Thursday, September 27, 2012

The World According to Xak (WARNING)

Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not read if you are still in the reverie and sheer nectar-colored joy that is Pandaria. You have been warned.

Editor's Note:
I am dead serious. I am posting this against my better judgment. In the name of fairness, however, I am the one who suggested the topic in passing conversation. I may lose you all as friends, or you may question my sanity, but in reading this treatise, he does make some interesting points. One cannot completely remove human interactions in this very human realm. We all know couples who have met and married, who have broken up, who have caused issues in one way or another because of their own gender reflections.

So--this is my first, and maybe my last--guest blogger, Xak. He is a smart, smart young man. And maybe I'll get some interesting searches like Tome does.

Women of WoW Are Slutty Insecure Nymphos
Since a majority of this will be written from atop my high horse, I think it's important to begin with a bit of exposé to build a touch of credibility.  In life, I have a mix of positive and negative qualities.  I go to the gym enough to be in good shape, but not enough that I am in danger of having my abs put on billboards to sell underwear.  I have enough money to be secure but not enough to impress anyone.  I am smart but I have a hard time not being a condescending dick about it.  So on and so forth.  This leads to mixed results with regards to hitting on women.  Some of them look at the pros/cons and decide that their personal weighing of the various qualities leads them to saying "yes" to questions like "want to get a drink later?" while others say things like "no".  However, one of the things in the "pro" column is my voice, it's dead sexy.  When I get on vent, the only quality that women get to "see" is the sexy voice.  This leads to a considerably higher success rate with regards to getting positive attention from women.  I love this.  I know it happens, I exploit it to the fullest and I don't give a damn what it says about my character or lack thereof.

