel’s story proves. There’s just a lot of work to continue to do. I think 2014 will see radical changes in the games community.

Scree Tags: #ethicalgamedesign #economics #solidarity

The Repeater: Rally for Justice

The Repeater

The Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


In just 2 days the campaign fund to cover legal fees for Marrisa Alexander will close. For those who don’t know, Marrisa is a woman from Florida who was imprisoned for firing a warning shot into the wall to stop her husband from beating her. The court tried her for a life term, which was thankfully overturned, but the state is still seeking to put her away for 20 years. Keep in mind that this is the same state who let George Zimmerman, the criminal who shot an innocent teenager to death,  walk free with all charges dismissed because the jury said he had a right to stand his ground against the young man armed with skittles. This is the state where Michael Dunn, the criminal who shot 3 teenagers at a gas station because their music was too loud, received a hung jury who would not convict him of first degree murder in the death of one of those teens. In these cases, it was a white man killing young black men. This is important, because Marrisa is a black woman and she’s facing 20 years for a WARNING SHOT.

The campaign to help with her legal fees is sooooo close to the goal. Please, if you care at all about justice show your support by contributing to her Indie GoGo campaign. Gamers love justice. We love supporting good causes. This is not only a good cause, but its critical to saving an innocent woman’s life. Don’t sleep on this. Tell everyone you know and CONTRIBUTE TO THE FUND!

Justice for Labor

Gamasutra author Alan Wilson wrote a passionate article about hiring policy within the gaming industry. In it, he starts a community discussion around the way labor is treated by companies, namely that people have no value to them; they are simply a line on the expense sheet, disposable. He criticizes why this isn’t just morally corrupt, but a poor business practice as well.

The thing about justice is that it can’t be dispensed by courts, cops and senators. It’s something citizens have to live and constantly engage. When we delegate justice to those with badges or those we vote for, we simultaneously withdraw and surrender our power to change things. Marrisa will not get justice without active support from an active citizenry. It’s not about individuals taking on the world, but about not withdrawing just because you feel your one little action insignificant. Every action, insofar as it contributes to the aggregate, is all that matters. We can’t get a critical mass to push for justice without adding our tiny contribution to that mass.

Pushback against corrupt labor policies. Re-examine your own beliefs about labor laws, unions and hiring practices. I remember when I wasn’t an active supporter of unions (granted, I’ve never been against them), but as I grow older I understand their necessity in a capitalistic economy. At the same time, I don’t think one must be a union supporter to rally against exploitative labor policy. I wish game developers would actually unionize. It’s funny how concerned we get only when things affect us, but these horrible hiring practices have always been around. And when we were younger, most of us thought this was fine. Once you’re on the receiving end of the discrimination, though that naivety comes back to haunt us.

Organizing to improve the way we think about business and labor would be nothing but great news for all. The threat of job outsourcing if we organize is all the more reason to do so; companies are already doing that and they will continue to as long as people are seen as expenses instead of assets. But this also happens to be an example of why injustice anywhere inevitably leads to injustice everywhere. For decades we haven’t fought on a large national scale against the exploitation of cheap labor in other countries; against the workers in India (and elsewhere) getting severely underpaid because of their desperate poverty. Now we’re the next generation of sweat shop workers, underpaid, unable to quit and unable to latch on to stable, steady employment. Maybe it’s a good thing that Americans are experiencing — more and more each year — the consequences of our economic beliefs. Maybe now we’ll become more and more proactive about changing things, or else there’ll be no future for my children or anyone else’s.

To end on a lighter note, Klepsacovic is starving his citizens in Banished. Perhaps not intentional, but it’s still WRONG. You should totally organize and protest against it, after you’re done contributing to Marrisa.

Scree Tags: #Justice #Labor #therepeater

The Repeater: Being

The Repeater

The Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


Colonizing the Mind

Some I was sent a link to an older article that I’d never seen with so many important words and ideas that I’m still soaking in all its meaning and importance. Great work has no expiration date. It was written by an Indian teacher who is also a writer and fiction fan. I think the article is an important read for any of us interested in the ways that cultural colonization impacts the way we see the world in America and how that colonization infects entire nations and stifles their creative development.

And just to make it absolutely clear—the Western publishing advantage was derived from the economic wealth those nations enjoyed by virtue of stripping the resources and talents of other peoples. I do not consider it an accident of fate that it is in America that the art of children’s picture books evolved (which I consider one of America’s most exquisite cultural gifts to the world). These books, printed in China on paper from Brazil—they cost (when they are imported at all) more than a full length Penguin Classic in an Indian bookstore. The books available in one fourth grade classroom at a low-income Minneapolis charter school where I have worked outnumber the entirety of books my private primary school in Delhi made available to me (And I reiterate, I am nothing but privileged in India). Remember on whose backs the resources for your public libraries were built.

