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Subject: This is how complaints against sexism are treated here at BGG rss

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Ron Parker
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Scrogdog wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
Of course, being men we understand that it's normal and acceptable and it's only those hysterical, oversensitive, crybaby girls who find offense where none was intended, right? That's why we only make those jokes when there are no women around, isn't it? No? So why do we only make those jokes when there are no women around?


I've already explained this. It's called man-speak.


But you haven't explained it. You've only attempted to excuse it by saying it's normal and acceptable and besides, they do it too.

It may be normal, but if we try hard enough we, as men, can change that.

It's definitely not acceptable, even if there is a female equivalent, because we, as men, are in a position of power. I don't think I like that situation any more than you do, but realizing it and dealing with it is one of the burdens that comes with the job.

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Steve Willows
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parkrrrr wrote:
Scrogdog wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
Of course, being men we understand that it's normal and acceptable and it's only those hysterical, oversensitive, crybaby girls who find offense where none was intended, right? That's why we only make those jokes when there are no women around, isn't it? No? So why do we only make those jokes when there are no women around?


I've already explained this. It's called man-speak.


But you haven't explained it. You've only attempted to excuse it by saying it's normal and acceptable and besides, they do it too.

It may be normal, but if we try hard enough we, as men, can change that.

It's definitely not acceptable, even if there is a female equivalent, because we, as men, are in a position of power. I don't think I like that situation any more than you do, but realizing it and dealing with it is one of the burdens that comes with the job.



Do you think it is useful to punish women for having PMS?

We don't do it. Why?

Because it is a normal biological condition.

Men's sexuality is NOT A DISEASE thank you very much! It is a normal biological condition that we must deal with. Just like any facet of the human condition.

Now, if I make a mistake I'll apologize. But how about waiting until I, in fact, make one?

Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.

I'm never going to agree with that.

Man-speak is typically harmless as is women-speak. I'm not defending either as neither needs a defense!

It's called being a human being for god's sake!

I can abuse people and use words as weapons any time I want to. No man speak required!
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Melissa Rohs
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Scrogdog wrote:
russ wrote:
But the wargame forum is mostly male, so it is probably harder for many to notice sexist jokes or grok why they might make women feel unwelcome or pissed off.


Yes. It has become a "man club" and we became comfortable with that.

Honestly, this is quite a human thing. People don't realize what's happening in their comfort.

That's when other people with courage need to step up to the plate.


Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".
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Ron Parker
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Scrogdog wrote:

Do you think it is useful to punish women for having PMS?

We don't do it. Why?


Yes we do. "Man, she's a bitch today, must be her time of the month."

Quote:
Men's sexuality is NOT A DISEASE thank you very much! It is a normal biological condition that we must deal with. Just like any facet of the human condition.


I've got just as much testosterone as any man my age, and yet somehow I'm able to (usually) avoid making comments that degrade women, even when they're not present. Common decency has nothing whatsoever to do with sexuality.

Quote:
Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.


The only private conversation is one you have with yourself. Every other conversation has potential effects that can go beyond you.

Quote:
Man-speak is typically harmless as is women-speak.


And that's the crux of the problem: I'm saying that man-speak (god, how I hate that word) is not in fact harmless, because it helps to support a culture where women are treated as lesser beings.

Quote:
I can abuse people and use words as weapons any time I want to. No man speak required!


Indeed. The goal here is to not want to.

Edit: fixed markup
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Ron Parker
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parkrrrr wrote:

Quote:
Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.


The only private conversation is one you have with yourself. Every other conversation has potential effects that can go beyond you.


To be clear: I'm not trying to tell anyone what they can and can't say. All I'm trying to do is make the case that even "private" locker-room conversations can have the effect of hurting women, whether we intend them to or not. We can still decide for ourselves whether we're okay with that. Speaking for myself, I'm not.
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Steve Willows
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parkrrrr wrote:
Yes we do. "Man, she's a bitch today, must be her time of the month."


Well, maybe you do. I don't.

Quote:
I've got just as much testosterone as any man my age, and yet somehow I'm able to (usually) avoid making comments that degrade women, even when they're not present. Common decency has nothing whatsoever to do with sexuality.


Have you read any of my other posts to this topic? You say that I do not have or support common decency?

Quote:
The only private conversation is one you have with yourself. Every other conversation has potential effects that can go beyond you.


Right. Thought police believe there is no such thing as private conversation, or indeed, once we go down that path, any privacy whatsoever.

Quote:
And that's the crux of the problem: I'm saying that man-speak (god, how I hate that word) is not in fact harmless, because it helps to support a culture where women are treated as lesser beings.


Absolutely 100% false. You might check out getting a better class of friend at your side if that's your experience. This is no more true than the idea that women speak treats men as lesser beings.

