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Sexism in tabletop RPGs

A look at the prevalence and effects of sexism in tabletop RPGs, such as DandD. How are female players and their characters treated by their male counterparts during a game session? How does this differ from a female character played by a male player, if at all? Some women who play RPGs have gone to certain lengths to avoid sexism during game play, such as forming all-female leagues. How is extreme sexism that wouldn’t otherwise be tolerated in everyday life by male players justified during a game? There are many routes this could go, but it is, I feel, a fascinating subject with many points that could be taken away by various audiences.

  • I would definitely read an essay on this topic. I wonder how a person would go about getting the information, though. Are there internet discussion boards on the topic? Or existing articles? Or some other easy-to-access resource? Ideally, interviews or observations -- I'd love to play some D&D and call it "field ethnography"! -- would be be used, but that would take a lot of time and effort. – JamesBKelley 6 years ago
  • ^ The idea originally sparked for me when I was reading a discussion thread on reddit between female RPGers, so I expect there will be online discussions or people who would be willing to talk about their experiences with someone exploring the topic. I see your point, though. Some time and effort will definitely need to be put into finding reliable sources of information. – Analot 6 years ago
  • As always 'Critical Role is' a great show to look at for these discussions. Currently voice director Sam Riegel is playing a female character - a goblin rogue, and so far it has been very interesting and very respectful. I agree that finding authoritative sources will be difficult, but if you developed your own case study based on observations from different shows currently available through YouTube or Twitch and then as Analot observed, look at the discussions in Reddit this would make for a really interesting piece. – SaraiMW 6 years ago

Women Winning Fewer Literary Prizes

While women have made great strides in the literary world, they are still coming up short when it comes to winning the prestigious literary prizes such as the Nobel Prize, the Man Booker Prize, and the Pulitzer. Of course the historical context comes into play when tracing the history of the Nobel Prize, but I don’t think that same excuse can be made for the Booker and the Pulitzer; both prizes have had an astounding number of male winners since the year 2000. Is this a deep rooted cultural bias? Is this a reflection of the judges? Are the groups of judges made up equally of male/female judges? For example, the Swedish Academy which is the body responsible for picking the Nobel winner is made up of mostly men. Are men just better writers? That last question is loaded with sarcasm but still a question to be asked when looking at this trend in the literary prize atmosphere.

  • One idea could be to look at the context of literature written by female authors who have been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize. Are they dealing with themes which might be controversial and provocative? – Ryan Errington 8 years ago
  • Are you thinking of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction or poetry? For fiction, since 2000, there have been six female winners and nine male winners (no one won in 2012). For poetry, since 2000, there have been six female winners and eleven male winners. For the Nobel Prize in literature there have been five female winners and ten male winners since 2000. – JLaurenceCohen 8 years ago
  • I have never thought about this issue before and would be extremely interested to read about it. Perhaps explore the general bias readers have when reading a female's work as opposed to a male's work...for instance how some female writers opt to use a pen name to prevent this bias. – moespaulding 8 years ago