Women in PFS


Pathfinder Society

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Liberty's Edge 5/5

I can understand where you're coming from, Quill. And I'm also saddened by your experiences and the frustration and anger you feel you have to suffer in silence.

I think that is another good point to bring up. I don't want to speak for all women, but I know for myself, if I'm upset or angered to tears, I'd rather not have anyone else see it, especially the male players. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable, and it makes me feel like I'm not strong enough to handle gaming with "the guys". If it were a group of just women, it feel a lot different and that we can be more open and honest with each other and how we're feeling. I feel like I can tell another woman to "stop being mean" if they start to act like a jerk, but trying to tell a man that makes me feel like I'm a dumb and overly-sensitive girl. I feel like I have to work hard to try to act tough and keep up with the guys, trying to act impervious to the comments, jokes and other immature conversations that end up at a gaming table.

I remember I was playing at a table when the GM screamed and cursed at me very loudly when he was playing the NPC, but it was still absolutely uncalled for and inappropriate. I almost got up and left the table in the middle of scenario, but I didn't want to leave the rest of the party without a healer or miss out on the one chance I would have to play this scenario for credit. This past weekend I was playing at a table as the charismatic PC trying to talk to the NPC, who apparently didn't like what I had to say and had its pet attack. There were 2 PCs [played by men] who took an action to step out of the way of the attacking creature and did not attack the creature as it walked by. Two rounds later and my PC was dead. They players said they felt bad about it and immediately agreed to pay for all of the raise dead and negative levels on my PC, saying "it wasn't supposed to go that far". So I had to miss out on the playing the rest of the scenario for, hmm, I'm not sure what they were trying to do. Their amusement? I still haven't cooled down enough to discuss the actual rules I thought were ignored by the GM without getting too upset and frustrated. I had once again seriously reconsidered my involvement with PFS, but I've stuck with it.

Quill - I hope your gaming days do get better in PFS. Hopefully there is a good group of guys that want to play with you and will have your back when you're at the table. Forget the jerks and ask not to be seated with them and refuse to GM them. It sucks, but sometimes it's what needs to happen. I wish you the best.

Jiggy - Have no fear, it was not you. You're a great guy to game with and our adventures are always fun. You should bring out the wife more often, it's fun to play with more women. Would she be interested in a ladies-only table sometime?
Although I will say, if you notice me being super quiet at the table, that's probably a good indication that I've shut down and am not having a good time. Probably because there is jerk emerging at the table and is treating someone or some people like dirt.

Project Manager

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Quill: Please let Mike know about this even if someone else is also reporting it.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Florida—Jacksonville aka Kyrie Ebonblade,

Quill,

I hope that I never do that sort of thing to any of my GMs. I know my fellow VLs and my VC here in Jax are always trying to work with our players and gms (with as gender-blind an outlook as we can go) and understand that not everyone has the same outlook.

We try to encourage our GMs, and players, to come to us with issues that have not only with other PFS members.. but us. It helps us build the community, encourage growth in each and every person we coax out to game with us. It's about growing a community, and building friendships.

I'm sorry that your VO failed you in that count. I hope I can use this to be more aware of folk's needs and issues.

Most of all, I hope you stay with the community and work with those of us who want to help out.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Alaska—Anchorage aka Dragnmoon

Quick question, as a female how do you distinguish from a male treating you like you don't know the rules because you are a female from someone who is treating you that way because they do that to everyone? Is there a specific cue or just a noticeable difference in attitude?

I ask because one of my faults is that until I get to know someone, notice otherwise, or know before hand I have the fault of assuming that any new player I meet don't know the rules as well as I do. I am not saying I don't make mistakes in the rules but I think due to my experience of the majority of players I play with not knowing the rules that deeply I automatically assume they don't. This does not in general affect how i treat them as a player but seeing only from my POV I am not sure how it looks when I question someone on a rule and or correct them.

Project Manager

Dragnmoon wrote:
Quick question, as a female how do you distinguish from a male treating you like you don't know the rules because you are a female from someone who is treating you that way because they do that to everyone? Is there a specific cue or just a noticeable difference in attitude?

It's not that hard: are they doing the same things to the male players at the table? Are they continuing to offer you unsolicited advice after you've indicated you're not interested in receiving it, or demonstrated that you're familiar with the rules?

If they're giving everyone at the table advice, they may be annoying, but they're probably not sexist. If they're just giving it to the woman/women at the table, that suggests otherwise.

The Exchange 5/5

Jessica Price wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Quick question, as a female how do you distinguish from a male treating you like you don't know the rules because you are a female from someone who is treating you that way because they do that to everyone? Is there a specific cue or just a noticeable difference in attitude?

It's not that hard: are they doing the same things to the male players at the table? Are they continuing to offer you unsolicited advice after you've indicated you're not interested in receiving it, or demonstrated that you're familiar with the rules?

If they're giving everyone at the table advice, they may be annoying, but they're probably not sexist. If they're just giving it to the woman/women at the table, that suggests otherwise.

in Dragnmoon's case he just "...may be annoying, ... not sexist.".

