Nerds and Male Privilege 3: Cross Assault, Sexual Harassment And You

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Ok, I wasn’t planning on this. After two separate articles on male privilege, women and the geek community, I had been planning on leaving the topic well enough alone. I mean, I’ll freely cop to enjoying and appreciating the attention and links it gets me whenever I strike that particular hornet’s nest, but the last thing I want is to either a) turn my blog from dating advice to gender relations studies and b) I don’t want to give the impression that I keep going to this well whenever I feel like I need more pageviews.

Plus, diminishing returns and all that.

And then someone sent me the Giant Bomb article about Aris Bakhtanians and the treatment of Miranda Pakozdi and that plan went right out the goddamned window.

So let me explain…

No, is too much, let me sum up.

I challenge you not to read this in Inigo's voice now.

Cross Assault is an online elimination-style reality show sponsored by Capcom, where two teams of five players – one team of Street Fighter players and one of Tekken players – compete for a cash prize. Twitch.Tv livestreams the multi-hour competition on their website, featuring commentary from the players and the team coaches. On Day 5, Twitch.TV host Jared Rea, made comments regarding the use of potentially offensive sexual language by the fighting game community – once considered to be incredibly insular and closed off – might be alienating potential new fans. Many of the players bristled at the idea that they should clean up what their act. Team Tekken coach Aris Bakhtanians stepped in to insist that sexism, sexual harrassment and abusive language is an inherent part of the fighting game community.

 You can’t. You can’t because they’re one and the same thing. This is a community that’s, you know, 15 or 20 years old, and the sexual harassment is part of a culture, and if you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community–it’s StarCraft. There’s nothing wrong with StarCraft if you enjoy it, and there’s nothing wrong with anything about eSports, but why would you want just one flavor of ice cream, you know? There’s eSports for people who like eSports, and there’s fighting games for people who like spicy food and like to have fun. There’s no reason to turn them into the same thing, you know?

– Aris Bakhtanians

A little while later in the broadcast, another voice (whom I can’t identify, my apologies) mentions that Team Tekken member Miranda Pakozdi is there and begins to speak for her. When she  tries to add her two cents about the sexual harrasment, she’s shouted down by Aris.

As offensive as the Keystone stuff is […] they know where the line is. You [Aris] don’t know where the line is.

– Miranda Pakozdi

Later on, Pakodzdi deliberately forfeited two matches… apparently because she was frustrated and tired of the stream of harassment from Bakhtanians.

Fast forward a few hours, and I’m seeing that Aris is insisting that sexual harassment is morally equivalent to liking spicy food.

And that’s just about when I lost my shit.

“You’re trying to figure out a way to make me wrong, when I’m not wrong”

Gaming news site Destructioid posted a You Tube link featuring footage from Day 1 of the competition. In it, Bakhtanians jokes that Pakozdi participate in a mud-wrestling match with another female player… and that Bakhtanians gets the winner of the match as a prize. He also demands to know what Pakozdi’s bra size is, whether “it’s number one or number two” when she gets up to go to the bathroom while wishing for a camera in the lady’s restroom and makes fun of her for “not being sufficiently mean enough” for Team Tekken.

(Warning: NSFW language.)

It’s 13 minutes of some profoundly uncomfortable shit. And this is on day one. As other have pointed out: the chat with Bakhtanians where he desperately tries to justify sexually harassing women as part of the community is on day five of the week long competition.

Let’s just think about this for a second. Five days with Bakhtanians, that shining example of humanity making constant and seemingly unending offensive comments about her looks. About her body. About wanting to watch her pee, sleep, wanting to fuck her and pimp her out. Listening to him scream “Bitch” over and over again with all of the joy of a five-year old who’s figured out that naughty words make his parents react, then scream “RAPE THAT BITCH!”  when a female character is taken down.

Look, man. What is unacceptable about that? There’s nothing unacceptable about that. These are people, we’re in America, man, this isn’t North Korea. We can say what we want.

– Aris Bakhtanians

Going by tweets, which she later took down, Pakozdi intmated that the only reason she was sticking around was because of a contract that required her to be there for the entire week.

So not only is she dealing with a creeper making rape jokes over and over again.. she’s legally stuck with him. She literally is not allowed to leave, at the risk of violating her contract with the competition.

She’s effectively trapped in there with him.

And before some of you decide to leap on me for using hyperbolic language, ask some of your female friends how they would feel dealing with that level of behavior day in and day out, with absolutely no recourse. Everybody else around her seems to be content to let it happen, if they’re not joining in on the “fun”.

To be perfectly honest, I’m kind of astounded she didn’t jam something large and blunt up his rectum and hoist his scrotum on a bloody pike as a warning to others. But more on that in a second.

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  • Josh

    Damn, those quotes you use for that guy where hard to read. Not in a literary sense, in a "What a dick" anger sense. You touch on something that bothers me and I would like your opinion. It seems like these days people seemed to be using the "You're just being PC" as a defense against something offensive they've said. You seem to get in trouble for NOT being offensive these days in some circles. People talk about how society's becoming too PC, but where is that fine line between standing up to something awful being said and being too sensitive?
    Also, Long Live The League!

    • cthulhuhungers

      Ah yes, the old, 'PC thought police' charge. PC is just 'hey, think a little about what you say, so you don't accidentally insult someone.' Yeah, sometimes people are oversensitive, but a certain degree of politeness is one of the baseline requirements for continued human contact. If you're using racial slurs because you're a racist and not because you don't know better, that's more of a 'don't be an asshole' issue than 'you're not PC.' PC is really just another word for politeness. And what's the worst that will happen? Someone says, 'hey, my mother was gay/black/crazy/a ', you get embarrassed, and you don't use that particular turn of phrase around them. Anyone who claims this scenario is a serious concern of theirs is not being insulting accidentally, they're being intentionally insulting, and their problem is being an asshole, not being un-PC.

      It makes watching political debates interesting though, because when I hear a politician complaining about PC being out of hand, my brain always replaces their complaint with 'I'm so much of an asshole/socially inept I don't want to have to be held to the barest minimum of polite behavior."

      • Notsureifsrs

        "Ah yes, the old, ‘PC thought police’ charge. PC is just ‘hey, think a little about what you say, so you don’t accidentally insult someone.’"

        Except by someone, you mean womyn. Because as feminists love to remind folks, it doesn't matter if you're offended if you're fuckin' privileged.

        • Casey

          What the fuck are you on about? Are you one of those people who think straight white men are oppressed on the basis of being straight white men? If so, LOL GTFO WITH THAT NOISE

          • Notsureifsrs

            I'm one of those people who think you're not even willing to talk to straight white men, unless they're agreeing with you. Hence the whole "mansplaining" charge. Pretty ****ing intolerant.

        • Nbsq


          God damn feminazis, mirite? Expecting men to act like human beings, recognize that they're privileged, and that calling them a neck beard is in no way equivalent to the rich and extensive history of women being marginalized and oppressed. Ugh i mean, totally just wanting us men to feel male guilt… there's no WAY they could have any sort of legitimate point, what with being FEMALE and all!

          BTW, you're a neckbeard.

          • Notsureifsrs

            Personally, I think to most people alive, feminism just means "not treating women like ****". That's obviously a good thing. But the third-wave stuff about privilege, rape culture, and "mansplaining" is at best, esoteric. I think it's appropriate for academic discussion, but too many amateur bloggers aren't really familiar with it and use that kind of lingo as a bludgeon. I don't think it's fair to say that not being familiar with your ideological dogma, or disagreeing with it, means you're a terrible human being.

            P.S. Being mean to me doesn't help. I realize you're frustrated – so was I when I commented here – but we can still be respectful to each other. 🙂

    • zen-tangent

      For the gamers & gamer-community I would kindly pro-offer this "Test of OK Words to Let-Fly". It goes like this: If you are male or female and what you are about to say/type/tweet would offend* any/all of the following: your Mother or Spouse or Grandmother or Sisters or your bosses spouse or be not deemed appropriate in a mixed social gathering, just don't do it. This is a version of the Duck Theorem (If it walks like a duck, talks like a … you get the drift).

      * "offend" in this case might be that potentially offensive utterances would allow you to get the honor of tasting a large-ish quantity of soap in your mouth, or some form of corporal punishment… depending on the level of the offense.

