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Feminist video game critic forced to leave her home after online rape and death threats

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Anita Sarkeesian, creator of an online video series analyzing problematic representations of women in video games, was forced to leave her home on Tuesday after death threats made online against herself and her family, Polygon reported.

“Some very scary threats have just been made against me and my family,” Sarkeesian posted on Tuesday. “Contacting authorities now.”

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After confirming she had found a safe place to stay, Sarkeesian posted a screengrab of the threats, posted by a Twitter account calling itself “Kevin Dobson,” which identified her address and her parents, as well as several vulgar threats, including one to “ram a hot tire iron up [her] c*nt”:

Sarkeesian threats

“I usually don’t share the really scary stuff,” Sarkeesian wrote on a post accompanying the image. “But it’s important for folks to know how bad it gets.”

Sarkeesian reported the threats a day after she released a new episode of her series, Feminist Frequency, dealing with games that feature sexualized female victims or female characters introduced solely to highlight either a villain’s aggression or provide motivation for players to complete their missions.

The effect of introducing these “mature themes,” she argues in the episode, is the trivialization of painful experiences that are all too common. Sarkeesian alludes to a 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control that found nearly one in five U.S. women reported having suffered either a rape or an attempted rape, while one in four reported having been beaten by a domestic partner.

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“When games casually use sexualized violence as a ham-fisted form of character development for the bad guys, it reinforces a popular misconception about gendered violence by framing it as something abnormal, as a cruelty committed only by the most transparently evil strangers,” she says in the video. “In reality, however, violence against women — and sexual violence, in particular — is a common everyday occurence, often perpetrated by ‘normal men,’ known and trusted by those targeted.”

Sarkeesian was also the target of an intimidation campaign last year, with opponents of her work posting fake pornographic images of her online, falsely “flagging” her videos on YouTube, and threatening her personal safety.

Watch Sarkeesian’s latest commentary, as posted on Monday, below.

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Chief Justice Roberts admonishes lawyers at Senate impeachment trial

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Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts made his first major intervention in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial shortly before 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) finished his closing arguments on why former National Security Advisor John Bolton should testify, the White House team went on the attack. Yelling and demanding apologies, the president's team was more animated than they'd been all night. Roberts then admonished the House and White House on their language.

Claiming the Senate is the "world's greatest deliberative body" -- despite what he had witnessed during 12 hours of the impeachment trial -- Roberts complained about language that was "not conducive to civil discourse."

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White House lawyers begin yelling at Democrats during late-night impeachment trial — after Trump starts tweeting

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President Donald Trump woke up and began tweeting around midnight EST during the Senate impeachment trial over the amendments over the rules. That's when a noticeable thing changed on the Senate floor: Trump's team started yelling.

Nearing 1 a.m. EST Tuesday morning while the president was tweeting about impeachment, his team began attacking Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) personally. They called him a liar and accused him of attacking the president and demanded an apology. After nearly 12 hours this was the first time the White House got even remotely animated after a dull defense of the president.

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Here is the self-inflicted blunder Mitch McConnell made that destroyed his entire case: ex-DOJ official

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The former chief of the criminal fraud section at the Department of Justice broke down a mistake made by Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) late on Tuesday evening.

McConnell urged something known as "vote stacking" in which there would be a vote-a-rama sequence of vote after vote -- without any debate on the amendments.

Andrew Weissmann, who played a management role in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, explained how McConnell undermined his own argument.

"I think Mitch McConnell may have made a bit of a miscalculation there because what he is really saying -- 'Can you stack these?' -- is it doesn't matter what you say, because we're going to vote against it," he explained.

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