Monday, October 20, 2014

#Gamergate and the rise of the misogynist terrorist freaks

I've blogged about Anita Sarkeesian a couple of times on this blog, and thought she did good work, and had some good feminist things to say - so I was not at all surprised to find she's the target of misogynist terrorist freaks. I am well-acquainted with phenomenon of vicious threats against women for getting too uppity by misogynist freaks thanks to knowing about "elevatorgate" and the insane death/rape threats against Rebecca Watson inspired by Richard Dawkins' "Dear Muslima" letter. And my own experience, which is minor compared to what Watson and Sarkeesian (and others) received, but the difference is degree not kind.

Big media outlets have begun to pay attention to the story, the latest being the New Yorker:
...on Tuesday, when the director of Utah State University’s Center for Women and Gender received an e-mail proposing “the deadliest school shooting in American history” if Sarkeesian’s upcoming speaking engagement at the school was not cancelled. The e-mail, which was published online by the Standard-Examiner, read, “I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs…. Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU.” Sarkeesian cancelled her talk after the campus police, citing Utah’s gun laws, refused to prohibit attendees from carrying concealed weapons to the event. The e-mail is being considered as part of an ongoing F.B.I. investigation into threats against Sarkeesian.
Absolutely perfect - the misogynists and the gun nuts, working together to shut down a woman's right to speak in public. Utah, of course, perfect, the state controlled by a religion that started out by putting women into harems.

The author of the New Yorker piece, Simon Parkin, writes:
I have first-hand experience of this mentality. When I wrote about Zoe Quinn’s game Depression Quest for this site last month, a piece that was commissioned before the coining of the Gamergate hashtag, my editor received a slew of messages from people who disagreed with the article and sought to discredit me by claiming that I had a financial connection to the story. I sponsor several writers with small monthly donations via Patreon, a crowdfunding Web site for artists. Unbeknownst to me, one of those writers, Jenn Frank, had been commissioned to write a piece for the Guardian about the harassment that Quinn had endured. This was enough for many Gamergate supporters to denounce my piece as part of a media conspiracy. I can’t imagine how much worse it must be to receive threats against one’s life.
Can there be any doubt at this point that if he had a female pen name, he would be getting death threats by now?