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"Feminist Whore"
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xtal
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September 10, 2011 - 9:44 pm
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Maybe you've heard of that skill name which was unearthed from the dev build of Dead Island which was accidentally put onto Steam on launch day.

Maybe the author of the following article has over-thought the issue, but I think it's a good read on one of the uglier aspects of the industry.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs.....tivate.php

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

Jakkar
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September 11, 2011 - 11:48 am
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I hate humanity ._. Most of us make jokes like this on a day to day basis. On a dev-team where correspondence and notes are being left between crewmembers during a five year collaboration I do not doubt dirty/racist/sexist jokes, aimed to induce a 'gigglesnortyou'reawful' reaction, were even more common.

I laughed myself when I read of this, having just listened to Purna's character introduction ingame - it isn't clever, there's no wit to the humour, it's just crude and quick and unexpected. Rough humour... But it fits the character.

She's a very angry woman who has been mistreated by a male-dominated bureaucracy in the Aussie police department for twelve years and who presumes during the game's intro that an anonymous wanderer either drunk or infected who bumps into her is attempting to make a sexual pass at her. I can see exactly what they're getting at by implying she's a hardcore feminist - a euphemistic title. I'd go as far as to say the character is implied as something of a sexist. She's had horrible experiences with horrible men and seems to generalise a distaste for men in general, it's understandable.

Working Titles are not obligated to be sweet or tasteful - on the contrary, it's encouraged to make the working title of a feature or project crude, silly or rude because it diminishes the likelihood of the title being left in at crunch time- it forces the writers to come up with a good name for it later by making it completely unsuitable for unmodified inclusion into the game.

Many games are packed with some dark, crude humour in the files if you look deep enough; what does it tell us? That game developers are tasteless, unpleasant people? I think it just tells us not all development studios are soulless, strictly controlled production lines. I regret the damage this event may do to the relaxed attitude Techland seem to have cultivated at home.

Extra Extra! Read all about it! Oversensitive drama-fiends take private joke seriously, jeapordise someone's job and suck the fun out of game development!

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Steerpike
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September 11, 2011 - 6:58 pm
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Most of us make jokes like this on a day to day basis.

I don't. And those who do should probably be prepared to pay the price if they get caught.

Rough humour… But it fits the character.

Rough humor that fits this character would be humor associated with her tough outlook, or bad attitude, or dislike of cops, or something like that. I don't think Purna would consider the descriptor "feminist whore" particularly amusing in hers or any context.

Working Titles are not obligated to be sweet or tasteful – on the contrary, it's encouraged to make the working title of a feature or project crude, silly or rude because it diminishes the likelihood of the title being left in at crunch time- it forces the writers to come up with a good name for it later by making it completely unsuitable for unmodified inclusion into the game.

That is in no way, shape, or form true.

Believe me, developers don't "leave things in" so they have more to change them during crunch. The less on the task list at crunch, the better.

I'm surprised at you, Jakkar. And I'm curious how many women work at Techland. If being censured for calling someone a "feminist whore" takes the fun out of game development, then game development should not be fun.

Just because jokes like this are made doesn't make them appropriate. And just because they're made doesn't mean it's right to shrug it off when something comes to the public attention.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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kaythomas
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September 11, 2011 - 7:33 pm
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Thank you, Steerpike.    kay

Imagine life with no hypothetical situations. 

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Toger
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September 11, 2011 - 7:47 pm
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I started to write an entire diatribe, but I'll just go with: what Steerpike said.

Powered by PMS ™

Jen
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September 12, 2011 - 10:26 am
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I am still waiting for the day when a game comes out with a fat pasty lump of a female protagonist with full clothing coverage. "If I were a video game character...."

 

I find it hard to get too worked up about this "feminist whore" thing. Yeah, it's ugly, but it falls into the "so what?" part of my thinking. It's nothing we haven't all seen in games before, just more blatant. I have never actually run into this kind of thing in real life, and if I ever do at some point in the future, well, I'm a big girl who's perfectly able to punish transgressors. [Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Granted, I don't hang out with game developers and have never been the object of prurient male fantasy. But that's kinda what this whole thing is about, fantasy. I'd hate to see that regulated by the PC police.

Scout
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September 13, 2011 - 1:46 am
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I find it difficult to care what content is in a video game. None of it is very good.

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xtal
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September 13, 2011 - 6:43 pm
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When I posted this topic, I should have stated my own opinion and reason for doing so. I'll do that now.

