Strong Enough for a Member of Humanity
I feel that in my rantiness of my original post, there were some things I didn't make particularly clear. I do appreciate the outcry of support that followed, mind you, but I wanted to clarify some of the things I said to make sure that it was understood and not misinterpreted.

A lot of times, those of us who point out sexism or talk about feminism don't always point out why feminism is important for more than just women. Often people will say it's important to men because of how it affects the women close to them whom they care about, but it's more than even just that. The term "feminism" is misleading in modern times. It leads many to believe that it's all about bringing power to women, and bringing men down. The thing is, it's really not, though I know that it can come off that way.

Feminism, as a movement, certainly did begin in an effort to bring more equality to women. But the movement was so huge that it expanded to look at all forms of inequality between peoples - not just for women. It was a new way of thinking about things - based on the apparently novel concept of actually thinking about things. About not accepting things simply because that's how it's always been done. Challenging the very primal beliefs that we have about ourselves and others; about superiority and power dynamics.

Even if you disagree with someone about what they consider sexist, even if you think people take it to the extreme, even if you don't see something as offensive that another might, even if you feel that deep down there are fundamental differences between genders, and even if you don't believe that - the point is that by joining in on the discussion, you were required to actually think about it in the first place. And even if you come to the conclusion that everything is okay, you have wedged your mind open just a little bit more to at least consider the notion that there is a reason to reconsider things we've always taken as truth. Part of why mentalshaman's deconstruction of sexism in WoW is so important is not because we're all chomping at the bit to say "Yeah, sexist bastards!" and poise for attack - it's to make us look at things and actually think about them. Maybe some of the details are unfair, and maybe some aren't. But it's definitely worth at least considering. It's not about angrily ripping the world we love apart, but more about looking at it more carefully so that we don't get lost in a fantasy within a fantasy world. If you never challenge your own assumptions about the world around you, you will always be in the mindset of a five year old who simply takes everything presented as undeniable fact.

What feminism has truly brought to us, whether you like it or not, is the ability to challenge those long-held beliefs. And it is continually evolving and expanding as we look at new things we never thought about. Before I began studying feminism, it never occurred to me how internalized these concepts are of what makes a man a man, and what makes a woman a woman. You don't have to have children to be a woman. And you don't have to be the breadwinner to be a man.

So you see, the reason it is important is not just because women should be treated equally. It goes beyond that - if women are treated equally to men, then by default at the very least, men should be treated equally to women. If a woman steps up and says that it doesn't make her less feminine to work in the coal mines, then that means a man can stand up and say he's always wanted to be a nurse, and that doesn't make him less masculine. What it's NOT about is saying "well men have to put up with it too, so it all evens out and everything is fine!" No. The fact that men have to deal with it too is what makes it LESS FINE. Not because they are men and therefore it should be more important, but because it means that even MORE people are being subjected to the discrimination and judgment that comes from the same source. And the more people who take the time to deconstruct these long-held beliefs, the more people who will treat others as human beings who have a right to live their lives how they choose without the very tenents of their identity being questioned or ridiculed. Everyone is affected by sexism to some degree, whether they are male or female: and therefore everyone has a justification for standing up in opposition to it.

I don't think it's fair that when I was a delivery driver my boss didn't want me to take deliveries to certain neighborhoods - and I sure as hell don't think it's fair that because of that, he made one of the cooks (who was about half my size, had half as much knowledge of the area, and was twice as terrified) go do it instead - just because he was male. It wasn't just an insult to me as a female - in fact I think it was even more hurtful to him as a male. I just got pissed off. He was put into a dangerous situation he was much less equipped to handle.

There are studies all over the place that suggest men are less likely to get medical treatment for physical or mental disorders, and therefore die earlier on average than women... because they are raised to believe that a "real man" will simply "power through it". You shouldn't feel like less of a man for taking care of your health. No one has a right to make you feel that way - not your wife, not your parents, but most of all, not the whole of society at large.

