Home Forums General Conventions and Shows Blatant Sexism At Shows?

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  • #37706
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Does anyone else get annoyed when games shows are free for females but not for males?

    I have noticed a couple of shows that charge men to enter but not women.
    Why?
    It seems that it is assuming that all gamers are male and that non gaming females will only come with their gamer men if they can get in for free.
    But why do female gamers get in for free when male gamers do not?

    If it is to encourage non gaming partners to attend, how about making it free for ‘non gaming partners’ (the gender being irrelevant)
    What if two gay men are there but only one is a gamer, why does the non gaming partner (male) have to pay when the non gaming partner (female) does not?

    Do non gaming partners begrudge their other half’s hobby so much they will only come with their partner if they don’t have to pay?

    It seems to just further promote inequality and sexism in what is already a very male dominated hobby…

     

    #37712
    willz
    Participant

    We could always turn up at wargame shows wearing a dress with a human rights lawyer in tow.

    #37714
    Paul
    Participant

    Is it not maybe a way to encourage female gamers and try get more females gaming: most gamers are male, and maybe some female gamers (and potential gamers) feel out of place because shows are filled with predominantly guys. Offering ladies free entry makes it more likely that wives and girlfriends will tag along with gamer husbands. Will this changed male: female ratio encourage more women to join the hobby? Don’t know. Don’t know if this is the intention either. Is it right? Who knows. Hadn’t really thought about it until you mentioned the example of a male couple with one gamer and one non-gamer.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    #37716
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Thing is though. When females get free entry that includes female gamers. A female gamer does not need incentive to get into the hobby as she is already a gamer…

    As for it encouraging more females to attend…
    The best thing there would be to put on a good event and treat them as equals no?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Mike.
    #37718
    Northern Monkey
    Participant

    I think it less to do with encouraging more female gamers and more to do with making it easier for men to go to shows with their partners in tow, allowing “us” to sell it to our partners as a family day/event with the bonus of no extra cost, but im cynical and have never ran a show so what do I know

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    #37719
    Samantha
    Keymaster

    I personally find it insulting. If you want to let in non gaming partners for free then fair enough. But do not single out women.

    I think it better to charge for everyone but keep the entry cost as low as possible so people are more likely to attend and will have more money to spend with traders.

    Girls and women want equality, not patronising.

    Never put a sock in a toaster.

    #37730
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    TwisterCon lets non gamers and kids under 12 in free… always have.

    #37732
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    I had the usual knickers in a twist moment over all this (see – even that comes out sexist! Ironic? unreconstructed male chauvinist unaware of the effects of casual nuances in language? Over sensitive anti-pc joke? Any/all of the above? You’ll have to guess.)

    Anyhow – I thought about all the possible variants of the intentions behind the idea, good and bad and how much seriously deleterious effect to gender equality the bad interpretations had and then I just did a simple thought experiment. Try it yourself.

    Our hobby is, in my non-scientific, visual evidence gathering at public events only, experience, fairly heavily dominated not just by males but by white northern European origin males. Substitute ‘ethnic minority’ for female in the entrance for females free debate and see how you feel about any good intentions, however well meant, and I think people should fairly easily work out whether the idea is patronising, insulting and in the current social climate a little bit daft.

    ‘Ethnic Minorities Free!’

    Hmmmm?

    At least I hope it’s easily worked out, if not blindingly obvious.

    #37739
    Alvin Molethrottler
    Participant

    As a courtesy to the fairer sex I see nothing wrong in the policy of not charging them an entrance fee. As for the elusive creature known as a female wargamer (not RPGer) if one can be found let her in, I care not that I have to pay and she doesn’t.

    If you really want something to get aggravated about how about two day shows that have hiked entrance fees for a so called two day ticket. Why can I not have a reduced entrance fee to reflect the fact that I only wish to attend for one day?

    Overall I would strongly recommend that we leave all “isms” out of wargaming because that is a real can of worms there if we don’t.

    #37740
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    If you really want something to get aggravated about how about two day shows that have hiked entrance fees for a so called two day ticket. Why can I not have a reduced entrance fee to reflect the fact that I only wish to attend for one day?

     

    Oooh was not aware of this.
    I would charge X per day and offer a discount if you buy entrance for both days.
    Say maybe £3.00 per day or £5.00 for both.

     

    But treating females differently to males because of their gender is sexist.
    Should we let Muslims, Jews and other religious minorities in for free?
    Or should we just treat everyone as equals?

