She’s Just an Attention Whore

I was having a discussion recently with a friend about women in comics, which led to talking about female gamers. The conversation was going well until my friend (who I always considered a pretty not sexist guy) said this: “There are two types of female gamers: ones who actually like games, and ones who are just trying to get attention.” This comment set me off, we had an argument about it, and it didn’t end well. But that’s another story for another time (or not). The point of this post is to bring the underlying idea of this comment to light. That idea being that women who admit that they’re women online or while gaming are just attention whores. So, let’s dive right in.

As any women who’s online a lot (in certain places) or who games will tell you, the number one sin is admitting you’re female (in any way). You can never do this, even if it’s relevant to the current conversation. Everyone assumes you’re male unless you say that you’re female (ugh, it’s like they think they’re real people or something!). The second you let that bit of information slip, you’re told one (or more) of the following three things: (1) tits or GTFO, (2) get back to the kitchen, or (3) you’re just an attention whore. (I’m not even sure who’s saying 1 or 2 anymore. Do they think that they’re funny or clever with that bit?)

The idea that women only like x because they want attention has been around as long as I can remember. “Women only pretend to like football so that men will like them,” “Women only pretend to like games so that men will like them,” “Women only pretend to like Star Wars so that men will like them, ” etc, etc. According to this stereotype, women only pretend to have interests so that guys will like them. Women have no agency; no interests; the only thing they want is male approval and attention. This stereotype is perfectly illustrated in the Idiot Nerd Girl meme.

Why is this happening when 40% of gamers are now women (PDF) and over 50% of internet users are women? It seems like this is just another way for women to be silenced. If you’re constantly told you’re an “attention whore” for speaking up while female, would you keep doing it? Probably not. That’s why so many women pretend to be men while gaming (here’s a small poll illustrating my point) or online. Or they just let people assume that they’re male. It just makes things easier. I know that when I’m online in certain places, I just let people assume that I’m male. The few times that I’ve admitted to being female (in those places) shit hit the fan. I was called an attention whore, asked for pictures, and told to get back to the kitchen. It’s not fun. I wasn’t upset about it, I was just annoyed because I couldn’t discuss what I wanted to anymore. This just perpetuates the “there are no girls on the internet” trope. But some women won’t be bullied into silence. Those women are called attention whores for refusing to hide the fact that they’re female and still having an opinion.

Things like this are so prevalent online and in nerd culture that it’s hard to understand why so many people are puzzled by (relatively) low numbers of female involvement in these things. It’s because we’re treated like shit by some while others stand by and let it happen over and over again. We (us nerdy women) just can’t fucking please anyone! We’re sexualized when we participate, and then criticized for being attention whores! I can understand why so many women just give up and leave or pretend to be male.

But this kind of thing isn’t limited to just gaming, nerd, or online communities. Any time women speak out, they’re called attention whores. Female skeptic talking about an awkward situation? Attention whore.  Female activists bringing attention to victim blaming? Attention whores. Smart woman who blows shit up? Attention whore.

This is something that troubles me frequently. I just want to participate equally in the communities that I enjoy without someone trying to harass me into silence because I had the audacity to have an opinion, interest, or hobby while being female. People rarely ever speak out when these things happen. I can understand why some women remain silent (they don’t want to bring the attention upon themselves). But what about the ones who don’t mind the hate? What about the men who just sit by without speaking up? Won’t someone speak up? I can’t take them all on by myself.

92 Comments

Filed under Feminism

92 responses to “She’s Just an Attention Whore

  1. Ray, rude-ass yankee

    I am not a female or gamer, but the more I learn about the attitude of some men toward women, the more I want to speak out against it. Thank you.

  2. Blood Elf Hunter

    Found you from Blag Hag :)

    I am a female gamer, and this couldn’t be more true. I play WoW, and was recently in a pick-up raid group with my boyfriend and some people we didn’t really know. We were in a chat channel to more easily communicate about the fights and usually in these situations I just stay quiet because it’s easier, but I slipped up and said something in the middle of the fight. The chat went dead. Someone piped up “Was that a girl?” someone else “No way.” And I thought it was done with.

