30 Days Of Sexism

My name is Alanah Pearce and I’m a videogame journalist. I write for various websites, and make regular videos for four separate YouTube channels. I present on one TV show and for Xbox Australia on the Xbox Dashboard. I make news videos, review videos, I host events, I interview developers and I really, really love what I do.

I also happen to be female.

Sexism picture from Shutterstock

From March 7 – April 7, I documented everything blatantly sexist anyone has said to me. None of these comments were provoked, none of them were replies to something I said, none of them were at all out of the ordinary and the vast majority of them (an original count of 77 images) have been taken out so that this post isn’t as long as it probably should be. This is a 10-picture indication of what it’s like to be a woman who endorses game culture, every single month.

Before I record the videos I create for various different companies I change my shirt from the loosely fitting singlet I usually wear during the day, to a high-collared t-shirt that will minimise my chances of being objectified. It’s less comfortable, it’s not what I would generally choose to wear, but I do it in attempt to avoid comments about my breasts, my chest, and my physique in general – I try to negate any harassment I possibly can.

I realise this attitude I’ve forced on myself is backward. Instead of presenting as I'd like to I cover up in defence. My presentation suffers for it. I fidget with the collars, I play with the sleeves, I adjust the generally over-sized t-shirts and they often make me uncomfortably sweaty. Alas, I’m willing to let my career suffer in that aspect – however small – in attempt to minimise objectification.

Obviously, it doesn’t work. Instead of having people disregard gender entirely as it really shouldn’t be relevant to a video about game news, there are streams of responses from men complaining that a woman hasn’t revealed herself to them, as though it’s expected or it’s their right to ask for that. Not only is this incredibly discouraging – these videos take hours and hours of effort to create – it’s easy to feel like you simply can’t win. You can only ignore the comments, but that would make responding to the pleasant viewers or the ones who ask genuine questions impossible.

When I first made videos, however, I didn’t change out of the singlets I’d wear every day. People would comment disrespectfully about my choice of clothing, but if I complained, they’d call me a bitch or ask if I was “on my period”. Women are told they deserve to have men make derogatory statements about their chest if it is at all visible, as though that’s an invitation or a fault. That’s downright wrong – no human being should ever have to cater the way they look, what they’re comfortable wearing or their presentation in any way to avoid being sexually harassed. Instead, people should stop sexually harassing.

Even if it isn’t a direct comment on the way a woman looks or a complaint that her breasts aren’t on display, it’s a comment that is disgusting or enough to make a reasonable person uncomfortable. I don’t want to know that ‘sephiroth4465’ is watching my videos and objectifying me in this way.

I’ve seriously reconsidered my career choices over comments like these because, honestly, if I was getting comments like this in any other workplace, I’d leave. It’s demoralising, it’s discouraging, it takes the work you’re proud of and tells you it’s worth absolutely nothing more than the sexual value that is tied to your gender.

And honestly, “it’s the internet” is not an excuse for someone to sexually harass someone by any means, let alone someone in a professional setting. These kind of extremely invasive and excessively vulgar comments are physically sickening.

Then, of course, there are comments that seem nice but are equally inherently sexist. In the picture above, ‘JackArtStudios’ has thanked me for wearing uncomfortable t-shirts and used some hugely negative stereotypes. Some women may exploit their sexuality for views but others do it for comfort, or because they didn’t want to change their clothing. Or because they didn’t consider anyone would be indecent enough to harass them because they’re physically female. There is no logical reason to assume that any woman has changed her apparel to appeal to you.

By 'thanking' a woman for catering her clothing to your ideals, you are telling her you’d respect her much less if she hadn’t worn what you consider to be decent. While I always, always appreciate positivity (and the comment on the content, hooray!) this just further reinforces the idea that women can’t wear whatever they like without compromising perceptions of their professionalism. There is no choice here, and the same kind of comments regularly apply to make-up. If you’re wearing obvious amounts of make-up or wearing a certain kind of clothing, it’ll likely be assumed you want attention and your content or integrity will be disregarded, even though you probably aren’t wearing either of those things to appeal to anyone but yourself.

The first line of this message suggests, once again, that I must be catering the way I look to appeal to male audiences when I actually just like the colour purple. What’s far more offensive than being told you can’t look a certain way is the inexplicable amount of people telling women they only got their job because they’re a female.

Saying something like this is almost as offensive as having yourself belittled to nothing more than a pair of boobs in a video – it discredits all of my work, which he likely knows nothing about (and hasn’t bothered to check) simply because of my gender. I could go on an rant about the hard work I’ve put into making myself a part of the games industry, yet I would still regularly have people tell me that the only way I’ve gotten anywhere is because my sexual organs are different to theirs.

