I can’t believe I sacrificed a night of video games for these. A little while ago, the UN rolled out an ad campaign focusing on sexism on the internet (http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads). They utilize google’s instant search feature, and I felt the ads powerfully show how sexism on the internet reflects what we encounter in real life.
I decided to copy it, focusing on the discrimination and prejudice female gamers face within the subculture. These searches were done on November 14th, 2013.
Being street harassed isn’t just tiresome. It makes me feel like I am being hunted every time I leave my house. It feels like I am at war.— Suzan Eraslan (@SuzanEraslan) September 13, 2013
Yes. This. Exactly.
Coincidentally whenever I see a noticeable uptick in hate and harassment sent my way there’s almost always an angry reddit thread somewhere.— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) July 26, 2013
I was recently interviewed for this TV segment on Canada’s Global News about the epidemic of harassment women face in gaming spaces.
Also interviewed for the segment were Grace from the website Fat, Ugly or Slutty, Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch founder of game studio Silicone Sisters Interactive & James Portnow from the gaming webshow Extra Credits.
I was interviewed about harassment in gaming culture for this New York Times article written by Amy O’Leary which appeared on the front page of the national edition on August 2, 2012. You can read the full article online, “In Virtual Play, Sexual Harassment Is All Too Real”.
Source: The New York Times
Brief Statement: Harassment and the Culture of Misogyny Online
It’s important that individuals who engage in hateful behavior and threats of violence don’t go unchallenged and do face some measure of accountability - that said its also critical to remember that the domestic violence ‘game’ targeting me is a symptom of our deeply misogynist culture (both online and offline). In far too many online and gaming spaces sexist behavior is still unfortunately considered normal, acceptable or expected. This particular domestic violence ‘game’ is just one of the more extreme manifestations of the sustained cyber mob style harassment campaign directed at me which has been perpetrated by hundreds if not thousands of (mostly) anonymous internet users over the course of several weeks.
The attempts to silence women (and members of other marginalized groups) goes far beyond just my experience. Women who speak out on all sorts of topics, from politics to entertainment, face the threat of cyber mob harassment as recently experienced by Bioware writer Jennifer Hepler, British columnist Laurie Penny, gamer icon Felicia Day, Shakesville blogger Melissa McEwan and that’s just to name a few. In the last couple of days alone there have been alarming online threats made against videoblogger Laci Green and Toronto-based organizer Stephanie Guthrie.
The online harassment epidemic also effects a great number of women who don’t have as much public recognition or support. We have no idea how many women have been scared into silence, deleted their blogs, removed their videos or simply refrained from saying anything on the internet altogether - but I am certain its a significant and depressing number. That has to change.
Additionally, online services and websites need to do a much better job of creating safer, better moderated spaces and provide the tools and functionality that empower those being harassed and abused via their systems. In short online harassment and abuse needs to be taken seriously by the companies and institutions that provide the infrastructure for our lives online.
Sarkeesian decided to leave the comments on her video, as proof that such sexism exists. I think it’s important that she did, because too often the response to stories like this, “Come on, it can’t be that bad”. There are two reasons for this: first, that if you don’t experience this kind of abuse, it’s difficult to believe it exists (particularly if you’re a man and this just isn’t part of your daily experience). Secondly, because news reports don’t print the bad words. We’ve got into a weird situation where you have to get a TV channel controller to sign off a comedian using the word “cunt” after 9pm, but on the internet, people spray it round like confetti. We read almost-daily reports of “trolls” being cautioned or even jailed, but often have no idea what they’ve said.
Read the full article "Dear Internet, This is Why You Can’t Have Anything Nice"