I’m starting to suspect she likes abuse

by Ashelia. 11 Comments

Following Katie’s post, but expanding it to why there A) aren’t enough women in the gaming industry and also why there B) aren’t enough women gamers in general.

As a “hardcore” gamer and someone with five years in the gaming industry, with the additional qualification of being someone with a pair of breasts, I’ve seen a lot of sexist shit. I’ve also been a part of a lot of it, largely because it became a coping mechanism; it’s not exactly an unknown phenomenon for women to hate other women in order to fit in with the guys. Far from my best moments, but it is what it is.

Anyway, this hashtag on Twitter took on a life of its own, explaining why there are not women in the gaming field and in gaming. And here’s why there aren’t enough of us:

  • Because if people find out I’m a female in a public game in League of Legends, 25% of the time someone hits on me; 25% of the time someone calls me a whore (or another sexist slur); and 50% of the time people don’t care. It should not be 50/50.
  • Because you are a e-slut until proven otherwise.
  • Because my old boss from my former company freely called me a bitch. If I didn’t like a proposal? I was being bitchy. If I questioned anything? I was too headstrong and too much of a bitch.
  • Because I’m afraid to admit that–because I’m scared it makes me look bad, like I caused it or that maybe I am a “bitch.”
  • Because my old boss from my former company once said “Come to Greece” and when I said I was worried about the rape percentages, he literally said, verbatim, “Just don’t wear anything that’s asking for it.”
  • Because my coworkers laughed at that and made jokes frequently at the expense of my gender, and also because I had to laugh in response to fit in.
  • Because I’m ultra competitive and always have been, and that’s led to many people–even people meaning well–saying I should be more feminine and care less about my score/abilities. That’s “for the guys.”
  • Because when a woman nerdrages, she’s being “a royal cunt” and “probably obese,” but when a guy nerdrages, it’s for the lulz.
  • Because you are not “like those other gamer girls.”

It’s stupid–sexism is, I mean. It feels like it doesn’t need to be said, because to me it’s just my life and I live it and I deal with it. But it does need to be said because it needs to stop someday and it will never stop if people don’t openly talk about it. I mean, just the other day someone complimented me by saying I was surprisingly good at League of Legends and that he’d assumed I would be bad because I was a woman.

And what was worse was, for a brief second, I honestly felt complimented before I felt outraged.

11 Responses to I’m starting to suspect she likes abuse

  1. Zach/G-Beast says:

    Girls online are just other gamers to me until they give me a reason to believe otherwise. I am an advocate of anti-sexism.

    I try to make friends with as many girls as possible online, so that perhaps I can show them that not all guys are dick-driven assholes and there are those who treat them with respect as a fellow gamer.

    I have made a lot of very good female friends this way, one of which is my best friend and she is like a sister to me and it makes me sick whenever I see guys get on like that.

  2. Jerico Fitzpatrick says:

    Wow Ash. I am sorry you’ve had these type of experiences. A few months back I met a girl in WoW who also played LoL. She was surprised by my response. I basically told her I thought it was awesome she played a game that I wanted to one day try (and still do!). The thing is she shouldn’t be surprised by my positive response. BTW I told her to kick some ass too. Any guy who “thinks” that a girl shouldn’t be playing games or should be doing other things is a feeble minded moron. The one comment in your blog post really stuck out at me Ash. The comment where your boss told you to not wear certain “clothing” as to not be raped. What the fuck kind of shit is that? I don’t care if a women is outside naked and “looks” to be begging for it. It’s sickening that a women has to wear certain clothing just to not promote that sort of act. Again I am sorry these things have happened to you and also sorry if my post is a little extreme. Sexism is a horrible thing and I feel for the many women out there. Keep doing what you’re doing Ash. You’re an awesome person in my books.

  3. Tiffany Martin says:

    Ugh this sucks so much. I’m sadly able to relate to hating women to fit in in my past, and I’ve found being a super competitive person with boobs comes with a heavy price.

    I had this experience of beating a male ex at games, after that he wouldn’t play games with me anymore. Another male ex was furious that I could beat the roguelike Powder and he never had. Maybe there’s a reason they’re ex’s?

    Hang in there I think the winds are changing. The fact that anyone is supporting us talking about this is incredible, and wouldn’t have been possible 5 years ago. What do you think?

    • Jerico Fitzpatrick says:

      I’ve had a few girls beat me at games. I wasn’t even close to mad after they beat me. In fact I asked them how they got so good and even asked for advice. The fact that some guys out there can’t even accept a loss to a skilled female gamer is just sad. I too feel that the winds are changing. So much progress has been made in the last few years. Still, we got a ways to go. It would be nice to live in a world one day without sexism.

  4. DeeK says:

    I’m one who desperately wishes there were more females who played games, because all too often, females I date assume that my game hobby means a lack of maturity.

    I can also understand it when guys assume that women lack skills when playing games. It is a valid assumption, because it is true the majority of the time. It’s sexist, by the definition of the word, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s incorrect.

  5. UnSubject says:

    The truly sad thing is that you (or anyone else) doesn’t deserve abuse for opening pointing out how wrong these things are, but that it will probably show up.

    And when it does show up, it won’t be in response to any of the issues raised but instead be the same tired old abuses fired from a bunker of bias and ignorance.

  6. Jayn says:

    “Because if people find out I’m a female in a public game in League of Legends, 25% of the time someone hits on me; 25% of the time someone calls me a whore (or another sexist slur); and 50% of the time people don’t care. It should not be 50/50.”

    In my experience in online gaming spaces, 80% of the time the next phrase on screen is “There are no girls on the internet” (which wasn’t funny the first time I heard it).

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