It’s so very easy to forget in America that we haven’t created all of this in a vacuum; our wealth, our libraries, our streets, our farms …exist because entire cultures were plundered of their best resources, their wealth exported for our benefit. It’s easy to forget because we are surrounded by so much wealth (overflowing water fountains while there are places of the world experiencing famine and drought, etc — it’s the equivalent of swimming pools full of money) that it seems to us these things are a given. Yet if the plugs were pulled on third world factories and refineries, America would cease to have clothes, shoes, books, and games — not to mention our lights would go out and our cars would become useless. All of these things come from places other than here. But there’s more to cultural colonization according to the author:

What I resent is the implication of accessibility. That it is as easy to understand people of different ethnicities and cultures as it is to understand the diverse experiences within the identities you share with people. Yes, writing about Indian-Americans or Korean-Canadians or Sengalese-Britishers implies a certain shared national experience. But hyphenated identities are not the only manifestations of a culture, and as someone who identifies as Indian, I want to say–No. It is not that easy to understand me, or my experience, or to accurately represent it. You don’t see Native Americans writers going around claiming familiarity with Australian aboriginals on the basis of some shared philosophies, or Chinua Achebe writing about Afro-Caribbeans like an extension of his own world.READ MORE

Emphasis mine. This is one of the most important paragraphs to me because it so brilliantly captures the definition of colonization without even using the word. The last sentence says it all: Western writers write from a position of inherent privilege, able to extend their culture to parts of the world they know nothing about (“we are all human” / other cultural appropriation in the name of “shared human experience”).

Respecting Sex Work

A courageous young woman from Duke University wrote a generous, insightful and powerful essay for XO Jane about being a Freshman and a professional sex worker (she works in the porn industry). Of course, the interent is full of (largely) angry males who condemn women who aren’t saving their bodies exclusively for them and they have acted out accordingly. But this young woman has been brave and intelligent enough to speak for herself, saying poignantly that: “if people are going to talk about you, you might as well control the conversation and use it to start a dialogue, which in this case is about the abuses we inflict on sex workers.” Nail on the head.

The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.

The prevailing societal brainwashing dictates that sexuality and sex “reduce” women, whereas men are merely innocent actors on the receiving end. By extension, our virginity or abstinence has a bearing on who we are as people — as good people or bad people, as nice women or bad women.

Women’s ability to be moral actors is wholly dependent on their sexuality. It is, honestly, insane. – READ MORE

I used to watch more pornography than I do now. In my home, we still enjoy it but a lot less these days. Why? Because how can I become aware of the abuses in the industry and in the next morning fork over my money to “enjoy” porn? It’s a dilemma I think many people face when the ugly truths about the porn industry are revealed to us.

Yet we still enjoy porn. Sex work is work. I think there’s a lot of hypocrisy that goes into consuming porn and then condemning the sex workers for the work they do. It’s more that hypocrisy; the cognitive dissonance required to hold these competing beliefs is immense. We can’t both enjoy porn and condemn the workers. But we do this all over the country, don’t we? We love McDonald’s but damn if those workers deserve a living wage! We can’t have it both ways: either these are valuable services or the workers are worthless and deserve no consideration.

I’ll close this one on an up note. I present to you the Kesh Angels, a motorbike gang in Marrakesh. Apparently there’s a thriving motorbike culture there that women participate in (contrary to western belief!). Coolest thing I’ve seen all week.

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Scree Tags: #therepeater #sexwork #colonialism

The Repeater

The Repeater

The Repeater is a feature in which important discussions are highlighted and linked from other authors to help the information get around to as many eyes and ears as possible. Relevant to video games? Maybe. Relevant to gamers? Definitely. Let these be your food for thought. (Image Source: http://www.devcom.com/)


I have to first thank Trudy from Gradient Lair for providing the article which lead me to some of these links that make up this first issue. Gradient Lair is a fiery blog with a wealth of information on socio-political issues, especially race, gender, asexuality and intersectionality.

On Being an Ally

A wonderful article was written over at Black Girl Dangerous about how to be a better ally. I know the word Ally is very loaded these days, but it’s one of the ways we describe people who show solidarity in the realm of political activism. Anyway, Mia McKenzie gives us four ways people like me can do better.

