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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the requiring-a-cultural-shift dept.

Businesses 962

An anonymous reader writes: Brianna Wu, leader of a game development studio, has an article exposing the constant harassment of women in the games industry. She says, "I'm not writing this piece to evoke your sympathy. I'm writing to share with you what prominent, successful women in the industry experience, in their own words." She goes through the individual stories of several women targeted by this vitriol, and tries to figure out why it happens. Quoting: "We live in a society that's sexist in ways it doesn't understand. One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women. ... This is why women are socialized to carefully dance around these issues, disagreeing with men in an extremely gentle manner. Not because women are nicer creatures than men. But because our very survival can depend on it. ... Growing a thicker skin isn't the answer, nor is it a proper response. Listening, and making the industry safer for the existence of visible women is the best, and only, way forward."

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Pft (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511471)

It isn't only women who dance around issues when socializing with the other sex. Men gets very soft around women. If you think they have a harassing attitude you should see how men treat other men.

Re:Pft (0, Troll)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511499)

It isn't only women who dance around issues when socializing with the other sex. Men gets very soft around women. If you think they have a harassing attitude you should see how men treat other men.

Pretty much that.

And her quote "But because our very survival can depend on it" ... really? Really?! Melodramatic, much? When's the last time a female developer was ever assaulted at work? And no, "nice ass" doesn't count as a threat to your life, though it is a crude remark (unless you're Tom Brady).

Re:Pft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511531)

True. Tom Brady can't argue that his ass isn't nice.

Re:Pft (5, Insightful)

Fulminata (999320) | about 2 months ago | (#47511553)

She's not talking about comments like "nice ass" as much as she's talking about comments like "die, you fucking cunt!"

Re:Pft (-1, Flamebait)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511591)

You mean Internet Tough Guys?

Or do you mean jobs in real life? Because nobody says that in real life and keeps their jobs.

Re:Pft (4, Informative)

Fulminata (999320) | about 2 months ago | (#47511645)

RTFA. It's not so much about workplace harassment as it is about harassment because of their work.

Unfortunately, the summary doesn't really make that clear.

Re:Pft (5, Informative)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511689)

I invite you to visit any developer's forum. Particularly for multiplayer games that get frequent patching.

Then tell me that they don't face harassment, irregardless of gender. People pick on whatever sticks out. Is the developer Russian? Russian insults. Are they of Chinese descent, and he comments? Expect some variation of "ching chong chow chee ho lee fuk sum ting wong chang chong ching wang chinky chong" in response.

If it's women, they get picked on for being women.

Re:Pft (5, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | about 2 months ago | (#47511821)

She's not talking about comments like "nice ass" as much as she's talking about comments like "die, you fucking cunt!"

Why is this moderated troll?

The very first paragraph of the article says she got a death threat and that they know where she lives. Do people even read the articles before moderating anymore?

Re:Pft (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#47511559)

From what I hear, death threats are quite normal in the video games industry. Certainly the vitriol flies on gaming forums (can't imagine how busy the moderators for official game forums must be). This article seems to boil down to "but women get rape threats too". OK, sure, men don't often get those, fair point. But in an industry thick with death threats, how many developers or commentators have actually been lynched by angry fans since the beginning of time? Roughly zero? It's not rational to actually be creeped out or worried about this stuff.

For goodness sake, Jack Thompson is still alive and well. If any of these threats of violence could be taken seriously, he'd be the first casualty. Think you're more hated than that guy?

Re:Pft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511621)

I think she misunderstands gaming forums. That shit has been going on since day -1 and it isn't remotely linked to reality.

Re:Pft (2, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 months ago | (#47511561)

Uh yeah. In case you didn't notice, men killing women is kind of a problem.

Re:Pft (4, Insightful)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511597)

We're talking about work.

FYI, men killing men is a much bigger problem.

Re:Pft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511731)

For my country, Australia, I've just looked up some stats:

Homicide victims by sex [aic.gov.au] (see first plot)

Homicide offenders by sex [aic.gov.au] (see second plot)

They don't show the raw numbers but, reading roughly off the plots, homicide victims are ~70% male, and homicide offenders are ~80% male, in the most recent year of stats (2006-07). So, assuming there's no particular correlation for e.g. offenders to kill people of their own sex, we'd expect the following problems to ranked in decreasing severity order thusly:

men killing men
men killing women
women killing men
women killing women

(Personally, I'd prefer it if we just treated all murder as a problem.)

Re:Pft (4, Insightful)

toejam13 (958243) | about 2 months ago | (#47511613)

Melodramatic? Have you ever listened to the audio chats of FPS co-op games when women are playing with men? I've heard guys who threatened to hunt down their female opponents so they could rape them and murder them just because they got their ass handed to them in a game. That is not juvenile "boys will be boys" behavior. That's somebody who might violently act out if the right circumstances (alcohol, drugs, peer pressure, stress, etc..) were to happen.

That's just gaming. You should read some of the stories about women who get involved in politics. Some people get really unhinged when you attack their personal values. Then you have some guys who go completely off the deep end when it is a woman doing it. Threats of murder come quickly and often. It is sadistic and it is ugly.

Re:Pft (4, Interesting)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511657)

I'll grant you all your points. Women are singled out.

Until there are too many women to single out.

The same thing happened when women went to work, when they went to medical school, when they went into politics, as you said. And eventually, they become accepted by their peers, and any hate they get from the public is just like the hate that their male counterparts get from the public. Except that instead of "Go fucking smoke some pole, you Kenyan Muslim faggot", they hear "Get your bitch-ass in the kitchen, you stupid cunt."

