Guildleader chores: Bizarre behaviours and how to discourage them

There is SO much around about mistreatment of players in game because of their gender and in my perfect world, everyone would treat everyone the same - which is how I try to run my guild (though I am far for perfect... my language is little coarse at times).  I don't think ANYONE thinks that being of a particular sex makes you a better or worse player, leader, or person.  And if they did... well they know better and keep their mouth shut because there will be earfuls eyefuls from me.

However, I still cringe when I hear about opinions or behaviour towards (or being performed by) members of my sex.

One of Sev's work friends, according to Sev, had a DREADFUL attitude.  He was a guild leader and raid leader for a heroic raiding guild, and Sev said that some real gems he's said included:

"You shouldn't have girls in your raid.  It makes the guys flirt with them."
Sev's response: "I've never noticed that, to be honest."
My response: "Why doesn't he just tell them NOT to flirt if it bothers him?

"If I have any girls in raid I just tell them not to open their mouth so nobody knows they're girls and there won't be any dramas."
My response: "Really? I mean... REALLY??? You idiot..."

"You feel like, because they're girls, you should give them loot."
Sev's response: "That is a really bizarre idea.  At no time have I ever felt like giving Navi loot because she's a girl."
My response: "He said WHAT? That is the most stupid reverse chauvinism I have ever heard!"

You get my drift. So then the other day I was having lunch with some friends who played on anoher server.  I've been calling one of them "The Borg Queen" because he's been assimilating lots of guilds (he calls himself the Sponge) - these guilds come to him apparently and want to join his guild!  So now his guild has turned into some mega huge guild and they have enough peeps for two 25 mans! Though of course, skillmix is the issue but they're getting there.  However, I noticed that his guild has very few female players and their top team has none at all.  I asked him why.  He said they used to have some (including his girlfriend) but they stopped raiding. AND, he said that one of the girls (maybe not those ones mentioned) used to feel like she deserved loot because she was a girl.  Which surprised me because I have never heard of girls doing that (and I think that unfortunately that is girly behaviour - I've never heard of guys saying they deserve loot because they're guys).  AND, get this for more weird girl only behaviour - two of the girls used to put their PERIODS on the guild calendar.  I gave him an incredulous look.  "Seriously?" I asked him.

"Yeah," he said.  "We used to have this thing in the guild - when we were wiping on some boss, one of them would start talking about their periods and then we'd kill the boss!"  OK, now that's a new one...

So I asked Luxy, because maybe I'm just oblivious to these things.  She said she had never heard of anyone saying girls should get loot because they're girls or talking about periods.

"But there were girls in my previous guild who would do stuff for loot."

I snorted to myself.  "What can they do?" I said.  "It's not like they can meet up, it would just be Goldshire stuff."

"Skype?" she said with the >.> face.

Oh.  DUH, silly me.  "People really do that?"  I am not sure males could do special favours that way for male or female guild leaders, loot masters or raid leaders.

The same goes for flirting. I am not sure guys flirting has gotten them anywhere in terms of loot or a raid spot. I guess I would have to look at the number of female or gay guild/raid leaders who are susceptible to that kind of influence, and there would be fewer females than males in those roles.  I only remember two incidents of girls in the guild who were flirts - the first one was in BC, and she reported to one of our officers that two guys were harrassing her sexually, which resulted in them leaving the guild.  Then one day she left our guild and went to another guild and reported more people harrassing her there.  Granted, the two that she said were harrassing her were not people I knew well (this was back in the day when members were not personally validated by myself, and these days I make extra effort to talk to every new person so I have more of an idea of the person behind the toon).  In Cataclysm we had a girl who was a massive flirt in vent, and then reported to me that people were calling her a slut, and those guildies were reprimanded by me in personal whispers.  Unfortunately she was a dreadful player and she would use every excuse under the sun for her poor performance - one time she was too busy flirting to concentrate on a boss fight and I had to quietly whisper her to focus and not talk so much, and she toned down a bit. I couldn't give her a raid spot with that terrible performance and raid awareness - and she left and got into the top guild on the server.  I was surprised and then found that she had broken up with her boyfriend and was dating someone in that guild.  I was glad to see her go, to be honest.  I organised a Firelands run for her to get her legendary things (when it was the past tier content) and she turned up and played poorly and then just randomly left after we did half the run - without a thanks for organising or anything!  Was it because she EXPECTED us to help her that's why she wasn't grateful? None of us needed anything in that instance, we only did it for her!  There was nobody in that run that needed anything, and we were all there to do it for her.

