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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.


The All-Too-Familiar Harassment Against Feminist Frequency, and What The Gaming Community Can Do About It

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.

As vile as this story is, it’s depressingly unsurprising. That’s the worst part, that this isn’t some isolated incident. My stomach sank as I read through the appalling list of comments, but I knew I was seeing something that is far too common. It happened back in February, when an angry internet mob decided to tear BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler limb from limb. It happened later that same month, during the Cross Assault debacle, in which sexual harassment in gaming was lauded as a time-honored tradition. It happened two weeks ago, when the backlash against the sexualized violence in the Hitman: Absolution trailer drew its own backlash. It happens daily, as we can see in the archives of Fat, Ugly or Slutty and Not In The Kitchen Anymore. And it’s not limited to the world of gaming. Author Cat Valente detailed several of her friends and colleagues who weathered similar attacks after voicing their opinions about popular SF/F books. Kate Beaton of Hark! A Vagrant sketched a response to someone who had drawn some porn of her out of spite (link both NSFW and outstanding). The list goes on, and on, and on.

Now, of course, men are often victims of online harassment, too. This is the internet, after all, and one of the downsides to a free and open forum is that it so often lacks the consequences that discourage people from speaking hatefully out in the real world. I have no intention of discrediting or downplaying the painful experiences that some men have gone through. However, harassment against women is a problem with different root causes. All too often, being a woman online — especially in public multiplayer gaming — means questioning whether or not you should have a gender-specific screenname. It means considering the option of pretending to be a man, just to avoid trouble. It means hesitating before putting on your headset, for fear that the slightest sound of your voice might spur someone to call you a bitch or ask to see your tits. This is not a reality that men share. So while bullying and harassment in all forms must be addressed, this is an issue that, for now, must be examined separately.

The comment I have seen repeated most often in conjunction with these stories is something I have wondered myself: What can we do about this? That’s a difficult question, and though I don’t have the faintest idea of what to do about the internet at large, I believe the climate within the gaming community, at least, could slowly be improved through the joint efforts of both developers and gamers.

Developers, you are free to tell whatever stories and portray whatever characters you want. You have no fight from me there. But when you create a character, think about the message you are sending. Think about the example you are setting for your fanbase. Think about hatefests like the ones detailed here, and consider how your work might be encouraging them. Take, for example, the uproar against the Hitman trailer. Rob Fahey at GamesIndustry expertly tackled this one last week in an article entitled “Can’t We Discuss This Like Adults?”

Let’s be absolutely clear that it’s [sexualized violence] which is the issue. It’s not the fact that there are nuns in the game who then turn out to be sexy nun assassins in suspender belts. You want sexy nun assassins in your game trailer? Be my guest. It looks ridiculous, and I don’t see them getting much assassinating done while wearing those heels, but if you think your target audience is the demographic slice of people who get turned on by poorly CG rendered assassins in habits and stiletto heels, go for it. Nor is the issue the fact that Agent 47 commits violent acts against women. He’s a hitman, assassins are attacking him, he kills them. That’s not the problem.

The problem is the interaction between those two things. The thought process of the creators of this trailer is naked for the world to see. Gamers like sexy women. Let’s have sexy women, and let’s make them sexy nuns because that’s edgy. You know what else is edgy? Having the dark anti-hero kill women, rather than the usual faceless male soldiers and thugs. That’ll get headlines. Let’s do that.

…The imagery is deliberately powerfully sexual. It’s also deliberately powerfully violent. Square Enix intended both of those things to be present in the imagery. I don’t think (wishful, perhaps) that they quite intended their interaction to be so horrific. In a society where 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence, Square Enix just released a video of violence against women presented as sexy and fetishised. That’s the issue.

A few days after that article was posted, Hitman developer IO Interactive apologized for the trailer, tellingly stating that they were “surprised” by the negative reaction, because all they had intended was “to make something cool.”

So, developers, consider your audience, and consider the social climate you’re wading into. Make your mark, but do so wisely. Remember the lessons of Spider-Man: With great power comes great responsibility. You can ignore that, if you want. That’s your right. Only you can decide where the line between censorship and consideration lies. It’s a hard question, but it’s one that you need to ask yourselves with every game you make.

And gamers, we need to keep talking about gender portrayal (and race portrayal, and everything else portrayal) in games. Storytelling tropes and the harassment of women players are two separate topics, but as the attack on Anita Sarkeesian has shown, they are closely intertwined. Our debates and critiques about game content are how the industry checks our pulse. These discussions are the most recent chapter in the ongoing analysis of artistic meaning, something that our species has been engaged in for millenia. It is vital to the further evolution of games as a creative medium that we keep talking about these things. We may argue and disagree and fail to reach consensus, but as long as the conversation can flow unhindered with civility and respect, everybody wins in the end. Forcibly silencing someone through bullying or disingenuous tactics (such as erroneous YouTube flagging) is reprehensible, regardless of which side of the debate you’re on.

As for harassment, I know how hard it can be to speak up against a stranger. There is no phrase in the English language that is more patently absurd than the following: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I think we all know how laughable that is. At the end of a long day, when all you want to do is play a game and have some fun, ignoring a mouthy troll is often so much easier than facing him (or her) head on. But pretending that the problem isn’t there won’t solve anything. Don’t just mute the person. Report them. And if you’re feeling brave, tell them to stop. Tell them that whatever “joke” they’re making isn’t funny and that it’s not okay. Tell them this even if they’re targeting someone else. But if you are the one being harassed, then you also need to do the scariest thing possible: Tell someone else about it. That’s terrifying, I know. I’ve been there. But ignoring it won’t make it go away, and other people won’t know to back you up. In my eyes, Sarkeesian did the best, bravest thing she could do by making those comments public. You don’t need to be as public about it as she was, but tell your friends, at least. Tell your guild leader, tell a GM, post about it on the game’s official forums. Let people know what’s happening within their own community. Here’s another comment I have seen many times in response to the Feminist Frequency story: “I had no idea this was a problem.” Those are the people who need to know about this the most. As unpleasant as it is to find something like this lurking within your own house, becoming aware of it is the only way to solve the problem before the whole foundation rots out.

I have heard from people — men and women both — who have chosen not to play online at all because of this sort of thing. I’ve heard people say that stories like this make them ashamed to be a gamer. I can’t tell you how much that saddens me. I love being a gamer. To me, being a gamer is about celebrating exploration, discovery, teamwork, magic, wonder, and unabashed joy. I don’t know who these hateful people are, but they are not the gamers I know. They are not the men I know. They do not define us.

So stand up against this, gamers. Stand up for our community, whether or not you are directly affected by harassment, whether or not you agree with what the victim in question is saying. There is nothing — nothing — that deserves this sort of treatment. But when you stand your ground, be smart about it. Don’t resort to insults or mockery, no matter how tempting it may be, no matter how furious you are. Shouting someone down isn’t the same as making it clear that their behavior is unacceptable. If you can, get them to listen. If they won’t listen, then shut them out. Be better than them. Hate is not who we are. Hate is not what what we are about. Hate is not welcome here.

Becky Chambers is a freelance writer and a full-time geek. She blogs over at Other Scribbles.

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  • Kim Pittman

    I am a game designer. I have worked in the industry for 5 years. The one thing I have noticed is that the guys making games almost *never* realize that some of the stuff they do can be offensive. I find myself, one of 8 women at a company with over 100 employees, (the industry average is about 13%)  often in the position of telling people that an idea isn’t a good one because it’s offensive. Lucky for me, the people I am working with now, listen, even when they don’t understand. (For example, we had a line in thought that used a number to refer to the attractiveness of a character. I said that’s offensive and it needed to be removed. They did not see it as offensive since it was being complimentary to the character in question. I tried to explain that it wasn’t about the character as much as the player, who might be a girl, and might not have been called a 10, but rather a much lower number. They still didn’t understand, but listened and removed the line without fuss.)

    The company I am at now is superb for listening and erring on the side of caution, but I do know of other studios where bringing up anything like that would get nasty looks, you would likely be ignored, and then labeled as “one of those man haters” which would lead to you being the first one cut when the cuts come down the line. For everything you get outside the industry, it’s twice as hard on the inside.

  • Sewicked

    Every time I think about picking up a game controller and playing an online game; interactions like this convince me not to do it. I can play at home, enjoy a game, and not get harassed. Or I can play online and suffer trolls. Guess which one I’ll choose.

  • Monique Boulanger
  • Eva Marie Heater

     Yes, I’ve always felt the same way, which is why pretty much all I play are RPGs. The IDEA of online gaming has always really appealed to me; however, when I get home from work and need to unwind, I want to have a good time, not deal with trolls. I’m 50 and never grown skin thick enough to deal with that and still have a good time, not to mention how much hard work is involved in calling people out. Don’t get me wrong! In real life I’ve NEVER backed away from an opportunity to change someone’s mind; it’s just not fun, and when I’m gaming that’s one of the things I want to escape from. Maybe that makes me a wimp. If so, so be it.

  • Lina

    These video-game people (the ones playing these games and thinking they’re contributing to society by being these so-called techies) have nothing better to do with their lives. They need to grow up and get a life.

  • Riviera

    There need to be more companies like yours.

  • Riviera

    Yeah, this is part of the reason I tend to stay away from MMOs. If it’s not blatant harassment, usually it’s people giving you all kinds of things and falling all over themselves because OMG YOU MIGHT BE A REAL GIRL.

    Both attitudes are stupid. >_<

  • Frodo Baggins

    “And if you’re feeling brave, tell them to stop. Tell them that whatever “joke” they’re making isn’t funny and that it’s not okay.”

    Yeah, no. Don’t to that. Mute them, report them, tell your GM, whatever. But DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

  • James Strocel

    The next question to ask ourselves is who do we know that takes part in this type of harassment? Standing up against bullies online is one thing, but I think removing the mask of anonymity and coming up with some kind of behavioural profile will be much more effective. This is a tyranny of the minority. Find the minority and the tyranny goes away.  

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    The downside to her publicity is that many of her fans respond with a similar but differently aimed ire. It’s as if her frequent posts have spread more anger than awareness and I’m not sure if that’s a step in the right direction. As shocking as it should be that she receives such hateful responses to her videos, she has literally thousands of fans that have now given her well over $30,000 (somewhere in there is my measly $1), so she’s not without a support network. As I’ve said elsewhere, if the worst part of her day is reviewing YouTube comments and deselecting those that she doesn’t want to see posted, that’s really not so bad. Her experience with harassment (and the support network she has built with her own prowess) is not, I think, the average, and all of this article is better suited for helping the isolated gamers without the support (or funding) that she has.

  • Sara Sakana

    Are you a woman? If not, you need to maybe not tell women how they should or shouldn’t respond to harassment.

  • Anonymous

    If you stay away from games that you might enjoy playing because of trolls, don’t you let the trolls win? My wife and I play WOW together and, yeah, there can be some misogynistic language in the public chat (and even, on occasion, in the guild chat) channels. But on the rare occasions that my wife is actually harassed, she’s is all too happy to put the trolls in their place. If you have self confidence in real life, nothing any loser says in an online game is going to bother you in the least.

  • Victoria Eden

    Yep. I’ll sit and play Portal all day by myself thankyouverymuch.

  • Frodo Baggins

    I’m saying NOBODY should respond that way to internet trolls. That is the reason trolls act out. They want you to respond. Getting a reaction from you is the whole point, and trying to shame them or change their minds doesn’t work. You only put yourself at risk.

  • Anonymous

     What the hell?  Like staying silent has worked well in the past…

  • Anonymous

     You didn’t read the article.  The “worst part of her day” is not reviewing YouTube comments.  I’m guessing it’s the rape and murder threats flowing to her website and her home.  Why are you excusing those?  Why is that not worth saying something about?  Why are you downplaying this?

  • Daniel Swensen

     Man says organized mass harrassment of women is “not so bad,” film at 11.

  • Teresa Jusino

     So, a support system makes harassment against her okay? The “isolated gamers” you mention also “only” have to deselect YouTube comments. Or ignore comments over the headset, etc. You wouldn’t give this advice to them, would you? Suck it up. “You have friends, right? Get comfort from them and just ignore them when they say stuff to you!”

    Anyone, no matter how much support they have

  • Daniel Swensen

    I’ve seen this reaction everywhere — men who don’t see what the big deal is and think everyone should find “something more important” to be concerned about. They seem to be under the impression that they get to decide when someone else feels threatened, and since they, as men, don’t see a problem with organized sexual harrassment, the problem must not exist. The willful denial and ignorance is disappointing, to say the least.

  • Michael Blayney

    I refuse to play games with strangers for this exact reason. I get enough bullshit in my day-to-day life — I don’t want to deal with the scum of the earth when I’m trying to relax, too. 

  • Anonymous

    Handle trolls like you handle bullies, go to the authorities! Telling them to stop gives them what they want (attention and a reaction) and makes them worse. Telling a GM or Mod forces them to stop via ban or suspension or something.

  • Daniel Swensen

     I think the problem goes beyond mere trolling. We’re talking about a set of extremely hostile, dehumanizing attitudes that shape how an entire industry views women. Staying quiet and pretending there’s not a problem isn’t the answer.

  • Frodo Baggins

    No, I’m not saying you should stay silent. I’m saying you should report trolls to people empowered to deal with them, instead of engaging with them directly.

  • Eva Marie Heater

    Yes, this is spot-on, and one of the biggest problems, in my view.

  • Anonymous

    Who are you to tell me that what I do in my life is not important? You’re just as bad as them, I’m sorry to say.

  • Daniel Swensen

    That’s treating the symptom and not the disease, in my humble opinion.

  • Teresa Jusino

    [comment deleted]

  • Terence Ng

    It’s not at all an issue of self-confidence. Your wife may find putting trolls in their place to be entertaining and all part of the fun. But other people just want to play the video game.

    For the 8 hours that I’m not working or asleep, I can choose to play something that I like sans trolling, or I can choose to play something where I also have to devote a part of those precious 8 hours to something OTHER than the game itself.

    For example, am I going to choose to watch movies at a theater that’s quiet, or a theater where people talk and throw popcorn at other patrons? If I just happen to love exchanging barbs with hecklers or talking to theater management when I watch my movies, then I guess I’d choose the latter. But if I just want to watch a movie, then, for my money, I’m probably going to choose the former.

    It’s not about “winning” or “losing” or “self-confidence”, it’s about the experience I choose to expose myself to with what precious little time I have for entertainment. Unfortunately, these attitudes view trolls as part of the package or experience, and that’s not what some people want to pay for.

  • Anonymous

    If trolls get responses, they become more trolly. If they get banned, they just lost $60 or however much that game cost. I’d say that’s a good step towards treating the disease.

  • Teresa Jusino

    The speaking out against them isn’t to stop the trolls. It’s to
    encourage those AROUND the trolls to not put up with that kind of
    behavior. Chances are, by speaking up, you’re not going to change a
    stupid troll’s mind. What you WILL do, though, is encourage an
    where this stuff is not OK. If you speak up, others will, too. And
    suddenly the world in which that troll is allowed to operate will be
    much smaller.

  • emily_wk

    No, that isn’t how it works. That’s great for your wife, that she finds that she’s harassed rarely and is able and happy to put trolls in their place.

    But to imply that there must be something wrong with someone who doesn’t want to face the unrelenting wall of hate that they find when they venture out into the world of gaming is just cruel and victim blaming.

  • Anna B

    Online trolls are like zombies. They’re easy enough to dispose of one at a time, but when they come at you as a hoard, it can get pretty impossible.

    You’re right that you shouldn’t let the trolls win and I’m stubborn enough to stand up to them when they come, but I’ve fortunately never had to deal with more than one at a time–and not on a daily basis, and that’s probably because I’m not “popular” or particularly threatening (I’m not the best player in anything). I can just imagine that the more successful and skilled ladies don’t have it quite so easy as me. I guess the point is, while we can fight trolls individually, I think it would be a whole lot easier if the greater majority can get behind you, as opposed to harassment being the “standard” or believed to be “part of the game.”

  • emily_wk

    That implies that it’s always trolling. Often times, totally reasonable people make offensive remarks. Saying that you won’t stand for it is only partially about them; it’s also to let the people who are also offended/threatened know that they aren’t alone.

  • Daniel Swensen

    I agree it’s a good step, but the denials and “what’s the big deal” response from so many males, even the ones who wouldn’t directly participate in this kind of harrassment, leads me to believe that these issues need to be brought out in the open and discussed, not swept under the rug.

