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Obscene images, hate sites and a game where people are invited to beat you up have been inflicted on Anita Sarkeesian.
Not entirely accurate. Androgynous and feminine males are utilized in manga, anime, and JRPG's for the benefit of women, particularly in the yaoi genre.
Can you state any non-japanese sources of this? (Japan's idea of male attractiveness is culturally faaaaar more androgynous/feminine than Western ideals.) In America to be 'manly' you need to seem powerful and strong (not always just physically).
There's a reason there is a trope where a nerdy/ugly/fat guy gets a hot girlfriend (it's funny because he's not manly and she still sees the good in him!) but NO tropes where a hot guy gets an nerdy/ugly/fat girl gets a hot girlfriend (that wouldn't be funny because nerdy/ugly/fat girls aren't sexy and no man would pay to see that.)
If you are bothered by handsome men in games, why don't you do something about it? Feminists will applaud you for standing up for yourself against male stereotypes.
Look up false equivalence, mate. There's a good lad.
I find it even more disturbing that he's willing to promote violence against a real woman in order to protect imaginary women. Ladies aren't you a little worried that the "male protector instinct" has shifted from protecting you to protecting Xbox live?
If I was a woman I'd be very concerned that the human connection I once enjoyed with males is now being lavished upon videogame characters. Are you planning to do something about this?! Suddenly coddling grown men doesn't seem like such a bad idea...
I think it's very telling that Anita Sarkeesian's male supporters are no where near as violently passionate as her detractors.
'Ladies' aren't worried about that; no self-respecting woman who knows what's up needs or wants a paternalistic 'protector instinct' from men. They want the general human population to simply treat them with respect. Because everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Women can enjoy a human connection with men without it having to be based on the idea that the connection's there because they need to be protected from... whatever super conservatives think women need to be protected from (probably themselves). I think that without women being subject to this 'instinct', connections with men are that much more human and fulfilling, anyway.
If you go on Xbox live, and announce that you are a woman, you'll probably be attacked.
100 years ago if a woman was subjected that level of verbal abuse, men would jump into action to defend her.
Now they stay silent.
If you remember the street fighter x tekken sexual harrasment incident, Aeris continuously verbally harassed a woman sitting in the same room as him for hours and no one tried to stop him. He was surrounded by men! The video is right on YouTube .
If you don't think this real life science fiction scenario is alarming maybe you should look closer. It's a lot more terrifying than possible sexist tropes in videogames themselves.
Then again, maybe its not surprising. I mentioned "human connection with men" and you had no idea what I was talking about. Assuming you are a woman, that seems to sum up the problem in a nutshell.
For some reason male 'protectors' tend to think that women should not just be helped out in sticky situations (as common decency dictates), they think that women need to be guarded and cannot decide for themselves what is good for them, and there is where it goes wrong.
What happens in a society of protectors is that they end up making the rules for their protectees in this manner:
they think 'When is it safe for her to walk in the park? Hm..maybe not after eight at night, let's keep her inside then, for her own protection.'
or 'It is not safe for her to go to a party, let's keep her inside, for her own good.'
this then ends up in 'You got raped? I'm sorry. Were you out at night after eight or at a party? Yes? Well, you shouldn't have been there as you know very well, so, you are a slut and brought this on yourself.'
So, she becomes a target for rapists or lives a prisoner in her own home with these protectors as her guards.
That's what wrong with the protectors-mentality.
If you don't think that this could be real, just look at what happens to women in many islamic countries, where women live under the power of the male protectors in their families (their fathers, brothers, sons, husbands): the rule for women there is cover yourself and stay home or get sexually assaulted.
A much milder and covert version of this still exists in western countries.
A person who does not stop someone abusing another is either too scared or a heartless piece of shit.
The 'protection' that women don't want from men is to take over their lives as if they were little children, just BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN..
If you would see a man beat up a woman, and you can see that she is not as strong as him, please do interfere and protect her from harm. If you see that she can defend herself very well, then don't, or just try to end the fight. If you see a woman beating up a man who is not as strong as her and can't defend himself, please interfere and protect him. It's as simple as that. You just assess the situation and see if help is needed, instead of immediately assuming the woman involved is a weak little puppy that needs you to save her because she is a woman.
Why is that so hard to understand?
Thank you for your rational comparison of true protective instinct vs. the suppressive "protector" behavior.
"The 'protection' that women don't want from men is to take over their lives as if they were little children, just BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN..."
Another glorious Strawman argument. Too bad, since this is not an argument.