Perhaps you like the traditional chivalrous customs, such as holding the door open for your date, or buying her dinner. But you should have a choice to be that way - not feel as though you are forced into it by what society tells you you ought to do in order to be a proper man. I don't like assumptions, and when I was dating, I brought money to pay for dinner. I at least offered to pay and presented the man in question with the choice. That wasn't just for my benefit. If someone wants to buy me dinner, I want them to do it because of me as a person - not just because I'm a chick.

A few weeks ago in Wintergrasp, while farming for eternals, there was an argument going on in general chat. One individual was antagonizing another about their PvP gear. I was already getting riled up in my indignant and self-righteous anger, but then, the antagonizer in question called the subject of his harassment a dude - to which the "dude" replied that she was female.

Suddenly his entire tone changed. Immediately after she replied that she was female, he apologized, and started using proper grammar and spelling, and being very polite and friendly. She was obviously confused about his change in behavior, but I was utterly enraged. Maybe it was silly of me too, because I had just been about to give him hell for being a jerk... but now that he decided he was going to be all nicey nice because she was female, I was even ANGRIER.

"Why exactly are you apologizing?!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't realize she was female."
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well, I wouldn't have been so rude."
"Screw you! Go forth and be rude freely! She can take it just as well as if she were male. You weren't willing to stop being a dick for the sake of, you know, not being a dick, but now that you realize she's a girl, you're suddenly willing to be a decent human being?"
"What? Do you think the corsets we're wearing make us more fragile and susceptible to your asshattery? Did she bat her eyelashes at you in such a way that you suddenly felt shame for your poor behavior? Oh sir, ahm just so sahrry for steppin' into your big manly brain, ah jes' can't keep up with your phallic wit and chahrms!"

At this point every female in the zone started chiming in.

I actually did feel kinda bad about that. In his defense, he was obviously very embarassed, but he took it like a champ, especially since he'd been such a dick before. Truth is, I don't think it occurred to him that a bunch of girls might not appreciate the fact that he was suddenly nicer just because of their gender. It was like he suddenly was embarassed for his behavior now that he realized his audience was made up of a bunch of people with whom he might at some point want to flirt.

You should be a courteous person to both men and women because it's the right thing to do as a human being. If you say you're going to be nicer to girls, then effectively you're saying you're going to be meaner to men. While I'd prefer you just be nicer, period, I'd at least like to know that you aren't treating the men any shittier than you're treating me. It may immediately benefit me more that you are being nicer to me, but I don't think it's right that you are meaner to someone else, just because they are male. Be nice to me because I deserve it, not because rumor has it there are breasts underneath my clothes.

See, I'm not an angry bitter female. I'm just a pissed off member of humanity.
26 Responses
  1. Keeva Says:

    I always hated it when my male raid leaders would go easy on me because of my gender. It would go like this:

    Me: Sorry, that was me, I stood in a void zone.
    RL: Oh. Um.. ok. Well, don't do it again I guess.

    Ughhhhhhhh - I hate that so much.

    I hate it when a raid leader lets me off easy because I'm female. It makes me feel so uneasy. If I mess up - tell me off!

    I can take it!

  2. Rades Says:

    Great post Miss M. The Wintergrasp story is great, in a funny/a little sad kind of way. At least he had polite intentions, though they were inadvertently insulting...I suppose that's better than throwing out sexist remarks upon learning she was female? :\ Anyways, seems like you gave him the tongue-lashing he deserved though, since it sounds like he was being a dick earlier anyway.

    I COMPLETELY agree with you that gender, race, demographic shouldn't get you treated any differently. If you're going to be a jerk, be an equal-opportunity jerk. (Though of course it's better to just be polite to everyone.) ;D

  3. @Keeva

    I have to be completely honest and say that sometimes I'm really grateful when people are "gentler" on me because I'm female.... I'm such a wuss. But then I listen to them rip into a guy, and I feel very guilty, knowing I deserved it just as much as him >.<


    I wanted to tell you I've been reading a lot of comments that you've left elsewhere, and I really sympathize with you, because you've mentioned how much you have really tried to engage in the discussions on feminism, and felt that you were ejected for simply being male.