It’s this kind of attitude that forces women to work unreasonably hard before they’re taken seriously or able to establish themselves professionally. The fact is, no woman is less deserving of any position than a man is. It’s also unreasonable and unrealistic to assume you know the motives of any producer or editor or their hiring processes. Presenting is, in some (definitely not all) cases, undoubtedly easier for women to get into, but this should never mean they be stripped of all credit. Work ethic should be judged equally upon both genders, instead of women naturally being assumed to lack skill or use their gender to cheat their way into success.

‘coywhitehartbboy’ left this comment on a photo I took of a statue of Connor Kenway, where I jokingly called him my fiancé. I’m fairly sure he took that literally, but either way this post is insinuating I avidly promote gamer or geek culture in attempt to appeal to men or “#Market” myself. Instead of simply accepting that hundreds of thousands of women very openly have genuine passion for these things, this man and many others like him try to suggest that women are falsely trying to lure them in.

Not only is this attitude hugely egocentric, it also promotes huge amounts of negativity and encourages the ‘testing’ of women who like these things. It creates an obscene and close-minded standard where, unless a woman proves she likes something, people will assume she’s doing it in attempt to market herself.

Women are laughably regularly proposed to for endorsing game culture, but that entire idea is horribly shallow and these comments are sexist in themselves. I would never want to establish a relationship with a man who “wants to make babies” with me solely because I’ve posted a picture my gaming merchandise, and all that’s really doing is completely disregarding my personality or my integrity. It’s an insult to be told you’re ‘perfect’ or ‘attractive’ for something as daft as a hobby, particularly if you take pride in the content you produce, or (god forbid) your actual personality. There is nothing desirable about that kind of attention whatsoever, it’s little more than an insult, and it’d be far preferable if there was absolutely no reaction to a woman openly endorsing games at all. That overreaction and uncomfortable, unfounded affection is sexism. It should be treated like any other hobby – how would you react if a woman said she liked shoes? You wouldn’t, and you shouldn’t.

If jerks on the internet are given a free-pass and allowed to hide behind anonymity when they’re being sexist to someone, then there’s absolutely no reason you can’t use that same anonymity to criticise or educate them. Honestly, just seeing one down-vote or having one person stick up for me is a part of the reason I’m still here and I’m not going to stop fighting. Every single person has the power to fight sexism.

You can follow Alanah Pearce on Twitter and on Facebook.


Comments

    The comments in here will probably not be worth your time. Ingest the article for what it is and move along.

      You're assuming people read the article? most will just scroll down to the comments and argue.

      Like I just did.

        I should edit that to say:

        Please read the article and move along.

          No, I think there will always be worthwhile comments and conversation in reply to a post like this. You just have to look really, really hard. And hopefully the author will find them and actually gain some measure of hope from them.

            It works like this:

            10% worthwhile discussion
            90% trolling, flaming, pissing contests, white male complex, sexism doesn't exist

            That's not me being negative, that's science.

              Firstly I just wanted to say to Alanah, this is very well written and I had not realised this issue had got to such a ridiculous level. Its hard to imagine any of these dudes have females friends or even girlfriends if they knew the sort of things they were saying on the net.

              Hermes I just created an account so i can tell you that your a dick. I've known Alanah for many years now and have had discussions about how hard she has really worked to get where she is today. How dare you say sexism doesn't exist, how ignorant are you? If your going to comment actually read the very well written Article Alanah has put together so that dicks like you will understand that your dick.

              There is absolutely not possible way you could go into a room of people (male and female) and argue that sexism doesn't exist. No way. Also i highly doubt any of those females would ever want to see you again.

              If you have a girlfriend or actually know of any females that you call friends, try to convince them sexism doesn't exist and then see how close they stay.

                I don't think Hermes was saying sexism doesn't exist, but highlighting that that will be a general topic within this forum, That's how i read it.

                  There's one part of her article I disagree with, that's the assumption that all these people being sexist are males. Who says they're not all women that.. want her to swallow?

                Dear madam or. . You Sir are an idiot. You have missed the ENTIRE point of Hermes comments. Calling someone a d--k in the context of the above article is both ironic and hilarious. Please stop with the misandristic comments!

                Last edited 30/04/13 4:03 pm

                This insane rant is insane. I, in no way, said that sexism doesn't exist. What I intended by what was saying above is that is how the comments work. You need to get off your high horse dude and just relax. Unnecessary personal attack is painful.

                Here's a gif to make you feel better:
                http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://25.media.tumblr.com/dc261ca14a81f7fb2d8d3599c9831bf6/tumblr_mg1aisfE4a1rvl3nyo1_500.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/cute%2520kitten%2520gif&h=375&w=500&sz=497&tbnid=Gg8AKmfvY2YfrM:&tbnh=92&tbnw=122&zoom=1&usg=__yE8NA2Pkc9gbvPdQXOaaEiIOOEY=&docid=9jq55uMrDMahMM&sa=X&ei=xmh_UZeWOfGaiAfPp4HgBw&ved=0CEoQ9QEwBA&dur=2773

                  You literally said and I quote "10% worthwhile discussion
                  90% trolling, flaming, pissing contests, white male complex, sexism doesn't exist". Please tell me more on how you did not type those words?

