Harassment, Misogyny and Silencing on YouTube

June 7, 2012

Here is a very small sample of the harassment I deal with for daring to criticize sexism in video games. Keep in mind that all this is in response to my Kickstarter project for a video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video Games (which I have not even made yet). These are the types of silencing tactics often used against women on the internet who dare to speak up. But don’t worry it won’t stop me!

[MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING]

NOTE: These 100+ comments were left over the course of a two hour period on YouTube. They represent only a tiny fraction of the hundreds and hundreds now thousands of similar comments left on my video. The screen capture is unedited.

YouTubeComments

In addition to the torrent of misogyny and hate left on my YouTube video (see below) the intimidation effort has also included repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me (with porn), organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website.  These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape.  All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.  Thankfully, Kickstarter has been very supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service. All my backers have also been amazingly encouraging over on the project page too!

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155 Responses to “Harassment, Misogyny and Silencing on YouTube”

  1. Wow, just wow. Thanks for the work you’ve been doing and sorry you have to deal with this sort of crap.

    star_crash Reply:

    The internet is full of unsupervised children and childish adults http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/26/day-confronted-troll. The only action to be taken as with any negative social behaviour is to show that the majority won’t tollerate it.

    Wonderful stuff you are doing. Keep it up and don’t let a small but vocal minority get you down.

  2. I couldn’t make it through reading all of these comments (and that’s only a fraction of what you received) and it made me furious and sick and brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sorry you have been receiving these kind of hateful comments Anita! Stay strong, and know that you have supporters that appreciate ALL that you do :)

    Mere Reply:

    I felt the same response. Just horrible, mind-numbing things. I don’t know about you, but although I’m suspicious of media, I find it easy to forget that people who believe things like this are actually walking around. These comments remind me that, unfortunately, they do. I’m also disturbed by the anti-Jewish hatred running through the comments, too.

    I can’t say much more than Rachella and everyone else expressing thanks for putting up with this campaign of hate and continuing to think, write, and produce videos. The videos and articles produced here are so thoughtful and incisive. They are so valuable! THANK YOU AND TAKE CARE! : ) Tons of people are rooting for you!

  3. GAH! RAGE!! Argh, I get so mad at these types of people. They’re why when I started a beer blog w a friend a while back we kept quiet about being lady-types. When people met us in person we kept getting all sorts of sexist shit. (and we weren’t even challenging their views other than ladies like/brew beer).

    Oi, and these comments are indicative of why you need to make your project. I think you’re AWESOME! And I’m so excited that you reached your goal!! BEST WISHES AND STAY STRONG!!!

    Mere Reply:

    Which is such nonsense, because at least in Europe brewing was the reserve and responsibility of women for hundreds of years. Medieval women had their own recipes and techniques. They were the experts!

    Brendan Reply:

    And to add to that . my cousin was the first female brewmiester in beligum. She goes all over the country setting up brewerys.

  4. This is some of the worst comments I’ve ever seen!

  5. Terrifying. Simply Terrifying.

  6. Wow. I’m one of your backers, and this makes me so sad. It really illustrates the need of what you are doing. Keep up the good work! I am looking forward to seeing all of your future work :)

  7. Wow, I’ve made comments about sexism in games at various places, and seen similar comments. This kind of thing is why it’s important for a project like this.
    Sorry I don’t have money to help fund it but I’ve been telling everyone I can on Facebook, tumblr, in-person friends, etc. about it, to try and help out.
    Good luck, hun, and try not to let the trolls get to you.

  8. I was unfamiliar with your work prior to my friend Mitu posting about your Kickstarter project a little while ago, but I just wanted to say that seeing the vile comments on your YouTube video made me immediately pledge a donation to this project.

    Good luck and stay strong. Crap like what we see in the comments above is exactly why people like you need to take on projects like this.

  9. One of the general complaints being made here is that Anita hates men? What!? She hasn’t said or even suggested anything of the sort. Her point seems to be that there is a very shallow pool of female archetypes used again and again in video games. She thinks this is worth studying and understanding. If you disagree and feel that women are treated in a fair and even handed manner by the industry, don’t fund her project. If you think men are unfairly represented make your own video blog or Kickstarter project.

  10. Me ten minutes ago: “Sexism in videogames? Well, like, duh. Obviously sexism in videogames is a problem. I’m sure Anita’s deconstruction will be top notch, but still – this isn’t exactly controversial. How can anyone question that?”

    Me five minutes ago: *reading comments, mouth agape*

    Me now: “Well, that just goes to show how much I know. Derp derp.”

    +1 Backer.

  11. Is this screencap unedited i.e. is this really just a continuous stream of filth in the comments? This is disgusting, even for Youtube. Best of luck with your research! As a game dev student, I’m really looking forward to the results.

  12. Oh: I’m not sure if this will make it in there, but my pet hate in fantasy-themed videogames is boobplate armor.

    The idea of plate armor is to deflect incoming thrusts away from the sternum. Boobplates basically guide thrust directly into the woman’s heart. It’s just daft.

    Not to mention that anyone wearing boobplate would likely crack their sternum if they tripped over and fell forwards onto those things.

    I get that sometimes stylization can take precedence over reality. But for some reason boobplates really bother me.

    Meanwhile, the less said about running around in battle in high heels the better (yes, Diablo III demon hunter, I am looking at you).

  13. Wow. You are a much stronger and braver person than I. Please keep fighting, you do make a difference.

  14. I wish I wasn’t beyond broke. Seriosly I would love to be able to donate to your cause. I love your videos, you are such an inspiration. I’m not a gamer but I can’t wait to watch the series! Best of luck and we’re with you!