I’ve often said that it’s not enough to acknowledge your privilege. And, in fact, that acknowledging it is often little more than a chance to pat yourself on the back for being so “aware.” What I find is that most of the time when people acknowledge their privilege, they feel really special about it, really important, really glad that something so significant just happened, and then they just go ahead and do whatever they wanted to do anyway, privilege firmly in place. The truth is that acknowledging your privilege means a whole lot of nothing much if you don’t do anything to actively push back against it.

I understand, of course, that the vast majority of people don’t even acknowledge their privilege in the first place. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to those of us who do. If we do, then we need to understand that acknowledgement all by itself isn’t enough. No matter how cathartic it feels. – CONTINUE READING …

There’s just two sexes ….right?

Nope. And someone took the time out of their day to address a reader who thought they would educate us on the fact that there are just two: men and women, and those are based strictly on genitalia. Here’s what the antagonist stated which was responsible for the response article:

do you know anything about biology? the words ‘male’ and ‘female’ literally mean you have either a penis or a vagina respectively. this has nothing to do with the words woman or man. anyone with a vagina is female, regardless of gender. same with males.

The reply said reader received was golden and it came from Tumblr Rapeculturerealities. Aside from shutting down the bigot (benign or not) the author gave a quick and valuable education on exactly how many sexes there are. Here’s a taste:

In our society sexing is based on 5 criteria:

  • genes – XX or XY chromosomes with variations happening for XO, XXY, and XXX
  • gonads – ovaries or testes except that people with vaginas can have testes, people with penises can have ovaries, and people can be born with both ovaries and testes
  • genitalia – a penis or a vagina except that people can be born with both and men can have vaginas and women can have penises
  • secondary sex characteristics – in theory men are supposed to have large amounts of thick, coarse body hair, a low waist/hip ratio, broad shoulders, undeveloped breasts, and deep voices while women are supposed to have small amounts of fine, light colored, soft body hair, a high waist/hip ratio, petite shoulders, developed breasts, and high voices except that in real life it’s entirely possible for people to have combination of those characteristics or for men to have “feminine” secondary sex characteristics and women to have “masculine” secondary sex characteristics
  • hormone patterns – in theory men are supposed to be high testosterone and low estrogen and women are supposed to have high estrogen and low testosterone but in reality there is far far more variation within “each” sex than between “each” sex including women having “masculine” hormone patterns and men having “feminine” hormone patterns all without those people having any sort of “disease” or “disorder” or anything being wrong with them at all.  – CONTINUE READING …

There are 2 things I took away from these articles.

The first is that the best way to support something you believe in is to be part of it. Like the legs of a chair support the seat or the framework of a skyscraper allows it to stand. That’s support. If I can keep that vision in my mind before I act, I can be supportive in the ways I am needed. It’s not about individual voices being heard, but ensuring the message is carried as far and wide as possible in order to affect change. A singer can send a song far enough to reach many ears if they sing loud enough, but a choir can be heard throughout the county when their voices unite to amplify the song itself. It’s not about a single voice. It’s about the song. However, that doesn’t mean the singers are irrelevant. Afterall, there would be no song without them.

The second thing I learned is that too often I fall back on science, not as a crutch, but rather because I know that a certain audience will not hear anything else. Science is legitimacy, it signifies that you can be taken seriously. And that’s the problem. Legitimacy is something only select groups are deemed to have access to; if a white male announces a problem then its legit, but if a non-white and/or non-male announces the same problem, it’s discredited as biased and not based on scientific fact.

I think this is what happens when allies don’t examine our own motives. The biology explanation is sound and it’s brilliant. But the person to whom it was directed tried to use science to defend bigotry …and that’s exactly the lesson I pulled away. As wonderful as science is in explaining these things, and as comforting as it can be to point to concrete concepts, it cannot be the reason we act against this sort of discrimination. Because if we’re only acting on scientific ideas, we’re prone to all sorts of terrible twists of logic. Just think about all the science Hitler used in Europe. It’s true that a lot of it was psuedoscience, but a lot of it was not; it was sound science used to justify the destruction of human lives. Falling back on science to explain to someone why sexism is wrong can backfire and fail. Everyone can use science, because it ultimately does not tell us how to act toward one another. Men especially like to use science to defend their behavior, because it means we can feel less responsible and accountable for how we act.

I hope you all enjoy these two reads, if only to see a different perspective and add a new idea to your mind. If you know of some great articles you think I should read, please post them in the comments or email me.

Scree Tags: #therepeater #allies #sexism