MythBusters‘ Adam Savage Talks Privilege, Women in STEM, and Gamergate: “Shit’s Tough for Girls”
Adam Savage doesn’t know why, exactly, women in STEM and on the Internet are frequently subjected to vitriolic harassment, but he knows something has to change, and soon. In a recent Inquiring Minds podcast, the MythBuster was asked why “there is so much rage against women” in science and gaming:
Shit’s tough for girls […] As a man, I’m watching this whole ‘GamerGate’ thing go down, and I don’t know.
I wish I understood it better, because I see it and I have friends that suffer from it. I worked with [Mythbuster co-host] Kari Byron for 11 years, and I’ve watched the evolution of the terrible shit Kari’s had to deal with as a public figure and a woman and a science communicator.
The problem I have is that I’m a white dude […] And I recognize that my privilege makes it impossible for me to say, ‘There should be more women in science’ without sounding like I’m proclaiming from on high. I take that position seriously. I bring women into the things I’m doing because they absolutely are part and parcel of all of the storytelling and the science and the scientific discovery that we do.
And little girls need more role models in critical thinking […] But I also recognize that that’s not me. I could be a little girl’s role model, but I’m not going to be her ideal role model. She needs a woman to do that. We need to find that balance.
All anyone wants is to be happy and to be fulfilled […] And it’s genuinely sad that [GamerGaters] feel so unfulfilled that they feel the drive to push their lack of fulfillment outwards. Right? ‘I want to deny things to you — because I feel denied.’ That’s terrible. The moment you’re trying to hurt other people, whether with words or physical violence — there’s something deeply wrong with you.
I can’t help but feel that our culture is promoting impossible ideals. Ideals of ownership, ideals of success, ideals of body types — and women have suffered mightily. We have old dudes on Fox telling females hosts that they could all lose 10 lbs. They should have stomped him at that point.
Sadly, that all checks out. Perhaps Savage could do some MisogynyBusting in the near future? There’s a myth about ethics in game journalism that I’d love to see debunked.