Anita Sarkeesian

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She is not a fan of ''[[Twilight]]'', calling Edward "a creepy, manipulative, overprotective stalker."
 
She is not a fan of ''[[Twilight]]'', calling Edward "a creepy, manipulative, overprotective stalker."
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==Video series==
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Sarkeesian started vlogging sometime 2009 doing several video series labeled as seasons, Seasons 1-4 in 2009-2012. At 12th February 2011 she produced a 9 videos set recommending movies and while working on that project she also produced a new series Tropes vs Women for the Bitch Magazine. Then she decided to move to video games and make Tropes vs Women in Video Games to deconstruct and analyze female representation in video games and video games industry. She decided to fund the project via Kickstarter. This series made her a Youtube celebrity and she got a lot of media attention with it.
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 +
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===Kickstarter Project===
 +
Sarkeesian started her Tropes vs Women in video games Kicstarter Project on June 4th 2012 with an initial goal of $6,000 which was reached in less than 24 hours. At the start she promised to produce 5 videos 10-20 minutes in length.<ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/ Anita's Kickstarter page]</ref> She promptly added stretch goal up to $15,000 promising one video for every extra $1,500 raised.<ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/229803 Anita's KS first stretch goal]</ref> That brought the total videos that were promised to make to 11. This was reached in under a week.
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 +
After the first stretch goal she set a second stretch goal of $20.000 with a promise to up the quality by buying a wireless microphone, a new studio light kit, a new computer, bigger hard drives and professional video editing software to make After Effects. At this point she also promised to send a pack of stickers consisting of re-imagined Zelda and Princess Peach from Nintendo with a slogan and three Feminist Frequency logo to any future or past backer pledging $50 or more.<ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/233146 Anita's KS second stretch goal]</ref> This goal was reached in two weeks.
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 +
Then she stretched goal for the third time with $24,000 and $26,000 sub-goals with promises of Tropes vs Women in Video Games Curriculum and yet another video more.<ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/237083 Anita's KS third stretch goal]</ref>
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 +
:Project funding development and incentives in short:
 +
 +
:Original goal $6,000
 +
:*Damsel in Distress - Video #1
 +
:*The Fighting F#@k Toy - Video #2
 +
:*The Sexy Sidekick - Video #3
 +
:*The Sexy Villainess - Video #4
 +
:*Background Decoration - Video #5
 +
 +
:1st Stretch Goal $15,000
 +
:*Voodoo Priestess/Tribal Sorceress - Video #6 ($7,500)
 +
:*Women as Reward - Video #7 ($9,000)
 +
:*Mrs. Male Character - Video #8 ($10,500)
 +
:*Unattractive Equals Evil - Video #9 ($12,000)
 +
:*Man with Boobs - Video #10 ($13,500)
 +
:*Positive Female Characters! - Video #11 ($15,000)
 +
 +
:2nd Stretch Goal $20,000
 +
:*Fancy video gear to improve professionalism
 +
:*Zelda, Peach and FemFreq stickers to attract over $50 donations
 +
 +
:3rd Stretch Goal $26,000
 +
:*Tropes vs Women in Video Games Classroom Curriculum ($24,000)
 +
:*Video #12 - Top 10 Most Common Defenses of Sexism in Games ($26,000)
 +
 +
:Project was funded $158,922 (of which Kicstarter takes 5%)
 +
 +
:Project with its all stretch goals reached promised 12 videos of 10-20 minutes in length when $26,000 is pledged by its backers. Videos with well researched in depth analysis requiring enormous amount of work.
 +
 +
 +
===Video Production===
 +
Video production Sarkeesian startedt on 14th June 2012 with a media round up announcement about how she had been busy with the media interviews. <ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/247064 Anita's Media Round Up]</ref> After that updates on Kickstarter are restricted to backers only and other viewers see topics only but the next topic 22nd July states It Begins! Production updates.
 +
 +
She gave a quick project update on her own site 1st August 2012 telling that she had started the research! She had purchased well over 300 games for her project and they can play on SNES, Gamecube, Wii, PS2, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, iPad and PC/MAC and perhaps acquire a 3DS XL. She also tells how happy she is now being able to commit full-time to Feminist Frequency, hire a full-time producer and a part time writer/researcher. She also shields her staff from being in the limelight by not introducing them to the public eye. That protects the staff from any potential harassment.
 +
 +
Sarkeesian and her staff are aiming to release one video per month, because each video in the series requires tremendous amount of research, writing and production time. They are estimating to release their first video in late fall or early winter and kicking off the series. Production update topics follow 2nd September 2012 Damsel in Distress Survey Question, November 3rd 2012 Super Quick News Update, 10th December 2012 Backers Only Video & Progress Notes, 29th January 2013 Good Things Take Time But We're Almost There! <ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts?page=2 Project updates @Kickstarter]</ref>, 2nd March 2013 One Week From Launch! Double Checking Names, 7th March 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 1, 28th May 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 2, 7th June Reward Updates and Backer Input, 1st August 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 3. <ref>[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts?page=1 Project updates @Kickstarter 2]</ref>
 +
 +
Video production took a bit over a year and produced 3 videos in total of 71:43 minutes in length or 72:53 minutes with the The Legend of the Last Princess mini animation. Backers paid $2,180 per minute for this production, which she promised to do with only $26,000 if the stretch goals were made by just. She claims to have referenced 183 or 192 games regarding the source, lower is from her video description and higher from her website
 +
 +
:Video production in short from the project owner own website
 +
 +
:Damsel in Distress Trope Series by the Numbers<ref>[http://www.feministfrequency.com/ FeministFrequency]</ref>
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:*Number of episodes: 3
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:*Minutes of video analysis: 73
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:*Games referenced: 192
 +
 +
Quality videos for quality price, funding is easy using feminist popular words misogyny, online harassment, misogynist and bringing these fashionable words in use when contacting media to get media coverage! Promise them some questionably made stickers! Well, done Anita.
  
