Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

August 10, 2009 -

Are the virtual worlds portrayed in massively-multiplayer online games inherently sexist?

Although she believes the situation is improving, Jaime, a veteran female gamer, still sees a great deal of sexism in MMOs. In a column for MMOsite she explains her view:

From my own experience, in the early days of MMOs – looking back at Ultima Online and EverQuest – there was a definite attitude that women simply didn't play games... Female players who identified their gender... [were] ignored. Women... [had] their skills and abilities in the game questioned...

Players began to slowly accept that there were women playing MMOs... Nonetheless, the attitude itself was still low and chauvinistic. I can recount at least half a dozen times while playing Dark Age of Camelot... [receiving] requests for pictures, breast size, age, if I was available for dating, and various sexual requests and connotations...

There's also been one constant: the harassing of female characters... whispers soliciting cybersex, of course, but also more innocent gestures such as the use of emotes to flirt at, kiss, poke, tickle, tease, grope, slap, and otherwise virtually sexually harass a female character.

Not surprisingly, Jaime sees the anonymous nature of the online world as a major contributing factor in MMO sexism.


Comments

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Hmm I'm probably a little late for posting a response on this one, but...

I absolutely agree that people do treat males and females differently in MMOs. It's simply because we often treat each other differently in real life. (I don't mean "differently" in real life as in sexist girls-are-worse-than-boys or something. I mean differently as in it's considered more rude to glance at a woman's chest than at a man's. That if you're a woman you will probably have more guys hit on you in public than other women.)

When it comes to the in-game, I've experienced both acceptable and sexist situations while playing a female avatar. Some people simply wondered if I was actually a girl, while one offered to "dress [me] up like a doll" (referring to giving me equipment) if I joined his clan. That same guy tried to flirt with me several times. Since I'm a guy, I found it hilarious, but I can see it being a problem for some women.

Then again, we have /ignore and blacklist options for a reason.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Well I like the sexism, but I'm a guy. It's not because I do it, simply that I always get a good laugh when someone hits on someone else or gives them gifts simply because of how their avatar looks. If you look at the numbers for % of females in games vs. the number of female avatars it doesn't take a course in statistics to know that there's a good chance it's a guy behind the keyboard.

Of course it also often leads to the whine/rage threads about how unfair and sick it is to play a character of the opposite sex. This does highlight the subtextual problem of such sexism, since these people believe that women are asking to be hit on and stalked simply because they're playing a game. That's something that needs to be worked on.

 

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Saying that Jack Thompson is impotent is an insult to impotent men everywhere. They've got a whole assortment of drugs that can cure their condition; Jack, however...

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

alright ima a guy and i tend to play female avatars  i havent once been hit onn or anything for that matter lol. people should be less uptite if somone does something that bothers you ignore it   . 

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Personally I've seen guys in online games treat female avatars badly especially if they found out it really belonged to a real woman. And I have always found that in poor taste, and I've had many heated arguments with some of those a**hats.

Maybe I'm little to "old school", because I tend to treat people that I meet in MMO's just the way I want to be treated. And with that I will treat people in games just like I would if I was talking to them in the real world.

And as for me I'm a 45yr old male, that works as a HVAC Service Tech, and enjoys playing Star Wars Galaxies and Eve Online. And also I build my own computers as a hobby.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Honestly I'm a girl, I deal with it. I hate the giggly girl crap and I hate the annoying Jock mentality I run into on occassion but in general I ignore the flirts and the cyber requests and all that because it's not worth my irritation. Heck I had a guy /tell me with "hey! You got a boyfriend?" and I responded with "I'm married...to that troll five steps from you." and the guy responded with "So? You got a boyfriend?" and while laughing I hit ignore and started off with my troll companion to kill mobs...the guy chased me around for an -hour- emoting the crap outta me and I ignored him till he went away...course I also called GMs on him but that's because he really was purposefully harrassing me...that is the only time I see a point to calling Harrassment because usually once you /ignore they're no longer capable of harrassing you.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Sexism is a strange issue with online games. When ever a guy starts asking for pictures as proof, they usually find out though the girl saying she is one through the chat. If you don't want sexual harassment, maybe you shouldn't go around advertising that you are a girl. Don't deny it, I know there are girls that go around advertising themselves (usually to get free stuff) and I see it happen all the time. If they find out through mic, then they know you are a girl, and if they ask for picture, it's because they are horny teens.