So... I get it, I'm not saying that I'm above it, or it solely affects women.  However, the circumstances that surround the average WoWite male and the average WoWite female are different and this particular heap of cerebral discharge is regarding the fairer sex.
After doing a pug raid recently, a friend asked me about a girl I had encountered during the raid, I replied, "she sounded like a textbook fatty."  He retorted with, "hey now, there's nothing wrong with being fat."  (In the interest of sidebars, this guy is something like 98 lbs soaking wet with a brick in each hand.)  I came back with, "no, there is nothing inherently wrong with being fat (assuming you don't mind assuming the health risks I suppose) but girls who are fat or even just fear that people might think she is fat, tend to exhibit similar pathologies, particularly where WoWites are concerned."  All he had for that one was, "good point." (For a bit of context, the friend is going to school to be a head doctor, so he knew what I was talking about without me having to do any in-depth explaining, since I assume a majority of people who read this will not be head doctors...)
An overwhelming majority (let's conservatively put it around 95%) of the women I have encountered in my WoW experiences have had very little confidence (funny enough, men seem to divide into "not confident" and "supremely confident for no good reason" but that's a completely different post.)  Maybe it is because they are fat.  Maybe it is because someone told them that they are fat.  Maybe they are uncomfortable with some other aspect of their body.  Maybe they have had terrible luck with asshat menfolk.  Maybe it was the classic "daddy doesn't love me enough."  (Because I cannot get enough of parenthetical statements, I am fairly confident that if a man locked his daughter into a room and stared directly at her for 18 years, some women would still feel they had received inadequate attention but I digress once again.)  The reasons are many and varied but the result is the same.  These women take their low-self image into WoWland and discover a type of male attention they have never before encountered.  Watching the results of this new attention is a fantastic spectator sport for me.*
Every woman reacts differently; that being said, by painting with a broad enough brush, I can more or less classify a majority of my encounters in 3.5 categories.
Internet Slut: These girls love the attention and go out of their way to act out fantasies that they would never had the stomach for in reality.  Being overtly sexual over VOIP, teasing, throwing their femininity around like a bull in a china shop, etc.  We've all seen them, if we haven't been in a guild that's been broken up by one, we've heard of someone who has.  I love joining a pug with one of these girls in it, they are grand fun in small doses.  I would never invite one into my real raid, they rapidly become tedious.
Recluse/Man Pretender:  Some women cannot handle the newfound attention.  Some are victims of creepy stalker assholes.  I am certain other causation exists but the result is that they either hide their femininity or pretend to be a man.  They are typical extremely reticent to talk over VOIP, often play male toons, shy away from discussions that even obliquely touch on sexuality, etc.
Guilty pleasure/Well adjusted: (Obviously, I have to start out with the admission that I put myself in the man version of this category.  So I think I am reasonably well adjusted, sue me.)  Some of these women attach a lot of shame to how much pleasure they get out of the male attention.  They feel guilty when they discover they like being the only woman in the raid, afraid that it displays unkind things regarding their character.  It is also worth noting, these women are often married and have a difficult time reconciling the enjoyment of male attention and the Hallmark notion that love shuts off biology.  Even unmarried women often struggle to reconcile the notion that male attention is good with the cultural assumption that any woman who gets a lot of male attention is a filthy harlot.  The reason I gave this 1.5 categories is because this can really cover a wide continuum between the shameful feelings and well adjusted enjoyment of the bonus attention; enough that I could imagine an argument for a separate category but not so much that I felt it warranted a solid fourth.
Which brings me to the real fun bit, what the hell is the point of all this blather anyway?  Well, firstly, a friend asked me to write this and it sounded like fun, so what the hell right?  But moreover, there is a public service announcement to be had here.  The obvious one is for the girls.  You do not need to be the biggest internet slut ever to enjoy these attentions, you will get a boost in the attention department in the short-run but you will shoot yourself in the foot in the long run.  You also do not need to veer to the other extreme, plenty of women enjoy the game without hiding their gender or fighting off creepo stalkers twenty-four/seven.  You do not even need to be ashamed of enjoying the attention, as long as you recognize it for what it is and enjoy it as such.
That is all well and good of course but it is also a bit of a red herring.  The real public service announcement is for men.  However, this one requires a bit of context to really fully appreciate it.  There was a time when I was younger that I could not imagine being insulted by being hit on.  I am a pretty open minded fellow in general, it never bothered me when women I found unattractive hit on me, to the contrary, I found it flattering.  I was even flattered when gay men hit on me.  I am as straight as they come but I was happy to take their approaches as flattery as well.  I could never understand it when women talked about being creeped out by a guy hitting on them.  Then I was in a porn store one night when a man approached me.  It is very hard to capture the exact feeling for someone who has not been there, but this man veritably oozed slimy.  He made some kind of crude pass at me and it was immediately crystal clear what women had been talking about all those years, this guy was (and I think I have showcased my vocabulary enough here that you can trust me when I say, there is simply no other way to adequately express this) fucking creepy as hell.
At the end of the day, the point is, "do not be that guy."  Have some empathy.  Understand that even if a woman is acting like the biggest internet hooker in the known universe, she is most likely struggling to explore how men react to her.  Even if she is pretending to be a man, she is (likely) not a transvestite, just afraid.  If you lack the life experience to empathize, make a female toon and pretend to be a chick for a week.  Take all the sleazy, creepy, unpleasant come-ons you get and build yourself a damn filter.
--Xak, Smarty-Pants Extraordinaire, Esq.

Postscript: I'm too tired for a rebuttal tonight, but rest assured, there will be one.

12 comments:

  1. It's unfortunate that any good points he might have made about the harassment that women gamers experience are completely marred by his rampant sexism and misogyny. I'm not sure if you were looking for linkbait here Matty, or whether you wanted to have honest discourse. But honestly, I cannot even think to waste time dissecting his points in a genuinely critical fashion.

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    1. And to Cuppy: your comment was a fair assessment, but I was joking. If anyone writes the word “draenei” on any published materials they will be guaranteed to get more link trolling than anyone can possibly want. I have had searches that have burnt off my mascara. But – perhaps I was partially motivated by seeing what it would be like to post something provocative, just to see what it’s like.

