Sunday, October 19, 2014

In Which Open Political Terrorism Against Women in the USA Becomes A Thing

I've been saying for years that there are very few things in right-wing politics that cannot be explained, in whole or part, as an expression of threatened masculinity. And now we have GMRG8, which I am abbreviating in an effort to keep the trolls under their bridges for a little while. There's a WtF aspect to the whole thing. Yes, attacks on feminists online have been around for a long time, and attacks on feminist critiques of gaming have also been around for a long time. But this...? Extensive criminal attacks on the online resources of feminist gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian and game designers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu. Credible death threats against all three. Threats of a massacre of women at an award ceremony for Sarkeesian.

And it doesn't end. Usually these things just die out, but not GMRG8. It just keeps on going.

W. T. F. ‽

I suspect that there is some far-right activist group that is supporting and funding this effort. Breitbart is on board. The American Enterprise Institute is on board. Likely enough someone with real money and propaganda resources is participating. Like Kyle Wagner says, The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate.

And it is terrorist. I've been, for years, aware that open violence on the right was a possibility; when you talk revolution for this long, sooner or later, someone is going to start shooting, or at least threatening to shoot. But directed at women? Not at feminist firebrands, not at, oh, Catherine Mackinnon or Andrea Dworkin. At a critic and two game developers, none of them major figures. Never in my wildest nightmares did I expect this. It is like something out of a feminist dystopia.

There's a lot more to be said here, but I find I do not know what it is. I am stunned at that we are seeing right-wing terrorist threats directed at women in the USA as cruel and deadly as any made in an Islamic state. I wonder about the implications of this: misogyny has long been an undercurrent in reactionary violence, but this is the first time I have seen it explicit and direct. Is there something about the online environment that renders it more visible or more tempting? Or…?

Postscript: after writing this, I feel like I have looked into the mouth of hell. What kind of society makes war on its own mothers and daughters? That's the Taliban, that's ISIL. And a society that makes war on its women is a society with no future at all.

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Not much difference between the extreme (religious) right and Muslim extremists. it is not popular to track and report of right wing extremist groups in USA but that is where THE biggest threat is coming from.