I made a mistake today. I was playing Pinkamena and forgot to hide trade chat when I zoned in Shattrath to train. Oh how I regret it.
Today is International Women’s Day. A day designed to empower and inspire women. A day to promote gender equality. And in WoW, a day for imature assholes to try and belittle girls in the game.
I try and keep Trade chat turned off if I don’t need it, which is most of the time. There is only so much spam I can take before I want to end all of humanity, and I find if I want to enjoy my time in game it’s best I don’t read it. But I only set Pinkamena’s UI up yesterday and wasn’t in a main city at the time, and I forgot. I dinged 64 and HS’ed back to train, but ended up going AFK for a few minutes. This meant when I saw stuff being said in Trade about IWD me being the masochist I am I could scroll back up and read even more of it. *sigh*
It started off with one person saying about how it was IWD, and her partner had bought her flowers. Innocent enough but it was a matter of minutes before the “Women should stay in the kitchen and enjoy it” type comments started up. Then the obligatory “Why do WOMEN get a special day, that’s SEXIST!!”, followed by the “Women have way more rights than men nowadays it’s really unfair”. I wanted to ask them when the last time someone treated them badly because of their gender was, but I knew if I did that would just make the trolling worse. By this point it had gotten to “In celebration of this day then I’ll allow a female player to heal me in a heroic and won’t get mad when they suck” so I trained and got the hell out of there. I’ve now fixed my UI.
Now I’m sure a lot of people will say that that was purely trolling and none of it was meant seriously. Maybe a lot of it WAS, but some of it probably wasn’t. And even if it is a joke, bear in mind there are young people playing this game that might think that this is the correct way to behave around women in a game. And I don’t know about other women, but I like to play games to get away from the crap I deal with in real life. I don’t need more crap in game.
As for why do we need IWD, just look at what’s going on in the US when certain political factions want to ban simple things like birth control so a women can’t have a say over her own body. The world is getting better but it’s still far from equal. One of my guildies net connection went down before last weekend, and she had a hell of a time trying to get the tech support guy to listen to her, because after all, what would a woman know about it… *sigh* When I worked as a projectionist at a local cinema I was treated with disdain by film deliverers and even one of the assistant managers because I was female and it was ususally a male dominated post. I did my job just as well as the other two male projectionist, but I was ridiculed because with the longer films I had to sometimes make two trips when carrying the reels upstairs to the projection booth to be made up instead of carrying all the reels at once.
In the context of video games, we need IWD to deal with things like the stuff posted on Fat,Ugly or Slutty, which whilst you may laugh at some of the things posted it’s really quite horrifying.
At the end of the day when I play WoW I don’t want to be treated specially, I just want to be treated the same.