No Right Answer: Is Anita Sarkeesian Wrong?

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ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

I love how you added "In America", it really sends the point home that you have no real point to make here other than mindless hating.

If we are only allowing women to discuss how to handle sexism then it will be an echo chamber, nothing productive will get done, we need everyone working together to get a proper handle and fix for something, otherwise it will go too far in the other direction.

This was an awesome video. I loved it. I actually got to see a competent discussion of Anita Sarkeesian without vitriol and straw man arguments and all that other trollface garbage that pollutes most discussions of her. I actually feel smarter after having watched this (as opposed to most internet anythings). I understand now the money issue and some valid counterpoints and weaknesses of her arguments. Good on you guys. Also if you guys did have her on and talk with her that would awesome. Should do it.

Edit: I do think subconsciously men seem a little put off or intimidated by her since she's coming from a defensive stance (she's a woman defending a viewpoint from the perspective of women) and directing her arguments for the most part directly at men (I think in this industry women developers/writers/players enforcing a sexist role on female characters is statistically a small enough outlier to ignore it; it's still mostly men). So we have a semiconfrontational discussion. The bare bones oversimplification is a woman telling men they're being bad. Subconsciously brings to mind mothering and nagging which puts people in a juvenile state of mind. For the most part people aren't aware of this going on in their head but this is the type of thing that can color someone's opinion. The result in a face to face discussion is that men might be slightly defensive but chances are it will resolve fine. Now on the internet...well I don't think I need belabor this point. Things can get out of hand when you get to essentially put unfiltered thoughts into a chatbox anonymously to a person you will never meet face to face among other commentors in a similar situation. Hate breeds hate. Like you guys said, there just needs to be a discussion; other viewpoints. I think seeing her talk to someone on this issue could help to take the heat off of her with a different focus.

She's not wrong, but she's terrible at proving why she's right, and that's why she's not a good person to be in the spotlight for this issue.

It's like choosing Billy Joel and Hugh Laurie to represent atheism in a debate instead of Chistopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

If she is the only person that is saying something in the spotlight then I suppose she must, but I doubt she's going to rally people to support this cause with her methods.

The biggest problem I have with her methods, the one that sticks out really far, is that she is constantly using things out of context to make her argument, and that is just not a valid way to support an argument, you can't do that, it's not allowed. Instead of agreeing with her ideals I find myself annoyed that she says for instance that a commercial is prejudiced based on the first 10 seconds even though the last 20 seconds she fails to mention are telling why those first 10 seconds are incorrect.

She's in such a hurry to prove that she's right that she keeps using incorrect examples.

Firefilm:
(Dan here) I appreciate you showing another point of view on our topic and points, and I do agree with your assertion...

This is getting a little confusing, with apparently two people responding via the same "Firefilm" account - so, when it doesn't say "(Dan here) at the beginning of the post, should I assume that it is... Chris.. speaking?

Firefilm:
Kickstarter IS, to a certain degree, built on a "Return on investment" model,

I don;t really agree. Otherwise, Kickstarter would be a Venture Capital site. Kickstarter promises no return on investment at all, and if people are expecting that, then I think they haven't done their research and don't understand how it actually works.

Firefilm:
As for some people making more than $160,000 a year, so we shouldn't begrudge her for getting it...I direct you to the 99% movement.

I'm pretty sure that $160,000 a year is firmly within the 99%. You'd have to be earning a lot more than that to earn a place in the top 1%.

Firefilm:
To sum up, she is no more obligated to do anything with the extra money than a person in a crowded elevator is required not to fart. But it's the socially nice thing to do.

I'm not so sure it is. You gave an example of Dan quitting his job if you did a Kickstarter that was over-funded. I'm not so sure that's a good idea or a socially responsible one. These things are volatile, and quitting a job because of a one-off windfall does not seem like a particularly wise decision. In fact, it could harm your creative output, because with that kind of lack of stability, you could easily burn through the Kickstarter money, and then end up not doing anything more, because you then have to scramble to find a job.

