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Anita Sarkeesian's project to expose stereotypes in video games attracts a maelstrom of hate.
Tags: feminism video games
The fact that this seems trivial to you just shows how common this kind of abuse still is, and how important it is to fight against it.
"Every time this happens, more women get the message: speak up, and we will come for you. We'll try to ruin your life, tear you apart, for having an opinion."
Actually, I think it's more to do with the weird contradictory attitudes *certain* men (especially young men) have towards women who play video games - particularly while playing multiplayer when they're confronted with the reality.
And then...they don't know what to do. Lash out at the intrusion of a passtime they thought was unequivocally 'theirs'? Attempt to hit on the female, as evidently meeting a female is so unusual for them? Deny the presence of the female entirely?
Encountering women playing games is one thing. But then women having opinions on games...? Heresy! It's viewed as a threat. Particularly when viewed, as someone else put it, as an attack or 'going after games.' Thing is though? It's not an attack, it's not a threat, it's generally *opinion*. I think the underlying fear is, perhaps, of games becoming 'PC' or being 'feminized' - which, from just someone wanting to do a study, is absurd.
And to be clear - not all men are like this. Most men in multiplayer games and MMOs are completely fine and don't care. But there are a significant minority who feel *very* threatened by the presence of women in *their* games.
When I(a woman) speak over voice chat in multiplayer FPSs I'm often mistaken for a pre-pubescent boy and I'll happily let them think that to avoid abuse. I've had nearly immediate responses attacking my gender in the past, always getting worse if I 'kill' that particular guy, lol. Apparently, these kinda dudes feel more offended losing to an adult woman than a male child.
She's made over $128,000 now. She asked for $6,000. I seriously hope she actually donates to charities that affect women's rights, domestic abuse, anti-racism against darker skinned people and women in third-world countries. But she'll probably just sit on her ass and play video games and continue playing the victim using Youtube comments made by immature 11 year olds as an excuse. This is pathetic and lacking of any moral fiber.
What a dishonest response. First, she didn't play the victim - bullies tried to victimize her by shutting down her project and donors responded. Second, Many projects raise far more than they need on Kickstarter, including Electronic Arts, whose use of the site was questionable. All capitalize (or exploit) popularity and trends to exceed goals, including alleged underdog status. Are they all lacking moral fiber? Moreover, Kickstarter does not allow a maximum limit on donations, just a minimum, and every person donating sees the current amount. No one is forced or tricked. The choice to donate more than asked is theirs. Also, Kickstarter does not allow fundraising for charity nor are users supposed to spend funds on anything but the stated project (this has loopholes, of course). The only people lacking moral fiber are the trolls, who failed like the dudebro failures they are.
Oh please. You say my response is dishonest? And then go on to say "bullies tried to victimize her by shutting down her project"? How in the hell does a bunch of immature, pointless comments made by high school and middle school idiots result in "victimization" and "shutting down" anything? She's using standard techniques used by cults and sects to raise money, she used the comments as a hook to extort money from sycophants and "sympathizers". Meanwhile, there are women fighting for basic human rights, women who are fighting for writes to simply wear jeans or put on lipstick, women who are fighting to keep their sons so they aren't forced into warfare or murdered. I mean, give me a break, not one dime is going to these plights and it's sickening that people are this shockingly ignorant to think this woman deserves funding to sit on her ass and complain about poorly written story tropes, specifically the ones pertaining to females. I mean, come on, people, use your heads.
I'm speechless. You think she's a cult leader that orchestrated all these comments? Wow. You certainly don't sound like someone who is overly concerned for womens' rights, or has any compassion in their heart. The louder people scream that something isn't worth our attention because there is ALWAYS something "WORSE" going on, the less they are usually doing to actively remedy those problems. Charity starts at home.
Spoken like a true, privileged American.
There are women like Ayaan Hirsi Magan Ali who have had to go into hiding because of religious persecution from TRUE awful sexist men who were threatening her life. She wrote a novel about it. She is active in the community on women's rights, the same as my mother who taught me.
