Barriers, Issues, and Similarities Among Women in eSports and Similar Mixed Gender Sports: Ascertaining Common Ground

Barriers, Issues, and Similarities Among Women in eSports and Similar Mixed Gender Sports: Ascertaining Common Ground

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7300-6.ch002
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eSports provides exciting opportunities for women to compete equally with men within a sex-integrated sport. Examples of sports that are sex-integrated are the three equestrian Olympic sports of jumping, eventing, and dressage. Unlike equestrian sports, eSports is accessible to women of all income levels and in all parts of the world. However, even though women meet the biologic requirements of eSports, women face difficult gender-based social and cultural barriers. Similar barriers historically existed, and still exist, in Equestrian sports. This chapter explores the historical and present barriers in eSports and equestrian sports, and others, looking for similarities and common ground in the causes and mediation of such barriers and makes predictions for the future of women in eSports.
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Introduction To Competition In Mixed Gender Sports

Competition is an inherent aspect of sports environments. A critical analysis of mixed gender sports, such as equestrian sports, riflery, and esports is undertaken to highlight barriers, issues, and opportunities faced by women. An analysis of the longest standing mixed gender sport, equestrian sports, along with riflery, is used as a comparative basis for similarities in attitudes toward competition and gender and for predictions about what the future eSports may hold for women competitors. An introduction to an overarching understanding of equestrian sports is examined as a basis for the issues surrounding mixed gender competition, followed by a proportional gender-focused discussion around female and male engagement and inclusion, before delving into specific barriers to elite levels in gender mixed sports such as eSports, equestrian sports and riflery. The focus upon enabling a safe, non-toxic environment in which athletes may willingly compete is necessary and appropriate. A point of emphasis is upon factors contributing to gender-bias and its reduction in mixed gender sports, and the similarities and predictions for women in eSports.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Doxing: Dox is slang for “documents” and doxing refers to “dropping” or revealing private personal documents or typically over the internet.

Swatting: Swatting refers to getting a police SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team sent to your home. Typically, the harasser will call the police with a false report on the target such as a report of a bomb threat or other illegal activity so “SWAT” will be dispatched to the target home.

Olympic Equestrian Sports: The three equestrian disciplines of eventing, jumping, and dressage.

Eventing: A three-day event in that involves dressage, jumping and cross country jumping.

Live streaming: A video is streamed over the internet for others to watch in real time without first recording the video, for example Facebook live.

Dressage: Dressage is the training of the horse to perform precise movement in response to imperceptible rider aids. The animals pace and gaits are trained to the highest of ability exhibiting suppleness, strength and willingness.

Show Jumping: Horse and rider are trained to traverse a course of jump obstacles in an arena. The winner is judged according to fastest completion with most jump obstacles cleared.

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