Losing To A Woman

I was at an X Wing tournament this weekend. I know, again, don’t worry, that is not what I am here to talk about today. Not much, anyway. Because all in all, this game is starting to bug me. It is so dependent on the dice, it is mind boggling. No matter how skilled you are at flying your ships, or how sneaky you are, or how good you read your opponent, you are never more than an unlucky dice roll from getting wiped off the board, and that… Well, let’s just say, I don’t like that much. I said so right from the get go, when I first started playing this game, that at some point, the dice would kill my interest for it.

I like playing games, I like it when I can train and when training pays off. Training in X Wing feels rather like a waste of time, because no matter what you do, you never know if the dice is with you or not, and if they are not, you will simply not make the cut.

So, yeah, I am kind of losing my passion for this game, about now. But, that was not what this post was supposed to be about. We had a great tournament, nice people all the way through, (some better losers than others, some more graceful winners, than others, but whatever,) and then I came home to find that some of the guys from the tournament had been having fun, posting pictures on Face Book, of one of the guys I played against, giving him a hard time because he “lost to a girl!”

Here is where my head explodes.

Not only were the people who posted the pictures of him “losing to a girl” having a field day about it, but others from the group joined in as well. Not a single one of them said anything against it, so let me list my reasons for being pissed off about it.

Is it especially humiliating to be losing to a girl? More humiliating than to be losing to a boy? Because if so, that would imply that girls are worth a lot less than boys, am I right? A post like that one does not read, “that was one cool girl,” no it reads, “that was one sweet little girl with her My Little Pony mascot, and you could not even beat her. You must be the saddest excuse for a man, like, ever.”

I have to admit, I asked them if they played X Wing with their genitals, because if they did not, I have a hard time telling why it is worse to lose to a girl, than to a boy.

Funnily enough, I never got an answer for that….

Normally I don’t bother to join in, or start, those kinds of discussions. My life feels too short to argue with strangers online. This one though, I had to start, because no one else did.

This is exactly what is wrong with society today. Why women still don’t have equal rights. Because we all think that it is okay, to post things like that online. To shame a man for losing to a woman.

By all means, shame him for losing, I could not care less. Shame him for losing to a person with a My Little Pony mascot, I would have snickered and not bothered to comment. But shame him for losing to me, because I am a woman, that is not alright. That is exactly why women doesn’t play board games. Because when we meet people like this, we are made to feel like lesser human beings, and they do not even see it.

One of the guys in the group tried to explain that it was a boys club, and I could not expect them to change, just because a girl joined in.

Well no, but I do expect common decency, in all aspects of my life. I know a lot of “boys” who doesn’t think that it is cool for the gaming environment to treat women like that. So by all means, keep being Neanderthals, but don’t expect me to laugh about it and think it is funny, because no matter how you twist and turn it, it never will be.

The guy who posted the pictures wrote me a personal message after I left the conversation and the group, and ensured me that it was not ill will towards me. In fact, he had liked the way I had played fair, all the way through.

To be honest, that only made it worse for me. So, he did think I was kind of cool and still, he did not think twice about making fun of the guy that lost to me, and of me and my pony, in a public forum on the internet.

Is that where society are today? Where we so easily degrade women, even if we kind of like them, without even thinking about it? Without even understanding, no matter how much I explained, how wrong that is?

I was told too, that if I wanted to be part of the gaming environment, I had to be able to take friendly banter. You know, “toughen up.”

All I can say, again, is that shaming me for being a woman, is not banter, it is not friendly and it is unacceptable. You might as well shame me for being a red head, or having freckles, or for being gay, or for I don’t know, something else I could not change. Stubbornly holding on to your right to put someone down because of the way they were born is very unlikable, to me, in a person, no matter how “friendly” they mean it.

So let us be clear. I can take banter. I grew up in the worst kind of environment there is. I grew up in the equestrian world, where “banter” is never friendly, where everybody hates you if you do well and ridicule you if you do badly. There is no winning in the equestrian world and either you toughen up and learn to ignore it, or you break and leave the sport, and possibly horses behind.

I am a musician, I know what “boy clubs” are like, and I know that the musicians I have met, are some of the most blunt people you will ever meet, most of them with a drinking problem, (no offence,) and they always speak their mind. Never, in all of my time as a singer, have I been put down for being a girl.

Sure, the “singers are not real musicians” jokes always came my way, but you know what, so did the “drummers are not real musicians” to our male drummer, and I never thought twice about it, because I chose to sing in my bands. No matter what you chose to do, it opens you up to “friendly banter,” or in the equestrian world, bullying, and I never let it bother me.

But I will not accept that people find it degrading for a man, to lose a bloody board game, to a woman. I will say it once again.

You can find it degrading to lose, as much as you want, period. But not to me, because I am a woman. Find it degrading, because you did not play a good enough game, or for whatever reason you may want to come up with, (really, it is just a game, guys,) but not because your opponent was a girl. And if you do feel that way, keep it to yourself, or to your private, secret, women hating groups, not in public forums. We are writing 2015. Get over it.

