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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 69 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Women at the forge  (Read 12701 times)
Thomas Tamblyn
Member

Posts: 105


« on: April 20, 2003, 11:59:14 AM »

Something I've realised recently, is I don't think I've ever seen any female posters at the forge, now I know that the forge has no intirinsic gender bias, so why on earth is this such an uneven community - rpg.net and the white-wolf forums have plenty of female posters so why is it just us men over here?

Please, prove me wrong, but this seems a bit odd to say the least.  Any theories?
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Jonathan Walton
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Posts: 1309


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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2003, 12:51:25 PM »

There are definitely several female posters in the top 50.  If you haven't seen any, you either haven't been around long enough or haven't been paying attention.  

The gender imbalance at the Forge is reflected at almost every other online forum about roleplaying, simply because there's a massive gender imbalance in the hobby itself.  However, I tend to think that our percentage of female-to-male posters is actually higher than many places, because the Forge doesn't have a drolling, socially-inept fanboy population.
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clehrich
Member

Posts: 1557


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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2003, 01:41:47 PM »

Actually, the only women I know of in the top 60 posters are Shreyas Sampat (I think) and Emily Care, but that particular group is not necessarily an accurate sample.  I'm sort of hoping that some women will come forth to remark on this question... ladies?
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Chris Lehrich
M. J. Young
Member

Posts: 2198


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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 01:57:09 PM »

I know that there are female posters on the Forge because the issue has come up before. I think you don't see it so much in part because not all of them have obviously female-sounding handles. There is a tendency to assume that a poster is male if there's nothing to indicate otherwise, but it isn't always so.

I vaguely recall a thread about gender issues not so long ago in which several posters who contributed specified that they were female; I just can't place what it was about otherwise. Emily might remember.

Anyway, the short answer is that you haven't noticed any posters whom you knew to be female; that's not the same thing.

--M. J. Young
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Jonathan Walton
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Posts: 1309


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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 04:40:02 PM »

Quote from: clehrich
Actually, the only women I know of in the top 60 posters are Shreyas Sampat (I think) and Emily Care...


Um, as far as I know, Shreyas is a guy :)  I thought he was female at first, back when he posted under "four willows weeping," but I've been calling him a "him" for a while and he's never corrected me...
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jrs
Member

Posts: 373


« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2003, 06:43:44 AM »

Thomas,

Your assumption of "just us men" at the forge is incorrect.  I have no theories or anything particularly enlightening to say about the perceived lack of women at the forge.  I am a woman with a non-descript login (my initials); I do usually close my posts with my first name.  I've been a forge member for quite a while, but with only a small number of posts.  Why?  I'm not a game designer, and I've never been a prolific online participant.

I agree that the women who do post here are not in-your-face about it, which I for one appreciate.  I don't think it is necessary for gender, male or female, to be blatant in an online environment, and I find it curious whenever the issue is raised.  

I'm guessing that the topic that M.J. refers to is http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=4433">Sexism and Gaming (split).

Julie
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Jack Spencer Jr
Guest
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2003, 09:29:27 AM »

There are female members on the Forge. For some reason they just aren't as vocal or visible. I would suggest allow avatars to make it more obvious if I didn't hate avatars. (I really hope this doesn't open up a "turn on avatars on the Forge discussion." Avatars are annoying and if there were on, I would turn off my ability to view them in the users options)
But there are women here. I don't know why they don't seem to post as much as the males. But we won't get them to post more often by drawing attention to their sex.
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Shreyas Sampat
Member

Posts: 970


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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2003, 11:25:12 AM »

For whatever reason, I've been seeing less of our female members than usual - Emily Care's been conspicuously quiet, Cynthia Celeste Miller mostly stays inside her game's forum, and so on.  I think M. J. covered the topic adequately with noticing and knowledge.

For the record, Jonathan's right.  I'm lucky enough to have one of those uncommon foreign names that's androgynous in its own language. (:
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Matt Wilson
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 1121

student, second edition


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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2003, 03:04:28 PM »

If Forgers would like to see more women posting, my .02 is to suggest looking for women's gaming groups on the Web and telling them about the Forge, and that it's a really cool community, and that damnit, gamers of all sorts are definitely welcome here.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2003, 07:19:40 PM »

Sigh,

No one is understanding Julie's post - which, at a very basic level which I'm afraid will also be misunderstood, says, So what?

I shall illustrate with a hypothetical situation. Let's say that posting above a certain amount on the Forge is a pathological behavior which tends to be observed in men. All right then, the current pattern (plenty of women but not in the top-posting category) would then represent the "best" possible situtation.

