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eargosedown

No Girls on the Internet?

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Philosophical post to follow.

I was chatting with my buddy last night, and he said something very interesting to me. He asked why, after knowing me from an MMO for almost four years now, didn't find out that I was actually a girl until only about a month ago. Well it's true, I didn't exactly give out to anyone the fact that I was a girl, but why did I pretend for so long to just be a typical male gamer like the rest of the mainstream stereotype?

Please understand this, I am not a feminist. I'm not out parading for equal rights (or in any mindset that there's not.) I don't really care much about fitting into any sort of female or male crowd either, so this post is not trying to bash anyone... but more so, to bring awareness.

I thought about my friend's comment for a while, and began to wonder myself--why exactly did I disguise the fact that I was a female gamer for a long time? But then, like life will do sometimes, I was reminded, and swiftly.

Now, I'm an Administrator on a Team Fortress 2 group. I've been playing these servers for a while, and it's usually pretty clean--but there's the occasional asshat. I go by the steam name Sarah--my actual name--since I and a few of my friends all go by our real names instead of user aliases, just as our "thing." As anyone that's watched my Let's Play: Alien Vendetta videos will know, I have a very masculine voice. I was unfortunate enough to have an elevated testosterone condition in my youth, and that's just how shit happens I guess. What this amounted to, is anytime I ever use Voice Chat on the server, there's usually one person to start picking on that fact. I have thick skin, I roll my eyes and move on, or fire back with some painful remarks at them. But it's still an annoyance. After a while, I even noticed I'm at the point where, outside of my friends, I'm almost genuinely afraid to use voice communication. Why?

Earlier today, I was running a 4v4 match of Starcraft 2 with some friends, against a random team. Again, I use the Bnet username of Sarah. Instantly, after loading into the map, the entire other team begins making comments about me over chat--questioning my figure, my gender, calling me promiscuous, etc--I'd not even uttered a word that entire match. Why is this?

Thinking back, to that same MMO that my friend and I met on, the one that I had proceeded to try and blend in as a typical guy as, to evade this type of widespread abuse, the day it became known by many that I was indeed a girl, I received nothing but constant attacks--ingame chat, forums, etc--constantly. It became like a second nature to expect this sort of thing. Just this constant barrage always there. I guess that's why I'm tough to it now and have such thick skin... but why is it there? Does any man ever have to share this same abuse that's so commonplace on the internet? What difference does it make what gender someone else is? Why should I even bother myself with the trouble of having to constantly defend myself or take this abuse? Why not just pretend I'm like every other male gamer, and just avoid it all together?

Is this why there are "no girls on the internet"?

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Goddammit. Can't we keep this asexual. I don't care who's what sex. This may be the only medium we can communicate beyond one's bodies.

There are LOTS of girls on the internet. A vast majority on YouTube, Twiter and other communities. We are interested in old games that were primarily developed for geeky males. I have more respect for you not identifying your gender and simply flowing with the community.

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My advice to you is to STOP CARING. It's an unfortunate fact of life, that the main demographic of people playing games is from middle school students to 20-something men with nothing better to do.

If you don't like the attention, change your name to something more inconspicuous and stop advertising the fact that you have two x chromosomes, or just stop giving a fuck. It's only the internet, jeez

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I think ya'll missed my point. I'm questioning why this behavior today is such a commonplace thing. I'm not making a claim that there's a lack of females on the internet (a few studies actually point the OTHER way.)

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I think the question that you're actually trying to ask is: why are there no girls in the GAMING community of the internet? You essentially answered your own question with the obvious fact that there are plenty of females in other areas of the internet, but the gaming community is lacking. I don't think that's indicative of anything unconventional or atypical of the internet itself. Rather, it IS a direct reflection of modern society at large.

Gamers tend to be males and also unsocial (generally speaking). Males are predominantly heterosexual, ergo they are testosterone driven. Testosterone driven unsocial males...well...you get the picture. It then turns into a vicious cycle, and that's what we have now: a sub-culture based upon that foundation.

