This is the first time I’ve ever been this disappointed in E’s discussions and understanding of issues. :/ Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m being sensitive, and maybe I’m reading too much into the comments above, but…here’s what I’m getting from it:
You guys think that the gaming community has NO problem with its culture when it comes to sexism.
If a woman is harassed, she is obliged to stand up for herself and cannot count on anyone to help her.
Men shouldn’t jump in and defend a woman who doesn’t defend herself, because they shouldn’t put themselves at risk.
For those of you who keep saying “well, I haven’t experienced this!”…that’s fabulous. I’m really super thrilled that your experience with the gaming community has been amazing and that you never had any issues.
Sucks that you don’t believe that some people do, though.
I’m one of those people.
I matured young: at thirteen or fourteen I had what my local game shop owner said was a “bangin’ body”. I was a 34C, 26 waist, 32 hips. I was also shy and a huge nerd and generally pretty scared of dating, but hey, I looked like a girl who was down to fuck, right?
That’s how a good deal of the gamers treated me.
I had a guy reach under my chair and try to finger me. I’ve had multiple guys slap my ass or brush their crotches up against me. I’ve been hit on both awkwardly and charmingly, and I’ve been asked to play the healer because ‘that’s a girl’s role!’. I literally got so tired of having guys stare at my breasts or make snide comments about women that I stopped playing all tabletop, RPG or fantasy-based games until a few weeks ago. Why didn’t I leave? Because when things were good, they were amazing, and I didn’t really fit in anywhere else. So I put up with behavior then that I wouldn’t dream of putting up with now. At that point in my life, I wasn’t mature enough to really know how to snap back verbally or physically…and my guy friends just shrugged off the behavior and pointed out that they weren’t like that.
Yeah, not all the guy were terrible. Maybe 95% of the time things were great, but that 5% was so fucking awful and no one stood up (and I was scared to stand up or fight back because I didn’t want to get hurt or have people hate me, and I didn’t know how) to help me. I’ve worked in multiple industries, including in bars, and frankly the worst experiences I’ve ever had were in gaming situations, mostly because no one ever stepped in to help.
Here’s a question I’ve always had…if ‘not all the gaming guys are awful’, then why don’t they instead say “holy shit, that’s so fucking terrible that you were treated that way! I can’t believe that! We’re going to make sure no one deals with that and we’re going to tell the whole group that things like that aren’t acceptable!”? Instead, all I ever heard was “…well, we’re sorry that some guys suck, but y’know, it’s just how it is, so…”.
I genuinely DON’T believe all guys who game are terrible. I think it’s a really small group, but that group REALLY SUCKS. I just wish that the onus wasn’t 100% on women to stand up, and that some of those ‘not so bad’ gamer guys would jump in as well. The ones at my current office would, but none of the ones where I group up would…and that’s really fucking sad.
Anyways. A bit rambling, but I had to point out that multiple women have had REALLY shitty experiences in these groups, and that they CAN be super unwelcoming. I’m just really disappointed that people here don’t seem to believe that.