GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

The Honey Badger Brigade, a group of men and women sympathetic to men's rights activism and calling itself a collective in favour of artistic expression, had its booth removed from the ongoing Calgary Expo today for reportedly disrupting panels and associating with GamerGate.

Calgary Expo is one of Canada's most popular geek conventions, and like most events, it allows folks associated with geek culture — artists, developers, etc — to register as exhibitors to show and sell their wares on the show floor. The Honey Badger Brigade signed up to be an exhibitor.

GamerGate, a polarising movement more associated with harassment than its ostensible desire to change ethics in video game journalism, has been around since last summer. As an amorphous, anonymous movement, GamerGate's specific goals are by nature impossible to define, but one thing is undeniable: it's caused a lot of pain to a lot of people.

Several tweets from this morning suggested one of the exhibitors was proudly demonstrating banners and shirts for GamerGate. It was quickly revealed this was The Honey Badger Brigade.

The Honey Badger Brigade raised more than $US9000 to fund this effort, as part of a "Feed The Badger" campaign. Here's how they pitched it to people:

"In April of this year, the Honey Badgers plan to put on a booth at the Calgary Comics and Entertainment Expo! We plan to infiltrate nerd culture cunningly disguised as their own. Each of us has been carefully crafting a persona of nerdiness through decades of dedication to comics, science fiction, fantasy, comedy games and other geekery, waiting for this moment, our moment to slip among the unaware. Once there we will start distributing the totalitarian message that nerd and gamer culture is… perfectly wonderful just as it is and should be left alone to go it's own way."

While laden with sarcasm, a desire to attend Calgary Expo to promote this viewpoint was clear.

"Our intentions are essentially to support freedom of artistic expression for all creators and the validity of a free marketplace of ideas," said Honey Badger Brigade co-founder Karen Straughan to me over email.

Calgary Expo has not gotten back about my requests for comment regarding this incident.

Other attendees reported hearing about disruptions at panels during Calgary Expo:

GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

The Mary Sue fielded a report from one member of the "Woman Into Comics" panel:

"We were about fifteen minutes into the panel when a woman in the second row stood up and identified herself as a Men's Rights Activist. She and her male companion both came to raise issues they felt would not be covered by our panel. Raising points about the way men are portrayed in comics struck a note with all the panelists, as we agreed that we want to see a diversity across body types, characters, races, etc in mainstream comics. Not everyone wants to see a hero who looks like he's built like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. They also accused us of presenting all women as victims, which was an outright lie and derailing tactic.

[...]

I truly believe in freedom of speech, but coming to a panel with the entire purpose of derailing it and shooting down the voices on the panel isn't constructive. It appears that was their plan for the expo, to come and to loudly take over the spaces of other people — although it was not violent or threatening, it's disrespectful, disappointing and offers a prime example of why these panels need to exist in the first place."

"There had been rumblings overheard by some of us on Thursday," said Straughan, "that some people on staff or attending were offended that we had posters supporting #gamergate ("Ethics: Stand against censorship"), and that others who were familiar with the Honey Badger Brigade and find us "offensive," were interested in getting us shut down."

It was around this time Calgary Expo started responding to comments through Twitter.

GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

That Calgary Expo would be so quick to respond is not a surprise. As part of this year's event, it's been promoting an "Expo Equality" message to make the event feel inclusive and welcoming. https://twitter.com/hashtag/CalgaryExpo?src=hash

Around this time, reports surfaced about The Honey Badger Brigade's booth being shut down.

GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

"Our group was expelled from the con," said Straughan. "Alison Tieman, creator of the Xenospora comic series, was banned from Calgary Expo and all their affiliated events across Canada."

Calgary Expo has been actively responding to comments and criticisms about its decision on Twitter, expressing it had no desire to allow a GamerGate-themed booth onto the show floor.

GamerGate Booth Kicked Out Of Canadian Comic Expo

The rest of Calgary Expo runs through this Sunday.


Comments

    Isn't it somewhat ironic thought, stating that they have an “Expo Equality” message to make the event feel inclusive and welcoming yet kicking people out who's views they don't agree with?

    I disagree with anti-vaxers and I think they're all a bunch of idiots. But, my definition of inclusiveness is that I'll allow them to voice their opinion and welcome their views, albeit misguided, into the public forum as long as they're not violent towards others.

      As the old saying goes: "I don't agree with what you are saying, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

        That's an oversimplification. I'm all in favour of people believing and saying what they want, but at what point do you draw the line, when it begins to affect public health? How many families were affected by Jenny McCarthy alone? If people want to believe vaccination causes autism, okay... but they shouldn't be given a platform to peddle their discredited crap as science. These gamergate people have a right to self expression but cons are also a business, that reserve the right to shut down your booth. In these cases, my concern is that by shutting down a booth, all they're doing is fueling the already out-of-control persecution complex in GG circles.

          That's an oversimplification. I'm all in favour of people believing and saying what they want, but at what point do you draw the line, when it begins to affect public health? How many families were affected by Jenny McCarthy alone? If people want to believe vaccination causes autism, okay... but they shouldn't be given a platform to peddle their discredited crap as science.

          Ok, ok. Hold up. I'm no Anti-Vaxxer. I got all my shots at the right ages growing up and continue to do so every year or so as required. Just because an Anti-Vaxxer is wrong when it comes to their health, it doesn't mean we should remove their rights because of their beliefs. While they have all the right to spew their bullshit, we have the CHOICE TO NOT LISTEN, and we have the RIGHT TO BELIEVE THE CORRECT SCIENCE. We shouldn't be shutting down anyone's right to be a complete moron no matter if they are an Anti-Vaxxer, a different religion, a SJW, GateGate, etc.

          People have the right to be morons, we as people should exercise our right to not listen to the morons more than anything else.

          These gamergate people have a right to self expression but cons are also a business, that reserve the right to shut down your booth. In these cases, my concern is that by shutting down a booth, all they're doing is fueling the already out-of-control persecution complex in GG circles.

