Feminist Frequency Kickstarter Successful Despite Internet Asshats

Feminist Frequency, a web series run by Anita Sarkeesian that explores “representations of race, gender, sexuality, class and ability in popular culture,” launched a Kickstarter campaign a few weeks back for a new series of videos entitled Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.  The project will examine and comment on female video game character stereotypes throughout gaming’s history.

Asking for $6,000, the project was funded within 24 hours of going live.  A week later, thanks to even more funding from 600 backers, the project expanded its scope from five episodes to 10 plus an 11th video focusing on positive female game characters.

The next week, the campaign had garnered over $20,000 in backing, allowing Sarkeesian to up the production quality.  Another week and over $26,000 in backing expanded the project again to include a "Top 10" video listing the most common defenses of sexism in games and a classroom curriculum that schools can use in tandem with the video series.  

And then someone pissed in the punchbowl.

“The intimidation and harassment effort has included a torrent of misogyny and hate speech on my YouTube video, repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as "terrorism", as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website,” Sarkeesian said.  “These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen "jokes" to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape.  All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded.  Thankfully, Kickstarter has been incredibly supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service.”

Sarkeesian posted a snapshot of a portion of the YouTube comments she has received.

But, despite a bunch of internet dingbats railing against opinions and arguments Sarkeesian hasn’t yet made in a video series she hasn’t yet produced, the project currently has over 3,000 backers who have funded the project to the tune of $75,000.

And it still has three days to go.  You can check out its Kickstarter page right here.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Neeneko says:

    You might want to read up on things like selection bias then, because your pattern recognition is borked.  Which TBH human's pattern recognition IS borked, which is why we have things like science and actual data to get around such problems.

    Your views on feminism sound like something a 14 year old who has never met a feminist but has heard lots of other boys talking about them would come up with, then selectively 'noticed' posters who match his views while generally ignoring people who do not.

  2. 0
    ChrowX says:

    I watched a couple of her videos. Let me at least tell you that, in my opinion, they do not inspire confidence or depict her as any sort of insightful, well informed or credible source on the matter, outside of being female and calling herself a feminist.

  3. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    I blame my brain's tendency to look at data, see patterns, and project those patterns onto future experiences.  Not 100% accurate, of course, but accurate enough to be evolutionarily advantageous.  😉

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Stereotypeing much?

    Yeah, there are asshats in every group that take individual's behavior as 'proof' that the entire group is bad, but they are just that, asshats, like you are being for doing exactly this.

  5. 0
    ChuckLez says:

    not even.  These are the types of people who would troll facebook pages for dead family members.  If anything, she showed emotion towards something (in this case, a serious topic).  That's all it takes sometimes.  I almost imagine it like a sadistic zombieland.  Someone going around to parts where humanity and sanity holds up, even flourishes, only to throw up a signal flare so the mindless droves know where to go and feast.

  6. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Sounds plausible, but she seemed to have really tapped into something.  It was some impressive nastiness… unfortunately it was all stuff I have seen before being thrown a gamer girls.

  7. 0
    eston says:

    Ironically, all the vitriol and misogyny that resulted from this project has actually helped it considerably. I doubt she would have quadrupled her budget without all the free publicity. Additionally, the internet also gave her plenty of ammunition/source material for the series, and proved her point for her before she even got around to making it.

    I for one am hoping she really explores the games that DO NOT follow the typical pattern of misogyny. There seems to have been a real push lately to break away from this (particularly with indie games) and it should be highlighted.

  8. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    So because a lot of people wanted to support her in her attempts to highlight a very real issue in gaming, you now hold no sympathy for her? Do you also lack sympathy for all the girls who are abused online whenever they pick up a controller? 

    If you think this is nothing more than an attention grab, then you are obviously someone who could use a bit of a reality check yourself. Make sure to watch the videos when they are released.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  9. 0
    yongxian says:

    Sounded to me more like an attention whore who blogs for cash. Nobody can go against human nature, so she probably used that to her marketing advantage. Now she got the money she wanted, that kind of minus off any simpathy I might have for her. Can’t stand all these ‘come give me attention’ bloggers..

  10. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    The video series revolves around the portrayal of women in games. So I doubt she will focus on men.

    As for the portrayal of men in games, it is a very different beast and would require a very different approach. Often the representation of men is done from a power fantasy perspective. That is very different from the portrayal of women as objects of desire.

    Another interesting thing to contrast between the portrayal of women and men in games is that Men have a wide variety of body types in gaming, while women are often portrayed from the same skinny, large breasted mold.

    Here is a very interesting exploration of that topic: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/854/the_aesthetics_of_unique_video_.php

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  11. 0
    Erik says:

    Feminists make me leery, but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt while I wait for the other videos.

    I am curious to what, if anything, she is going to say about Skull Girls, seeing as there was a clip of it in this intro video.  The reason I'm curious is due to the fact that the look of the game was designed by a female artist.

    Secondly, I'm curious to if she is going to touch on, at all, male stereotypes in games.  I mean we should feel bad about men being portrayed as big, thick, muscle bound Spartans right?

  12. 0
    ChrowX says:

    I can't say that I'm surprised that youtube comments are obnoxious, insulting, and derogatory. I mean, they are youtube comments. Let's not pretend they've ever been good.

    As for the backlash in general, I'm somewhat perturbed by it, but then again, she was asking for a lot money to produce 10 minute youtube videos. I'm surprised she got the funding, but I guess there's a market for everything. 

    I wouldn't take issue with her videos to the point of spewing mindless hatespeech at her, but I can't help but feel that she's just picking an easy target, hot button issue to kick up attention to herself. She's supposedly a well-known blogger with material being used in women's studies courses (according to her wiki page), so why the whole obvious issue angle? This is the sort of thing that wanna-be internet movie reviewers do, where they pick up some old copy of a crappy movie like one of the Karate Kid sequels, and screaming at the camera for 15 minutes about how it's such a big dumb piece of dumb, dumb, stupid doody.

    Does she really need $90,000 dollars to tell us that Princess Peach is a Damsel in Distress? I sincerely hope her work ends up being more impressive than it seems like it might end up..

  13. 0
    prh99 says:

    There is all kinds of hate on Youtube in the comments, I can't say I am all that surprised. I am not saying it's right, just not surprising.

  14. 0
    tallimar says:

    i watched 7 of her videos and wasnt impressed.  basically her videos (that i've seen) were all rants about 'big bad media'.  there's potential here for real discussion, but she doesnt dive deep enough into the factors involved for real dialogue imo.

  15. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I am really curious what was behind all the rage against her.  This wouldn't be the first exploration of the topic and others did not receive this much vitriol… and while I know she has pre-existing enemies I have not heard of them being this organized and persistent before.

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