Edit: Thanks for the suggestions to those who posted replies. A few of you summed it up well with "it's like high school" ~ I choose to ignore a lot of crap, but this particular subject was bugging me so I felt I had to blog about it. I definitely don't feel like a "victim" but I know that some of the girls do, and I'm looking for constructive feedback. Thanks.
Now, I can't speak for all the other girls out there, but I can speak for myself and my close friends. There is a notion that all girls who hang out with the players/casters/etc... at events, are sleeping around. Why? Because that's what it LOOKS like? Because we like to believe what we don't know? Because humans enjoy drama? Wtf?
Keep these things in mind when reading:
-Not all the same people go to every event.
-Not all the same people work for the same organizations all the time since they're contracted.
-Some people go to enjoy the event, and have to get their own accommodations.
-Rooms are OFTEN split between many people, and are co-ed.
-Sometimes people travel together if they are from the same region.
-There are still more guys than girls in the community.
I'm a bit salty, and here's why: Over the weekend, at a get-together, a [untrue] rumor regarding the last tournament accommodations, was started about me and one of my guy friends who is a name in the community. It was based solely that we shared a hotel suite (with other people). That's not so bad right? If it had stopped there, and one of us was there to defend the actual truth, then no, it would not have been so bad, but here's where it went further: My other friend, who told me about this rumor, was staying with me on this particular trip (in a room with three other people), and was at the get-together where the aforementioned rumor originated. He got questioned if I was sleeping with him now too. (Too? Wtf? The first rumor wasn't true, now there's another one? Wtf wtf wtf?) I'm thankful that he defended my honour, and told the truth in that's not the case, but the people who asked him still don't believe him. So, in the eyes of THAT group of people, who were there, I'm getting a reputation for sleeping around, and I'm sure that at least one or two people in that group have told others elsewhere... Great, just the reputation I want.
By the way, I have ONE love, who I completely respect and cherish, and I have absolutely NO desire to 'get with' anyone else at events (or anywhere).
If there's anything I really REALLY despise, it's when I get accused of stuff that isn't true. MOSTLY because I've always made a point to NOT do stuff like that, NOT sleep around, NOT do drugs, and NOT to be "that girl" who uses guys for popularity by association.
These accusations and rumors have been the case for a few of my close friends as well, and I know that they aren’t true, because I KNOW the girls with whom I'm good friends.
Here's our dilemma: Look at the esports community. Though slowly balancing out, it's still comprised of a mostly male population. We girls, who enjoy gaming and watching games, we girls who are on teams, conduct interviews, produce community-related content, and so on, often find it difficult to make friends who are females who share similar interests AND can get to events, so we naturally befriend guys, travel with guys, hang out with guys, and often share room costs with guy friends. I know it's really hard to believe that a girl and guy can hang out without lusting after each other, but in my case, as well as my friends' cases, that's the reality. Of course, only WE know for sure what we are doing and not doing, since it's like the tree-making-a-sound-in-the-empty-forest analogy, but I'm pretty disgusted with the assumptions that “if she's hanging out with him, she must be sleeping with him (or at least leading him to believe she will)”. ← personally, my friends are mostly brother-zoned, which is even 'worse' than friend-zoned, and they know they're brother-zoned.
The Questions: I love this community, and I love my roles in it as a community manager / coordinator / interviewer / etc... , but I really am disgusted by untrue rumors. So, ladies and gentlemen, what do we girls do? Do we segregate ourselves from our friends, and somehow make money appear in our bank accounts to pay full price for private hotel rooms (because normally there are several people splitting the cost of hotels so they can ALL enjoy the event inexpensively, and yes, they are usually co-ed rooms)? Should we just quit attending events all together? HOW do we girls go about proving that we aren't the 'esports hos' people make us out to be? Especially those of us who have boyfriends, fiancees, significant others who we love- who can't be present at the event? What about the single girls who aren't 'looking'? What CAN we do to prove we're not 'that girl' that we get rumored to be?
PS Before the comments on dresses begin to flow, some of us just LIKE dressing up.