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Thread: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

  1. #76
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    I haven't played Beyond Good and Evil, so I'm not gonna touch this one.
    You'd probably like it, it is a good action adventure.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    What I want to know is why Anita has released only 3 video series out of 10 planned (excluding the positive female characters) over 2 years. At this rate, the series won't be done till 2020, and let's not forget Anita made over 20 times her initial goal, so I don't see any reason for the massive delays.
    Firstly the initial plan consisted of five videos, 10 to 20 minutes in length (Wikipedia). The raised number of videos was only suggested after she received more than the Kickstarter goal at first, so I'm not sure why the $158,922 figure would be relevant for that.

    As for the delay, a poorly sourced statement on Wikipedia says this:

    In January 2015 Feminist Frequency released its end of year report outlining its continued plans for the Tropes series and announced they were planning two new video series tackling the "positive" portrayal of women in video games, as well as the "portrayal of masculine identities in games", while noting that it had released only 6 of the originally planned 12 videos to this point due to increased commitments to public appearances and media interaction.
    The referenced article at the Guardian doesn't even discuss that and the 2014 Annual Report doesn't give that as a reason either. But, in addition to the tsunami of GamerGate harassment, it is a plausible explanation. And, after all, many public addresses and media appearances were related to GamerGate, so it isn't an "either... or" cause anyway.

    Regarding the higher budget the 2014 Annual Report states that they operated on a shoestring budget for 2014 and gained 501(c)3 in May of that year. So it is unlikely that they could have increased the production a lot in any scenario.

    Feminist Frequency’s primary source of revenue has always been through crowd-funded
    donations. During most of 2014 we operated on a shoestring budget. We only made
    necessary purchases for production/research needs and we were paid bare minimum
    salaries, volunteering much of our time to the organization.
    Feminist Frequency is a very young nonprofit, only gaining 501(c)3 status in May 2014.
    And let me correct that the plan proposed twelve episodes, of which six have now been released. It is not as dire as you make it look. And Feminist Frequency have also released several spin-off videos now, the Playing with Privilege video and now the Positive Female Characters series. I don't think there is much cause for mythering.

    To end with something positive, the proposed production budget for 2015 has increased.

  2. #77
    Clobberin Monster Zant's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    I haven't played Beyond Good and Evil, so I'm not gonna touch this one.

    What I want to know is why Anita has released only 3 video series out of 10 planned (excluding the positive female characters) over 2 years. At this rate, the series won't be done till 2020, and let's not forget Anita made over 20 times her initial goal, so I don't see any reason for the massive delays.
    I'm gonna guess she does her research now, for the vid is pretty nicely made. Jade's a very good character, and this highlights the strong points of her quite well. Surprisingly decent video this one, can't see much of a flaw in it.

    Though I can't help but wonder, she made a point of how Pey'j assists her rather than outright rescues her near he beginning. Now imagine if Jade was captured in a way that would've required outright saving at that point, would Anita have thought of Jade as 'just a damsel in distress' because of that? I vaguely recall she thinks Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite and Ellie from Last of Us, both excellent characters, are just 'damsels' because of the one time they need rescuing. That's basically saying 'if a woman shows a moment of weakness, she's a damsel, no matter what else she does', which sounds so sexist you'd think it would be said by an MRA yet this particular way of thinking somehow tends to come from people who dare call themselves feminists. I do wonder if Anita still thinks like that too?

    By the by, that tweet was a long time ago, I think Anita changed her mind on Bayonetta by now. Fighting sexism in video games is a good thing 'n all, but slutshaming Bayonetta is an absolutely silly thing to do.

  3. #78
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Zant View Post
    Though I can't help but wonder, she made a point of how Pey'j assists her rather than outright rescues her near he beginning. Now imagine if Jade was captured in a way that would've required outright saving at that point, would Anita have thought of Jade as 'just a damsel in distress' because of that? I vaguely recall she thinks Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite and Ellie from Last of Us, both excellent characters, are just 'damsels' because of the one time they need rescuing. That's basically saying 'if a woman shows a moment of weakness, she's a damsel, no matter what else she does', which sounds so sexist you'd think it would be said by an MRA yet this particular way of thinking somehow tends to come from people who dare call themselves feminists. I do wonder if Anita still thinks like that too?
    No, that isn't the same at all. She uses a fairly strict definition of damsel that includes passivity as a precondition. "Moment of weakness" on the other hand is a whole lot broader. If it doesn't include a similar degree of passivity as the damsel in distress trope implies, there is a world of difference between the two. You can't make inferences like that.

