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Wow, was the "Discrimination Against Females in X-wing" thread deleted by FFG?

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For my part, using the word 'female' in this context just feels weird. Also, while I do 'get' the battle over language, I think it's a largely a distraction, and it creates a false lumping together of people who are authentically sexist and those who are just not up-to-date with the latest in PC vogue. Those who are insidious about their sexism can further couch their sexism in another code.

 

Now, while I do like it that FFG is being inclusive with their pilots, I'm also skeptical that a gender imbalance in those pilots is keeping or shooing women away.

 

Let's focus on the keeping away and shooing away. There's little that we can do to change the preconceived notions of what our community are about. If it's changing, that will change slowly. What we can do is to police our 'shooing' away. How can we be more inviting at the FLGS gaming table without also having our being inviting have predatory connotations?

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For my part, using the word 'female' in this context just feels weird. Also, while I do 'get' the battle over language, I think it's a largely a distraction, and it creates a false lumping together of people who are authentically sexist and those who are just not up-to-date with the latest in PC vogue. Those who are insidious about their sexism can further couch their sexism in another code.

 

Now, while I do like it that FFG is being inclusive with their pilots, I'm also skeptical that a gender imbalance in those pilots is keeping or shooing women away.

 

Let's focus on the keeping away and shooing away. There's little that we can do to change the preconceived notions of what our community are about. If it's changing, that will change slowly. What we can do is to police our 'shooing' away. How can we be more inviting at the FLGS gaming table without also having our being inviting have predatory connotations?

 

Lessons learned: never ask to play with other men's wives.

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It is a bold assumption, but with so much love for the X-wing and TIE fighter PC games, I doubt they will pass up the opportunity to throw Ru Merleen into an X-wing cockpit.

 

I'm offended by the usage of that word for the area of the fighter where the pilot sits!

 

From now on, I insist that we call it the Non-Gender Specific Nether Region-Pit.

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Let's focus on the keeping away and shooing away. There's little that we can do to change the preconceived notions of what our community are about. If it's changing, that will change slowly. What we can do is to police our 'shooing' away. How can we be more inviting at the FLGS gaming table without also having our being inviting have predatory connotations?

 

Lessons learned: never ask to play with other men's wives.

 

:lol:   Certainly not the way you asked the question the in the other thread.

 

Here's the thing though, I do think that it would be best for husband & wife pairs who show up to the FLGS to not just play with one another. A case I saw, it was exclusionary on her part. She played with her husband, and then when the match was over and it was possible to switch opponents, he switched off and she refused to play with another guy, who was then left without an opponent.

 

That's also not necessarily a gender thing. I also showed up to an FLGS with a friend, and in the second round of play my friend was not really interested in playing another match. I would have liked to have gone another round, but if I did it would have meant someone else sitting one out while my friend did something else. At that point I just said my goodbyes and left with my non-wanting-to-play friend.

 

 

It is a bold assumption, but with so much love for the X-wing and TIE fighter PC games, I doubt they will pass up the opportunity to throw Ru Merleen into an X-wing cockpit.

 

I'm offended by the usage of that word for the area of the fighter where the pilot sits!

 

From now on, I insist that we call it the Non-Gender Specific Nether Region-Pit.

 

<_<

Edited by Mikael Hasselstein

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It is a bold assumption, but with so much love for the X-wing and TIE fighter PC games, I doubt they will pass up the opportunity to throw Ru Merleen into an X-wing cockpit.

 

I'm offended by the usage of that word for the area of the fighter where the pilot sits!

 

From now on, I insist that we call it the Non-Gender Specific Nether Region-Pit.

 

 

Cockpit is a word that evolved from the word Coxswain...  Last I checked its a term still used in the United States NAVY.  It has nothing to do with sex...  Ticks me off when people dirty up words that were evented at a time where said word was innocent. 

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There are no males or females on FFG, just users. So we shouldn't use the term females or women now? Does the PC instruction manual come with a man purse to carry it in, it must be pretty large after all.

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Mikael Hasselstein - So anything we can learn will be valuable. What are - generally speaking - the reasons women don't feel interested in our game or wanted by our community? Are there things that we can change that are beyond the obvious of being civilized human beings at the FLGS?

Is it that they don't feel wanted, or is it just us that are not wanted? Let's face it, we men in this are all just a bunch of gamer geeks.

Question solved.

