Oh? People STILL think girls don't raid?

I was asked by someone I chat to regularly, who is the raid leader of another guild, if I could come help him heal some normal Blackrock Foundry.  I said I would love to help, but I had stuff on tonight.

"It's FRIDAY!" he exclaimed.  "Why would your guild need you on a Friday, you're not raiding."

"No," I replied.  "But it's my alliance smashing day." Friday is PvP day in Frostwolves.

I told him I could stay till 9pm when more healers turned up. He said that was fine.  I said I wasn't taking any loot either, just coming along to help.

So I jumped onto their teamspeak, and didn't speak. I don't normally talk straight away when I jump into someone else's chat, it can be uncomfortable sometimes when people hear a girl talking and start acting all stupid.

I realised after a while that the raiders were all guys.  Well, all the ones talking were guys. They all sounded mature and decent, not like some other things I've been to (typically RBGs) where they are all smash talking and being generally unsavoury and unpleasant.

"Are there no girls in your guild?"  I asked my friend.

"Yeah there are a few.  Some of the raiders' girlfriends are in the guild."

"They don't raid?"

"Girls don't raid," he stated, matter-of-factly. He wasn't trying to be insulting, nor do I think he was trying to being sexist, I think he really thought that girls don't want to raid.

I've never actually mentioned my gender to him, so I know he wasn't having a dig at me, and he wasn't saying anything anti-female either.  But the whole thing bemused me.  Another one of those guilds that are full of guys?

It reminded me of a post I wrote last year "Bizarre behaviours and how to discourage them".  Sev's workmate, Scruff, had also had some rather odd things about females, including trying to "protect" them by asking them not to speak, which is oddly chivalrous yet also insulting LOL.  Because, life shouldn't be like that, that I shouldn't speak because it may affect how other people play or behave? And CTwin's guild had no raiding girls - which has since changed, thank goodness (bloody barbarians).

However, back to topic.  I just quietly did my stuff and then I said I had to leave, as another healer had turned up. They asked me to stay and help heal, but I chose that moment to speak, and said "I have to leave anyway, Nk says girls don't raid." I thanked them for the fun and left.

Girls don't make up the majority of raiders, but girls do raid.  We don't have many female raiders in our guild (used to be 30% in SoO, now we're down to 25% with 6 female raiders). I should stop saying girls, actually. Females may be a better word.  After all, I'm a bit old to be called a girl now. Though, in reality, boys and girls tends to be synonymous to me with male and female anyway, even a 50 year old man I'd still refer to him as a boy if I was talking purely about gender (eg. this operating theatre is full of boys).  To quote Salt N Pepa...

C'mon girls, let's go show the guys that we know
How to become number one in a hot party show
Now push it

So, the REAL reason why I wrote this post was because I saw this awesome picture on twitter today done by Medusa the Dollmaker, in that art nouveau style and I wanted to stick it on my blog somewhere so I can look at it.


  1. That is a great picture! In my guild, it's about a 50/50 split most nights, at least it seems that to me. Noone is surprised in the slightest if a girl chimes in during a fight.

    1. Nobody should be surprised! I just enjoy seeing a diverse culture out there - and it is rather sexist of me to pay attention to the fact that there were no females when really, it shouldn't matter at all!

  2. This is the same with the tabletop version of the game (and the one all MMORPGs came from) Dungeons and Dragons. I've been a dungeon master for more years than I can remember (I've even been an international dungeon master) and I love it when a girl (oops female) sits down at my table. They bring a different mind set to situations that seem to balance out the boys train of thought. The boys are "lets smash it" and the girls are saying why? surely there's another way. I also reward the out of the box thinking with more XP than they would have got and i let them know that. This has helped Corael with the way he plays, even though he's still a tank, he doesn't want to smash it straight away.
    So I say let there be more girl raiders.


    1. I keep telling myself it shouldn't matter and I shouldn't pay attention to these things, but I like having other girls in the raid. I think I was just bemused to see no females since we have plenty of them in our guild, but I think it's the guild atmosphere that attracts certain types of people and our play times are more family friendly.

  3. Apart from the very early days of voice chat, when I was nervous to speak, I've never felt it was a problem being a female. And even then, I wasn't nervous because I was female .. just because I was new to voice chat. Perhaps it's the guild I've been in for many years, and those we've associated with, that made it feel that way .. but it never seemed "strange" to have female players or raiders. We're just people like everyone else who plays and I've never felt that anyone has judged me (negatively or positively) simply because of my gender. I do admit that when I learn a new member of the guild is female, a little fairy inside me is clapping her hands in glee, because I know that is something I have in common with them .. but apart from that it makes no difference. And I really don't understand why it should make a difference to anyone else. No-one I've ever come across has made a point about it and therefore I don't feel the urge to, either.

    I do think your comment on leaving their raid was rather pointed ... that sort of thing is almost an invitation to drama (or would have been on some of the guilds I know) .. I'd be interested to know if there was any comeback from that. But then .. if the guild was mainly guys, perhaps they didn't think about it too much :p

    1. Actually they did not say anything out of the ordinary - I just laughed about it, and it was clearly obvious that I DO raid, and I think they would have liked me to stay because I was a decent healer who could play and raid, and being female made no difference. In fact, it seemed that they didn't care that I was female, really, it was only me making a light-hearted jab at them about it.