What I have notice in the past 4 years is that girls are getting much more common in online games. I remember in Counter-Strike, when ever a girl comes onine, the game practically stops. These days, I get a girl teammate every so often, and I don't even hear "Wow, a girl!" from my teammates anymore. They treat her like any other gamer now.

I haven't played MMOs in a while now, so I don't know how bad the sexism is now. But really, most sexism is from teens, and nothing you do to society would change horny teens. Only thing you could do is find a good guild.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

If a girl honestly goes around advertising herself for attention and free items, then, yeah, she's asking for it, just like anyone going around begging for items/currency.  But I shouldn't have to hide that I'm a girl on the internet, just because of a bunch of horny teenage morons, either.  Guys don't have to hide that they're guys, so why should I have to hide I'm a girl?

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http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

This is an article about sexism in MMOs? I mean this isn't exclusive to MMOs, it happens all the time in any other game where it's possible to quickly type messages or that has voice chat.

But really, her recounting of a 'half a dozen times' is pretty weak evidence. Her entire time playing DaoC and it only happend roughly 6 times? That really doesn't seem that bad to me. It also lines up with my experience playing MMOs. I usually have both a male character and a female character, and the female one has never gotten harassed in any way related to gender.

But, I think I'll conduct an experiment when Aion comes out. I'll do my best to pretend to be a girl and I'll see what happens.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Anonymity and not having the threat of physical pain is indeed part of it, as when the possibility of punishment is removed, a person's true character comes through. It's the same as say, in a restaurant, if a person is nice to you, and nasty to the waiter, then they are not a nice person.

I personally try to be polite to everyone unless they piss me off greatly, which I admit can be hard to do unless they either push the right buttons or keep at it, which is what /ignore is for.

The point is, if a person is nice to you in person but a complete dick behind your back, that's who they truly are. If a person is nice to you in person and still is regardless, well, hey, people like that are few adn far between these days, or ever.

Point is, most people in general are assholes but don't show it when there are clear consequences for it. Remove those, and all bets are off. Doesn't help that in text it's hard to tell someone is joking or not, and in voice if one has a hard time reading voice tones.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

 Sexism, because male gamers NEVER EVER sexually harass each other.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Males don't call each other gay, don't do "gay" things on purpose to annoy friends, neither buy plastic penis and give as fake birthday gift, neither do some more physical play, like kicking other guy nuts...

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

*phew* I thought you were being serious at first, lol.

But yeah, I act gay around my friends all the time (especially the ones that are uncomfortable with their sexuality) to be funny, and bought my friend a dildo once when he turned 18, but if I did that to a girl, I can just picture the shit that I'd get for being "sexist" or "chauvinistic," even if I was just trying to be funny or playful.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I know girls who would get upset at their own boyfriends/husbands getting them a dildo.  While some might say it was sexist, I honestly think they're just prudes.  Horrible, terrible, repressed prudes.  Or sexist themselves.  Maybe both.

Though what you said made me think of something.  The reason why straight men have to be careful about how they horse around with their girl friends, is because in a girl's mind, certain parts of us are always on your mind/you're attracted to them (and with the way guys are portrayed in the media, and with the way you guys act sometimes, this isn't helped any).  That's what makes it akward if my best friend who is straight grabbed my boob, but it wouldn't bug me if my best friend who was gay did it.  The gay guy just sees them as a funny, bouncing object, but the straight guy sees them as something sexual.  Same thing would happen if my straight girlfriend did it; I feel nothing.  But if my lesbian best friend did it, it'd be weird.

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http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

This whole "its ok if the guy is gay" bullshit is not ok. I've known woman who who use that essentially as an excuse, as much for themselves as any boyfriend, to be intimate with another man but not consider it cheating.

If another man or woman grabbed my gf's breast I would not be ok with it, straight or gay, that is definitely pushing boundries.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

If you had man boobs, and one of your friends grabbed it as a joke, is it still pushing boundaries?  Or is it just because it's a woman's boob?