Re:Pft (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511665)

I've been told that I'll be hunted down and murdered (not raped tho, usually - I'll give you that) as a man playing with men.

I've had been threatened to be sodomized, tho, while I was moderating an average sized forum, several times, not including death threats and general madness that filled up my inbox.

Your point?..

Re:Pft (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47511695)

The particular phrasing of the threats may be selective based on the gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. of the person being insulted.

But I think a more important issue is whether or not women are getting more vitriol than are men, regardless of the particular phrasing. For example, if 20% of women players get called cunts, and 20% of gay male players get called faggots, do those women have a point about being singled out? I'd argue no.

However, if 20% of female players get treated with scorn, and only 3% of male players do, then the female players have more of a fair point about being singled out.

Re:Pft (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511735)

Men get just as much abuse.

The difference? We don't cry about it.

Grow the fuck up, you tiny little baby.

Re:Pft (0)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 2 months ago | (#47511875)

Scott: My... mom and dad are... dead?
Cartman: I came just in time to see Mr. Denkins giving his report to Officer Barbrady. And of course, to steal the bodies... After a night with the hacksaw, I was all ready to put on my Chili Con Carnival, so that I could tell you personally about your parents' demise! And of course, feed you your chili. Do you like it? Do you like it, Scott? I call it, "Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman Chili."
Scott: Oh my God! Oh my God!!
Cartman: Nyahnyahnyahnyah nyah nyah! I made you eat your parents! Nyahnyahnyahnyah nyah nyah!
Stan: Jesus Christ, dude!
Scott: My mom and dad are dead! No! NOOO!!
Thom: Uhm, excuse me?
Stan: Who are you?
Johnny: We're that band, Radiohead.
Scott: Jesus!
Ed: Jeez, what a li'l crybaby!
Colin: Are you gonna cry all day, crybaby??
Thom: You know, everyone has problems; it doesn't mean you have to be a little crybaby about it.
Ed: Come om, guys, let's go. This kid is totally not cool.
Thom: Yeah, that's the most uncool kid I've ever met.
Phil: Little crybaby!
Scott: No, wait! Waaiittt!! Oh my God, Oh my Gaawwwd!! Noooo!
Cartman: Yes! Yesss!! Oh, let me taste your tears, Scott! Mm, your tears are so yummy and sweet.

Re:Pft (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 months ago | (#47511795)

Melodramatic? Have you ever listened to the audio chats of FPS co-op games when women are playing with men? I've heard guys who threatened to hunt down their female opponents so they could rape them and murder them just because they got their ass handed to them in a game. That is not juvenile "boys will be boys" behavior. That's somebody who might violently act out if the right circumstances (alcohol, drugs, peer pressure, stress, etc..) were to happen.

That's just gaming. You should read some of the stories about women who get involved in politics. Some people get really unhinged when you attack their personal values. Then you have some guys who go completely off the deep end when it is a woman doing it. Threats of murder come quickly and often. It is sadistic and it is ugly.

That's why I don't do voice chat. Letting random strangers whisper in your ear is a terrible idea.

I'm male, I've had men threaten all the same bullshit you just said. I think what women mis-understand about men is that men do this to men as well. I've been violently assaulted by other men before. In highschool I was put into the hospital. The "perpetrators" didn't even get suspended. I've had my tires slashed, guys show up at my house with baseball bats wanting to fight only to find out I'm armed to the teeth and that bats not going to do them much good.

I know a lot of guys don't get that sort of thing, but a lot of us do. Women aren't the only victims, and turning male violence into a womens issue is somewhat insulting. Men don't talk about it like women do because of social stigma, but it's a real problem. In the workplace if a man even smiles funny at a women he's walked out the door. The same man threatens violence against another man and it's treated as a joke. At least women have some legal and social protections. If you don't think it's true, here's a thought experiment for you... a Man shows up at work with a black eye... what's your first reaction? Now a woman shows up with a black eye... why should your reaction be any different based on their sex?

Need to ask the proper questions. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511475)

A good start would be "what did she do to deserve it?"

Re:Need to ask the proper questions. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511571)

No one deserves to be sexually harassed. End of story.

Re:Need to ask the proper questions. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511757)

It seems to be happening to her with unusual regularity, and she's the only common factor in these otherwise completely unrelated incidents.

I submit Occam's Razor.

No, she doesn't. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511481)

She simply has four anecdotes of dubious veracity.

Also, good job on flooding every tech news site and forum with this bullshit, guys.

You're doing great with the propaganda war.

Re:No, she doesn't. (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 months ago | (#47511623)

Ya I think the problem is that forums bring out people who say some truly terrible things, and there isn't really much you can do about it. They say stuff to men too - but it's more death threats than sexist, and they say racist things to (or about) blacks and jews, muslims, latinos, and the chinese too.

The perils of anonymity I suppose.

It's not like it isn't a valid concern that people are out saying these things, but jews and blacks essentially face the same problem: if you go and look at a few hundred or a few thousand internet comments on any post there will be a couple of things that are basically just crazy people rambling. Unfortunately you don't know when random crazy people rambling on forums are actually a threat (if ever), and that they exist and want to say those things at all is a bit of an existential threat to your general day to day existence.

