Feminist Game Critic On Her Attackers: They Cast Me In The Villian's Role

The woman behind Feminist Frequency hasn't been shy about sharing stories of the harassment she's gotten while trying to create Tropes vs Women in Video Games. Anita Sarkeesian's goal of examining how women get portrayed in video games won her lots of enemies but, according to her, they thought of themselves as heroes.

In this TEDxWomen talk, Sarkeesian discusses how the harassment she's been weathering got framed as a game by her attackers, with her as the final boss. Getting her to end her efforts would be beating the game. Things didn't work out like that though, and the furore wound up helping her more than it hurt.

All Sarkeesian proposes to do is look at video games through a certain context, but the wailing against Tropes vs Women in Video Games has been a study in disproportionate over-reaction. Hell, the comments on the YouTube video were disabled because of this over-reaction. Over at Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg offers up this take on the whole brouhaha, comparing Sarkeesian's detractors to lunatic fringe activists like the Westboro Baptist Church:

And the designation of Sarkeesian herself as an ultimate enemy is very telling. It's one thing to enjoy depictions of attractive people of whichever gender you happen to be attracted to. It's another to think you have a right to depictions of those people. And another entirely to be so attached to those depictions, and so uncomfortable or insecure about acknowledging that they might be problematic, talking about it, and enjoying them anyway that you get hysterically angry when someone proposes simply to analyse them. That says a lot more about you than your rational, intelligent, easily-supportable target. And it means that even if you succeed at whipping up a small, dedicated subculture to try to shut the thing you hate down, your chances of succeeding, and of being taken seriously by the outside world, are necessarily going to be limited. In a way, Anita Sarkeesian's haters are like the Westboro Baptist Church: they can cause real emotional pain, but not substantive change, and they mostly exist as a reminder of their own increasingly marginal role in cultural or political life.

Sarkeesian mentions that she's been invited to talk at video game studios all over the world. Think about that. The people who create the games that her harassers think she's endangering want her to come talk to them. Maybe her ideas aren't that dangerous, then? At the very least, if you think she's way off-base, let Sarkeesian's project come to fruition first and then offer up some sort of rebuttal. Trying to silence her before she's even had her say clearly hasn't worked.


    I predict stupid comments incoming in 3...2...

      This whole Tropes vs Women thing seems like a huge sideshow to the actual issue. Instead of focusing on the original topic, we're now hearing just about the controversy and aftermath of her Kickstarter.

      Like the Westboro Baptist Church, it does nothing to further debate but does a lot to shut down a lot of legitimate discussion because the controversy is more interesting.

      So yes, I expect there will be a lot of stupid comments about this.

      Last edited 07/12/12 10:32 am

    I'm sure tons of people at video game companies would imagine their bosses/people above them who check off their work as video game bosses, regardless of gender. From the sounds of it she critically analysed other peoples work as part of her job, not many people take that well and it has to be done a particular way if you want to still be friends with people within your work environment. Also I realise some workplaces will have some kind of gender based harrassment, but I think it's hard to tell the difference between that and just normal harassment/bullying that goes on.

    Last edited 07/12/12 10:17 am

      Err, what are you going on about? She's been getting flack from fans, not industry professionals.

    This post from reddit throws a little more light on some of the "issues".


      Not particularly, it just frames the argument in a way designed for her detractors to feel good about themselves and 'right.'

      Kickstarters miss their deadlines all the time, and I think that the circumstances surrounding this one make that entirely understandable.

      She was upfront to begin with re: what the money was to be used for, so if you didn't like it you didn't have to back it.

      The backlash has become arguably more important than the initially intended project, and it's fresh. I see no reason why she wouldn't focus efforts on developing that discussion.

      I particularly liked how that image was initially posted to Reddit with the qualifier that it was from a female friend of the poster, as if that in some way legitimises it moreso than if it were from a male.

      And additionally, are you saying that what's detailed in that post is in some way justification for the backlash she received?

        ^This. Some of these people made flash games of beating her face in, how is that in any way justified by anything period?

        I'm sick of this. Everybody keeps using the hate she's received as an excuse to shun people who don't agree with her methods.

        I'm not sexist. I've always believed men and women to be equal and I find it absurd that there are still people alive that do not. But because I think Anita, who comes out of nowhere, proclaiming herself to be a "Pop Culture Critic" (I didn't know this title existed before she came along), and makes an insane amount of money off playing videogames and taking stabs at developers for not creating female characters in the exact way she specifies, is straying a bit far from the ACTUAL issue at hand DOES NOT mean that I'm justifying all the hate she's received. It's abominable, I don't think anyone on this site would disagree with that. But stop throwing us all in the same lot just because I'm sick of hearing of this woman and her false promises and hot air.

