Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Reaperfan on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:32 pm

    It always feels like such a cop-out to post something someone else said as my own opinion, but when I agree with most of what they say and they put it into words better than I ever could, it just makes sense, right? With that I direct you to this video. With an addendum taken from one of its comments:

    Don't click until after you've watched the video:
    A girl in a rule 63 Link outfit who thinks she's cosplaying as "Zelda" triggers the ol' nerd rage and I won't apologize for that.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Serious_Much on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:41 pm

    Good video. I really don't get this idea that its a bad thing if girls pretend to be into stuff like gaming anime etc.. At least they're trying :|

    I don't see any men pretending to love horses or obsess over **** shows like 90210 silly


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:43 pm

    I have a simple argument against his view in the video.

    I dislike Pandering.
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Reaperfan on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:03 pm

    Tolvo wrote:I have a simple argument against his view in the video.

    I dislike Pandering.

    I'll admit I don't fully agree with the video, because (as I hoped the little bit in the spoiler at least hinted at), I find the idea that if they're being very obvious about their disinterest in nerd culture, then it gets a little insulting. Just wearing a Link cosplay isn't a problem, but when they admit they don't actually know who the character is, that is when I feel the video falls short. If she can't even tell you what character she's dressed as, that shows that she isn't dressed up as Link because she likes the character. She's dressed up as Link because you like the character and that gives you reason to pay attention to her.

    And just in case it wasn't obvious, this is all hypothetical, of course. I've never actually been in this situation, though the principles still stand. And to reiterate, I feel this only applies to the extremes. Most potential cases I'm okay with accepting or ignoring.

    EDIT: Bah, and this is why I like linking videos and such more. For some reason this just seems to poorly put my ideas out there. Curse my inability to use words effectively!


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Tolvo on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:15 pm

    I'd say the video is more so designed against the common hatred of girl gamers.

    In the example I gave with my friend earlier, that was a girl interested in gaming. He was hateful for no reason at all.

    If I meet a girl and she wears a bunch of gamer related shirts then I go, "What system do you play on?" If she goes "System?" Okay, I'm going to be annoyed. Or I'll say, "You know, console. What do you play your games on?" If she has no idea about what a console is, or even about PC gaming okay I'll get frustrated.

    But its the same way if a male did that, I would get annoyed.

    I'm also not picky. If she plays CoD for Xbox 360 and hasn't played a mario game I won't go "OH! You're not a real gamer!"

    I hate that idea of "You're only a gamer/nerd if you like these things!"

    I have a friend like that in regards to being nerdy. He thinks a person isn't really nerdy if they don't play pokemon and watch Doctor Who. I always rebuttal him by speaking Huttese.
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by TehInfamousAmos on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:19 pm

    Serious_Much wrote:Considering I wish I could get a girlfriend who likes games, I really don't think so silly

    anime lovers and nerds will have to do lol!

    Haha - well, my loving fiancee is what you would call a gamer silly So keep faith out there man. There are some great people - 'tis just about meeting the right one.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by steveswede on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:20 pm

    Reaperfan wrote:Just wearing a Link cosplay isn't a problem, but when they admit they don't actually know who the character is, that is when I feel the video falls short. If she can't even tell you what character she's dressed as, that shows that she isn't dressed up as Link because she likes the character. She's dressed up as Link because you like the character and that gives you reason to pay attention to her.

    Hence the term fake girl gamer but somehow the internet went hysterical thinking that male gamers hate female gamers instead.
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Serious_Much on Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:28 pm

    To be honest I don't mind if they are just pretending. I mean I've been with girls who'll do it just to to try join in with your interests and share it, I got no problems if they don't really understand cus all they wanna do is be closer with you.