Quote:
Indeed. The goal here is to not want to.


Exactly! How do you in your mind transform PRIVATE conversation in to intent to give offense?
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Melissa Rohs
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parkrrrr wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:

Quote:
Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.


The only private conversation is one you have with yourself. Every other conversation has potential effects that can go beyond you.


To be clear: I'm not trying to tell anyone what they can and can't say. All I'm trying to do is make the case that even "private" locker-room conversations can have the effect of hurting women, whether we intend them to or not. We can still decide for ourselves whether we're okay with that. Speaking for myself, I'm not.


This this this!
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Frank La Terra
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Some people need to read the story of the boy who cried wolf.
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Steve Willows
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Mjrohs wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:

Quote:
Thought police condemn PRIVATE conversation and wish to invade our privacy in multiple ways to make sure we behave.


The only private conversation is one you have with yourself. Every other conversation has potential effects that can go beyond you.


To be clear: I'm not trying to tell anyone what they can and can't say. All I'm trying to do is make the case that even "private" locker-room conversations can have the effect of hurting women, whether we intend them to or not. We can still decide for ourselves whether we're okay with that. Speaking for myself, I'm not.


This this this!


I have to say that I am saddened by this.

Bad manners are bad manners. That has nothing to do with man-speak or women-speak.

For example, do I "check out" women? You bet! You ask me to feel bad about it?

It's a matter of good taste. If I do it I do it subtly. I don't want her to know. I'm embarrassed when caught even though I shouldn't be.

I think it is wrong and crass to be overt about it.

I embrace the human condition. I'm not scared of any part of it; it's me.

Now, if I fail ANY human condition test, regardless of circumstance, that's when apologies come out. But let's understand what I am apologizing FOR!

Am I apologizing for checking out women? Not on your life! As I said, once we punish ourselves for being human beings, we set ourselves on a very bad course!

Of course, it would be useful if women in particular understood this from a biological standpoint. I've said a lot here about accepting the diverse nature of mankind on MANY levels.

I wonder if we are going to actually DO it, or just talk about it!
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Ron Parker
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Scrogdog wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
Yes we do. "Man, she's a bitch today, must be her time of the month."


Well, maybe you do. I don't.


If you're going to continue to disingenuously read "we" as anything other than "men in general, present company possibly excluded," we're never going to get anywhere and we may as well stop now.

Quote:
Have you read any of my other posts to this topic? You say that I do not have or support common decency?


I am addressing only your claim that "man-speak" is not detrimental to women if carried on in private. I am claiming that saying degrading things about someone - anyone - even when they're not present, is not common decency. Whatever else you believe is not the subject of this conversation.

Quote:
Absolutely 100% false. You might check out getting a better class of friend at your side if that's your experience. This is no more true than the idea that women speak treats men as lesser beings.


It has nothing to do with my experience. I have no idea whether anything I've said in a private conversation has had larger repercussions. All of my friends seem like perfectly decent human beings. But then, so do most people right up until they do something perfectly awful. (And, to address the obvious misreading, "something perfectly awful" includes leering, catcalling, or otherwise making a woman feel uncomfortable for being a woman. It's not just about more serious crimes like spousal abuse or rape.)

"Woman-speak" does treat men as lesser beings, and to the extent that it does it, too, is unacceptable. The difference is that women are not generally in a position to enforce that belief. But in any case, as I'm not a woman myself there's nothing I can do about it as I'm never a party to it by definition. I am a party to "man-speak" conversations, and I (mostly) refuse to participate. If every man did the same, the problem would go away.

Parenthetically, if women would also do the same, "women-speak" would go away, too, and men would no longer be able to use its existence as a crutch to excuse their own bad behavior. That's probably something that women should want to deal with. But that's a cause for the women to take up; I'm not going to tell them what to do because that would sort of defeat my entire purpose.

Quote:
Exactly! How do you in your mind transform PRIVATE conversation in to intent to give offense?


Easy. I don't. I've said over and over that intent is not the point. Jokes and comments that degrade women hurt women regardless of intent or audience.
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Steve Willows
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parkrrrr wrote:
snip


Ok, ok. You are welcome to your opinion.

I can only say that not only do I vehemently disagree with you, I find your position rather unhealthy from a societal standpoint.

We agree to disagree. Good day, sir!
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Butlerian Atreides
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Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


What about the caveman with the club dragging the woman to their cave?
 
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Ron Parker
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Scrogdog wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
snip


Ok, ok. You are welcome to your opinion.

I can only say that not only do I vehemently disagree with you, I find your position rather unhealthy from a societal standpoint.

We agree to disagree. Good day, sir!


