Are you treated differently as a woman?
This is an excerpt from the June 2018 House Lionesse panel on women's fighting. Panelists discuss their individual fighting paths and experience with how others have treated them.
My brief answer is no, because Polaris is good about our female fighters. I'm not gonna have much to say on this because I've always been treated fairly equally, but I don't know what anybody else's experiences have been like.
I get a little tired of--and I mean it makes sense, yeah cleaner shots get things better done. But sometimes when you see someone that's like iron hiding or rhino-hiding your shots it gets a little bit irritating. Either I step away from the game and breathe and relax, or I mention to a reeve to just say, can you watch this and tell me if I'm wrong or not? Because sometimes I am.
I feel like a lot of sloughing is more of a misunderstanding, or maybe the person is new enough where it didn't register. You hit them and they'll eventually realize in a few seconds, with that little delay. I don't come across malicious sluffing often anymore. It definitely happens and that was something I definitely experienced when I was a lot newer to the game. Within my first three years that was the thing I encountered frequently, but that's a whole other rant. I think it does happen, I think it's a lot less frequent. As far as getting recognized as as a fighter, I don't think that's something I've particularly experienced. I had to win my fourth twice before I finally felt comfortable enough to take it, like I was representative of that skill level. But I'm pretty proud of all of those. I felt like I was fairly recognized when I earned them. My biggest challenge at this point is justifying that award, making sure that award matches the skill level I feel like I should have and should be putting forward. I think that's my biggest challenge as far as being recognized on the field--it's making sure I'm not a bad example.
The only time I’ve ever felt not truly recognized as a fighter because of my gender is when--I've been fighting for five years in this game so I have a fair amount of skill. I know what I'm doing beyond the basics, and if there's a specific shot of a better fighter wants to show me, sure. But the biggest thing I hate getting, and it's a little less now but definitely still happens, is guys trying to teach you because they think this is your first day or that you probably don't know anything. It doesn’t happen a lot, and you can shut them down real fast by kicking their butts immediately but I do still get people trying to teach me. I know it's from a good natured place, they don't see a lot of women, I'm sure, but oh I hate that one! Don't try to teach us if you have no idea what our skill level is. Let us go on the field first.
That happened to me at clan a couple years ago! I was at clan and I'm on the end of the ditch, out there having fun. And I thought I was doing pretty well out there but the guy I was fighting didn't think so. He pulled me aside and was like, “hey, let me show you some stuff about fighting” and I'm like, “is this happening?” So I was like sure, let me hear what you have to say, we could have a discussion on fighting--it wasn't a discussion. It was him talking at me, telling me how I should fight. I went and told some people about it afterwards, and they were like “that guy? that guy did that? you were working him over!” I thought he would have something interesting to say, but he wanted to teach me how to fight like I didn't know.
It's not to discourage guys from wanting to teach the women fighters they see, that's not my point. If you feel like you saw them not making a certain block right, and you want to work on a specific thing, yeah! Go and teach them! But if you just want to tell them “here's how you fight”... maybe don't? The champion can do that job, it's not yours, to try to teach somebody that you think for whatever reason doesn't know how to fight yet.
I still don't want guys come up with, “hey, let me show you how to block that hip wrap” or whatever. I mean, I might be working on something right there, or maybe I'm not super on point that day and I'm feeling already bad about my fighting. The unsolicited help is probably one of the more detrimental things you can do. You can say “hey I saw this thing, do you want to talk shop? do you want to work on some fighting stuff? No? Cool.” and then back off.
Right, let her control whether or not she wants to learn about it.