I went and asked some of my female WoW friends about weird behaviours.  Girls sleeping around was NOT that uncommon - though people sleep around in college/university dorms and frequenting pubs and dance clubs so I don't see promiscuity in game any differently.  Guys sleeping around I didn't hear so much about because I don't think there are that many girls in a guild for the guy to get around.  Another one told me they did have one girl who would flirt with everyone including her husband, and her hubby had to step up and tell her to stop.  However, she didn't want me to imply that girls were bad players or bad people - I told her that I was doing no such thing, I was merely investigating these urban myths that people throw at me about girl players, which are clearly the minority because I know tons of girls on WoW and none of them do these things.

Boys have their stereotypical behaviours too.  Aggressive and threatening behaviour is unfortunately so typically male and I would have had to deal with more of those than female versions - though I hear that the GM of another guild is famous for her scary rants when raids are not going well - I am tempted to jump on and record one just to see how scary it really is (whether it's as bad as the MOAR DOTS minus 50 DKP rant).  Threatening behaviour has no place in my game or in my guild!

Sleazy guys who don't stop talking to you is not something I have hassles with.  I immediately just shut them down - I think ignoring them just encourages them to persist or be annoying. I know that many women have issues with guys who won't stop harrassing them in game just because they're female.  But, women can be just as guilty of doing that to guys.

But the worst typical male behaviour would be the rape culture chatter.  Females don't really use rape as a descriptive word, and it's probably because MOST of the time it's because it's a position of weakness and vulnerability for the woman.  I wonder if actually thought about being violated in that way, whether it would make them stop talking like that. I think this and the sleazies are the worst offenders when it comes to stereotypical bad male behaviour.

So how can you stop this kind of behaviour?

Really, it depends on what kind of guild you want to run. And there are some concepts that need to be drummed home.

The first is the concept of a female gamer.  This is where I find things can get a bit nasty.  ANYONE can play games, it's not limited to gender, everyone knows this.  However, most of my friends who are female do not feel they need special attention because they are female.  In fact, it's the ones who draw attention to the fact they are female that are often the ones who give female gamers a bad name, by saying things such as "I'm a girl, I'm better then you and I'm kicking your ass HA!"  Also, every female gamer has had the sleazy encounter.  You don't need to go on about it, or drone on about the fact you were mistreated in your last guild for being female.  This is a new place with a fresh start, and letting everyone know you have a chip on your shoulder will only make people that much more wary of you.  Once you get to know everyone, then sure, you can let loose about how crap everyone treated you before. You may say "Well, what's wrong with being proud of being female and a gamer?"  There's nothing wrong with that.  However, if a guy was saying that to me we'd say what a douchebag - so if a girl was saying it... I'd still say what a douchebag.

Harrassment is hard. I always try to believe both sides and then investigate, but it will almost always come down to a he said she said standoff.  Track records count for a lot, and obviously repeat offenders will be placed under higher suspicion of lying.  All I can say is SCREENSHOT any conversations that are offensive so there is proof to backup your claim.  It's hard to refute hard evidence, and then whoever is lying will be on the backfoot trying to dig their way out of that hole.  I still think it's best for a female to handle a female's complaint and a male to handle a male's complaint - but sometimes there isn't much choice over who has to sort out the issue.

If someone is being sleazy to you or making continuous sexual advances or chatter, it's easy to put them on ignore, but it's probably more effective to shut them down with something like... ummm...