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http://www.whatnottodo.tk

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Must admit, with a stealth character in Oblivion, there's some strange urge to shoot the poor unsuspecting fool in the 'nads with a Bow... It's just something that's genetically inground into men, I think.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

so? 

and even so...its participants are of either gender.

but ultimately who is at fault for sexism in any world virtual or real? WOMEN. after all it's mothers who raise us. Stop raising sexist children and it'll disappear.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I love how every time GP posts a story with a woman/minority group complaining about treatment in mmos/multiplayer games the comments are so predictable. First of all, there's going to be at least 2 dozen of 'em, second of all they're all going to be in staunch support of gamers and attacking whoever dares to criticize the misogynist, racist and homophobic attitudes so commonly found in multiplayer/mmo games.

 

Also, requesting pics/breast size/cybering is harassment.  

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Ehh...I don't really think that your last sentence is true. If I ask, and a girl says no, and I CONTINUE to ask, then it's harassment. If I ask and she says no and I leave it at that, then it's not harassment, it's me being kinda creepy.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

You aren't the only one asking though, every other male player on your server does the same thing, this creates a hostile environment. 

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

"Women... [had] their skills and abilities in the game questioned..."

Um, I've been playing MMOs for years, many times alongside female gamers who were perfectly competent at the game.  If your gaming skills are being questioned, chances are you just suck.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I see all that so stupid...

 

Yes, there are guys that are jerks, or are in extreme necessity to the point of keep requesting cybering and that stuff...

But let's get real: Men and Men, Women are Women, we ARE diffrent (mind you, I am not saying that women or men deserve a better/worse salary or voting rights and that stuff...), for Men, hitting on Women is not only natural but also instinctive, I never had a girlfriend, I don't have time now to take care of one (I don't mean that men need to take care of girlfriends in that sense, what I mean is that I don't have time to don't arrive late to see a movie, or time to see a movie at all... or to chat randomly...), but still, when I see a pretty women I look at her! Then people get all sorts: Oooh, you are a machist guy because you look at the girls! No!!! I am not machist, I am just a MEN, and men NEED women (or at least should... or the majority at least), and it is instinctive to look at women... People then get all supress your instincts and whatnot... And I ask: For what? Get sick? You see how much damage we are doing to ourselves sometimes being that way? Currently there are a discrimincation-phobia that is creating more discrimination than helping, I remember few years ago, when I was a child, I just went around playing with the neighbors of my grandma, I was a white guy, had some money (ie: I am not rich, I still don't own a PS2 for lack of money to buy one), and there was other children that were black, japanese, girls, boys, poor, rich, all togheter playing, and noone cared, we don't cared... Then people come with that gay rights, women rights, black rights, and whatever rights, and laws against racism, laws against sexism, and what I see is that people are starting to hate each other for that, for example I see that lot's of companies now refuse black people... Why? No, it is not because they hate black people, it is because they feel that black people hates them, it is because that if a black person complain of racism, you get sued of your ass and has to pay millions to him, even if the racism was you dismissing him because he was not a good worker, I see now people that don't hit women, they just rape them, because hitting on women don't work anymore, they even sue you for sexual harassment, there are people that do the inverse, they become assexual, usually this has negative results on his/her life, but I see that, I see people that hate gays because gays keep pressuring on some rights that infringe that people right, I see for example lots of gay hating on religous communities that have the religious belief that being gay is a sin, while before that gay rights stuff the they do not bothered much gays, gays went around and people ignored them, some in the belief that after they got really converted they would become heterosexual again. But now instead, not marring (in religion, not legal... legally it is still a crime to a gay marry... ironic...) a gay is a crime, and I see open hating inside churches toward gays, not only as deterrant to them want to marry there, but also because they perceive the gays as trying to destroy their religion using legal artifices...

It is all wrong, that racismphobia and sexismphobia is generating more racism and sexism and hate than anything else, I see laws for "racial equality" that enforce universities accept x% people of certain races, and while before a black guy on a university was just a black guy on university (even if rare and minority), now it is a cheater guy on the university because he got because of the system, not his own merits, at least the other students perceive him as such, and now we have racial hate (not only toward blacks) because laws that made attempt to give rights to minorities...

 

Seriously... Hitting on a girl is sexism? So what I am supposed to do when I decide to have a girlfriend and marry, wait the girl hit on me? 

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

That... was incredibly painful to read.  Seriously.  Get a dictionary.  Most of your words don't exsist. 

