Image Based Harassment and Visual Misogyny

July 1, 2012

I’m making it a point to strategically share some of the online harassment I’ve received after launching my Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter. I’ve already posted about the harassment via YouTube and Wikipedia but these were not the only abusive cyber mob tactics employed to try and silence me.

After struggling with whether or not to make the extent of the attacks public I’ve decided that it’s ultimately important to shed light on this type of abuse because online harassment and bullying are at epidemic levels across the internet.

In addition to the aggressive actions against me that I’ve already shared, the harassers launched DDoS attacks on my site, attempted to hack into my email and other social media accounts and reported my Twitter and YouTube accounts as “terrorism”, “hate speech” or “spam”. They also attempted to “dox” and distribute my personal contact info including address and phone number on various websites and forums (including hate sites).

In this post I will detail some of the image based online harassment and visual misogyny I have been subjected to over the past few weeks. Image based harassment is another common weapon used against women and members of marginalized groups online – often in conjunction with other forms of harassment. It’s certainly not unique to my situation. Recently Bioware writer Jennifer Hepler, Shakesville’s blogger Melissa McEwan and British columnist Laurie Penny have all been targeted by similar image based harassment campaigns.

Humorous photoshop manipulation, cartoons and image macros are a legitimate and important part of a healthy political discourse online especially when used to challenge powerful institutions, leaders or regressive social norms (the Privilege Denying Dude and Boehner’s Woman Problem are two of my recent favorites). It’s important to remember though that these same tactics can be employed as tools of oppression to lash out at or bully members of marginalized groups. There is a difference between using ridicule to challenge power and using it as a weapon to police the status quo by reinforcing sexism, racism or homophobia.

The image based harassment I’m discussing here is not part of any legitimate discourse but instead falls squarely into the category of misogynist abuse. It’s a critical distinction and is evidenced by the fact that all of the images are attacking my gender or presumed sexuality and rely heavily on pre-existing sexist stereotypes.

Image based harassment includes everything from vulgar photo manipulation to creating pornographic or degrading drawings of rape and sexual assault with the target’s likeness. These harassment images are then sent en masse to the target through email, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or any other online service with messaging capabilities. Part of the trolling strategy with these images is also to try and get them to appear in search results for the target’s name as a way to attack their online reputation.

This harassment is best classified as a cyber mob attack as it’s a hate campaign loosely organized through various internet forums. Participating harassers will share these images as a way to show off and gain validation from their peers as well as to try and recruit others to join the harassment campaign.

The ultimate goal of this behaviour is to try and intimidate, scare and silence women by creating an online environment that is too hostile, toxic and disturbing to endure.

**SERIOUS TRIGGER WARNING**

The following images are vile, hateful, pornographic, and disgusting. Some rise to the level of what could be called imaged based threats or visual sexual assault. You should not feel obligated to read any further. I have taken steps to blur out some of the more graphic images and placed detailed text descriptions of the content underneath.  Keep in mind that these are only a selected few of the harassing images that have been sent to me.

Photoshop harassment: These images were altered to remove the original positive message and add degrading or humiliating messages. The photoshopped images with blank cards were also passed around on various internet forums as a way for others to join the harassment campaign via adding their own misogynist messages.

Meme images harassment: Above are six (out of the hundreds) of image macros created with a carefully selected video still from YouTube to make it appear as though I’m an “angry feminist”. The vast majority of the images created from these meme templates focus on sexist or misogynist attacks based on my gender or presumed sexuality rather than to criticize my actual arguments.

Rape drawings: When text threats are not enough harassers will resort to pornographic drawings as weapons to make sure their threats of sexual assault are clear. These are just two of the many rape drawings featuring my likeness which have been spammed to my email, posted to my Facebook page and sent through other social media like Twitter and YouTube. The first image depicts a woman drawn to resemble me who is tied up with a wii controller shoved in her mouth while being raped by Mario from behind. The second image is another drawing (clearly sketched to resemble me) featuring a chained nude figure on her knees with 5 penises ejaculating on her face with the words “fuck toy” written on her torso. Based on the accompanying text, this one specifically is meant as an attack on the many men who stood up and defended me and my kickstarter project. 

DDoS bragging: On June 12th as the media story about the harassment surrounding my project hit the blogsphere, my site went down off and on for most of the day. That day this image was being passed around on various gaming forums as a way to brag about taking my site down via a DDoS attack. These attempts to knock my site offline are unfortunately still ongoing.

More harassment: A favorite harassment tactics is borrowed from mainstream pornography and includes adding images of ejaculating semen on a woman’s face. Another favored tactic is to pause the video in mid-blink, mid-speech or mid-gesture to create a goofy faced still image.

UPDATE – Interactive Assault Harassment: On July 5th 2012 an interactive domestic abuse style “game” entitled “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian” was uploaded to the NewGrounds website by one of the site’s users. It invited players to “punch this bitch in the face” and with each click a photoshopped image of me would become progressively more bloody and battered until the screen turned completely red. The “game” was then proudly circulated on various gaming forums by those engaging in the sustained harassment campaign against me. It remained on NewGrounds website for about 24 hours before being removed. 

It should be noted that none of the social media services I use have adequate structures built-in to effectively deal with cyber mob style harassment. Internet services need to do a much better job of providing the tools and functionality that empower those being harassed and abused via their systems (including sharable block-lists, some sense of real accountability for those doing the bullying, and real live human beings working behind the scenes).  In short these issues need to be taken seriously by the institutions that make up our online social media.

The incredible 7000 backers to my Kickstarter project and the outpouring of support I’ve received is evidence that many people are excited about and want to see the Tropes vs Women in Video Games webseries.  Needless to say, these attacks will not stop me from continuing with this project and I’m now even more committed than ever to speaking out against online harassment.

 

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188 Responses to “Image Based Harassment and Visual Misogyny”

  1. damn … this is bellow any level I could have imagined :/

    but keep on going! it takes strong people like you to change something. there are at least as many people standing behind you and your work as pathetic trolls trying to diss you.

  2. Terrible.
    Disgusting.
    Shameful.
    Below.
    Crazy.
    Insane.
    Inpolite.
    Evil.
    Bileful.

    Whatever word you choose, there is none that really catches the idiocy behind such rage, flame, hate; maybe “inhumanity” gets closer then anything else …

    Although it was pretty clear that there would be some reaction to your campaign(s), the ongoing harassment is really astonishing and dwarves any other shitstorms on the www. I am so sorry.

    I hope you get through this without any harm or without any damage. And if I was able to support you in any way, I would do so. And yet, the only thing I can do, is sharing your ideas and wishing you well some words on your comments section …

    All the best!
    Clem

  3. I felt a bit sad just now that my donation was part of the reason you are being targeted in this way… then I realised that train of thought ends with me bare-foot and chained to the kitchen sink.
    I’m so proud of what you’re doing. Thank you for taking the flack so the rest of us can hope for a more equal world.

    I know these people are being awful to you and spewing negativity your way, so here is my contribution:

    I know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Thank you so much for being so brave and for not giving up. I’ll try to be as brave as you in confronting sexism in my life as well.

    The more they hate, the more we know we’re doing the right thing.

    All the best,
    Carla

  4. That’s awful and I’me really sorry you have to go through this.
    But the fact that they attack you on your sex rather than on your arguments proves you right.

    As said before, thank you so much for being so strong and not giving up. It must require a really great strengh to keep on going what you’re doing (and your work is necessary and awesome), to answer to this harassment by analyzing it rather than going the same way or giving up.

    Don’t forget it’s always the bullies you hear the most ; I’m sure there are a lot more people supporting you silently.

    All the best !

  5. Hang in there Anita. Your supporters far outweigh the (childish, hateful) detractors. The real irony in all this is how much the haters are helping to bring this sort of cowardly, anonymous behavior into the light of day. Your strength is their downfall.

