Friday, February 4, 2011

The blog names I’d rather see go away

Disclaimer: This post is probably going to upset a few readers. I’m about to thread on some toes of fellows in the blogging community. Please don’t take it personally. I don’t hate you. I don’t hate your blog. It’s just the name of it that I don’t fancy that much. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. OK?

I’m not picky when it comes to blog names. Basically you can call your blog whatever you like, as long as it’s not a blatant rip-off from another, well-known blog, which is something I don’t approve of. Build your own brand with your own ideas, thank you very much!

However there is one kind of names that has bugged me for years now and finally I’ve decided to speak up about it. Maybe, just maybe it could prevent one of you who might be thinking of starting your own blog from picking such a name.

Girl blogs
So. (Larísa takes a deep breath. She's not much of a toe stepper).

I have a problem with blogs called something with “girl” or “chick”. Girl playing WoW! Girl not playing WoW! The girl that games! Gamers can be girls! Chick gamer! I’m a super chic gaming chick girl IRL, yes you heard it right, girl, GRRRLLL!!!!

Well the last one wasn’t authentic but you get the idea.

What’s up with you people? Is your gender really such an important aspect of your blog that you have to display it in the name? You could believe that those blogs would be full-fledged gender blogs, wresting every thinkable topic to be about feminism or anti-feminism or whatever. But they rarely are. They’re just normal WoW blogs by normal gamers.

They keep coming. I see them popping up in the newcomer section at Blog Azeroth where new bloggers introduce themselves and every time I see a new blog named “girl” or “chick” blog, I cringe.

Some of the chick named blogs have been around for years, which makes it more understandable. I only started to play games four years ago, but further back, I’ve heard that the situation was different. Females were rare spawns in the gaming community and those who spoke up and came out of their wardrobes were a bit of pioneers. If you were one of the early adaptors it could make perfectly sense to start a blog where you stated that here was a real girl, playing games, a rebellion against the prejudices. Becoming visible was essential.

But now? In 2011? Haven’t we come any further than that? I’d dare say we have. Being a girl who games isn’t exactly shocking news anymore. And it’s definitely not the unique selling point you may look for as a new blogger, rather the contrary if you ask me. If you name your blog “I’m a girl who plays WoW”, I guarantee you that I’ll be unable to tell it from the 20 other blogs with similar names that already are on the market. (Male bloggers are in a different situation; as far as I know there’s only one blog that displays gender in the name – A boy and his death rays.)

Girl or woman
And while I’m raging, what’s this thing about always using the name “girl”, either you’re a 17 year old blogger or 37? If you insist on marketing your gender for whatever reason, what’s wrong with the word “woman”? Could it possibly be that “girl” comes with a connotation of being innocent, harmless and cute, while a grown-up woman feels a bit more creepy and threatening?

Saga has been around blogging for quite a while, but recently she took the step to change her blogname from one of those “girl” themed into the neutral “Spellbound”, which I think is a beautiful blogname and appropriate for a warlock. I wish that more would follow her example.

It’s about time that we stop presenting ourselves as “girls” and start looking at ourselves as “gamers”. No matter how good the intentions are, I think the “girl that games” blog names make more harm than they help to make female gamers into fully accepted members of the community. I look forward to the day when no one would come up with the idea to name a blog “girl” as little as they’d name it “Vegetarian plays WoW” or “The right-handed WoW player”.

Friday night toast
And this was quite a grumpy rant for being a Friday night post. Normally I try to end the week a bit more cheerfully, but I needed to get this off my chest.

To all of you who have a blog named “girl”, I’m truly sorry if I offended you. If you want to mock the name of my blog, please go ahead! I’m sure you can find up something about it. After that I suggest that we end this evening, sharing a toast, making peace again.

After all, the weekend is incoming and hopefully a nice one for all of us. Boys as girls. Women as men. Gnomes as orcs.

Cheers!

53 comments:

Sephrenia said...

Do I count as one that bugs you? (Not that it would bother me, I'm happy with my name)

I am a Mum, I am an officer in a Guild, I am Mum to the guild ....

... and I couldn't think of anything else to call it.

... and it's almost a dead blog anyway cos I just can't find time or energy to write any more now I'm working full time again :(

I like the name PPI - it suits you :)

Stabs said...

Phew, I'm not in this post!

I think Pink Pigtail Inn is a good name - unique enough to serve as something of a brand, feminine and welcoming.