And you're completely overreacting/missing the point.

If someone honestly gives you shit for glancing at a hot girl walking down the street, then they have issues, and are just being hypocrites.  Girls do the same thing to guys.  It's a completely different story however, if you're constantly staring at a girl's chest and everyone knows.  Or you keep looking down when she's talking to you.  People look at me funny if I constantly stare at a guy's crotch.  It goes both ways, and it's rude.  In both instances the members of the opposite sex are being turned into sexual objects, and no one deserves that.

That being said, if you honestly can't help yourself and have to flirt with every girl you meet, you better be ready to deal with the consequences.  Not every girl wants to be hit on.  They may not be in the mood, they may not be in to you, or they may just be plain uncomfortable with it.  Women aren't sex objects, they're people with feelings, and they might not feel the same way you do.  Yeah, if a girl blows up and sues you for "sexual harassment" over a pat on the back or one round of attempted playful banter, that girl has some serious issues she needs to work out, and she could probably use a good kick in the ass.  However, if you start flirting and the girl tries to stay neutral and gives you signs over and over again that she DOESN'T want to flirt, but you continue to persist, that is harassment.  I expect girls to treat guys with the same respect, so it's not like I'm holding some double standard here.

Now, here's what this girl is arguing:

Girls log on MMOs, just like guys.  We go on MMOs to play a game, and on average, unless we indicate otherwise, we are NOT there to date.  We are NOT there to be hit on.  We most certainly NOT there to have cyber sex.  We just want to play the game like everyone else.  If you decide to flirt, and the girl flirts back, by all means, keep flirting.  But you shouldn't immediately be jumping to cybering and asking for pictures JUST because she's a girl.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

First, sorry, specially for the non-existant words, I learned english on my own (I can not even talk in english, I don't know how the words sound...).

 

I am not saying that the girl there is totally wrong or something like that, but people must understand, that several men WILL hit girls, on some games the majority of the players are male, with only some females, it is obvious that these females will be constantly hit, and not for sexism, but plainly because there are much more male than female to hit on them...

Let's suppose that a agme has 90 females and 10 males... As soon as these 10 males hit everyone else, most of them (like... 8) will stop hitting the females, so each female would take 10 hitters and that is it (that is, if ALL men hit ALL girls).

Now you have 11 million players, 2 million are girls, then each girl has potential to be hit 9 million times... You get it? It is not that people are really sexist and want to bother girls, it is just that there are so much males that even if a fraction of them hit on the girls, there will be still a huge amount of hitting on the girls.

A person is not wrong to complain that people keep hitting, or inviting for cybering, I know how is this because altough a girl never even hinted want something with me, for some reason I attract lots of gays online... When I am playing online, any game, I get at least one gay cyber invite, and usually these guys are really persistant, and some even try to convince me to turn gay when I explain that I don't want anything because I am not gay. But yet, saying that it is sexism, is missing the point, it may be results of the "anon", as people can bother others without fear of some stuff, but it is not sexism, it is normal human behavior... (or mostly normal...)

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Well, for teaching yourself written English, you're actually pretty good.  So I'm sorry if I sounded rude. :D

It's understandable that women will get hit on every now and again.  It's expected in life.  The issue at hand is how often it happens, and sometimes, how rudely and immaturely it's done.  When a girl goes out to a bar or club for a night out, she's expecting to be hit on.  Not so much when she logs in to World of Warcraft. XD

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Yes, the way HOW they are being hit, are sult of the anonymousity of internet, and that is a actual problem, altough it only shows how people really are (people create "characters" for themselves taht they use in public when they don't have privacy).

But the amount of hitting, like I said, steems from the large amount of males... It is like when we see girls annoyed with "sexism" when they go near a construction site, a army camp or somewhere else with a large concentration of males, the result is that we will have some males hit the girl, with so much males, it will be a large amount, and men LOVE competition (some other mammal males too... several mammals use some sort of competition, even actual fight, to see who can hit the female, and we do that too, or where do you think that jousting, PvP and bar brawls come from? It is not masochism...), so sometimes when there are like 10% of the guys hitting on the girl, the others hit too only to not look gay or some other reason related to that (ie: show their "manliness"), but if there was in the game like 50% males and 50% females, I guess that the amount of hitting would greatly decrease...