  • Jill Oliver

    I mostly only play computer based mmorpgs online. And for those I either get into a guild with someone I know in real life, or I’m recruited by a female, so my guilds have all been supportive of female players. In LOTRO my current kinship actually said at one point “females make great tanks”. Which is nice because I’m a tank and I have heard the opposite from random people in WoW, etc. I have reported people for rude behavior, but probably not as much as I should because I tend to be mellow and getting upset by someone trash talking on a game isn’t really worth the effort to me. I’m trying to have fun, I don’t want to listen to that, I put them on ignore, maybe report them if it’s not a complicated process. I might tell them they need to shut up because they are being idiots and it’s not acceptable, but really only once, because if they don’t get it then, they aren’t going to stop.

    Not something I have had to encounter recently because I’ve been playing Diablo 3 for the past few weeks with just my friends.

  • Anna B

    I have to agree with not feeding the troll, though. I think that if you tell a troll to stop and that it’s not funny, it only encourages them to do worst. That might work in a real-life confrontation (I hope), but it’s far more anonymous online, and the anonymity empowers them to be bigger jerks than they would be face-to-face (with the exceptions of some real assholes).

  • Frodo Baggins

    Again, not saying you should stay quiet. Speak out, by all means. BUT NOT DIRECTLY TO THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE WHO ARE SPECIFICALLY TRYING TO RANKLE YOU. The cold shoulder is the only tactic that works.

  • Daniel Swensen

     Fair enough, Mister Baggins.

  • Terence Ng

    Maybe she is a woman.But regardless, in this specific topic where the term “do not feed the trolls” is well understood and not original to hir, I think ze is making a valid point about how one strategically responds to what is known as a troll.

    Have people forgotten the conventional internet wisdom of “Do not feed the trolls”? That they’re completely out to provoke a reaction? They are not like people at work or friends or strangers on the street. Their motivation is to be offensive to make you come after them and laugh at the reaction they caused.

    Here is some great advice from Amy Vernon at MemeMachine on how best to handle internet trolling, along with a lovely infographic from Community 102: 

  • thecynicalromantic

     I love the implication that only weak-minded, insecure people would *possibly* decide to spend their hard-earned leisure time only doing things that are actually fun and escapist.

    Being threatened with rape isn’t fun or escapist. The purpose of games is to be fun and escapist–you’re not curing cancer, here. They’re just fucking games. The point is to be fun. Being threatened with rape isn’t fun. When gaming=being threatened with rape, it stops being fun, and then the one and only reason in the entire goddamn world we would possibly do it goes out the window. It’s not like most of us are ever going to be able to put it on our resumes or earn money from it, or that it’s healthy, or it helps underprivileged children, or any of the usual reasons why you would put up with doing something that isn’t fun.

    It’s not women’s responsibility to “stick it out” so the trolls don’t “win.” That’s victim-blaming BS.

  • Kim Pittman

     It’s all about finding the right place, which is by no means easy. It took me 3 years, but I found a guild that was about half women, and most of them had kids, so it was a great safe haven in WoW.

    That and always having trade chat turned off. :)

  • Ividia Kt

    Yanno…almost makes me want to play to bait these kinds of idjits…but I’m twisted that way.  I play text based RPGs with a group of folk I’ve known online for a lot of years, so we don’t get that kind of thing.  Out in the real world though, I’ve been working in male dominated fields all my life even counting my stint in retail which was at a Foot Locker.  And much of it was before the time when you could actually be heard regarding a harassment complaint.  My tactics with the trollish behavior is generally witty but crude responses in public with the caveat that this has happened in a face to face kind of setting and not with the anonymity afforded by the net.

  • VIncent Dane Finch


  • Kate Coleman

    And what massive contributions to humanity have you made recently that are so superior to those of people who enjoy video games? You are not the supreme authority on what is and is not relevant to society. I’m sure you have plenty of recreational hobbies of your own that are simply for fun. FYI a lot of those “video game people” are women, me included, and the number is growing. Hence why this is such a pressing issue. Know what you’re talking about before you open your mouth.

  • electrasteph

     ”Her experience with harassment … is not, I think, the average”

    It is the average. That’s what we’re telling you, complete with hundreds of documented examples. Trust Women. Seriously. We know what we’re talking about.

  • Kim Pittman

     Way to lump all gamers together and assume the worst. Kinda like people do with femistists and women right?

    I am one of those gamers. I make games for a living. I have a life. I pay my bills, I have friends, and I contribute to kickstarters for starving artists.

    My entire life revolves around games, making games, and playing games. Everything I have is because of games.

    Don’t act like all gamers are useless males in their mother’s basements. It’s a bad stereotype and just as bad as the one presented in this article.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve posted some comments under that video, because I just had to respond in some way to  the enormous mound of BS that appeared there. I’ve spent about an hour exchanging comments with several guys and some of their arguments just left me speechless. Did you know that Anita is promoting hate towards men? Or that the fact that many male characters are also reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes, making a video only about women means that she is deliberately ignoring half of the problem and so being dishonest and manipulative? And that it can only be a problem for those who can’t tell the difference between the game and the reality? And that games are entertainment so they should be entertaining and since apparently many people are entertained by images that degrade women that’s okay and game designers should keep it up, after all they’re making money?

    I know I shouldn’t be all that surprised, but every time I encounter such a wonderful example of how deep human stupidity can go, I feel like drinking myself under the table.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Alright, let’s use a medical analogy. Responding to a troll is like scratching an itch. Reporting a troll is like putting ointment on it.

  • tea andjumpers

    “It means considering the option of pretending to be a man, just to avoid
    trouble. It means hesitating before putting on your headset, for fear
    that the slightest sound of your voice might spur someone to call you a
    bitch or ask to see your tits.” These are the exact measures I took when I used to play online. I’ve stopped though. I decided it wasn’t worth putting up with all of the slurs and disrespect that came out of the tv speakers. What’s astonishing is that some of the bashing comes from kids who don’t sound like they’re a day over twelve. I was an adult when I started gaming, and was able to ignore the sexist language some (not all) gamers spew, but I think it would be highly discouraging and damaging for a younger girl who wanted to game.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Haha what? Who calls gamers “techies?” Or “video-game people?”

  • Mayor McBoobyButt

    It’s a shame that I often either have to play as male characters (I tend to in MMOs, they are preferable over the oversexualized and not at all functionally dressed females) or keep my name and voice a secret to not get harassment in online play.

  • Terence Ng

    Actually, in my opinion, it is the exact opposite. The symptom is the troll itself, the disease is the arena that allows their prejudiced behavior. 

    Banning them demonstrates that the behavior is wrong, will not be tolerated, and comes with repercussions, Speaking out about the sexist/racist/homophobic attitudes in trolling also attacks the disease, because it speaks to these same attitudes as a social issue.

    Fighting with the specific trolls themselves does not. Not at all. 

    They are fully aware that what they are doing is wrong, but they do it because they can (anonymity, or because they feel they will not be chastised within the arena or in the social sphere in general), and most importantly, because they want to instigate a reaction against them specifically.

    They DON’T take these actions because they want you to report them and have them banned, but doing so makes the point clear and removes them from the picture. They want you to take a lozenge when they make you cough, instead of taking the medicine that eliminates their presence entirely–reporting systems, zero-tolerance banning, mandatory log-ins, terminology screenings, etc.

  • Daniel Swensen

    You’re generally dealing with a young male demographic who are used to being heavily pandered to, so some of them see anything that might change that, or even create an alternative to that, as a threat to them personally. It reminds me of the hysteria about a “war on Christianity” whenever anyone else gets close to having a political voice.

    The “but what about the men” and “but women do it too” argument is always a classic. I literally saw someone argue that this sort of thing was okay because it was balanced out by women expecting men to buy them drinks and hold the door open for them. I had to go looking under the desk for my jaw.

  • Trina Finton

    We just wrote a post where a staffer felt offended and awkward about what she saw at an E3 hands on event.  She wrote about her feelings and was instantly attacked for being “too sensitive” and this was from other women. It’s sad when someone’s opinion is attacked instead of seen as an addition to the conversation about a game.

  • Anonymous

    The thing is, This happens everywhere. its not about games, it about a lack or respect.

  • Terence Ng

    Agreed. Here are the steps outlined by Amy Vernon and Community 102 that I linked below:

    1) Be proactive in marking messages as spam when they appear.
    2) Report trolling behavior immediately to the community moderator or support staff.
    3) Refuse to engage with trolls; responding to them only adds fuel to the fire.
    4) Moderators should shut down troll accounts immediately.
    5) If you have the resources, allocate manpower to preemptively prepare for trolling on your site. It’s important to have the proper ammo in place to fight back as soon as they attack your brand.
    6) Create some form of accountability for those who wish to comment. Jumping through hoops isn’t something at which trolls excel.

    This addresses the issue as it should be: on both the individual and the structural level. Individuals need to know how to handle the situation appropriately, and their actions should motivate companies to have these safeguards in place–a reporting system, a banning system, actual oversight, and accountability for users in order to use communication systems for their product.

  • Terence Ng

    Right, but it’s a question of who you’re speaking out to. If you speak out to the troll, like you said, you’re not going to change hir mind. But if you speak out to the moderator, you will indeed encourage an environment where those actions are appropriately denounced. The same goes for speaking out to the company, and to the community, as is happening here.

  • Hawkes006

    Ok, this sucks to ask, but I have to do it. While the comment may be offensive to some, is the idea that it is potentially realistic also important? I have no idea what the context is in the game in question, so I could be totally wrong here, but I know many situations where a group of guys would make comments such as these. And while yes I understand that rating people as such may be pretty shitty, if the character speaking in this particular instance is to be portrayed realistically, the comment would be more important than the potential offensiveness of the comment (IMHO). 

    Take for example the character Vincent in the game “Catherine”. He is exactly the type of clueless, offensive, oafish young guy who would call a girl a “6″ or a “9″. Sure, it might be offensive, but the use of the term would be in character and add a layer of characterization and realism to his portrayal.

    I don’t want to get into the “turning attraction and sexuality into a number” debate, I just want to stick to using language that is realistic for a character. 

  • Tyler Berens

    My care cup is empty.

  • Edcrab

    It’s uplifting to see so many people take this issue seriously, discussing it and drawing attention to it.

    Discussion is good! It certainly beats instant dismissal or outright hostility. But I keep seeing people bringing up that old chestnut about oversensitivity, acting as if they’re being singled out by not immediately “falling in line”, credulously demanding that everyone explains their concerns. Occasionally even acting as if they, the detractors, are victims too.

    Even assuming good faith and not some circuitous troll attempt, that’s intellectually dishonest. The harm is self-evident. You don’t need to try hard to find misogynistic language and harassment. At this stage, seeing this topic discussed and still feeling the need to demand “proof” is wilful ignorance; there are some horrific attitudes begetting horrific behaviours, and sometimes, to make a start, all that is needed is recognition of that fact. Averting your gaze from the hateful hordes and demanding that the marginalised victims of those hordes should prove themselves is… not helpful.

  • Sean Samonas

    I agree with some points that Anita Sarkeesian makes, though I disagree more often then not.  I don’t agree with people hounding or mocking her.  I don’t fully agree with her getting that much money for doing a webseries…but hey, I may be in that boat someday, so it is nice to know that some people will help support.  And if anything all the negative reaction certainly helped get her project in the public eye, so I suppose a thanks is due there to those idiots.  So all in all, good for her, and I’ll probably watch her videos to see what she says.

  • Amphigorey

    “Her experience is not the average.”

    You are flat-out wrong about that.

    Would you like to revise your argument since your premise is false?

  • Anonymous

    Internet trolls are nothing but bullies but even more cowardly because they hide behind the anonymity of the Internet. And the sad fact of life is that bullies are everywhere. You have two choices when it comes to bullies – let them scare you off or let it roll off your back and play the games you want to play, whatever they may be. I can only speak for my wife but damned if she’s going to let a handful of trolls spook her into playing solo games.

  • Anonymous

    And here I thought humanity was sort of kinda figuring out this whole social iteration/multiplayer gaming thing. Guess not. Though I do believe that most of this is the result of young male gamers trying to find an outlet for their repressed emotions. They are sort of like Joffrey in a way.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    No, I meant that her experience is better than average, which is true.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I meant that her experience is better than average, since most people don’t have the network that she has.

    Commenting on a few of these other comments (which I have tried to do twice and both of my comments haven’t gone through correctly), most of you don’t seem to know what quotation marks are for. I never said that she shouldn’t dare to do such and such. She has every right. I love her videos. I think all of the people that slur her should be slowly eviscerated and eaten alive by that guy they shot in Florida. I’m merely saying that the shock and outrage over the harassment a public figure is facing is surprising that this article is better suited for everyone else, those who face the assault alone.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I never said that, but the exact opposite. Quipping poster misreads lengthy comment, after the weather.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    “You wouldn’t give this advice to them, would you?” No, that’s why I said the article was better suited for the masses, not the Internet celebrity with plenty of fans, branding, and great fashion sense that should support her ego just fine against the tide. Sure, it’s disparaging and I appreciate that she has to put up with this shit in order to educate, but it’s not as bad as what single individuals face on their own without all of the support she has. I agree that it shouldn’t happen at all, but not that her harassment should upset me the way it has so many others. In general, harassment is upsetting, but my fury isn’t brought on by her specific situation. She has my admiration, moral support, and measly buck, though.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    This article is based on updates she has posted to Kickstarter about the YouTube comments she has moderated out of various threads over several years and based on most recent e-mails. Since I keep regularly updated on her website, Kickstarter, and Facebook pages, I was aware of this and chose to comment on the specific examples of harassment she is facing rather than just generalizing “rape and murder threats.” YouTube trolls are scum that should be burned alive, but it shouldn’t ruin the absolute thrill of being followed by thousands, being paid IN thousands, and seeing your brand sore. She’s a minor celebrity, not the average harassed human being, and I think it’s those people, that face this sort of abuse alone that deserve my greatest concern.

  • Anonymous

    my roomate’s mom got paid $ 14828 past week. she is making an incom e on the internet and bought a $481700 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into use the guide exposed on this web site 

    ⇛⇛⇛⇛► (Click At My Name For Link)

  • Daniel Swensen

    It certainly looks to me like you said exactly that, but I’m not going to get in a debate about it. Look, clearly you’re on her side to some degree, as evidenced by your financial support, and that’s great.  And if I’m mistaken and have wrongly accused you, I apologize.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    No big deal, just responding in kind. I should have been clearer. When I said that her experience is not the average, I didn’t intend to make light of harassment. I mean that I think the harassment she faces is not nearly as bad as what a single individual faces all by their loathsome. I’m repeating myself all over the place at this point, but she’s got a HUGE network, and she uses it skillfully. She’s turned Feminist Frequency into a brand, which is fantastic. However, most people don’t have those resources. Alone, facing even a dozen trolls, the psychological pounding would probably be horrendous in comparison.

  • Kim Pittman

     It was out of character and the girl in question was using it to refer to herself.

    I agree for Vincent it would have been spot on writing.

  • B S

    The problem with free will is people using it. Most people aren’t considerate of others.
    But since free will is a very important thing that I think we should all have a right to, it’s pretty tough to tell people to stop having opinions, even if they are hateful or offensive.
    Since none of the places that these comments are being made are in venues that we are in any way being forced to use, it’s up to each individual to judge whether they wish to continue using any particular website, tv channel, radio station, etc… We can’t go though life allowing others to choose our moods by reacting in a negative way. That’s what those people are doing, so don’t take their bait and react in a similar way. Many people only put out these negative opinions to elicit a response. Don’t give them the satisfaction.
    Naturally there are exceptions, since no one can remain in perfect control at all times. Just contain yourself to only reacting with words and at least you can always say you didn’t hurt anyone (physically).

  • Daniel Swensen

    Understood. Thanks for clarifying, Adam, I appreciate your response.

  • Anonymous

    You want to be treated as equals but you singles yourselves out and say you are being made of fun because you are a woman.You aren’t going to change the horrible online gaming communities.So if you can’t handle it leave those games and or play with friends but don’t blame it all on your gender.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I kind of wish I had a time traveling Delorean right now, considering the lashing I received for being vaguely dismissive. Next time, I’ll be very, very specific. Possibly in MLA format.

  • Kip Coleman

    Are you a fascist? If not, you need to maybe not tell people when they can and cannot express their freedom of speech.

    Also, Frodo makes no indication that he is addressing only women. In my opinion, men shouldn’t feed the trolls either.