                  RedRoyal, you seriously wanted to go two years into the past to misinterpret something that I posted? That's monumentally ridiculous.

                @sh1btastic
                I just created an account to say, "Massive comprehension fail on your part."

                Hermes isn't claiming that sexism doesn't exist.
                He said to read the article for what it is and don't bother with the comments, because the comments section will be: 10% worthwhile discussion and 90% trolling, flaming, pissing contests, white male complex (and claims that) sexism doesn't exist.

                He could have been a little more clear but he was just describing what's gonna be posted.

                You're and your are different words. You're welcome.

                I felt embarrassed for all of us reading this.

                Looks like you're a bit too quick on the trigger.
                Read the comment again slower, and you'll see he's making a summary point in the composition of most of the posts, not denying that sexism doesn't exist.
                Given you're so keen to impress on him that he is a 'dick', your comment sadly falls into the 'flaming' category and not the 'intelligent and well phrased response' category, which is ironic given you castigate him for not reading the article properly.
                Maybe next time, eh ?

                Are you for real? Cannot tell if serious or trolling...

                Not only do you end your comment with a sexist stereotype yourself

                There is absolutely not possible way you could go into a room of people (male and female) and argue that sexism doesn't exist. No way. Also i highly doubt any of those females would ever want to see you again.

                So the women would not want to see Hermes again but the men definitely would due to his, in your eyes, sexist nature?

                You missed the ENTIRE point of Hermes post.

                Well done good sir/madam. You just in the space of ONE post reaffirmed Alanahs WHOLE article up above. You sir/madam, as Alanahs friend, have done her a service, you have prejudged someone based on their gender, assumed to know them without actually getting to know them, decided to judge them based on their gender and essentially slander the person for no reason, you, her close friend, are a SEXIST PIG.

                Last edited 30/04/13 7:35 pm

                Ouch. Kind of painful that you went to all the trouble to create an account to blast someone who didn't actually say the thing that you're all self-righteous about. Kinda makes you look... insane, or at least illiterate.

                Jesus Christ, I mean I know most gawker readers are a little slow but why the hell are you getting so many down votes? Also this was a great post Alanah, Although sadly I'm sure many have missed the point. Try getting it reposted on RPS

              ^White Knight - sexism in disguise^

              I think with Serrels on the case your percentages may be a little off. :)

                Oh believe me, early on, those percentages were spot on, which is sad.

              So. The internet? Oh this she say anything about people not being able to think about an opinion before posting a reply? Sorry. I didn't read it either. Too much internet as it is.

              This really has a lot to do with it as well... http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/

              Summarised in 2004.

                I have the t-shirt of that! I love the traction that theory has gained.

          out of the amongst of women who are youtubers and journalists who are against looking skimpy on youtube during videos or interviews, @Alana Pearce is the first to ever speak out. that took (girl)balls

          kudos for her

            They're called ovaries.

              They're called vaginas cause they can take more of a beating than balls will ever be able to

                And look at how easily we're talking about genitalia as if that's what's important here.

                I'm someone that tries very hard not to be sexist, and I still have my fair share of saying stupid sexist things without thinking, so I'm not going to be an ass, but I think that this does highlight some of the more casual and often accidental issues.

                Her post, however, is a shocking reminder of how many failures of a human being exist in the gaming world, and it makes me want to work much harder at not being an ass.

    I'm unconvinced about the anonymity argument, because I've seen enough cretins posting comments like this on stuff on Facebook using their real names as well. I guess the standard is marginally improved vs youtube, but that's not really saying a lot.

      I think it's just people being divorced from the consequences of their actions. If they said these things to woman they passed in the street, there could be an actual face-to-face confrontation. But saying them on the Internet, anonymous or not, the worst they get back is the occasional annoyed comment (or screenshot in an article).

      I honestly don't know how you fix that problem.

        Someone really needs to figure out how to punch people in the face via internet.

          We call that Anon.

            And yet it still lacks the fantastic sound of hearing your fist impacting against someone's face. The feeling of it isn't so great, but the sound is wonderful.

          This thing needs to get re purposed!

          http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/08/01

            Am I the only one that noticed the EXTREME irony of you trying to make a positive comment on an article about sexism by posting a Penny Arcade comic? Please tell me someone else sees the irony here...

        I think the solution is pretty straight-forward, people just need to stop being sexist.

          Good solution, but unrealistic.

          Some people enjoy being offensive, so unless we censor the net it'll happen.

            I'd say it's pretty realistic. All of this seems to stem from ignorance, take that away and people have nothing to hide behind.

              There is still a flat earth society.

                Yeah, but literally no one takes them seriously.

                Unfortunately we're not there with sexism yet because it's so pervasive.

              A lot of people enjoy being offensive. It's not through ignorance.

