Thursday, June 10, 2010

shoot him ups

When I read about a new just-between-us-girls video game yesterday, I was going to file it under the standard "wow, liberals are so violent - no wonder they don't want anyone to have guns" category and leave it at that.

Until I clicked through to a blog written by a young female gamer, who lives in NYC. This sort of street corner harassment is part of her daily existence - she feels she has to alter her routine to avoid being leered at by strangers, she feels she can't wear a cute dress for fear of being subjected to lewd comments, she won't walk in certain areas at night. She feels it "takes her power away." She feels "unsafe."

She also feels that this kind of game is an appropriate catharsis for her rage. Aren't feminists supposed to be anti-gun?

Anyway, what struck me the most was how easily everyone (author & commenters both) acknowledged and accepted that this way of life was just "part and parcel of living in a big city" - cities that are usually the bright blue liberal strongholds on any political map of the United States. Cities where women are empowered, men are sensitive, and gun control is heavy...cities so much more evolved than that backwards flyover country filled with those gun-totin' Neanderthal rednecks, right?


Justin Buist said...

"Aren't feminists supposed to be anti-gun?"

Not the smart ones.

Robb Allen said...

"you’re packing a 3′ long .80 caliber machine gun "


(Sorry, couldn't help it)

Breda said...

No, no, Robb - penis envy. Or something.

Ed Rasimus said...

Everything has consequences. If you seek equality (supposedly) as in feminist goals, then that means you abandon gender preferences meaning you not only don't expect but you don't want men to open doors for you, hold the chair for you, protect your honor/virtue, etc. You get equality.

Along the way you also get treated like one of the boys in the locker room at the gym. The humor becomes cruder, the references more sexual loaded, the innuendo less subtle and the physical contact more aggressive.

The end game is you get crudity rather than courtesy. Ever has it been so.

Simultaneously you've got the "forbidden fruit" syndrome in action. Nothing is more fun than something which is prohibited. Show me a mortal sin and I'll begin considering how much fun that could be. Watch a guilt ridden Catholic in a strip club, a Muslim in a bar or casino, and a liberal in a shoot-em-up video game.

It sure gets complicated, doesn't it?

Weer'd Beard said...

"Aren't feminists supposed to be anti-gun?"

Not the smart ones.


Because trusting a strange man in funny clothes with your safety, and choosing not to learn the craft of self-defense with a personal firearm which women are more-than-capable of handling, is so "Woman's Lib"


Yep ladies when the bad man is on top of you and humping away, just dial 911 and think about flowers or rainbows or something.

Mike W. said...

Yeah Weer'd, they're supposed to lay back and enjoy it, or as the ISP recommends, induce vomiting so the rapist leaves.

Could you imagine the feminist outrage if the roles in this videogame were reversed? It might even make the nightly news.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts:
(1) NYC is a sewer, hence why I don't go there. I'm not saying all cities are like that, or even parts of this one. I mean, Manhattan is rumored to be quite nice. Personally, I call everything Westchester and south "The City", if only for the sensibilities of the people living there, so I tend to not go there unless I'm passing through.

(2) Mike W. Fair point. Given that I was a total geek in high school (and, technically, still am, and wear it proud - the difference is that now I'm an engineer with disposable income, so I have a nice, large house on some land, with guns, reloading equipment, and shelves of gaming books and such, but I digress...), were I to make, say a video game whereby I took out my angsty teenage nerd rage on the bullies who chased me, the women who snubbed me, and the endless taunts towards someone who really just wanted to be left alone, I bet they would totally flip out.

Tam said...

The hell?

Can you imagine the furor if it were the other way 'round?

A video game where you shoot people for making rude catcalls is the moral equivalent of a new fighting game called Bitch Had It Comin'.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Talk about nonsense. I doubt the creators of this game have even been to a city or urban area where they observe or experience this kind of aggressive behavior, which isn't even that aggressive unless a person is dumb enough to go somewhere unsafe.

