A Call to Arms for Decent Men

The following essay was submitted to us by Ernest Adams.  Ernest is a game design consultant, author, and self-described “freelance professor.” He has worked in the game industry since 1989 and has written a column for Gamasutra ever since it was founded over 14 years ago. They declined to run this piece in its current form, but we are happy to publish it for him. His web site is at www.designersnotebook.com.

Normally I write for everybody, but this month’s column is a call to arms, addressed to the reasonable, decent, but much too silent majority of male gamers and developers.

Guys, we have a problem. We are letting way too many boys get into adulthood without actually becoming men. We’re seeing more and more adult males around who are not men. They’re as old as men, but they have the mentality of nine-year-old boys. They’re causing a lot of trouble, both in general and for the game industry specifically. We need to deal with this.

Why us? Because it’s our job to see to it that a boy becomes a man, and we are failing.

When we were little boys we all went through a stage when we said we hated girls. Girls had “cooties.” They were silly and frilly and everything that a boy isn’t supposed to be. We got into this stage at about age seven, and we left it again at maybe 10 or 11.

Then puberty hit and, if we were straight, we actively wanted the company of girls. We wanted to “go with” them, date them, and eventually we wanted to fall in love and live with one, maybe for the rest of our lives. That’s the way heterosexual boys are supposed to mature, unless they become monks.

My point is, you’re supposed to leave that phase of hating girls behind. Straight or gay, you’re supposed to grow the hell up.

What might be temporarily tolerable in a boy when he’s nine is pretty damned ugly when he’s fifteen and it’s downright psychopathic when he’s twenty. Instead of maturing into a man’s role and a man’s responsibilities, a lot of boys are stuck at the phase of hating girls and women. The boys continue to treat them like diseased subhumans right through adolescence and into adulthood.

Men are more powerful than women: financially, politically, and physically. What distinguishes a real man from a boy is that a man takes responsibility for his actions and does not abuse this power. If you don’t treat women with courtesy and respect – if you’re still stuck in that “I hate girls” phase – then no matter what age you are, you are a boy and not entitled to the privileges of adulthood.

  • If you want to have some private little club for males only – like keeping women out of your favorite shooter games – you’re not a man, you’re an insecure little boy. A grown-up man has no problem being in the company of women. He knows he’s a man.
  • If you freak out when a girl or a woman beats you in a game, you’re not a man, you’re a nine-year-old boy. A man doesn’t need to beat a woman to know he’s a man. A man is strong enough to take defeat in a fair game from anybody and move on.
  • If your masculinity depends on some imaginary superiority over women, then you don’t actually have any. Manliness comes from within, and not at the expense of others.
  • And if you threaten or abuse women, verbally or physically, you are not a man. You’re a particularly nasty specimen of boy.

When this puerile mentality is combined with the physical strength and sexual aggressiveness of an older boy or an adult male, it goes beyond bad manners. It’s threatening and anti-social, and if those boys are permitted to congregate together and support each other, it becomes actively dangerous. Yes, even online.

Of course, I don’t mean all boys are like this. Most of them get out of the cootie phase quickly and grow up just fine. But far too many don’t. If we don’t do something about these permanent nine-year-olds pretty soon, they’re going to start having boys of their own who will be just as bad if not worse, and life will not be worth living. Life is already not worth living on Xbox Live Chat.

In addition to the harm they do to women – our mothers, our sisters, our daughters – these full -grown juveniles harm us, too. A boy who refuses to grow up has lousy social skills, a short attention span, and a poor attitude to work. Furthermore, all men – that’s you and me, bro – get the blame for their bad behavior. And we deserve it, because we’ve been sitting on our butts for too long. We let them be bullies online and get away with it.

Some of you might think it’s sexist that I’m dumping this problem on us men. It isn’t; it’s just pragmatic. Women can not solve this problem. A boy who hates girls and women simply isn’t going to pay attention to a woman’s opinion. The only people who can ensure that boys are taught, or if necessary forced, to grow up into men are other men.

Let’s be clear about something else. This is not a political issue. This is not a subject for debate, any more than whether your son is allowed to swear at his mother or molest his sister is a subject for debate. There is no “other point of view.” The real-world analogy is not to social issues but to violent crime. Muggers don’t get to have a point of view.

