The title of this piece is one meta-level removed(1)And “Men” changed to “People” because I don’t entirely know if the comment I’m responding to in this post is from a man. from the original Washington Post article about, first, several studies showing the discrimination of women in STEM fields; and second, the frequent refusal in online comment threads about these papers for men to accept the findings.
I found the article on the subreddit /r/skeptic, which leans anti-progressive at times. It’s on the TAM, thunderf00t, Shermer side of the movement if anything(2)Those links don’t capture everything about the subject but do explain why I consider them on the anti-progressive side.. Therefore I was not surprised to see objections to the post. Some of them were healthy ones, critiquing the methodology of the meta-review of comment threads. But the conclusions from these critiques seemed to lean too closely to the Washington Post title of denial.
I enjoy being a member of several smaller subreddits that have good communities, even despite the overarching policies I despise about Reddit itself. Particularly I like local subreddits, like /r/gatech and /r/atlanta. In these spaces the physical proximity serves to create a kinder environment, reinforced by positive, productive discussion about tangible locations and events in the area.
Of course that doesn’t mean I agree with everything I see, as is expected when perusing a space where anyone can say just about anything (AKA the internet). A particular post caught my eye yesterday and caused several reactions in me.
Valve, the company behind Steam and many extremely popular game franchises like Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Half-Life, created a documentary about the biggest esports tournament that had ever taken place before 2011. They both sponsored the tournament and created the game that was played: Defense of the Ancients2 (or Dota 2).
The film was originally planned to be a simple documentary about the first tournament of its scale for the game, which was still in development at the time. After delving into three particular players’ backstories, however, the documentary makers and Valve decided to create a feature-length film that was released in March of 2014 and captured the essence of the growing space of esports.
This isn’t a hit-piece on Citizen Radio or the people behind it. This is a post mostly for myself to collect my thoughts on what transpired on Twitter this afternoon.
Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein are the couple behind Citizen Radio, a weekdaily podcast dedicated to sharing, commenting on, and ranting about social justice issues. I don’t listen to it regularly, though I have heard several episodes and understand the vibe and tone of the show. I follow both of the hosts because they are important figures in the world of social justice in the United States.
The two also wrote a book that’s coming out in October called NEWSFAIL. I pre-ordered this because my girlfriend did so then we could have a similar experience reading it. I also pre-ordered because it’s a way of supporting independent, progressive media, even if it’s not totally my style.
Unfortunately our exchange on Twitter and their treatment of me today has severely hurt my appreciation of them, so I canceled the pre-order. I’m interested in being as fair as possible in my explanations and retelling. I’m not even sure if at the end I’ll still be on my own side.
Anita Sarkeesian released another installment of her long-running series Tropes Vs Women today. I highly recommend checking it out!
Whether you do watch or not, I want to highlight some of the more egregious examples she shows and expand upon some very salient points. The video stands alone just fine, but I argue these topics enough that I relish the opportunity to agree and respond to some really bad design examples.