In 2010, 60-percent of college associate degrees, 54-percent of bachelor’s degrees and 60-percent of master’s degrees were granted to women. 50-percent of medical degrees and 48-percent of law degrees were granted to women.
These developments are a profound departure from the recent past. In 1970, 70-percent of all college degrees were granted to men and women were not in a near equity position in the fields of medicine and law as they are now. Women now make up just over 51-percent of all workers identified as holding a professional or management position. Even the United States military has recognized the vital role and contributions of women in America by naming the first female, Four Star General, Ann Dunwoody. There can be no doubt that women will have a revolutionary and profound impact on our culture as they assume ever larger roles in the work place and in leadership roles in the near and distant future.
The world of on line gaming may be some how stuck in a time warp where old assumptions and stereotypes about women and girls prevail. A quick overview of the literature around gaming reveals some of the once commonly held stereotypes regarding women.
Girls or women that play competitive on line games are called “girl gamers.” Conversely, there is no such moniker for boys, no “boy gamers.” In fact, most people would find such a label ridiculous, why isn’t it ridiculous for girls or women?
Just recently, I met a serious on line gamer that just happens to be female. She is 17 and a devoted gamer. Frequently when she goes on line and her fellow gamers find out that she is female, the comments start. Some of the males that engage her in games must first ridicule her with a variety of put-downs. “You must be an ugly fat girl,” or “why don’t you go make me a sandwich,” or “why don’t you go play one of those silly girl dress up games, leave the real games to us.”
In addition, female gamers must often endure a variety of comments that would, in the real world, be called sexual harassment. On line gaming is a huge cultural phenomena, 99-percent of all males between 8 and 18 years of age have spent at least some time playing games on line and 94-percent of all girls in the same age range have also spent at least some time playing on line games.
Over all, 39-percent of boys report playing on line games daily and 22-percent of all girls report playing on line games daily. The young lady that I spoke with only wants what American women have wanted for ages, a fair shake, decency and equal treatment and opportunity.
Personally, I don’t think that the young woman I spoke with or others like her are going away. America will never go back to the blind, stupid discrimination against women that once existed. To all you “boy gamers,” if I may be so rude to refer to you in this manner, how about moving into the current century.
The gamer that I know frequently defeats her male counter parts. She is a skilled player, there is no shame in these defeats, and her gender is immaterial, just as it is in any other competitive endeavor. Gamers, female and male are here to stay as a fixture in our culture, so come on fellas, put your big boy pants on and show the respect that you would show another player with skills whatever their gender might be.
In addition to enjoying game play with some of the best players around, you will have done a good thing and doing a good thing always feels better to the giver than the receiver.
If you are a gamer and you happen to be female, never give up. In time, you will be respected for your skill, not for your gender.
Remember, all kids count.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.