Today I would like to talk to you about sexism and 40k....if you are still here and didn't run away I applaud you. If you will permit me, id like to tell you of an experience I had when i was younger.
I am a 40 something gamer who has been around warhammer since the start. In the words of Roy Batty from blade runner "I've seen things you people couldn't imagine". all jokes aside, I understand that men are predominately the target market of games workshops games and for sometime its been a 'boys club'(but this a topic others have covered way better than I ever could). I've watched as women came into FLGS(friendly local game stores) and a hush came over everyone, then the inevitable innuendo and stupid comments start, "she must be here to buy for her boyfriend/brother/son/dad'. Many times I just inwardly cringed or worse, joined in. yes i'm just as guilty as the rest of them. The day this all changed for me was the day I got my ass handed to me by "a girl", I know what your thinking I can guess the person you just imagined... no piercings, no tattoos, no short hair, just a person like everyone else.
(I have to admit, I have a good track record of winning id say i'm in the top of the local casual crowd. I actually enjoy taking on hardcore tourney lists with my fluffy bunnies.I love the looks on their faces as you stomp them with silly orc stuff and random stupidity, but you get the picture.)
Her name is Adrianne (I hope I put enough n's in there), At the time she was a casual employee of a game store I frequented. She had come in to find her shift had been changed to a different day. Adrienne came over to me and said "hey Gord, you want a game?" I was about 18 at the time and still awkward (my wife says nothings changed) and 'Girls' were still mysterious and scary (hence all the war gaming) looking back I think I may have actually scoffed.I remember saying something stupid like "OK, I can teach you how to play if you want". I then spent the rest of the next 3 hours playing the hardest match I've ever played, ever. Every time I had a plan she had a counter by the end of the game she was just toying with me. Mercifully she tabled my last figure and then did the most gracious thing ever seen in a FLGS, she shook my hand and said "Great game! I really learned a lot" she didn't say it to be facetious, she actually meant it. This was the moment all that sexist crap melted away and I learned people are just people, sex, race, age etc. doesn't matter in gaming. We became friends at that moment, over the years we have drifted apart but I still consider her a friend and that is life.
The whole point is... always be inclusive and you will never regret it and if someone says something shitty stand up ad say so. Next time a woman walks into your chosen arena don't be a douche and think "oh look a girl" please just think oh cool a new player to challenge me. You may even make a new friend.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". - Edmund Burke
I hope my experience makes a difference for you, until next time, have fun and see you in the 4x8 arena.
Next post will be my Female Space Marine Legion...