I think also names drop in and out of fashion. Girl nowadays is redundant or attention-seeking but 5 years ago many people didn't believe females played these games. Eve even had an acronym:
G - Guy
I - In
R - Real
L - Life
to describe people you met in game who claimed to be female.

I think if you start a blog now you shouldn't brand your blog with your gender (unless you're neither male or female - transgender gaming blogs are severely underrepresented) but if someone has a blog 2+ years old it would be tedious to change now.

cincipon said...

With you being a blogger who has, in the past, posted about girl-centric themes/feminism/rape-culture/sexism, I think it's funny that you draw the line about overt themes at the naming of the blog.

For my own 2c, just because you are personally done with being a girl gamer and are now just a gamer, or a person, even, doesn't mean that everyone else is. They are defining their blog as it seems important to them.

Do you not think that Pink Pigtails is just a slightly obfuscated way of saying "girl"? I can hardly think of anything more girly at the moment.

cincipon said...

Which fork is used for what course?

Rhii said...

Pink Pigtails doesn't mean that Larisa the blogger is female necessarily, it means that Larisa the gnome is. Larisa the blogger IS female, but men can also play pink pigtailed gnome ladies if they want to.

Have you ever been over to I Like Pancakes (i-like-pancakes.tumblr.com)? It's a site dedicated to a pink haired nelf death knight lady (and a female human fire mage), but it's written by a man. Character gender does not equal player gender.

However, I do agree with you that for some people being a girl gamer probably accurately describes where they are in their lives. Frankly, it was a bit of a revolution for me when I realized it was okay for me to like geeky things instead of traditionally more feminine hobbies. For a while, I made it my battle cry and defined myself by it almost entirely, thinking that by being more girly I'd be less geeky. It wasn't until much later that I had the counterpart realization that I could like geeky things AND girly things and be no less feminine and no less geeky.

It's quite likely that some of the "girl" named bloggers are still in between the first and second stages there. Which is okay. I think those of us who were really sternly told as kids that our geeky interests were "for boys" and pushed hard toward "feminine things" need to go through that stage on the way to being able to see ourselves accurately. I think Larisa's right that saying girl-gamer versus gamer is ultimately unnecessary, but if some of us aren't there yet, that's okay.

Great post, Larisa. Wonderful food for thought.

Analogue said...

When I first thought about blogging, I was sort of tempted by a "female wow player" theme. But I was talking about the blogging idea with my husband and we decided to blog *together* so we went with a gender neutral concept that expressed our love of playing together, our stable of alts, and our optimism - Looking4More (I wish we'd been able to get "LookingForMore" but someone already had that on Wordpress)

I'm glad we did, because I'm with you - the "girl" or the "gamer" titles get old. We know you game, or you wouldn't write a wow blog!

Marylin said...

I'm similar to Seph here... mine is Gamer Mummy! Sorry if it offends, but it's not just about me being a mum, but also how I tend to be seen as the "mum-type" in the guild I'm in too, know what I mean?

Janyaa said...

Oh, I have to completely agree with Rhii on this one.

While specifying your gender in your blog title isn't necessary, your blog is ultimately about representing who you are. Just as you're free to write about banal topics, bloggers should be free to show people how they view themselves and their role in the world around them.

I think, ultimately, this is a process that many females take from becoming a girl to a woman. Learning that you don't have to lean on (or blame) your gender in order to define who you are and what you're interested in takes time.

Some people never make that journey. Others just take a little bit longer to get there.

The fact is, gaming is still predominantly a male dominated society. Yes, that's been changing. However, there are still a number of issues that we've recently discussed (the use of the word "rape" in game, RealID security issues, gender of bosses and representation of "strong" women, etc) It isn't so hard to see why the default position of some women would be to announce their gender and show pride in it.

Redbeard said...

I'm with Stabs, I'm glad our team isn't in this post either!

Pink Pigtails doesn't mean that Larisa the blogger is female necessarily, it means that Larisa the gnome is. Larisa the blogger IS female, but men can also play pink pigtailed gnome ladies if they want to.

Ain't that the truth. Although Neve is a Blood Elf, and is (so far) the only female toon I play. It does make the occasional in game comment assuming I'm female a bit uncomfortable, however.

Andnethal said...

Mrs. Larisa, even you have to see the delicious irony of this post bashing on "girl" named blogs when posted on a site called "The Pink Pigtail Inn."

I doubt there's many out there that after hearing the name of your blog, even have the slightest doubt about the gender of its author.