    Can you imagine how proud their mothers and sisters must be?

  6. I want to add that you are completely right to talk about this harassment on your website.

    People need to know that this kind of behavior exists ; this is not funny, this is not OK : like any other kind of violence (because this is violence), it must be denounced.

    All the best (and sorry about my english!)

    Jono Reply:

    Exactly! We need to know about this, so we know that there are still many battles to be fought!

  7. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry you are going through this, but I’m really glad that you are fighting back and showing just how bad it really is on the Internet. I have male friends who never believed that this kind of thing happens (or that it reaches the level of severity that you have demonstrated). I’ve been trying to convince them for YEARS, and your story has made them finally take notice. Judging from the number of “Wow, I never realized it was this bad” comments on your Kickstarter page, I suspect that this “awakening” is being experienced all over the place. Hopefully, this will give some traction to the idea that people need better tools for dealing with this vile bullying.

    Derek K. Reply:

    Tries to discredit others, ends up discrediting himself?

    It would be awesome if their campaign motivates people who were previously apathetic, or couldn’t believe it was really happening. Karma.

    The only upside here is that the more this happens and gets out there, the more people will be outraged.

    AJ Reply:

    Yes. If you have the time, I would recommend posting ALL of the harassment in an archive – just so there’s no refuge for disbelievers.

    Because this kind of crap DOES prove the importance of your cause, more blatantly than any well-crafted statement.

    Kailaria Reply:

    I couldn’t agree more! I think blurring the pornography out and then posting EVERYTHING will send a clear message that you won’t be intimidated and they can NOT stop you with a few jpg’s. Don’t hold back on exposing this blatant and repulsive hatemongerig.

    I want to add my thanks to everyone else. What you’re doing is commendable and amazing! For every one troll there has to be 100 people that appreciate what you do. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

  8. I’m so sorry you are getting harassed like this. It is sick irony to see people react in such a disgustingly misogynist way to an artical about sexism!
    I have to say, though I find all the methods of cyber hate awful, the rape drawings make me sick. I don’t understand how someone could create something so vile, basically celebrating the violation of a stranger they have a different opinion than, and be able to every look in a mirror again.
    All my support to you, stay strong, what you are doing is right. What they are doing is not.

  9. Repulsive ***holes. Thanks for sharing some of these, it’ll be a useful reminder of how serious this issue is when one meets those “It’s just a joke/toughen up” people. :(

  10. It is really mind blowing that people who are allowed on the Internet unsupervised think this is in any way appropriate, acceptable or evidence for their case.

    Thank you so much for continuing this project and for remaining so graceful under the pressure and harassment. You truly are inspirational.

  11. As a gamer, I honestly cannot comprehend what’s behind all this and I really feel sick that people now think we all are some kind of hateful misoginist pigs. I’ve never seen a behavior like this in my country (Colombia), and we’re, very sadly, a very machist (does that word exists?) country and only this year the government is taking action against abuse against women.

    I’ve seen your videos, I can’t tell I agree all the time with you, sometimes I think you overreact or see a conspiracy where there’s none. But your work is mostly great and to the point. I’m happy that you haven’t been discouraged by this and I can’t wait for the tropes vs women videogame series.

    I seriously hope you don’t think all gamers are like the assholes that photohops this pictures or write you angry stupid comments.

  12. I’m sorry that you’re going through this. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sure it’s very awkward and embarrassing.
    They’re only proving you right. Stay strong. Keep it up. They cannot silence us; no matter how much they want to.

  13. I’ve been working and playing on the internet since the late 1980′s, when it was called a BBS and it was nothing more than green text on a black screen.

    I experienced some mild forms of harassment back then and it has only grown worse over time.

    I absolutely support what you’re doing, Anita. Don’t stop and don’t give up.

    Leslee

  14. This is so appalling Anita but it’s great that you’re being so open about it. i think that’s important. you have plenty of supporters out here in internetland too. x

  15. That is pretty despicable; you are doing something important & good. Misogynist jerks are…well, misogynist jerks, & thanks for being on the frontlines of dealing with them. It is unacceptable for anyone to behave this way. Full stop.

  16. These angry, hateful mobs have done a splendid job of making your research easier. Please continue to make public all of this harrassment (of course within bounds that you’re comfortable with). It’s strong, irrefutable evidence of the very thing you’re videos are describing: that you’re right, that mysogyny is an epidemic, and thanks haters for all the proof.

    If there’s anything, ANYTHING, myself and my readers can do to support your efforts, please reach out. I think we all need this to succeed in epic fashion.

  17. Don’t give up. They are trolling (harassing) you because they feel intimidated by you and your ideas. That means you are doing an excellent job :)
    Hugs.

  18. This is disgusting and sickening! It truely reveals how right and necessary what you are doing is. Your last year’s Tropes vs. Women series was really interesting and an eye-opener for me. THANK YOU, keep going forward for a better world. Fully support you!

  19. I have so many words coming to my mind when I see all those disgusting attacks… But I cannot find one strong enough to describe them.
    Don’t let that scum stop you, what you do is really great and important! We’re with you!

  20. Anita, you are brave, strong, and unstoppable. I support you and your work in any way I can.

  21. Wow — the harrassment you’re getting completely proves the necessity for feminists to speak. When someone fires back at you with violent language and imagery, it’s obvious they treasure exactly the bigotry and wrongfulness you’re trying to get rid of.

  22. Thank you for being so forthcoming and honest. Very happy about the Tropes videos – can’t wait to see them! Keep up the good work and keep fighting the good fight!

  23. We’re behind you, Anita. Keep fighting the good fight!

  24. This is horrible. I am so sorry you have to deal with this infantile backlash. It must mean that you are hitting some nerves and making a real difference, right? If they take the time and energy to do these kind of cliched attacks, then you you are obviously having an impact. Keep it up! We support you!

  25. I’d say that this whole thing is disgusting, but I don’t think that quite covers it. I really don’t understand how people can think that this kind of behavior is okay.

    I am so sorry that you’ve had to deal with this kind of crap.

  26. I’m reading all of these comments and I’m finding myself nodding my head vigorously – it is SUCH A GOOD THING that you’re sharing all of the harassment you’ve been subjected to, because it totally brings all this online crap out into the open. It’s not one of those things that people can just roll their eyes at anymore (well, not everybody). I think you’re really opening a can of worms here; thank you for staying strong for all of us who truly admire and support you!

    Another commentor said it best – the fact that these trolls are attacking your sex and not your ideas shows that they have a major inferiority complex, and are scared that they couldn’t outwit you or defeat you in a civil, logical debate.

    “Rudeness [or in this case, abuse/hate/bullying] is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”

    CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR VIDEOS!

  27. I apologize for every angry and hateful comment and post you’ve seen. I’m a 19 year old girl who fully supports the ideals of feminism and I work at GameStop. Every other cover of the games I sort has tropes on them. It makes me happy to know that we as women are finally willing to talk about this on a large scale, and that we’re not afraid. Do not be discouraged, do not be dragged down. We support you.

  28. Very proud of you Anita.

  29. I am truly sorry you have to put up with this stupidity. Sadly, this kind of behavior is standard operating procedure for a huge chunk of male geekdom, regardless of medium, genre, or field. It’s astounding how a subculture that always complains about being excluded happily practices exclusion against anyone it likes for any reason at all, no matter how much they hurt or alienate everyone in the process.

    You have my best wishes and my support. I hope you kick some serious ass with your video series and put these idiots in their place.

  30. Keep up the good fight.

    I really wish I could do more than just telling you how important you work is and that you are an inspiration for a lot of people. As someone already commented, sadly, the backlash you are facing is just proof that you are on the right track.

  31. You are just awesome. Thanks for everything you’re doing to make the world better for women. The scum who are threatened by you are trying to deny you respect because you are BRILLIANT and deserve a MOUNTAIN of respect for what you’ve been doing!

