Thursday, March 26, 2015

Damage: War gaming Vs. War (or why I am so very, very angry at seemingly harmless comments)



This is a revision of the spooktalker post, which I will delete shortly, that may explain my anger. I think it is better to be positive and look at the underlying problem as to why I am furious at two faced internet behavior.

Gaming should be positive. The difference between wargaming and war is damage. What you say about people can harm them. If you catch them at a critical, fragile moment in their life, it can make them extremely ill or be the last straw that ends up killing them.

I used to go to Frothers (Frothers United Uk!) because I find censorship vile, and a bunch of people calling each other 'c*nts' perfectly fine, because at the heart of it it was a bunch of guys who actually like each other. But you see, this is where I was wrong. There is a difference between play fighting and actually making damaging comments.

Take a closer look at Frothers, maybe this time from my perspective as a transgender woman. For those unaware, I was born intersex- somewhere between male and female. I did not choose this, I have no control over this and depending on the numbers you look at between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 100 people you meet are actually intersex. Very common.  Transgender is merely a form of intersex where the development is focused on the central nervous system. You look one sex, but your brain is physically another. Again, not a choice. Around 1 in 15,000 people suffer from this.  

The suicide rate before 20 is officially 48% in the USA, but more likely to be well over 50% if unreported cases are factored in. 1 transgender person is murdered somewhere in the world every 72 hours, 10% of these children. Check this out...


Though I am intersex, I was assigned male but had a female gendered brain, I chose to transition to female. Because of this, I am classed as transgender (lit. "crossed gender"). The archaic term for this was transexual (lit. "crossed sex") which was discarded because it incorrectly implies it is about sex. It is absolutely not.

I am not a transvestite- (lit "cross dresser"). The term 'tranny' came from transvestites, not transgender people. The term is absolutely, utterly repugnant. It is equal to the 'N' word to people of color. Why? Because it is dehumanizing, and that dehumanization has been (and continues to be) used to abuse, murder and oppress trans people.

So let's look at some members of our community using this language.


Stedders: I watched a video of the German Tranny painting a Nurgle marine, it was excellent. I didn't book mark it and can't bloody find it  Help!


Stedders: That's the one! He/She sounds like a super villain out of Austin Powers!

Oh, a he/she for good measure. Thanks for that Stedders. Clearly you think it is open season.  Incidentally we get the brain gender as our gender, mine is she.  Call me a heshe and you will have a problem on your hands.

So is Stedders (who has Pmed me and asked advice on several occasions) an isolated case? Well, no. Not by a long shot.


The Jim Jones Cocktail: 'I've assumed my alter ego, dressed up as my dead mother and I'm wanking to tranny porn'.
or

Monkeyborg: "My mind is going Bill. There is no question about it. Got any tranny pics? Amicalement."
or

The cat with a human face: Ye gads!! Zombie Ainsley Harriot! Fucking hell they is scary bad. The tranny reminds me of Quagmire's sex change dad from family guy!Are all their miniatures that bad?
This is a re-occurring theme. If a female miniature that is poorly sculpted it is often dismissed as a 'tranny'. A lesser being, a poor joke. An ugly thing.

If you really want to wade in utter filth and hatred... be warned, not only disgusting but not safe for work. Now I raise this thread in particular becomes some of YOU, my readers, have posted in it.

http://www.frothersunite.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=45031
Apparently people like me, heck, let's just say me for context... apparently I am an 'it', perhaps part of a crime cartel of 'ladyboys' and really only good for pornography, which judging by the comments, pictures and language taken directly from trans porn, is actually quite popular with these guys. One member even knew who Buck Angel is (he is a former porn star turned vital trans activist who has saved many lives). Another named female porn star Bailey Jay (also a former porn star turned activist). Clearly, we are not as repugnant as they are making out.
Oh and it is not just Frothers. Check out this hate speech, dehumanization and sexualization of those unfortunate people born like me.
I just want to add what a 'chaser' is.  It is a trans attracted man who fetishize pre-op transwomen, but hate them for it due to shame.  They are extremely dangerous, as they do not see the source of their attraction as human.  Avoiding chasers is part of everyday life for us online.  I do not know Bill Armintrout, and have no idea if he is a chaser, or is trans attracted or is simply trans supportive.  I hope the latter, because goddess knows we need it.