So how do we change things?

First, we need to serve as positive examples. With the very little boys, we need to guide them gently but firmly out of the cootie phase. To the impressionable teenagers, we must demonstrate how a man behaves and how he doesn’t. Be the change you want to see. Use your real name and your real picture online, to show that you are a man who stands behind his words. Of course, you can’t prove your name is real, but it doesn’t matter. If you consistently behave with integrity online, the message will get across.

Secondly, we men need to stand up for courtesy and decency online . We can’t just treat this as a problem for women (or blacks, or gays, or anybody else the juvenile bullies have in their sights). Tell them and their friends that their behavior is not acceptable, that real men don’t agree with them, that they are in the minority. Say these words into your headset: “I’m disappointed in you. I thought you were a man, not a whiny, insecure little boy.” Don’t argue or engage with them. Never answer their questions or remarks, just repeat your disgust and disapproval. Assume the absolute moral superiority to which you are entitled over a bully or a criminal.

Finally, we need to put a stop to this behavior. It’s time for us to force the permanent nine-year-olds to grow up or get out of our games and forums. It’s not enough just to mute them. We need to build the infrastructure that precludes this kind of behavior entirely – Club Penguin has already done it for children – or failing that, we have to make the bullies pay a price for their behavior. Appealing to their better nature won’t work; bullies have none. We do not request, we do not debate, we demand and we punish.

I have some specific suggestions, from the least to the most extreme.

  • Mockery. In 1993 50 Ku Klux Klansmen marched through Austin, Texas. Five thousand anti-Klan protestors turned up to jeer at them. Best of all, several hundred lined the parade route and mooned the Klan in waves. The media ate it up, and the Klan looked ridiculous. The hurt that they wanted to cause was met not with anger but with derision.
  • The juvenile delinquents are just like the Klan: anonymous in their high-tech bedsheets, and threatening, but in fact, a minority. Let’s use our superior numbers and metaphorically moon the boys who can’t behave. They’re social inadequates, immature losers. Let’s tell them so, loud and clear, in front of their friends.
  • Shut them up. The right to speak in a public forum should be limited to those who don’t abuse it. James Portnow suggested this one in his Extra Credits video on harassment. Anyone who persistently abuses others gets automatically muted to all players. The only players who can hear them are those who choose to unmute them. Or another of James’ suggestions: New users don’t even get the right to talk. They have to earn it, and they keep it only so long as they behave themselves. This means a player can’t just create a new account to start spewing filth again if they’ve been auto-muted. Build these features into your games.
  • Take away their means. If you’re the father of a boy who behaves like this online, make it abundantly clear to him that it is unmanly and unacceptable, then deny him the opportunity to do it further. We don’t let nine-year-olds misuse tools to hurt other people. Take away his cell phone, his console and his computer. He can learn to behave like a man, or he can turn in his homework in longhand like a child.
  • Anonymity is a privilege, not a right. Anonymity is a double-edged sword. A limited number of people need it in certain circumstances: children, crime victims, whistleblowers, people discussing their medical conditions, political dissidents in repressive regimes. But those people normally don’t misuse their anonymity to abuse others; they’re protecting themselves from abuse.I think the default setting in all online forums that are not intended for people at risk should require real names. After a user has demonstrated that they are a grown-up, then offer them the privilege of using a pseudonym. And take it away forever if they misuse it. I haven’t used a nickname for years except in one place where all the readers know who I am anyway. Has it made me more careful about what I say? You bet. Is that a good thing? Damn right it is.
  • Impose punishments that are genuinely painful. This suggestion is extreme, but I feel it’s both viable and effective. To play subscription-based or pay-as-you-go (“free-to-play -but-not-really”) games, most players need to register a credit card with the game’s provider. Include a condition in the terms of service that entitles the provider to levy extra charges for bad behavior. Charge $5 for the first infraction and double it for each subsequent one. This isn’t all that unusual; if you smoke in a non-smoking hotel room, you are typically subject to a whopping extra charge for being a jerk.

Now I’m going to address some objections from the very juvenile delinquents I’ve been talking about – if any of them have read this far.

