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The Economist ~ on ‘beauty’ contests

Day 2,107, 09:53 Published in China Poland by Iain Keers




Dear friends,


All of here in erep are a community; A community like any other. Except that what brings us together isn’t where we live or work, but the game we play. Like football fans we play the game ourselves, admire others who play, make friends, talk about the game on forums. Along the way we learn a little about each other, and we reveal some information about ourselves.


One of the hardest things facing players in eRep is gender. Despite the fact that many countries have almost eradicated sexism, homophobia and racism, the fact is that this is anything but the case in eRepublik. As an example, a few days into my term as SG I got a query from someone who made a joke which managed to be simultaneously offensive about both black people and Jews. Now the scary thing is, it wasn’t meant to be offensive, and the fact is that most people don’t see making those sort of jokes as unacceptable at all.


Similarly the eUK has a large and vibrant gay community, just like in the real world. It’s not my place to out people, but many of our most famous names and faces are gay. I’d say the vast majority of players I’ve spoken to on eRep have been either homophobic or against gay rights in areas like marriage. I’m not trying to bring RL into erep here, but you can understand why as a gay man you would be uncomfortable to tell people about your real life personality or habits for fear of persecution. I feel most sorry for people who are gay IRL and live in countries which are openly hostile to gay people. I can’t say much to them other than the eUK is happy to have you.





Which brings me to women. Now men outnumber women more than 20 to 1 in eRep, and the number of women active in the “high level gaming”, ie not just passive members of society but leaders, is even lower. Even in the eUK where we’re quite comfortable with the idea of female leaders the proportion is low: there are only a couple active in politics at the minute. One of the reasons that women don’t enjoy this sort of game is the constant attempt to sexualise and infantilise them.


Beauty contests are an invasion of people’s lives. We should be judged as players, not by what we look like in real life, our gender or what’s between our legs. We should be able to admire a player because of what they achieve not what they are. Whatever your gender, your race, sexuality, profession or home. You shouldn’t face discrimination or humiliation. Beauty contests are nothing more than objectification of women, reducing them to 2D images to be judged by the internet. That never ends well.


I know that many people will think that since it’s voluntary and they don’t have to take part we shouldn’t judge. That is true- and similarly in the real world beauty contests are perfectly fine (if a bit weird) by most people’s judgement. I’m not telling people to cover up or not post pictures of themselves. I’m saying that the community culture that ranks women by their attractiveness is the community culture which promotes sexism. Which infantilises women. Those who are participating in the contest are volunteers- the hundreds and thousands of women who join the game each day aren’t. But they’re exposed to the same culture. One where your gender makes you not an equal but a novelty.





Even as leader of the most powerful alliance in the world, the question I get asked most is “are you a woman”, shortly followed in most cases by “do you have pics”. Now this is probably funny to most of you who know me, but this isn’t just random citizens, it’s everyone up to and including Country Presidents. If you can imagine what normal women face on a day to day basis, it’s not nice. And competitions like this make it worse.


Now finally to the point: I made this argument (albeit much more briefly since I was preaching to the converted) on the UK forums. I said the UK should not contribute anyone to the “Miss Summer” competition because we should make a stand somewhere. There have been many of these competitions and the UK has never taken part. However I did quip:



I didn’t think it was very likely Butjam would go along. But lo and behold, he has balls of cast iron and, complete with makeup and dress, made a post a few days later. He actually makes quite a pretty woman. Now what is great about this is that all the people who agree with the wall of text I wrote above would vote Butjam. Those who didn’t agree would probably ridicule him for entering- again proving the whole point of the argument. These contests are the flip side of bullying, and perpetuate a prejudiced culture in the game.


However after entering, Butjam was told he could not run as he was not “female by birth”. Despite mails from dozens of outraged eUK citizens, he has been denied the chance to put himself up for public scrutiny and likely humiliation in the name of the feminist movement. For all of you out there who think that what we need is less holiday pics of players, and more females actually finding the game a nice place to stay and play, please send the organiser of the competition a PM asking him to enter Butjam.


I know this article is of a slightly more personal/crazy topic than normal, but I ask that you stick with me and help me out with this. And I hope the community proves me wrong, and shows it’s a lot more open-minded and modern than it sometimes acts.


Best wishes,


Iain




Ps. I’m not saying you’re all sexist, racist, homophobic. Quite the opposite. I wouldn’t waste my breath if I thought it was going to fall on deaf ears. I hope you’ll all join with me in this, a small stand by our community for what is right: and seeing Butjam in a dress.
 

Comments

Zaphod Beeblebrox IV
Zaphod Beeblebrox IV Day 2,107, 09:58

go butjam go

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:05

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:02

Let Butjam in the competition!

anomalous_result
anomalous_result Day 2,108, 16:29

You're trying to defend yourself and doing really badly at it.

You're importing your own views of gender apparition to what the contest should be about but it isn't about what you think looks like a woman, it's about what the voters think looks like a woman.

It was an easy mistake to make in today's gender binary but your greater mistake is your failure to admit your error, this post just exposes your bigoted anachronistic ideal of gender identity.

Butjam for Miss eWorld

Talon Karrde
Talon Karrde Day 2,107, 09:58

Supported. I may be a hetero Christian white guy but I certainly support the sentiment here! Say no to racism, sexism and homophobia!

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:06

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:02

Let Butjam in the competition!

Butjam
Butjam Day 2,107, 10:00

Oh Keers, take me you stud. I don't mind valuing you by your looks any day!

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:06

Comment deleted

Schwrzwolf
Schwrzwolf Day 2,107, 10:03

\o/ hooray for respecting humans in all their diversity!

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:08

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:03

Let Butjam in the competition!

