Toxicity continued

I was hoping to move on to other things, but this topic just seems to be a thing these days.  This thread appeared the following day, and promptly attracted every shitlord, badposter, troll, and feminist nitwit on the EVE forums.

Bearing in mind that EVE’s Executive Producer is, you know, a woman, and prominent EVE women like Sugar Kyle and Sindel Pellion do not run around whining about the status of women in the game all the time I really do not give much of this credence.

I don’t intend to discuss feminism at any length, but I will point out again from the thread that feminism tries to evaluate science rather than the other way around.  Like certain religious fundamentalists (and make no mistake, I am a Christian, although not an evangelical, fundamentalist, nor Creationist – and if you are inclined to nitpick these claims take it somewhere else) they do not seem to realize that it is for feminism to put forth hypothesis and science to evaluate them.

It is not the reverse.  Feminists, however, tend to jump straight to the “theory” (which is supposed to come when you have tested a hypothesis and found a certain amount of information in favor of it) of PAtriarchy or whatever, and when it’s challenged, they just throw “misogyny”, “sexism” and other such terms at it.  If they’re challenged scientifically, we get questions about “science’s ability to detect systemic bias”.  In other words, if science is not giving them the results they want, the problem obviously lies with science.

Bear in mind we are talking about a school of thought that claims to be about gender equality, while assigning the quality of equality to one gender via it’s own name (“feminism”) and claiming that the inequality that allegedly “hurts men too” is a quality of maleness (“Patriarchy”).  While they might insist otherwise, the simple fact is that these terms are intended to convey that impression, and strongly – no matter what verbal gymnastics are used to justify it.  If there was any actual interest in equality, neutral terms would be used, progress would be acknowledged – oh, and we wouldn’t see people “standing with” a “rape victim” who is pretty obviously a bald-faced liar and attention whore.

But what’s even more interesting is that the entire thread seems to be a veiled assault on how EVE is played.  It talks about what’s said in voice comms and naughty language, but then it goes on to how male aggression in general is bad.

It’s astounding how much this sounds like the arguments “carebears” supposedly make.  “If you want more women, you need to accommodate how women want to play”, hinting strongly that women do not want to have to deal with aggression, which is pretty central to how EVE is played.

Disregarding how silly it is to claim that the gender role of women needs to be accommodated and then also whine about gender roles in the first place…EVE cannot survive without it’s niche nature as a hardcore PVP game where people can and will ruin your day.  It’s approaching 12 years old and despite improvements, it will never be a progression PVP MMO.  It cannot compete with other MMOs at being what those MMOs are.

Neither the carebears that advocate for it nor the highsec criminal community that don’t understand that CCP is protecting their playstyle, not nerfing it, nor evidently the feminists, white-knights, and other shitlords either.

There is not a need for more women in EVE just for the sake of more women.  If EVE gets more women by just being more appealing in general, or just because it happens to become more so as a byproduct of development, so be it.  We do not need to either attract, get rid of, or do anything at all about the number of women.  It really does not matter.

What’s more, you do not get rid of “toxicity” by engaging in uninvited moralisitc preaching at people and rejecting any attempt at counter argument because disagreement makes you Obviously A Horrible Person.  Yet another way in which feminists resemble more aggressive religious denominations.  “Sexist” and “Misogynist” sound a lot like “sinner” and similar terms.

Just because something seems sexist, misogynistic, or whatever does not make it so.  Your state of offense does not mean you are necessarily entitled to others adapting their behavior, or even that you’re being reasonable by being offended.  This is a final theme of the thread “but people don’t really need to engage in this offensive behavior!”

What offensive behavior?  Like I said last week, I think “Rapecage” is pretty offensive, but this isn’t about that one term.  There are a lot of people that are offended by far more insignificant things than that.  I could easily turn this around to say “but maybe you don’t really need people to stop being offensive”.

Is “being offended” really that hard to deal with?  No, it’s not.  We’ve made it so by turning victimhood into political capital, but it shouldn’t be,  If you’re offended, look at yourself first.  Chances are good that what you really need is people going out of their way to offend you more so that you learn to take it.  Those of us that are members of all the groups it’s ok to offend already have to.

Toxicity

Over at EVEOGANDA, Rixx Javixx had a guest poster the other day who provided this post, purporting to discuss corporate culture in EVE and the evils of “toxicity” in that culture.