I don't understand why you people don't realize these evangelical tactics that this woman is using to empty wallets. I just don't get it. She's talking about video games, and it's almost similar to how an evangelical will so Harry Potter is the devil. Harry Potter is about magic so it's anti-christian. That is nonsense. People know this is nonsense. So I watched all of her videos and when she says things like, "All I want for Christmas is You" is sexist which was a popular song especially for the wives who had husbands in the armed forces overseas, it shows, right away, that this Anita character is not a healthy thinker. She's basically saying love is stupid and sexist, when for a man, having a woman that wants you to be around is one of the most beautiful feelings you can have.
So, yes, this is nonsense. I mean, I don't understand how people can just throw money at this, and not at real, true, issues involving women's rights. I don't get it. I'm done now, I just, I guess, this is why shows like Jersey Shore exists, this is why evangelicals prosper. People who are just suckered into things. I should take a note from her, I really should. So, that's all. I mean, I hope her videos help somebody, but really, seriously, what the hell are they gonna truly help?
It's like a critic who hates a story. Good. That's cool. You've, moved the Earth. I dunno. I'm done here.
"This isn't a -REAL- problem because I say so, look at these horrible problems, that I suddenly remembered I know about, to use when I need to silence and shut down the mention of smaller problems, and I am a self declared REAL MAN so my opinion is worth much more than all of these silly girls and manginas supporting Anita's video series.
There simply isn't enough care to go around, people! Why do we even have more than one charity or organisation concentrating on thousands of different issues anyway? Don't they know there's a global care shortage?
Ignore all those women gamers thanking Anita for saying what they have been saying(and being ignored) the entire time, ignore that the thousands of people who donated certainly saw the problem(obviously they are ALL stupid and I am very smart), ignore the completely disproportionate vile, misogynistic attacks on Anita's gender(hurpdurp, nothing to do with an underlying attitude in society that justifies this exact brand of sexist bulls**t behaviour, excusing it as... just the internets!), ignore the presence of negative tropes or stereotypes against women(and men, actually, same coin; different sides) that infest the media, they clearly don't matter!"
What? What are you talking about?
Good lord. You honestly cannot be that ignorant to not understand the previous comment. Read it again. That's what you sound like.
Because I'm trying to tell you fools not to fall for an evangelist that breaks women down in categories and force feeds her unhealthy ideology into her followers, repeats the mantra "Everything is Sexist" similar to evangelists repeating "Everything is Satan" and then asks for money and raises it using all the techniques of a cult after getting an extreme response garnered from posting extremist videos which declare things like women feeling emotions or love for a man is sexist?
Don't you understand, friend, you don't GET to get away with this any longer. Where, _precisely_, does Ms. Sarkeesian even _state_ that "[e]verything is Satan"? _Exactly_ what "techniques of a cult" has she used to raise money? List here the _specific_ points that make her videos "extremist."
The time for people who post the sorts of things you have posted is done. Women, minorities, voiceless folks- they are silent no longer. And the fact that somewhere north of 75% of the researcher's Kickstarter sponsors are male drives one more nail into your misogynist's coffin.
You clearly don't understand so let me try to clear things up here. Firstly, because of Kickstarters rules, she can't do anything else with the money she gets except to fund her project. Therefore this isn't a scam like the "cults" you speak of. The difference being they say we will raise the money for 'A' and in reality secretly use it for 'B' while Anita says she raising money for her Videos and will use it for her videos. Secondly, you state that she is categorizing women. That is false. She is not categorizing women but analyzing the categorize that the Game Industry have put women into. Sure there are other causes in the world but the problem with that argument is the ranking system. How do we determine which cause is the one which needs the most attention and which ones can wait? You simply cannot do this. The only way for causes to get the attention they need is by voicing out the problem and their goal and wait. Some causes will get the funding they need sooner than others. Once each cause gets their goal, they disappears and another cause takes it place. It's not perfect but it works. There is no point in arguing that others need more attention because we could never agree on which ones need it more.
