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FF as viewed by a feminist
FF suffers from the same problem of any academic theory applied to the real world. Academic theories work in the macro, but real life exists on a very micro scale, which makes applying it very, very messy. So, yeah, in the details, her work is often wrong, even when it's right on a larger scale. That's why I find some of her best work is the work that focuses on broad trends within pop culture. Her Bechdel test video, for instance, works very well, because she's not signaling out any one work, just focusing on the trend. She's also got more of a streak of radical feminism in her view than I do. Not that she's purely rad fem. Academic feminist theory is a bit of ideological purity that does not exist in the real world — again, macro vs. micro. So I don't agree with some of her stuff, because I don't always agree with the basic framework. But, once you accept those limits, macro vs. micro and differing theoretical frameworks, her work is basically sound. It also explains why she doesn't spend a lot of time engaging her more rational critics — any discussion is going to be eventually just come down to a debate on the merits of applying academic discourse to pop culture, and who wants that headache?

Truthfully, if it weren't for some her her more "moderate" critics, I probably wouldn't give her much thought, just note her as one voice among many. As I said above, there's a good reason she doesn't address issues of mistakes in the micro when the work is in the macro and differing theoretical framework. And I doubt anyone expects her to engage the extreme misogynistic trolls (And studies have shown that, yes, they really are misogynists, not just pretending for the "LULZ"). But it's others who speak outrageous claims in a rational tone that make me wonder why some people are so threatened by her. I've seen accusations of misuse of fundraised money, engineered "attacks" and such, all without any proof. But every time she comes up, there's always someone who is so threatened that they have to undermine her credibility on a personal level, instead of simply saying "I don't agree and here's why." Which is almost more reflective of the subtle sexism she talks about then any pop culture example.

No, no, and a thousand times no.

Show me those "studies". Who the fuck would do a study on troll comments?
comment #21971 ManCalledTrue 12th Nov 13
I agree with pretty much everything, but "And studies have shown that, yes, they really are misogynists, not just pretending for the 'LULZ'"... really? Come on, that's ridiculous.
comment #21972 kay4today 12th Nov 13
If you're asking because you're honestly interested, I will dig up some of the overview material. If you're just here to play sceptic, don't waste my time.

comment #21976 Terrie 12th Nov 13
"But every time she comes up, there's always someone who is so threatened that they have to undermine her credibility on a personal level, instead of simply saying "I don't agree and here's why."

By saying this, you're implying that her credibility is absolutely faultless, and people who question it are just desperately grasping at straws. Given the facts I've seen about her, I find that rather suspect.
comment #21977 MFM 12th Nov 13
@MFM BS. Look, attacking Sarkeesian as a person, rather than her ideas is the same as the people who attacked Reza Aslan's book "Zealot" with "But you're a Muslim! How can you write about Jesus?" without actually saying anything about the book. You say you've "seen facts" that mean you don't find her credible. Great! Lay out your facts and build your argument. Explain why these facts render her work not trustworthy or believable. Her WORK, not her.

I will add that I would consider it valid to say "Because of my issues with Sarkeesian's [whatever they're claiming is her misconduct], I do not engage with anything she's been involved in, and I think it's important to let people know about this issue." This is what is being done with OSC and Ender's Game. But, I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about "Sarkeesian stole money/misused someone else's work/purposely attracted trolls to her site to get more people to give her money/whatever, and therefore, her work is wrong."
comment #21978 Terrie 12th Nov 13
See I don't really understand why this keeps coming up. We're in 2013, and I assume most people on the Internet now a days have a general knowledge of its workings. What I mean by this is that yes, Anita had had to deal with that, but so has everyone else, she's not really a special case in that regard.