          Ok, this one is more relevant.
          I understand cons are a business, I've worked enough of them as a booth attendant and media to know this. They do have the right to shut down the booth, but as to the reasoning of WHY is what is more in question here. They shut the booth down because of a "differentiating opinion". How is a "differentiating opinion" troublesome to the con as a business? Because one group of people feels "unsafe"? If that's the reasoning they, and you, are going for; then shut the whole convention down because there is always going to be something, somewhere, that is going to make someone or some group feel "unsafe".

            The problem is that the anti-vaccine movement can't really be directly compared with this. One of the problems with anti-vaccine-ers, is that by not vaccinating, it allows diseases to come back into circulation and infect others, even some who have been vaccinated. We've seeing big outbreaks of diseases that were effectively extinct in the western world because now people aren't getting vaccinated.

            It's a bit like smoking. They have a right to smoke, sure, but when others start getting sick from second hand smoke...

            Last edited 18/04/15 3:55 pm

              The problem is that the anti-vaccine movement can't really be directly compared with this.

              Totally agree. As I've pointed out, I do not support Anti-Vaxxers at all. However I will not remove their rights to be morons.

              Please stop trying to lump me in with Anti-Vaxxers.

                The problem is, their "right to be morons" hurts their children and others in their community. If it was just themselves they were hurting, there wouldn't be any issue at all. But it doesn't. It hurts others, primarily children.

                  Can we treat actions and speech as the separate things that they are please.

                  Their actions do hurt people, children, animals, other bacteria, etc. I'm 100% with you on that one.

                  However, their speech on how they believe that vaccines cause brain explosions and whatever only hurts those who are stupid enough to listen.

                  They have all the right to go on about how a flu shot contains blood sucking bugs that cause cancer or whatever they believe. It's when thoughts turn into actions, then it's time to step in. Words only hurt if you allow them to hurt (usually by listening).

                  It's like the Neo-Nazi example below. There is a right for them to gather and spew their bullshit, but the second they lay one finger on another person... It's fucking go time!

                  @mase


                  However, their speech on how they believe that vaccines cause brain explosions and whatever only hurts those who are stupid enough to listen.

                  Except it doesn't. The people who are stupid enough to listen? Parents. Why would they be looking into this stuff? Because they're concerned about the well being of their children. Why would they be looking into Vaccines specifically? Because they're unsure about vaccinating their children.

                  They read a "reliable" site on vaccinations making head explode. "Well I'm not vaccinating my children!" And then you'll have something like their whole family getting whooping cough.
                  http://www.smh.com.au/world/antivaccination-mother-tara-hills-seven-children-come-down-with-whooping-cough-20150415-1mm0za.html

                  Speech is an action, and in this case, one very much aimed to make people not do something beneficial, an instead hurt their (and others!) children.

            While they have all the right to spew their bullshit, we have the CHOICE TO NOT LISTEN, and we have the RIGHT TO BELIEVE THE CORRECT SCIENCE. We shouldn't be shutting down anyone's right to be a complete moron no matter if they are an Anti-Vaxxer, a different religion, a SJW, GateGate, etc.

            Why do people think freedom of speech is unconditional? It's not. That's why we have things like libel, slander and hate speech laws. While people are welcome to believe whatever hogwash they like (freedom of thought), they are not in fact, permitted to present lies as truth, especially in matters of public safety. That's why quacks like Dr Oz are being raked over the coals by regulatory bodies.

            However, their speech on how they believe that vaccines cause brain explosions and whatever only hurts those who are stupid enough to listen.

            This attitude that only those 'stupid' enough to believe these sorts of things somehow deserve what's coming for them, is very presumptuous. You don't know the situations of those who believe these cons. You're lucky enough to have the access and curiosity to search for the correct information, and so am I, but it's far from universal. Even in Australia, many otherwise intelligent and educated people are falling for cons like the anti-vax movement because 1) they don't come from a science or health background, 2) they're being preyed upon by shysters operating under the veneer of legitimacy. Oh, and those 'stupid' parents aren't the ones being hurt by their ignorant choices, it's their blameless children and the children of those parents who do vaccinate. Now you see why letting people speak unchallenged might be a bad thing?

            Can we treat actions and speech as the separate things that they are please.

            Speech is action, especially if you're someone like Jenny McCarthy with a mailing list, books and thousands following you on Twitter. If you're a 'movement' like this 'Honey Badger Brigade' seeking an audience and soapbox via a convention booth, the same rules apply.

            Last edited 19/04/15 3:32 pm

          An anti-vaccine stance due to fears of autism are objectively wrong - the science does not support their stance.

          Something like this, which is about ethics or morals or whatever, has little objectivity. It's all subjective.

        defend nazis and child abusers while your at it. there is a line, there are things that should not be defended, things that should be squashed from human society entirely.

        trying to be 100% equality is a myth, it does not exist, so long as welcoming every single view exists, so will a view that takes control and removes said freedom to express equality, and vise versa until the end of humanity itself.

        now that said rubbish has been debunked, lets move onto selecting which views actually help humanity, making the world a better place for everyone... guess humans dont change.
        *INSERT IRONY LEVELS FROM 1-9.9r*

      I think it was less the message delivered and more the way in which it was delivered. By hijacking another groups panel to be heard you are being a dick, regardless of whether your intentions are honourable.

        Not only that, but they created a booth pretending to be a webcomic to sell their GG merchandise and ideas, which is completely against the policies.

          Yes! Nexi & Kaiser have it right in that the group intentionally misrepresented themselves in their applications. That gave the expo organisers the legal right to have them removed, because they were in violation of the terms in which they applied. Nothing about free speech, all about lying to promote an agenda. Honey Badgers & their MRA/GG supporters made it very public that their intention was to cause as much disruption as they could to the convention as a whole & intentionally target specific panels.
          As covered elsewhere on the net today, if they had applied as a pro-GG group & asked to host their own panels, they wouldn't have been asked to leave unless they caused other violations (such as threatening &/or violent behaviour). Having lied to get in, they're now crying foul (& crying misogyny because they used women as trojan horses at panels) & turning it into something it isn't.
          Truly, it's time someone took the MRA movement GamerGate around the back of the shed & had them metaphorically shot, to put them out of their misery.

