Pay Attention. This Stuff Matters.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Feminist Frequency, the web video series by Anita Sarkeesian, and her (still ongoing) Kickstarter project to fund a series on “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games”. Since then, it turns out a whole shitstorm of harrassment and Wikipedia vandalism has been stirred up around the project (at least partly driven by those geniuses at 4chan).

Anita gives a sample of the harrassment in Youtube comments and talks about the Wikipedia vandalism campaign here and here.

I caught myself about to type “it goes without saying that this stuff is just terrible”. But then I thought about that for half a second. No, it doesn’t go without saying. If it went without saying, this wouldn’t be happening, so I’ll say it:

This is terrible. No one should be treated like this.

And we need to keep saying it until people start to get it into their heads, and stop being hateful, racist, homophobic, misogynistic assholes.

Anita has also been sharing some of the media response to the hate campaign on her @FemFreq Twitter feed, and they’re worth reading (though, as always, watch out for the comments. Especially on Kotaku) –

  • Becky Chambers at TheMarySue sums up the whole situation better than I could (and offers some suggestions on what to do about online harrassment, in short: don’t sit there and take it, SPEAK UP):

    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. The issue lies in this: A woman declared her intent to publicly voice her opinions about video games. For that, she was called a bitch, a whore, a slut, a cunt, a dyke, and a baffling assortment of racial slurs. She was threatened with violence, rape, and death. She was told to shut her mouth, get back in the kitchen, and die of cancer. Her video was repeatedly flagged for terrorism in an effort to get YouTube to pull it. Her Wikipedia page was defaced with pornography and profanity. All for the crime of being a woman talking about women in video games. No, not for being a woman talking about video games. For being a woman who had announced that she would, at some point in the future, be talking about video games.

  • Alex at The Border House on “This Week in Harrassment” (again: SPEAK UP!)
  • Helen Lewis at the New Statesman: “Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can’t Have Anything Nice”
  • And finally Kotaku, along the same lines while demonstrating the problem itself pretty well in the comments. (Par for the course for comments on Kotaku.)
    UPDATE: It seems the attackers have now taken offline.


    One thought on “Pay Attention. This Stuff Matters.

    1. Thanks for talking about this. It’s amazing to me how these fanboys feel compelled to attack, in the coarsest possible terms, any woman who enters their virtual clubhouse. (And they wonder why they can’t get a date…)

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