  32. thank you for having the strength to share the harassment you’ve endured (and continue to endure, i’m sure) out loud. at the end of the day, i hope you are proud of what you accomplish with your brains & time versus how these internet bullies bide their time!

  33. Adding my vocal support. The more people speak up in favor of your (and others’) work against such violence, the stronger the unified voice of the marginalized becomes-regardless of how many times a phrase is repeated.

    I, personally, cannot wait for the new series to come out, and will watch it faithfully. It is something I have had issue with for a very long time; and, like many young women growing up in the mass media era, such tropes in our media caused a lot of confusion about who I was/am supposed to be as a woman. I feel strengthened to find your website and work, and though it is likely very difficult for you to bear, the fact remains that because all of this is happening, there truly is a large problem to be dealt with in the way society at large views women.

  34. You’re amazing, a real inspiration.
    Fight ! x

  35. I can’t believe people are seriously this angry because you got so many donations. So what? There are corporations out there that make millions of dollars at the expense of others, in ways that have an actual negative impact on society and the world… where’s the outrage for things like that? At least you’re doing something positive… You’ve gotta be kidding me, internet. I can’t believe people are this ignorant.

    sak Reply:

    Unfortunately, the men who act like this don’t see Anita’s intentions as positive at all. There will always be people who lash out when their privilege is being threatened.

  36. I feel that if half of these guys sending these awful images and hateful messages to you had any real sense of what feminism ACTUALLY means, this wouldn’t happen.

    Keep up the good fight, Anita.

  37. I commend you for your strength and ambition to expose the misogyny and hatred, even at the cost of your safety and sanity. The people responsible for this harassment have crossed serious lines with the production of these images.I find their cowardly tactics pathetic and disturbing. Thank you for being so brave and not letting the fear silence you. Your trength and fearlessness far outweigh and out influence any petty or demeaning idea sketched by a sad person who hides in utter fear of eveything female. My heart goes out to the women in the lives of the people who created these images.

  38. It makes you wonder what they are so afraid of. These attacks are the reactions of people (presumably men) who are very afraid. Why? Because strong women will take over the world and enslave them? Or what? And these responses are all they can muster? It’s a bit tragic, really, as well as being horrible and depressing.

    As others have already said, it does reveal underlying bias against women in society. Hard to fight, but your videos will contribute to this fight.

  39. Thank you so much for being brave and continuing all of your work. I feel like I can’t speak out about feminism because I’m a game developer and the harassment would might cost me my job. More and more I feel like I’m making games for people who despise me. The female game devs I know silently put up with so much, and because we’re often not allowed to talk about it or encouraged not to, we have a lot of prominent men in the industry downplay it or say that it’s not happening anymore. I wonder if gamers realize that this behavior is making people who make the things that they allegedly love want to leave the industry.

    nettle Reply:

    I work in animation and have a similar problem. I know many other women in this industry who despair at the sexism and racism in the work we are helping to produce, yet cannot speak up for fear of losing their job. All we can do is contribute to the public criticism of such things and fund amazing people like Anita.

    Thank you Anita for the work you do!

    Kichwas Reply:

    I really look forward to seeing the final work of this project, and as a Native American – hope there’s a “part 2″ someday on the twin issue of racism in gaming.

  40. As a guy who has contributed to you, I *facepalm* a lot at the idea that guys who are obsessed with drawing penises accuse ME of being motivated entirely by sex. Then again, the “I’m-rubber-you’re-glue” argument is really popular in these kinds of circles…

    Grr.

  41. Thank you for your work and your videos. You are very important to the feminist movement around the world. Keep up the good work and remember: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

  42. Hang in there. Love your work. Shannon – South Australia

  43. Hi Anita,
    I’m a dad in my mid-thirties with two kids (girl and boy), I found your videos on YouTube talking about LEGO and gender and your video taught me a lot.

    I would never have bought any of the LEGO friends range for my daughter anyway but the part about the miniman, and how all the characters in all sets are always men was really an eye opener.

    The kids are still too young for LEGO, but I’m going to buy a bunch of female LEGO characters and swap the heads round on any LEGO sets I buy, so there will be female firefighters and police officers, knights or whatever is in the set. Both my son and daughter will play with those.
    Weirdly it’s kind of hard to get hold of female characters, I’d say someone should cast some fake LEGO female heads and sell.

    So anyway, the LEGO friends I was against for starters, but you made some very valid points about the rest of the LEGO range. I wouldn’t have thought about this unless I had watched your video so thanks for your work and keep it up.
    /Emanuel from Sweden originally

  44. Every time I read and see these horrific examples of harassment, I honestly feel my faith in humanity slipping away. But then, I think of you and your courage, strength, and passion, and I am reminded that humanity may not be so bad. ;)

    These “people” are cowards hiding behind the anonymity that the Internet so easily provides them. They know you’re powerful, they know you’re intelligent, and they know that you’re influential, and because of that, they are absolutely terrified of you.

    So stay strong! You are an AMAZING person – don’t let them convince that you’re anything less.

  45. Thank you so much for documenting this harassment and continuing to push forward with your video game series! I think we are all better for it.

  46. Wow, the only word that comes to mind is pathetic. I can’t support internet censorship, these people are just as entitled to their disgusting opinion as we are, but when one threatens rape or violence a line is crossed and free speech is lost. Freedom of speech does not protect against threats of rape, murder, or violence and these people should be held accountable. I’m so happy you’re standing up for women. It’s so sad to see what you have to go through just to ask that women be treated equally, that women could have a little god damn respect, but I know so many people are so thankful for what you’re doing. Can’t wait to see your new videos. By the way, I heard G4′s Feedback podcast mention you on their episode where they discussed the new Tomb Raider rape game.

  47. I my experience, the social networks hide behind free speech. When I received similar harassment and complained to Twitter I was sent a boiler-plate email to the effect of “We do not get involved in personal disputes and take the right to free speech seriously”. In other words, Twitter will ALWAYS come down on the side of the harasser, not the victim.

    I think that, when your deeply held ideals are consistently putting you on the side of the obvious bad guy, it might be time to reconsider those ideals.

    In this case, where one person is using their free speech to bludgeon another into silence, perhaps we shouldn’t be defending their right to say what they want at any cost?

    I would love to see the networks really start to take this issue on board.

  48. This is such important work you’re doing. Never back down. You have an army of supporters. behind you from all corners of the world!

  49. I am so sorry for my male counterparts, this is exactly the type of garbage we all need to fight against. I am 1000% behind your cause!

  50. Sadly this is not the worst I’ve seen. Somehow I expect it’s not the worst you’ve seen too. The people who do this think it’s funny. They want to show the world how clever they are. To them, it isn’t real and it isn’t hurting anybody. They are at best immature or at worst psychopaths.

    This is why talking about things like online harassment (of any kind) and misogyny (online or offline) is so important. It raises awareness and gets people talking. In person. That’s important because while this kind of harassment does make life hell for those who are targeted, it’s a symptom of something much worse in those who do it. These people are far more likely to understand the shame of what they did if they see the disgust from someone in their personal life.

  51. You are tearing apart that fucking rug where every despicable and disgusting mysogynist idiocity is pushed under, you are showing the world the kind of filth where all of us stand on.

    You are showing the flaws on this gaming/geek culture in a way that everybody can see, so they only can attack you reducing you to what they consider a weakness instead of refuting your message.

    But it’s your strength, it’s what gives you pathos to fight this stupid fuckery cultivated by men who not know how to be men, who reduce the threat of change to memes of feminazi and kitchen jokes, because you, and many others, are tearing the fucking building apart smashing those rotted through foundations.

