The following headline ticked across my newsfeed today: "Twitter vs Female Protagonists in Video Games". Given that exclusively feminist news outlets are far from rare these days, I wasn't surprised to read the inflammatory headline. Of course this was the point, thus I was compelled to read further--which I encourage anyone to do for the sake of context. This is something I've seen more and more often lately--that is, a feminist agenda attempting to make a case using hyperbole rather than rationale. It's not particularly necessary to point out to anyone with a brain that this is exactly what you should expect on a public forum like Twitter [or Reddit, or even Facebook for that matter]. Regardless, just to sum this up with a hint of lime and spicy reality, I'll forcibly share [as I'm given to understand is the custom within the various rape cultures] some anecdotal evidence as to why the claim being made by the feminist-but-also-hardcore-gamer demographic would be a complete crock of shit even if said demographic was statistically significant enough to make a claim in the first place (and it's not--but more on that later).
Where I live and go to school, there are people who stand in areas with high volumes of foot traffic--areas both on- and off-campus--and shout about things that bother them. Every day. As people pass by these soap-boxing purveyors of truth, the vast majority don't say anything, and most don't even acknowledge the phenomenon itself. However, I'm going to be generous and say that maybe 5% of passersby respond with something like "Shut the fuck up" or "You're a fucking asshole". To take it further, maybe 1% are even more confrontational and actually stop to loudly argue with whatever point or claim the shouter du jour may be making regarding what's wrong with the world today.
Now, those types of verbal reactions seem pretty noncommittal, right? Telling someone to shut the fuck up or calling them an asshole--those are pretty neutral things to yell at someone as they're yelling things at you. You're just expressing that you don't want to fucking hear it. To put this in perspective, what do you think people shout when it's an evangelist complaining about people not believing in god? Or a pro-lifer calling complete strangers baby killers?There are some "Shut the fuck up"s, to be sure. But that ~1% I made reference to might shout things like "Satan raped your mother and you were the result" and "Jesus gives great blowjobs". Now I have to wonder--do these people really MEAN or BELIEVE these things?
Nah. They probably don't [we are talking about the outlying 1%, after all].
I decided that anyone who bitches and moans in a high-traffic area is bound to have that ~5% shout right back at them, and they'll be responsible for it, no matter how legitimate their cause.
"But why? What if they're RIIIIIIIGHT?"
They'll still be responsible for it. Simply being pretentious enough to feel compelled to martyrdom doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you're responsible for your actions. Furthermore, if you consider yourself to be a qualified representative who has a responsibility to speak on behalf of other people on any subject, you are automatically responsible for what you say by virtue of representation. And you are certainly not exempt from the hostile criticism that you are inviting [oh god, I'm victim-blaming again] upon yourself for doing so. Will you experience the occasional "You're a raging cunt go get raped" every now and then? Sure. That's the nature of the beast. That's the ~1% rearing its head. But it's not the nature of who and what you're trying to demonize--an entire sex, gender, or culture of people--many of whom actually have vaginas, mind you [those poor, doe-eyed casualties of the Patriarchy]. It's not even the nature of a subgroup--it's a sub-sub-sub-group of individuals. Using outliers as exemplars to illustrate grievance is not only ignorant, misleading and insulting--it's potentially damaging to your cause if even half of the people for whom you're claiming to speak can think critically and/or for themselves.
If you don't have a legitimate enough reason to complain, it will eventually become apparent to those around you. Your cause will fail, and people in the environment will start to fuck with you for no reason other than it is clear to them that you feel entitled to something. This a completely legitimate, if unpleasant, reaction for people in the environment to have; I think most of us react negatively when presented with someone who possesses an attitude of entitlement.
Inversely, if your cause has legitimacy and you actually care enough to work to promote it, it will probably become apparent to those around you until the problem starts to be seriously considered. It is also definitely possible that the cause you're championing is not one that enough people share to gain the attention you think it deserves. This sucks, but there are a lot of causes that suffer from a lack of visibility despite affecting millions of people. Like a lack of clean water and food everywhere. Chinese persecution of the 70 million practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline. Child soldiers. Human trafficking.
Lack of Female Protagonists in Video Games.
If gaining visibility takes more time than you have available to devote to your cause and your cause is legitimate--I'm sorry (and I do mean it at least a little). But when you consider that it took over 1500 years to convince people the earth wasn't flat--and a lot of people died just for openly disagreeing--I hope you'll understand why I'm not up in arms about your personal grievances.
One of the most important questions that I don't think people are asking is: "What are you sacrificing? Is it more, less, or equal to what you hope to gain?"
Simply believing in something isn't enough; other people have to believe in it too, and sometimes even that isn't enough. Ideology is no longer (if it ever was) the driving force behind change, and in my book that's a good thing. Given exceptional time-management skills and a viral ideology, Hitler only needed a few years to orchestrate the obliteration of hundreds of millions of years worth of human life.
It doesn't matter who the special interest is; within the context of this post it happens to be neo-feminists with such an ironically narrow worldview that they actually think it's worth complaining about the lack of female protagonists present in a form of media that literally was and is still created to function as an escapism from real life. I'm sorry if the irony is somewhat mired in the overall negativity of it, but I happen to find the complaint that there's a disparity between the sexes regarding the right to be distracted into complacency by a strong female protagonist somewhat revealing. There's a really big problem here, and it's one of scoped perspective; nobody gives a fuck because it's just not a worthwhile issue when you consider the scale and frequency of actual atrocities taking place in the world right now.
No matter who you are or what you're championing: if you are the flag-bearer, you will be the first one aboard the rape train, and that's just life. But hey, you could always post a link to your tumblr via Twitter, promote it on Facebook and make people who might not have cared otherwise feel bad for you and hate men who play video games with men in them. That's works, too.