    Later my boyfriend made a comment about me and referred to me as a “she” and the guys were like “chicks don’t play wow” or “girls can’t raid.” Apparently having boobs means I can’t play video games well. *le sigh*

    Anyways, just wanted to share my side, this was a very well-written post, I’ll add you to my list of blogs I follow :)

    • Thanks for sharing your story and for reading!

    • “Chicks don’t play WoW”? That’s news to me; I only know two people of whom I’m aware that they play, and they’re both women. Mind you, they’re a lesbian couple, so I bet there’s some ad hoc argument why that doesn’t count.

    • I know a lot of chicks that play WoW, most are moms too. Our guild was 2/3 chicks at one point. All really good players too. We already have our guild for Star wars set up and hope to get more female guildies, Sunrise Soldiers. My toon is DarkAtheist since they wouldn’t let me choose any Star Wars Character names (even obscure ones from the books).

    • Just as anecdotal information, my daughter plays WOW. She uses a non-gendered name and never admits to being a woman. She told me it’s not worth the hassle.

      I’m male and I’m not interested in WOW.* So neither my daughter nor I fit the WOW player stereotype.

      *I play TBS games like Civ IV and GalCiv.

      • Lol we almost got the same name.. I always enjoy the company of women in gaming, and always suspected to be more females in a game then would seem to be. It is a unhealthy situation for people to have to interact like this, and sometimes I wander how they deal with women/girls IRL.
        But they probably act up a lot.

  3. Good christ – people actually think that about women? Was there an unreported epidemic of dropping kids on their heads in the late 80s? Or was the switch from the longer-than-it-is-wide Atari joystick to the flat button-heavy controller of the Japanese consoles too much for their little Freudian minds to take? I am aghast.

  4. greame

    It does seem really ridiculous to me, but that’s the internet for you. I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 with a few people who just happen to be in the same servers, and this girl in New York that I’ve been in a lot of games with constantly…CONSTANTLY kicks my ass and when we end up on the same team, we somehow always win. I have no trouble saying that she’s just better then I am haha.

  5. greame

    From the chicks who blow shit up link:

    “Also, in my experience, art + won’t eat meat = mostly worthless”

    Wow. Just wow. I think I need a shower now, after clicking that link. Some people are beyond hope. =(

    • Laugh at the tiny minds, it's really all they're good for

      Did you read the signature of the guy who wrote that? It was priceless!

      “You’ll never fix anything until you open your minds. A closed mind is predictable, easily manipulated, and rarely missed when it is gone.”

      He may as well have stamped his own forehead with a big red “DEFECTIVE” stamp! Lol :D

  6. NoxiousNan

    Also found on Blag Hag. Nice post – I’ll be back.

  7. Pteryxx

    Variant of the “attention whore” meme… onscreen, women characters who are competent (therefore unfeminine) get killed off. So male approval in Hollywood-ese is a survival strategy! Via Cracked:


    “The best point to make about this whole thing has already been made by Ms. Rodriguez herself:

    “… people can call it typecast, but I pigeonholed myself … Saying no to the girlfriend, saying no to the girl that gets captured, no to this, no to that, and eventually I just got left with the strong chick who’s always being killed, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

    You read that right: She’s limited her roles to interesting, strong characters. For a male actor, that means “action hero.” For a woman, it means she has to die — over and over and over again, each time making way for the petite model to take down the villain with her Waif-Fu instead.”

    ARGH

    Source: http://www.cracked.com/article_19549_5-old-timey-prejudices-that-still-show-up-in-every-movie.html

  8. Otokogoroshi

    This is a great article and I’ve experienced a lot of sexism in the nerd culture and starting to experience more in the skeptic circle. I’ve played WoW since launch and my first character was a male night elf because I didn’t want to be harassed… also I hated how sexualized the females are.

    These days I play horde side and with a guild of family people who have kids and are married. Folks are mature when it counts, and fun and immature where it doesn’t! I avoid the jerks like the plague and good lord am I sick to death of the ‘Get in the kitchen’ ‘make me a sammich’ ‘girls don’t play video games’ stereotypes, thankfully I only seem to see that in the trade channel.

