Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gender Wars?, or "Why Do People Insist on Putting Up with Crap?"

Generalizations are, by nature, inaccurate because they don't allow for exceptions.

So, in the interest of not generalizing the entire WoW population, some males are idiots who think "all women" are this or that (ie, emotional, untrustworthy, lousy tacticians, always social, etc), when all women can only be generalized one way: individual. Every woman is different, and you cannot make accurate assumptions on us all based on the ones you've met.

I get emotional sometimes. I'm not fond of prepping my own gear (my husband does it). I "squee!" over cute things like kittens and pink and The Sims. I'm a competent player, mostly casual, can remember a fight after one successful run, and possess above average intelligence.

If I thought for one second that my guild assumed I was only an emotional, girly, chattering kitten-addict, I would gquit. My guild shows enough respect for its women not to toss us into generalized categories or lump us all together like a plant genus: homosapian femininus.

What bugs me about the whole thing, though, isn't that stupid boys make stupid assumptions. If they're idiots, it will show, no reason to be surprised.

The part that gets me is when women sit there and take it. Why do some women not call out their guild leaders when someone treats them differently based on gender, why don't they demand the guild prove that it cares enough to squash sexism in its flacid bud? Why don't we report offenders?

Is it laziness? Is it misinformation or the belief that we can't do anything if the guild leaders won't, that we have no power? That our guild shouldn't have to stand up for us because it's just a game? Is it the fear that reacting harshly will fulfill the prophecy that we're all "emotional"?

I'm not officially a feminist, but my mother was raised by her single mom and a boatload of aunties. My mom is the kind of woman I'd be afraid of if I wasn't her kid -- she's friendly until it hurts (either her or the people around her), hospitable to the extreme, and the scariest freaking woman in the world when she's mad (even God couldn't have helped my high school administrators when the gym teacher let my brother get hit in the head with basketballs).

I was raised by that woman. And she instilled in me the unwavering belief that you must respect yourself enough to get out of a situation where others don't respect you.

I don't care if your best friend is the guild leader, or if you are the guild leader. If your guild, your officers, your members won't stand up and say "We don't want people here who treat women differently based on gender," then you need a new guild.

No drop is as legendary as self-respect.


  1. It wasn't basketballs, it was a guy's knee and a concrete block wall. And it was the fact that I seemed to have a concussion and the coach wouldn't let me seek medical attention that sent mom into an outrage. ;)

    On subject, I think a women in guilds that permit blatant sexism put up with it for a variety of reasons ranging from a feeling of powerlessness to change it to relishing the extra attention or privileges that come from being female. The one I've most often heard espoused is something along the lines of "I hate it, but I want to raid and if I say anything I risk losing my raid spot" -- so the female raider ends up keeping her mouth shut and her head down.

    Also, you really are "only an emotional, girly, chattering kitten-addict," but we love ya. :P Kidding, of course... you also go on-and-on about The Sims 3 and spend weeks of in-game time grinding dresses and non-combat pets.


  2. Well, I didn't say I wasn't an emotional, girly, chattering kitten-addict, and I can't deny anything you say -- but (and I know you're just teasing) my point is that those aspects are not enough to define my entire worth. And a lot of people tend to stick to the obvious.

    I don't particularly mind people knowing I'm a woman or thinking I'm girly. I used to be afraid of being considered girly, but marrying Alex gave me confidence, and IVV allows me to be wacky and silly without sacrificing any claim to intelligence.

  3. Oh, trust me.

    I respect the women in my guild. One is the Guild Leader's wife and the other one is quite vocal about us being stupid men if we misbehave.

    And I know we have at least two more women. But I rarely see them on, and I barely get to interact with them.

    But I still treat them with respect.

  4. XD After the tone of the post, you could hardly say anything else.

  5. I've never noticed that attitude in my guild. Probably because a good number of our people are girls and one of the most respected officers in the guild is a woman. And the fact that their husbands would probably tear into whoever tried to pull that sort of crud. Nice to have your husband playing with you :)

    I must be just lucky though. I do know that if my guild was full of the type of people who acted like that, I'd find myself a new home. Dealing with those people can be like beating my head against a brick wall, and I have better things to do with my time.

  6. *laughs at Birdfall's reply*

    Well, yes, that too.

    But I'm the youngest of 4 kids, and I have 2 older sisters. And my dad has always been big on respecting women.

    And, I'm not ashamed to admit this, one of my heroes is Audrey Hepburn.

    So, yeah. I respect women out of habit and because, well...

    That's what a gentleman is supposed to do anyway.

  7. Absolutely. There is no good reason anyone should put up with the abuse.

    My sister-in-law started a guild ("The Sorcerers" on Exodar). I'm not sure how it happened, but apparently right after guild creation someone must have just spammed invites and there were several extremely immature guys that joined. gchat was a constant barrage of dumb, mysogynistic jokes. Eventually someone got really crass and when a guild officer started threatening gkicks, a member who was not part of the problem suggested we let the problem members stick around. His/her comment (and I'm really not sure on gender) was that as a small guild that wanted to grow, getting a reputation for booting new members for reasons as nebulous as "vulgarity" might inhibit growth. I mean, who defines what's vulgar, right? So in the interest of future growth, we should just put up with the bad behavior.

    Personally, I was all for getting the reputation. "Guild of prudes is now recruiting other prudes," you know? Quality of growth being even more important than quantity of growth, imho. Had I been the one with the power, I'd have just axed a handful of members on the spot. Being wiser than I, the person who was in charge of it actually went through the intervention drama to give people who wanted to stick around fair warning and a chance to clean up their act. I think they quit anyway, but giving them the chance was probably the right thing to do.

    And now that they're gone? gchat is nice. I like being there. Members help each other out, give encouragement, instead of constantly digging on each other. Honestly, I feel bad that I'm not there often enough - the character being an alt that I use primarily for the social interaction with my brother and his wife. But there it is. Abusive behavior is ugly and affects more than just the parties directly involved.

    And the guild seems to be growing just fine. Not quickly, maybe, but still growing.

  8. Viktor - Irl epic win.

    Jack - Fair warning is the best political decision for a guild leader. Gkicking without warning always has at least a little stigma, but I don't think you would have had to advertise as prudes. I see it more as "Guild that demands a respectful, positive atmosphere for all seeking mature players."

    IVV's philosophy is definitely quality over quantity and, with such a stable atmosphere, the people who join us stick around.

    It's a slower method of growth but a much better investment for the long term.

  9. I raid with a group that is somewhat of a meshing of a handful of guilds and friends, and we've been surprisingly drama free for a while. Our Naxx25 group is lead by a woman, and she does just as well as anyone else I've run with. Her husband is also part of the run and it's always funny to hear one in the background when the other is talking on Vent XD.

    That said, a while back we did have some issues with "girlfriends" joining the raid, twice in a row someone wanted to bring their girlfriend into the raid, and since we're an easy going bunch we were welcoming. The disappointing thing is that both times they then insisted on bending/breaking a lot of our rules to accommodate (such as trying to get other people kicked so there would be a spot for their other, wanting preferential treatment on loot, etc). Both players have since moved on, it's just disheartening because now we have had to be very careful when the words "Can my girl/boyfriend join the group?". Girl or Boy friend, we don't want to deal with that drama again O.o

  10. I can see how that might happen. We have quite a few couples, some married, some not, but the main "couple" raiding thing is that the raid leaders ask us to tell them if we want to try and get paired in the same raid. Other than that, either both know to follow the rules or one of the pair is too casual to raid.


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