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Old 01-05-2013, 08:35 PM
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Default Sexism, Gamers Contd. Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
I apologize, this is slightly off-topic, but I just read this amazing article, and it repeats a whole bunch of stuff these 'nice guys' say. It's about misogyny in the world of gamers, and I wept through most of it. It's long, and beautiful, and it has gone a long way towards healing me tonight.

http://www.starcitygames.com/magic/m..._Daughter.html
I've seen that article before and while I do agree with most of the major points, I think it misses a couple of important things.

First, THIS is the article that spawned the one you linked to. Its character assassination, pure and simple. It may not have been intended that way but that's how it reads; girl dates a guy who turns out to be a NERD and the author doesn't date NERDY people. If you say something that sounds stupid and cruel, even if it's fucking genius once you actually analyze it, be prepared for people to treat it as though it were stupid and cruel.

People's responses to it were just as stupid as the piece they were responding to and most of the ones I read were incredibly sexist and mostly male. I dont, however, feel that that's a systemic problem and I'll elaborate on that later.

Second, I take Tait's point about someone not wanting to play second-fiddle to a hobby or game. Someone who is the "world champion" of anything indicates a strong need of a time investment and many people may not be down for that kind of dedication. That said, she gave no indication that she'd bothered to find out if that was the case AND she declared it in an outright mean way.

She basically went (and we don't even know if she did, she doesn't indicate doing so in the article but we'll assume that Tait's assertion is correct for the sake of argument) "world champion -> big time investment -> not enough time for a real relationship -> loser." Once that math was done, she didn't say "I'm sorry but I dont feel like we'd be able to have a real relationship because of the time commitment difference." No, she said "I later found out that Jon infiltrated his way into OKCupid dates with at least two other people" like he's some kind of date rapist or burgeoning sex offender and the article tries to warn people against ending up in a date with someone like him.

Third, the makeup of the gaming community is not what it was ten or even five years ago. Female gamers are between 40-50% of the gaming community (depending which study/game/platform you're talking about) so painting it as a "boy's world" doesn't fly with me anymore. That said, many of the vocal people you do run into with multiplayer games ARE male and are generally young. If anyone would like to cast their minds back to when they were in the 14-18 demographic and ask if they made the best behavioral choices that could be labeled smart today. When someone points out a case of harassment where a female gamer is being targeted, look at who is doing it; generally young (14-18) boys. The average age for a gamer is 30-35 years old.

The call of sexist with the justification of harassment of female gamers is being dropped on the entire gaming community and I dont see that its justified considering that roughly half of the community is female and most of the offenders are young men when the average age is 30-35. This is behavior that is not new in human development, it went on when ALL of us were kids but was generally pushed off as "boys will be boys." If you dont believe me, read Calvin and Hobbes; its cute in certain situations and raging sexism in others.

Labeling the gaming community, or even that subset of players who do attack female gamers, as sexist misses a broader problem; that demographic are dickbags, to use a technical term. They're jerks to EVERYONE; male, female, black, white, gay, straight, tall, short, thin, fat, rich, poor, domestic, foreign, it doesn't matter. How many stories do you see about someone getting tormented by other gamers where the victim isn't female? Plenty. Taking what is, in essence, schoolyard behavior and couching it as some pathological hatred against women really does a disservice to everyone because more often than not its behavior that the people who engage in it grow out of as they begin to understand that people WILL punch you in the face for saying stuff like that.

I know for a fact that someone is going to take this as my trying to make excuses or rehashing "boys will be boys" but that isn't my intention at all. The commends in Tait's article were horrendous at best but if we start blaming that kind of behavior on pathological hatred of women, we miss opportunities to really curb or deal with that kind of behavior.

Getting back to the article, Bereznak basically went on a bad date and responded by venting her annoyance in an extremely high-school type way. A negative response should have been expected and I feel very little sympathy for her with regards to people being angry. The sexist comments, absolutely over the line. I feel like if she had written the article in such a way that made her sound less shallow, she'd have gotten less of a negative response.
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