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Misogyny in videogames

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 04 Jan 2007, 06:03
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Post 02 Oct 2014, 23:48
Can anyone explain the whole sexism in gaming thing to me? From my perspective, I could replace any characters with a robot, and not think of them as male or female.

Some explanation: People often praise Samus as some sort of strong character. To me, she's just a lifeless character, like in all video games. People somehow praise her emotionless completion of missions as though it showed she were some strong woman, but from my perspective, she's just a robotic, lifeless video game character. Take out the fact that she is given to be female, and she is like all video game characters - completely undeveloped.

This is the case with basically every video game character. Take this idea: In your mind, replace your video game character in your mind with a robot. Think of them as a robot all the way through the game. Can you still identify with them as a human, or some other species more than just a coded algorithm? If no, then they're a shitty character.

I don't understand this push for video games to be some sort of high culture. Video games have always and will always be low brow entertainment. It's weird when people take part in these petty-identity politics, and completely ignore the real issues at hand.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 00:25
Quote:
People on here actually support bourgeois-liberal SJW BS and Anita SarCONian?


You instantly discredit yourself. You're one of those leftists that think identity politics is at odds with class solidarity, or something.

You then hide behind a very conservative man who is the face of an isolated Russian society, idolized by Russian nationalists, and labeled by Lenin a 'great Russian bully' (should've said chauvinist). Disgusting for a westerner who enjoys the fruits of the first world, gaming included.

Has changes in the gaming scene disturbed some white western men so much they turn to the peasant conservatism of Slavic society?

Quote:
Before you go b-but muh sexualization... what, those effete but muscley men wearing no shirts isn't sexualization?)


I've heard this before about Gears of War and the men in there. You don't realize it's part of a male power fantasy, do you? Again, instantly discredit yourself.

Quote:
never thought I'd see the day I'd agree with the reactionaries at breitbart.com

[...]

Stalin was awesome for re-introducing a modicum of decency back into Soviet society and gender roles.


Quote:
Wow... just wow... into the trash your opinion goes.


Why does communism have to attract such scum all the time? Particularly on the 'stalinist hub of the net'.

This is all coming from someone who is far from a SJW and very much into gaming culture. Crawl back into your hole at /b/ and whine about tumblr with your angsty, bitter friends.

@Richt
Quote:
Video games have always and will always be low brow entertainment.


The state of the low brow, the lowest common denominator, says much about society. It is very reflective of a cultural hegemony, of 'common sense' politics, ideas, and such.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 00:31
Conscript wrote:
the low brow, the lowest common denominator, says much about society. It is very reflective of a cultural hegemony, of 'common sense' politics, ideas, and such.

Right. So why would someone bother attacking video games? It's pretty pointless.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 00:42
Why bother educating people about communism? Why bother fighting 'common sense' ruling class ideas at all?

If we're going to concede or resign some places as just being forever hubs of reaction, like you do by pointing out some 'pointlessness' with video games, why bother educating white Americans in particular?

Video games are being 'attacked' because they are current the most gross and obvious example of these reactionary attitudes being concentrated. Indeed, when you think anti-feminism, do you not think of the clique of male gamers who act like old men? I'm well acquainted with it, so I do.

They are just the battleground.
Last edited by Conscript on 03 Oct 2014, 00:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 00:45
somewhat wrote:
People on here actually support bourgeois-liberal SJW BS and Anita SarCONian? (lol, I hope you enjoy where those $140k in donations went into her Gucci San Fran hipster lifestyle)

Yes, because she raises plenty of good points about the industry. Sorry if that makes you insecure, but gender disparities are important. A form of inequality and oppression that impacts half the human population. I don't see it as "bourgeois-liberal SJW BS." There are types of feminism that are, but this discussion isn't and to paint all talk about gender as such is as reactionary as you can get.

Quote:
FemShep

Meanwhile, male Shepard is in literally all the advertising and seen as just normal "Shepard" (notice how FemShep is specifically called that; like Mrs. Pac-Man, an alternate version, not the normal one), despite Jennifer Hale's better voice acting.

Quote:
Bastila

A sidekick who spends half the game a tortured damsel in distress who needs your saving.

Quote:
The Jedi Exile (canonically female)
FemRevan

Meanwhile, MaleRevan is canon and it's the background character, the Exile, who is the female. Revan is the central character of the whole franchise.