  15. Wow. Just…wow.

    I really can’t believe these people. I absolutely loved your Tropes vs Women series, and I can’t wait to see the new series! All the best, and I’m so sorry this seems to have brought the crazy sexist ones out of the woodwork…

  16. Wow. Just wow. All the sexism and snide aside, it’s hard for me to believe that people think it’s free do make videos and do in-depth research… Hmmm. I’m very exited for your project and wish you the best! :)

  17. So disgusting. And yet guys somehow claim that there’s not a problem?! Good grief.

  18. I really hope you don’t take these terrible comments personally. I couldn’t make it through all of them either, but partly because it all starts to sound the same: “Woman having opinion! Attack!” – at least there are also tons of people on the internet who absolutely love you and can’t get enough of your videos! Like me!

    Also, someone mentioned “Ugly Feminist Ham Planet: The Game” – and I couldn’t help but think of a game something like Diner Dash, except a humorless farmer woman raising adorably unruly cartoon pigs to take to market (the “Ham Planet” market)… which sounds totally playable!

    Anyway, I’m a gamer, a game designer, and a feminist, so I can’t wait for your new series! Keep up the great work, Anita!

  19. Hang in there, Anita. Such a strong blowback suggests that you are doing something powerful and important. The one good idea out of all the hatefulness in the comments is that it would be useful to look at the gender stereotypes for both women AND men in your series focusing on video games. It is obvious that the images internalized of what it means to be a man has a strong negative impact (just look at the trolling comments!). Understanding hypermasculinity can be just as much a part of feminist scholarship as understanding hyperfeminity. So that would be my recommendation for making full use of the extra resources from the Kickstart (to which I have donated :-)– examine gender stereotypes for females AND males. Thanks for all your excellent work and putting yourself on the line. Brava!

  20. I’m male and I just wanted to say thanks for your work, which I’m happy to support. It was through one of your videos/posts that I learned about the Bechdel Test and the work of Allan G. Johnson… I’ve read “The Gender Knot” and am about to begin “Privilege, Power and Difference”. If only the men who write these comments would read those books. :(

  21. You are great. Your website is great. Your videos are great. Don’t let these asswipes get you down.

  22. Thank you so much for all of your work on this project and this vlog!

    The fear, sexism, and violence portrayed in these comments is truly disturbing. I admire you for your work, your strength and your commitment to intelligent, well researched and open criticism of contemporary culture. Your grace in handling this situation has not gone unnoticed.

    Please know that your work has inspired me and changed my life by renewing and strengthening my commitment to equal rights. What you do on this vlog is essential and inspiring and I am proud to support it!

  23. Holy hell. YouTube comments are generally appalling, but… whoa.

  24. Wow, I feel a little nauseous reading just a handful of those comments. I couldn’t make it all the way down.

  25. I’m sorry you have to put up with all that. I couldnt even read through them all. I appreciate your videos.

  26. Hi there.

    I play video games, but the ones I play allow characters to be either gender with no difference other than cosmetic. I usually switch from one to the other for variety. I’m sure I don’t see a lot of the issues you will address in your videos so I am looking forward to having my eyes opened and being educated.

    Is there a mailing list or something to let people know when and where the videos will be available?

    I wish I could donate something to help you but at the moment that simply isn’t possible.

    Good luck and don’t let the idiots get you down.

  27. I mean, the anger… I just don’t get the anger. I mean, I’ve encountered a fair bit of misogyny in my own field, but usually it’s misguided. Very rarely is it so vitrolic and … graphic.

    You’re a brave, beautiful (inside and out!) and articulate woman. You have my respect, my admiration and my moral support. I wish I had the financial resources to offer monetary support.

    Can’t wait for the series to come out.

  28. Wow.

    I flagged about half way. Just terrifying.

  29. Thank you for your website and the videos you have. Very eye opening. It is terrible to think that the people who left those posts are eligible to vote.

  30. This is absolutely disgusting, but at least they’ve served to prove that sexism and misogyny are alive and well; even if they claim otherwise.

  31. Well, this is pretty typical youtube garbage which is terribly horrifying. It’s important not to give credence to knee-jerk reactions from people controlled by their prejudices.

    I also patently reject the hokum about hate-slamming being a part of “internet” culture. Instead it is the RESULT of a culture that is still forming and is not fully developed.

    I love the videos, Anita. I don’t want to see you bullied and discouraged! What you’re doing is important and fields discussion and understanding.

  32. I wonder how much they would harass you once they found out the video game companies didn’t care about them. You should play them that clip of the CEO of EA talking to his investors about micro transactions. They might come around. Just a thought.
    Anyway, Keep up your good work! Your YouTube channel is AWESOME!!! <3 :-)

  33. I was also shocked by the very antisemitic comments. It’s outraging!

    You have my solidarity.

  34. Oh my god !!! If you hadn’t put the screenshot, I wouldn’t have believed it.

    I can’t believe people nowadays can be so sexist, agressive and violen. I am so sorry you have to face that.

    You’re doing a really great job ! Please stay strong, the world needs you!
    And thank you for everything you’re doing, you’re truly amazing.

  35. This just made me realize that I am making a very wise investment supporting this Kickstarter project, even though I don’t play video games. My favorite videos are about film industry, I wonder what you think about the series Girls? Anyway, looking forward to seeing more of your work!
    Greetings from Estonia,
    Kadri

  36. This sort of reaction is completely shocking to me. I can’t believe people can be so closed-minded and vulgar. It’s like they didn’t even take the time to listen to what you were saying; instead, they just targeted the word “feminism” and opened fire.