Back to my point.  So after reading through this bile, I come across my old name in a Forthers thread. Fortunately, not assaulting me based on how I was born, but instead dismissing my ability as a game designer based on someones opinion. Hardly harmful, right? Yes. Very harmful. You see, some of us rely on our skills for vital doses of self esteem. I am proud of sixteen years in games design, of hundreds of beta testing fans, of all my fans who support me and get me through this living hell of living in a world designed to destroy those like me.
It was a small poke, but on a criticial support. One of my life supports. And for what? As far as I can tell, self aggrandizement. Trying to pull himself up the nerd pecking order by assuming his opinion is worthy enough to make hurtful comments.
And yes, it was by someone who comes here to read my blog. This free magazine I put my heart into, has readers who feel they can dismiss or mistreat me elsewhere.

You can only put out enough free material, free floorplans, free rules, free advice, free tutorials, free magazine pages... before you begin to question why you bother.


Make sense now?


Back to miniatures next post...

37 comments:

  1. That is deeply sad. I can only say the filth some people throw is only showing their worth more than that of those they target.
    Stupidity or carelessness are no excuses and humour is not what makes oneself laugh but what makes the targets laugh.
    I hope the tree won't hide the forest and please let me express once again my continued support for all the rmarkable job you're doing.
    You made me start my own blog and that has encouraged me to paint more and better, to share with others what was a very selfish hobby before. You've pulled me up to better standards of fun in this hobby and many people out there must feel the same. That's worth more than the words of those who need to mock others to reassure themselves about their own sexuality (like it was a question of good or bad).

    All those people you've pulled up, you can rely on. We'll be foundations (like in civil engineering, not in chalky thick paint) just like you skills, talent, humour and dedication.

    You have my full support, I could even wear a purple shirt to show it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lime trimmed purple sorcerers robe would be best.

      Delete
  2. Bleurgh, ugly story and all too common sadly. I'm sorry you got hurt through the hobby you love, that's always one of the worst avenues through which to receive insults. I've no idea why the internet is such a free-for-all when it comes to communicating with each other. I wonder if when the first humans/pre-humans learned to talk if they spent a century or two just hurling abuse at each other because they weren't all identically the same? If you're in the market for advice, certainly don't let mindless morons who have been pathetically striving to outdo each other since they heard their first fart joke lay any claim to your sense of self-esteem. Those who don't care, don't matter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nasty thing what happened, really nasty.

    Don't think it can be explained or reasoned anyhow, I think bad things can happen in each and every community.

    F*ck it if you can and betetr bring some painted stuff next time, for example from the GW stuff pile you got recently. Head up :)

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  4. The internet breeds ''keyboard warriors'' people far too quick to throw an insult in the saftly of their. bedrooms/basements ect. I like to joke around about sexuality normally it's my own in a lighthearted way, but aye people need to know where the line is crossed and feelings get hurt and causes harm.

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  5. Really sorry to hear that Delaney. When I worked freelance I used to enjoy Frothers and know the place well. It's certainly caused its problems with people over the years and I learned that's theres a core of around a dozen posters who are thoroughly decent people, most of whom I'm now friends with on the book of faces, or who I interact with on the Oldhammer facebook page. Oddly, the ones i always thought were knobbers don't interact on FB, presumably because doing so would reveal their real identities and if they did that, they'd have no friends.

    Interestingly, all of the other people who've commented on your post so far I'd include in the dozen or so good guys of Frothers, which is nice to see :-)

    Anyway, you clearly have far more supporters than detractors, so keep doing what you're doing.

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  6. What a bunch of idiots.

    Carry on with what you're doing Delaney; you're ace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Possibly. Most people are brought up on the steady stream of transphobic media. If you think about it, I grew up with Kenny Everett Video Show (best possible taste), Monty Python ('Why you always going on about women Stan/I wish I was a girly, just like my dear pa-pa) and countless other transphobic material. These days you have FOX news and other Murdoch outlets aggressively targeting transgender people, then super poor representations of trans in films like Dallas Buyers, TransAmerica and crying game just to name a few.

      This lot where fed the same shit. They get one 'get out of jail free' pass for dehumanizing a trans girl.

      Delete
  7. Sorry to hear that Delaney. Just want to say that this is one of my favourite blogs, always makes me glad seeing new posts from you. Unfortunately people often behave as morons on the Internet, and now we're not even talking about groups of men.

    Unfortunately geeks often seem more sexist and homophobic, transphobic than other male-dominated hobbies and stuff I have been engaged in. I think it has something to do with men trying to assert their masculinity in situations or groups that are seen as less masculine/nerdy. It's all very sad really...

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    Replies
    1. Very true. The stupid thing is forced masculinity is destined to push you DOWN the male social ranks. It is always those simply confident in their masculinity who succeed.

      Delete
  8. I'd split the "weird vibe"thread on frothers from any comments by other denizens of the site, as many of the regulars are pretty fucken bored of that one...