So many comments have ignored the central issue - abuse being used to silence a woman - by concentrating on a debate of tropes.
The tropes don't matter - to quote Becky Chambers:
Whether or not you like Sarkeesian’s work is utterly moot. You might disagree with some of her points. You might disagree with all of her points. You might even vehemently disagree. That’s not the issue here.
A woman declared her intent to publicly voice her opinions about video games. For that, she was called names, racial slurs, threatened with violence, rape, and murder, told to get back in the kitchen, and die of cancer. Her video was repeatedly flagged for terrorism...All for the crime of being a woman who had announced that she would, at some point in the future, be talking about video games.
...We may argue and disagree and fail to reach consensus, but as long as the conversation can flow unhindered with civility and respect, everybody wins in the end. Forcibly silencing someone through bullying or disingenuous tactics...is reprehensible, regardless of which side of the debate you’re on.
This is so true. Not only is anybody's (dis)agreement irrelevant, it's impossible because she has yet to release a video! How can people be so vehemently opposed to what she's saying if all she's said is that stereotypes are worth looking at? Deductively, the only possible source of said outrage is the from the fact that she is opening her mouth at all. Which... kinda proves why the videos need to exist in the first place.
" Deductively, the only possible source of said outrage is the from the fact that she is opening her mouth at all. "
That is deductively an extremely stupid conclusion. When people complain about someone saying something it's usually because THEY DON"T LIKE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING!!!
That means you should focus on what the person is saying and why the people who are listening to it don't like it. IN this case you have a women who is attempting to attack MEN in general for creating games in which women are portrayed in a way she views as sexist. She is by extension labeling game creators sexist and the men who play them.
The feminist attack on of males rescuing women just like men or the fact women can be victims of violence in games just like men, or women can be seen as sexual in games as evidence of male hatred, sexism or oppression is completely absurd. It's insulting to men and humanity. We don't have to mold ourselves to the artificial gender models of feminist created as reflections of how they see themselves. These feminist engage in far more sexism and stereotyping to promote their one sided message than males they are currently attacking in 2012. How many more tropes about gamer men are we going to see thrown about by these women fighting against tropes about women?
Evidence her sexism. Attacking violence against women as if men being slaughtered by the hundreds is ok but a hand ful of women are not. Men can rescue men but they can't rescue women. The fact is feminist are trying to assign gender roles, not remove them. We are past the point of even having to care what these people thing. Equality does not mean 'rule by feminist' who have proven to be dishonest, unequal brokers in the gender debate.
hahaha, yes EVERY.SINGLE.FEMINIST on earth has proven to be a dishonest, unequal brokers in gender debates worldwide.
thank you, Anita. you've already put sunshine on this infection. internet male misogynists shaking in their poopsocks! "waaaaaah, no feminist can even talk about this anymore, i CALL IT!"
What I think She should do, is get a team together who think like she does, and create her own video games, try to make something really cool and see if it sells.
I had an environmentally themed video game years ago, and why the ethics in the game were good, the game itself was awful.
I feel there are other audiences out there who want something more than just another Gun on the end of a hand, I'm surprised people aren't tired of that yet.
Might work? dunno.
Someone please tell me that I'm not the only female here who thinks this whole ordeal is stupid. Like really, REALLY stupid.
She's taking stuff way too seriously. They're friggin' video game characters.
"OH NO, THERE ARE A FEW CERTAIN FEMALE CHARACTERS WHO ARE HALF-NAKED AND/OR CAN COOK FOR OTHERS IN THIS GAME. I AM GOING TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THE FACT THAT THEY CAN STILL FIGHT LIKE WARRIORS/ARE CONSIDERED VERY IMPORTANT, AND I AM GOING TO ALSO IGNORE THAT THERE ARE HALF-NAKED MEN AS WELL. THIS IS SEXIST! SEXIST, I TELL YOU!"
^Basically all I am hearing in the video.
