Marginalizing Women and Minorities as Attention Whores

“Sadly, it’s bigger than just streaming, and it’s bigger than just gender. You also see similar accusations about people who are told their bisexuality/pansexuality/transness is ‘just for the attention’, for example. People of color often experience it when talking about racism, with earnest conversations about experiences and perceptions being seen as ‘race baiting’. You see it applied to body modifications as well. It often gets posed as a question: ‘why does a person who does/identifies as [x] have to be so vocal about it?’ It’s a coded way of saying someone is just looking for attention, and it’s a form of marginalization, because it assumes by default an illegitimacy for that person’s identity and experiences. Under this thinking, the identity characteristics of people who fall outside the accepted norms aren’t that way in earnest — they’re that way as a sort of contrarian act. For those who do largely fit the norms, I can understand why it’s easy to think that, as much of their identity development has been in rejecting pieces of the norm that they interface with. Maybe they reject mainstream music, or AAA games. Maybe they embrace fringe technology. Perhaps it’s rejecting what they see as the dominant religion or political beliefs. These rejections happen organically for them, relative to whatever their ‘normal’ is, and they view them as fundamental parts of their beliefs. As such, when faced with someone who’s counter to dominant culture in a particularly striking or individual way (particularly those who violate norms that the observers have made a conscious choice to accept rather than reject), it’s often easier to explain their existence within a framework of norm-rejection, which gives them the internally-consistent belief that people are, say, ‘bisexual just for the attention’. Instead of assuming that most people who identify as bisexual are doing it in a way that’s consistent with their own personal experiences, they assume that the identity came about as a rejection of a cultural norm, and that the rejection is so strong that, of course, it’ll definitely get attention. What’s interesting about that, is the idea that attention is fueled largely by the very value imbalance that these kind of accusations imply. The outcries that people make when someone defines themselves as say, ‘bisexual’ or a ‘girl gamer’ create the very attention that people are, paradoxically, decrying. I can’t speak about Kaceytron specifically, as I’m not familiar with her, but the post someone else made about her has been seen by and commented on by thousands of people. In decrying her attention-seeking behaviors, the person who posted it not only signal-boosted that, but also revealed their own desire to call attention to their perspective — an attention-seeking behavior that is probably invisible to the poster and many of the people agreeing with the image’s message. /u/imuya brought it up relative to streaming, but the fact of the matter is that much of what we do are attention-seeking behaviors. Why do you keep in touch with your friends? Why do you comment on reddit? Why do you tweet? Whenever there’s a social component to something there’s an element of attention embedded in it, because the task becomes relatively meaningless if there isn’t an audience. Reddit itself is like a veritable pressure-cooker for attention, with everything you do on the site being a vector for it. I’m writing this comment in the hopes that other people will see it; I’m writing it with the understanding that anyone on the site can respond to it; and, even more, I’m able to have a direct proxy for the audience’s opinion of it in the form of reddit’s voting system! I can’t imagine a system more designed to reward attention-seeking behavior, especially because an upvote is structurally analogous to saying this needs more attention by nature of reddit’s sorting methods (displaying highly upvoted articles and comments first).
The point of all of this is that a behavior being attention-seeking isn’t wrong in and of itself — in fact, that’s a reality we are all complicit in if we’re on this very site. Instead, it’s often the intent of the behavior and the manner and space in which it’s executed that are far more important in terms of gauging authenticity.”

From Reddit

Image is a collage of screencaps of ‘girlgamer’ streamer Kaceytron posted with the original Reddit thread.





Leave a Reply

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