      Some people will take the most innocuously intended wording so completely out of text that it can be confusing. This happened to me a few months ago. I meant (and thought I said) this, "Hey take advantage of a situation", however the listener (who I admire professionally for her excellent work ethic and supervisor skills) and a witness to the conversation both heard me saying, "Baby take advantage of a situation." Frankly I was so embarrassed that upon finding out about it, I immediately apologized to the listener and the witness (listener was female, witness was male), with both apologies taking place within 2 minutes immediately after being made aware of the verbal faux pas (the Listener told her manager about it, and rightly so). He took me aside and told me words to the effect that I can't talk to the people he manages like that. Of course this incident properly mortified me, and put me in the Not-Good-Person category with the Listener (where I remain to this day and the Listener has made unbelievable efforts to tell all her direct reports about what I originally said and nothing about the apology), and the Witness has constantly brought the verbal faux pas up at every opportunity where he tries to embarrass me further. Such behavior is embarrassing to me. Oh well, some people have that type of personality. After 57 years of correct behavior and conversation, one mistake and you get The Label.

  • Yuki

    Dr.Nerdlove, I love you.


    Thank you so much for writing this.

  • UnderOrange

    I'm not sure how relevant it is to this, but I think some people actually take a few days to process things that really upset them. I've noticed I just don't usually have extreme reactions until I've had 2-4 days to think about whatever it was that had upset me. The thing itself could be anything from something that was done to something that was said. I'm not generally prone to anger, but when it happens it is a slow boil, not instant indignation. It causes problems, because by the time I'm really furious, whoever upset me has convinced themselves that everything is peachy-keen now.

    If something is extreme enough to upset me immediately, I just shut down and totally avoid the person or situation until I can fully process it. "Processing" usually involves talking it to death with people I trust.

    The fact that she didn't immediately respond with fiery rage doesn't surprise me at all. I don't know how much of it is nature vs. nurture and I'm sure that's an interesting argument for another day, but the fact remains that some people just don't react that way.

    • Jess

      I'm with you, I can't even express how I feel about this post because I'm in that horrified shocked place where I feel threatened.

    • Mike

      I'm a guy and I've been harrassed like that, and I took it just as she's described (I'm not watching the videos): I tried taking the joke in stride at first, even playing along, because you're supposed to do that, right? If someone starts hassling you, show them you're cool and they'll stop, right? Well, no. Seriously, I was a freshman in high school. It wasn't the same material, but it's not about the material; it was relentless, clearly designed to annoy, then fluster. It doesn't stop when you play it cool, and the moment you show they're getting to you, even a little bit, the floodgates open. The dude here is defending bullying, plain and simple. The fact that he was bullying a woman is the only reason he's got serious defenders at all. He's a bully taking refuge in male privilege and nothing more.

  • desmedt

    i was wondering why cyrus doesn't shout the c word as often as he did.

    • Cat

      It wasn't Cyrus; it was Rubio.

  • qdefenestration

    When you break out the Cato you know stuff just got real

  • The gaming community has gotten progressively worse over the years in the amount of racist, homophobic, and misogynistic jokes. We need more people to loudly call these assholes on their shit

    • Ferris

      its not just the gaming community either, everyone seems to be getting worse

      an example, a few days ago my friend invited me and a few old friends round for a few beers and three of them have become proper "lads"(kinda like american frat boys) and seem to brag about treating girls like dirt and being sexist, we had a good time but once they left me and the friend who invited us looked at each other and realized we had nothing in common with them anymore

      • WereScrib

        I have to agree with Ferris. People seem to be getting worse. I can't comment on how it is there, but from English I've met online and here in Washington (state)? It's been a marked change in culture. In the late nineties? English Tourists were generally friendly, never swore, and allot of the people running local tourist traps loved to have them around. Now? Allot of local business owners actually hate serving them due to the sheer level of racist remarks and outright swearing that tends to come with them.

        Same thing with the youth here in the US… I honestly hope it's a vocal and loud minority, but it seems everyone I meet is fine with harassing people in one way or another. The swearing is considerably less, but the harassment and lack of respect for people is just awful, and these are among 'socially enlightened' artists. (I go to an art school…so you know. The people I met tend to be artists)

        • mcjomar

          What really sucks is that since the mid-to-late 90's a lot of those English tourists and gamers have grown up glorifying mainstream black rappers (50 cent, snoop dogg, the NWA, etc) and enjoy cheering them on when they use female-negative language in their music (I should know, I've grown up around these people being English myself – and for the record I'm disgusted by it).

          Instead of trying to continue home-grown culture, they've decided that american culture is more fashionable and should be emulated – and not in a good way.

          Now I'm fine with culture from either country – what I'm not fine with is emulating culture from either country that disrespects other people, and gives people an "excuse" to act like jerks because it makes them look "tough". Uh-huh…

      • Cat

        I have to wonder (and I'm going to start sounding like an Old Person) if it's not due in large part to TV shows like Jersey Shore and Bad Girls' Club, which totally glorify that type of behavior… Just my completely unscientific musings…

        • Dr. NerdLove

          I think more than glorifying it, i think it's a case of "This is totally how you get 'rich' and famous." I mean, Snookie and The Situation would otherwise be nobodies if it weren't for Jersey Shore. And now England has it's own version with The Only Way Is Essex.

          There's practically a genre of "Let's act like terrible people" on Youtube now.

          • Ferris

            the thing that really annoys me about the people I mentioned is that these are smart guys, one of them currently doing Maths at university after dropping out of mechanical engineering, I feel they should know better

            I think a lot of it is trying to impress each other and think its the normal way to behave, lads mags like nuts and zoo and shows like only way is Essex don't really help I guess

  • Fighting Gamer

    good article. the fighting game community has a lot of work to do… and Aris is a goddamn moron for saying some of the shit he did. trash talk, course language, and offensive jokes have always been part of the community. but we do that because we know we're all friends and we know its all in good fun. Singling people out for their gender should not be a part of that, and many other big members of the communtiy agree that Aris took his shit too far. it was a fucking awful decision for capcom to put him on the show, especially in a position of power which, to my knowledge, he wielded totally ineffectively.

    Just wanted people to know we aren't all asshats.

    • IMC

      Don't tell us. Tell Aris.

  • cthulhuhungers

    Hit the nail right on the head, Dr. Nerdlove. This is why most girls choose to simply not play online instead of fighting this kind of shit. There's just no way to win.

    Posting because it is relevant to your interests. The issue isn't that girls get insulted, it's a creepiness and sheer volume of the insults. It's easy to deal with being called a motherhumping assclown when you know everyone else is getting the same insult and share of abuse; when you're being singled out for much larger amounts of abuse for something that has no bearing on your ability to press buttons on a controller in Call of Duty that it becomes problematic.

    • Milk and Cookies

      I agree with this. I love that place and recently sent one in. It's the one from archie muskett. Smack talk is going to happen, but asking bra sizes, for sexual sexual favors, etc. is not acceptable. Neither are pictures of a guys dick or the many other things male gamers to female gamers on Xbox Live and other places. A line needs to be drawn especially at a sponsored event that is then made available for others to view online.

  • Orv

    I always find these sorts of discussions frustrating. I agree completely that this behavior isn't acceptable. I think that the root of the problem comes from a lack of decent role models for young males. On a fundamental level our culture still treats "power" as the defining characteristic of a "man."

    If you look at role models for boys most of them are athletes (physical power and financial power), musicians (financial power, power from having a large fan following), action heroes (physical power), and the like. These role models rarely provide any sort of moral advice, and when they do provide a moral context to the use of their power it tends to be "my power lets me break the rules." "My power lets me get what I want." "My power means I can be an asshole," is basically what it resolves down into. When you look at cultural figures that do provide good moral context for a man they are often perceived as "powerless." (For reference see: TV sitcom dads and husbands from the last 30 years).

    This creates the context where following societal norms of conduct means you are powerless, while being a rude asshole is a trait equated with having power. If you add the supposition (and I certainly don't have any data to back this up) that a lot of males in the fighting game culture are people with low social power and economic power (i.e. weren't popular and can't make up for it by having cash) the refusal to allow fighting game culture to be a welcoming culture starts to make more sense. It's a fear response. They have created a sub-culture in which they have power, but their sub-culture isn't one that's generally valued by the "outside world" and their power is limited completely to that sub-culture.