;)

Liberty's Edge 2/5

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Jessica Price wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
Quick question, as a female how do you distinguish from a male treating you like you don't know the rules because you are a female from someone who is treating you that way because they do that to everyone? Is there a specific cue or just a noticeable difference in attitude?

It's not that hard: are they doing the same things to the male players at the table? Are they continuing to offer you unsolicited advice after you've indicated you're not interested in receiving it, or demonstrated that you're familiar with the rules?

If they're giving everyone at the table advice, they may be annoying, but they're probably not sexist. If they're just giving it to the woman/women at the table, that suggests otherwise.

This is personally how I gauge it. Its very easy I have found to over think it all, as a guy. You try to make sure your not being sexist and then going over board to the point of ignoring the person or bringing them into the "guy talk", which is bad especially if they are new. Some guys don't even like guy talk. I personally find more than a comment or two rude and disgusting.

Seriously, the proper way of dealing with it is to just treat any woman any way you would treat any other person you meet in public. Be courteous, kind, and generous to everyone. Be friendly and open.

If someone is encroaching on anyone with unsolicited advice, it happens everywhere in PFS sadly, remind them that everyone enjoys playing their own character their own way. Everyone plays differently, everyone learns differently, no matter the gender. If the person wants to be an attention seeker, they will be, if they don't they wont. Most people do not enjoy being singled out.

Saying women are bad at math or complex rules is simply ignorance that is not needed, nor wanted. My fiancee is a wizard at accounting. I am horrible at math. Are we an outlier of the norm? No, we are simply people. Attributing skill levels, or mental abilities to base statistics on gender norms is incredibly flawed and sexist in and of its self.

Women are people. Men are people. We are all simply people. No person wants crass, or lude comments in public. If it happens in a private setting, we can tell friends to watch what they say, and if the friends truly respect you, they will.

A lot of men dismiss what women have to say off handedly with out even realizing it. This could be attributed to any number of reasons, but the fact remains that it is wrong. If anyone is being spoken over, help out.

Listen.
Digest.
Respond.

No matter who the speaker is. They are the speaker. It is important to listen and wait your turn, even if you do not agree. Respect them, no matter who they are, what gender they are, what color they are, what they are wearing.

Sorry this went a little wonky. Just my 2 cents.


Catling wrote:


I think that is another good point to bring up. I don't want to speak for all women, but I know for myself, if I'm upset or angered to tears, I'd rather not have anyone else see it, especially the male players. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable, and it makes me feel like I'm not strong enough to handle gaming with "the guys". If it were a group of just women, it feel a lot different and that we can be more open and honest with each other and how we're feeling. I feel like I can tell another woman to "stop being mean" if they start to act like a jerk, but trying to tell a man that makes me feel like I'm a dumb and overly-sensitive girl. I feel like I have to work hard to try to act tough and keep up with the guys, trying to act impervious to the comments, jokes and other immature conversations that end up at a gaming table.

That is why some men prefer to be with other men (not just in gaming but in other situation) sometimes. They can be their usual ruckus selves without worrying too much about offending somebody.


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Abyssal Lord wrote:
Catling wrote:


I think that is another good point to bring up. I don't want to speak for all women, but I know for myself, if I'm upset or angered to tears, I'd rather not have anyone else see it, especially the male players. It makes me feel weak and vulnerable, and it makes me feel like I'm not strong enough to handle gaming with "the guys". If it were a group of just women, it feel a lot different and that we can be more open and honest with each other and how we're feeling. I feel like I can tell another woman to "stop being mean" if they start to act like a jerk, but trying to tell a man that makes me feel like I'm a dumb and overly-sensitive girl. I feel like I have to work hard to try to act tough and keep up with the guys, trying to act impervious to the comments, jokes and other immature conversations that end up at a gaming table.

That is why some men prefer to be with other men (not just in gaming but in other situation) sometimes. They can be their usual ruckus selves without worrying too much about offending somebody.

And it's also why some men prefer gaming with at least some women at the table. The juvenile humor ("their usual ruckus selves") gets toned down a bit.

1/5 Venture-Captain, Germany–Hannover aka Hayato Ken

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Real men do cry.
Because real people do have emotions.

Personaly, if a situation makes me cry, i´ll just do it.
No matter where i am or who can see it.
Because essentially, i´m not ashamed of my emotions.

Would i see anyone cry at my table, i would try to comfort that person if i can. Because other people do deserve our support.
Exceptions there only prove the rule.

Without reading all of the above, i´m not sure why or how crying should be especially related to women. Something like that reeks of a wrong understanding of feminity and masculinity and deep seated emotional problems.

Persons should not be reduced to sex and gender, neither should the discourse be reduced like that.
If you stop seing different gender and start noticing you´re surrounded by different people, which have totally different attributes, among which gender is one of many, things become a lot smoother and easier.

5/5

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Benjamin Falk wrote:


Persons should not be reduced to sex and gender, neither should the discourse be reduced like that.

Quite honestly, in my humble opinion, this is all that really ever needed to be said on the topic.


Benjamin Falk wrote:

Real men do cry.

