Thursday, October 3, 2013

Single-Issue Advocacy I: Sexism

I've said here before that advocating a single issue at a time is a waste of time, but I need to recant that. Obviously, you can only ever actually advocate one issue at a time - that is, one issue per conversation. The actual waste of time is in being a single-issue advocate - focusing on one issue, ever, and leaving it to other people to take care of the rest. And so, without further adieu, I want to have a conversation with everyone about sexism.

Statistically, I fall into one of the most sexist demographics in the west: Single White Males in their Twenties. I run into this demo quite a bit by virtue of being a gamer and a self-admitted net junkie, and the prevalent form of sexism in this demo isn't the "Get in the Kitchen and Make Me a Sandwhich" variety, though that mentality is prevalent and is sexist. The primary problem is just a denial, in general, of the reality of sexism as a facet of their culture.

Now, this year, sexism seems to be the "it issue". The natural reaction of the SWM/20 demo? Form a movement called "Male Rights Activism".

Speaking as a SWM/20 whose known no other life, even at my most disadvantaged, I've still had more "rights" (by which, of course, they mean opportunities and privileges) than many who don't fall into that category. Not so, say the MRAs. Women (and other minorities, but mostly women) who are preaching feminism are doing so to become the dominant gender.

Granted this problem is exacerbated by the occasional woman who genuinely qualifies as a Feminazi, but for the most part, women are basically out there saying "Hey, stop treating me like my inherent differences make me less than you." It's a general reaction against the objectification, subjugation, and otherwise "cheating" of women from their dignity, by men. It's getting grumpy about sexism run rampant in games like GTA V just as much as it is being annoyed by "chainmail bikini" armour for female characters in RPGs.

Both of which, for the record, annoyed me, sexism or no sexism. Who wants to see people being treated like they are in GTA games? What the hell kind of protection is armour offering you if it only covers your genitals?

The fact the remains that women, in popular media, are still portrayed just badly. Impractical shoes for women who are working in the field, untoward attention paid to "how awesome it is" that given-female-character outranks given-male-character, and so on. The fact remains that women make less on the dollar than men serving in comparable fields. The fact remains that western society still has vestiges of sexism.

And that's not okay.

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