    For a young man who for the first time in his life is able to experience what it's like to be in a power role and not a powerless role the idea the suggestion of making the sub-culture more welcoming is a scary one. It is scary because it might dilute their limited power base. This young man (again this is an assumption based upon the observed behavior and not any statistical data) probably has not had a lot of success with women. (I make this assertion because young men with a healthy number of female friends and partners would, one assumes, have been socialized to understand that overwhelmingly sexist behavior is not acceptable).

    If women come into this young man's sub-culture, he doesn't know how to exert his power over them like he would a newcomer male (i.e. beat the guy at Tekken as a form of establishing himself as the new male's social superior). From his cultural context (athletes and musicians), his power and success at fighting games should mean that female "fans" are throwing themselves at him. (Are there female fighting game "groupies?")

    Female competitors don't have to respect his power. They may find him as unattractive as he feels most women find him. (This assertions is drawn from the "the only reason why Miranda was offended was because Bakhtanians wasn’t attractive enough" quote.) And god forbid they beat him at Tekken, then he'd be powerless again, and maybe even more powerless because of the social stigma that's (wrongfully) attached to 'being beaten by a girl.' Other males that he'd beaten in the past might not respect his "earned" power over them, and he'd be forcibly reminded that women in the outside/real world don't have to respect his power.

    So what does he do? He talks about rape. He calls them bitches. He does EVERYTHING in his power to make them feel unwelcome, all so that they can't threaten his power base. Now all of that above was not intended to justify the behavior. It's abhorrent behavior, but by understanding (or seeking to understand) the causes of the behavior, we can start hypothesizing at how to correct the behavior. My assertion is that we need good role models. We need more sites like Doctor Nerdlove that can educate young nerds and provide a context in which the world is not a terrifying place where the nerd will be forever alone and powerless. As enlightened adult male nerds we need to find a way to offer outreach to awkward young nerds (Like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, only for gamers). Because if we don't teach them the right way, they're going to learn from the only other nerds they can find who have any sort of "power," and that's the fighting game crowd.

    Ok that last statement might be a bit hyperbolic, but god damn! We need to do something about assholes like that being the face of nerd culture.

    • Sumiko

      Aris Bakhtanians himself claims that the core demographic of the game are 15 to 20 years old. Airs himself would appear to be in his late 30s. What we have here is not a young man defending his territory, but a man who has pronounced himself the voice of a group of 15 to 20 year old men in order to defend their and his own sexual harassment of young women. Miranda Pakozdi is 24, but many players of Tekken are minor children. Tekken is rated T for Teen. Aris is the one who is trying to change a game designed for teenagers into something that it is not. It is never okay for an adult male to make sexually demeaning comments to a minor child in a gaming environment, and many Tekken players are minors.

      • Orv

        I agree it's never ok for an adult male to make sexually demeaning comments to a minor, it isn't ok to make them to an adult either. My argument is that Aris as an adult male is positioning himself as a role model to these 15 to 20 year old young men and that part of the solution to the problem is providing them with better role models. Someone who thinks Aris is super cool is more likely to ape his behavior than someone who goes "Wow what a loser this guy is. Grow up and start talking to women like they're people." To that end, provide young nerds with better role models, so that when they hit the 15-20 stage they treat others in a respectable and mature fashion (as mature as possible for 15-20 year olds anyway).

        • Orv

          *respectful and mature fashion

      • Cat

        I originally read his comment as "15 or 20 year-olds," but I think he meant "A community that is 15-20 years old," i.e. has been around for 15 or 20 years, and has developed a culture of its own that he now feels is threatened.

        (Totally not trying to defend this guy, just throwing in my $.02 of what I think he meant.)

    • Paul Rivers

      "I think that the root of the problem comes from a lack of decent role models for young males. On a fundamental level our culture still treats “power” as the defining characteristic of a “man.”…This creates the context where following societal norms of conduct means you are powerless, while being a rude asshole is a trait equated with having power."

      At a certain level this isn't just a guy thing, though. It's not *just* "men need to change".

      Go ask a "genuine nice guy" nerd about how much success he's had following male role models of being respectful to women. They can totally have a bunch of female friends – but they *always* have trouble with dating girls. Attractive girls seem to be attracted to powerful guys – as long as being an ass is a marker of being powerful, then as a guy you're stuck in a catch-22 – be nice and be friends, or be a borderline jerk and not have female friends but get laid and get dates a lot more because more women are attracted to you – because being an ass is a marker of being powerful, and thus one of many factors that makes you look attractive.

      I'm just saying that guys are not the only ones who mold their emotions and expectations by the role models of what society considers powerful.

      • Orv

        Your comment goes right to my point. I think I'm a nice guy. I think I've always been a nice guy, but I'm also assertive and confident and I was 14 years old the last time I had trouble finding a date. Your comment, which as I read it, boils down to "Nice guys are always passed over for assholes, women are the ones who really need to change" is quite frankly bullshit. "Nice Guys" need to stop blaming other people for their own problems. You're right, people (men and women alike) are attracted to confidence, assertiveness, energy, etc. Some confident and assertive people are assholes. Some are nice guys. "Nice Guys(TM)" tend to be passive aggressive doormats who resent that women don't find their passive aggressiveness attractive. Unless I've lost my mind the good Doctor covered the "Nice Guy" phenomenon not long ago.

        • Dr. NerdLove
        • Paul Rivers

          This isn't…the angle I was going for with my post. Like my last sentence –

          "I’m just saying that guys are not the only ones who mold their emotions and expectations by the role models of what society considers powerful."

          I was saying that if you change what society thinks men should be like, you will also change what women are actually looking for from guys. It won't *just* be like "men changed and women stayed the same".

          When someone uses the term "role model", I do think "nice guy", but on the other hand perhaps I was reading to much into your term. I wasn't saying that things will change and women will be attracted to really passive guys, I was only saying that if being an ass wasn't seen as powerful girls would still be attracted to confident, assertive, etc, but they would be less attracted to being an ass.

          This blog has mentioned a couple times about the "I'm going to tame that sexy bad boy" philosophy among some women, I was only commenting that I thought that if being an ass was no longer perceived as being powerful women probably wouldn't be attracted to it. I suppose I didn't have much of a point beyond that.

          • Anthony

            I disagree with the point you're making. I don't think that women will be less attracted to powerful seeming men who are also asses if society stopped painting them in a positive way. All people are attracted to others who feel confident in themselves and exude said confidence. That's not going to change because society suddenly glorifies respectful confidence over 'I'll do and say what I want because I can" confidence. It's possible that people like that would reduce in number, but I don't think it would really seem that much less attractive to women. Because, honestly, it shouldn't be attractive now. But it is, and, glorified or not, that most likely won't change. Having more positive role models who have respectful confidence (which is really not a term, but I think you understand what I mean) would be an outstandingly positive thing, but I don't think it'd fix this situation.

            And everyone else is right – being nice isn't enough. You have to be confident, too.

        • babybro

          That's not true at all, take your confidence over to Japan and see how far that will get you with the ladies, in other words, you will be shunned. I lived in Japan for 5 years, and the "confidence" that''s so encouraged here in America is considered arrogance in
          Japan. So 1) Yes, it is a cultural thing. This country is founded on western idea set in which one of them is a brand of assertive
          capabilities and confidence.

          2) There have been youtube videos of women being interviewed with far more than the majority specifically saying that they prefer
          bad boys. A friend of mine was dumped for being too nice because he would do so many things for his girl, including paying for a
          trip to europe with her. So yes, there is legitimate issues in regards to the negative connatation that is associated with being a nice guy. Just because you haven't experience such problems does not mean the problems doesn't exist, that's like saying because a few white people weren't racist in the 1800's that the 1800's wasn't filled with overbearing racism.

          With that said, the community display that was shown in this article is absolutely horrid, and this guy deserves to be banned from
          gaming forever IMO.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        You seem to misunderstand the difference between "nice" and "boring". Or "Passive" for that matter.

        • Paul Rivers

          I don't think that's the point I was trying to make in my post at all. It's faulty logic to say that one can only be an ass or a nice guy, which is…exactly what you're saying. Saying "women might not be attracted to being an ass" isn't at all saying "women are going to start being attracted to being a doormat". So…I guess we agree.

