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Mizhena, Social Justice and why we can't have nice things



  • DullSkullTheSecondDullSkullTheSecond Member Posts: 243
    Just when you thought this topic finally died lol, interesting read any way.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    If the misinformation is unintentional, it's not a lie; it's a mistake. And you're lumping Buttercheese together with a lot of other people. I get that it's frustrating to see bigotry and abuse being posted or half-posted, but in this case I think you may have jumped to a conclusion that was incorrect.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited August 2016
    Dee said:

    If the misinformation is unintentional, it's not a lie; it's a mistake.

    It's a mistake when you don't have the contrary facts. When you do, and still claim your words are being twisted, it's a lie.
    Dee said:

    And you're lumping Buttercheese together with a lot of other people.

    That first quote wasn't hers. Everything else is taken straight from the OP's mouth.

    Baldur’s Gate is an old game. Baldur’s Gate is a traditional game. In fact, it prides itself on how traditional it is and the fact that it’s so traditional is the main selling point for most players today.

    Wizards of the Coast and Ed Greenwood themselves have come out saying that D&D and the Forgotten Realms have always included transgender characters.
    Let me call out bullshit on that statement.

    Yes, some of the Mizhena haters most certainly are transphobic, however, I would like to believe that those are just a small - alas vocal - minority. [fast-forward noises] A lot of us non-left-extremists had our fair share of not so pleasant run-ins with self-proclaimed “Social Justice Warriors”, most of which ended badly.

    But sure, she's being mischaracterized. Let's go with that.

  • GrumGrum Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,100
    I used to get angry with the things Shawne aptly points out. Now I am just amused and entertained.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Raduziel said:

    You know what?

    We should discuss something that really matters instead of whasting our time like this.

    I'll start:

    If you look a little bit up and to the left, you'll see the New Discussions button. A little further up and to the right you'll see a big red X. Either of those will get you where you want to go.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    edited August 2016
    Well, @shawne, let me try.
    One step by at a time. I warn you though, it's gonna be repetitive and boring.

    shawne said:

    You know what? Sure. Let's do this.

    A lot of people have been going on about how disliking Mizhena automatically makes you a transphobe, but honestly, assuming that makes you ignorant and short sighted. Yes, some of the Mizhena haters most certainly are transphobic, however, I would like to believe that those are just a small - alas vocal - minority.

    So instead of you taking actual transphobes to task - and believe me, they're not so subtle about it that you can misread what they mean when they say they want to delete the character from the game, or be allowed to kill her without losing Reputation - you're claiming people who defend the character are ignorant and short-sighted? Are you serious?
    Why should I rip on the transphobes in detail, everyone knows why and how they are wrong. That's like explaining why any form of bigorty is wrong. My point is that a lot of people are being wrongly acused of being transphobes, simply because they don't like Mizhena. Check the Tumblr tag for Siege of Dragonspear, if you don't believe me.

    shawne said:

    I don't know where you were when SoD launched

    Here, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube.

    shawne said:

    but I can tell you this: it wasn't "some" Mizhena haters who were transphobic. Not by a long shot. The vast majority of people who made her the center of their case against SoD, Amber Scott and Beamdog weren't ambiguous about where they were coming from, and it was a place of hate and exclusion. Not sure why you're here trying to ameliorate that when their comments are still up here, on GOG and on Steam.

    I am very sure that a good chunk of those people where trolls, aparently most of them from 8chan.
    They saw an oportunity to rustle jimmies, they took it and they obviously succeeded.

    shawne said:

    Wizards of the Coast and Ed Greenwood themselves have come out saying that D&D and the Forgotten Realms have always included transgender characters.
    Let me call out bullshit on that statement.

    I'm sorry, who are you again? Did you create the Forgotten Realms? Are you part of the company that produces D&D content? Do you have any actual credentials here besides "player" and "creator of excellent fanart"? Because if you don't, I'm not sure why you think we should substitute your judgement for Ed Greenwood's or Nathan Stewart's.
    Yeah, so? They don't enforce the rules by which anyone plays. Saying that their word on the matter is the be all - end all would also mean that Tolkien, Moorcook and Howard are above theirs, simply because D&D is majorly influenced by their works.
    Pen and paper gaming is only partially defined by the people who created it. The last word always had the players. And the players include all sorts of people. Yes also trandgendered and transphobic people.

    shawne said:

    Sure, we had Corellon Larethian and co. for the longest time, but the beauty of Dungeons and Dragons is, that it’s what the players want it to be. For some players it’s orthodox dragon hunting and dungeon crawling. For some it’s a Game of Thrones inspired hellhole. For some it’s a world of rainbows, bunnies and sunshine. For some it’s the place where they can be who and whatever they want. The list goes on and on.

