Archive for August, 2009
So, I was going to keep my old blog for just fan fiction, but I need a space to vent and doing so at WoM would be a bad idea, so I’m going to dust off the old blog for a comment or three here.
I caused quite a stir over at WoM with my post on the guild egoist. It got a lot of comments both good and bad. The bad tended to gloss over the content and focus on the verbage. Syd made a reply post and I feel like I should respond but I really don’t want to do that there.
Over the last couple days I’ve been called a misogynist, a pig and I’ve received various “hate mail” about my article. I’d like to say a few things about that. Am I mad at Syd’s post? No far from it. She has every right to respond and dish out what she did. I did however feel like a small child being told “I know you meant well, but what you did was wrong”. My post was a request by two of my readers (and they are female for those who will ask that question). It was a topic they wanted to see covered and talked about that no one really seems to have done before. What I did was take a terribly difficult topic, and give it my best go. Did I do a great job? Not as good as I could have done as many other people have pointed out, but then again no one has attempted to pick up the challenge I laid at the end of the post. No one wants to touch it.
let me give you a bit of background on me. I grew up in a family raised by two women, my grandmother and mother. My closest companion growing up was my younger sister. I was raised on old school ideals of chivalry and honor. I grew up with a healthy respect for women, I mean I owe my well being to two very strong and loving women. Women who gave up a lot to make sure I had an education and a happy childhood. Growing up I knew about feminists and female rights activists, people who desired equality in all things, and I did and still do support them. About when I was 13 I got my first slap in the face. I held the door open at a local store for a woman, she literally slapped me in the face and called me a chauvinist. I was bloody 13 years old! When I asked my mother about it my mother said to me
“Everyone wants to be equal, some people just want to be more equal then others. some people just want to see what they see the way they see it. Just keep doing what you’re doing”
What this meant to me as a teenager, You can’t help everyone because not everyone will see it as help. People will not always see the intent behind your actions. Growing up from that point I continued to hold doors open and be a gentleman. I’ve received the slap in the face verbally a few times after that, but never wavered.
When I got out of high school and made my way into college I met a wonderful professor by the name of Prof. Ewits. The man had written numerous books and studied American history extensively. He was also well versed in psychology and anthropology as well as english . He was an all around scholar. In the first week of class we were studying the puritan texts of the nations founders. I’ll never forget his talk that day.
“The words in this book are outdated. They are the same words we use today, but their meaning has been lost or warped over time. The word have power, weight and meaning because we gave it to them. Take a look at the word Queer. The word had the meaning of ‘to hinder or prevent’, now it has become a term to describe homosexuality. It didn’t get that way overnight, we as a people gave that meaning to the word. Only we as people can strip that meaning away. I urge you to keep this in mind as you read these books. Don’t giggle at the words, don’t exclaim how the books are biased or sexist. Read the words for what they are in the context they are written. Strip them of their negative connotation before you proceed”
This made a hell of a lot of sense to me. I thought about it for a while and I saw his point. I still see his point and I think it’s 100% right. We give these words meanings we give them power. We can blame the meaning that someone gave them 100 years ago, or we can make an effort to change it. Sadly, some words change for the worse. Before it was tained by a negative connotation, the word “gay” was used to describe cheerfulness, something bright and pleasant. It was warped to become a term to describe homosexuality. If I were to say, “that’s fellow is quite gay” you wouldn’t think I was saying he was happy would you?
My post was not an attempt to label an entire community. It was not an attempt to apply a term to all female gamers. I was describing a type of gamer. period. no gender, just gamer in general. In my guild, I’ve had more men then women fit these categories. The diva, we had a male player who did this. Would flirt with the women in the guild hold up raids and cause wipes doing so. Would occasionally mistell with some very provocative things and generally cause lots of trouble. We’ve also had a female who have done this. Both of them were refered to by us as diva’s. In truth I’ve seen more males act like this then women. The same goes for the the vixen. I’ve seen men and women use their sexuality to get what they want. flirting, teasing and under performing while still expecting to get loot or a raid spot. Hell the old raid officer of my guild before I took over the position was referred to as princess, and he was very much male.
So that’s where I am. I don’t really see these words as gender descriptors, I view them as ways to label actions. Did I not do it as well as I could have? again, probably could have used more polish. Do I regret posting it? No, not even close. The post was requested by more then a couple of my readers. The day I tell a reader no I won’t take a shot at a topic because I’m afraid of the repercussions is a day I stop writing period. It’s a hot button topic, mostly because of the verbage surrounding it, but if my readers want to read it I will write it, or at least try to.
For anyone I offended I’m sorry, I hope you realize that I’m NOT a chauvinist, not a pig, but rather a person who believes the words do honestly apply to people regardless of gender. I believe that the words only will have the gender bias for as long as we let them. I fully believe that words only have power and meaning that WE as a people give them. I don’t expect it to happen over night, but I wanted to explain they way I view things so people don’t think I’m just some raging chauvinist. I love my female guildies and raiders, I have grown to be quite close friends with them and I can’t imagine logging into the game without them there to talk to and share our triumphs and defeats with. They are some of my most stalwart raiders and if they read this I appreciate everything you guys do, I appreciate all my raiders.
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