"Is this a guy? Playing?!" "Show us your dick!" "Put your dick on cam!"
"If Gamer Girls Acted Like Gamer Guys," BuzzFeed's latest in social commentary, examines the pervasive misogyny of the gaming world, #GamerGate and #StopGamerGate. The video demonstrates just how daunting it is to be a woman in the gaming industry through pointed moments of inversion and reverse sexism:
In this video, men are discredited at all levels of the gaming world, from working in the industry ("Sweetie, I'm looking for someone who works here") to being challenged as competent players ("You play like such a dude") to being objectified and patronized. This exchange says it all:
Gamer Girl 1: "Fuck, I gotta be one of the dumb men. They are always strong but slow as shit."
Gamer Girl 2: "Why do they even fucking put men in here? It's like, no men play this game."
Gamer Girl 1: "It's to appease them. It's so stupid."
As Mic noted earlier this month, women make up 48% of the gaming industry. This viable and significant portion of the gaming market is demanding changes, mostly through the incorporation of gender diversity and the reduction of overt and implicit sexual violence in games. Yet, cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian told CBS News, "[w]omen who are asking for more diversity and more inclusivity in games are being attacked in really vicious ways. It's almost like they're afraid we're going to take their toys away."
Advocates of GamerGate have taken to harassing women online so vociferously that some are even calling them a hate group:
Women are harassed into silence when they try to speak up about the misogynistic culture of gaming. Just look at what happened to actress Felicia Day, not to mention the hundreds of death threats mounted against feminist gamer critics like Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn.
"Every woman I know in the industry is scared," Wu told the BBC, as reported by Raw Story.
As this video demonstrates, the systemic misogyny encountered by female gamers won't be fixed by a single hashtag, but will instead require a concerted effort on the part of the entire gaming community to change a culture that has allowed these attitudes to fester for far too long.