The article makes some good points in that if you are constantly saying offensive things, don’t be surprised when people that are offended by them decide to leave.  If you are constantly using terms like “rape cage” don’t be surprised if women, and for that matter quite a few men don’t like it.  I find the term “rape cage” to be rather offensive mainly because I view rape as a very serious matter.  I take great umbrage at feminists trying to use falsified rape claims and statistics for political gain, and for that same reason I do not appreciate rape jokes or trivialization.  It makes feminists, liberals, and social justice warriors look much more appealing when people use terms like “rape cage” and make us wonder if maybe the feminists don’t have a tiny bit of a point.

The same thing applies to the f-word for homosexuals and the n-word for black people – which I don’t spell out here mainly because I don’t know a lot about internet searching and associating and I don’t want this post associated with anything it ought not to be in someone’s algorithm.  Color me paranoid.

I really have no problem with banning these terms in one’s corporation.  I don’t like them, they make me and a lot of other people uncomfortable, and I don’t see any real reason to use them.  They are not like “shit” or “fuck”, which are just foul language.  BRAVE didn’t permit this kind of talk, and whatever the merits or lack thereof of their culture I think this was a strong point.  FCON does not, as I understand it, permit the use of those terms either.

The problem with the article after that is twofold:  First, the discussion of “toxicity” is based entirely around “offensive to females” and second, contained near the end of the third paragraph: “and the subtler forms of misogyny were permitted to continue unchecked (and indeed unexamined).”

What are “subtler forms of misogyny?”  I wonder?  I can certainly see why women would not like the term “rape cage” and why they would not like to be referred to as “bitches” or “cunts”.  I don’t like women as a group being referred to that way.  However, if some woman is acting like a totally obnoxious snot and someone calls her a “cunt”. that’s not sexist or misogynist no matter how much she dislikes it or even the fact that it uses an obscene reference to female genitals as an insult.  Men get called “dicks” when they act that way, and no one whines – because they shouldn’t, and because any gender issue these days is discussed in terms of a mssive feminist double standard, based on nonexistant “male privilege”.  Stop acting like that and you won’t get called those names.

Language like this – “subtler forms of misogyny” without then explaining what’s meant by that, and he never does, just goes on to relate that the women left because of it, and that there was some level of controversy about it, but never quite what is meant – and then later tips his hand.  He gives us this line:  “Once you look for this stuff, you’ll start seeing it everywhere, and that awareness will do a lot of the curbing on it’s own.”

Curbing of what, precisely?  I’m really not sure.  Of “toxic culture” or perhaps toxic masculinity, as indicated in some of the comments.

A toxic corp culture, however, is not limited to one that’s toxic to women, whether a few specific women or women in general.  There’s lots of kinds of toxicity, and not all of them are defined by potentially offensive language.

And if you start looking for toxicity, yes, you will find it everywhere.  There’s a reason – when you go out and look for it, you start seeing it there just from confirmation bias because you are assuming its presence. 

What’s more, you will quite rapidly start fostering a new and different type of toxicity, where you are going around and assigning hate labels to people and things.  When you call someone a “misogynist” or a “racist” that’s the equivalent of saying “I deem you unworthy to speak”.  Hate labels are not about getting people to change their viewpoints; they’re about belittling people and opinions you don’t like.  No one, except maybe some politicians, will come to agree with you because you assigned them the label “misogynist”.  No, they will assign you your own label based on your own behavior, and they do so because hate labels are not to foster discussion, but for ad hom.  When you call someone a “sexist” or a “racist”, you divert the discussion onto them rather than the topicand force them to defend themselves against this accusation – that is, defend themselves against a term that means whatever the labeler wants it to mean.

This, in fact, is the reason why “toxic” corps exist.  They are not populated with people that hate women and minorities; they are populated with people that want to talk a certain way because everyone else tells them not to.

These corps are their space.  If you don’t like it, leave it to them.  Because they are not likely to change for you.  The problem is not the leadership not booting them, it’s that you expect that just becuase you are in a space that it must adapt to you.

Find another corporation.  Then you can ban the term “rapecage” if you want to, or whatever else.  You can have daily whinefest about “women being treated as sex objects” if you want.  You can go on roams and blow up the internet spaceships of the people that tolerate terms like the n-word and the F-word.  You can do like some women in Elder Scrolls Online and form a feminist guild that only lets in women and you can sit around ship-spinning while you piss and moan that men might find your breasts appealing – if you have breasts.  If you’re of the male persuasion, you can bellyache about whatever it is that gets male social justice warriors all excited.

