RACE AND GENDER IN GAMES

Posts

author=kentona
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses. The risks are too great and the rewards too nebulous. Now imagine that but at the scale of AAA movies and games where the costs and visibility are so much more. Playing it "safe" now means "avoiding potential vitriol" or "running afoul 'incorrect' depictions".

Attempts at including minorities in media will be left to the minorities to accomplish, because as my background is a middle class cis white male I don't have the intersectional credibility to attempt such things in my stories. And I guess that kind of segregation and judging people on their backgrounds instead of the media's content is the end goal? only a black director can legitimately direct Black Panther?

So I stand my statement that we should back off on calling out people on being insensitive and start promoting awareness. It's more effective.


Okay, you're this close to being put on ignore, but I think I can explain some of the things:

1. If you are afraid of backlash for your portrayal of gay/trans/otherkin characters, why don't you ask the respective people to review your writing and point out any problematic aspects.

2. Calling out people on being insensitive is promoting awareness - even I was making highly racist jokes on the past - being called out on it by a PoC helped me realize what I was doing. Your statement about it makes no sense.

3. You won't run into offensiveness very much problem if you don't try to topicalize the minority your protagonist belongs to. You can just do something like a trans woman of color leaping out of a helicopter piloted by a football cyborg fighting rainbow laser dragons with electric chainsaw katana chucks.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21227
author=LightningLord2
author=kentona
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses. The risks are too great and the rewards too nebulous. Now imagine that but at the scale of AAA movies and games where the costs and visibility are so much more. Playing it "safe" now means "avoiding potential vitriol" or "running afoul 'incorrect' depictions".

Attempts at including minorities in media will be left to the minorities to accomplish, because as my background is a middle class cis white male I don't have the intersectional credibility to attempt such things in my stories. And I guess that kind of segregation and judging people on their backgrounds instead of the media's content is the end goal? only a black director can legitimately direct Black Panther?

So I stand my statement that we should back off on calling out people on being insensitive and start promoting awareness. It's more effective.
Okay, you're this close to being put on ignore, but I think I can explain some of the things:

wow are you sensitive.

1. If you are afraid of backlash for your portrayal of gay/trans/otherkin characters, why don't you ask the respective people to review your writing and point out any problematic aspects.

you seem to assume that experience translates into authority here.

2. Calling out people on being insensitive is promoting awareness - even I was making highly racist jokes on the past - being called out on it by a PoC helped me realize what I was doing. Your statement about it makes no sense.

vitriolic criticism isn't promoting anything worthwhile.

3. You won't run into offensiveness very much problem if you don't try to topicalize the minority your protagonist belongs to. You can just do something like a trans woman of color leaping out of a helicopter piloted by a football cyborg fighting rainbow laser dragons with electric chainsaw katana chucks.

so tokenism is the solution?
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6129
If I may be so rude to make one observation:
LightningLord2 and kentona, I don't understand why you two are arguing. To me, it seems like you are both sharing basically the same viewpoint, but just using different words to explain it, thereby missing each other's points. Basically, what you're saying is that when writing something, you shouldn't go about it in a dumb or ignorant fashion, but rather do your research first and then do what you can to the best of your abilities. That seems like a good idea to me, and probably also a good approach when conversing or discussing with another person: Respect their individuality, and expect them to do the same.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21227
author=NeverSilent
If I may be so rude to make one observation:
LightningLord2 and kentona, I don't understand why you two are arguing. To me, it seems like you are both sharing basically the same viewpoint, but just using different words to explain it, thereby missing each other's points. Basically, what you're saying is that when writing something, you shouldn't go about it in a dumb or ignorant fashion, but rather do your research first and then do what you can to the best of your abilities. That seems like a good idea to me, and probably also a good approach when conversing or discussing with another person: Respect their individuality, and expect them to do the same.
I'LL HAVE NONE OF YOUR RATIONAL DISCOURSE AND COMMON GROUND ESTABLISHING 'ROUND THESE PARTS!!

I am terrible at explaining myself
see the FFV thread for a recent example
I would like to further discuss/give my opinion on social medias current problems.
When social media first started gaining traction, sometime during the early 00's, I remember everyone saying that it's the best thing ever, because now people will be able to talk to so many different kinds of people.

Looking at it now, I don't think that's how it turned out. Personally, I think it turned out almost the opposite, in fact. Sites like tumblr and twitter that allows you to select who you wish to listen to makes it so that you can ignore anyone with a differing opinion to yours. This makes it so that alot of people only use social media to talk to people that are very much like themselves.
It's a sad thing, because talking to people that have the same opinion on everything as yourself doesn't lead to a very healthy development.

