Monday, August 30, 2010

The Devil is sexist

There was a very heated discussion on The Noisy Rogue blog and other blogs replying his posts. It all started when he stated the obvious: "this game is full of teenage boys with no social repercussions for their in-game behavior. What is there to work out here? It’s going to be a free for all. It is a free for all. This doesn’t excuse it, but you are trying to swim against the tide if you think that you are going to change this."

He also states the obvious that a fantasy game targeted to this demographic will be openly sexist, representing females as eye-candy.

While reading his post I never had the feeling that it's controversial at all and did not expect any kind of debate to start, not to mention 100+ comments. He is right that it's just as interesting as a debate over "why there are fish in the sea".

I find myself arguing with feminists way more than I want to since I'm a supporter of the female equality and despise those who consider women sexual objects (that includes those people who dress up like sexual objects in public places). My arguments are based on the opinion that feminists are not using the proper tools, choosing wrong battles and if it's up to them, women will never be equal (luckily it's not up to them, it's up to those who believe in meritocracy).

The title came from a debate long-long that I had back in the University with a feminist. I can tell you that debating with the local feminist movement leader front of 200+ people is really nasty. So, she mentioned the "terrible oppression of women in Africa". I asked for examples. She told that the gangs of whatever tribe were mass-raping women. A bit of search revealed that they were also notorious for burning villages, cutting down people's arms and simply murdering everyone who were not in their tribe. However she was absolutely convinced that the fact that they raped women before killing them (while not raping men before killing them) make them sexists and a prime example of patriarchy.

The "yeah the Devil is sexist" reply surprised her a bit and let me answer longer (she just couldn't shut up for a second, making discussion a bit hard). So I explained that there are terrible people out there who do terrible things. They are most probably sexist too. But it's not the best idea to send propaganda to the rampaging tribal gangs to tell them that women should be killed equally as men or they will give a bad impression in the liberal Europeans. The core problem (gangs rampaging free) should be fixed and as a side-effect, their sexist activity will disappear.

The same problem exists here in WoW. Large segment of the audience are complete morons. They are 0/0/71 DKs who demand freebies, litter the chat, "gogogo", blame he tank for their death while doing less damage than him. They are annoying and unpleasant experience to anyone who is unlucky enough to bump into them. Yes, they are sexists too. They are cybering with a pair of naked blood elf girls on the top of Orgrimmar bank (or a pair of naked human girls in Goldshire). They are telling sexists "jokes". They are telling female players to "stfu u justa girl u shuld be sukking my cok". But the sexist aspect of their idiocity is not separable from their overall idiocity.

Feminists think that sexism is an idea on its own and try to fight it. Maybe it was an idea back in the XIX century. Now it is not. I haven't read a single thinker in the Western literature who claimed that women are/should be second class or inferior to men. Sexism now is a symptom of being stupid, just like the 0/0/71 talent or the anal jokes on trade chat. They are consequences of a cause and cannot be fixed alone.

The solution is fighting against overall stupidity as with its disappearance, sexism disappears automatically. The PuG is completely free of sexism, simply because all forms of stupidity and pointless social chit-chat are forbidden. You can't insult women on /gchat simply because any kind of "joke" is offtopic and forbidden.


Now the game design being sexist seems a different issue but it's not. The game is exactly what its audience wants it to be. Blizzard is an ethic-less company, responding only to market factors. If the audience is a bunch of morons who jerk off watching cybering blood elf girls, then the blood elves are designed to be sexy. Anything else would be bad business.

You can petition to Blizzard to hurt its income to make the game more politically correct but it will fall on deaf ears. The solution is to drive out the morons from the game. Remember that they don't want to be losers, that's why they are all about gearscore. If the intelligent people would not boost them, they would soon leave the game, changing its audience. Blizzard would respond by re-designing the game to its new audience.

-----------------------------------
The moron story for today by Jason: this level 60 DK, Soneya, comes up to me in Hellfire Peninsula to beg my level 58 warlock, Jadega, for some gold. After I politely refuse to give him some he has a tantrum and challenges me to a duel:

69 comments:

Ablimoth said...

"Sexism now is a symptom of being stupid"

A truer word has ne'er been spoken.

Winter Seale said...

Not directly on your topic but...

"(that includes those women who dress up like sexual objects)."

And this is where this feminist takes issue with you. In the right context, choosing to be a sexual object can be a lot of fun-- and there's nothing wrong with that. Being used -as- a sexual object, on the other hand, is not. What I mean by this, is that there is a significant difference between consciously choosing to present in a way that's sexually provocative in your culture, and having women's bodies used as a means to an end by others. It comes down to personal agency.

Re: the groups committing genocide and mass-rape
Modern feminism has added the term kyriarchy, which may have been more of what you were pushing at. That there may be systematic oppression of women in these societies but it's overwhelmed by other forms of oppression. That the problem is the systems people in power use to stay in power. The focus on feminism as the primary form of oppression is a deeply western middle-class white way of thinking.

"I haven't read a single thinker in the Western literature who claimed that women are/should be second class or inferior to men."

Well, you don't live in the US. There are plenty of US politicians, pundits, etc, that explicitly say these things. For instance, "I think [women] should be armed but should not vote...women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it...it's always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care."
That was said by Ann Coulter. Most other right-wingers who feel this way try to be a little more subtle, coaching things in terms of how they were "better" before womens lib, the end of segregation, etc.

Winter Seale said...

So to actually reply to the point of your post... =p


I do think your rules will essentially eliminate sexism, largely because they eliminate gender disclosure, and explicitly creates the space as a non-social one.

There are a few places where sexism could be expressed in the PuG, but far fewer then in a traditional guild. In particular, raid leaders can decline to invite anyone they want and could do this on the basis of how they read people's genders. (Of course, nothing says that this hypothetical raid leader actually read the victim's gender correctly, but that doesn't change my point.)