You then move on to demand that men jump in to protect women. Sounds great. Except that it looks like they are protecting women. Imaginary videogame women. Protecting them from real women. Violently.
This strikes me as a little bizzare, and I'm wondering if women like you are seeing what I'm seeing. Obviously not.
Well ladies, it looks like you have a problem. And it's not patriarchy, not a glass ceiling or whatever "feminist" cliche you want to throw at it. In fact, I have no idea what it is, but it looks REALLY bad and REALLY big. Millions of boys (and men) are pretty angry with you and no one knows why. No one seems to care either. They all seem to be lurking on Xbox live.
"Women can enjoy a human connection with men without it having to be based on the idea that the connection's there because they need to be protected from... "
The full dynamic of male-female relationships CAN include that, but it doesn't have to be the primary reason. The fact is that the vast majority of male-female intimate and blood relationships include this, especially father-daughter relationships. Those said to be "attacking" women here would probably fall on a grenade to save their daughters if it came to that.
Don't be ridiculous. Any parent, whether they be a mother or a father, would fall on a grenade for their child, whether they be a son or a daughter. Not just fathers protecting their daughters, a decent father would protect their son, and a decent mother would protect her daughter/son.
Please, do not presume that the protective instinct in "male-female intimate and blood relationships" is only given by the male. In any relationship, both partners should feel (to some extent) protective of their partner. It doesn't matter about gender, as gender does not define how people feel about each other.
If the shit ever really hit the fan and there was a major disaster, they are going to embrace the protector instinct again. Let's just hope that instinct isn't bred out of the population of men by then.
If the shit ever really hit the fan, it's the men who affect to think of themselves as 'chivalrous' who would be the first to start preying on women, since they obviously have trouble thinking of women first and foremost as human beings.
Oh yeah... because of course there has to be at least someone who makes a brainless remark. Grow up and stop acting like you know what would happen in a disaster. Don't presume that women would suddenly go back to being defenseless little creatures like they used to- because they never actually were defenseless, men just never gave them a chance to become anything else.
I think Ms. Sarkeesian should expose her donors. I would not be surprised if over 50% of her donations come from men, the proportion of men donating increasing as the attacks occurred. This would suggest she is the damsel in distress that needs to be saved, which would prove that chivalry is indeed not dead.
I won't hold my breath waiting for that data, however.
If you look at the kickstarter the donors are already available, but that would take you actually caring enough about her project to look at the kickstarter with a meaningful eye, rather than a dismissive one.
What I find amazing is that every time that people respond to this woman's claim that her work is valuable, they do so in a way that proves that she's right in the first place.
I mean, what is their thought process?
"There is not a subcurrent of violent antipathy toward women in video game culture, especially toward women who point up this subcurrent. To demonstrate this, here is a game I made in which you can violently enact your antipathy toward a woman who is trying to point up this subcurrent.
"My depiction of violence to a woman who attempts to point out that people use unpleasant depictions of violence to women to shut up women who point out the misogyny in the subculture should help prove that we don't use depictions of violence toward women in order to shut up women who point out the misogyny in our subculture."
No one can shut her up, yet she has actually shut up many people who posted valid and reasonable arguments. She moderates the good arguments away and filters in the nonsense in order to highlight the nonsense. Then she uses this "abuse" as a shield from valid criticism.
"she uses this "abuse" as a shield from valid criticism", "she moderates the good arguments away", she "filters in the nonsense"
The next thing you'll do is to claim that she made the 'beat-her-up-game' herself as a way to validate her project. Because it validates it, doesn't it?
Sure, just like 9/11 was staged by the cia, climate change is a ploy invented by the greenactivists mafia and you got obducted by alians when you were young. Oh no, that must have been those feminazis, plotting against you, poor, unfairly treated spokker.
I think your idea of 'valid criticism' is probably different from most reasonable people's.
Have these reasonable people with valid criticisms created response videos or written blog posts elsewhere? Why would they be limited to expressing themselves in someone else's moderated comments?
What's preventing them from creating videos or writing their own blog with their reasonable arguments and valid criticism? I would love to read them.
They have and links have been posted under this very article. Your willfully ignorance of them is a transparent, foolish tactic.
Further, would you like to reply to the genuine irony on display here?
A woman makes a claim that, when women say things some men don't like, those men respond with simulated violence to that woman.
One of those men doesn't like what she said, so he creates simulated violence against her.
It seems to me that what we have here is absolute, unequivocal proof that she's RIGHT in the first place.
Could you point to one person who posted good and valid arguments whom she shut up?
, cupcake.