            Even so, it's still a private function and free speech is limited to the organisers. If they wanted to they could make it mandatory for all attendees to have blonde hair or a blonde wig. If they ask you to leave, the only defense you can have in a court of law is if you paid to get in and believe you didn't violate any rules or policies. Then it will be up to the courts to decide.

            I'm starting to think they knew they would get kicked out and did everything intentionally so that they can claim censorship.

              Very much so.
              I've worked my entire adult life in the security industry & if you buy a ticket, you are basically agreeing to the terms & conditions of the people organising the event as well as the T&C of the venue itself.

              the other issue is of ignorance: in that Canada doesn't actually have a bill of rights guaranteeing Freedom of Speech.
              Any freedom of speech granted simply means that the government can't arrest you for speaking out against them. IT also means that if you say something that everyone else finds utterly abhorrent, they are the right of reply.

              People spend way too much time being offended when they are reacted against or criticised -more so if their opinion is completely contrary to logical, reason & civil decency.

                It's why so many people get into fights with bouncers (aside from being drunk). They're not let in and they start yelling at them, despite the fact that the majority of the time the bouncer has the legal right to deny entry or even throw them out for no reason.

                and GamerGate are being hypocrites for screaming about free speech when their entire ideology is about denying women the right to their own free speech.

                  On both account, it's once you deny people something that believe that they are ode, they have a fit & lash out in any way they can. with bouncers, it's with violence, with GamerGaters it's going after anyone who isn't them (women, homosexuals, other races). MRA is the same. They believe they are denied something they are ode (sex usually) & they think it's a massive conspiracy against them rather than the fact that they are scumbags who need a good kicking.

                  An aside, I copped far more abuse working the door at JB HiFi than I did as a bouncer, for the reasons stated above.

          "Not only that, but they created a booth pretending to be a webcomic to sell their GG merchandise and ideas, which is completely against the policies."

          Incorrect. The booth operator is actually a comic book author and she was selling the comic book there; see Xenospora. It's been in development for the past 7 years. She didn't pretend anything.

        When it comes to Free Speech, I'm reminded of the Xkcd comic:
        https://xkcd.com/1357/

      Isn't it somewhat ironic thought, stating that they have an “Expo Equality” message to make the event feel inclusive and welcoming yet kicking people out who's views they don't agree with?

      May as well jump straight to Godwns Law, but would you be okay with Neo-Nazis having a booth, promoting their views about jews and homosexuals? They shouldn't kick them out because they have an "Expo Equality!"

      I think the term 'Equality' needs to be looked at, at least in these uses. Personally, I see 'Equality' as the right to be able to do what you want, as long as it does not harm or negatively effect someone with your actions. (Yes, 'negatively effect' is vague, but I'm just writing this off the top of my head. I'm not making policy here)

      The fact that they were at the event, promoting a group who does contain members who do negatively effect people with their actions, as well as actually negatively effecting others, then they aren't following the "Equality" definition above and are valid to be removed from the venue.

        "differentiating opinion" vs outright hate speech. Big difference.

        And how does having a differentiating opinion equate to negative effect with their actions? The only actions taken (Having listened to the question that sparked all this crap. It's on Youtube if you want to listen yourself) was to ask a perfectly valid question during a Q&A part of a panel. If the speaker didn't identify as an MRA before asking her question, then nothing wouldn't have happened.

        "he fact that they were at the event, promoting a group who does contain members who do negatively effect people with their actions"

        And please enlighten me on what exactly the people they associate themselves with, that objectively has a negative effect on other people and can be grounds for dismissal from an event that they payed a large sum of money to travel to? I would assume that you are one of those people who is of the opinion that gamergate is some sort of a hate group, but even you must at least be able to admit that this is just your personal opinion, and it is not necessarily a fact. If it becomes fashionable for people to start treating personal opinions as facts and causing financial harm to people to whom, in their personal opinion it is okay to do financial harm to, nobody is really safe, not even you. I for example, strongly disagree with you on a very wide variety of issues. Certain individuals and groups of people that you associate yourself with have indirectly done great harm to me on numerous occasions. I am of the opinion, that you and your family, as well as all of your friends should have financial harm inflicted upon them, how would you like it if there was a large and powerful group of people that agree with me and had the means to do this? I'd wager that you will not like it, you will not like it at all. You have no problem with having a group of women who disagree with you (typical 21st century "man" scared scared of female disapproval) being banned from an event that they paid money to attend, but you will bitch and moan and cry like the developmentally stunted adult baby that you are when the same things happens to you.

      In the public forum, yes. That's what free speech is.Anyone can run an event or print a pamphlet or run a website saying anything they want.

      But to look at your anti-vaxer point - at a health conference? At an educational conference? If a known anti-vax group overtly or covertly booked a table at one of those conferences, and were promoting material contrary to the stated aims of the conference, or disrupting panels, yes they should be removed.

      And here, fair enough, we don't have the full story. But if people had got into the conference with credentials obtained by being an exhibitor, and then were disruptive, it may well be reasonable to revoke not only the entry rights of the individual, but the credentials of the exhibitor.

      If a stated aim of a convention is inclusivity, and attendees are expressly spouting contrary views in a way that disrupts the enjoyment of other attendees, then the organisers can act out of respect to all the other attendees who have paid to hear panellists talk, not some randoms in the crowd.

      Wanna have a conference on "ethics in games journalism" or anything else, organise your own conference... free speech is not a licence to unrestricted speech in all circumstances. Likewise, a bunch of atheist or gay rights or whatever campaigners getting a table at the ACL's annual conference and then standing up and disrupting speakers should be removed.

      They have the right to express their views, and they can bugger off and buy their own soapbox from which to do it.

        So peaceful and productive exchanges should not take place in panels at Conventions or Expos?

        It is clear from the audio of the panel that each side posed questions each side were answering and when each side agreed with each other it was acknowledged. I for one think that the pleasant exchange that took place here of thoughts and ideas in civil and rational discourse should be welcomed.

        The outcome however is a big backward step for whatever side of the fence you sit.

      Here's the thing that Libertarians and other assorted people with reasoning difficulties miss.