There isn't really an obvious prescription. You can educate people all you want about not saying offensive things, but a small handful of people will continue to say offensive things because they're trying to be offensive. And the anonymity of the internet lets you say both unpopular things which are valid, and unpopular things which are just nonsense.

Re:No, she doesn't. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511741)

Now she has five.

Thank you for your contribution.

Anecdotes for the win! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511483)

Welcome to the internet where people come in droves to say all kinds of shit they can't say in the real world.

I'm not saying it's right... but anybody who has played call of duty multiplayer knows their sexual orientation, where their mother is and that they are going to be murdered. Anybody who has posted something controversial that has gotten any significant attention has gotten floods of hate emails.

This is how the internet is. It doesn't matter what color your skin is or what your gender is.

How do you (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511487)

How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man? We are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women, can you really say thats not true without becoming another "point of proof" that they have?

Re:How do you (0)

Boronx (228853) | about 2 months ago | (#47511569)

If it's not true for you, then you aren't part of the problem.

Re:How do you (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47511615)

But if you dare to express the fact that it isn't true, then you get accused of "denying reality" and being part of the problem in that sense. It's a no-win scenario.

Re:How do you (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511739)

"A man threatened to rape my mouth with a shit-covered horse-cock this afternoon."
"Oh you're so melodramatic. That's not even remotely true!"
"Um, yes, it is true. Here's the post."
"It's a fact, everything you're saying is not true."

In your response, you're creating what's known as a straw man - "a sham argument meant to be defeated." She never said "all men everywhere are threatening to rape women!" Unfortunately, until you stop reading every article like this as if it's a personal attack, the problem will persist, too.

Re:How do you (-1, Troll)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 months ago | (#47511791)

> "A man threatened to rape my mouth with a shit-covered horse-cock this afternoon."

Oh really? I don't see any bruises on your hands from where you beat the crap out of him.

I'm really surprised that more women don't use the social norms and double standards to their advantage and take the opportunity to lash out. They might find that they even get some assistance with the beat down.

Re:How do you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511811)

It isn't true for virtually anyone.

If you claim that there's an epidemic of harassment, then the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate it.

Four anonymous anecdotes and no data doesn't cut it.

Why didn't these people go to the police, anyway?

The whole thing smells like bullshit.

Re:How do you (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511573)

Why do you feel you have to defend yourself against accusations like this? Have they been leveled at you?

Perhaps if they have, you should "defend" yourself by knocking that shit off?

I've been in the tech industry for 18 years... worked with hundreds of different women over that time. Not once have I ever felt the need to "defend myself against accusations like this." Why? Because it's pretty easy to avoid being a condescending sexist asshole, when you stop behaving like every woman is put here for the sole purpose of your sexual gratification.

Re:How do you (0, Troll)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 2 months ago | (#47511697)

Why do you feel you have to defend yourself against accusations like this? Have they been leveled at you?

They have, and they've been leveled at you, by the article itself, which made blanket statements about all men.

This woman thinks I'm asshole with no self-control for no other reason than because I have a penis. And she thinks I'm the one who's sexist?!

Not once have I ever felt the need to "defend myself against accusations like this." Why? Because it's pretty easy to avoid being a condescending sexist asshole...

Indeed. I have a suspicion that the opposite is also true: that the women who complain about these things are themselves the female equivalents of the condescending sexist assholes they're complaining about.

Re:How do you (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47511805)

Incorrect. You jump to some really broad interpretation of the article really fast. Maybe this hits a little to close to your behavior?

Women are harassed, viciously by men.
Not all men. But it's there and people like you just turn a blind eye and use excuses to be offended at a women pointing out this issue.
This is text messages, threats emailed to you, men send death threats that include personal informaiton, like what kind of car and location.
And it isn't uncommon., in that every woman will experiences it often.

"This woman thinks I'm asshole with no self-control for no other reason than because I have a penis. "
there is nothing in the article that implies that, you are reading into it as a reason to be insulted. Because outrage is easier then trying to help.

Re:How do you (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47511853)

"This is text messages, threats emailed to you, men send death threats that include personal informaiton, like what kind of car and location. And it isn't uncommon., in that every woman will experiences it often."

Bullshit. Same bullshit as the one in four women will be raped claim.

Re:How do you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511809)

They have, and they've been leveled at you, by the article itself, which made blanket statements about all men.

Sorry, I must have missed that. Care to point out what passage in the article condemns all men as hate-filled rape machines? You DO realize that, "I regularly have men threatening to rape and commit acts of violence against me" is not in any way equivalent to "Every man I meet threatens to rape and commit acts of violence against me," right?

In your rush to condemn this woman for saying something "about you" (which she never did) that isn't "remotely true," you apparently lost all reading comprehension and ability to logic.

My response to reading the article? "Yeah, I've seen this bullshit, and it sucks. I hope that the men doing it will grow up, and when I see it happening in any game I'm playing, I'll do my best to put a stop to it." Why can't you respond the same way? Why do you have to hasten to remind everybody that her statements don't hold true for every man on earth, when she has not even advanced that claim in any way?

This woman thinks I'm asshole with no self-control for no other reason than because I have a penis. And she thinks I'm the one who's sexist?!

Again, I'd appreciate it if you could point out the passage where she says that. I think I missed it. Or maybe you were reading a different article, on the Onion?

that the women who complain about these things are themselves the female equivalents of the condescending sexist assholes they're complaining about.

Again, please point out the passages where she makes all these claims that got you so mad! I have to imagine that she's saying some awful shit, I just don't apparently have the secret internet invisible ink recipe, I guess.

