Anita Sarkeesian is a vlogger who discusses gender representation in the media. According to her Youtube channel, “Feminist Frequency is an ongoing series of video commentaries exploring gender representations, myths and messages in popular culture media.”
I first started watching her videos about 2 years ago. I happened upon her video about Lego and was immediately hooked. I watched a ton of her videos that night. I thought she was an intelligent, outspoken, much needed, example of a strong feminist individual. Because of her willingness to speak out against injustice she has been targeted by those that don’t agree with her. Her TED talk had to turn off commenting because of the hate campaign targeted at her. The video’s description states as follows, “WHY ARE COMMENTS TURNED OFF? This talk comes from a woman who was targeted by an online hate campaign. Predictably, the same campaign has targeted this talk, so comments have been shut down. If you’d like to comment constructively on this video, please share on your own social networks.”
How sad is it that people feel the need to physically threaten her because they don’t agree with her views? If anything they are are proving ALL of her points. There is a HUGE issue with the way that women are depicted in society. For example, most movies don’t pass the Bechdel Test, a test that asks three questions of a movie:
1. Are there two or more women in the movie that have names
2. Do they talk to each other
3. Do they talk to each other about something other than a man.
Shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Well, most movies don’t pass the test. It is actually really sad.
Anita made a great video about it.
What provoked this post? Well, Anita was scheduled to give a talk at Utah State this week. She was forced to cancel that talk because of a death threat. A death threat made against Anita and all that attended the event and also those at the women’s center on campus. The perpetrator wanted to make feminists pay for what they saw as their terrible influence on the world.
I read the threat email (yes email) and to be honest, I cried. I will admit that I am an emotional person, it is a gift and a curse, but this really struck a cord with me. The perpetrator threatened the use of a semi-automatic gun, a few pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs.
How dark is the light in this person’s world that they feel it necessary to threaten such violence?
It breaks my heart.
The thing that gets me is that this isn’t the first threat against Anita’s life. She is threatened on a daily basis and has had several threats made against her life because of speaking events. I admire her strength and determination. She continues to speak out because she knows it is what’s right. She knows what needs to be done.
So now I speak out (on my blog at least). I stand up in solidarity with Anita saying enough is enough. We cannot stand for this violence and hatred. The depiction of women in popular society needs to change and we need to encourage that movement.
Want to know more about the threat made on Anita? Read more here and here.
If you want to watch her TED talk you can see it below.