Foot in Mouth

I read a lot of posts about the topic of inclusiveness, and the commentary made by Blizzard.

I made a response post.

I hastily commented and had some heated discussion on J3w3l’s post.

I then read a bunch of other posts about the experiences of female gamers, along with all of the comments that picked apart everything I said, on both my blog and over on J3w3l’s.  Some of the commentary made by men (when they find out a player is a girl) is downright ridiculous, and I can’t believe the nerve of some guys. I have made the mistake of idolizing a “hot gamer girl” like the rest of em, but I would never dream of saying some of the things they come up with. I don’t even say this kind of stuff to other dudes.

I started to think about how I might not outright deny those experiences, but I am actually contributing to the problem with the attitudes expressed in my post/comments, because I am ignorant or dismissive of the world’s problems. In typical man fashion, I was raised to not bitch about my problems. I don’t usually bitch about my problems on a public forum, and as such I was attacking those that do, in essence belittling their experiences. That was not my intention.

My narrow world view comes from a variety of sources, mainly from the examples I’ve seen in my life. My own experiences are all I have to compare with, and I wasn’t actively looking into these topics until now. I have a sister. She too enjoyed playing back then and plays video games to this day. She has never expressed any sort of discrimination via gaming (maybe she just never revealed she was a girl, and I know she doesn’t ever use a headset). It’s true, when we played competitively I was usually better than her, but that didn’t cause me to believe that no women play video games or they all suck. However, in my experience with romantic partners, I have yet to date a woman that games. A couple tried briefly (or to humor me maybe) but weren’t ever gamers from the get go. As such, I would love to meet a gamer that could be a long term partner.

I also feel like the men I associate with and I aren’t the types of guys who abuse women. We’ve had our fights with significant others sure, but none of us are violent or degrading, or sexually abusive overall. I also have never had a woman tell me she was raped or assaulted, but that’s also not something most people would want to talk about. These things contribute to my worldview.

I guess what I am saying is that I came across the wrong way because I haven’t been looking at the big picture. I’ve been looking at things from my own life experience, and I’ve experienced a rosy version of the truth when these subjects are concerned. I play games with other women (family included), I enjoy a strong female character in my media, I haven’t been abusive and don’t associate with those types of people. I do enjoy the female form, but I understand that a bikini really doesn’t offer any protection in combat or from the elements. I also know that not everyone has a perfect body, myself included. I may be an opinionated dickhead sometimes, but I understand what everyone has been trying to make me see. I just needed some time to reflect.

My pride makes me want to say “fuck that, my worldview is correct.” But I always think of myself as someone who can come to see other points of view, to admit when I was wrong, even if I see it as more of a misunderstanding. I was wrong to not give a shit. I hope this post can convey my apologies to anyone I’ve offended. I can’t promise I’ll boycott every sexist thing I come across, but I can agree that this is a problem that needs a solution, and I’ll try to stop being so moderate about it.