      Billions of women, all over the world, are raped, beaten and murdered each year simply because of their gender. Yes, even in our lovely white picket fence suburbs in Australia. I will guarantee that within 1km of YOUR house, a woman was physically beaten within the last 24 hours by a spouse.

      This isn't GENETIC. It's not FLUORIDE in the water causing it.

      It happens because a vast percentage of the male population (and female to a lesser degree) have strongly encultured views about the value of women and how they can be treated.

      This runs through all aspects of our culture. Sure, in the open everyone SAYS they're all for equality but the numbers speak for themselves, and any woman can tell you the truth.

      It's a narrative that was put in place milennia ago and for much of recorded history ran unopposed. It's a story.

      That story has been challenged in recent decades and some small changes have been made - despite what MRAs claim, equality is a long, long way away.

      GamerGate, Sad Puppies and their ilk are attempts to get that narrative back on track. No matter what faux-liberty nonsense they cloak themselves in, everyone knows what they're about.

      EVERYTHING IS FINE, LET'S KEEP THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOT ROCK THE BOAT

      Unsurprisingly this is driven by people who most benefit from the status quo and who have a pathological lack of empathy for anyone other than themselves.

      Everthything is not fine. The physical and emotional brutalisation of human beings sanctioned by social narratives is just goddamn wrong.

      Yes, this kind of GamerGate nonsense isn't DIRECTLY harming women. No, they're not ACTUALLY punching women themselves.

      What they are doing is fighting as hard as they can to ensure that other people keep harming women.

      That is the end result of this nonsense. While it may seem to be localised to gaming, it's simply one offshoot of a much larger narrative.

      I don't blame MRAs for being the way they are. There will be good reasons why they have been socialised to lack empathy. But they're a cancer on society and shouldn't be allowed to flourish.

        Billions of women, all over the world, are raped, beaten and murdered each year

        I want some of the drugs that you've been smoking.

        Last edited 19/04/15 12:34 pm

          Let's see:
          7 billion people on earth
          3.5 billion women
          billionS implies at least 2 billion
          so that means 4 in 7 women on earth are raped, beaten and murdered each year. Hmm.

          Of course, the only acceptable number is 0 rapes, beat downs and murders, but utterly falsifying the number doesn't help anyone.

          Last edited 19/04/15 2:40 pm

            I'm just enjoying the fact that the people arguing for the inclusion of women are excluding women.

            It's truly delicious as is old Burnies hyperbole...

              Hyperbole along with a lot of what looks like "listening to what people say without having done any research of your own", judging on the amount of repeated rhetoric that just isn't true.

            Correct. In our lovely, white, democratic society we have conservative estimates that up to 30% of women suffer violence of some form each year.

            In third world nations, that number is exponentially higher. In some of the most population dense nations, the figure is expected to easily approach 50%.

            So yes, 4 in 7 is probably a little low.

            Congratufuckulations on minimising that. That's the reason women don't report things by the way.

            Or of course you just could be gigantically ignorant and just view the world through a white middle class lens and forget the fact that you represent a minority of the global population.

              Your maths is a bit off there...

              4 out of 7 is, statistically speaking, over half. You're looking at roughly 57.2-58% with those numbers, which just isn't even accurate. If one is approaching 50% and the other is well under, it cannot exceed 50%, it's just basic maths. It's not 'a little low' it's way too high. He's right on the hyperbole factor, very right.

              That's not to say it doesn't happen, it definitely does, but if we're going to throw around statistics, can we please get some real stats, with real sources?

              But the rest of your post is so hostile, so digustingly full of whitemans guilt unnecessarily and so absolutely horrendously misinformed. That doesn't give you the right to act like a dick to him. Take a chill pill and rethink your approach, you may be passionate about the subject, but passionate does not always mean you're immediately *right*.

              Last edited 20/04/15 8:08 pm

                You are aware you are conflating someone else's post with mine, right?

                But to answer, there ARE no 'real stats', and demanding them is either an act of gross ignorance or an attempt to derail. I'll assume the former.

                The reason being there are no 'real stats' is because whenever women report this, reasonable men like we see above question it, instantly. So most don't, especially in less affluent nations. I know dozens of women who have been abused. Most did not report it for fear of being treated this way.

                Thankfully, the white males posturing here won't know what it's like to be brutally violated and then treated with suspicion and derision if you tell anyone about it. Or in some nations, actively punished.

                Have you EVER sat with a woman who was brutally raped? Actually listened to her story?

                I have, many times. It's a real thing, a terrible thing, and it happens because our society has a dominant narrative that allows it to happen - and these kinds of arguments illustrate exactly how that narrative operates and how people defend it. Yes, this is a petty, trivial issue that isn't DIRECTLY causing abuse. But there is no big, terrible thing that forces men to rape. What you have is millions of these shitty little attitudes that add up to one big stinking pile of nastiness.

                Which is why it does give me the right to be a dick to internet warriors who post the same 'WELL I'M NOT ACTUALLY MISOGYNIST BUT LET'S HAVE BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY' nonsense on each and every one of these stories on Kotaku.

                In case you missed it, it's the same guys each time.

                And in case you missed it, in your rush to act as the conscience of Kotaku, you're often supporting them.

                They're not going to change. They're gamergaters, peddling their unpleasant views on women under the hilarity of 'ethics in game journalism'. Odd how that hasn't actually been mentioned by these folks, isn't it?

                You on the other hand don't appear to be such an awful person. I'd recommend winding yourself back before you become tainted by association.

                  I'll re-state what was blindingly obvious:

                  1. Chill out, you're unnecessarily hostile in your posts.
                  2. This makes you come across as a major dick.
                  3. You're probably a nice guy in real life, but on here, you're *really* coming across as a major dick.

                  Last edited 22/04/15 12:04 pm

                  1. You don't get to tell me, or anyone else, what a 'necessary' level of hostility is. YOU'RE NOT MY REAL DAD.
                  2. The fact you think you can, and should, makes you come across as a major dick.
                  3. Your support for creeeeeepy #gamergaters isn't doing you any favours at all.
                  4. You're probably a nice guy in real life, but on here, you're *really* coming across as a major dick.

