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Call of Duty Female Gamer Records Her Experiences With Sexism

Website highlights female treatment on Xbox Live

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Everyone knows that when conversing with people online, the veil of anonymity can make people say all sorts of things they wouldn’t utter in real life. Blogs, news sites, and other online mediums have been dealing with this problem for years within the comment sections and forums on a website. This extends to the realm of video games, when playing them online through Xbox Live, Playstation Network, or on the PC. If you’re a woman, many times you’re met with a whole separate experience which can include some extremely sexist behavior.

Jenny Haniver, has started a website titled: Not in the Kitchen Anymore. The premise is simple, she records and documents her experiences playing first person shooters, specifically Call of Duty, and posts these experiences on the website. What you find on her website is pretty shocking, with a lot of it being so extreme it borders on the hilarious.

Notinthekitchen.com

I found this site a few days ago, and was completely taken by it. Once you start listening to some of these recordings, you can’t stop. You’ll laugh, be amazed, and scared there are people like this who walk among us.

I actually got to speak with Haniver about her website, to gain a bit more insight concerning the project.

My Recorded Discussion With Jenny Haniver (NSFW: Language)

After talking with Jenny, it’s obvious she’s not looking for pity or to say that everyone acts in the same way as the people in her recordings. She simply wants to shed light on the problem, and show just how bad it can get for ladies on Xbox Live or any other online gaming platform.

Here’s what Jenny had to say about the site, “And that’s essentially the focus of my blog- the dated, hostile, and sometimes downright weird reactions men, and occasionally even other women, have to interacting with females in an anonymous setting that is considered to be male dominated (online video games, specifically first person shooters). Obviously sexism isn’t the only problem prevalent in online gaming, it’s just the one I’ve chosen to focus on.

This behavior is something that most female gamers will have to face at some point if they choose to game online. The aim of my project is education; some people genuinely have no idea this is going on. By exposing this type of behavior, I’m hoping to raise awareness- and possibly push people to remember that it’s a real live person on the other side of that microphone.

To give you an idea of how a recording will go, here’s a transcript from one of the more tame samples:

RMP = random male player

RMP1: Huh?

RMP2: Can’t end it like that.

RMP1: And we got beat by a girl.

[laughter]

RMP3: Wisconsin, what’s up!

Me: You say that like that’s a bad thing.

RMP2: Nah it’s cool. As long- as long as you’re skinny.

[laughter]

RMP1: Her avatar is pretty hot.

RMP2: So are you skinny?

RMP3: Who is?

The website spun out of an art project she did for a college course, highlighting many of the quotes she recorded for the project.

Not in the Kitchen Anymore Project

She also set up an audio booth, represented by a blue controller and a pink controller. They doubled as MP3 players, with the blue controller playing sound bites from a male vantage point, with the pink playing what women hear while playing.

Not in the Kitchen Anymore Project

The website is a humorous, albeit sad look at what many people resort to when provided an anonymous shield. The only way you can combat this kind of nonsense is to call it out, and let other people know what’s happening. Haniver is just doing that in a creative, and funny way.

Call of Duty Female Gamer Records Her Experiences With Sexism


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  • john

    So cry about it, that will help.

  • reese

    strange….seemed someone left an xbox and a tv in the kitchen

  • Dude

    Its call of duty duh everybody that isnt you is either a cunt or a bitch, its online gaming damn..

  • Julie

    this is bullshit…just saying. It doesn’t bother me any about xbox live shit talking. Its all about proving you have a bigger dick than your opponent.

