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In most games I play, from World of Warcraft
to Star Wars: The Old Republic
, I make an effort to play mainly female characters. Unlike other males who play female characters, this isn't for cosmetic reasons; I'm not one of those dudes who can't bear to stare at his male character's butt for multiple hours a day. (How this is ever an argument that makes sense to people, I don't know.) This was a conscious decision on my part a few years ago, when I started to become aware of the discrimination faced by female characters.
See, when you make the decision to make a female character, you're intentionally and unintentionally signing up for a number of things. First, you are intentionally signing up to play a female character. This could be because you identify as female, because you prefer the look of female characters, or any number of other reasons (including the butt one). What you're unintentionally signing up for goes further.
You're unintentionally signing up for jokes made at your expense in a raid, like when my priest
hit 85 and did BH in leveling gear, and my low HPS was mocked because I was a girl playing WoW
. You're unintentionally signing up for harassment, for the catcalls and people begging you to talk in Vent
, like you're a rare species of bird they'll only be able to hear once. You're unintentionally signing up to be victimized by other players
because you dared roll something other than male
at level 1, and you didn't know there'd be consequences for that choice.
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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria