When boys or men were playing video games at home, they never invited me to join in with them. Was this because I am female?

A male cousin would bring his console round our house when he came to visit and would play it for hours on end, never offering any female relatives a turn. I however as a girl was expected to be polite and fetch him biscuits and orange squash.

When I had a boyfriend, he never offered to have me join in two player mode on his video game console, but I was just expected to sit there and he would ask me to cheer him on. It was boring and depressing for me even though he was thoroughly enjoying himself. He didn’t really agree with women or girls playing football, so I guess that is why he didn’t let me play the opposing team on his football video game?

I don’t play video games online because I am afraid of being harassed as a woman so a play games offline. Also I don’t have much time to play games because I have to be ready at a moment’s notice to help my disabled relatives.

There seem to be games and pastimes that some men cordon off for their own. Football is an example of this. On the school field during playtimes, the boys would never ever invite the girls to play football with them. I had an amazing acquaintance at Primary School who loved football. While the boys were playing, she would rush into the middle of them and perform spectacular tackles and run off with the ball! The boys were so impressed with her gumption that they made her Captain of the School team. Nearly all of the goals for that season were scored by her. So basically in order to be accepted as a football player on the playground, a girl would literally have to be the best on the school team. Any boy with mediocre ability would be accepted to play football on the playground when he was invited. If you were a girl, you would literally have to fight your way onto the field and prove your abilities because no boy would ever ask if you wanted to play! If you were a boy, you were expected to play football or else you’d get called a “girl” and beaten up.

So that was how a girl at my Primary School became football team Captain and the only girl on the team. There was no girls’ football team in my Primary School because the girls were taught to play netball and the boys were taught to play football in PE.