Greedy Goblin

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Women and hearts

Sydera wrote a post about women in the game. I agree in most of her points (and it frightens me, I'd rather disagree her), women are not naturally worse players, doesn't cause more drama then man, don't want more free stuff (I'm sure that most of the "plx 10g" and "could u boost me in SM" come from males) and loving cute things is harmless and doesn't bother raiding.

However there is a field where there is a big difference between men and women and do affect both gaming and RL success. There is a reason for glass ceiling and I'm damn sure it's not discrimination.

I think the reason is being less heartless. I have no problem telling someone that "you are a useless dead weight and I want you out of my instance, idiot". While most males would not use such harsh language, most of them would obviously make comments about his performance in the hope that he gets ashamed and leaves on his own.

However most women considers altruism, helpfulness, being nice a value and try to live up to it. Even my girlfriend who is capable of /ignoring people and telling even friends that "sorry, your gear/skills are not there to come to this raid" is still trying to help people. If she would charge 200 gold/hour for explaining spell rotations and game mechanics for other players she would have more gold than me. I simply tell the same people to "read wowwiki and practice by the dummy".

Even Sydera herself is a good example to this. She comes to comment on my blog again and again with the obvious purpose of redeeming me from selfishness. She said: "And tell us if you make a friend or two--I would think that possibility alone would make it worth it." This line almost made me cry. (I laughed so hard that my tears came out)

I think most (=/= all) women lack the "coldness" to kick out someone who is not malign or evil, just weak and ignorant. And tolerating such beings is enough to be unable to down Malygos or have the "best department of the company". You can't be winner if there are boosted M&S in your team.

The statement that women are "more emotional" is not just an opinion, several scientific research backed it, like Baron-Cohen's EQ-SQ theory (women are usually better in understanding other people, man are better in understanding systems) or the "social smile" experiments (in which it was found that women are more likely to hide their negative feelings with smiles).

Of course this is not unchangeable fate. The male hormones, ape subroutines and social roles tell the man to be violent, yet most men are not violent criminals. The women could overcome their "natural" altruism too. Too bad that while the society outlaws violence, altruism is not only legal but even celebrated. So women has an unfair disadvantage here. It's much easier for a man to be non-violent than for a woman to be non-pushover.

So there is nothing that stops a woman from making 5500DP, tanking anything without error, or handle her rotten brokkoli better than I do. But (as I learnt the hard way) doing your job well is the easy part. Making the other 9/24 do their job is the hard part. I'm afraid most (=/= all) women are too "soft" to do what must be done in this case.

The same applies to real world business. A woman can be just as good engineer or financial analyst as a man. But when it comes to throw out thousands of "innocent" people from the company in the middle of the recession, where chances of finding a new job are slim, and the consequences of unemployment are losing their loaned home and literally be out in the cold dark, I'm afraid most (=/= all) woman would fail. That's why they are below the glass ceiling.

PS: against a common mistake: I'm not saying that women are unable to fight. Hell they can. But it's one thing to fight someone who attacked you, shown hate to you or did something that you consider evil or "asshole". On the other hand hurting someone who did not hurt you on purpose, shown nothing but good intention, but proven to be incompetent, that's a bit different.

PS2: Ayn Rand was a woman (that's surprise for me after reading a lot from her), so the "women are soft" is definitely not a fate. I hope more and more women overcome her altruism.


Megan said...

That's why I'm a Lock, I have no heart.

Larísa said...

Oh it's time for another Gender discussion to come up again. It goes in waves in the Blogosphere every six months or so. I've posted about it earlier, so I'm not sure if I'll join the choir this time.
I think the problem when you bring up the issue, arguing against prejudices against female players, is that you reinforce the stereotypes by pointing at them over and over again. Even if your intention was every so good.
About the glass ceiling: the question is what your puropse in life is. If success in business really is what brings the biggest happeness. Who's the winner and who's the loser? May be worth thinking about twice.
About altruism: look around among the bloggers. One of those speaking most about the importance of being decent and nice to others is definitly male: Big Bear Butt. And there are several more of those around. I'm not so sure that this stereotype you're suggesting really is valid in WoW.

Esdras said...

My misses ina noob in the highest degree, she has been playing 2 years and still has no idea (honest).

Most females i come accross on my realm are the same BUT when i played eve online before WOW some of the female players were the best i had seen.

Most of the top pirates who were all pretty heartless were all female.