Edited by Shado

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I run a regular D&D game with a group of old school gamers (folks who started back in the 70's) and we got to discussing the recent controversy and the issue of sexism in gaming in general. They talked about how back in the 70's and 80's there was some pretty nasty sexism in tabletop gaming. They told me about early conventions where female gamers were insulted and essentially attacked. 

In one case in the 80's at a convention one table responded to a female gamer showing up and joining them by (ingame) attacking her character, ****** said character and then abusing the character's corpse until the young woman left the table in tears. The DM apparently didn't do anything to stop them. 

 

I started tabletop gaming in the late 90's to early 00's and I'm grateful that in my time I've never really seen anything that atrocious at a table or at a con. Now I've seen behavior that awful online and in online gaming in general. 

 

The question of sexism in gaming is a very heavy one with a lot of strong feelings on both sides. I'd like to say that it's not a big an issue in tabletop gaming these days, but then I'm not a woman, and I've met some guys out there that have reminded me of Heinlein's saying that boys should be raised to the age of 18 inside of a barrel, and on their 18 birthday society decides if they should be let out or if a cork should be rammed into the hole. 

 

In Star Wars though, there is a certain level of sexism and racism (or specisim) in the setting itself. Look at the Empire, most pilots are human males and throughout it non-humans are treated as second class citizens. It's really only in the EU that we get any real fleshing out of the setting. Part of it that I always like was how the rebellion represented equality and hope. You got alien pilots and females of all species rising to defend themselves along with their male and "other" comrades. That's not to say you didn't get human female officers and pilots in the Empire, but it always seemed like they were in the minority. 

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The big issue here is that girls and boys are different.   It seems as if we are making a giant ASSumption here in blaming the community for the lack of girl gamers.   In my experience women are vastly more likely to be bored to tears by the game mechanics than mistreatment of her character's corpse.   There are games out there that have a stronger appeal to females, it is simply that the strategy, detail, and planning of X-Wing isn't one of them.   The entire range of White Wolf games, even before the current teen vampire craze, were aimed (quite brilliantly) at bringing female gamers to the table by focusing less on discrete details of gamplay and more on storytelling.   Personally, I can't stand White Wolf games, for those exact reasons.

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The big issue here is that girls and boys are different.   It seems as if we are making a giant ASSumption here in blaming the community for the lack of girl gamers.   In my experience women are vastly more likely to be bored to tears by the game mechanics than mistreatment of her character's corpse.   There are games out there that have a stronger appeal to females, it is simply that the strategy, detail, and planning of X-Wing isn't one of them.   The entire range of White Wolf games, even before the current teen vampire craze, were aimed (quite brilliantly) at bringing female gamers to the table by focusing less on discrete details of gamplay and more on storytelling.   Personally, I can't stand White Wolf games, for those exact reasons.

 

I'd say that in my experience, the White Wolf games had as close to a 50/50 split as I've ever seen. The focus of that brand tended to be more towards games that were story heavy rather than relying upon a heavily detailed and controlling rules system. What's interesting is that a lot of systems followed them in that direction while others popped up to appeal to gamers who preferred a more rules oriented (and probably strategy oriented as a result) experience. The vampire craze really kicked in with Anne Rice's work and it really made vampires popular and yes White Wolf's games were heavily influenced by the genre. But keep in mind that Vampire was kicking D&D's butt in sales and that was back when most RPG gamers were still male. Guys like a story heavy game as much as the next person. That being said, I can't stand most of the White Wolf line either. I liked Mage, but most of the settings were too nihilistic and emo for me. Or at least the GMs running them in my area ran them that way. I also got annoyed at how they turned werewolves into treehuggers. 

 

I've known a lot of female RPG gamers but only a few female wargamers. For a few years I was running an entirely (not counting myself of course) female group of players. And I'm talking about 1st and 2nd ed. old school D&D here not White Wolf. I'm not to sure about the extent to which the wargamming community is divided along gender lines though. Perhaps there's something about the rule systems that doesn't appeal to most female gamers. Then again, X-Wing has a very simple ruleset and is about as far away from something like Warhammer 40K as you can get. Which is a system that I utterly hate because of it's rule system and slow pace. So maybe X-Wing (if it has an abnormally small female following) is suffering from a bias held against all Wargamming? I know that I had zero interest in it (and I'm a HUGE star wars nerd) until I read a review on Kotaku that laid out how simple it was to get started and to play. 

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The interesting thing about discussions like this is that they fall apart because they become arguments rather than conversations. But at the same time, it's only by discussing these issues that we can learn and change (if appropriate given whatever the topic of the discussion). 

 

We come into these with beliefs that shape and guide how we intemperate what other say and how we respond. The most difficult part of it though is that many enter into these conversations from every possible side, knowing that they are RIGHT. And when you know you are right, you know that other people are wrong and it becomes difficult to understand how they could possibly believe what they believe. What we never (or very rarely) ask ourselves is "what if I'm wrong"? 

 

I don't mean that one side is right and the other is wrong. I mean that we rarely look at our beliefs and ask ourselves what it would take to convince us to change our beliefs. And it's not an easy thing to do by any means. Humans are narrative creatures. We define ourselves with stories, we shape our lives around stories, we form relationships with others and they become part of our personal stories. And when something challenges us, it shakes the foundations of our identities and even something as apparently superficial as a hobby or game can wound us and put us on the defense. 

 

In psychology, a general rule is that pain is part of growth and that people only change if they actually want to change. Sometimes we only try to change when the pain of changing, of growing is exceeded by the pain of continuing with a set of self-destructive beliefs or behaviors. 

 

Sometimes we have to ask "what if they're right and what if I'm wrong?" and other times we must ask "if they're wrong, why might they believe what they do?" It's by asking these tricky questions and trying to find answers that we learn, grow and become better people. And sometimes people will say that what we say doesn't matter or that it's silly to put any care or attention into something as superficial as an online message board. But that can be just a defense. A way to ignore a difficult question and maintain one's self-esteem. 

 

Remember, when we attack, verbally or physically, those around us go into a defensive stance automatically. And when we're in a defensive stance we will interpret everything we see as an attack and we'll start attacking back. 

We are defined by our actions and so we are what we write. 

Edited by Thenightgaunt

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So anything we can learn will be valuable. What are - generally speaking - the reasons women don't feel interested in our game or wanted by our community? Are there things that we can change that are beyond the obvious of being civilized human beings at the FLGS?

 

Is it that they don't feel wanted, or is it just us that are not wanted? Let's face it, we men in this are all just a bunch of gamer geeks.

Question solved.

 

Do you usually solve your questions without a shred of evidence to support your claim? The same is/was said of computer gamers, and now we have this Gamergate story. The thing is, many women do want to play video games, when that was also once seen as a male-exclusive zone. The same could easily become true of wargaming, but are we going to wind up being as rejecting as the videogamers have proven to be?

 

 

The big issue here is that girls and boys are different.   It seems as if we are making a giant ASSumption here in blaming the community for the lack of girl gamers.   In my experience women are vastly more likely to be bored to tears by the game mechanics than mistreatment of her character's corpse.   There are games out there that have a stronger appeal to females, it is simply that the strategy, detail, and planning of X-Wing isn't one of them.   The entire range of White Wolf games, even before the current teen vampire craze, were aimed (quite brilliantly) at bringing female gamers to the table by focusing less on discrete details of gamplay and more on storytelling.   Personally, I can't stand White Wolf games, for those exact reasons.

 

Again, the same was said of computer games - and it's been said of a LOT of things in the past, which are thankfully in the past. I think it's just too easy to say that women just don't want to do wargames because they're (supposedly) different. It's also frequently just an excuse for exclusion. Why not go one further and say that women aren't 'suited' for wargames? I'm something similar was once said about black people and golf or tennis. I know my dad still says it about black people and motorsports.

 

Okay, so maybe I'm making an ASSumption - but I'd rather err on the side of inclusion than just presume that they're different and don't want what we want. Given the history of that sort of argument, I feel that my caution is justified.

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Being a white male, I really don't feel I can comment on whether things like this are an indication of sexism with any degree of accuracy. I believe that nobody can truly know whether or not something is sexist or racist unless you're a member of the sex or race which is being targeted. And that can be a confusing thing in an of itself. I've seen an Asian man claim that The Phantom Menace wasn't racist, but rather it was the SJWs who were racists for perceiving a bunch of aliens as being caricatures of certain races (he argued that you wouldn't see this unless you automatically connected "slanted eyes and Engrish" with Asians and "funny-walking man" with Jamaicans). Was he correct? I don't feel it's my place to say, because I'm a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, as it were (not completely true, but not far off) and thus I believe I have no business determining what's racist in the eyes of Asians and Jamaicans.