  • Oh hello

    Spam time.
    So Are u skinny or not?
    JK. My clan has several female players, they too get some shit, but most is in jest. So many things in the world have been taken over by females, that we have to hold onto something. Can’t blame us for preservation right? It’s instinctual.
    Go wake up and complain. Sure he’d agree to defeat your competitor or perish like the rest. If it means so much to you, notice half the guys are giving you a few seconds without pouncing, and some smite you even faster.
    In the end we don’t want you all to take over another dominate area in our lives. You women in the games tend to try too hard to be “one of the guys”. To the point that it becomes annoying. Just be your regular selves, and know if you talk shit someone will have a comeback in the pipe. Don’t expect them to be distracted by you or cut you a break cause you “sound hot”. No rules apply here. And do not threaten to sick your Boyfriend on me. First off, he’s most likely in another state or continent altogether. I don’t care what he says to back you up. He’s not getting on a plane to hurt me. And second why are you hiding behind a man anyway? While trying to assert your dominance as a woman, hiding behind your man. DO i really need to explain this. Pathetic.
    Last, but far from least, stop playing on kiddy consoles, and move up to the PC’s. You’ll find much more responsive crowds and more mature people altogether. Join a game clan. We all get shit when pubbing. Been playing for 20 years and still get grief as a male on pubs.
    Do write it off completely as it’s yet to be explored fully. But You ladies can fuck off who think you’re going to dominate here. this is man territory and we will defend it vigorously if threatened.
    ,A male PC game player

  • I Don’t Want To Live On This Planet Anymore

    Hmm, maybe this page was linked somewhere? It’s a cesspool of testosterone fueled teenage boys in here. They could at least try to actually debate, um, whatever their point is, instead of being so defensive.

    • http://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com Jenny Haniver

      I’m feeling to some extent like they didn’t bother to read the article, listen to the interview, or check out the site at all.

  • girls… can’t game

    Shutup bitch.

    That is all.

  • asdf

    Console gamer? Yeah, I’d expect that from a girl. *cough*noskill*cough*

  • http://www.ladieshandbagheaven.com/ ken

    Wow,I’d like to try that game!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rajeevdhar Rajeev Dhar

    Armchair Anthro: This woman did an interesting study of sexism in online gaming. Really good project or emic ethnography of sorts. However, I think her attempt to raise awareness of this as a problem is misguided. Part of the game seems to me, to be about the freedom to be vulgar. You are killing “people” after all. This is simulation of war and it brings out ones aggression. Talking trash is a part of sports and the psychology of winning. I’m wouldn’t be into it. I’m generally disappointed in that sort of language, but sometimes in the heat of a moment I might do it myself. As more women play the culture will adapt and women will be talking trash that will make these guys, mad, cry, feel insecure about their manhood, and probably laugh too. Seems to dovetail with Starship Troopers in my mind. Both the book and the movie are good, by the way.
    In some senses the game is a safe space for people to let out feelings and thoughts that we all have but suppress at least somewhat hopefully in settings where the local folkways tells us they are inappropriate or would cause disharmony. Here the opposite would be true. To not trash talk and vocalize these thoughts would undercut the excitement of the game. They aren’t pretending to be galant medieval knights or honor bound samurai after all.

  • paulius1981

    Just like to point something out… Xbox Live is wall-to-wall offensive, racist teenagers. If doesn’t matter what sex, race or age you are, if play a public game and you’re going to hear things you really don’t like.

    The article mentioned this would show ‘what it’s like to be a female gamer’… well, it turns out it’s EXACTLY like being a male gamer.

    My voice settings are ‘friends only’ for a reason.

  • Johnnie

    Are you guys fucking with me? There is one person (maybe two, depending on whatever the hell Ken at 10:15am meant) who gets the point, who perhaps read the article and listened to the interview and maybe even looked at the site. The point of the interview, the website, and the art show, is to get people to think about what they’re saying and why they’re saying it. It’s not to whine about being called names. It’s not to say that trashtalking in gaming is bad or that she’s a delicate flower whose feelings are hurt when someone calls her a bad name. She says that she can and will dish it out.

