I love making new friends.
But I have an unhealthy habit of second guessing my actions and words.
As if my brain is telling me, “Wow, K, you sure know how to talk someone’s ear off. No one is ACTUALLY *that* interested in hearing about your life up to this point.”
As if my heart is stopping in anticipation of yet another side-eye, unbelieving scoff, or disparaging remark about my face/hair/weight/makeup/hobbies/preferences/way I wear my feelings on my sleeve and in my eyes and in every word I put on social media.
I’m so lucky to have friends that remind me, sometimes daily (or as often as needed), that my brain and heart lies.
In the small, simple ways of just reminding me I am not alone.
Thank you for sticking around so long.
And thank you to new friends who see all of the above and decide to stick around anyway.
Geez what kinda person would say such a thing
My life. In a comic.
The point of this comic is: The most depressed people tend to be the most supportive.
^ exactly that last comment
It’s because we feel like we happiness is not possible for us, it is possible for other people that are depressed. When you’re depressed you don’t want anyone else to ever feel as bad as you are right then.
^^^THIS. I wouldn’t wish the heaviness of my emotions and depression on anyone, not even someone I disliked And I feel my greatest moments in life come from cheering up someone else. I think a lot of people with depression feel similarly. I vote we have a Cuddle Pile Day.
I lost my job last week for standing up for myself/queer people. If asked, my boss and I might give differing reports as to what happened: she would undoubtedly say that I quit. I can’t quite deny that but it the situation is way more complicated than just deciding to leave.
Lemme back up a…
I really hope you get some closure or at least a professional, well thought response. I dealt with racist, homophobic, fat-shaming (this time about myself, personally) jokes and comments for almost 2 years, and I was *glad* when they let me go due to budget cuts. I didn’t have the guts to walk out, but I did take my complaints to the CFO - who in turn told the CEO (the man who made the comments) - who in turn took me aside and said *I* was the one out of line and how he was disappointed in me that I didn’t see him as a kind, older uncle figure. Uh, no. I was glad and relieved when they had to let me go due to budget cuts, despite the uncertainty for the future. So I applaud you and feel for you, and I hope something really good comes from this.
As many of my female peers are doing at the moment, I’m reading a book by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg called Lean In. The first chapter asks: What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
My answer? I’d write this blog.
Hello. My name is Meagan Marie, and I’m a person. I’ve decided I’m going to start standing up for myself in order to be more frequently treated like one.
Something transpired at PAX this weekend that was a true eye opener. While hosting a Tomb Raider cosplay gathering, comprised of eight or so incredibly nice and talented young women, a member of the press asked if he could grab a quick interview. I said he’d need to ask them, not me, and they agreed. He squeezed into the group and posed a question. I couldn’t hear what he said over the hubbub of the show floor, but the confused and uncomfortable looks from the ladies indicated that it wasn’t what they expected, to say the least.
I moved in closer and inquired “Excuse me, what did you ask?” with a forced smile on my face, so to give him the benefit of the doubt. He laughed and didn’t respond, moving a few steps away as I repeated the question to the group of women. Turns out he’d probed what it felt like “knowing that none of the men in this room could please them in bed.” Yes, I’m aware it’s a poor adaptation of a gag told by a certain puppet dog with an affinity for insults. Lack of originally doesn’t excuse this behavior, however.
My anger flared upon hearing this, and for a moment I almost let it get the best of me. I attempted to calm myself down before walking towards him and the cameraman, and expressing that it was rude and unprofessional to assume that these young women were comfortable discussing sexual matters on camera. I intended to leave the conversation at that, but his subsequent response escalated matters quickly and clearly illustrated that this ran much deeper than a poor attempt at humor. He proceeded to tell me that “I was one of those oversensitive feminists” and that “the girls were dressing sexy, so they were asking for it.” Yes, he pulled the “cosplay is consent” card.
At this point, as he snaked off into the crowd muttering angrily at me, I was livid. Actually shaking a bit. It was inexcusable in my mind to treat the group of women in this manner, especially when I gathered them there to participate in an official capacity. I suppose I felt protective for this reason. As if I’d exposed them to an undesirable element of the convention. They united to celebrate their fandom, only to have an uncomfortable and unprofessional moment captured on film.
As I stated publicly this weekend, we escalated the issue to PAX and they responded with overwhelming concern and worked to ensure he wouldn’t bother anyone at the this or future PAX events. They handled the situation with flying colors.
But this encounter isn’t the crux of my blog. This blog is about what I came to realize as a result of the press member’s actions. And what I realized is this: When it comes to defending others, I’m fierce. I’m assertive. And I will hold my ground. One of the cosplayers tweeted me to praise my bravery and say they wish they had the courage to stand up too. The truth is my bravery doesn’t run that deep. When it comes to defending myself I’m a rug that is walked over repeatedly. This has to stop.