And that's often what happens. Cue armies of people with very similar opinions.
Sometimes, it leads to positive changes, but more often, it leads to things not so positive. Stuff people would call downright psychotic, in fact. But since the people in the circle with the same opinion don't get any input from people with differing opinions, it just gets worse and worse. In fact a major reason that I still visit RMN forums nowadays, even though technically I haven't touched gam mak in a year, is because people here have very differing opinions to myself alot of the time.

To tie this into the current topic, I think both the extremes of this, that is both the opponents to LGBT+++ stuff being included in media and the worst from the other side don't get alot of input from people somewhere in-between those two extremes. The people that those two sides would in a very derogatory way would call "normal" people. And somehow, I doubt those two sides will ever find any common ground. Which leads us into the current situation, where people are afraid to include gay/trans/whatever people, because either of those two sides will bash you for it.
I think race and gender depiction in gaming really boils down to one thing; the effort put into the writing. For example, a well written story/universe(in general) will have a diverse and multi-faceted cast of characters, or a character so multi-faceted and interesting, you can relate to and/or be invested in him or her regardless of his or her race or gender.

But more often than not, games don't get good writing, due to not only outsourcing writing talent, but also having that talent clash with the concepts conceived in-studio. It often results in either stupid, juvenile psuedo-social commentary (literally every modern FPS or Action game),or some boring, generic fantasy setting (most modern RPGs) that has was half-arsed and rushed to death because game writers have to walk on LITERALLY every single PIN and NEEDLE when writing for game developers, when ultimately, they can't even write at their best anyway to be honest, before we even get to the part where analyze how well the various races and genders are depicted, I say we first analyze how poor game writing is in general. I think that's the core problem. like seriously, I challenge somebody reading this to tell me the last time you played a game with a good, memorable story. Not "good story for a video game", I mean a good story, period. I sure you'll probably be able to name some, but I'm almost 100% sure you'll won't able to:

1)completely exclude RPGs (because a lot them build the game around the narrative, which fixes, if not mitigates the problems above)
2)Name more than you can count on your fingers
3)Say that the stories are better than your favorite stories from books, movies, or even television

And as far race and gender in games, the only genuinely malicious depiction of race I've seen was in 'ethnic cleansing' (look it up at you own risk), but that game is beyond laughable in every aspect, and is pretty much forgotten about these days. I can't think of any poor depictions of race & gender specifically in AAA games, but I do loosely recall seeing some "flamboyant gay guy", "tomboy lesbian", and "token race person who is devoid any other characteristic other than their race" stereotype characters here and there in a few games; which come off as more an offensively lazy writing than actually offensive.

tl;dr: gender and race depiction in games stories/universes is underwhelming due to underwhelming game writing in general.
Honestly, people are going to depict things badly to begin with because they'll want to jump on the bandwagon of change without really thinking about how to properly portray certain things, BUT with that comes more acceptance of those things, and thus more people looking into the things and getting better at dealing and portraying said things until hey, it's suddenly a hell of a lot better. I mean, there's still going to be some people who portray it badly, but there will be a lot more input for people to compare it against and say "Hey, this is done badly, but this, this and this are great examples of the thing!"

Kinda like superhero and fantasy movies - they started out really bad but now we have some pretty damn cool ones that reflect how bad some of the older (and newer) ones really were, and they're now a big deal to boot.

So suffering through some of the shitty to get to the good will take time but it'll get there.

Also, frankly, I'm of the opinion that people should be allowed to write what they want - however, whether they should share that work or not is another thing. And one persons idea of poor portrayal could be the writers idea of finally moving in the right direction. If you shit all over their work when they're -trying- to move in a good direction (which takes time to hone and get the handle of) then you're just discouraging them from wanting to go in that direction at all and very likely making them decide "Fuck it, I'll stick with fairies fucking trolls instead of tackling sexuality issues. At least no-one's saying my fantasy creatures can't get it on freely."

It's like someone being told their game is complete shit and has no redeeming qualities what-so-ever and that they did everything ever wrong when they tried to do something different to their usual game creating. Of course they're going to feel like shit about that and more than likely decide "Fuck that, I was at least getting good reviews when I did dungeon crawls instead of RPGs."

