Swimming in a Sea of Shit

“This has nothing to do with politics, or gender. I know women who have been threated physically because of their thoughts on real-time strategy games. I knew men who had their spouses and children threatened, or had racial or sexual harassment thrown their way, because of review scores. This isn’t new. This isn’t rare. And it’s not something anyone can easily ignore, or something they should expected to endure silently and gracefully.” - Ben Kuchera for Penny Arcade in Swimming in a sea of shit

A few weeks ago a retired Navy friend of mine said something that struck me hard at the time, but particularly forcefully as I sat digesting the article cited above from Penny Arcade: “Guys don’t beat their wives because of PTSD; it’s a real thing, I promise you that, but that isn’t why they beat them. They beat their wives because they’re low-life scumbags.” Addendum mine: but they still blame PTSD.

I won’t go so far as to compare mental abuse incurred on the internet to physical abuse in the home, but I will pose this question: how is the Twitter user threatening to commit heinous acts justifying his — or her, let me be explicitly gender-normative here lest I incur the extremists’s rage — actions with the modification of a gun in a game any different than the scumbag who goes home and knocks his wife around in the evenings? Sure, one is merely threatening while the other actually injures, but if that’s the only differentiation you can make, well, that right there is the problem itself.