ObsceneWorks now offers you two gates for the price of one. In Canada, the hashtag “#Ghomeshigate” has been trending on Twitter lately, in reference to the unfolding scandal surrounding Jian Ghomeshi, former host of the nationally-syndicated Arts and Culture radio show known simply as “Q.” At the same time, in the United States, controversy roils around the tag “#Gamergate” and its followers, a group of ethically-awakened white knights attempting to stamp out fucking, feminism and other “ethical lapses” in video game journalism.
Gamergate apologists contend that the greatest threat to ethical video game journalism is the routine exchange of sex for favourable coverage. This provides a hand canard by which they may reproach females in the gaming industry for being normal, sexual human beings, without addressing the underlying issue of misogyny in the game development world. While no evidence of the alleged pattern of women offering of sex in exchange for exposure has been proffered, the trope remains a mainstay of the Gamergate mythos and its primary objection female participation in game building.
Ghomeshigate, on the other hand, offers a real-world example of how this type of inherently-patriarchal dynamic actually operates in a truly unethical real-world environment. Q regularly covered video games, and the host was openly known to offer coverage in exchange for sex, to such an extent that the program’s staff had a code word they used when they were asked to book guests who they suspected had slept with Mr. Ghomeshi.
Furthermore, the women involved in these exchanges were not the instigators of the unethical behavior. Rather, as this Reddit user relates, Ghomeshi himself would specifically shift the discussion from professional to intimate (and unethical.)
Later, of course, he would also physically assault and violently intimidate the women in question. Perhaps, in part, to assuage his guilty conscience and attempt to foist blame for the ethical lapse onto her instead. Classic Gamergate.
The truth is, when a journalist has sex with a source, it’s the journalist who violates an ethical code. There is absolutely zero obligation for developers, marketers, actors or other public figures to maintain the ethics of journalism on journalists’ behalf. That is the job of the journalists alone. Yet those involved in perpetuating the idea “#GamerGame is about ethics in journalism!” maintain that it is the responsibility of women, as the stereotypical gatekeepers of sex, to prevent their own exploitation. To willingly give up potentially life-changing opportunities offered by journalists who may wish to coerce them into sex for coverage. It’s the classic “blame the victim” nonsense that’s been directed at the raped since time immemorial, a reliable ploy to absolve the guilt of the rapists in the eyes of an adoring public.
In the end, this is why Gamergate apologists don’t care that all their stories of preferential journalistic treatment extracted from unwitting male game journalists by self-promoting succubi prove false. This is why none of them have taken the fight for journalistic integrity to where it belongs: the doorstep of Jian Gomeshi, and of those of his ilk who continue to exploit their lofty positions by preying on those desperate for exposure. The entire paradigm, as they understand it, is upside-down. Because just like any accused rapist, like Ghomeshi himself, the men of Gamer Gate don’t actually care about ethics in journalism. They care about using women to soothe their own egos and purge themselves of their own ethical lapses.