Sydera said...

I know you've got it in for me, goblin, but I'll try to explain so that you can understand about the difference between gender and personality. One of the major aspects of my personality--independent from me--is that I try to be polite to all people, even the ones who make me angry. There's enough women accused of being bitches that it probably isn't general for our gender.

You and I have different life philosophies. I don't think most people would scoff at the idea of friendship. That's pretty unique to you, and not typical of the male gender.

I'm a fan of BBB--I think Larísa's right in that our personal philosophies of how to treat others in game are similar, and BBB is an ex-marine I think.

Yzy said...

So making ppl suffer for "perceived" winnings is not in most women?

Put them in charge!

Neil said...

The "niceness" of women you're referring to is, I would argue, a product of nurture and not nature. From day one, men are bombarded with messages telling them to be strong and powerful and "manly" and women are bombarded with messages telling them to be kind and gentle and "womanly" in all actions. Many men manage to rise above this to display empathy, and many women manage to rise above this and display strength.

"There is a reason for glass ceiling and I'm damn sure it's not discrimination."

The entire academic study of this subject, barring a few far-right nuts, would beg to differ. I can certainly tell you from my own experience that female software engineers are treated differently (generally worse) regardless of their ability.

Your response to Sydera's comment makes me wonder: Are you actually opposed to friendship? That would put you even deeper into the "selfish" end of the spectrum than Ayn Rand and her acolytes ...

Cuthbert said...

"Too bad that while the society outlaws violence, altruism is not only legal but even celebrated."

I don't even know how to respond to that. Whether gender roles develop mostly from culture or evolution is a question for experts, not gamers.

It is nice to see that the problem in society you lament is altruism rather than poverty or global warming.

Runycat said...

This is so wildly inaccurate that I actually logged onto my second computer so I could come to the site directly and comment. You boldly quote scientific studies that label women as more "emotional," but you seemingly fail to realize that emotional does not mean "weak."

Emotion means fire, passion. Apparently, you seem to think that women are incapable of making "tough" decisions and automatically swerve toward the "rehabilitate" rather than "exterminate" side of the fence. This reads as though you haven't met many women, are trying to cover your tracks at the very end, and makes a series of assumptions without actual backing. You certainly haven't met me, so I'll do a little educating.

I have a particular verve, competitive spirit, and shortness of temper that demands I do everything in life to the best of my abilities--and if that means deconstructing idiots and nay-sayers along the way, I'm more than happy to oblige.

I have absolutely zero problems kicking people from guild/raids who don't perform to my standards, and I have no problem telling them exactly why they failed. I delight in it. You don't have to be emotionally involved with an individual to summon up the wherewithal to be critical. You have absolutely no idea what women are capable of, and your particular breed of gender stereotyping based on misread science is the perfect example of exactly why the so-called "Glass Ceiling" exists.

Why perpetuate societal fallacies? Hundreds of thousands of women put aside the nurture-notion of children and family and gentle fading into the background and relentlessly pursue their careers to the top. Are they incapable of being cold? Cruel? Tough? How did they get to the top without being ruthless and stepping on a few heads along the way? Good intention is fabulous, but it doesn't get you anywhere in life if your actions can't back it up. We know this.

Additionally, I'm unsure of why you assign "altruism" as a womanly trait. Sure, I like to be helpful occasionally, when someone merits it or when I'm feeling particularly magnanimous. So do half of the male bloggers out there. What sort of "reward" comes from blogging besides interacting with a readership? Why does "altruism" have to be a trait that persists 100% of the time? It doesn't.

We all have the capability to accomplish incredible greatness, all have the capability to selflessly promote what we think may be good and righteous, and we certainly all have the capability to switch off our emotions and do what's absolutely necessary.

The longer we cling to ridiculous ideas about what women can or can't do, the longer rampant inequality will exist.

Tobold said...

in witch it was found that women are more likely to hide their negative feelings with smiles

Freudian typo, Gevlon?

Nevertheless I do not believe in your assumption that maximum ruthlessness leads to maximum success. You do not always have the option to kick people out of your raid / company. Sometimes you need to be nice to people, because you depend on them, and have no power over them. If women are better at that, more power to them!

xxxiii said...

"This is a World of Warcraft realated blog, focusing on making money in the AH" - This no longer seems to be the case.

There is good info to be had from older articles on this site, but I'm seeing increasingly fewer posts relevant to the WoW AH.

