Or rather women are people too. You see there is this misconception that women are an alien species to be deciphered, understood, and even manipulated. We are generalized, categorized, and pegged into holes. And none of that acknowledges the simple truth that we are people. Just people. And we’re not the only sub-group of this varied and beautiful species to experience this.
Let’s start with women because this is the one that affects me directly. I don’t think I need to list examples, there are many, instead I’m going to list the reasons why this has been on the back of my mind for some time now.
- Dating guides for men with titles like “How to get laid” “How to talk to women” “How to get a girl” “How to get women to like you”. Because there’s a one size fits all solution to finding a partner for short or long term relationships.
No. Just no. Women are people. Each and every woman has a different set of interests, different hobbies, different personalities. I’ve met women who have zero interest in shoes. I’ve met women who play video games. I’ve met women who knit, crochet, sew, bake, and/or cook. I’ve met women who can’t cook. I’ve met women who NEED a clean house and women (like me) who live in a cloud of disorder.We like different jokes, we like different sports and different sports teams, we like different movies, different actors, different books. We are individuals, people, and the best way to “get the girl” is to talk to her and find out what she likes. Honesty is important too. Don’t lie about what you like so she’ll like you more, it will fall apart. Seriously, try to get to know her the same way you would a guy at the lunch table at work. We’re not scary or alien, we’re people, that’s all.
2. Gamer Girl rants.
You’d think those would go hand-in-hand with what I’m saying but people are getting sick of them. “We get it, girls play video games, shut up”. On the one hand I agree, but on the other hand “Gamer Gate” is still a thing.
For those not familiar with Gamer Gate it’s the ongoing issue of women who play, review, or design video games get trolled, harassed, and verbally abused to the point of receiving death threats, by male gamers. Because women can’t possibly be as serious about video games as men. We can’t be as good at it. We can’t have real opinions about it. We can’t design them. And that is bullshit.
I play video games casually. I’m not a hardcore gamer, I’m not really that good at it. But I enjoy it. And why shouldn’t I? I don’t have to be competitive to enjoy it. I don’t have to be the best to enjoy it. Why should anyone have the right to trample on my enjoyment of a “thing”. There are Bronies (men who like My Little Pony, for whatever reasons) so why can’t there be Gamer Girls? There are stay-at-home dads, male models, male fashion designers, male chefs – so why not Gamer Girls?
Girls are right to stand up for themselves in this arena, but at the same time these rants continue to make an issue out of it. Maybe it’s time to stop ranting and just enjoy our video games our way – whether it’s casually in our living rooms with friends or spouses, or competitively online. Go out and play, for you, not for approval or vindication, or to prove a point. Play, review, create, enjoy. And yes, rant. I won’t stop you because I don’t think the trolls are going away any time soon.
As I said, women aren’t the only one who experience this. A lot of cultures and sub-groups are stereotyped. Asians? The dudes are always dorky side-kicks, nerdy super-smart techs, or school girls. Seriously, Asians are people. Diverse people with diverse interests. Stop using them as a short hand for super-smart-tech-dorks or sex items.
Not all Natives are alcoholics or hunters or medicine men.
Not all black people are gang members or criminals or primitive tribal people.
Not all blondes are dumb.
Not all red heads have tempers.
Not all men are sex-crazed cave men.
We are people. We are diverse. We need to respect that diversity, in our day-to-day interactions and for writers, in our creating. Stereotypes are lazy short cuts. Create real people, real characters. Through literature and movies and video games we can change public perception on many issues. We’re all people.