      It's probably wrong of me to not speak at the start because it shouldn't matter if I am female or not. I guess I didn't want people to make assumptions or prejudge me and just treat me as they would any other pug. But as a guild leader I'm never afraid to say what I think, so perhaps me being quiet to start was a good thing because I would just end up speaking plainly, in my usual bullheaded way. So really, I saved them from ME LOL.

  4. Oh the stories. I've found that most all-boy guilds will not really "care" if a girl raids. Well, if you can undo their perceptions of some girl in the past who was an awful DPS who didn't know where her interrupt button was, because she represents us all, duh. So after the "proving" which you shouldn't have to do, they accept you and move on. But you are still conspicuous. And being conspicuous feels pretty abnormal to me.

    I find that in a guild with a heavy population of females (I've been in guilds that were basically 50/50, or gotten into a small raid and discovered a 60/40 split on the female side!) it feels more "normal". Certain things are not tolerated in gchat. Now, there are some uncivilized fellows who will be like "QQ censorship" but it does make the environment less threatening to anyone.

    "Girls don't raid." We shouldn't still be hearing this, but it happens. I can brush it off, but I worry what my 7-year-old daughter thinks being bombarded with these stereotypes, often from well-meaning people. During a conversation with her great-uncle, he was talking about the toys his grandkids were into and he says "[Boychild] likes star wars toys - oh but I guess that's a boy thing." And she practically shouts "I LIKE STAR WARS!" He's trying to steer the conversation toward things she will like to try to include her, and ends up alienating her.

    1. I like to think that it's just lack of experience with girls raiding rather than a negative view of their raiding abilities. I didn't get any negative feedback nor slurs. I think the main thing I want to make sure my daughter gets from gaming is that we don't use any of the "stupid stereotype" behaviours that I myself dislike in female gamers (eg offering sexual favours or being solicited with offers for sexual favours to be able to raid, flirting to cover up poor gameplay) because that doesn't help people's view of females.

      I agree with you Zel, with a heavier population of females in a guild there is less tolerance for rubbishy guild chat. I certainly feel like my influence has made a difference on that. But I think a key to success is also to smart small and make changes by osmosis rather than by beating people over the head with things.

      I was shocked and surprised the other day (this was months ago) when I was raiding with a friend's guild as a PuG and he introduced me as a "druid internet blogger". One of the other raid members whom I was unfamiliar with commented that his previous GM was someone like that, and the guild was great except that she started going "crazy" with a campaign to remove the word rape from gaming culture, and she got "out of hand". I was frowning as I heard this, because I have a strong dislike of rape culture and free-usage of that word in gaming, and in my guild I have strong rules about the use of that word in public guild chatter places. However, I have not restricted private chat and I though people may think that the word is not acceptable to be used ANYWHERE, it is silly to be trying to control people's thoughts. Just exposing them to not using the word will hopefully encourage them not to use it in other places - like smoking. If you don't hang around smokers, you won't be encouraged to smoke. Anyway, the reason why I brought THAT up, was because it was sad to me that a noble cause was counted as "crazy" - and the blogger in question was someone I have great respect for (Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket) - someone that I am sure you know very well (since you were on her blogroll!)

  5. I don't like how this kind of thing discourages girls from speaking. It's made even worse as well by the girls who, at the end of the day, start the problem by looking for special treatment. Guys being surprised by girls raiding is one thing - it's not exactly easy stuff and more for hardcore gamers than casual players, which is how I guess female gamers are seen. But guys seeing all female gamers as a problem and excluding them from raiding guilds because of the actions of a few rotten apples really sucks because of the effect it can have on the rest of us. I'm sick of hearing about guilds actively excluding girls! But at the same time, you can argue that the problem is also guys giving in, letting them have the loot they want and making a real problem of it. If it wasn't for them giving in, those girls would just be a nuisance and get booted out.
    But it does suck. I've been lucky, the only odd treatment I had was when I first started playing online games with Runescape and I was followed around all the time for having a female character. I left and went to WoW, made a female character again (dubiously) but was really pleased when I saw all the other 'female' gamers (blood elves). Later I found out most of them were guys, but it meant I wasn't harassed, and in my 7 years of playing have never once been singled out, even when my guild found out.

    Bleh, I don't know, the whole thing grates at me, but there's nothing we can do about it. If I ever was to speak in teamspeak or something around loads of guys and they started getting a little weird, I like to think I'd tell them all to shut up and get over it, but I don't think I'd have the guts - it would come out as a squeak!

    Anyways, I think you left the group on a good note and left them all a little dumbfounded, which is excellent.
    Also, that picture is amazing, I just bought a copy from her on Etsy :D ♥

    1. Kim you are not the only one - I also bought a copy of that pic since I loved it so much (on a Tshirt - sigh, like I don't have enough T-shirts already).

      I rarely see any guilds that exclude girls and I think those guilds are as uncommon as the girls who give female gamers a bad name.

      I rarely have bad interactions - and now that I'm a little more self confident, I have no qualms in sharing my gender. My biggest problem is that I find it difficult to hold back when I let loose, so I try to refrain from speaking at all with strangers so they don't see that more... ah.. exuberant side of me.

  6. Girls and raiding!? Who ever heard of such a thing? It's like peas and a pod, oh wait!
    I also don't speak straight away (on new channels) so I can get a jist of the group.
    Nice exit though :P


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