Women and Magic: A Rebuttal

The post below was written by Anastacia Tomson in response to StarCity Games article on Women in Magic, itself a reply to an article by Meghan Woff.

I don’t even know where to start with this. I have a nagging suspicion that my efforts might be completely fruitless, because I have had countless discussions just like this in my local Magic group, and they have all largely headed in the same direction.

But nonetheless, I am going to take the time to type out a systematic and articulate response to your article. I’d like to preface this by saying that I read your article word-for-word, top-to-bottom. I became emotional, upset and sometimes downright livid, but I’m nonetheless making a point of replying calmly and respectfully, and I hope that I will be afforded the same dignity.

You open with a scenario from South Park. I will not go into the merits of referencing South Park when making any kind of social commentary. But the gist of the argument according to your transcript is this: The children seemed like they were being racist but didn’t know it because they were blind to race, so we forgive them or even congratulate them, and carry on.*

The fact of the matter is that behaviour that is oppressive remains oppressive irrespective of the motives behind that behaviour. I do believe that the correct approach is to try to educate as to why the behaviour is wrong rather than simply becoming indignant and belligerent about it. But please remember that oppression, whatever the motivation, hurts people.

Your argument here, if I follow, is that by addressing these inequalities, we are creating more prejudice, or “widening the gap”. And I will retort by saying that you are widening that gap, perhaps because you have become defensive after reading Meghan’s article.

You state that you and Meghan share a common goal, but you set about explaining systematically why she is wrong in pursuing that goal. The primary problem here is that you address this matter from a position of privilege.

Your first argument is against the necessity to have women in positions that are visible, in terms of coverage, feature matches and so on. What you have failed to realise here is that gender is an issue. For years and years, the coverage booth has been staffed exclusively by men, because that is the expectation that society has. The goal is equality between genders, but we are starting from a point that is already heavily biased in favour of males. In Magic, people should indeed be recognised by their merits, but do not forget that achievement is informed by opportunity, and opportunity while abundant for men, is far less so for women.

We are not asking for special dispensation – what we are asking for is representation. And this is particularly pertinent with regards to your comment about saying that there may “some day” be a woman in a coverage position. There may not be many positions available, but the fact is that although we play the game, we do not enjoy the same luxury of representation that you do. And this is the kind of inequality that should be addressed rather than left to sort itself out on its own at some arbitrary point in the future.

What are the criteria for having a match featured live on camera, exactly? Those matches are selected for a number of reasons, and often the position of the players on the standings is not primary amongst them – very easily proven by virtue of that Table 1 is not always featured in coverage. So why is it sexist to suggest that representation should be a factor in considering which matches are featured?

You preface your response to “Girlfriendification” by saying that you are male and the problems do not directly affect you, so this already lessens all the arguments that follow. You have indeed not experienced these phenomena for yourself, and to argue that they do not exist because you have not personally experienced or witnessed them is naive.

You then argue that as your girlfriend becomes more proficient at the game, she will be regarded as an individual on her own merits rather than as an extension of your own presence. The implication here is that by default, she undergoes girlfriendification until she earns the right not to. When you began playing Magic, was your very presence at an event undermined? Did anyone say “Oh you’re Joe Schmoe’s friend?”. I imagine it is more likely that from the outset you were judged according to your own merits or lack thereof.

Then you give examples of incidents where she did in fact experience sexism. Firstly, you laud her for laughing off these occurrences. If it did not faze her, that is well and good, and more power to her. But it is not a praiseworthy thing for a woman to ignore these kind of comments. The implication here again is that if she is perturbed by it, that is a weakness. In the first instance, she should not even be subjected to that kind of treatment – if she is, it is unfair to blame her for not being able to ignore it.

The argument that “some people are going to be jerks” no matter what is a poor one. Of course it is unacceptable to be rude or discriminatory to anyone, on any basis. But again, acknowledge the reality that women are subjected to this more often than men. Even in the instance of someone who is a “natural born jerk”, that individual is more likely to behave inappropriately towards a woman than towards anyone else, because it is perceived as being more acceptable.

Of course we should actively discourage people from being jerks, and we should work together towards this goal – I do not think anyone would dispute that. But I do take issue with your second point. It’s all well and good to say that we should speak up when we are being oppressed, but this is very typical victim-blaming – what you must try to realise is that even if she is the victim of harassment or disrespect, a woman may not necessarily feel safe in calling it to the attention of an authority figure!