Anita Sarkeesian was interviewed on CBC radio. She is an intelligent, articulate, passionate feminist. Whether or not people share the same passion or beliefs is not the issue. It is the depth of violence and hated that has been projected at her that shocks me. Every once in a while I hear behaviour like this and it just makes me shake my head in embarrassment for those who stoop to such depravity and incivility. Quite frankly it frightens me that there are people who would find creating a pornographic image of someone with a different opinion than their own, a reasonable way to communicate their belief or ideology. I enjoy heated debate and different opinions but individuals should always engage respectfully and mindful of the dignity of all people involved.
"She is an intelligent, articulate, passionate feminist."
That's a bit like defending someone on the grounds that they are "an intelligent, articulate, passionate Nazi".
Feminism is a hate movement, and any good qualities that its defenders may have do not negate its discriminatory and oppressive nature.
If feminism were "discriminatory and oppressive" in nature, how can you explain so many men being entirely supportive and comfortable with it? Why do you suppose none of us are the slightest but worried about being oppressed and discriminated against?
if you had never read a book, or taken a class, or talked to a human being, or didn't live in your mothers basement, feminism could be termed as a "hate movement". until then keep sucking back bottles of pepsi and LARPing you piece of garbage
You have a clever first point but feminism is not a hate movement, nor is it just one movement, stagnant in time. Groups and individuals all enact feminism very differently but the most common theme is equality. Women want to be seen as equal to men (which isn't asking for very much) and has nothing to do with men worshiping us or protecting us or censoring themselves to not offend us. We just want to be understood as people and not a group to be discriminated against, abused, or harassed because of our gender expression or sex. By harassing an entire group of people in this way, we are portrayed as less-than and less worthy of respect or understanding
You do not have a right to not be offended. Grow some thicker skin or GTFO.
Personally, I find these trolls to be first class douchebags. I take pleasure in trolling the trolls. Especially those "Knothead" idiots. They are clowns, nothing more.
By admitting you troll, it is not trolling.
That is why you fail
You guys want to hear a joke?
Shut the fuck up
I call harassment on that! You must now deposit $50 Kickstarter fun bucks into my account.
Ah, spokker, here you are, suggesting that she did it herself to earn some cash. How predictable. Perhaps you should do it too, I mean, it's a lot of money she got now. So, why don't you make some pictures of someone raping you, post them on a blog with a bank account next to them. I'll be happy to assist you in making those pictures.
who put word 'f._ak _e' in filters...
I was watching her gripe videos about the LEGO Friends line recently. As someone that can remember less intensively specialized LEGO sets, there were plenty of gender neutral aspects to LEGO. I say "intensively specialized" because they did have themes like cities, castles, etc., but they had very few specialty pieces and were little more than a collection of the right pieces for a particular theme that anyone could create if they had a large enough supply of LEGO. And there actually were houses with female minifigs and other "domestic" sets like farms and such. Things that weren't overly gender specific.
The point she's missing is that a company's product line is going to evolve to cater more to those customer demographics that they find do the bulk of the buying. LEGO did not make some executive decision to market only to boys. There weren't a bunch of bigwigs in an office at LEGO Corporate smoking cigars, looking through Playboys, and chortling, "Screw the girls. HAW HAW HAW!" No... boys made up the bulk of their consumers (by way of their parents purchases, of course) and so they catered to the part of the market that generated the most revenue.
While it would be good for LEGO to include more female figures or make minifigures more easily purchased on their own to supplement sets, the LEGO Friends line is not intended to be the only LEGO sets for girls to buy. It is a line targeted specifically at those girls that would not want to buy the other sets. She's basically trying to accuse LEGO of saying "boys get these sets and girls get these sets" with all of this "gender segregated" bullpuckey. If girls want to buy the unisex City sets and roleplay being female firefighters and such then they are welcome, if not encouraged, to do so. But she's not acknowledging that LEGO has created a line intended to appeal to those girls that would not want to do that.
(Granted, LEGO's inclusion of minifigs is partly to convince consumers to get the larger sets in order to get the more desirable minifigs that do not come with the smaller sets.)
I don't think Sarkeesian's intent is without merit. The status quo doesn't change unless it's challenged. Unfortunately her intent is obfuscated by poor execution and lack of any real insight and research. She tries to encourage balance by presenting the extreme antithesis of something rather than highlighting those common grounds that need to be sought out. And in the case of something like the LEGO Friends line, she demonstrates that nothing will ever be good enough for her because she rails on the failings of such an attempt rather than hail it for its successes and forward-thinking while suggesting where there is room for improvement.