Such a windfall could actually be detrimental to your project. Look at how many people who win the lottery end up ruining their lives. And would your backers really want you to quit your job? Did they ask you to? It does not seem like a good idea to make such major life decisions on the whim of some Kickstarter backers.

Did any of these backers actually say what they wanted Sarkeesian to do with the extra money? It could even be considered insulting to them that they wanted her to produce more for the money - maybe they were just offering donations in support of her, and are fine with her keeping it? Do we know anything of how her backers feel about what is being done with the money? It seems inappropriate for non-backers to say what should be done, as they have nothing to do with the project.

Firefilm:
...people explain what they want to accomplish and why they want money, and then you can donate if you believe in their cause.

Exactly. Sarkeesian explained what she wanted to accomplish and people decided to give her money. People saw that she
a) already had 60k/100k/140k
b) that she wanted to make a youtube series, and
c) donated more money for that project.
They didn't donate the money for a game design project and they most certainly were not under the impression that their money would go into funding a video game etc. so I don't know what the problem is.

Firefilm:
There are "Stretch goals" built in just in case more money is donated that expected, and at the very least, people who donate towards a goal expect that goal to be met.

Firefilm:
Maybe if she added some stretch goals, or made a game like EXTRA CREDITS did when they had a kickstarter that overflowed, then we'd be happy.

Have you checked out her Kickstarter page? She did add three sets of stretch goals that went up to 26k. It's not like she didn't react to the influx of money at all. The thing is, there is only so much you can do to expand and embellish a 6k youtube video project. As I already mentioned, people were donating money for a youtube series that discusses tropes and women in video games, so that's what she has to make.

In the future she may decide to indeed fund a videogame, but it doesn't seem fair to expect her to make that kind of commitment now before she has even finished the project all thet money was originally meant for.

No she's not wrong, but as with most matters of opinion she's she's not correct either. She makes some good points and highlights them but ignores any point that doesn't support her argument....she has a bright future in politics.

I don't think her position is wrong per say, but I can admit her methods may have been sketchy, so this episode is a bit of a misnomer, it's not asking whether she's right or wrong, but whether she's taken the right approach...

Having said that, it's very sad that anyone who so much as shares an opinion on the internet should expect such rampant abuse and that an understandable backlash against the abusers can make someone effectively above reproach when they're flawed as the rest of us.

I tend to see her point clearly, and even agree with her, there are many occasions where the sexism is outrageous and offensive for anyone with good sense. What I can't take, and where she trails off to the wrong side, is her extremism. I mean, she complains that Mario is always saving the Princess, and when she gets a game of her own Anita complains that the game is sexist because it was poorly designed or something. She says women are always used as a tool in games, they're always objects of a male protagonist's affection, or the reason of his quest, if not that than she's eyecandy for the player; again, when it comes to a game woth a female protagonist, Anita quickly seems to label the character a sort of "female build for male gamers", as in, she has tons of weapons and is a badass because that's what male players like. I never heard her say anything about the Tomb Raider rebbot, but she'd probably attack the new Lara Croft for being "a machist seriotype", after all she kicks ass by her own and is hell bent on saving her female Chinese friend. That leaves me at a loss, I mean, what is a a "female" supposed to do for Anita to be happy about it? Anita is a woman who's no longer a feminist or even a "feminazi", she became like one of those conspiracy theory guys, any game she puts her hands on she'll twist and twist and turn everything inside out until she somehow manages to point something negative (machist), even if she has to strip away from the game all that gave it purpose, anyone here ever saw The Big Lebowski? Remember how Walter twisted everything so he could always bring Vietnam or the Nazi into perspective? That's Anita for you, only he was charismatic and funny amd she, being the real deal, is a pain the ass.

D-DON'T TAKE AWAY MY DOA BABES! I may not play those games, or buy those games, or even care about those games, but... BUT BIKINI BABES, GUYS!

