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Subject: Is this offensive? rss

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Teague Webb
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My game club was featured on local TV recently.

There was a segment on "women's games", which several of our female members found offensive to varying degrees and for various reasons. I'm sure it's been discussed here before, in general and/or in response to other specific things, but I wonder what reactions you have to this specific situation. Please watch the clips linked in my Geeklist and let me know here or there.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/28438

Thanks!

Teague
 
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Troy Adlington
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I actually get the feeling that in a ham fisted way the reporter was trying to highlight that women play boardgames too.

Back in the day the only gals at conventions were RPGers, Then magic....*



* there were exceptions of course. I know of two young ladies who used their decolletage to great advantage in miniatures gaming.
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Greg r
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Decolletage, wow that is definitely a $5 word! blush
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Joe Grundy
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I would have been annoyed / offended at a "men's games" segment. I'd be equally annoyed / offended at a "women's games" segment.
 
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Alexander B.
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The sooner we can get rid of these genital obsessions, when it comes to anything other than sex/sexuality itself, the better.

Plumbing does not make the house.

Don't forget that over 98% of the human genome is gender neutral. Also, we all start as women, and only a small tweak during gestation changes the fetus into a man.

I'm not implying there are no statistical psychological variation between genders; but I am saying that, generally, the less focus on that the better. Just treat people as people, and you can't lose.
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Sue Hemberger

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Yeah, I find it offensive. The women are treated like props rather than people. We've got one guy asking another guy what women like while a whole group of women are sitting right in front of them. It gets even worse when you realize (as the women in your gaming group did), that the women are only playing that particular game because the TV guy asked them to.

And I know this was unintentional, but it didn't quite come out right when the interviewee opined that 25-30 of the groups members "seemed to be women."

Not a club I'd be eager to join, based on that clip. [NB I blame the reporter rather than Nate for that. I'm just saying that the clip has that icky we're talking about you as if you aren't even here thing going on and that makes it off-putting. And the fact that women are a small minority of the entire group, yet seem to be playing only with each other suggests marginalization.]
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Chris Ferejohn
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diamondspider wrote:

Don't forget that over 98% of the human genome is gender neutral.


Not that I disagree with your premise, but this is a fairly absurd justification. Something like 98% of the human genome is identical to a chimpanzee genome too...
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Alexander B.
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cferejohn wrote:
diamondspider wrote:

Don't forget that over 98% of the human genome is gender neutral.


Not that I disagree with your premise, but this is a fairly absurd justification. Something like 98% of the human genome is identical to a chimpanzee genome too...


You're right, it is probably more like 99.8% is gender neutral, but then again, chimps have gender also

Still, I hope you see my point, regardless of species, gender is only a very small part of what we are. Focusing on that (either as a bigot or as a traditional feminist) is only to attempt to marginalize a person's humanity.

I've worked hard to treat all humans equally. It is not easy in a culture that doesn't support this in various ways. When it comes to women, there is only one realm of behavior that I'll change: sexuality.

On one forum I attended for quite a while (as username Alex), I was unwilling to reveal my gender as being irrelevant... that information, except on a dating 'site, I've found to *always* do more harm than good.

P.S. it was a 'site about psychology and 100% of the users who guessed, guessed female for me

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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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I don't know about offensive, but it certainly was ham-fisted and silly.

When I first saw it, I thought of showing it to my wife just to show her how silly it was. The obvious staging of the women playing a "female-friendly" game, asking a man what women like to play, and just generally making a big deal out of something which I consider to be fairly normal. Then I realized that it'd tick her off royally, and didn't see much point in just showing her yet another silly example of the sort of stuff she deals with every day.

So I just shrugged it off and kept it to myself.

 
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Santa Tom Pellitieri
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Totally Off Topic Aside...
cferejohn wrote:
diamondspider wrote:

... over 98% of the human genome is gender neutral.


... this is a fairly absurd justification. Something like 98% of the human genome is identical to a chimpanzee genome too...


Some scientists are actually trying to confirm this. It's the structure of the "Y" chromozome that messes it up - it appears to be missing a portion, and looks "defective" compared to the "X" chromozomes, which is why one might suspect that humans are more closely related to chimpazees of their own gender than they are to humans of the opposite gender.

Here's a link to a discussion on this topic: http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=38

--Tom Pellitieri
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Joe Grundy
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BodhiWolff wrote:
So I just shrugged it off and kept it to myself.
So you haven't managed to get her as far as a BGG membership yet?
 
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Rob "Bodhi" Wolff
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jgrundy wrote:
BodhiWolff wrote:
So I just shrugged it off and kept it to myself.
So you haven't managed to get her as far as a BGG membership yet?


We just share mine. It is our collection, after all, so entering it twice would be silly. She reads the site, keeps current on stuff, finds her own games of interest and adds them to the wishlist to help us keep track of what we want to remember, but doesn't post anything.

So "my" collection is our collection, and "my" wishlist is our wishlist, etc.

Hmmm ... I wonder if we should have a new category -- couple's memberships?

Nah. She'd never post anyway.
 
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Robin
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While I thought the concept of women playing boardgames was not a negative thing, the reporter seemed to steer the conversation toward women liking specific types of games, making leaping assumptions based on small comments made.

The person being interviewed was merely saying women like playing Cleopatra but the reporter heard that women only liked games like Cleopatra.

But I did find the Yahtzee reference highly offensive. I hate Yahtzee. shake
 
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Liz Rizzo
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smithhemb wrote:
Yeah, I find it offensive. The women are treated like props rather than people. We've got one guy asking another guy what women like while a whole group of women are sitting right in front of them. It gets even worse when you realize (as the women in your gaming group did), that the women are only playing that particular game because the TV guy asked them to.

...

Not a club I'd be eager to join, based on that clip. [NB I blame the reporter rather than Nate for that. I'm just saying that the clip has that icky we're talking about you as if you aren't even here thing going on and that makes it off-putting. And the fact that women are a small minority of the entire group, yet seem to be playing only with each other suggests marginalization.]


I can already tell from this comment that I'd be miserable if I watched it, so I'm going to spare myself. yuk

Quote:
And I know this was unintentional, but it didn't quite come out right when the interviewee opined that 25-30 of the groups members "seemed to be women."


That, on the other hand, is hysterical.
 
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Teague Webb
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In retrospect, maybe it was a bad idea to let the women out of the women's hall at all. The show could have shot a segment of them in there playing their games about laundry or changing diapers or whatever their games are about.

Seriously, though, thanks for the discussion, everyone. It's just what I was looking for!
(But none of you thumbed my article.....)

Since I was playing Arkham Horror, with 2 of the Cleopatra "players", I thought it would have made more sense to point out that there were women playing in our game, as well as some of the others, including the hardcore wargames. In other words to say "look, women play these games, too", not "look, there are games for women".

I definitely think we could have handled it a little better as a club. Unfortunately, they invent and develop these segment ideas on the fly. We had literally only a few minutes to react and try to come up with something reasonable. A good learning experience, for sure.
 
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Colleen
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He seemed a bit nervous and grasping for words at times. I think it's ashame, what he said. But it's more of a reflection of his inexperience as a reporter. When unprepared and unexperienced, many people fall back on social generalizations as he did. He probably reviewed the broadcast and kicked himself once or twice.
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Alexander B.
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Ugly Betty, tonight, is having a lot of fun with sexism! If you get a chance to catch it.
 
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JP LaChance
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I watched and was askin myself "why was Cleopatra and the Society of Architects a "women's game""....
Maybe lost cities with some wife trouncing her husband for the umteenth time would have been a better "womans game"

I think they were trying to highlight that even women are group members but I think it would have been better to have a few gals playing a couple different games than all of them grouped at that particular game.

Maybe next time

Good series all in all

 
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John W
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smithhemb wrote:
Yeah, I find it offensive. The women are treated like props rather than people. We've got one guy asking another guy what women like while a whole group of women are sitting right in front of them.
I think it's important to reign BGGers in when they are going WAY too far with the offensensitivity.
The TV spots were staged with the host asking one person questions, with players getting cameratime during the answers.
It was not sexist to treat the women playing Cleopatra as props - they did that with the men, too. They did that with the kids.
If they had stopped the interview, and directly asked a spontaneous, unscripted question of the ladies, THAT would have been sexist (treating them different from the men gamers).

