Sex, Autism, Gaming and Feminisms.

Misogyny, Sexism, Racism and Homophobia: The Reasons I quit IRC and FPS games.

A long time ago I was a poor kid who was lonely, so I decided hey! Look! The Internet! it will be fun!

The internet community has been my playground for over a decade, I’ve got accounts on Digg, Reddit, Deviantart, twitter, facebook etc etc etc I’ve been on irc netowrks such as freenode, austnet, dalnet, quakenet, hell if there was an irc network I’ve been on it.

On top of this, I play video games REGULARLY WoW, Star Trek:Online, battlefield (et al), tf2, on and on.

And everywhere I go I’m either forced to use a male nick to avoide notice, or if I do identify myself as female risk ‘Tits or GTFO’ ‘Omg a girl on the inernet’ ‘omg pics!’.
Can you imagine how this might make me feel? Hurt, isoltated and TOTALLY objectified.

This is not funny, it’s not a meme, it’s not ‘hilarious’ and i’m certainly not a ‘bitch who cant take a joke’ or who has a ‘’omfg pms much’ (got that one more than I can count).
I’m sick of memes about racism, I’m sick of guys in vent saying ‘OMG RAPED!’ when they kill somebody easily in a game. I’m sick of gay slurs and guys calling each other faggots.

I’m sick of all kinds of this shit.
Now I could post logs of examples, or I could just tell you the story of what happened today.

I was in a regular Bad Company 2 match on one of the 3fl Western Australian servers (best ping, usually they are pretty okay in terms of people). I use the nick ‘Samanth0r’ when I’m online in games or on irc. Sometimes this gets picked up as female sometimes it doesn’t. My name is Samantha so it seemed appropriate.

now today, i get a private message in game with this guy sending me his phone number, asking about my body, and requesting sexual favours. I get angry and chastise him in open channel, he says ‘omg I trolled you so hard lol!’.

this isn’t cool. Trolling isn’t funny, It’s not respectable, And i’m over it.
It’s no better than grade school teasing and it’s being acted out by so called ‘responsible’ adults online everyday in most every community.

Every day, being a woman online in male dominated communities I get chastised for being a woman, or at least I feel like it because whenever I assert myself I either get called a bitch or told to shut up.

When I call out guys on behaviour I think is really offensive, I get shouted at.
Online I am under constant threat of being turned into an object.
I’m tired of it.
I can’t do it anymore.

I’ll keep up my blogging, I’ll be on msn, I’ll be on the places you would expect to find me, but irc and gamming communities I’m out.

Now you can tell me that this is behaviour that should be ‘put up with’ and that ‘its the internet’ but let’s be honest here, i don’t have to put up with that in my daily life in REAL LIFE why should I or WANT TO put up with it online? Why should I even need to?
You’re asking me to accept that I’m an object and that I have no voice.
That’s a breach of everything I hold dear to myself and the human race.

Maybe it’s time a lot of internet communities re-examine their behaviour, many of them wonder why they can’t get female members? Is it do hard to realise why when the first thing you ask for is a picture of our breasts? or for ‘proof’?
Why can’t we just be members of a community known for our knowledge, our abilities and our own voices?

Why internet communities, where so many of you value equality, justice, liberty and the right to choose, suddenly shout down women’s voices? Make sexist jokes at the slightest urging? Berate women’s opinions when we stand up for ourselves and then claim biological determinism as an argument for your hatred (I’m looking at you reddit and digg).
I’m tired, I’m sick of fighting just to have a voice and I’m sick of being treated like a second class citizen. But not just me, I’m sick of womens treatment online, the treatment of minorities, GLBT people, women and men of colour, hell I’m just tired of the unaccepting attitudes that are so dominant among even the smallest irc channels top the largest networks.

Why do you hate us? Why is it fun to make fun of us?
I’d love an answer if you’ve got one.

In peace, Samantha Davies


And one last thing, to those of you who do think as I do (I know there are even some men out there who do in these communities) why are you often unwilling to stand up against the crowd? It just hurts yourself and others if you stay silent.


4 responses

  1. Alistair Lynn

    IRC is ‘Real Life’. The internet is ‘real life.’ Being transmitted electronically doesn’t mean it’s a figment of your imagination: the other people are real people, and IRC is a very real social context, albeit one carried over the tubes – you’re certainly not helping your case by claiming that it isn’t.

    2010/05/27 at 5:26 pm

    • Avoiding topic with semantics. The internet is real life. I’m aware that it is populated by REAL PEOPLE. My post has nothing to do with that.

      2010/05/27 at 5:34 pm

  2. Ergh ja I hear you on this one. I play on one mmorpg as male, as you know + when I “come out” as female, ppl seem oddly shocked. And there is racism and sexism and homophobia. Whether or not it actually has any effect, I send an abuse report for every single one. And I shout out about it too. I’d play female, but on that particular game all female avatars are fecking britney style. And I’m stuck on that damn game because of my connection and os. Anyway, glad you haven’t given up the net and all ur games.

    2010/05/27 at 8:45 pm

  3. aa

    just a quiet one..I’ve been a girl all my life…guys like tits..they objectify women…its life…ignore those assholes and give your attention to the ones who don’t…on gaming..i’ve never had to change sex to be accepted…always play female…kick ass too…there will always be losers with small minds…like I say ignore them you cannot change them and when you draw them out on it you add fuel to their fire and their hate grows. Be better than them!

    2010/06/20 at 3:53 am

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