Sexism is good in the gaming community


Upon having secured the modern woman equality in most legislation, this medusa now turns her many heads to the more subtle forms of sexism within society. But as the extreme feminist speaks out against covert sexism, it seems that she has forgotten the meaning of the “equality” that lies at the heart of the movement.

Many feminists today reject the obligation to look pretty in uncomfortable stilettos and curl their painted lips at being jokingly asked to “make a sandwich” because they are signs of sexism. So far so good – until we realise that our armies aren’t half female, and that we still expect men to hold doors open for women.

In one of the most male-dominated communities of today, the gaming community, sexism might seem to threaten its female minority. As a medic in the competitive Team Fortress 2 scene however, I must say that I am rather glad for the lack of “equality”.

While they no longer hunt for food with spears, males in the gaming community have incredible reflexes and aim which do not come as intrinsically to women. Some might say that given enough time, a good female gamer can beat the average male hands down. True, perhaps, but only with a lot more time, effort and a brain configuration that doesn’t represent the typical female’s.

This skill set, one that doesn’t seem intrinsic to women, isn’t the only thing keeping us out. In a competitive online environment where the civility of human face-to-face interaction is stripped away, the sharp bones of criticism and boiling blood are exposed. Men rage, criticise and judge each other in a gaming scene which reeks of testosterone. Female gamers on the other hand, are treated with more restraint and patience, because women cry.

And indeed, despite a watered down version of the competitive community’s lingua franca, vulgarities, we still do. The co-founder of the Asian competitive Team Fortress 2 gaming servers admitted, “I’m pretty sure all the girls have cried at least once before”.

I can just picture the extreme feminist raving: Double-standards! Injustice! Sexism! Women aren’t weak! – Albeit with a little less conviction than normal. Of course, few would admit that sexism can ever be good.

But for the protection that such male restraint and consideration offers female gamers, harmless jokes that instruct us to make sandwiches surely aren’t too big a price to pay.

Sexism in its modern form is more covert, and feminists can march to eliminate it with the same suspicion and paranoia that the Red Scare took towards communism. The extreme feminist can demonise it and demand its utter elimination. The question is, can you survive without it?