Let’s talk diversity

Context

Diversity is a hot topic on social media. Depending on who and what you follow, you may have missed everything completely or got flooded with for a couple of weeks now. (Taylor Swift, Matt Damon, League of Legends, SC2 (and many more esports) but you can click on these links for reference about recent events)

Definition

So you can look up diversity in the dictionary, but who really uses that these days. Let’s just suffice it to say that whoever you employ in whatever you’re doing, you get a diverse spread that is representational of the reality outside this little world you’re creating. This can really be anywhere; in the regular workplace, in film, also in esports. We’re talking minority races (non-white and non-white-passing), genders (women and non-cisgender) and even sexualities (lgb+) that need more representation. If you do it right, your products, your reviews and influence can go pretty far, but I’m not here to talk about the many benefits of diversity.

Defending lack of diversity

I want to talk about the thing that people somehow learned to say in defence of lackluster diversity; that whoever is best for the job will get the job.

It sounds so idyllic, right? There’s no racism or sexism at hand, the people we see now are simply the best choices. What if indeed, whoever did the hiring, was indeed completely neutral in their hiring. Maybe that person was even convinced of this. I’m definitely not going to claim that I know of anyone that is consciously making sexist and racist decisions. Heck, even people who are actually saying racist and sexist nonsense preface their nonsense by “I’m not a [insert a discrimination category], but…”

Why you shouldn’t defend it

People aren’t aware of their socially inherited prejudices because our society has this normalized to a point where gender* and racial stereotyping are something you experience naturally as part of this world. This isn’t actually your fault. It’s never one person’s fault. It’s just, there. In a lot of cases, subconscious prejudice just happens, whether you consider yourself someone who discriminates or not.

So the reason I have a problem with the defence of “the best person wins” *, is that this is based on normalized racism and sexism. The reason people want diversity, is not just because we want to thwart your experience and get mediocre quality, but to make employers aware that they’re not helping to improve the world we inherited.

Building up

Role models are also incredibly important when it comes to minorities. Not looking hard enough to employ in a diverse manner is a missed opportunity for minorities to grow to equal levels of this supposed greatness our non-diverse groups of people are praised with.

I would even argue to just stop defending these organisations that we’re trying to call out on diversity issues, simply because it’s actually their responsibility to get it right, not yours. But, hey, this is the Internet.

*) Read more about normalized sexism here
*) See how I didn’t write “may the best man win” there, go look at this as to why 

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I know you think it’s hilarious, but…

Listen, you may think you’re just joking around when posting on someone else’s twitter or your own that you’re gay, and throwing around the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term all over Twitch. You may even think you yourself super ok with other people being Actually gay or otherwise lgbtq+, but this isn’t about you.

This is about all the people who are genuinely torn about just being themselves, who with every dumb tweet or comment on the Internet feel less welcome. Not just to come out, but just being themselves. You’re oppressing their freedom. You’re silencing them whenever you make fun of them.

Just stop.

Make fun of someone that they believe in Santa Claus, make fun of someone by saying they like the Teletubbies, anything actually funny will do. Use that brain of yours to think of something imaginative.

Things you learned as a kid #2

#experimentingwithshorterwriteups

You’ve probably learned these phrases, or equivalent in your language:

  • “You throw like a girl”
  • “Crying like a girl” *
  • “Grow a pair and just do it”
  • “You’ve got some balls …”
  • “Sissy”
  • “Man up” *

These things are wrong to say – not because “it’s not nice and you should be more politically correct” – but because of how these phrases were designed. All of them favor the so called masculinity over femininity, usually they are in gender role context, and all of them are obviously patriarchal.

In this day and age some of these things have been somewhat adopted by women as well, even though they are still connected to the ideas of masculinity. Or maybe the woman is like “well I am a girl” when confronted with the ‘joke’; “You throw like a girl!”, but it doesn’t negate how they’re meant.

When you say “Oh grow a pair” to a person of any gender, you inherently aren’t just saying “be more confident, get over yourself and #justdoit”, you are always saying “a man can do this, you should be able to do it too”.

There’s no reason you can’t say things like this with similar meaning (bad throwing, be more confident, wow you’re brave… ok maybe ‘sissy’ is just completely insulting beyond repair?), but please stop falling back to the patriarchal gender roles.

*) credit to @GinaTonix for reminding me of these

On why we need feminism and why thinking you want equality isn’t enough

Disclaimers:

  • I’m not schooled in the facts, history, art or anything of feminism, I’m just seeing things that are fucked up in the world.
  • I’m generally disappointed in the way I wrote this blogpost, but still wanted to post it anyway
  • Sorry in advance if you’re equally disappointed.
  • Obvious misogynist behaviour talk is left out in this post because… those things are obvious, everyone on the Internet can enjoy that shit every day.

Despite what you might have perceived from the world of feminism and whatever you might think of equality, there’s a big chance you probably don’t know you yourself are contributing to the patriarchy. Within this space both men and women are maintaining current society’s separation and misconception of what they think of what a woman is and what a man is, which feeds into the unequal treatment of all sexes and all genders. The problem feminism is trying to solve, is not just the end goal of equal treatment of all sexes and genders, but making people aware that the root of the problem lies in the un-equality that our society has normalised so much that we’re not aware we’re participating in it every day.

I’m not here to blame anyone, nobody is perfect; not me, not you, not anyone. We all grew up learning how the world works and it’s ingrained in everything that we do now, whether we want it or not. It’s just that how the world currently works, is wrong. From the moment you were born and your parents learned your sex, you were treated and thought of un-equally through gender roles. Even when your parents would be like “oh I don’t care as long as he or she is healthy”, they applied gender roles as soon as you were born. Even if your parents do their best into treating and or teaching you to not apply them, your peers and teachers at school will soon undo the work and squeeze gender roles into your brain.

