E3: 72 Hours of Misogyny

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After reading a series of disgusting tweets aimed at Bonnie Ross, head of the studio that developed Halo, Matthew G P Coe commits to battling sexism in the tech industry.

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After lunch most days, before returning to work, I typically take a few minutes’ break to catch up with Reddit and Twitter, to see if any of my friends have said anything funny or interesting today, or maybe there’s an programming-related article I can share with my colleagues. However, today, my Twitter feed had this waiting for me, courtesy of a retweet from @lindsaybieda:

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My immediate reaction was not unlike Gollum’s, when Sméagol tells him in the film of The Two Towers, “Master looks after us now. We don’t need you any more.”… what?

Now, I knew going into this that E3 is a ridiculous three-day-long display of sexism, objectification, and misogyny (oh, and something about video games, too). Last year, Scott R Kurtz had a character deliver a webcast from “either E3, or the world’s largest Hooters.” I have privately, among my friends, and probably publicly, too, lamented every marketing department’s decision to hire booth babes for a conference—to use women as little more than decoration and furniture— and I’ve written before about the technology industry’s rampant misogyny. It’s not as though I didn’t at least somewhat expect the result of what I did next.

I ran a Twitter search for “#E3 Bonnie Ross”—just that—and was promptly given a feed full of complaints about the new Halo, pleas for 343 Industries not to mess it up… and a litany of tweets about Bonnie Ross: how good she looks, how inept she (apparently) was as a presenter, and multiple people explaining in sometimes graphic details that they want to have sex with her. In particular, @Boogie2988’s gem (since, it seems, deleted):

£429 do we get a complimentary blow job off Bonnie Ross with that?”

— Boogie2988 (@Boogie2988) June 10, 2013

I can’t believe that I have to ask this, but where the fuck do these guys get off, thinking that this shit is okay to suggest, let alone think?! Bonnie Ross is not the studio head of 343 Industries for you to cat-call, or to ask for sexual favours from. She is there to do a job, and judging by the Halo sales, she seems to be doing a pretty good one at that. If you think she’s a dull presenter, fine (during the BB10 launch, I described BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Hiens as having “all the personality of a wet dishrag”), but for God’s sake, can a woman, for once, show up at E3 and be treated with some basic human respect? Is that so hard, guys? Maybe, you know, not call her a MILF. Perhaps not suggest that “that bitch had to have skipped speech class.”

I went on a bit of a tear on Twitter, quote-tweeting and retweeting some of the more egregious offenders, because you know what? I am sick to death of the way that men in my industry talk about women, whether they’re presenting for their favourite console, or the speaker’s colleagues and peers. I would really like to think that, in this day and age, we were raised better than that, but, clearly, this isn’t the case:

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I’m a little proud of eliciting “let’s care more than we should” as a hashtag; it really demonstrates the work that still needs to be done. And I have to say, I haven’t been challenged to a fight since Grade 9, so well done over there, too. However, one of the guys I quote-tweeted (the one who made the crack about speech class) got back to me and we had this conversation. It’s too long to embed without messing around with Storify, but I broke it down for this guy that, basically, what you say on Twitter is open for public critique (and I was just criticising hisstatement, not his character) but his closing statement, “I was in a casual context, speaking with kids just out of high school who couldn’t care less about semantics,” really reminded me, despite all the fucked-up things that have happened this year, that kids today still need to be taught this.

We need to carefully teach the younger generations about respect, and about the hidden messages they may not realise they’re delivering when they use certain words. We need to not only self-correct, and demonstrate the right behaviour; we need to call out the wrong behaviour in others.

I’m sure he and his friends couldn’t care less about the semantics of what they’re saying, but the reality of the situation is that we need them to. Just as we, as adults and parents and nurturers and teachers, need to teach them to care. We need to carefully teach the younger generations about respect, and about the hidden messages they may not realise they’re delivering when they use certain words. We need to not only self-correct, and demonstrate the right behaviour; we need to call out the wrong behaviour in others. They may not realise what they’re doing, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken to task for it. After all, not knowing that, in this particular jurisdiction, you can’t turn right on a red light doesn’t mean the traffic police are going to let you off the hook.

To make this abundantly clear, if you were one of the guys who decided to judge Bonnie Ross’ ability or competence based on her appearance or gender, or you made—or laughed at—jokes about her, using language specifically reserved for insulting women, you are part of the problem. You are holding back the human race from evolving beyond prejudice, beyond hatred, and beyond unwarranted fear. And I refuse to stand idly by and watch you do it.