In all seriousness, I feel like while there is certainly sexism (or simply things that can be equated to it) in the game industry, it doesn't necessarily all equate to a bad thing. What's wrong with taking simpler steps by broadening the appeal and moving at least partially away from that, while still letting it be? There are plenty of people who buy that stuff and enjoy it, and while some people might see it as having a negative influence on the culture in general, is that really enough to take it away? This is getting into some freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of entertainment stuff that I'm not qualified to get in to, but I have certainly enjoyed some scantily clad female characters in my day, and I'd rather not see them vanish.

That said, having more serious roles for females in games, more realistic roles (or clothes/armor), and generally giving women more reasons to play and identify with characters in these settings would be a good thing, just... don't take all of the silly fan service away.

Firefilm:

bobleponge:

what I said

As for the games she bought, there was no time in the video this week to discuss her current scandel of using Let'sPlay footage instead of capturing the footage herself, making some wonder why she needed to buy the games if she could get the footage for free.

Point is, Dan filmed weddings to foot the equipment bill, and also took out a loan that he has since paid off thanks to his day job. Our concern is that she has not adjusted her scope based on the paradigm-shifting windfall of cash she got. asking for $6,000, getting $160,000 and doing $6,000 of work is socially unsettling, at least to us.

I wonder, exactly, what more could she do? Like, specifically, what would you do with that money that she hasn't done? At a certain point, you would be buying extra flash that wouldn't actually add to the content.

The thing is, people didn't donate to her Kickstarter to get her to make videos. Once she passed $6000 it was clear that the videos were going to happen. They donated to make a statement. I imagine that a lot of the backers were either victims of online harassment, or knew victims of online harassment. By donating, they were saying that they weren't okay with what was happening. They were making a stand. And they got their money's worth, because her Kickstarter started a national conversation about sexism, harassment, and the dark underside of nerd/internet culture. So yes, they did get a return on investment.

As for the captured Let's Play footage, that's more of a ethically murky area. I'd say there's a strong question as to whether or not the people who make Let's Play youtube videos actually have any right to the gameplay footage at all. The games' IPs are owned by the game companies, not the players. Of course, you could make an argument to the opposite, but the fact of the matter is that this is such uncharted territory that I think it's unfair to judge her for it. There isn't really a clear right answer.

As for why she did, I think that is clear. Games are not like DVDs, you can't just fast-forward to the level you want to record. If you want footage of the final boss fight of Super Mario Bros. 3, you actually have to play through all of it. She bought them to play for research, not necessarily to record off of.

Alar:
D-DON'T TAKE AWAY MY DOA BABES! I may not play those games, or buy those games, or even care about those games, but... BUT BIKINI BABES, GUYS!

In all seriousness, I feel like while there is certainly sexism (or simply things that can be equated to it) in the game industry, it doesn't necessarily all equate to a bad thing. What's wrong with taking simpler steps by broadening the appeal and moving at least partially away from that, while still letting it be? There are plenty of people who buy that stuff and enjoy it, and while some people might see it as having a negative influence on the culture in general, is that really enough to take it away? This is getting into some freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of entertainment stuff that I'm not qualified to get in to, but I have certainly enjoyed some scantily clad female characters in my day, and I'd rather not see them vanish.

That said, having more serious roles for females in games, more realistic roles (or clothes/armor), and generally giving women more reasons to play and identify with characters in these settings would be a good thing, just... don't take all of the silly fan service away.

I seriously doubt people are advocating for that. It's just whenever this argument comes up people seem to be under the impression that it's an all or nothing thing. It makes talking about it online exhausting.

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

DrOswald:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

First off, thank you for at least a partial restoration of my faith in professional internet opinion. Too many jumped on the bandwagon simply because it fit their "anti-gamer culture" opinions, and as such, debate and analysis of anything Anita says gets lost.

