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January 20th, 2011
I enjoy arguing with people, it's fun, it's challenging, it's good practice. It's like mental exercise. Other people don't seem to view it the same way though and I have little tolerance for cheap shots or poor arguments.
Lately - as you may have noticed from my work blog - the topic of sexism and gaming has come up again in its two tired, boring, usual ways. That is art and the use of the female pronoun. That's why I did my blog about 'tits' the other day on the work blog and why I spent a lot of the afternoon arguing about the pronoun thing... again.
As per usual when we get onto this one, people are extremely resilient to reality or facts, or - even - to what you're actually saying. Far preferring to squeeze you into stereotype 'a', 'b' or 'c' or to take offence at something you're not even saying.
What I object to in the art argument is that we're talking about fantasy. I want to be inclusive and have all sorts of depictions of male and female forms in games, INCLUDING cheesecake but it seems like those who do object the most strenuously are determined that any such depiction must be stopped. Which is immensely disrespectful to other people's wants and desires from their games. There's room for plurality.
What makes it particularly aggravating, to me at least, is that RPGs already go to ridiculous and comedic lengths to be accommodating, even to concerns that aren't even factual. I've gone on about this before, the language mangling of reinterpreting 'he' to be an exclusive rather than an inclusive term.
What particularly got my goat this time, however, was someone claiming to be a linguist (yeah, well, it's the internet) who didn't know much of anything, or so it seemed, about the history of the English language, or the way it's developing, despite claiming to study just that. That's the kind of thing that pisses me off, pseudo-intellectuals making claims that they can't back up. I would have been fine with that except that they ended up being dickish and ended up accusing me of sexism... which was entirely counter to the point I was making... and trying to defend using sexist terminology as a counter.
I used to think this was mostly an American disease but this was a Canuck and not so long ago a fellow Brit developed similar hypersensitivity as well. Yes, I've considered that it might be me being a dick, I'm the common denominator after all, but given the number of people that don't react that way and ARE capable of sensible argument, I don't think that's it after all.
There's a dangerous aspect to the internet - that I've touched on before - where you end up creating insular groups of personal 'yes men', that never challenge your held viewpoints. This is part of the reason I seek out argument and different points of view, to stop myself falling into that trap.
I never feel good about ignoring people but had to do it with this guy, simply because it seemed that neither of us would back down.
I can only repeat 'you're wrong' so many times in so many different ways before it gets tiresome and, you know, excuse me, but if you're going to change MY mind you're going to need logic, reason and evidence, not bald, falsifiable assertion.