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Stew Wilson
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Attended Staffordshire University
Lives in Edinburgh, Scotland
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What MRAs Really Want: A Consideration of Evolutionary Psychology

An Essay By Me 

I've been looking over the common MRA and PUA attitudes and behaviours lately. A lot of people are upset by them, and they're on the tip of a lot of tongues lately. I've heard a lot of talk about what they're trying to do, and how it's hypocritical, how it hurts women and men both, and how it promotes a really harsh, cynical culture. 

But what about them? What do they want? Let's stop and take a look at their behaviours, and what they really communicate. 

To do this, we have to look at history, and compare their behaviours and the results of similar behaviour throughout time. Here's an example. They practice a behaviour they call "negging". Essentially, the idea is to use backhanded compliments and minor insults on a woman, a potential mark. They claim this lowers defences, and leaves the woman prone to suggestibility. I don't think that's the real purpose. Think of humanity in the Paleolithic era. It was a simpler time. Humanity was just starting to really communicate. If, in the Palaeolithic era, a person "negged" another, what would happen? Well, communication was much more simple and primal in those days. Since we didn't have complex modes of community like the Internet, communication had to be direct and often forceful. In that era, if you "negged" someone, they'd beat the shit out of you. 

I think that's what MRAs and PUAs want. 

Now, the problem with modern culture is, we can't answer communication in that manner. We can't be direct in the way we're instinctively driven to be. We're repressing our deep-down urges. That's ultimately hurtful. Because man is an animal, and we're ruled by certain patterns of behaviour. For example, we have courtship rituals. One person gives gifts, acts complimentary, and does things to improve another's opinion. That person in turn chooses to escalate or diffuse. That's something most of us recognize. However, we've moved away from an acceptance of this other, more fundamental form of communication: Someone says something terrible to a person, and that person slaps the shit out of him.

MRAs and PUAs are typically very negative, very damaged, very hurt people. They spend a lot of time lamenting the state of modern culture. I can sympathise with this. They make a clear communication according to their base needs: "I need to have the shit beaten out of me." And unfortunately, because of the way culture has evolved towards "niceness", most people are unable or unwilling to follow through with their biologically-programmed response to the behaviour. 

They want something. Nobody will give it to them. That hurts.

So if you really want to help an MRA or PUA, you have to acquiesce to your more primal instincts. Act like a real human, without the blinders of niceness culture. Behave as if it were a simpler time. Beat the living shit out of him. It's what he wants; he's asking for it. If he didn't want it, he shouldn't act that way. 
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In which I expound on a seminal piece of British legal communication that I hope everyone sued by Dezzie takes to heart.
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This'd be funnier if it weren't true.
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If anyone wants to talk to me about games for e.g. a podcast or a website, especially about Werewolf: The Forsaken, hit me up.
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I mean, I guess I have a podcast that would be perfect to interview you on...
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The book's spot on. Really puts you into the shoes of a werewolf. Chillingly visceral. :)
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One for +Angus Macintyre: Thor, Thor, Thor, Thor, Thor, Thor, Throg, Thorse.
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Oh YEAH!
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Possibly of interest to +Angus Macintyre is Ragnarok. I know it's not Marvel-Thor, but it's still Badass Thor, and that's what counts.

In issue 1, all the gods died. Thor came back as a Draugr,, because Thor is a hard-case. In 3, he killed a Draugr in a village. Word got back to the others. In 4, the small village that has no weapons to defend itself is facing a Draugr army. All they have is a troll that they feed to protect them from the occasional attacker.

Thor and the troll decide to do something about the army.

As the line from the Edda goes, Vreiðr var þá Vingþórr er hann vaknaði. In English, "Pissed off was Thor when he awoke."
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I will make you pay for bringing this awesomeness into my life.
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Native Americans objected to how Monte Cook Games portrayed them in an RPG. MCG apparently responded by totally snubbing them.

A while back I had an idea for a Golden Sky Stories setting in the American southwest. PCs would be things like spirits from Native American myths, UFO aliens, etc., and it would take place in a small town in the desert instead of rural Japan. But I very quickly realized that I couldn't possibly do it justice just from reading library books and Wikipedia articles. I'd still like to do it some day, but I'd need input from Native Americans from the region to make it work.

