"I see that as kind of victim-blaming. It's not other people's fault for being terrible human beings; it's your fault for not being able to deal with it. There's something wrong with you, not them. And that's a really sad attitude for people to have to put up with. But it's quite common. I think every woman in the industry knows it, whether they admit it or not."
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"Honestly, have you considered Steve, Chris, Frank from accounting, and Chad's feelings
at all during this? Sounds like you're being a bit self-centered."
If you're a woman, you're not allowed to have an emotional reaction to threats that would obviously provoke an emotional reaction in anyone. At least, not without being accused of hysteria. Then you're just a crazy chick taking mean words on the Internet too seriously, and your problem isn't real anymore. That's an awful phenomenon, but it's almost expected at this point: If there's one thing the Internet is good at, it's pornography. If there are two things, it's porn and anonymous dickotry. What really gets you is the harassment that comes from within the industry, and you don't even have to be vocal to encounter it. Amanda ran into an old acquaintance that was looking to get into game development, so she gave him her contact information. She received an email with all the usual professional niceties, but also this gem:
"By the way, I don't want to sound like a creep, and I know you have a husband, but I just wanted to let you know I think you're smokin' hot. If your company ever needs any help play-testing or contract work, let me know!"
Try that line at a job interview and let us know how it goes.
"I know you have a husband, but ..." is like the "I'm not racist, but ..." of sexual advances -- whatever comes next will sound bad in the best of circumstances.
Amanda said, "I can hear the dudebros saying, 'You should just take the compliment,' but what's so hard to communicate is that it's not a compliment. It's totally out of context and unprofessional. It was unwanted and has no value beyond making the issuer feel powerful and generous."