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hearthstone Video Interview with Hafu About Sexism in Esports

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Fusion.net have released a video interview with Hafu, one of Hearthstone's top streamers and Arena players, regarding the difficulties that female players encounter in the esports world.


Interviewer Kevin Roose asks Hafu about the world of female gaming and gives her a platform to talk about some of the things she has had to go through. Although the video only has enough time to scratch the surface of the issue, it is a reminder that a huge percentage of the gaming demographic feels so unwelcome in esports that they feel like quitting, or hiding in the shadows.
 


What is clear from the video is that Hafu is an incredibly strong person. The concern has to be that if people this strong feel like giving up at times, the impact on less strong willed people has to be huge.

On the Reddit thread about the video, Iksar weighs in:

Blizzard Icon Iksar

Bums me out a little for anyone to not feel included in our community, especially so for someone that has done so much to contribute.

We’re all big supporters. Glad to have you as content contributor and as a good friend! (source)


Hafu is currently the top scorer in the 100/10 Arena challenge.
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Hafu is a hero for being willing to do this. She's almost certainly going to see an uptick in harassment because, of course.

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Gasp, someone said something mean to me on the Internet. Oh the horror. If you people think that the Internet should be a safe space with ponies and rainbows, you are severely deluded.WbE8S.jpg

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It's not just about the "mean" comments. People have become hostile towards female streamers in general because of stupid reasons like "oh they are just using the fact they are women with big breasts to get more views".

 

While there are certainly streamers who belong in this category(not going to name any, but you probably know them already) there are also many who are just honest streamers looking to grow due to their gaming/entertainment skills on twitch, and people end up discouraging them by acting like the virgin 16 year olds they are in real life on twitch chat.

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"Gasp, someone said something mean to me on the Internet. Oh the horror. If you people think that the Internet should be a safe space with ponies and rainbows, you are severely deluded."

 

It's this kind of sorry excuse for basic decency (not to mention argumentative logic) that underlies the problem Hafu (or anyone who asks for reasonable behavior in an anonymous environment) faces.

 

Why should she not expect to be treated by the same guidelines and laws that govern our behaviour offline, in school, at work and in just about every other social or professional venue?  Are you saying that you are comfortable with a streamer being verbally abused simply because of their gender?  That's an okay situation for you?

 

Additionally, did she ask for ponies or rainbows?  No, she did not.  Did she seem deluded?  Also, no.  Was your post moronic, immature, patronising and offensive?  I thought so.

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Gasp, someone said something mean to me on the Internet. Oh the horror. If you people think that the Internet should be a safe space with ponies and rainbows, you are severely deluded.

"There was actually a team name On the tournament round, called Gonna rape Hafu on regionals. I was 17 (!!) at the time, but I've got turned off from competing, because harassment sucks.. And there's nothing you could do about it though."

 
Do you honestly think, that this is a normal thing to do? Joking with the rape of a 17 years old girl is not just "getting mean comments and cry". People (usually men), who think that this is acceptable and fun, should seriously start thinking about their lives, before they turn into an actual raper.
 
Why can't just people act like actual people towards men and women equally? Especially in the e-sports section, where you watch the stream for the gameplay not for the streamers' body parts?
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Gasp, someone said something mean to me on the Internet. Oh the horror. If you people think that the Internet should be a safe space with ponies and rainbows, you are severely deluded.

This is a perfect example of how this stuff always goes. Someone makes an extremely measured criticism which, in the case of this video, characterizes the problem as being much milder than it actually is. Then someone like Dejo93 reacts completely disproportionately and dishonestly represents what was actually said as a demand for special treatment. The people with unrealistic expectations of how the internet ought to work are the ones who expect to be able to be utterly toxic with no pushback whatsoever. It's totally OK for dudes to make rape and death threats but saying "hey could you maybe not" is a bridge too far.

Edited by daisyrawks
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It's not just about the "mean" comments. People have become hostile towards female streamers in general because of stupid reasons like "oh they are just using the fact they are women with big breasts to get more views".

 

And the fault is actually of those streamers for setting up the bad example as much as it is of the morons who cast everyone into the same box.

 

Same goes for all the thin-skinned people that think they have to care about what a random, unknown and anonymous idiot thinks of them.

 

 

 

It's this kind of sorry excuse for basic decency (not to mention argumentative logic) that underlies the problem Hafu (or anyone who asks for reasonable behavior in an anonymous environment) faces.

 

Why should she not expect to be treated by the same guidelines and laws that govern our behaviour offline, in school, at work and in just about every other social or professional venue?

 

It is exactly as it happens. In Real Life you get jerks just like you get them on the internet. Expecting everyone to behave with "common decency" online is indeeed deluded.

 

This whole crusade about how people should be all honorable and righteous online is nearly ridiculous, considering it doesn't even happen in the real world.

 

Grow up and stop caring what some moron says online lmao.

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Grow up and stop caring what some moron says online lmao.

If not caring what people say online is a thing we should all aspire to, what exactly are you doing here?

Edited by daisyrawks

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It is exactly as it happens. In Real Life you get jerks just like you get them on the internet. Expecting everyone to behave with "common decency" online is indeeed deluded.

 

I beg to differ.  So, to take a few examples:

 

If some random stranger starts following you in the street and shouting abuse at you, they might be arrested for disturbing the peace.  If they were persistent, you could probably have a restraining order placed on them for harassment. 

 

How about most sporting events? Do you think it would be acceptable or without repercussion if one team in a sporting match at the Olympics decided to wear a strip that said they were going to rape the other team?  One assumes this would not go unnoticed, or be allowed to continue to a televised performance.  Gross indecency laws may come into play (regardless of what you scoff at as common decency).

