Over the past week, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has been subject to some truly vicious harassment, the kind that only the internet can deliver. Sarkeesian is currently running a Kickstarter project to fund a new video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. The associated YouTube video has been flooded with thousands of hateful comments, a sampling of which can be found on the Feminist Frequency website (warning: graphic language).
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.