Five days ago, a great article was posted on StarCityGames.com.
It’s called Women In Magic: The Gathering, and it’s by Meghan Wolff. It’s definitely worth a read, so if you haven’t read it, go ahead and click the link. I’ll wait.
Now that you’ve read that fantastic work, I have another perspective for you. This one was also published on StarCityGames.com, but it was published yesterday. Spoiler: this one was written by a man. It’s called Women And Magic by Jim Davis.
If you noticed the weird URL, that’s because it was taken down yesterday. More on that later.
The next article to note was posted by Planeswalkers for Diversity, right here on WordPress! This one was written by Anastacia Tomson, and it is titled: Women and Magic: A Rebuttal. It is a response to Jim Davis’ article.
Finally, let’s examine the Apology that was issued by Cedric Phillips, the Online Content Coordinator for StarCityGames.com. This was posted after Jim’s article was removed from the site.
Are you sick of reading yet? I hope not, because this is an important topic that really needs to be addressed, and I’m just getting warmed up.
I loved Meghan’s article. She was articulate and expressed a lot of concerns that resonate with the female Magic community. She was able to convey our frustrations without complaining, and really laid out the problems for us. I didn’t entirely agree with absolutely everything she said, but 99.9% of it expressed exactly how it feels to enjoy this game from a female perspective. It’s fantastic that she wrote about this issue, because it really is an issue, and we cannot begin to address a problem unless we are all aware of it’s existence.
As for the response article by Jim, I was surprised that I actually liked the opening bit about South Park. I don’t typically watch the show, but this comparison was extremely relevant to the topic at hand, and I found that I liked the message. The rest of the article was….really good, actually. I agreed with what he said. In fact, if my match were chosen as a feature match just because of my gender, I would be just as offended as I am when people are surprised that I won the Game Day playmats that I use. (Of course I did, they are my playmats, after all).
No, the comments about Gerry Thompson’s were not at the same level as comments that are made about women, but it does point out that people tend to focus on appearances first, regardless of gender. I’m not saying that is right, I’m saying it happens.
Of course, comments made about women’s appearances in the world of gaming are much more sexual in nature and frequently highly inappropriate. These need to stop. So do the comments like those fueling #CrackGate.
Overall, I feel like Jim’s article was an interesting, valid perspective. It was not offensive to me at all. It furthered the discussion surrounding the original article and it should not have been taken down. Even if you don’t agree with what he said, that’s ok, because not everyone has to agree. He was not saying inflammatory things about the skill level of women who play Magic. He was trying to advocate for women’s equality. That’s admirable, even if you disagree with his perspective.
Now… that rebuttal. To be honest, I was ready to follow that blog when I saw the page. It’s welcoming, it’s concerning one of my favorite pastimes, the heading and subheading are things I can really get behind. Then I read the article.
I was more offended by Anastacia’s article than I was by any part of Jim’s. I understand it upset her, but I think she needs to try a little harder to understand someone’s view other than her own.
I agree that we should be treated with the same respect as men who play this game, but I don’t want special treatment either. Let the people who are qualified be visible, whether they are women or men. If you want more women in Magic, then, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see.”
She claims that Jim is “belittling and undermining” Meghan’s article, but that was not the intent at all. She makes him out to be some advocate against women, when he is just trying to further discussion about how to achieve equality. No need to get so offended.
In a perfect world, I don’t think Cedric should have needed to issue that apology. Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to have this discussion in the first place.
Let me know what you guys think, and as always, feel free to share this post.