    #37749
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Not as blindingly obvious as I thought!

     

    (not you AB)

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Guy Farrish.
    #37751
    Alvin Molethrottler
    Participant

    Spare me your false equivalences, gentlemen.

    And as for you, Guy, you might want to dial down that passive aggression a bit, I thought here at TWW we were supposed to be excellent to each other or does that only count if someone agrees with the group think?

    #37752
    Samantha
    Keymaster

    Let’s not fall out over this. I do not think this issue comes from a bad place but honestly as a female it is frustrating and patronising at best.

    Alvin – are you teasing? “Elusive creature known as female wargamer”, I had only posted two posts above where you did. “Fairer sex”? clearly you have not been around me in PMT mode.

    As I said before. Just be fairer on pricing to everyone. We all pay the same.

    Can I just ask that you listen to a person  impacted by this? I do not appreciate it and find it patronising and off putting. If you want to encourage women (or anyone) into the hobby then talk to them and don’t ignore them when they are at your stand or game at a show.

    Let’s flip this the other way too. How about a wargames show was advertised thus.

    ‘Free Wargames Show (unless you are a man, then you have to pay.)’

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Samantha.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Samantha.

    Never put a sock in a toaster.

    #37756
    irishserb
    Participant

    At a lot of US conventions, where participation games are a big part of the draw, there are frequently “Visitor Passes” or some such equivalent.  These tend to permit any adult admission to the convention at a significantly reduced rate, usually when accompanied by a regular admission.  Some conventions even have them without accompaniment by a regular admission.  I  have seen them typically at $1-5 with regular admissions ranging from $10-70 depending on the convention.  The catch is that the visitor is usually not allowed to participate in games, and sometimes other events such as painting competitions, art shows, auctions, etc.  Usually visitors can look around, and spend money with dealers or in flea markets.    This allows any sort of non-gamer; friend, spouse, relative, etc, to share in going to the event without having to pay for aspects that do not benefit from.

    I have never seen a US  game convention offer free admission to women, though am aware of some other events, such as gun shows do so in years past.

    #37770
    A Lot of Gaul
    Participant

    Sam & Mike – One possibility would be for Sam (or any female attendee) simply to politely but firmly refuse the free admission.

    “Thank you very much for your generous offer, but I think it is only fair that I pay my own way, just like everyone else. Please accept my entry fee.”

    Approaching the issue in such a way might achieve the desired result with a minimum of ill feelings. And if the conference officials still refuse to graciously accept your entry fee, then you could  always bring up accusations of “blatant sexism” at that time, if  you so desire.

    Cheers,
    Scott

    "Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field

    #37774
    John D Salt
    Participant

    To answer the original question, no, it doesn’t annoy me in the slightest. Nor do I think it would annoy me if extended to arbitrary other categories of people under-represented in the hobby. But I have always had a fondness for the idea of granting free admission on the basis of absurdly arbitrary categories since seeing a photo in “Private Eye” of a sign in Australia saying “Free entry to Poms on push-bikes on the Queen’s birthday”.

    All the best,

    John.

    #37779
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Spare me your false equivalences, gentlemen. And as for you, Guy, you might want to dial down that passive aggression a bit, I thought here at TWW we were supposed to be excellent to each other or does that only count if someone agrees with the group think?

    I am prepared to be as polite as required.

    My comment veered nowhere near passive aggressive.

    I think you comments were deliberately designed to be provocative. They worked.

    I will be ‘excellent’ with anyone on here. That doesn’t mean I have to pretend to like their viewpoint.

    I didn’t, and don’t, like yours on this issue.

    Doesn’t mean I dislike you – I don’t think I know you – it does mean I think your position untenable. I would happily wargame with you, although I think discussions on gender equality should be suspended for the duration.

    #37818
    Otto Schmidt
    Participant

    For the life of me I can’t see how giving women free admission to shows will encourage participation in he hobby. If they are gamers they are gamers already. If not. you’re not likely to get them to play because admission is free. Admission is nothing more than getting money to pay the bills for renting the space. I don’t care about football. I don’t even know how many baskets make a home run, nor do I car, so giving me bench seats at the Superbowl for Free wouldn’t get me to go. I don’t see any great disservice to gamers here, nor any offense meant or condescension to women. Chivalry perhaps as I have seen enough women with a mask of bland endurance at conventions masking a face of screaming agony of boredom as they sat next to their geek husbands and boyfriends totally absorbed in a game and completely ignoring them.  Why do they come, or why their males insist on bringing them I have no idea. It smacks of discourtesy and rudeness, but… they are war gamers. Some of these wives and girl friends are quite stunning! I can’t imagine why their men are fixated on toys soldiers, but then.. they are war gamers.