I'll even make a little experiment as an example. The last youtube video I've seen prior to writing this post was Jeremy Jahns' "12 years of slavery review". Jeremy Jahns as far as I know is not a controversial reviewer, yet at the start of the video he had to explain that the reason he took so long to review was that it was a limited release so the nearest theaters were 30 miles away, yet there were several Oh he hasn't because he's a racist. The point is that there's almost always someone who's a troll/really that thick headed/close minded/down right stupid/childish/etc. etc. He'll even in the comments just read the last two prototype reviews.
comment #21981 marcellx 12th Nov 13
"Because of my issues with Sarkeesian's [whatever they're claiming is her misconduct], I do not engage with anything she's been involved in, and I think it's important to let people know about this issue."

I'll just say that this is closer to my stance on the matter than the other viewpoint and leave it at that, because I'm too lazy to do an elaborate explanation of my viewpoint, and I don't want the comments on every review of her show to devolve into meandering, endless debates.
comment #21982 MFM 12th Nov 13
@Terrie

Err... I agreed with you on everything else, but I find it hard to believe that there exist actual factual studies of random internet douchebags.
comment #21984 kay4today 12th Nov 13
@marcellx, actually, that goes back to the studies I mentioned. It's well-known that internet communication creates a strong disinhibition that isn't found in in-person communication. But, disinhibition does not produce viewpoints that don't already exist. So a person who is not a misogynist will not suddenly start spouting misogynistic comments, simply because they are on the internet. The intensity will change, but not the basis.

In the case of Sarkeesian, what is different from other people, IMO, is that some of her critics try to make excuses that the misogynistic comments aren't actually misogynistic, because the people making them don't believe that.

@MFM. I'm honestly confused why you brought it up if you don't want to discuss it, but whatever.
comment #21985 Terrie 12th Nov 13
@kay4today: Fair enough. Caveat: I'm using "study" in a very social science sense of "written report by someone examining the issue" so some people may quibble that "investigation" is a better word and argue how much social science counts as "factual." Here's a couple news stories that cover the topic (academic journals rarely being open source, but the second article mentions some if you want to track the studies down):

Paul Mason of the BBC has a good story on trolls an misogyny: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23510635

Here's an article that mentions Oliver Moran and Dr. Claire Hardaker, among others, who, yes, study trolls: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-schiffman/scientists-prove-that-int_b_2542663.html

So, yeah, it's being studied as a human phenomena. I guess I've been in academia long enough that I no longer blink at some of the things that catch the interest of academics.

comment #21986 Terrie 12th Nov 13
In the case of Sarkeesian, what is different from other people, IMO, is that some of her critics try to make excuses that the misogynistic comments aren't actually misogynistic, because the people making them don't believe that.

see this is what I'm taking about, we can even use examples on about 60% of the comments on reviews here on tv tropes, or to be a little more broad example, all the people (a good portion are even public figures) who make racially insensitive remarks or reasonings that they believe are not such. Like I said these are extremely common things that I don't believe that if you actually thought about it you would claim is only a special case that only happens to (or rarely happens to someone other than) Anita.
comment #21987 marcellx 12th Nov 13
"I'm honestly confused why you brought it up if you don't want to discuss it, but whatever."

Because I tend to be overly reactionary and post in response to something I find disagreeable, only to realize I've had and seen this exact sort of discussion before more than I'd like, and don't want to go through the same old song and dance.
comment #21988 MFM 12th Nov 13
Marcellx, you missed my point entirely. Let me break it down for you. The pattern goes like this. Sarkeesian gets a whole bunch of misogynistic comments. She posts these as examples of misogyny. Many of her OTHER, more genteel critics cry that "No, no, no. Those are TROLL comments. The trolls don't actually believe that stuff; they're just saying it to get a rise. The trolls are not actually misogynistic, so those comments can't be used as examples of misogyny." (Which is not even true).

I haven't seen that kind of argument applied on such a scale anywhere else. I've seen "You misunderstood what they said." I've seen "He/she misspoke." I've seen "You just think it's sexist/racist/whatever, because you're the overly sensitive PC police." The only other single example I can think of that comes close to the logic in the above paragraph is Mel Gibson and his drunken anti-Semitic rant, which some people claimed wasn't "really" anti-Semitic, because he was drunk. Are you trying to tell me 60% of the comments made are made by people on drunken rants? Sure, it would explain a hell of a lot, but you'll need to provide some proof.

