Your genitals shouldn’t define you, its a pretty simple concept. Its like innie and outie belly buttons. I have outie genitals by the way.
Writing this I am very aware that i’m a bloke talking about women in lrp, yeah I’m also aware that this could be shockingly patronising to. So my apologies up front if I say something stupid I’ve wanted to write it for a while but stopped short each time because in my head as a guy its me talking about women’s issues, specifically a man talking about men who relegate women to the back while the men folk talk.
But a conversation this week left me reeling a bit about this subject and by reeling I mean sad and angry.
I have spoken to a lot of folk over the years who feel that they are seen as second class citizens in lrp. That they have to work twice as hard to be recognised as game runners or refs because of their gender.
This is a weird state of affairs most lrps i’m involved in women ref, npc, write plot, run battles and skermishes, do make up, make kit (by kit i’m talking about masks, soft kit, props not just pretty dresses) and doing the same jobs as their outie genital colleagues. Yet a lot of them feel they have to work twice as hard to be considered to equal.
I have seen players double check ref calls a women ref have made with a guy ref, I have seen ref meetings where female refs have been talked over , I have seen female game runners being told how to run their games by imperious blokes, and I have spoken multiple times to people who feel that its testicle club that gets seen as the game makers. That the perception is women work god, npc the ‘female roles’ and make pretty clothes.
My personal favourite was however ‘people assume I’m just x’s partner and not a game runner/writer in my own right.’
That last one hit me very close to home. It’s the reason as a guy i’m writing about something that doesn’t effect me, because it should.
The testicle collective have a responsibility to stop this and challenge this, because if we do not we are part of the problem.
So what should we do? I don’t know really but we need to have a culture change. There should not be a situation where someone has to work twice as hard to prove themselves.
We need to not talk over people, recognise that there is a problem and not be part of it.
For my part i’m going to challenge it when I see it, listen when someone says there is a problem and not just nod my head and make sure I continue to check my thinking.
And we need to. To make statements like ‘just a…’ or to expect women to meekly put up with being relegated to being seen as support cuts out some of the strongest creative minds in our community and some of the best refs we have.
Oh and if you think this is hyperbole and you don’t know anyone treated that way, maybe you aren’t listening?