Talk:Anita Sarkeesian

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This Gender related article has been awarded SILVER status for quality. We like it, and you should too! See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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Silver Brain[edit]

Nominating for a silver brain. Objections/favors/comments? Zero (talk - contributions) 16:31, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

"she is most noted for the hatred she has received"[edit]

I think this quote from the article's introduction is very accurate. The phenomenon represented by her activities can hardly be separated into the personal and the professional. I have watched some of Thunderf00t's video invectives on Sarkeesian's work and they seem to amount to the claim that she is a con artist, that she doesn't do the work she claims she will do, or does it badly. It does seem to be the case that she has been engaging in a commercial, semi-intellectual form of feminist activity, which is not a bad thing. Everyone's got to eat. She is ostensibly a media critic, not unlike Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert, who once peddled their opinions on the latest movies (in this case, video games). This is a respectable activity. Ariel31459 (talk) 15:58, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Hitman game mechanics[edit]

"To put in other terms, if the developers didn't want the players to interact with/sightsee the strippers, why does the level take place in a strip club?".

That's a non sequitur fallacy right there. That's like saying "if that girl didn't want to be molested/gawked at/raped by greasy creep bags, why did she dress up skimply?" — Unsigned, by: 149.150.236.48 / talk / contribs

You do realize that these aren't humans, right? Zero (talk - contributions) 18:43, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
Does that make her argument any less fallacious? Also if none of these video game characters matter, than why the fuck should Anita or any "gamer activist" care? It seems almost nonsensical, as you point out, to complain about sexism in video games as it is all artificial. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.238.0 / talk / contribs
You seem to care and therefor disprove your own statement. Zero (talk - contributions) 16:25, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
I care about how the argument is performed, not the content itself. Now address the argument and stop derailing it. — Unsigned, by: 149.150.238.192 / talk / contribs
No that's not a non sequitur fallacy. The author asked a question, that didn't even detail a conclusion, much less fallaciously attribute a deductive conclusion. God damn people are an amazing combination of arrogant and ignorant here, wow. — Unsigned, by: 72.82.148.175 / talk / contribs

"In-game consequences for these violations are trivial at best. There is no real penalty for having knocked out the characters, despite a loss in statistical points".
--If the major goal of the game is to complete the mission with the highest score possible, then this penalty is about as real as it gets. Other "realer" (I'm not sure what metric is used here) penalties, such as being detected instantly, will break immersion, while making the player loses outright completely removes the civilian neutralization approach not just for the level, but for the entire game. For a stealth game, that's a loss in depth that's a little too much in my opinion.

"She also points out how the game only gives the player the option of either knocking out or killing civilian characters."
--Hitman does not really have civilian NPC interaction as its selling point. And yes, the civilian stripper in the club does fall into one of the two categories. I don't see how this piece of information contributes to the argument.

"...such as in another level where the player knocks out a stripper character and hides her body in order to set up a situation to beat the level"
--Reiterating the points from earlier: 1) the game actively discourages this with whatever "real penalty" it has, and 2) the common approach in this level is to leave them there and not do anything, instead of deliberately going out of way to knock them out. This sentence, in conjunction with the previous sentence, still doesn't form an actual argument. I will return to this later though.

"She makes the comparison to the Grand Theft Auto series where the player is penalized for stealing cars, despite that being the core mechanic of that game."
--Yes, but to be clear, the target audience is already interested in the idea of carjacking. The in game penalty is primarily increase in wanted level, which unlike the score system, is not a primary objective that the player min/maxes. In fact, players may deliberately choose to gain wanted levels to enjoy the police chase. Hitman does not invite the player to commit the acts that are described as "a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters", nor does players who chose to play this game have that in their mind when they pick it up. I do not find the equivalence drawn here to be representative of these two games.

"It was to say that the developers of Hitman intentionally included partially or fully naked women characters whose sole purpose is to be eye candy or be attacked by the player in some fashion. "
--Civilian characters are included in pretty much all stealth games. They act as a different class of "enemies" that serves to force the player to think through their approaches while also providing them with the option of non-violent neutralization. A civilian character in a strip club serves the exact same purpose. Adding to the earlier part about lack of interaction options, to say that a civilian character's sole purpose is to be attacked by the player is dishonest to not just Hitman, but the stealth genre as a whole.

