Saw a couple more links go up today about the PAX controversy that spawned this week, with the Return of the Dickwolves.
From Lesley at xojane.com: “What Are Dickwolves, And What Do They Have to Do With Rape Culture? A Cautionary Tale of How Not to Respond to Feminist Criticism.”
And from Rachel Edidin at Wired: “Why I’m Never Going Back to Penny Arcade Expo”
To these I will further add that Dara has commentary here as to what it would actually mean to try to boycott PAX, and here as to what she’d really like to ask people to consider taking as an action in all of this.
And in the interests of clarity and forthrightness, I note that I’ve seen Gabe’s post here and have read what he’s got to say about the matter.
Me, I’ll repeat that to some degree I have no horse in this race because I’ve not been much of a PAX person or a Penny Arcade reader, either. On the other hand, I do have a horse on the very edge of the race because people close to me are PAX people and Penny Arcade readers. And in several cases, they are also survivors of rape. And it bothers the hell out of me, on their behalf, that this kind of shit keeps happening. It encourages the creation of a space that is actively hostile to them. And from a bigger picture perspective, it contributes to the ongoing misogyny of gamer culture. That, yeah, I do have a problem with.
And for me, it’s less a question of any specific bullshit remark the man makes, and more of a question of a repeating pattern of behavior. Gabe’s new post certainly sounds sincere, and if his heart is in the right place, awesome… except his heart being in the right place only means so much when he keeps making remarks like this over and over and over and over and over. He keeps getting called out on them, and keeps not stopping making these remarks. And since he is indeed half of the public face of the giant Godzilla of gamer culture, he is a huge influence on how that culture responds and behaves.
To paraphrase what I said in comments in response to my last post on this: I’ll be happy to stop calling bullshit on his behavior when he stops doing it. I have nothing personal against the man. I don’t hate him. But this ongoing pattern of behavior is bullshit, and if he wants his apologies to be taken seriously, it needs to stop.
We’ll see if it manages to stop this time, before next year’s PAX rolls around. It’ll be a deciding factor in whether I choose to go again, myself.