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How Not To Eliminate Sexism At Your Battlefield 3 LAN: Ban Women


The organizers of a Texas LAN party to celebrate the release of Battlefield 3 felt that rather than expose female attendees to any “misogynistic” behavior on the part of the male attendees and risk an “uncomfortable” situation, they just wouldn’t invite any female attendees at all. Not just “not invite” them, but — going by the original wording — basically ban them from coming. As you can imagine, the reaction to this was, to say the least, negative.

According to Kotaku, the original text came from a FAQ page for the event and read as follows:

“Nothing ruins a good LAN party like uncomfortable guests or lots of tension, both of which can result from mixing immature, misogynistic male-gamers with female counterparts … Though we’ve done our best to avoid these situations in years past, we’ve certainly had our share of problems. As a result, we no longer allow women to attend this event.”

Roughly translated: “Sorry, ladies. Your rights to equal treatment are legitimate, but we don’t think you’re worth the trouble of policing policing bad behavior. So we’re going simultaneously spare ourselves the trouble and tacitly reinforce the actions of those who think the bad behavior we just condemned a sentence ago is appropriate. We hope you understand. It’s not you — it’s us.”

Kotaku points out that if male gamers can’t control their behavior — and we’re positive that it isn’t all male gamers being pigs — than the party’s organizers should punish only those who are causing trouble. Next: a competition divided by race, so that organizers don’t have to confront those issues, either.

(Kotaku via Skepchick.)

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  • http://twitter.com/acidragdoll Bel

    Glad you picked this story up.  I was gaping in furious silence for quite a while when I found out.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  That’s…  that’s…  who the fuck decided this?  I can’t believe that the wording alone even passed muster.  Sounds like the men in charge of the event are a bunch of pigs too.  I can’t believe any decent person would have the temerity to lay out the fact that some men behave badly at these events and then turn around and punish the victims for the perpetrators bad behaviour.  What assholes.

  • Ceili

    Personally I’m just more amused than anything else, because I’ve come to expect this kind of thing from the majority of men. This just reinforces my tendency to be wary and distrustful of all men until they prove otherwise.

    Yes, I know this isn’t all men, but I’ve worked with enough and been around enough to see this kind of attitude being disturbingly more prevalent than some of us would like to even admit, and even from some men you might otherwise think are perfectly nice. The things you see men talk about when they think they’re alone is kind of terrifying and makes me, again, not surprised at this outcome at all. 

  • Francesca M

    Sooo ‘Because we want to behave like douchebags we of the he-man woman haters club have decided that we’re protecting your delicate sensibilities’….jerks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    @AvalonBright:disqus you forget that there are plenty of generalizations I could bring up as reasons not to trust women as well. Humanity has its idiots, regardless of gender. There are plenty of girls (and guys) I’ve talked to at school and work that have shocked and appalled me with how shallow and manipulative they are. Would it be fair for me to assume that maybe not all, but most women are like that, and not be surprised that they act that way?

    No.

    The reason most prejudices and stereotypes are born is because people think along the lines of “I’ve come to expect this kind of thing from the majority of [Add gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. here]”

    Back to the article, I have such a hard time accepting that a group of people getting together to have fun and play games could be so horrible and ignorant. If I was organizing a group of gamers and I got to the point of seriously considering their ability to be respectful, I would just cancel the whole party and play Battlefield by myself.

  • http://handfulofhealth.com elaine!

    It’s like a double insult, because they’re both allowing inappropriate behavior from the men AND somehow inferring that the women are all too sensitive. WTF?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rosalind-Casey/1529220202 Rosalind Casey

    My favorite is the blokes who then pile on saying that “Nobody would have a problem with an all-girls LAN party” and “Why is it only sexism when men do it?” 

    Because having a girls/guys night is exactly like banning a group of people out of fear that they’ll want the mods to do their jobs, and holding a gender segregated event because you don’t want to deal with jackasses is the same as holding one so that you can jackass it up with impunity. 

  • http://www.thediscriminatingfangirl.com/ TDF Pamela

    I had to stop reading the comments because of the “but men are discriminated against, too!” horse crap.  I was just waiting for someone to bring up Ladies Night at the local bar as a prime example of how tough men have it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.maple Sarah Maple

    “he-man woman haters club” ha ha ha! Great reference!

  • http://profiles.google.com/joanna.moylan Joanna Moylan

    Sure fuck it, let’s just have all the guys living on one island, and girls living on a different one!  Fuck sake! Gender segregation was really the best they could come up with?

  • Anonymous

    You know, I don’t mind the argument for boys and girls clubs. But only insofar as it passes the straight face test. Most gender exclusive clubs start out gender exclusive: Exercise clubs for women or men, sporting events, etc. People join knowing and accepting the exclusivity of said club or organization. I think that’s fine.

