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

 

FREQ: A Feminist Frequency Newsletter

March 3, 2016

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Today, we’re very excited to announce FREQ, our new, monthly e-newsletter. Each month we’ll bring you updates on all things FemFreq, and we’ve got a big announcement coming very soon so trust us when we say that there will be lots to talk about!

Each newsletter will also include an exclusive interview, and we’re thrilled that our inaugural issue features a conversation with Jane Ng, the environmental artist who created the amazing world of Firewatch.

We’ve got a lot that we want to share with you. Don’t miss out on any of it. Subscribe to FREQ today!

On Twitter, Conspiracy Theories, and Information Cascades

February 22, 2016

On February 9th, Twitter announced the formation of a council made up of over 40 organizations, of which Feminist Frequency is one. These organizations are not involved in micromanaging Twitter on a daily basis or making decisions with regards to action taken against accounts or tweets, but rather, have been assembled to consult with Twitter generally about how to best navigate the challenges of allowing freedom of expression while also fighting abuse. In the days since the announcement, a wild conspiracy has formed that presents me as an Orwellian villain with the power to control what others can and can’t say on Twitter, despite the fact that, again, Feminist Frequency is just one of more than 40 organizations on a council that also includes groups like GLAAD and the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

Blog posts have been written, video rants have been filmed, and hundreds of tweets have been posted as this ludicrous conspiracy has spread. According to this conspiracy, any opinions I don’t agree with are being quietly silenced, while the people expressing them are being ominously “shadowbanned.” As the conspiracy spread, I went from just being a member of the council, to being in charge of the council. A few tweets even characterized me as being in charge of Twitter entirely!

Here is a very small sampling of tweets. Messages like these have been spreading for weeks:

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Of course there isn’t a shred of truth to this perception, but for the people spreading it, the truth is irrelevant. The tweets, blogs and videos are designed to incite rage and enlist more people to join the crusade against me. They are designed to make me out as a powerful enemy of free speech who is determined to crush the expression of any idea she doesn’t agree with, and they conveniently support the perception some have created that I am not a feminist pop culture critic but rather some kind of diabolical supervillain, hell-bent on creating an oppressive society.

This conspiracy and others like it are themselves a manifestation of misogyny, borne out of a deep distrust and hatred of women. They’re designed to foster fear and serve as a warning to other women about what awaits them if they challenge the status quo. Rather than replacing the pre-existing conspiracies, this new one fits neatly in with the others that have been and continue to be proliferated. It’s as if I’m a folk demon and this is yet another horror story people whisper to each other about me and, by extension, about what effects feminism may have on our culture if this imaginary menace is allowed to spread.

These absurd characterizations, unquestioningly accepted as true, then serve as the justification for more extreme forms of harassment. I know how this works because I’ve been down this road many times before. In fact, I talked about exactly this same phenomenon at XOXO in 2014, in my talk on information cascades and conspiracy theories. If you watch the talk now, you’ll see that while the story being spread about me may be different, the tactics haven’t changed at all.

Feminist Frequency’s 2015 Annual Report

January 26, 2016

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The Feminist Frequency team is pleased to present our annual report for 2015. The report features a list of our accomplishments throughout the year, highlights from media coverage, our financial information, some fun data about who watches our videos and how, and our plans for the new year, which we’re very excited about.

We hope you’ll take a moment to join us in looking back at 2015 and looking ahead to 2016; we think you’re gonna love some of what we have in the works.

Download the Feminist Frequency 2015 Annual Report [PDF].

Strategic Butt Coverings

January 19, 2016

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This episode examines the ways in which designers often employ camera angles and clothing choices as tools to deliberately sexualize and objectify female protagonists of third-person games. To illustrate that this is no accident, we contrast the ways in which women’s butts are frequently emphasized with the great lengths often taken to avoid calling attention to the butts of male characters. We then present some examples of female-led third-person games that humanize rather than objectify their protagonists.

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/23844341504

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

37 GAMES REFERENCED IN THIS EPISODE
Alan Wake (2010)
Alice: Madness Returns (2011)
Assassin’s Creed (2007)
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
Bayonetta (2009)
Beyond Good & Evil (2003)
Binary Domain (2012)
Blades of Time (2012)
Bully (2006)
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (2014)
Dante’s Inferno (2010)
Devil May Cry 4 (2008)
Gears of War 3 (2011)
Golden Axe: Beast Rider (2008)
Heavenly Sword (2007)
Just Cause 2 (2010)
Kane & Lynch 2 (2010)
Life Is Strange (2015)
Lollipop Chainsaw (2012)
Max Payne 3 (2012)
Metal Gear Solid 4 (2008)
Ninja Gaiden II (2008)
Prince of Persia (2008)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003)
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Remember Me (2013)
The Saboteur (2009)
Sleeping Dogs (2012)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (2010)
Tomb Raider (1996)
Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness (2003)
Tomb Raider: Underworld (2008)
Watch Dogs (2014)
Wet (2009)
X-Blades (2007)