I am a woman. I can do anything a man can do. And if I do it better, sometimes, so what? Must women always make sure to lose, to be liked?

I did notice that, at the last tournament I played. Some of the guys that clearly did not like me the first time we met, suddenly started talking to me, after it turned out that I was losing alongside them.

I will say one thing for the equestrian world. For all the wickedness and mean spirited bullying, we never did discriminate based on gender. At least in the equestrian world, we are all equal in hating each other. No one ever told a man that he was less of a man, if he got beaten by a woman.

I guess in the equestrian world,  people blame the horse when they lose, but  that is another story…

And now, I have rambled on enough, haven’t I? For those who wants to understand, I guess I made my point a long time ago, and for those who just won’t understand… Nothing I say will make a difference.

So I’ll just go away now. To my stable. To take care of my ponies.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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6 Responses to Losing To A Woman

  1. jen says:

    Maybe it’s because my girls are being raised in a weird redneck-athlete-geek household, but we have a totally different take on the “beating a boy” thing and all the comments that go along with it. Yeah, it’s a sign of inequality that women are still underestimated, but that makes the victory that much sweeter, doesn’t it? Whether it’s Call of Duty (our boys’ club video game addiction) or the volleyball court, my girls know what it’s like to be written off as a non-threat. Sometimes it’s for being a girl, but lots of times it’s for coming from a tiny hick town or for not being wealthy or not tall enough or strong enough. They love nothing more than proving people wrong, because they know what they’re capable of. They can out-shoot, out-climb, and out-drive many of their male peers – but is it because they’re girls or because they’ve grown up in the country? Like you pointed out, gender bias isn’t the only bias. As long as you know your own worth, it doesn’t matter who underestimates you or for what reason!

    As for the gender bias issue, I think there are always going to be activities that are primarily male-dominated or female-dominated, because a lot of times interests are split down gender lines. There are still many occupations that are dominated by one gender or the other – think construction work, nursing, mechanics, day care providers. You have a few people here and there who are venturing into positions normally held by the opposite sex, but I think our basic emotional and physical make up is going to prevent there ever being a completely equal blend of the sexes in ALL things.

    Kudos to those who do chose to do something out of the ordinary, whether it be a girl playing a boy-dominated game (did I ever mention the times I beat all the guys at fantasy football???) or someone whose body type or appearance isn’t exactly ideal for their sport or occupation. Beating the odds and being a little bit different than everyone else is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated. I’m just not sure our conformist society is completely ready to celebrate those differences yet (but we’re slowly, slowly moving in the right direction). Until then, I’ll take the compliments wherever I find them – even if they’re hidden in a sexist comment to the guy I just smoked!

    • Starstone says:

      Hehe maybe that is my biggest problem, really 😉 Not seeing it as a compliment at all… Even if the guy ensures me that it was… And no, society clearly isn’t ready, which is really what bothers me about this 😉 I guess it is my ideals that really took a hit here…
      By the way, your girls are super cool 🙂

  2. Maya says:

    Dear Veronica..
    I have to say, I am very offended by your post. I have been playing boardgames with guys in the role/boardgaming environment for more than 10 years. I habe been hanging out with them, drinking with them and spending weekends with them. And this is just how the cookie crumbles. I got comments about my boobs EVERY time I see then. It’s a compliment really. I get the “shouldn’t you be in the kitchen cooking right now?” comment And I am okay with it – I like it, because it puts me in a position to tease them back, really give ’em hell.

    stop the whining and get in the game..

    • Starstone says:

      Hi, Maya.
      I guess it is because of women like you, that men still think it is okay to treat women like that. Thank you for proving my point. I will never accept that “this is just how the cookie crumbles,” this is in no way a game I, or any self respecting woman should have to be a part of. If you think that the “boys” respect you, for letting them treat you like that, you are wrong. It may be fun and games, but really, if they did not mean that your place was in the kitchen, they would not say it, not even in jest. So maybe, you should start standing up for yourself, and not take it as a compliment, because it isn’t. It is degrading, pure and simple. And if you put up with it, you are one of the reasons why things will never change. I am sorry if I offended you again, but like I said, those who understand, already knows, and no amount of words will make those who doesn’t want to get it, understand.

      • Maya says:

        Things is only what you make of them.
        Do the only one who offended you – is really yourself.

        And it’s the opposite of offending to take their jokes – it just means that your one if the guys and the secund you step in the room wIth ’em. You’re actually not a woman or a man. You’re neither..

        Also I find it really distasteful that you talk like that about someone who was just trying to be nice to you. (The guy who wrote you..

        And actually… If the guys changed their tone and the general tounge, and treat me different BECAUSE I am a woman – now that’s offensive…

      • Starstone says:

        You know, there is no need for name calling, and telling me that I am being a whiner and distasteful. That doesn’t further the dialogue.
        And they are treating you differently, like you said, they mention your breasts every single time? How often do they comment on each others breasts? I cannot imagine putting up with that, really, that is impossibly degrading to me, but I guess we won’t see eye to eye on that, and like I said, my life is too short to argue with strangers on the internet 😉 Have a nice day…

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