FREQ #2: Interview with Sydney Padua

April 5, 2016

Each month, FREQ will bring you the latest news and updates from Feminist Frequency, as well as interviews with some of the most inspiring women in media. Our second issue features an interview with Sydney Padua, the creator of the webcomic The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.

Make sure you don’t miss out on future issues. Subscribe now to get FREQ delivered directly to your inbox every month!

Freq #2: Sydney

Quantum Break Review

April 5, 2016

Reviewed by Carolyn Petit

Quantum Break is the latest third-person shooter from Remedy, the same studio that brought us Max Payne way back in 2001, and boy, does that lineage show. Like that game, this one revolves around a flashy gimmick that serves to differentiate its gameplay a bit from that of other, more straightforward third-person shooters. And like Max Payne, as well as Remedy’s 2010 game Alan Wake, it stars a dude who cannot stop narrating his story for us.

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Body Language & The Male Gaze

March 31, 2016

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This episode examines the ways in which character animation, which can be a wonderful tool for all sorts of creative expression, is often used in limiting and stereotypical ways to sexualize female characters. We then illustrate that this is just one of many ways that games are predominantly designed around the male gaze, and discuss why male characters who may be depicted wearing little clothing are not objectified in the way that female characters are.

LINKS & RESOURCES

This is the first episode in season two of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. For more on the format changes accompanying season two, please see our announcement here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/566429325/tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/posts/1469466

Press Image for Media Use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/femfreq/26155562055

ABOUT THE SERIES
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 Kickstarter.com

GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Bayonetta 2 (2014)
Bullet Witch (2007)
Destiny (2014)
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
Mass Effect 2 (2010)
Metal Gear Solid V (2015)
Ninja Gaiden II (2008)
Remember Me (2013)
Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
Saints Row: The Third (2011)
Street Fighter V (2016)
The Last of Us: Left Behind (2014)
Tomb Raider (2013)
Uncharted 2 (2009)

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Ordinary Women’s Ida B. Wells Episode Sponsored!

March 28, 2016

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We are proud to announce that the Ida B. Wells episode of our upcoming animated series, Ordinary Women, is being sponsored by the Harnisch Foundation, an organization whose mission is to create a more fair and equitable world by investing in gender and racial diversity.

The Harnisch Foundation recognizes that storytelling is one of the most powerful vehicles for social change, which is why it’s such a natural fit for them to sponsor our episode about Ida B. Wells. Among other things, Wells was an investigative journalist whose work shone a spotlight on issues of racial injustice. The stories she told in the media brought attention to the ways in which economic discrimination and racial discrimination were often inextricably linked, and helped motivate people to take a stand against the monstrous practice of lynching.

The founder and president of the Harnisch Foundation, Ruth Ann Harnisch, knows firsthand the impact of media representation, having been a journalist who shattered glass ceilings in broadcast news in Nashville. Like her, we believe that telling the stories of amazing women such as Ida B. Wells can contribute to a more equitable world in which girls and women have the wherewithal to pursue their full potential in journalism or any field. (Currently, American newsrooms are predominantly male and overwhelmingly white.) We are very pleased to partner with the Harnisch Foundation to bring you the story of Ida B. Wells, who proved that the stories we tell can help change the world.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring an episode of Ordinary Women, we would love to talk to you!

Learn more about Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History and help us tell these important stories by donating to our crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark and by sharing this post.

Ordinary Women’s Ada Lovelace Episode Sponsored!

March 24, 2016

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We are thrilled to announce that the Ada Lovelace episode of our upcoming animated series, Ordinary Women, is being sponsored by the Science Ambassador Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, engineering, or math.

Jenn Bane, community director of the Science Ambassador Scholarship, said,

“We’re so proud to support this incredible episode of Ordinary Women, a project that shines a spotlight on women who have been unfairly overlooked throughout history. We created The Science Ambassador Scholarship for the same reason–to raise visibility of women working in science, and give women the platform they deserve in male-dominated fields. I’m thrilled to sponsor an episode about Ada Lovelace. My hope is this episode will help dismantle the belief that women are merely secondary characters in history, and encourage more women to pursue their passions in STEM.”

​In telling the stories of amazing women like Ada Lovelace—writer of the first computer program—we hope to shatter the limiting stereotypes that are still so prevalent today about women in science and technology. (Only 16% of prime-time TV characters with STEM careers are female.) Women have always been inventors and innovators, and we are proud to have the support of an organization that is working today to help women achieve their full potential in STEM fields.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring an episode of Ordinary Women, we would love to talk to you!

Learn more about Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History and help us tell these important stories by donating to our crowdfunding campaign on Seed&Spark and sharing this post.

 

 

About Feminist Frequency Reviews

March 17, 2016

A Message From Our Managing Editor

This is an exciting time for us here at Feminist Frequency. We’ve just announced our brand new series, Ordinary Women, and the response to that has been wonderful to see. We’re also thrilled to be launching our monthly newsletter, in which we’ll be sharing interviews with amazing women and keeping you in the loop about all things FemFreq. Finally, I’m particularly excited to tell you that we are about to make video game reviews a more consistent part of our programming.

As you may know, I’ve spent years working in games criticism, and I’m so glad to have the opportunity to bring that experience to my work here. What excites me most about reviewing games for Feminist Frequency is the fact that considerations about matters of representation don’t have to feel shoehorned into reviews that treat such issues as secondary. Rather, they can be given the importance that they deserve, and be discussed not as something that exists entirely separate from other aspects like graphics and gameplay, but as part of the interconnected whole that makes the game what it is. We’re a small team, of course, with a number of other projects going on, so we have to remain selective about which games we review, but my hope is that we can contribute to the conversations that take place around some of the most important and impactful games of the year, from indies to mainstream blockbusters.