Elleseven said...

I wouldn't judge a blog by a title though. MMOgamerchick is one of my top 5 favorite bloggers.

Tam said...

I, uh, I guess it's difficult, hedges Tam.

I think the problem with gaming culture is general is that its default is: white, male, straight. To such an extent that, for example, it's a common joke that girls don't exist on the internet. Or in WoW. Even now. In 2011.

So I think if you are someone who is generally not recognised as being a part of the community you ostensibly inhabit you might feel a need to assert and emphasise the aspects of your identity that are important to you in order to the challenge the widely held assumption that you're probably a dude, probably white, and probably straight.

I wouldn't like to judge how far the acceptance of women in gaming culture has come - not so very far if last year's debates give us any indication.

I do see why you're annoyed but equally I think it's hard to make the acceptance call on behalf of other people.

Utakata said...

I believe it was a successful female race car driver who suggested that the vehicle doesn't care whose behind the wheel. I think the same should be for gaming...since niether computer or game can ever tell whose playing it. So distinguishing yourself doesn't really matter in the end. It's how you play that counts.

oriniwen said...

Larisa, I respect you as a blogger and your thoughts on and observations about WoW very, very much, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

WoW and "Gamer Culture" is still *severely* antagonistic towards women and other minorities. (Please see the Penny Arcade shitstorm summarized here at Shakesville. Not that PA = Gamer Culture, but it's an aspect thereof).

I think that - much along the lines of some of the "Here and Queer" proclaimations - that declaring yourself Female While Gamer Blogging is a good thing. A necessary thing, even. (Not that if you are a woman blogger, you *need* to declare that, but I think that those who choose to doso *are* helping change Gamer Culture).

Though, I do agree with you one hundred and ten percent that grown women should not refer to themselves as "girls".

Tesh said...

Heck, let's step on another few toes. Does anyone run a racially themed WoW or gaming blog? How does that pan out in today's still-racist world?

While I can understand wanting to stand up and challenge the world to accept you for who you are, I've never seen the confrontational approach as very successful. I prefer the Martin Luther King approach; let my character and actions speak for who I am and don't apologize for being who I am (notably, not "what" I am). That's perhaps easier than ever with the anonymity of the web.

Vixsin said...

"It’s about time that we stop presenting ourselves as “girls” and start looking at ourselves as “gamers”."

This, one thousand times over.

Rades said...

I agree with you quite a bit, Larisa.

The thing I think some people are missing about the importance of a blog title is its significance to the content. I don't mind if your title has girl, woman, female, chick etc in the title if THAT IS YOUR BLOG'S FOCUS.

If your blog is named GAMER CHICK and that's the first thing I see...well, if your posts are all about females in gaming, treatment towards female characters, etc, well cool, that's a great title. But if your posts are just generic WoW posts or whatever, it irks me that you're screaming in my face that you're female when it has nothing to do with your writing.

Look at Pink Pigtail Inn, for example. Is it written by a female or a male? Well actually, it doesn't matter, because since we can see the pink pigtailed gnome right there in the header, we know it's not a declaration of gender but rather a clear reference to the author's WoW character.

I guess what I am saying is, in general, if your blog title proclaims that you are X (male, female, gay, whatever) and the fact that you are X has no relevance to your writing...well, it just seems like a hollow cry for attention.

Disciplinary Action said...

I'm far too wary of this entire subject to say anything other than thanks for the reminder that Saga changed her blog name! I'd completely forgotten to update it in my links (and she's too charming to mention it).

Kaelynn said...

I would like to see blog names with feminine references like this go away - because it would mean that females were truly accepted into the gaming/geek culture, and that no one felt the need to identify with it as a unique quality. Unfortunately that isn't the case yet. It is getting better, but by no means are the cultural issues, prejudices, and biases about geeky females gone. The fact that so many bloggers are still putting "girl" in their title is evidence in itself that the issues still exist. Like Tam, I can't pretend to quantify how much things have improved. For many female gamers, we have found great communities and comfortable places where things are actually equal, and the female designation is arbitrary. But leave that familiar place and you may find yourself surprised.

Consider how few female Blizzard employees interact with the community, and how few in actuality are employed there? As long as there is an imbalance in gender of those making our games, there is likely an imbalance in the audience as well.

With all that said, there are those that cry "I'm a girl gamer" with the intent to attract attention and use it to their advantage. That is deplorable behavior, but it should not be assumed as the default intention of someone who identifies strongly with being a female gamer.

