State of the Union #1 – Standing Behind One’s Actions

Howdy, Amanda here. Usually I would be speaking to you all as the writer of Path to Casual or whatever other article I am throwing up on the site. But, today I can’t talk like that. Today, I need to speak to all of you as one third of the administrative staff of Red Site Wins. Yesterday, a joint article by Jason and Sean went up about why their significant others chose not to play magic with anyone but them. The idea for the article dates all the way back to an article by Jackie Lee on the site, Womanhood is not a Draft Archetype. We joked after recording an episode of Red Cast Wins that the only way to get views on the site was to not actually write about the game. Jason said he was going to interview his girl friend about why she won’t play Magic and Sean said it was a great idea and that they should do a joint idea.

That is the birth of the article. It was supposed to be funny and a little eye opening and have more open ended questions than PV’s interview with female Magic personalities. I have to say, there were parts of Sean and Jason’s article that I greatly enjoyed and some of the anecdotes were entertaining. In fact, it was nice to see the casual woman’s side of the women and Magic debate. Too often do we hear pros chime and celebrities, but the every man/woman gets lost in our Twitter streams or we just don’t follow them because they don’t write for SCG or ChannelFireball or whomever.

So, why am I even talking about this article? Well, I had the pleasure of engaging multiple people on Twitter the other day about the topic and the inherent themes it brings to light. A lot of people praised the article, and admitted that there was a problem in the Magic community. Others thought that the type of people discussed in the article were of but a small sampling of the Magic community. And on the far end of the spectrum, were those who just thought these women were wrong.

Don’t worry. I am not going to name names or take pot shots. Heck, I don’t even want to be writing this. There are things I’d rather be doing at 2:24am in the morning. There were a few problems with the tone of the debates. For one, there is a new myth about FNM. That FNM is a tournament like any other tournament you go to. Say, a PTQ. The truth is, it isn’t. It falls under CASUAL REL. That means, lil Johnny can accidentally draw too many cards and not get a game loss. Or the Suzy can miss a trigger and be allowed to still have the effect happen.

There is another issue I have. I do not approve of people attacking the women who were asked the question. These were opinions they formulated from their personal experience. Everyone’s experiences are different and unique. I was taught in Journalism to argue the opinion, not the opinionated. Translation? Argue the point, not trash the person making it.

Here is where I get to my point. At Red Site Wins, we try to highlight all aspects of the player experience of this game we all love. I am proud to say that I think we cover aspects that people wouldn’t have even thought of. However, I would like to point out, that while we are all one team and one site we all have different views. Is this me hanging Sean and Jason out to dry? No. What I am saying is that certain statements are the author’s and while we host them, we don’t believe them. Otherwise, Luis and I wouldn’t be having our showdown.

I would like to apologize to all those offended by the article. It is never ever our intent to cause ill feelings or insult our readers. If we even foresaw that as a potential outcome, more editing would have occurred or the article would have been scrapped all together. I hope my apology is enough for all of you.

Remember to keep it casual,

– Amanda Stevens.

About Amanda Stevens

My name is Amanda and I am a nerd. This fact will taint everything that will ever come out of my mouth. While I follow real world news, you would never know it. I prioritize most of my conversations around Magic the Gathering, anime, and League of Legends. Also, don't mention Green Lantern being gay to me, you will regret it.

Posted on August 9, 2011, in State of the Union. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Amanda,
    Why in the heck is everyone getting so bent out of shape or “offended” by this? I don’t think there needs to be any apologies for the article. I think if anything the Magic community as a whole, including WotC need to take a step back and see why this is happening and how we can prevent it. Everyone needs to quit denying that this is an issue and start facing facts. In this male dominated game we should be a little more realistic in our overview of women in it and how they’re treated. If the prevailing feeling is that women are looked down upon and not treated equally, well where there’s smoke there’s fire. Deal with it people and don’t criticize those brave enough to speak out on what the problem is.

    • We have gotten a lot of backlash for the article, especially Sean. We figured that we should, instead of taking the “shut up, you’re wrong” stance we should try to clarify outside of the drama that was developing on Twitter. I try my hardest to keep to make sure Red Site Wins has a good reputation. This is the first time we have gotten a bad rep for something.

      I agree with you. There are problems in the community. I am just fearful, this article did more hurt then help. Thanks though for having our backs.

  2. RealEvilGenius

    Thanks for the support Mike.

    Amanda, I’m sorry you feel the need to apologize on behalf of the site for our article. We weren’t trying to bring trouble to your doorstep.

    The point of the article was just to display one viewpoint that we had discovered through our interviews. We understand it came out one sided. Sean and I are currently looking for women in other areas of the community to interview to start getting other perspectives on the issue.

    However, attacking the people interviewed does nothing more than to prove points made inside the interview. Saying “People who think that Magic players are elitist and condescending just aren’t able to understand us and are probably stupid” does nothing to address the problem, it only furthers it. I can be a condescending elitist douche too, but in competitive 32k REL events. FNM is meant to be casual, and is also meant for newer players to play in to get a better grasp of the game. Being an “elitist”, “condescending”, or just “unwelcoming” at these types of events isn’t how you get new magic players to continue playing the game. This is much less about Gender, and more about the community. If you think you have a right to call people stupid because “they just don’t understand” you because you’re good at a card game then you’re the issue, not the person who doesn’t understand. They can’t understand you because you don’t give them the chance to understand you.

  3. I’m frustrated but far from surprised that there was backlash, but the article was a good one. I love my hobbies (which number among them Magic and tabletop roleplaying games), but there is no denying that they are at times remarkably hostile to women.

    I think the occasional reminder to players that a great many situations would be improved if they dropped the condescension and treated people like people is a helpful one, and the fact that there was a shitstorm about it instead of universal agreement that this happens and that it’s a problem (because it does and is) proves we have a long way to go.

    The same argument plays out every time somebody tries to say “Hey, some people are, you know, gay, so maybe people should try not to use the word as a synonym for ‘stupid’ quite so often.”

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