[ETA: follow-up here. Oh, those sillies.]
Reader The Other Patrick sent us this link: http://www.teamliquid.net/blogs/viewblog.php?topic_id=147426 [Ed. Note: which they have since locked so you have to join the forum to read it – 11-3-10] in which a female video gamer asks on a Starcraft2 forum if there are other female gamers interest in starting a women-only clan. The very first response is a male gamer demanding she post a picture of herself, and it goes downhill from there. Seriously.
The next response is a second demand for pictures. Eventually she says she doesn’t want to share pictures of herself, but will post a picture of her cat (and does). The next comment: “She just posted pics of her pussy! you happy now?”
Pretty much every single post is sexual harassment, until about the third or fourth page. She’s assured her community will be very small if she keeps the “vast majority” of the players out by not including men. Someone even pulls out the “What about the gayz” argument on the basis that gays aren’t allowed into “man-clans” so if the women-only clan doesn’t allow them, the poor gays will have to make their own clan. Turns out there are already gay-only clans.
Finally, a moderator tells the guys to stop trolling or they’ll be banned, but no comments are edited or anything. Someone handwrings about how folks would feel if anybody made a male-only clan, or whites-only, but it turns out there are quite a few male-only clans already – oh, the irony. Someone else questions the original poster’s actual gender, suspecting “she” is actually male.
Perhaps the most ironic comment in the thread is: “Good luck with your female only team. I remember there being a handful on west back in the day, but I don’t think any of them ever stuck around too long. Probably being too catty with one another.” YEAH, THAT WAS THE REASON. The entire thread answers a whole lot of questions about “girl gamer” behavior.
Then an administrator comes in and says: “Most girls on this site that are interested in competitive SC play with guys. DrH nailed it and i really dont see this going any where.”
Then someone suggests there should be a battle of male and female clans, and the response is: “When the girls lose the guys should say “rape”.
Anybody getting any meta-messages here? The response, including that from the administrator, is basically, “Sure, bitch, do what you want, but show us your tits and comply with all future sexual demands from all of us, and once you’ve done those chores you can do your little female only thing to your heart’s content in whatever spare time you have left, only we’ll be cyber-harassing all the other bitches, too, so they’ll probably be too busy to join your little club of whores.”
Then a woman comes in on the misogynist’s team: “There are sexists and perverts online and offline. Girls who don’t understand that already have no business being on the internet… If you ask me, she’s totally asking for it. Why would you even put a pic up there if you weren’t asking for someone to comment on the way you look?” By the way, it’s not a pic of the gamer herself, it’s a pic of someone the poster should recognize if she works at eSports, as she claims.
It becomes apparent through the thread that there’s a bit of context us non-gamers may have missed: when a woman posts something about being a woman, the first thing other posters need to establish is whether she is genuine or “an attention whore.” Quite a bit of post dissection is devoted to this investigation, because no one ever admits they just hate women. Misogynists always provide a Real Good Reason why they hate women, and in the case of gamers, that “reason” is that, they claim, most women who game court the attention of boys and men who pursue them for cyber-sex. The Real Good Reason is then supported by evidence that is interpreted anyway it must be interpreted to support the Real Good Reason.
Over and over, women are advised not to tell anyone they are female if they want to avoid harassment. It’s their job to avoid harassment, you see, certainly not, say, that administrator’s job to shut down harassment. No, the only post that gets a warning is this one: “The question is why she is not in the kitchen making me a sandwich ?”
There are actually a number of comments pointing out the misogyny in this thread, and doing it well. It’s also interesting to note that the female eSports misogynist gets picked apart and trashed almost as badly as the original poster.
This thread also brings up something you should know about: Blizzard, a major gaming forum, had plans to introduce RealID to its forums. So that posters would be easily identified by, I dunno, long lost friends and people who want to teach that whore a lesson up close and personal. If they’re thinking RealID would out the stalkers before their potential victims, they really need to talk to some law enforcement personnel. ETA: Blizzard reluctantly pulled these plans in the face of major public opposition, but never expressed the slightest concern about cyber-stalking or privacy in general.