  • “What’s the big deal? It’s harmless banter. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the game.” To start with, it’s our game, not yours, and we get to decide what’s acceptable behavior. You meet our standards or you get out. Apart from that, nothing that is done with intent to cause hurt is harmless. The online abuse I have seen goes way beyond banter. Threats are not harmless, they are criminal acts.
  • “But this is part of gamer culture! It’s always been like this!” No, it is not. I’ve been gaming for over 40 years, and it has not always been like this. Yours is a nasty little subculture that arrived with anonymous online gaming, and we’re going to wipe it out.
  • “This is just political correctness.” Invoking “political correctness” is nothing but code for “I wanna be an asshole and get away with it.” I’ll give you a politically-incorrect response, if you like: fuck that. It’s time to man up. You don’t get to be an asshole and get away with it.
  • “You’re just being a White Knight and trying to suck up to women.” I don’t need to suck up to women, thanks; unlike you, I don’t have a problem with them, because I’m a grown man.
  • “Women are always getting special privileges.” Freedom from bullying is a right, not a privilege, and anyway, that’s bullshit. Males are the dominant sex in almost every single activity on the planet. The only areas that we do not rule are dirty, underpaid jobs like nursing and teaching. Do you want to swap? I didn’t think so.
  • “It’s hypocrisy. How come they get women-only clubs and we don’t get men-only clubs?” Because they’re set up for different reasons, that’s why. Male-only spaces are about excluding women from power, and making little boys whose balls evidently haven’t dropped feel special. Female-only spaces are about creating a place where they are safe from vermin.
  • “But there’s misandry too!” Oh, and that entitles you to be a running sore on the ass of the game community? Two wrongs don’t make a right.. I’ll worry about misandry when large numbers of male players are being hounded out of games with abuse and threats of violence. If a few women are bigoted against men, you only have to look in the mirror to find out why.
  • “Free speech!” The oldest and worst excuse for being a jerk there is. First, you have no right to free speech in privately-owned spaces. Zero. Our house, our rules. Second, with freedom comes the responsibility not to abuse it. People who won’t use their freedoms responsibly get them taken away. And if you don’t clean up your act, that will be you.

OK, back to the real men for a few final words.

This is not about “protecting women.” It’s about cleaning out the sewers that our games have become. This will not be easy and it will not be fun. Standing up to these little jerks will require the same courage from us that women like Anita Sarkeesian have already shown. We will become objects of hatred, ridicule, and contempt. Our manhood will be questioned. But if we remember who we are and stand strong together, we can beat them. In any case we won’t be threatened with sexual violence the way women are. We have it easier than they do.

It’s time to stand up. If you’re a writer, blogger, or forum moderator, please write your own piece spreading the message, or at least link to this one. I also encourage you to visit Gamers Against Bigotry, sign the pledge, and share it.

Use your heavy man’s hand in the online spaces where you go – and especially the ones you control – to demand courtesy and punish abuse. Don’t just mute them. Report them, block them, ban them, use every weapon you have. (They may try to report us in return. That won’t work. If you always behave with integrity, it will be clear who’s in the right.)

Let’s stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the women we love, and work with, and game with, and say, “We’re with you. And we’re going to win.”

  • Excellent work, ill get on to spreading it 🙂

  • Leo Sivilla

    Really good, but a few sexist comments here and there…

    • EWAdams

      Thank you, but I disagree. Men DO have more power than women financially, politically, and physically, and it would be pointless to deny it. It is not sexist to demand that little boys learn to use this advantage (which they only inherit, they do not deserve) with decency.

      • whut

        >be naturally adept at something
        >it’s your fault because I’m not as good as you at it

      • Tony

        There are a few sexist comments in there. The first one you mention (despite Leo not saying what he considered sexist) was not one of them, and the other was only mildly sexist in that it tells boys that “decency” equates to “being a man,” when really it equates to “being a decent human being.” The entire slant of the article was outdated in its assumption of gender roles as some kind of universal measuring stick.
        However, in my personal opinion, it’s worth sharing just to get the message out that online bullshit needs to be confronted.

  • *standing ovation*
    When I first heard people talking about this issue, it was only women, fighting back against harassment and threats on their own. I am so glad to see men taking a side on this issue, too. Ernest, you are so right – it’s up to men to teach boys how to act like grown men. We single mothers can’t do it all by ourselves.

