This has been the month of hell for me. It’s almost like clockwork that around the time I get a bit idealistic and hope for the best in people, the Universe decides to prove me wrong and does it by outdoing the level of nasty I was met with the last time. (The fact that I haven’t blogged in 2 months is usually a good sign that something is very wrong for me in the game).
I was part of a guild I helped found with two others. A guild council with equal voices in decisions, and to share the burden of guild responsibility. It sounded great on paper, but I suppose the one thing we can never account for is what power can do to people. And for one of the members, having guild controls over two women who were co-leaders seemed to change everything.
The first sign of cracks was when I was yanked into mumble and accused of saying something I had no recollection of saying. But what caught me off-guard was that I was not being asked about it, or questioned – I was straight up being crucified for it. The yelling, the raging, the insults. All of it. Shoot now and check if they’re innocent later seemed to be this guy’s method. Finally I asked, since I had no memory of saying it – did he have logs? Did he take a screenshot? Did other people online see it as well? The answer was a sheepish no. That should’ve been my first warning to leave but I didn’t. Our first raid as a guild was soon, and maybe this was just a one-time thing I thought.
As time went on, things got worse. We were soon confronted with someone who didn’t want to be texted or bothered with guild management things, yet saw fit to yell and question decisions that went ahead without him. The few conversations that did take place were about reducing his workload, not stepping up. And after being yelled at earlier for texting, I found myself just trying to keep out of their way and survive logging on as much as I could. That was my second warning sign – in my naivety, I ignored it.
In comparison, these were just previews. Opening night blew us all away – and fortunately this time, I wasn’t the object of wrath. A fellow member got raged and yelled at in a bad way, probably worse than I did. And in the midst of insults and reminding her who precisely had guild controls, some blatant sexist remarks came out. Women are incompetent type sexist remarks. Here was my third warning, and I heeded it this time.
I look around to assure myself that I am indeed not in the 1800s – and that sexism can get one fired in real life, or locked up if it’s the military. Was this really happening? And yet, we have folks who like to bully and intimidate with it as an excuse.
The answer for me was simple enough: he liked the crown, he didn’t like women, and he had no issues with making it an abusive environment for us. We thought we were dealing with a friend, but we were clearly wrong. The plan seemed to be to use us for our work and throw us out as soon as possible. We left.
As though to confirm our thoughts, I watched silently as he changed authorship on the guild rules and guidelines posts I had written on the website from mine to his. I suppose if raging, intimidation, bullying and sexism are already on the list, adding plagiarism shouldn’t hurt.
There is a silver lining to all of this, believe it or not – despite the fact that this may possibly be my worst experience in WoW in all my years of playing – and it is that I am not a wreck. When I wrote last year of my raging raid leader, I had a box of tissues by me. This time, when I speak of the raging sexist who took advantage of good people I find myself a little bit stronger and glad that I was able to say no to a sexist. Glad that even in WoW, where the anonymity of a keyboard and the internet gives one a high chance of meeting really nasty people, I still had it in me to stick by my principles and values and walk out.