…and people say I can’t let things go (ha! and here it is: the obligatory “putting the boot in”, possibly opening the doors to the hell of endless “debates”): some of you might remember the multitude on posts, including some on here, about failing white male allies* and self-proclaimed white male “allies” who actually aren’t allies but people seeking to get their heads patted for not being David Duke.
Let me reiterate that I’m not talking about the “sexism in video games” discussion on germany’s public broadcasting station “Deutschlandradio” because I think Deef and a variety of supporters should not be allowed to catch a break as people who have been called fauxminists (though I’m afraid I’m keeping the Fauxminism charge up), but because you just couldn’t make shit like this up to exemplify what the so often debated and facepalm-inducing problem is with people who believe they’re in it for The Good Cause (TM) and yet, showcase anti-feminist thinking and behavior and give actual feminist allies a bad name.
Yet, it has been a good month (which is what? Like 20 years in Internet Time?) and one might think that this Gate was solved by simply adding a couple more people to individual block lists. This, however, is apparently not the case, and one of the reasons seems to be the actually surprising decision by Deutschlandradio to host another show on sexism on the internet/in video games/in digital life with three different panelists, now including two women (Helga Hansen and Katrin Rönicke) who are, in one way or another, active in the feminist (online) community and a variety of other fields, and Anatol Stefanowitsch, a professor of linguistics who also writes about language and gender.
It has been noted that, ironically, none of the people who have expressed elaborate criticism of the previous show with Deef and others (namely, Femgeeks), have been invited to the show [Edit: Helga had actually been the first one to criticize Deutschlandradio's invitation policy on Twitter. I, however, still think that it would have made a lot of sense to (also) invite one of the authors of Femgeeks who have written about the last broadcast elaborately and have been in direct contact with the show's host about it - that, ironically, did not happen. They were not invited, although the host kept referring to their criticism during the show, and continuously read out their tweets] and Anatol Stefanowitsch has aptly brought up the invitation policy of Deutschlandradio, including criticizing them for just assuming that everyone can drop every other responsibility, especially regarding care work, when their company calls three days in advance.
I have now listened to the broadcast and have, again, specific problems with certain assumptions and things that have been conveyed during this show, and also with the invitation policy, as have other people, also expressed on Twitter (one of them, again, Femgeeks). I am again annoyed that Feminism = white women, and that racism wasn’t even discussed here. I thought that the referral to certain female* body types as “normal”, thus making others pathologic, was cringe-worthy, as was the lack of reflection when positively naming Ursula von der Leyen, for example, as an alleged ally for feminists, thus missing awareness for class privilege and the question who profits from von der Leyen’s particular brand of feminism.
But you know what? The one thing this panel about sexism in/and the internet was not, was structurally and actively sexist. And, sadly, that is a huge success, given what happened the last time, when three white men discussed sexism in video games. It was a success in having a majority of knowledgeable and critical women* discuss sexism (let alone anything that isn’t defined as “chick topic”) on a public broadcast for a change, even though the host kept referring to Stefanowitsch as “quota man” (who, apparently, is needed to validate what all the emotional ladies are bickering about); particularly given the fact that, as Helga Hansen has shown, 90 percent (I repeat: ninety percent) of the show’s guests in the
past year ten broadcasts [I'm sorry I misheard that, thanks for correcting me, Helga!], were men*. Another great detail? Stefanowitsch not battling for air time or interrupting the women* or having to add lip service to everything they said, but being a respectful conversation partner with interesting contributions (you know: what/how actual allies are and act).
So… what could have happened? People who have been criticized for what they have been saying in the previous broadcast and for their previous reactions to said criticism could have taken note on what was different this time; perhaps even come to a realization or two. People who have been criticized for their behavior during the previous debate could have taken note of the specific criticism made of particular fails in this broadcast, echoing some of the fails of the last broadcast, without ever reaching that latter’s epic dumbassery. But, as you have guessed: of course not, since we all know that this isn’t really about being a good or bad ally, this is about picking up your ball and going home, because ze feministz are mean and just won’t fucking show you the gratitude you think you are entitled to. And things could have gone so differently, judging from Deef’s first tweet:
Deef Pirmasens (@Deef) August 04, 2012
[Deef: Looking forward to another talk about sexism and video games at Deutschlandradio's Netzreporter.]
Alright, so you actually don’t mention that the first round was kind of a dilemma in terms of not appealing to many of the feminist women you thought you were representing, but that’s fine. Class dismissed or something. Or just the adult way of sitting it out. I get that.
Lustig, wie sich Krawallfeministen b. letzten Talk ü. fehlende Frauen im Talk empörten + diesmal kein Problem mit 3 weißen Diskutanten haben—
Deef Pirmasens (@Deef) August 04, 2012
[Deef: Funny how racket-feminists (note: he uses the German male version here) were outraged by the last talk due to missing women, but don't have a problem with three white panelists (note: again using the German male version for three women* and one man* here).]
The mere fact that you write “Krawallfeministen” [sic] (…and “Diskutanten” [sic]; there were two women* panelists, by the way, one is the actual host) is pretty telling, I’m afraid. First: you hereby ignore the tweeted and otherwise expressed discontent with aspects of the show that were even in part read out loud by the host during the show. Second, you reduce and ridicule and tone-argument-piss all over the rather elaborate criticism and suggestions as to how to not act like that guy after the broadcast you took part in. Not agreeing with your stance, calling you out on your failures, criticizing your reaction to said calling out, not declaring you Awesome Dude Of The Year for a matter of course, and not being nice and pleasant and shiny and happy while doing that, is “racket” in your view. Actually, the person making all the racket was and continues to be you.
If you had, at any point, taken a step back and had taken a look at the criticism, instead of only thinly veiling your contempt for the feminist critique of your action and instead of ignoring the numerous suggestions as to how to not be that guy, you wouldn’t have encountered increasingly annoyed responses to your ignorance. Yet, here we are again: you still don’t think you’ve done anything wrong (and, let me just say, the worst part of your failure was, in my view, your reaction to being criticized), and are now making a lot of racket on the passive-aggressive half-offense. That’s not activism, that’s not being an ally, that’s not exposing anything – it’s simply anti-feminist trolling.