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John Teasdale @beaglerush
, 90 tweets, 18 min read Read on Twitter
So, because it seems a lot of people are having trouble with it, I'm going to talk about Jessica Price and ArenaNet.
First, context. Jessica Price was on the narrative team at ArenaNet (Guild Wars 2). She tweeted a thread about the complexity of making an MMORPG character narratively.
A content creator ("ArenaNet Partner"), Deroir, took the opportunity to contradict her and say "It's actually not that hard, just do this." Price blew him off and then RT'd it as an example of how it's par for the course when you're a female dev - get told how to suck eggs daily.
She says the next 'rando asshat' to do so will get blocked. Deroir profuses to have only been interested in discourse and that he didn't mean to offend. Reddit gets very upset. Why is Price making this about gender? Why is she being so rude to Deroir?
Reddit gets angrier and angrier about this, and they call for her punishment/removal from the company. In response, ArenaNet fires Price as well as a co-worker who defended her on Twitter, Peter Fries.
I've tried to be impartial so far in setting up the context, but for truly objective context:

This is her initial thread
This is Deroir's response, her response to that, and his response to hers
This is her RT, and below it, his own response to her RTing him in a negative light.

If it's not clear, I'm saying click on these to bring up not only the linked tweet but also the immediate responses to it from each party.

This is her tweet that seems to have drawn the most hatred - where she calls him and people like him rando asshats
And here, she says

- this isn't a work account, but her own personal twitter
- she isn't on it to play customer service/the customer is always right.
And finally, here is Deroir providing his 'final thoughts' on the matter. In a followup tweet, he goes on to thank his community for supporting him during this.
That's a lot of pre-amble before I've even said anything about it myself, huh? That's because I don't want to *just* launch into telling you what I think. I'd like you to take a look at this, understand the context, and think for *yourself*, first.

Then we can talk.
For example - those supporting Price's firing believe she overreacted and was rude towards Deroir. They believe he was nothing but polite and entirely constructive, and didn't deserve the reaction she gave him.
They also believe Price played the victim and made the issue about gender when it wasn't. They believe her combination of rudeness and self-victimizing are in stark contrast to Deroir's polite and constructive comments.
Take another look at his comments and, again, think about it for yourself. What do you think of them?

You don't have to scroll up. I'll supply them again.
Remember, click these and bring up the replies. See that full context.

The reason I need to talk about this isn't to tell you about how absurdly bad it is that ArenaNet caved to the mob and fired Price and Fries. That should already be obvious. I want to talk about the mob's reaction in the first place.
Because in checking out the threads discussing the firings, I was surprised, perhaps foolishly so, to find the majority seem to agree with them. The largely agreed upon side is that Price is an angry woman playing the victim and Deroir was a polite fan caught in her path.
They agree with the firings because they believe a toxic, disrespectful dev got what they deserved as the community rallied around an innocent fan with nothing but good intentions. They're proud of themselves.
That's horseshit.
Yes, we've got to the part where I tell you what I think, now.
A frightening amount of people seem to believe if you wrap things up in a polite container anything you say is automatically polite and constructive. That civility and polite mannerisms are the style that overrule any substance.

If it's not already obvious, I disagree with that.
The tweets between Price and Deroir are so overtly that of Deroir "well, actually"-ing her thread, Price calling that out fairly tamely, and then Deroir spending the rest of the time passive-aggressively playing the victim.
That the popular narrative became "Price is playing the victim" when she does no such thing and Deroir CLEARLY DOES DO IT is infuriating to me. This isn't cleverly hidden subtext. This is blatant.
"Really interesting thread to read! However" and "Nonetheless, I appreciate the insightful thread!" are a start and end wrapper that say "I'm not saying I'm better at your job than you, but here's an easy way you could fix the thing that you said is very hard".
His initial comments are not, as he later claims, him trying to start a conversation. He is not asking "what do you think of this?" "why doesn't <x> work?" or "could <x> fix the problem?". He is *telling* her, not talking to her. He comes, he explains to her, he wraps up & leaves
Understand - a man who is a popular YouTuber and streamer is *telling* a dev with 10 years of experience how to do her job better. He is not creating a conversation. He is giving her an explanation.
And he caps it off with "Nonetheless, I appreciate the insightful thread!", which in this context means "But hey, thanks for your input!"

You may have heard of a term called mansplaining. This is what it looks like.
No manner of polite wrappings change what he's saying here. Most of us understand by now that "I'm not racist, but" does not absolve you of the thing you say next. "Great insights, but" does not change what Deroir is doing, either.
Price's first sin is to call this out. She says "thanks for trying to tell me what we do internally, my dude 9_9", which, again, make your own mind up, but I think is rather tame. Guess who didn't think it was tame, though?
Deroir's reaction is to, essentially, flip the fuck out. He goes from 0 to 100, accusing her of 'getting mad' at his 'obvious attempt at creating dialogue' with her. He is 'really, just disheartened she didn't tell him he was wrong more in a less mad way.
Remember two things at this point.