Put yourself in her position for a moment – she has just been insulted on the basis of her gender by an obnoxious player, and seated all around her are a bunch of that player’s friends. How comfortable do you think she would feel in calling the TO or a judge? Don’t blame her for “letting a few jerks ruin… [her] hobby” – blame the jerks for trying to ruin it in the first instance.

You’ve used an example of Gerry Thompson’s hair to compare the body shaming that men undergo with that which women experience. Sure, there are a batch of people ripping on Gerry about his hairstyle. None of them talk about him being f— worthy. None of them are catcalling him. The “nom” pales in comparison to the abusive remarks leveled routinely at women. The salient point here is that we are not arguing that men are never victim to body-shaming – but that it is often far more pervasive, and far more abusive in nature, when it is directed at women. As soon as a female player is on the screen, she is scrutinised according to the standards of acceptability imposed upon her by the male gaze, which again makes every aspect of her existence secondary to her physical appearance as judged by men. Surely it is clear that is problematic?

Meghan’s article was written with the best intentions, but you are belittling and undermining her. You are criticising her for not doing enough to elicit real change, when she has patiently and considerately articulated some very real challenges and concerns that women in Magic face. Creating awareness and starting conversations is part of the process of initiating change – and your entire article illustrates this, as you show how you, and I am sure countless others, have not yet grasped the severity of the problem. Some even deny its existence as a whole. And again, your straw-man argument that women are asking for “special treatment” is what is actually misleading here. The environment as it stands in Magic is heavily skewed towards male benefit – your entire point about “weak” woman in a “strong” man’s world is evidence of this. We want no preferential treatment – what we want is safety and an environment free of oppression. And here’s a little tip – if it’s an environment in which women aren’t harassed, it will also be one in which men aren’t harassed – now that is true equality.

Respect is earned in any community. But that is not a valid argument to the point that in this community, women start off receiving less respect at the baseline than men do. And I hope you will be able to understand that.

The original article, to which this was written as a response, has been pulled from the site on which it was originally published though an online archive is available and screenshots are included below.

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SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 1 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 2 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 3 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 4 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 5 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 6 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 7 SCG Article Jim Davis Women in Magic 8

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* Editor’s note: The noted sentence originally read “The children were being racist, and they didn’t know they were being racist, so we forgive them for being racist and allow them to continue, and no one has been hurt.” which can be easily misunderstood as not accurately reflecting the original article by Davis. The point was that the behaviour by the kids in the story is still racist in impact regardless of the intent being pure due to their blindness to race. The sentence was re-worded to avoid this potential confusion.

49 thoughts on “Women and Magic: A Rebuttal

  1. This was great, thanks. When I teach literature, I ask students to always consider: Who speaks, and to whom? Apply this to Davis’s article and you realize a clueless & condescending male voice is speaking to marginalized players he wishes would pipe down again.
    The techie-dominated bros on Reddit will cheer him, but they are just happy to have the status quo reinforced and their male clubhouse validated. Star City Games should try peer-reviewing their articles a bit before publishing them.

    1. Calling him “clueless and condescending” is condescending in and of itself, because it A) implies that he was in fact against achieving equality, which is blatantly false, and B) that he did not think his points through because he is speaking from “a position of privilege” and is thus unable to take the opinions of others into account. At that point you are basically labelling as a being of inferior intelligence, which is never healthy for discussion. And saying that others who share his views are “just happy to have the status quo reinforced” is a gross generalization that, once again, assumes these people are devoid of intergender empathy. This is simple prejudice based on limited personal experience, which is exactly what sexism and racism are both made up of in the first place.

      1. Zwaxor, you make some good points and this is why we prefer to criticise content rather than the person. Also it’s simply more effective. It is harder to do though.

      1. It doesn’t seem like he intended to be condescending at all, but that doesn’t change the fact that his article has that effect

  2. THIS.

    It’s nice that “girlfriendification” decreases as we move up the ranks and it sucks that males get body shamed sometimes too but these exceptions are meaningless when the fact remains that both of these are the default for a whole class of people.

    A guy at least has to stand out in some way, like gain a lot of weight or make bold hair-related choices to be a target of remarks on his appeareance. A woman starts as a target and needs to be as close to perfect as possible to reduce it, but not too attractive or she’s only playing for male attention. She doesn’t even have to play: I had multiple players comment on so-and-so’s fat girlfriend because I wore a bulky sweater and watched him make a controversial call for a judge!

