This was quite the thread on Deadspin last week. I’d like to respond. This post, however, does not speak for all Ladies… , it only speaks for me.
This weekend I went over to play no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em at a casino. I was the only female in the poker room and sat down at a full table, so there were 9 men and myself. Over the hours I played, the guys were teasing me mercilessly. One guy was teasing me about my Cardinals shirt (he’s a Cubs fan) and made many comments about how I don’t really know about sports. One guy kept teasing me about being good at poker “for a girl.” A couple guys kept teasing me in a fairly suggestive manner, like when I’d get up to get more Diet Coke they’d tell me I had a hole in the back of my jeans, but that they didn’t mind watching me walk away. Things like that.
Late in the night, a guy sitting next to me went all in. I don’t remember the hands we had, but I called him. It was getting late, he didn’t have a lot of chips and I had a decent hand. We flipped over and he had me beat and then I rivered him. As he got up, he muttered, “Fucking stupid bitch.” I turned to say something to him, but I was practically stampeded by the other men at the table coming over to give him the business. They were yelling, one of them even grabbed him by his shirt and shoved him away. They demanded that he apologize to me and then they kicked him out of the poker room and told him not to come back for awhile. Now, the casino guys would’ve done that anyway because you aren’t allowed to behave that way at the tables. But the point is that the guys who had been making remarks all night, most of the remarks sexual or “misogynistic” in nature (I use quotes because I didn’t find them as such, but some girl might), were out of their chairs like rockets to defend me. They were protective and offended that someone would treat me that way.
This is not a perfect analogy, I know. But the comments and teasing make me feel included. They let me know I’m part of the club. I’ve also seen the way the guys are with a couple other regular female players. They don’t treat them the way they treat me and it’s easy to tell that it’s because they don’t really like them.
I realize this is different than making comments about a woman’s picture who isn’t sitting at the poker table with you. But it illustrates the way I regard 95% of the commenters on Deadspin. They make racist or sexist or homophobic jokes because they are trying to be funny. Whether they are or not is a different article. It’s not that those types of comments can’t be funny, it’s just that the bar is set higher when it’s something off-color. However, I don’t think for one second that the majority of men who make these jokes are racist or sexist or homophobic. I am probably second only to Will Leitch in terms of meeting Deadspinners in real life (seriously. I spent most of last summer traveling around to various gatherings.) and they are wonderful people. Funny, intelligent, and extraordinarily kind. I don’t view the tone of their comments the way some poeple do. The ones where you can tell there is something more insidious behind the comments are the ones that Rob Iracane swiftly bans. The rest of them are good guys.