Combating Ignorance : Anita Sarkeesian, ISIS, and Muslims.
Heads up people, as this blog post is going to seem pretentious to some of you. As a disclaimer, I will say up front that I am no better, or no worse than anyone else, in the sense of being partially to blame for some of the ignorant behavior I’m going to be talking about, and refuting. I also want to say that though I may have participated in some of this at one point or another, I’ve grown past it and have learned what kind of indirect damage some of these things can cause, and the truth behind them. Due to the length of this article, I won’t be able to use too many examples, but enough for you to get the picture.
Another little disclaimer that I would like to add is that, in any of these examples, I am not saying that you cannot criticize ideas, and aren’t entitled to your opinion. Everyone has their own viewpoints, and that’s what makes us advance as a species. We debate different ideas, we contemplate the pros and cons, and we move forward with what seems to be the best plan at the time. It’s had some issues – let’s not lie to ourselves; acknowledging other viewpoints means we’ve performed some idiotic things in the past – but it’s the best system we’ve come up with so far.
What I am trying to say, is that people use ridiculous and unfounded information, in order to spread their point or misinform an audience. I believe I get most upset when people make claims, and spread propaganda, without actually looking at the information behind it to back up their argument, or at the very least, showing their work for how they came up with that conclusion themselves. This is because no one seems to really dismantle their thoughts and analyze them anymore, but we’ll get into that as we go.
Like I said, I have been guilty of this too. But again, I also said that I do my best to rectify this type of ignorant action. The affects of this behavior goes further than we can see, and is a drawback on society, causing small and large wars, inequality issues, riots and mistreatment, crime, and so on.
So what kinda ignorance am I talking about? What do I perceive as ignorant?
I perceive ignorance as someone making a emphatic point about something or someone, without understanding it – without actually trying – and without any type of critical thought or empathy for who/what they are attacking. This is verbal ignorance.
I don’t overly care if you do this in the comfort of your own home. YOU should care, and YOU should really take a step outside of yourself to look at what you’re thinking about / saying, but I understand that’s tough to do. We are only human.
It’s when you begin to poison those who may be more impressionable, by spreading the ignorance to children, or others that haven’t had the chance to fully comprehend the events in question, that it this behavior begins to bother me. Public forums are a place for understanding, not ignorance.
Ignorance can also be put into actions, with things like protests (Westboro Baptist Church provides some good examples of ignorant protesters), physical attacks, cyber Attacks (such as the Ashley Madison leak), and systemic attacks, such as the inequality between different groups of people in terms of pay, benefits and so on. In the sense of protesting and cyber attacks, there are good things that happen, that may seem ignorant, and in a sense still are. People grouping to try and get better pay and education, protesting an inhumane practice, or attacking a site that is propagating ISIS or other types of nefarious groups, is all good cause. But some do it out of sheer ignorance without understanding what the real issues are. Otherwise known as the Bandwagan Phenomenon.
Systemic issues come from the very mindsets we propagate getting into the heads of those who run the country. That’s not a small problem.
Not everyone engages in actions like this, not everyone has the power or the means to. But just about everyone engages in verbal ignorance. And like I said, you have your opinion and your right to say what you want. Personal attacks on the internet are day-to-day life, and though they are ignorant, they don’t attempt to really spread any misinformation. It’s when you start to propagate misinformation, then can’t stand to have it refuted, that we have a problem. I’m talking mainly about those who disable comments on their blog posts or videos, but also a bit about the regular Joes on Facebook who block or unfollow someone simply for disagreeing with them. Everyone seems to be afraid of reaching out from their personal safety zone of people who agree with them. They are afraid to be confronted by ideas different than their own.
So I’ve ranted enough about what I mean in terms of ignorant actions.
It’s time to provide some examples.
One of the most infamous examples, is Anita Sarkeesian. So much so that this example gets a headline and super long description (and I may get an email simply for mentioning her name).
Anita Sarkeesian is a “gamer” (and I almost throw-up when I associate her with that term), who is advocating for games to be censored that depict violence to women, or any other offensive behavior that is seen as misogynistic, or contributes to the patriarchy that she has straw-manned in her arguments. She assumes that behavior in video games directly influences behavior of real life, and finds that anything in a game should reflect our moral values in reality.
I imagine, at a base level, this doesn’t sound so bad. I mean, just another fight for equality and the betterment of humanity, right?
No, it’s not. It’s a fight for censorship of what she personally finds offensive (which seems to be just about everything), and to be honest, I think it’s a bit of a publicity thing for her.
This can be seen most evidently during the time of her start-up. She used a Go-fundMe campaign that raised over 100 thousand dollars, promising to make videos on the theory of misogyny in games, and how it affects our social outlook.
To a point, there is some truth to this idea, but not anymore than it affects males as well. Males are also put in to the tight boxes that she claims woman are put into, and there really is no difference. It’s what the game makers feel is most attractive or desirable to the player, which is more based on social construction and fads that they, like any other person, are subjected to. Its what’s perceived as beautiful, normal, eye catching, fun or exciting, all across the board. The game creators are not making games in order to target specific genders. They are making games based on social ideas that we already have, whether or not they are exaggerated, or how far they are exaggerated, is up to the game and its creator.
Back to the point.
Anita promised to make 12 videos within a year, if she raised the amount of money she wanted. She had no issues raising the money, but it took a long time for her to put any of the actual work in, leaving there only to be 6 videos (of poor quality, in terms of professional Youtubers), by the time she was supposed to be finished the series. No one paid attention to this, really, because most were swept up in the victim-playing frenzy she began in response to the criticism she was getting at the time. She seems to be doing a little more now, but it took years of her being criticized/ blocking criticism, to get there.
Mainly she has spent her time silencing people who dispute her, calling them harassers and getting them censored (only to some success, as fair use laws protect most people criticizing her), blocked, and in some cases, investigated by the FBI. She has even gone so far as to go to the U.N about a problem that everyone has on the internet, and in real life, which is people voicing their opinion, or people being jerks.
A good portion of these ‘attacks’ are from disagreeing with her on some level or another, and some of it, but rarely, are death threats.
Death threats are bad, yes. But I just want to remind people that they are common. There are trolls out there, and if you have as big an influence as Anita does, you will get a death threat, or a physical threat, at some point or another, from someone who disagrees with you, or someone who just wants to be an obnoxious prick to get attention. It’s why I mentioned that personal attacks can be perceived as sometimes serious, but most often should simply be ignored. Some people will do anything to get a rise out of you.
Either way, if you look at Anita’s Videos, I think you will see for yourself what kinda bullshit she is spewing. Unfortunately, there is a wide population of people who agree with her, and would like to see our media completely censored. In my opinion, if you don’t like something, there’s the door. Go find something you do enjoy.
If you think people and children are influenced by what’s in the games, it’s a simple as making the distinction between what’s valued in life, and what’s valued in fiction.
So why is this act of ignorance so bad? It’s the fact of how her influence is beginning to affect our censorship laws, and that she’s making great strides to do so. All of it based on lies and misinformation. She has recently gone to the U.N, with a woman named Zoey Quinn, who has her own story of deceit across the internet, that she’s skewed into a sob act in order to progress her point. As harsh as it that sounds, it’s the bitter truth. I fear that the U.N actually takes everything they say seriously, and begins to censor the media that we enjoy.
Bye-bye 14+ movies, erotic or violent books (better get used to reading Nicholas Sparks), porno, Teen-M rated video games, and just about everything else that makes being an adult somewhat awesome. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if she began some sort of campaign to ban alcohol because women can’t consent and can be taken advantage of when it’s consumed.
Simply for saying all of that, I may be investigated by someone that Anita sends my way. Not likely, as I don’t have a lot of influence right now, but stranger things have happened. So let’s drop this subject on Anita, and I will link some videos below. Both from Anita and from people who have disputed her, so that you can look and make a decision for yourself.
Let’s move on to something more…civil.
And by that, I mean all of the negative anti-Muslim posts I’ve seen on Facebook and Twitter as of late. Such as this one:
Problems with things like this should be obvious. But here you go:
It’s inaccurate, because we will not be instating Sharia law, just the same as we don’t instate Christian law. We have a secular system. I could go deeper but we’re talking a bit broader right now. Either way, this is a good example of what propagates the hate that I’m about to discuss.
Now, let’s get something straight, I’m not a part of what’s been coined as the ‘Regressive Left’. Any and all ideas can be criticized, especially Islam, as its doing quite a bit of damage right now in the world.
What I find frustrating, is that everyone puts them into the same corner if they have brown skin or come from the middle-east. This is voiced in person as well, but is easily more widespread on social media.
The question here though, is, if gaming doesn’t react to real-life values, do social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, relate to real life values?
