Community Breakup – When it’s time to leave a bad relationship

Welcome to Dumpsville popul... ah you know the rest.

 

So there I was, having contractions on my wedding anniversary arguing with a community member about her (granted) work-in-progress article. The hook behind the potential post was “all things crappy in gaming can be blamed on mothers and women” with, of course, the implied “not cool women like US.” 

And that’s when it hit me. If this community was a guy, I would have dumped his ass long ago. Why the hell was I sticking around? 

It wasn’t the article. Yes, this article did make me see red. As a woman and mother, I’m sick of being blamed for everything shitty. But this is old hat. Seen it many times. 

But what hurt most was that I knew that in the hands of this excellent writer, this was going to get page views, and lots of them. And that the community site for which this was written would all stand up and cheer this article on. Once again I would be a lone voice – Hey do we really need to throw women under a bus to make this point? And once again, only to be shot down as a hysterical loser. 

Or that’s what the cynical part of me was saying. The cynical bitter part. 

I don’t like cynical and bitter me. I like the old me, the fun-loving, easy-going, genuine me.  The person I was before I started to get mad at the sexism on the community site. And there is a lot. Just this week I asked for a second opinion of an Admin regarding a rape scene in someone’s wallpaper.  

Asking for a second opinion on a rape scene… WTF? I have been there for over three and a half years. I am a mod on that site, I used to write for the front page. I have done interviews representing the site. Yet, when it came to something as blatant as pictures of young anime girls screaming with their clothes ripped off, I was asking for a second opinion as to whether or not this violated the TOS. Why? What made me so gun shy? Why was I not doing my job? 

Cause I want to be liked. Women are socialized from such a young age to be nice. To not rock the boat. To put up and shut up.
“Ha ha, boys will be boys. I guess I have to join them since I can’t change their minds.” Well. that doesn’t really work well with me. I don’t sit quietly. I get mad, and I do something. So, I have tried to rock the boat, to show the community how I saw things. 

Each member of the site gets a blog, mine is fairly popular. I once wrote in response to a question from another blog about feminism and how women are treated differently. I tried, in my own way, to show how most gamers have male privilege, and how this affects how they see -or don’t see- the sexism in gaming and on the community site itself. I brought forward examples of said sexism: objectification of women, discussions in threads that centred on slut-shaming and victim blaming etc.  As expected, I had some dissenters, and even a few advocates. However the response was a straw feminist rant on the front page, one that was described as an almost personal attack. 

Point taken. Will shut up now. 

Women are also socialized to solve the worlds problems by internalizing everyone’s needs. “If I just play their game, maybe I can be one of them. If I am one of them, if they are happy, I can make the community a better place.” I see that I have tried that as well. If I volunteer more, I will be liked more. If I am liked more, I can have more respect and people will take me seriously.  Nope. that doesn’t happen. 

So the big question: how much does one take? Do you try to stay on and keep fighting the good fight, or do you leave? When do you leave? Is it quitting, or is it staying sane? 

I can only answer the question for myself. The time for me to leave is now. I have a year of maternity to look forward to, and I want that year to be filled with positive things. I joined the community while on maternity leave with my first. This seemed like the right time. For the last six months, I have been hit with too much negative. There is no room for me, or my voice there, not really. It’s been made clear. If that makes me a quitter, so be it. I have this blog. If anyone is still interested in what I have to say, they can catch it here. 

Now in any break up, it does help to remember the good times; there were many. This community was there when I first got my Xbox, and played on line gaming for the first time. I joined by first clan there, started a few of my own. Went to a Lan to meet these folks and they were wonderful. I’ve seen friends divorce and find new love. I’ve seen babies born, people get married. Kids have gotten sick and the response is fast, vocal and genuinely caring and supportive. 

While, yes, some members of the site are vile individuals – it’s only expected in a population of over 17,000 – the grand majority don’t mean to create a space where someone like me is not welcome. But they do. Some are so wonderful and supporting, and I will try to stay in touch with them the best I can.  

But all in all: it’s time we move on. I have new opportunities. This blog, while still in its infancy, has allowed me to see a new community. One of my own choosing. I am excited to move on to something new. 

Sorry guys. It’s not me; it’s you. Good luck.