    Though if they're going to conventions dressed up as people they don't know just for attention, I agree thats just being a little attention **** silly


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Forum Pirate on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:00 pm



    This is what I mean when I say gamer girl, and I am insulting whomever I refer to as gamer girl. Otherwise, gamer or nerd or awesome suffice


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Acarnatia on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:59 pm

    I think FP's example puts it well. 'Gamer girl' uses the term gamer as a description of the girl, whereas 'girl gamer' uses girl as a description of the gamer. Being a 'gamer girl' as I've normally seen and heard the term used is a label, whereas saying '(a) girl gamer' just describes someone who is a gamer as also a girl.
    As for my take on the whole thing, I share a lot of my opinion with Serious; I get interested when I come across a girl who plays games because I already know she shares at least some of my interests. I'm sure I'm many other guys besides me have thought about/hoped to meet a girl through a game they're both passionate about.
    What I'm entirely bewildered by is that male gamers are resisting female gamers. (ones that are there at least partly for the video games) I have long expected most of the male gamers to be overjoyed at the idea of females joining them.
    I do recognize a psychological trait that goes into this-many (at least) males have issues with his pride (I still do) when he perceives a girl to be better at what he enjoys doing than him. I understand that, and how that can lead many male gamers to become hostile towards female gamers. This doesn't make it any less hostile or unkind; I'm just saying I understand it.

    I support girl gamers.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by densetsushun on Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:26 am

    This article highlights this specific debate and debunks the notion that male hatred against female gamers isn't a thing:
    http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2013/02/gaming-while-female/
    The most important points to note are that misogyny in gaming is real, and it's often met with deflection or trivialising the female's experience.

    It references a scientific article, in case anyone prefers reading that, in which a study was conducted and proved that playing on Xbox live with voice chat, a female voice increased hostility more than a male voice.
    http://nms.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/09/12/1461444812458271

    I realise that most scientific articles are hidden behind paywalls, so here's the summary of it in this article:
    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/WaiYenTang/20130208/186335/Reactions_to_a_womans_voice_in_an_FPS_game.php


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Kyliax on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:33 am

    Again, I'll repeat what I said earlier, I don't mind the term 'girl gamers' being used. I understand it's just a label for a female who happens to play games. What I really do mind are the kinds of discussion in which the terms is often times used and thus what it has come to represent.

    Most of the discussions about gamer girls are about the supposed 'fake gamer girls who don't know Link from Zelda' or about 'feminist-nazi women getting their knickers tied up about misogny or gender misrepresentation and ruining games foreverrrr'.

    I understand, that while gaming is an awesome hobby to have, a lot of people are elitists about it. Heck, even I am. The gaming community is full of arguments as to what system is best, which genre is best, what counts as skill and what counts as cheating/exploiting the system. It's no wonder then, that even if a lot of people enjoy gaming, some might be turned off by what they discover the community to be like. You add some sexism to that and you bet that there will be a lot of women that won't admit to gaming or simply don't bother trying gaming, even if they're interested.

    Now I might hold an extreme opinion on this all, but really, anyone who plays games, even if they're the annoying mobile games that I don't count as 'real games', they are gamers in my eyes.

    I am just tired of the notion that everyone must be judged by their list of 'gaming credentials', especially when this list changes with every single person. So yeah, perhaps she doesn't know Zelda from Link, but she plays Civ like the best of them. Or maybe she has never tried playing an RPG, but she headshots anyone in COD. Maybe he has never read/watched anything of Batman, but he loves the $#!^ out of Arkham Asylum.

    Gaming is a fun hobby and we are only hurting ourselves as a community if we insist on being elitists.



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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Serious_Much on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:36 am

    I feel that a lot of this hatred thing is misunderstood (it's still bad)

    I get the feeling from these articles and personal opinions that I don't think people have a problem with girls who game, and in fact welcome them.. But when an insult is thrown the girl seems to instantly assume it's because she's not as geeky as they'd like her to be, or that she's a female hanging in the wrong crowd.. However I think that's incorrect.

    It's just cus they're female, regardless of what they do. You beat them at a game, what's their go to insult if you've beaten what they consider to be their pride into the floor? Naturally it's sexist comments, cus it's just the obvious, easy target.

    Obviously I'm not condoning this (why would I? gender equality and the end of the sexist notion of chivalry is welcome to me), but it's not because there's a hatred of females trying to game, at least that's what I see here.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by densetsushun on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:44 am

    Serious_Much wrote:It's just cus they're female, regardless of what they do. You beat them at a game, what's their go to insult if you've beaten what they consider to be their pride into the floor? Naturally it's sexist comments, cus it's just the obvious, easy target.
    This IS the problem.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Kyliax on Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:59 am

    I'll give the digested version of the next article: http://www.themarysue.com/academic-study-game-harassment/

    "The findings are interesting enough, but I found their research methods to be quite clever. Halo 3 was used as the staging ground, chosen for its popularity and its random matchmaking system. In order to standardize the experimental conditions, verbal messages were pre-recorded in both a male and female voice. These were made up of unassuming things such as “hi everybody,” “nice job so far,” and “thanks for the game, bye.” The researchers then played public matches, transmitting the messages via voice chat. Matches played without engaging in voice chat were used as a control."