Re:How do you (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 months ago | (#47511849)

This woman thinks I'm asshole with no self-control for no other reason than because I have a penis. And she thinks I'm the one who's sexist?!

Damn straight! Sure that sort of attitude isn't going to turn anybody sexist but it isn't exactly going to win you any friends either.

Re:How do you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511859)

#notallmen

Re:How do you (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47511575)

How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man? We are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women, can you really say thats not true without becoming another "point of proof" that they have?

Well, the most obvious step is to distinguish between "That's not true of me" and "That's not true". The first statement(while not always accurate) is much easier to confirm or deny. Plus, you aren't immediately put in the position of having to 'win' the debate in order to lay out your own position. If you immediately conflate population-level complaints with personal complaints, you end up taking on a markedly larger and more challenging position.

It may also be true that you suspect the harassment to be the work of a vocal and dedicated minority(and it would actually be rather interesting to see what the logs say about troll distribution in various internet locations) rather than a general thing; but you still gain nothing by tying the desire to defend yourself with the desire to defend a population.

Re:How do you (2, Insightful)

WarSpiteX (98591) | about 2 months ago | (#47511617)

Why does she get to stereotype men? Why do women get to put all their problems on men? When men do this, we're misogynistic. When women do this, well, men need to be more sensitive.

Re:How do you (4, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47511669)

Why does she get to stereotype men? Why do women get to put all their problems on men? When men do this, we're misogynistic. When women do this, well, men need to be more sensitive.

I think you have a point, but I also think you're confusing two issues.

She may or may not be making a valid generalization. I haven't read her article, so I can't say. But issue #1 is whether or not her complaint is worth considering.

Issue #2 is whether or not it's hypocritical for a women to paint men with a broad brush. But that issue can be treated entirely separately from issue #1.

Re:How do you (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47511817)

She doesn't. At no point does she do that.

Did you even read the article?

Re:How do you (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47511643)

How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man?

You don't bother. You have no obligation to respond to her complaints if you don't feel like it.

Re:How do you (5, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | about 2 months ago | (#47511763)

Well, it's a logical fallacy, called Poisoning the Well. You discredit what a person might say later by misrepresenting them now. You calmly and rationally tell them that it's a logical fallacy, and that's how you defend it.

I remember in the old days of debating on the internet logical fallacies were referenced a lot. I remember Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit getting a lot of hits when arguments got emotional. It doesn't happen so much anymore, because there's a large influx of people making highly emotive arguments but without much discipline in reasoned arguments. They may make valid points, but when they don't you should point out the logical fallacies in their reasoning. We're all prone to logical fallacies, so it's healthy for debate overall.

Re:How do you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511775)

You can't. The latest craze among angry twitter douchebag feminists is the "not all men" 'joke'. They find it hilarious and it's a great way to shut down certain types of conversations. Since you can't point out that they are cherry-picking, the implication is it's wide-spread and you must be part of the problem.

Oh, and don't you dare "tone police" them, lol. They love to say that too. The hypocrisy is hilarious. Oh, and another new fad - saying 'fuck' a lot. Feminists _love_ that. They think it shows they really mean business. Fuck this, fuck that, fucker here, fucker there, etc... They really love the word.

My response in general to such escapades is "Sure, honey.. I'm sure you're right (virtual pat on the head)."

Re:How do you (5, Insightful)

exomondo (1725132) | about 2 months ago | (#47511833)

It's sexist statements like this that cause a lack of sympathy in the first place:

One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women

This is something that is simply not true of all men so why make statements like that? Do you really expect people to actively defend your cause if you are openly hostile to them just because of they are of the same gender as the people you have a problem with? That's a terrible start to conflict resolution.

Good Article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511495)

I read the piece (well, ok, half of it). The writing and arguments is pretty decent, somewhat of a rarity when dealing with this subject. However, there is no way how truly widespread the problem is, given that the sample size is 4

Re:Good Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511639)

Let me think... An industry that abuses everyone associated with it. And it treats a particular class of people badly?

The HELL you say... What a retarded argument! I would never see that coming... /sarc

Re:Good Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511857)

Clearly you didn't read the article.

Her entire point is that women have it even worse than men. That's not to say that men in the industry don't have to deal with bullshit, just that women have to deal with more of it.

Strange (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511529)

All this talk and I see no sandwich in front of me.

On a more serious note though, sure some men are pigs, some to lesser extent. I wouldn't want to work with some of the assholes, being a woman does not make you special when it comes to harassment though, it just means that the harassment is suited to your sex. If the ethnicity was different....well you get the idea. Assholes who push it too far should have no place our society, but some are just too good at what they do and can get away with murder.

Invisible women (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511535)

Listening, and making the industry safer for the existence of visible women is the best, and only, way forward.

And to hell with invisible women.

Slashdot has become a leftist Pravda of identity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511539)

Slashdot has become a leftist Pravda of identity politics and shills for police states and world oligarchy.

What a sad bleating yellow bootlicking Pravda of the digital age.

ONWARDS! More global warming articles, please.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength. Cold is Warm.

Kitchen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511541)

And this is why they need to go back to the kitchen! Sheezus.

where the fuck do these people work? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511543)

Maybe its just me, but I've been in tech for 10+ years and have worked in everything from the military to startups to a giant multinational bank and I have never once witnessed any behavior that could be construed as untoward, nor has any been reported to me. Yet somehow it seems every time I look at Slashdot I see a story about 'brogrammers' and othe muh patriarchy bullshit.

