I don’t imagine that I would agree with much Anita Sarkeesian has to say.
I admit that don’t know much of what she has to say, because I don’t give a shit. The Guardian describes her as “best known for her YouTube series ‘Tropes v Women in Video Games’, assessing various anti-feminist trends in gaming.”
In other words, she’s a perfect storm of subjects that I give no fucks about. Video games and post-modern academic feminism. Both seem like a complete waste of time to me. I got bored with video games back when “Missile Command” was still a thing. And, I think that post-modern academic feminism is a bigger waste of time than playing Missile Command every day for 10 years. But, hey, if either one is your thing – enjoy it.
I watched one of Sarkeesian’s videos. As soon as she used the term “weaponized pornography,” I realized that there wasn’t much that could follow that statement, which could be of any real value to my day. Click.
Despite all that, consider me to be an Anita Skarkeesian-ista. If for no other reason than NOW I want to hear what she has to say. NOW, I want everyone to hear what she has to say.
Y’see, she was supposed to speak at Utah State University. But, someone didn’t like her perspective, so they wrote this:
“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” the letter said. “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.”
“You have 24 hours to cancel Sarkeesian’s talk … Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU. I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”
Sarkeesian initially didn’t let it bother her, but after she figured out that USU would not ban guns at the event, she cancelled her speech. (source) I don’t necessarily applaud this. She seems to be blaming the venue for its unwillingness to violate the Second Amendment. But, I’m not the one getting death threats, so I won’t pretend to be an authority on what she should do.
You know what I am an authority on? Fucking asshats.
Fucking asshats who think that silencing the other side through intimidation or interruption is how you debate.
I want to stand next to her and yell “I AM SPARTACUS!” I’m sure that she would think that is totally weird. I’m also sure that she wouldn’t really care if “the likes of me” wanted to support her. But I don’t need to agree with her to want to stand with her — because she has a RIGHT to speak. And some cowardly little nitwit made an anonymous threat, and now MY marketplace of ideas loses Sarkeesian’s wares?
Some little douchebag was so threatened by feminist theory in the context of video games that he threatened to kill people if she got to speak?
First of all, dude, if you’re gonna commit – commit over something that actually matters.
Second of all, you now turned it into something that actually matters.
Sarkeesian has a right to participate in the marketplace of ideas, and the marketplace has a right to have her.
And lest anyone start with the trope “this is what happens when women speak out,” go fuck yourself in advance. This is not a feminist issue. A men’s rights conference in Detroit suffered the same kind of threats. (source). You know how many feminists spoke up against that?
Why is that a problem?
Because we need to realize that no matter whose ox is being gored, all of our oxes are being ass-raped when someone gets to shut down debate.
The more you disagree with Sarkeesian, the more you should stand up to support her today. Maybe, just maybe, that will start a cycle of respect for expression, even expression that you disagree with.
And before any idiot says “well, what about the free speech of the guy who threatened her” … threats and extortion are not free speech. Look it up.
Will those who disagree with Sarkeesian see that there is something greater at stake here? Is what Sarkeesian has to say so threatening to anyone that everyone won’t stand up to support her? You can criticize her in the next breath. Call her the dumbest waste of space and breath since Jack Thompson, if you like.
But not today.
Today, I want to speak directly to her detractors. The greater principle here is that she has a right to speak, and some asshole took that away from her. Further, we have a right to hear her, and that asshole took that away from us.
I don’t care if you despise her. What happened here is wrong. Even if you disagree with her, stand up and say “I am Sarkeesian.”
And to the little shit who issued the threat: If you want to threaten her, you threaten all of us. And I guarantee you, she could probably kick your ass just fine, as the rest of us stand around and laugh. But, if she’d rather not get her hands dirty, I’ll volunteer to do it for her. (Although, I’d rather have a girl beat you up).
And if Sarkeesian wants to give her speech in Las Vegas, I will personally pay for a security detail to ensure her safety.
I am Sarkeesian.
I’ve never tried to coin a hashtag, but I’m going to today. Show Sarkeesian and those who would try to silence her that there are more of us than they could have imagined. #iamsarkeesian