    Still, like your paintjobs,and blog... this frother says keep on trucking.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Delaney, I post on Frothers as Horton W Bangpower. I understand your outrage at some of the comments that have been posted on said forum. Although I have decided to leave the discourse on Bill Armintrout's peccadillos I still firmly believe him to be at best a "chaser", the blog he runs under an alias is littered with lurid tales of adults in positions of power exploiting young boys and I posted a LOT on the massive thread in my own outrage. I let it go too far and to be honest joined in the hounding of the man which I now regret. I hope though that I never posted anything derrogatory to the GLBT community. That said I feel that most of the offending remarks made by others were made thoughtlessly in the "anything goes" anarchic spirit of the Frothers forum rather than in malice. That doesn't excuse it though, many of the fellow posters think that they are Frankie Boyle when they're patently not....
    If you feel like it come along and post, I understand if you rather not. The forum isn't long for this world anyway, it's glory days are long gone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eventually. But it isn't safe for me at this early stage in my recovery. One wrong comment and down the rabbit hole I go (just like any trans reader). Hopefully after a period of growth on both sides I will happily come back.

      Delete
    2. I think I should mention that I am absolutely not defending or condoning Mr. Armintrouts behavior. I simply have not read any of the material posted, and have much better things to do than wade in with a trans perspective. If Mr Armintrout is simply a supporter, I am saddened by the reaction. If he is a chaser, well, I hope he learns to push beyond that to simply being trans-attracted and form a healthy relationship. If the thing about boys points to darker things, I hope he has not acted on it, or will be punished for any crimes he may have committed. My concern here is the life threatening dehumanisation of trans people, and how I can educate people to help save lives.

      Delete
    3. I think for your sanity maybe it's best to leave it be, apart from giving my perspective here I've let sleeping dogs lie.
      Peace the fuck out. ;)

      Delete
  10. Did not become part of Frothers or TMP because I chose not too, too much stuff I did not appreciate but that was my choice.

    Don't question why you bother, it is because some of us out in Netsville, Webland, Blogburg actually give a s..t too. We love the hobby, love the toys and well, want others to have a release from the dregs of normal existence. Just had a bad day, hand me my paintbrush and the lead/plastic pile shrinks one miniature smaller and I stop feeling like crud too. Keep it going your toys are cool.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Delaney, are you aware of the 'Weird Vibes' thread in the Frotopot sub forum? One of the posters you call out above has expressed his sincere apologies for his behaviour, and says he includes yourself in the many people he needs to apologise too.

    If you're aware or don't want to look no worries, but I thought you should know at least.

    Regards

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I won't look just yet, too much stress with being ill and baby due. But I may check back at some stage with you and see if it is safe for me to read in a few months. :)

      Delete
  12. Hi again Delaney - I just received a PM on frothers from Steders:


    I am a fuckwit

    Sent: Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:16 am
    From: Steders
    To: Skipp

    Hey Skippy you cunt
    Would you do me a favour and post this on Kings miniatures, I have no idea about this blog malarkey and don't have a profile that lets me post a comment


    Hello Delaney
    Steders from Frothers here. Deeply sorry for any offence caused. It certainly was not my intention. I asked for help to find the 'German tranny' because that's how I'd seen him/her referred to previously in a thread/discussion about youtube tutorials. I was actually looking for Girlpainting videos.
    I've always enjoyed your painting and your help was appreciated
    Once again I do apologise
    Steders



    If its any help I'd say that Steders generally heaps offensiveness on everyone, and so far as Ive been able to see doesnt single out particular groups (apart from say ALL gamers..) - he's equal opportunity offensive.

    anyway, as I say, your work is good, Ive enjoyed your blog for a long time - keep on trucking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It isn't the offense, it is the dehumanization that is important to address. If someone is offended, that is their problem. Lots of people are offended by me. Hell, people get offended by my language. Fuckers.
      I think the simplest analogy I can make is 'rape jokes are funny'. No... they are potentially life shattering to rape victims. Trans things are the same. The trans suicide rates are higher than rape victims- they are more at risk. Offend away. Just remember some taboos are in place to save lives.

      Delete
  13. Delaney, I am deeply sorry any offence or upset I have caused you. Please see my public apology on February 27th on Frothers http://frothersunite.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=50469#p975422

    You are an amazing person and it pains me to think that I have diminished or harmed your self esteem in any way. I acted like a class A arse and for this I am extremely sorry.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Again, it is not my self esteem- it is young fragile lives I am worried about. I work with a lot of trans kids and see the impact. So it is great you see the error and take responsibility.