    I’m a total gaming fanboy. This is from an article I wrote for my college paper: “Then I donated some money and watched a bunch of her videos. Oh, and I’m writing this. Am I a traitor to the wonderful world of gaming? No, not at all. I’m actually supporting an idea that will bring awareness to a slanted tendency of society and possibly aid in the artistic evolution of my favorite medium, attracting more respect toward each of these.”

    Power to ya, team. Thanks for taking on this project. I’m jazzed to hear what you have to say.

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    I agree that it seems like people just ignored everything she said and targeted that one word. Feminism is a trigger word for a lot of people, which is kinda problematic, don’t you agree?

    JustBolger Reply:

    I completely agree. It’s an unfortunate and common problem for words to develop misleading connotations. The word “feminism” starts a fire wherever it goes.

  37. This is what we deal with every day. Thank goodness most are much nicer in real life… this website (http://fatuglyorslutty.com/) is filled with examples of what women face each day just for trying to play a game they enjoy. I’m honestly so tired of this and I’m super glad that this is being made.

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    I love fatuglyorslutty! Have you seen

    http://www.notinthekitchenanymore.com/ ?

    I think visibility of the prejudice is important.

  38. Nasty!!! I actually joined in at one stage, making joke responses to crazy sexist illogical arguments….and was told I was a marxist slut who had a mangina husband and a devil baby!!!!

    Wow!!

    Good for a laugh if you can laugh at that sort of thing :)

  39. YouTube comments are among the Worst Things in the World, but these are especially aggressive and hateful.
    You are on video, showing your face and your full name, discussing heated issues and making yourself extremely vulnerable. That is incredibly brave and I don’t think I would be able to handle that kind of exposure to these attacks.
    I hope that you can manage to not let it get to you.

    As a female gamer I know how harsh that world is and how much this discussion is needed. It would be nice to one day be able to play online games without having to pretend to be a guy in order to avoid the sexist jokes and abuse.

  40. There is nothing more pathetic than a herd of threatened little boys trying to silence a woman because they can’t stand to hear another point of view. And then shaming her for daring to speak up.

    Anonymous commenting has a tendency to make people very brave, particularly when they’re spewing hate. Sometimes I think the only way to avoid this nonsense would be to have only video reblogs available, so that whoever wants to reply does so by exposing themselves. Wonder how many MRAs would comment then.

    Stay strong and keep working on this project. It’s not going to make the haters happy, but now more than ever we have proof positive of how destructive this kind of thinking can be.

    Charles Paul Hoffman Reply:

    This is the sort of thing that makes me think we need mandatory disclosure of full names (and perhaps city) on some of these comment boards. While some of this nonsense would continue, I’m thinking a lot of people would think twice if they couldn’t hide behind a name like dickyfartz666. Of course, that would also eliminate a lot of our ability to hide things for other reasons, such as not pissing off your employer. So I’m torn. But, seriously, Youtube, you need to do a better job of banning idiots who engage in this sort of BS.

  41. That’s just sick! Please don’t get discouraged!!! We need critical voices like yours!

  42. It’s amazing how narrow minded people can be. Like Rachelia I didn’t make it through all the comments but this is exactly the same kind of comments these same narrow minded people post to every news article or blog about feminism in Iceland.

    As a male and a gamer I’m disgusted with these responses you’ve gotten to your project which is very interesting as your previous projects and videos have been.

    My best response to these narrow minded guys is to back your project as I have now done and I’m looking forward to the results.

    Keep up the good work Anita and best wishes from Iceland

  43. Why do they hate us so much? I can hardly even be upset, I’m so amazed.

  44. In part, it was the Youtube comments that made me decide I had to support the project.

    It was your videos that helped me understand what feminism actually is – before watching, I had unfortunately believed that “feminists hate men” and “they say they want equality but they want to be better” and all that other anti-feminist propaganda. So thank you for readjusting my opinions. :)

    Thank you for staying strong, and good luck with the project!

  45. That’s one of the main reasons people turn off comments on their videos/blogs. You should really do so, too.

    People like that are still going to exist as long as there is a anonymous shield protecting them (a.k.a. Internet). Let them rage among them, not against you ;)

  46. Those comments are so horrible, I couldn’t finish reading them. What bile and hatred those people are filled with, I’m so sorry that they felt the need to do that.

    Sending much love and supportive thoughts to you. I and my ten year old daughter love your videos. We particularly enjoyed the Lego study – very relevant in our house!

  47. Dear Anita,
    your work is inspiring to so many. It’s frightening how hateful people are, but I hope you know that a huge number of people appreciate your work!
    <3

  48. While it is important that you understand that these comments stem from ignorant people – and to some degree from less intelligent people – it is equally important to say that you are doing a great work.

    You create well researched, well structured, well presented and informative videos and I really like them. The two “LEGO & Gender” videos were especially great.

  49. I wouldn’t take it personally if I were you. It’s probably nothing to do with your project, 90% of YouTube commenter are assholes and trolls.

  50. I know basically nothing about you, or your project. But I do know these sorts of comments are completely and utterly unacceptable, and I’m ashamed, wholly ashamed, to share a hobby and a gender with these people. Best of luck with your videos, and with keeping your head above this tide of abuse.

  51. It really amazes me, even after all I’ve been reading and thinking in the past few months, that so many people still don’t understand the point people like you are trying to make.

    So much “wah wah men are unrealistically portrayed too” and “we already have equality, what more do you want?”. The very fact that people can read all these comments and still not see the problem is … it’s beyond comprehension.

    I really appreciate what you’re doing Anita, and look forward to the video!

  52. I’m glad you’re not letting these misogynists stop you. Sometimes, I wish I could say I’m not male, solely due to the embarrassment.