That said, I suspect this doesn't happen, due to the type of culture you've encouraged. That is, one based on measured performance.

"But the sexist aspect of their idiocity is not separable from their overall idiocity."
I don't think that's actually true. I do think they're related but if it was socially frowned on to be sexist, then they wouldn't behave that way because they want to fit in. And for everyone, but especially these people, belief follows behavior. Now it's certainly less socially acceptable to be sexist now then it was, say, 50 years ago. But there are still plenty of spaces where that world view is encouraged. The ability to be blind to this is an important part of what's meant when people speak of privilege, incidentally.

Eenheid said...

You seem mostly right in this analysis as it pertains to WOW. One interesting point about the real world though:

If someone who was not an idiot (or at least not in the same category of idiots you describe) thought that females should be second class citizens, it would be incredibly un-politically correct (in most Western countries) for that person to say so.

Harems still exist in some parts of the world, as does polygamy. There are some pseudo convincing (not to me) arguments people could make (like women are weaker, or can only make 1 offspring every 9 months, or they are too emotional) to support sexism from an 'enlightened' perspective, and not as a symptom.

Who knows if such people exist though, or how many if they do -- it would be very unwise of them to speak up in most cases and we would never know.

jinx said...

What about "awwh look im a girl pay attention to me ^____^" girls and guys that actually do pay attention to them?

And some of them are a far far away from being M&S, but they still fell for those "girls ^_____^".

How to deal with those groups, just ignore?

Anonymous said...

"If Devil existed, he would be sexist" would be a bit better title :)

I am afraid though, that it's, at the best, extremely difficult to fight stupidity and it's friends. The reasons are many, but mainly because they are stupid. Yeah the previous sentence may doesn't make much sense but it's the best sum up i can think of this moment.

I am just wondering by the way, is this rally against M&S your virtual projection of a rally that you can't bother/aren't able to do in real life? Because the causes, thoughts, responses and actions are far too deep and "solid" to be created just for a game.

(Of course i may have made totally false assumptions.)
Your friendly anonymous

Oh, nice post by the way.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe all sexism results from stupidity. I believe sexism can result from selfishness. People who play non paladin classes are always requesting paladin nerfs on the forums. If class is to wow as gender is to real life you can think of sexists as those wanting an advantage over others whether or not it is deserved.

Gevlon said...

@Winter Seale: If I SAY that "women should be raped" but actually don't rape anyone, I'm still harming women since there are morons out there who want to rape women and consider my words support for their will. So saying such things is considered bad. Dressing as a sexual object (in a place where random morons can see you) has the same effect, support their idea that women in general should be raped. So these women (while having fun in their personally decided sexual provocativeness), are harming the women in general.

"Women should be armed but not vote" definitely came from someone with less brain cells than necessary for survival. It cannot be part of any reasonable philosophy. Allowing someone who is too stupid to vote to bear arms is nonsense.

While raid leaders can exclude people based on their misbeliefs, they are harming THEMSELVES (and those who follow them) and not their targets. In a meritocratic system any kind of unfair exclusion punishes itself.

Social frowning does not work on sexism the same way as it works on racism. Sexism is fueled by simple animal instincts. I want to fuck you, so I make up an "ideology" that makes it right. I can also make up ideologies about people who frown on me (hairy legged feminists and ugly loser male liberals are saying that because no one wants to have sex with them). The point is that one is strongly and personally motivated to have sex with as many times as possible, while the motivation for racism is group-social (my group is superior, so I am superior). The solution is an overall controll of one's mind over one's body and life, aka "fighting overall stupidity".

@Eenheid: the anonimity of the internet would allow one to speak his mind openly. He does not THINK that women are second class, he is not thinking at all, just follow his instincts that tell him to have sex with as many females as possible.

@Jinx: attention-seekers are a different issue (even if they use sexual means to get the attention), and yes, they should just be ignored.

@Anonymous: in real life they have too many lame excuses ("I was born poor", "my dad was bad", "my boss hates me", "my teacher has favorites"). In WoW the field is even. There is no other reason for failure than BEING failure.

Gevlon said...

@Last anonymous: then where is the "female sexism"?

Larísa said...

nWell. As I've stated before in a couple of blog posts I think too that the road to a change of how women are portrayed in for instance WoW rather goes through action than through talking. If we conquer the top of the game, if we fight for access to Blizzards HQs, I think the game will change slowly. From the inside. Just like society is changing now. WoW will reflect that, even though I too can think it goes annoyingly slow. However I don't agree wtih Adam's very strong statements where he basically tells the women to get the hell out of "his" game and not even bother to open their mouths. He denies other players to have an opinion about the game, dismissing everyone who questions why for instance the new goblin faction leader couldn't be a female, as "political correct" and annoying special interest representatives. Bunching everyone up. That is very un-cool. I can't see why we can't talk about the sterotypes in WoW just as we talk about the changes to the hunter class. I don't deny Adam his right to express his views, so why does he deny others the same? We should be able to stay civilized.
I find the entire discussion last week and the atmosphere of it utterly depressing.

Anonymous said...

saying women cannot dress provocatively is just as sexist as saying they must.

It is still saying they must modify their actions or beliefs based on their sex.

That is sexism. It doesn't have to have to do with objectifying women, raping them, or anything else like that.

All sexism is, is placing a different judgment or system of rules on a person because of their sex.

Prime example of this: Western society objectify women (according to feminists) and dresses them up in scanty little outfits. That is sexist. Some Middle Eastern society shroud their women in a giant blanket/veil/burka. That is the exact opposite that westerners do but is still sexist. And the reason the two things are sexist is because they force the women into a different system of rules then men.

Anonymous said...

The stereotype that rings true unfortunately often is that some people play WoW for the ego boost they're unable to get from their failings in real life. It makes an easy appeal to take pride in something you had nothing to do with, like being born a certain race or sex.