I do agree that if your title is some variation on "girl gamer" then that should probably come across in your writing as well, otherwise the title is misleading and isn't a true reflection of who you are.

Asilwen said...

Amen. Sheesh, I 150% agree with you. Thank you for typing the thoughts in my head in a way that I could not. More original blog names please. I try not to judge books by their cover, but a title says a lot when I'm thinking about reading a new blog. "GIRL GAMER BLOG #100582058" Does not grab my interest one bit.

Ophelie said...

I've criticized blog titles that scream "I'M A SPECIAL GAMER BECAUSE I'M A GIRL" before too. I wouldn't say those titles bother me, but I find them a bit...underwhelming. While women might not be overly visible in game, they're hardly a big deal.

Once upon a time, being a female in certain roles was novel. Chick GM and Tank Like a Girl *were* revolutionary. But these days? Female bloggers writing about any aspect of the game are all over the place.

Like you and some commenters mentioned, if a blog was focused on reflections about being a female minority in game, I could see the justification of the "I'm a girl" title, but none of the few gender-issue blogs I know even have girly names.

@Sephrenia - I think "Guild Mum" is completely justifiable name. It's what you are and what you write about.

spinksville said...

This used to bug me more than it does now. I think this is because now I read 'girl' as ironic rather than 'hey guys! over here! it's a GIRL!!'

People who feel it necessary to inform the world that they're a mum/ mommy in the blog title when it's not a childcare blog sort of puzzle me though. I just don't get it. You don't see many guys doing that so what's the big deal?

Campitor said...

Larisa,

Sometimes how we react to certain external stimuli reveals more about us than it does the other person.

When I see a blog with "girl/woman/chic" etc., I judge the content by what is stated and not the blog title itself.

In reality there are multitudes of "flags" that people use to indentify themselves or proclaim their allegiances. Sports enthusiast wear their favorite team uniform. Here in the US you will see people displaying their state flag or shirts denoting their college, state, favorite .

Why does chic or any other female moniker bother you? Maybe to that specific blogger its a word of empowerment. Why would you think its a form of weakness or something to be abhorred/disliked? I think you need to unfetter yourself from whatever you are projecting unto these blog titles and accept the messenger as "he/she" is. I think messages need to be read in context as opposed to their own merits. For example, here in the US its not unusual to hear people of a certain ethnicity refer to themselves in a derogatory manner when amongst friends (it can be said because it is in the proper context). But let an outsider utter the same word and its "hulk-smash" time. Again its the context that counts.

So I wonder why they bother you? Do you feel that the use of "chic" disempowers you as a player or chips away at your well deserved respect? Have you asked these bloggers why they use that term that you find offensive?

Tam said...

@Spinks, I could be wrong but I always thought the Mum thing was a bit subversive. I mean I think it's like the *opposite* of what gamers would imagine, and perhaps even want, gamer culture to be. I love the notion that ur mom is playin ur games :) And it reminds us that being a parent and being a kickass raider not are mutually exclusive propositions.

thenoisyrogue said...

I so thought that I was going to cop it with this post.

ironyca said...

I think the "girl" titled blogs primarily come from women or girls who are new and inexperienced with gamer/geek culture. How does this culture look to the mainstream? - Tam already said it: "probably a dude, probably white, and probably straight."

I'd say, it takes some time before you assimilate and realise that it isn't that extraordinary to be female, but your blog might already be up and running at this point.
I know at least one example of a girl titled blog that started off as an account of this young womans venture into WoW. She was completely new to the game, when she started blogging (and I think she did and does a rather good job).

My guess to why gay titled blogs don't exist is that geek/gamer culture can be rather hostile to LGBT's. That's my impression at least.

Rhii said...

@ironyca I think a quick google search for "gay gamer" will turn up more than you expect. ;) I think most of them are community sites, but there are several blogs there too.

chewy said...

And this was quite a grumpy rant

I love grumpy rants especially when they're at the explosion point. When your incredulity at the human race has been tipped past tolerance point and the next example, in this case "girl" in the blog name, makes you want to unload the whole lot.

My trigger isn't the same as yours but it makes me chuckle and feel more comfortable that it's not just me.

Bloodshrike said...

Heya Larisa,

Everyone needs to blow off steam every once in a while. Spill it onto the blog instead of keeping it bottled up inside, and it might just help you get over the issue.
http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=5605424126720652223

Thanks for the mention, btw. (grin)

Bloodshrike said...

