Friday, October 18, 2013

Anita Sarkeesian and the Manosphere

So, you may have heard by now that ABC is doing what can only be described as a hit piece tonight on 20/20 on the Manosphere- the loose assortment of male-oriented websites, forums, and blogs, with the common connection being that they all deviate from mainstream politically correct dogma in at least some ways. This is honestly the best description I can have of the Manosphere, because it is quite a varied group.

While the introductory article for the show is a laughable hack job- a sumptuous offering on the altar of yellow journalism, one thing about it that made me smirk in particular was its claim that Anita Sarkeesian, the infamous owner of FeministFrequency, was attacked by the Manosphere for her critique of women in video games:
Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic and blogger, learned this the hard way after campaigning on Kickstarter to raise funds for a web series on the roles of women in video games. The attacks from the Manosphere were swift.
What's so utterly pathetic about this is that the so-called professional reporters working on this story obviously didn't take the time out of their day to research the two demographics at hand here- the Manosphere, and the Gaming community.

The two demographics do not overlap one iota. Perhaps a tiny percentage of the Manosphere are avid gamers, but that number is likely infinitesimally small. The Manosphere is fundamentally composed of men of all ages that seek to improve their personal, professional, and dating lives, as well as discuss fundamental issues and share knowledge, while critiquing politically correct orthodoxy.

Gamers are well...interested in video games.

Search any major "Manosphere" outlet and you will find that video games are not mentioned in any of them (or perhaps slightly mentioned, but buried under 10,000 posts not mentioning them). The heavy implication here is that the two demographics do not have a sizable cross-section. While no reliable poll data has been done on the subject, I suspect that if a scientific survey were to be done (based on questions of frequency of game-playing and purchases, knowledge of the gaming market, etc.), it would fully confirm my assertion.

It is therefore absurd to label the attacks on Sarkeesian as having originated from the Manosphere. Many in the Manosphere were indeed not even aware of her existence. The only implication from this data can be that Sarkeesian was attacked instead by people in the gaming community- which her presentations were targeted to.

These inconvenient facts will of course not stop the mainstream media from doing anything they can to demonize a movement that deviates from their politically correct confirmation bias.

I do however, take this all as a positive sign- that the mainstream orthodoxy can no longer simply handwave and ignore criticism, and that some fundamental revulsion of the current paradigm is bubbling in the undercurrents of society.

Do I have my disagreements with parts of the Manosphere? Of course. But this can only be called a panicked hack job- based on just Sarkeesian's presence alone, not to mention the other inaccuracies in the reporting. Anita Sarkeesian Feminist Frequency ABC Manosphere

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