              I don't see how any of those comments could be described as ignorant. They know exactly why it is offensive.

            I think they enjoy being funny, and they think the comments are funny, wether or not they're offensive. I don't think the primary motive is to be offensive, the primary motive is to be funny. It's a mental jizz.

              Some people think that being offensive is automatically funny.

              However, the humour in being offensive is in the context - it's not funny if it's expected. Sadly on most of the Internet offensive behaviour *is* expected, and therefore not funny.

              Of course, there are plenty of people out there who are simply mean-souled and *like* hurting other people. As long as such people exist we'll never be rid of cruel comments.

          Or people need to see sexism as nothing more but stupid humor and leave it at that.

          Comments online are not a big deal. I wouldn't bother reading them... Especially YouTube ones.

            I'm pretty sure you don't understand the impact the internet has on real life. It's the most major form of media there is. If you want to send a message, there is no better place. This is where the majority of people get their information. Why do you think it's okay to be horrible to a person on the internet, but no in real life? What kind of reasoning is behind this? I don't get it. The internet is shaping our society nowadays.

            Don't fool yourself by thinking it's some fake place where you can do whatever you want. Child pornography is wrong, racism is wrong, sexism is wrong and so on and so forth....the internet is not a magical place that suddenly makes all these things okay. Thinking this way is extremely harmful to our society.

            Think about what you write. Hold people accountable. It has an impact.

        You can't fix the problem with the people who make sexist remarks you can only ignore them. They are getting free publicity simply from this article and that let's them know they can get under her skin...if anything she and other women who are making it their mission to stop this online are opening themselves to even more lewd and derogatory comments. It's the internet you say it, leave it and forget it....trolls will be trolls, pricks will be pricks...ignore them and have a happier life.

          @Munch
          Dude, we have BEEN silent for so long. Don't you get that? We are always told to shut up, be quiet, be 'good' girls. People don't outright say 'you deserved it' but they imply it by saying things like 'don't wear stuff like that next time' or 'you shouldn't be out late' or whatever. It's a constant barrage. Ignoring them doesn't work. It doesn't work. It actually doesn't work at all. Because they will keep doing it until we bring it to people's attention. THANKFULLY more people like Alanah are speaking up and bringing attention to this behavior. Some people are just going to be assholes but if one dude in a room is making shitty remarks and no one speaks up he will KEEP MAKING THEM. If one dude says awful things and all the people around him turn and say 'What is wrong with you' it can change things.

          SILENCE SOLVES NOTHING.

      Web psychology gives you the impression of a layer of distance/protection as opposed to in-person interaction, making a verbal assault seem more acceptable to you. Not so much to the person at the receiving end. But it's the same kind of deep-seated human psychological nonsense that makes us spend money on services we'd be unwilling to spend on physical objects.

      We're young and very unreasonable as a species. Civilisation - and civility - are new concepts that we are still negotiating bit by bit. Hopefully the by-products of our animal past (racism, sexism, xenophobia, fear of change) will abate as we get better at assessing things for what they are. That will take a few more hundred years probably, but apocalyptic doom notwithstanding, we should manage to grow up and comport ourselves sensibly as a species.

    I went and found the Reddit post that the last two examples came from. They had low karma, so I was wondering if there were other missed examples.

    Some lower comments:

    Now just go to r/gonewild with that mask and the karma would be unheard of.

    You're making a duckface under that, aren't you.

    And up near the top:
    I wonder if it's possible to unscrew the front bit. You know... for power-head.
    Yes, I know which way the door is.

    There was also an apparently genuine question that was met with someone accusing them of trying to get out of the "friend zone" (because apparently asking relevant questions is only done in the interest of getting into someone's pants?) and an ensuing discussion of white knights and whatnot.

    Stay classy, /r/gaming.

      /r/truegaming is where it's at

        I wonder how long it's going to take to get to the point where we have /r/reallytrulyrealforrealziesgaming?

    Wow, my comment was deleted. At least you took on some part of my message about the moderation...

    "here are streams of responses from men", I honestly hope you checked that every single comment was made by a male.

      Sure, I could appreciate the mild hypocrisy of being wrong with an assertion like that, but you know it's generally true.
      And having a female make comments like that is equally terrible, so it doesn't really impact the validity of the article.

        I never mentioned it would alter anyone's perception of the article. But this article is addressing sexism and even mild hypocrisy could be taken the wrong way.

          This is just sensationalism. Any person in the public eye, male or female, is getting hurtful comments made about him or her. It cannot be avoided. There is nothing earth-shattering about this article, and I'm surprised Alanah felt the need to write it. You should see the stuff people say about Justin Bieber or any boy band member. Sexism here is merely a means to an end - hurting someone's feelings - not the goal in and of itself.

            77 comments is too many though.

            Although having said that i've been in a online thread before and had about that many insults heralded at me. I didn't get any sympathy. Oh well.

