I’m not a Prude.


Theres been a few things lately  in pugs – in scrub pugs,  even in a good guild pugs that have come up – that have made me feel defensive, embarrassed,  and trying to control a situation that could get out of hand.

There is no measuring stick to measure the discomfort level – but my indicator is usually the urge to quit group and flee to a pretty garden in Dalaran for some respite.

Language  – attitude – insults

I can go bosses without saying anything  in vent if I don’t need to and then when I say something like ” Skull – get out of the raid”  (I was healing deathwhisper trash)

/raid  Who’s the girl?

or a Pst “Are you the girl”

I will not be one of those girls afraid to speak because of the reactions – this whole girls do not play thing is so old  – and it’s not even funny anymore.  I love to talk yes!  but I won’t be too vocal in a bunch of strangers,   I am not going to invite you to my facebook,  or tell you anything beyond the city I live in .    Maybe I have been spoiled by being able to play with people for a long time where this was never an issue

One raid had been going fine,   it was getting later – maybe people got more relaxed – I hadn’t been really talkative – but I certainly had spoken – indication was I was the only girl in the 10 man that was mostly from one guild,  and  then the conversation turned, and I was asked  to be someones dishwasher.  Trying to keep it light, I said I hope  that it wasn’t because I was a female he expected me to wash his dishes – there was some laughter –  and further implication that I would come over to his place and wash his dishes,  so I said  that he was welcome to courier his dishes to me and I would put them in my own dishwasher – because I sure wasn’t handwashing his dirty dishes.

^^ that is me taking the joke – trying not to make a big deal of the blatant sexism. I mean we cop some flack  – expect it – don’t bite – blah blah.  It was me trying to say – yeah I can take a little bit of  a ribbing. 

Well it turns out dishwasher was an in guild joke of their’s that did not mean washing dirty dishes. One of them was kind enough to explain the joke.

To which I replied  how silly I felt – I then shut up for the rest of the raid,

It was actually embarrassing  knowing that they all knew what he was talking about – and here was me talking about  washing dirty plates – and it probably one of the few times I had felt like I was being insultingly objectified  – probably made more so because it wasn’t a joke I was included  on. I mean most of the time the jokes are to  just to get a reaction – and they are pretty lame.

Last night in a run I was told what a good sport I was for putting up with their jokes about women.   They were telling Women jokes because their Dead baby ones were out of line and I told them to stop those which they listened to.   The woman ones were easier to ignore – but I told one guy  I hope he was talking loud enough for his sleeping girlfriend to hear –  which would ruin any chances he had of getting laid for a month.

I feel like a prude sometimes – the mother hen clucking at  the uncivilised.  I don’t want to be a feminist ranting about how to treat girls  ( and each other) with respect –  no delusions about civilising the gaming world.  I mean even I tell people they are F’ken fail healers. – but you know when there is a line that is crossed, and I try not to be afraid of saying so. Even a simple.  ” Too far” can shut a conversation down. 

 I feel so much the hypocrite ( fixed) though for staying in a group that can turn my stomach with their language and behaviour.

But I don’t want to be the prude.

It’s a game – anonymity  makes it easier to be an Ahat – pretending to be / act out a persona that isn’t how you would react in real life –   but I would like to hope that  most of them   – had a mother – have had a girlfriend  – may have a wife  – wouldn’t dare to talk as they do in front of them.( Gamer sterotypes ignored here)

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32 Responses to “I’m not a Prude.”


  1. 1 Narx April 30, 2010 at 2:46 am

    I love hypercrits. They are super fast big crits!

    Sorry, its hypocrite.

    And I totally get what you are saying. I must admit, my raids can be off colour at times, and the language isn’t mild either, but I think we draw the line at gender based jokes. We might do “Yo momma” type stuff, some people drop the c-bomb, and if you ask anyone in our guild the tanks, the healers and the dps were all bought off eBay, but even though we are a bunch of guys, most of us are either also married, long term partners and the like.

    I think age has something to do with it as well. Most of us are 24-25+.

  2. 2 Moochew April 30, 2010 at 3:34 am

    I too assign much of it to age. The guild I’m in is mostly older (25+) age players, with quite a decent amount of female players. Unless it’s initiated by the women, there is a clear (but unstated) line that is drawn on what is and isn’t acceptable. Very very rarely does anyone ever need to tell a guildmate they’ve gone too far, because I think the general maturity level of our members is high enough that we know what is and isn’t appropriate.

