Gevlon's recent post, a few threads on the official forums (search not working again, you'll have to source those yourself if interested) and even the Sky Sports incident, it seems that awareness is heightened. Don't worry though, you're not going to be ducking any projectile flaming bras.
Growing up, I looked upon sexism in a similar way as I did racism; because I didn't posses the feeling of inferiority or superiority I couldn't really understand people who did or what the fuss was about. But of course getting a little older and being of a tomboyish nature it became an inevitable part of my life. I don't want to harp on about my own personal experience and history, but I gather it's unusual and I'm unusual.
What I want to talk about is a recent event that's come about in-game that I'm having a little bit of a dilemma over. Remember that great guild I talked about in my last post? Well for one reason or another, completely understandably, they have assumed I'm male. This is not a new experience, in every forum and online game I've played almost everyone has assumed the same because:
a) They assume it for everyone, which is fine,
b) I don't speak in a particularly 'girly' way,
c) I don't emote much and,
d) I say 'mate' a lot.
Now in the past I've just let that lie and, let me make something clear, it's not because I was offended by it nor because I thought I would get more respect if they thought I was male. In fact I'm pleased if people know I'm a girl because I'm a very capable player and it helps to break down prejudice. I just wasn't bothered to correct them.
However, my new guild is small and seems close-knit; there are always a few of them sitting in vent chatting even if they're all doing their own thing, which I think is great, and they're very keen for me to join in. We have our first raid together this evening and I almost wish I could do it without vent. Don't get me wrong, if I need to shout someone out of the fire then I will, but I'm worried about how they'll react to me. It's a strange feeling considering how I feel about the matter and my confidence in myself as a woman and as a player, but I think I've worked it out.
My anxiety comes from not wanting to be given any leeway because I'm a girl. I don't want to not be told off for making a stupid mistake 'because she's a girl', I don't want to be given loot preference 'because she's a girl'.
I don't want to be a good healer 'for a girl'. I want to be a good healer.
I'm thankful for the society I live in, less and less these worries are an issue as more and more men and women alike become enlightened people who've not had to cast off prejudices, because they never had them in the first place.
But for now, they are still there, in enough people to make a difference and stifle me before I've had a chance to show them what I'm made of. I've run a few HCs with my guild, they complimented me and the pugs we were with complimented me on my healing, I hope that's enough that when they hear me this evening no opinions will change.
In a perfect world they won't care either way, as long as I place a Lightwell.