    1. This is exactly my point – women are, from the outset, judged by different standards, and the degree of respect we are afforded is lessened by virtue of our being women. There is no reality in which that set of circumstances can be considered acceptable.

  3. “The implication here again is that if she is perturbed by it, that is a weakness.” — this is just one example of many where you put words in Mr. Davis’ mouth. Phrases like “I hope you will be able to understand that” are far too vitriolic.

    “The fact of the matter is that behaviour that is oppressive remains oppressive irrespective of the motives behind that behaviour.” — yes, absolutely, and I’m sure Mr. Davis would agree. You’ve totally misrepresented the point of his South Park analogy.

    You say “We want no preferential treatment” but demand representation based on… what, exactly? Affirmative action is effective but flies in the face of equal opportunity. The goal is not “equality between genders” – what if we perfected kindness and men /still/ outnumbered women simply because of real psychosocial differences? The goal should be equality of opportunity between genders – it’s ok for 99% of boilermakers to be men and 99% of kindergarten teachers to be women, as long as every individual has equal opportunity. I’m not ignoring microinequities, there are certainly problems to be fixed, but gender needs to be dissociated from the individual (isn’t this what third-wave feminism is all about?)

    Unrelated to your article, Ms. Tomson, there were lots of comment on Davis’ article to the effect of “a man should never tell a woman how to feel”. I don’t understand why the gender of a speaker has any bearing on the merit of their argument. It’s not as though every woman (or any demographic) has a perfect understanding of how their demographic is treated – day-to-day experiences reflect how the world treats you as an individual; how the world treats your demographic is a systemic question that can’t be understood without careful study.

    1. No one is asking for 50/50 gender ratios to be enforced. Expecting Magic players to respect each other regardless of their gender doesn’t need to be about third wave feminism – it’s just common sense and common decency.

  4. First off, I appreciate your writing a well-argued and somewhat collected response rather than just dismiss the entire article as MRA, but rather treating it as food for discussion.

    I believe that the point Davis was trying to make with the South Park analogy was that the entire debate on gender is largely a matter of perspective. Where a black man took offense because the flag was potentially offensive to his race, white children saw no problem because they simply didn’t care about skin color, which in the end is the goal of euqality. It’s not -the fact- that we are addressing these issues, but rather -how- we are addressing them. As a male from Denmark (ranked #5 most gender equal country in the world), I obviously cannot directly speak for American females, which I can only assume make up a large part of your target audience, but I would like to elaborate on a few points that I believe Jim Davis got right.

    Firstly, there’s the matter of the feature match. Usually, feature matches are chosen based on how interesting the result will be to the viewership. Whether it be the local no-name who finds himself undefeated and people want to follow his dominance, the pro who’s on the bubble for a top 8 finish, or the little kid who was recommended as “rising star” by a pro being featured in his first round because, from a purely scientific perspective, he would usually be the underdog due to his age, and everyone likes rooting for the underdog. However, featuring a woman at a dead-in-the-water record implies that the audience would like one of two results: A) that the woman wins her match, which by equal standards should be no different from a man winning a match at 1-3, which isn’t exactly an important outcome, or B) that the woman loses, which reinforces the negative stereotype of the “weak woman”. However you slice it, the outcome of this match should not matter to the viewing audience. But featuring it means that, by implication, it does.

    Secondly, there’s the matter of opportunity. I believe in equal opportunity as much as anyone, and I recognize that despite all progress in the field of gender equality, some corporate circles still deny women job opportunities, which is in itself a shameful act. However, I also believe that the general Magic community will welcome anyone, regardless of gender, as long as they care about the game and respect other players the way they deserve to be respected. Unfortunately, some of this respect is lost in communication as a direct result of a lack of intergender interaction for a large part of the player base. This is an issue that needs dealing with, but I believe that for a start, recognizing the genuinely friendly intention of most of their comments will go a long way towards alleviating the problem. And of course, if you feel like someone is talking to you in a manner which makes you uncomfortable, you should speak up and respectfully fix the situation. Simply instructing men to respect women will create expectations and potential disappointment with a female whenever a male objects to this system or shows his respect in a different manner than is expected, the women won’t know how to tackle it and will consider themselves victims. Rather than creating this, we should ensure that any respect shown to another person, regardless of gender, is mutual. I firmly believe that any respectable member of the Magic community wishes the best for other players, however experienced they are at showing it. You may look at a coverage booth and think that only men ever had the opportunity to get in there, but another way to look at it is that they earned their spots by being charismatic and well-informed, which are the merits to look for in a good commentator. If a women aspires to greater abilities within these fields, there would be nothing short of her own insecurity standing in the way. And while this insecurity may be partially caused by society, there is NO way, and I repeat: NO way, that she can overcome it without a great deal of personal effort. Not even if society overcomes whatever inequiality is facing it will she be content unless she allows herself to be content.

