A Single Gender Guild


Twisted Nether Blogcast interviewed Tristan from The Elitists Podcast   who while is accomplished in many things.  He  is also a member of a male only progression based guild.  He explains in the interview that the main reason, for the existance of this guild ‘s “Men only ” policy seems to be that it’s the men who cannot behave clear headed when women are involved, and it ‘protects’ women from the behaviour of the males in the guild.

Firstly as a disclaimer – I am not judging his decision to be in it, and also acknowledge that the guild is currently server first – and thus means that it does not seem to affect their performance in progression,  this isn’t so much a discussion of Tristan – but more so the existance and the performance of a guild with a clearly defined gender biased rule.

The feminist in me wants to scream out – that’s sexism! And app just to show them,  but really why would a girl want to be in a guild like that anyway – its already assumed that they would be entering a guild of immature males with an inability to handle interacting with women. Or just perhaps just no desire to interact with the female of the species while participating in WOW.

Most recreational activities like Sports teams are very much gender divided.  In tennis,  in basketball, in soccer.   Sure there are ‘mixed’ teams  but not many  ( if any at all) at a professional level. These however are usually physically demanding sports – and the idea of the gender divide is to allow for equal competition.  Women are physically weaker than men – it’s not sexism to say so.

However we can look at other non physical challenges

Chess – The European Team Chess Championships have  separate tournaments for men and women.  However according to Wikipedia  the World Chess Championship allows  both men and women –  and of note has not been won by a woman. Though there is a separate Women’s World Championship event. 

Poker championships are not as gender restrictive  as are creative pursuits such as Art awards,  or even commercial talent shows like Idol/Britain’s got talent  – men compete with women.

Most of those activities though are solo pursuits. I actually cannot think of  world recognised competition when a team of  mixed genders compete against each other  ( unless you bring the business world  or financial market into it)

What you want from your game will influence how you feel about male,  or female only guilds.   ( because yes girl only guilds exist as well and I would be remiss in not mentioning them)  I have not heard of a girl only decently placed progression guild though. 

We freely discriminate against younger players in guilds  placing age restrictions on guilds memberships, because we do not want to play with  ‘kids’

If you do not want to play Wow with girls  or boys then that its your choice.   ” Whats your game…”   Maybe they get their social interaction needs with females outside of the game, maybe they don’t need the interaction at all. 

I would like to  argue that it really doesn’t matter anyway because it’s really only on vent that real gender becomes clear, and I know as many quite guys on vent as there are quite girls. There has been no suggestion that boys are better at gaming.    

I will conclude with that if you are deliberately chosing to not to raid with girls then you are missing out.   Girls are just as smart and funny  as any boy, and if you can’t game with a girl  because of lack of self control,  how are you expected to function in the real world.  ( opps that may have been slightly judgemental – and completely dependant on your wish to actually be in the real world)

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38 Responses to “A Single Gender Guild”


  1. 1 tristanpej February 2, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Well don’t I feel special >_>

  2. 2 GeenLepel February 2, 2010 at 3:14 am

    I have no doubt girls can be as good of a raider as any other guy. But men usually flex epeens and it only takes a single inappropriate joke and then ladies will overdramatize it = guild drama = many /gquits = /gdisband.

    • 3 Ikuri February 2, 2010 at 4:11 am

      Let’s switch it around though. Would you feel this way about an all-female guild that excludes men based on them being a “distraction”, “immature”, “egocentric”, etc.? What if the all-female guild was decently ranked as far as server progression? Would you claim they were being “sexist” for excluding men?

      Speaking generally here, I think, as women, it’s all too easy to let our inner feminist blindly react to situations where we are are excluded, without really stopping to consider the situation. My understanding is that Tristan’s guild excludes women, not because they doubt a woman’s ability as a gamer, but rather because they would rather avoid some of the distractions and issues that can exist in a co-ed guild. It’s the same reason that all-female guilds exist. Same reason there are LBGT guilds, or guilds that are 18+ only, or guilds with strict RP policies.