I would dare say she is really not arguing for all women at all parts of the spectrum - from the tomboy to the girly girl - so much as she is attempting to suggest that anything and everything should be completely gender neutralized, which is simply not the way a gender diverse society works. And in failing to acknowledge that an effort like the LEGO Friends line does have merit and does represent the interests of a portion of the female populations, she makes herself look like she misses the point entirely. She comes off as someone that wants to suggest women who actually would be interested in hair styling, baking, owning a restaurant, and aspiring to other "traditionally female" roles are a traitor to the gender's quest for equality.
As much as I hate to cite Family Guy, Lois put it well in one episode:
"Look, I'm all for equality but, if you ask me, feminism is about choice. I choose to be a wife and mother."
Sarkeesian may be seeking equality, but her execution focuses more on anti-masculine counter-culturalism, thus making herself look clueless and weakening her otherwise worthwhile challenges to society.
I think another area she does a disservice to the women she presumes to champion is that her work basically focuses on what men and male-dominated sectors need to do to accommodate women rather than discussing what women can do to challenge the status quo. She focuses on problems rather than solutions - which is taking the easy way out.
For example, rather than rail on the LEGO Friends line, which will have obvious appeal to girls that like "girly" things and would not normally buy standard LEGO... and may even serve as a gateway to girls getting other LEGO sets because they've discovered they enjoy building... she could have chosen to hail it as a good idea but follow up by suggesting ways LEGO could be more gender-neutral. She could also suggest that young girls that would like more female minifigs in the standard sets could contact the LEGO company and even start a consumer campaign to encourage them to do so. Rather than dedicating an entire series to what is wrong with the women in games, why not create a project to help "girl gamers" and women in the software industry figure out how to start their own companies that could produce the kinds of games she's like to see made.
In doing so, she wouldn't just be sitting back and pointing out society's flaws but actually doing something to encourage girls and women to take charge of their destiny and break through those glass ceilings. But then, it's easier to cite fault than propose solutions. And this may be why she has gained so much ire over her Kickstarter project. She is seeking donations for impotent finger-pointing and statements of the obvious rather than to fund a project that actually may produce results. She is getting paid to be an armchair critic rather than an actual driving agent for productive change.
And this is another reason that Sarkeesian comes off as a joke and a parody of her own intentions. In focusing on what male-centric society needs to do to accommodate women rather than what women can do to be agents for change she is essentially conveying the message of, "In order for something to happen we need to for the men to make the change." In her first LEGO video she poses the question of what will the LEGO Friends do if a house catches on fire, since their sets have no fire department. She says she guesses they'll have to wait for the boys to show up in the fire truck. The unspoken message she conveys is one of "What will the girl gamers do to get games we want? I guess we'll have to wait for the boys to show up with one made for us." rather than "We girl gamers need to make our own." She presents it as an absurdity that women should feel at the mercy of male figures in games and toys but then essentially puts the fate of having her and other girl gamers accommodated on a predominantly male industry. She comes off as wanting to be catered to for being a woman rather than simply given a level playing field where gender doesn't matter in terms of opportunity. As with many well-intentioned but poorly-executed feminist movements, the focus isn't really to garner true equality but to achieve special acknowledgement and compensation for being female - a dichotomous blend of being blind to gender while simultaneously showing deference to a particular gender.
She definitely doesn't deserve the ire nor attention she has received, but that doesn't absolve her of pursuing worthwhile lines of inquiry in a really clueless and ham-fisted fashion. She may be a clueless joke raising good questions, but she's a clueless joke nonetheless. She is a farce, but she doesn't deserve to be threatened nor beaten - virtually or otherwise - for being one. She's simply the George "Dubya" Bush of the feminist gamer girl movement.
'boys made up the bulk of their consumers (by way of their parents purchases, of course) and so they catered to the part of the market that generated the most revenue'
ah, an interesting lesson,
'It is a line targeted specifically at those girls that would not want to buy the other sets.'
and those girls are: not 'the boys who did not make up the bulk of their consumers'..... they are the not-boys..... the girls, you mean?
'I think another area she does a disservice to the women she presumes to champion is that her work basically focuses on what men and male-dominated sectors need to do to accommodate women rather than discussing what women can do to challenge the status quo'
so...she does women a disservice because there is a way that she can do even better than the good work she is doing now? Or is her pointing out sexist aspects of 'male-dominated sectors' bad for women? She is raising awareness, which is very much needed, because most people don't have a clue about tropes in movies or tropes in video games, let alone that they would do something about it. My girlfriends had a nagging feeling that there was something going on with movies and they were not very interesting to them and that there were too many naked girls always on screen. After I showed them Anita's video about the Bechdel test and the tropes, they understood what they were not able to put their finger on before. This is very important.