  • Kip Coleman


  • Anonymous

    One of the things that makes it work in “Catherine,” though, is that Vincent’s behavior is clearly shown to be a problem. He gets himself into all kinds of trouble by being a clueless offensive oaf, and in fact the game is mostly about him learning to see the woman he loves as a human being and not a “ball and chain” or some other kind of object.  So that’s not a good comparison.

    And here’s the problem with wanting realism in games where they concern women: games aren’t realistic for men. They’re not meant to be.  In video games, men get to be the center of a whole world. They get to play complex, three-dimensional characters where games will allow — and where they don’t allow for that kind of complexity, male characters still get to be impossibly handsome, powerful, virile, etc.  Games are all about making men feel good about themselves.

    But this is not realistic.  In the real world men aren’t powerful, handsome, etc. by default.  No one has yet written a game in which a guy spends all his time fretting about how he’s going to pay for college given that he’s not a legacy from a wealthy family, or how he’s going to overcome his “performance issues” with his partner, or whether he’s still attractive now that he’s losing his hair.  There’s a degree of realism that can’t be put into games or it stops being fun.

    For women, sexism in games makes them non-fun. So since developers are usually willing to suspend realism to a degree for men, why not suspend it for women too? Why not make a game everyone can enjoy?

  • Kip Coleman

    Here’s what the gaming community can do about it: Be a part of the human community first and foremost.

    As the author mentioned, this is not a problem that is unique to the gaming community. To treat it as such is demeaning to all the members of the gaming community who are not being dicks online.

    If anything, I would say that a gamer who is hesitant to participate in a gaming environment because there might be trolls should recognize two things.

    First, gaming as a medium, especially MMOs, allow us access to glimpse a large slice of the global population. Some of those people, statistically, are going to be immature and vocal.

    Second, a good game has protections in place for you. The mute button is your friend. You can report someone to a moderator. You are not powerless.

    Is harassment in a game environment a real thing? Yes. Is the level of harassment worse in games than it would be in other media with similar characteristics and properties (relatively large population, relatively low control over user generated content / discussion)? No.

    People are people, and people playing games are… still people. Games don’t turn people into dicks, they just allow us to encounter more dicks than we otherwise might.

  • Lydia Eickstaedt

     It seems to me that what’s actually problematic at its core here is that we’re talking about works of fiction, in which it’s possible to do anything, yet the default fallback is “what we already have”. When working with fiction, we have the option to create a world that, at least in THIS small sense, is better than the real world, and I think we should, whenever we have the opportunity. The comment is symptomatic of an attitude towards women that is being called an acceptable and integral part of creating a story. Thus, even though it’s “in character” for someone who fits a certain profile to treat women poorly, the question is actually: why is it that this character type is popular, is being used frequently, and is being permitted to perpetuate the false suggestion that it’s OK to treat women poorly?

    Since it’s not possible to control how people view the character or environment (by which I mean, even if the defense is “but they’re not supposed to like him! that’s why he does reprehensible stuff!”, YOU can’t make PLAYERS think that this character is a jerk– so if they end up liking him, he is now reinforcing the idea that people they like would think it’s cool/acceptable to rate women on a numerical scale), you have to control what kind of character and environment you are creating in the first place.

  • Tim Ford

    I think I heard you speak before at Fan Expo in Toronto a year back, about careers in the gaming industry.  Just wanted to let you know that was a great talk!  And…if that wasn’t you…well…GOOD ON YOU ANYWAY! :D

  • Lydia Eickstaedt

     This is really condescending, Jay. Your wife’s solution sounds to be “giving as good as she gets”, which is the opposite of actually solving the problem. If someone is being harassed, the harassment needs to be reported to authorities who can end the harassment. Harassing the bully back is not a solution, it’s stooping to the bully’s level.

    Also, I think it’s important for you to acknowledge that different people handle this situation differently. Your wife is NOT the benchline for how all women act, or how all women are treated online, or how all women should solve their problems online. There are too many woman worldwide for a single person to define what is ‘self-confident’ and what is not.

  • Cliff

    I think you’re missing the point that other commenters are trying to bring to your attention.

    It’s great that your wife puts trolls in her place. Everyone supports her in this! But your wife isn’t a representative sample of the online gaming population, and just because *she* feels comfortable doing that doesn’t mean everyone does, and it doesn’t mean that other people should have to. Instead of saying, “It’s not a problem because my wife just puts them in their place,” what you could – or should – be saying is, “this is a problem and while my wife has found one way to deal with it, that doesn’t make it less of a problem.” Also? Trying to shame people for NOT wanting to spend their free time standing up to trolls just isn’t kosher. Some people – a lot of people, even – don’t find interacting with trolls to be a worthwhile time to spend their leisure hours, and they shouldn’t have to choose between gaming alone (but not being trolled) or gaming with others (and being trolled).

  • Lydia Eickstaedt

     This has been said on the Kickstarter, but the thanks is due the people who responded to the hatespeech and violent comments by donating to the project, NOT to the people who originated the hatespeech and violent comments. Give credit it where it is due: the people who decided to make a positive response to a negative situation.

  • Anonymous

    Bury your head in the sand and hope the trolls will go away then. I’m sure that will work.

  • Anonymous

    What I’m saying is that trolls aren’t important enough to let bother you. HOW you deal with them is up to you. My wife’s way is to give as good as she gets. That’s why I love her – she’s strong-willed, independent and doesn’t take any crap from people who hide behind keyboards. Other people may choose other means, like completely ignoring them, for example. Exactly how one deals with a troll really wasn’t my point. My point is that it’s beyond silly to let some geek in a basement with zero decency or social skills chase you away to games that you play solo if, in fact, playing with other people online is what you enjoy doing. Run away and the trolls win. That’s my point.

  • Anonymous

    I meant that her experience is better than average, which is true.

    Actually, I believe you are wrong.  Sure, Anita has a network of friends and supporters online who share her concerns.  We’re not talking here about a woman playing WOW and getting shit from other players just for being a woman: we’re talking about someone daring to be a feminist in public, challenging the whole universe of gaming in public, and that is the real threat to these trolls. 

    The reason Anita gets so many of these comments is in fact because she is a feminist who is relatively successful.  And that she has an online network of supporters doesn’t give her any more time in the day or any more money in her pocket to fund her work.  The torrent of abuse is taking time away from her work, is emotionally draining to deal with, and is just the sort of thing that discourages other women from talking about feminist issues in public.

    That, after all, is the trolls’ point.  They do not want to have this conversation, and if they can’t scare Anita into silence, by god, they’ll scare half a dozen other women off. 

    So, no, it’s not better for her, just because she has a network of supporters.  It’s worse because her relative success attracts more trolls and attacks.  Which makes other women less likely to speak up, which makes the women who do speak up stand out and become easy targets for the trolls, and the whole cycle repeats itself.

  • Shannel

    Precisely.  This isn’t just a matter of people being sexist, or it being a gaming issue.  It’s a people issue.

  • Nhazzaroth Navokk

    See, part of the problem is, guys are easier to please. Throw heaving bosom or such in their faces, and their happy. But the same doesn’t work for females. You can just shove a muscle bound dude at them and expect them to swoon, otherwise all females would be watching wrestling where the guys run around in a pair of speedos and not much else. And even more so, most females I’ve talked to aren’t even impressed with the Chippendales. So as far as making the guys happy, it’s easy. For the girls, much harder. So basically games made by perverts for perverts, they just go with what’s worked. Interjecting these romance side plots in RPGs is probably the only thing that’s worked on females who are not already hardcore gamers solely for the purpose of shooting or stabbing things. But unfortunately you can’t just sum up a romance with a picture of bulging muscles or such so female gamers are getting short shrift.

    That being said, agree with some of the previous posters. They say fighting fire with fire doesn’t work, but really, if somebody gives you s**t in-game, on twitter or whatever, you pretty much have to give it back 10fold, otherwise the original troll’s not going to get it. The internet is like Snake Pliskin’s LA or NY. You gonna go out there, you have to be ready for war. Common decency and such are basically on life support in the modern world.

  • Shannel

    “Trust women.”   What about women on the other side of it who have been gaming online for years, and their experience is a very very different one where the harassment is a very rare occurrence?  Do they just not count?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    So, it’s relative.

  • emily_wk

    Maybe YOU don’t think so, but if anyone else can overhear, it’s worth letting them know that you aren’t interested in hearing that kind of crap. Even if it isn’t directed at you.

  • J.J. Zwirn

    What saddens me most about this is that geeks/nerds/dorks of the male persuasion have been the butt of harassment and jokes for decades then turn around and do that to women simply because of their gender.  It’s reprehensible and you would THINK this would be something that hits close to home for them.  So much so, that they would rather not turn that kind of behavior on another person and make them feel as they once felt as children (or even as adults). 

    I know the gaming community expects sexy female characters.  Hell, I even enjoy playing sexy female characters.  But I do not expect that this should cause such vehement responses to the people behind the characters.  There is no need to be offensive or cruel to anyone.  As Wil Wheaton says, “Don’t be a DICK.”  Good advice from a man who practically bleeds geek culture. 

  • emily_wk

    This is to Jay, even though I can’t hit reply there (nested too far?).

    Jay, seriously, what are you doing here that’s constructive? You’ve taken one person’s experience and decided that it must be like that for everyone, and now you’re berating people for not handling every situation the way one person handles her situation.

    It isn’t one time, one person who treats you like crap. It is every little bit that adds up, every little thing that makes you tired of having to give back, or let it roll off of your back, or report them, or whatever. it’s EXHAUSTING to have to deal with this over and over and over and over and over and over again. 

    Stop suggesting that the victims of harassment and threatened violence are in the wrong for how they handle it. That’s INCREDIBLY offensive, and guess what, it makes you part of the problem.

  • Amber Lane

    I been gaming since I was 3 years old… I miss the days of just playing Super Mario Bros. on SNES, by myself, along in my room at night, to escape the world that already treated me like crap… I bet a lot of guys could say the same, but some of them seem so filled with hate against women that they would never stop to think about how much we have in common… 

    and rape jokes will NEVER be ok or funny, or if EVER they will be, it will be far in the future, if rape ever becomes a thing of the past that never happens anymore… we should all be so lucky for such a day… ALL of us…

  • Lydia Eickstaedt

     Alas, Jay doesn’t seem to realize that by putting down other people for handling things differently than he thinks they should be handled, he is essentially trolling us. The method he glamorizes is what FrodoBaggins accurately denotes below as feeding the trolls, while reporting the trolls to the moderators is actually a solution that neither pleases the trolls, nor involves hiding from them. To him, I guess the answer is binary.

    It’s nice to see that other people can relate to the point, though. It’s unrealistic to expect every person to handle stress in the exact same way.

  • Julie Len

    I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing I’m finding this site with each and every post I read. This one in particular really brings up some good topics about gender-roles. (Currently writing a paper myself on gender roles in film and TV) and this has brought a really incredibly fresh take on what I was previously going to argue about. 

    Thanks! <3 

  • Lydia Eickstaedt

     Those comments were not dismissed, they’re on the video, dude. There are 5000+ comments on the youtube video alone, they vandalized her wikipedia page until it had to be locked calling her all sorts of things and showing off porn, and now they’re attacking her website (it’s down, and one can guess it might be DDOS attacks). I don’t care where your anger is, but please understand the scope of the harassment she’s dealing with. The problem isn’t that she’s internet famous or has a support network, or whatever. It’s that she’s saying “this is what happens if you ever successfully air these issues, apparently, and I haven’t even done it yet.” And the vast majority of ladies who might consider doing the same– trying to speak out in favor of women’s rights and equality between all sexes and races, etc.– could easily be harassed by proxy thanks to the overwhelming hatred and filth pouring out of those comments.

    Anita is not the only one being harassed by these people. These people– who I would hope are a determined minority– are trying to send a message to women that says ‘shut up, we don’t care and we would gladly rape or murder you if you dare disagree with our way of doing things’. If that isn’t something worth getting angry over, then I don’t know what is.

  • Kasandra de la Vega

    No, they are probably lacking some empathy towards the women who’ve experienced harassment, then. I’m glad your experience has been positive so far but that shouldn’t blind you towards the fact that other women aren’t so lucky and they are getting harassed in a community which should be FUN for everyone.

  • Anonymous

     It’s weird that you’re saying that, though, because:

    “Don’t report trolls!  Yell at them instead!” –no one ever, and especially not in the comments here.

    Of COURSE trolls are to be reported.  Just because someone’s speaking out about them doesn’t mean they haven’t used appropriate other channels. 

  • Ashe

     Great point. It’s astonishing how quickly the ‘prove it’ tactic is whipped out by those with privilege. Right up there with the ‘nuh-uh’ and the ‘no you’ and the ‘ow my feelings’.

  • Ruzemarie Twitter

    As a girl gamer, having to encounter such a character wouldn’t bother me much. As you said, there are assholes everywhere, so why not a virtual idiot?

    But what i understood from Kim Pittman’s comment is that the number was included in the gameplay, in the stats of the character you play. This is quite different. I would definitely hate to have to rate my own character a number. It would be like having to play the idiot myself.

    My first language isn’t english, so i might not have understood well the first comment or explained my point of view but i hope you got my point…

  • Inannah Sin’Alune

     Yup. Been gaming for years. Female. This is the average. Its sickening. Friends who don’t game ask me why I bother. I guess I just like gaming that much. You should see the size of my… ignore list.

  • Brenda/Lysana/either

    What you are saying boils down to “only people with certain personalities need to game and the rest of us need to STFU and go home.” This in and of itself is bullying behavior. Your choice, Jay, is to learn empathy and respect the fact the culture is part of the problem in gaming instead of whether victims of harassment are capable of dealing with it or continue enabling the bullies by insisting there’s only one way to deal with them.

  • Gretchen

    Dear SuperJayTNT,

    Please don’t presume to tell other people how they should feel about someone harassing them in-game, or what to do about it. Their perception of when things stop being fun is up to them, and you’re not doing women in general– including your wife– any favors by basing your esteem for them based on whether their reaction aligns with your preferences. Thanks.

  • Brenda/Lysana/either

    You have several people telling you what you said is incorrect. You really need to stick to, “I’m sorry, I clearly misspoke” instead of thinking your experiences and charity work mean squat when your message is mis-delivered. This is where you are coming across as mansplaining. Also, being a “fan of women” is patronizing to us. We’re not celebrities. We’re human beings. Treat us like tha. Please.

  • Jill Oliver

     Yes, Trade chat and most of the general chats get turned off immediately for me.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I assume it’s a minority. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where it was more. However, I don’t hear the rallying cry and I don’t feel it stirring inside of me like most of you seem to. It seems paranoid or possibly egotistical to assume this specific attack is more than just a few vicious snarling beasts that should be put down quickly. Without seeing some evidence of that, all I see is the typical 4Chan misogynistic blather. They”ve gone after individuals before to this degree, with no other motive than causing havoc.

    Regardless, she’s still going to make the videos, she’s still going to be an Internet presence.

  • Frodo Baggins

    Did you not read the quote I cited? Becky said to confront trolls directly if you feel brave enough. While I agreed with the other pieces of advice she gave, I expressed doubt in this one.

  • Iris Parker

    Exactly. As the majority, male gamers have privilege, and the main benefit of privilege is the ability to ignore the experience and perspective of others because your own are held as culturally normal, morally right, and universal. To suggest that their behavior undermines, degrades, and creates an unpleasant experience for others means not only that they might have to share space with others, but it brings into question the long-standing structures that exist to serve them. In other words, it rocks the world, and their special places in it, that they take for granted.

    That’s scary. So they get defensive. Violent. They throw tantrums, grasp at strawmen, blame the people that disagree with them for bringing it upon themselves, search desperately for far-fetched explanations, and threaten rape. Anything to drive the threat away and shut out the possibility that what works for them doesn’t work for everyone.

    The ironic thing is that living in an insular bubble may seem the safe and cozy thing, but it isn’t in their best interest. A lot of male gamers bemoan the lack of women that share their hobby, but what they really mean (and they don’t realize this) is that they want women who are happy being second-class and willing to play by their rules. The moment a woman suggests that she wants a different experience, she becomes a threat, and they feel compelled to drive her away. They don’t realize that degradation is not sexuality; that sexism, racism and homophobia are not an integral part of competition; that, by sharing their hobby with others, they will gain much more than they lose: New perspectives, new friends, and more freedom when game companies feel encouraged to break away from pandering to explore mature new concepts.

  • Daniel Swensen

    You said it much better than me. Thank you!