Either way, don’t come crying to me about it.  Because while I don’t care to hear language like that, I also don’t care  if they want to do that in their space.  Just leave them alone.  When I hear you carrying on about it, all I can really think is “what kind of shitlord are you that you can’t just go play in your own space tribe?”

Because here’s the truth – you are not standing up for anything.  You are not fighting racism, sexism, or misogyny, and while you might be combating a little real homophobia you aren’t doing it in a meaningful way – labeling someone a homophobe doesn’t change their attitude.  You are whining about hurt feelings, and justifying it based on ideas of social inequality 35 years out of date.  There are people getting beheaded and burned to death by lunatics, and having their country dismantled by a powerful neighbor that it’s just too fucking inconvenient for the West to deal with.  You are not them; you are getting to play internet spaceships.  99+% of all those that ever lived do not have it as good as you, so quit your fucking whining.

Leaving BRAVE: Part II

First, a quick note.  I really have not played Elder Scrolls Online lately.  After our move, we switched back to Time Warner from AT&T U-verse, which I was sorely disappointed in.  While a lot faster, Time Warner had a very bad problem with dropping signal which seemed for some reason to be worse whenever I got onto TES.  The “dropping” problem seems to be resolved, but I still need to get back on TES.

In the meantime though, I really need to continue talking about leaving BRAVE.  I have started this post three times and every time it turns into a history of BRAVE doctrines which sounds terribly dull.

So, just to get that out of the way, BRAVE in the time I was there initially had it’s Talwar, Pocket Rocket (Thorax) and Furrox (Ferrox) doctrines, adopted the Harpy I talked about a while back, adopted the Baltec Megathron, promptly ditched it again, picked up the Augror Navy Issue, and finally settled on the Moa and Eagle, and now appears to be adding Tengus.  The Talwar has survived (with less and less use) and the Harpy remains.

I loved the Pocket Rocket doctrine and would have loved to see it altered to fit Null.  Perhaps I’ll discuss it at some length later on.  I enjoyed the Eagle and Moa, although I felt both fits lacked a bit in damage application, and I liked the Baltec Megathron which was abandoned almost as fast as it was adopted due to FCs not knowing how to use it.  The Augror Navy Issue was horrible – it suffered from poor lock range and appalling capacitor consumption despite having only 3 guns.

Overall, however, BRAVE was pretty fun to fly doctrines with aside from the perpetual overabundance of fast tackle.  Manfred Sideous talks about BRAVE’s fundamental tradeoffs a bit in his CSM candidate thread.  I think he’s got a good grip on the basic tradeoffs BRAVE has made, and that the game should not be balanced specifically to make BRAVE’s playstyle more viable.

But let’s talk outside of fleets.  Outside of fleets, you will find a lot of BRAVE pilots flying, for PVP: atrons (and slashers), interceptors, RLML Caracals, and then a smattering of more expensive stuff, sometimes ridiculously so; it’s not unknown for a single BRAVE pilot in a Garmur or something like that to go out and get killed by a roaming fleet in his system thinking that he has the backup of a defense fleet that’s barely forming – or worse, just can’t warp to him in time.

As I mentioned before, BRAVE has all kinds of people showing up to content-farm them all the time.  An FC I flew under recently characterized BRAVE’s local defense as “drone boats and atrons”, and while I’d add RLML Caracals and the occasional other unfortunate to the fix, he’s fundamentally correct, becase BRAVE has a lot of newbies and atrons are cheap.  Drones are preferred for ratting in Catch because you can select any damage type, the tracking disruption on Sansha’s doesn’t affect them, and most importantly, if you take care of them you have little to no ammo cost.  Important for newbies on a budget.  The Vexor Navy Issue is the boat of choice for ratting because you only need Gallente Cruiser IV for it, rather than needing it at V plus HACS to III+ for an Ishtar.

Where this all gets frustrating is if you are the guy trying to bring something a little more appropriate or survivable to the fight than the aforementioned.  If you have 8 guys trying to kill a Deimos and 7 are in T1 frigates and you are the only one in a Jaguar it gets pretty annoying that no one can undock something worth more than 5 million to kill a 200+ million (fitted cost) ship.  When 5 guys have a Vagabond tackled and can’t kill it until you show up in a Cyclone that does more DPS than the 5 of them put together the profuse thanks are pretty nice.  It is not sheer agony all the time.

