In short: rape jokes aren't funny; using the word "rape" in a thing alienates a lot of people; men on the internet need to realize that there are actually women on the internet who read things and participate in the culture.
Here is a thought: Why I’m Not Speaking at PAX East 2011 -- Here is a thing.
I’m going to…not so much *make* this personal as *point out* the personal connection (I can’t really make this not personal)…as a rape survivor, the Dickwolves tshirt is disgusting as all hell to me. The idea of being in a room full of mostly men (if the demographic holds true to last year, anyway), where some of those men are wearing it, feels like a threat against me. (Which, given the shirt basically says, “Team Rapist!” on it, doesn’t seem too far-fetched). Penny Arcade has gone out of their way to make sure that the floor of PAX East is no longer a safe space for me.
This is not just me and it is not just women. One of the problems with rape culture is that there is a very rigid cultural narrative about who does or doesn’t get raped. So please let me assure you, if you work in the game industry, you probably know at least one male survivor of sexual assault. I’m not relying on statistics here — I’m saying that *I* know at least one male sexual assault survivor, and he’s pretty fucking popular. If we *do* look at statistics 1 in 33 American men has been sexually assaulted, and the video game industry is still rather male-dominated. I’m saying that *at least* one guy you know and count as a colleague is noticing your silence about this.
Penny Arcade’s continued use of rape as a punch line on their merchandise, and their sale of that merchandise on their site and at their events, is poisoning video game culture and video game fan events. If their charity work and structuring their cons to be less creepy to women were in the name of positively changing the perception of video games and gamers, then I do not understand their decision to pander to a puerile, sexist portion of their fan base, especially when it is so starkly prohibiting the participation of the people whose lives are being used as a punch line. In short: Why have they stopped following Wheaton’s Law?
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