About four years ago, I started to take notice of the topic of harassment of female Gamers becoming a popular subject. When I read and heard about it at the time, my mind was blown. It never even occurred to me as a male gamer who was raised right by his Mamma that this would even be a thing. It made me sad, but I had faith that the gaming community would get it straightened out. And I was half right. It has improved a great deal from what I can tell, however there are many people that still harass our female Gamers and streamers.
Because I still have some faith in humanity, I am going to approach this subject from the angle that many Gamers and Stream Watchers don’t realize what they are doing when they do something that is considered harassment. By the way, before I start on this, I do think the word harassment has been overused but not in this context. So here are some guidelines to help you make sure you are being supportive of our female Gamers and Streamers, but not accidentally crossing the line into harassment. The line is finer than you might realize.
Be Supportive of Them as a Person, not a Female
When you are watching your favorite male streamers what kinds of things do you say to them to offer support? Do you tell them how beautiful they are, or what amazing eyes they have? Probably not. As males, sometimes we think we are paying a compliment by expressing these things to female streamers, however in reality we are making them feel that we are negating their hard work as a streamer and an amazing gamer in favor of noticing their female attributes. I get it. We’re dudes, and we are going to notice that stuff. Instead of telling them how pretty we think they are and complimenting their physical attributes, let’s focus the compliments on how nice their stream is, or what we like about their game play. Sometimes people just like to look amazing while being a great gamer. One has nothing to do with the other, so lets validate what really matters to them. Trust me, it will make a huge difference for them and for you.
If you wouldn’t say it to your Mother, Sister, or Best Female Friend, Don’t Say It
This is a pretty good rule of thumb to follow. Of course, we are not going to think of all female Gamers like our sister. We just don’t need to broadcast what our male hind brains are thinking, especially in a direct message, but always never, unless they directly and specifically as for your opinion. And trust me, that won’t happen unless you have known them for a long time. I realize many of us aren’t trying to be inappropriate on purpose, so when in doubt ask yourself, would I say this to my Mother or Sister, or someone in a professional environment at work?
Don’t Say Nasty Shit
Calling people names is no way to build solid relationships, and the Gaming Universe is no different. More and more of our fellow Gamers are female, and we need to cultivate those relationships in a healthy way. Those relationships are not the same as the relationships we have with our dude friends, period. Our dude friends don’t feel personally offended most of the time if you comment to them about how hot you think someone is. When you do it directly to a person, especially in game or on stream, it is very demeaning and crosses a line. If you don’t understand why, don’t try to. Just except it as fact and move on.
This Rule is for the Intentional Douche bags
Hey, you, yeah you, the guy that is intentionally an ass hat for no good reason, listen up. If you call a female in any context let alone in a game or on a stream a whore, slut, the C word, or anything remotely on the same planet as those things, you’re a loser plain and simple. Not only that, but I also feel terribly bad that your day to day life is so terrible, that putting women down is the only positive self-reinforcement that works for you. If this is you, fear not, it is never to late to make a change! Follow the general guidelines above and you should be good to go. And if you are ever in doubt, just don’t say whatever it is you are questioning.
There you have it peeps. It’s that simple.