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 10:16

'Even as leader of the most powerful alliance in the world, the question I get asked most is “are you a woman”, shortly followed in most cases by “do you have pics”... If you can imagine what normal women face on a day to day basis, it’s not nice. '

i just imagined a woman who is doubtfully asked these questions in RL
lol

Invalidation
Invalidation Day 2,107, 10:09

Butjam being denied his human rights ;_;

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 10:39

his human right to enter a private contest for which he has not fullfilled the conditions of participation... yeah right. that was the one before or after his right to punch me in the face with giant hooves on his hands when i have birthday on a saturday and walk down a street with an odd name? or was it the one after the human right for women to become an eunuch ?

Iain Keers
Iain Keers Day 2,107, 14:53

That was after Invalidation made a joke you didn't get... do you have to spam my article?

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 15:24

well i didn't tpought his comment was total serious so... sorry about my multiple (unwanted) comments - i think slow so often something additional comes to my mind after i have already posted/replied something

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:08

Comment deleted

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,108, 12:41

oh wow "beauty is on the inside as well"... how would you want to judge this.. with a video of someone being nice?

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,108, 12:52

and the "you want to judge the feminity of a person" - well yeah it is a beauty contest for women... and what is the beauty of a woman if not (also) her feminity... and because in a beautycontest judgeing of pictures i think feminity plays a big role

would like to know what the criteria of female beauty of Cyg are and what his definition of feminity is - by his argumentation they seem to be very different

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:03

Let Butjam in the competition!

Darkslowstar
Darkslowstar Day 2,107, 10:15

great article, as always

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:08

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:03

Let Butjam in the competition!

WookieO
WookieO Day 2,107, 10:22

I always thought Butjam was a girl. This has shocked me to my very soul!

Give Butjam the vote, or equal pay, or higher pay even....go Butjam \o/

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:09

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:03

Let Butjam in the competition!

ghishae
ghishae Day 2,107, 10:28

sorry, i am not on the same page on this one.

the organizer has the right to choose to do whatever he wants with his contest. it's his toy to break and he should have the liberty to do so. You think his rules are stupid / unfair / whatever? The the best way to actually make your point is to run your own pageant with your own rules.

and yes, the erepublik community is homophobic, but its not like nationalism is a trait of very open minded and progressive people... ( not to mention the religion factor )

so if we enjoy a community that promotes hatred based on the color of a flag we should not mind a sexist one.

Ayame Crocodile
Ayame Crocodile Day 2,107, 11:49

Only it is being promoted by eRepublik, So it's no longer just a private contest. It's a contest sanctioned by eRepublik themselves.

Which is in total contradiction to their own Terms & Conditions. Which I quote "6.8.2 be unlawful, obscene, defamatory, seditious, indecent, offensive, liable to incite racial hatred, liable to incite violence, discriminatory, menacing, scandalous, inflammatory, be in breach of confidence, be in breach of privacy or be inappropriate;"

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 11:54

and what's the contradiction?

Ayame Crocodile
Ayame Crocodile Day 2,107, 11:57

Content which is Prohibited: 'Discriminatory'.

Now if entry is open only to women, then that's sexual discrimination at it's most obvious.

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 12:00

that is as discrimatory as if i search for a person playing the role of a 17yo girl in a movie and i just take female actors who look young

(hint: it is no discrimiation)

Ayame Crocodile
Ayame Crocodile Day 2,107, 12:03

Restricting entry into an 'International Competition' by assumed Gender is discrimination. There is no job to be done which requires a certain look or ability. It's a silly little game where someone hopes he can oggle women.

Why exactly are you so interested in proving that it's perfectly fine to do this in the 21st century?

What exactly concerns you so much that Gender roles aren't defined purely by biology?

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 12:12

well if it is a beauty contest for women then it is most likely a contest for women so to do the "job" one would assume that the entry is limited to women.

and gender roles do not apply as the contest is open for all women i think and is not restricted to housewifes... the thing is that gender roles do not change your biological sex (and well thats a part of what the gender-stuff is about...)

eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 12:19

Comment deleted

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 12:21

in some sports like boxing you also have weight classes so that the basic position (?) of the contestants is roughly the same. and the base here in the contest seems to be "human female erepublik-player"

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 12:25

and as the contest here is a bodily/physical contest these biological factors apply and not socio-psychological factors

Carlini8
Carlini8 Day 2,107, 14:09

Oh dear me...

Carlini8
Carlini8 Day 2,107, 14:09

Oh nevermind, you are in eRussia, that tells me alllllll I need to know.

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 14:56

i am RL german what tells you that?

Viridi
Viridi Day 2,107, 17:33

eRussia does not translate into real life, and neither are the same.

eisenmutter2
eisenmutter2 Day 2,107, 18:58

@Viridi
still a nice retort
erepublik needs more of that

ghishae
ghishae Day 2,108, 00:07

must be blind but i dont see Iain mumbling about plato on this one.

The article ( from what i understand as a bicurious, agnostic, non native english speaker white male ) is about how evil female only beauty contests are and how the otherwise elevated community playing erepublik is morally degrading because of them

btw, those rules are only targeting customers ( all players are customers ).
erepublik has to comply to laws governing companies incorporated in Ireland : )

MaryamQ
MaryamQ Day 2,107, 10:29

As a RL woman who has risen in military and political circles in a small eCountry, I think this is a great article. I fully support what you say, am impressed with eUK for back butjam, and had already sent a PM to Karl before oI read this. Well done!

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:10

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:03

Let Butjam in the competition!

Colonel Jack ONeal
Colonel Jack ONeal Day 2,107, 10:49

Totally agree. It's a contest of shalowness

Karl von Lautaro Day 2,108, 12:11

Comment deleted

VaultGuy
VaultGuy Day 2,108, 15:04

Let Butjam in the competition!

 
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