    1. Zwaxor, I remain very unhappy with the South Park reference. Never mind the insensitivity of it in light of current affairs (which is perhaps an unfair criticism as the article was likely written before the incident occurred), the important point here is that behaviour which is oppressive cannot be absolved by innocuous motivations. If your behaviour is racist or sexist, “I didn’t realise it” does not make it acceptable. The behaviours themselves are problematic and need to be addressed, and the ignorance of their significance needs to be remedied.

      You have already admitted that feature matches are chosen for the sake of the viewership. There is a proportion of that viewership that is female, and to give them some representation should not be problematic. I am not suggesting to seek out a woman and put her match on feature coverage by virtue of her gender – what I am suggesting is that there is an inherent bias towards featuring male players, and that is something that should be addressed. There are various reasons, as you have suggested, for choosing matches to be featured – and representation could easily be considered in those decisions without detracting from the quality of matches that are shown.

      I am very loathe to give a free pass to those who perpetrate behaviours that make women feel unwelcome on the basis that they are inexperienced in social interactions. And the assumption that most of the community is friendly and welcoming is not one that is by necessity true. Even if a statistical majority of the community *is* welcoming, it only takes a small but indignant minority to make people uncomfortable or feel unsafe.

      And again, the suggestion to “speak up” is problematic in itself. It’s a point that I often find myself having to make – there are many instances in which we find ourselves in situations where we feel unsafe, and we feel that speaking up is *also* unsafe. You cannot refuse to acknowledge this concern if you have not experienced it for yourself. It is real and it is very disconcerting for many of us.

      I have never disputed that we should endeavour to foster communities in which *everyone* is respectful to *everyone*. But this does not mean failing to address specific disrespect or harassment towards certain groups. If there is an inequality in the “distribution” of disrespect, it is naive to think that ignoring it will alleviate the problem. Saying “we should respect everyone” is not mutually exclusive to saying “it is wrong to disrespect women” – and again, this is a point that I often labour over making.

      And I do take umbrage at the insinuation that there is no woman on the coverage team because they are not charismatic, not well-informed, or hampered by their own insecurities. Opportunities are most certainly not equal – there are countless studies on gender-based prejudice in the context of professional settings and workplaces, and to suggest that these inequalities are the result of insecurities that are intrinsic to women is a horribly sexist remark in itself.

      1. There was a woman in two feature matches at the SCG open this weekend. Natalia D-something, can’t remember. She 6-1 and then 7-1 on an Abzan control build. Phillips and Sullivan commentated the games just like they would any other, they talked about her deck, her sideboard decisions, her plays, and how the game progressed. I’m not sure what else was supposed to happen.

        There are 3 ways to get into a feature match:
        – Be X-0 or X-1 deep in the tournament
        – Get paired against a famous player who is doing well
        – Run some crazy brew and manage to win with it

        If you’re a man and want to be in a feature match, win your games. If you’re a woman who wants to be in a feature match, win your games. No other strategy will do anywhere near as well.

        1. This ignores the fact that coverage does make feature match decisions based in part on fan favourites and who the audience wants to see. It also ignores how inspirational it can be for people to see players like them getting featured. There’s a self-fulfilling thing going on here where women face extra barriers to success at Magic that men don’t. Having gender be a factor in choosing a feature match until that fabulous day when there’s no more gender discrimination in Magic is perfectly reasonable in this context.

      2. not referencing the racist south park flag episode because of events that happened involving black people is silly. stuff like that happens all throughout time and with your logic in that first paragraph it would never EVER be acceptable to write about it.

      3. Pretending that a group of people are asking for “special treatment” is a rhetorical device with a deep history, none of it good. When a group of people that share a characteristic (gender, race, religion, even just being “geeky”) are treated unfairly, the solution has never been to deliver lectures about “treating everyone equally.” When you’re wrong on an issue, sometimes you’re only option is to misrepresent what the other side is advocating for and then paint them as the prejudiced side.

