#16: Women

#2
The one-sided sexism of this article is fairly offensive.

It states that men who make sexist remarks against women should be punished at university clubs (true, that!) but it never states that women who make sexist remarks against men should be punished at university clubs!

Anyone who doesn't think women gamers make offensive anti-male jokes has either never been the only male in an predominantly female group or is painfully clueless about such things.

It's especially bad at gaming conventions whenever more than half the gamers are female.

I've heard far more female gamers than male gamers insult a male player as a "pussy" -- a classic misogynist insult.

I've heard more female gamers threaten male NPCs or PCs with castration than ever heard male gamers threaten female NPCs or PCs with rape.

And often, female gamers who see a male NPC castrated in a game then giggle and laugh at it -- and then they mock any male players who protest the hostile sexism of their doing so.

Yes, it's true that there is some sexism against women in gaming clubs even today, and that there once was a great deal of it.

But it's anti-male sexism for you to ignore that there is sexism against men as well.

Why not advocate treating BOTH genders well instead?

Not as spectacular and not as obedient to trends, perhaps, but a more ethical thing to advocate, if you ask me.
 

Zeea

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#3
I'd say the article is well-meaning but behind the times. It's pretty clearly directed at male gamers and assumes that almost all male gamers have very little experience with female gamers, and that the male-to-female ratio is huge. While male gamers outnumber female games about 3/1 or 4/1 in some cases, the difference tends to be smaller in university groups.

And yes, TaruTaru brings up a few good things for groups to be aware of. Calling a guy a "pussy," castration and rape jokes, and similar bullshit are not funny and are the province of rude catpisswomen who should be ostracized just like rude catpissmen.

Like I said, it's well-meaning and I wouldn't categorize it as sexist, but it's mostly advice aimed at groups with 90% or more males, and that's not the reality in a lot of university clubs, where you have about 50/50.

EDIT: I am glad that someone is addressing this topic. I just think it might help to go into a little more detail on things that are common in modern groups with roughly equivalent numbers of men and women.
 
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Lauren

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#4
EDIT: I am glad that someone is addressing this topic. I just think it might help to go into a little more detail on things that are common in modern groups with roughly equivalent numbers of men and women.
This time you're speaking for me :)
 

Kid Twist

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#5
I apologize for the lateness of this reply. I had finals a week and a half ago, and I've spent most of my break preparing for this quarter, so I haven't had a lot of time to devote to these responses.

First of all, let me address a couple of quick points: Belac, I've not had the experience you have with smaller start-up groups. Maybe that's a Midwest thing, but when I've been dealing with a small gaming club, women are pretty strongly in the minority. As I also noted, the women I've gamed with have also mostly shrugged off sexist comments, so I'm not claiming that this will happen eventually. I am definitely approaching this topic from a strongly feminist perspective, and I think it applies to more clubs that you may think it does. I've also dealt with mostly RPG-focused clubs, and if you create a club with an additional focus, that would likely shift the gender ratio pretty quickly, depending on what focus you added.

Even if we're talking about clubs with a more balanced gender ratio, however, my point was not simply to address the need for clubs to not get sued, but to try and point out the gender assumptions that gaming culture tends to bring with it. Take the "Don't say 'gay'" commercials that have been appearing on TV lately--that kind of language happens in our hobby as well, and while it's certainly good to point out the homophobia behind such phrases, I wanted to also bring attention to the sexist language and ideas that people tend to use around the gaming club, especially since universities pride themselves on their inclusion. And that problem can be compounded by the fact that many university students are 18-20 years old--they certainly haven't thought about sexism as much as many older people have, and they may not have had these ideas presented to them earlier. So if you're dealing with a constantly rotating crop of college-age students, we may need to bring up ideas that we already assume because they may not have been exposed to them before.

As far as TaruTaru's comments are concerned, I would certainly agree that casual sexual threats made against males are not kosher, but so would any other feminist. They (and I) would also point out, though, that saying that it happens to males doesn't make the fact that it happens to females any better. In fact, the reason I chose the focus on females rather than a more gender-neutral stance is because of the reality of sexual assault on women. Statistics gathered from U.S. governmental sources show that approximately 1 in 6 women have been the target of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, compared with 1 in 33 men. Yes, every rape, no matter the gender, is a horrible act, but it is an act that women are far more likely to experience than men.

In addition, college-age women tend to be more aware of and sensitive of the issue of sexual assault than men are. Consider how many women carry a rape whistle or pepper spray with them at all times, compared to men. Women also tend to be more aware of where the emergency phones are located, and they tend to take more actions to prevent sexual assault, such as traveling in groups at night and so forth. The actual statistics of sexual assault don't seem to change much in college, but given the context that college-aged women a) are more likely to be aware of and sensitive to sexually aggressive language, b) are more like to have been or known someone who was a target of sexual assault/rape, and c) live in a society where they are consistently objectified sexually, I don't think it's inappropriate to focus on how women are affected by this kind of language. To turn around and say "Hey, men get this kind of language, too!" isn't comparable, especially since many men don't experience the threat of sexual assault in the same way women do--threatening to castrate some guy might make him cringe, and I wouldn't argue that it's an appropriate thing to say, but how many men actually expect that they'll be the target of an attempted castration in their life? Even if we grant that this is far more likely to happen to a PC than an actual player, the fact remains that women are far more likely to be targets of this, and saying that it happens to men, too, is in some ways an attempt to downplay the severity of what happens to women far more often.

So while I acknowledge that men are targets of sexual assault, both at and away from the gaming table, that fact doesn't balance out the fact that such assaults are far more likely to happen to women, and that needs to be addressed as well. That is why I chose to write the article the way I did.

EDIT: Forgot to add the links I used for research sources.
 
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Zeea

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#6
Thanks for responding. :) I imagine it could be a regional thing; I've never gamed in a college town in the Midwest.
 
#8
Also by way of the site you cited:

# A 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on San Diego Kaiser Permanente HMO members, reported that 16% of males were sexually abused by the age of 18.

# A 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18.

# A 1998 study reviewing research on male childhood sexual abuse concluded that the problems is “common, under-reported, under-recognized, and under-treated.”

# A 1996 study of male university students in the Boston area reported that 18% of men were sexually abused before the age of 16.

# A 1990 national study of U.S. adults reported that 16% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
 
#9
By the way, I have been actively involved with the National Organization for Women and other feminist groups since my early teenage years in the 1970s (when I was more of a mascot than a member) and on into my adulthood. While you have found statistics on women and men, I have taught them at my university. So don't make the cheap assumption that my comments are based on a sexist agenda.

I believe in the true equality of women with men. And this means I also believe in the true equality of men with women.
 

Zeea

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#10
None of this includes the fact that, in real life, the average child molester is a woman not a man and that the average child abuser is a mother not a father.
Wikipedia, world famous source of absolute authority (sarcasm), says that the majority of child molesters are men, and cites some source from 2007 that is not readily available from the link given.

Just out of curiosity, where are you getting your information? If you're actually teaching the subject, I trust you more than anonymous wikipedia editor, but I'm just curious because I've always heard most molesters are men.
 
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