    • Grow up Gen Y

      I would say YOU are most likely part of the problem.
      I don’t see any “men” taking a side in this issue, what I see are tones of one sided ignorant conformist, attempting to validate their BS. Unfortunately the wymin have now run up against a wall of human behavior on the part of men. One the Bitches crated themselves.
      So F-them.

  • ME

    lol this tirade was full of misogyny. its as bad as the cause it claims to fight for.

    • EWAdams

      No it isn’t. It’s about standing side-by-side with women to fight immature little scumbags.

      • You can do that by either blocking or muting them in games.
        There’s no reason to be upset at what other people say.
        If you can’t ignore them, even when you put them on ignore, you’ve got a problem.

        • Tony

          How is blocking or muting them “fighting”? It’s just a way to bury your head in the sand while those people grow up thinking that kind of behavior is alright. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to say, “Hey man, bashing (of any kind, I agree that women shouldn’t get a free pass, and neither should any other unearned abuse) isn’t cool,” before blocking/ignoring the person. Obviously, remove the parenthetical bit.

          • You don’t bury anything. People who misbehave do it because they’re in the comfort behind their monitors.

            What is your solution to stop them? Have a tighter internet security? Have more restrictions on the internet? Copy the chinese model of internet?

            If a game does not allow you to vote kick or ban, then just mute.

            I never had problems like that in 1999 when quake 3 came out.

          • Muting them isn’t enough. Throwing them out is preferable. They need some kind of punishment for their behavior. As I said in the article, fining them and doubling the fine with each example would get the message across pretty quickly.

            “There’s no reason to be upset at what other people say”? Are you serious? Just out of curiosity, has anyone every threatened to track down your mother or sister and rape her because she’s good at Halo? If you really expect a woman not to find that distressing, you need to learn a bit more about women.

            I’m sick of seeing my friends treated like dirt. It’s time to kick the bullies out. As a game designer in the industry, I’m calling upon the industry to implement the infrastructure to achieve this.

  • Greatly written! I’ll share it as much as I can, and of course try to help out with the issue as I can.

  • Anon

    What the fuck is this shit. Stop writing please.

    • EWAdams

      Been paid to write for 14 years, I don’t think I’m going to stop because some clown hiding behind his Klan bedsheet asks me to.

  • Ant Holloway

    Firstly, this is a great cause and it’s about time.

    We HAVE been silent for too long, and it IS time we did something. There are plenty of decent suggestions out there (James Portnow’s suggestions are the right way to do this), but this rant just doesn’t sit right with me – I’m not comfortable with it as a banner for this cause.

  • CandyandCusswords

    I really like this article, for the most part, but am bothered by some things: Saying things like “be a man” reinforces strict, still-sexist gender roles. These roles, this gender business should be dumped entirely, and replaced with “be a better person”. But I can see how that level of gamer might respond to this kind of argument. I really really like the suggestions for improved game design!

    • CandyandCusswords

      Actually, wow, just listening to Reddit, listen to some of their suggestions on the Be a Man thing. Brilliant.

    • ChrisLeBeouf

      I think it’s important to remember that the goal isn’t to abolish traditional gender roles, but make accepted and respected the non-traditional ones. Many guys stay on the fence on the issue because they perceive that it’s masculinity under attack. I its not. The enemy is patriarchy and misogyny. It’s okay to be a man’s man. It’s not ok to abuse that the cultural power that identity carries

    • JMH

      I can see where you’re coming from on it, but the point isn’t about “be a Man” so much as it’s “be a Grownup”. There are some terrible burdens to the Ideal of Man, just like there is with girl or woman. I totally agree. And it’s not like emotional tantrums and frustrated violence are the sole domain of little boys. Little girls can hit as hard as little boys; I’m a preschool teacher, I should know.
      If it was me, I’d rephrase it to the more gender neutral, but I think the point gets across well enough.

    • EWAdams

      All I’m saying is, “big boys don’t throw their food.” That is true, legitimate, and it works on the male psyche. Trust me.

      • No, you’re enforcing sexism and gender roles. If a woman wants to “be a man”, what’s stopping her?