          Calm down. She was donated money by people who agree with her. Why does that bother you so much?

          "taking stabs at developers for not creating female characters in the exact way she specifies"

          And which way is that? From the Kickstarter itself:

          "I’m regularly disappointed in the limited and limiting ways women are represented. This video project will explore, analyze and deconstruct some of the most common tropes and stereotypes of female characters in games. The series will highlight the larger recurring patterns and conventions used within the gaming industry rather than just focusing on the worst offenders."

          She's not calling for all games to have some ideal representation of women that she's come to, she's looking at how women are portrayed in games and why. That's a different thing. It's linked, and one can lead to the other, but you're conflating the two.

          And what false promises? If you're talking about missed delivery dates for the video segments, look at Double Fine Adventure - we should have been playing that two months ago, according to the Kickstarter. Things change, people deal with it.

            I actually think she misrepresented herself to the people she raised money from. She effectively started crowd sourcing the direction of the film, because she didn't actually have any insight to offer herself.

            I say this because I think that someone else could have used that money and done something of value with it. Instead, my statements are treated as no different from some sexist with completely opposite goals to my own.

            Don't tell me to "calm down", especially given that this is the internet and you have no idea how calm I am at my keyboard. You use that phrase like I'm going over the line or something.

            And why would she be looking at the way women in videogames are portrayed if she didn't have some ideal way that women should be portrayed, otherwise she's just commenting on things and wasting time. She's aiming to change something, and if she isn't, then that's even worse. In addition, look at the video she made on Lego, and how it's bad that they sell pink toys to girls and all that rubbish. It's a waste of time and money and completely irrelevant to the actual issue.

            False promises; see video in article. She promised a series of videos about videogames, instead she's spending her time going on about the internet hate.

            Even if my points here were completely wrong (they could well be, I don't much care and it's irrelevant to my point), I have my reasons for disagreeing with her. It's called an opinion. And just because my opinion happens to disagree with her opinion doesn't mean I'm running over to 4chan and starting abuse threads about her or spamming her videos. That's my point. Stop acting like I'm the same people hating on her just because I don't completely agree with you.

              "why would she be looking at the way women in videogames are portrayed if she didn't have some ideal way that women should be portrayed, otherwise she's just commenting on things and wasting time."

              It's pretty well established that the portrayal of women in many forms of media is less than satisfactory. You may disagree, but a discussion is important in order to kick change into gear. There is no one ideal portrayal, Anita doesn't say anywhere that there is, and clearly isn't calling for one to be developed and implemented across the board. What's wrong with discussion? And before you complain about the way she's gone about it, that's irrelevant in the bigger picture, and that question:

              What's wrong with discussion. Because though you may deny it, it certainly seems as though you're against people talking about these issues.

              "She's aiming to change something, and if she isn't, then that's even worse."

              This is so fundamentally undergraduate it hardly bears responding to.

              "It's a waste of time and money and completely irrelevant to the actual issue."

              It gets people talking about the issue. That's the point. While you may envision some ultimate end goal that Anita's conspiring towards, I think it's more appropriate to say discussion and awareness is a valuable outcome in and of itself.

              In a nutshell, she's not trying to change things directly, but give people (who may not already have it) the information to make an informed decision as to why they themselves would want change.

              "False promises; see video in article. She promised a series of videos about videogames, instead she's spending her time going on about the internet hate."

              And an mentioned in that same video, the backlash was so overwhelming that it overshadowed the original project (which is undoubtedly still coming.) It also builds a stronger case for the work she proposed to be actually necessary - because there are a hell of a lot of ill-educated, predominantly male "gamers" who think both casual and extreme sexism and misogyny is totally alright.

              It would be almost inconceivable for anyone in the same position to not take advantage of that.

              In addition, I've not heard one complaint from anyone who actually fronted her the money. I think that's an important point to make.

              And also, your use of capitals implied that you weren't particularly calm in that first response.

                I thought the capitals were used to highlight the key words to the thick people. It came across as a way to cut off the people who would accuse him of endorsing hate before they start.

                  You may be right. Though that said,

                  "Don't tell me to "calm down", especially given that this is the internet and you have no idea how calm I am..."

                  kind of seemed like a 'DON'T TELL ME I'M SHOUTING! I'M NOT SHOUTING!' MOMENT.

                  Apologies to Toasty for that.

                Stop ignoring my point. I already said this; regardless of whether my points have any merit, you're acting as though I have contempt for women and I'm one of the people spewing hate on Youtube videos. Once again, I believe women are equal to men: THAT DOESN'T MEAN I'M JUSTIFYING THE HATE. Stop dodging the thing I actually took issue with by ranting about everything else, and admit that you're wrong in insinuating that by my disagreeing with her I'm somehow justifying the hate.

