Hawt Grrls, Dick Pics and Sexy Beards

Triggers: online harassment, sexism, rape

Here is a snapshot of a chat I received in the League of Legends, earlier this week:

I often play as "Hawtgrrlirl," although the person sitting here typing this is a rather unsexy bearded male. I first picked the name almost a decade ago - in WoW - as a 23-year-old grad student. Not a few hours into that character, a charming paladin (10 levels higher than me) took me under his wing! Neat! He followed me everywhere, offering me gifts, killing all my enemies, never acknowledging that I really just wanted to quest alone, and only very occasionally making awkward commentary about his possession of me.

So, yeah. I'm well aware that the name invites a variety of interactions, from the weird and not-so-fun, to the amazing. When people ask if I'm "rly a girl?" I usually answer honestly, and say no.

Tonight's exchange was typical, and ended in literally adding a new friend:

Summoner1: Hey, so... Are you a hawtgrrrlll?
Summoner2: garen ban plz
Hawtgrrlirl: Nope.
Hawtgrrlirl: I'm a dude with a beard.
Summoner1: Sexy
Summoner1: This is better than i though
Summoner1: thought
Hawtgrrlirl: Right?
Summoner1: Can i run my fingers through your beard?
Hawtgrrlirl: I'd really need to get to know you first.
Summoner3: can i jungle?
Summoner1: Well let's go out on a date then
Summoner1: I'm cheap enough
Summoner1: You like italian food?
Hawtgrrlirl: More of a teriyaki guy.
Summoner1: I'm cool with that, i'll eat about anything
Summoner1: Know any good places?
Hawtgrrlirl: I know a couple.
Summoner1: It'll be a bromance
Summoner1: i think i get paid here soon, so i'll even pick up the tab
Hawtgrrlirl: Right on. It's a date.
Hawtgrrlirl: Bromance is on the menu.
Summoner1: Sweeeeet
Summoner1: Added broski
Hawtgrrlirl: Same deal brohanna montana

I used to want to say that, at least in League of Legends, I got classy, humorous commentary and solid banter far more often than trolls. I'm not sure what changed, or if it was a steady shift, but now over half (at least) of my games now have some kind of intense, deeply disturbing commentary that directly relates to the fact that a "grrl" is in the game.

It cues off awkward rape talk,

Weird anatomical remarks,

Hawtgrrlirl: lololaf
Summoner1: Do you have a hawt beard, like Olaf?
Summoner1: irl, of course
Hawtgrrlirl: i do
Summoner1: Nice
Hawtgrrlirl: though its not red
Summoner1: Long as the carpet matches

And sometimes acts as a lightning rod for hardcore raging, blunt force ignorance, or the persistent homophobia:

Summoner2: i mean like
Summoner3: plz ban fagits
Summoner2: are you gonna play for real
Summoner3: ban all the fagits
Summoner2: or are you gonna be a little crybaby
Summoner2: if you are for real
Summoner2: then we can fuck them up
Summoner3: im down for mid or support
Summoner2: and maybe make babies
Summoner3: but I can fill if needed
Summoner2: if you are a fagit then we cannot make babies
Summoner1: are you really a hawt girl
Summoner2: ya seriously tho
Summoner2: whats open
Summoner2: besides hawtgirls legs
Summoner2: hohoho
Summoner2: see what i did tharrrrx2

And on and on. But back to subject 1: "nude for a dik pik"

After the GDC's brilliant talks this last week, by Brenda Romero, Jennifer Allaway, Zoe Quinn, Nika Harper, and many others, I have decided to start calling out other players, when their behavior gets weird, or violently discrimanatory. Regardless of whether it costs me games, goodwill, or even jobs.

This was what I said to the kind offer of "nude for a dik pik:

It's not perfect, but there's not a great script for this sort of thing. 

It's a work in progress. 

But let's do this thing. If legitimate harassment is happening - especially if it's not to you - speak up.