Comprehensively addressing the stupid, intellectually dishonest critique of Anita Sarkeesian



History has shown time and time again that one cannot effect social change without making a few enemies. She’s on the right track.


I look forward to seeing this thread unfold, and the inevitable bleeding from my eyes that will follow.


The New Statesman article used the picture in this post as evidence that Anita Sarkeesian is a “real gamer”, counter to claims by her detractors that she doesn’t know the genre. Aside from the fact that I don’t believe that Ms. Sarkeesian has to be a “real gamer” to present the critiques she is making, I’m not sure that the picture is good evidence of that.

The picture shows her sitting next to hundreds of games for the Wii, XBox, and PS3, all the leading platforms when her Kickstarter was funded. It looks like a perfectly reasonable publicity photo to shoot of the hundred of games she purchased from the vastly over-funded campaign to review for her videos. It would be a perfectly appropriate use of the funds, and a perfectly appropriate photo to take to highlight the breadth of games the funding allows.

The first episode in the series she showed a photo of her, as a child, playing video games on an NES, as part as an effort to show that she has gaming chops. That is probably better proof than this picture.

I have very much enjoyed her series, and while the latest video tended to concentrate on recent games, I did enjoy her showing that the tropes against women she is talking about have always been there; her research and experience is not limited to the hundreds of new games shown in that picture.


Sarkeesian, Sarkeesian, Sarkeesian.

If you say it three times, the man babies appear.


This is going to sound a little righteous but it’s actually pretty easy to be a ‘White Night’ when you genuinely believe what you’re saying.


The term White Knight is actually supposed to represent someone who claims to be a “man who doesn’t believe women are inferior and justly subjugated to men” simply for the purpose of having sex with those women. “White Knighting” means coming to a woman’s defense so that she’ll ride off into the sunset (i.e. have sex) with you.

Much like the term Social Justice Warrior, (someone who only holds the belief that people should be treated equally because it helps them earn internet fame points) it’s intended to be used as a slur.

It’s most telling that the people who come up with these terms don’t seem to understand that other people actually believe people should be treated equally and with respect.


“white knighting” (which is misogynist-creep-code for “man who doesn’t believe women are inferior and justly subjugated to men”)

I feel like something is wrong with that sentence structure. Removing the double negative, does this mean that white knighting is code for a “man who believes women are equal or better”? And if so, why is it mysogynist creep code?

I thought men who believed themselves to be white knights thought women needed defending/rescuing (which requires believing women are inherently inferior at least at defending themselves).


I think what’s being said here is that “misogynist-creeps” have a derogatory way to refer to men who respect women, and who believe women are and should be equal to men. They’re not saying these men believe themselves to be “white knights”, nor that men who respect women believe that women need to be rescued.


It’s a critique that oftens refers to some faceless, voiceless majority which is being disenfranchised or misrepresented in some way by TvsWVG, and that “everyone” - except those pesky, fun-hating feminists! - hate her. Therefore, the only reason people gave so much to Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter was as a response to the abuse she received, not in support of her project. After all, if the market wanted feminist themes in its media, then it would pay for it, no?

See…the thing is…and this is where I’m going to try to revive the “it’s possible to say things that aren’t 100% positive about Anita Sarkeesian without being a horrible misogynist pig about it” mess…

Much of the criticism that I’ve seen–that she’s a con artist, a crook, what have you–started when it took several months to produce the first video. After the videos started to roll out, the “Sarkeesian is a con artist” train kept rolling when people became convinced that the gameplay footage was ripped from Let’s Play videos on Youtube.

Honestly, I got to that point, and found that the author, while having noble intentions, is fighting a valiant fight against strawmen. As far as what I’ve listed goes, it’s important to note that majority of the disputed footage is, in fact, from cutscenes–so it wouldn’t matter if she and her team had ripped it themselves, or ripped it from a Youtube video. And as far as the amount of time goes, she did set a fairly huge goal for herself. Good counterpoints, eh? But instead…sigh…lots of impassioned strawman skewering.

