6 Responses

  1. Just wanted to drop a quick hello! I found you through the Darkmoon Herald podcast, and I’m sooo glad you exist! I’m a fairly new WoW player, also a mage, and a feminist, and while I’m delighted with the game, I am put off by the geeking culture. I think Blizzard does an OK, if somewhat hamfisted job of portraying women (or it’s trying to improve from its early days), with some serious missteps, but the fan culture is something else entirely. It’s not the sexist 13-year-old boys. It’s often the women. The podcasters, YouTubers who are either sexily or cutely/infantilizingly (therefore unthreateningly) cooing to their male counterparts. It’s a bit alarming. I don’t want to lay the blame at their feet, but I do feel especially sickened by it. I haven’t combed thru your entire blog–maybe you’ve addressed this matter already, but would love to hear your thoughts.

    For the horde! :)

    • Well, I have to say that I think a lot of us go through this phase, I know I did. Even when I was coming into feminist thought/theory, I was “appalled” by women who acted like “that” without really realizing why. A lot of my anger at how male-dominated and male-gazey nerd culture still is was directed at women instead squarely at dudes who make this one of the only valid ways of being a successful woman in nerd culture. A lot of women feel like this is one of the only responses to have in terms of getting views, attention or whatever. It’s not their fault and it’s their choice to make. It took me a long time to come to grips with the idea that I don’t need to do shit for men. And who even says they are doing it for them? They could be just having fun. It’s a hard world out there for us ladies in nerd culture, but we need more emphasis on the dude’s part of this, not our fellow women.

      Examine why you feel sickened by it. It might not be about other women, but yourself, you know?

  2. Very good points, and even while I was typing, I was thinking, “This isn’t very enlightened of me.” Surely the culture makes this kind of behavior more prevalent, and you’re right; sometimes it’s the only way to “survive.” Which makes me sad.

    I think part of what irks me about it is 1) It’s sometimes tough making friends with gals in this environment. When I attend a geek meetup, I make an extra effort to seek out the women, and the territorial rebuff can be very chilly. It’s like being a Smurfette. You’re the only girl, so your only personality trait is “girl.” If another girl walks in, then what? (Thankfully on WoW, I’m in an all-women guild, and it’s all friendliness.)

    2) When I was 18–22 or so, I was in a great LARP group. However, most people were a bit older than me, and I received a lot of unwanted attention b/c I was “hot.” I was just new, and younger; of course, youth is what’s prized, blablabla. It absolutely drove me bananas, especially b/c plenty of people didn’t take me seriously. As a result, I guess I just can’t imagine sexuality allowing you to be taken seriously. But I guess it DOES make them listen to you(!).

    Even the men who try their hardest to be women-friendly are sometimes hilariously awkward about it. I do appreciate those moments, no matter how awkward, no matter how many times a man calls a woman “sweetheart” while talking game. I feel like the gaming culture is 30 years behind sometimes—like in a Mad Men era of gender politics.

    Well. This got real personal. Thankfully, tho, there are women who are lifeboats in this culture. I’m reading your mage leveling guide now and wishing I’d read it when I was dying over and over again at level 5. Thank you for answering so soon!

    • The reason it’s tough to make friends (at least at first?) in nerd culture is because a lot of us are still in this mindset that we have to “compete” with eachother for men’s attention or friendship or that we’re so “rare” and so we need to prove ourselves. All of this is nonsense and bullshit. There’s a LOT of women in the WoW fandom. A lot. We’re not rare precious gems, and we definitely need to stop thinking that we have to prove ourselves to guys and just be friends with eachother. I got a lot more women in my guild (in fact most of our officership and membership is now!) and my life vastly improved. It was overnight that I started feeling better about myself and more comfortable.

      The problem is getting other women to kinda “wake up” to that reality though and a lot of them are stuck in the mindset, so I try to have a lot more patience. I know what it is like, I used to be there.

      As far as the sexuality thing – men don’t take women seriously that are sexual and yet we’re expected to be sexual ALL the time, FOR THEM. It’s patriarchal culture. It sucks, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  3. LOL. At my bitterest moments, my motto is: “Women love men, and men love men. (And nobody wants women around.)” And there are those days and discussions when the answer to everything is simply “patriarchy.”

    I think more awareness that your blog raises is the good fight to change this sh*t.

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