 

Also there are the problems that steem from our society that create the anti-social people, these are deep issues to be discussed here, but they exist, more and more people are getting anti-social for a variety of reasons, also there are "health problems" like excessive shyness, or autism, or actual uglyness or blindness or deafness, where people have anti-social behavior even against their own will, and on the internet someitmes they feel better, more easy to understand, and more courageous, some people only hit on the opposite sex online, some people has only online friends. So it is impossible to not ever expect being hit, because there are people online that see their only chance there. Sometimes they hit any girl that they see, because there are so much in need, that any girl is good.

 

criadordejogos.wordpress.com

--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I think one major point that needs to be made is that it's the PLAYERS, not the games, that is at fault.  These are attitudes of real individuals, not necessarily the characters in the game, unless someone has molded their character to be a certain way within a particular situation/setting.

As games go, the overwhelming majority actually only treat gender as an appearance issue.  Stats are not positively or negatively affected.  Professions are not positively or negatively affected.  And, only in very specific cases, Races are not positively or negatively affected (usually, a Race's capability to be of only one gender applies to the nature of the Race itself).

Games do not, for example, reflect social stereotypes.  Games do not reflect the repeated argument that women are typically smaller, weaker, and less capable.  An argument usually used to imply that women cannot be abusers, especially domestic violence abusers or capable of committing other violent acts.

Nor does the socially accepted "boys don't hit girls" standard appear in games.  I mean, it's "Player Vs. Player", not "Male Player Vs. Male Player or Female Player Vs Male Player (who, even if he only defends himself, is still a barbaric brute!) or Female Player".

Games are, for the most part, designed to cross the barriers intelligently.  Something that real society has yet to do.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000

Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I do believe you win.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

It is great that games do that, keeping out the social stereotypes I mean.   Well, for the most part... Guild Wars still won't let my female characters be as tall as the tallest male, nor can my male warrior be a short as some of the shortest females... but that's not the point. >_>;

There are still some things that games do continue to do that promote this issue.  Hypersexualization of women, for example.  Skimpy armors and large boobs that completely ignore all scientific laws, fast breathing/panting animations when the women are standing still, sex with multiple begging, subservient women, ect.  Games have gotten better about this, over time.  At least if they have an armor that's way over the top sexually, they try and include something that's equally conservative, but you still don't see the same thing happening with males.  There aren't crazy armors with drills or other large protruding objects at the crotch, or men fauning over one woman who's in control.

That's not to say all of it needs to disappear.  In certain situations that sexualization is the point, and can be used for fun/humor.  We just need a better balance, which we've been progressing towards pretty nicely.  The thing is we need reminders every now and again, just to make sure we don't lose that progress.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Have you EVER played Gears of War? That has basically everything BUT the cock-drills! All of the guys in that game have physically impossible muscles (without massive amounts of steroids). That is just as sexist as girls that are super curvy or have very large breasts. I feel that the visualization of men as super-muscular is about as common as women that have Lora Croft-sized breasts. I don't think that it's really that big of an issue, since the discrimination is fairly equal...

(And, speaking of crotch-drills, some of the skins of Voldo from Soul Caliber II have spikes out of his crotch-region, if I remember right...)

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

LMAO.  I totally agree about Gears of War. XD

I agree about the buff/macho man stereotype.  Geeky, twiggy, or any other guy type doesn't get enough love.  So, here's more on my statement.  These macho men who beat things up, kill things, are ladies men, ect. help perpetuate these problems even further.  Guys are surrounded by this idea then, that they need to be macho, macho, macho, and that it doesn't matter how you treat girls, they'll come at you for some lovin' anyway.  That's not to say all guys in games are like that, just as not all the girls are curvy and big-boobed.  But more often than not, that's what we get.

Society pulls the macho card on you guys too, IRL, all the time. Guys end up insecure and/or act like dick heads in order to conform.  Girls always see the "cool bad-boy" types and how all other girls want them, and they end up with assholes and terrible relationships because that's what they're surrounded by.  It goes both ways.  I'm not going to argue that.  Guys should stand up for how they should be treated by other guys, and women, but I think most of you feel like you'll be stifled and beat up by both sides if you do, and it's sad.