Similarly, the worst things spouted off in WoW aren't necessarily things that person believes, they're merely trolling. They know they're smarter than someone who would actually believe those things and they also baited someone into wasting their time responding to it. People are all too willing to believe the trolls are legitimate because lecturing an idiot makes them feel smarter in comparison.

This is also why I conditionally advocate for "M&S" and "socials", someone isn't necessarily a moron or slacker simply for being less invested in a specific activity, especially one as irrelevant as gaming. You're obviously not obligated to carry said people if your guild culture or progression expects more of them, but when evaluating a person in general I tend to look at things like how intuitive the mechanic is for someone of normal intelligence but lesser game experience or how they respond to good information when it's presented to them.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous with burka: then I reformulate my statement: "people regardless sex should not dress sexually provocatively in public places". However it is equal to "women should not...", because men (in our culture) don't do that. But just for academic feminists I change the text.

@Larísa: Adam did NOT say that. He said that WoW is crawling with adolescent boys saying that. He did not tell women has no right to open their mouth. He said it's pointless to argue with adolescent boys. He is not supporting the sexism in WoW, he just says it's obvious and cannot be changed. I disagree with this, but it does not make him sexist, just pessismist.

Larísa said...

@Gevlon: I'm afraid I read Adam another way than you do. I tend to try to see the best in everyone - and for the longest I tried to see what Adam really was trying to say. I used my very best pink glasses, I assure you!

But all I could see was repeted claims that anyone who thought that WoW could be less full of old, stupid, worn out stereotypes, should get the fuck out of his game. Over and over again this was said.

I've chosen to take a step back though from the rip-each-other-into-pieces argumentation. Not because I don't care, because I do. But I'm done for this time. Talking and arguing is fine, but excuse me, I've got to go, I have some dragons to kill.

Winter Seale said...

Gevlon...

Dressing as a sexual object (in a place where random morons can see you) has the same effect, support their idea that women in general should be raped.

The idea that being sexually attractive encourages rape is to radically misunderstand rape. Rape is about power and control and only incidentally about sex. Need for sexual release is not what produces rape.

The reality is that dressing provocatively might increase your chances of being harassed by assholes, but it won't substantially change the likelihood of being raped.

Knowing this, the rest of the argument against dressing provocatively just becomes discussion of controlling women's bodies.

While raid leaders can exclude people based on their misbeliefs, they are harming THEMSELVES (and those who follow them) and not their targets. In a meritocratic system any kind of unfair exclusion punishes itself.

Oh I agree, and in the context of WoW I think it's ok to let that follow out. But the same argument is made for real-world businesses, and even slavery in the US. It may well be true that given enough time, the economic ineffecincies of non-merocratic systems will cause them to fail, but it puts the suffering of those oppressed as less important then the individual liberty of the oppressors.

Social frowning does not work on sexism the same way as it works on racism. Sexism is fueled by simple animal instincts. I want to fuck you, so I make up an "ideology" that makes it right.

This argument seems bizarre to me. I don't buy that sexual desire is somehow "wrong" and thus needs an "ideology" that makes it right. I question the idea that in a cultural vacuum it would naturally develop.

But I take issue with another idea here, which is that men are somehow solely responsible for the maintenance of sexist systems. Sexist women play a large role here too. For instance, that quote from my first post is from Ann Coulter, who yes, does seem quite crazy to most of us, but also is a lawyer and pundit (and, horrifyingly, has drafted actual national legislation).

Squishalot said...

Good post, I don't really have anything much to add.

Anonymous said...

You usually are complementary of Blizzard Activisions marketing and business prowess. Thus, it stands to reason that if somehow , against all odds, people were to quit boosting M&S and their gearscore, then wouldn't Blizzard change the game to overcome that? Why would Blizzard possible allow that to happen? I assume Blizzard want to continue growing their revenue and subscribers. If they ever were to reach 20 million subscribers, almost all of the people you refer to today as M&S would be above average.

I don't think that there are many people who are as worked up about this as you are, so not much will happen. But if it were to start to happen, I would think Blizzard would work to counter this. E.g., if about the time of the 15 or 20$ ICC nerf, you could start buying 277 gear with triumph badges, the profitable millions could continue raising their gearscore.

Gevlon said...

@Winter Seale: I know the literature of rape and I did NOT claimed that dressed sexually provocative increase the chance of YOU being raped. The "harassment of assholes" is indeed the problem. Your clothing induce ideas in the assholes that women are sexual objects. Sexists don't rape strangers simply because they don't know them. They consider women the property of men and they don't want to damage the property of a man they don't know. They will rape someone they believe to be "theirs" or "no ones". In short: provocative clothing contributes to an overall sexist culture.

I believe "the suffering of those oppressed as less important then the individual liberty of the oppressors" because in most cases the "oppressed" are simply losers. I'm fully aware that this thinking has serious collateral damage but it's still better than the "let's help the weak".

Sexual desire is "wrong" in the sense that we live in a society where people live in pairs and excercise their sexuality in such relationships. These norms were created to maintain stable families to raise children. Having out-of-relation sex is frowned upon and therefore one needs some kind of "ideology" to not feel guilty about it. "Those bitches deserve a lesson" fits perfectly.

thenoisyrogue said...

Gevlon,

Reading your post this morning has been a blast of fresh air. Thanks for understanding what I was trying to say.

/salute,

Adam.

Adnade said...

The fact that most girls/women playing this game are shit at it (with small exceptions) doesn't help their case, not to mention the constant attention whoring that quite a few guilds are blessed with from their female members.

Gevlon said...

@Last anonymous: Blizzard would battle against the exclusion of M&S but it is a battle they cannot win, simply because every tool they give the M&S is given to us too. They nerfed ICC so morons can kill Saurfang. But due to the same nerf we kill Saurfang HM.

Socials want not the epics themselves but positive view from peers. Blizzard can't give it to them, only we can.

Gevlon said...