NYC is kind of a different world. My mom grew up in Manhattan and I worked there for a brief stint, and she taught me how to handle this kind of stuff.

For example, when someone leers at you on the subway platform and says "ai mami," then makes the kissy noises at you, the commonplace and socially accepted response is to loudly say, or shout "f*** you, a**hole," so that everyone else can hear you, and then walk away, or cross the street. That always did the trick for me, and I never felt like I couldn't wear a skirt for fear of being leered at. One aggressive and inappropriate remark should be met with an equally intrusive and inappropriate response. People in cities usually don't like unwanted attention, including jerks who make cat calls, and they only do it because they're not expecting you to confront them, so shouting "f*** off" at them when they do it tends to be all that is necessary to remind them that they should avoid such behavior if they don't want to stick out in the crowd.

Just like common sense among gunnies - the sense that tells us not to go down that dark allyway if we have a choice - cities are very safe as long as you know better than to go where you shouldn't. It's not rocket science. Don't go into the parks at night. Even the bario isn't that dangerous, as long as there are other people on the sidewalks. Rule of thumb for NYC is stay where there are other people. Exhibiting an appropriate level of aggression in response to leering and come-ons isn't unsafe as long as you stay among other people. An actual predator on the streets of NYC isn't going to pursue his prey in the presence of others.

buncha idiots.

Anonymous said...

They already made that game, Tam - it's called Grand Theft Auto, or "The Great HookerMurderFest". And there was plenty of outrage!

jdege said...

Much of what she complains about is perfectly legitimate. But she goes beyond complaining about being harassed:

"To that, I say, why don't I have the right to go to my corner store and home again without feeling obligated to be friendly to strangers on the sidewalk just because the strangers are physically attracted to me? Do I owe them something? Yes, it's rather nice that the workers in my bodega all want to shake my hand and ask me all about how I'm doing and what I'm up to every time I go in in the morning, it's so good that they're friendly, but maybe I just want to buy a damn pack of cigarettes without having to explain what I'm all dressed up for."

That's not so much her complaining about being harassed on the street, so much as her complaining about being expected to be friendly to her neighbors.

Farmgirl said...

Playing the game for a sum total of five minutes just for the sake of seeing wtf it was all about I have this to say:


While playing the game I shot gangling, shambling, creepy-lookin dudes for saying things like:

Nice Crotch!
Wow, you're beautiful.
I'm not hungry but I sure would love to eat you.
Hey baby.
Smile for me baby!
Psst. Psst.
God Bless You.

I am NOT kidding. In the game, you shoot some dude for saying "God Bless You."

Also, once you shoot them, little tombstones pop up over their bodies (which stay, bloody and sprawled in the streets) with "RIP _____" with the blank space filled in with whatever that particular freaky lookin dude said. After a few seconds, pretty little flowers spring up around the tombstones.

Not. Kidding.

You don't seem to be able to receive any damage from the zombie-like men, they don't run away, quite to the contrary they walk up to you and stand there so close you actually have to back up to shoot them, and you leave behind tombstones framed by delicate sprays of babys breath (or some similar bitty flower) in your wake.

Seriously. Not only is the concept just flat ass nuts, but the game itself sucks. Sure, I've gotten hit on in ways that might make a game like that viscerally satisfying at times, IF it were more than a mow-em-down, can't-possibly-lose crapfest.

But it's not. It's not even a game, because there doesn't seem to be any way to lose.

And shooting someone for saying "God Bless You" ??? Are you fucking kidding me?

"Empowered Women" need to get a backbone. Sure, it's annoying to get hit on in the street sometimes. But, just like in the game, it *doesn't hurt you a bit.*

If they're persistent enough to pose a problem, smile, look them up and down, and tell them they aren't nearly man enough for you.

See how easy that was?

As for the potential for violence... learn to defend yourself. Take classes, buy a gun (and also take classes!) read articles, carry a pocket knife, I don't care what you do but take responsibility for your own safety.

Empowered... hmph. Nothing more empowered than a lovely lady packing heat, IMO...

lee n. field said...