                I could spend time disproving your points, but undoubtedly you'd respond to them and not the actual problem I had with your original comment.

                  I have no idea how you feel about women, nor have I implied otherwise. For all I know you may be a woman. You came to this discussion with what appears to be a pretty big chip on your shoulder, and I'm not seeing why.

                  I also at no point insinuated that to simply disagree with her was to justify the hate.

                  People can disagree with her method, but her message is sound. The problem comes when people think the message becomes invalidated by the method. Which is what the initial comment I responded to seemed to do:

                  'Beating simulators, threats of rape, etc etc - but hey: she's a bit late on those videos, isn't she, guys? Two sides and everything, hey?'

                  I also disagree with what I see as an attempt to shut down discussion, which is what I think you're trying to do. It seems that way. Or at least skew discussion.

                  Last edited 07/12/12 2:11 pm

                This is the most tired argument of internet movements, especially 'feminist' discussion on game design. You've been trying for longer than a decade to 'create awareness' and 'start a discussion', but what do you have to show for it?

                Female characters are still awful. And while characters like Big Boss (easily the strongest female character in video games) have come along, you still have idiots on both sides praising empty shells like Chell, and male developers completely misinterpreting what a good female character is.

                It's time to get your hands dirty and start making the things you want to consume. That's what everyone who genuinely wants change does, they do it themselves.

                'Fear' isn't an excuse, everyone is afraid. The games development industry is a scary, one-sided place right now, but the people who matter don't let that affect them, create success that cannot be denied, and whatever gender, or race, or age, or sexual orientation you are, people will notice.

              "why would she be looking at the way women in videogames are portrayed if she didn't have some ideal way that women should be portrayed, otherwise she's just commenting on things and wasting time."

              Woah, what, what? Not only do I fail to see how she has in any way tried to promote an ideal portrayal of women, I have to say that watching a documentary in which someone correlates and cross references the multitude of women in video games and the patterns i. Which they're portrayed sounds ridiculously fascinating and interesting. I'd love to watch that. It's not a waste of time it's expanding your mind and horizons and your sense of culture.

          People keep arguing about Sarkeesian, clicking on articles about her. So Kotaku is continuing to post articles about her.
          If you don't want to hear further about her, don't give them the clicks or comments.

            Jesus Christ I might as well bang my head on a freaking brick wall.

            Once again, I have no interest in Anita or her silly, pointless campaign, and I don't have a problem with people discussing it. What I do have a problem with is people who think that just because I disagree with her methods means that I'm justifying the hate spam.

            Yeah, you clearly read the first sentence of my comment and not the entire thing.

              See, here's the thing. And it seems you just don't get it.

              Her campaign is not silly, or pointless.

                Replying to both your comments here because the limit was reached above.

                For starters, what YOU don't get is that I don't care what Anita says or what she does. I don't care if she ends up becoming supreme ruler of the universe, her success or cause has no relevance in the point I'm trying to make. My point is, for the fifth or so time, that just because I'm disagreeing with her methods does not mean I believe she deserves hate and abuse.

                Not particularly, it just frames the argument in a way designed for her detractors to feel good about themselves and 'right.'

                See? You're directly insinuating that people who disagree with her are all trolls with no valid opinion. I have an opinion, it's that her cause is a waste of time, and the money spent on it could be spent on actual feminist causes promoting gender equality than taking issue with the fact that Cortana's boobs are too big. Just because I don't like her method doesn't mean I'm on Youtube right now hating on her videos.

                Please read that entire comment so that you can finally understand what I'm trying to say and I can stop having to reply to your ignorant comments.

                  It's possible to disagree with her in an entirely valid fashion. But you're not.

                  "taking issue with the fact that Cortana's boobs are too big." is just reductionist. It's bigger (pun not intended) than that, and you know it.

                  "Just because I don't like her method doesn't mean I'm on Youtube right now hating on her videos."

                  No, but you did take the opportunity to bitch and moan about both being persecuted for your views *and* Anita Sarkeesian directly when the opportunity arose on Kotaku, didn't you?

                  *My* comments are ignorant?

                  Replying to the above comment here because once again, no more space.

                  Now you're making some actual sense, finally. Let's take a look.

                  "taking issue with the fact that Cortana's boobs are too big." is just reductionist. It's bigger (pun not intended) than that, and you know it.

