Sexism in WoW, read from Mental Shaman

This is a must-read from a self-described ‘geek feminist’.

If you have any issues with the term ‘feminist’ then replace it with ‘critic’, and read the post.

My longer-term readers will know I can get fairly upset and vocal about harassment and the poor treatment of women in guilds. Related posts from me include parents who play WoW and relationships in-game. The first article includes a link out to empoweredfire, related to guys treating women poorly in-game because they hide behind anonymity.

I’m not denying being a male, who appreciates sexy figures, I commented on a sexy beta character here. I used to joke about having a crush on Alexstrazsa. I’ve talked openly about how my own wife hates WoW, too. Hate is an exaggeration, actually, she’s OK with it now.

However whilst I appreciate the fine curves in WoW, I would be happy to see more balance.

But, all these are pretty weak compared to Mental Shaman’s post on the context of gender within WoW.

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6 comments to Sexism in WoW, read from Mental Shaman

  • Read a few articles related to this just today.
    This isn’t just true for WoW, but is common for not just Blizzard ( , and other media as well (
    Just take your favorite movies and see how they place on the Bechdel test. Quite interesting.
    Few other articles:
    Hope you don’t mind me linking to all these external sites.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      I read that article on gamasutra too, interesting isn’t it.

    • brangwen
      Twitter: kowari1

      Check out Warehouse 13.  Look at the protagonist balance.  The “special guest” balance.  Then check out the demographics of the audience.
      I recall a scene in a gaol interrogation room.  The protagonist (female) the “other cop” (female) interrogating the criminal (also female).  Three women having a serious interrogation scene.  I felt there was something wrong for a moment, and then I realised… THERE WERE NO MALES IN THE ROOM WE USUALLY THINK OF AS A MALE SPHERE OF TELEVISION.  I nearly fell off my chair in relief!  I can’t tell you how much I love warehouse 13.
      I mean, there is overt sexual innuendo between the male lead and female lead (CIA partners), but it isnt sexual tension.  They are REAL PARTNERS giving each other shit about hitting on other people.  They are FRIENDS developing an actual friendship.  If that ever changes I am going to be VERY disappointed.

  • Zao

    Honestly, I don’t really care.
    I just see it as marketing and for me that’s the same as “catering to the casuals” I don’t have to like it, but I can see why Blizzard does it. It pleases the majority (males betwwen the late teens and late twenties) and pleasing the majority is good for business.
    Mind you, I’m everything but a chauvinist (I’m Bisexual, so I’d be a walking Paradoxon if I were), and I’m able to see the concern about the priming effect it might have on some people.
    Still it’s something that won’t change in gaming/film without females making out a larger percentage. Because most males, including me, prefer to play a male character for identification. I dare to find you a male Dragon Age/Mass Effect/KotOR/Any game that has you to make important decisions… player that made a female character first.
    And if you don’t have a choice, like it’s the case in most Action Games, you simply make the main character male, since that’s what the majority of people wants to play anyway.

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