      Delete
  14. Urgh. This hobby does seem to attract some reprehensible people doesn't it? It's good to see some Frothers apologising upstream for their anti-social behaviour, rather than fighting or censoring it. But you know. I dug out Spooktalkers 'noob' comment about game design and yeah, it's off-hand, dismissive and reasonably vague, not sure why he's suggesting someone need look at an AD&D forum before developing a miniatures skirmish game. But yeah, made me think of how actors generally don't read their reviews- the one from Una "Aunt Sally" Stubbs, about how out of a huge pile of good notices, just one negative, ultimately pointless comment threw her off, seems relevant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've certainly developed a thick skin as a member of the Oldhammer group!

      Delete
    2. It really was the unqualified dismissive nature that hurt, but the two sided nature of coming here and being nice, then badmouthing me elsewhere. That sickened me.

      In my sixteen years experience working in and with games designers, I have yet to encounter any one path to designing a game. Apparently playing D&D qualifies you to make judgement on peoples design skills, even before a product is created or put to test. In the case of D'Undred, it is basically a new set of rules to play retro D&D. I did not have to consider the world first because that is what the players bring with their fond memories. All that is important is the system, and how it solves the problems D&D was facing at the time. I paused the project when it looked like D&D was following the advice, and the new D&D is great. So I will be returning to D'Undred with a different set of design goals. After Skulldred. After Stardred. After a holiday.

      Delete
  15. I've just re read a lot of the posts that I made on that thread and am actually relived about the content. I knew that I got caught in the flow of the drama but I'm glad that I kept within the realms of taste (or I hope). My over zealous outrage was directed squarely at Bill, at his duplicity, his disingenuousness and what I feel is the exploitation of a vulnerable group under the name Monty Schwab/Francis Dormandy (sic). Don't let the off colour comment of a few tar the whole lot. Conversely Frothers has run several charity campaigns over the years, I'm sure they could be persuaded to give to a charity of your choice on a new campaign. It's usually sculpting then casting the figures and donating the profits. A theme and organising would be needed, I'm sure you could provide positive input if you wanted. Maybe some good could come out of this?

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    Replies
    1. I had considered doing 'paint it purple' as a Frothers charity to raise awareness, however apparently my IP is blocked, so I cannot post there. Dunno why.

      Delete
    2. Frother's had a persistent "IP blocked" bug I'm afraid. The place is however so dead these days it's worth waiting to see if it's going to pull through.

      Delete
  16. Hi Delaney, Simon Parr aka McGobbo Fett here. Sorry if anything I have said on Frothers has upset you, It wasn't my intention to harm anyone other than poke fun at Bill Armintrout. I now know that what I have posted has more repercussions on peoples lives than just him and I am truly sorry for upsetting you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. The majority of people see trans as a joke, thanks to poorly educated media and comedians. I mean, the usually well educated Ricky Gervais launched a crippling 20 minute assault on trans girls in a show, even mentioning several things that identify trans people as they cannot change them... which can and does trigger suicidal thoughts in those watching. That from the master of common sense comedy.

      Education is really important, a most people actually do not know what damage they are doing. There will always be some sociopaths who ignore it, but for the most part education is the solution.

      Thanks for the apology. If you could repay me by chatting to a few mates about this it would be fantastic to get the info out there.

      Delete
  17. It pains me that in the twenty first century, within a group that has often struggled for any kind of acceptance (gamers/figure painters) that essays such as yours still must be published, that there is any question about proper, polite behavior online. I agree with everything you have said and applaud the courage to say it. I do feel that with open, honest communication we can all overcome ancient hang ups, especially those with the creativity and imaginations to be in the hobby we love so much. Keep up the incredible painting and know some of us are wishing you only wonderful experiences when your baby arrives!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi, Delaney! As another Frothers poster, let me say I understand why you'd be upset. Yes, a lot of people posting there said some very transphobic things when the news broke that Bill Armintrout was hiring transpinnay "editors" to do god knows what at TMP and then parading them in front of the membership as "Bill's Angels".

    Personally, as my original post on Frothers said, it's the second part of the whole thing that really upset me, as well as Bill's lies and dodges regarding what he was doing, allied with the complaint of a transpinnay that he was exploiting these women.

    But a lot of people on Frothers took it as an excuse to make tranny jokes.

    One thing I have to say, however: the WORST offenders recognized what they did, appologized, and are a hell of a lot more circumspect now. It's rare to see a group of cishet men do that, so props to them.

    That doesn't mean, however, that you must feel safe there. I hope you will, though, one day.

    ReplyDelete