Subtractive masculinity is why the prospect of women being associated with video games gets such an out-of-control, violent reaction. I think a lot of the males (boys or men) who play these games are getting their sense of masculinity from them, their reassurance that they are Real Men Who Do Manly Things. But because our culture’s construction of masculinity is subtractive, when girls or women are publicly seen to do something, that thing becomes unmasculine.

In practice, what this means is a guy can get mocked for it by other guys, told that he is “girly” (and that’s the least offensive term that might be used). The only way a guy can protect himself from that kind of teasing (which can escalate all the way from little comments to harassment to actual murder, depending) is to do something girls don’t do. And that means either picking something with physical demands few women can meet, or something that girls don’t happen to do — and then keeping them from doing it by any means necessary.

And the reason it’s worth that kind of effort is that, in our society, men are the default value of “people”: only (white, straight) men automatically have the status of “full human being”. In other words, if you’re not masculine, you’re not *really* a person. That’s why guys who feel their masculinity threatened can go into a violent, toxic meltdown — because loss of personhood feels like an actual, life-or-death existential threat.

Obsidian Wings: The problem with gaming is subtractive masculinity (via davidcarlton)

(via davidcarlton)




i need feminism because when jesus does a magic trick it’s a goddamn miracle but when a woman does a magic trick she gets burned at the stake


i mean they did also kill jesus. that was a pretty significant thing that happened. like i understand where you’re coming from here but they very much did kill jesus.

(via pyrzqxgl)