    Bring it all to the ground boo

  52. Using sexist and offensive images to fight a person who’s attempting to point out sexist and offensive behaviour really doesn’t seem like the smartest strategy… But I guess they’ll attack your gender if they think it’s the only way to silence you. Classic. They must honestly think being female IS a weakness. (And no wonder they’d think so, watching the movies we watch and playing the games we play.)

    Anita, you’re doing us all an incredible favour. Raising awareness of misogyny in media is an important mission, not just to help the gamer community and games get better but also to promote equality in other areas of life as well. I applaud your bravery in making this harassment public. Now my only regret is to not have pledged a larger sum to your project.

    Stay safe, stay strong and keep up the good work!

  53. Wow. Words fail. Allow me to put my drop in the bucket and say I’m really sorry that you have to go through this and that it’s gotten bigger and more severe instead of blowing over. I’m also sorry for gamers because this is what they now all look like. It wasn’t bad enough that they had the nerd stigma, now they look violent, hateful and ignorant. Stay strong.

  54. I’m so proud of what you’re doing and I wish I could contribute in a more concrete way than just arguing with trolls in forum comments. Sometimes I see image macros like that and I wish I could just wade in and solve the problem with violence, but thoughts like that are exactly what the trolls want.

    It’s kind of ironic, because they’re calling calm and collected feminists “angry feminists” and then trolling them so hard that we have every reason in the world to be LIVID. Of course, once we act as angry as we have reason to be, they point fingers and go, “SEE! ANGRY FEMINISTS!” Ugh.

    Keep up what you’re doing, you’re a shining beacon of hope in this creepy cesspit. <3

  55. This is absolutely sick. They are only making themselves looks stupid by doing this, and proving that feminism is still necessary in our society.

  56. I can’t believe those people, they’re committing a crime and this violence should be legally punished. I’m deeply sorry you are going trough all of this Anita, but i’m sure it will generate good things in a close future. You’re doing great and I’m very excited about the videos! Have you started recording yet?

  57. What’s sad is that even though this sort of harrassment appalling, this backlash you’ve recieved doesn’t at all surprise me. What you are tackling is a culture and medium that has had very little by way of feminist thought at any level – after all, there is no gaming equivalent of Germaine Greer or Margaret Atwood. So the resulting product of said medium that it is in a particularly juvenile state with a severely narrow worldview, therefore inviting juvenile responses of many within the community.

    It is for this reason that what you are doing is good and important. Good luck.

  58. I’m not a lawyer, but I’d guess you have a number of hundred solid cases of libel and attempted coercion on your hand, even if the obvious attempted defamation of character and sexual harassment may not qualify as illegal. The sites where these images were posted and the mail services used to send them to you have a definite legal responsibility to report the ISPs of these suspected criminals to the police. If I were you I’d consider contacting site staffs and alert them that if you have to take it up with the authorities yourself, they may very well be culpable.

    Not that tearing hateful idiots down in public isn’t satisfying and all, but some real world repercussions I think could teach them something.

  59. This is absolutely vile and disgusting. But it’s beacuse you’re doing the right thing! With your outstanding work, you’re giving hope to so many people by explaining why the status quo is not OK and why we should questioning it.

    We really need people like you! Keep up the good work!

    Stay strong, stay safe, we’ve got your back!

  60. I hope this wakes up a lot of men in the gaming community to step up and tell other men that this behaviour is NOT OKAY! We need people to not just support, but to be there and tell off those jerks when it happens, too!

  61. You are such an inspiration to me. Your site and videos are amazing, and I am in awe of the strength you have shown throughout all of this. Thank you for leading the way. Be strong! You are a wonderful human being.

  62. I am ashamed to call myself a male gamer. Seriously guys. A big ass WHAT – THE – F***? All of you just had your man cards revoked. Real Men treat women with respect and dignity, even if they say things you don’t agree with.

    All she’s doing is looking into female tropes in gaming, and you draw pictures of Mario raping her? Jesus Christ.

    I’m showing this to everyone in my MMO Guild and on Facebook. The least I can do is publicly call out such shameful behavior carried out by the little troll boys who share my anatomical make-up.

    Lynn Freitas Reply:

    you rock, JohnC. I hope male gamers are mostly like you, and the other troglodytes are small–if loud–minority. Support from people like you is absolutely essential if gaming culture is ever going to change.

    Trinity Reply:

    Go, JohnC! THAT is the sort of support she — and all of us female gamers — need! ACTION, not just talk! :-D

    Hey, if you play WoW, I’d love to join your guild. At least I’d be respected there, I daresay! :-)

    Trinity Reply:

    And keep up the great work, Anita! I am absolutely in agreement with all of the comments your other supporters have posted above. :-)

  63. Wow this makes me sad to be a gamer, vile and homophobic speak is a reason I left wow, but i didn’t think those animals were so aggressive and hateful. Best of luck and please don’t let the haters stop you.

  64. Thank you for taking this on. You are doing important work.

  65. It takes courage to speak the truth, and people will attack you for it. History shows us this.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. It will change the world for the better!

  66. Anita, I send to you my support from the other half of the globe. You’re doing an amazing job, your courage is outstanding. The fact that such hateful and brutal behaviour is acutally happening shows how necessary feminism still is.
    Keep on!

  67. I wrote an article recently on street harassment and was trolled by an individual claiming that I was totally wrong and needed to find something ‘real to complain about’.

    I share this because it seems to me that women some how need to have permission from men to speak about anything these days. If a woman dare to question the status quo, she is flung into the midst of some of the most horrible insults and or insulting actions.

    Anita, you’re one my personal heriones at the moment. I’m working on a journal type writing to give to my little sisters when they’re teenagers and I am planning on a long entry that describes what you’ve been through. I want them to know that even in 2012, women faced this kind of abuse. Hopefully, when they go to read about it, things will have changed. I can only hope that they will!

  68. I am so sorry that you have had to endure this, and I’m glad you are going public with it. I’m sure the assholes behind attacks like these are delighted, but it’s good for the rest of us to know, both so we appreciate the activism of those around us and know what to expect if we decide to start our own projects. Thank you for the work you do.

  69. Anita, for what it’s worth, I’ve seen a number of great articles pointing out issues of online harassment, gender, and the gaming community since your Kickstarter and the ensuing sh*tstorm. Your calm, reasoned and extraordinarily brave exposure of the tactics used against you – and the sheer quantity of these attacks – has armed so many people who live in this world to fight against misogyny and bullying. And that’s an amazing feat. Thousands of us female gamers put up with harassment every day, and it is never the responsibility of those under attack to educate the rest of the community as to why such attacks are wrong – but the fact is, often no one else will. It takes immense courage to respond as you have. THANK YOU. I can only hope that the calls I’ve seen amongst many gamers to self-police and call out sexist behavior translates into real action for real women. And I can’t wait for your Tropes V. Women in games videos.

  70. As a male designer in the industry and an avid gamer, I think what you’re doing here is amazing. I’m disgusted and saddened by the responses from the ignorant unwashed masses you’re receiving. Don’t give up – keep fighting the good fight! You have supporters where it counts.

  71. I can’t wait to see the project Anita, keep up the great work! You’ve got this.

  72. Keep up the good work! Don’t let these people discourage you, believe me, they are not a majority.

  73. They’re fighting you with every hateful fiber of their being, which means you scared them, and that pathetic, impotent campaign of filth and nonsensical drivel is all they’ve got.

    You rock, and your supporters have your back. Some of the funds you raised would be well spent on beefing up security where possible. I know you’re way ahead of me there; just wanted to express my support one more time.

  74. Thank you for writing this and posting what you have received. I am saddened that in the year 2012 there are still people who feel the need to do this. Please please please continue with what you are doing.

  75. Yeah, some of us are total bastards. Sorry for that.

    Just keep going, though, because that’ll get the silent majority to maybe notice that they’re letting the louder minority of complete, utter douchenozzles define what being a dude (+gamer) on the internet’s all about.