Maybe you should wait for the finished series, make a proper opinion on the researched, explored and completed content, rather than on a basic summary of titles...There is even a video planned to explore the good representations of women characters, I bet you female shep is in there, lol.
A lot of us women gamers actually would like more variation, more realistic women characters to better relate to. Half naked big breasted animated sex-toys have their place, some women like it, fanservice or w/e, but when that model encompasses a large percentage(not just a few representations of this, as you dishonestly suggested) of women characters it gets boring, same with damsels in distress or background eyecandy characters with no substance. I'll mention an example close to my heart, for love of the game. Look at the League of Legends female champion line up. Mostly we have doll-like-same-face, boobs bigger than heads, all young adults with skinny frames and most with skin showing(I don't think there is one female champ who doesn't have at least one 'sexy' skin, they even put tits on Annie for one skin - a 9 year old.). The male champions have their pretty boys, but also old guys, muscular guys, fat guys, ugly guys, LOTS of monster-types(and bears, scorpions, robots). I wouldn't mind the sexualised lady champions if that wasn't almost all there is. The most common response I receive for this observation of mine? "Guys won't play the characters you want"...
Also, it appears that I forgot that you can't mention women's issues without including men. The impact of sexism is nowhere near equivalent for men and women, it bugs me when people frame it as if it totally is, even when the root cause is the same. Take on the much larger issue of female tropes and it'll follow suit that male tropes will be questioned(and they should be - as their own topics). Right now it seems like these guys only care about their representation when women mention how crappy theirs is.
I *do* think it's really stupid. But not for the reasons you specify.
"look at and deconstruct the most common and most stereotypical representation of women in games [...] in each video I'll also be sure to showcase some inventive and interesting games that manage to avoid these tropes."
To me, that sounds reasonable. To me, it doesn't sound like she's a hateful feminazi out to ruin everyones fun. It just looks like she wants to study something. And really? It sounds like she wants to be balanced here. She's not saying ALL GAMES ARE BAD, BAN THIS SICK FILTH or anything.
But the backlash to it has been incredible.
The sheer stupidity of it all boggles my brain.
I hope you are referring only to her desire to make a video series, not the actual harassment and threats she has experienced as a result of her opinions. You are entitled to find her opinion stupid, though as a woman who plays video games, I find I strongly agree with her opinions. I am offended, however, by the implication that women should sit down, shut up, and take it. NO ONE, woman or man, should have to put up with threats and harassment simply for expressing an opinion.
Wait, Sarkeesian's actually a real feminist?
A while ago someone linked to this video of her complaining about being oppressed by the adverts on file sharing sites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yL0aGv45vGM
I feel like a bit of an idiot now, but I was sure it had to be a parody poking fun at the silly side of feminism.
What tipped it over the edge into farce was the idea that those sites are only choosing to advertise smut and sleazy dating services because they don't care about women users. In reality, sites where you can download copyrighted content are the internet's black market, and no company with a reputation to lose would want to be associated with them. It's not surprising that the few dodgy companies that do are advertising things that offend her delicate sensibilities.
Does she really think that legit companies like Amazon or Apple are lining up to advertise on sites where you can download their products for free?
Her argument's made in such a hyperbolic way, and the problems with it are so obvious, that I couldn't believe it was the genuine article. I guess Poe's Law applies to feminism as well as religious fundamentalism.
Of course that doesn't justify people throwing abuse at her, but from what I've seen of her I'm amazed that anyone takes her seriously.
1) Feminism = woman are human beings. Period. Anybody who says women are better than men or men are better than woman is a sexist, not a feminist, not a masculinist (whatever that is). Period. If I took seriously those people who call themselves 'Christian' who don't live like Christ (life of poverty, washing lepers, etc), I might be tempted to condem Christianity, but I don't. Don't make the same mistake.
2) This has nothing to do with feminism. It's about hateful, misogynist sexism in video games. You don't have to call yourself a feminist - though it helps to believe that women are human beings - to agree that that's a bad thing. If you think you should be entitled to your hateful, misogynist sexist 'entertainment' (in whatever medium), you are almost certainly a hateful, misogynist sexist yourself - certainly everyone who's insulted and/or threatened Sarkeesian is, and that includes a number of you posting comments on this story.
I'm a middle-aged white male who plays his fair share of video games and I deplore the disgusting way women are portrayed in a lot of them. I don't care whether that's most of them or 33.3% of them or whatever - it's clearly enough to be a problem. So I applaud Sarkeesian and others like her who draw attention to it. You don't like having your sheltering rock lifted and your perverse, twisted, sick entertainments inspected and criticized? Too damn bad. I can't wait for the day when trolls and haters are exposed for the cowards you are and decent, innocent people can take your asses to court.
Dude, grow some balls. This is no different than a religious fundamentalist saying God needs money. Stop groveling and stop apologizing for being male.
response literally starts out with a references to balls being a sign of intellectual strength? and emasculates the user for supporting Anita's position? SO PERSUASIVE, CAN'T IMAGINE WHY ANITA HAS RAISED OVER 100K, NOPE.
See, Sneedy, if you don't actively hate women, if you don't threaten them with rape and murder for speaking, if you don't crack rape "jokes" and "sammich" jokes, you're a mangina who hates himself and/or is only out for pussy. Totally logical and not all proof of a problem.
Pity these intellectually deficient misogynists like "whinyasscrybabyofstatemen".
Also, I'd really like to know exactly what's in your profanity filter, because I had to resubmit my comment six or seven times, long after I'd scrubbed every conceivable profanity from it. I'm overwhelmed by your site's commitment to freedom of speech.
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to automatically follow the narrative you're laying out.
For starters, there's the assumption that Anita is a completely innocent victim (and in news reporting, is there any other kind?). The basic idea of her video game series sounds fine, and I was on the verge of donating to it myself, until I realized she's also the person behind Feminist Frequency. I have watched some of those videos. They are as ideologically-driven as anything on Fox News. They start from the conclusions of feminism and look no deeper. I frankly don't want her making her video game series, because I am 80% sure I could predict everything she'll say in it. Besides, Extra Credits has already covered the same ground, (and Nostalgia Chick too, a bit).
So maybe it's not that 4chan targeted her because she's "a woman", as you so simplistically put it. Or because she's going after video games. Although I do concede that both those reasons are perfectly possible. But it's ALSO possible they were targeting her as an INDIVIDUAL, using language they knew would get the most reaction from her. I am not defending their disgusting language, but I am saying that maybe they actually have a reason for disliking Anita. There are a LOT of people who are opposed to feminism on ideological grounds, and that does not make them misogynists (no matter how hard feminists scream 'you're either for us or you hate women'). Personally, when Anita mentioned her videos being shown in schools, I felt a shudder of dread and nausea. Again; not because she's a woman, not because she's a feminist, but because I have seen her videos and they stink.
It's also just as likely that Anonymous picked her video at random. They do that; pick a random YouTube video and puke all over the comments. These are lazy, bored, rude children, for the most part. Taking them seriously gives them more power than they deserve. And trying to combat them by letting the government rip away their anonymity whenever someone gets upset at what they say!? No one should support this. A law like that would be abused horrifically, period. If someone makes a legitimate threat, then yes, their stupid self should be investigated. But I stand by a stranger's right to call me ANY HORRIBLE THING THEY CAN IMAGINE. Because it's free speech, and I do not have a right to not be offended. You don't either. That's right, everyone reading this: YOU.
If nothing else, you said yourself that Anita more than met her Kickstarter goal. Anonymous' petty bullying backfired, as anyone could have predicted. We should focus on the happy ending, instead of feeling sad that a bunch of human insects said mean things to an untalented vlogger.
"I was on the verge of donating to it myself, until I realized she's also the person behind Feminist Frequency. I have watched some of those videos. They are as ideologically-driven as anything on Fox News. They start from the conclusions of feminism and look no deeper."
