Inclusivity Doesn’t Work

Inclusivity

Icon-Anime Icon-Gaming Icon-MOEThere’s a lot of talk about “inclusivity” around, especially with the advent of Gamergate. People talk about it like it’s some kind of virtue, like it’s some kind of universal good that every community should strive to uphold.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

Inclusivity doesn’t work, full stop. The idea of just allowing anyone and everyone into a subculture is absurd. It’s the most expedient way to kill a subculture. Unchecked proliferation of “inclusivity” dilutes the culture and brings the community closer and closer to baseline mainstream culture.

What’s so sinister about the inclusivity edict is that, on the face of it, it sounds like a wonderful idea. Why wouldn’t a given subculture want to open its arms and welcome more people into it? The diversity and varying perspectives implied by the idea of welcoming more people into a community can only improve said community.

What people don’t think about, however, is what needs to happen to the community in order to attract so many more new people. People who are interested enough in something to want to find other people who are interested in the same thing will find and join communities based around what interests them, provided those communities are well-promoted enough. In those communities, the focus is on the interest. The Virtual-On community is focused on Virtual-On, and so on.

When “inclusivity” takes over, however, that focus changes. The inclusivity edict requires the community change its focus from the central interest the community formed around to the very concept of attracting more people, no matter what. If the game is too hard, it must be made easier to attract people who might be put-off by its difficulty. If the anime is too “dangerously Japanese,” it has to go away to attract more people from countries with larger populations. If a community is too insular, it must compromise the culture it has created within itself to attract people who don’t have the patience to understand a subculture.

When talking about “inclusivity,” however, it’s very easy to get caught up in identity politics, with proponents of the inclusivity edict claiming that opposition to inclusivity is synonymous with an effort to keep women, racial minorities, and sexual minorities out of a subculture. The thing is: When it comes to subcultures based around hobbies, things like gender, race, and sexual preference mean nothing. There is a case to be made about representation of racial, gender, and sexual minorities within a subculture “permitting” other members of those minority groups to join the subculture they’re in, but that has to start with people of those groups already being in that subculture naturally.

Tossing identity politics into the inclusivity argument muddies the waters and makes it seem like there’s no choice but to compromise a subculture’s focus in service of attracting everyone and everyone. It’s populist. It encourages the dilution of the subculture to make the subculture palatable for everyone, even if they don’t care all that much for the subculture’s focus. It causes the breakdown of a subculture by shifting its focus from the shared interest that it grew around to being everything to everybody.

The inclusivity edict flies in the face of the very concept of a subculture. Subcultures are naturally discriminatory. They exist on the concept of excluding people who can’t hang. It’s not malicious. It’s just a difference in interests.

We discriminate because we are different. It’s not a value judgment. It’s recognition of the fact that people have different interests. We should respect that and not just expect a group of people who have worked hard to form a culture around something they love to lower their gates to anyone who demands the gates be lowered.

Subcultures are inclusive, but only to people who endeavour to become part of the culture, rather than demand the culture morph to suit them. Respect the culture and it will respect you back. Be humble and willing to learn, and the community will welcome you with open arms.

These subcultures do want to grow. They do want to include people.

Just not at the expense of everything they build their subculture around.

Signature

10 thoughts on “Inclusivity Doesn’t Work

  1. I noticed that inclusivity in how media is produced. To me anyway, it seems that American media has the mind of trying to make something to appeal to as large as an audience as possible, even at the loss of those deemed diehard (like how the Michael Bay’s Transformer movies have stuff in it that doesn’t mean shit to it’s long time fans of the franchise, just to get it’s PG-13 movie going audience).

    In Japan, media is produced with the notion that the obsessive otaku will come first because it’s guaranteed that they will support it, rather than making something for an audience that just make not exist.

  2. You can’t please everybody, but you gotta please somebody.

    These people just seem to hate the notion that not everything is meant for everyone.

  3. “The idea of just allowing anyone and everyone into a subculture is absurd. It’s the most expedient way to kill a subculture.”

    Nicely said.

    There’s a lot of people making accusations of “elitism” or “discrimination” when it comes to subcultures without understanding that this bar is naturally set in order to keep the subculture what it is. Elitism protects group integrity.

