A 12 year-old studies the weird cost of playing as a girl

Unless you’re incredibly sensitized to this, you don’t realize how often things are explained to adult women. Strangers, acquaintances, friends, work associates…all day, every day. Perfect example: why instruct strangers-who-happen-to-be-women that they could choose to not wear makeup? All it does it show that the man making that statement has no clue what the social and professional rules and expectations are for individual women. It’s meant to show superiority, but instead it simply proves ignorance.

edited to add: where did the post I was responding to go?


A lot of white men just don’t get why people who aren’t white men care whether they can play as an avatar that looks like them. They point to games where they have played as women (or often to games where the main character isn’t even anything like a human) and say, “See, I’ll play as anything.”

It takes time for frustration as not being represented to build. Men who see themselves constantly represented everywhere doesn’t mind playing a game as Lara Croft or Samus Aran, it’s not like that really cuts into the constant reflection of themselves and their values that they see all around them.

To quote an extremely obscure song, “It’s easy to forget where you came from when there’s no question of your return.”

Note: I’m totally separating the issue of there being games where you play as women from the issue of people pointing out that a game gives representation to women. The moment you suggest that there is something wrong with games being made from a male perspective (implicitly by saying that its good that a game was made from a different perspective), that’s when the threats start (or, I guess that game would just be used as an example to prove there is a problem, either way).


Women’s razors are more expensive than men’s? That doesn’t seem right.

It isn’t right but it does happen. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/really-difference-mens-womens-razors-shaving-creams/


And neither does paying more to play the same games. Or being paid 70 cents to the dollar to cut right to the heart of it.



Where have I heard that argument before?

Why is it that anytime a woman points out systemic gender bias in games she’s “cherry-picking?”

You came up with exactly one counter-example, and as Daneel showed later it wasn’t even a good counter-example, and yet Madeline Messer is somehow the one who’s cherry-picking.


Statistics based on a non-randomized samples are inherently biased. Anyone making a data-based argument based on a biased sample is going to be accused of cherry picking if they try to draw a conclusion about the larger system.

That said, the author did not draw a conclusion about the larger system and I can’t see why she would be accused of cherry picking. Unless I missed it, she didn’t state any firm conclusions at all (her hypothesis aimed at drawing a larger conclusion, but she never made one).

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Sure, but the number of men who do use these items are far less than the whole of woman kind who need some of those things. and no men need pads/tampons, etc, yeah?


Yeah, I knew that… of course I did. I’m not a moron at all.


I’m FAIRLY certain that they were being sarcastic. :smile:

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Yeah, I got that but way too late. I think it’s just one of those days when my brains not functioning properly. Too much paper grading… >_<


Generally, yes. Next time you’re at the store, compare. Men’s are generally less expensive. Also, women (usually) have more area to shave, AND we’re also more often expected to shave our pubic area (at least smoother and more often than men). And many wax, which is not cheap.

Do what I would do. Eat them.


I wish I could… it’s not my class this semester, I’m merely cheap labor for one of the faculty this go round.

Eating faculty would probably be frowned upon.


yeah, I doubt I’d get a phd that way…

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That’s fine, but arguments about gender bias in videogames aren’t going to be data based in that way. If I go to the doctor and complain my left knee hurts they wouldn’t say I was cherry picking because my right knee felt fine.

We saw this “cherry picking” thing all the time in response to Sarkeesian’s videos, but she wasn’t collecting a randomized sample of data and saying “82% of games show degree 4 gender bias” she was pointing to examples to build a narrative.

If you did use a random sample of games you’d be subject to a lot of criticism because, most likely, very few people would play the games you ended up picking, they would be seen as irrelevant. I think top 50 endless running games is a pretty good way to point at a trend in those games. Similarly, if I wanted to talk about lack of diversity in science fictions movies I might look at the top 100 grossing movies. If someone said I was cherry picking because the science fiction movie their roommate made in college has a black lead, that would (apart from seeming stupid) be an attempt to set an unrealistic standard for how much data we ought to have to look at before we think there might be a trend.

Now, if it turned out that in the 51st through 100th top games the trend went the other way, that would be a thing. But bringing up a single counterexample as @gweb did in an effort to say that someone else is cherry picking is just deeply ironic (although I think the point may have been made in better faith than this, as it centres around the game franchises and may have missed how the games were selected in the first place since that is not in the BB summary).

Similarly, I don’t actually have data to show that the accusation of “cherry picking” is made more often towards women pointing out systemic discrimination than it is in other arguments, but my experience tells me that this is a surprisingly gendered argument (when it obviously shouldn’t be).


It still seems crazy to me that they can get people to pay that price difference just to have pink-handled razors. (My wife realized some time ago that there was nothing to prevent her from using mine.) I guess it’s like the hair dye thing @ChuckV mentioned; people will pay more for the same product if it’s packaged in a way that targets their gender identity.

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I’m not sure I understand. That is a data-based statement. You said your knee hurts. Out of a population of 1, you have 100% of the sample population.

And why wouldn’t gender bias in videogames be data-based? Picking a random selection of games (across the board or weighted for popularity) is rather easy. We have sales numbers. We have random number generators. This is not rocket science.

Mmm. I don’t have an issue with Sarkeesian’s videos. I found them rather dull because she didn’t expose anything that should have been controversial (Damsels in distress is sexism that 12 year olds should find obvious).

I have some serious issues though with your implication that choosing examples to build a narrative isn’t cherry picking and that it shouldn’t be mocked if used to make wide-reaching statements while claiming you have a representative sample. That is some anti-intellectual bullshit.

Arguments that someone cherry picked evidence are extremely widespread especially in the softer sciences and medicine. They have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the fact that confirmation bias is sadly common in research.