You thought something called 'Feminist Frequency' wasn't going to come from a feminist perspective? Really?
"Or because she's going after video games. "
In what way is she 'going after' video games? If I say I want to analyze tropes and representations of women in 19th century literuate I'm not 'going after' 19th century literature.
Wanting to study something != attacking it.
Though obviously this 'studying' business can be deeply subversive and dangerous for us all...
I'm sorry but why would someone NOT support feminism? What is your definition of feminism anyway? That's like being against human rights. I don't understand. Why would you be against equal rights for women in all arenas?
The problem is the word itself. Just as there are many people who understand that Feminism means a belief in the equality of the sexes, there are just as many, if not more, who think it means a desire for women to be superior. It's the structure of the word itself that causes the confusion; that is, having "fem" in there makes it seem as if only women are the focus. That's why many people have so much difficulty supporting it: they don't understand the word. Imagine if I went around telling people I was a Masculinist (Masculist)? Most people would immediately assume I am for male dominance. Plus, it seems there are varying definitions of what Masculism means, which makes things even more confusing.
Unfortunately "Humanism" is already a word meaning something else, but there has to be something else more appropriate. "Equal Rights Activist" is a very appropriate description, but again, having a word like "Activist" gets people (usually ignorant ones) all riled up.
So really, I don't think it's that people are against equal rights for women, they're just truthfully ignorant about the meaning of "feminism".
The hunted down her contact information, harassed her through every channel, and lied in an attempt to get her videos taken down and her fundraiser cancelled.
If these acts were being carried out by Syria or Russia or the National Front or the CIA or some candidate against their opponent, would you be so casually dismissive? Or would you - correctly - identify it as a coordinated attack to silence speech.
It doesn't matter if you don't like the speech or think it's like Fox News. These were acts, not just speech, and they were explicitly political, explicitly about getting a woman to shut up.
This is a really interesting article. I liked the idea of this project upon my completion of the article and then I started reading comments. And a few doubts were raised--primarily with subjective nature of the this study, and whether the results could be objective and non-biased given an apparent bias from the onset; issues of sex-relations in society; and is free speech actually an issue here, or is it a distraction from other issues. After a little mulling, I concluded that society as a whole could do with a study similar to this, maybe just under a different configuration.
Like it or not, a large portion of society is playing these games, whether in passing because it's something to do for a short time or as dedicated gamers. I see a study of this nature (again, not necessarily this study) serving to reinforce or breakdown the claims that people on both sides of the argument are making. Furthermore, I believe that video games serve to socialize people in specific ways and I think it would be interesting to see what those ways are--in general and as they apply to specific issues.
Furthermore, studies have a way of influencing more studies. That would not be a bad thing in this case--some argue that this study has a bias and an agenda. Ok, so let the study progress--wait and see what the conclusions are. If you don't like them, then you can formulate your own study methods, hypotheses, etc. I will warn that there is an obvious slippery slope if studies are conducted simply to counter the findings of the last study, but if conducted objectively and following the scientific method as closely as possible (and yes, even psychologists, sociologists, and political scientists adhere to this method as closely as is possible in meta-analyses), then it possible to really break ground on the issues and illuminate the facts and myths on either side of the debate. I worry that the messages the industry sends to audiences through games, particularly in female character development, might serve an overall, albeit unintended effect, of reinforcing oppressive and polarized gender role assumptions, in young men in particular. However, this is just a feeling based off of my studies of gender power differentials in politics, society as a whole, and other entertainment medias (that is, television and music).
Finally, I am sorry if this offends anyone on either side of this argument. I think based on the passionate responses from both view points, this might very well be something worth considering for the impact such results could have on society (and perhaps, but maybe not, the video-game industry as a whole). I feel I have presented my rationale fairly and clearly. As I have read many times, criticize the post, not the poster. I hope that is what this post has managed to do.
Low self esteem can't be cured, that's the point of trolling.
