back to article Girl gamers sexism row: Top e-sports federation finds reverse gear

The International E-Sports Federation (IESF), an organisation that promotes computer games as sport and organises tournaments around the world, has decided it will no longer operate separate contests for men and women. Instead, the outfit has abolished its male division in favour of an “Open for All” division and a “Female” …

  1. Tsunamijuan

    Are you sure its Female..

    and not G.I.R.L. (Guy in real life)?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This world is mad!

    Mad I say.

  3. Carl W

    "Open for All" and "Women". I see no problem there, do you? Reminds me of when I worked at a company who offered up a "Black Engineer of the Year" award.

    1. Charles Manning

      "Black Engineer of the Year" award: Many still do.

      There are also many that claim to be "equal opportunity, affirmative action employees.". I don't quite figure out how you can be both.

      You'd expect that from the multiple universities that practice this because they are run by irrational arts grads, but even the tech sector has this.

      1. Frank N. Stein

        Wait until companies start gender bending and offering up gender neutral awards. The Gender Swap Awards.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Because it is the law.

        Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity are programs required by the Federal Government. That should explain everything. I remember a lunch conversation with a co-worker about this. He told me about the time he applied for a job at a major tech company. HR was honest enough to tell him that if he were a Black Female he would have a job. The fact that he was a White Guy meant he was SOL.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Because it is the law.

          A guy you knew once told you he went to an interview where an HR department told him if he was a different race and gender they'd give him the job, but he isn't, so they can't ....

          RIIIIGGGGGHHHTT, that really happened

          1. Craigness

            Re: Because it is the law.

            Why doubt it happened when affirmative action programmes are designed to make exactly this sort of thing happen? They can't face prosecution by telling him they're breaking one law, because they're force to break it by another law. And if they have an ounce of decency they should tell the guy why he didn't get the job.

            It sounds plausible to me, and I've heard the same thing elsewhere.

            1. dan1980

              Re: Because it is the law.

              @Craigness

              Why doubt it happened?

              Because any organisation big enough to be subject to those decisions has a well-enough paid Legal and HR department that anyone found actually saying what this person is alleged to have said would be fired out-of-hand.

              To be very clear, I am not arguing that this kind of thing doesn't happen 'behind the scenes', I am arguing that the veil does not get pulled-back for candidates.

              1. Hud Dunlap
                FAIL

                Re: Because it is the law. @dent1980

                There is nothing illegal about telling anyone that. The basis of Affirmative Action is that you do not hire the first person available but you Affirmatively look for a minority to take the job. That is why, from a legal basis the white guy was not discriminated against because he is not member of a protected class. The employer is required by law to look for a black woman. Once all opportunity to do so has been exhausted they can hire someone else.

                As much as I hate NPR I have leaned a lot about the way these laws operate and the rational behind them.

                I have also spent thirty years in Industry and I have seen HR jump through all sorts of hoops to make managers hire a minority.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Because it is the law. @dent1980

                  Hud Dunlap - "The basis of Affirmative Action is that you do not hire the first person available but you Affirmatively look for a minority to take the job."

                  No, it really isn't. You don't know what you're talking about.

                  Affirmative action was first created from Executive Order 10925, which was signed by President John F. Kennedy on 6 March 1961 and required that government employers "not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin" and "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin".

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Because it is the law. @dent1980

                    There's quite a few people posting here who would do well to go and read what's required by Affirmative Action law in their countries. It isn't what you assume is required, based on your comments. Have you ever actually checked?

  4. FrankAlphaXII

    Open for all, or not at all.

    Giving anyone a special category is not equality, its that bullshit "equality" that the governments and industry push because "divide et impera". Makes sense. Keep the plebes divided, their numbers don't matter when they hate each other more than they hate the people that control them. Whether its the false constructs of race, gender, sexuality, religion, national origin, whatever. Divide the fuckers. Their house divided can't stand against our money, guns and lack of division.

    I love how the transgender thing is the newest way to divide people. Its great. I hope they keep introducing new ones. How about augmented vs organic? Already have it for food, why not people? That's another box to put the plebes in.