 

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Originally appeared on Matthew G P Coe’s blog, Quoth the Runtime, “Segmentation Fault”

 

Lead Photo: AP

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About Matthew G P Coe

Matthew G P Coe is a Toronto-based computer programmer, father, husband, and self-professed science fiction nerd, though not necessarily in that order. He writes occasionally, at Quoth the Runtime, “Segmentation fault”, his blog about programming and issues in the software industry. He can also be found on Twitter and Google+.

Comments

  1. “Can a woman, for once, show up at E3 and be treated with some basic human respect?”

    Bigger question, can a woman show up anywhere and be treated as a human first, and a woman second? That’s the big issue with this, I think…well along with all the social privilege and entitlement associated with assuming that they had the right to say whatever the hell they wanted to about her.

    But yeah, the big issue is that she couldn’t show up and be a presenter…or be a studio head…or be whatever. She is a woman, and then a presenter. She is a woman, and then a studio head. A woman cannot escape being a woman in a public space, particularly in a public space with such a dude-brah culture as a gaming convention.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “…particularly in a public space with such a dude-brah culture as a gaming convention.” 

      I think the qualifier there is very important, and I’m glad you included it. Cultural and situational variance is significant. Sexism, like other prejudices, and the people who hold them (or do not hold them, as well) are not uniform- the fact that we do acknowledge that there are innumerable mini ‘cultures’ underscores this. (I would say ‘sub-cultures’ but that sounds almost derogatory, and that is not my intent there) Demographically, I may have a lot in common with an average Christian conservative or an average Marxist revolutionary; while situationally and ideologically I may nothing in common with their social environments, attitudes, prejudices or societal prescriptions. Despite some superficial demographic commonalities, this ‘game culture’ of the last twenty years is opaque to me.            

      “Can a woman show up anywhere and be treated as a human first, and a woman second… She is a woman, and then a presenter. She is a woman, and then a studio head. A woman cannot escape being a woman in a public space.”

      I would be inclined to say one cannot necessarily assume that one is, and that one is not. The fact that one is criticized, contradicted, or otherwise judged harshly in itself is not proof or disproof of prejudice. But the WAY (and the ‘how’, and sometimes/sometimes not the ‘why’) we criticize MAY indeed be indicative of prejudice, or the type of prejudice. 

      If a woman or man is being heckled because they are a woman or a man, then I would call it sexist.    

      If a woman or man is being heckled because they’re an idiot (a highly relative and subjective judgement) -with no regard one way or another for their gender, or any other prejudice- then I would call it progress… Terrible, terrible, hurtful, callous, painful progress; but progress nonetheless. As human beings, we all like to evaluate & judge- we like to criticize. We ‘backseat drive’ and we ‘Monday morning quarterback.’ Sexism isn’t about being simply judgmental; it’s about being judgmental, prejudicial or disrespectful, based on gender. 

      Looking at this as a thought exercise, beyond the case in the original article, so please forgive me if I get a bit tangential or wax a bit too philosophical… 
      In short, Yes. And no. And yes. And no.
      That is, it’s all subjective, it’s all relative. There’s no collective answer. The question may indeed be rhetorical, but regardless, before one can even answer, it’s important to ask: Is that from her (internal) perspective, the audience’s (external) perspective, or any given audience member’s (internal) perspective? They are not the same, and they are not uniform. I may look at someone irrespective of their race or gender- but whether I am being subjectively (in my own mind) or truly ‘objectively’ objective is another matter. And how the person I am looking at perceives me is another subjective matter- regardless of whether I am truly objective or not, they may perceive (or misperceive) me to be one way or another. 

      I take it for granted most rational people understand and accept that one cannot use blatantly objectifying or sexist language and NOT have it taken as sexist- regardless of intent (any more than they could use a blatantly, universally racist epithet, and not expect to be perceived as a racist). That’s low hanging fruit. But at any given moment, a patient in an emergency room, an investor in a boardroom, a student in a classroom, or in any other multitude of millions of different situations, I, you, or anyone else, can (and may very well be) less aware, or less concerned about the gender of the person they are interacting with, than they are about any one of another concerns. In other words, in any given situation, people can be and will be indifferent to gender. A difference that makes no difference, is no difference. 

