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Good in concept but problematic in execution
I appreciate the series in basic concept. Feminist thought has typically been restricted to academia with an in-group bias, and Anita shares the ideology with common people using popular culture, a normal vocabulary, and an attractive news-style delivery. She encourages many people to engage with media through a feminist lens. Whether or not one agrees with her ideology, I think it's clear that she makes an effective show to preach it.

When it comes to her actual content, however, I find it hit or miss. She often seems ignorant of the finer details of the media item that should matter in an assessment. Her style, which suggests authoritatively reporting objective fact, obscures what is really subjective opinion, often derived from the fallacious "wisdom of repugnance" belief. She comes from a culture of academia that promotes assertive behavior that serves a business career well but is problematic for what is ultimately subjective opinion used in a vehicle intended to persuade, leading to her very rarely acknowledging her own errors and never apologizing for offense.

It's also problematic that her show title suggests her as a representative for all of feminism when she is specifically of a certain strain of gender-essentialist, third-wave, radical feminism. As a feminist, I find her assertions problematic for failing to acknowledge other feminist opinions as legitimate. Her True Grit video is all about why other feminists are wrong for calling a character feminist—specifically in a way that demonizes masculinity by associating it with violence and essentially saying girls who exhibit masculine characteristics cannot be feminists. For someone so devoted to promoting cooperation over conflict, it's ironic that her failure to acknowledge her fallibility and the legitimacy of others' opinions should discourage cooperation in favor of dominating the discussion.

To her credit, she learns from her mistakes. She responded to criticism of gender-essentialism by specifically looking out for transgender interests and saying "all genders" instead of "both genders." However, she rarely acknowledges she was ever in error. Once she put up a clarifying annotation, but she's never actually said she was wrong in future videos or taken down past ones that reflect past opinions. She is like a poor actor still bowing to demand audience applause.
There's also her "issue" with Mad Men. I really think trying to shoo away racism and sexism from eras known for their seriously sexist and racist ideas is offensive to minorities who had to deal with those issues, and this idea that presenting it as it was is not promoting sexism - only idiots and dudebros would try to ape the sixties.

And I completely agree with you on her being 'representative' of feminism - but it's not just her. Her fanbase holds her up as a gleaming model and refuses to acknowledge other feminist criticisms of it.
comment #21472 EKonoMai 10th Oct 13
I thinks that gives feminism more of a rocky road. There are many or at the very least a very vocal minority that regards feminism as a unified undisputed concept and that ask members completely agree with one another, henceforth any criticism of a feminist (specially if provided by a male) is regarded as wrong and sexist/mysoginistic. So regardless of what she does as Ekono Mai said, it might be dismissed as the man trying to put her down by many of her defenders, giving her a Sacred Cow status. Not all feminist agree with the notion that violence, anger, etc. and care, love, etc. are male and female traits respectively, yet she uses them in her arguments about whether or not a character is feminist approved or not.
comment #21476 marcellx 10th Oct 13
The most distressing thing is that, while she is shining a light on feminism in a notoriously jackassed, sexist den, she shouldn't be the only voice. I've seen a lot of social justice posters, militant or otherwise, claim that she's infallible or that her way of thinking is only correct.

Granted, this is a problem with feminism and social justice as a whole, No True Scotsman, Stop Being Stereotypical, and all that.
comment #21493 EKonoMai 11th Oct 13
I've seen a lot of social justice posters, militant or otherwise, claim that she's infallible or that her way of thinking is only correct.

I'm the opposite; I've never seen someone suggest she is infallible, or that she is feminism's representative, or any of the other things that are apparently commonly said of her. I think part of the problem is that for many people, she is the only familiar feminist figure they have encountered, so if you haven't ever come across the Julie Burchill's and the Caitlin Moran's of the world, Sarkeesian can get misinterpreted as someone pretending to be feminism's spokesperson, rather than just another feminist describing her findings.

Of course, she thinks her observations are right, and will present it as such - in general, one doesn't need to preface an argument with "in my opinion..." or "it may be just me who thinks this, but..."; It goes without saying that your views are your own opinions. There is no harm in presenting your argument in an authoritative manner, confident that what you are saying is damn right.
comment #21514 maninahat 13th Oct 13
How could any opinion ever be called "right"?
comment #21516 doctrainAUM 13th Oct 13
Then I'll reply in the same manner, of course very few people if at all will outright say she's infalible, even narcissistic people who think they're always right will come out and blatantly say it. Personally I'm basing myself on the number of replies to criticism that basically amount to you wouldn't ask/say/etc. that if she wasn't a feminist/woman (even it's a common thing) or you just don't understand what is being a woman (even if it doesn't have anything to do with the critique, for example calling out a mistake or error) etc. or the fact that almost any coment on her Facebook page (which I assume is managed by a group of her fans) that has any form of criticism even if it's more akin to helpful advice is deleted.

