This week at Masculinities 101, we featured a two part post by frequent contributor, Peter Rauch. He gave us the history and current controversy surrounding what is being called Gamer Gate. For some reason, the post struck a nerve, and several people wrote nasty comments.* After sharing the blog post on my Facebook page, the same thing happened there. (You know you’re on to something when people come out of the woodwork for an attack.) We’d love to hear people’s actual thoughts (not just nasty emotional reactions) on this piece, so please share!
*On a side note, these comments forced us to evaluate our commenting policy—if you have nothing constructive to say, your comment won’t go up. Now, that is not to say you can’t be critical of the post, or that you have to agree with our politics at Masculinities 101. But if you are commenting simply to insult the writer or the blog, with nothing intelligent to offer on the topic at hand, well, we’re not going to stand for that.
And, unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard that Emma Watson gave a speech on men and feminism at the UN for the launch of the HeForShe campaign. We’re thrilled to see this topic getting international attention! Her speech has sparked conversations in traditional and social media forums, and it is worth sharing some of the feedback.
First, immediately after the speech, Watson was threatened with the release of nude photos. The threat turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless, my guess is that, before finding out it wasn’t real, Watson experienced some distress. On that note, here are a few posts about the real meaning of these leaked photos (spoiler alert: SEXISM)…here, here, and here.
Far and wide, Watson was lauded for bringing feminism back into public discourse, and for defending it against claims that feminists “hate men.” But not all responses were so favorable. Here’s an important critique of the HeForShe campaign by Mia McKenzie from Black Girl Dangerous. Important points here include: the dangers of equating men’s experiences under patriarchy to women’s and the complete erasure of genderqueer folks from HeForShe. Her analogies to anti-racist and anti-homophobic activism really drive her points home.
Finally, from the Center for the Study of Men & Masculinities, Michael Kimmel wrote about Watson’s talk for Ms. Magazine.
Obviously, the Men’s Rights groups were (predictably) in an uproar about the speech, but I don’t feel like going into more than to say their responses were fairly typical. Feel free to google for those.