women, games, and religion

"Women, Games, & Religion" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Women, Games, & Religion” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

[Like this cartoon? Get a high quality print HERE!]
I read this article about women gamers and Zoe Quinn, ‘This has got to change’: Women game developers fight sexism in industry. Zoe Quinn’s story is a nightmare of threats of rape, death, and a life of constant security measures against all kinds of attacks against her and her work. She’s been forced to move. Her server is attacked around 40 times a day. She keeps a backup stored in a chip implanted in her left hand.

Because she’s a woman and a gamer.

Insults such as “Make me a sandwich” is common place.

And it is this line that provoked me to do today’s cartoon. The sexist attitudes toward women is prevalent everywhere. The same attitudes expressed in the gaming world is expressed in the religious one… but perhaps with extra filters applied to make it sound more orthodox, righteous, and even acceptable. Religion makes it seem like it is upholding traditional values, when in fact it is promoting rampant hate, discrimination, and violence against women.

As the article linked above suggests, the problem is being acknowledged in some quarters and some things are being done about it. The same needs to happen in religion.


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22 Responses

  1. Ducatihero says:

    “sexist attitudes toward women is prevalent everywhere. The same attitudes expressed in the gaming world is expressed in the religious one… hate, discrimination, and violence against women.”

    OK – but why focus on religion and the gaming world and to what extent is this fear mongering and rather than being helpful for women, instilling and anxiety that is out of proportion to the threat posed by mysogeny.

    On the other side of the coin as your friend the counselor and life coach Phyllis Mathis says retribution towards men for things that other men have done is wrong, abusive and only compounds a problem.

    Most men in my immediate circle are not knowingly hateful discriminatory and violent towards women. Most women I know are not helpless victims and would soon put a stop to any man acting out of line if they were to mistreat them.

    This is not to sat that mysogeny is not real and that there is a real need for men to be cognizant of that, listen to women and be attentive to justice and equality. However, please can we not treat every man as if they are not guilty before proven innocent and not treat every woman as if they have nothing to take ownership for with their feelings and conduct either?

  2. Ducatihero says:

    typo “not guilty before proven innocent” should read “guilty before proven innocent”

  3. Bernardo says:

    So did she call the FBI or other authorities about these incidents? If so are there verifiable reports of actions taken?

  4. All Things End says:

    In before dull-witted, victim-blaming comments from priv……too late.

  5. Ducatihero says:

    Can you give an example of what you perceive to be dull-witted, victim-blaming comments. All Things End?

  6. Ducatihero says:

    I’m going to come back with the “make me a sandwich” comment.

    In my first work environment which was predominantly male I got picked on and told to make the teas. When I refused, I was tied to a chair, covered with hand cleansing solution and then taken outside to a neibouring place of work where they were told I was 21 and getting married next week. so everyone in that workplace had a go at me as well.

    In this environment it was not uncommon for this kind of thing to happen – it was considered bravado and if you couldn’t handle it you weren’t respected. So it is not surprise to me to hear this kind of comment being made in the gaming industry. Once I showed I could take it and join in, I was accepted, it was a rite of passage.

    In the male dominated comedy environment I have asked female comics about their experience. One says that there is sexism, one that we have moved past that, another that there are less woen than men because women are more inclined to focus on family and another that she has known the men to be supportive and the insults she has experienced have been form women who expect it to be a man that is on stage. So ask 7 different rabbis the same question and you will get 7 different answers has been my recent experience fro woen in a male dominated environment.

    The “insult” about making a sandwich seems to be an advocacy for positive affirmation. In the workplace has this not been shown to result in low self esteem for women when they know they have got the position because of a quota that needs to be filled?

  7. Caryn LeMur says:

    Wow… Ducati… I am sorry that you were hazed like that. Well, we call it ‘hazing’ in the US… not sure what it is called in your country.

    You wrote: “When you showed you could take it and join in, I was accepted, it was a rite of passage.”

    I was male. I am now female. In the male world, I would have agreed with you. Really.

    In the female world, I have encountered equations happening so differently…. sometimes too fast to put a finger on and name it. Misogyny is woven in the fabric of the male-dominated business in which I operate… and being unwoven at the same time… no wonder you get 7 different answers from 7 women.

