Despite bad experiences I’ve had, I truly believe that only 10% of male gamers are total douchebags who enjoy being overtly sexist to goad women, while the other 90% of male gamers are guys who just want to game without having it be at other people’s expense. I even believe that the majority of that 90% is, deep down, actually uncomfortable with such overt sexism.
But when those 90% of non-douchey men don’t say anything, then it seems like that 10% dominates the entire community of gamers. Engaging in overt sexism is a core problem, but it is complacency that is the greatest enemy of an accepting environment.
As much as it may be difficult and even scary for men to stick up for women, even when they know it is unsettling to say nothing, I want a bigger push for proactive attitudes in men to squash to douchebaggery and sexism from other men who need to hear that their “jokes” and sexism will not be accepted, and will not be the norm; even when the perpetrator is a friend and even when there is no woman around to hear it, we need to always support each other, because when a woman is being disparaged, disrespected, and made fun of solely because of her gender, it’s unjust to say nothing.