    Problem is most people don't really want equality (or the responsibility that it entails) because they either simply can't compete without their respective crutches that get provided by the upper to give a slight advantage but not enough of one to make any difference (like affirmative action at Universities), or think they can't compete without it, which is even worse.

    1. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      This is probably the most sensible post I've seen yet on the subject of feminism and misandry being used to incite rage and hate, and it's likely to remain so in the inevitable wave of bigotry and ranting that this thread is going to turn into.. Divide and conquer. Obviously the two brainwashed PC morons who downvoted you (as of this reply) lack the necessary brain cells to comprehend your point.

      This is precisely why this hypocritical false "equality" exists - to enrage people and distract them from the real issue. White men are not privileged, any more than women or ethnic minorities are. The common PC furphy that because most privileged people are white men therefore all white men are privileged is the same as saying that because all boy-buggerers are gay therefore all gays must bhe boy-buggerers. What about privileged white women? Or privileged blacks - like Obama, currently the most powerful and privileged man on the planet? And what about all the "privileged" white men currently eating out of bins and sleeping in the gutters because they're so "privileged" they have no need of shelters, as women have?

      I'll tell you what ALL privileged people have in common, and it's not gender, race or who they enjoy fucking. It's WEALTH and POWER. Nothing else. And they use this wealth and power to push bullshit like affirmative action and political correctness, pissing in the face of gender and race discrimination by doing so, for the express purpose of distracting the masses from the real issue, which is that 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth.

      Nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than the undermining and eventual destruction of the Occupy movement. For a while, they were a real threat to the established order. They exposed the reality of the greed, hypocrisy and corruption of the ruling classes that make a mockery of the principles of democracy and freedom.

      Then along came the feminists, anti-racists, and gay-rights activists. Funded and encouraged by the ruling elite, they flooded the Occupy movement with their gender, race and sexuality issues, effectively dividing it and distracting it from the real issue, which was, and has always been, CLASS. Not gender. Not race. Not sexuality. CLASS. And in so doing, they divided and discredited the entire Occupy movement in the eyes of the public.

      Only when more people realise that affirmative action and its various supporters are being used as tools to disguise the real injustices of the world will those injustices ever be corrected. Playing hypocrite and fomenting hate as the IESF is doing here simply plays into the hands of the real criminals - those currently running every western nation.

      I wish I could upvote you a thousand times. But alas, I have only one to give.

      1. Hud Dunlap
        Thumb Up

        Couldn't agree with you more on Occupy.

        Have an up vote.

        1. Flatpackhamster

          Re: Couldn't agree with you more on Occupy.

          Occupy destroyed itself because it was a bunch of rich kids protesting about the stuff their rich parents protested about 20 years ago and their rich grandparents protested about in the sixties. It wasn't a grassroots movement and it didn't engage, or make any attempt to engage, ordinary people.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Couldn't agree with you more on Occupy.

            "Occupy destroyed itself because it was a bunch of rich kids protesting about the stuff their rich parents protested about 20 years ago and their rich grandparents protested about in the sixties. It wasn't a grassroots movement and it didn't engage, or make any attempt to engage, ordinary people."

            No, we're the People's Republican Front of Judaea, not the People's Republican Judaean Front

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Occupy? Obama?

        Good grief Charlie Brown.

        You started out so well.

        1. Steven Roper

          "Occupy? Obama?"

          Awwww, did I imply something bad about your idol and offend your delicate little PC sensitivities? Awwww, sowwy. Bless.

    2. Psyx

      "Giving anyone a special category is not equality"

      It is if it allows people to compete fairly. ie: Mixed Olympic 100m sprinting would be not be very mixed at all, with the winners all being male, thanks to basic physiology. We have plenty of differing weight categories in boxing, to allow fair participation.

      If the lack of winning female competitors in video gaming competitions is due to some innate male biological advantage, then by all means encourage separate competitions. If it's just down to low participation, an open competition is just fine. I can see why all-woman competitions are being run (to encourage more women players), but it's something that probably needs to get kicked into touch once the participation levels are up.