1. Grand Theft Auto - There is your primary example of genuine misogyny presented in video game format.
2. I'm not a gamer. I play World of Warcraft. That's it. I have no opinion on any other games or characters except that I think it's creppy that guys play female charcters in WoW. But whatver.
3. Why does she need money to do the project? To gain an appropriate sampling of gaming experiences would take several systems and a pretty large amount of games, not to mention a great deal of time. Funding this project allows for purchase of the latest tech and games for analysys as well as possibly a means of supporting herself while taking the time on the project. The original amount requested was actually quite modest.
4. Why do this kind of project? People do research into topics they find interesting, find important, feel are not known about enough.
5. What does she hope to accomplish? I assume better awareness of presentation of women in the larger portion of video games despite the fact that there are many women gamers out there.
6. 4channers obviously need a new hobby if something like this gets under their skin enough to "force" them to comment in such vitriolic forms. And apparently all they did was manage to help the young lady gain a great deal of funding for her project and beyond. Well done, "guys".
7. While I think the threats are disgusting and to be taken seriously, I have seen in my own experience that it takes far less than an issue of sexism for people to anonymously pile onto a bandwagon of hate. Especially when it comes to YouTube. The hateful comments I've seen on relatively innocuous videos are asto9uding. "Free Speech" is the battle cry of the anonymous hater who doesn't have to take responsibility for their actions.
8. I have a sexist remark to make here. In my experience. The immature, hateful, obscenity-filled writings online are almost always young males. Is it sexist if it's true?
I can't help but wonder if her project will focus entirely on the negative without giving any constructive feedback to the industry (yes, I am aware she's stated she's going to do a video about positive female characters, but will it be only half hearted? Time will tell I suppose) Does that make me a misogynist? No. She has a right to express her thoughts, and she should express them through whatever media is available to her. And it'll be up to the public to figure out what to do with it.
That said, she deserves no scorn for doing this. None. Whether you agree with her or not: a reasonable and healthy debate is fine, death/rape threats are utterly unforgivable.
This whole thing reminded me of something my significant other said (she, like the lady doing the project, is a feminist): "If I say something about , then I'm called crazy, a b**ch or I'm told I'm on my period." It's disgusting. She's a person, and smarter than 99% of the dim-witted knuckle dragging men that I've seen posting about this (and this includes myself) and she has every right to express herself without being attacked. She understands that controversial things will generate debate, sometimes of some heat, but people don't debate anymore, they make it personal and that's just wrong and shows just how insecure they are in their position.
On the topic of the project itself: It's about time this issue got some major press. Go on all you want about how there are strong women in gaming, there are way too many that aren't. Furthermore, when the "strong" female character is (in, say, an RPG) dressed in a bra and panties serving as her armor, and the dude is wearing a hulking steel plate, then I can't help but think that the developers/publishers/artists did this so that the character will still be nothing more than window dressing for boys. It totally betrays the strength given to the character. You can say "well, if you can't see past that, then you're a pig" and I'd tell you to pull your head out of your ass. Most guys won't/don't see past this. Why can't the female character be strong (or really, who cares about strong? Just NORMAL would be good thanks) and be dressed appropriately? That'd be nice. Same goes for all the characters with triple-F cup tits. Why does she need to have that? Never mind that, in the real world, she'd have incredibly horrid back problems, but she'd never be able to pull off the moves that they've built into the game. That's not sexism, that's physics and biology. I don't care about how a female character looks in the game, as long they emote properly and help deliver the story in an engaging way, then I'm happy. And in that context, male characters really aren't much better.
I've seen people say "well, she should say what she'd like to see rather than just complain". And I agree with that, it'd be nice to get feedback, not just complaining. Frankly, very few guys on this planet would know how to do justice to a good female character, so a female perspective would be nice... actually no, it's necessary for female input on this. We're all in this together you see (and that, for me, is equality).
