Connect with us

Women’s Health

The Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Fallout Has Been Ugly For Women



The front of Blizzard's campus in Irvine, California, where a giant World of Warcraft orc statue is on display.

Image: Blizzard

A bomb lawsuit against Activision Blizzard by California regulators has again forced the gaming world calculate publicly with longstanding problems related to the exploitation and abuse of women. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. But developers, advocates, and other industry experts are trying to figure out how to change this latest media cycle of heartbreak and outrage.

Content warning: sexual assault descriptions

The news broke only on Wednesday afternoon and started reverberating on social media late into the evening. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing Lawsuit filed against the publisher of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft for allegedly widespread gender discrimination, sexual harassment and countless damage caused by a longstanding “frat boy” workplace culture.

The allegations were based on a two-year investigation into the uncovered a range of suspected abuse incidents, ranging from condemnation to deterrence. Activision Blizzard, which issued a statement denying the allegations, claiming they were largely “based on descriptions of Blizzard’s past“, Continued on Twitter until the next morning.

It has also empowered more people to keep talking about their own experiences at the Diablo and Overwatch maker. According to a former Blizzard developer who spoke to Kotaku on condition of anonymity, the systemic injustices begin the moment women are hired at the company.

G / O Media can receive a commission

“Women are generally hired at a lower salary than their male counterparts with the same level of experience,” they wrote. “Often it’s because the men who come to Blizzard have friends inside who pull [for] Them. It also happens because women who are new to the job are usually paid less in their previous job and accept lower offers without knowing which pay group they are being hired in. “

Part of the problem is that many details about compensation in the company – including perks like stock options – are kept secret. Even when you realize that there is an imbalance, there is no defined way to correct it. In fact, actively trying to do something about a specific problem mostly just leads to more problems, say current and former employees on social media.

“When someone harassed, injured, retaliated, filed a false complaint against me, on which MY MEN’S ACT, and saw one of my best friends repeatedly traumatized by the men in power, I can take the relief that I feel, ”said ex-Blizzard employee Cher Scarlett wrote on Twitter after the news became known. Scarlett went on to describe a previously reported revenge porn incident it showed to her how much Blizzard doesn’t care about its women properly. According to our anonymous source, it’s an issue that haunts women even after they’ve been with Blizzard for years.

“When an employee gets a new manager, she has to prove her worth over and over again,” they wrote. “In my experience, competence and talent in their field are never required. Male employees, on the other hand, are often assigned doubts and given opportunities for advancement in situations in which opportunities arise. If this cycle happens over and over, with a new manager every year or so, the employee will be left behind, under-promoted and given no opportunity to develop her skills and prove herself. “

Another former employee, Shaynuh Chanel, wrote on Twitter today, “For a number of years I have been openly discussing the discrimination I experienced while working at Blizzard. Even when I came across the harassment (encountered with HR managers who told me it was a privilege to work here), I, we – never had a voice. Now we have a voice. “

Chanel went on to provide reports of women being downgraded for pregnancy and women’s health issues, lower pay increases than male colleagues, crude management remarks about the looks of female colleagues, and management offering drugs at off-site parties.

Another aspect that makes the problems heat up is that even if a woman has the courage to speak for herself or to report this to HR, these entities largely exist to protect the company’s interests.

“If HR has to intervene, it’s never good for the victim,” our source said. “She will be subjected to humiliating interviews, asked how much of the harasser’s behavior is her fault, and asked to be a ‘team player’ and make it easier for the harasser to work with her. Going to the HR department makes her a troublemaker in the department, and retaliatory measures have followed in almost every case I’ve seen or experienced. “

The video game industry has grappled with these issues since its inception as a foreclosed spin-off of the tech industry dominated by white men, but has become more visible in recent years. A culture of sexism at League of Legends maker Riot GamesFirst outed in a 2018 investigation by Kotaku, it eventually led to some changes at the company and a landmark cash settlement for the victims that California regulators are still struggling to raise. Last summer, a Wave of allegations of sexual misconduct swept by the Assassin’s Creed publishing company Ubisoft, which leads to several high profile resignations and a lawsuit in a French court.

Statue on the Blizzard campus in Irvine California.

But the case against Activision Blizzard proves what many women already knew – misogyny in the industry doesn’t add up to a few bad apples at some companies. It’s deeply rooted in the culture of the gaming business has been in operation for decades.

Other online conversations have addressed the moral dilemma of asking women to join an industry that is so actively hostile to them. Many female game developers are currently questioning the effectiveness of grassroots movements, and the usual calls for improvement arise when these stories emerge when the reality is that the industry needs top-down structural changes. Some people have called for organizing, which usually involves ratifying a contract that contains a variety of rules designed to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and paid. If this is not the case, unions can also try to ensure that everyone has the same voice and, ideally, allow women to speak up without fear of retaliation.

Others claim that men – who make up the overwhelming majority of most studios – are responsible for creating safer spaces.

“Gamedev guys, what you should NOT be doing this week is reaching out to the women in your company to reassure them that you are actually one of the good guys.” wrote The author of Insomniac Games, Mary Kenney. “Think for yourself what you have done to help marginalized voices in your organization. If the answer is nothing? Well, it’s a good day to start. “

“Men in games, devote some brain space today and think about the following: What would you do if a man said something sexist about a colleague? What would you do if he was your buddy? What would you do if he was your boss? How do these circumstances reinforce your reaction? ” wrote Leena van Deventer, Game developer and board member of the femenist group Victorian Women’s Trust.

“Making the games industry safe for women has been a woman’s business for too long. It feels like Sisyphus. I see a lot of horrified men on my timeline. What are you doing with this anger? What do you want to build? “

The video game industry is great at papering its problems. Activision Blizzard claims it was all in the past while Ubisoft announces the time and again that it has made great strides in making its workplaces diverse, integrative and equal – despite the voices inside that repeatedly question these narratives. The men who mostly run these companies can also quickly try to turn the page.

When the boys’ club at Riot was uncovered in 2018, it sparked meetings at Blizzard on the matter, viewed by some as little more than preventative damage control for a similar story that came out there, another source told Kotaku. At Ubisoft’s billing last year, multiple sources told Kotaku that some men attempted to rewrite their own past in meetings on the topics of ally demeanor while challenging little about their own behavior or the corporate structures that made a toxic environment flourish in the first place .

“Don’t let this be a moment that passes us by,” warned our source. “Start by throwing out the molesters and abusers. Take steps to raise the voices that stay strong and create systemic change. Hire women and POC leaders, not just to clean up the havoc in the past, but with the full support, guidance and funding of their predecessors too. “

“I hope these stories can reach and empower other women to do the same and share their experiences working for this company,” Chanel said wrote. “I felt alone for a long time and minimized my pain, I hope nobody has to do that anymore. This is our time to speak. “

Additional coverage from Nathan Grayson

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

Women’s Health

This non-profit is closing the gap between women and fertility awareness



Feminae Vero educates women about the truths of their reproductive health and how it relates to faith.

Mary Kate Knorr did not expect that she would stand up for the unborn child to raise awareness of the fertility of women. But the longer she worked for the cause of life, the more meaningful it made.

“I’ve seen that the pro-life movement hasn’t done enough to address the huge problem we have in our country and around the world with artificial hormonal birth control,” Knorr said in an interview with Aleteia. “That was a big gap for me – and I felt personally called to address it.”

That call led her to found Feminae Vero, a nonprofit dedicated to fertility education and other means of supporting holistic women’s health, with a particular focus on the connection between faith and health. Knorr said “Feminae Vero exists to serve, educate and evangelize girls and women about the truths of their reproductive health and their connection to our Catholic faith.”

Feminae Vero is a new company for Knorr. Her background is in politics and pro-life, and she served for many years as the executive director of Illinois Right to Life. She launched Feminae Vero in January 2021.

Women will find a wide variety of services at Feminae Vero, including the following:

  • Education about fertility
  • Doula services
  • Healing retreats
  • Representation of interests with elected officials and medical professionals

So far, the backbone of their work has been fertility education and it seems that this is the area where the organization can make the greatest impact.

Two projects that are currently in progress are particularly exciting. One of these projects is the creation of a curriculum for middle and high school girls to learn more about their reproductive health and its importance in Catholic education. This curriculum has the potential to be wonderful empowerment and usefulness for girls at an important stage of development.

As Catholics, we know that faith and honest science go hand in hand. ” said Knorr. “It is one facet of our philosophy to go ahead with science to teach girls and women about their bodies and then move on with the truths of faith to ultimately attain evangelization.”

It might seem strange to think that fertility education would lead to evangelization, but Knorr saw a real connection between the two. During her time in the pro-life movement, she made one key observation: “Most of my colleagues who have previously made an election have had a spiritual conversion in addition to their ideological one.” She said.