My entire point is about how people respond to those comments. Which, again, is a totally different thing that what you are talking about, which is the comments themselves. Two very different things.
comment #21991 Terrie 12th Nov 13
Agree with this review.
comment #21992 VeryMelon 12th Nov 13
But it's others who speak outrageous claims in a rational tone that make me wonder why some people are so threatened by her. I've seen accusations of misuse of fundraised money, engineered "attacks" and such, all without any proof. But every time she comes up, there's always someone who is so threatened that they have to undermine her credibility on a personal level, instead of simply saying "I don't agree and here's why."

See I don't really understand why this keeps coming up. We're in 2013, and I assume most people on the Internet now a days have a general knowledge of its workings. What I mean by this is that yes, Anita had had to deal with that, but so has everyone else, she's not really a special case in that regard.

In the case of Sarkeesian, what is different from other people, IMO, is that some of her critics try to make excuses that the misogynistic comments aren't actually misogynistic, because the people making them don't believe that.

No this is what we've always been taking about. I'm speaking about how things that happen to enough people to be consisted common is usually said to be some sort of special case that only happens to Anita, which would be like saying X youtuber is the only person who gets trolled, or X person the only one who gets death threads.

I haven't seen that kind of argument applied on such a scale anywhere else.

I really doubt the Mel example is the only one you've ever heard of (which would bring the issue of Anecdotal Fallacy). But anyway, going by popular news there's the case of Paula Deen, avocation of stop and frisk, hoodies apparently being a thug uniform since the Travon Martin case, the issue with the Arizona profiling law, etc. and this is just on the subject of racism, Muslim discrimination avocation had been defended since 9/11, look atthe comment section of a video of a racist/homophobic/etc. rant be itby apublic figure or by some random person (be it the video in question or a negative/positive response) and look at the defenders, just to drive the point home, just type "not racist/anti-semite/sexist etc." on youtube and see how many videos you can be used as examples. It's not saying that it diminishes her example because there are countless others, but that is by no means a special, unique or even rare case.
comment #21993 marcellx 12th Nov 13
"what is different... some of her critics try to make excuses that the misogynistic comments aren't actually misogynistic."

You're still not getting it. People have made the claim that blatantly misogynistic comments don't count. In the example of Paula Deen, if people had said "Well, Paula Deen isn't racist, so when she uses says racial slurs, they're not racist," it would be the same thing. There is a difference between saying troll quotes should be ignored, because they're just derailing and saying the comments aren't actually hateful. Until you can understand the difference, we have nothing more to talk about.
comment #21994 Terrie 12th Nov 13
"And I doubt anyone expects her to engage the extreme misogynistic trolls (And studies have shown that, yes, they really are misogynists, not just pretending for the "LULZ")"

Not to enter or disturb the conversation, but do you happen to have a link to these studies? I followed the other links and appear to have nothing on the thing you described, and the thing you described sounds interesting if it does exist.
comment #21995 Atha 12th Nov 13
  • That should read as "blatantly misogynistic comments don't count as misogynstic."
comment #21996 Terrie 12th Nov 13
@Atha. I'm really sorry, but I can't find the exact piece I was thinking of. It was passed on to me by someone else. I looked it over and didn't keep it. And I no longer have access to academic databases, as I no longer work in academia, so my ability to search it out is limited to Google.
comment #21997 Terrie 12th Nov 13
if people had said "Well, Paula Deen isn't racist, so when she uses says racial slurs, they're not racist," it would be the same thing

They have actually (I'm guessing you didn't researched any of my examples), that's exactly why I used that as an example, since you're the one who appears to not get it, I'll be happy to go into detail with every example I used if you don't think it applies, instead of just drawing straws.
comment #21998 marcellx 12th Nov 13
People, I'm happy to discuss it, if anyone would like to discuss the two major points of this review:

1) Sarkeesian's use of academic discourse techniques in a non-academic settings

2) Complaints by people who are not blatant trolls.