    This is different, and they even admit as much in that sloppy little blurb. This used to be an event for both women and men. And when the men acted like pigs, rather than grow a pair and ask the offenders to behave, they kick out the chicks. Classy.

    Anyone else reminded of middle school dances?

  • Anonymous

    You know, I don’t mind the argument for boys and girls clubs. But only insofar as it passes the straight face test. Most gender exclusive clubs start out gender exclusive: Exercise clubs for women or men, sporting events, etc. People join knowing and accepting the exclusivity of said club or organization. I think that’s fine.

    This is different, and they even admit as much in that sloppy little blurb. This used to be an event for both women and men. And when the men acted like pigs, rather than grow a pair and ask the offenders to behave, they kick out the chicks. Classy.

    Anyone else reminded of middle school dances?

  • Anonymous

    This crap stems from two of the most basic and important rules of sexism:
    1. Men’s needs outweigh women’s needs.
    2. When man commits offense against woman, at least 50% of the blame must be assigned to woman.

    This is a great little example of both.  You’ve got men’s desire to enjoy a misogyny-free night of gaming outweighing women’s desire to enjoy a night of gaming at all, which sounds more screwy the more you think about it.  And you have the implicit idea that it’s not the immature misogynists, but the intersection of immature misogynists and women that causes problems (i.e. the oxygen is just as culpable as the gasoline for the fire.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000132443742 Eric Bazilio

    What kind of men have you been around who resemble the asswipes that made this Battlefield ban decision?

  • Anonymous

    This is just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. How about expecting the male gamers to behave like decent humans? Unfortunately this is just going to reinforce the guys who cause the problems behavior. How about police the behavior of ALL gamers and if someone insists on acting the part of a fool have them leave.

  • Athena Cazier

    Ah. “We know we’re going to be jackasses, but we don’t want to hear you complaining about us being jackasses, so you have to stay away.” …Brilliant plan, folks.

  • Anonymous

    I assume you want a cookie for pretending to be this enlightened and yet mansplaining all the way.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7G4SWUX2MCWWXLMYNN347JMIZY Frodo Baggins

    Ladies, time to invest in those fake mustaches. Infiltrate! If they get suspicious at the door, just make a reference to “Deez nuts!” and hit the heels of your hands against your inner thighs. That’s man-speak for “I, like you, possess a Y chromosome.” If that doesn’t work, fart. Everyone knows girls can’t do that. 

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the men want a “misogyny-free night of gaming” at all. They just don’t want anyone to complain about the misogyny. The immature dudes aren’t banned, just the women who would presumably be offended. They could ban misogynistic (and racist and homophobic) speech if they wanted, but that’s not what they chose to do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rosalind-Casey/1529220202 Rosalind Casey

    We should recruit that badass male-impersonating Civil War reenactor, then we will all have awesome period-appropriate fake mustaches. 

    “Greetings, fellow gentlemen, we have come to join you in your gaming festivities. Also, deez nuts.”

  • http://twitter.com/relmneiko relmneiko

    Humanity has lots of idiots but men have the power to enforce their idiocy. That’s where the real crap comes from.

  • Anonymous

     http://blog.twowholecakes.com/2011/07/male-games-for-male-gamers-a-case-study/

    “I can actually sympathize with the event organizers. I don’t want to
    spend time and energy nearly every day being confronted with this shit,
    and I’m pretty bummed when I’m having a good time — playing a video game
    or doing anything else — and some shitstain comes along and feels
    entitled to wreck my fun with a specifically sexist or racist or
    homophobic comment. The difference is, I don’t have a choice. There are
    no safe spaces for me. I am frequently dismissed for failing to be the
    mythological dick-worshipping brainless tart some men desire. I am
    attacked for refusing to see any value in the ability to say ‘FAGGOT’
    every thirty seconds without anybody harshing on your savage wit. I am
    harassed for daring to commit the crime of being a politcally outspoken
    nerd-lady fatass. And what can I do about that? I can stand up for
    myself when it happens and I can write on a damn blog about it, but I am
    ultimately a pebble trying to resist the rockslide.”

    “Encouraging men to believe that they cannot control their every impulse —
    indeed, that they are SO dangerous that they need to be isolated from
    women lest they lose their composure and go on a mad raping spree — is
    about the least safe idea I can think of.”

  • http://profiles.google.com/joanna.moylan Joanna Moylan
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1157971815 Christy Jedigoddess

    What a bunch of BS, I say we show up in droves at this LAN party both male and female alike to protest the sexist way they are treating women. The commercial with the “I got a million problems but a bitch ain’t one” is even further inappropriate. The simple fact is these guys wouldn’t even know what to do with a women letting alone having one pwn their ass at this game.

  • airbro ranger

    Men will be watching porn while playing BF3. NSFW!