Most online discussion of women’s issues, even coming from self declared feminists, doesn’t go deep enough. People are always trying to say in some way “well it’s not so bad”. The tendency to make excuses for the poor behavior of men we play with is endemic among women gamers(self sadly included).
There’s reasons to pretend it’s not so bad. Women have a hard enough time getting into raiding guilds. Women have a hard time getting the time needed to raid because of the inequity in household work distribution (aka the Second Shift). Women have to put up with unwanted flirtation, with harassment, with getting obscene comments. If we respond in kind we are attention whores. If we object or are offended we are drama queens. If we are mean and funny back we are bitches.
If we complain to our non-gaming friends about the sexism in gaming we are told if it’s so bad we should just abandon the hobby. If we leave, where are we going to go, exactly? What hobbies and activities are left to us? In the game at least you are physically safe! (Until some hare-brained CEO cooks up the scheme of making everyone go by their real name)
Newsflash: It’s so bad everywhere in the whole damn world. Any time a woman tries to do something outside of the women’s sphere or even is too successful in the women’s sphere she deals with bullshit. Walking away from the game is not a solution, because it’s not as though the real world is a magical fairyland of gender equality. Go back to the kitchen where it’s safe? Fuck that. I want to kill Internet dragons.