Gaming's #MeToo moment: male fragility versus women's fundamental rights

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There’s a word for this: “Himpathy” (coined by Kate Manne in “Down Girl”), when our culture shows more concern for the male aggressor than for his female victim(s).


Welcome to the Boingz, comrade.


Just want to share a picture of super snuggles with my kitty as a loving offering to survivors (like myself) reading these comments.


The Gators and other denizens of the “manosphere” who are bound to show up here are going to skim over this very incisive part as they claim that they’re the real victims here, so it’s worth quoting:

And the men are broken: toxic masculinity is a thing. Hurt people hurt people. Trauma, not contagion, is the source of radicalization. Any solution to sexism and misogyny will involve helping men as well as women, because men, not women, are the primary reservoirs of misogyny.


If it’s relevant, I am male. And I have to think…SHE should have considered HIS emotional state? Horse @#%$ squared and cubed. She owed him nothing.


Oh, great… yet another one of these topics. Maybe this time it won’t turn into a shitshow of certain sorts of people completely missing the point and instead focusing on how they “are the real victims” of every misdeed and wrongful treatment.

Like clockwork…


Likewise, “Think of the impact on the poor abuser!” has been used by many judges as a rationale for light sentences on convicted rapists for far too long. That’s gotta stop.


“Central to Gamergate’s indictment of Quinn is that she should have given more considerations to Holowka’s emotional health before coming forward to reveal the ways he’d abused her.”



the message in there that men need to do heavy lifting and change…so damn effing true.

I suppose that message will get lost.


CW: Abuse, discussion of suicide and trauma, PTSD.


I’m glad someone famous in “woke” circles is recognizing the stupidity of treating extremist ideologies like contagious diseases, but insecurity and resentment, not trauma, is the primary motivation for those who adopt them.

That is, after all, the purpose of using “fragility” as jargon, right? You’re not ridiculing the brittle mental state of people who have suffered trauma, but the emotional response people have to criticism of their privilege. Holowka was obviously very fragile, but I suspect it had more to do with mental illness than reactionary misogyny.


I think also in how we raise boys to be men. You have to start when they’re young before the bad junk gets into their worldview.


I don’t know what exactly what went on with Holowka in particular, but in general a vicious feedback loop can sometimes emerge between trauma on the one hand and insecurity and resentment on the other. We see it a lot in victims of abuse who overcompensate or sometimes become abusers themselves to regain a sense of power and control, incurring yet more trauma as they inflict it on new victims.

When you the throw societal norms and expectations of toxic masculinity (which are contagious viral diseases in the Dawkins memetic sense) into the mix it can make things even worse. To be clear, that’s not to say that someone who buys into reactionary misogyny is by always by definition mentally ill or suffering from PTSD (far from it). But power and control are at the core of patriarchal thinking, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a traumatised or mentally ill person grasped at it as a “solution”.


exactly…it’s not enough for just me to change…I also need to take responsibility for my two sons to not become like those other men too.


That sweet karma though. And righteous bans.

It appears that Holowka has voluntarily paid the ultimate price. Unless we are after vengeance through some form of torture beyond what he experienced over the last few days of his life, I think he’s paid his debt (in so much as such a debt can be paid.)

Was he guilty? I think he probably was from what I understand, but are we just done with this guilty beyond all reasonable doubt thing? I’m not going to harp on Blackstone’s Ratio here, but I will ask this:

If we play judge, jury, and executioner via social media, outside the legal system, cancel culture as it has been labeled, are we disposing of the virtue of innocence? If it no longer protects you from accusers, is it now meaningless?

Holowka appears to have been guilty. I’m not the only one phrasing it that way here. None of us are, apparently, confident enough to say, “Holowka definitely, without doubt, did these horrible things.” Yet he was punished, “Cancelled” so to speak, and now he’s dead. We, the mob, probably got it right this time.

Will we always get it right? Do we no longer care?


Does discussion of misogyny, abuse, and the cultural norms inherent in gaming require that a specific set of facts about a specific person be provably true before we discuss them?

Further, if people are coming out as victims of this alleged abuse, do we choose to ignore them because the facts have yet to be verified?

This discussion, this culture, and these issues go far beyond one person. Suggesting that we should somehow alter the discussion because an alleged abuser hasn’t been provably shown to have done these things, IMHO, misses the point entirely.

A community can discuss how to handle cases of abuse, can show sympathy for those who feel they were abused, can comment on the stories shared, and can even make their own judgements based on the preponderance of evidence submitted. They do not need the permission of the legal system, nor indeed anyone else, to do so.


In other words, women refusing to be treated like second class citizens are fully responsible for his death?

That is untrue. HE is the one responsible, both for his behavior and for his own death. What MOST of us would like to see, is not vengeance, but real justice for victims of sexual assault, real contrition of the part of those who violate others and true rehabilitation and reintegration back into polite society of those individuals, and a society that takes the autonomy and independence of women seriously, rather than pay it lip service.

The more we have these conversations, the more perpetrators will come to realize that this behavior is not acceptable, and hopefully that will change their behavior and their treatment of their victims.