I was pretty excited when I showed up to Legacy last night. There were 34 of us in the room. It would be an awesome, albeit long, night. Unfortunately I quickly realized that I was the only girl in the place.

That’s a pretty sad statistic. The store is owned by a woman and we have a diverse crowd otherwise so you can’t say it’s an unwelcoming store. (The issues I’ve had there have been few and well handled by the staff.) This seemed ironic since only a couple days before I had posted on Facebook about my troubles posting in groups. Occasionally I’ll post in Magic Facebook Groups though recently I’ve cut back quite a bit. A majority of what I post will be directly ignored, or if I’m lucky someone will occasionally tell me I’m wrong, often directly followed by parroting what I said or agreeing with someone else who said the same thing directly after I did. It’s become exhausting.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to go on another wonderful episode of The Girlfriend Bracket podcast. Once again and we ended up discussing what they felt was an increasing number of women playing the game. As a Legacy player, this was just something I could not relate to. The barrier to competitive Magic in general is higher for women. It’s harder to come from the kitchen table into a store for a million reasons that myself and other women writers have discussed in the past. The barrier for Legacy is even higher, mostly due to cost. The number of us women playing Legacy is even lower than other formats. Often I’ll go to an SCG, GP, or a win-a-dual event and I’ll still be one of at most three women there, even when numbers get up around 300-400 players.

When I posted on my (personal) Facebook page, multiple players from the store where I work claimed that what was happening to me was the same as what was happening to men. They continued to ignore both men and women who tried to explain to them the differences between what they were experiences and what I was experiencing. When one of the voices of sanity didn’t have a study on Facebook groups that compare responses by gender they were told that they were “making everything up.”

I wish I was making this up. To tell someone that they can’t have experienced something without having a research study to back up what they feel is ridiculous. It isn’t sincere. The same person even went on to say, “when you deride women it’s sexist. Only man-to-man discussions are allowed. Women can deride everyone though. Dat privilege.” These responses to a woman discussing her experiences in a private place are intentional. They are designed to hurt. I run FNM, drafts and pre-release for the people saying these things to me. I cannot escape them. I cannot avoid them. I can remove them from my Facebook but while they sit here drafting cards I have to sit here and smile, treat them with respect despite the fact they have no respect for me. One of my other customers even thought it would be okay to share what I posted to a Facebook group without even asking me how I felt about it first. Fortunately my privacy settings kept it so no one saw it before I was able to remove it.

These are just my experiences over a three day period that included New Years and my birthday. These are not all I can list. This is not a full collection. This is just business as normal for me over the last few days.

I’m not asking for extra privilege. I’m asking for equality. I’m asking for people to review their innate biases, to stop calling women they play against honey or baby, to not ignore what they say or assume it will be wrong, to not assume they’re new because they’re a girl. To remember that it doesn’t matter why a woman plays as long as she is there to have fun. The rest is none of your business.

I do not want any special treatment. Frankly I want some of the ‘special treatment’ to stop. It is not funny when you joke that you lost to a girl. It is not cute when you call me sweetheart. It is outright bullshit when you refuse to even look me in the eyes while we play even though you had no problem chatting with any of your other opponents throughout the day.

The barriers to Magic are high enough for women already. Stop building them up and start tearing them down. Who the hell doesn’t want more Magic players? Especially in the Legacy community?! The more people who are playing the better the game is, for everyone. So put your personal bullshit away and welcome girls into the fold. Ask their opinion. Lend them a deck. For gods sake call them by their name. It isn’t that hard. I pinky promise.

Kate hails from Worcester MA and also does a bit of Card Altering. Check her Stuff out on Facebook! She mainly plays legacy and modern though will occasionally find herself playing EDH. 

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