Friday, August 22, 2014

If You Call This Justice, I Don't Want Your Support

Image courtesy of
After my post on the unacceptable torrent of abuse that has been heaped upon Zoe Quinn by misogynist nerd man-babies so desperate to deny that the little clubhouse of video games is changing that they are perfectly happy to take a vituperative screed from her ex-boyfriend and run with it to harass, hack, speculate, insult and demean her by claiming that the private sexual life matters because she's a women making a game they don't like, , someone anonymous left a comment saying that I should link to "unbiased sources". The sources the comment linked was one tumblr post labeling her everything from a "shit-tier developer" to literally calling her a whore that faked every single bit of her abuse, harassment and public hacking at the center of an industry-wide conspiracy (that comment's gone, now, btw).

Prominent youtube "personality" joined the pile-on, with Youtuber JonTron linking approvingly to a pornographic slander comic, and then later approvingly linking to a fan comparing the outcry against his actions to black people being lynched.

Other games industry writers from Stephen Totilio and Patrick Klepek to Leigh Alexander and Jenn Frank took to her defense. One of her most prominent game developer defenders of Zoe Quinn was Phil Fish (who had recently returned publicly to twitter to comment on the human rights abuses in Ferguson). This week, both his twitter account and business website Polytron were hacked, and personal details were released-- everything from back accounts to home address history, along with a data dump of 1.5 GB of developer only assets and financial records for FEZ and his business. After he regained control of his accounts, he announced he was selling off the FEZ IP, the Polytron assets and leaving video game development for good.

Liz Ryerson has a cutting analysis of these angry, scared self-appointed gatekeepers:
Zoe has become the scapegoat for every bit of internalized misogyny and misdirected rage these people felt. she appears to them an amorphous assemblage of everything that is viewed as wrong with women - manipulativeness, sluttiness, being an 'attention-whore'. the idea of trusting the word of a frighteningly narcissistic ex who's out to ruin her reputation is fine with them, because it meshes with their worldview... 

...often it's a conservative, reactionary anger that comes out of disillusionment and fear, and gets constantly externalized onto marginalized people, especially women and queer people. they struggle to understand and adjust to a rapidly shifting cultural landscape, in and out of games, that's moving away from traditionally catering to them and their empathy-deficient values into something more culturally sensitive and aware. and so they find simple explanations for these complex phenomena that fit within their bigoted worldview - boogeymans of evil, manipulative and misleading women like Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarskeesian. they view themselves as anti-authority and anti-power, even as their actions are tremendously conservative and tremendously serving of the interests of power.

The outrage over alleged private infidelity that never even resulted in an actual review lays bare the lie that this is about hand-wringing over worries of "journalistic ethics" and shows instead that those joining in on the pile-on really just see women as a threat to the world of video games and other geeky hobbies, and are ready to rage and holler and attempt to intimidate any woman they decide is somehow a threat at the flimsiest provocation. If you really cared about favorable review currying for games, you'd maybe throw some of this vitriol at the industry practice of only releasing game information to friendly outlets, perhaps.

It shouldn't be up to women to fight these battles alone. As I mentioned in my post about what men need to do about the harassment of women online, we need to make it absolutely clear that this behavior is unacceptable and that anyone that feels otherwise is unwelcome.

So let me make this crystal clear: If you support the harassment of Zoe Quinn or her supporters, if you think you are doing the right thing by shaming her about her private relationships or sexual history, if you think that anyone harassed in the way she has been "had it coming" or that by doing any sort of gate-keeping to women in your hobby you are fighting the good fight-- I don't EVER want your support.

Don't visit my blog. Don't support my patreon. Don't donate to me. Don't read my work or play my games. Don't listen to my podcast. You are not welcome here on The Code, and I don't want you as a fan.

I call on major gaming sites to issue clear condemnations of this behavior in general and defense of Zoe Quinn in particular. When fans or site visitors heap abuse on women that criticize actions or inaction of those in the industry, it because these harassers and misogynists view this as okay thing to do. And if your site policy doesn't explicitly forbid these attitudes and actions from your audience, the toxic elements of your audience view this sort of pile on as implicitly okay. Look at the harassment of Courtney Stanton and Maddy Meyers by webcomic fans, the harassment of Samanta Allen by Giant Bomb fans, the pile-ons from 4chan and reddit and totalbiscuit and jontron fans and elsewhere of Zoe Quinn.

It is unacceptable and unforgivable. You are not noble truth seekers. You're just flinging shit.


Anonymous said...

So someone else defending lying, cheating, false accusations, corrupt authority figures. I see you have your priorities in tact?

Shawn Struck said...

Dude, you're making this sound like it's V for Vendetta revolitons or something when it's a bunch of shook gamebros mad about stuff a bitter ex-boyfriend wrote. Damn right my priorites are in tact, defending women is super tastefu.

Anonymous said...

Naw bro it is no where near about that. it is about sleeping with someone to gain an upper hand. you know what she faked and lied about doxxing which has been proven, she said she was a cop and on duty and etc when she has proven to be a security guard which was also a lie, she has told numerous proven lies to her audience PROVEN as a journalist or writer I expect you to understand that the word proven means there is sources behind it. You are saying this is o.k.? So you are advocating lying to a fan base to get better exposure and to get money? No one cares what her boyfriend said but people care about using something like feminism as a weapon or tool to get what you want, let me explain something to you my mother, grandmother, great grandmother was real womens right activists and they worked and marched and fought for rights they did not use them to garner a fan base to fund my living. Nor did they set women back by doing so, Being a woman is not an excuse and that is what it is being used as by Zoe Quinn and her supporters it is being used as an excuse. I would expect you to write based on truth and not something you read in a twitter and as a writer you take BOTH sides into account. Thank you for your time.

Shawn Struck said...

No! Dude! Wait! Come back!

You... you dropped your fedora!

Anonymous said...

So instead of reporting the truth and being honest you would rather make dumb remarks and not discuss the facts? cool.

Shawn Struck said...

I'm not a reporter, you haven't even bothered to substantiate your outrageous claims with citations (debunked or otherwise), and I don't you anything Mr. Commenter That Won't Even Sign Your Name.

PLus, can't you read? If you think what happened to Zoe Quinn was justified I don't want you visiting my blog or supporting anything I do. Go back to your imageboard or reddit or wherever.

Anonymous said...

So what happened to her, since the hacks and doxxing has been proven fake by multiple sources. It has been proven she lied numerous times about her employment, her trying to shut down TFYC and other various things. So what has happened to her? pictures she sold to websites of her being nude is on the internet that she put on the internet? Please explain more as to what "hapened" to her.

Shawn Struck said...

Ok, Person Who Has So Little Conviction In WHat They Say They WOn't Even Attach A Username To Posts nor citations to anything: here are two links to what's happened:


THere are also links to further details in those links. Enjoy.

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