  • skysenshi

    I am a Producer working for a game development company and this has been one of  my beefs about the industry (our CFO, the wife of the CEO, agrees with me).  I grew up with strong female JRPG characters such as Celes, Terra, Tifa (whose impossibly huge boobs have been toned down over the years, thankfully), so I have been particularly lucky with my video games when I was a kid. But working in the industry has been a different matter altogether.I am also currently writing my PhD dissertation about women gamers and their imaging and I will be defending it on the 22nd of June. This article has just given me an additional voice. Thank you very much.

  • Anonymous

    I am playing the games I want to play. They are not the ones where I have to face, on one side, random strangers disrespecting me to the point of threats and harrassment, and on the other, other random strangers who want to pretend that if I don’t like that, there is something wrong with *me* and not with a culture that is set up to tolerate that kind of behavior. So tell me, what do *you* do when you see bullying?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    …and this took, like, six hours to post. This “awaiting approval” thing is lots of fun. Thank you, Disqus.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I agree completely and would say so sheepishly (silently) with a “Like” but I’ve already dug myself quite a hole on this article.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Can we all just agree that when we say anything at all, unless we’re citing something, it’s our opinion?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Shun the nonbeliever. Shhhhun. Shhhuuun.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Hah, edited because the comment below is fantastic justification. Nevermind.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    You techies are all alike, with your pocket protectors and halitosis.

  • Megan Sandwood

    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.

  • Anonymous

    like @Connie:Disqus implied I cant believe that a mom can make $5980 in one month on the computer. have you read this web page 

    *Just Click At My name for The Link*

  • Anonymous

    Don’t straw man, that’s not what she wrote. She said that people who play video games (and think they contribute to society by being a techie, she said nothing about contributing to society by playing video games) have nothing better to do with their lives and need to “grow up and get a life.” Every single person i know, male or female, that plays video games also has a job, very many of which work in the tech industry. I’m just tired of people telling me online to “get a life.” What do you (not you in particular) do that’s so important? Who are you to pass judgment on others?

  • Anonymous

    This makes me think about an incident that happened in my WoW guild where harassment of a lady friend of mine just got to be too much for her and she left. She was more confrontational about sexism and I was more go with the flow at the time. I finally put my foot down with leadership and told them if they didn’t try to make things right with her (because she didn’t really want to leave) I was leaving too (I was one of their most reliable core members). They continued to do nothing and so I left. It was awful, and I missed the guild a lot but I will never regret that decision.

  • Zachary Cotton

    I don’t think that this specifically has to deal with what gender you are.  If you know that someone is trying to force a reaction out of you, the easiest way to make it seem to them like they are “losing” is to not continuously respond.  Sure, respond once to let them know they are wrong but then don’t deal with them and go to a higher up.  Even in real life situations, you don’t deal with people like that directly all the time.  You try to stop them once and if they don’t stop you report them to a higher up.

    This is coming from someone who has been called a “nigger” multiple times while gaming both in real life and online.  I understand it’s not the same issue but I think they’re similar enough that I can kind of see where you are coming from.

    *Edited for typo*

  • Kimberly Bourne

    A woman declared her intent to publicly voice her opinions about video games.

  • Kimberly Bourne

    As unpleasant as it is to find something like this lurking within your
    own house, becoming aware of it is the only way to solve the problem
    before the whole foundation rots out.

  • Shaun Adarkar

    I can understand that while you are saying that you should not let trolls dictate whether or not you run away from a portion of a product you purchased, it is not really as easy as that. As emily_wk has mentioned, dealing with little things adds up. It is exhausting. Sometimes giving back to the trolls only makes them pile on harder. And then what? You’ve just painted a big ol’ target on your back. 

    At least what I speak to is my experience as a non-Caucasian person in a predominantly Caucasian environment. It should not be up to the individual to have to grit their teeth and take the bull by the horns. It is counterproductive to the task at hand (having fun). It is a systemic problem and telling people that if they avoid online play because they are too exhausted that they are letting the trolls win is also counterproductive. 

    I am glad your wife is able to handle her problem the way she is and I am also very happy that you two can enjoy this hobby together. Count yourselves lucky in that regard =)

  • Shaun Adarkar

    Yes, I have tried bringing this across but a 500 character limit is just too little to do the concept justice. I’ve had to bow out of the comments section in order to carry on with the rest of my life, which is a sad thing to admit because I feel I am admitting defeat and letting these issues continue to be ignored.

    Though what shocked me more were the comments saying things to the effect of “Yeah, this is why us women are all seen as whiny and entitled.” What. Those were the comments that had my jaw planted well and truly by my feet.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I was just curious about justification in general for what amounts to a time waster. Unless you’re involved in game making, physical therapy, something of that sort, is playing video games important at all? I’m not saying the REST of your life is unimportant at all…however, I wouldn’t sweat the loss of the whole industry in the realm of my personal recreation (not, yanno, for jobs and the economy).

  • Iris Parker

    I used to be one of those lady gamers that complained about the unreasonable demands of other women because:

    1) I knew on some level that questioning the status quo would get me kicked out of the group, and that’s a terrible fate when you’re a lonely teenage girl that has built your identity around being a gamer.

    2) I felt threatened by other women because of the attention they received, which was an unpleasant reminder to me that many of the gamers I got along with probably only liked me because I was a woman.

    3) Because women were portrayed as sex objects in video games, I believed that women were really inferior non-people, and the inclusion of them in games meant that was one role that could have gone to a real, interesting person (i.e. a man). I loved the Soul Reaver series because it was all male, and there were no useless women getting in the way of a good story. In reality, the intense emotional relationship between the two main characters was better than the male-female relationships in other games because it wasn’t a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but at the time I chalked it up to an absence of women.

    It was much easier for me to hate other women and place the blame on them for the problems created by gaming culture than it was for me to acknowledge that the problems I experienced were a symptom of a misogynistic culture – problems that were not going to go away any time soon, and would greatly diminish my ability to participate in a gaming community and enjoy the games I’d built my identity around. It was both liberating and devastating when I came around to the truth.

  • Anonymous

     Are paintings important? Statues? Architecture besides from a structural integrity point of view? Are movies important? TV shows? Are fiction books important? Is technological advancement important?

    Recreation is important to an individual because it allows for a far more productive time spent actually working.

    Art is important culturally, although perhaps not in the strictest “survival” view point. And video games are an expression of art.

    Video games have also, arguably, driven the development of more powerful and ever smaller computers. Yes, everyone CAN live without computers, smart phones, and the Internet. Everyone can live without cars and airplanes too. We could strip down all jobs to a basic hunter-gatherer society such that some people stay in camp and forage for food, take care of the sick, young, and elderly, and clean up, while others go hunt bison.

    I’m currently living in Afghanistan. I play computer games maybe once or twice a week to unwind from the 12+ hour work days, no weekends, sub-American living standards, and the fact that there are people with guns, rockets, and improvised explosives just salivating at the chance to kill me.

    Yes, I could live without video games. But nothing is as good to simultaneously unwind and team build than video games. Sports work too I guess, but video games are far safer.

    And finally, again, who are you (not necessarily you) to tell me what I do with my free time is or is not a “waste” of time? Even though I have (because I like debating), no one should have to justify what they do in their free time to anyone else, as long as no one is hurt by it (caveat: unless they consented, e.g. boxing, S&M, etc.).

  • Gregory Allen

    I think this could be the positive effect of diversity. When all you have is a group of white male hetero programmers, you get a well-programmed game with poor story and poor design. Throw in some more designers, and the design gets picked up. When you get some writers in there, you have a well-programmed game that excels in multiple areas. When you throw in some women and/or non-whites, you throw in more ideas and views that can make a game unique. It looked like there was absolutely no questioning the “attractiveness” idea in your game if you hadn’t been there, and having dissenting opinions and unique views can be a great thing that could improve projects (no matter what your field is.)

  • Lj Grummell

    Sara - 

    So now just because someone may or may not be a woman they should keep their mouth shut, hmmm sounds like something about a pot and a kettle.  I think all people regardless of sexuality are entitled to share their opinions, if you don’t like the opinion don’t use it but going around telling other people their opinion is not welcome simply because they may or may not share the same genitalia as you is insufferable.


  • Adam R. Charpentier

    That all sounds reasonable and I agree that no one has the right to tell you what to do with your free time, I was just curious if you could justify it at all, not necessarily saying that you had to… 

    I can definitely see that video game innovation is  good thing, seeing how many interesting ways the Kinect has been hacked, and I’m sure there’s even a use for the knowledge gained through improved breast jiggle effects (though I’m not sure how…and any knowledge gained by way of jiggles has probably been done or done better by Pixar, er, though not through jiggling).

    Like I said, just curious. I, for one, can’t justify playing through Skyrim a damn bit. For all the wonder and mystery in improved visual effects (the landscape is amazing) it still mostly feels as if the game slogan should be something along the lines of, “Skyrim! Pick fake flowers! Cook fake food! Barter! Manage inventory screens!”

  • Anonymous

     I agree with Kim, it all depends. I play WoW, and I just happened to stumble into a guild that is also about half women and a bunch of really chill dudes. While my guild isn’t necessarily for everyone (lots of teasing and harassing each other out of affection,) I can safely say that the group has never judged or made fun of another player because of their gender. There are safe places, I promise!

  • jarrod_b

    I understand paid distribution ads, but why in hell is the first advert link at the bottom of the page “The 7 Hottest Celebrity Nerds”? Can The Mary Sue stand up to their parent sites to stop that kind of prepubescent pandering?

  • Amanda M. Ramsey

    I’ve been playing MMORPG’s since the early days of Everquest and have never really had this problem while online. I guess I am just lucky though, I hear it’s reprehensible in online shooters like Halo and Call of Duty. 

  • Anonymous

    as @Doris:Disqus replied I am in shock that anyone able to profit $4762 in one month on the computer. did you see this web page 

    *Just Click At My name for The Link*

  • Ella Sutton

    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.

  • Sean Samonas

    Just going to chime in again with my personal feelings on tropes against women in games:

  • Peter Vervloet

    I think the problem might just be how those games work. They don’t have dedicated servers with admins, instead the game randomly puts you in a lobby with other random players you most likely never saw before and you play your game. 

    In other games, like Team Fortress 2, people have to set up their own dedicated servers to play on. So you can name your servers, have admin powers, give admin powers to others and so on. And since it is a steady rallying point rather than a randomly created lobby, communities can form around those, and I think that helps a lot. I’ve been playing on one TF2 server for about four years now and we have always had several female regulars dropping by. And the other admins of that server and myself will make damn sure that anyone harassing them will get instantly kicked or outright banned from the server.

    You can’t get that kind of self-policing in a game with randomly generated lobbies with no systems in place for gamers to punish, or even downvote peers who are being offensive.

  • Karina Mertzman

    Wow. Reading this thread I feel like I could be on one of the skeptic blogs. The similarities are scary. I think one of the best things about the internet is that it is bringing these things to light. And by that I don´t mean the internet lets the jerks flow, I mean it allows for these discussions. Hopefully people *will* start to see that these are problems. Life is not the same for everyone. We’re not all financially-secure, white, completely-physically-able males. These discussions are priceless.

    And for SuperJayTNT, I’d like you to consider whether your wife’s experience would be different if she were not entering the game with her best friend (in this case husband) at her back. It’s one thing to go into a rowdy bar alone, it’s another to go into a rowdy bar with back-up, even if you never call upon that back-up, even if no one knows that the back up is there, even if you do not log in as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the feeling of safety and security is there.

  • Leah Starkweather

    Oh boy. /v/ exploded over, and while I don’t feel that inflammatory, making a series of YouTube videoes about why women in video games are sooo sexist isn’t the best way to go about combating this problem.
    Her kickstarter now has over $100K…this should not happen.
    Rahter than poketing the money and spending it on a new car, she should use it to make her own game featuring “better portrayals of women”…then I might actually respect her.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Wow, “spending it on a new car” is a really terrible assumption to make. Her goal was $6,000 for the videos, it’s not like she planned to make that much. She’s not a video game developer, she’s a blogger and she’s getting the message out. That’s what matters.

  • sv

    Male gamer here. I’d buy games made using input such as what you describe here. Generally I do not enjoy having my intelligence insulted by a video game. Aside from the disrespect to women, it’s just boring, you know?

  • Cable Flame

    Oh, man, I haven’t played WoW in years, so I totally forgot about the trade chat thing. But I HATED that crap. I really wished they would make another general worldwide chat channel & police trade mercilessly (I volunteer to police Trade Chat, if you want me to put my money where my mouth is.) so that only actual trade would happen on trade and ppl who just wanted to chat could go and chat there. Because, I was on trade to TRADE. (Crazy concept, I know. ;-) )

  • Jennifer

    Maybe if she didn’t openly bash men, she wouldn’t get bashed in return??

  • Jennifer

    Stop deleting my comments just because you don’t like that a woman has an opinion that differs with your established story-line. 

    Regardless of what she was trying to argue, she was exceedingly negative in her assessments and received negativity in return. It’s not a hard concept to understand that negativity breeds negativity. If you want to affect change in any situation, you lead by positive example, not by bashing everyone for not seeing things your way. The attention she is receiving now is a result of forcefully pushing her opinion on people who didn’t want or ask for it. 

  • Anonymous

    No one should be receiving such a large amount of money to make OPINION (Yes, opinionated) videos on youtube. Having 120,000 dollars won’t make her argument somehow more ‘correct’ and I’m sad to see that such a cheap and easy project is being given so much money when the cash could have gone to a legitimate charity.

    I hope the creator of the kickstarter at least has the sense to donate all of the money she doesn’t need to actual fundraisers that help women, though I imagine she’ll just laugh all the way to the bank knowing she’s made more money in 30 days than most struggling families in American will in 10 years.

    Absolutely disgusting. Much like this article which is clearly demonizing the oppositions side of the argument, yes there are trolls and idiots who are getting in the way of valid criticisms, but that doesn’t make the argument any less valid. Whoever wrote this should really grow up.

    I’m ashamed to be associated with gamers like the ones writing these comments on this site.

  • Ray Hakubi

    And that makes it *Forgiveable*? Joffrey’s intentionally a twat.

  • Ray Hakubi

    It’s amazing how many people, even on here (Which as a woman’s blog, one would assume its followers were at least sympathetic towards women) who assume that Sarkeesian is a gold-digger because she asked for help funding the videos. These kinds of issues can’t be taken seriously coming from someone in a stained T-shirt on a £10 webcam. $6k is to pay for renting a studio, hiring a cameramonkey, renting the equipment, probably involving a professional editor at some point… I don’t know what Sarkeesian’s background is regarding film-making is, and frankly, it doesn’t matter. Feminist Frequency’s videos are professional productions about serious issues and that takes a surprisingly large amount of money.

    Frankly, if she DOES end up having surplus cash to buy a car or whatever because of the hate-crime against her, then as an American she’s well within her cultural rights to do so (Although tradition would insist she involve a lawyer at some stage).

  • Anonymous

    Of course it doesn’t make it forgivable! I am just saying that they are just like him, misogynistic cunts/twats who are raised in such a society where male-dominance like this is accepted/encouraged. Online gaming needs to be cleaned up and this sort of behavior needs to be punished. If we continue to allow young males to act like this and receive “positive” reinforcement for this the world will become even more fucked then it already is.

  • Anonymous

    Guy here. This article, like most media lately, is missing the point entirely. The problem with Anita’s kickstarter project isn’t her message. She has a clear message and it needs to be said. It is the fact that she’s practically panhandling for money via a donations website. 

    Here’s some points to consider:
    1. Her Youtube videos cost her $0 to make. 
    2. She has made videos in the past without asking for money. 
    3. Her justification for the original $6000 “donation” request was shaky at best, and insulting at worst. 
    4. She is looking to profit from her message. This behavior is morally bankrupt and puts her in a bad position when the base of her message is in morals. 

    EDIT: I want to point out that according to the estimate she gave in her Kickstarter project she has already made $128,365 in profit from her message.

    I wonder how long it will take for this comment to be deleted on this site. It’s not even attacking her message but will most likely be since it doesn’t fit the narrative being pushed on this site about the debacle.

  • Anonymous

    She planned to make at least $6000 from the deal. That’s the price she put on her message. If her message was so important to her, why put a price on it in order to deliver?

  • Anonymous

    How do we know she’s not just thanking people for throwing money into her account? I mean once you involve money (especially over $100,000) motives typically turn very questionable. Did she thank all the people who agree with her, but didn’t donate? 

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to point something out here… 

    “As shocking as it should be that she receives such hateful responses to her videos, she has literally thousands of fans that have now given her well over $30,000″

    When did Kickstarter become a charity collection site? That’s a point no one seems to be asking because every news bite out there is focused on the message and not the motives of the messenger. 