Sleazebag: So you're a girl huh? I love a girl who can play with a sword.
You: I love being a girl who can play with a sword.
Sleazebag: I'll show you a sword you can play with.
You: Uhhh no thanks.
Sleazebag: You know you want to
You: Not with you
Sleazebag: You lesbian or something?
You: I only like guys with class and skills who don't act like a sleazebag
Sleazebag: You're the slut
You: Screenshotted

That usually ends the conversation.  Why do you even have to put up with that behaviour, you ask?  Nobody should - but ignoring them stops nothing.  Reporting them does.  Just don't do anything that makes YOU look bad.  It's so easy to let fly the abuse - it's much harder to be smart and calm about it.  You may think that one off reporting makes no difference, but if that person goes off and harrasses more people and they report it, then it DOES make a difference.

Misogyny - well, the answer is just NO. But you don't have to go in like a raging bull screaming "YOU F***ING idiot wake up and join the 21st century!"  Even if you feel like it, NEVER stoop to their level, it will mean you are no better than they are (and people tend to react angrily back when people are angry at them)!  If Sev's friend had said that in my raid/group, guild chat or vent, I would immediately have whispered him saying that "I probably wouldn't say that if I were you.  Nobody here shares those opinions and some may be offended.  Don't ever say that again."  If the offending person continued or ignored me and said another crappy comment I would whisper them saying "Maybe I didn't make myself clear.  This is your second warning.  There will not be a third."  And one more strike aaaaand YOU'RE OUT!

Girls being girly - I have no problem with that, but if their actions make people uncomfortable, I would whisper them to stop their behaviour. Just like I would if guys were talking about blokey things that make others feel uncomfortable.  Really, anything that makes others feel uncomfortable I would intervene.  Hmm, maybe I should take a leaf out of my own book - the hello kitty lunch box probably makes people feel uncomfortable yet I still talk about it.  And me yabbering about toileting habits. You guys need to make sure you tell me if I'm making you feel uncomfortable HOKAY??

But I think the basic message here is the same for all behaviours - and not dissimilar to training a dog or disciplining a child.  Talk in a reasonable tone, give warnings, punish REPEATED bad behaviour after failure to heed a warning.  If everyone in the world acted like a supernanny, then maybe we wouldn't have to deal with so many infantiles!


  1. Blimey ... the Navi version of the Bear Wall :p I've honestly never come across any "I'm a girl/boy, therefore I'm better than you" behaviour ... or perhaps I just don't notice it :P The only difference it makes to me, is when a female joins, I get to rejoice, because we have a bit more in common (basically, we tend to get lost more!).

    We've never had favoritism in respect of loot or anything else .. everyone is treated equally. I suspect it helps .. in both our cases, that we are female ourselves so tend not to put up with any of the "I'm a girl so you have to help me" rubbish ... I've been guild leader for long enough now to not feel obliged and to be honest the guild members kinda know how it works anyway, being adults themselves :p

    Perhaps its the type of guild we are .. we generally stick to ourselves, barring one or two other guilds that are similar to us - we're on a fairly quiet realm, we're not hardcore progression (still working on SoO Normal) and we're make up primarily by middle aged people who have families and jobs.

    I have encountered (usually on pugs) the occasional type of language I object to ... I REALLY object to the word "rape" being used in anything other than it's proper context and, to be honest, people get told and reported straight off. There is no excuse for it. Other than that ... I tend to get my "Mom" hat on and talk to people in my "special" voice :p

    I particularly like it in pugs, or out in the "world" when some random person comes up to me and starts being a pain .. I'll ask politely that they stop .. twice is the maximum ... then I'll give them a very long lecture about how badly behaved they are, how much their mum would be disappointed in them and, if I think they deserve it, also report them/ignore them ... I like to imagine a 14 yr old kid in their bedroom wondering who's mum I am :p

    1. Oh wait .. i do remember one time when someone got special treatment because they were a girl ... !!

      My husband and I were questing in Hellfire Peninsular when we met up with a friend (in-game only at the time), who was a female. We were having a chat whilst questing together and she/her character slipped and feel off the edge of a pathway/cliff and got stuck (before we had flying) ... my husband's first instinct was to jump after her to help ... lol. Of course they both ended up dying ... but we still laugh about that, now :-)

    2. I have not had any gender based drama in the guild for ages! Things are so nice now that I feel like we're in our own great bubble in game and when I hear these stories it's really a shock to me that I had to write it down and think about how I'd deal with it!

