It all started when they decided to fund a project by feminist group The Fine Young Capitalists that sponsors female-created video games. As part this initiative's greatest sponsor, 4chan got to design a whole character for The Fine Young Capitalists. A female character.
Thus, Vivian James was born.
Vivian James is not like 4chan's usual creations when they design something female.
She is not reduced to her value as a sex object, not shoved into uncomfortably tight and revealing clothing and compromising positions, and not given boobs and expected to perform gymnastics that would put serious and horrible strain on her back.
She shuffles around in socks, jeans and a baggy tracksuit top, and she's just, as described by one of 4chan's posters, "an average female gamer".
Also, her name is a play on the words "Video Games"
Since her design, 4chan have been as pleased and proud as any parent. I mean, apart from the occasional leering and wanting to see her drawn in pornographic ways, it's almost bizarrely sweet.
4chan has finally mustered up some apparent genuine affection and even respect for a gamer girl. I mean, a fake gamer girl (literally), a gamer girl of their own creation, a gamer girl who they can absolutely control, but a gamer girl nonetheless.
It's almost cruel to point out to them the fact that all parents find out sooner or later: Your children will not necessarily parrot your views and agree with your ways. They're probably going to rebel. Most children question and turn on their parents sooner or later.
And you've gone and made yourselves a teenager.
Fact is, the words "I hate you!" and the slamming of doors are probably in your future.
Yes yes, I know Vivian James is a fictional character created by 4chan and therefore theoretically only 4chan get to say what she does and does not hate, but the thing is, 4chan's own description of Vivian's personality kinda condemns themselves:
What they've gone and said is, Vivian James hates 4chan.
See, 4chan isn't exactly known for honesty, but the extra irony here is how much dishonesty and hypocrisy has gone into Vivian's own creation.
Yes, they funded a feminist project, but it's 4chan, so their reasons are entirely self-serving and ultimately another attempt to discredit feminism.
Awhile ago, claims were made that Zoe Quinn, a woman 4chan utterly despises apparently for daring to exist while being female, a feminist, and a gamer at the same time, tried to sabotage feminist group The Fine Young Capitalists. (These claims have since been debunked by The Fine Young Capitalists themselves, but no one attacking Quinn seems overly concerned about facts right now so I guess that's besides the point.)
4chan, motivated by making Quinn and SJW's (Social Justice Warriors. Mostly they mean feminists. It might sound like it's a good thing to anyone who thinks social justice is, you know, a good thing, but they fully intend it as an insult) look like hypocrites, while making themselves look good, decided to support 'The Fine Young Capitalists' project. Oh, and to cause "asshurt".
"We will look good if we sponsor this."
"We'll be PR untouchable."
Supporting a project to give an inaccurate impression. Huh, that's almost dishonest. And supporting feminists only to ultimately discredit feminists?
And then calling other people dishonest and hypocritical?
Isn't that just a tad hypocritical?
Vivian's own design is not born of any noble belief than female gamers and females in games deserve to be treated with more respect and depicted better. They just wanted to troll people.
And so Vivian is, as Vice pointed out, born from the "muck of cynicism and spite".
But that's OK.
It's OK to have horrible parents. It's OK to be born under horrible circumstances. None of that matters. What matters, is what you become.
There are, of course, images like this one of Vivian sounding and acting exactly like her father. No major surprises there. Kids do, at first, tend to imitate their parents and parrot what they've learned from the environment they've grown up in.
Then there's really awesome images like this one by catbib on deviantart, in which she literally looks like a Social Justice Warrior, suggesting there's something to Vivian that makes her inherently so much more than a puppet for her misogynistic father:
I think that something is the fact that, even when trying to stick it to feminists, even after pushing and promoting the idea that girls only play games for attention, that fake geek girls is really a thing, and that women mainly exist to be perved over and sexualized...
Even 4chan realizes in its collective conscious that an "average female gamer" is just someone who plays video games while happening to be female at the same time.
There's also that whole fact that she's allowed to be arrogant, confident, and a bit of an asshole, without anyone screaming about how unacceptable her tone is. Usually only guys get to do that.
All in all, I like Vivian James. She can stay.
And I don't believe that, if she were real, she'd stay an anti-feminist for long. Her ability to recognize bullshit seems to supposed to be really good and her tolerance for bullshit seems to be really low. She also values honesty and integrity.
It's only a matter of time before someone like that would see through 4chan's crap and tell them where they can stick their misogynistic aggression.
From this cartoon. TW: rape reference
The complete 'Birth of Vivian' story can be viewed here.
* Not all of 4chan. Not everyone on 4chan.