  • Anonymous

    Exact same here. I’ve been an officer in a guild and they didn’t know I was a girl. I play with my husband and he refers to me as a male housemate in chat, just because it’s easier than dealing with anything else. 

  • Anonymous

    You need money to make these videos look decent, or they are more easily ignored. This wasn’t her ‘putting a price on her message’, it was her working out how much she needs for production.

  • Anonymous

    Can you please tell us when she has ‘bashed’ men? I’ve read her essays she based her previous videos on, and I didn’t see much misandry. If you have some examples though, I’d love to see them.

  • Anonymous

    That seems a little unfair on men, I don’t think I know any dude who’d be happy enough with Tits: The Game. 

  • Anonymous

    Gotta say, I don’t have much experience with video making and editing, but I’m pretty damn certain it doesn’t cost $0 to make a decent-looking video. I’d like to see an exact breakdown, but if it’s anything like the media projects I’ve worked on from scratch, there are a million hidden costs that could easily rack up to $6k.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    After getting my head chewed off about this, that, and the other thing, I decided not to mention that the small salary she’s accrued is more than a simple web series should cost…and I’m very curious how she plans to spend it.

  • Visceral Vixen

    Ahh, the good ole “FREEDUMB URV SPEEEEECH!!11!” defense.
    You do realise that there’s a difference between free speech and hate speech, don’t you? 
    Seriously, wipe the cheetoh dust off your fingers and get some perspective. Telling someone who has threatened to rape you in the eyesocket to shut up is a fundamental threat to your liberty. 

  • Visceral Vixen

    Exactly how is she bashing everyone for not seeing it her way, or forcing it down everyone’s throats? Or did I miss the part where she’s developed the superpower to jump out of people’s browsers, hold guns to their heads and force them to watch her videos? 
    Let me guess. You’re one of the people who complained about having homosexuality forced down your throat because there was a completely voluntary gay romance option in ME3. And how did all that whining work out for you? See any results? Didn’t think so.  

  • Visceral Vixen

    Ahh, Jennifer. Sweetheart. I see a pattern here. It’s cute that you have to pretend to hate other women so that boys you’ve never even met will like you. How’s it all working out? 
    So I suppose Martin Luther king was nasty and horrible for “bashing” all those white people and got just what he deserved? 
    How silly of me, we should just stop peacefully trying to reason against any form of oppression because it’s “bashing” people- and BTW you seem to be pretty fond of that word – am I sensing a subtext here? ;) Now that I am enlightened due to your genuis I’m off to tell all the downtrodden of the world to stop “bashing” other people. Starting with Tibet. 

  • Visceral Vixen

    Yeeeeah except that it IS a matter of people being sexist. If it wasn’t about sexism then why are gendered slurs being used to defame her?

  • Joanna

    She is not forcing anyone to watch her videos.  This is just her study and her observation.  I think the gaming industry needs a serious dose of constructive criticism anyway.  Sick of wasting my money on mediocre crap these days.

  • Eva Marie Heater

     Not only has she expanded the project several times because of way more support than she had originally anticipated, she states that: “Your support will go towards production costs, equipment, games and downloadable content.” Not on any planet that I know of do videos cost $0 to make. You may disagree with her message, and that’s fine. Don’t donate, and don’t watch. But the amount of support she’s gotten indicates that this really matters to a lot of people.

  • Eva Marie Heater
  • Anonymous

    I don’t think you read my comment. I’ve never had a problem with her message. I have a problem with her asking for money to get her message out when she has done so in the past without asking for handouts. Her message shouldn’t come with a price tag.

    She has several videos on Youtube already. She has the equipment already. That’s why all it costs is time to make a video. I can make one too and post it up for $0. Why can’t she? Maybe because she’s looking for a payday? She its most certainly profiting off the message which is, as I said before, morally bankrupt. She has proven she can get the message out without a Kickstarter project. I don’t see how this point is debatable.
    Also when did Kickstarter become a charity site? If you want to donate to a cause there are several charity sites you can visit that actually need the money and not some girl with a camera posting videos on YouTube.

    Here’s a tip: avoid ad-hominem arguments, especially when you didn’t read the comment you were replying to.

  • Eva Marie Heater

     I did read your message, and I disagree that asking for money to get one’s point out more effectively is “morally bankrupt”. She has clearly greatly expanded the project, and if people want to help her do that, that’s their business. If it’s morally bankrupt to you, then don’t watch them or support them.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    “She planned to make at least $6000 from the deal.” No, that’s the amount of money she figured it would take to make the videos including research. She wasn’t putting a price on her message, she put a price on what it would take to create what she envisioned. Everything is clearly stated on her kickstarter page.

  • Anonymous

    It’s morally bankrupt because it calls into question her motives. Her motive seems, going by the fact that she turned to kickstarter for money for a project that takes no money to make, to be focused on more money and less message. It cheapens her message into a cash grab.

    It just so happens people mis-interpreted the project to be some kind of charity service. Now she’s over $100,000 in profit and she’s milking it for all she can. Will any women’s charities see a dime of that? If not where does the spirit of her message lie then? Does she even care about her message now that she can put down enough cash to buy a house with no mortgage?

    These are questions people should be asking of her because the burden is on her now to prove she didn’t decide to just panhandle on Kickstarter so she could have some extra spending money and decided feminists were gullible enough to send it to her.

  • Anonymous

    How does that stack up against the cost of all her other videos on YouTube that don’t have Kickstarter projects?

  • Anonymous

    I’m a game developer and I remember a time when guys actually wanted girls more involved in gaming culture. Now there is an insane backlash every time a woman says anything on Xbox live. I wonder what the hell happened.

  • K

    Thank you!  I hate when developers say that they NEED to include T&A and domestic violence to keep the male demographic.  Men who need T&A THAT much are not going to be playing video games – they’re going to watching porn.

  • K

    is the idea that it is potentially realistic also important”

    I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, yes.  Realism is important.  And that’s my concern with games – when more than half the world is women, why do we see mostly men in games?  When most women aren’t a “10″ – why is that all we see in games (while all the male characters are “5″ or under)?

    I don’t object to a bit of sexiness in games – what I do object to is the sexualization of ALL (or almost all) women in a game and the lack of sexualization of men.   You want hot women?  Cool.  Give us hot guys, too.

    Speaking for the game “Catherine” – I really don’t know much of it (beyond the Mega64 video….that’s a good reference, right?) – but there’s the point of realism.  If there’s a smart, attractive woman – why is she going to be interested in a gawky, unattractive man?  I’m not saying that hot people can only go with hot people, but there’s gotta be some character there that makes it realistic.

  • K

    But you’ve just proven their point, Jay – they are arguing with you but you’re still here, insulting them.  Arguing with trolls doesn’t help.

  • K

    “there were no useless women getting in the way of a good story”

    This is one of the saddest things about the culture – when I see women writing their own stories and whenever they add a women, it’s obvious they’re got it in their head the woman has to be the “useless ditz”.  If the woman isn’t a useless ditz, well, she’s mocked by other women as a “Mary Sue”.  It’s awful.

  • K

    I think it’s the job of people to police trolls en masse.  If troll is trolling A, B shouldn’t be encouraging A to “fight back” against troll, B should tell troll that kind of behavior is unacceptable.
    Part of the trolling comes about because trolls think their behavior and views are completely okay.  It’s fine to treat women like this, because ALL men treat women like this, right?

  • K

    Are you American? If so, you might want to review what “freedom of speech” actually entails.

  • K

    Well that’s your opinion, Adam.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t seem to know the difference between insulting and empowering. Sorry … I’ve no use for people with a victimization complex, no matter what they’re gender.

  • K

    I know, right?  I’m in a comedy group, and it’s mind-boggling because we will avoid jokes about slavery – because that might alienate part of our audience -, but rape jokes are okay!  And I live in the rapiest state in the US, and in the North.  The chances of one of our audience members having been a slave?  Zero.  Their parents or grandparents being a slave?  Zero.  Having been raped?  Statistically we would have about 5 audience members that have been raped.

    (….and no, I’m not saying I WANT to make jokes about slavery, just that it’s confusing that that topic is recognized as “not okay” even though it’s more historical but rape is considered “okay” even though it’s still currently a social problem)

  • K

    Meh – that’s besides the issue.  When I first saw the kickstarter video, I thought it was, well, silly.  You’re asking money to play video games and create a documentary?  However, this documentary is about something that’s already well-known.  It’s not some kind of secret that needs uncovering.  Anyone who’s played video games already knows how poorly women are treated, or doesn’t want to hear about it.  I think her project is completely useless and that she is asking for a lot of money for her useless project.

    You don’t feel the same way, however we are both entitled to our opinions. You can donate, and I will refrain from doing so.

    However, regardless of whether you think the project is meritorious or not, it is certainly not harassment-worthy.

  • Terence Ng

    Only if others are willing to assume that when I say “No, it’s the exact opposite” that I’m not trying to claim something as objective fact.

  • Terence Ng

    SNAP. Preach.

  • K

    “This isn’t just a matter of people being sexist”
    “JUST”, Visceral, “JUST”.

  • K

    Yeah – I don’t agree with the Kickstarter project either, but this article isn’t talking about that.  This article is talking about basic human decency.

    It’s like someone being beaten at a Lions’ game – the fact they’re a Lions’ fan doesn’t make me feel less sympathy for them being beaten.

  • K

    Extremely negative in assessments?  Receives negativity in return?  Are you, in fact, implying that she said she was going to use her Kickstarter money to track down the people who make and play misogynistic games and burn their houses down, kill their families, then torture them?

    Since she didn’t say any of that, the “negativity” of her comments was met with an incredibly disproportionate, and therefore inappropriate, negative response.

  • K

    Indeed – next time when you go to your job, tell your boss that your work is so important to you that you don’t want a dime for it.

  • Anonymous

    That analogy isn’t relevant because she is doing this herself, she’s not employed to do it. A better analogy would be a street performer that asks for money before they start the show.

  • K

    hahah you are misunderstanding.  They don’t want girls involved in gaming culture in that girls play games with/against them – they want girls involved in gaming culture in that the hottest girl at school really admires them for playing videogames all day in lieu of outside pursuits.  They want hot girls to enjoy lounging around in lingerie while *watching* them play video games.
    For a girl to ….PLAY video games?  Ug, that is just emasculating.

  • K

    I would be quite happy with attractive men running around.  However, apparently what men think is “attractive” is quite different from what I actually find attractive.  Pro-wrestlers?  Really?  Gross.

  • K

    Cyvaris at no point implied this made it forgivable…..  An explanation for behavior is not necessarily a pass for said behavior

  • K

    “1. Her Youtube videos cost her $0 to make. ”
    How do you figure?  To make a decent video you need: 1. a camera 2. a separate microphone 3. audio padding 4. quality lighting 5. editing software6. time (for research, filming, and editing.  I get paid about $50/hour for my full-time job, and my hours are flexible enough that I can easily arrange overtime each month if I cared to.  I enjoy working on projects, but if those projects are earning me less than $50/hour, and I am spending time on them that I could be working overtime, I consider myself to be working at a loss.  My love of a project determines how much of a LOSS I’m willing to work for – not that I will definitely do it for FREE.)

    “2. She has made videos in the past without asking for money. “If she’s chosen to make videos in the past for free, that’s her prerogative, and unrelated to this project.  I’ve read stories from Kickstarters that are chagrined that they didn’t ask for more money, because they didn’t realize how much time, effort, and money their project would actually take.  Her previous videos were not made for “free” – they were made at a loss, and perhaps she’s learned from that and/or is no longer in a position to make videos at a loss.

    “3. Her justification for the original $6000 “donation” request was shaky at best, and insulting at worst. “I am not sure how it’s insulting to go onto the internet and announce that you are asking for money.  If she showed up at your house specifically I could see how it would be awkward….but insulting?  Please.  

    “4. She is looking to profit from her message. This behavior is morally bankrupt and puts her in a bad position when the base of her message is in morals. ”

    She is not looking to profit from her message – she is looking to profit from her work.  If you have a job, you do the same thing.  Why don’t you provide your services to your boss for free?  Does taking a paycheck that goes beyond what you’ve actually used (printer paper, pens, etc.) make you “morally bankrupt”?  Of course not.

    I say all this as someone who also does not support her Kickstarter project.  If you’re uninterested in it, fine – don’t donate and find another project you like.  But don’t make up pseudo-objective reasons as to why the project is “wrong”.

  • K

    Free will?  Do you mean “free speech”?  Because free speech IS limited.  Hate speech is limited.  Threatening speech or incitement to violence is limited.  This article is dealing with that.  No one is saying simply, “your movie sucks!” they are threatening her with violence (which is not guaranteed under free speech) because of her sex/race/religion (also not guaranteed by freedom of speech).

    Before people cite their rights to freedom of speech, they really need to look up what it entails.

  • K

    “she receives such hateful responses to her videos, …. if the worst part of her day is reviewing YouTube comments and deselecting those that she doesn’t want to see posted, that’s really not so bad.”
    I believe, sir, you said exactly that.

  • K

    Seriously, I would love to talk to these vast numbers of women you say have never been harassed.
    I’ve only met two women gamers who said they never experienced harassment.One was simply not recognizing it.  I played a game with her and a bunch of dudes were asking her for her pics and calling her names when she didn’t respond.  But she swears she’s never been harassed….because it doesn’t count as harassment when “that’s just how guys are.”The other played exclusively single-player games.  Understandable why she never experienced harassment.

  • Anonymous

    Re-read my comments. The message IS her work. She chose that. Her motive is paramount to her message and the Kickstarter project should be ringing alarm bells about her motive. Her message, the core of the subject, is based on morals. I stated that point in my previous comment. I’m sorry you didn’t understand it.

    My original comment is and was intended to add to the discussion and provide a counterpoint. I spoke up as a way of questioning the validity of her Kickstarter project (again, not her message). I’d love to comment on the actual project page but in order to do that you have to contribute. She’s also known for removing comments with counter points from her videos. Maybe she can’t back up her message I dunno. But that doesn’t look good on her part either.

  • K

    When did Kickstarter become a charity collection site? ”

    To my knowledge it has not become a charity site.  She is producing a product, and asking for funds to create that product – same as everyone else.

  • Ok Cyborg

    so true. im a female player and love the online multiplayer of rdr but even though i found a bunch of great guys to play with there are still too many misogynist (and sexist and homophobic and racist…) assholes out there whose comments just wear you out after a while. i dont use my mic that often anymore (not at all when i play without friends anyway), i often chose a male character over a female one although i prefer playing as my own sex, and i always use a neutral nickname to avoid “tits or gtfo”-messages. no wonder people are not aware how many female players there are when we hide like that. i hate it and i want to see a change.

  • Anonymous

    Then why are people donating to further her cause and not to have the videos made? How else do you explain the $140,000 surplus and all the comments supporting her cause?

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I addressed this elsewhere. In comparison with the harassment regular folks face, who have it –imo– worse than her, the barrage of trolls doesn’t seem so bad to me.

    I also think all of this attention on the harassment has taken attention away from the insane total she has on her Kickstarter right now. $155,000+. If she actually gets that money (and it isn’t more elaborate trolling, raising the total so high), then what exactly is she going to do with all of it? Make eight videos…or make eight videos from her hotel room in Hawaii?

  • K

    are you telling me you didn’t apply for your job yourself, with the understanding you would receive payment for your services/product?  Are you telling me that someone applied for your job FOR you?

  • K

    No, her work is the documentary, silly.  It’s a piece of production.  I’m sorry you are unable to understand that – do you have a reading impairment?  Learning disability?  Inability to see beyond your own narrow point of view?

    When people repudiate your points, don’t just shout back your same argument – the argument they’ve already proven is invalid.  That’s just silly.

  • K

    What does this even mean?  Are you saying she should take the time to thank everyone who’s a decent human being?

    Having another person treat you like an actual human being should be EXPECTED, not something to be overwhelmingly grateful for.

  • Anonymous

    Setting up a Kickstarter project is nothing like employment with a company. I don’t go around asking strangers to pay my paycheck every month. That and my paycheck gets taxed.

  • K

    dude, I am not donating money to the documentary – I don’t agree with it – so I can’t speak to why people are donating.  But she has put up a product, and people are funding it.  That is the bottom line of Kickstarter.  Do you get your pants in a knot when other projects go above their goals?  

  • Anonymous

    Nice job resorting to insults. I’m sure you’re “just asking questions here right?”

    The woman is acting like she’s the next Martin Luther King and the documentaries are her medium. I don’t care about that, its the fact that she is asking for handouts to get it done is the problem and I’ve stated my views of that already.

