“Pussy!”: Gendered Insults While Video Gaming

Nisha Porchezhiyan

The present article is a research study about the use of gendered insults while playing Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. This study consisted of three players, one female and two male playing both of the games and analyzing their conversations to see which gender used “pussy” as an insult more often and what types of triggers each gender had for the word. This paper argues that men use the word “pussy” as an insult more than women while playing video games, typically as either retaliation for when their character gets hit in the game or as a generic insult that is not caused by any action in the game. On the contrary, women typically use “pussy” as an insult only when another player calls them that insult. The results of the study support the thesis and the results align with the conclusions of previous researchers. The data collected implies that the high male frequency of “pussy” might reinforce gender stereotypes where women are seen as weaker than men, because they use female genitalia as an insult for being weaker.

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