Me?  I'll always stick with my pacifist, nice-guy who's not afraid to be a wussie. :P

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

It is nice to see things are improving.

Years ago I worked on a paper going over how women were treated in MMOs (back before WoW) and other on-line activities.  It was... not encouraging.  It highlighted all the gender issues sociaty still has and then added the ability to throw them around in anonoimity.

It is actually a good way to study how far sociaty in general has come.  You strip away all the 'let's pretend to be modern and enlighted' and quickly see much more of what people are actually feeling.

To be blunt, we don't shift from tens of thousdands of years of 'women are property' to 'women are equals' in a generation or two.    Sociaties simply do not change that quickly.  Just look at all the comments in this thread so far.

It is, however, great to see progress.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Whilst I don't disagree with her opinion, from personal experience, I'd like to know why it's ok for women to say things like 'All men are liars' or 'All men are pigs' without comeback, since, if it was going in the opposite direction, there'd be a shitstorm. But men are just expected to put up with it.

I worked for three years for a female boss who hated men, and her co-ordinator, who was male, was too terrified of her to take any action. So, yes, equality is good, when it's equality. There's not just anti-female sexism out there.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

See, my experience online has been different- I find most women to be overreactive, selfish spoiled brats who would just as soon bitch about alleged lack of team cohesion than roll "Greed" instead of "Need" for something they want, rather than require.

See? I can do it, too. But to honest, that's really been the case- 7/10 times, the experiences I've had online with girls playing alongside me is them whining about how I should continue to heal THEM, or that I won a "Need" Roll over something that would benefit me all because "my mage could really use it", even though they never bothered to mention it beforehand. No, it's not always the case, and it could just be bad luck- and yet I'm not plastering it all as if it's indicative of ALL female players.

The only reason it's okay for her to whine about something like this is because of "oh, I'm a female and it's not okay". Sure, cybersex offerings are bad, but that's what ignore is for. But emotes? Seriously? Is THAT what it's going to degrade to? "BAAWW, some guy used '/em flirt' on me, I feel violated/annoyed because of it!" Just shut the fuck up and continue your grind- if it pisses you off THAT much, just duel the fucker and leave afterwards.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Well, not all my experiences online have been bad, I first met my wife online ;)

But I do think that it's way too easy, when someone says 'sexism' to assume that it's only men being sexist to women, and I think that's a mistake made in society in general, the concept of 'anti-male' sexism is alien to them, men are supposed to 'tough it out' or 'be a man' and take it on the chin, which is absolute rubbish, discrimination is discrimination, I don't care who is doing it.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Because it is not ok?

This is one of the more insidious aspects of sexism.  Find a few examples that reenforce your own gender muck and then claim that it is unfair because 'women are like that'.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I suppose for me, the thing is, there's a difference between a woman raising her eyes to the heavens and going 'Men!', which is more a term of endearment to my eyes than an insult, to an ongoing campaign to constructively dismiss someone because of their gender, and yes, I know that does happen to women too (and quite probably, more often).

As I said, I actually agree with her position, there is a 'macho attitude' about many online communities that needs to be dealt with, though God alone knows how, but then, like with Media regulation, it should be all or nothing, there's no such thing as '50% Fair'.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

This just in - girls get treated differently in yet another social situation. More at 11.

Seriously though, there isn't a way to not piss women off no matter how you treat them. If you treat them like "one of the guys," they get pissed because they're not "one of the guys." If you treat them like they're a woman, they get pissed because they want to don't want to be seen as a woman. And I'm not meaning "treat them like a woman" as treat them as something less than a man, I'm just meaning you don't make the same kind of jokes, etc around them like you would one of your buddies.

Sure, online games aren't the same and a player is a player, but you should expect that kind of stuff. Its the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory. Its the exact same reason why if you say you're black/asian/Jewish/Catholic/gay that you're gonna get a bunch of shit for it too. You think being a girl in an MMO is bad? Try being asian(especially Korean) and playing any RTS. I guarantee you'll get a ton of jokes about Koreans and StarCraft thrown your way.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Yeah, we aren't "one of the guys," because we are girls, but treating a woman as a woman doesn't mean unnecessary flirtation, soliciting cyber-sex, and harassment because "LOL ther no gurlz on the internetz.  Pic plz."