 

The same is true of whether or not I'm being sexist against women. It's not about whether I intend to be sexist or whether I feel my behavior was sexist in hindsight in my own eyes. It's about whether or not women perceive my behavior as sexist against them. The saying from Batman Begins is very true in this regard: "It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me." And 99/100, it's another person who defines your actions.

 

As far as bubblepopmei, I believe that it's she who has the right to tell me if what I'm saying or doing is sexist, not me or any other guy. Personally, I try to treat everyone as human, not just male or female. It works most of the time. I hold doors for everyone I see if they're behind me, because it's a polite thing to do, not just because of chivalry of some kind. And if I think a girl or woman wants to play X-wing, I'll ask them and give them a fair opportunity to play it. I'll go easy on them, as I do all new players, male or female, so they'll get the hang of the mechanics before they have to deal with me.

 

That's really all I can do.

 

As far as female/male gamer population, it's probably not as wide a variance as it used to be, but any difference in size between one or the other is more an indication of society as a whole. Gender identity is still a strong thing to contend with, and many women would probably not want to play simply because they wouldn't feel comfortable playing it or are not interested in it because that's what society says women are supposed to dislike. Not all women feel this way, of course. But it's a trend, as far as I can tell, just like how men are not supposed to like shopping, sewing, or My Little Pony (hue-hue-hue, had to get that one in here, considering this is a gender identity topic as much as it is a sexism topic. :P ).

 

In any case, I feel the best thing we can do is be as welcoming as possible to all players, women and men alike, without being pushy. Offer the game as it is, extolling its virtues without saying things like, "I bet many girls like it" or "guys aren't the only ones who play." And if they want to play, then let them without either beating them into submission on the first go or being so easy on them that they feel bored. But if they don't want to, move on and ask the next person.

 

As far as gender equality in the pilot cards, as has been said, the creators are limited by the source material, plain and simple. Most of the heroes are male, and you have to include them because fans want to play them. But the new cast of Episode VII appears to have a slightly stronger female presence and Star Wars: Rebels has a 2/3 female/male ratio in its cast if you don't count Chopper (I always tend to think of droids as "it" anyway), so hopefully that's a good sign as far as source material for FFG and other writers. And if you think about it, the Legends thing could also bode well for the male-centric Star Wars universe, if more female protagonists and heroes are made from this.

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So anything we can learn will be valuable. What are - generally speaking - the reasons women don't feel interested in our game or wanted by our community? Are there things that we can change that are beyond the obvious of being civilized human beings at the FLGS?

 

Is it that they don't feel wanted, or is it just us that are not wanted? Let's face it, we men in this are all just a bunch of gamer geeks.

Question solved.

 

Do you usually solve your questions without a shred of evidence to support your claim? The same is/was said of computer gamers, and now we have this Gamergate story. The thing is, many women do want to play video games, when that was also once seen as a male-exclusive zone. The same could easily become true of wargaming, but are we going to wind up being as rejecting as the videogamers have proven to be?

 

 

The big issue here is that girls and boys are different.   It seems as if we are making a giant ASSumption here in blaming the community for the lack of girl gamers.   In my experience women are vastly more likely to be bored to tears by the game mechanics than mistreatment of her character's corpse.   There are games out there that have a stronger appeal to females, it is simply that the strategy, detail, and planning of X-Wing isn't one of them.   The entire range of White Wolf games, even before the current teen vampire craze, were aimed (quite brilliantly) at bringing female gamers to the table by focusing less on discrete details of gamplay and more on storytelling.   Personally, I can't stand White Wolf games, for those exact reasons.

 

Again, the same was said of computer games - and it's been said of a LOT of things in the past, which are thankfully in the past. I think it's just too easy to say that women just don't want to do wargames because they're (supposedly) different. It's also frequently just an excuse for exclusion. Why not go one further and say that women aren't 'suited' for wargames? I'm something similar was once said about black people and golf or tennis. I know my dad still says it about black people and motorsports.

 

Okay, so maybe I'm making an ASSumption - but I'd rather err on the side of inclusion than just presume that they're different and don't want what we want. Given the history of that sort of argument, I feel that my caution is justified.

So anything we can learn will be valuable. What are - generally speaking - the reasons women don't feel interested in our game or wanted by our community? Are there things that we can change that are beyond the obvious of being civilized human beings at the FLGS?

