Q8. As a male persona, have you ever experienced any overt sexism?
Of the 16 males 11 replied "no", 4 replied "yes" and 1 didn't answer. Of the 7 females who have played a male persona 5 replied "no" and 2 didn't answer.
It was generally accepted that male personae are not on the receiving end of sexism however the 4 males how did reply "yes" had this to say on the subject:
" ... have a feeling male wizzes pamper to females more as they are rare."
"[have experienced] female players EXPECTING to have their hand held, or receive favours for easy advantage."
"people trust you less when you are male ... [before getting to know you]."
These 4 respondents discussed how there was gender-stereotyping and any sexism experienced was on the basis of this. The subject of favouritism was also mentioned. Examples were female personae being more likely to receive a prefix and how certain wizzes are more likely to be visible if certain (female) players are on.
Q9. Regardless of your gender would you consider yourself sexist in any way?
Of the males 4 replied "yes", 11 replied "no" and 1 didn't answer. Of the females 2 replied "yes" and 7 replied "no".
Interestingly enough this does not match up with the responses from Q7. In Q7 6 males responded that they had been knowingly sexist. A distinction has been made between acting in a sexist manner and being sexist. This reflects the views on role-playing.
The 4 males who considered themselves sexist had this to say:
"Yeah, I think I am. However it's not just females, males do things as bad, if not worse, deserving a good sarcastic comment too."
"Only in a jokey non-serious way. I don't mind a lady buying me a drink or holding the door for me" Ohh, was that inverse sexism?"
"Everyone has preconceptions."
" ... [I] would relate to females slightly differently to males. Don't know if that qualifies - I'd certainly never see it as a negative thing."
Clearly these forms of sexism are on a different level to the sexism experienced by female players in Q5.
The 2 females who considered themselves to be sexist said this:
"Yes, I do generally assume most players are male unless told otherwise."
There was one female who responded to this question as follows:
"Apart from silly jokes which everyone says from time to time, I believe all is fair in love, war and mud."
However in a later question (Q14) she had this to say:
"Women have far more to do in RL than to worry about making wiz."
And so in one fell swoop she demonstrates some arguably sexist preconceptions about both male players and women in general, as well as having a dig at witches!
Q17. Have you experienced or witnessed any unwelcome obscene behaviour towards a female player?
Of the males 10 replied "yes" and 6 replied "no". Of the females 5 replied "yes" and 4 replied "no".
Specifics that were mentioned were "virtual rape" scenarios acted out by anonymous male personae during Wireplay days, obscene anonymous mudmails that were also mentioned in Q5 (also from Wireplay days) and PKs harassing specific female players because they were deemed to be a 'bimbo'. One female had also been the recent subject of unwarranted sexually explicit messages, again from an anonymous player.
The amount of unwelcome obscene behaviour seems to have been greater during Wireplay days. This is probably partly due to the fact there were more players so therefore there was a greater chance of this happening, but is more likely due to the fact that anonymous accounts were easier to create. One common feature of all the scenarios described was the anonyminity factor.
2 people (1 female, 1 male) implied that the victim of specific abuse might have deserved it:
" ... because they are female or because they're a bitch? Not because they are female ;)"
" ... some to others but that was in response to nasty stuff they had done."
Q18. Have you experienced or witnessed any unwelcome obscene behaviour towards a male player?
Of the males 10 replied "yes" and 6 replied "no". Of the females 6 replied "yes" and 3 replied "no".
The only specific incident that was mentioned was abuse resulting from a mudmeet photo. It was emphasised that role-play and the whole mysticism of the game was broken down when one player abused another player's persona for how the player looked in the photo.
It was mentioned a number of times that the obscene behaviour was persona rather than gender related, i.e. due to a personal feud or real-life related.
The main difference between obscene behaviour towards females and males is that females face more sexually explicit abuse and the abuser is normally anonymous.
These set of questions picked up on similar themes to the first set of questions. Namely that of differing perceptions of the game and why people play MUDII and the use of role-play. A more detailed overview of the responses will be given after the last set of questions and answers which will appear in the December issue of Muddled Times.
Prior to my writing up the last set of questions and answers would the person who responded to Q12 (Do you think that female players have a harder or easier time wizrunning? Give examples.) with "Yes, I would let a wizrunning male mage go for it, but not a female." please contact me via the feedback form. I'm interested in why you would not let a female mage "go for it". I'm not going to make any judgements and I would prefer if you remained anonymous, I would just like some further insight into your response before I write up the answers to this question.
If you would like to discuss or debate any of the issues raised here please contact the author by using the link below.
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