So since this is a P&R off a gaming forum, I’ll put this in that context. I just saw this:
It says that D&D was the one that first brought in females in measurable numbers into war gaming, miniature gaming. It quotes Gygax as saying “at least 10%” of players were female. I was in that 10%. I DMed it even. I played Chainmail and Traveller before it. I GMed and made my own campaigns in I.C.E. ruleset and D&D ruleset. This was “pre-internet”. Late I was on GEnie then and played games. I was no one important. Just a gamer, who happened to be female. When I game, I am a gamer first, and a female second.
A female player was unusual online in the early days, so I rarely let people know I was female. It was not relevant, and it would be a distraction. However, back in the days of text MUDs, this is what would happen if someone found out and told others. There would be a flurry of tells to me as news spread that an actual female was online. Someone might say something in a local chat but be told to take it to tells by people that were roleplaying. They would. Mostly they just wanted to know I WAS female and then why I played. I would answer politely and then say I wanted to go back to playing. There was always one or two guys that seemed particularly socially inept that would continue tells past that to “see if I was single/interested”, and by then I was married so … nope! And then that was that, 15-20 minutes of “OMG a female???”, and many seemed quite happy there was one around. Sometimes friends got jealous compliments that there was an actual female in his social group.
Now? HA! It jumps straight to the insults, or GTFO or tits or GTFO (yes I know where that is from). And if it isn’t insults it goes to an explicit and often rather gross/pervy list of them detailing exactly what they want to do to me sexually. If any males object they also get attacked as soon as they tell anyone to cool it. One guy even stopped speaking to my brother on-line and IRL when he backed me up in a game. So even family, if they stand up for me against abuse lose real life friends. Well he decided he probably wasn’t such a good friend to have after that anyway. Actually that guy reminded me a lot of Elliot Rodger. Let me be clear, in this one case we were not anonymous. So I do not think anonymity can explain it all, thought it doesn’t help.
For those that may say, yeah well, I’ve been called a bitch or a pussy too. Of course you have! So have I, usually in PvP, often, and yes I can tell whether its the pissy I sniped them (heh!), generally trying to trash talk, or they really know I’m a female. If they do know I’m female it is extremely explicit. It is EXACTLY the same stuff I found on my answering machine in grad school from this one stranger. Back waaaaaay before social media and more than BBS/Fidonet. I contacted police, and they knew of him and wanted him. They were sure he would be dangerous if they couldn’t get him. They used me as bait for several months while he continued calling and ramping up threats. He tried to break in multiple times, and the reason the police used me as bait was my guard dog. She kept him out. Then he killed the dog. The police called it off, and I moved in a hurry under protection. My family lived local to the university. So I heard they finally got him, but only after after he killed the next woman.
The stuff he would leave on my answering machine, that’s what I read online when people know I’m female. When they don’t, I just get called a bitch and a pussy. I’m used to working in all male fields, that’s eye-rolling but not threatening. It’s not all bad. After helping one person in tells through a particularly confusing quest, I did get a “Thanks homie”. I was amused. It was nice though!
The facet I find interesting is the intimidation of anyone that stands up for a female if they seem them come in for this crap. I think this really is an internet/social media thing. Louder voices and all that.