As they stood up for life, they also became Christians and, in many cases, Catholic. “Abortion is not entirely a logical problem,” said Knorr. “It’s a heart problem too.”

The second project is a curriculum for seminarians and clergy. “A future goal is to develop a program for seminarians and clergy that enables them to better support girls and women from a ministerial point of view”, said Knorr. This project sounds like a critical force for good: sometimes there is a discrepancy between what the church teaches about women’s health and what local clergy understand about that teaching, so this project will help bridge that gap to bridge.

There are many things in the life of modern women that are physically and spiritually toxic. Knorr hopes Feminae Vero will be a refreshingly holistic and positive resource.

“One of my main goals in founding Feminae Vero was to offer women a healing hand.” She said.

There are so many voices in society today who have deeply hurt women by lying to them about their origins and God’s plan for their bodies. Through our healing retreats and the service and education we want to offer women, our goal is to take women by the hand and initiate them into a healing process.

Ultimately, that healing comes from Christ. “It is the Lord who does the healing,” she explains.

That is why we place so much emphasis on evangelization as the primary goal. We believe that when shared with prayer and compassion, the truth leads women to Jesus Christ – and once they meet the Lord, their healing will be inevitable.

Knorr wants women to know that God created them with profound purpose and purpose. “The objectification and abuse of women in our culture is a result of human decline,” she explains, “but the theology of the body of John Paul II tells us that we are meant for more.”

Her goal for Feminae Vero is to help women discover that purpose and intention. She says, “Women can find such immense healing in the arms of Jesus Christ.”

Thumbnail for reading too

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

Task force tackles problems that slow women’s success in workforce | Business News



Cora Faith Walker, Chief Policy Officer of St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, speaking at a community meeting on Tuesday. September 14, 2021. She leads the advancement of the District Board’s political priorities by providing an integrated approach to policy development and external engagement.

Childcare. Wage gaps. Education. Health care.

These topics were included during a town hall in Florissant on Tuesday, September 14th, to gather input from local women on topics and factors preventing them from fully participating, moving forward, or being successful among the workforce.

The lunchtime event was organized by United Women’s Empowerment (United WE) and the Missouri Women’s Economic Development Task Force at the city’s Civic Center.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said the organization is hosting a number of these town halls across the state to provide policy recommendations to leaders and lawmakers that will be sent to them in late 2021.

She said her organization’s goal is to collect the qualitative data from women to link it to quantitative research on working women in Missouri. Some of this data includes statistics such as that 44% of all Missouri counties have no recognized childcare facilities and that of the total Missouri women population, 15.4% are below the poverty line, compared with 12.9% of men. The organization also found that 18% of Missourians living in poverty were under 18 years of age.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected.” Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE, called. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

Dawn Gipson, Diversity Director at Centene, spoke during the small group sessions about how the pandemic is doing for their truly enlarged women lifting heavy loads both outside and inside the home. She also noted that people may be scared of going back to work after working from home for over a year.

“So there is this fear of going back to the office, but the focus is on ‘We need to get back to normal,'” she said, noting that women and people of color may not want to interact on a daily basis with people who are not tolerant or respectful of people’s identity.

Cora Faith-Walker lives in Ferguson and is Chief Policy Officer of the St. Louis County Executive’s Office. She agreed with Gipson and said the shutdown was so much more than just a shutdown.

“People think we can just snap our fingers and go back to 2019,” she said, adding that she almost felt like she forgot how to small talk while working remotely Office involved.

Dawn Gipson

Dawn Gipson

Finally, the small groups ended their conversation for a full group discussion that addressed the main barriers encountered during the small discussions: access to affordable childcare; same salary; Access to adequate health care; Access to equity; Teach children at home or help with their virtual education; and try to keep the household together even when working outside the home.

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected,” said Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

United WE’s November report said that due to the decline in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri could potentially lose 48% of its childcare offering, meaning there is only one place available in a licensed daycare for six children.

Faith-Walker later addressed the challenges faced by the county executive in obtaining pandemic aid to childcare providers.

“Another type of challenge we had with vendors was probably the amount of technical support that was sometimes required to take advantage of opportunities like the PSA programs,” she said.

The organization held two talks before Tuesday – one in Joplin and one in Sedalia. Several others are planned, including October 6 in Kansas City; October 14 in Kirksville; and October 28th, held virtually, and will highlight the needs of women of color.