      Sometimes it is easier for people to avoid a situation entirely by removing certain factors, rather than trust that others will behave appropriately. I don’t see a problem with that.

  3. 4 BAK February 2, 2010 at 5:30 am

    Death and Taxes, and I think Nilihum were women free guilds for a reason, exactly the same one Tristan has for keeping his guild male-only. The point that women make for distractions and drama is quite a good one, and sexism aside I’ve often considered a male only guild for exactly tihs reason. Distractions, drama, posturing, acting out – not to mention relationships forming and breaking and causing good raiders to leave are all issues that we’ve all experienced at one stage or another – this simply removes a potential source of this.

    At the end of the day people are free to do what they want, and there are plenty of other guilds out there if its not for you.

    • 5 Pugnacious Priest February 2, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      http://www.wowwiki.com/Guild:Ensidia_(Tarren_Mill_EU) has an explanation for Nihs Girls need not apply issue, apparently there was a girl in the guild – not sure if there is at the moment, Awake in the Radio interview on the female member controversy says “Anyone can be drama ” If you want to wrap someone in bubblewrap to remove any potential drama then – there needs to be no loot, no officers, no Gm, anything that creates a power or preference inbalance. Then we have no game. It does come down to choice though – but I would rather be in a guild where girls and boys are equal and welcome.

  4. 6 Geoff February 2, 2010 at 5:57 am

    I like mature guilds who don’t worry about their l33t raiders being ‘distracted’ or officers being bogged down by ‘girl drama’. I think the same things have been said in workplaces and we’re still trying to stamp out now. If I ever hear someone say women are not good programmers or do poorly at 3d art I don’t let them have the last word.

    Interesting… even the “World Bridge Federation” has a women’s division.

  5. 7 gevlon February 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

    It’s rather immaturity control system, than sexist system and it’s based on the fact that maturity correlate little with game skill. So if you collect the best WoW skilled people into a guild, 30-40% of them will be immature.

    Immature men want to amuse women, no matter the cost (here the cost is wipefest).
    Immature woman can’t handle inappropriate jokes and go emo (proper handling: “do that to your mother as no one else wants to do it with you”)

    If one goes for firsts, he may believe that he can’t afford to restrain himself to mature people, as unfortunately there are too few female gamers. As long as there are more “immature males ingame” than “mature females ingame” having a male-only guild is better for progression.

    Not like I would want to be with one, not because of the lack of females but because of the presence of the “meg fox so hot wanna do her lololol” people.

    • 8 Pugnacious Priest February 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

      Interesting Idea, that those who excel / are in the top gaming skill bracket are more likely to be immature and if you want the best then you take and accept the immature behaviour of them to achieve results. Of course that would placing a sterotype on all gamers in the top brackets – and the assumption that they are immature and much like saying saying women are more likely to cause the most drama. I see what you did there…

  6. 9 Cassandri February 2, 2010 at 7:16 am

    I’ve met some very cute, very sweet fitness instructors that are personally offended that Fernwood (an Australian, womens only gym) are in business. So the gender thing cuts both ways.

    I have no problem with the idea of a boys only guild. I actually find it pretty assuming to imagine one girl saying over vent “oh my gosh, almost forgot to buy reagents” (or something equally mundane) and having a whole bunch of boys lose the plot.

    It’s funny hehe.

    • 11 Pugnacious Priest February 2, 2010 at 11:21 pm

      I also know of some gyms in Oz having women only areas to make it more appealing on the grounds of religion / comfort – I’d more more worried about the business model of a woman only Gym – will they survive? It does make womens lib a little bit of a joke when we want equality – yet also want female only businesses.
      I found the guys who lose the plot like that in vent are also the ones jumping round the instance doing other silly things though and being a general immature idiot – so if it weren’t for the girl they would be losing the plot over something else.