Honestly, I get tired sometimes of being called "he" automatically while playing Guild Wars with people I don't know, so eventually I'll point out I'm a girl, just like my character, and please call me "she."  That doesn't mean I've given you permission to flirt with me and alienate me because I'm different and you don't have the maturity to deal with it.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I never said it meant automatically flirting with you or anything. I simply said that from my experiences, and yes I know its anecdotal, I've never been able to find a happy medium in how women like to be treated because if I treat them like one of the guys I'm an immature pig, but if I don't treat them like one of the guys I'm not treating them like a person. No matter the fact that not treating them like one of the guys doesn't involve demeaning them, it just involves not talking about the same things that get me called an immature pig - like dick jokes, that fight during the hockey game, and calling the other guys there closet homos every time they say something that could sound like they were if taken out of context.

For instance, if I'm playing an fps with a bunch of my friends and one of them says "I just blew that dudes head off" I call them gay by saying something like "yea, and I'll bet you swallowed too." If I say that to most of the girls I game with on a regular basis, in the same situation, I get yelled at for it because "its sexist" and it "isn't a joke." Then when I stopped saying stuff like that when any of those girls were playing, they told me I wasn't nearly as fun to game with anymore. They don't want to be treated equally, they want to be treated special.

And its the same in a lot of places, be it work, gaming, or sports. Its the reason why in school we couldn't have a boys-only basketball league but the girls-only one was allowed to stay. And don't you dare tap a woman on the shoulder to get her attention at work, because, god forbid, if your finger comes near a bra strap you'll be getting your ass sued for sexual harrassment in about two seconds.

Yes, I realize that second example is an exaggeration, and no, I'm not saying that every woman is like that, just that there are quite a few out there who are.

And that example about basketball? That was completely true. Until high school we had a mixed league for basketball in the fall, and a girls-only league in the spring. Not to mention the fact that in high school if a girl wanted to play any sports that didn't have a girls team she was automatically allowed on the boys team, but if a boy wanted to play a game that only had a girls team he was told to screw off. For instance(warning: more anecdotal evidence), there was a girl that wanted to play baseball in high school, so she was allowed on the boys team because there wasn't a girls team. Well, a couple of the guys from the baseball team tried to join the softball team(girls only) to prove a point, and were told simply that they weren't allowed to because it was a girls only team.

I realize that at this point I've started to rant and went off on a bit of a tangent, but oh well. I guess my point is that a lot of women need to realize that if you want to be equal to one of the guys, expect to get treated exactly like one of the guys. There is no room for special treatment in equality.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I'm sorry if it came off like I was accusing you of something.  I was just pointing out the times that it gets to be too much for my girlfriends and me.

I'm seeing what your issue is though.  As a girl who's grown up on video games, I spent a lot of time with guys, being one of the guys, because there just weren't any other girls around who played games.  It's not that girls want to be treated special, it's just that, on average, we have a different sense of humor. 

Here's my own anecdotes: 

I had a friend in middle school who liked to show me playboy, because he thought it was funny.  I was a 9 year-old girl at the time, I had no interest in playboy.  Why would I want to look at scantily clad women when I didn't have an interest in them? 

More recently, one of my girlfriends and I were standing in a circle with a bunch of our guy friends, just chatting.  Somehow one guy turned the discussion into an in-depth conversation about what it's like to screw a girl on her period.  (Uhhh.... Yeah.  That wasn't odd at all... >__>;) We didn't freak out or anything, but it was uncomfortable for the two of us, and we really had nothing to say at that point.

Most girls, myself included, tend to find jokes like your "I bet you swallowed, too" or "That's what she said" to be immature, and not very funny.  I'm sorry if you friends honestly took it too seriously, but, really, they aren't that funny to begin with. 

I can't speak for all girls when I say this, just myself and the girls that I know, but that doesn't mean that I don't yell and curse when I'm playing multiplayer with the guys.  Lord knows I had all my Brawl taunts set up to shout different obsenities in multiplayer so I could curse at my friends even if I was playing with them online.