      • bob glob

        Women won't date me because I'm too nice. There is nothing wrong with me. There must be something wrong with all women, everywhere. They must be stupid, crazy bitches who want—nay, deserve—to be treated like crap, because there is no other way to account for the fact that they are infringing upon my God-given right to 24/7 access to sweet, sweet poontang. Because I'm too nice.

        • Robert

          Just to clarify for the benefit of everyone who reads bob glob's comment, is that entire paragraph one big block of sarcasm?

          • Dr. NerdLove

            It read that way to me.

        • Yuki

          If I could "like" your comment just for the lulz it provided…

  • IMC

    By this blog's standards, I suspect I am quite ancient. I am also a veteran of multiple newsrooms, back when newsrooms were 1) a viable career plan and 2) nearly as much fun as the gaming community, if you like women-hating remarks and attitudes. Substitute "job" for every mention of "gaming" in this post, and you get some sense of what every woman who has held a job in the twentieth century has endured, particularly if the job in question was not a gig typically "given" to women.

    I'm in no danger of joining the gaming community. But it pisses me off to hear that women in that community are still being expected to do every bit of the job that men do, while also picking up a full-time second career in deflecting misogynistic bullshit.

    Aris is of course the primary problem here, but the other men on both teams run a close second. Guys, if you won't play with other men who act like this–if you won't have them as team members–they'll have to either clean up their acts or go away. You can't call yourself Miranda's teammates, or members of the same community, and still let her be solely in charge of dealing with Aris and other men who act like Aris. His behavior should prevent him from joining your team *regardless of how Miranda or any other woman handles it.* She's giggling? She's shouting? Either way, his shit should bother you enough that you will shun him until and unless he cleans up his act. Would you play with a racist? Someone who called your teammate or opponent the N word and suggested that this person go back to Mammie? No? The same standards apply here.

    If you won't shun Aris and his like, you are equally the problem.

    • Cat

      Well said!

  • Tom

    There's not much to say, Doc. You hit the nail on the head. There's absolutely no reason to belittle a woman like that. Hell, no one should ever do or say anything like that to ANYONE. PERIOD.

  • Sumiko

    This is a grown man condoning sexual harassment of not just women – but girls, in a T for Teen game which he himself admits has a core 15 to 20 year old demographic. This is wrong on so many levels.

  • John

    Probably what is most shocking about this is that while Aris sexually harasses Miranda, NO ONE ELSE IN THE ROOM DID SHIT ABOUT IT!! They either sat quietly by and pretended that nothing was happening, or they went along with it, and all it probably would have taken was one of the guys in the room telling Aris to buzz off, or that what he was doing wasn't cool, and he probably would have backed off. And yes i did say guys because he obviously does not respect women, ergo if another women had spoken up he probably would have simply ignored her. Because the other gamers in the room did nothing it empowered Aris to be more aggressive in sexually harassing Miranda. Also seriously condoning sexual harassment EVER, is not ok, period. These kind of guys give gaming a bad name, and the only way to deal with them is to ban them, permanently.

    • Paul Rivers

      I would honestly bet you that at least half the guys in that room thought she was into what was going on, and even if they thought it was weird, they looked over at her smiling and laughing and said to themselves "she looks like she's into it – it must be cool with her". I mean to be honest, the last time I saw a girl smiling and laughing that much she was facebook-official dating the guy she was smiling and laughing with within a week.

      I didn't hang out with that crowd of people when I was younger, and what people do changes to, so I cannot say how they would have reacted if she *had* reacted with disgust. I can only say that when I was in high school, me and all the friends I knew would have assumed that a girl smiling and laughing was having a good time and wouldn't have even wanted any of us to say anything bad about it.

      • Jaclyn

        Well, you shouldn`t assume that, as has been pointed out, many will laugh and smile as a way to deflect the even worse shit she will get if she says anything. She will laugh and smile and hope that it will stop at some point, hope that someone will say something so she isn`t alone. Many nerd women are under pressure to be the cool girl, to be the girl that`s OK with everything because that`s how she gets acceptance into the community. If she`s not cool with it, she has no sense of humour, she`s too sensitive, she ruins the dynamic, she can`t be there, etc. To be honest, the fact that you say well they thought she was into it so we shouldn`t say anything is kind of appalling. That is grade A sexual harassment right there. Plain and easy to see and begging for someone to step in. Eventually she did ask for it to stop and it didn`t. And no one supported her even at that point. Instead, she was told that she must have liked it since she didn`t speak earlier. She can`t win no matter what she does.

        • Paul Rivers

          "Well, you shouldn`t assume that, as has been pointed out, many will laugh and smile as a way to deflect the even worse shit she will get if she says anything. She will laugh and smile and hope that it will stop at some point, hope that someone will say something so she isn`t alone. Many nerd women are under pressure to be the cool girl, to be the girl that`s OK with everything because that`s how she gets acceptance into the community. If she`s not cool with it, she has no sense of humour, she`s too sensitive, she ruins the dynamic, she can`t be there, etc."

          And to me, *that* is the problem.

          First, if she says something, she should be able to expect that person to stop. Second, if that doesn't work, she should be able to expect support from the other people in the room.

          "To be honest, the fact that you say well they thought she was into it so we shouldn`t say anything is kind of appalling. That is grade A sexual harassment right there. Plain and easy to see and begging for someone to step in. Eventually she did ask for it to stop and it didn`t. And no one supported her even at that point. Instead, she was told that she must have liked it since she didn`t speak earlier. She can`t win no matter what she does."

          I don't really want to get into this reframing stuff – I simply think that the high school me, being in the that room, would have honestly assumed that she was not uncomfortable by her reaction and that's it. I couldn't possibly disagree more with your "plain and easy" statement. I personally think girls speak a deliberately confusing language, but it's not secret that men and women communicate differently. If you want to bridge the gap, I don't disagree that women shouldn't have to sit through this, but I do disagree that men should be expected to be mind readers.

          My only caveat is that my comments apply to the *actual* video in this entry – not comments that were supposedly made that I couldn't find in the video, not what happened after the video (if someone asks you to lay off and you keep increasing that stuff, you're just an ass), and not any other theoretical situations outside this specific video.

          But yeah – I don't think most high school guys, being in that situation, would even think that the girl was actually uncomfortable until the very end of the video where she left the room. Then we would have been like "oh…wait…that's not right…maybe she really was offended". That's just how it would have been with my friends in high school (to be fair, my friends would never have gone anywhere near where Arris went either, but hey).

          • stencilsniffer

            "I personally think girls speak a deliberately confusing language"

            This, and many other comments of yours that I've read on this blog, (to paraphrase: women are lazy for not approaching men, women call unattractive men "creep" out of spite) make it abundantly clear you have biased views on women that skew negative.

            Due to this bias, I have no doubt that you wouldn't pick up on what most people can clearly identify as a hostile situation. Your ability to empathize with women is seriously compromised by the negative attributes you consistently pin on them.

        • Notsureifsrs

          "Well, you shouldn`t assume that, as has been pointed out, many will laugh and smile as a way to deflect the even worse shit she will get if she says anything. She will laugh and smile and hope that it will stop at some point, hope that someone will say something so she isn`t alone."

          What are men supposed to do, read her mind? OK.

          • Karen

            I seriously cannot believe men cannot figure out this is inappropriate language and treatment all on their own wihout a woman having to tell them so. It has absolutely nothing to do with her whatsoever. You do NOT treat another human being like this. You should not have to be told this. It’s basic human decency. And it is imo a wee bit insulting to men to say we don’t understand human decency unless someone tells us. Are we really that mentally and emotionally far apart that this seemingly basic thing is unknown?

  • Sexual harassment in gaming is basically the same as sexual harassment in the workplace. The purpose is to protect a domain of male privilege by making women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. It's not about humor, it's not about trash talking, it's not about sex or sexual attraction, and it's not about "coolness." It's men feeling threatened by the presence of women and needing to send a clear message that the women aren't welcome there. And then when women turn around and leave, the harasser can conveniently claim that women just can't hack it in his tough environment. It's always incumbent on the women to have thicker skins.

    This needs to stop.

