I came across an article called “Nerds and Male Privilege” and being that I’m part of this “nerd” group along with being a dude, I decided to see if this article would actually have some interesting points regarding this culture of ours or whether it was simply another article saying that male nerds are sexist. Sure enough, it was the latter. Also sure enough, the writer of the article – Dr. NerdLove – comes off as another male hipster douche feminist, or as he calls himself, an egalitarian.
If you’ve listened to my podcast, particularly episode #92, I’ve talked about these male hipster douche feminist quite a bit. Whether it’s Film Crit Hulk’s expose about the “sexism” in Arkham City because Catwoman and Harlequin were called bitches or “Seriously stop with the booth babes,” I’ve been quite vocal on how these guys are clearly showing a lack of understanding the world beyond their hipster circles. Guys like this would lose their shit if you told them you like going to Hooters for the wings, and then ridicule you for trying to cover up your misogynistic nature.
So why do these types of articles stir such a strong reaction from me? It’s fairly simple. If you say “playing games that feature sexy females makes gamers sexist,” you’re an idiot. Saying that is along the same lines as saying “violent video games create violent people,” which we’ve all agreed, is ridiculous.
In Dr. NerdLove’s article, he gave an example of how he went to a comic book store with a girlfriend some years back, and one of the patrons of the store, a mouth-breathing troglodyte, was ogling said girlfriend and then berated her for comments she made about the skimpy outfits the ladies in comic books wear. As expected, the mouth breather saw nothing wrong with this, which meant for Dr. NerdLove that all those boobs this mouth-breather been seeing in comics has caused him to develop a complex thinking females were inferior to males. Of course, it never dawns on the good doctor that maybe, just maybe, the mouth breather was simply an awkward individual without the normal social skills one receives through some healthy interactions with people? No way! It must be all those ginormous comic book boobs!
Let’s change that example around, and put it inside of a game store: Your significant other comments on how the new Mortal Kombat game is a bit violent. Right after the comment passes through her lips, a similar mouth-breather pipes up about how her views on violence in video games were wrong. Now, would you say that that mouth-breather was a violent person because of video games? Absolutely not! That’s impossible and there have been studies to prove that games don’t make people violent.
So why is saying sexism is caused by playing games like Tomb Raider and Metroid Other M with their over-sexualized female leads or reading an abundant amount of comic books with G-cup superheroines seems to be ok as of late? There are a couple of different reasons for it, almost all stemming from certain people wanting a utopian nerd culture to exist.
One such reason is the exclusion that many of the fairer sex are feeling when partaking in the geek culture. As geek guys are searching high and low for a geek girlfriends, females are still finding it hard to delve into a geek culture that they feel that is not made for them. That’s understandable as games are mostly made by guys, and because of that, yes, they would have a tough time creating a game that would speak equally to women. That, in turn, creates a cycle where the few women producing such content pales in comparison to their male counterparts.
As much as we’d like to see an even split in the geek production between the sexes, the fact is that like other media, this is a process that changes over a long period of time. In the case of video games, the media is still maturing, trying to find that right tone to set for itself. Let’s be real about this, games were made by computer nerds for other nerds, and it’s taken years for things to change. Hell, we only recently were able to have them considered as art at the Supreme Court. Changes will happen as women have increasingly pivotal roles such as those in well known franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted.
I find it funny that just over 30 years ago, a video game designer wanted to make a game based on eating because when he thought of what women would enjoy, he pictured women eating cakes and desserts. An idea like that today would immediately rile women and those male hipster douche feminists. They would string up the heathen that came up with such a medieval look at women. By the way, that video game designer was Toru Iwatani , the creator of Pac-Man.
Another big reason is the treatment of female geeks in geeky activities such as playing games. I concur, being a female and playing any game online is an invitation for disaster. My own mother of 50 years old has found a love for playing games on the Xbox 360 as of late. No, she’s not playing simple casual games, she wants the full gaming experience, and gets it by playing through games like Gears of War 3, Resident Evil, and all the Call of Duty games. Sure enough, once she starts talking, the catcalls and the “stupid bitch” comments start flying. At FatUglyOrSlutty.com, they’ve archived such brutish comments making for a real eye-opener into a life of a girl gamer.
Do I blame geek culture for those remarks being to my own mother online? Vile things that if said in person, would require me to insert my foot so far up their ass they’d be tasting leather for a month? Is the fact that female character models in games have the same unrealistic measurements as Barbie, and are just as hollow causing this barbaric behavior? That’s a big NO to both because I don’t blame the culture, I blame the people partaking in the barbaric behavior.
You see, while a lot of these male hipster douche feminists want to blame the games and the game makers for creating these pathetic lumps of flesh that don’t know how to talk to a woman, I’d rather blame the real world factors.
Is it so hard for people to realize that the bad attitude exhibited by so many is, frankly, because they’re assholes? That our fellow nerd may not have the social skills of the Average Joe? Add to that the anonymity of the internet, you’re left with a socially awkward mouth-breather who goes off on a tangent filled with hateful remarks against women upon hearing the sound of a female’s voice.
The poor behavior and attitudes that some, not all, nerds show towards women is not caused by their nerdy pursuits. Those guys are going to be sexist dirtbags regardless of what their hobbies are. Can’t we just admit that there are people out there that suck at being human to another person because they are just crappy human beings and not because of the games they play?