Hey, everyone. White male here, hopefully slightly less clueless than the average white male in terms of the issue at hand. Probably the bigger problem is that I’m entirely clueless about all sports, not just esports. So being a white dude on top of all that removes me even further from what I’d like to ask about.
But I just saw a press release announcing a Rocket League tournament for women, sponsored by a financial services company. Here’s their stated rationale:
I understand the bifurcation of non-esports by sex. I understand that women don’t generally have the upper body strength of men and therefore shouldn’t be playing football against them. I understand, too, that there are issues of body morphology that play into sports like swimming and automotive racing, and dividing the sexes arguably keeps the competition fair.
But Rocket League? A videogame about driving a virtual dune buggy into a virtual soccer ball to bump it into a virtual goal? Why would the sex of a competitor matter at all to the the outcome or the rules of the game?
So therefore, is an initiative like this because dudes are still being assholes to women and women feel the need to carve out their own spaces? Or is it because a financial company sees a way to burnish their image by appealing to a certain mentality? Or is there really some reason I don’t understand for dividing male and female players? Is it perhaps just a fun marketing angle, along the lines of “See the Ladies of Rocket League Battle It Out Against Each Other”, but with the more serious undercurrent of promoting diversity?
I know no one here knows the actual answer, but I would be curious to hear y’all’s thoughts. I’m as progressive as the rest of you, and I want to be supportive of something like this if it’s valuable. But I honestly don’t know whether it’s helpful or hurtful to be separating the sexes like this, or whether it’s even an issue anywhere but this one tournament, and I’m interested in hearing your opinions.