Fair enough. Thanks for the civil debate, and a good day to you too.

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Melissa Rohs
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Butlerian wrote:
Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


What about the caveman with the club dragging the woman to their cave?


This is a joke right? If so . If not shake
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Russ Williams
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Butlerian wrote:
Mjrohs wrote:

Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


What about the caveman with the club dragging the woman to their cave?

?

Are you drawing on cliches about cavemen dragging women to caves to justify sexism, or to say that we should strive to be as "normal" as those cavemen were?

And whether or not those cavemen cliches are true (AFAIK they are more the stuff of cartoons than reality), are you saying that cavemen somehow did not have culture of their own?
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Butlerian Atreides
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Uhuh, no I'm not justifying anything. I'm only saying that sexist behaviour is in essence human nature. Luckily we are a society where this isn't tolerated any more. We came a long way.
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Russ Williams
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Butlerian wrote:
Uhuh, no I'm not justifying anything. I'm only saying that sexist behaviour is in essence human nature. Luckily we are a society where this isn't tolerated any more. We came a long way.

OK, I'm sorry I misunderstood what you meant.
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Melissa Rohs
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Butlerian wrote:
Uhuh, no I'm not justifying anything. I'm only saying that sexist behaviour is in essence human nature. Luckily we are a society where this isn't tolerated any more. We came a long way.


Again, it isn't. There have been plenty of cultures throughout where women were respected and revered. Sociologists refer to our culture as a rape culture for good reason.
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Steve Willows
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Mjrohs wrote:
Sexist behavior is not human nature. It is cultural. Because European sentiment is accepted as the correct way of viewing things, we assume that this is "normal".


Thank you. Exactly correct.

Thus the human condition battle; mankind has decided what it means, in a general sense, to be civilized. Our challenge is to use our intellect, that thing that separates us from savage animals, to make the correct decisions in face of baser instinct.

That's what being human is all about.

In many philosophical topics that I have participated in on BGG, I hear a lot of things that I like to hear. The understanding that a better world means not only equality for all humans, but accepting what a marvelously diverse group of beings we are.

Does that mean that we are only speaking about ethnic diversity, or is it that we also need to acknowledge the idea that, yes, men really are from Mars? Women are from Venus.

The way this whole sub-point has evolved showcases a weakness with us in my opinion. That women have chosen to consider men's admiration of them, even if overt, as some sort of wrong, foul or bad is unfortunate.

It's biological. We can't help it.

So let's talk about what we CAN help. How we deal with the human condition. Not in just this way, but in every way.

Trust me, I UNDERSTAND that it is wrong for me to overtly admire a woman's chest and then make some crass comment to my friend. Am I saying it is wrong to admire a woman's chest, then?

Nope. Again... not on your life.

So the matter then becomes my reaction. How I deal with it. What's cool and what's not cool.

Now, I may make a more reasonable comment to my friend. That's a fact. To me, I am doing so to someone who UNDERSTANDS so to speak. But it's still "our little secret".

If I get caught, well, sorry. Truly I am.

It's like any other human condition battle. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

But if we begin to punish ourselves for actually BEING human we are in for a great deal of societal trouble in my humble opinion.

Ok, off the soap box.
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Jon M
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Pone4games wrote:
A number of people have asked for examples of what Jude was discussing. I do not have a specific one from the Wargamming forum, but have one originally from the General Gaming forum.

Sexism and related types of discourse do appear with some frequency here on the geek. The recent example I reacted to was who's the hottest girl on BGG which was originally posted in the General Gaming forums and then moved to the RSP forums. There were quite a few male members who participated and quite a few of their image submissions were removed (by the individual or maybe admin, don't know which). My general feelings of offense to the thread and reaction was to use (or attempt to use) levity and I posted my submissions on page 3 of this thread. I was attempting to use imagery that illustrated the extremely juvenile and frankly embarrassing behavior being exhibited by some male members on this thread.

I would also like to note that many male members of the BGG did post in this thread expressing their disappoint, disgust, and/or various levels of protest to such a thread.

We are a community here and as such have to take the good with the bad. I believe, on this site, the majority of members here are of a good nature and do not wish to foster or even appear to support sexism or any other type of prejudiced behavior and I appreciate that members like Jude take the time, and risk, to try and raise awareness of such issues and behaviors. Overall, I believe it will help us be a better community.


But that was a classic case of the community not accepting sexist behaviour. The guy posted a sexist thread and the entire first page of replies is people pouring scorn on his idea.

The original complaint was also a classic example of such a thing as well. Have you read the historical quotes thread? Two people took the poster of the Friedrich quote to task about it. He came back with some justification and it was all put down to the historical interpretation of Friedrichs intent.

