Several months ago, I published two articles on my old blog, Black Trident Media, entitled “What Women Think of Feminist Frequency” in which I approached a number of women via social media and asked them to offer a counter-perspective to much of the common fluff concerning Anita Sarkeesian’s views in Feminist Frequency’s Tropes vs. Women series. Now that Black Trident Media was shut down, I would feel remiss not putting this up for readers to continue to see for themselves that there are indeed many women who disagree with her assertions.
Feminist Frequency is a genius of the long con. But then, so are the parties responsible for feminism. Nothing entraps women more than the myth of the ‘bad man’ who’s out there and gonna getcha if you don’t do as you’re told.
As a Choice Feminist the kind of viewpoints that Anita Sarkeesian espouses worry me a great deal. Her media critiques are under researched, using cherry picked footage and emotive language to fit a narrative rather than any kind of factual analysis. Even more concerning is that she presents her perspectives as facts rather than the assertions that they are and she point blank refuses to address anyone with legitimate concerns about the validity of her work, she instead chooses to lump them in with those that she claims are harassing her. The messages that Anita delivers about feminism as a movement are incredibly troubling. As demonstrated by her speech at the ‘How To Be A Feminist’ panel at the All About Women event of 2015 Anita seems to feel that women having individual choice and agency regarding their lives is actually bad for feminism as a movement, this is actually baffling to me as a believer in women expressing individual freedoms as feminist empowerment and liberation. Feminism exists to achieve Gender Equality and yet Anita seems to believe that women as individuals only exist as far as what they can do to assist in the continuation of the feminist movement. Her speech asserted that women must consider, when making choices, that they may be inadvertently supporting patriarchal systems and that every woman, even if if is to her detriment to do so, must take the burden of responsibility for all women and for the feminist movement. Curtailing women’s freedom in the name of feminism to me is not liberating or empowering, in fact it is oppressive and an ideological prison. This substitution of perceived patriarchal gate-keeping with feminist authoritarianism is a fundamental betrayal of everything that feminism and left wing cultural critique is supposed to stand for. The worst part is Anita’s insistence that she is an advocate working for the benefit of womankind while she actively silences, or blatantly ignores, any woman that dares to disagree with her.
Whether or not Anita wants to continue, whether or not she finds examples that she truly believes are sexism, she has over a hundred thousand dollars of backers forcing her to follow through. Personally I think that this is why FemFreq cherrypicks, twists context, and makes mountains out of molehills. She has to.
I think she doesn’t know much about video games or women and minorities in video games.
It aggrieves me that anybody could think that Feminist Frequency offers an accurate insight on games and the average experience of female gamers. She is horribly out-of-touch with the gaming community. Her “analyses” have been torn to shreds countless times for factual inaccuracy but she pretends the only dissent she receives is of a threatening nature and purely because she is female. Not to mention her draconian sex negativity, her insistence that only men appreciate the female form in video games and the belief that people feel compelled to act in reality in the same way they act in video games, despite evidence to the contrary. I have never experienced misogynistic abuse for being a female gamer. If you’re a good team player, you’re appreciated. That’s it.
I personally do not value the opinions of pop culture critics when it comes to my media as I prefer to come to my own conclusions without relying on the subjective judgements of someone else. Although I may not agree with the Feminist Frequency staff, I can say this: my public rebuttals to their stances have introduced me to some of the best people I would have otherwise never met.
When one looks for sexism in every nook and cranny, you’re going to find it. And Sarkeesian does this. She already came to her conclusion, “games are sexist”, and finds things that support that argument. And this is incredibly disingenuous and only does the gaming industry, and women that want to get into the gaming industry, harm. When you use scare tactics to say that everything is sexist, that everything is evil, that everyone is out to get you as a woman, then women aren’t going to want to go into that field. They’re going to stay as far away from that field as possible.
Anita’s treatment by media and academia is puzzling to me. She is lauded even though her contributions are minimal. It’s understandable that she addresses hot button topics. However focus and recognition that could go to those accomplishing things in science and tech are instead lavished on one half of a pair of Youtube critics. Critics who can’t manage to fulfill their Kickstarter goals, despite allegedly outsourcing production of actual game play footage to uncredited lets players. They’ve demonstrated basics gaps in knowledge of their topic (E3 tweet regarding Lara Croft winter wear being a easy example) and are notorious for poorly cherry picking situations to validate points. There was a questionable delay in FemFreq filing for non-profit status and the FemFreq twitter account occasionally expresses concerning opinions on a variety of topics. Like segregation. Participating in this is not the makings of a role model. Regardless many young and potentially vulnerable people do look to Anita as a role model. It could be argued that FemFreq does harm by painting gaming as hostile and misogynistic, but I will be content if they simply stop using convicted pedophiles to moderate their twitch stream.