      1. Craigness

        Can't we all just...

        @psyx They're allowing separate competitions for women, banning them for men. If women can't compete with men then there would be no issue with a men-only tourny, but there was.

        The participation levels never will be up. Their discrimination is based on the idea that 50% of women are gamers, which comes from surveys where an hour on Candy Crush is counted the same as playing Halo for 48 hours every weekend for the last 5 years. But if there are less than 50% women in professional competitions then it must be because of some kind of bias, right? Something is causing women who game not to feel welcome in competitive gaming, right? But if you reject the 50% notion and look at the proportion of women streaming on Twitch you might find that women are no less likely to enter competitions than men are.

        End discrimination by not discriminating, it's that simple.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Can't we all just...

          "@psyx They're allowing separate competitions for women, banning them for men. If women can't compete with men then there would be no issue with a men-only tourny, but there was."

          Agreed so far.

          "The participation levels never will be up."

          I disagree. They will be. Either due to more women becoming interested in the competitive side, more competitions for less 'macho' games with a broader appeal, or more women not being so intimidated by the male clique (and who don't mind being in a room which reeks of man-sweat).

          "Their discrimination is based on the idea that 50% of women are gamers, which comes from surveys where an hour on Candy Crush is counted the same as playing Halo for 48 hours every weekend for the last 5 years."

          I agree that their data is clearly very wrong in some manner. Perhaps for the reason you suggest (although it's a little dismissive), or perhaps other factors (most women prefer games which are not one-on-one competitive, perhaps?)

          "End discrimination by not discriminating, it's that simple."

          I understand and sympathise with the message. I greatly dislike positive discrimination and the whole 'X History week' thing. However, I feel that there is room (temporarily) for a less intimidating and more introductory women-only competition, even though the concept annoys me for the same reasons it annoys you. Look at it as a promotional event, rather than a permanent feature.

          1. fearnothing

            Re: Can't we all just...

            Two downvotes? Maybe they'll learn someday. Have an up, my friend. This was one of the most sensible and reasonable posts I've seen in ages.

  5. Charles Manning

    esport trying to be real sport

    This is just e sport people trying to make it sound like a real sport. Having males and females compete against each other would undermine that.

    In real sport there are female sporting grades to give them a chance since, as a generalization, males have various traits that give them an edge. To sound like a real sport, esport needs this too.

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: esport trying to be real sport

      Honestly the same is true in gaming too. That being said an arbitrary limit on the "top flight" is silly - if any female gamers are up to standard people will be more than happy to watch them play - usually this involves qualification (beating other teams) which is the real barrier.

      Problem is they can't do that because there's no money in it because they *can't* actually beat male teams. It's literally down to lack of killer instinct. Last year there was a Dota tournament for women (absurd thing that it was), one of the players got a killing spree and started running around the stage like they'd won the lottery - yeah the game is still going on actually what the hell are you doing?

      1. Psyx

        Re: esport trying to be real sport

        "Problem is they can't do that because there's no money in it because they *can't* actually beat male teams... Last year there was a Dota tournament for women (absurd thing that it was),"

        It's that kind of comment that makes a lot of women not WANT to play with men/jerks. And maybe that's how the organisers see it as well: How about a competition where a proportion of the entrants won't be derided and made to feel like second class citizens.

        "It's literally down to lack of killer instinct."

        Wow. really? You need to be a hardened hunter-gatherer to punch a mouse with the right level of aggression?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: esport trying to be real sport

          "It's that kind of comment that makes a lot of women not WANT to play with men/jerks."

          What as stupid observation. You play to beat the competition. And if you beat those jerks, even better.

          What's the problem? These women can't decide for themselves? Do they feel threatened so they must be nutured until they realize uhhh I don't know, what? What is it they have to realize? This is going to turn into a PC fest, where it's ok to "verbally abuse" another man but the moment a woman *feels* slightly discomforted you are expelled.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: esport trying to be real sport

            "This is going to turn into a PC fest, where it's ok to "verbally abuse" another man but the moment a woman *feels* slightly discomforted you are expelled."