    Thankfully, the Kickstarter project is already over $30k; hope you have a lot of fun pissing off a lot more juvenile sexists whilst simultaneously making a serious contribution to our understanding of misogyny in video games.

  53. Thanks for doing what you’re doing and for posting this. You got the point: For claiming that you’re doing something unimportant and unnecessary there is a lot of anger and hate in those comments. It wouldn’t be if it hadn’t any societal meaning. You’re hiting their sweet spot so see it as affirmation and keep going, you’re the best :)

    Tanja from Austria

  54. Reading that, even accounting for the normal internet troll-baiting tactics, is just depressing.

    I’ve been a gamer since age 6. I want more people to be playing and enjoying more types of games, regardless of who they are. Diversity is a good thing.

    I’m embarrassed about my hobby every time this sort of things happens, which is far too frequent.

    Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got a newly found kickstarter to go and help fund ^_~

  55. All I can say is keep your chin up, you’re doing an important job to make the world better one step at a time. As an avid video gamer, I think video games (and movies) do need to get a grip. Take Mass Effect: They accidentally created a great female hero by being lazy and reusing male motion capture, but in every conversation Shepard has with a woman the camera somehow manages to view the scene over Shepard’s shoulder but behind the conversation partners rear end. Completely distracting and unnecessary, and a big negative in an otherwise forward thinking and great game.

  56. Taking this opportunity to say thank you. I have followed your work for a while. The idea of introducing the concepts and processes of critical analysis of cultural phenomena in this easily accessible, entertaining, inclusive format was a strike of genius from the get go. I have great respect for the academic work you do, but even greater respect for your insistence to bring it down to the trenches where it is most needed. My partner calls your videos “stealth attacks” and “inconspicuously intelligent”, which makes me grin every time.

    I think I’m going to take this opportunity to also hop over and help translate some of the older videos, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while. We clearly need to work harder in getting the word out.

  57. Dear Anita,

    We’re not all idiots, but I genuinely wish a lot fewer of us were. Keep doing what you do, and we’ll all try to get the adolescents through that awkward phase (which takes more decades for some to outgrow than for others).

    Sincerely,

    a man

  58. What cowards. It’s sick what people feel comfortable saying anonymously online.

  59. The association with the KKK was particularly charming. I think you made the right choice by letting these comments on. If anything, it shows how long will be the road to equality. Oh, and the comment linking feminism and an absence of make-up is gold : it’s actually shared by some feminists. Thank you for not being one of them.

    Keep up the good work ;
    I’m looking forward to see this new serie.

  60. These are terrible, but youtube comments are renowned throughout the internet for being some of the worst. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the garbage that randomly shows up on music videos or anything really. Leaving comments enabled is an open invitation for these trolling idiots to spew hate at you, that’s just how youtube works. I suggest not having comments enabled in the future.

  61. Anita,

    You do great work. I enjoy Feminist Frequency quite a bit. I can’t really afford to contribute right now, but I look forward to this project. I distresses me that you have to deal with this sort of nonsense.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.

  62. I didn’t get through reading all the comments, though it’s really hard to subject yourself to all of it at once. One thing I did notice aside from the obvious the videos have not been made yet, is that most of the comments are ignoring a large segment of the female population that plays video games. Video games are not some sort of exclusive boys club. To be honest, I haven’t always 100% agreed with everything you put in every video, but I’ve still enjoyed watching. And like a rational person I’m going to reserve my judgement for these new videos for until I see them. It sounds like a really interesting project, and I’m curious as to how you cover some things and your thoughts on some others.

    Tiffany Martin Reply:

    Jessica your comment is awesome.

    And yeah, as I’m sure you already know the ESA statistics say 42% of gamers are female now, I want more women to play with, how about you?

  63. I changed my mind. I AM going to contribute. I can’t stand the idea that you’ve gotten so much awful feedback. I know you’re (more than) fully funded, but I want my name attached to what I think will be a great project. Ten more dollars coming your way.

  64. Wow, if you’re pissing that many people off you must be doing something right.

  65. What you’re doing is important. Don’t let the bullying stop you.

  66. Thank you for not giving in.
    Luckily, I’ve not had to deal with this level of vitriol online, but IRL was… An experience.
    At least they’re proving your point beautifully. Sorry you have to put up with it at all.

  67. Wow, it’s pretty much a laundry list of every terrible misogynist opinion on the internet. Don’t let these idiots deter you (not that I think they would). I love your videos, and I’m looking forward to these ones!

  68. I have to say, I’m absolutely shocked. I knew that there has been push back when it comes to criticizing sexism in video games…but I never realized how far people were willing to go in terms of voicing their opinions. I understand that some of them may have been “trolling” for the sake of evoking emotion, but I have to wonder if some of those who posted such hateful comments actually truly BELIEVE in what they were writing.

    I hoped that in 2012, we would be past all of this negativity, but those comments should provide all the more reason to make these videos! Please don’t give up on your work Anita! I know it may seem like you’ve got so much against you, but you’re not the only one in this fight!

    As an undergrad still trying to figure out what I would like to do for the rest of my life, your video series, “Tropes vs. Women” has definitely inspired a direction I would like to pursue. I just want to say thank you for all the work that you’ve done, and that you’ve inspired me to join the cause.

  69. Jeez, I just want to give you a hug after reading that, Anita.

    Keep up the good work; what you are doing is important.

  70. I’m so tired of strong, capable women being scared away by people like this and worse. Please continue making these videos. They’re important to keep the discussion going and eventually future generations will be better. I know you’re going to get an insane amount of hate mail and messages and perhaps even death threats from the real lunatics. You’re not in this fight alone and I appreciate (and would imagine others appreciate) putting yourself out there in the line of fire. As a member of the community, please let me (and us) know what we can do to support these efforts now and in the future.