Being into JRPGs I've always felt that at least some of what Anita says isn't quite on the mark. That sexism might be dominant in segments of the industry, but not the industry as a whole. My feminist opinions were weened on a more sex-positive feminist that has written her frustration that good female characters get unfairly judged on their appearance by other feminists. That we shouldn't discount Lara Croft, or even Ivy Valentine's good points because of a big rack. It's not that things are perfect, but there are options to build on.

Then Anita comes along, and I find her arguments unsettling. It took me a while before I fully understood why: they reminded me of Occupy Wall Street. Her supporters are all sound and fury about the problems in the industry, but light on solutions, lighter on a desire to put in personal effort into fixing things, yet heavy on blame, as if any context behind a decision to do something shouldn't matter in lieu of their social opinions. Make a lot of noise about a problem that (you only think) the world is unaware of, and wait for it to be fixed, and if not, make more noise. The lack of specifics is the most troubling as, well, I can get behind the idea that something like the damsel in distress is used too much, but how much isn't too much? How many women that aren't damsels have to exists before it's safe to have one needing rescuing again? Without that, it comes off like any number higher than zero is too often, and that is problematic for storytelling, especially when combined with every other thing you don't want to see women characters go through.

As for Anita herself, the only thing I hate about her is an apparent level of journalistic cowardice. She seems to be trying to make sure that whatever medium she's in, it's as tightly controlled as possible, and that reeks of someone that is afraid to deal with a question they aren't ready for or is afraid of what you might bring tot he table. It's the kind of behaviour I expect from people ranting on tumblir, or writing for Kotaku, not someone that whats to be taken seriously.

Verlander:
Fed up of the discussion on money: "What did she need $6000 for?"

How about anything? A Big Mac doesn't cost what they charge for it, nor does a car, nor does a football performance, nor does a lecture. She went for an amount of money that she decided was reasonable for her time, considering the subject at hand. To throw into perspective, in my industry it's standard to charge about US$1650 (equivalent, I'm not in America)for every hour spent working for a client. People don't just do 3 hours per week either, I'm talking solid 9 hour days, everyday, and that's not even close to what top earners are on.

Is $160,000 a lot? Sure. However arguing whether she deserves it, or whether people are getting what they paid for, is stupid. People knew what they were getting, and they paid for it. If they didn't know what they were getting, they deserve to loose their money, because she was very clear about what she was going to deliver.

What industry is that? I'm on the wrong career path. 1650 per hour for a client? Seriously, what do you do?

bobleponge:

DrOswald:

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

Are you saying that a person can't have a valid opinion on racism because of their skin color? And that two people can't have a valid opinion on sexism because of their sex?

Interesting position.

It's like two plumbers debating the best way to build a bridge. Sure, they might have read up on it, and they might be smart guys, but wouldn't you rather have an actual bridge engineer (aka someone who knows what they're talking about) be part of the conversation?

(also for this example, imagine that people debate how to build bridges a lot, while bridge engineers are almost never consulted)

The first problem is the assumption that white men have never experienced sexism or racism.

The bigger problem is that metaphor. No metaphor is needed, just answering the question is enough. Valid opinions lie in facts, which anyone can have.

For the overall video, I liked it greatly. You guys were able to make clear it was not a personal attack and laid down observations and facts. I have seen both sides of this argument before descend into childish name calling, so a starting video which leads to discussion (unlike the Anita videos with comments disabled), in theory is the best thing we can do. Here's to 1000 comments

The money issue does bother me. To be clear, I don't believe she scammed anyone or is even in the wrong doing. The money was to fund her series, and people knew that, and paid for it accordingly. But, I do think it's important to know why they paid for it. I get the impression she received way more then she thought she would since she received such harsh vitriol that it motivated more people to donate out of solidarity then out of genuine intrigue to see her work. In that sense, even though there are plenty of costs that must be taken into account when running a web series, apart from buying that mountain of games, I'm not sure that she needed all of the 160 000 dollars. There's very little in her old videos that distinguish it from her new ones that suggest higher production values. It's possible her equipment was on her last legs, but I still feel like there would have been plenty left over after those purchases were made. Sure, she has to eat and such, but I don't feel it's right to use this money as a means to not have a real job, since plenty of other hosts of web series still have real jobs. I feel like, given what she endured, and why I believe the money was donated, she should have donated a certain bulk to a worth charity; perhaps one that improves the welfare of women.