            It's not okay to verbally abuse people. Someone observing that an environment is especially hostile to women (such as pervasive rape jokes) is not someone arguing that men should be abused. Basic logic. It's just pointing out that an environment is particularly unwelcoming to women and that, on the assumption that you don't want to discourage women, that should change. But who knows - maybe you do want to discourage women. Your piss-poor logic skills suggest that you might be such an idiot.

        2. streaky Silver badge

          Re: esport trying to be real sport

          "It's that kind of comment that makes a lot of women not WANT to play with men/jerks. And maybe that's how the organisers see it as well: How about a competition where a proportion of the entrants won't be derided and made to feel like second class citizens."

          Cool story - it's a meritocracy. Win games, qualify, win tournament. Everything else is noise.

          "You need to be a hardened hunter-gatherer to punch a mouse with the right level of aggression?"

          No you have to be a hunter-gatherer to make the right decisions about when/how to attack and when/how to run away. Proof is in the pudding here - there's literally nothing physical about why female teams can't perform at male level. Are you going to tell me women are just too dumb to play games? No. So maybe it's something else?? Maybe it's what I said?

          Like I said arbitrarily limiting females out of professional gaming is silly, but most pro tournaments are done by open qualifiers, therefore no excuse. See TI4 currently running, not a single female player and literally every single person in the world can get there if they're good enough.

    2. Ian Yates

      Re: esport trying to be real sport

      @Charles Manning: Defending your point slightly, given the downvotes, this is exactly what the IeSF said to justify the gender-specific competitions: it makes them seem like a more legitimate sporting federation.

      It's an interesting point, but a terrible defence; they're essentially saying "well, the others discriminate (rightly or wrongly), so we should too", without looking at whether they need to.

      The reality is, though, why do they have different games for different genders? That would be like men competing in 100m sprint, while women get hopscotch.

      Arguably, they could run a year where women can compete separately on the same games to "prove" (in my hypothesis) that there's no innate reason that a combined games won't work - ignoring their hypothesis that women are more likely to compete if they know they'll compete against other women.

      I'm guessing that their view is that once they have a few world female champions, it may encourage other women to try their luck...

  6. Curly4

    Can women hack it?

    Open to all and open to females. Who can say what the gender of the player is? That is unless the players are all in the same location. But I would dare say that the females played in the all male games when they still existed. It would be much more satisfying for the female(s) to beat a male and also be more humiliating for the male.

    But the PC politics will never reach the goal that they claim to want (if it is equality that want) when the carve out a niche for a specific group. If there is a female only then it is telling the females that they cannot compete with the males and have to be given an easier goal to reach.

    But equality has never been the goal of any of the PC politicians.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Can women hack it?

      >>It would be much more satisfying for the female(s) to beat a male and also be more humiliating for the male."

      Why do you think a woman would get extra satisfaction from beating a man at a video game? Or that a male is more humiliated by losing to a female? I don't actually see any reason why someone should feel humiliated by losing to another anyway - it just means you spend less time playing video games - but I especially don't see why the sex of the person you lost to matters.

  7. Captain DaFt

    Full speed train wreck!

    It sounds even more condescending than the way it was before.

    'Separate but equal' becomes 'You cute little thing, of course you can play with the fellas! But when you've tired of that, we have a special little clubhouse, just for you!'

    No. If it's equal, it's equal. One field, everybody plays by the same rules.

  8. dan1980

    I have no problem with a female-only competition. PROVIDED, there is a male-only competition as well.

    Providing women with the choice to either compete alongside men or only with other women but not allowing the same choice to men is sexist. Both ways. If the reasoning is that some women may feel more comfortable competing against other women then you had better believe that some men feel more comfortable competing against other men.

    There are three choices:

    * Run single, combined competition.

    * Run 2 separate competitions - one female-only, one male-only.

