Nov 6, 2007

[Is This Really That Hard to Grasp?]

  Because it's one of the favorite words used by the WoW community, I felt I should share this essay spelling out why using the word 'rape' as a funny/positive description of how you 'won', is straight up sociopathic asshole behavior. Period.

  If there's a girl in your guild that is one of the 1 in 5 women who have been sexually assaulted, DO NOT expect her to have to speak up first and tell you to STFU and then be forced to explain herself or else be dismissed as 'PC and oversensitive'. It's cruel and sick, and whoever first thought up "Hey, let's say 'I raped them!' when I mean 'I win!' Because rapists are the ones who come out on top! har har!" was a misogynist tool, even if you personally are being simply thoughtless.

  I don't care if all your friends do it, I don't care if you're so sheltered that you've never met a rape victim or were never raped yourself so it doesn't seem like a 'serious' thing to you -- STOP IT.

"I'm bothered by the thought of a woman who's recently been raped, who's just experienced what may be the worst thing that will ever happen to her, and turns on the telly to watch her favorite comedian and have a much-needed laugh—only to hear him using that horrible, life-changing thing as the butt of a joke. About cologne. Or a bad movie. For fuck's sake.

I still don't understand—and I don't believe I ever will—why anyone wants to be the guy who sends that shiver down her spine, who makes her eyes burn hot with tears at an unwanted memory while everyone laughs and laughs."

  Rape is not funny, positive thing. Raping someone does not mean that you''ve won a victory over someone else. Being a rapist does not make you a winner. Why some people demand to have these facts spelled out to them, boggles my mind. Expecting a rape victim to have to out themselves and defend their right to not have their assault flung back into their face as 'humorous' is cruel, selfish, and yes, makes people who demand that have to happen before they shut up, assholes.

  Rape victims face a lot of crap from the world already; how about the games they play not be one of those places?


Marsha said...

Thanks for writing this post! I'm lucky enough that the friends I usually play WoW with are extremely intelligent and possess a high degree of social acumen--definitely enough to know that this sort of talk is awful.

But it's amazing how insensitive people can be about sexist and insensitive language in game. About a year ago, I singlehandedly shut down my (then) guild's chat channel by pointing out that the in-game holiday costumes (provided by gnomish machine) for female characters were fur-trimmed bikinis, whereas the male characters didn't get similarly skimpy outfits. Someone replied, "Um...and the problem with that is...?"

Pai said...

It's amazing how so many people totally don't see the obvious double standard with things like that.

Or if they do, they use the old "Well, women don't like looking at sexy guys as much as the other way around!" excuse as to why only guys' tastes get pandered to in games. Which is, of course, BS.

Game Dame said...

Excellently said! Although I have not heard this term used around me, it would bode ill for the person who did. Seriously. Aggro comes in real life too.

Pai said...

In MMOs before WoW, the overall maturity level of people was higher, just because they were difficult games, and not very accessible to people who didn't like having to think about a lot of details.

WoW's fanbase is largely non-MMOers, console-types or fans of Diablo or WCIII, which were generally seen as almost bottom of the barrel in terms of maturity. The demographic that plays WoW is almost antithetical to the one that traditionally plays MMOs. Largely kids/teens who were raised in homogenously juvenile communities that call each other 'fags' as insults, trashtalked, that kind of thing. It's affected the overall social vibe of WoW, in result.

The other genre I hear a lot of complaints about the same kinds of sexist/homophobe language used almost exclusively as well as hostile trashtalk, are online FPS games. All other MMOs I've ever played, have never had this same kind of behavior.