                  Last edited 22/04/15 12:15 pm

                  Not sure where the idea I support Gamergate is coming from, I guess that's the new 'Godwin' for 2015. I get it, you're hostile, that's cool, we're not going to see eye to eye and that's fine. But dude chill out, a lot.

                  If I were your real Dad? I would've taken the internet away from you a looooooong time ago...

        So wait, you're demonizing an entire group of people, most of whom you've never met, and then criticizing THEM for lacking empathy. You're saying all MRAs lack empathy. All of them. The hypocrisy is kind of staggering.

          I don't think you understand what 'hypocrisy' means.

          I am criticising MRAs for lacking empathy. In that they demonstrably do not care about the suffering of others.

          To be hypocritical, I would need to not care about the suffering of MRAs.

          They aren't suffering. Despite what they might claim, middle class white guys aren't actually being oppressed.

          If they were, then I would care indeed.

          But

          they

          aren't.

            Middle class white guys are oppressed, though. Not as much as women or working class men or people of colour, but they are still oppressed.

            There are two ways - firstly, there is the view that you seem to hold - "Men aren't victims, so we shouldn't care about them." This view is held by both traditional patriarchy ("women cannot act") , and the more old-school feminists ("men are the oppressors"). It results in the most awful problems - male rape (isn't it interesting that "rape" is assumed to be of a woman, unless "male" is put before it.) Domestic abuse of men, and your assertion that MRAs aren't suffering. They are. You can say that they brought it on themselves, and maybe they did. You can say that it is not because of their class, race, or gender, and it probably isn't.
            They are still suffering though.

            Secondly, there is the pressure from mainstream society (patriarchy) to "man up", and for men to be the providors, and protectors. This is the other side of the element above, and it results in greater pressure for men than for women.

              Middle class white guys are not oppressed and you have unfortunately brought up the most offensive MRA argument of all.

              Yes, some middle class white guys are abused. But as you point out (thank you) they are not abused because they are middle class, white, or male.

              By trying to conflate this with female gender-based examinations of abuse however, you minimise and dismiss their suffering.

              It's at best lazy thinking and at worst using them as tools to advance a misogynist agenda. Which I don't think you are doing, but I'd bet you picked this line of thought up from people who did.

              To actually approach this decently, you need to take the time and effort to separate out the various kinds of abuse people suffer.

              If you do this, you realise that when there ARE discrimination-based cases of male abuse, it's because of MASCULINIST notions of power - which you allude to in your second point indirectly, which kind of misses the key notions.

              This is what MRA's champion. The sickening irony is they use male rape as a foil for their arguments.

              Don't believe me? Go spend five minutes on the MRA forum of your choice.

                I am not trying to conflate anything with female gender-based examinations of abuse.

                I am not minimising or dismissing anyone's suffering.

                My point about abuse is not that they are abused because they are male, middle-class, or white, but that their abuse is ignored because they are male, middle-class, or white.

                My point was not that "men are abused, therefore we have it as tough as women", my point was that the MRAs ARE suffering, regardless of politics.

                Men being oppressed by masculinist notions of power is still oppression.

                It is a damn shame that MRAs champion that sort of misogyny, because anyone else who is pro-rights-for-men is tarred with the same brush.

        This isn't GENETIC.

        Well, geneticists and scientists everywhere can pack up and go home now an internet talkbacker has definitely solved Nature vs Nurture....

          So are you are actually suggesting genetic causes for the epidemic of abuse in our society or are you just hypocritically being a dick?

            Not quite sure where the hypocrisy angle comes in but if you do your research, nature vs nurture is an unsolved issue in crime and human development :)

              You have been having a grand time preaching about how I should behave myself but don't feel that you should. That's hypocrisy.

              Nature vs nurture is not an 'unsolved issue'. It is a non-issue. Anyone with a functioning brain and halfway decent education knows that both are significant and interrelated factors across the board.

              Your bloody minded dickishness notwithstanding, I hope I don't need to explain to you that the original comment was an analogous statement as opposed to a literal examination.

      I don't have to respect your opinion if it's wrong, though.

    Regardless of The Honey Badger Brigade's intentions, this raises an interesting point: At what point is the line drawn between "differentiating opinion" and "censorship"?

    Unfortunately "hive mind culture" where people who do not agree 100% with the general population are criticized and ostracized is becoming the norm with all types of culture ranging from gaming, to pop culture, to just walking down the street with friends.

    It's amazing how many people will preach "equality" while only giving one group/side all the rights to speak.

    Last edited 18/04/15 2:31 pm

      Regardless of The Honey Badger Brigade's intentions, this raises an interesting point: At what point is the line drawn between "differentiating opinion" and "censorship"?

      *sighs* Why do some people have such a hard time understanding what censorship actually is?

      This is not censorship; people have the right to free speech in most of the Western World but that does not mean they have a right to a platform. It would be censorship if they were allowed to go to the convention but the con prevented them from saying certain things. Censorship is not denying a person your platform to stand on while they spread their message,.

      And as others pointed out the Honey Badger Brigade had violated several of the convention's policies by misrepresenting themselves with registering, which is always a big no-no.

        "And as others pointed out the Honey Badger Brigade had violated several of the convention's policies by misrepresenting themselves with registering, which is always a big no-no."

        How did they misrepresent themselves? Xenospora is a real comic and the booth operator is the comic book's author. She was there to sell and promote her product.

      Look around you. 95% of the narratives in all areas of society are in place for the benefit of white males. That's why we are on top of the food chain still.

      That's the actual 'hive mind culture' you're referring to.

      This is historically because we ran the show unopposed for centuries.

      Now you're seeing pushback in certain places and OH MY LORDY US WHITE MEN IS BEING OPPRESSED.

      Newsflash to the stupids in gaming land -

      Some 'SJW' on Tumblr calling you a bad name because you are a CIS male IS discrimination, yes.

      But here's the thing.

      This is equivated this to the discrimination minorities suffer at the hands of CIS male society.

      This is a false equivalency.

      Being sworn at on Tumblr is NOT the same as being forced to use a different door in a shop because of the colour of your skin.