Because real people do have emotions.

Personaly, if a situation makes me cry, i´ll just do it.
No matter where i am or who can see it.
Because essentially, i´m not ashamed of my emotions.

Would i see anyone cry at my table, i would try to comfort that person if i can. Because other people do deserve our support.
Exceptions there only prove the rule.

Without reading all of the above, i´m not sure why or how crying should be especially related to women. Something like that reeks of a wrong understanding of feminity and masculinity and deep seated emotional problems.

Persons should not be reduced to sex and gender, neither should the discourse be reduced like that.
If you stop seing different gender and start noticing you´re surrounded by different people, which have totally different attributes, among which gender is one of many, things become a lot smoother and easier.

Women are just more biologically emotional thanks in part to their upbringing and more importantly, estrogen.

Read an article about this man who underwent the procedure to become a woman. She chronicled the changes in her body as the estrogen replaced her testosterone and she also noted how her emotional state changed. She would notice that tears would well up at times when as a man, she would shrug off.

In the end, this is just a game and sometimes I am amazed at how emotional it can get..with screaming, fighting and tears.

I told this story before, about a friend of mine whose sister was subbing as a DM for awhile. For whatever reason his character cursed out his patron deity and she ruled that the god struck him dead and he was throwing a tantrum with tears flowing down his face. It was not just one tear, it was a torrent.

Absolutely amazing.

Lantern Lodge 3/5

Abyssal Lord wrote:
I told this story before, about a friend of mine whose sister was subbing as a DM for awhile. For whatever reason his character cursed out his patron deity and she ruled that the god struck him dead

In a totally off point derailment, I now have a new #1 citation for examples of GMs massively overreacting. Thanks Abyssal Lord!

Sovereign Court

Lormyr wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:
I told this story before, about a friend of mine whose sister was subbing as a DM for awhile. For whatever reason his character cursed out his patron deity and she ruled that the god struck him dead
In a totally off point derailment, I now have a new #1 citation for examples of GMs massively overreacting. Thanks Abyssal Lord!

Not to mention that PF deities aren't omnicient - so it's unlikely that they'd even notice unless the character was making a specific effort to be noticed.

Silver Crusade Assistant Software Developer

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Abyssal Lord wrote:


Women are just more biologically emotional thanks in part to their upbringing and more importantly, estrogen.

Read an article about this man who underwent the procedure to become a woman. She chronicled the changes in her body as the estrogen replaced her testosterone and she also noted how her emotional state changed. She would notice that tears would well up at times when as a man, she would shrug off.

I would somewhat disagree with that, as someone who has been through this process that is a gross oversimplification. In my experience, I didn't become more emotional, but the pressure to be less emotional was removed when I transitioned and I believe a lot of people feel that can let go of some of those road blocks once they start being honest themselves about other things. This was not something I had highly internalized in my life as I grew in a household that was very good at making sure emotions were not held until explosions happened. It sometimes gets conjoined but by and large, my experience was that my emotional state didn't change much but the attack and decline of emotion did change somewhat. I was less quick to anger but I stayed angry a little more long term. That was really the extent of it. Their were more mind effects just many of them were pretty minor. The feeling sexual pressure did go down quite a bit until I added progesterone into my system which made for a more complete hormonal regimen.

Everyones experience is going to be different here because the societal pressure we totally buy into stops exerting in ways different societal pressure push their way into your brain.


Lissa Guillet wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:


Women are just more biologically emotional thanks in part to their upbringing and more importantly, estrogen.

Read an article about this man who underwent the procedure to become a woman. She chronicled the changes in her body as the estrogen replaced her testosterone and she also noted how her emotional state changed. She would notice that tears would well up at times when as a man, she would shrug off.

I would somewhat disagree with that, as someone who has been through this process that is a gross oversimplification.

Everyones experience is going to be different here because the societal pressure we totally buy into stops exerting in ways different societal pressure push their way into your brain.

Culturally speaking, women are allowed to show emotion, they are allow to show fear (hence the copious amount of female victims/heroines in horror movies) as oppose to men. Then again, we often forget that sometimes culture and biology also goes hand in hand.

Silver Crusade Assistant Software Developer

Abyssal Lord wrote:

Culturally speaking, women are allowed to show emotion, they are allow to show fear (hence the copious amount of female victims/heroines in horror movies) as oppose to men. Then again, we often forget that sometimes culture and biology also goes hand in hand.

Allowed sure, but it comes at the same price as that of men. We are often considered weak for having emotion.

Also, I'd like to point out that while hormone regimens are pretty good these days, they aren't perfect. Transgender hormones don't often cycle in the same way that women's hormones tend to do and while there are three forms of estrogen that makeup the composition estrogen for most women, transgendered only get the most prevalent form and often get no progesterone at all and don't have a natural cycle. My hormone cycle tends to be 2 weeks rather than 4 for example. And a complete lack of hormones(which happens occasionally when you can't afford estrogen and progesterone but can take the much cheaper testosterone blocker) has an incredibly drastic effect on emotions. Much more than the difference between testosterone and estrogen at least in my experience.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Walter Sheppard wrote:


In our area, we have some women that play PFS. They are by and large more skilled players than most of the people I see. I think this is because most of them come from a gaming background and have been playing RPGs for a while. Given this, and my general outlook on life, I see no reason to treat them any different than other players, with respect and courtesy.