Yes I'm a white male, check my privilege and whatnot but I have to imagine all of these stories are coming from rabid tumbler drones who support mandatory castration, because frankly I check my dick at the door every morning and I love and respect my female coworkers the same as I do male ones, gay ones, Indians, and whoever else has proven the merit to sit next to me.

Maybe this environment of sexism is isolated to the west coast or Texas or something, but up here in the northeast I can honestly say I don't buy this shit for a second, and the constant stories are really just fatiguing to those of us who have always done the right thing since day one.

Re:where the fuck do these people work? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511635)

I can relate to this post entirely.

Worked several gigs in my career ranging from small 6 person shop to large defense contractor and never seen anything even approaching the kind of shit we hear about in these kinda articles.

Just because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511545)

...some guys are dicks it doesn't mean men in general are dicks, and just because some women are harassed by men it doesn't mean that women in general are harassed by men the way you want it to sound like. Get over yourself, you whiny finger-pointing shitbag. Judge individuals, not groups.

Fuck off back to tumblr with this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511547)

It's not news for nerds.

Re:Fuck off back to tumblr with this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511661)

What about female nerds? And male nerds that actually give a damn about what women think and how women are treated?

Re:Fuck off back to tumblr with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511869)

It's not news for them, either. It's not news for anyone.

It's not news because it has no basis in reality. There's no objective data. There are no scientific studies. There's nothing here except made up, misandric, toxic black propaganda.

Get the fuck out of here with your bullshit.

Occams Scalpel (2, Insightful)

Crashmarik (635988) | about 2 months ago | (#47511549)

Just how annoying is this person that she generates that kind of hate ?

I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

Re:Occams Scalpel (0, Flamebait)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 2 months ago | (#47511707)

She's not talking about the office, but about the internet public. What a surprise, a manipulative woman exaggerates and conflates basement trolls with workplace discrimination, and exaggerates her vulnerability to attention whore and passive aggressively demand censorship.

Re:Occams Scalpel (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47511827)

She has death threats sent to her phone. This isn't just an internet forum issue, and it isn't just her.
I have a daughter, she gets iot, her friends get it, I know 45 year old women who get attacked like this.

You're attitude is a large part of the problem. You have substituted actual think with some sort of ad hom.

It is industry wide, gaming culture wide.

Re:Occams Scalpel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511771)

You don't see it in the workplace any more, or very rarely, now that it's illegal. Used to hear it all the time. No, not the violent threats, but the constant condescension and sexual innuendo. And of course she's not talking about the workplace, she's talking about anonymous threats coming from unknown persons. Who may very well be capable of following through irl. The other thing you people don't seem to understand is how many of us have been raped -- maybe not most, but far more than you can imagine. We don't talk about it, for a lot of reasons. But perhaps you can imagine how that can color how we view that kind of threat.

Re:Occams Scalpel (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47511777)

I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

The headline and opening doesn't make it clear, but they're specifically talking about online harassment.

Trolls will target anything and everything about you.
Gender just gives them extra ammunition.

Re:Occams Scalpel (2)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 2 months ago | (#47511831)

Just how annoying is this person that she generates that kind of hate ?

I have worked with/under/and above women and the only time I have ever seen anyone get this kind of reaction, male or female is when it is provoked or the people perpetrating it were a few punch cards short of a program.

I tend to agree with you, in general. However, I do think it is disingenuous to name a company "Girlfight" in a clear attempt to cash in on their sexuality, then contribute to an article complaining about it.

Feminists have gone overboard... (1, Flamebait)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47511563)

We live in a society that's sexist in ways it doesn't understand. One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women. ... This is why women are socialized to carefully dance around these issues...

What's there not to understand? Women wants EQUAL rights in just about anything that makes a MAN a MAN! In Sweden we're officially so feminist now that we even have a Feminist Political Party (FI - Feminist Initiative).

With all due respect and apologies to all women that has been harassed in any way anywhere by stupid and insecure individuals - I have to say I', FED UP with this feminist battle over the sexes that these days have gone WAY OVERBOARD. Women wants equal rights, but get maternity leave with FULL pay too. They want to leave 5'o clock when they're finished at work, but get paid as a man who works until the job is DONE.

Women wants to be treated like a woman - and still be equal to men. What happened to treating a MAN like a MAN? We were created DIFFERENTLY and we should APPRECIATE our differences, this doesn't mean it's harassment, but thanks to the absolutely out-of-proportion nagging about Female Rights in the media every day and every hour on every newsmedia that we can think of - it has made me somewhat biased AGAINST women whom I used to care so much about.

For that reason alone, I'm not even married. I don't want to - the women of today resemble men!

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511599)

For that reason alone, I'm not even married.

Yes, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it's not for the reason you posit.

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511723)

You imply he's like you, the kind of guy to urinate on yourself when a pretty girl asks you which way is east. This may come as news to you but some men are the ones being chased by women. Sucks to not be in that group, huh?

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511693)

+1 a million times over

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511729)

Jesus christ, you need counseling. You have a very abnormal and irrational view of women. Please, get some help!

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47511759)

Jesus christ...

I'm very flattered by that comparison, but I'm sure the other sex would have something else to say about that...

Re:Feminists have gone overboard... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47511839)

That was the most misogynistic thing in this comments so far, well done.
Coupled with that, it shows a complete lack of understanding he issue and the article.