    Thing is, assholes will still be assholes, whether male or female. And the internet makes it harder to recognize that someone is participating in a conversation in order to learn something and share, and not just to antagonize and be a jerk. The whole field of feminism is rife with terminology and high language that the average person doesn't know, because it's not part of every day conversation. So it's easy to step into a discussion, question the terms and concepts used, and get thrashed for it. The term "privilege" is a perfect example, and it's why I don't like to use it in a discussion with an audience that hasn't studied feminism. When feminists talk about male privilege, it's not being used the exact same way as we might use it to describe pesky teenagers :)

    I wanted to tip my hat to you and say that I really respect how involved you are in these discussions, and how open minded you've been. Don't be put off when people misunderstand or misinterpret the things you say on occasion. It's a pretty volatile topic - perfect example is me going off on the guy in wintergrasp. I should have taken the opportunity to whisper him and educate him on why I found his demeanor so insulting, instead of ripping into him the way I did. He probably walked away thinking women are crazy and get pissed off even when he's nice to them!

  4. Pewter Says:

    One of things I struggle with when folks say 'I'm all about equality' is that it tends to be a way to dismiss any difficulties all genders have, and while I am very much into feminist discussion, equal often implies 'the same'. And we aren't the same, we do have different needs and different experiences. Treating the 'poor' person the same as a 'rich' person often yields no benefit to either party.

    And completely agree - there are plenty of men I know who don't really enjoy hanging out with the lads talking about 'the tits on that one, and her indoors'. There are plenty of women who snark on anyone and everything - but that doesn't mean all women do that, and expecting women to do that doesn't do anyone any favours - self-fulfilling prophecies both for men and women.

    and my word verification was 'palin', who is apparently a 'feminist icon' these days ><

  5. Redbeard Says:

    At first I thought that when I started my first female BE toon that she was getting some excessive help from the people my blogmate likes to call "basement virgins", especially after the lack of help I got with my Pally. Then I made my bank alt.

    Male BE Rogue.

    The entire point was to create him and move him to Silvermoon. It was 6 in the morning on a work week, the last thing I wanted to do before I logged off for the day. My toon got wolf whistled and was followed around by female BE toons all the way to the Bazaar. (And no, it wasn't on an RP server, either.)

    So your points about respect and courtesy had me nodding along.

  6. Ophelie Says:

    @Keeva and MM:

    I've seen the topic of treatment by male raid leaders come up a few times, and every time a female player says they don't want their raid leader to go easy on them, I think to myself "you've never raided with my guild..."

    My guildies are really aggressive amongst each other. They cuss each other out, rile each up and THEY LIKE IT. They actually play better when they're angry.

    I don't. I *want* to be called out,but I need it done respectfully and within certain limits. I can't concentrate after being raged at. I also get really upset when someone swears at me. So I asked that they remember I'm lady.

    I suppose, though, one could say that I want to be treated a bit gentler because of my individual traits, not my gender and if a male guildie is uncomfortable being raged or sworn at he should have the right to make the same request I did. (And there is one woman in the guild who's as tough as nails and has no problem being torn into by the guys.)

  7. Leah Says:

    One thing I have to say though is that guys communicate with each other differently and I don't really believe its all nurture either.

    For instance, women don't insult each other as gesture of affection.

    I finally got hubby to try Portal and it was so representative of the differences in the way we think, its scary. he didn't solve the puzzles the same way I did. he used slightly different methods (there's enough leeway in a game for variety of solutions to the same puzzle, even though its fairly linear).

    While the guy in your example was probably taking those differences a bit too far, I can kinda see where he's coming from, because of the way males communicate with each other.