    We’re not all like this and as a result I think those of us who aren’t need to be a bit louder to counter the trash.

  76. Just know that there are many people who support you and what you are doing. Much, much more than just the 7000 who donated to your Kick-starter.

  77. Anita– It’s so awful, and thus so necessary for you to show the world, but it must be incredibly draining for you to deal with. I’m so sorry you and your supporters are being subjected to this.

    I wish it were possible to shame these jackasses, but it’s clear they have no concept of shame–they are in a mob-directed frenzy of defensive retaliation, and outside social pressure clearly means nothing.

    I hope things ease up for you and enough of them get bored or come to their senses to relent on the campaigning.

  78. Unfortunately my husband and I are both unemployed at the moment and as such I have not been able to donate. But I have watched the progress of this project and thrown my moral support into the ring. I’m sorry this is happening, though I can’t claim to be too shocked. But I stand in solidarity with you and appreciate what you are doing and the personal risks you have undertaken.

  79. Thank you so much for your courage and your hard work. I’ve waited for so long for something like tropes vs. women in video games and Im very excited for its debut!!!

    I am also so sorry about the harassment and the disgusting attacks on you and your work. Thank you for still continuing the project in spite of all the horrible misogynist asses out there.

  80. Wow, there are some very, very angry people out there. What drives people to such extremes?

    Put it all up, show what the collective internet is capable of. That being said I would hope some of these people could be held accountable for their actions.

  81. It’s a sad testament that the amount of harassment you’ve endured by wanting to discuss this issue provides more evidence of it than you would ever need.

  82. Anita,

    You’re doing a great job and an admirable thing. The response by these people is totally unconscionable, and utterly predictable.

    While I commend your decision to keep on keepin’ on in the face of this (and I like to think i’d do the same thing), please remember that you don’t actually owe anything to we your supporters, and you should feel free act, first and foremost, with your safety and mental state in mind.

    You’ve already been tough as nails in the face of some rank bullshit.

    And if there’s any concrete action that would help you, I’m sure we’d come through for you.

  83. Wow Anita. I sometimes forget this level of misogyny still exists. I’m so sorry you are enduring this. Way to be strong and not give in.

    My big question is, why are these people so angry at you? Why has this particular project struck a nerve like this? I can’t even comprehend what would drive someone to do something so hateful.

    Good luck, wishing you the best. You’re one of our courageous modern-day feminist heroes!

  84. These idiots couldn’t prove that your work was needed any better if you paid them to do it. Not that you’d want to. Hang in there and do the good work!

  85. I have played games on Nintendo’s, Microsoft’s. and Sony’s online gaming services with my girlfriend using headsets, and the second they find out that there is a girl in the online gaming session, the sexist, male chauvinistic comments start. They say things like-”Shouldn’t you be in the kitchen cooking dinner?”, “Shouldn’t you be in the basement doing laundry?” “Let me take you in the backseat of my car so I can fuck you.”, “Send me some naked pictures of you so I can see the hot ass that I am going to kick.” Once they realize that I am logged into the service on the same machine as her because I tell them off, they are like “Oh, shit. Her boyfriend is logged in and sitting next to her on the couch. Shut the fuck up, people because he might report your asses.” Maybe guys should start thinking with their brains and not with their penises.

  86. You’ve stood your ground in the face of extreme adversity. Keep going. We’re rooting for you.

  87. I stand with you. I’m a female gamer and things need to change! You are doing great and wonderful things. Thank you for standing against harassment and misogyny! You are incredibly brave, and I’m proud of you. The more we stand up and speak out against bullying and harassment, the more we get our voice out there, and the more things will start to change. Guess what jerks? We’re here and you’re not going to kick us out, so get used to it!

  88. Anita -

    That such vitriol exists and could be directed your way is enough to throw into question one’s faith in humanity – but your bravery and composure in the face of it is enough to restore that faith. The truest irony of the whole sad ordeal is that in their frantic attempts to ridicule and dehumanize you they have only served to make themselves ridiculous, to divorce themselves from whatever humanity they may have had.

    But others have said all this, and more, far better than I could. Your supporters are legion; yours is an endeavor as worthy as any could be. And you are gaining exposure throughout the industry, at Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5923224/rather-than-hide-from-the-hate-her-gaming+and+sexism-series-is-geting-online-anita-sarkeesian-wants-to-expose-it?popular=true, at Gamasutra: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/173227/Opinion_Video_games_and_Male_Gaze__are_we_men_or_boys.php; your voice is increasingly relevant, your messages increasingly heard and championed.

    And my voice is there behind yours, amidst the throng of support – not because there are those who tried to silence you, but because you have the intelligence to find something worth saying, and the strength to say it in spite of the most vile opposition.

  89. Keep up the good work!!!

  90. I know you’ve seen this: http://www.animalnewyork.com/2012/ill-doctrine-all-these-sexist-gamer-dudes-are-some-shook-ones/

    A lot of people responded by telling Jay Smooth “don’t feed the trolls” (a phrase I’ve seen handed out to you quite a bit), and so he made this: http://vimeo.com/44544403 (Interesting discussion going on in the comment section-nothing terrible though since I last checked).

    Zoshia Reply:

    He also gave you a shout-out on his vid “Ugly Shoes and Good Intentions”. This dude is an awesome ally.

    I am so glad this harassment isn’t silencing you-I’m not entirely sure I’d have the same strength. Thank you! (Ack, last time I comment today, I swear).

  91. This is horrifying and is def. one of the main reasons I’m afraid to put my name (and thus my gender) to any opinion of mine on the internet. What especially makes me angry are all these guys saying that you’re “playing the victim” or “asking for it”…fuck that, and fuck the idea that “it’s only the internet”. The second they make/share an image like that, they have completely detached themselves from their humanity, and the idea that I may cross paths with one of these asses in RL disturbs me enormously.

  92. I have worked with computers since the 1970′s. I am a woman. I have been called names, been ridiculed, been told to stop acting like a man (writing code is so obviously a man’s job!). You have my wholehearted support – stay strong and publish the garbage that others try to use to make you shrivel up and die! I am sad for you, because this stuff is vile, but I admire your courage and tenacity immensely. Your research is valuable and needs to be done, for all of us who value decency, fairness, compassion and joy.

  93. I am so embarrassed for humanity.

    Shameful. F*cking shameful. However, yeah, they’re pretty much writing it for you… :-)

    Well done!

  94. Damn. Kudos for lifting up this big ugly misogynist rock and exposing the creepy crawlies underneath. I’ve been gaming my whole life and never once have I thought of myself as a ‘girl’ gamer – or a ‘girl’ scientist or anything else for that matter – but it seems the battle for equality isn’t yet won.

    Thank you for being a voice for so many. I can’t wait to see where you go with your project. Sending hugs, love, and much deserved applause your way.

  95. I am so sorry for what you’ve experienced. The first time I read the feedback you were receiving, I felt so sick that I cried. I can’t believe that there are people that would resort to such horrific vitriol to silence you. But I hope that this has also shown that there are many out there that support what you’re doing. I’m amazed by your courage — keep it up! The world needs more people like you.

  96. It’s shameful the way these individuals are acting towards you and your message. Others have said it and I’ll say it again; their reaction proves that what you’re doing is a step in the right direction. If these loudmouthed hatemongers had any merit they would react with something more intelligent than vitriol, and less savage than (digitally) foaming at the mouth.

    I only hope that those raging against your message are a vocal minority. Those that are trying to permeate the gaming and online culture with this misogynistic sludge don’t belong in any sort of social context, especially not one that should be dedicated to fun and entertainment such as the gaming community. You’re doing a good thing, and you’ve got the support of myself and my peers. Don’t give up!

  97. I am so impressed with you for deciding to share these examples and talk about this kind of harassment. You make me proud to call myself a feminist.