    For awhile I even worked at a Gamestop (was a third key manager) and I just loved it when the misogynistic jerks came in when it was all girls on shift. They had no idea what to do. I don’t know how many times I had to ‘prove’ my gaming chops by talking about how I’d been gaming since I was old enough to hold a controller and owned almost every system from Atari onward to the Xbox 360.

    Online and off I don’t remain silent and I have ruffled a TON of feathers. A LOT of nerd guys don’t want to think about it and really resent it when people bring up the racism/sexism/homophobia of the nerd culture. I rather speak up and be hated then remain silent and liked.

  9. ad_astra

    Several years ago when I was playing WoW, I felt like the climate for women in games was almost intolerable. I stopped letting anyone I was female and I played primarily with my IRL friends because my experiences with anonymous players who became aware I was female was so bad (sexism vs. sexual harassment vs. outright threats.) After WoW quite a while passed before I delved back into the MMORPG realm but this year I started playing Rift and so far things have been better (though not perfect, only 1 unpleasant incident so far though.) That gives me hope but I know we still have a ways to go.
    A few days ago while waiting in line to check out, 2 guys (in their 20s) in front of me turned around and took notice of my box of Bioshock 2 figures. One of the guys said “Whatcha got there?” somewhat patronizingly and when I told him “Just a Big Daddy and Little Sister.” he & his friend started laughing and said “I can’t believe you know what that is!” as if it was absolutely absurd. I was SO PISSED but bit my tongue to stifle the rude, smart-ass response and anti-stereotype diatribe that was brewing and just briefly explained to them that they shouldn’t be surprised. >:(

  10. Timid Atheist

    I’ve been playing WoW for 6 years now. It’s the only game I can afford as a single mom so I’ve pretty much just stuck with it over the years. I’ve had my share of harassment, but I can honestly say it’s rare that I get any commentary at all. A lot of that has to do with me not saying more than I need to during pick up groups and other activities. I also frequent Role Playing Servers which usually means the male to female ratio is a bit more even. I’ve heard enough horror stories over the years, however, to write a book about harassment in regards to online gaming.

    It makes me sad young men and women are -still- being taught that “normal” women don’t play games unless it’s for attention. Well screw that. I play for the story, I play for the community (when they aren’t being jerks) and I play because I freaking like video games!

    Thank you for sharing this. I found your blog via Skepchicks, so I’ll be adding you to my blog roll right along side them.

  11. Gus

    The world needs more Gamer Chicks.

    • Only so I can chat with them about our kids (and other things) while we kick your ass.

      I vaguely recall being told – 5 years ago – that I shouldn’t talk on vent during raids because it distracts the younger players. Shortly after that, I switched to a mature guild that my husband was in. I’ve been with them ever since and I wouldn’t go back to a mixed age guild unless the younger players were children of the older players.

  12. Andrew Wakefield

    “The idea that women only like x because they want attention”
    That’s a misrepresentation.

    The idea is not that you are an attention whore for playing games, but for spending your online video gaming broadcasting constantly that you are female as if it was some sort of accomplishment to be a female that does.

  13. Jeff

    So true. I enjoy both the company of women AND video games. Can’t you guys stop being assholes so I can have both at the same time!?

  14. E. Hill

    I would summarize the jerky POV of the louder, more obnoxious gaming males as “I am distracted by vaginas. Therefore, the only reason anyone would have a vagina is specifically to distract me.”

    • Buzz Parsec

      Oh, okay, I get it now. It’s a tactic. “Hey, look over there! It’s a vagina!”, “Where?” **THUD**. So the next question is where is natural selection when you need it? Shouldn’t all the THUDs be removing maladapted individuals from the gene pool?

    • theothersally

      This is exactly the point. The classic nerd is supposed to be awkward with women. When he finds out that the person he thought was a guy is actually a woman first he probably feels foolish and betrayed so he must lash out. Then he realizes that he may actually be atracted to said woman and he feels a little gay for it because until a minute ago this woman was a guy and he lashes out. They have apparently claimed gaming for themselves in some sort of ancient rite and the notion of a woman imposing herself in their realm is completely rediculous. This concept should be studied for a doctoral thesis.

