marjaerwin: (Default)
Okay, so you arrive at the game. You've spent a lot of time coming up with your character, her backstory, and eventually her game stats. You've been looking forward to the game. So you talk with the other players, and start playing. Something turns sour, or even creepy, and the game isn't fun any more. You don't want to give up quite yet. You don't want to leave and disrupt the story. So you keep playing and keep talking with the other players as if nothing had happened. And the guys might not realize that anything had happened.

The worst is when one of the male players starts making sexual advances. If they are doing this out of game, this is just creepy. If they are doing this in-game, it could be because the character is creepy, rather than the player, but they should be careful not to make the other players uncomfortable.

Another problem is when one of the male players stares at your boobs for the entire game. I have had this happen as much as most female gamers.

Another problem is when one of the male players decides to sexualize female characters, or to create his own female character and sexualize her. I'm all for male gamers playing female characters and female gamers playing male characters, especially because it gives people another perspective on the gender system. I know that some male players can play female characters whose sexuality is an important part of their character without sexualizing their character.

But few men realize how threatening the male gaze is. How many of them have been subject to the male gaze? How many of them have to deal with men shouting obscene sexual demands? How many of them have been sexually assaulted? bashed or raped? How many of them have helped their friends through the trauma? Maybe if some of these men knew how threatening the male gaze is, they would know better than to sexualize their characters, and be more aware of other issues that may be triggering to other players. Maybe.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Another lesbophobic bashing in the news, this time in Tennessee... another male Myrmidon mass cheering on the violence, calling for more, and condemning the victim... it makes me sick.

We need to stop this violence, and we need to stop the victim-blaming. So many of us have already suffered violence that one attack can trigger many womyn, and a few attacks can intimidate many more. And the victim-blaming teaches us to be ashamed and to keep quiet. It keeps us isolated when we need each other. It keeps us from supporting each other. We are not alone. There are tens of millions of womyn [and also men] in this country alone who have survived bashings or rapes or other attacks. I'm sure many of you have. There are more of us than of our attackers, so we can isolate them where they have isolated us. Where to begin?
marjaerwin: (Default)
It's really hard to find good healing resources. Mostly we end up with people encouraging us to seek 'therapy,' and/or blaming us for not 'getting over it,' if not blaming us for 'deserving it.'
marjaerwin: (Default)
One thing about surviving trauma is that you can get a little wiser about the world. Another thing about surviving trauma is that you can get broken.

That feeling of constant vulnerability? That sense that you need to get away from the danger and find safety, and that knowledge that you can't get away from the danger and there is no safety and there is no truly safe space? It's true. It's true and most people flinch away because they know they can't function if they know this truth. But some of us don't get to flinch away. And we can't function any more. Not unless we change the world and change its truths. Not unless we change the world so there is safe space.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Why?

Because ptsd is not simply a problem with us - it is very much a problem with society, power, and disempowerment. I can't talk about my ptsd without talking about politics, because the violence is political, and the threats are political, and the absence of safe space is political, and the dependence on abusers is political, and the victim-blaming is political. I know politics can get a lot of us angry. But it's still necessary to have spaces to talk about politics and movements to change the world, if we are ever to be able to function again.
marjaerwin: (Default)
It's hard. Some beatings, some stuff I'd rather not talk about, a death in the family, and frequent reminders that I don't control my own life have sucked all the joy out of my own life.

P.S. I've had good days and bad in the past three weeks. I'm triggered now, but on the whole I'm doing better these days than I was then. I've got a better idea too, of what keeps bringing me back to the beatings, and the other stuff I've survived, and the fear. Maybe I can work through it after all. Maybe it will start getting better instead of worse.

Pacifism

Oct. 2nd, 2010 05:57 pm
marjaerwin: (Default)
I am a pacifist.

I don't really want to discuss all my reasons for pacifism. Suffice to say, some are because I seek nonviolence and some are because I have noticed that the logic of violence and escalation draws people into terrible acts, sometimes the very acts they tried to oppose. The means we use shape our ends, for good or ill. Good means will draw us to better ends, and bad means will draw us to worse ends.

I just want to say that I think institutionalized violence is worse than human violence. And institutionalized violence is everywhere. I am trying to figure out how to untangle myself from it. In terms of the political institutions, being non-violent comes close to being a non-person. It means not voting within any violent institution. It means not using the courts against any other person. It means not asking others to use violence and not encouraging others to use such institutions. I had hoped to be able to counsel other trauma survivors, but I can't compromise my moral ideals to meet the legal expectations of such positions. So after months of soul-searching I decided to avoid that. I sometimes feel helpless. A good case can be made that we live in a state of atrocity. I mean, war, poverty, murder, rape: what else would you call it? But the logic of violence is the same in any condition. I think we need counter-institutions which are non-violent and support non-violence. Now how do we get there from here?

I tend to pursue feminist projects because I can sometimes make progress. Something more tangible than marching against war, getting beaten up, and getting told I should fracking vote...
marjaerwin: (Default)
I'm sick of this. If you get a kick out of bullying other people or seeing other people injured or worse, you are the one with the problem. I'm at least trying to do the right thing.

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