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I think Technician hit the nail on the head (or how is that worded?). Most loudmouthed online players are junior highs, or unemployed retards like CWright. Expect that view on life that they may have.

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printz said:

I think Technician hit the nail on the head (or how is that worded?). Most loudmouthed online players are junior highs, or unemployed retards like CWright. Expect that view on life that they may have.


That was my post :-(

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Mr. T said:

My advice to you is to STOP CARING. It's an unfortunate fact of life, that the main demographic of people playing games is from middle school students to 20-something men with nothing better to do.

If you don't like the attention, change your name to something more inconspicuous and stop advertising the fact that you have two x chromosomes, or just stop giving a fuck. It's only the internet, jeez


This survey would like to disagree with you. In general I'd say it's not so much that the main demographic of gaming in general are guys, but that the games you encountered such problems with are dominated by guys, especially immature ones. I kind of agree with technician, keeping the 'online identity is online only' style of posting is nice, but you gotta recognize that RL identity affects internet personality, and will leak through.

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ArmouredBlood said:

This survey would like to disagree with you. In general I'd say it's not so much that the main demographic of gaming in general are guys, but that the games you encountered such problems with are dominated by guys, especially immature ones. I kind of agree with technician, keeping the 'online identity is online only' style of posting is nice, but you gotta recognize that RL identity affects internet personality, and will leak through.


PEDANT ALERT... did it not cross your mind that I meant the second demographic you mentioned, not the trillions of women playing stupid Facebook games? lol

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Pretty sure she's asking WHY is that "an unfortunate fact of life," and not who those guys tend to be. While this certainly isn't anything that requires deep contemplation of social philosophy, it also isn't something that can be answered with trite banalities like "no shit, this demographic is just mostly immature teens or unemployed losers."

But yeah, I agree...just stop caring so much. OP says herself that she has thick skin...well, that skin can't be too thick if it has gotten to her enough where she has to make a thread about it on Doomworld. :)

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eargosedown said:

Earlier today, I was running a 4v4 match of Starcraft 2 with some friends, against a random team. Again, I use the Bnet username of Sarah. Instantly, after loading into the map, the entire other team begins making comments about me over chat--questioning my figure, my gender, calling me promiscuous, etc--I'd not even uttered a word that entire match. Why is this?

It looks like you've fallen foul of the sort of locker room mentality that believes boys play with guns, girls play with dolls and anything else isn't normal or acceptable. Probably has more to do with your choice of games than the Internet in general, nonetheless we can hope some of those idiots outgrow their misogyny.

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Most games seem to be marketed at teenage loser guys. Well, at least the sort of games most people on DW play. I know lots of girls who play games, and I've only ever met about three who liked stuff like DooM. They were different girls: the nerdy kind. :D

There are lots of girls in other games: WoW, FF, GW, various other MMOs, anything by Blizzard, Civilization, and every casual game known to man. Some of those are full of loser guys too, but the girls stay.

Even as a guy I get to deal with my friends being complete asses about girls in new and interesting ways. I had one ask me why I would bother to spend a lot of time cheering up and helping my friend if I wasn't going to get laid. (This explains why none of his friends are girls his age.) I wound up getting mad and telling him sometimes you just have to be like the Doctor.

It seems for some it's the games that keep them away, for others the community, and then there are those like Technician, who belittle others for discussing their identities honestly.

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Aliotroph? said:

It seems for some it's the games that keep them away, for others the community, and then there are those like Technician, who belittle others for discussing their identities honestly.


THE INTERNET IS SERIOUS BUSINESS

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Mr. T said:

PEDANT ALERT... did it not cross your mind that I meant the second demographic you mentioned, not the trillions of women playing stupid Facebook games? lol


Be specific or expect to be misquoted. As an example, your post quoting printz was not close to what I quoted.

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I hope this doesn't offend you but...
I've been watching some of your Lets play Alien Vendetta on YT. And I still thought you were a guy. When you started bringing in your boyfriend I thought you were a homosexual. However youngish. (like 18-20) (EDIT: I should've finished reading your OP before answering since you brought this up there)

Anyway I don't really care if you got a penis or a vagina. Unless I am going to have sex with you it's not something I care about.

