(For more on the SCA and news of a secular concern, go here - SCA Morning Read Archives)
I've recently had words with an unenlightened knuckle-dragger over whether or not Anita Sarkeesian is a legitimate feminist Icon. His justification for saying she isn't is that women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali are fighting against more severe forms of institutional patriarchy, and are, therefore, more deserving to be labelled proper Feminists. Of course, his argument falls flat on it's face almost from the word go and I suspect his rancor in this regard is due to the fact that Anita 'dares' to attack something he holds dear. Such is life, I'm afraid. People will always try to protect their territory, as would any good, loyal member of an 'exclusive' tribe, but it doesn't make their arguments valid.
First, patriarchy is a disease of the intellect that doesn't discriminate where it's expression is concerned. Wherever the gender ratio greatly favors men, patriarchal values are bound to show through in the attitudes expressed within the community. We've seen this countless times in the U.S. political arena and it's stench is readily apparent in almost every religious hierarchy extant in the world today. We've made some significant headway in balancing the gender scales in the last two centuries but there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard, particularly when you still have crusty, white-male, political fucksticks saying women should dress more conservatively if they want to avoid sexual harassment.
Second, he claims that most female gamers would rather Miss Sarkeesian keep quiet. Now I've checked some informal numbers and the consensus is that almost half of the gaming community is female. I suspect this is fallacious though in that it appears that everyone who has ever played Angry Birds, if only once, on their cell phone is considered a gamer. By that logic I'm a gamer, technically, even though I only ever play a classic NES game on an emulator every once in a while. Aside from that, female gamers are still a minority of the gaming population and that subset is hardly representative of the female population as a whole.
What is further wrong with this logic is that 'majority' consensus is not a legitimate factor where questions of morality and ethics are concerned. What matters is what is beneficial to the group as a whole. Keep in mind that there were a significant number of black people who felt that the aims of the civil rights movement were not worth the associated risks that the struggle for equality entailed. It didn't make their perspective right, though, given that the struggle for equal recognition under the law is worth every drop of blood shed in pursuit of that ideal. No, when it comes to questions of ethics and morality, what is correct is what makes the species as a whole better, not what a subset thinks is right, regardless of the numbers.
Third, there's no question that the portrayal of women in popular media affects how men react to women in general. How many fanboys out there have been guilty of lusting over a 'Slave Leia' at a convention, if even only once...? As intellectually advanced as I am, even I'm not above this. I enjoy how some fictional characters look as portrayed in their particular realm - Orchid/Maya/Kim Wu (Killer Instinct), Kitana/Mileena/Jade (Mortal Kombat), Baroness/Scarlett (GI Joe), Vampirella, Witchblade, Shi, Zealot, Caitlan Fairchild, Danger Girl, Dirty Pair - the list goes on. What separates me from the rest of the pond scum, though, is that I know the difference between reality and fantasy and I understand the line between idealizing and objectifying. Men become guilty of the latter when they forget/stop caring that real women are not Wonder Woman and begin to automatically demand that real women strive to become like her. It's ok to admire the ideal in art, we've been doing so for thousands of years, but it's not ok to forget that the ideal is an exception and will not be easily attainable by most who reside in the realm of the real.
To sum up, there's no doubt that patriarchy infests the gaming arena and Anita Sarkeesian deserves credit for trying to shed light on it. We men are no longer able to intellectually justify our superiority, if indeed we ever actually had a superior position. Women are our equals in spirit, if not in actual biological form and function, and it's time we started honoring them in keeping with this sentiment. This is the age of equality and egalitarian ideal. It's a time for understanding and partnership. It's a time for reasoned minds to stand up and fight back against the injustice of perceived male superiority and it doesn't matter if it's Margaret Sanger, Frida Kahlo, Gloria Steinem, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Anita Sarkeesian, any woman who stands against misogyny and patriarchy is a worthy feminist.
Feature - Asshat Douche-Mongers in the News!
+Ted Cruz Complains ‘Atheist Taliban’ Is Persecuting Christians
+Battle renewed over prayer before football games at Bell County High School
+Cruz Enlists Pastors In Effort To Defund Planned Parenthood
+Springfield (IL) Catholic School Policy Targets Parents Who Don’t Strictly Follow Church Teachings
+Carson: ‘Stop Listening to These People Who Tell Us That We Cannot Talk About God’
+Planned Parenthood sues to stop Louisiana funding cuts ordered by Bobby Jindal
+New Clash over Religion in Schools: Communities Face Backlash for Lessons on Islam
+Knoxville (IA) City Council Member Lashes Out Against Those Opposing Display with Christian Cross
+Historic Army Ranger Graduation Ceremony Included Long Prayer to Jesus
+Ted Cruz enlists evangelicals with campaign against Planned Parenthood
+Controversial vaccine researcher to speak in Charlotte
+O’Reilly Connects WDBJ Shooting to U.S. ‘Turning Away from Spiritualism’ and Religion
Today's Links -
Sin City: Why atheists are as moral as any religious group
Visibility is the key, for certain. But I disagree that antagonism toward religion is inherently counter-productive. You have to draw a hard line against people who have no other intention except to disrupt the process of reasoned inquiry. Some religious people - Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, Joshua Feuerstein, Kirk Cameron - are so inherently unreasonable that they just don't deserve the dignity of our being courteous and polite. They will never change their opinion and there is no reason to ever indulge them on any level.