  • Anonymous

    I believe I have the right to question her motives, especially when there’s money involved and the message is one with a foundation in morals.

  • Deb Johnson

     It is not okay for nice guys to sit idly by and let this trash talk and
    abuse and horrendous behaviour go by. It is not okay to sit there and
    shrug and go “oh well I don’t do it”. It is not okay to condone this
    behaviour. It is not okay to act like this, above. It sickens me to see
    the amount of hatred, of vitriol, of disgust when SHE HASN’T EVEN MADE
    THE VIDEO(s) yet! If you are a guy, speak up and tell these guys to go
    lick a cow’s udder in shame.

  • Aoife Hammersmith

    That’s like saying the answer to someone punching you in the face is to either punch them back or run away. 

    But regardless of how one person deals with the issue over another, the problem is that there’s a large contingent of people who think it’s ok to go around punching people in the face. And then another large contingent who think that it’s part of life to have people running around punching people in the face and we all just need to learn to deal with it, rather than finding a way to change the world so that people don’t run around punching people in the face.

    I mean, seriously. Step back for a second and think about that. You’re saying that these things happen and you just have to learn to put up with it and give as good as you get, rather than trying to actually solve the problem.

    No doubt be proud of your wife and think she’s super cool for being able to roll with it. But SHE SHOULD’T HAVE TO. Especially just because SHE is a SHE and not a HE. And it is something we should change because it reflects on all of us badly.

    This IS a problem. And it won’t go away if we all just punch back. The people running around punching people in the face need help, they need restraint, they need to be stopped. Not just an endless litany of face punching.

  • Jen Roberts

     But does “practically panhandling for money” mean that she has to get sexually-themed abuse heaped on her? Or abuse at all?

    I think what you’ve said here was fine. I don’t know enough about her/her message/decent video production to say whether or not what you said is accurate, but it’s stated decently. There’s a huge difference between your comment and the sort of attacks she was getting on that site.

  • Anonymous

    Of course not man. Its awful that so many people thought the right response was to write the bile and poisonous comments on her videos. No one deserves that kind of harassment when the message addresses a very real problem. With that, my problem has never been with her message but instead the purpose of the Kickstarter project she started. I think its detached from her message and lowers her credibility as someone who genuinely believes the message. From here it just looks like she’s found a new way to make money by asking truely disenfranchised people for cash for something that doesn’t require any. There’s lots of YouTube videos up with a message that don’t ask for a dime, all that they ask is to be heard. The Kickstarter protect was not needed.

  • Phoenicis

    I’m another girl MMO player chiming in on using male characters instead of female.  While I have found a way to deflect guys who fawn over me when I rarely use a  female sprite by telling them that I’m a guy (trust me ladies, it really works with hilarious results) there is one very vain reason why I tend to go with males than females.  


    Why do all of the guys have such cool looking suits of armor while my girl has to prance around with her butt gracefully flapping in the breeze and a “boob window”  in her chain mail bikini? I’m a warrior for pete’s sake, not a stripper! This spear is not a stripper pole!

  • Invisible_Jester89

     This needs to start happening all over the Internet too. We need to stop saying “trolls will be trolls” and start actually saying something about it. There’s a big difference between trolling to be stupid/funny and trolling to cyberbully.

  • K

    Employment at a company: asking an employer to give you money in exchange for goods/services they provide youKickstarter: asking internet users to give you money in exchange for goods/services they provide you.

    An individual who earned all their money through kickstarter projects (or spinoffs of that) would be self….EMPLOYED.

  • K

    No – I’m honestly concerned at this point.  You seem to be insisting 1+1 = 0

  • K

    You have the right to question her motives and what the money will be spent on if you plan on giving/have given her money.

    You do NOT have the right to accuse her of stealing and moral bankruptcy simply because you don’t agree with her project.  You do NOT have the right to create straw-man arguments and pretend you’re being insulted when people knock down the straw-men for what they are (for the nth time, ANY video does not cost $0 to make, even home movies that you don’t share with anyone).

  • Anonymous

    Are you trying to say Kickstarter projects aren’t asking people for money? What is your point?

    Thanks for your concern but please save it for people who actually need it.

  • Anonymous

    You need a business license to be self employed and pay taxes on your income. There’s a lot more to being self employed than asking for donations to produce a product.

  • Jen Dockter

    I always play female characters, but I also don’t back down to bullshit.  I did find a guild that “fit” and was also about half women with similar personalities.  What always bothered me about my server though was that the top raiding guild [No Chicks Allowed--that's what they are called, and they enforced it] was blatantly sexist and Blizz did absolutely NOTHING about it despite that being a violation of TOS.  
    I think if more women simply didn’t hide that they were women those of us that are “out” wouldn’t get harassed as much simply because men would realize just how many of us there are and just how inappropriate they are being.

  • Jen Dockter

    I also hate malevolent trolls and will put them in their place…by reporting them for spam/harassment.  Greatly improved my gaming experience ^^

  • Anonymous

    “The one thing I have noticed is that the guys making games almost *never* realize that some of the stuff they do can be offensive.”

    Not to put to much of a point on this, but people finding something offensive is not the same as something being offensive. Fundementalist right wing christians find homosexuality to be offensive. The nation of Islam finds women speaking there mind & not covered head to toe offensive.

    If i find a game offensive, you know what i do? I pull up my big girl pants & just don’t play it. I’m sure there are a whole heap of things out there that men find offensive… We just don’t hear about it because they don’t spend hours bitchin’ & moaning about it.

    “(For example, we had a line in thought that used a number to refer to the attractiveness of a character. I said that’s offensive and it needed to be removed.”

    How is that offensive? Some characters are more physically attractive then others. Was this scale also applied to male characters as well as female characters?

    “I tried to explain that it wasn’t about the character as much as the player, who might be a girl, and might not have been called a 10, but rather a much lower number.”

    Hahahahahahaha, what? I’m sorry, but if there are people who are so fragile out there that that offends them, they have no right playing games… They should be to busy in a asylum for the mentally fragile.

    Good lord we really need to pull up our collective big girl pants & stop portraying ourselves as fragile little flowers that need constant protection from the big bad world. Its no wonder men don’t respect us: Because they are following our lead of not respecting ourselves or each other.

  • Anonymous

    What developer exactly says that? To me it sounds like you are straw-manning a fictional developer.

  • Anonymous

    “But this is not realistic.  In the real world men aren’t powerful, handsome, etc. by default.  No one has yet written a game in which a guy spends all his time fretting about how he’s going to pay for college given that he’s not a legacy from a wealthy family, or how he’s going to overcome his “performance issues” with his partner, or whether he’s still attractive now that he’s losing his hair.  There’s a degree of realism that can’t be put into games or it stops being fun.”

    Probably for the same reason no one has made a game where you get to be an accountant & worry about getting these WD40′s in by the deadline. Because it’d be a boring game.

  • Anonymous

    “As a girl gamer, having to encounter such a character wouldn’t bother me much.”

    No such thing as a gamer girl. If you are a gamer & a girl, that makes you a gamer. The use of the term “gamer girl” is more sexist, then the strawman things we pretend all computer game producers do.

    Since your gender makes no difference to your ability to play a game, the addition of the gendered descriptor is annoying. If you must indicate gender please say “Female gamer” rather then “Gamer Girl.”

    Sorry if that sounds rant-ish, but its a personal bug bear of mine.

  • Anonymous

    “When most women aren’t a “10″ – why is that all we see in games (while all the male characters are “5″ or under)?”

    For the same reason why we see attractive people in movies, moreso in movies aimed at us women then at men. Because we want our characters to be sexy.

    “the lack of sexualization of men.   You want hot women?  Cool.  Give us hot guys, too.”

    Actually it already does do this. The fact that you aren’t turned on by male video games characters, would be similiar to the fact that the majority of men aren’t turned on by female video game characters.

  • Anonymous

    I really do wonder we you people are playing? I play as a female character (being female and all) & have been gaming for almost 10 years & i’ve only once heard anythi9ng sexist said & i immediately muted that player… Seconds before he was kicked from the server.

    it seems to me that we overplay this “sexist MMO” thing a little to much. Sure it exists & it’ll never stop existing, but i don’t think its nearly as omnipresent as people make it out to be.

  • Anonymous

    I think i mightn ow why you get harrassed online… Mayhap if you didn’t use handles like McBoobyButt, it’d happen less often. With a handle like that you are just asking for rude comments.

  • Anonymous

    “Being threatened with rape isn’t fun or escapist.”

    Then report, block & move on.

    “It’s not women’s responsibility to “stick it out” so the trolls don’t “win.” That’s victim-blaming BS.”

    No its not. If you let what other people say, in a world where you can literally have someone turfed out, or just silenced at due to there own action, at a moments notice stop you from having fun, there is only one person victimising you & that would be you.

    Seriously, this is why i HATE other female gamers. If i have a problem ingame, then it is MY problem to deal with, not everyone elses.

  • Anonymous

    “But to imply that there must be something wrong with someone who doesn’t want to face the unrelenting wall of hate that they find when they venture out into the world of gaming is just cruel and victim blaming.”


    There really isn’t that many trolls in any given game that its a constant problem. An if by some miracle there is, then its upto that individual to determine how they want to proceed.

    We need to collectively pull up our big girl panties & determine for ourselves individually how we want to proceed. Its not societies responsibility to pander to us, thats not how reality works.

    We wanted equality, its about time we learn that that means taking the bad with the good. 

  • Anonymous

    “I think it would be a whole lot easier if the greater majority can get behind you, as opposed to harassment being the “standard” or believed to be “part of the game.”"

    Come off it Anna. You know what would be even easier still? for us to stop pretending that harassment is the standard, rather then the exception.

  • Anonymous

    “But your wife isn’t a representative sample of the online gaming population, and just because *she* feels comfortable doing that doesn’t mean everyone does”

    an yet we continue to pretend that we want equality, yet when we are treated like equals, we complain about it.

    Time for us to grow a pair & learn to deal with the few trolls that exist. Rather then doing this thing where we complain for everyone else to fix the problem for us.

  • Anonymous

    Actually the male characters in many video games do reinforce negative gender stereotypes. An i would agree, only addressing half the problem is sexism. Of course only being able to SEE half the problem would constitute a larger form of sexism.

    “And that games are entertainment so they should be entertaining and since apparently many people are entertained by images that degrade women that’s okay and game designers should keep it up, after all they’re making money?”

    um, no offense, but a lot of women find men being degraded entertaining as well. In fact there are entire industries built around the concept. So i’d have to say that whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Anonymous

    “You’re generally dealing with a young male demographic who are used to being heavily pandered to”

    Actually i’d say its the opposite. Its dealing with a post teen female demographic who is used to removing the context of something to add in there own… In products specifically made for a teen male audience.

    It’d be the same as me complaining about how often men are used as billboards of sexuality in products like girlfriend & cleo. Or how those magazines depict all men as stupid, horny morons being lead around by there penises.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you on this one SuperJay. As a gamer who is incidentally also female, if i run up against something negative in game then its also upto me to resolve it. Its not up to everyone else to fix my problem for me.

    I think this is the greatest problem in gaming at the moment: its not what a few negative people do, its what the rest of us do when they show up.

    Of course this might just be a cultural thing: In Australia we are all taught problem solving skills regardless of gneder. Where as i understand it, in America its still common place for women to demand some man come along & fix everything in the universe to there personal liking. An when they refuse, make appeals to motive in the case of yelling “mysogny” or “male privilege” until someone white knights for us.

    This is why i can’t stand other female gamers.

  • Vickysandhu Sandhu

    For being a woman who had announced that she would, at some point in the future, be talking about video games.

    background screening

  • Anonymous

     And this is exactly like the posts I got tired of debating on YT. Seriously, why is this so hard to get that focusing on one issue is not the same as stating that all other issues are unimportant bs? Expecting a blog called FeministFrequency to deal with problems of male representation in games is like yelling at a marine biologist that he forgot to mention a single cactus in his paper. The same kind of bs argument is often used by populist right wing politicians in my country – how dare you bring up the issue of gender equality in a workplace, when thousands of children go hungry every day, we have other problems to deal with!

    And your last statement is so ridiculous that I don’t even know where to start. Apparently you believe that the fact that something nasty is not limited to one group of people but rather common means that it’s no longer nasty? Some women beat up their husbands too, should we suspend all the laws that deal with domestic violence until they get their s**t together?

  • Daniel Swensen

    I think you’re arguing an entirely different point. I’m talking about why the attacks by males are happening in response to the criticism; you seem to be talking about whether or not the criticisms are justified or accurate in the first place.

    And I think the negative male stereotypes are worth complaining about, just not as a means to derail discussions about negative female stereotypes, or a means of saying “well you do it too so that means we’re even.”

  • Daniel Swensen

    Well, wouldn’t it be better to try to broaden the spectrum of how women are portrayed in video games to appeal to those who DON’T enjoy being degraded, rather than write the whole thing off as “well some women like it so let’s not rock the boat”?

  • Daniel Swensen

     I didn’t even see this reply until five days later. Glad we made peace on this issue. Take care Adam.

  • Anna B

    Come off what? Reality. See, that would be easy, if I didn’t know guy gamers didn’t think it was the standard, rather than the exception. You imply that everyone who cries foul is “playing the victim” by what you said, but I hope what you said just means that you haven’t experienced harassment, or that much of it.  

    If you don’t get harassed, then good for you, but again, your experience doesn’t invalidate the many experiences of others, which is that they get harassed all the time for being women *because* many people think it’s just part of being in the gamer community.

  • Relengua

    so nice, pathetic feminazis are crying foul when she actually baited 4chan

  • Won Word

    I backed it — the griefers and haters can go pound sand.

  • Won Word

    The nation of Islam finds women speaking there [sic] mind [sic] & not covered head to toe offensive.

    Your ignorance (and possibly hatred) about Islam is showing and your example, if not so childishly simple, would be offensive. Your inability to spell or use proper grammar is cute, though.

    In either case, you are dead wrong. Aisha, one of Mohammed’s wives, was not only a scholar but a military leader.

    The more you know…

  • Johnny Oldschool

    It’s rather sexist and racist to say that white hetero programmers aren’t able to make a game with a good storyline. It would be no different than me saying black homosexuals can’t design a game with a good storyline.

  • Red Phoenix

     Totally agree. How can I get in contact with you? I am pretty tired of this controversy and feel so much better knowing there are other women out there who feel this way.

  • Red Phoenix

    Cool then you can play at home alone while some of us choose to just ignore the trolls and play the game we WANT to play. It’s called the ability to ignore other people, just like you would ignore annoying classmates or co-workers. Some of us women gamers can deal with this and there don’t seem to be many of us, which is why it’s unusual to find real women gamers out there. It’s a male dominant industry because many women prefer to not partake in hese sorts of interactions, but it’s your choice to not partake in them because you don’t like the way the game is played,

  • Red Phoenix

     Or maybe you’re just hanging out with the wrong people?I am a woman gamer and I have no problems with guys, nothing outside of the ordinary.

  • Red Phoenix

     Haha we had a guild named that that was top on our server too! And do you know why they didn’t want chicks in their guild? Because most of them complained about stuff like this or caused drama. I have a female friend and she was in that guild, and yes, they knew she was a girl but she played well and could keep up with the boys. There’s all women guilds too ya know, is there a problem with that?

  • Red Phoenix

     Totally agree, thank you very much. I never encounter this shit, and if I do, I don’t really care because it’s coming from people I don’t know, have no desire to know, and have no attachment to. Just like annoying people IRL.

  • Red Phoenix

     So much this.

  • Red Phoenix

     We should start a group.

  • Anonymous

    No offense Won Word, but i’ve actually been to an islamic country & i can tell you first handm that i’m actually under selling the societal issues involved. So please don’t try to pass off any of the pretend academics you are about to spout as relevent. It no more matters what Mohammed did 3 thousand years ago, then me asking what time it is at lunch time & you telling telling me that at 7 am this morning it was 7 am. Irrelevent data is data that is not currently relevent.

  • Anonymous

    “If you don’t get harassed, then good for you, but again, your experience doesn’t invalidate the many experiences of others, which is that they get harassed all the time for being women *because* many people think it’s just part of being in the gamer community.”

    i’m sorry, but no. Because this is playing the victim card. Look at this one page alone & look at whats actually being said objectively. The entire page is almost completely female gamers insinuating that something that happens rarely happens all the time & then demanding that its because of men & that men should fix the problem for us.

    Sorry, but thats the very definintion of “playing the victim.”