    At the convention I run, “The Weekend, ” we have about 10% women attend, most of whom are gamers. Admission is free for everyone if you get a room at the hotel.

    #37820
    sebigboss79
    Participant

    I would say there is no right or wrong answer and no matter what you say (or do) someone will carry a chip on their shoulder.

    What I would do:

    Let everyone in charging x amount. From a certain time onward, say 4pm let everyone in for free. No one gets discriminated, everybody pays. Those people that wish to try all out, participate in games etc will come early and pay a certain fee, maybe with a free voucher for a sandwich and a can. Those who are only looking will then come later, walk through and be gone.

    As Mike rightly says, if we charge diffenrently for male and female attendees, why not charge different nationalities, religious affiliations etc. in a different fashion. Once you are looking at it from that way you see the point. You do not have to agree with it but hey, life is a female dog.

    My blog: http://rolandsminireviews.wordpress.com/

    #37821
    Artemis Black
    Participant

    What shows do this?

    #37823
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    What shows do this?

    I don’t want to point the finger on here, I am more annoyed that it is done.
    I can e-mail you some example’s though if you like..

    [email protected]

     

    #37826
    gcmini
    Participant

    I have never personally been aware of a “women get in for free” policy at any US conventions ,,, but then I’m not a woman so it’s not anything I would probably notice.

    I really like the idea of a free (or reduced) non-gaming partner pass that applies equally to females and males.  It would have to operate on the honor system because I guess anyone could claim to not be a gamer when they really are … but I’m sure that would be very rare.  The upside is that the non-gaming partner could very easily find something they are interested in and then become a gamer and show up at the next con as a full paying attendee.

    Interesting that you mention male partners of male gamers … there are more gay gamers (AKA “Gaymers”) than some might think … allowing them to bring their partners might really benefit the hobby by introducing them to games they might be interested in and otherwise be unaware of.

    I can tell you that my spouse has ZERO interest in the military miniatures gaming that I do … but perhaps being exposed to a good, fun, Zombie Apocalypse game might bring one more person into the hobby.

    Allen Rockwell
    GameCraft Miniatures
    Business: www.gcmini.com
    My Blog: www.allensmicroarmor.com

    #37828
    Adam Rodgers
    Participant

    Seems a little counter intuitive to me, and possibly creepy, sure if you want to encourage other ‘people’ to a show, those with little initial interest but wanting a day out with relatives/friends or just because it is close, then have a ‘family’ entry fee.

     

    #37831
    Martin Parker
    Participant

    In the UK the law is very clear on discrimination. Free entry for females is clear discrimination and as such illegal. Giving free entry for females also raises the question of transgendered people and how they are treated, and what level of proof is required.

    A number of clubs have run this type of scheme without considering the implications and it must stop. If WAR do this for Warfare again, after being warned in 2015 I will report them for sexual discrimination. It’s not acceptable either the female gamers (from what they are saying) or large number of others.

    the simple  way round this would be to offer a non-gamers entry – either free or reduced price.

    Please note one these comments are based on UK law. Your mileage may very in other countries, for better or worse.

     

    Martin

    #37832
    GeoffQRF
    Participant

    Ok, I haven’t read every comment through, but a couple of observations.

    I believe the “we only charge men” policy has tended to come from the fact that the vast majority of wargamers are male*. That is not to say that there are not female wargamers, but merely that factually a very significant proportion of customers attending shows in the UK are male. It may be a bit of a generalisation, but again this is based on over 20 years experience talking to customers and feedback received, those males are often attending either:

    1. at the female partners begrudging permission (because lets face it, there are much more important things to spend money on other than toy soldiers, like the kids new shoes or that room that needs redecorating, but you know you really do need that (insert figure of choice) because your army is just not complete without it… or the other one… or that one over there…); or
    2. With said partner in tow. We’ve seen them, trailing along behind excited husband/boyfriend/partner, trying politely to look interested because he has found a Mk7v edition 2… We usually try and acknowledge them by asking if they are bored yet, and get the raised eyebrows in response.

