And now, for a Public Service Announcement supporting feminism.
Anita Sarkeesian is the creator of Feminist Frequency on YouTube, which discusses feminism and misogyny in both pop culture and in geekdom. She’s smart, concise, and is a wonderful feminist voice in a world where women are marginalized, harrased, and put down. Not just in the regular, big, outside world, but especially in the geek world. Anita is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for her upcoming project, Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. Unfortunately, the gamer community has caught wind of this and have begin harassing her website, Wikipedia page, YouTube videos, etc.
No, really. When I say “harassing,” I really mean terrorizing.
This coordinated attack was launched by various online video game forums and has included attempts to get my accounts banned, a torrent of hate on YouTube, plus countless threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. As part of that intimidation effort the Wikipedia page about me was vandalized with misogynist language, pornography and racial slurs.
This was not done by just one or two trolls but was a coordinated cyber mob style effort involving dozens of people.
It’s important that Anita’s message about misogyny in video games sees the light of day in spite of these attacks against her, and if you can donate to her Kickstarter project it’d be absolutely wonderful. She’s already far surpassed her original goal on the Kickstarter campaign, but any and all extra money will go to future FemFreq projects. I’ve spoken to Anita previously and she’s absolutely lovely, and this sort of treatment towards a woman standing up for a marginalized group in geekdom is NOT FAIR.
…these types of online harassment tactics are used against women, feminists and people from oppressed and marginalized groups everyday.
Anita is absolutely right, and as a female geek/nerd/gamer/etc. myself, to see someone like Anita with such a wonderful mind and voice coming under attack for spreading the truth about misogyny in gaming is sickening. Especially since it’s not just a troll here or there, it’s a concentrated group effort by multiple popular online forums.
I am certainly not the first woman to suffer this kind of harassment and sadly, I won’t be the last. But I’d just like to reiterate that this is not a trivial issue. It can not and should not be brushed off by saying, “oh well that’s YouTube for you“, “trolls will be trolls” or “it’s to be expected on the internet”. These are serious threats of violence, harassment and slander across many online platforms meant to intimidate and silence. And its not okay.
Support Anita, and support a feminist voice in the geek world.