        We have men who want to be women. Why are you pressing the gender roles like that?

        • This has nothing to do with men who want to be women and vice versa, this has to do with boys who want to be men — as the article makes abundantly clear. If a boy wants the privileges of manhood, he had better learn to act like one.

          • Andrew Moursund

            I don’t know why this is getting downvoted. The author made it pretty clear that this article was written specifically about immature men bullying women because of their gender. There’s no gender oppression going on here. If y’all want a less gender specific article about general misbehavior online, you can go write one. There’s plenty of room for that discussion, but it’s not in the scope of this article.

      • I’ve come across many women who swear and misbehave in online video games. Why are they a special case? Why are we only talking about “MEN” here? Why is this article so full of “BE A MAN”

  • LogicalMaleHuman

    I hope you get raped by an angry pack of man-hating feminists.

    • ChrisLeBeouf

      Either grow up or shut up, manchild.

    • EWAdams

      I’m disappointed in you. I thought you were a grown man, not a whiny, insecure little boy.

      • Grow up Gen Y

        LOL!
        And just who the hell are you to decide who is a man and who is not?
        Are >>You<< a man.
        Some how I doubt it.
        So shut up or put up.

    • CapnCoconuts

      >LogicalMaleHuman
      >”I hope you get raped”

      Most ironic name ever.

      • Grow up Gen Y

        LOL! Yes for sure.
        Seems “Logical Male Human” is incapable of any form of real logic.

  • Kat attack

    It is well put for most of the part, but the ideals are a bit 1950’s but i agree with you it comes down to not being THE BIGGEST DICK IN THE WORLD but in reality having a tiny little pecker. That being said it goes across the board with chicks as well.

    I treat everyone how i wanted to be treated.

  • You can block the people who misbehave in the vast majority of games.

  • HAHAHAHHA

  • what

  • You say that women only clubs are fine, but that men only clubs are not? Are you even for equality of genders or not? Why would it be bad when men want to have a man’s only club but when women do it it’s fine? I don’t get your argument. Why do you have to paint every single male in the gaming world as a little child who is irresponsible? Why can’t they be gentlemen and have their own clubs?

    Besides, i have not seen a SINGLE male only gaming club yet. If you consider e-sports to be male only, you’re mistaken. Nobody stops women from entering the competitions.

  • Ted Flonders

    Played PC games most of my time, never encountered a problem. The problem is that xbox live is just a bad, closed service, in PC we have a more friendly, open environment because people are in charge of the moderation. Your solutions are just terrible, poorly thought, ask developers to open their games not closed them. Extreme censorship won’t do you any good, people will always find a way about it, if you want to make online gaming better, ask developers, ask Microsoft to let people host their games, and open up servers.

    Anyways this site is a poorly disguised scam, designed to appeal people with guilty conscience so they can feel better about themselves by giving money to a hypocrite fraudulent organization who wants to make quick cash out of a made up social injustice. The kick starter person bought a Ferrari, I kid you not, with the money, and got more videogames that she could play, all of those she sold, those are games, and money that could have gone to child’s play, you guys are simply the devil.

    • The closed nature of consoles really show it’s weaknesses, on the PC, you can pretty much vote kick/ban anyone you want, and all the current players in the game will vote to kick the player out. It’s a community driven moderation. And it has been a functioning solution in the PC world for a long time.

    • Tony

      hm, nope, no scam here. I’ve simply signed a petition for something I believe is important. I have not and do not plan on giving them a single cent. If you have a guilty conscience, that’s your problem. Is this sort of thing less of a problem on PC? Sure, but even in the various PC games I play, I hear plenty of misogynistic garbage. Whether it is only an issue on PC or not, it is still a problem that needs to be addressed. If you don’t agree, that’s fine, but calling this a scam is ridiculous. It takes away the free will element of any online interaction. If someone chooses to give money to this site, it is because they have decided that the cause it stands for is worthy of their donations. Period.

  • vorcia

    I can see why Gamasutra refused to publish this. Your piece is full of half-truths, opinions, and strawman arguments. I suggest you move to North Korea, I think you’d be very happy there. You could also try moving to somewhere in the middle-east, you know, where the problems you describe actually exist?