But what really gets you is when you, as a very experienced pilot (especially by BRAVE standards of “very experienced”, get lectures from far less experienced newbies that indicate a near-total failure to appreciate either A) what you’re actually saying or B) that there might be things they haven’t learned yet.  It’s much like college in ROTC- no one is more opinionated than a sophomore who thinks he’s talking to a freshman.

For example, I once had this conversation with an 8-month-old newbie, regarding Marmites and permadeccing

Me:  “It wouldn’t hurt to take a Moa doctrine up there one day to the trade hubs and force them to dock up for half an hour just to remind them that they can only pop individuals in trade hubs – they can’t fight us fleet-to-fleet”

Him:  “That doesn’t work in highsec”

Me.  “Why not?”

Him:  “Because they’ll just dock and use instaundocks.”

Me:  “So what?  We’re still forcing them to dock and publicly showing that they can’t fight us.”

Him:  “You can’t hellcamp someone in highsec without bubbles”

Now, regardless of the merits of taking a Moa fleet to Jita or Dodixie and annoying Marmites the simple fact is that I wasn’t suggesting a “hellcamp” of half an hour, nor was I suggesting we’d get a ton of kills or force them to fight at all.  In fact it should be clear I suspected they wouldn’t fight.

Again, this may be a terrible idea, but the reasons the newbie stated are not the reasons why.  Rather, it represents a serious problem in the 6-month to 2-year old character range that BRAVE has a lot of among those who stayed there – they have started learning some things and think it’s far more than it is.  This newbie knew about “hellcamps” of stations, and therefore assumed any station camp was a “hellcamp”.  He also failed to think about the usefulness of the idea in terms of what it was intended to accomplish – a show of force to make a point – and instead complained it wouldn’t work for another purpose – getting a lot of kills, and having good fights – for which it was not intended.  I can forgive the latter more than the former though as its a very common error in many arenas.

This would merely be an unavoidable vice of flying with newbies, but when mixed with some of the former it becomes infuriating.  A gang comes through, a bunch of people engage it in frigates and RLML caracals, and a semi-experienced newbie comes to help in his Armageddon.  Unfortunately, the few Atrons and Caracals are near-wiped-out by the time the Battleship warps to gate, jumps through, and engages.  Not the fault of the pilot; the battleship is what it is and he even has it fit sensibly.

Meanwhile, along comes Kiryen coming back from doing some relic sites and hearing this on comms I dock up, re-ship to a Cyclone and warp to the beleaguered and now-solo Armageddon while the casualties.. well, apparently don’t re-ship.  I land reasonably near him and start trying to get on a Pilgrim, which retreats rapidly in the face of missiles and drones that it can’t tracking-disrupt or neut… and the Armageddon MJDs away.  He lands, can’t align or warp in time, and dies before I can get to him.  At least they didn’t get me; he pulled them too far away to get me before I warp out.

All right fine, an understandable mistake, but the “why didn’t you help me?” afterwards.. You can only take that so much.  Dude I did help you.. then you MJD’d away and I couldn’t support you with my HAM fit.  Oh you mean everyone else?  No, they didn’t come back but you committed a big, slow ship too late, and when you did have help you MJD’d away without aligning out first.  Instead of focusing on what everyone else did wrong, look at what YOU did wrong so you won’t do it again.

In the above example, my Cyclone lived.  There were a lot of others where my ship didn’t.  That’s ok – losing ships is part of the game – but it gets tiresome after a while being one of the few to show up in something that can dish out the DPS or shore up the weaknesses of the frigates and Caracals, and be constantly losing it and then hear other people whine about their losses.  The Armageddon at least was a significant loss, but when someone pisses and moans this way about a Vexor – not even a VNI – that’s more grating.  Even worse is when your kitchen sink fleet is fighting a Pandemic Legion roam and your Hyperion is taking damage while the FC is sitting there saying “leetttt’ssss….sssseeeee….” and clicking his teeth on comms trying to decide which target to shoot.

I should also note that in the BRAVE capital system you get more support if only through sheer numbers.  I lived a few jumps away because of the income.  Still, when I was fleeted up in the capital, and previous experience in Sendaya and Barleguet, experience rapidly taught me that you’re going to lose ships to people simply fucking around even there.  When you’re one of the few people trying to shore up the Atron swarm that gets old after a year.