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EuroGamer.net Editor: I Am Sexist

Illustration for article titled EuroGamer.net Editor: I Am Sexist

Tom Bramwell just posted this essay on his blog and it's well worth the read. If you are going to tl;dr it (but don't!), the main take away seems to be that he's starting to realize how dangerous his dismissive attitude about sexism within the gaming industry has been.


First two paragraphs below:

This is a realisation that has slowly dawned on me over the last few years. Without really meaning to do so, I have been going around saying and doing things that demean women and casually downplay the importance of issues of gender discrimination all my life. It's a horrible thing to recognise about yourself, gradually or not. I try to be a generous and caring person and I am pretty sensitive, so the idea that I have been ignorantly treating half of the people I know and love in this way makes me feel awful.

Given the subject at hand, the irony of pointing out how this makes


feel is something I am aware of, so I won't dwell on it too much, except to say that understanding you are sexist is actually really quite difficult just on a practical level. When I look around, I see the same things I've been doing and saying without thinking about them reflected back at me from every angle, and the fact casual sexism is so prevalent is an amazingly effective masking agent for the concept itself, especially among men. (I'm talking to men, of course. I know that our female readers - by virtue of being women - do not need me to point out that the average male is sexist.)


And a key quote that I want to marry:

But if I had written something on Eurogamer about realising that the Dastardly achievement was troubling, and then tried to explore that, a silent majority might have found some merit in what I was saying, but I know what the comments would have looked like. 1) This isn't as important as something else. 2) Bloody white knight - you're just trying to impress women. 3) It's historically accurate. 4) Stop attacking the developer's creative vision. 5) Stop trying to censor people. 6) This is political correctness gone mad - what's next? Forcing X to do Y? 7) Bloody social justice warrior.

The thing about those comments - this isn't a straw man argument, by the way; go read the comments on my article about gender representation in Assassin's Creed Unity - is that I don't think they come from a place of actual misogyny. I think they are just a byproduct of the kind of casual ignorance I have personally embodied for pretty much all of my sexist life. And when you have an entrenched attitude that you may not fully recognise and you are confronted by arguments that go to the core of that attitude, it's easy to get upset, because it feels like a personal attack. Your natural response is to try to change the subject, attack the speaker or frame the argument differently, rather than engaging with the thing you can't comprehend at the heart of the original point.


Somewhat unnecessary disclaimer: for the love of God, don't read the comments.

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