It’s time to talk about sexism.

Quick summary: Don’t treat people differently because of their gender. Doing anything else is sexist

There, hopefully we’ve got that straight.   A user has commented on the website (on the ‘Contacting Us’ page, which explicitly says “don’t comment here, your comments will be deleted, use IRC or the Forum”) saying that he was muted for being sexist, and he wasn’t.

Well, actually, yes he was.    Here’s what he said:

girls dont exist on the internet   
actually, girls on games are a myth
girly skins just mean wierd guys
what saying girl gamers are a myth... lol that aint sexist

So here’s the problem. It’s proveably true that girls play games. It’s also proveably true that girls use the internet. This means your statement is proveably false. Ergo. you’re wrong.

So why are you saying it? What point are you trying to make? Are you trying to say that “Gender doesn’t matter online”. Well, yes it does matter. It matters enough that I assume someone is male until they say otherwise (This is wrong, and sexist in itself, but I don’t make a big deal about it). People are people, right? You’re just a person. You may be a nice person, or a nasty person, but you’re just a person. Your gender has nothing to do with it. So yes. Normally, Gender doesn’t matter online. Unless you, or they, want it to matter.

So if we know what you’re trying to say, why were you muted? The answer to that is somewhat more complex. You’re propagating a stereotype. Girls do exist. They have a gender. They may not wish to come out and tell you they’re a girl, but they are. Treating them any differently BECAUSE they’re a girl is not on. Making them feel irrelevant, or even worse, making them think have to pretend to be a guy to get your respect or attention, is totally not on.

Saying that, I’m not perfect. If you’re a girl, and I assume you’re a guy, please don’t get offended. Feel free to correct me (or not, that’s totally up to you), and life will continue on.

Minecraft is a game for people of all ages. Our youngest player is 4 (that I know of – and it’s my son, Blake, or blakeqld in game), and our oldest player is over 60. None of these people care what’s between your legs. They care if you’re nice. They care if you’re honest, and they care that you’re not a griefer. That’s about it.

We’ve always (and this goes back way before we were a minecraft server, back when we were a TF2 server) had hard rules about sexism. IT shall not happen. You don’t treat someone differently because of their gender. You don’t dismiss someone because of their gender. You don’t ignore someone because of their gender. Don’t be sexist. Not hard.

You may be wondering why we take such a hard-line stance toward sexism. Imagine, if you’re a male (and females won’t NEED to imagine this, as they live it every day), being discriminated against every day. Having your body treated as a piece of meat for display. Having your intellect belittled because you happened to be born with the wrong set of chromosomes. Being unable to play the sport you want to play, because its for “Boys Only”. (And don’t get me onto how this new ‘Lingerie Football’ is terrible. The only way females can get people to watch them play is by wearing almost nothing? Geez). I’m a bit over it. All of us are a bit over it. So you may be warned once, but then you’ll be muted or kicked or banned.

The same thing goes with homophobia, too. We don’t tolerate slurs against peoples sexuality, no matter what it may be. But everyone’s pretty good about that these days.

As an aside, if you happen to watch stuff I post on facebook, you’ll see that I’m reasonably involved in the Roller Derby community in Australia. These are girls (and guys) that are involved in one of the most amazing new sports you’ve ever seen. For those that haven’t seen it, it’s been described as “full contact chess on rollerskates”. And that’s pretty much exactly what it is. It’s an amazing game, and is great for women. It’s inclusive, and hard, and fun. And they don’t have to wear almost nothing to get people to come and watch (although, admittedly, a lot of them do wear almost nothing, because it’s a lot more comfortable). This is what sports should be. They are inclusive: If you identify and live as a female, you can skate in a girls team. If you’re straight, gay, or bi, you can skate. If you’re black, white, or covered in bruises (which is surprisingly common after a bout), you can skate. If you’re a guy, you can skate (in a mens team, or as a ref). If you can’t skate, you can act as an off-skate official. If you can’t officiate, you can be an announcer. If you can’t announce, then you can hang around and watch the game and help out. If you can’t hang around and watch the game, then you don’t know what fun is.

That’s inclusivity. And that’s what we try to achieve here. No differences. No priority. No player is better than any other player, except as determined by their skill. Not by their gender, or who they love.

Sorry for this essay, but I didn’t want to simply dismiss this players concern as ‘yes, you were sexist’ without explaining to him HOW he was being sexist. Hopefully this has clarified our position.

7 thoughts on “It’s time to talk about sexism.”

  1. My internet name ‘Trowzers’ is a legacy of sexism online. I chose it 10 years ago, because I found when using a ‘girly’ name, all conversation inevitably turned towards my gender – either personal questions about me, sexual comments, or accusing me of being a guy ‘pretending’ to be a girl – instead of continuing to talk about whatever they’d been talking about. So I chose a name that was more masculine so I could just exist without drawing attention. It’s not so bad these days, but I’ve kept the name because I’m used to it (but if anyone asks I’ll happily admit that I’m female!)
    Also, a warning to those who think there are no girls who play games – not only do they play games (between 40-50% of people playing games are female, and it’s higher for Minecraft), but the number of girls who go on to be moderators or administrators are also very high! From personal experience, game moderators can be up to 80% female depending on the game. But it’s not unusual to have more girls that boys on moderation staff. So not only do girls play, but they can ban your booty – have a little respect!

  2. The only time I wish for gender in Minecraft is when somebody makes a comment like the one quoted, just because I want to punch them in the crotch and I want it to hurt as much as possible.

  3. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a few
    minutes and actual effort to produce a superb article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot
    and never manage to get nearly anything done.

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