I'm Zak. I've read a lot of your Dragonsfoot threads over the years about the early hobby and, like everybody else, read a lot of Dragon back in the day.
Since one of the biggest genuine problems in RPGs is men speaking for women I want to limit what I say here as much as possible, and simply use this blog (just because it's one a relatively large number of people in RPGs read) to deliver a message to you and to my readers and then step aside, in the hopes that we have dialogue instead of dueling monologues.
There's been a lot of controversy that all started with this blurb for your For Ladies Only game at TotalCon:
This adventure is written specifically for the wives, girlfriends and daughters of gamers, as well as those females wishing to delve into the field without a lifelong commitment. It has been boiled down to the basics of role-playing as it used to be: A sheet of paper, some dice, a pencil and some numbers on that paper accompanied by an open mind and a sense of adventure. Ladies, come see what all the fuss is about
Let me summarize what I'm pretty sure about--
-There are women who are smart and have done cool things for the RPG scene who found this language condescending.
-There are women who are smart and have done cool things for the RPG scene who have not found this language condescending.
-You didn't mean to be condescending. (Intent isn't everything.)
-Some of the folks on your Facebook page were incredibly douchey to one of the women who raised the issue even after she had wished you well about your event.
-You wrote a post responding to this controversy which ended with the words: "By the way, I hold a Master's in Education; I am reasonably certain that I know what I am doing."
-Everyone I've talked to about this finds that sentence deeply condescending.
-I find that sentence condescending. I think it was meant to be condescending by any reasonable use of the word. I know because I'm condescending all the time.
Making people angry online (even accidentally) is something we all do. Who you choose to patch things up with and talk to and who you tell to fuck off reveals which of those people you value.
Everyone in my corner of the DIY RPG community values women who were upset by your handling of this, including, for example, Stacy Dellorfano--the woman who built the best online con in gaming.
They have been through a lot, with a lot of genuinely condescending, genuinely sexist RPG guys telling them what to do.
Whether or not they have judged you for what you wrote in your blurb, or how you handled it, we are now going to judge you on whether you value Stacy and other young women who have been trying to improve life for women in the RPG scene over the years enough to listen and talk this out with them--without pulling rank, without blocking anyone, and without your friends and fans jumping in on the conversation to defend you or plus each other.
If you don't, it will ratify our worst suspicions about what you think of the women who are trying to keep up and spread enthusiasm for the hobby you contributed so much to over the years. You can extend a hand to the next generation of female gamers, or you can slap it aside.
I don't care where you have that conversation, but I think you need to do it. You aren't obliged to care what I think, of course, but that is the point: you are being judged on what part of the RPG community you care about. I do not think you want to or should choose these women as your enemies and if you don't indicate a willingness to continue a dialogue with them, you are doing just that.