    In other words, I agree with Pewter on this one

    P.S. I call everyone on the internet dude (or "honey/darling", if I'm pissed off at them :P), regardless of gender O_O

  8. Rhii Says:

    Leah said "women don't insult each other as a gesture of affection." Which makes me wonder really why not. I frequently refer to both my brother and my boyfriend as "weirdos" in a totally affectionate way. I refer to my dog as "fatty", "mongrel", and "dingo", also affectionately. Aurdon's wife refers to her kids (all boys 3 and under) as "monsters" and "rascals" with the distinct undertone that they're the cutest monsters the world has ever known. But I wouldn't *dream* of applying those same terms to a sister, girl friend, or little girl. I'd be worried about insulting her. Food for thought anyway.

  9. Chastity Says:

    And we aren't the same, we do have different needs and different experiences. Treating the 'poor' person the same as a 'rich' person often yields no benefit to either party.

    Equal-means-identical is one of the myths I really think needs to go and die in a fire, because it's so often coupled with the obnoxious notion of "special treatment".

    As I think you mention on one of my other posts, it all revolves around a lot of unspoken, unrecognized, normative assumptions.

    Probably the single most difficult area to deal with this kind of issue in is disability discrimination, because pretty much anything you do to take into account the fact that - shock horror, different people have different body types and do things differently - looks like that most terrible of creatures "special treatment" in the name of "political correctness".

  10. Anonymous Says:

    For instance, women don't insult each other as gesture of affection.

    ...We don't? O_o I think you must hang out with an entirely different kind of girl than I do, because me and my female friends tend to go to town on each other. "You're such an idiot. ^_^" "Love you too" is pretty common, as well as calling each other jerks, bastards, and so forth. Even in my family growing up, with my ever-so-ladylike and polite mother, calling me and my sister "brats" was practically a term of endearment from her.

    I mean, obviously experiences are different for everyone, but that one baffles me because I've never had the experience that women don't do that.

  11. @Redbeard

    Bwahahaha.... that is so classic. I know I shouldn't laugh, and that it's probably mean, but I just can't help it.


    I think what you said at the end there is more of the case. It's your individual personality. I mean, the woman in the guild who is "tough as nails" and embraces the criticism probably is no less of a lady :) And if a guy comes along and wants to be treated they way you requested, he ought to have the right to ask for it too, without feeling like a lady for requesting it :D


    "For instance, women don't insult each other as a gesture of affection."

    Actually, I have to disagree with you there. My friends and I usually refer to each other with affectionate insults - both the men and women. Come to think of it, insulting each other is actually sort of how my fiance and I display affection, period. It probably is more of a culture/generational thing, really. Even when I was in high school and college we referred to each other in derogatory terms. If some chick walked up to me on the street and called me the names my friends and I called each other on a regular basis, I probably wouldn't take too kindly to it.

    I actually call everyone honey/darling/dude/sweetie etc. The issue wasn't the man in question referring to the girl as "dude" - some people might find that annoying, but she wasn't insulted by it.


    My group of friends refer to ourselves as "The Fatties". :D


    Oi, we're the same way. Except we use much stronger terminology than "idiot" "jerk" and "bastard", heh.

  12. @Pewter @Chastity

    That issue of individual differences versus overarching equality is really an interesting one. As someone who is possibly obsessed with geographical terminology, forgive me for it. but I always think of it as an issue of sociological scale.

    On an individual basis, everyone is of course very different, with different needs and different particularities. I was actually going to quote the "golden rule" in this post, but I decided not to... because I *hate* the "golden rule". "Treat others as you would like to be treated"? No. Treat others as THEY WANT to be treated.

    However, that golden rule is a good baseline assumption to work from when you don't KNOW someone's individual particularities.

    Think of yourself in a room with no real context meeting a new person. You know nothing about this person. What sort of assumptions do you have to make in order to interact with that person? It would be nice to say that we make no assumptions. But as soon as you open your mouth to speak to them, you are assuming, by default that they can hear you for one. And then if you speak English, you are assuming they understand English. That assumption can be challenged as soon as they respond in a different language, or perhaps indicate that they can't hear you, or can't speak... and then you can move on to the individual particularities from there and adjust accordingly. The thing is, in order to interact on some level, I would argue that you do have to make some assumptions in order to communicate at all.