Similar behavior has been directed at me for years. Back in 2007 at my very first GDC, I was starry-eyed and overwhelmed to be in the midst of so many people I idolized. So when a drunken CEO of a then-startup pointed to my midsection and said “I want to have my babies in there,” I laughed. I did the same next year when another developer told me that he “didn’t recognize me with my clothes on” after meeting me the night prior at a formal event (to which I wore a cocktail dress). The trend continued for years, and I took it silently each and every time.
It got so bad that one of my Game Informer coworkers had to sit me down and convince me to file a complaint against a massive publisher, after one of their PR leads repeatedly commented about how much he “loved my tits” at a party. Each time I laughed it off and internalized my embarrassment, cementing a fixed smile on my face while fighting back tears. Why? Because I was afraid to rock the boat. I was afraid to perpetuate rumors that I was uptight, difficult, or had no sense of humor. I was afraid of what I’d heard being said about other women being said about me. So I would stick up for others, but never for myself. Sticking up for others was the right thing to do. I had to be careful not to stick my neck out too far, though.
I’m ashamed to admit my lack of courage has continued to this day. While on a press tour in Europe late last year I sat alone with an interviewer while he set this camera. PR was talking to another member of the press just out of earshot. I asked the journalist what his readers would like to know about me first, per the introduction he outlined earlier. He responded nonchalantly, “Well, they’d really like to see you naked.” I was so shocked I didn’t even register what he said, and I defaulted to my uncomfortable chuckle and frozen smile. I conducted the interview as if nothing had happened. I should have walked out of the room then and there. I should have immediately reported it to PR. But I didn’t, because I was afraid.
And while these industry comments hurt the most, as they often do when coming from peers, I’ve got hope for change even if it is motivated by fear. In a social economy where one unprofessional tweet can ruin a career, I feel like the few unsavory industry personalities are becoming more aware of their words. My line in the sand doesn’t end there, though. I’m going to start holding commenters accountable for their actions too, even if I can only do so on my social spaces.
So here is the deal. I’m a person. I’m not just a “girl on the internet.” I am not comfortable with you remarking on my breasts. I am not comfortable with you implying that you’d like to have sex with me. And I don’t appreciate you rating my looks against my girlfriends in candid photos.
While I can’t stop these comments and questions from arising when they pop up on random blogs across the web, I can stand up and say that that I won’t accept being talked to in this manner anymore. I’m not simply going to ignore you; I’m going to call you out and tell you that you’re being inappropriate. Just because I have a public job and an equally public hobby doesn’t give you the right to ignore my comfort zone.
The situation this weekend at PAX made me question why I’m willing to stand up for others, but not myself. By allowing myself to be treated this way I’m perpetuating that this behavior is acceptable. And it isn’t. If I continue stand by silently, I might as well sit on the sidelines and watch while other young women endure what I have.
The treatment and representation of women in gaming has come to a head this past year, and I know some of you are tired of hearing about it. I’m tired of living it. I want to feel safe and valued as a member of this industry, whether I’m conducting an interview, talking to fans on a convention floor, or cosplaying. And I have a right to that.
I’m not afraid anymore. I’m angry.
[For those of you who have been so supportive these past years, both in the industry and out, please know this blog isn’t directed at you. I can’t imagine dedicating my life to anything other than video games. And that’s why I’m going to fight my hardest to leave it a better place.]
no one ever congratulates you
for doing the really difficult things
like driving on the freeway or getting out of bed or
every friendship you make is a countdown
to the moment
when they finally can’t deal
with the missed calls and canceled hangouts
I’m such a nice girl, I’m so sick of being fuckzoned!!!!!!!
What’s the fuckzone you ask? it’s this zone that guys put you in where they only want to fuck you; they don’t want to have a friendship with you and they aren’t satisfied with emotional commitment, they just want sex!!!!!
I’m a nice girl!!!! Stop putting me in the fuckzone!!!!!!!
Oh my god can I marry the OP.
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
And since a man can’t make one
He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
A Sex Video That Will Surprise You - Girls Going Wild in the Red Light District
Keep watching till the very end. It’s bloody brilliant, not to mention very moving.
well that certainly shot me right through the heart.
Hah, the faces on the men when they saw the message.
It’s good to see sex workers standing up for the rights of trafficking victims.
men creep me out. But this was really great.
Seriously, do take 1:41 and watch this. Wow.
UGH THIS WAS AMAZING these girls are my heroes. A brilliant way to bring attention to trafficking.
That was incredibly powerful. Wow.
THIS IS THE BEST THING IVE EVER SEEN
The ending punched me in the gut. This is intense, beautiful, and heartbreaking.
This is really worth a watch.