The cyber times, they are changing

Kids Count

In 2010, 60-percent of college associate degrees, 54-percent of bachelor’s degrees and 60-percent of master’s degrees were granted to women. 50-percent of medical degrees and 48-percent of law degrees were granted to women.

These developments are a profound departure from the recent past. In 1970, 70-percent of all college degrees were granted to men and women were not in a near equity position in the fields of medicine and law as they are now. Women now make up just over 51-percent of all workers identified as holding a professional or management position. Even the United States military has recognized the vital role and contributions of women in America by naming the first female, Four Star General, Ann Dunwoody. There can be no doubt that women will have a revolutionary and profound impact on our culture as they assume ever larger roles in the work place and in leadership roles in the near and distant future.

The world of on line gaming may be some how stuck in a time warp where old assumptions and stereotypes about women and girls prevail. A quick overview of the literature around gaming reveals some of the once commonly held stereotypes regarding women.

Girls or women that play competitive on line games are called “girl gamers.” Conversely, there is no such moniker for boys, no “boy gamers.” In fact, most people would find such a label ridiculous, why isn’t it ridiculous for girls or women?

Just recently, I met a serious on line gamer that just happens to be female. She is 17 and a devoted gamer. Frequently when she goes on line and her fellow gamers find out that she is female, the comments start. Some of the males that engage her in games must first ridicule her with a variety of put-downs. “You must be an ugly fat girl,” or “why don’t you go make me a sandwich,” or “why don’t you go play one of those silly girl dress up games, leave the real games to us.”

Reach the writer at hurlburt@wildblue.net.

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