    So that equality argument is actually very important when making policy considerations. If you are trying to enact a law, or create a world, in which a great multitude of individuals will be participating, how do you toe the line between creating a policy/world that encompasses everyone without making overarching assumptions about certain individuals? From a policy perspective, when you are dealing with a large group of people, at some point you will have to group them together to make decisions and treat multiple individuals similarly.

    For instance, treating the "poor" person the same as the "rich" person really is somewhat necessary, depending on the policy - if the policy is about finances, then individual particularities may come into play, but what if it's not? Our identities are multi-faceted, and depending on the scale and context, different aspects of our identities should be addressed.

  13. Redbeard Says:


    I kept saying "You have got to be kidding me!" the entire five minutes during the walk to Silvermoon. Okay, I was using some more creative words, but you get the point.

    Some people are just equal opportunity gawkers, I suppose.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    @MM Well, we do too, but given the discussions being held, I thought it best to... refrain from listing the various and sundry things that we call each other. If someone I didn't know called me any of these, I'd be pissed as hell, but with them, it's just reaffirming that we're friends and we love each other.


  15. Keeva Says:

    Ophelie: I can take rage - I just have a very solid rule for my guild: it doesn't get personal. Ever. I don't mind if my raid leaders yell at people for doing stupid things, but they are not allowed to use those opportunities to put people down.

    Unfortunately, and I think (sadly) that gender comes into this.. I just cannot get it through to them that I am NOT a carebear. I am NOT saying "don't let me catch you yelling at someone". I've gone over it probably 4 or 5 times with them - you CAN yell if people are being bad, you just can't tell them that they are "drooling retards" or use other insults.

    But they think I'm trying to tell them that they can never yell, and everything has to be gentle encouragement and holding hands and never any raised voices, because Keeva doesn't like yelling.

    No, no, NO. It's not that at all. Is it really so hard to understand? DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!

    So, back on topic: people can "rage" at me if I did something bad. I'll cop it. But don't make it personal. Perhaps I did a stupid thing; tell me so, but don't tell me that I am a stupid person.

  16. P.J. Says:

    I'll admit to treating women differently than men. In my limited experience, it's because I've never pissed off a guy so much that he cries. Not all women I've pissed off cry, but none of the men I've pissed off will cry. As you said in an earlier reply about assumptions, I have to assume that there's a certain chance that the woman I'm talking to will end up crying if I come down too hard.

    You can interpret that as "Well, mook is saying that women are softies!" But, as you've pointed out, think on the reverse: you could also interpret that as "Well, mook is saying that men aren't allowed emotional expression."

    So, yeah, that Wintergrasp story resonated with me.

    Also, another commenter said that women don't insult each other as a form of affection to which you and another commenter disagreed. I agree with the original comment in a majority of situations. MOST women I encounter don't insult each other as a form of affection, a large minority of women I know DO insult each other as a form of affection but it is NOT a majority. So, again, using your example of assumptions, the betting odds are to assume that women I interact with will not appreciate an insult.

    Which is exactly what I assume. However, I also assume that with ALL people. I wait until I know a person well enough before I start that type of behavior. However, with women I generally wait much, much longer before I start that. I've been in too many situations where I opened up too soon and genuinely insulted someone, and *in my experience* I opened up too soon with women.

    In fact, whenever I interact with a woman who finds friendly insulting to be acceptable, I mark that in the Tom-Boy column.

    Sorry if this meanders, I'm kind of solidifying my own thoughts by thinking out loud here.

    Where was I? Yes, the Wintergrasp story.

    TLDR: I can sympathize with that guy in general chat because men aren't allowed emotional expression so I can be more harsh to them and am nicer to women as a result.