It took me over a decade of learning the Japanese language and culture to feel somewhat comfortable with making stuff based in Japan, and even then I tiptoe around things like religion.

People act like having someone get offended is an all-or-nothing proposition, when in reality it tends much towards the nothing end of things, even when it should be otherwise. I strongly suspect that Monte Cook Games is going to stay in business for many years to come, and Paula Deen isn't going to be begging for change any time soon. For me it's not about avoiding offense, but a combination of holding myself to a high standard as a creator and wanting the people I try to represent in my works to be happy with the results.

Even if we were to set aside issues like cultural appropriation (which we shouldn't), RPGs that try to portray another culture are too often just laughably bad at it. That's true even of portrayals of places like Ireland or Italy, much less anywhere in Asia or Africa. So yeah. Maybe we could try to do better at this stuff. It's right for games, and more importantly it's right for other human beings. The first step is to just actually listen.
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Dead link, at least from Australia. 
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Vanity plussing: I've got 36 bestsellers on DriveThru, including 12 Platinum. Didn't realise it was so many, in either category.
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Dang, man. Can we sit here and back in your glow a little?
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When a man says "females" when he means "women", I immediately want to kick him in the junk.

If Ferengi, I'll kick him in the ears instead.
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It happens in academic writing and Makes Me Sad.  I'm trying to get my students not to mimic it for a large number of reasons - including the fact that women get called 'females' with more frequency than men get called 'males' contributes to an uninviting research and teaching culture for women.
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Anyone thinking the points Jürgen calls out are anything other than reasonable is a delusional shithead.
 
As summarized by the author, this is how Anita Sarkeesian plans to Ruin All Video Games Forever:

"1. Avoid the Smurfette principle (don't have just one female character in an ensemble cast, let alone one whose personality is more or less "girl" or "woman.")

2. "Lingerie is not armor" (Dress female characters as something other than sex objects.)

3. Have female characters of various body types

4. Don't over-emphasize female characters' rear ends, not any more than you would the average male character's.

5. Include more female characters of color.

6. Animate female characters to move the way normal women, soldiers or athletes would move.

7. Record female character voiceover so that pain sounds painful, not orgasmic

8. Include female enemies, but don't sexualize those enemies"


...seriously, how are these suggestions even controversial?
Minutes after I walked through a metal detector--and some time before she was flocked by well-wishers at the best-attended gaming lecture I've ever been to at New York University--I recently listened to the media critic Anita Sarkeesian describe eight things she'd like to see changed in video games.
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I don't think it is. It's this sort of feedback that makes things better.
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Work
Occupation
Systems administration, application packaging; Writer and game designer
Employment
  • Self-publishing
    Freelance writer and game designer, 2004 - present
  • University of Edinburgh
    Computing Officer, 2010 - present
  • Loretto School
    ICT Support Technician, 2007 - 2010
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group
    Find & Fix Programmer, 2005 - 2007
  • Cattles Consumer Finance
    Test Analyst, 2004 - 2005
  • Eurocopter Group
    Systems Administrator, 2001 - 2002
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Edinburgh, Scotland
Previously
Hull, Yorkshire - Stafford, Staffordshire - Munich, Bavaria
Story
Tagline
Will Lie For Money
Introduction
Stew Wilson was born in Hull and spent the first eighteen years of his life trying to escape. He’s made it as far as Edinburgh, where he's works as a writer, game designer, system administrator, and computational demonologist.

Writing credits include World of Darkness, Werewolf: The Forsaken, Hunter: The Vigil, Geist: The Sin-Eaters, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Vampire: The Masquerade, Vampire: The Requiem, BLACK SEVEN, and Maschine Zeit; currently the line developer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken.

In addition to work for hire, he continues to write and develop his own self-published roleplaying games under the Zero Point Information brand, available at DriveThruRPG.
Bragging rights
Survived giving a lightning talk and the game show at LISA '12; Award-winning writer and game designer with 36 DriveThruRPG bestsellers, including 12 Platinum Bestsellers.
Education
  • Staffordshire University
    BSc (hons) Computer Science and Mathematics, 1999 - 2003
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Other names
Stewart Wilson