I get the feeling I’m just not allowed to do or say anything about seemingly rude or hurtful behaviour. Tumblr has made this abundantly clear in the past.
I’ve said (several times) that making blanket statements about any group, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever is never helpful for beneficial. However, every time I’m told it’s justifiable because “stuff that happened several generations ago” or “stuff that happened to a friend of mine” or even “stuff that happened to me”.
I’ve heard the saying before that “words can’t hurt”, but that’s one of the biggest lies ever. It’s all too apparent that words can do many things; invoke sadness, joy, anger.. and pain.
I think we’re talking at cross purposes here. Words can hurt. No-on is for a second insinuating that because you’re white/straight/male, anything that happens to you doesn’t matter or is somehow auto-justified, regardless of what it is. It’s about recognising the fact that, yeah, you’ll get shit treatment, just like everyone on the planet potentially can - but people from a marginalised group get a whole roster of other potential pieces of shitty treatment that we’ll otherwise never get. We both get bad treatment that isn’t unique to race, gender, class or whatever - but there’s a whole other category of bullshit that can be thrown my way because of my sexuality, that straight people just don’t get.
You can totally tell someone off for hurting you - that is a fact. You can totally tell someone off for hurting you if they did it because you were white, or straight, or male - that’s prejudice. What you can’t do is claim that white, straight or male people (as a class) suffer from prejudice or bigotry to the same extent or with the same impact that PoC, queer or non-male people (as classes) do, because it’s simply not true. Racism, “queerphobia” (for want of a better word) and sexism isn’t just the occasional hurt feeling - it’s the actual imbalance of power between them and any given member of a class or institution “above” them.
All the harm that can be done to you without it being to do with your race, your class, your gender - that can also be done to PoC, women, queer folk. It’s just that each of those folk ALSO get that additional shit to deal with.
I’m a cis white man, and, since I follow a lot of folk who’re heavily involved in social politics, I see things like, “i fucking hate all men”, “cis gays are a bad as cis hets”, “white people make me sick” an awful lot, but in all honesty, I don’t feel like they’re unjustified in saying any of those things. When people say those things, it’s because their suffering has come from each one of those groups as a class - and I belong to all of those groups. I benefit from being in those groups. People in those groups often tend to trust me, listen to me, acknowledge me, well before they’ll trust someone outside that group, even if I’m otherwise nothing like them. I could easily say “not all men are like that!” - but by doing so, I become exactly like one of those men that they’re describing, so eager to show that they’re one of the good guys (how do they know they’re one of the good guys?) that they’ll hijack someone’s post when they’re venting to say “no you are wrong, not me, I’m not like that, that isn’t true, stop generalising”.
And you know what? It isn’t such a bad thing having to look at yourself and say, “Shit, am I exactly the kind of person they’re talking about?”, because it means you’re actively conscientising and thinking about how you affect other people without having to hurt them and get called out for it first.
White people aren’t forced to remain silent - we, as a class of people, shout at the top of our lungs over every other group of people until everyone listens. That’s why you are guaranteed to find white characters in virtually every show you ever see, every game you ever play, its why white authors are discussed in universities, it’s why white artists are given greater priority over artists of color. White people dominate the globe, even in places where we don’t make up majorities! We’ve ripped people up from their homes, we’ve invaded THEIR homes and turned them into our own, we’ve spread ourselves and our ideas so that we, as a class, control virtually every institution that has any kind of power over people.
And yeah, much of that is in the past - but it still has an effect today. The situation facing PoC today is a direct result of how white people have treated them from centuries to decades ago. It doesn’t just get written off because it happened to their forefathers; it’s partially because this horrible shit happened to their forefathers that they are still experiencing horrible shit today.
People throw the word privilege around a lot on tumblr, and to some extent, it has become a kind of shorthand. But that’s the thing - it does actually literally describe something that a lot of people from marginalised groups experience - it’s not some concept that’s just been made up so that oppressed people have a reason to shout at oppressors or something, it’s an actual real thing. Being uncomfortable around the word “privilege” means that oppressed people have to find new and ever-more-elaborate ways of justifying their experiences and existence to people who might be actively hurting them, just because that word doesn’t suit their whims.
And yeah, we have words like homophobe, bigot and racist - it’s just that, an awful lot of the time, because they’re blind to how much they benefit from the racist, classist, sexist world we live in, those homophobes tend to be - straight people. Those racists tend to be - white people. And those straight white people are positioned in such a way that they have wayyyyy more power to actually make their homophobia and racism actually HURT people, in actual real ways, than any given queer person or person of colour.
Here are some resources I think are excellent which explain a lot of the issues we’re talking about here in more detail (and more eloquently than I can put):
Blanket statements against cis, straight, white (often male) people used to make me uncomfortable.