 

Is it that they don't feel wanted, or is it just us that are not wanted? Let's face it, we men in this are all just a bunch of gamer geeks.

Question solved.

 

Do you usually solve your questions without a shred of evidence to support your claim? The same is/was said of computer gamers, and now we have this Gamergate story. The thing is, many women do want to play video games, when that was also once seen as a male-exclusive zone. The same could easily become true of wargaming, but are we going to wind up being as rejecting as the videogamers have proven to be?

 

 

The big issue here is that girls and boys are different.   It seems as if we are making a giant ASSumption here in blaming the community for the lack of girl gamers.   In my experience women are vastly more likely to be bored to tears by the game mechanics than mistreatment of her character's corpse.   There are games out there that have a stronger appeal to females, it is simply that the strategy, detail, and planning of X-Wing isn't one of them.   The entire range of White Wolf games, even before the current teen vampire craze, were aimed (quite brilliantly) at bringing female gamers to the table by focusing less on discrete details of gamplay and more on storytelling.   Personally, I can't stand White Wolf games, for those exact reasons.

 

Again, the same was said of computer games - and it's been said of a LOT of things in the past, which are thankfully in the past. I think it's just too easy to say that women just don't want to do wargames because they're (supposedly) different. It's also frequently just an excuse for exclusion. Why not go one further and say that women aren't 'suited' for wargames? I'm something similar was once said about black people and golf or tennis. I know my dad still says it about black people and motorsports.

 

Okay, so maybe I'm making an ASSumption - but I'd rather err on the side of inclusion than just presume that they're different and don't want what we want. Given the history of that sort of argument, I feel that my caution is justified.

Ah, sorry, but I kind of figured that with how ridiculous my post was, that it would be obvious that I was joking.

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I'm not sure what people even plan to do with any information we might actually get out of the ashes of this discussion. Let's assume for a second that we did manage to nail down a couple of reasons that this game has such a gender imbalance. We'll also assume that it actually is unique to X-Wing, and not as prominent with other wargames. What then? 

 

If something about the rules is keeping girls from developing or maintaining an interest, then our options are to make fundamental changes to the game or just accept the gender imbalance and move on. Making dramatic changes is unlikely to happen, and historically wouldn't end well. Nobody wins.

 

If the theme (spaceships fighting each other) doesn't appeal to girls than little can be done. The girls who are interested in the game should obviously be greeted and treated with the level of courtesy we should show to any human being, but if a girl looks at the game and isn't interested what can you do? I wouldn't harass a guy to start playing it, I'm not going to do that to a girl just because "we need more girls playing this game". If anything the idea of specifically trying to recruit girls to play X-Wing sounds kind of creepy to me.

 

If the issue is people being rude or hostile to the girls that do show interest, than we need to shut that down immediately. I have no patience for that kind of behaviour and neither should anyone else. I won't treat someone better based on their race or gender but I won't stand for someone being treated worse for that reason either. That hasn't been an issue with my playgroup, but it could be a problem elsewhere. 

 

Basically, what I'm trying to get at here is making some kind of coordinated effort to get women playing this game seems really weird and unnecessary to me. If there are people being rude and driving away interested parties then we should step in enforce a little civility, but it could easily just be that girls aren't that interested in this game for a mix of reasons that don't have sexism as a cause. 

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Ah, sorry, but I kind of figured that with how ridiculous my post was, that it would be obvious that I was joking.

 

Oh, in that case, sorry for my rant. I don't know you well enough to know your intentions, and what you said is not all that outside of a common notion.

 

 

Being a white male, I really don't feel I can comment on whether things like this are an indication of sexism with any degree of accuracy. I believe that nobody can truly know whether or not something is sexist or racist unless you're a member of the sex or race which is being targeted. And that can be a confusing thing in an of itself.

 

...

 

As far as bubblepopmei, I believe that it's she who has the right to tell me if what I'm saying or doing is sexist, not me or any other guy. Personally, I try to treat everyone as human, not just male or female. It works most of the time. I hold doors for everyone I see if they're behind me, because it's a polite thing to do, not just because of chivalry of some kind. And if I think a girl or woman wants to play X-wing, I'll ask them and give them a fair opportunity to play it. I'll go easy on them, as I do all new players, male or female, so they'll get the hang of the mechanics before they have to deal with me.

