Saturday, January 31, 2015

Gaming as a woman

Hello, friends. I’ve ran out of things to do at work so here I am again.

A couple of weeks ago, I was playing Advanced Warfare with a friend. Everything was going well, I was kicking ass…so I pulled out my sniper class because normally I’m pretty awful with a sniper rifle & I hadn’t used one yet on this particular game. Now usually, if someone is sniping, they’re in one spot not moving around (unless 1. they’ve been found or 2. they’re running around the map quick-scoping). This photo is a message I got after I whooped a whole team’s ass:

Now you may wonder “with a gamertag like YankECowboy, how would they know it’s a girl!?” Because my clan tag is “LADY."  Makes sense, no? So I went like, 25-3 during this match (which is AWESOME by the way). This guy was super pissed because I probably killed him the most out of everyone on his team; he was just really bad all together.

When you’re sniping in a video game (not moving from one spot), or even sitting around with a rifle, you’re known as a “camper.” I’ve never really considered myself a “camper” especially when I have an objective to complete. My style is run and gun. Always has been, probably always will be. (In fact, it’s how I got my nickname “Yankee Cowboy” but that’s another story)

So anyway, there I am lying on top of a high building, picking people off as they jet pack around and use their lame-ass exo abilities. I was on a five-kill streak but was finally spotted so I moved. I died 3 times the whole match and trust me, I felt TERRIBLE after the game was over because I know how much it sucks to be killed by a sniper.

*see photo above* This guy was PISSED. He also sent me a voice message just like, raging all over the place because I was a female. He didn’t even sound like a kid. He sounded like a grown-ass adult. I understand frustration in video games, believe me. I normally get easily frustrated in general but video games are something else. It was incredible to see (and hear) a grown man acting this way over a video game.

Hearing “get back in the kitchen; women don’t play video games; I’ll rape you; I bet you’re ugly (no I'm not)” bullshit all the time is tiresome. Don’t get me wrong, I try not to take it to heart but it's annoying. Luckily for me, I can let it roll off my back. Why are you so mad, bros? Is it because I’m a woman and I’m better at a game than you?

I remember growing up, I had (almost) every console imaginable. I grew up playing video games. I was never bullied or made fun of or told to “go back to the kitchen” when I played. My male and female friends would come over and play all the time. I had dolls and things of the sort, and I did play with them, but my main focus was video games (and also maybe Pokemon but let’s keep that between us).

I’ve even come across rude men on PC gaming. Luckily, they’re much less rude there than they are on other platforms, I’ve found. The instance above isn’t the first one I’ve run into on PSN or in general.  When I game on XBOX, people are filthy and I mean that in every sense. They’re just…vile. I've run across on few on PSN but this guy's been the most adament about telling me to make him a sandwich.

A lot of the men I come across just LOVE to throw around the word “rape.” I mean, sure, it’s just a word…but equating it to playing a video game is a little much, I think. It’s distasteful, really, to say it to anyone of any gender: “You just got raped!” or “get raped, little bitch” (I’ve actually heard that one before…gross). Don’t get me wrong, video games were my first love and I’ve put a lot of time into them over the years, as I still do, but I don’t take them as life-or-death seriously. I don’t feel the need to insult others who are better at a particular game than I am because I’m not a giant douchebag. I’m just like “hey, good game” not “u fckin suck go bak 2 tha kitchen bitch”…

A lot of women play video games these days so here’s my question: what’s the big issue with women in gaming? I never knew that playing video games was strictly for men since I’ve been doing it basically out of the womb. 

What do men have against women in the gaming industry? I understand that the gaming industry is run mostly by men but I don’t understand what the harm is in letting women into it, not only playing but MAKING them? What are they so afraid of? Do we blame this on parents, the people who began the gaming industry for over-sexualizing women in games, or society for gender roles?

I’m genuinely curious. Parents? Maybe. Teach your kid not to be a little twat to people and it might be ok. Society? Probably. Girls play with Barbie dolls, boys play with trucks and guns. The early video game industry? Likely. Over-sexualizing women, putting them in scantily clad clothes and giving them ridiculous measurements; showing women as damsels in distress that need to be saved by men. All of these most likely contribute to the issues we see as a gaming community.

Never in my life growing up did I think “I bet when I get older, guys who play video games are gonna be douchebags.” No. I figured it’d be the same. Everyone would get along, we’d be “good game” after it’s over but it’s not like that. I very rarely ever get praise for playing well as a gamer but always seem to get scolded for being a woman who does well.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Republicans, Jesus, and Chris Kyle

This is going to be a rant. If you don't like those & think you won't like my opinons, you should leave now. I know a lot of you reading this remember be from the good old twitter days where I would rant endlessly about anything and everything. This is going to be one of those posts. You've been warned.

First, I'm just going to get my opinion of Chris Kyle out of the way. From here, this post (hopefully) will flow freely & together.