Foo Fighters Rock All Over Westboro Baptist Church In Expert Protest Troll
Awesomeness at it's finest! I give Dave Grohl high marks for building something so much more refined and meaningful than Nirvana was ever capable of producing.
The fact that he pulled a 'troll' on a group of hateful bigots is just icing on the cake.
YouTube's Battle Against ISIS
Even though it may lead to a wider validation of Islam as legitimate, anything that puts these ISIS fucks in their place is ok by me.
Watch John Oliver Argue for Stronger LGBT Civil Rights
He's right. Questions of ethics and morality should not be open to popular vote. The psychology of 'mob rule' pretty much ensures that we will fuck it up every time if there aren't laws in place to protect minorities.
The Satanic Temple countered Planned Parenthood protests with some guerrilla theatre
It figures that 'Law Enforcement' would try to quell dissent toward a 'good christian' protest... America? America...
Hillary Clinton Promises To Defend Separation Of Church And State
Campaign promises are a dime a dozen so we'll see what happens.
After Arkansas Approves Ten Commandments Monument at Capitol, Atheist Group Applies for Display
Yeah, sure...of course this will work... I can already see the rush on sledge hammers at the local hardware store by fundies with a hard-on to be absolute cunts to anyone who doesn't think the same way they do.
John Oliver’s Bogus Church Is a Huge Success: ‘Thousands of Dollars’ Received
Oh...how I fucking love the humor...
I need to start paying more attention to this guy...
Judicial Update for August 26, 2015
It's good to see evidence of things falling in place for the better...
Kentucky clerk told to issue marriage licenses to gay couples as ruling upheld
As far as I'm concerned, you either get with the times or get the fuck out of the way. Bravo to the justice system for putting this self-righteous bitch in her place.
Hillary Clinton Compares Anti-Abortion Republicans To Terrorists
Well, I know who I'm voting for.
Bernie Sanders: ‘Family values’ is Republican code for ‘let’s control women’s bodies’
Nice words, but there are three things working against Sanders - he's white, he's male and he's getting up in years. We've had enough of that in the political arena. Time for something new.
Bringing Down America's Happiest Christian Cult
It makes me slightly nauseous that I actually considered joining up with these people at one stage in my life...
Dogma Debate No. 199 - Shelley Segal Live In Studio
Always worth a listen, I think, even if you don't automatically agree with everything being said.
I went for a drive earlier and found that there was heavy fog in areas just north of where I live. In places it was marginally clear and you could see layers of mist. I have to say that it is absolutely cool to be able to look up at a cloud layer no more than 100 feet in the air and see it lay like a blanket over the area, illuminated by the lights of the night. The only other thing I can compare it to is having seen the space between two clouds layers disappear into a grey nothingness as a plane descends for landing. It's a very cool sight to behold.
Anyway, until next time my friends... Adieu.
Extra Link(s) (not part of the SCA Morning Read) -
Australian comedian perfectly sums up why other countries think US gun laws are crazy
Absolutely. It's time to repeal, or at least rewrite, the 2nd Amendment...
“Judge not…” is one of the most dangerous and immoral verses in the Bible
I agree that it's one of the most nefariously applied passages in the bible but I can't read prohibition into the text itself. All I've ever been able to derive from it is that one shouldn't judge others so long as their own moral and intellectual house in in disarray. Of course, what constitutes disarray is certainly in the eye of the beholder so one can easily see how misguided religious people are when they use this passage to quell dissent.
Atheism has a sexism problem and we all need to help fix it
I'm all for raising awareness but I take exception to the 'if you aren't part of the solution you're part of the problem' mentality. It falls too far into the 'shame them into compliance' camp, and I certainly don't care for that mentality. I'm not actively involved in efforts to quell ethnic strife in Africa but I certainly don't condone it...
Neil deGrasse Tyson has a warning for politicians who cherry-pick science
A science rockstar if ever there were one...
You Can’t Wash the Blood from the Hands of Religion
Spot on. The world would be less violent if religion weren't around to stoke such fervent divisions...