  15. Negrozle

    It’s the fucking internet. Who gives a shit?

  16. Anyone who is an “attention whore” (male or female) is fairly easy to sniff out. As a female gamer (and many other things-as I am a very multi-faceted person, as most people are), I can honestly say that I’ve only had a couple of situations where disclosing my sex actually ended up causing severe problems or made me get discredited (mostly if I was talking about feminism, sexism or any other thing that makes most guys feel personally attacked if you even try and bring it up).

    For example, I write a blog on Game Informer and I am “out” as a woman on the site. I am generally quite well respected, having earned the title as one of the elite eight on the site, and my blogs are popped onto the home page. However, out of the eight, I am the only (known) female blogger of the group. There are other female bloggers who come onto the main blog page from time to time, but most of them do either hide their gender unless they join guild/groups (such as the brony group that I am a member of), or like me, don’t make a big deal of it.

    The real “attention whore” types are rather obvious, though. There was one blogger who would constantly post pictures of herself in “camwhore” poses and talk about how Lady Gaga was so unique and exemplified her soul. She wrote blog posts that were largely self-centered, white-suburbanite drivel and had nothing to do with gaming, which bothered most people on the site. Most of her supposedly pithy “original” ideas sounded like the lines from mainstream pop music. Eventually, after being told that she her writing was probably more appropriate for Live Journal enough times, she left the site but not after making a huge fuss about it as though it was the most horrible thing in the universe that no one on the game website wanted to hear about the minutia of her days.

    There was another blogger who spent the entire time she was on there trying to get pity by mentioning that she had a bout of cancer every time someone didn’t agree with her. When I requested to be friends with her, she unfriended me simply because I did not comment on every single one of her blogs and then tried to drum up drama by writing a huge blog post about how horrible I was and encouraging the other male posters to gang up against me. Obviously, this did not work, and I responded to her attack with a calmly worded civil reply that she had the choice to be friendly or unfriendly with whomever she wished as that was her choice to make. Many of the other bloggers felt that she was being unnecessarily ridiculous about it, and after she apologized and attempted to drum up other drama in other blog posts, she finally left the site.

    There are several other female bloggers on the site who are pretty awesome as well, but from the specific examples of “out” females on a site, especially a site where most of the bloggers outright identify themselves as male (regardless of their actual gender/sex, mind you), unfortunately it does seem that many of the so-called “drama whores” identify as female (once again, regardless of whether or not they actually ARE female in real life) SPECIFICALLY because they want to attempt to use the stereotypes to make it easier to prey upon the supposedly “girl-starved, totally unable to deal with female people geeky guys” who are stereotypically supposed to be on those sorts of websites. So really, it’s a stereotype fishing for a stereotype, and while they obviously do exist, it does quite incense me to know that the majority of males are generally immune to being attacked by other males for falling into the “geeky guy” stereotype but women, who generally don’t identify themselves are judged unduly as “drama whores” just because there is a very real group of people who SAY they are female using supposed “female wiles” to engage in cyber gold-digging, which simply adds another facet to yet another sexist stereotype that has already been around for many many centuries.

    *sigh* Keep fighting the good fight. Goodness knows that there are so few people who can stand up to the mountains of trolls and stereotypical garbage that is engaged in online.

  17. theothersally

    This really is a well thought out, well written observation. It deserves to go viral. It seems to me that you are on to a great topic for a doctoral disertaion here. Well done.

  18. Is she or isn't he?

    You should look deeper into their reaction. Why are they surprised that a woman is playing online games?

    Because, subconsciously, they believe that women are more mature and responsible than men, and don’t expect them to be spending their time doing mindless gaming.

    Why are they hostile toward women who play games?

    Because they resent the fact that they can’t easily get girls to date them, and that is why they have so much time to play computer games. They hide in their rooms with their little pretend friends online, and they respond to any women who dares to intrude on their safe haven from having to be attractive to women.

    It’s sad, actually. Sniff sniff. :)

    • “mindless gaming”? “pretend friends”?

