Men’s Rights Redditor on Gaming: “It would be nice if women/feminists … fucked off and created their own thing rather than moving into a men’s space … .”

George Eliot: Should she have been alllowed to play video games?

George Eliot: Should she have been allowed to play Call of Duty?

So the other day the fellas in the Men’s Rights subreddit were having another thoughtful and nuanced discussion about OMG WOMEN PLAYING VIDEO GAMES GET OUT GIRL GERMS EWWWW GAMING IS FOR MEN ONLY HELP HELP WE’RE BEING OPPRESSED and the always insightful IHaveALargePenis offered this little suggestion to the “feminists/women” of the world:

IHaveALargePenis 25 points 6 days ago (51|26)  It would be nice if women/feminists for once fucked off and created their own thing rather than moving into a men's space (after decades of berating it and the men participating in it) and demanding things change to suit them.  Remember revenge of the nerds? A movie that's about 30 years old? All those "nerds" are the ones in charge of modern technology. They're the Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs' of today and people love their products. They didn't have it easy getting to where they did, they sure as shit weren't given a green light for simply being men. So why is it that women aren't walking down the same road? Hell it's not even the same road since most people don't actively insult them or tell them they can't do it for simply being women.  It would be nice if feminists for once proved everyone wrong and themselves right by getting a bunch of women together and creating a new system/industry from the ground up which men want to flock to.

Huh. So in return I guess men would agree to hand science fiction over to the ladies — after all, it was one of them, Mary Shelley, who basically invented the whole genre back in 1818 with her mad-scientist classic Frankenstein.

Mr. Penis also gets bonus points for explicitly conflating women and feminists — most MRAs do this only implicitly, and then pretend they haven’t — and wins this month’s “Really? You Really Just Said That?” MRA Irony Award for declaring in his second paragraph that “people don’t actively insult [women] or tell them they can’t [get involved in nerdy pursuits] for simply being women” after he JUST DID EXACTLY THAT ONE PARAGRAPH EARLIER.

One brave commenter responded to Mr. Penis’ screed with a detailed list of infliential women in the gaming industry. Amazingly, this comment wasn’t downvoted into oblivion, though it is worth noting that it got considerably fewer net upvotes that Mr. Penis’ masterpiece.

The thread, naturally, is full of poop from other contributors as well. Cthulusbaby not only doesn’t want women playing or expressing opinions about games; he doesn’t even want imaginary women in his games. No Manic Pixel Dream Girls for him!

Also, he seems to be under the impression that there are no men in romance movies.*

Cthulusbaby 4 points 5 days ago* (9|5)      what right do men have to claim an entire subculture as "their own space"?  When they are the overwhelming majority of consumers for it? Seriously, look at the demographics of men vs women for games like COD and Gears of War and explain how these online communities AREN'T male spaces?  I don't want female soldiers in my games about elite special forces, because in real life there are no female navy seals or SAS. Women just don't belong, there's no need for them in these games. I like my shoot-em-ups to be testosterone fuelled aggression simulators, not equal opportunity political propaganda.  It's exactly the same as a small but vocal minority of men complaining about male representation in sappy romance movies, and a shit ton of other men jumping on the bandwagon even though they've got no actual interest in it.      Also, you put an unfair and extremely skewed amount of blame on women for the amount of stigmatization placed on "nerds" back in the day. Sure there are women who berate gamers but I think mass media as a whole hasn't been doing that subculture any favors and to say that women are more to blame for that is completely unfounded and absurd.  I think you'll find that women are the primary consumers of TV media, and women are the ones who decide what is attractive and desirable in men. You'll notice that since the "nerd" archetype became more attractive to women, it's moved more into the mainstream and is no longer as socially unacceptable. You really think that is coincidence?  Upvoting you for providing an alternative viewpoint, but you're really misguided.

Acolmiztli, meanwhile, sheds a tear for the nerds that came before him:

acolmiztli 3 points 5 days ago (5|2)  Men were raised in a culture where playing video games was grounds for social pariah status and open hostility. It was amazing that anyone developed a love for computer games to the point of wanting to make it their career!!

Evidently the only way to rectify this past injustice is to do the same thing to women today? It’s the MEN’S RIGHTS WAY!

And hey, if women don’t like it, well, they can always just hide their gender identity. (On the Internet no one knows you’re George Eliot.)

poloppoyop 2 points 5 days ago (4|2)  A lot of free tools have been available for years to make games. Anyone can take the time to learn things, participate in open source softwares etc. If teenagers do it, I don't see what prevents women to do the same. Their gender? Nope, internet offers anonymity so you can participate in some project and people will consider you male until proven otherwise.