    In other words, both male and female versions said the same neutral things. Nothing specific to the situation, just things any player could say at any given time.

    "As Kuznekoff was an experienced Halo 3 player and Rose was not, they had the opportunity not only to interact with players of both high and low skill levels (Halo 3 uses performance-based matchmaking), but also to see if there was a relationship between the player’s skill level and the types of comments received. The study showed that regardless of skill, the rate of negative comments directed toward all voices stayed the same. And while the male voice did receive negative comments as well, there was a difference in language usage. The authors noted a “a clear pattern of negative comments associated with the female condition.”"

    A direct quote from the study:

    "On several occasions the female condition was exposed to derogatory gendered language. For example, in one particular game nearly every utterance made by the female condition was met with a negative response by a particular gamer. When the female condition said ‘hi everybody’, the other gamer responded with ‘shut up you ****’ followed a few seconds later with ‘she is a ******* lover’. When the female condition said, ‘alright team let’s do this’, the other gamer replied, ‘*** you, you stupid slut."

    Where, in all of this, it is not apparent that the biggest reason for this type of harassment is the fact that the player is female? Yes, the male voice also got harassed, but the women were harassed three times more, often times with gendered insults too.

    Our gaming community simply has a problem when it comes to sexism. I don't say that because I'm a 'femi-nazi' who gets off of stirring problems, I say it because this very issue keeps me from playing online and many other women like me.

    This, right above is pure, simple science. There is no denying harassment isn't a problem anymore and there's no denying that it doesn't have to do with sexism :/ (On both sides, calling a man a 'female reproductive system' or 'homosexual' is also a gendered insult)
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Serious_Much on Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:06 am

    densetsushun wrote:
    Serious_Much wrote:It's just cus they're female, regardless of what they do. You beat them at a game, what's their go to insult if you've beaten what they consider to be their pride into the floor? Naturally it's sexist comments, cus it's just the obvious, easy target.
    This IS the problem.

    Is it though?

    I feel by saying that, you misunderstand what I mean. I'm saying that the extra insults isn't the belief of inferiority women, or a stigma against them (which is sexism). It's just they've got a specific difference that can be used in an insult. This is obviously only possibility, but still looking at things from several perspectives is what leads one to truth. Let me elaborate.

    Two people beat you, and you get mad at them (you being a 14 year old kid with natural adolescent emotional instability), one being a man and one being a woman.

    To the man, what would you, the child hypothetically say? *** you? other expletives? Lets be honest, a probably homosexual insult would also ensue in all likelihood.

    To the woman, what do you think the child would say? Naturally as the difference between the two when wishing to insult the woman, he goes right for the ovaries, so to speak. He'll insult gender, just because knowing nothing else about the person, it's the obvious route for an insult.

    Obviously this is a very specific situation, but I hope it highlights what I mean. It's obviously a problem, but is it totally in all cases rooted in anti-female gamer thoughts and standards? I don't think so.

    Another, separate idea

    Anyways onto another possible thought point. I think results would be very interesting if you could gather the personal information of players who insult women, and by that I mean mostly their real life relations with them. (You know where this is going, I hope. I enjoy exploring stuff like this)

    Obviously, people who are.. Elitist gamers a more likely (I think we can agree on that, i hope), to be more.. 'unlucky' with the ladies. I guess possibly even victimised by them at school for being a loser, rejected by them upon advance etc. Would this build up a subconscious, or even wholly known disliking of women? Obviously.

    I'd take a hefty, hefty bet that people who insult women, are taking out their anger toward specific individuals of the opposite sex on the gender as a whole as a result of personal traumatic experience. They aren't truly sexist, they simply have some emotional issues caused by specific experiences in life.