  17. @PJ

    I have to say, I just don't think it's a big deal when someone cries. Granted, that's because I cry about everything. I cry when I watch the Brady Bunch. It's just such a natural response to me that I have had since I was a kid, that I don't even notice anymore. I cry when I laugh too... so I've just started telling people to ignore me when I cry... it doesn't really mean anything.

    Does it make you feel uncomfortable when people laugh? And I don't say that as a criticism. I suspect it doesn't, because that is a positive response instead of a negative one. I think people prefer it if someone gets angry to when they get upset and cry, because crying makes us feel guilty, and angry makes us feel indignant/righteous/justified/or angry in return.

    Really, I've just always been curious about why the natural response to crying for most people seems to be so "ANNNNH TEARS AHH"... it must be something primal? (Sorry, thinking out loud)

    The real question at that point is... how would you react if a man cried in response? Would you treat that differently than if a woman cried? Would you perceive that man differently? At that point, would you feel less comfortable being as hard on men?

    You say that men aren't allowed emotional expression. You are allowed to react however you want - the question is, how will people respond to that? If you assume that you can treat men poorly/harsher because they aren't allowed emotional expression, so therefore they can "take it", then that continues that very same assumption - that you need not be concerned about them having any emotional expression, because they aren't allowed.

    Yeah that was kinda meandering too, since I was sort of thinking out loud, so to speak. Anyway, none of that is intended as a criticism to you really, I think we're both just kind of thinking out loud. That's sort of the point after all.

    I do have one thing though... why would a girl who is capable of handling insults well be marked as a tomboy? That's kind of curious to me. I wouldn't describe myself as a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination. Think about it this way, what would the male equivalent to that be? An effeminate male? How would you like being marked down as an effeminate male?

  18. Pewter Says:

    It's not that I don't think equality is important in legislation/policy, but it's too often used as short hand when gender (or class, or race) issues are raised, and most often by people who want to believe that they are enlightened and not bigoted in anyway. Not that bringing up 'equality' means that they are, but it's a bit like saying 'Race doesn't matter, I'm colourblind.' There are always going to be situations where such things don't 'matter', but it's an easy way out in social justice discussions, and then leaves one open to trolls who say 'but women and men ARE NOT the same' and use it as a leaping board for all sorts of nasty stuff ;)

    on insults
    I don't know many men who will happily stand for insults, even friendly ones, from people they don't know very well or don't identify with. I know plenty of women, girls, men, boys who insult each other within their group of friends, and many people who wouldn't dream of doing something like that

    Raiding can create a false sense of intimacy, and the culture of insults and bad language is so wide in WoW that it can seem more natural to throw around online things we never dream of saying in a work place or to a relative. Of course, all we have here is anecdata, and it's partly a matter of the context of the insults - I wouldn't take name calling even if I was being yelled at for messing up, because I'm not in WoW to be yelled at.

    Anyways, couple internet with culture/generational thing and...yeah.

  19. Chastity Says:

    Sorry for the double post, a further point occurs:

    In terms of public policy, the big problem is working out what "equal" treatment really looks like.

    Taxation is a good example. Superficially, flat rate taxation looks like the most "equal" system - everybody is taxed at the same rate, you can't get more equal than that. In fact, though, it's unequal because your expenses do not increase linearly with your income. I can far better afford to give up 10% of my income than can somebody on half my salary.

  20. Anonymous Says:


    In fact, whenever I interact with a woman who finds friendly insulting to be acceptable, I mark that in the Tom-Boy column.

    I... have to admit that like MM, I'm curious as to WHY that's a mark in the tomboy column. 'Cause... I would consider myself pretty much NOT a tomboy. I like pretty things. I cry at hallmark commercials. I will avoid being dirty if at all possible.