    * Run 3 competitions - 2 separate and one combined.

    1. Craigness

      The Boy Scouts accepts girls, the Girl Guides bans boys. There Must Be No Male Spaces!

    2. Ian Yates

      I thought similar: 3 competitions.

      One all-male, with "World Male Champion" title; one all-female, with "World Female Champion"; and then an extra tournament of the top 8 (w/e) from each to title the "World Mixed Champion"...

  9. Cheshire Cat
    Thumb Down

    Doesnt look like equality to me.

    Playing computer games is not dependent on your physical strength, and so there should be no difference between the capabilities of male or female players. So why have separate tournaments? Fewer females win because fewer enter. Fewer enter because fewer are interested. Making a separate tournament for females is highly patronising and implies they are less capable of winning than a male player. Having a 'female only' tournament without a separate 'male only' is even more patronising, in addition to being by definition sexual discrimination.

    By having two competitions, they are keeping female playes out of the 'real' tournament, decreasing the liklihood of a female reaching the finals, and propping up the myth that gender has anything to do with an ability to push buttons on a gamepad.

    1. Piro

      "Making a separate tournament for females is highly patronising and implies they are less capable of winning than a male player. Having a 'female only' tournament without a separate 'male only' is even more patronising, in addition to being by definition sexual discrimination."

      Could not agree more. What a sexist farce.

      Women are known to be great on factory assembly lines in China - they have to work with their hands very quickly then, and surely they have the same fight or flight instinct. Taking physical constraints mostly out of the way, the only thing stopping women competing in games just as well is likely the fact they have better shit to do.

    2. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

      It could also be the kinds of games. If there was a Farmville contest I expect you'd need a special category to help the poor little men keep up with the women.

    3. Guus Leeuw

      Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

      I like the way you got that one in: "liklihood" talking about females... Well done, Cheshire Cat... !! :)

    4. SundogUK

      Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

      Physical strength isn't relevant but hand/eye coordination, reflexes and the 'killer' instinct are. In all of which males out-perform females by a significant margin.

    5. Meerkatjie

      Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

      Actually I can see why you would have 'All' and 'Female-only' competitions - in the female-only competition you would get slightly less vitriolic comments about how they are going to rape you after the game or similar comments.

      1. JoshOvki

        Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

        Perhaps it could be split into two different categories "douchbags" and "normal people"?

      2. jbuk1

        Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

        In any serious "sporting" event that would clearly lead to disqualification so that's a load of hogwash.

      3. Craigness

        Re: Doesnt look like equality to me.

        Meerkatjie

        Clan: faminazi

        Special move: straw man

  10. poopypants

    It is better than it was

    The International E-Sports Federation originally had entirely separate contests for men and women, with one set of games for men and a different, smaller set of games for women. Thus women were prevented from competing in some popular games. In reaction to the resultant outcry, they made the male competition open to everyone. They could also have dropped the female competition, but chose not to. In any case, it is an improvement over the previous situation.

  11. The Vociferous Time Waster

    All of the above comments on equality

    ...says the middle class white guy.

    1. Ian Yates
      WTF?

      Re: All of the above comments on equality

      Wait, so I can't have a view on equality because I was born in to a particular position? Hmm...

  12. OmgTheyLetMePostInTheUK
    Terminator

    Men? What men?

    *GASP* You mean there are still men that are happy to be "men"?

    On earth?

    Are you sure?

    Do they look anything like that guy on the right over there? ----->>

    When there are only 2 choices and everyone aged 1 and old knows both of them, how can you possibly forget to list both unless you are pushing an agenda? Or on drugs at work.... Either way, if you can't remember MALE AND FEMALE on anything should be fired. No excuses.

  13. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    How does that work then?

    "The IeSF’s female-only competitions aim to bring more diversity". How do you increase diversity by removing one gender?

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: How does that work then?

      > How do you increase diversity by removing one gender?

