This blog post (aka rant) is triggered by me attempting to share my opinion on a recent Reddit discussion started by a girl who chose to post pictures of herself naked with her gaming laptop on /r/Dota2. (No I am not linking the photos).
I have to admit that I find the attitude of feminists on the internet just as exhausting as that of sexists. When arguing with sexists my thoughts are clear and simple:
YES I want to be respected and treated as an equal when I game!
Imagine being able to use voice chat or a picture of yourself as an avatar and instead of “fuck its a girl we’re gonna lose" or "hey can I add you on steam I’ve never met a girl on the internet before" we got comments like this "I’ll jungle if you can play a solo offlane?" or "can you build the mech, I think our tri- lane is going to be tough"… (generic dota related comments for those of you that aren’t familiar with the game).
NO I couldn’t give two fucks if my fellow gamers have a penis or a vagina.
I really don’t care. There are girls who only want to play on all girls teams. Not me. If I have a team who are fun, friendly and reasonably not-shit at the game, then that’s perfect. Keep calm and play dota. If the enemy is an even match (rare lately, Valve fix the MM system please) then that’s also great. Not entirely sure what peoples genitalia has to do with their ability to use a mouse and keyboard. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?
YES I think that the two sexes are equal when it comes to gaming ability and potential.
The current, and somewhat obvious, gap in apparent ‘skill’ between sexes in Dota 2 is not a function of physical gender, but of the cultural upbringing. Times are changing, but for people in my age bracket it was less acceptable for young girls (school age) and even young women (university) to be into computer games. This means that women who are just entering the gaming and dota scene (now that its becoming more acceptable) are about 5-6 years behind their male counterparts in terms of practice and experience. That’s not an insurmountable hurdle.
NO I don’t think female gamers should receive special attention / favours.
It’s a known fact that some individuals use their sexuality to manipulate the apparently uncontrollable desire of male gamers for female contact. They look for attention, popularity and advantages and use their sexuality to get it. I guess I can’t blame them, when they see a fight they are disadvantaged in (and being a woman in gaming can feel like that) sure they turn to ‘dirty’ tactics. But I personally don’t agree with it, and hope to god I’ve never used the tactic myself (intentionally or unintentionally). If you think I have - I apologise, and would love to hear of the example so I can adjust my behavior accordingly.
YES I would scorn a male player who posed naked with his laptop JUST AS MUCH as I disapprove of the female gamer who did this and posted it up on reddit.
Being attractive naked has fuck all to do with your ability as a gamer. It’s 100% irrelevant. In both cases I would consider the pictures to represent self indulgent attention seeking that has no basis on the game I love.
So thats the crux of my argument to sexists… and also to feminists. Crazy that I find myself arguing the same points to both sides of the coin right? But the OTT feminists I stumble across seem to be constantly going beyond equality and chasing some kind of female dominion and worship within the gaming community.
All I ask is that my fellow female gamers and I be respected and included within the gaming community not because we have gorgeous curves, soft sweet lips and long flowing locks. But because we are good at the game and want the opportunity to pwn noobs with the rest of you.
I pretty much totally agree with you, Vixx. The sub-reddit is for DotA, not for sexy-times DotA*, and it’s not the place for nudity. That, I think, is the first issue, way before gender comes into play at all - the nudity isn’t inappropriate because she’s female. Just like public nudity in real life, it’s inappropriate regardless of gender, because of the rules of society. Nudity is a sometimes thing!
* If this were a thing, it would be fine, if a little lazy
I would feel the same way about a guy posing naked in front of his gaming laptop and then sharing it on the DoTA sub-reddit. I would react the same way, too (eewwwww whyyyy), but I am 99% certain that the community would react differently. Same goes for a less conventionally attractive girl, aaaand that brings me to my strongest feelings about this thing:
EVERY TIME something like this happens, EVERY TIME, someone always has to go (in this case the OP),
I just want to play games but hate being told I am probably a fat pimpley bitch who has no friends. I am proving that girl gamers are not trolls.
Seriously, can we just stop mentioning the aesthetics of girl gamers, ever? One photo of a girl who games doesn’t prove anything, it doesn’t empower other gamer girls, it doesn’t make me feel any more attractive or confident than I did already, but it might make someone who already felt bad about their appearance feel bad. It might make people feel worse. The way people (including other girls) judge girls-who-game on their assumed appearance is so… ugh. I hate it. Sure, calling people names like “fat” or “ugly” aren’t limited to the female gender, but I have done a lot of time in online games and it is far, far more common for a girl to be called “fat” or “ugly” when she does something that other people don’t like than for a guy.
I feel a bit icky condemning this girl for her actions, because, you know, girls should have control of their lives and bodies and there are lots of problems with sexuality and women and blah blah. But she’s doing it in the wrong place. Would she strip in a shopping centre? I doubt it. This is only different because it’s online. Worse than a shopping centre, it’s in a place where sexism and the objectification of women is already rampant.
Do I think she didn’t have the right to take those photos? No, I think she had a right to take the photos, and because it’s her body, put them where ever she wanted. But I am a strong believer in propriety because I am a giant fucking prude, and the forum where she posted her naked photo was not appropriate. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. For every time I’ve been told “tits or gtfo,” or “get back in the kitchen,” or “wanna cyber,” or “Make me a sandwich,” or “Oh shit a girl we’re all going to die,” or “what size are your boobs,**” I wish she hadn’t posted this, because it’s irrelevant to the space and it just reinforces those sick beliefs held by asshole sexist pigs that girls can and should share their bodies with the masses because they’re women, and men want them to. It adds fodder to the “girls only game for attention” argument (this picture doesn’t say anything about her gaming ability, but if people wanted to, they could certainly use this image out of context to illustrate that point).
** This last is the worst one, for me, because I had been playing WoW with this guy FOR A YEAR before I ever hopped on vent, we did heaps of instances and raids together, I was a good Rogue and he was a neat Pally and we worked well together, and then after the first time he heard my voice he never said anything to me again that wasn’t sexual. FUN TIMES.