  7. 12 Dominus February 2, 2010 at 7:59 am

    “Most of those activities though are solo pursuits. I actually cannot think of world recognised competition when a team of mixed genders compete against each other ( unless you bring the business world or financial market into it)”

    Korfball springs to mind, a very popular sport here in Holland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korfball

    A team consists of four men and four women. Not an Olympic event, but there are european and oceanic-asian championships.

    • 13 Pugnacious Priest February 2, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Cheers for that Dominus, I hadn’t heard of it, and they even have teams in Australia.. but.. “but duels are man to man and woman to woman” at least for the physical side, but it’s still a great example of men and women working together in a recreational activity

  8. 14 leah February 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    majority of teamsports depend on similar physical condition and capability of its teammates. you need to have all your links in the chain to be of similar strength and alloy, or the chain will break. Women ARE different from man..physiologically and anatomically anyways. SO I can completely and totally understand when physically demanding sport has female and male divisions, to give both sexes more even and more fair competition. I don’t get it for things like poker though. Or chess. or WoW.

    To may, saying that we don’t except women to protect THEM? cop out and a coverup. But I guess I can also see a viability of taking an easy way out when it comes to a leisure activity. but I still cannot support it, personally, sorry. discrimination is discrimination, no matter how you dress it up. and it goes both ways too, btw, I’m just as annoyed by all female guilds.

  9. 15 Brajana February 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I have no problem with single gender guilds. WoW is a very social game. For me, raiding is very similar to having a night in with a group of friends. Sometimes I like to have ‘girls night’ at home, and lots of guys like to have a ‘boys night’, and this is no different. Sometimes it’s just a relief to get away from real life and hang out with friends of your own gender, no one can deny that having fun with a group of your own gender is different from a co-Ed group.

    • 16 Tristan February 2, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Extra pancakes for you.

    • 18 Ophelie February 3, 2010 at 12:06 am

      This is exactly how I see single gendered guilds too. Some people just like having “time with the guys” or “time with the girls” and there’s nothing wrong with that. I actually kind of wish I had a part time girl guild because, while I have no problem listening to “guy talk”, I find it sad that I’m not really allowed any “girl talk” at all in WoW.

      What irks me is when single gendered guilds use excuses like “the other gender doesn’t play as well” or “the other gender brings drama”. Judge the player, not the gender!

  10. 19 Klepsacovic February 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Being restrictive like that is only good for one type of guild: One filled with immature people with delusions of greatness but no ability to innovate.

    For more normal guilds, restricting by sex means losing potential needed players. For guilds that really are hardcore progression guilds, the type that make their own strats, restricting means cutting out an entirely different type of brain. It means losing that much creativity and diversity of thought, which would be pretty stupid to do.

  11. 20 crankyhealer February 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    It’s silly, but it’s their social club. The reasoning is stupid (distraction by ZOMG FEMALE VOICE = BEWBZ), but to a certain extent, single gender education uses that same reason. Boys (and girls) can “be themselves” around same gender in the way they can’t in a mixed-gender environment.

    The justification for all-female universities is that women tend to be “beat to the punch” by aggressive males in the classroom, and if you take away those aggressive males, women are able to get more out of their classroom time.

    Boys can “be themselves” during guy poker night, where they can burp, fart, and scratch with reckless abandon – which they would not do in mixed-gender poker night. They’d be concerned that they had hat-hair, and would be sure not to make rude comments. Ok, yeah, nobody can hear you burp over vent unless you PTT, but still, the logic is sound.