We should try to remind people to reign in the assholery, is all I'm saying, and tell them to point out where the writer can do better and how instead of screaming at them to go kill themselves.
author=NeverSilent
If I may be so rude to make one observation:
LightningLord2 and kentona, I don't understand why you two are arguing. To me, it seems like you are both sharing basically the same viewpoint, but just using different words to explain it, thereby missing each other's points. Basically, what you're saying is that when writing something, you shouldn't go about it in a dumb or ignorant fashion, but rather do your research first and then do what you can to the best of your abilities. That seems like a good idea to me, and probably also a good approach when conversing or discussing with another person: Respect their individuality, and expect them to do the same.


What I'm having a problem with is kentona interpreting any form of criticism as a brutal insult to the person you're critisizing, rather than seeing the benefits of noting the negative parts of a writer's/programmer's/artist's/etc. work. This also ties into the (very legitimate) point Liberty makes - yes, it will take some time before the bad works fade out for better ones, but it takes realizing just why those old works were bad before you can make great ones.

@Kalledemos: You're right about writing in general to be subpar 95% of the time, but it doesn't make representation less relevant, because you can have good representation* in bad stories and bad representation* in good stories (though you can argue that representation affects the story's quality).

*with that I mean how minorities are portrayed rather than how many you cover.
I'm saying give critique but not shut down like kentona was talking about. He has some good points in that while it's great to expect balanced critique, the reality is going to be hate hate hate all over the place, so it's better to do what you do and just learn from the very few okay critiques you might get, ignoring the fucked up ones that you do get. The majority, though, is going to be full of hate, bile and death threats because apparently people are fuckwits and demand things to be just the way they want it. Fuck them. They can go hang. Write yo thang. The more you write the better you'll get and the more you'll learn.


Also, quite frankly, I would have no issue writing a character who is all wrong and maybe stays that way, but is still a hero. As long as something in the narrative points out that his/her views are wrong and aren't justifiable. If you have a crazy axe-murderer who is the hero, then there's going to be something to point out that despite them being a hero, they're still a very fucked up hero. Same as if you have a racist asshole as a hero. In the narrative something should point out that while they are a hero, they're also wrong in their views on races.

You know, like there were actual really great people who were Nazis or there are people who put their lives on the line everyday to protect people but still have fucked up views over things like race, gender and sexuality. They're not bad people for having those views but those views are wrong non-the-less, even if they're heroes.
ESBY
extreme disappointment
910
I think Idris Elba should be the next Bond.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6129
author=LightningLord2
What I'm having a problem with is kentona interpreting any form of criticism as a brutal insult to the person you're critisizing, rather than seeing the benefits of noting the negative parts of a writer's/programmer's/artist's/etc. work.
Well... all kentona did was offer some (at least from his perspective) legitimate criticism of the way you approach these kinds of issues, and your reaction was to threaten putting him on ignore. I don't doubt you sincerely believe in your viewpoints, but remember it's always easier to criticise than to accept criticism.

Regardless, I think the real question is what both of you (or all of us, really) are trying to accomplish in this conversation. Do we just want to let everybody know our opinions are superior and punish those who see things in a different light? Or is it your goal to convince the other, make them aware of potential errors is their reasoning and help them become a better and more educated person? And are you also ready to let others attempt to do the same to you? If so, then the same applies as when you try to write from the viewpoint of someone who belongs to a group or minority you're not a part of: Do your best to understand their unique perspective, and respect their individual personality without giving up your own.

Sure, there may be cases where the "other side" has become so dangerous or immune to reason - especially when their views cause them to deliberately incite violence - that this is neither possible nor healthy any more. But in general, shouting or throwing cynical remarks and accusations at others only creates distance instead of understanding. When the act of criticising others becomes more important than whether this produces the intended effect in the other person's mind, we're slipping into the territory of dogmatism - and I'm very convinced that is not your actual intention at all.