  • Kevin

    Wow they guy is… wow so many things I could say but I won't. I feel bad for the girl and sexual harassment is not cool. She could bring legal actions against the people who held the show. If she was there by a legal contract, they to are legal to provide a safe environment for her to compete/ work in.

    As a male game I do tend to make a run of the mouth and I do make jokes that are sometime sexual in nature (to both male and female). I don't think of my self more of a man for doing it. However, if I notice or someone tells me that my actions bothering them, I stop and apologize for it. I personally think it take more of a man to know when they cross the line and work hard to correct the issue then it is to ignore it or make it worse.

    • Just one small note about making sexual comments to both men and women.

      It may seem like this negates any sexism because you're treating people equally, but you have to bear in mind that men and women are going to hear and react to these comments from completely different perspectives. It might not be a big deal to a man that a comment is sexual, but for a woman who's been dealing with the sexual harassment constantly, your comments will just be another in a long line of things that wear her down and make her not want to participate. She will interpret them in the context of frequently being sexually harassed, so it won't matter whether singling her out was your intent or not. She'd have no way of knowing you also say those things to a guy.

      I think that if you genuinely want to avoid alienating people and you also want to treat men and women the same, it'd be better to not make sexual jokes at all than to make them to both. Context is key.

  • metalraygear

    wow, that was some fucked up shit. Good on you Dr. Nerdlove! I don't think that you arguing the decent side of things is wrong at all.

  • Pingback: Cross Assault and Sexual Harassment : The Cultural Gutter()

  • Temir

    I guess I should preface my post by saying that I am completely on Aris' side on this issue.

    That being said, I was extremely surprised when I read this article. It does not seem to possess the usual care and awareness that I have come to expect. The biggest problem I have with it is that it does not illustrate both sides of the argument. Furthermore, there is also no justification behind this part at all: "In our culture, women grow up socialized that they’re not supposed to make a fuss. They’re not supposed to be assertive. They’re encouraged – even in this day and age – to swallow their feelings and “go along to get along”". This is a gross generalization and as far as arguments go, I will need to illustrate just 1 example where this is not true in order to make your point invalid. Oh wait…. there is such an example IN THE SAME ARTICLE! You brought up the way the issue with possible excessive language was handled on the LEOG. One member mentioned that she was being offended and asked you to stop… Did she "go along to get along"? Nope.

    My point is that Aris was not there on a casual meeting or hanging with his friends, he was not even on that particular team by choice (as in, he did not have a say in what teammates he gets). He was there to entertain and that is what he did. If Miranda did not want to be treated that way, she would have tried to change the subject or at least drop some sort of clue that she was not comfortable with the situation. I might be blowing your mind here and I do not know how it is with other men, but when some woman is going along with what I am saying and seems to giggle and laugh, I do not think to myself "I should probably stop this". It is physically impossible to cross a line if the said line has not been drawn in the first place. In other words, if Aris did make Miranda uncomfortable, he did not go far enough for her to even attempt to drop the subject.

    People behave differently depending on what situation they are in. Since the competitive fighting game genre has evolved without the ease and anonymity of the internet (due to the games requiring split-second timing, which is offset by lag) the clique that formed among the games is quite exclusive. As a result, when I go to the local fighting game conventions and tournaments, I usually know most of the people there. That being said, I believe that Aris felt he was among friends and was therefore a bit more loose with his language.

    Given the situation, I can not blame Aris for acting the way he did. The fault lies with Miranda for not indicating in any way that she was indeed uncomfortable. Saying that she was pre-programmed by the society to "go along" is just a cop out to try and justify her behavior. My guess is that something happened off-air that triggered this shit storm, but I am too lazy to get informed. As it stands now, "bitch be tripping".

    • Dr. NerdLove

      Hrm. Almost 9 hours. I'm impressed. I thought the "blame the victim" types would show up much sooner.

      BUt let's dig in here: To start with: the LEOGer who asked us to stop dropping c-bombs was amongst friends, albiet friends who enjoy sexually charged humor and raunch. She didn't feel threatened. So it was far easier for her to say "Hey, knock it off". If we had continued – or started making all of the jokes about her, it may well have been a completely different issue entirely.

      And evidently you're not only too lazy to do research but too lazy to read the article in it's entirety. So in the interest of helping the handicapped, allow me to quote the part that apparently you missed:

      As she said on Twitter, Miranda made a point of discussing the matter with him on a one-on-one basis. By all accounts, Aris ignored her complaints and continued to make sexually aggressive and harassing comments towards her.

      Sorry if I blew your mind here, but occasionally it helps to actually read a little more carefully.

      And he certainly felt comfortable… until he thought "The Cap-Cops" were coming by on Day 5. That would seem to imply that he knew that the things he was saying would not be viewed with warm approval by the contest's sponsors.

      • Temir

        I forgot to mention that my comment was mostly about the way Aris acted during the video, since the whole interaction was recorded and is, therefore, easier to judge. I did miss the part with the twitter, but it only serves to reassure that my guess was correct. Things happened "off-air" that triggered this response and the stuff on the video was within her tolerance range.

        • Claudia

          So you have never ever heard or been told something that enrages you, but chose not to talk at the moment? Ever?

          Nice for the victim blaming though.

          • Temir

            I certainly have. In cases like that, I attempted to break contact with the person that I find offensive by walking away, stopping the conversation or any number of other means. The video does not show her doing anything like that; in fact, she continued to laugh and seemed to enjoy the attention. If I was in the guy's shoes, I would misread the signs as well.

          • Dr. NerdLove

            In that case, you're incredibly bad at reading signs.

            You might notice, for example, that she got up to go to the bathroom twice. Here's a free hint: she didn't have too many Big Gulps. She was leaving the room in the hopes that shit would settle down without her having to say anything.

        • Amanda B

          Your reasoning is a bit unsound here. The order of events as reported here is that the interaction on the video happened, and then then Miranda spoke to Aris about it privately. By this reporting, she chose to speak to Aris about his on-air behavior in a non-competitve, non-threatening environment, rather than call him out in the moment. It is not uncommon for a person to delay confrontation. I don't follow how you see this as reassurance.

          Silence is never consent, for any type of treatment.

        • Gracie

          Oh look, a prime example of confirmation bias!

    • Cat

      So, just because I asked Rubio (who is a friend, not just some dude online, and who was not being directly abusive to me) to stop using the "c-word" and didn't feel threatened doing so means that girls in general don't feel threatened by offensive language or comments, and girls aren't generally acculturated to "go along to get along?" That's some pretty flawed logic.

      And, there's the part where you're not a girl, so what the fuck would you know about it? What would you know about being sexually harassed in high school to the point where, if you'd been in an office situation, you'd be a millionaire from the lawsuit you could have filed, but because you were in high school you had to rely on the administration to protect you, which it didn't? What would you know about getting groped in the hallway? What would you know about trying to stand up for yourself, only to get harassed EVEN WORSE than you were before? What would you know about crying to your best girl friend about it, and being told by her, "Just do what I do; laugh it off. That way, they stop sooner, and it's not as bad."

      Now tell me that there's "no justification" for the fact that girls "go along to get along."

      • Temir

        Saying that girls are "generally acculturated to “go along to get along?” is a generalization, which makes it a weak argument, which can be weakened even further if even 1 case provided where a woman did not act that way. What would you do to refute my claim if I were to say: "All men are assholes, therefore, if I act like and asshole, I am justified in doing so". You would call this argument bullshit and would be right do so.

        In my experience, women do not tend to act that way. Plus, when has allowing something to continue ever helped to stop it? The point is, while Aris did not do anything right, he did not do anything wrong either, given the evidence in the video and the transcripts.

        • Claudia

          Defend sexual harassment as something that just happens and that you just have to live with it, which is what the guy did, is not wrong? That's just skewed in so many levels.

        • Ed

          Temir clearly failed logic. If something is generally true… such as generally people stop at stop signs, pointing out that 1 person ran a stop sign once does not make the statement any less true. Even saying 1000 people do it every day does not make it less true.

        • Dr. NerdLove

          I just want to point out that what you're saying is that it's just jim-dandy to demand to know a woman's bra size, offer her up as a prize to the chat stream, berate people who get in your way of staring at her tits and to joke at her about how you want to watch her in the bathroom via secret camera while she's getting increasingly uncomfortable.