Sometimes all it takes to solve these silly lady problems is some good old-fashioned male ingenuity,

H/T to Againstmensrights on Reddits for pointing out Mr. Penis’ lovely remark, and making the same point about science fiction.

* Note to extremly literal-minded readers: I am not actually suggesting that Cthulusbaby thinks there are no men in romance movies. It is just that the way he is framing the issue is so ridiculous he might as well think that.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on September 8, 2013, in a woman is always to blame, all about the menz, are these guys 12 years old?, entitled babies, evil women, excusing abuse, geek girls, girl germs, harassment, imaginary oppression, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, no games for girls, no girls allowed, oppressed men, playing the victim, reddit, revenge of the nerds, women in tech and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 175 Comments.

  1. The notion that videogames made them ostracized is particularly absurd, but I say that as someone who went to a school where playing videogames was common amongst every clique. If you openly liked comics or anime, that might get you insulted and/or tormented (if only as an excuse for context than “’cause I felt like it”), but just about everyone – popular or unpopular – was into them. Given a lot of these guys are probably around my age, I call bullshit on their claim.

    The reality is that bullies don’t give a shit what you are into as much as how open you are as a target for derision and a candidate as a human punching bag. They simply used those hobbies, as long as they weren’t mainstream, as a way to deflect the real reason they were doing so in the first place.

  2. sarahlizhousespouse


    AoE II was my favorite game when I was a preteen. I just found an updated version of the first and second game at my local Half Price Books. Best investment ever.

  3. That’s the point, the stuff is an excuse to bully someone, it’s not the actual reason for the bullying. If the person being bullied wasn’t into games or comics then the bullies would have found something else to torment them about.

  4. Let’s see…

    Bullied for —

    Being a techie? Nope.
    VtM? Nope (heck, I got invited to a failed attempt at D&D)
    President of the GSA and openly bi? Nope.
    Androgynous look? Nope.
    Goth? Well, only the day I accidentally wore my cape on the Harry Potter opening (the rest of the techies wanted to see it and I scheduled that around when I knew I wouldn’t be painting, pure bad luck)
    Bookworm? Sorta, but not exactly.
    Pulling Bs without trying? Only when I wouldn’t let the jocks and cheerleaders cheat.
    Math whiz? Nope, and that sort doesn’t take honors math (I opted out of honors science to avoid the teacher from hell and dissecting a cat, a rat was bad enough [though I did leave the skin attached at the neck and fly it around the room as Super Rat before continuing {laughed with, not at for that}])

    Awkward kid who preferred books? Dum dum dum! There we have it!

  5. @sarahlizhousespouse

    Same here! Except sub “illegally torrented” for “found at Half Price Bookshop”. Excellent game even some 10 years later, and I’m not even one for videogames at all usually.

  6. Whether they actually got bullied for the reasons they say is not the point; the point is that regardless of why they were bullied, it’s not reasonable to exclude other people as a response.

  7. Not least since those people aren’t the ones who bullied, them, and if being-a-geek were the real reason these guys were put upon, the geek women would have copped exactly the same shit.

  8. Yeaaaah, pretty much everyone I knew at least played some video games, male or female, in all social groups. My brother was always given the video game systems for Christmas and birthdays but I always played with him, along with my male and female cousins, and all our friends of both sexes. I had my own gameboy, but we shared the nintendos and whatnot. It wasn’t so much the playing video games that made people outcasted as “nerds” but something more about their personality. But for every nerd group there were girls who were just as much outcasts, and so they just dated each other. I’m really puzzled when I hear about the plight of the nerd. No, they generally didn’t get the cheerleader girlfriend, but the female nerd wasn’t exactly landing the BMOC either. I had just as hard a time landing a man in high school as an “emo” drama geek as my brother did being into video games and heavy metal. But these dudes will say I was just friendzoning men and that’s why I was alone. LOL, yeah, ok buddy. Me and all my girlfriends were just turning men down left and right and complaining about nothing, surrreee.

    If you’re an adult still stuck on high school drama you have bigger problems than women playing your video games.

  9. Oh and speaking of Sci-Fi and MRA’s, I watched the Matrix in full tonight for the first time maybe since it came out, and I was laughing at how MRA’s use the “red pill” analogy and completely ignore the pro-feminism aspects of the movie, including the main female character rolling her eyes at Keanu Reaves for reading about her hacking skills and assuming she was a man just like most men do. Women in male spaces amirite?