Edit: I guess what I'm trying to say is that when kentona made his comments, it's very unlikely he did that just for fun or solely to bother you personally. He must have had some reason for expressing these views, just like you do. Let's try to understand why we seem to sincerely believe our own opinions are correct, and build up a mutual understanding on that basis.
author=LightningLord2
What I'm having a problem with is kentona interpreting any form of criticism as a brutal insult to the person you're critisizing, rather than seeing the benefits of noting the negative parts of a writer's/programmer's/artist's/etc. work.
That's not at all what he said and you intentionally misinterpret. You seem to have a very black and white view of these matters where one side is always super nice and the other acts like a bullied 12 year old finally getting the chance to take revenge.
I don't think that's how it works. Both sides have their bad seeds.
Both sides fling shit and that's reality. Just because one side claims moral high-ground (which one that is changes from case to case) that doesn't mean they can't be assholes.
author=SnowOwl
Another reflection that I have noted, maybe not here but on the internet in general.
Unpopular opinion incoming: If we assume it's true that certain races or LGBT people are underrepresented, I think part of the blame actually lies with the worst kind of SJWs. Lets say you make a game with a trans person, but an angry SJW doesn't like the way the person is being portrayed and decides that you are a bigot. You didn't mean any harm, and you thought you were being respectful.

The SJW gets his/her angry friends to fling shit at your game. Your reputation is ruined, without you having done more than put a trans person in your game. It's not the likeliest story there is, but it's a very real possibility, and I can guarantee you that alot of people think that this is a possibility unconsciously or consciously.

There is most likely at least one person that will be very vocal about you not portraying a group of people like they prefer on the internet. But since it's OK to fling shit at white males, and to some degree white females, that's alot easier to put into your game. Is it racism/sexism?

Hi, person who helped make a game with trans people in it here.

We didn't get one single ~SJW~ flinging shit at our game, but we got a whole fuckload of transphobic weirdos trying to "correct" how we portrayed certain characters. We even had some asshole send us a folder of screenshots with said "corrections", which were lit just examples of misgendering trans characters (and not even ~confusing~, non-binary people, either, but directly misgendering a trans woman who is indisputably a woman and uses she/her pronouns openly and never referenced as being trans apart from not "passing" for cis).

I have seen people do LPs of the game and be weird about the pronouns, drop the classic "THAT'S a GIRL?", called the trans women "transvestites", etc. The trans people who have played it have gone "look!!! people like me!!! <3" and been kind and supportive.

Even going to something more mainstream than trans stuff: everyone's cool with gay people now, right??? It's 2016! Nope. Go look at the Luxaren Allure page. While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT". Look at pretty much any game featuring lesbians, and you will get "WOW THAT'S SO FUKKEN HOT" from weird creepy dudes.

The problem isn't SJWs and has never BEEN SJWs. The problem is and continues to be bigots. If an "SJW" is saying "yikes this portrayal is Bad", consider that MAYBE the way you're portraying x minority is, idk, bad, and engage in some self-reflection/research.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
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author=emmych
While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT".

Why should every one have to like lesbian games? Why does someone who doesn't like gay/lesbian/trans games have to be a weirdo?

I don't like sports games, am I a weirdo?

bigot: a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

author=emmych
The problem is and continues to be bigots.

'nuff said.
author=iddalai
author=emmych
While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT".
Why should every one have to like lesbian games? Why does someone who doesn't like gay/lesbian/trans games have to be a weirdo?

because homophobia, bro

you don't have to like it, but going on to a gamepage for a game ABOUT LESBIANS and loudly proclaiming how much you dislike the thing that's being done/how "gross" or "bad" it is is lit homophobia lmao

(also the fact you literally never see "WOW THIS GAME IS FILLED WITH HETS!!!! I'M SO BORED OF HETS!!!!" plastered all over game pages for games with straight people is v telling!)

EDIT: Also like... if you can't tell the difference between "eh I am not interested in this thing" and "HERE'S A FOLDER OF CORRECTIONS BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TRANS PEOPLE!!!", I'm going to assume you are being willfully ignorant.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
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author=emmych
author=iddalai
author=emmych
While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT".
Why should every one have to like lesbian games? Why does someone who doesn't like gay/lesbian/trans games have to be a weirdo?
because homophobia, bro

you don't have to like it, but going on to a gamepage for a game ABOUT LESBIANS and loudly proclaiming how much you dislike the thing that's being done/how "gross" or "bad" it is is lit homophobia lmao

(also the fact you literally never see "WOW THIS GAME IS FILLED WITH HETS!!!! I'M SO BORED OF HETS!!!!" plastered all over game pages for games with straight people is v telling!)

EDIT: Also like... if you can't tell the difference between "eh I am not interested in this thing" and "HERE'S A FOLDER OF CORRECTIONS BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TRANS PEOPLE!!!", I'm going to assume you are being willfully ignorant.


