I am not a student of Westerns so I cannot comment on its original context (and I bet a proportion of the game's player base that it would be statistically acceptable to round up to 100% are in the same situation), so it's just a contextless act of violence against women that gamifies something that we dimly remember as being associated with a film genre.
If you don't know the context of something, research it. It took me 5 seconds to find a TV Tropes page on both the Railroad trope, and the Dastardly Whiplash character trope ("a one-dimensional, over-the-top, openly evil villain ... tying a woman to a railroad track in an attempt to coerce her into "marrying" him ...)
"Stop attacking the developer's creative vision." Creativity should be scrutinised and debated. Or are you OK with all those micro-transactions now?
This is a false equivalency. Micro Transactions aren't part of a creative vision (except when making fun of Micro-Transactions see: DLC Quest) They are a business decision, that, at best, are ignored (Mass Effect 3) or at worst, destroy the game (Forza 5, countless Pay to Win games.)
Creativity should be scrutinized, I agree, but I take issue with those who would censor instead of discuss. (Which is what most critics would prefer. Tom seems okay with discussing though, that's good.)
Someone suggested thinking about how you'd feel if a game asked you to re-enact something from Schindler's List.
Don't invoke Godwin's law, it's just makes everything else you say easy to ignore, even if its well intentioned and makes good points.
"Bloody social justice warrior." Yes, I like social justice - and so do you, assuming you're in favour of education, health care, public services, etc. Also, stop trying to change the subject.
Social Justice Warrior != Social Justice. A person is normally referred to as a SJW/White Knight if they get overly offended about things most people ignore or find unoffensive. In this case, lazy reliance on tropes means sexism to SJWs. (And in RDR's case, they're making fun of that trope, not using or endorsing it.)
Calling all non-SJWs anti-education, anti-healthcare, etc. is just a straw-man designed to foster hostility. Black and white thinking does nothing but lead to more hate and ignorance instead of solutions and dialogue and change.
It's also worth remembering that the gaming community is an emotionally charged one - we're defensive because we're used to being vilified by mainstream media,
I agree with this, and I could write pages of rants on this subject. Instead, have a short one.
In my opinion, it boils down to the fact that gaming (and geekdom in general) used to be sort of safe space. We were told by outsiders that what we liked was bad and we were horrible people for liking it, so we banded together in support of each other. Now the same people who said we were horrible for liking something, are forcing their way in and telling us how bad we are for excluding X, when these people excluded us in the first place. /rant
So I am writing this because I hope that if I stand up and admit that I am sexist, have always been sexist and will probably always have to rebel against this bit of programming in my head whenever it is triggered, one or two people will realise that they can relate to what I'm saying, and that will give them a bit of courage to try to do something about it as well.
That's good and all, but in this case "doing something about it" means writing articles complaining Ubisoft won't multiply the development cost and time by the power of two to show female avatars to other players, or how RDR making fun of an old movie trope you don't understand, is sexist.
If you want more girls in gaming, make more games involving and appealing to girls. Less than a month ago, RPG Maker was on sale for a dollar. It includes everything you would need to make a game, except the stories and characters. Don't show or tell, do, it'll get more people on your side (and more inclusive gaming, without throwing current gamers under the bus, is a good cause.)
Conclusion: I normally hate articles like this. I set out to tear apart as much of this article as I could, because I find the complaining about things instead of of fixing them, or at least rationally discussing them, annoying to the point of immediately reacting to the other way. Most people who write articles on this subject don't want to fix anything, they just want outrage and censorship. But I couldn't tear it completely apart, Tom has some good points: There is some sexism in gaming (although it's no where near as bad as most commentators claim,) but he picked some bad examples. Good for him wanting to improve and challenge his world-view though, more people need to do that.
Tom seems to want to discuss instead of censor, but he needs to avoid bad arguments and fallacies, or people will ignore his points, or worse, react in the opposite direction. Also, saying that you're always going to be sexist is a great way to make sure you're always going to be sexist. You can improve yourself.
One last semi-related word: Be the change you want to see. GameMaker, Unity, and RPG Maker are all easy to learn and fairly cheap (in some cases free.) Don't complain about the games you don't see, make the games you want to see.
Sorry for the rambling/wall of text, I have a tendency to go off on tangents like this.