1) As we discussed before, he wasn't at all trying to have a conversation. He was popping in, saying "no, here's how you do it", and then leaving. For fuck's sake, he even capped it off with "Nonetheless, I appreciate the insightful thread!".
b) Deroir feels victimized because his attempt at 'creating dialogue' was rebuffed by Price 'getting mad'.

Again. Look at her reply. Does this seem angry to you? Has she lost it on him?
He ends this with "You do you, though. I'm sorry if it offended. I'll leave you to it."

Another make your own mind up exercise. Do you actually take him as being sincere here?
We have all talked to people like this. This is incredibly obvious passive aggression. "Oh, I was just trying to be constructive. :( You do you though. Sorry you took what I said so wrong. I'll leave you to your anger."
This is playing to the crowd. Deroir is a YouTuber and a streamer, just like me. And we understand very well that the audience's opinion is all that matters.
This is him in the colliseum raising up his hands and grandstanding to them. "Look! I was only trying to be constructive, and she attacked me! What did I do to deserve this? I'm such a nice person!"
Price, on the other hand, does not do this. She is not playing to the crowd. She does not care if they think her response to him is justified or if she is seen as 'nice'. Her response was for him, not for onlookers.
Price RTs his comments as an example of what she experiences constantly. Despite Deroir's obvious theatrics, *this* is the tweet that gets *her* accused of playing the victim. Because she dares to 'make it about gender'.
This is so stupid.
That women experience and deal with this kind of treatment and worse constantly regardless of their field does not need to be debated. It is real. But because she brings it up, she is the one 'making it about gender'.
Using his comments as an example of that treatment is not 'making it about gender'. It is making it about reality. This is real. This is how things are.
Please understand women do not spend their days planning how they will make themselves out to be victims. They are made to be victims by others enough already. They don't need to do it themselves.
But, speaking of playing victim, Deroir's response to her is, again, for the crowd.

"I meant no disrespect AT ALL." "Nor has this ANYTHING to do with gender". "I will retract my comment, cause obviously I'm in the wrong forum for this kind of talk."
Home quiz! Is his retraction sincere, or meant to draw sympathy from onlookers?
The irony this is so mind-numbing, and yet is it's so commonly said.

"I, a man, am explaining to you how to do your job despite having no experience in it. Also, I, a man, am explaining to you how this has nothing to do with sexism despite having no experience with that either."
Price has ten years of experience being a dev. She has even more experience being a woman.

When your response to her saying you're mansplaining is to say "No see you're wrong, this has nothing to do with gender", the point is flying so far over your head that it's leaving orbit.
This is so often where being willing to empathise with others ends. It is how we work. Racism is refusing to hire someone black. Homophobia is refusing to serve gays. Sexism is the sleazy boss that touches inappropriately. These are all obvious to us.
But as soon as it becames something *you're* doing, smaller on the surface but no less from a place of prejudice, but far, far more common, people refuse to take a look at themselves. Instead, it becomes "social justice". "Oversensitivity". A reaction that's gone "Too far".
Speaking of reactions gone too far, let's continue.

Price characterises Deroir as a 'rando asshat' with zero experience explaining to an actual dev with 10 years of experience how to do her job.

If you haven't noticed so far, I agree with her characterisation.
Many others didn't. Blood is called for, and blood is served. ArenaNet fires Price and Fries for "attacks" on the community.

We've talked about playing to the crowd a lot. Let's see how the crowd reacted. Hope you don't mind my highlights.
Irony aside, if I had a dollar for every time a man said "THIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER OR SEXISM, WHY BRING IT UP", I'd fucking drown in my treasure hoard.
Pay attention, devs - your job is *basically* the same as working at McDonalds.
There's so much here, it's incredible. Do we go with "You know which gender is, as a whole, incredibly sexist? Women." Perhaps "I get my takes on sexism from the guy who said people against a straight pride day should be shot."

Or maybe it's the guy mansplaining mansplaining.
God, I hate people who play the victim! But not as much as I hate people who act like bitches for NO REASON to others who were nothing but polite and constructive.
No Reddit mob is complete without a healthy dose of armchair psychology, of course.
And of course, a different woman is here to reassure everyone: don't worry, this situation and the response to it is *not real sexism*. Please keep it up. You're all doing great.
And of course, if you thought that was as bad as it got, let's hop over to Twitter. Where it gets nice and personal for those who thought we had a bit too much distance from the subject.
"I think you're right. Except you said it was sexist. So actually you're wrong and I side with him now."
"Nobody cares about her being a woman except for her."

"Oh and by the way, believe me she knows how to take a dick ;) ;^ )"
At some point through this thread and especially through all these pictures of comments and tweets, you may have thought "okay, enough. we get it. move on."