    • 21 Pugnacious Priest February 2, 2010 at 11:39 pm

      There’s been a few studies on the pro’s and con’s of single sex education, and I don’t agree with it, just at least on the social side, and I think how important it is to learn to interact with people of all backgrounds/genders so that they learn the appropriate ways to behave in the real world, but as for the being themselves I would have thought given that they wanted to be seculuded from girls because they cause distractions so they can concentrate more on serious matters, that burping and farting in vent would equally as distracting, and even more so cause there wouldn’t be a female voice that says ” Guys.. really.. “

  12. 22 Alii February 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    It’s a pretty sad state of affairs where there are official policies saying that girl’s can’t join because guys suck at maturity. That means that beyond the ‘girl’s can’t play/girls are dramawhores’ sexism, there is also a men-can’t-trust-other-men misogynist implication too. When even /men/ think that men fail at maturity that’s not the kind of environment I want to be playing in.

    Another point, though, is that women are still gaining traction as a group in MMOs. Yes, women have been playing since the beginning of online multiplayers (go Mu*s!), but in smaller numbers. Now that that’s changing there’s still only a fraction of the larger group of women who have the drive and desire to raid competitively (same as only a fraction of men want to raid competitively). On a community level, that means a smaller pool of personalities to mesh with the group. So even if they let women in, there would be fewer simply because of the current gender ratios within WoW. (As far as I know, at least. :) I don’t think the ratio is 50/50 yet.)

    I’ve seen more raiding guilds blow up because of GuyDrama then GirlDrama, though. It’s like every time a woman sneezes she’s accused of drama representative of her gender when a guy who’s a dramallama is simply an immature individual.

    I think forming a communities is a good thing, however. Girls-only/LGBTQ/etc guilds are a backlash against the boy’s-club mentality, but it’s also rather relieving not to have to bother with the low-grade, prevalent *isms that are hard to avoid in social games.

  13. 23 weenie February 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    In our guild, there are probably only 5 female members, including myself. Those members who have been drama queens and had hissy fits/left the guild, bitched, etc have all been male….

  14. 24 (un)Holy Dueg! February 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    It’s not always about how women act or how men act, because there are certainly exceptions to the rule. I recently played a poker night where two female friends were in attendance and they brought up some pretty raunchy stuff and totally kept up with the guys as far as cursing and beer drinking and what not. But since we were all friends and had a rapport with each other, no one was distracted or particularly shocked by the somewhat vile stuff coming from them.

    However, online it can be different and usually it’s more the fault of the guy because they see a woman acting anyway other than disinterested in conversation as an invitation for clumsy come on lines. Not everyone, of course, but often enough that it can ruin a guild if the wrong mix of members is in it. Something like this males only guild is interesting, but I feel like they could possibly make one or two exceptions and still hold the integrity of the guild together.

    Either way, the battle of the sexes rolls on.

  15. 25 Guest February 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    This is pretty flat-out insane and repulsive. If you only allow men, and the reason is that romance could lead to drama, do you also ban gay men?

    Frankly if you’re restricting to straight men, you may as well go ahead and also require “white” and hit the trifecta.

  16. 26 Andrei February 8, 2010 at 4:50 am

    What exactly was the purpose of the OP. You start by saying it’s an objective look at Tridtans choice. You follow up by citing tons of irl situations where the same rules apply. You furthermore agree with them… And then finish off by saying fuck you and you fail URL if you can’t handle co ed guilds. Are u on meds?

    • 27 Pugnacious Priest February 8, 2010 at 5:31 am

      Yeah a troll! I’m on the pill, but besides oversharing thats the only meds I’m on.
      I guess I was trying to point out that the more serious of the recreational activities people particpate in are very much gender divided. However in gaming no one is brave enough to suggest that boys are better at gaming – it’s not a physical task, so there is really no valid reason for the sexes to be segregated so. I haven’t even began to discuss long term potential social issues that could result of extended periods of male ‘bonding’ I do believe that you are missing out. The real world requires that you interact with men and women, and gamers already have an anti social image to contend with. And Fcking them all would cause more drama.

