Why Women Feel Guilty About Gaming

Women’s leisure is not taken seriously because women’s work is not taken seriously. Women’s work outside of the home is still construed as a kind of hobby. At the same time, the work inside the home is invisible and unpaid. In a world where the value of a thing is determined by its price, unpaid isn’t priceless, it’s worthless. To make up for the unseriousness of our lives, women are supposed to at all times be productive.

Additionally these studies often show that time is a key factor for women’s leisure activities. Rosemary Deem (1987) conducted a study showing that women did not feel they had the right to leisure time given the overriding concerns of maintaining households and work responsibilities.

License to Play: Women, Productivity, and Video Games (pdf) by Shira Chess (emphasis mine)

Gaming is a hobby, something you do to relax and have some fun. But in our world relaxing is what you get to do after you have worked hard. If none of your work is real, then you haven’t earned the right to relax.

It is a lie, of course, because first off, women’s work is real, and second the whole leisure vs productivity and productivity at all costs mindset is a setup to get you to be a better consumer. Don’t for dog’s sake go on and then to feel guilty about feeling guilty because you aren’t enough of a rationalist to overcome social conditioning immediately. Personal rejection is not the ultimate solution because this is not an individual self-improvement project. What is needed is widespread social change. Some people call it the feminist revolution.