  71. Thanks for all of your hard work, so sorry you have to put up with comments like these.

  72. i don’t even have the strength to read all of it..kudos to you…keep at it.there are lots of people who appreciate what you do.

  73. This is impressive ! I hope you won’t give up, because I am waiting for this serie to happen =D

    Do you have an idea what percentage of offensive vs. non-offensive comments you did get ? It seems to be rather a lot !

  74. When you let your fans know about the harassment you were receiving, that prompted me to pledge to your Kickstarter. I have experienced silencing in my life, and I am reaching a point where I will not be quiet, I will not ‘shut up’ and I will not ‘hush and let the men talk.” I am so proud of you and what you are working on. There is a huge problem and it deserves a bright light shown on it. I support your videos, and I wish you full success.

  75. I couldn’t get through all of those comments. It was infuriating. You’re tougher than I am, being able to put up with that and stay above it. It’s amazing how easy it is for this type of person to become defensive and lash out. Amazing and frightening.

    Thank you for this project and withstanding the (weird, petulant) hate. My friends and I are looking forward to how it turns out!

  76. Youtube brings out the worst people. The fact that numerous people actually wrote these comments is proof that you’re work is important and necessary. Your videos have made it easier for me to recognize sexism and how it has already effected my young brothers.

    I love your videos and I hope you keep making them!

  77. The sexism was horrifying enough, but what really disturbed me was the stuff getting into more Neo-Nazi territory

  78. I only made it about 20% of the way through, then teared up. Yes, I’m a guy, and the behavior of those people broke my heart. You absolutely must continue doing what you do, even if people like them are never going to change and will always exist. You have to try.

  79. I watch your videos with great pleasure and I kind of figured they get a lot of targeted negativity.
    The interesting thing is that by reading through a lot of these comments I can actually see a pattern in replies. It’s like a small rising chauvinist (or probably nazi fanatics) group is “practicing” their spunk on you.
    This of course makes it no easier to bare. I can not imagine what it must take to go through this every day. I myself am quite a shy and non confrontational person. I would never have the courage to speak out openly, that’s why I admire you.
    I don’t see what’s the big deal about your videos is, that attracts so much negativity. There are tons of other videos on YouTube that are actually disturbing or outright stupid. And what about real terrorist groups and websites? I don’t see them getting troll bombed. I guess it’s because many of the things you say, hit a note with both the supporters and the haters. While this should be a good thing, when it’s feminism, it usually leads to threats of physical harm. Which in my eyes proves there is something deeply wrong in our society and it makes your videos even more important.
    I am a novice freelance graphic designer and creating video games is my hobby, my work and my life. I truly love it and enjoy it and am extremely eager to see your videos.
    If I could I would shelter you from all of the sick people who threaten you, but so far I can only provide moral support. So if all of the haters ever get you down or try to hurt you, remember that you are not alone. There are many people who are supporting you and will help, you need only to ask – if anything, your Kickstarter project is proof of that! There is a saying in my language that goes like this: “It may seem that there is more negativity in the world, but that’s not true. Negative people just shout louder.”
    Stay strong! We are here for you :)

  80. I couldn’t get past the first eight comments. I’m so so sorry. I just, I have nothing that I can even think to say to help or make this better. I am speechless.

    But thank you, for all that you do, and I am one of your supporters.

  81. I couldn’t complete but a small fraction of these comments. So sorry you have to deal with these crotchwads. :(

  82. Sweet mother of pearl. I am so sorry that people like this exist. But a good thing has come from their hate speech – I wouldn’t have found out about Feminist Frequency if it weren’t for bloggers commenting on how awful they are. Hopefully more people will find out about your blog and the Kickstarter because of their awful ranting.

  83. I just want to THANK YOU for all your great work, Anita. What you do really matters a lot, so please keep doing it! Love from France.

  84. I just wanted to say that there is at least one (European) man who finds your videos interesting and instructive. With my kind regards from The Netherlands.

  85. Wow. This is overwhelming. What the hell is wrong with these people?
    I mean, I knew misogyny was a problem in today’s society, but holy shit, this much?

    I wish I had something better to say, but I’m blinded by rage right now and I can’t really think straight.

  86. Wow. Pretty hurtful. Not to mention VERY irritating!

    Stay strong sister. I’ll be strong with you.

  87. What was that, I don’t even… I knew youtube comments were bad, but holy troll-repellent batspray, Batman! Wow, that’s a bit sobering. I saw what happened over at the Cracked article, but, geez, this is just nuts.

    Keep up the good work, looking forward to the series.

  88. Your videos make me so happy. They help me discuss things I usually only get to talk about in class with people with no sociology/politics/women’s studies background. You’re a great, clear, logical speaker who I find totally relatable.

    I personally couldn’t read through all these posts, it just upset me too much. Just know there are those of us out there that LOVE your videos and want more!

  89. Hahaha, to be honest seeing all these comments was refreshing. I’ve been fed up with the sexism of the video game and comics industry forever, and I’m so glad to see its proponents outed–by themselves!–as the little shits they are. I’ve heard every slur in the book, and seeing them all laid out like this neatly in a row is just perfect. It’s like they did the work for you.

    All I have to say is, if people didn’t get why you were making this series before, seeing this bullshit will convince them to donate.

    Keep it up, Anita. You’re doing great. And keep treating these suckers like the jokes they are.