The fact that there is so much WTF going on here is that BGG is one of the least sexist male dominated sections of the internet around. The fact that the OP cannot point to any concrete examples of sexism displayed towards her is pretty telling. If I could see some quotes from a number of wargame posts she would have a point. As it is I read a lot of wargame posts and have seen next to nothing of what she complained about.

Now if she was complaining about the Case Blue joke then she would have a point.
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Ron Parker
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Scrogdog wrote:
The way this whole sub-point has evolved showcases a weakness with us in my opinion. That women have chosen to consider men's admiration of them, even if overt, as some sort of wrong, foul or bad is unfortunate.


There are lots of ways to express admiration. Depending on the context, body language, and emphasis, telling a woman "you look nice today" (or telling your friend, "Wow, Jane looks nice today") can either be completely harmless, or tinged with sexual objectification. I don't think it's the former that most women feel threatened by.
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Steve Willows
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parkrrrr wrote:
Scrogdog wrote:
The way this whole sub-point has evolved showcases a weakness with us in my opinion. That women have chosen to consider men's admiration of them, even if overt, as some sort of wrong, foul or bad is unfortunate.


There are lots of ways to express admiration. Depending on the context, body language, and emphasis, telling a woman "you look nice today" (or telling your friend, "Wow, Jane looks nice today") can either be completely harmless, or tinged with sexual objectification. I don't think it's the former that most women feel threatened by.


I think you are missing my larger point as I think I acknowledged that fact in my post.

I'm saying that this is a human condition battle for men. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

In my mind, we just lost here on BGG. Because my geek bud Jude is offended.

But thank the heavens for people like her who have the courage to step up to the plate and speak out.

The wargames forums has become a "man comfort zone". My hope is that now that we recognize it, we'll fix it.

There was no bad intent here whatsoever in my opinion. At least in the general sense. I'm sure some incidents were viewed really badly and rightly so. It was a human condition failure. Embarrassing but far from catastrophic.

We have a pretty good group of folks here. Guys too. I think there will be some changes in conduct going forward.

But if we expect perfection off right off the bat, then we wouldn't be allowing for the human condition, would we?

It will need to evolve over time then. Let's all do our part to properly guide that evolution.
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Mjrohs wrote:
Butlerian wrote:
Uhuh, no I'm not justifying anything. I'm only saying that sexist behaviour is in essence human nature. Luckily we are a society where this isn't tolerated any more. We came a long way.


Again, it isn't. There have been plenty of cultures throughout where women were respected and revered. Sociologists refer to our culture as a rape culture for good reason.


Exactly. There's a ton of rape culturing going on here in BGG. Uh..right. Wait..What?

There's a right way to debate your point, then there's this extreme of correlating physical and sexual violence, to a bunch of guys just shooting off guy talk in a predominantly male forum on BGG.

I honestly do not believe we live in a 'rape culture' statistics say that domestic violence is 40% against males.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-do...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/01/30/a-hidden-crime-domest...

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Scrogdog wrote:
[
The wargames forums has become a "man comfort zone". My hope is that now that we recognize it, we'll fix it.


I think it is more than that.

I don't find it much of a "man comfort zone" - not for this man at least.

As someone who plays a few wargames but who doesn't self-identify as a wargamer there are other aspects about the culture that seem exclusionary to me.

It might be easy to notice some sexism (and there is some) and conflate that with the exclusionary feel and come up with the idea that the sexism problem is larger than it really is.

Also there is a sub-group of people in the wargames forum who are very anti any attempt to change the culture. People have said that different rules should apply to them. This comes across as very hostile and people will stop complaining and some will stop reading.

I think that the wargames forums needs to move towards a more inclusionary culture. Not just because it will feel more friendly to women, or GLBT people, or some other usual group, but also because it will be more friendly to new and casual wargamers too.

Although I have to say that the recent H:RvC vs C&CA thread was very good.

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Melissa Rohs
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Zaid wrote:
Mjrohs wrote:
Butlerian wrote:
Uhuh, no I'm not justifying anything. I'm only saying that sexist behaviour is in essence human nature. Luckily we are a society where this isn't tolerated any more. We came a long way.


Again, it isn't. There have been plenty of cultures throughout where women were respected and revered. Sociologists refer to our culture as a rape culture for good reason.


Exactly. There's a ton of rape culturing going on here in BGG. Uh..right. Wait..What?

There's a right way to debate your point, then there's this extreme of correlating physical and sexual violence, to a bunch of guys just shooting off guy talk in a predominantly male forum on BGG.

I honestly do not believe we live in a 'rape culture' statistics say that domestic violence is 40% against males.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/05/men-victims-do...

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/01/30/a-hidden-crime-domest...



I think you misunderstand what rape culture means.
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