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That Dragon, Cancer Review

January 11, 2016


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Reviewed by: Carolyn Petit

Grief is…normal. Losing people we love is part of life, something almost all of us experience from time to time. Some circumstances that lead to grief, however, are more rare and more cruel than others. That Dragon, Cancer is a symbolic journey through the lives of creators Ryan and Amy Green as they face a plight that is incomprehensible to most of us: Their son, Joel, was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of childhood cancer that affects the brain. What makes That Dragon, Cancer so effective is the honesty with which the Greens let us into their hearts and minds; by doing so, they create a portrayal of hope and grief and love that is at once entirely their own and one that anyone who has suffered loss can relate to.

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Quick Audience Survey

January 4, 2016

As we enter 2016, Feminist Frequency is looking to expand our pop culture analysis with new videos and other exciting projects. To help us do that, we want to know more about what matters to you, our supporters and followers. Please take this very quick survey to help us make Feminist Frequency better than ever!

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

December 31, 2015


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Reviewed by: Anita Sarkeesian

Links & Resources

Back in May of 1980, Darth Vader revealed a shocking secret and left moviegoers to ponder its implications for three long years: He was Luke Skywalker’s father. The truth is that I have a deep, dark secret of my own: I’m not a Star Wars fan. Not having grown up with them, I first watched the original three movies sometime in my early twenties, then again a few years later. Both times I had the same reaction: They were fine. Clearly, they were an important part of cinematic history. But I wasn’t converted to Star Wars fandom the way millions of other viewers had been. So during Christmas, when a friend asked me if I wanted to go see it, I agreed, but was skeptical that I would enjoy myself. Much to my surprise, I did. It’s a fun movie and, unlike the tedious and lifeless prequels, it’s a solid Star Wars film, a spirited and exciting sci-fi adventure.

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End of the Year Donation Drive

December 30, 2015

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Here at Feminist Frequency, we’re really excited about the new year. Our new logo is just the first step in a lot of big things we have planned, and we’d really love for you to be a part of it all. To mark the start of what’s to come, if you donate $25+ or become one of our monthly sustainers before Dec. 31st, we’ll send you one of our brand new Feminist Frequency stickers. And because we are an official 501(c)3 nonprofit, all your donations to us are tax deductible. Just visit our donate page to make your pledge today!

Thank you so much for your support. Here’s to 2016!

 

Redesigned Feminist Frequency Logo

December 12, 2015

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Design work of any kind is a pretty challenging endeavour and I’ve found that logo design is one of the hardest. How do you encapsulate all the feelings, goals, and aspirations of an organization in one relatively abstract icon? Right after the Tropes vs Women in Video Games Kickstarter we realized we needed to redesign our original logo so that we could create motion graphics for the new series. That process took several months, several designers, and endless iterations, but ultimately I was very happy with the results. I said yes, go, design done! Then I quickly realized, this isn’t a logo, it can’t be used as an icon, and it’s not flexible enough to put on backgrounds of different colors. Oops.

I learned from my previous mistakes. I reached out to Cory Schmitz whose work, if you are a fan of video games, you would probably recognize all over the place. I said, “Cory, make me something awesome! But that also fulfills all these criteria.” And thus began our year-long process to get to where we are today.

The current design weaves in all of the original ideas I wanted but in a subtle way, and I’ve found that everyone sees something a little bit different in it. You might see the two Fs sitting opposite each other representing our initials, or a wave pattern to signify media frequencies. You might even see talons like I initially did, or a cute little family of birds!

We experimented with many different colours  and I kept gravitating back to the hot pink. Some iteration of a bright pink has been a part of our logo design since the beginning and I wanted to keep that historical thread, plus I just really like hot pink. Lastly, you might have noticed a lot of Arabic influence in our previous design. We consulted a lot of Arabic typography books to understand the beautiful written language of Arabic, and it was important to me to integrate that into this new design, too. I gravitate toward Arabic script for two reasons: 1. It was a personal nod to my family and cultural background, and 2. Because Arabic script, unlike English letters, has this incredible way of weaving together boldness and softness at the same time, embodying a complex range of qualities that feels very appropriate to the work we do.

Now that the logo is complete, we are working on designing our brand new website which will launch sometime early next year, and we are working on getting stickers and t-shirts for the many of you who have been requesting it! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on all those announcements!

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