    To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the term "tomboy" at all. Sure, it generally just refers to a girl who's not girly, but the insinuation is that it's a girl who acts like a boy - it's even in the term. Tomboy. Just because a girl might get along better with boys, or prefer pants and climbing trees and playing cops and robbers vs. pretty dresses and dolls and playing house does not mean she's acting like a boy. Similar to many boys? Yes. But there's a difference in acting "as if she were a boy" and acting "as herself, which happens to be similar to how many boys her age act".

    Just because a girl isn't feminine doesn't mean she's not acting like a girl. The fact that she is a girl means that she's acting like a girl.

    ...this rant not really directed AT PJ, just courtesy of PJ. XD

  21. @Chas

    For whatever reason, Chas, your first comment didn't show up, but I got it in my email, and I'm sad because it was such a great contribution to the discussion. If it doesn't show up within the next couple of hours, I might copy and paste it and repost it from my email.

    When I was thinking about the "new person in a room with no context" example, I too was trying to imagine how you could differentiate between assumptions and defaults, such as you suggested.

    I think the point is that you can go in with assumptions, which is not necessarily a bad thing out of their own necessity - the issue is how you react when those assumptions are challenged. I.E. I assume you speak english in order to communicate with you, but if I find out you do not, how do I react? If in order to communicate with someone, you are forced to make some initial assumptions, the idea is to reduce them to the minimal amount required in order to communicate... I think.

    Yes, I am getting way too philosophical about this, but I do find it fascinating to consider.

  22. Nidaba Says:

    The nature of this post seems to me to be, in itself, sexist. You say feminism isn't a single gender concern, and I agree, but nor is it the only measure of gender equality.

    You say this man (do you know it was a man?) was only considerate/more polite "now that he realized his audience was made up of a bunch of people with whom he might at some point want to flirt." This comment is sexist to the point of being extremely distasteful. Because he's a man (by your assumption if there is no further evidence) he automatically may wish to engage in flirtation with every female he comes across? Because, by nature of his gender, he is obsessed with sex and therefore must show some cursory manners towards women in the hope that they may give him a sexual response? If you want women to be given respect as individuals, not branded with presumptions based on the general behaviour of their gender, you would do well to extend the same courtesy to men.

  23. @Nidaba

    The anecdote about the assumed male in Wintergrasp was not intended to be a reflection of the nature of this post, but merely an anecdote. One in which I admitted my own poor behavior, but you are right that it is inherently sexist to make assumptions about him and dig on him the way I did. I would still have been irritated about him being nicer just because the person was a girl, but it wouldn't have mattered if the antagonizer were male or female.

    I confess I don't really understand how the nature of the post is by its own sake sexist, though I encourage you to explain it to me, since I'm always happy to learn. I don't think feminism is the only -ism that addresses gender equality, but it is the -ism we were discussing, so I wanted to address it.

    I also don't think it's necessarily a horrendous and distasteful mistake to assume that someone is male/female, but the problem does come in making assumptions about them based solely on that very assumption that they are male. And you are absolutely correct, my comments about wanting to flirt with every female based on the fact that he was (by my assumption) male was in poor taste. I apologize, and thank you for pointing it out to me! I make errors all the time myself, but I do hope to be the kind of person who can make changes when I realize my error.