      Absent obvious epithets, can I objectively prove from moment to moment when gender is consequential and when it’s inconsequential? Probably not. But I cannot accept that gender always is, or has been, or necessarily will or must be, consequential. What I would more readily accept would be that it’s inaccurate to argue for such universality either way. People can be ambivalent. People can be impartial. People can be prejudiced (hopefully, not all the same people; at least not at the same time).                 

      “…social privilege and entitlement associated with assuming that they had the right to say whatever the hell they wanted to about her.”

      Again, are we talking about any criticisms as a speaker here, or about outright, overt objectification? To use a racial epithet (particularly in public) is not an inconsequential act in today’s (Western, liberal, democratic) society. The type of social censure a person would face from their specific peer group could deviate greatly from, or coincide greatly with, the broader social standards and beliefs that racism is morally wrong and unacceptable. The same might be said, in variance, for epithets that are sexist in nature.         

      This is where we (may) have come to the core of our differences: I would think (and I could be wrong) it would be reasonable to assume a general feminist interpretation would be that as a woman is discriminated (discrimination that is uniform and universal) on this basis of her gender, so to is privilege rooted on this same basis of her gender. The axis of the prejudice itself points to the (uniform) source of societal power: Gender. That’s just my understanding of one interpretation. A person who was discriminated on the basis of their race might equally be inclined to see racial differences as the axis of power in society. Equally so for class, or for nationality, to name a few. Prejudice, by it’s nature, has an arbitrary quality about it (hatred, disdain or marginalization for no good reason) but it also presumes an inequality in power, to the victim’s disadvantage. As a left-handed person, I may perceive myself (correctly- at least statistically speaking) as being in a minority; but I would be hard pressed to make a credible case that I experience tangible prejudice, uniformly based on that particular quality, or that the axis of power and privilege in this world is rooted specifically and primarily in one’s left or right-handedness.         

      IF this ‘privilege’ is afforded, extended, denied, or curtailed on the axis of gender (solely or primarily) it’s sexist. If criticism (or, for that matter, approbation as well) is rooted in purely arbitrary presumptions or characteristics like race, class, gender, nationality, ect, it’s prejudice.  

      Now, one may disapprove of the way this ‘privilege’ is being exercised or retained; but the solution (arguably) is not to curtail it. The solution is two-fold: To both ensure that it is extended to all, and available to all, irrespective of qualification or prejudice, and to exercise it judiciously; that is, exclusive of prejudice or objectification (or, perhaps more charitably; NOT exercise it). Pragmatically speaking, you’re never going to stop people from being unduly critical, hypercritical, or, in general, a**holes, at least some of the time, no matter who we are. But at least we can all try to be truly equal and impartial with our a**hole-ery. If I’m being treated like dirt by somebody, well, as least then it’s because of who I am, individually; and not the collegiate body that I belong to (or am perceived as belonging to). Equality, after all, doesn’t guarantee that we all get to be treated terribly great; it just means that I won’t be treated any better or any worse than you (or John, or Jane, or, Parminder, or Vladimir) because of our gender. It is civility, generosity, and empathy that justify the faith we place in equality, and our commitments to it.  

  2. Thank you. Thank you so much. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something on this topic written by a man with such righteous anger. I really appreciate it. And HeatherN, you are absolutely right.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “It’s been a long time since I’ve read something on this topic written by a man with such righteous anger.”

      Personally, I’ve never been a fan of righteous anger, even when very righteous, and very angry. 

      Justice & impartiality would seem to be in conflict of interest with (or at the very least, much secondary to) emotional self-gratification. When all is said and done, who likes to think they would fail a test of character or morality when judged fairly & impartially? Righteous anger though seems almost reckless; you can persuade some who fair & impartial with logic, reason and evidence. But try the same thing with someone who’s righteously angry: They’re focused on being angry, and being RIGHT to be angry- that does not invite reflection or introspection. IMHO.

  3. Joanna Schroeder says:

    I have a topic I’d love to see discussed among smart folks.

    Booth Babes.

    So last year (certainly Heather remembers) I wrote about how totally messed up it is, the way that the spokesmodels (who know little to nothing about gaming) get lumped in with the actual female gaming teams like the Frag Dolls and actual gamer girls or girls with legit “nerd cred”.