Can I get some quotes from the gamepage? I saw some ryan comments doing a quick flyover with "lesb" in the Ctrl+F box, but obviously that wasn't going to pick out the real deep cutters.
author=kentona
and I was extrapolating from that. Since we are assuming that people are thinking themselves as being socially aware when in fact they are being insensitive, we should proactively identify their abhorrent behaviour and publicly shame them for their transgressions! It's only logical. People cannot be trusted to make the right choices.


or we can stop assuming the worst about people.

As a rule of thumb, do not extrapolate from posts made by someone who seems to have a very different opinion than you. Our ability to extrapolate works very poorly with people who think differently and thus more often than not results into strawmen.

author=kentona
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses.

As far as I'm concerned, you are the one being overly sensitive here and making a mountain out of a molehill. You are perceiving a vastly exaggerated threat. Likewise, looking at other posts you made recently here, I'm detecting zero research, consideration or though from them. So, in my view you are doing what you want people to do less of while also not doing what you want people to do more of.

If you disagree that's fine, but have you ever stopped and questioned if maybe you yourself are disobeying your own appeal to a more thinking approach? To me it looks like you haven't. Now, if the very person who makes an appeal fails to follow it, then it makes sense to expect that the appeal won't have much effect on other people either. I don't think that's assuming the worst.

Back when I quoted you for the first time, you hadn't made a slew of other posts that I could use to determine where you yourself stood on the whole issue. Therefore I prodded at it a bit to hopefully find out. I tried to draw attention to the question of who your post applies to in particular since that is the major factor of how to interpret your post.
unity
You're magical to me.
12150
author=kentona
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses. The risks are too great and the rewards too nebulous.

As someone with a game about lesbian romance that received relatively moderate attention, I am happy to say that I haven't incurred any real wrath from people, "SJWs" or otherwise. Like emmych said, I've had some "OMG LESBIAN HOT" comments and "This makes me uncomfortable" or "I don't wanna play this" sort of things, but none of the red-hot hate that everyone seems to be fearing right now.

The worst I've gotten is a recent comment on a certain scene about ladies sharing a bed (with no sex or anything BTW XD) being called "seriously messed up."

Granted, I could just be lucky that I've avoided major hate attacks. *shrugs *
author=Corfaisus
author=emmych
author=iddalai
author=emmych
While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT".
Why should every one have to like lesbian games? Why does someone who doesn't like gay/lesbian/trans games have to be a weirdo?
because homophobia, bro

you don't have to like it, but going on to a gamepage for a game ABOUT LESBIANS and loudly proclaiming how much you dislike the thing that's being done/how "gross" or "bad" it is is lit homophobia lmao

(also the fact you literally never see "WOW THIS GAME IS FILLED WITH HETS!!!! I'M SO BORED OF HETS!!!!" plastered all over game pages for games with straight people is v telling!)

EDIT: Also like... if you can't tell the difference between "eh I am not interested in this thing" and "HERE'S A FOLDER OF CORRECTIONS BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TRANS PEOPLE!!!", I'm going to assume you are being willfully ignorant.
Can I get some quotes from the gamepage? I saw some ryan comments doing a quick flyover with "lesb" in the Ctrl+F box, but obviously that wasn't going to pick out the real deep cutters.
author=Corfaisus
author=emmych
author=iddalai
author=emmych
While a lot of people are all "YAY LESBIANS <3" you still get weirdos being all "ugh this is WEIRD and so GAY i don't LIKE IT".
Why should every one have to like lesbian games? Why does someone who doesn't like gay/lesbian/trans games have to be a weirdo?
because homophobia, bro

you don't have to like it, but going on to a gamepage for a game ABOUT LESBIANS and loudly proclaiming how much you dislike the thing that's being done/how "gross" or "bad" it is is lit homophobia lmao

(also the fact you literally never see "WOW THIS GAME IS FILLED WITH HETS!!!! I'M SO BORED OF HETS!!!!" plastered all over game pages for games with straight people is v telling!)

EDIT: Also like... if you can't tell the difference between "eh I am not interested in this thing" and "HERE'S A FOLDER OF CORRECTIONS BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE TRANS PEOPLE!!!", I'm going to assume you are being willfully ignorant.
Can I get some quotes from the gamepage? I saw some ryan comments doing a quick flyover with "lesb" in the Ctrl+F box, but obviously that wasn't going to pick out the real deep cutters.
You can go read through the comments yourself. There was some weirdness v recently about someone dropping the game because of a "seriously messed up" scene of two women consensually cuddling in bed in a non-sexual nature. This was "too far" for the person.