You bet your sweet bippy they do. In a game, the entire process is meant to be perceived as fictional. On Facebook and social media, we project our real life onto the internet for the world to see. It’s why we share pictures of our new born babies, our vacations, and (for reasons I can’t explain) our food.
Because of the fact we project so much of our reality on social media, the attitudes and ideas we spread on it, in turn, affects how we perceive our life when we go back into the real world. If we share/receive/like a lot of anti-welfare posts, we may see those in recipient of welfare as being immoral people, or people that need to be judged differently.
The same goes for the posts against Muslims, and refugees who come to our countries (U.S and Canada) to escape war and tyranny in their own…Some of which we caused.
I’m going to say something, and I’m going to get a lot of flak for it, but THAT is where ISIS gets a lot of their fuel. No…No, I’m not saying that you posting a meme about how Muslims are getting their asses kissed by North America is directly causing people to join ISIS. What’s damaging is the insidious snake that stems from it: the ripple effect.
What are the steps I’ve taken to reason this? I’ll go through it as easily and quickly as I can.
First, you post an anti-Muslim post, one that blankets the entire population of those who come from Muslim countries (and most posts tend to. I rarely see one that differentiates Muslims and Middle Easterners). A post that paints all Muslims like an enemy to be fought and feared, whether it be subtle or bold.
OK, so it’s posted now. It’s out on in the vastness of social media.
Now, someone else is going to see it. After all, that’s the point of posting it in the first place, right?
Think about who you have on your friends list. I have my family, friends, fellow authors and other associates, and some fans. I imagine yours isn’t all that much different.
I don’t personally have a lot of children in my friends list. Mainly, because I am one of the youngest of my family and most of those that are younger in my family aren’t even old enough to use a computer yet. But I’m thinking about the aunts and uncles and grandparents out there, who have their younger relatives on their Facebook. They are the ones ingesting the hate and ignorance from the people they are supposed to learn from and look up to.
Some of the stuff being posted, you may not even be thinking about when you share it. You may have just been caught up in the emotion of the time…But someone else is seeing it, and perceiving it differently. Who is that person, and what kind of role model do you want to be for them?
Now, that person has absorbed the idea without looking for any information. If we’re lucky, they will look up the topic and decide for themselves, but that’s not going to happen. It’s the internet, and people seem to have a rough time thinking critically about the media that they absorb.
So that person goes out. And in their physical reality, they begin to have deep seeded, subconscious disdain for Muslims. Thanks to the algorithm of social media, the more they go on social media, and like and share the memes or posts that are anti-Muslim, the more that they see that are related.
They more see, the more they become encouraged in their beliefs, and the more they become indoctrinated to hate against Muslims. The idea is reinforced, and the person learns no better. Not just because not many people will speak out against the Muslim hate, though that is part of the problem, but because of the fact that the person has been absorbing those posts, and the social media site keeps replaying those trends to please its user.
Is this extreme? Am I exaggerating here?
Look around at who you associate with and what they think, and what people around you are saying, and tell me it’s not the truth.
People cringe when they even have to buy a coffee in this country from someone with dark skin. Is that not a hateful behavior, whether you think about it or not? I think it is, and it’s not coming out from nowhere.
Obviously social media isn’t the only place. It’s coming from everywhere that the media and people have an impact. And it needs to stop, and here’s why.
I mentioned earlier that in following this chain of events, we are in fact, helping ISIS recruit people. How are we doing this?
By making Middle Eastern immigrants, and those who sympathize with them, feel isolated. By treating them like they don’t belong, and making them feel as if they need a way out. If you pay attention to the news on ISIS, detractors are now leaving for a variety of reasons, and they are saying that when they are first asked by ISIS to join, they are promised fast cars, beautiful women, and most importantly, a quality of life with people who believe they belong with them.
Of course, none of what they promise is true, but that doesn’t stop someone from embracing the idea, especially when most people around them will not even have a simple conversation with them, without thinking from some sort of anti-immigration or anti-Muslim, bias.
To sum it up, if you treat people like they are a disease, they will turn to the darkest places just to find some sort of relief. Put an entire race in a box because of what one group that looks a bit like them, and acts on what a portion of them believe, and you end up creating the demon you’re battling against.
We have to fight ISIS on the front lines, I understand that. Violence, in that case, is necessary in terms of self-defense.
But we also need to combat our own ignorant ideas, otherwise they will never run out of recruits, and we will continue to have people trying to flee to go and join them. The problem won’t ever stop. You simply cannot bomb an idea and hope that it dies. It has no organ, no blood, it only lives within the minds of those who believe in it, and those who will pick it up when those people are gone.
