MtA Episode 126: Sigh

Let’s get real: this episode was very hard for Meghan and Maria to record. On the heels of a week dealing with backlash from an article about women in Magic, our dynamic duo sound off about why Meghan’s article was important, how the rebuttal was damaging to women in the community, and a host of other issues surrounding the topic of women in MtG. If you agree with Meghan and Maria: great, but if you don’t – this episode is specifically for you. It’s also for any lady planeswalkers out there who wish they had more of a voice.

Link to Meghan’s article: http://www.starcitygames.com/article/31023_Women-In-Magic-the-Gathering.html

Link to Anatascia’s rebuttal of Jim Davis’ article: https://planeswalkersfordiversity.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/women-and-magic-a-rebuttal/

 

15 thoughts on “MtA Episode 126: Sigh

  1. I just wanted to stay that the podcast was fantastic. While I don’t agree with it 100% it was by far the best take on this issue that I have heard on the interwebs.

    One point that came up early when both of you were discussing the articles you have written, there is an appearance that the only articles that women in magic write about magic relate to the “plight” (and i hate that word) of women playing magic. Not about tournament reports, deck techs, etc. I think a lot of this comes from twitter. I follow many pro magic players and other magic celebrities who almost uniformly agree with you and are very quick to retweet or link to articles discussing the “plight”. However, they rarely retweet or link articles written by women about their tournament experiences, discussing decks and other direct gameplay elements.

    This creates a certain perception of the types of magic articles that women write. I personally think this is machiavellian attempt to keep their jobs (not really, but maybe).

    My other thoughts are here if anyone cares to read them (in the comments). Keep up the great work.

    http://www.hipstersofthecoast.com/2015/06/wwl-elitism/

    #blameworth

    #lessdrewlevin

  2. Keep up the good work! The fight for equality might be a hard one, but it is one worth fighting and one you’re not fighting alone. Meghan’s article was certainly inspiring.

  3. Excellent episode. Loved all of it, hope everyone who doesn’t believe there’s a problem listens to this piece.

    Regarding the image of skunks and the perils of navigating the vicissitudes of human subjectivity, I think as a community we do have to work on ways that we can communicate with each other about our own experiences and the experiences of others. It is a skill that as a society we’re woefully undertrained in. It’s a very difficult terrain to navigate, mostly because it requires empathy and a lot of listening, and the willingness to understand our own limitations.

    I think you were making this point in the episode, but I just wanted to emphasize it because I think it’s so so important. There’s a huge difference between someone asserting what another group’s experience is by fiat and someone carefully describing how they perceive a set of experiences within a population. I hate to reduce this to a binary, but for the sake of brevity I will. There’s a lot of men who can’t understand first hand what it’s like to play magic as a woman, but are nonetheless feminists and who can represent these ideas and the experiences of women they know without generalizing or objectifying women.

    The difficulty is that there’s no simple equation that can determine what kind of comment is sensitive and empathetic, and what kind of comment is degragatory and general. It’s context driven and we as a community need to help each other understand our experiences in ways that help us to become more expansive and empathetic community members.

    Your episodes and articles of late have done great work to that end, keep it up!

  4. Another enjoyable podcast. That said, I won’t look forward to your music CD. My poor earholes :'(

    Like you, I think Jim Davis didn’t mean to be vicious or poor-meaning, but he just doesn’t seem to understand what the real issues are.

  5. Great show, very good points. I’ve been looking forward to this episode since Jim Davis made an ass of himself last week. I wasn’t disappointed by the commentary provided by you guys.

  6. I have to agree with your call for more women in coverage, but I don’t know if I understand your comments on skill. I think you are trying to say that someone with passion and understanding are all that is required to provide good coverage, but I am not sure. For example, both of the hosts of this podcast would probably be good at coverage. Gaby Spartz and Kathleen de Vere, would also be good candidates in my opinion. All of these players have experience streaming and discussing magic, as well as being well spoken.

    I did want to mention that I think it might also help to have more visibility for the number of female judges.

  7. Both your article and the linked rebuttal are solid pieces. Thank you for bringing these issues to light and giving your perspective. Your voices are distinct and need to be heard.

    As a dad of a daughter who would rather play Magic than the My Little Pony CCG I believe that our hobby should be a welcoming place for anyone and everyone. A competitors age, gender, weight, hair color, clothing, sexual preference, political party, religious preference, etc have exactly zero effect on their ability to perform at a Grand Prix or an FNM.

    Equality in inclusion is something that comes up with some frequency in my line of work and the saying that we often toss around is this; just don’t be wired. Love the game, ask your competitor questions, just don’t be weird. There may have been a time when weird was expected from Magic’s target demographic, but that time was 20 years ago.

  8. I am a little behind on some of my ‘casts, so i just finished your episode ‘Sigh’. I have read your article and Jim’s, and I think you have some valid points. I think he does too, but it could have been better framed. What I wanted to take issue with was your reactions. It is unconscionable that your reaction to a rebuttal or counterargument is to demand that it be taken down. I would love to see more women at my LGS, for them to feel comfortable at FNMs, but the way we get there is by discussing to issue, not censoring the opposing viewpoint.

    • Maria here.

      I’d just like to reiterate what we said in this episode in regards to your comment.

      If the article was posted on a private site, we would not be calling for its removal. But because it was, in effect, endorsed by the #1 Magic site (outside of dailymtg.com) – that was an issue for us. Any business that is so relevant in the community should not be promoting sexist and harmful viewpoints – the same way it would be encouraged to remove a naïvely racist article. We believe the article was not malicious in intent, but it was damaging nonetheless. It encouraged women to shut down the dialogue, not continue it, calling for the end to conversation about an important issue. What we want is helpful conversation. What we do not want is for sexist viewpoints that tell women their opinions & experiences are incorrect and they should basically “laugh off” harassment endorsed by a top Magic content hub.

      Again, private websites can do whatever they please.

    • Yes, they are pursuing the fiendishly counterintuitive strategies of suppressing the Davis editorial by linking to a blog post that reproduces a screenshot of it in its entirety, and avoiding discussion by devoting a seventy minute podcast to the topic.

      Incidentally, it’s ironic that commenters feel that Davis’ piece, which reads like it required about five minutes combined of writing, research and thinking to produce, merely for being part of the ‘discussion’ and not for having any identifiably praiseworthy qualities apart from unnamed ‘valid points’, deserves to be put on equal footing with a well-written article that has actual work put into it like Meghan’s and to be entitled to publication by a big-name site, when that piece largely consists of attempts to lecture women on earning respect through their own merits. What did this thin soup of tone-deaf writing and clueless and/or bad-faith arguments do to earn any column inches?

  9. Hello,

    thank you for the podcasts.

    I am not sure if that ” .. achivment is bond to opportuinity …” is true in this case.

    Let’s take another great card game, bridge. No naked queens on the cards and at the club level women are the majority.

    Now have a look at bridge competitions comparable to the level of the Pro-Tour or the players hired in professional teams.

    ciao
    stefan

  10. Megan, not only should you just shut up and wait for Maria to give your clothes back, but because you asked, now you’ve pissed her off, and now she probably won’t give them back, because by bringing it up you’ve made the situation worse.

    I thought it was a great example. Good job. Megan & Maria 2016.

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