Saturday, August 10, 2013

Anita Sarkeesian you are the queen of my world

So it's been approximately 9 months of hiatus from this blog. The motherboard broke on my old computer and my employment history has been sketchy at best, so the funds necessary for a new computer were scarce. Anyway, welcome back, all 0 of you faithful readers.

So about a week ago, this really neato friend of mine named Alan sent me a vid of a woman named Anita Sarkeesian giving a TED talk about how Anonymous attacked her after she started a kickstarter to raise funds for this video series she wanted to do critiquing portrayal of women in video games. I have to confess, at first I wasn't impressed. I think part of it is I've always associated video games with something to do when you're bored, as opposed to an art form to examine critically. I watched the TED talk and imagined a Toni Morrison-esque term paper on the sociological repercussions of Mrs. Pac-Man and thought to myself 'Could anything be more boring and self-congratulatory.' I guess there's also a sleeping libertarian in me that thinks Kickstarter is an inappropriate way for one to raise $$$ for their projects. I still feel that way to an extent, but that's a story for a different blog post.

So I had those sort of, 'I like the motivation behind this whole thing but otherwise I'm nonplussed by it.' thoughts until about 2 hours ago when I watched this video from her, which randomly appeared when I watched a video my friend made at work:

Now I want to try and make a long story short. That's not one of my strong suits, so here goes nothing. I love feminism as much as anyone. I really do. Not just because I have the capacity for empathy and I understand how it's a just cause, but because all my life I've never fit into conventional gender stereotypes. I wasn't good at sports. My favorite colour was purple. I was always more imaginative than the kids at school that I felt I was supposed to be more like. And later in life, I cried. I still sucked at sports. I crossdressed. I don't want to say I needed feminism in my personal life as much as Loretta Ross or whomever, but at the same time, the knife of sexism cuts both ways, and I've been cut, motherfuckers. I've been cut.

Which is funny, because I spend a minute defending this blog against feminists, and to that, all I have to say is that I'm not perfect. I like to think I'm becoming a better feminist as I get old and able to make more rational decisions in my personal life, and I've made mistakes along the way, and I just might make a few more. Still, I sincerely believe my heart's in the right place, and if someone comes to me with a constructive concern (i.e. not 'Fuck you Charles.') I'll at the very least take it into serious consideration.

But I digress, until I was like 20 I thought the word 'Feminism' meant 'women who think women are better than men' and of course never bothered to look it up. This is in spite of the fact that Bratmobile's Ladies Women & Girls was in my top 5 for almost all of high school. I think I just didn't really have the peers to back me up on that shit. There's only so far you can go when you're alone in your ideals and in high school in a town with a population of 780.

So anyway, this all gets back to the episode of Family Guy that Sarkeesian talks about in her video up there, and how I remember being 19 and living in the dorms around the time that the Family Guy DVDs got really popular and watching that episode 20 times and thinking it was right on, and then going through the rest of college and realizing that no, no it wasn't at all, and seriously, when someone says the things that Sarkeesian is saying in this video, and makes the point she makes, the feeling of validation is overwhelming. I'm practically in tears watching it, and as previously stated, I'm a pretty macho guy (LOLJK) so that rarely happens. Because now I have to live in a world where I think things like this are horrifically misguided:
and getting backlash when I state such on facebook. You probably can't read all that. If not, consider yourself lucky.

And so anyway, it's so seriously, seriously refreshing and endearing that someone is willing to recognize the shitty elements that I have been upset by for so long that I seriously want Anita Sarkeesian to be my best friend and we'll go grab beers together and I can explain to her why I feel that, while not perfect, I think Fritz Lang's Big Heat is actually way more female positive than any of its contemporaries and together we will go hand in hand to fight the good fight against oppressive culture wherever it may lie and we each get our own unicorn to ride and free pizza for life.

Whatever. I'm drunk.

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