Do you know who Anita Sarkeesian is?
She is a freedom-fighter cyber warrior, working every day to protect your child’s imagination, and because of her courageous acts, her life is in danger.
Sarkeesian is a fan of video games. She has been since she was a child. She has always lamented the lack of female protagonists in games, the repetition of the trope of damsel in distress, and the prevalence of the sexualization and violence against women in games. Sarkeesisan has created several videos exploring these damaging tropes throughout the history of gaming. She wants more creative narratives where females get to play heroes. For pointing out this sexism and for imagining gender equality in the gaming world, Sarkeesian’s has received numerous threats of violence. Yesterday, for the first time, she cancelled a speech. The New York Times reports:
Not until Tuesday, though, did Ms. Sarkeesian feel compelled to cancel a speech, planned at Utah State University. The day before, members of the university administration received an email warning that a shooting massacre would be carried out at the event. And under Utah law, she was told, the campus police could not prevent people with weapons from entering her talk.
“This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history, and I’m giving you a chance to stop it,” said the email, which bore the moniker Marc Lépine, the name of a man who killed 14 women in a mass shooting in Montreal in 1989 before taking his own life.
Of her decision to cancel, Sarkeesian Tweets:
To be clear: I didn’t cancel my USU talk because of terrorist threats, I canceled because I didn’t feel the security measures were adequate.
Sarkeesian cancelled because the university and the police refused to screen for weapons.
Peggy Orenstein posts on her Facebok page:
I am absolutely sickened by what is happening to Anita Sarkeesian. Every person of conscience should speak out against this–ESPECIALLY men and gamers!
Please speak out for Sarkeesian. Share her story and state your support.