    I'm not saying it's wholly like that again, but I'm saying that there's gonna obviously be more than just sexist or elitist motivations to insult women and treat them with hostility.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by densetsushun on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:18 pm

    Those could be possible explanations, but society also makes it possible to use a female's traits as an insult(the term for female genitalia being used as a derogative term for being a coward or weak). That aside, none of those are good excuses. That's a human being on the other side, not your(not referring to you) stressball.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by steveswede on Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:45 pm

    I said I wasn't going to get involved anymore but I think I can just generally talk about my findings.

    Serious_Much wrote:
    densetsushun wrote:
    Serious_Much wrote:It's just cus they're female, regardless of what they do. You beat them at a game, what's their go to insult if you've beaten what they consider to be their pride into the floor? Naturally it's sexist comments, cus it's just the obvious, easy target.
    This IS the problem.

    Is it though?

    I feel by saying that, you misunderstand what I mean. I'm saying that the extra insults isn't an internal hatred of women, or a stigma against them. It's just they've got a specific difference that can be used in an insult. This is obviously only possibility, but still looking at things from several perspectives is what leads one to truth. Let me elaborate.

    Two people beat you, and you get mad at them (you being a 14 year old kid with natural adolescent emotional instability), one being a man and one being a woman.

    To the man, what would you, the child hypothetically say? *** you? other expletives? Lets be honest, a probably homosexual insult would also ensue in all likelihood.

    To the woman, what do you think the child would say? Naturally as the difference between the two when wishing to insult the woman, he goes right for the ovaries, so to speak. He'll insult gender, just because knowing nothing else about the person, it's the obvious route for an insult.

    Obviously this is a very specific situation, but I hope it highlights what I mean. It's obviously a problem, but is it totally in all cases rooted in anti-female gamer thoughts and standards? I don't think so.

    This is one of the reason why I came to my conclusion that the sexism issue is irrelevant. It's more related to anger outburst than out right sexism. It's easy to mistake it for sexism, after all real sexism is the claim or belief that one gender is superior to another and when you get a male who gets their butt kicked by a girl, it's a personal attack on them because their individual pride is hurt. Think about it if they hate women or think they're superior then they would have apply it to their own mother, grandmother, sisters, aunts, cousins. Another thing is that it gets put on it's own pedestal away from racist comments, homophobic comments, xenophobic comments, and just general bullying which it shouldn't. It's not a special case compared these and in fact the focus should be on bullying itself because what's happening in the gaming world is just this dressed up as sexism due to specific words being use.

    There seems to be this massive misunderstanding what is really happening in the gaming world and a lot of poor research is being done just like in the Doctor Nerd Love article. It's research was based on one game, a handful of gamers and only one platform. Not only that but it was a genre notorious for juvenile behaviour due to it's main demographic of 8 to 13 year old boys. The article even points out that the research was just one game yet uses it as leverage for every other.

    While the study is quick to point out that this is just the results of just one game and that other titles and genres may produce different results, it does validate what many gamers have said all along: female gamers get harassed and abused because they are women.

    While first-person shooters seem a natural fit for this sort of behavior – after all, it’s a competitive environment that promotes and rewards aggressive behavior – the genre of game doesn’t seem to matter. Friends of mine have been harassed in World of Warcraft, City of Heroes… even Minecraft.

    If research on sexism is to be taken seriously, then it needs to research in all areas. Mobile phone games, social network games, PC, XBOX, PS3, genre and I would even go as far as researching each country separately to find out if culture plays the biggest roll here. It would also need to investigate if the context is sexist and not just a case of easy targeting.

    I want to point out is that there are measures for people to take if harassment/bullying happens to you. I personally choose to mute people I don't want to talk to or I use Skype for private conversations because in truth I find lobby chat just horrible in attitude. I fully understand that you shouldn't have to do this but you will have a better time staying out of those rats nests. If I could use a Dark Souls analogy then those places would be the forest and if you don't like the scum attitude there are plenty of other places where it's more fitting towards your attitude.

    densetsushun wrote:Those could be possible explanations, but society also makes it possible to use a female's traits as an insult(the term for female genitalia being used as a derogative term for being a coward or weak). That aside, none of those are good excuses. That's a human being on the other side, not your(not referring to you) stressball.