        I agree that the use of the South Park anecdote was hugely problematic for so many reasons. It is an irony of epic proportions. There is no way you can look at a flag with 4 people of one color killing 1 person of another color and not see that the colors matter. If you don’t notice it, it is BECAUSE it is so normal for you that it doesn’t catch you off-guard. That’s is often the essence of modern bigotry. Davis assumes that women aren’t represented more in the community because they aren’t good at the game. So to earn a place, they just have to Top 8 a SCG Open to meet HIS approval. No one has ever asked ME to Top 8 any tournament to prove that I am allowed to play this game or participate in the community.

        I know a lot of people would call this privilege, but I worry labelling something as privilege may just obscure the greater fact of prejudice and unequal treatment. Whatever words are chosen, however, the underlying reality is the same.

        And why is it that these “jerks” who are just “socially awkward” all have a very clear vocabulary for insulting or otherwise marginalizing women? I would say they have been socialized very well, just in a very particular way. They didn’t come up with their phrases and fixations in a vacuum, someone taught it to them.

        If a game starts out with a predominantly male audience, we understand why a male perspective may be overrepresented… in the beginning. HOWEVER, when a game is 22 years-old and still overwhelmingly male-dominated, are we really going to pretend that it’s because women aren’t interested in the underlying subject matter or the gameplay? There is far too much evidence that that is not the case. But there is plenty of evidence that female gamers face poor treatment (along a spectrum of minor to major) and that it actively discourages them from remaining in the community for very long.

    1. Actually this is really not a laughing matter, but if you’d like to hear a perspective on this serious issue from some hilarious ladies that will make you chuckle while they are at it check out http://t.co/IcJk5dXIm1

  5. I stopped read after this: “The children were being racist, and they didn’t know they were being racist, so we forgive them for being racist and allow them to continue, and no one has been hurt”

    1. You misunderstood what was written. It has been edited to be more clear (with a note linking to the original wording and an explanation)

  6. I’m not sure a direct rebuttal was the best way to go about this, given how you say you reacted whilst reading Jim Davis’ piece. I’d prefer to have heard counter-arguments to what he talked about, rather than parsing his piece for weaknesses, line by line. The trouble with this approach is it relies entirely on your reading of the piece – having just read all three articles back to back, even if I don’t agree with a lot of Davis’ response, I feel like he did a better job in his reading of Meghan Woff than you did him.

    A lot of your assertions about what he meant when he said such and such just do not seem accurate. A large part of that is that you seem to be seeking the negative in every single line, but the trouble with that is that both of you are working to the same stated ends (yes!), you just disagree on the methods. Given that fact, you could be a little less vehement in your response.

    I also think that it’s incredibly unfair to denegrate his response from the get-go by saying that by way of his gender his response is weaker. Davis’, and by extension any male commentators, is essentially damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. If he presents his own position on player behaviour in Magic, well, it’s not as important as women presenting their positions. If he doesn’t present his position – if he says nothing – he’s part of the problem. This is in fact the same tightrope that Woff described in her article, and anyone talking about these issues has to walk it. I feel like anyone attempting to do so should be given a little more credit than you do to Davis’ there.

    I would really like to hear your thoughts on the central argument of Davis’ piece, which I believe is also the argument of many, that there can be no eventual equality (or indeed, gender neutrality) if we try to get there by inequitable means. A lot of your response here I would suggest leans towards the latter. You say Davis’ is belittling Woff’s article as not doing enough – I agree, to an extent – however, I believe part of the issue he takes with it is the footer full of female content producers and the suggestion that we should watch them primarily because they are women. Is that really why we should watch that content? No. We should watch them – along with their male counterparts – because they produce great content about Magic. That’s it. To argue otherwise is, indeed, asking for special treatment.

    To be honest, I would suggest that a lot of your response here could be called belittling in return. I can appreciate how the closing arguments, or the general tone of Davis’ piece would wind you up. It’s difficult to defend that content. However, to each of his points your general response is ‘okay – but women have it worse’. I don’t think Davis’ would disagree. It’s sad that in fact throughout the article he is at pains to explain how he knows that women currently have it bad. He knows it, and yet, he does not think that it’s correct to handle the issue of hateful behaviour towards women in specifics. This is why he mentions the Gerry Thompson Facebook comments, to say that really, we’re not fighting against a specific group of women haters, we’re fighting against hateful and unwelcoming behaviour in its entirety. Isn’t that actually a laudable attitude? Your response, again, ‘sure, it’s bad, but women have it worse.’ I think that is kind of poor form, and I would say, it reads just like belittling.