My mistake, should have linked
http://aboyandhisdeathrays.blogspot.com/2010/10/lolcat-nation.html

klokbok said...

"But now? In 2011? Haven’t we come any further than that?"

No we have not.

Just a few days ago, Blizzard Blues ad to remind the community that death threats ain't cool. I'm fairly certain a few of such threats in history and now these gender neutral days have been pointed at gamers, who also happens to be female.

Case in point: the uproar of the community against "Real ID", if you remember. Lots and lots of stories on the forums and in other media - blogs, for instance - about gamers ... with a non conformist gender. Stories of male gamers who would "teach her a lesson".

When game designers who's going to talk at a conference declines thanks to death threats - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Sierra#Controversy - or wht happens when someone gets teh idea of an "all girl guild" - http://thehathorlegacy.com/sexual-harassment-for-female-players-in-starcraft2-thread/ - just how are we, as a community be supposed to include females?

Sorry, but in 2011 a lot of (male) people still react as if it were 1911.

Still, there is hope :) Your blog - and many others, even if they call themselves "Wow grrl" or something, proves that it is, really, no matter what the neanderthal or Scared Boys think, the year of 2011.

Now if we could get more Gay Wower blogs, the supposed majority of gamers would just have to shut their cakehole and start an Evony Online-account.

At least we would get a more decent trade chat.

(Spelling errors has most likely occured. Certain sarcasm is intended.)

Saga said...

I don't really have a problem with blogs with names using those words, but for me I felt it wasn't working.

When I started the blog I had no idea about the blog community that is out there, and my readership was pretty much my guildies - the whole "girls don't play wow" thing for me was an ironic thing since you still actually do hear that quite a bit (more than you'd think, really).

However, as the blog became bigger and I really had no real "female" perspective or anything on the blog - it made more sense to go to my root domain and use the almost dormant domain I've had for 5+ years :)

I know for me the name at the time had nothing to do with "hey a girl look at me" but more.. "you're an idiot if you think they don't" - and I like to think that anyone who uses girl/chick etc. in their title has more to do with that than some need to get extra attention.

Zelmaru said...

When you decide to start blogging, you have to create a name, and you're itching to start, but you can't until you type in that NAME so you can create your URL and go from there. Months later, the name no longer fits - for whatever reason. However, changing it could make you lose subscribers, as with any blog move.

spinksville said...

Tam: But that doesn't answer why there aren't lots of daddy themed blogs although there are plenty of male bloggers who are happy to talk about their kids.

I think it's to do with the way that society pressures women to subsume themselves behind a 'mommy' persona when they have kids.

Also it bugs me when people introduce themselves as their guild mom. Is your guild made up of 14 year olds? No? Then it doesn't need a mom, try treating them like grown ups just for a change.

OK, glad I got that off my chest :)

Leah said...

I'm seeing a lot of this, not just the girl thing but every single perceived minority identifier used as a weapon and more often then not, it ends up having an opposite effect of what author intended, at least to me.

pushing chip on your shoulder into other people's faces...I suppose it makes other people with similar chips to feel more welcome, like their are not alone even as they are separating themselves form the wider community? Or maybe they just want to be part of the trend even if its on tail end of it?

meh.

but on a good note, if it ends up with inspiring things like this, I'll personally attempt to tolerate the bad with the good (even if not always successfully):)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eJmYKN_1QE

Jayd said...

Tam said:
So I think if you are someone who is generally not recognised as being a part of the community you ostensibly inhabit you might feel a need to assert and emphasise the aspects of your identity that are important to you in order to the challenge the widely held assumption that you're probably a dude, probably white, and probably straight.

I understand where you're coming from here, Larisa, and I agree to some extent. I too find it irritating when bloggers (women in general, in fact) trade off the fact that they are female and use it to get attention. It's very similar to the girl who flirts and acts all innocent and cute in-game rather than being herself because she thinks she will be more accepted that way.

However I do see the other side of this argument. One of my pet hates in-game is that even though I'm playing my female night-elf holy priest people still assume I'm male and call me "mate" or "man". I like the fact that I'm a woman, I'm quite proud of it in fact, and I find it almost borderline offensive that just because I play games it is assumed I'm a guy. So I can definitely understand why some women choose to define themselves in their blogs by their gender.

Magma said...

@Klok, I'm sorry but, what is your point? Death threats, any threats, happpen on a daily basis to everyone from men to women, to teenagers. They happen in every country, everywhere on earth. From some hobo to the president. Do not pretend that females getting threats from men somehow quantifies what you're saying.