          You may want to consider just what that says about you.

          • Ed

            AND… how can one separate when these statements are just "jokes" or when they will lead to physical harm? You cannot. That is why it is illegal. And it is also used systematically to preserve power of one group at the expense of the rest. Racism is the same thing. Hate crimes are the same thing. Why would one not want to be nice to people, make them feel welcome and have a pleasant interaction? The answer is fear.

        • Cat

          Temir, your own argument is flawed. You use, as your first point, the fact that something is a "generalization" to say that "even one case" which doesn't conform to the generalization, makes it weak. That's exactly what a generalization is – a general statement that is not an absolute. Variation from the norm does not mean the norm isn't, well, the norm.

          You follow it up with the hypothetical "All men are assholes," which is not a generalization. It's a statement of absolutes. *That* is the case in which even one example of nonconformity invalidates the entire argument.

          And, are you sure you're reading the women right? You seem to be reading Miranda's reactions in a way which suits your argument, rather than in a way which is reflective of her reaction in a particular situation. Have you never heard nervous laughter? Have you never heard someone laugh as a way to try to diffuse tension, or at an inappropriate time, because they weren't sure how to handle the situation?

          Allowing something to happen doesn't help to stop it; the point is that, frequently, women know they *can't* stop the harassment – they've tried being polite but direct (as Miranda did when she took Aris aside, in private, and told him to stop his bad behavior), and it DOESN'T WORK. After a while, you get to the point where you figure, "Well, less harassment is better, and if I can make it go away *faster* if I don't fight back, then I won't fight back."

          As for your disbelief in girls being acculturated to be passive, nice, and to be peacemakers, might I suggest you start by reading "Reviving Ophelia" by Mary Pipher, PhD, and then go to your local library and browse in the HQ and HV section (Library of Congress system). I think you need to broaden your sphere of reference.

        • Kira

          I think most of your points have been pretty well answered by other people here, but I wanted to include one more thing: Just because you personally don't think you know any women like that could mean one of three things:

          – Statistically speaking, you're in a pocket of variation that is non-representative of the universe. This happens ALL THE TIME. It's why anecdotal evidence is not valid compared to statistical evidence.

          – You could know these women and be misinterpreting them or glossing over what they think to validate your own beliefs. This also happens ALL THE TIME.

          – or you could be right.

          Given the odds, I happen to believe that third possibility is really unlikely.

    • Siderealist

      "The biggest problem I have with it is that it does not illustrate both sides of the argument."

      There is no other side to this argument. I realize that this is a tough concept to handle in this day and age of giving opposing viewpoints, however wacky or insane or lunatic, the same validity. But there really, truly, is no other side to this argument. This was verbal and near-physical sexual harassment. Lawsuits have been won for less. People have gotten fired or run out of office for less. And neither you nor Aris get to rationalize your way out of this by blaming the victim. Why?


      Pity none of you had the stones to help Miranda out.

      • Dr. NerdLove

        There's also the fact that I'm not a journalist, nor do I have the need to play false-equivalence games in the name of "balance".

        But really, it's mostly through my sense of fairness that I didn't just type "FUCK THAT GUY" five hundred times and call it an evening.

        • IMC

          I *am* a journalist, and there is still no other side to this story. We don't judge whether assault is right or wrong depending on the victim's reaction. No one suggests that your reaction makes the difference between theft and borrowing when someone steals your wallet. No matter how Miranda reacted–and I agree that her discomfort was obvious–Aris was wrong. You can tie yourself into as many philosophical and rhetorical knots as you like. He will still be wrong.

        • Amanda

          To be fair…I would have read and shared an article that was just "Fuck That Guy" 500 times.

          • Seriously, can we have one of those, too?

  • Kelly F.

    Ugh. Just watching that video made me sick! I can't believe how disgusting his behavior was. Watching Miranda giggle uneasily and look uncomfortable made me so angry.

    Women don't always immediately get upset or say anything when they are being harassed because they are usually scared to do so, especially in an environment, like at work, school, or a competition, where they are obligated to get along with everyone and "keep the peace".

    In middle school and high school if some creep was harassing me I would try to laugh it off and or I would say to myself, "They're just joking", even though I hated being treated like crap. But when I did stand up for myself, everyone would say that I was over-reacting and that "boys will be boys".

  • Ed

    So, these people are professional gamers and they are at their job. Why is there not a sexual harassment lawsuit pending? (correct me if there is… I have not heard of it). Since it is ALL RECORDED, it seems like a pretty slam-dunk case. None – of the usual he said, she said problem.

  • NekoHitori

    As a person who works for the Army, I can say that the military takes sexual harassment and sexual assault very seriously. Everyone, from employed civilians to those actually serving, are required to take sexual harassment training that emphasizes the idea that it is up to everyone, not just the victim, to put a stop to it as soon as possible before it escalates from "just teasing" to a physical assault. I'm not saying that Aris would have raped Miranda if she stuck around after her required week, but there always is that risk. That behavior is also demoralizing and can cause a breakdown in team cohesiveness.

    And while Miranda was giggling, her body language read, "I am uncomfortable, somebody please stop this." It wasn't just up to her, but also to her teammates and to the people hosting the program to step in and say, "Hey, I don't appreciate this sort of language. You need to stop." Stopping this sort of behavior in any community, be it military or work or gaming, is a group effort, not just that of the victim.

  • Jim

    While this type of behavior is appalling, it goes both ways. I've had women ask for pictures of my penis, ask me how large it is, etc..It's only an outrage because it's happening to a woman, because god forbid a man get sexually harassed. If she is letting it upset her that much then the guy won. He got in her head. She should Sally up and either dish it back or ignore it.

    • Claudia

      Men are sexually harassed too, nobody is denying that, and pulling up a double standard and say "Yeah, well she should have acted like a shitty person too if she was bothered by it", is not how you solve the issue.

      • Jim

        Crying about it doesn't solve the issue either. Had the roles been reversed, it would have been a nonissue.

        • Cat

          She didn't cry about it. She did her best to address it, but got nowhere. Eventually, she got to the end of her rope and reacted the only way she felt she could: she basically gave up.

          Accusing her of "crying about it" and basically telling her to "nut up or shut up" (not your quote, just a common phrase) is just another way of marginalizing her and, essentially, blaming the victim.

          • Jim

            I'm not blaming her, but she should be used to it. I got used to all the disgusting things said to me as I played. Getting frustrated or giving in just makes it worse. giving up on fighting bullies is why people go to extremes and do drastic things like shoot up a school. People need to either fight back, or ignore it.

          • Robert

            Given that fighting back makes things worse and ignoring it keeps them at the same level, I don't think there really is a way for a victim to deal with it.

    • WereScrib

      It does go both ways, but it's honestly less common, especially in the gamer culture for it to be female-to-male harassment. Even less common in well. Fighting games and e-sports. I've seen it happen, (a girl on TF2 started bombarding guys with nonstop micspam in a similar vein to that which is described in this article, causing numerous players to quit after their attempts at banning her for harassment was met by an overly large group of men joining her harassment, and vocally justifying her actions because, anyone who got worked up over a girl was gay/fag/virgin/hadasmalldick)

      But on the other hand? Sexual harassment towards girls is really, really constant. Even in small "mature" communities such as the RP community of Everquest II or Neverwinter Nights, I've gotten hordes of tells of a disgustingly sexual nature only because I was playing a female avatar, and places like Quake, CoD, Halo and Left4Dead? Sexual Harassment is almost a given. (it's rare when I see a team with a girl on it in left4dead2 who isn't harassed in some way or another… I swear, the moment a girl is randomly playing Spitter, Rochelle or Zoe on a versus match? The comments start rolling..)

  • Darwin C

    From joking around and trash talking to sexual harassment…

    People these days…what was the guy thinking? Actually scratch that, he wasn't thinking at all. I'm seeing a lot of posts trying to evade the main issue here, but we all know the guy fucked up, this guy fucked up. HE FUCKED UP.

    But yeah, if I was the girl, I would have slapped da shit outta him. Hopefully this video and the events surrounding it afterwards is a warning to everyone, guys and girls not to essentially be dicks in life.

  • Roxie

    SRK is still a super sexist, racist shit stain? Not surprised.

