An Outside View on the Social Justice Crusade

I’m going to share the first snippet of something I’m writing in response to the Gamer/Feminist/SJW war thats been going on. I’ve recently found myself concerned by all of this and I’ve decided to make my voice heard – or try.

Tuesday, 06 January 2015

11:26

    First of all, I’m going to warn anyone who’s never read any of my content before that I have a direct style of writing when it involves talking to an audience – I always type as though I’m talking to a friend, acquaintance or at least someone with whom I can form a bond with. There’ll be inconsistencies be it in tone or grammar which depend entirely on my mood or the content of the conversation. I’m using the word ‘conversation’ very subjectively here because I want to make this feel personal rather than some pissing emotionless essay. Consider this a very open letter to anyone who feels dedicated, bored or willing enough to listen to someone pander on about their background and life and talk about his view from the outside on all of the battles raging on in the social network.

Oh, and I assume anyone who made it this far has come to the conclusion that there may be some strong language. Maybe occasionally something certain people might take offence to – I’ll apologise in advance for that; again, it comes from my habit of typing like I think. I also apologise if I repeat myself or make the same point twice – chances are I’ll never read over this as its meant to show progressive thinking rather than an already-formed opinion.

Now that you know what to expect I guess I’ll tell you about myself. I’m a twenty-year-old university student who studies and practices art, I’m a boyfriend of five years and I’ve the youngest of three siblings. I go to the gym once or twice a week with my girlfriend and I write and maintain an art blog. Yet, I can tell you all about myself and my beliefs – egalitarian, by the way – but the moment I reveal that I am in fact a gamer – and not just a gamer, someone who aspired at one point to be a game journalist – then that’s the tag I’ll bear for the rest of the encounter. I, personally, won’t complain – not right now anyway. It is part of who I am and what I do so it’d bear as much merit to me as someone referring to me as “youngest son” or “boyfriend” – to deny it would be a lie.

But here’s where it gets complex for me. I’ve been vaguely aware of GamerGate over the last several months and I’ve been perfectly comfortable with just sitting back and not getting involved – yes, I know it’s not the most honourable thing to do but I’ve come to acknowledge my ignorance as of late and began to realise that this hate war effects everyone – everyone who cares about the future of videogames, anyway, and the ones who care about how feminism is portrayed in the social media. It never bothered me because I always assumed that I’ll be fine because I don’t consider myself to be a misogynistic, racist, sneering imperial white guy yet for some reason those who declare themselves to be the SJWs of the Internet associate all of these things with “gamer.”

That’s unfair, isn’t it? (inb4 “first world white male talking about fairness lol”) Over the last few years I’ve been surrounded by a plethora of different people, and I think about my friends when I see these comments made. One of my closest friends whom I care about and respect greatly is a transgender female who, a year ago, started living fulltime as herself. I won’t pretend to understand the psychological ramifications of the ‘process,’ but I can’t hide my concern anymore when I see violent and aggressive transphobic message posted to similar individuals going through the same thing, under the guise of “Social Justice” no less. In contrast I have my girlfriend who’s feminist (and who is also a gamer, by definition (because playing iPod apps and Sims 4 does count as gaming)) and yet feels disappointed of the extremism that’s now associated with this once-groundbreaking and beautiful movement. One that called for the equality of women rather than the #KillAllMen– I’m going to use a great quote from my tutor here, now – “polarisation of gender, which serves no purpose.”

So, so far I’m a gamer but I’m also a feminist, an egalitarian (a word I’ll be throwing around a lot). I’ve never been raised or brought up in a way that encourages me to discriminate against any other race, gender or religious individual. I’ve been raised in a way that encourages me to treat everyone as what they are – people. I don’t care if you’re gay, Asian, female, or an omni-gendered attack helicopter, I’ll hold a door open for you if you’re behind me not because I think you’re incapable but because it’s a fucking polite thing to do – it’s not chivalry that’s dead: it’s fucking humility.

I’m trying to decide where to go with this. Either I’ll begin writing a Journal on my thoughts and try to publish them eventually or I’ll post everything up on Reddit and let the internet decide.

-L.A.

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