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Why? Well, "Tits or GTFO" was invented for a reason ;-)

And your high testosterone condition reminds me of a common sexist joke in Engineering depts, and probably elsewhere:

Senior Student, nearing graduation: "There are NO women in Engineering."
Junior Student: "But the Freshman courses are actually jam-packed with...."
Senior Student: "Be silent and learn, young man: by the time they graduate and become Engineers, they'll have become men themselves. Hence, no women in Engineering. EVAR".

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Qaatar said:

But yeah, I agree...just stop caring so much. OP says herself that she has thick skin...well, that skin can't be too thick if it has gotten to her enough where she has to make a thread about it on Doomworld. :)


Actually, Doomworld is about the only "Mature" forum I know of that I frequent.


And of course, Maes response to a topic is usually pretty good =p

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Mr. T said:

That was my post :-(

I apologize for the confusion. Well, in any case, both your names start with T. Yours IS a T.

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printz said:

I apologize for the confusion. Well, in any case, both your names start with T. Yours IS a T.


? Now I am absolutely confused ... you know what, fuck it. Mr. T I apologize for whatever I said, I am out of this topic.

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eargosedown said:

Please understand this, I am not a feminist.

Out of curiosity, can I ask you why did you think it was necessary to point that out? There's nothing wrong being a feminist (only the fact that you will be challenged for being different to the mainstream); and being one certainly does not revolve around 'bashing' people and their ideas or whatnot and overtly parading for equal rights (Many people misconceive ideas of feminism), feminists do actually consider how men are oppressed in our systems as well. I guess what I'm saying is you don't need to state if you're a feminist or not.

I have an urge to preach on about the sex/gender system and all that jazz but I fear I'd just end going off topic. I agree with Technician, it'd be swift if it was all asexual and genderless (not necessarily unsexed), not just the gaming community but all systems as well. And, come to think of it, it wouldn't be different if you were playing sports against men. For example, a funny quote from Greg Norman on Annika Storestam when she was competing against men at golf, it went something like this: "I hope she doesn't get hurt". :-/

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Ok now that I've read the thread through. (I know I should've done that before) I find that Mr.T and Technician and anyone that think along their lines should think about what they really are saying.

They expect females to share parts of who they are to keep a form of equilibrium online. It's easy for someone to say something like this when they are not the ones that are the people that are different. I don't know how it would feel to be on the recieving end of this sort of treatment and culture so I am not going to make assumptions.

I mean. This all reeks from the "don't ask don't tell" motto of the US army.

Now, as I said in my last post. I don't care if you're a woman, man, homosexual or a monkey highly trained in playing Doom and using a voice box. (Though knowing about any such monkey would be pretty cool)
But I do care about people not being able to tell such trivia (trivia for me, but likely more important for the person it regards) about themselves in fear of persecution. Having to hide information about yourself just to be accepted is a form of social fascism.

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eargosedown said:

And of course, Maes response to a topic is usually pretty good =p


Thank you :p

Kind of related, and mentioned elsewhere too, however in Greek academics there's actually a quite even male/female distribution even in departments like Electric and Mechanical engineering (although certain faculties like literature are still predominantly female-dominated).

The reason for the former is due to our system of access to tertiary education: because admission to ANY tertiary education institution, from a police academy to dentistry, is a highly competitive affair (every candidate competes against ALL others at a national level based on an absolute scoring scale after specific written tests, down to the 4th decimal place), you can select your "First choice" university or school, and several "fall-back" ones.

Falling back to one's second, third, fourth etc. choice is one of the reasons for this apparent "gender evenness", but sadly it just reflects the fact that many people will have to study and finish a faculty/school they don't really like.

More OT about female gaming...I know I've written certain apparently misogynistic stuff here and elsewhere, and I realized most of them do NOT hold well to a worldwide view. However most if not all of them are pretty accurate for what regards the local situation in Greece, which simply put is 30 years behind. Including gaming. I can only positively identify ONE female gamer that's not just into casual/facebook games (or pacman/ladybook/puzzle bobble in the arcade era).

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kristus said:

Ok now that I've read the thread through. (I know I should've done that before) I find that Mr.T and Technician and anyone that think along their lines should think about what they really are saying.

They expect females to share parts of who they are to keep a form of equilibrium online. It's easy for someone to say something like this when they are not the ones that are the people that are different. I don't know how it would feel to be on the recieving end of this sort of treatment and culture so I am not going to make assumptions.

I mean. This all reeks from the "don't ask don't tell" motto of the US army.

Now, as I said in my last post. I don't care if you're a woman, man, homosexual or a monkey highly trained in playing Doom and using a voice box. (Though knowing about any such monkey would be pretty cool)
But I do care about people not being able to tell such trivia (trivia for me, but likely more important for the person it regards) about themselves in fear of persecution. Having to hide information about yourself just to be accepted is a form of social fascism.


What you are saying is correct, and I certainly know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of discrimination (in particular, racism)... but this is about a game on the internet, not a job interview or something.

If you can't handle someone who outside of a GAME has no bearing on your life whatsoever making fun of you, how can you expect to cope IRL? STOP CARING

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Mr. T said:

What you are saying is correct, and I certainly know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of discrimination (in particular, racism)... but this is about a game on the internet, not a job interview or something.

If you can't handle someone who outside of a GAME has no bearing on your life whatsoever making fun of you, how can you expect to cope IRL? STOP CARING

Has it ever occurred to you that how certain people are received online can be just as profound as in real life for other people? It's still social interaction, regardless of context.

And I agree with Kristus, it is indeed a pity that one must hide oneself under a fear of being prosecuted/marginalised, or in this case as well, stating one is 'not a feminist' (no offense if I have caused some).

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Joshy said:

Has it ever occurred to you that how certain people are received online can be just as profound as in real life for other people?

And I agree with Kristus, it is indeed a pity that one must hide oneselve under a fear of being prosecuted, or in this case as well, stating one is 'not a feminist' (no offense if I have caused some).


OK, Here's my message in a way an Australian should understand:


CHOPPER WANTS YOU TO HARDEN THE FUCK UP!

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Okay I laughed. But the previous picture of Ronny John suited the quote much better than that glorified criminal. (I know they're both Choppers but the comedian does it better)

For the sake of argument 'Harden the fuck up' is not exactly a mindful or empathic quote and is often used to further repress people's voices of their repressions. :P

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Mr. T said:

What you are saying is correct, and I certainly know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of discrimination (in particular, racism)... but this is about a game on the internet, not a job interview or something.

If you can't handle someone who outside of a GAME has no bearing on your life whatsoever making fun of you, how can you expect to cope IRL? STOP CARING

You're just excusing asocial behavior with the "internet is srs bsnz" mantra. And I can agree that it sometimes have validity. But this isn't one of those cases. Online games is a social arena. And you shouldn't have to stand discrimination any more there than you would in real life. It's not the person that is getting discriminated against that should suck it up and live with it. But the person doing the discrimination is the one who should get real and accept that they don't get to decide who participate in this game.

If you as a person can't accept that a girl or homosexual or whatever plays the game. Then the problem is with you and not that person.

My suggestion to Eargosedown would be to report any such behavior to the admins of said communities and let them deal with it. Most games and forums got rules against such behavior and they probably will deal with it.

By just accepting it and moving on you make their behavior acceptable and then you can never expect it to change.

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kristus said:

By just accepting it and moving on you make their behavior acceptable and then you can never expect it to change.


TBH, that's something that their mom should deal with and not me.

If some kid wants to make fun of someone for being a girl or gay or whatever in an anonymous environment where no one will ever know who they are, then who am I to stop them? Why should I give a fuck? Because if I don't nip that behavior in the bud, then they might call me a fag too?

boo hoo, someone pass the tissues please.

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