 

@Jakkar: Private joke, mistake, whatever, my stance is not to take all humour out of the world. Humour is what keeps a lot of people going, myself included. But there are so many ways to arrive at humour that do not involve demonising women. Especially "feminist whores," or as I'm much more comfortable saying, simply feminists, who as groups both past and present are responsible for much of the societal acceptance (in its various forms) we see today shown toward women. Jokes about feminism or, "the F word," are cheap.

@Jen & Scout: In general, I feel the same helplessness, indifference, apathy or what-have-you about the way the world works. But at the same time, if one wants to see change I think the individual must start with themself. One of the reasons I bring up, and I think others do as well, the issue of feminism, or the lack of it and how it pertains to the video game industry, is because it is an industry so very male-driven. It would be infinitely beneficial to encourage young women to pursue careers, or even just interest, in the world of video games.

You know those cheesey posters you see on the subway? "Empower a girl. She'll empower her community." Etc., etc. They're true. I don't have to tell anyone this, but given the opportunity I still like to. Letting women in makes pockets of the world better places.

 

My partner and I call ourselves feminists not because we want to stamp out humour or emotion from the world; nor because we believe in negating any and every difference between the two sexes - because there are many which should all be appreciated -, and not because we hope for a world in which monitoring devices fine people for uttering sexist slurs. I believe feminism is important because it's about having more people heard, women, men, feminists, humanists, whatever your brand- the more that individuals change, the more that general attitudes change.

Find me a single male-dominated industry or group who has a true attitude and culture (see: actions speak louder than words) of tolerance. It doesn't exist, because for there to be true tolerance of all kinds of people, you need to hear the voices of all kinds of people.

Until more women actively wish to seek out this industry that is so often hostile to them, there will always be a negative attitude towards them hiding in the dark corners, behind the closed doors, and in between the lines of code.

Things can and should change.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

Jen
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September 13, 2011 - 7:32 pm
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I'm not coming from a position of apathy, in fact, just the opposite. If something like this happened at a company where I worked, and if it made me uncomfortable, I'd fight back. Myself.

 

All of this riling-up-strangers-on-the-internet on behalf of us helpless females smacks of paternalism. Really, what does anyone hope to achieve? Make the world a safer place? Yeah, right. All I see is an attempt to stifle creativity, puerile though it may be.

 

The "feminist whore" in question is merely a character in a video game. She actually looks pretty kick-ass, and even if the "feminist whore" label survived, and assuming I ever play the game, and assuming she is a playable character, I might choose to play as her to enliven my own fantasy world. Ever think of that, hmm? [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Steerpike
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September 13, 2011 - 9:18 pm
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Scout said:

I find it difficult to care what content is in a video game. None of it is very good.

But if no one cares, it will never get better.

 

Forgive my gross overscholarism, but there's a moment in Roman history that resonates here. The Emperor Gaius (Caligula) had unleashed a reign of terror for years, and one man, Cassius Chaerea, was on a mission to murder him. Problem was, he was having trouble finding accomplices. "We must kill him," he said to one potential.

"Go your own way, Chaerea," said the target.

"If each of us goes our own way," replied Chaerea, "Eventually we will all go... his way."

 

I may not lose sleep over this Dead Island revelation, but I don't like it. It does nothing to further us.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

Scout
Portland, Oregon
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September 14, 2011 - 12:30 am
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I just read my above comment. What a dickish thing to say but I feel that way sometimes. [Image Can Not Be Found] Very much so these days. I expect I'll get my second wind at some point and declare video games to be the way forward but right now I read that devs throw around phrases like "feminist whores" and think, what pathetic creatures they must be, having to walk around inside themselves, having to make such hollow things and pretend it's good. How they must hate themselves. [Image Can Not Be Found]  Yeah right. The thing is I know these people. I know exactly what makes them tick. And they don't. Tick, that is. There, I just did it again.

I am having fun imagining what Jen is imagining though. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Jakkar
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September 14, 2011 - 5:58 am
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It has recently occurred to me that I might be dipping in and out of a community truly, bizarrely occupied by nice, polite, socially well-adjusted people. It's a deeply unsettling notion.

Working titles in the film industry are often silly or euphemistically suggestive in the early stages when it's important to keep the nature of the project somewhat under-wraps. In game design, characters and locations that haven't been fleshed out are sometimes given 'dirty' or simply childish names to evoke the feeling of them prior to polishing the design. I'm afraid this is just.. Well, do we stoop to 'I'm right, you're wrong! WAAH!' or accept that we disagree completely on a basic fact?