Sigh. Let me guess, people will misunderstand that too. I am not claiming that the above idea really is the case. What I'm saying is that there is no pattern of data that would alarm me into thinking something's "wrong," barring a tendency to show up, to break into a variety of clearly negative internet-style interactions, and to leave. Since I don't see that at the Forge - no problem. Even if only 1% of the posts were by women, it would still be no problem. We don't know whether 1% is "good," or if 99% is "good," and especially whether an even, perfect, constant 50% is "good."

"We do a lot of X! But women aren't doing X as often as we are! Oh, no, what are we doing wrong, to drive them away?" Bah. Maybe it's a gender-biased behavior in the first place. Maybe they have better things to do. Maybe it's sunspots. Maybe we're all unconscious sexists who send out repellent thought-waves or imply it in some ineffable way in our posts. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

It comes down to this. I don't expect anyone to want to post to the Forge as often as (say) me or Mike Holmes. Since men, obviously, are exempt from such expectations on my part, why should I place the expectation on women to do so, especially?

I am especially unhappy with singling out women posters by name with the implication that they should post more - that is frankly provocative and pushy. I'm only a little less unhappy with the idea that they would if only "we" (the guys) would do something different or right.

Guys, it's very sweet of you to want to be good to the women and make sure that they aren't "offended" or aren't being marginalized in some way. That's great. You know something, though. I think they can take care of themselves.

If such things were going on, I'd be hearing about it very directly from quite a few women who post here - some of whom I have to deal with face to face regularly, and some of whom I don't but stay in fairly regular private email contact with. None of them are shy in telling me what I do "wrong," and they like it here. So far, that's the data I'm working with, and it, unlike that which this thread is based on, is completely non-speculative as to cause.

Best,
Ron
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greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2003, 08:20:35 PM »

I was going to say much the same as Ron: why is this even remotely an issue?

There's no sexism going on, thus no problem, and no need to close this perceived (and completely artificial) gap. Gender isn't and shouldn't even be an issue in this case.

Saying, "Oh my gods, we don't have enough women!" is only important if:
a) You're trying to get laid
b) see "a"
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
talysman
Member

Posts: 675


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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2003, 09:12:06 PM »

or, to put it another way:

there are Forge members who (a) are male; and, (b) post about as much as the average female Forge member. why should we be concerned about the quantity of posts from female posters, but not those from males with a low post count? why are we treating women different than we treat men? should we include religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and political party in the profile, to make sure no other groups are left out?

even if someone isn't "trying to get laid" (as Raven suggests,) it sounds a bit sexist to treat women differently when women don't ask to be treated differently. Thomas, I don't mean to suggest you are being sexist (and I'm sure Raven isn't suggesting you're looking for romance.) you're just concerned you (or the community as a whole) are doing something wrong in relation to women. but double-guessing your behavior or the community's behavior doesn't work well and just increases stress; relax! if you spot an actual problem, report it in a private message to the moderators; otherwise, pretend everything is fine -- it probably is.

I think Ron was right before when he suggested that total number of posts should be turned off. maybe "date of last login" would be a more useful stat.
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John Laviolette
(aka Talysman the Ur-Beatle)
rpg projects: http://www.globalsurrealism.com/rpg
Jeffrey Miller
Member

Posts: 191


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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2003, 01:49:18 PM »

Quote from: greyorm
I was going to say much the same as Ron: why is this even remotely an issue?

There's no sexism going on, thus no problem, and no need to close this perceived (and completely artificial) gap. Gender isn't and shouldn't even be an issue in this case.

Saying, "Oh my gods, we don't have enough women!" is only important if:
a) You're trying to get laid
b) see "a"


Congrats, "greyorm" - you managed to post one of the most sexist and offensive posts I've ever read around here.
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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
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Posts: 16490


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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2003, 01:55:40 PM »

Jeffrey,

That's a fine example of a valid private-message, not a post. You could address it to me, as content moderator, or to Raven (greyorm) if you preferred to discuss it with him directly.

Best,
Ron
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Jeffrey Miller
Member

Posts: 191


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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2003, 01:59:07 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
That's a fine example of a valid private-message, not a post. You could address it to me, as content moderator, or to Raven (greyorm) if you preferred to discuss it with him directly.


Would you mind starting a thread on the validity of confronting racism, sexism, and offensive content in a public forum, and the inefectiveness of a private reply to create public discussion about community standards? Thanks.

-j-
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