    Regarding "would Anita have thought of Jade as 'just a damsel in distress' because of that", maybe she would, whatever the specifics she would surely see that as a point that would detract from Jade.

  4. #79
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    https://twitter.com/femfreq/status/610286429390811136

    Spoiler: rant 

  5. #80
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    1. None of what you say really interacts with what she said and it surely doesn't rebut it.

    2. Chill out. You've written a mini rant on an inoffensive personal opinion in a single tweet (on a subject that isn't really related to this topic apart from the creator being the same). That's obsessive.

  6. #81
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    1. None of what you say really interacts with what she said and it surely doesn't rebut it.

    2. Chill out. You've written a mini rant on an inoffensive personal opinion in a single tweet (on a subject that isn't really related to this topic apart from the creator being the same). That's obsessive.
    1. If you want something that rebuts the point more specifically, the main point of the crafting system is building a settlement. It's not all weapons.

    2. It is related to the topic because it once again brings up the issue of Anita doing no research and making glaring errors just to push her agenda.

    EDIT: Oh goodie! More lying! https://twitter.com/josephf5/status/611765422938025984
    Last edited by The Villager of Death; June 19th, 2015 at 08:44 AM.

  7. #82
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    1. Okay, now you're at least addressing her point (these sources suggest something different about the main purposes of crafting, but I won't argue about that).

    2. I understood that, but that was the minor point (that's why it is written in parentheses). The point is that it is quibbling about someone's harmless opinion that's on a low-importance topic and that has been expressed in a tweet. Why would you focus so much and so negatively on the small stuff that comes from someone's Twitter feed? It's not as if she's spamming around death threats.

    Honest to God, that "lie" is a trumped-up controversy of an absolutely pathetic level. Could it be that when she wrote it's "attached" she could have meant it with a meaning less narrow than "affixed", "glued to it" or "hermetically sealed by a magic 1.21 Gigawatts transmutative SDI laser", for fate's sake? Perhaps like "included", "part of the package"?

  8. #83
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    If I may suggest, shall we not talk about her during E3? According to a large number of people who followed her around the net, she kicked the hornets nest a large number of times during E3 and seemed mostly seemed out to cause trouble. Some of the tweets are apparently missing as well.

  9. #84
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Torchman View Post
    If I may suggest, shall we not talk about her during E3? According to a large number of people who followed her around the net, she kicked the hornets nest a large number of times during E3 and seemed mostly seemed out to cause trouble. Some of the tweets are apparently missing as well.
    Yeah, it does seem like she's doing what she does best. That is, causing a mass controversy. I'd be fine not discussing on the forums for awhile.

  10. #85
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Torchman View Post
    If I may suggest, shall we not talk about her during E3?
    I'm all for dropping any discussion of her E3 attendance here unless it is substantial to her advocacy. I fail to see why we shouldn't talk about her while the E3 goes on though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Torchman View Post
    According to a large number of people who followed her around the net,
    Who are this "large number of people"? If it's the alliance of MRAs, racists, gutter 'press' and angsty gamers that's GamerGate, I see no reason why I should care about their spin. It's not as if their 'findings' have turned out to be reliable in the past. If these people are actually journalists, that's something different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Torchman View Post
    she kicked the hornets nest a large number of times during E3 and seemed mostly seemed out to cause trouble. Some of the tweets are apparently missing as well.
    And I'm guessing this comes from the first group mentioned above. Some people have gone to hanging these posters around:


  11. #86
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    Yeah, it does seem like she's doing what she does best. That is, causing a mass controversy. I'd be fine not discussing on the forums for awhile.
    May I remind you that the must controversial thing she has done is using her constitutional rights to publish videos containing feminist critiques of video games? How can that be fairly described as "causing a mass controversy"? For the record, the controversies so far have been demonstrably cooked up by the GamerGate crowd and its predecessor. Do you realise how biased this makes one look?