  10. Trying to understand why people cling to those social dynamics is even harder if you didn’t go to that sort of high school. I went to a girls boarding school with a bunch of toffs – I was as alternative as it gets and one of my best friends was a hardcore jock, best runner at our school. Me – goth looking, dating dudes with long hair, into obnoxiously loud music. Her – blonde and blue eyed, loved boy bands, wholesome as it gets. Nobody thought it was weird that we were friends.

  11. At my school it wasn’t even that people in different groups were outright mean to each other (unless you were gay, there was some hardcore gay bashing which set me off a lot), it’s just that they didn’t really associate with each other. People who were into the same things spent time with the people like them, plain and simple. The major factors of division were looks and wealth, and then interests split people up further. I wound up in a new friend group when buying your clothes at the mall instead of big box stores became more important than just being a cool person. I was a “geek” because I couldn’t afford to buy nice clothes and wasn’t taught to do my hair or makeup, and then by the time I was (because I got a job), I was into an alternative culture that set myself apart from others. There was some intermingling between individuals of different groups but you primarily hung out with people who were on the same economic level as you and who liked what you liked.

    I think at the time I bought into these revenge fantasy narratives of getting the last laugh when I make millions off whatever it was I was into and these pretty people wound up working at McDonalds but like… I grew up, lol. Looking back I realize that the people who were meanest to me were people within my groups because those were the people who I associated with enough to hear from. I was only jealous of being considered attractive and being able to buy nice things, I wasn’t really being treated badly by these people unless you consider not being paid attention to or being taken on dates by hot dudes being treated badly.

  12. unless you consider not being paid attention to or being taken on dates by hot dudes being treated badly

    That’s the thing, our angry geekboys seem to consider that to be a great cosmic injustice that justifies them being obnoxious to women for the rest of their lives.

    (As long as it happened to a dude. If it happened to a girl then meh, whatever.)

  13. Curse you, blockquote monster.

  14. Of course all this bullying and ostracism they claim could just be that nobody’d have sex with ’em then, and for the same reason as nobody’ll have sex with ’em now: because they’re the same obnoxious little twerps they always were.

  15. So who was the brave male cyber explorer who planted a virtual flag on video games and declared them the colonial property of men for ever?

  16. @BlackSphinx: You have excellent taste in JRPGs. Beloved and I have bought two whole consoles just because a new Tales game was coming out. We’re working through Xillia right now, when we can grab a moment. The only SMT I have played are P3 and P4, though, and I’d have snapped up anything labelled Final Fantasy until 13 came out and turned out to be a 50-hour slog down a corridor, which was a real shock after the field roaming 12, but not I suppose an unexpected one after 10 (which was just a long corridor itself until you get the airship).

  17. RE: Jessay

    I watched the Matrix in full tonight for the first time maybe since it came out, and I was laughing at how MRA’s use the “red pill” analogy and completely ignore the pro-feminism aspects of the movie,

    Yeah, especially since one of the creators was LANA WACHOWSKI. You know. A WOMAN. It’s not like she has a foreword written in my big queer comics anthology about how her perception of women in media was revolutionized by underground comics. But sure, Red Pillers, you just keep trying to claim it.

    RE: CassandraSays

    Trying to understand why people cling to those social dynamics is even harder if you didn’t go to that sort of high school.

    Yeeeeaaaah. It’s a very SELECT kind of high school. Admittedly, I did go to one of those kinds of high schools, but I at least realized it wasn’t universal.

  18. The whole Matrix/MRA red pill thing is even funnier since that series of strips where Sinfest used the Matrix to explain how the patriarchy works, and it made way more sense (and was way more true) than redpill bullshit.

  19. I’ve occasionally wondered how much economic class plays into the prevalence in bullying. I went to a largely poor/working-class school (the most well-off families were the ones who’d managed to hold onto some of the few GOOD blue-collar jobs) and… frankly, we didn’t have much of a bullying presence at all. (Some, sure–it’d be rare to have none at all. But it certainly wasn’t large-scale or a plot of ostracism.) I usually hear most of these stories from upper-middle class kids from neighborhoods where status-consciousness was high.

    It’s not even well-developed enough to be a hypothesis, but I’d love to see some sort of study of the issue done.

  20. There was tons of bullying at my school, though none of it was physical, and most of it would probably fall under bullying subsection:hazing.