"the commonplace and socially accepted response is to loudly say, or shout "f*** you, a**hole," so that everyone else can hear you,"

You're kidding, I hope?

Tam said...


"Playing the game for a sum total of five minutes just for the sake of seeing wtf it was all about..."


You're a better woman than I am, Gunga-Din! :D

Tam said...

To add:

""Empowered Women" need to get a backbone. Sure, it's annoying to get hit on in the street sometimes. But, just like in the game, it *doesn't hurt you a bit.*"

...and this comment was full of so much win it should be chiseled in bronze.

Yes, life is full of idiots, and we've all fantasized about an idiot-free world, but when one starts downloading KILLALLIDIOTS.WAD for Doom II, then it's time to see if one's shrink can pencil in an emergency appointment, because it's a serious cry for help...

James said...

This kind of behavior is self limiting where people can carry guns
Resentment of idiots doesn't overwhelm your life, when you are truly empowered, i.e. armed.

staghounds said...

1. Feminists ARE supposed to be anti gun, just like Black people are supposed to be for government dependency. Break the rules and they revoke your membership.

2. "Empowered Women" need to get a backbone. Sure, it's annoying to get hit on in the street sometimes. But, just like in the game, it *doesn't hurt you a bit.*"

Most victims of street crime the opposite of empowered. They are poor, old, small, weak, legally disarmed and not very clever residents of slums.

3. "If they're persistent enough to pose a problem, smile, look them up and down, and tell them they aren't nearly man enough for you."

First, one time is a problem. Almost uniformly, big city victims of street rapists say the encounter started just this way, with an accosting and coarse sexual reference.

Second, you suggest that when some stranger makes it his business to give a warning of sexual aggression, and in the face of no response persists, the potential victim SMILE at and INSULT him?


In front of his AUDIENCE, the people he selected to exhibit his aggressiveness to?

In a place where civilization is fairly strong, out where we live, maybe.

In the projects, not so much.

Not only is it very likely to push him into escalation, it feeds into his consent defense at the trial.

Far better is a loud, witness- attracting, unequivocal "LEAVE ME ALONE. STAY AWAY FROM ME."

(My other advice fwiw would match your last two paragraphs exactly.)

og said...

"gun-totin' Neanderthal rednecks"

Hey! I resemble that remark!

Anonymous said...

Lee - no, I'm not kidding. Have you ever been to NYC? "A**hole" is practically punctuation in the 5 boroughs. And yes, I have and would again respond this way to unwanted advances - not talking about a polite compliment (I do know the difference), or a relatively benign "hey beautiful", but rather the obviously unwanted comments, or violations of personal space such as leering.

My point was really that in places - such as NYC as an example - people will come on to women inappropriately, and commonely (like the subway, the example I gave, or on the sidewalks) they'll do it just because they're dirtbags who don't know it's rude, or they do know it's rude but think it's cool to be wiley and immature, not because they're trying to "take your power away." Being verbally aggressive in response to it tends to get them to cut it out. Most Manhattanites are respectful of privacy and keep to themselves in public, but for those who don't, for those who exhibit the tendency to leer and act lewdly, a polite "please stop" usually doesn't do the trick; they're trying to be annoying!

Look at it as a use of non-violent force, and it happens to be pretty effective in those situations, and I feel it is quite appropriate for use on types of people who are trying to put me off and annoy me.

Anonymous said...

"Far better is a loud, witness- attracting, unequivocal "LEAVE ME ALONE. STAY AWAY FROM ME."

Well, along those lines, I would prefer the more verbally aggressive route. Loud, yes. Witness-attracting, yes. However, "Leave me along, stay away from me" can also be taken as a sign that the person feels scared and uncomfortable, and a potential raper might be incited to continue his pursuit. However, saying "gtf away from me!" sounds not only aggressive, but also kinda angry, less like a victim. And yes, the point is to be loud and attract witnesses, but also to discourage pursuit and make yourself look like a bad choice for a victim.