    Having said that, I, too, am guilty of staying in a PuG raid with people who turn my stomach with their talk. I will usually wait until an opportunity presents itself and then belittle a person in such a way they have no comeback and just look like a tool. (more often than not, it’s 2-3 vocal people in a 10 man, or 4-5 in a 25 man PuG) If the people are fail players, however, I apply my “Three Strikes” rule. Three wipes due to stupidity and I’m gone, usually with a brief explanation of why.

    And completely aside from WoW or the nature of the joke, in ANY social setting, using an “In” joke on an outsider is just poor form. You don’t do it in real life without being considered a dick, and it’s no different in WoW.

  3. 3 Klepsacovic April 30, 2010 at 5:15 am

    ” I feel so much the hypocrite ( fixed) though for staying in a group that can turn my stomach with their language and behaviour.”
    Would you rather be the overreacting emotion woman who can’t take a joke? You cannot win against irrational people, so forget about them.

    Or counter every sexist joke with a “nail gun and balls” joke. I have to go weep in a corner now.

    • 4 Pugnacious Priest April 30, 2010 at 5:48 am

      then it makes me as bad as them – and makes the behaviour acceptable – and it perpetuates the need to one up the person – which will make it all the extreme ( and then become a b*tch fight)

      • 5 Narx April 30, 2010 at 6:24 am

        It’s okay.

        My wife constantly threatens my ‘bits’t with a cheese grater or potato peeler.

        There’s something to weep about in a corner.

        But in all seriousness I think people do need to watch their language in game, especially when in a pug.

  4. 6 Palaso April 30, 2010 at 5:38 am

    I looked for a while and found a guild with women officers. My daughter plays and I don’t have much tolerance if chat starts getting too sexist.

  5. 7 jimmie April 30, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Not seeing a lot of females while playing wow I am still sometimes shocked when I run into them. After getting to know them well I do make a lot off off color comments in vent, I mean nothing by it and I alwasy make sure they know that aswell as make sure they know all they have to do is tell me to stop for it to never happen.

    • 8 Pugnacious Priest April 30, 2010 at 6:22 am

      off colour is ok – it can be fun – ribald and a bunch of women in a vent channel can also produce some interesting things – but – yeah. Line. Not so easy to see sometimes

  6. 9 Dawn April 30, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Good and honest write up; I know how you feel. I used to be in a very distasteful male-only guild (I slipped in under their noses when they needed a priest and proved myself as a player before they found out I was female.) Some of the jokes were flat out inappropriate harassment, while most of them were what you described. I found the best thing I ever did was arm myself with a few good feminist jokes. Being able to snap back a friendly but biting joke about men is a good way to show you’re not a prude but also not a push over. My favorite:

    Hey, do you wanna know why women are so bad at math? (wait for response) Because men keep trying to convince us those dicks of theirs are 12 inches long.

    You can find some more jokes with google I’m sure.

    For me, any remark about ‘girl players are not as good as guy players’ is met with my trademark response: “Well yeah, you don’t have to deal with the girl debuff.” When they ask what that is I say: “You know, 7-day un-dispellable bleed effect. Shows up once a month.” If you can get this quest item: http://www.wowhead.com/item=19141 and link it in raid/guild chat as you say that it’ll make most guys go “ugh gross!” and shut them up.

    I sometimes also tease guys with something a little sexual. When they start making sexist jokes I say “Don’t make me get out my” then link this quest item: http://www.wowhead.com/item=24434/ (it’s alliance only – and perfect for a disco priest) This one ongoing gag used to drive my guild leader from that guild insane. As time passed, and I proved I could really play with the boys (as a player and with their jokes) he got super frustrated that all the guys in the guild had developed little crushes on me. After a while of that, you end up commanding a lot of respect, and when that happens the jokes become less frequent.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck and stay strong =) You’re at odds but I know you’ll tough it out. =)

    • 10 Xeppe May 4, 2010 at 3:29 am

      I utterly object to the idea that the best way to respond to offensive trash talk is with offensive trash talk or with man hate.
      Having said that, Dawn is probably raiding happily every night in a guild she feels comfortable with while I’m forever server and guild hopping looking for that elusive group of people that want to raid regularly and have the common courtesy to try and avoid offending anyone at all on the basis of gender, race, religion or sexuality.
      It IS possible to use WIT rather than degrading people in some way not-like-us to achieve humour. There ARE useful expletives that don’t involve the sex act or female physiology.

      WTB membership in Palaso’s guild.
      (Sorry if I’m narky,I just changed server AGAIN.)

  7. 11 Everblue April 30, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Posts like this depress me a bit. It’s a shame that you seem to be running into idiots all the time.