"To put in other terms, if the developers didn't want the players to interact with/sightsee the strippers, why does the level take place in a strip club?"
--So, I interpret this as, all games should not have strip club in its settings, because if it does, and the developers added strippers for realism (not for eye candies, an assumption on intention), then the developers automatically want the players to interact/sightsee the strippers, and the players "are meant to derive a perverse pleasure from desecrating the bodies of unsuspecting virtual female characters". I definitely don't like this approach to sexuality, as if strip clubs are now the bane that should not be mentioned in video games. But I digress. I'm just saying, this is the most illogical argument in the section by far, where the addition of an entire environment is attributed to the sole intention of making the players aroused, and not possibly for any other reason.

The point I'm trying to make is that this section is rather weak in my opinion, both her responses to the critics, and the arguments presented to defend the original claim. And I decided to pretty much comment on all the points in the section not because I want to repeat my arguments, but because not doing so would leave the impression that "I'm deliberately choose a single line to nitpick". So, here I leave my thoughts. 162.242.48.103 (talk)

horseshoe theory?[edit]

sometimes I have to wonder what's the difference between what she's doing vs comics code authority of old 24.147.165.142 (talk) 22:58, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

Dear Sir, you are a dumb ass. Sincerely, WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:24, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

VidCon 2017?[edit]

Where is the part of harassment Sarkeesian got when she was a paid speaker at VidCon 2017 in a panel? There was hundreds if not thousands Sarkeesian critics silently in the audience showing that dissenters can be silent. Showed in an unedited video here: https://youtu.be/H-40spFCqLs She was so relentlessly attacked only because she had to face the silently errmmm... aggressively silently sitting audience. ~~ have a nice day — Unsigned, by: 87.92.69.239 / talk / contribs

What exactly is your point? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 03:01, 17 July 2018 (UTC)
She acted like a petulant child giving a bad impression of "feminism"TheDarkMaster2 (talk) 14:07, 21 November 2018 (UTC)

Scam Section[edit]

I'm sorry. You can't deny that Anita Sarkeesian collecting tens of thousands of dollars only to not finish the series isn't a scam. And no, the releasing isn't just slowed down; the series is over after not getting anywhere through the list of videos she promised. https://www.polygon.com/2017/4/27/15452574/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games-final-episode-season-two-sidekicks--HairlessCat (talk) 23:08, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Rehashing old Gamergate talking points that have been refuted a thousand times do not justify calling Anita Sarkeesian a "scammer." Cosmikdebris (talk) 18:59, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
You have a source to verify that?--HairlessCat (talk) 19:08, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
The source you link to says nothing at all about Sarkeesian being a "scammer." That is an opinion you appear to have pulled out of nowhere. This opinion reeks of Gamergate bullshit. You're the one who claims she's a scammer, and it's your job to demonstrably prove your assertion, not mine. Cosmikdebris (talk) 19:12, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
It shows that she cancelled the series, a series which she clearly did not spend the tens of thousands of dollars on. If the good folk of RationalWiki can deem the Amazing Atheist a scammer for raising thousands of dollars but not following through with his promises, they are morally and logically compelled to do the same in this instance.--HairlessCat (talk) 19:17, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
I watched the series, it was definitely finished. This is so stupid, they're on the fucking internet. You can watch them. There's fucking tons. Please stop having bad opinions now. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 19:32, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
@HairlessCat: I think you're grasping at straws. Feminist Frequency continues to produce online resources, podcasts and videos that directly contribute to their core mission. It would be different if Sarkeesian stopped all work, took her website offline and hit the road. It's obvious that she did not do this. Again, the source you provided does not imply in any way that she is a "scammer." I'd like to see some objective sources that indicate otherwise. Cosmikdebris (talk) 19:36, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
To be blunt, I saw this when it was first posted but didn't think it was worth responding to, similar to how I don't think most of the "I disagree so you must be wrong and I must be right!!" comments are worth responding to. You disagree, big deal. Without solid sourcing, arguments, and evidence I flat out don't care. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:43, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
Cosmikdebris: Was the halting of all content the case in Amazing Atheist, HairlessCat's proposed equivalent? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 19:57, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
(EC)The problem with this approach, which is normally fairly sensible, is that right-wing circle jerks will pass the same talking point around to each other, each citing the previous, elevating up the "respectability" ladder. Pretty soon you have major(if awful) publications that you could cite for the claim that she's a scammer, and when you dig down for the actual evidence, it's facebook or twitter or youtube pages for shitty misogynists saying exactly what hairless cat is: flagrant lies. If you don't address the actual truth of it, that it's literally untrue in every reasonable sense, and those saying it's true are liars with no integrity at all, it's very easy to manipulate rules such as yours. ikanreed 🐐Bleat at me 20:02, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
@LeftyGreenMario Here's a link to the relevant section. As you can see, unlike Sarkeesian, TJ never got his projects beyond the planning and/or beta stages, let alone getting to a point that could be called "canceling" or "ending" them. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 20:04, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
(EC) @LeftyGreenMario: I'm not that familiar with The Amazing Athiest situation at all, and wasn't using that as an example. From what I can gather from TheAmazingAtheist#E-begging_and_scams, that character appears to have clearly solicited donations for projects that never came to fruition or were implemented in a half-assed way. There simply is no comparison at all in this specific instance to Feminist Frequency. Cosmikdebris (talk) 20:07, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
I know you didn't ask, but HairlessCat brought up the comparison and I needed to make sure if it's a fair equivalency. Which it doesn't seem like it. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:15, 24 September 2018 (UTC)
For all your meticulous asking for sources you could have probably looked it up yourselves. For the record, releasing her first video almost a year later when the original plan was to get all 5 in a year with less than 1/10th the funding doesn’t exactly look good. The response section is also full of fallacies. She didn’t know that fan art from an artists page that she removed the artists signature from was by an artist? That and using other youtuber’s videos without permission are unethical, regardless of the legality. — Unsigned, by: 174.230.173.3 / talk / contribs
I'm not looking for sources to your claims because you're too intellectually shallow and lazy to provide them. I've watched her series, it's finished. She isn't a scammer, you're a lazy idiot, and that's the end of it. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 16:13, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Anita Sarkeesian is gender-essentialist[edit]