    • Anthony

      Are you saying that you’ve never heard misogynistic words on a game chat before? If so, please, by all means, tell me where the hell you game at.

      • Yeah. Strategy games mostly.

        It might seem surprising, misogyny is not that wide spread in the gaming community. You people are flipping out over a vocal minority.

        I saw more homophobia than misogyny. I saw more racism than misogyny. MUCH more.

        • vorcia

          I don’t know if its legitimate homophobia, just calling someone a faggot, etc. but it certainly happens more than misogyny. Racism is a pretty big part of the gaming community though, I’d say about 50% of it is legitimate racism, and the other 50% is just trash talk.

      • vorcia

        Misogyny is extremely rare and I’ve honestly never heard anything of the sort online in the games I play. I’ve heard misandry in games though when I kept killing someone over and over again in a game and she messaged me calling me a rude fuck who should learn to respect grrrl gamers more. I’m under the assumption that the people of GAB are under similar circumstances.

  • Okay

    This article keeps contradicting itself.
    >Women setting up women-only clubs is to protect themselves from vermin
    >If a man decides to set-up a men’s-only club then it means that they want to withhold power from women
    >If a man is ever verbally attacked online by women, it means that there is something wrong with the man, and never with the woman

    • I find it curious that a woman that swears is considered okay by the author of the essay, but a man swearing is the worst thing ever.

  • Pingback: A Call to Arms for Decent Men » Unicorn Bacon()

  • To quote The Muse in Dogma: “Heart’s in the right place, but the brain’s gotta wake up.” I don’t mean that as an insult…it’s just that this article has got some problems with it. The concept of manhood that this article is dealing with is quite outdated, for one thing. It failed to recognize the connection between the childish “girls have cooties” mentality, and the general way in which we treat gender in western society. Part of what fuels the “girls/boys have cooties” mentality, is the idea that somehow girls (or boys) are completely “other” to each other.

    And though it is perhaps accurate to examine how maturity is related to issues of bigotry in gaming, I don’t think calling these men “boys” as a way to insult them is necessarily the best way to go about examining that. For one thing, insulting someone who is behaving badly is not going to convince them that they are wrong…chances are it’s only going to piss them off more. But beyond that, it ends up subtly continuing the idea that somehow a boy has to DO something to become a man, whereas a girl simply just IS a woman.

    So simply telling boys to grow up, sort of fails to address the root problem…which is that the west’s conception of what it means to be a man and a woman are problematic.

  • PMS Tenshi

    As a longtime female gamer of about 20+ years, I’ll be the first to tell you that this isn’t a new problem by any means. My first taste of online gaming was on original Starcraft for PC, about 9 years ago. There was a plethora of horrid males that I ran into in virtually every lobby I joined, so for the most part, I chose to hide my gender. After a while of running with the same crowd on there, word eventually got around that I was female. I cannot count how many times I was threatened with rape, harassed via multiple accounts with the same user, etc. You can’t always simply mute or block someone. If they’re persistent, they’ll find you regardless.

    Fast forward to 2007, when I purchased an Xbox 360 and my first subscription to Xbox Live Gold. I started out on that console playing Perfect Dark Zero and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. God forbid I open my mouth to inform my team of my position, an enemy position, etc. The moment I’d open my mouth, I was in for it. I suppose I deserve to be called a “fat slut”, “whore”, “no life-having bitch”, etc. for trying to participate in a team-based gametype. It was almost enough to make me want to get a refund on my Xbox.

    But, I sucked it up and dealt with it. To this day, I refuse to let little boys and immature “men” to ruin something I enjoy and that I’m good at to boot. If you dish it out, trust me, it won’t be anything compared to what I say to you in return. I’ve developed a thick skin over time, because that’s just what I have to put up with if I want to be an online gamer. Simple fact.

    This in no way means any actions like these are right. And for those of you who claim they’ve never heard this level of badmouthing online; feel lucky, it’s obviously never been directed at you. Just last month, for instance, I happened to have the highest overall score on a game of Hardcore Search and Destroy on CoD: MW3. What did it get me? Someone on the opposite team had overheard me talking with one of my friends who was playing with me about my young daughter, who had just gotten out of the hospital after nearly slipping into a coma due to diabetes complications. His response to all of it? He wished us both death. He threatened to come to my house and rape me AND my 4 year old daughter, after him and his sister were finished kicking my ass. Charming. Also, I shortened this little story up a bit, due to the fact that what he said was EXTREMELY graphic; so much so, that everyone in the lobby didn’t even hesitate to verbally attack this guy.

