Daily #38: Girl, continued

I apologise in advance if there are any errors – I am both writing this on mobile, and I am fairly intoxicated. I’m at my friend’s house, having some drinks and an overall good time. I’m also being wholly rude, but that’s not worth missing my first day for.

I’d like to continue yesterday’s blog with the other side of the coin – when other players are uncannily friendly to me because of my gender. This was exemplified to me yesterday – in the first-person shooter game Overwatch, my username is something that is fairly effeminate. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t like to complain about mistreatment – it’s not like I aim to hide it.

Due to this, I get a fair amount of players trying to talk to me over either voice chat or text chat. If I decide to reply (and even if I don’t), they of course confirm that I’m female. Rather than fling slurs and sexist jokes at me, they are instead uncannily polite. They ask me how my day is going, if I’m having a good Christmas, and if I’ve been playing well.

The encounter I had yesterday was along these lines. At one point, another player spoke in the voice chat, and the player who was interrogating me replied “don’t interrupt”, as if our conversation was something he was entitled to continue (despite me giving only one word answers). I personally find this as strange as the insults. It brings unnecessary attention to the fact that I’m female, and singles me out among my peers.

Having random people over the internet try to make friends with me (and nobody else on the team) is a strange experience, and it’s almost worse than the people who insult me as it’s difficult to tell them to back off. When I’m insulted, I can simply return an insult, or just ignore them. When someone is asking genuine questions about my day, I feel more inclined to reply – even though it makes me uncomfortable.

When I’m playing with my partner and friends (who are all male), they jokingly defend me from anybody who talks to me, either positively or negatively. I don’t usually mind this, as it means I don’t need to reply directly, however I often prefer to fight my own corner. Although I’m not telling them to, if they help me it comes across as ‘white knighting’ which diminished my credibility. If I reply to them directly, it tends to have more of an affect on the other person than my partner or friends criticising them does. It’s easier to stop them from continuing when the words come directly from me.

I think I’m going to call it there; we’re about to go out and I won’t have a chance to continue this later. Hopefully, this made a semblance of sense. I intend to have a more coherent post made tomorrow. As I said, I refuse to break my ‘streak’ due to a little bit of alcohol (apologies again for any mistakes).