  90. [...] a happy coincidence that it happened to appear on everyone’s radar today, but after reading this depressing post over on Feminist Frequency regarding the harassment, misogyny and silencing tactics the author had [...]

  91. You’re doing a good thing by raising visibility and initiating dialogue on video game stereotypes. I hope you laugh when you read these ridiculous comments you get and don’t take them seriously :)

    Sexist tropes(just one of many problematic themes)in video games are one barrier to them becoming more culturally accepted & mainstream – there’s still a stigma today in the US compared to more mature markets in other countries.

    As someone who loves and plays video games everyday, I fully support any change that would bring video games to a wider audience :) That means more investors, more developers, more games, more gaming and esports events, and MORE games!

  92. I may or may not have started pounding my desk and swearing at the screen at some point during these comments.

    I won’t repeat what I yelled, but… it was not pretty.

    You shouldn’t have to deal with horrible, misogynistic, ignorant, trollish, abusive comments like these, but I’m glad that they haven’t managed to shut you up yet. Because, as per usual, that’s exactly what they’re trying to do. Thank you, Anita, for fighting the good fight.

  93. How upsetting. Thank you for all that you’re doing and all the best with your new series.

    Much love all the way from Australia. x

  94. WOW I wasn’t going to donate because of financial reasons, but I think I will now. Its not much but I want to help!

  95. I’m a big fan of your work, and like lots of people have said, this has inspired me to contribute. The work you’re doing is important, and I want to help.

  96. You are doing excellent and important work with your videos. I support your efforts 100% and on behalf of the non-jackass gamers, I apologize for the harassment emanating like the stink of week old roadkill from the insecure manchild gamers. I don’t know why they feel so threatened, but unexamined privilege can have some embarrassing results.

  97. I wish I was surprised by this. I’m sorry you have to put up with this though. Also when are you writing a book?

  98. I love that people kept commenting, “Well, men are buff in games! Same shit!” How is that the same lol? Women are clearly written with the personality of “what men want to look at,” and MEN are written so that they are what MEN wish they could be, and then the MEN want praise for not complaining until now? I’m sorry, but in what way is that comparable? Buff men in games is a male power fantasy, not sexualisation based on what women want.
    Sorry you got flamed, and I’m doubly sorry because most of those people were NOT trolls. They genuinely believed what they were saying; most of them just didn’t care enough to articulate it properly.
    Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s important. It is.

  99. Reading those comments made me ill. You are doing really important work, and my heartfelt best wishes for your success.

  100. I also find it interesting (in a disconcerting way) how much antisemitism your publications seem to evoke.
    I have no idea whether you hold any religious convictions (and I absolutely don’t care) but my superficial guess would be that your ancestors were/are orthodox christians. Not that that matters in any way, I’m just stunned by the increasingly stupid ways in which people are trying to attack you.

    Anyway, keep it up, as I know you will! :)

  101. These YouTube comments are exactly why your videos need to be made.

    There is a deep wellspring of misogyny in the gaming community.

    After seeing this, I donated to your Kickstarter.

    Thank you for the work you’re doing.

  102. Couldn’t stomach reading much of that. made me angry and depressed at the same time. more power to you and your work, those comments clearly show the need for it.

  103. Anita,

    I love your work. Glad to see you well funded. Of course it’s more than a bit amusing how the little twits boosted your budget.

    Collecting and posting the comments clearly has the added benefit of exposing the behavior of the sub-lithic denizens to people who have hitherto been unaware of the kind of crap “uppity” women have to put up with just for expressing an opinion.

    I do find it strange how they can remain amused by such boring and repetitive nonsense just because it is reprehensibly vile.

  104. I really appreciate all the videos you’ve created. They’re really educational to me, and sometimes they’re actually really funny. I’m sorry that there are such terrible trolls in the world, and that you have to be the one suffering for it now. I know this can’t possibly help much, but I have supported you for a while and will continually support you every step of the way.

  105. Personal favorite comment: “She’s A Jew.”

    Well, of course, that must mean that her entire argument is invalid then. God, can’t have Jews giving opinions or anything. Classy. Current and classy too. Gotta love the bigots who seem stuck in 1940s Europe.

    Keep up the good work and ignore morons.

  106. I am looking forward to the series, as I recall we watched one of your videos for a Women’s Studies class. Your work is superb and informative.

  107. I don’t know why I bothered reading any of those comments. I knew what I was getting into and only made it a small fraction of the way down. It’s pretty sick.

    I always love your videos. They are very educational.

    While perusing the Mary Sue minutes after reading this, I stumbled upon this YouTube video. It’s pretty perfect. So those who enjoy a little bit of comedy in the face of tons and tons of sexism… enjoy:

    gingerest Reply:

    Having failed to make it through the whole list of comments (because I am apparently a more sensitive plant than I knew), I had just come back over here to post this jolly song. I hope you can draw some comfort from the knowledge you’re not alone. Wait, let me clarify: there is no way to be comforted by knowing that there are enough loathesome sexist bigots to menace everyone with an ounce of creativity or humor, it’s true, but you might draw comfort from knowing it really doesn’t reflect your worth – you struck a nerve, obviously, an important nerve, and from looking around at the other people who strike those same nerves, you should be comforted by the company you’re keeping.

  108. I have been a long time watcher and supporter of your series. I have used your videos to deepen my own critical analysis of sexism in media, and have recommended your videos to hundreds.

    I used your videos as research material for my own papers in college, and gave a presentation involving two of your videos [REMIX: Too Many Dicks & The Bechdel Test...] to open the conversation about male gaze and the inherent lack of depth in female characters in pop media today.

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all you do. Thank you for standing against the bullshit that we are fed, and the horrible treatment you receive. I’m sure you know, they louder they yell the more you know you are doing something truly incredible.