    Now shows make money off the door, as well as from trade stands (more on those two later). If they charge the long-suffering partner (and on a point of sexism I can safely say that, while in the minority, I have seen this reversed with the RPG-obsessed girl dragging the highly confused boyfriend around) then the partner simply won’t come. That does a few things. It reduces the amount the non-gaming partner spends on the refreshments (especially important where the club is running them!), it restricts the time the gaming partner stays (seen it, heard it. “I’ll have a quick look but I am only allowed to stay until 10 on pain of death”, “Cant stay long, I’ve managed to escape by sending them shopping”) and it also does kill some of the impulse buys (“ok, yes, that one is cute, you can have it”). of course that does also work the other way (“Now how am i going to get this into the house without her seeing?”)

    So it may not be a case of direct sexism (we will only charge men) as charging the non-gaming partner simply makes no commercial sense, either to the club running the event or to the traders. As a specific piont, due to many of the factors above (and the general state of the economy) customers often come with a fixed amount of cash – an allowance that can be spent on feeding this need for lead and resin. The more they have to spend to get in…. the less they have to spend once they get inside. I mean literally. I’ve seen customers turn up with £60 in the hand and that is what they have to spend – whether it is self imposed or partner imposed I dont know – so as a trader it can be really annoying to see both get charged £10 a head to get in, especially as one of them being charged is a non-buying person. That’s £10 out of their fixed budget we cant sell. 😉

    That’s not to say that it is right (or even legal in this day), and as Michael has pointed out, there may be complexities with LBGT(IQ) relationships and just how do you decide who is a non-gaming partner?

    But the combination of trade stand prices, entrance prices, van hire costs, fuel costs and our age (meaning we are knackered for the next week after doing a full weekend show) is the real reason we decided not to go to shows any more.

    *I can pull the stats off our customer base to prove this if necessary, but I am sure you don’t need me to do that.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by GeoffQRF.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by GeoffQRF.

    QRF Models Limited
    www.quickreactionforce.co.uk

    #37841
    Blackhat
    Participant

    This has been raised about Warfare in the past (by Michael and others).  I thought they simply offered a family ticket for £5 which means children and partners are included in the price?

    I have no problem with it personally, and completely fail to see what all the fuss is about…

    Mike

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #37842
    GeoffQRF
    Participant

    Family ticket makes sense. That way it has a built in ‘non fee’ without direct discrimination.

    QRF Models Limited
    www.quickreactionforce.co.uk

    #37845
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Good topic, lots of opinions and no name calling.
    This is good.

    🙂

    #37846
    6Mil Phil
    Member

    The mistress of my heart games occasionally, she’s good at it too as she has all the qualities of Liudmyla Pavlychenko. She doesn’t really attend shows though, partly because she’s expects everything ready for her at the gaming table – Lucky thing, but because she’s found it typically a patronising experience.

    We’ve seen a few shows offer the free entry as AB suggests, and my darling wasn’t impressed, she saw it as more patronising. I don’t think it’s intended as such, but the perception wins out doesn’t it?

    #37847
    Artemis Black
    Participant

    What shows do this?

    I don’t want to point the finger on here, I am more annoyed that it is done.
    I can e-mail you some example’s though if you like..

    [email protected]

    I wasnt asking as much to point fingers as to find out what ‘type of show does it, as I’ve not heard of it.

    If it’s a proper show then fair enough, that’s weird and possibly illegal.

    If however it’s shows run in a local town hall where like a hundred people show up and the organisers are 4 pensioners who like painting funny hats then I couldn’t give a monkey’s tump as they probably just think they’re being nice 🙂

    #37850
    GeoffQRF
    Participant

    Is a monkey’s tump included, or would that need a ticket?

    QRF Models Limited
    www.quickreactionforce.co.uk

    #37851
    Mike
    Keymaster

    painting funny hats

    No discrimination against funny hats please, before you know it we will be picking on cheese makers and the lilly…

    #37936
    DM
    Participant

    A family ticket is probably the way to go, or a “grumpy other half” freebie ticket 🙂

    #38117
    Carl
    Participant

    I wasn’t even aware this was a thing. On the one had I can partially understand that most gamers in this industry are most likely men, but that doesn’t mean all are. It’s definitely sexism, but was probably introduced with good intent, and not intended to be sexism.