Criticize the religion of Islam and those who follow its fundamental beliefs. Criticize the ideas of terrorism, and reinforce morals based on empathy. Criticize and attack ISIS. But don’t attack the people who haven’t done anything to deserve it.
In fact, many of those we see as Muslim, may very well in fact be non-believing, or belong to another religion entirely separate from Islam. Being Muslim isn’t based on skin color, is based on religious belief. I could be a Muslim, and I’m Caucasian. I’m an atheist, to be clear, but that’s just a little point I wanted to add. Stop hating middle-eastern people, for what ISIS, or any other group who says they fight for Islam, does. And don’t hate all Muslims for the same reason. Christians have done some horrific things in the past, and if we talk about that, you bet your ass you get attacked by the apologists and those who consider themselves people of God. They usually either say that the people who committed the atrocities weren’t following the bible (when in fact they were) or they say that Christians are attacked for ideas of 2000 years ago when most of them adhere to moral and secular beliefs.
This article has gotten quite long, but I think I’ve made enough of a point here. The ignorance that we propagate may not have a direct effect on our lives, but it certainly has an indirect influence.
It’s our job to do our best to combat that ignorance with what is logical, reasonable, and true, if we want to create a better world.
Yes, we can debate, but do so not with ignorance, but wisdom, and be open to the ideas of others who are willing to put the effort in to show their work. Of those who simply make ignorant point form statements, and expect people to believe it to be true, or those who attack people with no real reason other than to feel like they belong in a social bandwagon…I have just one thing to say to you.
Go fuck yourself (and I say that with the upmost kindness).
You are part of the problem holding back our world from any kind of peaceful resolution. I am empathetic to those forced into those ideals; those who can’t break out for fear of being disowned by their families or friends. I am, however, also afraid that if you don’t get the courage to break out of those boxes, our world will never change.
If I have been too harsh, I don’t apologize. These are the things I believe, and I don’t feel I should be sorry for them. Being offended by another’s ideas shows a weakness in the security of one’s own thought, so if you are offended, I am not sorry, but I do pity you. Hopefully you can find some assurance in your own mind.
I do welcome anyone wishing to dispute me, though. I don’t feel any hatred or begrudge anybody that does, so come at me. If you are an author, afraid that if you disagree, that I will cast you off and stop supporting you with my retweets, shares, etc., then you are mistaken. I do not put my political and social beliefs in with my passion to write books, although they do show up in the subtext of my fiction. The same goes for friends, family, and so on.
I’ve taken enough of your time, and I feel this has drug out long enough. I may do a video version of this sometime, for easier viewing, but it will depend on how things go with this post.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read.
Let me know what you think in the comments, and have awesome day.
- Adam Gainer
Anita Sarkeesian’s Youtube channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/feministfrequency
People who have disputed her (some examples, but there are literally hundreds on Youtube alone)
Thunderfoot disputes Anita :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prmprJyPyv0 (Anita goes to the U.N)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6flKG51iWw (Anita Sarkeesian, debunked)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6tD_RxtoY0 (Feminist Wars, The Farce Awakens)
The Amazing Atheist disputes Anita:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJjA4lKoHPc (Anita you officially suck at Feminism) – T.J goes a bit nuts in this video, bear in mind, this one of the more recent of many he’s done on her, and she tends to grind down the sanity a bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5If8qy5tctY (All Men are Murderers)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2KPeMcYsuc (Feminism VS Freedom of Speech)
The Gamer from Mars on why people hate Anita: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDT5MHoNKd4
FeminismLOL Disputes Anita and New Feminism:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbH1SwSxenE (Anita Sarkeesian & GamerGate)
Rabbit Plays Games :
Gad Saad on Anita Sarkeesian:
And the list goes on forever. Honestly, just type in the name Anita Sarkeesian, and you will find someone disputing her ideas. The entirety of Anita’s channel is her own personal stuff, but if you search you may find some people defending her. I will admit that I have watched some of these videos in defense of Anita, but they didn’t change my mind, and are not worth researching simply to place a link in the blog. I think I’ve provided enough information, and you can find it out for yourself at this point.
Do I have any references for my stance on how people treat Muslims? Besides some more people (Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report, Gad Saad, Kyle Kulinski and more) debating the same idea and point that I am, I don’t really have anything. It’s simple common logic, and the basic knowledge of human psychology, taken from an objective view point.
If you have some more damning evidence on the contrary, I’d be glad to see it.
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