      The same way as in physical sport. What if there were a difference between men and women? Heresy I know, but for example, what if men focus on one thing better and women multi-task better? I don't know if thats true or not, but I couldn't juggle all the tasks my wife does and she has little interest in dealing with tech. That seems to be common. If the games are produced by men (for historical reasons) and aimed at what men do best, it is possible that women wouldn't be represented at all at the top flight of an open-only arena.

      Remember, this is an commercial event. Why make money only on one event, when you can make money on two?

  14. codejunky Silver badge

    Have I got this right?

    So there is an open competition for both genders, then and exclusive one for only women? Assuming I understand this right from watching how similar exclusions are opposed are the men supposed to put together a woman hating group which is extremely vocal about woman hating but all the while claim to be fighting for equality. Get onto various talk shows and rant in ways that you would generally not be allowed to but by coming across as an oppressed minority be permitted to say almost anything. Then after protests online and in the real world for the minority of vocal idiots who claim to represent the rest the men could force a change of the rules to be more equal. As in this case by having the other genders competition cancelled while having an exclusive one all to ourselves.

    Does the IESF actually think this is equality or have they had a lobotomy?

  15. klaxhu

    For anybody following esports, at this moment in time as an example, there is a girl from Canada -nick- Scarlett playing Startcraft 2 (one of the best paid players in the world right now). She basically destroyed everybody in the last tournament (most of them, mainly korean as it is their national sport).

    So ..it can be done :-)

  16. Spotfist
    Paris Hilton

    Whaaaa?

    This just doesn't make any sense, they have a group for males and females and then a female only group but harp on about how girls don't play in these tournaments??? I assume that this is just a way around having a males only group, surprise, surprise none of the ladies ever qualify for the mixed. Aaah maybe next year...

    Either one of two things are happening here,

    1) Girls suck at COD so there is no point of a mixed tournament as they will never make it through but nobody is willing to admit it, I find his VERY hard to accept.

    2) Girls are WAY better than boys at COD and have much faster reflex times etc, everyone on the IESF is worried there man hood might come into question so therefore, no girls!

    I think everyone at the IESF needs to be sacked and put on some sort of reality course where they can hopefully drill into their heads that girls don't all stay at home baking cakes!

  17. Kevin Johnston

    Yet curiously

    this is one area where the French got it right, and to paraphrase....

    'there is almost no difference between men and women, vive la difference'

  18. Rosie Davies

    Friday Furors

    A day early maybe but it doesn't seem to make too much difference to the tone of the comments. Why is it that whenever there is a Reg article about anything that even touches on an attempt being made to provide female-friendly environments there is a huge outpouring of aggressive vitriol?

    Rosie

    1. Anonymous Coward #13

      Re: Friday Furors

      Where is my male friendly environment? Where is my males only competition?

      1. Rosie Davies

        Re: Friday Furors

        Well OK, do you perceive a need for a male-friendly environment? If so, why not create one yourself.

        I think (though I will admit that I haven't looked into the really looked into it - I am not a gamer) that the organisers felt there was a need to create a female-friendly environment for $reasons so they did. If the atmosphere at the competitions was anything like the one on this comment thread then I can understand why they may have felt there was a need.

        Rather than discounting the $reasons, attacking the organisers and creating a more hostile environment would it not be more productive to understand the $reasons and seeing if anything can be done to address them?

        Rosie

  19. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Women Gamers Only Tourney

    I just see this as a way for males to droll over women and its just tacky

  20. Lamont Cranston
    Trollface

    e-sports:

    for when darts is just too physically demanding.

  21. FireBurn

    I think the issue is people often confuse Equality to treating everybody the same - this isn't what equality is about. It is about treating people in such a way that the outcome for each person can be the same. Just now in business and in gaming woman are massively underrepresented. This isn't because women aren't capable of being CEO's or world class gamers. Positive action even though it sounds terribly unequal is attempting to rebalance environments. Eventually it won't be needed but until threads like these (often littered with misogyny / racism / homophobia) no longer happen then work will need to be done to tackle the divide

    It has been proven again and again that men and women behave diffentently in same-sex and mixed environments. Often it's the men who are slower to adjust

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