If you have been fortunate enough to avoid all of the coverage of Gamergate, congratulations, you've avoided having to read some of the most hateful things imaginable.
As this situation stretches into a months-long free-for-all of hate speech and threats, it is time to address what Gamergate is and what it means in our society. Sexism is alive and well, and feminism is still greatly needed.
Before getting into the implications of Gamergate, here is a brief recap of the series of events that has led us to now, as described by The Washington Post.
Believe it or not, Gamergate began with a simple blog post from the jilted ex-boyfriend of game designer Zoe Quinn. Zoe Quinn released a video game called Depression Quest, which is less of a game and more like an interactive story.
Upon the release of Quinn's game, several game critics were impressed with it, which caused the traditionalists in the gaming industry to metaphorically take up arms.
And then came the blog post.
Zoe Quinn's ex-boyfriend published a series of online, graphic blog posts, accusing her of cheating on him with members of the gaming industry in an effort to gain an advantage. His accusations ran wild and even included reporters from Gawker and Kotaku.
It is worth noting that Zoe Quinn, along with the critics, have denied these allegations and even Kotaku's internal investigation turned up no misconduct. But, it didn't stop there.
What began as a somewhat legitimate debate on the ethics of relationships between the gaming industry and the media outlets that review them has devolved into a sexist, graphic nightmare that has no visible end in sight.
A movement that claims to be about integrity in the gaming industry has driven multiple women from their homes, out of fear for their own lives. The hate mongers who make up the radical Gamergate population have published their private information, like home addresses, phone numbers and even bank account information.
Women like Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian and, as of late, Felicia Day, have been the targets of specific, violent, disturbing threats that come from all corners of the Internet. (Warning: link to tweets about threats contains graphic and violent threats; discretion is advised.)
These threats include their addresses and the exact times of supposed threats. Felicia Day, actress and gamer, simply wrote about her fears of speaking out on Gamergate, and within a matter of hours, her personal information was published online for the world to see.
Gamergate is out of control and needs to be stopped, by any means possible.
It is clear that Gamergate is less about integrity and more about disparaging women in an effort to keep the gaming industry male dominated. But, it is all just a microcosm of our society at large.
It seems that everywhere we look, some type of gender discrimination or bias occurs. Be it pay inequality, sexist remarks to women walking down the street or treatment of women in the media, there is no denying that our society has a problem.
In the political world, women are treated in the same (albeit more "civilized") manner as the women who have been attacked by Gamergate.
High-powered women are hard to find in the corporate world. Women are far less likely to be partners in law firms and certainly aren't likely to receive the same pay as men who do their exact same jobs. This is why America still desperately needs feminism.
From the male perspective, I can say whole-heartedly that our country will be better off when we begin treating all genders with equality and fairness.
If you don't believe me that there is a media bias, check out this horrible article written by Breitbart regarding Gamergate. It is ridiculously titled, "Feminist Bullies are Tearing the Video Gaming Industry Apart." On second thought, only read it if you want to be thoroughly enraged for a few hours. It's that bad.
I am sick and tired of hearing about how women do not receive equal pay. I am sick and tired of hearing about how a woman was passed on for a promotion in favor of a man who was far less qualified. I am sick and tired of the media treating female political candidates like they are only going to Congress for "family issues."
Women are more than childbearing placeholders. It is time our culture understood that.
So, this is my plea to Millennial women, my friends and my family: Don't stop fighting. We deserve to be treated as equals; don't let any moron with a microphone tell you otherwise. I will be there to support you. I know many men will be there to support you. You may be called names and disparaged by the media, but so were the heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.
It is time for women to finally be on the same level as men. Until this happens, our society is not perfect. And, for the men who think that feminism is somehow ruining our country or it is no longer needed, look around.
Until our sisters and wives and daughters are treated just as we are, there should be no rest. Until women are no longer blamed for being instigators in a sexual assault, there should be no rest. Until women are no longer beaten and bruised, both physically and verbally, there should be no rest.
Men, if you disagree, it's time you look in the mirror and ask yourself what you truly stand for.
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