                  Yes, that's true. It's called exaggeration and it's useful in making the argument seem more trivial and to put a comedic spin on your argument. However, it doesn't detract from my point; There's far bigger issues in the world of gender equality than the portrayal of women in videogames. There's actual problems with gender equality out there. What Anita's pushing is absolutely nothing in comparison. It pisses me off that she's got an incredible amount of money to do something that anyone with a personality, a cause and a video camera could do, when there's actual problems that need solving that could do with a lot of money.

                  No, but you did take the opportunity to bitch and moan about both being persecuted for your views *and* Anita Sarkeesian directly when the opportunity arose on Kotaku, didn't you?

                  Yeah? So what? I was defending my views. I'm not gonna sit here and let you tell me that I'm a huge troll and whatnot just because I have an opinion on something, am I?

                  You volunteered your views, accused me of attacking you, and attempted to play the victim.

                  And you do realise that you're advocating an all-or-nothing system, right? Small steps are totally useless? Who cares what someone could potentially do with just a video camera. She now has financial backing, and that's a good thing.

                  You think the money could go to a better project that has broader scope? Brilliant. I'll keep an eye on KS, and back it when you or someone else asks for money.

                  See, that's the thing - people will back worthwhile projects if they're worthwhile. You don't need to take away from one to give to another. People are pretty generous these days.

                  In the interim, I'm keen to see what comes of Anita's project.

                  Whoa there blokes, lets all just settle down and play a few rounds of Ricochet to cool off, okay? Okay.

              I read your entire comment(s) but as they were being addressed by other posters, I left them at that. Just thought that if you are sick of hearing about Sarkeesian, clicking on the linkbait won't improve matters because Kotaku will continue posting about her.

          I have to admit, I agree a little.
          I did actually back her project on KS, as it sounded interesting...
          But now it all seems to be about her and the fact that there are people who ~gulp~ Dont like her...

            Wow, ok - so are you looking forward to the videos? Do you think that this puts them in any different sort of context? How about the fact that the KS you backed has received so much publicity - I'd be on the edge of my seat knowing that I'd helped kick that off.

        Where has it said this was justified whatsoever? This is the problem with these sorts of discussions, people are hearing what they want to hear, rather than what's being said.

        Seemed to me like a critique of how she is taking advantage of the situation, rather than doing her job. Nobody expects anything from the scum that act in this disgusting way because she is a woman, they are wastes of space. She, on the other hand, has a responsibility to the backers and the women she claims to represent to act like a professional, and do her job. She's had an extended amount of time to react to and shine a light on the disgusting side of humanity, but that's not the market she's working for, that's not the market that matters.

        She's now boring the demographics who MIGHT actually get something out of her series with all of this nonsense about how "mean people say bad things on the internet sometimes". We know, everyone knows, move past it now.

      Sounds about right.
      Isn't some bloke out there doing what she said she'd do, only for free AND has already made quite a few videos?

    Lets forget the hyper-masculine depiction of males in video games as well. /yawn not all games sterotype women and men

      That's an excellent point right there. All this talk is always about women in business, or women in games, or women in media. Noone ever points out that men are also stereotyped and objectified in all of these things as well.

      Also, I enjoy depictions of hot women. I woudn't say I feel I have a right to it, but it's something that I like in my media. When it gets too much, I don't purchase that media, therefore voting with my $$$. That's probably the best thing any of us as consumers can do. Because that's what the developers will listen to. If there's not a market for what they're doing, then they will change their practises.

      The hyper-masculine depiction of males in games is a power fantasy done mostly for the benefit of male gamers so they can feel like a badass, not to appeal sexually to women.

        Indeed. The thing is that a discussion of why that stereotype exists could be pretty interesting in itself as well, but the fact that it exists is a different issue to this (even if it could be said to be related?). It's weird that people bring up this sort of thing as if they invalidate the discussion about female tropes and stereotypes in games. Like "oh, the industry has settled on ridiculous stereotypes for everyone, so we should just accept it and shut up. No-one is allowed to talk about it!"

          No, what's interesting is that it's inherently assumed that the existence of a female stereotype is somehow worse and more damaging than the existence of the male.

          That's a double standard right there.

            Maybe some people assume that, I don't really know if that's true cause I haven't really seen that sentiment expressed *shrug*. Personally I'd be just as interested as seeing a similar analysis of those stereotypes as well, but so far the only time I've ever seen it mentioned is in passing comments, often as some sort of defense when female stereotypes are brought up.

            Well actually I think it was mentioned on Penny Arcade once, but that's the only time I can think of peeps actually talking about it.

            That's the problem with these discussions, invariably someone will argue that men too, are often misrepresented, and while thats a fair argument to make in and of it's self, (lord knows I'd like to see less lazy, hackneyed portrayals of ALL peoples in videogames) but the portrayal of Men is another discussion altogether and shouldn't be used as a way to detract from/derail what THIS discussion is about which is the portrayal of women in videogames

    Alright lets see.

