Gamergate, Professional Victims, and the Privilege of Monetization

(first, some theme music to set the mood)

While in terms of the hashtag being used, Gamergate is still going strong, but in light of a lot of things, not the least of which being the Balkanization of the movement, that have happened lately, it’s pretty easy to become disheartened. There have been a lot of what could be called “losses” in recent days, and while they aren’t necessarily wins for anti-Gamergate as a whole (who seem to be Balkanizing  a bit too, though to a lesser degree, over the fact that most of the prominent ones are really shitty people, some of whom are cashing in), they have been major wins for those individuals who’ve turned themselves into money-making personality cults who are paid for who they are rather than any sort of valuable output.

Some people are adamant that there is no such thing as professional victims, and I’m not someone to ever call people such lightly, but now that Brianna Wu is being paid around $160,000 per year to shit post on the internet I think we can safely say that one CAN turn their having been victimized into a living. Wundergeek, whose blog I still follow* despite disagreeing with quite often, got really mad at me recently when I pointed out that the difference between her and some of these other Patreon personalities being accused of Professional Victimhood is that she’s a content creator being paid for creating content rather than for simply existing.** Her point, with which I disagree, is that the label itself is toxic, while I feel that the behavior is what is toxic, because it is damaging to actual victims of harassment and violence.

Anyway, we live in bizarro world in which those with the least perceived privilege have the best advantages.

If I were a cis (god, I hate that word) woman, I could probably boost my following substantially and be able to monetize it simply because so many people out there value what women have to say on geeky things, whether I was attractive or not. But if I were an attractive cis woman, just imagine the opportunities to monetize my opinions! They’d be through the roof!

While I’m an ethnic minority, I’m not particularly proud of my heritage. All told, the Spanish were bigger shitlords with less positive lasting legacy than the Anglos, so I’m not going to ride a whole Latin gaming thing.

I only talked about my gender identity specifically in a post once, and since I am more on the biological realist side of things, there’s no chance in hell I’d be able to monetize my identity as some sort of cross between a voice of the marginalized and a charity case. “Oh, look at the poor person who doesn’t know what they are in the world! Maybe my money will help their feelers cope with an intellectual paradigm based on the stupid Greeks and their theses and antitheses!”

If I were an attractive cis or transwoman of exotic-looking ethnicity, I could probably have made enough supplemental fan income to fix my house’s crumbling foundations. Instead, I have the privilege of being a man with pale skin who, despite being the child of a foreign immigrant, got to suffer from generational anti-white violence growing up and who’s a little mixed up about who or what he wants to be in no small part because of a society where constant masculity shaming can make boys wish they’d been born girls.

Personally, I wish Gamergate had never happened. I wish it never HAD to happen. I wish that Steve Wieck hadn’t been a piece of shit and I wish I lacked the scruples that keep me from publishing on his site. I’m not ready to say that Gamergate “lost”; the fact that it ever existed at all is something of a victory, but it’s shown a lot of things:

-Fraud is profitable so long as said fraud is perpetrated to advance an ideology that is en vogue.
-Being a victim CAN be profitable if you can do it right. You need the right amount of PR skills to insert yourself into situations, especially if you have not been an actual target and need to make yourself one, but you can make a living at it.
-Women and minorities’ opinions are held, in general, above the opinions of others on their side, regardless of whose side they are on. Whether Gamergate or Notyourshield likes it or not, the women and minorities are held up as a trump card or the fact that they are black or a woman as well as an incredibly eloquent and thoughtful individual is seen as a bonus.
-No one will ever be able to solve the riddle of who is more oppressed: a black man or a white woman.
-Everyone is classist and it’s easy to resent the fact that some people make more money. Full McIntosh hates rich white hipsters because they’re rich and white, while gamergate hates Full McIntosh because he’s every bit the rich white hipster that he complains about.
-Everyone is a hypocrite about something.

*: I particularly enjoy her survey and statistical analysis of the art in Magic: the Gathering cards. Having been a huge fan of Magic, in no small part because of the art from the classic sets (pre-Mirage), I find it fascinating, particularly seeing how more recent art falls in line with what could be considered “modern fantasy art” rather that the more varied look and feel of the old stuff.

**:I probably don’t need to say this, as Cirsova probably attracts a decent class of readership, but DO NOT talk to WunderGeek about this or harass her or say mean things to her or even bring it up with her. It was settled and, so far as I know, things are fine.

***:Lastly, if you’re wondering why I don’t have a Patreon but would even bring monetization up, I’ve got a book for sale over in the sidebar.  If people bought the book, I’d consider something akin to sponsorship, but there’s obviously no demand for paid content from Cirsova at this time.

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