Additionally, the money hasn't led to her even devoting more time to get these videos out more frequently. True, video games take longer to go through, and going through the whole medium will take a great deal of time. But, the biggest problems I have with her videos on video games is that they only seem to be looking at it on a surface level. One can't critique and analyze a game in the same way as a film or a book. The gameplay experience is a big component, and though I'm not suggesting that she didn't play any of the games, she doesn't outline much in her videos to convince us that she has. It's true that the plot of a Mario game is to save Princess Peach, but if you've ever played a Mario game, you know that the experience is all about running through crazy levels and worlds. Peach takes up about 1% of the overall experience, and it's pointless to me to spend so much time on something that no one thinks about or cares about. This is to say that the videos on the tropes she's released so far could have been made by anyone doing some google searches on certain video games since they don't really go deeper into the games, which defeats the purpose of playing through them. She goes plenty deep on the feminist theory, which is fine by me, but I feel like an opportunity is missed to really analyze video games from this perspective.

I like this video because it's a successful acknowledgment that there are problems with her, without ever stooping to the wretched behavior her harassers had. These people have ruined the ability to have a proper discussion, which is unfortunate because even though it bothers me that she's disabled comments on her videos, I don't blame her in the slightest for doing so. One can only take so much.

she should have used the 160K to make a game that would show us a better way of representing woman in games instead of spending it so she could nag with more volume.......

pretty sure that amount of money can be used to make at least one decent indie game which could convey the changes she thinks are needed instead of a web series (that I find mediocre) dedicated to highlight the problems which solves nothing, mainly because its target audience are people that already agree with her instead of the people who are unaware of the situation.

I personally don't see a problem at all, imo if people think they're demographic isn't represented in a medium then they should represent themselves in that medium instead of complaining about it.

but he, im not going to complain, as long as nobody forces me to watch the web series that is. :)

Magenera:

Honestly it one of the things that pissed me off in this debate. The fact that people are calling it sexist that one market caters to one gender over the other because they are the majority of the consumers.

Men might be the majority demographic that plays games, but just barely.

Even if the above statistic wasn't true, it wouldn't matter. We should want to share things that give us joy with other people, from both the perspective of the user and the producer. For the user, it creates a larger fanbase and makes what was once something relegated to a subculture acceptable on a larger scale. For producers, it creates a larger pool of potential buyers. We want to invite previously untapped demographics to gaming. In order to do that we have to make games accessible to more people. That includes making it not blatantly offensive, as it sometimes is.

"Is Anita Sarkeesian Wrong?" I don't know the answer to that, but I can tell you that she is not right.

I personally believe that Anita Sarkeesian is wrong simply because of the monetization and amplification of an actual issue.

By turning herself into a internet media circus simply in the pursuit of attempting to point out the obvious imbalance and of course sexism in the gaming industry she's just as guilty of exploiting the issue as anyone else is of perpetuating it.

The issues she spotlights, much to her own publicity and benefit by the way, are legitimate issues that do need constructive discussion and conversations to be had about them. Adjustments in the way that not only the gaming industry views women but gamers themselves view women...do need to be weighed and considered. But you don't achieve an adult debate by using a combined media blitzkrieg to demonstrate your point and/or force your viewpoint on others (which she has done).

Anita Sarkeesian is just as wrong as a major network news reporter would be wrong for telling you about how bad a war is while standing on a pile of corpses on the battlefield. Standing on the pile of corpses is completely unnecessary to demonstrate the gravity and importance of the issue. Thankfully even in this day and age our news reporters have not sunk to this level.