@Adnade: that's just another "the Devil is sexist" example. Yes, women in the social guilds are often attention whores. But the WHOLE social guild is bad, full of attention seeking kiddies, lollers, freebie beggars and such filth. The attention whore is doing it because she is a useless social and not because she is a woman.

Adnade said...

No Gevlon, this is not an issue only common in social guilds. I've been raiding "hardcore" since spring 2005 and generally in top 50~, so I could say I have quite an extensive experience with various type of women who play the game at that level. Very few of them are actually good at the game, I think I met 5~(?) tops. The majority are mediocre and always playing the gender card if something doesn't go right. You'd also be shocked to see the degree of attention whoring that goes there as well. There are several scandals along the years that happened in high profile guilds.

The sexist attitude in the game doesn't come just from the drooling teenagers alone it also stems from the extensive bad experiences people usually have with female players, on all fronts.

Gevlon said...

@Adnade: ANY citations about such issues in "high profile guilds"?

Adnade said...

DnT had some drama in it a few years ago, for example, involving some camwhore. There was even an entire thread on their forums concerning various specimens like that and not always from casual random guilds.

I can't remember exact details, but here's a hint to it in this interview, for example: http://www.sk-gaming.com/content/16368-The_Sunwell_Race_Death_and_Taxes (at the bottom).

This is mainly vanilla/TBC stuff, I could probably dig more from other guilds, if you're really interested

Adnade said...

http://afkgamer.com/archives/2008/03/13/death-taxes-guild-drama/

I do remember now some drama from vanilla regarding a girl in one of the most consistent guilds in top 20~, but sadly I'm not gonna discuss it here since one of the persons involved is a friend and it was never something public.

Adnade said...

http://www.werkkrew.com/2008/09/30/no-girls-allowed/

A good read for further insight and from this point on, you can search on your own >:C

Bobbins said...

Wow is not sexist. There is no problem with the current male/female roles and NPC's. All I can see is people stirring up trouble for its own sake.
I may be wrong but the original points were more than the sexual imaginery of wow it was more about changing wow to make it more women 'friendly'.

Pink/Blue

Wildhorn said...

@Winter Seale: "Well, you don't live in the US. There are plenty of US politicians, pundits, etc, that explicitly say these things."

I don't see how this invalidate Gev's point. We all know US is one of the stupidest country.

Lamepun of Dreadmaul said...

I recently read an academic article suggesting that using an economic analysis for sex, where women are suppliers and men consumers, provides a fairly accurate explanation for many behaviours seen in the real world.

Part of the analysis suggested that insulting a woman for dressing too provocatively (amongst other behaviours perceived to lower the value of sex) stems more from women attempting to keep the price of sex high in an attempt to manipulate the market in much the same fashion as an oligopoly, rather than men who are seen as the conventional perpetrators of sexism.

Sexism - stupidity, or rational behaviour on the part of women who want maximum value for their goods?

The article is available in full text here:

www.csom.umn.edu/Assets/71503.pdf

While not directly tied to WoW, I'd be very interested to see what you make of it.

Kristine Ask said...

@Adnade

I call bullshit.

If a girl gamer likes attention, but isn't a great player - it's attributed to being a girl. If a guy gamer likes attention, but isn't a great player - he's simply a twat.

This is why we cant have nice things

DKS said...

When I was a kid, I used to wonder why I hadn't ever read some of the obvious things I've though about. Being a conscious up-and-coming youngster, I decided to write about "Duh, Apples are red and sometimes green".

The results were hilarious and pathetic at best.

I've since stopped doing it, and I've realized there's a class of intellectual, semi-pessimist people (as a consequence of), who think and feel the same way as I do in such obvious matters, but just can't bother anymore. I know I don't.

Regarding Winter Seale's comment for example, an obviously "intellectual" person who can type and read proper and discuss, I am at an amaze to see why should anyone have to really explain a woman barely wearing clothes is promotive overall to oppression of women in the end. It's an obvious, obvious chain of link.

Or how the phenomenon rape in academic literature is so fucked up that it's at a point of "Our chances of survival is %33.33, repeating ofc" level of ridiculousness.

Sorry Gevlon to have a "social" comment in here. I don't really have anything to contribute. Fish live in the sea, men will be men, women will be women, and they will always yawn when people will look at their six feet butts when laid to the public eyes and bastards will ask for tits on the web. Much ado about nothing.

Andru said...

This 'issue' is such a non-issue that I cannot believe the attention it's been given.

Garrosh says that to gain like-ability with the playerbase after he's been widely regarded as stupid, warmongering, obnoxious, loudmouthed and stupid. (Yes, I named him stupid twice.)

What better way to make him likeable than having him pimp-slap another of the most widely-hated faction leaders, who is now being written as going pants-on-head lich-king wannabe insane?


To the feminists keeping tallies on imaginary non-issues.

Please write to Blizzard for Tyrande to pimp-slap Archdruid Staghelm out of Darnassus. I am almost 100% sure that no one will have a beef with that, and no one would cry: omg, sexism.

(Except me, since I believe that Staghelm is an awesome character that should have been developed a lot more in Wrath. IMO, a nice plot twist would have been for him to raise his son as undead by using Morrowgrain. Staghelm would have made a perfect WoW counterpart to Dr. Frankenstein. Pity. OOps, I digressed.)

Trying to make WoW politically correct is such a retarded concept. For one, it will last 5 more years or so before playerbase will begin declining, regardless of Blizzard's doing.

Gevlon is absolutely right. Unenlightened masses are the problem. You could try and make WoW less sexist or whatever, but what would THAT solve.

Do you think that Lolarthasdk will think anything else but "lol, it's a game m8, not 4 learn stuff, lol". Do you think he'll even NOTICE? No he won't. Do you think that he even knows anything about the lore except "lol orcs are evul". ? No he doesn't. Do you think that he would care that the goblin faction leader has boobs or not? No he won't.

