Pokémon Go Top Players Are All Male: Should We Blame the Patriarchy?

The historical absence of women at the top of many competitive fields has typically been explained by the patriarchy, an omnipresent and latent force keeping women away from prestigious roles. Whether it is by enforcing gender roles and standards of femininity, or by explicitly discriminating against women in hiring practices, the patriarchy would have, in theory, successfully prevented women from reaching high positions in society. Is the patriarchy behind the fact that all the most successful and mediatized Pokémon Go players are men?

It is unclear how the patriarchy prevented any woman from being in the top 100 Rubik’s cube solvers, top 100 rapid chess players,  or Super Smash Bros Melee top 100 players. In fact, remotely all competitions that aren’t subject to gender quotas are almost entirely composed of men. While some of these biased sex ratios might be partially explained by higher and more variable IQs and spatial skills in men, these variables do not account for the fact that the top players of Pokémon Go, a game that only requires having time to kill, are all men! I would be quite curious to know what kind of sorcery the patriarchy used to discourage women from chasing Pokémons.

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We need gender parity in Halo tournaments

In my view, the biased prevalence of men in Pokémon Go top achievers can be accounted for by two explanations: sex differences in sociability and competitiveness.

The sex differences in empathy are so universal that some researchers have theorized it to be the main cognitive difference between men and women. Being more empathetic, women have a spontaneous drive to create bonds with others. In contrast, males do to a lesser extent, and orientate towards non-empathetic hobbies, like Counter-Strike, programming… and Pokémon Go. While many men socialize during their Pokémon adventures, the ones who caught all 142 Pokémons in a week definitely did it at the expense of many other things, like a social life.

Add to that a more pronounced taste for competition in males, and you have the perfect mix for an over-representation in any competitive field. Based on all the articles I have read about sex differences in competitiveness, men always score higher. Evolved taste for competition can simply not be removed from the man. Especially if it resembles hunting.

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Biased sex ratios in non-empathetic waste of time

Recent feminist efforts for equality have held the assumption that males discriminated against women in prestigious positions. Yet, it seems like the male drive for competition circumvents any attempt to equalize statistics. While efforts to smash the patriarchy legitimize discriminative practices towards the employed male, the over-representation of males on top in competitive settings is still alive and well, as can be seen in most hobbies that require lengthy periods of time in a dark basement… and recently, Pokémon Go.

The patriarchy is composed of millions of males with little to no social skills who will – while women, and more empathetic men socialize – eventually capitalize on their non-empathetic hobby. The concept of patriarchal oppression justifies discriminative practices towards the law abiding male employee, while the male prevalence in competitive settings extends to much more than paid work. For many things, including Pokémon Go, only males can find the motivation to disregard everything else to reach a high status.

So no, I wouldn’t blame the patriarchy. The fact that the top 1% of people that make it to the top are usually men, it doesn’t mean that there is a latent privilege in all men.

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13 thoughts on “Pokémon Go Top Players Are All Male: Should We Blame the Patriarchy?

  1. You missed the mark pretty severely. Men are out socializing, talking with other players, having fun on a nostalgia trip, and spending time with their kids this way. While some might be antisocial by and large this is a huge social community. It’s odd that it’s majority of fathers taking their kids out this way and moms are not but that could be because of a multitude of factors. As for other competitive hobbies or work fields, men devote more intellectual and physical resources to being the best.

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    1. I generally agree. Although I would say that very few men hunt Pokemons solely for the purpose of meeting people. I didn’t have the space for a deep psychological analysis but what I meant is that socializing in men is usually centered on a hobby, first and foremost. Low empathic people usually have friendships based on a common activity rather than on an emotional bond. Most (male) Pokemon Go players wouldn’t do well together in a bar if they didn’t have this specific hobby to discuss. As with other hobbies I mentioned, males socialize through competition, like in gaming. This is typical of those who have little empathy or sociability, in the cognitive psychological sense. I see your point, however. But I’m talking about the most performing individuals. I strongly believe the people who found all Pokemons were usually alone while doing so, and are generally pretty lonely people.

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  2. I think that men like to compete with each other, so they strive for excellence. Searching for pokémon satisfies his spirit of adventure. Catching pokémon satisfies his primitive hunter instinct. Training his pokémon fulfills his paternal instinct to raise and educate his children. I think men also love team work, intelligent strategies, team work. I think men are fascinating creatures ❤

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    1. Typical! Something that people enjoy doing, that helps take their minds off all the fucked up things happening in this world (even if only for a little while) and you Feminists find some way to take issue with it. Something that makes people go outside, socialize with others, take shelter dogs for walks while looking for Pokemon, and maybe even encourage a little healthy competition with both men and women. Yeah! Every woman I know who plays this game can hold her own just fine with us guys by the way. We don’t give a Raichu’s ass who the top players are because we don’t care! Yet you’re whining that; “All the top players of Pokemon Go are male because Patriarchy!” GET FUCKED!!! This is a weak argument for the even weaker minded! And more people everyday are starting to see it. So we’ll continue playing OUR games the way WE want to play them. So you can go off and complain to your pathetic little victim culture because, guess what?, we don’t give a damn about what you think!

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      1. It’s easy to see that it’s satire when you read more than the title. Yet you spent 10 minutes writing an angry comment. Just begin with reading the whole thing. Just look at the last sentence, it’s pretty obvious wouldn’t you say?

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