    There’s an aspect to coloniality in this subversive idea of inclusivity in that these people look less to assimilate and instead try to force accommodation on the grounds of moral or identity politics or whatever. I think what Gamergate has shown is that this kind of appeal to inclusivity is not /really/ about the liberal ideologies espoused but instead about control of space and narrative. The result is what you said, dilution and distortion, but it also facilitates mainstream appropriation and silencing of unpopular interests and opinions.

    This is getting long, but I would like to end on the point that what people may feel is discriminatory about subcultures is actually more symptomatic of the racism/sexism of mainstream culture. That if “gamers” mock “gamer girls,” it’s not because gamers are just unreasonable sexist assholes like some would claim, but because they’re raised in sexist environments. Truth is, if you look around, subcultures are some of the most welcoming, safe, and inclusive spaces you will ever find. That someone (POC, female, trans, etc.) wouldn’t be attacked for liking loli or shota or yaoi or whatever is evidence of that.

    • I can’t help but laugh at the notion of sexist environments.

      Sexism isn’t a culture beyond isolated individuals. Individuals that may commune online, but are quite separate in reality.

      A few scattered criminals doesn’t not prove the existence of a syndicate. Likewise a few scattered sexists doesn’t prove a sexist culture.

      • “I can’t help but laugh at the notion of sexist environments. ”

        I can’t help but laugh about how arrogant you are to say some dumb, ignorant shit like this. Do you actually think people are naturally just born bigots completely independent of any environmental influence? lmao.

        “Sexism isn’t a culture beyond isolated individuals. Individuals that may commune online, but are quite separate in reality.”

        You’re begging the question. And history would contradict this, anyway. Do you think that up until women’s suffrage movements, women just didn’t want to be regarded as proper citizens or something? Or that they didn’t want education on par with men? Or that they didn’t want to work in the same fields as men?

        Are you catching the pattern here? Women had to fight to be considered equal to men. And they’re still not really considered equal, as evidenced by the myriad, biased gender stereotypes all around us.

        Honestly, I don’t even know if there’s a point to this. Your previous posts suggest that you like oversimplifying things, saying nothing of value, and then patting yourself on the back for being so astute and cool. You seem to understand neither the concept of “culture” nor “sexism” and you clearly know nothing about psychology because you can’t even fathom how the environment could influence how we act (e.g, teaching us to be sexist, teaching us to not say sexist things in public which would then lead to you underestimate just how many sexist people there are). If you really care, go read something and educate yourself and, hopefully, stop posting such dumb shit in the future. Either way, I’m done and I won’t be replying beyond this.

        • You started it by insulting my family, friends, teachers and everyone I’ve ever known.

          They didn’t raise me to be a sexist, and frankly I don’t much appreciate the insinuation that they did.

          You don’t fucking know me, you don’t know the people I know, you don’t know jack shit about me.

          So take your self-righteous bullshit and shove it.

        • Do you think that up until women’s suffrage movements, women just didn’t want to be regarded as proper citizens or something? Or that they didn’t want education on par with men? Or that they didn’t want to work in the same fields as men?

          History is written by the victor. There were entire movements composed of women opposing women’s suffrage. To say “women” wanted the vote is a heavy generalization.

          Not to mention, when we’re talking about gamers mocking “gamer girls,” it seems like a non-sequitur to start talking about suffrage movements when the 19th Amendment was passed nearly a century ago. It seems to me like the need to reach all the way back to 1920 to make a case for the existence of “sexist environments” proves that “sexist environments” don’t exist anymore. Sexist individuals and sexist ideas certainly exist, but when do those become an “environment,” and to what extent does said “environment” have sole influence on those within it, especially given the prevalence of the internet and the wealth of varied ideas it can bring?

          • Well, first off, thanks for actually bringing some actual points. As such, I’ll address them.

            “There were entire movements composed of women opposing women’s suffrage. To say “women” wanted the vote is a heavy generalization.”

            You’ve missed the point of what I was getting at. The fact that there was need for a movement for women’s suffrage at all is evidence of a system that prevents them from equal rights (the “syndicate” behind the criminals so to speak). But I wasn’t only talking about the US. All around the world women have had to work to get these rights. If there wasn’t some systematic sexism here, there would be no need for such a thing–they would have their rights from the get-go. I’m obviously not talking about egalitarian societies. I’m talking about Western, modern, “patriarchal” ones (to use feminist language).

