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Friday links: What About the Men: The Book, and more harassment of Anita Sarkeesian

Longtime Friend of Man Boobz Ozy Frantz, cofounder of the No Seriously What About teh Menz blog, is writing a book with fellow NSWATMer Noah Brand about men and feminism titled, naturally, What About the Men. The first chapter, written by Ozy, is up on the Good Men Project web site, NSWATM’s (sort of) new home. It’s even got footnotes, and illustrations by Barry Deutsch!

Ozy explains the book’s central aim:

We live in a sexist society, one where gender programming starts at birth (though the advent of the sonogram has allowed parents to get a head start by painting the nursery pink or blue and stocking up in advance on gendered toys and clothes) and is so pervasive as to be inescapable. Feminism has done an excellent job analyzing and challenging the ways that these assigned and enforced gender roles damage and deform the lives of women. The same tools of analysis can be applied to the damage and deformation that men suffer. And that damage, sad to say, is severe.

Yes, that says “CLICK TO HIT HER!”

Meanwhile, over on The New Statesman, Helen Lewis looks at the continuing harassment of Anita Sarkeesian, the women who dared to ask people to donate money for a video series on sexism in video games and thereby unleashed a misogynistic shitstorm.

One of the most disturbing examples of harassment: an online game in which players are invited to “beat up Anita Sarkeesian.” Lewis censors some of the images, but not others, so let me just put a TRIGGER WARNING for depictions of violence against women, including a grotesquely photoshopped “beaten up” Sarkeesian. Anyone who thinks Sarkeesian and her supporters were making too big a deal of the harassment needs to go look at these images in Lewis’ article here. (The game itself, posted on Newgrounds.com, has now been removed.)

Again, this is all because Sarkeesian asked people to donate for a video project. If they felt like it was worthwhile. That’s all she did. And this is what she got in return: someone so angry that Sarkeesian was pointing out sexism in video games that he literally sat down and made a game inviting angry internetters to “beat this bitch up.” Irony doesn’t even begin to cover it.

On Think Progress, Alyssa Rosenberg underlines why we need to take this kind of harassment seriously:

[A]nyone who thinks that feminists who push back hard against online harassment are being oversensitive needs to understand that we’re all trying to keep ourselves from becoming Anita Sarkeesians. No matter how strong you are, and no matter how much support you have, this kind of concentrated campaign of harassment affects the targets of it. And the goal of these campaigns is to terrorize people into silence. It’s not disagreement. It’s not creative trolling. It’s deployment of a weapon.

But it’s just as important to point out that Sarkeesian wasn’t silenced; in addition to helping her raise much more money than she had originally asked for, those who attacked her simply reinforced (and helped to further publicize) the argument she was making — in the case of the “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” game, quite directly indeed. The cowards and assholes who try to shut down feminists online with this sort of harassment are not only losers — they’re losing.

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Unimaginative
Unimaginative
9 years ago

Congratulations, Ozy and Noah! *makes vague gesture of inarticulate support* Keep going 🙂

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

The vile suggestion that video games, and some of the gamers who play them, are sexist is clearly untrue! And very offensive! Which we will not prove by creating a video game in which we get to beat the shit out of a woman who had the gall to express an opinion about gaming and gamers.

They really are hilariously lacking in self-awareness, aren’t they?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
9 years ago

Not = now. I can type good, honest.

ozymandias42
9 years ago

Thank you David. 🙂 I should send you a cake* or something. With THANK YOU FOR PROMOTING ALL MY THINGS on it in pink icing.

*inb4 cake being a lie, forty cakes, asexuality

katz
9 years ago

Ozy, how do you feel about being over at GMP? I’m hearing mixed things about it (although I’m sure you’d be pulling the standards up wherever you were).

QuantumSparkle
QuantumSparkle
9 years ago

That game sounds like the kind of game preggo-punchout/factfinder would try to pitch. I kind of wish it were his, because it’s disturbing to think there’s more than one asshole who wants to program something that hateful as a game.

clairedammit
clairedammit
9 years ago

I just read your chapter, Ozy. It’s brilliant. I love Ozy’s Law. It’s such a clear way to explain things that I sort of knew but wouldn’t have been able to articulate myself. Now I can!

ozymandias42
9 years ago

Katz: My comment-deleting finger is going to get RSI or something.

Claire: Thank you. 🙂

Quackers
Quackers
9 years ago

This is why I’m a feminist. Because we live in a culture where a woman having an opinion gets her threatened with rape and violently slandered.

Well we aren’t shutting up you sick fucks, so deal with it 🙂

Quackers
Quackers
9 years ago

And yes, congrats to you and Noah, Ozy!

rjjspesh
9 years ago

Sarkeesian’s videos rock!

Fembot
Fembot
9 years ago

Sarkeesian should hire a bodyguard. No wait, she won’t need one, because MRAs never get their whiny, worthless asses off the computer to interact IRL.

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

Congratulations to Ozy and Noah! Y’all are pretty awesome.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
9 years ago

Thing about Sarkeesian’s whole situation is that she (as far as I know) still hasn’t made a single video. There’s literally no material for the hoards of trolls and misogynists to be angry about except that she:

1. Is a woman.
2. Is planning on making videos about female stereotypes.

Like, it’s shocking enough that I sorta sit back and see it all and think to myself “Where the hell did this come from?” It’s like there was some sort of invisible hate bubble that for some reason decided to pop at this one person. Either that or Anita’s been a saint in making everything public and harassment on this level is way more common that people think.

