Geek Feminism is doing a series of re-posts, and one from a little under a year ago titled How Could They Not Have Known?! is well worth your time reading. And if you’ve read it, well, good. Refresher, then.
A quote from the Frag Dolls blog:
Less than a month ago, FatUglyorSlutty.com was just a twinkle in our #fragdolls IRC. […] The concept seemed simple enough. They wanted to make an easy image+caption blog dedicated to publicizing (and laughing at) the hilarious/disturbing messages that many female gamers receive while playing online games. The attention their site has gotten in the past week (including a front page on reddit.com, a feature on Kotaku, numerous blogs mentions, and hefty comment threads) proves that they created something more. Gaming culture at large is taking note, expressing appropriate shock and dismay. But I, in turn, am shocked by their reactions. I am fundamentally surprised that this is news. I keep asking myself “How could they not have known?!”
Indeed. For some of us, this bullshit is just part of our daily lives. We can’t point out every single instance of this crap because we would lose our fucking minds. Seriously. People of color can’t talk about every single instance where they’re casually shopping, and they catch the clerk following them around, making sure they don’t steal shit. Trans people can’t note every time they’re called a he-she or “it” or worse. You just can’t take stock of all that crap, or you will fucking drown in it.
So while men are surprised at how women are treated, I’m not surprised that men don’t get it. Unless you’re there, unless you’re steeped in this shit, you don’t see it.
Folks, this is what we call privilege. I mean, textbook fucking definition, right here. I don’t know how to make this clearer. This is male privilege, plain and simple, where you’re not dealing with shit like this, to the point where you don’t realize it’s even a problem.