I’m going to start with disclaimers.
I know there’s a lot of talk and interest right now regarding feminism and WoW.
I know I’m on a list of female GM’s over at Bossy Pally.
I know that this is an interesting and important topic to many people and I am truly not trying to downplay that or imply that it shouldn’t be.
Yet, I see all this discussion going on and I see me being held up (by Zel anyway) as an example of female leadership. To all this, my reaction is honestly this:
So what if I’m a girl and I happen to be in charge of my guild?
So what if we have a female main tank?
So what if we have several females in our raiding core?
In a game where a player can choose to hide their real life identity and do it well enough that no one ever really knows for sure whether that character is played by a man or a woman, why does it matter which roles women choose to take on in that game?
Even without hiding my gender in the game, I have never felt like I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. Sure, there are always going to be jerks who will discriminate against women, or homosexuals, or Jewish people. But that’s because there are people like that in real life and it’s a reflection of the overall population of the world, not a slice of gamers or game designers.
I just don’t see anyone out there forcing the gender issue in a way that prevents women from doing whatever it is they want to do in the game. Frankly, if you’re a female and want to be a main tank or a GM or a raid leader or a PvP champion, your skill and ability are going to be the only things that can make or break that dream.
But Alas, you might be thinking. This doesn’t capture any of the essence of what this feminism discussion is all about!
That’s probably so. To be brutally honest, gender discussions bore me. I simply don’t care about the question of equality beyond a certain point. That point is one of mental ability. I won’t ever believe that a man is automatically smarter than I could ever be just because of his gender. At the same time, I’m totally willing to admit that there are many men and women out there who are smarter than me.
I suppose for me, the question of equality doesn’t come down to a line drawn between men and women. We all, as individuals, have our own blends of strengths and weaknesses. You might be a super freaky math genius. I might be apt at memorizing whole chapters of information. Your math smarts don’t make you better than me, just as my ability to retain a lot of information doesn’t make me better than you.
Again, I may be missing the whole point. You can tell me if I am and attempt to educate me if so. But to me, we’re all just people doing what we want to do – at least as far as gaming is concerned – so what’s the big deal?