Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just another note about millennial cultural hypocrisy

Millennial criticism of DWG (Dead White Guy) culture - particularly Shakespeare - has become almost de rigeur on many blogs and sites.

So it's important to remember that Shakespeare is positively progressive compared to the attitudes of many, if not most, millennials.

Take the Web "community."  You might imagine, from the posts of many bloggers, that the Net is a brave new world devoid of sexism and other prejudice.  If only!  An article in the New York Times on the world of online gaming pretty much lays that illusion to rest.  Indeed, during a recent video game tournament, reporter Amy O'Leary explains, a female contestant named Miranda Pakozdi was subjected to the following sexist assault on camera:

Over six days of competition, though, her team’s coach, Aris Bakhtanians, interrogated her on camera about her bra size, said “take off your shirt” and focused the team’s webcam on her chest, feet and legs. He leaned in over her shoulder and smelled her. . . . Sexism, racism, homophobia and general name-calling are longstanding facts of life in certain corners of online video games. But the Cross Assault episode was the first of a series this year that have exposed the severity of the harassment that many women experience in virtual gaming communities.

It's perhaps even more telling that when another woman, Anita Sarkeesian, attempted to fund a study documenting depictions of women in gaming via Kickstarter, her inbox, as well as her accounts on Facebook and Youtube, were immediately overwhelmed with sexist abuse, insults, and threats. (One asshole actually created a video game in which participants could beat her avatar until the screen went blood-red.)  When a male gamer responded to this episode by posting an online pledge against bigotry, it received 1,500 signatures - before it was hacked and the names erased. You can gain some inkling of the depths of millennial sexism (if you really want to) by checking out the site Fat, Ugly or Slutty, which documents the insults and come-ons that female gamers routinely endure.

Kind of makes you feel a little better about The Taming of the Shrew, doesn't it. Seriously, how long do we have to put up with condescending millennial bullshit toward past cultural achievements that they themselves will never match? Women gamers claim that the world of gaming is, in fact, slowly changing in its attitudes.  Maybe.  But please, millennials - until you can do better yourselves - kindly shut the fuck up about Shakespeare, okay?

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