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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fighting gamer gate

Hey there Adventurers of the King!

So I had considered giving you some thoughts about Halloween this week, but I feel like gamer gate is becoming to much of a deal to ignore. Notice I do not honor gamer gate with capital letters. With reports of threats regarding both death and rape toward women who are into video gaming, including the outspoken Sarkeesian woman and also famed and talented actress Felicia Day. I am a little baffled by this. I have always appreciated when I found something in common with a girl. I don't quite understand this whole control mentality.

The reason I am writing about this is because I feel that movements like this, which are blatantly seeing women as less than men and as sexual objects to be controlled, are often influenced by a spiritual force. In Ephesians Paul tells us:
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

One of the most famous video game characters of all time, Samus Aranus from Metroid was a woman. Then you have Laura Croft and Cammy/Chun-Li from Street Fighter. All of these are capable of handling themselves in battle. We should respect women who enjoy the hobbies we enjoy and in life we should fight alongside them and not against them.

Is there a place for men to be the leaders of our culture? Not if we use gamer gate to do it. When we do lead, it must be with respect, inclusive toward the women in our lives, and filled with gentleness. There are other ways for us to be powerful, such as helping the people around us or supporting causes like International Justice Mission which fights both African land stealing (which often targets single mother families) and sexual slavery.

Jesus raised the bar when it comes to treating women respectfully. He treated them as equals (for an example see John 4). After his resurrection it was women who were the first to carry the news, not men.

Anything which threatens rape is pure evil. Here is a few thoughts for fighting against this:

1. Pray against it. Pray for a change of heart in the men trying to control video game and nerd culture.
2. Men, treat women with respect. This means we control our eyes, our minds, and our hands. Most of us, including myself, have had times when we faltered. We simply need to get up, be a man, and change. But this also means that we should be inclusive toward the women in our lives, not exclusive. 
3. Women, please don't give up. Find ways to enjoy your hobbies even if a few men don't like it.

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