Sexually Assaulting Women (Verbally or Otherwise) at Gaming Conventions is Not OK
Wesley Copeland expresses why it’s unacceptable to grope women at gaming conventionsâ€”even when you do it for laughs.
Last month we heard an account of sexual assault at a party hosted by Mojang's, Markus 'Notch' Persson. Yesterday, a video surfaced that depicts YouTube user KSIOlajidebt attending the Eurogamer Expo while making fun of cosplayers, asking inappropriate questions to passers by, and sexually assaulting booth babes.
KSI, whose real name is Olajide Olatunji, runs a series on YouTube titled Being Awkward, in which he interviews total strangers and puts them in 'uncomfortable' situations.
His latest video shows him committing vile, and frankly disturbing, assaults on unsuspecting booth babes in the name of comedy.
[Trigger warning: Sexual assault]
The video opens with him introducing a model in a TapOut T-shirt, and naming her 'Massive Tits'. A few moments later he asks another booth babe if he can 'motorboat' her (the act of forcefully shoving one's face between a woman's breasts).
At 1:10, he asks a lady, who appears to be a member of the general public, “What are you doing not fingering yourself?”
Make no mistake, this is sexual assault, plain and simple. Booth babes are not sex workers—not that it would give anyone the right or the excuse to sexually assault one, for that matter. They are models who are paid to stand next to a product and make it look nicer than it is. Yes, booth babe culture needs to be forgotten, like many of the industry's archaic concepts, but that does not, nor will it ever, excuse the heinous behaviour exhibited by JJ Olatunji.
“Oh but it's tongue-in-cheek, so it's okay to force yourself onto girls, so long as people laugh, right?” His defenders argue.
The fact that I have to write and explain why groping women without their consent is a bad idea, makes me question the kind of people who are allowed to attend the big gaming events.
It doesn't matter if it's to make people laugh. It doesn't matter is she's dressed provocatively. At NO POINT is it okay to grope or molest women.
What makes the situation worse, is that Olatunji's sycophants on his YouTube channel only pander to his internet-persona. One user goes as far as saying they wish they had his 'confidence'.
The pack-mentality of the internet only helps to further cement the basement-dwelling, spotty faced, sun-allergic, male gamer stereotype. It needs to stop. Two accounts of sexual harassment, one of which has been broadcasted via YouTube, in as many months, is not how we as a medium should be viewed by outsiders.
Surely we've outgrown the 'OMG she's a girl!' and 'WOW look at those titties!' mind set. Please, boys who are making my gender appear as inbred hicks who've never seen a girl before, stop. Playing up to JJ Olatunji's indecent-antics, and giving him kudos for his actions, isn't right. Women are not objects for us to have a quick grope of for the lolz. It's morally, and believe it or not, socially unacceptable.
Do us all a favour and if you see this kind of behaviour, call people out on it.