Quote:
SAMUS

Void of personality, practically an empty self-insertion shell in most of the games I've seen.

Quote:
Every girl in every Resident Evil and Silent Hill

Half of them fitting the damsel in distress trope, and in Resident Evil's case, often very objectified.

Quote:
Lara Croft

Hyper-sexualized masturbation fodder, and a very masculine 80s-action hero role, until very recently.

Quote:
Every side female character in MGS

Oh wow, side-characters. All of whom exist to fuel The Boss and Solid Snake's stories. Mostly as love interests or random people who offer advice, though female doctors are a step up. As a mentor in The Boss' case, the most well-developed female character in the series and, predictably, also the most masculine to the point that you could rewrite her as male and it'd make no difference beyond the "she's Revolver Ocelot's mom!" twist and associated nurturing tendencies at the very end. Though don't get me wrong, I love The Boss.

Are you just randomly tossing out female characters, though? Because that really doesn't help your case.

Quote:
And countless from Japanese games I don't play (up to and including all the female characters from FF 7-13. Before you go b-but muh sexualization... what, those effete but muscley men wearing no shirts isn't sexualization?)

It's not the same, since males don't have a millenia-long history of subordination and oppression as a gender. Sexual objectification just doesn't reinforce any oppression in y'all's case, where it does reinforce seeing us as objects. Hence the term; since, y'know, women actually have a very long history of being treated as objects and the cultural residue of it still stands.

That female gamers can get in on it there too makes Final Fantasy a step up I guess, but they were the stories of men until 12 (10 is arguable I guess) and even there it was a male side-character (Vaan) in the advertisements. Even though Ashe was the central character. Plus, Yuna is essentially personality-less, Aeris is the prototypical Manic Pixie Dream Girl who just exists to make Cloud feel better and then die, Garnet fits the damsel in distress trope pretty well and leans on Zidane to get her out of trouble, Rinoa spends half the game fitting it too despite being shown as a (not-very-competent) guerrilla leader earlier on.

All besides Yuna are more tools for the development of the male lead, and objects to be won, than fully-developed individuals in their own right. And with Yuna, she just isn't because she's co-lead and the journey itself is led by her. She's basically a submissive zombie until they went Charlie's Angels in the sequel and made her a... newly-sexualized zombie.

Quote:
I never thought I'd see the day I'd agree with the reactionaries at breitbart.com, but you people literally sicken me.

I'm so hurt.


Quote:
Goddamit, stop touching my vidya. It was bad enough when Bioware jumped the shark.

Do you realize how much of a living stereotype you sound like? O_o

Richthofen wrote:
Right. So why would someone bother attacking video games? It's pretty pointless.

Video games are a storytelling device and a part of the culture, a reflection of our society and something which in turn influences the prevailing zeitgeist. So, it's helpful to look at what messages it sends, and to push it in a progressive direction.

Quote:
Can anyone explain the whole sexism in gaming thing to me? From my perspective, I could replace any characters with a robot, and not think of them as male or female.

Basically, the overwhelming majority of protagonists are male. Female characters are generally sidekicks, damsels in distress, or in some other key sense defined in relation to the male lead instead of as a character in their own right. There are plenty of great exceptions, but this is the unfortunate norm. It reinforces the notion that... okay, think of a person. Did a male come to mind? If so, you're perfectly normal, but that's exactly the attitude that needs to change. That maleness is the norm, that women are of secondary importance in the human species.

Quote:
Some explanation: People often praise Samus as some sort of strong character. To me, she's just a lifeless character, like in all video games. People somehow praise her emotionless completion of missions as though it showed she were some strong woman, but from my perspective, she's just a robotic, lifeless video game character. Take out the fact that she is given to be female, and she is like all video game characters - completely undeveloped.

For the record, I completely agree. She's a bland, lifeless, unidentifiable character. I've heard there are some games where she's given more depth, but from what I've seen, there's not much to her. That's why I definitely wouldn't use her as an example of a positive female role model in games.

Quote:
I don't understand this push for video games to be some sort of high culture. Video games have always and will always be low brow entertainment. It's weird when people take part in these petty-identity politics, and completely ignore the real issues at hand.

