The American Mercurial Speaks: Unnecessary Necessary Mission Statement – Feminism and Inclusivity

The list of people who are not welcome to play our games includes and is limited to the following: anyone that I specifically and subjectively think is an asshole and/or a douchenozzle. If you are on this list, you already know right where you belong, because I have never been the type not to say what I believe, and chances are I have personally fucking told you to “fire yourself as my fan” (see below).

That said, it is literally impossible to be on this “not welcome” list for any reason except your (shitty) personal behavior and actions. 

I have not, for instance, taken the incredibly shitty step that Posthuman Studios have of “firing” all of their fans that identify as MRAs, with a stated reason of “tolerance”. To me, “we are SO TOLERANT that everyone who identifies as this group can go die in a fire” is the very pinnacle of hypocrisy.

I was a huge Eclipse Phase fan, and am not and will never be an MRA, but I stopped supporting Eclipse Phase on that day, on principle. Because that was a shitty thing to do to a group of their fans, even ones whose beliefs I don’t share.

I also hold the radical belief that people I strongly disagree with are still the former (people).

I don’t want to repeat the giant sentence above, but I feel like I have to.

It is literally impossible to be on this “not welcome” list for any reason except your (shitty) personal behavior and actions. 

Literally no one is unwelcome in the related group of tiny, tiny fandoms that constitute End Transmission Games’ content and nascent community on the basis of race, creed, religion, sexuality, etcetera, etcetera, et al.

Let me give an example of the above without explicitly naming any full names: for five or six years, M. Hunter and Jacinda M., two now-married queer women, were members of my core gaming group. For half a decade they were queer women and they were as welcome as possible: hell, they went beyond welcome: they had the best, most regular attendance of my LARP for four years running.

Then they were shitty assholes to me and now are banned for life. Their gender and sexual identity is irrelevant to the fact that they are not welcome to my content. Their douchebaggery is. (Regular readers: you will note, this paragraph will not help me mend that particular fence. You will also note I don’t give a fuck. I don’t care how many minorities they are, fair weather friends aren’t real friends at all, and anyone who cuts you out of their life for a brief glimpse of you at your saddest doesn’t deserve your friendship.)

In Short — Everyone Should Feel Welcome And Included In All Of Our Games Except For The People Who I Personally Think Are Assholes, And Those People DEFINITELY Know Who They Are

Now I am going to talk about feminism and the risky proposition of self-identifying as an anti-feminist.

Yay.

One of the most radical beliefs I hold is that words have meanings (FWIW: I (obviously) don’t give one half of one fuck about the late Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinions, I just think it’s funny that Coheed put it to music). Holding the belief that words have actual, objective, applicable definitions is dangerously backwards in [CURRENT YEAR].

  • If I say “feminism” or “I am an anti-feminist”, and the only definition of feminism you have ever been exposed to is the memetic and epigrammatic “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people”, you would be shocked, and confused, and offended that I could say anything against feminism.
  • If I say “feminism” or “I am an anti-feminist” and you think of batshit crazy, completely toxic, radical feminazis publicly declaring that it is a “basic fact” we should “recall” that “all penis-in-vagina intercourse is rape”…well that tells us a few things. It tells us that we get some of our our news from the same sources. And it tells us that you know exactly the strain of feminism I’m talking about when I self-identify as an anti-feminist.
  • If I say I’m an anti-feminist and you have no idea which feminism I’m referring or don’t even know that the second “feminism” really exists…then things get really complicated and you might assume the worst.

Spoiler Warning: For Certain Values of ‘Feminist’, I, Devon Oratz, am actually a feminist.

vs1

(Translated From Japanese) “I’m a feminist.”

I wanted to find that clip from Versus (2002) here…you know the one…but the internet wouldn’t let me. Probably for the best.

Specifically, I am an ardent supporter of women’s suffrage (first wave feminism) and a supporter of second-wave feminism, which campaigned for legal and social equity for women.

When I say that I am an anti-feminist, what I mean is that I am an opponent of radical 21st century third-wave sex-negative white feminism (whew!) which seeks to go beyond second-wave feminism and establish women as a privileged class with more rights than men.

I feel like where this argument breaks down so that civility and coherency become impossible is in the following conundrum: modern, main stream  feminism is primarily the latter (or at least the loudest VOICES in it are), but makes every effort to present itself as merely “the radical notion that women are people“. This is a textbook use of what is called in rhetoric or forensics (debate, not like, CSI) the bait-and-switch or to use the term I prefer, the “Motte and Bailey” doctrine and makes productive discussions about feminism almost impossible outside of feminist or anti-feminist echo chambers (which is therefore automatically not productive discussion at all, because it’s just jerks in a circle, doing what they do).

It disgusts me to say this on multiple levels, because I think gender studies degrees should literally be abolished (NO OFFENSE TO GENDER STUDIES MAJORS, DIFFERENT OFF TOPIC BLOG POST, DIFFERENT DAY, OKAY GUYZ AND GALZ AND PREFERRED PRONOUNZ?), but I think the way the Eskimo famously (and by the way, inaccurately) supposedly have a hundred words for snow, I personally need more words for feminism so that people don’t think I am, for instance, in favor of repealing women’s suffrage.

So, when I say that I am an “egalitarian feminist”, what is encoded in that is that I support first and second-wave feminism. Especially in the Middle East, which desperately needs a women’s rights movement. Like, 30 years ago, guys.

When I say that I am an “anti-feminist”, what I mean is that I am opposed to ” batshit crazy, completely toxic, radical feminazis publicly declaring that it is a “basic fact” we should “recall” that “all penis-in-vagina intercourse is rape”“.

I can hold these two conflicting ideas in my mind at one time. SO TOO CAN YOU.

Now, where I get into debates with my female friends who more strongly identify as (SANE) feminists than me is right here: I basically say that the toxic feminists have ruined feminism forever, and that they need to come up with a new word for the non-toxic feminism that they support. They often argue that no, it’s just a few bad apples (the bad apples are all screaming at the top of their lungs, to mix my metaphors), and they don’t ruin the bunch, so the name of the movement (‘feminism’) is salvageable, the radfems should just be kicked out of the feminist clubhouse and called something else.

radscorpion

Maybe just Radfems. I like how it implies they’re not just radical, but also possibly radioactive. Like Radscorpions, but with less hit points and a deadlier sting.

In case anyone wanted to mention the “No True Scotsman” fallacy in any way related to any of the above wall of text, I have only to remind them that I am currently dating this bonny lass, and that she is the truest Scotsman of them all.

-DTO Out

Postscriptum Editorius: Some of you infrequent readers might be all like…

56373586

Well, I’m sorry you feel that way, grumpycat.

 

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