And to those who would say, "it's up to the game developers to change". No, it isn't. We (as in both men and women) need to force them to change. They love money, and if society were to one day wake up and say "I don't like that garbage in my game, I don't think I'll buy the sequel", then they'd have no choice but to move away from that. But then, that's hoping for too much when you have the likes of internet trolls and moron consumers who buy what they're told to buy. As long as sex continues to sell, we're going to have this bull clogging up the pipes. The whole "sex sells" trend should have died at the end of the 80's. And this applies to -ALL- media.
There's sexism in all media. Magazines with their wafer thin heroin addict models, movies with their busty porn-star-wannabe shallow women and impossibly idiotic "do-it-all-perfectly" male leads and TV with their horrid "reality" shows and sitcoms with the nagging housewife and the near catatonic dolt husband. It needs to end.
You just made me realize something about myself. As much as I tend to think it's silly to have characters who seem to manage having everything go their way, with perfect hair, constant wideshots of nothing but attractive people etc., I absolutely hate "reality" tv. I am now trying to determine whether this is hypocritical of me.
Reality tv turns me off because people are so nasty to each most of the time. Then again, there are many drama shows that I avoid for the same reasons. Okay, I think I'm good. This has been a "thinking out loud" reply. Feel free to ignore.
You clearly stated that the free market is the problem and that it needs to end.
People buy/watch/want what people like.
Why are women in bra and panties in video games? Because people buy it
Is it unfair/stereotypical/some type of "ist" - Sure
Why is televsion predominantly composed of white people? Because people watch it.
Is it unfair/stereotypical/some type of "ist" - Sure
Why do radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh get to spout off their form of hate? Because people listen.
Is it unfair/stereotypical/some type of "ist" - Sure
You want to go upend western society norms and culture? Heres the battle flag, go get em champ. That guy on the street preaching about the end of the world will keep you company with his bullhorn.
DURRRR, WOMEN'S BODIES ARE JUST USED TO SELL EVERYTHING, GET USED TO IT, IT'S THE WESSSSST!!!!
wow, disgusting. "listen get over, blacks just, like, do all the work for free! it's how people prefer it!"
Yes we are aware that people purchase and view racist and sexist material and consumers are part of the problem. But media is a vicious cycle: if people are continually presented with a narrow, prejudiced forms of entertainment that's what develops their taste level and world view and thus even more racist and sexist forms of media are perpetuated. The fact that it sells is not a justification. It's part of the problem that needs to be tackled. Someone needs to stand up and break the cycle. Someone needs to point out why it's wrong and harmful. People have done it before, it's the reason you don't turn on the television and see black face being performed anymore. It's the reason black women are occasionally on screen who aren't in maid uniforms. It can change and it will change.
I don't understand why we have to fight battles as one against the other. No matter what anybody says, male or female, what happened to Anita Sarkeesian was not right, moral, good, just on ANY level. This is the issue really, surely! The internet can be a wonderful place where you can express and create, and enjoy doing so. We have so much scope for this now, embrace it. If Anita wants to make a video about something she feels strongly about and people want to sponsor her to do so, then I'm happy with that. The abuse was inexcusable. Anita's battle is an example of sexism, yes, but it is also a battle for humanity.
There was a comment which disturbed me, about the way she dresses. I think in life both men and woman have to accept that everybody has a choice, and a freedom to do so. If Anita had chosen to dress differently, her voice, passion and interesting view of the world of video games would have been communicated. I don't believe for one minute that people gave money for this project because of her earrings, are you really that ridiculous to think so?
I think these people, rage or no rage (which has been described as momentary passing rage - I'm sorry but I'm angry right now, so you see swearwords, sexual content or offence littering my post?), need to step back and take a look at themselves. Did this campaign have the desired effect? Absolutely not, she is more famous than ever. Who is losing here? The people who unleashed the tirade. What is the solution? Make an interesting and thoughtful video that criticizes what Anita, and any other person, has every right to say. If there is somebody who is intelligent enough to do so amongst you, I would listen and consider you view point, like a sane human being.
Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She tweets @helenlewis