Feminism, men, and video games

In my run-in with a few caricature feminists last year, I disagreed over something pretty simple. There was a picture of two fat women next to an article about fat women and medical care on CNN. The caricature feminist, Suzanne Franks, said that it was a sexist picture because it didn’t show their faces, instead only focusing on their “boobs and vagina”. Several people, including myself, pointed out that it would be wildly inappropriate to feature their faces, and besides, the article was about fat people. The objectification was on fatness, not women per se. For that I was deemed horrifically sexist; I clearly must hate all women. In fact, I was accused of only disagreeing because the blogger was a woman. In reality, I actually had assumed she was a man. A small part of the reason is that most bloggers are men, but there was also this reason:

As I (audaciously!) explained in previous posts, I never said my assumption (that the post was by a man) was good or bad. What’s more, I was also going on the fact that Franks looks like a man with long hair in her picture. I didn’t originally raise that point for the sake of not being so crude, but if she’s going to hammer on the point, then that’s what’s going to happen.

So in my effort not to be insulting of her face, I had to say I had an assumption I knew wouldn’t going over well where I was. But I figured I had at least won the point: If I assumed the blogger was a male, then I couldn’t possibly be disagreeing for the sake of disagreeing with a woman. Of course, actually addressing that point would be embarrassing; people don’t like to admit when they’re wrong on the Internet. Instead, everyone focused on the fact that I had such a crazy! assumption in the first place. I freely admitted that it wasn’t a great assumption to have, even if most bloggers actually are male, but that didn’t really matter to anyone. Assumptions?! YOU HATE [whatever that person likes]!!!

So that brings me to a recent post by PZ. He talks about some new book that says 21st century men are immature and not living up to any real standards. The reason? Feminism, of course! It’s clearly a stupid premise.* However, just as stupid is the claim PZ makes that men aren’t growing up for the intrinsic reason that they are men. If there’s a problem with this generation, it isn’t just with one sex or the other. (Not that I think there’s something horrid about this generation: PZ is an old guy, so he’s falling into the trap into which most every old person before him has fallen – he thinks young people suck and we didn’t have to walk 15 miles in the snow to get to school just so we could get our daily whipping!)

But his unusually muddled post aside, several of the commenters take the time to mention video games when talking about immature men. Jadehawk had this to say:

meh. I don’t mind the non-marrying, non-settling down sort of man. I don’t even mind the video-game playing, spending all night on the internet type. In fact, I’ve got one of those at home.

It’s the entitled douchebags I mind. Those who think all women are supposed to play mommy for them.

While I’m glad Jadehawk (look at me, not assuming his or her sex!) took the time to differentiate between these type of men, I still really hate the association between video games and the immaturity PZ discussed. It’s just an ugly assumption. And aren’t assumptions like that just shitty? They were when I made them about Franks being male.

But on video games: first of all, video gamers are nearly split 50/50 between male and female today. Second, if someone goes on and on about the acting or the storyline or the plot twists or the cinematography of a movie, why, that’s just an avid movie goer; that person really appreciates a form of art. But video games? Nah. That’s just childish baby-baby stuff. It’s totally different because, um, well, uh, um, um, um, it just is, okay?!

You know, I don’t think my points here are too crazy. 1) The connection between feminism causing immaturity in men is just as nebulous as the connection between men and some magical intrinsic immaturity. 2) The assumptions we make, while almost always more common and with more impact from the dominant side, are often a fault. 3) Video gamers are composed of an ever-increasing even mixture of men and women, neither of which is immature for wanting to have some virtual fun.

But I’m sure that’s horribly fucking sexist in someone’s eyes.

*According to the comment section on the post, it looks like that isn’t really the premise of the book. The website reporting it, WorldNutDaily, seems to have given things their own spin.

Thought of the day

The best way, in my experience, to stump or trap or trip up a Christian is to just ask questions. Every time I’ve pounded on a point and demanded answer after answer from Christians they always change the subject, refuse to answer for some BS reason, or otherwise attempt to divert attention from their beliefs. It makes people uncomfortable to be put on the defensive, and it especially puts people not used to being challenged in a very difficult situation. That makes for the perfect set-up. Give it a try.