Just be polite to everyone at your table and you'll have a great time.

ive played with a few of his players at local specials. i can honestly say the women from Pullman are a riot to game with.

i know my lodge does ok on its male vrs female count. we have 3 that gm and bout 6-8 more that play least twice a month if not more

Project Manager

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Abyssal Lord wrote:

Women are just more biologically emotional thanks in part to their upbringing and more importantly, estrogen.

Wow. No, no we're not.

Women are likely to feel some types of emotion in some situations than men. And men are more likely to be emotional in other ways. (The fact that we tend not to classify being angry or piqued as "being emotional" when men do it notwithstanding, testosterone is as much a mood-altering hormone as estrogen.)

But aside from being sexist and bad science, that statement's a pretty significant derail.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Jessica Price wrote:
The fact that we tend not to classify being angry or piqued as "being emotional" when men do it...

Heh, if we could:

1) Get men to acknowledge that anger is an emotion, and
2) Get men to grasp that when they're saying the kinds of things that tend to get posts deleted, it's not because they're rationally and objectively responding to someone else's crap, but rather because they've completely handed the driver's seat over to the emotion called "anger"; and
3) Get men to make the connection that if they're acting on anger, and anger is an emotion, then they are themselves "being emotional";
I imagine we could revolutionize the discussion of sexism in gaming (or in general).

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Thank you Jiggy. I think I know how I'm going to respond to such outbursts from now on.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Quill the Owl wrote:

I have played Pathfinder for about five to six years now. I have been playing in Pathfinder Society a little less than a year. (It will be a full year at the end of May). I am a female gamer, one of three, which attend my local friendly game shop. In my experience, I have yet to see a female gamer play an overtly sexualized character. (My gaming group in college was about 50/50 made up of approximately 35 individuals).

I have, however, encountered four men, roleplaying female worshippers of Calistria, both in Pathfinder Society and in home games, focusing solely on Lust aspect. To this day, whenever I wind up being seated at a table with one of the worshippers, I am extremely uncomfortable. All of them tend to push things too far and when I finally speak up, I get looks of “wth is her problem?” and grumbles of how they are “just role playing their character”. I do not have an issue with Calistria herself as a deity, but it would be nice if everyone in my community were to recognize that she is also the goddess of Trickery and Secrets. I do not have a problem with people playing a different gender, but I have noticed that when men play female characters they tend to be more sexually active than women playing male characters.

I have been hit on at conventions when I was waiting to gm for Pathfinder Society, even when I was wearing an engagement ring, to the point that I had to excuse myself to find my fiancé to get a guy to back off. I do not feel that my local lodge is welcoming to females and part of the reason why I have stuck with it, is because I am one of the lodge’s founding members. When Pathfinder Society started in my area, I would see quite a few couples show up for a game day, and then never appear again. When I ran into one of them again, I was told they tried it, but it was too “bros club” for them and that they were more interested in private games where the woman felt more comfortable.

When I brought this up to my Venture Captain, it felt like it was pushed under the rug. I am...

I doubt it will do much good for what has already been said, but Id like to apologize on behalf of the men in the Venture Officer corp for the actions of this 'person'.

Id also like to extend my personal apologies to anyone who I might have inadvertently made feel this way when I am organizing or GMing anything (though I hope Ive never done anything this bad).

Also, Im sending you a PM. :)

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Thank you Jiggy. I think I know how I'm going to respond to such outbursts from now on.

*imagines thread after thread of TOZ making one-line posts of "You're just being emotional"*

What have I done?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Jiggy wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
The fact that we tend not to classify being angry or piqued as "being emotional" when men do it...

Heh, if we could:

1) Get men to acknowledge that anger is an emotion, and
2) Get men to grasp that when they're saying the kinds of things that tend to get posts deleted, it's not because they're rationally and objectively responding to someone else's crap, but rather because they've completely handed the driver's seat over to the emotion called "anger"; and
3) Get men to make the connection that if they're acting on anger, and anger is an emotion, then they are themselves "being emotional";
I imagine we could revolutionize the discussion of sexism in gaming (or in general).

Nonsense! That sort of silly statement just makes me mad.

3/5

It is a fact that females and males brain work differently and process different emotions differently.

Although to make claims one side or the other has to change is just as ignorant as what started this thread.

We as humans need to understand everyone is different and we need to accept the differances we have. Some men/women may want o be treated in some ways while many others may not. Some may express emotions in whatever they way they choose. Telling someone how they need to express their emotions is insulting to humanity as a whole.

Because of the drastic differences in the chemistry and working of the sexes does not mean you can use that as an excuse to label or make demands. Because as different the sexes are, there is a much larger differences between individuals.

What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated, or leave them alone?