    And this? Right here? Is where your whole argument falls apart. Because when you say "the players", it's abundantly clear you don't actually mean all players - because 1) all other things being equal, one can assume there are transgender D&D players; and 2) there may very well be heterosexual players who enjoy playing transgender characters. You are making the self-serving argument that these players who can shape D&D into whatever they want it to be all want it to be the way you want it to be.

    Following your logic? Amber Scott and Andrew Foley were the Dungeon Masters who wanted their D&D to have transgender characters. Do they not have the same right you claim "the players" have?
    You say this is against my argument, but everything in this paragraph just supports it.
    Yes, Amber, Andrew, Phil, Liam and everyone else who designed this game are the dungeon masters for this adventure. So in this case, their word is law. BTW, I am sorry if this wasn't clear, but the DMs are also players.

    shawne said:

    I am dead sure that for a good chunk - if not the vast majority - of players, transgender characters never made an appearance in their games and even if, just as fuels for jokes. Until the very recent years and months, most players didn’t even know what modern, “american” transgenderism is after all (myself included).

    Citation needed. People have been talking about transgender characters in video games since freaking Birdo. The fact that you know nothing about it is entirely your problem, no?
    You can citade me. I never played a P&P session that included an outed transgender character. Now count in all the other players who until recently didn't know what transgenderism is. You think they included them? I kinda doubt it.

    shawne said:

    A lot of us non-left-extremists had our fair share of not so pleasant run-ins with self-proclaimed “Social Justice Warriors”, most of which ended badly. I myself became target of a witch hunt on Tumblr a few years back, where I openly called out a bunch of people who said that all non-trans people should die. Literally and repeatedly. A few years ago, Tumblr was FULL of posts like these and they usually were widely celebrated.

    Oh, you poor thing! You took a position against a bunch of people spouting nonsense and got yelled at for it on the Internet? Cry me a river.
    This right there is why we can't have nice things. You are being unbelievably rude right here. Stuff like this is why this entire controversy happened in the fist place.

    shawne said:

    See, the larger problem here is that you're using codewords that don't actually mean what you think they mean. "Social Justice Warriors" is a label that is almost always applied to people who take positions in favor of inclusion and diversity

    I was doing exactly the oposite by explaining how and why people start categorizing and labelizing in the first place. My example pointed out exactly how meaningless those labels are.

    shawne said:

    in other words, generally being okay with the idea that other types of people are allowed to exist both in real life and in fiction. "Non-left-extremists" basically means "Yeah, but they don't have to be all in my face about it, y'know? Isn't there a box we can put them in so I don't have to see it? Why do they have to be in my games/movies/TV shows/comics?"

    Yes, that is stupid and wrong. I know that. I never said it wasn't.
    One of the main points of this thread is trying to point out how someone can come to a mindset like this.

    shawne said:

    So you should be able to understand why I am a tiny bit squeamish about social justice as a whole.

    The hilarity here is that you're arguing the transphobic Mizhena-haters were just a vocal minority and don't actually represent what most people were thinking, while at the same time claiming your experience is somehow representative of "SJWs" as a whole. Double standard much?
    It doesn't. Pretty sure the majority of people doesn't give a crap because the majority of gamers are not involved in the drama or the social media that sorrounds SoD.
    Nothing that I said is about "SJWs" as a whole because there is no SJWs as a whole. I pointed that out multiple times.

    shawne said:

    Cases like these are not the exception. They happen all the bloody time.
    Remember Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian? Yeah.

    Do I remember the death threats, the abuse, the neckbeards going on a jihad because a woman said video games weren't perfect? Sure do. Not sure how that helps you, though.
    It's an argument for social justice horribly backfirering and that we all should have an idea of how pointless and harmful drama like this can be. And because her work was lackluster, one can't even use her well done work as a defense. She was the ultimate victim for internet trolls.

    Of course people are gonna have a negative reaction towards a character like Mizhena, especially in a game series that previously treated transgenderism as a joke. Edwin’s Nether Scroll quest, anyone? And the girdle of masculinity-femininity is a tool for literally punishing players for not identifying magical items.
    Baldur’s Gate is a game that treats sexchange as a punishment.

    shawne said:

    And for a game that came out in 2000, that was - if not acceptable - at the very least a common trope. News flash: some time has passed since then.

    Yes, and as I pointed out, a lot of people want to keep things like they where back then.
    Wether or not that is justified, is a different question.

    shawne said:

    Again, look at how you're basically giving people a pass for their so-called "negative reaction", which included death threats sent to Amber. Instead of dealing with that, instead of asking yourself where that exaggerated hatred comes from and why you're justifying it, you're doubling down on that. Please.

    I am not and never have been justifying it. Part of the point of this thread is to point out the actually valid arguments that where drowned in the drama.

    shawne said:

    Alright, to my next point. This is not a black and white issue.
    It’s not “SJWs vs. GamerGaters”.