    As for any agreement not to discuss her: No.
    Last edited by Villerar; June 19th, 2015 at 03:11 PM.

  12. #87
    Clobberin Monster Zant's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    May I remind you that the must controversial thing she has done is using her constitutional rights to publish videos containing feminist ? How can that be fairly described as "causing a mass controversy"? For the record, the controversies so far have been demonstrably cooked up by the GamerGate crowd and its predecessor. Do you realised how biased this makes one look?

    As for any agreement not to discuss her: No.
    I'd ask proof out of curiosity but... Given how much of an absolute mess GG and anti-GG is right now, I don't think you can even be sure what's the truth anymore. Both sides are just absolutely terrible people. All the good folks have fled those ships a long time ago. And all thanks to Twitter...

    I do agree with you on Anita. I seriously disagree with her behaviour at this E3, but she's in her right to act like that, and she is also completely harmless. She also still does some good stuff. At best, she'll be one of the more important people in making games more women-friendly, like by making 'characters' like Ivy from Soul Calibur appear less (which is already happening). At worst, she'll become a complete joke like Jack Thompson, and only the exceptionally dumb will still be taking her seriously. Either way, anybody who seriously feels threatened by her needs a serious reality check.

  13. #88
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Zant View Post
    I'd ask proof out of curiosity but... Given how much of an absolute mess GG and anti-GG is right now, I don't think you can even be sure what's the truth anymore. Both sides are just absolutely terrible people. All the good folks have fled those ships a long time ago. And all thanks to Twitter...

    I do agree with you on Anita. I seriously disagree with her behaviour at this E3, but she's in her right to act like that, and she is also completely harmless. She also still does some good stuff. At best, she'll be one of the more important people in making games more women-friendly, like by making 'characters' like Ivy from Soul Calibur appear less (which is already happening). At worst, she'll become a complete joke like Jack Thompson, and only the exceptionally dumb will still be taking her seriously. Either way, anybody who seriously feels threatened by her needs a serious reality check.
    I'm not scared of her, I'm scared that people still take her seriously. The fact that anyone in their right mind thinks she's actually playing the games she makes MASSIVE research errors for is baffling to me.

  14. #89
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    I'm not scared of her, I'm scared that people still take her seriously. The fact that anyone in their right mind thinks she's actually playing the games she makes MASSIVE research errors for is baffling to me.
    What are these "MASSIVE research errors", apart from the memefied Hitman 'error'?

  15. #90
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    What are these "MASSIVE research errors", apart from the memefied Hitman 'error'?
    1. Her original Bayonetta review, which she later edited heavily and basically said "lol it was a joke. Get over it"

    2. Saying that the Nintendo developers were sexist by robbing Krystal of her own game and making Fox the star, even though Fox actually replaced Sabre's role in the game.

    3. Criticizing the "Monster" music video, missing the entire point of the song.

    4. Saying Heike Kagero is a homophobic caricature when he's actually based off of oyama

    That's off the top of my head

  16. #91
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    This is a bit late but... out of curiosity what were those Fallout 4 tweets about?
    I would click on the links myself, though I have a slight fear of seeing the twitter page itself.
    Be part of the answer, not part of the problem.

  17. #92
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    I don't have time right now to fact check everything, but I checked one thing and it was misleading:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    2. Saying that the Nintendo developers were sexist by robbing Krystal of her own game and making Fox the star, even though Fox actually replaced Sabre's role in the game.
    It is true that Krystal was to have a brother Saber who was also a protagonist, but he was scrapped entirely. Krystal was also a protagonist and was turned into the damsel of the game. Since the video was about the damsel in distress, Sarkeesian wouldn't have been expected to mention Saber even in an academic article, just so we can appreciate the level of nitpick at play here. The omission of Saber from the video does not change that Krystal was changed from a heroine into a game object.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puzzle044 View Post
    This is a bit late but... out of curiosity what were those Fallout 4 tweets about?
    I would click on the links myself, though I have a slight fear of seeing the twitter page itself.
    Here you go:

    The #Fallout4 crafting system is cool. Imagine how much cooler it could be if it wasn’t SO focused on building stuff to kill other stuff.
    If the games industry truly wants to mature it's going to have to focus much more on creative and humanizing interactions. #E32015

  18. #93
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    Here you go
    Thanks!
    Be part of the answer, not part of the problem.

