Feminist Frequency Releases "25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male"
Feminist Frequency, best known for the web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games has long been the subject of controversy. From Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian being forced to flee her home to getting death threats, it's easy to forget that the web channel still puts out several videos including it's Trope's series.
The latest is from producer Jonathan McIntosh (who writes about this video in an article on Polygon) and talks about male privilege and the unintentional perks that are part of gaming culture that men may or may not be aware of. The article and video are both excellent, with the video including several well known male personalities in video games (from Adam Sessler to Tim Schafer).
I would advise watching the video, but if you need a quick recap here are the 25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male (quoted from McIntosh's article):
1. I can choose to remain completely oblivious, or indifferent to the harassment that many women face in gaming spaces.
2. I am never told that video games or the surrounding culture is not intended for me because I am male.
3. I can publicly post my username, gamertag or contact information online without having to fear being stalked or sexually harassed because of my gender.
4. I will never be asked to "prove my gaming cred" simply because of my gender.
5. If I enthusiastically express my fondness for video games no one will automatically assume I'm faking my interest just to "get attention" from other gamers.
6. I can look at practically any gaming review site, show, blog or magazine and see the voices of people of my own gender widely represented.
7. When I got a gaming event or convention, I can be relatively certain that I won't be harassed, groped, propositioned or catcalled by total strangers.
8. I will never be asked or expected to speak for all other gamers who share my gender.
9. I can be sure that my gaming performance (good or bad) won't be attributed to or reflect on my gender as a whole.
10. My gaming ability, attitude, feelings or capability will never be called into question based on unrelated natural biological functions.
11. I can be relatively sure my thoughts about video games won't be dismissed or attacked based solely on my tone of voice, even if I speak in an aggressive, obnoxious, crude or flippant manner.
12. I can openly say that my favorite games are casual, odd, non-violent, artistic, or cute without fear that my opinions will reinforce a stereotype that "men are not real gamers."
13. When purchasing most major video games in a store, chances are I will not be asked if (or assumed to be) buying it for a wife, daughter or girlfriend.
14. The vast majority of game studios, past and present, have been led and populated primarily by people of my own gender and as such most of their products have been specifically designed to cater to my demographic.
15. I can walk into any gaming store and see images of my gender widely represented as powerful heroes, villains and non-playable characters alike.
16. I will almost always have the option to play a character of my gender, as most protagonists or heroes will be male by default.
17. I do not have to carefully navigate my engagement with online communities or gaming spaces in order to avoid or mitigate the possibility of being harassed because of my gender.
18. I probably never think about hiding my real-life gender online through my gamer-name, my avatar choice or by muting voice chat, out of fear of harassment resulting from my being male.
19. When I enter an online game, I can be relatively sure I won't be attacked or harassed when and if my real-life gender is made public.
20. If I am trash-talked or verbally berated while playing online, it will not be because I am male nor will my gender be invoked as an insult.
21. While playing online with people I don't know I won't be interrogated about the size and shape of my real-life body parts, nor will I be pressured to share intimate details about my sex life for the pleasure of other players.
22. Complete strangers generally do not send me unsolicited images of their genitalia or demand to see me naked on the basis of being a male gamer.
23. In multiplayer gamers I can be pretty sure that conversations between other players will not focus on speculation about my "attractiveness" or "sexual availability" in real-life.
24. If I choose to point out sexism in gaming, my observations will not be seen as self-serving, and will therefore be perceived as more credible and worthy of respect than those of my female counterparts, even if they are saying the exact same thing.
25. Because it was created by a straight white male, this checklist will likely be taken more seriously than if it had been written by virtually any female gamer.
Again, it's an interesting video, and playable above.