You know who will notice? People who don't need to be convinced, that's who. Instead of being here arguing about stuff no one gives a damn about, go join your legislative bodies and pass legislation. Or go to law school, become a judge or prosecutor, and start enforcing the anti-discrimination laws. Putting law-breaking morons in prison will get their attention, not painting boobs on pixels.

I don't care whether my faction leaders are all male or all female or transgendered or whatever. I'm here to play a team game with my friends, so it wouldn't hurt me in the least.

What I do care about is wasting time and effort on trivial stuff. That really, really, REALLY ticks me off. Boo hoo, a stupid faction leader called an insane faction leader a bitch. Now we have to even the score, otherwise morons will think it's ok to be sexist. OH NOES. Call the whaaaaaambulance, we have an empty care cup here.

@Larisa.

You said it's better to light a candle than ban the darkness. I say that it's better to ban the darkness under the sky than light a candle underwater.

Andru said...

This 'issue' is such a non-issue that I cannot believe the attention it's been given.

Garrosh says that to gain like-ability with the playerbase after he's been widely regarded as stupid, warmongering, obnoxious, loudmouthed and stupid. (Yes, I named him stupid twice.)

What better way to make him likeable than having him pimp-slap another of the most widely-hated faction leaders, who is now being written as going pants-on-head lich-king wannabe insane?


To the feminists keeping tallies on imaginary non-issues.

Please write to Blizzard for Tyrande to pimp-slap Archdruid Staghelm out of Darnassus. I am almost 100% sure that no one will have a beef with that, and no one would cry: omg, sexism.

(Except me, since I believe that Staghelm is an awesome character that should have been developed a lot more in Wrath. IMO, a nice plot twist would have been for him to raise his son as undead by using Morrowgrain. Staghelm would have made a perfect WoW counterpart to Dr. Frankenstein. Pity. OOps, I digressed.)

Trying to make WoW politically correct is such a retarded concept. For one, it will last 5 more years or so before playerbase will begin declining, regardless of Blizzard's doing.

Gevlon is absolutely right. Unenlightened masses are the problem. You could try and make WoW less sexist or whatever, but what would THAT solve?

Continued below:

Andru said...

Do you think that Lolarthasdk will think anything else but "lol, it's a game m8, not 4 learn stuff, lol". Do you think he'll even NOTICE? No he won't. Do you think that he even knows anything about the lore except "lol orcs are evul". ? No he doesn't. Do you think that he would care that the goblin faction leader has boobs or not? No he won't.

You know who will notice? People who don't need to be convinced, that's who. Instead of being here arguing about stuff no one gives a damn about, go join your legislative bodies and pass legislation. Or go to law school, become a judge or prosecutor, and start enforcing the anti-discrimination laws. Putting law-breaking morons in prison will get their attention, not painting boobs on pixels.

I don't care whether my faction leaders are all male or all female or transgendered or whatever. I'm here to play a team game with my friends, so it wouldn't hurt me in the least.

What I do care about is wasting time and effort on trivial stuff. That really, really, REALLY ticks me off. Boo hoo, a stupid faction leader called an insane faction leader a bitch. Now we have to even the score, otherwise morons will think it's ok to be sexist. OH NOES. Call the whaaaaaambulance, we have an empty care cup here.

@Larisa.

You said it's better to light a candle than ban the darkness. I say that it's better to ban the darkness under the sky than light a candle underwater.

Anonymous said...

Gevlon's core narrative is: "There are many idiots around and I am better than them. They cannot be fixed, but they can be manipulated."

Any problem he finds - he frames in this narrative.

Brian said...

One of the few things posted on this blog that I really agree with. The people I've met in WoW or in real life who are sexist aren't JUST sexist, they're usually obnoxious idiots in other ways.

My guild is a pretty good progression guild that works hard to keep out the idiots and maintain a mature but fun atmosphere. And oddly enough, we have a TON of female raiders, not to mention a female raid leader. We don't have an explicit anti-sexism policy, but we have an anti-idiot policy, and that seems to get us the same result.

Winter Seale talked about pundits and politicians in the US, and while I'm familiar with them, they're actually perfect examples of what Gevlon is talking about. The politicians talking about women being second class citizens are idiots in a lot of other ways. Most of those people, for example, think anyone who isn't a white, Christian man is second class. Ann Coulter is an EPIC idiot.

As for sexism inherent in WoW design, I think that's an example of something else...a focus on finding anti-female sexism specifically because people are looking for it. The male models in the game are equally unrealistically attractive looking, just not in the same way as the female models.

sha said...

All this uproar because someone blogged that if you are arguing about sexism in wow, then you are arguing irrational teenage boys thus can't even get a point across and are wasting your time.

Kiltarion said...

@ Adnade

And how do you know who are women? I'll agree that the ones who make a big deal out of it are usually bad - but that's because they're attention whores.

Most of the serious girls don't bother disclosing their gender, as they won't get anything but harassment for it. ~30% of WoW players are female.

Eaten by a Grue said...

I tend to agree with the economic analysis of sex as a medium of social exchange. In this situation, it does indeed make sense for women to dress in a way to make themselves more attractive sexually, as it is a method of driving up the value they can get in exchange for sex. So it seems rational for them to do so, and it would be wrong to condemn them for it.

As far as sexism, the current battle in the civilized world is not with people who think that women should be subservient, should not get to vote, and so forth, so I am not sure if a general effort to combat idiocy would be effective.

Complaints these days are about limited potential for advancement at work, many times subtle. In those companies where there is such a glass ceiling, the persons subtly holding women back are not idiots, they just harbor feelings that women are not fit at the very top level (they may have no issues with women at many relatively high level middle management roles, just not at the very top).

This may be just due to simple self interest, as men might loosely collaborate to keep women down to make more opportunities for themselves, or it may be out of true belief that women cannot compete with men at very high levels intellectually (the chess argument gets brought up here).

So I think your solution is good for the middle eastern Muslims, but not so good for the western world.

Okrane S. said...