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  2. Considering that "Synchronised Swimming Nude Accident" gets the top traffic it certainly doesn't hurt to show a little leg once in a while, lol.

    To Mr. Smarty Pants, really, who knew. Had no idea all this was going on. Not ever being on vent everyone out there is just a person to me, some dicks, some not. No female/male, black/white, fat/thin, yada yada and so on. Whatever. I think I'll continue with my head in the sand approach, too much labeling makes my head hurt. I'll just stick to jackass/not jackass.

    Can't wait for your rebuttal Matty!

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  3. Oh and wait, I have to say this revealed much more about the writer than it shed any light on female behavior, lol.

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    1. (spit take with coffee)

      Indeed, Tome.

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  4. Xak, I'm glad you wrote that, and someday, you're going to be glad you wrote it too.

    You come across as such an ignorant twit, dripping with a sense of how keenly observant and brilliant you are at having made these startling discoveries, that your post dives head first into self-satire.

    I don't have to make any point by point criticisms, either. You wrote it, if that's how you truly think without trying to be trollbait, hey, all you'll do is feel confronted and get argumentative and defensive about it.

    Instead, really, I have this advice for you.

    Save this post of yours. Stick it on your hard drive, and then leave it there for ten or twenty years.

    Once a LOT of time has passed, open it and rediscover what you REALLY thought when you were the age you are now.

    If you experience any real personal growth, or acquire any real-world life experience over the years, you will be so impressed with your own growth compared to the dumbass you are now, you'll feel awesome.

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  5. I got only a couple dozen words into it before TL;DR kicked in. Oh well. There's plenty of interesting things to read that there's no need to waste my time on this. Zek can say what he wants, but I moved on, read the next post and then decided to come back here and post this. Curiously I had no trouble reading the subsequent post by Matty.

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  6. Anonymous29.9.12

    I know this man. Xak. And I personally LOVE this. If you cant read this and think in your head (being female as I am) which one does he see me as.... You have no since of humor! I have played this game for 4 years. I have encountered many people male and female in each of the points he put people in. Its an opinion. You should have him write more. :) My fondest raid with xak was when he basically told the whole raid he wanted to microwave babies. Do I think he ever would? LOL hell no but Loved it all the same. Anyways. Guys can learn something from this and I hope alot of people read this. A friend posted it on my FB or I probley would of never seen it.

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  7. Well, as a writer, this can go down two paths:
    1. Respond in a whole new post
    2. Respond in a comment.

    Okay, so go down option 2.

    I tried not to make this about Xak. The thing is, those of us who have been around the block or two have refined our filters. We are better equipped to navigate the waters of the opinions and cults of personalities. I, for one, have enjoyed my friendship with Xak - his ariticulation about a wide range of subjects and our discourse on just about anything enlightens and challenges me. Due to filtes, however, many will immediately dismiss the above treatise as "not their cup of tea."

    But this is not about Xak.

    What this about refers to his last paragraph: At the end of the day, the point is, "do not be that guy." Have some empathy. Understand that even if a woman is acting like the biggest internet hooker in the known universe, she is most likely struggling to explore how men react to her. Even if she is pretending to be a man, she is (likely) not a transvestite, just afraid. If you lack the life experience to empathize, make a female toon and pretend to be a chick for a week. Take all the sleazy, creepy, unpleasant come-ons you get and build yourself a damn filter.

    Do not be that guy.

    And if you encounter those guys, learn how to filter.

    Do not be that guy who is uses his own manipulative or dodgy skills with others to harass or otherwise abuse, and even exploit others for one's own 'entertainment."

    If you're trolling Facebook, or MMOs, or even bashing or griefing in Minecraft, you're trying on, or perfecting the role, of "asshat." I had a great conversation with leet druid about this whole issue, and his point-of-view and perspective as a long time player in WoW is that trolls are trolling statements they do NOT believe in real life -- that is the very definition. So, for one who is stepping the waters of RP as a 'good guy,' there are those who are pretty great in real life who may be trying on the "asshat" chapeau to see if it fits.