One thing that I always hope people take away from Feminist Frequency’s work is an understanding that engaging thoughtfully and critically with media isn’t just important; it’s also enjoyable. Our experience of games is richer and more rewarding not when we “turn our brains off,” but when we stay engaged intellectually and emotionally in what a game is saying and doing.

As we look forward to the release calendar for the rest of 2016, we’re very excited to be ramping up Feminist Frequency Reviews. Thanks for joining us; this is gonna be fun.

Carolyn Petit
Managing Editor

Hitman (2016) Review

March 17, 2016

Reviewed by Carolyn Petit

The latest entry in IO Interactive’s long-running Hitman series, simply titled Hitman, is here. Or, rather, part of it is here. Hitman currently includes two training scenarios and one full-fledged assassination, with new locations to be added in the coming months.

The game starts with a flashback section that serves as both a tutorial and an introduction to the mysterious Agent 47 for players who might not be familiar with him from earlier games. But the thing about Agent 47 is that there’s not much to know. He’s as unsure about his past as we are. In this new Hitman, he’s not ruthless. He’s not vengeful. He doesn’t seem haunted by his past or by the things he does. He just seems dispassionate and detached in the extreme. And the Hitman games are supposed to be a kind of assassination fantasy, a chance to play out the kind of perfectly executed hit that we see glorified in movies, pulled off by a killer for whom it’s all just business. But it’s worth asking ourselves, if extreme emotional detachment is part of that fantasy, why is that something that we admire? Why do we want to step into the shoes of a character who seemingly can’t feel much of anything?

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FREQ, our new monthly newsletter, has arrived!

March 10, 2016

The debut issue of FREQ, our new monthly newsletter, has gone out to thousands of subscribers! Each month, FREQ will bring you the latest news and updates from Feminist Frequency, as well as interviews with some of the most inspiring women in media. Our first issue features an interview with Jane Ng, the environmental artist who created the amazing world of Firewatch.

Check out the first issue here to see what you can look forward to in FREQ each month!

Make sure you dont miss out on future issues. Subscribe now to get FREQ delivered directly to your inbox every month!

FREQ issue 1 - screenshot 2

Announcing “Ordinary Women” Crowdfunding Campaign

March 8, 2016

Feminist Frequency is proud to announce a crowdfunding campaign for Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History, a new video series that spotlights the incredible true stories of women in history. This series is something that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Visit our campaign page for more information!

Rather than heroes, leaders and innovators, women are too often depicted—and treated—as secondary characters in history, objects of affections, damsels to be rescued, or merely the wives, mothers and assistants to the men who achieved important things. But a closer look back at history can tell a different story, one full of defiant, daring women who challenged stereotypes and refused to settle for the status quo.

bts-clothing

Narrated by Feminist Frequency founder Anita Sarkeesian, Ordinary Women will tell the stories of exceptional women from history: Murasaki Shikibu, the inventor of the modern novel; Ada Lovelace, the writer of the first computer program, Ching Shih, a pirate captain; Emma Goldman, a political revolutionary; and Ida B. Wells, a civil rights leader and journalist. Each episode will features an original score and original animation, with a distinct visual style inspired by its subject.

ada-emma

Their accomplishments are a reminder that the stories we tell about women too often reflect the limitations that have been placed upon them, rather the things they can do–and have already done. We hope that our project can help shift perceptions of what girls and women can do, not just in exceptional cases but in perfectly ordinary ones.

Learn more and support our campaign by visiting: https://www.seedandspark.com/studio/ordinary-women#story

Feminist Frequency and Crash Override Partnership

March 3, 2016

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Crash Override and Feminist Frequency are proud to announce a new partnership. As of March 1, 2016, Feminist Frequency, a 501(c)3 non profit organization is the fiscal sponsor of Crash Override. By accepting tax-deductible donations through this partnership, Crash Override will be able to greatly expand operations, assist more people, and create more resources for the public, all for free. Together, Feminist Frequency and Crash Override will work to make a safer internet for everyone.

“Crash Override is an invaluable resource in combating online harassment and helping targets when they are most vulnerable.” said Anita Sarkeesian, Executive Director of Feminist Frequency. “This partnership helps further Feminist Frequency’s mission of ending online harassment and I’m thrilled we can support this essential work.”

In addition to this partnership, Crash Override has completely updated the organization’s website and developed a new free tool to combat online abuse called COACH – Crash Override’s Automated Cybersecurity Helper. Co-founder Zoe Quinn used a tool normally used to make games to make an interactive, easy-to-follow security checklist that allows anyone to secure their accounts, remove personal information, and protect their privacy at their own pace.

“We’re hoping that COACH can use the strength of interactivity to assist even more people. By taking huge guides and breaking them down into smaller step-by-step bites, we hope to bring practical digital self-defense to an even wider audience,” said Zoe Quinn, co-founder of Crash Override.

Crash Override, founded by Zoe Quinn and Alex Lifschitz, is a crisis support network, advocacy group, and resource center for people who are experiencing online abuse. Since launching in January 2015, their crisis helpline has supported over 1,000 people, and countless more have been assisted by the tools and guides in their public resource center. Crash Override has advocated for our clients to tech giants like Twitter and Google, and in the public eye at Congress and the United Nations.

More information about Crash Override can be found at www.crashoverridenetwork.com

 

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