jewelfox: A portrait of Rei Ayanami from the Evangelion series as an anthropomorphic albino red fox, in a sleeveless lavender top. (rei)
[personal profile] jewelfox

Content note: Sexism, rape, and abuse.

Creeps and assailants of any kind—rapists, harassers, inappropriate co-workers, slimy strangers in a bar—rely on complicity to function. They know it is unlikely that their actions will elicit repercussion. They commit crimes [...] without fear of ever being punished because they’ve learned that they won’t be. And so we have a culture that treats [victims] like voiceless, undermined objects of servility. [...]

Silence may seem civilized, but passivity is diabolical.

- Carly Lewis, The Year of Complicity

The original piece is specifically about certain high-profile, famous rapists, whose fame entitled them to commit horrible acts while others looked the other way. I feel that it really describes why I haven't felt comfortable in any Free Company in FFXIV, though, and I will explain why so that people who don't play the game can relate it to their own experiences.

Every time that I've left, it started with someone giving offence ... being mean to new players, using gendered or homophobic slurs, or having sexually explicit conversations in the main FC chat when it wasn't a dedicated ERP (erotic roleplay) free company. But the offence itself is never what caused me to leave.

What caused it every time, including the most recent one, was the complicity. The taking offence for granted. The enabling abuse, and allowing abusers to get away with their acts, while punishing those who speak out.

In the last FC I was in, I actually thought I was handling things well. I'd handled situations with people using gendered slurs, like "slut" and "bitch," in a way that maintained enough levity that (I hoped) they did not take it personally. I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that the time that I took it personally was when someone started insisting that Final Fantasy XI, FFXIV's MMO predecessor which helped keep me alive through long years of abuse, was "objectively" a bad game. So when I called this person out, I did it in a way that was more hurt than teasing.

Apparently, that's unacceptable.

One of the moderators broke up the conversation, and it was then that I realized that this person being a jerk in the chat was okay. Making offensive remarks about other people, and the things that are important to them, was just taken for granted. It was only when I replied with bitter sarcasm that there was suddenly a problem, and a mod needed to step in.

I pointed this out in the chat. That it seemed like being hurtful was okay, but retaliating was not. Having and expressing hurt feelings was objectionable, but causing them was not.

I was told to shut up.

I hope I will eventually find enough people in-game who value my friendship that I'll feel safe in their home and their chat.

Thoughts; TW bullying

Date: 2015-01-06 11:29 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Oh wow. That seems like a very common pattern - that the original hurt is expected, and that retaliation is harshly punished.

This is a bit tangential, but: I've seen this pattern since grade school. Since kindergarten, even (though I remember little enough of anything pre-highschool). I was a bullied kid - pretty awfully - and one of the major pains of my young life was that the bully/ies would start something, I'd retaliate, and then I'd get in trouble while the bully made sad faces at their favorite adult and got a pat on the head.

I can't even tell you how many times that happened; what a young Six learned from the experience was that adults favor bullies.

As an older Six, I've had to unlearn that in order to function under authority (sadly, necessary to work in my field). It's been a lot of work - as you point out, it keeps happening.

Not everyone in the world favors a bully. Some people actively work against bullying, and work against the cultural tendency to kiss up to bullies.

I hope you can find some, in-game.
Edited Date: 2015-01-06 11:30 pm (UTC)

FFXIV climate

Date: 2015-07-22 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] antro
Hi, i found my way here by googling "final fantasy xiv feminism". I'm playing on the EU server Cerberus and have for a long, long time tried to find a FC that has a nice atmosphere. But eventually I have come to realise that in the "normal" FCs there will be the kind of abuse culture that you're writing about, and I just can't stand it. I have been thinking about starting a FC with strict moderation and a non-tolerance policy for abuse, racism, sexism and like, but it feels hard to do it by myself. Therefore I'm wondering if you yourself perhaps still are playing and would consider having a FC on the server I'm on?

Kind wishes, Andreas.

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