    Except, of course, that's exactly how you're framing it. But please, continue.
    How you got that impression is beyond my understanding.

    I will leave it at that for now, because I actually got a life to take care of, believe it or not.
    If you wish, I can get into the rest you said later.

    Though I really don't see the point of it, given that you are obviously not willing and/ or capable to have a calm and informative discussion. Which is part of the point of this thread, just to remind you

    So unless you calm down I am gonna have to assume you are little more than a troll and trolling is against the forum rules.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    Hey @shawne , relax mate. I'm just trying to light the mood around here.

    This community is awesome and it really hurts to see topics full of sparks like this one. Specially for something that is so little compared to the full extension of the saga.

    I know it was off-topic, but that was exactly my intention :)

    Now feel free to jump in each others throats. It's kind of getting funny.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,769
    @shawne You are a hypocrit and you put false words in my mouth.

    Sorry @Dee and everyone else, I honestly thought this was worth a try but right here we have the perfect example of someone incapable of having a logic driven argument.

    Have fun with the thread.
    Toodles ~

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239

    The problem with that argument is that it's not the discussion Greenwood was actually involved in to begin with, though. The question wasn't whether trans people do exist in the Realms, it's whether they could or should. WotC hasn't sacked up to actually make use of that possibility, but the key to Greenwood's position is that if writers wanted to do so, the Realms could accommodate that. Hell, to the best of my knowledge there were never any goblinoid adventurers before Deekin and M'Khiin; that doesn't mean they had no place in their respective stories. Greenwood was asked that question in terms of what the basic rules of D&D would and wouldn't allow, not whether Salvatore or Gross or Kemp had ever done so.

    [Deleted User]BelgarathMTHronaldo
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited August 2016

    @shawne You are a hypocrit and you put false words in my mouth.

    Fun fact about that little quote button at the bottom of each post: all it does is haul your own bullcrap back up at you again. I don't have to put false words in your mouth when your foot's doing the work for me. Vaya con demonios.


  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    In any other work of fiction or franchise helmed by a single author, I'd agree. I don't necessarily know that JK Rowling deserves the kudos she got for making Dumbledore gay after the fact, at a point where she didn't need to "deal" with that. But D&D sits on the boundary between authorial canon and player creation, and always has; Minsc came from PnP, not a Salvatore novel. Sure, it'd be nice if Greenwood's hypothetical scenario were put into practice for the sake of having a canonical example, but seeing as how so many people have argued - and continue to argue - that these things aren't supposed to exist in the Realms in the first place, it matters that Greenwood and Stewart say otherwise, that WotC's official position is that it's allowed. As far as I know, you can't encoutner futuristic cyborgs in D&D, but you can encounter transgendered characters. That's the extent of why their statements matter.

    [Deleted User]
  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Look, @Dee, I'm not going to debate with Buttercheese-by-proxy here. She said what she said, and if you want to be charitable about what she maybe-kinda-sorta meant, that's fine, you do you.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    edited August 2016
    Nope. @subtledoctor has it: this discussion is about finding fault in the reaction to systematic abuse and lies, started by someone who knows she's being hurtful and admits as much, and goes ahead with her BS anyway. I was nice when we had this conversation about Dorn, I was polite-through-gritted-teeth when we had it about Hexxat, and four years in we are still stuck on the exact same goddamn talking points. So I'm officially not interested in any common ground you think you're seeing here, and I'm pretty sure I'm exactly as irritated as one could expect given that we're doing all this again.

  • CalemyrCalemyr Member Posts: 238
    Dee said:

    Slightly off topic, so I'm going to put this in a spoiler:

    It's sort of like if Tolkien said "There are definitely black people in Middle Earth" and then never included any black people in any of his stories. It doesn't matter if the author knows they're there; if they never appear in the story, they essentially don't exist.
    He didn't give a color to anyone. Anyone from Grima to Gandalf could have been black. It's not Tolkein's fault. The movie was as white as The Last Airbender.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • shawneshawne Member Posts: 3,239
    Calemyr said:

    He didn't give a color to anyone. Anyone from Grima to Gandalf could have been black. It's not Tolkein's fault. The movie was as white as The Last Airbender.

    Well, not exactly - he does go out of his way to describe the Haradrim (the humans who side with Sauron) as "swarthy", but that's a whole other Pandora's Box we don't need to open right now. :)

    joluv[Deleted User]rorikonAyiekie
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  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Shandyr - Yep, totally right, sex is what I meant. Thanks for catching that!

    [Deleted User]
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited August 2016
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @Shandyr As much as I hope she doesn't leave the discussion, that's a harsh ultimatum. When a person feels uncomfortable or cornered (and I realize I'm making assumptions here), they should be able to excuse themselves from the situation without having further accusations levied against them.

    [Deleted User]Ravenslightsemiticgoddess
This discussion has been closed.