      It is not the same as having random strangers yell sexual threats at you walking down the street, making you feel unsafe in public places.

      It's not equivalent to having people stare at you in disgust because your birth gender isn't the one you feel should be yours.

      The fact so many white males are whining when they don't get to dominate the discourse as usual really just provides the most pathetic illustration of entitlement mentality.

    Don't see any reason this booth should've been shut down...

    People disrupting panels isn't okay, but it's not clear to me from this article that the people who disrupted that panel were actually linked to this booth?

      Seems those Honey Badger folks RECORDED their conversation with the panelists and posted it on youtube for the world to enjoy. Not only where they polite, they asked if it was ok if they could respond to the panelist's question "What issues to MRA's have with feminists in gaming". So... zero harassment. Zero disruption other than saying something that made feminist panelists uncomfortable. So... essentially... this is getting rebranded as a false threat narrative. Only this time, its harder to cover up. When will people get tired of being lied to by journalists who just parrot feminist claims?

      From what Neo Kaiser and others have said the booth misrepresented themselves on their application (that they were webcomic makers when in reality they were there to promote GamerGate), which is universally a violation of any sensible terms of agreement.

      The issue is more that they deliberately lied about themselves rather than what they really were.

        "The issue is more that they deliberately lied about themselves rather than what they really were."

        Incorrect. The booth operator is actually a comic book author and she was selling the comic book there; see Xenospora. It's been in development for the past 7 years. She didn't pretend anything. She was there to promote her comic.

    They're doing a real good job at proving they're not about harassing women...

    Well, that group of women got kicked out of the convention, so now it's a better place.
    (????????)

    Disrupting the panel wasn't cool, that's for sure.

    more edits
    I haven't actually watched the video in question, so if she disrupted the panel, that's bad, but if she didn't then idk
    I mean, this article makes it sound bad but shit, when should you ever trust the media?

    Last edited 18/04/15 2:41 pm

      Panel wasn't disrupted at all. It's a false narrative.

        Just like GG's/MRA's ideological stance.

          I don't know what you're trying to achieve with a comment like this. It looks like you're trying to undermine the discussion.

        Yeah I trusted, but then I went and verified for myself. That was a VERY civil panel.

    First, disrupting somebody else' panel is a dick move, let your voice be heard but not at the expense of your credibility.

    I find this rather amusing, the use of a real life find and replace to make someone else' argument sound incredibly stupid and self-centered. It is a perfectly valid point that sounds ridiculous when flipped on it's head, you can't have equality for one side but not the other, that's not how equality works.
    Diversity for diversity's sake is stupid. your design process shouldn't go "well look, we haven't created a female character in a while" or "I wonder when we last had a homosexual fat black male with red hair and glasses, maybe we should have one in our next game".
    If your story calls for that role to be filled then by all means, fill it with that person but people need to stop pandering to societal pressure to have representation for every combination of gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, age, weight, socioeconomic bracket and so on.

      There was no disruption to any panel. A women who identified as a MRA asked a question, they traced her back to the Honey Badger booth and asked them to leave due to pressure from other groups.

      All of this goes back to a QUESTION during a discussion about diversity in gaming.

        Not what the report from one of the actual panellists there says. She says the panel was disrupted.

        Also, the group *specifically went to disrupt panels* with questions designed to derail the panels.

        There's a reason it's known as "JAQing off"...

        Panels are about discussion, they had no intention of discussing anything or even letting them talk.

          Lucky they actually recorded the panel and displayed that they were a
          perfectly respectful.

          https://youtu.be/tyBfJuvopPg

            That isn't conclusive one way or the other: it's missing both the start and end of the conversation, so I've got no idea what their effect on the panel was.

              Here's the whole panel. Not disrespectful or disruptive at all. It was a perfectly civil discussion.

              https://youtu.be/ymkIiGRvtBg

      'If your story calls for that role to be filled then by all means, fill it with that person but people need to stop pandering to societal pressure to have representation for every combination of gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, age, weight, socioeconomic bracket and so on.'

      YES BECAUSE I AM TIRED OF EVERY SINGLE DAMN GAME I PLAY BEING FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH FEMALE, BLACK, LESBIAN, ASIAN AND OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE

      SEE, THERE IS NOT A WHITE MALE FACE ANYWHERE

      *Looks at massive library of games*

      O
      O
      P
      S

      I mean, seriously.

      If you're going to try and make an argument, at least spend three seconds thinking 'Does this have the vaguest basis in reality?'

      And if it doesn't, maybe think about what pushed you to hammer out such idiocy.

        http://s3.media.squarespace.com/production/514611/5896686/_5kHzg7gfPWI/Ssta0R05eZI/AAAAAAAAAos/ce09UXsZhG4/s400/fucking_right_on.jpg

        Last edited 19/04/15 12:52 pm

        Hammer out such idiocy - Full caps and bold text hammering detected.

        You miss my point, I never indicated that you shouldn't include them but take a game like Assassins creed 2, set in Italy. It was a white mans portion of history, shoehorning in different ethnic groups would be unrealistic. Again, by all means have a diverse cast of characters but have them make sense based on setting. Adewale in Black flag could only have worked as a black slave, he wouldn't have been believable otherwise. Ellie probably wouldn't have worked as well if she were a he. The upcoming FF15, prince Noctis has the boy band thing going not because of Square-Enix' attachment to men but because in an imperial setting, the likelihood of a prince being surrounded by women as closest friends and advisors is quite slim.

        Also, perhaps chill out a little? Thinking it might improve your health in the long run.

          'A white mans period of history'

          Did you even

          I don't

          Seriously

          Have a think about what you just said there.

          Hint - other people than white males lived then.

            You should channel all your anger more productively by going out and creating these games yourself. Learn to code, make some indy games to challenge societal norms and drive positive change that way.

            And if you are already doing that, then link me and I'll buy the shit out of your games to support you.

            *of italy's history

              I'd love to know the guideline and inappropriate comment that caused the breach. Stating a comment is exaggeration and hyperbolic is a breach?

