[MUD-Dev] The Price of Being Male

Castronova Castronova
Sun Jun 29 14:13:47 New Zealand Standard Time 2003


From: Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com

> Am the only one who feels he's reading too much into this? I
> thought it was established that :

>   - more males play EQ.

>   - in the round, people prefer to play characters of their own
>   gender.

> Those two factors seem adequate explanation without making dubious
> claims of sexual discrimination.

I've gotten a lot of mail from people saying, "Hey, men just like to
be treated as men! That's not sexual discrimination." I agree with
the premise 100 percent: the data show that men, in general and on
average, would rather be treated as a man. True. Me too. When I
played as a woman, I had slightly less fun than when I played as a
man. But what I had to ask myself was: How can that not be evidence
of systematically different treatment of women by men? And, if that
is not sexual discrimination, what is?  I keep wondering, if the two
avatars do the exact same things, why should anyone care what gender
they are? Seems strange, unless being a man in a female role is not
as fun (for the average male). The data confirm that: by their
purchasing behavior, the men of EQ reveal that on average they would
rather be a man in a man-suit than a man in a woman-suit.

I suppose everyone thinks its normal and OK that being a man in a
woman-suit is something that the average man is uncomfortable
with. I kind of think that's a problem.

Anyway, when I conceived of the paper, I thought it was going to
show how body-switching made the sexes equal in treatment. I didn't
expect that the sexualization of roles would make it so that men
still had a preference for fronting as male. But that's the way it
is. As I said in the paper, it has to be a cultural thing, it has
nothing to do with abilities or skills. Maybe I am reading into it
too much, but thanks for kicking it around.

Edward Castronova
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