I respect the issues Anita Sarkeesian is concerned with. I have less respect for her basically pimping that issue for publicity because its as exploitative for personal gain as the things she has issues with are.

Mother Teresa once said..."I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me." And I think that is a somewhat relative example of the difference between exploiting an issue and supporting positive discourse on one. Not saying that I expect Anita Sarkeesian to be Mother Teresa...but in short, you don't exploit what is already exploited for the purposes of publicity and personal profit or even to advance a personal agenda...its just as bad as being a first party to the exploitation you're so heavily against.

So again, I respect the issues, I respect the original intentions Anita Sarkeesian may have had with her projects. But its rather obvious at this point that this really stopped being about sexism in the gaming industry a long time ago and it all became about Anita. And I'd accuse a male game developer of the same self interest if presented with a similar situation.

So TLDR, women shouldn't be treated like whores. And womens issues shouldn't be whored out for personal gain either, cause its just a second degree offense of the same nature.

Firefilm:

As for some people making more than $160,000 a year, so we shouldn't begrudge her for getting it...I direct you to the 99% movement. Clearly people who make that much and don't give back are very often seen in a negative light. We don't see her giving back to the people who gave to her. Maybe if she added some stretch goals, or made a game like EXTRA CREDITS did when they had a kickstarter that overflowed, then we'd be happy.

Just a point of contention - Extra Credits didn't have a Kickstarter, they crowdfunded on Rockethub. Kickstarter doesn't allow you to change the focus of your project when you go over, it doesn't allow you to set limits on how much you can earn. Rockethub allowed them to change the focus from fixing Alison's arm to the Indie Game Fund. This was considered controversial even then. Plus it got mixed up in a lot of politics and contracts with this very site, but that's another story. 160k may be a lot for a video wwebseries project, but it's chump change for a game development project, especially one without a professional developer on board.

JoJo:
Huh, that was surprisingly well-thought out and measured, well done guys. Now... inb4 shitstorm, because let's be honest we all know what's going to happen at this point, I'll be in my secret underwater base if anyone needs me...

Can I take shelter with you?

OT: Yea, to be honest, it is really hard to go against someone like this because you are immediately labeled, well, sexist, hateful, misogynistic or any other number of things for simply having a different opinion so you really need to have a very well thought out opinion and argument on the matter. The Princess Peach example sums it all up perfectly. Almost too perfectly to be honest. A character can be a damsel in distress but in no way is that the reason why you like the character.

jboking:

Magenera:

Honestly it one of the things that pissed me off in this debate. The fact that people are calling it sexist that one market caters to one gender over the other because they are the majority of the consumers.

Men might be the majority demographic that plays games, but just barely.

Even if the above statistic wasn't true, it wouldn't matter. We should want to share things that give us joy with other people, from both the perspective of the user and the producer. For the user, it creates a larger fanbase and makes what was once something relegated to a subculture acceptable on a larger scale. For producers, it creates a larger pool of potential buyers. We want to invite previously untapped demographics to gaming. In order to do that we have to make games accessible to more people. That includes making it not blatantly offensive, as it sometimes is.

It's always the same fucking mistake, always the same fucking mistake. You take the entire gaming population in America and equate that too everyone playing the same games at the same rate. Also it's around 47%, most of the male market of videogames happens to be predominate male to the point where being a female gamer is hitting single digits. Most female gamers tend to gravitate towards social and mobile gaming where they're the dominate force, outside a few games, and tends to be based on genre. Hence what I stated, that one market being predominantly male or female in one market where it's videogames, books, or tv, doesn't means sexism is afoot. It means one group buys shit in a larger bulk than another and thus companies cater towards them more so than the other.

Honestly that the other thing that pisses me off in this debate.

The Enquirer:
OT: Yea, to be honest, it is really hard to go against someone like this because you are immediately labeled, well, sexist, hateful, misogynistic or any other number of things for simply having a different opinion so you really need to have a very well thought out opinion and argument on the matter.

What do you mean by "someone like this"?

