THE WORD ON THE .NET

Writer T. James' Exploration of Words, on the Internet.

Tag: censorship

A ‘Neutral’ Mansplains Gamergate, Social Justice and Radical Feminism

‘Mansplaining’, One Definition: a word often used by social activists and radical feminists to label someone’s opinions in such a way that they can be disregarded, based solely the gender of the holder.

Being neutral is about either not caring or it’s about asking questions. Why is there a fuss about a Storm Trooper’s colour? Why should Katniss Everdeen have been black? Why are the current sexualisation and depiction of women in games ‘bad’? And why are those who support gamergate feeling under attack from some radical feminists and social activists when it’s women who’ve been abused and threatened?

Gamergate was birthed as conjoined twins: the harassment of some women and the issues around game journalism ethics, or lack thereof. One side wants to say it’s all about the former, that the gamergate tag has no legitimacy except as another label for misogyny. The tag should be condemned and buried. The other side are crying out to be heard as they use the moniker ‘gamegate’ as a touchstone for the shared values of gaming culture, and even community. On both sides there are those who say their gamergate is the definitive one. I’m neutral and have to disagree. Gamergate is as messed up and mixed up as discussions about the value and nature of religion, and arguing exact definitions as pointless as debates over which gender is better. Continue reading

Self-Censorship Vs. Creativity.

When a writer writes, should they play it safe and live comfortably in the knowledge that no one will be offended? Do they push their craft to the limits of their imagination, even if others hate what they do? Is there ever a valid reason for breaking with ‘good taste’? These are some of the questions I’ve been thinking about this week.

Last month I tried an experiment: I gave an opinionated, obnoxious and thoroughly unlovely character some of my blog space. Most blog posts that feature fictional characters are careful to let the reader know what is going on; in my blog posts I deliberately kept that fact hidden—instead I left some clues in these posts for readers to find. Some clues were discovered, some were not.

I received a wide range of responses: some thought it was clever and funny; others did not like it; still others felt as though it was a joke made at their expense. So my question is, as a writer, do I follow my creative whims or do I censor what I write to avoid offending people? Continue reading

News, And Editing: Do You Use a Light Or Heavy Hand To Protect The Innocent?

This week you will find me frantically editing for Faye Ling. Working with Faye is always a test of how assertive you are—she has already sent me two scathing emails demanding I, “Stop [mess]ing around on that stupid blog thing that no one reads and get on with editing my writer’s guide.” (Excerpt here).

Pressed for time and too distracted to be inspired for anything creative of my own, I thought the best option was to put together a news flash—something I haven’t done for a while. Continue reading

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