I’d like to think it’s the first option.

Molly moon
Molly moon
9 years ago

Hey guys my mra friend just told me this very disturbing information!!!!

When no one was looking, Gloria Steinem
took forty cakes. She took 40 cakes.
That’s as many as four tens.
And that’s terrible.

OMG you guys omg seriously you guys

Naira
Naira
9 years ago

It’s shit like this that is making me more solidly feminist with each passing day. After a while, I couldn’t stop seeing the gendering, sex discrimination, normalizing, and hierarchy-building. I couldn’t explain it away.

pidgey
pidgey
9 years ago

So the maker of the “beat up Anita Sarkeesian” game has both a twitter account and a Steam account which reveal how misogynistic he is. Big surprise, I know, that a guy who makes a game about beating up a woman for being feminist is a misogynist.

His Steam account contains hateful gems such as “I think it’s just adorable how absolutely no girls are any good at video games, just like how no woman has ever written a good novel.”

On twitter he gave his reasoning for creating the game, which is something along the lines of “I disagreed with the way Anita Sarkeesian approached the issue, but she wouldn’t talk with me, so I made a game about beating her up.” So yeaaaaahhh… dude has issues.

katz
9 years ago

Molly, that is indeed terrible. A Lex Luthor-worthy heist.

Kyrie
Kyrie
9 years ago

I have a huge amount of respect for women like Anita, who are capable of taking this kind of harassment. I don’t think I would have the guts to resist. And I really liked her previous video, especially the one on Legos.

Congrats Ozy, I’ll go read that.

AlexB
AlexB
9 years ago

There are people on that Thinkprogress comment thread claiming that Anita Sarkeesian’s “business model” was to get harassed and threatened by Internet troglodytes, and therefore everyone who donated to her Kickstarter is somehow being scammed.

Never mind that the harassment started after the kickstarter was posted. Never mind that she was clear what she’d use the money for, and everyone who chose to donate to her kickstarter knew exactly how much she had already raised. What I’d really like to know is, if that’s her “business model” why are the internet troglodytes playing right into her hands?

If her business model is
1) exist
2) get bombarded with hateful attacks
3) PROFIT, with bonus SCAM!

and you hate this, and yet also you’re one of the people that step 2 depends on, why not just stop participating in step 2?

indifferentsky
9 years ago

Been here a few times today and keep clicking out. I’m disturbed.
I really really like Anita, and it’s really really depressing that this is happening. She’s not even that controversial, so it’s this extra reminder that things really are bad out there.

Ugh, so depressing. That’s all I can muster to say right now.

Kyso K.
9 years ago

Sarkeesian should hire a bodyguard. No wait, she won’t need one, because MRAs never get their whiny, worthless asses off the computer to interact IRL.

But she poked the whole internet’s Sexist Hornets Nest, not just the MRAs. If I were her friend I’d probably insist she not be alone as much as possible, and I hope she’s also keeping the local police informed of the craziest threats. Sure, they can’t really do anything but if something dramatic happened, they’d be in a better position to respond appropriately. Maybe a fraud alert on her SSN with the credit reporting agencies and a couple of other CYA moves, just in case. She’s started a shitstorm large enough that it would be prudent to think about the damage one motivated nutcase can do. An ounce of prevention’s worth a pound of cure and all that.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
9 years ago

This situation is awful, I feel really bad for Anita Sarkeesian. 🙁

Something I find really stupid is that there’s people complaining that she made so much more than she asked for. Like it’s somehow her fault that there’s so many people that want to see her do this stuff that the project ended up with massive amounts of funding.

To me, it seems like it’s all a smokescreen anyway, it’s just cover for them to whine about their horrible “culture” being threatened, and for them to try to keep it the way it is through bullying. They don’t really care about the money, or the people supporting Anita, or even the project (i’m pretty sure once it’s done, they’ll just dismiss it as “pointless and ineffective”).

They just want the gaming community all to themselves so they can stew in their perceived right to be arseholes and have games cater solely to them (which is funny considering all the whining that goes on when a game isn’t 100% what they want).

Also, yay Ozy. 😀 I read the first paragraph or two the other day but then I got distracted, I really need to go back and read the rest.

blitzgal
9 years ago

I see the comment thread over at the Lewis piece has been flooded by the same abusive half-wits that are attacking Sarkeesian:

Oh Look a women wrote this article and she also looks like a feminist herself (dike)

Hahahaha Anita got exactly what she deserved. Hard-lined feminist/man-hater with nothing better to do than scam innocent straight men out of their sperm, and the rest of the world out of their money – because she has a vagina, and vaginas SELL. Might just as well have made herself stand on the street corner, selling her vagina to passers-by.

Woman using Kickstarter to fund a feminist project on the internet = stealing sperm. LOLwut?

creativewritingstudent
creativewritingstudent
9 years ago

Sperm is money, people! That’s why the petty cash box feels all sticky. 😛

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