Also, I haven't seen anybody on this site labeled that way for having a different opinion than Sarkeesian. It seems like an unfounded fear.

I would like to award "No Right Answer" the informal award of being the single piece of objective media on this subject, on The Escapist.

Now, if only the actual articles and other videos(Jim and Bob) had been as objective and willing to ignore the public outrage and broad accusations against all gamers, we might actually have genuine debates instead of flamewars.

Chris and Dan, you are heroes. Not because of your opinions or your assesments, but because you're the only two people I've seen here, who have a grasp of basic common sense and are willing to see things from different perspectives.
My only dissapointment lies in that you readily accept the premise that there's a serious issue, rather than question that as well.

Aardvaarkman:

The Enquirer:
OT: Yea, to be honest, it is really hard to go against someone like this because you are immediately labeled, well, sexist, hateful, misogynistic or any other number of things for simply having a different opinion so you really need to have a very well thought out opinion and argument on the matter.

What do you mean by "someone like this"?

Also, I haven't seen anybody on this site labeled that way for having a different opinion than Sarkeesian. It seems like an unfounded fear.

Someone like Sarkeesian.

And I think they were talking about people who may have disagreed with her in the comments of her videos. Not just on The Escapist.

ShadowKirby:
Two guys "debating" on sexism is like a panel of white people "debating" about racism in america.

So totally fine and just as valid?

The Enquirer:

Someone like Sarkeesian.

What do you mean by that? What makes someone "like Sarkeesian"?

The Enquirer:
And I think they were talking about people who may have disagreed with her in the comments of her videos. Not just on The Escapist.

Seeing as I don't read comments on YouTube, but I do on The Escapist, I can't really vouch for what the comments on YouTube say. Do you have any examples of such comments? Because it might be entirely possible that you are the victim of a transmitted meme that you can't talk about Sarkeesian without being labeled hateful or misogynistic - but might have little basis in fact.

It also might be the case that the people were labeled hateful and misogynistic for making hateful and misogynistic comments, rather than just for disagreeing with Sarkeesian. It would really help if you had examples, because I certainly haven't seen any around here do justify this is fear.

'I'm not saying it's her fault, but'

But what? Sounds like you *are* saying it's her fault. I was very sad to see the same weak arguments against her (cut off her comment section, you can't argue against her without being sexist, she was already making what she then asked money for), although it *was* nice to see them delivered without excessive bile.

She asked for money to do a thing. She got money by people who thought it was worth it. She got hate. Hate exploded, making her kickstarter both more visible and prompting support (which you arrogantly deem 'white knight defenders') of the financial kind. As a result, she got a hell of a lot more money than she ever asked for, making the haters froth even harder and strain to find something to justify their hate. (Personally, I gave her ten bucks just as a middle finger to them. I hope she spent it on something personal and utterly unrelated to her video.)

Also fact: Her videos aren't perfect. They tend to cherry pick. She'd do well to include counter examples of everything she brings up, or at least run a scrolling list of titles down the side of 'games that do' and 'games that don't', so we get a real idea of the scope of the issue she's discussing. She tends to argue her point like you would in an essay by ignoring mediating or counter points and by doing so actually weakens her argument. I wish she would discuss the issue more, even if it meant making each episode focus on only one thing.

But. That doesn't mean her videos are invalid or bad or false. She does touch on several points worth thinking about. She doesn't lie, she hasn't stolen anyone's money by not doing what she'd promised to do, she's just another internet head talking about something that matters to them.

The only bad behaviour around her are the weirdos who hate her so much and and triumphantly cite a closed YouTube comment section (like this isn't the internet and there aren't a bazillion places to comment on anything) as evidence of *her* degeneracy rather than theirs for being so abusive and aggressive that she shut it down in the first place.

