10 Ways Not to Fail as a Female Guild Leader

April 27, 2009 at 9:04 am 7 comments

Did I say 10 ways?  I’m afraid someone else has already cornered that particular market!

I meant one:

  1. Stop thinking of yourself as a female, and start thinking of yourself as a leader. 

Seriously.  If you blame every conflict that you encounter on your gender — if you assume that your guild members are testing you because you’re a woman, or attempting to manipulate you (with charm, or simple bullying) because you’re representative of the “weaker” sex — then you’re ignoring the real issues.  And believe me, there are real issues.  Male leaders experience the exact. same. challenges. that we do!

When our officers talk through the issues afflicting our guild, my gender has never entered into the conversation.  Not once have I said “Soandso is acting out in raids because he thinks I’ll let him get away with it, being a girl and all.  Clearly, I need to man up and show him who’s boss!” 

No.  Our conversations tend to be more along the lines of “Soandso is acting out in raids because he feels underutilized.  He may be testing us to see what he can get away with — but since we recruit mature, quality people, chances are that it’s an unintentional byproduct of his frustration.  Let’s address the underlying issue rather than simply resolve to talk over him.  Can we let him coordinate the trash pulls in this part of the instance?  Give him a CC target?  What can we do to make him feel useful, so he will focus more on the task at hand and less on the feathers he can ruffle?”

I strongly believe that allowing gender to enter into the discussion as anything more than a footnote (and who reads those, anyway?¹) does a disservice not only to you, as a female guild leader, but to all who would follow your lead — including those men for whom you assume that your gender is an issue at all.

Are female gamers a statistical minority?  Sure.  But just like not all of us are dancing naked on the Naxxramas summoning stone, whoring ourselves out for attention and epics, not all men are slavering idiots ready willing and eager to lap it up.  I’m sure both exist … but why waste time and energy anticipating sexism?  Especially if doing so also happens to perpetuate it?

TL;DR: Focus on the real issues.  Your gender shouldn’t be one of them.  If it is, then chances are it’s because you made it one by blaming everything that could possibly go wrong on your double-X chromosomes.  Or you’re playing with idiots, in which case I suggest you make liberal use of the /gkick or /gquit button.  As I wrote in the post that thrust me into the blogosphere in the first place, you control your experience.  It works both ways.

¹Except Kestral’s, of course. If you skip his footnotes, then you’re missing some of the best parts of his posts!


Entry filed under: WoW. Tags: .

I’m a rare spawn! The problem with Ulduar is Naxxramas.

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. spinks  |  April 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    This is such good advice.

  • 2. Veneretio  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    My thoughts exactly.

  • 3. Liore  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:26 am


  • 4. Matticus  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Urgh, I hate foot notes so much especially on longer posts. It’s quite disrupting to the flow for me if I have to scroll down then back up again. Yeah they’re entertaining but they’re so bothersome. I’ve always equated footnotes to journals or academic reading. There’s no reason not to insert footnotes as asides in the paragraph as brackets or just make it an extra paragraph entirely. It’s something I caution every new blogger when they break into blogging to either not use foot notes at all or use it extremely sparingly.

    One of Matt’s uber pet peeves :(.

  • 5. Elleiras  |  April 27, 2009 at 10:58 am

    @Matticus –

    I promise not to make a habit of it! I was going for irony this time, not precedent. I’m far too attracted to my parentheses to risk a fling with footnotes. 😉

  • 6. Blessing  |  April 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    As a current female gamer, officer, and pervious Guild Leader, bringing gender into the game has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. I totally agree with you that it’s not your sex leading it’s YOU. You make the discussions based on your thoughts, feelings, situtions, and experiences. Not based off if you are Female or Male. Best advice MAN (and not the sex) UP and Lead as a leader should, not as a female or male.

    Great post!

  • 7. Crucifer  |  April 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I read all footnotes (Matticus, you need to read Pratchett, he footnotes footnotes regularly). And Bio’s for that matter.

    I tend to avoid discussions on sexism (as well as religion, politics and dps gear) because the only answer is it shouldn’t happen.

    Players are players, judge them on their ability and, perhaps I’m spoiled on this, eloquent conversation.


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