            I see you have 70ish examples of sexual comments made about Serrells! I would like to see them!

            Because it sounds like you're talking out of your ass and assuming that the harassment women get for being women is exactly equivalent to the harassment public figures get for being visible. And I wouldn't want to believe that of you, so you must have actual examples.

              I didn't say sexual, I said hurtful. The end goal is to say something nasty about someone. Sexism is a very easy way for people to do that, because it's superficial. People like Bieber get called gay because they are youthful, baby-faced and style themselves to appeal to teenage girls. How many people attack musicians based on the actual music they make... not many. When you want to hurt someone, you usually shoot from the hip and say the first nasty thing that comes to mind. Especially on the internet.

                So... the fact that these people attack Alanah because she's a woman is just superficial to you?

                You realise these people don't live in a vacuum and actually like interact with the real world, yeah?

                  I'd say that there are two types of people making the comments: those who object to what she's saying, what she's doing or how she looks, and those who just want to make lascivious remarks because she's a woman on the internet. The method of offence is most often the same, and the end result for Alanah is the same. The remarks are superficial because they only go to her appearance or her sex. They do not as a general rule attack her commentary, her methods or even her intellect.

                  I didn't understand your second paragraph's relevance, but would agree in part. The internet is essentially a vacuum, or bubble. You step inside it and all inhibitions fall away. You can argue, attack people, even adopting an entirely different persona. You step outside it and you are a different person. So whilst I agree that people do not live in a vacuum, I would say that crossing the divide between the internet and the real world can have a profound effect upon a person's behaviour, and that there is not necessarily any cross-over between internet behaviour and real life.

            Oh, I know it's sensationalism, hence my delicate and reasonable approach, yet there are many that downvoted simply because I appeared to disagree or call an author on their own generalisations.

    To quote a recent blog post from Grimes

    "I’m sad that my desire to be treated as an equal and as a human being is interpreted as hatred of men, rather than a request to be included and respected"

    Im sad to say i didn't realize how sexist i was, i read the blog
    which can be seen here

    http://actuallygrimes.tumblr.com/post/48744769552/i-dont-want-to-have-to-compromise-my-morals-in-order

    and as i was reading immidiately jumped to conclusion that she hated men. That it was somewhat of a us vs them and "men were just being themselves"
    Its sad because even the most well meaning comment of "She is attractive" has negative connotations. Yes she may well be attractive but would we be discussing that if a guy of similar attractiveness was presenting.

    Just my 2 cents. If i have offended i really didn't mean to.

      Hey, when I entered that E3 comp and had my video and face on this here website, @strange said I was pretty!

        She only voted for you because she wanted your body.

          I was hoping that's what ALL my votes were for.

            You know it. *wink*
            I mean, I totally liked your content, and thank you for not dressing like a tramp... *shifty eyes*

          I object! I couldn't even see his body. :P

          Also, I'm too old and tired to want anyone's body. :P

      Yes. yes we would. Appearance is always up for discussion. You may not be surprised to know that women discuss appearance more than men, in relation to both males and females. Men are just more crude about it in general. I know that a lot of the time when girls go out on the town they are not dressing to impress men but to fit in with the other girls they are going out with.

    Why would you read Youtube comments? You just don't do that. It's like a rule of the internet. "Rule #56 Don't read Youtube comments".

      I have to read YouTube comments though! There are some absolute gems in there!

      I think rule 56 should be replaced with "Don't post stupid/sexist comments", seems as though that might solve a lot of this.

        Well, 'don't read youtube' comments protects yourself. 'Don't post stupid comments' only protects other people. Rabid self-interest is the winner when it comes to making rules which will actually be followed.

    Interesting/disappointing/maddening article Alanah. I honestly don't know how you can solve these problems that are endemic in social media. Hopefully more articles like this that highlight the issue will a) lead people take some action when they see this sort of behaviour, even if it's just to downvote the jerk and b) make some of these people realise that this behaviour is not acceptable or funny, and they just need to grow up and snap out of it.

      Never going to happen. All these articles generate are trolling and ad revenue.

        Ruh oh, better hide now in case this comment is deleted. Sure, delete the ones that challenge you but keep the ones that make you feel like your sex is belittled so you can make an article out of it...

          Amazing how quickly this is being picked up on too. Better not treat people here with the same contempt and comments as their male counterparts or face your comments being deleted.

          HUsh now, nobody is deleting or reporting.
          WHat the articles do is generate publicity so people talk about the issues and there are issues. What nobody wants to see is people being overly negative. Everyone is entitled to a opinion but delivering your opinion in a way that doesn't belittle the author or others is a much better way to be heard and frankly it makes people hate on you far less brosky.

            Exactly. It's not always what you say, but how you say it.

