Thursday, October 22, 2015

Play Entry 14

University of Leicester media professor Alison Harvey argues that “campaigns of abuse and harassment can be understood as the creation of value” on social media platforms, where “hate—like sex—sells.” 


A conversation I had with a friend about my work involved a discussion about how convention based fandom and coding were both women created/based spaces that were discovered by men as suddenly creating value and then colonized by men in performance positions but most of the labor is still done by women, their labor is then made invisible and perceived not only as a sole male domain that needs women to "break into" as opposed to "reclaiming" but gaming ( video, D&D, "mind-sports" ) was a male space that IS being broken into and settled by women.

This most likely makes a difference in the way the participation of women is received - minimizing women is necessary through the devaluation of the things they do that are still needed to make coding and conventions work. They were never not-there, they were never gone - its only that things men were willing to do now carried prestige and the men took over the visible spaces and visible women were assumed to be supports or attached-to the men.

When women brought female based expressions of fan enthusiasm ( crafts/cosplay) it was treated as new and outsider - as though the Costumers Guild and Masquerades had never been part of the female created fandom since it's inception. There have always been Hall costumes, there have always been costumers, there has always been interpretations of movies, book covers "reproduction" and original designs of costumes for characters. There has always been fanfic - the art shows were very different - more democratic - Deviant Art serves that space now.

The concept of "new" is age coded - I have heard women who found a place and don't consider themselves invisible deride "fake geek girls" on the fact that they meet the beauty standard and "real geek girls" don't care. that is complicated and I need to unpack it later - but the idea is that somehow it is "easier" for those girls in this world and that suffering or outsiderness in mainstream life is necessary for belonging to this group. But mostly it's generational because it listening to men their own age discuss these women that creates this concept - the women are perceived through the reaction and frankly the consumption of the women by the men and that consumption "cheapens" the experience of the woman willing to label another woman a "fake geek"

Before it was codified as specifically male in these spaces there was still that conflict but the terms and social positioning of those feelings were firmly rooted in the same kinds of social words that would be used outside of the genre play: a woman who traded on her looks to create male competition for her was marked out with derogatory comments that would be the same ones now used against Kim Kardashian by specfically mainstream moralizing. The conflict between standard arrangements of monogamy and the free-love non-monogomous movement that has always  been part of counter-cultures going back at least as far as the 1800s was always part and parcel of the convention circuit. Women being threatened by other women who do not agree to the same sexual-social rules has always been part of the social space to be navigated since the 70's - I would argue experientially it's more codified, there is an actual expectation of respect and etiquette as opposed to a more haphazard mashing together of interests under the unifying space of "fantasy/sf" appreciation.

To me it sometimes seems like bringing together all the people who like to drink milk with coffee and expecting them to somehow be different from non-milk with coffee drinkers and very, very similar to milk with coffee drinkers.

But once you put milk with coffee drinkers together they will share experiences - they will be told they are all equal but they will build structures, create value - like the element above - it will not be separated from the value creation and mores that the grown individuals bring to the table

So this seems important to me

"On an Internet built on the assumption that every contribution is equally valid, harassers are just as valuable as their victims. But as the harasser flames his victim into silence, he becomes more valuable than his target. In a recent essay, fantasy author Ferrett Steinmetz argued that, to a social media company’s “cold bottom line, a troll calling women names all day gets more advertising hits. He is a devoted user. And so they are loath to ban anyone, because these companies make money off of large user bases, and kicking someone off risks trouble.” By 2004, Barlow had recalibrated his brand of technolibertarianism to take aim at how corporations were co-opting digital culture for their own benefit. “Most libertarians are worried about government but not worried about business,” he told Reason. “I think we need to be worrying about business in exactly the same way we are worrying about government.”

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