Silver Crusade 3/5

Sarvei taeno wrote:
Walter Sheppard wrote:


In our area, we have some women that play PFS. They are by and large more skilled players than most of the people I see. I think this is because most of them come from a gaming background and have been playing RPGs for a while. Given this, and my general outlook on life, I see no reason to treat them any different than other players, with respect and courtesy.

Just be polite to everyone at your table and you'll have a great time.

ive played with a few of his players at local specials. i can honestly say the women from Pullman are a riot to game with.

i know my lodge does ok on its male vrs female count. we have 3 that gm and bout 6-8 more that play least twice a month if not more

We also have had some female players come a few times and never return. I am married to one of them. I know her reasons, and I have my suspicions regarding some of the rest.

Here are some areas where our group desperately needs improvement:
1. Hygiene. There are a lot of smelly people in our group. Like really smelly.
2. Off-topic discussions. Anything that slows the game down. I know that we are there to socialize, but we also want to play the game. When one person is socializing with the GM, that leaves 3 to 5 who are bored.
3. Hostility. For the most part, our group is pretty great. There are a lot of nice, friendly people. But there are some bad apples too.
4. Inappropriate comments. I have experienced these first-hand on more than one occasion. Preston knows about them. I am hoping things are improving on this front.*

*Full disclosure: I am a male player who enjoys playing female characters with strong personalities, i.e., high Charisma scores. None of them should be subject to harassment by other characters. None of them should be subject of inappropriate jokes or comments by other players. That includes my "sexy bard" cleric of Calistria. I take great pains to roleplay her in a manner that is respectful of all other players at the table, her character, and women in general. I hope for the same respect in return (again, most of the group is great in this regard, but it only takes one or two bad apples).

Silver Crusade 3/5

Finlanderboy wrote:
What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated...?

Quoted for truth!

Sovereign Court

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The Fox wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated...?
Quoted for truth!

Depends somewhat how they want to be treated.

I want to be treated to apple pie and by everyone giving me $50 each time they see me.

So far I am dissapoint.

3/5

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated...?
Quoted for truth!

Depends somewhat how they want to be treated.

I want to be treated to apple pie and by everyone giving me $50 each time they see me.

So far I am dissapoint.

Thats why after the ... was "or leave them alone".

If you demand applie pie and money I will leave you alone.

Sovereign Court

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Finlanderboy wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated...?
Quoted for truth!

Depends somewhat how they want to be treated.

I want to be treated to apple pie and by everyone giving me $50 each time they see me.

So far I am dissapoint.

Thats why after the ... was "or leave them alone".

If you demand applie pie and money I will leave you alone.

*heavy sigh* And thus continues my lonely and pieless existance.

Shadow Lodge 2/5

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
The Fox wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:
What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated...?
Quoted for truth!

Depends somewhat how they want to be treated.

I want to be treated to apple pie and by everyone giving me $50 each time they see me.

So far I am dissapoint.

...are you giving others apple pie and $50 every time you see them?

If not, I think you may not be reading all of the statement!

Scarab Sages 5/5

to be fair fox most the inappropriate comments at our lodge comes from our females lol. as for the hygiene i agree that's an issue as is off topic discussions. i know the off topic discussions drives emma crazy.

The Exchange 5/5 Venture-Captain, Ireland—Belfast aka heretic

A genuinely interesting read. I am naturally saddened to read what happened to Quill. In the admittedly highly unlikely event you should find yourself living in Ireland, Quill, rest assured the VC would be delighted & hugely grateful to have someone who contributes the way you do!

The VL of Dublin has done & is doing tremendous work for PFS & has she helped me get a better handle on the experience of female gamers and I am hoping she and other articulate members of our community will use our website to help spread the word further.
In particular helping me see the position of a gamer who goes games to increase her circle of friends just as a fella might but just can't because of being treated differently.

I have (several) half baked theories about patterns of gamers' behaviour which I will (mercifully) refrain from expounding on here but I am convinced that the contribution to gaming from the minority gender is substantially disproportionate to their number.

Liberty's Edge 5/5

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I will say that in our area, we've been working on trying to work on this topic. I've started to organize a "Women's Only" table a couple of times a month at one of the game days. It's an extra table, in addition to other tables being offered. It's to encourage women players to come out and play, but we also wouldn't turn someone away if the other tables were full.
The first session was a lot of fun. AND it was the first time the person GM'd (who was a woman), so it made it pretty cool.

Grand Lodge 3/5

I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable at my table. If I think that someone is making a woman at the table uncomfortable, should I automatically step in and say something? I don't mean calling attention to her, but just telling the person to tone it down or knock it off. I've heard this referred to as "white knighting" and that some women don't want men to jump to their defense. I want to make the game more inviting, but at the same time, I don't want to over step any boundaries.

To the women gamers, how do you want the men at the table to support you when it looks like you're uncomfortable with a situation but not speaking up?

5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is a lot to digest. Especially Quill's post. I have had some exposure to the PFS group in question. I'm wondering, based on what I've heard if Mike Brock may have to reconsider the leadership down there.

I remember last year at RavenCon in Richmond, it was the last slot (they were literally packing up as we were trying to finish). My girlfriend was also playing at the same table. After the game as we were driving home she mentioned some suspicious behavior on the part of the GM. The GM was supposedly using his phone for reference access, which is something a lot of people do. She was highly suspicious at the angle that he was holding his phone, to her it seemed as if he was trying to get a camera shot down her shirt. There isn't proof of this, although I do remember during the game he did mention something about it. He then apparently didn't need anymore reference material for the rest of the game. I don't have any proof of anything but it does make you think. I do know that the GM in question no longer even lives in that area.

The other part of the thread that got my eye were the Calistrian worshippers she mentioned. I play female characters. I have 7 active PFScharacters, only which two are female. Personally, I don't think I could feel comfortable playing a complete and total slut. One of my characters is seeker rank, a pacifist aasimar life oracle with a very high charisma. The other is a aasimar ninja who would just as slit your throat as look at you. The first I play as highly attractive but doesn't go out of her way to tart herself up. The other might seduce someone if there was a good reason for it. Note: I am so tempted to remake my life oracle as she is out of regular play.

All of this brings this to mind for me, enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lh1WEhlGi4

Project Manager

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TheInnsmouthLooker wrote:
I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable at my table. If I think that someone is making a woman at the table uncomfortable, should I automatically step in and say something?

Yes.

As you should do if anyone, male or female, is clearly being made uncomfortable. The only difference, I'd say, is to remember that it's often hard to speak up if you feel like you're the only $INSERTDEMOGRAPHIC around, and pay a bit more attention to signs of discomfort because people may avoid confrontation a lot more if they feel like they're alone and won't get any support. This goes for anyone who's a member of a [gaming] minority -- make sure you're engaging them in any discussion that goes on, keep an ear out for dismissiveness/jokes/put-downs directed at what makes them different (whether it's race, gender, gender identity, etc.), and if they're getting talked over, help them out by saying something like, "Hey, friends, I'm trying to hear what Erin was saying."

The other thing, which you get at below a bit, so I think you already understand this, is that I'd try not to make it about her (or his) discomfort. You don't always know if they're actually uncomfortable or if that's just your perception, and they may not want attention called to it. (If you already feel like you don't fit in, you don't generally want to be That Woman Who Complains That Everything Is Sexist). So I'd suggest making it about what you consider acceptable table behavior rather than making it about the person you're trying to support, just saying things like, "Hey, I'm not really comfortable with those sort of jokes/that sort of language/that type of generalization at my table."

TheInnsmouthLooker wrote:
I don't mean calling attention to her, but just telling the person to tone it down or knock it off. I've heard this referred to as "white knighting" and that some women don't want men to jump to their defense. I want to make the game more inviting, but at the same time, I don't want to over step any boundaries.

That's an admirable position to take.

I'd like to define "white knight," since I notice there seem to be two definitions for it when people criticize the impulse.

The first is the way I'd define it: A white knight is a guy who jumps in to defend me when he thinks other people have insulted me or aren't listening to me without having any interest in listening to me himself. He's someone who presumes to speak for me, and doesn't let me talk because he's so busy trying to defend me.

There's a big difference between:

"Guys, please don't use that sort of language at my table. I'm not cool with it."

and

"Gentlemen, you're making the lady uncomfortable, and I will not stand for her being treated like that at my table."

Like a lot of women, I can fight my own battles and am not interested in having a dude volunteer himself as my champion without my input and push me off to the sidelines.

I am, however, always appreciative of people who'll stand by my side when I step onto the field, or who'll fight the battle themselves even if I'm not engaging today--not in my place, not as a self-appointed representative for me, but for themselves, because they recognize that something's not okay and want it to stop.

So, I'd say if you're not presuming to speak for someone else, you're just speaking up against something you don't think is okay, you're not white knighting.

There's certainly a contingent (and I have yet to see a member of said contingent that isn't male, which is fairly telling) of people who consider any attempt by men to call out misogyny to be white knighting, and will usually follow up with the insinuation that it's done only to gain female attention. I'll leave it to you to determine how seriously you want to take the objections of people whose position is that it's not possible for a man to have an issue with bigotry without wanting something from the victims.

***

Long story short: as a GM, I think you should put a stop to any behavior that appears to be making any player at your table uncomfortable, regardless of their gender, race, age, orientation, etc., and that it's best to do so without drawing further attention to the target of the unacceptable behavior. I also think it's good practice to direct a little more attention toward the comfort of anyone who's a minority at the table, at least until you know whether they're comfortable speaking up, because being a minority may make them reluctant to speak up.

Silver Crusade 1/5

Sometimes women just like to watch and see what's going on first, before committing to a roleplaying session and group of people which lasts over four hours. Bringing alternative forms of entertainment along the way, i.e. kindle, books, beads, needlework, etc. is always possible while surveying a game. No obligations, no strings attached.

Personally, I view a female as no different than a male at the gaming table. I don't see what the big deal is. If a woman wants to participate with guys at a gaming table, then the experience is simply how guys interact with one another in a roleplaying session.

My experience, women strongly dislike men who are disingenuous. Why act one way at a gaming session and a completely different way when a woman is present at the table? Your friends who know you better look at you like your crazy and you end up roleplaying yourself as another person. Makes absolutely no sense.

When delivering the mission in game from a GM perspective, a strong roleplaying reminder that the person is a new member of the Pathfinder Society and everyone should help assist the newcomer might be a good icebreaker, male or female.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Jessica, thank you for the clarification. I didn't mean to exclude any other group, we were just speaking specifically of sexism. I will definitely keep your words in mind if I have to deal these kinds of issues.

Project Manager

TheInnsmouthLooker wrote:
Jessica, thank you for the clarification. I didn't mean to exclude any other group, we were just speaking specifically of sexism. I will definitely keep your words in mind if I have to deal these kinds of issues.

Cool -- it wasn't mean to be a criticism of not including other groups, just an acknowledgement that women's problems in this regard often track fairly closely with the things experienced with other groups. :-)


Hey so, I have a few counterpoints if you dont mind;

Jessica Price wrote:
TheInnsmouthLooker wrote:
I don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable at my table. If I think that someone is making a woman at the table uncomfortable, should I automatically step in and say something?

Yes.

As you should do if anyone, male or female, is clearly being made uncomfortable.....
The other thing, which you get at below a bit, so I think you already understand this, is that I'd try not to make it about her (or his) discomfort. You don't always know if they're actually uncomfortable or if that's just your perception, and they may not want attention called to it.....
So I'd suggest making it about what you consider acceptable table behavior rather than making it about the person you're trying to support, just saying things like, "Hey, I'm not really comfortable with those sort of jokes/that sort of language/that type of generalization at my table."

To be fair, I very much understand your position, but at the same time this advice can also be seen as "lie to your table". Let me explain, I personally -for instance- don't mind a bit of crude humour, BUT not if it makes anyone uncomfortable. What this means is that if I am playing at a table where everyone is ok with that then it wouldn't bother me. If I was playing with someone who WAS bothered by it, then it in turn would bother me (I'm bothered by other peoples bother!), but if I say "Hey guys I don't think that kind of language is appropriate" etc, then that makes me a hypocrite as I have probably used it before myself. Its a very murky area.

I don't know what the alternative is mind you, I'm just making an observation. Perhaps you should instead go with something more ambigous like "lets tone it down before we scare away any newbies etc", eg try and half laugh it off. But then are you calling attention to the uncomfortable player? As I said murky. (By the way this is all in relation to grey area stuff like crude humour IC stuff etc, for flat out harassment I'm 100% with you).

Jessica Price wrote:


There's a big difference between:

"Guys, please don't use that sort of language at my table. I'm not cool with it."

and

"Gentlemen, you're making the lady uncomfortable, and I will not stand for her being treated like that at my table."

Like a lot of women, I can fight my own battles and am not interested in having a dude volunteer himself as my champion without my input and push me off to the sidelines.

I am, however, always appreciative of people who'll stand by my side when I step onto the field, or who'll fight the battle themselves even if I'm not engaging today--not in my place, not as a self-appointed representative for me, but for themselves, because they recognize that something's not okay and want it to stop.

Again, You seem to draw two distinctions here, either;

1) You personally arent cool with behaviour at the table
2) You are fighting for someone without being asked

Again though, I personally am the type of person who hates seeing other people being given any kind of hard time, so for me if the behavior itself wouldnt bother ME, but I see it would bother someone else and therefore I would like it to stop what camp do I end up in? After all I dont mind the behavior itself so much, so im out of camp1, and I am technically going to be fighting for someone else so that puts me in camp 2. I guess that makes me a White-Knight jerk doesnt it? :( ;)

My point is just that things are unfortunately never so clear cut. I do very much agree with your point though about "I am, however, always appreciative of people who'll stand by my side when I step onto the field". At least here there is no ambiguity, if someone says they have a problem with how things are going then you can step in and support them without worrying about offending them with your "presumption" that they had a problem.

Again I hope the above is read as it was written as a series of observations on the murky waters of defending people, as opposed to any kind of a problem with the intent behind it. Because despite all my observations I am personally more likely to risk offending people by "white knighting" then I am to let someone be given a hard time. Anyone who has a problem with that, well I probably don't care too much about their opinion anyway. :)

TLDR: Eh, Don't bother, not much interesting was said!

5/5 ⦵⦵

I don't think the two camp viewpoint is correct.

Whilst we might feel personally ok with a bit of coarse behaviour, or even a lot of coarse behaviour, when we see that others aren't down with it then we are just adjusting our behaviour to be inclusive.

Asking your mates to take it down a few notches isn't "fighting" for anyone, its simply a request for a change of atmosphere - its no bigger a deal than asking for the air con to be turned up or down, no more hypocritical than that.

Pick up the social cues, roll with them.

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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@CathalFM—I would wonder, then, if perhaps your own stance needs to switch from "I am okay with X until someone's not comfortable" to "I'm not okay with X until everyone is comfortable". Not to tell you what to do or anything, just brainstorming options; this would seem to address your concerns, yes?