…I’m gonna be blunt.
If someone said this about anyone but a straight white person, they’d very likely be called racist. So someone had a fight with their straight white friend, and now that suddenly gives them the right to insult all straight white people (regardless of gender)?
I’m calling bullshit.
When some black kid stole my 7th grade year book - which contained photos and friends and memories of my time in Junior High - and then taunted me about it in 8th grade… there were a lot of things I didn’t do that I really wanted to. I sure as hell didn’t go around making blanket statements about black people.
Nor did I resort to that when I stood up to one who was bullying kids in my apartment complex, and he kicked me in the side so hard that it left a bruise the size of a football, and angered his own friend so much that they stopped being friends forever - and said friend never stooped to blanket statements either.
If someone has hurt you.. fucking TELL THEM, rather than using it as an excuse to make hateful and hurtful remarks about people you don’t fucking know.
Now, I’m sorry that this person was hurt by a close friend, and maybe they’d rather behind such sentiments, but that doesn’t make it any better for all of us who are caught in those nets and have never, ever done any of the things being complained or yelled about.
I definitely don’t read OP’s post as saying “blanket statements are ok regardless of who says them and who they’re directed at because they feel good”, but then I don’t think that was their intention in the first place.
But it’s a good idea to be wary of the line of “if you said this about <oppressed group>, people would say you’re <oppressive category>, because 99% of the time, these kinds of thought experiments where you flip the positions of an oppressed and oppressor class don’t work, because it’s not about who’s on top and who’s on bottom - it’s about the fact that there IS a top and bottom to be on.
There’s a world of difference between the OP’s lived experience and your own here, and a big part of it is the fact that a lot of straight people actually have that attitude - that’s something I’ve heard from my own straight friends, and I’m sure a lot of other queer folk can recognise it to. The OP has recognised that as being borne from straight privilege, being borne from the fact that this person has never understood what it’s like to have that experience the OP describes, because they’ve literally never had to worry about it. Whereas the person you’ve described in your example, their behaviour wasn’t because of their privilege or anything like that - it was just someone being a dick.
Further, the OP’s reaction - FUCK STRAIGHT PEOPLE - differs from a your own example of a white person saying FUCK BLACK PEOPLE in a massive way, because when a white person says FUCK BLACK PEOPLE, its from a place where white people have been screwing black people over for centuries, where the harm white people inflicted on black people is not only still being felt, but is still actively being inflicted on black people. White people have literally built economies, institutions, religions that collectively say FUCK BLACK PEOPLE, and we still take part in them every day.
Whereas, when a gay person says FUCK STRAIGHT PEOPLE, there’s no mass lynching. There’s no continent being plundered of people who are then sold as property. There’s no “separate but equal”. There’s no straight victim, remembering that their grandparents had to hide the fact that they were straight, there’s no instant recollection of the seven times that week they got a funny look when walking down the street because they “looked straight”, there’s no realisation that this is yet another bullet grazing their cheek from the firing range society’s set up for them to face day in, day out: there’s nothing except a queer person venting, howling in pain from being hurt by a straight person who couldn’t see past their own privilege.
Queer people have a million and one reasons to say FUCK STRAIGHT PEOPLE, and one of those ways is when we think a straight friend is really understands the ways in which we have to deal with trans/bi/homophobia, and then they come out and say something that we’ve had shouted at us by straight folk who were actively opposed to our very existence, and it can be tiring, exhausting, debilitating trying to explain for the hundredth time, to someone we thought we could trust, why what they were saying was fucked up. It’s very easy to say “just tell us when we’re hurting you,” but a lot of the time, we can’t, and a lot of the time, they won’t acknowledge that any harm was done.
Male gaze is an interesting topic to discuss in the medium of games, because video games in particular have borrowed a number of techniques, concepts and vocabulary from film that make it ripe for exploration – the most obvious of these are Quantic Dream’s games Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, but really, any game with characters moving around a scene and followed by a camera will inevitably borrow filmic techniques. And, as the concept of “male gaze” has similarly been applied to other non-film media, so to can we discuss the theory with regards to concepts unique to (or most prevalent in) games.
For this month’s Queer Mechanic, we’re going to take a look at ways of toying with, subverting, destabilising and queering the concept of the straight male gaze. So let’s jump right in!
The next edition of Queer Mechanic, my queer game design feature series over on GayGamer.Net, is now live! This month we’re talking about the male gaze; how easy is it to subvert in the context of games? What can we do to queer it?
I think Male Gaze is probably one of my bigger issues with the Metal Gear Solid series. It was not so bad with the first game, but by the third and fourth it was so bad that even a straight guy like myself found it awkward and uncomfortable.
It’s gotten to the point where find myself disgusted whenever it comes up in video games, no matter how little is actually seen. Unless the game gives us a legitimate excuse - like having it help establish a given character’s personality - it just seems like so much unnecessary pandering.
