Girls are all the rage these days

| Monday, February 16, 2009
Yes, it seems that talking about girls is the cool thing to do for the next... one day and four hours. Don't believe me? Check out this Link! It's a girl (okay woman, or does that imply old these days? Maybe that will be the next cool thing, talking about perceptions of age) talking about girls or what it means to be a girl or how people perceive or something. The point is, I am totally on the bandwagon. Yea.

So. Um. People. With uh... baby-making factories. Well, as Marx would say, they are clearly the bourgeoisie: controlling the means of production while men are the proletariat: an oppressed and exploited mass of workers who only create products from which they are disconnected and derive no profit or meaning. Clearly men need to rise up and seize the means of production. Or no, this has happened. This is the social condition in many countries where women do not have control over their reproduction.

Serious time: There is a strong link between women controlling their baby-making factories and their country not being crap. Example time: Africa has many nations where women have little control over whether or not to have children or how many: Africa on average is a pretty crappy place. In contrast America allows women a great deal of control; rape is illegal under all circumstances (This is not to say that all cases lead to punishment; guilty people may be found innocent. My point was that there are no legally accepted religious or social rules which allow rape), abortion is legal (well, mostly, I think some states have laws against it), birth control is legal and fairly cheap: America is awesome.

TL;DR: If you let women control their own bodies, your country is significantly less likely to be terrible. This isn't feminism, it's practicality.

This is the part with game stuff, so start reading here. Look at the bold words. The stuff above this is not related to gaming and may also be offensive, despite being true.

Sorry, got totally off the topic of girls and games or something like that. Girls on bandwagons. Something.

I play a female blood elf paladin. The males were a little too.. fabulous for me. Other races were not good options due to being on the wrong faction. Anyway, I sometimes run into problems.

1) People thinking I am a girl.
By itself this doesn't bother me much. I usually correct them. However, if they get sexist, then I tend to ignore them and if possible get them killed. It pisses me off when there are problems in a group and next thing I know someone is calling me a bitch. Sexism is dumb enough, but sexism when you aren't even certain of the sex of the target?

2) People ask if I am a girl.
WTF does it matter?

3) I think I am a girl.
That came out wrong. Oops? A while back I realized I was too much in the virtual world of WoW. I wasn't properly differentiating between my character and myself. This almost instantly creeped me out. Why? Well, I'm male and my character is female. I briefly freaked out and went "Agh! Am I pretending to be female? WTF is wrong with me!" I played other characters for a couple weeks while I reminded myself "that is a representation, not an identification."

Stereotypes are weird. For starters, they're not based on nothing. That isn't to say they are true or universally generalizable, but they're rarely from out of nowhere. The weird part of them is that they aren't just used by outsiders, but also by those who they are supposed to describe. People sometimes become the stereotype. Then there are the 'taught' ones. Let's pretend that [Alaskans] are stereotyped as violent and in response to perceived danger we impose marshal law in [Alaska] and mobs attack suspected [Alaskans]. You think they're going to act normal? Before long there is an [Alaskan] independence movement (nvm, that already exists) and before long there is a small civil war. Those damn violent [Alaskans] started this whole mess!

Let's see if I can bring that back towards girls. Let's say I were to say that girls are impulsive and emotional. In response they might kick me very hard. See? I was right.

Girls don't play video games: Would you join an activity dominated by people who obsess over you and who lose (or never had) basic social skills just because of your mere existence? Thankfully this stereotype has eroded to little more than a lame joke and in fact girls, and not just a very tiny portion, do actually play video games.

Do I joke about stereotypes about girls and gaming? Sure. With my female friend who is a gamer, and I suspect might kick my ass if we were to ever play against each other in the same game. Fortunately she plays City of Villains, so I am not at risk of e-castration. We realize it is a joke and a very dumb one. Would I make the joke around anyone other than her or a few of our friends? Hell no. I refuse to be one of the idiots that throws that around and not only looks lame, but also a bit sexist.

Jumping back to self-reinforcing stereotypes: Female skills and roles. Are girls bad at games? Hell if I know, I don't conduct surveys in PUGs or even in guild: "on a scale of one to ten, how terrible are you? Are you female? Thank you." But... when someone is bad, who is more noticeable? OMG TERRIBLE GIRL! When the majority of players are male, they are the default, so only female gamers are going to be commonly labeled by their sex. Moving on to healing: it's not nurturing and nurturing is not the only role that females can play or even want to play.

Sex and gender: Perhaps it's due to where I was (am) educated, but gender is a social/mental state. It does not refer to male and female, and while tending to follow patterns of X and Y chromosomes, is not directly linked. Sex is the physical description. Why don't people say sex when it's the proper word? I'd guess because it's often associated only with sex as an act and is branded as dirty. Is that ironic that the proper word is considered 'improper'?

Wow, this ended up way too long. I blame Larísa.


Unknown said...

Moving on to healing: it's not nurturing and nurturing is not the only role that females can play or even want to play.

Here, here. I'm a female and I like to make things die by afflicting them with curses.



Larísa said...

About the usage of "sex" and "gender" I must admit that I'm not completely sure of the correct vocabulary in English. I'm not afraid to use the word "sex" if that's the correct one.

Don't excuse your rambling post, I thought it was very interesting. Reading it I realized that my post about not feeling like I'm treated differently may lack something: experience from playing a male character. As long as I haven't done that, do I really know what I'm talking about? Maybe it's about time I do it. On the other hand my sex is pretty obvious when I'm on TS, so switching Larisa to "Lars" or something wouldn't fool the people I spend my gaming time with - my guild. Hm. Time to make a little male warrior alt for some off-night experimenting perhaps?

Pangoria Fallstar said...

Actually I have it worse off, since I play a female tauren, while being male myself, people automatically assume I'm female, "because no guy would pick to play a female tauren based on their looks". But, I specifically chose the tauren because of her looks, since male taurens are too bulky.

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