One Week of Harassment on Twitter

January 27, 2015

Ever since I began my Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, two and a half years ago, I’ve been harassed on a daily basis by irate gamers angry at my critiques of sexism in video games. It can sometimes be difficult to effectively communicate just how bad this sustained intimidation campaign really is. So I’ve taken the liberty of collecting a week’s worth of hateful messages sent to me on Twitter. The following tweets were directed at my @femfreq account between 1/20/15 and 1/26/15.

Content warning for misogyny, gendered insults, victim blaming, incitement to suicide, sexual violence, rape and death threats.

Tuesday, January, 20th

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Feminist Frequency’s 2014 Annual Report

January 23, 2015


The Feminist Frequency team is proud to present our inaugural annual report. The Feminist Frequency 2014 Annual Report features our new mission statement, statement of purpose, media highlights from the year, our social media data summary, along with our audited financial status and plans for the remainder of 2015.

This was a tumultuous year for the games industry as a whole and a challenging year for all of us at Feminist Frequency. We believe that this report underscores the obstacles we faced and highlights all that we’ve accomplished in 2014.

Download the Feminist Frequency 2014 Annual Report [PDF].

Five Feminist Moments in Video Games

December 17, 2014

This week, the web magazine Matter is hosting the New York Review of Video Games. I was asked to think about some of my favourite feminist moments in games, so I reached out to Carolyn Petit and we put together this short list of Five Feminist Moments in Video Games.



25 Invisible Benefits of Gaming While Male

December 2, 2014

This video is based on the article “Playing with privilege: the invisible benefits of gaming while male” written by Tropes vs Women in Video Games producer Jonathan McIntosh.

Many women have courageously spoken out about how they experience alienation and harassment in gaming. Despite this fact, too many male gamers still dismiss the issue as “no big deal” and insist that there isn’t really a problem. One of the luxuries of being a member of a privileged group is that the benefits afforded often remain invisible. This blindness allows many men, even well meaning men, to remain blissfully unaware of what roughly half of all gamers experience on a fairly regular basis. With that in mind the following is a checklist of some of the concrete benefits that male gamers automatically receive simply for being male gamers.

Please note: This list is referring primarily to straight men who are not transgender but similar lists could be created for white, straight, cis, or able-bodied privilege and there would certainly be some overlap with the conditions identified in this video.


Anita Sarkeesian on The Colbert Report

November 2, 2014

On October 30, 2014, Anita Sarkeesian was invited to be a guest on The Colbert Report to discuss online harassment and the sexist representations of women in video games. You can watch the opening segment outlining what GamerGate is and how it’s connected to sexist harassment here.

Repost: On Friday, Anita Sarkeesian called out “toxic masculinity” on Twitter

October 26, 2014

This article is written by David Futrelle and reposted from We Hunted the Mammoth

What a surreal life Anita Sarkeesian must lead, in which virtually everything she says and does becomes grist for the Great Internet Lady Harassment Machine, Sarkeesian Division.

Take the latest blowup, which followed a few comments Sarkeesian made in the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Marysville, which may have been triggered by the shooter’s angry response to a romantic breakup. On Friday, Sarkeesian posted a few thoughts on the matter on Twitter:

While it it not literally true that every single mass shooter in history has been male, we are talking about an almost exclusively male club: one recent attempt at crunching the numbers found that 97% of school shooters have been male, and 79% of them white. (The Maryville shooter was Native American.)

In any case, the notion that a crime so heavily associated with men might have something to do with our society’s notions of masculinity isn’t exactly a radical notion. Indeed, it seems rather obvious.

But to Sarkeesian’s many haters, on Twitter and elsewhere, it was as if Sarkeesian had just posted a video of herself drowning puppies. Cue the twitterstorm.

Here are just a selection of the literally hundreds of lovely comments that Sarkeesian had Tweeted at her on Friday and Saturday after making her original comments.

[Giant TRIGGER WARNING for violent, explicit threats, harassment]


Media Interview Link Round up for October 2014

October 23, 2014

I was invited to speak at Utah State University on Wednesday October 15th, 2014 about women’s representations in video games. Sadly, the university received a series of emails threatening to commit “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if I was allowed to speak on campus. When USU and Utah police refused to screen attendees for firearms, citing the state’s concealed carry laws, I was forced to cancel the event. Below is a round up of media interviews I have done recently speaking about the threats in Utah, the epidemic of gendered harassment online, and the larger problem of sexism within the games industry as a whole.

Print & Web




Anita Sarkeesian speaking at XOXO Conference

October 7, 2014

In September 2014, I was invited to speak at the XOXO conference & festival in Portland. I used the opportunity to talk about two subtle forms of harassment that are commonly used to try and defame, discredit and ultimately silence women online: conspiracy theories and impersonation. (Note: trigger warning early on for examples of rape and death threats as well as blurred images of weaponized pornography).

Examples of Sexist Harassment on Twitter

September 3, 2014

Yes please, explain to me again how this has nothing to do with sexism.

[TRIGGER WARNING for extreme misogyny, gendered slurs, sexual harassment, sexual violence, victim blaming, graphic rape and death threats]



Women as Background Decoration (Part 2)

August 25, 2014

This is the second episode exploring the Women as Background Decoration trope in video games. In this installment we expand our discussion to examine how sexualized female bodies often occupy a dual role as both sexual playthings and the perpetual victims of male violence.

The Women as Background Decoration trope which is the subset of largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players. Sometimes they’re created to be glorified furniture but they are frequently programmed as minimally interactive sex objects to be used and abused.

In part 1 we discussed the concept of Sexual Objectification and looked at a specific subset of non-essential female characters which I classify as Non-Playable Sex Objects.

Press Image for Media Use:


The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects. This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on


Assassin’s Creed 2 (2009)
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
Bioshock (2007)
Bioshock 2 (2010)
Dead Island (2011)
Dishonored (2012)
Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
Fable 2 (2008)
Far Cry 3 (2012)
God of War 3 (2008)
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Kane & Lynch (2007)
L.A. Noire (2011)
Mafia II: Joe’s Adventures (2010)
Metro: Last Light (2013)
No More Heroes (2008)
Papo & Yo (2012)
Prototype (2009)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Saints Row (2006)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (2010)
The Darkness II (2012)
The Witcher (2007)
The Witcher 2 (2011)
Thief (2014)
Watch Dogs (2014)



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