Magma said...

@Jayd
Just a small thing, "mate" is gender neutral. I've heard many a woman call other men and woman that term. It's just a word of endearment.

Anonymous said...

Stabs, a nitpick: "transgender" does not mean "neither male nor female," it means "has a gender that does not match his or her physical/chromosomal sex." Which is not to say that some transgender people do not also identify as being between genders, non-gendered, or genderqueer, but the words have different meanings.

(Otherwise, you're totally right though; there's a severe under-representaion of non-standard genders in gaming culture. I blame the massive homophobia that still comes with the territory.)

Goldie Katsu said...

Really nice discussion in the comments here. I do have to admit, after reading the post I have such an urge to start a blog called
"The right-handed WoW player".

Anonymous said...

So, I've been a female gamer since the first time I got my hands on a game in 1992. Although women are now far more visible, there is a huge problem of them being dismissed out of hand. People think we've come so far when it's really only the beginning and maintaining that visibility is hugely important.

Especially considering that if you don't state your gender, people will assume you're just another straight, white, male gamer. Then you get into challenging the stereotypes about female gamers and making some of the nice ones a perfectly okay thing to do.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that if women don't step up to the plate, then how will we make changes to the gaming industry? When nearly all of them fail the Bechdel Test and most gaming companies think there isn't a market for strong, female characters, you see how much further we have to go.

With regards to the whole girl thing, while people can identify how they want, it's usually a whole other pile of sexism.

Sorry if I'm all over the place, hard to write with a cold!

Jen said...

I agree with you and Rades explained my point of view better than I could. If your focus is women in WoW, social issues, sexist, by all means call it something like that. Otherwise? I don't see the point. I'm a girl and I made it obvious in my posts, but having "girl" or "woman" in the *blog title* would make me feel uncomfortable.

(Also, @Jayd: Yes! People keep telling me "mate" is neutral, but I just feel it's so... manly. I'm not a native speaker so that might be it, but that word is banned in my guild :P)

Shy said...

Funny how the gender thing keeps coming up on this blog. Sort of shows in and of itself that, no, apparently it's still not done with, and yes, it is still quite a big issue.

Kadomi said...

As one of the 'girl' bloggers, I have often had regrets about my namechoice back then. However, as 95% of all my readers find my blog via google searching for the name, that's the name you're all stuck with until I quit blogging.

My blog is 'Tank like a girl'. When I created it in summer 2008, I thought it was a clever word play on 'you fight like a girl'. It's probably not so clever, but anyhow. Fact is, of any WoW class, you will probably find the least amount of female players choosing the role of tank. I am a member, officer even, of a large all-female players guild, and we are always struggling with the number of tanks we have. Always will, always have.

It was my wish back then to represent that there ARE girls out there who tank, and tank quite well. I still get mails from female readers being amazed that they aren't alone out there. Call it my niche, I suppose.

Do I really ever blog about being a girl? No. Do I wish I had chosen a different blog name in retrospect? Yes.

Larísa said...

@All: So, this post stirred up a bit of discussion. I'm not all that surprised to be honest. Any topic that is the slightest connected to gender issues tends to go a bit toxic in the blogosphere. Which I reckon is a sign that we're not quite done with those said issues...

I'm sorry for being a slacker in replying to you all; I've bee away for the weekend. Anyway: better late than never. So let's go:

@Sephrenia: Well, being a "mum" indicates that you're a grown-up as opposed to "girl" so I reckon it's not quite the same. And besides you HAVE written in the past about your motherly tendencies, so I figure it suits you. No worries.

@Stabs: Yeah, that's how I see it too. It had a value historically but all those new bloggers naming their blogs the same way... it's just too late and it makes me sad to see.

@Cincipon: As Rhii and others pointed out: the pink pigtails refers to my character, which is different to "girl" which would be assumed to refer to my real life gender. I could as well have named this blog "green beard inn" even if I don't think it lies as well in the mouth.

Even if not everyone else is done with being a "girl gamer" - what's wrong about wishing for that more players would be done with it? It would be sign of that we had come somewhere in the full and true acceptance of female gamers...

@Rhii: Exactly. And there are others like that. Jessika the tank is a male as far as I know. And Ixobelle. I agree that it probably is a development that is going on and that I'm just a tad impatient, living in the future. I'm glad you appreciated the post, thank you very much!