1) word of God is that nothing sexual happens in that scene, so it is literally two women just cuddling. Doesn't get more wholesome than that.
2) assumption of LGB relationships being inherently sexual is a relic of homophobic notions that try to paint us as deviant perverts, so assuming they were having sex when they... weren't... is likewise an unconscious, homophobic relic.
3) if the issue was murky consent, I can assure you: I've played the game, the woman who is Shy and Unsure makes a decision to cuddle all on her own. There is no coercion or sexual assault happening here, and I am fucking militant when it comes to consent.

Like there was literally nothing about this scene that could be interpreted as Uncomfortable EXCEPT for the fact it involved two women. It's homophobia. Even if the person just doesn't like fluffy shoujo cuddle scenes: LA is clearly advertised as being ABOUT romantic relationships. Why did they feel the need to comment? Why do people never rudely comment on games with straight relationships that are super hamfisted and equally in your face? Again: the answer is HOMOPHOBIA.

EDIT: UNITY U NINJA'D ME but yes that was the comment I was talking about.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21227
author=Crystalgate
author=kentona
and I was extrapolating from that. Since we are assuming that people are thinking themselves as being socially aware when in fact they are being insensitive, we should proactively identify their abhorrent behaviour and publicly shame them for their transgressions! It's only logical. People cannot be trusted to make the right choices.


or we can stop assuming the worst about people.
As a rule of thumb, do not extrapolate from posts made by someone who seems to have a very different opinion than you. Our ability to extrapolate works very poorly with people who think differently and thus more often than not results into strawmen.

author=kentona
but we are seeing the effects of self-censorship playing out right now - I wont be including any overtly gay, transgendered or otherkin characters in my games lest I inadvertantly incur the wrath of the masses.
As far as I'm concerned, you are the one being overly sensitive here and making a mountain out of a molehill. You are perceiving a vastly exaggerated threat. Likewise, looking at other posts you made recently here, I'm detecting zero research, consideration or though from them. So, in my view you are doing what you want people to do less of while also not doing what you want people to do more of.

If you disagree that's fine, but have you ever stopped and questioned if maybe you yourself are disobeying your own appeal to a more thinking approach? To me it looks like you haven't. Now, if the very person who makes an appeal fails to follow it, then it makes sense to expect that the appeal won't have much effect on other people either. I don't think that's assuming the worst.

Back when I quoted you for the first time, you hadn't made a slew of other posts that I could use to determine where you yourself stood on the whole issue. Therefore I prodded at it a bit to hopefully find out. I tried to draw attention to the question of who your post applies to in particular since that is the major factor of how to interpret your post.
This is what I was reading yesterday:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/04/13/mute-button
http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-of-the-college-crybullies-1447458587
https://leapmanifesto.org/en/the-leap-manifesto/
http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/the-leap-manifesto-and-where-the-ndp-will-land/
http://www.mcgilldaily.com/2014/11/everything-problematic/
https://rebeccarc.com/2013/04/15/intersectionality-and-identity-politics/
http://www.calgarysun.com/2016/03/20/wrongly-accused-of-being-pedophile-on-facebook-bc-man-faces-online-witch-hunt
http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/fired-nintendo-worker-alison-rapp-7737634
https://www.thenation.com/article/problem-public-shaming/

and just a collection of quotes from other articles I recently-ish read (no particular order or logical grouping):