      Perhaps you have some stereotype issues of your own to examine? I’m not much of a gamer myself, but I know plenty of grown adults with careers and mortgages who are gamers. Many of them are fun and fascinating people who are never at a loss for people to spend time with offline, either. They play computer games, often in groups in each others living rooms, because computer games are FUN.

      The folks I’m friends with are the ones who wouldn’t freak out about hearing a woman’s voice in their gaming headset, of course (not least because many of them are women). But they all know plenty of grown independent men in their workplaces, men with girlfriends even, who would freak out at that. It’s not as simple as just dateless dorks with socialising problems. Many of these men manage the social and dating niceties perfectly normally* away from gaming.

      *normally = without a raised consciousness of social justice issues, but not being pointed and laughed at as a rule.

    • Hi there. I’ve likely been a gamer longer than you have been alive, since the you had to use pen and paper and funny dice to call yourself a gamer. I’m married with three evil children now… but people like you pretty much ruined big chunks of my life. You sir are hateful scum. Go to hell.

  19. Pingback: Girls online: damned if you do, don’t, or simply ARE. | Lousy Canuck

  20. Thank you for that lovely thought out piece. It’s always an education for me to have someone point out that the environs of nerdom/geekdom that i inhabit is not the norm. It also makes me glad that there are places where men and women are not only treated as equals but expected to carry their weight as equals. My nerdom is rather small. I play Dungeons and Dragons, I’m a Final Fantasy junky, I worship at the altar of the new Battlestar Galactica. I costume. And in all cases the men of these groups are highly respectful (or at least as much as they are to the other men in the group), they make no exceptions, pull no punches and expect no less from the women of the groups. Although, I will give them credit, they will call out others who are acting like asses and won’t put up with anyone harassing anyone else for their choices of costumes, fandoms or geekery.

    Maybe I’m thick skinned, or maybe I just can’t be bothered to care about other idiots on line or in fandom. I won’t stop being myself ( a girl) just because some idiot or group of idiots can’t wrap their minds around the fact that I game, I costume, I love scifi (and i honestly cannot remember a time when Star Wars wasnt in my life, and it premiered the year i was born), I probably know as much if not more about football than they do and that i enjoy it.

    Thanks to seelix for the link to this!

  21. Take that Marie Curie; what an attention whore! Reasonable people would be satisfied with one Nobel prize, but nooooo, she has to get two. Only way she could get any male attention, clearly, with that frizzy hair not to mention that tendency to glow in the dark.

    (At the risk of falling prey to Poe’s Law, the above is intended as snark.)

  22. Christina Amos

    I used to have a lot of problems being in groups/raids/new guilds and people finding out I’m a girl in World of Warcraft. I had a guy whisper me out of the blue while running around in a part of the world that people tended to avoid and ask if I am a girl irl and proceed to beg me to be his girlfriend. In the past 3 years I’ve noticed a huge down trend. Even if someone is surprised I’m a girl when I join a new group, I’m not the only one laughing at them for thinking it’s a big deal. There are still major problems to be confronted, but at least on that front I feel like we’ve made progress.

  23. Love the article. We have a gaming group at the Mega Corp where I work, and the leader is a woman. Nobody gives her any guff, but I have noticed that there is an undercurrent of misogyny toward “generic” women. I haven’t attended often enough to know names, but I think I’ll see if I can call people out on that next time I attend. I’ve tried to use the Miss Manners cold shoulder/freezing gaze in situations like that, but this group does not know “subtle.”

  24. Pteryxx

    FYI: CaitieCat on Shakesville discusses speaking up to her gamer group.

    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2011/11/why-arent-there-more-women-in-gaming.html

  25. SangheiliQueen

    Good article. I’m a female gamer and a nerd in general – love comics, horror/sci-fi movies, etc. I’m also a fan of metal and industrial music, as well as a sports fan (auto racing, soccer, hockey, baseball). All of these things are really “guy-centric” and a girl being really into these things is a little odd to most guys.

