It’s hard to have any sort of discussion about a philosophy like feminism without any sort of preconceived notions or ire that comes from all sides. This is especially true for the gaming industry over the last few years, where the term has been used so loosely for topics that should be addressed, albeit in somewhat lenient ways. As someone who is a man, a person of color, and a long-time proud member of the greater gaming community for many years; I can understand the shaky ground that such a topic can cause to break down so easily. But first and foremost before any of that, I’m a human being that can appreciate and be open-minded when something can bring something positive to the industry I care about so much, even when it’s not always perfect, be it gambling in the UK or whatever.
Feminism, as an ideology, is not something that is as toxic as it is so often portrayed. However, at the same time, it is not the end all, be all solution that some people try to present it as. Both extremes are wrong. This is always due to feminism as an ideology being gravely misunderstood by so many people, either from the talk around them online or elsewhere. At its core, feminism is about equality, where the genders of male and female are balanced across all avenues with opportunity for growth and the ability to thrive.
This was the cornerstone of many feminist movements dating back all the way to the 17th century, through the 20th century and up to now in the modern day. Every single movement was rooted in solving problems related to voting, job opportunities, citizenship, protecting people from all kinds of violence, and so much more. It’s something that even as a man, I can agree with and support fully. You don’t need to be female in order to believe that women should have the right to live as they see fit for themselves, that’s something open to all people of all walks of life.
These are talking points that all industries, especially those in the gaming industry, can universally agree upon. But within the bubble of the gaming industry however, the term feminism has become a dirty word for all those so caught up in the endless arguments far removed from what feminism actually is. Nobody likes using the word because of the ire and viciousness that gets often associated with it, even when they aren’t saying anything bad. In addition, trying to have any discussion about it can often be shut down because of how some people want to have the talk on their own terms, rather than an equally, open-minded neutral exchange of ideas.
Instead of being something to rally people with similar philosophical beliefs, feminism has been turned into a term that fuels an “us versus them” mentality. “If you don’t completely agree with us, then you must be with them!” is a common behavior over social media, and that is wrong. Since when has disagreeing with any aspect of feminism, or any ideology for that matter, automatically equate to being branded a woman hater? Why is calling someone a misogynist acceptable for not identifying as a feminist? And why is feminism now being viewed as permission to attack or put down men for anything?
These are questions that nobody likes to explore or discuss because the entire crux of the problem is rooted in the warped perception of what feminism is. The idea of equality and balance between the genders has all but become lost in favor of a pseudo-excuse to attack anyone not totally compliant with the masses. Feminism isn’t about attacking men, nor is it about hurting people into submission about the suffering of one side of the human race.
It’s not about making infallible characters that can automatically solve anything with ease, nor is it about erasing sexuality or shaming others into a preferred box. It’s about balance and maintaining that balance throughout time for all industries and art forms. What feminism, in its pure form, can enable within the gaming industry is allow women and men to pursue careers in all avenues of the field, as well as give us stories and games that are interchangeable between genders, yet still be fun and engaging.
Feminism isn’t a bad thing for gaming at all, but it’s not being presented well and is being used in a way that is both contradictory and destructive to what it’s meant to accomplish. The concept of balance between people/genders/individuals doesn’t come from using an ideology as a means to justify being vicious, on social media or in real life.
Gaming has continued to grow as a medium that explores all aspects of life, just like any other art form in society, and should allow for ideologies like feminism to influence some of the creations we see come out of it. But this also requires a better understanding of what feminism has been over the years and what it can do, rather turning it into something it’s not. I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, because I don’t like limiting what I believe into a box or one umbrella. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the good that something like feminism can bring into the gaming industry when applied in the best way.
Did you enjoy this opinion editorial? Agree or disagree with what was said in it? Want to see more editorials just like this one? Leave us a comment down below and let your voice be heard!