  24. Avi Says:

    I've been reading along a lot of these blogs after reading Pewter's posting (and then the subsequent links, thanks!)... But this is my first comment because - even as a female - I feel 'wrong' posting.
    I think I might be too... I dunno, non-feminist.
    I have a cute draenei ele shaman (two, actually, on different realms). I play draenei *because* they are cute. Kind of like I hate questing in ZD while levelling and head to Sholazar instead. I'm very visual and don't seem to enjoy (what *I* feel is) and ugly zone. Or (again, my perceptions) a not so cute toon. I like that my toon feels cute to me, it makes my gaming time more enjoyable.
    AND I'm also not hesitant to call out a bunch of folks in a random pug for their language/behaviour/whatever and even say "excuse me, but there's a lady present". But now all these discussions have me wondering what makes me so 'weird' that I don't mind stating that I'm a girl and having a result.
    Raid leaders tho, no, should never ever treat me differently because I'm a girl. Avi does something stupid in a raid, I fully expect to (and when I was actively raiding with DL, definitely *was*) be yelled at just like anyone else if I have a stupid moment. I don't have expectations on being treated differently for my game play. But general courtesy? Yes I do. However, at the same time, I would expect people to curb their behaviour/etc if a male asked them to as well. So it's not BECAUSE I'm female - just that I don't mind stating it.
    I just don't know, though. I feel out of place in all these discussions. I do expect doors to be held open for me. But I guess, once again, it is true that it's not because of the fact that I'm a girl. I hold doors too if there's someone walking through behind me - male or female. I just see it as common courtesy. But if I'm out with my other half, he's the one who opens the doors. Then again, I also "don't allow" him to do dishes or laundry, so I know I'm a little old-fashioned. Oh, and he knows that if it's bbq time, he'll be the one doing the cooking cause that bbq scares the crap out of me. ;)
    Anyway... Keep posting away, you guys - it's enlightening discussion all around. And remember that there are plenty of us who are reading and interested in everyone's opinions -- even if we don't feel like we have a 'right' (wrong word, but all I've got) to respond.

  25. Oestrus Says:

    Hey there - I have read your blog a few times and heard some great things about you. But, this is my first time really commenting or anything - so. hello!

    I remember a situation in a previous guild I was in where I had met a guy from a dating site (outside of the game) and he lived in Chicago and was nice enough to drive up to come visit me, during a snowstorm in January.

    I remember coming back and logging on after our date and telling my guildies about how it went (because they asked) and I casually mentioned that I paid for dinner. I offered to pay for dinner, because I happen to do pretty well for myself and not only did he waste gas to come see me, he drove up in crap weather (and we are going thru a recession, too) and I felt overall that it was a lovely way to show appreciation and gratitude.

    My guildies were horrified - absolutely disgusted. They said I had dated a freak and how dare he call himself a male for letting the woman pay and how could I stoop to such a low level and all this awful talk. I had no idea where this came from and to tell you the truth, I've encountered this a few more times since then.

    I just had no idea my guild was going to lynch me for paying for my date's dinner.

    To a certain degree, I still get kind of uncomfortable using the phrase "feminist" or "feminism" because it does often conjure images of women who want to be better than men or who feel men are beneath them and that's definitely not me, at all. Or you find situations where women like to "cherry pick" their feminist ideals. "Well I can kick a man in the balls - but if he hits me back, that's wrong," or cases where women want to be in the military - just not on the front lines. If you want equal rights, I feel it should be equal all the way.

    I really enjoyed AzerothApple's comment about being a tomboy - because I've always been a self-identified tomboy. I was always that mean little Ginger who was beating up the boys and getting dirty and being mean to the other girls who liked pink and screamed when you touched their hair.

    I never really thought about how/why I used the term until lately and then it occured to me that usually I use it as a form of defense or a shield or to explain away things that I do and why they're not typically "girly."

    I think we've reached a day in age where the definitions of what makes a man a man and a woman a woman have changed so much and become so fluid that I think it becomes even harder to appease both genders. I think Codi brought up marketing more to females and creating more aspects in a game that women would want to see. But what kind of woman is that? You may spend more energy catering to the women who like adorable Draenei (like another poster stated), but then you risk isolating other women who aren't "that kind of woman." We're all so different and that's great, but I worry that making statements of how to make a game more female-friendly is going to isolate those women who may not necessarily fall into Blizzard or whatever designer's idea of what a woman should be.


  26. Anonymous Says:

    I feel uncertain about commenting with my opinion here - except only to agree that discrimination based on gender is wrong - and to admit that privilege exists.

    When considering banter/treatment of other characters - and by extension players - do you think that men are motivated by different things than women? Or that men react differently to women - praise, criticism, banter or insults (whether this reaction is learned or natural)?

    Is it possible to make generalised assumptions based on player gender at all?

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