      • 28 Andrei February 9, 2010 at 12:41 am

        Guess the thoughtless rants seemingly justified these days by the word “blog” brings out all the trolls. What I’m not seeing is where in the world your assumption that Tristan lacks the balls to say females gamers aren’t good enough is coming from. He said that his guild is male only in order to prevent drama which they have all probably witnessed happen. Why are you so insistent that the real underlying reason is mysoginistic? Since when does playing video games have to facilitate life improvement of social skills? All of a sudden guilds are supposed to mirror companies that way we can ensure that playing the game will inevitably lead towards learning how to act irl social situations? Apparently your time spent in mixed gender guilds and irl has made you a mindless feminazi that rants on blogs and sews into every statement made by a man, the idea that he is obviously a spineless social failure trying to dominate by force the entire population of women.

        • 29 Andrei February 9, 2010 at 12:56 am

          And as a side note, I will say it. I don’t care who I’m playing with as long as they are as good as me. I can garauntee I’ve been playing wow and other mmo’s hardcore longer than 99% of the posters here or on most mmo sites. And while I obviously can’t automatically say just bc you are a woman you are going to suck… I can point out a very nasty correlation to being a woman a sucking balls at PVP/ intense mmo situations. This is merely an observation, and yes stereotypes can be warranted.. It’s just not fair to judge someone based on it. I give all people a fair shake.. And I even tolerate a few sub par players if they are just nice to hang out with in vent. But hands down… Until now i have not been impressed with the female side of the mmo world. Especially in pvp in wow. Shadowbane had some badass chicks… But wows casualness has brought a lot of scrubs to the keyboard.

        • 31 Pugnacious Priest February 9, 2010 at 1:50 am

          Blogging isn’t journalism – you don’t need to take what I say seriously, and you came back because you hoped I would bite. I think we worked out just from the other comments, that girl drama is not the only drama in a guild, it seems silly to try and bubblewrap your gaming experience by removing, one of many causes of drama, and boy drama – epeen drama what ever you want to call it is as prevailant as girl drama. Above all – it’s your game – play how you want – with who you want, how you want ect ect. I still hold, that I think anyone who choses to segregate themselves into a single gender guild is missing out.

          I know responding may fuel this further, but I am not going to delete your commentss, your opions are just as valid as I believe mine are, but I do take slight offence to being called a feminazi

  17. 32 Beau February 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    So it is a.. gay only guild, hmm?:-)

  18. 33 Marrilyn February 24, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I read this and my first reaction, as a woman irl, is that it is offensive. I’m a good raider, much better than my husband actually. However, I belong to a female toons only guild called Fights Like a Girl. Many of the toons are played by men irl, but the toons must be females. All female guilds are thought nothing of, but if the boys are not letting the girls in we all get our panties in a bunch. Now what I’m not clear on though is if they only allow in male toons or only allow people who are male irl. If it is the later, now that is a different story and a load of crap. I don’t think the guild drama issue is exclusive to women being offended, it is just personality.

    I read this every now and then about men being better at the intense situations. Here is my theory: It is more socially acceptable for men to sit on their asses and do nothing but game all day. I have a house full of children, a husband, and a job. My main is ready for ICC but she has not gone yet. I just did uldaur for the first time this month. Her gear is only so good thanks to the new random dungeons and a few runs through TotCR. I cannot sit at the computer all night long every night, and quite frankly I think people who do are kind of sad. Beyond family responsiblities, I go to the gym, I have meals to prepare. I think that more men sit here on their 300 pound behinds while barely lifting a finger to grab a donut and a soda between bosses so they become more skilled and think they have one up on us. It is more acceptable for men to be sedentary lumps. How many husbands do you hear complain about their wives not getting dinner cooked because of a raid? Me either! But, we all know plenty of wives who report being wow widows.

    Let the boys have their club. My money would be on they are the type who judge their worth by their wow toon and couldn’t run a mile even if the police were chasing them. You won’t find me being envious of their group!

  19. 34 Isho March 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    I would like to listen to the interview this threat is all about – what episode was the interview in?


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