            “It seems to me like the need to reach all the way back to 1920 to make a case for the existence of “sexist environments” proves that “sexist environments” don’t exist anymore.”

            No. Reaching that far back is simply to make it clear that our culture was, at one point, obviously sexist in this regard. But this exists because that sort of dynamic is considered normal–that women are seen as inherently inferior.

            This is analogous to pointing to slavery to demonstrate a culture of racism. And as I hope you know, racism did not end with emancipation. Likewise, sexism doesn’t end with suffrage.

            “Sexist individuals and sexist ideas certainly exist, but when do those become an “environment,” and to what extent does said “environment” have sole influence on those within it, especially given the prevalence of the internet and the wealth of varied ideas it can bring?”

            Internet is included in environmental factors. It’s just another collection of individuals, and these individuals all bring their own cultural perspectives and biases. Internet as we know it is also restricted mostly to users from modern, Western societies which tend to be patriarchal. Further, most people are not open to being challenged–you tend to see a kind of “bubble” effect with internet use as people narrow down the content they consume to that they agree with.

            As for how much we’re influenced: Sex and racial biases are learned fairly early. There’s a lot of psych literature on the topic, but basically, kids pick up on stereotypes very quickly and very naturally, not necessarily from their parents or friends or whatever, but from the cultural messages around them. This is so deeply ingrained that when you tell them a story that contradicts gender stereotypes (e.g., a female doctor), they will actually forget that and remember it as something more consistent with the norm (e.g., a male doctor or a female nurse). The fact that these norms exist effect the roles within society, so you can see this as a kind of inadvertant, quiet sexism. It’s not like people are going out of their way to shit on females. It just kind of happens and that’s what I’m trying to get at here. The plus side here is that these messages can be counteracted by simply teaching a more comprehensive gender understanding. There’s really too much to get into with this, but I hope you get my point, that individual accusations of sexism are not constructive because they don’t address the much larger issues that produce them and a lot of radical leftists and SJW types forget this very point.

          • “You’ve missed the point of what I was getting at. The fact that there was need for a movement for women’s suffrage at all is evidence of a system that prevents them from equal rights”

            And you missed the point I was getting at. The only reason people say there was a “need” for a movement for women’s suffrage is because the narrative pushed by the suffrage movement won out against that pushed by the anti-suffrage movement. Again: History is written by the victors.

            “This is analogous to pointing to slavery to demonstrate a culture of racism. And as I hope you know, racism did not end with emancipation. Likewise, sexism doesn’t end with suffrage.”

            I wouldn’t for a second call it analogous. We’re talking the emancipation of people who were owned as property vs women getting the right to vote, which, might I add, they still got before said emancipated slaves.

            “Internet is included in environmental factors.”

            Certainly.

            “It’s just another collection of individuals, and these individuals all bring their own cultural perspectives and biases.”

            True.

            “Internet as we know it is also restricted mostly to users from modern, Western societies which tend to be patriarchal.”

            True for patriarchal, because most societies are patriarchal, but wholly untrue for the rest.

            Global internet usage statistics -> http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users-by-country/

            You will notice that:
            -Nigeria has 10 million more internet users than the UK
            -Italy has less internet users than Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
            -Iran has over 1 million more internet users than Australia

            So, no, the internet isn’t “restricted” to Western cultures.

            “Further, most people are not open to being challenged–you tend to see a kind of “bubble” effect with internet use as people narrow down the content they consume to that they agree with.”

            You’ll find the opposite also happens. My point was that the internet creates that opportunity.

            “The fact that these norms exist effect the roles within society, so you can see this as a kind of inadvertant, quiet sexism. It’s not like people are going out of their way to shit on females. It just kind of happens and that’s what I’m trying to get at here.”

            Do we punish people who discriminate against others or not? Do we take people to task for treating people unfairly based on factors those people can’t control, or do we let them go on and just vlame the “environment” they grew up in?

            If a person does something wrong, we punish the person. Trying to figure out what in their “environment” contributed to their mindset and resulted in them doing wrong things comes after they’re taken to task for what they did.

            Discrimination doesn’t just “kind of happen.” It’s a result of factors, yes, but it’s still up to individual people to discriminate against others, despite most of the Western world actively endeavouring to discourage discrimination.

            The more we focus on “sexist environments,’ the closer we come to seeing sexists as just victims of circumstance, and I’m not on-board with that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *