Sunday, May 4, 2008

keith-style special comment: gta, fyi

in one of the zillion new yorker magazines i came home to when i got back to ca, there's an article about human trafficking in moldova. while such trafficking includes men sold into construction work in europe that amounts to indentured servitude, it's mostly about women sold into prostitution. it's fucking mindblowing. but then, when i read another of said stacked magazines, entertainment weekly, and see that grand theft auto 4 gets an A, it all makes sense.

[photo: yeah...not knowing whether to laugh or cry.]

i know GTA is just a fun game to play, but here's a more funner game-- take statements and replace "women" with "black people." eg: "in grand theft auto, you can fuck a black person, and then get extra points by murdering them afterwards." man, now that's an evening spent with playstation that would be worthwhile!

or if you want to play my game on the political spectrum, let's discuss one of my favorite 527s spawned from this election cycle, the anti-Hillary group Citizens United Not Timid (cunt cunt cunt!). now, let's plug it into the game to make it even more hilariouser! how 'bout an anti-obama 527 called National Institute for Government Growing Ever Respected. oh shit, it's the N word y'all! fuck a lot of the C word! (and then be rewarded for killing it afterwards!)

ok, game over. i often tell people that when it comes to identifying with waves of feminism, i'm pretty much a suffragette-- most of my objections with third wave feminism's approach to what amounts to self-objectification, plus a lot more insight that my little brain is not capable of, is expressed ariel levy's "female chauvinist pigs" (read it, ladies and gents!). either way, i am admittedly old school.

the fact remains that, no matter where you fall on the feminist spectrum, we have to remind ourselves that feminism is not a first world problem, nor is it astoundingly complex. you can talk about the madonna effect, vaginal imagery in literature, whether to spell it womyn or wimmin, whatever, but at the end of the day, it comes back to the bumper sticker saying that "feminism is the radical notion that women are people." and in a world where women are depicted in (admittedly addictive) video games as objects one should fuck and kill, can have a valuable and admirable (political) career ignored based on gender, and, most disgustingly, are bought and sold on the black market like pairs of levi's, then that notion is still more radical than it should be.

obviously, my little game doesn't serve to compare the struggles of women and minorities, just to show the level of hatred against women in popular culture to which we've become completely desensitized. when i ran hockey (see photo), i used to tell guys that misogyny is like chlamydia-- a lot of people have it but don't realize until they find themselves checked on it by a doctor. or, in the case of misogyny, by a loud hockey she-commish who wants to know why, in a co-ed league, a grown-ass man has no women on his team (which is why, when you see said photo, you see a bunch of rad ladies [sup, ali! sasha! molly! lady i don't know!] amongst the dudes). so just don't let things like GTA and that hateful 527 go unchecked. because when we get comfortable with those notions, we don't notice where they lead. in the end, it's not just those women in moldova and elsewhere that are robbed of their freedom and their lives; we're all robbed of our humanity.


M. said...

yes, yes, yes.

i have a weird guilt complex about the fact that it was the annoying competitive bullshit of dudes, in large part, that led me to quit hockey. but i think that had more to do with being yelled at by my friends (who happened to be dudes) than with them being dudes. i dunno. ugh. boys. if i hear one more of them say they'll vote for john mccain before hillary clinton, i might have to smack a dick.

(does that work? i was trying to flip it around. i dunno, though.)

sb said...

there are also ladies who take hockey way too seriously, so i don't think gender's the issue, at least in the case. when something stops being fun and starts being stressful and worky, and there's no paycheck involved, it makes perfect sense to walk away. btw, bob started a superserious mini-league to try and draw the warriors away, so we'll see.

nobody's made the hillary/mccain comment in front of me, but i think this is because a, i spend little to no time around people, let alone people who'd say that, and b, those people i know who might believe that know me well enough to know where i stand and that i own a firearm.

and again, since hillary's politics aren't the impetus for their little declaration, would they say the same thing about obama, ie, i'd rather vote for the "old man yells at cloud" than a black man? it boggles the mind.

(no haters that i have managed to talk to can point to any real specifics about her record that they find objectionable, except maybe voting for the war, but wasn't that a gender-based catch 22 that obama had the luck of not having to deal with? ie, she votes no, many people would have said she's a woman and will be poor on defense, whereas no one would've dare said that a yes vote from obama would've been bad because it'd affirm the [bullshit, natch] stereotype of black men being violent and inherently aggressive. it just never ends.)

ps, sorry i missed you in oregon. i can hopefully explain in august, when i drive down the coast again.

M. said...

it's true about the hockey probs (for me) not being gender-based, but because i was thinking about gender and competition, it came to mind, even if it was someone discombobulated.

the funny thing about how much the hillary/mccain thing pisses me off is that i'm a little bit more in the obama camp. it's for reasons that are hard to pin down (with the exceptions that i strongly dislike hillary's no-i-won't-talk-to-them take on out-of-favor world leaders and i find her religious pals way creepier than wrights [yet still far less creepy than mccain's]). it has a lot to do with how i really do think that for the most part, they're both fucking magical fairies of happiness compared to GWB, but given the similarity on the issues, i want to pick the candidate who makes me feel like i've never felt before about patriotism and the u.s., and that's obama. but if clinton wins the primary, i'm her girl, so to speak. i just want them to stop nagging at each other. (and for the race/gender crap to be dragged out into the open i mean SERIOUSLY [tm grey's anatomy] folks, i cannot stand the shit that gets said from both sides, UGH.)

and yay! for another coast drive. i was sad to have missed you but am psyched at the possibility of another visit in that there future.

(sorry, am tired and not very eloquent. yawn.)

M. said...


i go stick my head in the sand now.