I'd say sexism and the perpetuation of sexist tropes is a real issue, and have a serious problem with treating it otherwise. Because the fact of the matter is, low-brow entertainment is the most common kind. It's the kind that most reflects our cultural zeitgeist, the kind that most influences society. This isn't an effort to make games high-brow, whether they're high-brow or low-brow really doesn't matter. It's to make them equal. Full-stop.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 03 Oct 2014, 02:09, edited 8 times in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 00:52
This has been the most boring active discussion in a while.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 01:01
Conscript wrote:
Why bother educating people about communism? Why bother fighting 'common sense' ruling class ideas at all?

If we're going to differentiate based on difficulty too, like you do by pointing out some 'pointlessness' with video games, why bother educating white Americans in particular?

Straw man. My point was that video games themselves have nothing interesting in them worth fighting about. The lack any sort of real development. I could not say the same for even the worst tv shows. Maybe sitcoms.

Also, I mostly play PC and Nintendo games. So there's that.

MissStrangelove wrote:
Video games are a storytelling device and a part of the culture, a reflection of our society and something which in turn influences the prevailing zeitgeist. So, it's helpful to look at what messages it sends, and to push it in a progressive direction.

Fair enough.

MissStrangelove wrote:
Basically, the overwhelming majority of protagonists are male. Female characters are generally sidekicks, damsels in distress, or in some other key sense defined in relation to the male lead instead of as a character in their own right. There are plenty of great exceptions, but this is the unfortunate norm. It reinforces the notion that... okay, think of a person. Did a male come to mind? If so, you're perfectly normal, but that's exactly the attitude that needs to change. That maleness is the norm, that women are of secondary importance in the human species.

Actually, neither one came to mind. I've long thought that both genders are shit.

On the note of male characters... they lack development too! I guess it's worse for the females, but the males are simply robotic drones meant to complete a sequence of objectives. In some sense it's worse than the females, because their is nothing identifiable for the males. Gameplay is fun, sure, but it's hardly stimulating.

MissStrangelove wrote:
For the record, I completely agree. She's a bland, lifeless, unidentifiable character. I've heard there are some games where she's given more depth, but from what I've seen, there's not much to her. That's why I definitely wouldn't use her as an example of a positive female role model in games.

It's the same with Lara Croft. A weird almost-rape incident somehow makes her "stronger". As though women can only develop through hard attacks on their selves. I just don't get the fight though, because the current narrative for everyone is for women to be the mindless drones that men are in video games, instead of having both sexes as their own characters in their own right.

MissStrangelove wrote:
I'd say sexism and the perpetuation of sexist tropes is a real issue, and have a serious problem with treating it otherwise. Because the fact of the matter is, low-brow entertainment is the most common kind. It's the kind that most reflects our cultural zeitgeist, the kind that most influences society. This isn't an effort to make games high-brow, whether they're high-brow or low-brow really doesn't matter. It's to make them equal. Full-stop.

Not trying to put words in your mouth, but you're saying you want the women to be mindless drones, like the men in video games too? It's why I never understood this sexism argument in video games. Instead of fighting to smash a gender duality, they instead try to make both of them crap. A loss for all.

Dagoth Ur wrote:
This has been the most boring active discussion in a while.

Indeed, I've found your explanation of not turning into a male mid-coitus to be more interesting.
Erichs_Pastry_Chef wrote:
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 01:04
Technically I'm always male.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 01:10
As far as I can tell, it's not much of a discussion. More like some members felt the need to express some butthurt in stereotypical ways on stereotypical issues, at sight of MissStrangelove's comments. Some more than others of course, No 14 at least tries to not be a joke.

Quote:
My point was that video games themselves have nothing interesting in them worth fighting about. The lack any sort of real development.


I don't really understand this, but I guess I'm not much of a story person. It might not be a quality form of media according to your tastes, but it's one that happens to be a bastion of sexist attitude and vitriol among its consumers, and as an artistic creation a reflection of prevailing prejudices in a reactionary, capitalist society.

Those prejudices typically waned over time, at least in the 20th century. It's surging now, to the point people are speaking of a 'new sexism'. This is of course this is of interest to leftists of all stripes, sans people like Somewhat, of course. As far as I'm concerned, that guy is only a few steps from bitching about Cultural Marxism he's so toxic and regressive.

It also has strong links to wider internet trends. Gaming has always influenced that.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 01:21
Richthofen wrote:
Actually, neither one came to mind. I've long thought that both genders are shit.

Okay, misanthropes don't count. But you should try seeing the good in your own species; you judge them as "shit" by human standards.


