Hating “Girl Gamers” is a Setup: Hate the Game Not the Player

Let me draw you a picture of the “girl gamer”. You know her. She comes on vent and cracks dirty jokes and all the boys fall over themselves. She’s just as good as any guy. She’s the exception. She’s the token gamer girl. She posts pictures of her boobs on the guild forum. You heard she blew the raid leader for DKP. She’s tough, and strong, and sexy, tee-hee. She can’t stand other women, because she’s not like them. She’s the reason that LAN party banned you, because she’s ruining it for the rest of us. She’s the stereotypical “girl gamer” and if you’re not her, you hate her.

And you’re wrong to do it. Please stay with me, this bit gets tricky.

“[W]omen are required to do femininity and simultaneously punished for it.”

The “girl gamer” exists as a platonic anti-ideal, a qliphothic being, even when no woman is there to act out the role, because she is a male fantasy, not a real person. The anti-ideal exists as a shell, ready for a real woman to step into and become constrained by the restrictions of the role. There are rewards for stepping into the role. You get to join the boys’ tree house. You get to be the cool girl. You get to be the exception. All for the low price of repudiating your allegiance to any other women.

It is the delusion that you can become an official part of the boys’ club if you are its strictest enforcer, its most useful prole. That if you follow the rules exactly you can become the Official Woman. If you refuse other women admission you are denying that other women are talented, which makes you just as bad as any boys’ club for thinking there would only be one talented girl at a time. You will never actually be part of the boys’ club, because you are a woman.

In Which We Teach You How To Be A Woman In Any Boys’ Club

Break out from the stereotype you’ve stepped into, and it’s out of the tree house with you. Live up to the role, and you’re punished anyway.

The gamer girl exists as a foil to other women who might try to join the community. Instead of turning our analytical scalpel to the pustule of sexism, we are show the gamer girl as a ready rival. There can be only one token girl, so we are taught fight her for that spot, instead of challenging the idea that there can be only one. It’s divide and conquer.

Hate the role, hate the fantasy, but don’t hate the woman who doesn’t yet have the feminist chops to realize she’s been duped. This isn’t easy to do (it’s not even easy to write about doing).

Turn your anger outwards to shatter the illusion of the “girl gamer” and shake the foundation of the role. Destroy the false ideal and then no woman will need to step into the shell.