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Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:13 PM #181
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
Just wanted to pop in here and say that my girlfriend and I are following this thread with interest. The portrayal of women in society has long been a boilerplate for her, as the portrayal of gamers in society has been for me.
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Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:19 PM #182
Scout (Lvl 6)
And sometimes, the demographic makes it look like: This activity, or hobby, or pursuit, or career... is the province of <code>[insert a color, gender, sexual orientation combination]</code>. And that's just not true. Some people are just glad when the stereotype barrier is broken, I think. I personally find it inspiring and attractive to see people pursuing dreams goals and passions. And it's even more refreshing when it falls outside of the demographic you expect. And when it's about my passions, I do not like to be part of some hermetic, homogenous club. I welcome diversity
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:29 PM #183
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
My first wizard I played the DM proudly provided me with a mini that had been beautifully painted. The mini had long flowing hair with a staff with a crystal ball on top and her one arm was out like she was casting a spell. She was also topless wearing just a belly dancer style bottom. I don't think the DM was trying to be a jerk. Semi nudity was common in the art work of this time. I don't think he or the rest of the guys grasped how very uncomfortable this made me.
I am way older now and I have learned how to let art like this in RPGs roll off my back and I would never tolerate the stuff I put up when I was a teen and young adult. I have learned how to handle creepy guys and sexist guys. But I still roll my eyes at this kind of art and I will speak out about it when the subject comes up.
I am not going to change systems over one or two pieces of art. But I don't have to like it. It is a very complicated issue. As a feminist of long standing I see that the way woman are portrayed in media is not healthy for the self esteem of young woman. We are bombarded with how we are supposed to look even when it is imposable for the majority of us. Young girls today are having plastic surgery at younger ages, twenty two year olds are having botox because they fear aging.
The mistake a woman can make is to wrap her self esteem up in how she looks. I am 54 I am seeing this with my friends. My one friend was a beauty queen when she was younger every where she went every man in the place had eyes on her. Now at 54 she even though she is still attractive this is not happening it is happening to her daughter and she had admitted she resents her for it. She has said she feels worthless that her life is over. Even though she has a great career a great family the fact that her beauty is fading is devastating to her.
I think it is healthier for woman to have not just images of beautiful hot woman but woman who look pulled together but look like them. I think gaming can be a wonderful tool for young girls to expand their imagination to get out there and have power and be heroes so while I am not saying make the art work unattractive but don't make it sexy which gives the message even when you are fighting to save the world you must look sexy to do it.
So many young woman today dress in a very sexual way and they feel it is their body they should be allowed to show it off. And in a way they are right. But what they don't understand is that men are very visually stimulated by the way woman look. And if you dress in a way that send those signals when that is not your intention it makes it harder for them to separate that from say the non sexual message you are trying to send. There is a time and a place for it. At a club looking to meet guys is one thing in the board room trying to come across as professional is another thing all together.
In the art work you can still make the woman look good without making them look stupid. You realize that these woman look stupid and laughable come on goes into a fight with a dragon in high heels. There are a lot of woman who refuse to be sensible when it matters and dress in just a totally inappropriate way for the situation. Every year at the Dade County Youth Fair the paramedics get called out to treat woman who have broken bones or sprained ankles because they are trying to walk around on cracked pavement and climb on rides in high heels.
I shake my head when I see this woman and I wonder what their IQ is. I wear high heels but not to places like that. And it is not like you can't find pretty flats.
Like I pointed out earlier woman in the military don't dress like vixens even if they are wearing a skirt and they don't wear stiletto heels either while on duty. In combat zones they wear the same uniform and boots as the guys. I think adventures should be the same.
I do have a solution how about pick realistic looking gaming woman as well as vixens. Save the cheesecake art for the characters that are supposed to be sexual like succubi or evil priestess of the god of lust. And make the woman match the men if men who wear full plate don't have peek a boo cuts then don't dress the woman in fill armor the with them. If male wizards don't run around in skimpy clothes don't make the female wizard do so.
Speaking out writing letters to gaming companies is not complaining it is trying to do something to effect change. The men and woman speaking up here I think have sent a message to this company that not all of us liked their ad. I don't know if it will make a difference to them but I know for a fact that not saying anything certainly wouldn't have let them know that some of us found it highly sexist.
Favorite line heard at the table "I am killing to subdue" Kavo the Dwarf
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:47 PM #184
Don't think this just happens because it's a gender issue. Lots of people identify strongly with a given aesthetic or body of media. You'd experience a similar (but lesser) reaction if you expressed your dislike for something else the rest of the people at the table liked. But it's not just expressing dislike that you're talking about. You're accusing the other people around you of being immoral for liking it-- that's how they see it anyway. That probably contributes the most to any escalation from friendly disagreement to alienation.Quite often the price of admission to sit at the gaming table with the guys includes my silence or complicity about things that make me feel bad. If I don't pretend it's okay, if I say, "Hey, this makes me feel bad - just thought you'd like to know," there are significant social penalties. They argue, they tell me to stop complaining, they tell me I am hypersensitive or a prude. I'm not one of the guys any more. I have set myself apart, and the atmosphere changes for the worse.
It's human nature to ostracize a moral critic. Especially in our time where any form of appearing judgmental is a socially acceptable target for alienation or ostracism. People participate in their hobbies for enjoyment, not to be judged.
No one should be surprised or shocked when they say that something someone else likes is harmful that the reaction is less than friendly.
If you are trying to find subtle proof of anything in the way people express themselves, you'll find the evidence you want to see. I would hate to spend my time looking for opportunities to be offended by messages I perceive others as sending.Let's say I ignore that and go on to sit at a gaming table. Out of five or six guys there, there's a decent chance that at least one of them is going to send me that same message. Maybe it'll be subtle, in the language he uses to refer to me or to other females, and maybe it won't be so subtle.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:54 PM #185
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
I gotta bail from this thread. A lot of you guys here are making me feel less welcome in gaming, and I've been doing this most of my life.
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 10:56 PM #186
Scout (Lvl 6)
To clarify, it's not my own theory. I'm just relating what I'm hearing from my own roleplaying network. That doesn't invalidate what the gamers here have been saying, not at all. But just like I am taking into consideration what these people are saying, I also have to rely on what other females are telling me. Some of them close friends, relatives, people I have loved and known for decades. Some of them gamers, some of them former gamers and some of them who never got interested.
I have no explanation as to why the ratio of females in the hobby is what it is. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of factors at work.
The females I know who won't game just tell me they'd rather do something else, like going to salsa night. (where the creep factor seems to be pretty freaking high based on their stories).
I am definitely listening to what the female gamers on this thread have to say, though. It's an interesting discussion!
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 11:02 PM #187
Scout (Lvl 6)
I can only say that it's been enlightening for me to revisit this subject. It helps me to read about others' perspective. And if you'd rather not discuss it, that's fine too. But I hope you'll happily continue to game!
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 11:17 PM #188
Scout (Lvl 6)
I usually run games in my native language, though. I did run a mini-campaign in Shakespeare's tongue in Toronto and a bilingual campaign once so I'm rusty but willing
Barring that, maybe one day I'll try gaming online if I find a group!
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 11:18 PM #189
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
If I was expressing it in a manner that could possibly be construed that way, yes, it certainly could. Given that I am personally very vocal about being pro porn, pro sex industry, and pro alternative sexuality/gender expression, it's going to be a very far stretch for anyone to get the idea that I think they are immoral for any type of sexuality they want to express. Apparently they've been managing it though, because they can't think of any other reason that someone could possibly object to cheesecake in an RPG.But it's not just expressing dislike that you're talking about. You're accusing the other people around you of being immoral for liking it-- that's how they see it anyway.
The actual issue is very far from a 'moral' one, though I imagine some folks on either side of the gender gap might get them conflated.
Yes. Exactly. I am not in this hobby to be judged by my boobage, and it is No Fun when my characters are depicted as if that's all they are there for.People participate in their hobbies for enjoyment, not to be judged.
So what happens when the way you enjoy your hobby actively detracts from my comfort and enjoyment, and we're in the same hobby?
Monday, 18th June, 2012, 11:42 PM #190
Hydra (Lvl 25)
I appreciate that there are very few women speaking up here. And that there are almost no men expressing support for your side of this, and several strenuously denying that the problem even exists. And that's a damn shame.
But if *I* end up being the lone voice, then it's useless. I have no validity here.