  19. #94
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Now she's complaining about the lack of mixed gender teams in the latest FIFA game.
    https://rejzor.wordpress.com/2015/06...ame-licensing/

  20. #95
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    I actually think that the licensing agreement may be a good point, but I don't think that it is public so it's hard to tell whether it's the case. That doesn't mean Sarkeesian is wrong for bringing up the criticism, but it may well be that it's not implementable at the moment and that the suggestion was unrealistic. (And FIFA being FIFA might well be intransigent about this issue. ISS and PES might actually be more adaptable on this front. Note that this is all speculation, because we do not know what's in the franchise licence.) But there's only so much realism in FIFA:

    https://twitter.com/4J_ChrisReeves/s...69073103880192

    Odd that realism counts to stop women playing men in a game where S&&&&horpe United can play against the German World Cup team.
    But you should still engage with the underlying substantial issues of the debate (which you continuously fail to do) instead of this "here's a new story" whack-a-mole without any regard for relevance. I'm getting sick of you raising fastidious minutiae in order that you may score a cheap point for the GamerGate side. This relates to my complaint about your obsessing about irrelevant stuff (a topic you dropped out in later replies). "EVIL FEMINIST WOMAN HAS OPINIONS ABOUT WEIRD OUTLANDISH FOOTY SPORT I DON'T GIVE A SOD ABOUT LIKE OVER 95% OF AMERICANS BUT I MUST DEFEND THE GAMES" (like that blog goes) isn't exactly a take that screams out "relevance".

    Try this: Should the damsel in distress, the woman in the refrigerator, the dark and edgy damsel and the ironic retro damsel be phased out of gaming? Should there still be all-male game casts with just one exception in the future? Should games still use female sex objects uncritically for 'ambience'? And should games still include gratuitous violence against female sex objects?

  21. #96
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    Try this: Should the damsel in distress, the woman in the refrigerator, the dark and edgy damsel and the ironic retro damsel be phased out of gaming? Should there still be all-male game casts with just one exception in the future? Should games still use female sex objects uncritically for 'ambience'? And should games still include gratuitous violence against female sex objects?
    "Should games still use female sex objects uncritically for 'ambiance'?"
    If you've got a mission in a strip club, not having any strippers be there seems pretty damn stupid. I mean sure, I couldn't care less if there were female and male strippers.
    "Should games include gratuitous violence against female sex objects"
    Please name one game that involves violence against these so called "sex objects" and nothing else. Cause I can't think of a single one.
    "Should there still be all-male game casts with one exception in the future"
    I see no reason for there not to be. Just like I see no reason for there not to be all female casts. I don't give a flying cow turd over the gender of the character I play. Skullgirls is my favorite fighting game besides smash and I don't think "Oh my gosh. The mass inclusion of female characters is a clear product of the matriarchy." I think "Wow, [insert character name here] sure has a great character design, story, and fighting abilities." HOnestly I feel the way to end sexism (as well as racism) is to not make sexism be an issue.

  22. #97
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    First of all, kudos to you for addressing several of my questions now.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    "Should games still use female sex objects uncritically for 'ambiance'?"
    If you've got a mission in a strip club, not having any strippers be there seems pretty damn stupid. I mean sure, I couldn't care less if there were female and male strippers.
    But as it stands, there is a preference to throw in strippers of the female variety. Also, there is also an issue of overrepresenting strip clubs in fiction. If I go out in the real world I don't exactly see strip clubs left and right. If you think about it critically, what does the inclusion of strip clubs merely for ambiance in quite a lot of games tell us?

    And another key word was "uncritically". The games rarely engage with the issues of people (especially women, as they're overrepresented in games in this role) in the sex industry, they're just dress-up - and I don't mean that games should paint all sex workers as victims of crime. That's a narrative many sex workers prefer to resist (even to uncritical extents that marginalise victims of human trafficking in the sex trade imo).

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    "Should games include gratuitous violence against female sex objects"
    Please name one game that involves violence against these so called "sex objects" and nothing else. Cause I can't think of a single one.
    Why should I have to name a game that only involves violence? I referred to games that "include gratuitous violence", not games that are exclusively about that. (I admit that "gratuitous violence against female sex objects" is somewhat redundant prose, as if violence against objectified NPCs isn't gratuitous for starters.) I'm not going to defend things I haven't said and would never say in this context.

    Here's a question, how would you feel about a game where a guy only dressed in a leather g-sting and a gimp mask gets snuffed in a cut scene for dramatic effect, hmm? (It isn't even parallel to a (near-)naked female prostitute being killed, strictly speaking.)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    "Should there still be all-male game casts with one exception in the future"
    I see no reason for there not to be. Just like I see no reason for there not to be all female casts. I don't give a flying cow turd over the gender of the character I play. Skullgirls is my favorite fighting game besides smash and I don't think "Oh my gosh. The mass inclusion of female characters is a clear product of the matriarchy." I think "Wow, [insert character name here] sure has a great character design, story, and fighting abilities." HOnestly I feel the way to end sexism (as well as racism) is to not make sexism be an issue.
    Sarkeesian's issue is that a lone woman in a nearly exclusively male cast (I wasn't talking about single-sex/gender casts) is usually portrayed in a highly stereotyped way with little personality. Just watch the Ms. Male Character video again. So in such games, women are not as individualised as men and they also get another dose of gendered stereotypes.

    No clear product of the matriarchy: Could that have to do with the fact that there has never been a demonstrable matriarchy that deeply influenced Western society? Contrary to women having had fewer rights and less power through the centuries (especially in Victorian times).

    How would not caring about sexism help resolve sexism? There are 'gender-blind' solutions to some issues (think about Swedish kindergartens where children aren't gendered to play with "girls' toys" or "boys' toys" - though how gender-blind that actually is is debatable), but for some issues you need targeted policies like boardroom quota. It's similar to how you can't combat class discrimination without policies to combat class privilege.

  23. #98
    The Villager of Death
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    Here's a question, how would you feel about a game where a guy only dressed in a leather g-sting and a gimp mask gets snuffed in a cut scene for dramatic effect, hmm? (It isn't even parallel to a (near-)naked female prostitute being killed, strictly speaking.)
    Honestly I wouldn't care, unless the game was "GIMP SLAYER 2015." If you can kill everyone, I wouldn't care at all. And please I implore you to name one game where this is done to women AS PART OF THE ACTUAL MAIN STORY.

    Spoiler: Oh look a parody game. Too bad it probably won't see the light of day 

  24. #99
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

    Could you please also respond (perchance in general) to what I added about strippers/strip clubs and gender-biased casts?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    Honestly I wouldn't care, unless the game was "GIMP SLAYER 2015." If you can kill everyone, I wouldn't care at all.
    What difference does one instance and systemic representation in one game make to you? What would recurrence of a single example of a victimised (near-)naked man mean to you? (And I'm somewhat prone to disbelieve your answer. You may ask for my reasons to do that.)

    That said, it is an imperfect parallel as I said, for these reasons: 1) such portrayals do not reinforce beliefs about objectification of women or violence against women, which may be why it left you unfazed; 2) a special media frame exists around female prostitutes being typical victims of violence, which is why this is often explicitly marked in news stories and this may create an aura that being raped and killed is an occupational risk for female prostitutes.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    And please I implore you to name one game where this is done to women AS PART OF THE ACTUAL MAIN STORY.
    Why? It is from Sarkeesian's video on "background decoration". That the examples aren't from the main story doesn't mean they aren't part of the intended universe.

    But her second video on damsels in distress did include sexualised nudy bits along with victimisation of women that had a more prominent role in the game story. But the difference between "main story" and "optional" is not the boundary of "sexist" and "not sexist", so I see little reason to type a classical diatribe on this detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Villager of Death View Post
    Spoiler: Oh look a parody game. Too bad it probably won't see the light of day 
    Cool troll, bro. If that IndieGoGo fails, I will raise a toast to its demise. 'Parodies' and misconstruals of marginalised groups as violent exterminators is one of the oldest, and most pernicious, tricks in the book. There is a reason why reactionary groups often pretend that their own survival is at risk.

    Please do not bring up their disclaimer. Because it won't end well.

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