  98. Oh, if only you could track down the mothers, sisters, aunts, and female colleagues and bosses of these arseholes and send them the links to their masterpieces… to be a fly on the wall when this happens.

    Seriously, if this is all they can bring to the table, they obviously have low IQs and are probably frustrated that so many smart women go beyond their understanding.

  99. You do amazing work girl, and despite all this troll harassment, I am hearing more and more people talk about your work. Well done! Please be brave and keep going, and I’ll be sure to stand up in whatever way I can when needed.

  100. What you are doing is brilliant, important, and incredible. I’ve had friends whose marriages have improved because of your videos. You’ll never know your impact, but the thousands of dollars that have flooded in are a pretty great indication. =) Thanks for giving the rest of us courage to fight the good fight.

  101. The harassment you’ve been subjected to is absolutely vile and your decision to discuss it in public is incredibly courageous. You’re an inspiration.

  102. Anita, I love that you’ve managed to so perfectly disparage their vile excuse for discourse.

    You run intellectual rings around these dickheads, and they’re afraid of you because they know it. The funny part is that they think this nonsensical crap they post actually makes *you* look bad!

  103. You’re a very brave woman. I can only hope that the story of the harrasment you’ve been the victim of helps shed light on the problem of online bullying, and that your example leads more women to raise their voices. I’m really anxious to see your series on women in video game.

  104. There’s a massive understory here about pornography as a form of anti-woman propaganda. I know that’s a story few feminists are brave enough to touch, but it’s what jumps out at me very loudly when I read this post.

    If these porn using men put ejaculate on a woman’s face to show her they don’t like her, then that’s also what it means when they do it to the sex workers who stand in for EveryWoman in porn.

    What does it mean that whore (and variations thereof) is their favorite insult for Anita at the same time it’s their #1 slur for women in porn? Why do feminists see the actively misogynistic insults and injuries put forth by the multi-billion dollar porn propaganda machine only when men turn it’s cannon of hate (canon of hate?) onto them as individual women?

  105. I have experienced similar abuse, however, not to the same extent (with large groups or mobs). This post was heartbreaking, to see the extent of abuse and hate that people will throw towards you disgusts me deeply. All i can say is that you are SO courageous for continuing to write and speak your mind, you are an inspiration!

  106. I’m a man, I’m a gamer.
    As a man, I feel the need to say this:
    I’m sorry. I apologize for what other members of my gender are doing. They’re pretty much proving your point, so in a round-about way, that’s a win for you.
    You have a very noble goal. Keep going, and godspeed.

  107. Various forms of hateful bile. Watch the roaches scurry from the light and bite back! I do feel disgusted by their behavior towards you (and their other presumed targets).

    Your refusal to be a victim, though, is inspiring. I eagerly await this video series and your perspective on the issues involved. Thank you Anita, for your passion and dedication not just here and now but all through your inriguing body of work.

  108. Every time I see bullshit like this I grimace, for reasons which I hope are obvious.

    Then I remember that they’re fighting harder BECAUSE THEY’RE LOSING, and I perk right back up again.

  109. I am a game producer, and as a woman in the video game industry, I find these memes highly disturbing. It’s a good thing that a few male video game writers are already taking notice of the misogyny and are wielding their pens in defense against such barbaric treatment from the video game community.

  110. Thanks Anita! You’re an inspiration, and this sure isn’t easy. Keep up the great work!

  111. Here’s hoping social media sites step up to the plate and give victims the tools they need to combat this. For starters, using IP Addresses it’s very easy to see which computers are responsible for the majority of these postings and which computers started it. With the IP address comes location, type of computer, and other vital Intel the victim should be allowed to use to bring legal action against the harassers.

    Have you considered contacting the media about this? Does Facebook even have an easy way for victims of this sort of harrassment to report it, and bring criminal charges against those committing it? What about Youtube, twitter, and others? THAT’s the real story here. People should be able to hold others accountable for their behavior, even online. Harassment and threats should be taken seriously and you should have the tools at your disposal to sue these ignorant idiots for damages! If the venue isn’t there it needs to be put in place!

  112. these idiots are just proving why feminism is needed all the more. keep going strong.

  113. This is beastly but, sadly, unsurprising. Your persistence in the face of this hate and violence is inspiring. Thank you for all you do!

  114. Hello,

    You are fighting for an amazing cause and it’s not suprising that people are targeting you. Since I was a kid, I wanted to work in the gaming industry because there’re so many things that needed changing and I’m a girl. Right now I’m studying and working very hard to become a concept artist so that I will be able to change this industry a bit. And you were, honestly a huge inspiration for me!

    Just compare what you are doing to those stupid trolls. You’re standing up and shouting out your opinion with valid arguments, and these attacks are just pathetic. I’d like to see them say ACTUAL arguments instead of making pathetic attacks.

    People just need to get this stupid stereotype out of their heads. Feminism has nothing to do with sexual orientation, fyi.

  115. Just wanted to be another voice urging you to continue your awesome work! Thanks for deciding to share your experiences.

  116. I can’t believe the deluge of disgusting, offensive comments and harassment you’ve been subjected to. I have always enjoyed your video postings, often referring my friends to your women vs. tropes videos, and I’m just so sorry that you’ve been on the receiving end of such hate for doing such awesome, important work. I think you do amazing work, and I just wanted to be a voice of support in the midst of all that nasty. Thanks for your work, and stay strong!

  117. Jeebus, in what parallel universe is this sort of behavior even remotely acceptable? Thank you, Anita, for standing up to the bullies!

  118. Dear Anita

    Just read about you in the NewStatesman, a British political mag.
    I don’t really know much about gaming but I salute your courage to stand up to these vapid morons. Absolutely despicable behaviour you have been subjected to and I hope you inform the relevant authorities so they can track down those making these threats towards you. I hope you stay resolute in fighting the good fight against all forms of misogyny and I have no doubt that what may seem like an insignificant and tiring cause at the moment will echo down the ages as it will transform the way women are viewed in this society.

    Best wishes and solidarity from a black British feminist

  119. You’ve been handling this like some kind of superhero; it’s really amazing. I was really heartened to see all of my favorite gaming news/commentary sites come out with articles supporting you and the project, and decrying the intense misogynistic backlash. I agree we can take a certain amount of inspiration from the backlash: if it’s pissing off misogynists this much, you must be doing something right. I’m just so terribly sorry it has to come at such a high personal psychological/emotional cost as having to endure a sustained harassment/hate campaign.

  120. Hang in there and keep fighting the good fight! Shining sunlight on the trolls is the best way to destroy them.

  121. Hey Anita,

    I’m really glad you are following through with this hugely important message. I can’t even begin to fathom the level of abuse you are putting up with, and I wanted to reinforce the fact that you are not in any way wrong for wanting to send this kind of message. I’m sure that rationally you always knew this, but I’d imagine all of this hate to be very emotionally draining. Hang in there, because your strength will set the example for a new generation of empowered females!

    Love and unicorns,
    Rowan

  122. Hey.. I’ve just discovered this site. Found it indirectly from a forum thread about Second Life. Whilst this is currently the only article I’ve looked at, I will definitely be reading more.
    I’m sorry you had to go through such harassment, but having to seen the things you were targeted with, I’m now extremely curious to find out what exactly you have to say that would annoy all those people so much! And from what I’ve seen so far, it’ll be very well thought out and intelligent :)

  123. Keep up the incredible work! Having no ability to rationally defend their neanderthal beliefs about women, these trolls resort just being themselves: ugly, stupid, mean, clueless and worthless. Thank you Anita for standing up to these people and standing up for women!

  124. I’ve got to be honest, this makes ME afraid to do anything in the public eye. The fact that you continue to soldier on and do your valuable work despite this abuse is an inspiration.

    At the very least, this troll campaign proves your point about the necessity of feminism.