      Yes, mum hat goes on when people misbehave - I also do the same in the wide world of LFR/BG/PuG and I just wanted to write down this mantra mostly as a reminder to myself about how to behave in case I'm tempted to act like a bitch!

  2. Hrrmm, I am probably going to get into some hot water here :p However when i first started playing WoW, I was given special treatment for being a girl. Now, I didn't ask or demand it of people, but when people discovered I was a girl - they threw things at me - even my very first mount was bought for me by a boy who spent hours helping learn to play a mage and then he gave me more gold - 200g in fact!! Doesn't sound like much now, but back in Vanilla gold was more difficult to come by. Now he wasn't a sleaze or anything like that, perhaps he just thought as a girl I couldn't play - and was helping.

    It has happened a few times over the years but less as I have become more confident as a gamer and learnt about the actual culture of games (WoW was my first game with other people involved).

    Onto the rape culture - when I ran my guild I have people 2 warnings. The first time they used the word rape I warned them they would be booted the next time it happened. Second time they said it - I booted them. From my experience of living through it - it is about remembering the pain I suffered, the bruises/cuts which lasted more than anything else that puts me in a bad mood. I shouldn't have to think about then when escaping in Azeroth.

    I am not saying there isn't anything wrong with trash talk and name calling - however people - en masse these days tend to want to be offended by anything and everything in the name of social justice. I think it is annoying as all hell if people cannot learn to laugh and joke about things. I am not a racist, or sexist or agist or anything "ist" but be damned if I won't mock my wog heritage, my female jubbly bits and my grey hair affecting my eye sight. I am well aware that sometimes jokes lead into true and real offensive behaviour, but like all things, feeding the trolls makes it worse. Just laugh it off and tell them they are wankers - as Nav says Screenshot for later and move on. Getting on high horses (I have found) leads to more arguments and anger about something that solves nothing.

    Anyway, back to the point - of girls in games - I haven't ever really seen the issue come up, however I tend not to play with girls who make it a thing. None of the gaming girls I know would do any of the behaviour mentioned - and not because they aren't girly girls in real life but because they are strong, independent women who don't want to be played down to - or likely limbs will fly. I think perhaps that comes with experience and age in knowing that you don't need to be at the whim of men to derive pleasure or enjoyment from your own life.

    Going to crawl back into my hole now :)


    1. I"m telling you, none of the girls I play with or talk to act like these weirdos I hear about. I wonder where all these aberrant females hide - and thank the Earthmother that they're not in MY guild!

    2. Oh and boy are you gonna cop it tonight miss girly girl! :)

  3. For these reasons, outside my circle of friends and the people who read my blog, I think there are a lot of people I run into in game who think I'm male. I won't correct them if they call me dude, doesn't matter to me. There's no reason that my real life gender -should- be relevant in game as far as I'm concerned. I've never been given anything because I was female and I'd be more than a little insulted if someone offered for that reason.
    That said... I've known a couple of girls who seemed to expect stuff given to them because they were female, and I've had a few people whispering me expecting me to treat them specially because they were girls and assumed I was a guy. That's one of the only times I've bothered correcting the assumption.
    It's hard for me to believe sometimes the sexist attitudes I can still run into in games and things. And some of the hurtful stupid language that happens. Can't we get past the silly stuff that has nothing to do with what we're trying to do and just play a game together as people and have fun?

    1. If only! I wish that too Plaidelf - and for the most part, I really don't have any complaints because nobody gives a poop (nor should they) that I'm female! And I'm glad I have friends like you :)

  4. Wait, are you saying I *shouldn't* be giving raid spot priority and all the loot to females, Navi?

    1. Encouraging bad behaviour is like me replying your cheeky replies! :P And as IF you would do that. Everyone in your raid team earned their spot, regardless of gender! Actually, do you have any females in your raid team? I should ask you properly some time.

    2. Yeah, currently have...

      Healing Priest
      Resto Druid
      Resto Shaman

      Had two of those as 10 man, picked up other two while shifting to 25 man.

      Have other females in the guild too, just not on the main raid team.


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