    Maybe it should be couples pay for one and the second goes half price? That way one pays full, and another pays only half. Not quite free, but not full price for someone who maybe doesn’t want to be there so much (whether male or female). People might take advantage of it though…

    N7 Timelord at Grekwood Miniatures

    #39713
    Patrice
    Participant

    First time I hear about this!

    Strangely enough, this reminds me (sorry it isn’t wargame related) of the law about sex “parité” which is applied in France since 15 years : the candidates for all local elections must be 1/2 male 1/2 female. Surprisingly, at first the persons most annoyed by this were women already involved in politics, and working hard for it… who said that it would mean that other women who were not doing anything would be also elected.

    Um, but I don’t think I’m happy with the idea of women entering wargames shows for free, if the guys must pay… it would look like some dancing clubs or whatever…

     

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #39715
    craig cartmell
    Participant

    I have been to a lot of shows in the last four years and never encountered differential pricing. Odd. Perhaps I am getting less aware in my dotage?

    I have seen shows that offer reduced pricing for OAPs and Children, and even one for benefit claimants. This seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

    My personal opinion is that we should charge the same for men and women, regardless of their interest in gaming. To do otherwise allows patriarchal attitudes to be continued by the few, which is unnecessary. Besides, the shows need the money to cover their costs and prepare for the next year.

    Over the last four years, I have seen and talked to many non-gaming partners and have tried to engage them by explaining what is before their eyes. I have even encouraged a few to have a go at the participation games I have been running, with some success I might add. Most of these have liked being treated like adults instead of being offered faux pity.

    I saw one young lady being roundly patronised by an adjacent stand holder while her partner examined the goods. So, when she came to mine I apologised to her and explained that most gamers were not like that. She later came back and tried a game, didn’t much like it, but enjoyed being treated properly.

    The way we in the industry, and by that I include the people who run the shows, engage with non-gaming partners and parents can have a significant effect on the gamers involved. Many people make assumptions that gamers are boorish young men (or lecherous old ones) playing with toys. It is up to us to be ambassadors for our hobbies and the way to do that is through good manners and treating people equally.

    Cheers,
    Craig

    The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare

    #39725
    gcmini
    Participant

    This is a somewhat related side note to this conversation the might interest some.

    As a manufacturer in the miniatures gaming industry, every few years I do a customer survey where I ask questions about such things as what scale you game in, what era, what genre, buying habits, etc.  Along with this gaming info I ask some basic demographics questions as well.

    I just started one of these surveys about a week ago and out of aprox 250 responses so far, ONE person identified themselves as female.

     

    Allen Rockwell
    GameCraft Miniatures
    Business: www.gcmini.com
    My Blog: www.allensmicroarmor.com

    #39802
    Ben Waterhouse
    Participant

    Family ticket is the way to go. I did see the “ladies free” sign and thought uh-oh some po faced little Hitler would get into a bate about it. The love of my life raised a sardonic eyebrow, but as she knows more about ACW riverine Warfare, the Crimea and Napoleonic Naval History than me I kept stumm. . .

    #39834
    Bandit
    Participant

    Of the sexism that is present in wargaming – at least in the US – letting women into conventions free is not on the top of my list. My wife is assumed to be “someone’s daughter”, “oh, is she really playing?”, when working at our vendor booth she is challenged about her knowledge of our products, this by people who haven’t ever seen our newest release since we released it *at the convention in question* but they are certain they know more about it than she does. Ahuh. She’s also had men follow her around at conventions, not like they keep appearing in the same room but like they are literally within 24-36″ of her and shadow her as she moves around from place to place. She’ll be at a tank game and people will tell her which vehicles are tanks… Of all the things, getting in free, I’m well aware she wouldn’t care.*

    * “wouldn’t” isn’t a presumption, rather it just isn’t an option at the US conventions. I guess one could say I’m well aware she does not care, though the situation does not apply.

    Cheers,

    The Bandit

    #39843
    irishserb
    Participant

    Bandit mentioned  something that my wife experienced at US shows, the “shadow gamers”.  Those people that seemed to follow her almost everywhere are the reason that she mostly quit going to conventions.  It wasn’t so bad at smaller conventions, but at the bigger HMGS-East shows, it could be ridiculous.  It was always a very small minority of the attendees, but at the bigger cons, she just couldn’t get away from them.

    I asked my daughter and wife about their view of the free admission thing.  My wife was indifferent to it, joking that she probably still wouldn’t go, given the above.  My daughter squinched up her face and explained that it was really offensive, that she would pointedly avoid such an event.

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