Thank you tonnes!
Yeah, almost all of the time, it’s completely unnecessary in any way, shape, and form, and you just have to wonder how many people (women esp.) would have otherwise enjoyed the game/movie/whatever were it not for this tropey bollocks.
fun fact i didn’t mention in the article: my boyfriend and i refer to this (and related tropes) as “sexy sex and sex breast leg”, because that’s what the folk in charge of camerawork try to chop women down to - sexy bits, and bits which are sexy by extension.
Do any folk familiar with Twine know if there’s a way (in-built, macros or whatever) where you can click a hyperlink in a given passage to change a variable, without that hyperlink taking you to a new passage?
I do not, but perhaps one of my followers does.
I’m not super familiar with twine but perhaps you could make it redirect back to the same passage with the variable changed?
Or maybe create a new passage that is identical to the previous one, so that you can move on without it appearing to change. You can also change the transition so that it doesn’t even look like you did anything.
Thank you tonnes folks! I’ll give your suggestions a go. :>
For all that I sometimes dislike living in a wee city (I mean comparatively with US cities and all that), I love that it means that certain folk I know crop up in different circles at different points in my life. Like, someone who I attend a game jam with turns out to be pals with my boyfriend; someone who was my former-flatmate’s gamemaster in uni five years ago turns out to be on one of my besties’ dweeb lists; one of my co-workers in a previous job turned out to have worked in the shop across the street from me in the town i grew up in 32 miles away; four years ago i nabbed a dude’s twix at a concert, and then half a year later we dated, and the girlfriend of the woman i went to that concert with has writing in a zine I got last year.
Im seeing more and more of this word “normcore”
What is going on
It’s a new fashion trend. It consists of dressing like, uhm, normal people, as in jeans and windbreakers and bumbags. Your average middle-aged person.
Thats not even normal tho, thats weird
normcore sounds like the fashion equivalent of a straight pride parade
Ooh, there’s one I haven’t been asked before. I’m not sure, but I think Katamari Damacy and Killer7 are both solid candidates.
For some real oddballs, look into games like Mister Mosquito and Seaman.
I was exceedingly luck to find a copy of the former a few years back in a used bin at GameStop. While the latter I managed to scoop up on release cause the concept sounded so bizarre I had to have it when it came out.
Seaman is properly weird as fuck. It’s like the Horrible Eel Thing from The Eel (tw for body horror, scary faces and a kinda jumpy bit at 4:02) gently berating you in George Takei’s voice.
Hi! I’m Pauli Kohberger aka madamluna. You may remember me from last year’s wildly successful Pulse Pounding Heart Stopping Dating Sim Jam, aka #pphsjam! I’ve had some interest in creating a new one, so I’ve been rolling around ideas in my head.
However, I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about how rigorous the demands of “one weekend to produce a game” are. This kind of strict deadline puts a lot of pressure on everyone involved. Even if I say “oh, you can submit after the deadline!”, the psychological stress it creates is pretty notable, and compressing all this stuff into three days excludes a lot of people who may not have the strength, time, or circumstances to sit down and hammer things out in that time.
To solve this problem, I’ve been thinking of expanding the Dating Sim Jam into the entirety of
April 2014sometime not right after NaNoRenO, turning it into Dating Sim Month. I’ll remove the hard deadline, allow people to submit at any time during the month (and afterwards, too), and spend that time posting resources, tutorials, techniques, game and developer profiles? I would need some volunteers to make this work, but I’m sure I can find some :^)
If this gets the a-ok all around, I’ll make another post announcing it, calling for volunteers, etc. I’ve never organized a project on this scale before, but hey, I’ll do my best.
Please feel free to shoot me an ask, leave a reply, email me (madamluna24 at gmail dot com) or contact me on Twitter (@madamluna) to let me know what you think. If there’s anything I’ve overlooked or any other accommodations that need to be made, please let me know! I want this event to be as safe and inclusive as possible.
[Tangent: Eventually I may give this event a different name, because while dating sims are cool and I encourage people to interpret the genre as broadly as they want, I don’t like the idea of constraining this event “just” to dating sims, you know? One year is cool, two years is okay, but devoting so much time to one theme/genre might be doing ourselves a disservice. This is something I gotta think more on, though, so I won’t commit to it right away.]
A longer window for a game jam is an amazing idea! If it’s any help as a suggestion: Sophie Houlden hosted the 7-day Fishing Game Jam last year, where you could basically choose any seven days around a specific set of dates (May 20th-27th, plus or minus a week) in which to start developing your game, which I personally thought was brilliant (it meant you had more leeway if you had other things going on around the same time, but also meant you’d always find people doing the jam at any time). Hope it helps!