But I'm done wasting my time discussing trolls. FF is not about trolls. This review was not about trolls, and now it's going back to not being about trolls. If you want to talk about the trolls who come after FF and Sarkeesian, write you own review.
comment #21999 Terrie 12th Nov 13
Aaaaaaaand now we see how you handle yourself. Sorry, had I known sooner I wouldn't had wasted your time, buh bye.
comment #22000 marcellx 12th Nov 13
As a feminist as well, I agree for the most part, with the exception of the Bechdel test part specifically. I've been having a lot of doubt regarding the ability of the Bechdel test to map out anything significant due to its ambiguous and somewhat arbitrary rules. Anita's addition of a one-minute rule answers the problem of avoiding insignificant discussions through the creation of a standard that most conversations in general wouldn't pass. Though I think there's the potential to create a useful test, it would probably involve studying all conversation lengths in all movies, adjusting for differences that could occur based on demographic, genre, and standard of the time period. And then there's the issue of whether it's important for women to verbally speak when they could communicate with significant glances. Should the test be verbal in basis? There are a lot of issues.
comment #22002 nogard8910 12th Nov 13
Most people are not threatened by the rational feminists. I say bring them on. Just don't expect to change anything in the video game industry if your like Anita and your primary tactic is to get things wrong then mute the voices of an who disagree with you and encourage your fans to do the same, because she's hardly going to be able to pull that BS on companies themselves
comment #22004 AnsemPaul 13th Nov 13
@Marcellx, in total seriousness, I wrote this review partially because I was tired of the discussion being all about the troll comments. That I allowed you to derail me does not obligate me to continue to allow you to derail me. If you'd like to focus the discussion on the other types of comments she receives, I'm happy to keep discussing.

@nogard I agree that there are plenty of issues with the Bechdel test itself, but I feel that the video about it is one of Sarkeesian's stronger one, because it doesn't fall victim to the weakness of her more academic approach.

comment #22006 Terrie 13th Nov 13
in total seriousness, I wrote this review partially because I was tired of the discussion being all about the troll comments.

There's Nemo's review, which i took part in and where we tasked mainly about the issue of the infamous logic of tropes are not bad. Elkaiser had the one were it discusses several items mainly the pros and cons of solutions implied or stipulated by Anita, and another one about the possible double standard and or hypocricy about the fanfiction in question. There's frogwidget's where the discussion is about the use of gameplay footage without recognition, so it's not as trolls topic is an issue, even here it was more than just that but you just boiled it down to whatever was convenient to your reply (which i already criticized you for on another review with youtube). I brought a diverse aspect of common things being falsely portraied as unique or rare that Anita experiences, be it video responses with counter arguments (be it mature or not), big reactions over forms of entertainment (this is tvtropes after all), and even trolls, etc.

You say that you didn't wanted this subject and that I'm derailing, but that's half of your review.

Truthfully, if it weren't for some her her more "moderate" critics, I probably wouldn't give her much thought, just note her as one voice among many. As I said above, there's a good reason she doesn't address issues of mistakes in the micro when the work is in the macro and differing theoretical framework. And I doubt anyone expects her to engage the extreme misogynistic trolls (And studies have shown that, yes, they really are misogynists, not just pretending for the "LULZ"). But it's others who speak outrageous claims in a rational tone that make me wonder why some people are so threatened by her. I've seen accusations of misuse of fundraised money, engineered "attacks" and such, all without any proof. But every time she comes up, there's always someone who is so threatened that they have to undermine her credibility on a personal level, instead of simply saying "I don't agree and here's why." Which is almost more reflective of the subtle sexism she talks about then any pop culture example.

