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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.
AGO, your general point is true...a person's detractors behaving like idiots doesn't make that person's argument correct.
However, you aren't making your case very strongly. What information in the research project is innacurate or fake? How is the Tropes vs. Women, as a project, inadequate? If you have intelligent critique, offer it in detail, not in vague accusations.
And even so, the use of "stole" is over-the-top. Remember, those who gave to the project did so of their own free will. Even if the research is shoddy, it is hardly alone in the world of research, and loads of shoddy research is funded by far less transparent means.
Im intrigued that you can make claims about the content of a video which hasn't been made yet. Fundraising only finished a few weeks ago, now she has to do her research.
Hasn't it been too long since we had a good old fashioned shootin' World War? These comments and displays lead me to think that we're way overdue for another culling. There are too many white boys playing video games in their apartments, and not enough of them shooting each others' testicles off for reals on the field. We don't need so many of them around now, do we?
No, let's don't. My kid's in the military and I'd just as soon he were as safe as possible.
How very racist of you. I suppose if I said "lets get all the black boys to go to war because of the gang problem" you'd be all flustered.
Let's not kid ourselves, the behavior pictured here is absolutely disgusting and no one should be subjected to it. "It's the internet" isn't an excuse, it's just wrong.
That said, while I will not argue there are some (SOME, some video games have had very endearing female characters) that do objectify women, in the grand scheme of things, this is a very trivial pursuit.
What I mean by that is, she was given more than 150,000$ to buy, sit and play, and then go on youtube to talk about perceived sexism in the games she plays. I'm sorry, but I do not think that is going to help women who truly are oppressed and need help in the world and in the US itself.
The behavior is psychopathic and there is no excuse. So damn what if people want to give her money to do a study? Why is that a problem? How do you know this research is NOT relevant to others being oppressed?
Have you ever been subject to this kind of harassment?
I am a gamer, and it is sexist, on purpose, in order to appeal to a demographic that is very vulnerable and is developing ideas about women, the 12-21 age group.
It is relevant. Try to look beyond your bias; do a thought exercise, see if you are able to see this from her point of view.
I learned a long time ago that men do this crap, and that one cannot allow them to harsh one's mellow with their douchery.
So I do and say what I please, but this is traumatic to others. NO one has the right to do this to another. If they don't like it, DON'T FRIGGIN' DONATE TO IT!!!!!
Okay, maybe YOU think that what she is doing is pointless, but there are obviously many people who do not share your opinion, and what they do with their money is none of your business.
The point of this article is that a woman is being threatened with sexual and physical violence. The reason that she is being threatened is almost irrelevant, because what she has been subjected to is disgusting.
I would like you to sit down and think over what you've just posted. There are many places all over the internet and in real life where you can discuss the merits of feminist critique. WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO CRITIQUE ANITA SARKEESIAN'S MESSAGE HERE? Please have a think about that.
People have the right to decide for themselves what they find oppressive and offensive and which projects they choose to fund with their own money. If you don't think this project is helpful, don't contribute to it. The fact that you don't find this project helpful doesn't give you the right to interfere with the right of other people to support it and work on it because they could be doing something else with their money that YOU happen to approve of.
How am I interfering? All I did was state my opinion. If people want to support this cause and believe in it that's fine. It's their money and they are free to do with it as they please.
It was my opinion and mine alone and I am in no way trying to interfere with this project.
Yes, the issue is so trivial that countless people voluntarily donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the project.
-"It's the internet" isn't an excuse- Yes it is... See who convinced tons of people of giving her money for making videos that point out the obvious and do nothing to change things (there are lots of youtubers that did the same things and more effective, for free) and that is just one of the many examples.
The internet is always a excuse to make things. Bad, good... and uneffective too.
And yes... this all was just stupid, her kickstarter project, the people who harassed her, and the people who gave her money (being or not because of the harassing)
Much of the "harassment" you listed is barely harassment at all. A shitty flash game that looks like it was made by a 13 year old with aspergers that didn't even have 2000 views until outlets like this started crying about it, and have to literally cherry pick one review to show just how awful anyone that disagrees with this idiotic person is, "hacked" wikipedia pages (which can be freely edited by anyone.....), meme macros (the horror!), rule 34 (which, as you may not know, applies to everything and people will make any effort to apply the rule, with the only thing standing out about this particular example is the timing), and Denial of Service attacks, which are a mild nuisance at best.
Who knows, maybe some of the people angry at her are feminists who are well aware of her absolute idiocy, and by being hostile and mysandrist herself she's brought on the wrath of the darker corners of the internet by basically asking for it?
where is the downvote button when you need it?
Sorry, but if you truly believe that she "asked for" this, you are broken. This is staggeringly repulsive behaviour, and even if she HAD diplayed mysndry (for which I've seen no evidence), it CANNOT justify the vile responses documented above.
Gabe Newell has gotten one hundred times worse over the years and yet no one cared about this sort of thing until it started happening to women. In fact, when Gabe addressed the trolls, it got him hit even harder.
Guess what, it never happened to Roberta Williams you clowns. Sarkeesian is not being attacked for being a woman with an opinion. Neither did Hamburger Helper. They are being attacked for being people with stupid opinions. And when you rip on someone, you partially rip on what you know and what you see.
