In short... I'm on your side, but you don't half make it difficult sometimes. I've had moments where I've stopped and gone... "Wait, are we the baddies?"
Political correctness sometimes needs to be wielded sparingly, subtly, almost invisibly, because you don't want to give the other side anything to rail against until it's too late. If you give equivalent weight to everything, then the big stuff is diminished. You reinforce the arguments of the opposition.
We have to choose our battles more wisely, fight the ones that matter, the ones that need to be fought, and let some of the smaller stuff slide. Annoying I know, but, well... FFS.
If you don't, it just looks as if you're too caught up in your own crusading to see the bigger picture. You cannot force a change to centuries of established patriarchal convention - you have to do it in a way that the gammons almost don't notice. Otherwise, you get the world we're currently living in. Compress a spring all the way, and it bounces back with even more force.
Like, years ago, when I was at school, we had a substitute English teacher for a day. We'd had him before, and he was one of those teachers who we all sort of knew was a pushover. Weirdly, he was an actor on the side, and I later saw him crop up in episodes of Cats Eyes and Doctor Who (he played "Dad" in The Greatest Show In The Galaxy).
We decided as a class that it would be a gigantic wheeze if we all moved our desks around so that we ended the lesson in a completely different place to where we'd begun. Rather than do this en masse - which would've got us sent immediately to the Head Teacher - we did it gradually. Every time Mr Ashford looked down we'd all move our desks an inch or two, as quietly as we could. He'd look up occasionally and narrow his eyes, but he never said a thing.
I get the frustration that we live in a world with more than its fair share of bigots. I hate that a hollow, racist, sexist, egomaniac lives in the White House. I get that - as a straight, white, male - I'm able to say all this from a position of privilege, that I'm not under the yoke. I don't know what it's like to live as a minority, and would never presume to know.
At the same time, my fortunate position, I suppose, gives me a certain clarity; I'm not damaged from a lifetime of oppression. But then, just occasionally, the other side behave in a way which really yanks my goitre...
So, last night the trailer for Battlefield V dropped, immediately started trending, and I saw that people were complaining about people complaining about there being - at least as far as the marketing goes - a female protagonist with a hook for a hand. Yes: in a video game. Imagine!
I confess that I feared initially that it was a case of the overreacting again, that there'd be a couple of whiners, at most, who were being treated as if they were an army. Because, well, who in their right mind would care that there's a female soldier, with a hook-hand, in a video game?
But no. In this instance, the arseholes really were up in arms about the Battlefield V trailer, damning it as "Battlefield Vagina". Over on YouTube, the trailer has had almost as many dislikes as likes, with comments calling it "SJW bullshit"...
"Dice you just SPAT in the faces of all the MALE soldiers that served in the war. Congratulations on ridiculing every single ww2 veteran for a political agenda."
"I want to be a fucking nazi not a fucking female robot"
"Female...handicapped...WWII...wtf EA? Historically, no females were fighting in WWII, they were in the warehouses assembling planes, tanks, etc look up "Rosie the Riveter"; and since she's handicapped (iron arm) she wouldn't even be drafted!"
"Ah yes, Battlefield The Great Pandering. Good fucking job Dice. No one wanted this. No one asked for this."
"Freaking liberals ruining BF now, what more could they ruin."
"Dear Dice, you totally fucked up this time, with your Social Jewstice Warrior Progressive stance... Sincerely, hard working Americans..."
"WHY IS A WOMAN FIGHTING. THIS DESECRATES WWII"
Yes, some of the commenters were so blinded by hatred and fear that they seemed to have mistaken the character's evident prosthetic limb for a "robot Terminator arm", describing her as a "lesbian cyborg".
Though by to be fair, I used to think that my Uncle Don - who had a false leg - was Bionic. Although, I was a child. And a fan of the Six Million Dollar Man.
I have my own issues with the BFV trailer - indeed, any trailer for a game which shows, essentially, a cut-scene as representative of the gameplay.
In the one for Battlefield V we get an unbroken battle sequence, showing characters fleeing a building as it's smashed apart by tanks, and total pyrotechnic chaos, that - frankly - doesn't remotely resemble any FPS experience I've ever had. Which generally tends to be more spawn/run-around-a-bit/die.
I wouldn't have batted an eyelid at the fact there was a female character in there were it not for the complaints. In the interests of balance, let's see how valid they are...
Oh! It would appear that women did fight on the frontlines in World War 2 - albeit mainly Russian women. However, there were others too - around 50 British women were parachuted behind enemy lines to engage in sabotage and assassinations, including Violette Szabo - a member of the French/British Special Operations Executive and a section leader in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (or, er... FANY). She performed two missions in German territory before being captured, tortured and executed.
By all accounts, the female character in Battlefield V is a member of the Dutch resistance (as in Battlefield 1, the single-player game will take place across several smaller campaigns designed to show lesser-known conflicts).
Prominent female Dutch resistance fighters included Suzy van Hall, Mona Louise Parsons, Frieda Belinfante, Sally Dormits, Frieda Belinfante, and Ja Coba van Tongeren. The US Air Force had female pilots. There were female guerrilla fighters in Italy, Poland, France, Denmark and Yugoslavia (where more than 10% of its National Liberation Army was made up of women).
Honestly, it doesn't even matter if there IS a historical precedence for a female character in Battlefield V, because - judging from that trailer, which is a purely Michael Bay interpretation of WW2 - nothing about it appears to be particularly historically accurate.
Also; it's fiction based around a real historical event, and haven't we seen enough gritty, male-dominated, WW2 games and stories? I'm far more interested in seeing a female character in such a game because it's at least something a bit new.
Plus, the rarity of female combatants during WW2 is precisely why it's more interesting, and yet, at the same time, we know nothing of the context of this character. Nothing of the game's story. Nothing beyond that completely OTT trailer, the presence of a female being the least of its issues.
But, alas, that's not what this is about, and we all know it. We've had female fighters in WW2 games before - last year's Call of Duty in fact - and nobody batted an eyelid.
Video games, by their very nature, are going to be inaccurate. They have to be, because they wouldn't be fun otherwise. If you want to talk about EA and DICE spitting on the graves of fallen WW2 soldiers, then there's an argument to be had that the existence of any WW2 video game is insulting. Was Call of Duty WW2 really an appropriate forum to discuss The Holocaust?
Of course, this has nothing to do with historical accuracy. It's about progress, and suddenly the Angry Boyz have woken up and gone.... "Hunh? Shit. They're coming for us, lads!". It's just the same tedious arseholes whinging about "SJW agendas", and feeling threatened because they can feel their monopoly on the world slipping out of their grasp.
The one good thing to take from all this is that it's great that these people are feeling threatened, because it means they're under threat. The reason they're up in arms is because the world is changing too fast for them to adapt to easily. They're backed into a corner and are lashing out.
If they're getting that angry, that defensive, over something as trivial as there being a female character with a prosthetic arm in a video game trailer, if that's the sort of thing which keeps them up at night, then... excellent. It means it's working.
The world is changing before our very eyes, and not before time.