Quote:
On the note of male characters... they lack development too! I guess it's worse for the females, but the males are simply robotic drones meant to complete a sequence of objectives. In some sense it's worse than the females, because their is nothing identifiable for the males. Gameplay is fun, sure, but it's hardly stimulating.

My experience is mainly with RPGs, which are story and character-driven, so what I'm saying reflects that more than anything. But, while males are often robotic drones, they're leading drones the player is meant to identify with. And they do undergo a story progression; the story is their journey, the other characters just live in it and often just exist to further it with no real background of their own.

Females are in the lead much less. One study, circa 2010, found that it was 6% of games. I expect it to be slightly higher now, but only slightly. And of those females who do lead, quite a few (e.g. Lara Croft before the prequel) might as well be males in terms of their personalities if not for needed extra sex appeal.

Quote:
It's the same with Lara Croft. A weird almost-rape incident somehow makes her "stronger". As though women can only develop through hard attacks on their selves. I just don't get the fight though, because the current narrative for everyone is for women to be the mindless drones that men are in video games, instead of having both sexes as their own characters in their own right.

As an overall goal, I'd definitely support that. My issue with it, though, is it's glossing over the vast under-representation and subordination of female characters. That since male characters do much more often drive the story, this does reinforce "women are secondary" and the male characters will at least have development within the story arc itself. Plus they don't have to deal with stuff like "it's a girl because it's pink, and that's its personality; girl." Like, the Koopa Kids have the smart one, the crazy one, the goofy one, the "slow" one, the angry one, the chill awesome one, and the... girl one. So, treating development across the board as more important does, honestly, almost seem like a "let's all get along" cop-out.

What I'd like is something close to 50/50 representation, and both sides having well-developed, interesting characterization. The problem is the 50/50 part, and since big-budget games are becoming more and more cinematic and expansive which provides more room for character development (albeit arguably at the expense of innovative gameplay), that seems to be changing at a slower pace.

Quote:
Not trying to put words in your mouth, but you're saying you want the women to be mindless drones, like the men in video games too?

Nope, I want women to be interesting, dynamic characters, as well-rounded and deep as in real life. I want the same of male characters, but female characters don't drive the story as often and have a much narrower range of portrayals. That's the issue, "let's make them mindless drones" is a strawman.

Quote:
It's why I never understood this sexism argument in video games. Instead of fighting to smash a gender duality, they instead try to make both of them crap. A loss for all.

They're just fighting to equalize the representation altogether, whether you think the average character is good or crap. Because there is a big disparity in how the genders are expressed in games, in both their importance and their individuation. And that inequality reinforces patriarchal cultural attitudes, being itself a product of them and further perpetuating them.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 03 Oct 2014, 22:55, edited 4 times in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:16
Conscript wrote:
I don't really understand this, but I guess I'm not much of a story person. It might not be a quality form of media according to your tastes, but it's one that happens to be a bastion of sexist attitude and vitriol among its consumers, and as an artistic creation a reflection of prevailing prejudices in a reactionary, capitalist society.

I wasn't really addressing story driven gameplay. It was more of an address to those people who somehow like stories in their video games, even though the stories are all shit. And while I do agree that there's a lot of sexism in video games, it occurs both ways, and for people to want to fight for a still awful way is just silly to me.

Conscript wrote:
Those prejudices typically waned over time, at least in the 20th century. It's surging now, to the point people are speaking of a 'new sexism'. This is of course this is of interest to leftists of all stripes, sans people like Somewhat, of course. As far as I'm concerned, that guy is only a few steps from bitching about Cultural Marxism he's so toxic and regressive.

It also has strong links to wider internet trends. Gaming has always influenced that.

If discussions about sexism in gaming are only ever about how women get shafted, while ignoring the fact that men also get shafted, then I hope no one ever takes the discussion seriously. This is completely unlike the rest of society, where characters aren't just mindless drones.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:19
Whatever.

Got drunk and posted. Obviously extreme. But not totally divorced from what I feel.

Damage has been done, clearly I don't agree with what's being said here or the community.

Please delete my account, all the best to the rest of you.
Last edited by somewhat on 03 Oct 2014, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:27
I think that's another we can add to the list of SE's historical crazies. The only people I see nowadays who use the word 'moralfag' are 12 year olds who just discovered /b/. That whole post read like someone faking a nerd stereotype.

I'm rather offended at your unfunny use of these memes.