 

I'm not sure I agree with this outsourced subjectivity. Yes, the recipient can feel the discrimination without the person who is expressing himself intending the discrimination. Sure, there is language that conveys a white-male-centered worldview, and sometimes we're slaves to our worldviews, but at the same time people with the right intentions shouldn't be discounted just because of a faulty choice of words.

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Basically, what I'm trying to get at here is making some kind of coordinated effort to get women playing this game seems really weird and unnecessary to me. If there are people being rude and driving away interested parties then we should step in enforce a little civility, but it could easily just be that girls aren't that interested in this game for a mix of reasons that don't have sexism as a cause. 

 

I too think that a coordinated effort is a step too far, especially because it could send the wrong message. Also, that's something that should be left to FFG's marketing department, if they wanted to go that route. I'm sure they could get volunteers to help, if they were to do such a thing. I think it would be a good idea for them to do something of that nature, if they did it intelligently.

 

Agreed on the enforcement of civility.

 

That last bit begs the question - what might it be about this game that turns girls (or women) off? What is it about women that make their interests at odds with X-Wing? I just don't buy it that women are inherently all that different when it comes to games. I do think that our culture says that certain thing are in the male sphere and other things are in the women's sphere, but I don't believe that culture is all that fixed.

 

Not long ago military service used to be a men only thing. Now my little sister is in the army, while I'm a teacher. I have many female students who say that they love video gaming, when that used to be a boy's thing. Like others said above, RPGs used to be seen as a men's thing, and then White Wolf turned that around.

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Being a white male, I really don't feel I can comment on whether things like this are an indication of sexism with any degree of accuracy. I believe that nobody can truly know whether or not something is sexist or racist unless you're a member of the sex or race which is being targeted. And that can be a confusing thing in an of itself.

 

...

 

As far as bubblepopmei, I believe that it's she who has the right to tell me if what I'm saying or doing is sexist, not me or any other guy. Personally, I try to treat everyone as human, not just male or female. It works most of the time. I hold doors for everyone I see if they're behind me, because it's a polite thing to do, not just because of chivalry of some kind. And if I think a girl or woman wants to play X-wing, I'll ask them and give them a fair opportunity to play it. I'll go easy on them, as I do all new players, male or female, so they'll get the hang of the mechanics before they have to deal with me.

 

I'm not sure I agree with this outsourced subjectivity. Yes, the recipient can feel the discrimination without the person who is expressing himself intending the discrimination. Sure, there is language that conveys a white-male-centered worldview, and sometimes we're slaves to our worldviews, but at the same time people with the right intentions shouldn't be discounted just because of a faulty choice of words.

 

 

You're free to disagree with it; I wouldn't hold it against you. Personally, my own beliefs are that it's better to be safe than sorry, and I dislike offending people because I usually try to make the world a better place, since it likely won't get that way on its own. I'd rather live in a society where people are people, not men or women. Recognizing differences while celebrating commonality.

 

I also believe that I am the one accountable for what I say and how I choose to say it. If I've said something to offend someone, then I'll apologize and try to do better next time (I do analyze what I said and see if it was really just them being overly sensitive, but that's beside the point here). I won't hold it to them to accept what I said and how I said it simply because I was ignorant of the proper way to say it, because it is I, not they, who control what I say and how it's said. Thus I try to be careful with my tone and choice of words, moreso on the internet because tone is difficult to convey properly online.

 

For the record, I do happen to live with a feminist roommate who is quite level-headed and has opened my eyes to the reality of the situation. I do find myself agreeing with her on many issues regarding women and how they're treated in society as a whole, so this definitely colors my judgement. But if the net result of this coloration is that I end up treating women equally well as I do men, then I figure that's just fine.

Edited by Millennium Falsehood

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NightGaunt's story about the girl getting bullied off the table is an aberration. I was there too in the 80's. Most of the time if we had a girl (or woman) in our game everyone would be stumbling over each other trying to out-white knight the other guy. We used the term "Con Cute" to describe a girl that if you had not been up for the last 38 hours playing in the D&D monster mash you would never give a second glance. My best buddy had a gamer girlfriend back in those days and all of us were floored that he didn't propose to her on the spot. She was even a solid 8 on the Con Cute scale! (which is like ~6ish) The deal with us organizers at the con was the struggle to attract more XX players to balance out the XY dominance, but without going full LARP...never go full LARP. 

