Honey Badger Radio: The Sarkeesian Effect–Did 4chan white knight?


Show Link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avoiceformen/2013/11/15/honeybadger-radio-sarkeesian-effectdid-4chan-white-knight
Date: 14/11/2013
Time: 9 PM PST/ 8 PM CST/ 6 PM PST

Like all professional damsels in distress, Anita Sarkeesian had to choose a good dragon. Just the right looming shadow to fall over her delicate and fragile sensibilities; just the right cackling stage-villain to inspire her cries of helpless horror.

She chose 4-chan. An internet forum known for it’s underbelly of foul-tempered and hair-triggered trolls.
But we at Honey Badger Radio have noticed something… odd. The wave of so-called hate that Anita received from her carefully chosen dragon, wasn’t really all that bad.
Compared to 4-chan’s usual scorched earth strategy–raizing everything to the ground and pissing on the ashes, Anita got a little singed, like she sat too close to a campfire.
So we have to ask… Did 4-chan white knight Anita? I mean, come on. Was that the best 4 chan could do? Like all professional damsels in distress, Anita Sarkeesian had to choose a good dragon. Just the right looming shadow to fall over her delicate and fragile sensibilities; just the right cackling stage-villain to inspire her cries of helpless horror.
She chose 4-chan. An internet forum known for it’s underbelly of foul-tempered and hair-triggered trolls.
But we at Honey Badger Radio have noticed something… odd. The wave of so-called hate that Anita received from her carefully chosen dragon, wasn’t really all that bad.
Compared to 4-chan’s usual scorched earth strategy–raizing everything to the ground and pissing on the ashes, Anita got a little singed, like she sat too close to a campfire.
So we have to ask… Did 4-chan white knight Anita? I mean, come on. Was that the best 4 chan could do?
Website: www.honeybadgerbrigade.com
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Alison Tieman
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Alison Tieman

Artist/Writer at Xenospora
Alison has been researching men's issues since her mother gave her "Princess at the Window" by Donna Laframboise in 1994 when she was 16. She's taken part in men's rights communities since she started posting on soc.men in 2003. Since 2011 she's run the gender apostate blog Genderratic with her pal Gingko the wonder leaf and she founded Honey Badger Brigade in 2013 with Hannah Wallen and Karen Straughan. According to Vice the pony she most resembles is Fluttershy.
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  • Ginkgo

    TB, are you watching the SRS brigading of this post over at reddit?

  • typhonblue

    Yeah.

    Their priorities are hilarious.

  • Ginkgo

    Anita clearly has a wolfpack she can count on the defend her.

  • Joe
  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    You know, /v/ isn’t completely stupid (I can’t believe I just typed that with a straight face). As incredibly dumb as they can be about pretty much everything, most of them know that anything threatening or sexual said about Sarkeesian plays right into her hands by making any real criticism of her seem less legitimate. When she complained that someone had sent her a picture of a penis, the thread discussing it began with ‘okay, so what idiot went and did this?’ A lot of them have also learned that ignoring her accomplishes more than anything they could ever say. On top of that, /v/ is far too fractious to seriously get behind any kind of ideological action that isn’t hating EA.

    People like to bring up 4chan as some kind of internet boogie-man, but all the stunts people remember them for are far enough in the past that most of the people involved have long since moved on, and nothing big organized there ever had to do with anything like what people assume they do in this case. /v/ is too busy spewing hate at each other to really concentrate on directing it at someone else.

    She has plenty of fanatical defenders in her corner, including most of the gaming press, who desperately want to seem more legitimate and to have hot-button issues to generate page-views. It says a lot about their real priorities when you notice the frequency with which they rake niche, foreign-made games over the coals for things that they excuse a hundred times over in AAA titles and ‘art’ games. They’ve become so invested in the idea of their criticism being valid that they can never admit to a case where it has been misapplied. Added to that is the complete unwillingness of the people who complain about the lack of female protagonists to buy, play, or really talk about games that have them (I hold these people largely responsible for the frequent financial failure of the kind of games they claim to want), and the persistent reduction of female characters to their character designs in ‘feminist’ game criticism (a Kotaku editor actually claimed in so many words that nothing about a female character’s writing or role in the story matter if she has large breasts or a revealing outfit).

  • Ginkgo

    HDF, it’s interesting that a wolfpack has accreted around her. Do yoyu think there is anything more to it than sick individuals sensing a rallying point so they can form a group to belong to?

    I am interested in looking at the animosity these people show towards gaming in general – and that’s what it looks like, not really just objections to specific games, since their targeting seems etiher so random or cowardly, is part of the larger hostility towards any kind of male group, homosociality or cooperation that we see in criticisms of fratboys, and for that matter the MRM.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    Ginkgo:

    Honestly, I think it just comes down to the state of the gaming community being ripe for it. Games journalists are mostly hacks who don’t really understand complex issues of any kind or know that much about games beyond the mainstream, and they need a constant stream of things to write about because the 24-hour blogoshpere news cycle is completely fucked (I still laugh thinking about when they would all report whatever Randy Pitchford said as fact and then have to write a retraction the next day when it turned out he was making shit up again). Outrage and controversy generate more buzz and thus page views than anything else, so that’s what they want most.

    The gaming community, and especially the journalists and developers, also has a huge inferiority complex about film and about being considered immature. They desperately seek for things to proclaim ‘art’ and hold up as evidence that the medium is legitimate.

    All this combines with tensions over the growing number of women playing games and the whole ‘girl gamer’ phenomenon to create an environment ripe for a project like Sarkeesian’s. Her ‘wolfpack’ isn’t really that attached to her personally or to the specifics of her ideology, she just gives them a podium to stand on and feel enlightened and superior. Honestly, while she definitely planned some of this and maybe all of it, I have to blame the incompetent journalists who flock to her for most of the really problematic things that get said and done. Sarkeesian never engages in dialogue, so all she really does is present a random selection of facts with varying degrees of accuracy and make a few sometimes ridiculous claims. It’s the journalists who really lay into to people and make a scapegoat stereotype of the ‘male gamer,’ and they do that because it benefits them. It makes them noticeable, and it lets them set themselves up as the big men (and they are mostly men) beating back the unwashed hordes.

    You really would never see a reaction like this from a mature community confident in its identity. Sarkeesian could’t make waves talking about a medium that was already surrounded by a competent academic discourse because she couldn’t measure up to first-rate critics. I honestly think that her project is in some ways necessary, but that she is regrettably an opportunist without the skill to pull it off properly. Talking about her like she really is a powerful force and taking everything she says or does seriously is just playing her game; she only matters as long as she can make people angry, and it seems like a lot of people are now used to her enough that they’re tuning her out and moving on.

    I think a big part of what you’re talking about really has to do with gaming becoming at least slightly trendy with groups of men and women who never had any respect for the pre-existing group of ‘gamers’ and therefore feel no need to respect their norms when entering their habitual spaces.

  • HidingFromtheDinosaurs

    Ginkgo:

    Also, on a mostly unrelated note, I’ve seen some people adopting ‘legbeard’ as a distaff counterpart to ‘neckbeard’ in the proper sense of the term rather than what some idiots have swiped it for in gender discussion, which is sort of interesting.

  • http://,askingforhelpallthetimeandgettingnoe;shedoesitallonherownandthenwhenthebreadisreadysuddenlyeveryoneisinterestedinhelpinghereatit. Ginkgo

    “I think a big part of what you’re talking about really has to do with gaming becoming at least slightly trendy with groups of men and women who never had any respect for the pre-existing group of ‘gamers’ and therefore feel no need to respect their norms when entering their habitual spaces.”

    Do you remember the story of the Little Red Hen, who does all the work of raising grain and making some bread.

    Colonizing other people’s spaces.

  • http://dannyscorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com Danny

    Hey Ginkgo. Wanted to let you know I saw the comment you left on my Veteran’s Day post. I currently have my blog locked down while I clean things up a bit (namely old posts that just aren’t relavent to the overall theme of the blog).

  • Sans-sanity / Jared

    @ Danny, “I currently have my blog locked down while I clean things up a bit”

    Good to hear, I was hoping to see you around one of the regular haunts to find out if you had shut down the place for good or not.

  • Ginkgo

    Danny, thanks for letting me know. House cleaning is a chore.

  • http://markley.weebly.com/index.html John Markley

    Hidingfromdinosaurs said,

    “The gaming community, and especially the journalists and developers, also has a huge inferiority complex about film and about being considered immature. They desperately seek for things to proclaim ‘art’ and hold up as evidence that the medium is legitimate.”

    THIS, absolutely. I’d take it further.

    I think the gaming community- and most of geek culture in general- has an almost crippling lack of self-esteem that makes people desperate for external validation from people who are at best irrelevant and at worst actively contemptuous and hostile to us. There’s a big self-flagellating contingent- video games suck because they’re not movies, science fiction books suck because they’re not modern litfic that gets praised in The New Yorker, superheroes suck because they’re super-heroic and real art is angsty and misanthropic,a subculture built largely by unmasculine, socially unsmooth males with niche interests sucks because there are so damned many unmasculine, socially unsmooth males with niche interests in it, and they suck most of all.

    So when feminists show up, dripping with the same contempt for all us weirdos and losers that we’ve been internalizing all our lives and and announcing yet another way in which they think we suck, while offering the distant hope that we might be redeemed in their eyes if only we do as we’re told and cut away enough of ourselves, it’s no wonder so many guys go crawling to their feet. And it’s no wonder that bullies and assholes with more status and influence to wield- John Scalzi is probably the biggest-named example, he’s sort of like Hugo Schwyzer with more Hugo awards and less child rape apologism- seize it as another opportunity to stomp down on their lessers