Limited perspective (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47511565)

From the small sample of these accounts I've read, I get the sense that the women in question have a limited perspective. My impression is that in many cases, they encounter career or workplace challenges, and falsely assume that only women have those challenges.

Balancing work and family responsibilities? Please, do you know how many days I've left work after sunset and nearly cried for not having that time with my little kids?

Getting criticized harshly? Shoot, I deal with that often. I just don't blog about it. What I do is go home, try to shake it off, and maybe talk to my wife about how it's bothering me. I don't cry about it, and maybe this is a guy thing, but I cry almost never. But that doesn't mean it doesn't bother me.

And then there are some complaints which seem more about personal choices than about unfairness. I don't come across many good, female software engineers. You know what else I rarely come across? Female aspiring software engineers who spend their nights hacking away at code to improve their skills.

Now I have no doubt that some challenges really are unique to being a female developer. Sexual harassment is probably the top one. But that issue kind of gets drowned out of the conversation given all of the kvetching that some women have regarding other issues that they wrongly assume are peculiar to them.

Anonymity has its dark side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511567)

We all value our anonymity (or perceived anonymity) on the net and yet it lets people's "unfiltered" sides out with terrible effect.

Anon Coward

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511581)

whatever

The problem is the other way round... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511583)

The problem is the other way round. Women are being socialised to constantly challenge men, and believe their opinion must always be heard and respected. And if it's not heard or disagreed with, it's sexist. Men understand that there is a certain pecking order and know how to engage correctly to get their view heard. And guess what? That means we need to share our opinions in a gentle manner too. More and more women expect men to act like their partner would toward them. That's not how it works, it's a dog eats dog world and in business, it's the modern jungle. We are all motivated by selfish desires whether we admit it or not, women just want to get a leg over like any one else, but cry sexist when they are pushed down (from other people who are also trying to rise to the top. There is no place for socialism in the work place. It's hierarchical like it or not.

Re:The problem is the other way round... (2)

MindPrison (864299) | about 2 months ago | (#47511671)

The problem is the other way round. Women are being socialised to constantly challenge men, and believe their opinion must always be heard and respected. And if it's not heard or disagreed with, it's sexist. Men understand that there is a certain pecking order and know how to engage correctly to get their view heard. And guess what? That means we need to share our opinions in a gentle manner too. More and more women expect men to act like their partner would toward them. That's not how it works, it's a dog eats dog world and in business, it's the modern jungle. We are all motivated by selfish desires whether we admit it or not, women just want to get a leg over like any one else, but cry sexist when they are pushed down (from other people who are also trying to rise to the top. There is no place for socialism in the work place. It's hierarchical like it or not.

Ain't that the truth! And just to make the deal even sweeter - women here in Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway) are now FORCING businesses to employ women in order to achieve a 50-50 balance between men and women in leading positions and the rest of the workforce as well. If they don't abide by this, they can get FINED.

I don't even want to start my own business in Sweden or Denmark just because of this. My former employer in Denmark almost went bankrupt when 4 of the 10 employees he had wanted to take out maternity leave at the same time and he had to (by LAW) pay them for 10 months scot-free, gratis for nothing!

Re:The problem is the other way round... (1)

chipschap (1444407) | about 2 months ago | (#47511765)

I completely believe in equality and when I was in management I put that into practice all the time, no fail. Equality meant I didn't care if you were male or female, or whatever color or race or religion or ... whatever. I didn't care; I would treat you fairly, try to know you as an individual with individual needs, goals, and aspirations, and to try to help you to succeed.

This worked. In spades. In productivity, retention, morale, health and safety, any measure you want.

What I did not do is somehow say that equality means men (or any other group) are inferior. White male? Whatever. Black female? Whatever. You're all as good as your job performance, not more or less.

What I seem to hear from some, though, is that a straight white male is by definition inferior. How does that align with a notion of equality?

Of course harrassment of women is wrong! It should never be tolerated. But harrassment of anyone is wrong, and is equally unacceptable.

Entailments of a vocal public figure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511585)

Why do this have anything to do with sexism? The harassment is probably just anger sparked by your total inability to formulate a coherent argument. If you talk about, and people make that clear to you, don't hide under your sexism rock.

Spam filter, anyone? (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 2 months ago | (#47511605)

Why do people feel the need to actually read crap emails people send them? Send them to the spam bin, and move on.

Just because people on the intarwebs say something, doesn't mean you have to listen.

Maybe there's a market here for a "harassment filter", that looks for offensive word keywords, and just marks them as spam?

Anonymous harassment from spammy advertisers or misogynistic trolls seems like they have the same, workable solution.

Quel surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511611)

An industry dominated by socially-retarded autistics with mommy issues has problems with harassment of women?
Are you going to tell me the Pope is Catholic next?

Triggering Content (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511637)

What the heck is "triggering content"?

I'm not writing this piece to evoke your sympathy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511659)

"One of the consequences is that men are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women. I think it threatens them in a very primal way, and male privilege makes them feel free to lash out."

And there's where you lost me. It's an uphill battle just like women moving into other positions than receptionist, personal assistant, and steno pool.

Not entirely relevant... (2)

devphaeton (695736) | about 2 months ago | (#47511683)

But one of the silliest things I've ever experienced when gaming online was a (probably teenaged) female telling me that she was sodomizing my mom with a strap-on. Over and over again. Or another telling me that if I was her kid she'd have aborted me with a crowbar.

The Internet brings out the best in everyone!