 

What about the workplace?  We can argue that Hafu is at her place of work, earning her living.  In my place of work, if anyone spoke to me the way that people have spoken in derogatory terms to Hafu (whether they be customers or fellow members of staff), they would be punished for it.  Members of staff would be disciplined.  Customers would be asked to alter their tone and use of language or leave.

 

Why do you believe the Internet is a magical land in which the abuse of others should be considered to be okay, when it is not considered okay in any other location within our society?  I think it is you that is deluded.  It should not stand as okay.  You should not stand up for it.  Are you saying that you support the denigration of women?  Are you saying you are a proud misogynist? Are you saying that Hafu's gender makes her less worthy of respect than someone who just so happens to have been born with a penis?

 

I don't expect everyone to behave well: but I hope that they do, and I hope that we would wish them to.

Edited by mimech
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Ymoh does have a point, though. Sure, we have all these laws, ethical codes, codes of conduct etc. but let's not forget that we live in a highly hypocritical society. A lot of men disrespect women and a lot of women disrespect men on a daily basis. When society doesn't allow you to express these negative feelings for the opposite sex (for whatever reason), it's easy to let them free in a more morally loose environment like the Internet. I can present examples of this hypocrisy of the modern world for million other cases, not just gender issues.

 

Whether we like it or not, we weren't born equal. Perhaps, it was men that created the 'weak gender' stereotype, but women have learnt to revel in it and abuse it when it suits them. Both sexes, but especially women, need to grow some thick skin and more importantly, they need learn to fight their own battles.

 

PS: I am not a dude.

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Both sexes, but especially women, need to grow some thick skin

 

I'm sorry, but this just seems like a way in which you wish to blame the victim for the abuse they are suffering.  It is not the victim's fault that they suffer abuse: it is the fault of the person who chooses to abuse them.

 

Are you saying that Hafu should just accept being abused as part of the price of working on the Internet?  Also, you say that women, especially, should develop the ability to suffer abuse.  Why women, especially?  Why would this be the plan you wish to enact?  Or the reality you wish to accept?  Why would we not want to improve things.  If someone says "this hurts me", why is the reaction "deal with it" and not "let's try and change this"?

 

As for your summation that they (presumably you mean women) need to learn to fight their own battles: what does that actually mean?  Hafu is fighting her corner by taking part in the video piece.  So who is it that's not fighting?

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Ymoh does have a point, though. Sure, we have all these laws, ethical codes, codes of conduct etc. but let's not forget that we live in a highly hypocritical society. A lot of men disrespect women and a lot of women disrespect men on a daily basis.

What does this even mean? People generally are disrespectful to each other, therefore...what exactly?

When society doesn't allow you to express these negative feelings for the opposite sex (for whatever reason), it's easy to let them free in a more morally loose environment like the Internet.

Ah, well if it's easier, have at it then. Sure it's easier to bring yourself to do things otherwise considered unacceptable in a situation where you feel there will be no consequences. It doesn't follow from there that anyone needs to accept that state of affairs as normal or desirable.

I can present examples of this hypocrisy of the modern world for million other cases, not just gender issues.

You haven't presented any examples of anything. Just asserted that people are hypocrites because reasons.

 

Whether we like it or not, we weren't born equal.

I don't like it and I don't have to.

Perhaps, it was men that created the 'weak gender' stereotype,

I mean men are the ones who historically have had the power and influence to make decisions that keep women from being able to participate fully in society. That's demonstrably true.

but women have learnt to revel in it and abuse it when it suits them.

Uh what? Do tell. I can't wait to hear more about all the unfair advantages women have gained by reveling in their oppression.

Both sexes, but especially women, need to grow some thick skin and more importantly, they need learn to fight their own battles.

And why is that exactly? Why does everyone, particularly women, have to be content to be abused?

Seriously, do you have any more utterly fact free assertions you'd like to make?

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And let me just say one more thing about this whole "thick-skinned" business. Women like Hafu do what they do despite torrents of abuse up to and including rape and death threats. Any woman who attempts to exist in a space traditionally dominated by men experiences this. The idea that women are thin skinned when they have the courage to speak up and demand to be treated better is ludicrous. We actually live in a world where, in order to be considered strong, women have to be willing to quietly tolerate systematic abuse.

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Wow... reading through some of these comments like...  O_O

As someone who's competed in actual contact sports (martial arts oriented), the whole "Rape Hafu" thing is just fucking insane. I can't imagine that ever happening in real sports. I also can't imagine being a 17 year old girl facing off against a bunch of dudes with that as their fucking team name.

Rando comments from internet trolls are not the problem, it's that plus everything else combined.

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Both sexes, but especially women, need to grow some thick skin and more importantly, they need learn to fight their own battles.

 

PS: I am not a dude.

 

I don't disagree with you on one level, as someone who has taught women to defend themselves. But in a situation where you are seventeen, you show up to play a video game tournament, and the opposing team is named "Gonna Rape Hafu at Regionals" (or whatever the full name was) and not Blizz, not another team, NO ONE attempts to stop that right out of the gate? That's shameful.

 

Hafu's just a player. It's very hard to come back from being disillusioned, ESPECIALLY at age seventeen.

 

And good for you if the words of rando's and people who are in your face don't affect you at all. Not everyone is built the same.

 

As a final comment, good people building "thick skin" doesn't actually solve the problem. That's the same logic Trump is using to try and build a wall around Mexico, or Ted Cruz with his grand plans to nuke ISIS.

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