The whole we don't always say in my opinion, etc. applies to us random people of the Internet or even regular recognizable characters, but she has said that her videos are professional because she hopes they one day be used on class courses, so there should be a slightly higher standard of clearness. Even so claiming that a character is not really worthy of a general connotation (in this case feminist) because they don't pass your specific classifications is akin to saying X character is not a real Christian because they got a blood transfusion and or celebrates birthdays.
comment #21517 marcellx 13th Oct 13
I gotta agree with a lot of this. Her basic ideas and the idea of showing how feminist theory plays out via real world examples are good, but being from a much less radical strain feminism, I find that I agree on broad strokes, but absolutely cringe at some of the details. As a result, I actually like some of her earlier, more general videos a lot more. (My favorite is her "Bechdel test" video, which is a good example of how broad strokes work better).
comment #21518 Terrie 13th Oct 13
I'll be honest, I'm getting tired of the idea that any time any feminist says something other feminists don't agree with they need to be ganged up on by the rest of the movement. In-fighting doesn't really solve anything.
comment #21519 Wackd 13th Oct 13
Correction: I'm getting tired of the idea that if other feminists don't gang up on the "wrong" one, they're complicit of letting this person represent them.
comment #21520 Wackd 13th Oct 13
I see the Anita vs. her critics conflict as like the Andalites vs. the Yeerks in Animorphs. In a very general sense, it's a good vs. evil conflict. The Andalites are good people defending intelligent species from the enslaving Yeerk empire. On the other hand, Andalites can be bigoted jerks and Yeerks can be sympathetic. It's wrong to say Anita's flawless because her critics do have some legitimate points, but it's also wrong to say the vast majority of critics are anything but caustic haters, and Anita does do good work.
comment #21523 nogard8910 14th Oct 13
@Wackd

On the contrary, I don't think anyone here is implying that. In fact pay off my and the author's points would fall flat in and of themselves if we believed that. Acknowledging that not every feminist (I would had said "most" but I don't want to base myself on personal evidence) agrees with the gender traits notion. Also on that route was that there are supporters, which I even referred to as a possible vocal minority, that regard Anita as a Sacred Cow because they specifically regard her as a spokesman for feminism (we are aware that she isn't and that not all women or even feminist agree with some/many of her points), and based on things she does I think she counts and appeals to this demographic.
comment #21524 marcellx 14th Oct 13
I was a bit overstating it - they don't literally fall over and obsequies her, but I do feel like she's being put up on a pedestal. I'm not saying there should be "DISCLAIMER: HER VIEWS ARE HER VIEWS ALONE", but I just think that there ought to be a bigger representation of other opinions on the modern industry.

That said, I really don't think she's radical - her views on True Grit and associating violence with males is a bit backwards, and I'm assuming the upcoming video on "man with boobs" is much the same, but the rest of her views are pretty mainstream.
comment #21526 EKonoMai 14th Oct 13
Her fans do seem awful sensitive to ANY criticism about her, ESPECIALLY legitimate criticisms, and seem to whole heartily approve of that "bait 4chan to have an excuse to disable comments" bs.

Also Lol holding up Katniss as some ultimate feminist icon. Its a good thing she disabled comments on that vid, because she was losing that debate very very badly. If it weren't for those 4chan trolls she would look like a fool. What wonderful timing they had, not only making her look like an innocent victim but exonerating her from all further critique no matter what she say or how she acts. She can outright contradict herself now, and fans will still rush to her aid and edit away anything that risks showing her being wrong. Thank you 4chan! Its a good thing Anita focused most of her advertising on sites that are sexist, rather than reasonable ones like Escapist or Gamefaqs, I mean she wouldn't want to risk walking into a reasoned debate or anything like that. I mean it was funny when she Batman Gambit'd 4chan into trolling her in just the way she needed, but does she really have to hold that up as an example of every man on the internet ever?
comment #21529 AnsemPaul 15th Oct 13
Anita isn't a full-out radical feminist — other than professional theorists, few people are purely any one strain of feminism, in my experience. But she definitely has been influenced by the school of thought. And I think it's a misunderstanding of what "radical feminism" is to say "She's not radical, she's fairly mainstream." Radical feminism is one of the major strains of feminism, so unless you equate "mainstream" with moderate only, Rad Fem IS fairly mainstream.
comment #21531 Terrie 15th Oct 13
Her fans do seem awful sensitive to ANY criticism about her, ESPECIALLY legitimate criticisms, and seem to whole heartily approve of that "bait 4chan to have an excuse to disable comments" bs.