    May I offer that misogyny in the church institution is (for some denominations) woven into the fabric of the church by God’s hand. And… if a woman (or man) is within that church culture, then the misogyny becomes difficult to recognize, call out, or even to resist (for whom should fight God’s man/woman order of authority?).

    I think that ‘hazing’ is far different than misogyny.

    You wrote: “to what extent is this fear mongering and rather than being helpful for women, instilling an anxiety that is out of proportion to the threat posed by misogyny?”

    All I can answer is that I am well-trained by my father’s generation, by some church experiences, by some work experiences…. yes well trained to NOT see the patriarchy and the misogyny. It hits me later. That’s simply me.

    So, this does not instill an anxiety in me. Rather, these type of posts cause me to ‘think again’. These posts are helpful for me.

  8. kris799 says:

    I have been studying Buddhism, and misogyny has even been woven into that culture. I was studying a book on one aspect of the Buddha and there are 12 vows in it. One of the vows is where the person ask to be a male in the next life because being female is seen as a defect. A patriarchal society will have a patriarchal religion.

  9. Ducatihero says:

    Hey Caryn,

    Thanks for your reply. I’m not quite sure if I understand you as you intend with what you say about “havzed”? I appreciate your empathy but really it was no big deal – it was aggressive banter and boisterous behaviour. Once you joined in then it was OK. I’m sure with being ex-military yourself you will understand. Compared to what a drill sergeant screams at you inches form your face in basic training, the instance I’ve shared about is mild and is needed to toughen you up to be prepared for war and to serve in defense of the country. Parts of service life I miss such as the camaraderie and the mutual honouring and helping.

    I kinda liken it on the other side of the coin to my fried who’s been going through a tough time with the end of a relationship and her aggressively saying to me “men are stupid”. I don’t think she really believes it but it’s how she is coping. I guess having had my previous experience in the military has helped with being on the receiving end of aggression in whatever form it takes. It’s all good.

    I hear how you describe mysogeny in the male dominated business you operate being wovern and unwoven. I suppose what I am saying as a man, is that I might not be aware of it as much as my female colleagues, so I am relying to some extent on women to give me an indication of what is mysogeny or (for want of a better word) women being bitchy about men and what is the appropriate way to engage in any given situation. As there are different responses (including one in which an experience is that men have been supported and it is women doing it to other women) it can be difficult to address.

    I’m not sure what you mean by God’s hand being in mysogeny in the church. I know some that would argue that God is patriarchal and that is how the church should operate bu that is about their interpretation. Going back to Eden prior to Genesis 3 I see no patriarchy (or matriarchy). what I see is God creating humans and seeing that it is good along with the rest of creation.

    I hear that for you, post like this don’t instill anxiety but cause you to think again having been trained not to see the patriarcy and mysogeny.

    Good to chat with you as as usual. I wish you well with these issues and with permeating equality in the male dominated businesses you operate.

  10. Sorry folks. I didn’t get any notifications that comments were being made. I’ll respond in a bit.

  11. If you read the post and follow the link to the story of Zoe, there are more links to follow that outline the horrendous harassment she has suffered. If anyone suggests that mentioning this story as a sign of how difficult it is for women in certain milieus as out of proportion is, well, blind.

  12. Ducatihero says:

    “If anyone suggests that mentioning this story as a sign of how difficult it is for women in certain milieus as out of proportion is, well, blind.”

    That is a clear dig at my earlier comment “to what extent is this fear mongering and rather than being helpful for women, instilling and anxiety that is out of proportion to the threat posed by mysogeny.”

    It was a valid question to ask. By that standard anyone who thinks that retribution does not happen towards men for things that other men do and that when difficulties occur that women always paragons of virtue with no need for consideration of taking ownership for feelings or conduct is blind.

    What good does it do when men emotionally manipulate fear into women and perpetuate misogyny and patriarchy? Again in order that this issue be addressed can we whilst being attentive to the justice and equality needs of women not create a society of fear and retribution where every man is treated s guilty before being proven innocent and not treat every woman as if they have nothing to take ownership for with their feelings and conduct either?