 
==Sarkeesian becomes a target==
 
==Sarkeesian becomes a target==

Revision as of 11:39, 21 October 2013

OMG, a woman!
Part of a series on

Gender

Icon gender.svg
Spectra and binaries
Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist social critic whose work explores the portrayals of women (and to a lesser extent sexual and racial minorities) in popular media such as video games, movies, and television. She produces a YouTube series and website titled Feministfrequency which hosts resources about feminism, especially as it relates to women in popular media.

She is fairly well known in online feminist circles, and her work has been used in university classrooms.[1] She is also among the most hated human beings among so-called "men's rights" advocates and misogynists on the internet, especially within the gaming community.

Contents

Personal background

Sarkeesian was born to Armenian parents in Toronto, and later moved to California. At California State University, Northridge she earned a BA in Communications, then went on to York University for an MA in social and political thought, where she wrote a thesis, titled "I’ll Make a Man Out of You: Strong Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television," in which she developed her critique of portrayals of women in geek culture.[2]

The beginning

She entered the world of feminist vlogging on May 20, 2009 with a vlog post discussing the renewal of Dollhouse and the cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Typical for many of her videos, her analysis focused on the narrative and the characters and what these tell about the use of stereotypes in popular culture. Some highlights:

  • She has hailed sci-fi series Caprica for outing a gay character without making it some pointlessly huge deal (but lamenting that he is, nonetheless, a murderer),[3]
  • Spent time explaining that sexy beer-serving fembots are, by their very nature, sexist (like we didn't already know that),[4]
  • Pointed out showing men as lying sexist idiots in the media is bad for men as well (how anti-male!)[5]
  • Why HuffPo needs to stop the pseudoporn linkbaiting and "articles,"[6]
  • Explains why just because 'sex sells' doesn't mean it's OK to use half-dressed women to sell crap,[7]
  • Pointed out that just because an actress is an adult, if she's most known for playing a child it's still a problem sexualizing her,[8] and
  • Pointed out that from 1960 to 2010, only 7 winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture featured a male and female ensemble cast, 4 were primarily about a woman, and the remaining 39 were about one or more men; as well as the incredibly low levels of represenations of women in film production,[9] and that there is a very low pass rating for such Oscar-nominated movies even today.[10]

How particularly controversial!