              Well I disagree but apparently calling people you don't agree with as mentally ill and need to be excluded is okay.

              Never change Kotaku.

                I reported a handful of comments from both of you near the top of the reply chain because the whole thing needed to be nuked from orbit. It was not a meaningful or productive discussion, it was just the two of you bickering and being dicks.

                That may not be the reason it was removed but it was the reason it was reported.

    Reading through both the article and all the comments here it appears she was kicked out not because her question was unreasonable but because she was an MRA. Kinda sad really.

      From one of the panellists:
      Their questions did take up quite a bit of time at the panel and served to derail the topic onto another tangent, which was frustrating for the panel and for those in the audience.

      They went there to sealion.

        Do you have any proof to this claim? Or are you unable to answer such a question? Did you not post this comment with the intention of receiving replies?

    I don't think there are enough details here for me to make a call one way or another. But if their intent was to go there and harass people than kicking them out was the best option.

    That MRA crap in the panel, they would never have pulled that crap at a Men into Comics panel.

    Let's look at the Anti Vaxxers for a moment. I'm running a medical expo for parents and the Anti Vaxxers want a booth. If they promote their stuff in a calm and polite way they can stay. If they scream abuse at people I'll kick them out. If they disrupt a Panel I'll kick them out. If they run a panel and somebody else is disruptive I will expel the disruptive element. That's fair IMO.

    In a debate if both sides are calm, polite to each other and rational they should stay. If one side is screaming abuse at the other or generally disrupting the event they should leave.

    I personally don't like Gamergate, I don't see anything positive coming from it. The message if any is lost in a sea of Misogyny and unfounded attacks on women for daring to get involved in a hobby that has bought me fun for nearly 30 years. I really don't care about the gender of the people who make the games I like.

      Yet personally I wouldn't allow anti-vaxxers in. It's the exact definition of a scam, people making big money by telling lies, and in this case, it's dangerous lies encouraging people to put their kids at risk of serious harm or death. It would be like allowing a pro-gun group that is about allowing people to store loaded guns in the reach of young kids.

        While personally I'm against allowing a group who use works of fiction and outright lies into a place run by facts, it would be discrimination if I didn't.

        The world we live in today doesn't see 2 + 2 = 4 as fact but as an opinion. And if I kick people out who believe 2 + 2 = Fish I'm discriminating against them.

          2 + 2 = Fish. This needs to be printed on a tshirt!

            Not unless you want to be sued by Nickelodeon.

              I'm glad somebody got my fairly odd joke.

              If somebody can make a parody shirt of it, I feel they could get away with it. Pretty much every shirt on http://www.teefury.com/ is using somebody else's IP. I think fair use works for it.

              Last edited 19/04/15 3:18 am

              Well that flew right over my head. Peeeeeeeewwwwww.

          "Liars" is not a protected group. Discrimination is pretty narrowly defined.

          If you are running a maths conference, refusing a conference booth to some surrealist group who claim that 2+2=fish, or even to a group that claimed that pi=3 because it's defined as such in the Bible wouldn't be discriminatory.

          People are quite welcome to a 2+2=Fish Society, and they're quite welcome to wear a 2+2=Fish t-shirt, but if someone stood up at a panel at a serious maths convention and kept asking the question "but how do you know 2+2 DOESN'T equal Fish" at each panel, it would be quite reasonable to ask them to shut up or leave.

    I can't see how people can continue to defend GamerGate. It's perfectly decent to follow the ideals that GamerGate claims to have, but to agree with the sickening actions of many associated with them is pretty terrible.

      I don't get it. What was sickening in this issue?

    In the interest of balance, here is Honey Badger Radio's response to the banning:

    http://honeybadgerbrigade.com/2015/04/18/go-home-gamer-girl-press-release-on-unjust-banishment-from-calgary-expo/

    In retrospect, both of these links are in Bathmatt's link up there! Whoops.
    ---------
    So for the interested, here's the AUDIO of the panel in question. Sadly, no footage and a lot of rustling on the microphone. https://youtu.be/ymkIiGRvtBg?t=18m30s
    But the important thing is that the "DISRUPTION" in quotation marks can be heard and honestly (IMO) sounds more like civil debate, handled quite nicely by the panelists.

    There's also a video by the Gamergate booth owner, explaining the situation from her POV.
    https://youtu.be/vFdTVMiD0UI
    Certainly not the white male misogynist that the press have sold us, funnily enough.
    Actually, if you want to see the white male misogyny, you should see some of the hate she's getting on twitter!

    Last edited 19/04/15 6:20 am

      Its amazing how commenters for this whole story seem to forget that these are people, just like them. The only difference is an opinion.

      Seeing the second video of the booth owner and what they have put her through really puts a human face to a story that is often shown as "the big bad biggoted cis white boogeyMAN".
      Through this one issue, this poor woman has now been banned FOR LIFE from celebrating something she loves in her own country. That's terrible.

      If people can still say "They deserved it" after watching that second video... Then fuck me... The human race is doomed as people have lost all compassion and heart for their fellow human being.

        One of the worst parts is that she's a comic creator, and now she won't get to share that across her country (well, I'll be honest, I don't know how much CONTROL CCE has, what percentage of all cons they run).

        Not being able to share something like a comic would be a major blow, all for having opinions.

      Geeze, that video gets kind of hard to watch. I've known a few women in real-life who've faced bullying and exclusion in the same way she's talking about, and it really sucks. I thought her point at the end - about the fact that everyone's caught up in a group warfare mentality rather than focusing on the actual behavior - is a pretty good one.

      There'd be a basis for removing or banning her from the con, of course, if they'd actually been disruptive, but listening to the audio of the panel, the tone is such that... It seems like at any time one of the panelists could've said "We need to move on to a different topic now for the sake of time" or something similar and it wouldn't have been an issue. She asks permission to respond to something the panelists were discussing, it's given, the tone is generally polite, and then a few minutes later the panel moves on. The claim that it was a disruption is a load of crap.

      The real reason for the removal strikes me as being some kind of "guilt by association" type thing. It's been decided that people who relate to GG or MRA's are the enemy regardless of what they actually do. I don't think that kind of thinking actually helps anyone...