And seeing the reactions so far... (4, Insightful)

quintesse (654840) | about 2 months ago | (#47511687)

And seeing the reactions so far not much is going to change about this shit. Disappointingly few people are even willing to entertain the possibility that the story might actually be true. Only coming up with excuses, bogus counter-examples ("I'm a guy who knows some women and I've never seen this happen") or just outright hatred and scorn. Way to go guys!

Re:And seeing the reactions so far... (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 2 months ago | (#47511871)

It is valid to answer anecdote with anecdote.

Problem with article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511699)

In the article it states that men think women got where they are in the gaming industry and offer nothing beyond their looks. Whether there are men that think *NO* women offer anything beyond their looks or not I cannot say. That is a retarded outlook and complete BS, of course, but I don't know anyone who has that attitude. What I will say, after working at Square/Squaresoft and another premiere game company which shall remain nameless is that ABSOLUTELY there are women that get their position/perks/assignment/title because of looks. Actually this happens in all tech related fields. This in no way discounts the achievements of women who earned it. To say that it does occur frequently does is not saying that ALL women experience or benefit from this. But absolutely, yes...I have known several women who had no business in their position and were there because they were attractive. Now..remember...I knew plenty of men who had no business in their position as well...they just did not get that position because of their looks. Why they got it, I don't know and any other reason other than talent/knowledge/experience/results is just as contemptible as getting it for looks. I only say this now, because I know the onslaught of "yeah, but men get..." which they do...I'm not disputing that. But to say that because there are men that get hired/promoted that don't deserve their job title means we cant' point out the fact that this exists for attractive women is just stupid..and that's what we're discussing here.

Remember there is much more to the gaming industry than being a developer/programmer/modeler/artist. Take a look around the social media/promotional parts of game companies at the people who are the bloggers/PR/show coordinators and tell me what you think. You think there are no unattractive /males that know a ton about gaming and can write/blog/coordinate social media in these companies? I think you can all think of some large as well as so called "indie" game companies that fit what I'm talking about. You think the people at industry events/social media events/booths are all the most knowledgeable, involved people in the various studios? And I'm not talking about booth babes/over the top crap. I mean real members of the team. Believe me...many, many women in the gaming industry know precisely why they got the opportunity they did.....

Tit for tat (-1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 2 months ago | (#47511703)

Maybe many women players get treated nastily.

But how many boyfriends have had to tag along while their S.O.'s go shoe shopping?

There are many forms of violence.

Re:Tit for tat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511761)

Wow, never before has a username seemed so apt as yours.

Re:Tit for tat (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47511865)

if you 'have' to do something with your girlfriend, then maybe you should find someone else?
I don't understand this stupid idea that a spouse can't enjoy something the other spouse does if for nothing more then to share in their enjoyment.

Sadly, not surprising (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511715)

I've had the misfortune of working with many ex-videogame developers in my line of work. These people were basically uncivilized and reminded me of the mindset of what LAN parties were like back in the 90s when I was a teenager. Racism, sexism, ageism, profanity, and behavior that made you embarrassed to be around them in public. That kind of thing was funny when I was 16, but we were all immature then. It's very disturbing to see adults carry on like that.

Don't get me wrong, that industry has also created some very hard-working, kind people that I feel truly blessed to have had the fortune to work with. But those types are hard to come by, and the out of control manchild is all too common. A few of the most vitriolic, passive-aggressive trolls I've known were former EA prodigies (their words, along with every other kind of self-adulation you can think of) and they absolutely thought they walked on water. They'd show up to work drunk, or high, and brag to everyone about how much weed they smoked or how they partied all night. There was no self control and it spilled over into mistreating their peers.

There's a very sharp divide between the kind of people that go into games programming and all other programmers, and it's entirely about maturity, and at least in my experience it's uniquely American.

Proof? (1)

aoism (996912) | about 2 months ago | (#47511727)

Not to say that I don't think some of this stuff goes on and that BOTH sexes aren't harassed, but in the article I didn't see a single instance that they had audio, video, or e-mail proof of their alleged harassment. There was a video of a troll flaming someone over a different of opinions in JRPGs but as anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes on Xbox Live, you know that this is the internet we live on. Just last night I was told I was going to be raped, along with my mother, for beating someone in a fighting game.

As a man who has been falsely accused of attempted rape by an attention-seeker in the past, I implore everyone to provide proof of their allegations , and to demand proof from others, before labeling it as a systemic issue. I don't enjoy being falsely accused of rape, and I don't enjoy being falsely stuck in to a harasser category because I work in tech and have a penis but won't label myself a 'feminist'. Furthermore, I feel that articles like this with claims but no evidence will just make people shy away from hiring Women for fear they are going to start claiming harassment when there is none.

Let's draw a distinction here... (5, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 2 months ago | (#47511737)

I'll admit I was a little relieved after actually reading the article. I assumed it was talking about harassment of male game developers towards female coworkers, which would have really surprised me. I've worked in the industry for over fifteen years, and I've never even heard of any sort of sexism toward the women that were employed alongside me. It simply wouldn't have been tolerated at the places I've worked, so far as I know, and that's a good thing. While the programming department was, of course, largely male, the other departments (art, design, writing, production) were more evenly split. Everyone I've known has valued talent and hard work, and gender was pretty much an afterthought, at least so far as I could tell. Then again, I'm a guy, so I'm probably not quite as attuned to that sort of thing.

