No system is perfect. But in our world everything that we have is made up of a system. At your job you work in a system. A system of management, co-workers, and processes that govern how your working day unfolds. But again, no system is perfect. There exists a certain type of human who is cynical about everything. This is not hard to do, and it’s actually fairly lazy. What they do is rail against a system by finding the system’s holes. Every system has holes. They are the vocal minority. Sometimes they have a good point. A lot of the time they don’t. It can be hard to tune out the static. They don’t go and set up their own system, that would be too easy. You know who I’m talking about, you have one at your work I am sure.

Unsub wrote an interesting post about misogyny in gaming. First of all I am not accusing unsub of being one of the types of person that I outlined above. I think that unsub’s blog has some of the best MMO writing on the internet. There is a lot in that post, a lot of links, a lot of information. It is all apparently directed into a certain theme of hatred of women. That, after all, is what misogyny means. It’s an easy generalisation to make, and easy mud to sling, and once slung it sticks pretty well.

But a certain theme I noticed is that excluding women is bad. In the comments section, Stabs wrote that he left an alliance in Eve because one of the guilds doesn’t allow women access, (although they do let in wives and girlfriends of current members). Apparently a podcaster commented that he wasn’t sure if this is sexism, (or misogyny or bigotry, pick your adjective), but Stabs sure as hell is positive that it is. The system was not perfect, so he left in protest.

So just for fun I did a little google searching this morning in the city where I live. I typed in the search term ‘women only,’ and as I did so a surprising number of hits came up. Let me share them with you:

Women only gyms: There are a lot.

Women only travel tours:

How about some general women only groups around Perth? There can’t be that many of them, right? Because that would be sexist:

There’s quite a lot on that list.

What’s the point? Men and women are different. They have different energy. They have different needs. And some of those feelings and needs can be disrupted by the energy of a member of the opposite sex. On a generalised level. My wife’s energy does not disrupt a male group. She is very aware of the energy of a group of males and can position herself without causing any problems. But she understands if they decide not to let her in:

“If they don’t let me in, then that is perfectly understandable. But they would miss out on what I could bring to the group. That’s the problem when you label yourself as this or that, you miss out on the truly great potential members of the opposite sex who can breach barriers and bring a lot to a group.”

No system is perfect. I have nothing against any of these groups listed above. They do not effect me. They work for their members for various reasons. Just as a guild in an online game has chosen to exclude most females. It works for them. Is it perfect? No, but that’s no reason to get all cynical about it.