I was among the wave of individuals who heavily criticized Anita Sarkeesian and her viewpoints before GamerGate even happened, way back in 2013. I watched in astonishment as my criticisms were rebuffed and I was tarred and feathered as an anti-feminist by fanatics, even when I tried making my argument in a reasoned manner. The thing is, Sarkeesian’s whole viewpoint is completely tainted by essentialism, no matter how valid her points about over-sexualization may be. If you read her thesis, “I’ll Make a Man out of You”, it becomes eminently clear that she thinks gender roles and traits are fixed, and any time a woman performs masculinity, it is inauthentic (i.e. fictional women don’t actually become foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, hard-smoking gunslingers unless written as men, by men). I objected to this, vehemently. If you agree with Anita Sarkeesian, then you think that characters like Revy, Alita, the Bride, Lara Croft, Imperator Furiosa, Lorraine Broughton, Trinity, Samus Aran, et cetera, are just faking being manly and are totally unrelatable to any women in the audience. This should come as no surprise. Anita Sarkeesian is a follower of Carol Gilligan and cites her in her work. Carol Gilligan is the writer of In a Different Voice, a manual of gender-essentialism that is literally page after page of explaining why women are intrinsically nice, and emotive, and compassionate and caring, and how men, like Clyde in the proverbial Bonnie and Clyde duo, corrupt women’s pure natures and overwrite their unique voice with their own. The problem with this should be evident to anyone who engages in even the most shallow analysis. If you depict Anita Sarkeesian’s ideal woman, your character will be a literal chauvinist’s idea of a “good woman”. Meek, long-suffering, diplomatic, and harmless. A doormat. Which one do you think pisses a meninist off more? That, or a hard-drinking, cigar-puffing woman who straps on a couple revolvers and kills like fifty guys in a shootout? In Anita’s world, the latter is quite literally a “gender traitor” who seeks male approval by performing masculinity. Let’s be reasonable here. If you follow Anita’s logic to its ultimate conclusion, you will end up reinforcing traditional gender roles for women and perpetuating oppression. I’ll take action girls any day over that nonsense. The article on here totally lacks any criticism whatsoever of Anita’s weird essentialism that underpins many of her critiques. — Unsigned, by: 2600:100f:b008:c28a:89d5:9b7e:9557:3c6c / talk / contribs