I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a fan of Sarkeesian, but I like what she has done and will generally defend her works. I see a hypocrisy in suggesting her fans are overly defensive, considering all it took was for her to propose a youtube series to trigger a full blown hate campaign. Perhaps there is a reason her supporters seem overly defensive, in light of the response she got?

Of course, there are perfectly legitimate criticisms of her work that aren't booed out by fans (see Shamus Young's take on the subject), but these critics often show a degree of perspicacity beyond those who use the common, lazy arguments (the old "her scientific methodology is flawed" and "but what about male characters?" kinds). More often than not, these critics tend to side with Sarkeesian.
comment #21560 maninahat 16th Oct 13
"reasonable ones like Escapist or gamefaqs"

>reasonable >Gamefaqs

pick one
comment #21563 ElectricNova 16th Oct 13
Yeah, Gamefaqs is /b/ lite. Not really a good choice, sir!

The thing is, I do think the massive "grr grr manly whimmen back in kitchen" response is terrible, but I think it serves to have defenders lump in otherwise valid responses that aren't "BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ????".

Granted, there's the whole other issue of people who dislike her because she's white, which just goes to show just how screwed up and in-fight-y social justice is!
comment #21575 EKonoMai 17th Oct 13
I see a hypocrisy in suggesting her fans are overly defensive, considering all it took was for her to propose a youtube series to trigger a full blown hate campaign. Perhaps there is a reason her supporters seem overly defensive, in light of the response she got?

So two wrongs make a right?

lazy arguments (the old "her scientific methodology is flawed"

Why is thata lazy argument?
comment #21577 marcellx 17th Oct 13
E Kono: Do you think Gamefaqs would have done the same rape/death threats thing that 4chan did? Anita obviously knew they wouldn't, they'd do the worse thing possible, ENGAGE HER IN A REASONED DEBATE *thundercrack* (with a few idiots flaming, because this is the internet).

<b>I wouldn't go so far as to call myself a fan of Sarkeesian, but I like what she has done and will generally defend her works. I see a hypocrisy in suggesting her fans are overly defensive, considering all it took was for her to propose a youtube series to trigger a full blown hate campaign. Perhaps there is a reason her supporters seem overly defensive, in light of the response she got?</b>

Considering she knew and used the response she got from 4chan, her fans using this as permanent "evade cristicsms and erros free forever" card is BS.
comment #21578 AnsemPaul 17th Oct 13
I'm going to add, do you notice how Anita generally goes out of her way to avoid any chance at being caught in a reasoned debate or any situation where her facts might be checked? Notice how she often flags videos that are hers but with comments? Is this the face of feminism?
comment #21608 AnsemPaul 19th Oct 13
No, it's the face of someone who doesn't want to lose viewers to copiers and who knows better to expect a reasoned debate or fact-checking from YouTube commenters.
comment #21609 Wackd 19th Oct 13
As bad as YouTube commenters can get, some have, in fact, tried to engage her in reasoned debate. However, they're usually ignored outright.
comment #21612 MFM 19th Oct 13
@ Marcell X

Two wrongs don't make a right. But being defensive isn't a wrong if you are being perpetually attacked. And in terms of attacking, death threats and hate mail are a tad more severe than a feminist criticism. One requires a more active defence than the other. I don't doubt there are over-zealous Anita defenders, but it is harder to distinguish them when anyone defending Sarkeesian has to deal overwhelming amounts of disapproval.

As to why "her scientific methodology is flawed" is a lazy argument; Anita Sarkeesian is not running a scientific experiment and has never claimed to, so to complain about her work being unscientific is a red herring. By setting the condition that her screeds have to follow a scientific procedure to be relevant, they can casually dismiss whatever she says, when, surprisingly, she doesn't follow the procedure.

I've seen people complaining that in her videos/writing, saying that she starts with a conclusion and then searches for evidence to support it. That might have been a cardinal sin if she were designing a scientific experiment, but she isn't. She is producing argumentative essays and educational videos - the purpose of which are to teach or convince a viewer of something that has already been substantiated. In science, looking for supporting examples would be confirmation bias. In education, using supporting examples is a means of explaining a concept to someone.