THIS IS THE WORLD YOU WANT TO BE IN LADIES.
People did the same thing to Kathy Sierra. Why don't you look that up?
No, people have actually cared about flame wars, trolls, and harassment for years, and in all kinds of situations. I've been online since 1994. And yeah, it's a minefield.
And in 1994 the internet was too pale, too male (shout out to GGirls!). So this harassment, especially sexist as it is, is part of a long pattern online.
Women in gaming who dare to point out the sexism that has been, and sometimes still is, rampant in games and game culture, get singled out for very special kinds of sexist harassment.
I don't agree with everything Sarkeesian says, but I agree with her right to say it.
And I write to her to tell her what I don't agree with and why. Using actual logic, personal experience over years, and coherent arguments. Because that's what adults do.
And this targeted campaign of overtly misogynist harassment --well, if you can't understand it, I don't know where you left your common sense.
It IS a freedom of speech issue when a subculture (focused on products from a billions-of-dollars a year industry) has been so very male-dominated for years AND when some people in that subculture are willing to partake in this form and this level of incredibly sexist (and often anti-Semitic) harassment. And it's so very obvious.
Many female gamers will confirm that all kinds of sexist harassment sometimes takes place in online games and fan forums (and racist, homophobic harassment, etc). The proof of the problem is so obvious and overwhelming, not just in the threats and emails discussed here, but in the experiences of tons of women gamers (though not all).
So go stick your head in the sand again, unhelpful ostrich. I've got games to play and emails to write.
"And in 1994 the internet was too pale, too male"
Nothing is ever too black, too female, too gay. You guys don't even pretend there isn't a double standard anymore.
This image pretty much explains it all: http://i.imgur.com/QE6JD.jpg
Actually, the entire mainstream of Western culture often still designates many things too black, too female, and too gay. That's why President Obama being the first black president is actually a big deal instead of a non-event.
Do please direct me to the massive listings of CEOs and how they are *proportionately* black, female, and gay! Where are all the black, and/or female and/or gay heads of state in Europe? Goody goody, there are one or two women, hurrah! After thousands of years, it's nice that there are one or two. What about the proportion of elected representatives? Where are the gay, lesbian, bi, or trans Prime Ministers?
The data is overwhelmingly against your argument that straight (and cis) white males are victims of systemic oppression based merely on their white race, cis and male gender, and sexual orientation.
But never fear, straight, cis, white males may be experiencing one or more of the following:
- fear of change
- loss of unfair privilege
- painful personal growth
- human ennui
- classist oppression
- ableist oppression
- religious persecution (if not Christian)
- regional prejudice (low status and service access in rural areas, for example)
It's repulsive whether it's Gabe or anyone else. Also, what makes her opinions "stupid"?
You sorta have to be there. Instead of making all of gaming change, make your own spaces within gaming. No one is going to stop you. And if your slice gets bigger through merit, not playing the victim, then God bless.
I want women to go out and buy games to change games, not whine that they should change from the sidelines. Instead of donating $150,000 to Sarkeesian, everyone should have bought another copy of Beyond Good and Evil.
Yeah, I sorta am there.
And yes, people should buy games that are good, and games they like. And people should be free to _not_ buy games that are bad games, or are problematic.
And for the fans and gaming industry that can't accept criticism, and that won't listen to female gamers _who_are_telling_them_ about things that they don't like in games (for example, certain sexist tropes) quit whining that women aren't buying enough games.
Yes, let's all consider the definition of whining again.
It makes me wonder why I bother to buy games at all sometimes. Why should women buy videogames? What kind of hand out are game companies looking for? Why should I try to convince my female friends to try different kinds of game, or any videogames at all, if I have to so often do damage control around harmful sexism? Why should I allow, let alone encourage, my daughter to play games if the response from sooo many gamers and companies is "shut up and buy games"?
So the denial of the sexism of the harassment in the article, and the denial of its significance (as an extreme example of a dynamic which many many female gamers experience to some degree) conforms to the sexist trajectory of the industry through the 90s and 00s.
The good news is, some things _have_ changed in fandom and the industry. But there are still too many people who don't want to learn and grow, and some of them are behind online sexist, racist, and homophobic harassment online.
Beyond Good and Evil, which may be getting a sequel, was an amazing game which such a good female lead character. The script writing really was key to it (and her) successes.
I bought three copies on three different platforms. Few bought even one copy.
What if they're not being made because developers aren't aware that there's a market for it? That's all she's trying to do: raise awareness of a market for certain types of games. Why shouldnt she?
Kickstarter forbids awareness campaigns. If all she's trying to do is raise awareness, everyone who donated should get their money back.
There are already a ton of brilliant female characters in video games. Even all of the games in this woman's classy and not hypocritical-at-all "Too many dicks on the dance floor" montage consisted of games full of prominent female characters, and where they're not prominent there's perfectly good reasons for them not to be so. For example, the world in the Gears of War universe is controlled by a fascist military dictatorship and women are either not present on the frontlines, or are limited to behind-the-scenes roles. When the COG collapses in Gears of War 3, there are female veterans everywhere. But nope. The main character is muscly and the game is hence misogynistic. I could go on about this for ages, but seeing how the going rate for this sort of information has entered 6 figures I'd rather hold my tongue.
