Week 11 Day 1 Discussion Question 4

For her work on the series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games,  Anita Sarkeesian has endured years of misogynistic trolling. Her story exemplifies how online misogyny can spill over into real world harassment and violence. For example, when she scheduled to be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards in March 2014, the conference was threatened with a bomb attack.  Nevertheless, Sarkeesian remains committed to challenging misogynistic, racist, and ableist portrayals in the gaming industry. Read about her work here.  What lessons might Sarkeesian’s experiences and activities teach us about how to cope with online misogyny?

One thought on “Week 11 Day 1 Discussion Question 4

  • April 18, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    There’s a lot to learn from Anita Sakeesian’s experiences and activities, especially how to deal with online misogyny. She says that those who experience online harassment are advised to just “toughen up”, which is much easier said than done. She highlights the importance of things like self-care, therapy, and fitness. While these outlets might help some cope, they aren’t going to eliminate the problem as a whole. To do this, Sakeesian argues that to really deal with the problem of online harassment and misogyny, we need to majorly change internet culture.

    This means we need to encourage users to think critically before posting, similar to what Sakeesian’s educational organization Feminist Frequency does. The goal of this organization is to analyze “modern media’s relationship to societal issues such as gender, race and sexuality”. She also does this in her two online video series, known as Ordinary Women: Daring to Defy History and the FREQ show. Additionally, Sarkeesian released a book in 2018 titled History vs Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don’t Want You to Know. She has devoted her career to informing the public about how online activities can spill over into real-world harassment/violence and just because it’s online, doesn’t mean it can’t hurt offline. What we can learn from Sarkeesian’s experiences and activities is that the first step to addressing this societal issue is getting the word out about the representation of race, gender, and sexuality in pop culture. The faster and farther information concerning online harassment and misogyny gets, the quicker people will be informed, and the quicker they will think before they post.

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