Finally, if people really do need scientific studies of sexism before they can take this stuff on-board (which to me, reeks of intellectual dishonesty), those studies do exist if they want to look for something definitive/ Look up the Geena Davies institute for examples. The kind of people dismissing Anita for being unscientific probably haven't considered looking for scientific material on the subject in the first place.
comment #21613 maninahat 19th Oct 13
Plenty of internet commentators on a variety of subjects don't engage in dialogue with their followers. True, the internet being what it is, they are in the minority, but Ms. Sarkeesian is hardly the only one. She has no obligation to do so, and it doesn't make her points any more or less valid. Frankly, given the signal-to-noise ratio among her commentators, I can't say I blame her.
comment #21614 Terrie 19th Oct 13
It's unfair to blame the whole movement based on her Ansem Paul however Wackd you are not saying any better, her censoring is not exclusive to youtube comments and it's not helped by her tendency to pick up the worst argument someone made and replying the post on her page, perpetuating that only idiots and mysoginist are her critics.
comment #21615 marcellx 19th Oct 13
Moving the goalposts. You said it was bad that she blocked YouTube comments, I said it was a reasonable thing to do. The proper counterargument is why it isn't a reasonable thing to do, not to tell me she's done worse. Especially when you're being so vague about it that I can hardly provide a counterpoint. Where else has she "censored" people?
comment #21616 Wackd 19th Oct 13
I don't get why people block comments on Youtube. They're easy to ignore and it's not like viewers check them before deciding whether to watch the video. It might be connected to the rating, but I find an author blocking comments and ratings to be just as big a warning sign as a video that has mostly dislikes. It's the equivalent of seeing "this film has not been screened for critics" in the review section of the daily news.
comment #21618 doctrainAUM 19th Oct 13
Moving the goalposts. You said it was bad that she blocked YouTube comments, I said it was a reasonable thing to do.

When did I said that exactly? But even considering you where taking to Ansem Paul (who I even mentiined on my reply), you where the one who brought it down to just youtube (he even said "do you notice how Anita generally goes out of her way to avoid any chance at being caught in a reasoned debate or any situation where her facts might be checked", in fact pay off my point was actually addressing that you were just focusing on youtube (to quote again "Wackd you are not saying any better, her censoring is not exclusive to youtube comments".

The proper counterargument is why it isn't a reasonable thing to do, not to tell me she's done worse.

Or another one would be pointing how you're about to commit Confirmation Bias by just focusing on youtube when all throughout the discussion we've been taking about all aspects and while using examples to help our arguments, not just focusing on a specific incident (at least the majority).

Especially when you're being so vague about it that I can hardly provide a counterpoint. Where else has she "censored" people?

My second post provided this link.

@ manihamat

The complain is not that she follows a scientific method, but that she's basing her assumptions as facts. You're the one who's focusing on the aspect of sexism, when there has been a long research study of the more encompasing aspect of the affect of media on behavior, this is bright up every time there's someone complaining about tv, video games, etc. whether it be violence, detachment from reality, etc. It's referring how the evidence is stacked against their claim. There are several replies that talkz about how there are more likely reasons for her claims, like how Nintendo is known for splatting their mascots in games and that that was probably the reason the Adventure Planet game female protagonist got changed with Star Fox instead of her take that it was because of sexism.
comment #21624 marcellx 19th Oct 13
"The complain is not that she follows a scientific method,that she's basing her assumptions as facts..."

An argument works on the basis that the claims being made are substantiated and correct. If I am going to try to convince you that black is white, I am working from the position that I have seen enough to be certain that black is white. In the case of Sarkeesian, she is already confident that sexism, pervasive negative stereotypes and gender bias definitely exist in media the, and her task is to convince you of the same.
comment #21629 maninahat 20th Oct 13
Plenty of internet commentators on a variety of subjects don't engage in dialogue with their followers. True, the internet being what it is, they are in the minority, but Ms. Sarkeesian is hardly the only one.

And I'm guessing those people still get flak about it just as Anita does.

She has no obligation to do so, and it doesn't make her points any more or less valid.

She has no obligation, but just like everyone else, people have reason to be less inclined to believe her or take her seriously.
comment #21630 marcellx 20th Oct 13
@ but like I said there's already extensive research of the contrary, which makes that criticism valid and not (in your words) lazy.
comment #21631 marcellx 20th Oct 13
Yeah, citing "The Males of Games" strikes me as about as useful as citing a site called "White History Month" when arguing against a video on racism.

I'm going to add, do you notice how Anita generally goes out of her way to avoid any chance at being caught in a reasoned debate or any situation where her facts might be checked? Notice how she often flags videos that are hers but with comments? Is this the face of feminism?
This is the comment to which I was replying. Initially I was only counterarguing the point I bolded, but I forgot about the first half and I apologize.
comment #21634 Wackd 20th Oct 13
Yeah, citing "The Males of Games" strikes me as about as useful as citing a site called "White History Month" when arguing against a video on racism.

That's the first relevant site I found when I was looking, but I warn you this time around about Ad Hominem. It's what is saying that applies on this situation false because of its name? Have the comments on feministfrequency.com never been restricted?
comment #21641 marcellx 20th Oct 13
"...And I'm guessing those people [who don't respond to comments] still get flak about it just as Anita does."

You'd guess wrong. Few would criticise Yahtzee or Movie Bob for their refusal to respond to Escapist comments (outside of the strict Q and A sessions they hold, anyway). Many content producers have an unwritten policy of not responding to detractors - it generally being more time-saving and professional to avoid getting dragged into arguments. Bear in mind that the ability to talk directly to a content producer is only a very new thing that has come from the internet. Outside of sending letters, it was/is a trade standard for pundits to have no direct communication with their audience in most other mediums. No one would ever accuse a print reviewer or a tv commentator of stonewalling because they didn't take the time to address random viewers.

"but like I said there's already extensive research of the contrary, which makes that criticism valid and not (in your words) lazy."

If there is extensive research to the contrary, I haven't seen many of these critics mention it in their forum posts. If they did, that would be fine in that they would be engaging in a proper counter-argument, instead of simply dismissing or misrepresenting Sarkeesian's arguments.
comment #21642 maninahat 20th Oct 13
I think "comments on youtube are easy to ignore" is something of a red herring. If she turned them on, it would be "She ignores the comments" as a complaint. Plus, it's not like there's no way of responding to her outside of youtube comments. There's a contact form on her website and she has a twitter account.

As for the complaint that she doesn't respond, well, as I said, 1) she has no obligation to do so. And many content creators don't, and no one is running around complaining about them. (If you can come up with proof of someone else who is condemned for not responding to comments, and that condemnation is *not along partisan lines*, I will retract this comment). 2) The ratio of legit comments to trolling and, more generally, complaining masquerading as concrit is so skewed that the time involved in just sorting through it would be a poor use of her time.
comment #21658 Terrie 21st Oct 13
In this case its more telling that she did used to respond to them, then went out of her way to disable and block constructive crtique, with the 4chan thing being an excellent way to block fact checking on her videos.
comment #21689 AnsemPaul 23rd Oct 13
Oh and I'd like to point out that if multiple people criticise or points out something that is blatantly wrong (pretending Bayonetta isn't a parody, holding up Katniss as a feminist icon when she can't do anything in story without guys doing just about everything for her, complaining that female heroes should not be identical to male heroes, then proposing a game idea that is literally Dishonoured with a female lead and nothing else, claiming that a female antagonist is ALWAYS anti feminist, etc) someone on Escapist or pretty much any other web celebrity will address those comments in a vid.

Anita meanwhile subscribes to a brand of feminism that involves having her squad of White Knights and Rabid Fans sweep that all away. Which may explain why she empathises with Katniss so much (especially the 3rd book where the narrative and cast go out of its way to protect her from any unethical and foolish words and actions).....
comment #21711 AnsemPaul 24th Oct 13
"In this case its more telling that she did used to respond to them"

I agree, she should get props for even trying to reason with Youtube commenters. I'm glad she got smarter and gave it up.
comment #22019 kay4today 14th Nov 13
Its rather coincidental the comments were shut down and the 4chan thing happened after numerous factual errors were pointed out. Is this what feminism is?
comment #22063 AnsemPaul 17th Nov 13
Actually, I just saw people calling her worse and worse names and people kept trying to troll in the comments, no "factual errors" pointed out anywhere. So it's only understandable that she deactivated the comments.
comment #22064 kay4today 17th Nov 13
What about the ones in my previous comment? Do you have any answer to those?
comment #22065 AnsemPaul 17th Nov 13
? I'm not here to argue with your hate boner for Sarkeesian or about books I haven't read, I said that Youtube commenters basically suck and that she had every right to delete them.
comment #22068 kay4today 17th Nov 13
You'll find that while their were some haters and trolls in the comments, their were a lot less before Anita baited 4chan. A fair few people brought up factual errors similar to the ones I brought up, and much like yourself, Anita had no answer to them. Fortunately just when it was getting too much for her, she found a forum that she knew would react the way she wanted it to.....