    I just want to point out that in the DkS community, the demographic that's the biggest target is the Japanese. I have never seen a community with such a xenophobic attitude before so please stop using the word society as a catch word to strengthen your sexism claim because there will be thousands more out there that will prove you wrong. Serious_Much theory could very well be plausible don't dismiss it because you don't like it.
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Serious_Much on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:38 pm

    densetsushun wrote:Those could be possible explanations, but society also makes it possible to use a female's traits as an insult(the term for female genitalia being used as a derogative term for being a coward or weak). That aside, none of those are good excuses. That's a human being on the other side, not your(not referring to you) stressball.

    Like I said, it's not an excuse den. I'm just outlining various possibilities to the fact that it might not be all about hatred of female gamers, there's more than one thing to consider, that's what I'm outlining.

    well I can understand the thinking behind using female genitalia as an insult to men, since masculinity is something that men naturally wish to have for the most part. That being said, it's obviously still not nice to say silly


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Tolvo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:46 pm

    There is also the reverse of the people who are more hostile to women, the white knights, whom which in my book are equally as bad. Feeling that the female player being harassed is so weak she can't stand up for herself and thus needs a big strong manly man to save her.

    If someone is being harassed I'll try to help them regardless of gender, but I've played for a good deal of years online and I always run into people who don't give a **** until a woman is being insulted. They are not helping the case either, only making it worse. Often afterwards too they try to get cozy with the girl making it very apparent that they want something out of it.

    Also in regards to female genitalia being used as an insult, so is the male counterpart. Our culture does contain a good deal of sexism that hurts both men and women.

    Now do I think it's always a gender thing? No I think sometimes people are just pissed and insult others for whatever is the easiest thing to go for. It's why on Xbox live I've found people to be suddenly racist if they're pissed off and know another player is a different race. There is still an issue in the level of hostility towards women and other people.

    It's a thing, it's not always a thing, but it is a thing.

    However I'd say this applies to most male oriented hobbies. Think about how things would go if a girl wanted to play football competitively with the guys. It'd take a whole episode of the Proud Family to deal with it.
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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by densetsushun on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:01 pm

    White Knights are indeed equally bad, and Steve, I never dismissed Serious' hypothesis, I merely stated that society's inaction acts as a catalyst for those who want to use sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic or other such insults. Society doesn't even have to nurture it, inaction nurtures it, and that's where society has failed. Look at bullying in schools, inaction when it's necessary prevents victims from getting actual help. Bullies can come up with any number of lies or deflections and the victim is even worse off after alerting the authorities.

    It's never nice to be derided for being something you can't change, that is the point. Misogyny isn't even the key problem, it's exclusivity. Assuming misogyny isn't a problem in the gaming community, what group is going to be targeted next? Blacks? Asians? Homosexuals or transgenders? "Casual" gamers?(bear in mind, this is already happening). The problem is exclusivity, attacks on someone's being.

    The subgroup being dealt with in this discussion may be women this time, but imagine a situation where men are the ones derided for having a penis, for not being able to do anything in a situation because they're male, because their testosterone affects their ability, because they're for some reason some male quality negatively impacts them. You may say there's already a stigma when men are involved in activities traditionally seen as a female activity, but they're not being derided because they're not able to perform this activity well enough, it's because the activity is seen as feminine and men are not supposed to exhibit feminine traits.

    Take it however you wish, the dialogue will remain until exclusivity disappears. Until one day, anyone can pick up a controller(this applies to everything, by the way) and be judged by whether or not they suck, and not what physical traits they do or do not possess, the discussion will not end. The point about equality is that anyone should be able to do something without feeling excluded, attacked or threatened in anyway.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Sloth9230 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:19 pm

    "You're pretty good, for a girl"

    This is what makes it insulting, suggesting their gender somehow impacts their skills or dictates how they're supposed to behave.

    I don't care if you're a girl a or guy, why would I over flirt with someone through a video game? I'm here to play, not get a date.

    Edit: 1st post after a 1 month break silly


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Tolvo on Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:52 pm



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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by Forum Pirate on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:46 am

    On the anatomy thing, mens "anatomy" is frequently used as an insult to mean rude, pushy, mean, ect, and this is no more fair than the other way around, and I'd wager its used just as much as its counterpart by both genders.

    In short, there is little descrimination against males in our community, one cannot then state that (female) 'anatomy' being an insulting term for 'weak' speaks of sexism.


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    Re: Is "gamer girl" a derogatory term?

    Post by User1 on Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:11 am

    It's like the world is still sexist to women, but in a less bold way.

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