To mask, or not to mask?

Last night I was raiding, like I usually do on Friday nights. I know that makes me seem like I have absolutely no life at all – given the wide world of social opportunities on a Friday night, and I choose to sit around on WoW? But I do, because let’s face it, when you wake up at 6:30 in the morning, staying up until 4AM isn’t really an option, and soon after you recognize that reality, Friday becomes just another weeknight. Sad.

Anyway, so I was sitting around raiding on vent mumble (who doesn’t use vent, honestly…) and I said something totally innocuous…I think it was “Hey Trodi. What’s up?” and the immediate response came from a non-guildie, who immediately said “It’s strange to hear a girl talk on vent. Most girls don’t usually talk unless they have to.” Moments later another guildie logged in and we all said hello to Symantha, who said hi back. He’s a guy, playing a girl character with a girl name, but even so, everyone assumes he’s a guy because he’s playing WoW and only guys play WoW. (Sidenote: I want to roll a character named Victoria who’s a male character, and then when I talk on vent I’ll tell people I’m a guy…)

On the flip side of things, last week we pug’d a guy in named Jeszi or something like that, and we had long been thinking he was a girl because his name was Jeszi. Forget the part where his character is male and – this is the real kicker – Jesse is a perfectly acceptable male name. And if you’re Rick Springfield, Jessie-with-the-i-e is a perfectly acceptable male name, too. But we’d assumed it was a female, instead of a male, and now he’s on vent and talking and Trodi actually says “What’s your real name? Because I can’t handle calling a guy Jeszi.”

I. Don’t. Get. It.

Whyyyy do guys always act so surprised when there’s a girl in the raid – or gaming group or game store or whatever? Why is it that when Beth wears heals and a skirt into gigabytes, people ask her if she knows what paint color her boyfriend needs? And then when we prove ourselves, when you get used to hearing a female voice on vent, now you lose the gender prejudice and go back to the standard nonassumption. But why do women have to work so hard to get people to just not assume? And add the layer of gender-bending on top of it – I could play a guy, Symantha is a chick, and when it’s a Tauren does it really matter what the gender is because let’s face it…it’s a Tauren. It’s confusing and hard to swallow, and really what I want to do is put some more attempts in on Horridon and not talk about who’s what, unless you’re asking if someone is heals or dps.

I mean, come on. We’re still on Horridon. We’re already behind enough as it is.

4 thoughts on “To mask, or not to mask?

  1. Well said!! Male, female, doesn’t matter… what does matter is that we are good at what we do. 😉

    • I have had similar experiences playing WoW and raiding and it was part of why I only was raid heals for the same group. Especially for me being trans and having voice issues, I would often get told I am not a real girl. Luckily my two main groups were my guild that I was Raid Lead for, and the other one was lead by a fellow trans person who was just awesome.

  2. I think we’ve all run into that same thing online. A moment of surprise, while annoying, I can handle. What bugs me is the whole “Prove you are a (real) girl” line of thinking. We shouldn’t have to do anything to prove who we are. That’s pretty much bullying, in my own opinion. 😛

  3. Near virgin dorks will not only be intimidated by our breasts but possibly emasculated too. It’s a boy’s world that we play in; combine that with the fact that tits > dicks and you have undeniably powerful usurpers. Men love women but they don’t honestly want to put up with us all the time (it totally goes both ways). It’s only natural they might be a little baffled and judgmental when we participate. Should it matter? Hell no, but I only see it as a great advantage personally 😉 True gamer girls go against the grain so surprise is imminent and what better way to advance on the competition? Haha

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