I respect Anita's cause but I find her method and lies despicable. You also won't get far pushing feminism this way, unless she can find a video company the equivalent of 4chan and use that to demonize the others.
comment #22074 AnsemPaul 17th Nov 13
I made a video asking people not to use the word "feminazi" as I found it offensive as a feminist and a descendent of Ashkenzaim (and because I find my Ashkenazi great-grandmother who made it through that time period a source of great inspiration as a feminist). Some people trolled it, some feminists posted favorable comments, some anti-feminists posted hater comments, and some people posted discussion about how language evolves. It was just a normal video, really. And about a year after I posted it, I was targeted by 4chan. Every few seconds for hours, I would get the most vile anti-Semitic comments. I'd report comments to YouTube to get the creeps banned, but that necessitated reading the horrible racist personal insults, and it took YouTube ages to review and determine that they were in fact abusive, so I'd sit with the crap on my site with more pouring in constantly. Intelligent discussion was voted down by so many people that it was buried while evil, truly wicked comments dominated. I lost patience and privated the video to stop the comments and deleted the filth present—meaning YouTube saw absolutely nothing wrong when they reviewed, because their system stinks and doesn't retain the vileness, forcing victims of such abuse to tolerate hideous insults on their pages if they want the admins to do anything about it. It was just a slice of what Anita got, and it was enough to silence me—which was the objective, of course.

I doubt they actually were neo-Nazis, at least not all of them, as they disagreed on whether the Holocaust happened and should be praised or didn't happen and Jews are liars, and didn't seem to realize the KKK is anti-Semitic or that the Spanish Inquisition targeted Jews. I think they're really just a bunch of bullying jackasses. So, did I bait them? I mean, it's well-known that 4chan contains a bunch of bullies, web-savvy, and constantly scanning for targets. So, is simply being online while presenting as a member of a demographic (in this case, an ethnicity that I don't even really identify with) that has a reputation for being targeted baiting anyone? I don't know; I doubt they scan for every Jew on the Internet. Some Jewish guy making a video about his dog wouldn't get hate-trolled like that. It's really just that I expressed discontent with the status quo and spoke out against things I considered offensive. Bullies hate people they consider beneath them having that kind of self-confidence and trying to disrupt the existing system of power, so they use their power to try to antagonize them into submission. It happens to women every time they try to have an opinion on the Internet about something that matters.

Anita was hardly the only feminist mobbed by haters. Several good, interesting blogs have been hit by haters, and their creators just gave up and stopped posting. It just becomes too hard to fight such vile hate. It seems just expressing an opinion is considered "baiting". Gaming site Lesbian Gamers posted a bad review of Halo 3: ODST that I really don't agree with but was just someone's opinion, but because she dared call something created by the Great Gods Bungie sexist, some idiots from bungie.net hate-mobbed her post with the most vile, misogynistic crap. I read through pages of the filth, and according to the OP, she moderated out the really nasty comments! And all the stuff we small bloggers have to deal with is TINY compared to the onslaught of hate Anita got—is still getting!

And she keeps going. She perseveres. I'm sure she must be scared and mentally torn up, but she keeps going. She even makes the hate something to be addressed and combated. She is a hero.

I may disagree with 75% of her viewpoints, but she is a hero to me. She brings hope to the downtrodden of the 'net. She is like Frodo with the ring, still carrying this burden onwards, being our symbol. For Anita. Yahhhh!
comment #22116 nogard8910 18th Nov 13
"I may disagree with 75% of her viewpoints, but she is a hero to me. She brings hope to the downtrodden of the 'net. She is like Frodo with the ring, still carrying this burden onwards, being our symbol. For Anita. Yahhhh!"

The accusations of her "baiting" people aren't coming for her being target by four chan. They are coming from her linking her post to four chan, which as you said is known for being a wretched hive of scum and villanary. At least, that is my understanding of the events. If you stay at home and get attacked by a bear, that is just an unfortunate event. The general idea is that if you get attacked by a bear in your own home, that is an unfortunate event. If you cover yourself in bacon grease, run out to the woods, and run into bear dens, you are baiting the bear.
comment #22121 Atha 19th Nov 13
Yeah as I said, I sight it because she targeted her advertising there, and avoided sites that might you know, debate or discuss with her. I mean obviously if your a video game feminist and you know what the internet is like, you go to 4chan, not gamefaqs or the escapist, especially when your already struggling to answer legitmate criticism. And the best thing is, once 4chan is mad you can then go and say all males are like this and used them as an excuse to never have to reason your points out ever again!