    When I first got Xbox Live, my gamertag had the word “chick” in it, I thought nothing of it at first. But when I played Halo online I was constantly getting harassed by guys because my username gave me away – again, I didn’t realize at first how much of a problem that would be. I finally just ended up muting everyone so I couldn’t hear what they were saying about me. I could still tell that in some games I was being targeted more than others though. I wonder how they felt after the games where I ended up being MVP ;-) I did meet a couple genuinely nice guys on there that I used to play a lot with but the majority had feelings that girls should not be playing video games and that they must suck. I mean I know I’m not that great, my k/d ratio was around 0.7 I think, but some of these people shouldn’t be talking when they do worse than me.

    As for other stuff, a while ago when I would go to metal concerts there were hardly any girls there so I would always get a lot of unwanted attention. Nowadays the scene has more girls so it’s generally becoming accepted that there are female metalheads too I guess. I’m also a forum moderator on a fansite for my favorite soccer team and treatment toward female fans has gotten a lot better since I first joined the site. Don’t know why so many male gamers are so far behind in terms of acceptance of women compared to these examples.

    Anyway, just wanted to share my story :-)

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  28. jaynn

    You forgot response #4–There are no girls on the internet.

  29. Evel

    I’m also a female and a gamer. I play D&D online and have had very few bad experiences. I think the worst comment I’ve had was something “Let me guess, all your toons are female elves”. Which was stupid, but whatever. I just said “Nope” and cheerfully listed my characters genders and races. I’ve had a few mildly creepy remarks but usually they get mocked for it, not me.

    And I used to sometimes avoid voice chat for fear, and I understand why someone would do it, but it seems foolish to me now. If there are guys out there that don’t want their little club to get infected with girl cooties, screw ‘em. If they don’t like it they can leave, why should I? Plus I hate typing while playing.

    The one thing I hate, though, is that I worry a lot that if I screw up it’ll be “because I’m female”. Thus confirming the stereotype and making it harder for all of us. I actually have a fair bit of anxiety about that, but what am I gonna do?

  30. mystro

    “Things like this are so prevalent online and in nerd culture that it’s hard to understand why so many people are puzzled by (relatively) low numbers of female involvement in these things. It’s because we’re treated like shit by some while others stand by and let it happen over and over again.”

    So women are treated better in other areas of society? Jocks treat women better? The sport culture treat women better? Politics, government treat women better? Doubt it. I agree women are treated not as well as men, but that is not the reason why not a lot of women participate. It is because the vast majority of women are on fashion, art, makeup, celebrity gossip, blogging, and social networking websites. Women in general just lack interest in nerd subjects. In fact, women in general lack interests in most not listed above.

    Once again with the lack of accountability on the part of women.

    • I would try to counter the points you tried to make there, but I’m afraid that nothing you said makes a damn bit of sense. I’d try to insult your intelligence for writing such an idiotic comment, but I’m afraid you wouldn’t understand it.
      And, please, for your own benefit, learn how to use question marks properly.

    • Ellie F.

      I disagree with you when it comes to women lacking interest in those fields that you mentioned that are primarily male dominated. Plenty of women are interested in those things just as much as men are, but due to gender roles it’s not expected and not considered normal.
      Example: I was talking to my (male) friend about BJJ (Brazilian Jiu jitsu), just asking a few questions about it, when I mentioned I wanted to join. “Girls don’t do BJJ.” He said and then wouldn’t elaborate or continue talking to me. I was talking to another friend who wanted to join (female) and she was also really unimpressed by his comment. We ended up not joining because we didn’t want to be the minority. We should’ve though, because we could’ve and who needs a better reason?

  31. Kate

    After reading all the comments on this I realize Ive been rather lucky in my gaming experiences. Im by no means a hard core gamer, but Im willing to try just about any game if it looks fun. Ive had friends tell their guilds/forum-mates/gaming-groups about me, and have always had a massive clamor for my inclusion into the group. I can only hope that as time goes on and women stand up against the douche-baggery that more and more women will find themselves welcomed enthusiastically into internet and gaming communities as I have been.

  32. hatewheel

    I know a lot of girls–dozens–who play games online and admit it, and talk about it, and a lot of guys who play with them and don’t think it’s anything out of the ordinary. I think saying “the number one sin is to admit you are a girl” is a sensational statement meant to get attention. Maybe it wouldn’t be so shocking to people that you are a girl who plays games if they were aware that you are a girl who plays games. Also, I’ve known a lot of vapid, shallow chicks who do things just to get attention from guys, including playing video games. I don’t see how saying “some girls really like video games” and “some (not all!) girls do X because they want attention” is sexist. Guys also pretend to like things that the women around them like so that they can seem more attractive. It’s like a peacock showing his tailfeathers.