I have always considered men and women to be having equal rights but different roles in society.

Feminists seems to oppose even this thus creating an unhealthy environment for everyone.

Objectively speaking I find it hard to believe that a game about war with swords, axes, bows and guns, can be designed with anything else in mind than our medieval civilization, and women did not take part to those wars partly because of the social stigmas of that time but also partially because of their different role in society and their physical inferiority in comparison with male warriors.

The statue in Dalaran which stirred this entire discussion is most likely inspired by similar statues depicting the second world war which you can find in multiple european capitals, and as we all know none of them have women on simply because not many women have participated in the WW.

As for female representation I am kinda baffled really: We have Tyrande and Sylvannas as leaders, women NPCs all over the place, women as neutral faction leaders (as Alextrasza, Ysera), female guards in Darnassus...

Frankly I am starting to believe that these feminists are nothing but shit-stirring socials who only like to argue and poke holes into everything just for the sake of it. To quote Adam: "Give me a fucking break".

Magma said...

@Wildhorn
"I don't see how this invalidate Gev's point. We all know US is one of the stupidest country."

It's hilarious you insult an entire country, meanhwhile, fucking your grammar completely up. So, If the US is so stupid, why are they doing as well as they are compared to everyone else?

Duskstorm said...

@Winter Seale

Regarding the Ann Coulter quote, I think you're a bit off base there. She's in it for the shock value of her statements, virtually nobody actually agrees with her when she says those things; even those on the "right."

Those who agree with her statements are in fact the idiots Gevlon's talking about. Agreeing with her tripe about women making poor choices is ultimately a function of intellectual incompetence, not innate sexism.

fedaykin98 said...

I know tons of very strong female WoW players who behave no differently than the guys do. The GDKP ICC25 that I lead has had women in it every week who are rocking the meters and playing just as well as the guys. If they don't speak on Vent, I often don't know which is which. For instance, we had two regularly attending female (in-game) DPS DKs. It turned out that one was female IRL, and the other was a guy. I couldn't tell any difference judging by performance.

The Heroic ICC10 group that I put together has had multiple female members who have been there for our best nights of raiding. Our first night, when we one-shotted the first three Heroic encounters and Heroic Fester, and two-shotted Heroic Rot, we had a female Resto Druid and a Female Hunter. Same with the night we finally got Heroic DBS (one-shot when we finally realized we needed to cut down to 2 healers). We PUGed a female Resto Shaman the night that we got Heroic Dreamwalker. Etc. etc.

Adnade's arguments are like those of the people who force women to wear burqas: He sees drama between men and women, blames it all on the women, and wants to exclude them in order to solve the problem. This is an irrational position.

Duskstorm said...

@Wildhorn

"I don't see how this invalidate Gev's point. We all know US is one of the stupidest country."

The irony of that statement being a response to precisely this blog post is hilarious to me.

Here Gevlon is talking about how sexist speech, like bad talent trees, is a function of idiocy.. then you label Americans as being stupid. With poor grammar, mind you. The blog post could just as easily draw an analogy from national prejudice as it could sexism.

Anonymous said...

Not ALL Americans are stupid. But those gun-loving wackos, those creationists, those "ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST" freaks give a bad impression. It's a strange country. They have the smarter and also the dumber of the dumbest people.

And they're not doing so great.

Josh said...

I want to compliment everyone on the tenor of the conversation.

I note that Gevlon did not take up Winter's argument that rape is about controlling womens' bodies, not about sexual release.

Of course it is about neither of those, both are far too specific and can be achieved by other ends.

I do not understand the contention that rape is not sexual, or that it is purely sexual. The idea that rape is a violent or controlling act, as opposed to a sexual one, surely must be nonsense.

It suggests an inherent man-hate of women that has nothing to do with sex or the female role as "gatekeeper" of sexual relations. This strikes me as a delusional framework.

Kurt said...

This was a very well-written post, this is the post Adam should have written.

I could join Larisa in quoting bits from Adam's post to explain where he went wrong. I'd rather just let the difference in the comments you two are receiving make that point for me. His post was inflammatory, this one isn't.

Nikola Begedin said...

To quote one of my favorite author:

The problem isn't men or women, it's stupid people. And no one has the right to be stupid.

Kurt said...

Gevlon, you and Adam arrive at a similar conclusion, so you are giving him a lot of slack in his methodology. If you look at it more closely, the logical structure of his argument is "My personal feelings about WoW are that no one's else personal feelings about WoW are relevant, so they should stop trying to impose them onto my game". This is not a consistent logical belief, if everyone else personal feelings about WoW are irrelevant, than so are Adam's.

You make nearly the same point, but without putting it on a personal, emotional level. Paraphrasing: "Blizzard doesn't care, so it's not worth protesting about". This is obviously true. He also used some inflammatory language, but the logical underpinning is the main thing.


On a side point: Yes, no one is openly promulgating an academic anti-feminism in Western society today. Yes, I agree with you that much sexism is the result of stupidity. However, there are people who are academically anti-feminist, in positions of power, who just don't say anything because it is politically unwise. Do you remember the president of Harvard who said women are just naturally bad at science, a few years ago? He was forced to resign, but now he works directly under Obama in the White House. The fact that 20% of Fortune 500 CEO's are women is not an accident, there are still non-stupid sexists in this world.

Still, I do agree that they are the exception, not the rule, as some claim.

Wilson said...

@Okrane-

"Objectively speaking I find it hard to believe that a game about war with swords, axes, bows and guns, can be designed with anything else in mind than our medieval civilization"

Um, you do realize that guns did not even appear until the very end of the medieval era, and did not become a significant military factor until the 1500s? WoW also has steampunk elements such as zeppelins and steam-powered tanks, which are more 19th-century than anything. Then there's the whole summoning demons and casting lightning from your fingertips - I'm pretty sure the medieval soldiers weren't doing anything like that. In other words, Blizzard pretty much made it all up. Maybe you should take a closer look at your "objectivity".

