Note: The comment section for the blog I was responding to was deleted.† Instead of allowing hours of writing go to waste, I figured I'd share it here.† Saving on Word pays off! In response to Wren Guilmain's blog "Battle of the Sexes" on Spine Online found here: http://spineonline.ca/wren-guilmain/
The "fake gamer girl" trend really needs to stop. It's a terrible stereotype propagated by trolls, misogynists, meme-spammers, 13-year-olds, and people with a terrible sense of humour. Sadly, this isn't a problem that's mutually exclusive to gaming, however - look no further than the jocks who sneer at the mere sight of women posing with their favourite NFL jersey, or the basement troglodytes who harass women that support their favourite series by dressing up (cosplay or otherwise). Heck, even TCGs like Magic: The Gathering are not without hecklers, such that Wizards of the Coast has punished offending players in the past by banning them from official tournaments for life.
The last few years have been "interesting" (to say the VERY least) for gamers, as several stories wound up on major gaming sites regarding women and video games. From the disheartening sexist remarks made by Aris Bakhtanians to Miranda Pakozdi during the Cross Assault event hosted by Capcom, to the debacle created by Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter campaign for exploring "video games from an old-school academic radical feminist philosophy based on the partriarchy" [Thanks, Elsa!
], to the short-lived controversy over the art-style of The Sorceress in Dragon's Crown
...it's been a real eye-opener for a lot of people.
Yet, for all the bad it brought, for all the negativity caused by both online and real-world miscreants, so many people spoke out against these issues. Aris Bakhtanians issued a formal apology some time after the event, Anita Sarkeesian's "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" was fully funded, and The Sorceress made it over to our shores completely unaltered, with Dragon's Crown
becoming a cult-classic.
So when you say that "In the current state of the gamer community, if you want to have ovaries and also be considered a gamer, youíre going to have to pull a Mulan,
" I can't help but shake my head.
Ironically, you're generalizing the gaming community as a whole in the same way that the "fake gamer girl" premise generalizes "sexy" women in gaming apparel as attention-seeking posers. For the many girls and guys who get together to play Mario Party
on weekends, the grandparents who play Wii Sports
, the husbands and wives playing World of Warcraft
that top the damage meters, you're unintentionally painting them with the same brush as the online bullies who do whatever they can to make everyone's lives miserable, the trash-talkers who make it a point to bring their opponents down by any means necessary, and the downright lowest of lowlifes who put people of other races and genders beneath them.
Bullies exist no matter where you go...but for every 2 or 3 you come across in an online game, there's about 10 more people out there who just want to play to have fun. Never forget your friends and loved-ones who share and enjoy gaming, too, especially the ones who play together with you.
The gaming community isn't a forum, nor a chat room, nor a blog. The gaming community is a microcosm of society; it can be scary at times, and sometimes you get hurt, but it is filled with so many wonderful places and people that makes being part of it all completely worth it.
Edit: More clarification of Sarkeesian's study focus for "Tropes vs Women in Video Games."† Thanks again, Elsa!
LOOK WHO CAME: