Unintentional Sexism In Boardgames?

This week this youtube video took off and created some discussion about sexism in boardgames. While I like the tone of this lady youtuber and her way of telling the audience her thoughts, I cannot really understand the point she is making. What’s the change she wants?

Let me underline the fact that I am European, so this whole struggle America is going on with sexism is not something I am used to seeing on a day to day basis. I am sure it happens around me, but not at a noticeable degree.  While I may be European I digest a lot of American news, media and politics (bleah), so this subject is not a first, and what I have come to understand is that most discussions never end because most of the time debates are emotional and not rational.

So, what you’re saying is you hate women?

Hehe… Funny, but no.

I believe that what this nice lady describes in her YouTube clip is true and is sexism but is the kind of sexism that refuses to use common sense. It all boils down to when are you entitled to get offended. Your feelings matter, but so does my freedom of speech. Feelings seem to rule the world in 2018 and this is not a good thing. 

If I hear that Bob’s wife watches football but he doesn’t I am going to make two remarks.

  1. Bob, you sure are not like most men.
  2. Bob, your wife sure is not like most women.

I have made 2 observations that are both true and are not intended as insults. Some people just lose their minds and get offended when compared to a stereotype because stereotypes have gained a negative connotation.

“Oh, don’t dare compare ME to anyone else, because I am different, and you should have known.”

Sorry, but chances are you are not that different. This is why we use stereotypes, because they act as behavioral templates used in common situations. Most of the time they are useful and in some rare occasions they misfire and it’s OK. The gain outweighs the loss. 

Without stereotypes we would not be careful when walking on a dark alley followed by a stranger. As a man I am quite often in the annoying position of being behind a lady on an empty street and I can see her being restless and tensed by my presence. Is she offending me thinking about me as a criminal? Just because I am a man behind her on a dark street? Are all men rapists and  thieves? Is it not my right to not get annoyed and insulted?

Well no. It is my duty to understand the harmless situation. Sometimes I just pass her quickly to let he know I am just minding my own business. Sometimes I just stop to check my phone for a moment to let her gain distance. It’s things I need to do to give her the right to be careful while possibly insulting and annoying me. She needs to assume. There is no time to check. And I need to suck it up. Period. We cannot scream for rights whenever we are placed in uncomfortable positions.

Now, let’s cut to the chase. 93% of gamers in the boardgaming hobby are men.  This comes from the advertising brochure for BoardGameGeek, the mother of all boardgaming sites. Ugly truth, but the truth. So if you see a girl at game night please make sure to tell her how a rare sighting she is. If she gets upset by a fact then you two were not meant to be. 

Also, 85% of the views for gaming channels on Youtube come from men. So, the stereotype, and rightfully so, is that women DO NOT GAME. Please, understand that i am not saying they CANNOT GAME because they are inferior to men, or something else absurd. Nobody is saying that. It’s just that for now, women do not like to invest their time in gaming and when they do it’s a rare occurrence. It’s their preference they are making with their own minds, just like men waste time with sports and expensive cars.

This is a touchy subject and I know how easily I can fall into a trap of sounding sexist and arrogant, but trust me, I really want equality of opportunity among ALL humans. All I want is to sound the alarm when it matters and makes sense.