Grand Theft Auto V and Sexism

By Geisha Bar

You only have to experience online gameplay to understand just how shitty treatment of female gamers is. Newsflash: Gaming isn’t American football. Gaming isn’t a male domain where your y chromosome can give you physical advantages, so stop acting like it is. Anyone with a speedy DSL connection and opposable thumbs can be an excellent gamer – and that includes women, so why can’t these tantrum-throwing little gamer boys deal with it?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will be aware that the highly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto V has recently been released, with it’s online play having been made available last week. Already the net is flooded with reports of females being treated like shit when playing GTA5 online. It’s not even just women – men who choose to use a female character have also been subject to the immature and pointless actions of those misogynist gamers. One guy has reported that in the game a male gamer began jumping on his female character’s corpse and screaming “YEAH! TAKE THAT SLUT! BITCH! YA FUCKING CUNT! FUCK OFF BACK TO CANDY CRUSH CUUNNT!!!!!”

Who even are these pathetic little boys and why do they feel so threatened when females (or perceived females) play online? I feel like being violent towards someone purely for their gender is akin to the step before torturing animals on your way to becoming a serial killer. Are these guys the regular nice dudes that serve you at the bank, or at a games store? I can’t understand who could be so brutal to people online whilst remaining decent in everyday life….. therefore I’m pretty sure that they must just be children who don’t consider their actions. Children who shouldn’t even own GTA5, I might add!! I read an excellent article written by a dude who works at a gaming store who sold a lot of copies of the game to parents buying for their children. He tried very hard to warn them that the game carries a rating for a reason and listed all of the adult themes for them, whilst they all nodded blithely, ignoring him in favour of their iPhones. These inattentive parents are the reason 13 year old kids get their hands on this game and create themselves a space to allow their sexist and bullying tendencies to develop unchecked. Way to go, parents. Just so we are clear, I’m not blaming the video game, I’m blaming the online attitudes and the parents that buy their children rated games.

Once when I was playing Red Dead Redemption (aka Grand Theft Horse) online, I used a female avatar. After doing a few gang missions, I found a “friend” to go and do some missions with, which was going along fine. We had our headsets on and I assumed that this person was a female because, well, they kind of sounded like one. Turns out that it was a dude who was in his early-mid teens. Conversely, I was using a shitty el cheapo headset and probably sounded like a pre-pubescent boy myself. He asked, “Why are you playing as a girl?”

“Uh … because I am a girl?” I replied. It was then that he decided to start just shooting the almighty shit out of my horse. Not once, but for the rest of the session until I had had enough and logged off.

Fuck you, dude.