    Going to stop writing now. Whilst it’s not my place to defend Davis’, for the sake of the discussion I felt I should attempt to put both of your pieces head to head. As with many response-counter response article chains, the truth is probably that if the two of you – or the three of you – were in a room discussing this topic, you’d probably find it incredible productive, you’d probably find that a lot of your views were in sync, and you might even get along very well. It’s tough that in print things have a habit of getting out of hand.



    1. Hello Rob
      The reason I formulated my position as a rebuttal is simply that if you examine Jim’s piece, it itself was a rebuttal. I am not parsing for weaknesses – I am addressing points he raises and arguing against them. One of the problems I have with the piece is that it purports to be forwarding the same ultimate agenda as Meghan’s piece, but his arguments truly failed to convince me that this is indeed the case.

      It’s one thing to state your goal, but if your arguments are not actually working towards that goal, it does invalidate the premise.

      I’d just like to note that Jim himself made the disclaimer in his article that being male himself, he has not directly faced some of the issues he is discussing. And this is part of the problem – if a group who is subject to oppression expressly discusses the source or cause of that oppression, one who is not part of that group cannot invalidate their experiences. So it *is* relevant that he is male when he is speaking to the experiences of women. My issue with Jim is not that he is presenting his position – rather it is the denial or the trivialisation of some of the experiences that Meghan describes.

      As for the issue of “equal vs equitable”, my position is this – at the present moment, treatment of men and women in Magic is *not* equal. The baseline level of respect an individual is afforded by others is informed by his or her gender. There cannot be equality until that bias is eliminated. And not to work to eliminate it means, by definition, that the status quo will be maintained.

      Representation does not qualify as special treatment, and this is a concept that I know is sometimes difficult to grasp. There are problems inherent in a meritocracy when opportunities are not equal. But even that is not the full extent of the argument – the list at the end of Meghan’s article is a selection of female voices in Magic. They are not suggested by virtue of their gender, but rather by virtue of the positions and values that they represent. The point here is that pertinent and valuable comment or discussion that is *not necessarily* of male origin. But again, there is a pre-existing bias in society that means those voices are from the outset less likely to be heard.

      And I do believe you have misread me. Jim is trying to equate the abusive behaviour directed at women with that which is directed at everyone, and the two are very different, in quantity, pervasiveness and the nature of abuse. I did, in fact, go to great pains to make the point that a acting to reduce the harassment against women is also acting to reduce harassment against everyone else, and this is an important point. But if one particular group is especially victimised, as we all seem to agree is the case, how is it wrong to address that specific victimisation? It is not at the expense of anyone else. My response is far more complex than simply “women have it worse”, and I urge you to re-read it if that is not apparent to you.

      I believe I have more than proven my willingness to engage in rational and respectful discussion around these points, despite the fact that I have, of course, fallen victim to a range of personal insults and slurs since posting my response.

      I stand by my words, and again I refuse to lower myself to respond in a manner that is devoid of decency and respect.

      1. Ms Tomson,
        This was well written. While I’m not sure what subtexts Davis’ article intended vs what is being widely inferred I do agree uniformly that the timing and positioning of his article as a direct rebuttal to Wolf’s was a poor decision. Whether or not it could’ve existed as an op-ed on its own and be seen in a different or cogent view is mostly irrelevant now because as you’ve said, it was used as an impetus to marginalize and invalidate a good positive article from Wolf to start with.

        Jim Davis like most MTG content producers is not a professionally trained writer by any stretch and while it is easy to sit back and wonder whether intent matches impact the end result is as you say it, “The fact of the matter is that behaviour that is oppressive remains oppressive irrespective of the motives behind that behaviour.”

        I appreciate your genuine perspective and response in addressing many of Davis’ arguments rather than devolving it into a witchhunt against him personally. Which is what I saw of many other poignant (or not) rebuttals being thrown around these past few days.

        Good objective analysis through and through.

  7. “you have become defensive after reading Meghan’s article.” An assumption, and perhaps, suspicious allegation that Davis has somehow done something in his life akin to what has been written about in Meghan’s original article. You are correct, however, in recognizing that a clear target has been levied against many a good and respectful males back.

