A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

How Many of Me Equals One Man?

by Sid

talking to a brick wall

Is this thing on?

I work for a game company. Of late, I’ve taken issue with some of the content we’re receiving, and I’ve been everything but quiet about it. I’ve written letters to management and blatantly refused to work on it. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably heard me talk about it.

I was actually the second person on our team of three to get up in arms about it. The first was my boss (we’ll call him Joe for ease of storytelling)—the only male on our team. Joe was far and away the angriest person in the building about it—up until the day he quit over it. Before he quit, though, Joe made plenty of noise about it himself. We were deep into this discussion before we realized the higher-ups thought he’d been raising such a fuss on behalf of his team, comprising two females.

I spoke to HR about the content a few days later, and many aspects of my most recent letter came up. As we spoke, however, I discovered that everyone assumed my female coworker and I were the truly upset folks—despite the fact that Joe never implied a single thing to that end. When I corrected HR, she was shocked. “Joe??”

She said he needed to tell the company how he felt about this content. As a man.

Yes, he was my boss, and had she said “as a manager,” that’d be a whole different story. But those weren’t the words, and that wasn’t the intent. He had written numerous emails, attended a number of meetings, and made his feelings very plainly known, but the whole time, management assumed he was batting for us—myself and my female coworker. His words would have inherently carried more weight if he had made it clear that he had been speaking for himself as a man rather than speaking for two women.

So here’s what I can discern from this:

  1. The automatic assumption is that a man simply wouldn’t disagree with this content; therefore, he must be speaking for a woman.
  2. When the assumption was that he spoke on behalf on two women, his words carried almost no weight.
  3. Were he to speak explicitly for himself as a man, the words would carry significantly more weight than when he was thought to be speaking for two women.

At the end of the day, when his resignation letter made it clear exactly who he was speaking for, the content still went through. Even so, that doesn’t negate everything that came before it. It doesn’t take this bad taste out of my mouth.

How many women equal one man? Obviously more than two, but how many? Three? Five? How many female voices carry the same weight as one male voice?

How many of me do I need to be taken seriously?

This doesn't add up.

This doesn’t add up.

Read Sid’s previous MMAS articles in Sid’s Stuff. Follow her at @SeeSidWrite.
Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.

11 responses

  1. Dollars and cents

    Don’t know anything about the game or the company and the attitude they have is not excusable but could Joe’s comments have held more weight because he fit into their target demographic? If they are purposefully creating content that is offensive to women then they are saying that they don’t care if women have a problem with the content because it’s worth it to them to have only men in their target demographic. Maybe they think that hitting a small pool is worth it if they can get a high enough percentage of that pool or maybe they are sexist enough to think that women don’t play games. But either way, when they made that decision they made the decision not to listen to women. So yes, I can see why they’d take a man a lot more seriously. He’s not just speaking as a human being, he’s speaking as the loss of potential revenue. Obviously, the whole situation is beyond fucked up, but I think what the HR person was saying wasn’t that his opinion was worth more because men are worth more, I think she was saying that his opinion was worth more because men are potential revenue and women aren’t.

    Still fucked up though.

    June 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm

  2. Anarch919

    Meow! I’m a kitten and I like to type! I love everyone, and I love hugs and cuddles! My favorite thing is chasing my little balls and suckling milk from my mama’s teats. Gotta go! Love ya!

    #kittehfied #KittenSetting

    May 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm

  3. Pingback: Kyriarchy-Cracking Comedy Content | Wonderful fights between narcissism and worthlessness

  4. I’d really like to know what studio this is so I can not buy their games.

    May 16, 2013 at 10:24 am

  5. Pingback: Article Index | See Sid Write

  6. I hear you…
    as I’ve been told by a fellow photographer: ‘unfortunately you will never be seen as a photographer in this country [UK]; you will always be a foreigner and a woman before being professional’
    he meant to be friendly and save me some stress…

    April 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    • Sid

      Yeah, what is that? Why can’t I just be a person? A games writer? Why am I a FEMALE games writer? I have always just thought of myself as a person, and I’m reaching a point where it just feels like…they won’t even let you. And I don’t really know what to do with that.

      April 5, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      • that is the question- do we react to it and become seen as the female activists or we carry on what we’ve been doing so far and proving we can be as good as men or better? is there a fair approach to it? or should we take an advantage of being a woman (I don’t mean in a physical way)?
        I can be a food photographer but then being a woman I can create ‘an object’ to photograph which is not going to be a defrosted pizza…
        hell knows what to do… it’s like a war with tiny minds…

        April 7, 2013 at 4:54 am

      • Fran Stewart

        The only way I know of to be something is to just BE it and let people be confused if they have to, but leave that to them. People had trouble seeing the woman in me, so I just persistently, doggedly reminded people. For myself, I persist, quietly and politely. I try to find ways to get under peoples’ defenses. When things get bad I try to screw up my courage and growl. Sid, you and Rosie are definitely better at that than I am. :)

        And if it helps, I’m really grateful you and Rosie are there growling over injustice, even when I’m still trying to find a polite way. Sometimes I forget to start growling when I’m unable to think of a slick, diplomatic way of making my point.

        May 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

  7. Sid

    Yeah, I was reeling from it for a few days. It has definitely affected how I see this place.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

  8. Wow. That is so unprofessional, backwards, and sexist I just…I can barely wrap my mind around it. Wow.

    April 3, 2013 at 3:42 pm

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