  125. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I’ve been reading your site for awhile now but have never commented, but I really wanted to say how much I enjoy and learn from you and your work. You have a lot of supporters here and I am absolutely one of them! Thank you for all your work.

  126. I hope you can see this through to the end. You are in the right, your haters are not.
    Thank you for this.

  127. The fact that this happens at all is sickening. The fact that it happens to someone who dares to speak out, purely because they did so, is reprehensible.

    I hope it doesn’t get to you. Because I, for one, think you’re absolutely amazing. Everything you say is totally spot on, and I can’t wait to see what you have to say about the tropes in video games.

    Thank you for being an inspiration. Be strong.

  128. I’m sorry that you have been the subject of mob-style abuse. It’s not surprising to me that gamers are frequently immature, women-hating men…exactly why such a series on tropes vs. women in video games is sorely needed.

    This man loves Feminist Frequency and hopes you will continue to make more excellent videos.

  129. I salute you. I would not have dealt even a quarter as well with all this as you have.
    Thank you for making such a big difference.

  130. So much has been said in support of you already, my individual voice will be lost among the thousands and thousands of people who have vocally supported you of late. My comment will only serve to add one to the number. This doesn’t bother me.

    In order to make ourselves heard over the scrotebuckets who would harass, threaten and denigrate you, we all need to speak up so that our collective voice becomes thunderous, impossible to ignore.

    Yes, misogyny is absolutely RIFE in game/ geek culture today. Something needs to be done. You are a bloody hero, and I applaud your efforts so far!

    I only wish I had known about your Kickstarter before yesterday so I could have joined in.

    KEEP UP THE FIGHT! WE ARE HERE WITH YOU!

  131. I wish I was surprised at the depths to which these people will sink under the guise of “free speech” and “expressing an opinion”, and I am in awe of your courage to go on in the face of such bile thrown at you.

    I have been following your work and enjoying your videos a lot during the past years and I have used them in classes (I am a teacher). You do important work and help spark discussions about very problematic issues in media, and I am very grateful that you continue and happy at the level of support you get.

    If anything, as depressing as this is, this clearly shows that you have put your finger on something that is awkward enough for people to spark this level of bullshit. Keep up the good work.

  132. This is terrible, vile, disgusting, shocking, and ignoble. When iread the first part, I of course anticipated bad, immature, insulting stuffs. It, of course, went much further that that, and I am again loosing some more faith in humanity.

    So, like the former comments, I wish to tell you my support. I do not agree with everything you say, sometimes, I wonder whether this is a bit over-reacted on some points, but mainly, it makes me THINK. About things I have not though to before, not realized. I may decide that some things you talk about are really bad (and a lot of them are), that some of them are perhaps not so bad, but I would not have thought about it if it were not for you and your great job. So i would like to thank you for the effort you are putting into it, and I am looking forward to watch more thought-challenging, enlightening videos.

  133. Just saw this on the New Statesman and wanted to drop by and say good on you for all you’ve done so far…so horrible that you’ve had to go through this but well done for not giving in like the haters want you to! The past ten years the internet has been owned (should that be pwned?!) by these little man-boys who need to grow the fuck up. They need to learn they don’t own this place anymore. The internet belongs to us! You are brilliant x

  134. I’m really sorry you had to go through this.

    This is really really horrible. I hate how easily swayed people are by culture and how terribly flawed the ideals it metes out are.

  135. I don’t know anything about gaming or your project, but as the mother of 2 20-something daughters, I thank you for speaking out about your harrassment and the misogyny that exists everywhere. My daughters get sort of glassy-eyed when I start going off on the patriarchy and how women are the sex class and how much gender-based hatred there is. I think they think I’m a little over the top. I am going to ask them to read this.

  136. You are now one of my heroes!

    Thank you for your humanity.

  137. I find it amazing that “anti-” people never realize how much publicity they give to campaigns with which they so vehemently disagree.

    It is wonderful that your Kickstarter drive so completely surpassed its goal, and I look forward to “Tropes vs. Women: Video Games.”

  138. Please stay strong and continue with your message. It is important, and gives helps inspire others (myself included) to take a stand against misogyny and sexist behavior.

  139. When I hear of cases of online harassment and bullying like this, I must admit that I feel defeated. Helpless, actually. How can it be controlled? How can it be stopped? How exactly do you remind people of basic human decency in a world of dehumanised 1′s and 0′s, where anonymity and “free speech” have been twisted and contorted to fit each person’s degree of entitlement?

    Even more frustrating to think about people out there, in the scary world of the interwebs, who are say, too dependent on it for their self-validation, or those who are more psychologically and emotionally more vulnerable. What about them then, how much more desperate will they be?

    But hey, you give me hope. What you’re doing is unbelievable brave. Stay strong.

    Mom Reply:

    We can’t control anyone else, but we can call a spade a spade, which is what this woman has done so brilliantly! Many women shut down when we are attacked, and this mindset plans on that being the case. Then, reality hits and women say “Enough!” Free speech is for everyone, and when 52% of the population cries “Enough!”, it will be loud!

    How is anything accomplished? Public pressure. We have the majority. Why not use it?!

    Your study is wonderful and I sincerely appreciate your courage and stamina. Brava to you!

  140. This is horrible, and I think most people realize that. But you are a strong person, and you know that these attacks are born from ignorance and irrational fear – keep doing what you do, and I hope that you never become a victim of physical assaults as a result of this.

  141. Such pathetic cowardly creatures. Sad to realize they all have mothers and other female relatives who would be sickened and horrified by their participation in this campaign of hatred.

  142. This is, sadly, the norm of the standard internet user these days. Anonymity apparently invites a surprisingly large amount of people to act like complete idiots, against both men and women (but MUCH worse against women). And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say — the reason there is so much misogyny on the internet these days is because the standard internet-saturated male is so socially crippled that they have little if no experience with women… and their inner frustration boils to the surface in the form of generalized hate against ALL women. It is pathetic.

    However, I think what you’ve done is brilliant. By posting all of the ridiculous hateful attack-images and messages, you’ve sapped them of their power. These images now hang in the spotlight for everyone to see and appreciate just how juvenile people have become.

  143. a lot of this information made me feel pretty sick to be honest. It’s horrendous that you have to take this- especially when you are providing such a well researched public service alone. You are very brave and your well argued content always helps me to see the internet as a little less vile :)

  144. As a gamer myself, i am sorry some so many gamers have reacted like this. I have to admit i don’t always agree with you, but i would never use insults and misogyny just because of a disagreement.

    All i cna say is that not all gamers are like this, as hard as that may be to believe right now

  145. This is utterly disgusting, but your decision to publish it is extremely brave and much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  146. As a gamer and a male, words cannot express how horrible I feel that others react this horribly to the pursuit of equality in gaming. Just know we all don’t feel that way and I look forward to seeing your study when complete.

  147. This is truly awful and I am sorry you’ve had to go through this. On a happier note, I am so glad that you’re doing what you’re doing; your courage and bravery make me happy and your persistence is inspiring! Kudos!

  148. How revolting! Vile troglodytes the lot of them. Anita, I’ve only recently started watching your videos and I find them both entertaining and thoughtful, especially the one about sexist liquor ads where you said what I could never quite put into words to describe my extreme dislike for those ads.
    Game culture needs to be called out on its B.S. and I’m looking forward to the new Tropes vs Women. You’re stronger than I am, I would be utterly broken if I received such abuse.
    Still, it looks like they’re getting desperate,which means you’re winning.

  149. You are one brave, bad-ass woman; I wish I had a fraction of your strength. I left the web at the first signs of harassment, but always wondered how much worse it would have gotten had I NOT let them chase me away. Your experience suggests much, much worse.

    I had really convinced myself things were *better* now. I was wrong.