In fact, the article seems to be mostly about women (largely in the gaming press) interacting with the still-all-too-ugly disposition of the anonymous hoards of gaming fans that interact with them. That made a bit more sense to me, unfortunately, as such women are by nature already public figures, and will probably attract a lot more bile. Let's face it. People on the internet, including (especially?) gamers, are not only sexist, they're racist, homophobic, and unbelievably cruel at time. I care a lot about the gaming culture and community, and it pains me to admit this. There's a shocking disconnect between what would be acceptable in real life versus what's said online. I'd imagine very few of those idiots would ever have the courage to say those things to someone's face.

The only way to deal with this is absolute zero tolerance policies, at least on forums (literal or otherwise) that you have any control over. There's simply no excuse for this sort of behavior. The internet could really stand to collectively grow up a little, and realize that being anonymous shouldn't give you a free license to be an asshat. Frankly, I don't think that "normal" people turn into foul-mouth talking assholes when online and anonymous [penny-arcade.com] . My feeling is that they were assholes to begin with, but just didn't have the courage to say those things to anyone's face. These folks are not going to go away, I'm sorry to say. It would be nice if human nature could evolve a bit. But that doesn't mean anyone has to put up with this sort of shit any more than necessary. I'm also sorry to say that as a man, I'm pretty sure I'll never understand how a woman feels when she goes through something like this, and it makes me angry that so many would have to.

dc;dr (0)

fleabay (876971) | about 2 months ago | (#47511745)

don't care;didn't read

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511749)

Men in the industry dont get so many rape threats but they get death threats instedad.

In my opinion feminazis are mostly to blame. Recently a read a news that now males are now having more difficulties at school than girls but female teachers dont give a damn and someone said something like "she didnt want do do anything because since males have a better position in society that would go against women". If you get a divorce it doesnt matter if your wife if richer than you or if she is to blame, you will get screwed. Just by being male you are guilty. A "male only" club is sexist and there are complaints from women who want to be part of one but people dont have problems with "women only" organizations.
And now its a fashion ridicule men on television, Hollywood or ads but with a woman its sexist.

There are many men who feel menaced or are fed up with all this crap so I understand if they are aggressive.

Internet At Large Full of Assholes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47511755)

..the headline read, but to garner page clicks Lance McFry told his editors to jazz it up a bit and imply it's the usual nonsense about 'brogrammers' and 'dudebros' in the industry.

The Internet is full of douchebags and assholes. Sorry, it can't be fixed unless you completely squash anonymity, which is so difficult as to be nearly impossible and certainly not something that would be a good thing.

Don't feed the trolls? (1)

Zakabog (603757) | about 2 months ago | (#47511783)

I actually thought this was going to be some real world experiences, and not "Someone on the internet called me a cunt!", "Someone on the internet said they'd rape me!"

If you make your unpopular opinion known to the world online, expect people who disagree to come out and attack you. Expect more people to come out when they know you'll make a big stink about it. The main thing they're looking for is a reaction, that's just how the internet works, people can hind behind their computers and make all the threats they want and some people find joy in getting these responses from people. I was really looking forward to an article describing real world instances where people made these comments and threats. Not that I want to see that happen, but at least that's something that can be corrected when brought to light, the only way to stop trolls is to stop feeding them.

And the result of all this? (3, Informative)

Loopy (41728) | about 2 months ago | (#47511855)

You wonder why we have so much dysfunction going on today?

Pervasive culture of butthurt = CHECK
Any perceived insult is by default true = CHECK
Special protected classes that can do no wrong = CHECK
Litigious society causing zero tolerance including honest mistakes = CHECK
Rampant immaturity = CHECK
General abdication of personal responsibility = CHECK

Let's pose a hypothetical, here. Let's say you (Linda, a woman) work for a company A. A has Big Boss, Linda, Tom, Fred and David as employees. The four of you report to Big Boss.

Situation A: Tom says something mean to Fred. Fred tells Tom to go fuck himself. Big Boss hears about it and calls them both into his office. Big Boss tells Tom to square his shit away or he's fired. Big Boss admonishes Fred to come see him about this in the future rather than responding in kind. Tom and Fred go on about their work and are a bit more careful about their interactions. This is a regular thing for Tom as he's brilliant but a loose cannon verbally. Big Boss talks to Tom and admonishes him that if he can't keep his asshole comments to himself, he will end up fired with prejudice.

Situation B: Linda says something mean to Fred. Fred tells Linda she can go fuck herself. Other employees hear the latter half of the exchange. Linda goes to Big Boss and complains about Fred using foul language around her. Big Boss calls them both into the office. Linda tells her story and Big Boss asks her to return to her desk. Big Boss then lectures Fred about the sensitivities of women in the workforce and how the small company cannot afford to defend against a "workplace harassment" lawsuit. Fred complains that Linda started the whole thing. Big Boss says it won't matter because a jury will default rule in favor of the woman because of articles like the above. Fred points out that justice is supposed to be blind. Big Boss points out that in cases of harassment, lay-wisdom holds that when women harass men, the men need to grow a pair, but when men harass women, it is only right and proper to expect better decorum out of the men. Big Boss never says anything to Linda because it could be construed as the abuse of power in a workplace environment.

Now, you may laugh at this but these are actual shit storms I've seen happen. The problem is that while most women aren't self-entitled whiners and most men are not adolescent assholes, we can't catch a break because the lawyers and bean-counters won't let a manager fire the shit out of someone just for being a prick/cunt. As George Takei said, we've reduced ourselves to the lowest common denominator of butthurt.

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