My Invisible Line
TW for sexual harrassment talk.
Yesterday a bunch of news dropped about a lawsuit being taken against Activision / Blizzard for their ‘frat boy’ culture. I doubt very much that it came as a surprise to anyone, but I went and read through the legal papers for it and the details were disgusting.
What was even more disgusting was the response from a spokesperson of Activision that said that the statements presented in the court document were “distorted and in many cases false” and this is where Activision crossed over an invisible line I have as far as supporting their games go.
We all have those invisible lines. Something that tells us “you know what, I just don’t want to support them any more”. Mine, I will admit, is pretty broad. I like video games, I enjoy supporting developers, and it’s ingrained into my entire life. I’ve played World of Warcraft since the start. I’ve weathered some pretty nasty storms with them – this time, I just can’t.
As a woman, my entire life I’ve been told that if I speak up about sexual harassment I was doing it for the attention. On two distinctive occasions I did the right thing and I talked to the right people and no one believed me. They told me I was trying to get attention. So on the third (and arguably biggest) occasion when I was raped in a washroom after work in a shopping mall I told no one except my boyfriend at the time. I did nothing. I never went to the police, what would be the point. I quietly quit my job, and never went back to that mall again.
It’s an enormous deal to me that so many women are standing up and being strong enough to share what has been going on or what has gone on in the past, and they are being told that their statements are distorted and false. There is nothing as heartbreaking for a victim than to be told that they are lying – when they are not. It is one of many reasons that women just don’t feel comfortable to speak up and talk about this sort of thing to begin with. There is almost always some sort of punishment. Whether it’s burning bridges, missed job opportunities, or something else. There is zero incentive for victims to come forward, and so much to lose.
So yes, Activision has crossed a line. I’m not willing to continue to support a company that can’t support female co-workers, or even ex co-workers. I’ve cancelled my account, and I can only hope that the victims are able to get some sort of closure from all of this.