    People hear the words “woman/female/she” and “sexism” together and jump to “she’s whining because she can’t handle being in a man’s world.” (hello, commenter at 2:50am, aka oh, hello, aka A male pc game player; also, hello commenter at 1:41pm, aka Rajeev Dhar) The fact that you need a “safe place” to deal with your masculinity being threatened by the people with their sex organs tucked inside their bodies now playing “your” games, being in “your” “masculine” aggressive (because women can’t be overtly aggressive, oh no) space indicates that you perhaps are a little weirded out by the mystical beings who have the capability to house a fetus inside of them and you’re scared because some of the masculine privilege you’ve enjoyed is slowly seeping away (because all change is bad, boo hoo, and takes things away from us). And yes, dudes (biologically or FtM), you’ve got privilege just because you have a dick/appear to be a dude, no matter what color, creed, sexual orientation, gender, or gender status you may be/have.

    Perhaps you’re the kind of dude/lady who think women have special powers because they’re women, a la Heinlein (which I think is the better sort of bigotry to be caught up in, if only by a minuscule margin, and only if you must). And while I agree with you, Rajeev Dhar, that Starship Troopers is a good and interesting book, it too has its problems with the ladies. We can agree to disagree on the movie, Rajeev, which IMHO is only remotely good if you look at it as a satire and perhaps not even then.

    Or maybe you’re type of dude/lady who actually has serious problems with women. Maybe you got burned by one or maybe you have the Highlander syndrome, as Ms. Hanniver said in the interview. This probably has to do with the fact that you are painting all XX chromosomers with the same negative “she’s pretty/has a vagina/wears makeup, therefore must be mean/cold/superficial/not willing to see what I have to offer as a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend” brush, which boils down to bigotry.

    You don’t need a safe space (oh, hello: “this is man territory”? seriously? you sound like the stereotype of a frat boy) to vent these “feelings”, people, you need to recognize that you’re being an unthinking asshole and then maybe put a little thought into living your life. The fact that you’re getting defensive and yes, bitchy, leads me to believe that you’re metaphorically curled up into your metaphorical turtle shell, like lazy (gasp, dare I?) pussies, instead of (here I go again, coming down to your level) manning up and thinking about the shit that spews from your mouth and why those are the first words that come to mind when you’re being aggressive.

    All of this (probably tl;dr) is to say is that the point is get you to think about what you’re saying and what you’re thinking and why you’re thinking/saying it.

    Oh, hello, the (oh boy) dick measuring contest with the pc vs console nicely illustrates the fact that you don’t understand the point.

    Rajeev, your “armchair anthro” is shallow and lacking in any kind of objective viewpoint or insight.

    And no, first commenter aka paulius1981, being a female anything is not at all like being a male anything when people are constantly pointing out and concentrating on the fact that the female is in fact a female and therefore some sort of strange being that needs to be defended against.

  • jj

    Like this is gonna change anything…. Give people the ability to connect with others almost anonymously and this is what happens quit being stupid about it.

  • http://www.AMCWorkFromeHome.com Lauren Bradbury

    OMG! I can’t believe someone is actually talking about this. I play on XBox Live ALL the time! I actually just started last night on MW3, but have played Black Ops for a while now & I’m a woman (if you can’t guess by the name). I have been dealing with this for nearly a year, there are some nice guys out there that appreciate a woman interested in video games and will give praise, but the majority tell you to get out of the f’in game, especially if you’re having a bad game & the team loses. They’ll say it’s your fault, cause you’re a girl & why aren’t you baking or something. You have to have thick skin to play in that community. GamerTag is LaurKayJR if there are actually nice guys out there that want to play…lol!

  • http://shop.lacompanyonline.com Bazanger

    Well there’s always gonna be trash talking. I think it’s not right, but it is a male dominated scene. I got female friends on ps3 for Call of Duty, we get along just fine. Keep up the good work Jenny, kudos.

  • jj

    Wow. I think the “make me a sandwich” and similar things come from the internet. Seriously, 4chan etc, you’ve all seen it around. It started out as a joke and I just assumed everyone treated it that way, but apparently some people have heard it way too much and it has actually affected them.

    This is nuts, I did not actually know about this.

  • http://www.delishibusiness.com Arwen Taylor

    And this is exactly why I don’t play live online games like this. Granted, most of the guys saying things like this are probably under the age of 18 and think it makes them look like a “big man”. It only makes them look so, so small.

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