Some weeks ago, I received a comment on the rebuttal I did to I Will Always Love Video Games’s anti-Sarkeesian video. Here is the comment in full, and my response. (My words are in black, his in blue)
Let us discuss how she posts these videos, but then refuses to even enable comments, hiding behind the fact that people threaten her and basically verbally abuse her. The problem with this is there are people with questions, opposing views, and other legitimate general points to make.
And there are plenty of forums that will allow these people to share their opposing views and other general legitimate points. Those who disagree with Sarkeesian are perfectly free to create their own blogs and YouTube videos to express their views. Comments aren’t necessary to show opposing viewpoints. On the other hand, Sarkeesian does get death threats.
By disabling any communication, it seems to be a view of one sided banter that is either afraid to be challenged, or is just being ignorant and just refusing the fact that other views exist with factual information. While it is well within her rights to do such, it really starts to discredit anything she posts because it is just that, a one sided view.
I believe this is a symptom of what I call the “there are two sides to every story” fallacy. That’s not an official logical fallacy, but it’s something that I’ve noticed as an outgrowth of the way our media tend to present issues. Mainly, they will show you two opposing views.
I would suggest that Ms. Sarkeesian’s videos are the opposing view in that they stand in opposition to the dominant cultural narrative. Feminists like Ms. Sarkeesian are the underdogs here. To see opinions that conflict with those expressed in Tropes vs Women in Video Games, you need only look around. They are everywhere.
I have yet to see her directly engage in any thoughtful discussion or civil debate with someone of opposing view. All I typically see are “internet trolls” or articles like this.
I believe this is also a consequence of the “two sides to every story” fallacy. As a society, we want to explore every issues by having two people from every side argue back and forth. Part of the problem with this method is that it leads to the tacit assumption that both sides of any issue are equally valid. So you have a scientist with actual facts and data arguing against a climate-change denier with nothing but rhetoric and slogans. The “one-on-one” format implies that both sides are equal. John Oliver illustrated this nicely when he had three climate-change deniers face off against ninety-seven scientists. That is a more proportional representation of the issue.
Ms Sarkeesian is presenting a topic for consideration. Doing so does not constitute an unspoken agreement to debate anyone who might have an opposing view. She is not obligated to debate you simply because you disagree with her. I, on the other hand, chose to debate the anti-Sarkeesian crowd when I started picking apart their arguments. You may debate me.
You pick out some of the weaker points to try and discredit anyone who is against her point of view.
That’s because his entire argument is weak. There were no “strong points” to address. In the case of I Will Always Love Video Games, I responded to everything he said throughout his entire nine-minute video. If you saw no strong arguments on his part, it’s because he didn’t make any.
I am sure you have seen all the I Will Always Love Video Game videos that cover other strong points in a counter view and if you have not, then I would not hold any credit to what you post here.
I have seen some of his videos, and none of them contain anything that I would consider to be a strong argument. I have not watched every video on his channel, nor should I. If he cannot make his point within a single, self-contained entry, then that is a flaw in his rhetorical style. By extension, a vlogger can make a thousand brilliant arguments – IWALVG has not done this – but that does not make his few bad arguments immune to criticism.
Game Informer just posted a pretty bland and non engaging article interview with Ms.Sarkeesian that will also seemingly have all challengers swept under the rug.
That’s neither here nor there. I cannot control what Game Informer does.
Mind you, I am not against her point at all, but I do think some of her views are either extreme to the point they are reaching for something that is not there, or just way off based.
I disagree. I think she’s pretty much right on the mark.
I would like to see Ms.Sarkeesian actually engage in meaningful, civil debate with people that are doing nothing but challenging her point of view. This would say a lot in how deep one believes in their point, and what facts they may have to come to their conclusion.
Again, this assumes that someone’s words are only meaningful if they are presented in an adversarial setting with someone who disagrees. Returning my earlier example, either global warming exists, or it doesn’t. If you and I were to debate the issue, it would not change the nature of objective reality.
Debating the issue only leads to confusion and misinformation because – as I said earlier – it carries with it the tacit assumption that both sides are equally valid. One is based on verified empirical data, the other on wishful thinking.
Either misogyny in video games exists, or it doesn’t. Ms Sarkeesian has made a case for the existence of misogyny throughout the medium. Engaging you in a debate would not change the content of those games. You are welcome to rebut her arguments. I have seen several YouTubers do just that. Their responses were…unconvincing to say the least.
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