    It seems to me that there is a lot of resentment toward using hot girls who pretend to like the geek guys just to sell stuff. And then there is resentment toward the girls who allegedly fake being geeks to get attention from guys… And all this resentment compounds with these guys’ real life experiences with women in school and whatnot and leads to this giant clusterfuck of resentment toward all women in this alleged guy’s world.

    And here’s another question: If booth babes are hired at every other convention (boats, autos, fishing, sports whatever), why is it such a sin to the guys when they’re at E3 and the like? And if so, then what about teams of legitimately skilled players like the Frag Dolls, who also happen to be easy on the eyes?

    Or, is it problematic to have spokesmodel whatever is being sold?

    • John Anderson says:

      I remember a few years back there was controversy over whether companies should allow employees to entertain customers at strip clubs. There was concern that it could create a culture of misogyny within a conpany. Part of the discussion encompassed how this affected women on sales teams who were forced to go into these clubs. They even talked to a man in a committed heterosexual relationship who expressed issues with going to strip clubs on business trips. One question asked was is this just part of the job if it makes the sale or is it sexual harassment.

      Of course they found women who claimed that it was no big deal and they were team players. The thing that sticks with me is what one salesman said. He asked would you rather have lunch with a pretty woman or a man. If we couldn’t take clients to strip clubs, we couldn’t compete. If sex sells, who’ll be the first to place themselves at a competitive disadvantage and not use it?

      • @ John Anderson: Big business culture and techie culture is full of this— my husband’s friend was head of a big techie company in Asia— it was routine to take clients out and drink the regional liquor all night long in private dinner party rooms with lovely young hostesses… Then later, the clients were expected to choose one or go hang out at some other party girl location….it was sort of a fraternity of secrets…. ie., you keep my secrets and I will keep yours… And business deals are sealed and more friendly afterwards….of course, all of these businessmen were married….sort of an open secret in the business community….

      • So were the women who were not ok with it not team players? How about the ones who felt disrespected by it? Did their feelings matter? Or should they have tried harder to be “team players?” Because, you see, women face this issue all the time when “sex sells” and the guys are enjoying it.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Lori

          I think those are all part of the question. I took it that these clients weren’t small that’s why teams of salespeople were sent. I think society struggles with the idea of sexual harassment when they feel that “it’s worth it”. By that I mean that if a person is highly compensated then it becomes part of the job.

          When a job explicitly deals with sex, it’s clearly not sexual harassment. Hooters waitresses are not expected to complain when men ogle their breasts. I remember reading a story of models having to undress and dress out in the open. Their jobs require them to be sexy. They might even be expected to pose nude (whether tastefully covered in the shot) and be expected to be nude in front of essential personnel. I don’t see that as sexual harassment, but being required to undress and dress in front of the general public I view as sexual harassment.

          An easier example would be professional male athletes who are expected to have female reporters / cameras / camera women is their locker rooms. Giving media interviews is a tangential part of the job, but is not actually the job. It helps the business grow. When the courts ruled that the locker room had to be opened to female reporters, the ruling was flawed because the athletes are the employees of the team not the reporters. They ruled that the teams had to treat the reporters the same even if it sexually harassed their employees.

          The models didn’t complain probably because they’re used to it, but when the players had complained, I have seen comments from sports writers pointing out that they are highly compensated. That makes me think that society as a rule would accept sexual harassment if it was financially compensated. Going by that standard women who were not OK with it were not team players.

          Personally, I take a harder line approach to sexual harassment. Employees should not be required to enter strip clubs. They should give models dressing rooms. Reporters should be barred from athletes locker rooms.

    • “I have a topic I’d love to see discussed among smart folks.

      Booth Babes.”

      Sure.

      “So last year (certainly Heather remembers) I wrote about how totally messed up it is, the way that the spokesmodels (who know little to nothing about gaming) get lumped in with the actual female gaming teams like the Frag Dolls and actual gamer girls or girls with legit ‘nerd cred’. ”

      Agreed.

      “It seems to me that there is a lot of resentment toward using hot girls who pretend to like the geek guys just to sell stuff. And then there is resentment toward the girls who allegedly fake being geeks to get attention from guys”

      Possibly to a degree, yes. But I get the feeling that the majority of the whole “fake geek girl” thing comes from how nerdy/geekiness relates to adolecent male-male social dynamics and especially to male-male bullying. Ciswomen having been excluded from that often end up being percieved as “slumming” in geekiness.