Maybe, but who really cares now? Anita is not a philosopher, a psychologist, a sociologist, or any scientific sort of writer. She created reviews for video games from her own perspective and caught a lot of shit for it. So what? Also, someone might take you more seriously if you register and consider making actually constructive suggestions.Ariel31459 (talk) 20:20, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-vtHHZTa25FFgCH7p/Sarkeesian2010_djvu.txt <- text in archive.org for anyone that's interested
It does seem like Sarkeesian has a weird tendency to align femininity and masculinity on a linear spectrum (charitably calling it a spectrum), and how those two are defined, well, not sure if they're defined at all. I do think there's some kernel of truth that sometimes, a "strong" woman is just someone who has overly "traditional" masculine traits (typically portrayed in the west) such as aggression, lacking emotion, showing no vulnerabilities, rugged individualism rather than showing strength through other traditionally feminine traits ). Her examples, not sure if they support it, but one example I can bring up is how people think Peach from Super Mario Adventures is supposedly a "strong" female character because she's ridiculously aggressive To her credit, she does manage to fashion a plan to get out immediately as well as even risking herself to rescue Mario, but she shouts a lot and is very physically aggressive. Anyhow, this is Princess Peach, and while she's the quintessential damsel in distress, she's really more than capable on her own, and IMO, she's way more affected by the plot setup rather than her character traits as being passive, as Mario's often imprisoned a lot of times too. I don't want to ramble too much about the damsel in distress trope, and that Peach's probably not the best example of it these days, but I think the takeaway is that you don't have to be a rugged badass to be a good character.
As for your first point, I think Sarkeesian's point is that you can still be a gentle housewife and still be an interesting, strong character and capable of a lead role, but I haven't seen a lot of examples of that? She does say characters exist, but they are often relegated to a supporter and aren't really a hero because they're not the ones that have physical prowess. So far, I haven't seen any arguments that women shouldn't be foul-mouthed, hard-drinking, hard-smoking gunslingers or else they are faking it, but that when people think of "strong" women in lead roles, they think of women that display the "traditional" masculine traits rather than the gentle housewife. I haven't seen any sort of accusation of "gender traitor" by the way, I think that's making up arguments that don't exist, kinda like a strawman. I also think Sarkeesian's idea of a "strong woman" wouldn't be the doormat, but would be the woman who isn't aggressive, the woman who's not dominating over others but still assertive, the woman who has a strong moral compass and can achieve goals through cooperation and diplomacy (as well as assertiveness such as avoiding sources of harm, the woman who can emotionally lead someone out of a mental rut. It's a problem you characterize that as a "harmless" and a "doormat" as if physical strength is a measure of worth.
We'll have to see if her examples hold up to scrutiny, but I do think characters like Samus Aran and Lara Croft, while far better than the overly passive sex objects (even though they tend to also be treated like sex objects), aren't illustrative of ideal examples of "strong women", representing only a portion of what strong women should be (and being overrepresented). It might be a problem of how people define what a strong woman is, which can be just another thread of patriarchal values, and it's not wholly unique to women as you don't see men in those roles either (but "traditional" feminine gender roles is an abstract concept which can apply to both men and women). --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario!(Mod) 20:49, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. It only takes a few paragraphs to discover that, yes, Anita is using an implicitly essentialist point of view."This project began as I was watching TV and found myself identifying with and rooting for the strong female heroes." She declares that she selected the "strong female figures" according to her own reaction to them. While this may not seem essentialist at first glance, her ability to pick them out is implicitly essentialist via her own subjective standard. This sort of POV requires that a narrative need only present a number of cues that identifies the femininity or masculinity of a character; the rest is a projection, supplied by the viewer. Further essentialist details are embedded in the concept of the male gaze: "The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female form which is styled accordingly." So, she clearly recognizes the male gendered structuring of reality is essentialist, something that men cannot help but must do. This male gaze is, I think, related to the Jungian female archetypes. But, as I have previously asked, so what? Ariel31459 (talk) 23:12, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
To be fair, the thesis is comparatively ancient, since it was kicking around at least ten years ago in her head. Zero (talk - contributions) 07:26, 29 December 2019 (UTC)