@Gevlon-

You forgot to mention that dressing provocatively also causes earthquakes.

Since you brought it up, at what point is a woman's attire sufficiently non-provocative so as to be sure she is not contributing to a culture of violence against other women? Shorts and a t-shirt? Slacks? A skirt? Is she allowed to show her ankles? Her toes? Should she cover her hair?

You say you "know the literature of rape", but ever since you made a big deal out of calling a newspaper article a "scientific article" your credibility with me is shot. I think you read to strengthen your pre-existing beliefs, rather than to challenge them.

Anonymous said...

@fedaykin98:

While I disagree with Adnade's comments on the quality of female players, he is correct that mixed sex guilds have the opportunity for a lot more drama than single sex guilds, and that banning one sex removes that potential.

It's hard enough to lead a raid or a guild in an even-handed fashion. Toss in actual or PERCEIVED favoritism, and a guild can implode in short order.

Excluding a gender to reduce guild drama can be perfectly rational. If the leaders decide that the risk of drama is too great, or that it's not worth the potential drama, then why bother? People are free to start their own co-ed guilds and see for themselves how the risks and rewards work out.

purplezorlak said...

@gevlon

"Dressing as a sexual object (in a place where random morons can see you) has the same effect, support their idea that women in general should be raped. So these women (while having fun in their personally decided sexual provocativeness), are harming the women in general."

I usually agree with you gevlon, but this time you have to get out of your cave. Women are free to dress any way they want. Saying that by dressing sexy they are harming other women is passing the blame to the women, when the truth is that rapists are power-control-hungry crazy bastards that deserve to die.

Gevlon said...

@Purplezorlak: the two do not exclude each other. I never claimed that women don't have the RIGHT to do so. It's just overall harmful and stupid. Just like you have the right to call a dumb redneck a "dumb redneck" in a bar full of similar guys, but it is very unwise.

We live among morons so we shall not do things that are within our rights if we don't want these morons do bad things.

Lighstagazi said...

@Larisa/Adam side of the discussion:
I feel pretty similiarly to Adam. I dare not put words in his mouth though, these are mine.

I have zero, zero, problem with anyone going to the suggestions forum and saying "Hey guys, I think it would be cool if you could make more female faction leaders!" for example. They express it as their own personal desire, and possibly an interest in improving the game. They may be right or wrong about improving the game, same as any other suggestion. But it is free to be judged on it's own merits, moral or otherwise.

When someone instead goes to the forums and says "I am outraged that Blizzard does not give women more equal representation. The CEO's should be fired for allowing such a shameful disgrace!" then I will get my back up and become defensive. At that point, what Blizzard is actually doing loses meaning, and people will defend them simply by how the argument was phrased.

Obviously though, most discussions will fall somewhere in the middle.

I sincerely doubt many on here have an issue with "I would like more female role models in the game." When the holy patriarchy of 6000 years of european culture is burdening our every day living because more players play characters with pixel-boobs than NPCs have pixel-boobs? "Give me a fucking break." We feel lied to, that you are appealing to hyperbole instead of reason, and will reject your argument wholesale. Same as you took the time to phrase your argument using real words instead of "u r dum lol", step it up a notch and ensure that you present your argument using logic, at least if you want to appeal to critical thinkers who are reviewing your argument.

@Duskstorm:
What I said above goes in reverse too. We as listeners need to attempt to make sure we aren't putting our own filters on what others say and creating bias where there is none.

Attacking his grammar in correlation to his comment about the US is a joke, one that you seem serious in attempting. If his grammar is lacking to your standards, phrase it as such. The manner that you phrase your comments makes it sound like it would be a perfectly acceptable comment if he improved his grammar, when it isn't. You weaken your own argument by straying such, even if you are correct in the core argument that he is expressing nationalism prejudice.

Anonymous said...

You decry Feminists trying to change the game to suit their requirements, AND YET...

"Donate your valuable time to my projects and transform the game community to what I think it should be!" - GEVLON (every day)

I say to you what you and The Noisy Rogue say to Feminists: If you don't like the game, LEAVE.

Kristine Ask said...

@ Gevlon
"I never claimed that women don't have the RIGHT to do so. It's just overall harmful and stupid. Just like you have the right to call a dumb redneck a "dumb redneck" in a bar full of similar guys, but it is very unwise."

No it's not the same.
Calling someone "a dumb redneck" is intentionally provoking someone.
----
These limitations about how to look and behave not to provoke others are rarely ever directed to the heterosexual, white male. Yet people are arguing that it's not a matter of discrimination...

I personally find guys in tight white t-shirts incredibly provoking (I think it looks horrible), but if I attacked a guy wearing it - and argued that it was his fault for wearing such shirts, I would be laughed at. Why do noone laugh when a rape victim is being blamed for provoking the attack? It's equally ridiculus.

David said...

Feminist tend to be idiots. They only want "equality" where it is convenient for them. For example: I have never heard a feminist oppose divorce or child support laws (U.S.) that HEAVILY favor women. I have never known one to oppose scholarships or promotions held strictly for females.

Feminist, I find, tend to ignore the fact that men and women are simply biologically different in ways that do not make them equal to all tasks. A couple years ago in Georgia (U.S.) there was a female guard/bailiff assigned to watch over a rather violent criminal. She was 5'1" he 6'1" and well over 200lbs. It was advised that the man should be more heavily guarded, but "political correctness" said the female was as capable as any man. The man later easily overpowered the guard and escaped killing four people before being recaptured.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nichols#The_shootings_and_escape

Then there is the Lawrence Summers who had the audacity to point out that (in essence) that males tend to be better at math than females. Though it's a provable fact he was lambasted for pointing it out.

Gevlon said...

@Kristine Ask: as I always keep telling, the morons around us are not randomly morons. They are socials, the way of their stupidity is reminder of animal instincts and older culture's norms.