What you're missing here, folks of the bordello, is the idea that the man, men, or god-knows even the woman who titled that perk during development may have been (probably were!) being intentionally crude-humoured in order to gross out their co-workers, or wrote it in the cause of ironic humour.

I am not a sexist by any stretch of the imagination, and knowing this is what makes it amusing to a friend of mine if I tell her to "fuck off to the kitchen and get me a sandwich, woman - or I'll take my belt to you" in a gruff accent. She'll laugh because the idea of this effeminate, long-haired libertarian adopting such a diametrically opposed stance to his true perspective is ridiculous.

Long-winded and somewhat obscure example, but I'm drastically sleep-deprived and optimistic enough to hope it will make my point. At what point did we all decide the employees of Techland privately, between themselves speak entirely seriously at all times, or that their senses of humour are as childishly direct as you've interpreted?

Ride your high horse, declare that these 'are not matters to be taken lightly' - then go and lynch the next person you hear make a dead baby joke.

Relax! And hope the studio can be similarly laid back for the sake of that anonymous individual's career!

For some perspective, please take a quick glance at this... http://www.independent.co.uk/n.....70913.html - this is the face of light-hearted, tasteless humour in privacy being taken seriously by the world at large.

Jakkar
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September 14, 2011 - 6:06 am
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One other thing - this is what I've found is ordinarily more seriously meant by a 'feminist whore' - A Man Is a Rape-Supporter If..... It's a sad and horrible thing that feminism is sometimes confused with being a female>male sexist - and that's the feeling I get from the title.

Perna hates men, or claims such. She's well-armed and prone to ranting. You can see where the idea came from. However crudely worded, it was a reference to the fact one of the characters in the game is potentially quite a sexist - a totally unshrouded feature of the final release. And no-one complains about this. I'm glad they're not that mad, yet - but I'd bet you three boxes of nails and a flimsy diving knife that if it was a man expressing his dislike for women in general, 'feminist whore' would be the least of Techland's worries today.

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xtal
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September 14, 2011 - 9:51 am
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I don't even care that much about the Techland example. I'm not naive, I know this sort of stuff is everywhere all the time. I thought simply that the opportunity to talk about the subject which had risen was a good thing.

The Techland thing ... it's ultimately excusable because hey, free speech exists. I'll say this over and over until I die from a lack of oxygen: I'm not a paternal protector, not at all, I'm not coming from that angle. I'm not trying to be rah-rah on the internet so my liberal karma score goes up or something. I just fucking loathe the general attitude of machismo and dick-swinging that exists around the entire bloody world, and I think the best way to achieve a more tolerable world (from my point of view, I'll make that clear, because I'm sure it's very tolerable for all the trailer trash inhabiting it) is to have power more evenly distributed amongst men and women.

Trust me when I say I don't care about the internet bravado. It's not some hidden paternal desire. It's just stupid, genuine, young-person-hopes-the-world-can-change-in-his-lifetime complaining and wishful thinking. Nothing more. I treat all women, and men, as equals. Not sympathy cases to be lifted up and celebrated from their impoverished lives; nor objects of my amusement or aspiration. Equals.

I don't pretend to be some great beacon of enlightenment. It's just how I feel and what I believe.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

Finkbug
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September 14, 2011 - 7:18 pm
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Jen said:

I am still waiting for the day when a game comes out with a fat pasty lump of a female protagonist with full clothing coverage. "If I were a video game character...."

 

I find it hard to get too worked up about this "feminist whore" thing. Yeah, it's ugly, but it falls into the "so what?" part of my thinking. It's nothing we haven't all seen in games before, just more blatant. I have never actually run into this kind of thing in real life, and if I ever do at some point in the future, well, I'm a big girl who's perfectly able to punish transgressors. [Image Can Not Be Found]

 

Granted, I don't hang out with game developers and have never been the object of prurient male fantasy. But that's kinda what this whole thing is about, fantasy. I'd hate to see that regulated by the PC police.

 

http://mightyjilloff.dessgeega.com/

 

There ya go Jen!

Male game writers promoting it as insightful (doubtful) or playing well (hell no) need some gay male strippers to smack 'em around.

Spike, much as I love you, you drift over the line into the traffic of Modern Sensitive Male a bit too much for my tastes. Heart's in the right place and it's always well articulated but I sometimes see oncoming headlights. Big 'ol rig over inappropriate to smoosh ya.

grooowrrrr! [menace menace] rrrrowwwr!

