Whitney Hills, who has worked in games since 2007 and has shipped over a dozen titles, has written this summary of her experiences of being a woman in the games industry. It’s an incredibly open piece which picks up on a lot of the same points that i’ve seen floated around the women-and-video-games discussion before. This one in particular though, made my heart ache:
Over the years, other people’s words and actions pile onto your shoulders. You feel enormous pressure to pretend that nothing bothers you, because you don’t want to give others more power to hurt you, or upset people you care about or make them feel uncomfortable.
The article is a must-read and i’d even suggest taking time to read the comments as, despite the deluge of criticism, there is actually a good discussion buried in there, I particularly liked this comment:
My gender equality teacher in high school used to share this short anecdote with us sometimes. It’s about how women state, understandably, how uncomfortable it is to walk by a group of men who wolf whistle.
In response, many men stated that they’d love to have a group of women wolf whistle at them. But it doesn’t work that way, and we can’t know what it feels like to be objectified like that by society and by many of the people in it.
My point is this: we, as men, can never, ever know what it’s like to be a woman. Period. We can’t presume to know what it feels like or what life is like on that side of the gender line.
So that’s that then.