I am a fool.
Like an asshole, I skipped the article once I had the gist and went straight for the comments, only to be shocked by finding yet again that so many others are assholes too, but in a truly repellant way. I had discovered at least twenty males flailing to excuse the aggression suffered by Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and countless other women online, each fedor’-adorned neck-beard surely brimming with complicated justifications for their decrepit logic.
However, nothing within reason could justify the harassment female gamers or women online in general receive on a regular basis. Ultimately, no argument for tougher skin can hurdle the fact that original fault lies with any instigator, not their victims.
A chasm of distinction separates earnest criticism from spiteful assault, and it’s pole-vaulted daily by stupid boys, predominantly, who presuppose that highlighting discrepancy in social order, ethic and morality is tantamount to issuing vicious insult to personal ideologies. These are effectively children who do not and may never possess the personal insight necessary to have simple, fundamental conversations without losing their shit over a misperceived slight to their beliefs. It seems similar to autism, I might say, or religion if I were being a dick.
Frequently these trolls argue against themselves that stereotypes aren’t a one-way street affecting women alone. This is little more than limp rhetoric to distract from the reality of sexual discrimination online, which is that women receive a disproportionate amount of negative energy for no sensible reason. If it were sensible I’d be on the subtly homoerotic Disregard-Tits-Bandwagon too, hosing down a shirtless bro from a weight-lifting forum with Mangria, but it’s not, and this has been proven time and time again in every comment section in which this topic crash lands.
If someone shits on a guy, his response might be “Fuck you and die.” which we may take with a grain of salt because it rarely escalates beyond hyperbolic stings. When a girl so much as corresponds publicly online, she’s consistently swarmed with comments ranging from “your gender disqualifies your statement” to “you arouse me sexually despite you” to “I’m going to go to your apartment and rape you to death. After I’m done, I’ll ram a tire iron up your cunt.” If she attempts to engage a dialogue in her defense, she’s practically guaranteed to receive escalating hostility, whereas men are typically dismissed entirely after the initial battery. The difference is so vast that you’d have to be ignorant, a moron or blind not to notice the disparity.
The hyena’s share of this negative energy is nothing short of criminal and would earn a crowd-sized beat-down if expressed in public. Rightfully, women are fighting back, which engages further men who see their idiot friends attacked and so intercede, shrilly crying “Self-defense!” when called on their hypocrisy. What really hurts is that some actually have their heart in the right place, meaning only to stop oppression in some form, but are too blind with righteousness to see themselves as the supplementary oppressors they are.
This is nature, though, so I understand the aggression even while it saddens me. No one wants to fight fairly; we always want to have the high ground, for better or worse. Semi-educated white males feel the silt shifting from under their feet in the modern era, their precarious ground finally giving, and foresee that the prosperity they’ve enjoyed in the past at the expense of others will only diminish as wages balance between the sexes, “minorities” vote in increasing numbers and homosexuals stop accepting substantial social abuse to their character. With the economy in a tumultuous period of readjustment, I’m sure this agitates and terrifies those who are especially unstable, and it obviously affects those lacking confidence in their masculinity.
What these misguided bigots do not see, unfortunately, is the greater potential their victims offer. The greater variety, the greater complexity, the greater polish that comes of a greater selection of skills and experiences. Or perhaps they do, and they’re just intimidated by the knowledge that they’re not up to the standard of a truly “fair” and thus indiscriminate market.