I despise 4chan, but I think pretty much everyone knows its not where you go for a reasonable discussion
comment #22126 AnsemPaul 19th Nov 13
The bear analogy fails on two levels. One, a bear has no agency. You can't take a bear to court. You're equating 4chan, a group of people, with a nonperson element of nature. Two, just talking about the subject is not equivalent to that level of interaction with the bear.

Let's equate the 4chan mob with another unruly group of jerkasses known to be sociopathic scumbags capable of hostile action against innocent individuals: cops. It's well-known that cops commit unlawful brutalities against people who dare challenge their power, and they tend to go after certain demographics more than others. To be clear, I'm not saying all cops are evil, just a portion of them significant enough to be worrying. It's the same with 4chan. 4chan generates intelligent discourse, fun memes, and works with law enforcement against pedophiles who try to post/look for child porn. It also has its bad side, and the same with cops.

Now, imagine you witness a police brutality. Some jerkass cops start beating up some Hispanic kid for no reason. It's unjust. You have to do something. But, then, cops are powerful, and that horrible power would be turned your way. As you watch the attack continue, you make up your mind and decide to help no matter what, and you cautiously film the attack with your phone. You'll take it to the media and do everything in your power to make sure the cops are punished. But you're seen! The cops take the phone and turn the attack on you!

...This scenario is realistic. Plenty of police brutalities go down this way. Who is responsible for you getting hurt, in the end? Is it the cops who choose to break the law to impose their tyranny? Or is it you, who knowingly incited such an obviously violent group of guys? I would have to say that the fault in the end lies with the aggressors. It is they who should be taken to court and face justice. They are responsible.

But this scenario isn't even accurate to the Anita/4chan conflict! It's more like you're talking to an assembly about the problem with police brutalities, and a cop overhears and attacks you when you leave the building. Just for talking. And, hey, you should have known not to challenge the police! Everybody knows they overreact violently, so it's your fault, right?

No. It's the aggressors' fault. They are the ones who should have to face justice.
comment #22145 nogard8910 19th Nov 13
The thing is, she uses the fact 4chan sturck her (after she baited them) as a deflect all shield against ALL her critics, and purposefully invoked this when she couldn't answer the reasonable criticisms brought against her. She essentially tries to punish and blame all men for 4chan and anytime someone has something to say against her she feels she can go "Your a man, and 4chan is full of men, therefore your a sexist pig".

It would be like if the Civil Rights movement tried to bait the KKK then used them as examples of every white man ever.
comment #22149 AnsemPaul 20th Nov 13
One of my best friends is a bear, and he has plenty of "agency", thank you.
comment #22150 ElectricNova 20th Nov 13
" The bear analogy fails on two levels. One, a bear has no agency. You can't take a bear to court. You're equating 4chan, a group of people, with a nonperson element of nature. Two, just talking about the subject is not equivalent to that level of interaction with the bear. "

...It is a metaphor. You can't take a bear to court, and you can't take every internet troll to court. I am. The thing is, Anita ISN'T just talking about the subject. She actively posted a link to fourchan. She went into the bear's den. In your little personal allegory, you where relatively innocent, staying in your home. Anita was the one jumping into the bear's den.

"Let's equate the 4chan mob with another unruly group of jerkasses known to be sociopathic scumbags capable of hostile action against innocent individuals: cops."

Well, that is really harsh. Are cops where you live really so bad that they are worth comparison to four chan?

I don't really like your analogy, but your misunderstanding of the argument seems to stem from your belief that Anita was "just talking about the subject". The thing that she did, which is why everyone blames her for engineering, was post links of four chan, to Feminist Frequency. People followed the link, she posted herself, and trolled her. She brought it upon herself, some say accidentally some say purposefully. And some say that if she did it accidentally, she is still using the situation to her benefit.

If you didn't like my bear analogy, here is a modified story I read a while ago. There was a girl who was participating in "Tip shamming", showing on some form of social media the tip she received from a customer, which contained a racist word. If this had been legitimate, she would have simply been a victim of real life trolling. She received several thousand dollars from (I think) kicstarter, from people who felt sorry for her. It, of course, turns out that she wrote the offensive word herself. This waitress engineered a system where she was the "victim" and made money off of it. She took advantage of people, after making herself a damsel.

People are accusing Anita of a similar thing. They are saying she engineered the situation herself, in order to silence her opponents, make money, etc. Once again, this mostly focuses around the fact Anita had posted several links to FF on foruchan. This did happen. This is a reason that she has so many people trolling her. The argued part is mostly if this is what she wanted, if she is using the situation to her advantage in a bad way, or at least that is my understanding of what is going on.
comment #22155 Atha 20th Nov 13
You're missing a crucial part of the metaphor—that 4chan is not an endless chasm of limitless hate that destroys anything that enters it. It's a community like any other, with good people and bad people. The bad people in 4chan just happen to be excruciatingly terrible. Even if she did post links there, it was likely not with the intent of attracting those people, because those are not the only people using 4chan.
comment #22158 Wackd 20th Nov 13
"You're missing a crucial part of the metaphor—that 4chan is not an endless chasm of limitless hate that destroys anything that enters it."

It really is. And even if it wasn't, it wouldn't be a good place to post videos on Feminism, simply because it isn't a sight on Feminism. It would be like linking a Jewish blog to Stormfront. There is really one one way that this could turn out. Why do you believe that Anita linked to four chan?
comment #22161 Atha 21st Nov 13
For those who think she couldn't possible have baited 4 chan, boy do I have an interesting video for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLxuFO43MEA
comment #22172 AnsemPaul 22nd Nov 13
The fact that she had encounters with 4chan previously doesn't prove she baited them. Yes, someone posted to 4chan using her name, but I know of at least one incident (involving "Dark Phoenix Publishing") where someone suggested posting the guy's stuff to 4chan to engender this response, so I need a little more proof that it was actually her, before I agree on that point. I do agree that once it happened, she worked the publicity, but so what? That just shows she's intelligent and savvy.

Ultimately, that doesn't actually matter to the question of "Do her theories hold water?" Personally, as I don't agree with some of her basic theories of feminism (she's much more influenced by 2nd wave radical feminism than I am), I can say "Yeah, in broad strokes, she is right that misogyny and sexism exist in gaming and the gaming community." This is backed up by others doing work in this area (e.g. http://blog.pricecharting.com/2012/09/emilyami-sexism-in-video-games-study.html).

Ultimately, I'm not sure all the personal criticisms of Sarkeesian matter with regards to her thesis. Suppose all the complaints are right. Suppose she is a "bad person." Suppose she did bait 4chan. None of that excuses the misogyny directed at her or makes it less misogynistic. The fact that people are excusing that misogyny (especially on the grounds that she "brought it on herself") is, in itself, misogynistic, IMO.
comment #22176 Terrie 22nd Nov 13
comment #22177 Atha 22nd Nov 13
comment #22179 Terrie 22nd Nov 13
Again with this? This is not personal, this wasn't some passing coment, some you'll miss it if you don't pay attention thing she once said, she has actively used it in her line of work, usually as evidence, on that same link we see the video in which she did an exposition of this topic, it is part of her work. I believe that there's racial issues in the US, I could use for example all the recent cases of black citizens getting searched and investigated at stores, usually after makinga big purchase, etc. However as Ansem Paul said, it would just be disingenuous to post say a video of the episode from 12/21/13 of the daily show on metapedia or hell even 4chan itself and generalize and use as an empirical example the response I get. This, as you keep suggesting, doesn't mean that there isn't racial issues in the US, just like calling Anita out on this or something else (like say her Bayonetta or Biever video) doesn't mean that that person is claiming there's no sexism (unless outright started).
comment #22193 marcellx 23rd Nov 13
You know what? People who support Sarkeesian and yet say that they don't agree with her on everything always annoys me. Why? Well after hearing this response over and over, I'm gonna throw my hands up and say this; Okay, what do you disagree with her on, and why? Because these people make these responses don't explain themselves on what things they disagree with her on, nor do they explain why? Well, if you're not gonna speak up and explain, then you're contributing to her being unquestioned and unchallenged. So please, why don't you actually try to explain yourself instead of just saying "I don't always agree with her" and then leaving it at that?
comment #22952 Rahkshi500 19th Jan 14
I remember having a huge issue with how she seemed to be actively assigning gender to certain character traits and using that to denounce female characters that dare to have "masculine" roles. It seems to create a catch 22 where woman are either Feminine Mystique arch types or Mrs. Man characters, and seems to be telling women they can't have interests or traits that are traditionally masculine ones. How we are supposed to be equal but still have to have strict guidelines as to what's male or female is a concept that profoundly confuses me.

I'll have to dig up examples if I need to but the videos have also failed to factor in LGBT interests on occasion in the arguments, which is alienating when you happen to be gay and have an interest in movies and videogames.
comment #26754 rimpala 28th Oct 14
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