            Actually, yes they are. My main post about accepting equal treatment; while not done in the best of taste with the treatment first then explanation second, was deleted

              I saw your post. Whilst IMO you kinda missed the point - or maybe I did - It was going to generate a large response/backlash against it. IMO it should have been left there but my opinion doesn't count. Serrels is usually pretty tolerant so (as he said) we have to trust him.

            How hypocritical. The entire subject is about people posting what is being considered as overly negative comments, and yet those are kept up to be used as an example. It's Anita Sarkesan all over again.

              Maybe The admin at kotaku AU which is in fact different to Kotaku US where the author is from has decided than rather then fall into a mud slinging pit of filth like these articles ussually do they want to moderate heavily to stop that from happening.

                Except my comment never even slung mud. It was a criticism, yes, and a suggest about moderation (which hey, they took on board, good on ya mod) but if the whole point of these articles is to generate discussion, then you have to be aware that there are people who are going to disagree with what you have to say.

                  you missed my point, you are allowed to disagree, the mod would of taken issue with the way in which you worded said comment.

                  @rocketman

                  Except I wasn't in any way shape or form disrespectful. Blunt, maybe, but not disrespectful or rude.

                  @ mdn

                  There is nothing wrong with being blunt. Or honest. And everyone's entitled to their opinion, no matter how unpopular.

                  It's a real shame when mods stuff up a discussion by deleting comments that are entirely valid. I'm not saying that that's what's happened in this case, as I have no idea what your comment was, or what the moderation was. But yes, mods do need to be there but at the same time they do have to employ some brain cells once in a while.

        ...and discussion.

        If you honestly disagree with the complaints she is making in the article, and don't believe that the rational people of the Internet should fight against such sexism, then you are part of the problem and need to take a look at yourself.

          Except for when discussion is deleted when the person who started the discussion doen't like hearing what others have to say, or when they don't agree with them.

            As has been stated previously, it's probably not the conversation starter who is moderating. It's probably @markserrels, who is trying to prevent Kotaku from becoming yet another gutter of the Internet. It should be possible to have a civil conversation about sexism - and if that means deleting some of the comments that you thought were reasonable, then so be it.

              I was civil. I was not disrespectul, rude, mean or anything that should warrant a deletion. I was blunt perhaps, but none of the other things.

                Oh no, let's ignore the massive issue of sexism in favour of whining about how mdn's post was deleted! ZOMG FREADOME OF SPEACH!

                Quit attention whoring and take your licks LIKE A MAN, mdn.

                  "LIKE A MAN"
                  Blatantly sexist against men and women on a sexism post. Fantastic work.
                  That line suggests that men aren't allowed to complain and ask for their issues to be fixed and that women are too weak to do it without help.
                  Congratulations .

                Only to you.

              Kotaku *IS* one of the gutters of the internet.

    This made me really sad :( As someone who occasionally laughed at stupid comments like this (the marry me's and such), it's sobering to hear that it all hurts in the end.
    Dang.

    I applaud Alanah for doing this. It takes great guts to do something like this and put yourself out to the wolves so to speak.

    A lot of people are right in saying that people are doing this because they are hiding behind their monitors. None of them would say this to Alanah in the street, none.

    But society doesn't help this stereotype at all. The adage Sex Sells is one that hollywood and other industries use to objectify women to the point where as males grow up through their teenage years, they think that its normal for women to be portrayed in this way.

    There is a study going on at the moment and investigation into the porn industry and how it warps teenage boys minds to what intimate relations and sex actually is. Boys @ age 18 now expect girls to do some crazy stuff they see in porn movies and they consider that to be what sex actually is.... and so during the teenage years because various unscrupulous companies have discovered sex sells and slamming that to teenage boys = money we have this problem....

    And there are various women around the world who do not help this stereotype at all and will appear in brazenly sexist advertising and take the cheque not caring at all how this affects their gender and how it is portrayed. And unfortunately it remains true that sex sells.

    Do you honestly think if a male started to post videos about something that many see as a traditionally female pursuit that the male would get posts like 'get your dick out' or 'show us your chest'

    Whilst it is true that some males get this such as for example ryan gosling, it generally is only for those super famous people. and yes goslign gets objectified but thats a result of sex sells and hollywood. It's still not right.

    You can be sure that any girl posting a video on youtube where they are shown is going to cop stupid comments like this whilst on the male side it would be more attacking their credibility of knowing a subject rather than belittling the person via their gender.

    The fact is this, if Alanah was copping this treatment in a workplace she'd be a super rich woman. Employers would be forking out millions of dollars compo for the disgusting sexist attitudes and harrasment she is copping. Just because she has chosen a path of self employment and to pursue her career through this means, does not give males the right to post demeaning shit.

      Do you honestly think if a male started to post videos about something that many see as a traditionally female pursuit that the male would get posts like 'get your dick out' or 'show us your chest'
      A lot of the time on those singing/talent/whatever shows, the female judges tend to demand the more attractive contestants auditioning take their shirt off. It irks me.

        Objectification doesn't feel nice, does it?