      “And all this resentment compounds with these guys’ real life experiences with women in school and whatnot and leads to this giant clusterfuck of resentment toward all women in this alleged guy’s world.”

      I don’t know any people who go on about “fake geek girls” enough to comment on their relationships with women. Maybe someone else does.

      “And here’s another question: If booth babes are hired at every other convention (boats, autos, fishing, sports whatever), why is it such a sin to the guys when they’re at E3 and the like?”

      I think it’s manipulative and somewhat demeaning whatever is being sold. Not sure if I’d qualify as thinking it’s “such a sin” though.

      “And if so, then what about teams of legitimately skilled players like the Frag Dolls, who also happen to be easy on the eyes?”

      They ought to be seen and treated the same way as other teams who are legitimatly skilled.

    • Martina says:

      Wow, great question! Totally broadened my thinking, to a place of greater acceptance. Thank you.

  4. Talk. To. The. Parents. The Coaches. The Scout Leaders. The Teachers. The Citizens. As members of this Village into which these douches, er, kids have been born; all of us are responsible for calling out people, young or old, who make offensive and ignorant comments. It starts at home, but it must continue, everywhere. This is about policing anything; it’s about teaching respect. That one statement says so much; not caring about semantics does not make semantics unimportant, it makes those who do not care Ignorant.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “This is about policing anything: it’s about teaching respect.”

      Not sure if that was a typo, but it thought/assumed you meant to say ‘This ISN’T about policing anything: it’s about teaching respect’

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “It starts at home, but it must continue, everywhere… It’s about teaching respect.”

      Yes, respect can be taught, and from many different sources & different teachers- but like any skill, it takes practice, and time, and effort, and self-discipline to develop. Also, like other skills, the less often we use it, the less fully it develops, and the more easily it falls into disrepair. Most anyone can be a teacher of respect, hold themselves to a standard, and set a good example to follow. But respect, (to some degree at least) must be self-taught as well, as surely as it is self-practiced. 

      Most of us (if we were fortunate) probably have a very early memory of when we were the beneficiary of the Golden Rule; when someone else (though they might not have had cause) showed kindness & respect- treating us as we hoped to be treated. As we get older and grow as our own individuals, our parents & beloved mentors aren’t always there to remind us of the Golden Rule; but that doesn’t make it any less valid over time. We’re a culture of the soundbite, the zinger, the ‘burn’ – of posture & pose, rather than introspection, depth, and meaning. Another thing we were probably told as children was ‘think before you speak’ – this may be another skill that falls by the wayside when not practiced enough… Not sure, maybe I should rethink that.

       
      “Not caring about semantics does not make semantics unimportant, it makes those who do not care Ignorant.”     

      That is true, and it’s important to remember. As well though, there is a difference between saying ‘semantics are not important’ and saying ‘your semantics here are not important (or paramount) to me.’ I’ve said before that I think people sometimes confuse or conflate ‘ethics’ with ‘aesthetics’ In other words: ‘That, by the yardstick of which it offends ME, must therefore be also that much proportionately immoral, unethical, and inappropriate – and to Hell with your calculus.’ Generally speaking of course, it’s not an idle or a vain question to ask oneself: “Where does my right to be offended begin and where does it end?” Does it even have an end? If I am my only judge and my only counsel can any offense be too slight? I may have said this before too, but I still think we all have our own innate sense of justice; and for most people, justice can’t exist when it’s just arbitrary, singularly self-serving.

      It’s not that semantics don’t matter; it’s that they do matter very differently to different people, based on their different relative perspectives from each other, and their different ethical & aesthetic standards (that are themselves also subjective, not objective).    

      I don’t have to be of a specific race, class, gender, nationality (or whatever else have you) to clearly recognize and appreciate that there is language & meaning inherent in words and phrases that can (and will) be received as racist, sexist, or otherwise derogatory, regardless of intent. As an individual you or I can also appreciate that there are reasonable standards & expectations of this, external to one’s self (societal expectations & standard, beyond my own relative & subjective morality). Broadly speaking, societal expectations are not uniform or stationary, and they inevitably shift & evolve over time and circumstance. But given all this, I still cannot reasonably expect (for myself, nor from others) the guarantee of an offense-free existence.