    For one whenever anyone makes a valid criticism against her she hides the comment and blocks that person then just claims they are sexist.

    Next she is what 3 or 4 months late now for her kick starter date when she was meant to start making videos and in here kick starter video she actually had most of the games she apparently wanted to buy.

    Then EA got her to lecture Dice on representation of women in games and it was all about how she liked mirrors edge but the controls were to hard so she couldn't play it and had nothing at all to actually do in games except for the fact she wants them tailored to her wants,

    Oh and there's also the giant fact SHE IS WRONG ON EVERY FRONT ALL OF THE TIME. If a female character is attractive she is sexist, If a female character is strong and independent she calls them a male character made to look like a girl. There is no way to please her because she doesn't know what she wants.

    A guy actually started making the same videos she was going to make from the kick starter money FOR FREE WITHOUT BEGGING FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS and is doing a better job than she ever will.

      she never played Dragon Age 2 clearly. Avelene is easily one of the best depicted female characters in any game. But I guess she would say it is a guy dressed like a girl :p

      Who's the guy? I'd like to see the videos, especially if he's actually doing it right. It's an interesting discussion so long as you actually research and don't allow anyone (male or female) to comment on your videos unless they pass an IQ and basic Feminism questionnaire.

      Last edited 07/12/12 12:01 pm


        That is his first video on it he has done 1 other.

      I agree 100%, I have no idea how she thinks females should be portrayed if the can't be attractive, strong, independent or god forbid a supporting character.

    Hypothetically, she IS wrong. She IS manipulating the media. She HAS taken all the Kickstarter money and run off with it without delivering any of her promises.

    How can you point that out without looking like the big bad man attacking the poor innocent girl who just wanted some equality for her whole gender?

      Maybe this was her plan all along? She worked out a way to manipulate the masses and no matter how something is framed, she can always be seen as the victim?

      If you had proof, I guess you could point it out by sucking it up, growing some balls, and pointing out something that's true, even if it gets you in trouble.

      (That's in the hypothetical if it were true. And I wasn't meaning specifically you growing balls, I mean the person in the hypothetical).

        How dare you insinuate that a person (possibly female) must grow testicles to be perceived to do the right thing!! Lolllll ;)

          hahaha - I knew someone would say that. The person writing is implied to be male and the person in his hypothetical is implied to be male ;) but I do wish there was a cooler-sounding gender neutral term than 'guts'.

    I always laugh when I hear a female carrying on about sexism towards 1 specific gender. How many times are men called out when they say a woman is "hot"? and how often are women called out when they say a man is "hot"? The problem is either both are wrong and unacceptable or they both aren't - you can't legitimately address one but not the other, as the "issue" is the objectification of the opposite gender.

    There are some simple facts of life, sex happens, and physical attraction is a real thing. Some men are "hot" to women and some women are "hot" to men. The fact that game developers (and Hollywood etc.) use BOTH idealised depictions of men and women says more about marketing and the culture of the world we inhabit as opposed to some misogynist vendetta against women. I know quite a few female gamers who like their female avatar to look attractive, and quite a few male ones too :p

    My point is, she is on a high horse over an issue that she doesn't seem to actually have a grasp for. If you are going to battle sexism, do a two sided approach, and keep it balanced, don't turn it into a crusade against males, as that will surely leave you with plenty of 14 year old boys with too much free time abusing you over twitter.

      Watched TV lately? You wouldn't believe how sexist towards men ads are these days...
      I'm an egalitarian and proud of it, but feminism makes me cringe. The vocal majority of feminists these days are just far too narrow minded.

        Plus, where does it end? In almost every job I've had, I had a female boss. Security? Female boss. Sizzler? Female boss. Telstra? Female boss. HIC? Female boss?

        Yet I'm always seeing stuff in the news about how women are unrepresented in management and it's appalling, rah rah rah. I don't have access to the statistics no, but in my experience, that's not true at all.

        But to be fair, that is just in my experience. In Telstra and the HIC in particular, it was obviously reverse discrimination at work. And that in itself is sexist. People should be promoted on the basis of their ability, not their gender or race. But it's hard to even make these observations without sounding like a sexist or racist person.

          Bingo. Hit the nail right there.
          The other day I was scalded by my sister-in-law when the topic came up of violence against women, I suggested that violence against women is no more wrong than violence against men, and that violence towards any person regardless of sex is equally wrong.
          The feminism issue is getting plainly out of control.

            There's a lot of confusion. In any situation you get idiots on all sides. I also am dismayed by the way men are portrayed in media (especially commercials - men are stupid and useless in commercials).