(1) Through the paradox of tolerance--the "tolerant" become the intolerant. (2) When freedom is taken for granted, much is demanded. There is no freedom without gratitude, no gratitude without humility, and no humility without respect. (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." ~ Hemingway
The cultures that succeed uphold the highest standards of excellence and rigour, while being friendly to ambition and risk, and welcoming to those who aim to do the extraordinary.
Jesus didn't say "do unto others who meet your expectation of what's right and are worthy of your respect and help.....and screw the rest of 'em."
Three stand out among conservatives in general in recent psychological research: disgust (or the felt need to keep one’s environment pure, which can underpin everything from homophobia to xenophobia); the “need for cognitive closure” (a preference for order and certainty that can support authoritarianism); a very high in-group/out-group distinction.
Political correctness is euphemism for "fear to speak truth to authority"
"The legend of our times, it has been suggested, might be "The Revenge of Failure". This is what Envy has done for us. If we cannot paint well, we will destroy the canons of painting and pass ourselves off as painters. If we will not take the trouble to write poetry, we will destroy the rules of prosody and pass ourselves off as poets. If we are not inclined to the rigors of an academic discipline, we will destroy the standards of that discipline and pass ourselves off as graduates. If we cannot or will not read, we will say that "linear thought" is now irrelevant and so dispense with reading. If we cannot make music, we will simply make a noise and persuade others that it is music. If we can do nothing at all, why! we will strum a guitar all day, and call it self-expression. As long as no talent is required, no apprenticeship to a skill, everyone can do it, and we are all magically made equal. Envy has at least momentarily been appeased,and failure has had its revenge."
“I maintain that cultural sensitivity should be replaced by cultural awareness. Awareness implies research, consideration, thought, and judiciousness....
Sensitivity denies equal access to language. It segregates and censors based on the background of the writer rather than the content of the story. No society can embrace cultural sensitivity and retain full capacity for freedom of speech.
“Expressing moral outrage actually does benefit you, in the long run, by improving your reputation,” they say in the Times, noting that it functions like signalling in the animal world—a peacock’s flashy display.
always being mean and/or sarcastic to everyone you dislike all the time is not a good way to 'agitate for social change' or w/e.
If you drink cotton gin, you get shirtfaced.
Don't eat vegetables anymore, you're appropriating agriculture.
culteral appropriation: a cultural-marxist's buzzword for blasphemy against Orwellian identity politicians.
James: Why are you complaining all the time?
Gordon: Because I'm a big blue engine and I know everything! I shall complain whenever I want!
Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own
This isn't respect, it's cancelling out differences and it's a kind of surrender.
Globalized trade, capitalized upon by well-positioned companies, reduced wage costs, made profits soar, and richly rewarded CEOs, investment institutions, and shareholders. Prices did not fall in accordance with productivity or wage costs. Purchasing power became more and more dependent upon consumer debt. Economic growth became more fragmented and erratic, leaving more of the population excluded from its benefits.
The reaction was as expected, and typical of the 2010s, where lately it's accepted that a good old-fashioned public shaming ought to be the immediate, loud, collective response to anyone the hive-mind feels has morally erred.
Ever heard of diffusionism? Culture contact? Human history is one grand story of cultural exchange. I suppose the first culture to clothe themselves in animal skins should have been more careful against other naked cultures appropriating their dress. The same goes for fire. We'd better through art styles on the list too. Oh, and music. Non-westerners should probably start taking off their t-shirts and jeans now. We should also stop referring to cyclones in the western hemisphere as hurricanes, since that word was appropriated from Arawak-speaking peoples. We should also ditch the English language too, since it has been appropriating words from other languages from time immemorial, and exponentially so now with UrbanDictionary. You are defining powered relationships between people that may not have previously existed for them, and justifying by saying it is rooted in the habitus of the dominant culture (Bordieu). The funny thing is, you're trying to add a dimension of power that is central to "appropriation" that *you*, probably as a middle class (liberal) westerner, has determined to exist. By identifying these unconscious powered relations (via cultural appropriation) as habitus, you run the very real risk of creating tensions where none previously existed, simply to validate your own class experiences. That in itself is the product of a powered relationship in which you are seeking the upper hand.
The problem with "cultural appropriation" is that it is socially unenforcable. In academic-speak, it lacks any practical means for praxis. This is critical theory brought to its nihilistic end.
Some intersectionality advocates seem to jump from the reasonable and probably true premise that people are best placed to recognize their own oppression to the unreasonable and clearly false premise that people can never be mistaken about their own oppression.

I study Islam academically and I think I can answer this for you. As a preface, I'm one of the people who is disgusted at the anti-Muslim rhetoric out there. I can't go on /r/worldnews anymore because it's full of idiots who know nothing about the religion and nothing about Islamic politics. I could talk all day about why they're wrong, but this is not the place.

It is wrong to say "ISIS are not Muslims" and it is extremely unhelpful to separate them from the religion. My tutor actually has spoken on national TV and written articles about this exact topic. He is a Shi'a Muslim and an academic, and he argues - quite correctly I think - that if you ignore the religious roots of the group then you cannot possible grasp the problem. Because their ideology, their beliefs and their objectives, are entirely religious. They fit within a framework that is Islamic (albeit a distinct brand of fundamental Islam) and their justifications are entirely theological.

If you disassociate them from Islam, then you have to explain their motives and actions by completely different terms. This is something you hear a lot: 'They just don't know how great Western culture is'. 'They are poor and marginalised so turn to violence.' 'They are responding to the US occupation of Iraq.' 'They are responding to European colonialism.' 'It is all about oil'. So on and so forth.