        It's just as wrong, and it's really sad. Obviously some objectification is always going to happen to both genders, but it'd be nice if such fanservice was offered willingly by performers comfortable with it, rather than just expected and demanded by the audience. It should be condemned just as equally, no matter what gender the performer is.

      did you set out to support Alanah with this comment or attack her? because, of all the comments that are here, this one seems to be the most gruesome. you start out with some 'crocodile tears' type compliment and then start making excuses for sexism and the comments that are made against Alanah.

      make your position clear; this is the kind of ambiguity that does not help combat sexism or send Alanah (and women in a similar position) a message of support.

        far from it i was never trying to excuse sexism. I was trying to explain why i believe its so widespread and such a problem. Never trying to defend it.

      Relevant:

      http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-online-dating/

      Women rate 80% of men "below average" - i.e. women have very high standards compared to men, leading to a far greater proportion of women being considered to be in the "attractive" range by a far greater proportion of men.

        1. I don't see how this IS relevant, because even if women do have higher standards, they tend not to evaluate the usefulness or worthiness of men they encounter in the world SOLELY by how attractive they are. which is the point of this Kotaku article.

        2. you missed the part of that OKCupid article where it says that the overwhelming majority of men ONLY target the most attractive, "modelesque" women when actually pursuing a connection through messaging. so yeah, they might have lower standards when all they're doing is looking for a woman, but once they decide to try to communicate, that all goes out the window. which, again, is the POINT of this.

      "None of them would say this to Alanah in the street, none." Um, have you never witnessed street harrassment? I'm old, ugly and fat and I still get crap said to me on the street.

    I don't think it's necessarily fair for someone to suggest (through omission) that this only happens when men attack women. People on the internet are dicks, and this is how men are dicks to women - they degrade them and sexualise them where it's completely unwarranted.
    When men are dicks to men they call them a faggot or a pussy, questioning their masculinity.
    When women are dicks to men they call them pricks and misogynists, judging them for their lack of sensitivity and general disregard for others.
    When women are dicks to women they call them sluts, whores, bitches, etc., and generally judge them based on their appearance and questionable life choices.

    But we can't ignore the fact that is, sexism is alive and well and there's no justification to for it. That's not to say I want to see men stop sexualising women in favour of berating them in other ways. I would just like everyone on the internet to stop being dicks to each other, or at least take a minute to explain why you're saying the things you're saying.

    I don't think there's any good reason to call a woman a slut or call for "TITS OR GTFO", but maybe if you at least qualified it with "I'm sexualising you in order to ignore your content because I'm incapable of assessing it on an intellectual level, and also no one has ever or will ever touch my penis so I'm getting pretty desperate", it might at least provide a tolerable framework within which the comments can be considered with the appropriate weighting.

    Of course I just called into question a hypothetical person's intelligence and sexual prowess, so I'm really no better, even figuratively.

    Anyway, I pretty much dislike all people and I hope we die out in the next few generations. Humanity had their chance and they fucked it up.

      Love this, man. Especially that wonderful finishing sentence.

      I just hope that after humanity's gone it's the bears turn for civilisation.

        I'm hoping for the rise of the Ratbear.

        Of course for such a thing to occur we're going to either need a very patient bear, or a very masochistic rat.

      @kermitron Never before have I agreed so wholeheartedly with another person on the internet, especially when it comes to this topic. So much win. Your words on 'providing a tolerable framework within which the comments can be considered' are gold. Thank you for sharing!

    Whilst I don't agree with the posts that have been removed. I am more concerned that they were removed. People have a right to their opinion even if they have missed the point...

      You don't know what the content of the posts were so with all due respect you can't judge. I won't have good discussion derailed by what sexist comments. Very very happy for people to respectfully disagree -- I have a very good record on this so you're just going to have to trust me on this one.

        I do. My content was by no means insulting to anybody. It wasn't an attack, it wasn't a baseless comment. It didn't break the comment guidelines, since I just read them. But it's gone. So whatever.

        I saw one by Mase. I completely disagreed with it but... it is your call. I can see how it was somewhat inflammatory. Which IMO is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyway.. at least there is a dialogue regarding the subject. Regardless of what people think of the article.

      I obviously have missed the posts that are being removed but generally if comments are overly inflammatory or offensive, they would be removed. I doubt Mark is removing comments simply because they disagree with or challenge the topic.

      They can hold that opinion all they like, but they don't have a right to have it posted on this website.

      People have a right to an opinion, but not to be crass or cruel about it. I haven't seen the offending comments, so I don't know how bad they were/n't, but there needs to be some accountability. There can be reasoned discusion about differing opinions without resorting to things that get your comments removed.

      Well said - especially when so many (and perhaps myself included) do miss the point when discussing this very complex and sensitive subject.

    It’s an insult to be told you’re ... ‘attractive’ for something as daft as a hobby
    how would you react if a woman said she liked shoes?