            Two wrongs don't make a right. But it doesn't mean we should give it all up. It's a bumpy, bumpy path to true equality and we've come so far already. It'll smooth out.

            As a side note I watched this woman's video about Lego and gender. It was fantastic.

            Last edited 07/12/12 1:14 pm

    Lol - this is exactly what the Aussie PM does. Nothing of note and when people point it out, they are sexist and misogynistic.

    And no, I'm not an Abbot fan but once we bring things down to gender, and classify any arguments against us as 'sexist' then no progress gets made, it just turns into a really nasty argument that attracts the worst debaters the internet has to offer. It doesn't surprise me she has problems with comments on her youtube videos.

      Sorry but no. Just no.

      Gillard does not shut down debate by calling her opponents sexist and misogynistic. She shut down Abbot for opportunistically and hypocritically complaining about Peter Slipper's sexism by citing specific examples of Abbot's sexism and Abbot's relationship with Slipper where he did not show any objections to it before.

      On the other hand, the opposition has done little to further real debate but has instead been slinging mud pretty much the entire time they've been in opposition. Calling Gillard a liar, stating that the carbon tax will come close to bringing about the apocalypse and now this whole AWU scandal where they've said that Gillard "has questions to answer" and then when she answers any and all questions put to her (on multiple occasions) continue saying the exact same thing.

      Sorry but that is the exact wrong example to use and it annoys me to no end to see the political debate in this country be bought down to this level.

        There's no such thing as political debate in this country...

          There is, it's just that the average contribution to it is about on par with a Collingwood supporter's views on Michael Voss.

            Dude, she played the gender card and rational discussion ended as soon as she did it, simple as that.

            I absolutely agree that this is a VERY negative opposition, but I don't think either side is a shining example of anything good at the moment.

            But I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought up politics in an already charged thread. Let's just agree to disagree.

              There was no rational discussion.

              Abbot made a purely political move to try and trap Labor into sacking the Speaker (which they couldn't do) or giving the appearance of defending him (which would be a PR nightmare).

              He did this by claiming to be outraged at the sexism displayed by Slipper. Gillard responding by pointing out the examples of sexism Abbot himself has displayed is not playing the gender card and ending rational discussion. Abbot played the sexism card, Gillard trumped him.

              Abbot is a bully. Gillard should not be criticised for calling him out on his bullying, instead the focus should very much be on Abbot's actions and why it has been acceptable for him to behave this way.

              Last edited 07/12/12 3:38 pm

                Whatever dude. I'm obviously not going to change your mind. It's another discussion. Let's agree to disagree.

    I love how Youtube comments are disabled for the video. It's one thing to dish everything out , but when someone dishes it back, its time to shut down others opinions.

      youtube comments are opinions now? I thought they were diarrhoea. I don't mean the verbal sort either. I mean actual.

        Man you're right there. You get the worst examples of humanity posting on youtube. I try to never read them.

    So... she complains for a living? Real feminists are a thing of the past, the ones that made sacrifices for their gender and equality and something which should be commended for all time. This mob are just a bunch of women that get together and complain about things they dont like.

    Sexuality in video games isnt one sided. Just because someone disagrees with a feminist point of view doesnt make them "sexist". I'm really sick of hearing about these feminist rants and that all men are pigs and that all gamers are sick and preverted. If you're gonna come out with a strong dominate opinion that females in video games are sexually exploited and that the creators should be ashamed then expect MASSIVE backlash from the people who know this isnt the case at all.

    Thats not to say she deserved death threats or the kind of behaviour thrown to her by idiots on the web... but this is the internet. Unfortunately even little school kids who have died have their facebook pages vandalised -- its just the nature of anonymity on the www. If you're gonna challenge peoples views from the comfort of their own home then expect a small percentage to lash out in extreme ways.

      Remember that lady who threw herself on the horse track so women could vote? What a bro. A bro for the girls. A girlbro.

    Alright watched the video. It sucks that she copped so much rubbish. But it's mistake to engage with those people or even acknowledge them. They're gutter slime. She should've focused on the fact that now she's got crazy industry exposure, a very successful kickstarter that gives her a mandate to proceed with her project.

    I'd be very surprised though if more than 1% of the guys giving her rubbish were at the average age of male gamers. It's not all male gamers. It's an absolute sub-race of male gamers that have a problem with her.

      I received a brilliant piece of advice in 2004, which I would love to pass onto Anita: Don't feed the trolls. Too bad she has, and keeps doing so by acknowledging them

    To me she's just another self-important person who wants to force her personal views about how women should be depicted in video games, upon the entire industry.