      You and I may be morally obligated & sincerely committed to a course of respect, and refraining from giving offense: But that does not mean you, I, or another person can’t or won’t apply their subjective criteria (rightly or wrongly, scrupulously or unscrupulously) and take offense anyway- because, it is, after all, subjective. If we mean to offend then, if we set the Golden Rule aside, let us at least try to offend honestly & accurately, without bias, prejudice, or unwarranted generalizations. Were I to criticize or berate a person’s actions, skill, attitudes or opinions, I would hope it would be irrespective of their race, class, gender, nationality, religion, etc. After all, ending racism, sexism & prejudice is not about giving up the freedom to criticize each other as individuals. It’s about genuinely criticizing each other where both ARE irrespective of race, class, gender, nationality, religion, and so on, because they ARE irrelevant to both. You might not like me, I might not like you- but it would be rooted in who we are, and not our demographics: We are not our demographics. 

      That all said, I still think the most important thing to cherish and to remember first is the Golden Rule- just because we do value and defend the freedom to express ourselves, and to criticize others free from prejudice, that does not mean that we always have to exercise or avail ourselves of that freedom. Freedom is rooted in empathy too; and unrestrained criticism, disrespect & malice are not conducive to empathy.

  5. Kate Richardson says:

    Thanks for exposing this ugly behaviour. Semantics? I don’t think so.

    • John Anderson says:

      That brings up an interesting question. My apologies to the mods. This comment is going to necessarily be profane. I certainly understand if it is not allowed or deleted.

      If you say f-ck you to someone, are you wishing that they have non-consensual sex? If you call someone a b-tch or a d-ckhead, are you being sexist or is that now gender neutral because they’ve acquired a different and specific meaning in society today? Is there a difference between calling someone a b-tch and saying stop your b-tching? Does context matter and maybe that’s the point in this case? If I called a woman a b-tch, it would have a completely different meaning than if I called a man a b-tch.

      There was a controversy over a incident between Katy Perry and Chief Keef. In response to one of her comments he essentially said that she could s-ck his d-ck. Many people took that as a rape threat, but you can s-ck my d-ck has acquired a contemporary meaning along the lines of I dismiss your statements or actions with extreme disdain so that it’s not even worth formulating a reasoned response.

  6. Yes. What Kile said!

    This is all about respect and confronting the misogynist hatred that fuels a persistent rape culture.

    We need to fight it. We need to call it out. We need to stop it.

    So that my daughter and your daughter can thrive.

    • Mostly_123 says:

      “This is all about respect and confronting the misogynist hatred that fuels a persistent rape culture.”

      Fine. But what does that mean to you, in your own words? Put that into context- cut through the jargon and the buzz words. 

  7. John Anderson says:

    I’m not a big gamer so I’d like some clarification. Is E3 for developers or gamers? If the event is for gamers and the misogyny is coming from the audience, how does this reflect a problem with misogyny in the industry? Let’s say I opened a clinic in am extremely racist area. Most of my customers are racist. Does that mean that my clinic is racist by extension? What if I choose to not stock Ebony in the waiting room because my customers don’t like it? If I tailor my business to my customer’s preference without being racist myself and stocking racist literature, does that make the business racist?

    What about sex exclusionary businesses like women’s only health clubs? Do they have a sexist problem or is it OK to target a particular market who’s customers want a sex exclusive environment? Does Curves have a misandric problem?

    • Will Best says:

      E3 is only for developers and qualifying press. That is why it is 85% male.

    • It does if you’ve got customers asking for Ebony and you flat out refuse because you’re worried it’ll lose your customer base.

      And let’s quash the myth that gamers are mostly men, once and for all. Women gamers, and women games developers have been around since the dawn of video games (hell…they’ve been around since tabletop)…they’re just marginalised. Right now women make up roughly half the people playing games and are spending roughly half of the money spent on video games…in the U.S. anyway.

      • Bay Area Guy says:

        And let’s quash the myth that gamers are mostly men, once and for all.

        It’s not a myth, it’s a fact.

        Yes, it is true that women technically play as many games as men, but a lot of those games are random games you find on facebook, or simple games on the internet.

        When it comes to dedicated console or PC gaming, the gamers are still predominantly male.

        Right now women make up roughly half the people playing games and are spending roughly half of the money spent on video games

        When I was much younger, my mom spent money to support my gaming habits. Does that mean she was playing those games as much as I was? Of course not.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          In other words, in order to claim that women and men game equally, you would have to consider “Farmville” as much of a game as “Call of Duty.”