  33. Gee – how apt this is, all these months later.

  34. Pingback: Attention whores unite | Butterflies and Wheels

  35. OurSally

    Not just online gaming; years ago I used to explore caves, yep, wetsuit, helmet, boots, ropes, the works. We were a big group and sometimes I led a trip, sometimes not. Anyway, the caving club magazine had an article about women cavers; apparently women only cave for 2 reasons, because they are unattractive or because they want to find husbands. I am glad to say even then (in the 70s) when I read this out to the others they all found it ridiculous.

  36. Doing my bit. A week on after the “Tropes vs. Women” Kickstarter palaver, it feels right to keep the fires lit and make sure the topic keeps getting discussed, with the aim of corrective actions being taken.

    Whatever it takes to help evolve gamers.

  37. A perfect example of why I prefer the company of women to the company of men.

  38. scrivener212

    Every time I’ve ever considered online gaming, I remember what my friends who are gamers tell me about their own experiences, and I come to my senses. I read what Felicia Day goes through, or what others say about what Felicia Day puts up with. And I remember the fun I had when my husband and I wrote a 6-episode arc for Marvel Comics based on a character spun off of the DareDevil `verse (and what happened to me when I dared to criticize a Mark Millar-written episode for the Civil War epic a couple of years ago).

    Life’s too short. I stick to writing novels. Even there I get asked, frequently, why I don’t write more books with male heroes.

    Oh, and I don’t get called the [fill in]-w****e (I hate woman-bashing words based on sex, so I don’t use them). I get called a feminazi right out the gate. The people who call you [fill in]-w****e, I refer to as “major-league asshats,” when I’m being kind.

  39. Thidran

    Hmm. After taking a peek at all the comments here, and having a nice read, I’m mostly surprised that this is still an issue. Way I see it is this: If you go to places full of dreck, expect to get sullied. I guess I should clarify: If you are going to the typical mainstream games(Read: The Call of Duty series, World of Warcraft series, and other highly popular bits), especially if you deal with random people…don’t be surprised if you find scum of the earth. It’s where lots gravitate towards, good and bad. Guys get the same crappy treatment, it’s just they usually don’t bother reporting it since it’s a daily occurrence.

    On another note: scrivener212: Where did that slur end up coming from? I’ve only recently started hearing that nonsense like a month or two ago.

  40. Interesting. I play Everquest 2 (raiding), and while yes, certainly, most people I play with are guys, and occasionally there is surprise that I’m a girl, it’s generally not an issue. Not that I don’t get hit on (really, guys, you don’t know anything about me other than that my voice sounds female) or insulted occasionally, but people tend to figure out pretty quickly who is competent and who is not, regardless of gender. Mostly I play with adults though, so maybe that helps?

  41. ‘Butthurt’ oozes from every pore of this thread, starting at the title.

  42. kmfcm

    okay, okay, okay

    but what games were you playing in the 80s?

  43. “Oh man, people are stupid on the internet!”

    Old news, I’m a man and I haven’t played a game online (with strangers) in months just because I can’t stand being with idiots. And there are girls who love the attention they get from the brainless masses of online players, idiots like being together regardless of sex.

  44. Rob

    I’m not trying to be a dick but this is what I believe. In my experience, people don’t like it when you identify yourself with cheap, limiting, pointless labels. It makes it seem like you’re desperate for an identity, to fit in, immature, and annoying–probably because I labeled myself the same way with the exact same descriptions in my teens. Please don’t think of yourself as a gamer, liberal, or atheist. Being human is magic, don’t limit the infinite.