    I don’t think anyone should have to “play with the boys” – the boys just need to know that every girl has their own threshold for smutty humour and to stay on the right side of that. It’s something that the guys you raid with should have to learn – you shouldn’t need to change your behaviour.

    It’s not just girls who get flak – we have a gay guy in our guild who got a bit upset at some of our younger members’ off colour jokes. But, and here’s the difference, as soon as he came out on the forum he got sincere apologies from the people concerned and the jokes stopped.

    That’s why guilds are better than PUGs – there are nice people around. Find some nice people and raid with them.

  8. 14 pewter April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I posted on something like this yesterday – off colour jokes are one thing – degrading and disrespectful jokes are entirely another.

    Just because something IS THE NORM doesn’t mean it can’t or shouldn’t be changed. I’m under no illusions that the gaming world in general will change, perhaps even in my life time, but I’m sure as hell not going to let misogynistic stuff slide around me. It is a difficult thing – not wanting to be seen as a prude, or as over sensitive, but it is doable.

  9. 15 Cathy April 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I think folks online feel they have a sense of anonymity and they push the boundaries of what would normally would be socially unacceptable. I’m often shocked at what comes out of people’s mouths. Maybe because I’m a 45 year old woman or maybe my expectations are higher than they should be …not sure.

    Now I don’t mind poking some fun at stuff and yeah strange weird comments can be funny but its when the joke continues and gets bigger and its like who can make it the rudest or most barbaric is when I lose interest in what was once just a funny comment.

    In most raids now I know the fights well and will just hit mute if things get out of hand. For the most part though I do enjoy myself and this is not a super common thing to happen in my circle of players. Thank heavens:)

  10. 16 leah April 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

    wall of text inc.

    the problem with lines is that we all have different ones. dead baby jokes don’t bother me and gender jokes simply make me respond with my own set which may or may not be about the original gender of the conversation. I’ve taken to responding to “ru a gurl” with “negative, I’m a meat popsicle” which either confuses the asker or makes them laugh and diffuses the situation. comments on the quality of my voice however make me extremely uncomfortable. too much reliance on gearscore (too much being completely subjective of course – remember, different lines?) makes me livid as do any sort of insulting personal comments (like you are such a fail idiot waste of space, for forgetting to move out of that fire once, unexplained insults that are personally directed are even worse and they don’t have to be directed at me to piss me off)

    To me, the key is to know your personal lines and notify people when they are crossed. its not hysterical to have preferences, its normal to have buttons. but I don’t expect people to know mine before meeting me, just like I cannot possibly know which buttons other people have (and I’ve pushed quite a few in my day, often simply not yet knowing it was even a button) And if you try to thread on a side of caution and do nothing that can possibly be perceived offensive? you’ll probably just be a silent quiet mouse, not communicating with your group members at all.

    • 17 Pugnacious Priest May 1, 2010 at 2:37 am

      these were bad dead baby jokes – and yeah I see, make it bout something else, and not gender. Distract them, and no I will never be a silent mouse – much to self assured to be quite for long

  11. 18 Dunwich April 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    voice of a girl+nerd=nerdtacy

    in all my pugs every time a girl said something all the concentration goes down the toilett… sry… but dont forgett who is playing this game all day long… we are ugly… fat… have glasses… never saw a naked woman irl… tons of pr0n on our hds… laugh about words like… oh… i better stop here!

    and srsly… girls dont game… ITS A LIE!! A BIG FAT LIE!!!

    oh… and while we are at this point… THERE IS NO BIELEFELD!

  12. 20 Isa April 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I think it’s better to say something rather than worry about being seen as a prude. You’re not doing us guys any favors by playing along with behavior that makes you uncomfortable, by letting us get away with it we learn to keep doing it. Guys engaging in the behaviors you describe fall into one of three categories:

    A) Young guys who are still learning how to socialize in general (dumb kids)
    B) Guys who don’t know how to behave around women due to being socially awkward (dumb geeks)
    C) Guys who get used to being in an all guy environment and forget to moderate their behavior in mixed company (dumb all of us).

    Groups A and B need to learn better, so you’re doing them a favor by letting them know when they’re crossing the line. Even if they don’t understand it and call you a prude, if they get their hand smacked enough they’ll learn eventually. Group C knows better and probably doesn’t act like that in face to face social situations, and the reminder should stop the behavior without comment.