          Yet when people think of “gaming,” it’s clearly the latter that they have in mind.

        • That is absolute bullpucky. The survey that was done which concluded that men and women each make up about half the number of gamers didn’t distinguish between which gender is playing which type of game. Therefore, coming to any conclusion about which gender plays which types of games is pure conjecture on your part.

          Plus, let’s pretend for two seconds that most female gamers are playing iOS and FB games, and most male gamers are playing console and PC games. Why the blazes is one considered more legit than the other? They’re all video games, for goodness sake. Call of Duty and modern shooters are by no means deeper or more profound than something like Farmville. They are both absolutely mindless. And yet, because of the platform, the mechanics, and the appeal to a male audience (regardless of whether their audience actually is mostly male), something like Call of Duty is treated as a more “legit” type of video game than Farmville.

          This all stems from the attempt at some in the gaming industry to draw a line between “real” video games and everything else. Is Dis4ia a real video game, for example? I think so. And it serves a much bigger purpose than something like Call of Duty…and yet it’s treated with a hell of a lot less respect within the gaming community, in part because of it’s content and in part because of it’s format.

          In essence, you’re creating a bit of a self perpetuating cycle. You claim that only games which appeal to a “core” male gaming audience are “real” games, and then assume that mostly men are playing these games, and then conclude that must mean that women don’t play video games. But no, maybe women just aren’t playing the video games that you classify as “real.” Or maybe, and much more likely, you all are just blind to all the female gamers out there who HAVE been playing male-centric video games this whole damn time.

          • I like how anything violent is clearly male. Psh.

          • Bay Area Guy says:

            Therefore, coming to any conclusion about which gender plays which types of games is pure conjecture on your part.

            Is it seriously your contention that females play games such as Call of Duty or God of War as much as men?

            Really, this is a moment of truth right here.

            And yes, those games are more valid than the likes of farmville. You actually have to invest a significant amount of money in a console and in video games.

            That’s why console games are so heavily catered towards males. They’re the ones who actually play them.

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        true I know lots of girls/women who are gamers….I even had a short rellation with a young woman, who is a hardcore gamer almost 24/7. Our first date was in WoW and our romantic evening was with Unreal. And we started to make out, seriously on the battlefields of France, past Marginot line (serving in the German army…hehe), with ‘ Battleground Europe WW2 online ‘. So yes alot of women are gamers.

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          sorry for the typos….

        • John Anderson says:

          I know two women who are serious gamers as far as gaming consoles are concerned. They also tend to play the shoot em up games. I know one woman who gave up gaming, literally. She gave me her DS and never bothered to replace it. My niece likes playing computer not console games like Nancy Drew. So my experience with women in gaming is a mixed bag.

  8. PursuitAce says:

    No, it didn’t make it. Popcorn munching time.

  9. I work for a company developing a children’s educational product that decided to put up a booth at E3. Yeah, maybe it isn’t a big kid’s place, but we want it to be – and we want to see some respect for ALL the women who work in the gaming industry. That’s why we were careful to select our FEMALE game designer to help man the booth and to put strong FEMALE characters into our game. And then just to change the game around a little, we claimed ownership of the hashtags #e3Moms and #e3Dads to have visitors tweet pictures from our booth. We’re kind of hoping this might be part of the slow swell of change to make industry events like this more respectful.
    I think we have the best “booth babes” :)
    http://zorbitsmathadventure.com/zorbits-math-adventure-lands-at-e3/

    • “And then just to change the game around a little, we claimed ownership of the hashtags #e3Moms and #e3Dads to have visitors tweet pictures from our booth.”

      We can visit? I thought you needed a pass or something. As in a professional pass.

      • We arranged to have local mommy bloggers receive affiliate passes. Plus there’s the media. And the other attendees. It’s been kind of popular and it’s nice to see that family focus happening at E3. I think it’s ridiculous that people under the age of 17 can’t visit the exhibits because of the ridiculous over-the-top sex and violence.
        Even to be outside the LACC is to be exposed to view after view of “booth babes.”
        It’s just permitting those same attitudes to continuing circling in continuance…

  10. Michele says:

    Sadly, until young women stop thinking and being taught that all they are good for is being sexy, this will just continue. Women have to learn to stand up and strive for being more than just a pretty face and hot body.