It now seems to be about making emotionally charged attacks on other bloggers. Buck up man. Find your goblin spirit.

Anonymous said...


Even in situations where you can't kick people out of the raid (Healers on a low pop server), I think the argument would say that men would still be able to assess the situation more rationally rather than passionately.

@Feminists in general
Women and men are different, stop pretending like everything about us is the same. It's not. You can start by looking in your pants.

Men and women can do the same things. They won't do the same things in the same way.

Lupius said...

On Black Dragonflight (H) two of the prominent raiding guilds have women as GMs. That's why we can't progress as fast and at least 1/5 of the raid expect to be carried.

Sydera said...

Feminists don't deny the difference between men and women. In fact, most celebrate it.

What we want, essentially, is equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunity. That doesn't mean that we think men and women are just big green blobs with no differentiation. We just don't think one is better than the other. We recognize that gender colors one's experience of the world. How could it not? I personally--and I self-identify as feminist--don't think that difference is a justification for limiting women's opportunities. There are all kinds of different social categories, based on race, gender, sexuality, religion, class--I don't discriminate against anyone on the basis of what category they belong to, regardless of the particular way in which they differ from me.

We all have biases and prejudices that we grew up with--as adults, we can rethink them. I strive to do that every day.

Gevlon said...

@Sydera: I completely agree that no one shall be barred from any chance.

Maybe I was unclear. When I said women are not X, I do NOT mean that women should be any way stopped or even discouraged from trying it. I merely say that much more men will be X than women.

Typical example: "women are physically weaker". It does not mean that there are no woman stronger than me and NO WAY it means that I would try to even discourage a woman from sports. I just mean that there are more man who can lift 50kg than women.

I strongly believe that we are masters of our fate and we can overcome our biological determination. I'm capable to control my violent motives and I can use the shower to get rid of my "natural" smell.

My only problem with feminists is that they blame men for the failures of women. While parents and school can be blamed for giving "girly" toys and activities, as an adult we can overcome our nurturing.

Tego said...

reading Runycat's comment just made me chuckle. Has anyone ever noticed that when you use statistics and are using them correctly the edge condition comes out of the woodwork to tell you that you are wrong. Instead of thinking "hey maybe I am part of that population that doesn't fit the statistic norm." the points made would be completely valid if he had said that all women were like X, but he was careful to say that most is not all. just my 2c

Kimbo said...

Whats interesting here is your use of the ape subroutine and male violence.

I understand that completely. I am by my own nature a very violent person when compared to others. I grew up defending kids in my neighborhood from bullies by well beating them up. I continued that when I played sports like Hockey,I played the enforcer roll and played it well. I dabbled in boxing and martial arts and got a college degree went out to the working world and lo and behold I learned my first lesson of the real world. I could use my violent tendencies to enforce moral and ethical decisions upon others that quite frankly needed it.

Do you get what I am saying?

You can suggest that by "telling" someone they are awful or taking someone's money or job by economical manipulation and not expect true reaction from people in today's "society".

Yes the Elephant killed that guy. Because he did what any elephant would probably normally do.

So why is that when a human being says or acts in such a despicable way we tolerate there actions and react in such a neutered way to it. Words in essence are meaningless when the person who says or does such morally or ethically wrong things can face no consequences for them.

Most people and I will include you in that most people group, will continue to do things that morally and ethically wrong and will suffer no consquences for them.

I wonder if we were all in the same room with no constraints would people truly say or write the things they do?

Monkeytree said...

Real people's emotions are worth more to me than imaginary money. To me, in-game gold is just a means to an end, and the end is to have fun with other players, and share adventures.

Maybe that's why I'll never be a hardcore raider, so perhaps that puts me in a minority.

Having said that, I do agree with pretty much everything you say, Gevlon - but it's a case of priorities, and real stuff is more important than imaginary stuff, to me.

Great blog, by the way!

Runycat said...


I'm hardly someone who's worked her way out of the wordwork, and I'm definitely not a statistical outlier--unless nearly every other chick I know is as well.

Time change. We'd all do well to keep up with it.

Hatch said...

I SO called that you are an Ayn Rand fan!

Gevlon said...

@Runycat: 90% of the people I know have university diploma or even PHD. Yet most people of the world don't have such things. Just because people you know are one type it doesn't mean all people are your type.

@Hatch: yes, how embarassing: I read her for years, and just learned that she is a woman.