I’d like to see them critique this, instead.

And I honestly think most reasonable people who have beaten the “she’s a crook” drum are doing so to try to convince people that maybe, just maybe, might consider using restraint before supporting any more efforts by this particular person. Look…she’s not wrong about much of it, and it’s fantastic to see that it’s having an effect…but the adversarial “us vs. them” attitude doesn’t help anyone. This goes to the creeps, and to people who make creepy comments about the creeps. None of you are helping. Nope, you’re not.

In closing, because I don’t want to belabor it any further, and as a sidenote, I want to remind people that just because a handful of dudebros have decided to send threats to Sarkeesian does not mean that all gamers are horrible people. And now I’ll bow out of the thread, as I’m sure there will be no replies of value or interest.


The thing I find curious recently is that the only explanation put forth for the defensive response is that there is a population of gamers who “hate women.” If you’re going to talk identity politics, talk identity politics. “Gamer culture” as it has been historically characterized is shaped by a generation or so of being called socially dysfunctional nerds, then another generation or two of “Blame video games” where the Tipper Gores of the world villainized their hobby and tried to have it banned for inciting antisocial behavior. Now, you have a new group of socially powerful outsiders spinning up apparently similar rhetoric. Of course you’re getting tribal “defend the in-group against the evil outsider” behavior. You see the same unhealthy pattern in all kinds of places, especially gender and race politics. Amusingly, it’s mostly postmodern feminists who characterized the phenomenon and warned about engaging in or inciting that kind of identity politics rooted tribalism.

I’m not saying the lashing out is acceptable, but you have to be really disingenuously uncritical to not know it was coming, especially for a professional activist whose core audience is frequently criticized for engaging in the same kind of tribal behavior. The other alternative is she knew exactly the kind of shitstorm she was going to stir up, did so intentionally, and is deftly manipulating it for social capital, which is a mixture of impressive (at her political accumen) and embarrassing (at the utter ineptitude of the incited at politicking) to watch.


[quote]“white knighting” (which is misogynist-creep-code for “man who doesn’t
believe women are inferior and justly subjugated to men”[/quote]

The term white knighting is often misused by misogynist creeps, but it was actually created by feminists to refer to a certain kind of undesirable behavior from ostensibly feminist men.

Basically, a man is a white knight when he assumes that he is more qualified than a woman to express feminist ideas. For example: repeating what a woman already said as though he thought of it, or turning the conversation into a contest between himself and another man, sidelining the voices of women.

So white knighting can be an important concept, and it shouldn’t be discredited just because it’s misused by assholes.


As a 30-something I was disgusted by the sex scenes in Farcry 3. On account of being a grown-ass man.

It’s extremely easy to watch Anita’s videos and think, “She’s right!”.

Her critics, by and large, need to just grow up and realize she is not personally attacking them. However, if they feel it is a personal attack, this is a cause for some reflection.


Amazing work by Shane_Simmons, straight-facedly invoking “NOT ALL GAMERS”, claiming to not be a misogynist and then linking to Thunderf00t.


To be fair, Tipper Gore is on the hook for a lot of things.

Interestingly, making explicit lyrics a lot more desirable as a selling point!


“If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of their petulant squalling, carried by the wind. Actually, the whining is pretty loud, isn’t it?”


You should maybe actually read the rest of the article, then. Since he mentions the Thunderfoot videos specifically.

Also you might learn something about art critiquing along the way.

“I’m sure there will be no replies of value or interest.”

So why are you here at all?


I ask openly, since I have been musing while reading the comment thread:

Is all the hate driven by identity?

I would not have been offended by Anita even when I was an undersexed adolescent (see my previous post), but I have always had more than one identity label other than “Gamer”, as I have many interests. Actually, I don’t think I have ever primarily identified as this, despite always having been an avid gamer.

Maybe this is a major source of the feeling of threat that these people feel? A threat to identity?


To paraphrase an old curse: may you spend your precious life’s moments in a petulant flame war in which you KNOW you are right.


Wait, we can get points!!! :wink: