The creator of Minecraft is currently under fire for disagreeing with feminists on Twitter.
No fewer than four separate online news outlets have decided to publicly deride Markus “Notch” Persson for his extremely controversial stance that “women and men have equal worth and should be treated as such.” Unfortunately for the enraged hordes, he does not believe that includes perpetuating terminology like “manspreading,” or “mansplaining.” For these crimes against humanity, the courageous reporters at Destructoid, Vice, Point&Clickbait, and We Hunted The Mammoth have decided that he must be shamed.
It all started with this tweet:
@Gaohmee No, mansplaining is a sexist term designed to silence men via gender shaming.
— Markus Persson (@notch) May 21, 2016
The argument continued for hundreds of tweets from countless people for and against each respective statement, including dozens of replies from Persson himself, further explaining his position and asserting that “no one should EVER ‘shut up and listen.'” In a movement ostensibly dedicated to end the silencing of people based on blanket judgments and assumptions about their character based on their gender or the color of their skin, you’d be forgiven for thinking that is a point on which they could find common ground. But you’d be very, tragically, wrong.
Let’s be clear: This simple exchange has prompted ugliness from all sides, because this is the internet. Yet it’s the core of the exchange that has prompted Notch’s increasingly derisive and sarcastic responses, and it’s hard to blame him when faux-journalists have initiated — albeit clumsily — an attempt to humiliate him for his point of view.
Of course, this is the point at which Persson was labeled a Men’s Rights Activist or “MRA” and flooded with insults that completely missed the irony of explaining to him why he, because of his gender, could not possibly understand the vitriol being aimed at his horrific idea that equality has something to do with being treated equally.
As fights on social media so often do, this one eventually devolved into simple name-calling. One feminist called Notch a “dick,” to which he responded with the anatomically accurate parity “cunt.” For reasons it would take a modern-day college essay or ten to explain, this genitalia-based epithet was significantly worse.
But rather than painstakingly recreating the embarrassing farce of a response to the situation, I’ll let the media speak for themselves:
Actually, Mr. Persson, as I have learned from years of doing this blog, there is no possible way to shut up men who want to inform you at great length of their opinions about feminism and what women are doing wrong. You can ban them from your comments, sure, but some of them will keep trying to post comments for months if not years afterwards.
And certainly Mr. Persson felt no need to shut up. Instead, he kicked his MANLOGICAL STEM LOGIC up a notch by unleashing the ultimate tool in the MANLOGICAL STEM LOGICKING toolkit. I refer, of course, to the c-word. [We Hunted The Mammoth]
Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the creator of Minecraft, has wowed audiences with the unveiling of a beautiful and imaginary fantasy world in which he is somehow the victim.Persson has spent years carefully constructing his own world block by block, placing a thicker and thicker barrier between himself and the real world with every passing day. Observers believe he may now be ready to live there entirely, sealed away forever in an unending lonely hell of his own making. [Point&Clickbait]
— Destructoid (@destructoid) May 23, 2016
Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson spent much of his weekend on Twitter despite a net worth of $1.5 billion. The noted sad man who once outbid Jay-Z and Beyonce on a $70 million Hollywood mansion took umbrage with a joke online and proceeded to call a couple women “cunts” for effect. [Destructoid]
And here we have Persson, “Notch” to Twitter and development circles alike, for a long time, calling someone he’s almost certainly never met before, someone who, okay, has called him a dick for previous tweets, but all the same there’s no need for the c-bomb, right there. Is there? There’s not. It’s grotesque, likewise his attitude to the very real phenomenon of mansplaining, a persistent barbed-like-a-bastard thorn in the side of women just trying to get through their days, to do their jobs, or be left the fuck alone by creeps of the real world and social media alike. [Vice]
These by-definition hit pieces read like juvenile temper tantrums that go so far beyond Notch’s behavior as to seem comical, if not for the malice caked onto each one. I’m sure they do wonders for outrage click statistics, but not so much for the reputations of anyone involved.
I’ll close with the words of Markus Persson himself. Words that, irrespective of gender identities, race, class, and culture, should probably be considered. Or maybe he’s just a dirty old CIS white male, and we’d best burn him quick.
Follow Nate Church @Get2Church on Twitter for the latest news in gaming and technology, and snarky opinions on both.