    You have been an inspiration for me, and countless others. The work you do, the conversations you start at home and in the classroom are groundbreaking and uplifting. You are helping raise a generation with the tools to understand, the voice to speak out and the freedom to create non-oppressive art.

    Thank you. [soon as I do some budgeting, I'll donate what I can]
    -Donny :)>

  109. Well. Those are some awful, bileful statements. At least they showcase the necessity for videos like this.

    The worst thing about videogames are probably the unending swathes of terrible people and their prejudiced, idiotic excuses for opinions.

    I hope that the funding success of this series will help to show game developers that there’s no need to keep catering to these bastards.
    I’d like to express hope that some of the bastards in question might actually change their minds as well, but it seems a good bit beyond far-fetched at this point.

    Anyway. Keep up the good fight.

  110. I think I read about half way down and just became tired of it all. I find it interesting that they don’t seem to understand that hating everything equally doesn’t make their hate acceptable, amongst many other obvious logical fallacies. Oh and their inability to see the difference between caring about how you look and thinking that looking good is all that matters.

    in parody,

    1940 – [women] want to be treated equal
    2012 – [women] STILL want to be treated equal. WTF, why aren’t they treated equal yet?

    Some of the world appreciates your efforts, please ignore the misogynistic douchebags

  111. i want to say: “what is this i don’t even…” but sadly, i’m all too aware of what this is. thanks for the work you’re doing, please know you have supporters…

  112. Disgusting behaviour. I would say I’m shocked but twitter and YouTube continually prove there are people out there who spew a constant stream of negativity and hate. Often these twitter/youtube accounts can be seen to poke hate at such a diverse range of topics/people that I console myself that they love the act of provoking itself. They can’t possibly have such strong opinions on so many topics. Its a desperate need for attention. I just don’t get it.
    I really hope you continue to not let them get to you, although it must do at times. Sad times.

  113. I have enjoyed your FF series for a while now, and was very happy to hear of your plans for a focused critique of sexism/tropes in video gaming. Your insight is usually stellar and thought-provoking, and I will figure out a way to contribute to your work soon, I promise. In re: the comments, thank you for posting this so I can share it out. People need to have the rug lifted and see the roaches scurry, so they know to keep up the fight.

  114. It’s really a shame that someone who works so hard has to go through all of this. And I am always surprised to read comments like those posted under your vid, even if I’m aware I shouldn’t be. People can be very ignorant, and it saddens me.

  115. Keep up the good work Anita. These comments made me sick to my core. I do not know how you keep your chin up, but I sure am glad you do.

  116. Best of luck with the series – I look forward to watching it! Don’t get to hung up on the comments.

  117. Anita, I have always loved and admired your work, and share your videos with just about anyone who will listen (and some who won’t, lol). Thank you for your wonderful insight and especially for using this litany of hate as a teachable moment. Is youtube or Wikipedia disabling any of these accounts for hate/violent speech?

    I’m going to echo the comment ahead of mine. I don’t know how you keep your chin up, but I’m so, so, SO glad you do.

  118. I can’t understand the commenters on the youtube video.

    How can a reasonable and well argumented video about a known issue of the videogame industry receive so much disgusting, unmitigated hatred?

    My theory: The internet, and specially, the gaming community, is full of bigotry (as a guy and a gamer, I’m ashamed to be part of this community)

    You have my support, Anita!

    dae Reply:

    SOLIDARITY with this one! -a white privledged transwomen!

  119. Anita,

    I admire your work and I really enjoy your videos. I think you bring a lot of interesting points to the table when you discuss feminism in pop culture and I generally always take something away from your videos, think about things in a different manner to how I did before or learn something new.

    There will always be idiots. It doesn’t matter what you do in life, there will always be people who think they know everything but really know nothing at all. Closed-mindedness is like a plague these days and people refuse to open their eyes and consider differing points of view but they expect you to ‘respect their opinions’ and stop doing something that you love because they think it’s not important.

    Screw ‘em! I donated to your Kickstarter and I personally can’t wait for your new series. I am a woman who works in a video game store so I think the content of this series will really resonate with me. I get over-looked by customers all the the time because they think a girl won’t know anything about games and technology and I get hit on and spoken to inappropriately by male customers because I am something of an oddity being a female gamer. I can’t wait to hear what your thoughts are on the industry.

    All the best!

  120. Way for them to prove your project is NECESSARY.

  121. I can’t believe I read all those comments… I can’t believe how many of those comments you must be receiving. A large number of the commenters spoke about how men are depicted in video games. Sure, there are some problems with the portrayal of masculinity in some games but at least men get to have actual CHARACTERS. Women in video games are frequently treated like background decoration. After reading all those comments, I’m looking forward to your video about how to respond to common defenses of sexism in video games even more than I was before.

  122. A lot of the time it seems to me that the attitudes that pervade gamer culture are actually worse than the problems with the games themselves. But I’d imagine that they reinforce each other. The men who left these comments are the “hardcore” gamers who play video games like fifteen hours a day. When you dedicate a majority of your life to obsessing over material that you don’t question and don’t think is problematic at all, and that material contains images of women are objects… well, these are the opinions you come away with.

    Question: are you going to involve these reactions in your documentary/ will you be covering misogyny in gamer culture?

  123. “Games are marketed towards men! therefore sexist overtures are ok!” *bashes head into the floor* some of these arguments are so weak. And thne there’s the guy that accuses us of not even reading their arguments when it’s nothing but ad hominen’s

  124. I was livid until I started to realise they were all really, really stupid.

    Good work, I’m so unbelievably happy to see how much support you’ve received despite the sickening number of pathetic idiots who are trying their gosh-darned hardest to feel powerful for once in their mediocre lives.

