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  1. #201
    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch View Post
    It is also possible that they just didn't say anything even if they felt this way about the art.

    I have been playing a long time and I never used to say anything. I felt that the guys would not get it or they would accuse me of being over sensitive or do what some of the guys have one over the years on threads on this subject which is argue why should they have to give up their cheese cake to accommodate me.
    I read this last night and decided to sleep on it and think about it. That's a good point, you know.

    There are certainly female gamers that are too close to me (relatives, close friends, people I love dearly) and that I have known for too long not to perceive this.

    But there are plenty others I have gamed with, or who weren't interested in gaming, who might be too shy to express discomfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch View Post
    You sound like a good DM who makes the game fun for all your players so maybe you have not seen this kind of behavior or would not tolerate it at your table.
    There were a few incidents, I would say especially as a teenager. There was one major disgusting and prolonged issue when the original Dragonlance modules were released. This was the 80s, we were all teenagers and it had been decided we would go through the entire campaign.

    Now, if you're not familiar with the modules, it's a long series (I think over a dozen module) and it encourages a LARGE CAST of player characters. It wasn't our usual small group of friends. We had to fish elsewhere. We had two DMs co-running it and something like 10 players.

    It wasn't about a bunch of friends anymore. There was bullying and then in-game sexual innuendos and harassment. There was peer pressure and some of this impacted high school (many of us attended the same school where there were arguements). So many ugly things happened. Until one of the older kids put a stop to it and the campaign imploded.

    I was relieved it ended but so disgusted I stopped gaming for a year or two. Then I figured out I didn't have to game with asses. And I could walk away. So I tried a few different groups, hooked up again with old players and started slowly getting back into it.

    But I learned an important lesson: if you wouldn't be comfortable hanging around these people in other situations than gaming, it's just not worth it. All of a sudden, "Let's invite the rude creepy dude because the party really needs a cleric" didn't fly anymore.

    It's very important to have boundaries and express them.

 

  • #202
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    I have a question for the guys who seem to feel that cheesecake is important to them in RPGs. I am wondering just how important it is? If there is no cheesecake would refuse to buy the book? If there is no cheesecake will you stop playing the game and leave the hobby?

    The reason I am asking this is because if you would stay in the hobby without the cheesecake and the cheesecake art is the that important to you then why object so strenuously about female gamers wanting it out and wanting more realistic art in the books?

    I don't understand it. Is it because you are angry at having to share the hobby with woman is it that you feel we are judging you for liking it?

    I see nothing wrong with men liking cheesecake. I enjoy beefcake. And I can find it in magazines, the internet and in books. We are sexual beings and we enjoy looking at things that arouse us. But there is a time and a place for that. Why is it important to have sexually arousing art when you game?

    I find it kind of creepy if I was at gaming table and another player was getting aroused.

    Not one woman here as told you that it is wrong to like chesecake. What we have said is that we would prefer for the art in the books not show woman in a sexual way when that is not the purpose of the character. s really to much to ask that female fighters have on armor that does not look stupid or for woman to dress like the men. If the men run around in loin clothes then it is acceptable for the woman to do so as well. It is like the difference between National Geographic showing woman of primitive tribes being topless and Playboy.
    Favorite line heard at the table "I am killing to subdue" Kavo the Dwarf

  • #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    I urge you to reconsider. You have the right to stand up and speak your piece. Abd if the only advocate for this cause ends up being me - a white British man - then the whole exercise is rendered pointless.

    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.
    Yours won't be the only voice, though I'm not sure how much more I could add, coming in late to the discussion, other than offering support.

    And more than likely I would have stayed silent, because in truth I have little direct experience with the issues. I'm coming up on 30 years of gaming, but for virtually all that time, my groups have been my friends and colleagues. Most have been male, but I have gamed with a few female players as well. As such, I like to believe that we all treated each other with a healthy level of respect and fairness.

    But I can't say that I was totally unaffected. In my youth, there were times that I'd present a female character in inappropriate dress (mostly as GM, but I'm sure as a player as well). In my mind, being kick-ass was awesome, and sexy was awesome, and so with hormonal math playing a sexy ass-kicker was doubly awesome. Partly this was influenced by art (not necessarily of the games themselves, but also in general), and by my own imagination. I never intended to objectify, and at the time, didn't even think along those lines. It just seemed 'cool' to me.

    I like to think I've matured, and that I am more socially aware now.

    It does pain me to hear stories of maginalization and objectionable behaviour, especially in a hobby that I so enjoy. I just think back to all the fun adventures and stories told, and the time spent with friends, and find it is such a shame that such was denied to so many others due to the attitudes of others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Consonant Dude View Post
    I read this last night and decided to sleep on it and think about it. That's a good point, you know.

    There are certainly female gamers that are too close to me (relatives, close friends, people I love dearly) and that I have known for too long not to perceive this.

    But there are plenty others I have gamed with, or who weren't interested in gaming, who might be too shy to express discomfort.



    There were a few incidents, I would say especially as a teenager. There was one major disgusting and prolonged issue when the original Dragonlance modules were released. This was the 80s, we were all teenagers and it had been decided we would go through the entire campaign.

    Now, if you're not familiar with the modules, it's a long series (I think over a dozen module) and it encourages a LARGE CAST of player characters. It wasn't our usual small group of friends. We had to fish elsewhere. We had two DMs co-running it and something like 10 players.

    It wasn't about a bunch of friends anymore. There was bullying and then in-game sexual innuendos and harassment. There was peer pressure and some of this impacted high school (many of us attended the same school where there were arguements). So many ugly things happened. Until one of the older kids put a stop to it and the campaign imploded.

    I was relieved it ended but so disgusted I stopped gaming for a year or two. Then I figured out I didn't have to game with asses. And I could walk away. So I tried a few different groups, hooked up again with old players and started slowly getting back into it.

    But I learned an important lesson: if you wouldn't be comfortable hanging around these people in other situations than gaming, it's just not worth it. All of a sudden, "Let's invite the rude creepy dude because the party really needs a cleric" didn't fly anymore.

    It's very important to have boundaries and express them.
    Woman are not Borg so this issue may not be something that bothers all of them. And that is okay.

    I now have a rule don't play with jerks and a no a bad day of gaming is not better than no gaming.

    I am finding it kind of sad that a female gamer has left this thread I hope she does not leave EnWorld like the other female gamer did a few months ago. I understand where she is coming from. There have been some discouraging posts in this thread and the sexism thread it is enough to make you want to just give up. Me I am to stubborn for that.

    But I am also encouraged by the guys who have understood and the guys who are trying to understand. I put you in the category of trying to understand. You are asking intelligent questions and not outright dismissing what we are saying.
    Favorite line heard at the table "I am killing to subdue" Kavo the Dwarf

  • #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Consonant Dude View Post
    I am but that's irrelevant.

    Yeah, that sounds... terrible, I agree. But that's not because you replaced a gender with an ethnic background, IMO.

    Saying "hey, you're pretty smart for a woman" would lead to just as much facepalming. And that's gender-related.
    OK, I'll accept that "eloquence" was a bad example. But I don't think that invalidates the point. Let's drop "eloquence" and replace it with "gaming":
    1. You're good at gaming for a black man.
    2. You're good at gaming for a homosexual man.
    3. You're good at gaming for a woman.
    How does the third differ to the first two in your mind?

    However, consider how many people pointed out how great it was to see an African American in the oval office. Rightly so, IMO.
    And, indeed, we'll say it's great to see more women in gaming. This isn't the same statement as those above at all. These things would be evidence that things are changing for the better.

    However, people can be genuinely glad to see someone pursuing a dream, career, hobby that doesn't fall into the usual stereotyped demographic and that doesn't immediately scream of discrimination or condescension to me. It can be quite the other way around!
    I don't quite get the linquistic trick which enabled you to characterise the sexism we're discussing as "people glad to see someone pursuing a hobby"?

    That's not what we're talking about at all. What we're (and when I see "we" I appear to mean "me and a couple of women") trying to discourage is discrimination, not welcoming statements.

    Welcoming statements are welcome. We're very much not taking about, as you say, people who are glad to see someone adopting a hobby not common in their demographic. I'm one of the people glad to see people adopting a hobby not common in their demographic; my issue here is the reasons (as laid out by the people in question here in this thread) that that hobby is not common in their demographic.

    It all comes down to women saying "we're made uncomfortable by the sexism in this hobby". We can either accept that at face value or not. No amount of semantic or linguistic discussion changes that basic choice.

    May I ask - what is your choice here? I'm a little unclear. Do you accept at face value the reasons cited by women in this thread for their non-participation?

    If it's about embracing diversity and celebrating individual empowerment, I'm cool with it
    To me, it's about creating an environment which is welcoming to all who wish to participate. No need to celebrate or embrace anything; just to not make things uncomfortable for anyone (and by "anyone" I mean groups, not individuals).

  • #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatwyrm View Post
    Being a white guy isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Once upon a time, I was told my hiring for a previous employer was delayed by six months because someone higher up the food chain couldn't understand why I'd want to do "women's work". When I was in a room with thirty women at another training session and I won the door prize, there was a collectively held breath while the 250 pound good ol' boy went up to (cheerfully and graciously) collect his gift bag of potpourri, flower notepad, and a scented candle. Not to mention the endless stream of "men suck because...", "hunky movie star", and "ladies' issues" discussions that always ended with sidelong glances and my assurances they wouldn't be included in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

    Just because I use the other bathroom doesn't mean I don't get it.
    Yeah, but you do know that this isn't an endemic societal problem, I assume? There will always be exceptions, but it's hard to deny that "white male heterosexual" is very much a non-discriminated-against group compared to others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    Yeah, but you do know that this isn't an endemic societal problem, I assume? There will always be exceptions, but it's hard to deny that "white male heterosexual" is very much a non-discriminated-against group compared to others.
    Endemic isn't my issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus
    Being a white male is a lucky position of non-discrimination. Of course we won't be sensitive to these things. Why would we be?
    That is.

    You may not experience it. You may not be offended that nearly every sit-com dad after Bill Cosby has been an oafish, idiot white guy. You may not be offended that guys who look like me are always bad guys or idiots on pro-wrestling shows. Maybe I'd like to have a guy that looks like me be cast in a movie as the romantic lead without the words "anti-type casting" attached to the story.

    All I'm saying is being a guy doesn't necessarily mean I don't get where the ladies who are offended here are coming from.
    Finally back with a new online game.

  • #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by nnms View Post
    You don't see claiming that something that someone likes in their fantasy art is pornographic and that they are participating in exposing it to non-consenting adults or to minors might just be a bit inflammatory? That they might perceive that as you attacking something they like and responding to you as an outside moral critic?
    They might respond that way if I actually said that, yes.

    I don't personally think that even the more extreme examples of such art in mass market RPG's are the most explicit thing kids could be exposed to. It's not an issue I spend a lot of time worrying about, because I don't have kids and I don't game with kids. It's a reasonable point to think about, if you do want your game to be kid-friendly. It's okay if you don't, though. I don't.

    I brought it up not to say that OMG, our hobby needs to be more kid friendly, but as a corollary to the "consenting adult" criteria for when sexuality is okay, mostly to state that even though sex is good, there are some places that it isn't a great idea to have it. You seem to have really focused on the "minors" aspect, and that's not really where I'm personally coming from.

    But, it is true that you absolutely can find R-rated, softporn type art in mass market RPG material. I'm not sure who you think I'm accusing because of that, though. Maybe the publishers, but if they are marketing to adults, it's a non issue in that respect.

    If I was running a game and you started talking about how the rulebook for the game (or perhaps the GM screen?) is an example of spreading pornography to minors, I'd tell you that we can talk about it outside of the game session. If you persisted, I'd ask you to leave the table and stop accusing the people playing of being criminals.
    I'd do the same if I was the GM. Unless there were actually young minors at the table and the DM placed something extremely explicit in their view, that isn't something I would be interested in doing. I've never personally seen that happen, and I don't really think it is happening.
    Last edited by TanithT; Tuesday, 19th June, 2012 at 02:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elf Witch View Post
    I have felt it in the game , books and minis. Though as I have said it is slowly getting better. I mentioned already the crap I took in the game from overt creepiness to sexism like I am putting a cap of a 10 on strength for all female characters and cap of 12 on wisdom as well because woman are usually not as wise as men and look to them for guidance.

    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.
    I appreciate what you are saying, (no i truly do, no sarcasim) My wife (God I love her) is often comparing herself to these women in the media or what society has put out there as to what to expect, and it breaks my heart she is so gorgeous and so incredible and though i love her looks i find her attractive for more than just her good looks, I see her brillance (and honestly she is probably a lot better person than myself). Sorry i am getting off track.. lol I tend to do that about her.

    My point is I hate how society has said what is right or wrong, or pretty or not, But I choose to find ways everyday to make her realize that this is not the truth of the world or everyone in it. It is all I can do.

    I am sorry that there are a lot of creepers out there, and unfortunately they find their way into our fun world away from our hard lives. RPGs are suppose to be a place where we can unwind, escape, or just be able to be someone else for a few hours. It shouldnt ever be uncomfortable or causing seperation.

    I also think that there are some women out there like you said who break their ankles trying to look the part, but lets face it there are plenty of men out there doing something if not more just as stupid, I want to blame society but the reality is it is there own choice to follow what others say.

    All we can do is like we have all said in our own ways, Change it or avoid it.

    Sorry for any confusion I may have put out there leading yall to think I am ok with sexism, I am far from that.

    I was a prior soldier and I worked with women who were just as tough as any guy I knew, hell most of them were tougher for the simple fact they usually had more to deal with.
    Last edited by TheShroud; Tuesday, 19th June, 2012 at 02:20 AM.

  • #210
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    I would like to thank the women and men who have clearly, patiently, and articulately expressed what was problematic about the original news item and sexism that is endemic to our hobby.

    There have been positive changes in representations of women and people of color in RPGs since the 70s when I first started playing, but overall there is a tremendous amount of work to be done. By responding in the way you have you are speaking truth to destructive prevailing norms. It takes endurance to do what you are doing - thank you for keeping on.

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