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The Voice We're Being Denied

There is a problem that has been raised in the last two weeks. A problem that hasn't been addressed.

Let me begin by saying I am a stark, deep rooted, feminist.

I have always been. I'm a racial minortiy, albeit a male one, that has seen every kind of hatred there is. I've received death threats, I've recieved live slander, for an entire grade in highschool I boarded a bus that every single day I was slung with an endless bevy of racial swears. And to this day, it hasn't stopped.

So I emphasize with the same thing happening with gender. I've advocated for both complete equality on all fronts, everywhere. Voices should be equal no matter what race, gender, orientation, anything at all. We should be equal.

That hasn't happened in the last two weeks.

Let me give a recap of the scandal: A certain female dev was reported to have had a romantic relationship with a journalist who had reported on her. The journalist denied it but it was revealed that the relationship was romantic, or very personal, before the article was written. Then things spiraled out of control.

The rest here is educated guesses, I cannot confirm these but I can say they're rather likely given the evidence that has been presented: The dev in question had a moderator put a filter on her name in /gaming, removing any and all criticism. In addition, she then blamed a community for harassing her. This community had a reputation that would make this plausible. Their response? They donated several thousand to a charity which she had denounced earlier (without cause) and, allegedly, had friends refuse to report on. She then filed a DMCA on a youtube video that was re-uploaded to prove it did not have any content from her game, at all.

It was very clear that despite all this, the developer in question was very well connected.

The arguments in response have been thus:

#1. Developers have been very cozy with journalists. This has been going on for a very long time.

#2. The moral character of the dev in question violates her ideals that she promotes, calling into question the validity of her belief in her ideals.

#3. Widespread censorship is clearly in place. It is wrong to censor the opinion of your opponents.

Several personalities have spoken against all three practices. In return, they have been called misogynist pigs.

This is not about misogyny.

It is unfair to label any and all criticism as unfounded and gender biased just because a small minority have made it so.

That small minority, however, though NOT the most vocal, have been the focus of all of this. Justifying mass censorship of any and all sites. Justifying incredibly one sided articles.

Justifying the insult towards gamers and how they've all devolved into gender-hating monsters.

As a gamer, as a developer, as a member of the community, this is very troubling.

The root cause of this is trust. We trusted the developer. We trusted the press. We trusted we would have a voice.

All of those have been incessantly violated.

So, if the press won't report a side, and the developer has unwavering support that CAN'T be challenged because whenever it IS challenged, these users, some with thousands of followers, several of them women, are labelled as misogynist it is, quite frankly, disgusting.

It is simply unfair and wrong.

We want to wait for 'cooler heads to prevail' but the cooler heads have been here the entire time. From BOTH sides. However, their voice is not talked about. Their voice is ignored. Instead we are linked to articles like this:

http://www.vice.com/read/meet-the-female-gamer-mascot-created-by-anti-feminists-828

and

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/digital-culture/dont-believe-the-conspiracy-gaming-has-bigger-problems-than-corruption/article20230850/

instead of

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/2014/08/25/gamers-revolt-another-take-on-the-zoe-quinn-scandal/

Let me be very clear.

Trying to defend your reputation is not misogynist.

Trying to defend your opinion is not misogynist.

Trying to have a voice is not misogynist.

Misogyny is if you are attacking a person for their gender.

What I find VERY troubling is the pivot from Zoe Quinn, a target which is a lot harder to justify, to Anita Sarkeesian, which has been getting the REAL flak. Yes, if you only look at Anita, gamers are a bad bunch.

If you look at Zoe, they might have a point. Outside of her conduct, which again is deplorable, she is bringing a very strong question that needs to be addressed: Who can we trust?

We can't trust mods who censor voices.

We can't trust one sided articles which refuse to voice another opinion.

We can't trust the people who refuse to consider anything about the other side except for the worst characteristic that SOME of them have, a characteristic that is NOT relevent in this situation.

So who can we trust?

Why don't we, the gamers, the rational minded developers, the small people, have a voice?

It was never about harassment. It's barely about Quinn anymore. It's not about Anita.

It's about Grayson, Plante, Kuchera, it's about Hernandez and yes, even Leigh Alexander.

We want to respect you. But we CAN'T respect you.

We want to trust you. But we CAN'T trust you.

Please, change the game, because right everyone is getting hurt. How many people need to be hurt?

Why demand a voice. A voice that has been swept aside. A voice that has been made a mockery of.

That's what this is about.

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