When you say you just want to treat people equally, you’re undermining the problems we face to be able to actually treat people equally. You’re not realising that you yourself have a picture or a list in your head of what woman and a man are, but aren’t aware that the majority of these points on these lists can actually be true for all genders. You’re not realising that you’re making excuses in the positive or negative based on sex differences while they should be applied to all sexes.

Even when you know what the concept of gender roles mean, you might not still be actually aware that not just you, but everyone, applies them in their daily lives in a subconscious or conscious manner. Almost every company you see uses gender by default to make separation of products and services they sell, more than not done by applying gender roles. Expectations of anyone that is surrounded by these large amounts of unnecessarily gendered products feed into the endless cycle whether you want it or not. Almost everyone subconsciously applies gender roles when having some kind of opinion about what someone is saying, showing or wearing, which feeds into the normalisation of gender roles.

When talking about feminism and “fighting the patriarchy” we’re not talking about fighting men, we’re talking about fighting society’s normalisation of privileging men and equalising the playing field for all genders.

Equality for women is such a big thing in this equation because they are most apparently affected, and you can actually make legislation around the specific issues that women face in the world. But even when everything possible has been done to deal with these issues, the underlying problems will most likely remain until society is actually aware of how unequal and gender-role influenced their behaviour is.

Disregard what you think you know is true and look around you, and you’ll understand that just saying you want equal rights, probably won’t be enough.

Optional bonus rants if you want to read more.

Continue reading

Things you learned as a kid that were cool, but really weren’t

As soon as kids start to group up at school you’ll learn things your parents probably didn’t tell you about at all. Like the latest videogames and all the cool toys, for example. Let’s admit to ourselves that we probably were a bunch of spoiled brats, whatever the other kids had – you wanted it too, and your parents were in constant desperation about whether or that would be ok or how to bring the “request denied” with the inevitable aftermath.

But it didn’t stop there, you would get educated by your fellow cool kids what was cool to wear, to say and to act like. Despite you being included with the cool kids if you followed this trend, most of them were probably not ok at all.

It depends on country, region, type of school, traditions and what not, but here’s a list that will probably include something you encountered and didn’t think twice about at the time:

  • ridicule the fat kid
  • shit on the boy playing with dolls
  • girls (or boys) are stupid / icky
  • refuse girls from playing soccer
  • ridicule the momma’s boy
  • ridicule the kid who brought healthy food
  • insult the kid who wore glasses
  • shout at the brown kid he looks like poop
  • laugh at the kid that wore speedos instead of shorts at the pool
  • laugh at the boy who tried out a dress during a dress-up day
  • laugh at the kid who thought X while you were convinced it was Y
  • yell at the kid that didn’t hit the ball right
  • singing kid 1 likes kid 2
  • push kids 1 and 2 together and make them kiss
  • yelling fag at the kid who uses feminine hand motions
  • shoving around the kid who didn’t have any friends

I’m sure whoever reads this can think of plentiful more examples.

It’s not just that we had the need to fit in at the time, it’s that the kids that got bullied weren’t the only ones affected by this. Being on either side makes you believe and build foundations where you grow up believing there’s some kind of norm people should abide to or be treated as the outcast. (Not to mention the racism, homophobia, gender roles, fat shaming and whatever else)

The question is though, how would you combat this behavior while kids this age all struggle to get attention and want to belong somewhere. Is there even something anyone can do? Or is it something we need to accept that happens and educate our kids at a later stage where they can understand how fundamentally fucked up things were in those days.

I could say that everything gets better when you grow up, but really, some people really get shafted by an environment that decided to ignore all logic reasoning and live by what they learned from other kids instead of what they learned from their teachers at school.

Shit people say to get banned #2

Permabans are not given out lightly in BaseTradeTV. We make mistakes like any other, but usually bans are a result of multiple occasions of breaking the rules, which can be read on the twitch page.

To illustrate the kind of bans that were categorized in my previous post under “General assholery or all of the above”, here are a few examples. These examples are very small subsets of what these people said over multiple casts, sometimes even multiple months. Usually they are in conjunction with toxic and negative chatter.

The sentences are shortened and spelling errors are fixed to anonymize the messages.

Person 1

  • you guys are some thirsty motherfuckers
  • this is what happens when guys are deprived of female attention for 25 years
  • you guys are genuinely fuck tarded
  • this is literally worse than nazism
  • excuse me please stop harassing the mods, let’s see you get bullied for 4 years in high school and turn out any differently
  • power tripping middle school mod

Person 2

  • this observer is garbage
  • ballsack league
  • this game is giving me cancer
  • English is hard, just look at all these people in chat
  • terran is a retarded race
  • hey mods, you piece of shits, ban me

Person 3

  • gay, so fucking gay
  • fucking gay retarded autistic morons in chat
  • they changed the gender, because the feminazis demanded it
  • ZombieGrub, kill yourself

Person 4

  • that was gay
  • Rifkin’s going to get a blow job now
  • she seems really fucking stupid
  • you dirty slut

Person 5

  • fapfapfap
  • Blizzard, go kill yourself
  • shit, cock, fuck, cunt
  • shithead Amerifags

BTTV permaban statistics

A bit back I decided to categorize all the permabans on BaseTradeTV we have registered since the start of January. It’s not automated and I have to manually categorize the bans, so it won’t be completely accurate. A lot of the times someone isn’t just banned because a single comment, although if bad enough that’s still possible.

There might be more categories, but this is what I personally thought was the best I could do. I wish I could further specify the ones that fall under “general assholery or all of the above“, but that’s easier said than done.