@Analogue: I think you did a wise call on that.

@Marilyn: oh, as in the case of Seph, you DO write a lot about your real life motherhood, don't you? So I figure it fits.

@Janyaa: Again: yes, It's probably a development and I might be rushing it, thinking we're further ahead than we are. There are absolutely issues to be discussed, but I'm afraid having your blog titled "girl" isn't something tht I think helps, if anything the opposite.

@Redbeared: Hehe, I can't understand why everyone seems to be so afraid of me! I know some people are afraid of gnomes, but hey, am I really that scary?

@Andnethal: I don't think it's the same thing to be honest. As previously explained by Rhii and others.

@Elleseven: I haven't done any judgement about the content of those blogs. I just say that those names at least puts me off a bit. To be frank I think I would have taken a closer look at MMOgamerchick than I had if it wasn't for the name of it. Prejudiced and unfair? Yeah probably. But there are hundreds of blogs out there and I make rather snap decisions sometimes on what to follow and not to follow.

Larísa said...

@Tam: Well, maybe I didn't put it quite right to begin with. I guess I'm not as much annoyed at those new blogs as I'm sad to see them. I DO think they make themselves a disservice, chosing a name that is so easy to mix up with all the already existing "gamer girl" blogs. And I also think that they somehow come out as attention seeking. To me it signals: "look at my blog because I'm a girl" rather than "Here's a cool and interesting gamer blog". But again: I might be living in the future, not really understanding that the female bloggers still are rebels? It's just that there are so many of us out there. I checked my blogroll and about a third of them are written by females. Fortunately none of them market themselves as "girl gamer blog".


@Utakata:But I suppose that as a blogger you distinguish yourself, including in your title? It boggles me a bit why the real life gender is considered so important for this purpose.

@Oriniwen: I respect you as a commenter as well (and as a blogger, hey, where did you go?) But yes: we disagree in this. I still see issues for women in games but I don't think running a blog called "Gamer girl/chick" helps a bit.

@Tesh: That kind of blog would actually feel way more new and interesting compared to "chick gamer". But maybe that's just me. I don't advocate that you should hide your gender or for that sake sexual preferences or race if this is a filter that has huge impact on your gaming and that you want to share your experiences from this perspective. It's just the thing to name your entire blog after it that seems a bit to overdo it to me, especially if you end up not writing about this perspective perticularly much.

@Vixsin: I try. It took me quite a while to accept that I'm a gamer. Sometimes I'm still in the "I'm just a tourist here, a foreign bird" mindset.

@Rades: You said it. I think that's one of the things that bugs me. That I can't get away from the feeling that it's about attention seeking.

@Disciplinary Action: I was wary of it too to be honest. I commented at Saga's blog, not sure if I was ready to have another gender related topic up for discussion. But eventually I ended up doing it anyway.

@Kaelynn: I might be over optimistic, yes. Maybe it's the result of reading so many great blogs by strong women who don't hide their gender or their age, but don't make it into the center of their blog either. Because they first and most gamers. Spinksville is the perfect example. I look at her and I guess I somehow hope that the entire blogosphere and community is or could be like Spinks.

@Asilwen: No, I find it very, very hard to motivate myself to take it seriously. I'm kind of used to the already existing, but there just isn't any room for the onehundred of the same kind.

@Ophelie: Yes, the older ones were OK. I think the newer should think twice before picking up a name like that.

Larísa said...

@Spinksville: I actually have more problem with "girl" than with "mom", but I guess I might be biased. It's interesting though that so many women seem to pick up the "mother" role within guilds. Sometimes I wonder if it is by their own wish or more out of habit and expectations.

@Campitor: I think one of the reasons why it probably bothers me is that it's kind of attention seeking and because I don't think it leads any closer to the day when women are fully accepted as gamers. Rather in the opposite direction.

@Thenoisyrogue: ouch. Another one that seems afraid of me. :(

@Ironyca: I think you might be right. It takes a while to realize you're not alone. And if you've already started a blog by then, it's kind of too late.

@Chewy: Yeah, the rumor of my merriness is highly exaggerated. I'm quite grumpy from time to time.

@Bloodshrike: Oh, that's you? :) The one and only boy!

@Klokbok: Those examples are sad. I don't think naming blogs "girl" is the best way to fight it though tbh. The content is more important than the name.

@Saga: I'm glad you made the change and I think it will be good for your blog in the long run. Clever thing to register that domain long time ago.