 

My point here, is that every gaming culture needs a healthy female populace and mini's games are just now beginning to appeal to wimminnfolk. I tried inducting my wife into mini's gaming, but I stopped when I saw the glazed look in her eyes as I was explaining the rules. The only mini's game I have ever gotten her to play (and enjoy) was Crossbows and Catapults! She really likes making elaborate forts with the blocks, I'm not even kidding. But hey, C&C frigging rules, go orks!

 

Mini's games do seem like the final frontier in the gamer gender gap paradigm. But I think that's got an easy explanation: wargames are supposed to simulate war. Most games are played in a vacuum of context. Without any context, the violence appears to be cruel, and the sacrifices are pointless. If a game has a little narrative attached to it, things seem to go a lot better, and the actions that take place on the battlefield have added meaning. I think this would be the best way to onboard females into wargaming, since the biggest impediment to entry would be the whole violence without a purpose thing.

 

Take this how you will, but I believe males to be better conditioned to trivialize life or death consequences when they are set in a game environment. Childhood games like Cops & Robbers and Cowboys & Indians are games male children play that have flimsy grounds for violence. I never once as the Robber said, "Don't shoot officer! I just robbed that convenience store because I've been out of work for 5 years so I can take care of my paraplegic brother, and the disability check is late and we're fresh out of food for my cat that has a bad kidney! **** Siamese!" We just made bang noises and then argued about who got shot first.

 

Which brings us back to LARPing. They got all the hot chicks. And they should. The designers of LARPs understand that any violence needs to be backed up with cold hard intent, and 3 years of catty sniping over your rival's apparel...4 if you're playing Dying Kingdoms. 

Edited by Radzap

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You're right, I'm sure that kind of distinction is exactly what keeps women away from miniatures games.

So, for whatever reason we can no longer refer to women as 'females,' lest their feelings be hurt. Alright. How long will it be until someone takes issue with the term 'woman'? Etymologically, it comes from the Old English 'wife' + 'man.' I guess instead of referring to a woman with a term that is both purely technical and objective (they are females, aren't they?), it's more appropriate to refer to them by their defining social role and their association with the more dominant gender. That's much more fitting, and not anywhere near as sexist, dehumanizing, or insensitive, right?

You know that in Old English, "mann" has no connotation of "male", right? It literally translates as "person", and was used for both genders. You must know, because you know the etymology, which makes that comment more than a little disingenuous. "Wife" in that context doesn't relate to marriage either, it means "weaver". "Woman" therefore translates as "person who weaves".

The reason "female" as a noun is frowned upon is because it is commonly used as a pejorative, and I guarantee you know that too. You're a smart person, if a slightly annoying one :)

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The interesting thing about discussions like this is that they fall apart because they become arguments rather than conversations. But at the same time, it's only by discussing these issues that we can learn and change (if appropriate given whatever the topic of the discussion). 

 

We come into these with beliefs that shape and guide how we intemperate what other say and how we respond. The most difficult part of it though is that many enter into these conversations from every possible side, knowing that they are RIGHT. And when you know you are right, you know that other people are wrong and it becomes difficult to understand how they could possibly believe what they believe. What we never (or very rarely) ask ourselves is "what if I'm wrong"? 

 

I don't mean that one side is right and the other is wrong. I mean that we rarely look at our beliefs and ask ourselves what it would take to convince us to change our beliefs. And it's not an easy thing to do by any means. Humans are narrative creatures. We define ourselves with stories, we shape our lives around stories, we form relationships with others and they become part of our personal stories. And when something challenges us, it shakes the foundations of our identities and even something as apparently superficial as a hobby or game can wound us and put us on the defense. 

 

In psychology, a general rule is that pain is part of growth and that people only change if they actually want to change. Sometimes we only try to change when the pain of changing, of growing is exceeded by the pain of continuing with a set of self-destructive beliefs or behaviors. 

 

Sometimes we have to ask "what if they're right and what if I'm wrong?" and other times we must ask "if they're wrong, why might they believe what they do?" It's by asking these tricky questions and trying to find answers that we learn, grow and become better people. And sometimes people will say that what we say doesn't matter or that it's silly to put any care or attention into something as superficial as an online message board. But that can be just a defense. A way to ignore a difficult question and maintain one's self-esteem. 

 

Remember, when we attack, verbally or physically, those around us go into a defensive stance automatically. And when we're in a defensive stance we will interpret everything we see as an attack and we'll start attacking back. 

We are defined by our actions and so we are what we write. 

 

well said.  

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