Other stuff

She did a run of videos titled 'Tropes vs Women' that further focused on stereotypical portrayals of women in movies. It lasted a few videos before it was scrapped for the much larger, in depth and longer series of the same name, which focused on video games. The run included: "The Manic Pixie Dream Girl," "Women in Refrigerators," "The Smurfette Principle," "The Evil Demon Seductress," "The Mystical Pregnancy," and "The Straw Feminist."[11]

Another major video series was her talking about childrens games and advertisements. The three videos[12] are nearly a half an hour in total run length and focus heavily on the differences in the way boys and girls are targetted by ads and toys themselves. She focuses on how ads and toys for girls focus on being pretty and fulfilling old stereotypes (often cooking, cleaning, and raising children), while toys and ads targeted at boys focus on either violence or creativity.

She is not a fan of Twilight, calling Edward "a creepy, manipulative, overprotective stalker."

Video series

Sarkeesian started vlogging sometime 2009 doing several video series labeled as seasons, Seasons 1-4 in 2009-2012. At 12th February 2011 she produced a 9 videos set recommending movies and while working on that project she also produced a new series Tropes vs Women for the Bitch Magazine. Then she decided to move to video games and make Tropes vs Women in Video Games to deconstruct and analyze female representation in video games and video games industry. She decided to fund the project via Kickstarter. This series made her a Youtube celebrity and she got a lot of media attention with it.


Kickstarter Project

Sarkeesian started her Tropes vs Women in video games Kicstarter Project on June 4th 2012 with an initial goal of $6,000 which was reached in less than 24 hours. At the start she promised to produce 5 videos 10-20 minutes in length.[13] She promptly added stretch goal up to $15,000 promising one video for every extra $1,500 raised.[14] That brought the total videos that were promised to make to 11. This was reached in under a week.

After the first stretch goal she set a second stretch goal of $20.000 with a promise to up the quality by buying a wireless microphone, a new studio light kit, a new computer, bigger hard drives and professional video editing software to make After Effects. At this point she also promised to send a pack of stickers consisting of re-imagined Zelda and Princess Peach from Nintendo with a slogan and three Feminist Frequency logo to any future or past backer pledging $50 or more.[15] This goal was reached in two weeks.

Then she stretched goal for the third time with $24,000 and $26,000 sub-goals with promises of Tropes vs Women in Video Games Curriculum and yet another video more.[16]

Project funding development and incentives in short:
Original goal $6,000
  • Damsel in Distress - Video #1
  • The Fighting F#@k Toy - Video #2
  • The Sexy Sidekick - Video #3
  • The Sexy Villainess - Video #4
  • Background Decoration - Video #5
1st Stretch Goal $15,000
  • Voodoo Priestess/Tribal Sorceress - Video #6 ($7,500)
  • Women as Reward - Video #7 ($9,000)
  • Mrs. Male Character - Video #8 ($10,500)
  • Unattractive Equals Evil - Video #9 ($12,000)
  • Man with Boobs - Video #10 ($13,500)
  • Positive Female Characters! - Video #11 ($15,000)
2nd Stretch Goal $20,000
  • Fancy video gear to improve professionalism
  • Zelda, Peach and FemFreq stickers to attract over $50 donations
3rd Stretch Goal $26,000
  • Tropes vs Women in Video Games Classroom Curriculum ($24,000)
  • Video #12 - Top 10 Most Common Defenses of Sexism in Games ($26,000)
Project was funded $158,922 (of which Kicstarter takes 5%)
Project with its all stretch goals reached promised 12 videos of 10-20 minutes in length when $26,000 is pledged by its backers. Videos with well researched in depth analysis requiring enormous amount of work.


Video Production

Video production Sarkeesian startedt on 14th June 2012 with a media round up announcement about how she had been busy with the media interviews. [17] After that updates on Kickstarter are restricted to backers only and other viewers see topics only but the next topic 22nd July states It Begins! Production updates.

She gave a quick project update on her own site 1st August 2012 telling that she had started the research! She had purchased well over 300 games for her project and they can play on SNES, Gamecube, Wii, PS2, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, iPad and PC/MAC and perhaps acquire a 3DS XL. She also tells how happy she is now being able to commit full-time to Feminist Frequency, hire a full-time producer and a part time writer/researcher. She also shields her staff from being in the limelight by not introducing them to the public eye. That protects the staff from any potential harassment.

Sarkeesian and her staff are aiming to release one video per month, because each video in the series requires tremendous amount of research, writing and production time. They are estimating to release their first video in late fall or early winter and kicking off the series. Production update topics follow 2nd September 2012 Damsel in Distress Survey Question, November 3rd 2012 Super Quick News Update, 10th December 2012 Backers Only Video & Progress Notes, 29th January 2013 Good Things Take Time But We're Almost There! [18], 2nd March 2013 One Week From Launch! Double Checking Names, 7th March 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 1, 28th May 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 2, 7th June Reward Updates and Backer Input, 1st August 2013 The Damsel in Distress - Part 3. [19]

Video production took a bit over a year and produced 3 videos in total of 71:43 minutes in length or 72:53 minutes with the The Legend of the Last Princess mini animation. Backers paid $2,180 per minute for this production, which she promised to do with only $26,000 if the stretch goals were made by just. She claims to have referenced 183 or 192 games regarding the source, lower is from her video description and higher from her website

Video production in short from the project owner own website
Damsel in Distress Trope Series by the Numbers[20]
  • Number of episodes: 3
  • Minutes of video analysis: 73
  • Games referenced: 192

Quality videos for quality price, funding is easy using feminist popular words misogyny, online harassment, misogynist and bringing these fashionable words in use when contacting media to get media coverage! Promise them some questionably made stickers! Well, done Anita.

Sarkeesian becomes a target

On 4 June, 2012, Sarkeesian launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a series of videos. Soon thereafter, she became the target of numerous threats and a sustained campaign of cyberbullying from the...let's say, uncivilized part of the gaming world and other Internet denizens. She was threatened with physical abuse, rape, and murder, failed attempts were made to hack her various accounts and find out her personal information (such as phone number and home address), and her videos were mass reported for everything from piracy to terrorism. Worse, someone actually created a game called Beat up Anita Sarkeesian which allowed players to simulate doing exactly what the game's title implied.

In addition, the Wikipedia article about Sarkeesian has been the target of a persistent vandalism campaign, and she has had to deal with literally millions of insulting comments, many of a profoundly sexist nature, as well as some driven by misplaced anti-Semitism. There are accusations that Sarkeesian had deliberately provoked some of this behaviour by posting on the /v/ website, though proving such is difficult at best.

Sarkeesian has taken ownership of the abuse and marshaled it to demonstrate the prevalence of sexism in the gamer community.[21]

Continued attacks

As recently as April 17, 2013, her Twitter account reported an attempted DDOS[wp] attack on her website. There are also several YouTube videos in response to her with titles generally to the effect of "FeministFrequency is everything wrong with feminism" or "Anita Sarkeesian is a lunatic."[22] Additionally, because of the attacks on her she has disabled the like/dislike feature and the comments on all of her YouTube videos, and strictly censors her Twitter account.

How did MRAs take this? Well, one of them illegally downloaded her videos and uploaded them to a channel creatively titled "nasty opinions." If you want to see why Ms. Sarkeesian needs to keep working, just look at the comments on them.

See what you did?

There are two major bits of hilarity arising from the men's rights movement losing their minds over Sarkeesian:

  1. The rabid attacks against her are probably a major reason why she managed to get so much money from her Kickstarter, which has allowed her to make a living as a feminist activist and commentator.
  2. There's is now an adage called "Anita's Irony" (probably should be called Anita's Law) that exists because of her:
Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny.
[23]

Criticism

Because of the online harassment it is difficult to separate the relevant and truthful criticism from the bullshit relating to Anita Sarkeesian's video series 'Tropes vs Women in Video Games'. Various online 'private detectives' have commented on what seems like quote mining parts of video games and lack of contextual knowledge, speculating that she hasn't actually played any of the games herself. This contrasts with her Kickstarter project promotion and a TV interview where she proclaimed that part of her project includes researching and playing hundreds of games and that she is an avid video game player (despite her earlier claims to the contrary in a video lecture some 3 years ago[24]).

Sarkeesian was also criticised for lack of courtesy, putting her video material together from Let's Play videos by other Youtubers without giving due credit.[25] Such practice is highly frowned upon, but protected under fair use. This, along with month-long delays in her video schedule, has led to questions about what she has done with the $158,922 donations to her Kickstarter project.

Further criticism was directed at Sarkeesian's sampling, saying that instead of just concentrating on instances of games specifically showcasing the trope in question, she should establish the prevalence of the trope first.

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References

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