Some of those things have elements of truth - marginalisation, poverty and retribution certainly are causes as well. Yet the biggest cause, above anything else, is their religious belief. If you are an atheist like me, you can only truly understand this by imagining how you would see the world if you were a fundamentalist Muslim.

Once you do that, (and it requires a basic understanding of fundamental Islam that I don't have time to write here), then it all makes sense. It works the same for if you imagine you were a fundamental Christian - this might be easier to imagine.

If I believed that the world was going to end and I had to obey the law of the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful deity in order to reach eternal paradise, I'd do whatever the hell was needed to get on his good side. If that means killing people, why wouldn't I? This world is just a temporary, physical one. It's worth it for infinity in paradise. And they are non-believers anyway, they know nothing.

If that is how you see the world and that is how you understand it, then these acts of violence make sense. The whole Islamic State makes sense.

Where it gets extremely tricky and sensitive is how non-fundamentalist Muslims fit into the picture. The same for non-fundamentalist Christians, or Jews. Because the fundamentalists would argue, and in a way I agree with them, that the beliefs of these people are so far removed from the original message and meaning of the religion that they are not truly Muslims, or Christians or Jews. In order to achieve a form of Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism that is acceptable to 'Western society', you have to reshape and twist the doctrine of that religion SO MUCH that it can start to not make sense at all.

Christianity is the perfect example. I live in Britain, which is a former Christian, now secular country. The majority of people are atheist - the Church has lost most of its power and influence. I think that this happened because the Church in this country was forced to adapt to the new ideals that came out of the Enlightenment. By doing so, over a long period of time, the doctrine of Christianity became so divorced from its scripture that it stopped making sense. As a schoolchild, I was made to go to church twice a week. The priest would tell us that Christianity preaches equality, freedom and love for everybody, including people from other faiths. But then we would go and read the Bible, and it didn't have that message at all. It told us to commit genocide on people of other faiths. It was violent, and brutal, and had so many historical problems with it that it was hard to believe. The religion didn't make logical sense any more. The result of this was a generation of people turning away from Christianity, and now you have a secular Britain.

To a much more limited extent, the same is happening to Muslims in Western countries. Many of my friends are Muslim. Yet they don't pray 5 times a day. They don't have multiple wives. They follow our legal system, not shari'a (there are a lot of misconceptions about shari'a, but that's another story). Why? Because this is how they had to adapt their religion in order for it to fit within a Western framework.

So many of them would read the Qur'an and the Hadith collections and realise how far removed they were from the fundamentals of the religion. Western Islam has to reinterpret and abstract the scripture so much in order to remodel the religion as acceptable to post-Enlightenment ideals, that it no longer makes sense to a lot of Muslims. Many turn away from religion entirely and become atheist. But many go the other way, and begin to follow the scripture fundamentally. These are the ones who, in the west, turn to groups like ISIS. are more likely to turn to extremism and violence (although this not always the case).

That is why it is unhelpful to say these terrorists are not Muslim. If you do so, you cannot discover any of what I have just said. You limit your understanding, and you actually make it easier for the discourse to become 'us vs. them', rather than peaceful and loving as it should be.

I hope that helps, I don't normally write these sorts of things on Reddit because nobody on /r/worldnews is intelligent enough to grasp concepts beyond "us and them", "Muslims r bad". I would truly suggest learning about Islam - we in the West are disgustingly under-educated. I don't know everything, but having learned the theological and political history of Islam and the Middle East, I am constantly frustrated at how little people know and how uneducated their opinions are. It has a beautiful and rich history, and there are misunderstandings and misconceptions around every corner.

TL;DR: Those who disassociate ISIS from Islam and say they are not Muslims are wrong, and this argument makes it impossible to truly understand their motives and objectives. However, the other side, which argues that all Muslims share these motives and objectives, are also wrong. The real answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Fundamental Islam IS incompatible with Western-style liberal democratic society. But so is fundamental Christianity - that is why much of Europe has turned away from the Church and towards secularism. It is not just Islam. It is all of these religions, with severely outdated doctrines and dogmas, that are incompatible.


What I am seeing is a lot of overreaction, assumptions, opinions being elevated to sacred belief, stronger in-group love/out-group hate dynamics, the demonization of white males, an idealistic shift in the federal NDP, and the dangers of virtual pillory.


If you disagree that's fine,
I do disagree with mob-shaming. For whatever it's used for.