I was reading your latest post, about having the word ‘Chick’ in your blog title, and I was inspired to write you a letter, since this is way too long for a comment on the post.
I know that you wrote your post as a response to Brajana at Mend Pet, who wrote her own thoughts on why some bloggers put words in the title of their blogs when they create them, emphasizing the fact the writer is female. As you mention, words such as “Lady”, “Chick” and so forth.
“The thing is – I don’t see what the big deal is about being a female geek. I (obviously) do not have a problem with female gamers OR female bloggers. But I don’t understand why some women seem to think this is such important distinction for their blog.”
I can certainly see why you’d feel the desire to respond to it, no matter how well written or friendly the tone. And it is a good question to ask in this day and age.
It seems people forget that the way it is NOW ain’t the way it always was. And that statement up there shouldn’t read ‘why some women seem to think’, as much as ‘seemed to think’, since like many others you’ve been writing for quite some time now.
Heck, you made the decision on your blog title long, long before Mend Pet was just a twinkle in a Hunter’s eye (Sept of 2007, to be exact)… and the tone in the game and on websites was a bit different back then. And when you take into account that Breana started to play WoW in 2005, boy the tone aruond here has changed! (Oh yeah, and not a stalker, you said so on Matticus’ interview).
But I’ll get back to that thought in a moment.
When I first saw a link to your blog at Big Red Kitty, I loved the idea of the Gun Lovin’ Dwarf Chick. The banner picture rocked, too, but the blog title grabbed my sense of humor immediately. And once I got to know Pookie, I had to stay.
I love the point you make in your reply to Brajana that there is a big choice when creating a blog, as to whether you choose to name it for a topic of discussion, or whether you will name it based on who is doing the talking.
Your name does exactly what you say you wanted; it tells someone visiting that it’s going to be written by a gun *(and fun) lovin’ dwarf chick with a damn good, if possibly quirky, sense of humor.
And I think you successfully bring that every time you post.
When I visited your blog for the very first time I came with certain expectations from that name… expectations I felt would not be met, because that name was just too awesome to be real. It’s a lot to live up to.
I’d have to say that you not only met them but far surpassed them… but it says a lot that after I read your first posts, there was no question as to whether the title fit the blog, or the blogger.
AS to the issue of having blogs with gender identifiers in them… yeah, I said I’d get back to this.
I think that the discussion only has a home now, because of the very fact that you and so many other female gamers stepped up, unafraid of being mocked by morons or of even acknowledging their existence, and made your own blogs that specifically said “I am a gamer AND I happen to be a female. So what? What exactly is your point?”
You could have used any number of names for a blog, and made it all about the topic and not about you. That’s cool, there is nothing wrong with that, not at all.
But at the time your blog was created, and before that for others, the voice most commonly heard in WoW was that of the young male geek jackass that would loudly deny the very possibility of women playing games, let alone (Heaven forbid!) playing them damn well.
We had posts on blogs about encounters folks had in game with the usual jerkoffs that thought that every female character was played by a guy, since “everyone knows girls don’t game”. Idiots.
We had posts about how women either do or do not get treated differently in guilds once someone hears them in vent and knows “Omigod it’s a real girl! For reals!” And we had quite a few people admit that they don’t speak in vent because they just don’t want to deal with the hassle.
It was a big issue due to the very real annoyance, and it was talked about a lot.
I read the WoW blogs these days, and it seems to me that, compared to when all this WoW blogging craze kicked off, the overall tone of blogs, and their content, has matured dramatically. And I mean mature as in “learned from the past, gotten past youthful exuberance, settled down and taken to writing well presented, thought out, reasoned and informative articles.”
I am, of course, not including myself in this. I remain a random idiot. I’m almost forty. Did you really think that in a year of blogging I was going to grow up? Nope, this is me. Don’t pity me, pity my wife, she’s stuck with this. At least, she is so long as I hide the ammo, have our son taste my food first, keep the knives dull and sleep light.
And at the same time, I think the attitude of the gamer-that-you-meet in WoW has, on the average, also matured considerably. All this stuff has been pushed out into the open, and these idiots have been mocked. LOUDLY.
So, yeah, back in the dark days of WoW blogging, you put who you were right out front, with pride.
And I think that it is because you and other female gamers put your gender into your blog titles, and have afterwards shown so clearly that what gender you are has nothing whatsoever to do with how skilled you can be at playing a game OR enjoying the Roleplaying or PvP or raiding or whatever you want to do, that Brajana now has the luxury of wondering “what’s with all the bloggers calling themselves chicks or girls? It’s so not necessary.”
No, Brajana, it’s not. But at one time… at one time, it was a big thing, at least to me. It was coming out and saying “Just because my toon has a female name doesn’t mean I’m a guy, damnit. And when you read what I have to say on a blog, judge it based on it’s merits, but when you log into the game don’t be surprised when Breana kicks your ass in PvP, noob. She’s been doing it for a long time now, and she’s damn good at it.”
I want to give a big thank you to every single blogger, no matter who you are or what gender, or what class or spec or topic or style, that writes what YOU think, HOW you want, and keeps coming back to do it again whether you get 1 comment or 50, or 1 reader or 5 million.
And most especially, a big thank you to Breana, for being yourself.
I do feel that it is mainly because of you all that so many people in the game have just, well… grown up, damnit.
And I also think that it is because so many of you blogged openly and happily about having fun and kicking ass, that my wife was willing to give the game a try. After all, clearly if YOU enjoy it, then the stereotype of the game being ONLY for young male immature asshats must not be true. Right?
Whether you know it or not, you are an inspiration to others.
So really. Thank you.
I had been looking for a Hunter guide to crafted, badge reward, and Kara/Heroic gear this morning when I came upon Breana’s post. It prompted me to write a reply, and then after I posted it I got back to reading Hunter blogs looking for one that has the work done for me.
There are tons of awesome Hunter blogs, surely ONE did a nice gear guide for the BM Hunter that wants to know what to look for as the best goals if you can get badges, Kara gear, Heroic boss drops, and crafted stuffs.
Oh crap, let me guess, I just posted about something two days after someone already covered it. /Sigh.
Yep. And from his post, I followed it to the one that inspired him, A Girl, a Gun and a Striped Cat (love that name, by the way), who in fact seems to be saying, from her own personal, direct experience, that, at least in the game, things are utterly unchanged. People in the game are apparently still sexist asshats.
So, I am full of BS. Now, this ain’t exactly news, but rarely have I been PROVEN to be full of BS in quite so short a timespan. I mean, I publish a post, read a blog, and boom. Proven.
Not to mention that 35 Yards Out links to Critical QQ, who has recently said his own big thank you to female bloggers.
Do I need to mention that everyone involved has been far more eloquent than I am?
Well, at least I can send you to three people who really are talented. Go shoo!