Jakkar
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September 14, 2011 - 11:13 pm
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Very well said, xtal - an admirable idealism, well defended against the brutal realists and cynics. There's nothing wrong with living in hope and expressing your opinions. Just don't be a pessimist; realise the world has improved immeasurably with regard to equality in the last fifty years, incredibly in the the last 100, and beyond all prior imagination in the last 200.

As for me... I don't consider myself a feminist because I feel like 'fighting for women's rights' in modern Britain will probably do more harm than good. The old men are dying by the year, the young women are taking more and more authorative roles in business and by the time they are old they will have climbed the ladder without anyone at the top. Simple mortality is a driving force in social progress. It's among the most heartening single statements one can apply to human society; conservatives die.

When I was a child, hearing so much about sexual and racial equality during the nineties led me to grow up wondering why the darker skinned people and the girls NEEDED to be protected.. Was there something wrong with them? Was there something wrong with the pale people and the male people? I learned of prejudice and inequality, I read it, saw it on the television, in films, witnessed it later in games but beyond the ignorant mutterings of the elderly and the occasional drunken epithet hurled by a troublemaker in the street I have never actually witnessed significant sexism or racism in my day to day life. It exists, oh god both of them exist to a terrifying degree in many places in the world, and here in the UK, but I am blessed to live in an age where a bright, observant kid can grow up to the age of twenty and three years without ever witnessing someone held down or abused by these discriminations.

What I have seen is other, less independently-minded children call grow up assuming there is something wrong with these 'others' that are popularly discriminated against/protected from such discrimination, and growing up seeing them as different. As weak, in need of protection, or even deserving of lesser regard and treatment.

Be careful as you campaign to save someone that you aren't helping the problem persist. As the world moves on, sometimes a lighter touch is better - because a lot of these problems are dying, are fading away.

Now, obnoxious man-hating women will never make me hate women in general - but they do make me very hesitant to trust people who call themselves feminists *grins*

 

Finkbug: Thankyou. I am fond of Steerpike, and I respect him - I'm grateful for him welcoming me here - but as one of the relative newcomers who oft' seems to attract a bit of ire for his controversial opinions and provocative statements I have trouble finding a way to express myself in debate for fear of being digitally lynched as I have been before. You said what I wanted to say but to my mild shame could not find the words for.

Jarrod
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September 15, 2011 - 12:43 am
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Sexism, and unfortunately a lot of racism, still exists in Australia, especially as jokes etc.  People think it's alright to tell jokes quietly and laugh behind closed doors, but it only perpetuates the exploitative and insidious beliefs of the ignorant.  If you and I share a joke in a room that no-one overhears, then that's ok, right?  Well, not really, we've just desensitised ourselves a little and dehumanised the subject of whoever the innapropriate joke was about.

 

It's real hard, when all of my work colleagues make a joke that I find is insensitive (be it racist or sexist), and they are all laughing - do I laugh along, for the sake of comraderie and getting along with my workmates?  Or do I say that I think it is innapropriate of them, knowing that I'll be ostrasized as a result?  I usually end up doing neither, and just wait for the joke etc to pass.

 

I'd love for us all to be on equal footing, and to be perceived as such.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

Jen
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September 15, 2011 - 10:59 am
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xtal, I love ya man, I love your passion and your altruism, but (bearing in mind that, admittedly, my thinking may well be in the line of "in a perfect world") it is my belief that the constant attention to gender differences in the workplace only serves to perpetuate it as an issue. Sisters are doin' it for themselves [Image Can Not Be Found] Seriously, in all my working life at many different kinds of companies, I've never been at a place where real gender discrimination existed, and as far as nasty talk among men about women, women are guilty of the same thing in reverse. Or at least I am. [Image Can Not Be Found] Women are just as capable as men, at least in my part of the world, of rising (or sinking) to the level of their own capabilities in the workplace. Today. Now. Your work is done here. And you've just gotta know that these "feminist whore" programmers are probably giant marshmallows of nice-guy-with-no-people-skills. Video games are their life! Whaddya expect?! I think this whole thing is a mountain out of a molehill.

 

Finkybaby, you are the utmost [Image Can Not Be Found]  as always.

Jen
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September 15, 2011 - 11:02 am
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Also, I don't know anybody who tells racist jokes or is even willing to listen to them. Yuck to that!

Jarrod
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September 15, 2011 - 8:45 pm
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Australia is pretty backwards in quite a few regards.

A man goes to knowledge as he goes to war, wide awake, with fear, with respect, and with absolute assurance. – The Teachings of Don Juan

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