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Comments

  • Joseph Mikhael  On August 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about the breakup. It’s also unfortunate that the gaming community (of which I include myself) use games not for their entertainment and artistic value, but as a way to act out fantasies, and compensate for some inferiorities (anime is also a perfect example of this). One of my favourite quotes from my philosophy days is “I don’t hate Aristotle, I just hate Aristotelians”. I often feel the same about gamers. Video games should be a new means of expression, not a new way to escape.

  • Todd King (TKBosss)  On August 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    While I can’t say I understand your angst being a male in a male dominated forum, I will miss your quips and comments. You are a true leader for the female voice among the female gamers that have braved the site and gaming world in general.

    Even though I don’t communicate a well as you do through written word, and sometimes I edge carefully around the topics you mentioned, in particular, on a blog. (I tried to stay out of that conversation if I remember it correctly). You sometimes don’t get the support you deserve.

    I can only wish you, Dean (I hope I got your husband’s name right) and the children the very best. Also, congrats and good luck on the new home.

  • Tim  On August 25, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Excellent as always! What’s funny is that I haven’t been back to that community either. Not that I have an issue with them, but that I have other things going on. Still on the fence about returning there, however. That being said, a rape scene of any type is unacceptable. I don’t care if it’s between two Hello Kitties (that would just look wierd), that type of behavior, whether it be in real life or fantasy, is disgusting, violent, and disrespectful. It’s unbelievable that this required a second opinion. The violator should be banned, permanently. If I had a community like that, there is no way in hell I would want someone like that using my forum, site, or blog.

    Also, sorry for not commenting more. We have been busy lately and unfortunately my blogging and gaming has taken a back seat right now. Take care!

  • Falelorn  On August 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Kudos to you for standing up for your view points and opinions when so many people now days fold to the pressure of the lemming masses and become a conformist.

    As someone who has left a couple of similar situations I know it is hard to do and for a while I did have (and sometimes do have) second thoughts, but I know it was the right decision. One of those you helped me out with, you know the one…

    Keep up the good blogging and I hope to catch you on Skype or XBLA or something soon once again.

  • Sam  On August 26, 2010 at 1:36 am

    I’m sorry to see you leave and I don’t think you should. I don’t agree with all you write but I think your voice is an important one. That being said, can you explain this sentence to me please; more specifically, how it relates to you within the community.

    ‘Women are also socialized to solve the worlds problems by internalizing everyone’s needs.’

    • yellingatpixels  On August 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

      Hey. What I meant was that women are trained to kind of take on everyone’s problems, and to make them their own. By making them our own we think we can be peacekeeper.

      Think of the teen stereotype of the girl in love with the bad boy. She can change h by taking his problems and by just loving him more. See?

      So how it translates into the community is I would just keep trying to do too much more. Remember at rhisntime I was moving, have a 3yo and pregnant. Lots of stuff on my plate. Yet I was trying to work behind the scenes to help our other community members be heard and to try to get more stuff done.

      I may not be the most articulate today.

  • Maxxie  On August 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Thank you for providing me a place to continue to hear your voice and views! I understand the break up. I do.

    Maxxie

  • Jedi_Kez  On August 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    It sucks that you are leaving the other site, I’ll miss reading your blogs and opinions over there, and miss your posts in 2o2eh 😦

    I’ll definitely keep this site in my RSS reader though, so it’s not a total loss! After all, you gotta let go of things that frustrate you (if you’re able to).

  • niteowl  On August 27, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Hey J-Cat…er..yellingatpixels,
    Well, your’s was one of the very few blogs that I always clicked on but at least I can still read ya here. I hope you’ll stay in our MTGO clan. You were picking it up fast & looked like you were gonna become a strong player. Anyway, it won’t seem the same without your presence on the site and since penni rarely posts anymore I’ll prolly just stay tucked away in our little Magic corner. I doubt the rest of the site even knows we’re there.

  • temjinzero  On August 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the mention on your blogroll!

    Had a read through all your editorials, and I enjoyed them a lot.

    Sorry to hear about your recent community split, but even if you had a disagreement with your previous community, just like boyfriends, there’s always more fish out in the water. 😀

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