  13. Ducatihero says:

    “I edited out the name of an important person in my private life that Ducatihero named in full, which i consider unethical)”

    I have had this persons permission to post her view. Her being a life coach and counselor gives merit to the view. With respect, I would ask David to consider the ethic of removing the post as much as he has with it’s contents.

  14. It’s one thing to share a person’s point of view, it’s another to reveal that person’s private relationship with another that is to be kept confidential.

  15. Ducatihero says:

    So you think that mentioning someone by name who is your friend and also counselor and a life coach is betraying a confidence. She doesn’t have a problem with her name being mentioned or what she has said being quoted on your blog.

    So the issue for you is not that it is a counselor and life coach but because she is your friend, but you leave the fact that she is your friend in the editing. So to you it is OK for you to mention she is your friend but not for me to mention she is.

    Thank you David for clarifying the reason for you taking exception to my earlier comment. I apologise for anything inappropriate in it’s contents and will endearvour to comment in future so that you will not experience any undue ham and in a manner appropriate for the culture of the naked pastor blog.

  16. She played a role as my counselor and I NEVER publicly published that. You either surmised it or took something I told you privately and published it. I consider this a major invasion of privacy and the exposure of private information that I consider, as most people would, extremely confidential.

  17. Ducatihero says:


    As I explained to you privately, I knew she was your friend but not your counselor. I also mentioned that I am dyslexic and asked for your forgiveness for sometimes getting the sentence structure not right. You know from our conversation that what I had intended to communicate was that she is your friend and that she happens to be a counselor and life coach. Not that she is your counsellor, which I did not know about until you shared that with me. I thought we had put this down to a communication, either me not communicating something well or you having misunderstood and read something into what was written that wasn’t there.

    Clearly it wasn’t an intention of mine to communicate that said party was your counselor. If it had been then you rightly would have called me out on a breach of confidence. As this is not the case then this does not apply. I am keeping the exact text of the private conversation out of the public domain for now, but if you wish, then I can easily produce our conversation for clarification.

    I hope this won’t be necessary for clarity but instead that we can be drawing a line under this and be moving on.

  18. Casper says:

    Ducatihero…… it is very immature to lower your standards to the point of divulging personal information and names of Personal Health Professionals that others have seen. YOU’RE A PRICK.

  19. Ducatihero says:

    Just to say folks, David and I have talked privately. Clearly there are differences. I don’t agree with David’s conclusion of events here. But this is David’s home and out of respect for that, rather than me commenting in a manner that he feels is disrespectful to him this shall be my last comment here unless he invites me back.

    Thanks for everyone who has take the time to respond to my comments – it’s been an interesting time.

    I wish you all well.

  20. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    NP, everybody:
    I’m a gamer from the Seventies, when it was pencil, paper, and funny dice.
    When the first “girl gamers” started getting into the scene geeky white boys inhabited only by geeky white boys like me, you heard similar horror stories. My gaming group (Expeditions, Ltd, Cal State Fullerton, 1976-80) was pretty cool about it — we had some female gamers, mostly girlfriends of some of the gamers who got hooked themselves — but there were some really bad horror stories going around:

    Stories about female gamers getting hit on; “No Gurlz Allowed” ways of “discouraging” them where the other players would help the DM pull a “run-on-rails” gang-rape scenario on the girl gamer’s characters that she was powerless to get out of or stop. (And yes, there were actually bootleg rulesets for that.)

    So this is nothing new. Just the utter VICIOUSNESS of the stuff reported by Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian goes way beyond anything we heard back then, even about the worst of the trid players. (And DMs had ways of “discouraging” trids.) Maybe it’s the Social Media generation who are used to going Net Drunk online, safely out of fist range on the Cloud. (AKA “Instant asshole, just add broadband and an anonymous handle.”)

    If Zoe or Anita ever takes a baseball bat to some of these “PWNED J00! ROFLMAO ROFLMAO ROFLMAO!” trids in meatspace, they’ll want me on the jury.

  21. Ya I think the heat is rising even though there are efforts to mitigate the violence.

  22. Gary says:

    Ducatihero – “this shall be my last comment here unless he invites me back”

    Oh please…this is what the 5th or 6th time you have stated such? Clearly you have no intention of actually leaving so I guess we have to conclude this statement is simply for some sort of dramatic effect. Well the drama got old a very long time ago.