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  56. Jimmy Quoose

    You must be new to the internet :) There’s these things called memes which is where our culture and tendencies come from. It goes all the way back to when the first two humans found common ground with each other. Just because someone teases you about being a girl on a game doesn’t mean they’re serious. They’re probably joking around with you. If you want to be treated as an equal to a man, you need to be able to take a joke like a man and deal with it like a man. If they say something rude, say something rude right back. You don’t get to be a victim AND have gender equality. Seriously though some chicks do just want the attention. Just because you’re not one of them doesn’t mean others aren’t like that. YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ALL WOMEN, only yourself. Look at all the hipster chicks who take pictures of themselves with an xbox controller they found. I actually know a woman who did that very thing just for attention. Don’t be so butthurt. Women are a new part of the gaming community so men are going to treat you differently. YOUR IN THEIR TERRITORY. Like if you were married and suddenly your husband wants you to take him shoe shopping. Men don’t go crazy over shoes, but now they do and it’s awkward for you. Chill out and give it time. I’m sick of all this girl gamer crap. Just accept that you’re entering a new place where there once was no women. Shit, video games were not even the beginning. Fuckin DnD and board games. Playing with a woman when so many others used to tease and make fun of you for being nerdy might make things awkward. And guess what? Just because you’re into video games and comics doesn’t make you a nerd. A nerd is derogatory. Shut up. My friend encountered a girl and he was wearing a star trek t-shirt. She said “Oh, I just saw that movie yesterday! Oh NO! Wait! I’m not like that!” *Blushes* This is why men are weird when they see a chick in game. It takes them back to that time where chicks treated them like garbage because they were into something that was so called “nerdy”.

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  63. Yoster

    What I cannot stand is the attention whores. There’s at least one in every game. The girls that flaunt they’re girls and have every male falling all over themselves to kiss her ass. They’ve caused me to quit so many online games and I wish I could punch them in the face. (#$%*#$*(%*#% stop it already!@!!

  64. Bob

    The mindless CHILDREN who chuck crap at girls like this are beyond stupid. As an old greybeard nerd (saw A New Hope in the theatre and my first computer was a Vic- 20) I can remember when the nerd-fest was mainly a frustrated circle-jerk of awkward, lonely guys who usually didn’t figure out how to socialize with the opposite sex until college and even then not so much. It has been hijacked by too many of these self absorbed, hateful, pretentious and territorial little snots.

    The petulant and snotty twits that like to criticize the “legitimacy” of anyones geek cred need a sharp smack to the head with something hard and heavy. They don’t even have such “status”. Being a nerd at one time was something you paid for, sometimes in ways that threatened you ability to propagate your genes. These little snots have had everything made easy for them and they still find cause to whine.

    That they call these girls “attention whores” is beyond silly. Honestly, young women usually display the enthusiasm for the things they love that we nerds of old embraced not the bitter cynicism of the tools that hate on them. It doesn’t take reading many comments online to see that these little misogynists are the ones eager for attention and affirmation which for the record was never something the nerds of old craved. It was about what we loved, not ourselves and what others thought about us. Especially not what others thought about us.

    Me thinks their Moogie chewed their tube grubs for them for far too long.

  65. Zachary

    Right then, to start please ignore grammer and spelling mistakes, secondly, i hate to be a naysayer in a sea of people whom are excited about something they believe in, and finally none of my nitpickey obnoxious comment is because of the gender or sex or whatever of the author of this blog, that is something which should go without saying but it is often times a problem.
    Firstly, in the begining of the article the “not sexist guy friend” says there are two types of girl gamers, those who actually like games, and those who pretend to for attention, and this article doesnt really seem to adress the more reasonable “there are many girls who like videogames” which of course is understandable, but it was worth mentioning.
    Secondly there is a pole reffrenecing the number of women who use the internet, of course women use the internet! Most everyone (except old people) use the internet it is a valuable sourse.
    Thirdly there is a large ammount of poison in the gamming community, and any nastieness that may have been said about female gamers as a whole was directed by a minority who just happens to be much louder
    Fourthly most steriotypes come from something, and i am not saying by any means that all girls, or even many girls are like the common image that is discribed of them(awk wording sry)
    Fifthly people dont care, i know it is not a huge deal, but most girls dont care, and when they are made fun of for being a girl its because someone id being an asshole, and most guy gamers dont care, its just the people who care care really hard, at everyone.

    Idk what doth the other people think?

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