I entered Brianna Wu’s talk last week not having known literally anything about Gamer gate and very little about game developer culture let alone sexism within it. I found the talk to be very informative and Mrs. Wu to be a very blunt speaker which i personally prefer and enjoyed.
I’ve never posted on a forum or Reddit so my experiences with the negative atmosphere created within them is very limited but from the talk i much better understand how dramatically disgraceful some of the things being said on them are.
In addition, though while I agree with most of what Mrs. Wu said i have to push back on one of her points to a certain extent. I believe the second primary point of her presentation was surrounding arguments about sexism and how it devalued the horrible experiences which many women especially in that field suffered. The problem is slightly semantic, but which i still take issue with and surrounds her idea that regardless of the factual or non-factual nature of a opinion the emotion is always true. The primary problem with this is that in our society there must always be a justification process through which we interpret events and if we simply give a free pass to a persons feeling regardless of how correct or incorrect those emotions are we create a logical inconsistency. Obviously in the cases Mrs. Wu was talking about people are justified in their emotions, to use her example of her tweet about being catcalled, there is clearly a present danger to women on the street which is manifested through the catcalling. Yet despite the fact that people emotions should be respect their is a real danger of failing to fully critique someones feelings or beliefs if we caveat all discussion with the idea that all emotions are true and by fiat are in some way not able to be criticized..
Outside of that point though i agree with basically all her other points of the talk from men’s roles in solving the issue to a change in attitude surrounding women with children, to being conscious of the way certain environments like those of networking events can be very uncomfortable for women. Overall i learned a great deal from the talk especially about the Gamergate situation and have a better appreciation for the challenges faced within the gaming industry by women.