Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Healers and Females: Is There a Connection?

The breakfast topic over at WoW Insider yesterday asked if all females healed.  It got me thinking a little bit about it and it occurred to me that the topic was missing something.  It isn't really a case of if all females have healed like the article questioned but the idea of healers and females having a natural connection to begin with.

I can only speak for myself of course but looking back on my own personal character creation it seems to show a connection.  My first ever druid, priest, paladin and shaman where all females.  My first ever of the other six classes where all males.

If you will notice, the only four female characters I created to start with are the four classes that can heal.  I believe it to be a coincidence because of how those characters where created.  I did not make them female because they where healers, it just happened.

My druid was only a female because the name I wanted for my male druid was taken so I added the letter a to the end of the name and changed the sex to female.  My first paladin was made as a joke after watching the fifth element and thinking that I should make a ret paladin that looked like her.  My priest was made for my girlfriend at the time to play.  The shaman was the only one of the four that I actually made a female because I wanted to.

In the same vein the shaman, druid and paladin where not healers until they reached max level.  Only the priest was a healer from the start.

So it is not like it was a conscious decision that the only four classes that could heal where the only four original female characters I had.  That doesn't mean that somewhere in the back of my head it all didn't seem to make sense.

Looking at my guild I can pick out 9 normal healers we have.  Of the 9 normal healers we have five are female players and four are male players.  However, it should be noted that the five female players that play healers in the guild are all healers as their main spec.  Of the four males players that play healers all but one are healers as an offspec.

There is more to it too.  Just as three of the four male players that play healers play them as a secondary thing, three of the four have their characters as female characters.

The more you look around the more it seems like there is a connection between females and healing, a lot more than people would like to admit or would even believe.  Of course I have a reason why I believe this is true.  Actually I've got three.

Florence Nightingale
The woman that is basically responsible for the entire nursing profession plays a role here.  A large role even.  It is part of who we are.  When we think nurse he think female.  That is why when a man is a nurse he is called a male nurse and not just a nurse.  Because nurses are believed to be female.  Nurses are the ones that care for people when they are in the hospital.  Healers are the ones that care for us when we are getting beat on by the big baddies.  I know, it might sound far fetched but somewhere in the back of our minds we connect healers with nurses and nurses with females.

Everyone knows the saying about how a mothers kiss can cure anything.  Skin your knee and what does mom do?  Kiss it and make it all better.   It does not end with the mothering from just a mother standpoint.  Every guy has had their girlfriend say "do you want me to kiss it and make it all better" if they hurt themselves.  It is the mothering nature of females for the most part.  It is their built in by nature coding that makes them the ones that care for those around them. The mothering, if you will.

Face it guys, women own us here.  Women are just better at multitasking.  It is a widely believed statement that women are better at handling multiple tasks at once and recent studies all seem to back up that belief.  When it comes to game play there is no role that requires more ability to adapt than the role of healing.  Being damage is not a constant it has to be handled as it comes in which means you need to make decisions and look at various things at once and decide the order to handle them.  That is multitasking.  No other role in the game requires so much multitasking to get the job done and women are just flat out better at that.

So while we all seem to fall into the women are healers stereotype argument and some people even get offended by it I present to you the fact that most stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.  Maybe there is more to it all, more then any of us think about.  The connection between healers and females goes a lot deeper then just guys being chauvinistic pigs and the people that do get offended by people that connect the two need to realize that.

Whether it be about women being the ones that offer comfort (nursing) or being able to cure it all with care and attention (mother) or just flat out being able to handle the role better (multitasking) it is true that over all it is more likely to see women as healers than men.

1 comment:

  1. I saw that article too, it got me wondering. My wife played a priest as her main and levelled as healing, brutally, until i posted her the 1000g (or whatever it was at first) to dual-spec for soling. She refused to heal anything at max level of course, it was too scary and stressful..but she still kept healing as her main spec.

    I mostly play swtor right now, but class myself as a WoW player thats burned out of cata and will be back for mists...this time I decided I would level as a healing Sage, basically, a priest with a lightsaber - literally, they have bubble, renew and that ability to pull a friendly player towards them, its literally the same class. but with a lightsaber, so much cooler. I made that character female... I wasn't sure why, but to my male mind, healing priest architype classes are female, it just makes more sence to me.