Also, richt, how do men get shafted? What? I feel quite welcome, in communities and in terms of representation.
Last edited by Conscript on 03 Oct 2014, 02:30, edited 2 times in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:28
What a character!
Last edited by Yeqon on 03 Oct 2014, 02:31, edited 2 times in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:28
Richthofen wrote:
I wasn't really addressing story driven gameplay. It was more of an address to those people who somehow like stories in their video games, even though the stories are all shit. And while I do agree that there's a lot of sexism in video games, it occurs both ways, and for people to want to fight for a still awful way is just silly to me.

The stories being "all shit" is your personal opinion, and more a grumpy condemnation of game writing in general than any real commentary on making gender portrayals in them more equal. ^~

I also wouldn't say the sexism "cuts both ways" in games at all; men are seen as the standard (we know Pac-Man's a man because of his name), women as the other (Mrs. Pac-Man; just add a bow and it's a girl). Objectification doesn't impact men the same way, because y'all aren't treated as sexual objects socially where women often are.

Unless you mean by that, many (FPSes especially) also reinforce uber-macho patriarchal views of masculinity which harm any guy who doesn't fit that stereotype. In that case I'd also agree and see it as intertwined with what I'm arguing for.

Quote:
If discussions about sexism in gaming are only ever about how women get shafted, while ignoring the fact that men also get shafted, then I hope no one ever takes the discussion seriously. This is completely unlike the rest of society, where characters aren't just mindless drones.

See above, since this is basically just a repeat of what you said there.

Somewhat wrote:
You never go full Yezhov, but holy frag can't the feminazis who sound like self-parodies OH NO OPPRESSION I PAY ANITA SARKEESIAN THE NON-GAMING SCAMMER $160K TO WHINE ABOUT MUH OPPRESSION STOP TRIGGERING ME feminazis hear themselves?

Yeah, I'm actually nothing like that. And I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't paint me into a box that bothers me just as much as it does you. The "trigger warning" stuff annoys me too. But seriously, "feminazis"? Any talk about gender oppression is whining? Lame unfunny Tropic Thunder references?

For the record, stuff like that is exactly why this debate is raging and exactly why feminism exists.

Quote:
I'm goddamn out. If these are the people one must "Fight for socialism" with then frag it, let the iron fist of bourgeois rule continue. Goddamn you dense Frag can't even talk to the rather sterile arguments of GamerGate and wanna whine about soggy knees and oppression.

So, you'd rather class oppression persist full-force than actually deal with gender discrimination, instead labeling it all "whining." Good to know you're an out-and-out reactionary. Also, I'm a "dense frag" now?

Quote:
Holy shit, get the frag out you disgusting petit bourgeois whiners and jump off the cliff of your SJW masters

fragging hell I wish someone was there to do a reenactment of Katyn on this bullshit

So, you hope for a... mass murder of feminists?
And for the record, the only one who sounds like a petit-bourgeois reactionary here is you.

Quote:
Ban me, my body is ready. fragging hell. You can do what you want. Call Trot a fag (he kinda is), dickride Stalin, claim Hoxha did nothing wrong, pray to Kim Jong UN. I don't give a flying frag. But this just makes me sperg harder than a nazi at a LA street festival.

As always, arguments could be made. It would be a waste of time. SJWS=fragging kill yourselves you moralfag liberal cunts and get the frag out of vidya and the word "Socialism." I would literally make Russian Orthodoxy the world mandated religion in all its reactionary glory than put up with SOCJUS totalitarianism.

You're fragging hilarious, and a complete parody of yourself.
Last edited by MissStrangelove on 03 Oct 2014, 03:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 02:59
How about "Gianna sisters"?


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Post 03 Oct 2014, 03:10
Dagoth Ur wrote:
This has been the most boring active discussion in a while.



That's because video games are for children. The only game I have been playing recently has been Burrito Bison Revenge, which is a flash game in which you are a bison and you know what frag it it's a boring and meaningless story.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 16:36
somewhat wrote:
Whatever.

Got drunk and posted. Obviously extreme. But not totally divorced from what I feel.

Damage has been done, clearly I don't agree with what's being said here or the community.

Please delete my account, all the best to the rest of you.


Relax man everybody goes off the rails every once in a while.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 20:07
I forget about SE for a day, and look what happens. A new high in SE.com lore. Where were you when somewhat broke? I'll make a proper post later.
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Post 03 Oct 2014, 22:03
Alright, this is going to sound foolish. But what the hell is SJW?
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