  • Red Phoenix

     ”But your wife isn’t a representative sample of the online gaming population”

    Actually, she is. Lots of people here are saying that they choose not to play these games because of the environment the people playing them bring. So the women that play these games are very representative of the population becuase the are the ones actually playing them, while the rest of the women log on, decide they don’t like it, and log off.

  • Anonymous

    It already does Daniel.

  • Anonymous

    Except its not an attack at all. If you say 1+1=Blue & i tell you no it doesn’t. Thats not an attack on you, its me pointing out that you are wrong.

    Likewise the people pointing out that her opinion is both wrong & bigoted aren’t attacking her either.

    “And I think the negative male stereotypes are worth complaining about, just not as a means to derail discussions about negative female stereotypes, or a means of saying “well you do it too so that means we’re even.”"

    Except its not derailing the subject at all, nor is it saying “well its all fair now.” Its specifically poinintg out that it can’t be sexism if its happening equally to both sexes. Sure its a problem, but that problem is not sexism, its creative bankruptcy with some publishers/producers.

  • Anonymous

    “Expecting a blog called FeministFrequency to deal with problems of male representation in games is like yelling at a marine biologist that he forgot to mention a single cactus in his paper”

    no actually its not. I know that feminism is the pretense of wanting equality, while in truth its just about gathering female based social privilege… However its not wrong to point out that the issue is larger then the one FF is trying to represent. In fact in this case its not only a larger issues, but a complete different issue.

    The first step in fixing a problem is identifying the problem. Now if i have a mathematical formula i’m trying to work out & i don’t correctly identify what i’m meant to be doing i’m never going to get to the right answer. Same goes with FF’s rhetoric… Misindentifying the problem means you cant fix the problem, because you don’t even know what the problem actually is.

  • Chris Nitefyre

    Just read  your  piece and  you are absolutely right. My biggest issue is not  necessarily the content though that is a discussion for another time. My biggest issue is the marketing… Who  thought it would be a good idea to sell Hitman  by showing murdering  the nuns that were assassins. I understand it in a story context… they want to kill him, he wants live some one is going to get the short end of the stick there. What is disturbing is that when you selling something, people don’t have that context in which to understand that sequence. This is where the issue , its the same with Tomb Raider… the issue is not that it’s in the game.  Heavy Rain had a sequence like that and scared the piss out of me… Hell Girl with Dragon Tattoo took it all the way. What that game and that movie did not do is put in the trailers and then have the executive producer trying to sell it you as “Hey isn’t the cool don’t you want to buy our game.”  No that’s not cool and it should not be used as  a damn selling point of the game. I understand why the scene is there but for  Christ sake you trying to use the attempted rape of a someone as a marketing bullet point… wtf is wrong with you.  And that needs to but on some kind of sticker or warning just so people know “Hey if you are survivor or know someone that is there content here that you might find disturbing” Its okay if they don’t want  to play or watch.  Player/viewer  advisory… 

  • Allie

    Heh. I think if you sent cans of WD40 to the IRS they’d be very confused.

  • Derek

    Well when you lie your ass for most of your bloging career and then filter out comments so you can’t loss the argument in question like Anita you better expect to get hate, plus she owns and plays all the games she trashes religiously. What does that tell you about her, she is a hypocrite.

  • Anonymous

    thats why he’s so worried… They won’t all fit in the post box.

  • Anonymous

    oh just as an FYI, gamers don’t want realism, they want versimilitude.

  • Anonymous

     ”If you must indicate gender please say “Female gamer” rather then
    “Gamer Girl,” or “girl Gamer.” both have become to popularised as a
    title that seperates us from real gamers.

    Sorry if that sounds rant-ish, but its a personal bug bear of mine.”

    Why do you expect someone else to change their behaviour in order to accommodate a personal bugbear of yours? Maybe the term “female gamer” is a personal bugbear of hers.

    When we all give up trying to change everyone else so we can feel more comfortable (and yes, I do realise the irony in this comment), there will be room for all shades of thought and belief.

  • Anonymous

    “Why do you expect someone else to change their behaviour in order to accommodate a personal bugbear of yours”

    Because it should also be a personal bug bear of yours too. We say that we want to be taken seriously & to be considered equals & then as soon as we show up we demand special privilege & a cute little title… An then we have the temerity to complain when due to our own actions we are treated like girls, rather then gamers.

  • Anonymous

    um, you do know that programmers don’t actually write the storyline. Storyline is usually written either by a single person if its just a basic premise game like most FPS, or a small team of writers if its an RPG.

    Programmers are just there to program… As the name might suggest.

  • Red Phoenix

    I am a woman and I enter these games all the time, by myself, as woman. WoW, Battlefield, CoD, SWTOR, whatever, and I have never had such death threats and rape threats as you guys seem to encounter on a daily basis. Whatever you are doing to get this treatment, you are doing it wrong. 

  • lars g.

    You know, it’s nice that this never happens to you, but maybe you should consider how your attitude would be different if you were regularly getting stuff like rape threats online, rather than victim-blaming by acting like it’s the women’s fault for not reporting it. And even so, it hardly disputes the point people have here – a) this shit shouldn’t be happening in the first place, and b) even if you’re reporting it whenever you see it, dealing with that stuff over and over again gets exhausting on something that’s supposed to be relaxing and fun and an escape from the troubles in your life.

    Seriously, stop acting like this is because you’re soooo much more MATURE and RESPONSIBLE than everyone else when it’s that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • lars g.

    While I agree with you, I find it interesting that everyone is calling SuperJay on victim-blaming and not saying anything to kelly_warrior_princess along those lines. His ideas at least come from the right place, where she’s blatantly blaming other women for the misogyny they face online if they don’t report it and using it to justify being a female chauvinist pig (“this is why I hate other female gamers”).

    (also despite my handle I’m actually a woman, in case anyone was wondering)

  • Anonymous

    Telling someone to use the in built features to stop the issue & to move on isn’t victim blaming… You know why its not victim blaming? BECAUSE THATS WHY THOSE FEATURES EXIST!

    Oh & just as an FYI, if there is some level of harassment & you personally don’t report it, then you are as complicit in you own “victimisation” as the person being a jerk: Because you stood there & waited for someone else to bail you out. its called social agency, an as a social group we need to develop it: it is not the responsibility of anyone else to protect us, nor will juvenile people ever cease to exist in a digital medium (nor a non digital medium). The only people who need to look out for our own interests is us: not men, not moderators, not society… US.

    An please, lets not pretend that such behaviour is the rule, rather then the exception. If you personally are in a place where it is the rule, then its up to you to look at your own actions & say “what do I want to do about it.” Not “who can i complain near, in the hopes that the world will change to meet my personal needs.”

    As for being more mature & responsible, thats up to others to decide: however having said that, i am mature enough to realise that the buck stops with me when it comes to my enjoyment (an how much stupidity i will personally tolerate)& responsible enough to use the in built features to actualise my choices, rather then just generally complaining in the hopes that men will fix it for me.

  • lars g.

    “An please, lets not pretend that such behaviour is the rule, rather then the exception.”

    I would say that the fact the majority of commenters here are who are women have said they experienced this enough that it dissuades them from gaming. Clearly, it is the rule. Again, just because it doesn’t happen to YOU does not mean that others are lying or exaggerating when they say it happens to them a lot. Why should anyone take your word over theirs?

    Secondly, it’s still victim-blaming. People should report things, but that doesn’t mean those things should ever happen in the first place, and it certainly doesn’t mean they’re somehow responsible if it happens to them again (especially since reporting one instance of sexism rarely eliminates it if it’s a larger problem). Would you tell a person who was mugged more than once that it was somehow their fault for not “responding” to the first one the right way? No, you’d know that the muggers were at fault, because PEOPLE SHOULDN’T MUG and REASONABLE PEOPLE DON’T DO THIS SHIT. Same with shouting misogynistic comments every time a woman is online. What about this is so difficult for you grasp?

    I get that it’s easier for you and other women in gaming to go along with the guys, rather than stand up for your fellow women, because it probably makes you less of a target. It’s not the right choice, though, and it’s certainly not the brave choice. You might be making something better for yourself, but you are making things worse for women as a whole by uniting with the sexists rather than the victims of sexism. And one day, some guy is going to say or do something misogynistic to you and you’re going to wonder where there are women to stand up for you, but they aren’t there, just like you aren’t.

  • lars g.

    Except that the very fact that this happens means we haven’t achieved equality???

    I mean, c’mon. Your arguments don’t even make sense anymore.

  • lars g.

    The notion of the “victim card” was made up by cowards like you who don’t want to stand up for victims or recognize patterns of systematic oppression. You keep talking about it like it’s a real thing that non-assholes recognize the existence of, when it’s not.

  • lars g.

    Why do you recognize (the much lesser amounts of) sexism directed against men, but seem to blind to it against your fellow women? You know, being afraid to ever show offense over sexism directed against you doesn’t make you look “stronger,” it makes you look sad and desperate. Smart girls don’t act like this unless they’re desperate for male validation.

  • lars g.

    “I know that feminism is the pretense of wanting equality, while in truth its just about gathering female based social privilege.”

    Um, no, but it does require recognizing that men do have an enormous amount of social privilege that is keeping us from achieving equality.

    It’s really kind of sad, because you obviously have the smarts to recognize sexism because you see it when it’s against men. What’s holding you back from recognizing how women are marginalized by society? Afraid of how your dude friends would react if you stood up against their sexism?

  • lars g.

    And obviously, that makes you a way better person than people who get offended by sexist jokes. *rolls eyes*

  • Anonymous

    systematic oppression? I’m sorry but no.

  • Anonymous

    Because Lars, one my first show that the problem is sexism, rather then juust insinuatiing that it is, without evidence.

    For instance the question about sexism in computer game characters. Is that really a huge problem & if it is a huge problem is it really a huge problem just for women, or do men put up with the same thing. The first step in fixing a problem is first determining that there is a problem & then finding out the full extent of what that problem really is.

  • Anonymous

    “Um, no, but it does require recognizing that men do have an enormous amount of social privilege that is keeping us from achieving equality.”

    no men really don’t. Thats just straight up demonstrably wrong. If anything the pendelum has swung the other way.

    I recognise actual sexism when it happens to anyone: Unfortunately i also recognise when people pull the sexism card, when what they mean is “please sir, can i have some more of that yummy social privilege.”

    Everything you’ve just said comes of sounding incredibly misandric & bigoted.

  • Anonymous

    No offense LArs, but i don’t want to discus this with you… You just seem to lack for enough objectivity to discus this topic without instantly resorting to gender hatred & some sort of wierd doctrine that seem to be far away from reality. So i think we should say good bye & part ways as it were. I don’t want to drag down the Mary Sue website fighting this with you, as arguing with you seem like it would be mostly pointless at this point.

  • Anonymous

    Lars, what she means is you made a valid point and she can’t come up with a rebuttal.  :)
    I am a gamer girl (yes that’s my preferred title, deal with it) and I have had lots of this sort of stuff happen to me.  I report it, I block it, I keep playing. I do not ask for special treatment, I DO ask for respect.   For you to say that because you have never had a problem so the rest of us girls just need to get over it is akin to saying “well, I have never been in an abusive relationship, so those statistics are totally made up”.   

    Also, you seem to be of the mindset that your tolerance for potential bullying makes you unique or special (with your I hate female gamers that are, you know, female..  acting tough makes me so edgy!) it doesn’t, but it is sad that you think so.  Women in gaming is a growing trend and honestly its just gonna keep growing.  People have to adjust and accept it.  I have as much right to play as a guy and I have a reasonable expectation to do so with out abuse or harassment.   

  • Madame Anonymous

    I am loving the irony of kelly warrior princess telling women to “grow a pair.”

  • Reg Robson

    I does matter that you don’t know that Mohammad was 1500 years ago. Making mistakes like that ruin your credibility.
    The idea is to make a game that will be bought by a large number of people. If lots of people decide not to buy the game because it is offensive to them then the game developer is losing potential customers. Thus the developer should attempt to make games that are not offensive. (Or go for a Borat and make the offensiveness entertaining.)

  • Anonymous

    i hink you are mistaking a minority for lots of people. The people who are complaining are not a lot of people. They are this noisey minority that weren’t planning on purchasing the game any way. Its literally the same as if you got a whole heap of straight guys getting loudly outraged at the existance of guy on guy porn.

    Its pretty simple really: We don’ all like the same thing. Keeping that in mind, there is no reason to homogenise everything into a grey same old, same old sludge.

  • Anonymous

    No, your attempt at a reverse equivalency is wrong. The correct thing would have been to say “It would be no different than me saying black homosexuals programmers can’t design a game with a good storyline.” Which would actually be incorrect— A team of all programmers, no mater their race, gender, or sexual orientation, couldn’t do that. You need good writers for a good storyline. And good designers for a well designed game. And programmers for good technical execution.
    Just like you need women on your team to say if something is offensive to women. And blacks to say if something is offensive to blacks, etc. etc.
    THAT’S the analogy.

  • Justin C. Farmer

      “rather than the usual faceless male soldiers and thugs” It is interesting to me that the writer feels that shooting women in a game is offensive and shooting men is not. As a man I would much rather be portrayed as a sex object than a faceless thug whose only use is to be shot. If we are talking about equality than there should be more women as faceless female thugs.

    Even though I wrote that it makes me feel uncomfortable. Which shows that society approves to violence against men. It is the norm it is acceptable to  murder men. But oh my goodness If women in games are the bad guys it is just too much!.

  • Anonymous

    Very nice article. I would like to note about the headset thing, however, some men do actually have to worry about what their voice sounds like; some men have voices that do not sound manly and are often called names that are commonly identified as homosexual slurs/terms. Please do not generalize and say that “This is not a reality that men share”. There have been multiple occasions in which I have been called very harmful names that have lowered my self-esteem just based on the fact that my voice didn’t sound “manly”.

  • fuse

    I say there should be two versions of a game one more women centric for women and over sensitive guys and the other a regular one for the regular guys and masculine girls. Let the market decide which game they want to consume . The gamers can discontinue which ever game is stacked on the shelves and not selling.

  • fuse

    oh come the gaming world is a virtual world created for a specific
    reason. this is a world where any one can be who ever they want. its time
    for women to come to terms with fantasy and reality. If I cannot have a
    perfect 10eer  even in the virtual world come on what an insane thought process. Ladies you should understand one thing men do not think like you hence we are men the thought process is what makes us different. Besides the scales to rate a woman are subjective. A woman who is 5 on my scale could be 10 on some one elses and vice versa. If people are going to be so sensitive then I guess the manufacturers will have to stamp on product as” only for boys” and sell them with statutory warning: “Women can experience emotional turmoil if they play this game discretion advised .”

  • Julie

     And because you’ve never encountered online harassment means it doesn’t exist, right? All of these people must be making things up:

  • Anonymous

    Block, report, move on. Its simple.

    Having a website dedicated to memorilising it, is just what trolls want.

  • Bearded Dalek


    In the 60′s, America began seeing TV characters racially intermingle in both the workplace and in relationships, and treating them as normal rather than a gritty hate-filled affair like what happened in reality. Within a generation, “shame” shifted from being the one in those sorts of relationships to being the one opposed to those sorts of relationships. Racism didn’t go away, but for most Americans, the xenophobia was broken down.

    With gender issues, the problem is more complex, as many women get just as offended being desexualized as others do at being sexualized. Combined with today’s obsession with “gritty realism”, the idiot’s lantern reinforces status quo rather than challenging it.

  • Bearded Dalek

     kelly_warrior_princess: Nothing kills a progressive movement quite like those who get so caught up fighting perceived problems with a unified message that they push groupthink. The problem isn’t a label, it’s abusive and controlling behavior among people. Trying to shame others into changing their label because of your own fears about its perception just puts you on the wrong side of the fight.

  • Anonymous

    “Why do you expect someone else to change their behaviour in order to accommodate a personal bugbear of yours”

    Because it should also be a personal bug bear of yours too. We say
    that we want to be taken seriously & to be considered equals &
    then as soon as we show up we demand special privilege & a cute
    little title… An then we have the temerity to complain when due to our
    own actions we are treated like girls, rather then gamers.”
    It “should” be a bug bear of mine? Hon, I gave up on other people’s “shoulds” a long time ago. I AM taken seriously in every platform I care about, no matter if I play a man or a woman. I have NEVER been treated like a “girl” for more than 2 minutes, I have no objection to being treated like a “woman” because that’s what I am and I refuse to feel ashamed of it. If the 15 year olds have a problem with that – too bad!