While I support our veterans and have the utmost respect for what they do, I do not condone war. I understand & respect the struggle that military personnel go through to keep us safe; I realize what their families go through, but that doesn't mean I have to respect WHY they're doing it.

Just about twenty minutes ago, I read an article about how Bill Maher called Chris Kyle a "psychopath Patriot." And I get it, I do. It makes sense with what Chris Kyle has been reported to have said about his tours of war (taken from article above):

     ·   “I hate the damn savages”—talking about the Iraqis—“and I’ve been fighting and I always will.”
        ·   “I love killing bad guys.”
        ·   “Even with the pain, I loved what I was doing.”
         ·   “Maybe war isn’t really fun, but I certainly was enjoying it.”

See, like, that's an issue. Who *likes* killing people? He was “America’s most lethal sniper” and he bragged about it. That’s messed up. If you ask any vet “the question(s)”, you’re most likely only going to get a very uncomfortable silence. The question(s) being "have you killed anyone? How many?" That's just something you don't ask. It's also something that shouldn't be bragged about. Heroes don't brag, do they? And can we talk about something else just real quick? Chris Kyle took a guy to a gun range who had PTSD. A gun range. PTSD. I mean...

Here's what I don't get: most of the people I've seen talking about this movie and about how Chris Kyle was such a hero are republicans. Guess what, friends? Bills over the years to help vets with housing, jobs, health/life insurance have failed. Why? Because republicans have voted against them. Republicans do not love our veterans. They love war & they love money. If they loved and supported our vets...can you guess? That's right. We wouldn't have (near as many) homeless veterans. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it's estimated that 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night. 

Check out these stats from the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. It's disgusting. If you don't want to see the link, these are some of the stats: 
12% of the homeless adult population are veterans
20% of the male homeless population are veterans
68% reside in principal cities
32% reside in suburban/rural areas
51% of individual homeless veterans have disabilities
50% have serious mental illness
70% have substance abuse problems
51% are white males, compared to 38% of non-veterans
50% are age 51 or older, compared to 19% non-veterans

Now tell me, dear reader, if the republicans cared so much about our veterans, why would they strike down bills that can help them? $$$. There are serious problems in this country and this is a major one. 

In the article about Bill Maher, he is quoted as saying "And if you’re a Christian — I know this is a Christian country — ‘I hate the damn savages, I don’t give a f*ck what happens to them’ doesn’t seem like a Christian thing to say." 

Time out! First of all, we all know what Bill meant by this. Obviously it isn't a Christian country, only Christians think it is. The only time this country is "Christian" is when it suits some people. It's "Christian" in that people who are prejudice don't want gay people to get married. It's "Christian" in that people who want to police women's bodies say that a fetus is a child. It's "Christian" when a kid comes home from school & tells their parents they were forced to pray. 

Second, "I hate the damn savages, I don't give a f*ck what happens to them" most definitely isn't a "Christian" thing to say. So let's talk about this for a minute. Christians are hypocrites (trust me, I used to be one). How can one, a Christian, follower of CHRIST, be all for the sanctity of life but be the first to flip the switch on the electric chair? How can a follower of Christ say "turn the other cheek" but blast those who've done them wrong? How can a Christian be so violent? How can they have guns in their homes, saying things like "my right to bear arms is a god-given right"? I don't know about everyone else, but I highly doubt God/Jesus/Christ would authorize such violence. 

Right-wing Christians in the country are the first to complain that they're being persecuted. They're the first to say "we're so Christ-like, we love veterans, we want to make abortion illegal." But let me tell you something, RWNJ's, you are nothing like Christ, you do not love our veterans, and you don't want to kill a fetus but don't want to take care of the child once it's born. You would rather see homeless veterans than to pass a bill that "costs too much." You'd rather be able to carry openly and freely than to keep our children safe. You would rather see a child enter the system than to let a woman practice her bodily autonomy. 

You, right-wing will be the downfall of our country. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sex was it for you?

This morning, I ran across an article on Yahoo! titled "13-Year-Olds Push To Change Rape Culture — Starting In Sex Ed Class." Go ahead and read it here, then come back.

Done? Ok, good.

So here's the issue: consent. I was never taught what this was when I was in school. I was taught abstinence education up until maybe 9th grade. I don't know if this was because I lived in West Virginia where (not ironically) there's a lot of teenage pregnancies and kids are taught abstinence education.

Most of you reading this know about my history so I won't go too much into it again. At a young age, I was sexually assaulted. I didn't know what was happening nor did I know that it wasn't my fault that it was happening. Through the years, it kept happening until one time, it was a "full on assault" meaning there was actual vaginal penetration. This is still quite possibly the worst day of my life to date, not to mention something that sent me spiraling into anxiety and a deep depression.

So let's get back to this article. Some parents say that teaching consent in sex ed class is "too much." Why? Why are we so afraid to 1) teach children about their bodies, and 2) teach them about things that can become so prevalent, people think it's becoming normal? Not only would I want my child to be taught this in school, I would expect my partner and I to talk to them and teach them as well.

Why is sex, teaching children about it, and having real conversations about it still taboo? Do you ever wonder why teenage pregnancy is so high? Do you wonder why there are so many cases of rape, especially ones that go unreported? It's because in 2014-2015, we still don't have a sex ed curriculum that helps our children.

The sex education system in America hurts children. If a child is taught abstinence education, what is this telling them? DON'T HAVE SEX EVER UNTIL YOU'RE MARRIED. Ok...but shouldn't we be teaching kids that if they're going to be having sex, they should be careful about it? Kids love to rebel, right? If we teach them to absolutely not do something, is that really going to help?

Why not give kids the resources they need? There's nothing wrong with sex. It's a beautiful thing, it's completely natural, and it's why are we so against it? (To be fair, I don't think young children having sex is "great" but you know what I mean.)

I knew a kid who was home-schooled and her parents taught her their own version of sex ed with lessons from the Bible?. Any guess at what age she had her first child? Fifteen years old.

Abstinence-only sexual education hurts children. Period. Children need to be taught consent. They need to be taught about rape/sexual assault, pregnancy, condoms, barrier methods of all kinds...they need to be prepared. In this day and age, kids are not and we wonder what the issue is.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


I had mentioned on twitter sometime last month that I would try to blog more. Apparently, I lied. But here's a new one I'm busting out today because I have absolutely nothing to do at work. I asked my followers what they'd like to see me write about. There were a few of the same suggestions so that's what I'll talk about today: my long distance relationship.

The day David followed me on twitter was a seemingly unimportant day. His first tweet to me was an answer to a question I had about my xbox. Still fairly unimportant but helpful. We didn't speak at all and I only admired him from afar with his few and sporadic tweets. He added me on xbox live and joined my party during a game of Black Ops 2. The first time I heard him speak, my heart stopped and raced a million miles an hour all at once. It was the sweetest voice I’d ever heard. We had a wonderful evening together, although it happened to be~500 miles away from each other. I’d never connected with someone so quickly and easily. I knew it was the start of something great…and it was. We were talking one day and he asked if he could come and see me. At first I was like ‘whoa, guy, you’re on twitter, how do I even know you’re not a killer?’ Luckily for me, he’s definitely not. Letting him come to see me was the first best decision I’ve made. We had a wonderful time together…and all the times after that. I’ve never felt so happy, so alive.

On August 1, 2014, he asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes. I’ve never loved anyone so much as I love this man. We’ve had tough times, especially lately. The distance hurts. It often leaves me feeling pessimistic. But you know what? I’ll love this man until the day I die…and then I’m gonna keep loving him. I make it a point to tell him every single day. I don’t have to say it though, he knows. I’m gonna marry him. How could I not? He’s my rock and I am so thankful he is there for me. In my past, I've been put down, beaten, bruised, damn near dead. David does nothing but lift me up, support me, and love me. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

I noticed that a lot of people loved my engagement ring. I also noticed a few that had something to say in regards to how much it cost. I have never been a materialistic person. I don't like to spend a lot of money and I certainly don't like people spending a lot on me. I found my ring myself, told David I liked it, he proposed a few weeks later. Was it $5000? Absolutely not. Less than $200? Sure was. Do I care? I definitely don't. I told him if he ever decided to propose to me, the ring had better not be expensive. Know why? Because that's useless. Even if my ring had cost $50, I would still be incredibly happy. Why? Because I love David. He's my best friend, my partner, my future husband. Something like that from the right person who loves you more than anything in the world? You can't even put a price on that. I am not a woman who expects her man to buy her expensive things. I don't even like it when he pays for my dinner! All I want is happiness, a long life together, and love forever with him. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

ANYWAY. The long distance bit.'s so difficult. All I want to do at the end of the day is come home, hug him, give him a kiss, hold his hand. I want to lay next to him and fall asleep...but I can't. Starting out, we wouldn't see each other for months (6 months was the most we've ever gone) and some days I just felt like quitting. If you've never been long distance with someone, you should count your blessings (for lack of a better term). It's easily the most difficult thing I've ever done. Some days it gets easier but after spending a week together and waking up next to each other every day then going back home and not seeing's the worst. 

People have tried to bring us down, tear us apart, do whatever they could to ruin us. Let's not pretend that mine and David's relationship has been the best. It hasn't. We have plenty of arguments that are small but we've have plenty of full-out anger matches (99% is me). I'm definitely not going to go into detail, but let's just say that the problems have been removed.

So here we are: 2015. After almost 2 years, we'll be closing the gap of ~500 miles between us. This is our year. This is the year the rest of my life begins.