"In order for something to happen we need to for the men to make the change."
Well, men are in power in all of those male-dominated sectors, it is not such a bad idea to tell them what they are doing wrong and what they can do about that. Movies are watched (games are played) by many and they change the way people look at the world. If these movies often portray women in stereotypical roles, or not at all, then it has an impact on society.
"She comes off as wanting to be catered to for being a woman rather than simply given a level playing field where gender doesn't matter in terms of opportunity. "
There is no level playing field that women 'are given'. Sectors are male-dominated, as you said.
You suggest that "We girl gamers need to make our own."
But making our own does not make the constant feeding of stereotypes to boys and men go away. These are the boys and men who we share a world with, and who we share our bed or homes with, and raise a child perhaps, if they all grow up with hypersexualized and stereotyped pictures of women, the world will not be a very happy place, regardless of whether girls/women having their own movies and games.
Sure, make our own. However, feminists don't want a world in which our sex (male/female) dictates the role that we have in society. Feminists do not want a world in which men make stuff for men (in which they can play out rape fantasies perhaps? or have flashy cars and play wargames?) and women make stuff for women (in which they can...ehm....fantasize about doing nasty things to men, I don't know what? or dress themselves up and bake a cake? perhaps play wargames with lots of women?), they want men and women to enjoy life together, in equality. Feminists want a world in which men can be what they want and women can be what they want, in which men and women can be firefighters, scientists, cooks, nurses, stay at home parents, whatever appeals to their personal taste and talent. Feminists think that just as your skin color should not be decisive in what role you play in society, your sex should also not be decisive.
Feminists are not the enemy of men. Anita isn't either. She points out where the men in power (of the film industry and gaming industry etc.) go wrong (according to the feminist assumption that sex should not matter in what role in society, or movies, people play). There is nothing anti-male about that. It is anti-stereotyping and anti sexism. Stereotyping can be done by women too and when it is, feminist critisize those women, just as if they were men.
Hey, at least you actually make a reasonable attempt to engage some of Sarkeesian’s arguments, so credit for that. It’s a shame people like Ben Spurr (the guy who made the ‘punch Anita’ game) couldn’t have tried that.
- “there were plenty of gender neutral aspects to LEGO.”
Sarkeesian agrees. She was a fan of LEGO and actually praised the earlier less restrictive, more “bulid-your-own” Lego stuff.
- “If girls want to buy the unisex City sets and roleplay being female firefighters and such then they are welcome, if not encouraged, to do so.”
No, *not* encouraged to do so. Of course they’re “welcome” to, in that Lego will happily take their (parents) money, but ‘encouraged’? Nah. Lego’s general marketing is fairly heavily orientated towards men – sometimes quite overtly (the father/sons stuff) and sometimes a bit more subtly.
- “this may be why she has gained so much ire over her Kickstarter project. She is seeking donations for impotent finger-pointing and statements of the obvious rather than to fund a project that actually may produce results."
This part is ridiculous. The explanation for the attacks on her is that they see some merit in what she’s doing, but they just feel she’s going about it the wrong way? They’re just trying to encourage her to be more constructive? Really??
- “In her first LEGO video she poses the question of what will the LEGO Friends do if a house catches on fire, since their sets have no fire department. She says she guesses they'll have to wait for the boys to show up in the fire truck. The unspoken message she conveys is one of "What will the girl gamers do to get games we want? I guess we'll have to wait for the boys to show up with one made for us."
Wow. You completely missed the point there.
'As with many well-intentioned but poorly-executed feminist movements,'
your blah blah blah is boring, if feminist movement then obviously poorly-executed...
and so on
and so on
and so on
you have issues...
First things first: such behaviour is entirely and unreservedly deplorable. However, I'd query its portrayal as an issue of "sexist abuse of women". It seems to me that sexism - and racism, homophobia, trans*hate etc etc - are individual vectors in a broader phenomenon of hatred and aggression which is somehow accommodated by the alienation of a "presence" that is merely virtual. I repeat, that's not to diminish the impact or seriousness of any of it, but I think that looking at online abuse as a subset of misogyny may be less useful to a broader understanding of matters than looking at misogynistic abuse as a subset of online behaviour patterns. I'm afraid that's not a case I can make in detail, just a hunch.
Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She tweets @helenlewis