Anita Sarkeesian

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Anita Sarkeesian
Anita Sarkeesian.jpeg

Aliases none
Occupation Occupation Host and co-writer of Feminist Frequency
Affiliations Feminist Frequency

About

Anita Sarkeesian is a Canadian feminist and blogger, notable for being the host and co-writer (along with Jonathan McIntosh) of the YouTube show Feminist Frequency. She first achieved Internet notoriety following the announcement of her webseries 'Tropes vs Women in Video Games', which raised $153,000 more than it originally asked for due in large part to the controversy surrounding the project. She is now one of the most visible and prominent voices speaking out against GamerGate, claiming that the movement is dedicated to driving women out of the gaming industry, and that it uses journalistic ethics as a smokescreen to mask its true purpose.

Pre-GamerGate

Before GamerGate, Anita Sarkeesian founded Feminist Frequency, which made a video series called 'Tropes Vs Women in Video Games' which sought to bring to light harmful media stereotypes put on women. Throughout the video series, Anita Sarkeesian explains the apparent deleteriousness of certain ostensible 'tropes' in video games towards women. However, the show often employed footage from other gameplay videos posted on Youtube, usually without any form of accreditation. it also frequently cherry picked video game sequences--or took them out of context entirely--in order to conform to a preconceived message. She also used other people's artwork without permission, adducing the 'non profit' status of her show in order to justify it[1][2][3]. As such, she had already attracted a considerable amount of ire from many gamers long before Gamergate had hashed its first tag.

Role in GamerGate

Within the realm of feminism, Anita Sarkeesian has been a key figurehead for the mainstream media to exploit, who regularly construe her as being a victimized feminist valiantly fighting against the bigotry of GamerGate[4]. She regularly cherry picks the detestable actions third party trolls in an attempt to exploit the 'individual represents group' fallacy, in so doing insinuating that, due to the abhorrent of these ostensible GamerGaters, GamerGate is a malign movement predicated upon harassing women. Meanwhile, some of the true members of Gamergate instituted a harassment patrol, which actually managed to find one of Anita Sarkeesian's own harassers.

Threats and harassment

Kevin Dobson threat

On August 27, 2014, a new Twitter account using the name "Kevin Dobson" sent a string of death threats to Anita Sarkeesian. Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of the threats three minutes after the first threat was sent and twelve seconds after the last, leading to speculation that she may have made the threats herself.

Child porn

On September 5 or 6, 2014, somebody tweeted child pornography to Sarkeesian.[5]

AnitaChristian threats

Gamergate investigator Sanc tracked a series of threats against Sarkeesian by Twitter user FBCelebrinado/AnitaChristian to Brazilian video game journalist Mateus Prado Sousa.

Mateus claimed to have a team of three people making threats.[6]

Utah State University

In October 2014, Anita Sarkeesian canceled a speech at Utah State University after several university staff received a terrorist threat that promised "a Montreal Massacre style attack." [7][8]

Later on October 15, 2014, a letter was sent out from the USU President of the university stating that the threats were not credible, and that it was simply intended to "frighten the university into cancelling the event".[9]

The speech was to be on the subject of "What if Super Mario was Super Maria?" 8chan users had suggested that students mention the Great Giana Sisters, videotape the speech for future criticism, or pull a fire alarm. [10]

Origin of the Utah State threat

The threat was widely reported to have come from GamerGate investigators, although no evidence was presented that this was the case.

Something Awful forum user Cardboard Box A described the incident as "Goon-started drama."

VidCon "encounter" with "garbage human" Sargon of Akkad and Boogie2988

Sarkeesian was on an online harassment panel with various YouTubers including Boogie2988 at VidCon 2017 when she saw Sargon of Akkad sitting in the front row and stated his presence made her feel uncomfortable. She then proceeded to harass him by refering to him as a "garbage human". VidCon apologized for the harassment not to Sargon but to Sarkeesian. Sargon eventually adopted the term "garbage human" akin to the term "deplorable". It was alleged she also yelled at Boogie. [11]

Intel Controvery

On January 7, 2015, during the CES 2015 trade show in Las Vegas Intel announced its new Diversity in Technology Initiative[12]. To support this initiative, Intel announced that it would invest $300,000,000 USD to " help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists; to actively support hiring and retaining more women and under-represented minorities; and to fund programs to support more positive representation within the technology and gaming industries."[13] It was also announced that Intel would be "[engaging]" with several organizations as part of this initiative, including Feminist Frequency. Response to this initiative within #GamerGate and Twitter was mixed, and Intel's decision prompted even neutrals and those dissociated with #GamerGate to comment on the matter.[14]

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [citation needed] - The Colbert Report: Gamergate - Anita Sarkeesian
  5. [4]
  6. [5]
  7. [6]
  8. [7]
  9. [8]
  10. [citation needed]
  11. [citation needed]
  12. [citation needed] - WIRED Magazine, "Intel Invests $300 Million to Improve Its Workplace Diversity", by Davey Alba. January 7th, 2015.
  13. [citation needed] - Intel CEO Outlines Future of Computing
  14. [9]