The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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irixith
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by irixith Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:19 pm

Isn't the reason obvious? We (the collective we) socialize our children to believe that particular things or characteristics or activities are "masculine" or "feminine". The very idea that we can say things like "girls don't do this", or "boys don't do that" is so unbelievably ludicrous, and yet it commands all of our lives at every given moment.

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MrPopo
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by MrPopo Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:23 pm

irixith wrote:The very idea that we can say things like "girls don't do this", or "boys don't do that" is so unbelievably ludicrous, and yet it commands all of our lives at every given moment.

I feel like I should make a pregnancy reference, but that only opens me up to someone posting the movie poster for Junior.

But yes, outside of biologically-determined actions there's absolutely no reason for there to be "girl activities" and "boy activities".
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s1mplehumar
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by s1mplehumar Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:45 pm

irixith wrote:*snip*


While I disagree (completely), I wouldn't get too discouraged on your end. Isn't it evident that gender roles are already rapidly overlapping?

I believe that gender offers a completely unique, and invaluable contribution to themselves, to families, and to the very fabric of our society.
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pepharytheworm
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by pepharytheworm Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:57 pm

s1mplehumar wrote:
irixith wrote:*snip*


While I disagree (completely), I wouldn't get too discouraged on your end. Isn't it evident that gender roles are already rapidly overlapping?

I believe that gender offers a completely unique, and invaluable contribution to themselves, to families, and to the very fabric of our society.

You don't need gender roles for people to fit within roles in our society. Anybody could effectively fit any role usually associated with one sex or the other. Gender shouldn't have anything to do with what role you place yourself within society.
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irixith
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by irixith Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:18 pm

s1mplehumar wrote:
irixith wrote:*snip*


While I disagree (completely), I wouldn't get too discouraged on your end. Isn't it evident that gender roles are already rapidly overlapping?

I believe that gender offers a completely unique, and invaluable contribution to themselves, to families, and to the very fabric of our society.


Ah, but I'm not talking about gender roles, but gender itself.

Humans are sexed "male" and "female". That sex determines certain physical characteristics -- genitalia, reproductive system, etc -- the basics. There are no biological determinants that ascribe what interests, activities, colours, clothing you'll like when you get older -- it's socialization. Ascribing any of those things to a particular sex is just as harmful as ascribing a particular role -- you'll do this because you're female, or that because your male. No!

Roles ARE important, I agree. Basing them on your biological sex, or worse, gendering them based on your biological sex is something I can't get behind at all.
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Retrogamer0001 Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:08 pm

As mentioned, gender is a social construction. As such, it is based on the values of the society it exists within - a large part of this has to do with tradition, religion, and family values. It's more comfortable for many people to label "boy things" and "girl things" because that's the social norm. This labeling is also to protect children from being seen as outcasts inside society and for them to have a place within it - imagine how a boy would look to his peers if he played with Barbies while all the rest played baseball. Society isn't kind to this sort of thing and people are taught to view this behavior as wrong/strange.

I do think we're beginning to see a greater blurring of the lines between genders, especially with traditionally male/female activities such as sports, employment, and hobbies. I don't think we'll ever see a gender-blind society though.
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Ivo Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:52 am

There are some studies with monkeys and chimps and depending on their biological gender they do prefer to play with dolls or so on. It is hard to say to what extent "chimp society" is conditioning them - I would say not that much as if I recall the dolls and boyish alternatives were placed there for the study so there shouldn't be much of a societal effect. At least to me those studies reinforce my pre-existing bias for thinking that gender isn't exclusively a social construction. At the very least I really think pregnancy and the easier breast feeding "breaks the symmetry" if nothing else (hormones?) does.
For example, in chimp society the girl chimps will possibly be emulating behaviour of the adult females:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... evolution/
The study with monkeys is with introduced toys:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... 1YhmmSztXc
If you are interested you can google for more info on the studies and make your own conclusions.
It warrants much more research in my opinion, but I wouldn't be surprised that there is a small biological component that gets amplified significantly by society.

I certainly agree that to a great extent gender roles are mostly a social construction - I'm talking about stuff like watching sports "is for guys" or "cooking is for women". It is also my opinion that reinforcing that kind of stuff is pervasive and sometimes it is even hard to notice that some conditioning is happening (but it is). I think it was even in this forum that I read someone giving an example: a baby girl picks up "girl toys", the grandparents find it cute and smile at her. Conversely they don't pay much attention to the baby if she picks up boys' toys. That is extremely subtle but is already conditioning.

Whether that is in the end positive or detrimental to society as a whole is a different topic. I think a lot of women are actually very happy about the status quo (and actually a lot of discrimination against women going against societal gender roles comes from other women, perhaps more so than from men). Same goes for men, and those that go against societal gender roles getting lots of backlash from other men. This doesn't mean it doesn't suck for the minorities challenging the societal roles but at least it makes one wonder if the "oppressive" majority is indeed being well served by the societal gender roles.
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Re: Sexism: The reason why women are turned away from gaming

by Aramonde Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:23 am

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Uh-oh....

IMO, video games are no more misogynistic than any other medium. Video games, fans, on the other hand...


I really think only a very small portion of the gaming community is misogynistic/sexist. When a female developer get harassed everyone says "OMG look at this! This is a huge problem in the industry!" when its mostly trolls. If a female actress gets harassed you don't people movie enthusiasts are sexist. This is the internet, their are trolls, lots of them. people need to stop thinking these idiots make up for the majority of gamers.
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