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Wolf Girl's blog

4:26 AM on 03.01.2012

Playing Like A Girl and Being Harassed For It

This is my first post here. I'm not normally much of a writer, so I've mostly lurked around and read a few blogs. Something finally got me so upset, I feel like I have to write about it and share it with all of you lovely people.

There is something that always pisses me off when I play multi-player video games. It never ceases to amaze me just how disrespectful and sexist guys can be on those games. It makes my blood boil when I hear another "you belong in the kitchen" or "go make me a sandwich" comment. I actually like sandwiches and I do enjoy cooking, but when you turn it into something degrading and disrespectful, that's just not ok. Sure, there are guys that are joking(they think they're being funny for some reason), but I can tell the difference between a joking tone and a straight up harassing asshole. Don't even get me started on dealing with being hit on and asked "hey, are you hot?"

The game I play the most, and frequently encounter this in, is Halo Reach. I've made sure I'm pretty good, so at least when I get guys telling me I suck while waiting for a match to start, I can hold my own and prove them wrong. (Yeah, I'm an Eclipse and I kill at SWAT)

It's not merely the sexist and harassing comments themselves either, it's the feeling of being singled out as someone that doesn't belong. What makes it all worse still, is when no one sticks up to the asshole. We all know the guy is being a jerk, and yet most of you just sit there quietly minding your own business. Why? Why do we continue to let sexual harassment and sexism happen? (For those of you who don't know, yes it is sexual harassment and yes it is illegal and against Xbox Live's Code of Conduct.) Why isn't the gaming community more welcoming and supportive when it really matters?

I have a few good friends online that I game with that will stick up for me, and I'm extremely grateful to these guys. There are times when I should, however be able to game alone and not worry about getting singled out for abuse.

I try very hard to keep my cool and not act in the same vulgar way back at these jerks. If they won't stop harassing me I mute them and after the game I report them. Sometimes though, it's enough to ruin my whole play experience and I have to stop playing the game for a while.

This is what happened just tonight. A guy on my team in BTB kept calling me degrading names and telling me that I "belong in the kitchen." Again I tried to calmly deal with the guy, but he wouldn't back off and no one else stood up for me. I muted and reported him and after the game was over I felt I needed to put the controller down and stop playing for the night.

I think part of the problem here is that filing a report on Xbox Live doesn't seem to do much. These guys clearly aren't afraid of getting banned. I feel the report system for harassment just isn't good enough. It doesn't even ask you what kind of harassment occurred. If this jerk only harasses girls in game chat, how will Xbox Live know to check for that?

This kind of stuff can be especially harmful to younger girls and women who are trying out video games for the first time. They probably won't feel welcome, and may not play another game after experiencing the harassment online. They shouldn't have to learn to just expect it and deal with it and neither should any other female who wants to play video games.

We need to hold ourselves to better standards as well as holding others accountable. Xbox Live and other online gaming networks need to have better systems to report harassment and properly deal with it. If we just sit there and let it go on with out standing up, this kind of harassment will just continue, and females won't ever really feel welcomed in the gaming community.

P.S. If you like the artwork up there, check out the original on the artist's DA here: link   read

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