    I haven't been there in years due to some very stupid drama (TNT style crazy).

    I've had people ask me, beg me, to come back. I always wonder why the hell I stayed so long.

    I'm not all surprised they way they responded to Miranda. I just really hate it for her.

    To some, the idea of showing a woman respect some how means "No fun" for them. This should be a huge red alert for EVERYONE.

  • Rex Torso

    Oh my Ga-ud, this privilege shit has got to stop. Reading some of the comments and the article, the idea that there exist special benefits ordained at birth which give someone privilege their whole life is a flawed notion. The very concept of ‘privilege’ is a concoction. It rests on spurious thinking about human nature, not hard evidence, and relies on ‘social construction’ premises that aren’t difficult to prove invalid. This article wraps his spew of trash-talk around the notion of privilege when his harassment is just bluntly obnoxious.

    (I didn’t watch the video, but if you say his words go way beyond normal trash-talking, which is supposed to be very edgy, then I trust your assessment)

    Furthermore, H. sapiens lived some 99.5% of existence outside of civilization; do you really think ‘culture’ is the greatest influence over the way we act? I don’t think girls and women are molded to be passive. They simply are, mostly, passive when confronted with aggression or tense situations (psst, hard-wired biology is at work). That said, I don’t think the man in question may have been successfully raised to be a gentlemen, which brings up an entirely different set of problems.

    This man was exhibiting obnoxious behavior, even after being confronted by someone who found it offensive. This is grounds to shun such behavior with withering scorn, not an imposition to push the false notion of ‘privilege’. It’s needlessly wrapping a basic injustice with a far-left concept (and there you have, I saved that for last).

    • Cat

      Wait… Did I read that correctly?

      Are you saying that women are biologically predisposed to be passive?

      Where the hell did you come up with that one?

      • Rex Torso

        The word passive may have been misused; maybe a different word with a nearby meaning would have worked better. Regarding my point, though, about that quality being rooted in biology, the third paragraph in my response to UnderOrange sums up my belief.

    • UnderOrange

      There are a lot of very powerful women in my history and present (and hopefully future) that prove to me that things can't be so simple as 'women are just made that way'. While I am a passive person, I can also pinpoint a lot of times in my past where being passive was actually beneficial to me. I know where I learned this behavior.

      I think this is a pretty bold claim to make when isn't reasonable (or ethically at this point) to test scientifically. Last I heard on the subject nobody knows exactly where the line between nature and nurture is drawn. To claim any one behavior is a result of all one or the other is a narrow viewpoint when every person alive today is a result of both.

      • Rex Torso

        The line is generally considered to be 50/50 on many observable human traits, although depending on what trait you are looking at and what specific nuance of that trait, the line can be under or over that margin. We inherit much from our parents, and even more from the great, expansive evolutionary past.

        Here I’m referring to heritability of human traits and predilection to act or become a certain way, which can be determined within neuroscience laboratories (and within other science disciplines). The field from which concrete knowledge about the human condition is coming from is neuroscience, and that locomotive is coming at us in a time when it’s taboo to talk about human differences, and disparities, among the many groups of people that inhabit this planet (I assure you, the egalitarian premise is pervasive and ubiquitous in Western society).

        Regarding the ‘women are just made that way’ comment, I would continue to argue the above. When looking at certain traits, we are in fact ‘just made that way’. Individuals do fall across a wide range of abilities and propensities, but men and women tend to skew toward many traits that define their sex. When I say define, I’m referring to the way our ancestors have come to know men and women; not through science, but by careful observation and wise assessment. You want to know how men and women (or virtually any other group for that matter) really are? Read literature. The many observations of the past hold every bit of understanding that will likely be confirmed by hard science in the future. Hell, it’s been happening for awhile now.

        One last note: I wasn’t trying to relate passivity with weakness or some kind of flaw. I think I must have been referring to something I read in the comment section or the article. I don’t think it’s a negative quality; just that females skew toward it far more than males.

        • Kira

          I have no idea where you got your 50/50, but the only way I recognize it is as a mental heuristic, so I assume it is bullshit. I look at neuroscience for my job and nowhere is it written that women are made to be passive. True, higher levels of progesterone tend to reduce acetylcholine response, and that's the only bit of neurobiology I have run across that even *might remotely* support your point. Estrogen has no effect:

          The effect of progesterone is actually a feedback response:… it's more that they modulate each other, and there's less modulation if there's less progesterone. So in terms of orders of magnitude, it's not large enough to produce a class effect.

          And adult males have similar levels of progesterone to women who are producing eggs, so really the effect should work as well in men as it does in women:

          In short, unless you produce some actual science I suspect you have it backwards.

        • UnderOrange

          Well, after taking the time to parse through some of those impressively long and not-often-used words, I can safely say that I disagree with you. I don't feel there is enough proof to generalize something as all encompassing as 'women are just generally passive.'

          I agree that literature is a really good way to learn about behavior but you seem to think it makes a point that it doesn't. Literature is the result of the social climate it was made in. Same as people today, literature is just an expression of how one or more people see the world. To say it another way; it is a glimpse of the world filtered through a person. A person that is a result of both their personal biological nature and the social environment they were raised in.

          Biology and social conditioning are not separated concisely even in literature. I understand they both effect a person, I'm not saying the 'nurture' side is the only side that effects people because it very clearly isn't.

          I am saying you just can't prove women are more passive by nature and I refuse to believe it without proof.

          To swing all of this back around to your original point. Yes, this article is about male privilege. The fact that this stuff happens to women and not men puts women in an environment that will affect their future behavior. Little girls are treated completely different than little boys and they will be effected by that, as well. To claim otherwise is willful ignorance of the fact that social conditioning exists.

          I assure you, it does.

          • UnderOrange

            I've just noticed that I used 'effect' incorrectly IMMEDIATELY AFTER having used 'affect' correctly in the exact same paragraph. It's killing me a little inside.

  • JT

    Hey Dr Nerdlove, thank you for writing this. Generally a really good article and very necessary.

    One comment: When you say, "I’m kind of astounded she didn’t jam something large and blunt up his [i.e. Aris's] rectum", this is a rape joke, and as such absolutely not ok. In fact, it's part of the very culture that you're criticising in the rest of the piece. The type of unwanted penetration in your comment would definitely fall under the FBI's definition of rape. Would you consider revising that paragraph?

    • maybe this was not a joke, as much as a surprised but scientific observation in the name of gender studies?

  • Dr.Nerdlove,

    I love you.

    If things don't work out with your woman, please marry me.



    • uh… i asked you read the blog first, not harrass the author 😉

      • It's not harassment when its from the heart. Offer stands.

        • E

          "It’s not harassment when its from the heart."

          -Oi… I can tell you mean well, but that logic's a bit dangerous. Not everyone's hearts have kind intentions.

  • Thank you for posting this.

  • Abraham Yunes Gonz&a

    I found it quite disturbing when he was requesting that Miranda should wear a skirt the next day, to which she said she didn't have one, only for Aris go and say he would buy her one or make one with his beard. And asking constantly why she covered her breast with her arms. And that if she made a stupid mistake like not checking the game timer while she was harassed he would smell her and say her boyfriend's name (which he did). God damn.

  • That one Black guy

    I'm disappointed at Aris, as someone who's apart of the FGC, I partly didn't watch Cross Assault beside a few matches here and there mainly due to the reality show nature,but I know Aris (who represented Team Tekken, a side of the community I don't follow) just set us as a whole community back to Alpha 2 days when everyone thinks we're just a bunch of perverted dude who have to rape women to get laid. The fact that he soiled good solid play with his words and then tried to DEFEND Those words is inexcusable, and this kinda thing needs to stop. However I know it will keep going and men like Aris will be able to get in positions like this where they cause a PR nightmare for everyone until the community as a whole has people who can show that not only is that not acceptable but that alot off female gamers have just as much if not more game on the sticks then Aris, something that as a person who closely follows alot of the FGC i can't say is common which is sad

  • That one Black guy

    I'm sorry ISN"T common, also ladies before you say "I can beat him" if he's a coach for one of these teams it's probably because he was great skills and solid game of elements that I don't have a handle on or think about and I've been in the game for 4 years, and while I believe you can one day do it, unless there's a point you want to make more then "I beat this sexist asshole" then trust me the drive will burn out before you reach that level, also it's unhealthy for anyone to hold on to that ideal for too long.

