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.

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