The thing is, guys do this to.  I have a friend I play online with frequently.  I recently learned in a conversation with him on Facebook that he takes the word "rape" very seriously, and can't stand it when people use it willy-nilly in games.  My boyfriend and I use it a lot when... well.... we get swarmed with enemies and we don't even think twice.  After that I now have to watch that I don't use that particular word around him, out of respect.  It happens.  People are different.  I wouldn't say I treat him "special," I treat him just like everyone else, minus a few phrases.  I mean, there are certain phrases I wouldn't say to my parents, or 10 year-old brother, but I'm not really treating them "special."  Just being respectful. 

With work you can find a happy medium.  Talk to your girl friends and find out what exactly about it bugs them, then you can just joke with something else.

I really don't know what to say about your highschool sports teams.  That's just all kinds of screwed up.  I've never come accross something like that before.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I love you.

I tried the same thing for classes as what happened for your school and b-ball. We have an "Athletic Training" class (basically a gym class) and a "Girl's Athletic Training" class. The course descriptions were almost identical, except that the latter was implied to be slightly easier. I chose the latter even though I'm male because I wanted an easier class that wasn't too stressful, and also chose it partly to prove a point. Of course I got put in the former. I bitched about it to my (female) counselor and had a very humorous conversation...good times...

I like to call what happens with *SOME* (note the some, not all) women and minorities "selective equality." They want the good parts about being equal but still wish to be "unique" so that they can gain the benefits of being treated differently also.

Example: Affirmative Action. I don't want to go much further because I don't want to start a flame war, but I'll leave it at this: You clearly don't want to be equal at all if you want a higher chance of getting a job simply because you are a member of a race that was abused long before you were born.

-If an apple a day keeps the doctor away....what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

-Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Whenever guys ask for my picture online, I have to fight the urge to send them goatse or some similar shock image.  Yes, I'm a horrible person.  I know.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Finally, someone else who feels the same way I do! <3

We can be horrible people together.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I think peer pressure plays a role as well, there are many teenage boys, in particular, who feel it's almost a duty to be racist, sexist idiots, it's partly anonimity, and partly 'being one of the lads', there's almost a level of respect for being a complete dong, and that's sad to see.

Mostly though, I think it's just the usual fear of the different, blacks, gays, females, they are all like different species to some of these people, because the only place they feel confident communicating is online, if you were face to face with these people, they'd either run away screaming, or be to socially inept to communicate in a grown up fashion.

Like the kid at school who makes similar comments and then, when faced by the subject of their comments, either deny them, or turn to their mates for help, it's easy to live up to your own definition of 'brave' when you think no-one is going to find out who you are.

 

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I'm a guy that will play female toons from time to time. I do get the whole "are you a girl" (use your own translation into any form of netspeak) to which I always respond with "does it matter?" and keep playing.

What I always found helpful is if one is teamed/ganged/partied up with a jerkwad who won't let it go, mention a few times in chat that if it doesn't drop, then he'll get dropped. This usually works better if you are the only healer in the group. Then don't raise them. I did this all the time in FFXI, which lead to great fun and results.

 

Right or wrong there's going to be jerks on any medium that let's them be annoymous. Sure, it's off putting, but if you let the jerks win, then, yeah. The jerks should never win, and most of these games give you the tools to help you ignore them. *shrugs*

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

She should play WoW with me sometime ;-)

But seriously, I haven't encountered any form of sexism, and I know a few females within my own guild.  Some are married, dating, and single.  We treat each other as friends, and have fun on the guild chat.

While I understand being upset over the soliciting of cybering and all that, the usual gestures are going to happen.  Hell, my friend plays a female character and I occasionally whistle/flirt as a joke, even though I know the player is a guy.  If it was a female I would do the same, but be a bit more cautious, because I don't want to offend.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

If you haven't encountered sexism in online gaming, you either haven't been playing, or you don't understand what sexism is.

Try playing as a female character for a while.  Then you might get it.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

I'm not so sure that argument holds water. I play a lot of female characters; the ratio is about 50:50, and almost all of them are pretty attractive (at least by MMO avatar standards). None of them have ever been hit on. On the other hand, a few of my male characters have been. I'm well aware that there are sexist incidents, but simply playing a female character does not guarantee that you will encounter them.

Re: Female Gamer Sees Sexism At Play in MMOs

Few males play female avatars in such a way that other males think the player is female.  It is surprisingly difficult to pull off since one usually has to fake an entire childhood of social ques.

Behavior changes according to who one thinks is behind the screen.

 
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quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
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