  150. I’m outraged, but proud of you and happy to read the hundreds of supportive comments on this page. Stay strong

  151. I suppose that you live difficult moments, and I hope you are surrounded to face that. You are really becoming a symbol of resistance. Even though I would understand, I hope you won’t let those prehistoric macho men win. And I love your videos :-)

  152. free speech only goes so far and these are definitely crossing the line. what i see are blatant threats. that is beyond harassment, that qualifies as stalking which is a felony in many states. file charges against these pathetic bullies!

  153. You are an extremely courageous woman. I’m sorry you are being subject to such ill treatment by these miscreants but I admire you for not backing down. As a father of two daughters I thank you for your efforts to fight for fairness and equality. Keep fighting the good fight!

  154. I am a male gamer and i support your movement. I have been wanting this for a long time. The stereotypes in games are terrible. From racist stereotypes to sexist and homophobic characters this has been going on too long and I welcome this effort. As a minority I run into racism on xbox live all the time and I hate the fact that Microsoft won’t do anything to stop it. These attacks you have suffered are a symptom of the gaming culture in general. During cyber games female competitors suffer abuse like this from there opponents all the time. It is shameful and the organizers have half heartedly attempted to stop it with little results. Hopefully your efforts will bring more attention to this problem and maybe something will change. Keep up the fight, its a battle that we need to win.

  155. You are so strong, this is so shocking and despite the hordes of disgusting, abusive people out there, there are SO many people who support you and believe in what you are doing! Please never stop what you are doing, it is such a wonderful thing and you motivate me so much with every video and post! Lots of love!

  156. God bless you, Anita! These bullies thought that they were winning in their foolish minds, but they are wrong! You are one of the bravest women in the world!

  157. The strength you show in simply continuing with this is incredible. Were I you, I think I’d find this too overwhelming to continue.
    I’m really looking forward to the completed series.

  158. Keep on fighting. You’ve got an army supporting you. I am willing to fight for your cause every day.

    XO
    /Olle, furious male gamer

  159. I’m sorry you have had these experiences, Anita. The people who take the time to create and distribute this hateful rubbish are of the lowest common denominator. Unfortunately, the Web has created a cloak of anonymity that some people use to to unload the bleakness of their souls. I truly believe that these people lead miserable lives and find a sick pleasure in trying to bring down those with higher evolved aspects. Think of it this way. After each harassment, they must return to their bleak and sad lives. Keep going because you are winning!

  160. Anita- I’m certain that even if you had just barely reached funding, you would still be facing this kind of harassment. I can’t tell you how glad I am that all of us who contributed to so wildly over-funding you were able to contribute to putting you in a position where you can get whatever security you need to refuse to be silenced while remaining safe.

    I have to tell you, I have found this whole situation disillusioning. I really thought we were past this sort of misogynist B.S., and am horrified by how wrong I was. As a woman and aspiring writer, I find it upsetting to see the harassment you have received for the “crime” of being a woman with an opinion. It has made me even more determined to pursue my dream, and speak my mind. Thank you for your courage and perseverance.

  161. I’m really sorry to hear that you’re being harassed like this. Stay strong and keep doing what you’re doing- you’re obviously on to something to get this strong a response.

    The importance of media literacy and critical thinking are underrated in the face of what we are exposed to and consume on a daily basis. Projects like yours are necessary to help us understand and ‘read’ media, so thank you for challenging the status quo and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

  162. When I first heard of this project, I wrote a lengthy post about it, and through it, reluctantly, backed you with what money I could spend.

    Fast forward until now, and, really, my only regret is that I wish I was in a better place financially, because I now STRONGLY support your goals, both as a gamer, a writer, and hopefully eventually, a designer.

    We need more, better designed female characters. I thought everyone could agree on that. The fact that people either disagree, or just dislike you for the sake of disliking you, makes me want this project to succeed now more than ever, not only for the good of gaming, but for the bad of the trolls who want it to fail.

  163. What you are doing is really, really important. Keep it up. Don’t let them scare you. Expose them. Misogyny thrives in a culture of silence.

  164. I’m NO prude. Know how to curse like trucker and do so on the regular. This online gaming shit has got to stop though. Well beyond misogyny, the level of vile language, passed back and forth, via chat and IMs on these games, is repulsive. So much so, that I have lost any real interest in partaking in the pastime, I loved.
    For selfish reasons, thank you for standing forth and challenging the depraved underbelly of the online world. For righteous reasons, Thank You, for braving the barbs of these neanderthals and continuing your assault. We all need a champion in this fight.

  165. Standing up to bullies ultimately makes them stand down. I wish these attacks were all the product of 15-year-old boys who don’t know any better. Sadly, we all know this isn’t true. Your courage will help change the situation for the better, embolden other women gamers to speak out and force the jerks who behave in this vile manner out into the light. Good job.

  166. Wow. Not a gamer, but just read the Times article, which blew me away. Really respect your courage. Yo are not alone.

  167. I’m a guy and a (casual) gamer and am shocked and disgusted by the hatred you’ve uncovered in the gaming community. Unreal. Keep up the good work!

  168. Stay strong, lady! You are an inspiration! Keep up the Great Work!

  169. We will demonstrate that sexism isn’t a problem in gaming through threatening and demeaning women for saying so. Genius guys. None of them stopped to think that maybe they were proving your point? I think a lot of gamers, particularly on MMORPGs, don’t even think about the words they use because it is just ingrained in the slang so much.
    I think that rather than approaching it as something to be censored and chastised, we can think of it as an opportunity. Aren’t new ideas and new stories a precious commodity after endless brown shooters and formulaic fantasies? If we don’t have fully developed women/LGBTQ/people of colour in games, doesn’t that open up a lot more possibilities?

  170. I am dumbfounded to read of such behavior. As a father and grandfather, I thought we had tought the next generations better than that. It just goes to show the fight for equality, civility and reason never ends.

  171. Anita!

    I am so sorry these folks are so belligerent. I love your videos and I literally just brought up memories of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to my coworkers. I bragged about how I beat the game with my brothers and next door neighbor– but I can’t tell you how awful it was to play this with 3 males and watch the “camera” get “stuck” underneath her [incredibly well-endowed] boobs ALL THE TIME. I pretty much gave up on video games after Mario I, II & III but Tomb Raider was definitely the deal breaker. Since then, I’ve become a full time artist. I tend to wander cyberspace for new and interesting paintings, graphic designs, drawings, etc and certainly have stumbled on countless “enhanced” representations of women. I’ll be the first to admit that almost all art enhances the subject in plenty of ways but it gets tiresome to see the near-crotch shot of a scantily clad super-hot-chick with her chest busting the seams of her low zipped shirt. It lacks a new imagination and pawns off of the video game aesthetic too often.

    Ah yes, I know, I preach to the choir. But seriously, although not a video game, the scene in The Dark Knight Rises where Catwoman rides off on his motorcycle with her leather-clad ass in the air was pretty sad. Many male acquaintances have brought it up, stating how awesome it was that someone thought of having her do that. Ugh.

    So hang in there! Get some serious gaming research going! Please inform if there are games that try for a better representation of the ladies!

  172. I’m one of millions and millions of normal people who stand with you and recognize that these infantile undeveloped cowards are sad, pathetic losers. They’re like horseshoe posts on which to toss derogatory adjectives and epithets! You’re a standout, bright and brave. Be strong and happy!

  173. These people are such losers.
    They are intimidated by your intelligence.

  174. Thanks for being witness to the viciousness standing up for yourself (and other women) brings out in wholly and frighteningly immature men. Whats even more frightening is how widespread this kind of viciousness is. The culture not only accepts it but pummels and violates anyone who calls it for what it is.

  175. What kind of men have such low self confidence that they have to do this? Really, this says so much more about them then you. Small, small men.

  176. I normally don’t post comments anywhere, but in this case I feel like being one more trying to weight out the harassment. You’re doing a great job! Thank you for that!