  • Anonymous

    Oh so you are a gamer then? And not a gamer girl.

  • Anonymous

     ”Oh so you are a gamer then? And not a gamer girl.”
    Why are you so desperate to label me? Does it bother you so much that I won’t sit in the box you’ve designated? You can call me Gamer Girl or Baby Doll for all I care. Anyone harrassing me in a game is going to find out pretty quickly that they’ve made a big mistake. I don’t tolerate disrespect in life or in game – and I also won’t be limited by someone else’s idea of who or what I should be.

  • Kara Rhodes

    By your logic, we should care, and make a point to change a “term” but we shouldn’t fight against sexism in games? Your logic is so flawed and you are going back and forth on issues.

  • Kara Rhodes

    You really, honestly don’t see why we should fight against this ridiculous, dangerous behavior? But you want to fight not to be called a “girl”? /jackiechanwtfgifhere

  • Jack Burr

    I think the real issue is that there ARE conclusive differences between men and women, and the fact that they are so often pointed out in the media is something that women have trouble accepting. I don’t think constant attention paid to women’s sexuality needs to be a bad thing — I think its a strength. I mean, have you ever been to a strip club?? Those girls make so much money that they pay THEIR bosses.

    Anyway I wrote a little article on Sarkeesian and her whole agenda…

  • Josh Czoski

    I’ve seen video responses from women viciously criticizing feminist frequency.

    They don’t get any hate just for being a woman commenting on video games.

    In general, the issue is that men are sick of getting criticized from women when so few of them show any interests for THEIR concerns as men. It’s just, complain, complain, complain, for me, me, me, females out there, and men are getting absolutely sick of them, so the point is, you stepped into men’s territory (things designed to appeal to THEM, not others who just don’t care) JUST to complain and accuse. How do you expect people to respond to that?

    Personally, I can totally do without T&A and I wish there was less of it. Some women (like men) care, some women (like men) don’t.

  • Hawkes006

    I know this is months late and you’ll probably never see this, but I just read this and it made a lot of sense to me, so thanks for answering.

  • Anonymous

    i have played mmo for years and have had ALL kinds of comments directed at most cases the online moderators have done an excellent job of dealing with the unacceptable ones. online gaming in many ways reflects the reality that is our society. does that mean that the ‘political correctness police’ need to jump on the gaming world now as well because we run into people who are rude to us. frankly im getting a bit sick of the term’ bullying’ being tossed around like confetti. rude people will always exist…. whether or not we choose to engage them is OUR CHOICE. competition and trash-talking will always be part of the human [mostly male] psyche and is often one of the more enjoyable parts of gaming and rl. if you cant handle that there are plenty of less aggressive games games out there….file a ‘HURT FEELINGS’ report and get over it.

  • Anonymous

    aaahhhh ‘the old squeaky wheel’. I have played mmo for years and have been a member of at least two alliances [i play mostly Grepolis] who were led by competent women gamers. yes…i enjoyed playing with those alliances more because of the strong female representation. was there some some friendly sexist bantering that went on…absolutely. did they give as good as they got…you bet. by far it has been my experience that most male gamers enjoy having female gamers around. so ladies if you want to play a game where we celebrate the differences and work as a team…..come to Grepolis. From all the negative press ive read here im pretty sure we are the only safe choice on the web…;0


  • Anonymous

    WOW….you mean men and women might actually enjoy different things…..what a novel idea……remember its a game…people are supposed to enjoy games

  • Anonymous

    Talking of straw men, well done for typifying the ‘I’m a girl and I agree with the men! Silly wmynnns!!!!” trope.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah. and men and women might enjoy the same things. what a novel idea.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps you think men and women are inherently different because *you* are inherently different from most people.

  • Anonymous

    Do they insult and belittle men? Do they call men a dismissive epithet like ‘ducks’ and name their guilds around excluding men?

    Because otherwise it’s not equivalent.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about you, but I play games to relax and enjoy myself. I work in a male dominated industry and have to ‘stand up for myself’ and put trolls in their place all the time. I have no desire to do it in my leisure time, and nor should I have to.

  • Anonymous

    So you hate all other female gamers based on the behaviour of a few? You go sister, glad we’ve got you fighting for the important issues, like not using the phrase ‘girl gamer’.

  • Anonymous

    Then there are plenty of single player games out there. I’m not, in any way, excusing bad behavior in social games, and I don’t engage in it myself, but unless you’re just hopelessly naive, you have to expect that a certain amount of it comes with the territory.

  • Anonymous

    “it is not the responsibility of anyone else to protect us.” Yes; clearly that’s why moderators exist online, and police exist in real life (both of whom can be female, so stop with the bs about demanding that men fix the problems).

  • Anonymous

    I personally have never met a woman EVER who referred to her knicks as ‘panties’.

  • Anonymous

    There’s also a maximum of two purportedly female gamers saying it doesn’t happen, versus a whole page of female gamers saying it does happen.

  • Anonymous

    Treated like equals? Wow, I didn’t realise that male gamers also get threatened with rape and demands to see their genitalia.

  • Anonymous

    So if a co-worker or classmate threatened to rape and kill you, you’d be fine with that?

  • Anonymous

    So – it doesn’t happen to ME so it doesn’t exist, and if it does, it’s your fault.

  • Anonymous

    “you have to expect that a certain amount of it comes with the territory.”

    Why? I accept it happens now, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept it as a fact of life.

  • fsagas

    I’m tired of Feminism (aka women in general) trying to go into every male space telling men what they can and can not do based upon their feelings. Feminism has this nasty habit of feeling it can go anywhere it wants and simply tell men how to behave. The last time I checked being “offended” isn’t a crime. Men retreat more and more, giving in to Feminism/women’s demands out of the slightest accusation gaming being one of the few circles where men can be men. From Army, Police, to schools, and talk shows, everything is circled around women. This push everywhere in society to try to control men is starting to backfire. Men are getting fed up of being told what they can and can not do, behave, and so forth. This isn’t just the internet or anonymous. I’m not going to troll however this is my opinion on the matter.

  • fsagas

    Your ignorance about Islam is astounding. Selecting certain aspects of the Koran to fit your narrow view is shows how little you know. Either that or you deliberately lie in light of it.

    Since I’m offended do I get to shut you up?

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Being male, and a feminist, I look at it from a completely different perspective. I welcome women to be able to have the same jobs, same pay, and same roles as men do. I don’t see it as a ‘retreat’, I see it as an invitation. Also, I don’t need women to tell me how to act – I treat them the same way I want to be treated – with respect and kindness.

    This isn’t about trying to control men, this is about being equal. This is also about something that ‘men being men’ don’t seem to be able to comprehend – you can be a man, and not be an ass. The thing is, most of the insults that women object to are coming in from male privilege: insulted related to their sex, and threats – serious or not – of violence on them because they’re women.

    Guys don’t generally have other guys demean their gaming skills for being a guy. Or hell, “you shouldn’t be playing video games, get out to the garage and fix the damn car!” — sounds stupid, right? Or how about having some guy threaten to sexually assault you because he doesn’t like what you’re saying? The thing is, you can taunt your opponents without having to bring their sex into the equation.

    Finally, I have no idea what you mean by ‘where men can be men’ – even as a guy, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘where men can be dicks’. And you know what? You don’t need to be a dick to be a man, and you don’t need to ‘prove’ you’re a man to anyone.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    Yes, there are differences. And you know what? They shouldn’t be considered a strength or a weakness – just a difference. That shouldn’t cause you to change how you treat them, in comparison to anyone else, when it comes to what they are allowed to do.

    I think what some men have trouble accepting is that sex shouldn’t be a marker for how you treat someone. If you’re playing video games with someone, their sex should be a non-issue. If you’re playing sports, non-issue. If you’re doing a job, non-issue.

    The only time sex should become an issue, is when it is necessary. If a woman is pregnant, she should get time off to be able to ensure her health and the health of her child. I also support men getting ‘child leave’, so they can be supportive as well.

    And what the hell does strip clubs have to do with anything? You could just as easily point out male or gay strip clubs for an argument – they have to pay their bosses as well. Women’s sexuality in this kind of debate should only be used to point out that it shouldn’t BE a point of debate. Women are people. Men are people. In the workplace, in sports, in entertainment, these should be equal – and sex / sexuality shouldn’t be a divider when determining what someone can’t or can’t do.

  • Guest

    Man, woman, or whatever, you will get all sorts of nasty comments tailored to you by saying by putting yourself out there on the internet. That just seems to be the way things are. The fact that this woman got a misogynistic response probably had to do with the fact that she is a well known feminist. i think the reason gamers are particularly hostile towards women is because they resent all females because none of them want to be with them.

  • redpantsandjam

    Alright, definitely the LATEST person to comment here, but who cares. I was searching the site, found an article about the most popular/controversial articles of 2012, read this one, and your comments are so demeaning that I just need to blow off some steam, even if no one will ever see.
    First of all, since I chose to reply to THIS comment, “gamer girl” is a familiar term to simply state that a specific gamer is female. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t gamers, it just means that the person using the term has some reason to distinguish a gamer as a girl/woman. You may think that it’s “demeaning”, but that’s your opinion, and it seems that you’re trying to convince people to feel the same way. These are STRANGERS. What’s the point?
    Alright, now to be a bit more general about your OBSESSION with commenting such comments that encourage anti-feminism. I understand that you’re entitled to believe whatever you would like, and I am fine with that. I also understand that you’re trying to be realistic by just coping with discrimination over females or exploitation, but you’re honestly going much farther than that, with the phrase “putting on your big girl pants” (or panties, I was reading very quickly) which I find quite offensive to feminists everywhere. Feminists and/or victims of discrimination against gender are doing their best to spread their opinion on this sort of thing, and the FACT that it is wrong. Discrimination is a crime, and harassment is a serious problem. Realists have their points as well, but your comments that are against feminism make you no better than the people who choose to discriminate women.

    Yes, that was most definitely a rant, and due to frustration I might seem like an idiot. WOOHOO, NO ONE GIVES A FLYING FUCK

  • Anonymous

    I believe she’s stated that since she received way more donations than she was expecting, she was going to expand her project, including making educational materials on this subject.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I’ve never seen her bash men in any video. She mostly expresses her disgust/irritation/concern for how the media portrays women and men.

  • Anonymous

    How do you NOT see that men have a lot more social privilege in this country? Did you miss the part where (despite making up half of the population) women only make up 19% of Congress? How about the part where 100% of US Presidents have been male? How about the part where 95% of domestic violence victims are women? How about the fact that women only earn 77% compared to mens’ earnings? How about that part where every time you turn around some politicians is attempting to pass a new bill to control womens’ bodies?

  • oddhuman

    Maybe, I dunno, relegating a woman to nothing but a number is incredibly misogynistic and objectifying as fuck?

  • Deus

    I feel the need to weigh in on this. I think her stance is a much wiser one than the one you seem to hold. “Girl Gamers” do have a bad name, mostly perpetrated by some male gamers before sexism was raised as an issue. Your stance is that it should be praised in some way, look at how brave those girls are, standing up proud.

    In the end, what they are doing is standing up as DIFFERENT. They aren’t identifying as gamers, they’re calling themselves something else. Why is their gender so important that they need to make it a detail of how they describe themselves as a gamer. The term “female gamer” has no connotations alongside it, and the term female needs only to be added when you are making note of gender for some purpose. And what is female gamer without female? Why, it’s gamer. Which is what people who play games are. Do I refer to myself as a guy gamer, or a gamedude, or something equally obnoxious? Nope, I’m a gamer, she’s a gamer, lots of people are gamers.

    I’m not calling you unwise, far from it, you have some interesting points. However, I disagree that being a “girl gamer” is demeaning, if anything it is somewhat demeaning to other gamers. Sort of the, “haha, silly boys, I’m better than you for being female and I need to point that out to you” mentality.

    When you consider that gaming has long been the domain of men not too good at the social side of life, a female gamer coming in should be a good thing, it’s showing them that they are accepted, by at least some people not in their exact same boat. (I know, this is inherently misogynistic, all women perfect, blah blah blah, unrealistic expectations, blah, but it’s the only way to describe what I mean well that I can think of). So when this female gamer then decides, “Nah, I’m a girl gamer, I’m different from you”, it can very easily be seen as condescending of the guys who do play games.

    Just my two cents on this.

  • Deus

    I don’t think you get what she’s trying to do, here.

    You’re saying, “look how awesome I am, I can stand up to anybody”, while she’s talking about how a label that a LOT of female gamers use is a cancerous term. Please look up a previous comment of mine to see my viewpoint on that topic.

  • Deus

    That’s not what she was trying to say, I think. The term “girl gamer” is a terrible one. I wrote about it in a previous comment here, but basically labelling yourself as that is tantamount to going “Look at me, I’m different from you” when really, the only thing different is gender. I’m all for fighting against misogyny in gaming, but there are certain things like that term that I strongly believe are a major part of the problem. A lot of people seem to view it as a term that needs to change, rather than got rid of.

    I view it as no different from all the hate terms used for gay people, black people, asian people, obese people, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I get exactly what she’s trying to do and it’s pointless. Stop getting hung up on the wrong thing. Whether someone refers to herself a “gamer girl” or not is NOT the problem nor the cause of it. It just serves as a distraction so you don’t have to deal with the real issues.

  • Deus

    You said a word there. What was that word? Joke? Definition “Something said or done for amusement”

    If you want to make a joke about how Irish men are all ginger, wear green, drink and fight, should I be offended? Personally, people who can make light of things are much more highly regarded by me than people who have the figurative stick up their back side.

    (That saying is not misogynistic, anyone is capable of having a stick up their backside, the point is nobody would be very happy about it. And this is something I have to do when dealing with the PC brigade, what does that tell you?)

  • Deus

    So why do you feel the need to mark yourself out as different from any man who enjoys gaming? Because that’s what referring to yourself as a girl gamer does.

    As for your last line, all the comments people seem to point out as “Look at how sexist this game is” are generally games that I have ALSO received so much hatred and abuse from. Does that mean that I’m secretly female and never knew it? Or that it is the attitude of people playing those games is to abuse everyone?

    Sorry, I know there is a problem in gaming with misogyny, but when people complain about sexist abuse online, it just pisses me off so much. The abuse isn’t aimed just at you, and you need to at least acknowledge that if you want to point out the problem.

  • Deus

    Mods have more to deal with than female players sitting back, NOT reporting a problem, and complaining about sexism. So yes, the buck does indeed stop with you. If someone is harassing you, report them. Don’t expect another player to do it, they’re a stranger to you, you’re the one getting harassed, so do something about it. That does not mean take a screenshot and upload it to the internet, it means actually report the player, mute, block, etc. Let the mods be aware that there is a problem.

  • Deus

    Uh… As a male gamer, I can tell you, the fact that you get this abuse, means that you are equal. What, did you think that those toxic players that insult you go after only women players?

  • Deus

    Agreed, but it is a decently-sized part of the problem. How can you honestly not see how purposely entering a community, then marking yourself as different is not part of it. Gamer. That term does not mention any gender. It is genderless. By referring to yourself as a girl gamer at all times, you’re marking yourself as something else. Why is pointing out your gender so damn important? It would be tantamount to walking into a room, shouting as loud as you can “I am a woman”, then pretending that nothing had happened. People will react to the fact that you just walked in, screamed something superfluous to your personality, then acted like you did nothing out of the ordinary

    Yes, this is oversimplification, and a room full of people face-to-face will react very differently, but you get the idea, yes?

  • Dashiell, esq.

    11 months too late, but that was a in-joke name on a Twitter for friends. I don’t use names like that in MMOs.

    So… rude comments like this?

    And nothing, even a handle, means it’s okay to be sexually harassed.

  • Anonymous

    They tried that once. It was the Beauty and the Beast games for the Sega Genesis.

    And they both sucked.

  • Anonymous


    If one were to get their message out, it boils down to presentation. Sure, you could just put a video on Youtube and be done with it, but the problem there is production value. No one is going to really take you seriously on a controversial subject when you look like you recorded with an evil potato of doom, you know?

    Speaking from experience, editing software and cameras do not come cheap. So that said, I could see having a Kickstarter for $6k for this particular project.

  • Christopher LaHaise

    It doesn’t matter how much she got from the Kickstarter. She asked for 6K. She got her 6K. That’s fine. People decided it was worth paying for. The rest of the money? None of our business what she does with it. She’s making her videos, she’s going to be doing more videos than she originally intended, and that’s fine.

    If someone asked for $1 to get a book, and you give him $100, he’s not entitled to spend all of that on books.