For those who are not aware, last week HellKitten (the model for Dhab's
most recent Quake2 image) decided
to remove images of herself after she began recieving obscene e-mails.
After a time, she gathered up the courage to put them back online, only
to recieve still more harassment, ultimately resulting in the removal of
her page altogether.
To say that I found this appalling is an understatment. The Quake community
has never been especially kind to certain groups of people. We eat our
young. Newbies are shunned, and it is very difficult to gain respect in
our community if you weren't around when QTest first shipped. However,
nothing has ever come this far.
I have a sister who plays Quake. I encouraged her to do so, because
I felt that the female portion of our community is very open to new members,
and all in all very supportive of one another. The actions by certain individuals
towards HellKitten disturb me to the point where my protective side takes
over. Do I really want my sister to play a game where female players are
continually harassed? Where does this end?
For the record this is not the first case of sexual harassment in our
community. Since my sister is an active female Quake player (and a member
of PMS) I do hear stories.
It is a sad thing to say, but I could have warned HellKitten that she would
be harassed if she posted pictures of herself. I'm sure she had a good
idea of what she was getting herself into when she decided to post her
pictures in the first place, and if not then, certainly when she decided
to repost them. Either way, she showed a courage that is rarely seen, and
should have been appreciated. Instead, we watched in horror as our worst
fears were realized.
You will note that the PMS girls all have Anime characters as their
personal pictures. It is sad to say, but this is not only a good idea,
it has practically become necessary. I shudder to think about the e-mail
KillCreek must get. The depths to which some members of our community have
sunk is deeply troubling, and I wish I could say that things were changing
for the better. It sickens me to say that a female player can't enter a
server without being harassed in game, and that people attempt to
hit on them while they are simply trying to play. We need to deal with
these issues now, otherwise they are only going to get worse.
What exactly is the problem? Well for starters the maturity level needs
to improve drastically. There is a large number of thirteen year old boys
whose only contact with women is via obscene messages on IRC who need to
learn that women do not appreciate such things. For every KillCreek, or
Kornelia, there are a dozen girls who simply stop playing because they
cannot take the harassment any longer. All the good sites like the Quake
Women's Forum and PMS do is ruined by slimebags like the ones that
I wish I could say I hope the people who sent Hellkitten those e-mails
feel happy. But I don't. I hope they feel like scum. Actually, I hope they
feel worse than scum. I hope they feel like outright dogshit. On behalf
of the Quake community, I would like to extend my sincerest appologies
to HellKitten. No woman should ever be subjected to what she has been in
the last week.
And to the next schmuck who thinks sending obscene photographs is funny,
I'd just like to say this: grow up.
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