    • What you say is so true. My one daughter always did good in school (High school, College, Medical school) and her circle of friends at every level were of similar ability. Most of them went on to successful carriers based on their abilities and strong work ethics. Some however, just took the easy route and went on to ‘live off their looks’. I guess it’s always tempting to take the easy road (Personally, I never had that option). The one thing I noticed was the ones who dropped out to become barmaids, hostesses, and other jobs based on their good looks just didn’t have the support at the home level. It was just a shame to see such potential wasted.

      • @bobbt: Kudos to your daughter and her friends— women at all levels are constantly confronted with the “trading in on your looks” card… I knew an Ivy League educated surgery resident (whose BF was similarly trained and in the same residency program)…. She was smart, well-spoken, and also attractive and blonde… She groused constantly that people just assumed she was a nurse, even though she wore a long white coat with her ID badge that clearly identified her… Senior attending physicians were always telling her that she was such a pretty girl— why did she want to work so hard in surgery training? Why didn’t she just get married and stay at home and raise a family? Her BF, who was in the same program, never got those same condescending and ignorant comments….

        Perhaps it is too threatening to some old timers to have a surgeon who is female and beautiful? If you are gorgeous, then you can’t possibly be smart enough to compete with them on their level?

        • “Perhaps it is too threatening to some old timers to have a surgeon who is female and beautiful? If you are gorgeous, then you can’t possibly be smart enough to compete with them on their level?”

          More like, if you’re hot enough to marry a rich man, why would you work your ass off to become rich yourself.

          A sort of “If I had your booty, I would so cash it off” thing. We are mostly lazy as humans. Few people are dedicated and passionate about becoming rich. Much easier to marry the rich. So they see how they would do if it was them.

        • Thanks Leia, appreciate it. All of my daughters , while attractive, have proven to be resilient in achieving their goals. What I saw with my youngest daughter however, is that being VERY good looking(this isn’t just a case of parental prejudice , on several occasions professional photographers have walked up to her, handed her their business cards, and said ‘If you ever want to model, please give me a call”) can make a young woman actually feel WORSE about herself! I think she felt that no one saw past the looks. You know, the person inside that really deep down , we all crave. Her own sisters didn’t understand this. My one Daughter said to me once” How can she feel so worthless when she walks into a room every male head turns to look? I said that’s what actually makes her feel inferior.

    • Cher Hight says:

      I think that men (and women) need to stop assuming that women can be sexy or intelligent but not both. Nobody assumes that an attractive man is a moron. Why is there no male equivalent to “bimbo”?

      I really hate the way that you blame women for “thinking all we can do is be sexy” and I think you’re perpetuating that myth. Am I supposed to walk around with a sign that says “I’M SMART”? Have you thought about how much of your own assumptions are revealed in your comment.

      • John Anderson says:

        “Why is there no male equivalent to “bimbo”?”

        There is. They’re called himbos, but it is very rarely used whether it’s because society views men as naturally capable or unattractive or some combination of the two and I’ve only seen it used by media. I don’t think that it has caught on with society in general.

        “Definition of HIMBO
        : an attractive but vacuous man ”

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/himbo

  11. Mostly_123 says:

    “If you were one of the guys who decided to judge Bonnie Ross’ ability or competence based on her appearance or gender, or you made—or laughed at—jokes about her, using language specifically reserved for insulting women, you are part of the problem. You are holding back the human race from evolving beyond prejudice, beyond hatred, and beyond unwarranted fear.” 

    For better or for worse, one must also acknowledge the concomitant; If you were one of the people who decided to judge Bonnie Ross’ ability or competence irrespective of her appearance or gender, or you made—or laughed at—jokes about her, without using language (or intent) specifically reserved for insulting women, you are not part of THAT problem. You are not holding back the human race from evolving beyond sexist prejudice, beyond sexist hatred, and beyond unwarranted gender-based fear. 

    Pessimistically speaking, you’ve alleviated a painful symptom, yes; but the underlying disease which bore it (prejudice, bias, malice, and hate) still lingers. 

    There is a difference between being treated with equality, and being treated with generosity. Equality is an expectation of being treated with uniformity; not necessarily charitably or uncharitably. We often hope for more than just equality- but genuine generosity. Generosity, as does justice, (and, indeed, genuine criticism) also needs to be apportioned blindly and without prejudice; because, to quote Cicero, “nothing is generous if it is not at the same time, just.”  

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