Sorry, but you have entirely failed to grasp her arguments and are attacking a straw man. Pointing out that female characters in games tend to fall into a limited set of tropes (they do) is in no way saying that a game featuring a muscly male is mysoginistic (it's not).
you've evidently not seen any of her videos (including ones about video games), which have several Burning Man levels of straw-men.
I find it telling that you object to the content of a video that hasn't even been made yet. She has yet to even say anything about any particular game, or game genre, but already you pigeon hole this woman's opinion as hypocritical. (Doesn't that make you hypocritical?)
Personally, I think you know full well what the imagery of women in video games is and you are trying to discredit her before she even begins in an attempt to punish her for your own guilt.
And to the cries of "but.. but... there's misandry in video games too!!! Women shouldn't complain, we men are not!" Fine. Why not say, "hey, while you are looking at the tropes of women in games, do another series of the tropes of men in video games, enough people have donated!"
But instead we send the message "this is a man's world, we just let you live in it, and we will punish you verbally, physically and sexually if you even suggest it could be any other way." It's embarrassing to have a penis in this environment.
In a (now removed0 video on Bayonetta, a quixotic throwback to classical gothic feminism designed by a woman, she passed her off as another dumb mysoginistic piece of eye canday, and based her opinion on watching a single trailer. It wasn't until she raised tens of thousands that she agreed to do a "positive female role model" episode. The sole example she's been capable of mustering up is Chell from Portal 2, "although you never get to see the character in game". This shows that she's both a) completely ignorant of the many good female characters in video games, b) passes the ones she does know of as mysoginistic as they're either too sexy or not sexy enough, and c) completely ignorant of the artistic style of Valve, who are one of the most known and revered developers in the industry (who also happen to have plenty of great female characters).
I don't need to discredit her. Just watch her videos. She actually somehow managed to find sexism and mysoginy in an episode of the Powerpuff Girls ABOUT sexual inequality. She's a colossal idiot.
A quick point:
The vitriol against this person is entirely justified. All of her videos are absolute straw-feminist garbage that tries to find rape culture and hate-crimes in the most innocuous places (even stuff that's actually arguably feminist) and all of her videos are moderated to prevent any dissenting opinions from turning up. She's now decided to make a 'documentary' on video games; something she claims to be interested in, but based on her other videos obviously isn't in the slightest, and claimed to require thousands of dollars to 'research' the subject, despite the fact any idiot on the internet could tell you more about women in video games and better than she ever could.
And good god, it's more important for the government to deal with nasty things said to you on the internet than dealing with them yourself? Wasn't this a liberal magazine?
The last time I checked, people were allowed to make documentaries presenting a specific point of view and to research and present the evidence that supports it. You are basically suggesting that Al Gore deserves to be threatened with rape and harassment because "An Inconvienient Truth" did not present the viewpoints of the petroleum companies.
Posting someone's personal information is never justified. Anything that condones, much less encourages, rape is never justified. NEVER. Anything that condones, much less encourages, physical assault is never justified.
In civil society, it is okay to disagree with someone -- even vehemently disagree. It is not even remotely permissible to advocate that a man or woman be beaten, sexually assaulted or killed.
To say that the behavior described in this article is "entirely justified" is, frankly, sociopathic.
Nothing here encourages rape anymore than video games encourage violence. No one advocated attacking her in real life, in fact, that's what the game was for. There was a game where you could throw a shoe at George Bush or take a shot at JFK. Does this mean they are encouraging harming the president? No way.
You seem to be under the impression that encouraging the rape, beating, and reduction to genitals of a real woman is the exact same as violence involving a fictional character. While I may not like an attempted rape of, say, Lara Croft, I would actually be alarmed if I found out violent-minded people were posting Angelina Jolie's personal contact information and urging them to go find and "take care of" her. Because she's an actual human.
I'm all for recognizing when there's real harm being encouraged against straight white men in this world, and decrying it. But failing to recognize the institutions of power that protect them and throw a minority class like, say, women to the dogs on a daily basis, is akin to a child's view of the world. Perhaps you are a child, in which case you simply need to be educated.
You're equating all vitriol against this person to threats of rape. SHE'S complained about threats from "da haterz", and is in a position to benefit from doing so and is enough of a narcissist to do so sincerely. The things posted in this article which you could loosely equate to actual threats of rape or violence are done for shock or satirical value. There are no shortage of obscene shock-value pictures of internet personalities, but you don't hear anyone complaining about those.
Giving out the personal details, making a game where you beat a woman black and blue and drawing rape diagrams of said woman because she dared to point out games can be a wee bit mysoginistic is considered satirical?!? Because of course we all know celbrities are never bothered by stalkers and other weirdos.
I don't know which planet you live on, but I damn well hope it isn't mine because you are a mentally damaged creep... and let's face it even if some guy did do what the threats say, you would still think she deserved it.
Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She tweets @helenlewis