And as for 'she did it already why ask for money?' (and your counter argument of having a day job and a kid and still doing escapist videos - don't you get paid for escapist videos?) I say 'why not?'. Yeah, we have passions. Yeah, we might choose to devote our free time and money to making videos and 'bringing a message' or even just stuffing around. But, and here's the big point, just because you made it your hobby at first doesn't mean you forfeit the right to see if you can't make a buck off of it later. Just look at the LetsPlay or any other YouTube income system. How many people there (or over on DeviantArt) have a paypal donation box? All her kickstarter was, was *asking for money*. Strangers on the STREET ask for money and they don't give you a video back for it, but you don't go up to them and hurl abuse or quietly hate them.

People could have easily said 'no' or ignored it. Those who didn't, have a right to spend their money how they choose. Without the hate promoting her, she may or may not have reached her original goal. Either way, why get angry? Why be annoyed? Why does it even bother you at all?

And why oh why blame her for it? These are your issues, dudes.

Edit: In hindsight, I sound pretty aggressive myself. :) I would absolutely LOVE a counter-series to hers, that picks it apart and judges the accuracy of both her examples and where she has failed to find better one (and counter-examples) but so far I haven't found one. Those who try seem to cherry pick right back (such as with your 'outdated game' remark) or outright misinterpret what she says. It's very gloomy. Peer review for historians is an awesome thing - I wanna see it on YouTube more.

Lopende Paddo:
she should have used the 160K to make a game that would show us a better way of representing woman in games instead of spending it so she could nag with more volume.......

pretty sure that amount of money can be used to make at least one decent indie game which could convey the changes she thinks are needed instead of a web series (that I find mediocre) dedicated to highlight the problems which solves nothing, mainly because its target audience are people that already agree with her instead of the people who are unaware of the situation.

I personally don't see a problem at all, imo if people think they're demographic isn't represented in a medium then they should represent themselves in that medium instead of complaining about it.

but he, im not going to complain, as long as nobody forces me to watch the web series that is. :)

Did you get around to checking out her "hypothetical game concept" vid on the FemFreq channel? Anita's idea of a "non-sexist" game is one that is almost identical (you could argue) to any other fantasy game but with a female as the protagonist. I mean I'm sure it wasn't an honest attempt at coming up with a concept that would be more palatable to her specific identity, but that's doubtful.

One thing I know I've been seeing a lot more of (online forums, comment sections etc.) is a real and tangible backlash towards this pro-political correctness movement that's been going on. I'm all for people living and speaking in ways that make sense to them, but when you tell someone how they are supposed to think, feel, and respond to any particular "thing" is in most cases just going to foster resentment and confrontation. That's what Anita got. Granted she got the distilled, fermented version of it, but really the harassing was IMO with a great deal of the cases simply a rather oafish way of saying "take a hike"

InternetAristrocrat had an interesting take on the whole thing. I suggest looking it up.

conholio23:
The biggest problem I have with her is that she turned off comments on her videos so there is no real discussion between her and anyone who takes the time to watch her videos.

I agree with you.

OT:
When you look at theories like Wikinomics, or The Wisdom of Crowds, or The tipping point*, the best ideas will generally come in the discussion that follows the presentation as an open minded audience freely discuss what they've heard, what they've read in relation to the topic, and their own opinion in relation to it. That's how the progress would be made. However, I can understand why she might not have enabled them with the amount of rapey/ mindlessly offensive kids (Or Man-children, either way) on the internet.

*These are what we were studying a few years ago when I started my degree- sure they might not be the most recent, and the phrase wikinomics may have never taken off, but they were current and correct at the time I studied them.... And I maintain that they weren't a waste of 3,500P/A when I studied them. Long live theories of Web 2.0

The Enquirer:

JoJo:
Huh, that was surprisingly well-thought out and measured, well done guys. Now... inb4 shitstorm, because let's be honest we all know what's going to happen at this point, I'll be in my secret underwater base if anyone needs me...

Can I take shelter with you?

Sure, come on in, just don't press any buttons, they may link to doomsday devices. Also watch out for the orphans, they sometimes bite >.>

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