We're free to discuss everything in your review, not what is most convenient for you, you said that studies show ... (Which had an issue of bias but moving on) and some have challenged the validity of this statement, specially since you didn't provide the correct evidence. These didn't came out of no where, they are part of your review.
comment #22008 marcellx 13th Nov 13
An expansion on the second half of my review, as I clearly failed to communicate my point. My apologies to readers; I have moderate dysgraphia and tend to gloss over certain elements of analysis as "obvious" to me, especially when under word limits. Sarkessian's critics fall into three general groups.

1) Though who are concerned with the basic weaknesses of academic theory and discourse. There is, I think, I lot of legitimate debate in this area, but also a ton of cultural conflict between those who are treating it as a blogger/vlogger discussion and an academic discussion, which have very different rules. I fall in to the later, so I see it as "Someone presents their work. Someone else presents their work. The reader considers the various works and decides" with minimal public interaction between the three groups. Plus, I'm so used to academic social science theories that don't work well on a micro-level that unless people are able to show equally broad counter trends, I don't sweat "That example is wrong."

2) Trolls. This review was inspired by a face-to-face conversation I had this weekend, where the other person kept coming back to "Well, you shouldn't talk about the trolls, because they're not really an example of misogyny, because they're in it for the LULZ. Notice how she only talks about the troll comments." EVERY. SINGLE. ASPECT. (Only with a lot more rambling on his part. For instance, when responding to my comments about different types of feminism, he still worked in that talking point). Since they kept talking over me, I dealt with my frustration by walking away, coming here and writing a review. Hence my comment that I was tired of the discussion being all about the troll comments.

3) The group that I was mentally focused on when I wrote the second paragraph, because the person I had been having a very frustrating discussion with falls into this group. That third group exhibits what I would call "genteel" misogyny. They don't use such ugly words, but there's a lot of implications that are just as ugly. The big example I kept running into is that she and her followers manufacture controversy. I consider this a form of back-handed misogyny, because you don't have to manufacture what already exists. So what's the "controversy" they're implying doesn't exist outside of Sakeesian's manipulation? That by talking about misogyny in gaming, she was targeted by misogynists. To me, it requires a certain level of misogyny in itself to ignore that the response she is getting is misogynistic. Which is what I meant by the responses being a great reflection of the subtle sexism she talks about.

This is the last I'm posting here. I wrote this review to deal with my frustration and annoyance about a singular discussion I had where I was not allowed to say what I wanted to say. I figured "Let's put it out where I know someone will actually hear the couple things I wanted to say." And a couple people did! That's great! I would have loved to talk with some people about those points, if they had wanted to. But now it's just descending back into the morass I was trying to get away from, so I'm stopping. If you want to keep talking, go ahead. If you want to declare that it means you win, go ahead.

comment #22010 Terrie 13th Nov 13
So, basically, your argument is, "I say there are studies, that should be enough," and accusing anyone who questions you on the matter of being assholes or morons?

Yeahhhhhhhh, no.

And for the record, I don't hate Anita Sarkeesian for being a feminist. I hate her for being massively factually incorrect on a consistent basis.
comment #22012 ManCalledTrue 13th Nov 13
I reckon Terrie had some good points. Even if you disagree, you have to at least admit her presentation was great compared to the shit-fest that is Reviews.

Thank you for visiting the Reviews section. Though you had a couple weaknesses with your argument during this discussion (you mentioned studies and failed to provide a source, though people do lose links and such, so), I felt your argument was very level-headed and your presentation was great. I do hope to see some other reviews if you get into anything else, because this review was a breath of fresh air compared to the god-forsaken shit fights in select other reviews and the comments of most reviews. Really, thank you.
comment #22018 MrMallard 14th Nov 13
4chan is not the internet or male gamers. Trying to use them as the sole representative of your opponents is dishonest and disingenuous, even if its one hell of a stratergy for a kickstarter that has been unable to engage with its critics.
comment #22127 AnsemPaul 19th 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 #22173 AnsemPaul 22nd Nov 13
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
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