That's the problem. We don't get it. If we got it, this wouldn't be the fucking conversation. "Move on" is the problem.
It goes on, and on, and on. I usually don't put too much stock in awful reddit comments and twitter replies, but in this case, they weren't a vocal minority or the exception. They were the overwhelming majority.
And it's not hard to see why. Forget about everything else and focus in on what the crowd themselves are saying. Because when they, rarely, say something sympathetic to Price in their complaints about her, it's "She was right, but she was so rude about it."
As we discussed earlier, I don't believe the substance here really matters. What matters is the wrapping. Deroir wrapped his bullshit up politely, and Price didn't wrap up her responses the same way.
In another universe, Deroir replies to her 9_9 with "Haha, sorry, didn't mean to tell you how to do your job. Can you explain to me why it doesn't work?". In that world, I buy his excuse of "just trying to have a conversation".
But we don't live in that world. We live in the one where Deroir snapped and played the victim so well that Price was the one who got the label. And no small part of why is a simple truth: we don't like women like her.
We don't like women who call people out. We don't like women who argue. We don't like women who don't have time to put up with our shit. We don't like women who don't know their place.
We like women who know how to be nice. We like women who are civil and polite. We like women who know how to get on their knees and smile. We like women who know their role.

But of course, we like men who don't take any gruff. Men who speak their mind. Men who tell it like it is
It's not the traits we dislike. It's the mouth it comes out of. When you're a guy, it's strength and confidence. When you're a girl, it's being angry and irrational. I used to be just like the dipshits in this mob when I was a teenager. I used to believe the same shit.
I used to think feminism and political correctness was going too far. Used to think women were oversensitive. My mum is an incredible woman who's been a jet pilot to an orchestra harpist to a fucking executive, and I STILL used to agree "there's jobs women cant do as well as men"
I was young and dumb. I spent too much time on 4Chan. You know how I got past that?

I *met* a woman. And I paid attention to how the world treated her. And through her I paid attention to how the world treated women full stop.
I've spent over 6 years with my partner, and every time I think I understand just how badly the world has failed her, I find out it's even worse.

She didn't tell me. She didn't try to convince me. I watched, I listened, and I realised. Still, it took me way too long.
But you know what the most important thing I realised is?

I was part of that problem. Sexism isn't just the sleazy co-worker. It's the guy who doesn't think he's sexist, doesn't think sexism is real anymore, while discounting everything women say to the contrary.
I think Deroir was mansplaining, yes. But his reaction - I think his reaction was pure asshattery. Personally, I would've called him a fuckwit. But even that isn't why I wanted to talk about this. It's not why I decided to annihilate your twitter feed for an hour.
I wanted to talk about this because what infuriates me, what fills me with absoloute fucking dread and sorrow, is how the crowd reacted. Online, it's often pointed to as negative when you admit to feeling angry. I say it freely here - this upsets me, so much.
The crowd sided with an overdramatic, attention-seeking child of a man's passive-aggressive tantrum and shit all over a woman for the sin of not being nice enough to him. For not smiling as he explained how simply he could solve her job for her.
And they did it by siding with a man who did everything they professed to hate. He was rude. He overreacted. He played the victim.

But he said it with nice words, so nobody cares.
This is easily the longest twitter thread I've ever made. I don't apologise for that. I'm sure some will feel I've overblown the issue. That I'm just as oversensitive as they think Price is. That harping on this detracts from solving "real sexism".
This 👏 is 👏 sexism. This is what it looks like. If you look at this situation and join the mob of people sympathizing with that "poor, innocent man", it is my firm belief that you are, excuse the saying, part of the fucking problem.
"I don't say or do sexist things!" is not fucking good enough. It is about what you think. It is about how you treat people. It is about how you have one standard for men and a different one for women.
It is about looking at this situation and agreeing Jessica Price and Peter Fries deserved to lose their fucking *jobs* for, in their own private lives, dishing out the tamest callouts in history to a manipulative, grandstanding little baby that were absoloutely deserved.
It's about looking at her reaction and explaining to her and others how it's because she's irrational, because she's oversensitive, because she's got a victim complex.
There are going to be a lot of you reading this who are at where I've been when I was younger. Who see this and feel like rolling their eyes and ignoring it as 'sjw bullshit'. Please don't. You are the people I want to talk to the most.
You are the people I'm talking about this for. I'm angry about this. But I don't want this to be nothing but demonizing. I don't want this to be "I think you're a monster." I just want YOU to think. I want you to take a look at yourself, your perspective.
I am not saying her replies were 'polite'. I'm not saying Price is an angel.

I'm saying she doesn't fucking have to be. She's a human being. That's not me saying she's flawed and made mistakes; it's me saying she doesn't have to suck your dick for you to treat her like a human.
Because most of all, I just want you to stop looking at women like 'the other side'. Like they're out there playing the victim for "attention". Like they're plotting on how to ruin your life.
I cannot sit here and read this crowd's responses and know some of you who follow me think like this, without talking to you about it. If I can talk to one person who believes the same fuckwit things I used to and get them to take a step back, that is worth the discussion.
Women are not evil. They are not manipulative. They are not this separate race of mentally ill attention-seeking liars plotting to ruin your life.

They're you. They're fucking people. Just treat them like people.

That's all.
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