Lissa Guillet wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:

Culturally speaking, women are allowed to show emotion, they are allow to show fear (hence the copious amount of female victims/heroines in horror movies) as oppose to men. Then again, we often forget that sometimes culture and biology also goes hand in hand.

Allowed sure, but it comes at the same price as that of men. We are often considered weak for having emotion.

Men are not allowed to show extreme emotions as men are not allowed to portray themselves as victims.

When men showed fear, it is usually done for laughs. I am trying to remember a horror movie that actually showed a guy trembling in fear. I am sure there is one out there. I mean, done in serious fashion, not like the male lead in those Evil Dead movies.


Jessica Price wrote:
Abyssal Lord wrote:

Women are just more biologically emotional thanks in part to their upbringing and more importantly, estrogen.

Wow. No, no we're not.

Women are likely to feel some types of emotion in some situations than men. And men are more likely to be emotional in other ways. (The fact that we tend not to classify being angry or piqued as "being emotional" when men do it notwithstanding, testosterone is as much a mood-altering hormone as estrogen.)

But aside from being sexist and bad science, that statement's a pretty significant derail.

Thank you for clarifying that. You see, I have been the victim of all those things I read about how men being not able to express themselves and their emotions (usually from women magazines, I might add). Rather it seems both genders are allowed to show certain set of emotions (women can cry, men who cry are sissies, men can be angry and be considered manly but women who gets angry are b~$#*es--in a bad way).

5/5 Venture-Agent, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka lastblacknight

It's easy treat everyone with respect...

Seat new players, normal helpful players, and keep the rest close enough you can keep them under control.

I always have breath mints, you can also reward a noisy player with them - it keeps them quiet for a short period of time (usually box text)...

I open the day's session with a request they everyone respects everyone else at the table and that if one person is talking that they don't talk over the top of them. Seems to work fine.


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Finlanderboy wrote:

...

What is so wrong with treating people how they want to be treated, or leave them alone?

I often can't tell how someone wants to be treated and I've been called out for 'leave them alone' as ignoring them. I often feel like I’m in a ‘no win’ situation. I do my best to treat everyone like everyone else (at least until they give me a reason to treat them differently), but that doesn’t satisfy everyone.

I could give examples all day, but that would just be whining. I guess what I’m saying is, at least give me some indication of how you want to be treated if it isn’t the way I’m treating everyone else.

Jessica Price wrote:

...

That's an admirable position to take.

I'd like to define "white knight," since I notice there seem to be two definitions for it when people criticize the impulse.

The first is the way I'd define it: A white knight is a guy who jumps in to defend me when he thinks other people have insulted me or aren't listening to me without having any interest in listening to me himself. He's someone who presumes to speak for me, and doesn't let me talk because he's so busy trying to defend me.

There's a big difference between:

"Guys, please don't use that sort of language at my table. I'm not cool with it."

and

"Gentlemen, you're making the lady uncomfortable, and I will not stand for her being treated like that at my table."

Like a lot of women, I can fight my own battles and am not interested in having a dude volunteer himself as my champion without my input and push me off to the sidelines.

I am, however, always appreciative of people who'll stand by my side when I step onto the field, or who'll fight the battle themselves even if I'm not engaging today--not in my place, not as a self-appointed representative for me, but for themselves, because they recognize that something's not okay and want it to stop.

So, I'd say if you're not presuming to speak for someone else, you're just speaking up against something you don't think is okay, you're not white knighting. ...

I appreciate the clarification and it does help. I will try to apply it as best I can. However, I have to say for me it often isn’t at all clear when / how to do that in many situations.

Personally, I don’t often curse unless extremely frustrated and I don’t tell crude jokes or find them very funny. However, neither do they bother me. The cursing and crudity was just around when I was growing up (but not in my family) and in my first few jobs. So to me it is just background noise. So as CathalFM says, I would feel hypocritical saying it bothered me or wasn’t welcome around me. And I’m pretty sure all my friends know it doesn’t bother me.

I do not have an empathic personality. (Quintessential engineer dork.) I find it very difficult to tell if someone is being bothered by something if they don’t say anything. I am better at it than I was 20+ years ago, but still not great.
There have been times in the last few years where people have asked why I didn’t step in when someone was obviously in distress (at work not PFS). I honestly didn’t catch it. My questions was why didn’t you say something since you noticed or at least tell me?


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Personally, I don’t often curse unless extremely frustrated and I don’t tell crude jokes or find them very funny. However, neither do they bother me. The cursing and crudity was just around when I was growing up (but not in my family) and in my first few jobs. So to me it is just background noise. So as CathalFM says, I would feel hypocritical saying it bothered me or wasn’t welcome around me. And I’m pretty sure all my friends know it doesn’t bother me.

Crude jokes, curses, etc, are fine within the context of a group of people who are familiar with one another and shared a dynamic. We usually let people we know get away with certain things as we know the intent, as opposed to a stranger. When a newcomer gets into the mix, it is only natural to "be polite".

Grand Lodge 2/5 RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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lastblacknight wrote:

It's easy treat everyone with respect...

If it were easy, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

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