    It's like people who say pornography is degrading to women, but ignore two very important points - A) Male on Female porn isn't the only type which exists. There is also Male on Male and Female on Female. B) The actors have all consented and therefore don't need people telling THEM that THEY are being degraded. Sex is a perfectly natural, normal thing, whether it's filmed or not. Yeah okay so porn may not give a realistic image of sex and what to expect in real life, but anyone with an IQ above 90 knows that. They know it just like they know someone getting shot in a mobster film isn't really being shot. It's called fiction which depicts fantasy.

    In the end, if you don't like/agree with a particular type of content, don't go anywhere near it. Telling other people what to think and believe is called being a dictator.

    The reason us males find it hard to swallow the feminist pill is because we simply don't get it or the feminist is arguing an illogical or moot point.

    Most gamers are guys and the majority shape the market's flavour (http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2008/03/38-percent-of-g/). If there were more women playing games then they would be tailored towards them. Simple. Game companies like EA are not evil people playing out a misogynist's agenda. The want to make MONEY.

    "There are fewer women in the workplace than men" - uhhh many women still chose to have babies and/or stay at home. Nothing sexist about choosing a particular gender stereotype.

    She wonders why she has dudes trolling her? Guys that can't articulate their annoyance at her illogical statements default to inflammatory trolling. Frustration + inability to express = rage.

    The stupidity of people blows my mind seriously.

      "If there were more women playing games then they would be tailored towards them."

      So, the way to get games tailored towards women, is for women to play the existing games... that aren't tailored towards them?

      Wow, talk about chicken and egg.

        There are some games with attributes that you would be looking for. However, the majority shape the market. Its called business. Charities do good things for others for little or no expected return - maybe you are getting them confused?

        The real issue is that feminists hate differences in behaviour that correlates to gender. Oh most little girls prefer to play with dolls instead of trucks? HOW DARE they show differences in behaviour based on gender!!! Thats sexist! Furthermore, when I play games I don't "role play" with the main character and get a hard on over his muscles and/or power or whatever dribble she was going on about. Its all a crock of s*** in my opinion.

        Here's a little free advice. Please don't ever open a business.

          I have no mind for business, nor did I ever claim to. So I shall definitely not open a business.

          Yes, those damn feminists, they're all monsters!

          A little free advice? Don't have children. If you do, I certainly feel sorry for them. Especially a daughter.

    I wouldn't mind having a job complaining about life but I guess I'm just too positive a person for it.

    I just want her to make the series already.

    I’m a male, gamer and animator. I’m also a boyfriend, brother and son and I care about the women in my life. I’m also a feminist (this is believing all women deserve the same rights as men), not man-bashing or a witch (Warlock?? Hunt)

    Commonly when it comes to topics of gender and feminism defensive male gamers will come back with

    1. Biology , men like boobs and stuff

    We sure do like boobs. But when a game contains females purely for eye-candy… no storytelling, not interaction, no reason beyond a sexualisation of a scene then it’s clearly done tastelessly. The writer is not only telling their story poorly, their also ignoring the fact that in the real world women are half the population.

    2. Woah is me, men are represented as poorly as women.

    Buff handsome tough guys are big in games. In action films too. Attractiveness is a selling point to many things. The issue is that men are better represented. You play as the male hero, after the male villain, saving the female occasionally, all whilst attacking men. Interesting strong female characters are rare in games… there is always an exception, but rare. That fact that your majority of the characters you’re playing as in a game are male and have dialogue and animation beyond boob jiggle is proof that men, even if poorly written and still stupid are better represented.

    3. What is this crusade against men!

    Sorry men it is not a personal attack against you. This is about balance and the depiction of women beyond eye-candy. You don’t have a vagina dude, your likely a white male, who has always been able to relate to your over represented gender, race and sexuality. Half the population are women. Don’t deny the issue. No one wants to hurt your precious game.

    Labelling the issue negatively, attacking, defending and ignoring is simplistic and stupid. Strong, interesting and powerful characters make video games exciting and interesting more of these being women won’t hurt this art form. More female writers and developers is only going to enhance and diversify this industry.

      Wanna know how I know you a manboobed manjina?

      Once again I wish I could upvote by fifty. So nicely said mate.

    Interestingly enough, I found this. It's a good analysis of Anita and her methods, in a very mature manner.

    I found this the other day regarding her & reckon a lot of points are true. Particularly those that indicate that the project should be undertaken by a woman who works in the games industry. http://t.co/AozpqA7Y

    This lady is infuriating, have no idea about this campaign but just hate her because she described Zoey from Firefly as being a male character with a female exterior.

      Nothing of the sort! Zoe from Firefly had no character at all.

