The Quinn/Sarkeesian Terrorists, Explained with Disney Villain SongsPosted: August 28, 2014
I’ve written in the past about feminist issues, particularly #YesAllWomen, and apparently it’s necessary for me to do it again. Certainly all of you have heard about the raging war of harassment against Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian (for the supposed “crime” of being women who make and critique videogames), and I would like to think that all of my friends and readers agree that the perpetrators of this harassment are absolute scum who have no business calling themselves human beings. For those of you unaware of the circumstances around this, or just in the mood for amazing cultural commentary, I direct you to Andrew Todd’s response to all of this on Badass Digest. As for me, I feel that it is important to add my voice, insignificant as it is, to the chorus of condemnation of these douchebags, and to do that I will be requesting some help from the Disney song stable.
A major factor in all of this abuse is, no doubt, a high degree of sexual frustration and slut-shaming (the latter of which, it should be noted, stems from unsupported accusations, making it doubly absurd). Here we have this army of assholes who are attacking these women for being women who dare to speak with their own voice and have their own sex lives, under the supposed veil of “ethics”. Meanwhile, it’s obvious that these are men who have little-to-no real interaction with women, who objectify the few they do come into contact with, and who would rather see them burn than see them as independent, self-actualized people. So, here we have the high-horse asshole claiming to be coming from a just place and then planning to destroy a girl for being a person (unless she agrees to be with him), why does that sound familiar? Oh right:But having said that, this is far from the only factor. As my girlfriend pointed out to me when we were discussing this, it’s reductive to boil all of this down to Frollo-style lust, because that implies that all of this hatred comes only from a place of desire for these particular women. While that might not be true (or maybe it is, who knows) I do think this represents a broader, less-specific level of sexual frustration on the part of these particular “men” who so resent the women around them for being theoretically unobtainable that they would rather tear them down than treat them like fellow humans.
There are certainly other factors at play in this as well. It still boggles my mind that supposed “geeks” could have such a jock/dudebro mentality about this sort of thing when those sorts of guys probably bullied the hell out of them in their youth. But then maybe that’s not too surprising: just as these assholes desire for women that they also resent, it’s highly likely that they idealized the alpha male persona of the very dudebros that tormented them so. It also probably doesn’t help that fratbro culture has begun to assimilate certain aspects of “geek” culture (The Dark Knight, first-person-shooters) and their perspective and attitude has probably bled over in places. So besides the destructive sexual frustration, we also have this entitled, I-can-have-what-I-want attitude that not only extends to women, but also ends up cocooning these guys into their own bizarre bubbles where they are the masters of their universe. I think you know where I’m going with this one:Again, it’s highly ironic given that Gaston could be a poster child for jockhood, but it’s that same sort of “the world owes me what I want” attitude that permeates this psychotic possessiveness these guys seem to have when it comes to video games (or other pop culture that they feel is threatened by “Social Justice Warriors”).
In summation, we have a group of people who feel they have been unjustly slighted (they haven’t been) and are lashing out at the people they hold responsible and think deserve it (they aren’t and they don’t). This would put them right in line with this guy:And let us recall, when good ol’ Scar ended up running things, he not only alienated all of the women in the pride by expecting them to grovel and serve instead of just treating them as equals, but the whole kingdom withered up and turned into a wasteland while he lazed around at home with the support of a bunch of cackling, mindless sycophants. Scar’s eventual fate is the culmination of the aforementioned villains; even if you actually get all the things that you want, and all of the figures you loathe are suddenly out of your sight, you will still be left with a barren, pointless existence.
Now of course, I’m acutely aware of the fact that some of the people that I’m haranguing in this post would think being compared to Scar and the like is badass, but that would only be because they aren’t really considering the dark, sad depths of these characters. But the bigger problem is that, regardless of how well I make my point within the geek-o-sphere, this problem will still continue. In the end, fanboy/gamer backlash against women is just a particularly vocal and toxic extension of the societal misogyny that isn’t going anywhere. It’s the same misogyny that, for example, sees the Steubenville rape victim threatened and slut-shamed and criticized to no end while the players/perpetrators are welcomed back to their football team with open arms. I probably do hold geeks to a higher standard, because we should know what it’s like to get bullied and belittled for what we like and who we are, but we should really be holding everyone to that same standard, whether they’ve ever played Call of Duty or not. So I certainly hope that the good geeks of the world can stand up as one and purge this awful hatred from our ranks, but I also hope that we realize that this is only the beginning, and there will be a lot more fighting to do in the future.