Recently Anita Sarkeesian (one of my tech savvy, feminist heroes) started a Kickstarter for a new series of Feminist Frequency videos focusing on women and tropes in video games. If you don’t know Feminist Frequency go here and watch every single one of her videos, I will wait.
Oh good you’re back!
A few days ago she posted her Kickstarter video on Youtube to help meet a new goal [Giant, Humoungus, Gargantuan Trigger Warning for comments]. Normally she disables comments if they get out of hand but I think she was making a point with this video. Ms. Sarkeesian wrote about the harassment in a recent update to her backers:
The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded. Thankfully, Kickstarter has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service.
So this is not news to anyone, right? We have long known that the gamer community harbors a unique and caustic group of trolls (see Fat Ugly or Slutty or recent linkspamed BBC article). For the life of me I cannot get my head around this, they are mad, they have a lot of free time to spend attacking things like Feminist Frequency and it seems that the very sound of women’s voices is an invitation for verbal assault and any criticism of these types of behavior bring out a level of passion akin to Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech or the Declaration of Independence but with much poorer grammar and a lot more use of the word whore.
Okay, so that is all really depressing, but let’s look at the facts. Ms. Sarkeesian’s original goal was $6,000, she made that in under 24 hours! Since then she has set and met three additional goals. At the time I started writing this post she had raised $31,173 from over 1,100 backers. Now, the Feminist Frequency Kickstarter has $32,654 and 1,250 (that’s right, since I started writing this post, this morning, the pledges increased by more than $1000 and 150 backers!). In one week the Kickstarter will be funded afterwards Ms. Sarkeesian is going to make her series, probably buy a new computer, and continue to be an inspiration and a bit of a badass. I’m going to mark that as a win.
UPDATE: Right now the kickstarter is at $40,793 with 5 days to goal. The most recent goal was $26,000. Is it possible that people hate internet trolls that much? I thinks so.
UPDATE UPDATE: She is now at over $75,000, I kid you not. The trolls are usually loud but I guess us quiet folks are deciding to speak up!