I wrote yesterday about the rules we have about the electronics in our house.
And I thought I should bring up another topic in regard to gaming. Harassment of women. There have been a lot of articles written lately about guy gamers harassing women gamers. Even NPR has done a piece on it. You can find that here.
You can even find a video response by a bunch of girl gamers known as “Geek Girls & the Doubleclicks” which I happen to love. (Look for Adam Savage & Wil Wheaton to make an appearance.)
My contribution to geek and gamer culture is this:
I am raising a houseful of male geeks and gamers who would never think about treating female geeks and gamers the way that I have been treated in some circles.
I am raising a houseful of male geeks and gamers who have stepped up to defend female geeks and gamers and will continue to do so in the future.
Because they see these females as someone to whom they can relate. They see them as their friends. And I’ve raised them to defend their friends.
They see these women as someone’s sister. And they would defend their sisters in a heartbeat. Not to mention, they would be furious to see someone treat their sisters that way.
And perhaps, best of all, they see these women as (potentially) someone’s mother. And they would never talk to me that way or treat me that way, so they will never talk to someone else’s mother that way.
How do I know?
I’ve read them the articles. I’ve told them my stories. And I’ve seen the looks on their faces. From the 25 year old to the 8 year old, the looks of horror and disgust really don’t change.
Of course, having a geek/gamer for a mother, as well as having me work in a predominantly male industry, they’ve heard me tell off guys for treating me in any way less than I expect. At this point, they’re like, “Where’s the popcorn?”
It also helps that people like Adam Savage & Wil Wheaton stand up and help make those videos like the one above. Please, go thank them! They both have Twitter accounts: @donttrythis and @wilw (+Wil Wheaton)
Have the discussion with your children. Don’t hide the world from them. Present it honestly and truthfully. Let them know that the internet does not make them anonymous any more than it make the person on the other side less of a person. And, if necessary, explain why certain behaviors are not acceptable.
Your children will surprise you. I guarantee it.