  • That one Black guy

    oh wait nevermind I did say what I intended in say originally my bad!

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  • SpeedyShamrock

    Valid points all of the article. Using sexually charged dialogue for shock and awe purposes is not what a "community" hinges on nor should its members feel that they are under attack for having to change their ways in response to simple human decency. If I am brought out to a gay bar and all the gay dudes start throwing around very suggestive and explicit innuendos at me, will masculinity make me suck it up and laugh it off? Sure; but will I also be freaking out that I might be gang banged by 10 dudes that have maybe 40lbs of muscle on me? even more so (argument sake, not homophobic ranting). Saying that they cant take a joke or laugh it off is one thing, but when they actively bully you on account of your sex and assume nothing is wrong with it in the context atmosphere, than I agree with the Dr. and will promptly leave your community to find like minded players who understand how to treat another person.

    Lastly; that guy doesn't like Hilde? even more reason to leave.

  • Jon

    Its kind of hilarious how there are like a hundred comments here and no one points out that there are SERIOUSLY INCORRECT statements above that are being REPOSTED on other other sites (

    "Listening to him scream “Bitch” over and over again with all of the joy of a five-year old who’s figured out that naughty words make his parents react, then scream “RAPE THAT BITCH!” when a female character is taken down."

    Wow, this sure makes him sound terrible… except that none of its true. So yes, this section in particular is all incorrect. If you watched the stream you'd see he was not yelling "Bitch" over and over again – in fact, please put up a video of this to prove me wrong. The 'rape that bitch' statement is from a conversation about what happened AT A TOTALLY separate event, and was NOT said by Aris, but by some random person in the crowd.

    I dont condone his actions and I dont condone straight up incorrect bullshit either.

    Get your facts straight before you spread your slander

    • Paul Rivers

      Yeah, there were several things in the comments here that I didn't actually hear in the video. I can't hear everything in the video, but it kind of shows you how many of the "I'm so outraged!!!" comments came from people who didn't even watch it, doesn't it?

    • Kira

      My dislike for the situation is based on the published comments, of which there are several. I imagine there are dozens of videos that haven't been put up. I don't for a minute think there's only the two videos posted here. I don't know what's in the ones that haven't been directly linked to here because I don't care enough to look them up.

      But I fail to understand why with a pile of published comments and actions, all of which are gross, you focus on the ONE thing that isn't actually in print.

  • Stupendous-Man

    "Meet the public face of the gaming community, nerds."

    Hey Doctor you misspelled pubic.

    • Dr. NerdLove

      I really didn't need that mental image. Thanks so much.

  • rumirumirumirumi

    "Ok, I wasn’t planning on this. After two separate articles on male privilege, women and the geek community, I had been planning on leaving the topic well enough alone."

    Are you sure about that? Because at the end of Part 2, you wrote:

    "I’ll have more to say soon specifically about how male privilege in geek culture directly affects women, why guys should care and what we – men and women – can do about it. Until then, back to the dating advice."

    I'm not calling you a liar or anything, but this rhetorical move you make at the beginning of Part 3 stopped me cold so I wanted to mention it. Why go to the trouble of acting indignant about returning to the subject when you planned on it anyway? This is a subject worth having continued conversation about, but this feels more like self-aggrandizement than honest discourse.

  • Liz

    I especially love the "she shouldn't have been there in the first place" rape argument you mention in the article. I'm all too familiar with people who claim not to blame the victim and then proceed to engage in flowery double talk to hide…… the fact that, yes, indeed, they *are* blaming the victim and their argument is the equivalent of "if she can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen"

    They usually back-pedal when someone calls them on it. "you were misinterpreting!" they say, as they sugar coat their diatribe with artifical sweetener. Sorry dude…you're argument looks ugly because it is. Your argument looks like it condones and excuses violence because it does. You sound like someone who wants women relegated to antiquated gender roles because you are.

    Who the hell expects violence as a consequence of their gender? Women…that's who. We've been taught to expect it most of our lives. Society has come to accept it as the status quo…that we should expect "it just comes with the package". How anyone can be blind to the insanity of that argument is beyond me.

    Are we in Burka territory now as the only method by which we can expect safety from assault…physical or otherwise? Certain aspects of our society are now off limits? Stay home and be a good little girl…don't go in that sandbox because they'll hurt you and if they do you've only yourself to blame.

    How 'bout targeting the damn sandbox?! That's where the criminal element is. Talk about politically correct…we can't touch the criminal element…nooooo…it'd hurt their itty-bitty feeewings and violate their 1st amendment rights.

    Under that argument, isn't child porn a first amendment right? It makes about as much sense, doesn't it?

    We can't expect them to behave like civilized human beings? We've no place in holding them to the same standard we hold our 5-year olds?

    What complete and utter bullsh*t. It's an oh-so-convenient way to ignore our responsibilties as a society and to hold those in violation of societal rules accountable for their actions.

    Wait! I know! let's bend over backwards to change societal rules! Then they won't be violating them and we can ignore it!

    This is violence…pure unadultered violence…and she should be allowed to defend herself by any means necessary.

    It's a *game* for Crise sakes…take your rape fantasies and your sick little mind to the 7th level of hell where you and your tortured soul can wallow in it to your little heart's desire (emphasis on "little"). Come back when you're ready to join the human race.

    I'd be willing to bet there's more than a few lawyers out there who would be glad to take her on as a client in any breach of contract case.

    I wonder how long it would take for them to switch gears if male genitals were target practice? Although, with this crowd, that would probably be a turn on.

    • Paul Rivers

      "This is violence…pure unadulterated violence…and she should be allowed to defend herself by any means necessary."

      A scrawny guy joins a women's studies group where he's pretty much the only guy. From the moment he joins, one tall muscled woman constantly harasses him about how he looks, his sexual prowess, and is derisive about anything he says. But not only does it not seem to bother him, he laughs at the jokes, acts like he loves them and totally goes along with them. One day, she makes a joke and he pulls out a knife and stabs her.

      If your reaction to this is "she deserved it", then you're at least being fair. If your reaction is "he should be sent to jail!" then you can see the hypocrisy.

      • Notsureifsrs

        That's different, because privilege and stuff.

      • Roz

        "If your reaction to this is “she deserved it”, then you’re at least being fair. If your reaction is “he should be sent to jail!” then you can see the hypocrisy."

        "Fair." "Hypocrisy." You… do you know what words mean?

        In your hypothetical story, the scrawny man STABS the strong woman. In this real life situation that the article is about that your story is trying to be a metaphor for, a woman is harassed by a man so she… talks about it. Dude, if Miranda had stabbed Aris, even after his comments, she would have and SHOULD have gone to jail. But she didn't. She talked, she didn't stab. Unless her mouth was full of spring loaded knives set to go off if she opened her mouth, but that seems highly unlikely.

        What you have created is called a false equivalency. Trying to connect "man stabs a woman" with "woman talks to and about a man" as the same thing and then claiming hypocrisy on our part when anyone reacts differently in response to the two very different situations is in no way logical and in no way "fair."

        • Paul Rivers

          "“Fair.” “Hypocrisy.” You… do you know what words mean?"

          Do you know what the phrase "strawman argument" and…you know I'm not sure, is there a cool catchy phrase for making what someone is saying sound completely different than they obviously mean it by quoting it out of context?

          My post is not in response to the original article, it is in response to someone else's comment which *does* advocate that she has the right to respond to his verbal taunting with physical violence. I can't think of any way that I could have made that more clear. My comment clearly in response to another comment. And I even quoted the other comment at the top of my comment. Here it is again –

          “This is violence…pure unadulterated violence…and she should be allowed to defend herself by any means necessary.”

          From the rest of your comment, had you not ignored that I was responding to someone else's post, it sounds like you actually agree with what I wrote.

          • Jaclyn

            “Do you know what the phrase “strawman argument” ¨

            Yes, because you employed it against the other poster. You actually did what you said in your post constitutes a straw man argument by taking that poster`s words out of context and creating a ridiculous hypothetical story about your imaginary flip-side. Exactly who is hypocritical here?

  • Medrala

    Good god, that Aris shithead deserves to get his balls kicked in.

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