Friday, April 24, 2009

Excuse me you sexist prick, but is that my ubersaw in your head?

Okay. Let me make this clear for those of you who may not be aware: I am a gamer. I am a huge gamer. A basic Google search of Witchiebunny will turn up my involvement in the Steam gaming group, The Furry Pound where I am head admin.

I generally play FPS (First Person Shooters), which is generally the domain of teenage boys and young adult men, though exceptions (such as myself) do exist. And my favorite games include the aforementioned TF2, along with Left 4 Dead, Portal and The Ship.

I love gaming. I've made some very wonderful and worthwhile friends whilst playing on TF2 servers. However, my gaming experience once I finally obtained a microphone always started out with the inevitable, astonished "You're a GIRL?" realization, and the subsequent re-evaluation of my gaming ability based on that. It's not even like I'm the only girl who plays on our servers either-there's at least five of us that I can think of off of the top of my head (and this includes one who is trans).

To be sure, women are a minority within the gaming world, though the gap is closing. We are out there. And we are every bit as good as male gamers.

So it does kind of piss me off when I hear the joke "There's no girls on the internet". Especially when it's for the hundredth time.

And I do so love how many of the pubs on the servers choose to attribute my skill and how well I, and by extension, my team is doing to one of the male members of my team.

Newsflash? Just because Doom is on my team, it does NOT negate my skill at blowing you to kingdom come on my own.

However, what has really been upsetting me is the fact that recently, I had to make a rule on TFP concerning harassment. Now bear in mind, I don't get harassed on the servers-that's the privilege I get for being head admin and wielding the ban-hammer, and I *know* I get it. However I have made it clear to all of my gamers if they are being harassed, to bring it to me.

So imagine how I felt when one of my gamers-a 19 year old woman-came to me and told me that players were telling her to stop playing and "get back in the kitchen".

Yeah. Really.

It was one of the few times I more or less bypassed my team of admins in the creation of a rule. And yet, even then I had to make it carry a less harsh penalty than I would have liked-in short, harassment is a temp ban, rather than a permanent ban as I'd like.

Why? Because even if women are complaining, we have to give the men who have already shown a lack of respect for them another chance after they show their ass before we can throw them out permanently.

It's worth noting, that one of my admins tends to hop to and get on harassment cases more if it's a woman complaining than if it's anyone else. It's bigoted to the opposite degree, but given how little some of my other admins seem to care about harassment claims in general, I think I'll take it for now.


  1. I really applaud you for taking on a role such as this. And the strength with which you are doing it. It almost seems there is nothing we can do to make people understand that gender should not play a role in how skilled someone is. I've not encountered much in the internet arena regarding harassment or derogatory comments, but I do have a few friends who have. One of my friends made it a point to tell one 'nay-sayer' that if he hadn't known she was female to begin with, this issue wouldn't have come up. True. HOWEVER, is it really necessary to deem someone unfit to do something because only one gender has done it? I would love to see more on this!

  2. I've been around for a long time on the internet, and have encountered this again and again. It's really quite frustrating, especially since it seems one of my admins is trying to run things behind my back (I suspect the whole "She's a woman, I don't have to listen to her" mentality may be to blame as I'm the *only* woman on the admin team). I'll definitely be writing more about this type of thing.

  3. I am also a female and a gamer. I avoid almost all games that require interacting w/strangers because it's just too annoying. There are the whiny little eight and nine year old kids who have parents that let them play games that are clearly for adults AND give these kids microphones and headsets where any creepy adult can talk to them. Then there are the "make me a sandwich" assholes like the ones you mentioned. I just don't have the patience to deal with it.

  4. Love the title haha. Good post too. I hate whenever I'm treated like I'm invisible online just cuz I'm a girl.