@Zelmaru: Yeah, I think some of the older blogs might be stuck with names they're not as keen on any longer.

@Leah: I DO think minorites should speak up though. But I don't think naming your blog "I'm a girl" helps very much.

@Jayd: I actually don't really take any offence if people assume I'm a guy. After all the male players ARE still in majority, so it's not such a bad guess. However I don't appreciate locker-room humour and sexist jokes in parties. There goes my limit.

@Anonymous: Yes, I think the homophobia is far bigger than the antifeminist tendencies there might be.

@Goldie Katsu: Hehe, go ahead!

@Anonymous: I'm all for challenging sterotypes but I think you do it better by being a gamer, a good tank etc, than by naming your blog "Girl IRL".

@Jen: Actually non of the more feminist oriented blogs I can think of has "girl" in the name. Food for thought.

Shy: oh, I never get done with that. But I need breaks of a few months every now and then. Can't have more than a few big discussions a year.

@Kadomi: I thought about you writing this post. I know you've been around for very long so you're one of those who have a good reason for this kind of name. So you weren't targeted at all. I'm sorry though to hear that you feel that you're stuck with a name you'd rather not have. That's one reason why I wrote this post - to possibly prevent new bloggers from picking such names.

There are indeed very few visible female tanks. In the blogosphere I can only think of you, Spinksvill and Tessy, who recently switched from healing to tanking. There might be more but I come to think of you first. And you're really one of the pioneers and I'm sure many aspiring female tanks take inspiration from your blogging.

redcow said...

So, I'm pretty late to the party. Fortunately a lot of people have already said what I intended (being publicly female is still surprising and/or subversive because the default until proven otherwise is straight white dude). To tell female bloggers to not advertise their gender sounds a little like telling them to stop making waves, as if existing while female and talking about it is controversial in and of itself. Which, if we were truly a post-sexist society, it might be.

What I want to add is that when a blog advertises as a girl, chick, or woman, I *love* it when they talk about normal gamer stuff. Because that, to me, suggests even more mainstreaming of female gamers. Here is an openly female gamer, and she does all the exact same stuff that other gamers and bloggers do -while being female-. I think that seeing that helps to demonstrate how your crotch-bits have little bearing on how you game or blog about said game.

joeego said...

Any blog that is good will draw readers. Any blog that is good will, more than likely, contain enough vaguely personal details to reveal the writer's gender.

Name your blog originally. Or, if you really feel you can't avoid beating readers about the head with your gender, at least go with something clever like "Pro Gunship Healer". See, also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkkDfwOTDxs

Perdissa said...

My take on this is that you have a more mature outlook on life, and have more or less transcended the gender issue. This makes you kind of.. post-gender. I think many of us appreciate this lack of self-consciousness.

Many people, however, are still working their way through their identity, gender and what-not. Whether or not their blogs end up being substantive, I'd argue that they are entitled to name it what they like. Likewise, readers can decide whether or not to read these blogs at all.

gnomeaggedon.net said...

I have a post coming up that delves into this comment a bit more, inspired in fact by another recent post of yours.

One thing that is easy to forget, for you, for me, for anyone that has been around the wowblogsphere for a while, is that blogging is like a stream (actually a lot like Twitter.. though you may never realise this).

We have been in the stream, and watched from the banks. We have seen many "Arcane", "Tree", "Huntard" and "Girl" etc blogs flow down that stream.

Yet, we forget that for the 11-ish million players (at a point in time), there are probably only 10's of thousands that have stumbled across this sphere of the blogging world.

So maybe, each and everyone one of the "insert-word-here Girl insert-word-here" blog names is entirely original and heart felt.

I started a Mage blog because I could only find one or two, only to discover 10's of WoW blogs within weeks.

I rolled Gnomeaggedon and Squidly, both purely out of my own imagination... yet some existed already in other parts of the world (of course I have many more love children now).

So maybe we should appreciate each as the original inspiration of a gamer who may, even within a close circle of friends, feel a connection with the tag "Girl".

Ohh and I still hear regularly & recently "OMG it's a girl".. someone being silly... maybe, if so, it is a stereotype being perpetrated by someone that is, if only unintentionally, spurring "girls" to fly their feminine flags.

Loronar said...

Will it irk you to find out that there http://community.livejournal.com/wow_ladies/ exists?

Whiner said...

Don't forget the benefit of advertising that you're female (or, for that matter, vegetarian) in helping OTHER women/vegetarians/wev to find you and talk to you.