  125. [...] infuriated gamers started by attacking her YouTube account, eventually moving on to her Wikipedia page as well, defacing it so much that it was eventually [...]

  126. [...] sexist jokes to threats of violence and sexual assault. Anita has archived a sample of these messages. Here are some examples of the sexist [...]

  127. Being an artform only a couple decades old, video games and their culture are still in a state of flux. I can’t say I’m surprised at the huge backlash that pointing out the gender problems with games is causing in the community, considering that it just seems to be history repeating itself; if you’re interested, check out the history of photography, it’s transition from “novelty” into “art form” is exactly mirrored to what’s going on in the game world (not being considered art, women being excluded, etc). And on the bright side; photography has a very sizable population of women in it today.

    Thanks for doing your videos :)

  128. Unsurprised at the male video gamer rage. Idiots. Backed. Look forward to the series.

  129. As has been stated, if anyone doubted that this was a definitively necessary issue to cover. . . well, those responses offer all the proof anyone should need. I’m sorry you had got attacked by the “self-absorbed assbag” contingent of my gender. Hopefully it’s not too late for the knuckle-dragging unibrows to learn a thing or two.

  130. Holy fuck.

    The sexism doesn’t surprise me. The QUANTITY of sexism surprises me. It’s bad that it doesn’t surprise me more. But I am still fucking gobsmacked at the anti-semitism on YouTube. When did blatant racism come back into fashion? I figured THAT was still a faux pas. >:c

  131. I would just like to say I’m sorry for the hate you’ve received. That is all.
    Good luck on your project. :)

  132. This just manages to prove your point! Why else would they get so whiny and defensive? Props to you, seems like you’ve really touched a nerve with a lot of these trolls.
    Love and support!

  133. Wow. thank you for being so strong, and choosing not to delete these comments. they are disgusting to read, i haven’t been able to read them all. i think my heart vomitted a little. yet, this story is to be shared, to raise awareness about misogyny.
    stay strong.
    i fully support your project.

  134. It upsets me that such a great publishing platform has a comment section mostly populated by hideous excuses for human beings. Well done for keeping the comments up and ignoring the haters.
    What annoys me most is the commenter that doesn’t understand the application of value to your project. “I don’t see how it would cost $6000 to make” – seems like they miss the entire concept of Kickstarter. People are donating because they believe in your project, and think that you should be rewarded for creating such a valuable series that will be available to everyone for free. It’s not just about production values – it’s about investing in a great project that will enrich lives. And for those saying “what makes you so special”, maybe if they actually peeled themselves away from pissing all over YT comment sections to create something and try and get some kind of funding, they could have achieved what you have. But no. They’ll continue to piss away.

  135. These idiots are so backwards. Good job. What you are doing is important, keep it up!

  136. Oh: I’m not sure if this will make it in there, but my pet hate in fantasy-themed videogames is boobplate armor. — Daniel Schealler

    It’s a natural progression from the Chainmail Bikini. With a nod to all those Wagnerian opera costume conventions.

    I’m a pencil/paper/funny dice gamer from the Seventies (with a weakness for damsel-in-distress scenarios). You saw the same thing re women in gaming back in the Seventies, when D&D was the exclusive domain of geeky white boys like me. While my gaming group and club (Expeditions Ltd, Cal State Fullerton, 1976-80) had no problem with the few female gamers of the time, we did hear some very nasty horror stories about female gamer treatment in the gaming community.

  137. Keep up the good fight, there are male gamers out there rooting for you.

  138. This is so shocking. It’s amazing how the perceived anonymity of the Internet brings out the worst in people… well, men…. well, boys. So much hate and ignorance.

  139. what upsets me almost as much as the sexist hate speech…

    … the fact that no one in this comments thread can seem to grasp the concept of film production financing. yes, people, the free videos you watch on youtube COST MONEY TO MAKE. all video production costs money to make. COME TO TERMS WITH THIS.

  140. Wow. Those comments were appalling.

    Please remember that the dumbest people in any group are always the loudest.

    Good luck with your project.

  141. Anita,
    I think your work is amazing and really appreciate what you are doing for women and gaming – the trolls are just upset because they have so little power in the real world they are now scared of losing it in cyberspace. Hold your head high there are so many more who support you and the trolls just prove your work is needed. BTW – it was because of hearing about completely ignorant reaction by trolls to your kickstarter project and website that I learned about your great work – thanks trolls!

  142. Hi Anita, I have thought the exact same thing about video games for a long time. They get away with a lot of racism and sexism, just because they’re ‘games’ and not ‘the real world.’ Well, games inform the people in the real world, so they ought to be made in ways that don’t shape stereotypical views of groups of people. Thank you for bearing through all this crap – and my god, I had no idea something so basic and sensible would stir up so much – and I can’t wait to see the series.

    <3

  143. This is seriously scary. I never doubted that sexism was rampant or that frightening bigots blamed feminism for their own feelings of insecurity (not to mention the fact that they never get dates). Anita, thank you for doing the work you do. It is important and a necessary correction, something I can show my sons in a few years.

  144. Anita,

    Your work is brilliant, necessary and powerful.

    You handled their reactions with grace.

    Yes…they claim that feminists complain and never listen…sounds like a bit of a projection doesn’t it?

    They should read Derailing for Dummies. It was made for them…yes, because misogynists just understand what it’s like to be marginalized.

    Your message is accepted by those who are open-minded, educated and respect equality.

    Thanks for your work. I am personally inspired by your videos.

    – Justina