The other day I was having a conversation with my good friend Keredria and she commented on how she typically does the lion’s share of fishing and herbing for her guild’s raids and how overwhelming it’s become since her move. She recalled that back during WotLK in addition to herself, two of her other teammates, both women, also used to help with this task. This then prompted her to ask me (also a female) if I saw a similar trend in my guild as well.
So I thought on it some. We do have five women on our progression raid team, including myself. But we’ve been buying herbs for flasks since Wrath, and we have a wonderful F/F member that has kept us well stocked in fish feast mats. Anytime we are low on anything, we’ll just buy what we need. We do have guildmates who offer donations into the bank – but many times it’s our male members. This, of course, initially led me to counter K’s suggestion that women frequently do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to guild matters.
Until I thought about it some more. And when I took it out the micro context of raid consumables, it dawned on me that perhaps K has a point. I mean if all of my melodramatic stomping around the house and yelling at Brade about “HOW I DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE” is any indication, then yes I suppose I do feel that I do the lion’s share of the work. In fact, the last time Brade and I had a spat about it and he asked what would make me feel like I wasn’t towing the majority of the load I responded with “WHEN YOU DO MORE THAN ME”. (Those caps are the written equivalent of my stomping around, hollering and waving my hands about – just so you have the proper visual).
So, uh, I suppose I do feel an awful lot like I do a lot of work.
This, of course, made me think about the other women that I know playing WoW. And it makes me wonder if other women feel that they do a disproportionate amount of work for their guild. I wager to bet that there are a good number of people sitting back going “your damn right, sister” right now.
That makes me wonder if men also ever feel this way. And if they do, do they ever communicate about it? Or is it some unwritten “bro-code” that states “thou shalt not whine”? Anyhow, let’s move along.
Let’s go on the premise, for now, that the thesis stated women in WoW do more of the “work” than men is correct. What I want to know is why? I actually have a few thoughts on this. And some of them tie into some studies that have been done regarding women in the workplace as well. My guess is that it’s because women tend to feel a heavier burden of obligation. If something needs to be done, and no one else is doing it, women tend to step up and say “well, someone has to do it”. I know that’s how I’ve personally fallen into several guild leadership positions. I can’t just sit there and let something that needs to be done just not get done. Even if I don’t really want to do it. Even if I’d rather be doing 100 other things. I’ll still take care of the task, because someone has to and it “might as well be me”.
Some if it, I think, is also an increased sense of responsibility and loyalty. I certainly know that a lot of what I do is because “well, I’ve always done it”. Even if I don’t have time – somehow I make time. All the herbs that we buy and put into the guild bank? Well, they don’t magically become flasks. Yes, I do sit there for an hour and make flasks. All the fish feasts that drop every night? Yes, I stock my bags with them to make sure that we have enough for every wipe we may encounter (thank god for the chef’s hat…one of the best things ever put into the game). All the initial research into boss mechanics to make sure we start a tier prepared? Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find the strategy elf to log in every night and post them up. Honestly, I’m sure someone else would do it if asked…but I’ve just always done it. And because of that, everyone just assumes and expects that I’ll continue to do it.
It’s not until I’m so burdened down to the point of breaking that I stop a minute to say “something has to give here” that people start hesitantly stepping up. I could probably count the number of times someone’s offered help on one hand. And half the time when someone helps, I feel like I have to “nag” to get things done. To the point that it’s just easier to do the task myself, because it’s less hassle. Hmmm…I think I’m seeing a cycle here.
So, I’m curious. Do you think that Women are the worker bees in WoW? Do you think that your female team mates carry a disproportionate load of the work in your guild? Do you feel that there are men who do the same? If there was a man and a woman in the same position, together, who do you think would ultimately bear more of the burdens of running a guild/raid?