St. Wintermute (Twitter)
The frustrating thing about Feminist Frequency is that Sarkeesian and McIntosh have effectively destroyed any true self-reflection that could be afforded to creative types for years to come. Instead of drawing parallels with established, concrete history and corroborating with established, verified, well-researched ideas in order to bring the viewer to draw their own conclusions or parallels, instead we have a bi-yearly “burn the witch” moment where a beloved or even barely tolerated franchise is dragged out to the yard, put into the stocks so that the journalistic elite can muse over how they can best punish those who are responsible for it. It’s an embarrassment to critical thinkers and irrelevant to girls within the gaming community who, instead of contextualizing grander experiences with a wide array of characters, are just as well to ignore the context of their avatar within game, rendering them race-less, sex-less, character-less puppets rather than fleshed-out comrades. But as the series marches on this seems to be the intent of Feminist Frequency as a whole. There are literally *hundreds of thousands* of creations out there by which someone can juxtapose against a title that does something wrong with a title that does that same thing *right* or is at least on the right track, because that’s what having a conversation in order to formulate a well-rounded idea or concept is supposed to be the result of. Instead, The Problematic Twins refuse to listen to feedback, shut down all discourse and, as a huge disservice to girls who game online and interact on social media, have brought about a new era of objections being equivocal to harassment, not dissipating an environment of fear, but stoking it for their own profit and gain, potentially isolating the vast majority of girls who are capable of holding their own in a conversation without needing someone to carry a torch for them. As a result, we’ve been infantilized, ostracized and told we have “bad opinions” or “internalized misogyny”, which anyone outside of this industry would view as abusive; instead, creators are vilified and those that benefit from their vilification are revered by what was once the vanguard, the advocate of the consumer to the industry, the journalist, and that anyone who makes such an observation is to be removed from the cycle with prejudice.
My view on Feminist Frequency is that it’s toxic. All Anita can do is spread fear and that’s the very core of what proproganda is. When you argue with Anita supporters online, they like to tell you lies that this is not the case but, the essense of good propoganda as displayed through history is fear and Anita is the setting example of what Modern Feminism within our industries is. It’s using a BS excuse of an “equality” movement and shoving fear down peoples’ throats. And when people like GamerGate band together to sort these things out, the ones fighting for the gaming industry and for ethics and to empower people to enjoy gaming and ignore idiots like Anita are the ones branded as the bad ones when thats furtherest from the truth! GamerGate has been one of the most tolerant and diverse communities I have been apart of. We have philosophers like Christina, we have Gay conservatives Milo, we even have adult entertainment workers like Mercedes and countless women like the Honey Badgers who fight for what they believe in. To say we are the bad ones is complete and utter bollocks. As it stands, FemFreq has done nothing but trivilize the actual abuse people in reality do have, essesstially mocking actual survivors of true harassment, it has demonized and aided in criminalizing an entire demographic. Our sons, our uncles, our husbands, boyfriends, fathers who have done nothing other then play video games and done everything by the book are being targeted simply because they happen to have a set of genitals that people like Anita dislike. That because they happen to like video games and happen to have a penis between their legs, people like Anita have taken it upon themselves to attack an entire group which simply does more harm to men and boys and the women who love them. And no one apart from GamerGate want to take action against her. They sit on their backsides and allow people like her to be one of the most sexist and discriminating groups there is and the fact that she’s a feminist and is an icon for Feminism? Goes to show how horrible Feminism has become!
Lady Daemontus (Twitter)
Feminist frequency really doesnt represent the views of women who play games, we dont do care if the main character is male, we dont care if a women is murdered in a game, all we care about is that the game is good, works properly, and is something fun to spend our time on. Also, ive met so many lovely male friends over the internet, and ive never been harassed for my gender, in fact ive only ever been harassed by feminists who say my view is wrong! Women dont need to be told how to live their lives, im pretty sure thats what she should be fighting against, but instead all she seems to do is say ‘you must think this way, believe this is misogynistic, this is sexist’. (rough) Quote her: ‘everything is racist, eveything is sexist, everything is misogynistic’. Jeez, you must be fun at parties…
I think Feminist Frequency is a con artist and a liar. She’s making women believe she gives a damn about them, but reality is she only gives a damn about herself and her money. She’s making it harder for me, as a woman, to even go to gamer events or anything, because now everyone is afraid if I’m going to be THAT kind of feminist or something. I wish she would piss off, and leave women in gaming alone. She has done more harm than good (if any good at all), and it’ll take years to rebuild what she’s torn down. Go away, Anita. We don’t fucking need you.
Anita is contributing to a very dangerous societal trend where men are accosted to make women superior. However, I find it ironic that in her attempt to gain more female representation in gaming, she is single-handedly scaring women away with her extreme propaganda from an industry that is most welcoming to all. Feminist Frequency is detrimental to female empowerment.
Karisma Singh (Twitter)
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