      But of course, this woman, whose exclusion here brought up painful memories of times in the past where she's been excluded or mocked because she didn't conform to traditional ideas of femininity is clearly the enemy of social progress, right? She must be! She associates with those groups! So it's only right that she should be excluded and mocked here for not conforming to modern ideas of female creatives, right? "We want to include more women to make the space more diverse... but only if they think just like us."

    We plan to infiltrate nerd culture cunningly disguised as their own. Each of us has been carefully crafting a persona of nerdiness through decades of dedication to comics, science fiction, fantasy, comedy games and other geekery, waiting for this moment, our moment to slip among the unaware.

    I'm so confused by this. Does this mean, they don't like the things they spend decades dedicated to? They are engaging in "geek" culture as a front? What for? I'm so confused.

      It was a joke. This was a way of them listing how they qualify as geeks, maybe they thought it was relevant because a lot of them are women.

      Last edited 19/04/15 10:30 am

        But they're not real women because they don't follow the narrative!

    What a shambles! There is no evidence they ARE associated with Gamergate. It's only Kotaku's presumption to further their own narrative. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/04/19/calgary-expo-faces-consumer-backlash-after-expelling-female-critics-of-feminism/

      That's a Breitbart article, who are arguably just as biased as Gawker but on the other side. Not exactly the most objective source.

      Also, part of the reason they were removed was applying for booth space under false pretenses - the booth was applied for under the guise of a web comic, not as an "anti-censorship" booth:

      http://www.themarysue.com/calgary-expo-gamergate-evicted/

      Their merchandise also clearly displayed #GamerGate logos.

      Also, their crowdfunding campaign specifically states, and I quote, "...as men's rights advocates and defenders of creators rights...", AKA the stated goals of the #GamerGate movement: http://www.feedthebadger.com/projects/badgers-gone-wild-calgary-expo-style/

        Breitbart is biased.... But The Mary Sue isn't?

          They're all as bad as each other - the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The difference is, Gawker/The Mary Sue's bias results in some white dudes being angry. Breitbart/GamerGate's bias perpetuates the status quo and results in people using it as an excuse to genuinely harass people.

    "...as men's rights advocates and defenders of creators rights...", AKA the stated goals of the #GamerGate movement

    Gamergate has no stated goals. It's an anarchy of some with good, if somewhat misguided, intentions and others outright disgusting trolls. The only thing I've ever seen mentioned regarding Gamergate's "goals" is some nebulous "ethics in journalism" stuff. That's it. As someone who has been involved in both sides of the argument, I can tell you that Gamergate is just a disorganised rabble.

    Gamergate as an "organised movement with stated goals" is is a useful myth to some. The illusion is a construct created specifically Gawker, Kotaku and all the others to rail against so they can point to "baddies" in gaming. You've all been fooled. The closest thing to any organisation is the KIA subreddit ... and of course Kotaku are going to rail against that.

    Last edited 21/04/15 8:08 am

      No, GamerGate doesn't have a charter or some actual written document with their goals and objectives. But it's not exactly hard to see a common thread of MRA and "anti-SJW" themes throughout the disorganised rabble.

        That's only the loud voices you hear. Those who scream the loudest are as representative of Gamergate as Gamerghazhi are of everyone else.

        I've given up on both sides because they are just a PITA. Though I have sympathy for those who try to inject commonsense into the discussion. I tried that on Gamerghazi; I got banned. I tried that on KIA; I got nice words, but no changes in attitudes to those they perceive are oppressing them (Kotaku and Gawker being the main enemy as far as they are concerned). I gave up. Too many idiots on both sides of the trenches they dug for themselves so they can act like monkeys flinging poo at each other.

        I don't believe that those making threats against women and doxxing are representative of those in Gamergate. They just muddy the waters and provide ammunition for Ghazi. There are people in GG that genuinely believe that women should be empowered. But their voices are lost in the noise and end up being called misogynists? Go figure.

        It's no longer a debate. It's a religious war.

        Last edited 21/04/15 11:36 am

          Fair enough, on the "both sides are a PITA" thing, you and I can agree. They really are as bad as each other (I still stand by my point that the effects of one are worse than the other, but I digress).

          Props for trying to cover both sides.

          Though I have sympathy for those who try to inject commonsense into the discussion. I tried that on Gamerghazi; I got banned.
          Lol, that tickles my sides. And really the Expo thing is, with a bit of a stretch, a real life application of the same logic. "They disagree with us, ban them from talking." That quote about cutting out a man's tongue always seems relevant.

          Anyway, I too understand your point of view, mostly. It wouldn't be hard to get tired of the whole fight with the way the attitudes on both sides goes.

            And then call the cops because they were congregating in a park as well.

    I still haven't figured out what the hell GamerGate is all about...

    I thought it was to do with Code Of Ethics.

    I mean, I remember it started with some guy, disclosing personal information about several gaming journalists sleeping with his girl/ex whatever, who also happened to be a game developer.

    How that relationship started and ended, is none of our business.

    However, I assumed from then on that GamerGate was about the "Ethics In Gaming Journalism" or really just, "Someone come up with a better code of ethics for their gaming journalism employees cause it's certainly not bloody working"

    Reviews were submitted, readers weren't told about the relationships with sources, it's a breach of public trust and conflict of interest, etc, etc.

    And THEN everyone started talking about sexism and feminists and I got all confused.

    I ask people what is GamerGate about and some say, "Ethics in gaming journalism" And then others were saying really specific things, like, "It's a group of sexist pigs who are trying to keep women out of the gaming scene entirely, whether it be playing games. applying their opinion on a game, or applying for a career within gaming development"

    That's when I had no idea what GamerGate was about anymore.

    It's like a historian told us, "Did you know that aboriginals from Australia never invented the wheel?"

    And some people were like, "Really? That's wacky"

    And other people were like, "Wait a minute, I swear that's untrue, let me go read about it"

    And further people went, "YOU'RE A F**KING RACIST!!!"

    And then suddenly everybody was saying that the historian was a racist.

    I feel as if there needs to be a big fat RESET button somewhere...

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