    I thought that a shared hobby was attractive in general (admittedly not worthy of the over the top example in the article). It doesn't matter who says it, male or female, if they like video games, that's a point of interest that they have over someone who doesn't know CoD from WoW.
    I don't particularly like shoes, so someone saying they like them is irrelevant. I do like video games.

    Last edited 30/04/13 1:41 pm

      See everyone!

      This is a pretty respectful way to disagree! You're a cool human being.

      It's attractive to me to have a woman play games. Not because it's "normal" for women to not play games, but because we'd have something in common. It's nice to know right off the bat you have at least one hobby in common. Me and my missus recently started playing WoW together and we've spent a lot more time doing things now that she's, unfortunately, addicted to it.

      I used to watch her do her art together and watch stuff, but being able to play games together has also added something else to the list of things we have in common. We have a lot of similar interests, but not hands on hobbies. Butwe do now so I can totally understand from first hand experience how someone sharing a hobby makes them attractive. So it's not an insult. It's only insulting when someone goes over the top with it, for more than one comment. I think perhaps the author is looking a bit too far into these comments for sexism, though.

        I can see her point in all of them, even the "Thank you for not wearing a low cut top" one. Why didn't that guy just say that he enjoyed the article and be done with it? That's what I do! I don't think I have *ever* posted a comment to an article written by anybody, man or woman, where I referred to anything about their sexual attractiveness.

          I commented on Angry Joes recent video saying his hair looked nice, if that counts. :P I see that, sure. But I dunno if it's sexist, i know I know hear me out on this. What if, and I'm just saying - what if she is insanely beautiful (dunno haven't checked), that people can't help themselves? XD

          No but seriously I can see the sexism sure but I just can't see how it's just... that bad compared to the other comments. It's just someone being immature or joking, either or. I don't see how it could be that bad in any way. The other comments? Sure sexist. Saying marry me due to her hobby? Could be harmless fun taken the wrong way or someones an idiot. I'm just saying. =)

            Right. But it's not harmless. The constant barrage of these comments is obviously exhausting for the women in question.

            The immature commenters will hopefully grow up eventually. Maybe they won't.

            The joking commeters should realise right now that it's not actually funny and definitely not appreciated. If those people stopped making the comments in question, it would seemingly make a massive difference.

            Um, I think this is relevant here, though this is more about in person compliments than online comments: http://albinwonderland.tumblr.com/post/47518698158/made-rebloggable-by-request/mobile

            Lots of comments are just that - innocently meant compliments. It's hard to distinguish them sometimes, and when you've got a history of people saying stuff very un-innocently, you tend to assume the worst in order to be able to protect yourself. Which sucks! We don't want to assume the worst, but at the same time, we can't spend all our time trying to interpret which ones are dangerous and which ones aren't. Obviously some effort is made, you have to or else its totally unfair, but we're pretty much taught through experience that assuming hostility is the best way to stay safe...

      I agree that a shared hobby is attractive, but the number of people that go from almost not talking to me to then being like "you play games? You know what, you're really hot, we should get a drink sometime" (and I've had this happen multiple times in real life) just implies that people are too desperate to share their hobby with someone of the opposite gender.
      I mostly date nerds anyway but I don't like the ones that jump at the slightest hint I'm one. Because often I feel like they won't let me just have my hobby in my way either.

      I don't think it's the fact that you shouldn't ever be attracted to someone based on shared hobbies, I think it's more the way you become an object when people disrespectfully comment in such a manner. Your way of approaching it sounds like a fantastic bloke who understands that relationships are wonderfully complex and a shared experiences built up over time with respect. When you receive comments like Alanah pointed , anonymous and spontaneous, it more or less reduces you to an object. It may not be the intention of the commenter, but it's the outcome. You have now become this coveted object I must obtain. It's like the market sellers in Turkey who offered my friend 10 camels for me, for the simple matter that I was female and single. A jest, yes, but it made me feel the sum of my parts were literally my sexual organs. No thought of anything else. When male gamers find out I'm a gamer, too, it's a very similar reaction and feeling. Except, in person, you get the eye drop to the boobs before, "Really?"

      Sometimes I think this is something men are never really going to understand, for the most part. Just as I will never really understand what it is like to grow up as a man with the cultural pressures of being masculine. When you've grown up in a society that places you as the less powerful, just because I have a womb, you know what it is like to be objectified and minimised every day, so much so you even do it to yourself before a male might tell you. So I think it means that some aspects of the argument are always going to be difficult to understand why, and lead to comments like yours, which are true, but not quite understanding the perspective. But maybe if articles like Alanah's keep pointing out what the impacts are, we might be able to cut down the acceptance of the worst of the comments. Because all men are not animals. Or, at least that's something I try to believe.

    Facebook link is broken in the article

    https://www.facebook.com/alanahpearce?hc_location=stream

      Ta! Should be fixed now.