Hey everyone. Today, I was going to write about my tournament at GP Detroit a few weeks back, but something else came up that I wanted to talk about. I know this is a topic a lot of people have addressed before, but I think it is time for me to put a few words:

Being a Woman in a Male Dominated Society

So, let me start by giving you a little bit of my backstory. I have been in this community ever since I was a kid. My dad owned a card shop in my small hometown, from when I was in fourth grade until my brother was born when I was twelve. So, obviously, I have been involved in the gaming community for a long time. Fast forward to now, I currently work in the gaming community—having a job at my local game store as well as a “geek” cultured apparel and merchandise store in the Fort Wayne mall. It is natural that I have to deal with uncomfortable situations every day. But there are some things that I could do to make it easier as well as some things everyone needs to be aware of when talking to anyone.

If they seem uncomfortable, stop making them uncomfortable.

I know this is something that is hard for a lot of people, myself included. It takes a certain amount of social awareness to understand when you are crossing a line. For example: I talk a lot. Like, a lot. And I know it annoys people. So once I take some context clues from how the other person is acting, I can change my behavior to be more respectful to them. So, what kind of context clues am I talking about?

  • Neck Touching or Neck Rubbing
  • Face Touching or Face Rubbing
  • Leg Rubbing
  • Withdrawing or Blocking
  • Feet Pointed Away
  • The Interruption Hand
  • Very Little Eye Contact

These are all things that you can notice when talking to someone—and you should work on being aware of these things so you know when to back off or when you should give someone some space. With the society we live in, it is more often than not that people are going to be passive and try to make people happy instead of thinking about what would be more comfortable for themselves. So, this leads into the second point I wanted to make in today’s article:

Saying “NO” is okay.

I had a guy come in yesterday, who I didn’t know whatsoever, to the store I work at and was very adamant on taking me out to dinner and a movie. When I had been making clear signs of the uncomfortable body language above, he still kept pursuing the conversation. I had thought I made it clear that I was not interested at all, but I was too passive in the way I did it. Instead I should’ve straight out said, “I appreciate the gesture,  but I am not interested.”

It is these kinds of situations that I find myself, all of the time. Yes, people can say “you should be flattered” or “why is that a problem, you should take it as a compliment.” But the thing is, it makes me uncomfortable. And these kinds of situations happen more often than people think they do. I have had multiple people come up to me and give me their number and ask to take me out when I have tried to give them the sign that no, I don’t want to. Or no, you make me feel uncomfortable. But this isn’t the worst part.

The worst part is when you have to deal with the aggressive retaliation. The moment where they come back into the store and make you feel threatened. Sure, it doesn’t always happen, but I have had to deal with it multiple times, all of them different people. I have told people I was going to call security if they didn’t get out of my store—it can get really bad. And I don’t know if people understand the kind of effect that has on someone mentally.


Really what I want everyone to take away from this is that you need to be aware of how your interactions make someone else feel. Just because someone is nice doesn’t mean they are flirting. Just watch for different signs—if they show signs that they are uncomfortable, just be respectful. That is the main thing everyone wants here—to be respected.

Yes, I know this isn’t a problem exclusive to women or to the Magic community—but it is a problem, nonetheless. The only way we can do something about it is by educating people on being socially aware of what they say and how their actions affect other people.

If you guys have any questions, comments, concerns, or anything else, just tweet at me – @kintreespirit.

Thanks for reading.

Lexie Mettler is a Level 2 judge from Fort Wayne, Indiana. By day she is a student, by night she streams MTGO and practices for tournaments all over the Midwest.

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