My feminist beliefs often boil over into WoW. Having only ever had female guild leaders and play with females in what is to be considered a male dominant environment has always felt empowering, however I don't believe that we are moving towards equality to gender behind the players in Azeroth and inside Azeroth.
At a casual glance, or just someone who doesn't have a brain filled with lore and is more interested in murdering people, inside Azeroth it is a pretty male dominant world. Firstly the heads of the the two factions Thrall and King Varian are both male. OK in the real world it would be considered more unusual for a woman to be a head of government, not unheard of, the standard is male.
This doesn't bother me so much, what bothers me is these second in command people. Horde side we are looking at Vol'jin head of the trolls, male, Cairne Bloodhoof, head of the cows, male, Theron, leader of the bloodelves, male, and finally best supporting actress that fierce bitch Sylvanas Windrunner leader of the forsaken - female. Alliance side is head of the dwarves is Magni Bronzebeard head of the Dwarves, male, head of the Gnomes, Mekkatorque, male, head of the spacegoats Velen, a male spacegoat and then head of the bloody nefly hippies Tyrande, female, but only acting head of till some bloke gets back. Then of course Arthas' ex the head of the human nation of Theremore Jaina Proudmore. So not a great deal of female presence from these leaders either.
It is of course Sylvana and Jaina that I have beef with. Both very important in the lore side of things, whether you be horde or alliance one of these females has taken you through the battle of the Undercity, through Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron and then Halls or Reflection and have a strong presence in quests and story lines. My beef is that both of the only real two female role models and leaders are seriously flawed and therefore could never be heads of the two factions.
Jaina Proudmore to me is portrayed as a fucking idiot. I mean she went out with the LICH KING for godsake. Only a stupid weak minded person would end up with fatty Arthas a bloke made of pure evil, we are constantly reminded of this. She is following the stereotype of that women who always chooses the wrong men, that girl who goes out with bad boy after bad boy in a string of failed relationships. It is well documented that she wants a bit of Thralls cock, and if she goes to make this hippy dippy lentil eating new faction with him in Cata, I am sure she is going to get her grubby mits on him. Looks wise she is blonde and softly spoken, even at Saurfang she bursts into tears. GET A GRIP WOMAN.
Slyvanas Windrunner the head of the Forsaken. SHE IS DEAD FOR GODSAKE. Stupid enough to get killed by a bloke then bought back to some disgusting zombie life and let the Forsaken get all out of control. She is by contrast to Jaina a bit more tough, she doesn't give a shit and will point blank shoot you in the face, also she manages to shoot down massive ice walls with some arrows whilst Arthas is waddling towards us in Halls of Reflection which is pretty impressive. But looking at her, she is all black which has such negative connotations with evil and fucked up looking, she lives in an underground city, banished away for what she did almost, so we don't have to look at her. In exchange for her hardcoreness she has had to give up her appearance. She would never be head of the horde either.
It kind of reminds me of original sin. Women are stupid enough to get themselves into such messes and will be punished for eternity for it. This is not gender equality, and to me gives out such a negative view of the leading women in World of Warcraft.
To tag a blog post with the word "feminism" that includes such classic statements in it as "It is wonderful to see someone so consistently intelligent about the craft of end-game and explain it in such an easy-to-understand way. Having someone to look up to who also plays the same class we do and is a female is really nice sometimes" isn't exactly inspiring me here. Perhaps the blogger is confused about what defines feminism idk, (and yes I am aware that is an argument all by itself) that is not what I am here to argue over. My understanding of the above statement is that because we are female, it is harder for us to understand things like elitist jerks and other theory crafting? So it must be really nice for a fellow fluffy female to explain to us other dumb female players in a female friendly way how things work because are heads are filled with cupcakes and healing classes?
In vanilla WoW I remember my old guild leader telling me that she was able to extort gold out of player just because she was female. It is NEVER assumed that you are female, in trade channels when someone has replied to my bored efforts of trolling and doing the 9' o clock Dalaran news or in a heroic if I am not just called "priest" I am referred to as a him. I will always point out that I am in fact a girl. I am not in anyway easily offended, especially about tongue in cheek sexist jokes or remarks, I find it hilarious in fact. However I do find myself being undermined in game if people find out I am a girl. I am pretty sure that my opinion counts less when people are aware of my gender, and if raid leading and get a bit stroppy it has been put down to "that time of the month" or because women are prone to being more "emotional." but when I have seen male raid leaders throw hissy fits and nerd rages it would be put down to the fact he is frustrated at the way his raid are playing and is probably right. Raffles is full of women, officers include Ren, Foxy, and Ama, and other senior members of Raffles like Herja, Marge, Danika, Nora all female and all of which are just as capable as the male members. I think only one of those started playing WoW because their partner did, which I find to be a common reason for women to get started in WoW.
However I have found playing with females that they can get bitchy and snidey in a way that the blokes just don't notice. I had an now female ex officer make really underhand and bitchy comments to me and my raid leading that only a women would understand. I say this as because when I pointed it out to my fellow male officers they just could not see what she was doing wrong. I chatted about it to a fellow female officer and she had noticed the same issues. It wasn't until the ex officer went mental and elitist and left the guild in a dramatic exit that everyone else realised. It was VERY frustrating and it was perfectly obvious that the blokes thought it was just a women overreacting.
I don't want to fit a stereotype here about girls and emotions,but I have cried once over WoW (sorry Ghunana). I could never ever ever get the hang of the Heigan Dance. After what must have been a million goes and my many deaths a fellow officer went bollo at me over vent and I ran off to my bed crying and refused to come back. We made up since then, and is one of my most favourite people in the game I have had the luck to meet, however I will always be reminded of that moment of weakness, my girlish emotions taking over whenever someone mentions that boss. I suppose to move into a gender equality in gaming, mmo's or WoW specific we need to look at the games themselves and how they portray influential women, and also help move the stereotype that only blokes play games. I love leading a guild, no one has complained (out loud) of our matriarchal dictatorship so far and I long may I hope it continue.
edit: Iggles and Luissa are not females. After all these years of playing with them. LOL.