  21. Freemage — eh…I had the weird mix of edge of major city kids and parents are professors and lawyers kids. With the really fucked up split that the later were nearly always in the honors courses while the former were not…we had tracking, that is, they put us on tracks based on what they thought we were capable of. My lack of spelling skills, and thus questionable English grades, got me put on the lowest non-special ed English track…my tenth grade English teacher actually fucking read to the class (and, thankfully, noted that I sat in the back because bookshelf and please let me not be bored senseless, but that’s what it took to get into honors courses — not grades but teacher recommendation, and the preppies always got it even if they were holding back the honors math asking the same fucking question five times)

    So yeah, classism galore. And the bullying? Mostly from those were some sort of status — preppie, jock, etc. So less classist than you’d expect. And some of the city kids *rolls eyes* Like, I live down the fucking street you asswipe, act like you’re so tough and I’m a coward cuz I prefer to avoid fighting *sigh* (of course, the one most prone to that, last I heard, was in jail for dealing heroin, so what goes around?)

  22. I’ve occasionally wondered how much economic class plays into the prevalence in bullying. I went to a largely poor/working-class school (the most well-off families were the ones who’d managed to hold onto some of the few GOOD blue-collar jobs) and… frankly, we didn’t have much of a bullying presence at all. (Some, sure–it’d be rare to have none at all. But it certainly wasn’t large-scale or a plot of ostracism.) I usually hear most of these stories from upper-middle class kids from neighborhoods where status-consciousness was high.

    It’s not even well-developed enough to be a hypothesis, but I’d love to see some sort of study of the issue done.

    Speaking anecdotally, I never experienced bullying when I was at public school, but got a ton of it when I switched to a private school in an expensive area. So I dunno.

  23. I’m trying to think of a way to explain what my school was like and why that makes an analysis of social dynamics based on the stereotypical American idea of high school seem so weird, and I think I finally figured out an easy way to summarize it. Pratchett fans, you know Lady Sybil, ie the wife of Vimes? My school was about 90 % girls who were the teenage versions of that, about 5% girls who were from the same class but not from the UK (mostly from Nigeria, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, or Malaysia), and about 5% regular kids whose parents happened to do well for themselves in a business context (um, hi!).

  24. A school full of Interchangable Emmas, maybe? That I could well believe, I see something similar with the private school kids around here.

    My school was middle-class, I guess, but varied between years. The kids in the year ahead of me were a damn sight more grown up and smarter than the creepy morons I was surrounded by.

  25. I went to a public elementary school that was in a wealthy, white neighborhood. I hated it. I was bullied, but not terribly. (Until recently, I didn’t even view it as bullying.)

    When I was in 4th grade, a legally-mandated integration program started and 50% of our class was whisked away to a majority black/latin@ school (and vice versa, 50% of those kids came to our formerly all white school), and I was so thrilled to meet people who weren’t entitled asshats!

    And then (child of privilege that I am) I was sent to a private, all girls school, where I hung out with all the other scholarship kids. I was there 6 years, and I would have said there was no bullying — except I’ve recently gotten back in touch with some of the non-white girls who attended who assured me that there was bullying that I did not notice. Even as a socially awkward, geeky white girl, I was left alone, at worst.

    My mother still harbors guilty feelings about letting me stay in public schools as long as she did after my dad died, and I tell her it was the best decision she ever made.

  26. I’m really trying to remember the bullying because I feel like there had to have been some reason I was so miserable but then I remember I was a teen struggling with depression, anxiety, and a sleep disorder, with no help from anyone, so of course I was miserable. The worst experiences I had past Jr High (kids were much meaner in elementary school and jr high) when I was called “Hanson Girl” (I made the mistake of wearing a Hanson shirt the first day and never lived it down which is funny to think about now) were when I had a falling out with my friends and we would be awful to each other for a few months because we felt betrayed and knew how to hit each other where it hurts. Again, with the exception of the rampant homophobia I witnessed, all I can think of is just not being acknowledged by people. I get how that sucks but damn, it’s like, some of these dudes are in their 30’s and up. Isn’t it time to get over not being acknowledged in high school? It truly is dudes who are mad that hot girls didn’t sleep with them. Well hot guys didn’t sleep with me either. Most of us didn’t get to sleep with “hot people” in high school. Join the club. Wanting to be noticed is natural and it’s totally understandable, but becoming a raging asshole because you weren’t is just sad.

    Oh wait, there was that one girl who I hung around because we had mutual friends but who would casually insult me to my face because she was thinner than me. Yeah, that was brutal.

    And yeah, the more I think about it, the more I realize that economic class was, in my school, the largest determining factor of who you hung out with and, ultimately, who you became. Once everyone stopped wearing flowered leggings as pants and switched to jeans (loling how that is now kind of the opposite for teens), the brand and fit was everything. It seemed like those with money went the “preppy” route and those without branched off into alternative interests and fashions, so from there it was just a matter of which ones you were into that determined who you hung out with. Sometimes people with money would joing those groups but they never seemed very authentic. They tended to mimic other people because if you mentioned something you were into they had the money to run out and buy whatever it was that day. That’s where I was kinda mean, calling people “posers.” But again, I got over that after high school. There’s no fucking need for that mentality to continue in your damn 30’s.