  13. 22 Elleseven April 30, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    What exacerbates me the most is the guys yelling “let’s rape them” in battlegrounds. It’s a disgusting horrible thing (rape) and it annoys me how trivialized this term has become. I hope to hell they aren’t desensitizing their small brains with this term.
    Usually it falls on deaf ears if anyone in the bg complains of using that word. The one that speaks up becomes the ridiculed one a lot of the time.

  14. 24 Shawndra April 30, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    The chat in guild chat and ventrilo leans toward the perverse in my Horde guild, but it stays just shy of that offensive line. I am lucky enough to be part of a guild full of 30+ players, who have significant others and kids. They know when enough is enough.

    I was in a pug just a couple of days ago on one of my alts. I felt lucky to be in the pug, and was pleasantly surprised with how well I was doing. I tried to turn of chat and focus on my performance, but the death knight tank continued to put down the other members of the team. Either their class sucked, or they sucked, or they were doing it all wrong. I finally had to excuse myself, admitting that I had kids that could read the garbage that was being written in party chat, and the fact that I was a woman and had to go make dinner. I can only imagine the comments that were made upon my departure.

  15. 26 Aqul April 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Yes, we all have lines that are different and unfortunately if people can’t see you (read body language) it’s hard for them to tell if they have crossed your line. So I find it’s best just to mention it in a calm clear way, not angry or defensive. If they come back with a rebuttal then I simply point out that it’s a MMORPG if they don’t like play by the limitations of others go play a single player game.

    On being a female. I grew up around men, I was the only girl with 7 boy cousins. I spent my summers on construction sites and shrimp boats. I now work in the auto industry. Every Thursday night is spent at dinner with 8+ males and 0 females. I am very hard to insult but if they do set me off they learn very quickly not to.

    In guilds after a week or so me being a “gurl” is not an issue. Though I used to PUG raid a lot and like you if I don’t have something to say I just don’t really talk. So usually about halfway through I make a comment and in rolls, “OMG sexy voice” “dude it’s a girl!!” “who was that… I feel the need to whisper that person my lame pickup lines.” My response is usually, the person who is kicking your male butts in dps, so why don’t we all shut up and focus.

    Frankly (Oddly), my biggest button is being asked “So you got into WoW because your boyfriend/husband plays right?” or the more presumptive “So who’s your boyfriend’s character?” Yes I understand that a large portion of females that play WoW were introduced to it by their SOs. However, that is no reason to assume that is why all females play. As a person who started gaming at a tender young age (NES, Space Invaders etc on my old Apple IIE… damn I miss that thing sometimes.), played table top RPGs, MUDs, etc I rather resent the fact that it’s assumed I couldn’t just like games because I find them fun.

    Ack sorry, tangent but one that was building up inside for a while. Feel free to ignore my mini rant. ^_^

    • 27 Pugnacious Priest May 1, 2010 at 2:09 am

      good point about the Non verbal communication we rely on to tell us if we have made someone uncomfortable. I’ve not gotten angry when telling them they have gone to far – because that would escalate it quicker – and as Klep said – you don’t want to be the ‘emotional’ female . Mostly just an appeal to their common sense. Come on guys. Thats enough. Or as I had to do the other night – save your dirty jokes for after we stop wiping – it does encourage distractions.

  16. 28 Bikutanda April 30, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I really hate it when sexism comes into play. Its just low-class, in my humble opinion.

    My guild has an age restriction of 25 years old. I enforce a PG13 standard. I ask that the members use language as when they are talking to their priest, or congressman, or parents.

    My guild has a makeup of 60% male, 40% female. The overall makeup of World of Warcraft is said to be 84% male 16% female. The median age is said to be 28.3 years old.

    • 29 Pugnacious Priest May 1, 2010 at 1:59 am

      Does it work? – I’m not adverse to having adult humor – but with so many different personalities can that sort of standard be consistent. It sounds like it would be a much more supportive and encouraging environment for the members though

  17. 30 Cassandri May 4, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Unfortunately I’ve been in that position many times. Usually I just withdraw and stop interacting/talking. I don’t want to ruin their fun, but it’s certainly not something that you can join in and have a laugh with – not if you’re the butt of the joke.

  18. 31 Katherine May 19, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    It only takes a few seconds to report someone, and in my experience Blizzard takes sexism and unnecessary rape comments seriously. The more people get reported, the worse their record will get and they will get suspended from WoW for it. It’s not something any of us should have to put up with. Unfortunately you can’t report someone for what they said in Vent.

    I’m lucky enough to always have other women in my PuGs when we’re using Vent.


  1. 1 Want more Women to play: Need more Women to lead. « Pugnacious Priest's Warcraft Blog Trackback on July 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm
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