“If You Don’t Like the Sexism in Gaming, Then Leave” Is a Stupid Argument

The argument goes, if you don’t like the sexism in games or the gaming community then leave. But leave to go where exactly? It’s not like there’s some radical separatist game company and related gaming community where women can go and have a dude and sexism free gaming existence. Even if there were, women aren’t free of internalized misogyny anyway, because, to borrow an expression, just as the kingdom of God is within you, so is the dominant paradigm of the patriarchy inculturated within you.

If a woman wants to play video games, and participate in the community, she has to make a space for herself within it. While the strategy of ignoring sexism has a lot of short-term appeal, in the long term we have to change the community. I have a master plan, about which I promise to write later. Feminist revolution is involved, but there are other steps along the way.

Even if the sexism in gaming succeeds in driving a woman out of it, it’s not like the real world to which she returns is much better. We play games to escape some of the unpleasantness of reality, only to find some if in the imaginary world again.