  27. I don’t recall anyone being made fun of, in elementary or high school, for gaming. I started gaming on a TRS-80, mainly text-based adventure games (Pyramid!) where you had to actually draw your own maps (on dot matrix printer paper, of course!) Never had an Atari, but friends did. And my friends and I played a ton of arcade games.

    When Nintendo consoles came out, my girlfriends and I played all the time. So, when exactly was this that gamers were social pariahs? Maybe it depends on location? I dunno – I was in a small town, it was the early 80’s when I started gaming.

  28. Anonymous Contributor

    These guys have never talked to other human beings in real life, right? That’s the only way I can imagine someone coming to the conclusion that “People made fun of me in high school because I liked video games” to “OPPRESSION!!!” I mean remember back in the 1900s where people who liked Dungeons and Dragons weren’t allowed to vote?”

  29. I mean remember back in the 1900s where people who liked Dungeons and Dragons weren’t allowed to vote?


    Have you posted before, Anonymous Contributor? If not, welcome, if so, sorry for my bad memory.

  30. I got bullied, some, in both poorer, and more middle class parts of town. What got me my bullying was being different (and slight of frame). It wasn’t what I liked, per se, it was what I did, i.e. read books and didn’t do sports.

  31. I got bullied. I don’t talk to anyone from my public school times, or my private school times (When I was moved because said bullying was apparently making my parents worry re: my mental health).

    Interestingly, the go-to of choice was my “Weird words” and “Rapid speaking pattern” and the fact that I was ” a total bookworm” – not my large list of other, more conspiciously strange features like braces or paleness or frailness or stammering.

    I think most people get bullied, somehow, somewhere, in a sense, during the first few years of public school. At least anyone I’ve ever talked to, they’ve all had stories about That One Time When I Got Locked Into A Locker. Worst thing that ever happened to me was being pelted with bread crumbs and punched a few times, so I suppose I got off lucky.

    And today I still have weird words and a rapid speaking pattern.

    I can’t delianate between public poor and private posh in some way, I just remember being called a “nerd” and savaged a few times verbally / physically in both places. Maybe the richer kids were nicer about the whole thing? I don’t know. Fists still hurt if the guy throwing them is smiling.

    Even then, I still had friends and regular conversation with the world (The internet! What a wonder!), so my operating conclusion has always been “Christ, these people are complete dicks, and I’m going to go learn karate, so if they touch me again, I will snap wrists, because I have a limit, and this bullshit is it” and not “Everyone sucks”, because… it’s so obvious most don’t.

    So now I know karate, and happy circumstance, turns out not being bullied by anyone is the standard way of the world!

  32. So true! One of the guys at the shop has a teenage nerd son, I asked if he’d been given “the talk” yet and dude said he wasn’t worried cuz who likes nerds? I pointed out that nerds that aren’t jerks will meet need girls. Should probably ask if the kid had condoms explained to him since he’s old enough to need them (and seeing how he has a step-father who married a single mother with a son who’s only 14~ years younger than him…I’m guessing the respecting women thing got taught to the kid)

    Don’t go “fake geek girls” but “you like [geek thing] too?!?” and geek dating may occur (may occur because teenage dating is awkward all around from what I recall)

  33. It’s funny this guy is complaining about women not coming up with their own industry to have men flock to, he seems to not know Ada Lovelace-the first computer programmer. Without her, there would be no modern technology. The Information Age would not exist. Maybe dude needs to shut his mouth unless he’s ready to thank women for that, since according to him, women are supposed to be thanking men for everything.

  34. Feminism began as a movement for female equality to men. Granted, some branches of feminism go beyond the equality aspect and hope for superiority, and that’s certainly radical. But in general, the most important aspect of the movement is equality. It’s really disconcerting reading people’s misguided views of both women and the feminist movement, particularly when they claim that women don’t belong in a certain social sphere. It’s a social sphere for a reason, and women shouldn’t be excluded because, believe it or not, women are people, too.(Am I being too radical?) In fact, they make up a large portion of the gaming community, and certainly fill the role of main character in several games. The way they are portrayed and treated in some games can be really offensive, and it’s obvious that those portrayals in mass media rub off on people (see above ridiculous comment by “ihavealargepenis”). How can you blame women for trying to fight negative stereotypes and expectations? And how can you blame women for not wanting to be treated the way they were in the past couple thousand years?

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