Quote:
And I know this was unintentional, but it didn't quite come out right when the interviewee opined that 25-30 of the groups members "seemed to be women."
Actually, he said (in real-time), "We have about 150 members total... and about 25-30 I'd say would be women... most of them with families."

Quote:
Not a club I'd be eager to join, based on that clip. [NB I blame the reporter rather than Nate for that. I'm just saying that the clip has that icky we're talking about you as if you aren't even here thing going on and that makes it off-putting. And the fact that women are a small minority of the entire group, yet seem to be playing only with each other suggests marginalization.]
I'm sure you would have taken the microphone from the host, demanded he phrase a question to the ladies that couldn't possibly be construed by any one of them as demeaning, insulting, remotely sexist (good luck), and proceed to bore the general populace silly by listening to gamers give their opinions of boardgames.

If so, that would make for terrible TV.

I would point out that you know that every hobby gets the same brief, superficial shrift as these TV spots did, but since you don't watch TV, you may not be aware of the way TV feels it has to frame its subjects.

It would be nice if BGG wasn't so instantly-offended by normal society's propensities, even when they are bringing attention and exposure to "TGoO", which BGG always laments there isn't enough of.

I thought the show did an adequate job covering the get-together, once they got past the initial stereotyping and inappropriate referencing to old old boardgames.
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Quote:
I think it's important to reign BGGers in when they are going WAY too far with the offensensitivity.


I'm with ya on this one John. I figure if women want to be treated like men then they damned well better start acting like them.

Are you gals not curious why more men than women like war games? Ya think maybe it's because there really is a difference? And if so, then why is it sexist to "include" a short bit on the fact that the group is open and doesn't discriminate?
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Joe Grundy
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DWTripp wrote:
I figure if women want to be treated like men then they damned well better start acting like them.
Heaven save anyeveryone from the temporary insanity of wanting to be treated "like a man".
gulp

Of the people who rate wargames, the men and women rate them very much along the same lines. eg of the 90 minute wargames, women average 6.57 and men average 6.46

Wargaming is not representative of "maleness".
Only 14% of BGG men's ratings are for wargames.
It's not even representative of gaming maleness.
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Colleen
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DWTripp wrote:

Are you gals not curious why more men than women like war games? Ya think maybe it's because there really is a difference? And if so, then why is it sexist to "include" a short bit on the fact that the group is open and doesn't discriminate?


I stopped buying war games because no one will play them with me. I don't game with any women. I just ruined your argument. yuk
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Robin
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reapersaurus wrote:
I think it's important to reign BGGers in when they are going WAY too far with the offensensitivity.


Wow, did you actually say "reign"? You want us to reign Sue in? While I didn't see problem using women as props because the interview was with the game group organizer and an inexperienced reporter, I really don't see why you used that phrasing. Do you feel the need to politely correct her for some reason?

Her opinion is hers and she's allowed to have it. I don't think anyone needs to "reign her" in. Her opinion is not off or wrong, it's hers. Disagree with her if you like but don't directly say her opinion is incorrect. Maybe this has a different connotation based on where I'm from but that is highly offensive to use the word "reign."

Edit: typo
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Cameron McKenzie
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Watching the clip at first, I didn't find it offensive.

But if it was the case that all these women were put together to play this game just to be on camera, I could see your argument. The image seems to suggest that women and men tend to "segregate" among these groups and that women play a certain type of game and men play another. I don't think this is necessarily offensive to women, but it's an absurd notion and it offends my common sense :-)
 
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Phil Oates
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Sonja wrote:
pepperhead wrote:
Decolletage, wow that is definitely a $5 word! blush


Haha, it's the French word for a low neckline or showing cleavage. I guess it's not so common in English.


Ha. Really? I genuinely assumed it was something to do with decoupage, and the girls were using their artistic skills to make and sell miniature gaming accessories!!!!

 
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