    Wow, the whole talk is just her bitching about being a victim. You can tell that this is her favorite thing to talk about. She deliberately kicked the hornet's nest of the Internet Hate Machine and took $100,000 from a gullible mob for it. A non-sensationalist journalist would have ignored the psychotic abuse and focused on the civilized arguments against her position. Instead she deletes every legitimate counter argument and collects abuse to display proudly, as if that justifies her baseless, irrational position.

    Want to know the reason so many male gamers are hostile towards whiny women like her who demand change? Because Gamer culture has spent its formative years being marginalized and stigmatized by women. Now that it's all mainstream, women want to be part of it but don't want to earn their place, instead they demand change that they don't deserve. Well fuck that. You can't scorn an entire medium for 20 odd years and then expect to be included when you think it's cool and mainstream enough for you.

    Where are the videos Anita promised to make, that she needed thousands of dollars for? Nowhere to be seen. Where are her replies to her legitimate critics with legitimate arguments? Nowhere to be seen. Where is the return of the thousands of dollars people invested in her? Nowhere to be seen. Instead we can see that she's reinvented herself as a professional victim, and she's laughing all the way to the bank after making a mockery of Kickstarter.

    I backed her Kickstarter well before all the controversy erupted (I don't think it had hit $1000 yet - well before Kotaku started covering the story), but disagreed with the premise (looked at her other work, and it's pretty woeful stuff). Still, I felt I had to have the courage of my convictions and support a minority - and frankly, largely crackpot - point of view to foster debate, asking only that my name not be publicly associated with the final product. Since then, the reaction of a small, vocal, and creepy minority of gamers has been disgusting, and largely inexcusable. I upped my backing considerably, because I didn't want her to be scared off (turned out to be very unnecessary), asking to continue to keep my name off the credits (not out of fear - I still thought the project looked like biased, poorly researched garbage).

    That being said, I'm heartily sick of hearing her name, as she milks it for every last bit of publicity she can eke out. The original project has become an almost forgotten sideline to the Anita Sarkeesian Blatant, Constant Self-Promotion project. I haven't received a project update in months, and even those were essays on how she was bravely confronting the terrible abuse, not the actual work of the project. Despite the awfulness of the attacks, she clearly adores the attention she's receiving.

    The behaviour of her attackers is awful, but her vainglorious caterwauling is becoming almost as repellant.

    Last edited 07/12/12 8:44 pm

      So you gave money to someone you didn't agree with, for a cause you didn't like, for work which you knew would be of poor quality, and you're sick of her blatant attention whoring. Wow, you're a genius.

      Do us all a favor and donate to charity instead, next time you feel like throwing your money away.

        No, I gave money to someone who was researching (albeit badly) something important that few others are. Supporting only the stuff that matches your blinkered, self-righteous worldview is called "bias", bonehead.

        Maybe you could do us all a favour and go back in your cave and not talk out of your arse. I'd pay money for that, too.

          But you yourself said that the project looked like crackpot, poorly researched garbage. Those were words that you used.

          So... Not supporting poorly researched crackpot garbage is "bias" as well as having a "blinkered self righteous worldview"? Ok then, whatever you say. I've just started a project about sexism in Warhammer 40k, I need $10,000 to buy myself an army.

          I don't know anything about Warhammer 40k and the project itself is badly written nonsense, but given your relationship with money maybe you'd like to shell out for that too? How much can I put you down for? Remember, if you don't support my project you're a biased bonehead with a blinkered, self-righteous worldview.

            Mate, you think I'm an idiot for supporting a view opposed to my own, and I think the same about you for going for cheap insults over saying anything useful or productive.

            Chances are at least one of us is right, so this is pointless. Move on.

            Last edited 08/12/12 9:46 pm

              @sparhawk0, @Steneslore is right - you really make no sense. You gave money to something you didn't agree with as an emotional response to pretty standard trolling (I paused the video and read some of the comments).

              Unless you live in a cave you should be aware that there are keyboard warriors trolling like this and worse all over facebook and twitter.

                No, I gave EXTRA money in response to the barrage of attacks the project received, which was entirely rational, as at the time the project appeared to be threatened by some fairly disgusting trolls. My original pledge was made several days before there was any news about the trolling, i.e. it had nothing to do with them.

                In terms of your cave comment, all I can really offer you is a quote often attributed to Edmund Burke 'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.' If you can't reconcile my actions, your comment, and that statement, then I can see how one of the three wouldn't make sense to you. I'm the same, except a different one doesn't make sense to me.

    $150K and 6 months later... not even a teaser. I would criticise Anita further but that would make my a patriarchal sexist misogynist .

      So I'd expect if we get anything we get a game with a main female character that isn't good looking in any way and has tiny boobs. That'll show those misogynist perverts!! hahaha

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