So the people are accepting "calling someone dumb redneck" or "dressing up sexily" as reasons for attack while "wearing tight T-shirt" not. The previous two are NOT less nonsense, just more socially accepted.

Anonymous said...

"Then there is the Lawrence Summers who had the audacity to point out that (in essence) that males tend to be better at math than females. Though it's a provable fact he was lambasted for pointing it out."

Is it a provable fact that men are better at math, or that there tend to be less women in math related fields? Further, where is your proof?

Ulsaki said...

Good post Gevlon.I had to laugh at the nonsense being posted on the linked article.

The thing that pisses me off with most feminists I've encountered is that despite their claims, they don't want equality. In actuality, they want equal or preferential treatment in every regard.

For instance, in WoW, they will often complain about females models being "eye candy", yet completely ignore the exaggerated musculature that male models have. They don't complain about the discrimination shown against male drivers when it comes to things such as car insurance (despite such discrimination being illegal in almost every other domain). They don't complain about relaxed standards for certain jobs such as physical jobs, or joining the armed forces. They don't complain about only men being able to be drafted (in certain countries). They don't complain that more men are victims of violent crime or disease. The list could be much longer but you get the point.

Now just imagine the uproar if any of those situations were reversed.

Hell, plenty of these people even get offended by gender dimorphism in the real world, regardless of the evidence. "WHAT? HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST FEMALES ARE NOT AS CAPABLE".

@Anonymous

"Donate your valuable time to my projects and transform the game community to what I think it should be!" - GEVLON (every day)"

When has Gevlon asked anyone to donate their time? He sells a product (a guild that weeds out bad players, idiots, and slackers), you pay for membership by fulfilling the rules that have been set out. Gevlon's motivations for providing the product are irrelevant.

But no one donates anything. Players join because they get something in return.

Strum said...

re: Larry Summer's speech
What he offered as a hypothesis was (among other things) that women tend to display less variation in aptitude compared to men (i.e. the female population has a narrower bell curve). So men would be overrepresented in both extremes- extremely good and extremely bad- compared to women. If you're focusing on 'high achievers' (e.g. professors, CEOs), even if the genders had the same average aptitude, a lower variation in women would cause fewer women to qualify.

Yaggle said...

I believe there are two types of feminists, type #1 are really moron women who believe that life is not fair, and as an extension of that, believe that most men are sexist, and their lives are worse than men's lives because of that. Type #2 are intelligent women who believe in meritocracy as I think you more or less are saying. I support type #2 feminists but unfortunately I think mosts feminists are type #1. Basically I read and agree with everything you said here. The devil certainly is sexist. The type #2 feminists is certainly a noble type of person that I would want to associate with on the rare occasion I would encounter one.

Soge said...

An interesting alternative to the fact that few women are amongst the Top CEO is that fewer accept the sacrifice of family/personal life that it requires, and also wouldn't maintain a husband that would take care of children and etc. (a interchangeable task after the first 6 months/1 year). Men are more likely to do this sacrifice, and thus rise farther.

I will need to search around a bit, but I seem to remember that, if you just consider women without family, the "CEO ratio" is actually higher than for men!

adnade said...

@fedaykin98:
That's nonsense, I'm not saying women should be excluded from anything, I'm simply stating that in general, women do not make great players and are often the center of drama and attention whoring, even in top guilds, not just social ones filled with mindless teenagers as Gevlon suggests. You can argue as long as you want that I am wrong, I'm just speaking from my own experience (which is quite extensive) + the past scandals that took place in the game.

I do not think because of that, women should be excluded, hell, the absolute best player in my guild is a girl, however, it's an exception, not the norm. Chances you can find girls that are mindblowing players are slim at best in general.

Anonymous said...

Please don't run the morons out of the game. They pay the bills. If they left blizzard would have to close the game down.

Flex said...

Nice post. Reminds me how blinded we all get to the nicely packaged racism of WoW - that all members of [race] are automatically our enemy.

Anonymous said...

Sexism in wow is as pervasive as racism, stupidity, and fail pugs. The sexism in trade chat/random groups from idiotic strangers is never really offensive. It's akin to some drunk person calling you a moron. What tends to be a lot more sinister is the sexism that emerges (particularly in higher end guilds) that competent female players are actually "fail" on the sole basis of their gender.

I have known a number of female players who were carried or caused drama, but at the same time there are many who play extremely well and still suffer for their gender. The level of hate (not just from strangers) from the people that women raid with on a daily basis is honestly one of the most disturbing things I have seen in wow. It is sexism at it's finest and it isn't going anywhere. Epithets such as "stupid bitch" "fucking whore" "ebayed slut" are just not that uncommon. There is something wrong when otherwise intelligent people spew that kind of garbage mid raid.

Tiago said...

Having atm 2 female leading 2 of the most important races in wow (nelfs and forsaken) is pretty good already, it should be 3, cuz Jaina should be the leader in SW, not that Varian that almost popped out from nowhere.
But those attention whores are pretty normal in wow or any other place on the "web 2.0", social networks, mmo's that have some roleplay in between, the public video sharing channels, etc.
Back to feminists... the most i hear or read around tv or newspapers, it always gives me the idea that they contradict themselves when, while searching for balance between the genders, they ask not to be equal but to surpass men here and there. Not in a direct way ofc, but the arguments used are terrible, it sounds like a sexist conservative man, when you just switch the word "man" with "woman" and you get the same kind of sounding speech.
It's like, if you have suffered in the past, instead of wanting to be equal, now, to compensate, you demand to be above. It's exactly like the african-americans in the US. If, by any means, you have 2 candidates for anything, and one of them is black, if u don't like him, instantly you are a racist.
Back to women, if you want equal rights in anything, these should apply to all aspects in life. Not to the ones that are more convenient.
I am a defender of equal rights to any human, but feminists, really, are just like those sexist men, only with different genitals and looks, the bullshit is the same.

Subscribe to the goblinish wisdom