    “ill make u swallow my sp**m and sniff my sh*t like its cocane” – a random message I received from someone in a lobby just yesterday.

    “Instead of asking t o not be as flirty or anything you go straight for
    the “thats being disrespectful.” Learn to be tactful, Nikki. Then maybe
    will you earn some respect from me and a mention to those that count
    for the Frag Dolls.” – a delightful message received by another user, two days ago, who claims he’ll ruin my reputation (and my currently pending resume) with the Frag Dolls. It was because I asked him to calm himself; he was talking pretty filthy to me. For those of you who don’t know who the Frag Dolls are… http://www.FragDolls.com. Anyways, bullying and intimidation is also a common reality, other than some disgusting, suggestive language.

    My point is that this IS reality for openly female gamers. We put up with things like this on a daily basis if we dare play online, play really well, have a “cute voice”, “sound fat”, or happen to look decent. It doesn’t matter, we can never win with these types.

    I don’t believe I should be treated any different than male gamers, but on the other side of the coin, I never hear guys talking to other guys in this harsh of a manner, or threatening a potential job or their children. But hey, I could be wrong.

    I mute when I have to, block all contact if they persist, report them for harassment, and move on. For the ones who I meet in lobbies who like my gameplay, appreciate my teamwork, and who don’t mind having a lady show them up… they get to enjoy my polite nature, my friendliness, and the fact that they have a teammate who can actually play worth a damn and help them win. Those are REAL men, and they’re the ones who I greatly appreciate and respect.

    I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make. I suppose I’m just speaking out from my own experiences as a female gamer.

    • Grow up Gen Y

      Quote
      >>>>>>>>>”Free speech!” The oldest and worst excuse
      for being a jerk there is. First, you have no right to free speech in
      privately-owned spaces. Zero. Our house, our rules. Second, with freedom comes the responsibility not to abuse it. People who won’t use their
      freedoms responsibly get them taken away. And if you don’t clean up your
      act, that will be you.”<<<<<<<<<

      I find this one pretty funny as well.
      As I recall it was the Pro-Wymin Rights activist that were the first ones to use this one.

      Seems you are rolling off quite a few punishments that I personally do not think you have the ass to back up.

      In any case REAL MEN are brothers to other men not nitwits that promote feminism on line.

      In any case it was the MEN that fought for "Freedom of Speech" and yes I mean on real battle fields, and I'm guessing Real Men may have to do the same again.

      Only this time around it might be wise to take your words and punishments and apply them directly back on guys like you so society does not have this problem again.

      So lets set the record straight, and lay off the passive aggressive BS.
      YOU ARE NOT A DECENT MAN.
      But you are a Idiot.

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  • Morgan

    This is so freakin’ great. Thank you for writing it.

  • Chris G

    You said: “Men are more powerful than women: financially, politically, and physically.”

    I think that deep-seated, maybe even unconscious belief is the key point that separates me as a man from you: I truly do not see women as less powerful.

    Maybe it’s because I was raised by a very strong working mother. Maybe it’s because I had a modern career in a Fortune 500 company where three out of my six bosses over the years have been women and for me that’s completely normal. My co-workers have been women and I never questioned or even seen that as special. I personally hired a woman and there was nothing special about it. The fact was she could do the job and was really good at what she did.

    Maybe I’m just blind and don’t see the privilege. That’s what many would say but in my life experience women have been powerful, have been my bosses and my co-workers and it’s normal.

    I think for people like this author, they truly do not have it in their bones that women ARE powerful as people and can or can not chose to contribute in our modern, industrialized society. The times where only the physically powerful have “power” is long gone. It’s been true for a while that what matters is the neurons in your head and what mental skills you can bring to the table.

    Because of this, I just think articles like this one are incredibly patronizing and basically infantilize women who apparently need “strong” men in the corner. Barf!

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