    As such, I’d like to take a look at a film. The one in question? American History X.

    Here we have Edward Norton’s character, sitting at a kitchen table with his father. Kitchen table talk is about affirmative action. The father disagree’s with that. “Best man gets the job.” And whom could realistically disagree with this?

    This, in turn, spawns an age of neo-nazism and racial hatred in edward norton’s characters life. You’ve seen the movie. That is government intervention for you.

    The wall is finally broken down by kindness. Despise the symbols of hate and ignorance over nortons contenance and body, this black man steps out of his way to be exceptionally kind to norton’s character with a genuine desire to befriend the man.

    This is strength beyond strength. This is true enlightenment. This is what breaks down barriers. Not this “point my finger at this” mentality.

    1. Asking Magic players to respect each other regardless of gender is not remotely the same thing as government intervening with affirmative action that you have a problem with.

  8. So, let me get this straight….
    You’re mad that women arent getting preferential treatment, because you think some people getting preferential treatment over others makes everyone equal?

    lulz. SJW logic is hilarious

      1. This is a gross misrepresentation of the meaning of the phrase “All Lives Matter”. The reason people started using the phrase is because the felt that the phrase ” Black Lives Matter” was exclusive. If could just as easily be interpreted as ” Only Black Lives Matter” Of course help those in need. If the person in need of help is Asian, do we help them? How about if they are gay? The point of the phrase “All Lives Matter” is that we should help everyone who needs it, not just a specific demographic. This cartoon trivializes it and takes it WAY out of context.

  9. Hi,

    I am going to humbly reply and share my experiences and thoughts.

    From my perspective and my experiences at our Local Magic casual and competitive events I will tell you that Anastacia is truly voicing a genuine concern. Whereas I am sure that each individual and geographic locale would differ. I can only say that I applaud her stance and I support her point of view.

    From where I am sitting, she has completely voiced concerns which I see at many a casual or competitive MTG event. This is a societal issue and can be seen in nearly each facet of life. More so in certain countries / areas than others naturally. I will be following the developments as I too wish for my partner to be seen as the intelligent, well organized, strategic and forward thinking MTG Player, which I know she is. It is utterly demeaning to have my partner be seen as an attachment by other players. Moreover, this is not limited to casual or pre-game interaction(s).
    When she rakes in wins it is generally accompanied by a “little joke” and her male opponents are often ridiculed more than she is actually given acknowledgement. For the most part it is seen that she never really wins due to her own skill but rather to the miss-plays of her opponent(s). Whereas, when I challenge the standing rule and rake in wins I am told that my deck crafting is unique and very intricate.

    I do need to add that this cuts the other way as well. At certain events we feel much more at home and she can compete, just as I do with no hindrance. So it then does leave the following… There are some places where we are well received and can fully enjoy our hobby which we share a passion for. Whereas, at other places we are not entitled to such enjoyment.

    The male mindset, from my experience and interaction, has always boiled down to one thing: Woman are the lesser. Something which I do not agree with nor endorse. But changing a mindset of generations all across the world is a daunting task. Challenging the status quo in Magic is by default challenging the point of view of a vast majority of society in itself.

  10. Well written and thought out. Many of our local magic community were immediately disgusted by the original article, so we’re glad someone did take the time to rebuttal in such an eloquent manner.

  11. Do we have actual data on this topic? Number of males vs females playing magic? Number of males vs females that do not play magic but want to? What are the primary reasons that people don’t play magic when they would like to? I would be interested to see how that data would inform the basic premises of all three articles

    1. Data and empirical evidence are not something you will ever find within social justice warrior logic. Is there any empirical evidence as to how much representation even matters? Not just anecdotal evidence but real evidence of how much the “luxury” of representation matters to groups as a whole? Suppose women were given a more prominent role in coverage or whatever, how many women do you anticipate would actually start playing magic because of this?

      1. Like electing an African-American president? The unemployment rate for African-Americans has been reduced by the least of any race since Obama has been elected President. Obviously this trend could be caused by many confounding variables. Designing an actual experiment on a societal level with a control group would be very difficult but the President is the most visible person of power in this country and I have not seen strong evidence to show that Obama’s visibility has materially benefited anybody.

        1. This analogy is really stretching it. There are studies on the value of representation and the effectiveness of affirmative action approaches that are a lot more relevant than this one mostly irrelevant fact.

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