For more information or to register, visit

Continue Reading

Women’s Health

Notts dad created emotion posters and wrote book after son suffered mental health problems during pandemic



A father of three from Nottingham has set a goal of raising £ 10,000 this year to buy Christmas gifts for cared children.

David Rogers, 50, first started his charity mission when his son suffered from mental symptoms during the pandemic and felt he wanted to do something to help other children who have no one to talk to.

The designer, who lives near Newark and owns a shop in Nottingham city center, first set out to create emotional posters to help young people open up.

David Rogers has his own children’s book “Have You Heard of Jelly Bean Juice? to raise money for children in care

“During the pandemic, our son Milo, who is 10 years old, had some mental health problems,” explains David.

“He was able to open up to me and we got support, but I thought of other children who may not be able to speak easily, or their parents who, through no fault of their own, are not.” sure how to communicate about these things.

“We set out to research and design posters that would help children point to the faces that are sad or angry, that most reflect their feelings, just to start a conversation.

“We sold them to raise some money for charity, but we also gave them away to schools, parents, teachers and children.

“They have had a storm and we have had really great feedback on how they have helped kids get into conversation, even if it’s the smallest kind, it’s a start and hopefully it will make a difference.

“We have now also made posters for teenagers.”

David and his company created posters to help children identify their emotions and speak

David and his company created posters to help children identify their emotions and speak

David’s charity efforts began a few years ago when he decided to raise money for children in social institutions on Christmas Day. He would get their Christmas lists and go to work raising the money to fulfill them.

Last year he was able to help three homes, but this year he has bigger ambitions and has published his own children’s book to pay for Christmas gifts in 10 different children’s homes.

“For the past 4 years I have tried to give children a wonderful Christmas Day in social institutions. They are asked to give me a list of how lucky most children are, and then I use the money to buy gifts. We also use whatever is left to help blackboards, women’s shelters and gifts, toiletries and groceries in the run up to Christmas.

“I helped a children’s home for the first three years, last year I managed to help three, but this year my dream is to help ten.”

To achieve his goal, David needed a plan – and then he remembered a children’s story he had written that languished on his laptop.

“I wrote the story for my son for fun, but I’m a designer, not a writer, so I’ve never done anything with it,” says David, who is also the father of Lewis, 16, and Charlie, 6.

“But when I was thinking about how to raise money, the book seemed like a good idea because I knew I could have it designed and printed through my business, keep everything local, and not pass these costs on.

“It has been produced to a really high standard, is beautifully illustrated and printed in Nottingham, and every single penny that is raised goes straight to the charity campaign.”

The book, Have You Heard of Jelly Bean Juice? was inspired by bath times with his son when they mixed up different hand washes, resulting in strange and wonderful colors and a mixture that smelled like jelly beans.

Ever heard of Jelly Bean Juice?  Is for sale to raise money for cared children this Christmas

Ever heard of Jelly Bean Juice? Is for sale to raise money for cared children this Christmas

“It’s a bit of fun with a group of animal lovers at the center of a party, including a Siberian moose named Bartholomew. At one point an accident happens and jelly bean juice is spilled all over the place. Then jelly bean juice is created and one of the guests decides Mindy, whose father’s name is Mr Big Shot, that they can market and sell it. “

David and his wife Annabelle have been selling the books through word of mouth and their Instagram accounts for two months and have already raised £ 6,500.

But David wants to hit his £ 10,000 goal by the end of November.

“I firmly believe that these children can have the same experiences at Christmas as other children and I want to help more,” he says, a crucial time for women fleeing their homes with children. We will also support boards and, if possible, charities for the homeless. “

David’s wife Annabelle, who is also a designer, has supported him with all aspects of publishing and selling the book through her popular Instagram account @designermumetc and David himself can be found at @shopperdave_.

The book costs 8 pounds including postage and packaging and is already on its way all over the world.

“We got two orders from Florida, that’s great, and we’ve now sold around 300 books in total.

“It was very important to me to create something good quality so that for a charity donation people would get a really nice product and so far the buyers seem to love the book which is a good feeling.

“But it will feel better when I reach my goal and can give these children a Merry Christmas in 10 social institutions. That is the most important thing.”

As part of their charity work, David and his company also produce luxury tea towels with maps of popular UK vacation destinations such as North Norfolk, and they also sell the Emotions posters for children and teenagers.

Have you heard of Jelly Bean Juice? Go to Instagram and send a message to @designermumetc or @shopperdave_

Or send an email to

Continue Reading