They really do love video games... and women
What? Liana? Have you lost your mind? No. I have talked to Gaters almost every day for the past two months. The vast majority of them are totally cool with women being included in gaming. Female journalists get more online harassment than their male counterparts no matter what their speciality, so the harassment against female games press isn't a games thing. It's a press thing.
While there are some extremely loud pro-GamerGate participants with nonsensical anti-feminist political agendas, and while there are some anarchists who just want to burn it all down, there are also a great many people who don't give a damn about the sexual antics of an indie developer and just want to be reassured that the video game industry isn't succumbing to rampant corruption.
The accusations of misogyny against GamerGate are connected to the belief that GamerGate is, at its core, attacks on a series of women. I'm believed to be among them. These women make a lot of public statements, some controversial, and we have made mistakes. But this can also be said about many men who have angered GamerGate, like developers Damion Schubert and David Scott Jaffe. The dudes are allowed to be complex, controversial figures without being turned into Joan of Arc by one faction and Bellatrix Lestrange by the other.
No one wins against the spotlight because it cuts both ways. Various press sites ran articles about Zoe and Anita in attempts to "support" them. This was misguided. By running one-sided stories about various women, both for and against, the media has turned these women into greater targets through those biases. I'm not suggesting we adopt victim blaming mentalities. I'm saying we need to stop making the victimization worse.
When you run a news story, you have to expect that coverage to be scrutinized for bias, errors and omissions. It's much better to let us face our critics and tell our stories. Shut down unfair criticism, yes. Shut down threats of violence, yes. But some services would not accept any criticism regarding some public figures who happen to be women. The press fed people a narrative. People felt something was amiss with the coverage. When they complained about that, they were called bigots. That solves nothing.
Anonymous Twitter users need to get better about how they phrase their criticisms, but it's unfair to equate social awkwardness with hatred. Yeah, the Gaters were rough on me at first. But I've come to realize that was its own form of equality. There were some a**holes with issues, sure, but most of the Gaters who challenged me did so based on the assumption that I am an equal. I appreciate the respect. It was a nice change from being treated like a glass flower that needed protection as opposed to fairness.
In fact, it's very hard to enjoy most modern video games without some feminist leanings. Lara Croft; the Asari in Mass Effect; the extremely diverse women of Dragon Age; Anne Bonny and Mary Read in Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Aveline from Assassin's Creed: Liberation; Shaundi and Kenzie in Saints Row III and IV, and the various women of the God of War franchise are all examples of feminism in populist art. And if you prefer your ladies more buttoned down and intellectual, we have the Bioshock franchise's Brigid Tenenbaum, Sophia Lamb, and Rosalind Lutece. GamerGaters love these characters.
So while the misogyny argument is totally valid when applied to certain participants in GamerGate, it's a complete straw man argument when applied to GamerGate as a whole.