I am sick of #Gamergate. The idea that abusing women for, well, really for just being women is somehow acceptable behavior is mortifying. Fortunately, the backlash has been a good deal stronger (not to mention more rational) than the actual Gamergate movement. Better writers than I have dismantled the rationalizations behind Gamergate and I consider the matter settled, at least in the public arena. The fight's not over by a long shot, but I feel like the right side has the momentum now.
So, I'm not going to try to rehash the arguments. Instead, I'd like to share my personal reaction to the debacle. I don't know Zoe Quinn or Eron Gjoni; I have, however, read a good deal of what Gjoni wrote about Quinn after their relationship ended. It felt painfully familiar to me. I'm not proud of that. I've written things after ugly breakups that I'm not proud of and reading TheZoePost reminded me of a great deal I'd rather forget.
I remember, more than once, writing at great length about exes, listing all manner of wrongs done to me over the course of the relationship: lies, cheating, manipulation, abuse, and I'm sure there were more. I'm not inclined to re-read them, so I'm going off of memory here. There were elements of truth in them, some wild exaggerations and distortions, as well as some things that I simply imagined. I was warning other people, trying to paint myself as a victim and a hero. I wasn't in a good place.
The worst of it was that it was all coming from me lashing out at the fact that I felt I'd done everything right and she didn't react properly. I wasn't hurt by the cheating or lies or manipulation; I was hurt that I'd been the "good" one and she was still leaving me. At least, that's how my bleeding psyche insisted on seeing itself.
It was all bullshit, of course.
I was furious because the woman didn't react in the mechanistic way I felt she should have. She was her own goals, her own desires, her own drives. She was a person, not a thing. Like I said, I'm not proud of my actions here.
So, when I read Eron's writing, I can't help be feel he's coming from a similar place. That's just me projecting, but his words certainly feel familiar to me. As for the army that was mustered by TheZoePost? They're the unfettered Id of that wounded version of myself. They cannot bear the idea of women as people, especially women who criticize the masturbatory fantasies they have of themselves as heroes. The MRA's, the PUA's, and the GamerGaters are peas in a pod. From this angle, it looks like they haven't outgrown the view of woman-as-object and they're threatened by anything that pushes back against their worldview.
Fortunately, it feels like there is more and more of that pushback. Not enough, but it's a start. I'm unequivocally, unreservedly, unapologetically against Gamergate.