    We adults have gotten it. But many kids haven't.

    So, to those who are entertained by the fight club 'post it on Facebook cause it's funny' or troll a player in trade chat:

    Stop it. Asshats are always ugly.

    And "a lot" is two words. Even Hyperbole and a Half says so: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html

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  8. Avila1.10.12

    [In the interest of full disclosure, I have 'met' Xak socially on one occasion. I am also a woman.]

    My initial reaction to this post was laughter. I found it very funny that Xak's credentials to write this piece were that he takes care of his physical body. (To me, that's akin to a chef claiming he knows a lot about farming because he can make a mean quiche.) I got over those initial reactions quickly, however, because I got to the part where he speaks of his "sexy" voice and immediately wondered why I had not picked up on that. But enough of this surface commentary, let's get to the heart of the matter: Were there points of merit, or was it just vitriol from a jilted soul?

    His first point (not counting his show of bravado {if the first parenthetical comment bothers you, just know I was once a member of a step team called 'Saunter for Salubrity' and if I could get over that, you can get over this}) is that ALL women in WoW have low self-esteem. Now, I take umbrage at this statement first as a woman and second as someone with a relatively high self-esteem. Stating ALL women are a certain way (aside from maybe at one point having a uterus) is a bit of an overreach. Even accounting for his impeccable aptitude at measuring self-confidence from afar, it is still hard to believe.

    The next point comes from paragraph 6 (or 7 if you disagree with my discounting a stylistically spaced sentence as a paragraph) -women need to behave. This I could not agree with more, but do not think is limited to the WoWsphere or to the female gender. There are people everywhere that need to behave. So, if you limit the scope to the title of the post then I guess that's a point for Xak. (Unofficial score: 1-1)

    The last point is the service announcement for guys, to basically not be dicks or think with their penises. (Is it appropriate to write dick and penis here?) To which I say, "Bravo." That puts us at 1-2 and has me on the losing end even though I didn't know I was playing...

    One last thing before I go: Comments are the best part of blogs. Hands down. (Not this comment so much, but the others.)

    TL:DR
    Xak is an arrogant pisser (Britain is a funny place.), but a funny one so we should let that slide. Everyone (online and off) needs to learn some manners and behave. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones or walk around naked (unless they are unseasonably attractive).

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    1. I am such a coward.

      Thank you for this comment.

      He does have a straight-up sexy voice.

      I was pretty sure I pissed off everyone, including Xak, by posting this, and my subsequent response whereby he believes I was putting him in the same corral as my hillbilly relatives. And then felt like I got sent back to the kid table at my guild for my comments or observations: point--observations are NOT the same as opinion.

      But then I remembered what my mom taught me, "Eff 'em if they can't take a joke."

      Parody aside, I do want young women and men not to allow the distorted mirror of the Internet become their only perspective. It's a fun house with freak shows and yes, naked people in glass houses of intel chips and wires.

      You say so many awesome things- I think the best is "I didn't know I was playing." God that is how I feel every damn day.

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  9. I had to stop and pause, and ponder, whether to read this whole article tongue in cheek. If I read it with utmost seriousness and interest, it seems to be akin to building a bridge without any pillars. There's honest opinion, but not enough fact to support it. In fact, 2/3 of my Real ID list is made up of women. I could probably put one or two into the incredibly narrow categories mentioned, but the other 20-30 don't fit any of them.

    Honestly, it reminds me of Ann Coulter's recent appearance on The View (good lord that's the LAST show I ever thought I'd use as a reference). Barbara Walters asks Coulter if she writes the books she does, simply to get a rile out of folks because there just isn't enough evidence to support her unique views. Same thing here. A bit of what is said, I agree with. A fair bit, I don't. Part of the problem is not seeing the evidence to support it. Of course, I have nothing nice to say about Ann Coulter, but I'm not about to judge Xak based on this writing -merely disagree severely on this particular subject.

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