Respecting Other Players

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No, this isn't about Steve Rubin's blog post. It was a fine post, but person to person interactions based on events are of a less severe nature than today's topic. I'm talking about the Women in Magic Panel. I'm talking about Athena's vlog inspired by that panel and the aftermath. It's 2016, and there is no excuse to be ignorant about the inequalities that our world is flush with, and as informed members of society it is our duty to stand with the marginalized.

A common reply to these discussions has been to say that women should just ignore negativity on this topic. As somebody who has been around on the internet for a while and who has recently gotten a huge boost of exposure, I can say that yes, this is a good rule for an individual. If you post something stupid about Ryan Overturf online, I can shrug it off because you're a coward who wouldn't say it to my face and who likely has few enviable traits. That's not the issue when we're talking about negativity expressed towards a group. To act as if the two things are comparable is absurd. People might recognize me and not like me. That's cool, and there's nothing I could do to make everybody like me as a person, writer, or commentator. People frequently treat women and other marginalized groups negatively without knowing anything about them. That's not cool. There is nothing that they can do as a person to overcome this type of negativity. You can't prescribe personal solutions to societal problems.

Watch the panel. Listen to the women you know. Actually listen. Sexism, racism, and many other kinds of intolerance are very much alive. Offering half-assed workarounds and ignoring these problems only perpetuates them. Listen. Call people out when you see intolerant behavior. Call people out when they act as if their mega-busty angel playmat is worthy of anything but being tossed into a dumpster and/or set on fire. Don't ask women players about their significant other in contexts in which you wouldn't ask men about theirs. Empathize.

Magic players are largely no strangers to being bullied. As such, it doesn't make a lick of sense to see members of this community enforcing otherness. You and I have our own issues that we wish others would respect, and the best way to get this result is to start by being respectful of others.


Ryan Overturf

Ryan has been playing Magic since Legions and playing competitively since Lorwyn. While he fancies himself a Legacy specialist, you'll always find him with strong opinions on every constructed format.

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6 thoughts on “Respecting Other Players

  1. While I do not care for the term ‘marginalized,’ as it labels a group of people as being push into an extreme part of society, community, whatever (and I just don’t see this happening as much as people are screaming it), I do want women to feel more comfortable in our community. And if they feel marginalized, I want them welcomed back in. But even more importantly, I want players to be decent and gracious people towards everyone on and offline. If the focus on including women is the means to that end, it is a huge bonus. Some would say to focus on decency and grace, but that really hasn’t worked, and focusing on including women just might help do this as well. Inclusivity has positive side effects!

  2. I haven’t watched the panel, but I watched Athena’s video for 5 minutes and everything she said seemed like nonsense…(If I understand the issue correctly) this topic comes up over and over in the Magic community. I’m assuming people are making the false equivalency of small % of women in Magic = women are mistreated in Magic.

    People need to educate themselves about the psychological differences in men and women that are ultimately driven by millions of years of evolution. Please, everyone pick up a book on evolutionary psychology. I think once you start with a scientific basis for why and how men and women are different a lot of the gender “issues” in the magic community can easily become non-issues or at the very least only potential issues.

    I’ve been playing in Magic tournaments for 16 years. I’ve seen plenty of women play the game and I’ve seen them treated on average better than their male counterparts. This is for good reason. Female magic players are rare and therefore more valuable to the magic community because they can offer a rarer perspective.

    That being said, I totally don’t buy any of the arguments that go along the lines of, “women are mistreated/marginalized in the Magic community.” Maybe I’m totally wrong. Still, I think a lot of Magic players are very smart people and for that reason can leverage their own experiences and push back against the arguments that say women are mistreated. This comes off as “sexist” or “dismissive” which is ridiculous.

    1. “I didn’t watch the video and I’m not well read on the topic, but here’s a few paragraphs of thoughts.”

      Bro, you are embodying the problem.

      1. What problem exactly am I embodying?

        I prefaced everything by saying: “(If I understand the issue correctly) this topic comes up over and over in the Magic community. I’m assuming people are making the false equivalency of small % of women in Magic = women are mistreated in Magic.”

        I’ve read dozens of articles on women in Magic and read many comments to those articles. I assumed this was more of the same and offered my opinion. Maybe this time it’s a completely different discussion? If that’s the case then I’ll gladly agree that my initial assumption was false.

        Is this the problem that is plaguing MTG? People making false assumptions about the topics of discourse in youtube videos?

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